Autumn is here (sort of)! Take a trip to the North Georgia State Fair

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

The first day of fall was this past Thursday, September 22nd. Unfortunately it’s doesn’t seem like fall yet because the daytime temperatures are averaging in the high 80s.

I think fall means different things for different people. For some, they look forward to the pumpkin spice latte’s, flannel, boots, scarves, and bonfires. For others it’s the leaves changing, mountain road trips, and s’mores.

For me, Autumn brings so much more. Our wedding anniversary is in the fall, September 27th the be exact, I celebrate a birthday, and fall brings some of the best events, holidays, and foods.

To kick off the fall season, William and I took a trip to the 84th Annual North Georgia State Fair! I don’t think anything can kick off the season better than a fair! The lights, the sights, the rides, and of course, the food gets me excited about the coming weather change.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

There were a LOT of good food choices this year. We made two laps before deciding on a few places to try. William stuck with his traditional smoked turkey leg. For $10 you get the biggest turkey leg ever… and trust me you don’t need a side. One turkey leg is plenty.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

I settled on a massive plate of curly fries topped with bacon, cheese, jalapeños, and sour cream. William finished off the evening with a very traditional funnel cake!

They also had fresh squeezed lemonade that they sell at these giant lemon-lemonade stands. $6.00 initially and then $3.00 for refills.

Of course if you want some crazy food items there’s plenty more to pick from. Amish baking co had some massive donuts, there were a few gyro stands, a noodle stop, and of course the deep fried everything stop.

The fair has some cool attractions this year. William and I loved the Eudora Farms Exotic Petting Zoo. They had some cool animals and it was great being able to be so close to them! There were some “traditional” farm animals but there were also lamas, and zebras and a multitude of other fun mammals.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

One thing I was impressed to see this year were the baby tending stations. It’s always so great to see events that allow areas for moms to use in the case that they need to change diapers, tend to their kids, or even nurse.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

We had a blast, saw quite a few people we knew, and enjoyed ringing in fall with a Cobb Country tradition!

The fair runs from September 22nd – October 2nd at J. R. Miller Park in Marietta, GA. Admission is $7 for adults and kids 10 and under are free! The daily schedule is available online and includes information regarding concerts, contests, and admission discounts.

Taste of Thailand: Thai Inspired Basil Chicken

thaichickenInBowl

Thanks to my sister, brother-in-law, and diverse group of friends, I’ve developed a taste for foods with an international flair. I’ve began experimenting with non-traditional cuts of meat, tried some exotic fruits and vegetables, and have developed a taste for fish sauce. I’ve also found that shopping at international grocery stores and being willing to try out some non-traditional foods has saved us a lot of money on our grocery bill. I’m so thankful that my husband will eat any food at least once — so that allows me to be a little more creative in the kitchen.

ClosedRecipeBookopenrecipebook

I received the Chelsea Market Cookbook as a Christmas gift this past year and as I was browsing through the cookbook I found some amazing recipes and The Thai Chicken with Holy Basil recipe really stood out to me. I headed to the grocery store to get all of the ingredients but I found that my local farmers market did not carry everything I needed leading me to improvise with the recipe. If you read my blog often you’re probably starting to understand I use chicken thighs whenever possible, so I switched thighs out for the white meat in this recipe. I have no idea what dark soy sauce is so I used the Aldi brand soy sauce I have in my fridge. Jalapeños were my go to pepper for the recipe instead of bird chilies. I used live basil… So i’m not really sure what type of basil that is. And last but not least, I decided to serve this meal over rice noodles instead of jasmine rice (rice noodles are delicious and much easier to cook than rice).

riceNoodles
sauceandpeppers

A key ingredient to this recipe is the fish sauce. If you’ve never had fish sauce it does take a little getting used to. The ingredients for fish sauce are water, anchovy extract, salt, and sugar so that should give you an idea of what to expect with this flavoring. At first the smell can be a little overpowering but once you add in the soy sauce and other fragrant ingredients, you’ll lose the aroma of the fish sauce.

PeppersAndCookingjalapeno

In addition to the chicken portion of this recipe there is also a Nam-Pla Prik sauce that is added to your individual bowl as you eat. This sauce is strictly hot peppers and fish sauce but I’ll admit that it does add a nice flavor. The longer you let the peppers marinate in the fish sauce, the better the flavor the Nam-Pla Prik will have.

ThaiChickenInPan ChickenThaiTrio

This recipe comes together in about 30 minutes and if served over rice noodles, it’s very filling. Happy Cooking!

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Nam-Pla Prik Sauce

  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 2 small red jalapeños thinly sliced into rounds, ribs removed and seeded

Chicken

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored and cut to 1/2 inch dice (any color bell pepper will work)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 extra large red jalapeño or 2 small jalapeños
  • 2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 1/2 cup packed fresh basil
  • Cooked rice noodles, for serving

Directions:

Nam-Pla Prik

  1. Combine the fish sauce and chilies in a small bow and let aside for at least 30 minutes.

Chicken

  1. In a small bowl, combine fish sauce and soy sauce. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add coconut oil and heat until the oil is very hot.
  3. Add bell pepper to skillet and stir fry until soft, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the garlic and jalapeños and cook until softened, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add in the chicken thighs and cook until the outside is no longer raw, about 5 minutes.
  6. Pour in the soy sauce mixture and cook until the sauce has reduced slightly and the chicken is cooked throughout.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in basil until it is wilted.

Serve over rice noodles and have Nam-Pla Prik available as a seasoning for individual bowls.

*Recipe adapted from the Chelsea Market Cookbook Chelsea Thai Chicken with Holy Basil, page109


End of Winter Countdown: Soul Warming Tomatillo Chicken Chili

chili3overhead

It’s February 25th and it’s still very cold outside. I’ve lived in the south my entire life and there’s a reason why I still live here… I don’t really like the cold. I appreciate a little snow here and there, but I mostly appreciate those winters we have where I rarely have to leave home with more than a heavy jacket.

Last year in metro Atlanta we experienced snowpocalypse. All of us southerners were trapped on the streets and in our cars because of an inch of snow and an inch of ice. It was a terrifying time for the city and the only way you’ll understand how our city was crippled from ice is if you live here. Today, most of our city is shut down due to the fear of another approaching storm. It’s currently 33° outside today with a projected high of 38°. I think this year we are trying to be a little more cautious to keep from a repeat of last year. I’ll admit… I’m just ready for spring and the warm weather that it brings.

Since I’m in my nice warm home and i’m looking outside at a gloomy cold day, I figure it would be a great time to share my most recent cold weather meal. This recipe is for a Tomatillo Chicken Chili that will warm your heart, body and soul. I’m not a fan of beans and I avoid them at every cost. I was skeptical to develop a soup with white beans but after going grocery shopping with a friend and getting a little insight in the the world of chicken chili…. I was ready to take on the challenge.

ingredients

I wish I could tell you that you can throw all these ingredients into a slow cooker and it will turn out tasty and delicious but I’m not sure if this is actually the case. I don’t actually own a slow cooker and I strongly believe that you can make delicious “slow cooked” food on the stove. My version comes together in about 30 minutes and it tastes better than any soup that’s been cooking for the last 10 hours in a crock pot (I might be a little biased).

veggies

This recipe uses ingredients that are present in most chicken chili recipes: chicken, beans, broth, and some type of pepper or green base. I decided to use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts because I believe there’s more flavor in the thigh (plus it’s harder to over cook chicken thighs). I use fresh jalapeño peppers and canned tomatillos to give the soup a little kick and exotic flavor.

cookedchickenshredchicken

The trick to this recipe is sautéing the chicken with onions, peppers, and garlic. Most recipes have you boil and shred the chicken before adding it to the soup. The flavor profile that’s developed in the chicken by cooking it with fresh seasonings ads depth of flavor to the rest of the soup.

brothboil

I think every good chili should be served with some sort of cream or sauce and a side of tortilla chips. After I made the soup I realized I didn’t have sour cream so I topped it with plain greek yogurt (and it was heavenly).

I hope you get a chance to try this recipe out before the weather changes. I loved the recipe and I can’t wait to make it again.

chili1 chili2uprightwater

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 jalapeño peppers seeded and minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbl olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 boneless chicken thighs
  • 3 cups chicken broth (preferably home made)
  • 2 – 15 oz cans Great Northern Beans with or without pork
  • 1 – 11 oz can whole tomatillos, chopped and with juice

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil In a dutch oven or large saucepan, over medium heat.
  2. Sauté onion, jalapeños, and garlic until soft,  3-5 minutes.
  3. Add in oregano, cumin, chili powder, and salt and stir to combine.
  4. Add chicken thighs to pan and brown on each side. Once browned, cover and cook until they are cooked throughout, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken from pan and cut into small cubes (or shred) and add back to pan.
  6. Add chicken broth, beans, and tomatillos to pan.
  7. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil.
  8. Boil until liquid is reduced by 1/3, 10 – 12 minutes.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm, with sour cream and tortilla chips.