07 November, 2012


It has been a while since I last posted. It's not because I am lacking recipes... it's the opposite. I have been so busy lately. With 4-H, then I was asked to do catering for a full weekend of 20 people. Yep! That is 6 meals. 
It went well. There was a wide veriaty of people in the group and made it a bit of a challenge, but not too bad. At each meal we had to have a meat option and a vegetarian option. It really worked what we knew. 
I had a great time and hope to do it again soon. It wasn't all easy breezy. It was tough. I tried to do what I could the day before people started coming in to stay the weekend, but not everything could be done like that. Often times, we were running around trying to complete the meal the minute before it was to be delivered. I don;t regret doing it, it was a great experience and really tought me a lot. 

Anna .V.

22 June, 2012


A couple of posts back, I gave yall the recipe for a yummy blueberry lemon muffin/cake or muffin. Well, today I tried a recipe that was very similar but was chocolate chip. Great for this rainy afternoon. 

Chocolate Chip Crumb Muffins:                                                     

3/4 cup sugar (or honey if your out of sugar)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil (olive oil)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips mixed with 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, chopped (this is the remaining amount of chocolate chips in the 12 ounce bag)
Sift together the all purpose flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar, brown sugar, canola oil, eggs and vanilla extract on medium speed for about 3 minutes.
Slowly add the dry ingredients into the bowl on low speed and mix until almost combined. Then fold the ingredients together with a spatula.
Add in the sour cream. You’ll need to fold, stir (gently), fold, stir, etc. Make sure the sour cream is completely mixed into the batter but don’t over mix the batter.
Mix the chocolate chips with 1 Tablespoon of all purpose flour. Add the chocolate chips to the batter. Gently fold the chocolate chips into the batter.
Line a muffin pan with muffin liners. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into each muffin liner. Set the muffin pan aside while you work on the crumb topping. (Or the iron skillet is another baking option. Just grease the skillet and bake until done in the center.) 
In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add the diced butter and cut it into the other ingredients with a fork.
Take the remaining amount of chocolate chips in the bag and coarsely chop them up. If you still have some whole chocolate chips after chopping them, don’t worry. Add the chopped chocolate chips to the crumb topping and mix them in.
Sprinkle the crumb topping onto the muffins.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 23 minutes.

Anna .V.

05 June, 2012

Summer Time Grilling

This year my 4-H presentation is all about outdoor cookery. It's a special kind of presentation that you can do an actual demonstration. The time allowed is 2 1/2 hours total and I have to grill two turkey tenderloins...yes, turkeys have tenderloins. Mr. Morris is my grilling instructor as well as Joseph. Both of them are incredibly great at all this and have helped me tremendously!
One of the tenderloins I did a savory rub on - Colorado Plateau Citrus Pepper and it was sooo good. With both pieces of meat I smoked them for a good 15 minutes or so with Hickory Wood chips and the smell was mouth watering. About 15 after tenderloin has been smoked good make sure you keep flipping it, putting it opposite ways gives you the nice patterned look.
The second tenderloin me and Mr. Morris made a sauce. Here's what we used.

1/2 stick butter
2 Tbs. Worshire sauce
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup Lemon Curd
3/4 cup Porky's Place sauce

You just heat it all up to a simmer then make a tray out of tin foil to place on the grill and set your smoked tenderloin into the tray so that the tenderloin doesn't dry out and you get an amazing flavor at the end. About 10 15 minutes before its done grilling put some extra flavor on there as almost a crust.

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Porky's Place sauce
1 scoop Lemon Curd

Gabby .V. 

04 June, 2012

Strange weather brings Confusing strawberries

   Strange title... right? Well we had a time with these strawberries.
We went to Howard's Strawberry Farm in Harmony. When we went,
we were on our way to Raleigh and planned on eating most all we 
picked there. We knew we wanted to can some, and we would have
to go back to get more berries. -Fast Forward-
   The weekend was over with, and this past weekend, we were
going to retrieve berries for canning. When we went back to Howard's,
the strawberries were gone due to the nice early weather. Terrific.
Now.... we were on the hunt for another local strawberry farm.
Some friends of ours told us about Hall's, a U-Pick in Bethlehem
(close to Hickory). Mom and Alyse picked a couple of gallons brought them home and we made strawberry jam, lemon-strawberry marmalade, and strawberry-jalapeno.

The strawberry jalapeno jelly recipe came from a couple who are trying things out for themselves. They have a great blog telling about their little farm experiences. Check out Jamie & Brady Wittkamper's blog and get the strawberry jalapeno jelly recipe. It's different, but good!

That's all I have for now,

Anna .V. 

26 April, 2012

What ARE you doing?

The better question is, what are you grilling?
Gabby is doing a 4-H Turkey BBQ Presentation. While she was practicing... I brought the fun! 

Lighting the coals

What did we do while we waited for them to turn white? 

Roasted marshmallows! 

This made the time pass much quicker

I think she should take some just in case the turkey doesn't want to cook right,
at least there will be something to eat. 
Time to go to work... cooking turkey
Lookin good.

Anna .V.

22 April, 2012

Garlic + Cheese= Great!

Hey yall, I have tried this a few times and love it! I use more garlic than called for, because our family is a garlic lover. It tastes just like the pizza places. Defiantly worth trying out. I don't have a pizza stone, so I use the upside down pan method. Works great! 

Anna .V. 

16 April, 2012

Gooood In The Kitchen

You know those times... when you have stuff you need to get done, and you start, but don't feel like doing it? Then it seems to take forever to get done? Well today is one of those days. So... instead of doing what I need to do, I'll do this. I said earlier that all 7 of us kids were in the 4-H Food Show. Well.... we made everything from banana pudding to deer jerky! 
Everyone has their own personalities. It's funny to see it coming out in their cooking as they decide what challenges they want to take on. Some are skilled in the kitchen, others, not so much. So, names. Ages. Ribbon. And what they cooked:

Gabby (17)- Bean and rice wrap with mango salsa Blue Ribbon Best of Show
Anna (15)- Homemade apple turnovers with honey ice cream Blue Ribbon
Alyse (13)- Fried dough things with canned white nectarine preserves Red Ribbon
Malachi (11)- Deer Jerky Blue Ribbon
Lucca (9)- Banana pudding with homemade vanilla wafers Red Ribbon 
Maya (6)- Fruit smoothie Cloverbud
Victor (5)- Chocolate tractor cake Cloverbud

Malachi and his Deer Jerky 

Lucca's banana pudding

Alyse talking with the judges
Anna talking with the judges

Gabby doesn't cook too much :) 
Hope your week is good so far. We'll have recipes of these up soon.

Anna .V.