Tag Archives: food

Autumn Pear and Cranberry Chopped Salad….

Autumn Chopped Salad

 IMG_6328

Ingredients:
6 to 8 cups of Chopped Romaine Lettuce
2 medium pears, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans
8 slices thick-cut bacon (applewood) crisp and crumbled
4 to 6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
Poppy Seed Dressing
Balsamic Vinaigrette (I like Newman’s Own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette)

IMG_6330

Directions:

On a large platter, combine lettuce, pears, cranberries, pecans, bacon and feta cheese.  Drizzle generously with poppy seed dressing, followed by some of the balsamic vinaigrette. (I would estimate that I used about a cup of dressing…70% poppy seed dressing and 30 percent balsamic vinaigrette).  Toss and serve immediately!

IMG_6329

Delicious!

IMG_6331

Leave a comment

Filed under All Things Foodie, Food and Wine, Healthy Living

Recipe: Southern Black Eyed Peas…

Southern Black Eyed Peas…

photo 5

I have read numerous cookbooks and food blogs looking for a suitable recipe for our family’s New Years Day dinner.  There are dozens if not hundreds of recipes available.  I searched until I found a couple that had the ingredients that sounded good to me and created my own recipe.

photo 1 (3)

Don’t let the number of ingredients listed deter you from trying this recipe…It’s easier than it looks and delicious!

photo 2 (3)

Ingredients:

1# dry black-eyed peas, washed and picked
1/4 # of bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
3 qts of chicken stock (sodium free), heated and set aside
2 pinches of kosher salt
1/2 tsp of black pepper
1 tbsp of Cajun seasoning, Tony Chachere’s salt free
3 Bay Leaves
2 jalapeno, sliced
1 # pork sausage, hot and spicy

photo 4 (1)

Directions:

In a medium sauce pan heat the chicken stock and reserve for later.

Now, In a dutch oven or similar pot cook the diced bacon until browned but not crisp.  Next add the holy trinity; diced onion, bell pepper and celery to the bacon and cook until wilted.  Add diced garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Add rinsed black-eyed peas to veggie mixture and stir thoroughly for 3-4 minutes.  Begin adding the hot chicken stock to the peas and veggies (reserve 2 cups of liquid, you will probably need it later)..next add the salt, pepper, jalapeno, bay leaves and seasoning. Bring the pot to a roiling boil, reduce the heat and simmer partially covered.  Cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes. In a separate pan, crumble and brown the pork sausage.  Drain the fat and set the sausage aside until needed.

photo 2 (4)

After the peas have cooking for an hour you may need to add more chicken stock if the mixture has gotten too thick.  Also add the cooked pork sausage stir and  continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes.  Now it’s time to make your cornbread or rice whichever you prefer to serve with your black-eyed peas.

Due to my Southern heritage, I would normally choose rice over anything else …growing up in the south rice is as common on the dinner table as salt and pepper…however, you may want to forgo the rice with this dish so that you can enjoy more of the peas. Yes they are that good…and filling!

Now it’s time to Enjoy!

photo 1 (2)

3 Comments

Filed under All Things Foodie

New Years Day, Food for the Soul…

The New Years Day menu is steeped in age-old tradition as well as a little bit of superstition.  I don’t go in for superstition but I am big on traditions…and of course the one tradition that seems to unite the world is one that is tied to food.

Food for the Soul…Black eyed peas, cabbage and ham or symbols of luck, prosperity, wealth and health.  It seems that the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Years Day began in the South in the 1860′s.  However, black-eyed peas have been part of the Jewish celebration Rosh Hoshana for hundreds of years.

photo 1 (2)

Our traditional New Year’s Day dinner included; Southern Black Eyed Peas, Grilled Cabbage, Jalapeno Deer Sausage and Cornbread.

Rabbit Trail….

“Although the terms soul and spirit are sometimes used interchangeably, soul may denote a more worldly and less transcendent aspect of a person. According to psychologist James Hillman, soul has an affinity for negative thoughts and images, whereas spirit seeks to rise above the entanglements of life and death.”

Tying it all together…

If in fact our Soul has an affinity for negative thoughts and images what better way to overcome it than to rise above the entanglements of life than by lifting our Spirits by enjoying good food that represents good luck, prosperity, wealth and health…there definitely is no harm in it.

Wishing you and your family a very Happy, Healthy, Wealthy, and Prosperous New Year! 

3 Comments

Filed under All Things Foodie, Blogging Challenges

Photo a Day…

CORKS…

20131107-192302.jpg

Leave a comment

Filed under 2013 Photo Journal, Snapshots of Life

CUPCAKES…

I have often wondered when did we go crazy for cupcakes?  Personally I have been enjoying cupcakes since my Mom packed that adorable Hostess chocolate cupcake with the signature white squiggle in my lunch box.  But cupcakes are far from being a new treat…Cupcakes have been around since 1796.

Cupcakes became popular in the early 2000′s after Magnolia Bakery in New York was featured in “Sex and the City.”  Thanks to Carrie and Miranda we have been swept up in a cupcake whirlwind for over a decade…Cupcake are everywhere…their are cupcake shoppes, cupcake trucks, cupcake wars, and cupcake wedding cakes .

I love the entire cupcake experience…from walking into the bakery, standing in front of the display case,  imagining each flavor combination, visually devouring each cupcake, thinking of each of my guests and what they might enjoy and of course choosing a couple extras so that there will be leftovers.

Here are a couple of my choices from my last visit to our local cupcake shop…Rise!  Wicked Spice Cupcakes, cinnamon and spice cake brushed with butter, dipped in cinnamon sugar topped with cinnamon buttercream….They were the perfect compliment to our weekly gathering of friends.

Image

4 Comments

Filed under 2013 Photo Journal, All Things Foodie, Fall Time

Sweet…

Whenever I hear the word sweet I almost immediately think of something moist and rich and chocolatey.   The word sweet also conjures up visions of old-fashioned soda fountains, my favorite gelato shoppe or the local bakery cases filled with buttercream iced cupcakes, fluffy lemon meringue pies and  flakey coconut cakes.

There are other things that are sweet...rosey cheeked children when they are sleeping, adorable puppies and cute baby ducks.  There are flowers that have a sweet fragrance; jasmine, gardenia and roses. There are sweet friends and sweet shoes and really sweet cars…

Sometimes, the sweetest thing is something totally unexpected.  Something done for you by a complete stranger for no other reason than to create a special moment just for you.  There is no repayment required or expected…except for a smile and a nod of recognition for that which was done…

And so we were treated to just such a sweet unexpected surprise on Friday evening when a gathering of friends met for dinner at a Thai restaurant off the beaten path, Merlion…We were treated to the freshest ingredients available, the sweetest server within 50miles and the attention to detail that makes people feel special.  Image

Our table was dressed in the finest the season had to offer…there were fresh-cut hydrangea, sunflowers and wonderfully fragrant rose petals sprinkled down the center of the table.  As we were admiring the floral arrangement we noticed that our table was the only one that had received the special attention.  As the evening progressed we discovered that our sweet server was the co-owner and she had heard that we were celebrating a girls night out and had taken the time to dress our table…

By no means does the food take a back seat to the decor…on the contrary, this is the best Thai food this side of Thailand.  The ingredients are fresh and seasonal…the seafood is purchased from the local fisherman and the noodles are made daily. The dishes were a sexy combination of sweet and spicy…Merlion has most definitely made it on to my list of date night restaurants.

photo (80)

Leave a comment

Filed under 2013 Photo Journal, All Things Foodie, My Local Recommendations, Snapshots of Life

TV Dinner…

This was my dinner and I ate it in front of the TV… Voila a TV dinner!

TV Dinner

1 Comment

Filed under 2013 Photo Journal, All Things Foodie, Eat to Live

January Photo a Day 2013: Delicious

Still catching up…

Day 19. Delicious: What’s delicious to you? Is it the chubby cheeks of your toddler, the hunk at the gym or a cake you plan on eating for afternoon tea?

This ain’t your mama’s afternoon tea…This, my friends, is the dish that my husband requests that my parents make whenever we visit.  This is Deer Sauce Picante!  It is a wonderfully rich and delicious stew served over rice.

On our visit this January my Dad passed the baton to the next generation of family cooks.  We did all of the chopping, measuring, stirring and watching the pot come to a boil.  One would think the main ingredient in this dish is the deer meat.  It is a key ingredient but it is not what makes this dish.  The KEY ingredient in this dish is the black cast iron pot in which the stew is cooked.  More on that another time…

DSC00379
20. Something you saw: Go about your day with eyes wide open and take a photo of something you saw.
21. What you do: Do you go to school? Train elephants at the circus? Write at home? Play mum to your kids? Act as CEO to a big business? Paint in your spare time? Dance when no one is looking? Take a photo of what you do {something that makes you ‘you’} and share it.
22. Corner: It could be a sharp corner of a building, a corner of an artwork, a corner of your home or something else. Corners are everywhere. Shoot one.
23. Electric: This could be a simple photo of your toaster {but get creative} or something else electric.
24. Stripes: Look for stripes in your everyday. They could be in the zebra crossing on the road, or in your outfit or somewhere else.
25. Landscape: Step back and take a photo of a landscape near you. Or even take a little trip just for the photo. Would be nice to explore your town for a beautiful photo.
26. Together: There are many definitions for together. One is: In or into a single group, mass, or place. Take a photo of together, whichever definition you’d like to use.
27. Sun: Whether the sun is out in full force, or hiding behind the clouds today – take a photo of it. Or you could get creative and take a photo of sunlight or some other interpretation.
28. Through: Take a photo of looking through something – through the window, through the gate, through the trees… whatever you please.
29. Grow: People do it, plants do it too… get creative and take a photo of something that grows.
30. Down: Is it looking down or something that makes you feel down? Interpret it however you like.
31. Yourself: Take a photo of yourself. Or something that represents you.

1 Comment

Filed under 2013 Photo Journal, Blogging Challenges, Photo a Day Challenge

A Southern Tradition…

Did you welcome in the New Year by eating a traditional meal of cabbage and black-eyed peas?  We went with the traditional meal and we added a side of good ol’  Texas comfort food, smothered steak.  So according to the old wives tale we are almost guaranteed that 2013 will be filled with comfort, luck and prosperity…Just to clarify

Comfort – contented well-being, satisfying or enjoyable experience

Luck – a force that brings good fortune, the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual

Prosperity the condition of being successful or thriving; especially economic well-being

DSC00105

2 Comments

Filed under All Things Foodie, Life in Texas

Nostalgic Foods…Moon Pies!

Moon Pies…I remember eating and enjoying my fair share of moon pies during my youth.  They were included in my sack lunch from time to time as well as enjoyed as an after school snack.  I remember them being as large as a full moon.  I remember sometimes they would be smashed but that did keep me from breaking them apart and gobbling them down with ease…of course there was always a carton or glass of milk on the side. 

Now, I have not eaten or even thought about a moon pie in more than 20 years…so why all of sudden is my mind filled with images of moon pies?  I haven’t seen a moon pie commercial or overheard a conversation discussing the culinary delights of the moon pie.  I haven’t watched a food network expose on the making of the Original Moon Pie.  So what gives?  Whatever it is…it doesn’t really matter.

Just know that the moon pie is still alive and kicking…the original moon pie is available in vanilla, banana and chocolate.  Although I only remember eating the chocolate ones! But you don’t have to settle for the Original Moon Pie…made months ago, shipped from hundreds if not thousands of miles away to sit on a grocery store shelf for who knows how long before you end up purchasing it on a whim only to discover the expiration date is just a couple of weeks away…

NO! Instead if you check out Pinterest you can find several recipes for a yummy homemade version of this nostalgic food…some folks are incredibly creative and I am quite sure that a number of the recipes would make a delightful version of the moon pie…

However, when I think of nostalgic foods…my taste buds will not be satisfied until I have had that which my mind remembers…In the end I may or may not enjoy it as much but I will have appeased my taste for the original…So I am going to give the well-traveled shelf sitter its due.

2 Comments

Filed under All Things Foodie