Southern Bite http://southernbite.com Stacey Little's Southern Food & Recipe Blog Wed, 17 Dec 2014 20:58:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Salted Dark Chocolate Pretzel Bark http://southernbite.com/2014/12/17/salted-dark-chocolate-pretzel-bark/ http://southernbite.com/2014/12/17/salted-dark-chocolate-pretzel-bark/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:55:25 +0000 http://southernbite.com/?p=6932 Do you ever just have that feeling that you don’t deserve what you have – that somehow God has messed up and blessed you with something that was supposed to be for someone else? This…read more »

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Salted Dark Chocolate Pretzel BarkDo you ever just have that feeling that you don’t deserve what you have – that somehow God has messed up and blessed you with something that was supposed to be for someone else?

This year has been an amazing one for me.  My cookbook was successful, I ended up on the Today Show and Fox and Friends, I was featured in Southern Lady magazine, the book was an Amazon #1 best seller and it made it on to the Wall Street Journal Best Seller list.  I got to go to amazing places and meet some of the most wonderful people.  I had the opportunity to meet so many of y’all as I was out signing books.  The blog has grown exponentially and we’ve expanded our big ol’ Southern Bite family to numbers I never could have imagined.  Last month we had more than 1 million page views!  That’s huge in the blogging world.  This year, we actually have a little money to be able to buy Christmas presents – we’re not scrounging around to fit gifts on credit cards and holding our breath that a check won’t clear before the 1st – you know the game. My family is health and happy.  My little boy is growing everyday and learning so much in school.  We just seem so blessed.

The other day, I was watching my sweet boy singing his little heart out at his first school Christmas program and I just became so overwhelmed with the feeling that I don’t deserve any of this – that somehow my name got put on the wrong list.

Last Thursday, I ended up leaving the office a little later than normal.  It was just about dusk, chilly, and the street lights were beginning to turn on.  As I’m turning the corner I see a woman and a little boy standing on the side of the road holding a sign.  The sign read, “Please help.  I’ve lot my job and just want to give my kids a Christmas.”  I immediately felt a lump in my throat.  Beggars aren’t exactly a rarity in this area of town, but this one was different.  She was dressed in scrubs and was obviously cold.  Her child, probably about 8 years old, was snuggled next to her.  Something about her and the fact that her child was with her just tugged at my heartstrings.  I knew I had to help and quickly realized that there was no way for me to turn around and get to her as there was tons of traffic and I was in the on-ramp to the interstate.  I turned on my blinker and did everything I could to find a way to get back over to her, but I just couldn’t.  The whole way home, I had tears in my eyes thinking about that poor woman – out there in the cold to try and give her kids a few presents for Christmas.  It broke my heart.  Every time that I thought about her that night and all day that next day, I prayed that God would put her back out there so that I could help her out.  Sure enough, as I rounded that corner to head home that afternoon, there she and her little boy were – in the same clothes.  I pulled into the parking lot and got out to talk with her.  Her name is Marquita and she has two little boys.  She worked at a fast food restaurant on the other side of the city and when it closed last week, she lost her job.  She told me that she’s fortunate to have family to help with food and place to live, but that there was absolutely no money for her to give her kids any presents this year.  Their Christmases had never been extravagant, but always included a few presents from her and a few from Santa Christmas morning.  And while she could explain to them that she didn’t have a job and couldn’t buy them anything from herself, how was she going to explain that there were also no presents from Santa? She explained that she had been to all of the charity organizations in the area that offer some kind of Christmas assistance this time of year, but they were all full and couldn’t help.  I asked her if she was looking for a job and she replied, “Of course!  I’ve been looking for something ever since I found out the place was closing.”  She said that she was willing to do any work at all, cleaning, babysitting, anything.

As I told her about seeing her the day before and about praying that she’d be out there again, tears welled up in her eyes.  She told me that she had woken up and felt something tug at her, telling get back out there.  She said she wasn’t feeling well and that she just didn’t want to stand on the corner and beg again, but something kept telling her to go.  I held her hands in mine and we both teared up.  I told her that that tugging was the good Lord and that he had tugged on me too.  I slipped some money in her hand and told her that it wasn’t much, but that hopefully what I had would help.  She gave me a relative’s phone number to call in case I heard of any job opportunities.  As I walked back to the car, her little boy – who had been out of earshot – smiled at me and gave me the biggest wave.

I drove home feeling like I had done something good.  The Lord put it on my heart to help her and he made sure it happened.  But I couldn’t shake the feeling that there are so many folks in her exact shoes this year – who are struggling to make ends meet and give their kids a Christmas.  Regardless of what got them in the situation they are in, it’s our duty as neighbors and Christians to help when we can.

Ever since then, I just can’t help shake that feeling that I just don’t deserve what I have.  Knowing that my little boy will wake up Christmas morning to nearly every thing on his list, and there are so many this year who will lose that Christmas magic in their hearts when they wake up Christmas morning to find that Santa somehow missed their house about kills me.  I certainly can’t help everyone, but one thing I’m hoping for is that Marquita and her boys will wake up Christmas morning with that same sense of wonder and excitement because there will be presents.  There might be fewer of them, but there will be presents.

Folks, we’re all human – regardless of age, race, or the amount of money in our bank accounts.  Whether they be friends, neighbors, family, or complete strangers, people need help this time of year.  If you can help, please do.  You never know the magic that might happen when you do.  Be a blessing to someone this Christmas.

Candy Melts

Y’all this Salted Dark Chocolate Pretzel Bark is a new favorite of mine.  I’ve tested it a number of times with different types of chocolate and found these Candy Melts work best.  They melt easily and then firm back up perfectly for bark.  I just know you’ll love them, too!  Y’all enjoy!

Salted Dark Chocolate Pretzel Bark

Salted Dark Chocolate Pretzel Bark
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 2 (12-ounce) packages candy melts (I used Wilton brand)
  • 2 cups coarsely broken pretzels
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) Heath Bits 'O Brickle Toffee Bits (optional)
Instructions
  1. Use a large piece of wax paper and a 9x13 pan to trace the outline of the pan onto the wax paper, then flip the wax paper over so that the side with the writing is on the bottom. (We're just using this as a guide for how large to spread the chocolate - we're not actually using the pan.)
  2. Melt the chocolate according to the package directions being cautious not to scorch it. Pour it onto the middle of the outline on the wax paper and use a spatula (I prefer an offset spatula) to spread it to roughly the size on the paper that you traced. It should end up being about a ¼" thick - but don't stress too much over that.
  3. Work briskly as some of this chocolate sets very quickly - especially on granite counter tops - and sprinkle the broken pretzels, salt, and toffee bits evenly on top and press very gently to get them to stick into the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set completely and then cut into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

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Easy Garlic Parmesan Dinner Rolls http://southernbite.com/2014/12/10/easy-garlic-parmesan-rolls/ http://southernbite.com/2014/12/10/easy-garlic-parmesan-rolls/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 14:47:27 +0000 http://southernbite.com/?p=6898 The holiday baking season is here and I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been a little intimidated in the past about baking with yeast.  And I’m sure I’m no the only one.  In…read more »

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Easy Garlic Rolls

The holiday baking season is here and I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been a little intimidated in the past about baking with yeast.  And I’m sure I’m no the only one.  In fact, when I explained to Heather what I was making, she said, “Goodness, it even makes me nervous having that stuff in the pantry.”  So, I know there are others out there with the same fear.  But honestly, it’s nothing to be afraid of.  Cooking with yeast is super simple when you follow a few simple guidelines and you’ll get amazing rise and flavor in your baked goods like never before.  Take these Easy Garlic Parmesan Rolls for example.  I found the basic recipe on Fleishmann’s® Yeast Bread World website and just jazzed it up a bit and my family LOVED them!  IMG_5686One great thing about using Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Yeast is there’s no reason to worry about having to bloom the yeast first.  With this, you just mix it right in and the warm water you add gets it all going. 

So, to get things started, we simply combine 3/4 cup flour, sugar, dry yeast, salt, and garlic powder in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix well.  You can also do this in a large bowl and stir by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer. 

IMG_5701

Next we’re going to combine the milk, water, and butter in a small microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave it on high for 15-second intervals until the mixture is very warm but not hot to the touch.  The butter probably won’t be melted all the way, but that’s okay.  The mixture should be between 120° and 130°.    One thing that I learned in the process was to ensure that your water is the right temperature.  It might require a food thermometer but you need one of those in your kitchen anyway.  If the water get’s too hot (like over 140°) it will kill the yeast.   And Lord knows we don’t want to have to deal with a bunch of dead yeast.  Sheesh!   IMG_5709

Slowly add the warm mixture to the flour and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed in the stand mixer or with a hand mixer.  Scrape the bowl every now and then to ensure everything gets mixed well.  Next, add 1/4 cup flour, then beat for 2 more minutes.  Continue adding flour by 1/4 cup amounts until the dough forms into a ball.  I found that I needed a total of about 2 1/4 cups of flour to get to that stage.  IMG_5720

Next, you’ll need to kneed (See what I did there?  NEED to KNEAD  I kill myself.) the dough on slightly floured surface until it is smooth and elastic and springs back when lightly pressed.  This usually takes 6 to 8 minutes.  I actually followed the video instructions on their website to do my kneading in my stand mixer.  Just switch out the paddle blade for the dough hook and knead until the dough has become elastic and smooth.  IMG_5726

Cover the dough with a clean towel and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes.  IMG_5728

Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces.  I found the easiest way was to cut the dough in quarters and then cut each quarter into 3 pieces that way my pieces would be as even as possible.  IMG_5729

Next, roll the dough into balls and place them in a greased 8-inch round or square pan.  IMG_5825

Cover the dough with a towel and allow it to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.  Once the dough has risen, melt the additional butter in a small microwave-safe bowl.  Gently brush it over the dough and then sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and poppy seeds. Easy Garlic Rolls

Bake in a 375° oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Now, see how easy that was!?!?

Easy Garlic Parmesan Rolls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 12 rolls
Ingredients
  • 2 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 packet Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon Spice Islands® garlic powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon Spice Islands® poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. Combine ¾ cup flour, sugar, dry yeast, salt, and garlic powder in a large mixer bowl and stir until blended. Combine milk, water and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH in 15 second increments until very warm but not hot to the touch (120° to 130°F. Butter won’t melt completely). Add to flour mixture.
  2. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add ¼ cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in just enough remaining flour so that the dough will form into a ball.
  3. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic and springs back when lightly pressed with 2 fingers, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cover with a towel; let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Cut dough into 12 equal pieces; shape into balls using your hands. Place in greased 8-inch round or square pan. Cover with towel; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  5. Once risen, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Brush it lightly over the dough and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and poppy seeds. Bake in preheated 375ºF oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan by running a knife around the edges and invert onto wire rack; brush with additional melted butter, if desired. Serve warm.

 

 

There’s a sense of pride in sharing something you’ve baked from scratch. With
Fleischmann’s Yeast, you won’t be afraid to find your creativity in the kitchen or even get your apron a little dirty. Baking with yeast this holiday season can be as easy as pre-heating the oven. To find out more, visit foodnetwork.com/holidaybaking.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ACH. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Pecan Snowballs http://southernbite.com/2014/12/08/pecan-snowballs/ http://southernbite.com/2014/12/08/pecan-snowballs/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 22:17:42 +0000 http://southernbite.com/?p=6876 Yum Christmas is my favorite time of year for lots of reasons, but especially because of all the holiday cooking and baking.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed though, so I always opt for things that…read more »

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Pecan SnowballsYum

Christmas is my favorite time of year for lots of reasons, but especially because of all the holiday cooking and baking.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed though, so I always opt for things that are easy and can produce quite a few servings per batch.  These Pecan Snowballs are perfect for that because they are super easy, only call for 6 ingredients, and each batch makes about 48 cookies.  They are great for holiday cookies swaps or packaging up a bunch to share the holiday spirit with neighbors and friends.

IMG_5660

So let’s get started here and at least hit the high points.  Let’s talk about these pecans for a second.  These ain’t your standard chopped pecans.  See how fine these are.  It’s really important to the texture of the cookie that these be finely chopped.  I like to use a handheld nut chopper like the one below.  IMG_5662IMG_5665

So after we combine our butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, White Lily flour, and pecans, you’ll see your dough is going to be pretty thick, but that the way it’s supposed to be.  You want the cookies to roll into a ball nicely and hold their shape while baking.  IMG_5666

As you’re scooping these babies out, you want to get them as uniform as possible so they all bake evenly.  The best way to do that is to use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop (also called a #60 scoop).  This one is from Pampered Chef, but you can find them at any kitchen store or even big box stores – just make sure it’s a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop for this recipe.  IMG_5671

So, we’re going to roll the dough into balls.  Using your hands is messy, but it’s the best way to get the job done.  Plus it’s not super messy, being  that the dough is pretty firm.  We’re going to get super messy when we coat these babies in powdered sugar.  No, I’m just kidding… kind of.  IMG_5675

Bake for about 15 minutes.  You’ll see that they have just ever so slightly started browning and started to crack a little on the tops.  No worries though, those cracks usually disappear when the cookies cool.  IMG_5678

Let them cool for about 5 minutes, then GENTLY roll them in powdered sugar.  Trust me when I say gently.  Because they are still warm, they can crumble easily.  IMG_5679

After they have cooled completely, coat them in powdered sugar again.  The second coating will stick a bit better because the first coating will be kinda sticky.  IMG_5682

See, there you go!  Pecan Snowballs!  Now, make sure you hide some of these is a secret place because once your family tries them, they WILL disappear fast!
Pecan SnowballsPecan Snowballs Pecan Snowballs

Pecan Snowballs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: About 48 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (plus more for coating)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups White Lily all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups finely chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicone baking mat.
  2. In a large bowl, (or in the bowl of your stand mixer) cream your butter and sugar together. Add the vanilla and salt and mix well. Slowly add the flour, mixing well after each addition. A thick dough will form. Add the chopped pecans and mix well.
  3. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the dough out and roll it into a ball and place it on the cookie sheet. I like using a 1 tablespoon cookie dough scoop to get them all the same size. Continue until all the dough has been formed into balls. Place them on the cookie sheet about 1 inch part. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.
  4. Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes then gently roll them in powdered sugar while still warm. Allow them to cool completely and then coat them in powdered sugar again.

 

This post is sponsored by The J.M. Smucker Company.  While they compensated me for this post and provided product samples, the opinions herein are my own.  Plus, my family has been using White Lily Flour for generations, so I’d be saying good things about it even if they weren’t paying me.

 

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Easy Hamburger Stroganoff and Wisdom from a 6-Year-Old http://southernbite.com/2014/12/02/easy-hamburger-stroganoff/ http://southernbite.com/2014/12/02/easy-hamburger-stroganoff/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 15:54:16 +0000 http://southernbite.com/?p=6858 I realize that it’s only the 2nd of December, but I’m usually full-on in the holiday spirit by now.  This year, it’s been tough finding that magic.  I just can’t seem to get that holiday…read more »

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Hamburger Stroganoff

I realize that it’s only the 2nd of December, but I’m usually full-on in the holiday spirit by now.  This year, it’s been tough finding that magic.  I just can’t seem to get that holiday inspiration.  Last night, we went to our little city’s annual Christmas parade (it’s tradition and usually helps), and just as soon as I started to maybe feel a tiny spark, it was crushed by the eons of people that wouldn’t allow me to back out of a parking space while trying to exit the bank parking lot after the parade.  I mean, there were some folks that were SERIOUS about not letting me back out and forced me to be the last car (of what seemed like hundreds) to get out of the parking lot.  Grumpy from all of that (and from having to deal with the fact that I dropped the iPad while getting ready to go to the parade) I was busily cleaning up the kitchen while I overheard my wife calling to me.  She was hurriedly reading off a list of things that one of the professional organizations she’s a part of wanted to get for kids for Christmas.  Each year they adopt a few families that are less fortunate and help provide them and their kids with Christmas presents and food.  She was calling to me and asking which things I thought we should buy for her to donate for the kids.  Jack was beside her on the couch engrossed in watching “The Santa Clause” for the first of many times this holiday season.  “Clothes, a doll, pajamas, a movie, a video game, a bike,” she read out loud.  Then, as I round the corner to see the list for myself, Jack shakes from his movie trance and says, “Momma, I have the BEST idea!”  “Hang on buddy,” she says.  “Daddy and I are trying to decide what we can buy for some kids who might not get Christmas presents this year.”  “No, Momma,” he interrupts.  “That’s what I’m talking about! You know that bike and helmet that I won at school,” he says.  “Yes,” she says, knowing how proud he was of that bike.  “Well, I can give that little boy that bike.  I have the other one that Gamma and Papa gave me for my birthday, so I don’t need two,” he says.  My jaw dropped in amazement.  He had sold the most candles in his school fundraiser and was so proud of winning that bike that he insisted on riding it over the fancy trick bike his grandparents had given him despite the fact that the new bike he won was a little too small for him.  I sat down beside him and said, “Jack, are you sure you want to do this.  You sure do love that bike.  You realize you won’t get it back, right?”  “Yes, Daddy.  I know.  But that little boy might not get anything for Christmas.”  I glanced over at Heather and saw the tears welling up in her eyes as I tried my best to choke them back myself.  “My sweet boy, that is an amazing things that you can do for someone else,” I said.  We hashed out the details and went over and over telling him how proud we were of him and as he gave me a goodnight hug, I squeezed him a little extra tight and realized that the simple act of my 6-year-old had done what  had been trying to do for a week – get in the holiday spirit.  He reminded me that all the holiday music and decorations in the world can’t really put joy in your heart if you don’t have the real meaning of Christmas in your soul.  Today, I’m grateful for the wisdom of that 6-year-old and I pray that his willingness to serve others never leaves him.

Hamburger StroganoffY’all this Hamburger Stroganoff is so easy and delicious, I think you’ll really be surprised.  It’s a great way to feed your family a hearty meal on a budget and comes together in just about 30 minutes.  And you can customize it to your family’s tastes.  If mushrooms aren’t your thing, they can easily be omitted.  You can also add some finely diced carrots for color, texture, and flavor if you like.  Y’all enjoy!

Easy Hamburger Stroganoff
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: About 4 to 5 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) package sliced mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can beef broth (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 (.85 to 1-ounce) packet brown gravy mix (the weight varies by brand)
  • 1 (10¾-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 (16-ounce) package wide egg noodles, prepared per the package instructions
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat. Drain and set aside. Return the pan to the heat and add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the chopped onion and mushrooms and cook until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms start to brown on the edges. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, being careful not to burn it.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the broth and the gravy mix. Pour it into the skillet and add the can of undiluted mushroom soup. Stir in the sour cream and the cooked ground beef. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened - about 8 minutes. Serve over hot egg noodles.

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Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Praline Topping http://southernbite.com/2014/11/19/sweet-potato-casserole-pecan-praline-topping/ http://southernbite.com/2014/11/19/sweet-potato-casserole-pecan-praline-topping/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 15:29:26 +0000 http://southernbite.com/?p=6843 This year, I have SO much to be thankful for.  Not only have you guys made The Southern Bite Cookbook a #1 bestseller on Amazon, but I’ve had the opportunity to appear on The Today,…read more »

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Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Praline Topping

This year, I have SO much to be thankful for.  Not only have you guys made The Southern Bite Cookbook a #1 bestseller on Amazon, but I’ve had the opportunity to appear on The Today, Show, Fox and Friends, and in numerous magazines and newspapers across the country.  I’ve been able to participate in books singing throughout the South where I was able to hug so many necks and meet so many of y’all.  And while all of this is absolutely amazing, it’s not anything I set out to do.  I never set out to write a book.  Heck, I never even thought of myself as much of a writer.   But, the Good Lord put a path in front of me so, with Him as my guide, I just headed right down that road – and boy has the adventure been amazing.  None of this would have ever been possible without the amazing support from y’all.  You helped make this happen.  To each and every one of you who spent your undoubtedly hard-earned money on something I wrote, I thank you immensely.  With a busy family with lots of expenses, I know how tough it is to set aside money for something that at times might seem frivolous.  And it’s certainly not about making money – trust me, folks don’t get rich writing books these days.  It’s about your support.  When I was offered the opportunity to write this book, I just couldn’t fathom how anybody would spend their money on something that I had written.  But y’all have proven me wrong.  I just hope that you can feel all the love that went into that book.  There is so much of my heart in soul in it and I’m just so grateful to y’all for putting a copy of it in your home and to the folks at Thomas Nelson for giving me the opportunity.

Yep, it’s been an amazing year… and I can’t thank y’all enough for it!

I’m so excited to be able to share this delicious recipe.  This one of those things that is an absolute must on our Thanksgiving table (or anytime of the year, really).  This is my mother’s recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Praline Topping.  She’s been making it just like this for as long as I can remember.  On occasion, she’ll even add some miniature marshmallows and put it under the broiler until they are golden and toasted.

This recipe is one of the exclusive recipes from The Southern Bite Cookbook.  Several of you mentioned trouble getting your hands on a signed copy from the site and I’m happy to say that we have more in stock now.  You can give that special cook on your Christmas list a signed copy – I’ll even be happy to personalize it!  See all the details here.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Praline Topping
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: About 8 servings
Ingredients
FOR THE SWEET POTATOES:
  • 3 pounds medium sweet potatoes
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 ounces evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
FOR THE TOPPING:
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 1½-quart baking dish.
  2. Peel and slice the potatoes, place them in a medium saucepan, and just cover them with water. Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until fork-tender.
  3. Drain the potatoes, and pour them into a large mixing bowl. Mash them well with a potato masher or a hand mixer. Add the sugar, vanilla, eggs, evaporated milk, and butter, and mix very well. Pour the mixture into the baking dish.
  4. Combine the brown sugar, flour, butter, and pecans in a medium bowl. Spoon the mixture over the potatoes. Bake 30 to 40 minutes.

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Pimento Mac and Cheese Squares http://southernbite.com/2014/11/17/pimento-mac-cheese-squares/ http://southernbite.com/2014/11/17/pimento-mac-cheese-squares/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:51:15 +0000 http://southernbite.com/?p=6837 With Thanksgiving just over a week away, we’ll be offered an opportunity to stop and reflect on all the things the we each have to be grateful for.  Families with gather around the table and…read more »

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Pimento Mac and Cheese Squares

With Thanksgiving just over a week away, we’ll be offered an opportunity to stop and reflect on all the things the we each have to be grateful for.  Families with gather around the table and share in the tradition of each person telling something they are grateful for.  Big things usually top the list – family, health, etc.  But this year, I’m encouraging you to think a bit deeper about those things.  Obviously, we all should be thankful for those, but there are lots of other things we need to be thankful for as well – things you may not have ever thought about.

This year, I want you to be thankful for the crazy crowds at the grocery store.  Just being in that store means you were able to afford to provide your family with a thanksgiving meal no matter the size or grandeur.  You should be thankful for the terrible traffic on the way to visit family.  It means you have the opportunity to safely transport your family to visit loved ones.  I want you to be thankful for HAVING to spend time with your extended family.  While many, quite often, view this as an unpleasant chore, there will be many empty places at Thanksgiving tables this year with the others at that very table longing for it to be filled.   And last, but not least, I want you to be thankful for all those dirty dishes.  They are proof that you were able to share in a delicious meal and quality time with your family.  It so easy to get caught up in the negative things around this time of year, but a slight shift in perspective might show you that those things are just as important because of what they mean.  Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Pimento Mac and Cheese Squares

These super easy and delicious Pimento Mac and Cheese Squares are a fun way to put a little something different on the table this year.  It’s got all the great flavor of baked macaroni and cheese and the pimento just gives it a little kick of flavor that puts it over the top.  And if “squares” aren’t your thing, this dish will spoon out just like baked mac and cheese if you choose to serve it that way.  Enjoy!

Pimento Mac and Cheese Squares
 
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Serves: 9 squares
Ingredients
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 2 chicken bullion cubes, crushed
  • 1¾ cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (8-ounce) package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pimento, drained
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Cook the macaroni to just al dente then drain.
  2. In a medium bowl, crush the bullion cubes with a fork or between two spoons. Add the milk and eggs and whisk until well combined. Set aside ½ cup of the cheddar cheese for the topping. Stir in the remaining cheese, pimento, and drained macaroni and stir until well combined. Pour into the prepared baking dish and top with the reserved cheese. Baked uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the middle is set. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing into squares. Serve immediately.

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Sweet Potato Cobbler http://southernbite.com/2014/11/12/sweet-potato-cobbler/ http://southernbite.com/2014/11/12/sweet-potato-cobbler/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 17:57:20 +0000 http://southernbite.com/?p=6806 Sweet Potato Cobbler is a new favorite at our house.  Most of the more traditional recipes call for a dough more like a pie crust and while it is delicious, I wanted something that didn’t…read more »

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Sweet Potato Cobbler

Sweet Potato Cobbler is a new favorite at our house.  Most of the more traditional recipes call for a dough more like a pie crust and while it is delicious, I wanted something that didn’t require you to have to roll out dough – I just don’t always have time for that.  My recipes uses a less fussy dough that you simply crumble over the potatoes.   Of course, it also uses that amazing White Lily flour that you know I love.   It’s the perfect blend of the gooeyness of cobbler with a little crunch of a crisp and is for your Thanksgiving table.  It works great as a side (you know us Southerners and our sweet sides) or as a delicious dessert.

Sweet Potato Cobbler

One thing that I want to bring your attention to is about measuring flour.  Lots of folks don’t realize that even a slight difference in the flour measurement can greatly affect the outcome of a dish.  This is especially the case when you’re making doughs.  So, here’s the way that I (and the folks at White Lily) recommend that you measure flour.  Start by spooning flour into the measuring cup.  Also, be sure you’re using a dry measure cup rather than a wet measure.  Did you know there was a difference?  Well, there is!  This site does a great job explaining it!  So… spoon the flour into the cup gently.  Don’t pack it.  (Note: this recipe calls for self-rising flour, but my little man is showing you all-purpose, so don’t get confused.)

Spooning Flour

Then use the straight edge of a butter knife to level off the cup – my awesome little sous chef shows you just how…  leveling flour

It may not seem like a big deal, but it can really have a big effect on the end product, so make sure you’re doing it right.  It might take a few more minutes, but it’s like that old “measure twice, cut once” adage.

Just for reference, when you finish with the dough in this recipe, this is what it should look like.  It should be crumbly and slightly sticky.  Cobbler Dough

Sweet Potato Cobbler
 
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Serves: About 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
For the dough:
  • 1½ cups all White Lily Self-Rising Flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar (plus 2 tablespoons for the topping)
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • ½ cup milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Peel, half, and slice the sweet potatoes into about ¼ half circles. Place the potatoes in a medium sauce pan and add the water. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the potatoes are still firm but tender - about 10 to 12 minutes. Do not drain.
  2. In another bowl, make the dough by mixing the flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar together. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two large dinner forks. (Don't stress over this - just do the best you can.) Slowly pour the milk into the flour mixture while stirring. Stir until the mixture is combined. The dough will be crumbly and slightly sticky. (see the photo)
  3. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Crumble about ⅓ of the dough into the bottom of the baking dish. Remove the potatoes from the pan with a slotted spoon and place them evenly in the baking dish. Measure 1 cup of the cooking liquid and pour it over the potatoes. Crumble the remaining dough over the potatoes and sprinkle the top with about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown and the dough is cooked through. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes for the sauce to thicken before serving.

SaveTheBiscuit-Ambassador

This post is sponsored by The J.M. Smucker Company.  While they compensated me for this post and provided product samples, the opinions herein are my own.  Plus, my family has been using White Lily Flour for generations, so I’d be saying good things about it even if they weren’t paying me.

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One Day Sale – Get The Southern Bite Cookbook for only 99 cents! http://southernbite.com/2014/11/06/one-day-sale-get-southern-bite-cookbook-99-cents/ http://southernbite.com/2014/11/06/one-day-sale-get-southern-bite-cookbook-99-cents/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 21:59:26 +0000 http://southernbite.com/?p=6792 Thanks to the folks at BookBub and Thomas Nelson, you can get a digital copy of The Southern Bite Cookbook for only 99 cents!  That’s right!  Only 99 cents!  Not only that, but when you…read more »

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BOGOimageThanks to the folks at BookBub and Thomas Nelson, you can get a digital copy of The Southern Bite Cookbook for only 99 cents!  That’s right!  Only 99 cents!  Not only that, but when you forward your proof of purchase to SouthernBiteCookbook@gmail.com, the amazing folks at Thomas Nelson will send you a free digital copy of their new novel, In the Heart of the Dark Wood by Billy Coffey!

Even if you already have a hard copy of the book, a digital copy will allow you to have it with you at anytime.  Plus on Amazon, you can send ebooks as gifts!  So send one to all your friends and family!  It’s a great way to get some Christmas shopping done, too – and no one will know you only paid 99 cents!  :)

Amazon

iBooks

Google Play

Barnes and Noble

ChristianBook.com

Kobo

To claim your free copy of In the Heart of the Dark Wood, simply forward your receipt from purchasing my ebook to SouthernBiteCookbook@gmail.com and they will reply with the details on how to claim it.  Super easy stuff!

Check back often and I’ll be updating this page with more details!

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Sicilian Chicken with McCormick Skillet Sauces http://southernbite.com/2014/10/30/sicilian-chicken-mccormick-skillet-sauces/ http://southernbite.com/2014/10/30/sicilian-chicken-mccormick-skillet-sauces/#respond Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:03:50 +0000 http://southernbite.com/?p=6767 Y’all know I’m always on the lookout for inexpensive ways to get a home-cooked meal on the table for my family.  So, when I was in Walmart last week, I saw these new McCormick Skillet…read more »

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Walmart

Y’all know I’m always on the lookout for inexpensive ways to get a home-cooked meal on the table for my family.  So, when I was in Walmart last week, I saw these new McCormick Skillet Sauces over in the section with the packaged mixes and gravies, I knew I had to try them.  There were seven different varieties, so being the lover of new products that I am, I went home with about 5 different ones.  They all seem very easy to put together and only call for a couple ingredients.

Late Sunday evening, I was searching for something easy for supper when I remember the sauces in the pantry.  Knowing what ingredients I had on hand, I decided to give the Sicilian Chicken sauce a try.  The recipe calls for chicken breasts, olive oil, sliced mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, and of course the sauce.  I added some fresh green beans and some fettuccine to the menu and dinner was ready in less than 30 minutes!

ingredients

I’ll admit I’ve tried a few of these pre-packaged kinds of time-saving sauces, but have never really been impressed.  In fact, I’ve never bought any of the ones I tried again.  But this one was different.  It was super easy to make and my family and I really enjoyed the tangy tomato flavor and the basil was the perfect complement.  In fact, they’ve already asked when we’ll be trying the Sesame Chicken Stir Fry version!

Sicilian Chicken

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get a home-cooked meal on the table with lots of flavor, you should try these new McCormick Skillet Sauces.  They are available in most Walmarts and grocery stores and with flavors like BBQ Chicken, Sloppy Joe, Chili, and Fajitas, you’re sure to find something your whole family will love!

Sicilian Chicken with McCormick Skillet Sauces
 
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Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 (9-ounce) package McCormick Sicilian Chicken Skillet Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 onion, cut into strips
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once. Remove from skillet.
  2. Stir vegetables into skillet; cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender.
  3. Stir in sauce. Return chicken to skillet. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes or until heated through. Serve with cooked pasta, if desired.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of McCormick.  The opinions expressed here are my own, however.  But y’all already knew that.  :) 

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Slow Cooker Ranch White Chicken Chili http://southernbite.com/2014/10/28/ranch-white-chicken-chili/ http://southernbite.com/2014/10/28/ranch-white-chicken-chili/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:38:57 +0000 http://southernbite.com/?p=6765 This Slow Cooker Ranch White Chicken Chili is an instant favorite!  The slow cooker does so much to develop the rich savory broth – it’s my favorite part!  And don’t worry about the chilies, they…read more »

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Slow Cooker Ranch White Chicken Chili | SouthernBite.com

This Slow Cooker Ranch White Chicken Chili is an instant favorite!  The slow cooker does so much to develop the rich savory broth – it’s my favorite part!  And don’t worry about the chilies, they aren’t spicy so you won’t end up with chili with a lot of heat.  In fact, there’s not any heat in this at all, but that could change instantly with the addition of a little ground habanero powder if you you like it spicy!  Y’all enjoy!

Slow Cooker Ranch White Chicken Chili | SouthernBite.com

 

Slow Cooker Ranch White Chicken Chili
 
Prep time
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Serves: About 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts - about 2.5 pounds
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 chicken bullion cubes
  • 1 (1-ounce) packet ranch dressing mix
  • 2 (15.8-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, drained
  • 2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chilies
  • 1 (11-ounce) can white shoepeg corn, drained
  • Salt and pepper
  • sour cream and fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. In the crock of a 4 to 5 quart slow cooker, combine the broth, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, bullion cubes, and ranch dressing powder. Add the chicken breasts to the broth, cover, and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred the meat. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker and add the drained beans, chilies, and corn. Add salt and pepper to taste. Return the lid to the slow cooker and cook for about 30 minutes or until the chicken, beans, and corn are heated through. Serve with a dollop of fresh sour cream and fresh cilantro.

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