Learning About Southern Foods - Blogs By: Holiday Baker Blog at Allrecipes.com - 312636

Blogs By: Holiday Baker

Learning about Southern Foods 
Oct. 10, 2013 11:11 pm 
Updated: Mar. 1, 2015 8:42 am

When my husband and I first got married I had to learn all about what Southern food was. I was from Michigan and he was from North Carolina. He grew up on certain staple foods and he had some holiday favorites, he just really wanted me to try to see if I could make. I decided to take up the challenge and learn a little more.

I found popular foods included pecans, sweet potatoes, pralines, lots of seafood, hot sauce always on the table, and during the warm holiday months, pulled pork or anything with bbq pork, coleslaw, okra, grits, peach desserts, and layered salads and cakes, to name just a few! The one dish completely new to me, besides grits, was pimento cheese spread.

Pimento cheese was popular with crackers, on celery, made into mini sandwiches, and even turned into grilled cheese, with leftovers, which is my personal favorite. I also quickly learned, from local tourist shops, that it is a southern specialty food along with pralines and divinity candy.

Although, it was tasty I found it to be quite pricey for a small jar. So, with a little research I found that it could be made quite simply with cream cheese, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, yellow or white, pimentos or other added peppers, and some seasoning of choice. I might even consider experimenting with other flavors in the future!

On holidays, I like to make the appetizers or desserts. So far, I have become known now for making Allrecipes top rated sweet potato pie. It is made with fresh sweet potatoes, which I think makes it particularly good. I also attempted pralines and caramel and pecan candies. Every holiday, especially Christmas, is a new opportunity to test new recipes.

This years recipe will be Sarah’s Christmas Pimento Cheese Ball. It's a southern recipe, my husband would like. Yet, at the same time, I can play around in the kitchen and have some fun with it also. It is basically a thicker version of a pimiento spread, shaped, and garnished with red and green colors. I hope you enjoy it!


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Sarah's Christmas Pimiento Cheese Ball
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Oct. 11, 2013 4:39 am
Me being a southern gal, you know I have to ask.... do you like grits? I really like the fact that you embraced southern cooking. My hubby loves pimento cheese and I think i've only made it once for him! Gonna try this one!
Oct. 11, 2013 10:28 am
Hi, Blender Woman. Your blog is making me homesick! I grew up on those traditional southern foods, and I still love them. I married a native Wisconsin guy, and we've been meshing our favorites for a few years. He likes grits as long as they are served covered in shrimp, LOL. And I just cannot develop a taste for brats. But we both agree on pimento cheese...or if you are from my neck of the woods, pimento-n-cheese. :)
Oct. 11, 2013 11:18 am
my wife can't cook a lick but she CAN make some mean jalapeno pimento cheese stuffed in celery hearts. just the 4 in the family can go thru 2 celery hearts bags. it not requested, it's DEMANDED when everyone can get together and always the first thing to disappear. all the foods you mentioned plus many more are what we eat. nice blog.
Oct. 11, 2013 11:25 pm
Hello, Terry Trip ~ I love grits! I am really simple though, just a little butter and salt works for me. Wish I knew about them when I was a kid. They are great with eggs for breakfast.
Oct. 11, 2013 11:25 pm
Hi, wisweetp ~ I may be pronouncing it the wrong way! I will have to try the shrimp with grits sometime. My husband would love that one!
Oct. 11, 2013 11:27 pm
Oh, Gderr thank you for the reminder to put out the celery and not just the crackers on the holiday. I appreciate you taking the time to read!
Oct. 15, 2013 6:22 am
I am a southern transplant also, but, think of it as home now! Love pimento cheese on just about everything. It is fabulous on a hamburger. Sounds strange, but, my Mother taught me to add a tiny bit of sweet pickle juice or sweet relish juice to it. The pickle juice gives it a just a touch of sweetness, but, you don't get the pickle taste.
Oct. 15, 2013 9:13 am
I just made Bobby's pimento cheese spread from foodnetwork. My guests devoured the clam dip I made and there was some leftover pimento cheese spread that I've been snacking on all week. Love it on celery.After reading happyschmoopies post I'm going to try it the next time I make burgers. Yum! Pimento cheese is good stuff and I'm not even from the south!
Oct. 15, 2013 9:51 pm
I like that idea too happyschmoopies, going to try that! I am open to any suggestions. :-) Missy Kitty, my husband would love clam dip!
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Holiday Baker

Home Town
Detroit, Michigan, USA
Living In
Richmond, Virginia, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2007

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert, Kids, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

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About Me
I have been a member with a profile since 2007, but was scoping the site many years before that printing recipes. It was a life saver in college and continues to be well used today, as my eating habits change. I graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. degree. I also received a certification in Culinary Arts & Baking and Pastry making, from a local community college, to fullfill a long lived interest.
My favorite things to cook
Overall, I just really enjoy trying new recipes. I have been interested in both healthier cooking and baking lately, testing blended smoothies, soups, healthier versions of site recipes, consuming more varieties of fresh produce, and baking with whole grains.
My favorite family cooking traditions
We had quite a few growing up. Too many to mention. Now, I enjoy finding new recipes, to make each year, to take to holiday parties. I have a few recipe boxes, one which is just for holidays, which keeps expanding. That is when I spend the time making a layered cake, cheesecake, cookies, or just a new fun holiday recipe sweet or savory. I save them during the year as I find them.
My cooking triumphs
As a child it was baking and decorating dozens of Christmas cookies, each year, at my grandmas. Currently, it is all my ever growing knowledge in cooking and baking and becoming an Allrecipes Allstar. Here is a video I was a part of, one year, for Kahlua and Allrecipes.com: http://allrecipes.com/video/4106/kahlua-coffee-break/detail.aspx
My cooking tragedies
I am sure we have all had a few, that's how we learn. My biggest kitchen dissasters were having a glass dish explode in the oven and using a broiler for the first time and catching the vegetables on fire. I have learned, don't ever leave the broiler when it's on.
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