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Honey, Bake Me a Ham

HoneyBaked Ham Slicer

One of the original spiral-ham slicers being used in front of customers in the Honey Baked Ham Company store.

My respectable Southern grandmother would cook a ham for many a Sunday dinner and during the holidays. When the ham was golden brown she would garnished the top of it with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries adorned in the middle of each pineapple ring. She would never have thought to buy a precooked ham but that was when Southern women took pride in cooking for their families: it was homemade. But that was about 50-plus years ago. That was during a time when my grandmother would have been a busy homemaker but also a time when Harry Hoenselaar had already designed and patented (1949) what was called at the time an “apparatus for slicing ham to the bone” what we now refer to as a spiral cut. It wouldn’t be until October 1957 that Hoenselaar was able to buy the first Honey Baked Ham Company located in Detroit, Mich. and not until the 1970s when the first HoneyBaked Ham store in Georgia opened on Buford Highway in Atlanta.

HoneyBaked Ham Sign 1970s

Advertisement for the first HoneyBaked Ham store in Atlanta.

Today it seems that the norm is to be busy, busy with most families eating out more than they eat in or eating take-out meals at home. There’s a demand for quality and quick products especially for holiday dinners, parties and entertaining. This is no surprise that this will be the busiest week of the year for HoneyBaked Ham stores that have over 400 stores nationwide including about 48 stores in Georgia (20 stores in Atlanta metro alone).

HoneyBaked Ham

HoneyBaked Ham uses the finest quality bone-in ham, cures it in a secret marinade that’s smoked for hours over a unique blend of hardwood chips that insures its tenderness.

After a recent visit to the Atlanta HoneyBaked Ham corporate headquarters I learned that now more than ever HoneyBaked Ham makes it easy for customers. In addition to its original and largest-selling product: the spiral-cut HoneyBaked ham with its secret marinade, HoneyBaked Ham Company offerings also include boneless hams, mini hams, ham bone, whole turkeys and turkey breasts, cornish game hens, pork loin chops, stuffed pork loin, beef tenderloin and bacon; choice heat-and-serve side dishes including sweet potato soufflé, cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole and cinnamon apple slices to name a few; appetizers likes ham & cheese bites and glazed pecans; and of course desserts including pies (my favorite was the new sweet potato crunch pie), layer cakes, cheesecakes with a New York Style sampler of four varieties of popular cheesecakes, cookies and fudge.

Need a lunch while finishing your last minute holiday shopping? HoneyBaked Ham stores in Georgia offer lunch including soups and sandwiches since Atlanta was the test market for the line extension of soups that will rollout nationwide after the new year. I like the soup and sandwich combo options.

So let HoneyBaked Ham make your busy holiday week and busy life easier. For more information on all of the HoneyBaked Ham products go to or shop online at


Sweet Potato Crunch Pie

You’ll notice by the one little piece left that the Sweet Potato Crunch Pie was a big hit at our bloggers’ lunch.

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Before dinner on Friday night we toured — for our very first time — the Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. This spectacular holiday light show, open nightly until January 4, is a fun way to get into the holiday spirit. It features 30 acres of both indoor and outdoor displays (including inside the conservancy) created with a million lights which had to take hundreds and hundreds of man hours to install. The event included carolers, holiday music and plenty of bar locations that included adults libations and hot chocolate or hot apple cider for the kids. “Make-Your-Own S’mores” kits are available for kids of all ages to toast by one of the onsite fire pits. Tickets are $18.95 for adults; $12.95, children 3-17. Discounted tickets for Garden members are $14.95 adults, $9.95 children 3-17. The “Make-Your-Own S’mores” kits are $6.95 for a package of the makings for four s’mores with a roasting stick.

The event was well organized and had lots of staff on hand. It was easy to get in and a flat-rate $5 event parking offering. I’d recommend allowing at least 1 to 1 1/2 hours to tour the property especially if you have dinner reservations at one of our area’s fabulous restaurants. We dined at a new Italian restaurant called BoccaLupo in Inman Park on Edgewood Drive that this year was named as one of Atlanta Magazine‘s Top 10 New Restaurants and AJC‘s John Kessler’s gave it four stars earlier this year.


Roast s’mores by the fire pit during the Garden Lights, Holiday Lights. Photo courtesy of Joey Ivansco.


The Star Galaxy shines bright overhead in the Southern Seasons Garden as you walk the tree canopy.


The topiary goddess still in place from this year’s earlier event is adorned with hundreds and hundreds of lights through her hair.


The millions of mostly blue lights on the pathway to the Great Lawn were spectacular and one of my personal favorite parts of the tour.


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Being the foodie I am I like to recommend cooks’ gifts for the holidays and my friends at The Cook’s Warehouse have made their top picks for the holidays from stocking stuffers to an extravagant mixer made for the pro in you. Here are their favorite picks for the holidays.

Silicone Lids (variety) – Food-grade silicone in all shapes and sizes use in the microwave to avoid splashes to covering food at picnics to keep the bugs away. S.R.P. range of prices.


Silicone Ring

Silicone Lid

Lekeu Citrus Sprayer is a two-sprayer set that fits all citrus fruit. Cut the end off of citrus fruit and insert sprayer and spray juice into drinks, salads, and meals. S.R.P. $14.95 Click here to see a demonstration video on the Lekeu Citrus Sprayer.

RSVP new Chef’s Duster: the answer to your dusting needs in the kitchen from dusting cookies, cakes and French toast to easily blending cinnamon and sugar and more. S.R.P. $19.99

Chef's Duster

Mary Moore shows off the new RSVP’s Chef’s Duster.

Oliver Pecan Oil is locally grown, pressed, and bottled in Pitts, Georgia. You’ll go nuts over this product. 8.4 fl. oz. S.R.P. $19.99

Oliver Pecan Oil

The Mason Shaker by W & P Design is the classic and iconic Mason Jar turned into a cocktail shaker. The Mason Shaker features a real 32 oz. glass Mason Jar and a three-piece stainless steel strainer lid, so you can whip up two to four cocktails whenever the moment strikes. Measures 8.5″ tall. S.R.P. $29.99

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Nambe 8-inch Sauté Pan – 1 ½ quart is a petite and practical pan with unique Nambe design and style. S.R.P. $49.99 includes lid.


The Nambe 8-inch Sauté Pan is stylish and functional.

All-Clad Stainless Sauté Pan, 3 qt. – S.R.P. $225.00 but it’s a holiday special for $99.95

All-Clad Stainless Sauté Pan, 3 qt. - SRP $225.00 but it’s a holiday special for $99.95

You can’t beat this holiday special. The All-Clad Stainless Sauté Pan, 3 qt. has a suggested retail of $225.00 but is holiday priced at $99.95

Kenwood Mixer – The versatile unit does all a stand mixer does, plus you can use it to cook; it uses induction heating technology which is extremely safe and energy efficient. It will heat up very quickly maintaining energy. The mixer also comes with a heat-resistant flexi beater, steel k-beater, whisk, dough hook, stirring tool, blender, and food processor attachments. The unit also includes a spatula, a heat mat, and a steaming basket. S.R.P. $1999.00

Chef demos the new Kenwood Mixer

Chef Meridith Ford Goldman demos the new Kenwood Mixer at a blogger’s holiday breakfast where she made homemade cinnamon rolls.


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The Weekend Baker: Irresistible recipes, simple techniques, and stress-free strategies for busy people by Abigail Johnson Dodge. If you want to start baking again The Weekend Baker makes it easy with its unique organization of recipes grouped by how long they take and from the simple to the elaborate. S.R.P. $24.95

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With a Southern Twist is all about good living in today's South. A true Southerner, the author's passions include food, home design, travel, restaurants, shopping, and entertaining. It is a fun blog about one of her most beloved regions of the country, shared through personal experiences.