My Blogger Inspiration Part 2: Deep South Dish - Aunt Bee's Recipes (2024)

I am SO thrilled to talk to you about a blog that I have followed for YEARS. Not only do I credit Deep South Dish for inspiring me to start my own blog, I feel like Mary was one of the folks that taught me how to cook! I remember the first time I came acrossDeep South Dish. I was a new mom and a working mom and I wanted our family to eat homemade meals, but I was still learning. After much (much) trial and error, I realized the crock pot was my friend. I started scouring the internet for slow cooker recipes and landed on herCrockpot Ropa Vieja (Latin Style Beef). I had a hard time buying that you could make flank steak in the crock pot…. well Mary made a believer out of me! I can honestly say, I have probably made more than 50 recipes off her site and every single one of them turned out spectacular. I think it is kind of funny that a Spanish style slow cooker recipe is the first one I made of Mary’s when she is SO well known for her southern style cuisine!

I was a huge fan of hers from that first recipe. Since then I have read her blog from beginning to end and I can tell you, not only is Mary’s food TOP NOTCH. The way she writes, its like no other. There is nothing fake about her. She is as real as it gets and when you read her blog, its like you are sitting at her kitchen table drinking a tall glass of sweet tea having a conversation! I gotta tell you though, when I stumbled upon her facebook page last year, and saw the way she interacted with and made time for her MANY, MANY fans: ‘liking’, commenting and answering every single question so courteously, I knew she was not only a food blogger, but a Southern lady, that I wanted to be more like!

Whenever I tell someone about the Deep South Dish blog, they always ask me the same question: What are my favorite recipes off her site, so here they are!

1)Mississippi Roast My Way
2)Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Baked Ham

Mary, MADE MY YEAR, by letting me interview her for the blog! Y’all are in for a treat! (I made the recipes we discuss below, hyperlinks to save y’all time cuz I KNOW y’all are gonna want them for your own collection!)

What made you decide to write your very first blog post and what was the recipe?

I would love to say that my first recipe was Mama’s banana pudding or her red velvet cake, chicken and dumplings or fried chicken, but those actually came later. I’m not sure what my first “Southern” recipe was, because Deep South Dish wasn’t my first venture into blogging and the recipes evolved from that. Let me flashback to 2005… I actually had a long term and pretty glamorous career in the legal field for many years –an important corporate position, supervising others and managing multiple cases, along with the opportunity to go on trips and travel around the country in our corporate jet for trials. Then Hurricane Katrina came along and among thousands of others, my life was changed overnight. Because my company decided to move corporate operations west, and I didn’t want to go, I lost my job, and an awfully nice income. Shortly after that the economy tanked and finding work became an impossible task.

One day I was searching the internet for something, went down a few rabbit trails as we tend to do and discovered a variety of general interest blogs that I started reading. Soon after, I decided to start one to occupy my mind and my time and found that I enjoyed being able to talk to the world in a blog – even if it was to myself. Then a funny thing happened. People started commenting and I realized there were folks reading my blog. Somewhere along the line I shared a recipe, and then another, and another and soon the recipes sort of took on a life of their own and led to my creating Deep South Dish, a place where I could focus on mostly Southern recipes, and share what I was cooking from my kitchen every day.

How long after you started blogging, would you say, it became more of a part time job/full time job and less of a hobby?

I had always enjoyed writing and cooking, but when I began blogging more about recipes than general topics, and moved my recipes over to a dedicated Southern recipe page – that, is when, the potential of doing them both for a living became very real. First, like many other beginning bloggers, I adapted the recipes of others, but then, as I began to dive into cooking, researching and writing my own recipes from scratch, and sharing them along with my memories – that was when I knew this was my passion.

I have heard it said that you should find a career that involves doing something that you love and have passion for, and then the money will come. I found that to be so true. I’ve received letters from folks looking for advice from me, thinking that they could just slam up a website of recipes, stick some advertising on it and make millions in zero time. It just ain’t so. It takes hard work, and, it takes time, and if you aren’t truly passionate about what you’re doing, you’re not being authentic, and when you aren’t authentic, it shows.

You started your blog before facebook and pinterest had taken over the world. To a newbie blogger like myself, it blows my mind to think of doing it that way today. How did you get your blog out there then?

The blogging world was the social media of the day back then and for people to know who you were, you had to spend a lot of time and effort, visiting and socializing with other bloggers, who in turn would visit and socialize with you as would their readers. It was quite a lot of work! That still goes on, of course, but social media made the ability to communicate with those and many other people much more widespread and efficient.

What did you eat yesterday? Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks etc… (This is so fun to ask!)

This is going to sound so cliché for a Southern recipe blogger, but I actually had a fried chicken breakfast biscuit! Now… I usually eat 2 eggs, scrambled, with a piece of whole wheat toast almost every single day, but yesterday, since my husband and I had 4thof July plans that fell through, I decided at the last minute to do a whole bbq menu. I got up, had a quick coffee and made a trip to the grocery store early in the morning, before the crowds, and even before eating breakfast. I saw some Tyson Southern Style Chicken Biscuit Sandwiches in the freezer section, they sounded awfully good so I grabbed those and stuck one in the microwave as soon as I got back home to start the ribs. It was delicious! I’m guessing you know what came next… I prepared all my favorite, homemade cookout foods; 2 racks of ribs, baked beans, potato salad and because I couldn’t decide between the two, macaroni salad, Silver King corn on the cob, marinated tomatoes, Texas toast and iced tea. For dessert I just pulled some pineapple sherbet from the freezer, because I no longer had room in the fridge to store the strawberry cake I had planned to make!

As a newbie blogger, I am astounded at the time I am spending on social media trying to get myself out there. How much time do you spend on the computer a day/week?

I blog full time now, so it’s my career and trust me, it’s not 9 to 5. It’s just my husband and me these days, so I get up early in the morning, have my coffee, eat breakfast and work on blog related activities literally all day – either with social media shares, responding to comments there and on the blog, or researching and developing recipes, shopping, cooking, writing posts and working on behind the scenes stuff like coding. Family always comes first though. Always. Sometimes I take breaks to do chores and take care of personal things. Sometimes I take afternoons off to spend with my grandkids. Sometimes I just take a whole day off to myself to have a breather, or to spend the day with my husband or my family, and I always try to take weekends off… with the exception of cooking. Truth is, I work on my blog like I did my previous career – constantly. If my creative energies are flowing in the evening, I work at night, and sometimes late at night. I seriously have awakened in the middle of the night with a recipe or an idea that I had to get up and take action on. Honestly, I don’t know that I really want to truly know just how much time I actually spend on my blog, whether it’s in front of the computer, or in some other capacity, but when you are able to do something you love and you’re passionate about, but still stay focused on the other important people and things in your life, it’s all good.

How many new recipes do you develop a month?

I don’t really have a number – I write as the inspiration comes and it might start with an email, a cookbook, a magazine or something I’ve seen on television. I’ll see something that inspires me, I start researching and from that I write my own version from scratch before cooking it. Sometimes my first writing hits right on target, more often there are several revisions before I am happy enough that I feel it’s worthy to publish. There have been times where I have written, and cooked, six new recipes – in one day! I allow my creative juices dictate when and how I write and sometimes it does kick into high gear.

What is your favorite local restaurant and favorite out of town restaurant?

We don’t eat out much at all and we rarely go out of town unless it’s a quick specific purpose – like last weekend I had a quick flight to Dallas for a wedding. We do have a hole in the wall, local buffet restaurant here called Hartz Chicken Buffet, where they serve buffet style fried and baked chicken, gizzards and livers, and catfish, but my favorite part is that there are always many different salads and vegetable choices, and that’s what I load up my plate with – carrot salad, green pea salad, potato salads, coleslaw, butter beans, black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes and chicken gravy, buttered corn, green beans, cabbage, fried okra, greens, cornbread and yeast rolls. For dessert they always have some kind of cobbler and soft serve ice cream with all the toppings. Good, homemade food, under ten bucks – you really can’t beat it. I do love that place and when I want a big plate of veggies, with a side of chicken, we go there.

If you had only 1 meal left, what would you pick?

Speaking of which … hands down, no doubt it would be juicy, tender and crispy fried chicken, homemade mashed potatoes and chicken gravy, slow stewed green beans, sliced Creole tomatoes with salt, pepper and a dab of mayonnaise, homemade yeast rolls with honey butter, sweet tea and peach cobbler with homemade vanilla custard ice cream. What a way to go!

What is the all time most popular recipe on your website?

Because sharing past posts on social media generates traffic to them, it’s difficult to determine statistically what are the true, most popular posts and there are actually several that are very popular. I think the number one has to be the Chicken and Dumpling Casserole. It’s a unique casserole form of chicken and dumplings that is super easy, fast and tasty and since I first published it in 2009 and it has held its own in popularity. The Fall Off The Bone Oven Baked Ribs, Bacony Chicken and Rice, Baked Spaghetti and Salmon Patties are all very popular too.

Other wink), What are some of your other favorite food blogs to read?

When I first started blogging I had much more time to visit and socialize with other bloggers, and I do have a few that I manage to swing by occasionally, but as my own site has expanded and grown, I spend far more time in recipe development and unfortunately don’t have time to visit like I once did. Thankfully, many of them understand and they come and visit me and help me to stay connected and for that I am grateful.


Isn’t she spectacular? Here are the ways you can follow Deep South Dish:

My Blogger Inspiration Part 2: Deep South Dish - Aunt Bee's Recipes (2024)


What is the kitchen of the deep south? ›

This style of cooking developed out of the home kitchens in rural Alabama and Mississippi and spread across the country as people from those areas moved north and west. Some of the most popular menu items that have origins in these kitchens are: fried catfish, pork ribs, sweet potatoes, okra, grits and hushpuppies.

What is special about the Deep South? ›

The region's historically turbulent history makes it all the more fascinating. Civil War, slavery, the Civil Rights Movement...these all happened in the USA's Deep South states, so there is an abundance of fascinating historical sites and museums to schedule when you visit.

Where exactly is the Deep South? ›

In its broadest application, the Deep South is considered to be "an area roughly coextensive with the old cotton belt, from eastern North Carolina through South Carolina, west into East Texas, with extensions north and south along the Mississippi."

What is the difference between the South and the Deep South? ›

The Deep South is a descriptive category of cultural and geographic subregions in the American South. Historically, it is differentiated from the "Upper South" as being the states that were most dependent on plantation-type agriculture during the period before the American Civil War.

What is the meaning of the Deep South? ›

Cultural definitions for Deep South

The southernmost tier of states in the South: South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Before the Civil War, these states were centers of cotton production and slavery. All of them seceded from the United States before the firing on Fort Sumter.

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