Monday, August 11, 2014

Coast Seafood Trail ending in August


The Mississippi Gulf Seafood Trail is a campaign encouraging Coast restaurants to promote fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. It started in June and ends on August 14.

 Established by the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association, the trail kicked off the "Summer of Seafood 2014" with over 40 restaurants.

After too many years away from the Gulf Coast, when I think of a seafood trail I think of all the miles I drive down there and back to Jackson to get my stash of oysters, Gulf shrimp, and, amazingly, cocktail crab claws. (I say amazingly only because I can't believe with a Fresh Market AND a Whole Foods in the Jackson metro area, I cannot get the cocktail crab claws that are sitting at Rouse's or Winn Dixie on the Coast. I also have to drive to get Barq's in a bottle, but that's another story.)

These cocktail crab claws are the best summer appetizer. They taste even better on the back of a boat. They are super simple and they will make everyone think you are a gourmet chef without even trying.

Get one Ziploc bag. Get one container of cocktail crab claws. (I've only seen them in one size.) Get one bottle of Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing. Pour the claws and the dressing into the Ziploc bag. Marinate overnight. Pour the claws into a colander the next day, allowing the excess dressing to drip off. Put back in bag.

Voila! Folks will be beating a seafood trail to your door for another bite! Promise!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned...


...but it was sooooo worth it!

Somehow, we ended up having Sonic night at our house tonight. It started with the chili cheese dogs. Then we couldn't think of anything remotely healthy to go with chili cheese dogs. So then we decided to just go all in...and THIS is where it ended.

My son was very confused. "Where are the vegetables? Or the salad?" "Nothing green. It's Sonic Night!" (This didn't work well as all my son ever wants from Sonic is the cheese sticks, no matter how many times I tell him I could make the same greasy sticks at home and it would be warm even.)

I halved the recipe for Cheesy Bacon Ranch Tater Tots and it was still more than enough to feed four. (Though I'm sure the Spinning class I took right before eating this won't even cover one-fourth of the calories of the tots alone. *sigh*)


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hummingbird Cake Ice Cream




As promised, Hummingbird Cake Ice Cream! Ta da!

I make Hummingbird Cake every Thanksgiving and for my mother's birthday every year. (And my father always says the exact same thing, "How'd you get those little wings off?") 

The infamous recipe first ran in Southern Living in February 1978 but has been repeated many times since because it's so popular. It was elected favorite recipe ever in 1990 and has won blue ribbons at several county fairs across the South.  

Let's hope my ice cream recipe wins half as much notoriety. Or anyone ever else makes it, at least. (Or just reads this blog entry. I'd settle for that. Sheesh!) ;)

Hummingbird Cake Ice Cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups whipping cream
2 bananas, mashed
1 small can crushed pineapple
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup pecan pieces
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Mix 1 tbsp cinnamon into the sweetened condensed milk and then whisk together milk, cream, and vanilla. Add mashed bananas and pineapple. Add mixture to a 2 qt ice cream maker. 

Over medium heat, melt butter, then add in pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir constantly until caramelized, 5 to 10 minutes. Spread on wax paper and cool, then mix in to ice cream when the ice cream is almost set.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Banana Nut Bread Ice Cream


So I set out tonight to create an ice cream that tastes like Banana Nut Bread...and I came pretty close, so I had to share. (This was made in a 2 qt. countertop ice cream maker.) Next up, Hummingbird Cake Ice Cream!

Banana Nut Bread Ice Cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups whipping cream
3 bananas, mixed in food processor (I used frozen, but I don't think it would matter)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup pecan pieces
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix together milk, cream, bananas, and vanilla, and add to ice cream maker. Over medium heat, melt butter, then add in pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir constantly until caramelized, 5 to 10 minutes. Spread on wax paper and cool, then mix in to ice cream when the ice cream is almost set.

(Special thanks to Todd Defren for posting his ice cream recipes on Facebook and inspiring me to start experimenting again...and for sharing the recipe for his ice cream base!)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Black Bean Salsa


1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 8-oz. can white shoepeg corn, drained
1 can Ro-Tel, drained
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Tortilla chips

Combine all ingredients except chips in a large bowl. Serve with tortilla chips. (Adapted from Square Table)

Pears with Goat Cheese


1 can of pear halves
3 oz. Goat Cheese with Honey
Balsamic vinegar
Chopped pecans

Put a dollop of goat cheese in center of pear. Drizzle with vinegar and sprinkle on chopped pecans. 

(If you can't find Goat Cheese with Honey, mix in a little honey with plain goat cheese.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Save hundreds of dollars each year with a salad spinner


We eat a lot of salad at my house. Mostly because it's the one of the few vegetables I can serve at dinner with no complaints or turned up noses (as a Caesar salad, but still).

I relied heavily on bagged salads most of the time until I read this blog. The listeria scare started my doubts about bagged salads - and then I ended up home with a few that were a bit on the brown side (which I couldn't see through the colorful packaging).

So I was ready. Ready to try Tamie's experiment. Romaine lettuce at my Kroger is about $1.50 and it gives me about 1 1/3 of the amount of a bagged salad (which is about $2.99 if you're lucky...sometimes more if it's not on sale).

Unlike Tamie, I go ahead and put the lettuce in small bags to take to work (where I don't have to eat Caesar salad anyways).

I bought the OXO Salad Spinner, and I have loved it. Strangely, spinning salad is a bit therapeutic. (Go ahead and laugh. But buy your own. You'll see. You'll find yourself giving that salad one more spin...just to be safe!)

We eat salad at least twice a week, and I am now saving at least $4 each week. I'm thinking with the money I've saved I can buy a Soda Stream and a pressure cooker next! I think those are the only two kitchen gadgets I do not currently own.



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bread Maker King Cake















I finally did it! After Mardi Gras seasons and seasons of trying, I mixed enough recipes together to make the PERFECT (and relatively easy too) king cake.












First, you start out with Mam Papaul's King Cake mix. (In the Jackson area, you can buy this at Kroger.) You won't follow any of her directions though. Except the ingredients. Mix the ingredients for the cake as directed and put it in your bread machine on the Dough cycle.

Once the bread machine is through doing all of the work, roll the dough into a long rectangle (but remember that you need room for the filling). Prepare the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling.

I stole the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling and the Lemon-Sugar Icing from this recipe in Garden & Gun magazine.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese
½  cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Dollop the cream cheese down the middle of the long rectangle. Fold the dough over to close. Pinch and seal. (Make sure it's sealed or it will split open while baking.)  Form into king-cake-shaped oval. Bake according to the king cake mix directions.

After the cake has cooled, top with lemon-sugar icing and colored sprinkles. (The mix will come with powdered sugar and sprinkles, but it's not enough of either, really, so don't use those.)

Lemon-Sugar Icing:

1 ½ cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Combine icing ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until it achieves desired consistency (adjust with more liquid or more powdered sugar if necessary).

The mix also comes with a baby. (And, yes, you should use that!)

Happy Mardi Gras!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Lynn Rosetto Kasper - 1, Shawn - 0


So we were listening to the Splendid Table after our Sunday trip to Lowe's, when Lynn insisted that you could cook black-eyed peas in the crockpot without soaking them. This perked my ears up because I had a bag of dried black-eyed peas in the pantry I needed to cook. (I panicked a bit at New Year's when I couldn't find black-eyed peas in one store and I MAY have overcompensated a bit when I finally found some. By a bag. Or two.)

I have always heard that you need to pre-soak beans and peas, even if they tell you not to. Don't fall for it. So when Lynn said you didn't have to soak the peas - just put them on high for four and a half hours - I'll admit I was a bit skeptical. Even of Lynn.

But I do have some bad juju to blame. My first kitchen failure involved a "quick soak method" and red beans and rice. I learned my lesson. Well.

So Lynn was right. It worked. But I had nothing to put in with the peas because I wasn't planning on it working. (I'm no Lynn Rosetto Kasper and all.)

In the spirit of Lynn, I raided my refrigerator to see what would work. I had leftover cherry tomatoes from stir fry last week and a brand new jar of Brooklyn Brine Damn Spicy Pickles that I bought in a moment of weakness (and what moment isn't there?) at Whole Foods. I chopped up about three of the pickles and put them in with the peas after they cooked and poured in some of the brine too. I added the diced cherry tomatoes and....yum!

(Lynn would be proud!)


Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Pinterest Effect on the Modern Marriage


"This morning, I am making us a Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon and Fried Egg for breakfast."

"Could you just make me bacon, eggs and toast? Just plain bacon, eggs and toast?"

<silence>

"Well, you could make that breakfast sandwich thingie for yourself if you want to try it."

<silence>

"It sounds good though. Really."

<silence>

"Ok, Ok. Just make me a damn breakfast sandwich thingie."

<Couldn't hold the laughter in by this point.>

Sunday morning plain ol' eggs, bacon and toast with strawberry jam at the Rossi residence...brought to you by Pinterest! 

But just wait till he sees the Grilled Cheese Croutons in Tomato Soup Shot Glasses I have planned for lunch... ;)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Feta Pizza Bread Appetizers


  • 1 large Baguette (Long and thin, cut into thin slices)
  • 2 cups Finely Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup Crumbled Basil & Tomato Feta
  • 16 oz. Crumbled Italian Sausage (Cooked)
  • 1 large Red Pepper (Diced)
  • Fresh or Dry Basil (Chopped)
  • Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a layer of sliced baguettes on two large cookie sheets/baking pans. In a large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except olive oil. Mix well. Drizzle enough olive oil to moisten the mixture. Spoon enough mixture just to cover the top of each baguette slice. Baked for approximately 12-15 minutes until cheese has melted and bread slices have crisped.

Monday, December 30, 2013

YoMamas Frozen Fruit

My husband, in observance of his 10th anniversary with his company, received a Wal-mart gift card. As he hates going to Wal-mart, he gave it to me. I told him if he gave it to me that I would buy nothing useful with it and would spend it all on kitchen gadgets I have talked myself out of buying. He said that was fine.

He didn't think I'd do it. He didn't think I had it in me. Then I came home today with a Yonanas machine and a Ninja Professional Blender (among other things).

I have been coveting this one for awhile, but have resisted, sure it would not really work. It's an intriguing machine with an unfortunate name. (We renamed it YoMamas at my table because YoNanas seems like you're making crusty, stale jokes about your grandma, which just ain't allowed at my house.)

The premise is that you take frozen fruit, put it in this machine, and it turns it into ice cream. It's my version of Rapunzel's spinning wheel - turning straw into solid gold!

I was skeptical. I had mixed frozen fruit in the freezer, so just tried that. And it worked! It was delicious and it tasted just like sherbet. And that was just a bag of frozen mixed fruit, so I can't wait to try all of these other recipes!

p.s. If you're looking for a new product idea, my son decided that  YoMama Joke Machine that actually came up with some original material would be a quick sell to the teen set. Maybe a YoMama App. Hmmmm. ;)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Waffle Iron Hash Browns

I am, admittedly, a kitchen gadget junkie. It's a weakness. (Somehow, I've stopped myself from the Soda Stream thang so far, but I think that's the only restraint I've shown.)

I'm also a breakfast junkie. Breakfast for breakfast. Breakfast for lunch or brunch. Breakfast for supper. So I was excited when I found (on Pinterest, of course) a new use for my waffle iron for one of my favorite breakfast items: hash browns.















The great thing about this idea - using tater tots to make hash browns with your waffle iron - is that it also eliminates the need to buy hash browns just for breakfast. You can just use tater tots!

Here was my first test (on just one). 


I experimented for you. If you have a square waffle maker like me, just put three rows of three tater tots on each square, close the lid tight (lock it if you have that feature) and cook for 5 minutes.


Perfect hash browns. They taste an awful lot like McDonald's hash browns too (without the strange shape)!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

We made these during the 4th of July festivities. They are easy and delicious!

Jalapeno Peppers
Cream Cheese
Bacon

Cut large jalapeno peppers in half and get seeds out. Fill with cream cheese and wrap with a piece of bacon. (We put it on the grill with other stuff but you can also bake at 350 degrees until the bacon is done.)

FREE Williams-Sonoma Thanksgiving Cookbook Download

Right now you can get a FREE download of the Williams-Sonoma Thanksgiving Cookbook. This digital copy has the same content as the popular hard copy.

You’ll find favorite recipes like:

  • Brined Turkey Breast with Lemon-Parsley Gravy 
  • Bread Dressing with Celery 
  • Broccoli with a Crunchy Crumb Topping 
  • Ginger Pear Torte
[ via Saving with Shellie ]

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Eggs Benedict Breakfast Pizza


So I decided at some point last week (what brought this on I cannot remember) that instead of just cooking, my husband and I needed to start creating our own recipes. We do this all the time in theory, but rarely in practice - so I started searching recipe contests online to give us a direction and some incentive. 

Ironically, this breakfast pizza recipe that came to me this morning fit none of the recipe contests we are currently working on. (This is just how my brain works. No matter what structure I try to force upon it, it will find a way to revolt!)

It all started because I needed to use up a tube of Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Dough that I bought on sale a while back and had been sitting in our fridge since then because we lacked pizza sauce or cheese or toppings or whatever I needed then whenever I grabbed it.

This is why Google is both your friend and your enemy. I thought this was SUCH an original idea...and then googled it and found over 5,000 with the same original idea, of course. (I immediately clicked off the page so as not to be tempted to read ANY of them.)

We enjoyed our final product, but it is very rich. (In other words, we have a LOT left over even after three of us had it for brunch - and we're not sure yet how easily it will save). We both agreed next time we might add tomatoes. Maybe thinly sliced Roma tomatoes over the hollandaise sauce. And I followed the directions for the crust, but I think it should have cooked a little longer.

Eggs Benedict Breakfast Pizza

1 tube Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust 
Hollandaise sauce (recipe follows)
6 eggs, scrambled
6 pieces bacon, Canadian bacon, or pancetta,  cooked and crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup Mozzarella/Cheddar mix

Follow the directions for the pizza crust but add 2-3 minutes on the first round of cooking. Prepare hollandaise sauce and spread over crust when removed from oven. 

For the scrambled eggs, crack six eggs and place in bowl with 1/4 cup milk. Whisk briskly for 5 min. Put 1 tbsp of butter in a medium saucepan over med-lo heat and cook the scrambled eggs until just done (because they will cook even longer in a hot oven). 

Sprinkle eggs over hollandaise sauce and then sprinkle bacon and cheese over the eggs. Return to oven, and bake for an additional 8 minutes. 

Hollandaise Sauce: In a small to medium saucepan, heat an inch of water on medium-low. Separate four eggs. Put yolks in stainless steel bowl with 1 tbsp lemon juice. Using a whisk, stir the mixture constantly but gently until it increases in size by about half. Smooth out any bubbles that form by continuing to stir. When the water is just below simmering, place the stainless steel bowl on top of the saucepan. (Make sure it does not touch.) Continue to constantly stir the mixture while slowly drizzling in 1/2 cup of melted butter. Keep stirring until sauce reaches consistency to coat bottom of spoon. Remove from heat and add salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Set in warm place until ready to be served. (If the sauce starts to take on a custard-like consistency, you can drizzle in a small amount of hot water to thin the sauce.)


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Delacata Style Catfish Tasting



To celebrate the retail debut of Delacata Style Catfish to the metro-Jackson market, Simmons Catfish, a Yazoo-based farm and processing plant, will offer free Delacata tastings at McDade's Maywood Mart location on Friday, August 30, from 4 to 6 p.m. Country music station Miss 103 will broadcast live in front of the store, giving away prizes and promoting the event. 

Delacata Style Catfish is an earth-friendly, sustainably sourced whitefish developed and marketed by The Catfish Institute. A premium seafood option comparable to redfish, snapper and grouper, Delacata has a mildly sweet flavor that works well with sauces, marinades and herb rubs. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mississippi Foodie on Flipboard


Mississippi Foodie is now available on Flipboard. It is available online but looks even better on your smartphone or tablet. Hope to see you there too!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mississippi Chef John Currence participating in Music City Eats


Nashville food, wine, and spirit festival Music City Eats recently announced that Mississippi chef John Currence will be participating (along with more than 25 local Tennessee chefs). Taking place from September 21st to September 22nd, the event includes restaurant tastings as well as panel discussions and cooking demonstrations.

The festival is produced by Caleb and Nathan Followill of Kings of Leon, world-renowned chef Jonathan Waxman, Vector Management’s Ken Levitan and Andy Mendelsohn, and C3 Presents (whose festival production credentials include the Austin City Limits Music Festival and Lollapalooza).

For more information or for tickets, which begin at $275, visit www.musiccityeats.com. Follow on social media at www.twitter.com/musiccityeats and www.Facebook.com/musiccityeats.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Food Network names Moon Pie-RC Cola Ice Cream Sandwich best in Mississippi


Ice cream. My one weakness. Chocolate. My other one weakness.

Moon Pies? Not so much. Unless they are warmed up ever-so slightly in the microwave to the point the marshmallow gets perfectly almost-mushy. But I digress...

The Hook Up Bar & Restaurant in Biloxi (no...not that kind of hook up) has combined many of my one weaknesses into their one Food Network award-winning Moon Pie & RC Cola Ice Cream Sandwich. So I had an official excuse to try it. It wasn't dessert. It was research!

Before I say anything, let me say it was good. It was very good. But it could be better. 

It needs more ice cream. It's winning a Food Network award for best ice cream treat, but the one and only thing it needs is more ice cream. The ice cream should be between both layers of Moon Pie and not just one.

It is a brilliant combination and the idea deserves all kinds of accolades. And it did inspire me to create The Elvis.

Make this peanut butter cup ice cream. (Yes, it's as yummy as it looks here. And, somehow, miraculously, it stays just as creamy even after sitting in the freezer for days.) Separate the two cookie sides of a Mini Banana Moon Pie. Put softened ice cream in between the two layers and put the Moon Pie back together. Wrap in aluminum foil and store in freezer.

Yum!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Grape Salad


I went to the Neshoba County Fair today (for the first time). It was hot. And humid. So, thankfully, everyone kept trying to feed me and give me something to drink. And I just had to have the recipe for this Grape Salad. (And I asked. And they even gave it to me! Special thanks to the Murphys for the hospitality, the Sunshine - and this recipe!)



Cabin #210 Grape Salad

2 lb green seedless grapes
2 lb red seedless grapes
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecans, crushed

Wash and stem grapes. Set aside.

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla by hand until blended. Mix with grapes in large bowl.

For topping, combine brown sugar and pecans. Sprinkle over top of grapes to cover completely. Chill overnight.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wine Spectator honors Mississippi restaurants


Mississippi has been honored in Wine Spectator’s newly released 2013 Restaurant Wine List Awards, which highlights the eateries around the globe that offer the best wine selections. This year, 3,793 restaurants were named award winners, spanning all 50 states and 76 other countries and territories, along with 11 cruise ships. Overall, 16 Mississippi establishments were honored.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hal & Mal's P.J. Lee: From Lawyer to Restauranteur



P.J. Lee recently changed careers. He is the son-in-law of Hal White, and after he passed away, he has taken over the reins at the restaurant.

“Going from a law practice to a kitchen is a big difference, but I’m enjoying it,” Lee told the Clarion-Ledger. “I don’t like the circumstance, but I’ve enjoyed the change ... This is my job and my life now.”

Lee has added Grilled Mahi Tacos with Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa to the Hal & Mal's menu, but he considers his signature dish to be Crystal Scallops.

Stop by and see P.J. soon, but in the meantime...


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fast and Fresh Summer Pasta


The Clarion-Ledger recently published Sara Moulton's recipe for Fast and Fresh Summer Pasta. I was looking for more Meatless Monday (and Tuesday and Wednesday and sometimes Thursday too) recipes, so decided to give it a try. It's a keeper!

I did not use fresh tomatoes. I used a large can of diced tomatoes, rinsed and drained. I used 1 tsp of olive oil (and no lemon zest). Honestly, I think it would have been fine with no oil. The goat cheese makes it creamy enough.

3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (about 1-inch pieces)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
8 ounces whole-wheat penne or fusilli pasta
1 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, basil, oregano, mint, dill, chives, cilantro and tarragon)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large serving bowl toss the tomatoes with a few hefty pinches of salt and some black pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes, then add the lemon zest, oil and goat cheese and toss well.

Add the pasta to the boiling water, stir and cook according to package instructions until just al dente. Drain the pasta (it’s fine to have some water still clinging to the pasta), then add it to the bowl. Toss until the cheese is melted.

Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the pasta between 4 serving bowls, then sprinkle each portion with some of the herbs. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving: 360 calories; 110 calories from fat (31 per cent of total calories); 12 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 51 g carbohydrate; 7 g fibre; 5 g sugar; 17 g protein; 390 mg sodium.

Congratulations to Brent's Drugs!


Congratulations to Brent's Drugs! They were recently named one of America's Best Diners by Travel + Leisure magazine. (And they probably didn't even get to try the King Cake Milkshake that I'm STILL raving about!) 

Brent's got the #2 spot on a list of 25. Not shabby at all!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fresh Market hosting sampling event this weekend



Fresh Market is offering us a Taste of Summer this weekend! Stores will be sampling Gourmet Burgers, Broccoli Cranberry Slaw, Cajun Krab Dip, TFM Gelato, Ice Cream, Summer Breeze Coffee, TFM Chocolate Gems and more!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Shed gets TV series on Food Network in August



The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint in Ocean Springs will be featured on a Food Network show, The Shed, starting in August. The restaurant will be featured on the show, along with the shenanigans of The Orrison family.

You can watch a sneak peak on Aug. 4 at 9 p.m.! Until then, you can try Mama Mia's Mac Salad to get ready...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 12 is Cow Appreciation Day




For one day only, Friday, July 12,  black and white spots, cow bells and furry ears will be appropriate attire at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the nation. In celebration of Cow Appreciation Day, Chick-fil-A will award a FREE Meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) to any customer who comes to one of their restaurants fully dressed as a cow.

If you wear a partial costume, you get a free entree. If you dress head to hoof, you get a free meal. Read the FAQs for full details. (I mean it's worth it just to read someone trying to explain what "fully dressed as a cow" means!)

In the meantime, Chick-fil-A offers you this Starter Kit to get ready.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Corinth hosts slugburger-eating championship


Hot dog eating champ Joey Chestnut will take on the Mississippi slugburger on Saturday in Corinth. He will be competing against Matt Stonie, also from San Jose and a 21-year-old nutrition major at Mission College in Santa Clara, Calif. Main Street Corinth made the announcement over the weekend on its Facebook page. The winner will get $1,500 (and bragging rights).

The 26th Annual Slugburger Festival is Saturday, July 13. The eating contest is at 4:30 p.m. at the Crossroads Museum in Corinth. The Festival begins on Thursday, July 11, and offers a full line-up of entertainment.

Tamale couple ultimate winner of Food Court Wars



Clinton couple Thomas and Mary Jordan will get to open their tamale stand after the premiere episode of the Food Network’s “Food Court Wars.”

The show pits two teams dishing up regional favorites, competing for a restaurant space in a shopping mall, rent-free for one year. The season opener was set at Meridian’s Bonita Lakes Mall. It’s hosted by celebrity chef Tyler Florence.

Oxford best friends Erika Lipe and Stevo McCain, both originally from Batesville, competed with Po-Boy Station and won with a slim $29 margin in the final tally of most money earned. But the two were unable to open the restaurant based on personal reasons, the show said. (Oxford's Local Voice has more here. Thanks to Martha Foose on Facebook for the link!)

The Jordans will open their restaurant at Bonita Lakes Mall in August, a mall representative said.

Read more from Sherry Lucas in Clinton News here.

Monday, July 8, 2013

It's trial, error for north Miss. catfish farmer



Brent Wedel routinely produces more than 1 million pounds of catfish a year from his 26-pond farm in Egypt in Chickasaw County. His success is noteworthy in an industry that, as a whole, has declined steeply over the past decade.

The Mississippi catfish industry peaked in 2002, with more than 113,000 acres of ponds statewide. Today, that acreage is down to about 45,000, according to Mississippi State University aquaculture expert Jim Steeby.

Read more from Sarah Robinson here.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Kids Will Eat Their Veggies If You Explain Why They Need To



Seems like my father knew what he was doing. He used reason and logic and "how things work" explanations to my brother and me about why we needed to eat all of our veggies or else...in great detail. It just had very little to do with nutrition most of the time! ;)

Congratulations to Chef Vishwesh from Snackbar in Oxford!



Congratulations to Chef Vishwesh from Snackbar in Oxford! He just had a recipe featured on www.FoodandWine.com. Here is one of his recipes, Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Pickled Okra, featured in Southern Living.

[ via Mississippi Seafood Promotion Council ]

This year's shrimp season



More than 250 boats launched June 11 to open the shrimp season in Mississippi's coastal waters. A cold, wet spring had delayed the season's start, which opened June 1 last year.

Read more about this year's Mississippi shrimp season from Keri Collins Lewis in the Sun Herald here.

Find places to buy Mississippi gulf shrimp here.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hobby turns into job for beekeeper



The Estes family apiary is hidden on the back roads of Itawamba county, near Evergreen. Justin Estes strains and pots all the honey on site. By the end of the season, he expects to collect about 1,000 gallons.

 He sets up once a month at the Tupelo Flea Market. He also sells five-frame nucleus hives and single and double hives for anyone looking to start their own bee yard.

Read more from Sarah Robinson in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal here.

International Gumbo Festival returning to Jackson



After a decades-long absence, the BankPlus International Gumbo Festival is set for 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 28 at Smith Park in Jackson. Tickets, $10 in advance, are on sale now. 

Cooking team entry fees will benefit the Harold T. and Hal White Memorial Fund at Hinds Community College. Malcolm White, state tourism chief and partner with his late brother, Hal White.

Read more from Sherry Lucas in The Clarion-Ledger here.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Succotash Salad with Buttermilk Avocado Dressing



This salad eats like a full meal, which is a good thing because it just about takes as long to prepare as a full meat. But it is worth it!

  • 2ears fresh sweet corn (or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn)
  • 1cup fresh lima beans (or frozen)
  • 3/4cup buttermilk
  • 1/2of an avocado, seeded, and peeled
  • 1tablespoon snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 1/4teaspoon salt
  • 1/4teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1clove garlic, minced
  • 1large head butterhead (Boston or bibb) lettuce, torn
  • 2cups sliced grilled chicken breast
  • 6slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2cup crumbled blue or feta cheese (2 oz.)

directions
1.Cut corn kernels from cobs; set kernels aside. Discard cobs. In a small saucepan bring 1 cup of lightly salted water to boiling. Add lima beans and simmer about 15 minutes or until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon; set aside. Add corn to saucepan. Simmer about 3 minutes or until tender; drain. Set aside.
2.For dressing, in a blender combine buttermilk, avocado, parsley, salt, onion powder, dry mustard, pepper, and garlic. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour into a small pitcher.
3.Line a large platter or four serving plates with the lettuce. Arrange chicken, crumbled bacon, corn, lima beans, onion, and cheese in rows on lettuce. Serve with dressing.
After making this once, I think you could use low-fat buttermilk for the dressing and it would be fine. I think I would also use goat cheese instead of feta (because the feta was pretty salty with the bacon and other salty things on there). I did use a rotisserie chicken so that could have added to the salt.
I broke the dressing up with a bit of chicken broth because it was too thick for my taste at first. (I did use the whole avocado instead of half. This could be why.)
This recipe is from the June 2013 edition of Better Homes & Gardens! Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Peace Love and Pork Butts



Yep. You read that right.

If you go to find a big, juicy pork butt to throw into your crockpot on a hot, humid Southern night...you won't find it. It's now a (much classier) blade roast. (I mean it already sounds drier, somehow.)

No more pork loin rib chops either. Those are now rib-eye pork chops. Pork loin chop? New York pork chop. Bone-in pork loin chop? Porterhouse pork chop.

It's not a good summer to be a butcher, I'm guessing.

The National Pork Board and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association say the names are meant to be less confusing. (Which begs the question, less confusing to whom?)

Sigh.

Beef Magazine blog has a list of all of the new names here.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Blueberry crop smaller because of early spring frosts



Late-spring cold snaps and untimely freezes have delayed harvests and reduced yields for Mississippi’s 2013 blueberry crop.

George Traicoff of Hernando runs a family owned and operated you-pick operation in DeSoto County. He started Nesbit Blueberry Plantation with 6,000 plants in 1984, and today his family tends 16,000 plants.

Read more from The Clinton News here.

(Mississippi has about 2,500 acres of blueberries, mostly located along Interstate 20 and south.)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach


I have a confession to make. I don't like lasagna.

And by that, I don't mean that I don't like the dish as much as the pasta itself. What attracted me to this dish was that it's just like lasagna, but using penne noodles instead (so if it worked, I could change up all of those lasagna recipes that I liked).

Thankfully, it works! And it could work with any lasagna recipe using the method of slightly undercooking the pasta you like and then baking it in the oven. 

Now I look forward to a summer of getting all of those old lasagna recipes out I left behind!

Damn Good Ham Sliders with Zucchini Chips


Last night, we tried Tasty Kitchen's Darn Good Ham Sliders with Eat Jackson's Zucchini Chips (because I felt we just had to have a vegetable of some sort with such ooey goodness, even though I really wanted sweet potato fries).

First off, Tasty Kitchen is being modest. I renamed the recipe Damn Good Ham Sliders, because that's what they are. And the drizzled ooey gooey goodness is what makes it, so you could put whatever combo you wanted in the sliders, from sweet to savory, and if you pour that sauce over it, all will be fine. Just as promised, it makes the most delicious, crusty, caramelized bread (two words which I had not previously imagined together).

The zucchini chips were good but stuck to the aluminum foil, which would be important to the recipe re-do except when I went back and re-read the recipe, it did not say to put it the chips on aluminum foil. The sliders went on aluminum foil though so I guess I just grouped them together. (Now I have to go back and try it again without aluminum foil.)

One zucchini made two trays of chips, so one sliced thinly is definitely enough for about three servings. And they need to be served hot too. Because there were two trays of chips and I had to put the sliders in, I had a timing issue and they were served 10 minutes after coming out of the oven. Not recommended. They should be served hot too. 

(I guess now I have an excuse to go buy a new oven, huh?) ;)


Friday, June 7, 2013

Crews wins 4th annual Mississippi Seafood Cookoff


Chef David Crews of Cleveland came in first place at the 4th annual Great Mississippi Seafood Cook-Off in Biloxi. Crews won first place and was crowned “King of Mississippi Seafood” for his award-winning Deconstructed Gumbo featuring Mississippi Gulf Shrimp, Mississippi Gulf Oysters and Mississippi Gulf Crab.

As the winner, Chef Crews will now go on to represent Mississippi in the 10th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off (GASCO) in New Orleans on August 3, 2013.

St. Bethany Fresh tomatoes available at new Germantown Farmers Market


St. Bethany Fresh tomatoes will be available at the new Germantown Farmers Market. St. Bethany Fresh is able to grow tomatoes out of season due to hydroponic gardening. The Mississippi company started in 2011.

This fall, the local tomatoes will be available in Whole Foods and in 82 Sprint Mart locations in northeast Mississippi. The tomatoes are also available at farmers markets in Tupelo, New Albany, and Oxford.