New Year’s Menu

New Year! 2012 is here and what a great way to celebrate the season than with a celebration meal. Below will be on my menu and I hope that you will try them, too. These recipes have been collected over the years and are my family’s favorite. I apologize that I did not keep where I got these recipes.

Black Eyed Peas

16 ounces dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and sorted (I use fresh peas that I froze from the summer)
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup diced ham (I use one ham hock)
1 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
black pepper, to taste

Presoak peas as directed. (If you are using fresh, no need to presoak) Drain the water from the peas and place peas in a crockpot. Add all other ingredients, plus enough water to cover. Stir well to mix. Cover and cook on LOW setting for 8-10 hours.

Fried Cabbage

3 slices bacon, cut into thirds
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1 head cabbage, cored and sliced
1 white onion, chopped
1 pinch white sugar

Place the bacon and vegetable oil into a large pot over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until bacon is crisp. Add cabbage, onion, and sugar to the pot; cook and stir continuously for 5 minutes, until tender

Buttermilk Cornbread

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (I use the buttermilk powder and water)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.

Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Honey Pork Tenderloin

1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 (3/4 pound) pork tenderloins

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
In a bowl, mix the honey, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and balsamic vinegar.

Place the pork tenderloins in a roasting pan, and roast 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
Remove pork from oven, and baste with the honey sauce. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue roasting pork 45 minutes, basting occasionally with the honey sauce, to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

Cranberry Orange Cake

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons cranberry-flavored liqueur
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup white sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 cup of white sugar, 1/3 cup of orange juice, eggs, buttermilk, cranberry liqueur, and vegetable oil using an electric mixer. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Fold in the chopped dates, cranberries and orange zest. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted into the crown of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan set over a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the cake from the pan and place on a serving plate. In a small saucepan, stir together 1 cup of orange juice and 3/4 cup of white sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Use a turkey baster or large spoon to drizzle the sauce over the cake. Poke the cake with a fork or skewer to help it absorb all of the sauce, or until the cake is thoroughly moistened.. Dust with powder sugar or ice the cake with a vanilla frosting that you add orange flavoring.

If you like these recipes, check out Back to the Table with My Country Kitchen cookbook.

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Valentine’s Day Menu


1/2 medium onion, minced
1 shallot, chopped (optional)
mushroom stems, chopped
mushroom caps (for stuffing)
onion and garlic powder
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley (optional)

Choose mushrooms with large caps. Brush mushrooms cleaning well. Remove caps from stems, reserving caps. Melt butter in sauté pan and add mushroom stems, onion, shallots, if using. Sauté until onions are transparent.
Remove from heat and stir together bread crumbs, onion and garlic powder and parsley. Add enough breadcrumb mixture so that mixture is no longer soupy. Stuff mushrooms caps and sprinkle pressed-in stuffing with paprika.


3 lg. chicken breasts
3 tbsp. flour (sprinkle with salt and pepper)
1 (10 or 13 oz.) can chicken broth
4 tbsp. butter or olive oil
3 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
8 oz. pkg. fresh mushrooms
1 c. Marsala cooking wine

Cut chicken breasts in half – (be sure all fat is removed). GENTLY pound with finger tips or meat pounder. Coat each piece with flour.
In large skillet, melt butter or olive oil on low. Brown chicken on each side about 2 minute (medium heat). Remove chicken from pan.

Add chicken broth, Marsala wine, parsley, and sliced mushrooms to skillet and simmer about 10 minutes. Add chicken and let cook on low about 15 minutes.

Serves 4-6.


2 lb. peeled and diced potatoes
1/2 to 1 head garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
6 tbsp. butter
1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream, half&half or milk

Cover potatoes with water sufficient to cover in a heavy-bottomed pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer until potatoes are fork-tender.
Drain potatoes and set aside. Return empty pan to heat and add butter, leaving until butter melts. In a separate pan, bring cream or milk to boil (do not allow to curdle; remove from heat immediately when it starts to boil).

Mash the potatoes, beating in the butter and half&half, cream or milk, mashed garlic, and salt and pepper, until potatoes are smooth and fluffy.

NOTE: For milder garlic flavor, parboil garlic along with potatoes, then mash with potatoes.


2-3 cups small baby carrots (pre-peeled)
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
fresh minced parsley and/or chives

In a medium skillet, melt butter. Add brown sugar, honey, nutmeg and cinnamon; mix together. Add Carrots. Cover; cook on medium low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When finished cooking, the carrots should be firm, not mushy.
Remove from skillet and sprinkle with fresh parsley and/or chives. Serve.


1 (15 oz.) pkg. angel food cake mix
1 1/3 c. (15 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c. lemon juice
1 tsp. almond extract
2 pkgs. Dream Whip, prepared to pkg. directions
2 pts. fresh strawberries, washed & hulled or 2 boxes frozen berries, drained

Prepare and bake angel food cake according to package directions in a 10″x4″ tube pan. Invert cake on wire rack until cold, carefully remove from pan and place, top side down, on a serving plate.
In medium sized bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and almond extract. Blend well. Whip cream until cream forms stiff peaks. Gently fold into sweetened condensed milk mixture. Chill 10 to 15 minutes.

Slice a 1″ horizontal layer from top of cake. Carefully lift off and set aside. Measure an inch in from outer edge of cake and an inch from center hole and mark with toothpicks. With sharp knife, cut a pick mark down to within an inch from bottom.

Slowly cut around the entire cake. Start to cut an inch in from center hole and again cut down to within one inch from cake bottom and around entire cake. With fork carefully remove the center cut of cake.

This will leave a hollow shell of cake with inner and outer walls about one inch thick with a base of equal thickness. Tear or cut the removed portion of cake into 1″ cubes. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the chilled condensed milk-whipped cream mixture into a medium size bowl.

Stir in cake pieces until well blended. Gently fold in one pint of whole strawberries. Lightly spoon this mixture into the cake shell. Place layer cut for top over filling and press on gently. Use remaining whipped cream mixture to swirl over entire cake.

Place in freezer and chill about two hours or until frosting is firm. At serving time, garnish top and sides of cake with remaining strawberries.

If you like these recipes, please check out our cookbook, Back to the Table with My Country Kitchen.

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