The last weekend of summer is what Labor Day means to me.   I hope the weather man knows that and begins to forecast cooler weather.   I skipped watering the flowers for a couple of days and they were drooping and looking frail from the heat and lack of water.

I did think about a grilled meal for this long weekend and what would go with it.  Green chile cheese grits, bar-b-que chicken and a decadent cake for dessert.  So, I made the whole thing.  Not good for the diet, but boy did it taste good!   The Hatch green chiles were a great addition to the cheese grits.  For the chicken, no low fat boneless skinless stuff.  Legs and thighs with the skin on were on my menu.  My son said he hadn’t had that much good food to eat in a long time.  “Music to a mother’s ears!”  Of course, the second helping of everything put him out for a nap.

I topped it off with a Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Cake.  I’m taking that to a pot luck dinner, but I needed a taste tester.  He volunteered.  He said it was great, if all the sugar didn’t put him in a coma.  I doubt it will do that.  It was a huge cake slice though.

This does not mean I’m not cooking again anytime soon, but nothing so rich and decadent as all those in the same meal.  It was fun.  Yes, I thinking cooking is fun and very relaxing.   Then I had to take pictures and write about it to share with you, my friend.  Wish you were here in my kitchen to join me.

Hank usually order cheese grits or scalloped potatoes, salad and broccoli with the chicken.  He cooked outside while I cooked inside and I cleaned up.  He had menus that went together.  I miss those menus, but not the cleaning up. I am celebrating his menu this weekend and adding a Pumpkin Streusel Spice Cake to top it all off.

Green Chile Cheese Grits

  • 1 cup grits (quick cooking, not instant)
  • 4 cups salted water (bring to a boil)
  • 1 stick Parkay margarine
  • 3 cups grated cheese, Cheddar is my favorite
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce (or more)
  • 4-5 Hatch green chiles , roasted, peeled, seeded and diced

Cook the grits according to package directions.  (I don’t like the instant grits, but quick grits is all I can find any more.)

When the grits are done, add the eggs and beat in quickly.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well to melt the margarine and cheese.

Pour into a well-buttered casserole dish and bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 350°.  The edges should begin to brown and crisp.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes to set before serving.

 

Bar-B-Que Chicken

  • 1 large chicken or 6 large chicken parts  (We like legs and thighs)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • water
  • Hank’s bar-b-que sauce or your choice of bottled sauce (see below)

Put the chicken in a large bowl and add enough water to cover.  Add 1 cup vinegar and salt and pepper.  Let marinade in the refrigerator at least an hour or 4 is better.  Drain well and pat dry.    Season generously with salt and pepper.

Place 2 pieces of chicken in a foil square and I sometimes double wrap them if using skin-on chicken.   Wrap tightly to allow to steam.  I use a gas grill,  but coals work too.  Turn over 2  times (every 15 minutes).  Then remove the chicken from the foil and allow to brown on the grill and baste with the bar-b-que sauce.

Hank’s bar-b-que sauce was unique.  It involved a basic bottled Cattleman’s Bar-B-Que sauce, a couple of tablespoons of butter, lemon pepper dry marinade, catsup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, salt and pepper and finally 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.  What a concoction!  I seldom do all that.  Any bottled sauce works for me in a pinch. 

Pumpkin Streusel Cake

 Cake

 

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

 

Streusel

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cup chopped pecans

 

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a Bundt or tube pan well.

In a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat until fluffy on medium.  Add the pumpkin and eggs and mix well.  Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and spices.  Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed just to combine.  Stir with a spatula to be sure all ingredients are well combined.

Combine the streusel ingredients in a bowl.  Put about 2/3 of the batter in the Bundt pan and add ½ of the streusel mix evenly over the batter.  Drop in the remaining batter and spread over the streusel.  Add the remaining streusel on the cake top.

Bake the cake for 55-60 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes on a baking rack.  Invert on a plate.  Using another plate turn the cake streusel side up for a pretty presentation.

Drizzle with a maple glaze(below)

Maple Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon maple flavoring

Milk to thin to the consistency needed to drizzle on the cake.

Have a slice and enjoy!

 

I think I will take this to my favorite parties this week.  Mrs. Happy HomemakerKing’s Court,
  Jam Hands Or so she says  Recipe Box