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Posts Tagged ‘food’

  1. Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

    October 14, 2013 by The Yum Yum

    Never underestimate the fact that you need to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.

    Potatoes do not count.

    In fact, instead of regular potatoes, you should cook and eat sweet potatoes.

    I’m not kidding.

    Sweet potato chips and sweet potato fries are a healthier alternative to regular potato chips and fries.

    Yes, you do have to expend more energy to prepare them.

    But it’s worth the extra effort, especially for the sake of your health.

    Small swaps such as this are extremely helpful.

    The other healthy strategy is to add a wide variety of vegetables to, say, a sauce. Cream sauces can have cauliflower added to them which provides more texture without compromising the flavor too heavily, and tomato based sauce can have virtually any vegetable (in small quantities, think a quarter cup) added to it.

    Also, never underestimate the health benefits of fresh fruit. The key to the fresh fruit situation is to mix your fruit up- why eat just an apple or just grapes when you can have both?

    The except to this rule, for me, is blueberries. I could eat blueberries by the truckload!


  2. Chili’s in Panama City: The Worst Dining Experience Ever

    April 15, 2013 by The Yum Yum

    So, on this particular day, not only was I in a bad mood, I had the single worst dining experience in the history of my life.

    Turbo decided that we should go out to eat at Chili’s. We sat in silence for most of the time because of a slight squabble that was going on.

    Noticeably, during the daytime, the Chili’s looked like an old barn someone had purchased and only halfway renovated in efforts to make it appear vaguely like a restaurant. Had a cow come around the corner at any point, my surprise would’ve been far less than one might expect.

    We arrived around lunch time, and luckily, the place wasn’t ridiculously crowded. However, that’s where the good part of this story ends.

    First, the host sat us next to a table that had at least 10 children. We sat in a teeny, tiny booth that wasn’t fit even for two of the seven dwarves. Also, if a person of a large size than, say, maybe 200 pounds had been sitting there, their ample frame would’ve been right in the middle of the aisle.

    The children weren’t the worst part; the fact that they and their family were collectively the loudest people that have ever dined outside of the home made the experience worse.

    Our server, whose name I can’t remember (luckily for him), took thousands of years to get our order and finally bring us our food. We may have been there for an hour, we may have been there for months, I don’t actually know.

    Under the vast majority of circumstances, I’m the single most benign human being when it comes to servers and the stress under which they find themselves; I understand they’re waiting on multiple tables, trying to please multiple people, working as the messengers between a steamy room full of angry cooks and a noisy room full of grouchy patrons cursed with low blood sugar.

    However, this guy looked cracked out.

    As usual, I ordered an appetizer: the pretzel bites with honey mustard dipping sauce. I think some other kind of sauce came with it.

    And my bad luck had yet to run out: my food had been placed right in front of me and Turbo for a few seconds when a man and his child walked by, and what did that child do?

    He sneezed, profusely and generously, all over my food.

    Out of the thousands, millions, infinite number of places in the entire universe and even here on humble planet Earth, the one place the the three-year-old had to sneeze was on my damned food.

    The man apologized, but apologies mean nothing in the face of food that has been seasoned with the mucus of a snotty three-year-old.

    At that moment, if I could have rounded up all the children in the world and dropped them off at a Gingerbread House complete with a witch in the middle of a forest, I would’ve done so with little hesitation.

    The word of advice: do not go to Chili’s in Panama City. The food is awful, the servers are awful, the atmosphere is awful, and I’m giving them absolutely no stars. If I never eat at that restaurant again, it will be too soon.


  3. Julia Child REMIXED Video (Really Good, Really Funny)

    December 28, 2012 by The Yum Yum

  4. “Spih-ruhl” Ham and More

    December 19, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    Maybe I’ve told this story before, but I should tell it again.

    This is an example of how the game “Telephone” works technically.

    Bapaw has a bad accent and mispronounces a lot of the English language. For someone who complains about people from India calling and trying to sell us stuff on the phone and about how he needs someone who he can understand, he sure does miss that bit where his accent is probably indecipherable to a lot of people who were actually born and raised in the USA.

    I, however, speak the Slocomb dialect, or at least, I understand it.

    Anyway, Bapaw pronounces the word “spiral” as “spih-ruhl” or “spear-uhl.” What’s odd is that I pronounced the word “spiral” the same way when I first saw it in second grade in reference to bacteria shapes, and it was only when the teacher pronounced it correctly that I knew otherwise.

    So by the time Gigi heard Bapaw talking about the “spih-ruhl” ham, she also misunderstood and thought he was saying, “Sparrow Ham.” This resulted in her running around, laughing, talking about how Bapaw called it a “Sparrow Ham.”

    This should also give some clue as to how thick Bapaw’s accent is; his wife of 37 years couldn’t even decipher what he was saying.

    Of course, Bapaw also speaks another language: Huffy Puffy. I’ve never known any other human being who sighs, huffs, puffs, and blows out air from his mouth to express his emotions as much as he does. The problem is, Huffy Puffy doesn’t convey particular emotions well; you never can tell if Bapaw is irritated, tired, or some kind of combination of the two.

    However, Bapaw’s a fairly irritable person, so he’s almost always irritated about something, and if he isn’t, you can get him started pretty easily. Ways of getting him started include asking him what he’s doing or where’s he’s been, at which point he’ll react as though you should have known exactly what was going on and that the question is a personal attack on him for not reporting to you. 

    I get irritated, too, but I mainly get irritated when I’m already not feeling well.

    Also, I’m increasingly learning that age is no indicator of someone who should be in charge, and at work, I have to often keep an eye on Bapaw and Friends lest they cause some kind of trouble, and these are men and women who know how to cause SOME MORE kinds of trouble.

    These men and women also bring to us SOME MORE kinds of good food. Living in a small farming community nets good Southern food from fresh vegetables to homemade Divinity Candy (all of which is gone.)

    Oh, and we received a carrot cake from (presumably) my auntie, and I ate most of it this morning for breakfast. 

    Last night, thanks to Jim and Chris, I acquired a Bread Maker. I will be making the hell out of some bread in 2013, and it’s likely going to travel down to Panama City with me tomorrow so I can bake Christmas bread.

    Jim says that Bread Maker takes a few hours to make the bread, to not use self-rising, and that I don’t have to pre-mix the ingredients; the ingredients all get dumped into the maker, the lid is closed, and then we walk away.

    So. HAPPY. 

    I love bread; there’s no lie about this. I love, love, love bread, and you can visit my entires entitled “Confessions of a Carboholic.” My family and I are virtually addicted to bread. You can only rarely go wrong with it.

    Also, this means I can bake bread for Turbo and make homemade egg sandwiches for him! IN YOUR FACE, WAFFLE HOUSE!

    This also means I can 1) make homemade bread and 2) make grilled cheese sandwiches with it.

    Any kind of bread, any kind of sandwiches. Recipe book was included with the Bread Maker.

    Speaking of which, I haven’t named it yet. I keep wanting to name the Bread Maker “Nehemiah” or some Biblical name, but we’ll see.




  5. Of Migas and Mambos

    November 18, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    Somehow, Mambo LaReina of the Mystic Seekers managed to get me on the subject of food the other day. She suggested a dish somewhere in the conversation that includes tortillas and eggs: migas.

    So, I set out to create the migas one night at my house with what I had, which included a single flour tortilla (though Mambo recommend the corn tortillas), eggs, corn, and rice.

    Gigi had cooked earlier on Thursday, and then she went to the doctor that evening. I used the leftovers so that nothing would be wasted (I hate wasting food), and so the migas it was.

    Well, the only problem is that I used too much oil: Mambo suggested putting the oil in the pan to the depth of about 9 mm, and I apparently misjudged and had to empty out some of the oil in the process.

    But guess what? The migas was absolutely, 100% delicious.

    So, I came back to Panama City on Friday night. Chris D. insisted on making dinner for me because he said I’m always hungry when I get here, and I told him that I’m actually the one who’s supposed to make dinner for him. He insisted, and it’s difficult to go against what Chris D. wants, and so he treated me to dinner on Friday night: tortellini and garlic bread sticks.

    Saturday morning, I got up and made migas for myself, and then I made some more for Chris around lunchtime. Mambo LaReina explained that side dishes to migas include salsa and refried beans.

    The first batch of migas (the breakfast batch) featured some of the flour tortillas Chris D. had bought me, along with the leftover garlic bread sticks from the Friday night, and all of it was fried up in coconut oil. I added the eggs, cooked them up, and boom, I had this amazing, amazing dish.

    I told Mambo LaReina that I didn’t like refried beans. She also mentioned sausage, which as many of you know, I don’t eat. But then I discovered that I do, indeed, like refried beans, and they go incredibly well with the migas.

    I used bread from an Italian loaf along with several strips of tortillas in order to make the migas for Chris D. and myself around lunchtime. The refried beans and salsa complemented the meal perfectly.

    Best of all, Chris LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the migas.

    I myself was surprised at how delicious it turned out, but my secret ingredient is, as you may know, to always, always pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary before cooking anything.

    If, for some reason, you don’t believe that I’m in good with the Blessed Mother, taste some of my food that she’s blessed, and you’ll get the point.

    Anyway, I’m giving my second big shout-out to the Mystic Seekers and especially Mambo LaReina for suggesting to me this lip-smacking good dish.

    Here’s what you need:

    3 or 4 small tortillas; corn or flour, it doesn’t matter.
    bread crumbs or hunks of bread, the type again not a big deal
    3 eggs
    butter, oil, or coconut oil
    salt to taste

    Here’s what you do:

    In a skillet, heat a generous amount of oil. You need enough oil to where it covers the bottom of the pan but not enough to where you’re deep-frying the stuff.

    Tear the tortillas into strips and the bread into hunks. If you have bread crumbs on hand, don’t worry about this.

    Once the oil is heated, add the tortilla strips. Let them cook for a few minutes.

    Add the bread pieces and allow them to crisp up.

    Finally, add the eggs, and scramble it all together!

    You can also add onions, garlic, cheese, tomatoes, you name it. Whatever you like. Think of this as a glorified Tex-Mex omelet.

    Now, this was also my first experience with using coconut oil, which was amazing and doesn’t do anything harmful to the body. It doesn’t flavor the food with a coconut taste, either, so don’t worry about all that.

    …but do go get your nosh on!


  6. WOW! A Blog-less Week? Plus, Another Broken Egg Café Review

    November 14, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    For those of you who are unaware, we Southern folk down hear at Hickory Shade have had internet problems for years, and finally, the internet decided to go out last week completely. 

     We did, however, talk to a very, very kind woman named Sheila who works with CenturyLink. She was nothing but absolutely gracious and understanding as Gigi explained to her the story.

    Well, flash forward a bit, and I ended up in Panama City at Chris’s over the weekend, and then, we were essentially too busy for me to update the food blog. 

    I had the chance to eat at two different restaurants, both in Pensacola, on Sunday.

    Sunday morning, Chris and I awoke at 3 AM (which was really supposed to be 2 AM but he failed to pay attention to the alarm on his watch) to drive to Pensacola so he and his military buddy, Ron, could run a marathon.

    Now, call me crazy, but I don’t think I personally would have been able to run 26.2 miles, nor would I have a desire to, nor do I understand other people’s desire to.

    There were literally thousands of people who entered and ran the marathon. I don’t know when the last time I saw thousands of people was, probably at the Peanut Festival, but yes, thousands of them were there, gathered in the slightly cool morning to run for miles and miles. This helped to further diminish my self-esteem as I can’t seem to run for even one mile without becoming completely and utterly exhausted and irritable.

    Anyway, Ron’s girlfriend Jamie and their friend Hutch and I road around Pensacola, attempting to accomplish minute tasks while Chris and Ron ran and ran and ran. We stopped for breakfast, even though I admitted I wasn’t particularly hungry, at a place called Another Broken Egg Café. 

    Jamie warned us that it was a little expensive but well-worth it.

    Another Broken Egg Café is very, very posh, featuring signs written in French (the bathrooms are indicated by “La Toilette,” for instance) and even have alcohol on their menu. 

    Broken Egg is open from 7 AM until 2 PM, so you can even have brunch and a very, very late breakfast. 

    The food, as we were warned, was a little high, but my cheese omelet I ordered was only around the $8 mark. You have to consider, though, that I also left $2 in tip for the server. 

    Now, on to the review! 

    Food and Drink Quality: Extremely, extremely high. Jamie ordered a Mimosa which she let Hutch and me taste- and it was amazing. My cheesy omelet was huge, light, and fluffy, and even though I didn’t finish most of it, I did enjoy what I had. Definitely five smiley faces. 

    Cleanliness: From what I could still, absolutely spic-and-span. Five smiley faces. 

    Service: Our server (whose name I can’t remember) was neither imposing nor ultra-friendly. The manager did come over to us and greet us, though, asking how we were, so I would say it was all mediocre. Also, towards the end, I had the slightest feeling that we were being rushed. Three smiley faces.

    Cost versus Product: Well, I would agree that they’re a little on the expensive side, but on the other hand, my $8 landed me a huge omelet that had to have been made with half a carton of eggs along with English muffins and “Southern potatoes” which is a fancy name for hash browns that have been diced very nicely. I feel absolutely awful that I didn’t finish most of it, but I wasn’t terribly hungry, I didn’t realize how much they would be bringing me, and we were out and about, not near a fridge, so I didn’t want to risk keeping an egg in the car and it somehow going bad and poisoning me later on. Bapaw’s always been big about not wasting food and using extreme frugality, which he passed on to me, but also, Daddy didn’t raise no fool. In fact, recently, I left Hickory Shade as I was telling Bapaw that I had to go solve the problems of people who had no common sense, and his only response was that I was going to find that was most people. Anyway, back to the Café: I’ll give them four and a half smileys here. 

    Atmosphere: Very posh, featuring fans that had only two blades and generally decorative lighting and good music playing, though admittedly this was before 10 AM, so I have little recollection of what all the music was. Also five smileys.

    Vegetarian and Modified-Diet Friendliness: I didn’t really check so much for this, but it’s mostly breakfast food, so I’m not sure how many other veg-heads eat eggs the way I do. I’ll just skip this score. 

    That brings us to a happy total of…

    4.5 SMILEY FACES!!!

    If you love breakfast food, and you’re a gluttonous American like most, you’ll love Another Broken Egg Café with their huge portions and bougie atmosphere. In a way, it feels like the kind of place people go to make themselves feel like they’re weathlier and have higher status than actually do. Everyone knows the truly posh only dine at restaurants that have no multiple versions of themselves. The higher the numbers the restaurants have, the less important they are in reality.

    Get your nosh on!




  7. Fried Green Tomato Burgers

    October 31, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    So sometime during the past week, Gigi sold her soul to the local witches and invented some concoction called a Fried Green Tomato Burger. It’s pretty delicious. She first indicated it as I was talking to her about Jesus and bursting into tears over the story of how my priest actually saw Jesus. 

    The scenario went like this:

    Me: “He saw Jesus!” *MEGA SOB*

    Gigi: “…yeah, did you try that fried green tomato burger?”

    I suppose Father Tom wouldn’t mind me sharing the story on here as he had no problem telling me about, and I’m still not totally sure why the story made me as emotional as it did, but all I know is that every time I thought about the story and Jesus and even now as I’m thinking of the story that it makes me so emotional that all I can do is burst into tears. It’s not a sad story by any means which is why it’s so weird that I cry thinking about it. 

    Anyway, I ate the fried green tomato burger, then asked Gigi to make me a whole one. Half of the whole one fell apart.

    Then I called her from work today and asked her to make me another one which had fallen apart before I even arrived home, surprise, surprise. 

    Basically, substitute a fried green tomato for a hamburger patty, and you know what we’re talking about. Also, try it with ranch dressing since that’s even better than mayonnaise on this delicious product of witchery. Hopefully, Gigi will be able to buy her soul back with some fried frog’s legs. 

    Now I can’t even think of why the conversation went to Father Tom and Jesus in the first place, GAH. 


  8. Tortilla Happiness

    October 21, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    Lately, I’ve been buying tortillas again. Instead of using them to make wraps this time around, I’ve decided on a different route, which is to simply fry the tortillas in a pan.

    “Fry” may be a harsh term in this case; I’m spraying both sides of the tortilla with Pam Cooking Spray and sprinkling seasonings in the skillet so that when I put the tortillas down, they absorb the delicious flavor of garlic and salt. 

    The perfection comes when you eat these slightly crunchy, slightly salty snacks by themselves; they can’t be beat. If you don’t use enough oil, they’ll be too dry, and if you use too much oil, well…who cares, right?

    Mambo LaReina of the Mystic Seekers mentioned that her grandmother used to make homemade tortillas just for her, at which point I became hungry and decided to make tortillas but waited until today because that just seemed more convenient. 

    So I did, and here I am, blogging as I munch on my dellicious, warm, spiced tortillas.

    Mambo also told me to go get some flour to make HOMEMADE tortillas; I’m SO excited about this. I’ll probably have to go to Publix to get it but have a few ideas about places I could find the flour in Slocomb.

    Everyone, go get your nosh on!


  9. So Many Things to Say, So Little Time!

    October 8, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    Let’s begin with yesterday’s events: I was lured to going to Kelly’s house to make Halloween decorations for the Great Halloween Bash later these month. And I mean, that’s fine- I didn’t realize we weren’t actually going to be decorating last night. 

    On the other hand, making Halloween decorations, as it turned out, is fun. We made ghosts using old sheets and the stuffing of several pillows that we cut open. Kelly gave a neat how-to of making ghosts, and those of us present made several ghosts each. 

    I compared the process to something Gigi did when I was a kid- she would take paper towels, twist them, tie them, and then do little ghost faces on them.

    Anyway, I have a ton of pictures of the decorations we made, so I’ll try to post them on here later. 

    Kelly bought some baguettes and brie JUST FOR ME! She heated the round of brie to let it melt a little, then added walnuts to the top. So. Good. 

    Then I went the extra mile and did something I never do: I added some honey to the bread and then topped it with brie.

    Brie has a very distinct, strong taste to it that’s difficult to explain, and the honey goes along with it just fine.

    Honey’s never been my favorite food as a spoonful is too sweet. But think of it: a spoonful of sugar is too sweet, despite what Mary Poppins might have you think. I guess when one takes medicine, it helps.

    Ms. Alice always crushed up aspirin and put it in honey, which is probably I spent most of my childhood thining aspirin tasted sweet. A few years ago, I found some baby aspirin that was fruity-flavored, and I’ll be a skeleton monkey’s uncle if it didn’t taste exactly like the aspirin Ms. Alice used to give us as kids. I thought I had imagined it, but apparently, I was right all along.


    I swear, I am the world’s worst second-guesser but the world’s best got-it-right-the-first-timer.

    Anyway, Gigi has this obsession with screaming at the feral cats that my family continues to feed when they get on the front porch. She’s screamed at them literally for years, and it doesn’t work. And you know what they say: insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.

    So the conversation goes like this:

    Gigi: “GET OFF THE PORCH!”

    Me: “Mama, stop yelling.”

    Gigi: “Don’t you tell me to stop!”

    Me: “Don’t you tell me to not tell you to stop!”

    Seriously, it’s really, really annoying. 

    On the other hand, if anyone’s got any ideas on how to keep feral cat off a porch, please enlighten us. If your idea involves putting an electric fence around the porch, politely go shove a lit blow-torch up your nightgown.

    In the meantime, Gigi and I will continue to battle the cats that won’t let us pet them but that we, for some God unknown reason, will continue to feed anyway. I mean, for folks who get so upset about people who are on welfare, we sure treat those cats like little gods! If they were pets that let us hold them and pet them and love on them, I’d have no problem; they won’t even let us do that, though, except for one black-and-white female cat, and she barely lets us touch her. And the worst part? They’re all really, really pretty! They don’t look mangy and evil; they’re all fairly decent looking cats that are just mean as H. E. Double Hockeysticks. 

    What irritates me at that point is that Bapaw’s explanation is that the cats have never been around people.


    Of course, the compassionate part of me understands that I don’t want animals to starve.

    The problem is, those animals are feral and can hunt for themselves. They aren’t pets and never have been. We’ve watched them stalk birds and other animals that are around.

    Anyway, if anyone wants a free cat, bring a kitty carrier trap, and come on down to Hickory Shade to get them. You can take them, no charge, easily.

    Go get your nosh on…and please, have some of the free kitties!



  10. Pecan Time!

    October 6, 2012 by The Yum Yum

    The autumn is with us! Earlier today, I went outside to help Bapaw pick up pecans. 

    Here at Hickory Shade, it’s neat participating in the harvesting of our namesake crop. Bapaw also has some neat pecan rollers that we use, so picking them up is a breeze!

    I filled my bucket about a third of the way up and then came inside because of how hard the sun was beating down on me, and I’m not exactly interested in having sunburn. The amount of sun I got was probably healthy and much-needed, though. My cheeks certainly feel like they’re stinging a little, but not completely uncomfortably so. Maybe I won’t continue looking like a scary ghost all the time!

    Halloween’s coming up, and Halloween usually turns into the best holiday for me. One thing that people forget these days is to honor their ancestors and to think about those who have gone on before us, which is really where the whole celebration of Halloween comes from anyway. I’m pretty much convinced at this point that part of our sense of not being connected to anything (despite the ridiculous amount of connection we have to each other via things like Facebook and the internet) is because we no longer honor our ancestors or the dead. 

    Notice that I said “honor” and not “worship.” I’m not saying ancestor worship is the key, but a degree of reverence and remembering them might make them feel better and might inspire them to pray for us, you know.

    Didn’t think about that, did you?

    So, I wonder how many pecans it takes to actually make a pecan pie? I’m sure almost every recipe will give it by the number of cupfuls one needs and not an actual numerical value of pecans.

    Oh, and also, very important: we have pecan rollers (tools to pick up pecans) available for purchase at Harris Brothers Hardware! The price is $37. If you would like one, please come see us in Slocomb; if you would like to reserve one, please call (334) 886-2377 anytime from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 8 AM to Noon on Saturday. 

    Though I didn’t stop to ask Bapaw how much pecans are selling for this year and how many pecans one would have to pick up in order to actually pay for the pecan roller that one just purchased, either.

    Go get your nosh on, and for heaven’s sake, bake a little pecan pie for your ancestors!