Kentucky Cooking... Southern Food at Its Best
Hamburgers with Pepper Relish
Ever have an idea that was “a long time coming,” as our grandparents would say? One that was so perfect and so seemingly meant to be that you kick yourself for not thinking of it sooner?
That’s where I am right now.
- I am an avid cook and have been since I was 19 years old. Growing up, I was a spoiled only child (yep, one of those) who never had to do laundry, help with cooking, help with chores, etc. All that was asked of me was to get good grades in school, feed our cats and dogs, play softball, and look cute. Okay, so the last wasn’t actually asked of me, I just figured it couldn’t hurt, you know? When I got married at 19, I had to learn how to cook, like, immediately. There were no Food Network, YouTube videos, or Google to turn to. Just me and an artillery of confusing-looking (to me, anyway) pots, pans, gizmos, and gadgets that had been given to me at our shower. I tried to act like I knew what was going on at the shower, itself, but have to confess – when one of my mom’s co-workers gave me a set of kitchen tools that included a mallet, I asked, “What’s this weapon?” They laughed. They did the same when I combed my hair with the pasta lifter. Good times, good times. Anyway – I not only taught myself to cook, I fell head over heals in love with the process. I just wanted to cook all the time. Other wives would be complaining about “having to cook” and wanting to “go out to cook so someone else does all the work,” and I’d be like, “Pfft, my food tastes better and it’s so FUN to CREATE!”
- We raised three beautiful daughters on home-cooking and I never fell out of love with the process. We home-schooled our girls all the way through school, so they were always front and center when meals were coming together. During their high-school grades, I decided it would be really fun to create a website where I could accumulate my recipes, cooking tips, and so forth for my girls as well as other cooks. I have published a food blog since and it’s one of my greatest joys.
- I collect cookbooks and have a collection numbering in the hundreds. Occasionally I even follow the recipes as written! However, my favorite thing to do is to take the recipes and put my own spin on them. My most treasured cookbooks are the really, really old ones – my “antique cookbooks,” as I call them. Due to the fact that they were written so long ago, putting my spin on them isn’t just fun, it’s necessary. Measurements, ingredients, ovens, etc are often a world apart, so I often have to really play with and tweak the recipes sometimes – which, as you’d imagine is pure joy for me.
- I am all about my state of Kentucky! Born here, raised here, live here… never want to live anywhere. Well, until Heaven that is – and I read once that Heaven must be a Kentucky kind of place, so we’re good. In addition to my food blog, another of my favorite blogs is the one you’re on now… my Kentucky blog. Since many of my antique cookbooks are by Kentucky cooks (and, yes, I have to confess that they’re my favorites), two of my greatest passions collide and it’s perfectly delicious.
So, there are the facts. A Kentucky cook who gets pure, boundless joy from cooking and experimenting and perfecting old Kentucky recipes.
How have I not had a “Kentucky Recipes” section on Genuine Kentucky before now??!! Wait, I know, I know… too busy taking pictures of animals, birds, and trees. Let’s just be honest.
Well, it has occurred to me that I can still pamper my obsessions AND add Kentucky Recipes to the website – so that’s where we’ere headed here. I will be regularly adding (amid the Kentucky events, reviews, birds, animals, and trees) my favorite Genuine Kentucky Recipes and I am really anxious to see the collection grow.
When I post a recipe, you can know with 100 percent certainty that I have, personally, tried, tested, and tweaked the recipe. It will be my own take on a genuinely old Kentucky recipe. You’ll be able to see that I’ve made it, myself, by the pictures. So, if I’m making the recipe, you can bet your bottom dollar (and anyone else’s you get your paws on) that there will be no possum, bison, elk, squirrel, rabbit, or pigeon recipes. I have actually come across recipes for these beautiful animals and make a sour puss face each and every time.
No. Thank. You!
What You Can Expect from the Genuine Kentucky Recipes:
- I have to eat gluten-free (health reasons), so all of my recipes here will be gluten-free. This is a very healthy way to eat whether you have a health condition or not, so I hope you’ll give them a go. Eating gluten-free doesn’t involve putting anything strange or different into your recipes – it simply means leaving them out or replacing them with gluten-free options. For example, when frying fish or chicken, I use Rice Flour instead of wheat flour. You don’t taste the difference.
- Speaking of “healthy” eating, I use a LOT of vegetables and other healthy ingredients when I cook for my family – so you’ll a lot of Kentucky Recipes here that aren’t just good… they’re good for you. I’m kind of obsessed with working healthy veggies into as many meals as possible – it helps you reach your daily requirement goals for vegetables and it kicks up the layers of flavor in your meals, which is always a great thing.
- As expected, you’ll see my personal favorite foods and ingredients fairly often – eggs, peppers, shallots, parsley, chives, Gouda cheese, green onions, broccoli, seasoned salt, paprika, vanilla extract, fresh black pepper, Monterrey Jack cheese, white cheddar cheese, spinach, limes, bacon, thyme, grass-fed ground beef, citrus fruit zest, cumin, kale, grits, basil, bacon, fish.. these are just some of the foods I love and find a way to work them in regularly.
- Given my great passion for Kentucky products, you can bet I’ll highlight as many of them as possible. Kentucky food, coffee, spices, seasonings, etc. will be highlighted regularly.
Pictured At the Top: Hamburgers with Pepper Relish
As I said above, peppers of all shapes and sizes are a particular obsession of mine. They’re colorful, delicious, and good for you – what’s not to love?!?
Due to the fact that I had to start eating gluten-free a few years back, I began eating my hamburgers off of buns. While gluten-free bread IS available, my favorite way to eat hamburgers is either on a plate or wrapped up in a lettuce leaf blanket. I love to experiment with different toppings and sauces for burgers and, pictured here, is a simple Pepper Relish I made by adding colorful mini sweet peppers, a little Kosher salt, and a half of a jalapeno to the food processor and giving it a quick pulse. Delicious… and downright pretty, too.
Pictured Below: Fried Eggs, Bacon, Grits with Smoked Gouda Cheese
This Grits with Smoked Gouda Cheese recipe can be found on my food blog by clicking the link. Just add fried eggs, bacon, green peppers, and grape tomatoes and you’ll have a bowl of insane deliciousness.
For the first entry in the Kentucky Recipes Collection, see Fried Eggs with Browned Butter (can you tell that I’m all about eggs???)
Other Recipes: (added as they’re published!)
Cheese Logs (or Cheese Balls)