Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fried Catfish!

I'm confident in the kitchen, but not when it comes to fried food. It's pretty intimidating! The whole "I could burn my apartment down if this goes wrong" thing is pretty scary, BUT I've had some frying success since July. I've gotten pretty good at Pioneer Woman's fried chicken, and I just tried fried catfish, and boy was it good, so I wanted to share the recipe with you.

Not the greatest picture ever, but you get the idea- it's yummy! (Even if I did make ginormous hush puppies)

Daddy's Hush Puppies (a family favorite)

1 whole onion (finely chopped)
1/8 cup oil (just a dab)
3/4-1/2 cup Self Rising Flour
3/4-1/2 cup Corn Meal
(you want equal parts of flour and corn meal)
1 Egg
Salt and Pepper generously

1. Beat egg
2. Add dry ingredients (this includes onions)
3. Add milk until it reaches a thick pancake consistency (or cake batter consistency- it'll be
kind of thin)
4. Fry -- I don't have good instructions for this, but tonight I fried them with the oil at 375.
They don't take long, just let them fry until they are golden brown and flip them in between.

Fried Catfish (I adapted this from a recipe on Food

3/4 cup Yellow Cornmeal
1/8 cup All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Seasoned Salt
1/3 teaspoon Ground Red Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
4 Catfish Filets
Oil for frying

1. Mix all the seasonings, cornmeal, and flour together.
2. The original recipe didn't call for this, but I seasoned the filets with seasoned salt and
pepper before dredging. I also cut the catfish into smaller pieces.
3. Dredge filets in the cornmeal mixture.
4. Fry -- with the oil at 375 degrees, I did about 2 minutes per side.

Another tip for frying-- I use my dutch oven for frying, and I don't go too crazy on the oil. I can't tell you the exact amount but I think it's probably around 3/4" or so. With the dutch oven, too, you can put the top on while your frying-- but beware, that makes it get a lot hotter in the pot, so you don't want it on high heat or anything when you do that. And I generally never put it on high heat when I'm frying- it just gets the oil too hot, I think (but this is a frying novice speaking, here). Be careful!

I hope ya'll enjoy these recipes :) We sure did!

Love from Houston,

J & L

Christmas at the Holloways!

I don't have a lot to say about our decorations, just that I am so excited to share my first Christmas with Lan. It's important to me that we have our own Christmas and start our own Christmas traditions. To me, this is part of establishing our family :)

To that end, we celebrated early (on the 11th). Little did I know that Lan planned it this way because of the nature of my presents-- most of them are Christmas oriented (yay for Christmas tree dishes!) and he wanted me to be able to use them this year (how sweet is that?). This was the Christmas extravaganza weekend - Bible Study party, Christmas, Symphony, Church Christmas Program, and Sunday School party. We were really tired after, but it was a great weekend! Fun was had by all.

On Wednesday, we go back to Mississippi to celebrate with our families. Can't wait! I'll have more to report on this next time.

So, here are some pictures of our Christmas decorations!

Christmas tree area :) We didn't have room for a big tree, so we have this little one. Notice all the MSU ornaments (Hail State!). The frame on the table says "Tis the Season to be Jolly."

Close up on the tree.

My favorite ornament--Lan's mom gave us this ornament and I wanted a close up of it, because it's so darn cute!!

I bought this platter last year at Stewart's Florist and just love it. It says "She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger... He was named Jesus" - Luke 2:7,21

We got this while we were in Clinton for Thanksgiving, and it's so cute! It's a glass platter.

These 2 shots are of a Christmas bowl I painted at my Bible Study Girl's night. I love it! I just wish it was a little bigger- our bananas don't really fit in it very well.

Low budget centerpiece (well, not the bowl part). We keep this bowl on our coffee table all year and I wanted to make it more "Christmasy" so I put these ornaments in it. They came from one of those massive packs of ornaments you can get at Wal Mart (they were leftover from last year, but are so cheap). When you get close, you can tell the ornaments aren't great quality, but from a distance, it looks pretty nice! I've gotten a couple of compliments on it!

Merry Christmas all!

L & J

Thanksgiving and Tales of my Canton Adventure

Thanksgiving was a couple of weeks ago, so I feel obligated to say a bit about it... We traveled back to Mississippi, which wasn't our original plan, seeing as how we only had 2 days of vacation. We left on Wednesday and came back on Sunday. It was a nice trip! Not very long at each house, but it was nice to see everyone. And, it's not that long until we go back for Christmas and get to see even more family!

We have decorated for Christmas (yay!), so be expecting an upcoming Christmas blog with apartment pics.

Ok, now to the main purpose of my post... Canton. I have discovered my new favorite thing about Texas--Canton. Canton is a town a little (under an hour, I think?) outside Dallas. The first weekend of every month, they hold a trade days. It's kind of a big deal.

Basically what happens is this. They have a massive trade days area (and I mean massive- we were there from 10:30 to about 4:30 and didn't see everything there was to see) and vendors come from all over and set up shop. You have some really nice areas, with nice antiques, things for the home, etc, and you have some outdoor areas that are more like a flea market (anything and everything). Oh, and everyone and their mother goes. Like I said, kind of a big deal.

Our friend Emily invited me to go this weekend with one of her other friends and some of her family. It was SO FUN. Emily's family had all been to Canton before, so I was happy to be with people that really knew what they were doing and where they were going! I had a great time, and will definitely be going back.

And, I got some cool things...

I guess you would call this a candle holder. It's silver and glass. The dots you see in the picture are flecks out of the silver lining in the glass container. You put a candle inside and the light shines through and it's really pretty!

Soup and dip mix vendors are pretty popular at events like this, and we visited a really good one while we were there! They had lots of yummy samples, so I selected a dip mix and a soup mix-- Cheesy Chicken Enchilada and Southland Spinach dip. Both were REALLY yummy. For my Chi Omega sisters, the cheesy chicken enchilada soup tasted a lot like the Chicken Enchilada soup at the Chi O house, so I am really exciting about the mix!

This is a sugar mold. They were really popular at Canton, and are really cool! It's a wooden block with 5 holes. Inside the holes are bronze tins. You can use it in a variety of ways. In the holes, you can put candles, flowers, or even silverware (for serving lines or the table). They had all these on display, and I really liked the way it looked. I am really excited about this one!!

So that's Canton... Coming up for us is our big Christmas weekend-- Friday night is our Bible Study Christmas Party, Saturday, we are celebrating Christmas and going to the symphony, and Sunday we have Celebration at Houston's First (their big Christmas production), and our Sunday School Christmas Party. We are going to be Christmas'ed out. And I am excited :)

Love from Houston!

J & L