Summer with McDonald’s & Southern Belle Farm

Peach season is in full swing here in Georgia and I’m super excited! Honestly I look forward to peach season every year, and can not wait to savor that first juicy bite each summer! Over the weekend Tammie (Talking with Tami) and I ventured down to Southern Belle Farm to check out McDonald’s new summer treat: a sweet peach slushie!

McDonald's Peach Slushie / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Limited time this July sweet treat from McDonalds

Available for a limited time in July you should definitely take the kids through the drive thru for this peachy taste of summer because we all need something refreshing as this heat wave rolls on!

Peach Slushie from McDonalds / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

You’re a peach!

The event with McDonald’s at Southern Belle Farm was so enjoyable. Y’all know I’m a country girl at heart so I enjoyed every moment we spent on the farm. This beautiful place is operated by the 5th generation of the Carter family in Henry County, Georgia.

Silos at Southern Belle Farm / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

Once a dairy farm, Southern Belle Farm is now a gorgeous picture of agriculture here in Georgia and a huge proponent of agritourism in the state. Supporting local farms and business is something I’m truly passionate about. Let’s face it y’all, our nation was built by farmers, and they are who keep us fed today! I love Georgia is promoting agritourism and definitely enjoy the fruits and veggies that have been locally raised.

Southern Belle Farm tour / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Daniel from SBF explaining the best peaches to pick

Southern Belle Farm / Of Fiddle Dee Dee

Growing peaches, berries, muscadines and corn, the farm is open for u-pick as well as maintaining a market filled with fresh produce, delicious jams and jellies, the best peach cobbler and homemade ice cream you’ve ever put in your mouth!

Southern Belle Farm Market / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

Tammie and I were able to pick our own peaches on Saturday as well as tour the farm via hayride.

Southern Belle Farm Peaches / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Picking Peaches / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Peach Picking at Southern Belle Farm / Of Fiddle Dee Dee

Talking with Tami / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Picking Peaches / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

I’m planning to whip up a little peach salsa this week and then a pie or two for Independence Day, so hang on for some recipes you’ll want to keep!

Visiting Southern Belle Farm / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Have a Peachy week y’all!!

Old-Fashioned Vanilla-Laced Blueberry Jam

Summer is passing quickly, but thanks to a little time in the kitchen we’ll be enjoying some of our favorite summer flavors well into winter!

Preserving food has nearly become a lost art as the busyness of life has consumed every aspect of our being, but there is something so simple about slowing down, diving into traditions of the past, and savoring simple flavors all year long.  Making jams and jellies, canning fresh veggies; these are things that remind me of my childhood and my mother spending hours a day all summer putting away fresh food we could enjoy all year long.  She still does this and I love being able to have that bit of her in myself, even if so many think it’s out-of-date or old-fashioned.

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I would much rather savor old-fashioned traditions with my family, than get lost in the sad hustle and bustle of this modern world.  Y’all, we all need a little old-fashioned goodness in our lives to keep us sane and connected to all the amazing women in our lives from generations before.

Recently, after spending an afternoon picking blueberries with Madeline at Washington Farm in Bogart, Georgia, I took the time to do more than just freeze berries for cobblers, pies, pancakes, and smoothies; I also whipped up a batch of scrumptiously rich vanilla laced blueberry jam.

There are a couple of ways to make jam, from the simple very few ingredient SureJell recipe (don’t knock it, it’s absolutely delicious), to spending just a little longer on your recipe and relying on the natural pectin in the fruit for the gelling process.  While not using pectin does take longer when making jam, the longer time is going bring really bring out the flavor of the blueberries and give you a richer tasting jam.

I’m sharing my four ingredient blueberry jam recipe today using the fresh sweet berries  we picked which were just right for this method.  All you need is sweet juicy blueberries, sugar, a whole vanilla bean, fresh lemon juice, and time to relax, pretending its a simpler time so many want to forget!

Making the jam is time consuming, but actually pretty easy.  Wash your berries using a colander so they will drain, picking out any bad ones. Transfer your drained berries to a large bowl. I use a potato masher, but you can use whatever to have to squish the berries and release their juices, then measure out the exact amount of berries you will need for the recipe and add to the stockpot you will be using to cook the jam.  This particular recipe calls for 10 cups. Add the sugar you’ve measured and toss together.  This will sit for a couple of hours.  During this time you can make sure you have all your jar sterilized and the equipment you need to preserve the jam ready to go.

After a couple of hours you will begin to cook the mixture on medium-high heat.  During this process you’ll slice open the vanilla bean and scrape it into the blueberry mixture, and throw the bean itself in as well! The cooking requires your full attention as the jam comes to a boil, so do not leave the stove and stir the pot continuously.  When it is cooked to the cosistancy you desire (anywhere from 30-45 minutes) add the lemon juice and finish cooking.

When you’ve made this delectible treat, bake up some fresh buscuits and dig in!  Youre not going to want to wait!  The complete recipe for my jam can be printed here by clicking Vanilla-Laced Blueberry Jam.

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What are your favorite things to preserve in the summer months?

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Get Your Foodie Fix on Route 66

Happy Foodie Friday y’all!

A few weeks back as we traveled out to Missouri to see Bradley, we left plenty of time in our schedule for dawdling and meandering the back roads. Now traveling through the Ozark Mountains was beautiful, but as soon as it was possible we hopped over to travel the historic Route 66 for a little time travel.

We passed old signage and motels and roadside parks; remnants of an era that has been pushed aside in the name of progress, but we also passed trough towns where folks are trying to preserve this historic highway.

The FourWay Cuba Missouri / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Family owned and operated The FourWay is a former filling station on the Mother Road that has been turned into a local and absolutely delightful diner.

The FourWay Rote 66 / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

I’ll get to the food in a minute, but we must talk history first!

Historic Route 66 Marker / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

First built in 1932, the Phillips 66 station owned by Paul T Carr was in the ideal location right on Route 66 as people traveled from Chicago towards Cali. It would have been a full-service station back in the day where attendants would pump your gas, wash the windows and even grab you a map if you asked.

Via Google Images

A whole different experience than we have now.

After Mr Carr passed in the mid-1960’s, the station was bought by the Wallis family and turned into a Mobil gas station and the offices for their new oil company venture. The Wallis family outgrew the little filling station and it sat empty for a while after a brief stint as a bakery. In 2005 with the help of a preservation grant for Route 66 history and using resources from the archives of Phillips 66 oil company, the outside of the building was restored to its original cottage appearance. Despite the renovation It sat empty until 2015, when an interior restoration was started. This time the historic gas station became the home of The FourWay Restaurant; a Mediterranean themed restaurant with a Missouri twist owned by restaurant veteran, Joanie Weir.

The FourWay Mural / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

The FourWay Dining Room / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

We arrived to this cozy spot for a late lunch and a quiet restaurant, which is perfect when you’re wanting to pull your camera out at lunch and don’t want to feel judged. It was a weekday and 2:00 pm, so I didn’t expect a crowd. Our waitress was sweet as could be and seated us by the window where we could enjoy the gorgeous day while we dined.

The FourWay Menu / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

We started off our meal with the FourWay Fries… steak fries topped with feta, tzatziki and a house made hot sauce. Sounds weird, but it was just delicious!

FourWay Fries / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

Since it was just lunchtime, and we still had traveling to do, we didn’t get too crazy with ordering.

Madeline and Audley both chose the Leroy burger, adding cheese and bacon, while I had a fantastic BLT sandwich.

The FourWay Leroy Burger / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

The FourWay Burger / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

The FourWay BLT / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

BLT / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

All of the ingredients are fresh and local when possible. BTW… the house pickles are fantastic!! We were so full from lunch we couldn’t order dessert. It was so hard to say no.

I loved the eclectic decor of the FourWay; the food pairs with it perfectly. A simple menu; a simply decorated restaurant. A meal that reminds you of home; cozy decor that doesn’t make you feel out of touch.

The FourWay Decor / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

 

Window Views from the FourWay / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

The FourWay / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

If you’re traveling through Missouri, venture off the interstate into Cuba and check out the FourWay. You’ll love the glimpse of history in this progressive world.

The FourWay

102 W. Washington Ave.

Cuba, Missouri

 

A Haute Cookie in Historic Grant Park

There are two things I simply adore and seek out when it comes to places we have lived over the years: a community that is restoring and rebuilding, and a great local food scene.

The latter is my favorite.

The Grant Park area of Atlanta (named for the city’s oldest park) is a community that has worked hard to revitalize itself after years of neglect. I remember as a little girl this wasn’t a place we visited at all, but oh how times have changed!

The Beacon at Grant Park / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

Yesterday I had the opportunity to venture out to the Grant Park neighborhood to check out a delicious “new venture”, A Haute Cookie — A Luxury Cookie Boutique, as it celebrated its grand opening.

A Haute Cookie / oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Old neighborhood full of Victorian architecture

+ local food

= the perfect afternoon out!

A Haute Cookie Luxury Cookie Boutique / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

I say A Haute Cookie is “new”, but in reality it’s the continuation of a journey from owner Shiana White who has combined her love of fashion and homemade cookies to create a beautiful business! The idea for this grand venture began in her kitchen while having milk and cookies with her kids after a horrible breakup.

Sometimes kids inspire us with the best ideas!

From her kitchen to food truck where Shiana baked cookies and prepared ice cream sandwiches onboard, the opening of A Haute Cookie as a brick and mortar shop at the Beacon in Grant Park is the culmination of a dream come true.

Shiana White - A Haute Cookie / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

A Haute Cookie Preview / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

So what did I try?

More than I should have (thank goodness for a gym sesh with my trainer shortly after), but I had no regrets.

Red Velvet Oreo- Strawberry-Chocolate Chunk / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

The first bite of cookie I tasted was the strawberry cookie. It was moist, flavorful and gone so fast that I had to get a second opinion!

Y’all strawberries were harmed in the making of this cookie and it was so good.

Strawberry Cookie - a Haute Cookie / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

A Haute Cookie Display

So were the chocolate chunk, red velvet Oreo, simple sugar, toffee and peanut butter cookies.

Ice Cream Sandwich - A Haute Cookie / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

As if I wasn’t on a sugar high, I indulged in an ice cream sandwich with rich vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two of Shiana’s chocolate chunk cookies.

A Haute Cookie treats / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

I washed it down with a cookie milkshake.

Shiana utilizes the freshest quality and organic ingredients to make her creations in-house. Besides cookies you can taste frozen treats, brownie pie, and edible cookie dough in an assortment of flavors, including the delicious white chocolate, cranberry, with orange zest dough.

Edible Cookie Dough / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

A Haute Cookie also offers vegan and gluten-free varieties as well.

You can also have A Haute Cookie host your birthday party, a girl’s night out and classes in their private kitchen. Each participant leaves class with a box of cookies and a spatula.

Shiana plans to continue running her food truck for festivals, parties and weddings, but head out to her new shop and show some love!

You can find A Haute Cookie at

The Beacon Atlanta; 1039 Grant Street, Suite B17.

Parking is free.

A Haute Cookie