lowcountry feasting

When Ed and I told people we were going to the Lowcountry for our honeymoon, we got a lot of blank stares. It’s certainly less glamorous sounding than the Caribbean or Europe and it might be hard for folks to conjure an image of what the Lowcountry is all about. Let me help: wide rivers, tall grasses, palmetto trees, Spanish moss draped over live oaks, screened-in porches, and drop dead glorious food.

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The southeastern coastal region of South Carolina was an absolute paradise for us food obsessed lovebirds. Everything was better than we expected: the corn was sweeter, the pimento cheese was sharper, and the BBQ was smokier. Southern food is my second favorite cuisine (ranks just below French) and I have been dying to try authentic Lowcountry cooking and taste how the freshness of local seafood marries with the richness of hearty southern staples. I love what they’re doing in the kitchens down there and it’s been years since I’ve been so inspired to race into my own kitchen and start trying my hand at the local specialties. (The last time I was this inspired was five years ago, when I came back from Paris and my first order of business was to make profiteroles for my dad’s birthday). I can’t wait to perfect some of the dishes we tried and share them here. In the meantime, I’m experiencing major withdrawal symptoms now that we’re back in the Northeast, but it’s therapeutic for me to relive some of our favorite meals again. If you ever find yourself in the Lowcountry, I strongly recommend seeking out any of the goodies below. (Also, Julie of Fresh Basil did a great guide for visiting the Lowcountry that you’ll want to bookmark if you’re planning a visit).

lowcountry
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gluten-free muffins (and the best reason for cake)

I love to bake, but living on my own has meant not a lot of opportunity. After all, I may want to make a two layer chocolate cake, but do I really need to have the whole thing in my apartment? Probably not. One of my favorite ways to get around this is to bake for my students–I know of no better or more appreciate audience than the wonderful (and hungry) young women I work with. The problem, tho, is that many of them have dietary restrictions…which I often just cruely ignore and please myself. So when, as part of my constant hunt for a healthy¬†breakfast muffin, I found a likely looking recipe for¬†gluten-free peanut butter banana muffins, I decided to give it a whirl.

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