Posts Tagged 'butter'

Enjoyin grits in the “Grits belt”

Grits has always been a favorite dish in the south. There are many different variations of grits including the traditional grits with butter, grits with cheese, and shrimp and grits just to name a few.   I prefer grits mixed lots and lots of butter with pepper sprinkled on top.  I also like grits with breakfast casserole mixed in with cheese sausage and eggs.  This morning I enjoyed a rather large bowl of grits mixed in with just enough butter to change the color.

Movie Name: My Cousin Vinny (1992)
Quote:

Vinny Gambini: [Vinny and Lisa receive their breakfast orders, Vinny
  looks at his skeptically] Whats this over here?
Grits Cook: You never heard of grits?
Vinny Gambini: Sure Ive heard of grits. I just never actually *seen*
  a grit before.

 

20121013-161730.jpg

Grits have their origins in Native American corn preparation. Traditionally, the corn for grits was ground by a stone mill. The results are passed through screens, with the finer siftings being grit meal, and the coarser being grits. Many communities in the United States used a gristmill until the mid-20th century, with families bringing their own corn to be ground, and the miller retaining a portion of the corn for his fee. In South Carolina, state law requires grits and corn meal to be enriched, similar to the requirements for flour, unless the grits are ground from corn from which the miller keeps part of the product for his fee.

Three-quarters of grits sold in the U.S. are sold in the South stretching from Texas to Virginia, also known as the “grits belt”. The state of Georgia declared grits its official prepared food in 2002. Similar bills have been introduced in South Carolina, with one declaring:

Whereas, throughout its history, the South has relished its grits, making them a symbol of its diet, its customs, its humor, and its hospitality, and whereas, every community in the State of South Carolina used to be the site of a grits mill and every local economy in the State used to be dependent on its product; and whereas, grits has been a part of the life of every South Carolinian of whatever race, background, gender, and income; and whereas, grits could very well play a vital role in the future of not only this State, but also the world, if as Charleston’s The Post and Courier proclaimed in 1952, “An inexpensive, simple, and thoroughly digestible food, [grits] should be made popular throughout the world. Given enough of it, the inhabitants of planet Earth would have nothing to fight about. A man full of [grits] is a man of peace.

Grits are usually either yellow or white, depending on the color of corn. Most commonly found are “quick” grits in which the germ and hull have been removed. Whole kernel grits are sometimes called “Speckled.” Grits are prepared by simply boiling the ground kernels into a porridge until enough water is absorbed or vaporized to leave it semi-solid.

A Kool Kake!

I am a big fan of Bambi Provenzano’s art work and business called Kool Kakes.   I’ve seen photos of cakes in the form of guitars, beer coolers, disney characters and farm animals.  I would feel confident in saying that there is not a theme that Bambi cannot produce in cake form.  I recently ordered a cupcake cake for my wife’s birthday and was surprised at the size of the final product.  It weighed atleast 15 lbs and one could probably gain 30lb if they were able to eat all of it.  The most difficult part of the order was deciding on the flavors.  A partial list provided include the following:

Vanilla
Chocolate
Funfetti
Strawberry
Red velvet
Vanilla rainbow
Carrot
Brownie
Peanut butter cheesecake brownie
Raspberry filled brownie
Jalapeno
Chocolate coffee stout
Campfire kakes (s’mores)
Vanilla peppermint
Chocolate mint
Red hot red velvet
Bailey’s and cream
Mountain Dew
Chocolate covered strawberry
Root beer float
Key lime
Italian butter cookie
Banana walnut
Butterscotch schnapps
Strawberry shortcake
Pina colada
Coffee
Butter pecan
Lemon

 

 

 

Bambi also make other goodies.  A favorite of mine is the Lollicake that is a brownie on a stick with various decorations on top.  This is a great treat!

From the website:

Hours
Mon – Sun: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
About
Kool Kakes is a home based business that I started over four years ago. I love making kids 3-D cakes, but also enjoy making wedding cakes! My fondant is handmade, fresh for every cake. Each cake is made to order, every detail is up to you!
Email
koolkakes@gmail.com
Phone
910-461-243

Once again, I have been playing with my food.

During the month of  January 2011, we had some unusual weather that kept many in my neck of the woods at home.  Snow is not a common sight in the Sandhills area of North Carolina.  When the forecasts call for accumulation of the white stuff we crowd the grocery stores for milk and bread.  I have not researched why these two items are important and it becomes the topic of several jokes during the winter storm events.   If you have read my previous blogs you’ll not be surprised that milk and pancakes are the two items I prefer to have with or without snow outside.   During the most recent winter weather I decided that I needed to make some pancakes, but I wanted to have some fun making them.  I contemplated with the idea of making snowflakes.  After I got the hand of dribbling the batter on the griddle, I was able to produce some snowflake-like pancakes. Although they looked unusual, they must have been cooked correctly, because they were devoured immediately after I shot a few pics.  I also put together a snowman without any issues and remembered that I was hungry and quickly made some traditional round pancakes.   Inspired by the snow and enjoyed inside the warmth of my house.  Very much worth the effort!

I am including more photos than usual for this posting.  Consider it a special centerfold edition!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast or sleep? It’s not easy for me to be health conscious.

Breakfast is the first meal of the day, usually consumed in the morning.  The word is a compound of “break” and “fast”, referring to the conclusion of fasting since the previous day’s last meal.  Breakfast meals vary widely in different cultures around the world, but often include a carbohydrate such as cereal or rice, fruit and/or vegetable, protein, sometimes dairy, and beverage.  Breakfast buffets and new fast food breakfast items are very popular in the U.S.

I am not a morning person and breakfast is probably the most skipped meal of the day for me.  When I get the opportunity to have a good breakfast I usually do not pass. I have expressed my love for pancakes in a previous blog, but I also enjoy many other breakfast items.  Until my mid 30′s I would have a large bowl of some of the sweetest cereals that i could find.  Crunch Berries was on the top of the list.  One day, I decided that I preferred the extra sleep over the morning bowl of sugar filled cereal.  I actually lost weight and saved money on groceries. Upon further research of this topic, I have found that skipping the first meal may not be the healthiest thing to do.

Breakfast from Burgess B&B

Studies show that children who eat breakfast do better in school.  It doesn’t take much further thought to realize adults will feel better and perform better at work as well.  Whether you work at home, on the farm, at the office, at school, or on the road, it is not a good idea to skip breakfast.  Eating a good breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Most people give a variety of reasons for not eating breakfast. A common reason is that they are not hungry in the morning, which is a result of eating a full meal late in the evening or late snacking. When they go to bed, the body is still busy digesting all that food. Digestion then goes into a slower gear during the hours of sleep and there is still food in the stomach in the morning. The stomach needs a rest too. A tired stomach does not feel like digesting a big breakfast. When you get up in the morning, your glucose or blood sugar level is at its lowest point in the day. Glucose is the basic fuel for the brain and central nervous system. A good breakfast will keep you from being tired and irritable by mid-morning.

Maybe I can, one day, take this advice and wake up an extra 30 minutes to participate in the most important meal of the day.  Until then, I feel pretty good knowing that I had that extra time in bed.

Source – Wikipedia, About.com, beyondthebend.com

Henry’s Uptown Cafe – Rockingham NC

Henry's Chicken Salad on Croissant with fries.

There’s a new chef in town and word is spreading about a small restaurant in Rockingham, N.C.   Henry’s Uptown Cafe is the name of this popular establishment and some would be surprised at the menu offered.  This is not your ordinary small town dining room.  The main difference is the food being prepared in the kitchen.  You can get the usual Burger and fries as expected at a small town cafe, but other items on the menu may be surprising.  Beef Caprese Salad, Henry’s Chicken Salad on Croissant, Mahi-Mahi and the daily gourmet desserts are just a few items that make this cafe menu unique.  The random desserts, made daily, are alone worth a visit to Henry’s.  Each item has a special touch that make Henry’s a place unlike any other in the area.

The daily lunch specials range from Penne Pasta with Italian sausage to Sautéed Shrimp with Tricolor tortellini in a tomato cream sauce.  These are gourmet items at affordable cafe prices are too good to pass.  One visit to Henry’s should convince any patron that Henry is in the kitchen enjoying a passion of preparing delicious meals.

A complete breakfast menu is available for the early risers and dinner is now provided Thursday through Saturday until 9:00pm.

Gourmet desserts prepared daily.

Become a fan of  Henry’s facebook page to receive daily special notifications.
Henry’s Uptown Cafe
118 S Hancock St

Rockingham, NC 28379

Phone:(910) 895-6600

Easy marinated chicken breasts

This is an item that I enjoy cooking on the grill.  If you do not have time to marinade the chicken, you can cut small slits in the breasts and pour the dressing over it while grilling.  This method does require more supervision while cooking.  You have to be careful not to allow the chicken to dry out on the grill.
1 bottle of  Italian dressing
4 chicken breasts (2 whole) split
Salt and Pepper
Optional  1 stick butter
Optional Seasoned bread crumbs
italian chicken

italian chicken

Night before or 4-6 hours before: Marinate the split chicken breasts in baking pan with 1 bottle of prepared dressing. Keep in refrigerator.  Use the dressing as your base for breading chicken. Coat with bread crumbs. Save any remaining dressing and pour into another baking pan. Put pats of butter over dressing.

Place breaded chicken on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Serve hot or cool.  Great for leftovers and picnics also.

Chocolate and peanut butter go well together.

Peanut Balls combine some of my favorite items to eat.  One way to describe their flavor is to say they are like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.  It has that same thick coating of chocolate with a smooth and creamy filling that is almost fudge-like in texture made of peanut butter and several other ingredients listed below.

The State of Ohio has their own special name for this confection; “Buckeyes”. Buckeyes look slightly different than Peanut Butter Balls in that the top of each bonbon is bare of chocolate.  This is done to make it look like the nut of the Buckeye tree, which just happens to be the State Tree of Ohio.  I prefer chocolate all of the way around.  The more the better!

The process is very simple and requires just a few ingredients:

1 cup plus 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp. cocoa
1 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 cup (or more) milk chocolate
peanut butter balls

peanut butter balls

In a large bowl combine the 1 cup powdered sugar and cocoa. Stir in the peanut butter, milk, and vanilla. Form the mixture into balls. Roll each ball in 1/4 cup powdered sugar.

While balls are chilling, melt the chocolate.  Temper the chocolate if you desire.

Once balls are firm, they can be dipped.

Using a toothpick, skewer a ball and dip it halfway into the melted chocolate.  To make a Buckeye, you will want to leave at least a dime-sized circle of undipped candy on top of the ball.  Otherwise drown the sucker in chocolate!

Swirl the excess chocolete off of the ball (as shown in the photo above).  It’s more fun than draggin  it along the lip of the bowl or waiting for the chocolate to drip off.  Place the covered ball back on the cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining peanut butter balls.

Return balls to fridge to set the chocolate. Serve once candies are firm.

Refresh with ice cream.

Temperatures are close to 100 degrees and you need something cold and refreshing.  Do you really care that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream has 180 calories per 1/2 cup serving?  Someone does, because this year the calories were reduced to 160 calories per 1/2 cup.   I wonder what was removed to allow Breyers to deduct 20 calories and who eats just 1/2 cup of ice cream?   Does 1/2 cup equal a full scoop?   I have a minimum of two scoops per bowl when I am enjoying ice cream.  Enjoy the nice pair below.

reeses cup ice cream

How to make a Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich.

This post was too long and needed it’s own page.  The information and photos below were posted to Flickr.com on January 18, 2006 and has received more than 43,000 views.  Not bad for a food porn spread. (pun intended)

Click HERE to view the blog page.

peanut butter and jelly

peanut butter and jelly