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cherry tomato salad

Tomato Basil Picnic Salad

4 | June 25, 2014

Welcome to day 3 of the Tabasco Challenge where I’m put to the test making 5 recipes in 5 days using only 10 ingredients (Tabasco, basil/mint/cilantro, tuna/swordfish, cherry tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, eggplant, eggs, dark chocolate, and maple syrup). So far, we’ve experienced a delicious Tuna Crudo with Pickled Eggplant, and Sea Salt and Vinegar Eggplant Fries. Today we’re bringing you a very simple but beyond delicious Tomato Basil Picnic Salad. Bursting with fresh flavor, this tomato salad is inspired by one I grew up with here in Texas. Texans love their homegrown tomatoes more than fish love water and we

Eggplant Friesweb

Here we are on day 2 of the Tabasco Challenge and I have to say my taste buds couldn’t be happier. Yesterday we kicked things off with an insanely refreshing Tuna Crudo with Pickled Eggplant and Fiery Roasted Tomato Puree  and today we’re stepping things up a notch with something a little more indulgent. Sunday, my daughter, the 5-year-old sports fanatic, and I were watching the USA World Cup game and of course we had to have something equally exciting to munch on — eggplant fries just sounded perfect. We took things a step further for the Tabasco Challenge and not only

Tuna Crudo with Pickled Eggplant and Fire Sauce

Yes, it’s Monday again. The start of another work week usually brings gloom after we’ve all had fabulous weekends but today we’re kicking the week off right with something a little spicy, bright, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Something so fresh that you’ll forget it’s Monday and think your back lounging in a chair with a cool breeze and there’s absolutely no such thing as a deadline or laundry. Today, were bringing an amazing Tuna Crudo to the table with our friends Tabasco! Cold, fresh, sweet tuna lays on a bed of fiery roasted Tabasco tomato puree and topped with cool and tangy


For years now, I’ve been following the tasty career of a fellow Texan, Lisa Fain. Y’all know her as the one and only Homesick Texan. Her blog is overflowing with mouthwatering Texas and Tex-Mex flavors I grew up with and her recipes are authentic, fresh, and come from the heart. Even though she lives half a country away from our glorious state, she’s a seventh-generation Texan with a fierce stack of homemade recipes to proudly represent what good ol’ Texas homecookin’ is all about. Lisa has done it again and successfully published her second best selling cookbook, Homesick Texan’s Family

Clean eating menuPicMonkey Collage

Fresh, real, clean — food doesn’t get any better than that. Ever since my daughter, Mia the zombie expert – sports fanatic – pink princess obsessed – 5-yr-old, came home from the NICU we’ve been on the real food path. My husband and I rarely ate processed food before she came into our lives but since we had a child that was born prematurely with digestion issues, real food is the only way for us. Now having that said, we still partake in treating ourselves to a nice fresh sourdough loaf or homemade peach pie from time to time. We’re not exactly


I like being out of my comfort zone. For me it’s always a chance to learn and grow or in the least have an amazing experience (like traveling in a run-down school bus up steep mountainous roads only to nearly plummet off the side of a cliff to find a tiny house in Mexico just to have some of the best tequila my soul has ever experienced — but that’s a story for another day). So when Jamie Oliver asked me to write up a recipe with a Costa Rican feel for the World Cup, I jumped on it. After a little

Grilled Firecracker Shrimp

Light the grill, summer is here! Speaking of grills, we’re living off of one at the moment. My amazing husband thought it would be a fabulous idea to buy a top of the line fancy washer and dryer that was on sale when our dryer died last week. This would be a fabulous and thoughtful gift but the amazing wonderful husband didn’t bother to measure to see if they would fit in our 1950′s house. Because who needs measurements, right? Now we have a massive washer and dryer that doesn’t even come close to fitting in the washer closet in

farro cherry salad

Summer’s here and it’s time to break out the fruit! With their luscious sweet juicy flavors, berries and stone fruit are just coming into season and it’s the perfect time to take advantage. As far as fruit goes, I’m a berry/cherry/peach with a grapefruit thrown in for good measure kinda girl. So, you can imagine how delighted I was when I saw this beautiful Farro, Cherry, Walnut Salad in the June issue of Cooking Light. The good news is, as a Cooking Light blogger, I get to share this fabulous recipe with you! Delicious healthy farro, sweet juicy cherries, crunchy

espresso almonds 1_web

My days are crazy full lately and there’s no end in site for weeks. Ever have one of those days when your head hits the pillow at 1am and you realize that you’re still fully clothed complete with shoes on your feet? That’s what’s going on here. I just finished a major campaign for a client and now I’m smack dab in the middle of another campaign with a rush job due in 3 days. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what my middle name is as my brain is full of recipes and to-do lists. I’m not complaining though. Years

Roasted Chicken with Baby Artichokes and Olives

The other day I turned 34. I’ve never been one to dread birthdays or getting older, even if I’m dying my grey hair faster than I drive these days. 34 was the quietest birthday I’ve ever had and it was actually nice. I even had time to pour a bourbon (an experimental Buffalo Trace Hot Box Toasted Barrel) I had been saving for the occasion and reflect on what 34 years has taught me. At this time, I would like to share with you those life lessons… because you never know you, just might need them. 34 life lessons for 34

onion handpies

Recently, I perfected my southern drawl in Georgia. As a Texan, we have our own twang to the way we talk but nothing like our friends to the east and I was crazy excited to get a chance to visit Georgia and get my deep south on. I was there to witness the famous Vidalia Onion harvest, thanks to the Vidalia Onion Committee, and was it ever an experience. I’ve been on quite a few farm tours and I have to say, it was a treat to have such fabulous hospitality and open arms as we found from the farmers in

ricotta toasts

I’ve got to keep my words short today as we’re coming into the recipe development busy season and my days are beyond full. Can you believe it, we’re already working on recipes for back to school, Halloween and the holidays — I just saw my first candy cane, people! I’m so busy in fact, that my own mother is cleaning out my closet as we speak because even she can’t handle what a mess I’ve become. Seriously, it’s embarrassing but I just can’t stop her. Before the days over she’ll probably hit my pantry too and turn it into an organized