Saturday, August 30, 2008


This is definitely not a "Reserved Pageant!" Thanks to all the men that made the pageant a success. Can you guess which one is my dad?

Dawg Food!

Today was a day of celebration, the season opener for the Georgia Bulldogs and the debut of UGA VII! As with any celebration at Quail Hollow, it's all about the food. Today's menu was seafood. Kenny, Payton and Scooter headed south to Rose Hill Seafood in Columbus, GA for Apalachicola oysters and fresh shrimp. The oysters were delicious, served raw on the half-shell and chargrilled, topped with butter and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

The shrimp was succulent, boiled with Old Bay Seasoning and lemon slices and served with favorite cocktail sauce - ketchup, Worchestershire sauce, fresh lemon juice and lots of horseradish. Grilled fresh corn on the cob, Watermelon Salad and French Bread completed the menu.

Watermelon Salad with onions, feta cheese, fresh mint and a viniagrette dressing has received rave reviews online recently. Since Payton and Terri have a bumper crop of watermelon - 17 at last count - it was the perfect time to give the salad a try. The watermelon was sweet and juicy, but to be honest, we didn't love the salad.

Watermelon Salad
10 cups watermelon, cut into chunks
1/2 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
4 ounces feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced mint
Minced mint for garnish

Combine the vinegar, mustard and honey. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Toss together the watermelon, onion and feta cheese. Add viniagrette to coat. Serve immediately.

Now why would I include a recipe we didn't love? Because I need your comments to help me figure out what I did wrong!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tuscan Country Ribs and Crunchy Broccoli Slaw

If you are looking for a delicious meal that is easy, try Tuscan Country Ribs. It will require a trip to your nearest Williams-Sonoma store to purchase the Tuscan Slow Cooking Sauce. I prefer to cook from scratch, but this is well worth the price. To complete the meal, serve Crunchy Broccoli Slaw. The flavors are great together. Add polenta, bread and homegrown tomatoes and you have a meal your family will enjoy. A special thanks to my friend Susan for suggesting I try the sauce and for sharing her recipe for the Crunchy Broccoli Slaw!

Tuscan Country Ribs
4-5 pounds country ribs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
1 jar Tuscan Slow Cooking Sauce
1/2 cup red wine

In a heavy pan, brown the ribs a few at at time in the olive oil.

Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup red wine. Add the ribs and the Tuscan Slow Cooking Sauce and bake in a 325 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours, or until the ribs are tender. Place the ribs on a warm platter. Skim off the fat from the pan. Add 1/2 red wine and reduce. Pour sauce over ribs. Serve over polenta. Serves 6-8.
Crunchy Broccoli Slaw
1 package broccoli slaw
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 packages Ramen noodles
Toast almonds and noodles in a 250 degree oven for 10-15 minutes and cool to room temperature.
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Mix slaw and dressing. Chill. Toss in noodles and nuts just before serving. Serves 6-8.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Favorite Meal

It doesn't get any better than a dinner of fresh vegetables from the garden. This is my favorite combination -- crowder peas, cream-style corn, fried okra, sliced tomatoes, a slice of Vidalia onion, and a wedge of cornbread. The okra was dipped in egg and a mixture of equal parts of cornmeal and flour, seasoned with salt and fried in canola oil until golden brown. The cream-style corn is a combination of Trucker's Favorite and Silver Queen white corn. This is a messy, time consuming process, but definitely worth the effort. Cut the kernels from the cob, not too deep, and scrape the cob to render all the goodness from the ears. To cook the corn, we started by frying streak of lean (often labeled salt pork) and add the drippings to the corn. Cook over low heat with the drippings from the streak of lean, stirring frequently. Add water as needed to thin the corn. Season with salt and pepper. This simple meal is a real Southern favorite!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Barn

The barn is not used for housing our animals. Kenny built the barn for a workshop, but over time, it became a place for family and friends to gather. The first gathering was held on December 31, 1999 to celebrate the new millenium. Kenny, Ron, and lots of other family members and friends worked hard to get the barn ready for the first of many celebrations. Over the years, the barn has hosted many parties, showers and family meals. My favorite was last year's Thanksgiving Feast. It was a cold day, but the barn was toasty warm and full of delicious foods, family and friends.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tomato Fest 2008

Tomato Fest is all about the tomato. The meal included Tomatoes and Goat Cheese; Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly; Gazpacho (thanks Nan); BLTs, Tomato, Basil and Feta Pasta (thanks Tonya and Scooter); BLTs with Basil Mayonnaise; Tomato Tart; and Watermelon for dessert (thanks Payton and Terri).

Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
4 - 5 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons Williams-Sonoma Pesto Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup julienned basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
10.5 ounces goat cheese

Mix together tomatoes and pesto dipping sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over goat cheese and top with basil. Serve with crostini and crackers. Note: olive oil can be substituted for the pesto dipping sauce.

Tomato Basil Tart
1 purchased pie pastry
4-5 large tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1/2 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
8 ounces Mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons Williams-Sonoma Pesto Dipping Sauce
10 -12 basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 half cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll pastry on a floured board to fit an 11-inch tart pan. Place pastry in pan and trim to fit. Prick the pastry, line with parchment pastry and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly brown. Allow to cool. Arrange the mozzarella over the pastry and top with onion slices and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Dip basil leaves in pesto dipping sauce and add to tart. Sprinkle garlic slices over tart. Pour pesto dipping sauce over tart. Top with grated Parmesan. Bake for 30 - 45 minutes. Allow tart to set for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve hot. Yield: 8 servings. Note: Olive oil can be substituted for pesto dipping sauce.

Steve and Cheryl

Friday, August 8, 2008

Summer's Harvest

There is nothing better than a summer garden. This year's garden includes tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, crowder peas, speckled butter beans, okra, La France green beans, eggplant, zucchini squash, yellow squash, patty pan squash and a variety of herbs. The results are great summer meals! No garden is complete without flowers. Zinnias and nasturtiums adorn the table and the food.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hot Pepper Jelly

Pepper Jelly is a family favorite, but we like it hot. This year we included a variety of hot peppers in our garden to add more heat to the Pepper Jelly. The UGA Extension Service recipe, "Pepper Jelly with Liquid Pectin", calls for 4 or 5 hot peppers and 4 sweet green peppers. My batch for 2008 used 12 ounces of cored and seeded hot peppers - a combination of cowhorn, jalopeno, hot banana, serrano and 2 habanero peppers. Be sure and wear rubber gloves when handling hot peppers and don't touch your skin with the gloves! I made the mistake several years ago and spent the night with my hands on ice water.

Hot Pepper Jelly
12 ounces hot peppers, quartered, cored and seeded
1 cup white vinegar
5 cups sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin (Certo)
Begin by setting up your work area. You will need a heavy pan for the jelly, a large pan for sterilizing the jars, a small saucepan for preparing the lids (read the direction carefully on the lid container), and a canner for processing the jelly.

Process the peppers and the vinegar in a food processor until the peppers are liquified.

Combine the peppers and sugar in a heavy pan and boil slowly for 10 minutes.

Add liquid pectin and boil hard for 1 monute. Remove from heat and skim.

Pour jelly into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids.

Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

Remove from canner and let sit for 12 to 24 hours. Test to make sure the jars are sealed. Remove the screw bands and clean the jars of any jelly residue. Store in a cool, dark place.

Serve as a condiment with vegetables or pour over cream cheese for a delicious appetizer. Yield: 5 half-pint jars.

For more information, visit National Center for Home Food Preservation How Do I? Can

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Camp Coggin 2008

Camp Coggin is a special time at Quail Hollow. Our grandchildren take time from their busy schedules to spend time with the old folks. This year started with Granny's birthday party. All of the 7 grandchildren - Bou, Mitchell, Sydney, Callie, Reeves, Maggie and Cash - were here. Maggie and Cash, we hope you will be able to join us next year!