Lowcountry Tomato Pie

You'll Need

  • 2 recipes Mama's Butter Piecrust (find recipe here or page 147 of my cookbook)
  • 6 large tomatoes (2 pounds)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 green onions, minced (white and green parts)
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces

My California in-laws don't often indulge in Southern food. They say that it's too heavy, and I can understand that (to some degree!). In fact, trying to lighten up some of my Southern favorites has led to some of my best recipes. Little by little, with slight modifications to the traditional ingredients and methods, I am winning them over.

This recipe is a great example of everything in moderation. It uses lighter Italian cheeses, olive oil, and half the mayonnaise of the typical recipe. Do be sure to drain the tomatoes with a sprinkling of salt for at least 30 minutes so the pie is firm rather than liquidy.

Don’t forget to peel your tomatoes! I use a serrated peeler, like the Messermeister Peeler. It so easy to use and you’ll never need another peeler again.
— Carrie
  1. Roll out and fit half the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Trim the edges. Pre-bake at 400°F according to the instructions. Remove to a cooling rack and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
  2. While the crust bakes, peel and core the tomatoes. Slice or chop the tomatoes and sprinkle with the salt. Drain in a colander for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Combine the mayonnaise, olive oil, Parmesan, and Romano.
  4. When the bottom piecrust has cooled, spread one-third of the mayonnaise mixture evenly in the bottom of the crust. Scatter one-third of the tomatoes in a layer and sprinkle with pepper, one-third of the green onions, and then one-third of the basil. 
  5. Repeat the layers 2 more times, starting with the mayonnaise mixture and finishing with the basil, or until all the ingredients are used.
  6. Roll out the other crust and place on top. Crimp the bottom and top crusts together. Use the tip of the knife to make a few slits for steam to escape.
  7. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden. let cool slightly before cutting.

Mama's Butter Piecrust

Mama's Butter Piecrust is perfect for a sweet or a savory dish!

You'll Need

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour or 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 5 to 7 tablespoons ice water
  1. Mix the flour and the salt. Add the butter and work into the flour with your fingertips just like making biscuits until the mixture has the consistency of grated Parmesan cheese. Mix the cold water by the tablespoon with your fingers until the dough holds together in a rough ball.
  2. Flour a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper. Dump out the dough onto the paper. Flour the top of the dough and cover with another sheet of paper. Place the whole dough "sandwich" on a baking sheet. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Remove from fridge and leave out for 30 minutes, keeping the dough sandwiched in the paper.
  4. With the dough still between the sheets of paper, roll it out to a circle 12 inches in diameter, 1/4 inch think.
  5. Peel off the top paper and flip the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. 
  6. Peel off the other piece of paper. Trim off any extra dough that's hanging over the edge of the pie dish. Press the tines of a fork on the top edge of the crust to crimp it. Fill and bake as the recipe directs.
  7. To prebake a crust before filling: Prick the crust in several places with a fork. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  9. Line the crust with waxed paper and fill with rice or dry deans to add weight. (Save them in a mason jar to reuse the next time. Do not cook them after using for piecrust.) Bake 15 minutes.
  10. Remove the waxed paper and weights and bake about 5 to 7 minutes more, until golden brown.
  11. Let cool on a rack.
I use this recipe for about every version of pie I make!
— Carrie

Red, White, and Blue Shrimp and Grits

It's Fourth of July weekend and I have the perfect dish for your holiday brunch! Last Christmas, our great friends at Geechie Boy gave me a delicious gift of his heirloom Jimmy Red corn grits. We quickly planned our Christmas morning breakfast around it. Since that day, my girls have been talking about how they were the most delicious grits ever. 

Last week when I asked my oldest, Caroline, what she wanted me to cook for her birthday supper, she responded with zero hesitation, "I want shrimp and Jimmy Red corn grits!" I told her that was a tall order because they are so hard to find, but I would make a call and see what I could do.

Within two days we not only had a delivery of Jimmy Red corn grits, but Greg also brought us some white and blue corn grits!  My girls loved making all three and serving the red, white, and blue grits piled with Magwood shrimp for Caroline's 12th Birthday celebration. Thanks to Greg and all our friends at Geechie Boy for making such delicious Southern fare!

See how I prepare creamy grits here.

One of the perks of my job is getting to know such wonderful and friendly people!
— Carrie

Shrimping with Dad

When I was a little girl, shrimping was a part of most weekends during the shrimp season. Dad's boat, the Rainbow Runner, had sparkly rainbow stripes along the sides. I loved to go out with him, cast net and all! One day we put the boat in the water at Shem Creek Boat landing.  It is the busiest in town. The boat was on a trailer behind my grandfather's old green wood-paneled station wagon, and Dad was backing it down the ramp into the water when the brakes gave out. The boat and station wagon rolled right into Shem Creek and sank, putting a real wrench in the plans of the other boaters who were lined up for their turn to use the ramp. The station wagon and boat were towed out and put back into working condition. Weeks after we thought the station wagon had finally dried out,  we saw more water draining from the old car.

Though the Rainbow Runner, nor the station wagon, are with us any longer, the tradition of shrimping is still the same. Open my dad's refrigerator any time of day, any time of year, and there will be a porcelain bowl full of boiled shrimp, or as my father pronounces it, "bull shrimp," in his Lowcountry accent. He also likes to put the cold "bull shrimp" in a resealable plastic bag, put the bag in the cooler, and take it out in the boat. We peel the shrimp as we eat, tossing the shells overboard into the water. 

When I asked him how he fixes his shrimp, assuming there would be some kind of secret method or some seasoning involved, this is what he told me: "You don't put anything on those. Soon as you put them in the pot and soon as they turn pink, you take them out. They taste perfectly good without any of that." To translate, here's Dad's "no-recipe" method for "bull shrimp":

  • Head the shrimp if they aren't already headed.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the shrimp.
  • Boil just until pink, about 2 minutes.
  • Drain in a colander. Chill in the fridge.
  • Serve cold, peeling the shrimp as you eat them.
One reason why Dad’s shrimp don’t need any seasoning is that they are super fresh and right out of the cast net. So try to get the freshest shrimp available. Otherwise, get out the Old Bay!
— Carrie

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Parents, children, and teachers are all ecstatic because it is officially summer in the South. While that means days at the park, beach, and pool are here, so is the heat! Being born and raised in South Carolina, I am used to the hot, humid climate. However, my girls and husband are ready to flee to the ranch once it hits mid June. To cope with the heat, I turn to this refreshing recipe. Watermelon agua fresca can be used to fill popsicle molds or ice cube trays for the kids. As for us adults, it acts as a base for a watermelon margarita or mojito. Cue the pool parties!

Double the batch and add a little rum, vodka, or tequila for an adult beverage!
— Carrie
  1. Puree the watermelon in a blender. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and mint leaves. Taste for sweetness and add sugar or simple syrup if needed. Strain (if you'd like) or pour into a tall pitcher. Add the ice water and refrigerate. Stir again before serving.
  2. Fill tall glasses with ice, pour in the agua fresca, and garnish with a fresh mint sprig and watermelon cubes.
  • 6 cups cubed and seeded watermelon (about half of a standard watermelon), plus you'll want some for garnishing
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • Sugar or simple syrup, if needed
  • 3 cups ice water
  • Ice cubes
  • Fresh mint sprigs for garnish
If you want to accent the flavor of the watermelon, dip the rims of the glasses in water, then in a saucer of Kosher salt.
— Carrie

Mama's Sour Cream Banana Pudding

My grandmother Rebecca, who we called Mama, made her banana pudding almost every week for a sweet treat. Her five boys and all of her grandchildren absolutely loved when she made it. Simple, Southern, and some of the best comfort food!

  • 2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
  • 3 to 4 bananas
  • 1 (11-ounce) box vanilla wafer cookies
Try to purchase name brand ingredients for this recipe rather than generic brands. The better quality pudding and cookies make a difference.
— Carrie
  1. Combine the pudding and milk and whisk by hand for 2 minutes, or until thickened. Whisk in the sour cream. Set aside 1/2 cup of the whipped topping and whisk in the rest. Mix well.
  2. Cut the bananas into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
  3. Spread 1/3 of the pudding mixture in a 2-quart casserole dish. Cover the surface with a layer of wafers, flat side up. Top each wafer with another, rounded side up. Place a banana slice on top of each wafer pair. Fill in the spaces between the cookies with sliced bananas.
  4. Repeat with another layer of the pudding, wafer pairs, and banana slices.
  5. Repeat with the remaining pudding, wafer pairs, and banana slices. Top with the reserved whipped topping.
  6. Cover and refrigerate over-night.

Cinco de Mayo Roasted Poblano Corn Salad

I'm always looking for an excuse to have a margarita and Cinco De Mayo is right around the corner! Along with a quenching margarita, comes inspiration for a great meal. This year for the Mexican liberation celebration, I decided to make citrus marinated skirt steak tacos.

I then realized I needed a fitting side. I started thinking of summer salads and Mexican food when it hit me! I wanted to make a corn salad using Poblanos, fresh corn, red peppers, and cotija cheese! So here you have it! Celebrate and enjoy!

This salad is even better the next day!
— Carrie
  • 5 whole roasted poblano, chopped
  • 5 cups of fresh cooked corn off the cob
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 5 ounces arugula
  • 1/2 cup roasted Pepitas
  • 1/2 cup Cotija cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  1. Boil corn and cut off the cob
  2. Roast Poblanos on your stove top, peel and chop
  3. Mix the rest of the ingredients together, toss with olive oil, and enjoy!
Cotija cheese can be hard to find. A great alternative is Feta!
— Carrie

Peruvian Green Sauce

My love affair with the roasted chicken is not a new one as many of you may know! At least once a week I need my fix. I'm forever searching for the perfect accompaniment to create an experience that is better than the last. 

Truth be told, I'm a dipper. Not only do I dip once, but I tend to double and even triple dip! The need to have an accoutrement is never lost on me. This is super easy to whip up, and is packed with plenty of flavor and punch. It is my new go to obsession for roasted chicken, crudités, and just about anything else I can get my hands on!

Blend the first four ingredients in a food processor. Once finely chopped, add the remaining ingredients until the creamy green sauce comes together.
— Carrie

You'll Need:

  • 2 jalapeños, 1 seeded
  • 1 1/2 cups cilantro leaves and stems
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Tuna Tartare

Spring is here and so are the boat loads of seafood! Heading down to the docks of Shem Creek to grab fresh fish is one of my family's favorite ways to get in the spirit of the season. The docks of Shem Creek have been a mainstay for supper growing up and now as I feed my family. Whether I'm riding my bike to Magwood dock for shrimp, or swinging by Abundant Seafood to see what the catch of the day is, fresh and local seafood is a great inspiration for our family meal. This tuna tartare is a fresh and simple dish that my entire family gobbles up. Tuna tartare makes a beautiful appetizer and looks elegant on endive leaves as hors d'oeuvres for your next party. 

  1. Dice the tuna into small 1/4-inch dice. Place in a chilled bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
  2. Mix together the lime juice, zest, wasabi powder, chili paste, soy sauce, vegetable and sesame oils, and rice vinegar. Adjust the seasonings to your taste. I like a spicy mixture.
  3. Toast the sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until they smell fragrant and look golden in color. Set aside to cool.
  4. Add the avocado, green onions, and cilantro to the tuna. Pour on the dressing and fold gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to marry.
  5. Before serving, top with the sesame seeds. Serve with wonton skins, rice crackers, endive leaves, or cucumber rounds.
  • 1 pound sashimi-grade tune, well chilled
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • Grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Asian chili paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced
  • 4 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
This recipe will make 2 1/2 cups and is too cute served on endive leaves.
— Carrie

Ham Salad

Easter is almost here and I can't help but think of all of the wonderful memories in the kitchen I have with my family. Grandmama's ham salad has created such a special food memory for me as a child that I feel the urge to re-create it, even when I don't have leftover ham. My grandmother never wrote this recipe down. This is the version I remember. I often call my mother to ask her exactly what Grandmama did or how much of something she puts in the recipe. Her response usually is, "You're going to have to come over and watch me." So many gifted cooks just do what they do without even knowing what they are doing!

This "salad" is less like a meal, but rather a spread or a Southern pâté. It is delicious on crackers and especially on a biscuit. When I do get the craving, and I don't have or need a whole ham, I ask the butcher to cut some ham in thicker slabs rather than slices for sandwiches. This recipe makes 4 cups, enough for 8 sandwiches.

Adjust the amount of mayonnaise and salt depending on the saltiness of the ham and the desired consistency of the salad.
— Carrie
  • 1 pound ham, trimmed and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 dill "sandwich-sliced" pickles, chopped
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pickle juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Put the ham, onion, and celery in a food processor. Pulse 20 to 25 times to mince.
  2. Remove to a bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients. Chill. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper before serving.
  3. Serve on sandwiches, crackers, or cheese biscuits, or mix into the yolk mixture of deviled eggs.
Ham salad is a great thing to do with leftover ham from Easter. This is a great childhood memory for me. I love it any way, even on top of a bed of lettuce, but my most favorite is little tea sandwiches!
— Carrie

French Four Onion Soup

French Four Onion Soup with Gruyere topped biscuit croutons

I don't know about you, but when dining out in a restaurant with my girls, we face the challenge of them wanting to order off the kids menu. There are too many tasty dishes in this world to order chicken fingers every time we go out to eat! So I put a rule of no kids menu in place. Doing this has made my girls have a much broader palate. French onion soup is one of their favorites. They often request to go to Rue de Jean just for this item. Since it is a family pleaser, I often make it at home and I'm always messing around with the recipe. This week I decided to incorporate all of the varieties of onions I always have on hand. The smell wafts through our house as the soup slowly cooks and it is absolutely dreamy. The girls love the presentation and of course the biscuits!

Truth be told, the taste isn't very different from our old mainstay of all white onions, as red onions are very similar to the white in taste when cooked down. However, since I always have a variety of onions on hand, it was a fun to experiment. Now the difference in the Gruyere versus Swiss is definitely noticeable. Please splurge on this "worth it" ingredient. This version of a classic dish is something you should try. I know you and your family will enjoy!

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add bacon grease and all of the onions, except for the green onions, and sauté slowly for 45 to 55 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and continue to sauté
  3. Add the wine, broth, and thyme bundle and let simmer for 30 minutes
  4. Preheat oven to 400°. Wrap the biscuit slices in aluminum foil and warm for 15 minutes. Then, split the biscuits in half and place them on a lined baking sheet and broil until crispy on both sides. Set aside.
  5.  Arrange oven safe bowls on an aluminum baking sheet and fill with the soup. Placed 3 to 4 crispy biscuits on top of the soup and cover with cheese. Broil until melted.
  6. Remove from broiler, sprinkle green onions and parsley over the tops, and serve.
  • 3 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 3 white onions, sliced
  • 3 yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 10 cups beef broth
  • 3 cups dry white wine
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 stems fresh thyme, bundled with twine
  • 12 buttermilk biscuits, thawed then sliced in half

Accoutrements:

  • 2 cups freshly shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
I use the green onions to finish off the dish. Chopped green onions give a nice little crunch. Plus, with all the cooked down onions, it’s nice to have some fresh greens on top!
— Carrie

Chocolate Chess Pie

'Tis the season for romance! I credit my friend, Alex, and her Chocolate Chess Pie for playing a role in John and my whirlwind romance. Alex was my roommate in New York when I met my husband, John. If you know anything about me, you know I love hosting a good dinner party. My friends and I lived in tiny cubbyhole apartments in New York, so we rarely had people over; but when I was ready for them to meet John, I was determined to host a dinner party. I made roasted chicken, rice and gravy, and fried okra while Alex made a chess pie.

As we were finishing up the meal around the grandly set coffee table, Alex brought out her chess pie. When she asked John if he'd like a piece of pie, he said, "No thank you." Well, I wasted no time in kicking him pretty hard under the table. She had gone out of her way to make this pie for his visit and it would be rude to not graciously accept a piece!

 Later, John told me, "That's the day I knew you were going to be my wife." Apparently he didn't mind, and in fact was delighted by a strong-minded woman who would put him in his place when necessary. Chess pie is now a family tradition John wouldn't dare pass up. By the way, we also continue to kick each other under the table.

There are many theories as to the origin of the name “chess pie,” but my favorite is that it evolved from people calling it “jes pie,” as in “just” a simple pie.
— Carrie
I love this pie, and I love this story.
— Carrie

You'll Need:

  • 1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream or ice cream for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Fit the dough into a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish. Trim and crimp the edges.
  3. Melt the butter and pour into a bowl. Add the sugar and mix well. Stir in the cocoa and flour. Add the eggs, mixing well. Stir in the vanilla. Pour into the pie crust. 
  4. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil and bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until the top stops jiggling and the surface barely moves.
  6. Let cool completely on a rack before service with whipped cream or ice cream.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
— Carrie

Snuggle Up With Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 3 ounces semisweet/bittersweet chocolate chips, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Add whipped cream and shaved chocolate for toppings
Mix all ingredients together and add to warm milk.
For a single serving of hot chocolate, add 2 tablespoons of the mix to 16 ounces of warmed milk.
For a crowd, I like to make a batch in the slow cooker. I fill a 4 quart slow cooker with milk and heat on high. Once the milk is warm, add ½ cup of the mixture.
The longer you let it sit the better it tastes!
— Carrie

Fall is for Fires—Outside Entertaining

Wow, I can't believe it is already Halloween. I love decorating and helping my girls with their costumes, but my favorite thing about this time of year is the entertaining. You simply can't beat boots, bonfires, and a bowl of chili! My friends and I came up with a creative way to make chili even better. We call it the Frito™ Pie. The kids love Frito™ Pie because they can serve themselves. If you use waxed paper bags there isn't much clean up. Chili is great-serve it on hot dogs, in Frito™ Pie, or on its own with any toppings.

Heat the oil on medium heat in a deep cast-iron skillet or large saucepan. Brown the meat, using the back of the spoon to break it into little pieces. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 30 minutes, or until thickened.
— Carrie

Little League Chili

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 3/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 3 tablespoons water 

Frito Pie

Grab a bowl or a waxed paper bag, fill it with Fritos, Little League Chili, and the toppings of your choosing. Enjoy!
— Carrie
  • A bag of Fritos™ Original Corn Chips
  • 1/2 cup warm chili
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeños
  • Any toppings you and your guests might enjoy (tomatoes, sour cream, diced avocado, shredded lettuce, sliced radishes, and more!) 

Spider Cookies

South Carolina has been devastated by flooding and continuous rainfall over the past few days. We have all been stuck inside and had school cancelled. My girls and I were getting stir-crazy and I had to come up with activities continuously. You know I love to be in the kitchen and luckily my girls have followed in my footsteps. They love making cookies and brownies to pass out to their friends. Since fall is here and Halloween is around the corner, I thought these Spiders or Haystacks would be the perfect sweet snack to make. This recipe makes about 20 to 25 cookies. They're perfect for Halloween parties!

You'll Need

  • 1(10- to 12-ounce) bag of chocolate chips for "spiders" or use butterscotch chips for "haystacks"
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1(5- to 6-ounce) package crispy chow mein noodles

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper
  2. Melt the chips in the top of a double boiler over simmering water.
  3. Stir in the pecans.
  4. Stir in the noodles, 1 cup at a time until all covered. You will use about 3 1/2 cups noodles.
  5. Drop by the heaping tablespoon onto the waxed paper.
  6. Refrigerate until hardened. Store in a resealable plastic bag or container for 2 to 3 days or freeze for up to a month.
They’re perfect for holiday parties!
— Carrie

Labor Day Daiquiri Contest

This Perfectly Peach Daiquiri takes the meaning of a daiquiri to a whole different level, more refined-less beach bash and more sophisticated cocktail worthy.
— Carrie

Nothing like a little friendly competition to make me go the extra mile! Last weekend we had a little fun with a drink contest since we had that extra day to play. My husband and I submitted this peach daiquiri and I am happy to report we won! This is not your typical frozen drink, it is beautifully presented and easy to make. Don't forget to use your best cocktail glass and pressed linens to serve! Try it and challenge your friends to a Daq OFF soon!

Sugar Spicy Rim

  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Use a lime wedge to rim the glass before dipping in the mixture

Perfectly Peach Classic Daiquiri

  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 2 1/2 ounces good quality rum
  • 1/4 peach, peeled and sliced
  • 5 sprigs of mint
Put your glasses in the freezer for 15 minutes before preparing the cocktail for a perfectly chilled drink.
— Carrie

Instructions

  1. Add the simple syrup, peaches and mint to a tall glass and muddle
  2. Add the lime juice and rum to the same glass
  3. Add ice and cover with a bar shaker. Shake vigorously, then strain into a cocktail glass with a sugar spice rim.
  4. Garnish with your choice of thinly sliced Serrano pepper slices, mint leaves, or peach slices

Blue Cheese Roasted Onions

Whether it’s two people or ten people, you gotta’ love good food and good company!
— Carrie

Our evening entertainment in Idaho consists of rotating from house to house with our friends taking turns cooking for each other. This is such a treat for me because at home I'm usually the one doing the cooking. It's a summer of dinner parties with kids, all casual. Whether it is two people or ten people, you gotta' love good food and good company! These Blue Cheese Roasted Onions were one of the dishes my very good friend prepared for me that I cannot stop thinking about or recreating. They are such a great side for any meal and so easy to make. Impress your guests with these cheesy roasted vidalias.

  1. Mix the above ingredients, except the onion, together.
  2. Top the onion slices with the mixture.
  3. Roast in the oven at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.
  4. Broil for 2 minutes to finish.
  • 1 Vidalia onion, thick sliced into 4 or 5 pieces
  • 5 ounces of your favorite blue cheese, I used Gorgonzola
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Summer Corn Salad

It's the last week of summer! While I am glad for the routines to come back into play, my mind can't help but wonder where did the time go! This weekend we are going to have our back to school cookout! A summer cookout is not complete without our Summer Corn Salad. This dish is perfect to cool you down from the heat of the summer. We know a thing or two about coping with the heat of the summer here in Charleston-activities featuring water and refreshing food! With this corn salad, I like to grill the corn and prepare everything the night before so the flavors can marry overnight. 

Summer Corn Salad is even better the next day and it makes a great boat, beach, or poolside snack!
— Carrie
  1. Steam or boil the corn until tender.
  2. Cool the corn in ice water. Drain and dry well. Use a large knife to cut the kernels from the cobs.
  3. Combine the bell peppers, cilantro, and onion in a large bowl. Add the corn. Season with the salt and pepper and stir in the olive oil. lime zest and juice. Cover and chill to allow the flavors to marry
  4. Taste and adjust for salt and lime juice. Fold in the avocados and serve.
  • 8 ears corn, shucked
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • Juice of 2 limes, plus more if needed
  • 2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and diced

Pickled Shrimp for Our Outdoor Soirée

I packed my cooler and headed out to Idaho this week to put on a ranch soirée! Summer menus are my favorite-everything is fresh and relatively easy to prepare! This is my go to hostess menu. Each of these dishes pretty much can be made ahead of time which makes you look like the hostess with the mostess! Preparing ahead of time allows you to enjoy your party. Pickled Shrimp is always a hit, so I wanted to share the recipe with y'all. Use this menu as an idea and host your own soirée. Summer is quickly coming to an end, time to send out the invites!

  1. Bring 8 cups of the water and 6 tablespoons salt to a boil in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the shrimp and cook 2 minutes, just until the shrimp turn pink. Drain the shrimp and let cool.
  3. Combine the remaining 1/3 cup water with all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Stir and add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir, taste, and add more salt if necessary.
  5. Add the cooked shrimp, stir, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Serve with toothpicks and enjoy!

Soirée Menu

  • Pickled Shrimp
  • Biscuits
  • Boiled Peanuts
  • Tomato Sandwiches
  • Pimento Cheese and Crostini
  • Cucumber Dillicious Sandwiches
  • Corn Salad
  • Cobbler, with the fruits of your choice

For Pickled Shrimp, You'll Need:

  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled, tails left on, deveined
  • 8 1/3 cups water
  • Kosher Salt
  • 3 white onions, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups good-quality olive oil
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, cut in half
  • 1 1/2 lemons, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1/3 cups capers in brine, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds
Preparing ahead of time allows you to enjoy your party.
— Carrie

Grilled Mexican Street Asparagus

There is something about grilling I can't get enough of. Launching smoky, flavorful aromas around the block creating a backyard sanctuary any time of the year is mesmerizing! I love putting our vegetables on the grill as well. We eat a lot of veggies in the Morey house. They are a great alternative to carbs, especially when you create something delectable, my girls come back for more! My youngest daughter is prohibited from eating most carbs due to dietary restrictions, which has led me to be more creative in our vegetable offerings. Asparagus is great because you can grill it, roast it, steam it, and bake it. A fun, delicious way to prepare asparagus in the summertime is what I like to call grilled Mexican street asparagus. 

  1. Combine the first 8 ingredients and chill to meld the flavors.
  2. Brush asparagus with olive oil and grill until charred, just a few minutes!
  3. Slather the asparagus with the sour cream mixture
  4. Remove from the grill and top with shredded Cotija.
  5. Serve with lime wedges and enjoy!
  • 4 ounces sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Zest and juice of one lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded Cotija cheese
  • 1 bunch of cleaned and trimmed asparagus
  • Olive oil for brushing
You can double this recipe and add corn too!
— Carrie