I’m very pleased to welcome author Katie Reus to the blog today. Katie’s new paranormal romance series, Moon Shifter, begins with Alpha Instinct, which was released this February by Signet Eclipse. Katie is also the author of many romantic suspense novels including Deadly Obsession. Please give her a warm welcome.
Thank you so much to Carolyn for letting me hang out here today! Since today’s topic is ‘Top 10 Favorites’ I knew exactly what my list would be about. Food. If you know me, that’s probably not a big surprise. I live in the South and food is so much a part of the culture around here so I somehow narrowed down my 10 favorite southern foods.
1) Gumbo – There are probably 100+ ways to make this. Some ingredients that may be found in this delicious soup are okra, shrimp, andouille sausage, bay leaves, Cajun spices, peppers, mushrooms, and I could go on for a while….I don’t know two people who have the same recipe to make gumbo. The only common thing most people do is serve their gumbo over a bed of rice.
2) Biscuits and gravy – One of my besties is Canadian and apparently this is a foreign concept where she lives (near Vancouver) and she lurves this stuff! And for good reason. It’s a calorie nightmare if you’re trying to watch your food intake and probably why I only eat this a couple times a year. There are a few ways to make this. If you don’t like to cook, just buy biscuits in a roll and gravy in a jar…Ahem, it won’t be as good as the homemade stuff (which is the only way I know how to make it!). The prep time is really quick (like maybe 30 minutes) to make biscuits and gravy from scratch (and for an even better meal, don’t forget the sausage!). All recipes and Paula Deen have easy peasy recipes.
3) Shrimp – deep fried, sautéed, in a sandwich, on a salad, skewered on a kabob with grilled veggies, Cajun style, shrimp scampi, shrimp Alfredo, coconut shrimp, shrimp bisque, Creole shrimp dip…There are so many ways to prepare shrimp and I can’t think of one I don’t enjoy. Living so close to the coast means seafood, especially shrimp, is a huge part of the local diet which is good for me since I’ve been having a love affair with shrimp for as long as I can remember.
4) Conecuh sausage – This is actually a fairly new concept to me, but apparently it’s big in the South. Conecuh is a brand (something I didn’t realize until recently) and the sausage is produced by a company in Alabama. I’ve tried to find out how to make it but with no luck. I think they add a lot of Cajun spices and sugar to the meat, though it’s not too spicy. I’m probably not being descriptive enough. All I know is that it’s freaking delicious and it’s great with Jambalaya.
5) Hot tamales – No, I’m not referring to the little red candies. Hot tamales are steamed masa filled with various meats like pork (very common) or chicken, cheeses, peppers, chilies, and/or salsa. Like with the gumbo mentioned above, no two people make tamales alike. If you want a really good tamale recipe, Google ‘Mississippi Delta hot tamales’ and you’ll get some sweet ways to prepare them.
6) Bourbon pecan pie – Pecan pie + bourbon = awesomeness. My mom makes the absolute best pecan pies around the holidays and this year she decided to mix it up with a new recipe that added chocolate chips and bourbon. Omg, I was in freaking heaven. It’s a good thing she made two pies for Christmas because I ate half of one of them in like two days. I only wish I was kidding.
7) Beignets – Café du Monde in New Orleans is known for these! Roll them in powdered sugar and eat them with a café au lait and you’re good to go!
8) Hoecakes – made with cornmeal, these are sort of like a combo of cornbread and pancakes. I’ve actually never made these but my MIL does and all I know is they’re total yum! They’re prepared in a skillet with oil/butter and are really good when they’re a little crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I eat them with syrup!
9) Pulled pork sandwich – This is a family favorite and very easy to make. I just take a shoulder of pork, cook it in the CrockPot all day until the meat falls off the bone (it literally looks like shredded meat). I combine it with a bottle of barbeque sauce and spices, mix it up thoroughly and it’s ready to serve. You can also add half the bottle to the meat, put it in the oven for fifteen minutes so the meat soaks in the barbeque better, then mix the rest of the bottle after you’ve taken the pan out. Just depends on how impatient (hungry) my family is.
10) Po Boys – fried shrimp Po boys are my favorite. What is this? Fried shrimp on a sub roll. You can add any condiments you want. Super easy to make and a big favorite down here. You can actually buy them in some gas stations, which freaks me out a little. I don’t like to buy my food where I buy my fuel. Kinda weird.
These are just a few of my favorite Southern foods and don’t even begin to encompass all the delicious food this region is known for. Most people probably would have included fried chicken, but I don’t eat much of it so it’s not one of my faves. Another, which isn’t food, but is a staple around here, is sweet tea. My BIL made the mistake of telling my MIL that I made better sweet tea than her once…that was not pretty. And lastly, crawfish is really big in the South. Unfortunately my first trip with my husband (before we were married) to visit his family I got food poisoning because of it so that was my first and last time eating crawfish. It sucks because in the summers people are always having crawfish boils…um, no thank you! I’ll stick with my shrimp Po Boy 😉
So what about you? What are some of your favorite foods? Have you tried any of the above listed and did you like them?
Thanks again to Carolyn for having me!
Katie fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it. However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After graduating summa cum laude with a degree in psychology and working too many jobs she hated, she finally figured things out.
She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense. Her publishers include Carina Press, Harlequin Nocturne, Ellora’s Cave and NAL/Signet Eclipse (Penguin). Regardless of genre, she always includes a happy ending. When she’s not creating stories she loves spending time with her husband and family.
Katie is kindly giving away a copy of Alpha instinct to one lucky commenter. To enter just follow instructions given by the Rafflecopter widget below. This fab giveaway is for UK & US Residents ONLY and ends Friday 2nd March 2012
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