Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Good Family Vacation, Part 2 - The Food

There are some foods that are just so southern that you have to try them - fried chicken, collard greens, shrimp and grits, sweet tea.

The day we went to the beach we ate at Magnolias @ 26th Restaurant, a southern style buffet that had food to make Paula Dean jealous. I devoured the fried chicken and it was the best I have ever had. Seriously. I don't know what they did to make it so damn good but it was like crack. I also inhaled the fried squash.

I then had a huge helping of collard greens with vinegar and I.Did.Not.Like.Not.Even.A.Little.Bit. I really wanted to like it and I ate it all but it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Speaking of tea, I did drink about 4 gallons of sweet tea while on vacation. It was like tea flavored kool-aide.

We also ate at a place called Cooters. No review necessary.

While in Charleston we ate at Hymans Seafood. I really wanted to try the shrimp and grits but it was in the 100s and I was scared with the heat I would get sick. We waited a short 30 minutes before getting our table which by the way:

Then came boiled peanuts. Also did not like.

The fried green tomatoes were good. The spicy mayo dipping sauce was the best part. TGB did not like these.

Since I was afraid of the shrimp and grits, I ordered a buffalo shrimp po' boy instead. It was a generous sized sandwich and I almost did get sick afterward since it was a lot of food to eat.

TGB loved the hush puppies.

I am sad that I didn't get to try shrimp and grits but I guess I will have to try it next time we visit The South.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The First Good Family Vacation, Part 1 - The Sights

The Good Husband and I aren't big vacation people. We usually just take a weekend here and there and go camping or to St. Louis. This year we decided to drive to South Carolina. Drive. As in 10 hours in a car for two days. With a 13 month old.

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be but I am never ever doing that again. I cannot stand to be in the car that long and I don't care what kind of scenery I get to view. I swear next time we are either flying or renting an RV.

But I got to experience The South, something that I really enjoyed being a Yankee and all. So I present to you things I found in The South.

What I saw:
~Waffle Houses
~Rims for Lease
~Cotton and tobacco fields
~The Stars and Bars
~Truck Nutz
~The ocean

What I heard:
~Bless your heart
~You want some sweet tea?
~Praise Jesus!
~A little too much southern sympathy for all the poor plantation owners that lost their way of life

We drove all the way to Georgia before stopping for the night and made it to Myrtle Beach the next day. We did a lot of shopping and sight seeing and of course took The Good Baby to the beach for the first time.

She was skeptic at first since the ocean looks nothing like the inflatable hippo pool she is used to swimming in.

She did not like it. She didn't cry but she didn't like the feel of the waves hitting her. As a bonus I lost my glasses in the ocean and thus paid $300 to be able to see again. Yay.

Myrtle Beach does have some beautiful beach homes. You don't see color like this in the Midwest.

We took a day trip to Charleston. This is one of the houses on the famous Rainbow Row.

Cobblestone streets

Gadsden Flag

Random house in Charleston

After touring Charleston, we decided to tour a plantation. We drove an hour to Magnolia Plantation outside Charleston. We took the nature tram, a 45 minute ride around the grounds. We were hot and tired and this was a good way to relax and help TGB cool off. We saw a lot of wildlife but no alligators.

Slave quarters


The House

I was disappointed in the entire plantation tour and kinda pissed it was so expensive. It was not what I was expecting at all. I guess I have read too many Anne Rice books.

It was also hot as hell. I am not used to humidity like that. But we did have a great time and made good memories.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How to stock a fridge/freezer

This is a good basic list of what to keep stocked in the fridge and freezer so you can make a pantry meal with little effort.


~Butter – salted (sweet cream), unsalted


~Cheese; cottage

~Cheese; cream

~Cheese; crumbled – feta, goat, blue

~Cheese; ricotta

~Cheese; shredded and block – cheddar, Colby, cojack, mozzarella


~Fruits, assorted; pre-wash, diced

~Fruits, assorted; whole

~Heavy cream

~Herbs, fresh – dill, mint, sage, basil, rosemary


~Milk – whole, 2%

~Pickles – whole, dill, bread and butter, relish


~Sour cream

~Vegetables, assorted; pre-wash, diced

~Vegetables, assorted; whole

~Yogurt, plain


~Bread, whole loaves

~Fruits, assorted

~Meat, assorted

~Vegetables, assorted

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Blueberry Streusel French Toast

So I was wondering what I could do with all the blueberries I got from the Farmer's Market and this idea got stuck in my head. Blueberry Streusel French Toast. Doesn't that just sound wonderful?

I toyed with how to make this. I baked two slices while I pan fried the other two. I preferred the pan fried version since that required more butter, but I will include the baked version as well.

I will add The Good Baby loved this. She literally gave me a hug after every bite. It was too cute for words.

1 loaf day old bread - brioche or challah works best
6 extra large eggs
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 cups blueberries
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
Juice and zest of 1 lemon

~To Bake - Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with butter or oil. Layer bread slices in overlapping rows. Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and pour slowly over bread. Make sure bread is submerged and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In saucepan melt butter; add brown sugar and nuts to combine. Remove plastic wrap from French toast and top with streusel topping. Bake 40 minutes. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

~To Pan Fry - Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Add bread, a slice at a time and allow bread to absorb custard mixture, turning once. Meanwhile, heat several tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium low heat. Combine melted butter, brown sugar and nuts in a small bowl; set aside. Remove bread from custard and allow excess to drain. Add the bread to the pan and top with the streusel mixture. Cook for 4-6 minutes on each side until the custard mixture is set. Top with blueberry sauce.

~To make blueberry sauce: Whisk together juice and cornstarch in saucepan. Add berries, sugar, and lemon juice and zest and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil about 5 minutes or until thickened. Serve over French toast.

recipe by: The Good Wife