Southern-Style Dinner Party Recipes

Spring is here! Why not pick a free weekend on your calendar and invite friends to your home patio (or a nearby picnic spot) for an outdoor dinner party? Warmer temps have arrived, and it is a good time of the year to eat as many meals outside as possible. The season’s most colorful bounty provides endless options for a tabletop dining inspired by nature.

Southern entertaining is all about easy sophistication. Breezy linens, colorful flowers, and big platters of seasonal food set the stage for a memorable meal. In keeping with the graciousness that defines a Southern host, I try to think about what details will make my guests feel comfortable, taken care of and well-fed.

For a casual weekend dinner party, I always serve food family-style. There’s nothing like having guests pass around abundant platters of food to get them mingling and enjoy friendship with dinner.

Honey Butter Biscuits


2 cups of all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1⁄2 cup vegetable shortening
2⁄3 cup whole milk
1⁄4 cup butter, melted
1⁄3 cup honey


Preheat oven to 450°F.

Melt butter in a small saucepan.

Place flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cream of tartar in a mixing bowl.

Work in the shortening with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture resembles and feels like cornmeal.

Pour milk into the flour mixture and mix well.

Knead the dough about 12 to 15 times.

Break the dough into 1/4 to 1/3 cup size balls.

Roll or pat out dough balls to 1/2-inch thickness.

Place the dough pieces on a baking sheet and brush them with melted butter. Bake at 450°F for 10 to 12 minutes.

While the biscuits are baking, pour the honey into the remainder of the butter and bring it to a boil.

Remove the honey butter from the heat and set aside. When biscuits are done, remove them from the oven and immediately brush the tops with honey butter.