Columns

“It’s All Gravy”
Jackson Free Press
April 6, 2011

Mention “biscuits and gravy” to anyone who grew up in the South, and the popular breakfast staple will more than likely evoke fond childhood memories.  Read More.

“Something’s Fishy”
Jackson Free Press
March 2, 2011

The summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school, my parents and I spent two weeks in London. At the time, I was going through that phase where I thought my parents were quite possibly two of the most un-cool people on the planet.  Read More.

“Hungry for Love”
Jackson Free Press
February 9, 2011

If your family is like mine, the economy has caused you to tighten your purse strings. Add a new baby to the mix, and well, going out on Valentine’s Day just isn’t in the cards. That doesn’t mean you are doomed to spend an unromantic evening with your significant other eating frozen pizza and watching reality TV. An elegant, restaurant-quality meal prepared at home doesn’t have to break the bank.  Read More.

Letting a Little Luck In
Jackson Free Press
January 19, 2011

What do good-looking men, lentils, no housework and kissing all have in common? According to superstition, they all bring good luck in the new year.  Read More.

I Heart Lasagna
Jackson Free Press
January 5, 2011

Good lasagna is meaty, drips with rich tomato sauce and oozes with gooey cheese. It’s a meal where you can really stretch your dollar. I have yet to come across a lasagna recipe that doesn’t make at least three or four meals for two people. Lasagna is filling and comforting at the same time. Read More.

If You Like Piña Coladas
Jackson Free Press
December 1, 2010

I have had a can of frozen piña colada mix hanging out in my freezer for months. I’m tired of looking at it. I need to do something with it. I know, I know, the obvious choice would be to get some rum and little paper umbrellas and make drinks. But it’s the holidays. I’m in the mood for hot chocolate, spiced rum cider or mulled wine, not a cold, fruity drink. Read More

The Skinny on Stuffing
Jackson Free Press
November 17, 2010

Every Thanksgiving, my house is divided. We take sides over stuffing—or dressing—whatever you prefer to call it. I was raised by Midwesterners and grew up eating stuffing of the cubed bread variety. I love the taste of sage, the little bite of crispiness on the top and the warm gooeyness underneath. Read More.

Better Than Sliced Bread
Jackson Free Press
August 4, 2010

Summertime is about the only time my husband offers to cook. I don’t know what it is about warm weather that brings out his inner hunter/provider, but when he asks what we are having for dinner, if I tell him we are having some type of meat as the main course, inevitably his next question is: “Can I grill it?” Read More.

Lady Liberty Wants Cupcakes
Jackson Free Press
June 30, 2010

Cupcakes have become all the rage. Once synonymous with children’s birthday parties, boutique-style bakeries specializing in gourmet cupcakes are popping up steadily. Today’s cupcakes are not your typical dry cupcakes baked in the morning and sitting out all day, or covered in that stiff, give-you-a-sugar-headache icing; they now come in almost every color of rainbow and in a variety of flavors. Read More

Bounty of Zucchini
Jackson Free Press
June 2, 2010

After one of the strangest winter seasons I can remember, it seems warm weather is finally here to stay. Even though the official start of summer isn’t until June 21, Mississippi typically only has a few days of true spring weather before we plow headfirst into summer. Read More

Filling That Empty Place
Jackson Free Press
May 5, 2010

Growing up, I was one of those nerdy kids with big pink glasses and a bad perm that brought her lunch to school everyday. What a treat it was to open the lid of my Charlie Brown lunch box and discover my Mom had packed my favorite lunch: a cheese sandwich, which was nothing more that a Kraft single between two slices of buttered white bread (something that actually sounds quite disgusting to me now), a mixed fruit cup, and a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie. Read More

Say Cheese . . .Cake, That Is
Jackson Free Press
March 31, 2010

Every year as the temperatures rise and the Easter baskets start appearing, I find myself obsessing over cheesecakes. A very basic cheesecake consists of a graham cracker crust with a smooth cream-cheese filling. However, that basic recipe can be morphed and adapted into a thousand different formulations, creating a virtual blank canvas for any culinary artist. Read More

Dining On Dumplings
Jackson Free Press
March 24, 2010

The layman’s term for gyoza (gyoh-ZUH) is potsticker, those little meat-filled dumplings you can order steamed or fried as an appetizer at your favorite Asian restaurant. Gyoza originated in China and found their way to Japan in the late 17th century. Read More

My Hero The Gyro
Jackson Free Press
February 3, 2010

My affair with the gyro sandwich (pronounced YEER-oh, not JI-roh) began as a small child. I remember my father taking me to a small family-owned storefront inside a shopping mall 30 miles outside of Chicago. Read More

Tea Time
Jackson Free Press
January 13, 2010

It may be surprising to learn that one of the more widely consumed beverages on the planet—second only to water—came about by accident. According to legend, as Chinese Emperor Shen Nung boiled his drinking water over an open fire, a leaf from a nearby plant fell into his cup and turned the water brown. Read More

A Salty Solution
Jackson Free Press
November 18, 2009

If you grew up feasting on a dry, chewy, tasteless bird every year, here’s the good news: Turkey meat can be juicy and even flavorful, thanks in part to a technique known as brining. Read More

 

Leftovers?  Make Soup (Duh)
Jackson Free Press
November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving is a time to relax, enjoy a good meal, and make new memories with family and friends. Alas, this warm and fuzzy feeling is soon dispelled once the guests have gone home, and you are left with enough leftover food to feed Santa and all the elves. Turning your leftovers into homemade soup may save you from eating a week’s worth of turkey sandwiches. Read More

Being Flaky: Pie Crusts 101
Jackson Free Press
November 11, 2009

If you are an inexperienced baker and the thought of tackling a homemade pie crust from scratch causes your throat to tighten and your palms to sweat, it’s easy to head to the freezer section of your grocery store and pick up a ready-made pie crust. However, making a pie crust from scratch is relatively painless and does not require a lot of time. Read More

Candy Apple Memories
Jackson Free Press
October  28, 2009

Both my parents were raised in the suburbs south of Chicago. Growing up, I heard stories from my dad about going to the annual county fair as a child, where he would indulge in one of his favorite treats—-a red, juicy apple on a stick covered in a sticky-sweet candy coating. Read More

Tailgating: My Favorite Sport
Jackson Free Press
September 23, 2009

I wasn’t raised by athletic enthusiasts, and I have never engaged in the great debate that has divided Mississippi families for decades֖State vs. Ole Miss. Yet, every year we make a pilgrimage or two to Oxford. My husband, a huge Ole Miss fan, enjoys watching the game from the bleachers of Vaught-Hemingway stadium, and I appease him because heaven only knows how many sappy chick flicks this man has had to endure over the years for my sake. Read More

Have Your Cake and Drink it Too
Jackson Free Press
September 16, 2009

What could be more fitting for a birthday party than a bottle of wine named Cupcake? Cupcake Vineyards, a California-based winery, began launching the Cupcake line of wine in 2008. Cupcake Vineyards now feature several varietals including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Petite Syrah, and Riesling. Read More

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