March 2011

MARCH HIGHLIGHT:  RELEASE OF MY COOKBOOK  “400 BEST SANDWICH RECIPES FROM CLASSICS & BURGERS TO WRAPS & CONDIMENTS” and Kid’s Class in Park City, Utah

TELEVISION

PUBLICATIONS

CLASSES | APPEARANCES/OTHER

Strawberry Cobbler

Cobblers are one of my all-time favorite desserts. When I was trying to decide on a recipe to feature for the February issue of the Birmingham Magazine, the first thing that came to mind was a warm succulent Strawberry Cobbler. I thought it would be different to add oats to the topping, making it lighter and healthier. The recipe worked perfectly on my first try during recipe testing (I love it when that happens). When my 3 kids said, “Mom, this is the best thing you have ever made.” I must admit, I agreed. Enjoy on Valentines, Mother’s Day or really anytime. It’s true comfort food, easy to prepare and so worth it.

Hot Artichoke Dip with Black Eyed Peas

Artichoke Dip is just about everyone’s favorite appetizer recipe, and I am always looking for ways to turn and twist it to make it different. This Black-Eyed Pea-Artichoke Dip combines artichokes, bacon, black eyed peas, Greek yogurt, reduced-fat mayonnaise and mozzarella cheese to create a warm dip that’s perfect for this time of year. I served this on New Year’s Day, and I thought it would be a perfect addition to anyone’s list to serve on Super Bowl sunday.

25 Minute Appetizer: Buffalo Chicken Dip

When I was thinking of recipe ideas for my upcoming Super Bowl television cooking segment (this Friday on NBC “Daytime Alabama”), I asked a close friend and assistant, Nancy, what she likes to serve for her Super Bowl parties (she is one of the best cooks I know). She told me about her favorite Buffalo Chicken Dip which she says is a must. I was reluctant at first (although my kids are huge fans of buffalo wings) because when I judged a cooking contest last year, I saw over 800 recipes for buffalo wing dips. She later convinced me to let her make it for me, and oh my, was she right! The night after I taped the television segment, I had a party with several couples and their children. Everyone went absolutely nuts over the dip, and they were begging for more. Nancy told me to be sure to use “Franks RedHot Sauce”, but any hot sauce will work. I also used rotisserie chicken to make things a lot easier and reduced-fat cream cheese to lighten it up a bit. Enjoy this for the Super Bowl this year or anytime you need a simple and sure to please appetizer.

Super Bowl Appetizer and Party Tips: Brie with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil

One week from today is the Super Bowl, one of the most fun sporting events of the year. I filmed a Super Bowl television cooking segment for NBC “Daytime Alabama” which will air next week, making four easy appetizers. This 5 ingredient recipe for Brie with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil is a cinch, taking only 20 minutes to prepare. Here are some of my favorite Super Bowl tips for hosting your upcoming party.

Super Bowl Hosting Tips:

-Think “green” and make it easy. Send out E Invites or call or Facebook your friends

-Set up as many televisions as possible if you’re having a large party

-Plan simple and easy food to put out and refill. Also, think about servings foods that are easy to pick up and eat in your lap.

-Have one room planned for television watchers and another for those who just want to talk (okay…some of us women)

-If you’re inviting guests with children, have video games, movies, coloring pages, crayons and puzzles to keep them busy

-Offer healthy foods: such as serve fresh fruit and vegetables with hummus

-Have plenty of beverages and a variety for everyone

-Ask guests to pitch in and bring food (give them a task)

-Have a “faux betting pool” set up and a few prizes for the winners

Easy Valentine’s Day Brownies

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays for cooking every year because I usually teach a Kid’s Valentine Cooking Class and share my recipes with children. This year I have a great class scheduled along with a few television appearances lined up in Birmingham and Nashville preparing Valentine treats. These Valentine Brownies are just one of the recipes I will be making for the kids as well as television. This easy brownie recipe was shared to me by the editors of the Tables of Content Book from the Junior League of Birmingham (one of my must-have cookbooks). These are so easy, and you make them all in one saucepan. Use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter and decorate with your favorite icing. They are almost too simple to be so divine.

20 Minute Appetizer: Apricot-Glazed Brie

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With spring parties, graduations and celebrations this month, I thought I would share the simplest recipe for Brie that you can prepare in under 20 minutes. It’s so easy to prepare and makes a pretty presentation. Feel free to serve with some of your favorite fruits, crackers and breads. You may substitute your favorite nuts for the walnuts and other dried fruit. Just be sure to watch it carefully in the oven so you don’t over-melt it.

See me preparing easy, budget-friendly skillet meals today on NBC 13 Daytime Alabama today at http://www.nbc13.com/vtm/daytime/

Spring Chocolate Molten Cakes in 30 Minutes

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Many of you may have seen these Molten Cakes on my blog before. If you have, please forgive me for running them again, but when I went out last for my friend, Julie’s birthday dinner at “Flemmings” restaurant, that was the top dessert pick. It was delicious and oozing of warm chocolate, as it always is, and I told Julie that she can easily do these at home. Then the next day, I saw these spring, Easter ramekins at Target, and was so excited to give them a new look. This is a great idea for an Easter or spring dessert. You can make them ahead and warm them up, right before serving. To see these and other spring dessert ideas, watch the link from  “Daytime Alabama” that was on Monday on NBC 13.

Healthy Organic Trail Mix

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When I am on the go (which is all of the time), I like a quick healthy snack. This trail mix is perfect because it has the combination of a sweet and salty crunch made with some of my favorite ingredients. Today, I am taping 4 different cooking segments for a new local NBC show, “Daytime Alabama”. I can’t begin to explain what it’s like to prepare for 4 different cooking shows (I thought 1 show was difficult). Don’t get me wrong, it’s really fun. I would like to give thanks to my friend Alacia who helped me prepare for these television segments. 

 

Organic Trail Mix

Prep: 5 minutes

Yield:  6 cups

Ingredients

21/2 cups Oatmeal Squares

2 cups granola

1 cup peanut-butter filled pretzels

2 (10-ounce) package Harvest blend trail mix (I used Back to Nature)

1 (5.2-ounce) dried strawberries

1 (5.2-ounce) dried blueberries

1 (8.3-ounce) yogurt covered raisins

Preparation

1. Combine all ingredients in a airtight container and store at room temperature.