Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Just a Few of Fern's Favorites

It's Sum..Sum...Summertime and Fern's calendar is no more (or less) out of control than it usually is.  With a full calendar this week, not to mention, she can't find the notebook with little notes of blog inspiration, she'll share with you a few of her favorite summer recipes as the #1 grilling day of the year approaches.

Since the #1 Grilling Day of the Year has been mentioned, let's just clear this up right now--get BEEF on that grill, please.  There are 29 lean cuts of beef that won't break a diet, and there are many on that list that won't bust a budget either!  That's the unique thing about the responsibly raised beef in this country, there are options for everyone: conventionally raised and fed beef, grass fed beef, natural and even organically raised beef.  Please find something that fits your kitchen and your lifestyle and fire up that grill!!

I mentioned favorite summer recipes, I should mention that I make some of these ALL year long.  DISCLAIMER...some of these recipes may come from The Pioneer Woman.  This is not an organized promo for her site. I just like her recipes.  They are easy.  They are delicious.  They are easy, and they can usually be made with things most people have on hand.  Also, there are links to these recipes.  I have a handful of delicious summery things that do not come with recipes.  If I share them, please be patient with me.

PW Restaurant Style Salsa.  Make it.  Let it meld in the fridge.  Eat it all. Repeat.  Along similar lines is Pico de Gallo.  PW has a recipe.  I don't use it.  I learned how to make it from an old Hispanic man while spending a Spring Break near the Texas-Mexico border.  I can't tell you proportions, but I can tell you that it takes near equal parts of diced tomato and onion, jalapeno to taste (I usually use at least one pepper), cilantro to taste (be careful, not everyone LOVES (or even likes) this tasty herb), lime juice, and salt (I even get crazy and use garlic salt too).  Add to the fiesta and make guacamole.  PW has a recipe.  Fern has made up her own and has made it famous in a sheep barn too (another story, another time).  To make Fern-style guac, make a batch of pico.  Mash avocados.  I like chunky guac, so I end up with a 60:40 to 50:50 mix of avocado to pico.  Add more lime juice, it helps keep the avocado from browning and is tasty.  Some sources will say leaving the avocado pit in the bowl also helps slow browning.  I also add more salt, usually garlic salt as I'm folding the mashed avocado and pico together.  Taste it often as you mix.  Find your way.  Add something, subtract something, just own it.

PW Key Lime Pie.  It's super easy.  I doesn't even require key limes.  It's delicious!  Did I mention that it's delicious.  I've only made it once. I will make it again, and I'm confident that the recipe could be lightened up by using low-fat graham crackers in the crust and low-fat or fat-free sweetened condensed milk in the filling, for instance.  Whichever way you choose to make it, I assure you that it will be yummy and will make it on your "to make again" list!  I even cheated the system and used a store bought graham cracker crust.

This has gotten a little longer than I had planned, so I'll leave you with this--fire up the grill and get some BEEF on it, please.  While the grill is heating, snack on some salsa and some guacamole.  Wrap up your day with a slice of Key Lime Pie.  Just do it.  After all, it is summer!

Monday, June 9, 2014

I think that She's back!

It's been a long time friends.  Fern has opened a new chapter, closed an overdue chapter, and gone on many, many adventures--she was even afraid that she'd lost her Fern-ness along the way.  Rest assured that she is not lost, rather she must have been hiding.

New chapter--Assistant Professor at a Mid-Western University teaching Animal Science. There, she enriches (or ruins, it's in the eye of the beholder) young lives, teaches the next generation, promotes agriculture and beef, plays with cows, and seldom rests.

Overdue chapter--SHE FINISHED HER DISSERTATION LAST SUMMER. SHE DEFENDED IT, AND SHE PASSED.  SHE GRADUATED WITH A PhD IN THE WINTER.  Whew, so glad that is over.  She's thankful that she did it, and she's grateful for everyone's support.  She realizes everyday, even in the smallest of things, the people that the graduate school experience brought her, the lessons that it taught her, and the experiences that it delivered to her are immeasurable.  Was the closing of this chapter too long coming, yes; however, everything must happen for a reason and she learned plenty of lessons along the way.

Many, many adventures--there are so many, so please bear with her as she shares them with you in no particular order.

Somewhere throughout all of this, she became afraid; afraid that she had lost her fern-ness.  Recently, she has became very much aware that Fern was not lost, rather she must have been hiding.  Perhaps it was finding her way in the new chapter and finally putting away the overdue chapter that left her wondering.  Maybe it was moving across the mighty Mississippi River that had her concerned.  It may have been the lack of Texas wines in her cabinet and Red Dirt Music on the radio, or maybe the absence of quality Mexican food. It may boil down to the fact that her new chapter left her with too little time in the kitchen.  Whatever the case or combination of factors, maybe it's not even on this list, she has recently found a renewed spirit!

Fern is still passionate about agriculture and beef! She still loves wine and food and fashion.  Do not worry friends, Fern has not lost her random either!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Just a Sample of What is Rolling Around in Fern's Head

  • I really should've been a trophy wife
  • I was serape before serape was cool (circa 2007...BAM!)
  • What is a "typical girl", and how is she different from a "typical Southern girl"?  Do tell.
  • I am a drenching diva---

Stay Tuned...I promise to elaborate