‘Sup, Peeps? #SoCS

Sup-pose you want to grill burgers for the big holiday. You know, the one that falls in the middle of the week and you can never get additional days off around it so you either pretend you aren’t going to, but get really drunk and just suffer through the next day-OR-you act all grownup and just enjoy a mid week break with some good food and try to avoid the crowds (although you dream of seeing fireworks from the rooftop in DC or Lincoln like your kiddos are doing). Since we sup-posedly wise up as we age, I felt it prudent to stay in this year. Perhaps I didn’t care about missing out. Perhaps I wanted to snuggle in with hubs and be creative and do all those things I miss out on when I am just bustling around. Either way, we wanted burgers. Did I mention we were avoiding crowds? That includes the maniacal scene that would be playing out in every grocery and conveninece store across this great flag-waving holiday-loving fireworks-exploding country. Now, just sup-pose two very sup-eriorly intelligent humans (insert crying laugh here 😂) were not prepared enough to pick up hamburger buns from the store.

I mean we are trying not to eat a lot of bread, especially processed white killer bread. But you really are sup-posed to have that junk on this auspicious holiday. Hubs offered to go to the store-half a dozen times or more-but he seemed so serene sitting there over his puzzle and I didn’t want our day ruined by a cart-pushing wise mouth or grocery employee with a grudge for having to work. What to do, what to do? Oh! I’ll just make some. I mean, I have been trying to find a good bun recipe and so far all previous attempts had been mediocre. What better time than a free day with no pressure?

Now, even though I still have a shelf full of my favorite cookbooks, I must admit to using the internet for recipes more often than not. It is just so easy and I can actually combine ideas that way.

A word to the wise and unaware here. A lot of people out there can’t cook; and often this fact spills over into their recipes. I can only hope it was typing ommissions because obvious things like baking powder left out of a cake recipe is going to really tick off that person trying a 27 ingredient Chocolate Decadent Roller Coaster Fudge Cake recipe for their big party. Thankfully, I have been cooking long enough to recognize an obvious ommission, but in others the ‘missing link’ was not as obvious. This time, though, I found what I think is the perfect  sup-per sandwich roll. If you love burgers and have a breadmaker, you can easily have these in about 2 1/2 hours. Bon Appetit’!

This #SoCS post is brought to you by Linda Hill . Visit her blog for the prompt to meet other consciousness revelers and read about her new book! Today’s word was ‘sup’.

I found the recipe at Genius Kitchen and have saved it to my desktop so as never to lose it. I hope. 😏

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I added sesame and poppy seeds after the egg wash and used olive oil as well as sea salt. It looks like a recipe you could play with. I have not tried my Bob’s Gluten Free flour mix yet as I wanted to test the integrity of the recipe first. OMG! We loved them. Have a look.

 

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This dough did perfectly in the breadmaker which I have had for almost 20 yrs
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You could so so much with the dough which is slightly sweet
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At first I feared that they didn’t rise enough
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Baking always finishes off the rising
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I know. I was trying to get their best side.
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Can you smell them?
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Okay, a perfect burger made using our gifted Omaha Steak patties too. There’s Barb’s contribution Dan!
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Of course I had to make homemade Thousand Island dressing, for that Big Mac effect.😉
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I even shaped a few hoagies knowing we would have Italian sandwiches the next day-old Pizza Hut style. Yuuum!

Yeah, even though we no longer eat fast food, you can see how my food memories have been shaped by them. 😜

I hope you all had a relaxing and/or fun holiday and enjoy an even better #free48!

Oh. We heard lots of fireworks going off in surrounding neighborhoods, but his was the extent of my visual; and I had to brave the mosquito hoard to get this one! Yep, I was a total whimp.

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Don’t Judge Me #OneLinerWednesday

One of the things about the modern mindset that infuriates puzzles me is the concept that nature is cruel and animals that eat other animals is awful.  They have been called killers, brutes, a menace, etc. Now, I am no extremist and understand the need to keep the wild things at bay with regard to the general populace; however, from my personal point of view, anyone who isn’t a dedicated practicing vegan has no room to throw stones at the carnivores who inhabit this planet along with we humans but simply happen to place lower on the food chain.

 

Question in point?  What do you think when you see this photo?

 

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Zippy is adorable.  Right?  Of course he is.  He also procreates faster than a rabbit.  He and his family have the potential to leave droppings and other highly undesirable things under my porch, in my attic and within our walls.  He digs up my potted plants daily.  I love him. I give him walnuts from my precious stash.

Now, what do you think when you see these images?

 

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CkP Photos

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All hawk photos copyright CkP

This is a  juvenile Broad Winged Hawk.  We spotted it 2 days ago while on an outing.  These birds are magnificent.  I am in awe of hawks and have a great respect for their fierce hunting skills.  I love to capture photos of them looking down at me, their expressions both curious and frightening.  Do I look like a possible snack?  In many places they are considered to be a menace, as well as eagles, due to their ability to hunt fairly large small game and, at times, that has included small pets.  While I feel that is tragic, I don’t think they warrant being called killer birds.  For, if that were true, we should surely be called “killer humans”.

Often I show these kind of images to people who cringe and say, “Oh my God that’s horrible.”  These are also the people who love slasher movies and Dexter.

Not only do we hunt voraciously and often for pure sport, but we also raise animals for the slaughter, plan the preparations for eating it and then brag about the results.

These birds are efficient, not leaving anything behind and even clean themselves afterwards. See his “beak pick” in the second to last photo?  There is no eating for snacks or overeating leading to obesity.  They are surviving. We could take a lesson or two.

 

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Cute huh? Adorable I say.

 

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Still cute? Tasty looking I’d say.

No, I am not vegan.  Most of the time I can take or leave meat.  Sometimes I crave a good burger or pork chop. And who doesn’t love bacon?  My point is that I wish humans would stop being so ridiculous, ignoring the truth of who and what we are in the food chain. If we could accept one small part of the truth of life and its process, then perhaps we could learn to accept other fears about life processes that are ridiculous when taken down to the their core.  We are all the same in this living, breathing, cellularly connected Existence.

Now, go out and grill some dead animals if you must.  Just remember to appreciate and not waste what they gave for you.

❤️🥂

This post brought to you by Linda Hill and #1LinerWeds

Time in a Bottle

One of my favorite Jim Croce songs states, “If I could make days last forever. If words could make wishes come true, I’d save every day like a treasure and then-again-I would spend them with you.”

It is a blessing, in life, to have someone you feel this way about. In good and bad times, to realize you wouldn’t give up any days spent with them, but merely try to change the way some may have been miss spent.

Sometimes a day begins on a less than brilliant note but ends spectacularly. Those days are especially nice because I love surprises!

The #Free48 started out with a Friday fun afternoon at a new venue near the house. We thought #Baddaddysburgerbar was pretty cool, from the Badass Margaritas (of which they only allow 2 per person) to the wide variety of freshly styled burgers and hand cut fries. So good! The homemade chips were crispy and not greasy. We will definitely go back. There’s a whole menu to try!

 

(Touch any photo for the description)

 

 

Then there was Saturday…low key, projects, a bit of housework and cooking a weekend meal.

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I just had to work on jewelry projects
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Braised Pork chops, baked sweet potato, peas and Olive Oil Muffins.
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These muffins are so good! I found the recipe from David Lebovitz’s blog awhile back and saved the link. I finally dug in and gave it a whirl. Can you smell the orange?

Check out David’s recipe for Olive Oil Muffins

Sunday promised to be a beautiful day and we headed up to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to a small German influenced town called Helen. Here comes the disappointment moments….it was less than even underwhelming, mostly due to a sense of apathy among the vendors there. It seemed as though we had stepped back in time, but it was frozen somewhere in the 70’s along with all of their merchandise and venues. The buildings are quaint and stylish, and there is a cute little park as well; but it took us approximately 45 minutes to walk around and fear we had made the two hour drive for naught. Thankfully, we had to drive to the other side of town when we first arrived, making sure we parked in the best spot, and spotted a state and national park sign worthy of a second look.

We did stop in an ‘authentic’ German restaurant/bakery where we snagged a cream puff. What can I say? I have certainly made tastier treats. The pastry was dry and the cream was only whipped cream-and unsweetened at that. So disppointing.

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Authentic German styling
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Even a windmill!
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This little waterfall was in the patk
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We always enjoy a good pastry. Too bad it was mediocre.

So, quick as that, we headed to the far end of town and followed the brown park signs to Unicoi State Park and Anna Ruby Falls National Park. Hubby has a lifetime pass to all national parks so we ended up getting in totally free! Yippee!!

Talk about worth the wait. It was about a mile walk uphill to the falls and the view along the way was beautiful, cascading water at every turn. I knew the moment I saw this beauty that we were where we should be.

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I so wish I could live here. One of the best things was the way the air got cooler the higher we walked. At one point it felt like a blast of air conditioning wafted down the hillside.

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I loved these huge rock formations and hidden passageways.

Then we reached the top! It was so lovely. We have seen larger falls but this place has its own special charm.

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The view was breathtaking
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If only I could stay…
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That smile is genuine. Me and water and the woods make a happy trio!

Reluctantly, we headed back down the hill and made our way to the parking lot.

Our day was exhilarating. From expectant to disillusioned to thrilled.

 

 

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What’s not to love about this drive?

We had one more stop to make.

 

 

 

How is that for a #Free48?

As I said before…..

I’m Late!

I’m late, I’m late….

 

I promised I would post the result of my hush puppy trial yesterday but never got around to it. I must apologize but it was with good reason. I was having fun!

We were fortunate to be able to get out during a reprieve from our recent rains to make a return trip to the Botanical Garden and found a new spot that we totally missed on our first trip. We found a couple of new friends there!

 

 

More on that later….on to the hush puppies.

I actually like this recipe more than most others I have tried because it gives more of a light, cornbread texture-and they are good cold as well! The inside is light and fluffy while the outside maintains a nice crispy texture.  They were perfect with the breaded shrimp we had alongside.  Time was short so we opted for a prepared shrimp that only needed cooking.  Next time, the real deal.  Honestly, I avoid frying anything very often so this was a special occasion.  When I do fry it is normally only pan frying in a small amount of oil.  This requires the full monty, however, and so we did.

 

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Hush puppies cooling their jets..
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These breaded shrimp came from the grocery freezer..not like homemade but sufficient
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Nice platter yes?
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Crispy outside, light inside. Perfect with butter!

 

We made a significant dent in this platter.  My plate was clean!

 

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Who would think there was room for dessert? Well, how could we resist fresh, juicy mango with whipped cream?

 

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Yeah….we had to wait a few minutes before tackling the mess in the kitchen. 😂

 

Would I change the recipe in any way?  For me, the white cornmeal is a bit too fine so I would try to find a self rising yellow or make my own.  I might even substitute some yellow corn flour in place of the whole purpose flour in the recipe.  I added cayenne or perhaps you might like fresh jalapeño.  The green onions were great and I added some well drained diced red pimiento, or you could use finely chopped fresh sweet pepper.  It’s your cornbread, after all! The buttermilk definitely made the texture perfect for me.  I hope you guys let me know how yours turn out.  In case you missed my last post, with the recipe, you can find it here.

Meanwhile….back in the garden….

 

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Doesn’t he look just tickled? Exactly how I feel when I am there! Sans frogs in hand….

 

Maybe he’s thinking frog legs with hush puppies….🙊

 

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Savoring the moments….

 

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“We have to stop meeting like this,” I whispered.  He said he would be there waiting until next time.

I promise to share more of our #Free48 later on.  I hope yours is unfolding splendidly!

Huuuush Puppy!

This post is dedicated to my good and dedicated blogging buddy Dan over at No Facilities who recently suffered a travesty of the culinary kind when a restaurant he tried offerd up their own (abomination) version a true Southern favorite-the beloved fried cornbread delight know as a hush puppy.

The first recorded use of the word “hush-puppy” dates to 1899.[3] The name is often attributed to hunters, fishermen, or other cooks who would fry some basic cornmeal mixture (possibly that they had been bread-coating or battering their own food with) and feed it to their dogs to “hush the puppies” during cook-outs or fish-fries.[4] Other legends date the term to the Civil War, in which Confederate soldiers are said to have tossed fried cornbread to quell the barks of their dogs.[5][6]

~Wikipedia

This, for the record, is a photo of a real, authentic, Louisiana style hush puppy.

 

 

 

 

Notice the crispy, golden outer layer? Many hush puppies taste pretty good but few have this crust. The key to that is deep frying quickly and at the right temperature. Also note the glaring absence of corn kernels. Now, although there are some Louisiana communities that will use corn in their puppies, most don’t. Most are either a bit spicy or only mildly sweet and not the overly sweet, dessert style pups one often finds on the road.

These delicate treats are a favorite of mine and I am pretty picky about the ones I really love. Certainly not with a mushy center. Or served with any kind of vinagrette. I have been known to dip them in remoulade sauce and some may use catsup. But, just like it’s mother, great crusty cornbread, I just love them hot and slathered with real butter. 😱

 

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Oh….yeah….and preferably with some shrimp on the side. Fried shrimp, grilled shrimp, broiled shrimp, boiled shrimp, shrimp gumbo, shrimp creole…..ok, Bubba Gump. 🙄

yeah….

 

 

 

 

 

Shrimp and fried fish! Oh and cold Yuengling on the side. Making hush puppies isn’t difficult. Finding the right recipe is the trick. I have made quite a few versions, some better than others. I did some research before putting one here for you guys. This one has a lot of promise. I plan to make them before the weekend. I thought maybe we could all give it a shot then meet back here to see how we did.

 

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I likely will not carmelize any onions but just use finely chopped green onion or grated shallot.

Anyway, welcome to Louisiana good food. I plan to visit home soon and get me some of this!

Enjoy!

This good food post brought to you courtesy of our great eating experiences at Parrain’s Seafood Restaurant in Baton Rouge.

Now, don’t they look good?

On to Free48! So close now.

How about a bit of something pretty too?

This one’s for you, Dan! Macro happy!

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Mellow Free 48/#Thursdaydoors

Hi guys,

I have been a bit absent this week but wanted to share some of my last Free 48 with you and make this a kind of combo post.

Last weekend we made our outing a quest for one of my favorite doughnuts, those tasty treats our reps bring in on Fridays that I can never say no to. NEVER. EVER.  It was a gorgeous Sunday for a drive. Sadly, we got our wires crossed about the hours for that location and it was closed. 😩

It was then closer to brunch than breakfast, so we were off in search of an alternative means to soothe our growling stomachs. The architecture in the area was really amazing and we spotted one little interesting shop after another until my eyes fell on this place!

 

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“I want to eat there!” It was a declaration more than a suggestion.

We had to circle back around a labyrinth of a block to get there but we finally did. As many places as we have lived and visited that has this pizza chain, I never had the chance to eat at the Mellow Mushroom. Of course I took photos of the doors I found and so many other little ‘cutesies’ inside.

 

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The main door to the magical mushroom tour
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The restrooms were labeled ‘mels’ and ‘femels’
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Now you know who would love this train, don’t you? 😉
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This is my first contribution in honor of National Train Day ..and how about that cool VW bus?
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I can see where kids would love so many things about this place!

 

While I still think I make the best pizza in town in my own kitchen, this was pretty good. The Options were fresh and tasty, and we could even do ‘halvesies’….What??

Do you want to see it? 😀

 

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Can you guess which half was mine?

And the ‘coup de gras?’

As we drove back out of town I spotted a real tourist attraction and we were suddenly transported across the ocean to Paris, France!

 

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Well, I guess it’s the closest this gal will likely ever get to the real thing. I thought this replica was way cool, just nestled in a semi hidden eclectic little shopping center right off the main road. I only happened to catch a glimpse from the corner of my eye or might have missed it altogether.

Laissez le bon temps rouler!

The rest of the Free 48 was pretty quiet. How was yours? I hope you all have a beautiful Mother’s Day and brand new Free 48.

Oh, and I do have one more door for you before I say goodnight. This one always catches my attention. It is in one of our office locations. Does it remind you of anything……🙈

 

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Redrum, redrum, redroom…..

 

Sweet dreams peeps! 😱

Happy  National Train Day, Dan!

 

 

This post is brought to you by the Mellow Door Master Norm Frampton. Check out his place for a lot of great doors posts and post a link to your own there. Just give the little blue frog a tickle to be transported to the linky list.

No Cherries/#Free48

Well, it turned out to be a productive and fine #Free48 with some good food, a mini adventure, a new business prospect and even tequila shots! Rather than explain it all in boring narrative, why don’t I just share some photos with you? For details, hold your finger on the photo or tap for captions.

After driving around the parking garage for thirty minutes at Ponce City Market I was ready to throw in the towel when suddenly a spot opened up and we were in! Sadly, the market was so crowded that we headed right out to get onto the BeltLine…..buuuut….we couldn’t. There was a wine festival going on at the entrance and we didn’t want to attend. It was crazy. We went back inside the market to find a beer and maybe a bite of food but there was just so much chaos. We agreed to head home and grab something closer to our neck of the woods. The drive was very cool though, allowing me to get some more shots of the city. There is some fantastically original grafitti around Atlanta. These are just a couple of the random murals I saw during our drive.

We agreed on Zama Mexican, one of our favorite local spots and were both ready for a cold one and some food!

I couldn’t resist giving a “tickle” to one of the restaurant’s door sentries. I liked his necklace!

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I will someday write about my nightmares  dreams last night but right now they are too fresh.  No more Heradura shots for Cheryl. Have you ever been attacked by a spider riding a cricket!? 😱

Today hubby firmed up the details for our spot in the antique store. Now I am praying my jewelry is recieved well and that the things we put there wll sell. There is a festival coming up in two weeks. Wish me luck! I have been working pretty much non stop getting things ready.

What do you think of the collection? These aren’t all the best possible shots but you can get the idea what I will be presenting. And I am still working.

And the cherry on top of it all? I made homemade strawberry ice cream. It turned out so delicious. But, sadly, there were only strawberries to go on top. 🙊And drizzled chocolate. And whipped cream! The best part about being the cook? I get to scrape the Cuisinart freezer bucket. What a preview.

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Let’s get out there and make it a great week. Remember, we can all use a little help from our friends, no matter how little they seem.

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