As It Turns Out A Blog Can Be Very Helpful


I don’t mean to alarm you, but I’m writing a blog post.

Why, you might wonder?

Well, a couple of days ago I cooked lunch for my friends Beth and KMac, and when Beth shared a video of our Tuesday lunch lineup, several people asked if I would share the recipes. Here’s the answer: OF COURSE I will. I love sharing recipes!

However, when I started to think about HOW to share the recipes, I couldn’t figure out how to make Instagram efficient for recipe sharing. Then I remembered: Oh, I have a blog. Where I can post things.

It’s like it’s 2007 all over again.

Since Beth and KMac are from Texas, I wanted to cook a big Southern lunch (or, as Mama would have said of the lunchtime meal, “dinner”), and I wanted to make everything ahead of time so I wouldn’t be standing over a hot skillet when they arrived at our house. Just running the oven in summertime is hot enough, you know?

(By the way, we had some painting done this week, so when B and KMac walked in our front door, here is the sight that greeted them.)

(“Decorative elegance” is the phrase that comes to mind.)

(But you know what? IT WAS FINE. The food was still tasty even though my living room and dining room and foyer were a collective wreck.)

The kitchen and den were out of the painting fray for the most part, so we hung out in that part of the house and ate our lunch and visited and had us a fine time. It was so great to spend an afternoon with friends I don’t get to see nearly enough. Here’s what I cooked – along with the recipes.

– Chicken and Dressing – This link will take you to a whole chicken and dressing tutorial, and it’s pretty close to what I did with a few small changes:

1) I cooked four chicken breasts on the bone in a pot with celery, lots of salt and pepper, and 1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube. The broth was DELICIOUS.
2) I made buttermilk cornbread (I like White Lily Buttermilk Cornbread Mix) in a cast iron skillet instead of a baking pan. I made three rounds of cornbread and used 2 1/2 for the dressing. It took a little while to cook three batches of cornbread – but I didn’t trust that the cornbread would cook through if I tried to double or triple the recipe all at once.
3) I sauteed my onion and celery in butter for about five minutes just to get the vegetables a little softer…I don’t like super crunchy onion or celery in chicken and dressing.
4) I maybe used 1/4 teaspoon of poultry seasoning and no sage.
5) I baked the dressing (and I had enough for 2 9×13 Pyrex pans) at 375 for about an hour and ten minutes.

– Squash Casserole –

I’ve tried all sorts of squash casseroles over the years, and this is the version we love the most. It’s my mama’s recipe – with a few additions and modifications.

12 medium-to-large yellow squash, chopped
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped into chunks (doesn’t have to be diced)
salt and pepper (I probably do a tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper – because like a potato, squash won’t have a lick of flavor unless you salt it when you boil it)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter

Put all of the above ingredients in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until squash is fork tender.

While the squash is cooking, put the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl:

4 tablespoons butter
4 oz. block cream cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

When squash is tender, pour squash and onion mixture into a colander. Use a potato masher to press out as much of the water as you can. I probably mash the squash 8-10 times.

Pour drained squash and onion into mixing bowl and stir until butter and cream cheese are melted.

Taste – and add salt and pepper as needed.

Finally, add 2 beaten eggs to the squash mixture and stir until they’re incorporated.

Pour into a greased baking dish and cook for 30 minutes on 375.

After 25 minutes, add your favorite crunchy topping: crushed saltines mixed with butter, crushed Cheez-Its (so good!), crushed Whisps – whatever you like. Then bake for 5 more minutes.

Be sure to let the casserole cool a little before you serve it. It has the lightest, creamiest texture – but you can’t appreciate the texture if it’s burning hot. :-)

– Broccoli Salad – I’ve made broccoli salad a good bit, and this one is the best. Blanching the broccoli before making the salad is a game changer.

Baby Lima Beans – For what it’s worth, this time I didn’t use Worcestershire, and I added a couple of teaspoons of Kosher salt.

– Mamaw’s Chocolate Pudding – This was actually my Mamaw Davis’ chocolate pie filling, but it is SPECTACULAR as a simple, comforting, oh-so-chocolate-y dessert.

3/4 cup sugar
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder (I like Hershey’s)
2 eggs
2 egg yolks (that is not a typo – that would be 4 egg yolks total, and it’s best to just roll with what Mamaw thought best)
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons good vanilla extract

In a medium-sized saucepan (no heat yet), stir together first three ingredients until there are no lumps. I actually run mine through a sifter sometimes.

In a separate bowl, beat your eggs.

Fold eggs into dry mixture.

Once eggs are fully incorporated, add milk, stir until combined, and then turn on stove to a medium heat. You do not want to boil this custard…so be careful you don’t have too much heat going or the pudding will curdle. I usually start on medium and switch to medium low after five-ish minutes.

Stir or whisk mixture constantly until it starts to thicken – about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.

Makes 4-6 servings, which I pour immediately into individual dessert bowls (cools quicker that way).

Press plastic wrap across the top of each bowl – down onto the surface of the pudding – so that the texture doesn’t change on the top of the pudding.

Hope y’all enjoy!

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  1. kathy olson says:

    Thank you so much! This would be great with sweet tea and some fried okra, too! I can’t wait to try these recipes.

  2. Cathy Deskins says:

    All your recipes look great! Reminds me of things my grandmother would fix when I was growing up. Can’t wait to try them. Thanks for sharing.

  3. These sound so good. Sounds like something my Mom or grandmother would have made since I’’m originally from Nashville. Im sure no one cared at all about your painting being done except you. Sounds like a good time. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Now next thing I want to see is how your painting turned out. Any pictures?

  5. Catherine says:

    Please write a cookbook. Please. I’m begging, and I’m old, so it’s not a pretty picture. I need all of these in one precious place.

  6. Emily Small says:

    Adding these to my upcoming menu – all sounds yummy.

  7. I have an inordinately high level of excitement seeing your post! Gosh, you just made my Friday. Not to mention, the recipes are making me hungry!

  8. Teresa Munn says:

    My family has been using the exact same pie filling recipe for 3 generations! I can’t wait to make the chicken and dressing and the squash casserole! Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. Jennifer S says:

    Missed you! Don’t be a stranger now!

  10. Kelly Davis says:

    1. I have been eagerly awaiting these recipes since seeing the instagram post.
    2. I made my grocery list for tonight’s dinner as I read this.
    3. My stomach is truly growling :-)
    4. I LOVE the video, and especially the hostess and her sassy dialogue, enhanced only by her knee socks. LOVE her!!
    5. Please blog more often. You delight me and I always love the southern culture you share.

  11. Jackie Causey says:

    Thanks for the recipes, especially introducing me to Collard Valley Cooks!
    Would love to see your completed painting project. I am sure that writing a blog is time consuming but just know I’ve missed it!

  12. Ginger Florey-Powell says:

    I miss your blog Soph. I’m old-fashioned that way!

  13. Ginger Florey-Powell says:

    Oh yeah. And WAR EAGLE!!!!

  14. Yolanda McLean says:

    Thanks for dusting off the old blog! You jumped right in and we thank you!!

  15. Yours was one of the first blogs I ever read years ago, and I started to write my own. What a joy to see you blog again.

  16. Girrrrrl! You threw down some food! That all sounds delicious to my southern taste buds!

  17. Loved this. Your mama and mine must have been cut from similar cloth, because I have very similar recipes handed down from her, my grandmother and great grandmother. We use Ritz crackers on top of the squash casserole and sometimes I add paper thin sliced almonds ti the top for a little extra crunch. That chocolate pudding recipe is the one I call Gran’s chocolate pie, and to be honest, there have been times my 3 boys shoveled down the pudding before it made it to the crust. Good eating here in Texas too!!

  18. I was SO happy to see a post today! I check all the time to see if you’ve written one. I am not a podcast gal. Love your posts!!

  19. Stefanie says:

    Can’t wait to try the squash casserole — that’a vegetable my husband will actually eat!

    I live in the Omaha area and have been thinking of you with the Bulldogs’ win at the CWS yesterday!

  20. Bethany says:

    I tried the squash casserole tonight, and it was A+. It will be a keeper in our family! I almost had to switch plans because my yellow onion was gross, but my husband remembered we had frozen white onions (after I booed his red onion idea)–plan saved.

  21. Sophie, thank you so much for taking the time to post all these recipes when you’ve got so much going on! Can’t wait to try them all. I thought I was settled on the squash casserole in the Magnolia cookbook (after 30 years of making my own a different way) but I can’t wait to try yours. TWELVE squash though!?
    Like many other commenters, I miss your blog! It was delightful to see this today.

  22. Melanie says:

    When I am short on time, I double my cornbread recipe and cook it in a Pyrex dish. It doesn’t have the crust on it like a skillet or baking pan, but helps with time. I would only do this for dressing, not making cornbread only.

  23. Thank you for the recipes! I made graphic for some of them and posted them on my pinterest page, if you’re interested:


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