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Southern Recipe Contest

We asked, you answered.


"Back when AOL message boards were a thing and online dating was not, I met a boy who lived just above the North Carolina line. When we finally met in person (after a five-and-a-half hour drive south!), we ended up dating for quite some time. He was a caretaker to his mom, and did a lot of the cooking. This is one of my favorite things he used to make—better with fresh peaches or apricots, but always good, and better over rice.

I have fond memories of trips south whenever I make this dish. I remember being amazed by how NICE people were—strangers were friendly in the grocery store, people drove with more courtesy than we do in the north (at least back then!), and it was a completely different experience from living in the northeastern corridor. I hope Southern Hospitality is still going strong! While our relationship ended, our friendship and shared recipes endure :)" -Jen


Peach chicken

3 halved chicken breasts

1/2 c. flour

2 T. butter

2 T. oil

1 1/2 c. orange juice

2 T. vinegar

2 T. brown sugar

1 t. basil

1/2 t. nutmeg

1 (16 oz.) can peach halves (better with fresh)

Shake chicken pieces in bag with flour, salt and pepper. Brown chicken in butter and oil. Put browned chicken in greased 3 QT casserole dish. Combine o.j., vinegar, brown sugar, basil and nutmeg. Pour over chicken. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tender. Baste often. Place peach halves between chicken pieces, baste again and bake uncovered for 15 more minutes. Good over rice. Serves 6



This recipe book was given to me as a wedding gift back in 1972. As you can see it is very well used and quite worn. The cover and first page has come off, so I put a paper clip on it to hold it together. The main recipe I use is the Banana Cup Cakes, which if you look close you will see my pencil markings on the side as I have cut the recipe in half. The stains on the page is from over the years. I love this recipe book even though it is falling apart! - Madeline


"Fried Green Tomatoes." -Eelin



"A good southerner knows good cornbread. However, tastes do vary and everyone has a recipe with that small distinction that gives THEIR cornbread that special something. When I was in college my grandmother, Gaye Gaye, would write out recipes for me with the hopes that I would turn into the fabulous southern cook she was known to be. One Christmas I got a cast iron skillet along with not one, but five family recipes for cornbread. The recipes included: Itty Bitty’s Cornbread, Cyndi’s Cornbread, Sister’s Cornbread, Ronald’s Cornbread, and Jalapeño Cornbread. All of these have proven to be delicious recipes over the years, but Ronald’s Cornbread holds the trophy for me! It’s possible I am partial to this recipe due to the good family memories that come along with it. You see, Ronald was Gaye Gaye’s husband. Anytime the family was together at their house a delicious southern meal would be in the cards. Gaye Gaye would make all the dishes except the cornbread. The cornbread was Ronald’s domain, and does he know how to make it perfectly! It comes out with a slightly crunchy golden crust on the bottom and is so moist and delicious. The recipe is short and sweet, and reads as follows:

Ronald’s Corn Bread

2 cups self-rising cornmeal

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1.5 cups Buttermilk

Grease iron skillet good. Mix meal, salt, egg together. Add buttermilk a little at a time, stirring good – you may not need all of the buttermilk. Bake 500° - 20 min or until brown.

What’s not included on the recipe card (a good southern cook never writes down ALL of the recipe due to the irrational fear of not being needed anymore!), is that you have to warm up the skillet in the oven while the oven preheats. This is the key to that perfect crust on the bottom!

I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as ours did over the years. I can email the other recipes as well if you'd like the whole collection!" - Amanda



"My entry is a Southern favorite...Cheese Straws. Here is a handwritten recipe from my Mother. After she passed, I tried to replicate the recipe for my Dad, who loved them. I know he was just trying to be nice, when he said they were good, lol. Try as I might, even following the recipe, I can't get them to taste as good as when my Mom made them. I have heard others say: "It must have been the love she made them with." I couldn't agree more." - Anne


Luzon's baked beans

4-6 strips chopped bacon

2 medium size onions chopped

1 medium bell pepper chopped

1(28 oz) can pork and beans

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons Lea & Perrin sauce

1/16 teaspoon red pepper

Salt & pepper it taste

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

Fry chopped bacon until crisp, remove from grease. Add reserve. Sauté onion, pepper in bacon grease. Cook until tender pour in beans, add brown sugar, lea & Perrin sauce, salt, pepper, red pepper, liquid smoke, tomato sauce and bacon crisps.

Pour into uncovered bean pot & bake at 350 for 45 minutes, stirring twice while baking. Serves 8. - Sandra



Story behind Nettie's greens:

"Growing up, I had a precious housekeeper, who came two days a week.

I'd spend hours with her in the kitchen, "helping" her iron on my toy, wooden ironing board.

She would bring over her records, (most were gospel, but some were speeches made by MLK Jr.) and tell me stories of what it was like being a foot soldier during the civil rights movement, and raising 15 children at the same time.

Some times she would tell me all of these recipes, and she'd say, "one day, you'll have a whole messa mouths to feed. Feed em good, feed em right, and your house will neva be empty, you hear?"

Each year, around MLK day, I listen to "I have a dream," and make Nettie's greens."


Southern style collard greens (with a kick!)

2 bundles of collard greens destemmed and deveined.

2 cans of chicken broth

1/2 pound of bacon cut into pieces

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large onion, chopped

1 jalapeño, chopped

1 tbs olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp cajun seasoning

1 tsp Cayenne pepper

Combine bacon, onion, and garlic together in a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until bacon is almost crispy, and onions are translucent.

The rest can be cooked in the crockpot. Cook on high for four, or low for eight.

Add spices to the crockpot, with bacon, garlic onion grease and all

Add chicken broth, lastly add greens, making sure to mix around until evenly mixed and saturated. Cover and cook!

This pairs well with cornbread, and if you want MORE spice, jalapeño cornbread. - Julie-Anne _______________________________________________________________________________________________

"My favorite southern dish is collard greens with garlic! They are delicious!" -Danielle



"Ribs...for years I watched my dad prepare and cook for parties, and his customers for the holidays.. My first Birthday he butchered a whole pig still remember as kids we would go see the pigs he raised n now I've followed in his footsteps n made it a career ...At 33 I have been catering for 3 yrs now... My boys too are headed down that same road!! #familytime #BBQ" - Victoria



"My mother-in-law's brunch casserole. My husband had this piece of paper when we got married 25+ years ago. It's not Christmas morning without this!" - Toonces


Shrimp and Grits (serves 4):

1 lb of peeled and deveined shrimp

2 slices of cooked maple bacon

1/4 cup of mushrooms

1 tablespoon of green onions

1 teaspoon of garlic +

1 cup of creamy cheese grits (mild cheddar cheese).

"Perfect for brunch or dinner!" -Audrica


"Deer pot roast with all the veggies you can buy at this time of year and some good ol. Cornbread". - Ronnie


"I think Ribs are pretty Southern..well in my house" - Dana


"Buttermilk biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy and chicken fried steak with a vegetable mix + Blueberry cobbler." -Tori