Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tah-Dah! FMEP's new product line!

Last Friday I finally launched my very own Feed Me Eat Pretty product line through Etsy.com!

What an unbelievable feeling. The proudest moment for me was when I saw the labels for the very first time!

First I want to acknowledge all the friends and family that have given me unbelievable support all these years!!! THANK YOU really doesn't do it justice.

This has been a dream of mine since I was a child. When I was given the opportunity to work at A Southern Season as an Assistant Grocery Buyer, I was beside myself each and every day! It was like being a kid again- working in a candy store! It also enabled me to really get a grasped on the Gourmet Food Industry.

There are currently 4 flavors as 1 sold out in less than 24 hours! Red Wine Louisiana Strawberry available in 8 oz or 16 oz jars, Spicy Georgia Peach, Louisiana Blueberry Lemon, and Louisiana Blueberry Basil Jam available in 8 oz jars. The cost is $6 for the 8oz jar and $12 for the 16 oz jar. It will last in the pantry for up to 1 year or in the fridge for a month after opened.

Keep checking the website for new flavors! Each week I will be posting updates.

But, I would like to be clear about one thing. I source all my ingredients locally. In fact, all the fruit and veggies in my products are either grown in my garden or picked on a farm by my hands. The names come from where the produce was picked. If I have used Georgia peaches, it was because I physically got them myself while travelling through Georgia. So don't let the distance fool you.

I don’t consider my products to be gourmet, they are all-natural, made with unprocessed foods and taken straight from the farm to the table! The way nature intended for us to eat. Just trying to do my part in helping others get to know what real food tastes like.

I also take flavor requests! If it is in season and I can source the ingredients locally, I will definitely whip up a batch just email me! Would be great for gifts at a wedding or a party! I can do a variety of sizes as well.

Tip: If you live in New Orleans, send me an email before ordering. I will deliver it to you instead of you having to pay for shipping! Also, look for me soon at the cities farmer’s markets!

Click on the link to check out my online store:

PS- The July 4th weekend will be full of friends and family in Mississippi. Tyson and I have a culinary farm tour planned to meet and greet some new growers. I am planning on picking up a ton of fruits and veggies so keep a look out for next weeks blog!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Boiled Peanuts

When I relate peanuts to food I almost always think of a garnish. If you are from the North, pretty much the only way you eat peanuts besides in Pad Thai is at a baseball game. One of my all time favorite things that I have discovered since moving to the South is a food that is pretty simple…Boiled Peanuts.

Last weekend, my partner-in-crime and I were driving home from a wedding in North Carolina. We were driving down the mountain roads when all of a sudden Tyson couldn’t stop talking about pulling over to get boiled peanuts. This didn’t alarm me too much since every time we go to the farm in Mississippi we always stop to get some. I guess I just sort of figured this would be like all the other Boiled Peanut experiences we have had together…

He started putting on the brakes every time we saw a sign that said ‘Boiled Peanuts’ but then he would exclaim loudly, ‘but why doesn’t anyone have hot peanuts?’ I am sure you could see the expression on my face- pure confusion. Tyson began to explain to me the difference between ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ boiled peanuts and that it didn’t have anything to do with the temperature when they were served. He didn’t want them unless they were legit- meaning cooked ‘outside’ in the cool mountain air.

The more I thought about this, the more I realized how long it had been since I had truly been this excited about a food experience. All I could think about was, ‘what would I be in for?’

Then, we saw it. Tyson began to jump up and down in his seat, honk his horn, scream out load, and of course slam on the breaks. We pulled in so fast the car was still moving while I flung the car door open and hopped out with my camera. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! It was one of the most beautiful things I have seen in a long, long time!

It really takes a ‘reach out and grab me’ experience to hook me. Stopping at this shop on the way down the mountain was just this type of experience!

The owner of this shop made two people pretty darn happy! In fact, she came running out of her store when she saw me outside taking so many pictures of her little peanut operation. She asked Tyson in a curious tone, ‘Does she want Boiled Peanuts?’

I exhaled and jumped so high I caught air underneath my shoes, ‘of course I want peanuts!’

I began to ask her many questions about how she cooks them. Watching and listening to her our smiles went from ear to ear. She cooks the peanuts outside on her wood burning stovetop 7-days a week!

Her recipe is pretty simple, only water, salt and of course green peanuts which are a typical recipe for North Georgia.

Now, in Louisiana and Mississippi- especially the route to our farm and then on to Oxford, we enjoy the Cajun non-spicy and Cajun spicy recipes. Normally, both are offered. Also in Louisiana and Mississippi, the peanuts are cold boiled and probably started and kept hot in a crock pot.

Some of our favorite places to get the extra flavorful varieties are at Gas Stations of all places. Gas Stations are not that romantic but, when it comes to devouring a big cup of boiled peanuts I will have to let this one slide.

Depending on how great the recipe is, I have seen people even drink the juice at the bottom of the container! You have to get every last drop.

Typically boiled peanuts are sold $3-$5 for a 32-ounce cup, which takes about 30 minutes for 2 people to eat.

It is like a burst of flavor in your mouth. The juice of the peanut is so flavorful. It’s really like two snacks in one. You have the peanut itself and then you have the shell. To enjoy the shell, you crush it between your teeth on the sides of your mouth to extract all the juice that gets boiled into it during the cooking process.

Peanuts take on so many flavors and also add lots of flavor to other foods. But, my favorite way to enjoy them by far is in the car with my sweetheart out of a Styrofoam cup. It’s almost a date without going anywhere!

If you find yourself in North Georgia, stop in at Michelle's Sweet Creations.
7688 Hwy 441 S.
Lakemont, GA 30552
(706) 982-9449

PS- Make sure you pick-up a few jars of her pickled okra! They make the best Bloody Mary's!