Look Who’s Cooking: A Taste From Our Favorite Food Blogs

Grilled Peach-and-Avocado Salad

Photography by Hector Sanchez     

This month from the Southern Living Community Cookbook: Paula Jones of bell’alimento in Youngsville, North Carolina, shares her Grilled Peach-and-Avocado Salad and what it’s like to be a food blogger.


Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Process 1 large peach, peeled and chopped; 6 Tbsp. canola oil; 2 Tbsp. Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar; and 1/2 tsp. honey in a blender until smooth. Add 1/4 tsp. kosher salt and 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper. Gently toss 3 large peaches, peeled and halved, and 2 firm avocados, peeled and quartered, in 1 Tbsp. canola oil and salt and pepper to taste. Grill, covered with grill lid, 2 minutes on each side or until charred. Slice and serve over 6 cups loosely packed arugula. Top with peach vinaigrette and 1/2 cup freshly grated Manchego or Parmesan. Makes 6 servings

Paula Headshot

Paula Jones of bell’alimento


Where did you grow up? My father was in the Air Force–I grew up all over the place. I was born in Georgia, and the longest I have lived anywhere was in Italy.

Tell me about your family. I am married to my college sweetheart, and we have three very active and awesome children.

What led you to start writing your blog? A friend encouraged me to start writing a food blog after seeing what I was posting for dinner on Facebook.

What is life like as a blogger? Blogging is my full-time job. Every week is different, depending on what assignments (recipes, photographs, posts) I have due for the week, but my days generally start with checking email/social media and replying as necessary. After that, a visit to the market for ingredients, cooking, styling, shooting, replying to more emails, picking up the kids from school, and then family activities (kids’ lessons, sports, etc.), dinner, bedtime. Then back to work editing photographs, writing, etc.

Any new food trends you see emerging from the South? Fresh spins on vintage family dishes

What are you having for supper tonight? Spaghetti alla Carbonara (my favorite dish ever)

What’s your most memorable kitchen disaster? I tried to make a fish dish one time years ago, and the sauce turned out purple. It was bad.

Summer is here: How do you take your tomato sandwich? Fresh mozzarella, a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Any cooking pet peeves? When people don’t try. Worst-case scenario…it doesn’t turn out and you make a sandwich. It’s food, and it should be fun. Get in there!

How do you describe the South to someone who’s never visited? Warm and hospitable

FOOD BLOGGERS, PARTY HOSTESSES, AND BUSY COOKS! We want to taste what you’re dishing out. Share your favorite recipe at southernliving.com/recipeswap. If we feature it on our Community Cookbook page, we’ll send you a cookbook. Your recipe could also appear in other SL publications. And if you are pinning, we’ll also send you an invitation via Pinterest to join our network.


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    October 11, 2014 at 10:13 pm
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  3. Mary (@DeepSouthDish)

    I’m a full time southern food blogger too & met Paula way back when I first started years ago. She is authentic and very sweet & although I don’t have time to visit as much these days, I have always adored her. Plus she’s got some yummy recipes to share with the world!!

    June 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm

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