5 Recipes from a Southern Home

Picture of author Kaelin Hagler and husband Madison

Growing up in the South, my life has been filled with recipes being passed down and around. My husband and I have always loved cooking and view it as a great bonding experience! At our wedding, we even had guests RSVP with a recipe card sharing one of their family’s favorite dishes, and we gave out our own favorite recipes as favors.

For me, recipes are personal, and they almost always have a story to go along with them – that’s what makes them special. Whenever we make a certain dish, we not only enjoy the meal, but think back to who passed along the recipe to us.

Wedding Recipe Cards
Wedding Recipe Cards
Recipe Cards


This recipe was given to me by a sweet friend in Pennsylvania, and it is honestly the BEST guacamole I have ever eaten. Whenever I make this guacamole, my family eats the entire dish in one sitting. It is full of flavor, so fresh, and can be whipped together in a matter of minutes. Bring this to a party, and you’ll be the talk of the town. Just don’t forget the chips!



  • 3 Avocados (crudely mashed)
  • ½ Orange (juiced by hand)
  • 1 Lime (juiced by hand)
  • 4 tbs. Red Onion (finely chopped)
  • 4 tbs. Cilantro (chopped)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 6 Roma Tomatoes (charred and chopped)
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp. Salt 
  • Optional  – 1 Serrano Pepper (seeded and diced fine)


  1. Roast/char the tomatoes.

*To roast/char tomatoes: remove stems; cut tomatoes in half from top to bottom. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees and place foil inside a rimmed cookie sheet/cake pan. Place tomatoes inside, cut side down on the foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Using tongs, remove the skin from the tomatoes. Drain the tomatoes in a strainer, and use scissors to cut/chop tomatoes. Place the tomatoes in a bowl and store in the refrigerator to cool. 

  1. Split the avocados and mash in a large bowl.
  2. Juice the orange and lime into the mashed avocados. 
  3. Chop the red onion and cilantro and add in.
  4. Add in the garlic, salt, pepper, (and optional serrano pepper) and mix well.
  5. Remove tomatoes from the refrigerator and add into the guacamole. 
  6. Mix it up and give it a taste!

PRO TIP: I always leave out my ingredients so that whenever I give it a taste at the end, it is easy to make additions if needed! My husband always wants extra garlic, so this is really where you can play and customize it to your liking.

Pasta Salad

If you are looking for a quick and easy pasta salad that everyone will love, this is the recipe for you. It is so refreshing and the perfect addition to any meal, especially if you are grilling outside.

SERVES 10-12


  • 1 package of tri-color pasta
  • ¾ pound of Italian dry salami
  • ½ green bell pepper (chopped)
  • ½ red bell pepper (chopped)
  • ½ red onion (diced)
  • 1 cup of Italian-style salad dressing *I love to use Olive Garden’s brand!*
  • 8 oz. of fresh mozzarella pearls 
  • ½ cup of shredded parmesan cheese


  1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add in the pasta and cook until done. Drain, and rinse with cold water until completely chilled, and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients into the pasta and mix well. 
  3. Enjoy!

Alfredo Sauce

I know there are a million recipes out there for Alfredo sauce, but I promise, this Alfredo will make you never want to order it in a restaurant again – it’s that good! I have worked on this recipe and perfected it over the past couple years, and I am so excited to share it with you. It has easily become my family’s favorite meal.



  • 1 stick of butter
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese 
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place a large pan on low heat and add in a stick of butter. Slowly stir until melted.
  2. Add in the cream cheese and continue to stir until melted and combined with the butter.
  3. Pour in the heavy whipping cream.
  4. Turn the heat up to medium-high and continue to stir for 7-8 minutes. The mixture should begin to thicken. Add in the garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  5. Remove from heat and add in the parmesan cheese. Mix until melted and incorporated. 
  6. Serve with fettuccine noodles, grilled chicken, and garlic bread for a delicious dinner!

Butter Biscuits

My husband is the breakfast chef in my house, so I will be honest – I have never made these before. BUT I have eaten them dozens of times, and these biscuits are perfect. They are everything you could want in a biscuit – buttery, fluffy, with a little crunch on the outside. I love to make them with homemade chocolate gravy (it’s a southern thing) and my husband loves them with blackberry jam.

MAKES: 9 biscuits


  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour 
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons shortening
  • 1½-1¾ cup buttermilk 
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter divided


  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  3. Cut in the shortening until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Slowly add in buttermilk just until a wet dough forms. (may need to use slightly more or less buttermilk) Set aside the mixture.
  5. Melt 7 tablespoons of butter and pour it into a 8×8 glass baking dish.
  6. Spoon the biscuit dough on top of the butter and gently spread it out.
  7. Precut the dough into 9 squares. (this will allow the butter to absorb into all corners of every biscuit)
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden. (If the tops are still pale when almost done, flip the oven to broil to add some golden color to the tops)
  9. Remove from oven and brush the tops of the biscuits with remaining tablespoon of butter.
  10. Serve with homemade gravy or freezer jam for a classic southern breakfast!

Apple Dumplings

This southern dessert is comfort in a bowl. My grandmother makes the most delicious apple pies, but I’m not quite ready for that challenge yet. This recipe has all the taste of a warm apple pie, without all the work. 



  • 2 Granny Smith apples (peeled and cored)
  • 8 oz. tube of refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 1 stick of butter
  • ⅓ cup of granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ¾ cup of Sprite


  1. Begin by peeling and coring the apples. Then, slice each apple into 4 wedges.
  2. Unroll the crescent dough and split apart into 8 triangles.
  3. Place an apple wedge near the small end of the dough and roll it up. Pinch the ends to seal and place it inside a baking dish. Repeat this step until all of the dumplings have been formed.
  4. Melt the butter in a small bowl and add in the sugars and cinnamon. Stir until smooth and drizzle the mixture over the dumplings in the baking dish.
  5. Pour the Sprite on the sides of the dumplings (not on top).
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes and remove from the oven.
  7. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream!