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License to kale: Taste the Southern superfood

kalePopeye and his spinach need to make way for the new “Queen of Greens.”

Vitamin-rich kale has long been a staple of southern cuisine but is gaining world-wide popularity for one simple reason — it’s one of the healthiest foods you can eat.  While all unprocessed vegetables are good for your health, kale offers a few added benefits, protecting against several cancers while lowering cholesterol.

“It’s basically the closest relative to wild cabbage,” said Lindsay Martin, a wellness coach and dietician at Hilton Head Health. “It’s considered one of those cruciferous vegetables, which have been shown to have numerous health benefits.”

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"Hot" Dog Days of Summer

By Sally Kerr-Dfood-sally-hotdogs004ineen

I grew up in the north – Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to be exact. So summer and grilling had a very short seasonal window, unlike here in the Lowcountry.  Up in the frozen north, we couldn’t wait for that first backyard barbecue when we pulled out the dusty old grill from the garage.  Now, my grill gets fired up pretty much all year round — I even use it to roast my Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys (hey, it frees up the oven). 

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The Vibe: The classic peanut butter and barbecue


The culinary creation you see above is called the “P-Nutty BBQ Chicken Quesadilla,” and it is 8-year-old Hilton Head Island girl Mallory Russell’s entry in the “Jif Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest.” While barbecued chicken may seem an odd substitute for, say, jelly, the people at Jif must have been impressed, as Russell has been named one of 10 finalists nationwide who will compete to win $10,000 toward educational products.

UPDATE: She won. Click here to read all the details.

Read more: The Vibe: The classic peanut butter and barbecue

Business spotlight: Inside the Oilerie

oilerieIt’s too bad there’s not a scratch-n’-sniff card attached to this article. Walking into The Oilerie is like launching a lovely assault on your olfactory nerves; the smell of olives, mixed with the scent of aged balsamic vinegars, is simply enticing. If you closed your eyes, you might think that you’d just strolled into a little gourmet shop in Italy.

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Cheeseburgers in paradise: Dig into Hilton Head's best burgers

bestburgers_0811After accepting the difficult assignment to locate Hilton Head Island’s best burgers, I did two things right away: bought a new pair of running shoes, and renewed my gym membership.

With that important preliminary work out of the way, I proceeded to ask everyone I knew where I might track down the island’s best burgers, and I got a meaty response: 14 in total. That meant I had a lot of burgers to eat and not a lot of time to do it.

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What can $50 get you at Cahill's Market in Bluffton? Plenty

cahills012For Part Two of my $50 mission — last month I hit up the Farmer’s Market of Honey Horn — I made the trip to Cahill’s Market in Bluffton with 50 bucks in my pocket and recipe ideas floating in my head.

The Cahill’s farm has been around since 1918, so I knew I was headed to Fresh Produce Heaven. But it wasn’t just the tables stocked with the in-season vegetables and fruits that caught my eye; there were tons of varieties of butters, salsas, preserves, dressings and grits everywhere I turned. The cold case was filled with eggs from the Cahill hens, hoop cheese (cheddar — nice), country side meat (bacon — extra nice) and gorgeous blackberries.  I immediately thought one thing: brunch!

Read more: What can $50 get you at Cahill's Market in Bluffton? Plenty

$50. One farmer's market. Three meals.

june_11_farmers_market_mainI love my food, but more importantly I love the food I can find right here. There’s nothing like farm- and dock-fresh seasonal ingredients for the beginnings of a great meal, and with that in mind I set off last month to our very own Farmer’s Market of Hilton Head Island at Honey Horn with the goal of selecting ingredients for a fresh, local dinner for under $50. I found seafood, artisan breads, cheeses and pastas — all from local farmers and merchants. I even found new things I’d never seen in a grocery store, such as casevs cheese, cue and eight ball squash. In short, I found more than enough to work with, so let’s get cooking! (Each recipe serves at least four.)

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Taste of the Season chefs create the perfect holiday meal

Three local chefs. Four recipes. One perfect holiday meal.

Taste of the Season

Looking for a little holiday culinary inspiration? Look no further: In October, Monthly asked three Taste of the Season chefs for their favorite holiday dishes and assembled them into one perfect holiday dinner you can make at home — assuming you have the time and considerably more cooking abilities than we do.

Consider this also a sneak preview of the cuisine you can sample from more than 35 of the Lowcountry’s top chefs at the 21st annual Taste of the Season, taking place Dec. 3 at the Marriott Resort & Spa on Hilton Head. The event finds chefs competing for the honor of “Best Cuisine” and confectionery artists vying for the top honor of “Best Cake.”

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Wine: Unexpected American reds

Unexpected American RedsMost wines produced in the United States are made as single grape (varietal) wines from a rather limited number of grapes.

But as wine drinkers become more adventurous, wineries are exploring less-frequently planted grapes to create blends — a common practice in Europe, but one that’s still relatively unusual here. This month’s column concerns both types; these wines will often be found under the “Interesting Reds” label.

The grape Blaufränkisch (“Blue Franc”) is grown mainly in Austria. But the Steele Winery in California has a 2008 Shooting Star Blue Franc that’s nice example — and a better value than an Austrian import. It’s a light red, scarcely oaked to make it appealingly fruity, and with light tannins that lead to a clean, dry finish. It’s ideal for salmon or chicken.

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