I started this year with one resolution: have more fun. I used to love roller skating when I was a kid, so I bought a pair for my girls and me. Now I bring my skates with me just about anywhere—sometimes even on set. When we filmed this episode, I figured I’d lace up my skates as a goofy entrance to the show, then go back to business as usual. But once I got going, everyone had such a great time—the crew even thought to bring a disco ball!—so I decided to keep them on for the entire show. Skating around felt like a blast from the past, which paired perfectly with today’s nostalgic menu of homestyle favorites.
First up is a Gaines family go-to: Hand Battered Chicken Tenders and Spicy Honey. I always like to pair fried chicken with some rendition of potatoes, so next I’m making melt-in-your-mouth Scalloped Potatoes with Gruyère cheese (Chip’s favorite side dish). For something fresh, I’m opting for Texas Caviar—a playful take on “fancy” caviar that swaps fish eggs for black-eyed peas and colorful veggies. It’s extra delicious paired with tortilla chips for a satisfying crunch. For dessert, I’m creating homemade ice cream in honor of my dad, who often made this for us as kids. I can still hear the crank of the old wooden machine as it churned together milk, cream, sugar, and a bit of vanilla—all coming together for the sweetest treat.
Creating today’s episode confirmed for me what I already knew to be true—that time in the kitchen is even better when you’re having fun.
Let’s get cooking!
black-eyed pea salsa with chickpeas, diced tomato, avocado, jalapeño, green onion, and red bell pepper tossed with olive oil and lime and topped with fresh cilantro
crispy, seasoned fried chicken tenders served with spicy honey
sliced potatoes baked in a cream and gruyère cheese sauce
rich homemade vanilla ice cream with a thick chocolate sauce