Whether you already live at Kissing Tree or you’re just exploring our amazing active adult community, you can probably tell that we’re crazy about good food! In fact, Foodies are one of our four Tribes here at Kissing Tree! One of the best things about our Tribes is that you don’t have to limit yourself to just one—you can join the Foodie’s for a Craft Beer group on Thursday and then play pickleball with the Champs on Friday. Just make sure you drink plenty of water in between!
In a group that includes wine lovers, craft beer enthusiasts, restaurant lovers and former chefs, our Foodies are constantly getting together to share stories, cooking tips and, best of all, recipes. And when we put out the call for Kissing Tree recipes, y’all jumped right in! We got a bunch of our favorites from our former resident chef, Chef Kirk, as well as some family favorites from some of our local Foodies.
Former Chef Kirk’s Pimento Cheese
Cream cheese – 1 ½ lb. softened
Red bell peppers – 4 ea.
Jalapenos – 4 ea.
Mayonnaise – 1 cup
Worcestershire – 1 Tbsp
Black pepper – 2 tsp.
Shredded cheddar/ jack mix- 10 cups
- Roast bell peppers and jalapenos on open flame until flesh is dark and removable.
- Place bell peppers and jalapenos in a container or stainless bowl and cover for a couple of minutes to steam.
- While they are steaming, add cream cheese to stand mixer with paddle attachment and whip for 5 to 10 minutes. Scrape down sides a few times. Cheese is ready when it has increased in volume and is fluffy.
- Remove cover from bell peppers and jalapenos and run cold water over them to stop cooking. Peel and de-seed them running under cold water and place in strainer to let excess water run off. Then dry them with a towel.
- Add mayo, Worcestershire and pepper to cream cheese and mix well.
- Julienne peppers and jalapenos the length of the pepper, then dice across.
- Add cheddar jack. Mix in several batches till all cheese is in.
- Add bell peppers and jalapenos to mixture and mix till all ingredients come together. (DO NOT OVER MIX CHEESE, BREAKING IT UP MORE WILL MAKE THE RECIPE TO DENSE.)
Former Chef Kirk’s Texas Chex Party Mix
Rice Chex – 1 box
Corn Chex – 1 box
Pretzel sticks – 1 bag
Goldfish – I box
Fritos – I bag
Cheerios – 1 box
Peanuts unsalted – 1 container
Pecans (optional) – 2 lbs
Bacon grease – ½ cup
Margarine – 4 ounces
Worcestershire – 2 Tbsp
Tabasco or other Cajun hot sauce – 2 Tbsp
Seasoned salt – 1 tsp
Garlic salt – 2 tsp
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Add all dry ingredients to large mixing bowl and toss together.
- Slowly drizzle with wet mixture and toss lightly
- Spread out on baking sheets and place in oven.
- Cook for 1 hour total, removing from oven every 15 minutes to stir
- Remove from oven and place on counter to cool.
Former Chef Kirk’s Chicken Wings
Chicken wings – 20 lbs
Water – ½ gallon
White sugar – ½ cup
Kosher salt – ½ cup
Lone star beer – 6 pack
- First, mix warm water, salt and sugar together and whisk well to dissolve.
- Let mixture cool down, then add beer.
- Pour mixture over wings in a large container and place in refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, drain liquid off wings and place in 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until about 90% cooked.
- Remove from oven and let slightly cool.
- At this point, you can either fry at 350 degrees till crispy, or put back in oven at a higher temperature to get crispy, or cook in an air fryer to get crispy.
- Toss in sauce of your choice and serve.
Chef Kirk’s Buffalo Wing Sauce
Franks hot sauce – 2 cups
Cajun chef hot sauce – 1 cup
Unsalted butter – I lb.
Sweet baby rays wing sauce – 1 cup
- Place butter in a saucepan and melt over low heat. Do not brown.
- Once butter is melted, add other ingredients with butter.
- Pour into a container and blend with stick blender.
- If you don’t have a stick blender, use a regular blender to combine all sauces.
- Keep warm to toss wings.
Copper Pennies by Gwendolyn Walsh, Mother of Larry Walsh
2 lbs carrots, scrape, slice and boil in salted water, drain well
1 green pepper, chopped
1 purple onion, sliced into rings
1 can tomato soup
½ c. cooking oil
1 c. sugar
¾ c. vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt & pepper to taste
Mix all sauce ingredients, bring to a boil. Cook approximately 10-12 minutes. Pour the sauce over the hot carrots, then cool (NOT in the refrigerator). After they cool at room temperature, it can be stored in the fridge. Keeps for weeks.
Daddy’s Fried Green Tomatoes by Kris Walsh’s Father
Slice about 3 or 4 tomatoes about 3/8” thick.
Put ½ cup or a little more of oil in a skillet.
In a bowl, put a cup of corn meal, 1 ½ tablespoons flour, salt & pepper
Put slices of tomato in cornmeal one at a time, coating on both sides.
Fry in oil until brown on both sides.
DON’T HAVE YOUR OIL OVERLY HOT.
Orange Slice Cake, by Kris Walsh’s Mother
1 lb. candy orange slices
8 oz. dates, cut fine
1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
½ cup sifted flour
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
2 ½ cups sifted flour
½ tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
For orange glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 small can frozen orange juice, thawed
Add the ½ cup flower to orange slices, dates, coconut and pecans. Stir until coated.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, beating after each one. Blend in vanilla and salt. Combine baking soda and buttermilk and add alternately with flour. Add fruit and nut mixture. Bake in a greased, floured pan at 325 degrees for 1.5 hours. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. While cake is still warm, drizzle orange glaze on.
I use a tube cake pan. If you don’t want that much, you can cut the recipe in half.
Shrimp and Pasta with Creole Cream Sauce by Charlotte Fiese
1.5 lbs medium-size fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined (thawed frozen shrimp can be substituted)
2 tsp. Creole seasoning
12 ounces uncooked penne pasta
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
4 green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 cups whipped cream
1 tsp. hot sauce
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Toss shrimp with creole seasoning and set aside.
Prepare pasta according to the package directions; drain and keep warm.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or just until shrimp turns pink. Remove shrimp from skillet.
Add onions and garlic to skillet; sauté 2-3 minutes or until tender.
Reduce heat to medium; stir in cream and hot sauce.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly 8-10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.
Stir in shrimp and parsley.
Toss with pasta. Sprinkle evenly with parmesan cheese.
Serves 4. Double recipe for a larger number of guests.
Irish Potato Soup by Charlotte Fiese
¼ – ½ cup butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 large baked potatoes, peeled and diced
14.5 ounces chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
Sauté onions, celery and garlic in butter. Add chicken broth and simmer.
Add peeled and diced potatoes to broth mixture.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil and then simmer 15 minutes.
Optional: Garnish with cheese, bacon, chives, and dollop of sour cream.
Optional: Add cooked peas and carrots.
Chuck’s Banana-Nut Bread by Donna Vail Newman
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs beaten
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda, dissolved in the buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 or 5 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 5 x 9 inch loaf pans.
Mix sugars, flour, and baking powder in large bowl until well blended and set aside.
Mix eggs, baking soda dissolved in buttermilk, and vanilla in medium mixing bowl and blend thoroughly.
Add bananas and nuts to wet ingredients and stir.
Make a well in center of dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients, stirring just enough to moisten dry ingredients.
Spoon batter into pans.
Bake until bread pulls away from sides of pan, turns golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in middle comes out almost clean, about 35 to 45 minutes. The timing will depend on the number of bananas used.
Get to cooking, y’all! Thanks to everyone who shared recipes, and the next time you see Chef Kirk, Larry, Kris, Donna, or Charlotte, be sure to ask them about the stories behind all these yummy meals and treats.