Saturday, July 25, 2009

Turkish-style Rice Pilaf

This is a nostalgic dish from my childhood! My mother made a similar pilaf with her BBq'd chicken. Dinners were simple back then but delicious! I know your wondering. . ."then". . ."when"?

For the sake of my story let's just say. . .a long time ago, in a land far away.

I continue to make this dish for my husband and this "pumped-up" version is an excellent one pot meal.

On the plate are carrots, garlic, baby vidalia onion, green onion, celery, quartered cherry tomatoes and chicken. I also added a teaspoon of chopped mint and Greek seasoning blend, as well has a small handful of dried currants. If I have them on hand I love to add raw spring mix or any type of simple greens.

Great tasting and healthy, this simple creation is loaded with fiber and has very little fat other than a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Exotic Sri Lankan Curry and hot dried red pepper flakes create exciting flavor enhanced by a small dollop of creamy sour cream and slivered green apple.

The dried red currants provide a beautiful contrast to the smoky cumin and brightly-flavored cherry tomatoes balance out the flavor.
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Friday, July 24, 2009

Just For Fun


This shot was taken at a recent Memorial Day Celebration in Senoia, Georgia. One of the local clubs displayed cages of brightly colored chickens and roosters. This particular rooster seemed to enjoy having his picture taken.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Artist-Walter Anderson

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Make time for the Walter Anderson Museum, an eccentric artist whose work has been labeled "intense and evocative".
A daily ritual of rowing twelve miles to an isolated barrier island provided Anderson the opportunity to paint and draw the island's vegetation, birds, animals and insects. Stunning water colors and intricate patterns allow a glimpse into the lonely mind of a brilliant artist.

Located on the main street of charming Oceans Springs, Mississippi. To learn more about artist, Walter Anderson and the museum hours visit

Ocean Springs, Mississippi


Charming tree-lined streets, fun specialty shopping and plenty of restaurants are waiting for visitors in the quaint shopping district of Ocean Springs-just across the bay from Biloxi. Parking is plentiful, allowing for a leisurely walk through town.

Featured in the photos above is The Candy Cottage! Filled with homemade candies and authentic New-Orleans-style pralines, a visiting youth group from Minnesota promises to never forget the sugary pecan candies!
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A Evening At The Beach


It was a perfect sunset! The water was exactly the temperature I remembered. Growing up along the Mississippi Gulf Coast has provided me with a lifetime of pleasant memories - including this quiet stretch of beach across from the new location of the White Caps Restaurant, a favorite of my parents back in the 60's!
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cruising The Mississippi Coast


There aren't adequate words to describe the breeze blowing off the Gulf Coast during the twilight hours. I can't imagine a more tranquil setting in the south . . .

The twenty-six miles of magnificent shoreline stand as testimony to the resiliency of the the people rebuilding the post-Katrina Mississippi Gulf Coast.
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Newnan, Georgia

This is it!  The Maritime Building on East Broad St.
Eligible for Certificate # OPEN-100140

In a past life I was fortunate to make a living in interior design. Not so much a job as an opportunity to work with beautifully-crafted fabrics, study the fine details of weathered wood and stone and in the process develop a passion for the tiniest details.
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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fig and Mamey Syrup and Peach Bliss Protein Shake


I created a syrup of Black Mission Figs (3 pints) by covering the figs with sparkling white grape juice and adding about a cup of chopped Mamey Fruit. I added 1/4 cup of sugar, a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp of very good vanilla. I cooked the fruit until the liquid was a beautiful burgundy color and strained off the first batch of syrup.

I added another 1/4 cup of white grape juice and 2 tbsp of grenadine syrup and allowed the fruit to cook for another ten minutes. I put the fruit into a strainer fitted inside another strainer. I mashed the fruit with the back of a spoon through the strainer, allowing the liquid to flow from the fruit into a large bowl.

Out of the three pints of figs and cup of Mamey fruit I extracted 4 cups of syrup.

For the Protein Shake:

1 large skinned peach, chopped
1 small blueberry yogurt
1/2 cup 2 percent milk
2 tbsp Fig and Mamey syrup
3 scoops of Vanilla Soy Protein Powder
1 cup of ice

Blend ingredients until smooth.
Serves 2
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Peach Bliss From Carroll Farms


I have been frantic this past two weeks-worried that I might get too busy and forget to head down to middle Georgia for our Lane Peaches-when happily I was directed to a peach packing company in my own backyard.

Carroll Farms is located in neighboring Merriwether County, Georgia-a hop, skip and a jump from Coweta County. Their roadside stand offers fresh peaches by the bag, bushel and box and are picked from trees right across a narrow country road.

While excited to get a box of large, firm freestone peaches-we also sampled their refreshing soft-serve peach ice cream made from a family recipe! Owner, Kay Carroll Barnes, graciously allowed us to snap photos of her family, peach trees and popular roadside stand decorated with rustic signs and oversized rockers!

Paired with a Fig and Mamey Syrup I created yesterday, Ron and I enjoyed a vitamin-packed soy shake of fresh peaches and Blueberry Yogurt! The only comments uttered during the consumption of our enriched shake "WOW".

For more information about Georgia Peaches and directions to the Carroll Farms Roadside Shop visit their website at
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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Moon Over The Back Bay

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Beauty Abounds!


I meant the IP Biloxi Casino Resort and Spa! We just couldn't resist a few photos in front of the massive live oaks that I very well could have climbed as a child! I was a BIG tree climber as a small tomboy and was even called from a tree climbing adventure to be informed that at that very moment I had to begin to wear a bra! My tree climbing days were never to be as carefree again.

The IP has done a fabulous job of re-inventing itself in this post-Katrina town. Thoughtful design, interesting textures and sea glass abound on the stunning first level.

The roof level pool and cabana area arereminiscent of a grand ocean liner. Mahagony wicker and ocean blue striped towels create a island feel and proved casinos can be a great getaway for those of us just want to get away for a little R & R!
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Relax! It's the Mississippi Gulf Coast


The Biloxi-Gulfport International Airport celebrated the arrival of AirTran's new service from Atlanta to the Gulf Coast this morning with a formal water cannon salute by county and city firetrucks lining the tarmac.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau and IP Biloxi are hosting Home At Last! for a few days as we plan upcoming shows and an exciting deep-sea fishing trip for future episodes!

I will be cooking one of my childhood favorites of deep-fried hardshell blue crabs-a recipe prepared by my father after learning the recipe from locals back in the 60's!
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How I Luv Ya, How I Luv Ya. . .My Dear Ole Mamey


Just like the conquistidors and early adventurers arriving in the New World I have stumbled upon the Mamey Fruit,(pronounced ma-Mey), the national fruit of Cuba.

Silken like soft pudding, the fruit has a complex layer of flavors, reminiscent of mango and figs. (Some say apricots but I tasted figs.)

I have two plans for my Mamey fruit. The sauce (pictured here)will top a grilled Grouper Sandwich. I paired the Mamey
with ripe banana, unsweetened coconut cream, fresh chives, hot chili oil, mayo and wasabi.

The second recipe will be a conserve of Black Mission Figs and Mamey Fruit for grilled breakfast breads and cheese!
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