Category Archives: Southern Soul

Simple Coleslaw

I don’t know what it is about the word “Coleslaw” but it never looks like it is spelled right to me.  Maybe because I have never actually pronounced it like it’s supposed to be, it’s either “Slaw” or “Coslaw”.   Blame it on Texas.

Anyways. It’s really simple to make.  I mean, really really simple.

I cheat and buy the prepacked cut up cabbage.   If you for some reason are morally against this, feel free to buy some cabbage and cut it up, add some shredded carrots to it.

This recipe is for two bags, and a lot of people.  For a smaller version, just divide by 2.


In a bowl mix the dry ingredients:

3/4 Cup of Sugar

3/4 Tablespoon Onion Powder

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper



Then then add the wet ingredients and whisk together

5 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice

3 Tablespoons of Vinegar

1/3 Cup Buttermilk

3/4 Cup of Milk

1.5 Cups of Miracle Whip or Mayo


I didn’t start out with a big enough bowl, so make sure you don’t run into that problem like I did….No need to ruin perfectly clean dishes.


Then quickly toss with the cabbage/carrot mixture and refrigerate.

I told you it was easy.  Stupid Easy.

Also, vinegar and lemon juice can mess with regular milk…so don’t leave the wet ingredients sitting alone for to long.   I don’t know if it would do anything, but I do know you can make buttermilk by adding those two to regular milk….so I don’t risk it.


It needs to be cold when you serve it, it will take a few hours.  Make sure to mix it up before serving, some of the liquid will pool at the bottom.





Creamy Potato Salad

When I was a kid I use to LOVE when my mom made potato salad, it was amazing.

When I moved away as an adult it took a few times to get it close to how she made it, but it eventually happened.

This recipe will easily feed 12 people.  It’s the perfect side for burgers, pulled pork, hot dogs, anything really.

Also, be prepared because this is a large portion.

It’s not the traditional way people make it, it’s creamy and delicious.

I usually like to ramble on, and tell some nice little story….but I did that already and my computer froze.  So this is the second time around, now I am just wanting to finish this post.   So here is the short version:

Step one, peal and place five pounds of potatoes in a large pot, and then heat.


Cook them till fork tender at a simmer.




Drain well and put in a large bowl.

While it is still hot add and mix well:


1.5 cups of Mayo (or Miracle whip if you have a mayo aversion.)

1/2 Cup of Mustard

2 Teaspoons of Salt

1/2 Teaspoon of Black Pepper

1/2 Teaspoon of Onion Powder

1/3-1/2 Cup of Dill Relish (depending on your preference)


2-3 Boiled Eggs

½ Cup of diced black olives.

final pot salad

When you’re done feel free to top with paprika, just to give it some color 🙂

I also like to put it in a different bowl after mixing, just so it looks clean.


I like to mix everything a little at a time, I do the mayo first, then the mustard followed by the seasonings….tasting as I go.

You want the Mayo to be blended in with the potatoes, not just soupy in the bowl.

Add the Mayo until the potatoes are no longer dry.

Remember, it is going to taste a bit different cold!

This does take a bit to make, but trust me when I say it is worth it!

No one remembers the person who brought the supermarket potato salad, but they will remember you for this.

Also please remember that it gets stronger the longer it sits….Don’t overdo the mustard.  You want it to be yellow, but not overpowering.


Please try to also make sure that your potatoes are mashed up and mixed well, try to avoid large chunks for people to bite into.


Hope this recipe works for you!


Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

My husband is amazing at smoking meat.   Brisket, Pork Butt, Chicken, anything really.  Unfortunately he is gone right now and I wanted pulled pork.

I have no need or desire to even try to figure out how to smoke a Pork Butt. It takes way to much time and patience in my opinion, so I pulled out the trusty slow cooker.

This is seriously one of the easiest recipes.  EVER.  It does take awhile, but you don’t have to do anything.

It is one of those perfect leave in the morning and come home at night recipes.

First, the night before follow these few steps.

In a small bowl mix:

  1. 2 tablespoons of salt
  2. 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
  3. 1 teaspoon of black pepper


Now, put the 6-8 LB pork shoulder (or pork butt, whatever you want to call it) in a bowl and stab it with a knife about ten times on each side.  Then rub the dry mix on both sides evenly. After this is done cover and put in the fridge for the night.

This part does need to be started at least 8 hours before you want to eat.

Take out the pork shoulder and mix up

  • 1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp of Liquid Smoke
  • 1 Tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 Tsp of Soy Sauce (this can easily be omitted for allergies)

    Rub down both sides and put in the crock pot on low and walk away.

    If you are home you can turn it every 2-3 hours…but not necessary.

After 7-8 hours the meat should be able to pull.  You will know this when it starts falling from the bone, and you can twist it off with a fork.


When it does this transfer to a pan of some sort and pull the meat with two forks, just shredding it.  You can remove the excess fat and bone at this point.


It should look something like this.

If you are eating now then dig in!
If you want to keep it warm for awhile reserve about 1 cup of the juice in the slow cooker and add the pork back into that one cup. (dump the rest of the liquid out)

You can add BBQ sauce into the pork if you desire, I prefer to leave it plain so I can do more stuff with leftovers! Great for enchiladas!


Old Fashioned Cornbread.

Cornbread could be considered a southern classic.  It is an easy quick bread that can be paired with many crock pot meals on a busy day.  I recommend doing this in a cast iron. You will also need bacon grease for the pan (or vegetable oil if bacon grease isn’t available, I understand not everyone has a mason jar filled with it next to thier stove).

1.5 Cups of Cornmeal

1/2 Cup of flour

1 Tablespoon of Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Salt

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder

1/3 cup of bacon grease or vegetable oil


1.5 cups of buttermilk


2 eggs.


First thing, put grease in a cast iron, about three tablespoons and put it in the oven at 425 to preheat.

beka iphone pics 750 - Copy

Now…Grab a large bowl :beka iphone pics 753 - Copy


Mix dry ingredients with the grease…

Then take the buttermilk and mix with eggs, I forgot to take a pic with the eggs mixed.  So you have to use your imagination on this one.  beka iphone pics 754 - Copy


Now combine the buttermilk/egg with the dry mix.  Stir till just combined.

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Now, here comes the fun part. Take that hot cast iron and pour in the mixture (make sure the oven is fully preheated) It will sizzle, this is what gives it a good crust.

beka iphone pics 762

You can see it is frying. Don’t worry about the grease.  It’s good for you.  Now bake for about 25-30 minutes at 425!

beka iphone pics 767.JPG



Simple White Gravy

I don’t know many people who don’t like gravy, and it’s probably a good thing, because I don’t know if I could be friends with those people.  Is it healthy?  Absolutely not.  Is it amazing?  Absolutely.

Gravy can intimidate some people, I know this because why else would they have pre-made gravy powders at the grocery store?  The thing is, it isn’t hard. Not one bit, and I have step by step pictures to help you out!

First you need to obtain grease.  If you are making bacon, that’s perfect.  Sausage grease works well, but you may have to add a bit of butter to make enough.  Chicken Fried Steak for dinner??  Perfect, use the grease.  Keep a jar of bacon grease handy for when you just want gravy.  This morning I was going to cook bacon, so I just used that.

I fried up six pieces of bacon and left in the pan was about 1/3-1/2 cup of grease.  I just went with this, if you fry up a bunch of bacon you will want to pour some out till you have around 1/2  a cup.  Please don’t try to do to much measuring…this is going to be very hot, don’t burn yourself, this isn’t a recipe that has to be exact.

Next add flour, and keep it moving with a whisk. Your oven should be on a medium heat, I added just under 1/2 a cup, but do it in slow increments.  The flour/milk mixture should become pasty, if you add to much flour and it becomes flour balls you can add some butter to thin it out.   Keep whisking on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste (1-2 teaspoons each) Also, I add about 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne for kick, completely optional.


When the Mixture resembles the picture SLOWLY add milk, while constantly stirring.  I usually start with adding enough to fill about 1/3 of the pan and then as that becomes thicker add more to reach desired consistency. This process will take 4-6 minutes.  Some people are more fond of a thinner gravy, and some want it so thick they can feel their arteries clog.  It’s up to you when you pull it from the stove, and how much milk to add.  Personally, I like it on the thicker side.

IMG_2281  If you think you added to much milk, just let it cook for a few more minutes, and it will also thicken as you remove it from the heat and it starts to cool.



Gravy is pretty forgiving, just don’t let it get to hot, simmering is fine, but don’t let it boil.  Also, remember to add the milk very slowly, to fast will cause lumps.

Pour on your favorite dish! IMG_2287

Comment if you have any questions! This also goes great on dinner dishes, not just for breakfast!

This gravy is also amazing if you add a pound of cooked breakfast sausage to it and then pour it over the biscuits.

Best Baking Powder Biscuits!


When my husband and I were at our last duty station, and both a bit younger we had a three bedroom house and tons of friends that liked to hang out in our garage and drink beer.  In an effort to keep them from driving home I always bribed them with a bed and breakfast the next morning.  I am convinced that there are some people who really didn’t drink all that much, but stayed over for breakfast….not that I minded, I love cooking for friends and family.

My biscuits and gravy was always a fan favorite,  I usually make sausage gravy, but today I made regular white gravy from bacon grease and it is more versatile.   We are going to start with the biscuits though!



Step One.  Put 1 and a half sticks of butter in the freezer, and preheat oven to 450 I promise this will make sense in a minute.

In a decent size bowl combine:

3 Cups of Flour

1 1/2 Tablespoons of baking powder

1 1/2 Tablespoons of Sugar

1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

1 teaspoon of Salt

Pretty simple so farIMG_2239

At this point grab your cheese grater and grate the butter: 3/4 cup of butter (1.5 sticks)

IMG_2242 it sounds odd, but it’s easier and faster then using a pastry cutter. It has to be done quickly though, and the butter needs to be cold!


Add butter to flour mixture and gently toss, coating the butter. You do not want to be adding a bunch of pressure here, just make sure the flour and butter are evenly distributed throughout the bowl.  Now, slowly start to add your milk (1 Cup), while simultaneously mixing the dough, you may use a little less then a full cup of milk, you want the dough to be pulling away from the bowl, but not mushy.

When the mixture is starting to pull away from the bowl, it is time to flip it onto a lightly floured surface.  IMG_2247

IMG_2248Place dough onto the counter and fold onto itself around 10 times.  IMG_2249

IMG_2252  Now it’s time to roll!  Gently roll out till dough is about half of an inch.

IMG_2255Now, grab a small bowl of flour and a drinking glass, or a biscuit cutter if you’re fancy like that….Dip the rim of the glass in flour, and then place it in the dough like so….


IMG_2257  IMG_2258If you want more biscuits try to stay as close as possible to one another.  I was only going for a few here.  You can roll the dough back out for a second session of cutting, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that more then once.

I use a bench scrapper to get them off the counter top, and then place in pan.  I Put them close, but not quite touching.

Now pop in the oven for 11-13 minutes.  Pull out when golden brown! IMG_2285  MMMMMM.  If you want, just go ahead and rub some butter on top of those bad boys!

Serve with jam.  Or gravy.  Or just stuff them in your mouth.



Blueberry Cobbler and Facebook Reminders…



As some of you may have noticed Facebook has a nice little habit of reminding you what you were doing on the exact date, but past years.  This is usually sweet little reminders, good times with friends, work or being overwhelmed with school.  A nice little blast from the past.  Unfortunately these reminders can also remind us of a our goals and plans we once thought we would obtain.

This happened to me today.  I saw a post I made this time last year, it was a blueberry cobbler made in my cast iron that I made and posted, with every attempt to start a cooking blog.  I was almost five months pregnant and cooking on the reg.  Now I have a six month old baby boy, but I feel as not much more has been accomplished in the past year.  So here I sit today, finally making my blog, and posting the recipe I concocted One Year Ago.  Today.

I am also completely knew to this whole “blogging” thing, so cut me some slack if this isn’t the prettiest recipe out there, I took the pictures with my phone.  Here goes nothing!

In a Cast Iron add:

5 cups of blueberries
1/4 cup of butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
heat to medium and let simmer 8-10 mins (till it becomes thick but not all the blueberry’s fall apart)

Blueberry Skillet 1

At this point it should look something like the basic picture I have above.

While the berries are getting their simmer on, grab a medium size bowl and mix the following together.

2 cups of sugar,
2 1/2 cups of flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
after all this is whisked add milk and mix until blended (do not beat excessively)
1 3/4 cups of milk.

At this point you remove the berries from the heat, and pour in HALF of the batter.  Make some fun lines, DON’T STIR!Blueberry Skillet 1.3

Pretty huh?

Once there are some lines swirled in, add the rest, or until pan is about 3/4 ways full, whatever comes first.

Blueberry Skillet 1.5Now, bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes!  If you want, dust with a bit of cinnamon sugar when it’s done.

I would recommend Ice Cream or Whipped Cream for this bad boy!

If you don’t have a Cast Iron, I would recommend getting one.  If that isn’t an option you can simmer the berries and then add to a baking dish…the edges wont be as crisp, but it will still be delicious!

Blueberry Skillet 2