Announcing the St. Patrick’s Day Episode of “Statesboro Cooks” Starring Country Music Artist Justin Dukes

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My boyfriend Kurt (right) and I at the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2013.

March is finally here and that’s something to get excited about for SO many reasons–1) I’ve got a new episode of “Statesboro Cooks” premiering this Friday, 2) Daylight Savings Time and 3) St. Patrick’s Day!

Here in Statesboro, I’m just a few miles down the road from Savannah, Georgia where one of the largest parties celebrating Irish history and culture, second only to New York City, takes place in the United States every year. Last year was my first experience at the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and what a blast it was! My Savannah-born-and-raised boyfriend and I donned our green, packed a festive picnic including Paula Deen’s Green Grits Pie and Trisha Yearwood’s Green Punch (spiked of course) and spent the day on Johnson Square playing beer pong with complete strangers at 10 a.m., watching the horse and buggies pass us by and enjoying the sound of bagpipes. It was an unforgettable event I believe everyone should experience at least once.

On my upcoming episode of “Statesboro Cooks,” a local 30-minute televised cooking program produced by students in the Department of Communication Arts at Georgia Southern University, I share an Irish menu featuring Shepherd’s Pie and a Mixed Green Salad with seasonal strawberries and candied Georgia pecans. To round out the meal, I get a little help from some local businesses: Simply Sweet Cakery provides dessert (you won’t believe these cupcakes!) and Sugar Magnolia Bakery and Cafe sends me home with a loaf of fresh-baked Irish Soda Bread.

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Extra Stout Guinness Beer

With a couple of extra stout Guinness beers and an Irish Coffee or 12, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in true Savannah style. Also on the show, I couldn’t be more excited to introduce one of my dear and talented friends from Vidalia Georgia’s Tiger Creek Band, lead vocalist and guitarist Justin Dukes. Justin entertains us with one of his new singles, “Rolling with the Flow,” and the two of us join voices singing Luke Bryan’s, “Tailgate Blues.” This is my favorite episode to date and I’m on the edge of my seat just thinking about it. Good food and good company, that’s what it’s all about!

Justin Dukes (right) and I met in the line during American Idol auditions during the summer of 2011 in Charleston, SC.
Justin Dukes (right) and I met in the line at American Idol auditions during the summer of 2011 in Charleston, S.C.

Tune in to “Statesboro Cooks”on local cable channel 99 at 7:30 p.m. seven days a week beginning Friday, March 7. The show will also air again at 1 p.m and 1 a.m. daily. Be sure to check back right here on “Some Kinda Good” to get my St. Patrick’s Day menu, including all the recipes featured. If you’re not local, no worries! The program will be available on my blog.

Now, here’s an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look on set during the filming of “Statesboro Cooks.” Will you be watching? Thanks for tuning in!

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New to Some Kinda Good? Welcome!
 A Season 2 Contestant on ABC’s “The Taste,” I’m the Statesboro Herald food columnist as well as host and executive co-producer of “Statesboro Cooks.” Some Kinda Good is a Southern, coastal food blog highlighting East coast restaurant reviews and Lowcountry-inspired recipes. I hope you’ll stick around, and follow me on Twitter at @SKGFoodBlog or find me on Facebook. Thanks for visiting!

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Join the Grass-Fed Beef Conversation with Hunter Cattle Company

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Hunter Cattle Company
Brooklet, Georgia

In my everyday life, I’m connected–connected to my friends on social media, my emails and text messages. Like a large percentage of the human population, I too have a smartphone that I couldn’t do without. Over the weekend however, I experienced a different kind of connection, one I don’t experience often enough–to land and food–at Hunter Cattle Company in Brooklet, Georgia.

The cast iron skillet is a work horse in my kitchen.
The cast iron skillet is a work horse in my kitchen.

Despite the rain, I put my boots on and ventured about 14 miles Southeast of town to taste my first grass-fed hamburger and meet the good folks behind this family owned and operated farm I’d heard so much about. On my ride down the two-lane country roads to get there, I passed cotton fields and pecan orchards and a deer that never had a chance. I came upon the 350-acre property and turned onto the dirt road that led me to MooMa’s Farm Store. Immediately, I spotted a few cats–one golden, fat kitty asleep under a bush and another gray kitty purring happily curled up in a ball on the porch. Having grown up in rural Georgia myself, I felt at home as I entered the screeching screen door to the store. Cast iron pans served as wall art on the outside of the red barn-like exterior.

A few family members of Hunter Cattle Company in front of MooMa's Farm Store. From left: Kristan, the oldest daughter; Del, "Pa"; Debra, "MooMa"; and Anthony, the oldest son.
A few family members of Hunter Cattle Company in front of MooMa’s Farm Store. From left: Kristan, the oldest daughter; Del, “Pa”; Debra, “MooMa”; and Anthony, the oldest son.

Over nine years ago, Del and Debra Ferguson along with their oldest son and daughter (pictured left), found the land and decided to relocate there to raise their families and grow their own food. Today, the family’s “accidental business” provides grass-fed beef to restaurants all over Southeast Georgia, many right here in Statesboro like Chops on Main and South & Vine Public House and at Savannah’s popular Green Truck Pub and Moon River Brewery.

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The natural color of these eggs are beautiful! It takes 24 hours to lay an egg, and one chicken produces one egg per day.

Local businesses like Sugar Magnolia Bakery also sell Hunter Cattle Company’s free-range eggs. They participate in the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers’ Market (which kicks off April 6 this spring!) and the Forsyth Farmers’ Market in Savannah. Most recently, Hunter Cattle Company earned the University of Georgia sponsored 2013 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest in the meat category for their pork sausage. They’ve been featured in Southern Living magazine, The South magazine and Savannah magazine among countless other news outlets, solely by word of mouth.

Now, about that hamburger. I could try and describe the flavor to you, but I like the way my butcher friend, Chad of Carne Bellingham, described the difference between grass-fed cattle vs. “factory” farm meat best: “It’s like Chips Ahoy versus mom’s homemade cookies.”


Hunter Cattle Company’s passion for education is evident. Their animals receive no added growth hormones, steroids, or antibiotics and are not subject to feedlots or cages. Committed to the humane treatment of all the animals, the pigs and chickens are free to roam and graze and are raised on Georgia grass. After spending just a few hours at the farm, I was enlightened to learn:

    • Factory farms use 80% of the United States’ antibiotic supply for livestock
    • If cows, chickens and pigs are given the ability to roam freely and eat what they were created to eat, they are healthier, and as a result so are we!
    • Livestock living conditions and diet are key factors when considering healthy benefits of American meat

I will certainly never look at a package of ground beef at the grocery store the same again!

If you’ve never had the opportunity to see a newborn baby pig, it’s a must. The pigs were my favorite part of the day.


They even have peacocks and turkeys!

If Southern hospitality describes anyone, it would be the Ferguson family. They fed me, showed me around and even sent me home with a Hunter Cattle Company T-shirt. By the end of my time there, I was hugging their necks and feeling like one of the family. Whether you’re local or not from around these parts, make time to visit Hunter Cattle Company. From birthday parties to overnight accommodations, they have it all. Most importantly though, you’ll be reminded what it’s like to hear the chickens peck, smell the cow manure and watch little boys drink from a garden hose.

Woke Up This Mornin’, Had Them Statesboro Hunger Pains

L & D Farm Fresh Produce
L & D Farm Fresh Produce

I’ve taken I-16 to I-95 a many a time to blog about East coast restaurants with Southern charm and popular seafood dishes, but here lately I’ve realized that my local market could use some play. I’m a proud resident of the beautiful farm town of Bulloch County, an alumna of the one and only Georgia Southern University and an avid get-out-of-bed-on-Saturday-mornings fan of the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers Market. As a college student circa 2001, the Boro’s dining scene consisted of about three chain restaurants, Snooky’s and fast food. I moved away for a little while and came back–to a dining scene I didn’t recognize, and one that keeps changing and growing today.

I’ve decided to expand Some Kinda Good to include the food world I dine in almost daily.

My friend Tori and I at Gnat's Landing (1 of  only 3 locations in the state)
My friend Tori and I at Gnat’s Landing (1 of only 3 locations in the state)

You won’t find chain restaurants or fast food establishments covered here. I aim to bring attention to those quintessential mom & pop joints and locally owned restaurants and bakeries that represent small town America. I may even let you in on a few best kept secrets, like where to buy seafood caught fresh off the Georgia coast or where you can get blackberry jam jarred in the Tennessee mountains and peanut brittle sold in a Zip-Lock bag right here at home.

I have a genuine passion for Southern culture and good food, and Statesboro delivers on all accounts. It’s not uncommon to see cowboy boots on a Sunday morning at church or a John Deer tractor barreling down a two lane back road. Cotton and sunflower fields surround the city limits and having traveled the world, I don’t take those things for granted.

This town really comes alive in the fall. Go Eagles!
This town really comes alive in the fall. Go Eagles!

This is the college town that inspired Blind Willie McTell’s Statesboro Blues, home of the six-time national football champions, the Georgia Southern Eagles.

So, come take a little ride with me. Let’s discover the margarita cupcake together at Sweet Cheeks Bakery downtown and the fresh mozzarella panini at my absolute favorite place to blog and brunch: Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe.

Brunch at Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe - French Toast with Blueberry Syrup
Brunch at Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe – French Toast with Blueberry Syrup.

Let’s shop at the 40-year-old Ellis’ Meat Market for some stuffed jumbo shrimp and low country boil fixin’s. Then, we’ll crank up the radio and take Highway 67 to Strickland Farms for some boiled peanuts and vine-ripened tomatoes. We may even stop for a little antiquing.

Ellis Farm Fresh Meats
Ellis Farm Fresh Meats

I’m tapping into my local food market and I can’t wait to share my classic Georgia home with you. Let’s go!