Parade Magazine’s Community Table: A Globally-Inspired Southern Rice Pilaf and an Interview with Nicole Taylor of The Up South Cookbook

Nicole Taylor's The Southern Rice Pilaf from her "The Up South Cookbook"(Photo by ©Noah Fecks)

Nicole Taylor’s The Southern Rice Pilaf from her “The Up South Cookbook”(Photo by ©Noah Fecks)

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.

Read more

Twas the Night Before Kwanzaa

Black-eye Pea and Wild Brown Rice Risotto, Seared Baby Lamb Chops and Saute Swiss Chard

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

Appetizing Guest Post: Cookbook Author, Funke Koleosho of “Contemporary Nigerian Cuisine Cookbook”

One pot aromatic Jollof rice, served with grilled chicken breast, covered with salsa style mixed sweet pepper sauce and steamed mixed vegetables.

Yes, I’ve been missing in action. Unless absolutely necessary, apologies are rare on this food blog. In this situation, my excuse is because of news that went from crazy good to fortunate and grateful. It’s the kind of news to jump up and down to yell, “Hallelujah,” with tears of joy. My life is changing for the better—the best. It’s long coming and deserved. Every moment is savored.

In the midst of joy, is incorporating less cooking time in a new schedule. Life is crazy busy, which explains my absence from In anticipation of this week being the finale of crazy joy, I invited a guest who graciously agreed to write a post and share her recipes.

Funke Koleosho is an award winning cookbook author and has a mobile recipe app, Cook! Nigerian. In her guest post, Ms. Koleosho is sharing her Nigerian cuisine and ingredients. Enjoy her story. If you know or would like to learn about Nigerian cuisine, leave a comment below and download her smart phone app.

I’ll return soon to share happy details of what’s going on in my life. And, yes… there’s going to be changes here soon, because My Life Runs On Food. Read more

Mint Meyer Lemon Risotto with White Asparagus

Minted Meyer Lemon Risotto with White Asparagus
In yoga, we’re supposed to let our combative thoughts leave the sanctuary. However, as I’m standing in the tadasana pose, thoughts of food bring comfort as well. Such thoughts are relaxing, right? During the last class, I planned a dinner of buttery, roast potatoes with a dollop of thick yogurt served with Harissa spiced Brazilian Collard Greens mixed with chickpeas. When a particular dish is craved, it’s my body recommending an ingredient that has a certain vitamin or nutrient it needs immediately. During that dripping wet bikram class, my body was begging for good fats and carbohydrates (carbs). After all, I was waking up quite early to run a few miles the next day. I love when my body needs plenty of carbs. The media and crazy diet plans have made people unnecessarily scared of carbs, but I embrace them wholeheartedly. Eating excessive carbs are one of the joys about maintaining a regular cardio workout, because they’re an essential energy boost. Read more

Roast Turks Turban Squash and Duck Bacon Risotto

Roasted Turks Squash and Duck Bacon Risotto garnished with Lemon Balm.

Roasted Turk Turban Squash and Duck Bacon Risotto garnished with Lemon Balm.

It’s initially confusing when the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share includes a turks turban squash. It’s mostly used as decoration in Fall displays surrounded by fiery golden-hued leaves. The winter green outer skin is mottled with warm colors of the season. Its shape is the namesake, for this squash resembles a scarf wrapped around a person’s head. Momentarily forgetting that the CSA doesn’t provide objects for interior design, the turks turban squash is placed on a kitchen counter as decoration. A couple days later, I remember “this decoration” is an edible vegetable. Read more