Welcome, I’m Alexis and I can’t wait to share with you my passion for cooking and zest for life! I created Key Lime Lexi to share with you my stories as well as a fresh take on cooking from my ‘Old Florida’ family.
If you live in Florida or have ever visited the sunshine state, you have probably heard of the store Bealls. My great grandfather, Robert M Beall, founded the store in 1915. Over the past 100+ years it has grown and expanded, while remaining a family business with deep loyalty to its employees and guests.
I am reminded of those early beginnings each night as I sit down to dinner with my family. The table in my house is the same table from the first Bealls boardroom in Bradenton, FL, and the same one that I grew up around at my parent’s house. It holds so many fond memories of time spent together sharing stories, and of course, good food. Traditions from my childhood have carried to my own family, and wonderful memories continue to be created around this table.
It is my hope that you will thoroughly enjoy the recipes in my blog, and share good food and laughter with friends and family around your own table.
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My deep love and appreciation for food, cooking and all things culinary began at an early age. My Mom says that as a baby, I would cry when she was making dinner until she would pick me up and put me on her hip (she had to cook one-handed!). Clearly I needed to be where the action was! What I remember most about my childhood is that we always had a home cooked dinner. My dad made it a priority to be home from work so that we could come together as a family and tell about our days, while enjoying my mother’s cooking. It wasn’t fancy or fussy food, but it was made with love and wholesome ingredients, and it nourished our bodies and souls. This ritual imparted in me the importance of family, togetherness, food, and health. These are timeless values as applicable today as they were then.
As soon as I could hold a spatula I began baking my own birthday cake- a tradition I continue to this day. I loved experimenting with ingredients and flavors, creating new twists on classic recipes. In college, I often would cook for my roommates, and even their families when they came to visit. While finishing up my degree, I took a job doing catering sales. My desk was feet from “the line,” which is where all of the food was prepared by the talented chefs. In between phone calls, I would dart over to watch the magic happen, testing a nibble, or learning a tip.
It didn’t take me long to realize that I would be trading spreadsheets for chef’s whites. I started a personal chef business, and within the year, I was featured in the Washingtonian Magazine as a top chef in the D.C. metro area. Since then, my culinary career has lead me through a ski-town bakery, owning a gourmet chocolate business, catering, writing, and traveling to places near and far to explore and study the intricacies of other cuisines. While my work has taken me all over the world and exposed me to many different food cultures, my roots will always be in Florida, where my love of food and cooking began.
Every chance I get, I am reading, researching, recipe testing, sampling new restaurants, and forever trying to keep current with the latest food trends and developments. The most important thing to me, though, is keeping it real. My philosophy is to honor the integrity of the ingredients, creating delicious, unfussy food that will nourish my family and my friends. I stand by my recipes, and hope that you will find value and delight in each one.