Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Green Georgia Collards

so....ooopss...i made a wonderful dinner Sunday night for my dad and his fiance *weird calling her that* - i started taking pictures of what i was making- but low and it often does- the beer was a'flowin' and i forgot to take some pictures- so here is what i did, lots of captions- not as many pictures

So we have collards, diamond squash, and rib-eyes *not seen here*
1. stem collards by gently pulling the stem from the leaves and swirling them in a tub of water to remove grit
2. dice bacon into small-ish pieces, because you want to render the fat, place in the pot you want to cook in- over medium heat- make sure you are moving them around often
3. slice onion into crescents- or desired shape *one onion per bunch of collards
4. dice up your can of tomatoes- or open your can of diced tomatoes
5. add oil to the bacon, then add the onions---SALT, add SALT here....stir the onions till coated nicely with the fat and allow them to become translucent- 5 minutes?-ish
6. add tomatoes- SALT/PEPPER- stir well
7. add collards- cover with water *ADD SALT**
*cook at a simmer until tender--about 1.5 hours or 2...
the bacon fat will flavor the collard cooking water- which will soon become pot liquor
be sure to taste the pot liquor throughout the cooking process- do not hesitate to add salt

next is our diamond squash- which i have never heard of, but seems to be just baby acorn squash
this is a very similar cooking method to the spaghetti squash
1. preheat oven to 350*
2. split squash in half + remove seeds
3. salt liberally and pepper, add 1 pat of butter to the cavern in the squash
4. place on foiled baking sheet
5. bake until tender *about 1 hour
to serve you will put the whole half of the squash on the plate and allow each person to pull
the squash flesh into the center of the squash as they want

and the rib-eyes...nom nom nom
1. preheat the grill for about 15 minutes before you are ready to cook *30 minutes before the meal
2. pull out your steaks and heavily salt and pepper, and rub with olive oil-
you want these to be at room temperature- it will allow the meat to cook more evenly, as
there will be no cold spots
3. place on a hot hot hot grill- after 4 minutes rotate the steak 90*- this results in
the super cool "x" marks on your steak
4. flip the steaks after another 3 or 4 minutes- let the steaks cook on the second side for another
6 minutes or so- this will result in an approximate medium-rare/rare
5. rest the steaks for 5 minutes before cutting into them- this allows the juices to redistribute
evenly throughout the piece of heaven... 

collards are pretty close to done...taste to be sure your greens are tender enough


*can anyone tell me how to to make my pictures less yellow?...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

white and black

ok, so i'm unconditionally, absolutely, head-over-heels, in love with my dog. i'm looking forward to children, because if i can love a person more than i dog it will be wonderful. i love this dog so much, she gets away with pretty much everything and anything she wants. she is a HUGE cuddler- thus when we are not playing- we are cuddling. i have approximately a million pictures of her- because she is always doing something cuter than the last time. however, last night she maxed out- i got home a bit late/early *depending on how you look at clocks* and when i opened my bedroom door to grab my pajamas- she leapt onto the bed and was asleep when i got back---usually its my side of the bed, but she was so cozy looking she won. she didn't move all night- except to nuzzle her sweet nose into my neck- and snore...alas, it was wonderful :)
*** be aware, this is the first- of i'm sure, many many dog posts

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


this post is for my sister- who has asked for a step-by-step food cooking post: what i did in pictures and caption...

set oven to 350*

split spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds with a strong spoon: warning!! you will bend spoons with this

we then take our sweet potato- peel it, then cut it into the sizes you desire- tonight i went with the "fry" shape

next line your sheet pan with foil (because who wants to scrub that??!!)
heavily salt and pepper the inside of your squash + 2 tsp (ish) of butter or oil and
some small dice onion- i think i used about 2 tbs in each

nommmm nommmm nommmm

my sweet potato fries- on the foiled sheet tray i tossed it in olive oil
(not extra virgin, if you can help it- too fruity- use a neutral oil- canola, veg, or regular olive)
and salt and pepper

you want to put these in the oven for 30 minutes- i added them at the same time i put
the squash- just pull them out earlier- i broiled them until they were crispier as i finished pulling the flesh from the squash skin

left over onion for the spinach

note: i used about half a stick of butter for this whole meal- i consumed half of this tonight-
thus i only actually consumed 2tbs of butter- and butter makes everything better

butter in the pan for for spinach

add onion + salt (initially)- you want to sweat it to soften, not brown

frozen spinach = amazing! *and cheaper*

the sweating onions...

once the onions are soft *5 minutes or so* add the spinach and about 2 tbsp of water *it will evaporate*

roasting squash...nom nom nom...for 1 hour or until it pulls away from the skin easily

flesh pulling away from the skin...nommers

dinner- i ended up adding maple syrup to the potato...

well JB- i hope you enjoyed reading about my dinner- i hope you do this sometime :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Orange and Yellow

Well, yesterday was a fantastic day- I won my first tennis match in quite a few years. I was pretty proud of myself- I was playing well, both physically and mentally. Often it is my mental game that gives way before my body does- but yesterday it all went very well. I thought I had a second match in the early afternoon, but I'm a dumb ass sometimes and forget to write things in my calendar- or write them there, but forget to double check it- so in fact, my match is NEXT Sunday- so I played tennis Sunday (and won) and am helping with lessons for 4 year olds today (monday) and am hitting with my new tennis buddy tomorrow after work. It feels good to a) be this active again and b) the activity be tennis. I forgot how much I love,love,love,love,love this game. [this was "yellow"]

I'm embracing this fall season with squash- so far I've had roasted acorn squash and roasted spaghetti squash- roasting the spaghetti squash is new to me because I was raised steaming it- and that is a tasty preparation- roasting is AMAZING. So, this week I have most nights off- enter squash for dinner!! However, the orange comes into play with trying to add more veggies into my diet- so this morning I added canned pumpkin to cottage cheese and fruit- it needed something- I think tomorrow I'll add some nutmeg and sugar...otherwise, its a great source of protein, a serving of veg, and fruit all for breakfast. win. TONIGHT I'm making roasted pumpkin soup- IN the pumpkin. I got this idea off of The Front Burner Blog- but I'm taking it in a slightly different direction. She roasts the pumpkin first then adds the liquid to finish it- it was essentially chili in the bowl then you eat the roasted pumpkin. I'm planning on roasting the pumpkin with sauteed mire poix- then adding homemade veg stock to finish the cooking, pulling the meat of the pumpkin out then blending with my immersion blender. *love this thing*

My friend, B, is coming over to join me for pumpkin soup- so I'll beef up the meal with gnocci in a brown butter sage sauce- its Trader Joe's gnocci I've had in my pantry for way too long- but discovered it last week when cleaning out the pantry. double win.

Now to teach the four year olds how to enjoy serving :)

On a completely random note: my roommates dog LOVES to chase squirrels, today at Target I saw a squirrel costume for dogs for Halloween...if Sami hadn't already picked out the Chick-fil-a cow as her costume, she would totally be a squirrel...this could be Sami...hahahahahahahahahaha :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


i'm afraid of the sunrise, apparently...because everytime my alarm goes off and i see that the sun has not even bothered to get up yet, i wonder "why should i?" but NOT tomorrow- no. and now that all 4 of my followers have seen this, i am accountable to you, too. i will: wake up when my alarm goes off at 6:31 (who really sets an alarm for 6:35 or 6:30??); i will NOT snooze it; i will turn on the news and fix coffee; i will put on my running clothes and try to explain to sami why cuddling can wait until tomorrow morning; i will run for 25 minutes; i will come back in a cool down; i will feel better throughout the rest of my day.

now, i must go to sleep so i can wake up and do these things successfully...

good night moon............................................good morning sun


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

the color pink

wow, i was ready to write a whole "my favorite things" posting going into favorite songs, food, etc...but then i watched glee...and wow. this week was worse than any episode of Full House- and let me tell you, i can cry with the best of them when Uncle Jesse (oh, yea John Stamos, i've loved you since this moment) takes the framed picture of the pink bunny wall paper from his room in the house when he moves into Becki's house- to remember Michelle, because she generously gave up her room for him to stay.

so tonight's glee was about kurt's dad having a heart attack and almost the glee group all found a form of religion to help themselves- and eventually kurt- cope with the near loss...kurt went into how his dad was all he had when he lost his mother and then went into a beatles song "i want to hold your hand". This is the most moving version i've heard of this song...I'm sure I cried because it was a moving show with all of his friends gathering around him and pulling him through a tough time- but I think it also had a lot to do with how it is paralleling my life- how all i wanted after i lost my mom was to make sure i always had my dad *and of course, jessica- because, duh- where would i be without her* and that he would always hold my hand. 

Honestly, after i lost my mom i lost a lot of hope and faith in God- at points questioning whether or not he even exists- and i'm still not sure where i stand on the whole thing. Out of reversal to what i've been fed my whole life, i've chosen to believe in God- and i'm just PISSED at him. in the last five years he has taken my mom, grandfather, and a man who loved my cousin to her core. so for kurt to question his religion and flat out deny there is a god made me sad because that might really be how i feel- and i felt sorry for kurt, so do i feel sorry for myself? *these questions are not even close to being answered- check in later*

I lost my mother to breast cancer- hence the pink- and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss her, wish she was here, or want to call her and tell her something. She was my best friend (and I guess, still is) and there are still a million questions I want her opinion on...I'm thankful for my sister, who is the parts of my mom that I'm not- I think between the two of us we can piece together all of the answers we'll need...

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Color Blue

Have you ever had those days that just make you happy to be. Saturday, Sunday and today were those days for me. The summer has finally said good-bye and warm fall was here for, oh- approximately 2 days, and has now relinquished to cool fall...WELCOME. In the sun it is warm and puts some pink on your cheeks and in the shade its cool, if not a bit cold. So- if you can catch the sun with a breeze, it makes for the prettiest days in the world. They are the days that remind me of my childhood- well, I guess middle school and especially high school- where boyfriends would come pick me up or I would play tennis. It reminds me of my mom putting wire baskets in the shapes of pumpkins and ghosts (maybe ghosts- were there ghosts, jess?...) filled with candy corn and candy pumpkins- though she would only buy like 2 bags per season so we had to make it last...

Then picking out costumes for Halloween when it was this temperature *60-70s* but in actuality Halloween was about 45* that night- so your costume was ruined with your awesome fall coat. I think my favorite Halloween costume was a Minnie Mouse outfit- my sister gave me a picture of me and her in our costumes from that year, framed- I love that picture.

Two years ago when I first moved to Atlanta and had a random Saturday off- it may have been in the early spring- the sky was perfect and me and JB went to Piedmont Park to let Sami play and enjoy the wonderful weather. Like I said, I think it was in the spring- either way, the sky was like this Saturday, Sunday and Monday this weekend and it was so pretty it made my heart hurt.

I also was able to participate in an event on Saturday called "Out Standing in the Field". REALLY COOL!! It is basically a traveling catering gig, which sets up at farms and pairs with a local chef. 2 years ago when I began working at Watershed they participated in this event under Chef Peacock. This year Chef Steven Satterfield *former Watershed Executive Sous Chef* was chosen to partner with Love is Love Farm (based out of the Glover Farm in Douglasville) and Fudge Family Farms (pork farmers out of Birmingham) and Decimal Point Farms (Mary Rigdon (sp) who raises goats and makes the best cheese from them).

It was an AWESOME experience and meal. The company sets up one large table that usually stretched through the fields of the farm for 150 people to enjoy the 5 course meal. This is a rough explanation of our meal:
Chicken liver on crostini with pickled radishes and muscadines and peppercress
Watermelon and Daikon radishes with whipped Decimal Point Farm Feta and Johnson Dairy's Buttermilk
Buckwheat bellinis with whipped DPF Chevre with herbs and country ham, roasted mushrooms and chives
Pickled Shrimp and chili oil
Love is Love farm lettuces and arugula with radishes and pickled LIL beets, soft boiled eggs in a shallot vinaigrette
Oven roasted eggplant, peppers, and red onion
Wood grilled quail, rubbed with an herb butter
Fudge Farms Pork loin, rubbed with garlic and sage
Sweet potatoes in a brown sugar glaze
Sauteed local greens *sweet potato tops, mustards, kale*
Cast iron apple cakes with vanilla creme anglaisse

Out Standing In the Field was a lot of fun to work, I hope one day I get to enjoy it sitting down. This isn't our table- but just gives you the idea how strong the impact of eating where your food comes from really is.