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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Canned Goods for Sale!

I have 9 different varieties of canned goods for sale:
3 varieties of Pickles
2 varieties of relish
3 varieties of BBQ Sauce
1 type of Jam (I'll be adding another jam when my figs ripen)

If you are interested, choose the varieties you would like to purchase from the drop-down list above the "Buy Now" button. I use the USPS's medium flat rate boxes, and their shipping is $12. I can fit up to 5, maybe 6 jars in each box. When you order, there is nothing to join or sign up, and your information is secure! Thanks!

Minimum Order of 2 Jars for Shipping

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Red Onion Jam

My Mama loved Pepper Jelly! I remember her having the green jelly in the little jars. She would get Ritz Crackers and smear them with cream cheese and Pepper Jelly! I bet she would have eaten this stuff up!!!

4 cups Red Onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 pkg (1.75 oz) fruit pectin
1/2 teaspoon dried Basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

In a large pot, combine all ingredients EXCEPT the sugars. Bring to a rolling boil. Add sugars. Stirring constantly, bring to a rolling boil again and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off any foam that may have formed. Spoon jam into heat resistant jars and cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.

You can also use a water bath and can the jam to store it in your pantry!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ally's Kitchen~A Passport for Adventurous Palates

I am happy to announce the release of my friend Ally's cookbook, Ally's Kitchen~A Passport for Adventurous Palates! It is an amazing culinary road trip for all who love food, family and adventure! Believe me, this cookbook is not for the bland of heart! We are talking a bold bohemian rhapsody of flavors and passion for foods!

Scroll to the bottom to enter to win a copy!!!

I enjoyed reading about Ally's childhood, her adventure in retracing her steps and her recollections of the family and foods that "reflect the legacy and heritage of her homeland." Beautifully written and excellently photographed, it is so full of bold, colorful food that you can almost smell the rich exotic aromas! 

My Own Mama~Bohemian Style!

I chose to honor Ally's book on my own Mama's birthday! A day when I reflect on the multitude of hours, days, years in the kitchen with the women who made me who I am today! Ally's style and stories remind me of the summer's we spent with family on the water's of Mitchum Creek in Topping Virginia.
"We would get up early in the morning, pack a lunch, and go fishing. I loved fishing with Uncle Perry. (Helping gather bait... watching the crabs in the bucket blowing bubbles... watching Daddy on the front of the boat trying to scoop up the peelers on top of the water with the dip net... watching Uncle Perry cut up bait... Mama getting so tired from catching fish, but she wouldn’t quit. She’d just hook them then call Daddy to reel them in...) When we got in we would clean the fish and then get cleaned up ourselves. Usually, we kids could get in a good scavenger hunt before supper. Going through the crab boxes... pulling Periwinkles off the weeds by the water... playing on Uncle Perry’s boat... watching the hummingbirds from the porch... Grandmama having to walk so slow with the feeder because the hummingbirds would come to feed as soon as she opened the front door... Later that night we all came out on the porch to eat supper. In the usual family tradition, there was always mounds of food. Grandmama’s fried oyster fritters, fresh fried fish, fried chicken, Aunt Vashti’s pan fried squash, plates of tomatoes and cucumbers, biscuits and much, much more. And, of course, if Daddy had gotten a couple of peelers, we had soft shell crabs too! Uncle Perry was sitting at the head of the table, to my left. As usual we all over-ate. We sat for a rather long time talking about the day and the ones that got away."
~ Southern With A Twist

The recipe which I chose to make and tell you about is Croatian Potato Salad. (hrvatska krumpir salata) It's different from the potato salad of the South. There is no mayonnaise in this recipe! It's an oil and vinegar style dressing with lots of spices and herbs. I topped it off with some fresh Purple Basil and Sweet Basil as a garnish! Absolutely Delicious! 

Don't forget to enter to win a copy of Ally's Cookbook! Scroll down to the bottom of the post and enter!

Ally's cookbook was released in bookstores on May 12th. It can also be ordered online at:
Ally's Kitchen website:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Simple Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

With allergies kicking in, I have several people with colds, sinus infections and bronchitis! Soooo, I made some good old fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup! I made it with a dash of cayenne pepper and a splash of lemon in this batch to help open the sinuses and clear the throat!

12 cups chicken broth*
4 cups chicken, cut into pieces**
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried sweet basil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
8 ounces dried wide egg noodles
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients but the noodles. Bring to a boil, and add noodles. Reduce to a simmer and cook until done. (about 8-10 minutes) Taste the broth and adjust the seasonings to your taste.

* I use homemade chicken stock. If you need to use store bought, make sure it is a good quality stock. It's the base of your soup, and it "makes or breaks" your final dish!

**I used leftover grilled chicken. You can use any chicken you'd like.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Lynch Wedding Reception ~ Farm to Table Style

We've had a lot of work and a little drama going on the past several days preparing and working and prepping and cooking and cleaning... and the list goes on! The first drama/horror was a stove that didn't work. The microwave worked long enough for my son to heat up a hot dog Friday afternoon. There was no hot water and the breakers kept tripping! (BTW... try cleaning up with no hot water! LOL) The people that we were doing this for were VERY understanding! You do what you can do and that's ALL you can do! Thank you Rick and Faris!!! 

In the spirit of the recent Farm to Table movement, I wanted to create an event for the bride using a lot of local resources/farms. She told me she really loves using local fresh ingredients and farm products. In the picture below the, the hubby and I are setting up the buffet server that had Cheese Logs on the side that I'm working on. I used a Fromage Blanc from my farm friends Alice and Earle at Middle Sparrow Ranch in Sardis, SC to make those! I also had two more fromage spreads: Rosemary and Black Olive & Honey and Cranberry!

Fromage Spreads from Middle Sparrow Ranch

My beautiful Buffet Server with Ham Biscuits,
Chicken Salad and Cheese Ball/Logs

I put my step-son, Cory, in charge of making my very tasty and elegant Shrimp-n-Grits! We used Stone Ground Grits I ordered from Carolina Plantaion in Darlington, SC, which have a nice and creamy texture. The longer you cook them, the creamer they become! Cooked in chicken broth, they become rich and savory which is perfect for my shrimp and sausage gravy. Thanks Cory! Awesome job! I really lucked out with a two-fer in this dish! I just happened to find some sausage from my farm friend, Russell at Sunny Cedars Farm in Sumter, SC in my freezer, which put this dish over the top!

The bride requested a Taco Bar, which I have never done for a wedding, but I did have fun playing with all the options! We had all the typical Mexican Rice, Charro Beans, Lettuce and Tomato, Guacamole, Sour Cream and Cheese, Cheese, Cheese! I did, however, throw in a TWIST! (Pun intended!) I had Pulled Pork and a couple of toppings from my friend Bobby at Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen. I made her Cilantro Lime Crema and Grilled Pineapple Salsa. These made AWESOME tacos!

We also had three varieties of wings:
Buffalo Wings!
Teriyaki Wings!

Of course, no party is complete without trays/bowls of gorgeous fruit and the popular vegetable tray complete with yummy ranch dip!

My foodie friend Chef Christopher Hill over at the Bachelor Kitchen, shared his recipe for Bourbon BBQ Sauce because I had a request to sauce the cocktail wieners with a bourbon BBQ sauce! I had to try the sauce on a chicken tender! Yummy!

Because I forgot my camera, and I can't find anyone yet that has pictures of the dessert table or the Coffee Bar, (I will find them and add them soon! I didn't want it to delay the post any longer.) I'm ending with the Spinach Dip, Pimento Cheese Sandwiches (The hubby mixed it up, but my daughter-in-law Jamie made the pretty sandwiches! Thanks Jamie for all your hard work!) and Sausage Quiche

A special thanks to my son Elliott who handled the Coffee Bar and much, much more, and to Autumn who handled her first catering job with style and grace! She was right there ready to take on the next task and executed her tasks perfectly! Thanks y'all! Thanks to all y'all! 

...and finally
Congratulations Tricia and Chris!!!

Spinach Dip

1 box (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, cooked, cooled and squeezed dry*
1 container (16 oz.) sour cream
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 pkg Knorr Vegetable Mix
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
Dash of Cayenne Pepper

Combine all ingredients and chill about 2 hours. Serve with your favorite dippers. I use club crackers and scoops corn chips!

* When I make this for a crowd I use 5 pkgs of chopped spinach and multiply all the other ingredients by 4. It comes out great that way!

Sausage and Cheese Mini Quiche

1 lb Mild Sausage
1/3 cup Onion, chopped
1 Garlic Clove, minced

1/4 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
5 Eggs
3 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp Sweet Basil, dried
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese
½ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook sausage, onion and garlic in a heavy skillet over medium heat until meat is brown; drain. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, meat mixture, egg, 3 tsp mustard, parsley, cheeses, salt and pepper. Spoon meat mixture into mini muffin pans. Baked for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Note: Serve with your favorite hot mustard or horseradish…

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Pimento Cheese

Pretty much everyone in the South has an aunt or grandmother that has a pimento cheese recipe. I combined the ideas from several recipes and came up with this one. I made it for a wedding reception this weekend, and it was a smash hit. I had several people tell me that it was the best they ever had! I love it! Yay! Even the bartender (my step-son took him some sandwiches) said that the pimento cheese is awesome!

1 lb Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 8oz package Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup diced Pimento
1 cup Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons onion, grated
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and Cayenne Pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients, mixing well. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours for flavors to mix. (Overnight is best.)