>Birthday Girls (and a Birthday Suit)

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Today, Paula Deen and Dolly Parton are celebrating birthdays. Celebrate two good old(er) Southern gals with Paula’s recipe for Garlic Cheese Grits. The recipe called for Cheddar, but Paula uses Velveeta on her television show. As the old commercial says, “when the cookbook calls for cheddar … make it with Velveeta … it cooks better.” The picture above was done by Pop Art and pin-up artist Mel Ramos in 1965. Her name? Val Veeta. Best dishes, y’all.

Baked Garlic Cheese Grits

6 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 cloves roasted garlic
2 cups regular grits
16 ounces Cheddar or Velveeta, cubed
1/2 cup milk
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
8 ounces grated sharp white Cheddar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 4-quart casserole dish.

Bring the broth, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in the grits and whisk until completely combined. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the grits are thick, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cubed cheese and milk and stir. Gradually stir in the eggs and butter, stirring until all are combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with the white Cheddar and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until set.

NOTE: I replaced the 1/4 t. of garlic powder in Paula’s original recipe with roasted garlic because I wanted a fresher garlic taste.

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