Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday Motivations | A New School Year

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Well, it's here again - a new school year! This one is especially exciting for us since we've got a freshman in high school.  He's already been super busy with drum line practice which he absolutely loves.  Now it's time to get down to the serious business of learning.  With that comes earlier wake up times, busier days and maybe a few late nights.  WOW - summer went by way to fast!  Anyway, I thought I'd share just a few ideas on how I plan on making my life a little easier this school year...

• Need a little help in the kitchen?  Here are 45 great Crock Pot recipes that will help you get a yummy dinner on the table during those busy, hectic school nights!

•  Goal Setting tips for middle and high school students  ~ yep, it matters.

• While the kids are away, you might have a little more time to get things organized! Check out my Pinterest board on Organizing & Cleaning for some great ideas.

• Planners are a big deal in our house. Even though we all use our smart phones to keep up with our schedule, we still go "old school" to help with projects - this Student planner and my personal favorite, The Inner Guide Planner are both found on Amazon.

• To mark this as import day, we are celebrating with cake!  My guy requested homemade Lemon Pound Cake.

• Last but not least, a little reminder of what's it's all about…

Monday, August 17, 2015

Grilled Lemon Chicken

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If you've read A Southern Soul for any amount of time you know how much I love lemons.  Whether I'm baking, making fresh salad dressing, or grilling, I just adore that citrus kick that comes from using fresh lemons.  This simple recipe has become one of my "every other week" must make dishes.  Most of the time I make a double batch which means we enjoy the chicken with fresh veggies for dinner and then I use the extra for chicken salad, sandwiches or in pasta.  
Simple, quick and packed with flavor…so simple and oh, so good!
Grilled Lemon Chicken
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lemon - sliced
2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 lemon - quartered
fresh parsley
  • In a small bowl, mix olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Place chicken in a large zip top bag along with sliced lemon and thyme. Pour olive oil mixture over chicken. Seal bag and place in refrigerator to marinate for 2 to 3 hours.
  • Heat grill to medium high heat.  Place chicken on grill and cook until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
  • Remove chicken from grill and tent with foil.  Place lemon wedges on grill.  Cook until seared on each side.
  • Remove lemons from grill and squeeze over chicken. Serve immediately.  Can be stored in airtight container in refrigerator.
A Southern Soul

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Southern Cooking for Company | Book Review

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It's so much fun to share good news especially about someone you know!  Well, here it is ~ my friend, Nicki, from Nashville, TN has hit a home run with her new book Southern Cooking for Company. This best seller proves that successful entertaining doesn't have to wear you out, be stressful or turn into a competition.  As Nicki writes, "with a simple flourish of decor, some great music, lively conversation and one standout menu item, you'll have people clamoring for a second invitation."
My excitement about this book continues due to a little something special on page 205.  Yep, that's a recipe and entertaining tip from A Southern Soul…what an honor!
I have loved pouring over the pages of Southern Cooking for Company.  It includes more than 200 "show off" recipes, party tips, hospitality secrets and beautifully photographed dishes.  There's something for any type of event you are planning to host whether it's a simple cocktail party, cook out, bridal shower or dinner for 20.  So head out y'all and grab yourself a copy.  Then, pick out a couple of recipes, invite some friends over and share a little southern hospitality!

You can purchase a copy of the book in hardback from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  It's also available on the Nook.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Peppadew & Pimento Cheese Appetizer

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Hello everybody!  Yes, it's me, your long lost friend.  I've been gone a while, like pretty much the whole month of July and I've missed y'all.  I really didn't mean to take that long of a break but sure have enjoyed it.  I've been doing some much needed projects around the house, the family has taken several road trips, and we've really loved our lazy summer days together.

We've been grilling out almost every night and have loved entertaining friends on the deck. A week ago I threw together an unexpected dinner party and needed a yummy appetizer, so, I headed to the grocery to see what I could find. I was inspired by these bright red peppadew peppers that I spied on the olive bar.  I filled a container with these beauties and headed home.  

The next thing I needed to do was get creative with the stuffing.  Actually, this was a no brainer when I opened my fridge and spotted a container of pimento cheese.  This is how everything came together ~

Take purchased peppadew peppers and turn them upside down on paper towels to drain for about 1 to 2 minutes.  Fill a zip lock bag with pimento cheese (I used homemade but there are lots of great brands in your local grocery store) cut the tip off corner of bag and gently fill each pepper.  

My guests LOVED my zesty treats and there was not a single one left when it came time for dinner. Friends, it's great to be back with ya'll and I have really missed all the fun of sharing our stories of food and family. I am so thankful for all the messages you sent me during my summer break and for your love of A Southern Soul.
It's time to get back in the game and I can't wait to see what the rest of this year has to offer...

Monday, June 29, 2015

Rose Wine ~ Summer 2015

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Warm summer months, delicious grilled food and rose wine, three wonderful things that fit perfectly together.  Over the past few weeks, we've enjoy many dinners outside and most nights a bottle of rose has accompanied the meal.  If you are not familiar with rose wine, I encourage you to give it a try.  It's light, a little fruity and best served chilled.  I love to serve it with a cheese plate, a fresh salad and grilled fish or chicken.  Another great thing about rose is that it's easy on your pocketbook with many wonderful selections under $15.00.  Here's to summer…cheers!
We recently enjoyed this bottle of Sofia Rose from Coppola Vineyards that I purchased at Costco.
Here are a few other links that might help you choose a bottle of rose and foods to serve ~ 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Father's Day Cocktail with Templeton Rye

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This Sunday is Father's Day when means treating Mr. A Southern Soul like a king!  The boys and I have a few special gifts, funny cards and I've got a great dinner planned with all his favorite foods.  In addition to all these goodies, I come up with a little something unexpected for him, his own cocktail. The folks at Templeton Rye asked me to come up with a special drink just right for Father's Day and being the sweet wife that I am, I jumped at the chance.
A Southern Soul
I decided to use seasonal fruit, flavors that my man likes and then added a little something for me into the mix.  After combining all my delicious ingredients together, letting my concoction chill for a bit, I knew I had a winner ~ The Tipsy Cherry.  This drink is a mix of Templeton Rye, fresh cherries, lemons, basil simple syrup and Rose wine.  Oh my gosh, this is one yummy cocktail.  Serve it over ice or just on it's own…just be careful friends, the word tipsy is in the name for a reason!
A Southern Soul
The Tipsy Cherry
1/2 cup Templeton Rye
1/3 cup basil simple syrup
1 cup pitted cherries
1 whole lemon sliced
1 bottle Rose wine
  • Pour Rye whiskey and simple syrup into a pitcher.  Add cherries and muddle until cherries are slightly broken up.
    • for simple syrup - 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water - bring to a boil and let sugar melt. Take off heat, add 4 basil leaves and let cool.  Remove basil leaves before use
  • Add lemon slices and stir.
  • Pour in Rose and gentlystir. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.
This post was sponsored by Templeton Rye Whiskey.  #thegoodstuff

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Grill Roasted Peas & Potatoes

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Good heavens, y'all…it is hot a hades down here! With temperatures in the upper 90's for the week and more hot weather on the way, I'm looking for ways to stay cool.  Of course, the family still has to eat, so I've gotten a little creative regarding how I prepare my meals.  I do any stove top cooking early in the morning and use my grill whenever I can.  That's exactly how I prepared this delicious side dish of potatoes and peas.
A Southern Soul
First thing in the morning I put on my potatoes to cook.  When they were about halfway done, I added the peas to the boiling water.  After about 1 minute, I removed the peas, dumped them in ice water and drained the potatoes.  I let my veggies cool and when it was time for dinner, I heated up my cast iron skillet and finished off my dish.  At the end of the day we enjoyed a great meal, I had a happy family and a cool kitchen…ah, life is good!
A Southern Soul
Roasted Peas & Potatoes
2 pounds yukon gold potatoes - par boiled
1 pound snow peas - blanched
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Place cast iron skillet on grill set to medium high heat.  Add olive oil and butter.
  • When butter is melted, add potatoes to skillet. Gently shake pan so that there is one layer of potatoes. Cook on grill until a slight crust forms on potatoes.
  • Add peas and gently mix into potatoes.  Add more butter if vegetables are sticking to skillet.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until peas are heated through and still crisp.
  • Remove from grill. Drizzle with addition olive oil and season to taste.