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Cooking and Chef Recipes

Here you'll find recipes and tips from some of the best chefs in Central Florida, plus the fun and exceedingly user-friendly columns from the Divas of Dish, Pam Brandon and Anne-Marie Denicole.

Sesame Sriracha Roasted Cauliflower

Divas cauliflower

We didn't like it when we were kids. It was one of those veggies completely misunderstood by the mid-century modern cook (you know who you are).

That is, until cauliflower's super power was revealed. Crunchy, cruciferous and creamy in color, the hard-headed orb makes for tasteless crudités (please pass the fat-laden dip), but give it a blast of heat from a spicy sriracha-sesame marinade and a 400°F oven, and the makeover is undeniable. Crisp and golden at the edges, the once hard-to-love veggie is now thoroughly forgiven.

Read more: Sesame Sriracha Roasted Cauliflower

Divas of Dish: Spring Greens with Strawberries, Toasted Almonds, and Farmstead Stilton

Divas strawberriesPhoto by Matt Stroshane

If you’re looking for a lovely salad for Easter brunch, this is it – a modern riff on that classic strawberry-spinach salad with overly sweet poppy seed dressing that we all grew up eating. This lively salad is the essence of springtime in Florida, a special treat we found at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.  

It’s super easy to toss together, and you can still find Florida strawberries in their glory. Or  take the day and head to the Epcot festival at Disney World, open daily through May 18, and try it at the Buttercup Cottage Outdoor Kitchen in the United Kingdom in World Showcase, one of 11 spots for a delicious bite set among millions of beautiful blooms. You’ll find everything from barbecue to tacos and sushi, each with a gorgeous garden showcasing something you can taste.

Read more: Divas of Dish: Spring Greens with Strawberries, Toasted Almonds, and Farmstead Stilton

Show Us the Shakshuka


Eggs, those humble orbs of life-sustaining protein, omega 3s and just plain comfort, can hold their own during any mealtime. We couldn't help but swoon for this spicy tomato stew bejeweled with delicately poached eggs. 

Originating in Jerusalem, shakshuka is a popular dish devoured hungrily from marketplace food stalls. Our somewhat loose interpretation of this healthful, low-carb beauty positively bursts with flavor and flavanoids, coming together in a single, satisfying skillet. Serve as brunch with warm pita and pomegranate mimosas, or a quick and yummy supper with a chopped veggie salad. 

Read more: Show Us the Shakshuka

Show-off Shrimp and Penne

Divas of Dish

Diva shrimp and pasta

For some, March Madness might refer to college basketball – for the divas, it’s a time of year when we’re pulled in a dozen directions. And when there’s not even time to dash through the grocery’s express lane, here’s a quick one-dish dinner you toss together with staples every diva should have on hand. (A well-stocked pantry beats the drive-through any afternoon.) 

Stock up on dry pasta, canned tomatoes, olive oil and fresh garlic. Keep a stash of kalamata olives, feta cheese and decent bottle of white wine in the fridge. In a pinch you could forego the frozen shrimp, but they elevate this dish to star status. The only ingredient you need to grab fresh is parsley or basil, which easily grows in a back-porch pot.  

This is a breezy recipe to double if you need to cook for a crowd.  You may want to add a few tablespoons of your best-quality olive oil just before serving, or some extra feta cheese.

Read more: Show-off Shrimp and Penne

Divas of Dish Pucker Up to Kiss February Goodbye with Simple Lemon Curd

simple-lemon-curd copy

Pucker up, it’s Valentine’s Month. For the divas, February is a month for romance – not just one day, but all 28. 

And while we shared a hot chocolate with tequila for Valentine’s Day, this sweet ending hits the other end of the dessert spectrum with tart Florida lemons to wow your love’s taste buds (and cause a little pucker).    

This recipe comes from “Field to Feast, Recipes Celebrating Florida’s Farmers, Chefs, and Artisans,” shared by Central Florida farmer Dale Volkert from Lake Meadow Naturals. His farm-fresh eggs are the base for this simple lemon curd. You can add more sugar if you prefer a sweeter taste, but we like the tang. Use any leftover lemon curd the next day on your morning toast.

Read more: Divas of Dish Pucker Up to Kiss February Goodbye with Simple Lemon Curd


  • Divas of Dish
    After creating countless thank-you feasts for their children’s elementary school teachers, Anne-Marie Hodges and Pam Brandon began compiling recipes and tips, and created their cookbook in 2004, Culinary Confessions of the PTA Divas:  Stylish Recipes and Saucy Secrets for the Everyday Gourmet was born in 2004.  Along with delicious recipes, the book is a tale of food and friendship that began with a grass-roots crusade to uplift the status of dedicated teachers at Hillcrest Elementary in downtown Orlando.

    Since the debut of the cookbook, Anne-Marie has married and moved to Phoenix (now Anne-Marie Denicole), and Pam, a resident of Winter Park, has written two cookbooks for Disney Publishing (Delicious Disney and Delicious Disney Desserts) and has a third Disney cookbook that will be in bookstores in 2010.
    The cookbook is available on amazon.com, or, for an autographed copy, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
  • Chef recipes
    Chef recipes
Wednesday, 23rd April 2014

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A flog is a food blog with news and reviews of restaurants. Here you'll find all things edible, lots of things to drink, including expert wine advice, and lots of other stuff.

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