Southern green beans with bacon honey dijon dressing

For as long as I can remember my mom has made green beans the same way. It was the way her daddy made then (my Grandaddy) and the way that she tough me to make them. steamed with a little onion and a chuck of fatback (bacon or ham will do in a pinch) last year she turned me on to this recipe and with a few tweaks it has become our go-to green bean recipe… and they are addictive!!
Start off with your bacon. Cut the bacon into approx 1 inch pieces and fry over medium heat. The small pieces make it easier to cook evenly. Does anyone else have a problem with the center of the slice of bacon cooking really quick and leaving you with raw spots on the ends? I don’t usually cook my bacon in a wok but I do for this recipe because you will keep adding things to your frying pan and the wok gives you enough room to stir and toss the green beans with plenty of room

Dry Rub for Chicken

We love to cook on our Big Green Egg (BGE) and use just about any excuse to bring it out. We have only smoked chicken a half dozen time and each time we do we ale ourselves why we don’t smoke chicken more often. It has always turned out AMAZING! Our favorite dry rub, that we have developed with a little trial and error, is great on smoked chicken or grilled chicken. I haven’t tried it out anywhere else but I’m sure it will work well with most way to cook chicken. If you want a rub for pork, check out our Pork Dry Rub that I will be sharing soon.

Caribbean Rum and Coke at the Friday Afternoon Happy Hour

I never had much of a taste for Rum and Cokes… I would only have them served up at concerts and club like bars. It left me thinking they had actually served rubbing alcohol or kerosene. So when Tavis and I were dating and we were over at his parents house for a long weekend, I cringed (not visibly, only on the inside) when his mom brought rum and cokes out to the pool. Trying to make a good impression with his folks, I vowed that no matter how it tasted, I would sip away without making any weird faces.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

The past 3 years have been busy! Moving internationally, new born child and all the business that comes with that. We love Thanksgiving and Christmas! Family, friends, celebrating our faith, and especially the FOOD!!! This year I have vowed to make the most of this holiday season. Since I feel like we have missed the past few years, I decided to make my own Pumpkin Pie Spice for all of the cooking that I have planned over the next few months. Here is what you will need if you want to join in and make your own:

Friday Afternoon Happy Hour!! Skinny Mojito

When you mix a drink there are two things that contribute to the calories in the drink; 1) the alcohol and 2) the mixers. Since you cannot eliminate the alcohol (well you could but that would be no fun…) you need to control the calories with the mixers that you use.

In this case we are going to eliminate the simple syrup to make our skinny version. It ads about 50 calories and we are going to use the diet-tonic to sweeten the drink. We will also be leaving out the club soda since the diet-tionic covers that as well.

Hearty Steakhouse Stew

I am a lover of heavy, filling soups. Ones that are easily a filling meal by themselves. I got on this kick back in college when I ordered a cup of steak stew rather than a salad at a steakhouse one time and was instantly in love.

There are two versions of this stew that I make, with and without chicken. With the rising cost of food, and everything in general being more expensive down here in Puerto Rico, I have been using only the scraps and bones from the steak for flavor, and then using a precooked rotisserie chicken for the main protein. This is another one of those meals that you can make with a $5 chicken and really stretch it to get your moneys worth.

To Bundt or not to Bundt… Why should you use a Bunt pan?

I have gotten a number of questions lately about fluted pans, so I wanted to talk a little about why this type of pan is so important to the type of cake that you are making. Many people have been asking, “Can I bake a pound cake in a regular round cake pan?” The short answer is, yes you can… but it won’t turn out as well. I am a “why” person… and I figure some of you might be as well, so lets go into a little more detail.

First of all, there are several types of fluted pans. For the sake of this discussion we will call them a “bundt pan” (the patented name by Nordic Ware) and an “angel food cake pan” (or tube pan). They each have different qualities and different situations that they should be used.

No Bake Cookies

Two of my weaknesses are chocolate and peanut butter… but when they are combined it is more than double trouble for me. This is one of my very favorite cookie recipes but I have limited when I make them to times that I can take at least half of the batch to someone else and […]

Replacing a Durastall shower in an afternoon

So this normally wouldn’t fall into the “travel” section of the blog, but during the road trip we stopped at Tavis’s folks summer cottage in Eagles Mere, PA. It all started last year… or maybe two years ago… when we were up at the cottage for a few weeks and had just finished remodeling our […]

Bike ride to the Sweet Shop in Eagles Mere

Although the mornings were a little chilly, the afternoons warmed up enough to take a bike ride down to the Sweet Shop. It is the perfect little soda fountain preserved in time. We got some ice-cream, I was originally feeding Aiden so I could snag a few bites myself  but then I was shoveling it […]

Arriving in Eagles Mere, day 4 of our road trip

This trip was planned around visiting family and Eagles Mere was the first stop to see family on this trip (if you don’t count all the visiting we did in our home town before hitting the road…) Tavis’s parents purchased a cottage in Eagles Mere, PA around 30-35 years ago and have been traveling up […]

The Small Guys on Campus (end of day 3)

After a long day on the road there is nothing better than a pot roast that has been cooking all day in the camper while we were sight seeing. For Tavis and I it was nice to relax over dinner and not be sitting in a restaurant. For Aiden, there is nothing better than a post-dinner-wrestling-session […]

Road Trip Day 3, Blue Ridge Parkway

If you want to catch up on our Road Trip, you can do so here (Day 1 flying to the upper 48, Day 1 retake, Day 2 part 1 Biltmore Estate, Day 2 part 2 Campfire Lodgings) It would be the understatement of the year to just say that I took a lot of pictures […]

Road Trip Day 2, part 2 Campfire Lodgings

First of all I am going to apologize for the lack of updates… I made the classic mistake of thinking that I was going to have plenty of time to blog while on vacation… FAIL!! I had tons of free time but it was all spent sitting on a beautiful front porch, sipping something (coffee […]

Road Trip Day 2 part 1

If you are just joining us check out Day 1 here. We ended up with so many pictures from day 2 and I couldn’t narrow it down so I decided to break it up into to posts. The first one will be on the Biltmore Estate and the second one will be at the campground […]