Kentucky Hot Brown Vidalia Onion Bites

Kentucky Hot Brown Bites

Kentucky is world-famous for the Kentucky Derby, held the 1st Saturday in May, fine bourbon, and thoroughbred racehorses. The Blue Grass state is also known for a sandwich that has a little bit to do with all three. The Kentucky Hot Brown is a lusciously creamy, cheesy decadent delight that originated at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, and has become a Derby Day tradition. It’s made of thinly shaved juicy turkey, crispy bacon, and bathed in a rich cheese sauce. What’s not to love? Well, you are not going to believe that I’ve lightened this one up. Read on for my recipe for Kentucky Hot Brown Bites as well as my Kentucky Derby Party Tips so that you can host your own celebration — without running yourself like a horse on the track!


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Recipe Makeover: Sausage-Pecan Balls

Sausage-Pecan Balls

Everyone looks down their nose at sausage balls, pigs in a blanket, and meatballs in BBQ sauce, but the reality is that these popular nibbles are the first to go at a party.? The original recipe for sausage balls uses Bisquick. I’ve made a few changes and developed this “from scratch” version — as well as lightening things up with reduced-fat cheese and turkey sausage. Read on to learn how to make them! (more…)

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Lighten Up, Y’all! Buffalo Chicken Dip

Healthier Buffalo Chicken Dip

Football Saturdays can feel like 100 yards of healthy eating pitfalls. Seriously, who wants to eat carrot sticks and celery spears with hummus when everyone else is jamming down on hot chicken wings and cheese dip? I always make sure to always have a crudités platter for mindless eating and I love vegetables, but face it — we all know it’s rabbit food. What about gooey, cheesy, spicy, yummy Buffalo Chicken Dip ? YES! Put me in, Coach! Read on to find out how to make my lightened up version of Buffalo Chicken Dip. (more…)

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How to Plan the Safe and Perfect Picnic

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As a kid, my Southern summers were spent fishing at our family pond and swimming in the ocean, pool, or lake and catching fireflies with my sister after dark. And, more than anything, summer meant dining outside. On the weekends, a mixture of friends and family would get together with coolers and wooden picnic baskets, laden with food. This year picnics are certain to be different, so check out my tips on how to plan a safe and perfect outing. (more…)

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What’s in Season: Savory Eggplant Dip

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Eggplant flourishes in the scorching heat of a Deep South summer. My grandparents grew row upon row of the stately bushes, heavily laden with the shiny black-purple orbs. The plants are absolutely majestic in the vegetable garden with their luscious, draped, fanlike leaves and vibrant colors. My grandmother seemed to only ever fry eggplant. She peeled, then dusted thick ivory eggplant steaks, peppered with an abundance of seeds in seasoned finely ground cornmeal. They were then pan-fried in a bath of sizzling hot oil in a cast iron skillet until golden brown and crisp. (more…)

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What’s in Season: Best Corn Recipes
Creamed Corn with Bacon

What’s in Season: Best Corn Recipes

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It’s high corn season! And, this summer vegetable is so versatile we’re having it nearly every meal. From sides and appetizers to entrées and desserts, it can be a part of a sweet or savory dish. To? take advantage of summer’s sweet corn while at its peak, I’ve rounded up all of my favorite recipes in one place. Check out these top ten delicious recipes. (more…)

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Best Tomato Recipes

It’s Hotter than Georgia Asphalt

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It’s super hot and the peak of summer. We may be wilting, but tomatoes are thriving! A garden-ripe, fresh tomato is the absolute ultimate in summer produce. Out of season tomatoes are flavorless rock-hard orbs shipped from some other hemisphere. Out of season tomatoes are pure disappointment. In season, tomatoes are bursting with flavor, juicy and luscious. There is nothing as wonderful as the full, rich, almost wine-like flavor of a vine ripe tomato. So, when it’s tomato season, I heartily endorse eating those glorious ripe ones as often as possible. (more…)

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What’s in Season: Asparagus

How to Cook Asparagus, How to Store, How to Trim, and How to Know When It is Done. 

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Spring is starting to kick into high gear! One of the first freshly harvested vegetables to enjoy is asparagus. Pencil thin or thick and hearty is a matter of personal preference. Regardless of size, when buying it in the grocery store look for spears that are firm and bright green, with intact tips.  Cook it as soon as possible as it deteriorates fairly rapidly.  Store it in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel wrapped around the stems.  It will last 3 to 4 days.

The ends of fresh asparagus can be tough and woody. I prefer to slice off the last inch or so of the stem instead of snapping it off where the spear breaks naturally. Not only is it more visually appealing when all the spears are exactly the same size, but they will also cook at the same rate of speed. Large spears are more mature, less tender, and also need to be peeled. (more…)

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Big Game: Shrimp Nachos with Creole Queso


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Nachos started as a Mexican snack, have become an American staple — and are absolutely mandatory for The Big Game Day menu. Chips and salsa are one thing, but nachos are on a whole other level. The best part is that nachos are quick and easy – a few vegetables and a bit of protein tossed in a hot skillet, scattered on top of crispy corn tortilla chips, topped with a bit of cheese, and you’re good to go. Who doesn’t like nachos!!? They’re positively craveable.  (more…)

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