Nicole Taylor’s The Up South Cookbook is a direct challenge to rethink the definition of Southern cuisine. As a proud southern belle in New York City, Taylor’s expanding knowledge of cultural food influences her to adapt traditional recipes. She also shares classic recipes seldom recognized outside their region, such as the Southern Rice Pilaf (see recipe below). Her recipes are globally diverse, but they’re undoubtedly Southern. In the following interview, Taylor discusses New Yorkers’ perception about Southern food and global influences.
These past couple of years, a few food blogger friends and I, contributed recipes to KwanzaaCulinarians.com. This would’ve been our third year, but I needed to rest. I regret that we failed our fans in this decision, but this is a better solution for me. In addition to taking a relaxing vacation from my 9 to 5 job, I’m enjoying this time of year more than requesting 31 food bloggers and chefs to take time from their busy schedules to write Kwanzaa-inspired stories and recipes. Read more
It’s the various spices that define holiday baking with cinnamon being the most common of them all. Next to beautifully adored butter cookies, simple snickerdoodles rolled in cinnamon and sugar are one of my favorite cookies because of its soft and chewy texture. In this recipe, coconut sugar replaces white sugar for a less sweetened and a hint of caramel flavor. While white-whole wheat flour is tossed with all-purpose white flour for a slightly healthier treat. The other change? Cardamon replaces cinnamon for a different sweet and spicy flavor. Along with cinnamon, it’s a spice redefining the holidays among adventurous bakers.
Finland. Summer 2003. Lunch outside of a mild summer day. The server presented steamed salmon in a saffron creamy broth. It was simple dish, but the memory of its taste is grand. Recently, when I made Saffron Butternut Squash soup as an idea to include in a Thanksgiving menu, the first spoonful didn’t have me thinking of smoked turkey. Instead, forgotten memories of Finland returned.
It was the summer of learning about organic food, becoming environmentally-conscious and riding Copenhagen’s public bikes. The flavorful produce was fresh, bruised and unwaxed. Large chickens looked liked American cornish hens. Fingerling potatoes enclosed in a thin papery skin roasted into a buttery softness. I would return to occasionally trying to recreate the Saffron Creamy broth. It’s a simple sauce, in which I’m surprised to not have successfully created it. Perhaps, the simpleness of the sauce is underestimated. Ten years later into today, I would unwittingly recreate the taste with different ingredients, but the memories come courtesy of saffron. It’s distinct flavor beautifully infuses every dish. Read more
Twas the eve of Kwanzaa, and all through our house, we will rest in peace after unwrapping Christmas gifts with glee. This year, my household of two starts a new tradition of celebrating Kwanzaa. Our Christmas tree is brought mere days from the 25th. I want it to stay fresh into the New Year when we celebrate the last principle, Imani. It’ll be our Kwanzaa Christmas tree. Read more