Category: Entertaining

monday meal madness: southern-style!

Southern Potluck, V

Happy Monday! We’re at the start of another gorgeous week here in the PNW. You?

Monday’s the day when I share what our dinners have been like around the Fresh Scratch Homestead in the last week. Hopefully you can be inspired!

We’ve had lots of fun events with both family and friends over the last week, so I only have two meals to share with you.

bratwurst & sweet potato friesThis meal is sort of courtesy of Costco. The bratwurst was a brand that I hadn’t seen there before, but of course now the wrapper is gone! Some help I am to you! It’s organic and free range and only had a few ingredients.

The organic sweet potato fries are in the freezer section and by a company called Russet House. They only had eight ingredients, all of which I have in my own kitchen. We have really gotten into the habit of making our own fries in the last couple of years, but I couldn’t resist trying these out. They’re delicious!

Southern Potluck, I Southern Potluck, II

My friend Marie began the summertime tradition of Tuesday Night Potlucks-on-the-Porch about three summers ago. She’d invite any combination of people over as a way to be sure she saw other people besides her own family over the summer. Back then, our two youngest kids {my Clementine and her Thomas – who are less than 3 weeks apart} were two, and it was hard to have dinner parties. Potlucks made it easy!

This summer we have finally taken a turn. We hosted Marie and Patrick’s family, along with Patrick’s brother Tony and his family. The theme was Southern, and no one disappointed! I made barbecued pulled pork, dessert, and some peach sangria, sweet tea, and lemonade. They filled in the rest: seven-layer salad, homemade mac and cheese, and some amazing cornbread. It was a feast!

Southern Potluck, III

The sangria had to be refreshed a few times. We were having just a leeeeetle bit of fun, to say the least.

Southern Potluck, IV Southern Potluck, V Southern Potluck, VI Southern Potluck, VIIMatt had just finished up our patio that day, though I didn’t take a good picture of it. The arbor and twinkly lights are all set, and the deck has been replaced by a small porch and a patio made of pathway crushed gravel. It’s divine! Now my brother just needs to paint the back of the house, and this four-years-in-the-making project will totally be complete. Ahhhh.

Southern Potluck, VIII Southern Potluck, IX Southern Potluck, XAnnabelle is growing up! She goes away to Girl Scout camp mid-week. She spent most of the time at the potluck with the adults, showing off her mad croquet skillz.

Southern Potluck, XII think Kyla, far left, really enjoyed my sangria the most. I have a whole series of hilarious photos of her playing croquet!

Southern Potluck, XIIMarie and I have been friends for a really long time! Thanks for starting this potluck tradition, Marie!

Southern Potluck, XIII Southern Potluck, XIV Southern Potluck, XV Southern Potluck, XVI Southern Potluck, XVIIDessert was a banana pudding. I don’t use Nilla Wafers, but make pound cake instead with a recipe from Mrs. Wilkes’ Boardinghouse Cookbook: Recipes and Recollections from Her Savannah Table.

Southern Potluck, XVIIILook who brought a Derby-style hat! Perfect.

What a great night, you guys! Or should I say y’all?!

Do you have any regular summer traditions like this?

Here’s a direct link to the cookbook I mentioned:

a mother’s day brunch idea, the reprise.

chili cheese puff ingredients

One of my favorite days of the year is right around the corner.

Mother’s Day and my birthday are the only two days a year that I completely take off from everything. I sleep in, I don’t cook, I don’t do laundry, I read “Sunset” magazine on the couch in the sunshine {my kids ask me what I’m doing and if I’m okay, but still.}.

You? Maybe you’re hosting. Maybe you’re going to someone’s house for brunch. Maybe you need to bring a dish.

May I help you?

Because this idea I have can be assembled the night before. Sound promising? Hope so.

And  a Happy Birthday this week to my friend Chris, who shared this recipe with our entire book club years ago. It was her grandma’s, and this girl comes from a line of people who make good stuff that gets passed down. Love that!

Before we get started, a tip: don’t try to make this low-fat, okay? Just enjoy the dang thing. It is, after all, Mother’s Day. And whether you have children or not, you deserve to enjoy this dish in its full glory. I’m sure of it.

chili cheese puff ingredients

Chili Cheese Puff {first of all: great name!}

Chili Cheese Puff
Serves 12
Eggs. Cheese. Green Chilis. Oh, my.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 10 eggs
  2. 9x13 casserole pan (don't use stoneware, or it'll take forever and a day to bake)
  3. half cup of flour
  4. half tsp. salt
  5. 1 tsp. baking powder
  6. half cup of melted butter (one stick)
  7. 1 pint cottage cheese
  8. 8 oz. diced green chilis
  9. 1 lb. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  1. 1. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
  3. 3. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix. It will be lumpy. Chill out.
  4. 4. Pour in the melted butter and mix.
  5. 5. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the cottage cheese, the chilis, and the cheese.
  6. 6. Butter your pan.
  7. 7. Pour mixture into greased pan. At this point, you can refrigerate it and bake it the next morning, if you want - one of many things to love about this little number!
  8. 8. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean and the dish is firmed-up.
  1. Cut into squares and enjoy with salsa on top...or not. This dish is one egg dish that is awesome reheated as leftovers, just to keep the happy, butter-laden times going.
Fresh Scratch
Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!

Happy Birthday, Chris {she’s a mom of three girls!}!