Tag Archives: Florida

Angelo’s Buffalo Backs Recipe

Angelo's Buffalo Backs RecipeLittle Bitty Baby Elah | oysters and pearls

Wheat and I just got back from a quick Labor Day weekend trip to my parents’ beach house in St. Joe Beach, where we had healthy servings of Buffalo Backs, which is sort of a new family tradition in the Bristol family.  I’ve had this post in my drafts folder for months, but finally got around to posting it since we ate them again.  Even the pictures are old!

What are Buffalo Backs, you ask?  Well, if you’re a grouper or snapper fisherman, you know that when you clean the fish, you normally (most probably) throw away the backs and throats and heads of the fish.  However, there’s a lot of meat on there… really, really delicious meat!  It’s just difficult to clean.  And so, most people throw them out (or the guy who is cleaning the fish sneakily takes them home!).  Luckily, my dad usually keeps them himself, and we often have had grilled grouper throats throughout the years, and it’s my FAVORITE part of the fish. Angelo’s & Sons Restaurant in Panacea, Florida owns their own commercial fishing boats, and therefore is well aware of the throats and backs that would normally be a byproduct of the catch.  They put “Buffalo Backs” on their menu, and I’ve been hooked since the first time I tried them!

Now, this is not an official recipe or anything, because they wouldn’t tell me at all what was in their recipe.  So this is my attempt at figuring it out.  After making it a couple times, my dad and I feel like we’ve hit upon a good recipe… even if it isn’t an official Angelo’s recipe.  Enjoy!

Angelo's Buffalo Backs Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Angelo’s Buffalo Backs Recipe


– grouper/red snapper fileted rib sections and backs.
– 2 sticks butter
– 1 large onion, diced
– 1 small bottle Crystal hot sauce
– 2 tablespoons ground red pepper
– 2 teaspoons paprika
– 2 tablespoons minced garlic
– salt and pepper to taste
– 3 tablespoons lemon juice (or to taste)
– sliced green onions (garnish)


Saute diced onion in the butter until soft and translucent.  Add the hot sauce, red pepper, paprika, garlic, and salt and pepper.  Simmer over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, add lemon juice to taste, then set aside.

Salt and pepper grouper or snapper rib sections and backs.  Grill as desired, then toss in the buffalo sauce.  Serve immediately.

Snapper for Buffalo Backs | oysters and pearlsBecause when we have Snapper backs, we have lots of Snapper backs, it’s a social affair to cook Buffalo backs.  It takes a while to grill all of them, and requires lots of people to eat all of them.  The last time we did it was not long after my niece Elah was born!  My dad’s good friend, Galt, a few more friends, my parents, Wheat and me, all headed to Quincy to visit with new baby Elah and pig out.

Galt and Doc | oysters and pearls

Galt and Wheat | oysters and pearls

The little fluffy dogs (Harold & Betsey) were very curious about the smell of grilling meat.

Harold Smells Buffalo Backs | oysters and pearls

Betsy | oysters and pearlsAnd new little baby Elah was SO NEW AND LITTLE BITTY!

Little Bitty Baby Elah | oysters and pearls

Little Bitty Baby Elah | oysters and pearlsIMG_7016I barely recognize that wittle face!

The moral of this story is twofold:
1) babies grow wayyyyyy too fast, and
2) never throw out your grouper and red snapper backs and throats.

Angelo's Buffalo Backs RecipeLittle Bitty Baby Elah | oysters and pearls

Any questions?





Whole30 Week 3

So Week 3 of Whole30 has come and gone, and I’ve done better this week (for the most part).   I’ll pick back up on June 16th:

For breakfast, I whipped up a smoothie with spinach, almond butter, banana, chia, flax, blueberries, strawberries, coconut water, and coconut milk.  I also had coffee with coconut oil.  For lunch I had yet another spinach salad with tomatoes, cucumber, blueberries, strawberries, slivered almonds and guacamole, deli turkey and blueberry balsamic vinegar and olive oil.   Yes, I eat enormous salads.  #noshame

My new obsession is with kombucha, and I’ve been having one every afternoon to combat the 3 o’clock slump.  My favorite is the hibiscus flavor I think.  Gingerberry is the bomb, too (I can only get GT Kombucha at the Thomasville Publix, but please clue me in to more resources!).

For supper I threw together this kitchen sink frittata, and it was awesome.  Massive quantities of lightly steamed kale, onions, yellow squash, broccoli, tomatoes, and topped with a splash of hot sauce, of course.  And eggs, obvi.  I didn’t measure much, but I steamed a ton of veggies in my Le Creuset, whisked together 8 or 9 eggs in a mixing bowl with salt and pepper, poured them over the veggies and added sliced tomatoes on top.  Let them sit for a minute to cook on the bottom side, then stick the whole thing in the oven on broil until the top is golden brown.

Whole30 Kitchen Sink Frittata | Oysters and Pearls

The next day (we’re up to June 17 now), I had leftover frittata with hot sauce, along with coffee and coconut oil, per usual.  For lunch, we had Barbarito’s at the office, which was awesome.  I made a small salad of lettuce topped with steak, chicken, pico de gallo, guacamole, and jalapenos.  As a snack later on, I had a hard boiled egg and kombucha.  For supper, we had this salad mountain, made up of spinach topped with blueberries, tomato, hard boiled egg, deli turkey, cucumber, raw yellow squash, pickled green beans, and guacamole (balsamic vinegar + olive oil dressing).

Whole30 Kitchen Sink Salad | Oysters & Pearls


On to June 18: Breakfast was (yet again) leftover frittata (it was getting kind of gross at this point) plus a handful of blueberries.  Lunch was a chef salad from The Scoop in Thomasville for a working lunch (no cheese, please!).  It was sort of sparse, to be honest, so I got hungry later on and ate two hard boiled eggs with a 100 calorie pack of Wholly Guacamole.  And a kombucha.

For supper, Wheat grilled us some FINE ribeyes from Jones’ Meats, grilled okra, too!  I sauteed yellow squash and onions in ghee and a little olive oil.  It was a delicious meal.  Whole30 Dinner | Oysters & Pearls

Oh, and I had about 1,000 cherries.

I’ll be up front: here’s my cheat this week:

Fresh Fried Fish | Oysters & Pearls

Would YOU be able to resist fish as FRESH as it gets?  Literally pulled from the sea moments before, then deep fried on the back of the boat for lunch?  Yeah, me either.  I don’t even care that the fish was battered with flour and fried in peanut oil.  Or that the coleslaw was made with mayonnaise of unknown origin.  Or that the hushpuppies are made outta cornmeal.  Life is short and the fish were fresh.

We went on our annual awesome fishing trip with our friend Jacob at Lady J Charters on the 20th with my dad, Wheat’s dad, Marc and Cullen.  We caught our limit of red snapper, a couple bee liners and a couple white snappers.  It is always the MOST fun day. (link to last year’s trip)

Snapper Fishing with Lady J Charters out of Port St. Joe, Florida | Oysters & Pearls

Besides the fried fish (we won’t even talk about the hushpuppies and Parramores’ coleslaw), I did pretty well.  I had ham and turkey, raw almonds and cashews, an apple, and watermelon throughout the day.  For supper we ate the same thing again (fresh fried fish, coleslaw, hushpuppies), this time with a caesar salad.  I resisted the chocolate cake.  #nonscalevictory

Back to reality and on the bandwagon, we had a huge lunch for Father’s Day at my grandparents in Blountstown.  For that event, I made this whole30 approved (and crazy easy) spinach salad in a flash.  Fresh spinach topped with avocado, strawberries, blueberries and slivered almonds, with a really tasty dressing.  Recipe for it below, copied and pasted straight from whole30.com.


Whole30 Spinach Summer Fruit Salad Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

Berry and Spinach Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette, @3wholesisters

  • 6 cups organic spinach
  • 2/3 cup blueberries + 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 2/3 cup sliced strawberries
  • ½ -1 shallot sliced julienne
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 TBS lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place spinach in a serving dish. Top with blueberries, strawberries, shallot, and almond slivers. For Vinaigrette: Place blueberries in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Process until smooth. If necessary, add a little bit of water to thin out, depending on the consistency.

– See more at: http://whole30.com/2014/10/best-whole30-recipes-steal-salad/#sthash.MMnD9faH.dpuf


Whole30 Blueberry Vinaigrette Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

Despite my Auber-Southern family’s plethora of tempting and delicious treats, I managed to fill my plate with mostly whole30 compliant noms.  Ignore that deviled egg.  I’m sure Duke’s is whole30 compliant, right? ;)  I also somehow managed to resist my grandmother Tezzie’s amazing, wonderful, possibly literally Heaven-sent homemade yeast rolls (think Sister Schuberts on steroids) for the first time in my entire life.  I’m not even sure if that’s really a victory. :(

Whole30 Fathers' Day Lunch | Oysters & Pearls

Tezzie and I both got a little bit of baby love with little Elah, who is growing like a weed.  I die at that seersucker.

Tezzie and Elah | Oysters & Pearls

My salad, surprisingly (haha, psych) wasn’t really a hit with anyone else due to all the amazing food, so I added a bit more to it and brought it to Fathers’ Day meal number 2 at the Kirbo Kasa.  It went over exceedingly well with that crew, and I didn’t even bring any home.  I’ll definitely be making that one again, whole30 or no.

June 22: After a 3.7 mile run with my sweet accountability buddy (aka Juin, the never-tired bird dog) I had a couple hard boiled eggs, half an avocado, strawberries, and sriracha (just on the eggs, I swear), with a side of probiotics and zinc and coffee.  Sweet handmade leather mug available at Maiden South. ;)

Whole30 Breakfast | Oysters & Pearls

For lunch I finally made some homemade whole30 mayo and promptly whipped up some egg salad.  Meet egg salad mountain: Whole30 Egg Salad Salad | Oysters & Pearls

For dinner I visited another recipe from the whole30 book: balsamic roasted sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts.  Basically you reduce an entire bottle of balsamic and drizzle it over roasted veggies.  They make it sound way more complicated than that by making it a “recipe.”  I also drizzled it over this pan-fried chicken breast.  I did not drizzle it over the roasted okra.

Whole30 Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts drizzled with Balsamic Reduction, Pan-Fried Chicken Breast and Roasted Okra | Oysters & Pearls


Speaking of roasting tons of veggies, it works out well, since I get them delivered to my office steps by this dashing young farmer, David at Hopkins Farms.  If you’re local, you can get a half-bushel of locally grown goodness (pictured below, $30) or a whole bushel by emailing hopkinsfarmtotable@gmail.com.  He delivers to Thomasville and Cairo currently, and the veggies are amazing.  If you’re doing Whole30, just let him know in your email that you want a Whole30 box, and he’ll even leave out the corn and peas and give you extras of the rest. :)  Thanks, David!

David, Hopkins Farms Farm to Table CSA | Oysters & Pearls


I’m going to spare you the rest of my whole30 experience meal by meal.  I can’t believe it’s almost over!  I’ll be popping back in to share my final Whole30 thoughts and feelings, along with life post-Whole30 soon.  It’s really difficult for me to keep up with extensive posts like this, and I’m sure difficult for you to pay attention that long, anyway, so I plan to keep my posts from here on out shorter and sweeter. :)  Happy Summering!

Until Next Time

From Cold Mountain to St. Joe Beach

Welp, I’ve been MIA, but it’s because so many wonderful things have been going on!  And for the first time in a couple years, I’m not going to let blogging stop me from living. ;) But I’m happy to be able to finally share some pictures from the wedding of a very special set of friends!

At the end of February, Wheat and I headed to Cold Mountain, just outside of Asheville, NC, for our friends Zach and Michelle’s wedding.  (Or if you follow me on Instagram, you may know them better as #bigdaddyandtrudywed.)  It was a super small, gorgeous winter affair.  Michelle wanted us to wait to share pictures until they had their big party/reception back at home, so that’s what I did, despite the temptation.  This past week Wheat and I headed to the beach to celebrate 1) our 3 year wedding anniversary on Wednesday (TIME FLIES!) and then celebrate Zach and Michelle all weekend!

Wheat and I laid low Wednesday, went for a long walk on old 98, then went for drinks at the Thirsty Goat and my favorite dinner at Provisions: Angel Hair Ahi Tuna.  It’s maybe one of my top 10 favorite dishes.

Third Anniversary Celebration at the Thirsty Goat, Port St. Joe, Florida  | Oysters & Pearls Provisions Angel Hair Ahi Tuna in Port St. Joe, Florida | Oysters & Pearls

Then Thursday we beached it some, and Michelle and I did some beach deck yoga, and waited for friends to arrive for the weekend of celebrating!  Harold is my fave beach bum. :)

PS That’s Wheat out there on our paddle board.

St. Joe Beach, Florida | Oysters & Pearls

Michelle doing some Beach Rural Yoga | Oysters & Pearls Some Beach Rural Yoga | Oysters & Pearls

Friday we headed back to Provisions for bruschetta (my favorite appetizer and favorite bruschetta ever) and drinks (at lunch, I know!) to wait for another couple/friend to arrive.  We ended up staying for lunch.

Bruschetta at Provisions in Port St. Joe, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

After lunch we beached it some more and then had everyone over for supper.  Saturday we beached it yet again (all day long this time) until everyone had to get ready for Zach and Michelle’s wedding party.  It was phenomenal!  They had Paul Gant doing BBQ, which is always amazing, along with a low country boil, boiled fresh shrimp, and freshly shucked oysters (raw and baked).  It was ridiculous and fabulous and so much fun celebrating our beach besties.

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

The next picture deserves a story: the Friend Ship was at our wedding, too!  In 7th grade, my dad helped a friend and me re-finish it, and we dubbed it the Friend Ship.  Since then, it’s made more appearances as a boat-load-of-beer than it has as a sailing vessel.  We were glad it could be a friend-ship-full-of-beer for our dear friends!

The Friend Ship Boat-load of Beer, Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

Low Country Boil Celebrating Zach and Michelle at Windmark Beach, St. Joe Beach, Florida| Oysters & Pearls

So without much further ado, here are some pictures I took back in February of the wonderful wedding before the party!  It was on this beautiful terrace on the mountain side.  Oh, and I made my debut as florist at this wedding, thanks to Trader Joe’s, climbing a eucalyptus tree in a friend in Bainbridge’s yard (Thanks, Lauren!), and mutilating my succulent.  It was such a drop dead gorgeous, sweet and simple wedding.  I’m so glad I got to be a part of their big day!

Zach and Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Zach and Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Zach and Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Zach and Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Zach & Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Zach’s sister, April, baked the delicious cheesecake (Michelle’s favorite), which they cut the next morning for breakfast wedding cake. :)

Wedding Cheesecake by April Wisdom, Zach and Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Cutting the Cake: Zach & Michelle's Mountain Wedding | Oysters & Pearls

Congrats Zach and Michelle (and Big Daddy and Trudy)! We love y’all!

Until Next Time