Comfort Food Comeback

Comfort food has certainly experienced a type of renaissance, celebrated by even the most avant garde chefs and restaurants. So many humble, nostalgic foods have found new life from a bit of inventive cookery. Versions of macaroni and cheese, chicken pot pie, fried chicken, red-eye gravy, and cornbread can be found anywhere from gas stations to exclusive seven-course tasting menus (all to the amusement of old Southern grandmothers, of course). Among them, blessedly, is this gooey grilled cheese. Beautifully bubbling Brie. Glorious Granny Smith apple. Buttery browned baguette. Creamy caramel drizzle. (Okay, maybe I should [... more]

A Smart Start

You actually can eat a healthy breakfast on the go with Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins. Although they call for 100 percent whole wheat flour (which can make foods taste a bit like dry cardboard), you’ll find these muffins surprisingly flavorful. Juicy blueberries, buttermilk, and vegetable oil help make this breakfast food super moist. A sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar crowns these delectable beauties, making them a visually appealing and kid-friendly breakfast treat. All children, big and small, will love that! Photo Source: Freutcake

Sunday Morning Sweetness

Sometimes certain foods evoke specific memories. When I saw the image of the Smoked Paprika Red Potatoes and Egg Bake, I recalled lazy Sunday morning meals. The well-cracked egg reminds me of my husband standing in the kitchen, always trying to make the perfect egg. We are a tough crowd, too. If the yolk is broken, someone is in big trouble. In this recipe, simple ingredients—eggs, potatoes, onions, garlic, smoked paprika, heavy cream—all come together to create a memorable family breakfast. Photo Source: Naturally Ella

Vodka Made for the South

Not much reminds me of the South more than the sweet aroma of honeysuckle in the thick, humid air. The Cathead Distillery in Madison, Mississippi, is known for supporting live music—and for their Honeysuckle Vodka that needs no mixer. But it can create some pretty amazing cocktails. Distilled six times in small batches, the finished product can’t be duplicated. Cathead distiller Phillip Ladner showcases this unique liquor in a cocktail called the Show Pony, which consists of mint, black pepper simple syrup, Cathead Honeysuckle, and ginger ale. [... more]

Party On

No game-day celebration would be complete without delicious food and drinks. Unfortunately, these traditionally unhealthy foods come loaded with fat and calories, kind of ironic considering we’re cheering on health-conscious athletes. Party favorite Buffalo chicken wings would typically have guests packing on pounds. That is, until now. This lighter version, Skinny Buffalo Chicken Sliders, contains all the great flavors you love without all the fat from deep-frying. Shredded rotisserie chicken tossed with Greek yogurt, hot sauce, and garlic powder is topped off with blue cheese, celery, and [... more]

Quiet Your Craving

Chocolate + Baileys = happy hour, and happy me! This Chocolate Baileys Mud Cake recipe is my answer to that universal craving that we all have experienced…chocolate. How strong is this craving? I’m glad you asked! The week before my daughter walked down the aisle and became a wife, all of the wedding favors were stored in our refrigerator, wrapped in little pink and tangerine wrappers. All of a sudden, this craving hit me. I couldn’t find a bite of chocolate anywhere in the house except for—yes—oh, yes—you guessed [... more]

S’More Uses for Cast Iron

If your mother or grandmother passed a cast-iron skillet down to you, then you’re a lucky duck. Every time I pull my hand-me-down skillet out, I feel as if I am cooking with a piece of history. Nothing says “Southern” more than cobbler or cornbread cooked in a cast-iron vessel, but for a contemporary twist on tradition try Indoor S’mores: melted chocolate in the bottom of a cast-iron skillet with gooey marshmallows smothered on top and served with graham crackers. Cast iron conducts heat very slowly and [... more]

Bloody Good!

From the outside, blood oranges look pretty much like every other orange you’ve ever eaten. Nature’s magic is not apparent until you slice into one. Only then will you notice the difference: the ruby-red flesh inside, the intense citrus aroma, the heightened sweetness. The recipe for Blood Orange Mimosas takes full advantage of this fruit’s unique assets. Simply squeeze the oranges, add 2 ounces of juice to a champagne flute, and top with champagne. Garnish each mimosa with a skewer of orange peel and fresh thyme. Gorgeous! [... more]

Civilized Bacon

Though my recipe addiction is lifelong and bona fide, my head isn’t turned by every fondue, fricassee, or frittata. When it comes to entertaining, any recipe that makes my menu usually has to meet certain criteria: high drama, low effort, and a minimum of ingredients. In my mind, guests break into applause at the mere sight of each dish prepared, certain I’ve slaved for days to achieve such culinary grandeur. Despite its modest name, this Bacon-Wrapped Scallops recipe delivers the “wow” factor in presentation and taste with only a handful of [... more]

A Razzed Up Red Velvet

When you slice through the dark chocolate frosting of a red velvet cake and remove the first piece, you immediately notice the distinct reddish brown layers separated by bands of creamy filling. This Red Velvet and Raspberry Supreme Cake recipe has many surprising elements that will amaze even the most discerning Southern baker. Unexpected fresh raspberries fill in between the cake layers and decorate the top. Inside, you’ll find two different creamy fillings: a marshmallow cream cheese and a pink whipped vanilla cream. Every bite is super [... more]

Ooey Gooey Goodness

I walked into our local bakery last week and inhaled the sweet aroma of freshly baked bread. I had to reel in my senses; otherwise, I would have stood there frozen like a fool incapacitated by the glorious smells of baked goodies. Spying the crusty, golden loaves coming out of the oven, I remembered this recipe I had come across a few weeks earlier. Buffalo Chicken French Bread features a baguette coated with ranch dressing, chicken drenched in a spicy buffalo sauce, and gorgonzola cheese dripping down [... more]

Grilled Cheese for Grown-Ups

There is a time and place for the simplicity of a traditional grilled cheese sandwich, especially if you’re serving them to children. When the kids are away, the adults can play—by getting creative in the kitchen. Turn that childhood favorite into an adult version with this recipe for Grilled Cheese with Gouda, Roasted Mushrooms, and Onions. Mix the sliced mushrooms and onions with olive oil, salt, and pepper; then spread out on a baking sheet to bake in the oven until roasted. Assemble the sandwiches and then [... more]

An All-Around Treat

I call this the “multiple-choice” cookie. With colorful edible sprinkles, Raspberry Confetti Kisses make the perfect treat for several holidays. Serve these sweet confections on silver platters for intimate Valentine’s Day gatherings. (They’re named “kisses,” after all!) These little pink delicacies of melt-in-your-mouth goodness will definitely pull at cupid’s heartstrings. Or, savor them this spring. The Easter Bunny could easily leave behind these pastel puffs for you to discover in your basket. No matter which holiday you choose to serve Raspberry Confetti Kisses, they’re sure to be [... more]

Going Green

We cross the imaginary line from youth to adulthood when we unwittingly begin to eat and even enjoy foods we shunned as a child. Enter asparagus. I can recall feeling left out when our whole family demanded “seconds” of my Mimi’s creamy asparagus casserole. But as an adult, cousin Kevin prepared a lovely version of the fresh veggie simply roasted with olive oil and herbs and forever recruited me as a fan. Officially grown-up. Though I still get requests for my favorite prosciutto and Neufchâtel cheese wrapped version, this [... more]