Thursday, February 28, 2013

Southern Cooking with Reggie

Over the next few weeks I'll be featuring some guest posts from my friend, Reggie. Reggie is going to share some of his Southern-style family recipes straight from Alabama. If you have any questions for Reggie or want to share one of your own recipes, drop us a note at We'd love to hear from you.

Happy cooking!

Me and Mom Cooking Southern Style

My name is Reggie, a Connecticut boy raised on southern-style food by my momma, Ms. Thelma as she was called in the neighborhood. Thelma, was born and raised in Alabama and was the most amazing person I've ever met on this planet. She was my hero, my champion, and my best friend. Not only did she raise my sister and me by herself, she prepared us for most of life’s lessons and gave us the greatest gift anyone could give another person: the love of southern food. 

Everyone thinks they know how to cook southern style food. At least, that’s what my momma told me. Thelma, had a special way of doing everything, including preparing meals for us. She would tell my sister and I,  “Baby”, she called everyone baby, “when you cook, you have to cook like you mean it.” That always stuck with me especially when I would prepare some of Mom’s recipes that made her famous in my Connecticut neighborhood.

According to my mom, most southerners will share their recipes with almost anyone. Southern women in particular love sharing family recipes with people because it’s a way of connecting to others and building supportive communities.

Generation after generation, scrumptious delights were prepared on my family farm in Alabama and my mom took what she learned from my grandmother to the north and shared them with me, my sister, and anyone that would listen. The result was friends and family stopping by all the time for some good eats!

Thelma’s Perfect “Golden Brown”

Thelma's Perfect Golden Brown Chicken Recipe
Although roasting chicken is not traditionally southern, it amazed me how my mom could cook the perfect “Golden Brown”. She managed to keep the chicken super juicy and extremely flavorful every time she prepared it. 

5 lb (2.25 kg) chicken roaster
A large sweet Vidalia onion
3 stocks of celery
Onion powder
1 chicken-flavored bouillon cube
½ cup (120 ml) virgin olive oil
A roasting pan

1) Thoroughly clean the chicken. Remove the neck and gizzards from the inside of the bird and remove any excess fat. Rinse chicken under cold water and pat dry. Place chicken into a roasting pan. (Use a short roasting pan that holds the chicken snugly).

2) Sprinkle a liberal amount of onion powder, salt, and pepper all around the top of the bird. Flip the bird over and continue seasoning with onion powder, salt and pepper.

3) Turn the bird over, pour ¼ cup (60 ml) of virgin olive oil onto the skin, and rub it all over the top of the bird evenly, including the wings. Flip the bird over and do the same.

4) Re-season the top and bottom of the chicken with onion powder, salt, and pepper.

5) Sprinkle onion powder, and meat season if you desire, into the cavity of the chicken. Afterwards place 1 chicken-flavored bouillon cube inside the cavity.

6) Take 3 celery stalks and cut them in half. Make sure to cut off any leaves and the stems. Cut each half into quarters, then place inside the bird cavity.

7) Cut a large sweet Vidalia onion into eights and place as much as you can into the chicken cavity.

8) Cover with foil and refrigerate the bird for at least 2 hours. Refrigerating the bird overnight would be optimal.

9) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (191 degrees C, or gas mark 5) and let the bird cook for 1 hour with the foil covering. After the hour remove the foil and cook the bird for another hour and a half. Make sure to baste the bird several times.

10) If the bird does not release any water, poor ½  a cup (120 ml) of water into the bottom of the roasting pan and baste the chicken accordingly.

11) Serve with sides.

My next several posts will consist of appropriate sides to accompany the Golden Brown including southern–styled sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and fried okra, YUM!


Looking for some more family recipes? Why not check out The Best of The Farmer's Wife Cookbook?

The Best of the Farmer's Wife Cookbook
Long before the Internet and high-speed travel connected us all, The Farmer’s Wife magazine gave hard-working rural women a place to find—and share—advice about everything from raising chickens to running a farm kitchen. One of the magazine’s most popular offerings was advice on cooking and baking, providing farm family recipes for making everything from basic bread to nourishing stews and delicious desserts. The Best of The Farmer’s Wife Cookbook brings together 400 easy-to-follow recipes and variations along with dozens of menus that originated in farm kitchens nationwide and appeared on the pages of the magazine between 1893 and 1939. Readers will be able to prepare these foods easily and quickly, because the recipes have been updated to match the conveniences and ingredients of the modern kitchen. The Best of The Farmer’s Wife Cookbook is sure to satisfy readers in search of the flavors of farm country or those simply on the lookout for a piece of homegrown nostalgia.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Roasted Chicken with Pesto and Pink Lentils Soup Recipe from The Soupbox Cookbook

My coworker, Cathy, has been cooking up a storm. Here is her latest creation from The Soupbox Cookbook. Enjoy! - Katie


Nothing is better on a snowy, cold day then hot soup, but going out in this weather to buy ingredients isn't always an option. Growing up in an Italian home, I always have the basic Italian cooking ingredients in my pantry, however, I don't know how to use them to create new recipes. So, when I saw the Roasted Chicken with Pesto and Pink Lentils Soup from The Soupbox Cookbook, I knew it was the perfect recipe for my pantry and cold weather. 

This recipe is super easy to make and incredibly tasty. The touch of Parmesan cheese added the finishing touch and was really all you needed for a full dinner. I can't wait to make this again.

Roasted Chicken with Pesto & Pink Lentils Soup
Excerpted from The Soupbox Cookbook

Roasted Chicken with Pesto and Pink Lentils Soup from the Soupbox

1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 stalks celery,  diced
1 tsp (5 ml) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
40 oz (1 L and 150 ml) chicken stock
8 oz (230 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
8 oz (230 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
8 oz (230 g) pink lentils 
4 tbsp (60 g) pesto
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan shavings for garnish

Cooking Instructions
Saute the onion, carrot, and celery in the oil in a large stock pot set over medium heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes. 

Making soup from The Soupbox Cookbook
Add the garlic, salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Then add the chicken and lentils. Cook uncovered for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is done and the lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the pesto. Taste the soup and adjust seasonings as necessary with salt and pepper. Garnish with Parmesan shavings and serve.

Serves 4-6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

The Soupbox Cookbook by Dru Melton
The Soupbox restaurant soups have received outstanding Yelp reviews, were voted the Best Soup in Chicago on Citysearch, and have been featured in local and national press and television, including the Chicago Sun Times and on Rachael Ray’s Tasty Travels show. The Soupbox Cookbook, authored by the chef and founders of the restaurant, features both creative and traditional soups, stews, and chowders from customer favorites to great new recipes to try. 

All the soups are wholesome and nourishing for the whole family, and most of them take as little as 15 minutes of prep time. Try the Rosemary Chicken Dumpling Soup for a new twist on a traditional favorite, or the Magnificent Mushroom and Barley Soup, light and healthy, yet satisfying and packed with Vitamin B. Readers will also find Latin and Asian flavors adapted to become new family favorites, including the Spicy Mayan Chicken Enchilada Fiesta. 

The book, like the restaurant, features multiple vegan, gluten-free, and low-sodium options, showing a commitment to the health needs of its broad range of customers…and now readers. The Soupbox first opened in 1995 and features 12 different soups a day, with a rotating list of hundreds. A selection of customer favorites as well as new soups developed for this book—125 great soup recipes in total—have been created by founders and authors Jamie Taerbaum and Dru Melton, who have more than 35 years restaurant experience between them.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Molly's Blueberry Coconut Ice Milk and Homemade Sprinkles

The below two recipes caught my eye immediately and I couldn't help but try them out. Both are incredibly easy and are real crowd pleasers. I especially love the ice milk because the coconut milk in it gives it a unique, yet wonderful flavor. It's also perfect if you have a vegan friend over for a snack (or are a vegan yourself).

If you didn't get a chance, be sure to check out my interview with Koralee.


And don't forget to enter our GIVEAWAY below. 

Molly's Blueberry Coconut Ice Milk 
Excerpted from Everything Goes with Ice Cream

Blueberry Coconut Ice Milk

3 cups coconut milk
2 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh/frozen
4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon. vanilla extract

1. In a blender, mix together coconut milk, fresh or frozen blueberries, honey, and vanilla extract until smooth.

Make your own blueberry ice cream

2. Transfer to bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

3.  Pour mixture into ice cream maker's freezer cylinder and follow manufacturer's instructions.

4. Within 30 minutes the ice cream will be soft serve.

5. For firmer consistency, transfer the ice cream into airtight freezer container and freeze at least 2 more hours.

Homemade Sprinkles
Excerpted from Everything Goes with Ice Cream

Homemade sprinkles

1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk [KF note: I used 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon]
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
Liquid food coloring
Piping bag/baggie with hole cut out of bottom

1. In a bowl, combine icing sugar, whole milk, and light corn syrup; stir until well-blended. To make more than 1 color of sprinkles, divide mixture into batches.

2. Add 1 color to each batch, a little bit at a time, until desired color is obtained.

3. Put 1 batch into piping bag.

4. Pipe little circles onto wax paper.

5. Repeat in new bags with additional batches.

6. Let dry overnight. Once hardened, sprinkles will pop off wax paper very easily.

Want to take home your very own copy of Everything Goes With Ice Cream on us? Enter from now until March 5, 2013 at MIDNIGHT. Open to US and Canadian residents only. Good luck!

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Everything Goes With Ice Cream by Koralee Teichroeb

Everything goes with ice creamyet we understand that the perfect dessert for all of us is not always a big bowl of ice cream. Not everyone loves ice cream, as hard as it is to believe! Which is why Everything Goes with Ice Cream is the book for all of us. It does, of course, have the easy-to-make homemade ice cream, but it also has 176 pages filled with other ideas for making a summertime snack covered in made-from-scratch sea blue candy sprinkles; s'mores and hot chocolate for winter; or an ooey gooey dessert whose magic ingredient is, of course, chunky chocolate fresh raspberry ice cream. Simple projects fill the pages too, including tiny candles made in tea cups, miniature no-sew cake banners, party pom poms, heart-shaped button covers for a special party blouse, and so many more.

Make your own heart buttons
Everything Goes with Ice Cream is filled with cute ideas, a fun layout, and fabulous photography to make you as happy as you are on a summer day with your grammy's fresh peach ice cream pops covered in orange frosting sprinkles!

Monday, February 25, 2013

An Interview with Ice Cream Queen Koralee Teichroeb

As many of you know (or could guess by now), I am an ice cream addict. So much so that when I got married, an ice cream maker was at the TOP of my wedding registry must haves. And I got one. Thanks to Hillary for that one. ;) I've been using it ever since. When Everything Goes with Ice Cream hit the shelves, I knew this would be a book I'd HAVE to own. And it totally is. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Koralee about her amazing book. Here's what she had to say.

Candy by Koralee Teichroeb
Check out Koralee's blog Bluebird Notes here
Why ice cream?
Growing up, ice cream was one of our favorite desserts. We always had ice cream in our freezer. My dad is an ice cream fanatic, so I blame him for getting me hooked. His favorite is butter pecan or maple walnut (my book has a to-die-for praline ice cream recipe that is so worthy of my father’s distinctive taste buds). Then in my teen years we owned a Dairy Queen…need I say more! Pure heaven on earth. So with all my childhood ice cream exposure, I guess an ice cream book was the perfect match for me.
What’s your favorite flavor? Favorite topping?

My favorite flavor in the book is my red velvet homemade ice cream, but a close second is my pumpkin pie homemade ice cream (so much like eating a slice of your mom’s Thanksgiving pumpkin pie). Both can be found in my "Scratch" chapter.

Red Velvet Ice Cream
My favorite topping would have to be Jo’s Chocolate Sauce along with her White Chocolate Covered Popcorn poured over top of the salted caramel ice cream. The combination of sweet, salty and crunchy makes my taste buds SING! I could eat this all day long.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sundaes

What was the best part of working on Everything Goes With Ice Cream?

Hands down all the tasting we did! Between me, my girls, my son-in-law, and my husband, we were always testing something. My freezer was always filled to the brim with ice cream; a bad thing or a good thing depending on how you look at it.

Many new family favorites have come out of this book. I see some family traditions developing. My son-in-law's birthday request dessert every year now will be my lemon blueberry ice cream pie made with the tangiest lemon curd. He absolutely loves this dessert and has requested it again for his upcoming birthday ...just add candles!

Lemon and Blueberry Ice Cream Cake
What’s your process for creating recipes?

Well a lot of trial and error took place. Some recipes are your basic ice cream recipes that I may have tweaked a little bit (standard vanilla, which is a must in developing other recipes like the Sprucing up the Vanilla recipes found in each chapter). While others I developed through ideas that I had. Some worked some didn't. But it was always about having fun and test tasting everything. 

What’s your favorite recipe? Why?

My Cranberry Pistachio Ice Cream Chateaus found in my festive chapter is a winner. It is the perfect elegant dessert for Christmas or New Years. It really has all the flavors and colors of Christmas in an ice cream; cinnamon, red cranberries, green pistachios, white toasted slivered almonds and covered with white chocolate. It is very easy to make and looks so festive.

Cranberry Pistacchio Chateaus
I even changed this recipe for my Think Pink Christmas in Matthew Mead's holiday book by making the vanilla ice cream pink by adding a dash of food coloring, but of course you could use a pink peppermint ice cream instead which would be equally delicious. That is the beauty of most of my recipes; they can be tweaked to individual taste buds. 

My book is not all about ice cream, I feature many non-ice cream treats as well. One of these is my pink cinnamon buns! These were a BIG hit on my blog and so I knew I just had to include them in my book.

Everything goes with ice cream
Have you ever had a recipe disaster? If so, what happened and how did you overcome it?

Well, because I did all my own photography and most of the recipes where developed and photographed in the heat of summer, I had the occasional “melt down”(both me and the ice cream). Not having any experience photographing ice cream before it really gave me a challenge. When my book was all done someone told me that mashed potatoes are used instead of ice cream for editorial shoots because it can look a lot like ice cream. I kind of chuckled to myself as I was thinking that mashed potatoes would have been a lot of extra work for me even though I still had to deal with the melting factor of real ice cream.

Some of the most frustrating photos were the ice cream bombes, which happened to be picked for the cover photo by the publisher. Those bombes just wanted to slip right off the cake platters so many times. It was on one of our hottest days of the summer that I needed some outside shots and even inside we had no air conditioning. My daughter and I were laughing so hard, we really thought these bombes had BOMBED!

Ice cream bombes
What ice cream maker would you recommend and why?

I use the Cuisinart ICE-30BCC Pure Indulgence(TM) Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker. I find it is such an easy machine to use and a breeze to clean. It is quite affordable and the results are always amazing. I would highly recommend the purchase of an ice cream maker; it really does make making ice cream easy and fun.

The book is Everything Goes with Ice Cream. If you're an ice cream lover, you need to pick this one up. AND we're GIVING AWAY a copy of this delicious book tomorrow (along with a couple of recipes). Stay tuned.

Everything Goes With Ice Cream by Koralee Teichroeb

Everything goes with ice creamyet we understand that the perfect dessert for all of us is not always a big bowl of ice cream. Not everyone loves ice cream, as hard as it is to believe! Which is why Everything Goes with Ice Cream is the book for all of us. It does, of course, have the easy-to-make homemade ice cream, but it also has 176 pages filled with other ideas for making a summertime snack covered in made-from-scratch sea blue candy sprinkles; s'mores and hot chocolate for winter; or an ooey gooey dessert whose magic ingredient is, of course, chunky chocolate fresh raspberry ice cream. Simple projects fill the pages too, including tiny candles made in tea cups, miniature no-sew cake banners, party pom poms, heart-shaped button covers for a special party blouse, and so many more.

Make your own heart buttons
Everything Goes with Ice Cream is filled with cute ideas, a fun layout, and fabulous photography to make you as happy as you are on a summer day with your grammy's fresh peach ice cream pops covered in orange frosting sprinkles!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wow Your Guests on Oscars Night!

Whether you're a fan of the Academy or just love to throw a party, these Oscar night inspired recipes are sure to have your guests giving you the award for best host/hostess ever.

Take a bow and get your speech ready.

Individual Spinach Quiche
Excerpted from Pieography
Individual Spinach Quiche from Pieography

Makes eight individual quiches from a jumbo muffin pan.

1 onion, diced small
1/2 lb. (230 g) fresh small mushrooms, quartered
2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted, rolled out lightly and each sheet cut into 4 squares
5 large eggs
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
2/3 cup (160 ml) milk
1 lb. (450 g) fresh spinach
1/2 lb. (230 g) variety of heirloom tomatoes, quartered
1/4 lb. (113 g) feta cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoon (16 g) freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Individual Spinach Quiche from Pieography

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C, or gas mark 5).
2. Cook onion and mushrooms in 2 tablespoons (30 g) of butter until slightly brown and tender.
3. Butter extra-large muffin cups, or small quiche dishes. Place a square of puff pastry into each muffin cup or dish, and fold the edges down so they are even with the top of each muffin cup or dish.
4. Whisk eggs together in a bowl and add a pinch of sea salt and a little cracked pepper. Stir in spinach, mushrooms, onion, tomatoes, and feta cheese.
5. Pour mixture into muffin cups or quiche dishes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan or Romano cheese.
6. Cook for about 30 minutes. Check to make certain knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle of quiche.
7. Serve immediately.

Vesper Martini
Excerpted from World's Best Cocktails

The Vesper Martini from James Bond
Shaken, not stirred

In Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, Bond's liquid paramor was actually the Vesper, first mixed in 1953's Casino Royale and named after the female character Vesper Lynd. Bond asks for three measures of gin, one of vodka, and half a measure of Kina Lillet, shaken well with a large slice of lemon peel. Kina Lillet no longer exists so I enjoy a Vesper made with the current Lillet Blanc incarnation, although the more bitter Cocchi Americano might get you closer to the original.

3 fl oz./90 ml gin
1 fl oz/30 ml vodka
3 tsp Lillet Blanc
ice cubes

Shake all ingredients (don't you dare stir...) with ice, strain into a glass, and garnish with a lemon zest twist.


Pieography by Jo Packman

What kind of pie conveys the experience of starting a new job, getting married, becoming a mom? Over 30 of the country's top foodies are here to tell you. Each one has devised a pie recipe that captures the essence of her life. Stir in beautiful photography, short essays, and brief bios, and voilá, you've got more than a cookbook: you've got Pieography. From Espresso Dream Pie to Salmon and Spinach Pie, this collection nourishes body and soul.

World's Best Cocktails

World's Best Cocktails is an exciting global journey, providing the secrets to successful cocktail making, their history and provenance, and where to seek out the world’s best bars and bartenders, from London to Long Island and beyond. Cocktail and liquor connoisseur Tom Sandham provides a comprehensive appraisal of global cocktail culture, highlighting the trends and techniques that make the finest drinks popular in their native climes and across the world. Cocktail lovers will appreciate personal tips from key bartenders such as Jim Meehan and Dale de Groff in New York and Tony Conigliaro and Salvatore Calabrese in London, while cutting-edge recent award winners point to the future with their new daring flavor combinations. At last, discerning drinkers can learn more about what to drink and where, then bring back their coolest cocktail experiences to enjoy at home. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fan Friday: Triple Chocolate Nutella Cookies

When I saw that Laura had posted up a recipe for Triple Chocolate Nutella Cookies I couldn't resist begging her to share the recipe with me (and all of you!)

Here's what she had to say:

I made these last night and brought them in to my co-workers todayneedless to say, they LOVED them! It didn't take long for them to disappear.

The only downside of these cookies is that once the batter/dough is baked, you can't really taste the Nutella anymore. Adding more next time!! :)

Thanks Laura!

Triple Chocolate Nutella Cookies
With love to

Cocoa powder, Nutella, and chocolate chips combine in these oh-so-chocolaty cookies, making them an instant favorite.

Nutella cookie dough in the stand mixer

Nutella cookie dough in the stand mixer

Making Nutella cookies

Making Nutella cookies

Triple Chocolate Nutella Cookies
1 ¼ cup (150 g) flour
⅔ cup (80 g) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (120 g) butter, 1 stick, softened
½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
½ cup (100 g) dark brown sugar
⅓ cup (95 g) chocolate hazelnut spread, such as Nutella [KF note: or bump it up like Laura suggested!]
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
 cup (80 ml) milk
½ cup (75 g) milk and/or white chocolate chips
Parchment paper

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Combine butter and both sugars; beat with an electric mixer on medium until creamy. Add chocolate hazelnut spread and vanilla; mix until combined. Add ½ of flour mixture, then milk and remaining flour mixture, stirring well between additions. Stir in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough at least 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (163 degrees C, or gas mark 3). Using a tablespoon measure, scoop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 810 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; transfer to wire racks and cool completely. 

Happy baking!

Want to be featured on Fan Fridays? Send me in some pictures, a recipe, a food story... whatever you'd like. Email me at

Nutella book

Love Nutella? You're going to adore our new Nutella book (coming out July 2013!) 


From irresistible macaroons to tasty cheesecakes, discover new ways of using, cooking, and enjoying Nutella with 30 mouthwatering recipes. Thirty delicious recipes in a Nutella-shaped book for all the fans of the famous spread:
- little individual sweets: from a revisited version of bread with Nutella to Nutella and banana tartlettes
- generous Nutella cakes to share: cake roll, Twelfth Night cake or even a Nutella charlotte.
- creamy, ‘must have’ recipes: mousse and little cream
- surprising recipes to impress both young and old: macaroons, caramelized hazelnut stuffed truffles, little mango egg rolls