Monthly Archives: September 2016

Here Piggy, Piggy, Piggy…

September 26, 2016

I am a self proclaimed porkaholic!  My father raised pigs when I was growing up and yes you did not want to be down wind of the barn. But being able to have fresh bacon, pork chops, pork ribs was pretty great!

When my husband and I traveled to Chicago we asked our daughter to recommend a favorite restaurant. My daughter has similar tastes to mine needless to says, so when she recommended a restaurant specializing in pork I was thrilled. Enter the Publican!

The Publican was so much fun. We started off with cocktails, a “Dancing Legs,” for me and a craft beer for my husband, and a plate of assorted hams. Can I just say wow!  We were in hog heaven.

Looking around the restaurant, I really enjoy people watching, I saw someone I recognized. I leaned over to my husband, “That looks like Aaron S. from the Foodnetwork? ,” my husband confirmed that yes I was correct. So not only did we have awesome food but we got a little food star gazing as well.


Assorted Hams



Busy Saturday night


Ossabaw Island Hog

We continued to eat our way through the menu which included suckling pig and a unique take on duck confit, which reminded my a lot of Peking duck because of the plum in it.  Both very delicious!  We finished up with an amazing grilled sour cream pound cake that was absolutely stellar!

Yes, we in two words, pigged out, and I will need to put in several more miles in the next few days to compensate for the pounds I put on. Thanks Vic for the recommendation and thanks to the Publican for the beautiful meal!



I’m in a Pickle without you: Good bye to Savannah Grill

I found out last week my favorite restaurant, here at the lake has closed. Savannah Grill has been my husband and I’s go to place for several years now and I will miss the food and the staff very much!

The food there was exceptional and very unique, specializing in locally sourced produce and meats from the Missouri area. One of Chef Robert Sills specialities and my personal favorites included his charcuterie boards with wonderful pickled produce and totally awesome smoked meats.

So as a tribute to these lovely folks here’s my recipe for pickled beets.   We will miss you guys!



Pickled Beets

2 medium beets, steamed or boiled, then sliced

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons whole mustard

Bring mixture to a simmer, making sure to dissolve all of the sugar, and remove from the heat.  Steam or boil 2 medium beets and slice. Add the sliced beet to the warm pickling brine and refrigerate for 2 hours minimum and they are ready to eat.


Sweet, sour, and a hit of spice.

No Pectin Plum Jam

Scenario: You are having way too much fun at the farmer market and you come home with 30 pounds of fruit and forget that you don’t have any pectin in the pantry! Answer: No Pectin Jam! Otherwise known as the way jam was originally made.


Apricot, plum and vanilla peach jams

Plum Jam

15 pounds red plums, destoned

1/4 cup lemon juice

4 cups sugar

Place the plum halves, sugar and lemon juice in a heavy bottomed pot, a dutch oven works well, but if you have a pot that is specifically designed for jams like this one please use it you won’t be sorry.  Allow the plums to soak for about an hour, then begin your cooking process.

This is a slow process you will be bringing this up to a boil 4 separate times!  Stirring through this is mandatory you don’t want scorching on the bottom of your pot. Then allow it to cool down each time to room temperature.  This method allows you not to add pectin and get the beautiful thick consistency that you want for a jam.  It also doesn’t give you the rubbery consistancy that you can sometimes get from a commercial pectin.


Sugar, lemon juice and plums, you can’t get any simpler.


Red Plum Jam

You now have a beautiful thick jam! if you don’t go ahead and heat and cool it an additional go round.  The jam can now be canned in sterilized glass jars or frozen in plastic containers. I used this method for peaches, plums and apricots and they all turned out great!

Buttermilk Biscuits

A really good biscuit is the perfect way to start the morning.  Whether the biscuit is paired with sausage gravy, jam or a nice piece of chicken, they need to be fluffy and tender.

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits

Makes 6 biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 425 degree.

Dice the butter into small 1/2 inch pieces. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder,salt, and baking soda. Using your hands pinch the butter throughout the flour mixture.
Once the butter is at a crumb level, drizzle in the buttermilk and gently stir to combine with a fork, or with your hands if you are feeling adventurous.




So much better than the canned stuff, and no preservatives!

Roll out dough to 3/4 of an inch and cut out with a 4″ cutter, or use a 3″ ice cream scoop and create 6 mounds of dough. Dust the bottom of a glass with flour and gently press down each mound.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.