Why is it so hard to color in the lines all of the time? Sometimes it’s just too much to bear and ya just have to scribble in a wild color all over the page…and that is exactly what I did over the long holiday weekend.
Did anyone else wake up this morning feeling like a big fat baby back rib?
Let me illustrate…Friday night…chocolate chocolate chocolate…Saturday…too many boiled peanuts to count while out on the lake followed by hot dogs, corn on the cob, Cajun baked beans and blue cheese cold slaw punctuated with vinegar pie and fresh berries…Sunday….pork chops, mashed potatoes and lemon berry cake which I made and sampled a significant amount of batter from the bowl…and for the grand finale…..July 4th….breakfast began with homemade french toast,,,,club wrap with bacon-served with french fries..more boiled peanuts….and another cookout with buffalo chicken dip, homemade cheese biscuits, ribs, baked beans, slaw and fresh watermelow…did I mention a lot of wine, vodka sodas and a few beers? Oh my…I so wish I hadn’t written this out. *This post brought to you by Tums!
Feeling a little guilty, not to mention a little pressure on my stomach, I was anxious to get to hot yoga this afternoon to sweat it out. Did I mention that those ribs and boiled peanuts were much more delightful going in than coming out. OUCH…my body is protesting my irreverent behavior.
Note to self…color in the lines next holiday.
As if the thermometer on your car didn’t give you a big enough clue…summer is here. In honor of the heat…I mean the first day of summer, C. and I had the best summer dinner imaginable. If I could eat summer style all year I’d be so happy…and skinny. The juicy sweet peaches, the tangy tomatoes and the slimy but oh so delish okra. Man….can’t get better than that. Tonight, after a long day in the office, we had a simple summer supper – grilled mahi, a tomato, corn, basil relish and fresh avocado. Dessert- the sweetest watermelon imaginable.
I can remember how drastically our childhood summer supper menu changed from the menu the other nine months of the year. We would often just have veggies for dinner…always fresh…always from either a local farm or from Dad’s garden. Growing up in a small southern town, fresh veggies were always available and were meant to be shared with neighbors.
This is probably foreign to you city slickers….My grandmother used to “put up” vegetables in the summer. Bags and bags of zip locks filled with corn and peas and butter beans…Can you even imagine shucking all that corn and then cutting off the husk? Or shelling peas…how dreadful. Guess that is why sitting on the front porch rocking and shelling was so popular. A different time we live in today…but the same summer flavor creates special memories.
What’s your favorite summer food?
Time to come out of hibernation. The birds are chirping a little more brightly and yellow bells are announcing Spring is here! So happy to see fresh asparagus, strawberries and sugar snap peas lining the shelves in the produce section.
In honor of Spring I made a yummy, low fat, good for you appetizer for our supper club cook out. I made it up this afternoon in three shakes of a jiffy!
AG’s Happy Spring Dip
8 oz plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 pack of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
Mix together…and presto a delish dip for all of the fresh Spring veggies.
I have always been a bit obsessed with things that are old, things that have served another purpose…things that have a story to tell. And I am a firm believer that everything in my home should be beautiful and should reflect our lifestyle. If I don’t love it and it doesn’t work for us…it’s outta here! If you have journeyed through our home renovation, you know what I mean…from rusted bird-cage lighting in the kitchen to an 1800’s pine mantel in my living room, I love old things.
It seems like a natural progression to move from the antique stores to Goodwill. Yep. That’s right. Goodwill. There I said it. I have become a Goodwill shopper (Inspired by my historical preservationist friend RCR!). I’d like to say that this new hobby came out of necessity. But it didn’t. It’s more about the quest, the history, the thrill of the hunt! I could go to pottery barn to buy a lamp (and I have and probably will again), but how fun to find a lamp or a painting or other accessory at Goodwill. There’s a story for sure!
Yesterday, I didn’t set out to find these amazing pottery bowls, because Lord knows…I don’t need another bowl (I probably have a hundred!) But I just couldn’t resist. They look so fab with my Vietri brown and black pottery. AND they were perfect for the Gumbo I served for last night’s cold rainy get together with friends.
So here they are! I purchased all four for $6.50. They are handmade and include the potter’s stamp. I’ll have to ask my friend E.F. if they are “fine” pottery! Why in the world would someone part with these?
Regardless, their loss is certainly my gain. These little darlings are fabulous. Won’t you join me for a bowl of soup?
And if you think I was clever enough to dream up shopping at Goodwill and Craig’s list for home decor…I am flattered but you are mistaken. I have become a blog junkie for several design inspiring blogs including Apartment Therapy http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ and Mr. Goodwill Hunting http://mrgoodwillhunting.blogspot.com/
I love a plate of good southern vegetables. I don’t even need meat when my plate is filled with yummy southern veggies-fried okra, corn, butter beans, collards, sweet potatoes, field peas and much much more. My grandmother’s country cookin’ was the best. No one….I mean no one could ever cook collards (Collard Greens) quite the way she did…not to mention the spicy sweet chow chow that she made to top the greens.
We all have comfort foods and we use those comfort foods to soothe our souls. I don’t feel anything real stressful or challenging…yet I am craving comfort foods. Cookies yesterday, southern veggies today.
My schedule was stacked so I didn’t have much time to pursue lunch, yet I couldn’t quite shake the veggie craving. I pass by an S&S cafeteria everyday on my way in for lunch- though I have never eaten there, so I decided to give it a shot. Not too far from the office and an easy place for take out. I ordered a plate with four veggies- green beans, collards, fried green tomatoes and squash casserole. They were out of the fried green tomatoes so I subbed for cooked cabbage.
Oh dear….perhaps it was because it was after 1:00 before I could get out for lunch, BUT these were the WORST, MUSHY, overcooked, over salted veggies I have ever tasted. I’d like to think my standards are too high, but it had been so long since I’ve had a veggie plate such as this, I feel certain I wasn’t being overly picky.
Now I know that a cafeteria is designed for the blue hairs and they probably eat around 11…but seriously this place should have been flat out embarrassed to serve up a plate such as this. Only a few bites taken and I was finishing out my lunch with Halloween candy. Candy corn is considered a veggie right?
No one will ever be able to cook up veggies quite like my Momo…so I guess my comfort food cravings will have to be satisfied with precious memories of days spent with her shucking corn and making peach preserves!
Crazy cookie craving. Can’t seem to get enough carbs. I tried an “everything but the kitchen sink” cookie from the Fresh Market today. I wonder if they have a recipe or if they really just throw a bunch of leftover stuff together. So this cookie had white chocolate, milk chocolate, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, raisins, oatmeal and maybe other things I didn’t recognize. Very interesting. It was quite tasty. I loved the combo of nuts. How often do we get cookies with all kinds of nuts? Love the savory and the sweet. Stop by the Fresh Market for a sweet treat and an unexpected surprise!
Have you ever noticed that pumpkin is added to virtually everything in the Fall? There is pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pound cake, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin sorbet…and I just discovered chipotle pumpkin salsa. The moment I saw it, I knew I needed to try it. Not simply because it was “pumpkin salsa” but because it was made by Rick Bayless, a James Beard chef who specializing in Mexican cuisine. AND whose restaurant, Topolobampo, is on my Chicago bucket list.
I wasn’t really sure what this pumpkin orange salsa would taste like. The smokey chipoltle peppers gave the salsa a rich campfire aroma and the flavor was an interesting combo of tangy tomatillos and earthy pumpkin. This salsa definitely had some kick and was a little too rich to be just consumed as a dipping salsa. It really needed to accompany and slow roasted pork tenderloin or a lean flank steak. The pepper flavor lingered like fireworks in my mouth-a delish celebration of Fall.
Oui. Avec gas. I think it took weeks in France to figure out exactly what the waiter meant when they blurted out something about gas. But once I figured out what he meant…there was no turning back. Today, I only drink water with gas when dining out. For some reason those little bubbles just make everything taste better. Perhaps it is a memory association with my glory days in southern France.
Anyway- I don’t usually like fruit flavored water. But, of course in my quest to try something new, I found myself staring at a variety of Perrier waters. I chose the most outrageous flavor possible- pamplemousse rose also known as pink grapefruit. And actually the flavor was quite refreshing. A bit of a tangy kick and a mild citrus whim.
I would never in a million years have thought to pair pork chops with a plum sauce. But chef C did! I must have a plan when I head into the grocery store. I usually have an idea of what I will cook for the entire week and I go to the grocery store once a week. But this week, was a little crazy and my plans didn’t work out. So I sent C to pick something up. He came home with pork chops and two plums. I was skeptical. He peel diced and purreed the plums. He then cooked them down and created a plum curry sauce to top the grilled pork chops. FABULOUS. How does he know how to make these pairings? I am amazed!
I can remember the first time I tried thai food. I met my most worldly friend (Roniaml that is you!) out for dinner in DC’s trendy neighborhood Adams Morgan. I can’t remember the name of the restaurant. It was a hole in the wall kind of place. The place that only real locals dine. It was love at first bite. I am a huge thai fan. I think because I love the juxtaposition of sweet basil and spicey chilis. I dream of a visit to Thailand to taste the cuisine in its native land. I am always weary of the American places. So today, I tried a new Thai place here in Gville. I had a garlic pepper chicken dish…sicey level four out of ten. I give it a C. Atmosphere was decent. Service was good. However I think I could have made this dish at home with a little more personality and blending of spices. Perhaps I made a bad selection…I should have had curry.