Thursday, September 15, 2011


I love cheese. If you put bread and cheese on the table and you could only pick one, I'd pick cheese, hands down. A few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to taste compare Sargento Cheese and any other processed cheese I wanted, just to see if their's was up to snuff. 

One of my favorite meals was the Plowman's Lunch at the Biltmore Estate. Seeing this cheese, I wanted to recreate that when some friends came over, just to see what they thought. I didn't tell them which was which to see what they said. 
They chose the left one, which happened to be the Sargento Swiss, over another brand. You can even tell the difference in the color! It just looks more natural.

Thanks Sargento for letting me taste test for you guys!

[I gotta tell you that I received this product for free to try via the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program. I thank them for all they do!]

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

DC: A Recap

I've been back in Jackson from DC for about a week and a half and I have to say, uploading these photos makes me miss it. It's such a great city with so much to do! I know I haven't even scratched the surface of everything there is to do.

One of the things I was really excited to see was my dog child, Ballot, when I got to Sital's office. How sweet is this?
 That night, Sital and I may have had one of the most wonderful dinners I've ever had at Bistrot Du Coin. 
 We started off with the salmon tartine, which was wonderful. 
 Then, the real meal started. A pot of steamed mussels and a cast iron pot filled with nothing but sauteed mushrooms. It was amazing.
 Walking back around Dupont Circle and trying to digest, we talked into this interesting tea shop with so many different flavors of tea. I could have spent so much time and money in there.

The next day, we got up and walked to Eastern Market. I've never seen such a vibrant farmer's market. The colors of everything, like the different varieties of heirloom tomatoes was beautiful. The good thing about Eastern Market is that you know all of the restaurants around the market are going to have good produce straight from these stands. 
 After walking around the market, we sat down for breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien. I had to have my coffee fix, so I ordered an iced latte. Didn't disappoint.
 We struggled what to get, but I decided on the french toast. Just look at how beautiful...
When I came to DC, I said there was only one thing that I cared to see and it was the Newseum. Until the end of this week, the museum has an exhibit dedicated to the coverage of Katrina and how newspapers in South Mississippi and New Orleans were able to cover the storm after the hurricane. Going to USM, I had to go see it because I've seen, heard, and met many of these people while in college, so it was really cool to see.

 Right outside the exhibit on the balcony was a great view of the Capitol.
After walking through the six levels of the museum for a few hours, it was time for lunch. Not just any lunch... Founding Farmers. Because I don't want to leave anything out about how great they are, check out their website. We may have had a four hour lunch their without even noticing. This is why...
 My chicken pot pie. Perfect.
 Sital got the Southern Plate with chicken, waffles, and mac and cheese. She said it was great.

I'll definitely go back next time I'm in town.

Somehow after walking back to Sital's place and taking a much needed nap we ventured out for a little something to eat (again). This time, we tried Sticky Rice, a neat Asian restaurant a few blocks from her house.
I tried the curry fried rice, which was perfect and spicy, just the way I like it.

I could go on and on about how wonderful it was. I can't wait to visit again!


As I'm sure most of you know (or notice), I can't seem to slow down. Honestly, I like it that way, so there's no end in sight. But, it means that I definitely don't cook as much at home. Maybe once or twice a week (if I'm lucky), but with everything going on, I just don't have time to grocery shop or cook as much as I like. So, when the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program asked me if I'd like to try the new Birds Eye Voila! frozen meals, I eagerly said, "Yes!"

It's a meal in itself- the pasta, veggies, chicken and sauce are all there for you. All you've got to do is put in a skillet with 1/3 cup of water and you're good to go! After a day at work, workout and yoga class, I wasn't in the mood to make something from scratch. Voila, here this was to save the day (They may be on to something?).

I have to admit, I was worried that being pre-packaged would mean it wouldn't be fresh or it would taste too salty. Not true. I even had leftovers for lunch today, which I think tasted even better.

[Gotta tell you that I did receive the meal for free via the Tastemakers Program, but it did taste great. I'd consider these again.]

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Big Apple Inn

I ate a pig ear sandwich this week. I know, I know. You're thinking I'm crazy. Maybe I am, but all I have to say is, Anthony Bourdain's got nothing on me. [Don't tell him I told you that, because then he might go crazy on me like he did Paula Deen]

I've eaten the pig ear sandwich once before, when I first started working at my job and people told me I just had to try it once. So, now it was my turn to tell somebody they just had to try it. 

So, watch and enjoy...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

PM Taco

Pop-up restaurants are a niche market. Mostly, and maybe it goes without saying, because they are a quick one day jaunt away from the usual menu where restaurants get to be different, if not a little whimsical. Jackson restaurants have just started to scratch the surface of the limitless possibilities of pop-up restaurants and PM Taco, a pop-up restaurant for Parlor Market did not disappoint yesterday.

By noon, tacos were calling my name. Being a block away, a few of us from the office gladly skipped over. Tables were full, so we found three seats at the bar. We were quickly served drinks, salsa, and guacamole.
What did we get? A lot of food. Parlor Market can be on the expensive side, but each taco order only ran $7-$8. While I cannot tell you everything in the tacos, we did order the Big Mac, Pulled Chicken, and Blue Mountain Oyster tacos. Each was great all it's own. We also sampled the black eyed peas, which weren't my favorite, but as I've said before, I'm not a big fan of black eyed peas.
Pulled Chicken Tacos

Because I saw more on the menu we wanted to try and I happened to see them mixing up the sangria behind the bar at lunch, I just had to go back for dinner. Thank goodness my gym is also across the street, so I was able to work out before I went back, right? Right.

The wait was MUCH longer for dinner. The crowd, especially around the bar, was a little crazy. Our group grabbed drinks and headed outside to hear the band while we waited.

When we finally got seated, I knew what I wanted to try: The Gyro Taco. Lamb, pearled cous cous, and feta wrapped in pita. I'm still thinking about it. I was nervous ordering it, but it was hands down my favorite. If Parlor Market ever puts this on their regular menu or decides to venture into taco trucks, this would be my regular order.
Here's a hat tip to Parlor Market for making pop-up restaurants work in Jackson. Sure, there are bumps along the way and big crowds to feed, but that's exactly why Jackson needs restaurants to push us into uncharted culinary boundaries. I can't say it enough: People are ready for good food. It's also why I'm waiting patiently for that Gyro Taco to go on their regular menu.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy Birthday!

You know my family loves to get together for no other reason than to get together and birthdays are just one of those times you've got to have dinner as a family. This weekend we had a birthday celebration for my sister cousin, Cary!

This cake was amazing in a I-should-ever-ever-eat-this kind-of way. Ignore that fingerprint in the icing...
Happy birthday, Cary!

Of course, the McNeil's had to draw on our stars. One of these days, we'll all have these on permanently...
I hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cosmopolitan Cafe

There's a new kid in town and I like it. I like it a lot. So much so, I've even lunch there two days in a row. It's name is Cosmopolitan Cafe (Part of Cosmopolitan Catering by Macy) and it's right in the heart of Fondren.

I have to admit, my first time in yesterday was out of necessity because our organization was writing about them for our advertorial of the week, so needless to say, we've got to try the product. Boy, was it good.

The menu is fairly simple: a few plate lunches where you pick a meat and two sides. The hard part: choosing which one because they all sound so good.
I settled on the poppy seed chicken, broccoli salad and sweet and sour green beans. Everything was so flavorful. While I was worried about it all being too heavy, I didn't feel bogged down at the end like I sometimes do with Southern-style meals.
 We had to try the dessert. All of them in fact. Banana pudding, chocolate chess pie and strawberry shortcake. I was skeptical that the chess pie could match the recipe my family holds dear, but I was impressed. Macy said herself she uses her family's recipe and I think it's a winner.
After telling the office, more people wanted to go today. This time, I tried the meatloaf, corn salad and sweet and sour green beans (because I may or may not have dreamed about them).

If you need a good, quick lunch, this is the place to go. If you need a casserole to pop in the oven after work or a dip for a party, Macy's got that too. Tell her I sent you.
Cosmopolitan Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beach Week

I've been a terrible blogger and I've got no excuse except to say I've been busy and had a lot on my mind. But, I couldn't NOT share beach pictures, it's one of my favorite weeks of the year!

Food, like every year, was amazing. This year, Ashley was even able to bring down four of her homemade jams in her bag on the plane...
My favorite was, hands down, the Strawberry-Marsala Jam with Rosemary.
Shrimp. Oh, the shrimp.

Some of the girls

The fam
Homemade biscuits from scratch. Perfect with all of the jams.
Lots of porch time watching all of the kids and their performances. We're definitely now paying for all of the performances we made our parents watch when we were kids.

These. Cream cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped jalepenos. This was just one of the appetizers one night and it was great.
Tres Leches cake
Handmade margaritas, down to the squeezed limes
Some of us got creative in the arts and crafts department with pipe cleaners...
Liam, who loved eating artichokes.

Can't wait 'til next year!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Confession: Soulshine Pizza

Let's start from the beginning. A month or so ago, one of my best friends and I started a club known as BEA or Bad Eaters Anonymous. It's a group for people who eat healthy or are trying to eat healthy, but need support when they have unhealthy cravings.

I've got a BEA confession to make: I ate part of this tonight and it was good. Oh, so good.
This would be the HALF pulled pork BBQ nachos from Soulshine Pizza. Shoot me now (or rather, give me an Immodium).  My mom and I couldn't even finish half of it. The waitress showed us the platter sized whole portion, which could easily feed eight people.
Of course, washed down with a jar of Blue Moon. Can't get much better than that.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mish Mash

I have been so busy, it's hard to catch my breath! Let me start from the beginning, back at Father's Day weekend. My dad has started branching out into different beers and he loves Blue Moon! He was drinking it without the orange, so of course I had to hook him up right for Father's Day. I'm officially that girl that gives her dad beer for Father's Day (along with a gift certificate to Fresh Market, mind you).
We also had my uncle's 60th birthday party. It was so much fun, especially with petit fours from Primo's!
This weekend, my mom was also taking care of my cousin's son, Andrew. We buy him cookies as big as his face, because we can.
Marika and I ran into Campbell's this week as well. Mitchell had a cake pop that took an accidental dip too far into the chocolate and off the stick, so I got to taste test it for free. Nothing wrong with it as far as I'm concerned!
They also had cute gator tea cookies too...
The other day, it was raining and pouring for the first time in ages, but it didn't keep Sital from calling me to go to Walker's. The redfish sandwich is to die for.
Last night, I had dinner at Aladdin. You can't go wrong with the hummus with lamb. Just sayin'!
Here's to a great weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Series of (Un)Fortunate Events

Tonight will go down as the "Series of Fortunate Events."

Let's start from the beginning: After work, I headed to the gym to try to piece together a workout after eating a little-too-big slice of cake when our office had a surprise wedding shower for a co-worker. On the treadmill, I get a text message from my roommate saying that our fridge was not cold... at all. Dang.

I should have suspected as such because we noticed earlier this week that our ice cream was melting.

I get home and the roommate has gone to her parents' house for a cooler and to get ice from their big ice maker. She comes home about twenty minutes later and asks if I'll help her get the coolers from her car. Sure, I can handle that.

Roommate heads out first and then I shut the door to our house. She gets one cooler while I get the other. We walk back up the stairs and roommate tries to open the door. It's locked.

"Are you sure it's not jammed?" I ask. Panic is rising in my voice.

No. It's not jammed, it's locked. Great.

Standing their with these crazy coolers, a hot fridge, no keys, no phones, all we can do is stand there and laugh. What to do? For security reasons, we don't keep a set of spare keys outside our house, but plenty of our family members have them. But, how to call them?

Off the top of our heads, we decide to walk three blocks to our friend's house, hoping he's home. Walk there. Knock. No answer. 


We turn and walk back towards our house. At this point, I'm going to be as neighborly as possible and knock on any door close to us. First, I knock on the white house across the street, home to a sweet old lady who always said if we needed anything, let her know. Well, I need a phone and I was letting her know. Even though her car was there, no answer. Bummer.

"Ok," I say. "Let's go across the street."

I knock on our nice neighbors, Margaret and Brent's, house. They welcome us in and give us their phone. Would we like some wine or beer? (Thinking about it, did it look like I needed it?) At this point, I'm too hot and tired for that. First call roommate's brother, who lives on the other side of the neighborhood, but he doesn't answer. Dang.

I call my parents' house, in which my mom answers laughing. Sure, my sister will be there soon. We chat with our neighbors and catch up on who's who around the street and who are the new people that have moved in. We even got invited to the Garden Club (which doesn't garden at all, but rather drinks wine and has fun book swaps and cooking classes once a month), which I plan on joining. 

We walk back to our house and wait a minute or two for some keys to arrive. My two sisters pull up, no doubt laughing at my expense. It's just not like me to get locked out of the house.

So relieved to get the keys, I bound to the door, confidently put the key in the knob and try to turn it. No dice. These look like the right keys. Somehow, they are the wrong ones. We try them on the back door. Again, no dice. 

Oh my gosh.

"At least we have a car now. Let's go to your brothers' house and get his keys," I say to the roommate.

All four of us jump in my sister's PT Cruiser and drive on. We weave through the neighborhood and pull up to the curb as my roommate's brother sits on his front porch. With a puzzled look on his face, they find the keys and we head back towards home.

Pulling up to the house, I'm nervous. What if this copied set doesn't work either?

In a valiant leap over the ditch worthy of the last five minutes in any captivating movie, my roommate runs to the front door with the key. So excited, she can't even get the key in right. 

Key is in the knob. It turns. We are in.

I've never been so thankful.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Man, I have been busy, busy, busy. Starting Friday, the Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church was in town and I was there for most of it each day through Sunday. It was awesome and tiring all at the same time.

Back to work, I'm as cool as a cucumber.
Actually, that's not necessarily true. After work I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood and by the time I got home, I was dripping in sweat. I could not think about eating anything but a whole, cool cucumber cut up with a little balsamic vinaigrette. I have a feeling I'll be eating this pretty often. 


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sweet Tater

One of the perks about being a Foodbuzz Publisher is that from time to time, companies want you to review their products through the Tastemaker Program. When I got an email a few weeks ago asking if I wanted to try some sweet potato fries, of course, I said I would. Who am I to turn down a perfectly good sweet potato, right?
What I got were Ore-Ida's new sweet potato fries. Let me up front: yes, they gave me a free coupon to try these, but this is my opinion. I've tried them on two separate occasions now to test them out and they've been really good and really just OK. The oven has a lot to do with it. 

The first time I tried them was as my parents house when they were grilling hamburgers (and a salmon burger for me). When I cooked the fries then (at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 17 minutes), they were perfect. Crunchy on the outside, almost creamy on the inside. Today, slapping them in the oven before it was pre-heated after getting home from work, they were just OK. Sometimes it pays to follow the cooking directions, am I right?

So, I have to say, if I'm going to eat a bagged sweet potato fry over my own sweet potato fry recipe, this may just be what I use. I haven't seen many sweet potato fry products on the market, so that's pretty exciting to see them trying something new.


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