Sunday, February 27, 2011


Bowers and I were engaged at an inn right outside of Knoxville, Blackberry Farm. We had been there  to eat two weeks before when his parents were in town for graduation. I had not shut up about it so Bowers decided that it would be the perfect place to propose. He proposed at the chapel on the property and it was PERFECT. 

We celebrated with dinner at the barn and decided that it was only necessary to purchase their cookbook (I have a slight obsession with buying cookbooks). 

9 months later and we still had not made anything out of the cookbook. So... for Valentine's day we opted to stay in and cook from our cookbook. Our dinner consisted of: Black-eyed pea hummus, skillet okra, southern grits with caramelized onions, and lamb chops. The only recipe that was not from the cookbook was the lamb chops. 

Our favorite recipe was the skillet okra:

5 ounces bacon (4-5 strips), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 large vidalia onion
1 pound okra, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. In a large ovenproof skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat for about 8 minutes, until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels; set aside.

3. Add the onion to the bacon drippings in the skillet and cook, stirring often, until caramelized, about 5 minutes, then remove and set aside along with the bacon.

4. Add the okra to the pan along with the salt and pepper. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once gently, until the okra is tender. Add the bacon, onions, and tomatoes in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Serve warm.

*** Do not stir the okra too much so that it will not become mushy.

ENJOY! YUM.. I cannot wait to make it again in the summer when I can get fresh okra from the Farmers' Market.

2 weeks until I will be in Destin!!! Oh the perks of being a teacher...SPRING BREAK :)