This Week in the Charming South Kitchen

Cinnamon Roll

Another week, another menu plan.  Here we go!  And this week, toward the end, we get visitors – my parents (Mimi and Pops) are coming for a short visit – so I will enjoy going out to dinner with them and have a food prep helper in the kitchen.

Butternut Squash, Kale, Chicken Skillet Bake (variation from this recipe that I got from a friend on Instagram)

Asparagus Ham and Mozzarella Frittata

Fig Flank Steak with an Asian Salad (an idea I got from a friend)

Easy Cinnamon Sugar Donuts with an Apple Glaze

Slow Cooker Veggie Lasagna

Zucchini and Chicken Skillet

Blueberry Italian Cheese Tart (recipe coming tomorrow)




Pumpkin Butter Whole Wheat Millet Muffins

Pumpkin Butter Muffins

Fall – I think for a lot of us kitchen people its one of our favorite seasons.  Pumpkin.  Cinnamon.  Sweet Potatoes.  Apples.

But, I don’t think I had ever experienced a Fall season until I moved to North Carolina in 2000.  See, I grew up in central Florida.  The only two seasons we had were Summer and Christmas Day (and some years we only had one season).  I loved it.  I was close to Disney World though I only remember going in high school and college when I would do Night of Joy with the youth groups.  I was close to the beach (though we had a pool, so my Dad couldn’t figure out why we needed to spend money going to the beach).

But, I remember moving to Wake Forest, North Carolina to start seminary right before a huge snow storm – rethinking the whole moving north thing.  But, then fall came around at the start of my second semester.  I adored the sound the leaves made as I walked through them on my way to class.  I loved wearing jackets with my jeans (even though I would sport some flipflops usually).  I loved sitting down with a warm cup of chai or steamed milk or hot chocolate to study out on the lawn.  The bright blue Fall sky against the browns and yellows and reds of the leaves.  Gorgeous.


And of course, Fall brings pumpkin!  I could eat pumpkin goodies year round, but yesterday when I stepped outside for an early morning out, and felt the slightly cooler Atlanta air, I knew I was ready for Fall.  So, I whipped up these pumpkin butter muffins for my mister.  They were a winner. (This recipe was inspired by Joy the Baker)

Pumpkin Butter Whole Wheat Millet Muffins
Recipe type: Muffins
Cuisine: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
Hearty and healthy muffins, of course with some chocolate. Perfect for Fall mornings or evenings!
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 jar (10 oz) pumpkin butter (I used Trader Joe's)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup dry millet (I found in bulk aisle at Whole Foods)
  • ¾ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup milk
  • juice of ½ lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Grease or line 10 muffin cups
  3. Mix wet ingredients (up through vanilla)
  4. Combine dry and add to the wet mixture
  5. Mix the milk and the lemon juice then add to muffin mixture.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips.
  7. Spoon into muffins tins.
  8. Bake for about 19 minutes or until muffins are done.
  9. Cool and eat. My husband ate one topped w some raw honey this morning.

Simple Summer Squash Salad

Simple Summer Squash Salad

Summer food should be pretty.  The sun is shining.  The gardens are bursting with fragrant herbs and brightly hued fruits the way God imagined and created them.

While I didn’t grow the items found in this summer salad, I did buy them at the Whole Foods in Buckhead (a delightful shopping, eating, and living area of Atlanta).  This Whole Foods takes the cake on any one I’ve been in.  The produce alone would be reason to keep coming back to it again and again.  I remember the first time I took our older son in there.  He exclaimed “watermelon” while looking at the sample containter of beautiful red, completely juicy, delicious watermelon.  (And that was the first time he had said it!)


And another favorite thing I love about this salad is the dressing.  I do love to make my own, but when you’ve found a simple summer vinaigrette such as this one: Brianna’s Real French – why waste the time in making my own?  It is slightly tangy and fragrant and rests lightly on any food you put it on (this salad and our pink grapefruit salad are our two favorites).  And if you want to know where to get the delicious Yard Blend that I use in this side dish, contact my friend Jayme over at Holly and Flora.

So, without further ado – here is a perfectly simple summer side dish that would be a great accompaniement to your next light summer affair.  Get some crusty bread, cheese, wine, berries, and this – night well made.

This recipe was inspired by Laura’s.

Simple Summer Squash Salad
Recipe type: Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
Simple summer squash in a light vinaigrette with salty, smooth goat cheese
  • 2 yellow summer squash, sliced in ribbons
  • 1 zucchini, sliced in ribbons
  • 2-3 T Brianna's Real French Vinaigrette
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • ½ tsp of Holly & Flora's Yard Blend
  • 2 T crumbled goat cheese
  1. To slice ribbons in your vegetables, I used the side of my box grater with the long grating option.
  2. Toss your sliced vegetables in everything but the goat cheese. Let marinate for about 20 minutes
  3. Crumble the goat cheese on top before serving.



This Week in the Charming South Kitchen

Queso Quiche

Later this week, I’ll give you a “state of the blog” address.  After a long discussion earlier this week, I will be narrowing my focus here on the blog and in life – and be able to really master one area and serve my family, those who come into my home, and our church well during this season of life.

Here’s what I’m making this week:

BBQ Pork Chops (recipe forth coming)

Roasted Chicken with a Dill Aoli on Sourdough (Sandwich of the Week)

Pretzel No Bakes (Two Peas just had a little baby this past week – congrats!)

Smores Pie

Summer Salad

Squash Salad with Grilled Chicken

Migas and Bacon

Pink Grapefruit Salad

Pumpkin Muffins (bring on the fall)

Green Smoothie for breakfast (my husband drank one the other day and said he felt amazing all morning.  Its a wonder what healthy foods will do for your body!)

The picture above is of a queso quiche I made late last week and I am eager to share the recipe with yall – since we certainly ate it all quickly.

Enjoy.  Please tell me what foods you are cooking this week!

Sundays in the South

Smores Pie

It is just starting to drizzle here in the ATL metro area.  I love it when it rains here.  We’ve had several days this week of thunder and lightning and pouring down rain.  I’ve loved it.

Our older son loves to stand at his window and look out at the rain and explain “whoa” or “wow” or “oh” every 10 seconds.  He must be fascinated at the creation of God.  I love how God is so in charge of the weather!  Every rain drop falls at his bidding.  Amazing.

And, in God’s amazingness – He gives us chocolate and marshmallows and heavy whipping cream.

For pies such as the one you see up top.

Happy Sunday!

No Bake Fudge S’mores Pie

National Smores Day

Don’t you love how life teaches you lessons?  We all have days where we learn valuable lessons that will profit us to use them in the future.

Like don’t go out without an umbrella if skies are threatening rain.

Don’t date guys who don’t love Jesus first and foremost.

Always wear the same shoes – vital.

Love above all else.

When you get hurt (and you will), don’t hurt in return because it doesn’t do anyone any good.

Leave your heart open for new relationships and friendships.

And this S’mores Pie.

No Bake Fudge Smores Pie

I found out on Instagram yesterday that today is National S’mores Day (who is in charge of making these things up, anyway?).  So, all I had to do was get a few things from the store and this pie is all set for when we get home from church tonight.  It is dark, fudge, not too sweet, and topped with fluffy, sugary goodness.  Slightly burnt edges – just like the perfect campfire marshmallow before you smush it between some chocolate and graham crackers.

The lesson I learned in making this pie?  Buy a culinary torch.  It will just do you wonders and save bunches of time (because my life as a full-time mommy comes first to my adventures in The Charming South Kitchen, so I’ve gotta use those nap times wisely).  At least I was able to sip on my McDonald’s diet coke while I was waiting for my lighter to slightly burn the edges of the marshmallows.  (I adapted this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker)

No Bake Fudge S'mores Pie
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Pie
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
No need for a campfire or an oven for this pie. Chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows.
  • 1 graham cracker crust, chilled
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 oz dark chocolate
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 T heavy whipping cream
  • 1¾ teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • ¾ bag large marshmallows
  • handful mini marshmallows
  1. Heat the cream and light corn syrup on stove until slightly boiling (you don't want to overheat it because it will burn).
  2. Pour the heated cream mixture over the chocolate and stir until smooth.
  3. Add the butter and stir until creamy.
  4. Gently spread the chocolate mixture in the bottom of the graham cracker pie crust
  5. Place the marshmallows on top, gently pressing them into the fudge filling.
  6. Heat with a torch or match or however you want to light them, to the crispiness of your liking.
  7. Let come to room temp before serving
  8. Cut slices and serve.



This Week in the Charming South Kitchen

Charming South Kitchen

Do your weeks ever change on the fly and fly by all that once?  Well, ours definitely changes from time to time, depending mainly on my taste buds and my time in the kitchen.  So, I’m going to start just posting menus for the week but not really putting days with them unless they go with a specific moment in our week.

This week I have several friends coming to visit.  And I’ve totally changed our eating.  And we get a raincheck to celebrate the mister.  All good things.

Garden Fresh Baked Frittata featured on my favorite AR eggs company’s site.

Greek Chicken Burgers with Tzatziki sauce and grilled zuks

Chicken Casserole with frozen vegetables

Crock Pot Maple Pork Chops (with greens)

Green Smoothie

Salad featuring Red Grapefruit and Avocado – perfect taste of summer

And there you have it. As you can see – pretty grain free.  I think its hard to go grain free for breakfast (eggs get boring) and lunch (because I love sandwiches and pizza)!  But, its working so far and I feel better!




Sundays in the South

Sunday desserts

I grew up listening to country music…they always talked about Sundays in the South.  I love Atlanta on a Sunday.  No one busy going anywhere.  Families out enjoying the green space.  Church.  We love our new church.

Tonight, as we do on every Sunday that we celebrate Lord’s Supper, we have a fellowship time.  It was desserts!  My husband did great and went through the line for me and the boys and just brought me fruit which I asked him to do.  Though I did steal a bite of Sebastian’s Banana Pudding and a bite of Elijah’s rice krispie treat.  The watermelon and canteloupe were so good though.  Perfect summer fruits!

Enjoy your Sunday.  Relax.  Love on others.  Rest up for the long week ahead!  Weekend’s are just too short!