Everything But The Kitchen Sink

Good morning (or afternoon or evening), wherever you are.  Thought I’d start your week with a sunrise from my recent mini-vacation.  Take a moment to enjoy…….

Okay, back to business.  (I know you’re busy — I am, too.)

First, hearty thanks to Mike at The Culinary Lens for “tagging” me.  His website is a treasure — food, photos, travelogues, restaurant reviews, creative get-togethers, you name it!  (Do yourself a favor and click on his links.)  I feel honored to be among Mike’s “tag-ee’s” — thank you, friend!

Let the games begin…  Since I’ve only been blogging a few months, it was difficult to select The Magnificent Seven.  (Or at least that’s the idea behind this venture.)  I’ll cut to the chase.

Note:  For your viewing pleasure (and expediency), I’ve linked the photos to the respective posts, too.  Click away!

Most Beautiful Post.  Last Of The Magnolias (Flowergram III) ~ Fiction, flowers, and a few thoughts about aging gracefully.

Most Popular Post.  Granita ParfaitThe little champagne flute that could.

Most Controversial Post.  Alright.  I’ve posted everything from “Close Encounters” to “Cow Tipping,” so I had to think about this one for a moment.  In the end, it boiled down to “credibility,” which my last post surely jeopardized…  Who in their right mind would admit to eating __________?  (Click the link if you must know.)

In my defense, I’ll answer that question with a question.  Why do folks drool over Red Velvet Cake with more food coloring than my afore-hinted-at choice (not to mention 2 pounds of cream cheese and powdered sugar), or vinaigrette sweetened with sugar or honey liberally drizzled over a perfectly good plate of arugula?  Because sometimes ya just gotta.

Food is supposed to make you smile, yes?

Most Helpful Post.  I submit a recent post, with this summary:  Don’t hurry, be happy. 

Post Whose Success Surprised You.  My very first post, Almost…  (Thank you, friends, for your comments.)  Any post that generates comments is a success to a novice blogger.

The Post That Didn’t Get The Attention It Deserved.  A Tribute To Trees.  “The Lightning Tree” is worth the look alone — probably the most dramatic photograph I’ve ever taken.  So far.

The Post You’re Most Proud Of.  Boy howdy, aren’t we proud of all of our posts?  It’s why we blog, right? — to give others a glimpse of our corner of the planet?  Or, at the very least, the inner workings of our __________minds?  (Feel free to insert your own adjectives…)

I’m downright proud of Encouragement: The Ripple Effect (thanks, Isabelle!) — not only for the encouragement, but because you meet some of the nicest folks in that post (tee hee) — and Gumby, too.

Tag, you’re it!

1)  Food Served With Love and Calories

2)  An Italian Cooking In The Midwest

3)  Cooking With Books

4)  Running With The Devil(ed) Eggs

5)  Welcome To Shirley’s Luxury Haven

Go!  Play!!!

NOTE:  Due to the length of this post, highlights from the mini-vacation will be coming soon to a blog near you.  As for the title of this post… please disregard.  I’m including the kitchen sink.

Kim’s Kitchen Sink Biscuits

2 c. flour

4 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. cream of tartar

2 t. sugar

1/2 c. shortening (or butter, chilled and cut into small pieces)

2/3 c. whole milk

1 clove of garlic, finely minced

*4 strips of bacon, fried and crumbled

*1/4 c. green onions, sauteed in bacon drippings (drain on paper towels before adding)

*1/2 c. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

Additional butter, melted

Garlic salt

Preheat oven to 425°.  Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Cut in shortening (or butter) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Fold in garlic, bacon*, onions* and cheese* and stir gently to coat with flour.  (*Measurements are approximate — it’s a Southern thang — use your judgment.)  Add milk all at once; stir just until moistened.

Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  (I generally check them around 9 minutes; if the bottoms are browning too quickly, move them to the top rack to finish baking.)  Remove biscuits to a cooling rack; brush with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic salt to taste.  Serve warm.

Enjoying all things Southern, and tag, too!

~ Kim

What I Eat When Nobody’s Looking

I’m no slouch in the dietary department.  I’ve studied nutrition right down to the molecular level and I know what’s good for me.

Most of the time, I snack on healthy treats.

And eat balanced meals.

Or transform leftovers into meatless entrees now and then.

All good.

And good for me.

But…

I have a weakness.

Yup.  Froot Loops.  (Gasp.)  Sugar laden, full of dye, and absolutely delicious.  Sometimes, nothing else will satisfy.

Blame it on the kid in me.

What do you eat when nobody’s looking?  (Remember — nobody’s perfect, least of all moi.)

Enjoying life one covert bowl at a time,

~ Kim

P.S.  If you don’t want the world to know, just put “confidential” at the end of your comment — your secret’s safe with me. :)

Cartoon Food

Sometimes ideas — and food photos — don’t make it past the drawing board.  But instead of relegating them to the scrap heap, have fun with them!  Take “Okie Caviar,” for instance.  While I wish it were Beluga and a glass of imported champagne, alas…  What you see are capers and Shiner Bock (imported from Texas!) — sort of a redneck substitute (I admit), but salty and sublime.  And the photo was begging to be seen.  (Love that “cartoon” feature on the photo editor…)

There’s something mainstream and American about this coleslaw photo that appealed to me, especially in “cartoon” mode.  Blame it on my diner days — and quite possibly Alton Brown.  A Patty Melt with a side of slaw gets my vote every time.  (By the way, if you haven’t read Alton’s cookbook/travelogue, “Feasting On Asphalt,” I highly recommend it.)  (His photos are better, too.)  But we have food — and fun — in common!

Then there’s my attempt at color-enhanced cartoons, such as these festive quesadillas — don’t say I didn’t warn your eyeballs!  But, I liked the effect.   Hope you do, too!

Bread pudding with Bourbon Sauce, Take Two Hundred and Fifty Six…  I was having trouble with the sauce oozing that day before I could photograph “the perfect drizzle”… plus, it was neon yellow.  Oh well.  Just had to show you the new plate. :)

The next photo/cartoon requires a brief explanation.  We live on a lake.  We love to fish.  My sister knows this.  Quite frequently she bestows “fish” gifts upon us that delight our hearts.  Fish books.  Fish measuring spoons.  Fish cookie cutters.  We love them!  As a result, I tried to cram as many of them into one picture as I could, but you know the old adage… less is more.  Still, there’s something about this photo that says “lake lovers” all over it.  Welcome to my blog. :)  (By the way, my Savory Cheddar Crackers recipe is posted on Tasty Kitchen if you’re so inclined.)

In a final attempt at “food art,”  the following photo employs “text” within the photo.  I think the caption says it all.  Food is about enjoyment, whether it’s photogenic or not (as long as it tastes good!) and to me, it’s a blessing to prepare meals for the people I love.  How about you?

Enjoying life in cartoon mode,

Kim

Comfort Food

What is it about comfort food? Everyone has one — except me. I’d be hard pressed to name one particular “go to” dish that evokes feelings of security, happy memories and world peace.

“Why is that?” I wondered to myself.

Searching through the “food memorabilia” section in the back of my mind, I caught fleeting glimpses of Mom’s macaroni & cheese, Grandma S’s oatmeal with brown sugar and half & half, Grandma M’s kolaches, my sister’s lemon bars, my son’s scalloped potatoes and my daughter’s Pina Colada pork chops. I also remembered every good meal I’ve ever eaten.

“Aha!” I thought to myself again. It’s not a matter of lacking a particular comfort food — it’s a matter of narrowing down the buffet! My brain is a recipe box, it seems…

My collection has expanded exponentially thanks to foodie friends and online recipes. Their marvelous dishes, enticing photography and whimsical, touching stories take me into the heart of their homes — their kitchens — and in turn, I’ve been blessed to prepare some very comforting food for my own family. (And me.)

There are no sweeter words than those of someone you love declaring: “That was really good, honey.” Okay, there are probably a few sweeter words about a lot of things, but for someone who admittedly has a four-word limit on conversational banter, my beloved’s compliments are manna from heaven. I added the “honey” — wishful thinking… :)

In these photos of my results (taken back in the “early days”), I hope to enhance your life with a visual prompt and tempt you to do what I did:  Pick one and have FUN! Food blogs are meant for more than just reading; good ideas –and good times — are just a click away. May you never again ask, “What shall I make for dinner?”

Whether you feel like sinking your teeth into a savory main dish, chopping vegetables for a pay-attention-stir-fry, consoling yourself with a good ol’ fashioned casserole, poking holes into a focaccia that’s as fun to make as it is to eat, or investing time in a labor-intensive batch of chocolate chip cookies chock full o’ bacon (yes, bacon!), you might surprise yourself and discover a new comfort food.

What’s your favorite comfort food?

Enjoying sharing the comfort one plate at a time,

~ Kim