Went to the Nashville Farmer's Market this past weekend just to get some heirloom tomatoes before they are gone. There's a great little stand down there that I count on each year for these beauties. I love the market and now i know where I can get that extra basil for my end of the year stash of pesto--it has to hold us over for the winter. I think I've mentioned that one of my passions in life is cooking. I subscribe to a lot of foodie magazines ( I'm not going to say how many) and get inspiration from some of the great food blogs I follow such as TravelersLunchbox and 101 Cookbooks - Recipe Journal just to name a couple.I must not fail to mention www.closetcooking.blogspot.com/ I just recently discovered his blog and have subscribed to it, I haven't been disappointed yet in what he's been preparing, check out his blog if you're a foodie.
I enjoy cooking for my family and friends, having parties and the occasional catering gig. Its been a while since I've done any catering and I surely miss it. I mostly did small gatherings and one time a wedding for over 100 guests--it was held at my home and I coordinated EVERYTHING down to the music. The only thing I didn't make was the wedding cake. The groom's cake was a flourless chocolate cake topped with real sweetened whipped heavy cream (yes, I whipped it myself) with Chambord and raspberry sauce. This was in the early 90's and I was so sure Martha Stewart would have been so proud of me. I was proud of myself to have pulled that one off by myself. I am also happy to report the couple is still married to each other.
Tonight I came home after work (got home about 4:30) and put 2 good sized pieces from a head of broccoli and 3 carrots through the food processor grater attachment, added a heaping handful each of raisins and broken walnut pieces and tossed in some Vidallia Onion salad dressing (I picked up at Sam's Wholesale), mixed it together and let chill until dinner. Dinner was leftover barbeque ribs from last Friday and my stove top cooked "baked" beans. This is a picture from last Friday. They were still good and smoky five days later (I'm glad my husband likes leftovers!!). . The sweet from the "slaw" mix went well with the heat of the ribs. My husband Joe is heat sensitive--the cayenne pepper really gets to him, so I have to go light handed with it. I got the recipe for the rub off of Epicurious.com and it was pretty good. I used one of my cast iron skillets as the "smoker" and put about a bag (4-5 cups) Hickory wood chips in it. I remove one of the metal grills from our gas grill and place the skillet directly on the part where the flames come out. I also turn the remaining burners on low and watch the temperature so that it stays at about 350 degrees F. After about 20 minutes the skillet starts smoking and it really does impart a nice smoky flavor to the ribs. This is my first time to try this and it works. I had rubbed the ribs and they had marinated for a day and a half--I'd use more garlic and more dark brown sugar next time. Then placed the ribs on the grill racks and made sure the flame was on low or turned it off if it flared up, which it did only one time. I am going to try to find someone selling hickory wood and get some larger pieces, the wood chips burned quickly and didn't produce as much smoke as I'd would have liked.
Anyhow, this is part of my life. My next endeavor is planning a birthday party for my grandson who will soon turn three with his Mom (my middle daughter, Abby--who is BTW studying to become a nurse!). Will keep you posted on these plans as they materialize. Good night to all.