Soul Food Lover’s Newsletter is especially for soul food lovers with two new food columns, Spice up Your Soul Food and Best Soul Food Recipes Also include original articles, cooking tips, guest interviews, and much more.

Welcome to Soul Food Lover’s Newsletter

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Table of Contents Volume #001

Welcome to Our First Publication
What’s New on Site Update
Five (5) Soul Food Holiday Gift Giving Ideas - Special to Newsletter
Feature Article: Tips to Improve your Soul Food Thanksgiving Meal
Guest Interview with BBQ Expert Earl Harrell - Special to Newsletter
Column: Spice Up Your Soul Food
Column: This Month’s Best Soul Food Recipes
Cassandra’s Cooking Tips
Popular Soul Food Holiday Recipes - Special to Newsletter
Soul Food Care Package
Reader’s Poll
Soul Food Blog
Coming In Next Issue: A Soulful Holiday Season - original content
Ask the Editor
Link to Gift: New Trends in Soul Food Cooking

Welcome to Our First Publication

Thank you for subscribing to Soul Food Lover’s Newsletter. As you know this is our Introductory Issue and we are so proud to provide you with new and exciting material each month.

This newsletter has two new food columns, Spice Up Your Soul Food, and This Month’s Best Soul Food Recipes. You will also receive new and exciting recipes, cooking tips, original articles, and new ideas in soul food cuisine. All these benefits emailed to you every month without you lifting a finger.

If you have family, friends, or associates you feel will benefit from this newsletter, please let them know about it and encourage them to subscribe. They will love you for it. We look forward to your comments, suggestions and ideas to help us improve our services to you. So, if you’re ready, just sit back and enjoy the soul food experience!

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What’s New on Site Update -
New Articles:
7 Easy Steps to Barbecue Chicken
Easy Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

Updated Pages:
Soul Food News Center

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5 Soul Food Holiday Gift Giving Ideas - Special to Newsletter

During the holiday season, people love receiving food gifts because it makes them feel special. Below are a few ideas for soul food gifts this holiday season.

1. Send a Soul Food Care Package with assorted dessert bars and add an additional small gift such as movie passes or tickets to a sporting event. Use their favorite hobby as your guide. Example --golf balls for golfers, CD’s for music lovers, puzzles, word games, etc. You get the idea. Include a holiday card in a decorative package.

2. Give a Holiday Breakfast Box. Make low-fat granola breakfast bars and place them in a decorative cereal bowl, add a small cup of fruit, and boxed fruit juice. Place all items in a decorative box with a personalized card.

3. Purchase a large festive soup mug then stuff with homemade soul food goodies like dessert bars or holiday fudge. You could cut the bars into miniature pieces. Package it for holiday giving.

4. Purchase a nice cake or pie keeper as a gift and inside include their favorite soul food dessert.

5. Give a Holiday Gift Box. Include assorted dessert bars, cookies, or fudge. Add cooking gadgets, such as utensils, kitchen linen set, pot holder set, or cook’s apron. Place items in a decorative box.

Make sure the gifts you purchase are good quality and something that others will enjoy.

Related Resources
Assorted Dessert Bars
Low-fat Granola Bars
Soul Food Desserts
Holiday Fantastic Fudge - (Recipe in this Newsletter under Popular Soul Food Holiday Recipes).

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Feature Article--
Tips to Improve Your Soul Food Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to give thanks for family and loved ones and for the many blessings we have received throughout the year.

Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season and is celebrated with food and good cheer.

A soul food traditional Thanksgiving meal usually include turkey and sage dressing, baked ham with pineapples, collard greens, seasoned green beans, candid yams, macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce, and dinner rolls, to name a few.

When I invite guests over, I always include an extra dish offering variety to what’s already being served. Often times a Thanksgiving meal is eaten several days after the holiday, so bringing in a new dish is often welcomed. Whether you’re making dinner yourself or bringing a covered dish to family or friends, deciding on what to bring can sometimes be a challenge.

Normally, the cook serve a traditional soul food menu for this special holiday that has been served for many years--a menu that is usually set in stone and not easily altered.

However, I like to include a familiar dish that people don’t serve often and at the same time will compliment the other menu selections.

I have a few suggestions to help you decide on a dish that will improve your meal and offer something that everyone will love.

· Add a Okra and Corn Casserole with dinner. It’s a good choice especially if vegetarians will be served.

· Add Barbecue Chicken to the menu. Most of your guests probably haven’t enjoyed it since the summer and would welcome the familiar change.

· Add a Carrot Raisin Salad or Southern Potato Salad to the table. It’s a pleasant change and will compliment the meal.

· Add Roast Beef with Gravy to the menu. It’s unexpected and will add to the turkey and sage dressing.

· Add a Apple Pear Salad with the dessert bar. Include whipped topping for extra value. Or, if children will be attending, add Chocolate Bars. Children usually feel left out at holiday gatherings.

For the special dish, I would plan for about 10 to 12 servings for larger groups and 6 to 8 servings for smaller groups. Just make sure you have enough food on hand.

This Thanksgiving, excite and enlighten everyone around you. To improve your soul food meal, add an unexpected twist to old favorites. Tradition doesn’t mean that every Thanksgiving has to be like the last. No matter what dish you decide to serve, it won’t change the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

Related Links
Okra Corn Casserole Recipe
Barbecue Chicken Recipe
Carrot Raisin Salad Recipe
Southern Potato Salad Recipe
Roast Beef with Gravy Recipe
Apple Pear Salad Recipe
Chocolate Bar Recipe

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Guest Interview with BBQ Expert Earl Harrell - Special to Newsletter

I interviewed Earl at my office a few days ago. I included a few parts that I thought would interest you.

Earl owned a barbecue catering service for many years and has appeared on local television segments demonstrating how to prepare barbecue the right way. His barbecue has received rave reviews and he spends countless hours giving demonstrations at festivals and state fairs.

Cassandra: Earl, how long have you been barbecuing?

Earl: For about 30 years.

Cassandra: How did you get started?

Earl: I started barbecuing for my family many years ago. Later, I started cooking professionally and has been for about 12 years.

Cassandra: When you owned a barbecue catering service, what type of foods did you prepare?

Earl: I made Ribs, pork shoulder, chicken, smoked turkey, rib tips, barbecue meat balls, and other foods as requested.

Cassandra: How many people have you barbecued for at one time?

Earl: During festivals, I’ve barbecued for thousands; for a catered event around 2,500 guests.

Cassandra: What type of event was the 2,500 guests for?

Earl: It was for a Conference at the Convention Center.

Cassandra: What are the key elements to barbecuing for such a large crowd?

Earl: Planning and being well organized. I usually outline everything that I need before hand with my staff from the food, to hiring extra workers. All elements must work together, and of course experience is the first and foremost element that‘s needed to put on this type of event.

Cassandra: Tell us about the BBQ demonstrations at festivals and state fairs on the correct way to barbecue. What is that like?

Earl: It’s always very exciting. Usually, there are people of all ages in the audience, from teenagers to senior citizens. My demonstrations usually last about 45 minutes to an hour; which includes a question and answer session. Once people really get into it, they participate in the discussion.

Cassandra: There are also been rave reviews about your homemade barbecue sauce. Could you tell us what are your plans for the sauce?

Earl: I have had several requests from customers to purchase my barbecue sauce. Hopefully, sometime next year, I will be bottling the sauce.

Cassandra: I have one last question. What advice would you give to our readers about barbecuing?

Earl: I would say to the readers to use charcoal to barbecue. Barbecue made on a charcoal grill makes better tasting barbecue. It’s a taste that no other method of cooking can create.

Thank you Earl. Please check out Earl’s recent articles:
9 Easy Steps to Soul Food Barbecue
7 Easy Steps to Barbecue Chicken
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Spice Up Your Soul Food - Poultry and Sage Seasoning

This column is all about adding flavor to your soul food. With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, this month focus is on Poultry and Sage Seasonings.

Poultry Seasoning is a mixture of sage, ground thyme, marjoram, rosemary, nutmeg, and black pepper. It’s used mainly to season stuffing, dressing, and adds an unusual flavor to poultry, pork and veal dishes. It also gives a flavor boost to soups, stews, and gumbos.

Sage usually comes whole, rubbed, or in ground form. Its fragrant with slightly medicinal, piney, and bitter flavors. However, Sage is a true companion to Poultry Seasoning. They both are perfect with stuffing and dressing. Sage is also one of the main ingredients in breakfast sausage, and can be served on baked fish, cheese, pork, and game dishes.

Below is a quick and easy Thanksgiving recipe using Poultry and Sage Seasonings:

Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Stuffing
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped green peppers
1 package (8 ounces) unseasoned stuffing mix
2 slices of white bread, crumbled
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon Poultry Seasoning, ground
1/½ teaspoons Sage Seasoning, ground
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add celery, onion, and green peppers; cook and stir 5 minutes. Stir in stuffing mix and white bread. Add chicken broth, poultry seasoning, sage, salt, and pepper. Toss gently. Spoon into lightly greased 2-quart baking dish. Bake 30 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned.

You may want to add more poultry seasoning or sage depending on your taste. If you do, add small amounts at a time, start with about a ½ teaspoon. Make sure you mix well after each addition.

For a list of specific soul food spices to use with dishes, visit:

Cooking Spices

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This Month’s Best Soul Food Recipes

Sweet Potato Casserole 3 cups sweet potatoes, mashed
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup evaporated milk
¼ cup margarine
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat all ingredients together and pour into a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Cover with topping and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Topping:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
Combine ingredients and mix well until crumbly. Sprinkle over potato mixture. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Caramel Pecan Pie
½ pound caramels ( about 28 pieces)
½ cup water
¼ cup margarine
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 ½ cups pecan halves
Unbaked pie crust
Place caramels, water and margarine in double boiler and heat, stirring until caramels are melted and sauce is smooth. Combine sugar, salt, vanilla and eggs, in a separate container. Mix thoroughly. Add pecans and caramel sauce and stir well. Pour into unbaked pie crust and bake at 400 degree for 10 minutes. Reduce heat and finish baking at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Yield: 8 servings.

Sausage Rice Dressing
1 pound bulk sausage
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup raw rice
1 (2 envelope-size) box chicken noodle soup mix
4 ½ cups water
½ cup slivered almonds
Brown sausage, onion, green pepper, and celery in skillet. Drain well. Spoon sausage mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Add rice, soup mix and water, stirring until soup mix is partially dissolved. Baked at 350 degree, uncovered for approximately 1 hour. Fluff rice with a fork, and sprinkle almonds over top before serving. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

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Cassandra’s Cooking Tips

With the holidays approaching, we all certainly can benefit from being organized in the kitchen. I have listed a few tips that I find very useful during the holiday season.

· Start now by gathering recipes from books and recipe cards for your holiday meal. You can even start organizing your shopping list early by writing down items you need before hand.

· To reduce holiday shopping , purchase non-refrigerated items a few weeks in advance. For example, semi-sweet chocolate chips, pecans, brown sugar, cake flour, vanilla extract, etc.

· Start your holiday grocery shopping early. Sometimes stores run out of popular items quickly and inadequate planning may cause you additional shopping time.

· Plan to shop at less busier times of the day or evening. That way, you will avoid large crowds and long lines.

For more cooking tips and bright ideas visit:

Tips for Busy Cooks

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Popular Soul Food Holiday Recipes

Holiday Fantastic Fudge Recipe
3 cups sugar
¾ cup margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 (12-ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow crème
1 cup chopped nuts
1 tablespoon vanilla
Combine sugar, margarine, and milk in heavy 2 1/2 quart saucepan; bring to full boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate until melted. Add marshmallow crème, nuts, and vanilla and beat until blended. Pour into greased 13 X 9 inch pan. Let cool and serve.

Old Fashioned Tea Cakes
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup + All-purpose flour
1/3 cup buttermilk
In a medium bowl, cream sugar and shortening; add egg and vanilla. Mix well. Stir baking powder and soda in 1 cup flour. Add alternately with buttermilk. Beat well. Gradually work in enough flour to roll. Cut and bake in a 375 degree oven until slightly brown. Yield: 2 dozen.

Southern Chocolate Pecan Pie
1 cup sugar
½ cup Karo syrup, dark
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup pecan halves
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust
Mix sugar and Karo syrup well, add butter and eggs, mix well, add pecan halves and chocolate chips. Mix together. Pour into pie crust and bake 40-45 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Cool before serving. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

These are excellent holiday recipes and easy to make.
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Soul Food Care Package

Newsletter Subscribers receive an automatic entry into our monthly contest for a chance to win a Soul Food Care Package. This package is loaded with soul food goodies, cooking gadgets, soul food recipes, cooking tips, and a personalized letter from me---Your Soul Food Advisor. So please tell everyone about this offer. Good Luck!

Soul Food Lover's Newsletter

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Reader’s Poll - We Need Your Help!

Our Reader’s Poll is designed to help us better serve you. The more we know about what you enjoy, the better we can benefit you during your Soul Food experience.

So, please, take a few minutes while it’s still fresh on your mind. Just click the link below to complete the poll. All we need are your answers--no reason to include your name. Results will be published in December, 2006 Soul Food Lovers Newsletter. Thanks!

Readers Poll

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Soul Food Blog

Receive the latest website updates and learn first hand when new and original content is published. Receive benefits all month long without lifting a finger. No email address needed. To subscribe, just click the link below:

Soul Food Blog

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Coming In Next Issue - Dec, 2006

Feature Article: A Soulful Holiday Season. Also, A Special Holiday Treat just for you. HINT: A Chocolate Lovers’ Dream
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Ask the Editor

Do you have issues, concerns, questions, regarding this newsletter or the Soul Food Advisor.com, OR just want to vent, then, we love to hear from you. Just click the link below!

Soul Food Advisor.

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Link to Your Gift

As promised, here is your gift for subscribing - New Trends in Soul Food cooking. The report is password protected. The password ????. Just click the link below; then enter password.

This free report is for subscribers only. To subscribe, see subscription details below.

If you subscribed after the first issue was mail out, don't worry the password and link will be included in the December newsletter. Thank you.

Soul Food Lover's Newsletter

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Until Next Time

Cassandra Harrell
Editor & Soul Food Advisor

Cassandra Harrell is a Soul Food Advisor and recently owned a soul food restaurant and catering service. She has coached one-on-one sessions on preparing great soul food cuisine.

Soul Food Advisor.

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