Blog Posts by Southern Living

  • 10 Flowers That Beat the Heat

    Plant these heat-loving, hardy plants that thrive in hot weather. Simply water them once a week to enjoy their blooms all summer long. For the complete list of foolproof flowers, read the full article.

    1. Black-Eyed Susan

    Sturdy and easy to grow, this early-summer-blooming flower brightens gardens. Cutting encourages them to re-bloom late in the season. The 2- to 4-inch blooms have orange-red rays and a prominent purplish-black cone. Deer usually steer clear of these plants making them deer-proof and heat-proof.

    Related Article: Effortless Annuals

    2. Madagascar Periwinkle

    Native to Madagascar, India, and tropical Asia, these bushy plants thrive in both humid and dry heat. Flowers bloom atop glossy leaves in pure white, pink, rose, or white with a rose or red eye The flower was formerly known botanically as Vinca rosea, and many people still call it vinca.

    Related Article: Tips for Planting Flowers

    3. Zinnia

    Zinnias are longtime garden favorites for colorful, round flowers. The

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  • Best Burgers You've Ever Had!

    Add some pizazz to your everyday grilling routine with these mouthwatering burger recipes. You'll never want a plain burger again!

    Bacon-Wrapped Barbecue Burgers
    Photo: Jennifer DavickPhoto: Jennifer Davick

    8 bacon slices
    1 (4.5-oz.) jar sliced mushrooms, drained and chopped
    1/2 cup chopped Vidalia or sweet onion
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    1/2 cup bottled honey barbecue sauce, divided
    1 1/2 pounds ground beef
    Wooden picks
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    4 sesame seed hamburger buns, toasted

    Arrange bacon on a paper towel-lined microwave-safe plate; cover with a paper towel. Microwave bacon at High 2 minutes or until edges begin to crinkle and bacon is partially cooked.

    Sauté mushrooms and onion in hot oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes or until tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and stir in 2 Tbsp. barbecue sauce.

    Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high). Shape ground beef into 8 (5-inch) thin patties. Place 2 Tbsp. mushroom mixture in center of each of 4 patties.

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  • 100 Ways with Fresh Berries

    Berry cobblers, muffins, and tarts are all fine and good, but a little variety can really whet your appetite. Try these unexpected ways with berries to impress your guests and get ready for summer.

    Blueberry Salsa
    Photo: Beth Dreiling HontzasPhoto: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

    2 cups coarsely chopped fresh blueberries
    1 cup whole fresh blueberries
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
    1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

    Toss ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve immediately, or cover and chill 8 hours.

    Related Article: Fresh Summer Peach Recipes

    Chilled Blueberry Soup

    4 cups fresh blueberries
    1 cup orange juice
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1 pint half-and-half
    Garnish: mint sprigs

    Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often. Remove from heat, and slightly cool.

    Process blueberry mixture and

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  • Best-Ever Bar Cookies

    Leave these chewy bar cookies unattended and they'll disappear faster than you can say "But those were for the bake sale!"

    Tequila-Lime-Coconut Macaroon BarsPhoto: Jennifer DavickPhoto: Jennifer Davick

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 cups sugar, divided
    1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
    4 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
    1 teaspoon lime zest
    1/3 cup fresh lime juice
    3 tablespoons tequila
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    Garnishes: powdered sugar, lime rind curls

    Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom and sides of a 13- x 9-inch pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, allowing 2 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil.

    Stir together 1 3/4 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.

    Bake at 350° for 20 to 23 minutes or until lightly browned.

    Meanwhile, whisk eggs in a medium bowl until smooth; whisk in coconut, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar. Stir together baking

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  • Grilled Lemonade? A Delicious Surprise from Your Grill

    Use your grill for more than just meat this summer. Try this Grilled Lemonade recipe for a refreshing twist on the classic.

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    Step 1: Cut and Grill

    Cut about 16 lemons in half. Dip sides in sugar, and place over hot coals. Make a rosemary simple syrups by pouring equal parts water, sugar, and honey into a disposable aluminum foil pan. Add a few fresh rosemary sprigs, and place pan on grill.

    Grill about 10 minutes or until you see a golden caramelized color on the lemons. Meanwhile, your simple syrup should be heating up nicely and getting lots of good flavor from those sprigs.

    Related Video: Delicious Grilled Pizza

    Step 2: Strain and Enjoy!

    Let the grilled lemons cool slightly. Place a wire-mesh strainer in a pitcher, and squeeze the juice from the lemons. (The heat softens the lemons for easy squeezing.) Add water and rosemary simple syrup to taste. Add a splash of

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  • Classic Derby Day Mint Julep

    The Kentucky Derby is celebrated the first Saturday in May with visitors from around the world gathering at the race track and all over Louisville. As "My Old Kentucky Home" plays before the race, julep cups filled to the brim with a delicious concoction of the finest bourbon, simple syrup, fresh mint, and crushed ice are raised high. To Kentuckians, a Mint Julep is more than a drink-it's tradition.The Classic Mint Julep is served in silver julep cups.The Classic Mint Julep is served in silver julep cups.

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    Yield: Makes 1 (8-ounce) julep
    3 fresh mint leaves
    1 tablespoon Mint Simple Syrup
    Crushed ice
    1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) bourbon
    1 (4-inch) cocktail straw or coffee stirrer
    1 fresh mint sprig

    Mint Simple Syrup Ingredients and Preparation
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup water
    10 to 12 fresh mint sprigs

    Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Boil, stirring often, 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; add mint, and let cool completely. Pour into a glass

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  • Head-to-Toe Kentucky Derby Fashion Guide

    The Kentucky Derby isn't all about the horses. It has become a place to see and be seen. Follow ourguide on Kentucky Derby fashion so you'll fit right in.A fashionable new hat is a necessity at the Kentucky Derby.A fashionable new hat is a necessity at the Kentucky Derby.

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    Stir Up a Classic Mint Julep

    Derby Hat Tradition
    Hats are a must at the Derby. They are believed to bring good luck, but they have become purely a fashion statement. They can be simple or grandiose, hand-made or custom-made.

    Sheila Nobles of C.K. Nobles, the Official Millinery Designer for The Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs, says the Kentucky Derby is the Southern fashion event of the year, and even more so, the predominant event for hats.

    "If you don't wear a hat to the Kentucky Derby," Sheila warns, "you'll feel like the woman who wears jeans to a little black dress party."

    Related Article: Enter to Win a Custom-Made Derby Hat!

    Hat First or Dress First?
    "People remember you for your hat, not your dress," Sheila says, so she recommends picking your hat

    Read More »from Head-to-Toe Kentucky Derby Fashion Guide
  • Top Guac Recipe (It's Easy!)

    Fresh avocado and lime juice are essential to guacamole. Other ingredients vary by recipe. Onions, chiles, garlic, tomatoes, and cilantro are most commonly included. You'll be amazed how easy it is to create your own delicious combination.

    Photo: Ralph AndersonPhoto: Ralph Anderson

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    5 ripe avocados
    2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    1/2 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
    1 garlic clove, pressed
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    Tortilla chips

    Cut avocados in half. Scoop pulp into a bowl, and mash with a potato masher or fork until slightly chunky. Stir in chopped red onion and next 4 ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap, allowing wrap to touch mixture, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Serve guacamole with tortilla chips.

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  • Beer 'Garitas: The Perfect Fiesta Drink

    Mixing beer with a classic margarita recipe makes this drink less tart than the regular margaritas. We can promise that these will be a hit, so make them by the pitcher to keep the party going!Photo: William DickeyPhoto: William Dickey

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    1 cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
    1 cup tequila
    1/2 cup orange liqueur
    Crushed ice
    1/2 to 1 cup cold beer

    Stir together first 3 ingredients until well blended. Fill 4 medium glasses with crushed ice. Pour limeade mixture evenly into glasses. Add beer to taste.

    Note: For testing purposes only, we used Minute Maid Frozen Concentrate for Limeade, José Cuervo Especial tequila, and Triple Sec for orange liqueur.

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    Read More »from Beer 'Garitas: The Perfect Fiesta Drink
  • Kentucky Derby Party Checklist

    You don't have to make the trip to Churchill Downs or even Louisville to experience the Kentucky Derby. Play your own Derby party with these suggestions for food, cocktails, decorations, and games.Your Derby party will not be complete without the iconic Classic Mint Julep.Your Derby party will not be complete without the iconic Classic Mint Julep.

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    Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan PieChocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie

    There are a few essentials you must serve at your Derby party. Not only are these recipes traditional fare for the Derby, but they are delicious, too!

    Classic Mint JulepClassic Mint Julep

    The mint julep is the iconic drinks of the Kentucky Derby. Serve it in a silver julep cup for a traditional presentation.


    Take your cue from the Kentucky Derby's nickname, the Run for the Roses, and decorate with the classic flower. Rose and boxwood topiaries make great centerpieces or small tabletop decorations. You can either buy topiary forms and simply place them in a suitable container, or you can make Read More »from Kentucky Derby Party Checklist


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