Seafood Gumbo

Schrimp and Crab Gumbo


8 bay leaves
1 tablespoon thyme
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon allspice
2 tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoon basil
2 cups vegetable oil
4 cups flour
2 cups chopped onion
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
2 cups chopped celery
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 pounds frozen okra pieces
3 quarts clam juice
1 quart water
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 cup chopped celery
3 pounds shrimp
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 pound crab meat
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/3 cup gumbo file powder (gumbo file powder is the powdered leaves of the sassafras tree)


Combine bay leaves, thyme, black pepper, salt, allspice, oregano and basil. Set aside.
Heat oil until smoking. Add flour and cook until dark brown. Add chopped onion, Cajun spice, chopped celery, sugar and frozen okra pieces. Add to hot roux. Cook to sauté vegetables. Add clam juice, water, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and Cajun seasoning to roux and sautéed vegetables. Bring to a boil.

Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Add gumbo file to finished gumbo. Serve over rice.

Sweet Tea Pie

Sweet Tea Pie


6 oz cream cheese, softened

2 cups unsalted butter, softened and divided

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons

2 cups sugar

8 large egg yolks

3/4 cup strong steeped orange pekoe tea, cooled

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust:

In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup butter until well combined. Add 2 1/2 cup flour and mix until the dough forms a ball. Pat the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Chill until ready to use.

For the filling:

In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter and sugar at medium speed until light. Add the yolks 1 at a time, beating at low speed until well incorporated. Slowly add the tea. Add lemon zest and lemon juice. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the 2 tablespoons flour, cornmeal, and salt and mix well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared crust. Bake until set, about 45 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack, and then chill for 2 hours before serving.

Sourdough Waffles with Fried Chicken

fried chicken and waffles

For a great breakfast, brunch or dinner, make these Sourdough Waffles with some Golden Fried Chicken.  There is nothing like good Southern Comfort Food to hit the spot when you  crave something sweet and savory!



1 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

8 ounces sourdough starter (Sourdough Starter Recipe is in this blog Bread Section)

3 tablespoons butter, melted


Whole Chicken, (3 pounds or less)

1 cup self-rising flour


2 Eggs beaten

Seasoned Salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder

Vegetable oil for frying


For the Waffles

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk until well combined.

In separate medium bowl, whisk eggs and milk until combined. Add sourdough starter and whisk until completely blended. Add flour mixture and butter and stir until combined. Depending on thickness of starter, you might need to adjust batter. It should be the consistency of pancake batter. Add flour or milk as needed to reach that consistency.

Cook in waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions.

For the Chicken

Cut chicken into eight pieces.  Rinse pieces in cold water and let them soak in fresh cold milk and egg for at least 30 minutes. Mix thoroughly flour, seasoned salt, pepper and garlic powder to make the fried chicken flour.

Heat 1 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (375 in an electric skillet).

Dredge chicken through the breading, coating well on all surfaces. Pat off excess breading and place chicken in hot oil, making sure pieces are not touching each other. When the chicken is browned (approximately 5 minutes), turn pieces over and reduce heat to medium (300). Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Then remove lid, bring heat back to medium high and turn chicken, cooking an additional 5-7 minutes. Let chicken drain on a paper towel before eating.

Serve the chicken with the waffles along with butter and warm maple syrup.

Kentucky Hot Browns Recipes

Kentucky Hot Brown

The History of Kentucky Hot Browns  In the 1920s, dinner dances at Louisville’s Brown Hotel drew more than 1,000 guests. During band breaks, hungry revelers refueled on chef Fred Schmidt’s late-night eats. His signature? The Kentucky Hot Brown, a pillowy cushion of toasted bread topped with sliced turkey and an avalanche of Mornay sauce—all broiled until golden brown. Crisp bacon strips and tomato added the final flourish.

Hot Brown Variations Because of the popularity of Kentucky Hot Browns, numerous variations of this Southern dish have been made. Including more Southern classics like cheese grits, cornbread, and biscuits, these are all must-try hot brown recipes.

Cheese Sauce used in some of the recipes listed

Cheese Sauce 


1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


Melt butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in cheese, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat.

 Kentucky Hot Brown Tart 




1 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts

1 1/2 cups chopped cooked turkey

2 cups (8 oz.) shredded white Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives

6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

4 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 plum tomatoes cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 425°. Unroll piecrusts; stack on a lightly greased surface. Roll stacked piecrusts into a 12-inch circle. Fit piecrust into a 10-inch deep-dish tart pan with removable bottom; press into fluted edges. Trim off excess piecrust along edges. Line piecrust with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Place pan on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes. Remove weights and foil from piecrust, and bake 8 more minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet on a wire rack (about 15 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 350°.   Layer turkey and next 3 ingredients in tart shell on baking sheet.  Whisk together half-and-half and next 3 ingredients; pour over turkey.  Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes or until set.  Place tomatoes in a single layer on paper towels; press tomatoes lightly with paper towels. Arrange over top of tart, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cool on baking sheet on wire rack 15 minutes.

Hot Browns with Fried Cheese Grits




1 cup regular grits

4 slices thick bread

1 cup (4 ounces) extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

2 large sweet onions

1 tablespoon sugar

1 pound roasted turkey slices

8 slices cooked bacon

Cheese Sauce – see recipe above

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 sliced tomato


Prepare 1 cup regular grits according to package directions. Stir in 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese until melted. Pour hot cooked grits into a greased 9-inch square pan. Cover and chill 8 hours or until firm. Invert onto a cutting board, and cut into 4 squares. Cut each square into 4 triangles. Fry grits, in batches, in 2 tablespoons hot vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from pan, and set aside. Cook 2 large diced sweet onions and 1 tablespoon sugar in 2 tablespoons hot oil in skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 20 minutes or until deep golden brown. In a lightly greased individual baking dish; layer bread and top with turkey, sautèed onion, and Cheese Sauce. Repeat with remaining turkey, onion, and Cheese Sauce.

Broil 6 inches from heat 4 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned; remove from oven. Top evenly with bacon and tomato. Serve immediately.

Kentucky Hot Brown Cornbread Skillet


1 (6-oz.) package Cornbread Mix

1/2 cup canned French fried onions

1/2 cup milk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon (Cayenne) Red Pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Peppercorns

1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

2 cups chopped cooked turkey

1 cup Real Bacon Pieces, divided

1 large tomato, sliced

Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


Generously grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet; heat in a 425° oven 5 minutes.  Stir together cornbread mix and next 3 ingredients, and spoon evenly into hot skillet.

Bake at 425° for 8 to 10 minutes or just until light golden brown and set.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in 2 cups milk, and cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture is smooth and thickened. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, next 3 ingredients, and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese until blended. Remove from heat, and keep warm.  Spoon turkey evenly over cooked cornbread mixture.  Top with warm Parmesan sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup bacon pieces.

Bake at 425° for 8 to 12 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Top with tomato slices and remaining 1/2 cup bacon pieces. Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve immediately.

Biscuits Hot Brown 

Biscuit Hot Brown



4 large frozen biscuits

1 pound roasted turkey slices

Cheese Sauce see recipe above

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

8 bacon slices, cooked

2 large tomatoes, sliced and halved


Bake 4 large frozen biscuits according to package directions. Split biscuits in half, and toast.

Arrange 2 halves of biscuits in each of 4 lightly greased individual baking dishes. Top biscuits evenly with turkey. Pour hot Cheese Sauce evenly over turkey, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Broil 6 inches from heat 4 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned; remove from oven. Top evenly with bacon and tomato. Serve immediately

How to throw a Kentucky Derby Party with Recipes


The Kentucky Derby: “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports”

“This Kentucky Derby, whatever it is—a race, an emotion, a turbulence, an explosion—is one of the most beautiful and violent and satisfying things I have ever experienced.” —John Steinbeck On the first Saturday of May, all eyes turn to Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, KY for the Kentucky Derby, the first jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown.

You don’t have to be at Churchill Downs to party on Derby Day. This blog prepares you for Kentucky Derby Day party-throwing tips including essential dishes for hosting a game-watching buffet to sit-down dinners and backyard barbecues.

Your guest list should include people who share your love for the Kentucky Derby and also people who might be new to the experience.

You can assign guests to bring their own Kentucky Derby recipes to share or cook it all yourself. I would assign the guest a dish to bring and make several myself. You can purchase all of your party paper wear at a party store that has Kentucky Derby themes. Have the guests wear a home-made Kentucky Derby hat to the party, no exceptions. Have prizes for game winners such as Kentucky Derby themed items.

You can play games and have prizes for the ugliest hat, the best hat, and Kentucky Derby Trivia. Before the Derby begins, have everyone write down the horse they think will win with their name on a piece of paper. After the race, find out who chose the winner and give them a prize. You can have everyone put in a dollar or two, depending on how large you want the pot and the winner gets it all. If there is more than one winner, split the pot between them.

Derby Twister is another game everyone can play. Instead of calling out the usual “left hand on red” replace the colors with your favorite Derby elements.  Suggestions are: Big Brown (2008 Derby Winner), Proud Spell (2008 Oaks Winner), Hats, Roses, Twin Spires, Jockey Silks.  Print out images of each element and tape them to the colored circles. You can take almost any party game and make it a Kentucky Derby Party game!

The food is the best part of a Kentucky Derby Party. You can fire up the grill and have burgers and hot dogs if that is what everyone wants. Here are some additional recipes you can serve:

Benedictine Spread

This spread can be used as a dip or a sandwich & canapé ingredient. It was made popular at Louisville’s Benedict’s restaurant earlier in this century.


1 large cucumber

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons grated onion

1/4 tsp salt

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Pinch of cayenne

Green food coloring (optional)

Pare, grate, and drain cucumber.


Combine with remaining ingredients in food processor.

Serve as is or as a sandwich or canapé spread.

Thin with sour cream to make a dip for vegetables

Ale 8 One Chicken Wings (Ale 8 One is a Kentucky Tradition)

10 chicken wings, wing tips removed for sauces, stock or soup

.5 lbs ground pork

1/2 cup diced shiitake mushroom

1 tbsp garlic, minced

1tsp fresh ginger, minced

1 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced

1 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 Ale 8 One

Spice rub (optional)

1tbs salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon garlic

1 tablespoon lemon pepper

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2-teaspoon ground clove

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions In a mixing bowl add the ground pork, garlic, ginger, cilantro, hoisin.  Mix ingredients together and form into little balls 1.5 ounces a piece.  Place a ball of stuffing in the open cavity created by frenching the wings. Prepare the spice rub by mixing the spices together. Sprinkle the spice rub liberally all over the chicken wings. In a small saucepot add the Ale 8 One and slowly submerge the stuffed side of the chicken wings in the beer.  Turn the stove on medium and simmer the wings for 20 minutes. Remove wings and place on a serving plate.   Reduce the leftover Ale 8 One by 1/2. Adjust the seasoning and drizzle the sauce on the wings.  Enjoy.

Ham Salad 


2 cups cubed cooked ham

1 cup diced celery

½ cup diced apples

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup light cream


Combine ingredients and serve in lettuce cups or pastry shells.

Fried Chicken


8 pieces chicken

2 cups vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 tsp paprika

2 cups flour 


Beat eggs and milk with fork and add salt, pepper and paprika. Dip chicken into egg mixture. Dip into flour. Fry in hot oil. Brown chicken on one side, turn and brown it on the other side. Cover pan and cook on low heat for 20 minutes.

Derby Shrimp


1 pound frozen, raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (45-50 count), tails removed

2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning



1 English (seedless) cucumber, sliced into ¼-inch rounds

½ cup sour cream

Smoked paprika


Defrost the shrimp according to the directions on the package.  In a small bowl, combine the shrimp, olive oil and Cajun seasoning.  Stir to combine. Sauté in a hot pan until cooked through and just pink and opaque in color, approximately 3 – 4 minutes.  Season it to taste with salt and pepper.  Place a dollop of sour cream on a slice of cucumber and top with a cooked shrimp.  Repeat with the remaining cucumber, shrimp and sour cream.  Garnish with a dusting of paprika.

Crab Cakes with Mustard Rémoulade


1 whole egg

¼ cup heavy cream

½ Granny Smith apple (or similar), peeled, finely chopped

1 teaspoon fresh chives, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 clove fresh garlic, minced

¼ cup yellow onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons butter

2 lemons, zested and juiced

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

2 pounds jumbo lump crab, picked clean

2 cups Ritz crackers, crumbled

2 cups panko bread crumbs

¼ cup oil or clarified butter, for frying

For the rémoulade

¼ cup buttermilk

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

1 lemon, juiced

1 tablespoon capers, finely chopped

1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped

2 tablespoons celery root, grated

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

¼ teaspoon cayenne powder

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped


Prepare the crab cake mixture: In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together (except the crab, the crackers, and the panko) and combine well. Add the crab and combine gently to incorporate.

In a food processor, pulse the Ritz crackers and the bread crumbs until they have the consistency of graham cracker crumbs. Reserve 2 cups for coating the crab cakes before cooking.

Incorporate the bread-crumb mixture into the crab. When you do this, be careful not to break up the lump crabmeat too much. (You really want to have that texture in the cakes.) Now you’re ready to mold your cakes. Use a 2- to 3-inch diameter cookie cutter or ring mold that is about 2 inches tall. Fill the molds with the crab mix and pack them nice and tight. The tighter you pack, the better your cakes will hold up when you cook them. Store all of your molded cakes on a sheet tray in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them.

Make the rémoulade

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients (except the salt, pepper, and parsley) and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and finish with the parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Cook the crab cakes: Heat a large nonstick pan on high heat and add ¼ cup of clarified butter or cooking oil. Remove the crab cakes from the fridge and coat them in the 2 cups of the cracker mixture. Sear them in the pan until they’re golden brown on one side, then flip them over and pop them into the oven (in the pan) for about 6 minutes. (Keeping them in the pan while they’re in the oven enables the bottoms to get nice and brown while they heat through.) Test for doneness by poking them with a cake tester or metal skewer and testing the temperature on the inside of your wrist. If it’s hot, you’re good to go!

Arrange each cake on a plate and a dollop of rémoulade.


Tomato, Arugula, and Basil Salad


5 ripe tomatoes (sliced thickly) 2 tbsp Nicoise olives (chopped) optional 2 tbsp basil leaves (torn) 4 thick bread slices (torn in bite sized pieces) Olive oil (for bread) 2 oz arugula leaves 3 tbsp olive oil (for dressing) 2 tbsp red wine vinegar


Preheat (oven) to 350 degrees.

Toss tornbread in olive oil and toast for approximately 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Place all ingredients in salad bowl and gently toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Brie Delight


Thinly glaze a round of brie cheese with Honeycup mustard, sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Bake in oven at 350F – 375F until cheese is runny and nuts are slightly brown. (Approx. 5 minutes) 


Vanilla Custard Ice Cream


¾ cup sugar

2 tbsp all purpose flour

¼ tsp salt

2 cups milk

2 beaten eggs

2 cups whipping cream

1 ½ tsp vanilla

Fruit cut up if desired


Combine sugar, flour and salt; gradually stir in milk.  Cook and stir over low heat till thick.  Add small amount of hot mixture to eggs; mix well; return to hot mixture.  Cook and stir 1 minute.  Chill.

Stir in cream and vanilla.  If desired, add fruit.  Freeze in ice cream freezer.  Makes 1 ¼ quarts.


Apple Crepes


2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup sugar

6 eggs

2 cups milk

½ stick melted butter

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Zest of one orange

Zest of one lemon

2 medium apples (peeled, cored and thinly sliced)


Using a large bowl, combine flour and ¼ cup of sugar. Whisk in the eggs one at a  time, then slowly add the milk, melted butter and the zest of orange and lemon. It is always better to allow batter to sit for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.


In a medium saucepan, combine the sliced apples, a pat of butter and remaining sugar. Cook until thickened.  Heat a no-stick pan until hot, and add enough butter/oil to coat the pan. Add a thin layer of crepe batter and cook on both sides until golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is finished. Take each crepe and fill with apple compote. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Sticky Toffee Pudding


2 cups chopped dates

1 3/4 cups water

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Toffee sauce

1 pint heavy cream

1 cup brown sugar

2 sticks butter


Place the cream, sugar and butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Stir until the sugar is completely melted.  Remove from the heat.

Heat oven to 350°F.

Place dates and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat and add the baking soda.  Puree and set aside to cool.

Grease a 3 quart baking pan and set aside.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and gradually add the sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just combined.  Add the vanilla and cooled date puree and mix just until combined.  Mixing on low speed, Add the flour and baking powder just until combined.  Pour into the prepared baking dish.  Bake until set and firm and a skewer comes out clean, about 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and, using a skewer, poke holes in the top of the cake every 1/2 inch.  Pour the sauce over the warm cake, reserving some for serving on the side.  Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and toffee sauce.

Kentucky Derby Devil’s Food Pudding Cake

Chocolate pudding Ingredients

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted

4 cups half & half

2 ounces Manjari Chocolate

1 each vanilla bean


In a pot, sift the first four ingredients together, whisk in the cold half and half.   Bring to a simmer, whisk in chocolate and vanilla. Begin to heat while stirring constantly until it begins to bubble around the edges and has thickened significantly.  Pass through strainer and pour directly into dishes.  Place plastic wrap directly on surface. Cool immediately in fridge.

Devil’s food cake Ingredients

3 each eggs

1 3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup mayonnaise

2 3/4 cups pastry flour, sifted

1 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, sifted

1/2 teaspoon baking powder, sifted

3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted

1/2 teaspoon salt, sifted

1 cup water


In a mixing bowl with the whip, whisk the eggs and sugar until it reaches the ribbon stage.  Whisk in the vanilla extract and mayonnaise. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the water.  Mix only until combined.  DO NOT OVER-MIX. Spread onto a quarter size sheet tray with a Pam-sprayed silpat.  Bake at 350°F until the cake springs back when touched.

Whipped cream Ingredients

1 pint heavy cream

Whip cream until you have soft peaks.


To assemble, cut the cake in individual circle to match the bottom of a 4 oz. cocktail (rocks) glass. Place the cake at the bottom of the glass. Pipe pudding onto cake, layer on whip cream and finish off with chocolate nibs and candied rose petals.

Garnish with a whole candied rose petal in the corner with cream.


Run for the Roses Strawberries Dessert


4 cups plain Greek yogurt

1 cup Brown Sugar

2 Tbsp. Vanilla

1 Tbsp. Orange zest

½ cup honey

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Toasted Slivered almonds

4 Pounds of fresh strawberries sliced

4 oranges, cut with all pith and skin removed in sections


Combine yogurt with the brown sugar, vanilla, and orange zest.  Heat the honey in a small sauce pan over low heat. Simmer until honey is dissolved. Cool and add the lemon juice. Slice the strawberries and toss with the Honey. Spoon the berries into your favorite serving dish with the yogurt, garnish with mint and toasted almonds.

Mint Julep


4 mint leaves

4 oz of Woodford Reserve Bourbon

4 oz sweet and sour mix


Blend with ice until smooth and pour into a tall glass and garnish with mint sprig.

Southern Sweet Tea


3 Quarts water; give or take 2 cups sugar or equivalent amount substitute

4 Quart size tea bags

Sliced Lemons


Bring water to a rolling boil, add sugar. (Stir to dissolve) Add 4 tea bags. Stir. Let sit 20 minutes. Pour up into gallon jug or container. Fill the rest with cool water. Garnish with lemon or fresh mint. Serve in silver julep cup.

Make an extra recipe of un-sweet tea for the ones who like it natural.



1 quart water

1 cup sugar

1 cup fresh lemon juice

Sprite sugar free or regular chilled


Mix first three together. Fill a tall glass 2/3 to 3/4 with Lemon mixture then fill with Sprite.

Southern Charm Coconut Lemon Meringue Pie



Ingredients for the Crust

1 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3 tablespoons all-vegetable shortening

4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

Ingredients for the Filling

1⁄2 cup sugar

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

2 1⁄4 cups whole milk

4 egg yolks

1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut

3 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Garnish: toasted sweetened, flaked coconut


In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt for crust; stir well.

Using a pastry blender, cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over flour mixture, tossing until moistened. Gather dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°.

On a floured surface, roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, pressing into the bottom and up the sides. Fold excess dough under; flute edges as desired. With a fork, generously prick bottom and sides of dough. Place a sheet of parchment paper in piecrust. Add pie weights on top of parchment paper.

Bake until edges of crust begin to brown, approximately 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°. Carefully remove pie weights. Bake until lightly browned, approximately 20 minutes longer. Remove from oven; let cool completely on a wire rack.

In a large saucepan, combine sugar and flour for filling; whisk in milk. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, place egg yolks; whisk in 1 cup hot milk mixture. Return egg yolk mixture to remaining hot milk mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Add coconut, butter, and lemon zest and juice. Stir until butter melts. Spoon mixture into prepared piecrust. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on surface of filling. Refrigerate until chilled.

Remove plastic wrap. Make Meringue in a mixing bowl.  Add 4 egg whites and 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tarter.  Mix at medium speed until blended.  Turn mixer to high and add 6 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Beat until the egg whites become stiff peaks.  Spoon the meringue onto center of pie filling, spreading to within 1 inch of crust. Using your fingers, pull meringue into tall peaks.

Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown top of Meringue or bake in preheated 400 degree F oven until lightly browned. Garnish with toasted coconut, if desired.

Southern Peanut Butter Pie

Southern Peanut Butter Pie



1 (5-ounce) sleeve cinnamon Graham crackers (approximately 9 whole crackers)

1 cup salted roasted peanuts

2 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons butter, slightly softened

1½ cups creamy peanut butter

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 cups heavy whipping cream

Garnish: chopped peanuts, and sweetened whipped cream


Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.

In the work bowl of a food processor, combine Graham crackers, peanuts, and sugar; pulse until finely ground, 5 to 6 times. Add butter; pulse until blended, 3 to 4 times. Reserve 1 tablespoon crumb mixture for garnish. Spoon crumb mixture into prepared pie plate, pressing into bottom and up sides, using the back of a measuring cup.

Bake until lightly browned, approximately 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

In a large bowl, combine peanut butter and cream cheese. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth, stopping to scrape bowl occasionally. Add confectioners’ sugar, beating to blend. Add cream; beat on low speed until combined. Increase speed to high; beat just until mixture is thick. (Be careful not to overbeat.) Spread filling into prepared crust. Cover, and refrigerate until firm, approximately 4 hours. Garnish with reserved 1 tablespoon cracker crumbs, chopped peanuts, and sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

Southern Strawberry-Coconut Punch Bowl Cake

Strawberry-Coconut Punch Bowl Cake 2


1 angel food cake (14 oz. store-bought or bake your own)

1 (16 oz.) container sour cream

1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip non-dairy whipped topping

1 (5 1/2 oz.) can evaporated milk

3/4 c. powdered (confectioners) sugar

About 4 c. thinly sliced fresh strawberries

3/4 c. coconut

1/4 c. chopped pecans


In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, whipped topping, evaporated milk, and powdered sugar; stir until well combined and smooth. Using a serrated bread knife or your fingers, cut or tear the angel food cake into small pieces. Add cake pieces to the sour cream mixture and mix well.

Place 1/3 of the cake mixture in the bottom of a glass punch bowl or other large glass bowl. Top the cake layer with 1/4 cup of the coconut and 1/2 of the sliced strawberries. Repeat these layers one more time.

Top the last layer of strawberries with the remaining 1/3 of the cake mixture; sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of coconut and the chopped pecans.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


Savory Collard Greens

This is about as simple as a recipe can get, from start to finish, if you are organized. You can be done and sitting at the table eating in less than one hour, and much of that time you do not need to be standing over the stove. The pork element can be any kind of fresh sausage you like or even ham. The Italian sausage listed below is at the top of the list.


1 bunch greens

1-2 fresh Italian sausages

Red pepper flakes

2-3 cups water or stock of your choice


Remove the tough stems from the greens and then give them a good wash. In a large heavy bottom pot, sauté the whole sausage in a little oil until well browned. Add the water or stock, season with red pepper flakes and simmer for 15 minutes, now break up the sausage and continue simmering for 10 minutes more. You should have a flavorful stock by now. Taste and re-season or continue cooking as needed. Add the greens, one hand full at a time and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve as a side, as an interesting tortilla filling, toss with pasta or just by itself. This is a hearty meal.

Perfect Southern Greens

Southern Greens


1 bunch kale

1 bunch beet leaves (collards, mustard, turnip) or 1bunch other greens (collards, mustard, turnip)

1 large onion, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup cubed ham

3 slices bacon

2 1/2 cups water (more if needed)

Salt and pepper

Balsamic vinegar (optional)


Tear greens into large pieces and discard the thick vein. Add greens to a pot of boiling salted water (I use kosher salt). Let boil for about 6 minutes. Drain and Rinse.

While the greens are boiling, preheat a heavy skillet with olive oil, add onion and garlic; sauté until onions are lightly brown and cook for an additional minute or two.

Put the sautéed onions in the slow-cooker then add the drained greens, ham, bacon, and water.

Cook on high setting for 4 hours or until greens are tender.

Serve with balsamic vinegar, optional.