Dec 24, 2014

Well hello Dollar Shave Club

Say hello to my knew fran's Dollar Shave Club
It's beginnin' to look a lot like Christmas. Well, it is and I for one couldn't be more excited. The holidays are such a happy and joyous time that I appreciate. Man, I hope y'all appreciate them, too. You know what else I appreciate? A good deal.

Here in the South you best be lookin' your best at all times. You never know when someone will just stop by. When you'll be invited last minute to an event etc. I kid y'all not people have been stoppin' by our house left and right in the last few days. Thank the good Lord we were taught cleanliness is next to Godliness and our house stays clean. All of this extends to appearances. Growin' up my Momma used to say,  "I was a reflection of her and I best not go out in public lookin' otherwise." Heck, the other day I was headed to hang out at a friends house and I asked if we would be leavin said house to do anythin' cause that would determine what I wore. It doesn't help that my sister is a cosmetologist and is always judgin' me.

I know everyone is all the bearded the better but I say no ma'am in every sense of the word. No ma'am. I tell ya. That's brings me to Dollar Shave Club. I know y'all have seen the viral video they have. Well, if you haven't I'mma need you to click this pretty little link. The premise of the company is that you save money. You sign up for a plan, either a dollar, nine dollars or six dollars a month and the blades just show up at your door step. Who doesn't want that convince. I can't stand nothin' more than goin' to the store and not bein' able to find what you need. Especially at the holidays when I am so busy bakin' and generally entertainin' people. Bring all the goodies to my house. You save about 100 dollars a year to be exact. Well, that got me thinkin' what would I do with 100 extra dollars a Year:

  •  A new handbag would be at the top of my list. You can never have enough handbags for every color and season.
  • Since I'm all camera happy, I could always put the money towards camera accessories. 
  • Heck, even money towards Christmas presents would be lovely. Then I wouldn't look as sad as I did the other day in Swoozies when that lady told me how much my bill was after buyin' Christmas presents. 
All jokes aside. I love me some Dollar Shave Club and i'mma need all my guy frans to get on this asap. No more excuses on why that haven't shaved. You know the whole all my frans are guys and that's why I joined Junior League. Ladies, they even make razors for y'all.

Now I wanna hear from y'all. What would you do with 100 extra dollars a month? What is the worst gift you've gotten? Are you the queen of regiftin' like me? What the best thing you've regifted?

Dec 22, 2014

#SaturdayDownSouth + A. A. Callisters = #WeekendDownSouth

Oh, Callisters thanks for the boots

As Ellie King Ex's and Oh's played in my head all weekend. Where did I even first hear her at? Who really cares? Elle King should be heard by all. What y'all do this weekend? What songs are stuck on repeat?

Photos: Because Starbucks red cups are made for two. Ok, maybe just for my Momma and I/// Here's my Saturday down South/// Cause if you don't take a million pictures of your new boots from Callisters do they really exist/// Baby Showers down South are not like the Baby Showers you are used to. We know how to eat and we eat good/// Interruptin' Ms. Ruthie's Frozen sing-along gets you faces like this /// Is it not the most wonderful time of the year/// Cowboys wins require jerseys and boots

Current Obession: Y'all should know by now I got a knew pair of boots from Callisters and I couldn't be more excited about them. Callisters is a Western store based out of Utah. Don't worry y'all, they are online. As a family owned business since the 1950's, they sale everythin' from women's clothes, hats, boots and even horse care items. I appreciate the attention to detail and that they are still in the same tact shop up in Utah. Y'all that's right up my ally. What I love most is the quality and how comfortable my boots are. Stitchin' is on point. I always have a hard time with shoes because I am so tiny. But I didn't with these. I got them half a size bigger and am so glad I did. My jeans and boot socks fit perfectly in them and are not to bunchy. I got so many compliments at church yesterday in my boots. I know they sure was jealous.

Thought of the Moment:
Blog friend earlier this mornin':
Her: "It doesn't match your blog persona at all. It's cute though"
Me: "...and wait, why doesn't it match? cause I don't talk sports much?"
Her: " Yeah. Your blog makes us Think food and southern ladyness. And pink of course"
So Now I'm askin y'all. What does The Blog make ya think?
I was all excited from the Cowboys historic win that it required a selfie. A selfie in my own way. After selfie commenced, I felt the need to blast all over social media. A I not a blogger if I don't? Well, you see that convo, the typin' above. That was a conversation I had with a fellow blog fran right after I posted the photo. That photo got me to thinkin'. I mean are boots and football not Southern? What is a Southern Lady to you? I mean how would you define one? What would you define my blog as? I asked these questions on Fb and some of the responses I got are below

  • Aas this person not from the south? Is football not the epitome of southerness? I'm confused.
  • Football=Texas. Football=South. What's there to figure out?
  • I guess I never really put much thought in to it. It kinda sounds like you may be a little frilly, girly, glamorous, yet southern all in one. Does that make sense? Some people wayyyyy over think things. jmo
  • Football is a staple of being a southern lady :) that person probably doesn't understand homecoming mums either ;)

So now I'm askin' yall. Tell me all about your weekend. Tell me all about your favorite boots and why they are your favorite. Heck, why don't you be an overachiever and tell me all about what makes a Southern Lady in your eyes. Ready. Set. Go.

Dec 18, 2014

Sugar Pumpkin Cookie balls

Big thanks to Nestle Toll House for sponsorin' this post. If ya love the affiliate links give 'em a holler.
I sat in the car as we drove home from the church Christmas party. What to make with these Nestle Toll House Rolled & Ready House Sugar Cookie Dough Sheets I wondered aloud. My aunt who was drivin' was the first to chime in, "Throw some sweet potato or pumpkin' in it." I laughed. But as the night wondered on, she might be on to somethin' I thought. Hmm, but how did I wanna combine these. A tart... no. A pie.... no I just posted some pie recipes. I got it. Cookie Balls. Yes, they are a thing. Instead of frostin' you use cream cheese. If y'all only knew how excited I became over these.
I may or may not have gotten so excited that I baked so many of these little beauties they are overtakin' my freezer. I was also excited cause it was my first time to use Nestle Toll House Rolled & Ready House Sugar Cookie Dough Sheets. They come in many flavors but I chose sugar as not to overpower the pumpkin. Y'all know down here in The South it's as if we are always in the kitchen. And I am all about anythin' that will make bakin' life easier. And these beauties really did. Just pop 'em in the oven and you are good to go. If y'all only knew that when people joke about bakin' season it's a serious thing down here. I think the rest of these beauties will stay in my freezer till Sunday and be given out at a holiday party I am to attend. Now, to find a candle for the candle gift exchange. Until then enjoy this recipe and go get ya some.

And with that my Southern Holiday Recipes has come to a close. Until next time my dear
6 oz cream cheese
4 tablespoons pumpkin fillin'
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
Parchment paper 
Cookie/Cake pop sticks
2 bags Candy Melts; chocolate flavor

1. Each package of rolled cookie dough comes with two sheets. You only need three sheets.
2. Take the three sheets and break them into a few chunks. Place them on a greased bakin' sheet and bake accordin' to the package. I did mine about 3 mins less cause my oven cooks fast and you don't want them hard.  
3. Let the dough cool for a moment or two but not so long that it hardens.
4. Crumble the cookie in a bowl.
5. In the same bowl mix in the pumpkin fillin', cream cheese, nutmeg and cinnamon. 
6. Now you are ready to form your balls. You can use a spoon or ice cream scoop to make the balls if need be. I like to free hand them and I also like them bigger than normal. The trick to the balls are flowerin' everythin'. Flower your counter where you will roll them. Flower the parchment paper you will place them on. And most importantly keep your hands flowered. 
7. Now place a stick in each one you make. Trust me it'll be easier now instead of later. Place those bad boys in the frezer and freeze away. I like to do mine overnight so they are good and ready but if you are pressed for time just make sure they freeze for at least an hour.
8. Once your balls have frozen you are ready to melt your candy. Meltin' will depend on how hot your microwave gets and the brand you buy. So just follow the directions on 
9. Once you've melted the candies you are ready to dip. Dip the cookie balls in the melted chocolate. When you dip it helps to roll in a circle motion. When you take them out keep the pop upside down and continue to roll in a circle motion so the excess chocolate drains off. 
10. The chocolate should start to harden within minutes. Place them somewhere to harden. I like to place mine criss cross in a mason jar. Dependin' on how big your pops are don't put more than four or five in a jar. Just trust me. To top heavy.  
11. Now ya are good to go. I like to freeze mine again as well as store them in the freezer so they do not sweat. Glass in all. If you wanna give them as a gift you can always dress up the jar are wrap the tops. 

Dec 15, 2014

#SaturdayDownSouth + LunaBar = #WeekendDownSouth

Post contains some affiliate links thanks to Luna Bar

If you follow the blog on any form of social media then you've probably seen my newest hashtag #SaturdayDownSouth and the pic that usually accompanies it showin' you the items I've used throughout the day. If you haven't then I need you to pause. Grab a glass of sweet tea and get on it real quick like. Well... today, I bring ya my #WeekendDownSouth

Photos: Pecan EVERYTHANG cause I'm Texan and it's what we do/// Everythin' for my Saturday down South/// Luna Bar to snack on cause yes ma'am/// Gifts cause here in the South you always bring your party hostess a gift/// Cause the ladies at church made breakfast and it was so Southern it couldn't not be photographed/// Did I mention I'm Texan and eat all the chips and salsa at the church holiday party/// Who doesn't wanna take pics in a photo booth with the fam /// Cause Texans know Fajitas.

Current Obession:Luna Bar I'd heard of them before but had yet to try them. What sold me ya ask? Well, the other day I got food poisonin' and couldn't hold anythin' down for what seem like days. Truthfully, it was like a little past 24 hours. The first thing I was able to keep down. Yes'am you guessed it. A yummy ol' Luna Bar. I kid y'all not. What else do I love about these babies? They're gluten free, under 200 calroies, protein and fiber and I could go on and on. But let's be real. I like them because they taste good and are a healthier option. I tore that chocolate cupcake bar up Saturday.You can tell the gluten free ones cause they have a pink circle on them. See they are speakin' my language. And now y'all that always comment I never post anythin' gluten free... well, here ya go 

Now it's your turn. I gots a lil' giveaway for y'all. All you have to do is visit Luna Bar and then comeback and tell me your favorite flavor. You can also tell me your favorite Southern sayin' you like. The winner will get a sample from Luna Bar themselves. So get ta gettin'. Giveaway ends Sunday, December 21st at 5pm

Dec 4, 2014

Howard's Catfish Cafe


*Rushes out the front door* 
"You gon put me on Facebook?" 
"I can", I reply. "But actually we are lookin' for someone."
*Begins to describe couple*
"Oh, yes... they come every Sunday. You just missed 'em"
"Then I guess we'll eat", I reply.
Ms, Chris looks back down at my camera.
"She's a blogger and documents everythin'", the sister tells her.
Ms. Chris smiles as she ushers us in.

I immediately begin to take pictures of everythin'. I don't even care who's lookin'. I'm so enamored by this catfish soul food restaurant. I want to taste and see it all. All. I walk over to the counter. Ms. Chris informs us that she's the soul food lady who cooks on the weekends. She starts to tell me what's on the menu for the day but I can't even focus. I heard brisket and green beans. All other thoughts go out of the window. I can't decided. I want it all in my belly. Ms. Chris tells me that she's got me and she'll take care of it. I smile big. Mmm, all the food on my plate. This bloggin' thing isn't so bad. 

She then tells us someone has to order the fish so we can try it all. My Momma orders the fish for herself and the sister who left to get cash. Of course a restaurant like this only takes cash. We walk over to our seats and wait for the food to finishin' cookin'. Immediately pull out my phone and star facebookin' about the restaurant.

Cups are brought to the table and we are informed the only drinks they had for the day was sweet tea, lemonade and kool-aide. Yes, this is my kind of restaurant. Ms. Chris tells us the kool-aid is to sweet. Makes her stomach hurt. My sister smiles and rushed to the over-sized mason jar holdin' the contents. I make my way to the sweet tea and lemonade. I want it all in my cup.

I sigh as I place the cup down. If I drink anymore I won't be able to finish my food. But, it's so good I tell myself. Many minutes later the food arrives. The fish is as I've imagined it to be. I dip a few pieces in the homemade Cajun tarter sauce. Loose my mind doesn't even begin to describe that moment. Oh, was it good. Moments later my food arrives. I immediately devour the vegetables. Oh my these are good. Now the moment of truth...

I eye up the brisket. How do I want to handle this, I decide to try it first before I douse it in the homemade bbq sauce provided to me. I take a bite. It's as good as I've been lead to believe. My Momma has to quite me and remind me that people are starin' and laughin'. Who cares. The food is so good.

We're about done. All that's left is to pay the bill and bring home the leftover. Ms. Chris comes over to see how we fared. How we liked everythin'. We thank her and give a few hugs. But not before snappin' a few pics.

So... Ms. Chris,

Thank you. Some of the best brisket and catfish I've ever eaten. But don't tell my Grandma. If you do I'll deny it till the end of days.

Dec 1, 2014

Grits Gouda Bake


 Can I let y'all in on a little secret? As a child I hated grits. Hated them. *I'll now pause while everyone shows shock and awe and calls me a Southern fraud* Are we all good now? Lemme explain. Grits are one of those things that if you do't cook 'em right you are in a for a big ol' mess. They will be grainy and rough. If you  let 'em get cold then they are hard and nasty. As a little one I don't think a week went by were we didn't have them.I blame my Daddy. They're cheap and easy. He ate them all the time as a kid as well. They were rural and poor. He told me he found ways to make them bearable. He smothered them in jelly. He didn't have much choice. He didn't eat eggs. He said one mornin' his chore was to get the eggs outta the chicken coop. He did and as soon as the eggs hit they air they hardened. It was all over from that moment. No more eggs for him. 

But anyway back to grits. So, as a child I was my Daddy's minnie me. He smothered his grits in jelly. I smothered my grits in jelly. That doesn't mean I enjoyed them. I hit a point and was all NO MORE grits. We ate 'em for what seemed like every dang meal. Not really but y'all get the point. They are a Southern staple. As I started to get older someone introduced me to cheese grits. It was a game changer y'all. A game changer. It was then that I realized my parents were tourtin' me with grits and jelly. But God love 'em they didn't know any better. 

I just love this recipe cause who does't... It's also perfect for the holidays. I don't know about y'all but we get lots of family at the holidays. A meal like this feeds many for breakfast. I was given this recipe by a family friend Ms. Martha. I think it's a twist on an old Paula Dean recipe. Y'all enjoy and if you try it let me know how it goes. 
10 slices of bacon chopped
2 cups of corn
4 cups of chicken broth
1 1/4 cooking grits
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups of shredded Gouda
1/2 cup chopped green onion
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Cook corn and bacon in a skillet. Once cooked drain and chop the bacon
2. Have oven pre-heatin' at 350.
3. Bring the chicken broth to a boil.
4. Once boilin' slowly stir in the grits and lower the temp. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until it gets thick
5. Mix in the heavy and remove from heat. Now add the cheese, green onions and the bacon/corn.
6. Mix in the eggs and salt.
7. Put in a greased bakin' dish
8. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the dish has turned a golden brown.
9. If you have any onions left feel free to add them on top and enjoy. 

Nov 19, 2014

Sweeter than Sweet Potato Pie


"Aleshea, you listenin'?" "Yes, ma'am, I replied back to my Grandmad over the phone. "I don't care how good a pie fillin' you got. Your pie is only as good as your crust. Your pie ain't no good if you got a bad crust. Crust makes the pie. Make sure you bake it on a baking sheet. That's my secret to a good crust", she went on. "And ya know back in the day we didn't have recipes when it was passed down to me. We just got in the kitchen and did. We tasted everything and kept addin' until we liked it." Make a mental note I told myself.

“I feel like we put six cups of sugar in that fillin.”
“No, we didn’t put that much did we?’
“Gurrrl, your Grandma’s Sweet Potato Pie recipe takes A LOT of sugar.”

Ya, see we were sittin’ and waitin’ for the Junior League meetin’ to start tryin’ to remember the recipe. Neither wanted to be the one to call my Granny and ask. She would ramble our ear off. Especially since she had already called us more than once to make sure we got it. We repeated it back to her more than once. She would be pleased. She had even called me afterwards to see how everythin’ fared.

I had made Sweet Potato Pie for the church bake sale. Since I had fillin’ left I’d decided the rest would be for Thanksgiving.

Remember you don’t have to be scared of homemade. I guess It’s the Southern in me. But I like to think there’s a little Southern in us all. It’s not about where you live but how you live. 
2 cups flour
1/4 cup of Crisco 
teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of  baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
About 1/2-2/3 hot water 

2 sweet potatoes
stick of butter
2 eggs
3 cups of sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of carnation condensed milk.

First bake the sweet potatoes on a bakin' sheet at 350 until they are cooked/soft. Took mine a little over and hour but it will depend on how big your potatoes are.

Second we will make the dough. 

1. Mix the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt.
2. Fork the Crisco shortening in.
Once everything is worked in mix with your hands until it becomes the consistency of corn meal.  
3. Slowly add the hot water.
4. Mix with a wooden spoon and then your hands until the dough looks and feels like pie dough
5. Place a damp towel over the bowl and let it sit for 20 minutes on the counter.

Now we will do the pie fillin'.

1. Mix the final ingredients: Mash the sweet potatoes like you would if you were makin' mashed potatoes.
2. Now mix in the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and milk. You want the mixture to be fully and not runny. You be the judge and if need be add more sugar and eggs.
3. Once you have made the fillin' you are ready to add it to you pie and bake. Take the dough you made and roll it out. Put in a greased pan and wah lah.
4. Bake at 350 degrees until done. This will depend on your oven. You will want to check from time to time but not so much that you make your oven loose heat. You will know it's done cause when you stick a fork or toothpick in the center it comes out clean. Took mine a little over an hour to bake.

Nov 12, 2014

Fried Pecan Pie

Oh my these look so good

Get in my belly

Didn't realize these were so easy to make

Fried Pecan Pies say what? *pause* I say pe-con but if I am referencin' it in a pie or a dessert I say pee-can. But that is the only time cause as Martha Stewart says, " I do not pee in a can." *unpause* A few months  back a quiz was floatin' around. The point was to see how Texan you were. I had conveniently taken the quiz but not posted my results via FB. Why you ask? Yes, you guessed it. I only got a 94%. I'll tell you why. Cause #PUMPKINEVERYTHING Yes, I am that basic. I will always pick pumpkin over Pecan. Always. But don't think that means I don't like or appreciate pecan.

Ok, by now all you really wanna know is how that brings me to fried pies. Remember like a year ago when I did my 12 Days of Christmas Recipes and posted my Grandma's Hot Water Cornbread recipe. I hope you remember cause it's one of my top post. Anyway, in that post I mention how every recipe has to have a story. Well, you just got half of the story. Now you get the family part.

Almost two months ago I had fried pies with Sherry (Ride or Die), and James. James had made them semi homemade. I couldn't remember the last time I had homemade fried pies. I wanted then forever and ever in my belly amen. I started tellin' my Aunt about it and she was all, "you know your Grandma makes award winnin' fried pies." Of course she does. Why wouldn't she. Move along a few weeks and I was in Arkansas. Long story short I learned Arkansas, especially The Delta area, was known for it's fried pies. Now it was all makin' sense. She must have grown up on them.

Fast forward to this past weekend. I had picked pecans and wanted to try my hand at a pecan pie and her fried pies for the church bake sale. If y'all don't know by now that I do what Granny says then you do now. Somehow we went from fried apple pies and pecan pie to fried pecan pies and sweet potato pie. So, enjoy the recipe. It's a combination of my Granny and James dough recipe. Yes, I make them smaller than most Southerners. I like to think it makes it healthier and allows for more to be eaten.
2 cups flour
1/4 cup of Crisco 
teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of  baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
About 1/2-2/3 hot water 

Powder sugar

1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of corn syrup
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 1/2 cups of pecans chopped
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Oil for fryin'

First we will make the dough. 

1. Mix the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt.
2. Fork the Crisco shortening in.
Once everything is worked in mix with your hands until it becomes the consistency of corn meal.  
3. Slowly add the hot water.
4. Mix with a wooden spoon and then your hands until the dough looks and feels like pie dough
5. Place a damp towel over the bowl and let it sit for 20 minutes on the counter.

While the dough is sittin' heat your grease. Heat enough to fry.

Now we will do the pie fillin'. Remember my Caramel Cupcake recipe. This is sort of the same concept. 

1. Mix the final ingredients: brown sugar, eggs, butter, salt, corn syrup (make sure it's light. That makes a difference y'all) and pecans and then heat until it boils. Once it boils. 
2 Once it starts to boil you can turn the heat down and simmer for a few minutes. No more than 10 mins. 
3. Stir the vanilla in. You can always do like me and used Bourbon infused Vanilla. That's my secret. Shh, don't tell anyone.
4. Now set it aside to cool. Yes, it has to properly cool. If it doesn't it can ruin your dough and you will have a soggy old mess. 

Now back to the dough
1. You will need to roll the dough out and cut circles. You can make them as big or small as you would like. Mine are about 4 inches and that is tiny.I also did a few in the shape of Texas because I can. You have a state cookie cutter then you will need to have two halves for each
2. Place a dolop of fillin' in the middle of each.
3. Put water around the edges and then fold over
4. Now fork down and you are ready to fry.
5. Only fry each one for a few minutes. The smaller and hotter the grease the quicker they will brown but the inside may down be done so keep that in mind.
6 Also remember that the more things you add to grease at once the quicker it will loose heat.
7. When they are down drain them on a paper towel and then you are ready to indulge. I always sprinkle with a little powdered sugar. 

This is the start of my Southern Holiday Recipes. Come back throughout the next few days and weekend to see what else I mad messin' in the kitchen.

Yes, I'm sure you could bake these. No, I have not tried it.
What is your favorite flavor of fried pie? Do you eat it with ice cream?

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