A few weeks ago my aunt gave me an unexpected gift that I’ll treasure forever: the bowl that my grandmother used to make her homemade banana pudding. That bowl has been around longer than I have (according to my aunt my grandmother bought it sometime in the 1950s), and appeared at every large family get-together until my grandmother passed away.
To quote a phrase from an old Kris Kristofferson song, my grandmother was a “walking contradiction.” She had an old-fashioned first name and lived out in the piney woods of east Texas, but there was so much more to her than that. In addition to the typical things you’d expect from a “country grandma” like the quilts she made and her perfect fried chicken, she also introduced me to a little more culture than I otherwise would have been exposed to. Continue reading
Jan and I have been making as much as we can from scratch for so long now that we’ve gotten to the point where we sometimes forget that much of what we consider common knowledge we’ve only learned ourselves within the last five or six years. For example, did you know that many vanilla flavored prepared foods don’t actually have vanilla in them? Instead they use a substance called vanillin.
Not being something either of us wanted to put in our bodies (wood pulp, anyone?), we started making our own vanilla extract (surprisingly easy) and baking more often, rather than buying something prepared. Continue reading
I really do love plain yogurt. If I want it sweetened I will not purchase the little tubs but rather make my own. I tend to be one of those people that likes a little something sweet at the end of a meal…it doesn’t have to be a heavy dessert. I also enjoy fruit and together you have the perfect after dinner treat that you don’t have to feel guilty about. Your guest will appreciate this as well. I use honey which acts as refined sugar in your body but without the sharp spike. Honey is very sweet so you will more than likely not need as much to satisfy your sweet tooth. Just a note- babies should not have honey but as they get older they can enjoy it with you. Continue reading
Today I want to show you how to make a quick yogurt and chives salad dressing that I adore as I never buy store bought dressings. The next time you’re buying groceries just read the ingredients and you’ll see why. I eat a lot of salads and our vegetable spring rolls call for a dipping sauce and this works great for that as well. Continue reading
Fresh Vietnamese style vegetarian spring rolls, also known as gỏi cuốn, are one of Jan’s favorite lunches. I’ll admit to being more accustomed to the fried versions myself, but as much as I love all things fried I have to admit that these are delicious. Continue reading
After what seems like weeks of much needed rain, we’ve had enough dry days in a row to tackle the jungle that was formerly our yard. A few hours of mowing and weed eating got the lawn back in shape, and as a bonus we enjoyed a pretty good workout. Needing to replenish the salt and potassium we lost doing an honest day’s work, I thought that this avocado cilantro bean dip was just the thing. Continue reading
Hello everyone! I hope the time change hasn’t been a bother for you. Perhaps rather than get upset about one less hour of sleep my hope is that you went out and enjoyed the sunshine. Spring is just around the corner, isn’t it?
Today I want to share a delightful family recipe with you. Pork and green chile soup! Another great dish my mother prepared for us and I absolutely love it. This reminds me of home as it was one of my favorite soups growing up. It surpasses vegetable, bean, or any other. Once you make this you’ll know what I mean. Let’s face it- once warmer weather arrives we won’t indulge in soups very often and this is a winner to end the cold weather with. More flavorful than a tomato soup and as spicy as you want it to be, this pork and green chile soup will really warm you up on a cold day. Pair it with corn bread infused with jalapeños or a gourmet grilled Continue reading
We love stir fry dishes. They are so flavorful, after prepping it’s a matter of minutes and dinner is on the table and clean up is so easy. We have several recipes that we seem to rotate and we’ll eat stir fry maybe a couple of times per week, sometimes three. We never tire of them and somehow they all have their own unique flavor depending on the sauce, meat and vegetable choices. We used to eat at Chinese resturants often- however, the homemade is beyond better and healthier for you too. Continue reading
When I saw the recipe for jalapeño cheddar scones on Ree Drummond‘s website I knew I’d be making them eventually, but not immediately. That’s only because I had a fresh batch of caramelized onions and a nice hunk of cave aged gruyère cheese in the refrigerator. Continue reading
Remember a few years ago when salsa was poised to pass catsup (ketchup?) and become the most popular condiment in the United States? Caramelized onions may never take the number one (or, numero uno) spot, but they are definitely in my top five. Maybe even my top three. Continue reading