In my humble opinion, there is absolutely nothing better than good, southern food. I think the overall explanation is that we southerners use everything in excess. No southerner ever cooked keeping in mind the old saying, "Everything in moderation." Nothing is in moderation in southern cooking. Nothing. That's why it's all so delicious. I also believe there's a great deal of love put into southern cooking (yes, an excess of love if you will). It's the kind of love only a grandmother could produce. I think that's why nine times out of 10 your grandma will make it better. It doesn't matter what "it" is, your version will not be as good.

That brings me to my grandmother's pimento cheese recipe. Let's be real: adding mayonnaise to cheese is excessive. But my grandma makes pimento cheese ALL the time. I doubt there are many occasions when she doesn't have a batch of it in her fridge. I foolishly waited 21 years of my life to try pimento cheese despite this occurrence. I will never know why. Thankfully I broke down and decided to have it on a burger last year. Talk about life-changing. Now I've had pimento cheese on everything. Sandwiches, burgers, mac and cheese, tater tots, you can see it's quite the healthy lifestyle change.

Maybe you're not a southerner. Maybe you've never tried pimento cheese. Maybe you think the idea of combining cheese and mayo is disgusting. But then again, maybe there's a part of you that thinks you could add a little southern spice to your life and it's at least worth a shot. After all, it's only three ingredients and southern food is all the rage these days in the foodie world.

That being said, my grandmother has very specific thoughts about these three ingredients. She may never have used exact measurements for the recipe, but there are a few finite rules to making her pimento cheese: it must be Duke's Mayonnaise, Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar (gold package), and diced pimentos (no brand, just don't get sliced). No, this is not any sort of endorsement. I wish. It's just tried and true southern cooking.

Let me know if you have any great ways to use pimento cheese that you think I probably haven't tried!

Grandmother's Pimento Cheese

1 10-oz package Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
1/4 cup Duke's Mayonnaise
1-2 tbs diced pimentos

Combine grated cheddar, mayonnaise and pimentos in bowl. Mix with a spoon (or clean hands) until thoroughly combined. Add mayonnaise or more pimentos to suit your taste. Store in refrigerator.

Pimento cheese works well in all sorts of foods. Swap out regular cheese for pimento cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich. Fill celery with it. Use it as a dip with chips. Top burgers with a tablespoon or two when they come off the grill. The list goes on.

To make a grilled cheese (as pictured), slather the outsides of two pieces of bread with butter. Spread pimento cheese on non-buttered side of one piece. Top with the other piece, keeping the butter on the outsides. Place on a pan over medium heat and flip to desired brownness on each side. Grab napkins. Slice and enjoy!

This is one of those desserts I feel guilty just looking at. It's got everything you could ever want in a cookie (minus chocolate), and on top of that you get two for one because it's a whoopie pie! I've had the recipe bookmarked for a month or two now, but I was contemplating whether I wanted to make the filling. Not surprisingly, I opted to add the buttercream. Why I ever thought I'd be able to resist is beyond me.

I found this mini cake stand while browsing through the plates/cookware section of TJ Maxx the other day. It was sitting right next to a shelf of Kate Spade kitchenware (our TJ Maxx is a goldmine). I'm sure it's meant for a six-year-old girl's birthday party or something of the sort, but it was the last nudge I needed to finally make the whoopie pies. I gave myself a little pat on the back for resisting the Kate Spade items, and off I went with my pink polka-dotted stand.

I'll admit that these took me the better part of an afternoon to make. I made them in mini cookie sizes, so it took forever to get through all the dough. The cookies on their own are amazing. If you don't feel like making frosting, just stick with the cookies. No one will complain. That being said, if you're ok with using a total of four sticks of butter and spending a little more time on these, fill 'em up. My brother, who is not really a sweets person, said these were one of the best things I've made yet. My mom, not one to ever have more than one cookie in a sitting, had three over the course of a roadtrip drive (I chose not to mention to her that is basically six cookies).

Point is: funfetti never disappoints and these are amazing. Bring on the sprinkles. And the butter.

Funfetti Whoopie Pies
Recipe from Yammie's Noshery

2 sticks softened butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon imitation butter flavor
1 egg
2 cups cake flour
2/3 all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup colored sprinkles
More sprinkles for rolling (I used the little round kind)

Beat the butter and sugar on high speed for about 5 minutes or until fluffy. Add the vanilla, butter flavor, and egg. Beat until well combined. Sift in the flours, soda, and salt. Mix to combine. Stir in the sprinkles. Chill the dough. If you're in a hurry, throw in in the freezer. I put it in a gallon ziploc bag and pounded it down flat so it would get cold faster. Preheat the oven to 375ยบ. Take a small piece of the dough, dip in the sprinkles and roll into a ball and place on the baking sheet. Repeat until the sheet is filled. Bake about 7 minutes. Keep the remaining dough in the freezer while the other are baking. They will flatten out as the bake and puff up a little when they're done. Sandwich cooled cookies together with filling if desired (recipe below).


1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
2 sticks cold butter, chopped into small cubes
2 tablespoons sprinkles (I used the little round ones)

Beat the cream and vanilla until slightly thickened. Beat in the powdered sugar until thick and smooth. Beat in about one fourth of the cold butter cubes at a time on high speed. Beat for about 10 minutes on high speed in your stand mixer until smooth. Don't be afraid if it looks weird at first. Just keep beating! Fold in the sprinkles. Use to fill cooled cookies.


I've never been scared off by the risk of salmonella in raw cookie dough. I will undoubtedly be the incredibly rare case of someone who becomes violently ill from cookie dough because of this. Death by cookie dough. I used to buy rolls of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough at the grocery store and snack on it with friends. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Who needs cookies when you can just eat the dough and call it a day?

Along with the many perks of living at home before I move in a few weeks (more space, bigger TV, my parents, obviously) I've also found that I can't get away with quite as much. For example, the other day when my mom walked in and saw me making these she looked at me, only half surprised, and said, "Again?!" I acted like it was completely normal to have made these twice in three days and said, "Yes?" Only about five percent of the things I do on a daily basis are remotely normal. Sometimes it just takes being called out to realize it. Alas, I made them again anyways.

These are going to be my new go-to party dessert. They're easy, delicious, cute and egg-free for anyone worried about salmonella. I like the chocolate drizzle on them, but if you want to make it simpler just roll them in some mini morsels and voila! Bite-sized, amazing cookie dough bites.

Bring these to a party. Share with strangers. Make friends. It's that easy!

Also, I've noticed the dough is much easier to form if you pop it in the fridge for 10 minutes or so after making it.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
Recipe from Cooking Classy

Yields about 30

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips, chopped (the idea is to get them to be about 1/2 - 1/3 their original size)
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped

Optional Topping:
1/3 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips


In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip together butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and salt until pale and fluffy about 3 - 4 minutes. Stir in cream and vanilla extract. Add in flour and mix just until combine (dough will seem dry at first but it will come together). Mix in chopped chocolate chips. Scoop dough out 1 equal tablespoon at a time and roll into balls. Place on parchment or wax paper.

If drizzling with chocolate, place 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe container and microwave on 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Pour melted chocolate into a small ziploc bag, seal bag and cut a very small tip off the corner of the bag. Drizzle chocolate over tops of truffles. Place truffles in freezer for several minutes until chocolate sets and hardens (mine only took about 3 minutes), then enjoy! For more firm cookie dough bites, chill 1 hour in refrigerator. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Holy cheesus. Of all the grilled cheeses I've had in my life (which is a lot), this is hands down one of the best. I was headed out the door to grab lunch with the bf on Saturday when he asked, "Wait, do you have any good sandwich recipes you've been meaning to make?" Hah. Two seconds later I had pulled up 10 bookmarked recipes and photos for him to pick from on my phone. It's embarrassing how overeager I get about food choices. So, we picked two and this was one of them. They were both amazing. Just as good, if not better, than any deli we would've gone to for lunch. I'll post the other later in the week when I get the chance to make it again.

I used 8oz of a fontina/gruyere combo cheese I found in the fancy cheese section of Harris Teeter. I don't remember the brand, but anything along the lines of gruyere and/or fontina will be great. The deli cheeses are pricey, but 8oz was enough for five sandwiches (five super cheesy sandwiches). I know shredding cheese seems like a bit of a hassle, but the payoff is huge. Pre-shredded cheese doesn't melt as well. The same goes for the extra work caramelizing onions requires. It's worth it.

The sweetness of the onions, the creaminess of the cheese and the crunch of the bread all come together in perfect sandwich bliss. Ah. It's obvious I loved it considering I made it twice in less than 36 hours. Go ahead and move this to the top of your lunchtime "to-make" list. You'll be happy you did!

French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Recipe adapted from The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife
Makes 4-5 Sandwiches

2 yellow onions, halved and sliced thinly
2 tablespoons butter
dash of salt
8 oz fontina/gruyere cheese, shredded
1 loaf sourdough bread or wheat bread, sliced (use the groceries bakery bread and have them slice it)
1 ounce softened butter, for the bread


1. In a heavy sauce pan melt the butter and toss the onions to coat. Season with a little bit of salt and cook on medium heat till caramelized and brown, stirring frequently, about 6-8 minutes. Be patient. Once caramelized remove from heat and set aside.

2. Butter two pieces of bread. Place one slice butter side down in a greased skillet. And add a few tablespoons of the onions and roughly 2oz cheese. Place the other slice on top and lightly press down with a spatula to make sure the sandwich comes together. Cook over medium heat until browned on both sides.
This is 4oz shredded cheese and one onion. As you can see they go a long way!
Bad kitchen lighting, sorry!

If you choose to rip your sandwich apart...

I always feel like seasons officially start so much later than they should. I was in Tennessee last weekend for my step-sisters wedding and it was a scorching 101 degrees. If it's 101 degrees, it's summertime in my book. Picnics, ice cream, beach trips, sunshine, hot weather...I love summer. It just so happens that this is my last free month of summer until retirement (let's hope so at least). Therefore, I am going to fit in as many summertime activities as possible before I start work in a few weeks. Cobbler is on my summertime list.

My family always makes cobbler the same way and it's fantastic. We toss the fruit with Splenda (yes, I realize many people are anti-Splenda...I will probably be the last person on earth to stop using it), then we mix together butter and a bit of yellow cake mix for the topping. So simple and so delicious. But that's not to rule out all other cobblers. I like them all.

This topping is much less sweet than yellow cake mix (shocker). However, I found that when you pair it with ice cream it has the perfect amount of sweetness. Still, I might add a few more tablespoons of sugar the next time I make it. It's a biscuit-like consistency with a slight crunch on the top. See that bite in the picture above? Heavenly.

Blackberry Cobbler
Recipe adapted from The Eclectic Faerie


1-1/2 pounds fruit of choice
3/4 cup sugar and 6 tablespoons sugar, separated
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, whipped lightly

  1. Preheat oven to 375F {or 350F convection}
  2. Grease a 9-inch square brownie pan (or something of a similar size)
  3. Place the fruit evenly in the pan, then sprinkle with 3/4 cup of the sugar; toss to coat
  4. Dot the surface of fruit with the butter cubes
  5. Whip the cream, not too stiff
  6. Sift the flour, the 6 tablespoons of sugar and the salt into a mixing bowl; gently stir in the whipped cream until it becomes a really sticky dough
  7. Use a big spoon {and your finger} to scoop and drop the dough over the fruit; spread gently to cover as much as possible. If you like sweeter cobbler you can sprinkle a bit more sugar over the top.
  8. Place pan on a lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes until lightly brown & bubbly
I prefer my cobbler cold, but it'd be great either way! Can be eaten plain or with ice cream. Store in refrigerator.

My apologies for using the same plate in all of my posts! Everything else is packed up in boxes.