Welcome to SmartyPantsKitchen

I’m Anecia, author, recipe developer, writer and photographer for this website. I am a native Texan with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and over 25 years culinary experience in residential and commercial kitchens, as well as formal university courses in Food ScienceFood Chemistry, Food SafetyMeal Planning and Preparation and Nutrition.

I have served as a recipe writer for The Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York and have been featured in Mississippi Department of Marine ResourcesAAA Texas JourneysKansas Living Magazine, and DFW Lifestyles publications, and more.

If you’re just starting to cook or have been doing so for years, I’m here to help! Send an email to me at: info@smartypantskitchen.com and I’m happy to answer any questions you might have!

Here, you’ll find a collection of tried-and-true Southern recipes, (some contemporary, traditional, vintage and regional recipes), useful tips, tricks and food-science-based facts for cooking and serving Southern-style, noting that not all Southern foods are fried!

“This website is dedicated to the women who taught me how to cook, influenced and supported my love for all things culinary.”

My goal is to share the wonderful food of the South and to help anyone learn how to cook! There’s nothing fancy or gourmet about my recipes–I try to keep it simple so even those who’ve never boiled water can learn to cook clean, wholesome food.

My family hails from East Texas and Louisiana, so many of the recipes I share are from these regions. I share with you my Grandaddy’s authentic Louisiana Shrimp Gumbo and the Best Restaurant-Quality Fried Catfish recipe you can make at home!

You’ll also find some quick and easy skillet suppers, sauce, gravy and salad dressing recipes, and tips for keeping your Greens Green and your Cauliflower White!

I live just north of Dallas, Texas with my husband, daughter, and two dogs. I spend most of my free time cleaning the kitchen.

Thanks for checking out my recipes!

See you in the kitchen!


Anecia's mother with heat tilted on wrist

When I first talked to my Mom (below) about this foodie adventure she said,” Oh, I think it’s a great idea! I once had a recipe that said, “cook the chicken” but it didn’t explain how to do it!!!” She has taught me how to make a killer pot roast, stewed okra and tomatoes, salmon croquettes and a delicious “school night” favorite we call, “Hamburger Meat and Rice.”

Anecia her mother and aunt in kitchen smiling

Then there’s my Aunt Darlene who could make the meanest bunch of fried doughnuts ever!  She also made a mean chicken fried steak. And mashed potatoes. In fact, I never had a meal at her house that wasn’t delicious!!!

Anecia and Amy in kitchen cooking

Amy and I have been friends for forever. Her family hails from Mississippi, so her food background is a smidgen different from mine. Every time we chat, we end up talking about food.

Anecia's daughter and her friend holding forks at a kitchen counter

Our girls are about ten years apart, and now in the kitchen with us. When we get together and cook, which is not often enough for me, we have fun, make messes and make memories!