Happy Mother’s Day

I hope everyone has had a beautiful day! I am sharing with you a few of my favorite places.

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I hope you all have a wonderful day! Full of peace and love wrapped in the warmth of of family and friends,

xoxo, mama bird

Sweet Potato Souffle

Let me start by saying that I know that you have seen boo-koos of sweet potato casseroles over this years but, if you are like me and don’t like a bunch of “stuff” added to it you will love this! It is so freaking yummy! It makes ahead beautifully.

4 sweet potatoes, baked & skinned
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c milk
1 stick butter, melted

Bake & skin potatoes; Place in large bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix with hand or stand mixer until smooth & creamy.
Topping:
1 c brown sugar
1/3 c flour
1/3 c butter, melted
pecans halves
Mix sugar, flour & butter sprinkle 1/2 of mix lightly on top of potato mix. Place pecan halves on top of that and sprinkle remaining mixture on top. Bake at 350 for 25-35mins until hot & bubbly! Enjoy!!

xoxo, Mama Bird

Birdie’s Best Ever Thanksgiving Dressing

I have been working on the “perfect” Thanksgiving dressing for about 5 years and I am so pleased as I think I have finally got the perfect combo of savory, sweet & tart! I tell you this is a winning side dish and everyone will love it! It isn’t hard to make doesn’t take too much time and is so forgiving you can make it the day before, in fact I think it is better that way!

I use Peppridge Farm bread crumbs, I mix the Herb & Cornbread and its great now that they have 2 different textures. Feel free to use whatever bread crumbs you like.
Oh, did I mention it makes a TON!! Feel free to cut recipe in half.
8 c each Herb & Corn Bread Stuffing
2 c celery, chopped
1 c onion, chopped
2 c golden raisins
1 lb Italian Sausage (I like to use 2 sweet & 2 hot)
2 Granny Smith apples, diced
2 sticks Butter, melted & halved
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp basil
2 c Parmesan Cheese
1 c white wine
1 c chicken broth
1 c milk
Cook Italian Sausage & add to stuffing,melt butter & saute onion & celery add to stuffing, add wine & chicken broth to saute pan bring to boil, add raisins to rehydrate, add apples cook for 2 min, add to mix; add milk, spices & cheese. Dump into a greased 9 x 13 pan depending on texture that you prefer you may need to add more broth or butter. I drizzle the remaining stick of butter on top as I like to be able to slice my stuffing and have it hold together. If you like a dryer consistency don’t add more liquid. I make mine a day ahead and allow it to sit overnight in the fridge. Bake at 350 for a hour to hour and fifteen mins. ENJOY!

Thanksgiving Prep

I am a huge fan of Thanksgiving! I love the process of getting ready for the meal, decorating the table visiting with family and most of all EATING! YUM!!
I thought it would be most appropriate to share with my all my friends my favorite holiday dishes!! I am thinking I will 2 or 3 posts a week to get you inspired to try some new dishes or to put a twist on an old favorite.
We, or should I say Hubs deep frys a turkey and I have a great rub that I drench Tom in a few days prior to cooking. I also make my “famous” dressing,(a dressing I have been working on for the past 6 yrs!) sweet potato souffle, a jamming cranberry tart, that is a bit of work, but oh, SO worth the effort and a cranberry orange salad, that is requested at all holiday meals.
See all the yummies you have to look forward to??? It is going to be a great Holiday season here at Mama Bird’s Nest! I hope you will all join me!! xoxo

Independence Day Parade

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Today we participated in a 4th of July Parade at the library! It was so great to see all the strollers, wagons, bikes, trikes and big wheels! I made a quick trip to the dollar store and voila the Decked out Hooptie Radio Flyer!!

P1010234 The HIGH POINT of Jack’s Day…P1010255meeting a FIREMAN!!

How are you celebrating Independence Day?

Friday~ Pool, Baseball Game & Fireworks!

Saturday~ Family Cookout & Pool Party

Sunday~ Lake, FRIENDS, Cookout & FIREWORKS!!

Monday~ REST by the POOL!!

Have a wonderful holiday!!

 

xoxo, Mama Bird

Salsa Bar!

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For our Memorial Day Cookout and Pool Party I thought I would do a bunch of different salsas and lots of fun chips to have out all afternoon while we swim & smoke the pig! I found some great salsas that I thought I would try from some of my favorite Foodie Friends!!Here is what I did.
Katie’s Watermelon Salsa & Crippen’s Country Inn in Blowing Rock inspired my NEW Fav
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Watermelon Salsa
2 cups diced watermelon
1 cup diced cucumber
1/2 cup diced red onion
sea salt & pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 oz feta cheese
I make a wonderful salad that uses many of the above ingredients and thought that the salt of the feta and the twang of the balsamic really pushed this over the top!!
My Carolina Salsa
P1010125 this is always a hit and was the first gone!

Ninfa’s Green Sauce THIS IS A MUST TRY!!! It really deserves a post all it own. Coming soon!
Mango Salsa
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2 mangos, diced
1/2 pineapple, diced
1 jalapeño, diced super fine
1/2 red onion
1 T fresh cilantro
2 T fresh lime juice
1 T lime zest
sea salt
The Mango/pineapple Salsa was by far the least eaten, it was good I am not a cilantro fan but those who are enjoyed it, those who are not didn’t! It would be really good with fish.

me

Whatcha Got Cooking Wednesday? Link-up

Recipe Link-up
Please join me in sharing your favorite recipes!
I ask that you PLEASE link back to this post or my blog, would love it if you would use the WGCW button and leave a comment so that I can follow your blog! Happy Cooking!!
What am I cooking for MEMORIAL DAY? 
 
I am planning a Memorial Day Cookout and Pool Party
The “Smoked” Boston Butt

This is one of Hubs all time favorite Memorial Day traditions. For the past 10 or 15 yrs he has spent this holiday at the in-field of Charlotte Motor Speedway and this is the 1st year since I have known him that he and his buddies are not going. SO, I think they decided to “smoke” the meat in honor of CMS and the Coca-Cola 600! I make up a rub and really like to do a wet & dry combo. I use equal parts of apple & grape juice and soak the butt overnight, towel dry and then do the dry rub.

Dry Rub
Please note, I do not really measure this I use a tablespoon and just wing it.
Sea salt
black pepper
crushed red pepper
brown sugar
cumin
paprika
garlic

Wet Basting Sauce
1 c apple cider vinegar
1 T each; dark brown sugar, crushed red pepper & salt

BBQ Sauce
1 c cider vinegar
1 c ketchup
3 T brown sugar
1 T molasses
1 T mustard
salt
1/2 tsp red pepper
1 stick butter
Melt butter and add everything, bring to low boil, reduce heat and sauce will thicken a bit. Serve warm or room temp.

Everyone is bring a side dish since we are doing the “main” course. I am also going to do a salsa bar! I will share those recipes tomorrow!

How are YOU celebrating Memorial Day?  What’s on your menu?

eat your Brussels Sprouts!

Brussels Sprouts immediately make most people tum up their noses. This recipe will change your opinion on these little green balls of goodness. I promise!
1 1/2 lbs Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and cut in half or quartered based on size
3 Tb olive oil
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 400 In large bowl mix the above ingredients. Pour out onto a foil covered rimmed cookie sheet cut side down (key to a perfect roasting!) Bake 25-35 mins shaking pan every 7 mins. Cook until deep brown. Can be served hot or room temp. Serve with balsamic vinegar. DELISH!!

AWESOME HOLIDAY APPETIZERS

Yip~eeeeeeee! Over at Blessed with Grace they are asking what do you NIBBLE on during the Holidays! These are some of the apps that I keep on hand through the Holidays. You can make all but the dates way ahead and keep in the fridge for a week to 10 days. I just had to add some of my picks of favorite munchies. Here are a few:

Curry Dip
1 cup mayo
1 tsp Curry powder
1 Tb fresh lemon juice
Mix all ingredients well and chill overnight. Serve with fresh veggies.

Bacon Wrapped Dates
2 dozen dried dates, pitted
1/3 c ricotta cheese
12 slices of bacon, cut in half
Preheat oven to 450. Use a rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Stuff each date with a teaspoon of ricotta cheese and wrap with 1/2 bacon slice. Place on cookie sheet and bake 20 mins.

Tina’s Cheese Ball
(this makes 1 large or 2 small cheese balls)
2~ 8 oz cream cheese
1 Tb Accent seasoning salt
1/4 c chopped green pepper
2 Tb minced sweet onion
1 sm can crushed pineapple, drained well
1 c chopped pecans or walnuts
Mix all ingredients except nuts, roll in a ball, chill in fridge and roll in nuts.

Hot Pepper Jelly with Cream Cheese & Crackers

Super Simple Italian App for Org Junkie!

Hey Tip Junkie!! I wanted to share with you a wonderful easy and simple app that is not the same ole same ole! I hope you and others will enjoy!!

Artichoke Bottoms
Mozzarella Balls (mini ones)
Pesto Sauce
Sun dried tomatoes, chopped or sliced

Place the artichoke bottoms on a rimmed cookie sheet. Put a cheese ball on each one, a dollop of pesto and a tomato. Place in 350 oven for 7-10mins. so pretty and colorful!!

Check out http://www.orgjunkie.com/