Monday, October 19, 2009

Bit of Honey

Today I was rambling through the pantry looking for something sweet to cook.  I came across a jar of honey.  This honey was a souvenir from an anniversary trip that Chuck and I took to Asheville, NC.
Ohhh, what a wonderful weekend!!  No kids whining or fighting, just me and my hubby having some fun!!
Gotta love it.  Anyway, if you haven't been to Asheville, you need to go.  It is a great town for a romantic getaway.  Lots of great hiking trails, golfing, and the food there is YUMMY.  The local restaurants believe in supporting the community farmers.  Everywhere we went  there were fresh veggies and fruits and the dishes being served were all made from whatever was in season.  One of the restaurants we tried and LOVED was The Market Place.  This restaurant claims that all their ingredients for menu items come from within 100 miles of Asheville.  WOW!  They even had some local wine, which we had to try, of course!  After eating our delicious meals, we had one of their signature cocktails, "The Bee's Knees".  Mmmm, sweetness.  This drink had gin, lemon and a honey syrup.  This was a keeper.  I will post this recipe another day.  It was sooo good.  Anyway, long story short, I bought the honey so I could recreate the cocktail.  The source of the honey is from The Smokey Mountain Honey House in Asheville, I bought the Sourwood Honey. 

Today, I have decided to make some Honey Roasted Pears from this liquid gold.  I found this recipe at the LATimes website.  Sounds delicious. 

Honey Roasted Pears

1 lemon
Medium ripe pears ( I used Bosc)
2 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup honey
2 1/2 cups water

Heat oven to 425.  Set the rack on the top shelf.  Peel lemon
 zest into strips.
Peel pears and leave stems on. Cup a slice off the bottom of the pear, so
that it will sit nicely in the roasting pan.  Place pears in pan and add lemon
zest, butter, sugar, honey and 2 1/2 cups water. There is no need to premix
ingredients, they will all melt together in pan.
Bake until sugar and  honey have dissolved and the tops of pears begin
to brown, about 30 minutes.  Remove pan from oven. Using a rubber spatula,
gently push over pears so that they lie on their side.  Return to oven and bake
20 minutes more. Turn pears once again to other side and bake another 20 minutes.
The pears will begin to carmelize.  Stand pears up and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Baste pears with carmelized juices every 15 minutes for a total cook time of
45 minutes.  The pears are done when the tops are almost black and the flesh
is a shiny deep caramel color.  Remove pears from oven and baste one last time
with the syrupy caramel.  Remove pears from pan and place on plate to cool. 
Serve warm with the caramelized honey syrup.

BTW- Thanks Hun for the perfect weekend!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A New Beginning!

Alright, alright, alright!  This  post goes out to all my friends and family who've always said, "Heather, you should have your own catering/baking business."  It is because of you that I am attempting this new beginning in my life.  Thank you! 

For about 2 years now, I have been throwing around the idea of starting a business.  Now, I know a lot of you are saying, "where will she find the time?'', and I may be crazy, but I am at a point in my life where I need more.  I am the type of person who has to keep busy, both physically and creatively.  My family keeps me physically fit and I am hoping that this new venture into food service will fill the creative side. 

I am going to be a personal chef!!  My plan is to start out just servicing my neighbors and grow from there.  I am starting with this blog.  This is how it will work.  Every Sunday, I will post a menu of what I will be serving my family on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.   My neighbors will be able to look at the menu and decide if they would like to order a meal for any of the nights listed.   They can then email or call me with their order.  The price of the meal will depend on the amount of servings needed, as well as, the meal being prepared.  It's that easy.  The way I see it is that I am already cooking for my family, why not let me add a little more food and cook for yours. 

I am very excited about this, it keeps me up at night.  I have been testing so many new recipes with my family, some I will keep, others I won't.  Nevertheless, I have a great panel of food critics by my side.  I feel like this is a great time to start this with the holidays on the way.  Everyone is out running around shopping and partying and I will be a great alternative to fast food.  Sorry, Kristy and Scott, but I don't think I'll hurt your sales too  much.  With all this said, I want to thank everyone again for their support.  You're the best!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bon Appetit, ya'll!

Good Morning ya'll.  What a beautiful day today has started out to be.  The sun is shining and there is a cool, crisp feeling in  the air.  I gotta get outside.  Before I do, I think I'll start the morning with a good ol' southern breakfast.  How about some bacon and creamy, cheesy grits and big glass of OJ to wash it all down.  YUM!  Now I know some of you may not be a fan of the grit, but really if you haven't tried it, YOU SHOULD!  I have found that this is the best technique for me to use when making grits.

Creamy Cheesy Grits
makes 2 servings

2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1/4 heavy cream or milk
1/2 cup old fashioned grits
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 Tbsp butter

Bring water and salt to a rolling boil. 
Slowly stir in grits until no lumps remain.
Reduce heat to low and cook until thickened. 
Stirring occasionally. 
Add in the cream, cheese and butter. Serve.

Note:  Many recipes for grits suggest that after you stir in grits that you should
cover the pan.  My experience is that this creates a BIG mess, I have better
luck leaving the pan open, the grits don't seem to bubble as much.

I hope you try it, and love it!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Summer's end.

Can you believe that October is already here?  The summer is coming to an end.  The thought of this makes me a little sad.  I love the summer because it means backyard picnics, playing in the sprinkler, homemade ice cream, and no school.  But, if I had to choose my favorite season, it would be Fall.  Hands down, Fall is the best!  The chilly nights and breezy days are perfect for spending time outside.  I love the festivals,  the apple farms and , the pumpkin patch.  Of course, I can't forget the smells.  Cinnamon, nutmeg, and stewed apples.  Is there a better scent?  Not for me. 
The traditions we create for our families are ones they will never forget.  It is the building blocks for the traditions they will make for their families.  Isn't it amazing how we impact others.  Life is good! 

Monday, October 5, 2009

Time Flies!

 We all know the saying "time flies when you'e are having fun", but personally, I think it always flies.  I need more time.  Time for the kids, time for the husband, time for God, time for business, time for the home, and maybe a little time for me.  I'm sure I'm leaving something out, but there is no time to think about it. 

Where do we find our time?  Mine is often found on the days when Chuck is out of town.  These days I stay up late working feverishly to finish whatever has consumed me for that day, and that is okay with me.  I enjoy staying busy. 

Today is no different.  I have stayed busy with making invitations and designing business cards.  I have played dress up, built block towers and colored pictures.  I washed clothes, made lunch and took the dog out. And all this by noon.  Ahhh-naptime.  I enjoy the peace for a minute and then try to catch up on emails and blogging. Do you see my point?  We all do it, what would we do otherwise?   When the day is done, we look back and say, "where did the time go?". 

One reason that I have enjoyed blogging, is because it is like journaling, something I've wanted to do, but haven't taken the time.  I'm sure one day I will look back at this blog and be proud that I made time for it.  But for now, it's time to move on to the next project for the day. You've gotta love it!