Monday, March 4, 2013

Southern Charms

We've all got one. A southern friend who always looks put together, never forgets a hostess gift or thank you card, and makes a cheese platter look like it was designed by Inna Gartner. I recently acquired one such friend and I adore her. Beneath a polished ladylike exterior is a good sense of humor and a very laid back parenting attitude. I learn little things from her each time we are together. Her tips are just too good to keep to myself. Here you have it - her list of southern favorites...

Her daughter looks like a million bucks, even on snowy days when mine show up to school in pj pants and crumb-covered fleece sweatshirts. Below are some of her favorite places to buy clothes for kiddos. 

Bella Bliss - great basic cotton collared shirts, blouses, jumpers, pants, and dresses

Little English - precious onesies for babies, great seasonal smocking, and the cutest little golf shirts for the boys

Little English Playsuit $39.50 - Just in time for Easter!

Orient Expressed - great "special occasion" dresses and jumpers, as well as smocked Bishop tops that are cute and playful

Shrimp and Grits Kids - adorable jumpers for a good price and unique smocked dresses (don't love their pants because the ruffle is really long and makes them look like 1970s bell-bottoms)

Rags Land - good price-point for basics, and they monogram really well

I think we all know the ladies from down south certainly know how to throw a party. And what would a party be without wine? This little gadget is fantastic. Can you imagine? A non-melting icicle that keeps your wine chilled from within. No ice bucket needed. Hallelujah! Just in time for summer... Order. It. Now.

And how could we possibly do a southern post without giving you a truly southern recipe. Biscuits? Heck yeah! My friend is not afraid to stick with old standards. When the world is rushing towards carb/fat/sugar-free, she offers up a buttery biscuit. Today is not the day to be counting calories. As my friend said last time she fed me these, "They are bad for you. Don't think about it. Just eat them and enjoy!" I couldn't have said it better myself.

Southern Biscuits

Easy, quick, and scrumptious biscuits for people who are too time-pressed to bring out the rolling pin and cookie cutter.

              2 cups all-purpose flour
              1 tablespoon baking powder
              2 tablespoons sugar
              1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
              1/2 teaspoon salt
              1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
              1 cup milk
              2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar 
              1/2 cup chopped green onions

              Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
              In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center, add milk all at once. Add cheese and chopped green onions. Stir until the dough is well incorporated. 
              Drop a generous tablespoon of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, repeat with the remaining dough, keep 1 or 2-inch space between them. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

*Makes about 12 biscuits

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