From Our Kitchen

Check out these tips to wow the tailgate crowd with great Bloody Marys and spice up your family's weeknight dinners with this new chicken recipe.
Donno Florio, Rebecca Kracke Gordon

Bloody Mary Bar
Create a Bloody Mary bar at your next tailgate or party. Our staff agrees that the quality of the mixer is far more important than the caliber of vodka in making a delicious cocktail. We tasted quite a few Bloody Mary mixes and chose Major Peters' (Original or Hot & Spicy), Zing Zang, Mr. & Mrs. T's Bold & Spicy, and Whiskey Willy's (all available at www.hot shoppe.com) as our favorites. Offer guests an array of festive garnishes such as celery sticks, carrot sticks, pickled okra, assorted olives, pepperoncini salad peppers, and lemon and lime slices to add pizzazz. The drinks will look as good as they taste. Cheers.

Start With flattened Chicken
Consumers love chicken breasts, so much so that birds are bred to have plenty of white meat. The breasts are often so large that they don't cook easily. And one end is thinner than the other, causing uneven cooking. Here's an easy fix. Place boneless chicken breasts between pieces of plastic wrap, and pound them with a meat mallet or rolling pin until they're a uniform thickness.

Flattened breasts are used in Chicken With White Wine and Mushrooms. It has fine-dining flavor and appearance with down-home goodness and ease.

"From Our Kitchen" is from the September 2007 issue of Southern Living.