Hey y’all!

I wanted to share with you a few events I have coming up.  If you are interested in getting a signed copy of The Outdoor Table and/or attending a fun event this Fall, here are some opportunities to do so!  Visit my Speaking/Book Signings page for events and updates.

All Booking Inqiuries:  april@aprilmckinney.com

Annotations” at Cheekwood – Speaking and Book Signing


Sunday October 4th -3:30 pm, Sigourney Cheek Literary Garden

Join us to listen as celebrated local authors share their stories, describe their processes, and offer ‘behind-the-text’ accounts of their work in our intimate garden setting. Cash bar available.
Offered in partnership with Parnassus Books. Space is limited; first-come, first-seated.

Southern Festival of Books – Speaking and Book Signing


Sunday Dinner and Outdoor Entertaining: Meals that Bring People Together

Tammy Algood, April McKinney
Friday, October 9, 2:00-3:00 pm
Room 30, Legislative Plaza

Calvary Baptist Church Women’s Banquet – Keynote Speaker


November 14th

There will be more information about this to come, but I’ll be doing a recipe demonstration as well as speaking at the banquet about my personal testimony and story with food.  Tickets will be available online.  Stay tuned for a link to that!


Date posted: September 30, 2015 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Personal Thoughts


This is the time of year I always find myself creating at least one new “Buffalo” style dish.  A couple from years past would be my fave Buffalo Chicken Tenders and these adorable Buffalo Turkey Sliders.  This year I attempted Buffalo Cauliflower.  I’ve been eating it at restaurants when I see it on the menu for some time now, and I’m addicted!  It’s not too filling, has a little kick to it, and it’s even kind of healthy!  Well, sort of, at least when it’s not fried…

In this version, I decided to roast the cauliflower with a light coating to give it some crunch, so no need to fry it, and then the crispy florets get tossed in some delicious buffalo sauce.  It’s super easy and a fun appetizer especially for this time of year.  I actually made this the other night and ended up eating it for dinner by itself with a little blue cheese dressing and celery.  What can I say, with a 1 year old in the house, I’ll take what I can get for dinner, and this did the trick.  So, whether it’s a game day party or dinner for one, this one’s got ya covered!


Baked Buffalo Cauliflower

serves 4-5 (appetizer servings)

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup Buffalo Sauce (such as Frank’s Red Hot Suace)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon each garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and toss in the cauliflower florets until they are coated in the egg.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Toss the cauliflower in the crumb mixture, and then place on a large baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden and crisp.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the buffalo sauce, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, and butter. Once the cauliflower has finished roasting, gently toss it in the sauce. Serve immediately with celery, blue cheese and/or ranch.



Date posted: September 22, 2015 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Appetizer Sides


I know, long time, no post…right?!  Well, things have been a little crazy over here the past few weeks.  I had a whirlwind of a segment last week on Fox and Friends, which was fun but a little crazy, and a TON of work!  So, I’ve been recovering/settling back in, and I can’t tell you how good it has felt to be back in my kitchen, cooking regularly again.  I suppose, I’m a little odd when it comes to that, but cooking is a sort of therapy for me.  Especially, if Zach is home while I’m cooking to watch Mav… ;)

Anyway, in an effort to avoid the “let’s just grab something for dinner” phrase we’ve used so much recently, I’ve been trying to plan our meals ahead.  For example, this past Sunday we went to the late church service, so I had time that morning to make this layered casserole and stick it in the fridge.  It is sort of a twist on Chicken Cordon Blue, in casserole form, perfect for a make ahead meal.  All I had to do was stick it in the oven that evening, and dinner was done!

I’m usually not much of a casserole kind of gal, but I like the simplicity of this one and the use of real ingredients (for the most part).  You won’t find any “cream of … soup” in this bad boy.  It’s full of protein and low on carbs, a nice change from the traditional, carb loaded casseroles.  The easiest way to make this is to have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go.  At that point, it’s just a matter of assembling!











Date posted: September 10, 2015 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Main Dish Poultry


Sometimes wonderful recipes just happen by accident.  Yesterday, I had planned to make a roasted chicken breast recipe from Ina Garten.  The recipe calls for fresh garlic and herbs to be sautéed in olive oil.  Well as soon as I got started, and the air began to fill with that delicious garlicky aroma, I realized I hadn’t actually bought any chicken breasts.  Oops…it was a classic case of “mom brain,” and I certainly wasn’t dragging Maverick back to the store at that point.

However, I really didn’t want to let that garlicky goodness go to waste, so I started looking to see what else I had on hand.  I noticed the garden fresh cherry tomatoes on the counter that my mom had brought me, and then I remembered the orzo pasta I bought on a whim, and bingo!

That’s how this recipe came about, and let me tell you as simple as it was, it was so flavorful.   I boiled the pasta and added some lemon juice to the garlic and oil.  As soon as the pasta was cooked, I drained it, and coated the pasta with the lemon-garlic oil.  Divine!  Instead of just using raw garlic, the pasta was infused with the garlic oil, which didn’t overpower the delicate flavor of the tomatoes.  This is going to be staple at our house until those delightful fresh tomatoes go out of season!






Date posted: July 29, 2015 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Sides


This weekend we had some new neighbors that moved in beside us.  Even though we have had a pretty busy couple of days, I kept thinking we needed to go introduce ourselves, and I knew I wanted to make something for them.  Since I was short on time, I decided to take an idea from my mother in law and make some good ol chicken salad for them.

When we were moving into our house a couple of years ago, my MIL showed up with a loaf of bread and chicken salad, and it was simply perfect!  It was so nice to have something to throw in the fridge that we could snack on or have for lunch while were in the unpacking/organizing process.  Chicken salad also seems appropriate right now considering this super hot July we are having here in Tennessee.

I threw a pack of crackers in the bag and Voila, I’ve got an easy and thoughtful “welcome to the neighborhood” gift!  This would also be a helpful gift for a new mom or someone recovering from a surgery or illness.  Plus, you can double this recipe and have plenty leftover for your family as well, that’s a win-win in my book!


Be sure to scroll on down to the bottom of this post for these Quick Chicken Salad Melts!



Check out these Chicken Salad Melts we had last night for dinner with the remaining chicken salad.  Place a few slices of bread on a sheet tray,  scoop some chicken salad on each one, top each with a slice of cheese, and bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees, top with a fresh tomato, and dinner is served!




Date posted: July 21, 2015 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Lunch Poultry