Fresh salsa

I know. A salsa recipe! From ME! It’s shocking. I’ll give you a minute while you collect yourself.

This one comes courtesy of my BFF’s boyfriend, and it is so good. Very different from my usual roasted salsa roja, and perfect for right now when the tomatoes are in season and easy to find. Around here we can still find a farmer with a card table of tomatoes and a cigar box for cash sitting out at the end of the driveway. Best tomatoes in the world!

Anyway, the salsa is also easily customizable, so you can make it anywhere from diced tomatoes to melt-your-face-off hot (which, you’ve probably figured out by now, is my preferred level of heat).

Fresh salsa:

  • 6 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 medium-large white onion
  • 3 serrano peppers
  • 1 bunch cilantro*
  • salt, and black pepper to taste
  • 3 large limes

To assemble:

  1. Dice tomatoes, onion, and peppers and stir together in a bowl
  2. Chop the cilantro and add in
  3. Add salt and pepper, then squeeze in the juice from the limes
  4. Stir, and enjoy! The longer it sits, the hotter it gets — just something to keep in mind

*A note on cilantro: for the last three years or so I kind of hate it (pregnancy was weird), so the first time I made this myself I just left it out. And I MISSED it. It really makes that much of a difference, so my advice is to try just a little bit in it even if you think you hate it.

Random: this reminds me so much of the now-defunct Salsa Y’all. Does anyone else remember that?

Roasted green beans

Um, hello? *ahem*

Hi, I’m writing a blog post. It’s been forever and I may not really remember how, so bear with me.

I’ve not been blogging. I have been gardening, toting two kids back and forth to two different schools, going to the beach, learning ASL with Peanut (thanks, Signing Time!), and visiting with family.

And, you know, drinking lots of coffee. Normal.

But now! Let’s talk about green beans. It’s one of the few things I can grow in my back yard that doesn’t fall prey to the squirrels, birds, and bunnies. My tomato plants require a moment of silence and deep breaths before I can even look at them.

The beans, however, are everywhere. I pick them every few days, and get about what’s in that picture up there. There are… a lot. And I am thrilled with this.

So here is my new favorite method:

Spicy roasted green beans


  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, washed and checked for strings
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil or melted bacon fat
  • 1 jalapeño pepper or a few shakes of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F
  2. Toss beans and oil or bacon fat in a bowl till beans are coated, then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and toss again
  3. Finely dice the pepper and stir it in, or stir in pepper flakes (or both — you could live on the edge)
  4. Scoop onto a cookie sheet or into a cast iron pan, and roast till they’re starting to brown a little; this will probably take at least half an hour or so, but check at 20 minutes and give them a good stir


  • Eat them hot, as is, for a side dish or snack
  • Dip in a little spicy ranch
  • Eat them hot, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar and feta cheese
  • Chill them well, then toss in with a green salad

Would really love to hear what y’all like to do with yours! If the crop keeps going I’ll need more suggestions. 🙂

The farm that converted me to a CSA

Right now you’re thinking either, “Ooh! CSA!” or “CS…what?”

It’s Community Supported Agriculture. And I love it. What it means is that The Yankee and I essentially bought into a local farm, and in exchange we get a box of food every week. I wanted to do a CSA for years but I couldn’t hide from the truth of our eating habits: we’re too picky. Kale? Kohlrabi? What? I have lovely friends in Nashville who get all these lovely veggies every week and love it and say that opening the box every week is practically Christmas. They come up with beautiful menus and use every bit of their boxes (I’m especially looking at you, Erin and Kira).

And then I found Avalon Acres. And they had me at hello. Well, not so much “hello” but at “meat and eggs package.” Now you’re speaking my language!

Now all the eggs in my house are from local, free-range egg laying hens.  The chicken we eat was raised in a pasture without antibiotics, chemicals or preservatives. The heirloom pork is free range and amazingly tasty. Our beef is Piedmontese, which has the highest amount of good fats, and much lower bad fats and calories. It’s so tasty and so lean! When I brown up a pound of ground beef I almost never have any grease to drain off at all, but the flavor is incredible. And, like the rest of the meat, there are no hormones, artificial chemicals or preservatives. Check out this page for lots of great information.

So why am I telling you all this? Because I love this program. And because it’s not too late for you to join the spring and summer program! After that there’s even a fall and winter program with lots of yummy winter goods including homemade bread that is out of this world. If you’re not eating from here you’re missing out. Click here and check things out — pick a package, build your own package, pick and choose what sounds good. And let me know what you choose! I love hearing how creative people get with their shares from the farm.

Caesar dressing

We had one glorious almost-70-degree day here in Nashville and it made me SO READY for spring rightnowthisinstant. This, of course, made me want a good salad! I found this dressing recipe in Rick & Lanie’s Excellent Kitchen Adventures, which I love. The recipe is insanely quick, easy and good, which I also love.

Caesar dressing


  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp. water


  1. Crush peeled garlic (putting it in the microwave for about 5 seconds first will make this easier) into a 2-cup glass jar with a lid
  2. Add all remaining ingredients into the jar, cover tightly and shake
  3. Store in jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks

Enjoy, y’all. Spring is coming!

Pimento macaroni and cheese

I love the simplicity of this one-pot macaroni and cheese; however, after 20 hours in the car with Kiddo (who, by the way, was a car-traveling champ) in the last four days I wasn’t really feeling the urge to watch the pot as closely as I would need to in order to avoid a boiled-over-milk scene on the stove.

I also had some pimentos that had ripened in the garden while Kiddo and I were gone.

So I crossed my fingers and totally made up tried this — and it worked!

Pimento macaroni and cheese


  • 3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard (optional)
  • 1.5 cups dry pasta
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 3 fresh pimentos, peeled (like this, only tiny), seeded and minced


  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. In a heavy, oven-safe sauce pot melt butter till foam subsides, then add flour and whisk until fully combined; add milk while whisking and turn off stovetop heat
  3. Stir in salt, mustard, dry pasta, cheese, and pimentos; cover pot and place in oven
  4. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through; top with additional cheese and uncover for the last few minutes if you so desire

That’s it!