How to Cut a Pineapple

If you’ve never tackled a whole pineapple, it can be intimidating. Oh, and choosing the perfect pineapple from a sea of prickly fruit? That’s scary. But fear no more! Here are some easy tips for selecting a pineapple and step-by-step instructions for cutting it up:

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Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Truth be told, chicken tortilla soup was not something in my typical rotation. So I did what I usually do: I googled it. I was confronted with the typical (broad!) spectrum of recipes. I realized that most of the recipes were full of summer harvests: sweet and hot peppers, tomatoes, corn, and onions. I set out to make it as “from scratch” as possible, which meant roasting my own tomatoes and toasting my own tortilla strips.

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Berry Galette with Whole Wheat Pecan Crust

I have a confession to make: I don’t really like pie crust. Perhaps because I’ve had a few too many soggy-bottomed, storebought crusts. I hate wasting food, but luckily there is usually a willing recipient nearby who will take my crust after I’ve scraped out my pie filling. More recently, I’ve learned that I like a good, homemade, all-butter pie crust just fine. Better yet, I love a good tart crust or shortbread crust. And perhaps best of all, I love a crisp, nutty galette crust baked with a crunchy layer of sugar on top.

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A Southern Cheese + Charcuterie Board for Summer

This week, I wrote about cheese, meat, and peanut pairings for the National Peanut Board. You can see the full post here, but I wanted to share one of my favorite combos, this Southern-inspired cheese and charcuterie board. It’s perfect for summer gatherings and is best served with ice cold drinks (a peach daiquiri or frosé for me!).

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Sparkling Strawberry Cocktails Two Ways

The season of fruity cocktails is here! I got together with my friend Jess (aka Lady Flashback) and whipped up some strawberry-themed cocktails on her adorable sun porch with freshly picked King of Crops berries and Charleston-based Dixie Vodka.

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6 Tips for Making the Most of Strawberry Season

If there’s anything good that’s come from global climate change, it’s strawberry season starting a few weeks early this year in Georgia. The local markets (and my balcony garden!) are full of perfectly ripe and red berries! Sometimes I get a little too excited and buy more than I can eat in a few days, so I’ve learned tactics for not letting the precious berries going to waste. Y’all should know by now how much I hate food waste! It starts with picking good berries and ends with tons of berries in my freezer to eat when they’re out of season. Plus there are some great recipes for in between. You could always put up jars of strawberry jam, but I wanted to include options that don’t require special equipment.

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Carrot Top Pesto

It’s easy to forget that carrots are actually roots, since we’re so used to seeing them packaged by themselves. But in order to grow, they need their lacy greens to soak up the sun above ground. And like most root vegetables, the greens are also edible.

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Leek + Lemon Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is a nostalgic dish for many–maybe a dish that brings back memories of a parent or grandparent lovingly preparing it, maybe a dish that soothed what ailed you. To me, it’s one of the most comforting foods when I’m not feeling well. My mom made it for me as a child, and most recently, a couple of girlfriends helped me prepare it after I got my wisdom teeth removed. It’s an uncomplicated dish that doesn’t require much skill or time in the kitchen.

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“French 28” Lavender + Lemon Champagne Cocktail

For the last three years, I’ve thrown myself a dessert party for my birthday. “I can make my own birthday cake if I want” is generally the idea, and the theme is loosely French: cheese, chocolate, champagne. This year, to keep things simple, I decided to only serve a champagne cocktail and sparkling rose. To keep things French, I decided to play off of the classic French 75 cocktail. I infused the simple syrup with lavender and swapped out some of the lemon juice for more floral tasting Meyer lemon juice. Seeing as it was my 28th birthday, I thought my cocktail would be appropriately named the “French 28.” Nobody can agree on where the “75” comes from anyway.

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Year in Review

In spite of the personal, national, and global turmoil, there was still a lot of good in 2016. It was one hell of a travel year for us, including awe-inspiring hikes, beautiful golf courses, and some incredible meals. We were overwhelmed with love and support from friends and family. I continued to find my way professionally as a photographer, cooking class teacher, and blogger. And I launched this new blog! Those are the parts I want to focus on and remember, so I’ve put together this “year in review” to record some of the highlights. I mostly did this for myself as a practice in gratitude, but I’ll also consider it my Christmas card substitute. Lord knows I don’t have my life together enough to get real ones in the mail.

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