Friday, March 16, 2018

Impossible Burger

Missy Tippens

When we recently went out to dinner for my son's birthday, he asked to go to one of his favorite places, Argosy in East Atlanta Village.

He and my daughter-in-law ordered some nachos for an appetizer. Now, my husband and I don't usually order appetizers. We're always taking home leftovers as it is. But it was a special night, so I was excited to try the nachos.

They were amazing. Yummy cheese and beef and--

Wait. Not beef? After I had eaten a good many nachos and bragged on how good that beef was was, my son informed me that there wasn't any beef on there. What??? How could that be?

The dish had Impossible Burger on top. My daughter ordered her burger made from it that same night. And when I tasted her leftovers the next day, I was blown away. So I went hunting for Impossible Burger.

Here's their website. No, I have no affiliation with the company. I just wanted to tell you about it. They make a plant based product using wheat, potatoes and coconut oil, and also a type of heme (which is an iron-containing molecule that's abundant in meat and gives meat it's flavor). Only, the company uses a plant based heme called leghemoglobin (from soy) that's produced using fermentation.

I was stunned by how much this burger tasted like beef! So flavorful.

So far, they don't sell it commercially. But maybe they will eventually. For now, we'll have to eat it at a restaurants in Atlanta. You may be able to find some locations near you (you can search on the website).

I'm sorry I didn't take any photos! Maybe next time.

I like eating vegetarian on occasion. I feel like it's good for my body and for the environment. So it's nice to know there's this option out there.

Have y'all ever had an Impossible Burger?

Since I have no food photos, I'll share my gorgeous camellia blooms from this year.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Shepherd's Pie Twice Baked Potatoes: a Taste of Ireland

I've spent most of the past three weeks in the hospital with my husband, so not much cooking got done. But when I can cook again, I totally intend to make this recipe.

So, I'm cheating by just posting a link, but I hope you'll forgive me because it looks that good.

Shepherd's Pie Twice Baked Potatoes

It's from the Food Network, and it's hard to go wrong with their recipes.

To make up for the copied recipe, here are some lovely photos of Ireland to appreciate her beauty in anticipation of St. Patrick's Day. It's been over 30 years since I was there, but it still feels like home.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Spring Break at the Ranch, aka Cute Kids and Good Eats

by Mindy Obenhaus

It's spring break time here in Texas and I love it when I get to spend it with some of the kiddos. 
Spring break is the perfect time for them to be at the ranch. There's so much to experience. Fishing, exploring in the woods and new calves. I love the white boots on this little guy.
And when you're walking in the woods, you never know what you might stumble across this time of year. Like a cow and her just-born babe.
It took us a minute to figure out why she was all by herself in the thicket like that. And what was she licking.
Then we spotted the baby. All the while we just stood back and watched, careful not to disturb them. I used the big lens on my camera to take these pictures. And, finally, she coaxed the little one to his/her feet.
Our eleven-year-old granddaughter loved it, but Max just went along for the ride.
All of that exploring can wear a little guy out, though.
Not that Grammy minded. Naps on the porch are the best.

But this might be even better.
No-bake Chocolate lasagna was our dessert that night. A weird name, I know, but oh, so good.
 It's all about the layers.
You can find the recipe here at I Heart Nap Time.

The granddaughter had requested jalapeno poppers, too, so she and Grammy set to work on those. We started by halving 12 fresh jalapenos and then cleaning out the seeds and white membrane which is where most of the heat is. 

Then we mixed 12 oz of softened cream cheese with approximately 3/4 cup of finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
 And spooned the mixture into the jalapeno halves.
Finally, each stuffed jalapeno was wrapped in half a slice of regular-cut bacon and the bacon secured with a toothpick.
Place on a rack over a foil-covered pan (this makes for easier clean up) and bake in a 275 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of them cooked because everyone was so eager to dig in. But the bacon will be cooked and browned slightly. You may have a little bit of the filling oozing out the ends, but not near as much as when they're cooked at a higher temperature. Low and slow is definitely the way to go.

So that's a wrap on our first full day of spring break.
But we're just getting started. We've still got four more days to go. And with all the sunshine and warm temps, we're hoping to see some wildflowers, maybe even some bluebonnets, before the week comes to an end. I'll keep you posted. 

Now it's your turn. What are some of your favorite foods to share when family gets together for some fun? Do you prefer to go with the tried and true, like our jalapeno poppers, or do you like to try something new, like our Chocolate Lasagna? 

Three-time Carol Award nominee, Mindy Obenhaus, lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at

Monday, March 12, 2018

Overnight Oats: The Quickest Healthy Breakfast Ever!

Jan here, with my new favorite busy-day-breakfast.

You know those days, don't you?

It's the Sunday morning when you have three dozen things to do before church. Or the morning when you have an important appointment at eight AM. Or just any morning when the family needs to get out the door, fed and clothed, and in a good mood.

Or, if you're a writer on a deadline. *hand shooting up in the air here!*

The thing that makes this the quickest breakfast ever is that you make it the day before, so it's all set to go in the morning. Just grab and go!

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Overnight Oats

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

2/3 cup unsweetened milk of choice - I use almond milk

1/2 cup rolled oats...and fill your measuring cup to overflowing. :-)

1 Tablespoon chia seeds or ground flaxmeal (optional if you don't have either one, but they give the oats a more pudding-like texture...especially the chia seeds)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons peanut flour, like Trim Healthy Mama Pressed Peanut Flour or PB2 (if you're feeding growing children, go ahead and use regular peanut butter)

2 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

Sweetener of your choice. I use 2 teaspoons THM Super Sweet Blend, or you can use Truvia, honey, maple syrup, or sugar

Two minutes to mix it up:
In a small mixing bowl, combine everything, stirring well.

Pour the mixture into a jar or small bowl with a lid, at least 2 cups in volume.

Cover tightly and refrigerate at least six hours, but preferably overnight. Use within 24 hours.

Before eating, stir well. Sweeten to taste, if needed.

Many people call this kind of meal "overnight oatmeal," but I think that name is misleading. It is more like a pudding than oatmeal, especially since you eat it cold.

But this recipe is filling! Two cups of this fills me up for an entire morning. If it's too much, make it into two servings, or cut the recipe in half.

(Sorry I don't have a picture. I forgot until after breakfast was over. It was a busy Sunday morning!)

And once you've eaten this packed-with-protein, low-sugar meal, you're ready to take on the day!

Now, how are things in your part of the country?

We're expecting definitely spring-like temperatures this week, and some weather folks have even mentioned "70s" for later this week!

We don't have any flowers yet, but when we were in Custer State Park last week, we saw our first pair of bluebirds.

This was our first 2017 sighting - this year's pair were
too flighty for my camera!

And the sunshine is wonderful. It doesn't have to be warm when the sun is shining this brightly!

How is spring at your house? Creeping in slowly? Or in full bloom?

Jan Drexler lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband and growing family. When she isn't writing, she loves hiking in the Hills or satisfying her cross stitch addiction.

You can find Jan on Facebook, Jan Drexler, author, or her website, Jan

Friday, March 9, 2018

Buttermilk Pie from The Belle

Ruthy fell in love with the idea of buttermilk pie when she was reading Lisa Wingate's "Texas Cooking" series years ago... and I thought I'd share this "redoux" today, a wonderful look at a famous Southern pie and a crowd-pleasing favorite with the Tippens crew! Here you go, friends!

Missy, here. And I thought I'd take you on a photo journey of our Thanksgiving. :)

First, I wanted to share something wonderful that we've enjoyed this fall season. It smells…delicious! :)

Hand soap from Bath & Body Works

Next I wanted to share my favorite dish from Thanksgiving. Cornbread salad! I'm waiting for the recipe from my sister-in-law's mother-in-law. I'll share it later. It was A. Mazing.

Also, here's a beautiful arrangement from a recent Sunday at our church. Mums and cotton!

Speaking of cotton…Here, in the background is some South Georgia "snow"...

Yep, that's cotton growing out there behind the kids. Most had already been harvested, but we spotted some fields still growing. When you're looking at acres and acres, it surely does look like snow!

Now for more food! Here's one of my pies I baked for lunch with my husband's family. It was a totally new recipe. There's nothing quite like trying something out on a house full of 50 family members! So after I took this photo, I cut out a little sliver and had a bite, then had a couple of my kids do a taste. I was prepared to leave it at home (aka eat it at home). :)

But it turned out yummy! They all voted that I take it to south Georgia with us.

I got this recipe from Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe by Alisa Huntsman. I love this cookbook! I'll share my version of the pie.

Vanilla Buttermilk Pie
from The Loveless Cafe (Nashville, TN)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
The recipe calls for a partially baked crust. I didn't have time. So I used a store bought rolled crust and placed it in the pie pan. (Sorry, I didn't take photos!)

In a mixer with whisk attachment (recipe calls for food processor), put:
1 cup sugar
1 stick softened butter (calls for unsalted but I used salted)
¼ cup all purpose flour.
½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped out (I didn't have a bean so used vanilla extract)

Pulse to combine mixture.

3 eggs-- With the machine running, add one at a time.

Scrape bowl.

With machine running, add in 1 cup buttermilk until just blended. Pour into shell immediately.

Bake 40-45 minutes until custard is set.
Cool slightly and then refrigerate the pie. Serve chilled.

I hope you'll try it! This was a bigger hit than my pecan pie. :)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Ruthy's Chicken Lo Mein Revisited!

Well, there are deadlines looming in the Herne house, and there are still folks who like to eat... so I dusted off this favorite because most of us love Lo Mein... and now that I've devised this recipe, it works so well for a crowd... or for a catch-as-you-can kind of meal.

I've finished my Christmas novella and my mystery and I've done all the cover work for the former... and I'm nearly done with "At Home in Wishing Bridge" revisions... But this week is that final push after a rough January of family illness here on the farm. But all are well now... (YAY!) and here's a look back at a great and delicious recipe! We like it warmed up, too, and the secret is in the sauce... not like in "Fried Green Tomatoes" style... but in actual oyster sauce style! :)

I'm experimenting with making Lo Mein.
Lo Mein like I buy at a Chinese restaurant.
Lo Mein that tastes WONDERFUL...

With a sauce that clings and leaves you wishing for more.

I think I"ve got it and it's fairly easy. Therefore it qualifies for "Simply Saturday!"

First, here are your ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cups water
1 1/2 Tablespoons Chicken base or 3 bouillon cubes
1 Tablespoon garlic (granulated or a couple of cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ginger
1 package Broccoli Slaw or Rainbow Salad
1 can water chestnuts, chopped (drained)
1 can bamboo shoots, chopped (drained)

For sauce:
Chicken broth from above
Splash of Sesame oil
1/2 cup Soy sauce
1/4 cup corn starch
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons Oyster sauce

1 lb. spaghetti style pasta (or fettucine, or linguine, or angel hair) cooked al dente.

Heat water in large frying pan. Add a spritz of sesame oil. The brown splotches you see here:

Add chicken seasoning, garlic and ginger. Mix. Add chicken, bring to gentle boil, cover and simmer about 5-10 minutes until chicken is just cooked through. Remove chicken to platter. Save liquid from chicken in small saucepan.

Cook pasta according to label directions, but don't overcook. Lo Mein is better with a firm pasta. Drain when done. While that's cooking:

Add a splash of olive oil to the now empty frying pan. Heat. Add the vegetables, all of them. Stir fry quickly over medium high heat, giving them just enough time to warm through and become slightly tender. You want a bit of crunch going on. 

And in a two-quart saucepan on the smaller burner do this:

Add corn starch to soy sauce and blend with whisk. Add all ingredients into the 2 quart pan with the chicken broth from cooking chicken and heat. Mixture will thicken as it heats.

Pour over vegetables. Toss lightly.

Add chicken. Toss again. Mix entire pan with drained pasta.


The nice thing is that Lo Mein can be done meatless KAV!!!!  :)  And you can flavor the broth with veggie broth instead of chicken. I'm not sure how to get around the oyster sauce. This is a "secret" ingredient that gives Lo Mein that yummy indefinable background flavor and adds to the "clinginess" of the sauce. 

We liked this even better than my first attempt at Lo Mein a few weeks ago. This was restaurant worthy and shrimp or beef or pork could be substituted for the chicken. 

This easily fed six people on two chicken breasts. I mean really.... who can't celebrate that????

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Snowstorm and some Scones

I know it's a bit early for St. Patrick's Day, but I've been craving soda bread and  I haven't been home to bake, so here goes - one of my favorite repeats.

St. Patrick's Day is coming

You know St. Patrick's Day is coming when even the Italian bakeries have Irish Soda bread in the window!

I gave in and bought a loaf last week, rather than baking one, but I ate it all and St. Patrick's Day is not until Friday. I thought that, combined with the Blizzard that Wasn't (really) was a good excuse to pull out last year's post about soda bread scones!

Just the thing to enjoy with a cup of tea (Irish Breakfast of course) on a cold, snowy/icy day!

Irish Soda Bread Scones 

Years ago, when I walked my daughter to school before my walk to work, I would pass a coffee shop that sold to-die for soda bread scones. I've been craving them lately so here you go.

Disclaimer - this recipe is adapted from one given to me by a mother at my school who baked me the loaf form of this every Christmas and St. Patrick's Day for as long as her children were in the school. When they graduated, she gave me the recipe.

The recipe is very simple:

You start with 4 cups of sifted flour. I imagine you could use any flour (or a mix).  I used King Arthur's white.

Next you add 1/2 a cup of sugar. I used coconut palm sugar which gave the bread a lovely grainy look because the sugar has a brownish color.
Next add 1 tsp. baking powder and 1 tsp of salt. (I only used a shake of salt and I used low sodium baking powder).

1/3 of a cup of butter gets cut into the dry mixture. The recipe recommends using a pastry blender or fork to evenly distribute.

Next up - 1 cup of seedless raisins (or dried cranberries for a nice variation) and my favorite part - 2 tablespoons of caraway seeds!

Confession. I messed up this next part because I added the baking soda in with the dry ingredients. It did not cause any problems.

You're supposed to mix 1 tsp baking soda with 1 1/3 cups of buttermilk and 1 egg in a small bowl. You add this to the dry mix and knead gently.

See the dark specks from the coconut palm sugar?

At this point you could form it into a loaf, but instead I shaped it into scones. Likewise, the loaf should ideally go in a cast iron pan. I used parchment paper. ;)

The result was about 15 wonderful scones that kept nicely in the refrigerator in a ziplock bag.

They may be Irish, but I think you'll enjoy them all year long - especially when you sub cranberries (or some other fruit).