Key lime margarita

It’s summer! The time when I reach for Lucy Buffett’s cookbook before anything else.

This one is based on Lucy’s Cadillac Margarita, adapted to, naturally, include key lime juice. Because I am obsessed love it.

Key lime margarita


  • 1.5 ounces tequila
  • 3/4 ounce Grand Marnier
  • 1 ounce key lime juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • juice of 1/2 lime


  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with as much ice as will fit
  2. Do the margarita dance (shake it up)
  3. Run a lime wedge around the edge of the glass and dip it in coarse salt
  4. When the drink is fabulously cold and frothy, pour into said glass and enjoy.

Simple syrup

Try not to be blown away by the beauty of that picture, okay?

I saw bottled simple syrup for sale the other day for a kind of ridiculous price and I was kind of horrified. Its name is no accident, folks; this stuff is crazy easy to make.

Simple syrup


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water


  1. I fill my glass Pyrex to the one cup mark, then pour in one cup of sugar, and microwave. I leave a chopstick in it while microwaving because it helps the bubbles escape as it comes close to a boil, and because it’s handy dandy for stirring it every so often
  2. Microwave the syrup for a minute or so at a time, stirring after each minute, till the sugar is completely dissolved, then set on the counter to cool
  3. I store mine in a Wilton squeeze bottle, but any bottle or jar will work just fine.


Now you’re all set to make key lime amaretto sours! Iced coffee! Key lime margaritas! The possibilities are endless.

Sweet Relief: Nashville Food Blogger Bake Sale

UPDATE: We were able to raise $1000 for Second Harvest Food Bank today. So great!! Thank you to everyone who baked and helped and ate, and a huge thank you to Love and Olive Oil for organizing the whole thing.

You want to help after the Nashville flood. You also want cupcakes.

We are raising money for Nashville’s Second Harvest Food Bank. With cupcakes.

It’s like it was written in the stars! Stars made of yummy frosting.

Nashville food bloggers are holding Sweet Treats for Flood Relief Saturday, May 29th 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm at The Green Wagon in East Nashville (1100 Forest Avenue in East Nashville)

Something I love about the way we are Nashville is that everyone is pitching in with what they do best. Strong folks are tearing down drywall. Animal-minded folks are taking in foster animals and donating food to animal shelters. Everyone is cleaning out their closets and donating to shelters. Folks are emptying out their wallets. We are finding the needs and who can fill them. The Volunteer state is alive and well.

And this little group of people? We can cook. And, thanks to Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil, we have the privilege of using that ability to help out. So won’t you come see us? Let us know on Facebook (where you can also see a list of participating bloggers) or, heck, just show up. We’ll have a great assortment of goodies — not just cupcakes! — so come on down. Heck, you might even get to meet the Kiddo (he’ll be the one with the Cheerios).

Wanna bake too? Or just help out? Shoot an email to Lindsay. The more the merrier! We’d love your help spreading the word, too! You can download a PDF of the 8×11 poster here.

On the menu from me? Blue velvet cupcakes and Sandy’s chocolate cake!

Magee’s caramel corn

This recipe is from the fabulous Magee. The fabulous Magee is the mother of my fabulous friend Lissa (perhaps you’ve heard of her here? Or here?). This is her recipe for caramel corn and it is to die for. Crazy good. The Yankee doesn’t like caramel corn (should I call a neurologist?) and of course the Kiddo doesn’t (since it’s not Cheerios), so I cut the recipe down to involve just one bag of popcorn, but I doubled the amount of caramel because hey, it’s caramel. So here’s what I used:

Magee’s caramel corn

  • 1 bag popcorn
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. white Karo syrup
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda


  1. Pop the popcorn and dump onto a parchment-lined baking sheet
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan with sugar and Karo syrup, then boil for five minutes without stirring
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda
  4. Pour over popcorn carefully — this stuff is crazy hot and sticky; dangerous combo (just ask my pinkie finger)
  5. Bake at 250F for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes (the stirring will really help evenly coat the popcorn, so don’t worry if it’s not too even to start with)
  6. Slide parchment paper off cookie sheet (again, carefully) onto a rack and let cool. Store in an airtight container if any lasts that long


For the sake of reference, here are Magee’s original amounts: 4 bags microwave popcorn (6 quarts) 2 cups brown sugar 1/2 cup white Karo syrup 2 sticks butter 1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp baking soda

Chilpotle cheese dip

I’ve been doing a bit of desperation cooking around One Particular Kitchen.

In the initial thick of things with the flood we were trying to stay out of the way, stay home, and leave the available gas, water (oh the irony), roads and groceries for those who needed them far more than we did.

We figured since life gave us limes, we’d make margaritas. And margaritas call for chips and dip! A quick inventory of the pantry revealed no Ro*tel. How is that possible? So I threw together this.

Chilpotle cheese dip


  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chiles chilpotles
  • 1 lb. Velveeta


  1. Pour can of tomatoes (undrained) into a large bowl
  2. Dice chilpotles and add to bowl
  3. Cut Velveeta into cubes and add to bowl
  4. Now melt this either in the microwave, stirring every minute or so, or by setting the bowl over a pan of boiling water, double-boiler style
  5. After it’s all melted either serve as-is or use an immersion blender (carefully! This stuff is hot) to make it totally smooth
  6. Serve with chips and mucho margaritas

Before I let you go make this, a note on my fair city: the water is going down. Nashville is open for business. We’d love to see you! Amazing things are happening here. The flood? We got this. Please come visit and see why I’m so proud to live here and why there’s no other place like this in the world. We are Nashville.

And now for something completely different

Middle Tennessee is under water.

(Photo by Jim Cantore)

My back yard has seen better days:

Our CSA farm is very hard hit.

Our interstates are under water.

As of 7:00 this morning 11 Sixteen Nineteen people have died.

(photo by Martin’s BBQ)

There are lots of photos here and photos and video here.

I would sure appreciate your thoughts and prayers for the wonderful folks of the Nashville area.