Ensure Food Safety at Your Summer Cookouts

ARLINGTON, Va. — What’s one way to ruin a perfect cookout? Yep, food poisoning. Cases of food poisoning spike in the summer, with Campylobacter and Salmonella the most common and persistent germs that cause illness. Home cooks can keep themselves and their families healthy by following a few important safe food handling practices at home. “Doing these things consistently can mean the difference between good health and serious food-borne illness,” said Shelley Feist, executive director of the non-profit Partnership for Food Safety Education. “The food safety basics of clean, separate, cook and chill do reduce the risk of illness from harmful germs like Campylobacter and Salmonella.” Families

Crazy Cat Eat Up: The Name Alone is Worth the Trip, But It's Much More

Oftentimes, a restaurant’s billing doesn’t live up its results, but that’s not the case with Crazy Cat Eat Up, a cozy, locally-owned spot in Jackson’s Canton Mart Square. It’s billed as “your favorite neighborhood café,” and once you visit, you’ll see that this particular advertising phrase is not just accurate, but really doesn’t do justice to this gem of a restaurant that serves up Southern-inspired food and desserts with an equal dose of Southern hospitality. And lastly, who can resist trying a restaurant with an ever-so creative and cute name like "Crazy Cat Eat Up?" Crazy Cat serves seasonal, creatively-curated lunch and dinner meals in a welcoming atmosphere that hearkens back to an er

Sweetest Chefs 2019 Lineup Announced

The South's most indulgent party of the year, the fifth annual Sweetest Chefs of the South event is set for September 9th, 2019, at the Lake House in Ridgeland. The lineup of chefs was recently announced, and it includes some of the South's best pastry chefs. Chefs on the demo stage will include: Dwayne Ingraham Winner, Best Baker in America on Food Network is currently Executive Pastry Chef at 5th & Taylor in Nashville Mitchell Moore Winner, 2017 Sweetest Chefs People's Choice Award is Chef / Owner at Campbell's Bakery and soon to open Campbell's Craft Donuts in Jackson Mary Jennifer Russell Cake Maven and Entrepreneur Extraordinaire at Sugaree's Bakery in New Albany, Miss. Spotlight

Summertime Is a Great Time to Enjoy Champagne and Sparkling Wines

Champagne sales have enjoyed seven years of steady growth with the U.S. sitting in the second spot of bottles sold worldwide behind the United Kingdom. Among champagne producers, Moet & Chandon is the industry leader worldwide -- they trail Veuve Clicquot in the U.S. market. Owned by LVDH, Moet & Chandon is celebrating the 150th anniversary of their ubiquitous and best-selling Imperial Brut this year. Imperial Brut is the upgraded successor to the retired White Star brand that was marketed in the U.S. for many years. Slightly drier, the Imperial Brut offers a moderately priced introduction to real French champagne. Although international accords have outlawed the use of the descriptor champa

Watermelons Gain Ground As Soil Drys Out, Temps Increase

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Some Mississippi watermelon producers lost crops or got a late start because of wet spring weather. But consumers should find the sweet, summer treats on shelves in time for the July 4 holiday. “The crops in my county are a few days behind, but I have some growers who started harvesting last week and others who started this week,” said Jeremy Maness, Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Smith County. According to the June 17 Mississippi Crop Progress and Condition Report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 67 percent of the crop is in good condition, and 25 percent is in fair condition. Just 6 percent is rated as poor. Although the cool spring weather

Jackson Salvation Army in Urgent Need of Canned Goods

The Jackson Salvation Army's food pantry is critically low on canned food. The Salvation Army uses this food to provide meals for hungry families in the Jackson area. Current needs include: pasta and sauce, peanut butter, crackers, rice, cereal, tuna, canned fruit, soups/stews, macaroni and cheese, and vegetables other than green beans. Please donate today at 110 Presto Lane in Jackson. Contact Michelle Hartfield at 601-982-4881 for more information, or visit

Sombra Changed My Mind About Mexican Food

Mexican restaurants can sometimes look alike, and, let’s face it, oftentimes, if you’ve tasted the cuisine at one south-of-the-border-inspired eatery, you’ve sampled the same fare at another. I’ve mentioned before that Mexican cuisine, which can be heavy and unappetizing-looking, is my least favorite, but that opinion changes when I walk through the door at Sombra Mexican Kitchen in Ridgeland. For starters, Sombra’s décor is eye-appealing and modern, and, even better, the restaurant serves fresh, creative, and, yes, even light Mexican food. Whether you choose a table in the cheerful, well-appointed dining rooms or dine al fresco on the airy outdoor patio under a colorful umbrella, either ve

Beau Rivage Wins PNC "Best of the Fest" at the 2019 Atlanta Food and Wine Festival

ATLANTA – The ninth annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is pleased to announce Chef Kristian Wade of Beau Rivage Resort & Casino as this year’s winner of the PNC “Best of the Fest” competition. The innovative chef stunned the crowd with his Landmass Burger complete with a smoky, grilled double-patty, American cheese, Mississippi tomato fondue, caramelized onions, crispy bread and butter pickles, a succulent blend of New Orleans barbecue sauce and Alabama white sauce, and topped with a fried oyster. Beau Rivage, MGM Resorts International’s AAA Four Diamond beachfront resort in Biloxi, Mississippi features 1,740 -elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites, nine restaurants and 16 kitchens. “

Now's the Perfect Time to Try a New Wine

For years, this country was denied access to a variety of wines because getting them to the United States was fraught with problems relating to preservation and cost. But the invention of refrigeration and faster travel ushered in wines from remote regions just waiting to be discovered. Even after writing about these regions for more than three decades, we are still covering new ones. Our most recent discovery is the Alentejo (Ah-len-TAY-zhoo) wine-growing region of interior Portugal. More than 250 grape varieties are grown in Portugal, but the primary red grape grown in Alentejo is alicante bouschet, an incredibly dark grape that is so bold and powerful it can temporarily stain your teeth –

Food Factor: Vegetable Burritos

With all of the delicious, fresh vegetables available this time of year at great prices, vegetable burritos are a fast, farmers market-friendly meal you can whip up in no time. While Southwest-inspired recipes can hide a lot of calories, a few substitutions can keep you from breaking the calorie bank. First, opt for reduced-fat or fat-free sour cream or even fat-free Greek yogurt. I usually spread my sour cream on the tortilla first for better coverage, but you do you! Next, look for whole-wheat tortillas to cut calories and increase fiber. Finally, consider cooking the veggies in water instead of oil. They get soft from the steam, so you may need less cooking time, but you can save a lot of

Nostalgia and "Best Fried Chicken" Are Served in Equal Doses at St. John's The Midtown

Friends and readers often ask for restaurant recommendations during the summer months as they head south for beach vacations. Thankfully, the southern part of our state is packed with great places to eat. I can add a new name to the list of must-try restaurants when you’re traveling through or near the Hattiesburg area. The Midtowner, located across from Southern Miss in The District at Midtown, serves breakfast and lunch in a nostalgic setting. It’s an experience you won’t forget, especially combined with the outstanding food. When planning his sixth restaurant, Robert St. John wanted to create something different from the somewhat-upscale eateries he’s opened around the Hattiesburg area. W

Give Dad the Gift of Wine This Father's Day

Buying an expensive wine as a gift is a challenge for many people. If you can get past the cost of a wine that cost more than $100 and lasts a couple of hours at best, there’s the hurdle of which wine to buy. It’s not as if one size fits all. Some people are allergic to red wine, others hate tannic wines while there are those that drink nothing but chardonnay. So, here we are a few days away from Father’s Day when a bottle of wine has replaced the tie as the most likely gift to be enjoyed. By the way, a tie can cost $85 or more – you can get a great wine for that price. Dad may be wild and crazy guy, but that doesn’t mean he will wear a tie with pink flamingoes to the office. Buy the wine an

Newk's Launches Summer Fare To-Go

JACKSON, Miss – Newk's Eatery, recently named America's Top Fast-Casual Chain by Restaurant Business Magazine, is celebrating summer with exclusive promotions, including three new menu additions and re-imagined Grab-N-Go summer recipes. Newk's summer offerings, available for a limited time now through September, include: Red, White, and Blueberry Salad Baby spinach topped with grilled chicken, fresh-cut watermelon, strawberries, and blueberries topped with crumbled feta cheese and served with house-made raspberry vinaigrette. Customize your entree with the substitution of broiled shrimp, salmon, steak, or tuna—all seasoned, seared, and sliced in-house. Pesto Chicken Salad House-made pulled c

Wade Into Murky Waters for Barbecue... You Won't Regret It

I recently mentioned my reticence at playing favorites among restaurants. The same sentiment holds true for barbecue places. They’re all different and wonderful in their own special way. And, it’s rare for me to find anything wrong with barbecue, which, in my opinion, should be a separate food group. However, Murky Water Blues and BBQ restaurants – I use the plural because its found in Gulfport, Ocean Springs, and, most recently, Hattiesburg – are near the top of my favorite barbecue restaurants. After you sample their self-proclaimed “famous wings,” mouth-watering ribs and brisket and even the restaurant’s popular “burnt ends,” (their description, not mine), I think you’ll agree with my ass

Find Your Perfect Summer Wine

Now that the temperatures have turned a corner for many of you in four-season states, thoughts turn to summer wines to enjoy on the patio or boat. We’re talking sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, pinot gris, riesling, viognier, and the like. Wines such as sauvignon blanc have the crisp acidity to marry well with fresh produce coming into season. Usually dry and free of oak, sauvignon blanc can range in style from the grassy New Zealand version to the softer, grapefruit dominant wines from the West Coast. They are great sippers but also go well with herb-based sauces. Another favorite at this time of the year is pinot grigio, which also has a range in style of sweetness. We like the drier version

Making the Most of In-Season Produce

Vegetables, such as squash, can be used in a variety of summer meals. (Photo by Michaela Parker) When you visit your community farmers market, you know you're purchasing local produce in its peak season. Fruits and vegetables have more flavor and are typically less expensive when they’re in season. So, when you go to the farmers market, how do you make the most out of in-season produce? Buy in bulk. You can create a meal plan that features the in-season fruits and vegetables available at the market. What about the produce you don’t use? Easy! Use vegetables in soups and casseroles, and fruits in smoothies and baked goods. You can always freeze soup and save it for later! Ask questions! Vendo


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