Welcome to the Garden, Brandy, pull up a chair and pour yourself a glass of your favorite beverage. Oh and help yourself to some cheese and crackers.
Mary: Brandy tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? Do you still live there?
Brandy: Hello everyone. Well I am an avid reader and I do book reviews. I have am married and have 3 daughters, who keep me very very busy!!! I grew up in a small town in SW Iowa. We had about 200 people in town and that is on Sunday when the country folks came in for church, lol
I live near there still but now the town I live in has about 1000 people, and we even have a grocery store, seriously it is a very nice place to live and grow a family.
I did get the opportunity to live in California for a year. My father was ill and he had one of the 1st heart/lung transplants, at Stanford University, in the world and he was the longest surviving heart/lung transplant in the world, 24 and ½ years.
Mary: What are your hobbies? Other than reading that is.
Brandy: Hmm… Hobbies, I like to read of course and blog/chat, enter contests I like to spend time with my family and watch my girls play sports. I also hand quilt, crochet and draw.
Mary: What is your favorite beverage? If wine, what do you drink? Do you have a favorite winery?
Brandy: My favorite is Sprite or Pepsi. I am not a big wine or beer drinker. If I were to have alcohol it would be vodka, sloe gin, brandy something hard. We do have some very nice wineries in SW Iowa. The closest and I think nicest is Sugar Clay Winery. It is about 15 miles from me and is nestled in the Loess Hills of Iowa.
Mary: Hey nothing wrong with those beverages! I saw a creamsicle recipe on Twitter the other day. Orange crush with vanilla vodka, you should try it out. Do is your favorite restaurant where you live? And is that what you would recommend to out-of-town visitors?
Brandy: My favorite restaurant is the Pink Poodle, about 1 ½ hours away. It is a steak house and has an awesome collection of antique dolls and the best prime rib I’ve ever had. Locally I would say to visit the Chinese Restaurants; they are much closer and have awesome food, especially Lo Mein.
Mary: What type of music do you like? Who’s your favorite musician? If you go to concerts, do you go to outdoor concerts and take picnics? If so, please share with us what you prepare.
Brandy: I like all kinds of music, especially heavy metal, hair bands and grudge. Some of my favorite artists are Bret Michaels, Ozzy Osborne and Alyson Krauss. Some favorite bands are Kiss, Styx, Poison, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica and Motley Crue. Most of our concerts are indoor concerts but if I could take a picnic I would put fried chicken, fruit, veggie tray w/dip, cheese, cottage cheese, potato chips and water or pop. I would probably take cookies or brownie’s for dessert.
Mary: Can you share your favorite recipe with us? And what it pairs best with? Whether it’s beer, wine, cocktail or pop.
Brandy: My favorite recipe is:
1 box (pork) stove-top stuffing
2lbs ground beef, pork, chicken or turkey
1 small onion
1 large can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of mushrooms
1 ½ cup milk
1 package Saltines or dried bread crumbs
Salt to taste
Pepper t o taste
Make stuffing, divide in half and set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice up the onion and add meat. Put in egg, 10 crumbled crackers or ½ cup of bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Combine meat mixture together and divide into balls. Flatten balls into patties and put 1-2 tbsp of stove top stuffing in the middle of the patty and work the sides up into a ball again around the stuffing. Put them in the pan. Continue until done. Leave the 2nd ½ of the stove top stuffing alone so you can use it as a side dish w/ your meal. Cover the meatballs and cook at 350 degrees for about 1hour or until meat is brown and done. (Make sure you throw out the stuffing that you are using to stuff meatballs to avoid getting sick from cross contamination.)
While that is cooking mix up the milk, mushrooms and the cream of mushroom soup into a bowl until it is gravy like, refrigerate. When the meatballs are done and you have drained the grease off the meatballs, pour the cream of mushroom soup over the meatballs and stick back in the oven and cook uncovered until the soup bubbles.
This goes well with rice, mashed potatoes and green beans. You can also use the additional stuffing that was unused and untouched from above.
Thank you, Brandy, for joining us today. Have some more crackers and another glass before you go. Relax and enjoy the garden for a while.