food travels

hidden gem

hidden gem

OK, I’m spilling the beans. Sharing a wild dream. One of my bucket list things to do in life sometime before I knock on those pearly gates to gain entry is be on an episode with Anthony Bourdain on his CNN show ‘Parts Unknown’ . Don’t laugh. I mean I’m […]

5 tips for better food photos

5 tips for better food photos

No doubt, a picture is worth a thousand words. And, in the case of food, it’s worth even more. Like making the person drool when they gaze at this magnificently presented dish. And, lighting the fire under the person to make your recipe! If you’re a food blogger trying to […]

no rain on my parade

As a child, my Mama instilled in me this steadfast value, ‘you are judged by those with whom you associate.’ One’s reputation be it an individual or a company is something that goes with you wherever you are. When you find those ‘birds of a feather’ friends or companies, you […]

fall + mountains + sage gourmet

fall + mountains + sage gourmet

After hours of driving on the boring Interstate heading to Western North Carolina for a book signing, I finally reached the drive where I was winding up the mountains. Oh, a rush came over me. There’s just something about those hills that brings out the history in my heart and […]

the art of grandmothering

carolina foodie nirvana

Remember Marie Osmond’s hit song, ‘I’m a Little Bit Country, I’m a Little Bit Rock n’ Roll’? Well, tucked in Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, where you can stretch your arms and almost touch heaven, are small towns and cities that are a little bit country and a big […]

inspired home~talking with ree drummond

talking with ree drummond

Ree Drummond is a legend in the food world…a legend who started just about a decade ago as a food blogger. Simply talking about life on the ranch, posting food that she was making for the family and cowboys, and sharing a world that not many live. Now today she’s […]

is there a heart in seafood

is there a heart in seafood

Archaeology digs uncover history, cultures, people, lifestyles and more. They’re usually painstakingly detailed and timely. When you go to the Gulf coast, it doesn’t take much digging to realize how the history, culture, people and their lifestyles are shaped and influenced by the Gulf Coast waters. While I kind of […]

birthday surprise from africa

Birthdays~~they mean different things to everyone. As I’ve gone through life, birthdays have progressed from parties, gifts, cakes and celebrations, of varying degrees depending upon that milestone year, to ones that now I ‘celebrate’ the entire month of October rather than just on the 28th. What means the most to […]

life in black and white

Come along with me as I meander the world finding interesting foods, ingredients, flavors~~and, yes, people~~I’ll snap pictures with my cell phone~~yes, faces and places that speak to me~~usually I’m not lucky  enough to have time to pull out my camera~~sometimes life only gives you a split second to make […]

~weekend in warsaw~

weekend in warsaw

Warsaw, Poland~~possibly a destination that might not be on many folks’ bucket list, but it’s certainly on mine/ours. The first time we visited Warsaw was in 1994—Ben and I were backpacking in Eastern Europe, and we fell in love with this country. With a rich history and culture, Poland has […]

~the dole summit 2014~

the dole summit 2014

This post is brought to you by DOLE Packaged Foods, however, all of the information and writing/ideas, including the photography, are solely the work of Ally.  For more information CLICK~ It’s not often that you, a blogger, get invited to the headquarters of a major company.  It’s not common for the […]

the king david hotel & kitty

the king david hotel & kitty

I’ve tried really hard to figure out what was the BEST part of my incredible experience with Taste of Israel.  While it’s kind of like trying to decide which of your ten kids you love most, I must say that one of the highlights of this lifetime adventure was the […]

Las Vegas Baggage Claim~~Where's Ally?

Las Vegas Baggage Claim~~Where’s Ally?

You just never know where you’ll show up in this digital age of living!  First the Wall Street Journal.  Now the Las Vegas Airport Baggage Claim with  my  Doleiciousness~~this magic carpet ride through life is mesmerizing and surreal~~please don’t wake me, and, remember, this allyism~~ ‘dreams are not silenced by […]

The Daily Buzz~~Ally & Lance & Meatballs!

So the World Food Championships brings together home cooks and professionals for several days of wickedly wild cooking!  I talked about this opportunity with Lance on the nationally-syndicated news/entertainment show, The Daily Buzz~~just click to watch my 3 minutes of magic meatballs, Dole and WFC! 

World Food Championships~~PregamePOP!

World Food Championships~~PregamePOP!

Nothing like working with a group of energetic, talented and creative young foodie women to get things going in Vegas!  A huge shout out goes to Christie from Zestuous, Heather from Basilmomma, and Julie Biederman Hession who’ve worked on this event.  The World Food Championships are literally around the corner, […]

World Food Championships Training Tips~~Packing & Playing

Oh, yeah, it’s getting closer and closer~~there’s a combination of exhilaration and angst—nagging ‘anxiety’ of the unknown…pumped excitement for the known! A lot of luggage and boxes are going to be packed.  Boxes and luggage containing all the secret weapons for creating the killer dishes of competitors in each of […]

Taste of Israel

Taste of Israel~~Eat. Meet. Explore.

Imagine the exhilaration when I opened my email one hot August morning while I was traveling and saw this email from Israel!  Who was emailing me and why.  I mean I was like ‘what’s this?’  Spam?  Well, I read on, and I was blown away~~I was honored~~I was dancing and […]

World Food Championships Training Tips—Planning

World Food Championships Training Tips—Planning

It’s about two months until the World Food Championships in Las Vegas.  Like any other competitive even, there’s training involved.  That may sound quirky for a culinary or cooking competition, but there’s more to this event than just firing up your grill and smackin’ down some good eats! Over the […]

world food championships 2013

world food championships 2013

I’ve qualified for the 2013 World Food Championships!  This is not easy~~after entering many cooking contests, I won the BIG one~~the Dole California Cook-Off~~not chump change~~tweeeennnnteeee five thousand dollars!  Sooooooooooooooo, this means that I’m heading to WFC in Las Vegas to compete in the ‘Recipe’ category! You have no idea […]