May 17, 2012

Perfect Banana Pudding

Ah, banana pudding. That quintessential Southern dessert, perfect for summer picnics or rainy winter nights. Delicious with toasty meringue or cold whipped cream and even better the day after, banana pudding is one of those classic desserts that compliments just about any meal - or breakfast. Just sayin.

Banana pudding also holds a very special place in my heart because it is Andrew's favorite dessert of all time. We started talking about banana pudding when we were first together and I'm pretty sure that the lifelong promise of banana pudding effectively kept him around for the long haul. (Ladies, take note.) The wedding is now only a scant two (!) days away, so I take this week to honor banana pudding and the joys it has brought to both of us these past two years.

May 11, 2012

Carolina Eats and Treats

Here in Chapel Hill, we live in something of a Southern culinary Mecca. With Durham and Carrboro just a stone's throw away, we have dozens of fresh, farm-to-table eating establishments with Southern-eclectic menus. And even though our community is recently mourning the close of Durham's iconic Magnolia Grill, we still celebrate the establishments that have flourished in recent years and contributed to our region's burgeoning food scene.

I have been wanting to write an ode to Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill for weeks now. Crook's has a special place in my heart for so very many reasons, from its luscious shrimp and grits to its frozen mint juleps. Crook's Corner is where my fiance, Andrew, and I went on our first date two years ago and where we got engaged a year later. Both times I had the shrimp and grits; in fact, it took me over a year to order something there that wasn't shrimp and grits. I associate both the restaurant and the dish with celebration - of food, life, and the people I love.

May 5, 2012

Ina Garten's Pasta Salad

For the past week, we have been watching Dallas. It came up in a conversation last week and it turns out that my industrious fiance has the complete series on DVD and never told me. We are now ensconced in seventies splendor - big hair, electric bass and synthesizer, poolside telephones, ladies lounging in silk nightgowns and men in thick neckties saying things like "females...sometimes their emotions get in the way of their good common sense." In short, I am a little obsessed with Dallas. I love the simple characters, the starched dialogue, the jazz trumpets, the ladies' fashion. This summer, TNT is creating a new Dallas, with characters from the old show as patriarchs and matriarchs. We're trying to get through the old one so we can watch the new with full minds and full information. It's a summer kind of task.