Friday, September 30, 2016

Cookin' it with Kix Cookbook Review

With this newly released cookbook, Cookin' it with Kix: The Art of Celebrating and the Fun of Outdoor Cooking, Kix Brooks is sharing a collection of favorite recipes, some inspired, but many tried and true, hand-me-down heritage recipes from his own family.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this cookbook as well as the promotional giveaway books free, as a member of the "Cookin it with Kix" blogger team. 


As the highest selling duo in country music history, with more than 23, #1 hits, 75 major industry awards, and over 30 million in record sales, if you know country music, you know Brooks & Dunn. I mean who doesn't go back home from wherever you currently are when listenin' to Red Dirt Road?
What you may not know is that in 2015, Kix Brooks had a successful Cooking Channel show called Steak Out with Kix Brooks - where he says he picked up the secrets to a rockin' steak from guest chefs. You also may not know that he is a founding partner and co-owner of Nashville's Arrington Vineyards. You may not know that he moved to Nashville from New Orleans, where he once played at Tipitina's and the Old Absinthe House on Bourbon. But you will learn these things and much more from his new book.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Garlic Bread Pizza

Pizza made with French bread and a few of my own unique, personal twists that put it over the top.

Garlic Bread Pizza

A few days ago I went to Walmart for one of those bigger trips that usually involve multiple pet products and various and sundry household stuff. I couldn't resist picking up a few more Pioneer Woman goodies while I was there - these adorable little measuring cup bowls and some of the kitchen towels this time.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Spaghetti with Olive Oil, Garlic and Melted Tiny Tomatoes

My interpretation of Aglio e Olio, spaghetti, sauteed in olive oil and garlic, tossed with fresh herbs, red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese, and finished with melted tiny tomatoes.
My interpretation of Aglio e Olio, spaghetti, sauteed in olive oil and garlic, tossed with fresh herbs, red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese, and finished with melted tiny tomatoes.

Spaghetti with Olive Oil, Garlic and Melted Tiny Tomatoes

I cannot imagine living my life without pasta. I hope the day never comes that I have to!

I try not to go overboard with it, of course, and yes, like everybody else, I try to incorporate some of the healthier pastas into my diet here and there too. Some of it is quite good, like this Dreamfields brand {affil link} (love!).


Friday, September 16, 2016

Melted Tiny Tomatoes

Melted tiny tomatoes - cherry and grape tomatoes, roasted with olive oil and a few seasonings, pictured here smeared on toasted bread, though they also serve as an excellent base when pureed for sauces, tossed with pasta, as a pizza topper or added to sandwiches and salads.

Melted Tiny Tomatoes

It's still hotter than hot down here in the Deep South, and I am already missing summer vegetables. Locally grown summer vegetables are pretty much out the door around here. Thankfully, veggies from other sources, in and outside of the country, can always be found thanks to free trade and all that, so that's some solace... I suppose. Truth is, I'm already starting to have cravings for the foods of fall anyway.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Book Review - Heart of the Home: Notes from a Vineyard Kitchen

The 30th anniversary revival of Heart of the Home: Notes from a Vineyard Kitchen by Susan Branch, is truly a nostalgic step back to a much simpler time. Beautifully hand-written and illustrated with an emphasis on simple, fresh, homemade recipes, it's a celebration of the best things that truly make life sweet and perfect for gift-giving, even as a gift for yourself!
I love to read, always have for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a very modest household, however, and there really wasn't a budget for book purchases - though I have since made up for that about a bazillion percent! Bookshelves overflowing with books are a natural part of my home decor and they range from every type there is.

Back in the day the library was my second home and the bookmobile always a welcome vision for me as a young girl. They even came around the neighborhood during the summers! We couldn't afford family vacations, but I could certainly escape to anywhere within the pages of a book.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Southern Style Skillet Ratatouille

Southern Style Skillet Ratatouille - a simple stew of diced vegetables, made with bacon drippings, the Trinity of Southern Cooking, zucchini and summer squash, tomato, eggplant, okra and fresh herbs.
Southern Style Skillet Ratatouille - a simple stew of diced vegetables, made with bacon drippings, the Trinity of Southern Cooking, zucchini and summer squash, tomato, eggplant, okra and fresh herbs.

Southern Style Skillet Ratatouille

Most folks these days seem to associate ratatouille with the Disney movie of the same name, and many may only know it from that. It actually is a real Mediterranean dish, most closely associated with France and said to have originated in Nice. The word perhaps comes from "touiller" and translates to mean something akin to "toss or stir."

Traditionally ratatouille is simply zucchini and tomatoes, with peppers, garlic and onion, sometimes sliced, sometimes cut into chunks. Somewhere along the way, eggplant was included, and though it wasn't always a part of the traditional dish, it's pretty much expected these days. I decided to make it with a dice of a variety of summer vegetables that we love in the south.

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