Julia's Simply Southern: January 2016 >

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Simple Dinner - Wedge Salad - Beef Tenderloin - Green Beans

Y'all, it has been a busy weekend for me. All fun, but busy just the same. Sometimes the most simple dinners are so great. Presentation can also make those simple dinners not only look amazing but fun to eat. I think presentation does have certain importance with what we eat. I mean we do like to eat good looking food.

Take the salad for instance, a chopped salad is great indeed, but changing things up and making a wedge salad gives it a different visual appeal.

This wedge salad is so simple - a wedge of lettuce, peppercorn buttermilk ranch, carrot ribbons, spiral cucumber, a little shredded cheese, grape tomatoes, and a couple of croutons. Ta Da! Seriously though, it's pretty right?!?

I like to make fresh dressings when possible. This one is so easy. It just tastes so much better and fresher than the bottled stuff. That's not saying I'm against bottled dressing cause I use them too.

Peppercorn Buttermilk Ranch Dressing:
1 Packet Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch
1 c Mayonnaise
1 c Buttermilk
Fresh Cracked Peppercorn

The beef tenderloin is a peppercorn marinated beef tenderloin that you'd find in the fresh meat section of your grocery store. Two tenderloins come  in the packet and all you have to do is throw them on the grill. You can't get easier than that and they are excellent. I just added a side of green beans.

There you go. An easy dinner, quick, and delicious. Healthy too! Now I can spend my evening relaxing a bit before the work week starts.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Chobani Game Day Appetizers

We're getting close to Superbowl 50 and here are three appetizers on the healthy side that you can have, made in about an hour , for your game day celebration. They are all made using Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt. One 32 oz size of Chobani and you can make all of these delicious game day treats. 


Chobani Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

Chobani Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels for your game day celebration! 

8 oz 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
3/4 c Buffalo Wing Sauce
2 - 12.5 oz canned Chunk White Chicken (can use 2 c fresh shredded chicken)
Tortilla Wraps

In a colander add canned chicken, give a rinse with water and allow to drain well.

In a medium mixing bowl combine cream cheese, chobani, wing sauce, and pepper and mix well. Add drained chicken and stir to combine.

Spread mixture on tortilla shells, roll up. Slice ends off and discard. Insert tooth pics every inch or so and slice. Add to platter and serve. Serve with a side of  buffalo sauce or blue cheese dressing for dipping.


Chobani Taco Dip

Super easy appetizer dip for your game day get together. This will be a favorite!

1 1/4 c Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt
1 packet Low Sodium Taco Seasoning
1/2 c Pico de Gallo
1/2 c shredded Mexican Blend Cheese

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with tortilla chips or scoops.

Alternate Version: Easy Taco Dip made with Sour Cream


Chobani Parmesan Wings

Chobani Greek Yogurt and the South come together to make this incredible appetizer! It's so good, it will be the hit of your get together!

1 c Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt
3/4 c shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Southern Blend Poultry Seasoning (Badia Spices)
1 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Paprika
1 1/2 - 3 lbs fresh Chicken Wings (6-12 pieces)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl, combine chobani yogurt, parmesan and seasonings together.

Spray a foil lined baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Coat each side of the chicken wings and arrange on baking sheet.

Place in 350 degree oven and bake 35-35 minutes until golden browned on top.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

National Southern Food Day - January 22nd

"Authentic Southern cooking is as diverse and multicultural as the regions in the South and the families who live there."- Sheri Castle

Eggsposé: Exposing Egg Expiration Dates

How fresh do you think the eggs you're buying in the supermarkets are? Information you need to know about the eggs you buy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Oven Baked Burrito 'Chiladas

Perfect for those busy weeknight meals!


  • 1 lb Ground Beef (Chicken is good too)
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Bell Pepper, diced (color of your choice)
  • 1 Packet Taco Seasoning
  • 1/2 c Water
  • 1 c Cheese, grated (I used cheddar)
  • Sliced Black Olives (optional)
  • 1 large can Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 can mild Rotel
  • Flour or Corn Tortilla Wraps

In a large skillet brown ground beef, add onions and peppers and cook until tender. Add Rotel. Add taco seasoning and water. Simmer until water cooks out and sauce thickens.

Add enough of the enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of a large baking dish. Spoon mixture into tortilla shell, add a little cheese, fold and tuck ends rolling up. Place into a baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top with black olives. Cover with the remaining enchilada sauce.

Bake at 350 degrees 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is hot and bubbly. Serve with a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Variation - Try it with shredded chicken. Tastes great!

See it at Rare Online News

See it at Meal Plan Monday

Southern Breeze Sweet Tea

Sponsored Post: Written by me for Southern Breeze Sweet Tea

If you're from the South, there's a pretty good chance you drink sweet tea. If you worry about the calories of sugar in your favorite southern beverage, Southern Breeze has the Sweet Tea for you. A zero calorie sweet tea. It gets even better - the sweetener is already in the tea bag. A beautiful relationship of real tea leaves and Splenda. No extra step of adding sweetener. It couldn't be an easier to enjoy a glass of Sweet Tea, without the calories!

Southern Breeze comes in the original tea flavor we all love as well as 3 other flavors. It's easy to make - boil your water, steep the tea 3-5 minutes, chill and enjoy your tea. I have to say that one of the things I found charming about the tea bags....yes charming about tea bags...there's a message on the back of each tab.

Southern Breeze was kind enough to share their tea with me so that I could try it and tell all of you about it. 

It's a winner in my book! I drink a lot of sweet tea and it's nice to have an option with ZERO calories. Southern Breeze is already in stores. I saw it at my local Walmart store. Southern Breeze takes the worry out of the worry of sugar intake. 

I have to admit that I hadn't heard of Southern Breeze tea until they contacted me. I am sure glad they did!

Let's recap: This is not an instant tea. This is real tea with sweetener in the bag. You brew it just like any other tea.

Currently Southern Breeze are running a Box a Day campaign and giving a box of Southern Breeze away a day until 2/6/16- Click here for details: http://woobox.com/2q3eyd

·         Southern Breeze is the original zero calorie sweet tea with sweetness in the bag!
·         Southern Breeze is a family sized tea bag. It’s sugar free & zero calories
·         Brew it up hot, steep, chill, & share
·         Blended and packed in Marietta, GA
·         Available in 4 flavors: Original, Peach, Lemon, and Raspberry
·         Available on Amazon.com, Food Lion, Publix, Giant, Harris Teeter, Brookshire Bros, Wegmans, and select Walmart stores & on SouthernBreezeSweetTea.com
·         Their website is www.southernbreezesweettea.com
·         Their social sites are: Facebook/ https://www.facebook.com/southernbreezesweettea/
                                       Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/southernbreezesweettea/
                                       Twitter https://twitter.com/sbreezesweettea
                                       Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sbreezesweettea/

Monday, January 18, 2016

Chicken & Rice Soup

Soups are comforting and hearty and we love them in the cooler months of winter. Soups are also generally simple to make. This Chicken & Rice Soup is easy to make and delicious. You can enjoy the leftovers or freeze them for easy go to meals.

1/2 tsp Olive Oil
1 tbs Butter
1/4 c Button Mushrooms, diced
1 c Celery, diced
1 1/2 c Carrots, sliced or diced
1 medium Yellow Onion, diced
1 sprig fresh Thyme
1/2 tbs Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Poultry Seasoning
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1 tbs dried Parsley Flakes, use fresh if you have it on hand
8 c Water
4 c Chicken Stock
2 boneless, skinless Chicken Breast pieces
3 c Rice, I used white but wild or brown rice would work fine toot

{Tip: Place a wet paper towel under your cutting board to keep it from sliding on counter tops}

In a small pot, cover the chicken with water and boil until done. Remove from water and allow to cool to safely handle cutting up later.

In a large stock pot or dutch oven, add olive oil and butter. Heat over medium high heat until butter is melted. Add cut vegetables and seasonings. Remove the leaves from 1 sprig of thyme and add to the pot. Saute the vegetables until celery and onions begin to turn translucent, about 15 minutes.

Add chicken stock to vegetables and bring to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes.

Cube chicken, or shred if you prefer, and add to the pot with vegetables and stock. Add water and bring back to a simmer. Add rice and stir to combine. Simmer for 20 minutes until rice is fully cooked.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Stanton Hall Plantation

Stanton Hall Plantation is located in #Mississippi In 1857, Irish immigrant and cotton merchant Frederick Stanton began construction on the home of his dreams: a palatial Greek Revival style residence in the heart of Natchez. Then known as Belfast, Stanton's home occupied an entire city block and cost over $83,000 before it was even furnished. Marble mantel pieces were imported from New York, ornate gasoliers were purchased from Philadelphia, and immense mirrors were ordered from France. The facade of Stanton's home was equally impressive with its Corinthian columns and delicate cast iron railings.

The home was completed only months before Stanton's death in 1859 and was occupied by Union troops during the Civil War. The family remained in residence until 1894, at which point the building was transformed into the Stanton College for Young Ladies and rechristened Stanton Hall.#LoveTheSouth

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sweet Tea Fried Chicken

It's no secret that a brine for poultry adds flavor and keeps the meat moist. Why not use the house wine of the South? Most brine recipes are a combination of salt and sweet. Sweet Tea Brine is perfect and makes for a delicious fried chicken.

I must admit that I don't often fry a whole chicken, opting for the much easier boneless chicken breasts, such as in my Fried Herb Chicken Breasts. When I do though, it's oh so good! 

Lipton Cold Brew family size tea bags
1 1/2 c Sugar
1/4 c Kosher Salt
1 sprig Fresh Thyme
1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
1 gallon Water

In a gallon size pitcher add 2 " of hot water from the faucet. Add the sugar and kosher salt and stir until dissolved. Fill the pitcher the remainder to equal a gallon with cold water. Add the tea bags, thyme, and pepper. Allow to steep 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags and stir the brine mixture to ensure everything is combined.

1 Whole Chicken Cut Up, 8 pieces

Add chicken pieces to a large bowl. Pour brine over chicken, cover and refrigerate over night. When ready to prepare the fried chicken, remove the chicken from brine and place on a paper towel lined sheet pan to drain excess liquid. Use paper towels to dry moisture from the top of chicken. Discard the brine. 

Flour Mixture:
3 c Flour, all purpose
1 tbs Salt
1/2 tbs Black Pepper
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Creole Seasoning
1 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Paprika

Combine flour and all seasonings in a large mixing bowl and combine. 

Wet Mixture:
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 c Butermilk
3 tbs Water
2-3 dashes Hot Sauce, such as Texas Pete

In a bowl large mix egg, buttermilk, water and hot sauce together. 

Now let's put it all together. Take each piece of chicken and add to the flour mixture, coating well. Shake off excess flour mixture and add to the wet mixture. Return to the flour mixture and coat well. Sit each coated chicken piece on a baking rack and allow to come to sit 30 minutes to come to room temperature.

Oil for Frying, I used vegetable oil, peanut would work fine

Heat cooking oil, I used vegetable, to prepare for frying in a dutch oven or large cast iron skillet. I love using my Lodge Cast Iron Deep Skillet for frying chicken. When using cast iron you'll want to keep the heat on medium as the cast iron holds the heat well. The oil temperature should be between 350 - 375 degrees.

When the oil is ready for frying start with the dark meat pieces adding 1 at a time, as many pieces as will fit at a time leaving some room. Turn chicken every 3-5 minutes until golden brown and juices run clear. it will take about 10-15 minutes for each batch of chicken depending on the size of the pieces. When the chicken has cooked through, remove from oil and set upon a paper towel lines baking rack to remove excess oil and rest. 

Keep cooking through all chicken pieces and drain and rest until the batch is complete. Let the last batch rest 10 minutes before serving. 

You'll be rewarded with moist, flavorful fried chicken with a crunchy crust. 

Lipton Cold Brew family size tea bags
1 1/2 c Sugar
1/4 c Kosher Salt
1 sprig Fresh Thyme
1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
1 gallon Water

1 Whole Chicken Cut Up, 8 pieces

Flour Mixture:
3 c Flour, all purpose
1 tbs Salt
1/2 tbs Black Pepper
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Creole Seasoning
1 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Paprika

Wet Mixture:
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 c Butermilk
3 tbs Water
2-3 dashes Hot Sauce, such as Texas Pete

Oil for Frying

"Golden brown and blissfully crisp, fried chicken has a longstanding relationship with cast iron." - Taste of the South

Click Here to see it at Meal Plan Monday
Click Here to see it at Weekend Potluck

Grove Plantation

Grove Plantation is a plantation house on Edisto Island, South Carolina. It was built around 1828 in the late-Federal-period plantation style and has the unusual feature of polygonal rooms and projecting symmetrical polygonal bays. #SouthCarolina#LoveTheSouth

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service purchased the Grove 1992 and designated it as the ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge. The Grove Plantation House is one of only a few antebellum mansions in the ACE Basin area to survive the Civil War.

Julia's Shrimp & Grits

There are numerous recipes for Shrimp & Grits. This is an easy recipe of flavorful shrimp and creamy grits. Not too spicy, just right. Shrimp & Grits is also referred to as breakfast shrimp. In the low-country of South Carolina coastal fisherman and families considered this a basic breakfast during the shrimp season. The dish is quite popular these days and you'll find it on dinner menus everywhere, even in the finest restaurants.


3 c Water
1 c Heavy Cream
1 c Grits, stone ground
1/2 stick Butter
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 1/2 c Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1 lb Shrimp, shelled
2 sticks Butter
1/3 c Lemon Juice
1 Lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Fresh Thyme
1/2 tbs Shrimp and Crab Boil, I used Zatarains
1/4 c Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tbs Cayenne Pepper Sauce, I used Frank's Cayenne Pepper Sauce
2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Creole Seasoning
Parsley, for garnish (optional)

In a medium saucepan bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt and 1/3 tsp black pepper. When the water boils slowly add 1 cup of grits, stirring until they're all added to the water. Cover and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes or until the water has cooked down. Stir occasionally.

In a large skillet, add 2 sticks of butter, lemon juice, sliced lemon, thyme, shrimp and crab boil, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper sauce, salt, pepper and creole seasoning. Over a medium heat bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Back to the grits now - after the water has reduced some after about 20 minutes of simmering, add 1 cup of heavy cream. Allow to simmer another 15-20 minutes. At the end of cooking time add 1/2 stick of butter, stirring to melt into grits. Add cheese and stir to incorporate until grits are creamy. Remove from heat.

With a slotted spoon, remove sliced lemon from skillet sauce. Add shrimp to sauce in the skillet. The cold shrimp will reduce sauce temperature. Bring sauce back to a simmer and cook until shrimp have turned pink in color. This will take 10 - 15 minutes. Do no overcook shrimp. 

Serve by adding grits to a bowl and heaping amount of shrimp on top. If you like you may drizzle some of the sauce over the shrimp and grits. Garnish with parsley. 

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