Your Soul Food Lovers' Newsletter

Your Soul Food Lovers’ Newsletter

Happy Holidays!

Volume #015


Welcome New Friends
What’s New !
Feature Article: Holiday Entertaining Tips
Holiday Recipes from New Cookbook
Soul Food Column
Cassandra’s Cooking Tips
Soul Food Care Package
Soul Food Resource Center (New)
Link to Your Gift: New Trends in Soul Food Cooking



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For the holiday, my peanut brittle recipe from my new cookbook was featured in the Jackson Sun. Take a look!
Peanut brittle recipe

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Holiday Entertaining Tips
By Cassandra Harrell

The holidays are a time when family and friends get together to have fun and celebrate the season. But holiday entertaining can be a lot of hard work and very time-consuming. It’s takes dedication and a lot of planning to put it all together. But it can be done with little effort if you know how to plan beforehand.

The biggest part of planning a holiday affair is the food itself. What to serve, how to serve it and how much it’s going to cost?

I think buffet style service is the most economical and does not require as much work. To help you plan your holiday party, I have a few tips and suggestions:

· If you’re serving buffet style, plan your menu in advance and prepare as much food as possible a day or two before the event.

· Choose foods that are pre-made or easy to prepare like cheese spreads, assorted party trays with cheese and sausage, fresh fruit and vegetables. Heat and serve foods like meat balls and ham are also good options. This will save you a lot of time and hard work.

· Ask your guests to bring a dessert such as cookies, cake or pie as guest will love to show off their dish and everyone will enjoy the variety.

· Consider hiring a family member or friend to prepare dishes like roasts and casseroles. This will help your menu go further.

· Serving punch is more economical than soft drinks and it goes further. Mix punch with club soda and can juices for additional servings.

· If you’re still unsure of pulling it off, ask a family member or friend to help you put the buffet together. They can offer creative ideas that you probably never thought of.

Whatever you decide to serve for your holiday party, make sure you plan in advance and keep these tips in mind.

Happy Holidays!

For quick and easy party appetizers that help stretch your budget, visit: Soul Food Appetizers



These holiday breakfast recipes are excerpted from Soul Food Lovers’ Cookbook.

Big Mama’s Breakfast menus were very popular in our house growing up in Tennessee. Big Mama made this breakfast on Christmas mornings every year. This recipe is very delicious and it bring the entire family together.

Big Mama’s Breakfast
3 T. vegetable or olive oil
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1/3 c onion, diced
1/3 c green pepper, diced
Season salt and pepper to taste
¼ tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. celery seed
1/8 tsp. red crushed pepper or cayenne, optional

1 pound breakfast sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled
½ c mushrooms, sliced
1/3 c water, more if needed
1 c cheddar cheese, grated
6 to 8 eggs, beaten
1 T. margarine

Heat oil in large skillet; add potatoes, onions, green peppers, salt, pepper, celery seed, and red pepper. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes-to keep ingredients from sticking. Increase heat to medium, add sausage, stirring occasionally for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add mushrooms and water; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender and has absorbed most of the liquid. Cover potatoes with cheese until melted. In a separate skillet, scramble eggs with margarine and serve on the side. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Recipe Note: You can use diced ham or sliced smoked sausage instead of breakfast sausage.

Country Pancakes
1 c all-purpose flour
2 T. white sugar
2 T. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 c sweet milk
2 T. vegetable oil
1 T. butter or margarine

In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in egg, milk, and oil; mix until smooth. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. If needed, add a tablespoon butter to griddle or frying pan.

Pour or scoop batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Lightly brown on both sides. Serve hot. Yield: 4 servings.

Recipe Note: Serve with strawberry or maple syrup.

Maple Syrup
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar, packed
1/8 tsp salt
1 c water
1 tsp maple extract

Combine white sugar and brown sugar in a saucepan. Add salt and water; bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat; add maple extract. Cool and serve.

Recipe Note: An old family favorite that's good on pancakes. For best results, use pure maple extract.

We have a large selection of delicious holiday recipes in our Recipe Center


SOUL FOOD COLUMN - This month we focus on Powdered Sugar

Powdered Sugar also known as confectioner's sugar or icing sugar throughout most of the Commonwealth, is a very finely ground form of sugar.

In industrial food production it is used where a quick dissolving sugar is required or as in domestic use principally to make icing or frosting, and other cake decorations. It is often lightly dusted onto baked goods to add light sweetness and subtle decoration.

Powered sugar is generally mixed with cornstarch or wheat flour, or calcium phosphate to improve its flowing ability and is not generally used to sweeten a beverage, but producers do make industrial grades available without additives. Powdered sugar is available year round and is widely used in baking during the holiday season.

Substitutions: 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar = 1 cup granulated sugar or 1 cup granulated sugar + 1 tsp. cornstarch processed in a blender (NOT a food processor) = 1 cup powdered sugar.




· To keep appetizers hot, make sure you have enough oven space and warming plates to maintain their temperature.

· To keep appetizers cold, set bowls on top of ice or rotate bowls of dips from the fridge every hour or as needed.

· If you occupy a small space and have limited seating, consider no-mess finger foods that don’t require utensils to eat.

· Always chill juices and sodas before adding them to beverage recipes.

· Cheeses should always be served at room temperatures, approximately 70 degrees.

· Place fresh or dried mint in the bottom of a cup of hot chocolate for a cool and refreshing taste.

Watch for more exciting cooking tips!



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 Lovers' Newsletter



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Cassandra Harrell is an avid soul food lover and the author of the new Soul Food Lovers’ Cookbook with 250 easy-to-follow soul food and southern recipes from three generations of Southern cooks. Throughout the cookbook you’re find helpful cooking tips and fun recipe stories about the dish.

Cassandra Harrell
Editor & Soul Food Advisor
(c) copyright 2007 Soul Food Advisor