The Lady’s Q&A!

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The Lady’s Q&A!

By Paula Deen

Aside from spending time with my family, there’s nothing I like to do better than talk to folks about cooking. Keep sending in your cookin’ questions and every couple of weeks, I’ll answer the ones that most people are asking about. Maybe you’ll even see your name here!

I enjoy your recipes so much. Just wondering if there is something else that I could use besides chicken broth, because it’s so high in sodium and I have to watch my sodium intake.
By Mabel Simmons

Paula’s Answer:
Hey Mabel! Girl, don’t we all have to watch the amount of salt in our diets these days. Chicken stock is the only way to go with this recipe. The way to cut out a lot of the sodium is to make your own stock. If you don’t add any salt to the roasted chicken before you break it down to make stock, you are eliminating most of the sodium. When you make your own stock, you can control the salt. Also Mabel, it’s really easy and you can make a lot at once and freeze it. Watch this how-to video my son Jamie did for making chicken stock. Just don’t add any salt!

What can be done about cast iron that has become rusty?
By Angela Salyers

Paula’s Answer:
Hey Angela! I think anyone who owns cast iron has this problem every now and again.  I still have my grandma’s cast iron hoecake pan. It sits on my stove and I use it nearly every day that I am home. Here’s what I do when I get rust on my cast iron.  I have Michael get me a piece of sandpaper (he says it’s 220 grit- whatever that means), and I sand the rust away. Then I re-season the pan by rubbing it with vegetable oil and placing it in a 250º F oven for about 4 hours. I remove it and rub it again with another coat of oil and place it back in the 250º F oven for another 4 hours. I never use soap to clean my cast iron. Grandma would have tanned my hide!

My Gooey Butter Cake did not set up at all. It is butter soup. Hmmmmmm. What happened? Has anyone had this problem?
By Nichelle Metcalfe

Paula’s Answer:
First of all Nichelle, I love your name! Your parents were so clever. So my guess is you used the wrong size pan. It’s usually always the problem when I talk to folks about the gooey butter cake. It must be baked in a 9X13 pan, and don’t over-beat the cream cheese. Give it another shot. I’m sure even as Gooey Butter Cake Soup it still tasted good. Hmmmm, that might be a new recipe!

Since the Red Velvet Cupcakes are frosted with cream cheese frosting, do these cupcakes have to be refrigerated?
By Gini Doss

Paula’s Answer:
Hey Gini! Yes! My red velvet cake and cupcakes need to be refrigerated. Here’s the tip though. Never eat them cold. You must pull them out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature, that’s when they taste the best.

I was wondering would your Blueberry Dumpling recipe work with strawberries?
By Paul Gaines

Paula’s Answer:
Hey Paul! I love when I get questions from male cooks! Yes, this recipe will work wonderfully with just about any berry you could find. I love it with a mix of berries too.

Paula, I’m getting ready for my gardening and want to can fire roasted tomatoes this year. How do I fire roast tomatoes? I’ve done canning for years, and would like to can fire roasted tomatoes this year. Thanks Paula!!!
By Conney Baker

Paula’s Answer:
Wow Conney you are gettin’ ahead of the game! I like your thinking. So, when I fire roast tomatoes for canning sauce, I usually do it in the oven because I have a real big oven and I can do a lot at a time. I just put them in a big roasting pan and put them in a 425º F oven until the skins start to blister and crack. It usually only takes about 20 minutes. This works great for sauce since you are going to puree them anyway, or cook them down. For tomatoes fire roasted on the grill, I blanch the tomatoes first and remove the skin, then place them on a hot grill to get the nice smokey flavor. Let me know how it all turns out and thank you for the inspiration to get my garden plan going.

I bought this bag of “self-rising” flour because I had a recipe that called for it and now I have all this leftover and don’t know what to do with it.
By Elizabeth Olstrander

Paula’s Answer:
Hey Elizabeth! As you can probably tell in my cooking I use self-rising flour a bunch, especially in my frying. I always keep self-rising flour around to coat my fried chicken. I just mix a little of my house seasoning into the flour, dredge my chicken in the flour, then into an egg wash mixture and back into the flour before slipping into 360ºF peanut oil. I just love how the baking powder already in the self-rising flour makes my fried chicken extra crispy!

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Reader Comments:


Mrs. Paula I am a diabetic & was diagnostic about 7yrs ago. I have recently list 50 pounds but I am at a stuck point, as I was losing this weight I developed done medical problems. I fell very lonely in the fact that I do not have any support with triing to lose more weight. I need to lose at least 20 more pounds. With the medical problems I am having I am limited on the activities I can do. I have noticed that u have have lost alot of weight. So my question is do u have any tips that Iight be able to apply to myself to lose this weight?

By Janice on May 24, 2013


a long time ago i quickly jotted down one of your recipes from the food network it is a combo of blueberries grand biscuits butter sugar & oatmeal i would love to get a detailed copy of the recipe every time i make it the rolls do not cook all the way through i think it's because i don't know the correct pan size everyone loves this dish & is requested everytime my family gets together

By beth hopkins on December 23, 2012


My grandson has Chrons and Ulcerative Coliatis. He's nine. The Organic Diet he's on calls for Almond or Pecan flour but it's quite expensive at the Health Food Stores. Do you have a recipe for me to follow to make this type of flour or any other recipes for him. Thank You, Pam Williams

By Pam Williams on November 04, 2012


Hi Paula, Recently, I saw Bobby on TV making a lighter version of your Better Than Sex Cake. He was putting a can of pineapple in a yellow cake mix. Can you please send me this recipe? I can't seem to find it on your website. I also looked on Bobby's website as well. Thanks, Linda Settlemire

By Linda Settlemire on October 27, 2012



By SHERRY BROWN on August 05, 2012


Hey Miss Paula: Looking at your recipes for brussel sprouts... and found none that calls for balsamic vinegar... I got the recipe from a friend and misplaced it, she lives in Chicago. Anyway, I finally found a delicious way to prepare and enjoy 'brussel sprouts'. Can you help me out? It did have bacon, oil, and the vineager... can't recall the rest. No chicken stock was called for. Good cooks can concoct anything!!! Miss Jeanie Have read both your's and hubby's books. Enjoyed, laughed, but most of all I'm prayin' u can give up smoking, many are fighting that battle, too.

By Jeanie Patrick on January 04, 2012


Is there a rule of thumb for how long to bake something when you double the recipe? I'm making your corn casserol and have it in the oven, but I am concerned it will be done on the outside and not in the middle. I was thinking cover it with foil half way through and then just check it with a knife after an hour? Fingers crossed. P.S. I love your show.

By Kathleen981 on November 24, 2011


Why does my meringue wilt after a couple of hours. It always looks real pretty, then it just wilts. Thanks for all the wonderfull recipies and helpfull hints,

By Eileen Davis on October 10, 2011


I was in need of a new egg beater and purchased one of your's from the local Target store. After six uses it totally fell apart. I would expect something with your name on it to not be junk!!!!! The Target store refused to be any help so all that was left was to toss it in the garbage. I have always like watching your show but will have to think about it after what happened. Thanks Pam

By Pam Plath on October 06, 2011


Question: When looking at two meat items and one has more fat, yet less colesterol, and the other has less fat, yet more colesterol, which is the healtier to buy? Barb

By Barb Ryburn on August 10, 2011


hey paula, how ya doing dear, my name is greg, i live in las vegas but i grew up, in a small town just north of shreveport, la called plain dealing, i grew up with a bunch of good cooks, on my mother,s side of the family, that,s where i got my love of cooking. one thing i want to ask you, i was taught when your cooking pasta, to put some salt and butter in your water when cooking, so your pasta wont stick how come none of the cooks on t.v. don,t do that. i,ve been making your magical peanut butter cookies, and every one just loves them, my aunt diddie used to be a cook in a school cafeteria, and she just turned 97 on july 29th, hope i get to meet you one day, there ain,t nothin better then good ole southern cooking, here is my cell number give me a call sometime, and i,ll tell you all the good recipes i grew up with. [removed by admin], give my best to your family, love always greg staggs.

By greg staggs on August 08, 2011


Hi Paula, I started baking cakes and cooking with my Grandma when I was a little girl, for my 21st birthday, she gave me her recipe box as a gift, it is full of all her wonderful recipes. She told me that if I cooked every recipe in it that I will have accomplished all I needed to be a great Southern cook and baker, I of course havent made every recipe yet. I wish my Grandma could have seen your shows, but sadly we lost her last year at the age of 96. I miss her so much, but you have her same style of cooking so it makes me feel good to watch you cook all your wonderful dishes. I am a self taught baker and decorator, my grandma was my inspiration. I am currently putting together a business plan for my bakery and would like to know if you can give me any advice on how to keep my menu simple, I will have a Cafe in the front and I come from a small town of good old country folk. I am trying to keep all my product ording local for the community so as to give back to those I love. I would appreciate any advice you can give me on this and of course I will continue to faithfully watch your shows, hopefully one day I will be able to go to Savannah and experience your wonderful food at Lady & Son's, God Bless You! Connie Ward

By Connie Ward on July 22, 2011


Hey Paula, I have ran across a pound cake recipe that said for me to put the cake in a cold oven. Why? Why not pre-heat? Thank you Sandy

By sandywmccann on July 10, 2011


This maybe a silly question... from you and other cooks, I have seen you use an "expresso powder". I am a "choco-holic" and would like to try this in my favorite chocolate recepies, but I'm confused! Is this finely ground regular expresso, or something similar to instant coffee, or am I really off my rocker! (Well if you speak to someone who knows me, they'll tell you "She's ALWAYS off!) Please clarifiy, thanx in advance, Chickadee

By chickadee on May 22, 2011


Hi Paula, I have a question regarding your receipe for brownie cupcakes with peanut butter chips in the middle: I made them according to the receipe and they sunk way down in the middle, do you have any idea why? I left them in the oven for the prescribed time and the oven was set according to the directions, I am baffled as to why they didn't turn out. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks...

By macro on May 07, 2011


Hi Paula, I need some help, I have looked in all the canning books and not found any instructions for pressure canning and storing left over spiral ham. I did find one video on U Tube where the gentleman hot packed about 10 pounds of diced ham but at the end of the canning process he did not say how to store the canned ham and what the shelf life would be. I would really like to pressure can my ham this way but didn't know how safe it would be and if it could be stored in the basement along with my other canned food. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Margo

By Margo on April 19, 2011


Hello Paula,i have a problem being in public! i'm 65 and can do alot of baking and cooking my whole famil loves my peanut butter did you overcome your'e fear of public place? thank you God Bless Senga

By senga quinn goodnough on April 12, 2011


I love your cooking shows. And I have A question, I love seafood mostly crab imperial. At a favoite dinning place, they cook it in a white cream sauce. Could you tell me how to make a white cream sauce so I could make it at home. Teresa

By Teresa Shubert on April 11, 2011


Paula, I have never had Lobster,Crab,Broccoli,Asparagust and other foods like that. The only fish that I've ever eaten is Haddock. My question to you is how do I try this other foods without it costing me an arm and a leg? My mother raised us kids on what she calls " normal food". I really love your show. My 6 yr old Granddaughter were raising loves to watch you cook.I told Shy-Ann that you were going to be in Buffalo on the 20th of April and she thought we could come see you, but I had to tell her we couldn't afford the ticket cost. Please keep up the good work you do on your show. God bless you and your family. Love the Wallace's

By Patricia Wallace on April 09, 2011


Paula I love your receipes especially your Cheese soup with the pimentos - my question - do you think this soup would be good adding potatoes? I have had a few people mention this and it sounds good to me. What do you think?? Thank you - we were at your restaurant in the fall and it was wonderful. Visited Hilton Head and Savannah

By Becky Durbin on April 05, 2011

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Paula's Upcoming Schedule

  • August 27: Paula Deen Live! Nashville, TN

    Come see Paula’s live show at the TPAC: Andrew Jackson Hall in Nashville, TN and get a heaping helping of Paula’s recipes, and some good old-fashioned fun and laughter!
    Tickets available from Tennessee Performing Arts Center here!
    Sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms.

  • September 12: Deen Family Book Signing

    Join the Deen Family for a Book Signing at The Lady & Sons from 10 am to 12 pm.
    The event is free; 350 wristbands to be distributed starting at 9 am.

  • September 16: Paula Deen Live! Birmingham, AL

    Come see Paula’s live show at the Alabama Theatre in Birmingham, AL and get a heaping helping of Paula’s recipes, and some good old-fashioned fun and laughter!
    Tickets available from Ticketmaster here!
    Sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms.

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