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Rosie Mayes waffles

Blueberry Cornbread Waffles (Courtesy of Sasquatch Books)

Recipes | ‘I Heart Soul Food’ feast from Seattle author Rosie Mayes

These soul food favorites are perfect for Juneteenth — or any time.

Editor’s note: You won’t go hungry! Enjoy a feast with Rosie Mayes’ delectable pulled pork, red beans and rice and peach cobbler. But save room for breakfast the next day, since you’ve also got a recipe for delicious blueberry cornbread waffles that you won’t want to skip.

Rosie Mayes’ cookbook “I Heart Soul Food: 100 Southern Comfort Food Favorites” includes an array of soul food recipes for savory and sweet dishes. Here are four favorites, all excerpted from her cookbook. (For video tips, you can also see her YouTube channel, I Heart Recipes, and her I Heart Recipes blog.)


I Heart Soul Food book cover / Rosie Mayes


Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

Some people might call this a cheater’s pulled pork because I don’t use a grill or smoker, but my aunt Sandy made the best pulled pork ever, and she did hers in the oven. I don’t have time for the smoker or the oven, so I stick mine in the slow cooker and let the machine do the work. In my world, it’s not cheating if it turns out delicious, and this turns out just like it would on the grill. You can use it for all the same things you would a traditional pulled pork — I like to make it into sandwiches with hamburger buns and a little coleslaw.


2 to 3 pounds pork shoulder roast

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons liquid smoke

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

¼ cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 to 1½ cups hickory BBQ sauce

On a large baking sheet, place the roast and drizzle the vegetable oil all over it, followed by the liquid smoke and vinegar.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar with the paprika, salt, pepper, and mustard powder. Coat the roast with the spice mix.

Place the roast in a 6-quart slow cooker and cover with the lid. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Shred the meat, and pour in the BBQ sauce. Stir, then cook for an additional 2 hours (still on low). Then serve and enjoy!

©2020 by Rosie Mayes. Excerpted from I Heart Soul Food by permission of Sasquatch Books.


soul food recipes Rosie Mayes

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork (Photo by Michael Kartes, courtesy of Sasquatch Books)


soul food

Red Beans and Rice (Photo by Michael Kartes, courtesy of Sasquatch Books)


Red Beans and Rice

Popeyes, take a seat, there are some new beans in town! This recipe has every-thing: a quick-soak method to get your beans going fast, the spice of andouille sausage, and plenty of garlic and thyme. The red beans don’t need much else, because they’re cooked in chicken broth and enhanced with the andouille, so they come out full of flavor. When it comes to serving, I put together a big bowl of beans, add a scoop of rice, then pile a little more beans on top. Then I serve it with Southern Fried Chicken because red beans and rice goes with fried chicken like peanut butter with jelly.


1 (16-ounce) bag dry red kidney beans, sorted and rinsed

6 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound andouille sausage, sliced into 1⁄4-inch pieces

½ medium red onion, diced

½ medium red bell pepper, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2½ teaspoons Creole seasoning

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

3 cups steamed rice

In a large pot over high heat, bring about 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the beans, cover, and turn off the heat. Let the beans sit for 30 minutes.

When the time has passed, drain the water and pour the chicken broth into the pot with the beans. Turn the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, drizzle in the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the sausage and cook until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onion and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic. Cook for another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.

Add the sausage, onion, pepper, and garlic into the pot with the beans. Sprinkle in the Creole seasoning and black pepper, and toss in the thyme. Stir the ingredients, and simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally while the beans are cooking so nothing burns at the bottom! Once done, serve with steamed rice.

©2020 by Rosie Mayes. Excerpted from I Heart Soul Food by permission of Sasquatch Books.

soul food recipes Rosie Mayes

Peach Cobbler (Photo by Michael Kartes, courtesy of Sasquatch Books)

Peach Cobbler

My aunt Josie was — and still is — the Peach Cobbler Queen. Hers was the best recipe ever, and I wanted it so bad. But it doesn’t matter how nice people are, Josie isn’t giving that recipe away to anyone. She’ll pretend she forgot it. She’ll wave me away and say, “Oh, I use a little of this and some of that.” She’s a lovely person—when I was pregnant with my son, all I wanted in the world was her peach cobbler, and I appreciate that she was kind enough to bring one over to me, but she still would not give up that recipe. Well, I tasted the one she brought me, and I knew with my pregnancy cravings that I’d need more than that. I got straight to work trying to do my best impression of it—tasting hers and testing mine until they matched. She might be the queen, but maybe I can be the Peach Cobbler Princess.


Vegetable oil, for greasing

¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup water

2 (14.5-ounce) cans sliced peaches in heavy syrup

¾ cup granulated sugar

½ cup (1 stick) salted butter

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 refrigerated store-bought pie crusts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-by-11-inch baking dish or oval baking dish.

In a liquid measuring cup, add the flour and water, and mix. Set to the side.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the peaches, sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir the ingredients and let the butter melt completely. Next, pour in the water-and-flour mixture. Stir and cook for 5 more minutes.

Roll out one of the pie doughs and cut into 2-inch squares. Put the squares into the baking dish, then pour in the cobbler filling. Roll out the second pie dough. Top the cobbler with the remaining dough.

Brush any leftover cobbler filling from the pot on top of the cobbler. Bake the cobbler for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Note: This cobbler has “dumplings.” If you like the dumplings crisp, bake the dough squares (at 350 degrees F) for 5 to 7 minutes after rolling out and cutting them, then add them to the baking dish.

©2020 by Rosie Mayes. Excerpted from I Heart Soul Food by permission of Sasquatch Books.

cookbook waffles

Blueberry Cornbread Waffles (Photo by Michael Kartes, courtesy of Sasquatch Books)

Blueberry Cornbread Waffles

These waffles are a combination of my son’s two favorite foods (waffles and cornbread) and one of mine (blueberries). When I was growing up, we used to sometimes go out to breakfast at a local restaurant near my hometown of Seattle and get them. While the restaurant still exists, which is amazing, it has changed over the years and sadly no longer makes the most important dish on the menu, at least to me. I missed the heartiness that the cornmeal adds to the batter and the dots of blue from the fruit embedded inside, so I took the idea into my own kitchen and figured out just how they made them. I serve these piled up with all my favorite toppings, all at once: butter, whipped cream, fresh blueberries, and maple syrup.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup yellow cornmeal

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1½ teaspoon baking powder

1¼ cups buttermilk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

¾ cup frozen blueberries, thawed

  • Preheat your waffle iron.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Mix the dry ingredients until well combined.
  • In the center of the dry ingredients, make a small well. Add in the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter. Mix with a whisk until well combined. Then fold the blueberries into the batter.
  • Spray the waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray. Place 1 to 1½ cups of batter onto the iron, and cook until the outer parts are nice and crisp. Repeat until there is no more batter. Serve and enjoy with your favorite toppings.

©2020 by Rosie Mayes. Excerpted from I Heart Soul Food by permission of Sasquatch Books.

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About the Author

Rosie Mayes