Southern Style Winter Dinner : Old Town, Alexandria

We love the start of a New Year - especially this year - with the refreshing thought of a entire year ahead to project and plan for the things we want to implement or do differently. This year Houston and I both agreed on a few similar things: travel, friends, success, and enjoyment. Under those categories includes certain places, people, goals, and experiences to explore.

Over the crazy-busy holiday months, I started taking a break or two during the day to walk down to the Kitchen and help Houston chop, sautee, or prep food for the next meal. In the past, you wouldn't find me in the Kitchen, unless I was making our family's famous Chocolate Chocolate Chip cake with my eyes closed, or frying a few eggs for Breakfast.

This year I told myself I was going to cook and experiment more often with Houston in the Kitchen. I love the tangible parts of being in the studio and working with fabrics, textures, samples, etc. but realized I needed something similar (meaning tangible) outside of work. 

This year we agreed we wanted to be better at hosting our friends. We love the one on one time around the island, fixing cocktails, catching up on stories, and then graduating into the Living Room by the fire until early hours of the morning.

This past weekend we hosted some very close friends of ours for some much awaited Mississippi Duck that Houston killed last year in the Delta. We also prepared his favorite Rice Consume casserole, a recently discovered Brussel Sprout Salad, a buttered baguette, and the Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake I mentioned previously, because after all - I can make it with my eyes closed.

Chopped Brussel Sprout Salad with Cream Shallot Dressing :

Chopped Brussel Sprout Salad with Cream Shallot Dressing :

The Duck Poppers were a hit - and although we had more than plenty, I woke up the next morning wishing we had two dozen more. 



  • 10 Jalapeno peppers
  • 10 slices of bacon, cut in half
  • (1) 8 ounce pkg cream cheese
  • 1 lb duck breast
  • 1/2 bottle Allegro Hickory Smoke Marinade

Directions: Cut duck breast into 1 inch slices. Place duck in a bowl with Allegro Marinade overnight. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut  jalapenos in half and scoop out seeds and ribs. Fill jalapeno halves with cream cheese. Place a duck slice on each cream cheese filled jalapeno half. Wrap each jalapeno with bacon halves. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until bacon reaches desired crispiness. 

Difficulty : Easy

IMG_4852 copy.jpg



  • 3/4 stick of Oleo
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup of chopped bell pepper
  • 1 can of mushrooms
  • 1 cup raw rice
  • 2 cans of Beef Consume

Directions: Melt the Oleo in a casserole and add chopped onion and cook until clear. Stir in cup of chopped bell pepper, mushrooms, rice, and Beef Consume. Bake covered at 400 degrees for 1 hour.

IMG_4853 copy.jpg



  • 4 eggs
  • 8 oz of sour cream
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 small package instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Directions: Spray bundt pan and heat oven to 375. Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, adding the semi-sweet chocolate chip last. Stir until smooth and consistent. Bake for 45 minutes then rotate. Bake for another 5-10 minutes until knife test proves it is baked all the way through - taking into account melted semi-sweet morsels are obviously just fine! Enjoy this for dessert, and put it by the coffee pot for a sweet taste the next morning. This cake will stay moist for 2-5 days covered.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 2.28.58 PM.png

After hashing back over last night's amazing dinner, I am hungry all over again. I am so looking forward to hearing how these recipes please your friends and family when hosting! Houston and I are about to clean the house and start planning tonight's meal to celebrate a friend's belated birthday last week.

Happy cooking and wishing you a wonderful, relaxing + reflective Sunday afternoon.

Xoxo, Casey 

Casey Sanford1 Comment