Sweet home Alabama! It was my annual trek to visit my aunt in the good old town of Alexander City where she currently is innkeeper for the beautiful belle of the south, the Mistletoe Bough bed and breakfast.
With the beautiful winter camellias…
and fluffer kitties.
And dapper doggies
I got to visit with Mrs. Clause…
who frequents the Inn every winter, when she is not needed at Mr. Clauses side. She is there every year for the Christmas parade, in the sleigh with Santa.
Let us pause between photos so I can give you one of my aunts super secret recipes that only she and about a million other southerns know about. I am importing it home here, already did actually and everyone loved it. So much so that I did not even get a photo. But Aunt Jo Ann makes this a lot for her luncheons at the Inn.
- either a whole chicken cut up or selected pieces of your choosing.
- 1 can whole cranberry sauce
- 1 envelope of onion soup mix
- 1 bottle of French of Catalina salad dressing
Thats it. Just mix the last 3 things together in a mixing bowl and pour over the chicken in a baking pan and bake in a 350 degree oven until done, about an hour for a whole chicken. While I did not do so this time, you have the option of browning in a skillet first, then putting in the pan, saucing it up and baking. My aunt baked chicken breasts and they did not need browning, just baking.
Another option is to thicken up the sauce when you are done and serve it on the side. Its pretty finger licken’ wonderful!
The house is all set for Christmas. This is the biggest of the trees. There are lots of them there, upstairs and down. Even little ones in the kitchen.
See that mistltoe hanging from the knob there? That came home with me (hee-hee). Ok, she actually did know about it. I came home with 3 sets of christmas salt and pepper shakers as well.
Even garlands, lights and ornaments in the kitchen! This innkeeper doesn’t miss a trick.
She did make 2 of the best darn cheesecakes I have ever, EVER had! And get this, it didn’t need a water bath!! It was not so much the kind of cheesecake. I believe they came from 2 different recipes. One was a turtle cheesecake with chopped up candy bars and I think the other was a pumpkin cheesecake. It was the cooking method that made the difference, made it the creamiest, dreamiest cheesecake ever! I will share with you, because I love you…
Here is the basic cheesecake recipe. You can use your own recipe using the baking technique here too. Or play around with this recipe, add cookie dough or chocolate chips or chopped candy bars, etc.
- 3 8oz bricks of cream cheese
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 3 eggs
- prepare a graham cracker crust in a 9″ springform pan
preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
With a hand mixer, blend the cheese, sugar, sour cream and vanilla.
1 Tbsp. at a time add the flour, mixing well, then the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well. Pour into the prepared crust and put right in the oven.
Bake for 10 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce heat to 250 degrees and bake another 30 minutes.
After that, turn the oven off, but leave the cheesecake in the oven another 30 minutes. Remember, do not open the oven door. It will let valuable heat escape.
This makes a cheesecake with the best texture, smooth and crack free.
For other posts from Alabama see Taco Soup here, and quiche here, and my 2012 visit with baptist pound cake, coconut pie, and amazing caramel apple upside down pie. Here is a visit to Montgomery AL. An article here about my aunts breakfast cassarole and a post there with my apple walnut bread recipe.
Enjoy all that reading and all those recipes. I had fun looking through them again and reliving the trip. I think its time to make Taco soup here again, yes ma’am! And coconut pie. And…