Category Archives: Top Picks

Pepper Cornbread

This weekend we had a little gathering at our house–with the guys working outside and the girls making icecream, which ended up with everyone staying for dinner.  This cornbread was pronounced fabulous, so I’m here to share it with you–it’s wonderfully moist, not too sweet, & just a little cheesy. Cornbread is probably the easiest […]

Carrot Vichyssoisse (or in Kid-Friendly Terms, “Cheese” Soup!)

It’s soup time again!  The weather has definitely been chilly and soup-weather the past few days…  This is a favorite ‘go-to’ meal in our house…  Easy, affordable, and tasty on a cool winter day.  It would also make a great appetizer for a dinner party! It’s healthy and low fat as well… It’s basically a […]

Sweet Potato Casserole

…perfect for Thanksgiving!  I don’t know if sweet potatoes are on your typical Holiday menu, but they always are on mine.  This is an easy and quite tasty dish, that is very kid friendly too.  My 5 year old loves it. I actually made 2 different versions of this dish this weekend… once for dinner […]

A Waffled Croque Madame

The Novice Chef  is one of my fave food blogs!  Check out this idea: What is the difference between a Croque Madame and a Croque Monsieur? Eggs. It’s how I always tell them apart…and the easiest way to remember. A Croque Monsieur is basically a type of bread, a type of swiss cheese, and ham. […]

Zucchini ‘Apple’ Pie (Faux)

Vegetables For Dessert?! Every year I beg any and all of my garden growing friends, “Please, Save the big guns for me!” Zucchini I mean. The bigger the better. Why? Because all the best zucchini treats and meals come from the giantess of the green variety. My favorite zucchini recipes: Chocolate Zucchini Bread (From Penzey’s […]

Hot ‘n’ Smoky Baked Beans

This is an adaptation of a recipe that appeared in Bon Appetit magazine back in the late ’90s. I think it might have even been a Memorial Day issue. Or maybe it was the 4th of July. Anyway, I made it that year and have been making it every year since. What makes it special […]

How to put together a cheese party tray for your next wine and cheese party
How to Prepare a Cheese Tray

Welcome again to Jennifer Locklin of Jane Deere!  For the third in her “Techniques” series (although I’d say this qualifies for “Entertaining” as well!), she has brought us a great writeup on making your own cheese board.  I must admit all those cheeses available can be quite overwhelming, and I love how she’s broken it […]

Asian Oven Barbequed Drumsticks

This was one of those happy accident recipes, that I wasn’t expecting much from, but was happily surprised with the result.  I had roasted vegetables planned for dinner, and I figured that the men in my life (picky husband and the child with strange tastes) would rebel if there wasn’t also some meat on the […]

Whole-wheat Sandwich Bread

Of course you can buy your sandwich bread, and most of the time I do.  Occasionally though (and more often now that I’m beginning to realize what sorts of additives and preservatives they use to increase shelf-life) I like to make mine at home.  Besides, it’s so simple and there’s really nothing better than the […]

Easy Homemade Falafel

When I was in graduate school in Chapel Hill, NC, I lived right outside of downtown Chapel Hill.  I was pretty much within walking/biking distance of the campus, and I spent a lot of my time in the downtown area, frequenting the many restaurants and shops on Franklin Street. One of my favorite little eateries […]

Rainbow Trout baked in Parchment

I guess I could have gone all fancy and said Rainbow Trout En Papillote, but I didn’t want to scare anyone away. This is honestly an easy, relatively foolproof, dish that has a great presentation! It would be an excellent idea for a small dinner party, as fish can be prepped and wrapped ahead of […]

Muscadine Wine Poached Pears

[Originally published 2-18-2010] I had beautiful Bosc Pears in my organic produce box this week and decided to try some poached pears.   One of my favorite cookbooks is Clean Food by Terry Walters and I found a poached pear recipe there that I adapted to what I had on hand.   We make our own Muscadine Wine […]

Family Recipes: Caramel Frosting

If you’ve ever asked a family member for a favorite recipe, or perused your grandmother’s cookbooks, marveling at the notes she’s taken in the margins and the bits of dried-on ingredients left as artifacts of her pursuits, then you know there’s a certain comfort to be taken in preserving the heritage that is contained therein. […]

How to make fancy chocolate curls

I needed something fancy to decorate the equally fancy chocolate pie I was making for Valentine’s day.  I really like the look of a mound of chocolate curls haphazardly sprinkled over the top of a dessert, so I gathered my ingredients and quickly threw some together. Ingredients 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening […]

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken is one of my loves, along with chocolate, mint juleps and David Tennant’s Dr. Who.  However, like most things I love, it’s something that I can only have in small amounts. Why is that?  Why do we love that which is bad for us?  Why can’t fried chicken be a HEALTHY meal? That […]

Tres Leches Cake for Cinco de Mayo

I published this over at my other blog, life, in recipes a few months ago, and I thought it might be nice to share over here for everyone’s upcoming Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Do you like cake and ice-cream?  Do you especially like it when your cake and ice-cream get all jumbled up together and […]

Chocolate-chip Brownies

Editor’s Note: These decadent brownies were originally published for Valentines Day, but Mother’s Day is coming up, and wouldn’t Mom Just love some?? (hint hint) These decadent, rich, chocolaty treats are super simple to make, and never fail to impress anyone you make them for. My husband loves these, and requests them all the time. […]

Garlic Chili Asian Salmon with asparagus - foodwhirl.com
Chili-Garlic Salmon, with Asparagus

Is anyone else behind on everything?  I’m feeling that way lately!  Between the 4 yr old being on ‘spring break’ last week, and getting my taxes done (nothing like waiting til the last minute!) and generally over-committing myself, I’m finally catching up. So, when your busy like that, finding time to cook a yummy/healthy meal […]

Picnic Fare: Make Cuban Sandwiches

Here in Atlanta where I live, there are fun neighborhood festivals pretty much every weekend in April.  We’ll be going to several in the next few weeks, and these are great sandwiches to toss in the cooler for snacking that is healthier, and cheaper, than your typical greasy festival food! These Cubans are a great […]

Strawberry Curd

Strawberries are finally in season locally, which means they’re once again affordable and fresh.  My four-year-old LOVES them, so they are always on-hand at our house this time of year. I wanted something a little bit more sophisticated to serve with our Easter bunny cake, so I decided to try my hand at a strawberry […]

How to make cake filled eggshells
How to make Cake Eggs!

Easter is around the corner!  How about something really different and special this year?  Cakes, baked in eggshells! These are easy and fun to make (though a little time consuming), and would be a great project to do with the kids.  They would also make an impressive addition to a fancy brunch.  Or a clever […]

Carrot Souffle

[ed- Easter’s coming!  Dawn brings us a great idea to get your kids to eat Carrots!] I am NOT a fan of cooked carrots.  Never have been.  A few years ago my Step-mother hipped me to the Carrot Souffle at our local chain Cafeteria and I’ve been hooked ever since.  In the past I’ve just […]

Easy as [shepherd’s] pie!

[ed- this would be a great St. Pat’s dish tonight!] This is a recipe you could do ahead of time and freeze, or you could throw it together at the last minute for a dinner party (can be easily double or tripled for larger groups) or family dinner. It’s really versatile and easy. My family […]

Irish Car Bomb Bread Pudding

We’ve already had an Irish Car Bomb Ice-cream recipe posted on the site, but I felt like I really needed to share this yummy concoction with you guys. I love bread pudding, and I felt like the flavors in an Irish car bomb would really lend themselves to an interesting dessert combination. I began by […]

Low Sugar Mocha Tapioca

Tapioca pudding is such a classic “comfort dessert.”  But since some members of my family have sugar-restricted diets, I developed this version. I removed the refined sugar, added some dark chocolate, and now everyone loves it – even my sugar-eaters! A touch of espresso and a bit of vanilla delivers a lovely mocha flavor. This recipe […]