Mains Uncategorized

The Ultimate Pantry & Freezer Meal…Zuppa di Ravioli

There are times when a good pantry, refrigerator, and freezer clean out are needed.  Digging all the way to the back of the pantry or freezer will at times turn up items that you can’t even remember buying, but as long as they aren’t freezer burned or out of date/stale, you owe it to your …

Mains Uncategorized

The New Beans & Rice

In the South, there are also certain food combinations that are “expected.”  If you have bbq, then you have baked beans.  If you have fried chicken, you have mashed potatoes.  If you have ice tea, it’s gonna be sweet!  You get the idea… Anyway, beans are no different.  If a Southerner has beans, they’re going …

Desserts Uncategorized

Andes Candies meet Chocolate Cake

This one is totally for my husband and son.  They LOVE mint chocolate chip ice cream, Andes candies, after dinner mints, Thin Mint cookies, and anything else that’s chocolatey and minty.  As my husband said, “I’m gonna love it and hug it and make it my very own!”

Mains Sides & Salads Uncategorized

Tilapia with Warm Crab Salsa & Manchego Grits

The real challenge for many home cooks is using what is readily available in the neighborhood grocery store and turn it into something fantastic, something creative, something inventive. In many rural areas, such as mine, access to gourmet or specialized goods and grocery stores is quite limited. Granted, I can order just about anything I …

Breads Breakfast Mains Uncategorized

Bacon & Citrus Pizzas

Let me begin by saying, yeast bread dough is probably the most versatile “ingredient” you can learn to make.  Basic yeast dough can be turned into so many different meals.  From cinnamon roll breakfasts to pizzas, yeast dough can become sweet or savory with the addition/deletion of flavorings and fillings.  

Desserts Uncategorized

Bourbon Sugar Snickerdoodles

I may have unplugged and cooked minimally while on our trip to Savannah, but I was constantly processing ideas, writing recipes, and trying new products. One of the coolest things about Savannah is the friendliness of the shop keepers and their willingness to let you sample EVERYTHING they make.  I’ve ventured into The Spice & …

Just My Thoughts... Uncategorized

Finding Inspiration on the Road…Savannah (updated with punch recipe)

In addition to cooking, we travel…A LOT! Travelling so much isn’t a bad thing; there is so much to see and drink and taste. It’s one inspirational experience after another. The first thing to understand is that we refuse to eat in any chain restaurant. There are so many amazing independent and creative restaurants in …

Desserts Uncategorized World Food Championships

Sangria’d Strawberry & Orange Zabaglione Parfait

After learning my lesson at World Food Championships in 2013, by not having a finals dessert planned, I now fully plan and prep for all rounds of competition.  Had I gone to Dessert Finals this year, this would have been my entry.  Too bad…this is a DELICIOUS as it is pretty!  Oh and it’s not …

Mains Uncategorized

Braised Chicken with Peppers & Onions served w/ Saffron Polenta

As a competitive cook, I’m always testing recipe ideas. My husband and kids are fairly accustomed to the constantly changing, experimental menu.  Yes, I make the standards …spaghetti & meat sauce, tacos, meatloaf, chili, chicken n dumplings, etc. However, I like taking common, everyday ingredients and trying something new with them.  Sometimes it’s a hit; sometimes …

Desserts Uncategorized

Pumpkin Overload

I love pumpkin bread, pumpkin scones, and pumpkin risotto, but I hate pumpkin pie, pumpkin beer, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin coffee creamer, and everything else that has taken the humble pumpkin and turned it into something completely unnatural.  So now, let me say that I feel like a complete hypocrite. 

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