Showing posts from January, 2009

The Beet Goes On

Another favorite winter pastime is bi-weekly trips to DeKalb Farmers Market, just outside Atlanta.
Notoriously cold inside the market, I layer a light sweater over another light sweater, followed by a comfy lightweight coat and fuzzy gloves.
I know one of you is shaking your head saying, "dummy, it's good for the vegetables and other perishables" but I have to wonder if it isn't a little sadistic entertainment for the office personnel-hovering high above the veggies-in their warm, cozy offices.
Whatever. . .
Last trip I was totally outwitted, peeling off layer after layer . . . on with the gloves-off with the gloves. The management had turned the heat up! I think they were having fun with the shoppers!
No worries, I'm hardcore and over the years have adapted by packing an extra change of clothes-stuffing them in the 99 cent recycle bags-which are never in use for their intended purpose.
If we have another freeze like last week I swear I'm wearing my fleece robe o…

Italian Chestnuts and Blood Orange Apertif

As a "spring/summer personality, I have always dreaded the thought of dreary winters filled with dark days and cold nights. Living in Georgia I can almost certainly count on a weird mix of mild, moderately cold or severe winters.
Rather than complain I have adapted to the odd winters and look forward to my winter rituals of warm, fragrant baths and lovely evenings in my wonderful kitchen recreating many favorite Italian dishes while enjoying a glass of Tuscan super-red wine.
A chilly evening can be magically warmed by a serving of roasted Italian chestnuts tossed with fragrant garlic oil and a light sprinkling of kosher salt. The evening is further transformed with the addition of a Blood Orange and Brandy Apertif.
I choose a beautiful, faceted crystal hi-ball, something special that reflects the intense garnet reds of the blood orange as they swirl into the coppery browns of the orange brandy. With a tiny silver spoon I ladle one delicate teaspoon of sugar and wait for the gentle…

The Mad Scientist

Honeybell Orange Brandy Apertif

Picture this . . . it’s a strangely dark night, fog blankets the ground near “area 51” (that’s my house number). Strange gurgling burps followed by violent hisses erupt from tiny colorful vials filled with strange liquids.

That’s a “teeny” exaggeration. It’s really a little more mundane than that and the test tubes are really dirty dishes waiting on my my husband. I’m just settin’ a little mood, here!

Creating recipes and cocktails is one of my great passions. I am often asked how the process begins and I never have a quick answer. I can get pretty excited when I talk about things I love. (See picture)

To tell the story I have to share my history.

Way back before I ever hosted Home At Last! I was a bartender in New Orleans. My experience and knowledge of cocktails helped land me some pretty cool high-paying jobs in the best places frequented by locals.

My enthusiasm for the art of making and developing cocktails recipes has expanded over the years to incl…


Happy New Year!
Whew! I don't know about the rest of you, but I am unusually thankful to see 2009 arrive!
It has been such a hard year for many of us. I'm sure we all want to move on to a more positive time in our lives. 2008 brought many blessings into my life but they were all somewhat bittersweet with the absence of my friend and sister, Char' Fontane. Like so many other precious women, Char' succumbed to breast cancer in 2007.
I made it through my second Christmas without Char'. It wasn't as bad as the first year after her passing-but I can only hope that the years will get easier as time passes. Sadly, there were no new Christmas antlers added to my extensive collection, there was no excited "girl" chatter about the perfect gift for someone on our Christmas lists, there were no mystery boxes on my doorstep, each filled with gifts carefully chosen for me and there was no candled-filled evenings in celebration of family and friendship!
I loved to sh…