Friday, January 1, 2010

Black Eyed Peas for New Year's Day

Blackeyed peas have long been a tradition for the New Year's table. They supposedly bring good luck for the coming year, and eating them shows "humility". Some Southerners have been rumored to eat one pea for each day of the year to insure good fortune! They are a humble food, therefore, eating them represents humility. The taste of blackeyed peas are unlike other beans, and unless you've grown up eating them, as my husband did, you may find the taste a bit "earthy". In our house, we cook blackeyed peas with ham hocks, or a ham bone, and water. That's it. No fooling with the recipe is allowed! However, I do have several recipes you can use if you prefer a spicy version. They make a nice side dish served with cornbread, ham and greens, if your family enjoys a Southern style meal. The spicy versions are good served with fajitas, tamales or similar dishes.

Blackeyed Peas and Ham

1 pound dried blackeyed peas
2 ham hocks or a ham bone with ham left on it
Pepper to taste
onions, sliced
hot sauce

Place the ham bones or hocks in a crockpot, add the peas after they have been rinsed (but not soaked), and cover with water completely. Cook all day on low, or 4 or 5 hours on high. Crockpots vary, so keep checking. You may need to add more water. Stir a couple of times while checking. Some people like them almost mushy, but I like them not quite that soft. Season with pepper if you wish. Serve with slices of onion and hot sauce-a smooth cayenne variety.

Spicy Blackeyed Peas

olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. chili powder
1 16 oz. can blackeyed peas (drained)
1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes with chilies
1 tsp white vinegar
salt, pepper

Sauté onion, garlic, and spices in a little oil until the onions are soft. (Be very careful not to brown the garlic). Add the peas and tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes Add the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Serve over rice, with soft tortillas or cornbread.

Stove Top Blackeyed Peas

1 1/2 cups dried blackeyed peas
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 small piece salt pork or thick bacon piece

Soak the peas overnight in enough water to cover. Drain them, and add to a large pan or Dutch oven, covering with about 2 1/2 cups hot water. Add other ingredients and stir. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until peas are soft.

Here's another recipe you might like: Black Eyed Pea Soup

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things. ~John Burroughs

May 2010 bring you many precious memories and blessings. ~Brenda

Last Minute Holiday Recipes

Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. ~Hal Borland

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. We have one more family celebration to go to on Saturday and then we officially finished our celebrations! I thought I'd share a few last minute recipes today. We are pretty laid back on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. We stay at home with the kids, watch movies or football and play board games. It's quiet but fun:)

Garlic Herb Cheese Dip

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8-ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream

Blend first four ingredients in a food processor until garlic is finely chopped, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Add cream cheese and sour cream and blend well. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer to serving bowl; chill 30
minutes or longer. Serve with crackers.

Feta Cheese Dip

1 minced small jalapeno pepper
1 sprig fresh dill weed--or 1/2 tsp. dried dill
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 ounces Feta cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons buttermilk

Combine all ingredients, except buttermilk in a blender or food processor. Blend till combined. Add buttermilk and mix. Serve with vegetables and crackers.

Crock pot Spiced Hot Chocolate

8 ounces Semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 cups Half & Half
2 cups milk
1 cup strong coffee
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch salt
Frozen whipped topping

Add the chocolate chips, half & half, milk, coffee, brown sugar, vanilla, spices and salt to the crock pot. Stir and cover. Cook on the high setting, stirring every 15 minutes, until the chocolate has melted, about 1 hour. Serve immediately, or
turn crock to low (or warm if yours has that setting). Serve with the thawed whipped topping.

On OFL we have recipes for the holiday season from all around the world:


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

10 Steps Toward a Debt-Free New Year

Have you examined your family finances lately? Are you shocked and anxious about the amount of debt you have? If your New Year's resolutions include getting out of debt or getting your financial house in order, here are ten easy steps for regaining financial control in the New Year:

1) Seek help. If you're not sure how to proceed, or you're feeling too overwhelmed to act for yourself, call a non-profit credit-counseling program for advice and assistance in working with your creditors to set up a repayment plan. Consumer Credit Counseling Service has offices throughout the US. Call 1-800-388-CCCS, 24 hours a day, for an office near you. You can also find information about debt problems from your local church, library or bank. Look for information online as well.

2) Contact your creditors. As soon as you're aware you won't be able to make a payment, contact your creditors. Creditors are more likely to work with you if they're contacted before the payment is actually overdue. Debt collectors are trained to solve payment problems, so don't be afraid to be honest with them about your financial situation. Stay calm. If you commit to paying the bill by a certain date, be sure you follow through on that commitment. The creditor won't be likely to work with you again if you don't keep your pay- ment promises. If you can't make your minimum monthly payments, write to each creditor individually and see if you can work out smaller regular monthly bills. Be sure to explain to them why you fell behind in your bills, your current income, your other financial obligations and the exact amount you can pay them each month.

3) Cut up all credit cards and send them back to the issuing companies immediately. Officially close all credit accounts. A temptation when you start seeing lower balances on your accounts could lead you to charge the credit limits right back up again if the accounts remain open. Don't take out more loans or open any new credit accounts until back bills are paid in full.

Please visit 10 Steps Toward a Debt-Free New Year on Old Fashioned Living to read the rest of this article