All in Food & Drink

Roundup: 5 Hearty Southern Soups to Warm Your Soul

I'm officially snowed in today and this has me craving a big old pot of Southern goodness. In these gray and sunless cold winter days, nothing is more fulfilling to both body and soul than a bowl of hearty soup!  I hope you enjoy this roundup of some of the best the South has to offer! Give the recipes a try and let me know how you and your family like them!  Follow the links and give a big thanks to the wonderful chefs who created these fabulous recipes!  Bon Appetite!

Food & Drink: Bourbon Cherry Ginger Fizz Cocktail for a New Year's Eve Celebration

A Bubbly Bourbon Cocktail to Ring in the New Year!

While Champagne will always be the traditional drink of choice for New Year's Eve, it is always fun to have a selection of drinks and mixers available.  Every year I have a signature cocktail for everyone to try as the celebration gets under way during the evening.

There is nothing better than ushering in  2017 with a glass of sparkling Bourbon Cherry Ginger Fizz. This by far is one of my favorite cocktails to make – fresh, festive, colorful and super easy to make.

Style Inspiration: Bar Cart Styling for a Classy New Year's Gathering

A Step by Step Style Guide for Styling your New Year's Bar Cart

Nothing can make a New Year's gathering more festive than a well-styled bar cart with all the accouterments your guest's might need to whip themselves up a cocktail or grab a little snack. Since I live in a smaller space, I used my tray table and two totally different pieces of art; one an oil painting, to create an Elegant Low Country feel and the other, a fun piece of Mad Men-esque Graphic Art.

Celebrate: 20 Christmas Plates to Make Your Table a Standout!

There is one certainty in my life, well actually two if you are counting, but firstly, Christmas is my favorite time of year and secondly, I am in love with way too many dinnerware patterns! Mix those together and I seriously need a storage unit just for my china, crystal, silver and all the matching goodies!

But as my Grandmother used to say, "Now Holley, a Southern lady can never have too many dishes or too many pearls."  Such a lovely lady she was and a true Southern Belle!  In fact, I'm sure that this strange obsession that I have was inherited directly from her.  And if that is the case, I'll take it and wear it with pride.

There are many different styles and types represented here, from ultra formal to whimsical, very affordable to expensive and vintage to brand new, but I love them all and I hope you will too.  Enjoy!

Food & Drink: Chef Cory Bahr's Ol' Smokey

Chef Cory Bahr's Ol' Smokey Bourbon Cocktail

Who doesn't love a great bourbon cocktail?  I can't think of many a true Southern Lady or Gent who can truthfully answer "no" to that question.  I know that I personally, am a die hard fan of this Old Fashioned variation in particular.  

The Ol' Smokey was created by Chef Cory Bahr, owner of Restaurant Cotton and Nonna in Monroe, Louisiana, as a tribute to his grandfather and childhood memories of the good times they shared at the family's hunting camp.  Chef Bahr reminisces about evenings spent there, the smell of smoke from the wood fire and the smell of whiskey as he would keep the glasses full. He lovingly refers to it as "my childhood in a glass".

Weekending: The Chattanooga Market

The Chattanooga Market is one of "The Top 10 Public Markets in America" according to Frommers. Now that, my friends, says a lot!

It s one of those places where I just love to hang out on a Sunday afternoon.  It truly provides a full day of food, fun, art, crafts and some stellar entertainment.  It is held each Sunday, from April through December and they have one of the best Christmas Markets anywhere in the South.  Whether you are craving fresh fruits and vegetables, a ballpark-style pretzel, a gorgeous piece of pottery or simply want to stroll and dream while sipping your favorite brew or a glass of Sangria, the Market is the place to do it all.  

Weekending: The Prater's Mill Country Fair 2016

Yesterday, I went with a friend to The Prater's Mill Country Fair, an event that has taken place every year for the past 45 years.  Happy anniversary Prater's, you have brought me many memories and will always hold a special place in my heart!

I used to go twice a year with my mother and grandmother, way back when.  A walk through the fair is truly a step back in time.  In addition to the very talented artisan vendors and their wares, the fair provides an opportunity for history lessons, live music and unrivaled Southern food.  

Wanderlust: A Sunday Evening in Madrid

Elayne and I had spent a few hours touring the Prado Museum, when we decided to walk to the Hard Rock Cafe (and it was, as with most spur of the moment decisions, a very bad idea). That said, we located a map, perched on a street corner and attempted to discern which direction we needed to proceed.  Once we had agreed on a general direction, we set out in the heat of the day on a mission.  

The temperature hovered around 105 degrees Fahrenheit, the sun relentlessly bore down upon us and I felt like we were stuck on a concrete treadmill.  After several iterations of "It HAS to be just up there!", we actually spotted the sign, sprinted (um, drug ourselves) and arrived breathlessly at our destination.