Archive for the 'food/restaurants' Category

Sushi – “Joe Rolls” – At last I’ve found Sushi I like!

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

RT and I went to a Sushi place for dinner tonight.  I’ve never liked Sushi.  I’ve tried it three times – and each time I had to force myself to swallow it because it tasted so fishy and foul.  I never could understand why people were so crazy about something so awful.  Was it an acquired taste? 

Thus each time RT and I would go to a Sushi place, I’d order something like chicken or shrimp teriyaki — something cooked and familiar.

Tonight, though, we ordered a “Joe Roll” for an appetizer. The Joe Roll was made with avocado, cream cheese and crab meat.  It was very good.  I would go so far as to declare that it was delicious! I could have made a whole meal out of it.  I’m thrilled to finally find a type of Sushi that I like!

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A New Year’s Day Meal – Carol Style (Hoppin’ John, Tossed Salad, Corn Sticks, Sweet Iced Tea)

Monday, January 1st, 2007

Today is New Year’s Day, and so I will cook my version of a New Year’s Day meal. Here’s the menu, the recipes and the symbolism – some serious and some definitely tongue-in-cheek:

Hoppin’ John

Tossed Salad


Sweet Iced Tea


Hoppin’ John

1 can mild tomato/jalopena mixture (RoTel) If you like things a little spicier, use regular RoTel.

2 cans black-eyed peas

1 can diced tomatoes (optional – I love tomatoes)

1/2 lb link of turkey sausage

Cut the turkey sausage into bite-size pieces – dump everything together and cook. You can serve this over rice or mix some rice in it, or eat it by itself with no rice. It’s delicious riceless or not.

Tossed Salad

Lots of lettuce, sliced tomatoes, grated carrots, diced bell peppers with grated cheddar cheese on top.

Cornbread Sticks

2 cups cornmeal MIX

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg, well-beaten

buttermilk (enough to make a good batter)

Pour into cast iron cornstick pans that have been sprayed with Pam and pre-heated in a 425 oven. The batter should sizzle when you pour it into the pans. Bake until golden brown. Serve hot. I like to crumble a cornstick or two into my hoppin’ john.

Sweet Iced Tea

4 family-size tea bags

1 gallon distilled water (You don’t HAVE to use distilled water, but that’s what I always use).

1 cup Splenda

Put the tea bags in a 4-cup measuring cup, fill with some of the water and microwave on high for about 6 minutes. Let it sit (steep) for about 5 minutes. Pour into a pitcher and add the remaining water to make one gallon. Add the Splenda and stir. DELICIOUS and refreshing!


The blackeyed peas in the Hoppin’ John symbolize coins – a sign of prosperity for the new year. May there be lots of that in 2007. The turkey sausage symbolizes my American heritage – the wild turkeys from the first Thanksgiving. For me, it also reminds me of the land where RT and I are building a house – dozens of wild turkeys reside there. The tomatoes and jalopenas symbolize good taste and spiciness. May I never grow too old to be spicy.

The leaves of lettuce in the salad are a symbol of folding money – currency. Again, may there be lots of that in 2007. The tomatoes remind me of the fruits of summer, the carrots for year-round bounty, and the cheese for the perfection of aging (I wish!).

The corn in the cornsticks are another symbol of my American heritage. Enough corn for good health, enough oil to smooth out the rough places in life, an egg to remind me of the newness of life, and the buttermilk to remind me that the sour places in life make the good places all the more sweet. Baking the cornsticks in cast-iron pans reminds me of what the American pioneers used in their travels cross country to explore new lands.

The iced tea is symbolic of my Southern roots. Sweet iced tea is pure Southern! The Splenda makes it something I can drink without worrying about calories. RT and I go through a gallon of this tea about every two or three days. I make several gallons every single week. I have to admit that I almost always used decaf tea so I can drink it in the evenings without worrying about it affecting my sleep.

There you have it! A New Year’s day feast with some traditional and some Carol-grown symbolism attached.

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Thursday Thirteen – 35th Edition – Thirteen Recipes I’ve Posted

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006


Cooking is one of my hobbies. I enjoy trying out new recipes and preparing meals for family and friends. I’ve posted some of my favorite recipes. Here are thirteen of them.

1. Rice Bowls (Freeze for quick meals later)

2. Hoppin’ John (So easy – so good)

3. Easy (and MOIST) Coconut Cake (double the frosting, though, to have enough to cover the cake)

4. Pesto Dip (Fancy for entertaining)

5. Chicken Cobbler

6. Ricky and Lyn’s Sweet and Sour Chicken (Great to freeze for quick meal later)

7. Easy Fruit Cobbler

8. Chicken Noodle Soup (The ultimate comfort food)

9. Corn Salad (This is so good I plan to make it for Thanksgiving)

10. Chicken and Dumplings (My favorite!)

11. Chicken Enchiladas (Absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS!)

12. Blueberry-Orange Jam (great on bagels)

13. Orange-Feta-Walnut-Field Greens Salad (Light, elegant, EXTREMELY easy and delicious)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Thursday Thirteen – (My 31st Edition!) My Thirteen Favorite Candies

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006


1.  Snickers – THE all-time best candy bar in the world.  My mother once worked with an overeater’s anonymous group, and a couple people mentioned an addiction to Snickers. I completely relate.

2. Almond Joy (milk chocolate, coconut, almonds.  Heaven.)

3. Hershey Kisses (plain milk chocolate or milk chocolate/almond.  I also tried one of the new cherry cordials, and they’re great, too.)

4.  Hershey Chocolate Bar (Same as Hershey Kisses – just a different shape)

5.  My homemade fudge (Every now and then I get a hankering for homemade fudge – and I make the best!  No recipe either!)

6. Wint-o-Green Lifesavers.  Refreshing!

7.  Wild Cherry Lifesavers.  Reminds me of being a kid.

8. Lemon Drops – I LOVE the ones that come in these little tins.  Just love ’em!

9.  PDD – Pretty darn delicious!

10.  M&M’s.  Everybody loves M&M’s, don’t they?

11.  Peppermint sticks are great, but they MUST be the King Leo brand.  They’re a little on the soft side – extremely sweet – but so smooth and good.  More than one or two and you get a definite sugar overload, though.

12.   I think the caramel part is what makes this so good.  Chocolate, caramel . . . .

13.   These are best eaten at the movie theater.  I don’t often let myself buy these, but when I do – it’s ALWAYS at the movies.



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!       

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


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Best Restaurants?

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

I was reading a report about the best chain restaurants – the ones that have the highest rating of customer satisfaction.  I was astounded that two restaurants that I personally would rate “mediocre” at best made the list.  Carrabba’s was rated the best for Italian food, and Outback was rated best for takeout. 

I’ve only eaten at Carrabba’s twice, but both times I came away with a stomach ache and an awful aftertaste.  You couldn’t pay me to go back.  There are too many really good Italian restaurants to take a chance on Carrabba’s again.  Plus, their commercials with the two owners talking (i.e. trying to be cute and clever) are annoying.

I’ve eaten at Outback quite a few times – not in the last year or so though.  The blooming onions at Outback are good, but greasy.  However, I don’t know how you could batter and fry an onion without making it greasy.  Their other food, however, is merely okay – certainly nothing award-worthy – and at times it hasn’t even reached the “okay” level.  I’ve never tried their takeout, though.  Would a restaurant’s takeout food be better than their in-restaurant food?  I doubt it.  Maybe their takeout service is so outstanding that it compensates for the mediocre food – or maybe they’ve made great improvements in their food since the last time I was there.  I doubt if I go back, though, unless I just really get a hankering for a blooming onion.

All of which goes to show that people have different opinions because obviously some people think Carrabbas and Outback have good food – or else the restaurants padded the pockets of the folks doing the survey.

  Bonefish Grill was the winner for seafood restaurants, and in my book it deserves it.  I have never had anything other than an absolutely delicious dinner there.  PawPaw and I’ve been there a bunch of times, and everytime we’ve had a scrumptious meal.  The salads are so fresh and the seafood is wonderful.  It’s expensive (for us) but worth it.

PawPaw and I were talking the other night about how when restaurants first open the food and service is outstanding.  However, they start getting lax and after a few months both the food and service go way downhill.  It’s happened to Copeland’s and Stoney River and others as well.

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