FOOD WRITING

Indian Summer Palate

Cooler days call for warmer meals

We survived the brutal humidity, the pesky mosquitoes, and the peskier tourists. It's time to let the brisk morning breezes and big yellow busses lead us into the most anticipated season of the year. From local fairs to harvest feasts, from tailgate parties to after-school treats, the South's fall is dyed deep in the colorful flavors of caramel, pumpkin, maple, and plum. 

 

If we take a deep breath, we smell butter gently sizzling in the cast iron skillet. After months of holding in our poolside bellies, it's time to relax and enjoy a paper cup of vinegary fries and a basket of sausage and onions. 

 

So, grab your red wine or beer stein and settle into this colorful, cooler season of indulgence with a few blue-ribbon recipes of our own. 

Resolutionary!

Brave new tastes for a spanking new world

Is any object shinier than a brand-new year? No matter how wonderful (or not so) your 2017 was, the possibilities for 2018 are infinite like wishes whispered into a night of shooting stars. Is any object shinier than a brand-new year?  

For most of us, "eat healthier" (read: lose weight) is resolution #1, on a yearly repeat. We are in a mad rush to reinvent our bodies and ourselves. 

Detoxes, cleanses and fasts, oh my! 

No matter your dieting tribe, these recipes are about shaking you out of your comfort zone and into a brand-new, healthy mindset. Slow=food wins the race. And before you know it, somewhere, over the rainbow of color piled high on your plate, is a brave new you.   

At the Alter of the Green Goddess

Bring on spring with new takes on perennial favorites 

These are the days of all things new: bridal showers and honeymoons, delicate pea shoots and mounds of fresh mint, perfect pedicures, and pastel dresses, puppies, and bunnies and fuzzy yellow chicks. Gorgeous green vegetables are in peak season, too. Simply pick, rinse, and enjoy. 

There are invitations (read: excuses to indulge) for baby showers, weekend brunches and the grande dame of spring— Easter Sunday. If you're hosting, consider one of these fresh takes on classic spring dishes. And don't let the pale hue of our green goddess dressing play April Fool's—it's full of fragrance and when drizzled over this salad—it's a Sunday dinner showstopper. Our spin on potato salad may even upstage your entrée with its pretty herb confetti. 

Want a fast and fresh tease for your taste buds? Go for the grape salsa with chili-lime chicken or the otherworldly(!) broiled goat cheese with lemon curd and blackberries. Feeling adventurous? The vegetable carpaccio may be the most daring salad of the season. Imagine a standing ovation, however, when you present your coconut tres leches trifle. It's a delicious dénouement and nearly impossible to resist when it circles back around for second helpings. 

A Midsummer Night's Breakfast

...and other genius excuses to fry bacon after sundown  

You've probably heard the delicious rumor that breakfast isn't just for mornings anymore. It's a bona fire food trend for folks who need to be told what to eat (and when apparently). But, for all of us not-a-morning-person people, this trend is simply a joyful excuse to add more bacon to our lives. 

So, let's celebrate this newfound breakfast-in-bed-at-all-hours freedom. Pour yourself a big bowl of granola (or Captain Crunch) and cuddle up with these morning-to-midnight menu ideas. Our prime-time lineup includes spicy tortillas made with breakfast sausage, three-ingredient biscuits as big and fluffy as your cat's head, smoky pimiento cheese grits, and a smoked salmon toast so elegant, it tempts a cocktail. Breakfast-for-dinner desserts include a puffed up Dutch baby pancake (be sure to circle the guests when you unveil it from the oven) and a French toast casserole bursting with baked fresh blueberries.

Summer is here, friends. Grab a glass of rosé and an egg whisk and let's slay this breakfast dragon.

Pucker Up!

Mad Love for Citrus

Heart-crossed-hope-to-die, grapefruit curd may be the most underestimated elixir ever stirred up in a saucepan. It's lusciously tart, longingly sweet, slightly sour, and sinfully addictive. It's a love potion.

But, why stop there when true love has you by the tongue? Spice things up with a spanking hot lemony quinoa salad or lose your minds over the lemon-caper pasta with shrimp and scallops. Bake a batch of babycakes for Valentine's Day or Galentine's night, or a random Tuesday. 

If love is the drug, then any of these citrus-y dishes will make you dizzy with delight. In this season of mad love for all things citrus, you simply need to pucker up and enjoy.  

Easter Feast

Where Spring is Served Family Style

Spring in the Carolinas is a promenade of sunny days, seersucker suits, and stunning azaleas that hover above the grass like giant pink parasols in an Easter parade. Streets are canopied with trees whose blossoms spin in the wind like ticker-tape confetti. On Easter, churchgoers can be seen spilling onto the sidewalks in a kaleidoscope of pleated and pressed paisley and floral. It's as if Mother Nature herself is orchestrating the gala.

Indoors, the Easter pageantry is equally splendid. Vivaldi, Alabama Shakes and Adele rotate randomly on the playlist. Spring peas and asparagus are being sprayed cleaned in colanders. Rectangular casseroles, dozens of deviled eggs, and mounds of mint and parsley crowd the kitchen island. Table linens are smoothed and lined with hand-painted China, silver soup spoons, and salad forks. And cakes and confectionaries are unveiled as works of art.

 

The Carolinas come alive on Easter with a celebratory spirit and reverence for their diverse, yet essentially Southern traditions, beliefs, and blessings. Family styles may differ, but one standard stays true: We put on our best.

Now, have a seat before the food gets cold. It's time to eat. 

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