Crispy Scored Bream with Apricot Sauce

Happy Black Friday!  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  Are you tired of turkey?  If so, and you need a change try this wonderful fish recipe.  It’s also easy and quick if you’ve spent the day shopping.

One of my favorite restaurants is the Olde Pink House in Savannah, Ga.  Greg and I both love the Crispy Scored Flounder with Apricot Sauce and that is the taste I was going for here.  I’m not sure exactly how they do theirs in Savannah, but this was quite delicious.

Crispy Scored Bream with Apricot Sauce
  • 4 lg. bream
  • 3 heaping tbsp. white corn meal
  • 2 heaping tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 9-oz. apricot preserves
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • chopped scallions, optional for garnish
  1. Melt butter in a small pan. Add chopped shallots and cook until soft. Add apricot preserves and garlic powder. Stir to combine and heat until melted.
  2. Score fish about ½-inch apart in an "x" pattern. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper, set aside.
  3. In a large ziplock bag mix the white corn meal and all-purpose flour. Add the fish and shake to coat.
  4. In a large skillet, heat oil to 375 degrees. When the oil is ready, fry bream until crispy and brown on one side. Flip over and fry other side until crispy and brown. Remove to a paper towel lined pan to drain. Sprinkle with salt while warm, if desired.
  5. Place drained fish on a serving dish and spoon apricot sauce over the top. Sprinkle with chopped scallions if desired.
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Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

From my newspaper column @ The Courier Herald in Dublin, Georgia:

Where did November go?  It seems like I just started sharing my make-ahead Thanksgiving recipes with you and now it’s almost here.  Hopefully you have prepared ahead and your Thanksgiving dinner will be scrumptious and stress free.

My last make-ahead recipe is a wonderful Pumpkin Cheesecake Bar.  After all, you can’t have Thanksgiving without at least one pumpkin dish, right?  These can be made today and refrigerated until time to serve tomorrow.  I’m all about tradition, but I love the chocolate crust with the pumpkin and it’s a nice change from the traditional pumpkin pie.

My local television stations are out of Augusta and this recipe was featured on a cooking show hosted by Vera Stewart.  I changed the crust recipe slightly because I felt that the crust was a little thick and hard.  I served the bars with whipped cream sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice.

I know that tomorrow is a busy day, especially for those of us that prepare the holiday meal.  However, don’t forget to take the time to count your blessings.  I’m thankful for health, family, friends, you…and so much more.  Have a safe and happy day!


Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
  • 2 sleeves chocolate graham crackers
  • ½ c. sugar
  • pinch salt
  • ½ c. butter, melted
  • 3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. confectioners' sugar
  • ¾ c. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 lg. eggs
  • 1½ c. pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. In batches, crush graham crackers in a food processor, or in a resealable plastic bag, sealed and then roll over bag with a rolling pin. Pour into a mixing bowl. Repeat until all crackers are crushed.
  3. Add ½ c. sugar, pinch salt and ½ c. melted butter to the crushed chocolate graham crackers. Mix well until all crumbs are moistened with butter.
  4. Press into the bottom of as 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.
  5. Reduce the oven to 300 degrees.
  6. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add brown sugar, mixing well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin puree and vanilla and combine well.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Gradually add flour mixture, beating just until combined. Pour mixture into cooled prepared crust.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes, or until set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in the oven for 2 hours with door closed. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Cut into bars.
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Cranberry and Orange Relish

I think cranberry of some sort is essential to any holiday table!  I love the tart fruit, but I do think it’s a love it or hate it kind of food.  When I was growing up the only cranberry I would eat was the jellied cranberry sauce.  When I think of my grandmother’s Thanksgiving table I can picture the round slices, with rings, on a beautiful relish dish.  Wes can eat an entire can by himself and I still like it and eat it along side chicken and dumplings every time I make them.

As an adult, my taste has changed and I enjoy the relishes and salads made with fresh cranberries too.  This recipes used fresh cranberries with orange and ginger.  The flavors of orange and cranberry are always perfect together.  The ginger is a perfect addition and then the cilantro added at the end takes this relish over the top!  This can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Cranberry and Orange Relish
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. peeled & grated fresh ginger
  • 1 c. dark brown sugar
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. orange juice
  • 4 c. cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ¾ c. orange marmalade
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro (optional)
  1. In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, orange juice, and cranberries.
  2. Cook until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in the marmalade. Taste and if the relish isn't sweet enough add a little more marmalade. When sweetened to your taste, add black pepper and remove from heat.
  3. Mix in the cilantro just before serving.
  4. This relish will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month and in the refrigerator 7 to 10 days.
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Pot Roast Stuffed Potato

Pot roast has been a staple in many kitchens for years.  It’s an easy dish and perfect for a cold winter’s night.  The classic pot roast combines beef with carrots and potatoes for a one pot meal that pleases the entire family.  This recipe is a twist on the classic.  It has every bit of the wonderful flavor, if not better.  First of all the potatoes aren’t cooked with the roast.  They are baked in the oven then split and served with the hot roast, carrots, and gravy inside.  This is one of those dishes that makes you wonder why you never thought of it before!  It is incredibly delicious!!
If you haven’t tried baking a potato without the foil I urge you to give it a try.  They have a lighter, flakier texture than an aluminum foiled baked potato.  The oil and salt on the potato skin bakes up perfectly crispy and you have the yummiest potato you have ever put in your mouth!
5.0 from 1 reviews
Pot Roast Stuffed Potato
  • 2 lb. beef roast
  • Vegetable oil
  • all-purpose flour to coat roast
  • 2 c. sliced carrots
  • 2 c. diced onions
  • 1 c. beer
  • 1 c. beef broth
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Homemade Cream Soup, recipe below (or one 10¾-oz. can cream of mushroom soup)
  • ½ lb. mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • vegetable oil
  • kosher salt or sea salt
  • sour cream (optional)
  • Ingredients Homemade Cream Soup:
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. beef broth
  • ½ c. milk
  1. Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a large skillet. Sprinkle all sides of roast with salt and pepper. Coat with flour. Brown the roast on all sides in hot oil. Remove the beef to a slow-cooker.
  2. Remove skillet from heat and cool enough to wipe out oil with a paper towel.
  3. In the meantime, add the onions, beer, 1 c. beef broth, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper, and Lipton onion soup mix to the slow-cooker.
  4. When the skillet has cooled, prepare the Homemade Cream Soup and add to the slow-cooker.
  5. About two hours before you are ready to serve add the carrots to the slow-cooker. This prevents the carrots from getting too mushy. If you are using mushrooms you can add them too.
  6. Cook on high for about 4 hours or low for about 8 hours.
  7. About 1 hour before you plan to serve place the potatoes in the oven. (Best baked as directed below.)
  8. When done, remove roast from slow-cooker and shred with two forks. Return the meat to the slow-cooker and mix with gravy.
  9. To Bake Potatoes:
  10. Preheat oven to 425°. Rinse and scrub the potatoes under running water. Dry thoroughly with a paper towel. Pierce each potato with a fork three or four times. Coat with a little vegetable or olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt or sea salt and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven, uncovered and unwrapped, until a potatoes are tender.
  11. To serve, split the baked potatoes down the middle and open up. Spoon pot roast and gravy over the potato. Serve with sour cream if desired.
  12. To make Homemade Cream Soup:
  13. Melt butter in the skillet. Add flour, stirring with whisk, until smooth. Slowly add ½ c. broth and milk, whisking the entire time. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add to the slow-cooker.
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Tortellini Caprese Bites

If you are looking for a great appetizer look no further.  I love these Tortellini Caprese Bites!  The Basil Vinaigrette takes this recipe over the top!  I like to use mini mozzarella balls, but as you can see, I didn’t have them when I made these.  I cut fresh mozzarella into bite-size pieces instead.

Tortellini Caprese Bites
  • Skewers:
  • 1 (9-oz.) pkg. refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
  • 3 c. halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 3 (8-oz.) containers fresh small mozzarella cheese balls
  • 60 (6-inch) wooden skewers
  • Basil Vinaigrette:
  • ½ c. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ⅔ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Skewers:
  2. Prepare tortellini according to package directions. Rinse under cold running water.
  3. Thread 1 tomato half, 1 cheese ball, another tomato half, and 1 tortellini onto each skewer. Place skewer in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Pour half of the Basil Vinaigrette over skewers, turning to coat, reserve remaining for serving. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Transfer skewers to a serving platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with reserved Basil Vinaigrette.
  4. Dressing:
  5. Pulse vinegar and salt in a blender until mixed. Slowly add oil, while blender is running. Stop blender and add basil. Pulse until finely chopped. Add black pepper to taste.
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