Monday, January 31, 2011


Sorry folks, it has been awhile.  I was planning on doing this perhaps more than once a month but things have changed.  I just acquired a position as the Pastry Chef for What's Up Cupcake in Houston and have been working very hard.  My life is about to be a lot more hectic so I will do my very best to get a menu planned for February.  Thanks for reading!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Quick Note

I went through this entire cookbook and have discovered that some menus are soups only, desserts only, cookies only or drinks only.  I am piecing together several menus and am having difficulty in making a freakin' decision.  Everything is just too good!  Tomorrow I will narrow it down and post the final menu. 
On another note, just because it comes out of a box or package doesn't mean that is the way it needs to be made.  You can always experiment with different things to spice up any dinner.  For example,  I am not that good at making homemade soup so I buy the Bear Creek brand.  Our favorite is Creamy Potatoe.  Last night I was craving soup.  I made the Creamy Potatoe and just looked at it's monotonal coloring.  Boring.  I ended up adding Mexicorn and chunks of red potatoes.  It was so good!  I also made sweet, yellow cornbread.  It was the perfect meal for a rainy night! 
Feel free to post your comments on how you might spice up a boxed, canned or straight out of the bag dinner!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Birthday Bash

Before I go into the adventures of my first menu excursion, I want to thank all of you who have read my blog and those who have become subscribers.  It really means a lot to me that you would take the time out of your day to read this.  Also, some of you may be interested in my sister's blog called Saturday Morning Treasures.  You can find her at  She is totally into garage sales and finds the neatest things to set your table with, among other things.  So check her out and learn how to buy things at an inexpensive price but looks like you paid a fortune!!! 
Now, onto the adventures!!!  The first thing I started to bake off was the pound cake.  I knew it is a heavy cake and a large one on top of that (10" bundt pan) so it would take a very long time in the toaster oven.  I should have went to my mother-in-laws and baked it off because I have batter everywhere in my brand new toaster oven!  Because I went to school for Patisserie and Baking, you would think this would have been the easist feat of them all.  Not true.  I am ashamed to admit this was the hardest of all the menu items.  It really was too much batter, so as I said earlier, I had batter everywhere (smelled good though!) I managed to finally get it baked off and let it cool in the window.  When I turned it out onto my homemade dessert plate, it fell in to two pieces.  I had some pretty choice four letter words for that one.  If you are icing a cake this would not be a problem because you could cover it up and no one would know the difference.  This was not one of those cakes.  What to do, what to do.  I just cut out 4 large pieces, made some strawberry coulis and drizzled it on top and placed cut strawberries around it.  Not what Paula Deen had in mind but when life gives you make lemonade!  Or as one of my friends would say, you pair it with salt and tequila and make margaritas! 
I next started roasting the carrots and making the green beans with the new potatoes.  I have to say the green beans and potatoes were excellent!  Really, really, southern dish but it was good!  The carrots were suppose to be roasted for 30 minutes but it seems a toaster oven takes way longer than a regular stove.  I roasted them for about an hour until they were finally done and they too were very good.  The chicken was really easy to make.  You just season it, stick a can of beer up its rear and throw that puppy on the grill.  Very tender and juicy.  Biscuits...easy, corn....easy.  The corn!  A piece of bacon was wrapped around it and holy crap that was good!  A flavor explosion was going on inside of my mouth. 
Now let's talk about the Lace Hoecake Cornbread.  Has anyone ever heard of this?  This must be a deep south dish.  I have never heard of it myself.  It took me a few tries but once I got the hang of it, it seemed pretty easy, I guess.  I mean, what do I have to compare it to?  Honestly, you have to at least try it once in your life, but it was not my thing.  I also have to remember that perhaps some of this food comes from a very different generation.  One that maybe didn't have fancy grocery stores.  You just threw together whatever you had, whatever you could afford. 
I had fun cooking this menu and it was an all day affair.  If you are not an experienced cook, I would suggest you have someone help you.  Overall, I give this menu a very enthusiastic two thumbs up! 
Below you will see some pics.  I would like to thank my sister-in-law, Kerrie, for taking some of them and my mother-in-law, Elizabeth, for letting me use her camera.  My camera crapped out on the very first pic.  I mean really crapped out!  Good bye Polaroid! 

The Menu:

Paula's Birthday Bash
Beer-In-The-Rear Chicken
Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Corn on the Cob
Green Beans with New Potatoes
Lace Hoecake Cornbread
Roasted Carrots
Buttermilk Biscuits
Buttermilk Pound Cake with fresh Strawberries (and my added strawberry coulis)
Fresh Whipped Cream

I will let you know on the next blog what menu I will be cooking next!  Thanks for reading!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Introduction - Yes, you have to read it!

Happy New Year and thank you for reading "Me, My RV & Paula Deen!  I should have written this morning but I must admit I had a hangover from all the festivities last night.  Whew!  My niece sure can throw a party!  I guess I should explain what Paula Deen has to do with my RV.  Pretty much nothing except for the fact that I live in one.  That's right, I said I live in an RV.  I about imagine all my Facebook friends are pretty shocked right now.  Don't feel bad for me.  I live in one by choice.  Let me explain further.
I have been a gypsy soul pretty much my entire adult life.  I have been from one town to the next and even other countries.  Back in 2009 I graduated from Texas Culinary Academy in the Le Cordon Bleu Program for Patisserie and Baking.  While still in the externship phase of my schooling, I rekindled an 8th grade relationship.  We soon married and off to Houston I went.  I am originally from Houston but have not been here since the early 90's.  So essentially I guess you could say I went back to my roots. 
My husband, on the other hand, is like an oak tree.  He has his roots firmly planted in the ground and is strong and never wavers.  So here are these two people thrown together in the puzzle of life both recently out of relationships and now we have no where to live.  His parents offer up their RV that they lived in for 8 years while they were building their house.  Wow!  8 years!  Lord, please don't let me be in this aluminum can for 8 years!  We have no idea where we want to even spend the rest of our days so we figured why waste money on rent until we figure it out.  You can't beat free!  We sit on 8 acres with his parents so we have our own little compound going on over here. 
When I graduated high school a million years ago, I went out into the world.  My husband pretty much stayed in this area.  Even though we come from the same background, I forgot where I came from because I was too busy learning about different cultures, foods and wines.  Sometimes I don't feel southern anymore so this is why the blog.  I have a beer income but champagne tastes and appreciate the finer things in life.  So in an attempt to bring my world and my husband's world together, I will be cooking from Paula Deen's book "Paula Deen & Friends Living It Up, Southern Style".  There is just one catch.... I don't have a working stove.  If it's not on the grill or on the cooktop, it will be made in a toaster oven.  I just bought a new one especially for this adventure.  Hey, the toaster oven is an upgrade.  I used to cook on a Coleman stove!  I will prove that you don't have to have a 5 star kitchen to prepare meals.  Besides, I am feeling uninspired with my cooking lately and need a little help from the Queen of the South.  The best thing about this book is that she gives you an entire menu.  You don't have to figure out which sides go with which entrees and which dessert goes best at the end.  She does it all for you! 
I also know you are thinking this has been done before.  Yes, it has.  With Julie & Julia.  I can't relate to Julia Childs.  No offense to her but I am southern and need someone who knows southern food.  I need fried chicken and mashed potatoes with a little style and grace.  Something that sticks to the ribs (and the hips and the thighs and the butt!). 
So thank you for joining me on this little adventure and I hope to not only regain my "southerness" back ( I know it is not a word!) but to learn a little about cooking. 
One more thing, I can only give the menu.  I cannot give out the recipes because that would be an infringement on Miss Paula Deen's royalties.  If you know southern woman, they will take you out into the front yard and school you.  Don't ever get between a woman and her money!
Tomorrow I will be making the menu for Paula's Birthday Bash that includes:
Beer-In-The-Rear Chicken
Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Corn on the Cob
Green Beans with New Potatoes
Lace Hoecake Corn Bread
Roasted Carrots
Buttermilk Biscuits
Buttermilk Pound Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream
Bon Appetit.  I mean, Y'all Enjoy!