5 Farmers’ Market Recipes to Make Right Now

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Poor Robin Gardens from Screven, County is one of my favorite vendors to purchase produce from at the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers’ Market. Meet Ricardo, the farmer!

The return of the Farmers’ Market for me each season is just about as exciting as Christmas Day. With fresh herbs and local produce on my mind, I love getting up on Saturday morning, throwing on my yoga pants, a tank top, a pair of favorite flip flops and my over-sized sunglasses and heading out the door. Sometimes, I even pack up my 11-pound Shih Tzu, Ewok, and we ride with the radio up and the windows down on the way.  Continue reading “5 Farmers’ Market Recipes to Make Right Now”

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Shop Local for Wild Georgia Shrimp & Grits

This photo was taken prior to the show, at home in my kitchen. My signature dish of Shrimp & Grits with a Creamy White Wine Sauce.
My signature dish of Shrimp & Grits with a Creamy White Wine Sauce.

Shrimp and Grits: The Lowcountry staple has been around for more than 100 years and you can hardly visit a restaurant these days without seeing it on the menu. In 2011, Shrimp & Grits was the most popular dish served at weddings across the United States.

The cookbook, Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart, says the first printed copy of the original recipe, titled “Shrimp and Hominy,” was located in the 1930 edition of Two Hundred Years of Charleston Cooking. Many variations of the recipe exist today, but one thing is certain: a recipe is only as good as the quality of ingredients.

We’re especially blessed in Statesboro to live in the coastal plains where wild Georgia shrimp is easy to come by and Georgia farmers are aplenty, producing those healthful vegetables like sweet red bell pepper and jalapenos that accompany the special sauce in my shrimp and grits recipe. Statesboro is even home to Freeman’s Mill–stone grinding grits and corn meal daily. Here’s a tip: When cooking grits, always take the opportunity to layer in depth of flavor. Instead of using water, try milk or broth. I love the creamy texture milk gives grits and the flavor of them when they’re cooked in chicken or beef broth. That special touch takes the dish from mediocre to restaurant quality faster than you can say “Go Eagles.”

Whenever possible, shop local. Nothing beats sitting down to a meal grown on Georgia ground, planted by the hands of people in our own community and supporting the local farmers. One visit to the Statesboro Main Street Farmers’ Market, and you’ll be well on your way to cooking my recipe for Shrimp & Grits with a White Wine Sauce featuring Hunter Cattle Company’s hardwood smoked bacon and Prosser’s Wholesale Shrimp in Brooklet.

Open every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., the Statesboro Main Street Farmers’ Market is chock-full of everything you need to get cookin’.

Here’s my recipe. Enjoy!


Shrimp & Grits with a White Wine Sauce

  • 1 pound of Prosser’s Wholesale Wild Georgia Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Freeman’s Mill Stone Ground Grits or (Jim Dandy Grits in pinch!)
  • Chicken Broth, heavy cream for finishing
  • 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese per every two cups grits
  • 6 Slices Thick cut, Hickory Smoked Hunter Cattle Company Bacon
  • Half of 1 medium Sweet Vidalia Onion
  • 1 Large clove of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Medium Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper, minced
  • 2 Tbs white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Green onion or chives for garnish

    Directions:
    Cook shrimp in about 2 Tbs. of olive oil until they turn pink. Season with Old Bay. Cook grits according to package directions using the appropriate amount of chicken broth, depending on the portion size you’re serving. Season grits with salt & pepper, then add butter and stir in Parmesan cheese. Stir in a splash or two of heavy cream for added richness. Meanwhile, cook approximately six slices of bacon. Drain on paper towels. Pour off bacon grease, reserving 2 Tbs. to sauté vegetables. Add onion, bell pepper and jalapeno. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring. Add garlic last. Once vegetables have married together, deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add heavy cream and let come to a simmer, stirring constantly. To plate, spoon grits in a bowl, top with white wine sauce and surround grits around the perimeter of the bowl with about 10 shrimp per serving. Garnish with green onion or chives.

Join Me at Hunter Cattle Company & The Garden of the Coastal Plain This Month

As far as I’m concerned, Statesboro is home to one of the best little food communities in the South. I have the privilege of living and working in this blessed farm town, and this month, in just a few days, I’m teaming up with Hunter Cattle Company, a family owned and operated pastured and sustainable farm, and The Garden of the Coastal Plain at Georgia Southern University to talk local food and share my story. I hope you’ll be in the crowd!

Image courtesy of Hunter Cattle Company
Image courtesy of Hunter Cattle Company

Farm Heritage Day is Hunter Cattle Company’s biggest event of the year and an annual festival designed to teach attendees about preserving the history of farming and homesteading through educational and inspirational experiences. I attended the event last year and had a blast watching the pig races and walking around the farm. The smell of the food wafting off the grills is enough to make your mouth water!

This year, the Ferguson family has invited me to entertain guests with a 20-minute live cooking demonstration during the event which is this Saturday, Sept. 20. You can find me under the Chef’s Demo Tent at 4 p.m. Join me (and the other 5,000 expected guests!) as I talk about the health benefits of eating pastured eggs, and teach the crowd about how Hunter Cattle’s chickens are raised. Don’t miss out on sampling my Vidalia Onion Quiche featuring Hunter Cattle Co.’s pastured bacon and eggs. You’ll learn why pastured eggs are best and what to look for on package labeling when shopping for eggs. I’ll also share some recipe ideas! It’s sure to be eggcellent. 😉 Hunter Cattle Company is located at 934 Driggers Rd., Brooklet, GA 30415. Learn more about the event by following them on Facebook.

Lunch&Learn
Image courtesy of The Garden of the Coastal Plain at Georgia Southern University

Then, just a few days later on Tuesday, Sept. 23, I’ll be cooking my Wild Georgia Shrimp and Grits with a white wine sauce, during The Garden of the Coastal Plain at Georgia Southern University’s 2014-’15 Lunch and Learn series, titled “Return to Your Roots, Pursue Your Passion.” From Noon – 1 p.m., while you’re eating lunch, I’ll demonstrate my dish live and share my journey from Statesboro to Hollywood on ABC’s “The Taste,” as well as how I became the Statesboro Herald Food Columnist and how I consistently maintain one of Urbanspoon’s top Georgia food blogs by going after the things that make my heart beat.

Martha Nesbit (right) and I worked together in the Celebrity Chef tent.
Martha Nesbit (right) and I after a very long day of working together in the Celebrity Chef tent at the Savannah Food and Wine Festival 2013.

The sweet lady pictured above to my right is Mrs. Martha Nesbit. I had the opportunity to meet Martha when I volunteered for the Savannah Food & Wine Festival last year. Mrs. Nesbit will be the featured talent at the Garden on Thursday, Oct. 30. Located at 1505 Bland Ave., under the Heritage Pavilion, tickets are $20 including lunch and the program. All proceeds support the Garden. Learn more about these events and purchase your tickets by visiting the Garden’s website or read more on my.georgiasouthern.edu: Lunch and Learn Featuring Rebekah Faulk and Martha Nesbit.

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You can keep up with all my appearances by visiting my new website at http://rebekahfaulk.wix.com/rebekahfaulk. Also, if you or someone you know is looking for a speaker, writer or food TV personality for an upcoming event, I hope you’ll share my website with them.

Thanks so much for reading Some Kinda Good. See y’all in Statesboro!

 

South and Vine Public House Burned But Not Broken

South and Vine Public House opened on Jan. 29, 2013.

During the summer of 2013, just six months after an intriguing new restaurant popped up in downtown Statesboro on the corner of South Main and West Vine Streets, I ventured inside to discover a restaurant that would become the backbone of our community, and so much more. It would become my go-to place for a special night out on the town, where I would ring in the New Year and the place where I would celebrate my birthday lunch with 15 of my co-workers. It would become the restaurant I would proudly share with out-of-town guests, it was my Happy Hour bar of choice–and the only place in town where I could order the Glorious Gin and Tonic with a fresh slice of lime or experience a Hunter Cattle Company hamburger, prepared with the utmost respect for the integrity of the ingredients. The hand-cut Parmesan truffle fries were unmatched, as was the cornmeal encrusted red snapper over Freeman’s Mill grits, the fried green tomatoes and their undeniably famous chocolate chip cookies. There, was a restaurant that would expand the ‘Boro’s culinary boundaries, introducing plates with king crab piled high atop crusty French bread and pan seared redfish over dirty rice with garlic green beans and crawfish cream sauce. There, the food would always be the main event. Always local. Always inspired.

King Crab with white wine, butter, shallots, ginger, chiles, coriander, lemon, garlic, and tomato. Atop crusty french bread. Photo courtesy of SVPH.
King Crab with white wine, butter, shallots, ginger, chiles, coriander, lemon, garlic, and tomato. Atop crusty french bread. Photo courtesy of SVPH.

I, along with hundreds of other food lovers from past United States President Jimmy Carter and other dignitaries to celebrity chefs and townspeople, would come to know this place as an experience where every meal was memorable, a place that breathed new life into a community and introduced a world of gastronomic excellence and quality to a food scene in desperate need of passion. It would be there in that restaurant where I would make two new friends—the Alabi-Isamas, restaurant owner Seni and his wife Janetta, a couple who acknowledges their customers as guests and welcomes everyone who steps foot through their doors as if reuniting with the prodigal son.

While in town to see his grandson graduate from Georgia Southern University, President Jimmy Carter dined at South and Vine on May 9, 2013.
While in town to see his grandson graduate from Georgia Southern University, President Jimmy Carter dined at South and Vine on May 9, 2013. From left: Seni, President Carter and Janetta.

Then one August morning, just five months before the restaurant would celebrate two years in business, the unthinkable happened.

After the fire, one of SVPH's loyal guests wrote the words, "Got Those Statesboro Blues...We Will Return" on the windows of the restaurant.
After the fire, one of SVPH’s loyal guests wrote the words, “Got Those Statesboro Blues…We Will Return” on the windows of the boarded-up restaurant.

Statesboro’s food scene has suffered an immense loss, as South & Vine Public House (SVPH) caught fire on the night of Tuesday, August 26. The fire may have taken our beloved corner hangout, but one thing the smoke and soot can’t snuff out is Seni’s desire to reopen, his unquenchable thirst to provide this small town with the finest food and beverage available and a humble culinary intuition few possess.

In my one-on-one exclusive interview, I sat down with Seni to learn how the SVPH family is doing since tragedy struck, how the community has reacted to the news and what the future holds for SVPH.

Me: First off, how are you doing?
Seni: I’m a heck of a lot better now than I was last week this time.

Me: What were you doing when you learned there was a fire?
Seni: I was actually sitting at home on the couch about to watch “Hard Knocks,” the Atlanta Falcons thing on HBO. I got a call from Jimmy at Chops and he was telling me that the place was smoking and was on fire. I got Janetta out of bed and we ran out and probably did 100 miles an hour down Fair Rd. We got there and I see all this smoke. I wasn’t in good shape. As soon as I saw that, I knew it was bad.

Me: Describe the scene.
Seni: The fire department was amazing. I’d never actually seen firemen in action, up close and personal. It was something. They can’t talk with you because they’re trying to put out a fire, and I’m running around trying to figure out what’s happening, what’s going on and they really couldn’t give me much information at the time. I was just standing in the street freaking out. The smoke was one thing but the fire eventually had worked its way out of the roof. That’s when I was useless. There were probably 30 to 40 foot flames coming out of the building. They got it under control and before the night was over, I walked through the restaurant with them. It was just devastation. It’s pretty much all gone. All the equipment, all the stuff we worked on for years. It took me a very long time to get the place open, and everything in there was done by us. Every time I look around, every time I go in with all the fire inspectors, it’s just bad. Everywhere you look, you see something that means something to you. We had some very specialized pieces of equipment, some really cool bottles of liquor. All that stuff is gone.

Me: How has the community reacted to the news?
Seni: It’s been unbelievable in every sense. Everyone has been very supportive. Al Chapman, he’s a good friend of mine at Gnat’s Landing. He was there first thing in the morning just to see what he could do. I wasn’t very much good to anybody at that point. We had to find a way to secure the building and board it up so that people couldn’t easily enter. All my tools and stuff are in the building and I had no idea how I was going to get any of this done. Al is there and he says, “Man, don’t worry about it. I’ve got a guy that can take care of that.” He made a call and in 30 minutes, there was a guy there taking care of it. That was just Al helping wherever he could. He said, “Listen if your people need something, let me know.” He’s been true to that. He’s picked up two of my guys. Mellow Mushroom has also given a couple of my employees jobs. Joe Lanier at Loco’s reached out immediately. He didn’t know the extent of the damage but wanted to know if maybe we needed to store some of our food in their coolers. Southern Growlers’ Brad David reached out immediately. Everybody all over town – Heath Robinson at 40 East, Jimmy and Walt at Chops, I mean everybody has offered to help any way they can – not to mention our guests and our regulars, the community at large, our extended family. I’ve gotten messages from all over the country. I can’t say enough about this community and the South and Vine family. It’s not just us and the employees, but when I say our family, I’m talking about our guests that have also been devastated by this. South and Vine is very important to a lot of people. It’s one of those places you become a regular, and the staff knows what you eat, they know what you drink. They know where you want to sit. It’s a pretty neat place.

On the night after the fire, the South and Vine staff gathered at Seni and Janetta's home. Seni posted this picture on Facebook with the words, "We'll be back."
On the night after the fire, the South and Vine staff gathered at Seni and Janetta’s home. Seni posted this picture on Facebook with the words, “We’ll be back.”

Me: Do you have plans to reopen?
Seni: I know we have to come back in some capacity. I’m obligated to. There’s no way I could just leave the community high and dry. What we do is very specialized and the people that enjoy it, they don’t have a lot of options. Honestly, that was the genesis of South and Vine – the lack of options. I would go out to eat with friends, and my wife and I would always feel like there’s got to be something better. People have to want more. After a while, I got tired of saying it and instead of just complaining about it, I decided to put my hat in the ring and see what I could pull off. I’m not a trained chef or anything like that, but I’ve been cooking my whole life, and I know what I think tastes good, and I know what I want to eat. I figured maybe other people would enjoy the same things, and that’s really how the idea of South and Vine came about. It seemed like the right move, because a lot of people in town, in the region and all over have enjoyed many of the things we do there, like changing specials constantly, making everything we possibly can from scratch in-house and bringing in a really neat selection of libations. Our beer, wine and liquor selection is pretty eclectic, and there’s a wide variety of things. As good as it was, there’s still a ton more that I want to bring in and execute. This week, I was supposed to get a 23-year-old single barrel bourbon, which is not something you see hardly anywhere. Statesboro shouldn’t have to take a back seat just because we’re a smaller town. I think we can do just fine right here.

Me: What do you need from the community?
Seni (with a chuckle): Whenever the time comes for us to reopen, come eat. I also just want to say thank you to the community. Thank you for the immense support you’ve shown and continue to show.

In response to the overwhelming amount of support Seni has received on the South & Vine Public House Facebook page, he writes “Thank you so much for your kind words. We will do our best to make sure this community and our wonderful guests get to enjoy all they’ve become accustomed to once again. We love you all and can’t wait to see your beautiful faces!”

Remembering the good times at South & Vine Public House…may they live on forever.

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New to Some Kinda Good?
Thanks for stopping by! If you like this post, you may also be interested to read about a few of the other local restaurants and bakeries I’ve reviewed. As the Statesboro Herald food columnist and a Georgia Southern University alumna, the ‘Boro is a second home to me. Be sure to like Some Kinda Good on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter to keep up with all my latest, local food discoveries.

Some Kinda Good Teams Up with Paula Deen LIVE!

Paula

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!

I couldn’t be more excited to announce that the Paula Deen team contacted little ol’ me this week with some GREAT news! I’ve been invited to attend Paula Deen Live! in Savannah as a special guest on Friday, August 8 where I’ll be LIVE tweeting and posting about the show on Facebook from the historic Lucas Theatre!

The surprise came earlier this week when I checked my food blog’s email account. The subject line read, “The Heart of Home Cookin’ Coming to Savannah, GA!” It was Paula’s social media coordinator requesting my presence in the Hostess City. Be still my heart. As a life long fan of Paula’s, you can imagine my excitement when I read these words:

To get right to the point, we came across your blog, Some Kinda Good – and we love it! Paula is so excited about her LIVE event, and she wanted to invite some of her biggest fans and supporters, specifically Southern bloggers and influencers.

Do y’all know how many Southern bloggers there are in the world?? I am beside myself and honored that they chose me. Mama and them already purchased their seats!

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Join the conversation using #PDLIVE!

If you’d like to join the fun, check out Paula’s website for all the details or, follow me on Twitter and LIKE Some Kinda Good on Facebook so you don’t miss a thing. Join the conversation on social media using #PDLIVE. During the event, word also has it that there’ll be a few small surprises in store for you! Paula’s come back tour kicks off on Friday, August 1 with stops all over the country. Be sure to check back after the event for a follow-up post, too. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Here’s a sneak peek at the fun that awaits. Good times…See you soon PAULA!


Related Content:

My Inspiration
Not Your Average Hash Brown Casserole
Shrimp and Grits at Home
Paula Deen is Not a Racist Y’all

New Seafood Restaurant Brings “The Whole Nine Yards” to the ‘Boro

Image courtesy of boilingshrimpcajun.com.
Image courtesy of boilingshrimpcajun.com.

The Boiling Shrimp
Statesboro, Georgia

The earliest known use of the American phrase, “The Whole Nine Yards,” an expression meaning “all of it, the full measure,” dates back to 1907 in Southern Indiana, but for one new Statesboro seafood restaurant, the term is a business model by which everything from the food to the service is based around. The Boiling Shrimp opened just over three months ago on U.S. 301 South with a mission to make seafood work in Statesboro punctuated by an unconventional, Asian-influenced approach. After visiting for dinner recently, I caught up with Assistant Manager Adam Tsang to get the details on this restaurant’s unique spin on presentation, flavor and entertainment.

wpid-0620142058a.jpgTwo things that caught my attention immediately: 1) Customers place their order in a 3-step sequence and 2) Food ordered Low Country boil style, is presented in a clear, plastic bag. First, you choose your catch, next your flavor and lastly, determine how you’d like it prepared. “We found that if we served the food directly on the plate, the sauces and seasonings don’t stay on as well,” said Adam. On my visit, I ordered a 1/2 pound of boiled shrimp with Cajun sauce for $8 and washed it all down with a cold Blue Moon. Currently, the restaurant serves beer with future plans to offer wine.

wpid-0620142059.jpgOnce I got over the shock factor of the plastic bag on my plate,  I found its contents divine. The aroma of a Low Country boil hit me as soon as I untied the bag, and the size of the plump, succulent shrimp alongside a half ear of deliciously seasoned corn on the cob and juicy sausage was all I needed to feel right in my element. Fresh, good quality seafood in the coastal plains of Georgia? What more could one want?

Menu items also include soups, salads and po’ boy sandwiches. Adam says the Fried Shrimp Basket is one of their most popular dishes. So, just where does the Asian influence come in to play? Owned by longtime Statesboro residents Charles and Jean Hsu, the Taiwanese Americans created their sauces –your choice of chili pepper, lemon pepper, Cajun or garlic — based on influences from their travels and previous restaurant experiences. “The Whole Nine Yards” is both a sauce (a combination of all of the above) and a dish on the menu. Asian influences can be found in the tempura fry style and preparation of the batter.


With an open floor plan, the casual atmosphere feels like you’re dining on the coast, as if you could walk outside and be on the beach. Oars and ship wheels fill the walls, along with flat screen TVs. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Sunday – Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday – Saturday until 11 p.m. Live music is offered during lunch Sunday – Thursday. “We’re tapping into local musicians,” Adam said. “Right now, we’re featuring light jazz with Andrew Brantley who plays with The Orange Constant band. They’re really good.”

wpid-0620142058.jpgSeafood restaurants in Statesboro don’t have the best track record. Carry Hilliard’s Restaurant closed after just two years and The Shell House, what is now The Mill House, didn’t survive the college town either. Adam says, at The Boiling Shrimp, they’ve learned from the mistakes restaurants who’ve gone before them have made. With more than 700 Facebook “Likes” and a lot of positive buzz surrounding them, they’re off to a great start. If you haven’t made your way over to see them yet, keep an open mind and give them a shot! If it’s good seafood you seek, you’ve come to the right place.

Related Content:
‘A Boiling Shrimp’ of Flavors in Statesboro


New to Some Kinda Good?
Thanks for stopping by! If you like this post, you may also be interested to read about a few of the other local restaurants and bakeries I’ve reviewed. As the Statesboro Herald food columnist and a Georgia Southern University alumna, the ‘Boro is a second home to me. Be sure to like Some Kinda Good on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter to keep up with all my latest, local food discoveries.

Boiling Shrimp on Urbanspoon

Celebrate Summer with Local Blackberry-Georgia Peach Crumble

wpid-0622142020b.jpgSummertime may be my absolute favorite time to visit the farmers’ market and fruit may be my absolute favorite thing to purchase. On Saturday morning, I scored a large package of plump blackberries and the season’s first Georgia peaches. You can imagine my excitement when I came across a delicious recipe for Peach-Berry Crumble in the latest edition of Southern Living. Sunday afternoon just got better.

Fruit from the fields of Screven County.
Fruit from the fields of Screven County.

I paid $5 for this huge container of blackberries. You can’t beat that! Well worth the money, especially knowing I’m supporting the local farming community. Thanks Ricardo from Poor Robin’s Produce! The peaches came from my friends at Jacob’s Produce. I snuck a few pieces while slicing them for the crumble. Irresistible, juicy and sweet.

Blackberry-Peach Crumble
Blackberry-Peach Crumble

Crumbles make the perfect summer dessert. Simple to throw together, they’re special enough for entertaining yet quick enough for a post-dinner weeknight treat.

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I substituted 1/2 cup of uncooked regular oats with Honey Bunches of Oats with Vanilla. It’s what I had on hand and it got the job done! Assembling this dessert is so much fun because it’s rustic and hands-on. Butter makes everything better.

wpid-0622141830a.jpgBake for 40-45 minutes at 375 degrees.

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The end result is a crunchy, buttery topping filled with warm, sweet fruit. Serve with cold vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream. Garnish with fresh mint. Savor summertime!


 

wpid-0622142020b.jpgHere’s a quick glance at the recipe. Thanks Southern Living for the inspiration!

Peach-Berry Crumble
Serves: 6-8
Prep Time: 1 Hour, 20 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh peach slices (about 3 medium)
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup uncooked regular oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • Vanilla ice cream

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Place first 2 ingredients in an 11- x 7-inch (or 2-qt.) baking dish. Stir together egg, egg yolk, and next 4 ingredients with a fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle over fruit; drizzle melted butter over topping. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until light brown and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes; serve warm with ice cream.

Related Content:

 

Living the Dream Through Cupcakes and Caffeine

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CAKE 
Statesboro, Georgia

It’s mid-morning on a sunny Saturday, after a satisfying brunch and visit to my local farmers’ market. Dressed completely casually with nowhere to be, I stroll along East Main Street in downtown Statesboro to find an inviting sidewalk chalkboard and the doors open wide at CAKE Bakery and Cool Beanz Espresso Bar. Upon entering, I discover much more than cupcakes and caffeine. Here two kindred spirits — one culinary artist and one head coffee geek — have joined forces to make their dreams a reality.

wpid-0407141733.jpgMeet David Hoyle, former senior project manager for a technology integration company, turned owner of Cool Beanz Espresso Bar. Here’s a guy who said, ‘It’s now or never,’ and dove head first into his passion–pure coffee, expertly brewed. He started down the path of coffee discovery after tasting his first cup of lightly roasted coffee on a business trip in Caracas, Venezuela. Before, David says he was a fan of triple grande, 3-pump skinny mochas. When it came to drinking coffee, he would disguise its bitter taste with heavy doses of cream and sugar, consuming what he calls “coffee-flavored sugar milk.” Curiosity led him to begin experimenting with various brewing methods which can alter and enhance the flavor profile of a coffee bean. Now, just over two months into his new business venture, he’s having the time of his life offering three different brewing techniques to Southeast Georgians everywhere: Pour-over, Immersion and Espresso. He prepares every single cup by hand. Armed with the finest local ingredients, he’s ready to rock your coffee world.

Two Statesboro-based coffee companies supply all David’s coffee beans: Three Tree Coffee Roasters and Iron Wedge. Java isn’t all he’s serving up. You can order hot chocolate, frozen chocolate shakes, chai tea lattes and milk. On my last visit, I ordered Three Tree’s Ethiopian coffee. Naturally bright and sweet with a hint of berries, every sip was smooth going down, not wanting for anything.

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Contributed Photo

This is Shannon Ward, bakery owner. A former registered radiologic technologist and sonographer, Shannon enjoyed her career in the medical field but needed a job that would allow her creative spirit to soar. After becoming a stay-at-home-mom, she began baking cake pops and cakes for extra income. She gained quite a following in Screven and Bulloch Counties, and with the support of many encouraging friends and family, gained the confidence to open CAKE. 

wpid-0509141720.jpgIn addition to those tried and true flavors like chocolate, birthday and red velvet cake, Shannon enjoys changing up the menu daily, offering creations like the baklava cupcake with all the essentials–lemon, honey and pistachios–or her maple and bacon cupcake. She says she loves the freedom of coming into her kitchen early in the morning, looking at what she has on hand and whipping up something unexpected and amazing. So far, I’ve tried the PB&J and Key Lime flavors. I also love her nod to all things local, from the ingredients she bakes with to the Georgia Southern-inspired True Blue cupcakes. Based on customer requests and her own inspiration, Forrest Gump might equate the ever-changing menu to a box of chocolates–you never know what you’re going to get. 

wpid-0407141728a.jpgFrench Macaroons are also offered daily, along with homemade quiche.  Birthday and other special occasion cakes are made to order. Tying the knot? Wedding cakes are available too.

wpid-0407141727.jpgCAKE is a small space with big impact. Chic and modern with exposed brick walls and quaint little tables, the atmosphere is inviting and cozy. The artwork hanging in the bakery is all for sale and painted by a local artist. Even the fresh flowers on each table are provided by a neighboring florist. Food is served on dinnerware with metal utensils. These small touches really enhance each visit. You get a happy and pleasant energy the moment you enter, and those kinds of details keep me coming back.

My Ethiopian coffee along with a Peanut Butter & Jelly cupcake.
My Ethiopian coffee along with a Peanut Butter & Jelly cupcake.

With a name like CAKE, what’s not to love?



New to Some Kinda Good?
Thanks for stopping by! If you like this post, you may also be interested to read about a few of the other local restaurants and bakeries I’ve reviewed. As the Statesboro Herald food columnist and a Georgia Southern University alumna, the ‘Boro is a second home to me. Be sure to like Some Kinda Good on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter, to keep up with all my latest, local food discoveries.

CAKE Bakery & Cool Beanz Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon

Roasted Root Vegetables Reinvented

wpid-0416141949a.jpgIt may be springtime, but let’s face it: the weather can be crazy and unpredictable. For those not-so-springlike nights this season, I’ve got a recipe for Roasted Root Vegetable Soup with Homemade Thyme Croutons that’ll give you an excuse to transform leftovers and get the most out of your farmers’ market finds.

wpid-0415141945.jpgThis recipe is a classic example of technique. Once you master it, you can substitute whatever ingredients you choose. Roma tomatoes and onions would be absolutely fantastic with a grilled cheese sandwich. I made Roasted Root Vegetable Soup using leftover carrots and turnips that I’d made for Easter dinner with my Roasted Leg of Lamb and Mint Chutney. I seasoned the vegetables with salt and pepper, then tossed them in a good quality olive oil and roasted them at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. I love reinventing leftovers. It’s ultimately fun to create something totally new with the same ingredients from another dish.

wpid-0416141858.jpgIn a food processor or a blender, puree the vegetables until fluid, adding a little chicken broth or water to help the vegetables liquefy. You can also use an immersion blender, but that’s a fancy tool I’ve yet to acquire. If you’d like your soup to have a little texture, don’t puree them totally. Just pulse your blender a few times, leaving some of the vegetables chunky. I enjoy bites of carrot here and there, rather than pure creaminess, but it’s personal preference.

wpid-0416141944.jpgTransfer the pureed vegetables to a stock pot. Then add 3 – 4 cups of chicken broth. Season to taste with salt, pepper and dried oregano. Let simmer over medium-low heat for at least 30 minutes.

wpid-0416141944a.jpgI just so happened to have a french baguette on my counter top that was more than a few days old. What better way to give stale bread new life than to chop it into cubes and make crunchy croutons? I did just that. With the Holy Trinity of kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and olive oil, I added dried thyme, and roasted them in the oven, also at 425 degrees, for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and fragrant.

wpid-0416141949b.jpgIf you look closely, you can see chunks of carrot adding texture to the soup. With a pop of green color from my carrot tops for garnish and the addition of my Homemade Thyme Croutons, soup never tasted better on a cool, springtime night.

Here’s a quick look at what you’ll need:

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup featuring Carrots and Turnips

  • 1 Bunch Carrots, peeled 
  • 3 Large Turnips, chopped 
  • 3-4 cups Chicken Broth
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Dried Oregano
  • Parsley or Green Carrot Tops for Garnish

Homemade Thyme Croutons

  • Day old bread or Stale Bread, such as a French or Italian baguette
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Dried Thyme
  • 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil or enough to coat bread well

 

 

 

 

 

An Easter Feast of Roasted Leg of Lamb and Mint Chutney

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An Easter Feast featuring Roasted Leg of Lamb with Mint Chutney, Roasted Root Vegetables, Rosemary Mashed Potatoes and Blanched Snap Peas.

At my house, it wouldn’t be a dinner party without the smoke alarm sounding at least once or my Shih Tzu, Ewok howling to the top of his lungs and doing the happy dance each time a new guest arrives at the door. That was the scene on a rainy Tuesday night recently when I invited my boyfriend and two close friends over for an early Easter feast. It was an occasion special enough for fine china and the antique, linen seashell napkins my mother gave me. On the menu?

  • Roasted Leg of Lamb with Mint Chutney
  • Locally Roasted Root Vegetables: Turnips and Carrots
  • Rosemary Mashed Potatoes
  • Blanched Snap Peas
  • Open-Faced Apple Pie
  • Malbec Red Wine

I had visited the Statesboro Main Street Farmers’ Market earlier that day for some help with side dishes, and came across these beauties from Poor Robin’s Produce grown in Screven County. Though they took more work to prepare, roasted with a good quality olive oil and some freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt, the vegetables were tender to the taste and colorful on the platter. These vegetables keep giving and giving…with the leftover roasted vegetables from dinner, the next day I made the most hearty and comforting Roasted Turnip and Carrot Soup with homemade croutons. I’ve begun to think like a real chef, using up every ounce of the produce possible. I even garnished my soup with the green carrot tops. Turnip greens are up next.

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Roasted Leg of Lamb with Mint Chutney surrounded by Locally Roasted Carrots and Turnips

For the Leg of Lamb:

  • One 4 -Pound Leg of Lamb
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves, slivered
  • Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, such as Bella D ‘Olivia
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper

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Directions:
Leave the fat on the lamb. Don’t trim it. It adds flavor and keeps the meat moist throughout roasting. Pre-heat the over to 450 degrees. With a sharp knife, make small slits throughout the meat. Insert the slivered garlic cloves into the slits. Season the lamb with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle the meat with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then massage the seasonings and oil all over the meat. Place the meat in roasting pan, fitted with a rack. If you don’t have one, a 9 x 13 casserole dish will work just as well. Fill the roasting pan with an inch of water.  Roast the meat at 450 degrees for the first 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and check to see if the water has evaporated, if so, add more. Reduce the heat to 400 degrees. Cook the meat for 20 minutes per pound for medium well, or 15 minutes per pound for medium rare.

Reason #429 to visit your local farmers’ market: TO GET RECIPES!! When I purchased a large Zip-Lock bag of fresh mint, this little jewel was attached to it with a paper clip.

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The mint chutney (pictured at right in the jar) was bright and refreshing with the bold flavor of lamb.

For the Mint Chutney:

  • 2 1/2 Cups Chopped Fresh Mint Leaves
  • 1/3 Cup Minced Onion
  • 1/4 Cup Distilled White Vinegar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/3 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Directions:
In a medium bowl, mix the mint, onion, sugar, vinegar, cayenne pepper and salt. Cover the mixture and refrigerate 2 hours, or until chilled.

wpid-0415142003.jpgI took  great pleasure in carving the meat at the table to the sound of my guests’ ooos and ahhhs.

These side dishes and our dessert rounded out the meal perfectly.

wpid-0415142012.jpgLeg of Lamb is definitely a cause for fine china.

wpid-0415142108a.jpgEmpty plates all around = full bellies and full hearts.

wpid-0417142228.jpgThe sign that hangs above two french doors in my kitchen sums up the evening perfectly.

Have you eaten lamb before? If so, how did you prepare it and what did you think?