7 Southern Food Staples To Savor This Holiday Season

7 Southern Food Staples To Savor This Holiday Season

Fried chicken? Yes. Mashed potatoes? Yes. Peach cobbler? Heck to the yes.

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Someone told me the other day they had never had banana pudding. Recovering from a mini heart attack, I realized not everyone on Alabama's campus is necessarily from the South. Culturing other students about traditional Southern foods, I made a list of seven go-to dishes to enjoy with friends and family over the holiday break. These beloved classics have been passed down for generations and will satisfy any craving for comfort food. Get ready to crack open the recipe books. I hope you have an empty stomach.

Chicken 'n Dumplings

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Old fashioned chicken and dumplings is my one of my favorite meals during the fall and winter months. Simmer chicken, onion, carrots, and celery over the stove and bring to a boil. Use flour, baking powder, and salt for the dumpling mixture then add chicken broth to make a biscuit dough. Cut the dough into one-inch pieces and drop them into the soup and cook until even. This recipe will not disappoint.

Sweet Potato Casserole

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Topped with brown sugar, marshmallows, and chopped pecans, you can't go wrong with traditional sweet potato casserole. Mash the sweet potatoes and other ingredients in a large mixing bowl until even, then fold a cup of pecans. Place the potato mixture into a baking dish coated in cooking spray. Top layers with marshmallows and enjoy!

Classic Cornbread

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Cornbread is a must to any family dinner in the South. Put a cast-iron skillet into the oven and heat to 450 degrees. Stir cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add in wet ingredients for a thick buttermilk mixture. Pour the mixture into the hot skillet and bake until edges are brown.

Baked Potato Soup

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Everyone loves a good soup recipe to keep warm from the cold weather. Some soups can take hours to make and have tons of ingredients, but baked potato soup can be quickly put together in a matter of minutes. Simply put, combine flour and milk and cook over medium heat until thickened. Add potatoes, bacon, onions, cheese, and sour cream to the mixture and stir until the soup is thoroughly heated.

Breakfast Biscuits and Gravy

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Sunday morning breakfast calls for two items on the menu: buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy. You can't go wrong with this Southern staple as a family favorite. Under one exception, NEVER use grocery store biscuit dough or cheap sausage. Gravy recipes take a while to master, so make sure you practice the recipe so the consistency is just right.

Southern Pecan Pie

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When it comes down to making the Thanksgiving menu, no Southern momma will skip on the pie. We love desserts in the South, and you better believe there will be pecan pie on the table. Just make sure to get a piece before it's all gone! The dense combination of butter, sugar, corn syrup, and eggs calls for a sugary custard topped with roasted pecans. Mmmm... I wish I could have some now.

Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies

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OK, OK. Maybe you don't have to be a Southerner to enjoy a classic chocolate chip cookie, but it's no doubt that Grandma's are the best. Whether it's Christmas Eve or a lazy Saturday in July, chocolate chip cookies are a favorite among all. Bake some sweet treats with friends or family and cuddle up for a movie night-in this holiday season.

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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To The College Kids Who Feel Wrong For Not Partying Every Weekend

For those who might get FOMO-related depression from wanting to stay in rather than always go out.

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Some days, I feel like I'm ready to leave college after being here for only three semesters. Don't get me wrong—I love my school. The campus is beautiful, my professors have been (mostly) amazing, I've learned so much, and I've been given so many amazing opportunities. However, I still find myself not enjoying my time here at moments. In fact, I've put myself on track to get my undergraduate degree a whole year early because I'm so eager to move forward at times (and because I want to go to grad school, too).

I'm not trying to say that I'm somehow more mature or better than everyone else, but I feel this disconnect between myself and the people around me in the sense that I'm not doing all of this right. Frankly, it makes me feel so alone even though I'm literally far from it. It's been having me feel severely depressed lately and it has taken me a while now to realize what it all means and where it is coming from.

Going to a large public school, there is a distinct party/Greek life culture that I feel like I'm missing out on for some reason. I see all of these people seemingly having the time of their lives at parties that I really don't care to go to myself and yet I feel somehow wrong for not relishing in it the way everyone else does. To combat this, I force myself to go out late and take advantage of all the opportunities to party and what not while it really isn't something I want to do most of the time; I just feel like I need to so that I don't look back and regret not doing those things when I had the chance. I am not content with doing the things I actually like to do because they somehow seem inadequate to the 'college experience' I'm supposed to be having. I just feel so upset with myself anytime I turn down an offer to go out or don't actively pursue making plans to do so.

I mean, I like to go out every so often, but not always to the extent of my peers. I keep having this FOMO-related depression and it is something that I need to learn to see as not my fault. Rather, it is the fault of the college-party stereotype we have been pushed into believing as the 'right way' to go about it all.

So, to all the people out there reading this who are able to resonate with what I'm saying, just know you're not alone. There is no reason you have to live up to the party culture expectations in order to make the most of your college experience. Sure, they're pretty fun, but you have so much time to do all of that and what is really important right now is to listen to yourself and do what makes you happy. That is how college really shapes us into the adults we are destined to become, and it is a lesson that I am still having to teach myself even if it feels contradictory to everything I've been led to believe about living college to the fullest.

I am constantly reassuring myself that staying in and doing what I really want shouldn't cause me to feel depressed and I urge you to do the same if you're consistently feeling a chronic and irrational sense of FOMO.

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