top of page
  • Writer's pictureGuest Blogger

Sugar, Butter, and Nana's Kitchen

by Melissa from Michigan

Three wooden swivel-style barstools with gouges all along the sides sit at a yellow melamine countertop, and on the fridge you’ll see a magnet of a little girl wearing a chef’s hat, holding a sign that reads, “Nana’s Kitchen.”

Here, my cousins and I would look out over the bar top while our grandmother cooked.

From our perch, we would ask a million questions of our Southern belle of a grandma, (talking a mile a minute and giggling uncontrollably, as little girls often do) all the while, spinning to and fro, as the edges of those bar stools jabbed against the countertop — hence the gouges.

She’d be mixing up the likes of chocolate gravy, scrambled eggs, homemade pies, Southern-style green beans, and potato salad. These scrumptious confections weren’t always the most healthy.

Add a little more butter, and pour in some sugar, no need to measure!

As we now know, adding butter, salt, and sugar to an existing recipe isn’t the best for our health and wellness. But I’ve also learned that those flavor profiles are still delicious, and sometimes the not-so-healthy ingredients can be substituted or simply reduced to achieve a similar effect.

For dishes like Southern-style green beans, cook your beans how you normally would, but add a few shakes of Old Bay seasoning, and some fresh onions — or if you’re feeling extra sassy — you can add a few pieces of cooked, diced bacon.

I add just a dash of sugar to brighten up the flavor (for a treat!) — just like my Nana — but with a lighter hand.

As far as the mayo-laden potato salads, try to substitute some of the creamy stuff for plain Greek yogurt.

Happy cooking and, “bless your heart!!” Remember, you don’t have to abandon tradition to eat healthily, sometimes it just takes a little tweaking!


This blog was written by one of our guest bloggers, Melissa.

About Melissa. . .

Melissa is a social media copywriter, Mother to an amazing 19 year old son, foster Mother of 7 years, and adoptive Mother of 3 Littles all under 4!! She enjoys creative writing, floral design and outdoor recreation in her free time.


Want more inspiration in the kitchen? Check out our Health eKitchen at We have beginner, intermediate, and experienced recipes for all ability levels.

We would love to hear about your cooking adventures! Post a comment below or write a post of your own! Check out our needed topics here.


bottom of page