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Garnish & Gather

I had the pleasure of meeting with Emily of Garnish & Gather just yesterday for coffee and I couldn’t wait another moment to share this wonderful company with you!

I already knew I’d be a fan of Emily thanks to the mentions by talented friends Heidi & Ginny, and of course they were right. I love the simple and whimsical design treatments and packaging. And, even more, love the simple concept of G&G. They work with local area farms to source their ingredients, then team up with brilliant chefs to put together delicious recipes, making the most brilliant little meal kit you can imagine.

We’re a busy family and I’d say I have somewhat limited patience, so I much appreciated having everything handy, measured, fresh, local and ready to go without having to think for a minute “what’s for dinner tonight?” The meal we enjoyed last night was Grassfed Ribeye Steak with Muscadine Gastrique, Roasted Potato Wedges and Sauteed Squash. I love squash, my husband & son love steak, and I had never cooked with muscadines before {despite being from the south and having access to bucket loads of them at the farm}. The local farms that brought us our dish were Moore’s Farm, Heritage Farms and Geezers Garden.

The meal was so much fun to prepare, everyone enjoyed it, it was so simple! I will definitely be enjoying another meal again soon, and I think a kit or gift certificate would make a perfect gift to bring over to a new mom.

Have you tried Garnish & Gather yet? I’d love to know!

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southern sweets

Southern Sweets

Join us for this week’s #southernchat as we talk about delicious Southern sweets from Goo Goo Clusters and Red Queen Tarts to marshmallows and shortbread cookies.  I look forward to hearing everyone’s favorites and sharing a few of them myself!

I love the history of the products from Chattanooga Bakery, the maker of Moon Pies and wish some of them were still around today! And, we even had a special chat just for Southern artisan chocolates. I loved stumbling across Sir Francis, who pairs such Southern ingredients as bacon & peanut brittle to make their boxes of confections.

To help further the Southern sweets discussion, we will be having special guest Jenny (@SweetSixCandy) who began Sweet Six Candy Co,  Using a recipe from her mother, Jenny spun her own versions of the six ingredient recipe and reeled people into her Sweet Six brown sugar candy. You can get to know more about this sweet company from our post yesterday to get an inside look.

Jenny also recommended I check into Wondermade marshmallows – and if they taste half as amazing as their packaging looks – I’m 100% sold! With flavors like bourbon & lavender, there is no doubt these fluffy wonders were made right here in the South. She also said I should look into  Jane’s Short Sweets, a company that not only makes sweets but is also sweet-as-can-be by donating all of their profits to charity!

Despite the size of your sweet tooth is, I hope you’ll join us this week for #southernchat!

#southernchat

#southernchat:  Southern Sweets (Monday, 4/8/13, 9:00 pm edt.)

Q1:  When you think of Southern sweets, which confections come to mind?

Q2:  What local sweets in your town do you want to share?

Q3:  What makes sweets in the South unique?

Q4: What Southern ingredients to do you love to see in sweets?

Q5:  If you could pick one family recipe for sweets to pass down to your children, what would it be?

Q6:  If you could pick one flavor of Sweet Six Candy to try, what would it be?

Giveaway: Our friends at Sweet Six Candy Co, have kindly offered up one 8 oz. bag of their candy, and you get to choose the flavor! Just join in the chat using the #southernchat hashtag and you’re entered to win!

If you love Southern food, there’s a good chance you take the taste of a biscuit very seriously.  A staple in the Southern kitchen from breakfast to dinner, biscuits also allow each person to personalize theirs with honey, gravy, and different preserves. Most biscuits are made with the same ingredients: flour, buttermilk or milk, and some kind of fat or butter, but within the preparation is where many secret steps and family traditions take root.

Being a most adamant fan of breakfast & brunch, for me it doesn’t get much more Southern than the biscuit.  I love the notion of a flour-covered countertop, a strong tin biscuit cutter, and a warm biscuit just out of the oven in time for the meal to be enjoyed fresh.

This week we’ll be talking ingredients, secrets, favorites, and traditions for our biscuit #southernchat.  I hope you can join us in the chat and that we might encourage you to share a special recipe of your own, or make your own biscuits for you and your family. Join in this week for our biscuit #southernchat at 9:00PM est this Monday 3/18/13.

 #southernchat

#southernchat: biscuits (Monday 3/28/13 9:00PM est)

Q1:  If you had to describe a Southern biscuit in three words, what would they be?

Q2:  What’s the secret to making biscuits from scratch?

Q3:  What is your favorite local restaurant to find the best biscuits in town?

Q4: What are your favorite spreads/toppings for biscuits?

Q5:  What’s your favorite meal or recipe that includes biscuits? Feel free to share links!

Giveaways: This week we have TWO extra-special giveaways this week! Just join in the chat by using the #southernchat hashtag sometime from 9:00-10:00pm est on 3/18/13 and you’ll be automatically entered to win. Two lucky winners will be chosen at random.

The first is thanks to Southern blogger, Kate Spears of Southern Belle Simple  and the  International Biscuit Festival to be held 5/15-18 in Knoxville, TN. They are kindly giving away a pair of tickets to Biscuit Boulevard for one of our lucky #southernchat friends to enjoy! Now that is one celebration I’d love to take part in {judges needed?}.

The second is thanks to our friends at Pillsbury, who are giving away a fun gift basket to one lucky #southernchat friend this week! I personally love their flaky layers biscuit, which is my favorite quality of a true Southern biscuit, and they’re so perfect when you’re in a pinch for a quick, home-cooked meal!

Image via MyRecipes.com

national pie day 2013

It’s that time of year again, when we celebrate one of my most favorite things … pie! This Thursday, March 14th, is National Pie Day, so what better our topic for this week’s #southernchat than pie. A quintessentially Southern treat, pie has graced the dessert table at many a gathering filled with some of our favorite local ingredients, from pecan to peach to apple and more.

For me, pie is a time-honored art that truly is passed down thru the generations. I shared my own Nana’s (Great Grandmother’s) Pie Crust recipe many years back on the blog, and to me it’s the best because it’s what we grew up enjoying. I’ve heard many secrets to the perfect pie crust … cold butter, cold water, lard, shortening … who knows what really makes “the best” but I’m all for trying them all! And, I love seeing some vintage pie accessories like wheel crimpers & cutters, pie saves, and good old tin pie plates. My go-to is this Emile Henry pie dish from Williams-Sonoma that I got as a wedding gift and it makes any pie look even lovelier.  There are so many variations on pies, too. The whoopie pie, Chattanooga’s own MoonPie, and my friend Abby Dodge even wrote this beautiful book on Mini Pies, too! And, one of my favorite things is a skillet pie, baked right into a cast iron skillet.

southern pie

This week we’re celebrating all things pie – from ingredients, to secrets, to favorites – so I hope you can join in the fun, and that we might just inspire you to share a pie recipe of your very own, or even make one from scratch this week! Join us for a special #southernchat at 9PM est this Monday, 3/11/13 to chat all about pie!

#southernchat

#southernchat: pies (Monday, 3/11/13, 9:00 pm est)

Q1: What are your all-time favorite kinds of pie?

Q2: Share some links to some of your favorite pie recipes from sites & blogs {yours included!}

Q3: Across the South, who serves the best pie around? Restaurants, chefs & more!

Q4: What is the secret to baking the best made-from-scratch pie? Tips & tricks welcomed.

Q5: In the South, good food is tied to great memories. What are some of your favorite memories that include pie?

{ If you’re interested in sponsoring the southern pie chat, or to learn more about #southernchat, see upcoming topics, to be a guest or host another giveaway, click here to learn more!}

Southern Pies: Garden & Gun bourbon pecan pie / Scratch bakery in Durham, NC / 3.14 Pies in Charleston, SC / My Nana’s Pie Crust Recipe / Moon Pies from Chattanooga, TN / Pie Shop in Atlanta, GA / Emile Henry Artisan Pie Dish from Williams-Sonoma / Mini Pies Cookbook by Abby Dodge

Artisan Cheeses

I am by no means a cheese expert but I am certainly a connoisseur! Cheese is one of my very favorite things and fresh, local cheese simply cannot be beat. This week our #southernchat focuses on something we all can love –  Southern Artisan Cheeses! A growing number of farms and creameries have been popping up across the South, and we are so fortunate to have such talented folks to share their craft {and cheese!} with us.

cheese board

I have long been a fan of Belle Chevre cheeses and am so thrilled that Tasia Malakasis has agreed to be our guest for this week’s chat. I fell in love with her passionate story of truly learning the craft and carrying it on in her home-state of Alabama. Growing up in Tallahassee, I was also familiar with Sweet Grass Dairy, and was so pleased to see they just opened a new flagship store in Thomasville, GA when I visited last month. And, I have loved chatting with @Timthecheeseman for some time on Twitter, and can’t help but visit Star Provisions here in Atlanta – a simply beautiful store & market where Tim is the well-known cheesemonger.

Southern Artisan Cheeses

Cheese Makers & Mongers

Beyond these wonderful cheeses, I was thrilled to learn of so many other creameries, dairies, farms & experts out there in the South. I know you will have a few more to share this week in #southernchat, and with so much to learn about this favorite food, the craft & more!

southernchat

#southernchat: southern artisan cheeses (Monday, 3/4/13, 9:00 pm est)

Q1: What are some of your favorite types of cheese?

Q2: Southerners love a good spread, what other types of foods do you like to include when serving a cheese plate?

Q3: What other local Southern cheesemakers, creameries, & farms do you know of to share with us?

Q4: The best ingredient is cheese! What are your favorite Southern cheese-inspired dishes & recipes?

Q5: What questions do you have for Tasia about her cheese and the craft of cheesemaking?

{ If you’re interested in sponsoring the southern film chat, or to learn more about #southernchat, to be a guest or host another giveaway, click here to learn more!}

Giveaway provided by Belle Chevre!

I’m so excited to share this week’s #southernchat giveaway, special thanks to Tasia & our friends at Belle Chevre! From the heart of Alabama, this company is as Southern as they come!

They have kindly provided one of their fabulous DIY Cheese Kits for one lucky chat participant tonight. Their DIY Cheese Kit helps to continue the craft and teach you at home, with the tools & ingredients to make your very own tasty cheese. I love the cute packaging and I am dying to give this one a try for myself! Tonight we are giving away the Original Kit, but you can also check out the Honey and Kids versions, too! What fun gifts these would make. To enter to win, you simply have to join us on Twitter for tonight’s Chat and use the hashtag #southernchat. One lucky participant will be chosen at random to win and the winner be announced at the conclusion of the chat! Good luck!

Southern Artisan Cheeses:
Looking Glass Creamery, Blackberry Farms, Belle Chevre, Spinning Spider Creamery, Sweet Grass Dairy, Locust Grove Farm, Bonnie Blue Farm.

Artisan Chocolate

With love in the air and Valentine’s Day this week, what better thing to focus on than Southern artisan chocolates. A little something sweet for your sweet {or for yourself!} the craft of chocolate making is alive and well in the South today.

We have beautiful Cacao boutiques here in Atlanta, and the space is just as fabulous as the chocolates themselves. And, I got my first Olive & Sinclair as a gift from sweet Courtney at Pizzazzerie, both from Tennessee! And, though they are not made here in the South, the beautiful Mast Brothers Chocolates can be found in so many wonderful sweet shoppes here and have a southern-inspired craft look and feel so I just couldn’t leave them out! One of my favorite little beach towns is Apalachicola, FL, where the Apalachicola Chocolate Co. even further romanticizes the notion of chocolate – and you must ask them about their “chocolate oysters!” And, the fun Wild Ophelia chocolates have so many southern-inspired flavors like southern hibiscus peach, beef jerky, New Orleans chili & smokehouse BBQ.

Southern Chocolates

Artisan chocolates

Artisan Chocolates

southernchat

#southernchat: artisan chocolates (Monday, 2/11/13, 9:00 pm est)

Q1: What kind of chocolate lover are you? Chocolate lover to chocoholics welcome!

Q2: Who are some of your favorite chocolate makers?

Q3: There are so many chocolate flavors & combinations out there, what are your favorites?

Q4: What are the most important elements when you’re selecting an artisan chocolate to gift?

Q5: More sweet #southernchat topics to come! What other southern sweets topics would you love to see?

{ If you’re interested in sponsoring the southern artisan chocolate chat, or to learn more about #southernchat, to be a guest or host another giveaway, click here to learn more!}

Artisan Chocolates: Olive & Sinclair, Cacao, Mast Brothers Chocolates, French Broad Chocolates, The Chocolate Lab, Wild Ophelia, sweeteeth.

Garden & Gun is hands down one of my favorite magazines. It’s a diverse and beautiful magazine that truly captures the essence of the south.  This month they launched a new Southern foodie subscription program called Sideboard and I’m thrilled to announce that we’re partnering with Garden & Gun on this new tradition!

Sideboard is Garden & Gun’s way of sharing the good eats they feature in each issue with you all year long.  Sideboard features a handpicked selection of Southern staples sent every 6-8 weeks for a total of eight seasonal packages throughout the year.

Included in the welcome package sent to each new Sideboard member is an IceMilk Apron, exclusively for Garden & Gun.  Our limited edition apron is from our new heirloomed collection and includes an embroidered G&G signature detail. In addition, the package includes a set of Southern Expression kitchen towels, and an assortment of some favorite recipes from the magazine.

The aprons reflect part of my own personal aesthetic that the magazine speaks to as well, a little bit of outdoors and a focus on fine detail.  And, being such a long-time fan of the magazines I am so honored to be a part of this new southern tradition.

There are few things in this world that are better than southern food and I can’t wait to keep you all updated on Sideboard as it continues to evolve! For more information on this exciting program, be sure to check out their site for more info.

Thanks to a recent conversation with my doctor, I’ve made a casual switch to include more organic food in our home.

The switch has included eggs, of which I partake a little too regularly perhaps, but I just adore them. I love the brown eggs too, makes them all the more fabulous in my book, don’t you think?

I love the color and the little speckled spots. And, I learned the color depends only on the kind of hen that laid the egg. Interested fun fact for you.

What is your favorite way to enjoy eggs?

I am so happy to have Melissa of Best Friends for Frosting with us today for another story in the Heirloom Recipe Series! I have long been a fan of the wonderful site and it seems that we have followed each other for some time now.

I loved reading her story below, as it instantly reminded me of my own Grandmother’s recipe for Frozen Lime Mint Salad that was really the inspiration for this entire series.

I hope you enjoy this special post!

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You can always count on my mom to make her famous Dried Orange Jello Salad during the holidays. Whether it’s Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, or 4th of July, you can always be sure to expect a clear bowl filled to the brim of mom’s Dried Orange Jello Salad. This recipe has circulated throughout our family long before I was born.

 My Aunt Jo Ann Blanchard originally created the recipe, and she even published it in her recipe book What’s Been Cooking In Oregon.   She once told me how she adapted the recipe: “The original orange jello salad recipe was brought to me by a neighbor when I was a young mother with four sons. I added the variations from the original base of cool whip, cottage cheese, and drained canned pineapple (bite-sized pieces). The variations are:  1. dry strawberry jello and fresh or frozen strawberries  2. dry raspberry jello with fresh or frozen strawberries  If frozen fruit is used, then it needs to be thawed and the juice drained.”

My mom always uses my Aunt Jo Ann’s Orange Jello Salad recipe, but she does add her own twist to it by adding mandarin oranges.   My mom never has to look at the recipe card when she makes it because she has it completely memorized.

I love how dried jello salad offers up so many endless possibilities. You can add a different flavor of jello, additional fruits and nuts, or even marshmallows. This recipe is perfect to serve on a sweet summer afternoon.

 

Mamma’s Orange Jello Salad Recipe

  • Gently stir 8 oz cottage cheese with 8 oz container of cool whip
  • Gently stir in a large box of orange jello with the cottage cheese and cool whip
  • Drain 11 oz can of mandarin oranges and 12 oz pineapple tidbits. Pat dry with a paper towel
  • Gently fold in pineapples & mandarin oranges.
  • Refrigerate at least 3 hours prior to serving

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Be sure to connect with Melissa at Best Friends for Frosting and also on Twitter and Facebook too!

Part of our Heirloom Recipe Series, featuring foodies, chefs, artisans, Southerners & fabulous folks willing to share their stories, recipes and photos in an effort to help preserve and share these family recipes for generations to come.

It thrills me to have two special guests for the Heirloom Recipe Series. I am oh so lucky to have several people be excited to do this series as it is one of my favorites. Hearing what each one has learned from their family and the recipes they have cherished for years. This brings me so much joy to hear these stories and sharing of recipes.

The dynamic duo, Lenny and Denise from the blog Chez Us are going to share with us today a couple of their favorite family dishes. I love their little tag “She cooks. He devours.” And, after seeing their recipes below I can certainly see why! They have always taken pleasure in home cooking while staying close to their roots. Enjoy!

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Both Lenny and I come from a long-line of home-cooks, and making nearly everything from scratch, at our home is just second nature.  For as long as I can remember, I have always received pleasure from cooking.  Not only the smiles that a home-cooked meal  produces;  but, knowing that I am putting something wholesome into my body.  Lenny, he has always indulged as an eater and continues to enjoy the simple pleasures of being our at home food-critic.

Home-cooked meals were always present in both of our child-hood homes, and this tradition continues into the present.  My heritage on my mother’s side is Basque, and one could always find a pot of something delicious bubbling away someone’s stove.  Whether it was a big pot of beans mingling with a spicy Spanish-Basque sauce or lamb roasting in the oven, we knew we would be enjoying a warm meal made with love.  My mom put a twist into cooking at home, but using new, and innovative ideas in the kitchen.  One thing was always guaranteed, that whatever we ate would be fresh, and homemade.

Lenny is first generation Portuguese.  His family came over from the Azores, merely, four years before he was born.  His mother’s recipes came from her mother, and they came from her mother, and so on …. these recipes are traditional, rustic, and simple.  She stores all of them in a recipe box that is buried deep in her memory and she shares them with her family every day when bringing a home-cooked meal to the table.

My mother was a genius at trying to disguise foods that she thought we would not enjoy.  From breading thinly sliced cow-tongue, frying it and then presenting it as a steak, to putting vegetables into fresh baked breads.  A favorite recipe of mine was a garden-fresh zucchini bread. It was always moist, sweet, and I loved how the top of the bread baked into a crusty, gooey topping.  It is lovely when served with a lemon glaze or as I prefer, on its own.

One of Lenny’s favorite dishes is his mother’s Camarao Mozambique, otherwise known as Spicy Portuguese Shrimp.  This was the first Portuguese recipe I learned to cook for Lenny.  It was his birthday, and I wanted to make something special.  He called his mother, and asked her to send us the recipe.  Unfortunately, her response was that she did not have a recipe, and she simply added a little of this and a little of that.  While it is served as a special occasion meal at his parent’s home, we enjoy it often.  Warm, crusty bread is perfect for dipping into the spicy sauce that the shrimp are swimming in.

We hope you enjoy this little bite of us that we have shared with you.  It has been a gentle reminder that we need to preserve more of our heritage by sharing our family recipes with you more often.  It keeps the flavors alive for generations to come.

Camarao Mozambique
  • 1 large shallot, minced finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. shrimp, leave the shells on
  • 1 cup white wine, I used Vinho Verde (water or stock can be used instead)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon piri piri, or your favorite hot sauce
  • handful parsley for garnish

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over low heat.  Add the shallot, cook over medium-low heat (about a 4 on our gas stove) until soft, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic, stir, and cook for a minute.  Sprinkle the Goya Sazon over the onion, and garlic;  add the shrimp.  Stir, and continue cooking over medium low heat, for 5 minutes;  stirring often.  Add the white wine, lemon juice, and piri piri, stir, lower heat to a simmer and cook until shrimp are cooked;  about 5 – 8 minutes, depending on how large they are.  At this point, I remove the shrimp, and continue cooking the broth until it is slightly reduced, and a bit thicker than when I started.  It will take about 3 – 5 minutes.  I then return the shrimp to the pan, stir, and turn off the heat.  I like to let it sit for about 10 minutes, to really marriage the flavors.  Then I gently reheat, stir in the parsley, and remove from the heat.  Serve. Eat.

Zucchini Bread

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or cardamon
  • 2 cups grated, unpeeled raw zucchini
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Preheat the oven to 325.  Sift dry ingredients (except sugar) into a large bowl.  In a mixer bowl combine eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla;  beat thoroughly.  Add the dry ingredients and blend well.  Add the zucchini and nuts, mix gently.

Lightly oil and flour two loaf pans ( 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2) and divide the batter between the two.  Bake for 60 – 70 minutes or until done.  Cool.  Drizzle with lemon icing, if desired.

Lemon Icing

Blend together 1 teaspoon melted butter, 1 teaspoon milk, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 cup sifted powdered sugar.

Be sure to connect with Lenny and Denise {how cute are they??} on their blog at Chez Us and also on Twitter and Facebook too!

Part of our Heirloom Recipe Series, featuring foodies, chefs, artisans, Southerners & fabulous folks willing to share their stories, recipes and photos in an effort to help preserve and share these family recipes for generations to come.

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