Roast the Garlic

Roasted Garlic Bulbs

Roasted Garlic Bulbs

I wish you could smell my house right now.  I was reading while I had this in the oven roasting.  It is a head of garlic.  And it smells divine.

This is such a quick, easy and delicious addition to so many meals.  You can add roasted garlic to your soups, like Creamy Tomato or Potato Soup.  Adding it to my mashed potatoes is one of my all time favorites.  If you are roasting a chicken or any meats, just place the whole head into the roasting pan with it.  I just love it.  My house is a home with something in the oven cooking.  My house is a happy home with roasted garlic cooking in it.  Everyone is breathing deeper to inhale all the goodness, while exhaling any left over tensions.  That is what Roasted Garlic does for our home and I think it will do it for yours, too.  Maybe that is what is meant by garlic ridding off bad spirits.  Ha!  It is lovely and whatever works!

Simply, grab a whole head of garlic.  Cut the top of the garlic off, just to expose the inner bulbs.  Place your garlic on a piece of foil paper or put it in a small oven safe dish.  I like foil, less clean up.  Sprinkle the garlic bulb with kosher salt and a little extra virgin olive oil.  Cook in your oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the head is soft to touch and your home smells of divine roasted garlic.

Don’t be surprised if everyone begins to feel hungry, joyful, and a little less possessed by evil spirits! 😉

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It Costs How Much??

IMG_9283I can not tell you how many times I have heard this question.  It costs how much?  Of course it doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen.  Good quality things are not cheap.  We have all been there too many times at the store, looking for the less expensive item.  We buy it, bring it home, and wish we had bought the other one that costs a little more.  No, this doesn’t always happen but it happens more often than not.

I would like to explain why I charge what I charge for my food.  I want to do this because I really don’t want to charge anyone for more than I deserve or for more than my food is worth.

First, everything I make is fresh.  I am a one woman show with a little sprinkle of help from other fabulous people that have the same quality standard.  When I make a salad for a party, the lettuce is washed and cut the day of the party.  The cucumbers and onion are sliced the “day of” as well.  In most restaurants I have been in, I know that they have to cut their vegetables in bulk and most of them don’t sell it all that day and it will be used the following day or even the following few days.  Is this going to kill you?  Probably not.

I know that some places don’t carry extra virgin olive oil.  It is expensive and to cut corners they will buy mixed oils.  Even though you get a healthy salad you may be getting an oil that isn’t very good for you.  I use extra virgin olive oil for every dressing I make.  I am not making a fortune on millions of hamburgers sold at a cheaper price.  I am not even making a fortune- yet- but I think this is the premise- keep the quality of the product, no matter how big you get, or just don’t get big.

I know this eliminates some customers.  But, I would like you to think about food as health insurance for a moment.  What we eat can effect our overall well being.  If we all ate a little better and put a few extra dollars into something that could keep us healthy, why wouldn’t we?  We pay hundreds of dollars each month preparing for the moment that we get very sick.  What if you put just $50 towards eating healthier and more likely to not becoming sick?  Seems like a no brainer to me!

For example, I made a side garden salad today.  There were a couple of bad grape tomatoes in the bunch.  If you have ever had a bad grape tomato, you know it is one of the worst things to ever put in your mouth.  I can’t taste every grape tomato but I will throw that bunch away because the possibility of others tasting bad is higher.

I buy organic, sometimes.  I used to read up on what is best for you and what is not.  The problem with a lot of the information that comes up is that it is studied again, and then you are given another statistic that is telling you to do the opposite.  And who is doing the study?  Many of the times, a big paying company wanting you to buy their product.  I use my common sense that I have been given (which isn’t always grandiose), the little bit of knowledge I have (no high IQ here), my eyes (20/20), my taste buds (pretty damn good) and how I feel a couple of hours later (personal preferance).  To me, some organic products taste better (like an organic strawberry or tomato).   Some organic products are more readily available (like organic spinach).  However, some organic products are (in my humble opinion) not worth the money (like organic phyllo dough).

Pimento BLT

Pimento BLT

I try to keep the quality of my food exceptional.  I don’t want to sell anything that I wouldn’t want my children to eat or myself.  If I am making a BLT for family or to sell and there are no good looking tomatoes at the local Publix or Kroger, then I will take my happy self to Whole Foods and proudly drop a few extra dollars for some beautiful heirloom tomatoes.  It is worth every penny.  I love Holeman & Finch‘s breads, and I will spend a little extra to buy that too.

That is my dealio.  I hope it helps you to feel a little more comfortable in throwing down that extra dollar!

Pump the Brakes

Pasta with Tomato Basil Chicken and Feta

Pasta with Tomato Basil Chicken and Feta

I am a full speed kinda gal.  I get going on one thing, get pretty fixated and BOOM, realize I need to “pump the brakes”.  I really need a lesson on pumping as well.  It is usually a full on slam!

I have been focussing all my energies on getting my business up and running.  It has only been a little over a couple of months that I have been going full time with Grits and Honey.   In my irrational mind, I think I should be opening my 100th franchise.  In my realistic mind, I couldn’t be happier with what I have accomplished.  Companies  wanting to include me as a full time weekly vendor.  Clients wanting to me to cook for them personally twice a week.  I still have to pinch myself.  Me?  Don’t they know I do not have a clue and that I am just following my heart that doesn’t think.  I am a romantic.  It really is a strange concept.  I hope the bank will be so loving when I ask for that business loan.

So, in order to go enjoy lunch with a friend, I decided to make a simple meal of Pasta with fresh Tomato, Feta and Basil for the girls.   I made a little extra for them to take to lunch the following day.  This is also a favorite on the catering menu.   I like to add grilled chicken, kalamata olives or fresh grilled squash and zucchini.  This can be made in advance so if your lunch goes to two glasses of Pino you don’t have to sweat what is for dinner.  It is already done!

All you do is cook your pasta of choice.  Add fresh chopped tomato, fresh chopped basil, chop some grilled chicken, chop your olives, and mix it all together with extra virgin olive oil.  Sprinkle the top with crumbled feta and Viola!

I need reminding to enjoy life through the hectic day to day as mother and business owner.  We can all get smothered with stress.  I hope you will be reminded to take a moment and enjoy whatever it is that gives you peace.  Pump your brakes!