Jam, is it sitting in your fridge doing nothing? Is it only making an appearance at breakfast or on a noontime pbj? Well ladies and gentlemen let me introduce jam for dinner.  Triple Berry Jam is the primary ingredient in this sauce it is from Buck Naked Farm at $8 a jar sold in the NCF Store.



At the NCF store the chicken is provided through Brittany Ridge Farms The Split Chicken Breast run $10 lb.  They typically come 2 to a pack.  With the kids we usually split a breast between them. the skin however is always fought over.




A few years ago one of those boxed dinner companies came out with seasoning packets. You were just supposed to throw it in your meat and pasta or rice and poof dinner is served.  Upon looking at the ingredient list I was mortified. And then I looked at the nutrition. Whew! Who knew so much sodium could be packed into a couple of tablespoons.


A few months back the NCF Store started carrying flavored Goat Cheeses from Celebrity Goat Dairy. Since then I have been playing around with them and having a blast. The little tubs sell for $5 each and are loaded full of flavor.  The flavors are Chocolate(hello adult s’mores anyone), mango, chipotle, garbo (herb), dillamon (dill with lemon pepper), chevre (plain), jalapeno, and curry.  Commonly I add goat cheese to dishes, it packs a punch of flavor  while low in fat.


The next few meals I present are easy dinner on the run. Currently these 4 weeks are packed to the gills with activity. And if I ever schedule this much at once again… well lets just hope I don’t. The amount of time I have doesn’t allow for dinner out and fast food is being phased out of our house unless we are traveling.

Here we go, the NCF Chicken Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast is $11 lb, Garbo Goat Cheese $5, Peas-$1.69 (broccolli or carrots can be substituted), and Pasta $1.89 16 oz box.  Tell me can you feed a family of 4 at a fast food place for under $20? I can’t and keep everyone happy but I can with this and it’s done in 15 minutes.


Snow Cream

It amazes me the people who don’t know about snow cream, even people from up North. I guess it’s like living at the beach. When you live there you never go.

Living in the South all my life, snow cream is the ultimate treat. Being fortunate enough to have grown up with parents who lived through the depression, and grew up in the country, and who doted on the last child (Me!) I was able to experience snow cream. But only every so often. We rarely get enough snow to make snow cream. An inch or two isn’t enough. We need a real snow, 3-6 inches. That means there is enough clean snow to scoop some up without getting grass, leaves, twigs, etc. in the final product. I recall twice, maybe three times in my life growing up where we had that much snow.

Now that I have kids of my own, I’ve made snow cream for them. Once. But when those rare snowy occasions come, I’m always ready for more.


Ruth Reichl is one of my cooking icons.  When Epicurious ended I was gutted. Was her career over, would she continue to write? She is incredibly inspirational to my own cooking style. The recipe I made tonight was inspired by her. She would collect ingredients in the street markets on her way home and make a dish.  I went walking through our little market at NCF and came up with dinner.


London Broil is Flank Steak’s big brother. Have a large crowd to please? Get a London Broil. Tonight’s dinner is an indulgence, the London Broil is $10 lb and then the grits have Skyr Tykke  $5 (goat sour cream) & Garbo goat cheese $5. Our goat cheese products come from Celebrity Goat Dairy. With the veggies and stone grits this meal runs around $45.  This was our big family dinner of the week. This meal can be broken up or served with other items. The grits are a heavenly meal all on their own. Luckily we have lots of grits left over and I’m eyeing them for breakfast. There are 3 separate recipes in this one blog post. Please be patient with me.


Not so Traditional Fried Chicken

This past weekend was a whirlwind of fun. My oldest sister came to town.  I asked what she would like for me to make and instantly she said fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy and collard greens. I love that my siblings always know just what they want to eat at my house and let me know they expect it. Now if I could just get those in my house to tell me what they want for dinner daily. Every wife and mother’s dream, right?

Fried chicken is an American classic. While each portion of the US has it’s own style the South has uplifted it and taken it to another level.  Every family has it’s own recipe as well.  I have one myself that only 1 person  has a copy of to give to my daughter upon my death. This person is not my husband but then again he has watched me make it enough he could probably make it and it would be better than mine. While this is definitely a great fried chicken & has some of my secret recipes ingredients, it is not my super secret recipe.

The NCF store has whole cutup chickens for $6.50 lb. Let the work be done for you. We also sell Kefir for $6.50, While there are several flavors we’ll be using plain.  This is a happy accident, I ordered buttermilk, when it didn’t come in I needed a back up plan the kefir was there and it spoke to me. It said I have the lactic acid you seek. So I grabbed it and am so happy I did!

It’s time for a side dish recipe. Scrap pieces of meat are valued in the flavor they bring to a meal.

Scrap meat may not be the most appealing term, I’m talking about the bits of bacon left over after the pork belly has been sliced. Despite what the grocery store would have you believe bacon is not a perfect rectangular cut.  Ham hocks and jowl bacon can be used in this dish.  The fat from these cuts is going to add a silkiness to the collards that you cannot achieve otherwise. That means no pouring the fat off. Fat is not the enemy the news has made it out to be.

Flat Iron, a versatile steak

When I attended the NC Choices Women in Meat Conference I learned a few new lessons on steaks. The Flat Iron,  which is my most favorite cut of steak, I learned a few extra lessons on versatility. 

  1. Flat Iron is a forgiving cut, if you overcook it slightly it is more tender.
  2. It soaks up a marinade and flavor better than any other cut.
  3.  The Flat Iron is the 2nd most tender steak to the Filet Mignon
  4. If you want cool points and to confuse your dinner guest call it by its scientific name Infraspinatus.

In South America, Flat Irons are used for  carne asada & tacos in the US many time they are used for steak salads. It is fabulous to pinwheel, stuff or cut for sandwiches, see versatile. Today as I cook it I am using my Anova Sous Vide if you are a serious meat person I highly recommend this model. If often goes on Holiday sales for $99.  I will also discuss the pan frying option. For those of you that love a crock pot a sous vide is a more accurate tool. The presentation is essential today I’ll be slicing it thin.

In the NCF store we carry 2 types of Flat Iron one cut that would be considered Top Blade, that I am using today and a dinner cut the one you would serve as a typical steak. The Top Blade cut I have nicknamed the ugly duckling as it looks bad until it hits the dinner plate. The flat iron does have a small piece of gristle in it which keeps the price much lower than ribeye, strip or filet. Consider this a great bargain at $15.99 lb.

Meatballs for all!

My meatballs are not the typical meatballs that you see on the websites. NCF does not carry veal. And no matter how much I petition Dan for Rose Veal he still says “No”. So I need a good substitute. LAMB to the rescue, now this we do carry. And even those like my sister who hate the taste of Lamb will go “Wow, this is so good”. In this little loves story we will use ground Lamb, Pork, and Beef. If you would like a beefier flavor the NCF store does carry Ground Chuck $11 lb.This recipe is going to make somewhere around 60-65 meatballs. Needless to say even after feeding 5 adults, 2 kids, and a baby.

I still have enough left over for meatballs subs & another pot of marinara. The NCF Store prices are

  • Ground Pork $ 6.50 lb
  • Ground Beef $9 lb
  • Ground Lamb $10lb

This does sound a bit pricey I know but when you consider the amount of meatballs & the freezer dinner pleaser ahead it is worth it. The other ingredients are not as pricey. You should be able to make the meatballs for under $30. At an average of 4 per person per meal a family of 4 should get 3-4 meals. And you can serve these just about any way you want, as subs, with mushroom gravy on rice, with marinara & pasta, or plain.