bloody mary

Delicious and Easy Bloody Mary

9:14 PM


                     

Yeah, here I am old as all get out and whowouldathunk that I have never had a bloody mary. To me, the idea of tomatoes and alcohol was a bit of a turn off. I mean, really? And I won't mention that one time my friend bought me a bottle of black pepper vodka so that I could try bloody marys and it sat and sat and sat in the cabinet until I finally threw it out 3 years later. It was just not something I could imagine drinking.


So one day, I was walking in my favorite store ever, Kroger (swoon), and they always have amazing samples at the cheese counter. This particular day, there was not the usual gourmet cracker paired with some delicate and stinky delicious cheese, it was a small cup with some tomato looking juice in it and a green bean. Yeah. A green bean. It was that green bean that caught my eye. I grab a cup and take a  bite of the green bean. Ohhhhhh, a pickled green bean! Then I took a swig. Oh some deliciously dill tomato-y concoction that was sorta spicy. It was delicious. One of the best things I have tasted.



It was McClure's Bloody Mary mix and  a Rick's Mean Green Bean (at 13 bucks a jar locally, they are online much cheaper).  Yes, lawd. Yes. I was so good.



I bought two jars of the mix, a jar of the green beans.

I chose not to add alcohol to my Bloody Mary because still, the thought kind of does not sit well with me but if it is your thing, you have got to try this mix.

I topped mine with a slab of beef jerky, pickled okra (Talk O'Texas), olive, celery, lime and the rim is covered in Tajin seasoning. Yes. I even made some super mini two sip ones for my kids and the Mormon Missionaries who had stopped by...because hey, I like to have my kids try different stuff and it was a super tasty non-alcoholic drink.



Just might serve these at the murder mystery dinner party I am having for friends and family in two weeks.


magazine

Food Photography and a Magazine Feature

10:56 PM


I don't claim to know all the ins and outs of food photography but I do know what I like. Through trial and error, I have learned what works for me and what I am satisfied with.

I do not have any do overs. What you see photographed here on this blog is what we actually eat and it is usually my plate. My kids are not about to wait for a photoshoot, they want their dinner when it is ready. I have usually about ten minutes tops to shoot the food and get it to them while it is hot and ready.



My photos are real life, what you see, is how I give it to my kids and family. The table is set, the food is arranged, I try to treat them to that four star experience. While, not every night is a picture perfect, blog worthy food dish, I do try to capture some things we try, I come up with so I can share.

I am so thankful to have been interviewed by a Mississippi magazine, Desoto Magazine. I was truly thankful that they contacted me about my food photography. It is just the motivation this mama of a growing up four needed. Nothing like that to help me to keep pushing forward.

Food has always been important to me, a way of showing my children that they are loved and worth it. And you can have anything, in moderation. I love what I do.

Thanks to all who support me, it does not go unnoticed.

*The magazine is available in Memphis, Olive Branch and northern Mississippi, even in Jackson, Mississippi and a few places in Louisiana and Arkansas. Check their website for where you can find it in print or online.


2017

2017 Bucket List: Victorian Dinner Party

4:48 PM




So going into 2017, I have a ton of food related things on my bucket list. While baking more homemade bread is one of the simplest things on that list, it ranges all the way up to a more complicated Victorian inspired Dinner Party.



I say inspired, because seriously, there is no way I can recreate the opulent luxury of the interior of the Victorian dining room, but I may be able to recreate some of the recipes of that time..while taking a few shortcuts, of course. (Seriously, so thankful for some of the stuff we can find at the grocery store)



I love for my children to experience different things. I remember being a live in nanny for a family in Atlanta back in the early 2000. Each week the family would go to the  grocery store to get the food for that week. Each week they bought exactly the same thing as the week before. Every week, they had the same meals over and over. Hamburger Helper, Spaghetti, and fried chicken. There was no variation, deviation or anything.And I mean that, that is what they had each day of the week, one of those three options. To change it up meant, going out to dinner at a local franchise restaurant.

That experience led me to not wanting such a routine for my family. Not that anything is wrong with that, but I like to think that food can be an expression of love. I also think that having a diverse palette can lead you into being more accepting of other cultures, people, places...more diverse as a person. I know, a bit weird, but in my mind, that is what I think.

Not wanting to serve the same thing over and over, led me to being a lot more adventurous in the kitchen. So many times, I will find a recipe from another country or region and my kids and I will try it. It leads to discussions about not only the food, but the place and the people. Good food, good times.

With the Victorian Dinner Party, I can go over etiquette with my kids, talk about the time before all of these new-fangled gadgets and doodads we have now adays.

So yeah, this is on the bucket list for 2017. Must. do. this.

What is on your bucket list for 2017?

granola

Simple Goodness: Viki's Granola

2:25 PM


It is no secret that my kids are not picky eaters. They have a tendency to love trying new foods, vegetables, different types of fruits. This means, to me as the mama, I have raised some kids who love to eat healthy. Instead of cereal in the morning, they would rather have oatmeal or grits with fresh fruit.  Instead of bags of potato chips, they love snacking on popcorn, oranges and of course granola.

With four kids, a bag of granola does not last long at our house. Once it is opened, it is all over with. And I don't mind. So imagine when this bag of Viki's Granola came in. They were dying to tear right into it so after school, I made them a simple snack of honey greek yogurt with fresh mango, dried cranberries and some of Viki's Granola.  (Did I mention, they have a ton of varieties and one comes with dried cranberries already! Win!)




A simple, easy and tasty snack perfect for them and certainly perfect for after school and to hold them over while this mama finishes up dinner.



I can say this, they loved the yogurt snack with the granola topping, but once they finished, the boys somehow snuck the rest of the bag into their room. But hey, it's healthy and so much better than a candy bar. All natural ingredients, also gluten free for those with Celiac, I think I will give my boys  a pass.




To find out where you can buy this granola, (which comes in the cutest snack sized bags too!), click here.

beans

Oxtails and Butter Beans....

6:52 PM


Here is another oldie to tide over while I get some delicious fall inspired recipes done. I do not cook for my blog, I cook for my kids. So I wait until we have it for dinner before I make what you see here on the blog. That way, I don't waste food and these four beauties of mine can let me know if the meal is a winner or a loser! This fall I will be sharing some of my family's Southern fall favorites. 

I remember growing up, my mom cooked a full dinner 6 days a week. Her only off day was on Saturdays. On Saturdays, we took a trip to the local mall (if you can call it that, it was more like a shopping center with a food court that consisted of two choices). My dad would give us our weekly allowances and while my two younger sisters made their way to the toy store, I ventured off into the bookstore and used my money to buy fresh great smelling books and paperdolls. 

deli

Fried Green Tomato and Deli PoBoy

5:29 PM



If you mention fried green tomatoes outside of the South, usually people will think you mean the movie but it is actually one of those truly southern foods that people just do not make often enough. It used to be that many families fried these bad boys up back in the day, growing their own tomatoes they were easy for those families to come by. Now, green tomatoes are pricey and served in the most fancy of restaurants. They are not available all year here where I live so when I see some, I snag them up quickly.


christmas

Man Gifts: The Mantry

10:48 PM



I must admit...this holiday shopping is going to be hard. Not because I do not know what the guys in my life like, but because it is getting harder and harder to choose gifts that not only that they will like or love but will show just how much they mean to me.

As for my two boys, ages 12 and soon to be 15, they are easy. Every gift for them will be something that makes them happy, have fun, educates them and inspires them.

I do have a few men in my life who are single and mean the world to me. They are  foodies like me and one loves to think that he is a gourmet chef. Although that is what he may think he is, he still needs a bit of assistance every now and then. That, on top of the fact that he works a hard nine to five, dinner as a single is more than shouting your order through the local drive through.

Imagine my excitement when I saw this.

Peep The Mantry.

So you mean to tell me, I can help out my single, handsome (totally single), foodie man friend with a gift of foodness?  Boxes include snacks and tons of stuffs your man friend may not buy for himself. Prices are amazing and yep, who doesn't love getting a gift of yums?



Encourage your man friend, brother, uncle, dad, friend, cousin to step up his culinary skills and tastebuds with treats that will definitely influence him and make him happy. Did I mention they also have recipes? Double win.  Did I also mention that Mantry partners with City Harvest to donate 1% of sales? Triple win.



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