Tag Archives: southern food

Orlando Food Truck Bazaar

12 Oct

We got our first taste of Central Florida’s growing mobile food scene a few weeks ago at the Daily City’s Orlando Food Truck Bazaar. It turned out to be a great meal, and a great time, so we’ll definitely be back in the future.

We’ve been hearing the buzz about the food truck community for a while but hadn’t had a chance to track down most of the popular trucks for ourselves. That’s where the Bazaar comes in. It’s a convenient way to sample several trucks at once to get to know what’s out there and to choose your favorites. We ate at about half a dozen trucks at the event and still barely scratched the surface of what was there.

Below are photos and reviews of the foods we tried. Come along with us for a stroll through the bazaar.

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Travel Review: Gulf Shores, Ala. (Part 2 of 3 – The Eats)

15 Jul

The Tin Top Restaurant and Oyster Bar - Bon Secour, Ala.

In this second installment of my vacation review, I’d like to talk about one of my favorite subjects–food!

Since we were staying in a house with a full kitchen, home-cooking was a big highlight of our stay. We had a hot breakfast every morning with grits or biscuits, eggs, bacon or sausage and more. Heaven! We ate well at dinner too, enjoying everything from homemade gumbo and fried shrimp to fresh-grilled steaks and corn on the cob, to homemade spaghetti sauce.

Despite the amazing food at home, we did venture out for a couple of meals. Here are our reviews of the places we tried.

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Black-Eyed Pea and Collard Greens Soup

22 Apr

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Just in time to help you use up those Easter leftovers, we have a recipe for a really fun, fresh ham-based soup.

This recipe comes from a guest contributor–my very own mom. It is a variation on a traditional navy bean soup that she’s made with our holiday hams as long as I can remember. She added the black-eyed peas and collards for New Year’s Day this year, as a clever way to incorporate the luck-bringing legumes into our meal.

It was so delicious that we ate it up before I got to take a picture of it–bad blogger, bad blogger!–but you’ll have to trust me that it makes a pretty bowl with the bright, fresh greens and carrots and the black-eyed peas.

So don’t throw away that ham bone this year. Instead, try stretching it into a fun fresh soup.

Have another idea for using up your holiday leftovers? Be sure to share it in the comments. Happy Easter, y’all!

Black-Eyed Pea and Collard Greens Soup


  • Ham bone
  • 6 to 8 cups water
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 6 carrots, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 bag fresh collard greens (cleaned, chopped and blanched)
  • 2 cans navy beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 cans great northern beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 cans black-eyed peas (drained and rinsed)
  • Lawry’s seasoned pepper (to taste)
  • Mrs. Dash (to taste)
  • Parsley, dry or fresh (to taste)

Note: There is no need to add salt, as the ham has enough already.

These ingredients make a large batch of soup. For less, simply reduce the ingredients and water.


  1. Trim good ham from the bone and store in the refrigerator.
  2. Put ham bone in a deep pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for a few hours, turning the bone occasionally.
  3. While bone is simmering, cook potatoes, carrots, celery and onions in separate pot until just fork tender. Then drain to stop cooking. You can add cold water if needed.
  4. Take chopped collards (no stems) and blanch in a pot of hot water until tender, but not soggy. Drain and place in cold water to stop cooking.
  5. When ham bone is done, remove to a clean bowl and let it cool. Strain ham broth to remove any chunks that may have come off of the bone.
  6. Trim cooled meat off bone and discard bone.
  7. Put all ingredients (drained) into broth and warm to serving temperature. If you are planning to store some of the soup, remove and put in the fridge before heating soup to serve.

Passing You the Black-Eyed Peas for a Happy New Year

1 Jan

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

When it comes to celebrating the arrival of a new year, New Year’s Eve tends to get all the glory. However, in recent years, I’ve found that New Year’s Day has actually become one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. In contrast to the expensive, crowded, over-indulgent celebrations of New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day is an opportunity for a quieter, more personal form of celebration, a time to gather with family and reflect on the close of the holiday season, as well as the new year ahead. And, then, of course, there’s all the good food…that just might have something to do with why I like New Year’s Day.

In the southern United States, there’s a tradition that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day will bring prosperity in the coming year. The origins of the custom are somewhat unclear. Some trace the practice to ancient celebrations of Rosh Hashana, and others trace the custom to the Civil War, following Sherman’s invasion. Regardless of why we do it, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is the foundation of one of my favorite holiday meals.

Where there are black-eyed peas, you must also have collard greens. Corn bread is a natural accompaniment, as well. Some southern families enjoy ham or pork with their New Year’s dinner, but in our house, we’re all about seafood. Our usual meal is fried catfish or tilapia, but this year, we’re tinkering with tradition a little and having shrimp and cheese grits. Either way, the meal shapes up to be a sampler of traditional southern comfort food perfect for the family to gather around,

While the internet may be bigger than my dining room table, in my heart, I wish you all a heaping helping of black-eyed peas and, with it, joy and prosperity in the new year. 2010 was an exciting year for our little family, and it’s been a joy to share it with you. I look forward to even more fun and more blogging in the year to come, and I hope you’ll stick around for what’s to come.

Happy New Year, y’all!