Summer is fading and I am ready for the cool days, literally… of fall. But first I want to share with you our delicious road trip this summer with two of our grandchildren, Jesi and Levi, both 11 years old. We traveled through Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida and back to Kingwood. I really wanted to experience some mountain food specialties since my mom lived for a while with her parents, six brothers and one sister on their family farm in Crossville, Tenn. She was always talking about the wonderful country food she was raised on. So, while in Tennessee I made it my goal to search out and try a few award winning Tennessee dishes. While doing this, I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people. One great lady, Betty, was actually a transplant from Pasadena, imagine that. She gave me her favorite recipe. although she is now from Crossville, it isn’t what I would call a local recipe, but it was doggone good! Betty’s Crunchy Mushroom Fingers 2 cups multi-grain tortilla chips 1 teaspoon taco seasoning 2 tablespoons, grated cheese, I used Romano 1/4 cup real mayonnaise 6 - 8 ounces large fresh mushrooms sliced into 2/3 inch strips, I used portabellas Ketchup DIRECTIONS: Place chips in the plastic bag with the taco seasoning; seal or tie with twist tie and place on the counter or table. With a rolling pin or the bottom of a mug crush the chips in the bag to make crumbs. Open the bag and pour crumbs onto a large dinner plate; set aside. Spread the mayonnaise on both sides of each mushroom slice. Press the mushroom slice into the chips; turn over to coat both sides. Place on baking rack on top of a cookie sheet, sprinkle with cheese. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Place on serving plate; repeat with remaining mushrooms. Serve with ketchup. Tennessee Swiss Steak This was one my mom made when I was in grade school and one of my favorites growing up. I think it was originally a recipe from my Grandma Ethel. I was so happy when I was older and asked my mom for the recipe and this is how she remembered it! She cooked it in the oven; I converted it to the crock pot. 1 tablespoon lard, I use olive oil 2 cups flour Salt and pepper to taste Hungarian paprika to taste 1/4 teaspoon each lemon pepper, Greek seasoning, garlic powder with parsley 2 pounds beef steaks, tenderized with a mallet 3 green bell peppers, sliced 3 red bell peppers, sliced 4 Vidalia onions, sliced into crescents 2 (14.5-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes 2 (14.5-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes DIRECTIONS: Heat the lard (oil) in a skillet over medium heat. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt and spices. Dredge the steaks in the flour mixture, and place in a large skillet. Brown steaks on both sides, and remove from heat. In a crock pot (slow cooker), alternate layers of steak, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, onion and tomatoes. Cover and cook 6 to 8 hours on low, until steaks are very tender. Note: I like to serve this over egg noodles, brown rice or mashed potatoes. Here is a recipe I adapted from another Tennessee local. It is Mary Collins-Sheppard’s Cherry Chutney from “The Kitchen Garden Girl.” According to Mary, this sweet/tart condiment is delicious with grilled chicken breasts or roasted/grilled pork. Or try the recipe below that adds the chutney inside puff pastry-wrapped brie. It is a great recipe to try if you have the opportunity. Use Tennessee wild cherries. There are two “black cherries” that grow naturally in Tennessee: the Prunus serotina (black cherry) and the Prunus serotina var. serotina (black cherry). Note: before you eat anything off any plant growing in the wild, make absolutely sure that it is what you think it is, and safe to eat. Tennessee Wild Cherry Chutney 3 cups pitted and stemmed sweet cherries (about 1-1/2 pounds) 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar 1 cup chopped Vidalia or 1016 onions 3/4 cup sugar 3/4 cup golden raisins 3 tablespoons minced candied ginger 1 tablespoon mustard seeds 2 cinnamon sticks 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/4 teaspoon each ground allspice, ground cloves, ground nutmeg DIRECTIONS: Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, one hour. Uncover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes more. Remove from heat, remove cinnamon sticks and let cool at room temperature. Keep refrigerated. Cherry Brie en Croute’ 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed 30 minutes 1 egg, beaten 8-ounce wheel of double or triple cream brie, frozen for 20 minutes before beginning this recipe DIRECTIONS: Roll pastry to a 12-inch square. Trim edges to form a circle. Place 1/2 cup of the cherry chutney in the center of the pastry. Place brie on top. Brush pastry edges with egg. Fold two opposite sides across the cheese and press gently to seal. Trim remaining pastry to 2 inches from the cheese then fold over. Press gently to seal. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet. Cut decorative shapes from dough scraps and place on top. Brush top with egg mixture. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees until golden brown. Let stand 15 minutes. The Humble Area Chamber’s 4th Annual Ladies’ Night Out has been officially themed as the “Derby Diva’s.” Bringing the excitement of the Kentucky Derby to the Humble Civic Center, the event is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 8 from 6 - 9 p.m. To entice you, I am including a recipe for one of the items being served, compliments of A Grand Affair. For more information about this annual event, visit See you at the Chamber’s Derby Diva’s Ladies Night Out! Cherrie Ledoux A Grand Affair Ph:   832.527.2237 Fax:  281.361.6114 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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