Monday, January 28, 2013

Winter Slaw

What do you bring to a cookout in January? I know, we're strange here in the South but we grill out year-round. We also have 70 + degree days this time of year. Go figure. Well, all good southerners know how to make a mean slaw. But if you're looking for something seasonally-appropriate, just swap cabbage for a winter root vegetable. Like celery root. 

It is a real food, I promise. Think potato that tastes like celery. Seriously. If you've never tried it, they look a little hairy and scary on the outside, but are delicious raw or cooked.  This recipe is an easy-to-make introduction for all you celeriac virgins. 

What You'll Need:
1-2 pounds celery root 
3 crisp, pink apples
1 tablespoon mayo
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup apple vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

What to Do:
Cut celery root and apples into match sticks. This is easy with the right grater or, if you're not feeling fancy, a sharp knife will work. Toss with the remaining ingredients and let sit for at least a few hours for serving. That's it!

So celery root, yes or no?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Kitchen Inspiration

I know. It's been a while. But I swear I have a good excuse. We're remodeling our kitchen! Woot! Ok, so we haven't actually started yet but we are going to soon. Needless to say, I've been drooling over hardware and countertops, not blogging.

I'd thought I'd share a bit of the inspiration I've been seeing lately. For me, the perfect kitchen includes shaker-style cabinets, dark stone countertops, painted wood floors, subway tile and lots of open shelving. The goal is to keep the 1930's charm minus the 1930's functionality (or lack there of). Let's put it this way. We have about 3 feet of counter space and our one lower cabinet has no bottom. Um yeah.

More details and before shots coming soon. For more kitchen ideas and sources for the pictures above, you can find me on pinterest:

And I promise to squeeze in some cooking before we start demolition! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Nacho Average Pot Roast

Forgive me. I couldn't resist the pun. Ok, lame moment over. Today's post is inspired by these amazing pot roast nachos the boy and I had in Chattanooga. I took a few liberties but I think my recipe is pretty close to the original awesomeness. 

What You'll Need:
2-3 lb roast (beef or pork)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Chipotle seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 large bag tortilla chips
1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 sweet onion, diced 
2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded
1/2 avocado, diced
Jalapenos (optional)
Sour cream

What to Do:
Add roast, maple syrup, seasoning, garlic and 1 cup water to your crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours until the meat starts to fall apart. Saute bell pepper and sweet onion to bring out the sweet, caramel flavor.

Layer chips on a cookie sheet and top with 1/2 of the meat and veggies. Save the rest of the roast for another meal. Liberally cover chips with cheese and bake at 350 until cheese is bubbly. Top with scallions, avocado and jalapenos. Finish with a dollop of sour cream and dig in! 

These are delicious with a Brown IPA or stout. They are also excellent for bribing your friends to let you watch football on their TV because you don't have cable. Not that I would know anything about that...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Crispy Kale Pasta Toss

It took me a while to like kale. It's not something I grew up with. Not like collard greens. But like other southern greens, kale tastes excellent with bacon. I particularly love it baked so I decided to make a meal that would showcase all the things I love about kale.

What You'll Need:
4 cups kale, roughly chopped
6-8 ounces whole wheat pasta
1/2 pound bacon, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced 
2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (or more!)
1 lemon
Salt, pepper and olive oil

What to Do:
Cook pasta according to package directions. Add parmesan to warm pasta. Fry bacon in a pan until mostly crispy, draining fat half way through. Add onion and cook until clear. Finish bacon and onion mixture with minced garlic for a minute before removing from heat.

Meanwhile, coat kale in olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 until crisp, about 8 minutes. Watch the kale carefully because it burns easily! 

Toss kale in bacon and onion mixture. Add to pasta along with the tomatoes. Squeeze lemon over pasta and add olive oil, if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

I love the acidity of the tomatoes and lemon with the richness of the bacon and cheese. The kale adds the perfect earthy, crispy finish. Anyone a kale convert yet?

Thursday, January 3, 2013


We spent some time in Athens over New Years and got to explore. Ok so we didn't make it far down before we spotted Clocked! Diner

This funky 50's spot serves up all natural and organic burger deliciousness. But what kind of burgers you ask? Black bean. Ahi tuna. Chicken. Falafel (for real). And, of course, juicy cow. 

Piled high with toppings like avocado, peanut butter, or banana peppers, you can't go wrong. Choose a side of tater tots (yes!) and wash it down with a great craft brew or orange Nehi. Now that's my kind of diner. Hungry yet?