Friday, February 13, 2009

Hey Y'all!

Not sure if you've ever heard of Paula Deen....but this past Sunday....I got to have brunch with her! She has a few shows on Food Network and draws crowds to her famous restaurant The Lady & Sons in her hometown of Savannah, GA. Well being a local Savannahian myself, I thought it would be cool to somehow meet Paula one day....basically just to be able to say I did!

Well last Friday, my friend Chelsea text messaged me and said "I have two tickets to brunch with Paula on Sunday...want to go?" Uuuummm.....YEEESSS! It was so much fun. It was downtown on one of the squares under a huge tent. And you know it was a fancy occasion because we had "Royal Restrooms" there. (side note - Have you SEEN THESE?! They are awesome!)

Paula and her husband Michael, and her son Bobby came and talked and answered questions from the audience. She is a hoot...I mean seriously, just says whatever she is thinking at that moment and at one point, she even took out a track of fake hair from her head and put it on her husband's beard. After brunch, they did a book signing and I got several cookbooks signed by them. What a fun experience!

There were definitely some people there who were die-hard Paula fans who came from all over the nation to this brunch. I'm not kidding! Needless to say, I stared at them most of the time to watch them and listen to them because it was just so weird to hear how obsessed they were. (I may or may not have a problem with "people watching". Whatever, it's normal to stare.)

So anyways, enjoy the pictures. I'm sure people are just gonna be lining up to be my friend now...haha. That's what happens when you become famous...well, I mean, famous by association! ha!

Here they are on stage in the tent. Paula looked pretty stinkin' cute...she had on a black causual dress and hot pink leggings.

This is Chris Rock's mom (ya know, the comedian dude) who was there as a featured author for the Book Festival that was taking place that weekend. The brunch was the final event for the Book Festival.

Signing books and meeting and greeting!

And here is Chelsea, the woman who made it all happen!

Here I am telling Paula that I am awesome cook and she should tell Food Network to give me my own show.

Here I am checking out my bag full of signed cookbooks! PS - I love my hair in this picture, but could totally do without the double chin.

Oh, this is just me and my new BFF. She said I could come and cook with her anytime I wanted to! Riiiggghhttt. Amanda lives in an imaginary world :)

Here are two of my favorite "Paula" recipes. I make both of these things all the time! I also double both recipes when we have big get-togethers.

Squash Casserole
Cook Time: 55 minutes, Yields: 6 Servings

6 cups large diced yellow squash and zucchini
Vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream1 teaspoon House seasoning, recipe follows
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed butter crackers (recommended: Ritz)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Saute the squash in a little vegetable oil over medium-low heat until it has completely broken down, about 15 to 20 minutes. Line a colander with a clean tea towel. Place the cooked squash in the lined colander. Squeeze excess moisture from the squash. Set aside.

In a medium size skillet, saute the onion in butter for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and mix all ingredients together except cracker crumbs. Pour mixture into a buttered casserole dish and top with cracker crumbs. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Quick Guacamole-Spinach Dip - Don't tell anyone, but I could totally eat an entire bowl of this all by myself. My college roommate and I made this, inhaled it within minutes and made another batch of it and finished that off too. It's THAT good!

1 package dry guacamole dip mix (found in produce departments)
One 8-ounce container cream cheese, softened
One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1-3 Roma tomatoes, diced

Combine guacamole mix and cream cheese. Squeeze excess liquid from spinach. Add to cheese mixture. Add tomato. Mix well to combine. Serve with tortilla chips. Yields 2 cups


Melissa said...

I had to laugh when you made the comment about liking your hair in that one pic because just before I read that, I was thinking, man her hair looks so cute!! :-) That's so cool that you got to meet Paula. We ate at her restaurant when we honeymooned in Savannah.

Sarah B. said...

I adore Paula Deen...such a cutie. And your hair is super cute in that Food Network is definitely one of our favorite channels. :)