Honey Butter, just because!

8 Aug IMG_1290

I am a woman who loves toast in the morning. I have been on a real toast kick lately, so quick so easy and not too damned hot. I have taken to keeping this perfect treat of honey butter in the fridge for emergency snack fixes.

The trick to this is to get the butter and the honey both at room temperature so you don’t have to fight to get them to mix. I like to do this by hand because it is nice to get a big streaks of honey in the jar. If that idea makes you feel tired or too hot you can put it in a stand mixer with the paddle or whisk attached and mix it on medium for a minute. If you use salted butter no need to add it to the mix. If you want to get fancy, throw a little cinnamon in there with the honey and the butter and the salt and make pancakes right away because you will need them! I am eating mine on a nice, thick slice of Levain Batard from Easy Tiger. I am going to have to fight to not go back for another slice!


This makes enough to share with a friend!

8 oz butter (Lucky Layla), softened (the Texas heat makes quick work of this)

1/2 c. good local honey (I used Desert Creek Guajillo honey)

1 t. sea salt

1 t. cinnamon optional

Put all this in a bowl and mix it around with a spoon. Then, toast some bread or make the aforementioned pancakes and get down! Keep this in the fridge for two weeks, but it won’t last that long. I promise.

Thank you all for reading! I hope that this post finds you well and enjoying summer. It feels good to be tapping these keys again.




Three Easy Apps: Radishes, Strawberries, Beets, Oh My!!!

7 Apr

Hi Everyone,

I am so super sprung on spring that I can hardly stand it! I hope you are soaking up the pre-too-hot weather and having some fun outside.

So, I taught a class last week and made these little bites of really beautiful deliciousness and thought it would be good to share: radish and butter sandwiches. Gross, right? NO! It sounds a little gross but, it is one of those classic combinations that sticks around for a reason. Food need not be complicated to impress. I promise this will delight and it seriously couldn’t be any easier. You will slice bread, put butter on it, slice radishes and arrange them all pretty on the bread, then sprinkle with salt and you are done! I recommend a good crusty french loaf for the bread, a high quality butter and a variety of radishes. Boggy Creek has Easter radishes galore right now and I even got my hands on the supermodel of the radish world, the watermelon variety, at the SFC market at the Triangle. Any time I see these beauties I load up. They bring a show-off glamor to anything they touch. But, I couldn’t stop with radishes. At the cooking class my friend’s dad told us how people sometimes sub strawberries for radishes in the South. What tha? Well, my friend bravely served these with a leaf of basil and it ruled in the most unsuspecting way. Mine features Pure Luck chevre and cracked black pepper and I want more of it right now. The third keeps going in the pink/red pretty direction. I put a little Pure Luck Sainte Maure on bread and topped it with a thinly sliced beet and a drizzle of balsamic. So good!!!

Here is what I propose: if you are having people over for dinner or are invited to a potluck or just want a really fun and pretty treat make one or all of these. They are quick, you don’t have to turn the oven on, they are knock-outs and delicious. So there. Do it!

Recipe (assembly)

1 baguette

mixed radishes sliced thin


good salt, I like Maldon for this

Slice the bread, spread it with butter, arrange radishes, sprinkle with salt. DONE!

strawberries,  sliced thin



salt and pepper

On slices of baguette spread chevre (butter is great here too), top with basil then strawberries and sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper.

roasted beet sliced thin

Sainte Maure or  blue cheese

balsamic vinegar, an aged one would be out of this world here

Top bread with cheese, arrange beet slices up on there then drizzle with balsamic sprinkle with salt and pepper. Does anyone else out there want to spell balsamic b-a-l-s-a-L-m-i-c? Cause I do and have been this whole post.

Challenge Update

Oh man, yall. The 6 month mark sent me and Jo into a tailspin. There is something about having just as long to go that made it particularly hard. Its like Wednesday, but worse.  During this time my cooking got really boring, I’m pretty sure that for two weeks we subsisted on cheese, eggs and tortillas alone. We very seriously considered calling off the last 6 months of the challenge, but dug deep and are now on the downhill swing of it.  We are feeling much better. During the really tough time my friend Stephanie wrote this on her fantastic blog and gave us the fuel to stay strong and get through it.  We have less than 5 months left now and cooking is fun again. I’m frying catfish my Dad caught tonight, how bad can it be? It was touch and go there for a couple of weeks, but we are doing this thing and it is good and it really is fun!

In other personal news, I have spent the better part of this year putting together a grain burger company. The last couple of weeks have been the busiest and the HOT DANG, an all good all grain burger will be in stores and a few very special restaurants VERY soon! Apologies for the space between this post and the last. Much love for the support of friends, family and readers!

Thank you, thank you for reading,

Not That Martha

Fancy Ranch Water

17 Mar

Hi Everyone,

Once in a while I come across a recipe that sends me directly to the kitchen to give it a whirl. I came across one such recipe recently from 101 Cookbooks here. I had to sub honey for cane sugar and we have grapefruit and oranges a plenty, so I made due with what was in the kitchen. The results were crowd-pleasing to say the very least and when I added Republic Tequila and a little Topo Chico, it became my very favorite after 5PM drink for the spring. It takes very little time and is so worth it. We are on our third batch of the juice and I suspect it won’t be our last…

Fancy Ranch Water

3 T honey

2 T ginger, grated

1 c water

Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and let it go for 5 minutes. Strain it, then stick in the fridge or freezer to let cool off.

1 orange, juiced

3 grapefruits, juiced

Once the syrup is cooled down, mix in the juice. At this point you can serve it to your kids OR do this… Put ice in some glasses, add a shot of Republic Tequila to each glass, pour a two shots worth of the juice in and top it off with Topo Chico. It is scary good.

The Republic Tequila folks are a Texas-based company and have a green and organic product that is completely delicious. Owners, Tom and Ken, took time out of their insane schedules to teach a really inspiring session at the RISE program that I was smart enough to attend. They are energetic, charismatic and wise in the business way and it was an honor to get to soak up a little of that wisdom. Not to mention I ran right to the store for a bottle of the tequila, so they are pretty good salesmen too! So, big ups to them!

If you aren’t familiar with Topo Chico, it is the Mexican fizzy water that dreams are made of and I think you should run out and get some right now.

And one more thing. I met Tiffany of Trailer Food Diaries fame and found out that she has a cookbook coming out. You can get it at a discount right now.  We have that sucker pre-ordered. Soon we will be able to satisfy our trailer food cravings in the comfort of our own home, and you can bet that there are some trailer food cravings up in this house!

All of that said, have a great weekend and enjoy whatever it is you are up to!

Not That Martha

Broccoli Rabe and Giant Macaronis

15 Mar

judgement waits...

Hello All,

Well, its been a great weekend. We competed in The Pork Experiment yesterday and sure had a great time! I felt very supported by family and friends and put out some hella good food! I am totally proud of our first competitive effort and had a blast with Jo as my sous chef. Congrats to my fellow competitors! And a big shout out to our friend Ben, of the Wildly Natural One, for taking home an honorable mention. You all should go to the store and buy this spice blend right now. It is award winning good.

I can feel SXSW all over Austin these days and I love it, for now. By next weekend I will be ready to get this sleepy(ish) town back and traverse it without all the extra folk. It is no wonder everyone that visits falls in love with this place. We have perfect weather this time of year.  We have glorious tacos and kick-butt BBQ.  We are a friendly people with warm smiles and dang good music. As a matter of fact, a huge bonus to our year of not eating out is that we don’t have to battle the visitors for coffee or counter space. This might actually be my favorite SXSW based on that alone. I can get a little bratty when I go to my regular spots and have to wait extra time or fight for shoulder space and by the last weekend I usually have to leave town just to escape the crowd, so I don’t start screaming at every hipster in legging jeans that looks like they need a shower to go back to where they came from, so we will see if this no restaurant thing helps.

In preparation for the cook-off, I tested many a batch of pulled pork shoulder, and I am officially so sick of pork. I am bringing on the veggies in full force! Its going to be a while before I can let pulled pork pass these lips again. So, on to the veggies! This is one of my very favorite preparations of pasta. It works great to sub with just about any veggie that is in season. I got my hands on this broccoli rabb from Johnson’s Backyard Garden and have been waiting all weekend to turn it into this pasta dish. They have a really cool deal going on right now where you can buy plant starts from them, so that is worth checking out.

Broccoli Rabe and Giant Macaronis

1 box big macaronis or your favorite short pasta

1-2 T olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

2 big handfuls broccoli rabb and leaves, coursly chopped

2 cups of pasta cooking liquid reserved

2 oz parmesan, grated

2 oz romano, grated

salt and pepper

Bring water to boil, cook pasta to desired doneness. Heat olive oil over medium heat, add crushed red pepper and black pepper and let them toast for a minute or two. This brings a really toasty pepper depth to the dish. Add garlic and let cook for a minute. Add broccoli rabb and leaves and saute until they are tender. I take a coffee cup and scoop out some of the pasta water. The pasta water has some of the gluten and really helps to thicken the sauce and incoroporate the cheese into the dish without making it all clumpy and gross. Drain the pasta, add to the pan with the broccoli rabb and toss. Alternate adding cheese and a little water until the cheese is smoothly blended, you may not need to use all of the water, and it looks like you can’t wait to eat it. Then serve it up and eat it down!

The Challenge Update

All is well on the challenge front. We are having a change of season, so getting to wear some new clothes is SUPER refreshing. I have my flip flops back out and have even donned shorts. The sweaters I couldn’t stand for another second have been banished to the guest room closet until we bring them out next November. We have not planted our raised beds yet. The starts are living on our dining room table until the nights get consistantly warm enough to sustain their growth. The extra hour of daylight that we earned this weekend delights me and leaves much more time in the day for walks around the neighborhood and cooking outside. Spring is here, I hope you are enjoying SXSW or Spring Break or the extra daylight when you come home from work.

Thank you for reading,

Not That Martha

dream team

my extended team

Kale Risotto with Blue Cheese and Raised Beds!

9 Mar

Hi Everyone!

Now that I am a homeowner I am discovering that I have a whole new relationship with Spring. Every morning Jo and I tour our yard and celebrate the little buds that indicate another favorite plant survived the cold winter. I find myself more in tune with the needs of the plants too. What first seemed like a completely foreign and overwhelming garden that came with the house is starting to make sense to me. I see where the plants need cutting back, with guidance from Jo and my mom! I can tell which plants are weeds and have cuts all over hands and Home Depot refuse bags lined up to prove it. As a renter, I always thought spring was nice enough, but the yard was someone else’s problem. It was flip-flop weather that excited me. This gardening thing is a whole new bug!

To top if off, we have just built 100 square feet of raised beds that are just waiting for tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and a whole lot of herbs that we got this weekend at the Sunshine Community Garden plant sale. Furthermore, raised beds are springing up all over our sweet little corner of the world and we are conspiring with our neighbors what to plant when and leaning heavy on Jalene and Aaron down the street for guidance. They have done this before and they are good!  I woke up this morning and grabbed the seed catalogue to learn more about what these plants need and have played with the layout a million times on our kitchen table, where our starts sit, while we wait for the nights to get warm enough to plant them. I can hardly wait to eat the first tomato grown in our very own garden and I am sure I will tell you and anyone who will listen about it!

Now, for the food… I have chicken stock on right now and anytime I make stock, I make risotto. There is something very satisfying about putting some of that good stock to immediate use! So, in celebration of the last of the winter greens, I am adding kale to the dish today. There are few foods that I love more than a well made risotto. It can be an intimidating dish, but all it takes is time and a little patience, and it its well worth it. It is important to use the arborio rice. It is a short grain from Italy and the key to making creamy risotto. Enjoy!

Kale Risotto

1 T butter

onion, chopped fine

arborio rice

wine (white is typically used, but we had red on hand, so that is what I went with and it was a good move!)

chicken stock, warm



kale, chopped fine

2 oz parmesan cheese, grated

thinly sliced Velhuizen Bosque Blue Cheese

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until they are translucent (about 3 minutes). Add the rice and stir constantly until the grains take on a pearly look (about 7 minutes). Add white wine and cook stirring constantly until it is mostly absorbed. I keep my chicken stock in a pot on warm and add to the rice with a ladle. Once the rice has absorbed the wine, start adding chicken stock a ladle full at a time. And stir, stir, stir. The stirring causes the rice to release some of its starch, which is what makes risotto so creamy and delicious. Keep adding the heated stock and stir every few minutes. Once the risotto has reached the desired doneness, add chopped kale and it will wilt right into the dish. Stir in parmesan cheese. Serve in bowls and garnish with shaved blue cheese.

Update on the Challenge

We are still truckin’ along 6 months into the challenge. One happy thing that we have noticed is that the jeans we have been wearing since the beginning of the the challenge, are now baggy on us and that is pretty fun. I can’t believe that it has been half of a year since we stepped foot into an Austin restaurant. I am starting to feel pretty out of it as far as the new restaurants go. I can’t wait to try Haddingtons, Barley Swine, Foreign and Domestic and a handful of others. Readers, tell me what I am missing and what needs to be added to my list! This next 6 months will fly by and we will be back on the scene in before we know it. Jo’s first stop will be Tamale House.

The last couple of weeks,  cooking wise, have been devoted to perfecting my pork recipe for The Pork Experiment, put on by The Food Experiments and Brooklyn Brewry. The cook-off is this Sunday, March 13 and starts at 12. The stakes are high as there are a whole boat load of prizes and a trip to Brooklyn on the line. I am in it to win it and would love to see you all out there. There will be 20+ participants and the cost is $20 to attend. If you think about it, that is just a dollar for every taste of porky goodness. Sounds like a deal to me!

The raised beds are a new dimension of sustainability for us. The beds were really simple to build. Just untreated lumber with braces screwed in on the corners. The Natural Gardner delivered the dirt and we got a ton of plants last weekend at the Sunshine Community Garden plant sale. I will keep you posted on the progress of growing our own food.

As always thanks for reading!

Not that Martha

Hamburger Craving!

23 Feb

Hi Everyone,

I have been craving a good hamburger lately. Bad. It could be that I just got my hands on these pictures that Sarah Wilson took last spring and they are so good that I can’t resist or every time I turn on the TV there seems to be a show on burgers or my girl typically craves burgers at 10:30 each night or the weather is finally right for grilling. Let’s call it a combination of all of the above. A cheeseburger is the ultimate comfort food for me and we will be grilling these tonight. I can’t wait! The quality of beef is pivotal here, grass-fed and finished is the only way to go. You can go grab some this afternoon from Richardson Farms at the Triangle Farmers Market. I like a thin patty with cheese melted right up on it. I was able to get my hands on some arugula this morning at Boggy Creek. Tomatoes aren’t in season yet, but I am going to quick pickle some radishes to get that tartness. Veldhuizen, from Dublin, TX, has some of the best cheeses I have put in my mouth. I am partial to the Bosque Blue, but really you can’t go wrong with any of their products. If you are in Austin, you can pick them up at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop or Wheatsville.

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Grass-fed Burger Time

1 lb grass-fed beef

1 T Dai Due Fireman’s 4 mustard

1 T rock salt

1 t fresh black pepper

1 jalepeno

3 dashes Worshteshire

4 buns


lettuce or arugula

pickled radishes

Start your grill.

Make sure the meat is cold! Combine all ingredients and mix with your hands since they are the best tool for the job. Divide into 4 portions, roll into balls, place parchment or saran wrap around and squish the ball between two plates like you are stacking them. This makes for a uniform, thin patty.

Once the coals on your grill are nice and hot, place the patties on and cook for 5 or so minutes on each side. It will take longer the thicker your burger. I like to toast my buns on the grill, as well. That just takes a couple of minutes and picks up some really great flavor!

The Challenge

Last week we were in San Francisco which means EATING OUT, my friends!!! (And, yes. I was yelling.) My goodness, what a town to eat in. It really is heavenly there. I have a strong urge to write a love letter to places like Bi-Rite and the Ferry Building and then I would transport them here. I was astonished by how pervasive the farm to table movement is there. We would have had to try to find an establishment that doesn’t operate from that philosophy. Due to that, I can happily report that there was not a Tums consumed in San Francisco. I also couldn’t help but notice that the restaurants there are much smaller. They are geared to serve the neighborhood they are in and the service is familiar in that way. I loved it! It also occurs to me that the size of the restaurant has a corallary to the serving sizes. My take away from that is to seek the smaller restaurants, eat a little less of better food. Sounds like a good deal to me.

Thank you all for reading and have a great week!

Not That Martha

Bison and Grass-fed Beef Chili and “Frito” Pie!

9 Feb

Hi Everyone,

I am going to join the blog world chili bandwagon. I have seen many a blog post about chili in the past few days and since I can think about cooking nothing but chili in this weather, I am going to throw in my two cents. This recipe would work for just straight up ground beef too. Bison and grass-fed beef are both very lean red meats. Fun fact: grass-fed beef and bison are far higher in Omega 3s than their corn fed cousins. Omega 3 is the good kind of fat that makes your cholestoral go down and your heart beat strong. Yay grass-fed red meat!!!! The bison I am using came from Thunderheart and the beef is from a Boggy Creek supplier.

In this version of the pie,  I am using blue corn tortilla chips, but you better believe I am missing those Fritos. I know that they don’t make me feel so hot, so on the blue corn high road I go. The cheese I am using is not the typical frito pie cheese either, but so melty and delicious is the mozarella from Full Quiver, that I can’t resist giving it a try. All of their cheeses are delicious, but I really have a soft spot for their moz. I have noticed is that I like to cook with beer and chili is no exception. I put some Negra Modelo in my chili and it really helps the flavors come along to drink the rest of the frosty beer while the chili cooks. This is totally a scientific fact.

In other news, I have gotten my website up at long last. I would love for you to visit and let me know what you think. There is a place in there for cooking questions under the classes section, so submit away!

Bison and Grass-fed Beef Chili

1 lb. ground bison

1 lb. grass-fed (and finished) beef

1 big yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

3 jalepenos, sliced

1/4 c. chili powder

2 T cumin

2 T olive oil

2 T salt

1 t. black pepper

1 c. crushed or chopped tomatoes

1/3 c. dark beer

3 T fine corn meal, optional (if your chili is thinner than you like, add this at the end and it will thicken it right up)

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and jalepenos and cook for 5 minutes. I like to get my onions just a little caramelized because I think it adds a great deep flavor. I leave the seeds in the jalepenos because I like my chili pretty spicy. If spicy is not your jam, remove the seeds. Once the onions take on a little brown color, add the garlic and let cook for a minute or so, then add the bison, beef, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and let brown. Once the meat is brownish, add the tomatoes and stir, then the beer and stir. Cover and turn the heat down to low and let cook for 1.5 hours. Every once in a while take the the lid of and stir and smell it. It smells good!

for the pie

Corn chips, if you are going anti-Frito, the chips need to be pretty dang hardy to stand up to the moisture of the chili.

Grated cheese, Full-Quiver or other local cheese

More jalepeno, mine are fire roasted and pickled by Larry from Boggy

Green Onion

Sour Cream, if you like it

Get a bowl, put the chips in it, top with chili and whichever of the condiments that suit your fancy. Then, dig in!!!

Challenge Update

The universe or global warming or whatever caused that cold snap last week tested our mettle with the challenge, but we stayed true. Here is what happened: our water heater busted on Wednesday and due to a part being shipped in, it wasn’t back up and running until yesterday. For a pair of women that aren’t eating out for a year, that meant boiling water to wash our dishes Laura Ingles Wilder style and mooching showers off of our dear friend Mandy. When our hero plumber Michael Hickey showed up yesterday I actually did a dance of joy. I was seconds away from a trip to Taco-Mex to avoid boiling my 110th giant pot of water to do the dishes. We made it, though and I feel way grittier for it!

If you want to get involved in the fight to protect our small farmers and artisan food makers, I encourage you to meet at the Capitol at 10 AM on February 21st for a lobbying day. It is put on by the fine folks at FARFA and a great way to show support and speak up! For information, click here.

I hope that you all keep warm and eat some chili or something really good!

Thank you for reading,

Not That Martha