Perfect Cheese Grits

Perfect Cheese Grits | Culinary Cousins

Hi, all. I don’t know what happened. The Culinary Cousins accidentally took a little hiatus. But we’re back. Hopefully for good!

Now, let’s talk grits. They’re such a polarizing food.

Some people — mostly southern people, I’d say — are obsessed with them. Other people — usually not southern people, probably — absolutely despise them. If you’re southern, or remotely had a southern relative anywhere in your family, I think they’re just in your blood. Continue reading

Chocolate Pavlova with Strawberries

Chocolate Pavlova with Strawberries at www.culinarycousins.com
Chocoholism runs in my family. My grandmother always had something chocolate in the house — usually a pie, but often cake, ice cream, candy. It’s kind of shocking that no one was obese. And I still crave chocolate above all things — it soothes my soul.

After making custard for the rhubarb crumble, I had so, so many egg whites left over. I’m not a big egg fan in general, so an egg white omelet doesn’t appeal to me. Let’s be real — the yolks are the main reason I can even eat that. So, since I can’t bear to throw food away, it was time to be creative. What to do, what to do? Continue reading

Tomato, Basil and Watermelon Salad

This salad is the perfect summer dish. It’s light, refreshing, and pretty filling. It’s a Giada recipe, (love her), and it’s perfect as is. I wanted to make it a meal salad, so I added thick cut applewood smoked bacon, which complemented it nicely. Enjoy!

Start with cubed watermelon, and cherry tomatoes...

Start with cubed watermelon, and cherry tomatoes…

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Phenomenal Pancakes (Grain Free!)

I’m not one to throw out the word ‘phenomenal’ very often. Especially in regards to food, as I tend to critique new dishes. But these are PHENOMENAL….

I’m sort of a ‘health nut’ and I love to read about the latest food trends, and “diets” (I SO hate that word, but ya know what I mean…). I recently read about the Paleo lifestyle- and while it seems like a great idea- I’m not sure I could every fully commit to it, but if I were overweight or had a serious illness or disease I’d be ALL OVER it. You can read about it here. Another great site to check out is this, and make sure you read It Starts With Food.  It’s fascinating.

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Ginger Soy Tuna

Are you a Sushi lover? I’m not. To be honest. I’ve tried and tried to like it, but something about it sort of grosses me out. Seaweed, no problem. Rice and Vegetables, great. Fish, love it,  as long as it’s COOKED. That’s where Sushi and I have our differences. (But, I do love any sort of Sushi roll that is only vegetables or tempura fried shrimp (who wouldn’t?). )

So, to better acquaint myself with raw tuna, I bought a gorgeous sashimi-grade (read: you can eat it raw, top quality, kept frozen always) block of tuna. This type of fish is best served medium rare or, heaven-forbid, raw (ewww).  I thought the best way to serve it would be to eat it with some sort of sweet-salty-tangy glaze. Fortunately, I was right on. It was phenomenal with the glaze. Loads of fresh ginger made it really tasty. I served it over a bed of mixed greens tossed with some of the glaze that I made into a vinaigrette.

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This is exactly what great quality tuna should look like, not grey or dark purple. Pink and fresh.

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Lemon Cheesecake – Part II

Here it is. The long-awaited reveal!

We’ve made lemon curd. We’ve made candied lemons. Now, let’s make some cheesecake. And put it all together.

We do have a birthday to celebrate, remember?

Lemon cheesecake at www.culinarycousins.com

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Candied Lemons

Candied Lemons at www.culinarycousins.com

My lemon cheesecake adventure continues. What’s a dessert without decoration?

To finish, the lemon cheesecake is topped with candied lemons. Once lemons are cooked — especially when doused in syrup — they are completely edible, rind and all. You just slice lemons thinly, cook them in a sugar syrup mixture and leave them to cool. The work is not hard but the results are pretty impressive. You can mound the lemons artfully in the center of the cheesecake, or you could lay them flat in a pattern on top, like a pretty food doily. Continue reading

Homemade Lemon Curd

I teased you yesterday talking about lemon cheesecake. But, in all fairness, I said I had to do a few things before I could really give you a recipe. And, here we go.

Lemon curd.

Homemade Lemon Curd | Culinary Cousins

It pools on top of the creamy cheesecake and drips down the sides when you cut into it. It’s swirled into the cheesecake batter for a tart and tangy flavor burst. In essence, it makes this cake. Well, really it does, since it wouldn’t be lemon cheesecake without it. Continue reading

Lemon Cheesecake – Part I

Lemon cheesecake at www.culinarycousins.com

I have a bit of a reputation in my family.

Jessica is the caterer for our events, and the one who keeps us on track with healthy eating. But I’m the baker, the dessert maker. Whenever a holiday or occasion comes around, sweets are my go-to contribution. And I tend to get a bit wild when I have the opportunity to bake for a crowd, when I can try my hand at all the fancy, complicated things that I would never make for myself. Like red velvet cheesecake and from-scratch cinnamon rolls at Christmas, or southern caramel cake at Easter.

I’m even starting to get special requests. Continue reading

Southern Chicken and Dumplings

Here it is. Some real, traditional, down-home southern food. From scratch, yet so easy that you can do it.

Chicken and Dumplings at www.culinarycousins.com

I wish I could claim that this is my great-grandmother’s legacy recipe for chicken and dumplings, but it’s not. I think I found it in some cookbook claiming it’s a copycat of the Cracker Barrel dish. But I’ll take it.

The stock part of this recipe has become my go-to for basic chicken stock, which I make as often as I can. The stuff in the box is great and easy, but there’s nothing like the taste of homemade stock. Continue reading