Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Whose Ready for Strawberries in YUMMY PRETTY jars???

Well, today its official! The first batch of this years Strawberry Jam Flavors are online via my Etsy Store!

Strawberry Jam
Sugar Free Strawberry Jam
Strawberry Lavender Jam
Strawberry Basil Jam
Red Wine Strawberry Syrup

All the berries are hand picked by yours truly! My my how it is by far my favorite thing to do in this world...

We will be producing Strawberries for about another month or so, and I will have a new batch available every week until the end of May (cross your fingers).

Then it's on to the Blues! We will be producing all the same flavors of Blueberries as we did last year, with the addition of Blueberry Lavender Jam.

Blueberry Basil Jam
Blueberry Lemon Jam
Blueberry Jam
Suger Free Blueberry Jam

One change in the labels, last year I had the state's abbreviation in the title of the jam from where the fruit was harvested from. Same concept, I have just moved it to where the ingredients are listed.
I feel its terribly important for you to know where your food comes from! And since we have many growers besides here in Louisiana- it may come from our farm in Mississippi, Alabama, or wherever we find ourselves traveling through.

Note from the fields: I have a lot of time to myself while I am picking. Everyone asks me why on earth do I insist on doing this myself, and why I hardly ever bring help. Well honestly its my quiet time! I can hear myself think so much more clearer out there. I also take the time to notice the snap of the stem when the strawberry is released from the plant. A sound that goes right up there with angels singing.

Thanks to everyone that made 2010 such a success and I am thrilled to be going full throttle into our 2nd season!

Here is the link to order yours today: http://www.etsy.com/shop/FeedMeEatPretty

PS: If you are thinking that you may want to give these early Spring flavors as gifts for Christmas please contact me asap to pre-order. I produce based on season and once a flavor is gone...well its gone. If you were one of my wonderful customers that ordered the Fall/Winter Citrus flavors in bulk for gifts you already know that we will sell out well before Christmas!

But, if you pre-order we can make sure its produced and tucked away safely JUST FOR YOU! I can even tie a card on with some rather adorable ribbon.

Thanks again, and I am looking forward to ensuring that you are Eating Pretty in 2011.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


For months I have been on a continuous quest to find that one hot beverage to warm up these cold winter nights. If you don’t live in New Orleans, I promise you- it has been jacket + scarf = COLD! Considering I am now sitting in the CafĂ© below my French Quarter pad with the doors wide open and flip flops in the middle of February you can imagine how having to put on a scarf is a rather disturbing process. Can we all take a moment to pray that this cold snap is over already? But just in case it’s not, this recipe may be a welcomed adventure!

A few weeks ago I was reminded of an old fashioned hot cocktail by a couple of friends on Facebook and I began to investigate. HUGE shout out to Sarah B & Kate S- you inspired me!


OOOooooooHHHhhhhhhh yeeeeeeaH.
Yes, indeed, it truly is the perfect hot cocktail.

Now, these warm wonders aren’t tremendously popular on the restaurant specialty cocktail list, and I have never understood why.

Once I started to do a little research, I mentioned a few traditional hot cocktails like Hot Buttered Rum to some friends and they all had the same response. ‘What is that?’

So I put my guard down, broke out the food processor and went to town. This batter can be stored in the fridge or freezer which means you can keep it on hand.

We have mixed up to-go cups and made an otherwise boring trip to the dog park into a romantic stroll with a warm cocktail in hand. I also mixed up a couple in a matter of minutes when a girlfriend called to say she was having lunch at my place- which obviously calls for a mid-afternoon cocktail right?

Play with it. No one ever said you had to stick to the recipe. You can eliminate the spices if you want or change up the liquor. We smuggled Dominican Republic Vanilla Extract and Rum in our suitcase when we came back from our wedding- so naturally we used those. We also brought Dominican cocoa powder, but that is for another story...

Don’t forget to serve it in a cool cup! The drink has such a gorgeous color that it’s rather captivating. Guests will surely talk about it for weeks!


Yields: 1 pint of batter
Time: 15 minutes

½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ # butter, softened
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground white cardamom (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor or mixer and store in the fridge or freezer.
2. To make a drink add a shot of good dark rum along with 1 or 2 tablespoons of batter to a mug of VERY hot water.
3. Stir well to ensure that all the batter has dissolved into the water.

Friday, February 4, 2011

BIG & DELICIOUS in 2011!

Writing in 2010 quickly became firmly positioned on the back burner with all that has happened in my world, and unfortunately became an overwhelming task. I recently looked at the number of blog entries and only counted 8. EIGHT! I am speechless and disappointed in myself.

For that I apologize, and promise to make-up for it in 2011- BIG TIME!

A New Year, new beginnings, and LOTS of new food, travel, fun, and BIG experiences are in our future.

Recapturing fond memories of the last year will also be a new priority as renovating and selling a home, moving, starting the product line of Feed Me Eat Pretty and planning a destination wedding for 33 guests proved very exciting for us. And time consuming beyond imagination to say the least. I have taken the time to reflect a lot about 2010 and have come to the conclusion that there was just too much good stuff jammed in there to not go back and share it all with the world.

Writing is my home away from home and I cherish that my words give me the same amount of pleasure as looking through a photo album. So a reflection in words is definitely in order.

With 11 months left in this New Year, there has been one thing that my husband and I have committed to doing more of and think that we have made some good progress on our new project during the last month…and that is cooking more meals at HOME.

One meal particularly was breakfast (bfast) for lunch. A wedding present from Williams-Sonoma was my inspiration as it arrived just a few days before we left for the wedding. From the moment we returned home it was staring and screaming at me to take her out of the box and give her a go. Yes, she has been assigned a gender but we are still working on a name.

She, being the 4-square All-Clad Belgian Waffle Maker is my new favorite kitchen toy. Did you know you don’t have to use oil or a spray like Pam? And did you also know that it tells you when the waffles are done by a green light and a built in alarm? Ummmm….seriously??? This is amazing technology folks.

Strawberry season is only 4 weeks away and team FMEP is counting the seconds until we harvest this year’s crops.

Thankfully I had one jar left of last year’s Strawberry Red Wine Syrup in the refrigerator and broke it out for our little buttermilk waffle feast. BIG fluffy waffles and DELICIOUS Strawberry Red Wine Syrup, what more can you ask for on a quiet Saturday afternoon?

I did take a walk to the market before my other half arrived home from work and picked up a quart of local strawberries with heavy cream for added DELICIOUSNESS. We had a taste test of what’s to come and it was amazing! The flavor of the strawberries this year is going to be perfectly BIG & DELICIOUS.

Ps- Lots of changes are in store in the next few months. Look out for a new format of the Feed Me Eat Pretty blog and the official move to the www.feedmeeatpretty.com website!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Unexpected Surprises

To me unexpected surprises are God’s little gifts to the world. You never know when they are coming and nine times out of ten you don’t realize they have occurred until well after the fact.

Just when I thought we were taking a break for a long Labor Day weekend at home, Tyson came home from work the Wednesday before and announced an ‘unexpected surprise.’ We were headed to West Point, Mississippi for the annual Dove Hunt.

This is a trip that I have missed every year due to one work event or another. So naturally I was excited to see what everyone has been talking about all these years.

I wasn’t all that surprised given that it’s his favorite trip of the year but since we had agreed that we were taking a ‘timeout’ from all normal activities until after the wedding I sort of put it out of my mind.

At first I was pretty hesitant about leaving again for four straight days. But once we crossed the Louisiana-Mississippi state line and I began to see those beautiful rolling green hills and big country barns my excitement only grew with each passing mile.

The Hunt: An ALL men’s hunt that lasts for 3-4 days with 2 hunts per day at dawn and dusk. This particular group of men comes from all over Mississippi and Louisiana to West Point for Labor Day. It’s a select bunch from all different backgrounds. They don’t just let anyone come and hunt. They have ‘spots’ which are highly coveted and hardly ever given up.

In the years passed they only allowed one other woman to participate, Farmer Brad’s wife Molly. She would help coordinate meals and grocery store runs. Molly and I had a great time! We went to the Prairie Arts Festival, also another Labor Day favorite in West Point. We talked for hours on the front porch of the Camp House while listening to the men out in the fields carrying on like little boys (so adorable).

I decided to take control of the final meal after the last hunt. Molly and I went to the store and managed to score the last packages of Boudin and Cajun Sausage. We picked up all the items necessary to ‘properly’ prepare the Dove as well.

The picture above is from our final dinner, after the final hunt. I debated for weeks about which picture to post, this one of the grill or the one of all the guys sitting around on the front porch. Obviously, I choose the grill and yes I am giggling right now…

The Dove came straight off the field and went into a secret marinade (sorry not divulging the recipe this year), stuffed with cream cheese and jalapenos’ and wrapped in bacon- the ONLY way to enjoy these wonder little creatures!

I have tried to think about all of the unexpected surprises of this weekend but I am not sure I can wrap my head around all of them. Even after thinking about it for the last few months, this was truly a special experience.

Some of my fondest unexpected surprises are:
-A newfound friendship with someone who is so much like me that it’s scary (Thanks Molly I had a blast!)
-The Prairie Arts Festival – such a great Southern experience!
-A house party into the early hours of the morning with a charcoal grill being lit every other hour!
-Four straight days and an entire house filled with people.
-Hanging out on the farm and of course the GORGEOUS Camp House!
-dinner at West Point's famous restaurant 'Anthony's Market' with the whole gang
-Listening to the frogs at night
-Snuggling with the little ones when they finally got sleepy- they hunted too!

And of course cooking for an entire day which included Okra Stew, Boudin, Cajun Sausage, Grilled Asparagus, Fresh Tomatoes, Garlic Butter Grilled Chicken, Truffle Burgers, and Dove stuffed and wrapped in bacon…now I can definitely understand why Tyson waits all year for this cherished weekend! These are one helluva unexpected surprise! There is always a fight over who gets that last one...

Molly and I are already planning the menu for next year…stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall is for Fun.

My fiancĂ© brought it to my attention yesterday that he was in a funk because it had been quite a few weeks since he had read a Feed Me Eat Pretty blog…so here I am.

Happy Wednesday and I am sorry!

I feel like I have so much to fill you up on! We have been so incredibly busy traveling, eating, wedding planning, and with Feed Me Eat Pretty approaching our 1st holiday season we have been on the move. Some days I have to pinch myself to make sure this is all real!

The next few weeks will be devoted to sharing all of our adventures and I promise they are yummy!

Fall is always fun and it is a season that I treasure every year! Thankfully, we have finally conquered the summer slow months. We have resumed normal programming with dinner parties and cocktail hours at least every other week! So this little chicken has been back to cooking up a storm!

But what I did do for the very first time this past Saturday was attend the Freret Street Market as a VENDOR! A vendor! Imagine that!

It was just an experiment to see how my products would do at a Market in New Orleans. Boy was I surprised! It was an incredible experience, one that brought tears to my eyes all day long. I would like to thank all of you who came out and supported me! I can’t believe it, I really can’t…

The picture above was taken by a local photographer (shout out to the Uptown Messenger: http://uptownmessenger.com/ This is me in my booth. Looks pretty snazzy huh? Thank you to all of my culinary demo & food media experience for grooming my “Eat Pretty” talents so nicely.

We tasted all of the current flavors with great reviews!

But, I am sad to report that these are the following counts on each flavor:
1 jar of MS Blueberry Lemon
1 jar MS Blueberry Basil
8 jars Mississippi Blueberry
6 jars of Sugar Free MS Blueberry
5 jars Spicy MS Peach
8 jars Mississippi Peach
5 jars of Red Wine Strawberry
3 Qts of Tomato Juice
8 jars of Muscadine Syrup

We sold 28 jars on Saturday!!!!!!! (Can’t put enough exclamation marks behind that)

So if you can’t accept the fact that you may have to wait until next spring to get your hands on some of these flavors, you may want to place your order ASAP at: www.etsy.com/shop/FeedMeEatPretty

We were invited to participate in 2 other local Christmas Bazaars as well. I will be posting a holiday schedule of all events we will be participating in so that you can put it on your calendars.

I am leaving bright and early for a farm trip tomorrow morning to stock up on the fall harvests. We have Apples, Pears, and Pumpkins in our future people. As well as Figs and Blackberries that has been tucked away for me up at the farm. I am very excited and probably won’t sleep a wink tonight.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Living Sugar Free or Sugar Less

Many of you are familiar with all the homemade, vintage, all natural products that are for sale on Etsy.com!

Since the beginning of my online Etsy store, we have been featured in a handful of lists and newsletters of featured items called Treasuries. Each time we are featured feels like such a delight and has me smiling for days! And until now, I have refrained from sharing the links. I guess I was waiting for just the right one to come along…

But, last night I got an email from ‘Blueberry Shoes’ the writer behind the blog ‘The Mermaids Closet.’ She thanked me for offering such great SUGAR FREE jams!

Being insulin dependent is a life changing thing, and one that runs very close to my heart. I can’t count all of my friends and family that are diabetic on both hands!

Even I have to make a conscious effort to leave the sweets alone, but when I do it makes all the difference in the way I feel.

What would happen if every person gave up one thing that they normally eat with sugar and replaced it with a sugar free version or with a sweetener such as Stevia or Agave Nectar?

I mean, just look at that picture of my Sugar Free Mississippi Peach Jam above! That pure, all-natural, yellow-orange peach color! I can not only stare at that wholesome gorgeous jam all day but I can definitely eat it until the cows come home too.

Nothing but goodness can come of this new outlook on life, and I am taking the pledge to choose better, healthier, less sugar options!

I will keep you posted on the outcome.

If you need some amazing Sugar Free jam to replace your normal sugar loaded versions, check out my online store for the Blueberry and Peach flavors that are currently available!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer is for BLUEBERRIES!

Out of all my farm ventures during the growing seasons, I would have to say picking blueberries is my most challenging. They are rather petite little fellows…and you can only pick so many at a time. Even after a few hours in the hot sun, you probably only have a gallon or two in your bucket and a nice sunburn!

The majority of the blueberries I picked in Louisiana this year were pretty small, mostly due to not receiving enough rain down here in the hot, steamy South.

But, the blueberries that I picked in Mississippi near our farm were ENORMOUS! As you can see from the picture above they were something to talk about! It seemed like every branch we touched you could hear one of us shouting out with joy! “Look at these blueberries, this is amazing!” We were literally dancing all around the bushes with excitement!

This particular farm is literally just around the bend from us and they have had these blueberry bushes for over 22 years!

Tyson’s grandmother is such a trooper! She came out picking with us every time! She is a lot like me, and just loves to be out on the farm- no matter what the conditions may be. I will confess that she is the fastest picker out of our group!

While preparing the blues for my jam I tied a couple to see how we were looking on the flavor front. I ate a blueberry and it tasted like a blue Icee pop! I had some disbelief at first, and tried a few more…then a few more. Could it be that these plump, perfectly ripe blueberries captured the flavor of a blue Icee pop?

Sounds trivial, but when have you ever realized that something as small as a blueberry could jam pack so much flavor that it brought back one of your most cherished childhood memories?

My philosophy never fails me: “It really is the small things in life that make the biggest difference- especially with food!”

I couldn't resist the temptation to share! In fact, the day this happened I was running around town telling everyone!! Practically screaming it, "Hey! I just ate a blueberry and it tasted like a blue Icee pop!"

If only that flavor profile hadn’t changed during the cooking process…that would have been some amazing jam for sure.

But, if I do say so myself…the jam that did come from those blues is in fact pretty tasty…order yours today! www.etsy.com/shop/FeedMeEatPretty