Novel Bakers: Christmas All Through The South Part 2


I’m joining The Novel Bakers with Southern Living Christmas All Through The South: Joyful Memories, Timeless Moments, Enduring Traditions


Combining all the elements for which Southern Living is known and revered – food, travel, and homes, this book is a journey of celebrations through the South, from the low country and the pan-handle to the Texas ranch and Williamsburg farmhouse.


If you missed Part 1 of Christmas All Through The South Part and a Christmas Tree Tailgate & Picnic. . .


Chloe and Gracie want you to know you can fetch it, here. ;)


“The search for the perfect tree involves fastidious investigation and great deliberation because this living thing becomes the centerpiece of our holidays, the focal point of our home. The Christmas tree is a beautiful, centuries old tradition brought to us by German immigrants, but we have taken creative license and made it our own.”


“We grow forests of them too. Virginia pines thrive from Florida to East Texas, and the market for fresh trees has revived small farms in towns hit hard by the decline of cotton and tobacco. And our trees are beauties. North Carolina, known for its Frasier Firs has grown more White House Christmas trees than any other state.”


Trimming the Tree:

“Boxes of ornaments are dug out of closets and attics and unpacked with great care and unapologetic nostalgia.



The things that emerged from the tissue and bubble wrap our rediscovered every year, like treasures forgotten and found.



In concert, they create a portrait of a family, a constellation of memories and a snapshot of style.



The last flourish is the appointment of an angel, or star, or the most special topper upon the highest branch.



Trimmed Christmas trees are like snowflakes. Even in the same home, over the years no two are ever alike.”


My tree is usually decorated with the same from year to year with the exception of a change of ribbon and /or the addition of new floral picks. You can peek at last year’s Christmas tree here:  A Visit from St. Nicholas


There is so much delicious food in this book! From beautiful Christmas cakes to cookies and cocktails and menus for a Holiday Supper by the Sea, A Wintry Yuletide Feast and Merry and Bright Christmas Eve Dinner, Brunch and more!


Honey-Rosemary Cherries and Blue Cheese Crostini immediately caught my eye.


We enjoyed it this past weekend and it’s a keeper recipe! It’s a tad messy to serve for a party, but well worth the sticky fingers if you’re among friends and family.


It can be plated and served as an appetizer course or let your guests serve themselves and assemble their own from bowls of ingredients.


Honey-Rosemary Cherries and Blue Cheese Crostini

If you’re not a fan of blue cheese, substitute goat or Manchego 


1 shallot, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 (12-oz.) package frozen dark, sweet pitted cherries, thawed (I used a 16 oz. bag)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper


Baguette, sliced and toasted

1 (8-oz.) wedge blue cheese, thinly sliced



Sauté shallot in hot oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Add cherries (and any liquid in package) and next 5 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened. Let stand 10 minutes or chill in fridge until ready to serve.


Add arugula leaves among toasted bread slices. Top each with cherry mixture and blue cheese slice. Garnish with fresh cracked pepper and rosemary, if desired. You can find a printable recipe, HERE.


There is lots of inspiration in the Delightful Destinations section!


 I’m including some photos from the archives for a Lowcountry Christmas in Charleston, South Carolina, a favorite destination for us. Enjoy your stroll/scroll ;)












There is a Christmas Morning Brunch menu with decadent specialty pancakes! Serve with a Winter Citrus Mocktail or Cocktail and/or Cinnamon Coffee with Bourbon Whipped Cream.


 You can make quick and easy Bourbon Whipped Cream with an immersion blender, here.

easy bourbon whipped cream

These German Chocolate Pancakes are over the top decadent, layered with German Chocolate “Syrup” or Frosting! The holidays seem like the perfect time to indulge in cake for breakfast or brunch!


I deviated from Southern Living’s recipe with a shortcut for these pancakes, using a box of German chocolate cake mix.


German Chocolate Cake Mix Pancakes


1 box German Chocolate cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Super Moist)

1/2 cup flour

2 eggs

2 cups milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

German Chocolate “Syrup” (ingredients below)



In a large bowl, mix the cake mix, flour, eggs, milk and oil together until combined.

Pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto a hot buttered griddle or large nonstick skillet. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look dry and cooked. Turn and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until done.

Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Serve with German Chocolate “Syrup”.


German Chocolate “Syrup”


2/3 cup chopped pecans (+ more to garnish top if desired )

2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut (+ more to garnish top if desired)

1 (5-oz.) can evaporated milk

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract



Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans and coconut in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

Cook evaporated milk and next 3 ingredients in a heavy 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture bubbles and begins to thicken. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla, pecans, and coconut. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week.


To Reheat: Microwave syrup in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 10 to 15 seconds or just until warm; stir until smooth.


You can find a printable recipe, HERE.


Happy Howlidays from Chloe & Gracie!


Visit Novel Bakers Jain and Michael Lee for Christmas All Through the South

a quiet life

Rattlebridge Farm

Christmas All Through the South

Thank you for your visit,  sharing with:

 Metamorphosis Monday


  30 comments for “Novel Bakers: Christmas All Through The South Part 2

  1. Granny Gay
    December 21, 2016 at 6:24 am

    Delicious way to begin my day! And Chloe and Gracie are just the most precious ‘Christmas angels’…May you and yours have a Merry Christmas!

  2. December 21, 2016 at 6:48 am

    Fabulous photos! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes. Merry Christmas and best wishes for a bright new year!

  3. Ellen Stillabower
    December 21, 2016 at 6:56 am

    WOW!!! What a breakfast!!! That one meal would or could be a main meal instead of a breakfast!! Deeeelicious!!!!! Merry Christmas to you and your cutie pies!!! ❤️🎄❤️🎄❤️🎄❤️🎄

  4. Kathi Layfield
    December 21, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Oh my, those pancakes look divine! So happy to see Chloe and Gracie in their Christmas finery…they are just so cute! Merry Christmas to your family!

  5. December 21, 2016 at 7:39 am

    I enjoyed all your photos and your recipes always sound and look so delicious. Love your pups in the sweaters! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

  6. December 21, 2016 at 7:42 am

    WOW! You should’ve been asked by SL to help on that book’s publication! Your food photos are to die for! I can only imagine the prep time behind the scenes. Beautiful, and so are the scenes from not only Charleston, but of your own tree farms in NC.

  7. Sandi Allen
    December 21, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Simply Brautiful as always! Those pancakes look so yummy! Thank You for sharing the recipes.
    Merry Christmas!

  8. Michelle
    December 21, 2016 at 8:09 am

    The pancakes sound delicious! Yum! Chloe and Gracie are just precious! All dressed up for Christmas🎄Merry Christmas from Florida🎄😎🌴

  9. Bette McCollister
    December 21, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Love those doggies. They look like Christmas presents, all in red!! I have wanted to inquire for some time: where do you store the gorgeous items that are displayed in your blog? So many beautiful things that lift my spirits. Pat those fur babies for me!

  10. December 21, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Holy wow, those pancakes Mary! How brilliant to make them from a cake mix! The stack is so pretty! I love your tabletop tree with overflowing vintage ornaments in those wonderful colors. This looks like a book that should be in every Southern home. I had a few extra minutes yesterday and spent them driving through nearby neighborhoods just looking at the the wreaths and outdoor decorations and how they differed from home to home, it was so much fun seeing beautiful Southern homes decked out in greenery, magnolia leaves, fruit laden wreaths…Your cherry bleu cheese crostini is very festive and a new combo for this bleu cheese lover, a must try! Please give Chloe and Gracie a Christmas treat for me, they always bring me a instant smile when I see their bouncing bodies :) Jingle jingle!

  11. Cheryl
    December 21, 2016 at 9:30 am

    The recipes! The pictures! The puppies!!

  12. Pam
    December 21, 2016 at 10:27 am

    A Merry Christmas, Mary to you, your family and the girls! Thank you for brightening my day with inspiring lovelies! I treasure the time I spend in “Mary’s world”🎄

  13. a quiet life
    December 21, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Love seeing those smiling faces in plaid!

    how delightful to see your ornament collection so artfully shot, Santa by the front door is adorable!

    Two cheers for the cherry crostini, wasn’t that fabulous! I ended up making it twice and kept it in a locked jar for nibbling all day long…

    Seeing your Lowcountry Christmas is just beautiful… It’s so nice that you and Linda shared such a beautiful traditions.

    Aren’t you decadent making those pancakes! I have to say I was swooning over everyone of them and just didn’t know when I could make such a huge amount of food, I would have devoured the entire plate! I truly think they are the most unique things I’ve seen in a cookbook.

    Your pictures are spectacular, The pancake stack with the mimosa in the background… be still my heart… I am so excited that you made those, makes me wish it was Christmas morning and I was whipping up a batch right now!

    Once again thank you so much for being an novel baker, I know how busy everybody was to pull this off but as usual I think we always have a great time and good food. Merry Christmas!

  14. December 21, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Mary, those pancakes are unbelievable…you bring your own style of southern living that is beautiful every time you post your lovely blog. Chloe and Gracie are the cutest!

  15. December 21, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Charleston is so pretty at Christmas. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos! I am DYING over the German chocolate pancakes. They look amazing!

  16. December 21, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Just had French toast for breakfast (my favorite), but boy does that German Chocolate Pancake look yummy! I think that’s dessert! The girls are so adorable in their sweaters. I need to get Sadie in her sweater, at least for a photo op. Her long hair gets matted easily, so sweaters aren’t the best on her. But they sure are cute! Maybe just a bow this year!
    Merry Christmas to you and your husband and the girls. Hope the weekend brings beautiful weather on the lake. Gorgeous here!

  17. December 21, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    You always stop me in my tracks when I read a post of yours…and this one is all about those pancakes!…How amazing they look!….Popping this recipe into the box!…Chloe and Gracie look adorable as always!!! And you have reminded me that I have never been to Charleston at Christmas…Williamsburg yes, but never Charleston, one of my very favorite places too….I think we need to take a trip there very soon!

  18. Cyndi Raines
    December 21, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Oh My Gosh! Those German Chocolate Pancakes look so DELISH!! My Dad would have loved them as German Chocolate Cake was his very favorite! I think you snuck into my house and took some of my vintage Christmas tree ornaments! haha I can’t believe how many of the same that we both have! I love them too! Takes me back to my childhood and you are correct in that every year, the tree does turn out differently even when using the same ornaments. I love that! A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours Mary. God Bless!

  19. Virginia
    December 21, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    All I can add is beautiful, yummy and thank you. The chocolate nut clusters turned out great and thanks again. Have a Merry Christmas.

  20. rattlebridge farm
    December 22, 2016 at 1:54 am

    Mary, I have been out of town and couldn’t get to a computer. All day I eagerly anticipated the NB posts. This one is a tonic for the soul. Food and geography come together in perfect harmony. Your vintage ornaments are treasures, and I love that you use them joyfully in your holiday home. The crostini could be a meal. So beautifully presented, as are the German Chocolate pancakes and Bourbon cream! Your twinkling Christmas lights in the background are so enchanting. And I just love seeing C&G. (Did you know that Cathy from Wives with Knives has a new baby BF?) The Lowcountry photos are stunning, showing that grand old lady at her best. I’m sure I’ll see you before Christmas, but if not, I’m wishing you and David all the best for the holiday and for 2017. xxoo

  21. December 22, 2016 at 4:38 am

    I love all of your vintage ornaments Mary! Happy Howlidays to all of you too, give The Girls a goodie for me:@)

  22. December 22, 2016 at 5:57 am

    Wow! Those pancakes are calling my name! They look scrumshious! I love your tree with all the vintage ornaments. They remind me of my mom and grandmother’s trees. The crostini looks yummy. I will have to try it for my next Christmas party. Chloe and Gracie are so adorable all decked out for the season. May you all have a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year! xo

  23. December 22, 2016 at 9:15 am

    I loved the rosemary tree adorned with ornaments on it and below it, Mary. What a beautiful, simple idea! The crostini and the German pancakes look incredibly delicious and perfect for the holidays. I loved seeing your photos of Charleston. What a treat it must be to see that city decked out in holiday splendor.
    Merry Christmas to you and the those cute pups, who always put a happy smile on my face!

  24. December 23, 2016 at 6:14 am

    Mary, I’m sorry I couldn’t play along with you and the other NBs. This book is so packed full of inspiration that I will be using it for a long time, and not just at Christmas! Your pancakes look soooooo good! You chose two recipes I was eyeing too–the pancakes and the crostini and now that I see yours looking so yummy I must try them. The crostini sounds so interesting with the cherries and blue cheese! And thank you for taking us on this “stroll” through Charleston. I must go there! The steeple shot is beautiful. And those wreaths with their lush greens and flowing ribbons will inspire me next year. I do like ribbons on my wreaths! Thank you for sharing all this delicious beauty, including your two little white furry dolls all dressed up for Christmas. Linda

  25. Patricia Mazzei
    December 31, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Just wondering how many servings the chocolate pancakes would make? Any estimation? Thanks!
    Happy 2017!

    • December 31, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Hi Patricia, I got around 14 – 15 pancakes using a 1/4 cup measure of batter.

  26. December 20, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Thank you for sharing the lovely pictures of Christmas in the south. Chloe and Gracie are adorable and I wish the pancakes could magically appear on the counter. Merry Christmas!

  27. Carol Wellein
    January 2, 2018 at 7:41 am

    I feel as if I was on a stroll through downtown Charleston looking at your beautiful photos. I live here and felt like a tourist. Thank you for taking me on a mini staycation.

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