I eat. I drive. I write. I check out cute guys. I’m a single woman traveling — and living — solo. It occurred to me there are a million “mommy blogs,” but very few blogs for single women who aren’t sitting at home waiting for Prince Charming or watching their biological clock. Consider this the “non-mommy” blog. Think Anthony Bourdain meets Bridget Jones.  

Tourist Trap


I have driven past this crazy roadside stop about a million times without stopping and decided it was high time to check it out. When you pull in the driveway it rings a bell and the proprietor followed me in to open up the shop and bathroom. She warned me about the mannequin in the bathroom, which is probably a good thing because yes, it probably would have spooked me. Actually it did anyway — I asked her if she was familiar with the movie “Tourist Trap,” which she was.

That 1979 movie featured Chuck Connors as a nut who has this tourist stop full of mannequins that have a nasty habit of moving by themselves and a car load of teenagers start ending up dead. It sounds silly, but it has some really creepy moments. And as I started thinking about the fact this lady knew the film and some of the decor was reminiscent of it, I started hoping she wasn’t a serial killer.


Anyway, I shot these on the monochrome setting so I could see the results in black and white, and using a red “filter.” The red filter darkens the sky and increases contrast, but also increases noise, so even though it’s ISO 200, noise reduction in Photoshop was generously applied. The monochrome filter can be removed in your RAW processing software so you aren’t giving up the color option if you change your mind later. Which I rarely do when it comes to black and white.


Hacked but back!


Well, it’s been a long time hasn’t it? “Neglectful” doesn’t even begin to describe how I’ve let this blog collect dust. For the record, my houseplants have a tendency to die from neglect, as well. Thank goodness I didn’t have children, right?

Anyway, there’s way too much to update since my last post, but the first order of business is that my site was hacked not once but twice. Not only hacked, but they took it upon themselves when they set up the phishing emails off of my domain to just go ahead and wipe out all my content as well. I mean hey, if you going to screw me over with phishing sites that are gonna get my domain banned if I don’t catch them in time, why not go whole hog and just get rid of all my content that I worked on for years, as well?

Suck it, hackers. I wish I could send my favorite fictional US Marshal from Kentucky (see above) to open up a can of whoop ass on ’em.

Fortunately, thanks to the wonders of the Wayback Machine, I’ve been slowly going back and collecting and re-posting old content, so it’s not a total loss. Not that my let previous posts were exactly setting the world on fire, mind you, but the thought of just starting over completely from scratch with nothing was a bit too much to bear. Although I suppose starting over from scratch on the design as isn’t an entirely bad thing.

Speaking of which, I just want to apologize for that goddawful salmon color that the blog used to be. Honestly, I do not know what I was thinking when I picked that color. So right now the parchment background and the new colors of the logo are in place temporarily until I can design something a little more snazzy. I’ve been busy building another website and trying to get it pretty much complete and fully operational before I jump to another task, but things have changed a little bit that are causing me to pull this blog out, dust it off,and get it show-ready again.

I think I was in Mississippi when I last blogged here, or maybe Indiana. Anyway, now I’m in Kentucky and have been here for almost 2 years. Wow, time flies.


The reason I’m dusting off the blog now is because my living situation is changing so that instead of spending seven days a week sitting at a computer for 10 to 12 hours a day to try to hustle a living, between new writing gigs and another move to a cheaper location, I should be having a lot more time to travel. So that means fresh content for this blog and hopefully some paid content for other sites devoted to travel.

I love TV, but writing about The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones spoilers we get a week out gets a little old. Really, you’d be surprised. (Yeah, I know, first world problems.)

So anyway, the bottom line of this quick update is to say please bear with me while I redesign and make the blog better, and look for  some new content coming up. Also, I have a few other little things brewing besides adding in some podcasting, or blab, periscope or whatever crazy tools all the kids are using these days. I’ve always been passionate about jewelry and learn to make it. So yes, just like one of the Portlandia skits I will likely be making jewelry pretty soon. However, I’m also going to launch a line of BoHo inspired jewelry that’s not handmade to get a good basic collection in a shop and then add handmade pieces as I go.

For the shop, I plan to shoot photos in exotic locales in Kentucky and throughout the Midwest. 😉

It has been a while since I got back out to the desert, so I’m thinking that a trip out to the southwest with this killer first collection might be in the works, as the jewelry in this first collection is going to have that vintage copper-like patina and turquoise, so it screams southwestern desert.

So don’t give up on this website just yet. I was hacked, but I’m coming back.

Raisin Bread Pudding with Vanilla Caramel Sauce

raisin bread pudding recipe

Mmmm, if you want a really decadent dessert/comfort food, what is better than bread pudding? Okay, there might be some things better, but it’s definitely near the top of the list. This is delicious even before the sauce, and downright heavenly with it. If you live alone, be sure to invite someone over so you don’t just sit and eat it all at once. It’s that good.

You could use plain bread, but I say the more raisins the better. I love the vanillas from King Arthur, and I used a Mexican vanilla they sell for this recipe.



First, you combine the bread and raisins in a large bowl, then melt the butter in the milk before adding to the dry mixture.



Then you let it all soak up that milky, buttery goodness for 10 minutes. Add remaining pudding ingredients and pour into a greased 1.5 quart casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until center is set.


It already looks pretty darned good, doesn’t it? Wait till you smell it. When I made this, my landlords also owned the house next door and had a man doing contracting work. He always commented about the heavenly smells coming from the kitchen, poor guy!

But now, it’s time for the icing on the cake, so to speak, or the sauce on the bread pudding.

Combine all sauce ingredients but the vanilla in a saucepan (1 quart) and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Add vanilla.


Then pour all that  that warm, gooey love over bread pudding. To. Die. For.


Raisin Bread Pudding with Vanilla Caramel Sauce

Raisin Bread Pudding with Vanilla Caramel Sauce


  • Pudding
  • 8 slices of raisin bread (4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • Sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 TBSP vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cube bread and combine with raisins.
  3. Heat milk and butter in saucepan till butter is melted and pour the mixture over the bread.
  4. Let soak for 10 minutes.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and pour into a greased 1.5 quart casserole dish.
  6. Bake 40-50 minutes until center is set.
  7. Sauce
  8. Combine all but the vanilla in a saucepan (1 quart) and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens and comes to a boil.
  9. Add vanilla.
  10. Serve warm over bread pudding
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In the company of women


I was thinking I was having trouble getting motivated to write during the Yahoo holiday because I’m spoiled by almost instant approval and pay, plus some extra hours I picked up at the day job…but I’m realizing as I sit down tonight working on my interview with The Voice finalist Beverley McClellan, who I interviewed only a couple of days before my phone interview with Grammy nominee Linda Chorney, that talking to two such extraordinary women artists who have carved their own path for so long (aged 42 and 51 respectively) and gone through the adversity of sticking it out as artists without compromising themselves…has completely blown a fuse. Serious overload. In a good way, but…overload. But I’ve flipped the breaker switch and getting back on track now, albeit a bit slowly.

It’s also got me thinking a lot about the importance of the “Hail Mary,” as both sort of did their own versions of them, with last ditch efforts that paid off. I think there is definitely a story in there beyond an interview with one or the other, but about being women who have sacrificed any kind of conventional life to live as an artist, and not giving in to that pressure we all get – but especially women – to settle down and raise a family and give up our “silly dreams.” The key phrase in that sentence being “give up.”

Luckily, for those of us of a certain age, my independent poll conducted that week of exactly three women over 40 shows that 3 out of 3 of those women really don’t give a shit what other people think. The one good thing about getting old.

And speaking of extraordinary women artists of a certain age:

Bucket list destinations: Puerto Rico

Bucket list destinations: Puerto Rico

Winter is upon us, and baby, it’s cold outside. Do you find yourself dreaming of soaking in the sun on tropical beaches, dining on spicy exotic food and cocktails, exploring rain forests, or galloping on horseback with the wind flowing through your hair? You can have all this and more in one fabulous island paradise. And better yet, forget about any hassles with currency exchange and you can leave your passport at home.

I’m not talking Hawaii, but Puerto Rico.

This “All Star Island” has it all: indulge in luxury resorts, Caribbean cuisine and 270 miles of coastline beaches, including Flamenco Beach in Culebra, which has been hailed as one of the best beaches in the world and ranked within the top 10 by Travel Channel. If you’re more about adventure and taking in the great outdoors, this is your paradise. Hike through the beautiful rain forest with waterfalls and crystal clear pools of water. Or try some mountain biking or horseback riding. Maybe one of the best adventures of all is the longest zip line in the world, soaring over a breathtaking view of the rain forest of El Yunque, the only rainforest in the US National Parks service system.

Personally, I recommend you do it all. Life is short, baby: Live your own 5-star vacation story in Puerto Rico.

puerto rico 2

Still not convinced? Maybe you’re one of those experienced travelers who seek out something really different from your other experiences. Well, check this out: Puerto Rico boasts the Bioluminescent Bays.  Microorganisms in the water create a blue-green glow, so you can take a midnight swim in mother nature’s marine lighting. Or paddle in the moonlight.

If you’re a foodie, you must check out the local cuisine and have an icy cold mojito… or any rum drink, as 70% of rum in the US comes from here. Puerto Rican cuisine blends Spanish, African, and Taíno cuisines, with a dash of American influences for a tasty melting pot of cultural food. Try some carne guisada puertorriqueña, which is a Puerto Rican beef stew, or lechón asado, which is barbecued pig basted in a sour orange juice sauce and served with roasted green plaintains. Or if you’ve watched one too many episodes of Anthony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmern, try some sesos empanados: breaded calf brains.

I think I’ll stick with the pig roast, myself.

puerto rico 3

Are you packing your bags yet? What would you do if you took a vacation to Puerto Rico? Comment below if you dream of hopping on a plane to Puerto Rico, or if you’ve been there, share your experiences with us!

And don’t forget to check out SeePuertoRico.com for more information, plus Follow @PRTourismCo on Twitter, and Like SeePuertoRico.com on Facebook.

Pack your bags: Audio books and Kindle Fire


As a bibliophile living on the road, I love my Kindle Fire for keeping a virtual library of books and magazines at my fingertips, not to mention music and movies. But it has it’s limitations for the heavy traveler. Sometimes I want to get my book fix on a long cross country drive, which is where audio books come in.

They’ve created and opportunity to catch up on all those great books I want to read while I’m in the car. N0t that you need to travel to use them — they also work great for you multi-taskers out there who like to play on your computers all day. Like, say, photographers who spend endless hours slaving in Photoshop and Lightroom who can reap great benefits, as well.

And even if you don’t travel, next time you move and have to haul all those books, think about how nice it would be to carry them in a little tablet. Sure, I love the feel and smell of old books, too. But sometimes you just have to embrace the new technology and go with it.

If I can learn to love audio and ebooks, so can you.

If you want to try audio books, check out Audiobooks.com for a great signup deal: Right now if you signup and download the app for your iPad, iPhone or Android, you get a free book and a free 7-day trial to see how you like it. Would you rather be texting, or listening to a great novel?

(That should be a rhetorical question.)

Here’s a sample of what to expect, including new releases and many genres to choose from.

The great outdoors: Moab, Utah


“It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

Edward Abbey

Edward Abbey called Arches National Park the “most beautiful place on earth” in the opening to his memoir, “Desert Solitaire,” drawn on his time as a ranger there. Few who have visited Arches or its the nearby parks around Moab, Utah, would argue that point. Trails and traditional campsites allow visitors to enjoy this majestic setting, but to fully embrace its rugged beauty, the adventurous leave the beaten path for primitive camping.

Arches National Park

Plan on walking at least a mile to set up primitive camping in Arches National Park; all visitors must make camp at least one mile from any road, designated trail and any named arches on the USGS maps. Keep campsites out of sight of those areas, as well. In addition, further restrictions prohibit camps within 300 feet from of any archaeological sites or non-flowing nonflowing water, and 100 feet from flowing water. The main park road cuts right through the middle of the park, so meeting the requirements provides a bit of a challenge. Permits are required for all primitive camping and may be purchased at the visitor center, To protect the fragile environment in the park, all campers must follow “Leave No Trace” principles to leave the area as they found it. The maximum group size is 10, but smaller groups are strongly encouraged to reduce environmental impact.

Canyonlands Camping

In the nearby Canyonlands National Park,  campers need permits for all overnight backcountry trips. You may reserve them in advance, unlike Arches National Park. But like Arches, all primitive campsites must stay outside a one-mile radius of roads, and at least 300 feet from water sources or archaeological and historical sites, with river corridor camping as the only exception to the rule regarding water sources. No wood fires are permitted at primitive campsites except along rivers, and pets are not allowed. Permits expire after seven consecutive days on at any one site.

BLM Lands

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) operates many primitive campgrounds without water or facilities in the Moab area and charges no fees. Most cannot be reserved in advance. Check the BLM website to find maps and more information about the individual campgrounds. Guests may not stay more than 14 days in any 30-day period. Note that you may share these sites with RVers, who love the free “boondocking” on BLM lands.

Food and Water

You’ll find no drinking water in the backcountry around Moab, save the occasional flow from outside the parks where livestock graze, which needs boiling and purifying to be potable. Even if you do follow those precautions and drink that purified water, don’t expect it to taste good. One way or another, plan for at least one gallon of water daily per person, which person — a gallon weighs eight pounds. If you plan to cook, bring in a camp stove as stove, because few of these areas allow fires. Use extra caution when lighting stoves during high winds and keep any flames away from dry grass, as fires grass. Fires in this arid region can catch and spread quickly.

Leaving No Trace

The old saying goes “Take only photos, leave only footprints.” To practice “leave no trace” camping principles, either bring a portable toilet system or dig a “cat hole” four to six inches deep and at least 300 feet from any water source. Toilet paper and any feminine hygiene products must be packed out, as well. Swimming or washing up directly in pools violates these principles, but you may collect water in a clean container and use it for washing at least 300 feet away, using bio-degradable soap only. An ecological consideration particular to this desert climate involves taking care not to disturb living soil crusts with misplaced footsteps. The crusts, which look black and bumpy or red and smooth, consist of living cyanobacteria, lichen, fungi, algae, algae and moss. Try to stay in dry washes or on rock as you hike to and from your site to avoid destroying this soil-enriching life form, as well as setting up form. Set up your camp itself on a rock foundation.


These remote camping areas around Moab give campers dramatic views of towering rock formations and sweeping sunset views, vistas, but can be hazardous to the inexperienced and experienced alike. Know basic topographic map reading map-reading skills and come prepared for whatever temperatures you may face during your visit. The most common safety issues relate to dehydration and careless hiking or climbing, especially on slickrock and sandstone. The former is easier to climb than descend, and the latter can crumble or and tends to get slippery when wet.

Exercise caution by shaking out and checking clothing, bedding and shoes for unwanted visitors, such as scorpions, black widows or rattlesnakes; never reach into dark places blindly to avoid bites and stings. Thunderstorms pose a serious threat to backcountry campers and hikers. Do not take refuge under rock overhangs or in caves, but proceed directly to your vehicle. If your hair literally stands on end, quickly  remove any metal objects such as pack frames, squat near the ground, and cover your ears. Sudden thunderstorms can turn a dry wash into a raging torrent in a matter of minutes, so avoid setting up camp there.

Travel Nursing Tips


Looking for adventure by working as a travel nurse? Whether you specialize in telemetry, med-surg, critical care, emergency, home health, hospice, or nursing administration, there are an abundance of nursing jobs and healthcare opportunities out there (physical and occupational therapists travel, as well.) Travel nursing is a great to make a lot of money fast, but living on the road can be hard and lonely.

And very unhealthy… trust me I know. I think my next stop is “The Biggest Loser” after years of living on the road the wrong way.  But I’ve been able to visit some great and not-so-great places, including New Orleans, upstate New York, and the Navajo reservation. I even have a practice certificate for New Zealand collecting dust, but someday…

Here are a few tips this old travel nurse has picked up along the way to make your travels a little more pleasant.

Picking the Right Travel Nurse Company
There was a time when you could pretty much assume any company had its act together, and given the stiff competition, would take care of business. Not so much anymore. New travel nurse and temporary job companies are cropping up overnight, and their lack of experience can have a serious impact on you. If a company doesn’t follow through on travel arrangements, hotel and yes, even getting you paid, you may find yourself stranded far from home, so choose wisely. I recommend sticking with long established companies unless you have the bank account to bail yourself out if necessary, which many times, travel nurses can be financially light if getting the next assignment takes longer than anticipated – this can be a game of feast and famine.

Interview the Interviewers
Just as you will be interviewed for a position, you better interview them, because once you get there, if you are treated poorly and want to leave, your travel nurse contract can have severe penalties for leaving, and you jeopardize your ability to find future work. And sorry to say, but don’t think they don’t know this.

Read That Contract
And yes, including – and especially – the fine print. What are the penalties if you get there and find the conditions unbearable? What if you have a personal or medical emergency that forces you to leave early? Make sure you know what you are getting into. And the biggie: what are the minimum hours required each week, and what happens if the company doesn’t give you the minimum? Do they still have to pay the minimum hours per week? I once went on a  travel assignment for home health and they were giving me 7 visits a week with no guarantee to make up for being underbooked. Harsh lesson learned.

If your legal residence is on a “compact” state and you are licensed there, you are set for working on all the states in the compact. If not, you’ll have to get licensed in the state you want to work in, and the length of time varies from state to state. Some issue temporary permits, some don’t. Check the website yourself: while your agency is fairly knowledgeable about state licensing, don’t take their word for it.

Getting There – to Fly or Drive?
Flying will limit how much you can take, but if your agency will provide a rental car, far more convenient (and better on your personal car) than driving. I have been criticized for this by some, but when I have flown, I have been known to pick up things like a DVD player and small appliances at a large national chain store, then return before leaving. The reality is there is only so much you can travel with and you need to try to make your temporary home as “homey” as possible.

If you have pets, you will most likely have to drive, but if you choose to fly, you can be pretty sure the cost of your pet’s flight will be on you.

What to Take
The more work clothes you take the less you will have to do laundry, which may be inconvenient depending on your hotel’s laundry availability. Fabrics that resist wrinkles and separates you can mix and match will maximize your options if your doing an administrative type job. Otherwise, scrubs are the default. Try to limit going out clothes to a couple of outfits – you will likely do some shopping there and many travel jobs work long hours which limit socializing anyway. Keep toiletries basic and small — you can re-buy once you are there. If you love to read I can’t recommend a Kindle enough rather than lugging books around like I have done for years. Likewise, and mp3 player instead of CDs and a laptop should cover your basic electronic and entertainment needs.

It’s always more comfortable to get an apartment, but more and more agencies are going with hotels. Sometimes long stay, but depending on the area you are working in, sometimes only short stay type hotels are available. At the very least, you want to try to get a mini-fridge and microwave, but that is far from ideal.

Traveling with Pets and Family
Agencies will accommodate your pets, but be prepare for limited housing options – the nicer long stay hotels often take no pets, and even if they do, not always dogs. Also be prepared to pay a hefty pet deposit, which you will pay yourself. Pets are great company, but do make traveling that much more challenging. They will also make it difficult to get room service while you are at work unless you can cage them all day for housekeeping staff. And small rooms limit their exercise.

Your Hotel “Kitchen”
If you don’t get a room with a kitchenette, a few appliances can make it a little more bearable:

* Toaster Oven – indispensable in a conventional hotel room.
* Electric Skillet – much better than a hot plate for frying foods
* Electric Kettle Pot – safer option than a hotplate. Many of them also serve as a steamer.
* 1-2 place settings of plates, bowls, silverware, glasses
* Plastic drawers for food, dishes and appliance storage.

Healthy Habits for Travel Nurses
A hotel gym can make fitness much easier, especially in very hot or cold climates. If you opt for fresh air exercise such as jogging or walking, be sure to check with locals as to safe areas for these activities. Hand weights and in room videos can be used IF you have enough space, but it’s usually in short supply in these rooms. Some local gyms may offer short term memberships – if they say no at first, make sure they know you aren’t staying and will not sign any long term contracts under any circumstances. If they see it’s agree to a short term membership or lose a sale, many will accommodate your special situation.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are an option regardless of your kitchen set up. So no excuses!


How to Make Veggies Tasty: Roasted Brussels Sprouts


I am obsessed with two things currently: cast iron cookware and roasted vegetables. Instead of seeing them as a “tolerable” food I “should” be eating, I have discovered the joys of roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots.

Ain’t it grand when good food is healthy for you too? That is a rhetorical questions, folks.

I’m also trying to get my 10″ Lodge frying pan good and seasoned, which means oven cooked bacon everyday now that I’ve seasoned it a couple of times the conventional way. It occurred to me when looking at all that leftover bacon grease from a handful of slices I needed to be using it for cooking other things, and had already been planning on trying roasted Brussels sprouts.

There are a million recipes floating around online for roasted Brussels sprouts, and this particular batch was sprouts, crushed garlic, and pepper. As I cooked them in leftover bacon drippings with a little olive oil to stretch it and completely coat the sprouts, I felt it was salty enough. You may want to add a little salt yourself.


Or if you really want to be lazy efficient, pick up a pack of pre-seasoned and pre-cut sprouts at Trader Joes.

For thriftier folks, wash your Brussels sprouts, trim off any damaged outer leaves, cut the base off and slice the bigger pieces in half. I mixed the ingredients in my iron skillet since some of the oil I wanted to coat my veggies with was already in the pan after cooking bacon (400 degrees for 20 minutes FYI).

Add three cloves of crushed garlic if you are a garlic lover like me, a little extra olive oil to make sure all Brussels sprouts are coated in oil, and season with pepper and/or salt to taste. Mix those little suckers around to make sure they are good and coated with oil.

Roast your Brussels sprouts at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, stirring them 2-3 times to make sure to maximize the carmelization to all sides.

These smell downright heavenly, and have become a new staple of my diet. Sure, there is a little bacon fat in there, but it’s better than fixing up boiled veggies with no vitamins or flavor left, then drowning them in butter to compensate, right? Yes, that’s another rhetorical question.


Sunday dinner: Fried green tomatoes


Now, being a recent transplant to the south, proper (Arizona is technically a southern state, but not really a “southern” state, if you know what I mean) I’ve been embracing my new-found cultural heritage. And from a culinary point of view, you simply cannot be properly southern without eating — and making — fried green tomatoes.

If a menu offers it, I gotta have it, everywhere I go.

Lest I go broke eating out and ordering appetizers all the time, I figured it was high time to give it a go myself, despite my culinary limitations.  And let me be clear here, just because I’ve started a food blog, that doesn’t mean I fancy myself a cooking expert. Far form it after 47 years of bachelorette-hood. But with my determination to overcome my microwave dependence, I’m going to learn to cook if it kills me.

And given my culinary skills, it just might.

But I’m experimenting with different recipes for this classic southern comfort dish, and while there are a million ways to prepare it, this is the general idea. Ironically, the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” was playing this weekend on HBO. I highly recommend watching it whether you saw it many years ago or never have, and I have to read the book, which I am sure is much better than the movie, like they always are. Kathy Bates is hilarious as a frustrated housewife taking women’s self help classes to try to give her life some meaning and get her husband’s attention from the TV.

That poor woman has the worst luck with husbands in her movies.

But the movie centers around the story of two friends who open up a cafe in 1920’s Alabama to make  a new home for themselves as sort of fringe characters —  Ruth has left her abusive husband and although it’s never clearly stated, Idgie seems to be a lesbian in a time where that probably didn’t even have a name. The cafe also becomes home to a cast of characters, from a drunk they take under their wing, to the black folks that eat out back.

It’s a movie about a lot of things… the power of friendship, overcoming tragedy, and how groups of misfit people can come together to form their own family, amongst other things. And as they always say on those food competitions, cooking with love. And like they always say on “Chopped” when their dishes are torn apart by judges, they “cooked it with love,” like that somehow makes up for it.

So I say unto you, I hope you like this, but if you don’t… I cooked it with love, bitches.

Start with three to four firm green tomatoes. This could be a challenge to find unless you live in the south or have your own garden.

Slice them up to approximately 1/2 inch thick slices:


Set up on plate or bowl with your wet ingredients of one egg and a half cup buttermilk (You can use regular milk if you don’t have buttermilk), and another with your breading mix. This is where most of the variations come in — I’ve seen various mixes of cornmeal, flour, panko crumbs and bread crumbs. But so far, my favorite is 1/3 cup each of flour, cornmeal and plain bread crumbs, with a healthy dose of pepper and seasoned salt, to taste. If you want a little heat, add a pinch or two of cayenne or Cajun seasoning.

Yeah, I know that’s not very precise, but I won’t be confined to such mundane things as measuring spoons with my new culinary emancipation. At least not on this. I’m free at last, I tell you!



Then dip in the wet bowl (bowls being much better but plates showing it better for photo purposes), the one more time in your dry mix. Voila, that ‘mater is ready for fryin’.

For frying oil, I recommend peanut or even coconut oil to minimize the damage, but if you’re on a budget, I mean really… we’re talking about fried tomatoes, so so-called healthy oils aren’t going to make it wholesome, now are they? The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond recommends adding some butter to your oil in her pork chops recipe, which seems like a swell idea for my fried green tomatoes, as well. So I recommend 1/2 cup oil and one tablespoon butter heated on medium heat. Then carefully add your tomatoes so you don’t splash yourself with hot oil.


Fry for 3-5 minutes before turning, cooking each side to a golden brown.


Thank goodness for long lenses so I didn’t get splattered with hot grease in the name of art.


Most people serve these up with some kind of sauce or remoulade, but like the fried green tomatoes recipe itself, you’ll find about a million variations for the special sauce. I like this one from Simply Recipes or this buttermilk dipping sauce from the Neelys.

Want a handy, dandy visual reference? Or just like pretty food pictures? Pin this to your Pinterest account for reference:


Mmmmm, these are tasty. What’s your favorite variation of fried green tomatoes?