Pecan Pie Bars

Hey guys! Sorry for not posting much lately. These past few months have been very hectic for me and my family. But I do see the light at the end of the tunnel and hope to share all the particulars with you soon. For now, though, I’m focusing on Thanksgiving and am working hard to make sure it’s a fun-filled and stress-free week for my crew–Lord knows we all need one. I plan on transitioning into the holiday mode this weekend by making one of my kids’ favorite fall treats–Pecan Pie Bars (a recipe I [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Roasted Garlic, White Bean and Artichoke Dip

This dip is the epitome of a “pantry recipe.” You know, one of those quick, easy and yummy dishes prepared on the fly with ingredients found in, well, the pantry. A last-minute meal if you will to sate eleventh hour invitees, unannounced guests or a hungry husband and three ravenous teens. Most of the time, I make a pantry recipe once and never recreate it because I fail to write down anything. And my vague recollection of what I created the first go-round never tastes the same despite repeated attempts. But fortunately with this dip, [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Gulf Shrimp Ceviche

My first born, Chandler, is on a ceviche kick. Her enthusiasm for all types of seafood marinated in lime juice started a couple of months ago when my sister-in-law made an amazing batch for a party. Chrissy’s ceviche was full of sweet, juicy shrimp and creamy bites of avocado marinated in the perfect amount of acid and seasonings. Since then, Chandler has also tried two restaurant versions which she deemed good–just not as good as Aunt Chrissy’s! More recently, I had the good fortune of getting my hands on several pounds of straight-off-the-boat Louisiana Gulf shrimp [ ... ]

Creole-Italian Baked Cucuzza

“Hey googootz!” If you grew up in New Orleans, chances are you’ve heard that phrase or have been the recipient of that term of endearment. I’m not sure how much it’s used these days, but when I was little it was expressed often and usually by older women addressing relatives or close friends. Oh, and you may also recognize the word if you were a Sopranos fan. I never watched the show, but have learned that Tony occasionally called his son A.J. “Googootz.” The word stems from cucuzza (pronounced “ku koo za”), an edible Italian [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Shrimp and Waffle Bites with Creole Pepper Jelly Sauce

While I’ve never ordered the classic soul food combo chicken and waffles while dining out or jumped on the “midnight train” to the world-famous Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles Restaurant right here in Greater Atlanta to seek out what is said to be the best representation of its kind (south of the Mason-Dixon line, that is), I’ve always loved the idea behind this dynamic duo. And whenever I look at the dish, I always step back and think about how I could put a New Orleans spin on it (or, in the words of Ella Brennan, “Creolize” it). [ ... ]

Grilled Chicken Wings with White Rémoulade Sauce

The inspiration behind this unlikely duo hails from North Alabama of all places. Are you familiar with Alabama White Barbecue Sauce? I wasn’t until a couple of months ago when my social media feeds starting buzzing about it. Because I’m a sauce girl, my curiosity was piqued. So I did a little digging and learned that this unique sauce was created back in 1925 by Big Bob Gibson of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama. He used it primarily to “baptize” smoked chickens. Since then, Big Bob’s signature white barbecue sauce, along with [ ... ]

South Louisiana Baked Beans

Sorry for being so last minute with my Fourth of July potluck contribution, but the hubby and I took the kids down to Destin for a spur-of-the-moment beach trip and we returned home with only enough time to ready the house for my in-laws who are spending the weekend with us. So while I assume most of you have already planned out and prepared your Independence Day menu, I’m sharing this recipe with you anyway. If it doesn’t make today’s buffet table, then by all means keep this recipe in mind for your next party or grill [ ... ]

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

Here’s a heavenly (or sinful, depending on how you look at it) little number that’s sure to satisfy every salty, sweet, chewy, gooey, crunchy craving. It’s best described as a chocolate chip cookie, peanut butter cup, cheesecake hybrid. Oh yeah! Three delicious sweet treats harmoniously blended into one. I used to make this torte every time family came to visit. Then somewhere along the way the recipe got buried and forgotten. That was until a couple of weeks ago when I went flipping through my overstuffed “Dessert” file in search of something new to [ ... ]

Grilled Flat Iron Steaks with Chimichurri

My secret to simple, summertime meals (and sensational cocktails) is an herb garden. I plant one every year with vibrant flavors I love and use often—basil (Genovese), rosemary, lemon-thyme, parsley and cilantro. I also throw in one or two herbs I’m not that familiar with. Last year, it was lemon balm. This year it’s dark opal basil. Almost everyday during the summer months, I turn to my little garden for inspiration. I use the majority of my fresh herbs to make punchy salsas, pestos and sauces. These are great on grilled meats and [ ... ]

Chargrilled Escargots

Our gas grill recently died and, after much deliberation, the hubby and I decided to replace it with a charcoal grill. This was a big step for us because although we’ve always preferred the flavor of charcoal grilled foods (absent “lighter fluid essence”), we had come to highly depend on the convenience of our gas grill. That was especially true for me when it came to developing new recipes. With the gas grill, I wouldn’t hesitate to test a small batch of something on the fly. Charcoal, on the other hand, required more forethought, time, attention and skill. I wasn’t [ ... ]
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