As you may, or may not know, last week I took part in the Cooking Light Ulitmate Reader Recipe Contest. Although I did not win with my Black Bean Burgers with Mango-Avocado Salsa, it was a lot fun to go behind the scenes at one of my favorite cooking magazines, cook in the test kitchens, and eat some YUMMY Southern food that we just don’t get here in CA. Here are some pics.
Monday afternoon we checked our ingredients and equipment in the test kitchens. I was not happy with my mangoes. I guess the produce in Brimingham is not always what it is at home. Next time I’ll bring my own mangoes.

I got my first tase of real Southern BBQ at Jim ‘n Nick’s, which of course I was really looking forward to.
Crummy picture, but that would be ribs, baked beans, creamed spinach, and the best biscut/roll I have ever had. I wish I had a picture of the chocolate and coconut cream pies we had for dessert, but I was too busy to take a picture. Very figure friendly meal…
Tuesday night we had another fantastic, but much fancier dinner at Daniel George. I would definitely go to this restaurant if I ever end up in Brimingham again. I had the sauteed Triggerfish over a succotash with okra, black eyed peas, smoked bacon, and fresh basil.

From left to right in the picture below: one of the head women at Cooking Light NY office, me, Angela (won her catagory with her breakfast braid, Jamie (finalist for her chili-spiced chicken soup), Karen (finalist for her apricot-ginger bellinis), and David (head judge).
Suzanne is announced the grand prize winner. The other women are the catagory winners and the magazine editor at the far left.