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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Southern Fried Whole Okra...

Down in the South we grow a lotta okra. Okra season is right upon us and I have been so hankering for some freshly fried okra. In fact, I don't want the cut up kind, I want something more grand! I want some whole fried okra pods! Had some in a salad a few years ago and the thought of that Southern Fried Whole Okra on top of some fresh salad greens with some freshly cut tomatoes and onions and  topped with some homemade Ranch dressing...well what can I say. Dreams do come true...enjoy!

How to make Southern Fried Whole Okra...
Ingredients:
Oil and Iron Skillet for frying
3 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup corn meal
1 ts salt
1/2 ts pepper
Batch of freshly picked, rinsed, and cleaned okra (leave tops on or cut off if you so desire)
Directions:
1.  Hear oil in skillet to 375 degrees
2.  Whisk eggs and buttermilk in medium bowl
3.  Mix flour, meal, salt, pepper in another bowl
4. Drop okra in egg mixture then in dry mixture till fully coated
5.  Fry until golden brown or about 3-4 minutes, drain on paper towel, serve in your fave salad fixins, and drizzle some homemade Ranch dressing all over!











Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Enjoying The Good Life and A Perfect Iced Coffee

Each and every day for a very long while, I have been enjoying a hot and delicious (most of the time) latté at my choice of coffee shops around the area. Started this pleasurable (and expensive) little habit back in 2005 when I lived in Fayetteville, Arkansas and decided (what was I thinking) to complete my degree (Anthropology) at the University of Arkansas. This effort (B.A.2008) was no easy task for a non-traditional (old) student like myself. Immediately recognized it would take many hours of waking at the crack of dawn, driving to the University, and dragging a 30 pound book bag all over the Hill. My morning latté was the only way I survived (do you know how hard college algebra is) and completed my mission. This creature of habit has continued the latté tradition (through the winter months) with the replacement of an iced coffee during the summer time. 

BTW, do you know how much a habit of this magnitude costs...about as much as the cost of my degree (well almost). Anyway, have not mastered the perfect latte at home (can't afford an ultra gourmet latté maker) however, to defray some of the iced coffee expense, I can make the heck out of a perfect iced coffee (of which I am enjoying right now as I blog away). Enjoying the good life (so nice to be out of school) and a perfect iced coffee. Cheers!

How to make Perfect Iced Coffee:
Ingredients  
2 1/2 cups robust coffee grounds ( I use Community Coffee with Chicory)
1 gallon cold water
Directions
1.  Pour coffee grounds into a large bowl. Add the gallon of cold water. Stir a tad.
2.  Cover with saran wrap and place out of the way for about 8 hours to allow the coffee and water to mate.
3. After 8 hours (don't cheat, you want it strong) gather a 1 gallon pitcher, some cheese cloth, and a 2 cup measuring cup with pouring spout near the sink area. 
4.  Put the cheesecloth over the top edge of the pitcher, hold it tight with your fingers (didn't say this was easy) and using the 2 cup measuring cup, pour the coffee grind mixture into the pitcher being careful not to let the cheesecloth slip. Wring the cheesecloth out (into the pitcher) when a bunch of grinds accumulate and then toss the grinds down your disposal. 
5. Leave your coffee in the pitcher or pour your wonderful brew into a fancy decanter (got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond) and place in the fridge to dispense whenever the iced coffee urge hits you. Will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

For An Iced Coffee:  
Simply dispense some of your coffee into an ice filled glass half way, add milk of choice for the other half, don't forget to give it some sweetness (like sugar or sweetener) and stir away. And whatever you do, don't forget the straw.

I strongly recommend this coffee with almond milk and Splenda!!! Also, strongly recommend getting your degree early in life, but it's really never too late.





Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Low Carb Humpday!

Around the middle of the week and often after a sin filled weekend, I'm usually aching for some decent food. You know, the kind that has no rich butters, no white flours, no surgery sweets. This morning I had my wonderful OO Sautéed Veggies with Two Poached Eggs and a sprinkle of Cheddar...simple, delicious, low carb, and a delightful foretaste of the summer veggies to come! I do love the simple things in life. Happy Low Carb Humpday to you!




Thursday, February 20, 2014

And, They're Off...

Racing season at Oaklawn is sort of special this year. You are able to place a bet from ANYWHERE! Don't believe me. Check it out at http://Oaklawn.com . We've been regulars since the 70s and this is very, very interesting. Back in the day you could only use the public telephones at certain times within the gates. Something to do with booking bets. They have come a long way, baby.

And, speaking of old times, who remembers Coy's Steak House??? Miss it badly. I did a blog post back in 2011 that showcased a vegan copycat version of Coy's Famous House Salad Dressing. I have sort of  fallen off the vegan wagon since then, and I'm back to serving up my old standard copycat version which always impresses my servees! You really should try this one. Go ahead, permission granted to transport yourself back in time, play like you're at that famous old restaurant icon, make this wonderful salad dressing for your favorite greens, grab a sleeve of saltines, grill a couple of steaks, break some bread, and bet on your favorite ponies (from ANY LOCATION).

My Copycat Version of Coy's Famous House Salad Dressing:
Ingredients:
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, GRATED with juice
1/4 cup catsup
1/4 cup chili sauce
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black cracked pepper
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
Few dashes of hot sauce
Directions:
Whisk all together and mix well. Important Note: Grate the onion in the same mixing bowl so you don't loose the juice. Will keep for about a week in the fridge. Serve on salad greens and always with a sleeve of crackers for sinfully, scrumptious dippin'!



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Nannie's Sunday Lemon Cake Gone Orange

My Nannie was my muse in the kitchen, as well as, in my life. She taught me how to cook, among a ton of other things. I often spent the night with her on the weekend and she would let me play dress up with her beautiful costume jewelry and gorgeous clothes and shoes. Each year we always watched the Miss America pageant together. One of the most delicious things she taught me was how to make her special lemon cake which she would bake for us when we came to visit. We came to visit often...every Sunday. And, I still make her lemon cake to this very day. But, today Nannie's Sunday Lemon Cake has gone orange. Nannie would be happy...because I could never do anything wrong in Nannie's eyes. I miss her.











How to make Nannie's Sunday Lemon Cake Gone Orange (Lemon Cake in Parentheses):
Ingredients:
1 package Duncan Hines Orange Supreme Cake Mix (Lemon Cake Mix)
1 teaspoon orange extract (lemon extract)
4 eggs
1 small Orange Jello Gelatin (Lemon Jello Gelatin)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
For the frosting:
1 cup Confectioner's sugar
1 orange zested and juiced (lemon zested and juiced)
Directions:
Mix cake mix, extract, eggs, Jello gelatin, oil, and buttermilk in large mixing bowl. Pour into an 8x8 inch pan (Nannie always used a 9x13, your call) which has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Right before the cake is done, mix the Confectioner's sugar and zest and juice (zest first or you'll be sorry) of orange (lemon) in a medium bowl. When the cake has finished baking and is still hot, poke holes in the cake with a fork tine. Then pour frosting over the top of the cake and let it seep through.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Good Ole Days Are Back at Bruno's Little Italy

Last rainy Friday the line was long, the wait was short, the people were gracious, and the good ole days are back again at my favorite Italian eatery, Bruno's Little Italy downtown on Main. 

Yes, we braved the storms to check out the newly opened Bruno's in the SOMA area and dèjá vu was all over the place! The same delicious crusty bread, perfect glass of house Cabernet, fabulous pasta with Italian sausage and meat sauce, and the most delicious Around the World Pizza I've ever eaten. And, I've been to Italy! 

So glad Jimmy Bruno (the family patriarch whose portrait above the bar oversees the goings on and surely is pleased) was the first to bring authentic pizza to the South way back in 1949. And, double glad he settled in the Little Rock area (remember Bruno's on Roosevelt) and triple glad the boys are back to carry on a delightful family tradition! You must go...














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