A pantry is more than just a place to put your staples. It can be a source of inspiration. And, the go to for holiday drop in guests. Keeping a few special items on hand ensures that you have everything you need to ring in the holidays without running to the store or serving your in-laws a sad plate of cheese and crackers.

Here are a few local items to have on hand.

King's Olive Oil

Kings Olive Oil

King’s Olive Oil is made just southeast of us in Gadsen, Alabama. We ran into the owner Tena King at Under the Christmas Tree and she shared the story of King's Olive Oil with us. Tena became interested in the benefits of oil olive when her mother went through a health crisis. Aside from the health benefits, flavored olive oil add a dimension to breads, fruits, vegetables, and meats, elevating the flavors of anything you pair it with.

It is the perfect way to raise the game of your pear and brie holiday standby!


8 oz wedge of Brie

1/2 cup of King’s Traditional 18 year aged or Cinnamon Pear Balsamic Vinegar

2 tsp sugar

2 medium pears, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 cup of toasted, chopped walnuts


In pan, cook pears 2 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

Stir in balsamic vinegar, walnuts, and sugar. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until pears are tender.

Meanwhile, microwave cheese on high heat for 30 seconds or until cheese is slightly softened.

Move cheese to serving tray and top with pear mixture. Serve with crackers or baguette slices.

You can find King’s Oil Olive online or in their Gadsden Store.

Tutt Tutt's Relish Our Relish

We stumbled on Tutt Tutt Relish at the last Green Street Market of the season. Meeting Lane Tutt was such a joy. She is what we call “eat up with Southern.” And your guests will eat up any appetizer made with her signature relish, which she makes herself from her mother’s recipe.

Mix Tutt Tutt Relish with cream cheese for a delicious cheese dip for chips or veggies.

You can find Tutt Tutt Relish and pickles at Green Street Market and some Whole Foods stores.

Southern City Flavors Peach Mango Jalapeno and Cranberry Chipotle Sauce

Southern City Flavors

Sure you could just put these over your favorite cheese and be done OR . . . you could add them the peach mango to a cobbler or dress up a basic store roasted chicken with the Cranberry Chipotle sauce. With these two staples in your pantry you are only limited by your creativity. Over pancakes? Why not? Mixed with oil olive you have a tasty salad dressing. The possibilities are endless!

Southern City Flavors are available online and just up the road in Franklin, TN.

Big Bob Gibson's Championship BBQ Sauce

Its Alabama, who doesn't have a jar of BBQ sauce in the pantry? We love Big Bob Gibson's Championship BBQ sauce. It adds jus the right zest to this deceptively simple, but super yummy recipe comes to us by way of our friends Pam and Ron Bacon.


1 (32 ounce) bag of meatballs (we keep a bag from Costco in the freezer)

1 (18 ounce) jar of grape jelly

1 (18 ounce) jar of Big Bob's BBQ Sauce


Combine the jelly and BBQ sauce in the crockpot.* Mix well.

Add meatballs. Stir until well coated.

Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours.

Serve as a appetizer with toothpicks or over rice or noodles.

*This can also be prepared on the stove. If using uncooked meatballs, cook the meatballs before combining with the jelly and BBQ sauce.

#Recipes #Entertaining

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