Red Velvet Waffles

You know you’re reading this post because of the title. Red Velvet — that moist, decadent, chocolate cake concoction. Waffles — crispy, crunchy, airy goodness. Red velvet + Waffles = pure genius.  

I had the pleasure of brunching with Whitney in Charlotte a few weeks ago. We went to the Terrace Cafe, and ordered these bad boys. Of course, we knew better than to eat cake for a meal. (Or did we?) So we each got a normal brunch item too- but we had to get those waffles to whet our appetites… Continue reading

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Amazing Lemon Cranberry Scones (Gluten Free!)

The finished product…crunchy and creamy with sweet and tart cranberries

As of right now, I don’t follow a strict gluten-free lifestyle. But I’m beginning to wonder if I should….

Gluten. Oh gluten. This was going to be my year. The year I FINALLY successfully  gave something up for Lent. After hearing a whole slew of bad press about this peculiar protein, I decided to make that my target. I was going to give up gluten for forty days. Welp, here we are, the week before Easter and I can officially say I epically failed. Epically. Like 4 days into it. I’ve eaten more glutenous foods since Ash Wednesday (start of Lent) than I’ve eaten in the past 6 months. No joke. WHY does that always happen???? That is why diets don’t work. When you are fixated on cutting something out, you eat it more often and in greater quantity- or maybe that’s just me, and my lack of dietary will power.

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Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Banana Pudding Poke Cake | Culinary Cousins
At this point you may be under the impression that I eat really well. Let’s clear that up right now.

I do try to eat reasonably and responsibly, but deep down inside I am a baker. A dessert fiend. And sometimes I may hurt you if you are between me and a piece of chocolate.

Whew, confessions are good for the soul. Glad we got that out of the way.

Pinterest is quickly becoming the best way to gauge emerging food trends, at least in the home kitchen. Think “cake balls” or “kale chips.” And at Christmas, I went to the grocery store all geared up to make this cute little treat I’d seen online. As I searched the candy aisle, the one thing I needed was missing. Rolos. Then it occurred to me, all those recipes I’d seen. Rolos melted atop a pretzel (my choice) or Rolos rolled inside a sugar cookie. In a weird Rolo shortage, I blame Pinterest. It’s the likely culprit.

A few months ago I started to see a rash of recipes for something I’d never heard of: poke cake. Perhaps it’s truly a resurrection of an old, possibly southern, recipe. Or maybe it’s something someone made up last week. Either way, poke cakes are trendy. Continue reading

Tuesday Refreshment…

We all need a little refreshing at this point in the work week.  Yes- we are the Culinary Cousins, but No- food isn’t the only thing that inspires us. Here are a few things that made me smile today!

1. Azaleas are in full bloom here in SC, I cut these from my yard today and placed them in an heirloom blue jar from my grandmother. (LOVE hand-me-down things like that!)

Azaleas

Azaleas

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Mushroom Bolognese

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A few weeks ago I hit my breaking point. Everywhere I turned, I was reading something more and more frightening about the food we eat. I’ve always tried to cut out processed food, buy organic and walk the outer aisles of the grocery like they say is best, but bad stuff still seems to be everywhere.

The last straw was when I read about the dangers of eating cooked meat. I realized then that I ate meat in some form for every meal, at least twice a day. Chicken on my salad, turkey on my sandwich, a piece of pork/chicken/steak with vegetables and a starch for dinner. So, I decided then and there to stop. I don’t think I’d call myself so much a “vegetarian” now as a “pescetarian” or “flexitarian.” But I’m on a journey to cut the meat and up the vegetables … A girl’s still got to throw down a steak every once in awhile, though.

The challenge is finding hearty, filling — and meatless — meals. When I started, we were still in the throes of winter, and the last thing I wanted to eat was a chilly salad or one more bowl of soup. Those are the likeliest vessels for going all veggie, I’d found. Continue reading

Spring has Sprung!

Hi there — happy weekend!

I don’t know about you, but I am so happy to see the gorgeous signs of spring here in Charleston- flowers popping up, azaleas blooming, lots of green things re-appearing. Best of all, it’s 73 today!  (Being the Southerner that I am, 73 is still cold, cold , cold. Not quite time to bring out the sundresses and shorts, yet)!

Since it’s St. Patty’s Day weekend, I had to post about something GREEN. Nothing looked more beautiful at the grocery store than asparagus. I love the slender, skinny stalks of asparagus because they get nice and crispy when they roast…especially the tips, yum!

I wanted to make an asparagus cheese tart –– and realized I had everything on hand except puff pastry!!! Ahh — that’s a major problem. I had butter and flour,  so I decided to try my hand at homemade puff pastry –– what. was. I. thinking??  I mean, it was a fun experiment, but I’ll let Whole Foods handle that from now on 😉

Result: It turned out great, and I think you should try it at least once — it’s cool to watch it come together. Similar to making pie crust, but with much more time and attention to detail required. The taste was so fresh — the combo of cheeses adds a lot more flavor.

Lovely Green!

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Best Ever Mac and Cheese

Best Ever Mac & Cheese! | Culinary Cousins

Macaroni and cheese just may be my favorite food. And I’m not alone. Mac and cheese consistently ranks as America’s top go-to comfort food, hands down, and we make it in countless iterations, with all manner of pasta shapes, types of cheeses, mix-ins and toppings.

I’m a traditionalist, though. I don’t like it fancy. And I especially don’t want bacon anywhere near it — not in it, not on it, no how.

No bacon, you say? I know. I’m a shame to my people, a traitor to my southern roots. But I just don’t love bacon. (Please don’t hurt me.) And when it’s added to mac and cheese, the flavor just takes over and permeates everything. Some of you are wondering what’s wrong with that.

On mac and cheese, I’ve found that there are two schools of thought. One submerges macaroni (or any manner of small pasta) in a creamy, cheesy white sauce with roots in a butter-flour roux. Then there’s the southern way — layering pasta with cheese and pouring over an egg and milk custard. I grew up eating this version, where the mac and cheese bakes into a solidified, though delicious, mass that you can cut and serve in a perfect square. To me, that was always true and traditional. Continue reading

Here Goes Nothin’

Well the day has come.  The day that I write my first-ever blog post.  This majorly freaks me out for a variety of reasons. Namely, I’m a tad OCD and don’t want to “mess it up” and I’m usually really private and don’t know what to feel about sharing my thoughts with the WORLD. So bear with me, here goes nothin’:

It’s March here in the South. Things are turning green (halleluja!). I’m not ashamed to say that I HATE WINTER with all my heart.  So, with all the new greenery popping out, we decided it was time to start a spring garden.

Since we have two dogs, who eat and trample nearly everything I plant, we decided to make raised beds. It was a fairly simple process to buy the wood, and drill them together. The fun part was selecting stuff to plant.

plants

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