Apples of North Georgia

Apples of North Georgia

Apples are available in grocery stores at any time of the year, but have you ever had apples fresh picked from the tree during the height of their season? The taste is so bright and flavorful! The texture is very crisp and juicy. For these seasonal beauties I like to head to Ellijay, GA, which is considered the heart of Georgia’s apple country and is only about a hour and a half trip from Atlanta. Dozens of varieties of apples are available from late summer to early winter. You can find roadside stands, buy direct from the growers, or venture out into the farms to pick-your-own. 

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Farro - One of my Favorite Whole Grains

Farro - One of my Favorite Whole Grains

I make a very popular farro salad for several of my personal chef clients. The cooked farro is tossed with lemon garlic vinaigrette, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and scallions (pictured here). One of my clients sent me a text message the night her family was eating this side dish. The text message said, "Oh my goodness! That Farro Salad! I could eat it every day! Amazing! Thank you!" 

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Colder Weather is Perfect for Roasted Vegetables

Colder Weather is Perfect for Roasted Vegetables

Roasting is one of my favorite ways to cook vegetables especially during cold fall and winter months. The warmth of the oven heats up the kitchen and it's a perfect cooking technique for many of the vegetables that are available in abundance right now - butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, onions, parsnips, turnips, rutabega, beets... just to name a few! The picture above is roasted sweet potatoes cut to represent "fries".

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Spotlight on: Okra

Spotlight on: Okra

I spoke a lot about okra last weekend at my cooking demonstrations at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, where I highlighted a dish called, "Smoky Okra with Rustic Tomato Coulis". Okra is a fascinating vegetable. I’m most fascinated by its absolutely stunning flower, super slimy interior and the idea that some people dry extra-large pods and transform them into Christmas ornaments painted like Santa.

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Announcing my Cooking Classes at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Announcing my Cooking Classes at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

I’m very excited to announce that I will be joining the team of chefs who teach in the Outdoor Kitchen at the Edible Garden! These classes are free with admission to the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The classes are 20-30 minutes and feature healthy recipes that highlight seasonal produce from the Edible Garden. The classes occur on Thursday nights, Saturday’s and Sunday’s throughout the height of the Edible Garden season, which is May-October.

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Food Photography by Harmony Blackwell

Food Photography by Harmony Blackwell

Several months ago, I had the very fortunate opportunity to cook while Harmony Blackwell of Harmony Blackwell Photography professionally documented it all. She specializes in portrait and lifestyle photography with an emphasis on capturing authentic moments using an organic approach. These are a few of the highlights. 

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Purple Hull Peas

Purple Hull Peas

Are purple hull peas considered a field pea? Are they a crowder pea? Cowpea? I ask these questions because before writing this blog post, I didn't know very much about these classic Southern peas, except that they taste fantastic and are packed with nutrients. (I purchased the pictured purple hull peas on Saturday from Burge Organic Farm at Morningside Farmers Market.)

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The Art of Stir-Fry

The Art of Stir-Fry

I've been exploring the art of stir-fry in preparation for my Summer Stir-Fry class next week at Cancer Support Community Atlanta. Luckily my husband, Michael, loves stir-fry because between all of the recipe testing and leftovers, we've pretty much been eating it all week! We aren't sick of it though which speaks to the versatility in this cooking technique. Changing the types of vegetables, the sauce, the protein, or the aromatics, will change flavors and presentation and before you know it, a new dish is born.

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