Low Country Boil

low-country-boil

 

You have heard about how I grew up on a dirt road in North Georgia surrounded by family. My grandfather originally owned the land, and as each of his children married, he gave them a piece of property to build on. It turned out pretty good for my brother, my cousins and me because we had instant friends and playmates. Our favorite thing to do was to play outside. We would ride bikes and play in the woods around our houses from dusk until after dark if our mamas would let us. It didn’t matter how mad we got at each other we had no choice but to make amends. It was like having extra brothers and sisters. We were kin, and we were stuck with each other. Only looking back, being stuck with each other was a blessing. They say it takes a village to raise a child and that is exactly what we had on our little dirt road. A “village” of relatives keeping all of us kids in line.

Being outside is still one of my favorite places to be. These days I’m usually working, though. It’s been quite a while since I’ve romped through the woods without a care in the world. Still, my family enjoys a nice bonfire, cookout, or low country boil, especially during the spring and fall. This low country boil recipe is Greg’s perfected recipe. We like to use fresh Georgia shrimp or Florida Gulf Coast shrimp when available. Also, fresh Silver Queen corn is the best and Conecuh sausage is our choice. Conecuh sausage is available in several varieties in most of our local grocery stores, but if you have a problem finding it in your area, it is available online.

 

Low Country Boil
 
Author:
Serves: 10 to 12
 
Ingredients
  • 5 lb. shell-on shrimp (16 - 20 count)
  • 5 lb. sausage, cut into 3-inch lengths (we like Conecuh brand sausage)
  • 6 ears corn, shucked and cut into thirds
  • 5 lb. small red potatoes
  • 1 to 2 pkg. shrimp boil seasoning, depending on taste
  • 2 lemons, sliced
Instructions
  1. In a large stockpot, bring water to a boil with seasoning, and lemons.
  2. When the water is boiling add the potatoes and sausage and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the corn and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Drain and serve with cocktail sauce, butter, and sour cream.

 

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Healthy Nutty Bars

healthy-nutty-bars

 

I know that we all go through times in our lives when we simply get bogged down by the demands of life. Honestly, I have been going through one of those times for a few months now. I think there are several contributing factors which include an empty nest and Greg’s changing work schedule. I have come to realize that one thing that keeps me sane and grounded is writing to you!

I enjoy “talking” to you about the good things happening in my life, as well as the bad. I like running across old recipes to share and finding new favorite recipes to try for you. I feel a change coming to NJSD, and I’m not exactly sure what that change is going to be yet. With my changing life, my recipes also are in need of a rehaul. I believe I am moving in the direction of fresh, easy, few ingredient recipes.  I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen at this point in my life.

I hope you also look forward to the new and exciting recipes that I will be bringing you in the future. As promised, I also plan to bring at least one healthy recipe a month your way, starting today!

These Healthy Nutty Bars are fresh and delicious. With the Paleo Bars from my blog as a guide, I set out to make a substitute to a store-bought nutty bar. I am thrilled with this final recipe! The nuts are crunchy, and with the addition of honey and dried fruit, they are a sweet treat too.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Healthy Nutty Bars
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c. whole almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • ½ c. flax meal
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. rolled oats
  • ½ c. apricots, chopped
  • ½ c. dried cherries, chopped
  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ c. almond butter
  • ½ c. coconut butter or coconut oil
  • ½ c. local honey
Instructions
  1. Toast almonds and walnuts in a 200°F oven. Remove and cool.
  2. In a large bowl combine the cooled nuts, chia seeds, flax meal, salt, rolled oats, apricots, and cherries.
  3. In a medium saucepan combine the almond butter, coconut butter (or oil), honey, and chopped dates. Stirring occasionally keep over heat until ingredients are combined and warm. Remove from heat and add to the bowl of a food processor. Add vanilla extract and process until dates are finely chopped Pour over the nuts and fruit and using a large spoon or spatula combine.
  4. Press the mixture into a 9 x 9-inch pan lined with wax paper. Use the bottom of a glass to press it down tight so that they bars will be solid.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until firm, a couple of hours.
  6. Remove from pan using the wax paper, cut into small bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

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Mama’s Coffee Cake

mama's-famous-coffee-cake

 

This week my beautiful mother celebrates her 77th birthday. The woman who has been my biggest cheerleader my entire life, my wise instructor who has loved me even during some very unloveable times.

My love for cooking began with her. When I grew up she prepared just about every meal we ate because in those days you didn’t pick up take-out and we only went to restaurants occasionally.

Everything was homemade, a luxury that I didn’t quite appreciate as a child. I remember spending the night with a friend once. The next morning her mother baked canned biscuits for us. I can recall it like it was yesterday because I thought that her mother had done the greatest thing and those canned biscuits were delicious to me at the time.  I can remember wondering why we always had to have homemade biscuits.  I probably came home and boasted about the wonderful biscuits that Sara’s mother fixed.  I am sorry mama!!

Believe me; my thought process has changed! Now I understand the trouble she went to for her family. She was a “farm to table” person way before it was the popular thing.

There are not enough words in the English language to tell my mother just how much I appreciate all of those homemade biscuits; the advice, the spankings, and the love. She will probably never know how important she is to me, but I would not be here today without her.

In honor of my mother, I wanted to share her coffee cake recipe. My brother and I have always loved this.  She made it for us on special occasions growing up and sometimes just to surprise us and she still makes it when we gather for Christmas brunch.  It is easy enough to prepare before work or school.  I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as I have over the years.

Mama's Coffee Cake
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • ¾ c. granulated sugar
  • ¼ c. shortening
  • 1½ c. self-rising flour
  • ⅓ c. milk
  • ½ c. sour cream
  • Streusel Mixture:
  • ½ c. brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • ½ c. chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Grease a 10-inch skillet and set aside. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, melted butter, and pecans. Set aside.
  3. Using a whisk, combine and egg, sugar, and shortening. Add flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in sour cream.
  4. Spread about half of the cake mixture in the prepared skillet. Sprinkle all of the streusel mixture over batter then drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter over the top. You can swirl with a knife if desired.
  5. Bake at 350° F for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

 

 

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One Part Plant Cookbook Review

Purchase Links:  HarperCollins        Amazon        Barnes & Noble        

☛ 256-page hardback
☛ Publisher: Harper Wave (February 21, 2017)

My mom is dealing with several health problems, and it seems that all of them require restrictions of different foods. However, fresh vegetables are allowed across the board.

One Part Plant by Jessica Murnane is filled with incredible plant-based recipes. I am not a vegetarian myself, but the amazing photography has me dying to try every recipe in the book.  I plan to use this cookbook to find healthy recipes for my family and me.

I have tried two recipes in this beautifully illustrated cookbook already. The Overnight Chai Oats are delicious with fresh fruit and a drizzle of my local honey on top. I also loved the Creamy Butternut Squash and Lentil Tacos, they are not only healthy but very satisfying.

Jessica is a wellness advocate and podcast host who changed her diet five years ago. She suffered from Stage 4 endometriosis and was in such severe pain that she could not get out of bed some mornings. After reading how a plant-based diet could help alleviate her pain and symptoms she skeptically gave it a try. She says her pain began to fade within weeks.

One Part Plant includes a “pantry essentials” section that gives a brief description of your “not so run of the mill” ingredients. The recipes are simple and easy to follow.

I will be visiting my mom in Atlanta later this week, and I can’t wait to try a few of these fabulous recipes with her!

 

About Jessica Murnane:

Jessica Murnane is a wellness advocate, podcast host, and creator of the One Part Plant movement. She has a certification in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and works to raise awareness for endometriosis and women’s health issues. Jessica has contributed to and appeared in countless magazines and websites, including Mind Body Green, The Coveteur, Food 52, PopSugar, and Chalkboard Magazine and has spoken at Apple and Taste Talks. She interviews some of the biggest names in food, lifestyle, and design on the popular One Part Podcast. Through her website (jessicamurnane.com), classes, and restaurant partnerships, she’s working to get everyone on this planet to start eating one plant-based meal each day. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, son, and lots of palm trees.
Connect with Jessica on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Author Links: WebsiteFacebookTwitter, and Instagram
 
 
Tuesday, February 21st: Literary Quicksand
Wednesday, February 22nd: Ms.Bookish.com
Wednesday, February 22nd: Just Commonly
Friday, February 24th: Broken Teepee
Monday, February 27th: Wall-to-Wall Books
Tuesday, February 28th: Sidewalk Shoes
Wednesday, March 1st: Rebecca Radish
Friday, March 3rd: Fuelled by Fiction
Thursday, March 2nd: Say Yum
Monday, March 6th: Dreaming Big
Monday, March 6th: Shawn on Food
Tuesday, March 7th: Emerald City Book Review
Wednesday, March 8th: Doing Dewey
Thursday, March 9th: Library of Clean Reads
Friday, March 10th: Create With Joy
Monday, March 13th: Not Just Sunday Dinner
Tuesday, March 14th: Mother’s Kitchen
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Help!

help

 

Good Thursday dear readers! I have decided to write today about a dilemma that I am facing, or maybe just to tell you where my life is at right now.

Over the past six years, I have shared stories with you about myself and my family. However, I have always been a little bit guarded when it comes to details. After all, it is my private life, my family and friends and this is the internet.

I grew up in Cumming, Georgia. It’s just north of Atlanta and it was much smaller back in the day than it is now. I can remember in high school we would cruise from the Dairy Queen to the Pizza Hut because that’s pretty much all that we had. My dad was a minister and I had the wonderful opportunity to meet many people through the churches that he pastored. I still keep in touch with many friends from those days. Both of my parents grew up in Cumming and most all of my family lived there, and still does. I lived on the same dirt road one set of my grandparents lived on. Many of my aunts, uncles, and cousins also lived there. My other grandparents live just across town and we were there most Sunday afternoons along with my many Glover cousins, aunts, and uncles.  It was the best life a child could have in my opinion.

Forgive me if I repeat things that I have told you in the past.  You all know that we have moved several times with Greg’s job and now we are living on his grandparent’s farm in Garfield, Georgia. The farm he brought me to before we were married. Looking back, I think it may have been a test to see if I was wife material for him.

He grew up in Tucker, Georgia but spent entire summers here when he was young. Nothing could have made him happier than helping his grandfather on the farm. When it came time for college, he went just about 30 miles down the road from here. He has loved this place his entire life. It was like all of his life’s dreams came true when he had the opportunity to transfer to a place that would allow him to live in this majestic place.  We enjoy our time together out here.  Simple things like riding the 4 wheeler, or picking blackberries and muscadines are relaxing.

Since Wes was born, 23 years ago, I have had a few odd jobs. Always part-time and they always allowed me to set my hours and work from home. I have pretty much lived for my family. Everything I have done has been for them, and I have loved it. It has been the job of my dreams. I would not trade all of those carpool lines or school parties or even those sick days with the kids for anything in the world. My only regret is that I can’t go back and do them again.

Wes is still living at home, but with his schedule, I do not see him often. He graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in December and just started working on his Masters. He has been working at the elementary school this year and has discovered that he has a heart for kids. Especially special needs children and he has decided to get his Masters degree in Special Education. I couldn’t be prouder. When he tells me stories about those little kids and when I see one of them call him “Mr. Wes” it almost melts my heart.

Savannah lives near her college campus. She is a junior, and she is majoring in accounting. She is a hard working student not only taking a full load and maintaining a great GPA but working a part-time job also. She has the next few years mapped out, and she is just head strong enough to make it happen. When she calls me about her day, I can hardly believe that she is mine. She has such drive and determination. I don’t know how I got so lucky with two great kids.

Greg has been at the same job since before I met him. He was always in operations, but in 2016 he transferred to the safety department. It requires a lot of travel but the day to day stress is much less. He’s enjoying the change, and I’m proud that he has this opportunity.  He has been a great provider and a wonderful husband.  I have had several opportunities to go with him since the job change.  In fact, I was just with him in Savannah, Georgia this week.  We celebrate 30 years of marriage this year.  It’s true that you get out of a marriage what you put into it.  So now more than ever, when life if pulling us in all directions, we will make the effort to do whatever it takes to keep this marriage strong.

As of late, I have lost my zeal for cooking. I go through the day wondering why I should clean the house just for me. I could get a job, but who wants to hire someone that has been home for as many years as I have and I could never make enough money to justify driving the distance from the farm.  Besides, when the opportunity does arise for me to travel with Greg I don’t want to have to ask permission from anyone else.

I’m basically in a rut, and I’m not sure how to get out of it. I am a happy person, ask any of my friends.  I know that some are probably reading this and thinking I’m depressed, though.  I don’t believe that’s the case.  I think I’m simply bored.

You may have noticed that my posts have been sparse since the first of the year. My desire to cook and make a mess in the kitchen just isn’t there.   I’m past the cook for my family every night and share these wonderful recipes stage of life and I don’t know where to go “blog-wise”.  I have enjoyed this for 6 years. I even write a weekly food column for several newspapers.  I have had opportunities to do a few magazine articles and small cookbooks for the newspaper readers.  It has been fun.  However, Not Just Sunday Dinner has six years worth of recipes. What more could anyone want? Is it time to stop? Is it time to change my direction? Should I start bringing you meal plans, or maybe easy recipes?

Your opinion matters to me, and I am begging for your input! What would you like to see?   What brings you to my site and what will keep you coming to my site? Please help me out on this one.

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