Category Archives: Cooking


trying to get the two freezers combined into 1 downstairs.  So got all the fat out of the freezer to make lard.

two crock pots full

IMG_0347Let that cook down to a liquid


it takes a while to cool


I should have enough lard.  More than enough.  Might have to give some away.



IMG_9145You know when radishes are ready…they pop right out.  I am going to make homemade bread with that garlic radish spread Anna introduced us to last year.


First batch of greens of the season

IMG_9142I know I am not southern, I grew up all over the country, but DAMN I love me some greens.  Our dinner last night was all local, greens from Thornfield Farm and my yard, Asparagus from Catawba Meadows and chicken from Bramble Hollow.  I am so thankful and glad we live in such a rich agricultural community.

Our Vegan/Vegetarian month continues

Some of the food I have been making, not missing out on flavor.

IMG_8700 IMG_8703

I forget how much I love roasted Brussel sprouts.


For chinese new year I made General Tso Tofu…not bad, I just put in too much ginger.


The Professor’s poppers

Again, with talking about the farmer’s at the market.  Yes!  Every year we get as many peppers from the Professors Garden as we can.  The peppers in the pepper and onion relish I make is almost all peppers from the professor.  Everything they grow is wonderful.  One year Madigan and I did a fancy tomato tasting at our house with the wide variety of tomatoes they have.  This post is about peppers.  I like to get to the market early and get as many, if not all of the jalapenos I can find.  Sometimes it is just a few, one year, when it was a good crop I was able to get like 5 pounds.  I love making poppers.

Here’s how I do it.  First I put on gloves, cause you never know how hot they are going to be.  I slice them in half, pull out the seeds and remove the veins (If you like it hot and playing popper Russian roulette skip this step).  In a bowl mix softened cream cheese, finely chopped onions and cheddar cheese.  I like my mix closer to the cheddar color vs the cream cheese color.  I then scoop the mix into the peppers.  Use non stick foil or spray  the pan.  I top with more shredded cheddar.  Sometimes I do bread crumbs, but didn’t want to run to the basement to get the GF breadcrumbs out of the freezer.


I bake them in a 385-ish oven for about 20 min.  (I say 385 ish because I sometime cook stuff before and after so I mostly set the oven for what the main dish will be–it’s hard to mess these poppers up)  When they start looking like this they are done.IMG_1655

Some of the cheese burns a bit, but who doesn’t love a little crispy cheese!  I will eat these until that last pepper is picked!


I love finding items at the market and making meal plans around what is available.  We can’t always to that, and in January I am sick to death of winter squash, but the seasons change quick enough to never really get tired of eating with the seasons.

Patchwork Potato Leek Soup

I love going to the Grandin Farmers Market on Saturdays buying what is in season and really enjoying the flavors of the season.  I also like when one vendor has all the key ingredients.  For the second week in a row, Patchwork Farm had potatoes and leeks.  It is a favorite here at our house and super easy to make. Melt some butter on medium, add a little salt and cut up the leeks. Cook those for about 10 minutes till they are soft.  I was making something else at the same time and had some extra onions so added those as well. IMG_1645

Once those are cooked down, add  1/2 cup of dry white wine.  Let that cook down a bit. I peel and cut up a pound of potatoes. I then add 3 cups of chicken broth,


Add a cup of milk or cream.  Simmer until the potatoes are “fork tender”.  I then take half of the mix and put in the blender (make sure you leave the top vented so you don’t pop the container) and blend till smooth.  I pour it back to the pan.  Then mix up the second half.


Pour the second batch back in pan, stir and let it cook for another minute or two.  Serve it up with a little parm or any other cheese you have on hand.


I make this once a week while the leeks and potatoes are available at the market!  Thanks again Patchwork for what you do!

Make it up

I have a few things that I make that are one thing or another thing and I combine them into another.  If Boomer or Madigan haven’t heard of them they think I am some brilliant mad scientist…here are three examples.

Pizza Pasta–all the stuff you would put on pasta, mushrooms, onions, pepperoni, cheese but tossed in pasta.

Chili Soup–Madigan loves when I spoon off some of the watery top of chili when it’s cooking down and give it to her as soup.  So instead of that, I make a whole batch of chili soup which is just tomato juice with onions, peppers, garlic and chili powder.

Sundae Cones–everyone’s favorite dessert.  I take GF ice cream cones, drizzle hot fudge around the rim and inside the cone.  Put ice cream in layers with hot fudge with some hot fudge on top.  Sundae cones!


Sorry Kroger shrimp ring

Charlie is back with shrimp.IMG_7621

Having lived in Florida and California I have eaten my fair share of good fresh shrimp.  When I started buy shrimp from Charlie a few years ago, it renewed my love for shrimp cocktail.  Sure, there is more work involved in cooking, cleaning and de-veining these beauties but it is SOOOOOO worth it.  The flavor and texture is beyond perfect.

I am going to try and perfect another seafood dish eventually, but for now I will enjoy the shrimp while they are available.  If you are in the Roanoke area and want to see/taste for yourself, check out the pre order and where you can meet up with Charlie.

Fresh. Local. Wild‑Caught.

You’ve found the best connection in the Roanoke Valley for fresh seafood from theCoast of Carolina.  We personally drive to the beach and pick up fresh seafood every week.  We have a large selection of fresh seafood including Carolina Shrimp, Grouper, Snapper, Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Flounder, Scallops, Crabmeat, Shucked Oysters and more.

Now you have no excuse!