Mexicali Grouper plus a nutty giveaway {recipe video}

Posted on May 29, 2013 | 2 comments

Last month, I teamed up with Tropical Foods to create videos for four AWESOME recipes, one of which was created by yours truly!  I posted the video for Buffalo Bleu Tailgate Bars last week, and today’s recipe video features Mexicali Grouper.  Take it from the girl who hates fish – this recipe makes for a delicious crusted fish with big bold flavors courtesy of the Mexicali Fire snack mix used coat the fillets.

Mexicali Grouper Recipe PDF

Speaking of BIG FLAVORS, Tropical Foods just rolled out their How Bold Can You Go site, which features all of their boldest nuts and mixes.  Check it out!  And don’t forget, if you see something you like, you can place orders online at The Nut House.


Now onto the fun part! Tropical Foods has generously offered to give three lucky readers gift baskets, chock full of the bold nuts and snack mixes used in the recipe videos!  There are several ways to enter–check out the rafflecopter below!  The giveaway ends at midnight on June 15, 2013.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read More

Buffalo Bleu Tailgate Bars {recipe video}

Posted on May 17, 2013 | 2 comments

Tropical Foods

Tropical Foods is a Charlotte-based food manufacturer and importer and distributor of bulk and packaged snacks and specialty foods.  Phew, that’s a lot of hats!  What this translates to is snack mixes, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, dipping chocolates, salad bar mix-ins, and garden chips, just to name a few of Tropical’s thousands of products.  The Charlotte production plant roasts nuts and seeds daily (in trans-fat-free oil), and goods are shipped from one of their six locations:  Charlotte, Atlanta, Dallas, Memphis, Orlando, and Washington DC.

Back in the Fall, Tropical Foods sponsored a recipe contest at Johnson & Wales University here in Charlotte, and I recently partnered with Tropical on a super fun project to create recipe videos for the top three recipes from the contest (plus, one video for a recipe that I specially developed for Tropical).  The whole video shooting process was new to me, and it was both fun and challenging!  I’ll post more about the videos in the coming weeks including a HUGE TROPICAL FOODS GIVEAWAY, but in the mean time here’s the first of four videos, my official YouTube debut.  Enjoy!

Buffalo Bleu Tailgate Bars

Buffalo Bleu Tailgate Bars Recipe PDF

Looking for Tropical Foods products?  You can buy nuts and snacks direct from their new retail site:  Tropical Foods products are also available in many grocery stores, including Harris Teeter and Healthy Home Market.

 Buffalo Bleu Tailgate Bars -- Tropical Foods Buffalo Nuts

Read More

On the cover of Epicurean Charlotte Magazine!

Posted on Mar 11, 2013 | 14 comments

Happy Monday, friends!  I have some exciting news to share today…  Drum roll, please!  Several of the photos I recently shot for Napa On Providence were featured in the March/April 2013 issue of Epicurean Charlotte Magazine!

Including the magazine cover itself:

Fervent Foodie - Epicurean Charlotte cover

I never in a million years thought I’d walk by a newsstand and see something I created on the cover of a magazine.  It’s simultaneously weird and exciting!  I have big aspirations for 2013, and this magazine cover has revitalized my desire to pursue new food outlets in the coming months.

Also in the magazine, next to my delicious looking bean photo, is the chef’s recipe for Napa’s white beans and sausage.  I haven’t cooked the beans myself, but I’ve eaten them, and they’re outstanding!


Read More

Baked Shrimp with Fire-Roasted Tomatoes {recipe}

Posted on Feb 25, 2013 | 7 comments

One of the perks of working in the city is having the world at your fingertips on your lunch break.  When the clock hits noon, I like to hit the street.  Often, I’ll swing through the library or take a stroll through the 7th St Public Market.  When it’s warm, I find a nice table in the shade and read while I eat, and when it’s cold, I saddle up next to the fireplace at Carribou.  There’s a grocery store just a few blocks away, and I’ve found squeezing my shopping into my lunch break to be not only productive but surprisingly liberating.

Shrimp and Fire Roasted Tomatoes

Last week, on a lunch-break grocery shopping spree, I picked up ingredients for this shrimp and tomato bake.  It’s a low-stress meal that can easily be made after work or prepared the day before.  (I find that recipes using canned tomatoes taste even better when they’ve had time to sit.)  Shrimp, tomatoes, and a bit of cheese–it’s a dish built for carbohydrates.  I recommend a crusty bread or a twirly noodle.

Read More

Asian Pork Tenderloin Skewers {recipe}

Posted on Feb 7, 2013 | 0 comments

About that recipe I promised you…

asian pork tenderloin skewers

How good do these pork skewers look?

I tend to shy away from Asian cooking.  Usually, it’s because the recipe calls for lots of ingredients I don’t have on hand (rice vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce?  oyster sauce??).  The long recipes and foreign (no pun intended) techniques are intimidating!  Last year, in a short-lived wave of cooking confidence, I bought a wok at Ikea, and I’ve used it a whopping two times.

Read More

An easy dinner: Sweet Chili Pork Tenderloin & Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 | 6 comments

The beginning of the year is a stressful time for us accountants.  There’s year-end close and year-end audits plus T-A-X season.  Spelling it out makes it sound a little less dreary, right?  With all the extra hours clocked at the office, the only recipes I’ll consider right now are ones that take the littlest, teensiest amount of hands-on time possible.

pork and brussels sprouts


Two of my favorite simple recipes are Sweet Chili Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts.  The oven does all the work for both recipes, and the hands-on time is pretty minimal.  Ever since we made these wickedly addicting sprouts a few months back, they’ve become a Sunday night ritual.  A pound of them split two ways is barely enough.  There’s talk of making a pound a piece from here on out.

parmesan roasted brussels sprouts

As for the pork, the sweet chili flavor combo comes via a simple brown sugar and chili powder spice rub, and the high temperature and relatively quick cooking time keeps the meat moist.

sweet chili pork tenderloin

If you’re lucky enough to have any pork leftover, it makes for one mean sandwich!


Sweet Chili Pork Tenderloin

Serves 4

  • 1 pork tenderloin (approx 1.25lbs)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
  • extra virgin olive oil

STEP ONE:  Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Cover a cookie sheet with foil, and coat with cooking spray.  Remove excess fat, if any, from the tenderloin.  Combine all remaining ingredients (except olive oil) in a large Ziploc bag or large container with lid.  Add the tenderloin to the container, seal, and shake to evenly distribute the spice rub.  Lay the tenderloin onto the cookie sheet, lightly drizzle with olive oil.

STEP TWO:  Cook the tenderloin for 15-20 minutes, flipping the meat half way through, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.  Set the meat aside to rest before cutting.

Note:  if you are serving this pork with the sprouts, tent the meat with foil at this point and proceed to the Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts recipe.  Serve with carb of choice.

Read More
Page 3 of 2712345...1020...Last »