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Barbeque with Foodie Mama: Red Garter's Ribs and Pulled Pork

When I was a teenager and into my twenties, there was a great restaurant in Calumet called the Red Garter.  It was an awesome place.  There were little alcove dining areas, a fun, fancy ambiance, a great bar crowd and the most delicious ribs my younger self had ever tasted.  But I wasn't the only one who thought so; people would consistently rave about them.  So tender and flavorful.  Not 'fall off the bone', however, they definitely had some substance.  I remember going there with my friend Lisa and her mom and dad a few times after watching a boy's basketball game or hockey game on Friday nights.   Then when Ron and I were dating and during the first few years of our marriage we went there often.  Tragically, the restaurant burned down in 1990 due to a fire in the kitchen.  The owners did not rebuild or reopen the restaurant, and sadly, the Copper Country never did replicate those ribs quite the same way anywhere else.

Ron's brother Donald worked in the kitchen …
Recent posts

Power Bowling

I have been enjoying a lot of rice, quinoa and couscous bowls lately.  They are so versatile and flavorful, and pretty much anything goes!  Today I'd like to share a delicious and healthy bower bowl, with couscous, protien powered chickpeas, zucchini and heirloom tomatoes.  The flavors combine so well; this is one of my favorite go to meals recently.  TIP:  toasting couscous before cooking makes it so delicious!

Mediterranean Chickpea and Couscous Bowl (for 2)
Ingredients: 1 medium zucchini1 medium Heirloom tomato or 4 oz Heirloom grape tomatoes1 t Thyme 1 medium onion2 cloves garlic1 lemon1 can chickpeas1 t paprika3/4 C Israeli Couscous2 t vegetable bouillon1/2 C feta cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Set one rack in upper position and one in middle.Cut zucchini into 1/2 inch cubes.  Chop tomato into chunks (or halve the grape tomatoes).  Finely chop a part of the onion the onion, making 2 T.  Cut the remaining onion into wedgesPlace zucchini, tomatoes, onion wedges …

Foodie Mama's 100th Post

I have been keeping this blog since 2011 as a venue to store as well as to share some of my favorite recipes along with my personal notes and anecdotes along the way.  This is my one hundredth posting.  I went around and around in my thought process about what profound thing to write about.  I ended up going with just another recipe, albeit a fabulously simple and delicious dessert.

In perusing my old posts recently, what I have gleaned, in addition to all the type-os I need to fix, is that I have matured in my cooking and in my eating habits.  We all have our old stand - bys, either recipes our mothers or grandmothers made or taught us to make, or the simple meals we make when we have children at home, especially fussy eaters.  There is that wonderful nostalgia that comes with creating those dishes.  But in the past couple of years, I really feel have come into my own as a cook. Regularly trying new recipes, using more herbs and varied spices, as well as inventing new recipes and add…

Midsummer Meals with Farro, the Other Grain.....

With the exception of the flood (you can reference my previous blog post) our Summer has been lovely.  The weather has been warm (between 70 - 80 degrees F) nearly every day with minimal rain.  I've been taking advantage of the nice days and evenings and spending as much time sitting on the porch and taking in the sun.

Summer means light simple recipes.  Here I will share two recipes made with a grain which I have not used before, farro.  I really enjoyed using it and these two dishes from Blue Apron were quite delicious.  The ingredients are very similar.  One is Middle Eastern and one is Mediterranean.  But both taste so unique.  I'd make these both again.

Farro is so easy to cook and it is really hard to mess up, unlike rice or pasta.  The black beluga lentils in the mujaddara were something I had never tried and they were so tasty.  Enjoy these.  The recipes look a bit fussy and involved, but they  really are not.  I used Blue Apron's recipe almost verbatim and they us…

The Storm of the Centruy and Two Variations on Cod Chowder

It is finally Summer in the UP.  We recently had some devastating floods here, which in itself is a major anomaly.  Hancock and Houghton are not on a flood plain; we are on hills, with a canal bisecting the two communities.  What happened in the early morning of June 11, 2018, was that over seven inches of rain came down in the span of about 4 hours.  Sunday morning (Father's Day) after the rain subsided is when the damage happened.  The storm drains gave way and roads washed out, bridges and footpaths were destroyed,  and several people were displaced from their homes.  It was a fluke and is being touted as the Storm of the Century.  Never in my lifetime have I seen such a thing.  Here are a few photos to prove my point.

The clean up is underway but it is going to be a long way to recover.  The National Guard was called out as well and they have been here repairing infrastructure for over a week.  #CopperCountryStrong

I wanted to share two great recipes that I have tried recently…

Memorial Day Getaway: Chefusion and the Creamery, Green Bay, WI

Our nephew graduated this weekend from Libertyville HS in Illinois; it was a very large school in a Chicago suburb.  510 graduates!  Quite a difference from the 50 or so we have commence each Spring in Hancock, MI.

We had Chicago Deep Dish pizza from Lou Malgnatti's (yum) for the Grad Party and on our way back home, we spent a night in Green Bay and visited with Ron's sister for a day.  Downtown Green Bay seems to be awakening somewhat; there are several restaurants and shops on the river and also, many of the previously abandoned and boarded buildings in the downtown streets have been re-purposed as trendy apartments and eateries.

We went to a small plates restaurant and  Jazz club.  The place was called Chefusion.  It is an eclectic and nicely upscale place located on the 2nd floor on an old downtown building.  The food and atmosphere were great.  I had a three course small plate meal consisting of choices of first course, entree and dessert.  I also added lobster bisque for…

Sole with Soul - Fab Foodie Mama is Eating Clean

I have blogged quite a bit in 2018 so far.  I don't create a post unless I have something to say or something to share that I think others may enjoy.  But gladly, I have been cooking quite a bit and have been adventurous in my cooking (and eating), therefore, I have been much more prolific recently.

I hope you are enjoying these easy and delicious recipes.  What you will see here is another meal from Sun Basket, titled:  Sole with Green Harissa and Warm Carrot-Celery Salad.  It was a very nice combination of flavors,  from the spicy harissa to the sweet currants in the warm carrot and celery salad.  I can tell when I am eating clean;  I have energy after eating instead of feeling bogged down.  This is another keeper.  I'd like to make again with trout or walleye, some of the great fish options native to Lake Superior.  The harissa sauce is common in North African cooking and is a chili pepper condiment that can be used on almost everything.  It is made from cayenne, parsley, …

#Sun Basket Meal Bags Have Arrived

I am really enjoying the meal boxes that I have been getting over the past several weeks.  I love the fact that food in not wasted; they only give you what you need to make the number servings you are preparing, and the variety of options has been quite appealing.  Foodie Mama is a FAN!

This week, I tried Sun Basket.  (In previous weeks I tired Hello Fresh and Home Chef).  Sun Basket markets itself as more of an organic choice over the others.  All of the fish is wild caught and all of the produce is organic.  The two dishes I have tried so far have been ones I would definitely make again - or order again in my next Sun Basket Box!

Sun Basket also allows you to choose from any of the meals form any type (vegetarian, pescetarian, meat lovers, gluten free, low carb, etc) so I liked that versatility, also, you can select as little as 2 meals per week, whereas the others I have tried, the minimum was 3 per week.  One more plus was Sun Basket allows you to change your protein (eg:  scallop…

Spicy Asian Cod Cakes - Thanks, Home Chef!

I made another Home Chef meal today for Mickayla and I.  Spicy Asian Cod Cakes.  They were excellent.  I had never made and fish cakes or crab cakes before.  These turned out delicious, except that I burned the green beans (so I substituted spinach in my version).  Some of the spice packets and mixtures didn't provide ingredients so I will guess here at the exact contents.

As I sit here writing this, about 20 minutes after eating, the noodles have almost immediately made me tired.  Ugh.  When will I learn?  But it tastes so darn good!  I could have left out the pasta and been satisfied with just the cod cakes.  I will definitely make these fish cakes again, perhaps next time with a honey mustard or lemon based dipping sauce instead of the Asian flavoring and skip the noodles.

Next week I will try a vegetarian Sun Basket brand meal kit.

Spicy Asian Cod Cakes from Home Chef (2 servings)
4 T Olive Oil5 oz Spaghetti4 oz Green Beans12 oz Cod (thawed, if frozen)1/2 C Panko …

Not Rocket Science...plants just make you feel better

I have blogged a lot recently about trying to eat more of a plant based diet.  I've been going along pretty consistently for a couple of months now and it is amazing how much better I feel when I eat mainly vegetables, lentils and (mainly gluten free) grains.

I have SO much more energy when I don't load up on the meats, the refined carbs and all the sugars I had been eating for so long.  Don't get me wrong, I do indulge.  In fact, I turn 51 on Friday and will make sure I have a piece of birthday cake.  My goals will simply be to EAT MOSTLY PLANTS and to GET LIGHT!

I made up this soup recipe this morning because I was craving something spicy and also wanted to have a vegan day.  This really was made from things in the cupboards.  Alter as you like.  It's just soup, you know.  Have fun with it. :-)

   - Foodie Mama

Spicy Bean Soup

2 T Olive Oil
1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped
3 Cloves Garlic or equivalent minced garlic
1 Can Diced Green Chilies w/ …