Then there is Miss Paula Deen, who should really be renamed MY MOTHER! I remember the first time that I saw her on her cooking show. I shouted at Hubby (who was then merely 'Boyfriend!') "That woman is my mother!" She has a ridiculous southern drawl, big hair, sweet smile, and cooks with butter y'all! My mother to a T!
(Little side note, the first time Hubby met my mother, she cooked for our whole family and the 12 friends I brought home with me to see their first 6-man football game. Most mothers might make a dessert or some appetizers, not my Momma! She had a full Thanksgiving type spread with a ham, cake, multiple pies...oh the food! My friend Mara still says she full from that meal 9 years later! Hubby said that after meeting my mother, he fell a little more in love with ME! haha)
But back to my original story..Paula vs. Martha. How do you choose? Martha is definetley more formal and Paula is obviously more Southern. Paula's dishes and new accessories are casual, while Martha's are simple chic.
Here are some of Paula Deen's chicken measuring cups. These are so my mother. So much, in fact, that I actually bought these for her! (My parents house is a chicken coop...chickens, chickens everywhere! One of Miss Mia's first words was chicken. In fact, she thinks that all birds are chickens!)
Classic Martha cake stand. Whenever I see cake stands like this, I think Martha. They are simple, classic, they never go out of style...just like Martha!
As for recipes, I have never had a single problem with either ladies' recipe. From main courses to desserts, all have been delicious and well recieved by my taste testers!
Here is one of my favorite Paula recipes (if you've never tried this...you will so thank me later):
Baked French Toast Casserole
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon sugar
1 cup milk
8 large eggs
2 cup half-and-half
Butter, for pan
1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
Praline Topping, recipe follows
Raspberry Syrup, recipe follows
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2-teaspoon ground nutmeg
Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch thick each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 45 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Cook Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
Here is one of my favorite Martha recipes (this one is so great b/c you can freeze these and they will save forever!):
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 slices bacon (2 ounces), finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon plain dried breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- In a large bowl, combine beef, bacon, parsley, garlic, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, egg, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Shape mixture into 40 meatballs. (For equal-size meatballs, scoop out meat mixture with a teaspoon, using two scoops for each meatball. Then roll between your palms to shape into balls.)
- Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet or on two large plates. Freeze 1 hour. Once frozen, transfer to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag; label and date.
- To use the meatballs straight from the freezer, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes.