When I first moved to Ohio, I lived in a loft in downtown Cleveland. There was a handy little specialty grocery store located right downstairs that I visited often. It was especially appreciated when the temperature plummeted because I didn't have to brace for the cold to grab groceries! They also had very tasty stuffed grape leaves on their salad bar, and I ate my weight in these tasty little things. When my sister visited, we would immediately head down to stock up on them! When I later moved to Arkansas for a year, I mourned the loss of these leaves and I couldn't find any salad bar versions that could compare.
After putting off getting my wisdom teeth removed for many years, the time finally came when I couldn't avoid the inevitable any longer. In preparation, I stocked up on way too much apple sauce and decided to make a batch of soup. My tabasco peppers are finally beginning to ripen, so I decided to go with a tomato basil soup and kick it up a tad with a little heat!
Summer is almost over, but my tomato plants are completely in denial about it and are still giving me fruit and even trying to flower again. Even though I love fall, I am also holding on to summer for just a tad bit longer! One of my favorite things to do with a garden fresh tomato is to put it on a BLT! While a classic BLT will never go out of style and I mean no disrespect to him, I have been playing with a few different spins on the bacon and tomato sandwich.
If you know me, you are aware that I have a slight obsession with potatoes. Ok, maybe a huge one. Basically, I can't live without potatoes! To be fair, what's not to love about this versatile vegetable? They give the world with fries, chips, and even vodka. My fiancé and I visited Ireland last year and I was in hog heaven because every meal came with one to two sides of potatoes. While I love all the wonderful potato dishes of the world, my favorite potato persona will always be the ever popular classic... French fry!
Recently, my dad has been experimenting with tamales and this caught my interest as well. These cute little fellas are so delicious, but I have been scared away from making them before because they all call for a substantial amount of lard. My dad didn't think this was necessary and he was right! We both worked on our versions and found that they can be just as tasty with some alterations. Keep the flavor, cut the fat!
September in the south is something I look forward to all year... muscadine season! For those of you who may not be familiar with muscadines, they are a grapevine species that can be found from the Carolinas over to parts of Texas and Oklahoma. In Mississippi, muscadines grow wild all over the place, but there are also orchards full of them and many people have rows planted in their yards.