Let’s Talk: Home Cooking Tips, Tricks and Advice


Sophie Hudson and Jamie share tips and techniques for down home cooking along with quarantine favorite meals that they prepared for their families.

At Christmas: Sophie gave me 4 of her books!



With the “stay at home” that left most of us in a type of quarantine for days or weeks, many of us have cooked more than ever. In fact, “home cooking” has made a resurgence. It seems that the recipes, foods, and cravings that most of us have had is for basic food. Homemade…like our mamas and grandmamas used to make:-)

My stay-at-home time has involved cooking~lots of it. I have cooked more than I ever have. In the process, I’ve shared my love of cooking with several friends. We use the “Voxer” app to ask cooking questions, share recipes and tips, and give “grocery store updates” for which stores have certain products (as things sell out quickly).

Sophie Hudson is one of the friends with whom I vox about food. I asked her to join my podcast last week just to “talk food” and share tips, recipes, and ideas for easy meals. The podcast is above, or you can listen on iTunes, Spotify or your platform of choice. For those who just want the nuts and bolts, I share them below.

This pretty much sums up the way we all feel about Sophie.

Salt, salt and more salt. 

Probably THE most important thing we discussed was the role that salt plays in cooking. This can’t be overstated. The book that I am loving right now~Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat~ goes into great detail about salt if you want to dig deeper. But below are a few of the tips that Sophie and I share from our personal experience.

  • The salt to use is kosher salt. Sophie uses Morton. I use Diamond Crystal
  • Iodized salt (aka table salt) is not the salt to use. It will make food taste metallic.
  • Salt food in stages. Salt meat before, during and after cooking. Don’t cook something then salt it~that won’t work.
  • When unloading groceries, unwrap meat and salt it before refrigerating or freezing it. I got this tip from Samin Nosrat who wrote Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. This will make the meat more tender and flavorful.
  • Salt and sit. Salt meat + let meat sit for 30 minutes at room temp before cooking.

How to Make Buttermilk Brine Chicken

the video below, I show how to salt the chicken for this fabulous buttermilk brine chicken that everyone is going crazy over right now.  Sophie and I both love this chicken, and it is the technique from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.


Browning ground beef: tips from Sophie

  • At least 2 hours before browning, salt the beef well; let sit in fridge.
  • Let beef sit at room temp for 30 minutes before putting in the skillet. 
  • Heat skillet before adding the salted ground beef; it will form almost a crust.
  • Sauté onions (if using) in butter or oil BEFORE adding to ground beef. Don’t brown raw onion in raw beef.

Quarantine cooking favorites

Sophie and Jamie, both Southern cooks, share what they made the most during “Stay at Home.” They also share some of their favorite easy recipes that anyone can make.

Some of the favorite recipes mentioned:

  • how to make beans and peas from dried (soaking with salt and baking soda)
  • how we makecollards and turnips (Sophie stovetop; me Instant Pot)
  • Sophie’s ground beef stroganoff
  • chocolate cobbler
  • this skillet blackberry cobbler

Resources related to this podcast.

Sophie’s blog: www.BooMama.net

Sophie’s instagram: @boomama205

Jan’s Chocolate Cobbler is here

Recipes for Mexican Cornbread, Chocolate Pudding and more are on Sophie’s instagram in the highlight that says “cooking.”

I hope this podcast and these resources are helpful!! As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

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  1. Jan, I am SO happy to hear from you; what sweet, encouraging words!!!! And I will post the chocolate cobbler recipe on the blog show notes!!! Thank you for sharing!!! I can’t WAIT to make it!!!! And I love it that you too have a heart for mentoring others in the kitchen. That is how my blog started:-) Blessings to you, friend!!!! XoXo

  2. Jamie – I loved your podcast ! I love Sophie. She is a precious friend to me. I loved learning from the two of you and look forward to making her mother’s squash casserole and your blackberry cobbler. I am sharing my Chocolate Cobbler that Sophie mentioned too. Here is a link:
    Thank you for the podcast JOY! I have a mentoring-in-the-kitchen ministry called “Tasting Grace.” I love teaching the fine art of “biscuit making.”


  3. Cindy~what a JOY to hear from you on the blog!! You are such a great cook; I am honored that you are enjoying my recips:-) Love to you and the family!!! XoXo

  4. I have tried several of your recipes during quarantine. They are all very good! Thank you for the recipes and excellent cooking advice!

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