Down-Home Delights

Down-Home Delights

baking ingredients - eggs, flour, rolling pinWelcome to our Southern Serenade’s Down-Home Delights page. This is where you’ll find some favorite recipes from our families and our customers.

We’d love to hear about a favorite of yours. Send recipe information to

Blueberry Cornmeal Cake
Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole  
Chocolate Chess Pie  
Glorious Strawberry Pie  
Butternut Squash Pie  
Sausage Balls  
Summer Sorbet with Chamomile and Mint  
Lemon-Chamomile Shortbread  
Gingerbread Cakes  



Blueberry Cornmeal Cake
We love the flavor combination of blueberries and lemon in this lightly sweet bread. The cornmeal adds a nice flavor and texture, too.

blueberries on the bush - closeup Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 egg
1 egg white
1 cup blueberries

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°. Coat loaf pan with no-stick spray. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, and vanilla. In a medium bowl, add sugar, oil, and grated lemon rind and stir; beat in eggs.

Blend flour and yogurt mixtures into sugar mixture, alternating. Begin and end with flour mixture. Once completely blended, stir in blueberries. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake at 350° for 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from pan and cool.


Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

This casserole is terrific for a holiday breakfast or brunch social. You can mix it up the night before and just pop it in the oven an hour before you want to serve. I've made it with ham, asparagus, and mushrooms or just sausage. Both were delicious!


1/4 cup chopped onion

2 1/2 cups frozen cubed hash browns

2 cups chopped ham steak

3/4 cup asparagus, cut in pieces and lightly steamed

3/4 cup mushrooms

5 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups shredded cheddar

1 3/4 cups milk

1 cup BisQuick

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper


 Cook onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Stir in hash browns and ham and cook 5-7 minutes until potatoes are lightly browned. Mushrooms should be added to hash brown mixture and sauteed for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking time. Drain mixture on paper towels; spoon into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Add asparagus. Stir together eggs, cheese, and next 4 ingredients; pour evenly over hash brown and ham mixture, stirring well. Cover and chill 8 hours. Bake, covered with foil, at 350° for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 10-15 more minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand 5 minutes.


Alternative Directions with Sausage:

 Substitute 1 lb. ground hot pork sausage for ham and leave out asparagus and mushrooms. Cook onion and sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Stir in hash browns and cook 5-7 minutes until sausage is no longer pink and potatoes are lightly browned. Drain mixture on paper towels; spoon into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Stir together eggs, cheese, and next 4 ingredients; pour evenly over ham mixture, stirring well. Cover and chill 8 hours. Bake, covered with foil, at 350° for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 10-15 more minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand 5 minutes.

Chocolate Chess Pie
This is a signature dessert at the Angus Barn, a must-try restaurant if you are ever traveling to Raleigh, NC.  My friend brought this pie to a July 4th cookout, complete with red, white and blue ribbons across the top.  It was out of this world!


1 unbaked pie crust
1 stick of butter

2 squares Bakers' chocolate (semi-sweet)
1 cup of sugar

2 eggs (beaten)

1 tsp. vanilla

dash of salt

Directions: Melt butter and chocolate.  Mix with other ingredients which have been blended together.  Pour into a regular pie shell and bake for 35 minutes at 350°.  Top with whipped cream, if desired.

Glorious Strawberry Pie
My mama always made this pie when the strawberries were ripe in May, and now I do, too.

strawberries in a basketIngredients:
2 (9 inch) pie shells
2 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
3 cups whole fresh strawberries
2 cups sugar
2 cups cold water
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup light syrup
4 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pkg. (3 oz.) strawberry flavored gelatin
½ pint of whipping cream (whipped)

Directions: Bake pie shells according to package directions and cool. Spread cream cheese on pie shells and arrange strawberries over cream cheese. Mix sugar, cold water, cornstarch, syrup, butter and salt. Bring to a boil and cook until thick (approximately 5-7 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in strawberry gelatin, immediately while hot. Chill until almost congealed before pouring over strawberries. When cooled, pour over berries. Top pie with whipped cream and chill.

Butternut Squash Pie
This is a pie that my Mama has made every Thanksgiving since I can remember.  It's one of the yummiest ways I can think of to eat your veggies!


1 cup butternut squash pulp, stewed

1 small can evaporated milk

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

dash salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 or 3 eggs, beaten

1 deep dish pie crust

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350°.  Peel squash and cut into squares.  Simmer squash with a small amount of water until tender.  Remove from heat.  Mix pulp with remaining ingredients and pour into pie crust.  Cook pie until center is set, approximately 50 minutes.


Sausage Balls
This is a holiday favorite at my house. I usually double the recipe and freeze a batch to have when folks drop by.

1 lb. Sausage (½ hot and ½ mild)
½ lb. Sharp cheddar cheese grated
3 cups Bisquick flour

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°. Mix sausage and cheese together. Then, mix in Bisquick flour and blend until thoroughly combined. Pinch off small pieces of the dough mixture and roll into balls, about ¾ to 1 inch in diameter. Place balls on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes.


Summer Fruit Sorbet with Chamomile and Mint

This is a refreshing treat for a hot Southern summer!  I've tried this recipe using strawberries and peaches and both were great.


3/4 cups water

1/2 cup honey

2 tbsp. loose Soul 

Soother chamomile


1 lb. frozen fruit

(strawberries or


1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. fresh mint leaves


Bring water to a boil. Add honey, ginger, cinnamon, and chamomile. After 5 minutes, remove from heat and chill syrup until very cold. Place frozen fruit in a food processor and chop finely. Add chilled syrup to food processor and blend until very smooth. Put in a container in the freezer until hardened. 

Serve with mint.


Lemon-Chamomile Shortbread
A wonderfully light cookie that's great with tea!  Dress it up with a little powdered sugar.

2 sticks butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon Soul Soother chamomile tea (ground)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Directions: Preheat oven to 325°. Cream butter, sugar, and salt together in a mixer until light and fluffy.  Blend in lemon zest, loose tea, and flour until smooth.  Press into a lightly greased 8-inch square pan.  Bake until the shortbread begins to turn golden (about 30 minutes).  Cut into squares and allow to cool completely before removing from pan.

Gingerbread Cakes

One of our favorite fall trips is to visit Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.  That trip just isn't complete without enjoying their apple cider and ginger cakes.  Here's a gingerbread cake recipe for you to try at home! 


1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ginger

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup margarine, melted

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1 cup molasses

4 cups unbleached flour, unsifted  

Directions:  Preheat oven to 375°.  Combine the first six ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well.  Add the melted margarine, evaporated milk, and molasses and mix well.  Add the flour 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly.  The dough should be stiff enough to handle without sticking to fingers.  Knead the dough for a smoother texture.  Add additional flour if necessary to prevent sticking, up to another 1/2 cup.  When the dough is smooth, roll it out on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick and cut it into cookies.  Bake on greased cookie sheets for 10 to 12 minutes.  The cookies are done if they spring back when touched.