Berry Vinaigrette

This is a very versatile vinaigrette recipe to have on hand this time of year as it works well with just about any berry.

Crush 1/4 cup of your berry of choice in a bowl.


1 oz honey

1/4 c white wine vinegar

chopped basil (to taste)

pinch of salt

Whisk all together and then slowly drizzle in walnut oil until you reach your preferred consistency. I usually use about 1 oz of oil but I do not like a lot of oil in my vinaigrette so you may want a bit more. While walnut oil will give you the best flavor you can certainly use a mild olive oil or grapeseed oil.

This well keep for several days in the fridge, just blend well before adding to your salad.


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Purple Hull Pea Hummus

After putting up about 16 pounds of purple hull peas last week we had just a cup or so left over. Not enough to freeze or eat with dinner but too much to just toss. What to do? Make hummus!

Hummus is a Middle Eastern dip made with chickpeas. Substituting purple hull peas for the chickpeas gives you the same creamy dip with a Southern twist.

In the food processor toss your cooked peas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini paste, olive oil and salt. You can certainly find a variety of recipes for hummus but it’s really just all to taste and the consistency you prefer.

It’s not much to look at, but it’s yummy!


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Recipes and copyright law

I’ve had several requests for recipes that I’ve mentioned here. I’ve been doing a bit of reading and soul-searching and making some decisions about how I interpret the copyright law. It reads:

Copyright law does not protect recipes that are mere listings of ingredients. Nor does it protect other mere listings of ingredients such as those found in formulas, compounds, or prescriptions. Copyright protection may, however, extend to substantial literary expression—a description, explanation, or illustration, for example—that accompanies a recipe or formula or to a combination of recipes, as in a cookbook.

Source: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl122.html

I read this to mean that the listing of ingredients is not protected by copyright but the instructions are protected (the description and/or explanation that accompanies the recipe).

There are a good number of people who disagree with my interpretation. However, my conscience is just not comfortable repeating verbatim what someone has created to support their livelihood.

If I am using a published recipe that is available on-line then I will try to always link to that so you can have access to the recipe. If I’m using a recipe from a book or other printed source then I encourage you to succumb to your cookbook hoarding tendencies and buy the book…you’ll find lots of other recipes to try, I’m sure 🙂


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I scream, you scream…

We all scream for ice cream! I spent the majority of last week running a small ice cream factory out of my kitchen. Every night a different flavor…

Ice cream for 70 people looks a little like this…(plus a quart of strawberries that didn’t make the picture)

America’s Test Kitchen has pretty perfect sorbet recipe that I used for both the peach and strawberry sorbet. My basic ice cream recipe is from Fine Cooking. It is a wonderful custard base that takes well to almost any flavor you want to add.

Individual cups make things a little more fun (and less messy than scooping ice cream in the hot sun!). If you ever need labels I highly recommend Davet Designs. Super easy to work with and when I needed a last minute rush order of strawberry sorbet labels she only charged me $5 for the rush work!

I got the cute little cups and spoons from The Party Fairy on etsy. They hold about 3 oz which turns out to be the perfect size to let you sample several flavors 😉

So happy I got to be a part of the graduation weekend and celebrate  my bestest friend!

Coffee ice cream, Peach sorbet, and Strawberry sorbet. There was Basil Walnut ice cream as well but apparently it got eaten too fast for the picture 🙂

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makes you think…

Really makes you stop and think!

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Mindy B’s Deli Announces Round 2 Of Sandwich Throwdown – 05/30/2012 – Chattanoogan.com

Mindy B’s Deli Announces Round 2 Of Sandwich Throwdown – 05/30/2012 – Chattanoogan.com.

Yea for The Ruby Slipper Sandwich!!

This lovely sandwich has moved on to Round 2 of the Sandwich throwdown at Mindy B’s Deli! I spent Wednesday evening at the deli making the sandwich and being filmed by some great folks from Moss Media Lab. It was a really fun experience and they were terribly kind to the girl who does not like to be in front of the camera! I got to sample my sandwich made with the house roasted turkey and it was good! If you’ve never been to Mindy B’s then you should check it out. She’s got some great stuff going on, aside from the soon to be famous Ruby Slipper sandwich!

Starting Monday the 3 finalists will be featured on the menu and the one that gets ordered the most will be on the menu for a full year! That means I need you to get down to the deli and order the Ruby Slipper! If you aren’t in Chattanooga it seems like this would be a perfect opportunity to come visit!

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The Ruby Slipper Sandwich

I’m entering the Sandwich Throwdown at Mindy B’s Deli! Go here and “like” my comment featuring the Ruby Slipper sandwich. The top 3 sandwiches will move on to compete in the store for 3 weeks. At the end of that time, the most popular sandwich gets put on the menu for a full year!

Why Ruby Slipper you ask? The sandwich is served on ciabatta bread which translates from Italian as “slipper”. The bread was so named for its supposed resemblance to a slipper. Hmm…pretty sure it doesn’t look like my slippers but that’s ok. The ruby is for the gorgeous cranberry sauce. This cranberry sauce might be my favorite part of the sandwich. It is the “red stuff” served at my family Thanksgiving every year. I love this stuff. love. it. (You know that snacking you tend to do as you clean up the holiday dishes? Well, somehow the red stuff ended up on a roll with a piece of ham and, well, it was glorious.)

The Ruby Slipper is roasted turkey, black forest bacon, cave aged gruyere cheese, “red stuff” cranberry sauce, mayo, and  lettuce (I really wanted arugula but there was none to be found today) served on toasted garlic ciabatta bread.

I couldn’t just dream up a sandwich without giving it a whirl myself, so dinner tonight was the inaugural debut of the Ruby Slipper!


Go here and “like” the Ruby Slipper so you can have one yourself at Mindy B’s Deli!


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Waste not, want not

I hate to throw away something that might be useful. It’s why I carted around a 6 pack of styrofoam balls that I had intended to create into something unique and beautiful for my wedding for six years after I was married. This includes a move to another state. ridiculous, I know. Luckily, the styrofoam balls are gone and I’ve moved on to saving more useful things. Like onion skins and carrot peelings and chicken carcasses!

Veggie scraps are great for stock. Most anything goes except for things in the brassica family (broccoli and greens) as they will impart an unpleasent taste. I keep a bag in the freezer and add to it almost daily. Trimmings from onions, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, celery and leeks are the bulk of my scraps. When I’ve got several gallon bags full I just toss the scraps in a pot, cover with water and boil until the flavor is to my liking. You can toss in some salt if you want but I prefer not as I don’t always know how I will be using the stock and I’d rather salt as I cook the dish. strain well, transfer to freezer safe containers and freeze. Voila! Free stock right at your fingertips.

The same method works with shrimp shells, meat bones (you get more flavor if you roast the bones before boiling), and even crawfish leftover after a crawfish boil!

This became 14 pints of crawfish stock!

This is the current stock stockpile: chicken, veggie, lamb, crawfish, and shrimp! Something to satisfy every tastebud!


Breadcrumbs are another easy thing to “make”. When the end of the baguette gets stale or no one can be convinced to eat the heel of the bread, just toss the bread in a spice grinder and store the crumbs in the freezer. No need to thaw before use. Again, such an easy thing to do and isn’t it grand to create something that you need out of something that you would otherwise throw away??

When you just can’t find an edible use for your scraps – compost! Eggshells, coffee grounds (buy unbleached filters and they can go in there as well), scraps that aren’t suitable for stock…practically anything goes! Toss your pile around every now and then to keep things circulating and you should have a gorgeous pile of compost in no time for your garden.

This is an interesting article from Culinate about kitchen thrift and using what you’ve got. It’s not necessarily about the money you save (although that is a definite plus) but more about creating something useful and not contributing even more garbage to the piles.


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Cookware as art, cast iron and cornbread

I’m a very visual person and I’ve always been a fan of open cabinetry in the kitchen. My pots and pans are tools, yes, but most of them are well crafted and quite visually appealing. They are the tools that I use to show my love (food is love? you bet!) and seeing them reminds me of meals and stories that have happened in my kitchen. They are my friends and I like to see them. And, apparently I’m not the only one!

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum just announced a Pots and Pans Project to construct a public art sculpture composed of pots and pans from restaurants from around the south. (Have you ever been to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum? It’s fabulous. Go.)

Miller Union Restaurant in Atlanta has a cast iron cookware wall – gorgeous!

I have a special affinity for cast iron. The longevity and history that a pan accumulates with its seasoning is special. I have a Le Creuset pan that is lovely and you can’t find a better pan for a pan sauce, but…its just not cast iron. Maybe one day my great granddaughter will be using that pan and then we’ll talk. Until then, this gorgeous pan that belonged to Neal’s grandmother is the go-to in our kitchen.

Speaking of cast iron, you should check out The National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg, TN. Everyone knows that you can’t make great cornbread without a cast iron skillet and South Pittsburg just happens to be the home of Lodge Manufacturing. You can spend the day in South Pittsburg and sample cornbread done a dozen different ways, shop the Lodge outlet (fabulousness!), and tour the historic homes and buildings of South Pittsburg. There’s also a 5k Saturday morning if you’re feeling frisky. Someday I’d love to spend the year doing the races at these types of food festivals. The t-shirt collection would be great!

My favorite cornbread memory is with my Granny Dye. She made the best cornbread with the most perfect crispy edges. She would always let me nibble the edges and never got mad when I ate all the way around! I think I’ve actually figured out the crispy edges, but they still aren’t as good without her.


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