Somehow this week got away from me without a decent post, except last weekend’s wrap-up, but my excuse is that I was writing my thesis (you’ll be hearing that pretty much all summer) and cooking!

Here are a few things I made…

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This SERIOUSLY good coconut and rum loaf is from the blog, Food, Fashion and Flirts (shout-out to her for some great cooking!!).  I DID NOT put chilis in the recipe (since I’m not a fan of heat, especially in desserts…it must be a British thing) and it is more of a sponge cake than a ‘loaf’ like Banana Bread.  My daughter, who is a health nut and normally poo-poos sweet stuff I cook, asked me if I could bake one every week!

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The next day, my daughter had her boyfriend-du-jour over and I made this risotto with ground beef and carrots and herbs from the garden.  I am totally making this one again!  Think of it like bolognese without the tomato, or not.  As for the recipe, I adapted it from the blog, Dinner of Herbs (another good cooking site!), except I cooked the ground beef and carrots together so that the carrots wouldn’t be crunchy and added the mixture at the end with herbs from the garden (chives, parsley, thyme and a rosemary garnish).  I also used a ‘normal’ risotto method…lots of adding (homemade) chicken broth and stirring…any recipe will have a decent version.  One cup of dry risotto serves four generous portions.  If you’ve never tried to make risotto at home, let me assure you that it seems WAY more complicated than it actually is.  The only key is knowing that once you put the rice in the pan, you MUST have someone at the stove stirring until it is done…no exceptions, or it will burn/stick to the bottom of the pan.

The secret is to make sure that whatever ‘stuff’ you’re putting in at the end is prepared beforehand (like the hamburger mixture).  It is an awesome dish to make at home.  I highly recommend it.  Think of it like Italian comfort food…

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Last, but certainly not least, we took a drive up to High Rock Lake, which is a BEAUTIFUL lake that borders the Uwharrie National Forest near Lexington NC and we, of course, had to stop off for some NC food at Jimmy’s BBQ.  If you’re traveling on I-85 through NC, its just off the highway, and boy, its worth a stop.

Now to be fair, on Sunday (THE) Lexington BBQ is closed, but Jimmy’s serves up ‘Sunday Lunch’, which I had above…fried chicken, 3 veggies, hush puppies and dessert for $7.75…hard to believe.  Sorry the picture is blurry, but I was rushing :-).

If you’re in the area, its located on Highway 8 just off exit #103 in Lexington NC.

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