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 Classic old fashioned souffled sweet potato casserole topped in the traditional way with gooey marshmallows, or if you prefer, a praline topping

Sweet Potato Casserole

I don’t know what it is about sweet potatoes fluffed up souffle like and topped with gooey marshmallows, but we sure love this dish down here in The Deep South and it is a rare Southern table that is not graced with it on Thanksgiving or Christmas, or both.

Although a pone can refer to many different dishes, including cornbread, you may have heard this dish referred to as sweet potato pone. As always in different regions of the South, recipe ingredients for a pone do vary widely, but I have noted that sweet potato pone is rarely topped with anything at all. It is more of a simple bake, seasoned with classic pie spices and perhaps a little more dense than what we are accustomed to in a sweet potato casserole. In New Orleans, a sweet potato pone was called pain patate in years past, where it was made with grated sweet potatoes, and often includes flour, making it much more dense and nearly a cake-like pudding, and often included a pinch of cracked black pepper to offset the sweetness of the sugar.Yes we know it gets a bad rap from some folks, particularly those who don’t have the privilege of living in our beautiful South. They make fun of it and call it names. And they make fun of Southerners for loving it, but we love it, so when you insult it, know that you are also insulting hundreds of thousands of Southern folks who love it, bless your heart.

It’s really okay if you prefer a praline topping over the marshmallows too. We southerners have been known to top a few things with pecans here and there and so we might know a thing or two about that too. Or… top it with whatever you like, something out of the ordinary even. I have indeed seen some strange things in the name of a sweet potato casserole, but mini marshmallows is the way we usually roll Down South. It is simply traditional for us. My recipe includes a praline topping if you’d rather that over the gooey marshmallows, or go crazy and do both!

Here’s how to make my version of sweet potato casserole.

You’ll need about 3 cups or so of cooked, mashed sweet potatoes. You can boil, bake or microwave them, whatever is your favorite way. Once they are cooked, mash them up with the butter and let them cool. You may also substitute canned yams, which in the U.S. are really canned sweet potatoes and not yams at all. For this recipe you’ll want about 3 (16 ounce) cans of candied yams, drained (like Bruce’s brand), however, remember that you’ll need to adjust sugar down accordingly to taste.

Add half of the sugar at first, then all of the spices, salt, vanilla and half and half.

Mash it up well and taste. Adjust the seasonings to your taste, then add the beaten eggs.

Transfer that to a 1 to 1-1/2 quart buttered baking dish, cover and bake at 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes, until everything is heated through well.

Remove, uncover and spread marshmallows on the top, bake uncovered about 10 minutes longer, or until marshmallows are nicely browned, but keep an eye on them so you don’t burn the top. Marshmallows will puff up as they cook so for insurance, you may want to bake the casserole on an aluminum foil covered pan. It’s much easier to clean that than it is to clean the bottom of the oven!

Recipe: Traditional Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 40 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings


  • 3 to 4 large sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, or to taste
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup of half and half
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups of mini marshmallows


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 1-1/2 to 2 quart casserole dish; set aside.

Mash the cooked and cooled sweet potatoes until smooth; add the butter, half the sugar, pinch of salt and all of the half and half, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla extract; stir well and taste. Add the remaining sugar as needed to taste. Add the eggs and combine well. Pour into the casserole dish. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, until heated through well.

Remove, uncover and spread marshmallows on the top, bake uncovered about 10 minutes longer, or until marshmallows are nicely browned.

Serves about 6 – Double for the holidays.

Cook’s Notes: Sweet potatoes may be boiled, baked or microwaved to cook. May substitute 3 (16 ounce) cans of candied yams, drained (like Bruce’s brand), however, adjust sugar down accordingly to taste. Taste for sweetness before cooking, after adding all of the spices, but before adding the eggs. Marshmallows will puff up as they cook so for insurance, you may want to bake the casserole on an aluminum foil covered pan.

Make Ahead: If using the praline topping you can assemble this entire casserole the day before if you like. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for about 30 minutes, and if using marshmallows, wait to add those as directed above.

Praline Topping:

This is enough praline topping for the casserole above, doubled. Reduce by half for the 6 serving size.

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • Whole pecan halves for garnish, optional

Melt the butter. Meanwhile mix the brown sugar, flour and pecans in a small bowl. Pour the butter into the brown sugar mixture and stir with a fork until well mixed. Eliminate the marshmallows and sprinkle the pecan mixture all over the top of the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with whole pecan halves after removing from the oven, if desired.


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This small batch, basic ground beef and tomato chili with beans, made in the slow cooker. Can be doubled.

Crockpot Beef Chili with Beans

A slow cooker is a perfect vehicle for cooking chili. Although most chili can be made on the stovetop in not a lot of time, something about the process of cooking it low and slow makes the flavor just pop. This slow cooker recipe is quick, easy, delish, and, actually for those of you trying to tone down a bit right now, with a lean ground beef (90/10) it’s actually even Weight Watchers friendly! (Yeah, I do have a few of those hanging around here.)

For this recipe, I used my freezer stash of tomato paste dollops, but be sure to check out that tip if you have to open a new can! And, with the exception of yellow onion which I had to replenish, this recipe was also made up of ingredients from the fridge, pantry or freezer too, so I’m still in line with my usual cooking out of the pantry theme for the new year so far. I also had a bit of salsa verde I wanted to use up, so that is what I used in place of the peppers.

Nutritional Factoid: Did you know that while most canned beans are very high in sodium, draining and rinsing them gets rid of nearly half of the sodium level? And, just so you know, it also helps to reduce some of those gas-causing sugars too.

If you think this sounds yummy, I’d sure  it if you’d click to pin it, tweet it, stumble it, or share it on Facebook to help spread the word – thanks! 

Recipe: Crockpot Beef Chili with Beans

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 5 hours | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings


  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced fine
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of whole tomatoes, undrained but coarsely chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) red kidney beans, rinsed and well drained
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • Up to 1/4 cup chopped green chiles, jalapeno, habanero, scotch bonnet, or serrano peppers (depending on heat level desired)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


Brown the ground beef in a skillet, breaking up the meat as it cooks; drain if needed. Add the garlic toward the end and saute for just a few more minutes. Add the chili powder and cumin, stir to thoroughly coat; remove from heat and set aside. Add the chopped tomatoes to a 3-1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker. Add the beans, onion, chiles, tomato paste and oregano; stir to mix. Add in the meat mixture, stir well, cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours.

~Cook’s Notes~

In terms of chili as a main dish, this is a small batch chili – okay to double for a larger slow cooker, however be mindful of the hot chilies. Use a lean (90/10) ground beef to make this Weight Watchers friendly. A total of 8 servings is about 2 Weight Watchers Points (old system) per serving, not including serving add-ins or garnish extras.

Serving ideas: Serve with a side of saltines, or over rice, pasta, or corn chips.

Garnishes: Greek yogurt, sour cream, green onion, shredded cheese, sliced avocados, crushed tortilla chips, corn chips, fried tortilla strips, oyster crackers, Goldfish crackers, hot sauce, additional sweet or red chopped onion, cilantro.


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Homey and healing chicken noodle soup, made with a homemade stock from a whole chicken and fresh veggies.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I was feeling a bit under the weather this weekend so I decided to put on a pot of chicken noodle soup.  Funny thing about this stuff … I can get a pot going, leave it warming on the stove along side a pot of cooked egg noodles, snatch a cup of it several times throughout the day and feel all better before nightfall. Often referred to as “Jewish Penicillin” for its known powers of healing, it really does work and that’s not just an old wives tale either!

Not only do the steam and warmth of the soup help with nasal congestion, but the chicken itself and all of the seasonings typically used – garlic, onion, & ginger to name a few – are known to have certain anti-inflammatory properties that appear to offer some real respiratory benefits too, according to a University of Nebraska Medical Center study.

Plus, I don’t care who ya are… it’s just a darned good comfort food for when you aren’t feeling well.

Make it even easier using leftover roasted or cooked chicken. Somewhere between 2 to 4 cups of chopped up chicken is good but do use both white and dark meet. I would avoid using only boneless, skinless chicken breast along though, because it has a tendency to get overly dry and quite tasteless. A whole hen or chicken is the best bet for homemade. To make it creamy, add in a homemade blonde roux or 1 to 2 cans of cream of chicken soup.

Now, if only I could convince my husband that he can make it too and then serve me. On a tray. In bed. While I don’t have to worry over anything but where the remote is.

Recipe: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 2 hours 30 min | Yield: About 8 to 10 servings


For the Homemade Stock:

  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken
  • Water just to cover (or use stock for richer flavor)
  • 2 large pinches of kosher salt
  • 1 celery rib with leaves, cut into large chunks
  • 1 large carrot, cut into large chunks
  • 1 medium onion quartered
  • 1 large bay leaf

For the Soup:

  • 8 cups of reserved homemade stock, or 2 (32 ounce) cartons of chicken stock/broth
  • 1 tablespoon of chicken base (like Better Than Bouillon), optional
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, halved lengthwise & sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 parsnip, chopped, optional
  • 1/2 of a large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons of diced fresh ginger, optional
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Large handful of frozen peas
  • Large handful of frozen corn
  • Optional veggies: mushrooms, diced potato, diced turnip, chopped leeks, sliced scallions, green beans, etc.
  • 2 tablespoons of dried parsley, plus additional for garnish
  • Cooked egg noodles or cooked rice


Cut up chicken coarsely, splitting back and breasts. Place the cut up chicken in a tall stockpot, add the water or chicken stock only to cover chicken plus about an inch. Cover pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat, remove the lid and simmer uncovered, skimming off any foam that accumulates. When foam subsides, add the salt, celery, carrot, onion, and bay leaf. Cook, uncovered, at a steady, slow simmer for about 2 hours.

Strain, but reserve the broth. Discard the vegetables. Put the broth back into the stockpot and set the chicken aside to cool. To the stock, add in the chicken base, garlic, celery, carrot, parsnip, onion and ginger. Sprinkle in thyme and pepper. Allow to low simmer until vegetables are tender.

When cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin and bones from the chicken. Tear the chicken into bite size pieces and add back to broth. Add the peas and corn, and any additional veggies you like; add parsley and simmer until tender. I prefer to cook the noodles or rice separate from the soup itself so that the noodles do not absorb most of the soup broth.

Spoon cooked noodles or rice into a serving bowl and ladle the soup on top. Sprinkle each serving with a bit of additional parsley.

Cook’s Notes: You can use a variety of chicken parts that you’ve saved up for this (wings, backs, etc.), however, you’ll want some additional chicken to add to the soup since the parts have done their job! Throw a few chicken thighs in the pot along with the parts – they give off a great flavor to the soup. Avoid boneless, skinless chicken breast however, as it lacks flavor and tends to overcook and be too dry. Save those for a shortcut version. The chicken base is optional if you’re making homemade stock, but I like the richness that it gives to soup. If you use the base, you will not likely need to add any additional salt to the soup. If you don’t use the base, you may need to salt. Either way, be sure to taste it before adding salt.

Tip: If you are making this ahead and have time, you may also let the broth cool and refrigerate. Once well chilled, the fat will rise to the surface and harden and you can easily scoop it off. Freezes great, but do not freeze with the noodles! Just make fresh noodles when you reheat it.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Variation: To make a creamy version, prepare a skillet of blonde roux of 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of flour. Cook and stir that for 3 minutes, then slowly add in several ladles of the broth from the soup, until it forms a gravy. Transfer to the soup pot. May also add in 1 or 2 cans of cream of chicken soup near the end of cooking. Stir in until blended well and heated through, then add in the chicken, peas, corn and parsley to the pot.


 A breaded and browned whole cut up chicken is slow cooked in a spicy sauce piquante.

Crockpot Chicken Sauce Piquante

I recently had the opportunity to review Emeril Lagasse’s newest cookbook, Sizzling Skillets and this slow cooker recipe immediately caught my eye. Inexpensive chicken, spicy piquant sauce, and crockpot – good combination if you ask me. Hands down a winner and I think you will love it too!

I own a couple of Emeril’s earlier cookbooks, and while I have enjoyed those, this one has already become my favorite by him. It’s loaded with more than 130 recipes, representing a pretty wide variety of easy, one pot dishes that are both practical and delicious sounding, and I love the way that it’s organized by cookery type – including, of course, recipes for a slow cooker! With recipes suited for big pots, casseroles and Dutch ovens, it’s a perfect cookbook for the season too. And for those of you who are visual, there are plenty of full color photographs. Here’s a little peek at just a few of the recipes I have bookmarked.

In the Skillets and Saute Pans chapter there’s aFettuccine with Crawfish Cream Sauce that sounds delicious and I love this iron skillet Chicken Pot Pie with a biscuit topper.

I’m also eyeing a great sounding recipe for Cheese Enchiladas with Smoky Red Chile Sauce, but I can’t wait to try this Deep Dish Pizza from the Casseroles and Baking Dish chapter. Doesn’t it look scrumptious?

In the chapter on Dutch Ovens there’s a nice lookingChicken and Andouille Jambalaya that caught my eye, but these Red Wine and Port Braised Short Ribs served over stone ground grits really called to me.

In the chapter for Big Pots, I liked the Southern Style Chicken and DumplingsArtichoke Soup with Poached Oysters and these Big Boy Meatballs and Spaghetti.

In the chapter on Woks, there’s a yummy sounding Sweet and Sour Pork, a Seared Duck Salad and Salt and Pepper Shrimp that look interesting. And there’s a Slow Cookerchapter where you’ll find thing like  Slow Cooked Pulled PorkChuck Wagon ChiliRed Bean and Rice Soup and, of course, this lovely Slow Cooker Chicken Sauce Piquante that I chose here.

Here’s how to make it.

Heat 3 tablespoons canola oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Shake together 1/2 cup of all purpose flour and Cajun seasoning in a zippered bag and toss chicken in the flour mixture.

Brown chicken in batches for about 4 minutes per side.

Transfer to a 6 quart crockpot as it is browned.

Add 1 cup each of chopped onion and bell pepper and 1/4 cup of celery to the skillet; stir and cook for 3 minutes.

Add 2 teaspoons chopped  jalapeno, 1-1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme and 2 bay leaves; cook another minute.You can use raw jalapeno, but I prefer the milder pickled version, well, mainly because it’s always in the fridge!

Using kitchen shears, chop the tomatoes up right in the can and add to the skillet. You’ll want 2 (14.5 ounce) cans of stewed tomatoes, undrained.

Add 1/4 cup of tomato paste.

Add in the 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

Bring the mixture up to a full boil.

Then transfer to the crockpot on top of the chicken.

Cook, covered, on low for 3 hours.

Remove bay leaves, sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired, serve over cooked rice garnished with chopped parsley. Pass hot sauce at the table.

Recipe: Crockpot Chicken Sauce Piquante

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 3 hours | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) whole chicken cut up
  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning (likeSlap Ya Mama), or to taste
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 cup of chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup of chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped, pickled jalapeno
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans of stewed tomatoes,undrained
  • 1/4 cup of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Hot, cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup of chopped, fresh flat leaf parsley,optional
  • Hot sauce, for the table


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Shake together the flour and Cajun seasoning in a zippered bag and toss chicken in the flour mixture. Brown chicken in batches for 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a 6 quart crockpot as it is browned. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery to the skillet; stir and cook for 3 minutes, then add the jalapeno, garlic, thyme and bay leaves and cook another minute. Using kitchen shears, chop the tomatoes in the can and add to the skillet; add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil, then transfer to the crockpot on top of the chicken. Cook, covered, on low for 3 hours. Remove bay leaves, sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired, serve over cooked rice garnished with chopped parsley. Pass hot sauce at the table.

Cook’s Notes: Piquant by definition is fairly spicy. If you want it more on the mild side, reduce the Cajun seasoning, and eliminate the red pepper flakes and hot sauce.

Stovetop Prep: To prepare this for the stovetop, prepare as above in a large Dutch oven, except add in 2 cups of water. You can also stir in 2 tablespoons of a prepared roux, or simply remove chicken and use a cornstarch and water slurry at the end to thicken sauce. Cover and low simmer for about 1-1/2 hours, checking periodically to see if additional water is needed, adding in only a little at a time so not to thin too much.

©Deep South Dish

 A thick and creamy soup with all the goodness of a loaded baked potato – bacon, butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese and green onion

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

The soup still has all the goodies of a loaded baked potato in it – bacon, butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese and green onion, and of course I included a few dashes of hot sauce, along with some of my favorite Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning. Sauteing some basic veggies in bacon drippings and butter first was a great base, to which I then made a light roux, followed by a broth base and a combination of milk and half and half. Later in went the sour cream, freshly grated cheese, and green onions along with a nice repeat of some ingredients in the garnish. Layers of flavor y’all – that’s what it’s all about!

This produced a nice, thick and creamy soup as a background to the tender chunks of barely peeled baked potato, a little different from your usual loaded baked potato soup, and simply delicious. It turned out exactly the way that I had hoped it would, and would be a perfect warm meal for this current cold snap.

Serve this soup with some Buttermilk Biscuits or better yet, how about some Garlic Cheese Biscuits?


Recipe: Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Prep time: 45 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings


  • 6 medium sized potatoes, about 1-1/2 pounds
  • 6 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups of diced onion
  • 1/2 cup of diced celery
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 5 cups of chicken stock or broth
  • 1-1/2 cups of milk
  • 1-1/2 cups of half and half
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 6 turns of the pepper grinder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • Couple dashes of hot sauce
  • 1/3 cup of sour cream
  • 1-1/2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 cup of sliced green onions
  • Additional cooked crisp bacon or bacon bits, for garnish, optional
  • Additional sliced green onion, for garnish, optional
  • Dollop of sour cream, for garnish, optional


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Scrub the potatoes and prick several times with a fork or the tip of a knife. Bake directly on the oven rack for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Let cool, then peel off just the outer layer of peeling and then cut into chunks. Don’t worry if some of the chunks break up – it will only add to the creaminess of the soup base. The potatoes can be baked a day or so in advance and stored in the refrigerator, if desired.

Cook the chopped bacon over medium heat in the bottom of a soup pot until tender, but not crisp. Add the butter and melt; saute the onion and celery with the bacon about 4 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic; cook another 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour in, a little at a time, stirring until all of the flour is fully incorporated. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly about 5 minutes. Bring the heat up to medium high and begin adding the chicken broth a little at a time, stirring constantly, until all of the broth has been incorporated and mixture is smooth. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring several times.

Stir in the milk, half and half, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, hot sauce, and potatoes. Increase heat and bring mixture up to just before a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook another 15 minutes, stirring several times. Stir in the sour cream, cheese, and green onions and simmer just until cheese has melted and everything is heated through. Garnish individual bowls with a small pinch of shredded cheese, green onion and crumbled bacon.


©Deep South Dish

Homemade cut or drop biscuits featuring cheese and garlic, onion, parsley, freshly ground pepper and even a touch of Cajun seasoning.

Garlic Cheese Biscuits

I know canned biscuits are pretty darned good and mighty convenient – heck I have a general purpose can of them in my fridge right now. Let’s face it. They put some biscuits on your plate pretty quick.That aside, who doesn’t really love a homemade biscuit? And everybody seems to be super crazy about copycat Red Lobster garlic cheese biscuits. Well, I haven’t exactly had one of those in ages, so I won’t even try to say this resembles those, but tell me, how can you not love a homemade biscuit combined with garlic and cheese?  I know I sure do and the other night I just decided I had to have some!

Most people who make cheese biscuits make them in drop form because that is how the recipes for them are generally written, but me, the rebel that I am, I wanted to try a more traditional cut biscuit, less rustic. So I mixed the dough, using my basic biscuit secrets – the least amount of handling as possible, using cold ingredients, not twisting the cutter, and that sort of stuff. Once the dough came together I kneaded it a few times to get a fairly smooth ball.

I didn’t fold it like I do with my buttermilk biscuits, but just gently patted it down into a disk, about 1/2 inch thick.  Then I cut out as many biscuits as I could using a 3 inch biscuit cutter. To get the last couple of biscuits, I just basically gathered the dough together, rather than balling it up and kneading it together, because I didn’t want to over handle the dough.  I ended up with 8 nice, thick biscuits.

Baked at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes in my old stove and the biscuits were done, though not very browned; your nice new stove might not take that long.  Right as they come out of the oven, brush them with a mixture of melted butter, and yes, even more garlic, though next time I think I’ll brush the butter on them as they go into the oven to maybe get a more browned top.

At any rate these biscuits were light and tender, and cheesy but pretty heavy on the garlic, so if your honey pie isn’t eating them, well ya might want to warn them, or maybe cut back a little on that garlic!

I also added a bit of dried onion, dried parsley, some fresh ground pepper and yes, even some of my favorite Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning, right in the dough. Hey, it was an experiment, and it worked, what can I say?  I was thrilled with these biscuits, both plain and with butter – the biggest problem with me, was not eating the entire batch myself!


Recipe: Garlic Cheese Biscuits

Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 8 biscuits


  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of dried milk powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 turns of the pepper grinder
  • 1/3 cup of cold unsalted butter, cut into slices
  • 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of minced dried onion
  • 1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes, optional
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of buttermilk, as needed
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, melted and divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, milk powder, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until crumbly. Add the cheddar cheese, onion and parsley flakes, and stir to mix well.

Add only enough buttermilk to create a shaggy dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times until dough is smooth. Gently pat into a 1/2 inch thick circle and using a 3 inch cutter, cut out 8 biscuits, pushing the scraps together to form the final couple of biscuits.

Place biscuits on a lightly sprayed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 25 to 30 minutes. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter and the 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder and brush on the tops of the biscuits as soon as they come out of the oven. Serve hot.

Cook’s Notes: Can also be made as drop biscuits. Skip the kneading and spoon dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing apart by about an inch. If serving these with a seafood dish, add in 1/4 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning. For a bigger bump of heat, add in some chopped, pickled jalapeno. To substitute baking mix, use 2 cups of the mix, and omit the dry milk, baking powder and salt.


©Deep South Dish


American Shepherd’s Pie, known elsewhere as Cottage Pie, is a great way to use up both leftover vegetables and mashed potatoes.

Shepherd’s Pie

While it’s a tiny bit cooler for a couple of days, I’m gonna sneak this Shepherd’s Pie in real quick while I can.

Shepherd’s Pie is really not much more than a baked meat and vegetable casserole topped with potatoes, often using leftovers. To the best of my knowledge, Shepherd’s Pie in the U.S. is actually what would be considered Cottage Pie on the other side of the pond. Gastronomically speaking, an authentic Shepherd’s pie is traditionally made using lamb, since, well, that is the animal most associated with a shepherd. Cottage Pie is a similar version made with beef.

In the United States, we don’t eat a lot of lamb, so we call the version made with ground beef, Shepherd’s Pie, and beef is what most folks here in The South would expect if you were to serve them Shepherd’s Pie.

Of course, as always with most classic recipes, Shepherd’s Pie is widely varied in what ingredients it contains, generally depending on what you grew up with. Mine is pretty much a very basic version. Here’s how I make it.

Butter a 2-1/2 quart baking dish and set aside. Brown 2 pounds of ground beef in a skillet, breaking up into smaller pieces; drain off any excess oil.

Add the bell pepper and onion.

Add the garlic and carrots and cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Add the drained tomatoes.

Add seasonings, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and flour and cook for about 5 minutes longer.

Remove from the heat, stir in the egg.

Add 1 cup of the cheese and the frozen peas; transfer to baking dish.

Spread potatoes on top.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until top is light brown; remove, sprinkle cheese on top and return to oven just until cheese melts. Remove and let rest 10 minutes. Drizzle melted butter on top before serving.

Dig in!

Recipe: Shepherd’s Pie

Prep time: 20 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings


  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 1/2 cup of chopped bell pepper
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 1 (10 ounce) can of mild Rotel tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
  • 1/2 cup of beef stock or broth
  • Couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups of shredded cheese, divided
  • 1 cup of frozen peas, thawed
  • 4 cups of leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2-1/2 quart baking dish and set aside.

Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking up into smaller pieces; drain off any excess oil. Add the bell pepper, onion, garlic and carrots; cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes and seasonings, stir in the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and flour and cook for about 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat, stir in the egg, add 1 cup of the cheese and the frozen peas; transfer to baking dish. Spread potatoes on top.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and top is light brown; remove, sprinkle cheese on top and return to oven just until cheese melts. Remove and let rest 10 minutes. Drizzle melted butter on top before serving.

Note: Can substitute a small can of diced or stewed tomatoes for the Rotel. Sauteed, sliced mushrooms and sweet corn are nice additions also.


©Deep South Dish


Cinna-Mini Doughnuts


These aren’t just your average everyday Doughnuts…Ohhh Nooo!  These are mini, melt-in-your-mouth, magnificently warm, perfectly puffed, cinnamony, doughy-nutty bites of!

~In fact, they’re SO warm and succulent that they almost melt even before they get into your mouth…move quickly! :)

Almost too easy to eat, these little bites of dangerously delicious Doughnut delights are not safe to be left alone with.

Without a Chaperone that loves you very much, you will swear you’ve only had one Mini-Melt, and before you can say “where did they all go?” they’re ALL GONE~~not that I know this for sure! ;)

Put your self control to the test and try them out~why not!

What you’ll need for 32 Cinna-Mini melt-in-your-mouth Doughnuts: 

1 container of Pillsbury Grands Flaky  Layers Biscuits (8 count)

1 cup of Melted Butter or Margarine

1 cup of Cinnamon/Sugar//blended to taste


Cut each Biscuit into fourths, then roll each piece into a ball and gently poke a hole in the center with your fingers.  This way, there will be no extra little Doughnut Holes tempting you!

~So, say it with me: Cut, Roll..Poke a Hole:)

Fry them up (350-360 degrees) about 4 at a time until they’re golden on all sides…

Dip each semi-cooled Doughnut into some melted butter…

Nowww…into the Cinnamon Sugar~Don’t be shy!

Just look at these irresistable Doughnutty Nuggets of happiness!

Serve these warm, maybe with some fun dips for dipping, and prepare for a melt in your mouth doughnut experience like you’ve NEVER had before!

Can you taste it?  ~Enjoy!:)



Maple Pecan Cheesecake

Let that sink in…..Maple    Pecan    Cheesecake!

With a side order of chocolate and salted caramel- ya know…for good measure!

I’ve made a gazillion cheesecakes in my life and this batter is by far my favorite. It’s dense and creamy and easy to play with for different flavor creations. No drooping on the plate from this one…This stands up and demands attention.

Eat your heart out Cheesecake Factory

So this maple pecan thingy I made, it’s perfect for the holiday season with notes of maple and ginger. However, if gingersnaps aren’t really your thing, I would recommend pecan sandies as a substitute or possibly plain ole’ graham cracker crumbs. I really LOVE the punch that the gingersnap provides though. It’s a perfect contrast for the other flavors at play here.

Once you’ve made this, feel free to play around with certain ingredients. Exchange the cookies, substitute different extracts, add in peppermint candies or chocolate chips….the sky is the limit.


Too much excitement for one post??? It’s ok to sit down and rest for a moment…then keep reading, and of course MAKE THE CHEESECAKE!



8 oz. ground gingersnap cookies (about 2 cups)

2 oz. chopped candied pecans (about 1/3 cup)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 tablespoons brown sugar


2 pounds cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

5 eggs

1 tablespoon maple extract

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup heavy cream


4 king size peanut butter twix bars

Salted Caramel Sauce- Recipe Link


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Use a food processor, or sealed bag and rolling pin, to crush the gingersnap cookies. Finely chop the pecans.

Measure the gingersnap and pecans and place in a large bowl.

Add in the brown sugar, the drizzle with the melted butter. Use a fork to mix all the ingredients together until the butter is thoroughly incorporated.

Dump the crust mixture in a 10″ springform pan. This is a lot of cheesecake and needs a large pan! Use a cup or spoon to press the crust firmly to the bottom of the pan and halfway up the sides of pan. Check to make sure there are no holes in the bottom of the crust.

Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Let the crust set for a few minutes then place in the refrigerator to finish cooling.

Turn the oven temperature up to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. (This will be for the water bath that the cake will bake in)

Add the SOFT cream cheese and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Using a hand beater or stand mixer, blend the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Takes about 5 minutes.

Add in the eggs….1 egg at a time and blending well with each addition.

Add the 1 tablespoon of maple extract (seems like a lot but trust me), sour cream and heavy cream. Blend well.

Take the crust out of the fridge and lay down a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil that’s large enough to bring up and around the sides of the pan.

Set the crust on the foil and gather it around the pan. We’re going to be baking the cheesecake in a water bath and we CERTAINLY don’t want any water seeping in.

Place the foil wrapped pan in a large casserole or roasting pan.

Pour the filling into the crust. Depending on the depth of your pan, you might have a little bit of filling left. Stop just short of the rim.

Carefully transfer the cheesecake to the oven and place on the middle rack.

Pour the boiling water into the outer pan until the water is about halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. It works best if you’re pouring from something with a spout so none of the water splashes in your cheesecake.

Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Turn the oven off but leave your cheesecake IN the oven for an additional hour!

Remove the cake from the oven. Gently remove the cheesecake and peel away the foil. Let the cheesecake cool inside the springform pan for an hour or two. When the top is cool to the touch, place a layer of plastic wrap over top then wrap the whole shebang in foil….DO NOT REMOVE THE SIDES of the pan YET!

The cheesecake needs to chill overnight in the refrigerator. I let mine chill for 24 hours…it’s SO worth it!

Prepare the salted caramel (recipe link provided in ingredient list) and place in the refrigerator.

The next day, remove the cheesecake and caramel from the fridge. Stir the caramel and chop up the candy bars.

Unwrap your cheesecake and slowly remove the sides from your pan. Take a step back and marvel at the sight!!

Paint a thin layer of caramel on top…just shy of the edge. Just take a spatula or basting brush and spread a thin layer on there. This helps the candy bars stick and well….it just HAS to be done!

Pile the candy bars on top of the caramel

Drizzle with MORE caramel (you wont need ALL the caramel but it sure is good on ice cream)

Take a deep breath…the LOOK AT THIS THING!!!

Use a warm knife to cut slices. I kind of lose words at this point….There’s really no way to describe it!



Key Lime Cheesecake


{Did you smile}

Cheesecake makes most folks weak in the knees. It’s never a matter of “Do you want cheesecake”, but “What kind of cheesecake do you want”?

My cheesecakes are a wee time consuming, and I laugh as I watch family tick down the hours until it’s ready to eat. The agony as they open the fridge and know that beauty is sitting in there for the next 24 hours…untouchable?? It’s rather funny to watch!

They are well worth the wait!

Last week, I decided on a Key Lime Cheesecake. I wanted something a bit zingy, but not “make your eyes water and your lips curl” kind of zingy.

Feast your eyes ladies and gents….


If you’re new to making cheesecakes, you can find a photo walk-through on my Maple Pecan Cheesecake. The ingredients will be different, however the process is the same.    Maple Pecan Cheesecake Recipe 

My recipe below is for the cheesecake…you can top any way you desire. I chose to add some lime zest to homemade whipped cream and then pile white chocolate curls in the center.

Make sure you give this a full 24 hours in the refrigerator…it’s tough but a small price to pay :)


Key Lime Cheesecake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8 slices

Serving Size: 1 slice

A refreshing citrus flavor laces through this light and fluffy cheesecake.


For the Crust:
    • 2 cups ground pecan sandies cookies (about a 13 oz. package)
    • 5 tablespoons melted butter
    • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
    • zest 1 lime
For the Filling:
  • 2 pounds cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup key lime juice


For the Crust:
    1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
    2. Make the cookie crumbs in a food processor, then combine 2 cups of crumbs with the melted butter, brown sugar, and lime zest.
    3. Press the crumb mixture into a 10″ springform pan, pressing the crumbs about 2″ up the sides.
    4. Bake the crust for 8 minutes, cool partially, then place in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
For the Filling:
  1. Adjust the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and sugar together until light and fluffy. This takes about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.
  4. Add the sour cream, heavy cream, and key lime juice. Allow the mixture to beat until thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Remove crust from the refrigerator and wrap tightly in a double layer of heavy-duty foil. This keeps the pan protected while baking in a water bath.
  6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stovetop.
  7. Fill the springform pan with batter until the batter is just below the surface. (You will have extra batter…I scoop the extra into ramekins and bake for a tasty treat)
  8. Place the cake in a large roasting pan and transfer to the oven.
  9. Slowly pour boiling water into the roasting pan being careful not to get any water in the cheesecake. I find it best to transfer water with a pour spout cup.
  10. Allow the cheesecake to bake for one hour. The top will have risen and be a golden brown color.
  11. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional hour.
  12. Carefully remove the cake from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Remove the foil and allow the cake to cool.
  13. After the cake is cooled to room temperature, wrap the entire cake pan tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  14. Unwrap the cheesecake and slowly release the sides of the springform pan. Decorate as you desire.