Category Archives: Food

Iron Chef Edition

Whenever my family gathers, there’s bound to be a battle.
A food battle.
An Iron Chef Battle to be exact!

Each summer we meet for a week for reminiscing, new memories, and of course eating deliciousness together. Picking a bushel of Maryland Blue Crabs is a given! Papa tells stories from flying planes in World War II and his adventures with the love of his life, Nana. Though she died eleven years ago, he keeps his wedding band on with pride. Guy time. Girl time. Family puzzles. And LOTS of good food!

IMG_0650.JPGOur Iron Chef tradition began with Battle Bacon: 3 teams, 3 courses each, 10 pounds of bacon (fat and all) consumed. Oh my word. Even our coffee tasted like bacon after that cooking fest! Scratch-made bourbon bacon ice cream with maple bacon sprinkles. Cinnamon pancetta carbonara. Spiced bacon-wrapped water chestnuts. And my personal favorite: Rice Krispy bacon treats with chocolate bacon drizzle.

Elastic waistbands for days.

This year, we opted for a lighter palette with Battle Lemon! Our amazing friends, the Lawrensons, came as our honored judges. What a blast! As the house filled with citrus-tastic aroma, the kitchen buzzed with preparations.

Lemon ricotta dip with garlic and chives. Lemon parm popcorn. Marscapone gnocchi with brown butter lemon sauce. Perfectly roasted chicken with lemon sage stuffed skins. Lemon, lemon, lemon.

Dessert round bore the winning dish:
Lemon Buttermilk Pie. This simple dish from Food Network Magazine amazed us all. Creamy texture. Perfectly balanced lemon flavor. Not too sweet. Not too tart. Just right. This pie is sure to become a new family favorite. Trust me – you want to try this pie!

So get your citrus on and whip up some lemon buttermilk goodness today!

You’re welcome, America.


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Filed under Family, Food, Recipes, Tasteful Tuesdays

What the Kale?

Crispy.  Savory.  O so healthy.  Kale chips!

If you’re craving some crunch without the carbs, give these a go.  I whipped up a batch last night…make that two batches.  Between Evan and I, they were gone!

Kale Chips

  • 1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.  Remove the ribs from the kale and cut leaves into 1 1/2-inch pieces.  Lay on a baking sheet and toss with a light drizzle of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes.

So put any preconceived ideas about kale aside and whip up a batch.  They just might become your newest crispy craving.

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Filed under Food, Recipes

Road Trip

It’s finally here!  A weekend I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time.  For the next three days, my mom, sister and I are having a culinary weekend together!  My amazing hottie of a husband is watching Eliana for the whole weekend so that I can spend the next three days off of mom duty with my girls.  Mornings in Georgetown and historic Washington, D.C., an afternoon in my hometown – Annapolis, MD, exploring the eastern market in our nation’s capital, a full evening at a Julia Child cooking class in Pentagon City.  The fun has just begun!  I truly am blessed to spend these next three days with my mom and sister, laughing throughout each day and enjoying delectable food together.  What a blast!

Happy weekend, everyone!  Be sure to check back next week for the delicious details of our foodie weekend.  I’ll enjoy some Georgetown Cupcakes on your behalf. 🙂

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Filed under Annapolis, Cooking, D.C., Family, Food, Patience

Carrot Cupcakes

Ever since my first visit to Georgetown Cupcake in January, I have been craving gourmet cupcakes: moist, decadent and down-right soul-satisfying!  Much to my mouth’s chagrin and my waistline’s delight, D.C. is a five-hour drive away, reducing me to merely dream about their yummy goodness.  So until my next venture to our nation’s capital, I have been in search of recipes that can placate my palate.  *sigh*

Last week, my Mom came across the most amazing recipe in Country Living that has done just the trick!  Carrot Cupcakes.  To say these tasty morsels are delicious would be a stark understatement.  I’ve enjoyed many a fine carrot cake in my life, but none have ever come close to comparing with the flavor and texture of this recipe: carrot cupcake with golden raisins and chopped nuts (we used pecans instead of walnuts…simply out of preference) covered by a dollop of carrot-infused cream cheese frosting and finished with strips of candied carrot on top.  Oh. My. WORD!  The only phrase that comes close to capturing this decadent morsel is “Dangerously Delicious!”

So the next time you’re in the mood for a satisfying treat, skip the local bakery and whip up a batch of these carrot cupcakes for yourself.  It will certainly be worth it!

(click on the recipe for the full size to print)


Filed under Cooking, D.C., Food, Recipes

Pumpkin Deliciousness

All this frigid weather lately has left me with two conclusions: 1 – If its going to be that cold, it ought to be snowing!  Otherwise its just stupid.  2 – I crave chocolate and carbs way more when I’m cooped up inside on blustery days.  Thankfully I’m pregnant.  “The chocolate is for the baby…really!”  In light of this non-girth-friendly realization, I’m sharing a recipe with you all that has brought both warmth and smiles during these weeks of arctic temperatures.  Pumpkin chocolate chip bread.  Mmm…  I can’t take any credit for this recipe.  My dear friend, Abby Lutz, passed it on to me a few months back.  But I can say that it is crazy simple to make and extremely addicting.  So get your baker’s hat on, people!  You won’t be disappointed.

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Filed under Food, Recipes

New Obsession

I have a new obsession.  Georgetown Cupcakes is its name.  For years, I have heard of these delectable delights but never made it into their store to try one.  This weekend, everything changed.  One simple bite and all my preconceived skeptical ideas of gourmet cupcakes faded forever.  Perfectly sized with the ideal ratio of moist cupcake to creamy frosting.  I mean really – Strawberry Champagne cupcake with a chocolate ganache core?  Come on!  ‘Tis a lovely bite.  Its now official.  Every time I’m in DC to visit my sister and brother-in-law, Georgetown Cupcakes will be part of the trip.  Yum…..

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Filed under D.C., Food, Fun

Season’s Eatings

With Christmas a mere five days away, I find myself faced with a simply scrumptious task today: planning dishes for the festivities to come.  We’re spending Christmas Eve & Day at home this year, making our own family dining traditions.  Jordan and I both are blessed with delicious memories of hearty breakfasts & delectable dinners growing up.  This leads to one stark dilemma however: which recipes do we make our own?!

So I’ve taken to the task of exploring new dishes to add to our current stacked arsenal of holiday fare.  To be honest, its all a bit daunting.  Two recipes keep jumping off the pages to my palate:  Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls and Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon.  I can’t even look at these recipes without salivating!

What favorite food traditions does your family have for Christmas Eve/Day?

The search continues…


Filed under Food, Fun

Sisters & Empanadas

My sister, Corinne, is one of the most amazing and truly beautiful women I have ever known…in every way.  Compassionate, wise, loyal, truth-speaking, gourmet-food-loving, hilarious, full of integrity, witty, fashionable, humble, following after God’s heart, sings like an angel, gorgeous.  This only scratches the surface of all Corinne McGowan is.

She arrived on Sunday for a few days of girl time before the full-fledged family Thanksgiving activities begin.  Can I just say I LOVE spending time with my sister?!  We spent the whole day together Monday – talking, laughing, playing with Eliana, enjoying delicious food and cooking.  It was perfect!  For weeks, she had been telling me of these veggie empanadas her friend, Julie Berger, had made.  So adorned in aprons and with cooking gear in hand, we set to make our own batch of these tasty fried treats.  In the end, the kitchen was destroyed, our aprons covered in flour and our cheeks sore from laughing for hours.

But MY, were these empanadas delicious!  Savory vegetable filling wrapped in the lightest, crispy crust.  It certainly won’t be the last time we slave away in the kitchen to make these.  Served with spicy quacamole and sour cream, they were simply sublime.

So get your finest cooking attire on, head to your local grocery and get busy making your own batch of these scrumptious bundles of goodness!  You won’t be disappointed.

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Filed under Family, Food, Recipes

Green Belts & Cookies

I’m in Chapel Hill for most of this week for Six Sigma Green Belt training.  Full days of learning statistical analysis and other such lovely things, I’m training with my 6 teammates from UNC’s PICU in a project for improving daily communication between families and PICU clinicians.  Its a LOT of work but work that we hope will have a big payoff.

To be honest, this busyness has taken most of my creative energies at the moment.  So I leave you with this – a recipe that I can take absolutely no credit for but one that want to eat RIGHT NOW!  (Call it a preggo craving, but these cookies look friggin’ delicious!)  So pull out your mixers, crank up your ovens, whip out your best apron!

Courtesy of the amazing Tasty Kitchen website, I give you Oreo Cheesecake Cookies.  Let the drooling begin….


Filed under Chapel Hill, Food, Fun, Random, Recipes