Making sure a recipe works is essential. Katie’s extensive work testing recipes for cookbooks and other projects give her a precise eye and ability to correct issues in recipes.

Katie’s original recipes are featured in her cookbooks, Field to Feast: Recipes Celebrating Florida Farmers, Chefs and Artisans and Good Catch: Recipes and Stories Celebrating the Best of Florida’s Waters and have been featured in the Palm Beach Post, the Tampa Tribune, Edible Orlando magazine, and on


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FAIRFAX, Va. — It’s never been easier to find some inspiration in the kitchen. A quick scroll through Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest and you’ll come across tons of delicious looking, perfectly-lit meals and recipes. Some of the most popular food posts are recipes promoting healthier food options and with you can boost this type of post on social media. This brings up the question, do people who post, like, and engage with healthy eating posts really cook these meals? Not very often, according to researchers at George Mason University.

This is a cowboy favorite. Add a jalapeno to the mix if you like it hot—the spiciness can also be adjusted with hot sauce served at the table.

Serves 6

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds flank steak cut into large chunks
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, cut into half-moon slices
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 big pinches coarse salt, divided
8-ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup dark Mexican beer (such as Dos Equis amber)
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 lime, cut into wedges
Corn tortillas, warmed
Chopped raw onion, for topping
Crumbled cotija cheese, for topping
Sour cream, for topping
Sliced avocado, for topping
Shredded lettuce, for topping
Lime wedges, for serving

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef, searing both sides until brown, about 4 minutes per side. Add garlic, onion, spices, and a generous pinch of salt, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, beer, and beef broth. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 1 hour, then uncover and simmer another hour, until beef is very tender.

2. Shred beef in sauce, using 2 forks. Taste, and add a second pinch of salt, if desired. Stir in cilantro.

3. Spoon beef mixture into warmed corn tortillas. Add toppings you like, and serve with lime wedges.

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DSC_3049These frozen pops combine sweet, ripe watermelon with a touch of floral rose water for a refreshing summer treat.

Makes about 12

6 cups large-diced watermelon, seeds removed
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons rose water
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1. Place watermelon in a blender, and puree until smooth. Strain puree through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth, pushing on solids. Discard solids.

2. Combine watermelon juice and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook just until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely. Combine sweetened watermelon juice, rose water, and lime juice in a medium bowl, and refrigerate until cold.

3. Pour chilled mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze until solid, about 8 hours.

[divider top=”0″] [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Pulled Pork Banh-Mi” open=”0″ style=”1″] [divider top=”0″]

Tender and moist, pork shoulder (also called pork butt) is like a blank canvas. Here, Vietnamese flavors break from the typical barbecue norm.

Serves 6

PulledPorkBanhMi1Pork rub

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder
2 tablespoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
5- to 7-pound boneless pork shoulder

Braising liquid

1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sriracha (Asian hot chili sauce), or to taste

Baguette sandwich rolls, for serving
Sliced fresh jalapenos, for serving
Fresh cilantro, for serving
Sliced cucumbers, for serving

Prepare the rub and marinate the pork

Combine brown sugar, five-spice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. If there is a very thick section of fat on the pork, slice away some of it, leaving a moderate layer. Pour spice mixture over pork shoulder, and rub into meat until well coated. Place pork in a medium roasting pan, cover with aluminum foil, and refrigerate overnight.

Braise the pork

1. Combine chicken broth, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, shallots, and sriracha in a large measuring cup. Set aside.

2. Remove pork from refrigerator, and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven to 250°F.

3. Uncover pork, and pour braising liquid into roasting pan. Re-cover with foil, and roast until an instant-read thermometer reaches 180°F, about 6 to 8 hours, depending on the thickness of the shoulder. Remove pork from braising liquid. Pour liquid in a fat separator, or skim excess fat from surface of liquid. Discard fat.

To serve

Pile pork inside a baguette. Top with jalapeno, cilantro, cucumbers, and a drizzle of braising liquid.

[divider top=”0″] [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Tatsoi and Potato Pizza” open=”0″ style=”1″] [divider top=”0″]

If you don’t have a mandoline, use a sharp knife to cut them as thin as possible. Make sure they are all roughly the same thickness.

Serves 4

Pizza Dough

3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 cups bread flour, divided

Potato-Tatsoi Pizza

3 large Yukon gold potatoes
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
4 cloves garlic, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups tatsoi, roughly chopped

Make the Pizza Dough:

1. Combine water, oil, salt, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Set aside for 5 minutes, until yeast dissolves. Add 4 cups flour, and mix until dough forms a ball.

2. Switch attachments to the dough hook, and knead dough for 15 minutes, until it’s slightly tacky but not sticky, adding remaining 1/2 cup flour, if needed.

3. Transfer dough to a well-oiled bowl, turning to coat dough in oil. Cover bowl with a damp kitchen towel. Set aside in a warm area for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Prepare and bake the pizza:

1. Slice potatoes very thinly using a mandoline. Rinse in a colander, rinsing off excess starch. Toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and let sit 10 minutes, allowing excess moisture to come out of potatoes. Press potatoes into colander, squeezing them dry. Pat dry with a kitchen towel, and set aside.

2. Place a pizza stone on the center oven rack. Preheat oven to 450°F.

3. Combine ricotta and grated garlic, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

4. Form dough into a 14-inch circle. Spread dough with ricotta mixture. Top with potatoes. Bake 30 minutes, or until crust is golden-brown and potatoes are tender.

5. Slide oven rack out, and top pizza with tatsoi. Bake 5 minutes longer, or until tatsoi is wilted.

6. Cool 5 minutes before slicing.

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