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What does it mean to be a Southerner in the 21st century?

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Mellow Mushroom Serves Up a Hot Special!

Mellow Mushroom 40th anniversary specials

Mellow Mushroom 40th anniversary specials.

Get it while it’s hot! Today, Aug. 20, Mellow Mushroom is celebrating their 40th anniversary and they want you to join their pizza party. Mellow Mushroom opened in 1974, and they’ve reverted back to their old 70s pre-inflation pricing. A small cheese pizza is only $2.50 (regular prices apply for additional toppings). All fountain Cokes and sodas are $0.30, and beers including Budweiser, Michelob or Pabst Blue Ribbon, are only $0.75 cents.

Check out Yelp or Google to find the Mellow Mushroom near you!

Atlanta Street Food Festival 2014

Atlanta Food Truck FestivalWe’re heading to the 3rd Annual Atlanta Street Food Festival with our pals from the Atlanta Food Blogger Society! Keep up with us on Instagram and Twitter @Pretty_Southern to see pics as we nibble our way throughout the day. It’s amazing how much progress food trucks have made in the South, especially thanks to initiatives like the Atlanta Food Truck Coalition. Here’s more information from the event.

“The Atlanta Street Food Festival brings many of the city’s favorite food trucks to diners at Piedmont Park on Saturday, July 12, from noon to 8 p.m. The Festival will showcase over 40 Atlanta-area food trucks, and event goers will be able to enjoy a variety of local merchants and artisans in addition to live entertainment from some of the area’s favorite music performers. The Festival is proud to announce that a portion of this year’s proceeds will support The Giving Kitchen.

The cost = $10.50 and y’all can get tickets here

Plus, ATL’s foodies get a break from the heat with a free screening of “Let’s Be Cops” starring Damon Wayans Jr., Jake Johnson, Nina Dobrev and Rob Riggle. The Cinetransformer, a 53-foot double expandable trailer that converts into a complete mobile cinema, will show the movie at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Hope to see y’all there!

Progressive Dinner in Atlanta

Appetizer Publik Draft House

Our first course at Publik Draft House

I think I was about 8 years old when I attended my first progressive dinner. My Girl Scout troop arranged a progressive dinner at three different homes so we could all earn our nutrition badge…or something like that! In my Southern girl mind, these dinners involved crock pots with packaged or pre-made concoctions. The recent progressive dinner I attended with the Atlanta Food Blogger Society was nothing of the sort!

We started our meal with appetizers at Publik Draft House, followed by dinner and dessert at Baraonda. These sister restaurants are two of my favorite places to eat before taking in a show at The Fabulous Fox Theatre, and my-oh-my was this meal a showstopper. About halfway through dinner, I told Erica Smith from A Taste of Our City that there was no way I could eat anymore…but we kept going!

Meatless Monday’s at Murphy’s

Meatless Mondays at Murphy's

Our entree from Meatless Mondays at Murphy’s.

The Atlanta Food Blogger Society hosted a fabulous dinner at Murphy’s in Atlanta, located in the heart of The Virginia Highlands. Literally y’all – it’s at the intersection of North Highland and Virginia Avenue. Murphy’s has always been my go-to staple for the quintessential Sunday brunch, or to wow out of town guests with Southern staples. I was looking forward to trying their new #MeatlessMondays menu, and oh my goodness I didn’t miss the meat for an instant. The fabulous Denise Romeo of We Like to Cook even brought squash blossoms from her own backyard garden!

Southern Summer Cookout Favorites

I love summer for its warmth, flowers, vacations and thunderstorms, but I also love it for the cookouts. My family and I love sharing our Southern culinary specialties with our Northern friends. And like any good Southern dinner party, at least one of the recipes is from (or inspired by something from) the latest issue of Southern Living.

For this particular dinner, our main course came from Southern Living, but here are our my family’s Southern Summer Cookout favorites.

DSC02215COCKTAIL: Mama’s Peach Sangria. How can you say no to peach?

1 bottle white zinfandel
1 bottle tonic water
1 container Crystal Light powder lemonade mix
1/3 cup peach schnapps
Various sliced fruit (raspberries, peaches, blueberries)
Add all ingredients to a pitcher. Stir. Chill until ready to serve, or serve immediately.

APPETIZER: Texas Caviar. This one gets requested a lot.


2 cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 avocados, sliced
Juice of 1 large lime or 2 small limes
2 jalapeno peppers, diced (or 1 if you aren’t a fan of hot and spicy)
1 medium sweet bell pepper, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1 medium onion, diced
1 bottle Italian salad dressing
Fresh cilantro to taste

Mix all veggies in a bowl. Pour Italian dressing over top. Sprinkle with cilantro. Stir, cover and chill until ready to serve. It tastes best with tortilla chips.

DSC02241For our main course, my dad grilled pork chops according to this Southern Living recipe, with an extra touch of mustard-based barbecue sauce on top right as they finished grilling. We topped the chops with the blueberry-peach salsa, which was a wonderful sweet companion to the flavors that came out in the pork. The watermelon-and-feta orzo salad was a cool and crisp companion to the dish’s star attraction. Of course we needed a starch, too: roasted potatoes, lightly tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper.


This was my mama’s Grannie Adams’ recipe, so I know it’s tried, true and delicious. My mama makes it at home a lot during the summer; it’s very light and fruity, which if you ask me, is the perfect summertime dessert. You can make it with any kind of pie filling you want. My favorite flavor is strawberry, but my mama and dad prefer cherry and blueberry.

2 cans pie filling
1 ½ sticks butter
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 envelopes Dream Whip
1 cup cold milk
1 8-oz. block of cream cheese
¾ cup sugar

  • Melt the butter and add to graham cracker crumbs. Stir until it forms a wet but crumbly mixture. Spread and mash half of it into the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole dish.
  • Mix the Dream Whip and milk until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and sugar and beat until well combined.
  • Pour half of the cream cheese mixture over the graham cracker layer. Add both cans of pie filling over the cream, and then pour the remaining cream cheese on top. Lastly, cover the top layer of cream cheese with the last of the graham cracker crumbs.
  • Chill two hours, or until ready to serve. Helpful tip: the longer it’s chilled, the better it stays together and the longer the flavors all have to blend.

Happy cooking, y’all!

Kate Robertson
Kate Robertson is a features writer for Pretty Southern, and a conquering graduate at Virginia Tech. Originally form Atlanta, Kate is starting grad school this fall at Elon University to further develop her career as a kick ass writer. Follow her on Twitter @kate3robertson