I am fully aware that it is not a full moon. Nevertheless, this week the inside of my brain has resembled the dinner scene from Beetlejuice–a seemingly choreographed form of unruly with a really good soundtrack. Is that just me?

However, while I haven’t posted in a few days, I have spent time mapping out the next couple of months for Hannah & Husband. This is such a nice creative outlet, but I just needed to reevaluate exactly how I wanted it to fit in to our lives–especially as Rivermont projects evolve and the holidays take over. I’m pretty stoked about making this webspace a bigger priority and trying some new types of content in the next couple of months so more to come. For today, our usual Friday round-up…

Here are my favorite, random goodies from around the interwebs this week. TGIF!

Chris Benz & Bill Blass launch

The new Bill Blass site launches on November 1st, but you can register now to win some of the new line. Now that Chris Benz has taken over the creative direction of the iconic sportswear brand, I’m excited to see where it goes. His premise is simple: capsule collections at different price points to help customers build a wardrobe. So far, I’m loving the bright colors I’ve seen, and I’m praying those orange shoes come in my size!

The great Alton Brown was profiled for the Bloomberg Business “What I Wear to Work” series. I was most interested in his button strategy.

A British study recently concluded that Southerners have the sexiest accent.

Who wants to fund "Hannah Belle's Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking"?

As if that wasn’t enough to convince me that my first European tour is already long overdue, Southern comfort food is on the rise in Paris. Who wants to fund &/or translate “Hannah Belle’s Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking”?

It is no secret that we love Wayne White–for the record: another southerner. (Remember this documentary?) Well, this week Design*Sponge posted a tour of the home White shares with his wife, cartoonist Mimi Pond. As you would imagine, the details are fantastic! My favorite: It’s a toss-up between a wooden sculpture White made for their dining room and Pond’s collection of 1950s knick-knacks.



Summer in the South

While the summer solstice has yet to grace us, Summer in the South has officially begun!


The beginning of summer in the south is welcomed by white dresses and seersucker.

Days are spent seaside, creekside, or lakeside.

The last few evenings on the screened porch that will be accompanied by a cool breeze are cherished.

Farmers Markets celebrate the arrival of strawberry season and green tomatoes.

Sweet tea  & lemonade are sipped by the gallon and often spiked with something stronger.

I adore this time of year and, as we mapped out our summer plans this weekend, it started to feel a little more real. This summer has A LOT in store for us, and we’re excited to share our changes, travels, and projects with you!

Is it starting feel like summer where you are?

What signifies the kick-off of the season for you?


The 2015 International Biscuit Festival

2015 Biscuit Festival in Knoxville, TN | Hannah & Husband

This post is going to be filled with ridiculous pictures of food so if you’re a #foodporn troll on Instagram, this blog post is for you! Saturday was the 2015 International Biscuit Festival here in Knoxville. People come from all over to test their biscuit making skills, taste their way around Biscuit Boulevard, and even make biscuit-themed art.

2015 Biscuit Festival in Knoxville, TN | Hannah & Husband

Husband was on a business trip so I headed downtown by myself, which was a great reminder of what I love about living in a small town: You are never really alone.

Girl playing the banjo at the Market Square Farmers Market | Hannah & Husband

Flowers at the Market Square Farmers Market | Hannah & Husband

I saw at least 20 people who called me by name, listened to some fab street music, and bought some local honey and fresh flowers.

Another note: When you’re by yourself, you can’t help but eavesdrop just a little. A few ladies who were in town for the event kept going on about how great Knoxville is. “It’s so clean!” “Everyone’s so friendly!” You’re right, ladies. East Tennessee is pretty heavenly–especially when everyone is on a biscuit high.

Finally, I ran into a friend that made long biscuit lines so much fun to chit-chat through. Bonus: We ran into Biscuit Queen Erin Donovan and snapped a selfie!

Deanne & I with the Biscuit Queen, Erin Donovan, 2015 Biscuit Festival in Knoxville, TN | Hannah & Husband

Erin’s Biscuit Queen costume was epic and included pads of gold glitter butter!

On to the #foodporn portion of our programming.

Two things of note:

1. Collard greens are absolutely heavenly when they’re cooked right.

2. Chocolate gravy. Oh, honey!

"The Nina Lee" at 2015 Biscuit Festival in Knoxville, TN | Hannah & Husband

“The Nina Lee” from the Mason Dixie Co.

Mama's Farmhouse Chocolate Gravy at 2015 Biscuit Festival in Knoxville, TN | Hannah & Husband

Mama’s Farmhouse biscuits had chocolate gravy! How have I not done this before?

Mama's Farmhouse Chocolate Gravy at 2015 Biscuit Festival in Knoxville, TN | Hannah & Husband


I also went down to the Emporium to see the biscuit art exhibition. The first two are my absolute favorites. If I had some extra money in the art fund right now, I would gladly give it to Beth Meadows because, seriously, how perfect is that White Lily flour dress with that big hair? I feel like that girl is my spirit animal. *Love!*

2015 Biscuit Festival Art Exhibition | Hannah & Husband

Absolutely swooning over all Beth Meadows latest work in this collage style, but this one won my heart! “Flour Girl One” is a collage of food packaging and pencil.

2015 Biscuit Festival Art Exhibition | Hannah & Husband

A personal favorite! “Hot Mess” by Carrie Pendergrass

2015 Biscuit Festival Art Exhibition | Hannah & Husband

A closer look at the mix of materials–acrylic + hand-sewing


2015 Biscuit Festival Art Exhibition | Hannah & Husband

This won a Merit Award, and I especially love what the letter says. | “What They Wouldn’t Have Given for a Southern Biscuit” by Hannah Holder

2015 Biscuit Festival Art Exhibition | Hannah & Husband

“Waiting on Biscuits of OliBea” by Mary Catherine Hewitt

2015 Biscuit Festival Art Exhibition | Hannah & Husband

This one also won a merit award. “Blue Plate Special” by Barbara Enloe The name refers to a daily live concert broadcast on WDVX.

2015 Biscuit Festival Art Exhibition | Hannah & Husband

This piece, “BNB” by Tarrer Pace, won Best of Show.

If you’re craving biscuits after all these pics and would like to try my 2-Ingredient Biscuits, click here.

Happy Monday, y’all!





2 Ingredient Biscuits

2 Ingredient Biscuits recipe | Hannah & Husband

Biscuits are the quintessential Southern food. Everyone has their own recipe as well as a story about where they got it. In fact, this weekend Knoxville will play host to the International Biscuit Festival! Festivities will include an art competition, the crowning of Mr. & Miss Biscuit 2015, and, of course, a taste-off. So I couldn’t imagine a better day to share my own 2 ingredient biscuits.

Regardless of what anyone will tell you, biscuits are simple to make. There’s really only ever 2-5 ingredients required plus a really hot oven. These are my personal favorite because you can crave biscuits and be eating them in 30 minutes. The “self-rising” flour is the key as it eliminates the real baking science-y ingredients of the classic recipe–it’s basically the drive-thru ingredient on your way to buttery bliss.

I learned how to make these biscuits from a couple of ladies who are my mother’s age in our church on the same afternoon I learned to make strawberry jam. They, incidentally, learned the recipe from another church saint named Oral Ruth, who was of the generation previous to theirs. Really, every time I make this recipe it’s a lovely reminder that nothing is ever really new when it comes to cooking. There are basic ingredients and what you do with them depends on where you’re from and who taught you something. It’s reassuring to know that Oral Ruth was standing in her own kitchen 60 years ago making these for Wallace without an iPhone dinging or podcast playing. And it makes wonder where our grandchildren will be making a batch 60 years from now… providing, of course, they’re sensible enough to not read too many health magazines and still invest in a good heavy cream.

2 Ingredient Biscuits recipe | Hannah & Husband

2 Ingredient Biscuits recipe | Hannah & Husband

2 Ingredient Biscuits recipe | Hannah & Husband

2 Ingredient Biscuits recipe | Hannah & Husband

2 Ingredient Biscuits recipe | Hannah & Husband

You’ll Need:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 cups self-rising flour

Yes. It really is this simple.

Preheat the oven to 425°

Ever-so-slowly pour the heavy whipping cream into the flour while mixing with a spoon. Going slowly feels daunting at first, but you really have to see how the dough comes together. You want to catch it when it first mixes enough to hold–not too wet, not too dry. You don’t want to over mix the dough or you’ll biscuits will get tough.

Flour your countertop and roll your dough out.

Use a glass to cut out your biscuits. The lady who taught me insisted you shouldn’t move the glass around in circles. “Cut it once, and you won’t lose the layers.” I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I figured it’s worth noting.

Bake 16-18 minutes. When the tops start to get golden brown, put a pad of butter on each top and leave it one more minute to melt.

*This recipe only ever makes about half a dozen. It’s perfect for 2 or 3 people, but if you’re serving brunch double it! 

Disclaimer: If you’re looking for the tall biscuits with uber-buttery layers, I’d recommend this recipe. This is a simple biscuit. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner with friend green tomatoes or eggs & jam. Delicious, but not uber-buttery in itself.



Last week, Husband’s beloved nana passed away. She will be remembered for her beautiful Georgia accent (which basically precluded all use of the letter ‘r’) and some of the biggest hair you’ve ever seen–never a strand out of place.

She's in the __ row, 2nd from the left... wearing pearls, of course!

She’s in the 4th row, 2nd from the left… wearing pearls, of course!

We took some time to look through a few old things while we were up for the funeral and came across this page from the July 1960 issue of National Geographic. I just love the colors! How perfectly ’60s. They were living in Hawaii at the time and this was snapped at her husband Ritter’s graduation.

Winter Pantry

For those of you not from ’round here’ before I tell you about our Winter pantry, I should probably start by explaining something about Winter in the South. It’s all based on a propensity of false hope. While I’d say we Southerners are regularly a pretty cynical people, when it comes to the weather we tend to be unusually optimistic. We dream of a White Christmas, which usually turns into a January and February full of grey, rainy days. People say “snow day,” and we’re all like…

Ron Swanson's Snake Juice Dance on Parks and Recreation

But the next day…

Rachel Dratch as Debbie Downer on SNL

*/sad trombone/*

So you can imagine our shock when this happened…

Winter in the South | Hannah & Husband

This time, the forecast was actually right! Sleet and freezing rain left everything enveloped in a shimmering armor of ice, which I like to call nature’s winter glitter. Hardly any snow to speak of until this morning, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Anyway, the most comical thing about winter weather in the south is really how Southerners choose to prepare themselves for inclement weather. When snow hit NYC at the end of January, all my New York friends hit the liquor stores. Their pantry may only have had a box of Thin Mints and a pack of Ramen, but you can bet there were a couple bottles of bourbon.

Around here, on the other hand, the stores are emptied of bread and milk. This always baffled me. Somehow we think having the two most perishable items we can buy on hand during an ice storm is going to help. This may be because our pantry and liquor cabinet is always stocked. (After all, we’re Southern. We grow and make our own–click here for our moonshine punch recipe.)

Snow Day Salmon Recipe | Hannah & Husband

Last night’s dinner. We prepped for the weather by picking up a salmon fillet at Earth Fare on Sunday.


Nevertheless, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share what we keep on hand in the kitchen this time of year, and ask you to do the same. I’m curious how this varies from family to family, region to region.

  • We keep a lot of fruits and veggies on hand regardless of the time of year. I recommend always having frozen veggies on hand, but when thinking about fresh stuff this time of year, try to stick to veggies with a longer shelf life. The absolute musts to have on hand are onions, carrots, & lemons because they’re just so versatile. Other favorites for us are squash, apples, and potatoes.
  • We always have ingredients for chocolate chip cookies. Always. No exceptions. (This includes the bourbon smoked sea salt to sprinkle on top.)
  • Bacon & eggs… obvi.
  • Vegetable, chicken, and beef broth are always in our pantry for homemade soups or roasting meats and veggies.
  • Garlic is a necessity, and then I try to keep 3 fresh herbs that mix and match well on hand at all times. For instance, before this weather hit, I had gotten parsley, rosemary, and thyme. I can roast veggies and make a nice gremolata. I can make a compound butter. Or I can just throw all 3 in a soup or on the fish.
  • Pasta is our version of fast food. Lately, we’ve been especially hooked on this recipe for Cacio e Pepe (Thanks, Smiths!).

So that’s our list, what about yours?

What foods do you stock up on to prepare for winter weather?

Priorities & Place

There was one conversation I had this year that I’ve come back to several times, and it all had to do with priorities and place. The theory was this: People in different geographic locations judge quality of life by very different factors. For example, in Washington D.C. it might be common to judge one another (and therefore your own success) on the connections one holds. How connected are you to those in power? What are your 6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon (or John Boehner), etc. Likewise, if everything really is bigger in Texas, perhaps that state puts great importance on possessions–their money, their house, their land.

So this made me think, what do we prioritize in East Tennessee? We are in the Bible Belt so many people prioritize the state of their soul (and, of course, everyone else’s). East Tennessee is made up of lots of small towns so you can definitely see the “who do you know” factor at work. But mostly, since I started really paying attention to this (in May), I’ve found that I am most interested in what people do with their free time–and so are most of the people I know.

"Home is where..." from the sketchbook of Hannah & Husband

I am a homebody. I like to spend time with my family, I like to cook for all of our friends, and when we get out, I’d much rather jump in a river than go to a club. So when I meet someone at a party I often ask about how they spend their Saturdays… Do they spend time with their family? Do they read books? Do they hike? Do they eat good food? (In which case, we can definitely be friends!)

It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants.
The question is: What are we busy about?
-Henry David Thoreau

Which brings me to Thoreau. As we set goals for the new year, what are we going to be busy about? What takes priority in your life? How do you judge yourself–and therefore how will you judge others? While I do think there is something to that regional value idea, I just want to be sure that, regardless of place, I am setting my own priorities and living my life accordingly. And yes, as previously stated, one of those priorities is eating and sharing good food–expect more of that in the new year–which I’m not entirely sure isn’t a Southern belle/regional sort of thing in itself.

Haint Blue on the Porch Ceiling

Haint Blue | Hannah & HusbandHow cute is this guy? I was trying to take a picture of my afternoon view (staring at the porch ceiling above the pages of my book), and this pic was just too cute not to snap. But for the actual post…

This time of year (or really any time the thermometer reads over 60°F) the front porch is my very favorite room in the house. We spend hours out there–reading, chatting, listening to the radio. I’ll give you a peek at the rest of the porch another day, but right now I want to talk about the ceiling.

Haint Blue | Hannah & Husband

If you call up your house painter and ask for “haint” blue, you’ll find that most of them keep a standard shade on hand. Driving through Southern towns, this light blue adorns the porch ceilings of the smallest of shacks to the largest of mansions. And, like many pieces of Southern folklore, haint blue ceilings have become such a tradition that most people have forgotten where it started.  The tradition originated with the Gullah people–descendants of slaves spread from South Carolina to Louisiana.

haint: a spirit lost in the physical world yet to pass over to the next realm

You can think of a haint as a spirit that you really don’t want to mess with. This isn’t a friendly spirit that will guide you in life, it’s one that will haunt your dreams. The one catch? Haints can’t cross water. So the idea was that if the ceiling of the porch was painted this blue, a shade that is light and slightly aqua, the haint will be tricked into thinking that it’s water and move on to another home.

While I don’t really believe in the superstition, I’m a sucker for a Southern tradition with a good story! What about you? Is your porch ceiling blue?




A Poem

A little poem about a small town to start the week…

A window on Bull Street in Savannah, Georgia

A window on Bull Street in Savannah, Georgia


by Jack Gilbert

In the small towns along the river
nothing happens day after long day.
Summer weeks stalled forever,
and long marriages always the same.
Lives with only emergencies, births,
and fishing for excitement. Then a ship
comes out of the mist. Or comes around
the bend carefully one morning
in the rain, past the pines and shrubs.
Arrives on a hot fragrant night,
grandly, all lit up. Gone two days
later, leaving fury in its wake.

Cornbread {Finally}

Here in the South, a good cornbread recipe is a prized possession. Every Southern cook has their own take on it, often passed down from generation to generation with a well-seasoned iron skillet. For years, this regional delicacy has eluded me–until this weekend.

Cornbread | Hannah & Husband

That’s right. I made cornbread–moist, fluffy, tasty, Southern gold. And (as is so often the case) it totally happened by mistake. You see, like a lazy Southern cook, I never keep buttermilk on hand. I do, however, have a tendency to throw dollops of Greek yogurt into just about anything I bake. In this case, the food gods smiled, and it worked out beautifully. So here it is, making it’s official debut: Hannah & Husband’s cornbread recipe–heretofore to be passed down from generation to generation with our well-seasoned iron skillet.

Hannah & Husband’s Cornbread Recipe


6 Tblsp unsalted butter, + a little extra (I split a stick.)
1 cup cornmeal
34 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tblsp sugar
1 12 tsp baking powder
12 tsp baking soda
14 tsp sea salt
2 eggs
1 cup 2% milk
12 cup plain Greek yogurt

Also needed… an 8″ iron skillet


Preheat your oven to 425° F.

Grease your 8″ iron skillet with the extra unsalted butter.

In a medium sized bowl, mix your dry ingredients and set aside.

In a small glass bowl, melt the unsalted butter.

Then, add the rest of the wet ingredients (eggs, milk, and yogurt), and mix well.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and fold it in with a spoon. It’s ok if it’s still lumpy.

Pour everything into your skillet and put it in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes. (Use the skewer test to be sure it’s fully cooked.)

When you take out the cornbread, butter the top immediately with any extra unsalted butter, and let it sit for a few minutes to cool before serving.

Cornbread | Hannah & Husband

 Ideas for serving:

Serve with a rack of ribs, like we did this weekend, or a hot bowl of chili. Here’s our basic chili recipe.

I *love* using jalapeño butter to mix things up a bit. Here’s my favorite recipe from a 2011 issue of Southern Living.

Craving a mid-afternoon sweet? Try some butter and jam. Get our strawberry jam recipe here.

Not sure how to care for your iron skillet? Here is our primer. Bonus: A link to (one of my favorite Southern cooks) Rebecca Gordon’s cornbread recipe!

So… is there a recipe that has eluded you for years?
Something you’ve tried and tried with no success?
Share it in the comments. Perhaps we could figure it out together!