Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mexican Strata

So what is a Strata?  And where did it originate? A strata or stratta is a family of layered casserole dishes in American cuisine. The most common modern variant is a brunch dish, similar to a quiche or frittata, made from a mixture which mainly consists of bread, eggs and cheese. It may also include meat or vegetables. The usual preparation requires the bread to be layered with the filling in order to produce layers (strata). It was popularized in the 1984 Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.

Other recipes merely require that the ingredients are mixed together, like a savory bread pudding. A beaten egg mixture is then poured over the ingredients. (Source: Wikipedia)

I had all the ingredients to make a strata, but this time I wanted to give it a "Mexican" flare, so I added sliced jalapeno peppers, sliced black olives and chunky salsa to the mix. It turned out so good.

4-6 large farm fresh eggs
1 large handful fresh baby spinach
1 cup diced potatoes
1/2 cup chunky salsa
10 slices jalapeno peppers
10 black olives, cut in half
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10" frying pan with cooking spray. Place potatoes on the bottom of the pan, top with spinach, then jalapeno slices and black olives, distributing evenly over strata.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl; add salsa, and salt and pepper to taste, stirring to combine. Pour over mixture in frying pan.

Sprinkle shredded Mexican cheese blend all over top of strata.

Bake 35-45 minutes or until eggs are set and cooked through.

Serve immediately. Top with a dollop of sour cream or additional salsa if desired.

Yield: 4 large or 6 small servings



© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Honey-Teriyaki Chicken Tenders and Broccoli

I love Asian inspired tastes and flavors, so the other night I made these Honey-Teriyaki Chicken Tenders adding some diced celery and fresh broccoli florets towards the end of the baking time. Easy, peasy, and so good.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into tenderloin strips
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup Teriyaki Sauce
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small head fresh broccoli, cut into florets
Rice, cooked

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a covered casserole dish with cooking spray. Place chicken tenderloin strips in casserole dish.

Mix honey and Teriyaki sauce together in a small bowl and pour over chicken.

Cover and bake 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Add celery and broccoli; continue to cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are al dente.

Stir to coat well with sauce and serve over hot, cooked rice.


Salsa Infused Slow Cooker Chicken

I was recently "gifted" a rooster chicken from my friends at Paradise Acres Farm. Because they tend to be tough, the best way to make them nice and tender is to slow cook them for many hours. I wanted to use this chicken for tacos or enchiladas, so I slow cooked it in some fresh salsa ... oooo laaaa laaaaaa delicious!

1 small whole chicken
1 cup fresh chunky salsa
1 cup water
1 large onion, peeled and quartered

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook "low and slow" on low heat for 10-12 hours or until bones are falling apart.

Remove chicken and bones from slow cooker and place in a large baking dish; allow to cool. Once cooled, pick through chicken, removing all bones, fat and skin.

Tear chicken into shreds and use it for chicken tacos or chicken enchiladas.

One small chicken yields approx. 1 quart bag of shredded chicken.

If you're not planning to use it right away, store chicken in a zip top bag in your freezer.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Low Country Shrimp and Grits

Inspired by local South Carolina seafood and cuisine, I finally decided to tackle a Low Country Shrimp and Grits recipe and see what I could come up with.

I'm a huge advocate of supporting local farms and markets, so it's no surprise I chose South Carolina Wild Caught Shrimp I recently purchased from Off the Hook Seafood Market for this dish, and stone ground grits from Palmetto Farms.

Additionally I used Chesapeake Bay Rub, a spice blend from a chef friend of mine, Adam, of Fein Tasting Foods. The results are amazing. 

For the grits:
1 cup stone ground grits
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbls. butter
2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Course ground black pepper, to taste

For the shrimp:
1 1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbls. olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2-3 tsp. Chesapeake Bay Rub
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. hot sauce sauce
1/3 cup white wine
few dashes parsley flakes

To prepare the grits, in a large sauce pan over medium heat, combine the grits, water, chicken stock, salt, and butter and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender, 25-30 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, and course-ground pepper.

Peel and devein shrimp. In a fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Toss in the garlic and saute' until the garlic is just slightly browning.

Add the shrimp, Chesapeake Bay Rub, salt and pepper, stirring well. Add white wine, lemon juice and hot sauce; cook until shrimp is pink and heated through.

Remove from heat and serve over grits. Sprinkle on some parsley flakes; serve immediately.

Yield: 4-6 servings



Monday, March 16, 2015

Road Trip to Chef & The Farmer and Boiler Room Oyster Bar

Planned for months, and talked about for over a year, we were FINALLY on our way to experience what is the Chef & The Farmer and Boiler Room Oyster Bar, both the brainchild of Chef Vivian Howard and her husband, Ben Knight, from the popular PBS series A Chef's Life. This road trip was a "bucket list" must do adventure, and I couldn't wait to experience it.

I first became a fan and follower of Vivian several years ago when I read about a chef in North Carolina doing more than just sourcing from local farms, she was actually gearing her entire menu around what was local or seasonal in her region, shopping at local farms for products to use in her restaurant, and using all of what she purchased to turn out these amazing delicacies.

As a supporter of local farms myself, and eating seasonally, I was impressed with what she was accomplishing in small, rural Lenoir County and the town of Kinston, North Carolina.

Over the years I have watched every episode of the show, A Chef's Life, from "Season One" where there was a fire in the restaurant and they heart-breakingly had to rebuild everything, to "Season Two" and the opening of the Boiler Room Oyster Bar, to "Season Three" where she went hunting for "ramps" to use in her restaurant.

See a clip here from the show:  A Chef's Life

Her mother, Scarlett, is often on the show as well, and it's always fun to watch the mother-daughter exchange when it comes to preparing food. Vivian uses many of her mom's "tried and true" recipes, she just puts her "twist" on them, ramping them up a few hundred levels!

So, on this dreary, rainy day in March, we were off for the drive from South Carolina to Kinston, North Carolina, where we would also be meeting up with some old friends who live in the area.

My husband and I arrived just after 11:30 a.m. and met up with our friends who had traveled up the night before. First stop, the Boiler Room Oyster Bar. Since it was raining lightly we stood under the awning to the restaurant waiting for them to open at noon. They do not accept reservations here, so I was very glad we arranged to go when they open, as the "wait area"  outside was quickly filling up with other people waiting to go inside.

Right at the stroke of noon, the doors opened and we were met by the hostess and seated. We were waiting for another friend of mine to join us who lives locally, so we perused the menu and ordered our drinks and placed an order of the "house saltines" with a ranch dipping sauce to share.

Soon my friend, Tammy, arrived and we all ordered our lunch. I had the Oyster Po Boy, another had the Oyster Pie, a few had the #4 burger, one had the shrimp and another the Southern Poutine.

1/2 lb. peel and eat NC shrimp with lemon aioli
Oyster Pie with Homemade Saltines
#4 Burger (lettuce, tomato, onion, dukes, ketchup, mustard)
Southern Poutine (crispy house fries, smothered in gravy and topped with cheese curds)

What a great place and we all enjoyed our time, talking, catching up with my friend, Tammy, and devouring some delicious food!

Our next stop was at Mother Earth Brewing, a great local brew pub in the heart of downtown Kinston, and they're "green" as "green as can be!"  As their web site says:

"A six-kilowatt solar array stands on the roof as a tribute to the authority of that great star we orbit, known as the sun. Blue jean insulation, a 100% recyclable product, was used to insulate the walls. In addition to being a recyclable product, it also has outstanding sound barrier qualities. Soy-based spray foam insulation protects the second story ceiling. Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint covers the walls. The flooring wasn't ignored, either. Mother Earth Brewing's corporate offices will sport eco carpet partially made from renewable resources. Eco flush valves on toilets know just the right amount of water needed for "the job" and reduce water needed for flushing by 30%. Eco faucets in both bathrooms offer an unimaginable savings in water compared to conventional faucets. A state-of the-art tankless water heater heats water on demand, instead of using needless energy to keep hundreds of gallons of water heated at all times."

Naturally some of us had to try a local brew before heading out!

Shan and Liz enjoying a brew
Next we were off to the hotel and a little down time while we got ready for our "dining extravaganza" at Chef and The Farmer.

A bit before 5 p.m. we were all ready to go, so we headed out and drove to our destination, a short 3 miles away, arriving long before our 5:30 p.m. reservations. Can you tell we were excited? 

It's just as well we got there early, as the parking lot was quickly filling up, and many others were milling about waiting for the doors to open. Luckily we had made reservations a few months ahead of time, so our party of 10 was guaranteed a seat! And I do recommend you make reservations well in advance of the date you want to go! Due to the overwhelming popularity of the series, A Chef's Life, people are traveling hundreds of miles to see and enjoy this restaurant.

Finally the doors opened and we were off!  First stop the hostess station where we were greeted and promptly seated in the wine room, which is an area reserved for large parties of up to 16 people. We were greeted immediately by our server for the evening, Maria, who is a trained sommelier and extremely well-versed in all the menu items offered.

Maria handed us an extensive wine and spirits menu while she explained some of the beverage choices available. After placing drink orders we began to pour over the menu. So many choices! Where to even begin? And so the buzz began with a lot of banter among all of us as to what to try first. Enter Maria again with some amazing suggestions. She told us one of the most popular appetizer dishes is the Pork Belly Skewers with Curried Citrus Marmalade, Pickled Jalapenos and Cilantro so you know we just had to try those!

Pork Belly Skewers
Oh my goodness, they were amazing! We also tried Flash Fried Collards (don't knock it until you try it) and they too were a surprise. Not at all what you'd expect, but crisp and light. There were none left, that's how good they were.

Now I had NO expectation AT ALL we would even see Vivian knowing how busy she is, or that she would even be at the restaurant that evening, so imagine my surprise when she came in to meet us and chat for a bit! I was beyond thrilled, trying to contain my excitement. She knew I was a food blogger so she asked where we were all from, spent time talking and even paused for a picture. YEP!

And that was the highlight of my whole evening. Promising my husband I would not embarrass him, I did contain myself, but just barely. I thanked her profusely for coming to meet us and also told her how much I admired her and what she was accomplishing there with her restaurant.

So after a short pause to regain my composure, it was on to the next course where Maria suggested the Marinated Beets with Blue Cheese Coulis, Orange and Pecan Gremolata and Miner's Lettuce, which was also delicious according to my friends who ordered it.

Marinated Beets
Next we would be ordering our entrees, which was probably the hardest choices of all to make since there were so many delicious sounding options.

Once again Maria stepped in and artfully offered suggestions, or explained the depth of flavor of some of the dishes. She succeeded in convincing many to try the 16 oz. Bone-In Pork Chop with Sweet Potato Butter, Peanut and Celery Relish, Mustard and Pork Belly.

This is the dish my husband ordered and thoroughly enjoyed, and although he is not "overly adventurous" with his food choices, he is very open-minded and willing to try most anything once. Thanks Maria, he loved it!

16 oz. Bone-In Pork Chop
Maria talked a little bit abut the farms they source from, and I had seen the episode showing this particular poultry farm, so I ordered the Garlic and Herb Stuffed Guinea Hen with Pecan Romesco, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots and Rutabega which was absolutely delicious!

Garlic and Herb Stuffed Guinea Hen
All the while we were enjoying these courses, Maria was unobtrusively scurrying away any dishes and cutlery used, replacing them with clean ones. We even saw Vivian again as she brought in some of the dishes herself to serve us.

Finally it was time for dessert! Oh my goodness, we were all so full, but we sure made room for dessert. I mean who can resist a 10-layer chocolate cake with old fashioned Caramel and Toffee Crunch? Not me! The lightest, fluffiest cake I have ever eaten, it was superb!

10-Layer Chocolate Cake
This evening was not just a "nice dinner out," it was a true dining experience, with time to sit, relax and enjoy every single course served. From start to finish it took 3 hours and was the BEST 3 hours I've spent in a long time. As we were finishing up, Vivian's parents were seated at the table next to us, so on our way out, we passed by their table where we all exchanged "hello's" and "good evening's" as we made our way to the door.

What a night! Great food and good friends PLUS meeting Vivian Howard made this a night I'll always remember.

Many thanks again to everyone at Chef & The Farmer who made us feel special and right at home!

From left to right: Andy, Caroline, Shan, Curt, ME, Liz, Scott, Sandi, Cheryl and Tim

Until our next adventure,


Friday, March 13, 2015

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Coconut Cream Pie

Another "oldie but goodie" from my 1970's Betty Crocker Cookbook. This one has been around a long time, because the first time I ever made it I used my mother's 1950's Betty Crocker Cookbook.

Homemade vanilla pudding base with flake coconut added, topped with fresh whipped cream and toasted coconut, it's a family favorite.

1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbls. ice cold water
Coconut Pie Filling:
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 tbls. cornstarch
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups coconut, 2 tbls. reserved for toasting
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten (farm fresh is BEST)
1 tbls. butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Whipped Cream Topping:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbls. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

For the Crust:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour and salt together. Add shortening and cut in with fork or pasty blender until it resembles course crumbs. Add ice-cold water and stir until well combined, being careful not to over-work dough.

Place the dough on a lightly floured board and using a rolling pin dusted with flour, roll it out in to a large circle. Transfer pie crust to 9" round pie pan, trimming and crimping edges, or push edges down all around the pie pan with the tines of a fork dipped in flour.

Pierce the bottom of the pie crust in several places and bake in preheated 475 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.

For the Pie Filling:
In a large saucepan, whisk together the sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Stir in milk and heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils one (1) minute.

Remove from heat and stir a little of the mixture into 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten. Then blend into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil 1 minute more, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and blend in 1 tbsp butter, 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1 1/2 cups coconut (reserving 2 tbls. for toasting).

Pour filling into cooled pie crust and refrigerate 2-3 hours.

Toasting Coconut:
Toast reserved 2 tbls. coconut in a small fry pan, stirring often, until coconut is just browned and slightly toasted. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the Whipped Cream Topping:
Beat 1/2 cup heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff.  Spread over top of cooled pie and sprinkle toasted coconut over top. The whipped cream can also be added to individual slices of pie if desired.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Grilled Pheasant with Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Not too long ago a group of us headed out the the Winter Farmer's Market at Coastal Coffee Roasters in Summerville, South Carolina.

It was a nice, but cold, January day, and all of us were anxious to see some of our favorite farm friends at this winter market, as well as meet a few new ones. The Winter Market at Coastal Coffee Roasters is a very nice market with a variety of things offered, making it a Saturday destination well worth checking out for yourself.

I reached out to David Gravelin, of Wishbone Heritage Farms prior to our trip, and he offered me an awesome deal on 2 Pheasants he had left in his freezers he wanted to clear out to make way for the new season. I happily accepted and offered the 2nd one to a friend of mine.

On the first warm day this Spring, we fired up the grill and prepared our pheasant feast!

1 Pheasant, split in half
1 tbls olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette (click for recipe)

Turn grill on to direct medium high. Rub pheasant all over with olive oil and sprinkle well with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill, turning occasionally for 20 minutes. Liberally brush Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette on both sides of pheasant and continue grilling 10 minutes, basting on more vinaigrette several times. Grill until pheasant is cooked through, and internal temperature is 165 when tested with a digital read thermometer.

Serve immediately with roasted root vegetables, or your choice of sides.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Home Curing Corned Beef

Updated March 2024

Home Curing Corned Beef is easy and tastes so much better than store-bought. It just takes time, in this instance 8 days, so prior planning is imperative.

The efforts are well worth it and it will be so delicious.

1 - 3 1/2 - 4 lb. Beef Brisket 
6 cups water
2 cups lager or Guinnes beer
1 cup canning salt*
2 tsp instacure #1
1 cup golden brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup pickling spices


Pour 6 cups water and beer into a large food storage container. Add canning salt and instacure #1; stir until dissolved. Add sugar; stir until dissolved. Mix in pickling spices. Pierce brisket all over with tip of small sharp knife, or tines of a large serving fork.

Submerge brisket in liquid, insuring beef is completely submerged; cover and refrigerate 4 days.

Remove brisket from brine. Stir liquid to blend. Return brisket to brine; cover; refrigerate 4 days. 

Remove brisket from brine. Rinse with cold running water, and use the Corned Beef for a traditional New England Boiled Dinner.

* Canning and Pickling Salt is a pure granulated salt which does not contain potassium iodide, dextrose or an anti-caking agent, so it contains no additives. It can be used in cooking, baking, canning, pickling and for the table.

Make your own pickling spice. Pickling spice is a bit like barbecue sauce; everyone has a personal style and preference of taste. You can purchase pickling spice blends at the store or make your own. For an aromatic approach, you might include as many as 6 or 8 spices—such as whole allspice, peppercorns, dill and mustard seeds and bay leaves. Try experimenting with different flavor profiles, and be sure to note all of the combinations you try. 
  • Ingredients
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 2 dried bay leaves, crushed
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 Tbs. mustard seeds
  • 2 Tbs. whole coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbs. mixed peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. whole allspice
  • 2 tsp. dill seeds
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Method: In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cloves, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, allspice, dill seeds and red pepper flakes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 year.


© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Benefits of Buying A Whole Side of Beef

Adam Frick - West Ridge Farms - Premium Beef

So you're thinking about buying a side of beef, but is there really a benefit? Is it a cost savings? Will you be able to use it all?

I know there are a lot of questions when making this type of decision, but I can tell you from my personal experience, buying a side of beef, and splitting it with another couple, was the best decision we ever made.

But first you need to do your homework. Find out what farms in your area sell directly to consumers. Make an appointment and physically visit the farm, get to know the farmer, learn about their husbandry practices, and see it first-hand for yourself.

Cathy Taylor - Seldom Rest Farm

Ask questions! Is it grass-fed and grain finished? Or is it all grass-fed? If grain finished, what type of grain is used? If organic is important to you, ask if it's organic! Most farmers are more than happy to have you visit and talk to you about their farm, and I would stay away from any who are not.

See my trips here to West Ridge Farms - Premium Beef  Hill Creek Farms - Hartsville and Seldom Rest Farm

To find local farms near you check out Local Harvest, Farmer's Pal, or Eat Wild.

John Rogers - Hill Creek Farms - Hartsville

Here are a few reasons why buying meat in bulk makes sense:
  • More economical! A side of Grass-Fed Angus Beef from a local farm runs around *$6.59 lb. which includes all cuts of beef from roasts and tenderloins, to stew beef and ground beef, plus lessor known cuts such as Hanger Steak or Skirt Steak (the cost per pound varies depending on your location)
  • You know what you're eating! When you buy your beef from a local farm, you know how their livestock is raised:  
    • humanely on pasture
    • grass-fed
    • no antibiotics or added growth hormones
  • It's a lot of beef! A side of beef yields around 230 lbs. of meat 
  • It is freezer ready! It is already vacuumed sealed by the processor and ready for your freezer 
  • It lasts a long time! Depending on family size, a side of beef lasts up to a year or more
  • You make the "cut choices!" When you order a side of beef from a local farm, you can chose the cuts you want from a "cut sheet" typically provided by the farmer. This is also based on the processor used. So many choices, and they're yours to make! 

  • It's all "prime" beef! If you have ever savored a USDA Prime Graded Steak you know it is delightfully tender and juicy with a buttery flavor which makes it distinctively superior to any other steak. Of all the beef produced in the US, less than 2% is certified as USDA Prime. Typically you will not find USDA Prime in the supermarkets since its limited supply is gobbled up by fine meat purveyors that retail it to upscale restaurants and affluent consumers.
    • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) meticulously grades beef at the request of a meat packer. Only beef that is USDA inspected may carry the USDA shield of authenticity. The grading system determines the quality rating of beef based upon a very complicated inspection system which measures the amount of marbling (fat specs) in the rib-eye muscle (lean) portion and combines the maturity (age) of the beef carcass to determine the inspected grade.
    • The higher the ratio of marbling and the younger the beef, the higher the grade. It is the fat marbling which determines tenderness, juiciness and flavor. The age of the beef determines beef texture and also effects flavor. Younger beef produces a finer texture and a lighter red color.
    • Therefore USDA Prime Grade has the highest rating of a combined high ratio of marbling with the youngest maturity of beef. That's why prime is the most flavorful and most tender with the finest of texture. (Source: USDA)
  • It's better for you! Grass-fed beef generally comes from cattle that eat only grass and other foraged foods throughout their lives. Often, conventional beef cattle eat a diet that includes grains, such as corn, at some point. The difference in the diets of the cattle changes the nutrients and fats you get from eating the different types of beef. 
  • Grass-fed beef may have some heart-health benefits that other types of beef don't have. When compared with other types of beef, grass-fed beef may have:
    • Less total fat
    • More heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids
    • More conjugated linoleic acid, a type of fat that's thought to reduce heart disease and cancer risks
    • More antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E
    • Lean beef that's 10 percent fat or less (Source:  Mayo Clinic) 
    • See more here why grass-fed beef trumps grain-fed
  • Do the Math! When we purchased a side of beef, the price was $5.89 lb.* (in 2014). We split the side of beef with another couple, each of us receiving equal amounts of ground beef, steaks, ribs, and roasts. Our total cost was $1,300 so each couple paid $650, making our monthly cost $54.16, and our weekly cost $13.54. While the cost per pound for the ground beef might be higher, the costs of the prime cuts of steaks and roasts are many dollars per pound cheaper which equals a win to me.
  • Use it all! You may receive some beef bones with your side of beef. If you do, use them to make nourishing Beef Bone Broth and anytime a recipe calls for beef stock, use the bone broth. Use it as a beef base in soups, braising meat, gravies, stews, sauces, and reductions. It can also be used to saute' or roast vegetables. 
Grass-Fed Angus Beef  - Hill Creek Farms - Hartsville
I am thankful we have an abundance of local farms doing it "right" for you and me right here in South Carolina. It's tireless hard work, but without our support, they wouldn't be able to continue to do what is their passion, producing a great product for you and me. Does it cost more? Maybe. Is it worth it. Yes!  

Don't have the freezer space yourself for that much beef? Consider what we did and going in on it with other friends or family members, dividing it up between all participants. 

The BEST thing you can do for yourself and your family is just EAT REAL FOOD! Buy it from your local farm, get to know your farmer, and support your local Farmer's market.  I think you'll be happy you did!

* Note - The price per pound quoted here is based on the 2015 price list received from Hill Creek Farms - Hartsville. Your price may vary.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Honey Barbecue Wings

Wings, wings and wings! What started out as a mostly "hot wings" kind of thing, has today turned into just about any kind you can imagine with a variety of tastes and flavors.

And let's face it, wings are not only economical to buy, but fun to eat ... sticky, sweet, savory, tangy, spicy, deliciousness running down your chin and fingers as you tear into them, because that's the only way to eat them, with your fingers! I mean come on, does anyone use a knife and fork on wings? No! Plus, wings are extremely versatile since they can be baked, fried or grilled.

Over the years we've made many wings ... Sweet Hot Sticky Wings, Asian Sticky Wings, Fried Hot Wings, Honey Mustard Grilled Wings and now these Honey Barbecue Wings, which was my husband's idea ... yes, he cooks too, and at times he's a total genius because these were so darn good!

1 package chicken wings (16 wing and drumette sections), thawed
1/2 cup raw, local honey (or more if needed)
1 cup homemade barbecue sauce (or your favorite brand)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place wings in pan and drizzle honey liberally all over the wings.

Bake 20-25 minutes, remove pan from oven and stir wings well, turning over to coat with the honey. They should begin to look caramelized.

Now spoon barbecue sauce over all the wings and return pan to the oven. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and stir wings to coat well. The wings should now be cooked through and completely covered in honey and barbecue sauce.

Serve immediately with a lot of napkins!