Marinated Carrots

This is an easy, fast way to prepare carrots. It can be used as a condiment/garnish or as a side salad.


4 or 5 whole carrots
1/2 fresh jalapeno
6 or 7 whole fresh garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cilantro leaves
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons peanut oil or other vegetable oil of your choice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Peel carrots, cut off ends, and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Finely dice the jalapeno. Give the cilantro leaves a rough chop on the cutting board. If your fresh garlic cloves are large, cut them in halves or quarters.

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to combine completely.

You should store marinated carrots in the refrigerator overnight for the flavors to blend. They can be stored up to 5 days and the flavors get better each day.

I store my marinated carrots in a glass jar with a lid but any container will work.

Serves about 4 people as a side salad.

Siviero Maria Tiramisu Gelato Italiano

Each summer we consume vast amounts of ice cream. Because it is so blasted hot here in the South where we live, we justify the extra calories from all that ice cream with the phrase “we’ll sweat it all out in no time.”

Whether that is true or not, we usually discover a new flavor and/or brand each summer that bowls us over causes some serious money to be spent on ice cream.

This summer we discovered Siviero Maria gelato imported from Italy by G7 Gelati. And our favorite flavor is the Tiramisu.

If you don’t try any other new flavor of ice cream this summer you need to try the Tiramisu. It is so good that you won’t need to order tiramisu this summer form your favorite Italian restaurant. You can just stockpile this stuff in your freezer.

The flavor profile from the company website:

A typical dessert of the Italian patisserie tradition Tiramisù is sweet, intense and all-Italian. We use 3 fresh ingredients, sourced in Italy and wisely mixed: delicious cream, fine mascarpone cheese and pasteurised egg yolk. This mix is then added to our own coffee syrup (50% Arabica, 50% Robusta) and paired with a sponge cake soaked in coffee-flavoured liqueur, also of our own production. On top, the gelato is sprinkled with Ivory Coast cocoa powder and finished with a dark Belgian chocolate tablet bearing the name of such a traditional flavour: Tiramisù.

And my own take on this: cake in the gelato! Wonderful coffee flavor. The coffee liqueur is perfectly balanced. I’ve had tiramisu all over this great country of ours and most places tend to go too heavy on the liqueur part but Siviero Maria gets it just right. The cocoa dusted on top and the little chocolate tablet inside are delicious finishing touches.

Asian Short Ribs

First off, excuse the lack of high-quality photography here. My camera battery ran down and so I took the photo with my iphone. In our camper trailer. At night. So the lighting was rather off.

But this is a great dish to throw in the crock pot and come back many hours later to a delicious meal.


6 carrots, cut into 2 inch slices
3 leeks, sliced and rinsed well (How to Cut & Clean Leeks)
1/2 cup brown sugar
Salt & pepper
3 to 4 pounds short ribs with extra fat cut off
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup red wine
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon sriracha hot chili sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 to 3 cups water
Cooked rice
3 chopped green onions, green and white parts

Place the carrots and leeks in crock pot. Rub the ribs with brown sugar, salt, and peppers. Place the ribs on top of the carrots and leeks.

In a bowl combine red wine, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, chili sauce, and garlic powder. Whisk well to combine. Then pour this mixture over the ribs.

Add enough water in crock pot to almost over the ribs. Turn crock pot on high and let cook for 6 to 7 hours. Stir occasionally to make sure ribs are cooking well in the juices.

Serve the ribs and vegetables over rice. Spoon the sauce from the crock pot on top of the ribs when you serve. Garnish with chopped green onion.

Southern Salad Luncheons

My new cookbook Southern Salad Luncheons is now available on

This cookbook is filled with Southern salad and dessert recipes from my family and my own personal recipe files. Many of these recipes were served at my restaurant here in Iuka, Mississippi. You can also find some of these recipes in the La Wooden Spoon section of this site which is where I post all about food.

To order your very own copy of Southern Salad Luncheons click here.


Wood Sorrel

There are so many edible plants that we pass by and have no idea of the good taste they can add to our meals. Wood sorrel is one of those plants. I always called it clover. But it is in fact sorrel.

We have lots of this plant growing around our farm and as children on the farm, my cousins and I always picked pieces of this plant to nibble on as we played. To me, it has a lemony, peppery taste.

As a grown up now, I add this to salads. My daughter loves the flavor and especially loves that she can just go out in the yard and pick this plant to eat right then. The leaves and stems can be eaten. I am not certain if the roots can be eaten.

Now, a word of caution, make sure you know what plants you are picking and eating before you pick and eat them. This is an edible plant but there are plants out there in the world that are not!

Cauliflower Salad

I finally took my camera back into the kitchen and started photographing my cooking creations again. My latest salad is a cauliflower salad that is simple and yet loaded with flavor. It is actually best if you make this salad the day before you plan to serve it but you can also just whip it up and serve it right away.

1 head cauliflower

4 tablespoons diced sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil plus 1 tablespoon of the oil they are packed in

1 cup chopped curly leaf parsley

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

zest of 1 lemon plus the juice of 1 lemon

First, separate the cauliflower into florets. Then slice the florets into slices about 1/4 inch wide. Place these in a large mixing bowl.

To the cauliflower add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.

Store in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Serves 4-6


Vintage Fire King Platter

I love to go to estate sales and auctions. I always find great deals on interesting items. Some of my favorite finds are mid-century modern furniture, decor, clothing, and cookware. In the area of the country where I live, the mid-century modern craze is missing almost completely. So I am able to scoop up some real bargains.

A couple of weeks ago at an auction I picked up this lovely Fire King platter complete with wire stand and in near perfect condition for just $3. Seriously!

To find this platter complete with the wire stand is wonderful. It is made to put a couple of tealight candles to keep the dish warm. I can’t wait to cook up a nice salmon dish or maybe a whole catfish (it is Mississippi after all) to serve on this.

I know the wall in the background looks old and it is indeed old. That photo was taken in my office above my old restaurant which is housed in a building built in the 1880’s. I have chosen not to fix the walls in here because I love that old, chipped plaster look.

Liefmans Cuvee Brut

Liefmans Cuvee Brut

This is a beer. But packaged like a champagne complete with a champagne cork!

I picked up a bottle of this tasty beer at the Spec’s Liquor store in Galveston, Texas when I was there last month.

It has a nice cherry flavor and good bubbles. It doesn’t seem like a beer at all to me. There is a tartness to it. A very easy drink and I highly recommend.

And yes, I am making efforts to return to my blogging after a year of devoting myself almost exclusively to my restaurant. I sure wish I could serve this in my restaurant. But alas, I live in a dry county and my restaurant is here in the dry county.













The Loveless Cafe


Last Sunday we made the drive up the Natchez Trace Parkway to just south of Nashville where we found the Loveless Cafe. It came highly recommended by a friend of mine who invited me along for the trip.

The place was packed with people and we had a wait time of almost 2 hours for a table. So to kill time we explored the shops around the cafe.

The Loveless Cafe is part of an old motel property where they have converted the motel rooms into little shops selling antiques, art, bicycles, and plenty of Loveless Cafe goods.

We finally got a seat in the cafe and dove into a plate of their famous little biscuits with various jams and jellies. Very good eatin’! Then we got our lunches super fast: fried chicken, greens with pot liquor, and mashed potatoes. I had intended to leave room for dessert but there was simply no way I could fit that in. It would be impossible to leave the table hungry at the Loveless Cafe.

So if you find yourself in the Nashville area, stop off for a good meal at the Loveless.



A Baking Giveaway

Another fabulous giveaway sponsored by La Wooden Spoon is the Romertopf Clay Baker, 3 1/2 quart.

I love baking in clay because it roasts meats and vegetables to juicy deliciousness. If you’ve never tried baking in a clay pot, this is your chance to win a Romertopf Baker valued at $ 59.95.

Enter to win one of these classic German baking pots simply by leaving a comment on this post and telling me what is your favorite way to season a roast chicken. Is it lemon and pepper? Or rosemary and garlic? Or any other number of great seasonings.

That’s all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Deadline to enter is 10 am Central Time on Wednesday, December 14, 2011. I will use Random Number Generator to choose a winner and post it here around 11 am that day.

This giveaway is sponsored and paid for by La Wooden Spoon and is not affiliated or paid for by Williams Sonoma or Romertopf.

We have a winner:

The winner is comment #1 Molly Jo! Congratulations you have won yet another item on my blog! I will have this shipped to you right away.

Note: when I entered the number of comments into Random Number Generator, I only entered a number for original comments, not replies or comments by the same person more than once.