Southern Baked Bean and Ground Beef Casserole

Southern Baked Bean and Ground Beef Casserole is another iconic Southern covered dish our family loves to share at family functions, Church Potlucks, picnics and even on some of the spring and summer Holiday gatherings.

This Casserole is a total cinch to make; combining VanCamp’s pork and beans, crisp bacon, lean ground beef, sweet red bell peppers, Jalapeno peppers, sweet onions, BBQ sauce, spicy brown mustard, and brown sugar.

If you have ever resided or visited the South and you’ve been to any gatherings at all where the community shares a covered dish aka casserole, then chances are you have tried a variation of Southern Baked Bean and Ground Beef Casserole. If not you are missing out on one of the best tasting Southern casseroles.What are you waiting for?

Let me just tell you this recipe is so darn good you will even find this being served at the homes of Trisha Yearwood,  Paula Dean, and Ree Drummond, just to name a few who know a good Southern covered dish at family gatherings. Now if one of y’all tell me you have no clue who these lovely women are; I am just gonna cry myself to sleep tonight. Continue reading

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Dill Pickle Dip

Mention Dill Pickle Dip to me and I will proclaim to you, it to be, What dreams are made of on a warm spring day here in Mississippi. It’s that deliciously simple to make dip we love to serve at family shindigs and church potlucks. I mean just the ingredient list alone gives me endless smiles thinking about it;  cream cheese, crunchy baby dill pickles, red onions,  fresh dill weed, minced garlic, and a subtle hint of Cajun Spice to bring it together.

Dill pickle dip reminds me of those delicious little ham, cream cheese, and dill pickle pinwheel sandwiches we devoured in the 80’s and 90’s as children. It’s the perfect dip to serve with crunchy kettle chips, soft pita bread, or your favorite crackers. Trust me if you love dill pickles you are surely going to swoon over this Dill Pickle Dip recipe.

Here in the South, we don’t wait for Game Days or the Christmas holidays to break out our favorite dips and spreads; those recipes are an all year around affair. We love to serve them at our gatherings and watch them disappear off the table like nobody’s business. In fact, we wait in anticipation to see how fast they vanish.

I like using those crunchy baby dill pickles in my recipe for Dill Pickle Dip, they just seem to have that wonderful crunchy texture and the perfect amount of dill pickle flavor. I always save about 5-6 of them that I thinly slice and use as a garnish for the top of the Dill Pickle Dip. Just gives it that fancy schmancy look we all love to see. Continue reading

Cowboy Caviar {Black-eyed Pea Salsa} aka Texas Caviar

Cowboy Caviar {black-eyed Pea Salsa} aka Texas Caviar is the delicious Southern cousin of Mexican Black Bean Salsa made with black-eyed peas, sweet corn, diced red plum tomatoes, chopped spicy jalapeño peppers, crisp celery, diced cucumber, red onions, finely sliced green onion, chopped fresh cilantro, and served with crunchy tortilla chips.

Southerners love their black-eyed peas, and the state of Texas is the birthplace of Cowboy Caviar {Black-eyed Pea Salsa} aka Texas Caviar. Cowboy Caviar aka Texas Caviar was created in the lovely state of Texas around 1940, by Ms. Helen Corbitt, the director of the food service for the Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Texas. Here’s the twist y’all, Ms. Helen Corbitt was actually a native of New York, not Texas.

I don’t know about y’all but I can surely forgive Ms. Corbitt for not being a native Southerner, since she created one of my favorite Southern iconic appetizers; bless her little heart, if it weren’t for her we might not have ever thought of this amazing concoction made from black-eyed peas on our own. So a big thank you is going out to that lovely fiery redheaded Northern gal.

Ms. Helen Corbitt was the notoriously famous for being the director of the food service at the Zodiac Room, in the Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Texas. She first served her well-known Black-eyed Pea Salsa on New Year’s Eve at the Houston Country Club. Ms. Corbitt, would later also serve the Black-eyed Pea Salsa at the famous Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, where then dubbed by its nickname, “Texas caviar,” as a humorous poke at real caviar, an expensive hors d’oeuvre of salt-cured fish roe. Continue reading

Purple Potato Salad Recipe

This vibrant looking Purple Potato Salad is Easy to make and deliciously gorgeous to look at on the dinner table; made from a spectacular tasting colorful medley of small purple potatoes, new potatoes, small red potatoes, crunchy baby dill pickles, crisp celery, red salad onions, sliced carrots, and garden fresh herbs.

It’s Springtime and the colorful veggies are popping up in every market here on the Memphis border, that means there’s a fresh bag of those brilliantly purple colored potatoes we all love and adore in stores here as we speak. I don’t know about you, but there’s something to be said for a lovely springtime Purple Potato Salad Recipe that you can serve with your favorite dinner items.

Awhile back my friend Francesca invited me over to dinner and made her mom’s version of Purple Potato Salad and by the way, it was delicious. Shortly after that decided I wanted to do my version to shall with all of you while purple potatoes were in season.

If you’re one of our diehard hardcore potato lovers but suddenly cut down on eating potatoes due to their bad reputation of being high in carbs/starches and causing weight gain, you may be in luck. Recent studies show it could be the potato you choose in addition to how the potato is prepared or cooked that make the difference. Instead, why not opt for some of these colorful purple potatoes? Continue reading

Shrimp and Berry Salad with Avocados

Shrimp and Berry Salad with Avocados is a super simple, addictive,  deliciously, healthy, lunch or light dinner idea you can readily make in no time flat with fresh ingredients such as crisp romaine lettuce, succulent gulf shrimp, red tomatoes, red onions, chickpeas, ripened avocados, juicy raspberries, and sweet blackberries.

I love Gulf shrimp and I’ll be quite frank with you, if I see Gulf Shrimp on sale and they look good, I am buying them in mass quantities. I will find any excuse I can to use them in my recipes they are just that darn delicious. Hence one of my favorite recipes is my Shrimp and Berry Salad with Avocados.berry-vinaigrette-salad-recipeCan you believe it’s March? I mean summer is only 3 months away and I totally miss the warm sunshine state I lived in for so many years. I have lived near the Memphis border for a little over 6 months and darn you Mississippi you ar still rather chilly to this Floridian girl. So I am in desperate need of a Florida meal now and Shrimp and Berry Salad with Avocados definitely will be my go to Florida meal today on this chilly day. Continue reading

SPICY PENNE PASTA WITH ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE

This Cajun flavored Spicy Penne Pasta with Andouille Sausage is made with pure Southern love combining penne pasta, grilled Andouille sausage, a deliciously creamy cheese sauce, diced tomatoes with chiles, Roasted Red Peppers, onions, fresh garden grown herbs, and Cajun spices.

I wish all dinners came with an easy button, this Cajun Flavored Spicy Penne Pasta with Andouille Sausage only took me about 30 minutes after the grill was fired up to cook. While I waited for my grill to heat, I used the time to do a bit of prep work for my recipe such chopping a medium onion, garlic, and fresh parsley from my herb garden.

Just a hint if you don’t live in an area where you can pick up andouille sausage at your local market you can take one of two routes; either go with a spicy country sausage or you can use a smoked sausage you enjoy. I have actually had to do so myself. The flavor changes slightly but it’s still totally delicious and easy to make for dinner. Continue reading

BROCCOLI APPLE SALAD

Crisp broccoli, Pink lady apples, celery, cranberries, raisins, shredded carrots, and sunflower seeds come together to make an amazing salad with delicious flavors and various textures. The creamy dressing on top makes this Broccoli Apple salad absolutely delicious.

Broccoli Apple salad is one of those salads that’s so deliciously good, it’s hard to remember it’s the main ingredient is broccoli. Broccoli has long been a  love-hate relationship with many adult and children alike over the years. However, Broccoli Apple salad recipe has always been a huge hit with my children and family thankfully.

broccoli-apple-saladI  totally love broccoli as long as it’s not just bland steamed broccoli tossed on my plate. That’s where I draw the line with broccoli. I also won’t eat overcooked broccoli; it’s just kinda downright gross. What’s your broccoli pet peeve?
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