Archive for the ‘Cooking in the sticks’ Category

This past weekend Erin and I got to spend a few hours together, this is very rare I mean like once every six months it seems nearly impossible for us to both get some time together and when we do, we usually go to lunch. This time we went to a place called Mimi’s Cafe. This restaurant is part of a chain that spans almost the entire southern half of the united states. If you have a Mimi’s and you haven’t been go there you wont regret it. My recipe tonight was inspired from a sandwich I ate this last time I visited.

La Femme

You will need:


Whole grain artisan loaf

lettuce or fresh greens



cheese your choice I added Swiss

classico brand pesto sauce


(it looks like this)

2 Chicken breasts


So first things first you need to cut your breast in half butterfly style so you can thin them out.

Pour about a tablespoon of EVOO  in a pan and toss your breasts in with a little salt and pepper. Fry these at medium high heat.

Meanwhile take about a 1/3 cup of  Mayo and 3 tablespoons of pesto (more or less to taste) and mix in a small dish.  At this point I added the cheese so it could melt once I had turned the chicken.

Slice up your bread loaf and butter both sides of the bread and toast lightly in another pan. Keep a watch on your chicken as you do not want it to be over done.

Once you bread is toasted your meat should be about done turn off the heat and let it rest for a few min while you build your sandwiches.

La Femme Sticks style

La Femme Sticks style

I spread the sandwich spread on both slices of bread then add lettuce and tomatoes I put the chicken on and.. voila it’s a la femme. I served this sandwich tonight with a side of soup however the sandwich is more than filling served alone.


Kimmy (the sticks)




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A couple weekends ago a neighbor in town brought a couple of very large boxes of apples to my house. They had picked what was left on their tree and were giving what they had away. I of course do not ever like to see food go to waste so I decide to give my self a try at apple butter.  Here is what I used….

About 35 small very small apples different varieties

2 cups brown sugar

2 cups granulated sugar

4 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp all spice

1 tsp ground cloves

3 TBL spoon lemon juice

Okay First things first peel and core your apples I had a lot of apples I just peeled and cored them with the help of Mountain Man until it filled up our crock pot.

Peeled Sliced Cored Apples, In a large Crock Pot.

Peeled Sliced Cored Apples, In a large Crock Pot.

Turn the crock pot on low, meanwhile mix all of your dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then cover your apples with the mixture. Put the lid on the crock pot and walk away.

After about 2 hours pull the lid off and take a potato maser to the apple and start to break them up a bit.

apple butter 2At this point your house will smell amazing. Mix it up and walk away again.

After about 8 hours my mixture was really breaking down so I turned the pot on high and let it cook another hour. After that I pulled my mixture out and dumped it in my ninja to whip it up. After it was a smooth consistency I poured it back into the crock pot and let it cook with the lid off for another hour, until it was the thickness I liked.

I put my fresh apple butter in some jars and gave them a quick hot water bath so I could store them in the cupboards. For directions on hot water bath canning click here.

I dove in as soon as I whipped this up, Of course after all that work I really didn’t get that much but it is so worth it. Get yourself to an orchard pick some apples and make this today. I’m serious it will be worth it I promise.

apple butter jarsKimmy (sticks)

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Check out my Candy corn nails I am totally getting into the spirit of fall...

Check out my Candy corn nails I am totally getting into the spirit of fall…

As I sit here at 11 p.m.  sipping pumpkin coffee, watching mountain man sleep on the couch because he passed out after taking Benadryl for his allergies, ( ya he’s that bad ass ) I thought I would take a min to share with everyone what I have been up to today.

Fall is in the air, It has been a chilly couple of days and I am in a mad panic realizing that I am not near prepared enough for the winter as far a food storage goes. Here in the sticks we can a lot of our own produce. I decided to spend my weekend off by going into town and picking up a box of peaches and canning them. While I don’t have my own peach trees, I prefer to buy my peaches from a local Farm Stand. Canned Peaches is something I have always loved to eat not loved to do. Anyone who has canned peaches knows that it is a sticky time-consuming mess.

I canned about a dozen jars of regular old peaches in simple syrup and then I did something amazing, I made a few jars of spicy peaches… I am sure this is not a new or novel idea but I was introduced to the Idea by one of my dear friends . I just had to try it…

Start of by preparing your jars and peaches as you always would when canning peaches. If you have never canned peaches here is are some great instructions from the Ball Blue Book of Canning.

Hot water bath canning

Then all you do is add a spicy pepper or two, Jalapeno or Serrano would work great, of course this would depend on your heat preference but I chose Serrano peppers for mine. Just drop them into your jar before you top with lids and submerge in the water. Just bathe them as the instructions call for. The Ball Website is a great tool for cooking times and altitude adjustments while canning, as well as fantastic recipes. For a link to the Ball website click here.

Now I have to be honest I don’t know what they taste like and I would imagine the longer you let them sit the more spicy they are but I have a very special place in my heart and soul for all things spicy, I know that was a little dramatic but it’s very true.

I can not wait to pop open one of these jars and devour the sweet and spicy goodness that can only come from peaches and peppers.

Spicy Peaches

Spicy Peaches

Good luck, let me know what you think of them.

Kimmy (the sticks)

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It is hot out here in the west and there is nothing I hate more than cooking anything in my Kitchen. While I do have the beloved A/C, it cant keep up with my home when it is so hot outside. So when I am in desperate need of something tasty and I dont want to turn on my stove I resort to salads, lots and lots of salads.

Caprese Salad is one of my favorites this is how it is done….

You will need

Fresh Mozarella about the size of a baseball

2 Medium or one very large very ripe tomato

Fresh Basil

Olive oil

Balsamic Vinegar

salt and pepper


In a small sauce pan on high heat pour a half cup of Balsalmic Vinegar in the pan and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and reduce until a thin syrup about 10-15 min. Let it cool until room temperature

slice your tomatoes and mozzarella

Lay them in a dish or on a plate rotating the tomatoes with the cheese and placing basil leaves sporadically in between the layers.

Salt and pepper your salad, drizzle a small amount EVOO on your tomatoes and cheese. With a large spoon drizzle the reduction sauce on top of your tomatoes and cheese.

Serve immediately and savor every refreshing bite until your quite content and pleased with yourself.


Kimmy ( the sticks )


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It ain’t perdy but it sure is yummy.

I love stuffed bell peppers, but they are a pain in the but. Here is a simpler version.

1lb spicy or mild Italian sausage

2 green bell peppers diced

2 small cans tomato sauce

1 onion diced

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can corn

1 can black beans drained and rinced

1/2 loaf of Velveeta cheese

1 cup mozzarella

garlic salt

cayenne pepper


black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cups prepared white rice

Brown meat in large pan, pull meat from pan and set aside. Add olive oil peppers and onions, cook until tender about 10 min. Put back in meat and all ingredients except rice in pan and heat through. Then stir in the rice, and ad seasonings to taste.

In a well greased casserole dish or 9×13 pan pour half of your mixture and spread evenly then add chunks of Velveeta cheese evenly over top of mixture and add the second layer of your casserole mixture on top. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cover and put in oven for 30 min until hot and bubbly. Let sit for about 10 min and serve.



Kimmy (the sticks)

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I am getting sicker by the day and when I have a wicked cold and nothing makes me feel better than a hot toddy when I am sick like this I am not sure that any part of it really makes me feel better than the whiskey does, however if I put it in a mug with hot water and call it tea than I dont feel like a lush.


Thats my favorite mug I got it on a trip to New York with Erin I will cry if it ever breaks

So here is how I make my Hot Toddy

I use my favorite tea Bigallows Orange Spice

about 4 tbl spoons of Honey

Hot Hot Water.

Jack Daniels as much as you like I do about a shot

That is really it I steep my tea until it is just right and then I add liquor and honey and I am done.

Bottoms Up

Kimmy (the sticks)

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We are a meat and potatoes family. Unfortunately for me I am also on a diet. This meal is perfect because it is under 350 calories for this dish. I consider it  a one dish meal. Here is what you will need.

1 3/4 lbs of ground deer you of course could use beef or lamb but venison is very low fat and high protein.

1 medium carrot peeled and chopped

2 tbls unsalted butter

1/2 cup heavy cream ( you could also used chicken broth for even less fat)

1 medium onion

4 medium russet potatoes peeled and cubed

1 large head of cauliflower

2 tbls butter

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup beef broth

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper


cheese grated 1/2 cup

Boil water and add potatoes and cauliflower while those are boiling in a separate pan add your oil and deer meet let that crumble and cook for about 3 min then add chopped onion and chopped carrots to pan and cook through salt and pepper to taste. Add peas

In a small sauce pan make a roux with your butter and flour once it gets bubbly add your beef broth and Worcestershire sauce to create a gravy. Put gravy with meat and vegetables and mix through.

Preheat Broiler to 500 degrees

in a 9×13 pan that has been sprayed wit vegetable oil place your meat mixture on the bottom.

Drain your potatoes and cauliflower, mash together with heavy cream and season to taste.

Layer potatoes on top of meat mixture and dust paprika powder on top. Place in oven for about 10 min or until potatoes get golden brown on top.

Immediately sprinkle grated cheese on top of potatoes, so it melts all the way.

Serve and enjoy.

shepherds pie

Now here is the best part

Calories 342 Carbs 22 Grams of Fat 18 Protein 23

My kiddos devoured this and asked for more, it was a total success .

Kimmy (the sticks)






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