Summer is made for dinners al fresco with nearby neighbors and new acquaintances. You might not have realized that your July barbecues and patio hangouts were, however, in celebration of an under-appreciated and effortlessly natural holiday--National Grilling Month. To celebrate, I'm sharing some secrets with my Midtown specialty grocer The Fresh Market for cooking juicy, flavor-packed grilled sides at your next outdoor spread. All you need is begin a well-oiled or "au natural" charcoal Read more...

Summer screams for simplicity, especially when local produce is at its peak of brightness and flavor. Though I frequent the farmers markets, I'm especially impressed with Whole Foods' local produce selection, which features stunning vegetables, fruits and starches. I plucked a few ears of red corn and a pint of tri-colored sweet cherry tomatoes; and, alas, another 15-minute meal for two was born. Whip this up after work or on a Sunday evening, and don't forget to pair it with a bottle of crisp Read more...

As you begin your second cup of coffee on this summery morning, I invite you to join a conversation with Memphis' own Dr. Albert Bean, founder of Dr. Bean's Coffee & Tea. Dr. Bean's is a member of the local MadeBy project, which seeks to connect Memphis makers and "craft a community" of creative movement. (Photos courtesy of 387 Pantry) How did you get started in the coffee roasting business? My first real encounter with the coffee industry was a little backward  for those of us Read more...

Say hello to pork belly pizza; and it'll be difficult to ever say goodbye. I've had my fair share of restaurant-style pork belly, whether on steam buns at Momofuku DC or in a piping hot bowl of ramen. Whole Foods' local meat offerings prompted a riskier Saturday routine: slow roasting pork belly until perfectly tender with a crackled caramelized crust. Though the finished product could stand alone or spotlight Asian-inspired dishes, I opted for an appetizer-style pork belly pizza. The Read more...

A long weekend in Washington offered, yes, new freedoms. Unlike the tour-led activities I had grown accustomed to during childhood and high school trips, this vacation offered a breath of fresh air and a pure appreciation for the patriotic capital. Alex, Lindsey, Dan and I spent hours walking and wondering, noting new spots and historic sites. We graced the patios of friends and long-lost cousins, cheered on the Nationals, drank countless cups of coffee (and later rosé) in park lawns, and experienced restaurants Read more...

I'm heading to the beautiful Washington, D.C. to celebrate a patriotically perfect Fourth. But if you're in charge of your Sunday or Monday holiday gathering, have no fear -- my last-minute entertaining tips (featured today on StyleBlueprint) require neither a Party City haul nor messy DIY. Let the ingredients fulfill your patriotic color palette. Rather than stress over striped and polka-dotted red and blue serve-ware that only suffices for the one-day holiday, use white and wood palettes Read more...

Let the pre-July Fourth week commence. Alex and I are heading up to D.C. for a long holiday weekend, where we'll be patriotically celebrating the Fourth as well as Alex's birthday and our five-year anniversary! Yes, what a doozy. If you're hosting an outdoor gathering this weekend, I know just the right beverage to fill your coolers or mix into a cocktail -- the all-natural Bruce Cost Ginger Ale. Photos by Christen Jones Each bottle is made from whole fresh ginger (rather than the Read more...

Y'all, this heat is heavy. In need of a light and cool summer meal, I aimed for an airy Asian dish that highlights natural flavors and awe-inspiring colors. I plucked both the ahi tuna and cucumber at the Memphis Farmers Market last Saturday, and I spotted some prepped jicama at my Whole Foods location. Ten minutes prep max yields a ten-fold amount of impressionable plating and tasting! Serve alongside a crisp dry Pinot Grigio and, perhaps, a shareable bowl of steamed edamame. Cheers! Makes Read more...

It's inevitable -- one of the biggest entertaining "fears" of our time is the post-meal process of clean-up. We're supposed to be the hostesses who can juggle prep, presentation, and conversation all at once, right? Now as a homeowner, I have a whole new respect for my mom's graceful -- if not effortless -- portrayal of dishes and miscellaneous dinner duties while growing up. And thanks to So Fresh and So Green Clean, I understand how simple and cerebral the concept of post-party cleanup Read more...

Friday. The day we long for. I wholeheartedly believe that Friday lunch is the perfect preview for a wonderful weekend ahead; so when time allows, I make plans accordingly. Below are my top five Friday lunch suggestions which, if possible, would sit in my schedule on repeat. Which do you most prefer? 1. FELICIA SUZANNE'S The famous twenty-five cent martinis and biscuits will draw any pedestrian through the Main Street red doors of Felicia Suzanne's on a Friday at noon. Yet now, on the adjacent Read more...