kalexander's blog

Alton Brown's Favorite Southern Road Eats

By The EditorsGood EatsMay 15, 2015

If you are hitting the road this summer and looking for recommendations on where to eat, Alton Brown has a few suggestions. The Atlanta-based bestselling author, James Beard Award winner, and television personality travels (and eats) for a living. His traveling variety show, Alton Brown Live! The Edible Inevitable Tour had him crisscrossing the country and, as you might imagine, he had many good meals along the way.  

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A Master Class in Floral Design

By Elizabeth HutchisonBelow the LineMay 14, 2015

Maybe you’re a spring bride and want to do your own flowers for your big day. Or perhaps you’re thinking about ditching a corporate gig and making a career in the floral business. Or maybe you just like puttering in the garden shed. Whatever your motivation, floral designers Heather Barrie of Gathering Floral + Event Design and Anne Dabney of Stems can help.

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A Mimosa with a Twist

By Jessica MischnerGood EatsMay 7, 2015

Nothing against the classic brunch pairing of OJ and Champagne, but Mother’s Day calls for a cocktail upgrade. (As a mother myself, I can speak with authority on this.) And Jonathan Shull, co-owner of the Apothecary at Brent’s Drugs, in Jackson, Mississippi, has created an inventive twist that mimics the mimosa’s easy-drinking nature. His Wingate Spritz—inspired by childhood summers spent at his grandparents (the Wingates) at their house in Columbus, Mississippi—is built from familiar ingredients such as citrus and sparkling wine, then fortified with spirits. “My grandparents had a beautiful side garden with a wall of honeysuckle,” Shull says, “so I played off that with Mississippi’s Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka mixed with grapefruit, Aperol, and Champagne.” The result: an easy like Sunday morning thirst-quencher that raises the bar for Mom.

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The South Wins Big at the James Beard Awards

By Jed PortmanGood EatsMay 5, 2015

The James Beard Foundation awards are probably the highest-profile in American food, and a win can elevate a chef to the heights of the industry. The South represented itself well at the awards ceremony last night. (And also at the Broadcast and Journalism Awards, on April 24, where Heritage, chef Sean Brock's seven-month-old cookbook, and Gravy, a quarterly magazine published by the Southern Foodways Alliance, both won big-deal endorsements.)

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First Listen: Shelby Lynne's New Album

By Jessica MischnerSouthern SoundsApril 29, 2015

Shelby Lynne first hit the music scene in 1989. Now, after 26 years, 13 albums, and one Grammy (for Best New Artist, belatedly bestowed in 2001), she's still singing and writing emotionally charged songs that bridge the gap between Delta blues, Memphis soul, and classic country. Her latest release, I Can’t Imagine, out May 4, is no exception. Featuring 10 tracks written in bursts between 2012 and 2014, the album is both a tribute to Lynne’s adopted home of California and a reminder that this Alabama girl still cherishes her Southern roots. “I feel free to explore the California thing, but you can’t get rid of my South,” Lynne says. “I go everywhere on the planet singing, and everybody knows where I’m from.”

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Where to Drink Seventy-Year-Old Whiskey

By Jed PortmanGood EatsMarch 31, 2015

Even thirty years ago, bourbon was better than it is today. Grains soaked and fermented in water that came from wells, not municipal water supplies. Ancient oaks supplied the wood for the air-dried barrels that held and mellowed corn spirits. Low demand kept most whiskeys small-batch, and distillers who spent two or three decades at their posts had time to refine and adjust their recipes. Until recently, only the most devoted collectors could sample the majority of those antique spirits before they vanished for good.

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Matthew McConaughey Toasts New Orleans

By Jessica MischnerBelow the LineMarch 30, 2015

Matthew McConaughey knows a thing or two about New Orleans. Though Texas-bred, the Oscar-winning actor has filmed five of his last ten projects, including HBO’s True Detective and the upcoming Civil War drama The Free State of Jones, in and around the Crescent City. So when he accepted the New Orleans Film Society’s Celluloid Hero Award this past Saturday night and paid tribute to his adopted hometown, McConaughey employed his trademark turn of phrase to deliver a toast to the city in a way only he could.

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First Listen: Jessie Baylin’s “Black Blood”

By Jessica MischnerSouthern SoundsMarch 23, 2015

Since her debut album dropped in 2012, Jessie Baylin has been in constant motion. She gave birth to a baby girl, overhauled her family’s Nashville home (which she recently shared with G&G), and generally went about the business of adjusting to a new phase in her life. At times, she questioned whether she’d even make another record at all. Ultimately, though, the songwriter’s need for expression led her back to the recording studio, where she mined a deep well of emotional, real-life inspiration—motherhood, life on the road, the pang of relationships—to create her sophomore album, Dark Place, out April 7. “The first album was about establishing myself as an artist,” Baylin says. “This one is about establishing who I am as a person.”

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Join us at SXSW

By The EditorsSouthern SoundsMarch 17, 2015

In 2013, we made our South by Southwest debut with the first annual Garden & Gun showcase. This year, we’re heading back to Austin to host another all-star lineup in partnership with our friends at Paradigm Nashville. Join us this Thursday night to watch Robert Earl Keen, Gill Landry, Anderson East, and more take the stage (admission is free with a festival band). Not Austin-bound? That’s ok, too. We’re bringing the festival to you with our 2015 SXSW playlist, featuring new music from our headliners.

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The Global South: The Women Behind Dira

By Haskell HarrisBelle DecorMarch 16, 2015

Garden & Gun champions Southern artisans and entrepreneurial efforts here in Dixie, but we also look to Southerners who support the ideals of craftsmanship outside the South, too. Which makes sense, considering that our region wouldn’t be the wonderful, exotic melting pot that is today without the influence of cultures from around the world.

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