The Lauren Ignited Podcast

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Now displaying: September, 2016
Sep 28, 2016

Chef Jason Kerr came on Chefs Coast to Coast this week to chat with us about his upcoming event called the Butcher's Ball in Brenham, TX at Rockin' Star Ranch. 

The Butcher’s Ball is about meat – the chefs who love it and the ranchers who raise it. With a focus on sustainable ranching practices, The Butcher’s Ball brings together 14 of Texas’ top chefs, butchers and ranchers (including such names as Top Chef Season 10 contestant John Tesar and Cordúa Restaurants’ David Cordúa), for a day of demonstrations and tastings, using protein provided by 44 Farms, one of the country’s most respected ranchers. The chefs will be cooking on-site thanks to smokers and grills provided by Pitts & Spitts, and will be competing for the “Golden Cleaver,” a people’s choice award for best dish. Beyond meat, The Butcher’s Ball is also about bringing together communities – urban, rural, culinary, musical, artistic, and more. The day-long event, taking place from 2 to 8pm at Rockin’ Star Ranch in Brenham, TX, will immerse guests with live music, specialty cocktails, craft beer, an art exhibition, a farmer’s market, and the break down of a whole elk by master butcher Felix Florez of Black Hill Ranch. Guests are encouraged to come early and stay for the duration of the Ball, as there will be rotating food service, a full lineup of entertainment, and special surprises throughout the day.

Tickets are $149 per person (with an option to add-on round-trip charter bus transportation from Houston to Brenham) and include all food and beverage, with portions of ticket sales benefiting Foodways Texas and Urban Harvest. Tickets can be purchased at

The 13 chefs competing for the Golden Cleaver at The Butcher’s Ball include:

Albert Vasquez – Ritual (Houston)
Antoine Ware – Harold’s (Houston)
Ara Malekian – Harlem Road Texas BBQ (Richmond)
Brek Webber – Tin Roof BBQ (Humble)
David Cordúa – Américas (Houston)
Dawn Burrell – Uchi (Houston)
EJ Miller – Down Houston (Houston)
Felix Forez – Black Hill Ranch (Houston)
Jason Kerr – Farm to Table (Houston)
Jess Timmons – Redneck Country Club (Stafford)
John Tesar – Knife (Dallas)
Nathan Lemley – Parkside (Austin)
Tommy Elbashary – B&B Butcher’s and Restaurant (Houston) Willow Villareal – Willow’s Texas BBQ (Katy)

In addition, Karen Man of Oxheart and Rebecca Masson of Fluff Bakery will be providing desserts and takeaways for guests. Lindsay Rae, Beverage Director of Grand Prize Bar will be crafting unique bourbon and vodka cocktails featuring Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek and Deep Eddy. Craft beer will be provided by Karbach Brewing, Pedernales Brewing Company, and Saint Arnold Brewing Company, and a selection of wines from True Myth Winery will be available.

Live music will fill the spacious grounds of Rockin’ Star Ranch, headlined by Leopold and His Fiction and White Ghost Shivers, both out of Austin, as well as Houston’s own Fiddle Witch, The Grahamaphone, and Reverberation DJ’s Jason Puffer and Jean-Paul Tiblier.

An exclusive preview of photographer Galina Kurlat’s ongoing series The Eye and The Implement: A Photographic Anthology of Houston’s Culinary Community” which features tintype portraits of Houston chefs and their favorite ingredient or kitchen utensil, will grace the walls of the ranch’s ballroom.

Finally, bringing together local producers and artisans, Urban Harvest will produce a mini farmer’s market on-site during the event, giving the opportunity for guests to purchase locally-grown produce, meat, and kitchen items.

For additional information, links to the restaurants, entertainment, art, and more, visit

The Butcher’s Ball is generously sponsored by 44 Farms, Deep Eddy Vodka, Karbach Brewing, Katz’s Coffee, Knob Creek, Maker’s Mark, Mike Hopkins Distributing, Pedernales Brewing Company, Pitts & Spitts, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Topo Chico, and True Myth Winery.

About Rockin’ Star Ranch:

Located at the end of a secluded country road on 200 acres just outside of Brenham, TX, Rockin’ Star Ranch is a luxurious getaway only and hour’s drive from Houston. The ranch is defined by simple architecture and native landscaping, and is considered a working ranch with herds of elk, deep, oryx, Black Angus cattle, and quarter horses. Rockin’ Star Ranch features a 7,000 sq ft. ballroom that will serve as the main hub of The Butcher’s Ball, as well as a horse arena, pool, and guest cottages dotted throughout the property. For more information visit

About Foodways Texas:

Foodways Texas is an organization founded by scholars, chefs, journalists, restaurateurs, farmers, ranchers, and other citizens of the state of Texas who have made it their mission to preserve, promote and celebrate the diverse food cultures of Texas. For more information visit

About Urban Harvest:

Founded in 1994, Urban Harvest has garnered a well-deserved reputation as a leader in the local food movement. They’ve earned this role by adhering to clear and simple values and a focused mission: Urban Harvest encourages community, good nutrition and sustainability through the teaching and support of organic gardening. For more information visit

Learn how to cook Chef Jason's Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese with Cheetos:

Mac N Cheese


  • 16 ounces penne pasta ( uncooked)
  •  1 oz. sriracha                                                  
  • 4 cups heavy cream  
  • 1 oz. sliced green onions                                                                                         
  • 14 ounces Velveeta cheese, cut into chunks
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 Cheetos crushed to a dust.                                                             


  1. Crush Cheetos
  2. Cook macaroni according to directions and drain.
  3. Slice green onions.
  4. mix cream with sriracha.
  5. Whisk in cream and cook over medium heat until mixture starts to bubble and thickens.
  6. Stir constantly.
  7. Add chunks of Velveeta and allow to melt.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Pour macaroni into cream.
  10. Stir sauce into macaroni.
  11. Let rest for 2 minutes, then sprinkle green onions on top.
  12. Sprinkle Cheetos dust on top.
  13. Serve.

Pulled Pork & Mac n' Cheese


  • 1 Bone-in or boneless Pork Shoulder
  • Seasonings for pork (Season salt, garlic powder, pepper etc)
  • 3/4 Cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1 Can Dr. Pepper


  1. Step One
    Season the pork (the night before or the day of) and place it in the slow-cooker. Or in a covered baking dish in an oven at 280 degrees.
  2. Step Two
    Then add the can of soda, and turn the heat to low.
  3. Step Three
    Let it cook for about eight to twelve hours, or until you return home.
  4. Step Four
    Let it cool to soak up all the juices and shred it with your hands or two forks.
  5. Place over the top of mac n cheese with crushed Cheetos and drizzle with your favorite bbq sauce.

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of Chefs Coast to Coast. Don’t forget to catch up on past episodes or subscribe on iTunesor Google Play!

Sep 21, 2016

My love of hot & spicy foods comes from a long line of Texans before me. It was great having Kerry Stessel of Hot Line Pepper Products on Chefs Coast to Coast to talk about his passion for all things hot and how many peppers he's tasted. This Houston-based, family-owned company uses all-natural products to create quality, gourmet, custom-blended hot sauces. Owner and CCO (Chief Chili Officer) of Hot Line Pepper Products, Kerry Stessel, remembers spending a vast amount of time in the kitchen with his mother and grandparents. His favorite? Good old-fashioned comfort dishes. Tune in to hear the whole episode!

Kerry was more than happy to share a favorite recipe with us this week: Hatchanero Burgers.

Hatchanero Burger

  • 1 lb fresh ground chuck or the blend of choice
  • Make patties, season with fresh cracked Tellicherry black pepper, garlic powder and lightly with kosher salt, then grill. When burgers are cooked lightly finish with some applewood smoked salt on the tops.
  • Put patty on butter grilled or toasted bun and top burger with sauteed yellow onions and sauteed thin sliced jalapenos or habaneros, pepper jack cheese or a white cheddar works well and HLPP Hatchanero.
  • Add lettuce, tomato, bacon etc.

Connect with Hot Line Pepper Products online or on Facebook.

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of Chefs Coast to Coast. Don’t forget to catch up on past episodes or subscribe on iTunes or Google Play!

Sep 14, 2016

Private chef and culinary instructor, Chef Ellen’s teachings have targeted a variety of audiences in Houston for over 15 years. As a volunteer chef at Recipe for Success, this chef is no stranger to the culinary industry. Her grandfather and father owned grocery stores and she has been in the kitchen since the age of nine. Chef Ellen enjoys spending her summers teaching cooking techniques and recipes to children at numerous venues including St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Houston and West University’s After School Program, Kid’s Connect.

Chef Ellen shares a scrumptious roasted artichoke heart spread with us this week and gave four secrets to making this outstanding recipe.

Roasted Artichoke Heart Spread

Four tips to making this outstanding recipe:

  1. Roasting the artichoke
  2. Using some acid
  3. Including a fresh chopped herb
  4. Topping it with fresh croutons and using more as dippers

Prep: Several days ahead of making the dip

  1. Defrost a 5 oz. box of spinach. After it defrosts, take a clean dish towel and wring it out until no juice remains. It will shrink considerably. Add this to a big bowl. Leave ⅓ of an 8 oz. bar of cream cheese at least two hours ahead of preparing this spread to soften.
  2. Place ¾ bag of frozen artichoke hearts on a sheet pan and drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with your favorite spices such as cracked lemon pepper, black truffle salt, whatever you prefer.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes on 425 until the artichokes begin to caramelize and turn a little brown and dark golden around the edges. Roughly chop and add to a mixing bowl.
  4. In a small saute pan, soften a minced shallot, add a pinch of salt and 1 garlic clove smashed after the onion softens.
  5. Put the cream cheese into the spinach bowl and add the hot onion mixture to further soften the mix. Add 1 cup of Hellman’s mayo along with 2 tsp of lemon juice,  ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh rosemary or thyme.  Take the mixture and press it into a 9 inch pie pan and bake in the middle rack at 425 for 20 min.  
  6. Take out of oven and scatter rough chopped homemade croutons for the top and bake 5 more min for browning.  

Enjoy with more whole croutons, celery and carrot sticks.

Connect with Chef Ellen online or on Facebook.

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of Chefs Coast to Coast. Don’t forget to catch up on past episodes or subscribe on iTunes or Google Play!



Sep 7, 2016

Chef Kevin Naderi was born and raised in Houston, Texas and is the owner of Roost, an intimate 50-seat restaurant in one of the most popular neighbourhoods in the US: Montrose. In this episode of Chefs Coast to Coast, Kevin shares his roundabout journey to becoming a Chef / DJ and the story behind the opening of his farm-to-table fine dining with a casual feel restaurant.

If you can't make it down to Houston to try his food out first hand, try out a recipe of his in your own kitchen. Don't forget to let us know how it goes! Reply to this post with your results. 

Ricotta Gnudi with blistered tomato, chard and basil cream 


  • 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour plus additional for coating
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 1 oz) plus additional for serving

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • large pinch of ground white pepper

  • pinch of nutmeg

Beat egg, 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, salt, nutmeg, and white pepper together in a large bowl until blended. Mix in ricotta. Sprinkle 3/4 cup flour over and stir gently to blend. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
 Line rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Place some flour in a bowl. For each gnudi, gently roll 1 heaping teaspoon of dough into ball. Add to flour; toss to coat lightly, shaping into small balls. Place on baking sheet. Cook gnudi in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 6 minutes. They will float when done. Drain well.

Blistered tomato, chard and basil cream

  • 6 heirloom cherry tomatoes

  • 3 stalks of chard with leaves torn and stalks chopped small
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a hot skillet and add the gnudi and tomatoes. Allow the tomatoes to blister and pop while also turning the gnudi to get even color. Add the chard, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the pesto, stir well, serve. 

Connect with Chef Kevin Naderi and Roost on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of Chefs Coast to Coast. Don’t forget to catch up on past episodes or subscribe on iTunes or Google Play!

Bonus: Want to read the blog post I wrote after my very first visit to Roost in 2012? Here you go--just don't judge me on my food photography. ;)