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”
Some Kinda Good is two. Happy Blog-iversay to me! The year 2013 has been filled with amazing opportunities, complete with my local TV debut on Statesboro Cooks, lots of feature writing, live cooking demonstrations, volunteering and more. What a year!
To celebrate Some Kinda Good’s second birthday, my friends at Braswell Food Company have graciously donated a Gourmet Holiday Gift Set to one of YOU, my lucky readers! How awesome is that? Before we get to that, I’d like to take a look back at a few of my favorite moments from 2013, highlighting some pretty major accomplishments:
Some Kinda Good has held the #2 ranked spot on Urbanspoon’s Leaderboard of Top Georgia Food Blogs since April 2013.
I became a guest blogger for Visit Savannah, and my local work is also featured on the Visit Statesboro website.
I got to write the November Cover Story for Moments Magazine, featuring Hunter Cattle Company’s Kristan Fretwell.
Newspaper Food Columnist
I became a food columnist for the Statesboro Herald in May 2013.
Live Cooking Demonstrations
In August, I appeared as the Celebrity Chef at my local farmers’ market, where I performed a live cooking demonstration serving up Summer Bruschetta.
Perhaps the most exciting adventure this year has been auditioning for The Taste on ABC in L.A., Calif. Premiering on Jan. 2, 2014 at 8 p.m., the cooking competition reality show is sure to be entertaining. I hope you’ll tune in to see how my Hollywood experience plays out!
Since its inception in Nov. 2011, Some Kinda Good has reached nearly 37,000 hits. Though it’s a lot of hard work, blogging has proved to be a wonderful, creative outlet and platform for me. My success wouldn’t be possible without you, and my dishes wouldn’t be as delicious without Georgia Farmers! I sincerely thank you, my blog followers, for reading and sharing my little piece of the World Wide Web with your friends and family. Thanks for your encouraging comments, and all your “likes” and re-tweets. Not a single one has gone unnoticed. To my farmer friends, chefs and restaurant owners, thank you for making Southeast Georgia the finest place to exist.
I especially thank Julia Child who said, “Find something your passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” As it turns out, that philosophy has served me well.
I couldn’t think of a better way to show my appreciation for your support than to share with you food products from one of Statesboro’s own gourmet businesses. Braswell’s has been making specialty preserves, condiments and sauces for almost 70 years. Valued at $35, the set includes an assortment of Braswell’s most popular fruit butters and hors d’oeuvre jellies, perfect for entertaining this time of year! For your chance to win, choose from the options below. You do not have to be local to participate, but must reside in the United States.
1) Comment on this blog post with your favorite and most memorable Some Kinda Good post, explaining why you chose it. If you’re new to Some Kinda Good, tell me how you came across my blog.
2) Follow me on Twitter @SKGfoodBlog and tweet “Win a Braswell’s Gourmet Gift Set from @SKGFoodBlog! wp.me/s20PUE-4197 .”
3) Like and share Some Kinda Good on Facebook (or just tell me you already do if that’s the case)!
Contest ends on Friday, Nov. 29 at 11 a.m. EST. I’ll email the winner and announce the recipient on the Some Kinda Good Facebook page. The gift set will be mailed directly to your home.
Disclosure: I received one Braswell’s Gourmet Holiday Gift Set valued at $35 to celebrate Some Kinda Good’s 2nd Birthday.
Update: 11/26/13: In addition to the Braswell’s Gourmet Gift set, the winner will also receive one fresh baked loaf of bread from Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe!
Local restaurants are the jewels of small towns. You may have your go-to dish at a well-known chain, but exploring indigenous places to eat–that’s where the magic happens. The truth is, I love Red Lobster’s Seaside Shrimp Trio and the Crispy Chicken Tacos at Chili’s. I can’t go to Cracker Barrel without ordering hash brown casserole as my side dish. However, no matter where I travel, these great restaurants will only offer more of the same. To understand the real picture of a city’s culture, people and food, you’ve got to venture outside the chain-restaurant-comfort-zone. It’s there, at places like downtown Statesboro’s 40 East Grill, you’ll find homegrown flavors, and in this case, experience the true vibe of small town America with a modern twist.
Offering lunch and dinner, 40 East Grill opened in August 2012. With a locally focused menu that changes every few months, they pride themselves on cooking with a fusion of native products featuring B&G Honey Farm, cheese from Flat Creek Lodge and beef produced by Southeast Georgia farmers. Chicken and seafood are other great options. My go-to lunch combo is She Crab Soup paired with the Three-Cheese Panini, pictured below. I often add a side of crispy sweet potato fries to round out the meal. My co-workers and I have made 40 East Grill a regular lunch stop. It makes for a fantastic date night too.
The menu, presented on a clip board with a clothes pin, even includes fun drink choices outside the norm, like an Arnold Palmer (half tea/half lemonade) or blended coffee. Most recently, they’ve added a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich to the menu! That’s not something you see every day and that’s exactly what’s to love about 40 East Grill…it’s creative, classy and unpredictable. The restaurant’s best sellers include the Southern River Farms Ribeye , Chicken Pot Pie and the Maryland Style Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes topped with a lemon beurre blanc.
40 East Grill has a quaint, urban feel that’s trendy and warm with exposed brick throughout, a welcoming chalk board at the entrance that lists daily specials, original hardwood floors, earthy paint colors and modern lamp lighting. Outdoor seating is available with a great view of downtown Statesboro, onlooking the Emma Kelly Theater and Averitt Center for the Arts. Live music happens often too, varying from country, rock and bluegrass. Even the talent is local! Additionally, the ladies restroom is among the cutest I’ve seen complete with a luxurious crystal chandelier and vessel sink.
Happy hour is every evening from 5 – 7 p.m. Stop in for a signature cocktail at the 18 foot copper top bar, like the 40’s Perfect Margarita or Cucumber Melon Martini. During Happy Hour, wells and house wines range from $2 – $3. Not quite ready to go home? Stay for chicken parmesan or a 12-ounce bone-in, pan seared pork chop and watch a game on the flat screen TVs.
Aside from delicious food, the thing that sets 40 East Grill apart is the service. Time and again, I’ve been impressed by the servers’ attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile. They’re consistently well dressed, friendly and accommodating. The restaurant is open Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 – 9 p.m., also on Saturdays from 5 – 9:30 p.m.
When quality like this exists in your own neighborhood, it’ll make you think twice before venturing out-of-town.