Simple Roasted Edamame

Back in 2009, I was introduced to edamame at an Army conference I had gone to. I was with a group of other Army spouses and we were hanging out after working all day and having dinner. The hotel had a couple options for dinner and the one was sushi. The one spouse explained how she hated sushi but her husband loved it but she discovered edamame and that is what she eats when her husband needs a sushi fix and she proceeded to order some. As someone who is anti-sushi myself and generally avoids it I was intrigued by these bean looking things but soon fell in love with them. I immediately knew I needed to buy some and make them for my family when I got home.

Simple Roasted Edamame | My Hot Southern Mess


Diabetes, Taco Salad, and Glucerna

I have been compensated by Glucerna for this post; however, I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own. #SteadyIsExciting

Back in 1999 was the first time the words diabetes ever entered my life. At that time it was gestational diabetes, I had failed my one hour glucose test and I was being put on a special diet and had to go take the 3 hour test. I passed that one, barely. The day my son was born I was told that I did have gestational diabetes. Fast forward through my next three pregnancies, I had gestational diabetes with each one. With my boys it was diet controlled, my daughter I was put on medication. After she was born I was told my risk of having type two diabetes was very high since I had gestational diabetes with all 4 of my kids. I did what I needed to do and set out on my journey of healthy living. I started running and eating healthier and for almost ten years I did pretty good then this past summer as I began marathon training I began noticing different symptoms. At first I began pricking my finger and testing my blood sugar. Consistently my fasting blood sugar was high and after meals it was borderline. The only time it was any where close to normal was after a long run, and then as my miles grew my blood sugar would be low. So I took myself to the doctor to find out what was going on with me and I was told I had prediabetes. I wasn’t shocked, I had been told it was most likely going to happen but now I needed to work even harder to balance my blood sugar levels.  After finishing my marathon last week, I now find myself refocusing my health goals for the year. One of those goals is to lose weight. I am one of the lucky ones who gained weight while marathon training. That weight needs to go! I just need to figure out how to do it and keep my blood sugar levels in check. One of the ways I am working on that is trying to keep quick meals like taco salad and Glucerna Hunger Smart Shakes in my fridge.

Diabetes, Taco Salad and Glucerna | Country Girl Gourmet


Country Girl Gourmet’s Top 12 Recipes of 2015

The end of the year is here again and here are the top 12 recipes of 2015 from Country Girl Gourmet. There are some recipes that have been on the top of the year list since I started posting the top of list back in 2013 and there are others that were new additions to my blog in 2015.

Country Girl Gourmet's Top 12 Recipes of 2015


Simple Black Bean and Sweet Potato Salad

My marathon training has definitely been an adventure. If it is not one thing it seems to be another thing going on and my plans just  have disappeared. I’m trying my best but it seems as though time is just slipping away. Then again maybe it is just because i’m a grown up now and time moves fast the older you get. There is one thing that is not getting past me while i’m training, it is my nutrition. I am doing my best to eat as healthy as I can. It’s easy to say, well I just burned XXX calories I can eat whatever I want but in the end it catches up to you. I don’t know about you but when I eat like crap I can tell in my run. I will never be the girl that can eat whatever without it affecting me in some way or form. Thankfully I have an arsenal recipes that I can turn to like Simple Black Bean and Sweet Potato Salad.

Simple Black Bean and Sweet Potato Salad | country Girl Gourmet

This recipe is very simple to make and the flavors all go very well together. It is a favorite of mine to have during the week to have for lunch. Even my homeschooling 13 year old likes it. The recipe is also vegan and gluten free making it a healthy option that many can enjoy. You simply roast some diced sweet potatoes and then when they are done throw in a bowl with onion, black beans, cilantro and toss with some lime juice and olive oil and some salt and pepper. Can it get any easier?  This recipe takes about 45 minutes to make and the majority of that time is waiting on the sweet potato to roast.

So there you go one of the many ways I try to eat healthy while training for my first marathon, Simple Black Bean and Sweet Potato Salad. It is simple easy and best of all tasty. Plus you are getting a healthy dose of carbs to fuel your run and protein and antioxidants that help with muscle recovery.

What do you eat while you are training?

Pumpkin Chip Muffins with Flax Seed

Hey you, don’t put the pumpkin away just yet! Yeah, I know Thanksgiving is here and the end of all things pumpkin season is upon us but I have one more really great recipe for you! The chocolate mint and Christmas cookies and candies can wait just a few more days. My Pumpkin Chip Muffins with Flax Seed are calling your name, saying bake me, bake me! Seriously they are.

Pumpkin Chip Muffins with Flax Seed | Country Girl Gourmet

My recipe is the product of me trying to find the perfect pumpkin muffin. I just couldn’t find a recipe that had everything I was looking for. So I took the best of several recipes and made my own recipe. As an added plus they are gluten free and they have flax seed which adds it’s own health benefits. They are full of fiber, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, may even help prevent some types of cancer and more! I sneak flax seed into many things I make for my family. Shh…don’t tell my kids. In addition to flax the muffins get a healthy boost from pumpkin which is full of vitamin A and other vitamins, along with carotenoids and potassium. Lastly I swap out the oil for applesauce to reduce some of the fat in the recipe. I do add chocolate chips (white or regular chocolate) because well it’s chocolate, who doesn’t like chocolate?

These muffins are the perfect thing for breakfast, to put in my kid’s lunches, after school snack or just whenever they are hungry and want a snack. My kiddos are always hungry so these muffins are whipped up often. Many times my kids are the ones helping whip them up because they are that easy to make. So what are you waiting for? Head to the kitchen and whip these muffins up! You will be happy you did!

Pumpkin Chip Muffins with Flax
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1½ Cups Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Applesauce or your favorite cooking oil
  • ¾ Cup Sugar
  • 3 cups Flour
  • ½ cup Ground Flax Seed
  • 1½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1½ Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 1 (heaping) teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1 cup Chocolate Chips (white, semi-sweet, milk chocolate or dark chips)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
  2. Mix sugar, apple sauce, eggs. Add pumpkin and vanilla extract. In separate bowl mix together the Gluten Free flour, flax seen meal, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, spices and salt. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Fill muffin cups ⅔ full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.



Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter and Toasted Marshmallow

We are now less than a week away from Thanksgiving, are you ready? I’m sadly not cooking a feast this year so I don’t have a menu to share but that doesn’t mean that I can’t experiment a little to find tasty dishes for future Thanksgivings and/or holidays. So, I have been cooking and coming up with a few new (to my family) dishes that would be great on Thanksgiving  or anytime you are wanting something a little extra special.

We eat a lot of sweet potatoes in our house, they are a staple. My top ways of making them are baking and roasting and typically on holidays I make my sweet potato casserole. It is awesome, it’s even award winning,lol, but i’m keeping that recipe to myself for a bit longer. What i’m going to share with you is,Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter and Toasted Marshmallow. It  is simply awesome.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter and Toasted Marshmallow | Country Girl Gourmet

When looking at this recipe you may be thinking cream cheese and sweet potatoes, say what? I know, I thought the same thing. I never thought to mash sweet potatoes with cream cheese but guess what? It works and it makes them awesome. To make them even better just add browned butter and finish by giving them a spicy bite cayenne pepper. Oh and of course top with some toasty marshmallows. It is a flavor explosion in your mouth!

Outside of how great these taste the only thing better about this recipe is how easy these are to make while looking like you spent hours on them. While they do take a while to make that is because you roast the sweet potatoes and that takes time the rest is pretty easy. While your potatoes are cooling enough to handle you brown your butter. Once that is done set aside while you carefully split and scoop out you sweet potatoes. While you can use a hand masher I use a hand mixer to mash my sweet potatoes to help get some of the stringy fibers that can sometimes be found in sweet potatoes. Then all is left is refilling the sweet potato skins and to do this I use a piping bag to get it done quick and easy. Top with mini marshmallows  and bake until toasty. Then there you have it, a side dish that will make your guest go wow that looks amazing that will be soon be followed by it taste amazing too.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter and Toasted Marshmallow | Country Girl Gourmet

So how are you making your sweet potatoes this year? Try Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter and Toasted Marshmallow and you and your family and friends won’t be disappointed!

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter and Toasted Marshmallow
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • sea salt to taste
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Rub olive oil onto the outside of each sweet potato and sprinkle sea salt over each. Arrange sweet potatoes on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a sharp knife easily pierces the potato, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool sweet potatoes until easily handled, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat until solids begin to brown and smell nutty, 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop insides into a large bowl. Add browned butter, cream cheese, ½ teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper and mash using a potato masher until smooth. Spoon mixture back into the sweet potato skins and top each with ¼ cup marshmallows. Place sweet potatoes back onto the baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the oven until warmed through and marshmallows are toasted, about 10 minutes.

Recipe from

Butterfinger Chunkies and How to Mail Them

It’s been almost 2 weeks since Halloween, do you still have candy? If you have some Butterfingers candy bars laying around I have an awesome cookie recipe for you, Butterfinger Chunkies. These cookies  have become one of my families favorite new cookies. It is full of peanut buttery goodness. First you have peanut butter, then some chopped peanuts and the icing on the cake is crushed up bits of Butterfingers. Can you say yum?

As I was making these cookies I was reminded of my husband’s last deployment and all the baked goods that I use to send him. He is the guy to be friends with while deployed. His last deployment I sent him delicious treats such as chocolate chip cookies with oreos in the middle and then there were the slutty brownies. He always had the good homemade stuff. These cookies would be perfect for a care package and that got me thinking about my best tips for shipping cookies. I have been asked more than a handful of times for tips so here are some of my best tips for shipping cookies.

Butterfinger Chunkies | Country Girl Gourmet

 Tips for Shipping Cookies

The best cookies to ship are easy drop cookies like these Butterfingers Chunkies or Chocolate Chip. Bar cookies and brownies ship wonderfully also. This isn’t saying that you cannot ship other cookies such as rolled out sugar cookies, they just need more care such as individually wrapping.

You want to package your cookies in an airtight container to keep them from going stale. If you have a vacuum sealer it is perfect for this but if you don’t, don’t fret. You can do a poor man’s vacuum seal. Simply place cookies in a freezer ziploc bag, seal bag except for a tiny area where you can insert a straw and suck out all the air. Remove straw and seal. I use the freezer bags because they are thicker and more heavy duty.

When packaging your cookies you can add a slice of white bread or a few marshmallows (yes, marshmallows!) to help keep your cookies soft.

Ship cookies in a box not a padded envelope.  The post office’s flat rate boxes are perfect. wrap cookies in bubble wrap and fill extra space in box with with popcorn, packing peanuts and/or used shopping bags. Used Target and Walmart bags are perfect for packing material.

 Shipping priority mail (2-3 days) is usually good but if you are  worried you can do next day. Fresh cookies are better than stale cookies after all. Pay attention to when you are mailing your cookies so they don’t sit in a post office over a weekend.   Another thing to remember is when mailing overseas it can take a week or two, sometimes longer.

So there are my tips for sending homemade cookies to your friends and family. Sending homemade goodies is an awesome treat that your friends and family will love receiving especially if you are sending them some Butterfingers Chunkies! I can’t wait to bake some up to add to some holiday care packages.

Butterfinger Chunkies | Country Girl Gourmet

What are your best tips for shipping homemade treats?


Butterfinger Chunkies
Serves: 2.5 dozen
  • ½ Cup Margarine (such as Imperial Margarine, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Country Crock)
  • ¾ Cup Sugar
  • ½ Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ¼ Cup All Purpose Flour
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ Cup Peanuts, chopped
  • 1 Cup Butterfingers, crushed
  • *All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend can be substituted for All Purpose Flour with the addition of ½ teaspoon Xanthan Gum.
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl cream together margarine and Sugar and Brown Sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg and combine well. Next mix in both Peanut butter and Vanilla Extract.
  4. In another bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add Flour mixture to creamed mixture, mixing well.
  5. Stir in chopped peanuts and crushed Butterfinger pieces.
  6. Drop cookie dough by rounded 1 ½-2 Tablespoon scoops onto parchment lined cookie sheets.
  7. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until golden.
  8. Cool on wire cooling rack
  9. Enjoy, sharing with friends and family!

recipe adapted from

Cornbread Muffins with Cheddar, Jalapeño, and Bacon

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NaturallyCheesy #CollectiveBias

Welcome November! Here in NC we welcomed November with some mild temperatures and rain. The weather here has actually been so mild that my pepper plants in my garden are still producing like crazy. It’s a good thing that we like spicy food around here because i’ve been adding them to everything that I think they would be tasty in.  I have been thinking of some different ways to use them and remembered when I made Jalapeño Cheddar Beer Bread in the past and I thought to myself why not cornbread. All of the flavors go together really well so why not and to kick it up a notch I added bacon too. Cornbread with Kraft Natural Cheddar Cheese, jalapeño and bacon, what is there not to like? Sounds like the perfect comfort food mix to me!

Cornbread Muffins with Cheddar, Jalapeño and Bacon | Country Girl Gourmet

I headed up the road to Walmart and picked up some yummy Kraft Natural Cheddar Cheese then hurried home to start creating.

Cornbread Muffins with Cheddar, Jalapeño and Bacon

I went to my garden and picked a couple peppers and got to work and created Cornbread Muffins with Cheddar, Jalapeño and Bacon. The recipe was pretty simple. It was a mix of different recipes I have used in the past. I used both cornmeal and corn in this cornbread and incorporated in the jalapeño, bacon and Kraft Natural Cheddar Cheese creating some delicious muffins.

Cornbread Muffins with Cheddar, Jalapeño and Bacon | Country Girl Gourmet


To start I mixed my dry and wet ingredients together and then I incorporated in the corn, jalapeños,bacon, and Kraft Natural Cheddar Cheese.

Cornbread Muffins with Cheddar, Jalapeño and Bacon | Country Girl Gourmet

Once well combined I filled a well greased muffin tin and filled the cups 2/3-3/4 full.

Cornbread Muffins with Cheddar, Jalapeño and Bacon | Country Girl Gourmet

I then baked the muffins in a preheated 400F oven for 20 minutes.

Cornbread Muffins with Cheddar, Jalapeño and Bacon | Country Girl Gourmet

They looked beautiful! I couldn’t wait to try them but I let them cool down a bit before we dug in.

Cornbread Muffins with Cheddar, Jalapeño and Bacon | Country Girl Gourmet

The muffins were a huge hit with my family and I can’t wait to make them again for my parents and sister when they come down for one of our monthly family meals. I think they will love them as much as my husband and kids do. I am thinking that I just may have to add these cornbread muffins to my holiday dinner menus they were so good! The muffins are also the perfect side for all the super yummy soups and stews that are made in the cooler months. The combination of yummy cornbread mixed with bacon and cheesy Kraft Natural Cheddar Cheese and the heat of Jalapeño makes these muffins a yummy comfort food must have.

What is your favorite cheesy recipe? Looking for more Cheesy inspiration take a look HERE

Cornbread Muffins with Cheddar, Jalapeño and Bacon | Country Girl Gourmet

Cornbread Muffins with Cheddar, Jalapeño and Bacon
Serves: 12
  • ½ Cup Cornmeal
  • ½ Cup All Purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ Cup Sour Cream
  • ¼ Cup Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine, melted
  • 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Cup Corn (Fresh, Canned or Thawed Frozen)
  • ½ Cup Bacon, Chopped into Pieces
  • 1-2 Jalapeños, Seeded if desired and diced
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. In a bowl combine dry ingredients- Cornmeal, Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt, and Onion Powder
  3. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients- Egg, Sour Cream, Milk, and melted Butter.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until combined. Next add in Cheddar Cheese, Corn, Bacon and Jalapeño and incorporate well.
  5. Place cornbread batter in greased muffin pan, filling cups ⅔-3/4 full.
  6. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes or until done.


Smothered Pork Chops

Today is Lil Misses 9th birthday! My little girl is growing up so fast! She is the total package, she has both brains, beauty and she is one heck of an athlete. She is my all american girl.

Lil Miss | Country Girl Gourmet

Since it is her birthday she gets to pick out what she wants to eat for her birthday dinner and of course she picked out one of her favorite things to eat. No not pizza, cheeseburgers or chicken nuggets. She wants pork chops and polenta. Yes, she has grown up tastes when it comes to food. So I thought for today in honor of her birthday I would share one of our new favorite pork chop recipes, Smothered Pork Chops from Swanson®.

Smothered Pork Chops | Country Girl Gourmet

I discovered this recipe through my work with Allrecipes as one of their brand ambassadors, Allrecipes Allstar. Last month my assignment was working with Swanson Broth. The recipes I made were great and the other Allstars had great things to say about the recipes they were trying out. So I tried out a few more recipes and wasn’t disappointed when I came across their Smothered Pork Chop recipe.

I will say I did not follow the recipe as written, I used chicken broth instead of beef. I know the horror,lol. The pork chops turned out perfect with my substitution  and I have made them more than once. One of my favorite things about the recipe is the gravy. It does not use a can of cream of yuck and it is gluten free. That is a big plus for me.

Try them for yourself. You won’t be disappointed! Heck, use the beef broth too if you have it around.

What is your favorite way to make pork chops? 

Smothered Pork Chops | Country Girl Gourmet

4.8 from 4 reviews
Smothered Pork Chops
  • 1¾ cups Swanson® Chicken or Beef Broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 (5 ounce) boneless pork chops, ¾-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  1. Stir the broth and cornstarch in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth. Season the pork, if desired.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook for 5 minutes or until well browned on both sides. Remove the pork from the skillet.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring often.
  4. Stir the broth mixture and dijon mustard in the skillet. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and thickens.
  5. Stir chopped fresh rosemary leaves into the thickened broth mixture
  6. Return the pork to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the pork is cooked through.

Adapted from

Faux Cookie Dough Dip

I have a few vegan friends so my Facebook feed is often filled with things made with or from chickpeas. Seriously chickpeas can be turned into anything! They aren’t just for hummus anymore. I have seen recipes for everything from chickpea burgers to chickpea buttercream and other sweet treats. I’ve really been wondering how in the world in the world the chickpea does it. Yet alone how do all these chickpea creations taste. So I jumped right on into the deep end of chick pea recipes, Faux Cookie Dough Dip.

Faux Cookie Dough Dip | Country Girl Gourmet

I think most people have memories of making cookies and eating bites of the cookie dough but never too much because of the raw eggs. It’s the best part of making cookies; it’s classic comfort food. With faux cookie dough dip I have found the perfect solution to having cookie dough and being able to eat it without much worry of salmonella or the calories. There is no egg, no butter and no flour and the recipe can easily be made completely vegan if desired. Healthy cookie dough yes please! I am all about healthy substitutions and this dip was a winner!

Faux Cookie Dough Dip | Country Girl Gourmet

I know what you are thinking though, how in the world do you transform a can of beans into something sweet and delicious? I thought the same thing as I was opening my chickpeas but it works. I can’t tell you how other than chickpea magic. I threw my ingredients into my food processor and out came cookie dough deliciousness! My entire family loved the cookie dough dip and had no clue how healthy it really was, let alone it was made from chickpeas. The faux cookie dough dip pairs beautifully with apples. I loved it with a honey crisp apple while my daughter enjoyed her’s with a granny smith. Then again you could skip the apples and just dig into it with a spoon. I wouldn’t judge you if you did, i’d probably ask where is my spoon? Can I have some too?

Do you cook with chickpeas? What is your favorite chickpea recipe?

Faux Cookie Dough Dip | Country Girl Gourmet

Faux Cookie Dough Dip
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter,etc.)
  • 3 tablespoons oats
  • 1 tablespoon milk (dairy,almond, etc.)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅓ cup chocolate chips (carob chips may be substituted)
  1. Blend chickpeas, brown sugar, peanut butter, oats, milk, vanilla extract, salt, and baking soda together in a food processor until smooth; fold in chocolate chips

Recipe from 

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