Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole | CulinaryCousins.com

I know what you’re thinking…”her first post back in the blogging world and she chooses breakfast casserole? of all things??” Yes. It’s delicious, healthy, and only takes about five minutes to make. Who wouldn’t love that?

It’s summer and the LAST thing we want to do is slave away in the kitchen for hours on end…that’s best saved for those wretched winter months, when everything outside is grey and horribly dreadful. (I really hate winter, can ya tell? Summer is where it’s at.) I’m looking for quick 10-minute meals, using fresh ingredients, that are really satisfying. Breakfast casserole fits the mold. Continue reading

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Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Homemade Chocolate Syrup | Culinary Cousins I ate a brownie the other day, and I didn’t like it.

This is not a usual occurrence in my world. I was born with my family’s propensity for chocoholism, and I never turn down the opportunity to inhale it. But this was a luncheon brownie, at a catered workplace barbecue, wrapped in plastic and glistening with chocolate(or is it?)-y icing and, well, chemicals.

I don’t eat a lot of processed stuff — especially baked goods — so I think I’m attuned to the artificial when it appears. Ick. That’s a key reason that chocolate syrup in the brown, nostalgic bottle doesn’t permanently reside in my fridge, as it does in many others’. I like chocolate syrup, and everything it is used to create, but I can’t get over the fact that it’s really just gloppy corn syrup with some chocolate flavoring. Double ick. Continue reading

Honey Butter Cheesy Bread

Honey Butter Cheesy Bread at www.culinarycousins.com

I’m a pretty by the book kind of person. Not prone to wild ideas about pairing seemingly unrelated ingredients or reinterpreting classic dishes with an out-of-left field addition. No, my rebellion is subtle. I will follow a recipe to the letter, but throw in my own spin — like adding a pretty normal extra ingredient or a slight fudge of the measurements. There’s always room for more garlic and more sauce, right? I can’t leave well enough alone, and I always make a recipe my own, somehow. Continue reading

Winter Root Soup

Winter Root Soup at www.culinarycousins.com

The Polar Vortex, Part Deux, is still hanging around town. We’re not alone in that, I realize, but this time it brought us the dreaded S word … snow. I’m sure you saw how our “measly” two inches debilitated us.

{Let me go off on a tiny rampage for a second. This week I read some disturbing stuff on Facebook and around social media: those snow aficionados (see, I didn’t say Yankees) scoffing and making fun of us in our “snowpocalypse” crisis. It’s no laughing matter. Not to Atlanta. Nor Charleston. Definitely not to Charlotte. It snows here once every 2-3 years, and we have like four brine trucks to service 100 square miles on 12 hours notice. And our snow isn’t pretty and fluffy and magical and fun. It’s mostly pellets of ice on top of a layer of ice, and we don’t know how to drive on it. So, yes, I run home like every other smart southerner, by way of the grocery store with requisite bread and milk tucked under my arm, as soon as that first flake falls. I’d much rather be snuggled warm and safe in my house than waiting outside at the elevated subway on my way to work in a blizzard, as I did in my former life. It’s no badge of honor.}

So, anyway. It’s cold. And last Sunday, it was 60 degrees. I’m not sick (yet), but everyone around me seems to be. Continue reading

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (in the Crock Pot!)

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls at www.culinarycousins.com

I love grandma food.

That’s what I call comfort food that either was or could have been made by a grandmother.

In the South, it’s chicken and dumplings or cheese grits or mac and cheese or any number of homemade cakes and pies. But it’s also slow-cooked Italian Sunday “gravy” over pasta, roasted beef and chicken, pierogies. Those foods that grandmothers of all cultures made with love and fed us in childhood. Ones that don’t have a place in our everyday diets, or we think take too much effort, but warm our souls when we do eat them. Continue reading

Pie Crust Update — and Dutch Apple Pie!

Dutch Apple Pie | Culinary Cousins

It wasn’t my fault!

Last we talked, I promised you a pie crust experiment. Well, I conducted said experiment (using coconut oil) and was all geared up to tell you about it. Then my annual Thanksgiving cold (going on four years in a row now, like clockwork) took me out. Flat. For a week. Happy Thanksgiving.

In between gulping tea (with shots of Jameson honey) and Mucinex and huddling under a heated blanket, it took everything in me to actually bake the pies for my family’s Thanksgiving. As usual, I overdid it: seven adults, four pies. But it’s really the only time of year I make pie, and I get swept up in the excitement and challenge of it. Plus, I’m not allowed into the house without my great-grandmother’s renowned pumpkin pie. (The recipe makes two.) I also attempted my first latticed pie — cherry, which was edible but needs major work. This pie, though, number four — this pie is it. Dutch apple goodness, with soft, syrupy apples and a crunchy, buttery topping. Keep this one in your back pocket for the holidays — or, you know, Tuesday. Continue reading

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

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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading