Simple Grilling for a Busy Life

Life has suddenly become incredibly busy! A new house in the works, a new job, and a busy social calendar has overfilled my plate like Thanksgiving dinner.  As much as a I hate to admit it, the blog ended up on the back burner. But I’ve still been cooking! Now, more than ever, I have come to appreciate dinners that are simple and easy to prepare. One of the best ways to make a quick meal: grill! Yesterday was so beautiful my husband asked if we could shift around the meal plan and grill out instead. I’m so glad we did! Let me tell you, it was one of the best meals I’ve had in a while and it was so simple (plus, he did all the cooking). So, if my memory serves me correctly this is how we grilled it:

Simple Grilled Steaks for 2


  • 2 New York Strip Steaks
  • olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • Sierra Nevada Torpedo (To fuel the hubby)

Directions for a charcoal grill:

Place coals in the center of the grill. Let the coals heat to medium high heat (bottom coals should be bright orange). While grill is heating, rub steaks on both sides with olive oil. Then, generously sprinkle with Kosher salt and black pepper and rub it into the steak. Carefully, pat both sides of the steaks dry with a paper towel (this allows you to get a nice sear). Place the steaks on the grate directly over the coals. Cover the grill. Cook steaks for 4-6 minutes on each side. Place cooked steaks on a plate and cover with tin foil. Let steaks rest for about 5-10 minutes.

*Note: If you want a more well done steak move the meat to the side of the grill and cook over indirect heat for a few minutes.  Do not leave over direct heat because this will burn your meat. 

Cajun Corn on the Cob for 2


  • 2  ears of sweet white corn (we both could have eaten another one)
  • butter
  • Kosher salt
  • Old Bay seasoning


While the steaks are cooking, (this works best if one person is manning the grill and the other is prepping) remove the husks from the corn and wash. Then, rub the corn with butter, sprinkle with salt, and the Old Bay seasoning. Cook the corn on the grill for 6-10 minutes over direct heat, rotating while cooking.

My husband said this corn was so good it was almost better than the steak! Let me tell you that is a HUGE deal coming from him. Again, this meal was so simple yet so tasty! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Savoring Simplicity,

The Southern Bee





2-in-1 Dinner: Slow-Cooker BBQ Chicken

I love this recipe. I think it was one of the first meals I cooked as a newly wed (which I still am). The recipe is simple and takes less than 5 minutes before it’s crock pot ready! The best part about this dish is that it makes two meals, but you only have to cook once! Serve the BBQ chicken the first night with brown rice and your favorite vegetable. The next night, make BBQ Chicken & Cheddar Quesadillas or BBQ Chicken sandwiches.

Prep time: 5 minutes or less           Cook time: 6 hours


  • 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup barbecue ( I use Sweet Baby Ray’s Original)
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat Italian dressing ( I use Kraft or Ken’s Lite Italian)
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth ( You can substitute water)


  1. Put chicken in the slow cooker. In a two-cup measuring cup, measure and combine barbecue sauce, dressing, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours. 
  2. Remove chicken and shred it with two forks on a cutting board. In a small bowl, stir cornstarch and broth (or water) together. Pour mixture into crock pot and stir with barbecue sauce until thickened.
  3. Return chicken back to crock pot and stir. Cook for another 45 minutes or until mixture thickens.
  4. Serve over brown rice or with a baked potato. Enjoy!

Keeping it simple,

The Southern Bee

Note: I found this recipe in a cooking magazine, but I can’t remember which one!


Pinterest Favorite: Loaded Baked Potato Soup

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I remember as a kid I always ordered the baked potato soup when went out to eat at O’Charley’s. Forget the steaks, chicken tenders,  and burgers. All I wanted was a large bowl of soup and a yeast roll. My tastes have expanded since then, but I still like a good bowl of baked potato soup. One reason O’Charley’s soup was my favorite is they didn’t skimp on the potato (I don’t know how it is now). This recipe I found on Pinterest doesn’t either. Each bite is filled with creamy potato, bacon, cheddar cheese, and green onion. I went ahead and cut the recipe in half, so if you are cooking for two it will make enough for dinner and lunch the next day!


  • 4-5 russet or Yukon gold potatoes
  • 6-7 slices of bacon (about half a 12 oz package)
  • 1 stick of butter ( I usually use a little less to make myself feel better)
  • 1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of half and half ( I use fat free)
  • 5 chicken bullion cubes
  • cheddar cheese, grated
  • green onions, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper


1. Fill a large pot about half way up with water and bring to a boil. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. While you wait for the water to boil, wash potatoes and then use a paring knife or a vegetable peeler to take the skins off. Then, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Cut the halves again lengthwise (you should have four wedges). Cut into bite size pieces. Carefully, put the potatoes into the boiling pot of water. Boil potatoes for about 20 minutes or until they are soft, but not mushy.

3. Now, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and put your pieces of bacon on it. Pop it into the oven for 20 minutes or until bacon is crispy, but not burnt.

4. Grate cheese and slice onion while potatoes and bacon are cooking. This is also when I measure out  my other ingredients.

5. When potatoes are done ( I always eat one to make sure it’s not hard or crunchy) use a slotted spoon to take them out of the pot. Put them into a bowl or on a plate and set aside. Take the bacon out of the oven. Use tongs to put it on a paper-towel lined plate to cool.

6. In the same pot you cooked the potatoes, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour to the butter. Quickly whisk the flour and butter together to form a thick paste, called a roux. Once the paste forms, slowly pour in the milk and the half and half, whisking continuously. Add the bullion cubes. Continue to stir until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. This takes 5-10 minutes. If soup seems a little thick, use milk to thin it out.

7. Reduce the heat and add the potatoes back into the pot. Cook just until they are warm again. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve the soup with bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, and sliced green onions.

These directions may seem a little long, but this recipe really does not take that much time. Once you make it a few times, it comes together even faster! I serve the soup with crunchy bread for dipping. 

Licking the bowl clean,

The Southern Bee

*Note: The original recipe was created by, but it was tweaked with love by TSB.

Twist on Tacos: A Basic Fish Taco Recipe

You may think tacos and fish don’t belong in the same sentence, let alone on the same plate. It’s time to get that thought out of your head! This recipe for Basic Fish Tacos is both flavorful and healthy. It is great even if you aren’t a big fish fan. The key is using a milder fish. I chose Tilapia because it was on sale. If you want an equally flavorful side that is inexpensive, I suggest serving the tacos with Cilantro Lime Rice.

Basic Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw

Hands on Time: 30 minutes   Cook Time: 10 minutes

Makes: 6-7 tacos

Ingredients for the fish:

  • 1 lb Tilapia 
  • 2 limes, one halved and one quartered
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or 1 teaspoon jarred, minced garlic)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • ground black pepper

Ingredients for the slaw:

  • 1/2 head of small green or red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6-8 soft tacos (corn or flour is fine)


  1. Place the fish in a baking dish. Salt and pepper the fish and then set aside. In a small bowl, squeeze half a lime. Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, and 1 tablespoon of the oil to the lime juice. Mix until combined. Pour the mixture over the fish. Turn the fish in the marinade until it’s evenly coated. Refrigerate and let marinate for 15 minutes. *Note: It’ important not to let the fish marinate too long because the acid in the lime will cook the fish. 
  2. While the fish is marinating prepare the slaw. Combine the cabbage, onion, and cilantro in a medium size bowl (I suggest using the bowl you are planning to serve it in so you don’t dirty two bowls). Squeeze half a lime over it and drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil on top. Season with salt and pepper. Toss mixture together and set aside.
  3. Now, it’s time to cook the fish. You can cook them outside on a grill or inside on a grill pan.
  4. On the grill: Brush the grates of a grill pan or outdoor grill with oil and heat over medium-high heat until hot. Remove the fish from the marinade and place on the grill. Cook without moving until the underside of the fish has grill marks and is white and opaque on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and grill the other side until white and opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Put cooked fish in a shallow dish or on a plate.
  5. On the grill pan: Heat non-stick grill pan on medium high heat. Place fish on the hot pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip. Cook the other side for about 3 more minutes. The fish should be white and opaque all the way through when it is done. The fish should flake easily when scraped with a fork. Put cooked fish in a shallow dish or plate. 
  6. Heat the tortillas in the microwave just until they are warm. You can also heat them 1-by-1 in a frying pan over medium high heat.
  7. To make a taco: break up some of the cooked fish and place it in the warm tortilla. Top fish with the slaw and squeeze lime juice over it. Enjoy!

This recipe was a big hit with my husband and mother-in-law! Thank you both for your comments and suggestions! 

Here’s to trying new things,

The Southern Bee

*Note: This recipe was created Kate Ramos on It was adapted and made with love by TSB!

Tip of the Day: Save on dough!

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I love a good pizza. A soft, chewy crust topped with a slightly spicy tomato sauce, covered with melted cheese and a number of delicious toppings is my kind of pie. However, ordering a large pie from a pizza chain can cost $10 or more. Don’t get me wrong, I order delivery pizza every now and then, but most of the time I make my own. A pre-made pizza crust can be a huge time saver during the week. I’ve tried the pizza crust in a can from the refrigerated section, but I think it tastes more like a biscuit than pizza crust. So, I have turned to the deli for my dough. I can buy a dough ball (white or wheat) for about $2.50. When it goes on sale I can usually get it for $1! How’s that for saving some dough?? Corny jokes aside, this is a great way to cut costs and still make something your family will like to eat. You can save more by making your own pizza sauce instead of buying the jarred pasta sauce. Now, all you need are the cheeses and toppings! Oh, and one more plus to making your own pie–you get a great arm workout rolling out the dough! I’m making one tonight!

Working out in the kitchen,

The Southern Bee

P.S. To avoid a sticky situation when rolling out the dough, use a good bit of flour on your work surface and rolling pin. I also sprinkle cornmeal on my pizza stone before baking the pizza.

Make This: Easy Shrimp Corn Chowder

Tonight, the temperature is supposed to drop to 19 degrees. Freezing temperatures make me want to cook a big pot of something warm and comforting. This Shrimp Corn Chowder recipe comes together in no time and is pretty budget friendly. Plus, it’s rich and creamy. It’s a perfect weeknight meal!

Ingredients:                                       Serves: 4 (or 2 with leftovers)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ( I use about 1 teaspoon of pre-minced garlic)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cans potato soup, undiluted (I use Campbell’s Cream of Potato)
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 3 oz cream cheese (I use 1/3 fat)
  • 2 cans whole kernel corn, undrained
  • 1 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and drained


  1. Melt butter in a large dutch oven or saute pan. Add garlic, onion, and pepper. Saute onion and garlic until tender. Stir in potato soup, milk, cream cheese, and corn. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. Add shrimp; cover, reduce heat and cook 5-7 minutes. Serve hot.

How easy was that?? I am serving up a big bowl of chowder with warm Honey Cornbread Muffins . Thanks Nana for giving this recipe to me. 

Keeping warm in the kitchen,

The Southern Bee

*This recipe was handed down to me, so I’m not sure where it originated.


Cooking with Pinterest: Slow Cooker Balsamic Roast Beef

Who want’s to spend the afternoon inside preparing dinner when it’s so pretty outside? Not this girl! So, I am making Slow Cooker Balsamic Roast Beef that I found on Pinterest from It takes just minutes to prep and the slow cooker does the rest!

Ingredients:                         Serves: 6-8

  • 1 (3-4 lb) chuck or round roast
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped


Place roast in the slow cooker. Mix all remaining ingredients in a 2-cup measuring cup. Pour over the roast and put the lid on. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. When roast is done, use tongs to put it in a serving dish. Ladle about 1/4-1/2 cup of the gravy over the meat. Store the rest of the gravy in an airtight container to use later.

I love the simplicity of this dish! I am serving mine up with a side of garlic mashed potatoes from Paula Deen. The author of this recipe suggested using the leftover meat and gravy for French Dip subs. I love a 2-for-1 dish!

Loving Slow Cooker Saturdays,

The Southern Bee

This recipe was posted with love by the TSB, but was created by

Dinner Tonight: Chicken Pot Pie

The first time I made this chicken pot pie recipe we were having new friends over to our home. I’m pretty sure when they walked in every surface in my kitchen was covered with pans, measuring cups, and flour. I am happy to say the end product looked much better. Since then, I have made this recipe quite a few times and it has never let me down. I have also managed not to destroy the entire kitchen trying to make it.

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Tip: I used leftover chicken from my Roast Chicken from last night to make prep simple. I also added a little of the chicken drippings in with the butter to add more flavor.


  •  1 box of refrigerated pie crusts (Yes, I use the pre-made kind)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter or margarine ( I use a little less than this)
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed (green beans, peas, and corn)


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Follow directions on the box to make a Two Crust Pie. Use a 9-inch glass pie pan.
  2. In a 2-quart sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and let cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Stir in the flour until it combines with the butter and the mixture becomes thick. Then, gradually stir in the milk and the chicken broth. Add in the salt and pepper. Stir and cook until the sauce thickens and it begins to bubble.
  4. Stir in the mixed vegetables and the chicken until combined. Pour the chicken mixture into the prepared pie crust. Cover with the second pie crust, pinching the edges to seal the crusts together. Cut four slits in the top.
  5. Bake 30-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Make sure you check on the pie after about 20 minutes. I take mine out and put foil around the crust edges to keep them from burning. Then, I put it back in the oven to finish cooking. When it’s done take it out and let it rest 5 minutes before serving.

I hope you enjoy this chicken pot pie as much as we do!

Making messes in the kitchen,

The Southern Bee

This recipe was cooked with love by TSB, but was created by Pillsbury. Click here for the original recipe.

Dinner Tonight: Roast Chicken with Lemon & Garlic

Roll-up your sleeves! Roasting a chicken requires getting your hands a little dirty, but the end result is worth it. I remember the first time I roasted a chicken. I bought a 3 lb fryer chicken and brought it back to my teeny first apartment to prepare it for dinner. As soon as I took the plastic wrap off I realized the bird I bought still had all of it’s organs inside (usually they put them in a neat little bag you just pull out)! The next few minutes were a combination of working up the courage to stick my hand in, trying not to freak out once I started pulling the slippery little organs out, and doing my best not to look at them. Let me tell you, I felt so accomplished and grown-up afterwards! So, here’s to getting messy in the kitchen!

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Roast Chicken with Lemon & Garlic               Serves: 3


  • 4-5 lb fryer chicken
  • 2 lemons
  • 7-8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and thickly sliced
  • salt and pepper (freshly ground if you have it)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for the chicken
  • 1 cup of chicken stock (I buy the kind in the carton)
  • 2 tablespoons of flour

Tip: Use a plastic grocery bag to keep the chicken juices from going everywhere. I set the chicken in the bag and take the plastic wrap off of it. Then, I transfer it onto a cutting board to season and stuff. All the juices and giblets stay in the bag. Easy clean-up!


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the lemons into quarters. Then, peel and slice the onions and put them into a medium bowl. Put 6 lemon slices in the bowl with the onions. Toss the lemons and onions with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.
  3. Now, for the chicken. Remove and throw away the giblets. Place the two remaining slices of lemon and all the garlic cloves inside the chicken cavity. Pat the outside of the chicken dry with a paper towel. Then, rub the outside of the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tuck the wings tips under the chicken. Put the chicken in a small ( I used 11 x 14) roasting pan. Pour the onion mixture closely around the chicken (the lemons and onions will burn if they are too spread out). Roast for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. The juices should run clear and the temperature inside the thickest part of the leg should register 165 degrees. Carefully, move the chicken from the pan to a platter. Cover with aluminum foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Almost done! Spoon the juices and onions from the pan into a nonstick skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock (from the carton) along with 2 tablespoons of flour to the pan. Whisk until the flour is blended in. Add more chicken stock if you want to the gravy thinner.
  5. Carve the chicken. Serve slices topped with the gravy. Enjoy!

There are two more reasons why I love a good roast chicken. One, it doesn’t cost a lot. This chicken was only $0.69 a pound! Two, I have enough chicken left over to make a chicken pot pie tomorrow night. How’s that for two meals in one?

Showing no fear in the kitchen, 

The Southern Bee


*This recipe was adapted from Ina Garten’s cookbook, How Easy is That? 

What’s Cooking: Turkey Chili and Honey Cornbread Muffins

Last Wednesday (meal planning day around here), I planned to make Turkey Chili for dinner tonight. I couldn’t have picked a better day! Little did I know it would be rainy and cold outside.  Those two conditions are perfect ingredients for a big pot of homemade chili. This chili is easy to make, it just takes some time to cook.

Note: The chili has to simmer for one hour. I don’t like getting to the bottom of recipes and realizing it takes longer than I thought!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced ( I use the kind from the jar)
  • 1 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped ( I used green)
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 (28 oz) crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (I substituted cumin)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 dried oregano


  1. In a large skillet, saute onion, bell pepper, and garlic in the olive oil. Saute until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the ground turkey to the skillet and break it up with your spoon. Cook until it’s brown.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
  4. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Honey cornbread muffins             Makes: 6 muffins

  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (not self rising)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/8 cup honey


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix milk, egg, butter, and honey.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry mixture. Stir until just mixed.
  5. Place  6 muffin paper liners into a 6 cup (or 12 cup) muffin tin. Fill each cup about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

These muffins are moist and sweet. Drizzle extra honey over the top if you like or dip it in your bowl of homemade chili!

Note: Both of these recipes came from, but were put together with love from The Southern Bee!