Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mixed Veggie Casserole with Cheese a great side for barbecue at celebratory meal

OK, we had the barbecue beef and the salad for the dinner to be served after our little munchkin's baby dedication. But what about other sides? My daughter was set to prepare her favorite Company Potatoes recipe (appearing in my first cookbook, Way Back in the Country) that goes great with just about anything. But our crowd was not big on baked beans or any of the traditional barbecue match-ups.

I did an Internet search for vegetable casseroles. On nancysrecipes.wordpress.com in a feature called "A Recipe a Day" I discovered this mixed-veggie casserole that resembles the legendary green-bean dish that's stock-and-trade of Thanksgiving fare—baked with French-fried onions on top and mixed in and featuring cream of mushroom soup as part of the sauce. The original recipe called for frozen mixed veggies to be added, but I modified it so we could serve it the "garden-fresh" way, of course. Steaming some fresh veggies I had on hand made the mixture more healthy and was a good way to use up some leftovers.

Munchkin didn't get to sample any of our goodies that were prepared in his honor for the after-dedication meal. He was very content to nurse and have his supplemental bottle. But because of him we had a good excuse to indulge in some wonderful food. Mixed Veggie Casserole with Cheese was a big hit with the partygoers.

Mixed Veggie Casserole with Cheese

1/4 cup fresh corn, cut from cob
4 carrots, peeled, sliced into 1/2-inch slices (enough for 1 cup of carrots)
1 cup fresh trimmed green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 (14-ounce) can reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup nonfat sour cream
1 (6-ounce can) French-fried onions
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside 1/4 cup cheese and 1/4 cup French-fried onions. Steam fresh carrots, corn, green beans, and cauliflower 3-4 minutes on high in microwave until vegetables are tender. Drain. Add peas. In large bowl combine veggies, soup, 3/4 cup cheese, sour cream, 3/4 cup onions, and pepper. Pour all into greased 2-quart casserole dish, Bake 30 minutes. On top sprinkle reserved cheese and onions. Bake 5 more minutes. Serves 6-8.

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