Blog Posts by Southern Living

  • We're Swooning for Jenna Bush Hager's Valentine's Look

    "I love you precious with all my heart and to know that you love me means my life..."


    Photo, Bangle, CardsPhoto, Bangle, Cards These are words my grandfather George wrote to my grandmother Barbara in 1945, while he was stationed overseas during World War II. Several years ago my husband-maybe partly inspired by my grandfather's romantic ways-took me on an impromptu getaway to the Virginia wine country.

    With its rolling hills and elegant inns, it's true that Virginia is for lovers. We stayed at the charming Goodstone Inn, toured vineyards, and had lovely, quiet dinners. The highlight of the weekend was the beautiful letter Henry wrote me. (Who says romance is dead?) Whether you and your sweetheart are planning a weekend getaway or a fabulous night on the town, here are my favorite Valentine's Day finds.

    Spend a Long Weekend at the Gambrel-Roofed Dutch Cottage; Goodstone.com

    "I love a handwritten letter. I keep a box of notes my husband wrote me under my bed. I adore Florida's Rifle Paper Co.'s products."
    Floral

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  • Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!

    Lemon-Rosemary-Garlic Chicken and PotatoesNicknamed "Anytime Chicken" by Test Kitchen Specialist Vanessa McNeil Rocchio, this winner of a chicken dinner is our new favorite roasting-pan supper for weeknights or easy entertaining with friends.

    Lemon-Rosemary-Garlic Chicken and Potatoes

    Ingredients

    1/3 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    1 (3.5-oz.) jar capers, drained
    2 lemons, sliced
    10 garlic cloves, smashed
    3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
    2 teaspoons kosher salt
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    6 chicken legs (about 1 1/2 lb.)
    4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 lb.)
    2 pounds small red potatoes
    Crusty French bread

    See more: 33 One-Dish Dinners

    Preparation

    1. Preheat oven to 450°. Stir together first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl.
    2. Place a roasting pan on stove top over 2 burners. Add 3 Tbsp. olive oil, and heat over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with desired amount of salt and pepper; place, skin sides down, in

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  • Over-the-Top Red Velvet Brownies

    Red Velvet BrowniesNothing says holiday cheer like red velvet! Our moist and delicious red velvet brownies are a bite-size version of the classic red velvet cake. Top them with cream cheese frosting for the ultimate holiday dessert

    Red Velvet Brownies

    Ingredients

    1 (4-oz.) bittersweet chocolate baking bar, chopped
    3/4 cup butter
    2 cups sugar
    4 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 (1-oz.) bottle red liquid food coloring
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    Small-Batch Cream Cheese Frosting
    Garnish: white chocolate curls

    See more: 10 Decadent Red Velvet Desserts

    Preparation

    1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom and sides of a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil.

    2. Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in sugar. Add eggs, 1 at a

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  • The Drink that Keeps Rudolph's Nose so Red

    Rudolph's Tipsy SpritzerWhen you need a festive holiday cocktail, look no further than this easy spritzer made with orange juice, lemon-lime soft drink, cherry juice, and vodka. If you want a non-alcoholic beverage, just leave out the vodka and add more orange juice or soft drink.

    Rudolph's Tipsy Spritzer

    Ingredients

    5 cups orange juice
    2 cups chilled lemon-lime soft drink
    1 1/2 cups vodka
    1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    Garnishes: lemon slices, fresh rosemary sprigs

    See more: 37 Spirited Holiday Cocktails

    Preparation

    Stir together all ingredients; serve over ice. Garnish, if desired.

    Don't Miss:
    13 Party Punches
    Top Holiday Appetizers
    10 Decadent Red Velvet Desserts
    Festive Milk Punch Recipes
    Top 25 Christmas Cookies

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  • Twice-Baked Potatoes Four Ways = Weeknight Winner!

    Twice-Baked Potatoes Four Ways

    Not only is this a hearty and comforting dish, it's conveniently easy to make ahead of time. To freeze big items like cooked potatoes and meatballs, arrange in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan, and freeze 1 to 2 hours; transfer to a zip-top bag. You'll avoid one frozen mass, plus single servings thaw faster.

    Twice-Baked Potatoes Four Ways

    Ingredients

    4 (10- to 12-oz.) russet potatoes
    1/2 (8-oz.) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, cubed and softened
    1/2 cup milk

    Desired Potato Filling (recipes below): Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheddar Potato Filling
    BBQ Pork and Pepper Jack Potato Filling
    Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Potato Filling

    See more: 21 Freezer-Friendly Recipes

    Preparation

    1. Preheat oven to 400°. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork, and bake directly on oven rack 1 hour or until potatoes are tender. (Baking directly on the rack keeps skins crisp and firm to hold the filling.) Cool 10 minutes.
    2. Cut potatoes in half

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  • Easy DIY Wintry Snowflake Wreath

    Snowy Pinecone WreathLong, slender pinecones, such as those of a white pine, work best for this new take on a Southern holiday classic-the pinecone wreath.

    Snowy Pinecone Wreath

    Materials
    9 flat wooden paint stirrers
    12-inch green wire wreath form clippers
    Gorilla Glue
    long, thin pinecones
    artificial snow spray
    narrow and wide satin ribbons

    See more: 40 Festive Christmas Wreaths

    To Make
    1. Make wreath base by weaving six wooden paint stirrers through the edges of a wire wreath form (like the rays of a sunburst). Cut remaining three stirrers in half. Place cut stirrers on top of already-attached stirrers in the center of the wreath to form a hexagon. Secure wooden stirrers with Gorilla Glue per label directions. Let it dry.

    2. Glue a pinecone to the top of each stirrer so the tip points out. Glue pinecones to the wire frame between each stirrer, as shown.

    3. Add pinecones at an angle to the sides of each stirrer. Cut additional pinecones into disks and use to fill in gaps, gluing into place.

    4. Spray

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  • Hot Chocolate Gift Mix + Printable Labels

    Homemade Hot Cocoa MixLooking for a way to spread some holiday cheer? Make your own hot chocolate gift mix with homemade hot cocoa and sweet honey marshmallows. It's an easy and delicious gift for teachers, friends, and neighbors!

    Download the Tags: Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix Printable Labels

    Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 cups 53% cacao dark chocolate morsels
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    1 cup instant nonfat dry milk
    2/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa

    Preparation

    1. Stir together dark chocolate morsels, sugar, instant nonfat dry milk, and cocoa; spoon into 1 (2-qt.) jar. Store at room temperature up to 1 month.
    2. To make homemade hot cocoa: Heat 1 cup milk to 180°; stir in 1/4 cup Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix. Makes 1 serving. Total 5 min.
    3. Package the cocoa mix in: Weck 17.9-oz. Juice Jar ($4.95; crateandbarrel.com)

    See more: 12 Easy Food Gifts for Christmas

    Honey Marshmallows

    Ingredients

    3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
    1/2 cup cold water
    1 vanilla bean
    1 (16-oz.)

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  • Give a Cup of Cheer! 4 Holly, Jolly Holiday Drinks

    Mexican Hot Chocolate; Holiday Milk Punch; Ambrosia Cocktail; Cranberry MargaritasGet in the spirit and play bartender with our favorite bloggers' festive holiday drinks.


    Mexican Hot Chocolate

    From the kitchen of Georgia Johnson, Austin, Texas, thecomfortofcooking.com:
    Simmered with a cinnamon stick, vanilla extract, and a touch of chili powder, this hot chocolate is amazingly fragrant and delicious with a dollop of whipped cream."

    Ingredients

    3 cups milk
    1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
    3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 (3.5-oz.) chili chocolate bar, chopped
    1/4 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
    Garnishes: whipped cream, shaved chocolate

    See More: 37 Spirited Holiday Cocktails

    Preparation

    Bring milk, cinnamon stick, cocoa, and vanilla to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; stir in chopped chocolate until melted. Remove from heat. Add chili powder, if desired. Discard cinnamon stick. Garnish, if desired.

    Note: We tested with Lindt Excellence Chili

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  • Let it SNOW! Festive & Fun Mason Jar Snow Globe

    Mason Jar Snow GlobeCanners and crafters rejoice! In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Ball Mason Jar, we're whipping up do-it-yourself Mason jar snow globes. All you need to create your own are jars in assorted sizes (here, 8, 16, and 32 ounces), waterproof superglue, trinkets (we used mini Christmas trees, but anything from ornaments to small toys will work), glycerin (available at craft stores), and glitter.


    See More: 101 Fresh Christmas Decorating Ideas

    Step 1: Use glue to adhere your trinket to the inside of the jar lid. Dry about 24 hours.

    Step 2: Fill the jar with enough water to fully submerge the trinket. Add three to five drops of glycerin and desired amount of glitter.

    Step 3: Apply glue to the lid's inner edge, and screw onto jar. Let dry completely before shaking.

    Don't Miss:
    Festive Christmas Wreaths
    How To Make a Mistletoe Kissing Ball
    Our Favorite Christmas Trees
    Smart Storage Solutions

    Read More »from Let it SNOW! Festive & Fun Mason Jar Snow Globe
  • Almond Snowballs = Christmas Cookie Perfection

    Almond SnowballsThese fragrant, nutty cookies are great as Christmas gifts or as a sweet snack at your next holiday party.


    Almond Snowballs

    See how our experts make it!

    Ingredients

    1/2 cup slivered almonds
    1 cup butter, softened
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup powdered sugar
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    Parchment paper
    1/2 cup powdered sugar

    See More: Festive Christmas Cookie Recipes

    Preparation

    1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan 6 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely (about 20 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

    2. Process almonds in a food processor 30 seconds or until finely ground.

    3. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add vanilla and 1 cup powdered sugar, beating well. (Dough will be crumbly.)

    4. Combine flour, salt, and almonds; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended.

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