Welcome to Cold Beer & Meat Sweats

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How Did I Get Here?

For a while now I have been wanting to start a blog. Not a blog where I write down all of my problems and spoon feed them to the world; just a simple blog where I can share my love of cooking to others who have the same passion. Cooking, over the years has become a passion for me. When I was in my twenties, I lost a lot of sleep over the fact that I didn’t have a passion, and that I didn’t know what truly made me happy in life. Does anyone really have those answers in their twenties? Probably not, but every twenty year old something out there believes that they should… joke’s on us, it’s ok if you don’t.

I was fortunate enough to have earned a career right out of college. I had the opportunity to work for an affiliate of a major TV network in Pittsburgh, PA. It was, at the time, amazing. Roof top parties, fancy get togethers, working on 5th Ave., in the middle of a bustling, thriving, growing city. It was everything I had ever wanted. (I thank “F.R.I.E.N.D.S” for this dream I had of living and working in a downtown environment.) It was here, where I realized that I wasn’t sure what the heck I was going to do with the rest of my life. Was I really going to be in this satellite control room forever? I was in a fancy building, where famous people would come and do voice-overs while they were filming movies in the area. It was sometimes like a dream world. Where I worked in particular, there was this large window, and when people would walk by they could see all the little workers at their stations. The more I sat with my headphones on and watched these tours go by, the more I felt like a monkey in a zoo, on display for the amusement of others. Sure, maybe that’s a little drastic but, when you’re 24, everything is drastic.

 

 

During my time at the production company, I ended up meeting someone. I didn’t know at the time that she was going to be a lifetime friend, I just knew I really enjoyed her company, and the company of those she surrounded herself by. We ended up catering on the weekends just for sh**s and giggles. One of her best friends was a head chef at a catering company and he always needed bodies. It started out as something that was fun and distracting from other things I had going on in my life, almost like an escape. I had no intentions of liking it…. I was just there, because. Funny how life works out like that. My dear friend Amanda, I believe, is one of the main reasons I am on a new path. She took it from catering on the weekends to inviting me over for dinner a couple of nights a week. Her and her husband would take hours to create these meals, and we would end up eating dinner around 10pm, no matter what day of the week it was, it was usually a midnight supper club type of deal. I absolutely fell head over heels in love. I wanted to know everything. I wanted to know how to hold the knife properly, I wanted to know how to shop for the right ingredients, and I had questions for everything. I didn’t just want to make them, I wanted to do everything from finding inspiration for the meal, to the grocery store, to finding it in the aisles or the markets, to the kitchen, to the table. ALL OF IT.

I ended up working at this company for 4 years to the day. There were moments of love and hate. Looking back now, I was learning important life lessons about how to exist in a professional environment, and yet, I had no idea that I was learning anything at all. Everyday I was awake in my twenties I was writing something down. It didn’t matter if I were in a good or bad mood, whatever I was feeling was going down on paper. Usually when I was at work trying to look busy, I would be writing; How do I get out of here? How do I change my life? How do I remove these walls and explore the world with $2 to my name? Is it possible to say F*** IT and walk out with my hands in the air, and not burn a bridge, my career, and ruin my life? (NO, it’s not.) Amanda & her husband Matt, helped me in ways they might not be aware of. They made me look at myself, re-evaluate, dig deep, and figure out what I enjoyed doing. It turns out that I really love to cook.

 

 

Fast forward to this moment in my life. I do not live in Pittsburgh, PA anymore but, I am still very close with my two dear friends whom I left behind. I purchased my very first Apple laptop computer, bought a domain name, found a glorious man to share my life with, and I’m venturing out into the food blogging world. I have zero ideas where this adventure is going to take me but, I also don’t care and it doesn’t scare me. I am excited, nervous, and ready. I love to cook, I love to write, and I love to take pictures of food. Join me on this journey, won’t you?

 

 

 

This journey wouldn’t be possible without you, Mitch, and I thank you so much for sticking by my side through thick and thin, I love you.

 

 

Granny Rose

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Grandma Rose & Her Gravy Legacy 

This recipe is my favorite for many reasons, but mainly because the first food I ever remember learning to cook, was my Grandmothers Sausage Gravy. It was particularly my favorite because we always had it on Christmas morning. Our family is huge on stocking stuffers, and my Grandpa would wake us up around 6AM every year, and we would all gather around and watch each other open up our stockings! Afterwards we break for coffee and breakfast. Granny and Mom would prepare everything, and my job was always to set the table. It wasn’t until after breakfast when we got to open up our presents, and it was the greatest thing ever growing up! The anticipation always felt like it was going to kill me! Eating my delicious biscuits & gravy, and wondering what was still under the tree was all so exciting. Looking back,  I don’t ever remember her making biscuits, but that gravy, I could just drink it.

 

 

Fast forward to now. My Granny passed away in July of 2016, (Grandpa passed away when I was in 8th grade,) and when I decided to create my own food blog, I promised myself that my first recipe would be her gravy, in her honor. My Granny taught my Mom, and my Mom taught me, and I am so lucky to have been raised by such wonderful women, and men. Once I moved to North Carolina and noticed the plethora of biscuits in the South, I knew it was a sign that it was time to find the perfect biscuit recipe to pair with our gravy. It wasn’t until about 2 years ago when I found the perfect biscuit. I was with friends in Asheville NC, and we went to the tiniest diner called “Biscuit Head”. This place had a line out the door and down the street. I was so excited to try these biscuits that I would have waited 2 hours…. Luckily we only had to wait about 30 minutes. From someone who loves biscuits, loves breakfast food, and loves a jam bar, this place could be my heaven! Yes, I said JAM BAR!!!! (They now have about 4 locations and if you haven’t been yet, stop what you’re doing, Yelp the nearest location, and GO!) Click Here for Biscuit Locations

 

 

After my meal, I officially knew that this biscuit was going to be, the one! From now on when I made my Biscuits & Gravy, these were the biscuits I were going to use! There was only one problem; how do I get this recipe?!? I was screwed. I figured it was some top secret, Great, Great, Great Grandmothers, Sisters, Best Friends, Daughters recipe, and that no one would EVER share something so sacred and beautiful. Well, I WRONG! Amazon, in all it’s glory, helped me to discover that Biscuit Head now has a cookbook!! Once I found it, I think I cried a little from excitement. I documented the whole process, as you can see below, the day the book arrived.

 

 

I will never forget the first time I made these biscuits, it was a DISASTER. I failed, miserably. They were hard on the outside and raw on the inside, just how all perfect biscuits should be… Not!! I refused to eat my dinner that night. It was awful.

 

 

Finally, I can confidently share this recipe with you and say, best of luck! If something goes wrong, don’t give up, just try again 🙂

What I’ve had to learn to accept throughout this blog, and cooking journey is that, not all recipes are going to be perfect the first time. You might waste money, ingredients, and time, but that doesn’t mean you give up. I have failed plenty, but the successes outweigh those losses every time.

 

 

This recipe is for you, Grandma Rose. I love you and miss you every single day of my life. You taught me how to be a lady, how to love those around me, and to treat others the way I wish to be treated. You were one of the greatest loves of my life. RIP.