Hello, I’m Maria Dale and I would love to tell you a bit about myself! I am a wife, mother and grandmother who loves to bake and who truly loves to eat sweet treats!

I was born and raised in the southern parts of the United States of America, so I do consider myself somewhat of an expert when it comes to good ol’ fashioned Southern Cooking.

I grew up eating hawg jowls and black eyed peas and man can I make some of the best black eyed pea cakes that have ever hit ones taste buds.

I have been trained by some of the best southern cooks in Georgia. My first cooking lessons were provided by my grandfather (Bailey Brooks) when I was a child.

Over the years, he taught me the great skill of cooking delicious meals, while having a very limited budget.

Many years later, my mother-in-law (Jessie Wilkes) taught me how to use “pre-made mixes” to cook meals that tastes as great as homemade.

Her words of wisdom to me were:

“Maria, I am over 90 years old, and I still love my kitchen. But what I do not love, is standing on my feet all day, so I have had to learn how to improvise”.

I love sharing with you; all of the cooking tips, shortcuts and recipes that these two very dear people to me once shared with me.

They have both departed this wonderful planet, but I do like to think that they are smiling down knowing that their words of wisdom are still be shared today.

Over the years, I have alternated my meals with good ol’ southern cooking, and gourmet dishes made with only the finest ingredients. I love baking cakes, and cookies are my specialty. I once managed in the food service industry and I have assisted in preparing meals for as many as 2,500! When it comes to putting together a dinner or event for large crowds, I am a professional that one can count on.

I am ServSafe certified with the managerial certification, and as such, all of my content demonstrates key safety points and flavor tips that one should consider then preparing a dish or dessert. I am not just a “food blogger”, I am a qualified master cook, and amateur chef who enjoys sharing her passion and knowledge with others like you.

I also assist in party planning, so if you are preparing for a huge party, wedding or event, click here to contact me about the services that I offer!

Back when I was a child, eating was something that we just did without any consideration about “healthy eating” other than to try and focus on the “food pyramid” that the government was plastering literally everywhere.

When I went to school, we were taught that we should eat something from the four major food groups. Yes, that’s right, only four! Breads & Grains, Fruits & Vegetables, Dairy & Meat. Those were the groups I grew up “knowing” about, and they were listed in that order on the pyramid where breads were shown as the most important food group.

So of course, we ate a lot of bread & grains when I was a child. Biscuits (bread) and gravy (grain) and a heck of a lot of vegetables (black eyed peas, turnip greens). And of course, our meat usually consisted of fried in a lot of fat! A chicken leg (meat), covered in flour (grain) and fried in lard (more meat) was just how it was done down here in the south!

With today’s increase in knowledge, eating healthier is touted worldwide. There’s been as many changes in the food pyramid over the years, as there has been in technology.

As I have increased in age and knowledge, I have striven to eat healthier so that I could live a more joyful and fulfilling life. But, I do not always succeed, I just love food too much to give up many of the things I find so delightfully delicious!

I share my passion for food with you, so that you can enjoy the same delightful desserts and dishes that I have enjoyed throughout the years. Some of the recipes are healthy, some are downright delicious and some are even healthy and delicious!

I have found that sometimes, diets are easy so long as you can “splurge” every now and then, so I do diet, and I do intend to splurge.

So as you enjoy the recipes provided here, I hope that you try some of them as sweet treats that you can enjoy when you too splurge by rewarding yourself with something delicious.