From My Carolina Home

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Now that you have a lovely Asian Inspired Table, you need some food for it.  I have been working on Asian inspired recipes and I have three new ones for you.  Today, my take on a Chinese shumai, a steamed dumpling open at the top instead of completely encased in the wrapper.  I thought this was a good time to show a new recipe for Chinese New Year coming up on the 16th.  The shumai in Japan are made only from shrimp, while the Chinese use pork or different types of seafood.   The Chinese chop the filling, while the Japanese form is ground to a paste.  These are really easy to make, and this recipe is a good size for two.  It will take a bit of effort, but truly, it only takes about 15 minutes to make the shumai, and then another 20-25 to steam them.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

I found that chopping the ingredients made a little meatball out of the filling, which was fine except that the wrapper fell off as it was served.  These little bowls were perfect to serve, a great thrift store find last summer.  Set on gold square plates, they have an Oriental vibe.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

I went with the Japanese method of making a paste, and the addition of an egg solved the meatball problem. I have made these a half dozen times trying to get the recipe just right. These plates are melamine, another thrift store score perfect for outdoor meals on the verandah. The shumai are between the broccoli and the chopsticks.  This time I took a few extra wrappers and made some mushroom won-tons to go with the shumai.  The sauces in the divided dish are teriyaki, soy, and horseradish as I didn’t have any wasabi.  I used an ice cream scoop to serve the rice so it has the same shape as what you get in a restaurant.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Using a 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut your won-ton wrappers into rounds. One note here, I tried several different brands of oyster sauce, and this one was by far the best – Ka-me Oyster Sauce. Don’t be afraid of this, it doesn’t taste anything like oysters. It is a richly umami flavor more like a very thick beefy sauce, with a bit of a salty taste.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Place about 4 ounces of ground pork and an egg in a food processor or blender, and process until you have a paste.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Add the other ingredients and pulse a few times.  I then transferred the mixture to a bowl just for ease of working with it.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Place a small amount of filling on a won-ton wrapper, moisten the edges with water, and begin pinching pleats into the sides.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

I put five pleats in each one.  It sounds really labor intensive, but it really didn’t take that long.  Once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty fast – just spoon, pinch, place.  Place the shumai on a piece of parchment paper in a bamboo steamer.  You can also use lettuce leaves. Whichever you choose will keep the food from sticking to the bamboo.  I add a few frozen potstickers to the steamer to add another element to the meal.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Steam the shumai about 20-25 minutes total, until the temperature inside reaches 170º-180º.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

After about 10-12 minutes, add your vegetables in the second bamboo basket and place on top of the shumai basket.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Cover and continue steaming about 7-8 more minutes until done.  I found this two level bamboo steamer at the thrift store too, LOL!!  Hint, use a deep pan for boiling the water, it goes quickly and you don’t want it to dry out before the food is done.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Meanwhile, cook the rice as it also takes about 20 minutes.  I like to use Jasmine rice or sticky sushi rice.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Another tasty addition for the meal is mini-egg rolls found in the frozen section of the grocery store.  These bake in the oven while the shumai steam.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Using two frozen items plus the fresh steamed veggies, rice and shumai makes a lovely complex meal that looks like it took way more time than it actually did.  From the beginning of set up to end of cooking time was only 45 minutes.  On this occasion, I used my Oriental soup spoons to hold two sauces, one is soy the other is teriyaki.  These spoons really give an Asian feel to the plate, and they are only 99 cents at World Market (no affiliation, just a happy customer).

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

If you don’t have a bamboo steamer, a regular veggie steamer will do just as well.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

The last batch I made were topped with the green onion rather than incorporating them into the paste. I liked this way the best.  The recipe makes about 15-16 shumai, enough for two with a few left over.  If you left off the potstickers you probably wouldn’t have any left over.

Shumai at From My Carolina Home


15-16 won-ton wrappers
4 ounces ground pork
1 egg
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon grated carrot
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2-3 chopped green onions
Optional – 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder or 1 teaspoon sirracha sauce

Using a round biscuit cutter, cut the won-ton wrappers into rounds and set aside under a moist paper towel to keep them from drying out. Place ground pork and egg in a food processor or blender, process until smooth. Add oyster sauce, carrot, onion powder and mix well. Add optional ingredients if you like. Spoon small teaspoon of filling into middle of won-ton round, moisten the edge with water and pinch five pleats into the edge creating a little bowl shape. Place in steamer basket. Repeat for all wrappers using all the filling. Top with chopped green onion. Steam for 20-25 minutes until temperature reaches 170-180 degrees. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables.

Download a pdf – Shumai

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Craftsy  Cooking with Spices Class on Sale – 7 lessons for one low price.

Crafsy DVDs on sale 50% off – The Art of Stir Frying .  For limited time, all Crafting DVDs are on sale for $19.99!!

Japanese Cookbooks on Amazon

Are you a fan of Asian food?

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home



Preparing for the Mountain Regional State Fair

Turn-in day for entries into the Mountain Regional State Fair is Monday, and I am getting all my entries ready. I have decided to enter 14 crafting, quilting and photography competitions this year. This means getting hanging sleeves on the larger quilts, and labels on all the entries. Scrap Dance Two Step is finished up with a permanent sleeve, in black to coordinate with the backing.

Preparing for the Mountain State Fair at From My Carolina Home

Having this blog is really helpful to remember what I made in the time frame eligible for entry. I didn’t think I had that many quilts and wall hangings to enter, then I remembered Autumn Jubilee from last year! Here is the mini-quilt from that event.

Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along ~ From My Carolina Home

I am working hard on the autumn inspired quilt along for this year, look for the fun to begin in October.  There are already some fantastic prizes committed by some fabulous sponsors.  Click on the Autumn Jubilee category on the sidebar to see all the fun from last year.  (Smart phone users, the sidebar is at the bottom below the comments.)  The table topper can go into the Table Linens category.

So I gave it a label.  This is my handwork focus this weekend, labels and sleeves.

Preparing for the Mountain State Fair at From My Carolina Home

The ‘Be My Carolina Neighbor’ quilt will be entered too, in the Mixed Techniques Quilt category as it has both piecing and applique along with the button embellishments.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

So, it gets a label and a temporary sleeve.

Preparing for the Mountain State Fair at From My Carolina Home

I have a tutorial on doing temporary sleeves HERE. I hand whip them on with a large stitch that is easy to take out, and arrange them so there are no raw edges of seams showing.  Folding back the overage makes the sleeve useful for almost any size finished quilt.

Be My Neighbor Finishing at From My Carolina Home

More labels are sewn on for my Patriotic Scrap Dance Tango, (patriotic pattern is a free bonus with the Scrap Dance Tango pattern) and Scrap Dance Two Step.

Preparing for the Mountain State Fair at From My Carolina Home

I decided to show Magnolia Attic Windows too, so it also needed a temporary sleeve.

Magnolia Quilt at From My Carolina Home

I’ll be entering five photography categories, plus Scrap Dance Waltz will be in the quilting competition.

Preparing for the Mountain State Fair at From My Carolina Home

My wool penny rug from Autumn Jubilee 2016 will be entered into a needlework category. Yes, there will be another design for this year’s event.

Autumn Jubilee Stitch Along Wool Applique ~ From My Carolina Home

Competition is fierce at this fair!  I really enjoy seeing all the entries.

Preparing for the Mountain State Fair at From My Carolina Home

I have a fall wreath for that craft competition, and this year for the first time, I am entering two cooking contests.  I have to make the recipe and deliver the food on the assigned days for evening judging.  I’ll be there in the evening on Tuesday September 12 and Thursday September 14 with my efforts.  I am entering the Egg contest and the Blueberry contest.  Yes, I will share the results with you!  This is going to be fun, and I cannot wait!

Do you enter competitions at your local or state fair?

Fat Quarter Shop Daily Flash Sale

(This is an affiliate link. By clicking on the link and making a purchase, I may earn a small commission to help support the costs of my blog.  You can use your existing account with Fat Quarter Shop to shop.  Thank you for using my link!)


Crazy Mom Quilts



The Best of 2015 at From My Carolina Home

What would you say if you had to pick just 5 posts from this year as your best or favorites?  That is the task in order to link up a Best OF 2015 post for a challenge linky at Meadow Mist Designs.  This isn’t going to be easy, as I blog about such a wide variety of subjects, just picking 5 subjects is challenge enough, LOL!!  However, Quilting has to be one, and the post I am going to pick is the end of the Scrap Dance Mystery Quilt. This post shows some of our participant’s finishes, along with a link to the pattern and some other fun links.  This pattern is for sale in my Craftsy store, just click on the picture on the sidebar.  The next mystery, Scrap Dance Tango has begun!  Click on the Scrap Dance Tango icon on the sidebar to get to the first post.

Scrap Dance on bench

Readers know that I love to cook, and frequently post original recipes.  It was difficult to choose just one, I thought hard about the Bourbon Chicken, but I think I’ll go with the Perfect Deviled Eggs, the last deviled egg recipe you will ever need. Not only is the basic recipe given, with the perfect way to boil and peel them, every variation you could ever want is included.

Perfect Deviled Eggs From My Carolina Home

Next, what to choose?  Something crafty, or needlework?  I stamp cards, paint things, and play with my glue gun.  I adore Mason jars, so maybe one of those crafty posts.  So, check out the Beaded Mason Jar.

Mason Jar Holiday decoration

DH and I live in beautiful Western North Carolina, and we often go on day trips and excursions with our car club, or just hiking by ourselves in the local parks and mountains.  We live close to the Blue Ridge Parkway and spend many of our driving excursions there.  Drives and events in this region are gathered into the category of Mountain Living on the sidebar.  This Autumn Drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway was also a costume party for the car club.

BCCWNC 2015 Costume Drive 34

Decorating and tablescapes are frequent subjects for posts.  I enjoy setting a beautiful table and serving a great meal to friends and family.  Sometimes we host outside on the veranda with our gorgeous view (see the header). Sometimes DH lights a fire in the dining room/library and we enjoy a meal there.  Either way, a lovely tablescape is essential.  Enjoy this post with two tablescapes from just last month for Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving Tablescapes 2015.

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2015 1

OK, so that is five.  I could go on with the book reviews, gardening, needlework, button crafts, wool work projects and other tutorials, but I’ll have to let you explore on your own if you like.  Thank you for stopping by and looking around.  I hope you enjoyed your visit, and to my regular readers, thank you for faithfully reading my blog!

Best of 2015 Linky Party

. . FoodieFriday


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Leftover Turkey – A Cornucopia of Ideas

So, how many of us will have turkey left over?  Quite a few I would guess, so I thought it was time to share some of my leftover ideas.  One thing I have done in the past was freeze cooked, leftover turkey meat in quart size zipper bags so I don’t get too tired of it.  Then, I’ll thaw it out in a month or two and use it in a recipe when I am ready for turkey again.  Whether you are using freshly leftover (is that an oxymoron?) turkey, or thawed previously-frozen cooked turkey, there are a lot of ideas to make meals unique.

Brining Turkey - 17

I will usually make turkey soup of some description.  Start by breaking up the bones, put them in a pot and cover with water.  Add onion and any other aromatic veggies you like, along with some salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and let it simmer for 2-3 hours.  The bones will be almost clean as you lift them out of the stew.  Pick off any meat clinging to the bones, add back to the pot.  Now, add pasta, dumplings, or beans and simmer until done.  I used pasta this year.  Yum!

Turkey Noodle Soup

Next time I serve this soup, I’ll add some cream and Parmesan cheese, then top with green onions for a Turkey Alfredo soup.

Ever had a Tom Burger?  Just shred turkey meat, add to a pot, cover with barbeque sauce, heat and serve on buns. I’ve even added the leftover jellied cranberry sauce to the barbeque sauce for a sweet, fruity twist on the same old bottled stuff.

How about turkey macaroni and cheese!  Just make your favorite mac-n-cheese, add cubed or shredded turkey and green peas. Top with cheese and bake for a savory casserole.

The recipes I posted before using leftover pork would work nicely with leftover turkey.  Here are links to those recipes, just substitute turkey instead of pork.



Farfalle Pasta


Pot Stickers


A couple of years ago, I created a new recipe for leftover turkey using spinach in a casserole.  I don’t have pictures because I didn’t make it this year, but I promised my friend Barbara T. that I would publish it for her.  Barbara says she likes this even though she isn’t a spinach fan.  So here it is.  Maybe you will enjoy it as a change from the ordinary!

Turkey, Spinach and Rice Casserole

1/4 cup chopped onion
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
2-3 cups diced cooked turkey
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
3/4-1 cup milk
3-4 cups cooked rice
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed with the excess water squeezed out
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add cooked turkey and sauté for a minute. Add the soup and 3/4 cup milk. Add rice, spinach and seasonings, and mix well. Add more milk if needed. Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray.  Pour in mixture. Top with cheeses. Bake for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbling. Serve and enjoy!

I only had a 12-pound turkey this year, and I am already running low on leftovers.  Now I need to decide which recipe to use for the little that is left.  What do you like to do with your leftover turkey?


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Peak Autumn Color and Thanksgiving 101 Winner

Fall color peaked this week in the NC mountains.  I took several new pictures at sunrise. The fog in the valley shows some of the layers of mountains and valley, lovely!  If you read the posts on email, pop by the blog and see the fall header, it is full of autumn color.


A storm and winds last week did knock down a lot of the leaves off the trees.  The next mountain can now be seen through the trees.


The morning sunlight just makes everything look luminous.


Looking up at the maples and oaks in the back going up the mountain.


Looking down into the cove between the mountains on the west side.


These maple leaves with their brilliant red color caught my eye in the leaves on the ground.


And now, on to the winner of the cookbook giveaway!

Th 101

Our judge has considered all the entries, and it came down to these two.

Here’s Connie’s story -“I have been celebrating Thanksgiving with my husbands family for many years. We always have their traditional meal which includes a Polish dish of mushrooms, onions, and sour cream, in addition to the gravy. My SIL does make a great stuffing with hamburger in the dried bread. But 2 years ago I looked at them over the table as we were eating and I said my family had traditions too. The looked at me with open mouths. So now we eat pie before dinner (you are too full after) and why eat breakfast or lunch, and have real cranberries. I am working on giblets and hard boiled eggs in the gravy, but not getting far. Connie in Austin, Texas”

Our judge also was quite captivated by Kathy’s story and image of the dog getting the turkey.

Kathy said “I think your judge would like to hear how the turkey fell on the floor and no one realized it until the dog had finished it up. That luckily hasn’t happened but one year we were baking the cookies and had one pan in the oven and the rest on the table ready to be put in. We came back out and the old dog who was barely able to walk anymore had licked the trays clean. Don’t know if he jumped on a chair or just stood up. I have also had 2 friends in different years that had their ovens break half way through the baking. When they went out to take the turkey out, it was still raw. So they ate all the trimmings while the rest was cut up and microwaved.”

Since a decision was just too hard, you are both winners!! I’ll be sending you both an email to get your shipping addresses and each will receive the Thanksgiving 101 book.  Congratulations!

Speaking of turkeys, the wild bunch came by for a visit.  They are difficult to photograph because they are very skittish, but I got a five of the nine that were here on their way around the garage.

November Turkeys

I had to be quiet, but I got a few more on the back side as they made their way up the mountain.

November Turkeys 2

Hope you all are having a wonderful autumn season!

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Baked Black and Great Northern Beans

Wow, it is finally fall and a perfect time for stick to the ribs comfort food.  How about a different take on baked beans?  I had black beans and Great Northern beans in the cupboard and I thought a mixture would be interesting.  And it goes great with the Butterflied Baked Chicken from the last post.


Start by soaking the beans overnight.


I added onion to a dutch oven pot full of water and brought it to a boil.  The beans were added and the temperature reduced.  The beans were simmered for about 2 1/2 hours.  I did this step because I have had them come out too tough in the past when baking them without the simmering stage as a lot of recipes suggest.


I forgot to take pictures of the process until I had all the ingredients in, but I think you get the idea.  Saute the bacon and onion, then drain. Add to the beans with the rest of the ingredients and stir.


Bake for about one hour for the flavors to blend and the sauce to cook.


Yum, enjoy!!  These beans have the basic flavor of traditional baked beans, but with a meatier, heartier flavor from the addition of the black beans.  This recipe fed eight with leftovers, great for potluck dinners.

Baked Black and Great Northern Beans

I cup dried black beans

1 cup dried Great Northern beans

4-6 slices bacon

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 cup ketchup (about, may need a bit more)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

salt and pepper to taste

Start these a day ahead.  Soak dried beans overnight in water.  Drain water and rinse.  Add to a dutch oven pot full of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer covered for about 2 hours or until beans are tender.  Drain water and place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  In a medium size pan, saute bacon and onion until bacon is crisp and onion is translucent.  Drain on paper towels.   Add to the beans.  Add remaining ingredients and stir well.  Bake for one hour.

Variation – if you like peppers, add chopped peppers to onions and bacon to soften before adding to pot.


This could serve as a vegetarian main course without the bacon.  But I like them best as a side dish.  In fact, they would go nicely with my Leftover Pork Roast Enchiladas.  Enjoy!!


Butterflied Baked Chicken

I like baked chicken a lot, and I fix chicken in a lot of different ways.  One thing I don’t like about baking a whole chicken is the juices that collect inside the chicken that take so long to be cooked.  At times most of the chicken is done, but there are still just barely warm juices inside and the meat next to the thigh bone is still raw.  There is an easy way to eliminate that, and it makes for a better, juicier chicken.  If you don’t have to cook the chicken longer to get the thighs fully cooked then the white meat doesn’t dry out.

Butterflied Chicken - 9

It isn’t hard to do this.  All it involves is removing the backbone. You’ll need a pair of kitchen shears to do the job easily, but you can use a wicked sharp knife if you don’t have shears.  The advantage to shears is the serrations on the sides of the blades hold the meat in place as you cut.  And it is harder to cut your own fingers too.

Butterflied Chicken - 2

So you start with a beautiful 4-5 pound chicken, after all, we want the leftovers for chicken soup and great sandwiches.

Butterflied Chicken - 1

Flip it over. Start by cutting down the side of the backbone, releasing the thigh bone from the socket as you get to it. Butterflied Chicken - 3

Continue up the side to the neck cavity.

Butterflied Chicken - 4

Repeat for the other side and remove the backbone.  Lift the rib sections with your fingers and remove.  Then flip the chicken over and press down on the center of the breastbone from the front with the heel of your hand to flatten it. You will hear it break.  If you want, you can remove the wishbone too, but I leave it in.

Butterflied Chicken - 5

Place it on a rack over a large pan to catch the drippings.  Turn the thighs so the bones face outward for even cooking.  Turn the wing tips under.

Butterflied Chicken - 6

Add herbs and spices to your liking to the skin.  You can add herbs under the skin as well if you like.  Sometimes I use basil leaves and orange zest – really good!!  Today was lemon-pepper, garlic salt, thyme and oregano.

Butterflied Chicken - 7

Bake with the legs toward the back of the oven at 350 degrees for about one hour for a 4 pound chicken.  A little more or less for weights greater or less than 4 pounds.  It will only be 5-7 minutes difference for a 1/4 pound weight variance.

Butterflied Chicken - 8

Beautiful, browned, fragrant chicken with moist white meat.  The added benefit is there is more crackly skin since it isn’t sitting in its own juices.  Also, most of the excess fat is now at the bottom of the pan.

Butterflied Chicken - 10

An added benefit of cooking a whole chicken this way is the bones get some exposure to the oven heat while roasting.  When you use them with the leftover bits in a soup or stew, the flavor is enhanced just that much more.  Chicken and dumplings next for these cooler evenings.  Yum!!

Have you ever cooked a chicken this way?  What do you like to do with your leftovers?