Recipe Telephone PDFs

Download the handouts for the Writing Memorable Recipes session with Cynthia Graubart: recipe telephone game recipes here and chicken recipes here.

Help a FoodBlogSouth sponsor, attend for free!

Food Blog South first-time sponsor Gourmet Garden is seeking to hire a foodie in the Birmingham area to help purchase and prep vegetables and dips for its sponsor table at FoodBlogSouth 2013. If you’re up for helping Gourmet Garden out, the brand will pay for your registration (Or if you’ve already registered, reimburse you)!

You’ll need to buy produce and prepare everything the day before, and drop it off at the conference venue Saturday morning, but after that you’ll be free to attend the full conference—no need to man the table.

For more information, or to volunteer, please email Mary Humann at

We Need Volunteers!

Do you live in (or near) Birmingham? Would you like to help FoodBlogSouth 2013 be a massive success? We need your help!

We’re looking for volunteers during the day of the conference, as well as the Thursday and Friday before to help set up, stuff swag bags, register attendees, and all the other thousands of things needed to pull off our conference.

If you’re willing to give us four hours of your time, we’ll let you attend FoodBlogSouth for the cost of lunch ($15-20)! Just fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.

Thanks for volunteering! Sign-up is now closed.

Recipe Telephone: Let the Game Begin!

Bloggers are signed up—and we’re ready to play Recipe Telephone! (Wanna play?) Our game is similar to playing “telephone” when you were a kid—you’d start with one message, it would pass from person to person and come out hilariously different at the end. We’re doing the same thing with a recipe, starting with Roast Chicken from Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart. Each player will take the recipe they’re given, change it (there’s rules), and pass it on.

Our first player is Sheri Castle—look for her recipe on her blog on Wednesday, November 21, and look for a new recipe by different blogger every Wednesday. Here’s the recipe she’s starting with—and below, a list of our players and dates when you can follow the next recipe in the game.

Co-author Cynthia Graubart will use the recipes in her “Keep the Creative Juices Flowing: Writing Memorable Recipes” session at FoodBlogSouth 2013. And the recipes will be printed in a chapbook that will be sold to raise funds for the Desert Island Supply Company.

Players, start your ovens… and have fun!

Roast Chicken

Serves 4

The easiest way to roast chicken is to rub the skin with butter or oil, throw it into a hot or cold oven, roast it at 425 or so until the meat hits 165 degrees, and pull it out and eat it. I do this when life is frantic. But a perfectly roasted chicken is another question altogether. A perfect roasted chicken has a crisp skin, a moist, tender breast, drumsticks and thighs that are so flavorful they make one want to jump up and down in praise, and a backbone with its “oysters” there for the discerning (I’ve always called it “the cook’s treat”). I’m fondest of small chickens, but this method works for up to a 5-pound chicken, as well as for Cornish hens, adjusting the roasting times accordingly and cooking until the thickest part of the leg registers 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.

1 (2 1⁄ 2–3 1⁄ 2 pound) whole chicken
2 tablespoons oil or melted butter, cook’s preference
3 or 4 sprigs rosemary, thyme or marjoram
1 lemon, pricked all over with a fork
4 carrots, peeled, optional
2 cups chicken stock or broth, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

If a crispy skin is imperative, leave chicken uncovered in the refrigerator overnight to dry the skin. If possible, remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. If the chicken is cold when placed in the oven, it will take longer to cook.

Carefully insert a few fingers under the skin of the chicken wherever it seems willing to part with the flesh, to burst the membrane attaching the skin to the flesh. The skin will collapse against the flesh and will become crisper when cooked. Take special care to keep the skin intact when at the breast and going in from the backbone to the thigh and leg. (In Ethiopia and some other countries, this is done by blowing air in with a reed or straw.)

Gently brush the outside of the chicken with the oil or melted butter. Insert rosemary, thyme or marjoram and the lemon in the cavity. Move the carrots to a roasting pan just larger than the chicken and place in a crosswise fashion to create a rack that will keep the chicken slightly elevated to aid in browning the skin on the sides. Move the chicken on top of the carrots. Add a bit of stock to the pan to keep the juices from burning.

Roast breast side up until the skin begins to brown (35 to 40 minutes). Turn the chicken breast side down with tongs or two large spoons, and continue baking 15 to 20 minutes to brown the bottom skin. Turn the chicken again breast side up and continue to cook until the thickest part of the leg measures 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. Remove from oven and turn upside down to let the juices run to the breast and rest 10 minutes before carving (facing). The temperature of the meat will continue to rise as it rests.

Discard the carrots. Add the stock to the juices in the pan and bring to the boil, stirring to get all the goodness off the bottom and sides of the pan. Let boil down until loosely thickened. Skim off
any undesired fat and pour into a gravy boat and, serve with the chicken.

Used with permission from Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking (Gibbs-Smith, 2012) by
Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart.

The Players:

Sheri Castle – - November 21
Anne-Marie Nichols – – November 28
Niki – – December 5
Nancie McDermott – – December 12
Michal Thornton – – December 19
Erin Brighton – – December 26
Angie – – January 2, 2013
Tammie Blount – – January 9
Jackie Garvin – – January 16
Aimee Porter – – January 23
Linda Vice – – January 30
Susan Benton – – February 6
Mindy Merrell – – February 13
Nikki Norman – – February 20
Debra Elliott – – February 27

Get 25 percent off registration for FoodBlogSouth 2013!

Save money on your registration fee by writing a blog post about FoodBlogSouth 2013! Here’s how to get this deal:

* Write and post an entry about FoodBlogSouth 2013 on your blog.

* Send a link to your post to

* We’ll give you two codes: The first is a single-use code for you to get 25 percent off your registration fee when you sign up for FBS 2013 (you’ll input the code when you buy your ticket). We’ll also give you a code for your readers to get 10 percent off when they register for FoodBlogSouth 2013.

* You’ll get 25% off the registration fee—so you can attend FoodBlogSouth 2013 for only $131.25.

And that’s it! See you in Birmingham in January.

Recipe Telephone!

Remember playing the game “Telephone” when you were a kid? You start out with one message, and as it passes from person to person, it changes so much that at the end it’s a totally different message? Here’s a chance to do play telephone with a recipe!

We’re starting with a Roast Chicken recipe from the book Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart. To play, sign up below. When it’s your turn, someone will pass their version of the recipe on to you. That’s the recipe you’ll work with. Go in your kitchen and get creative—put your own spin on the recipe. (Please make sure your recipe works, in case someone wants to cook and eat it!) When it’s your turn, post your version of the recipe, and “pass it on” to the next blogger in the chain. Everyone will be able to go online and follow the entire chain from blogger to blogger to see how the roast chicken evolves.

Recipes will be used in the “Keep the Creative Juices Flowing: Writing Memorable Recipes” session at FoodBlogSouth 2013 led by author Cynthia Graubart, and recipes will also be collected and printed in a chapbook that will be sold to raise funds for the Desert Island Supply Company.

Who can play?

  • Any blogger—you don’t have to attend FoodBlogSouth to participate.

What are the rules?

  • You have one week to post your recipe: This is important, to keep the chain going. Stick to the date for your spot on the chain.
  • Change the recipe title.
  • Change the recipe headnote.
  • Change, add, or omit at least three and up to five ingredients.
  • Change the method.
  • Post your recipe and a picture of the finished dish on your blog.
  • Link to the blogger who passed the recipe to you, and link to the blogger you’re passing the recipe to. Don’t break the chain!
  • Please also post the FBS Recipe Telephone badge on your blog, linking to

Are you in? Sign up below!

Add an Official Food Blog South Badge to your Blog!

Excited about attending FoodBlogSouth? Show the world that you’re a Food Blog South Attendee, Speaker or Sponsor, by adding our badge to your blog!

If you’re using WordPress, just add a text widget with the following:

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If you’re not on WordPress, you’re free to hotlink to this image on your blog. Here’s the URL:

Speakers, the URL for the speaker badge is:

Sponsors, the URL for the sponsor badge is:

Want to Speak at FoodBlogSouth 2013?

The agenda for FoodBlogSouth 2013 is almost complete, but we have a couple openings, and we need your help to fill them! If you’re chosen as a speaker, you’ll get to attend the conference for free, and we’ll cover your transportation and lodging. (If you’re local to Birmingham, we’ll pay you an honorarium instead.)

Here are the two sessions we’re looking to find speakers for:

There’s an App for That: Programs That Take Your Blog to New Platforms. Are you an expert on the latest WordPress plugins, themes and other tools to expand your audience and make your blog better? We need someone to give a 30-minute presentation about the best in apps, plugins, programs, platforms, and tools for food bloggers, from SEO to graphic design.

The Best Phone & Tablet Tools for Bloggers. Need to post your latest restaurant review—while you’re still in the restaurant? Looking to shoot gorgeous photos without the benefit of fancy lights—or even a camera? This 30-minute session will cover phone and tablet apps and other tools to make blogging on the go easy.

If you think you might be the right person to lead one of these sessions (or if you know someone who would be), please email us with a brief bio and description of what you’d talk about.

Thanks, and see you in Birmingham in January!

Thanks for your support!

FoodBlogSouth has always been a benefit venture, with proceeds going to support the Desert Island Supply Company, a 3-year-old children’s writing center in Birmingham. One of the main goals has been to build a center where kids can come for help with homework, exams, college entrance essays, and free writing workshops. That center is almost complete! (I’m so excited… writing is not only fun, but literacy and the ability to communicate can make such a huge difference in a child’s future.) Check out these then and now shots… the “then” shot is the space about a week or two before the first FoodBlogSouth in 2011. Sincere and huge thanks to everyone who has supported FoodBlogSouth, and by extension, DISCO… our generous sponsors, our speakers, and everyone who’s attended. Thank you!  

DISCO space in January 2011

DISCO space in June 2012


FoodBlogSouth 2013 registration is open!

We’re thrilled to announce that registration for FoodBlogSouth 2013 is now open! Our next conference will be held on January 26, 2013, at Rosewood Hall in Homewood, Ala. (It’s right next to Birmingham.) Our keynote speaker is J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, chief creative officer at Serious Eats, and we have a great lineup of other speakers on tap.

The agenda for FoodBlogSouth 2013 will be a little different: We’ll have three tracks—one on technology, marketing, and branding; one on creativity, photography, and writing; and one for beginning bloggers who want to learn the basics. (Don’t worry, you can switch between tracks and attend whichever sessions you like.)

As always, FoodBlogSouth benefits the Desert Island Supply Co., a non-profit writing center for children and teens in the Birmingham area.

You’ll want to get in on registration early, and not just because space is limited: Sign up before Labor Day and you’ll save $50 off the regular price of $175! Just go to for more details and to register. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and sign up for our mailing list to get the latest details as we announce them.