Southern Cooking

Matt loves Southern food. I am originally from the Midwest, so prior to dating him I'd never eaten collard greens or black eyed peas. I am now proud to occasionally cook like a Southern lady! However, we try to be as health-conscious as possible when cooking Southern dishes so don't go thinking I'm in all up in the kitchen pulling a Paula Deen and devouring spoonfuls of mayonnaise while simultaneously chewing on a stick of butter. Here are a few tips when it comes to "healthier" Southern cooking: --> When many things like biscuits and mashed potatoes call for heavy whipping cream, we use a mix of half & half and skim milk. --> We keep dishes low sodium by making our own veggie stock (the majority of readily available store-bought stocks out there are packed with an outrageous amount of sodium). --> Moderation is key. These dishes are typically on the heavy side, so we try not to make them a ton. It's more special that way! --> Be creative! Try not to follow recipes exactly, and don't be afraid to put your own spin on a classic dish. You think classic Southern mashed potatoes call for 1/2 white sweet potatoes? Heck no! But we thought it'd be yummy so we tried it and now it's one of our favorite sides. Do what sounds good to you and/or utilize whatever ingredients you've got sitting around and I promise you'll have some culinary revelations.

1...2...3...FOOD PORN TIME!!!! Herbed drop biscuits & veggie gravy! Leftover grits used to make pan-fried gritcakes over butter beans (cooked in homemade veggie stock with smoked paprika of course!). Collard greens, cheesy garlic mashed potatoes, and slow-cooked cranberry beans with roasted pecans & acorn squash! And popovers, which totally aren't Southern, but they sure are yummy so I thought I'd throw it in...

Poached free-roaming organic eggs with chives over black eyed peas on top of North Carolina stone ground yellow grits with shallots, shiitake and chanterelle mushrooms, thyme, butter, herb salt, and smoked cheese.