Parts Is Parts Venison Stew

Venison Stew

My husband is a hunter.  It’s his hobby, pastime, passion.  He brings home the bacon in both senses.  And I like the idea of getting some of our meat from the wild instead of a grocery store.

I was raised, however, in the era of the cleaned and washed, plastic wrapped, part-labeled meat package.  Very neat and tidy with no confusion as to what piece of meat you have.  To my dismay, the person who does the packaging of the meat my husband brings him is not too concerned with which part is which, there are no labels at all.  Obviously, to him “parts is parts”.

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Barefoot Bloggers Cheese, Cheese And More Cheese

cheese platter

The summer my husband and I got married, we went on a trip to Paris.  I was in food heaven.  Crusty bread with every meal, wine all the time, and cheese, cheese, and more cheese.  At restaurants the waiters would come around with the cheese tray so you could pick which cheeses you wanted and they would just slice some onto your plate to eat with your crusty bread.  It was cheese bliss.

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Rapper GP Turkey Olive Panini

Olive Turkey Panini

We have what I call a small zoo at our house.  Two dogs, a bunny and a guinea pig that all eat, drink and make waste, to put it mildly.  The kids have to be reminded quite often who these animals belong to and whose responsibility they are.  We have threatened to give away said animals quite often, also.  But as I was looking through my photos this weekend, I discovered that the animals do find a way to get a little attention.  This was just too funny not to share. Continue reading

Furniture City Olive Dip

Olive Dip

Most days I would rather just have a plate full of different appetizers than a main dish.  What I like most about going to parties is getting to do just that, and being able to see what kinds of new things are available.  Just when you think you’ve seen it all, someone brings something like Captain’s Wafers wrapped in bacon and Parmesan cheese, or cream cheese covered with caramel and toffee bits, or chocolate chip cheese ball. Continue reading

Barefoot Bloggers Easy Sticky Buns

Sticky Bun

You know how it goes.  You’ve made something really yummy and the last one is waiting at home for you after you’ve say, taken the kids to school in the wee hours of the morning, or worked all day, or worked out extra hard, etc.  Then when you finally get to the kitchen to sit down and enjoy your treat, all you find is AN EMPTY PLATE. Continue reading

Peace

World Peace Cookies

In honor of the Inauguration yesterday, I baked up a batch of World Peace Cookies.  If only baking cookies could solve the problems of the world…

Our new President has a hard road ahead and I, like everyone, hope he is what America needs to get us through.  In the meantime, bake some cookies for you and yours and spread some peace in your own corner of the world. Continue reading

No Glue Guacamole

Guacamole

We live in a small town on the outskirts of a larger metropolitan area.  Since we moved here just about a year and a half ago, many restaurants have come and gone.  A pizzeria, two delis, an Italian restaurant, a country kitchen, and a bar and grill have all closed.  We still have a barbecue place, a chicken shack, two bar and grills, and a southern style restaurant, along with the usual smattering of fast food and pizza chains.  But the restaurants that really do the business here are the Mexican and Chinese places.  There are at least three Chinese restaurants that I can think of, and there may be more hidden somewhere in the strip malls.  I have to admit that I haven’t been to any of them, and not for any reason in particular, but I’ve heard they are all pretty good.  A new Mexican restaurant just opened up last week, which is really a good thing, since the other one is packed every night of the week.  I have been to both of these, and I can say they are both pretty good, too.  I just have one complaint. Continue reading

What’s The Deal? Weekend Harvest Grain Wheat Baguette

whole-grain-baguette1

What is the deal with this cold weather??  “Arctic air mass drives through the south” says one TV station.  Wrap water pipes, leave faucets dripping, cover outside plants?  What?  It’s not very often that my part of the south hears things like this and that’s one of the reasons I like it here so much.  Long summers and mild winters are right up my alley.  But I guess we need some below freezing weather every once in a while to kill all the mosquitoes. Continue reading

Not Your Ordinary Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Even though it’s origins are in New York, cream cheese is something the South has embraced as one of it’s favorite ingredients to elevate a recipe from really good to heavenly.  Think carrot or red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, or any other kind of layer cake, cupcake or sheet cake for that matter.  Think cream cheese pound cake, brownies, or pumpkin roll.  Think cheese balls and cream cheese dips of endless variations, and meat or vegetable casseroles.  Even cream cheese fruit and jello salads.  Throw some cream cheese in it and call it DUUN!

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Six Degrees of Martha Stewart Cheese Grits

Cheddar Grits With Roasted Vegetables and Egg

When I used to live in the “Furniture Capital of the US”, I was invited to the premiere of Martha Stewart’s furniture line at one of the showrooms there.  I’m not really sure how I ended up on the guest list, and I thought it was a joke at first, but I RSVP’d for me and my guest and my mother and I dressed up and went.  As we sat there with all the furniture buyers and sellers, we realized listening to Martha speak that she actually has a really good sense of humor.  She is actually very funny in person, something my mom and I agreed wasn’t displayed in her television shows. Continue reading

Tickle Your Taste Buds Crispy Apricot Pork Chops

Crispy Pork Chops

I have read that children have a greater number and more sensitive taste buds than adults.  I have also seen it noted that it can take a child anywhere from 10 to 20 tries of a new food before they develop a taste for the food.  Also, around the age of seven is when children begin to be more open to the idea of trying new foods.  Lucky for me, my children have just arrived at that magical age!  Not so lucky for them, I now get to flex my wings and dive into the vast expanse of the produce section.

Gone are the canned green beans and frozen corn.  Today there will be eggplant, zucchini, arugula, butternut squash and even (gasp) turnips!  Beans of every variety and melon and grapefruit.  I might only be able to convince them to taste one bite, but that’ll do for now. Continue reading

What’s The Dill Potatoes

Dill Potatoes

I have often wondered what the deal is with going into a store looking for some help, only to find that all the employees of said store have gone to lunch/gone on break/mysteriously disappeared/were never there in the first place.  Recently I went to a major home improvement store to buy some light fixtures.  After a long dialogue with myself and my daughter about which fixtures to buy and a lot of putting things in and taking them out of my cart, I finally made a decision.  Then I realized that the last one I needed was on the VERY TOP SHELF. Continue reading

A Tale Of Two Toffees

Two Toffee Brownies

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities

It could have been much worse of course, but the wind storm we had really made a mess of my car.  A tree fell and the top half flew onto my car.  Crazy.  Lots of dents and cracks and broken things.  I hope falling trees are not going to become a pattern.

The question is, what does one do when such a depressing, frustrating thing happens?  Go for a jog?  Do some yoga?  Scream at the top of one’s lungs?  Well, I chose to bake brownies.  Not just one, mind you, but two kinds of brownies to help ease my mind. Continue reading

Barefoot Bloggers Banana Sour Cream Pancakes

Banana Sour Cream Pancakes

*There was no entry yesterday since high winds and rain caused a loss of cable and internet service and a tree to fall on my vehicle.  No kidding.  More on that subject tomorrow.

Today is about pancakes, one of my cooking obsessions.  I’m not sure when my obsession started, possibly when I got married and realized I would be making them every weekend forever.  Or it could have to do with my perfectionist tendencies and the fact that I can’t be satisfied with good or even great.  I need to hear “these are the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten!” Continue reading

Sage Advice From An Eight-Year-Old & The Best Bloody Mary

The Best Bloody Mary

Let’s talk New Year’s resolutions.  I, personally, find it helpful to make them.  Usually by the end of the year I am sliding down the slippery slope of not-so-healthy eating, disorganization, and crazy stress from the holidays.  Resolutions help me get back on track.  I don’t make strict rules like “no sugar” or “loose 10 pounds” or “exercise every single day” because I just don’t have that much willpower.  My resolutions always start with TRY. Continue reading

You Say Peecan and I Say Pahcahn Shortbread

Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread

It’s the most famous nut in the south, with the most variations on how to pronounce its name.  I tend to change the way I say it depending on where I am.  With my family in NC – PEECAHN.  With my family in SC – PEECAN.  With the girls in the Junior League – PAHCAHN.  It’s all the same to me, and the pecan is probably the nut I choose first for my recipes.  They are so good just off the trees in the fall, and they freeze well, too.  And when you toast them, it takes them to another level. Continue reading

Peanut Butter of the South Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese and Bacon Sandwich

North Carolina author Reynolds Price once wrote about pimento cheese:  “…it was the peanut butter of my childhood–homemade by mother…I’ve been caught eating a pound in two days (though it keeps well), especially if life is hard.”  We definitely had peanut butter in our house growing up, and still do, but pimento cheese (we call it PUHMINNA cheese) was and is my “stand at the sink” sandwich of choice.  I can eat it as an appetizer, on top of my burgers, in between two slices of white bread, and lately as my favorite version with bacon and tomato (if it’s summer) on whole wheat as pictured above. Continue reading

Back From the Black Hole Tomato and Olive Pasta

tomato and olive pasta

Our garage has turned into a black hole.  Like the washer and dryer that secretly steal single socks, the garage has been sucking things into the vast emptiness of oblivion, never to be seen again.  The tool box, the dog’s backpack, my Christmas china.

I blame this on the fact that we have moved twice in the past two years and on the moving company we used for our last move to try to save money.  JUST-PLAIN-SCARY.  However, during the transition we didn’t unpack all the boxes from the first move.  So I have also rediscovered things I forgot I had.  An ice cream maker, a gilt frame mirror, these soup/pasta bowls that go with my Christmas china. Continue reading

Chai Yai Yai! It’s Hot Toddy Time

Chai Yai Yai Cocktail

You know it’s going to be one of those days when your oatmeal boils over in the microwave, your printer refuses to print your Christmas card addresses in the center of the labels, you realize after signing, labeling, stamping and sealing one hundred and fifty Christmas cards that your husband put the stamps on the wrong side of the envelopes, and you get home to find your Christmas tree that was leaning slightly when you left has now FALLEN COMPLETELY TO THE FLOOR. Continue reading

A Fresh Start

I believe there are two categories of cooks – those who cook so others can enjoy the food, and those who cook so they can enjoy the food.  I happen to fall into the second category, so my family and friends are often served creations from my kitchen which incorporate my favorite food groups:  cheese, bread, and potatoes (preferably french fried), and we almost never have the same thing twice.  I always thought this was the case in every household until I met my mother-in-law, who will not eat anything made with cheese, mayonnaise, milk, or processed meat products.  I discovered this at our wedding shower when she didn’t eat, even though there was creamy olive dip, cocktail hot dogs, cucumber sandwiches with cream cheese, and chicken salad.  However, she makes some of the best homemade macaroni and cheese, ham salad, and cheesecake.  Go figure.  She once asked me if there was any food I didn’t like…I was stumped. Continue reading