Spring Pasta with Peas, Asparagus, and Sugar Snaps

Spring Pasta with Peas, Asparagus, and Sugar Snaps

Fresh green peas scream spring to me. Also known as English or garden peas, these emerald legumes require nothing more than just a little butter and salt to make a delightful side dish. They need very little cooking to bring out their sweet and subtle flavor. Of course you can get frozen peas throughout the… [read more]

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Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

Our good friend, Felix, is the first-generation child of Cuban immigrants. His parents left everything behind and fled Cuba in the 1950s during the Cuban revolution. Starting with nothing, they built a successful life in Florida and raised four children. A skillful cook, Felix has had a big influence on my love of Cuban food. I've always enjoyed the cuisine of this Caribbean island, but over the years as Felix has served us food from his parents' homeland, my appreciation for it has grown. ... [read more]

Blood Orange Margarita

Blood Orange Margarita

I love a good dirty martini. There's just something so elegant about sipping this classic cocktail out of a frosted, inverted-cone-shaped glass.  I feel like I've stepped into the Mad Men era with 60s cocktail music playing in the background. On the other hand, margaritas evoke a different kind of mood. This traditional Mexican drink makes me think of sitting at a table with friends in shorts and flip flops on a sweltering summer night with a pitcher; ice-cold, salt-rimmed glasses; and a big ... [read more]

Burrito Bowl with Carnitas

Burrito Bowl with Carnitas

When warm weather hits Atlanta, the natives all head for restaurants with outdoor dining. On a balmy weekend night, it's almost impossible to be seated outside at our favorite haunts. For us, sitting on a patio with great friends, a big pitcher of margaritas, and Mexican food makes for the perfect Saturday night. Last week I made Slow Cooker Carnitas with pork tenderloin. I knew after the first batch that I'd want to do a repeat to explore all the yummy ways to use this versatile meat dish. ... [read more]

Pimento Cheese Wontons with Bacon Apple Jam

Pimento Cheese Wontons with Bacon Apple Jam

Hey, y'all! I may have had a Paula Deen moment in my kitchen this weekend. There may have been some cheese frying going on. Well, technically the cheese itself wasn't actually fried. But it sure did get all melty inside some crispy, crunchy wonton pyramids. And don't forget about that Bacon Apple Jam. I had a wicked Mississippi accent when I was growing up. As I got older and left home for college, I lost a good bit of the accent. Many of my friends weren't from the South, and there was some ... [read more]

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

Spring has arrived in Atlanta! Buds are popping out everywhere and in the next week or so the trees will burst into that vivid green that I love so much. The ornamental cherry trees are like washes of snow and the redbuds contrast the white with the most spectacular purple. Dogwood and azalea blooms are not far behind. Spring is by far my favorite season. I always feel like I'm coming back to life along with everything else after a long, cold winter.  I realize that these might be unwelcome ... [read more]

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Whenever I write a recipe, I always start by doing a little research on the history of the dish and looking at 10 or more recipes. I decided to make carnitas for this post, and after a little digging, I was a little surprised to find the authentic Mexican version is made by slowly braising pork in lard or oil over 3 or 4 hours. Most of the recipes I reviewed were not truly authentic and called for braising the pork in liquid, with many of them including citrus juice. None of them required a ... [read more]

Roasted Roma Tomatoes

Roasted Roma Tomatoes

We had a pizza dinner party last week for our friends, Bruce and Felix, and Felix's daughter, Sierra. When I'm making pizza, I go a little crazy with toppings. It's an obsession. I admit it. My ultimate fear in life is that there won't be enough food. I suspect it's a southern thing that I inherited from my grandmother. In my mind, if you don't have at least twice as much food as you need, there's not enough. We made four pizzas, and, as per usual I had enough toppings for six or eight. ... [read more]

Fried Chicken Tacos with Collard Slaw & Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Fried Chicken Tacos with Collard Slaw and Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Now that's a long title for a taco, right? I love every element of this recipe, so I really wanted to put them all in the title to entice you to take a closer look. Fried chicken is the star of the show, but it's not complete without the collard green slaw, and of course, the chipotle ranch dressing is icing on the cake. I'm calling this recipe Fried Chicken Tacos, but you might quibble with the "fried" part. The chicken is actually oven-fried, but it's as crispy as any chicken fresh out of a ... [read more]

Desserts

Peanut Blossom Cookies

Peanut Blossom Cookies

It's just not Christmas without some Peanut Blossom Cookies. I'll say right off the bat that I have ... [read more]

Banana, Walnut, and Chocolate Focaccia

Banana, Walnut, and Chocolate Focaccia

We recently traveled to New York to attend the wedding of some good friends. Just around the corner ... [read more]

Pumpkin Pound Cake with Bourbon Caramel Glaze

Pumpkin Pound Cake with Bourbon Caramel Glaze

It's time to start thinking Thanksgiving, so what do you say we start with dessert? How about a ... [read more]

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