Thursday, July 31, 2014

Salmon with Tequila Lime Marinade

Lime Highlights Hydrangea outside my house.

Tequila Lime Marinated Salmon

    Many years ago our good friend Rich Stevenson cooked us a fabulous meal at our 
other pal.. Harry Jone's house.  He grilled salmon marinated in tequila with lime. It was scrumptious!
I am trying to recreate that.  This recipe was OK, but came nowhere close.   I will try it again with
some modifications.  I used wild caught salmon for this which I thought would be delicious.
It was not as flavorful or tender as farm raised salmon.  Next time I'll try using the farm raised salmon.
I will also increase the salt a bit.  


2 lb salmon filet
1/2 cup tequila
1/2 tsp kosher salt
sliced limes
juice of 1 lime
dash of dried basil
 1 tsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 450* 
Juice 1 lime
slice 1 lime
Mix in bowl tequila, lime juice and olive oil
Pour over salmon filet in bowl or container.
Allow to marinate for 30 minutes
Place on foil with marinade 
Top with kosher salt, limes and dash of basil 

Broil in oven for approx. 25-30 minutes until salmon flakes easily with fork

 Salmon marinating. I place it back in the fridge until I'm ready to cook it.

Finished product.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Conings Farm & Produce Stand--Buying Farm Fresh Local Foods Series Part 2

Rose Moss growing in a huge planter at Conings

Conings Farm & Produce Stand--Buying Farm Fresh Local Foods Series Part 2

Wednesday July 16, 2014
   I am blessed to live in beautiful Blount County, Tennessee in the Foothills of the
Smoky Mountains.   My address is "Muravul"(Maryville), but I am as far out as you can live
and still have that as a designation.  I live looking at Walland Gap. It is the opening in Chilhowee
Mountain which is the first range of mountains in the Smokies.   The mountain is long and runs from Sevierville all the way down to Chilhowee Lake. It is a mostly rural county.  Out toward the mountains are some good farms and produce markets.  I went to Conings today. Here is a link to their Facebook page.  Conings Family Farm

 I was real pleased to find it still open. I did not make it out there all last Summer.

    The drive out there is gorgeous.  It is out Montvale Rd then turn right onto Blockhouse Rd.
Then go straight across onto Taylor Road.    It sits on the left of Taylor Road.  
It was open for business and they had all sorts of good things that day.
Green beans, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, cantaloupes, watermelons, cabbage and other goodies.

I purchased pickled baby beets, cabbage, tomatoes, peaches and cream corn, and a sugarbaby 

watermelon.    I enjoyed the view of the mountains.  While I was there the sky opened up and the rains came down again.  A nice young man helped me to my jeep in the rain since my arms were loaded down.   


Top: Conings Farm against the beautiful mountains

Bottom: wheelbarrow full of petunias under the pavilion

Top: Cantaloupes and Sugar Baby Watermelons
Bottom: Green beans, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, onions and other goodies

Peaches and Cream Corn boiled up and ready to eat!
It was so delicious it all got eaten! 
I purchased 12 ears for $4.50
It is a Blount County specialty.

Take a pretty drive out to Conings Farm to get you some good things to eat
and enjoy the view. Kenny is already asking me to go back and get some more!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ale Steak Marinade

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is what I used to make this.

Orange and Pale Ale Steak Marinade

    We tried ale steak at Calhoun's restaurant awhile back and really really liked it!
I  wondered if I couldn't make a recipe for ale steak at home?  I found a recipe for orange ale steak
that sounded good and tried it with a few modifications and substitutions.   It was delicious and everyone liked it!    We had dinner Thursday night of orange ale steak on the grill, peaches and cream corn on the cob,
baked potatoes, and watermelon and cantaloupe for dessert.    Yummy!  


1 bottle Sierra Nevada or other pale ale. *
2 oranges
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Adolph's meat marinade*
Montreal Steak Seasoning*
1 tablespoon garlic
1 onion grated

6 sirloin steaks. I used New York Strips. 
Large bowl or container
**This makes a double recipe from the original. Half it for smaller servings.


Add 1 cup pale ale to large bowl
Zest two oranges and add to bowl
Juice the oranges after zested and add juice to mixture
Grate or finely shred onion and add to bowl
Add rest of ingredients EXCEPT montreal seasoning and steak to mixture
Whisk or stir well.

Add steaks to bowl  and coat well on all sides with marinade.
Cover and allow to sit at least 30 minutes in marinade.
Optimal is about half day. Prep in the morning. Cook in the evening.
Do not allow this to sit more than 24 hours in the marinade as Adolph's has some 
powerful enzyme action.  It is worth mentioning DO NOT USE Adolph's Meat Marinade powder
if you are allergic to papaya. It contains papaverine as its active ingredient. It is a great meat tenderizing enzyme that is gotten from the skin of papayas.

Grill steaks to your liking. We fixed these medium well.

*Any pale ale will work. Sierra Nevada was what I tried for the first time.
It worked great, but any hoppy ale or pale ale will work.
* Remember to avoid using Adolph's Meat Marinade if you are allergic to papaya
and don't let the meat sit in this too long. If you have to store an uncooked steak until the next day drain off the marinade and seal up in a ziplock bag and then cook it.
* I left out the called for 1 tablespoon of kosher salt because you have to use caution
adding salt to recipes with Adolph's marinadge. The worchestershire sauce is already a little salty.
I could have stood more salt and everyone agreed.  Next time we will dust Montreal seasoning on top to make up for the lack of salt. It will enhance the flavor well as it contains orange zest dried!
Orange and Pale Ale marinade soaking on the steaks.

Off the Grill and ready to eat!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Western North Carolina Farmers Market -- Buying Farm Fresh Local Foods Series Part 1

Western North Carolina Farmers Market--
Buying Local. Buying Fresh! Part 1

Dana & Kenny Koogler 
Rainy Saturday July 19, 2014

     We decided instead of hike in the pouring rain all day on Saturday we'd visit the WNC
Farmers Market in Asheville, North Carolina.     Our son lived about two miles from this 
for a couple years so we got accustomed to shopping here and enjoyed it!   Asheville is an awesome
city and North Carolina is a great state!   The area out there near Hominy Creek is on the outskirts of town.
It is easy to get in and out there. It is convenient to the interstate.  

    It is worth mentioning that there are two different types of sales areas in the Farmers Market.
The buildings at the top of the hill which are the first ones you pass by are the Retail Sales Areas.
The buildings past them and behind them are the whole sale areas.  Some of the sellers in the WHOLE
Sale areas will break up veggies into smaller baskets for you and allow you to purchase a smaller quantity.
Some will not.  Some will break the sales down into peck baskets and sell you either an entire case of a 
vegetable or a peck. Nothing in between.   It depends on the seller.  Most of these sales are 
directed toward businesses who will purchase in quantities.  Some folks will run a produce stand and 
won't grow the goods themselves, but will come to the WNC Market and purchase a case of tomatoes for example and sell them at a retail price in their business.    You get a better price in the whole sale area, but you either need to be able to eat the produce fast enough, re-sell it, or preserve the food some way.
Some folks may go there and purchase a large quantity of a food and can or freeze their purchase.

     Retail sales areas are located in the upper buildings.   The prices are a little higher. The produce 
is still wonderfully fresh. You can purchase smaller quantities.  There are things for sale in the upper buildings
you won't find in the lower ones.   More perishable foods like berries will probably be in the retail areas.


Top: Part of the whole sale area is under cover. Nice on a rainy day!
Bottom: Whole sale produce split into peck baskets.  The lady would mix and match, but would not sell less than a basket per customer.  Her sales are aimed at mainly produce stand owners.   

Kenny selecting a cantaloupe for us.  

Grainger County Tomatoes from Tennessee! We bought some of these and the other type tomato 
was Cherokee Purple tomatoes.  I like both!  Cherokee Purple is an heirloom tomato. I ate tomatoes until my mouth was so sore inside AND out!

Colorful umbrellas in another area of the whole sale produce market. 

One thing we did not get that I want to try before Summers end?  Sangria watermelon!
It is an old variety with seeds. I don't mind seeds! That is how watermelon was when I was a kid!
I all we purchased cucumbers, crook neck squash, a cantaloupe, and two varieties of tomato.

     Other things you may find in the retail area in the top buildings? Fresh cheeses, butter, handmade wreaths, holiday decorations, hand sewed goods, knit goods and textiles, pottery.
Jewelry, art,  unique clothing, gourd crafts, delicious foods, books... the list is almost endless.
One of my other favorite parts of the farmers market is Jesse Israel & Sons Garden Center
The prices there on the plants are on the high side.  It is upscale to be sure.  They do have 
good savings on some items though!  Their cement bird baths are a great deal.  I've priced them
other places and its hard to beat their consistent selection, quality and price.  I bought a bird bath
last Summer as part of my birthday present.  I also got a great deal on a table top fountain.
They carry unique items and hard to find things.  I purchased my first piece of Elizabeth Keith 
red clay artwork.  I had wanted a piece for over a year. I finally got it!

Top & Bottom-- various blooming plants and herbs at Jesse Israel Garden Center in the WNC Farm Market.

       I had a grand time here today.  I will post some photos of garden plants that came from Mills River NC which is where my friend Cathy lives! I am a country gal so it tickles me to be
in the mountains in agriculture paradise!   I will will also post some recipes made from the things purchased during the trip.     

     Support your local economy and farms by purchasing local when you can!
Your tummy, your health and your palate will benefit. 
Try the Moose Cafe' up on the hill which is part of the WNC Farm Market too!
We've eaten there several times. It is always good. 

Honeycomb yellow butterfly bush. I had one of these at my Virginia house. I think I need another one for Tennessee!

Blackberry and Nectarine Salad --Summer's Best

Blackberries from the WNC Farmers Market.. can you tell we've worked on them?

Blackberry and Nectarine Salad

      I have always been a salad fan, but in more recent years I have come to like
fruit in salads.  I have learned to enjoy the surprising taste and texture sensations from eating
seasonal fruits with veggies in salad.    The combination of tart ripe blackberries with 
fresh, juicy nectarines was very pleasing.  


 1 pint fresh blackberries
2 fresh nectarines
1/2 red onion
slivered almonds
dried cranberries
*Red leaf lettuce thoroughly washed & drained
 Four large salad bowls
Prepare  lettuce by tearing into bite sized pieces and fill bowls
Top with slivers of nectarine
Add fresh blackberries
Add tiny slivers of red onion. Go easy on this because it is strong.
Add garnish of slivered almonds & dried cranberries
Serves 4
Dressing suggestions:  
Use whatever you like.  
This would be good with a blackberry vinagrette
It is also good with simple "Carolina Ketchup" which is Ranch Dressing.

To make an easy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Purchase a packet of Hidden Valley BUTTERMILK Recipe dressing.
In a quart mason jar add 1 cup fresh buttermilk
1 cup mayonaise
and the packet of mix.
put a lid on the jar and shake well.

If you use this go easy on it so you don't overwhelm your salad with it.
You don't want a salad to be awash in any sort of dressing to the point you cannot taste the other ingredients.

* Any sort of salad greens will work with this according to personal preference.
Red leaf lettuce is a favorite of mine. It has a crisp, buttery texture and flavor that is
always pleasing.  My whole family likes it. Even Kenny who is picky. I have also found 
that red leaf lettuce seems to keep fresh longer.

Above:  Blackberry Nectarine Salad

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Brown Sugar Bourbon Barbeque Chicken

"Little Happy" by Elizabeth Keith of Cary, NC
On the wall of my front porch.

Brown Sugar Bourbon Barbeque Chicken

    Back in Vesuvius where half my kin hail from there is a story about "Juber". 
His real name was Matthew Henry Fitzgerald and he lived in the area. What does Juber have to do
with Brown Sugar Bourbon Barbeque Chicken?  Nothing.  
He has something to do with brown sugar though.  He had many odd ways.  One of which was always
walking to the bank in Raphine to cash his paycheck to avoid being robbed.  He also carried a little bag
in his pocket of brown sugar lumps and ate them.  My Papaw Jesse "Shine" Bradley told me about
an encounter he had with him one night.  He said the family had gone to bed and all were asleep, except
him.  He was going outside to smoke that one last cigarette for the night. The moon was full and Papaw could  see a man in their back yard. He stepped out and got closer.   He could see then who it was.
He spoke to him "Can I help you Mr. Fitzgerald? What are you doing out here?"  The fellow replied 
"Naw, I don't need nothing. Ole Juber always did like to wander around at night when the moon was big and bright!"  And that is what he was doing when Papaw turned in and went to bed.  Harmless, but odd. 
Stories like this abound in the area where me and my people are from. 


Brown Sugar Bourbon seasoning-I found it at Sams Club.
John Boy & Billy's Original Barbeque Sauce
2 lb package of chicken thighs*
Aluminum foil

9x9 baking dish

Preheat oven to 425*
Rinse chicken in sink
Line baking dish with foil
Dust both sides of chicken thighs with Brown Sugar Bourbon Seasoning 
Place in pan on foil
Pour John Boy and Billy Sauce over chicken pieces to glaze lightly

Bake for 1 hr or until chicken temperature measured with a meat thermometer is 180*
Juices should run clear. The meat should have no pink. Skin should be browned, but not burned.

* Any chicken pieces will do, but we have found that chicken thighs are both economical and tasty!
They are the perfect size for smaller appetites or families.

Phase 1-- Line your pan with foil. You can spray it with cooking spray to help prevent sticking.

 Phase #2--Glazed coated chicken ready to bake. I cover the chicken with the foil and lay it back during the last 20 minutes or so to brown the chicken well without burning.

Phase #3-- Chicken is done and ready to eat!  A great tasting, easy to cook, easy to clean up Summer meal.
No fuss. No standing over a  hot stove or grill.