Saturday Doughnuts

The closest Shipley’s is in Hoover, AL 3 hours away (the best doughnuts in the world for you non-Texans).  Krispy Kreme is too sweet, Dunkin Donuts is too cakey, not that it stops me from eating either one.

I made doughnuts last Saturday in hopes of having a hot and fresh doughnut (or is it donut?  I don’t think so.) at home.

I didn’t feel like making the dough from scratch, and I had seen online people raving about using canned biscuits as the dough.  Seemed easy enough.  Plus, the recipe was a Paula Deen one and had 5 stars for 191 reviews, couldn’t be bad.

I cut the biscuits
and dropped them into the Fry Daddy
Then covered them in the glaze
and ate them.

And they weren’t that good.  Super, super heavy.  Like a very thick cake.  Plus, let’s just say that these fried pastries did not agree with my stomach.

I’m glad I tried it.  These were easy to make, but I think my stomach and waistline will be in favor of me not making these again.  But there’s always the drive thru.

Georgia grown with love

After running the Peachtree for the sixth year in a row, I’ve decided on another July 4th tradition that I’m bringing back to the holiday.

For as long as I can remember, Mama made vanilla ice cream every 4th.  We had it in our small town in Texas where we had to watch fireworks from the mall parking lot.  We had it those few years in West Virginia, and we’ve had it in Georgia as well.  I remember it churning on the back deck and Daddy add more rock salt.

And y’all, if you haven’t made ice cream at home, you have not lived.  I don’t know if it’s the heavy cream (ok, it probably is) or what, but homemade ice cream is the best.  It even beats Blue Bell.

So this year, on the 5th (the 4th was busy, it was a holiday weekend), I made peach ice cream while Jim made a peach dump.  He picked peaches at the farm, and they were delicious.  Plus, Sloan and Ryan let me borrow their ice cream maker.

We used America’s Test Kitchen recipe for the ice cream, and I loved it.  Not too sweet, not too rich.  I think next time I’d puree the peaches more instead of just mashing them to avoid having a frozen chunk of peach.

Peach ice cream with peach dump… I’d say it’s summer in Georgia.
Which brings me back to my garden I’m growing… in Georgia.  Did that transition work at all?  No, ok, moving on.

I’ve always grown basil in the summer, and I’ll throw it in a dish here and there, but this year I wanted to get more use out of the plant, so I decided to make pesto.

My plant in all her glory pre-chopping.  This was enough for me to cut 2 cups and still have some left over.
I used this recipe from Food Network, which had great reviews.

I combined everything in the blender.  Time saving tip- Pine nuts are in the baking section, not in the nuts.
I blended while my pasta was cooking until it looked like so
And then I poured on top of pasta with the tomatoes from my garden for a lovely roommate dinner!
Super quick and easy meal that tasted so fresh!  Plus, it made enough pesto to use again.

Cooking from the Farm

Last weekend, Jim’s mom sent us back from the farm with a good amount of food!

I decided to use the corn and squash to try something new.  I made creamed corn and delicious squash pepper slices, let’s call them squash boats that she made us for supper as she came up with the recipe on her own!

For the creamed corn, I roughly used this recipe.  I’m a fan of creamed corn, but I usually buy the frozen McKenzie creamed corn because it’s ready in a few minutes and it really is amazing.

I fried up a couple pieces of bacon and left the grease from the bacon in the pan.  (and ate the bacon, of course) Then, I milked the corn.
I looked up some videos on YouTube on how to milk the corn.  I cut the corn about halfway then flipped the knife around and scraped the back.  Jim’s technique was  to slit the corn before cutting.  We each thought our way yielded more cream.
I added the corn with the other ingredients- salt, pepper (not much since you can add those later), flour, sugar, heavy cream, and water to the bacon grease.

It cooked down for a while and turned out like this.
Then, you add the butter.  The creamed corn was excellent.  A little bit of a hassle having to cream all the corn, but a nice treat, especially with fresh corn.  Something my Mimi probably made often.

For the squash, it’s best to use squash that is on the smaller side.  Cut off the ends, cut them in half, and scoop out the seed parts.
Slice up a red pepper and a sweet onion to put in the squash.  Add salt and pepper.
Top with a slice of raw bacon because of course.  Cook in the oven (I think I did 375 for 15 minutes at least and then broiled the bacon at the end).

Sprinkle cheese on top once squash/bacon is ready and take it out once melted.
Y’all these were so good.  They didn’t even taste like squash.  Thanks to Jim’s mom for letting me steal her recipe,  I’ll be making this again!

This is my kind of summer meal.  So tasty.  Paired with baked ranch chicken, I was one full and happy girl.
 Thank goodness for leftovers.

The rest of May + most of June 2014

I left off right before Memorial Day, so I’ll pick up there.

Jim and I headed down to Gulf Shores for the long weekend.  Neither of us had been, and we both loved it.  It’s a beach and boating community.  When you get tired of looking at this
there is this view of the bay
We had some great meals
an especially good one at Cobalt

We did a lot of reading (when I wasn’t eating) and catching up with some of his old friends

But the highlight for me was the fishing trip with his brother and sister-in-law.  We went through Zeke’s Landing and went out on a smaller center console boat.  I’ve done inshore fishing before, but this was actual cast your own line and wait.  We had to work for it, which I really enjoyed.  We went out into the Gulf and then around in the bay on a four hour tour.  It was so much fun!
David caught a flounder and Brady and Jim caught some stingrays and catfish and probably other stuff that I can’t remember.  I used all the muscles in my body to reel in this jack something fish, only to find out that we had to throw it back.

Somehow later I had the good fortune of catching this big boy under a dock in the bay.  I was informed it is a red fish.  (Lesson learned: it is ok to let the captain cast for you in the perfect spot)
We lucked out on beautiful weather all weekend, it was such a great time!  I’m ready to go back to Orange Beach or any beach for that matter!

The weekend after Memorial Day was an outing to Top Golf with my parents, which was a blast!  A little more of a clubbish feel than I would like, but it was a Friday night in suburbia and the party was hoppin.

On Saturday, Jamie, Kacina, and I (plus the little one in Kacina’s belly!!!!) headed to Callaway Gardens.  We talked, ate, hiked, talked, relaxed, talked, and just enjoyed each other’s company.

Callaway Gardens was so pretty and relaxing.  It was a treat to be with these two and we realized we have been friends for 9 years!

The weekend after that was a trip to Six Flags Saturday morning for my company summer picnic.  My friend Allison joined me, also known now as the daredevil.  It was HOT, but we got there early and made it to the front of almost every ride before the crowds go there.
It was a blast running around the park.  I only sat out one ride, but can you blame me?
I still love Superman, but Allison’s favorite is Goliath.  Her motto is “Arms up, eyes open!”

After an exhausting day, I headed to the Zac Brown Band concert that night.  I got tickets at the last minute, and other than having to be around high school kids who found a way to get alcohol, it was an excellent concert.  He played a lot of covers of some old country artists, which I loved, and his band is just full of great musicians.

Summer, I love you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope your day is filled with food, family, and a Dallas Cowboys’ win!

I didn’t do my usual list of 50 as I did back in 2012 and 2011, but today (and hopefully everyday) I am thankful for so much but maybe most for my family who helped me move in the cold rain earlier this week.

As our pastor told us in church last weekend, let us remember that all that we have comes from the Lord.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite pictures of my Mimi circa the 90s.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Buford Highway Farmer’s Market

Ryan (of Sloan and Ryan) has been singing the praises of the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market.

It’s not really a farmer’s market but more like a regular grocery store.  Whitney and I ventured there last weekend.
In northeast Atlanta, this place is the size of Wal-Mart with only food.  It is intense- go with a list!
It has EVERYTHING.  I needed lemons and turned the corner and they were a million lemons
The produce is fantastic.  It goes on forever and is fairly cheap.  Plus, they have stuff like baby bananas
and a cactus leaf
and quail eggs (Does Quail Man eat these?)
There’s a whole section of meat and seafood, which has great prices as well (though Whit found her tuna to be tough)
Oh hey, I know her
There’s also a huge international section.
We of course stocked up on some Weetabix!

This grocery has anything you could ever need, reasonable prices, but not worth going to regularly.

Berry Picking

We headed out to Adam’s Farm in Fayetteville this past weekend for berry picking.  It was a short drive from the city.

The strawberries were past season, but there were still a few raspberries and lots of blueberries and blackberries.
The raspberries were prickly, so I only came home with a handful.
 The blueberries and blackberries were plentiful and much more fun to pick.
(Blackberries grow red and then turn black when they’re ripe.  I didn’t know that until yesterday!)
The door to get to the net-covered blueberries
It was a HOT Saturday morning, but we had a great time!  I love my friends!
Plus, there’s a market at the farm.
I came home with some loot!
I used America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe to make blueberry muffins (made with yogurt), and they are amazing!
Next year, we will have to go earlier to get strawberries too!