Confessions of a Lady-Who-Lunches

Okay, are you ready, I confess, style matters when choosing a restaurant! I have been accused many times by my loving husband and adoring daughter of inquiring about the "cuteness" of a restaurant before agreeing to lunch. So, if you are also a closet-cute-seeker, and have not yet eaten at Winston-Salem's Mozelle's, you are truly missing a design-inspired lunch. This self-proclaimed "fresh southern bistro" could hold it's own with the southern fusion mainstays in larger cities like Savannah or Charleston. Perched on the corner of 4th Street, Mozelle's bright, hip facade speaks for itself. There is so much to love from the fresh color palette ~ cheeky lime green meets bistro black and white ~ to the chic graphic design with the curvaceous logo and signature floral print. My favorite accents are the colorful paper lanterns and lime green lap blankets on the back of the chairs in the covered porch dining area, perfect for those chilly spring evenings.

Although I can not truly speak to the depths of Mozelle's menu, since I am yet to progress beyond the savory tomato pie and succotash special, I can say you will love the cozy, modern-bistro atmosphere. One person reviewing Mozelle's on-line said it best, the food is "inspired, creative and unique."

Below are two of my families favorite farmer's market fresh recipes. Simple to prepare and great to serve when casually entertaining during the Spring and Summer.

Fresh Tomato Pie
from the Junior League of Winston Salem's cookbook ~ Stirring Performances

1 9-inch pie shell, baked and cooled
2-3 large tomatoes, peeled and sliced
2-3 green onions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sprinkle tomatoes lightly with salt and drain in a colander for 15-20 minutes.
  • Layer onions, salt, pepper, basil and chives in pie shell
  • Blend mayonnaise and cheese together in a mixing bowl. Spread over top of pie.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until top is lightly browned.
I like to top my tomato pie with crumbled bacon. Enjoy!

Savory Succotash
from the Everyday Gourmets ~ Lee Evans and Holly Tate

3 bacon slices, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups fresh (or frozen) corn kernels
1 10 oz. package frozen baby Lima beans, thawed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until crisp. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but a light coating of the bacon grease and add 2 tablespoons butter. Melt the butter over medium heat, then add the corn, Lima beans, red bell pepper, and green onions and cook, stirring until softened. Add the cream, water, ground cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper and stir to blend. Simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes. Add more water (or cream) if the mixture becomes dry. Stir in bacon and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note from the author: There are many variations to this rich, savory succotash. For a low fat version - substitute chicken or vegetable broth for the cream. Edamame can be a substitute for the Lima beans. You can also vary the vegetables depending on the time of year. Try squash and green beans - especially in the summer when they are fresh from the garden.

And, of course, if you're gonna' have a party, you're gonna' want a cute apron! I confess....

Floral, tiered apron from Pier I Imports ~ $24.95

I thought this apron from Pier I Imports was oh-so-blog worthy! Reminiscent of the bohemian style popularized by Anthropology, it would make the perfect present especially when presented with a copy of a favorite family recipe (above). One for you, one for me! Oh, if you're one of my friends reading my blog ~ Happy Birthday, I hope you like it!

Set of 4 measuring cups, $12 from Pier I Imports

These measuring cups, also from Pier I, would make an impressive teacher gift when paired with a recipe. They come cleverly packaged, stacked in formation in a see-the-style, cellophane box.
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