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 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 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.