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RECIPES: I Call It “Fight With My Husband Mac & Cheese”

My husband and I had an honest-to-God fight about macaroni and cheese recently. Well, it was more like a heated debate but it was proof to me that we’ve been married for so long, we’ve officially run out of things to fight about.

See, I made this incredible Barefoot Contessa Grown-Up Mac and Cheese for our anniversary recently and loved it so much I ASSUMED we’d make it for Thanksgiving. My husband nixed the idea though, saying it wasn’t “traditional” enough. I said that tradition doesn’t matter when something is this delicious. He disagreed and then I might have accused him of no longer loving me. My point is that the discussion degenerated into something completely different but it doesn’t matter because I’m not making macaroni and cheese for Thanksgiving.

I griped about this to my hairdresser Kyle, who stared at me in shock and said, “We make that EVERY YEAR for Thanksgiving! Everyone asks for it! It’s the first thing we run out of. Not TRADITIONAL enough, my sweet, fantastically toned ass!”

I might have added that last line myself. Continue reading →

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RECIPE (or WARNING): “Danger Chicken” Is So Good I Can’t Stop Eating It…SERIOUSLY

My husband makes the best grilled chicken in the WORLD. It’s nothing more than Jerk Chicken, which he soaks in a bottled marinade then grills, but I can’t get enough of it. In fact, I’ve renamed it Danger Chicken because I can’t stop eating it DESPITE the turmoil it causes in my stomach. It reached desperate proportions this week, when my own daughters had to stage an intervention.

It all started when friends came to dinner Saturday night. My husband planned to make Danger Chicken but scolded me for buying SO MANY thighs and breasts. I, of course, planned to eat it for lunch the whole next week but my husband pretended not to know this and put a pack of thighs back in the freezer (sigh). Continue reading →

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RECIPES: Happy Anniversary Key Lime Pie (so freakin’ easy!)

We got married 15 years ago down in Key West, Florida. It was October 6th, 2000 and two hurricanes converged on South Florida that very week. The streets were flooded when we drove from the airport to our hotel and the power went out when we met with our photographer. The skies miraculously cleared the day we said “I do” though, in a tiny garden next to Ernest Hemingway’s house. It was a brisk 98 degrees with approximately 400% humidity and we glowed with joy and perspiration. The ceremony was quiet and happy, and we could hear the free-roaming roosters Key West is famous for cockle-dooing the whole time. It was sweaty, strange perfection and I wouldn’t change a moment of that day.

One year I will attempt Coq Au Vin as an anniversary treat but for Magic Number 15, I went with Key Lime Pie. This recipe comes from my Aunt Betty…I think. My Stepfather gave it to me, but I’m pretty sure he got it from my Aunt and she will be none-too-pleased if I don’t give credit where it is due. Plus, this pie is so simple and delicious that SOMEONE deserves props for it. This is what you’ll need and get ready because you’re making a homemade crust too. Don’t freak out because it is also super easy. Continue reading →

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RECIPE: Benne’s Bundt Cake (So Easy Even I Didn’t Screw It Up)

My Mom always made special birthday cakes for my sister and I when we were young. Lesley got a heart-shaped strawberry cake each year while I got a layered chocolate cake that is STILL the stuff of my dreams. Somehow I grew up and did NOT become that mother. I would rather spend a pile of cash to have someone else make my kids’ cakes than risk something dry and depressing. I have tried my hand at baking several times and THAT’S how it always ends up. Here’s a shot of my last attempt at a cake Martha Stewart called “The Easiest Cake Ever.” You’re not seeing things. That 2-layer cake was about an inch tall and tasted oddly of beef stew.
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RECIPES: Sunday Night Hangover Roast

My mother often roasted a big slab of beef for us on Sunday nights. It was always her go-to for a “Big Fancy Weekend Dinner.” Mom would liberally salt & pepper the large rind of fat on top of the beef, which was INCREDIBLE once it was finished. My sister and I would cut little slivers of the roasted, salty fat off and eat it like heavenly potato chips. This infuriated Mom because it left little bald spots all over the roast, but she was the one who taught us how to do it. Continue reading →

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Recipes: We Call it “Cocksauce”

My husband and I discovered Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce several years ago at a Thai Food restaurant. We had no idea what it was and the rooster displayed proudly on the front seemed more like a warning than an enticement. He must have been the first one of us to try it (that stuff SCARED me!) but it wasn’t long before we had an ever present bottle in our fridge and were eating it on everything from eggs to fish. We struggled with the name for ages and finally settled on calling it “Cocksauce,” at least when our kids aren’t around. Continue reading →

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RECIPES: Mary’s Strata

When I was a little girl, my mother would make a breakfast casserole for us every Christmas. It was filled with eggs, crumbled sausage and that sharp cheddar cheese that comes in a block. It was incredibly tasty, but she had to make it the night before so the eggs could properly soak the bread. That’s what gave it such an awesome, custardy texture. It was always strange to watch Mom fry sausage and whisk eggs on Christmas Eve though and she did seem annoyed by the interruption. I clearly remember her working on that late-night-breakfast while drinking a glass of Cold Duck. Continue reading →

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How I Screwed Up The Easiest Chicken In The World…Twice

If you’re a fan of chicken, this is tastiest and easiest recipe you are ever going to try. It’s from Thomas Keller and I can give you the link but it’s so easy you almost don’t even need it. You just buy a good chicken and truss it, add loads of salt & pepper and then bake it at 450 for about an hour (until it reaches 165 degrees). Don’t check it. Don’t baste the bird. Don’t do ANYTHING. Just back away from the damn oven. You will be left with the juiciest, tastiest, nom nom nom chicken you’ve ever had. You might not even have time to Instagram a picture of it but you will WANT to because it LOOKS incredible too.

There’s almost no way to mess this up…unless you cook the bird upside down. I did this once and couldn’t figure out why there wasn’t any meat on the breast (because it’s the BACK, dumbass). We laughed about that for ages. I remember smirking about it the NEXT time I made roast chicken. I double-checked and laughed thinking, “Surely I won’t make that mistake a second time!” Continue reading →

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Red-Hot-For-You Valentine’s Day Cake

I came up with the BEST idea for a Valentine’s Day Treat!

Okay, that’s a total lie. I never come up with anything. I’m about as creative as a…SEE? I’m so uncreative that I can’t even finish that sentence.

The truth is that my husband found this recipe and made it for a Super Bowl party this weekend. The icing is such a gorgeous PINK though that I thought it would be a perfect Valentine’s Day Cake. It’s also ridiculously easy. Continue reading →