Kentuckiana – Food Writer

This spring I decided to hold Thanksgiving #2 for our friends and family. My intent was to create southern influenced dishes as an alternative to “traditional” Thanksgiving dishes. With the right recipes, Turkey Day in Spring is just as colorful, delicious, and warming as our traditional fall holiday.

Please try these recipes and let me know what YOU think! Please send some of your suggestions too. We love to hear from our readers!


Black Eyed Pea Dip

Smoked Turkey

Mashed Red Potatoes With Parmesan
Cornbread Stuffing
Green Beans with bacon

Sweet Potato Pie With Bourbon Meringue

Overall our dinner was quite tasty! I enjoyed the spin on classic Thanksgiving side dishes. My favorites are the Black Eyed Pea Dip, Southern Red Mashed Potatoes, Cornbread Stuffing and Sweet Potato Pie With Bourbon Meringue. I give thumbs up to using these dishes for Thanksgiving anytime of year!

In this article I am reviewing the Mashed Red Potatoes With Parmesan, and Sweet Potato Pie With Bourbon Meringue. I will include the other dishes in our next ASM segment. I chose these dishes first because they screamed homemade country cooking, which is what we were hoping to accomplish. As a connoisseur of food, I believe it is important to describe the way food makes you feel in addition to its textures and flavors. I will be incorporating this added description in my reviews.

Mashed Red Potatoes With Parmesan:
These potatoes were silky, rich and buttery with an added flavor burst from the skins of the potatoes. They took me back to the masked potatoes my mom used to make with lots of milk and butter. I remember her saying she only used red potatoes because they more flavorful than any other variety. I have held on to her advice, using red potatoes with butter and cream, however the addition of Parmesan to our recipe elevated the already present yumminess to the next level.

The Mashed Red Potatoes With Parmesan were made differently than regular mashed potatoes. Instead of being whipped, they were mashed with the back of a spoon. This technique made the potatoes smooth with texture since some of the potatoes were not mashed all the way through. With each bite I was back home, but with a yummy uniqueness all my own.

Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie:
Dessert has always been my favorite part of any meal. Growing up my mom often made Lemon Meringue Pie or Lemon Pie With Graham Cracker Crust for the holidays. The Sweet Potato Pie With Bourbon Meringue combined the mouthfeel I was familiar with, but incorporated new flavor components to give it more of a country style flair.

Tennessee Hot Chicken

Lately there have been multiple KFC ads for Tennessee Hot Chicken. You might be noticing them quite a bit more if you are watching March Madness on a laptop! This is probably new to those of you who are either not from, know someone who has been, or have never visited Tennessee. There is also a good chance you still wouldn’t know anything about it anyway. I would not have known if I didn’t research Tennessee before I got there.


When I travel it’s important for me to know what type of cuisine, and signature dish I should encounter, and my last trip to Tennessee Included a tasting of Hot Chicken. When I found this dish on line I emailed an industry friend to see if he knew anything about it since he grew up there. He gave me a couple of choices, but highly recommended Hattie B’s Hot Chicken in Nashville.

The restaurant was off the main strip on a side street tucked away from the amazing talented musicians and crowded streets of Broadway. It was actually somewhere between a shack and a fast food restaurant actually. Quite quaint actually with a southern dive feel that soothed my soul. The choices for chicken wee white or dark, small or large, and tenders or wings. The hear levels were “southern” (no heat) “mild or medium(” (touch of burn) “hot” (feel the heat) “damn hot” (fire starter) and “shut the cluck up” (burn notice).

Being a connoisseur of super hot food I had to order the hottest they made. I excitedly ordered chicken tenders called “shut the cluck up”. I can honestly say I have NEVER had a spicier food in my life! The heat was so intense it my head spin and my tongue immediately raw. I literally had to force myself to take each bite! This sauce would
have made hell feel like Tahoe in the middle of a blizzard.

After making my way about a quarter of the way through I decided to try some honey on the chicken to give it a little more flavor than fire! The honey balanced the spice just enough to cool the chicken down and bring my tastebuds back to life. The combination allowed me to experience the additional flavors in the tenders that were quite tasty indeed. Despite sounding a tad negative about the flavor of this Tennessee stable, it is certainly one to encounter if you visit the state.

In all honesty I cannot attest to KFC’s Hot Chicken since I have not tried it, but I highly doubt it could be as spicy as the special at Hattie B’s. From a consumer prospective, I am sure most folks would like it. If you have ever crinkled your nose, or failed at the Buffalo Wild Wing challenge I highly recommend trying something else on the menu at
Hattie B’s if you happen to find yourself dining there one afternoon in Tennessee.