Fruity chicken salad


The Yankee recently made a discovery, and I’m in love.

With tea.

I used to buy gallons of fruit tea from a BBQ joint called JJ’s in Spring Hill, TN. It was amazing, and usually came in a washed out gallon-size pickle or mayonnaise container. Fine by me, as long as it ended up in my kitchen.

We moved away from Spring Hill about nine years ago, though, and I have been fruit-tea-less and bereft.


The Yankee found Alley Cat Tea at our local Publix and bought some for me to try. It is the real deal, folks. So much so that they don’t even know I’m writing this review/recipe — they didn’t give me any free or pay me, I just think it’s so great that y’all should know about it. To be fair, they DID offer to give me some tea, but our schedules do not mesh well. 🙂


My favorite is to just drink it straight, but a little Jack Daniel’s in it doesn’t hurt either. 😉 I wanted to find a way to cook with it, too, so I made this fruity/fruit-tea (see what I did there) chicken salad and it’s SO GOOD. It has sweetness from the tea, pineapple, and craisins; it has a tiny bit of sour from the lemon juice, and the chicken holds it all together. It does not have celery, because I don’t like eating dental floss.

To make your own:

  • 2 chicken breasts, marinated (see below)
  • 1 cup fruit tea, divided
  • 2 ounces mayonnaise
  • 1/2 granny smith apple, diced
  • 1/4 cup craisins
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
  • juice of one lemon
  • Salt, pepper
  1. Cut the chicken breasts into large chunks, and marinate in 3/4 cup fruit tea — at least a couple hours, preferably overnight
  2. Cook the chicken in the tea; I did mine in a slow cooker for about 2 hours, then shred the chicken
  3. Mix cooled, shredded chicken with mayo, apple, raisins, pineapple, lemon juice, plus remaining 1/4 cup fruit tea, then add salt and pepper to taste


This is amazing served as a sandwich on Hawaiian rolls, and also great with crackers for little appetizers. Enjoy!

Alabama white sauce

I am really, really lucky.

And by really, really lucky I mean I live about a mile away from Martin’s BBQ Joint. This is nationally acclaimed BBQ practically in my back yard!

One of my favorite things there (which is a pretty major decision; it’s all amazing) is the Alabama white sauce. It’s incredible on Martin’s smoked wings, but it’s also incredible on turkey sandwiches, meatballs, you name it. Fortunately Pat Martin shared the recipe with Garden & Gun a while back, so I get to make it at home now, too. I scale it way down to 1/4 of his recipe (see below); you can see Pat’s original proportions here.

Alabama white sauce


  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I use Duke’s)
  • 5 ounces cider vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt (heaping)
  • 1/2 tbsp. black pepper (heaping)
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper


  1. Stir it all together (I use a whisk), then store in a squeeze bottle or Mason jar
  2. Add to everything you can think of.

JACKed sweet potato muffins

I’m pretty sure this is my new favorite recipe.

I was going through my bookshelves to see if I had any cookbooks I could live without (spoiler alert: I didn’t), and came across this one: Jack Daniel’s Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook.

This had belonged to my great aunt, and was signed to her from one of the authors, Lynne Tolley. It’s a treasure trove! I went looking for something involving sweet potatoes and found these, what they call sweet potato muffin delights.

They are SO GOOD, y’all. There isn’t a lot of flour, so the eggs and sweet potato make these so light and airy, and the flavors are great! Just a little hint of Jack, but not so much that you can’t respectably eat these for breakfast. 😉

JACKed sweet potato muffins

Yield: 12 muffins


  • 1 3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used whole)
  • 1/4 cup Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
  • 1 1/4 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (microwave is fine here)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • Cinnamon sugar for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 425F and grease or line 12 muffin cups
  2. Combine eggs, milk, Jack, sweet potatoes, and butter and mix well
  3. Put a wire strainer or sifter over the top of the bowl and add flour, salt, baking powder, and brown sugar; shake or press through until all the mixture is sifted into the bowl
  4. Mix until JUST combined, then spoon into prepared muffin cups
  5. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar, then bake until a toothpick in the center comes out clean; the cookbook says 35-40 minutes but mine were done after 20, so don’t go far

Because I am positive that you all need to make these, this is a good time for you to try out my snazzy new ZipList functionality! You can save recipes from One Particular Kitchen (and all these amazing blogs), and create your shopping list as you do it! Just click on that “save recipe” button at the top of my recipes, or you can get to your ZipList recipe box or shopping list from my main menu. Let me know if you have any questions!

Also, let me know when you make these muffins, m’kay? Trust me.

Goo Goo Cluster nachos

Here in the South we love our Goo Goos. They’re made right here in Nashville, and lots of local folks have done lots of amazing things with them: Goo Goo Pie, anyone? I wanted to try my own hand at coming up with a recipe for them (although, good heavens they’re amazing just plain), and this is what I came up with! Goo Goo Cluster nachos are easy to make, and can be scaled up or down on the homemade scale as far as you want; I landed somewhere in the middle.

What else would you top these with? Any ideas?

For the record, this post is not in any way sponsored by Goo Goo; I just think they’re fabulous.

Goo Goo Cluster nachos


  • 1/2 package puff pastry sheets, thawed
  • 4 Goo Goo Clusters (I used original, but any would be great!)
  • Caramel sauce (I used homemade; any will do)
  • Whipped cream
  • Optional colored sugar or sprinkles for topping


  1. Slice puff pastry sheets into triangles and bake at 400F for 12-15 minutes until golden brown
  2. While the pastry is cooking, chop the Goo Goos and have them ready
  3. As soon as the pastry is done pull each one partially open and drop in a few pieces of chopped Goo Goo (this will make the Goo Goos melty and even more awesome), and put them all on a plate
  4. Drizzle with caramel sauce, then sprinkle with any remaining Goo Goo pieces
  5. Serve with whipped cream in a bowl for dipping

Mambo margaritas

It’s late July in Nashville, which means it’s really too hot to do much of anything but try not to break a sweat by blinking too much. Getting up to make a margarita, however, is worth the effort. Lissa and I found these when we were taking turns reading the Sweet Potato Queens books a few years ago, and we’ve been making them since then. They’re fast, they’re easy, they’re a little fizzy, and they’re crazy refreshing on an unbearably hot summer evening.

Mambo margaritas


  • 12 ounce can frozen limeade concentrate (still frozen; save the can to measure remaining ingredients)
  • 12 ounce bottle of Corona
  • 12 ounces of Sprite or 7-Up
  • 12 ounces tequila
  • Salt for glasses, optional


  1. Pour all ingredients into a pitcher and stir well
  2. Serve over ice (and don’t forget the salt!)

Because variety is the spice of life and all, what’s your favorite summer drink? Margaritas? Sweet tea? An ice bath?

Baked Elvis oatmeal

I’m not a stranger to baked oatmeal, but I love how Beth of Eat. Drink. Smile upped the ante with the addition of all her yummy fruit! I adapted her recipe a bit to use up what we had (super ripe bananas) and to add something both my kids are guaranteed to eat: peanut butter!

Baked Elvis oatmeal


  • 2 cups uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 very ripe bananas, fork-mashed
  • 3 Tbsp butter (see instructions)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (see instructions)


  1. Combine oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl
  2. Heat the butter and peanut butter together in the microwave till just melted, then let it cool slightly
  3. Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients; add in the egg and beat well, then add in banana and butter/peanut butter mixture and stir well
  4. Pour into a buttered 8-inch square baking dish, and bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes.


This is such a great breakfast, and easy to keep around for snacks as well! Be sure to check out Beth’s original post for all her awesome fruit combinations, too. What fruits will you try with it?

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Brined pork chops with white gravy

When The Yankee and I were first dating he announced one night that he was making me pork chops for supper.

Boy howdy.

I, ah, was not a fan of the chop of pork. The pork chops of my childhood were strikingly reminiscent of the sole of a shoe. An old shoe. In my mother’s defense, the recommendation at the time was to cook pork to something like 4,000 degrees, and it was quite a challenge to make it edible (enter: applesauce).

Now, fortunately, pork is safer. And the pork from our CSA? Also yummalicious. These pork chops in particular? Awesomeness. When you add in a brine? Oh my moly. I am never again making pork chops without brining; it’s that good.

Brined pork chops with white gravy


  • Pork chops (I made two)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • water and ice
  • 2 Tbsp. AP flour + more for coating pork chops
  • Salt, pepper
  • Oil: olive, vegetable, or bacon grease — whatever floats your boat (and your pork chops)
  • 1 cup milk (I always use whole milk)


  1. Whisk together sugar and salt in cold water, and lay pork chops in the water; add more water if needed to cover chops, and add plenty of ice. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes or so; I did 45 minutes
  2. Preheat oven to 350F
  3. Drain pork chops and heat oil in a heavy skillet, ideally cast iron. When the oil is heated dredge pork chops in flour and put immediately into oil to fry until brown on both sides. Check the temperature of the pork; assuming it’s brown on both sides but isn’t quite done in the middle, spoon off 2 Tbsp. of the grease into a second skillet, then put the chops in the 350 oven to finish cooking
  4. In the second skillet whisk in 2 Tbsp. flour to the 2 Tbsp. of pork fat till smooth; whisk in 1 cup milk and heat till bubbling and thickened
  5. Serve chops with gravy