We may be a party of five, but there’s always room for more at the Southern Dinner Belles’ table! So pull up a chair, get ready to be entertained -- and hopefully inspired -- by our love of this special slice of the world that we all call home. We keep it traditional, but do not shy away from charting our own course. And that truth applies to life and recipes.One thing’s for sure – in the Southern Dinner Belles’ kitchen, you can count on a dash of independence and a pinch of sass in every dish!
Southern Dinner Belle
Blog, Food, Inspiration, Recipes

Quick, Easy and Oh-So-Cheesy: Instant Pot Round 2

There’s nothing better than rounding out the week (or ramping it up) with an easy dinner.  Don’t even get us started on how excited we are to post up on our porches at the grill and soak up warmth and sunshine.  But, let’s not kid ourselves:  We’re not there just yet.  So what are we to do during this in-between seasonal phase when sitting outside is still a bit too nippy for good southern people?  Bust out the Instant Pot for a one dish wonder that saves you time and energy, and packs a punch of nutrients and flavor.  We tested a blue ribbon winner:  Food Network’s Instant Pot Baked Potatoes with Broccoli and Cheddar Sauce.

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Blog, Food, Inspiration, Recipes

Southern Makers Vol. 1

Over the last several days, we have had the pleasure of incorporating some ingredients made by southern hands into our own homemade recipes.  One, the Homestead Creamery, has set up camp in our fridge for years, while another was recently introduced to us by the one and only “southern made” ambassador, SUTHINGIRL.  We signed up for SUTHINGIRL’S seasonal boxes last year, and every three months, a lovely box arrives on our doorstep, dripping with southern style, taste, scents, reads and charm!  

Our Winter box had some extra special items brewing inside and we fell in love with Charleston’s own, King Bean Coffee.  Our drowsy taste buds became fast friends with King Bean’s Christmas blend, Peace and Joe.  And that’s where today’s story begins (and our love of King Bean will never end)!

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As Luck Would Have It…

Something happened last month.  Y’all responded in a big way to the Frozen Fruit Salad we fixed for our Galentine’s Sunday Supper.  Some of the comments declared that it was a forgotten recipe and we suppose that’s exactly why Reese Witherspoon included it in her Southern lifestyle book, Whiskey In a Teacup.

So we started thinking about recipes from days gone by that were retired for one reason or another.  As luck would have it, Serendipity herself stepped in for a little waltz in our kitchens when a distant cousin of Stephanie’s reached out that very week about a compilation of her beloved late mother’s favorite culinary treasures.  In true Southern lady fashion, Mary K., wasted no time.  She popped that recipe book in the mail, and a copy of the special heirloom made its way from Richmond to the little village in southern Virginia where Stephanie lives.  Mary’s mama, Thelma Beadles, would be 118 years old this year, and we think she would be tickled to know that the instructions to prepare her favorite dishes made it back to her home place.  

Lo and behold, one of Stephanie’s very favorites of her own grandmother’s was also in that book.  That one will make an appearance real soon.  But Mary insisted this St. Patrick’s Day Cupcake recipe would be a hit.  Believe us, it was.  And, may we suggest using the best milk in the Southland, the Homestead Creamery?  Old(er) timers swear the Homestead Creamery’s milk tastes like it used to back in the day.  And their ice cream?  LAWD HAVE MERCY, step aside and take a seat, Häagen-Dazs!  We love our Southern makers, and will share many of our favorites with y’all from here on out!

Made With Love and Pinch of Luck,

The SDBs


St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

This delight is from a cousin who compiled her mother's favorite recipes as a family keepsake.  She recently shared her mother's treasures with us.  Her mom would be 118 this year and we are honored to enjoy these heirloom gems and share some of them with all y'all.

Servings 18 cupcakes
Author Thelma Beadles


For the Cupcakes

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 4 serving size package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 3/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup milk Homestead Creamery
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • Green colored sugar
  • Green M&M's

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 8 z. package cream cheese softened
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Grease muffin cups or line with paper baking cups.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, pudding mix, chocolate pieces, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, combine beaten eggs, milk, oil and vanilla (or almond extract).
  4. Stir into flour mixture just till combined. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.
  5. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes or till golden brown.
  6. Cool on a wire rack.

For the Frosting:

  1. Combine softened cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt and mix until well blended.
  3. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Once they are cool, frost cupcakes. Sprinkle green sugar and chocolate pieces on top.

Recipe Notes

This month, we're featuring one of our favorite Southern makers, the Homestead Creamery.  Old(er) timers swear the Homestead Creamery's milk tastes like the old days.  And their ice cream?  LAWD HAVE MERCY, step aside and take a seat Häagen-Dazs!

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Southern Makers Vol. 1
March 21, 2019
Blog, Food, Inspiration, Recipes

Instant Mardi Gras

We will not pretend to be experts on the ways and traditions of our fellow Southerners and Cajun friends down in Louisiana, especially during this Mardi Gras season.  Oh yes, and let’s not forget that Alabama has a dog in the fight, but there’s no need to wade into controversy when there’s a party to be had.  Over the years, we have spent time in the hub of Mardi Gras — New Orleans — and the food and festivities always keep us coming back for more.

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Celebrating Friendship and Bygone Traditions: SDB Galentine’s Sunday Supper

It’s the season of LOVE. To commemorate the occasion, we broke out the good stuff:  our favorite traditions, complete with freshly pressed linen napkins (thanks to Catherine), fine china and sparkling silver (perfectly placed by recent Cotillion grad, Elizabeth). Sometimes you’ve just got to get fancy, you know?  But that doesn’t mean your recipes have to be over the top.  All our courses were carefully chosen with ease in mind, and they were brand spanking new to us.  That element of surprise, laced together with old family traditions, made the celebration even sweeter than our hand crafted truffles from Cocoa Trail Chocolates!

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Food, Recipes

Eat Fresh!

Hello , 2019! January is a month that we all try to re-start our health habits, exercise more, eat more fruits and vegetables, and less sugar and carbohydrates. Easier said than done, right? The SDBs still think that cooking healthy recipes can be fun and enjoyable! Keeping your refrigerator stocked with a variety of fresh fruits and veggies can be economical and make things a little more interesting. Shopping for foods that are in season, on sale or at your local Aldi or Lidel stores, makes things a lot more affordable and available at the drop of a hat. Let these fresh “finds” lead you into finding the perfect recipe to make. Bon Appetit!

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Food, Recipes

House Divided Cake

Hey y’all! It’s Ramsey here! We made a cake for my Granddad’s birthday, but the two houses are divided because the Georgia Florida game is today. My master plan is to use a little food coloring and buttercream frosting to take Food and Wine’s Mom’s Chocolate Cake recipe to another level!  Let’s hope this cake AND the Dawgs are winners today!

Mom's Chocolate Cake aka House Divided Cake

We whipped up some buttercream frosting and dressed up this cake to celebrate my Granddad's birthday and the GA-FL game.  Yes, we are a house divided when it comes to this ball game.  GO DAWGS!

Author Food and Wine


For the Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten

For the Frosting

  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 stick 4 ounces plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour two 8-by-1 1/2-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with wax paper. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and stir until the sugar dissolves; then pour into a large bowl. Add the chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until melted and slightly cooled. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Beat the eggs into the chocolate mixture at medium speed until combined. Add the dry ingredients all at once and beat at medium speed until smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top springs back when pressed lightly and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans for about 25 minutes, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.
  4. Set one cake, right-side up, on a serving platter. Using a metal spatula, spread one-third of the Chocolate Frosting evenly over the cake. Top with the second cake and frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting.


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and sugar to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces slightly, about 6 minutes. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl and add the chocolate, butter, vanilla and salt. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are melted.
  2. Set the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the frosting on medium speed, scraping the sides occasionally with a rubber spatula, until thick and glossy, about 5 minutes. Use at once.