The Moveable Feast Food Blog

The Moveable Feast is a Personal Chef Service that serves the Hampton Roads area of Southern Virginia. This blog is an extension of my web site and will go into more details about food and any food service industries. Any pictures and or recipes that are published here are all the property of The Moveable Feast unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

She's a Stand Up Sort of Gal
Before my incident with a willful onion and a newly sharpened lethal weapon, I did cook. My local grocery store had a sale and I could not pass it up. After my adventures with a roasted chicken, I decided that I would not be defeated but might have to alter my expectations just a tad. I do watch some Food TV and happened upon a really cool idea that I had tried when I found it, but haven't used the idea in more than a few years. It wowed my company for dinner but we just never did it again. Why I don't know since it's a no brainer meal.

Those of you who love your grills will love this one. It's Beer Can Chicken. I can't believe that you can actually get a chicken to sit on top of a can of beer and have the most flavorful and moist chicken ever. Since hubby and I are not beer drinkers, I just bought a cheaper brand of beer I remembered from numerous commericals. I wasn't drinking it, but steaming with it.

There is no recipe...really! You just take a whole chicken and clean out all the little goodie bags inside. Olive oil, butter or what ever you like can be smeared all over the chicken along with some salt and pepper. I don't use the oil or butter but did salt and pepper and some dried rosemary.

I took a beer can and opened it with a can opener. You want the whole lid gone. I poured out 1/3 to 1/2 of the beer(no gasping from you hard core beer drinkers) and then sat the chicken on the beer can. It looks a bit odd when you get it on there but sits up straight pretty well.

The grill needs to be preheated and then you put your upright chicken on the grill, close the lid and walk away. I am not sure how long we left it on there, but it was the perfect amount of time. I took the temperature and the meat was at about 155. I took off the grill, pryed off the beer can (which is really a feat in itself) and laid the chicken on a platter for a few minutes of resting.

When we cut the chicken open, it was really juicy. I hate dried chicken and this was perfect. No more oven roasted diasters for me anymore! I have found my verision of the roasted chicken.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

June 22
I had an accident with a bad knife and very badly behaved onion after I had started this post. Since I can't figure out how to change the date to today...please scroll down to read about a new product that I used the weekened of June 17th.

Monday, June 19, 2006

How I Spent My Monday...see picture...

I had a blog entry partially ready for today and was so excited to post it, but as you can see there will be a slight delay....I will be back later this week...

I must repeat to myself over and over, "I love my job, I love my job, l love my job...bad knife...bad onion."

Smoke This
This past weekend I had the best time I have ever had doing a demo. People seemed very enthusiastic about what I was showing them. Heck I was even impressed. After you have been cooking for a living for a while, it takes a little more to get you all riled up. I found a product that I would use again and again for my own cooking! This is something that you can use in the house in the oven and outside on your grill. Now, if you are a hard core grilling person this may not appeal to you but for the everyday home chef, this is a gem of a product.

As most of you know, I doing a cooking demo once a month at my local Fresh Market. It's about three hours long, but it's a very action packed three hours. This month I got to use a product that I have never used or even heard about before. That makes the chef in me very excited. Okay, okay, now the product... It's a Smoker Bag made by SAVU. I have never heard of these before but I just love them. I love the fact that when I used the bag on the standing George Foreman grill, not one puff of smoke was to be seen but the smell was fabulous. People in the front of the store came in the back saying they could smell it and had to see what was cookin'. Now that's great advertising!

The smoker bad it the easiest thing you have ever used to get that smokey flavor in your meats without all the smoke and fussing with charcoal or a butane grill. You simply open up the bag and insert your meats, fish and or vegetables; close it up and put it in the oven at 400 degrees. Here, the bag is filled with skinny pieces of Salmon. The demo was done inside the store so it's smoking on an electric George Foreman grill. The lid was put on the grill and I timed it for 25 minutes. See the results...

You can get the recipe at here for the Smoked Salmon. I was really impressed with the bag and I personally will be using one of these bags!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Eating Texas Style
I have been MIA for a bit but can't blame my hectic schedule. I was in Texas attending my 30th high school reunion. I graduated from a dinky town that I moved to three months before graduation. I really didn't know these people very well but they are linked to my childhood memories forever. I was surprised to see that not much has changed since I was with them in 30 years. Those who have bonded during childhood, are friends still to this day. It was tough trying to wiggle into those circles. And pretty much I never got in them. I was told (30 years later) I was a threat. I had to chuckle. I was overweight, short and very freckled faced. They precieved this as a threat?? Is that just sad or what?

Since I eat not so healthy things when I go home I took pictures to document this fact. Have I lost my mind or what. Who does this...bloggers armed with thoughts of how they post something for the next blog entry.

Okay, this is not for the week of heart or those who don't eat meat or anyone who eats healthy. I went over the edge in my search for the world's more unhealthy meals and I think I did a great job! LOL! Those of you who read this blog, know that I am a Chicken Fried Steak nut. I don't usually eat this amount of red meat, gravy or fried food in general, but since I only make the trek home once maybe twice a year, I figure I can rationalize my reckless actions.

My first downfall was breakfast with my brother and his wife at the Peacock Cafe. I always look at any Southern menu to find my favorite red meat dish. By golly, there it was. What could clog your heart more than this??

Notice the gravy does not look like my gravy when I made Paula Deen's Country Fried Steak. There is nothing that gets a day started like hash browns swimming in butter, 2 eggs over medium and a fried piece of red meat somthered in gravy. I live for this stuff once a year. I swear, I do not eat like this at home!

I did manage to eat some really good meat that I would consider more healthy. As we drove from my mother's town to the town where we had hotel reservations, we stumbled on to this place. I didn't care if I hungry or not (I really was) and we stopped on a dime. Hubby loves this stuff. Although we differ in our choices or beef over pork.
I know this is hard to see but I remembered while we were driving away that I didn't get a picture of the sign. It's a bit hard to see but the name of the place is Hard Eight Pit Bar BQ. It's a neatest most downhome place to eat BBQ I have ever seen. You don't order from a menu. This is how you order your meat.
You stand outside underneath a metal corrigated roof where there are at least six smokers that are smoking the meats. Then you walk along a metal rail and there is the cutting station where you place your order. There are three weathered signs that are hanging down from the metal roof that state what kind of meats they offer and that meat is priced by the pound. Yes, by the pound. The meats are all lined up on the grill. You can get a baked potato for the side outside. Then there is beef sausage and jalapeno sausage (which I had that was wonderful). Next is brisket which they will either slice for you or chop so that you can eat it on a bun or two slices of bread at the table. There are pork ribs and then you can have chopped pork butt for a sandwich. And of course, there is the ever faithful BBQ chicken buy the half. The blurry guy on your right is the cutter. To his right there is a stand where he has those plastic lunch trays all stacked up. Those are your plates. Each tray has a piece of white butcher's paper. You tell the guy what kind of meat you want and about how much. He cuts what you want and then plunks it down on that tray. Then you go inside and have your food weighed. As you move along the line you can get your sides and desserts cafeteria style. At the end of the line there is the cashier and she rings you up. Just beyond the cashier ther is the Texas (and southern) favorite, Iced Tea, both regular and sweetened. There is also a soda machine with Dublin Dr. Pepper (that will be another entry about this later).

There are long tables (click on the link above and then click on Fun Photos to see the inside of the palce ) and some elevated tables with stools and they face the TVs that are playing any current sport that is on. Each table has a huge and I mean huge jar of jalapeno peppers and a loaf of bread. There is no charge for that. Any hot sauce and BBQ that you might need are in bottles that fit into the old glass bottle carrying cardboard cases. Those of you are older will remember when soda came in glass bottles six to a cardboard carrier. It's a trip down memory lane when you see those card board carriers.

So a trip home for me means eating, Chicken Fried Steak, BBQ and Mexican food. I ate at this place when I was right out of high school 30 years ago. After driving around to see how much the town has changed imagine my surprise when I saw that this place was still in business!

Honestly, their portions could feed a family of four in one sitting. That is more food than any one person should ever be allowed to eat! I had the Mexican Lasagna. It's a stacked enchilada and the plate is loaded with pinto beans and rice.

Then hubby ordered seafood. Now I have no idea why anyone would order seafood in a Mexican restaurant in the middle of land locked Texas. It's totally beyond me. He orders seafood at every Mexican place we eat no matter where we go. Drives me completely nuts. Hubby ordered Seafood Fajitas. I have never seen them prepared this way and thought it was a clever idea. The seafood was shrimp and catfish. The catfish was grilled while the shrimp was skewered and then grilled. Hub said the shrimp was a little over grilled but the catfish was perfect. His meal came with hot flour tortillas and of course the sides of rice and beans.

And last but certainly not least was our guacamole order. We just loved their presentation of a colored chip in the middle. The guacamole was piled up high for $5. We could not eat all of it so next time we there it's a small order for us. I hate wasting guacamole!!!! Sorry I can't load the photo for the guacamole but blogger thinks you've seen enough of my food adventures! All-in all, I ate exactly the way I wanted while being in my most favorite place in the world...home!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Farmer Brown's Garden
I have to say that one of the most postive influences blogwise in my life is my blogger friend Susan at Farmgirl Fare. I can't remember how I stumbled on to her blog, but it was a stumble that has changed my life for the better. I have learned a ton about sheep and gardening by reading her blogs.

One thing has lead to another...first came the spinning,

then knitting,

then a love for sheep and now a city dwellers garden.
Since we have four dogs we wanted to keep them out of the garden and hub came up with a nice idea for a little fence. I wanted a gate and he made that happen too. I wanted raised beds and again, he made that happen. I guess I am just the idea "guy" for the project. I did buy some seeds but there weren't enough guessed, hubby bought more. So basically this is hubby's garden and I am just a spectator. I will take a more active role when overtime eats away his time. I will be the one to go out a weed and water and probably pick the "fruits" of his labor.

I started with a Mesculin mix and didn't plant them in a large enough container. I think I also got started too late in the season and my lettuce is still very tiny. I will do better next year. Now that we have five raised beds, I can do the lettuce in one of them so we actually get something to eat.

June 14
I have been trying to post pictures for several days on both my blogs and nothing is loading. I am way past frustrated and now my blood is boiling! So I can't post the pictures of what the garden looks like in all the stages up to this date. I will keep trying to please hang in there with me.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Birthday Boy
I don't usually write much about my hubby, but Friday was his birthday and I had a brain storm to do a special dinner for him. I like to go out to eat when ever I can but honestly I have been pretty busy and really haven't done a whole lot of noteable cooking lately. So to make up for my working way too much, I wanted to make him something special.

I work in the Seafood dept. of a local chain grocery store and I see what comes and goes and when it's fresh and when it's teetering on the edge of gross. Hubby loves seafood and what luck I can actually get some...what are the odds? So after work on Friday and a new client interview for the Personal Chef side of the business I went back to the store and picked up dinner. Hubby thought we were just going to cook some Brats on the grill and have a simple dinner. I hadn't bought him a card or a gift; no time. Dinner will make up for everything and score me a tired foot rub to be determined at a later date.

We are pretty simple eaters there at home and we are not really fussy folks but I do try to do some new things for the blog every now and then. I have done this dinner before but not in a very long time because of the expense. Time was small but money was big. After it was all said and done we might have been able to go out to eat this sort of thing cheaper. Oh well, I still have stock in a lovely tired foot rub.

So here is dinner...

This is the salad-baby spinach, yellow tomatoes, shredded carrots, slice cucumbers and sliced red bell peppers. I picked the yellow tomatoes because I thought they would look nice with the deep red from the bell pepper and the dark green of the baby spinach.

I tried to bake some really HUGE potatoes but in the end, stuck them in the microwave to finish them.
This is the main course, but of course! Nothing is better than a nice piping hot red Maine lobster dipped in heart clogging melted butter! Ask my husband, and he will swear this is true as the butter runs down his chin and his eyes roll up in the back of his head showing his total delight.

This is the finished product. I took two live lobsters and put them into a pot of boiling water. I don't boil them, I steam them. There is a steamer insert in this large pot. I also use a lid with something heavy on the top of it to keep the lid from coming off. You already can guess why, so I won't go into anymore detail about that. I sprinkle OldBay on the lobsters and they are perfectly steamed after about 5-8 minutes. Our lobsters weighted 1.61 and 1.64 so they went closer to 8 minutes.

We topped off the dinner with a really cold bottle of Tomahawk Mills Vidal Blanc. I had forgotten it was in the wine refrigerator but hubby found it when I mentioned I forgot to pick a bottle for dinner. We got really lucky with this one. We bought about 4 or 5 bottles at the Town Pointe Wine Festival in downtown Norfolk, Virginia, in October of last year. We try to attend every year to discover new wines that are Virigina grown. This was a gem and sadly I don't remember how much we paid for it, but it was well worth it.

This is the casual (lazy) way of setting the birthday dinner table. We were just so excited that I cooked we didn't care about all the foo-foo stuff, just good eats! Notice the size of the spud on the dinner plate closest to these words. It takes up half the plate and neither one of us finished it.

I think dinner was a success and I got that foot rub!