It’s a scene many of us have come to know and love: watching your grandmother cooking in the kitchen and eating all of the deliciousness she has to offer.
It’s a scene that served as the catalyst for Jocelyn Delk Adams’ food blog, Grandbaby Cakes.
“In my family, cooking and baking is like a rite of passage. It’s something that gets passed on,” explains Adams, who lives in Chicago. “You start observing women in the kitchen and start working yourself into the routine and making the recipes on your own. For me, there was always a spark when I was in the kitchen and a curiosity and excitement connected with that. I never thought it would be a profession, it was just part of my life.”
Inspired by her grandmother in Winona, Mississippi, who had people lined up for her mouthwatering homemade cakes, Adams began Grandbaby Cakes in the fall of 2012.
“I was kind of just sharing recipes, tinkering with things in the kitchen. I was always bringing cakes to family dinners and holidays,” she shares. “It started as just sharing recipes, but now there’s a greater purpose involved in my site. Some people have connections with their grandparents and some people missed out on that, but they long for it. I try to connect stories to my recipes. It’s all about the connection.”
While Adams’ grandmother is her muse, she insist carving her own niche in the kitchen–drawing upon both her summer visits to the South and her Midwestern roots.
“You can put a lot of pressure [on yourself] to make biscuits just like Big Mama did,” she laughs. “There’s something different about the way I approach cooking and baking. I like blending things and trying something new and fun. It’s called ‘Grandbaby Cakes’ for a reason.”
But tradition tends to reign supreme when it comes to family holidays.
“Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, we went to a missionary Baptist church. Every Easter, my brother and I were dressed to the nines for church and then we’d come home and dye eggs,” Adams reminisces. “There was a big Easter feast. I remember my auntie’s carrot cake and there were a lot of Spring recipes–lemon pound cake, cakes with berries and beautiful lemon meringue pies.”
Check out some of her favorite recipes below and add a Southern twist to your Easter brunch!
- Buttermilk Waffles Recipe Ingredients found HERE
- 8 chicken wings
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons seasoned salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- Add chicken wings to a Ziploc bag.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together buttermilk, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce and pour mixture over chicken in Ziploc.
- Seal bag and marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours (overnight).
- While chicken marinades, prepare buttermilk waffles batter according to instructions HERE.
- When you are finished marinading chicken, add flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, seasoned salt, paprika, black pepper, garlic salt and onion powder to a paper bag and shake to blend well.
- Remove chicken from marinade and dip into seasoned flour thoroughly coating each wing.
- Add wings to a baking sheet. Once finished coating chicken, place in refrigerator.
- Add 3/4-1 inch of oil to a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom skillet and heat over medium high heat.
- While oil is warming, also turn on oven to 275 degrees.
- (This is my test for knowing when the oil is ready: My mom always tossed a tiny bit of flour in the oil and if it began to fry and sizzle the oil was ready).
- Fry four wings at a time making sure to not overcrowd the pan. After each side is golden brown, put the pan’s top on the chicken to steam and make sure the inside of the chicken is done. Remove the top and continue to fry outside until it is crispy.
- Remove wings and place on paper towels to drain. Place wings on a baking sheet covered with parchment and add to oven while finishing the other wings.
- Fry the remaining chicken and drain and add to oven. Add the remaining wings to the oven.
- Add butter to waffles and allow to melt.
- Lastly, layer each finished waffle with two chicken wings, drizzle with warm pure maple syrup and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and parsley to serve.