Monday Maven: A GIVEAWAY!!! from Betsy of Shugart and Spice

Monday Maven: A GIVEAWAY!!! from Betsy of Shugart and Spice

I am thrilled to share today’s Monday Maven with you guys! 
Betsy is a friend and sorority sister of mine from UGA with a pretty serious talent for making the everyday meal look amazing. Her fabulous lifestyle blog, Shugart & Spice, showcases her incredible meals, family recipes, and more. Recently, Betsy began offering a way to have her delightful dishes grace our tables….her menu of ready-made frozen casseroles is mouthwatering to say the least! 
Follow the link to peruse her menu:
http://www.shugartandspice.com/2014/08/casseroles-main-dishes-to-go.html

Everyone, be sure and check out her inspiring blog for recipes to share with your family and friends over Thanksgiving and Christmas. 
Browsing her recipe list is a bit like going to the grocery store while hungry….I am left wanting to try each and every one! 

Betsy is also offering a super fun giveaway today!:
Her home-made shrimp and grits frozen casserole is up for grabs for one local Atlantan! 
Cast your votes by commenting on this post and you’ll shine at your next dinner party or family gathering compliments of Betsy. 🙂 



I’m such a carb nut ….every.single.one. of her pastas looks amazing! I’m not Italian either, but I will try my hardest to be while channeling my love of penne pasta. 


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Betsy also graciously answered a few of my questions for you guys. Loved her answers and am a bit jealous of that shrimp and grits winner already! ;))

Tell me about yourself….who is Betsy the cook?

Wow, I don’t know where to begin. I’ll admit – I got any cooking genes from my Dad, who did all the cooking when we were growing up. I learned a ton from him & my grandmother over the years. Ones cooking skills can always improve, you can always learn a new technique or just discover a new recipe…I love that evolution! 

I love to cook for a few reasons:

  1. It’s relaxing & rewarding. A glass of wine, music in the background, chopping {the stress relief of slicing & dicing – sigh!}, mixing & BAM…something great is on its way!
  2. I see a recipe as a guideline – omit this, add that, a pinch of this, a little more of that. This technique also explains why I’m not much of a baker!
  3. To save money! I’m a stickler about trying to eat in a few nights each week-prepping & freezing meals when I have free time makes for a perfect weeknight dinner when you’re exhausted.

What inspires your dishes/menus/meals? 
I enjoy cooking dishes that are simple, yet delicious and don’t require too many ingredients. I love trolling cookbooks and cooking magazines for new ideas or dishes that I want to try. I also love meal planning! The entire atmosphere is set with an appetizer so I put a lot of thought into that first bite. Just remember to keep it simple – I keep a pantry full of South Georgia canned, boiled peanuts, that I can crack open if a guest pops in! Any South Georgian knows that’s a conversation starter, “these are great, now where are these from?!”

What are your favorite dishes for the Thanksgiving holidays? 
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite Holidays; we spend it in Destin, Florida with about 30 family members and friends so there’s always something social going on. The weather is absolutely perfect in November and we toggle between a bathing suit during the day and a sweat shirt at sunset. We have a gathering house for Thanksgiving lunch and everyone brings their favorite dishes. I usually stick to my Thanksgiving staples because they get rave reviews and people ask for them every year. 

Here are a few of my favorite dishes for the holidays:

Tomato Tarts
http://www.shugartandspice.com/2011/02/tomato-heart-tarts.html

Dill and Blue Cheese Green Beans http://www.shugartandspice.com/2011/02/dill-blue-cheese-green-beans.html

Easy Bake Toffee Brownies
http://www.shugartandspice.com/2014/07/easy-bake-toffee-brownies.html

Do you have any recipes that are particularly special to you?
My meatballs! We don’t have a drop of Italian blood in the family but I’d like to think I do – my meatballs are amazing! The recipe came from my Grandmother and I’ve tweaked it a bit over the years. The biggest change I made I learned from Mario Batalli – it’s all about the braise. Drop the raw meatball directly into the sauce, cover & you’ve got the most tender, fall apart meatball in about 3 hours. Every few months I make a double batch in my crockpot; I freeze dinner-sized portions in plastic containers so I always have a meal on hand. And one to take to a new mother or someone in need or someone who smells them next door…

It’s pretty foolproof and anyone can perfect the art of a good meatball. And unlike the Italians, I’ll share my recipe because a meatball really does cure all!

Irresistible Italian Meatballs http://www.shugartandspice.com/2011/01/irresistible-italian-meatballs.html



How does your hospitality and love for cooking translate into your home? 
I really started to love cooking when my husband and I got married, and I had someone to cook for full time. I also fell in love with our home when I saw the open kitchen/dining room/living space; this makes it ideal for cooking, socializing and hosting friends and family. We have had tons of laughs, conversations and countless bottles of wine sitting around our dining room table. I love that food brings people together-it creates a memory or milestone that is heartwarming!

A Few Tips for sharpening your cooking skills:

  1. Make it a goal to try one new recipe a month. This is how I’ve discovered some of my go-to’s!
  2. Freeze a few meals – these are great for busy nights or to gift for someone in need of a nice meal.
  3. Keep it simple and fun – if you’re trying something new, don’t stress! It’s not always perfect the first time.
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Thank you Betsy for the awesome guest post today and amazing giveaway for one lucky B&B reader!

Here are a few more of my favorites from Betsy’s recipe list:

Cheeseburger Pasta (extra fabo with kiddos)


Skewered shrimp (amazing appetizer!)


and that tried and true Southern treat – Pimento Cheese

Ok friends, y’all start commenting! 
Remember, you can comment as many times as you like!
As usual, you’ve got 48 hours to cast your entries! :)))
Best of luck!!!