Tag Archives: grocery

Recipe: The Taco Ring

Let’s put a ring on Taco Tuesday. I cannot take credit for this beauty at all. Recipes are abundant online and on Pinterest for this Taco Ring. It’s made with Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, taco filling and cheese. Super simple for the most part once you get the hang of making the ring itself. My kidlets love love love this taco ring. If only everything I made would bring such joy.

I’ve taken inspiration from  Pillsbury  and a whole host of other webbies as well as my mother-in-law. Crescent rolls, taco meat, cheese…pretty hard to mess up. Our own spin is that we add some rotel tomatoes, the extra acidity and heat flavor the meat even more but it’s hardly necessary.

D532B9D8-0387-4DAD-ABA5-654E79276619

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients:
2 cans of Pillsbury Crescent rolls (8 each per can)
1 lb ground beef (or turkey, pork, chicken..whatever filling you want)
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese blend
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup salsa or rotel tomatoes (you can omit and use another 1/4 cup water)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

1. Prepare the beef or the filling you are using according to the taco seasoning
package directions. Allow to sauce to thicken and coat the meat. Add the rotel tomatoes
or salsa if using and set the mixture aside. Here’s where some recipes say to go ahead and add the cheese.  Some say add the mixture to the ring then top with cheese. You do you.

2. Unroll both cans of dough and separate into 16 triangles. On an ungreased large cookie sheet, arrange triangles in ring so the short sides of triangles form a circle in the center. You can make it a wider circle if you want. Sometimes placing a bowl in the middle will help you create the circle more easily. Dough should overlap and look like the sun. The inner part of the circle should have a bit of thickness, almost like a little ditch.

8c38fee8-9885-4b0d-80a2-b853d9326d38-1

Photo by Pillsbury

3. Spoon the mixture on the lower 1/3, the wide part of each triangle, creating a ring. Add a bit more cheese here if you want. Once filled, take each pointed end of the triangle and wrap it up and over the meat mixture, tucking it underneath. Voila, a ring! Some of the meat mixture will be visible within the spaces. That’s totally supposed to be like that.  For a glossy finish, which I never bother to do, you can brush over the ring with an egg wash before baking.

df4d56ba-7acf-4991-a046-c7decf910c92

Photo by Pillsbury

4. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees or until the dough is golden brown.

After you remove the ring from the oven, fill the center with a bowl of salsa, guacamole or shredded lettuce, tomatoes, etc.

IMG_1924

Enjoy!

Recipe: Buttermilk Pie UPDATED

Ages ago, I held a giveaway for these great pie crusts for Wewalka.  I still prefer their crusts to frozen or any other pre-made, ready-to-roll crusts. And no, I haven’t made my own and I have no plans, really. I was looking back on that recipe and good gravy it’s missing some detail. Really, y’all couldn’t point it out?

It’s fine.

I made this pie again today and man oh man, I wanna stick my face in it. This buttermilk pie is the perfect way to use up extra buttermilk (I used local milk from Cheek Farmstead Creamery viaHigh Country Food Hub and it’s such a great little dessert. Kind of like a vanilla chess pie, but with some extra tanginess. Enjoy!

Buttermilk Pie

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 – 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk ( I whole or fat-free is fine)
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or just another teaspoon of extract)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional but yummy)
  • 1 prepared pie crust

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Place your pie crust in a 9 inch pie dish, fluting the crust as you see fit if you’ve rolled one out. As you can see above, I’m terrible at it.  For easier transport,  place prepared pie dish on a cookie sheet BEFORE you pour your mixture in.

Directions:

  1. Beat eggs until foamy. Add butter, flour, 1 cup of the sugar and beat until fluffy.
  2. Add buttermilk, vanilla, lemon juice and nutmeg.
  3. Beat until smooth. Taste for sweetness, if you like it a bit sweeter, add the remaining 1/4 of flour.
  4. Pour into prepared crust.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely.

Enjoy with whipped cream (or not) and/or berries (or not). I like mine plain. But I’m a simple girl.

IMG_1705 2

Recipe: Asparagus & Sundried Tomato Pasta w/ Feta

Day 137, 157 of staying in. I hope you haven’t found yourself in a rut. I can tell you, I cannot type as I have mistyped every. single. word. up to this point.

The recipe I’m bringing today goes waaaaaaay waaaaaaaay back. Way back to the mid-90’s (ish) in Winston-Salem, NC, well before the city was known for its food scene but still had a few commendable restaurants and a couple of ever so new and trendy coffee shops.

My favorite restaurant at the time was a place called The Maze. It was in Reynolda Village and I loved eating there on my evening break when I worked at WXII. If I remember correctly, it was very vegetarian heavy (not that I am one) and I just loved this creamy penne pasta dish with asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes that was topped with crumbled feta. It was creamy, tangy, and savory and the shining star was the sun-dried tomatoes, which I’d never even heard of at the time. We’ve come a long way baby.

Well, The Maze has long since closed but I think I’ve copied it well enough.  Up until this week, I hadn’t made it in forever and thought I’d share it with you. This dish makes an excellent main meatless course, but I also like it as a side. And if you want to add shrimp or chicken for protein, it will not disappoint. Any pasta would do but the original was presented with penne and it’s pretty perfect for it. (If you look closely, you’ll say I don’t have penne here, rather a similar pasta plus another pasta with no ridges because I was using what I had and I refused to go back out just for one thing).

IMG_1944

Asparagus & Sun-dried Tomato Pasta w/ Feta

Ingredients:
1 lb penne pasta or similar, cooked according to package directions
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
1 bunch asparagus, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (either in oil or dried but reconstituted)
1/2 cup fresh feta, crumbled
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbs. oil of choice
salt/pepper to taste

Directions:
As the water boils and pasta cooks, heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes until soft and beginning to caramelize. Add asparagus and cook 5-8 minutes over medium heat until the asparagus is beginning to get tender, but do not let it get mushy. Toss in the tomatoes and stir. Once the pasta is completed, add 1 cup of the pasta water to the mixture. Add the cream and stir until thickened and just slightly creamy but not swimming in it.  Add the pasta and mix well, adding a splash of cream if you think it needs it. Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the feta, then top with a bit more before serving.

IMG_1945

 

 

I fed my family for a week with Farmer’s Market Goodies for $82

A High Country Food Hub/Local Farm Meal Challenge!

This is a tad lengthy, but I feel worth it, so stick with me!

Often times, one of the stumbling blocks of shopping for locally produced ingredients is the so-called expense of feeding one’s family. Granted, it can be more expensive to shop at the farmer’s market for locally-raised meat and produce. It’s not always the case, but it’s to be expected.These are big time corporations here, these are small farms with a few employees, sometimes it’s just the farmer himself/herself. I try to be intentional about my shopping. I like to shop from local farmers, because my purchase could help send their child to dance lessons or to a math tutor. I know whose hands have touched that food and I know that it’s absolutely as fresh as can be.We also budget our grocery shopping (we use the Dave Ramsey “cash method” to stay in budget). But being 30 minutes away, going to the farmer’s market isn’t easy for me on Saturday, so I love the convenience of shopping online at the High Country Food Hub. Purchasing online uses our debit card, but we adjust accordingly. If you haven’t heard of the High Country Food Hub, I invite you to check out their website. They’re a part of Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture and they provide online access to local farmers to make it easier for you and me. I just love the service and they do so much to bring the community together with local agriculture with shopping, events, etc.  By the way, this post is not sponsored…this truly was my own  idea.

The challenge: Shop for a week’s worth of local goodies and make meals for my family. with it.  Budget: $100. I did my shop and it was $82 and some change.
Of course, I used some pantry/fridge ingredients to supplement like rice, onions, garlic, sauces to help stretch that budget but that’s to be expected. I did not go to the grocery store for any components I needed for my meals, only for random items like milk, avocado, snacks that I like to have on hand every week anyway. And I did swing by a local farm stand to get peaches one day because summer. Incidentally, the food hub does sell delicious whole creamery milk, but my son, the primary drinker, prefers 2%. And I placed my order too late to get Owl Creek bread.

Here’s my order:
Mixed cherry tomatoes, A Bushel and a Peck Farm
Heirloom tomatoes (red slicers)  Against the Grain
Heirloom tomatoes (mixed) New Life Farm
Purple potatoes, Blue Ridge Naturals 
Summer squash/zucchini, A Bushel and a Peck
Arugula, Full Moon Farm
Spring salad mix, Full Moon Farm
Shishito peppers,  Full Moon Farm
Mixed red/yellow sweet peppers, New Life Farm
Cucumbers, New Life Farm
Blueberries, Moffitt-Toolan Family Farm
Boston Butt, BRG Farms
Ground beef (2 lbs), Moffitt-Toolan, BRG Farms
Beef stew meat, Chestnut Grove Farms
Garlic brats, CS Farm
Chorizo sausage, Moffitt-Toolan

Here are the meals I prepared, with the local goods in italics. A recap of the recipes is coming soon is not up! 

Meal 1: (served 6) Paella Fried Rice using chorizo, some leftover chicken, leftover rice from a previous meal, peppers, onion, cilantro.

BE723C26-C7F7-42FA-B80D-AE43C20113E0

Meal 2:  (served 8) Cincinnati Chili (This was enough for another meal of leftovers days later (without the spaghetti the second time). This counts as 2 family meals.
Beef was the only local item in this meal.

IMG_8750

Meal 3: (served 5) Pulled Pork using the Boston butt, Rainbow Veggies using the zucchini, peppers, shishitos, Purple Mashed Potatoes

 

Meal 4: (enough for 4) Mediterranean Night with garlic brats, peppers, blistered tomatoes (leftover rainbow veg) and Fried Feta w/ pita and hummus

CADA0C46-FAD6-49B5-8C15-D75FC72D8C63

Meal 5: (served 5) Southwest Bowls w/Chorizo & Chicken, peppers & pico de gallo  (using tomatoes) on local grits

IMG_8864

Meal 6: (served 4) Korean Beef Bowls w/ Instant Pot stewed beef, zucchini, mushrooms

BC4C7FB4-639F-4E8B-8B0E-9CBB8F7D8E1D.JPG

Meal 7: (served 2) Arugula & Spring Mix Caesar Salad 

IMG_8835

Meals 1-6 (including leftovers from the chili) were were enough to feed my entire family. Paella fried rice gave us leftovers for 2 people. SW Bowls gave us another leftover meal for 1 (I turned it into breakfast), then there were a number of smaller meals, like salads, BLT’s.  Take a look.

Arugula salad with peaches, blueberries, burrata (served 2)

Arugula with figs, pancetta and burrata (served 1)

Spring mix salad with tomatoes (served 2)

Everyday cucumber salad with tomatoes (served 1)

BLT (served 2) using spring mix, arugula and tomato

I used the blueberries in smoothies, as well as snacking.

The eggs were used in a couple of different breakfasts including one that used the leftover pulled pork into an omelet. We still have half dozen eggs left.

 

Foodies, that means for my $82, I was able to make 40+ plates of food with those staples and every family meal included a locally-raised meat (6 meals that fed all 4 of us, a salad for 2, plus leftovers and individual lunches).  I shocked even myself with the ability to extend my dollar. And what’s more…my husband and son both went on a trip a few days into the “challenge”, putting it on hold, and the salad, peppers, zucchini were all still fresh two weeks later. I bought the food on Aug. 7, started the meal portion of the challenge on Aug. 9, stopped family meals Aug. 11 and restarted on Aug. 16 and completed Aug. 19. While they were away, I made salads for myself and ate leftovers with my daughter. It’s probably the healthiest I’ve eaten in a long time with well-balanced, colorful local goodness.  The other takeaway is that we don’t have to be nervous about using up these ingredients. None of the produce went soft or bad and it took me almost 2 weeks to eat it all.

Guys, I’m nothing special, I made a meal plan of items I know my people like and bought ingredients from the Food Hub based on my meal plan, which is nothing different than I do if I’m typical grocery store shopping. My habits are usually Food Hub every 2 weeks, then I fill in with a grocery shop, and when I go down the mountain to Winston-Salem, I usually hit Trader Joe’s (once a month). Every now and then, I shop a local market or Earth Fare, but we have a cash budget and we stick to it as much as possible (sudden trips for ice cream or chocolate chips don’t count, do they?).

I want to make it clear that this is not a sponsored post. Items were purchased with our own money. This really was a challenge….to see how I’d do.

As for the recipes, some are tried and true and found online, some are mine and most of the salads are seriously just thrown together. Recipes coming at you Thursday!

By the way, if I’ve kept you to this point, on Friday, the Hub is having a Fill Your Freezer sale with lots of great locally raised beef. There will be presentations at the Ag building (address is on the flyer below) all day long beginning with ME at 11:30 when I demonstrate how to sear and carve a flank steak. Come see us and maybe you can get a taste of the flank steak with a delicious corn and tomato salsa that’s perfect for tailgating at App’s first home game! presentations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

foodie b’eat: Winston-Salem’s Getting an Open Market

If you have trouble like me getting to the farmer’s market on Saturday, then you might enjoy what’s coming to Winston-Salem…in what is the up and coming-est part of town.

Winston Junction Market, an open-concept indoor market, will be located at 901 North Trade Street behind Earl’s. 

53303549_390530625062831_703815547766177792_o

The market will feature food and beverage vendors, artisans and a handful of farmers.  David Dalholt, who also owns Sunnyside Millworks and Sunnyside Mercantile, says when the owner of the building showed him the converted warehouse space, we wanted to turn it into something special.  “It’s such a cool spot. It got my wheels turning.” Since it’s hard for some families to get out the door to a farmers market on Saturday mornings, he wanted to take advantage of the lunch crowd. “Folks can come in, grab lunch, grab a beer and get a little shopping done.”

Dalholt wanted to control the vibe and the look of the space so he and his team are providing tables and custom signage. Vendors won’t event have to bring tables or signs. Menu boards will also be very visible in the event that if you’re waiting in line, you can read the menu easily as you wait.  And just so you know, Dalholt has a way with aesthetic. His tables and woodworking are incredible, so this place is going to look great. 

Patrons are welcome to come and just hang out. Seating will be provided on the patio on top and rows of seating are provided throughout the length of the market indoors.  You’ll be able to shop for food,  order something from vendor like Wine Merchants and Vin 205 Bistro, Lavender and Honey Kitchen, Golden Rule Kombucha, buy plants from House of Plants. You’ll be able to find artisanal products and a few farmers will be there as well.

Wanna go? Grand opening is Saturday, March 30th 11:30am-2:30pm. It will be open each Saturday with hopeful plans to extend hours in the future. 

I’ll be stopping by there tomorrow to get a closer look so more information to come! Until then, follow Winston Junction Market on Facebook for updated vendor announcements and future dates.