Cheatham’s family syrups key in meals

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Dekota Cheatham has been spending weekends poolside with her 1-year-old daughter Roma Jane and husband Daniel. 

She and her husband were high school sweethearts. The Cheethams live in Philadelphia close to both his family and her own. 

"It's a blessing that we all live close together," Cheatham said. 

Cheatham works at East Central Community College, where she teaches biology. She enjoys her working atmosphere and teaching older students because of their independence. 

Cheatham also runs the retail side of Anthony's Syrup Co., which is the business of her mother and father, John and Renee Anthony. The family original syrup recipes were passed down through the generations. 

Cheatham said one of the recipes was named after her when she was born, and she is hoping to develop one to be named for her daughter. 

Cheatham likes to learn new recipes with the family syrups. For example, Cheatham uses her a recipe known as Uncle John’s Molasses in her glazed brussels sprout recipe. 

One day she plans to do a cookbook about the different ways to use molasses and cane syrup for cooking. One way she likes to cook with those ingredients is by using them as rubs for meats. 

Cheatham grew up watching her grandmother, Mattie Jane Myers, cook. However, Cheatham said she never really put her cooking skills to the test until she moved to Starkville for school. That is when she learned how to cook different types of food. 

Cheatham said her daughter loves pesto pasta and a flatbread pizza Cheatham makes also using pesto. The Cheatham family also enjoys having friends and family over for crawfish boils. 

This summer, the Cheathams plan on going to the lake in their boat. Cheatham will still be teaching this summer, but the classes will be online, she said. The family is happy that the weather is warm, and they are getting to watch their daughter enjoy spending time at the pool and being outdoors with them.

CHICKEN PESTO SALAD

• Rotini pasta

• 8 ounce jar of Pesto

• 1 cup of Heavy cream (may add more as needed)

• 2-3 Chicken breast

• 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan

• Salt and Pepper

While pasta cooks, season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in pan and sear chicken until it's completely done. Turn the stove off for a moment and remove pan from eye. Remove chicken from pan and cut into cubes. Turn the stove eye back on to low heat. In the cooled pan, add pesto and heavy cream. (Be careful not to scorch it.) Allow sauce to simmer on low for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add drained noodles and chicken back to pan with sauce. Mix together and sprinkle with grated parmesan. Warm until Parmesan is melted.

MAPLE PECAN CAKE WITH ICING

Cake:

• 6 tbsp Unsalted Butter (room temperature)

• 2/3 cup Vegetable Oil

• 2 cup Sugar

• 1 tbsp Vanilla extract

• 2 2/3 Cup + 2 tbsp. All Purpose Flour

• 1 tbsp baking powder

• 1 tsp salt

• 1 cup milk (room temperature)

• 6 eggs (room temperature)

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare cake pans by lining the bottom with parchment and generously greasing/flouring them. In stand mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add oil and sugar and beat until all ingredients are well-combined and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally and then stir in vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Turn mixer to a medium speed and alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk to the butter mixture making sure that all ingredients are well combined before adding the next. Be sure to start and end with flour. In a separate bowl use a mixer to beat egg whites to peak texture. Carefully fold egg whites into batter being careful not to overmix. Pour mixture into cake pans and cook for 35-40 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test. Allow cakes to cool completely before icing them.

Icing:

• 2 cups unsalted butter (room temperature)

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 6 cups powdered sugar

• 6 tbsp heavy cream

• 2 tbsp vanilla extract

• 1/2 cup chopped pecans

• 3 tbsp Anthone's Maple Flavored Syrup

Beat butter with electric mixer until creamy. Sprinkle salt over butter and combine. Gradually add powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time, making sure it is completely mixed before adding more. With mixer on medium-low speed, add heavy cream one tablespoon at a time. Add Maple syrup. Once ingredients are well incorporated, increase speed to high and beat for 30 seconds. and Vanilla Extract and stir together. Ice cooled cakes, putting chopped pecans between each layer and on the top of the cake. Add a drizzle of Anthone's syrup over the top.

GLAZED BRUSSEL SPORUTS

• 2 shallots, minced

• cubed bacon

• 1/4 cup light brown sugar

• 3 spoonfuls of Uncle John's Molasses

• 1 tbsp Coconut oil

• Chopped Pecans (optional)

• Minced rosemary

• Roasted Brussels sprouts

To roast Brussels sprouts, heat pan to 400. Half sprouts and lay out on pan. Toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook until lightly browned (about 20 minutes) For glaze: add coconut oil to a hot skillet. When melted, add bacon pieces. Brown bacon and add minced shallots. After 1 minute, add brown sugar and molasses. Cook until bubbles are dime-size. Add rosemary and pecans to finish. Toss sprouts with glaze and serve.


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