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Showing posts from August, 2010

French Crepes with Pecan-Crusted Chicken & Sauteed Peaches

***What inspires you?  Maybe it's a perfect, sun-filled day on the beach with the sand between your toes.  Or, maybe it's your faith, time spent with your family or your friends.  All of these wonderful things inspire me, along with one other obvious choice - food.  Food brings families together after a long day at the office.  A bowl of my GrannyRene's Chicken & Dumplings recipe has the power to put a smile on my face and bring tears to my eyes all at the same time.  That was always her specialty. Not only is food vital to our existence, but it can be a source of creativity and fun.  To me, an empty plate is my blank canvas.  It's hard to beat the feeling you get when you put a smile on someone's face with a delicious meal.  Every once in a while, something will inspire me to think up a new and original recipe.  If you're a fan of the TV show The Next Food Network Star , you know that all of the contestants have a specific "point-of-view" (a

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

***Last Friday night, Brad and I got an invite to an impromptu dinner party...What fun!  We were both excited, and of course, I immediately started to think about what I could take along for dessert.  I was in the mood for cookies, but not the same-ole', same-ole' variety.  I wanted to try something new, but using the ingredients that I had on-hand was a necessity.  A trip to the grocery store was not in the cards if I wanted to be on time.  So, I began browsing through cookbooks and blogs for just-the-right recipe. As soon as I found this recipe for Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies, my search was over.  First of all, you can't go wrong with chocolate chip cookies.  Who doesn't adore an ooey gooey cookie filled with chocolate pieces??  Secondly, Nutella is such a fun ingredient.  I had never even thought to add it to cookie batter.  Its combination of chocolate and hazelnuts is just divine. This recipe didn't disappoint...The cookies were indeed incredible

Restaurant Review: Nabeel's Cafe & Market

Nabeel's Cafe in Homewood, AL offers fine authentic Greek fare   (click the link above to see the review in its entirety!) by Celeste Ward Happy Monday everyone! I wanted to share some more exciting news with you  - My first official restaurant review is being featured today over at Wade on Birmingham , as a part of his month-long series " Birmingham's Best Eats !" I reviewed one of my favorite spots in Birmingham - Nabeel's Cafe & Market . Here are some of the photos that I took of our food on the night of the review...Is your mouth watering yet?  ;-) Please CLICK HERE to see the restaurant review in its entirety! The Bruschetta was one of the highlights of our evening. Photos by Celeste Ward. The Moussaka at Nabeel’s CafĂ© in Homewood is comforting and authentic. The Greek Salad with grilled chicken tastes fresh and scrumptious. The Tiramisu was some of the best that I've ever had!

Summer Fruit Crostata

***The fresh fruits of summer have to be one of the best things about the season...That is, if you love to cook and eat them, of course!  This crostata from Ina Garten was a fabulous way for me to use up some of the fruit from our local farmer's market.  I loved the combination of peaches, plums and blueberries.  It was perfection, along with the scrumptious homemade pastry that wrapped the fruit up in a warm flaky blanket of a crust! The beauty of a crostata is that it doesn't have to look perfect.  There's something charming and rustic about the way this dessert comes out.  The dough is folded over the fruit in a way that looks refreshingly homemade.  It looks, smells and tastes like something you just want to dive into...The perfect ending to a yummy summer meal! Bon Appetit!*** Summer Fruit Crostata Source:  Barefoot Contessa at Home , by Ina Garten Ingredients: For the pastry (makes 2 crostatas): 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup granulated or superfine s

Peach Clafoutis - Julia Child

***Now, you didn't really think that I would let Julia's birthday go by without sharing a new recipe by Julia with you, right?  I've been curious about what a classic French clafoutis (pronounced Kla-foo-TEE) tasted like for a while now.  They always looked beautiful in the photos that I saw, and I wondered if they tasted as good as they looked.  This dessert has a luxurious custardy filling and tastes perfectly french!  I knew that if I was going to make a clafoutis, it would be a crime not to begin with Julia's recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I .  The recipe sounded incredibly simple, which it ultimately was. Traditionally, a clafoutis is made with cherries, so that is how Julia presents this recipe in her cookbook.  Being the southern girl that I am, I decided to substitute the cherries with the freshest, most gorgeous Clanton peaches.  They were superb!  Feel free to subsitute about 3 cups of any fruit that you like.  The only other

Happy Birthday Julia Child!

Happy Birthday Julia Child (click this link to see my feature on Julia!) by Celeste Ward; Featured in "Birmingham's Best Eats" "Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it."  -Julia Child This quote by Julia Child is so true...We should all be so lucky enough to find something that we are truly passionate about.  Julia Child certainly discovered her passion for all things culinary all those years ago in Paris, France, and she continues to be a huge inspiration to me. I was thrilled when Birmingham blogger, Wade Kwon, contacted me about a month-long feature he was doing on his website.  It was to be called "Birmingham's Best Eats," and he was looking for contributers to write articles, restaurant reviews and feature recipes.  I didn't think twice...Of COURSE I wanted to participate! The first idea that came to mind was Julia's birthday...surprise, surprise.  I thought it would be perfect to write

Sugar & Spice is Featured on The Cooking Channel's Website!

I am so incredibly excited to announce that my little ole' food blog is currently being featured on The Cooking Channel's website.  You may even recognize the cover shot in the article...Yep...That's my Strawberry Tart that's featured!  :-) Strawberry Tart Recipe Take a look at the article here: Kicking Off a Week of Julia Child Julia Child's birthday would have been on August 15th, so The Cooking Channel is celebrating the culinary legend all week long. If you've been a reader of my blog for a while,  you're well aware of the fact that Julia has been, and continues to be, such a huge inspiration to me.  Her cookbooks and TV shows continue to influence the way that I cook.  After reading her memoir, "My Life in France," I really began to relate to her. Help me celebrate Julia this week by visiting The Cooking Channel, and maybe even by getting your dose of Julia at:  Julia Child on Sugar & Spice . Of course, you can also expect a f

It's Been a Busy Wedding Season @ Jim Little Photography!!

Over the past couple of months, you may have noticed that I haven't been blogging quite as much as I usually do....I've missed it very much, however, I have a very good excuse! I was thinking the other day, and I realized that I've never shared our wedding photography with you...my lovely food blogger friends.  So, I am very excited to share some of the photos from our latest wedding.  Brad and I both work as Associate Wedding Photographers for Jim Little Photography, in Birmingham, AL.  We've been blessed to have a very busy spring/summer wedding season this year, on top of our regular full time jobs!  The wedding business keeps us busy on the weekend, and my job at Armstrong Relocation (which I also love!) keeps me busy during the week.  However, things just wouldn't be the same without finding time to cook a delicious meal for my hubby each night.  So, I've also got a lot of food blogging to catch up on, including a FABULOUS birthday cake that I made for

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread...Not Your Mama's Recipe!

*** Here in the south, cornbread is a staple...and this recipe from Ina Garten spices things up a bit...literally!  If you're tired of the same ole', boring cornbread recipe, then you should give this one a try.  With the addition of cheddar cheese and sliced jalapenos, this isn't your mama's cornbread!  Ina gets it perfect here...Your tastebuds will be greeted by cheesy-goodness right from the first bite.  And just when you think it's safe, your tongue is slapped around a bit by a chunk of jalapeno! Brad was a huge fan of this cornbread...it is the perfect mix of spicyness and comfort food.  Make this recipe tonight...You'll definitely spice things up! Bon Appetit!*** Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Source:  Barefoot Contessa at Home , by Ina Garten Ingredients: 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup yellow cornmeal 1/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons baking powder 2 teaspoons kosher salt 2 cups milk 3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsal