Recent Posts

Restaurant Reviews

Holy Spear-it!

asparagusFresh asparagus always means the arrival of spring to me. Seeing the little shoots come up through the ground and trying to harvest them before they grow too large is a true indicator that warmer weather is on the way.

My mother always said that my grandmother could just toss asparagus seed along the fence row and they would come up.

We planted a patch in our backyard years ago and it produced for seasons and seasons.

I enjoy it steamed, roasted, grilled, almost anyway that it can be prepared. One of my favorite recipes is to wrap individual spears with bacon and oven roast them until they are crispy. A perfect treat with a cocktail!

Ah, the joys of Spring!

Restaurant Reviews

How are things in Guacamole?

Guac 1I never tasted an avocado until I moved out of Middle Tennessee and went to college in Florida. They just weren’t something we ate growing up. Mexican or Tex Mex food consisted mainly of the taco kits bought at Kroger. Yep.

Guacamole was a revelation in flavor to me. Salty, sour, bitter, smooth, earthy – all rolled into one and on a chip! With a margarita!

I first started making a version of guacamole dip when I was in college. Your basic guacamole cut with sour cream. It was usually the hit of the party and the first thing to go.

Now, I am must more of a traditionalist. I ride the cilantro lovers train. Table side preparation at restaurants is fun, if a bit hokey. But my favorite guac is from Chipotle. Yes, Chipotle. As that chain has lead the new trendy wave in fresh, fast casual dining, their guacamole is made fresh and is just simply delicious. I wish they gave you more with an order. That little bitty cup is not enough.

It is enjoyable to make guacamole at home. Fresh is always best. Buy your avocados days early so they can ripen and be perfect when you are ready to make it.

Here is my recipe:

3 very ripe Haas avocados
1 small Roma tomato, seeded and diced
Half of a small red onion, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1 fresh jalapeno, finely chopped
4 TBs of chopped fresh cilantro
The juice of a lime or lemon
1 strong pinch of cumin (I like the smoky background note!)
Salt and pepper to taste

Yes, I know this strays a little from the traditional, but hey, it is how I like it. I usually mash it all together with a potato masher or fork. Chunky works for me! It really doesn’t need to be too smooth. Am not ambitious enough to fry my own chips yet, but maybe someday.

Love it! Eat it!

Restaurant Reviews

Magnificence!

sunriseThis quote stuck with me this morning. Would that we all could know the magnificence in ourselves and each other. It is a wonderful world!

“I believe that you’re great, that there’s something magnificent about you. Regardless of what has happened to you in your life, regardless of how young or how old you think you might be, the moment you begin to think properly, this something that is within you, this power within you that’s greater than the world, it will begin to emerge. It will take over your life. It will feed you, it will clothe you, it will guide you, protect you, direct you, sustain your very existence. If you let it! Now that is what I know, for sure”
– Michael Beckwith

Restaurant Reviews

It’s never too early!

Yesterday, I began thedressing discussion about this next Thanksgiving, (Yes, I know it’s only April, but when your family has lost many members over the past few years, you look for new avenues to create new traditions. My family is spread out and older. We must start thinking about the holidays a lot earlier than we have in the past.)

 

As we were discussing what the menu would be for Turkey Day, the topic of dressing came up. You know what dressing is if you are from the South. Southerners only tolerate stuffing. Stuffing is mostly cooked inside the bird. Dressing is always cooked outside of the bird. And in a much more plentiful way. And it is just better. Period.

 

Recipes are tradition. They are a way to pass down family stories from generation to generation. I make dressing like my mother, who made it like her mother, who learned to make it from her African American maid, Lou.  Lou taught my grandmother how to cook. I grew up on some of the best soul food in the South. Those recipes are a large part of my culinary efforts today.

 

I began to find a love for cooking at a very young age. Cooking dressing was always in my arsenal, but years ago my mother taught me the secret to her dressing. You have to have enough moisture and let it cook for a long, long time. The crusty bits around the edges are the best part.

 

The seasonings, the aroma and the flavor of my family’s dressing are as much a part of my heritage as the wonderful stories that I learned of my relatives as a youth.

 

It is never too early to think about dressing!