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How to Speak Southern

Easy Recipe: Parmesan Lemon Asparagus

April 14, 2016

This recipe is so easy I feel almost embarrassed sharing this, but I’m always surprised at the things that I share that resonate with people, so I figure I’ll put this out anyways. Parmesan Lemon Asparagus is a super easy mid-week side that you can whip up in a hurry and still feel fancy when you eat it. I’m all about some mid-week fanciness. With spring finally here and in full bloom, you can get fresh asparagus just about anywhere, too.

Parmesan Lemon Asparagus

1 bunch of fresh asparagus, washed and with the ends popped off

1 T of olive oil

1 tsp of kosher salt

1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

1 whole fresh lemon — halve the lemon and remove the seeds, setting one half aside; slice the other half into four slices

4 T of grated Parmesan (none of the fake stuff please)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the bunch of asparagus and pop the ends off (very important, the ends of asparagus are gross and tough). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange on the foil.

asparagus 1

 Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and Parmesan and toss to coat. Spread the asparagus in an even layer.


asparagus 2

Squeeze reserved half of the lemon over the asparagus, and then arrange the four lemon slices on top. Pop in the oven and cook for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until the ends of the asparagus are slightly browned.

asparagus 3

Remove from the oven and serve immediately. Enjoy!

finished product

Pairs very well with a bottle glass of Malbec.

How to Speak Southern

Nothing Says Lowcountry Like a Cocktail and Mud

August 7, 2014

This past Monday I was tasked with providing a specialty cocktail for a happy hour with coworkers. They know cocktails are my specialty. Of course I wanted to make it pretty and tasty, but I also wanted to make sure it was cheap too — I don’t like spending a lot of money on anything, even when it’s not my own. 

Another particularly interesting tidbit of the happy hour was that it was out in the middle of nowhere — our team loaded up in trucks and were taken to God only knows where and left to drink and chat with the marsh, trees, bugs and animals of the Lowcountry. If the Lowcountry had its own Real Housewives show, this would be the perfect backdrop — The Real Housewives of the LC. It was also kind of like Naked and Afraid… except with clothes, alcohol and coworkers. Thank God I wasn’t naked, I’d be very afraid of the bugs. Oh and being naked around people I work with. 

So all of this was very lovely and outdoor-sy — look at me I’m glamping! —  but there was one teeny blip in the plan — it poured. Damn. 

As the heavens opened up and rain gushed all around us, I happily poured each of my coworkers a delicious cocktail created with prosecco, a dash of Italian orange soda and blueberries. Blueberries were on sale, I’m sure any fruit would do. It was essentially a happy hour mimosa, and it made everyone very happy indeed.


bottles and cup

 Ingredients: 2 bottles of prosecco, 1 bottle of Italian orange soda, 1 carton of blueberries or cheap and in-season fruit. I got the semi-cheap prosecco at $10 a bottle, and the italian soda was $4.

Directions: Pour 3/4 of a glass of champs, top with Italian orange soda and float the fruit. Easy enough.

cup up close

I also bought some cute paper straws and cut them in half to put in the glasses. Just for some happy hour flair. 

bottles and cup 2

bottles again


 The torrential downpour was the perfect test for my J.Crew dress made out of scuba suit material. Remember when I recommended it here? I never thought I’d need to use it as a wet suit, but you know what happens when you assume.

stopped raining

 Rain stopped. Beautiful backdrop. The Real Housewives of the LC know how to throw down. 


Some cacti.


 Even though it rained, it definitely didn’t rain on my specialty cocktail parade. This is the perfect cocktail to whip up this weekend to impress your friends and make them think you spent a lot of time and money on them. Perception is 90% of reality.