I have never cooked or eaten brussel sprouts. I was not necessarily offended by the concept of brussel sprouts, but I just never saw the need to have them in my life. It was much the way I felt about hummus, until I tasted hummus. We've been trying some different foods, as we introduce the proper southern baby girl to as much as we can. I don't want to her to end up with my limited palate. I survived on Little Debbie cakes and frozen pizza, but I do hope that she develops healthier tastes. My first step, naturally, was to tweet Carla Hall from ABC's The Chew. Why? She's awesome. That's the main reason. She pointed me toward one of Michael Symon's recipes. I took some hints from his recipe and went off on my on. Is it smart to vary from the recipe of an Iron Chef? Ummmm, probably not. How was my version? I thought it was pretty good. First, I roasted some grape tomatoes. They were sitting on the counter, and I thought I ought to do something with them. The baby girl is always stealing the little tomatoes out of my Wendy's salad, and I thought she might like them. Turns out that she only wants them out of my Wendy's salad. I sprinkled a little olive oil and cooked them until they looked roasted. I blanched some brussel sprouts (okay, I boiled them to death, which was a mistake). The sprouts were a little soft. I sauteed the chicken and apple sausage in a little olive oil and added portabello mushrooms and garlic. Then I tossed in cooked rice, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, worchestire sauce (because we didn't have soy sauce), and honey. I thought it tasted pretty awesome. The baby girl picked out the sausage and a brussel sprout. She will be eating some cheese a little later on in the evening. I was pretty impressed with myself. I'm pretty sure than any form of sausage makes everything tastes better, so I should pat the poor chickens and apples that went into the sausage.
I was so excited to get a tour of some of the latest improvements at the Port Orleans Riverside during our last trip to Walt Disney World. Although this was not the Proper Southern Baby Girl's first trip to Disney, it was her first stay at our favorite resort. My tour guide, Louis, pointed out the changes to the lobby. The lobby had been updated and looked wonderful. More and more of the resort reflects the popularity of The Princess and the Frog. I know that our little one loves Princess Tiana. The new rug in the lobby is inspired by her as well. I noticed that the lobby offers more open space with more room for the little ones to roam around while you check in at the desk. The concierge desk on the water side of the lobby had been removed and that service is offered at the far end of the room. New lighting reflects the tasteful changes. I was also impressed by the changes to the Bayou rooms. It had been several years since I had stayed in those rooms, but they do now feature The Princess and the Frog. We have been to the Port Orleans Riverside many times over the years and have always been pleased with the accomodations. This is the first time I have stayed in a resort and wanted to know the name of the paint color in my room, because I wanted to paint my kitchen the same color. All of the changes are tasteful and reflective of the theme of the resort. Once again, if you have never stayed at the Port Orleans resorts, give them a try. We are in love with the grounds and very impressed with the changes to the decor. Thank you Valerie, Kyle, and Louie for your kindness in setting a tour.
I do love that as Southerners we change pronunciation in order to emphasize a point. I was sending a text recently and realized that I didn't type the phrase that I would have said in person. "He was torn up." in other words, he was upset. In person, it would have been "he was toe up." I graduated from an actual university, but I will let you know that my baby was toe up when I ate the grape she stuck in my mouth. Guess I was supposed to just hold the grape there until she was ready for it. Anyway, my friend had been toe up because the Farmer's Almanac had changed. Really, Farmer's Almanac, you do not serve a crowd that appreciates a change in year long weather prediction. Just tell us when to plant tomatoes like you always do. Change not necessary.
Okay, I don't typically use the word tater, but I felt like I needed to catch your attention. I do appreciate that we are all trying to improve our health and lighten our meals. We are doing so in our family. Our proper southern baby girl eats plenty of fruit and vegetables, and we try to limit our processed foods. Every television show and television cook or chef has tried to convince me that mashed cauliflower is a wonderful substitute for mashed potatoes. We tried it last night. I was pretty excited. The roasted cauliflower was gorgeous. My husband kept eating it straight from the baking dish. I had to distract him by saying one of the words that gets the little one going, like outside or grapes or bath. While he was chasing her down, I mashed the cauliflower and added some plain Greek yogurt, salt, pepper, chicken broth, and a bit of garlic. Ummmm, it was still cauliflower. Do not tell me that something is a substitute for mashed taters if it doesn't taste exactly like mashed taters. I'm talking to you Today Show, The Chew, Dr. Oz, and even Paula Deen. Stop saying that cauliflower is a potato substitute. Just tell me that it is a way to forget that I'm eating cauliflower. I can live with that.
Please say a prayer for the Adairsville community. Many homes have been destroyed, and many people are in need. Those of modest means were hit especially hard.
Why on Earth do I feel the need to create recipes for things that I do not know how to make? I'm not an Iron Chef, however give me an eel, and I'll think I can prepare it. Tonight, I decided to make barbeque pork chops. It is a favorite, but it doesn't turn out quite the same when you do not have barbeque sauce. Do I scrap the idea and do something different with the pork chops? Heavens no. Let's try to make our own barbeque sauce. Do I google a barbeque sauce recipe? Heavens no. I can probably figure something out, right? Heavens no... Anyway, I mixed together some ketchup with this vinegar-based marinade that I found in the back of the fridge. I do not know how old the marinade is. Since it is from Buffalo, I suspect it to be older than the Proper Southern baby girl. Throw in a little brown sugar and it should be fine. Wait no, don't stop there. Let's put in some maple syrup that is also older than the baby girl. Cross your fingers everyone. My husband is scared.
I have been a bit slack on my Southern tasks, so I feel like I need to renew my commitment. I absolutely have to make and eat grits this year. I have been putting it off, because the texture of grits concern me. It looks a bit like glue with sawdust, so I am hoping it does not taste as such. I also want to plant a tomato plant. It may be cherry tomatoes, because my little one seems to love them. I don't know where she got that. I really want to make a good fried pie. This may be hopeless cause, but I will try. If you have any ideas for me to pursue this year, let me know. My focus has slipped, and I am trying to refocus. I'm still feeding the baby hummus and can hear both my grandmothers say from up above "feed that baby some beans and taters." She is getting her fair share of beans and taters, but I need to find some more Southern foods and experiences for her.
This time of year, we get caught up in our holiday traditions. Eyes glaze over as we reminisce about how it is not Christmas unless we make snowball cookies, go see a yard covered in inflatable reindeer, or stick a bow on the cat's head. Yes, we all have traditions.
One of ours is getting lost to go see Christmas lights. Every year, we think it would be great to see this yard full of lights out in the middle of nowhere near our hometown. We grew up here. We should be able to find them. We've had to call relatives to rescue us. This tradition replaced the one where my dad complained about taking us to see these lights. He must have blindfolded us when he took us, because we sure don't know the way.
Another tradition is forgetting to get someone a present. Lots of families have this tradition. I know. We have our meetings at Walmart 6pm Christmas Eve. See you there!
Finally, I would like to mention a rite of passage common in Southern celebrations. We mark a young man's growth with a special gift. Depending on his maturity level, around 10 or 11 years old, one of the elder men in the family will deem it time. As we all sit in a circle, the special gift is passed on to the young man. He carefully opens it to find...yep, Big Panties. It is not classy, but it is a classic.
Needless to say, we don't have a very Martha Stewart Christmas. We are good with that.
I like to support southern businesses, but I only really provide information about products that I really like. I had gotten some samples of Charleston Girl and immediately thought about how I haven't worn perfume in forever. My baby girl probably wishes I had a perfume that smelled like peanut butter and bananas. Well, Charleston Girl doesn't smell like peanut butter and bananas, but it does smell great. According to Charleston Girl, the scent "is a sultry, enticing fragrance that opens with a burst of sparkling-fruity top-notes filled with green apple, bartlett pear & casaba melon then weaves a delicate and sensuous floral
middle with notes of orange blossom and jasmine and finishes with a soft, amber
and sandalwood dry-down." It is exactly the kind of scent I like. I know I am a little close to Christmas on this, but go ahead and seek if out if you can. Once again, I don't take anything for reviewing products and only talk about products that I like. Support southern-based businesses to get and keep ourselves and our neighbors employed! You can find out more about this product on www.CharlestonGirlPerfume.com.
Recently, I took the baby girl to pick turnip greens at my aunt and uncle's house. They had planted tons of greens, and they don't even eat them. I'm a fairly picky eater, but I love greens of all kinds. They had kale, mustard, and some others mixed in the garden. My husband, who has eaten road kill of sorts, will not eat turnip greens. I'm convinced he hasn't had them prepared correctly. He was out of town when I made these. I think he said something about avoiding the stench. My favorite meal in the world is turnip greens served on a biscuit. You can't beat the taste. I could eat my weight in it. The baby girl really enjoyed picking greens out of the garden. I remember lots of time spent picking vegetables. I wasn't much of a fan of it, but I sure did like the fresh taste. Not much in a grocery store can compare with that. We really need a garden next year. It would be nice if a gardener would come with that. Volunteers?