Seafood Supper with a Southern Twist

Life's a beach! Although you may not be able to actually transport your dinner party to the ocean, you can create the ambiance of the beach for your guests. Scatter sand around a centerpiece décor of driftwood, shells and other beach treasures. Decorate your dining table with twinkle lights and candles. Crank up some beach music on the stereo. You can almost feel the ocean breeze! (Photography by Paul Nurnberg.)Shrimp Waldorf Salad The original Waldorf salad was created at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York in the late 1890's. It was considered the height of sophisti...

Beaufort Tomato Pie

No two tomato pie recipes are the same. If someone actually added them up, I'd be willing to bet that folks from Beaufort have about a zillion recipes for Tomato Pie. They're all just a teeny little bit different. Some use a variety of fresh herbs, some add bacon, some use salad dressing instead of mayonnaise. No matter which version you prefer, we all agree that tomato pies are one of our favorite local delicacies and something we look forward to every June. It's very interesting to me that tomato pies are pretty much a Lowcountry thing. Most friends from my hometown of ...

Three Pounds of Cheese

I was watching the news this morning and learned that the world has an overrun of cheese. Such a huge overrun of cheese, that it will take each and every person on the planet, eating an extra 3 pounds of cheese this year to get the cheese market back on kilter. I don't know about you, but I'm ready, able and willing to do my part for the cheese industry. The recipes this week all feature cheese. Some are hot and gooey, some are cool and firm, but all are deliciously cheesy! (Photography by Paul Nurnberg.)Creamy Eggs with Goat CheeseStirring a little goat cheese into ...

Shrimp on the Barbie!

 Grilled shrimp is a great summer meal! It's easy to cook and quite tasty, too. Getting the shrimp ready for the grill is just as important as the actual grilling. That's where this week's recipes come in. They're all marinades for grilled shrimp. You can use whatever type of shrimp you'd like -- white, brown or tiger. For grilled shrimp recipes, stay away from the small shrimp. Large, extra large and jumbo are easy to work with and go on skewers nicely. Cooking the shrimp on skewers makes them easier to control on the grill and easier to cook.If you use two skewers for ...

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Celebrate La Dolce Vita! A Taste of Italy (Part Two)

Have you ever dreamed of exploring Italy, visiting the cities and countryside, and eating as the Italians do? Join me on a culinary tour. Just choose a recipe and start cooking. By cooking and sharing regional dishes, we can experience some of the colors, flavors and traditions of Italy.Pork Chops with Fennel and Caper SauceAromatic fennel adds a delicate anise flavor as it cooks. Lemon zest adds brightness.¼ cup olive oil4 (2-inch thick) boneless pork chopsSalt and freshly ground black pepper2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced (reserve and chop some of the fronds)2 large ...

Celebrate La Dolce Vita! A Taste of Italy (Part One)

Have you ever dreamed of exploring Italy, visiting the cities and countryside, and eating as the Italians do? Join me on a culinary tour. For the next two issues, we'll be dining on Italian foods. Just choose a recipe and start cooking. By cooking and sharing regional dishes, we can experience some of the colors, flavors and traditions of Italy.Spuma di TonnoThis smooth tuna spread is incredibly simple, yet has great depth of flavor. Serve it with bread sticks (grissini) or crostini and sparkling wine.1 (7-ounce) can oil-packed tuna, drained4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice4 ...

Feeling Kind of Crabby

It's no secret that I'm an Eastern North Carolina girl. I was raised eating vinegar and pepper pork barbecue, fried cornsticks and chicken dumplings. But, I was also lucky to live close enough to the coast to make frequent road trips to Morehead, the Outer Banks and Beaufort – pronounced “Bow-fert.” (I never knew there was a Beaufort -- pronounced “Bew-fert,”until I met my husband, Vince.) I even lived in Wilmington for a few months. As a matter-of-fact, Wilmington is where I began to really love seafood. Until I was in my 20's, most everything that we consumed ...

Farewell, Pat Conroy

I had been reading Pat Conroy's cookbook, The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes and Stories of My Life, when our telephone rang. Pat's sister-in-law, Terrye, was on the line with a request (actually, bestowing an honor) from the Conroy family for me to cater Pat's funeral reception at the Yacht Club on Tuesday afternoon. It seemed like fate or even a serendipity, that I had Pat's cookbook on my desk with a folded down corner marking Chapter 15, “Why Dying Down South Is More Fun.” Pat had already planned the menu for me. The way I show people that I care about them is ...

Sunshine Salads

Don't you just love the sunshine? I'm totally solar powered. I have to admit, I've been feeling a bit anti-social during the past few cold and dark winter months. And, I've been spending too much time at home eating my favorite comfort foods. Warm and bright days have been so good for my psyche and I'm feeling inspired again. This week I'm sharing three of my favorite (and delicious) slim-down salad recipes. Soon we'll be able to buy fresh spring and summer vegetables locally. Isn't it wonderful?Grilled Romaine Salad 1 cup mayonnaise ½ cup sour cream ¼ cup whole milk or ...

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

February is a great month for making soup. We've been lucky to have an occasional warm day in Beaufort lately, but those cold, grey days are no fun. All three recipes this week are for hearty, tummy-warming soups. The first two recipes are my concoctions. The third recipe is an Alabama treat from my friend, Janelle Proctor. All three soups freeze beautifully. Stay warm, my friends, spring is coming!Hamburger Taco Soup2 pounds ground beef½ large red onion, chopped2 (14-ounce) cans beef broth1 (15.25-ounce) can corn, undrained1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and ...