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About the author: Melissa Pelkey


Melissa was born with a whisk in her hand. Over the years, her love for cooking and competition has been carefully crafted into an award-winning obsession. Melissa uses her culinary skills to compete in cooking and recipe competitions locally and nationwide.

Her craft has earned over 320 State Fair Blue Ribbons, 160 Red Ribbons and titles of Spam Grand Champion, Fleishman’s Yeast Baking Champion, Hidden Valley Ranch Recipe Winner, KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce Recipe Winner, Eagle Condensed Milk Bar Cookie Champion, Kayro Syrup Dessert Recipe Winner, the Lexington Collard Green Queen, the Lexington County Peach Festival Cooking Competition Winner for multiple years, and most recently, Chicago Cutlery’s “The Cut” Sandwich National Grand Champion.

She has had over 100 recipes published in national publications such as Taste of Home, Southern Living, Epicures and Healthy Cooking books and magazines. Melissa writes a blog called The Front Porch Gourmet, blending recipes with Southern humor. Melissa likes to share all types of recipes from “New York Classy to Southern and Sassy”.

When asked why she feels the need to share her passion for cooking with others. She simply replies, “Because life is too short to eat ugly food.” To learn more about Melissa, visit her blog at The Front Porch Gourmet.

Summer Strawberry Spinach Salad with Stuffed Squash Blossoms


  “Salad can get a bad rap. People think of bland and watery Iceberg lettuce, but in fact, salads are an art form, from the simplest rendition to a colorful kitchen-sink approach.” ~ Marcus Samuelsson I’m a lover of all things vegetable. I especially love to create recipes from the farm with ingredients a little […]

A Smokin’ Hot Butt!


It is truly a thing of unequivocal beauty. An aroma from the heavens. Unmatched and unparalleled by any other I have ever known. This wonderful, rich, moist, smokey delight….this….smoked Boston Butt. Our story begins in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains with a ten pound smokin’ hot butt on the smoker! If your dad […]

Start Planning Ahead, The Day To Celebrate Dad Is Just Around the Corner!


It was only a short while ago that US mothers were honored for Mother’s Day. As a mother of three, I very much enjoyed breakfast in bed, beautiful flowers and not having to step foot in the kitchen for an entire day. It was a great day to catch up on reading, rest and relaxation. Unfortunately, Sunday […]

Not Your Typical Burgers and Fries


If I had to pick one food to eat for the rest of my natural life it would be a nice, juicy, burger hot off the grill. There is nothing better than all of that melted cheese and meat in a bun. Sometimes that’s really all it needs. Other times I like to get really […]

Cinco de Mayo Gone Wild! Two Irresistible Treats To Try


Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo! Wave the banners and shake the maracas! I love Mexican food and there are literally thousands of recipes I could share with you. As I know you are going to see many of these, I thought I’d share my two most fun recipes for a seriously fun fiesta! You just can’t […]

Roasted Beets and Peaches | A Perfect Palate for Spring


Yesterday was beautiful. After months and months and months of what seemed like endless days of cold weather, in the blink of eye, it was 75 degrees. And there was sun; that big, bright, glorious yellow ball of thawing warmth. I thought surely it must be a mirage. But it wasn’t. It was real. While I […]

The Best Ever Three Ingredient Strawberry Pie


Sometimes simple is best. This thought seems to apply to many things in life in general. It’s especially helpful in the kitchen. Good recipes and fresh ingredients do not need much to be grand. One of the best recipes my family ever made was this strawberry pie. There are three ingredients, and it takes roughly […]

US National Grilled Cheese Day | Celebrate with an Avocado & Heirloom Tomato Grilled Cheese on Sourdough


Avocados. Cheese. Heirloom Tomatoes. Sourdough. My life is complete. In the United States, today is the widely celebrated “National Grilled Cheese Day”! This morning I was called the Evil Duchess of Temptation…all because of some stuff put between two slices of crusty white stuff. And while it is just a sandwich, it is a most delicious […]

“Sunday Dinner” Fried Chicken | Mother’s Day Brunch in the Southern US


Being a true “Southerner” in the US (meaning one who was born and lives below the Mason Dixon line), we have many, MANY dishes and recipes that belong exclusively to us. First and foremost, would be grits. A very close second to grits, would be chicken biscuits and gravy. This is a true Southern staple. […]

Home Baked Breads | No Substitutes for Delicious


There is nothing in this world better than the aroma of homemade bread coming from the kitchen. No matter if it’s the waffling scent of blueberries from a warm loaf of blueberry vanilla bread or the lusciousness of a lemon loaf, bread is near and dear to the heart. Bread has gotten a bad wrap […]