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Not Southern- But Got Here as Fast As I Could! Last month I was graced to work with an incredible Chef in Elizabeth Weaver, a fabulous kitchen crew and eleven of the most incredible kids aged 10 – 15...

Not Southern- But Got Here as Fast As I Could!
Not Southern- But Got Here as Fast As I Could!

Last month I was graced to work with an incredible Chef in Elizabeth Weaver, a fabulous kitchen crew and eleven of the most incredible kids aged 10 – 15 who attended a Cooking Camp. Elizabeth teaches so many lessons and “Southern” is just one of them! She is proud to tell you that she is a 4th generation Marietta Girl and she demonstrates her “Love of the South” in everything that she does.   Elizabeth left me with this fabulous yard art post this Camp Week as she celebrates the Southerner I have come to be!

The menus for the week were all wonderful, I am highlighting the favorites of the week and the recipes that the kids created for Judging Day and the Grand Finale when they make lunch for their families. Elizabeth has mastered these recipes as she creates meals as a Personal Chef within Elizabeth’s Edibles. On this meatless campaign, there was little that was on my meal plan, but I had to take one for the team at taste-test for the students. I am such a giver!

The Marriage of Pimento Cheese, a Southern Staple, and Macaroni and Cheese, cut into squares and portable. How bad can that be? (Apologies to Ina Garten)

Pimento Cheese
Pimento Cheese

Pimento Mac n Cheese Squares

Southern Style Mac and Cheese
Southern Style Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (always grate your cheese yourself, it makes a huge difference in the taste)
  • 1 medium jar diced pimentos
  • ½ cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise (like many cooks, she has a brand preference. Many in the South like Duke’s)
  • ¼ grated red onion (grated this to hide this from smaller children!)
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup Velveeta, cubed (yes, this is still manufactured and this cheese product gives a creaminess to this dish)
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup panko

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grate cheddar cheese.
  3. In a bowl mix everything except butter and Panko.
  4. Place in a greased 8 x 8 pan.
  5. Pour melted butter over the top then sprinkle with Panko.
  6. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. When cool to the touch and cut into squares and pack.

Sausage Balls
Sausage Balls

 Sausage Balls

 Ingredients:

  • 1 (1-pound) package ground sausage
  • 3 cups baking mix (recommended: Bisquick)
  • 4 cups grated sharp cheddar ( always grate this fresh)
  • 1/8 tablespoon pepper

Dip:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon mustard

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large glass bowl. Mix well with your fingers. The mixture will be very crumbly.
  4. Form into 1 inch balls, squeezing the mixture so it holds together, then rolling it between the palms of your hands to form balls.
  5. Place the balls on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. To prevent sticking, move the balls with a spatula halfway through cooking.
  8. To make the dip, combine the mayonnaise and mustard.
  9. Serve with sausage balls.

Meatloaf
Meatloaf

Meatloaf Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small Spanish onion, minced
  • Salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed soda crackers, such as Saltine Crackers (about 24 crackers)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 8 ounces ground veal
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

Glaze:

  •  1/2 cup ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Sandwich Build:

  • 4 slices sharp Cheddar
  • 4 potato rolls, buttered and toasted
  • Bread and butter pickles (3 to 5 per sandwich)
  • 1 can crispy onions, such as French's French Fried Onions

Directions:

For the meatloaf:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and onions, season with some salt and saute until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes without letting the garlic brown. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  4. In a large bowl, add the crackers, milk, mustard, Worcestershire, hot sauce and eggs. Whisk together, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the meat, parsley and cooled onions. Mix with your hands until evenly combined.
  6. Bake a tester meatloaf patty to taste and test the seasoning, adjusting as necessary.
  7. Using your hands, gently form the meatloaf into a loaf about 9-by-5-inches. Place on a baking sheet.

For the glaze:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar.
  2. Slather half of the glaze over the meatloaf. Make sure not to touch the meatloaf with the spoon and then put that spoon back into the glaze; don't cross contaminate, people!
  3. Bake until the meat registers 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour.
  4. Let rest for 20 minutes before slicing for sandwiches.

For the sandwich build:

  1. Place a slice of cheese on the bottom griddled bun, then a slice of meatloaf, spoon some extra glaze on the loaf, pop on a few pickles and top with crispy onions.
  2. Repeat to make 3 more sandwiches.

Chicken Salad
Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1 small tart apple, cored and diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup lightly salted, roasted cashews, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups arugula, washed and dried
  • Olive oil, for dressing arugula

Directions:

  1. Combine the chicken, apple, celery, and onions in a medium bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, tarragon, parsley, chives, salt and pepper.
  3. Pour dressing over the chicken mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, lightly dress arugula with olive oil. Serve chicken salad on a bed of arugula and top with cashews.

What is your favorite picnic treat?