Beirut Tahini Swirls from Home Baking for Cookbooks & Calphalon

beirut tahini swirls

The lovely Colleen from Soufflé Bombay recently had a thought. She wondered what specific cookbook it was that made her fall in love with cooking. She then decided to ask the same question to a number of her foodie friends, myself included, and #CookbooksandCalphalon- was born! We each tell our stories of our love affair with cookbooks and cooking and share a wonderful recipes. With seventeen of us participating, you are sure to find many dishes–and book recommendations–to savor!

This wouldn’t be complete without a fun giveaway for you to enter…you can’t cook without cookware and you can’t use cookware unless you can cook…right? So take a moment to enter our awesome Cookbooks and Calphalon Giveaway at the bottom of this post. Check out the fantastic prizes! I am thrilled to participate partly because I love the topic Colleen chose and partly because I own and love the majority of these cookbooks from Page Street Publishing. I don’t own the panini press but I adore my Calphalon roaster.

Sounds like a great giveaway! I’m intrigued by the Beirut Tahini Swirls too!

Green Tea Gelato with Blackberry-Peach Tea Swirl and Candied Pecans for The Flying Frog Bed & Breakfast and Ice Cream Tuesday

green tea gelato

Today’s Ice Cream Tuesday is very special, because I made it for a business. No, they didn’t ask me to do this. I just love their facebook page and always see their posts, so I thought it would be fun to create an ice cream inspired by them. I’m talking about The Flying Frog Bed & Breakfast in Franklin, Indiana. I love their facebook page–Sharon always posts photos of her and her husband’s smiling guests. She posts photos of the lovely breakfasts she makes for them, and she seems like a delightful person. We’ve interacted off and on over the last couple of years, and on a whim, I messaged a few weeks ago to see if they’d be interested in my coming up with an ice cream for them. I asked them for their flavor preferences, which included summer fruits. Sharon also told me that she enjoys drinking green tea and that the only nuts they don’t like are pistachios. So here’s what I came up with: Green Tea Gelato with Blackberry-Peach Tea Swirl and Candied Pecans. It speaks of summer, of porches, of long, golden evenings sitting in a rocking chair, perhaps talking and perhaps not.

Hey, you never make ME any signature ice cream, but I want to hear about this one.

Brownie Malt Sundae Inspired by Farrell’s for #tbtfood

brownie malt sundae

I didn’t go to many birthday parties as a kid. In our neighborhood, all the kids went to each others’ parties so there was always someone’s birthday on the horizon, but outside the neighborhood, I wasn’t invited to many parties. I guess I was sort of insular and weird in school with a small circle of friends, most of whom happened to live in my neighborhood, so we were already on each others’ birthday lists.

Many school birthday parties are when popularity is tested, tried on like a sparkly new sweater. Waiting for an invitation to a birthday party was like waiting to be picked for a kickball team in gym class. Everyone knew who’d be picked first. And everyone knew who’d be picked last. But unlike in kickball, birthday parties were exclusive, and not everyone need be chosen. It can be so very hard to be the insular and weird kid.

One year, and much to my surprise and delight, Colleen Mattson invited me to her birthday party. She was a School Friend, and it wasn’t a traditional party. From what I remember, it was her family, maybe a couple of other girls and me. They took all of us out to Farrell’s for dinner and then ice cream.

Farrell’s was at the mall, and since my family rarely went out to eat, it was a huge treat for me. Farrell’s was big and loud and shiny. The menus were printed in old timey Western font, like wanted posters that Marshall Dillon had lining the walls of his office.

I remember Farrell’s! Now I want a sundae!

Caramelized Onion, Zephyr Squash and Jazz Apples for #loveNZfruit


This is the last of three sponsored posts for the #loveNZfruit promotion. I have enjoyed creating these recipes, and I hope you’ve enjoyed them as well. Here’s my Taylor’s Gold Pear recipe, and here’s the lovely salad I made with Envy Apples last month. This month is special, though. This month, Jazz Apples has partnered up with The Canadian and American Diabetes Foundations with Crunch to Contribute. Post a photo of you crunching an intensely apple-y and crunchy Jazz Apple and the lovelies at Jazz Apples will donate a dollar to either the Canadian or American Diabetes Associations. Pretty cool, right? So, crunch away and share your snaps!

Great promotion! And isn’t there a giveaway too?

Ginger Ale Stracciatella with Marcona Almonds for Ice Cream Tuesday


Today is a double post day, so this Ice Cream Tuesday post will be short and sweet. But what it lacks in length, it more than makes up for in delicious flavor.

You may know that The Beloved brews beer with some buddies in Charlotte. Very good beer. Every so often, he makes the three hour drive to hang out with his friends, make beer and drink beer. Their latest creation lives in a keg in our refrigerator. It’s an English golden ale base brewed with lots fresh ginger and some grains of paradise. It is complex and delicious. And perfect for turning into ice cream: Ginger Ale Stracciatella with Marcona Almonds.

Sounds great! Gimme!

Spicy Succotash with Bacon and Fava Beans for Progressive Eats


I was raised in the South, but my folks were both raised in the North. I grew up in a house that was geographically in North Carolina but culinarily in Queens. This caused me more than a little stress growing up. Living right in the heart of the Queen City, I had no idea what grits were, or cornbread, and we never ate collards and black-eyed peas for New Year’s. Not until I was an adult did I discover the warm comfort that is a big old piece of Southern corn bread mashed up into a soupy plate of pinto beans.

Southerners ate biscuits. We had rolls. Southerners ate cheese grits. Mom served cream of wheat. Southerners ate chicken and flat or “slick” dumplings. When we had dumplings, ours were big and puffy and sat atop a fricassee.

Don’t get me wrong, friends. I love rolls, and I even like cream of wheat. In the great dumpling debate, I won’t throw a puffy one on the floor if it’s offered, but I do come down on the side of the slick dumpling. I had some catching up to do.

Southern fried chicken. The glory that is whole hog barbecue. Nubby cubes of golden cornbread. Fluffy buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy. Collard greens and field peas. Rich yet thrifty bread pudding. Crispy-tangy fried green tomatoes. Homemade pimento cheese sandwiches.

Great, now I’m hungry. And what’s this whole #ProgressiveEats thing, anyway?/span>

Coconut Oat Vanilla Nut Creamer | OATrageous Oatmeals | OXO Giveaway

coconut oat vanilla nut creamer

I could not be more excited about helping to promote my friend Kathy Hester’s upcoming book, OATrageous Oatmeals. What I love about Kathy’s new book is that she didn’t take the easy way out, offering us 100 different recipes for breakfast oatmeal. Nope. Kathy takes oatmeal off the breakfast table and puts it in beverages and savory dishes. She even takes it into the bathroom for a scrub and a soak and into the hearts of pet lovers everywhere with dog biscuits and catnip treats for kitties! Yay!

Kathy’s recipes are always accessible, and she gives oil-free options when appropriate, for folks who are on fat-free diets. All recipes are also clearly labeled as gluten-free, soy-free, etc as it applies. And of course, all her recipes are vegan.

Tell me more! What recipe did you try? Where’s the Giveaway?/span>

Homemade Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni for #tbtfood

homemade hamburger helper cheeseburger macaroni

Pretend it’s Thursday.

I didn’t grow up eating Hamburger Helper, and as a result, I have always had a soft spot for it. I loved the commercials: “Hamburger Helper helped her hamburger HELLLLLLP her make a great meal!”

My version of Cheeseburger Macaroni, one of the seminal flavors (in my mind, anyway), only takes about 40 minutes to make, so it’s doable for a weeknight supper and certainly for a weekend. I gussied mine up with some diced pickled jalapenos and havarti cheese, and it is delicious.

If you’re in the mood for, say, Bacon Cheeseburger Macaroni, go for it. The fun in making your own is that you can customize it.

Mmmm, creamy deliciousness! Gimme!/span>

Browned Butter Peach Buttermilk Ice Cream for Ice Cream Tuesday


Pretend that it’s Tuesday.

Today’s Tuesday is a Southern Classic with just enough of a twist to make folks sit up and take notice. This browned butter peach buttermilk ice cream came about in two stages. We bought a lot of local peaches at the farmer’s market several weeks ago, and I needed to process them. Staring at a ton of fresh peaches is a time bomb I am not equipped to deal with, so cooking and freezing allows me time to ponder my options.

I also was asked to teach a private ice cream making party for the father in law of one of the ladies, Jennifer, who runs the kitchen at Whisk Carolina. It was Charlie’s 90th birthday, and ice cream is one of his favorite things. It was an honor to help him and his friends, family, and neighbors celebrate such a milestone! I wanted to make sure I served his favorite, and when I found out that it was peach, I knew exactly what to do. More or less.

Happy Birthday Charlie! Can I have some ice cream?/span>

Crème Brûlée Stout Ice Cream for Ice Cream Tuesday

creme brulee stout ice cream

Today I bring you a minimalist Tuesday. Usually my ice creams have a base, a swirl and a mix-in, because in my brain, that’s what makes it a Tuesday.

A few weeks ago when The Beloved and I were up at Lafayette Village, we stopped in the new craft beer shop/bar, Crafty Beer Shop, to check it out and pick up a few bottles. The Beloved was looking for hoppy, refreshing beer. I was looking for something to turn into ice cream, and we both came away winners.

Once I spied the bottle of Southern Tier’s Creme Brulee Stout, I stopped looking. A beer named for a dessert? Of course it would be great in ice cream.

I’m so excited! Carry on!/span>