~In the south and around the world.
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Fresh greens are without a doubt the hardest thing to clean, bits of sand and dirt will cling to the leaves and add a little surprise crunch when they are eaten. One old nurse I worked with said she would wash her greens in the dishwasher- now, I've never tried it, and I'm not sure I would recommend that you do either. Frozen turnips and collards are available, but I love the flavor of fresh turnips.
Southern Turnip Greens
2 pounds fresh leafy greens
1 turnip cut into small chunks
2 oz salt pork (a chunk of ham works too)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Clean the greens well, by dunking into a sink of water... drain, rinse, and do it again until the grit is gone. Break of the thick stem end, chop the leaves in half. Using a large boiler, bring water, pork, salt & sugar to a boil. Pack the greens in and cover. Reduce heat and simmer 1-2 hours until tender. If using fresh turnip root, add the last hour of cooking.
Most people will eat their greens with a little hot sauce, or pepper vinegar for an extra kick. Cornbread is a must...the final in a New Year's trilogy!
Now you have all the necessities for a healthy and prosperous new year! We hope that you spend the day watching some good football, eating a mess of greens and peas, enjoying friends and family, and putting some thought into those new year resolutions.
Happy New Year Y'all!
Saturday, December 30, 2006
This is the very reason that any good southerner wouldn't think of having a new years day without black eyed peas, greens, and cornbread. The black eyed peas are for luck, the greens are for money, and the cornbread is for soppin it all up.
Some people refer to a big pot of black eyed peas as Hoppin' John. JJ gives a pretty good explanation for the term Hoppin' John, and a couple of good recipes for black-eyed peas. We prefer our peas and rice separate. This recipe is one that we have used for years. It will make a mess of peas, plenty to share with family and friends- pass the good luck around.
Black -Eyed Peas
2 cups dried peas
6 cups boiling water
4-5 slices bacon, diced
1 onion, chopped
salt to taste
Place dried peas in a bowl, discard any pebbles or broken beans. Cover with boiling water, let stand for two hours. In a large kettle, saute onion in bacon fat. Pour in 5 cups boiling water. Drain peas and add to the pot, add salt. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Cook 1-2 hours, keeping covered with water. Cook peas until tender.
This recipe is similar to the one in Fannie Flagg's Cookbook. Even Fannie says "I have never missed having black-eyed peas on that day and I have had the best of luck every year."
We may not be rich, or especially lucky... but imagine where we would be if we hadn't been eating our black-eyed peas!
Friday, December 29, 2006
This is the time of year when everyone makes resolutions for the New Year. I am not, by nature, a list maker... Not that I don't have lists of things to do whirling in my head! Bill, on the other hand, is a very structured list maker. He writes everything on yellow legal pads, and has stacks of them. I love that Britt-Arnhild uses her grandmother's ink and pen to make her annual resolutions on special paper. That would make your New Year's resolutions more of a promise to live by.
Writing down your resolutions will make them more sincere. A promise to yourself is the biggest promise of all.
I guess I'll give it some thought...
Monday, December 25, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I am not directly related; an out-law rather than an in-law... but that was close enough to get an invite. In fact I was kind of the special guest.
I wish I'd had my camera to take pictures of the table of treats. Everyone had brought a 'little something' that they had been baking for weeks. Divinity, fudge, peanut brittle, spiced pecans, gingerbread men, pecan tarts, pound cake, coconut cake, and of course a little fruit cake. Real southern cooking!
For table decorations we collected pinecones, magnolia leaves, pine boughs, and a few vines for flocking. The little ones made huge snowflakes. Several days later now I can surely say that those vines were in fact poison something... but the tables looked great.
The kids all had a great time running around the lodge area, riding scooters, throwing footballs, and even some skeet shooting. The adults gathered around the fire in a sugar lull, telling stories... and maybe a few lies. Christmas carols and s'mores around the bon fire late at night.
The highlight of the evening was a visit from Mrs. Claus. She had gifts for all of the children. Old Santa had even collected some coins for the older kids... they will have to travel farther than the Alabama state line to spend them. (Santa travels a lot you know)
This tradition of families getting together year after year is what the holidays are all about. The kids grow older, the faces change, and some are missing... but the fruit cake will always be there!
Y'all enjoy the holidays!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
1 cup butter
Monday, December 11, 2006
The recipe comes from our 'Starting Fresh Cookbook'. We called it Gekie's Butter Cookies, but you can just call them Yummy.
1 cup real butter– that’s 2 sticks
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 tsp vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 400°
Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add beaten eggs and vanilla, and mix till smooth. Sift dry ingredients together then add to butter mixture, stir until smooth.
Roll dough out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters. Bake for 8-12 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. Watch them, they burn quickly, they are best when only lightly browned.
Let cool and decorate with store bought icing for the holidays (any holiday!).
Makes about 3 dozen cookies. Store covered, may be frozen for several weeks.
Some of my best memories are of baking these cookies first with my mom, then watching her teach my kids to make them. The kids would spend all day icing cookies, licking fingers, and eating red hots, their little fingers would be stained green for days. The next morning the cookies would look beautiful. Some where along the way I learned her best kept secret. She would hold back enough cookies to re-ice them. (one day I will have to pass this secret on to my daughter!)
I hope you can find the fun in Christmas and take time to bake cookies with someone.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Our family has always had the tradition of taking a family photo for the Christmas cards. We can't just go to Olan Mills or use the photo that is in the annual church directory. This picture has to be creative, everyone must be smiling and happy, it helps to have a holiday theme... and most importantly it has to be good of Mom! We have done everything from pulling a sled down the beach while dressed in matching Christmas sweatshirts, to setting the self-timer on the camera and running to pose in front of the tree. As the kids get older and have lives of their own, it gets a little more difficult. We have broadened our time frame and now a 'family photo' that is taken any time within the year when we are all together will work.
The annual Christmas letter is another tradition that has been cut way back. I no longer go into details about trips, surgeries, job changes, or weight changes. I don't send them to a list of hundreds. Friends can now check out the blog for day-to-day updates. And...basically I have realized that our lives are just not that exciting.
Decorating for Christmas is another task I face with a crazed love/hate passion. I do love sitting by the fireplace enjoying the lights of the tree. Bill will agree that there is a period of mania that comes when the boxes first come out of the attic...and again in January~ but I refuse to think about that now.
The real Christmas tradition is the making of Christmas cookies. I don't mean the pretty sprinkled sugar cookies, the fun marshmallow fudge, or even the chunky fruit cookies. These are the cookies that are the obsession of a perfectionist desperate housewife.
And this is the weekend!
Y'all stay tuned!
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Have you seen Fannie Flagg's book "A Redbird Christmas"? It is a wonderful story about the magic of christmas, of faith and hope, set in a small southern town. A new copy of the novel 'Fried Green Tomatoes at the WhistleStop Cafe' or the DVD would be fun. Fannie is a wonderful southern storyteller, and a dear friend of our family. The perfect christmas gift.
Our newest cookbook 'Starting Fresh' is a great gift for new cooks, or old cooks looking for some fresh new ideas. I'm partial, of course, but we have tried every recipe in our own kitchen. I happen to know how to get you an autographed copy! If you'd like the more traditional recipe book Mom's 'Original WhistleStop Cookbook' is full of old recipes from the cafe and cooking tips. Fannie's 'WhistleStop Cookbook' has recipes and some great southern stories.
We have some new fun aprons that should be out any day now. We may have to sweet talk the production crew with some homemade brownies. They will have cute southern sayings; 'gimme some sugar', 'the secret's in the sauce'...I'll post a picture as soon as I can.
Check out our website at the WhistleStop link under our favorite links, where most of this is available. Daily Candy is another link with some fun ideas about new products and shopping ideas.
Of course all of this is not any help for me. What do I get for someone who doesn't need a thing, and has his own private stockpile of Z-14 colonge?
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
My little redecorating project was simply to cover up the outdated wallpaper in the kitchen~ a quick HGTV segment that I have seen before. Now, I have taken down my share of wallpaper in the past, and I will just say that I don't have enough fingernails or patience to ever do that again.
My friend 'Tim the toolman' told me that the quick and easy way would be to mix the paint with sheet-rock mud and slap it on over the paper. Two misleading words here would be 'quick' and 'easy'....but I was ready to get 'r done.
Really y'all, it wasn't complicated; just time consuming, back breaking, and exhausting. The paper didn't need to come down, but the walls did need to be scrubbed. I mixed the mud to the perfect color and consistency, taped off everything I didn't want covered in yellow~ and 'we' were ready to go.
There is an art to slapping on mud, with a casual perfection. I think I finally got it as I rounded the last cabinet! I never did develop the quick or the easy style. I managed to cover everything...the floor, the trim, and myself.
I will admit... it looks fabulous! It gives our whole kitchen a Tuscan style. It is much lighter, brighter, and fresh looking.
I am now more convinced than ever that behind the cameras at buy-it-here-and-do-it-yourself-TV there are extra helpers. So much for reality TV. Next you will try to convince me that the Bachelor isn't really in love.
What do y'all think?
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Now I can start to think about those leftovers!
I am going to use some of the leftover turkey to make a yummy pot of Turkey Gumbo. I use the same basic recipe that I have posted before, but will cook down the bones and good stuff for broth, add turkey, and some oysters in the end. The kids are home for a quick visit~ so gumbo and a movie sound just perfect.
I saw a fun recipe on the Food Network for a Cranberry Bruschetta that will make for great snacking while everyone is standing in the kitchen watching me cook…Not that I am complaining~ I wouldn’t have it any other way! (unless someone wants to grab the dish soap and a drying cloth!)
Loaf of French bread
2 gloves garlic
½ cup leftover cranberry sauce
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
Pre heat the oven to 350°
Slice the bread on the diagonal in ¼ inch slices. Rub each slice with a piece of cut garlic, for the garlic flavor. Place on a cookie sheet and lightly toast on one side. On the untoasted side, generously smear cranberries, top with a sprinkling of crumbled blue cheese. Pop in the oven until the cheese is bubbly.
I wonder if I can get any help with the christmas decorations?
Thursday, November 23, 2006
count you blessings as precious, even Aunt Sister- 'My dear'.
May your turkey be tastey, if it's fried, grilled, or roasted;
your buns be light- not burned just toasted.
May your souffle be covered with marshmallow plump,
your gravy be perfect without any lumps.
May the dessert table be covered with cakes and pies,
don't even worry as the calories rise.
After you've eaten, loosen your belt and snore,
Tomorrow starts early...be first at the store!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Pecan pie is our favorite, with a scoop if ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
1 cup white corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1 9” pie crust
Pre-heat oven to 350
Combine syrup, sugar, salt, and butter. Beat the eggs, then add into the sugar mixture. Beat all of the ingredients until fluffy. Place the pecan pieces in the bottom of the un-cooked pie crust. Pour syrup mixture over the nuts, these nuts will rise to the top. Take a handful of pretty pecan halves and arrange them gently on the top of the pie. Use a pie shield or foil to prevent the crust from burning. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I use premade piecrusts.
I have learned to do it the real way, by watching my Mon and Grandmother, and could if I needed to. If you have ever used them though, these new refrigerated pie crusts that are pre-made are so easy. They are ready to put into your own pie plate and bake. They taste almost as good as the ones I have spent time rolling out. In my humble opinion, I don't think the frozen crusts in the tin plates are a substitution under any circumstances.
There... the truth is out. I may be banned from all food blogs, and my cooking advice may be poo-poo'd away. Saving time is just to important these days, for me and I think for a lot of other busy mom's.
As we come to Thanksgiving ~this is one thing we have to be thankful for...Pre-made pie crust!
Y'all forgive me!
Monday, November 20, 2006
Bundles of Beans
4-6 slices of turkey bacon
1 pound fresh green beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs butter,melted
Slice bacon strips lengthwise. Wrap 6-8 green beans in a bundle and secure with a strip of bacon. Place in a baking dish. Mix minced garlic, brown sugar and butter into a measuring cup. Drizzle over the bundles of beans. Bake, uncovered, @ 325 for 20-30 minutes. The bacon will be brown and crispy, beans will still be green and tender.
This dish is another of the fresh and exciting recipes in our newest cookbook 'Starting Fresh'. We wrote this cookbook with our kids in mind~ as they were leaving home and starting their own lives. College, jobs, and new apartments. Now we can look forward to them coming home for the holidays ...a little older, and a maybe little wiser.
Well y'all, I can dream anyway!
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Green Bean Casserole
1 10oz cream of mushroom soup
½ cup milk
1 tsp soy sauce
¼ tsp pepper
4 cups green beans (drain if canned)
1 2oz can French-fried onions
Mix soup and milk in a bowl until well blended. Add soy sauce and pepper. Stir in beans and half of onions, mix well. Pour into a casserole dish. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly; top with remaining onions. Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until onions are golden brown.
Whenever I have a houseful for dinner, whether it is for Thanksgiving or another occasion, I like to get most of the messy cooking out of the way. The dirty dishes can all be washed up and put away, then leave the casseroles warming in the oven. This casserole is a perfect example of a pop-it-in at the last minute dish. It makes life so much easier ~ and I can actually have time to visit friends and family.
Friday, November 17, 2006
This is the day that Auburn and Alabama play in the Iron Bowl. This is the biggest thing in Alabama since we were attacked in the War of Northern Aggression. Everyone, even babies and pets, choose sides.
I moved to Alabama in my teens, without a clue about all of this War Eagle and Roll Tide excitement. My Dad, ‘The Colonel’ , moved us to Auburn to run the Air Force ROTCi the 70's. My freckles soon turned orange and blue- and have been ever since.
Bill is proud to say that he played ball with the great Johnny Musso, he can quote ‘The Bear’ on many subjects, and would not be caught wearing orange for any reason. The whole McMichael clan bleeds red and white.
One year we were even written up in the local paper as a ‘house divided’. Yet year after year we look forward to ( or dread ) this day.
So… today the Tide meets the Tigers. It is about 364 days of bragging rights. It is always a nail biter day, our fate will depend on the wind, and the rain… May the best team win!
War Eagle Y’all!
Thursday, November 16, 2006
1 can whole berry cranberries
1 sm can crushed pineapple
1 can ‘Ocean Spray’ orange relish
1 cup chopped pecans
1 4oz pkg raspberry jello
½ pkg gelatin
1 ½ cups boiling water
Pour boiling water over raspberry jello and gelatin, Stir until dissolved. Stir in other ingredients. Pour into individual molds or into a shallow baking dish. Refrigerate until firm.
To remove from the molds; set in a shallow pan of warm water for just a minute…hold your mouth just like this…and it will slide out easily when turned upside down.
Y’all have fun!
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 pkg fresh cranberries
1 green apple, diced
1 orange, peeled÷d
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup cider vinegar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp allspice
pinch of cloves
In a medium saucepan combine sugar, water, and cranberries. Bring to a boil to make the cranberries ‘pop’. Add remaining ingredients and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes to reduce some of the liquid.
Pour into individual martini glasses or a serving dish. Cover with plastic, placing the plastic directly on top of the fruit. Store in the refrigerator until firm, serve at room temp.
The martini glasses are pretty on the table at each place setting. This can be a part of your decorations. How easy is that?
Monday, November 13, 2006
Sweet Potato Soufflé
3 pounds sweet potatoes
½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
Place sweet potatoes in a saucepan of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook 40 minutes until very soft. When done, drain and rinse potatoes until cool enough to handle. (Potatoes can also be baked in the oven until soft.) Peel and place in a mixing bowl. Add butter, then mash potatoes. Add brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg; blend with a mixer until smooth. Pour into a buttered baking dish and bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover the top with marshmallows. Return to the oven and bake long enough to brown the top.
I will also sprinkle a few pecans on top to add a little crunch. You have to try making sweet potatoes and topping them with our WhistleStop cobbler mix for a crispy crust…talk about some good eatin’!
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Dressing is different from stuffing. Stuffing is what goes in the turkey. Dressing is the southern style casserole that goes along with your turkey. We traditionally make a cornbread dressing; made with crumbled cornbread, eggs, and fresh sage. It is best if it is made a day ahead, even a few days ahead and put it in the freezer.
Southern Cornbread Dressing
1 large pan cornbread
3 cups soft breadcrumbs
½ cup butter
2 onions diced
3 cups celery, diced
½ cup chopped fresh sage (1Tbs dried)
60 oz chicken broth, undiluted
1 Tbs fresh pepper
Crumble cornbread, and mix with breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Saute onions and celery in butter until tender, add sage, and stir one minute more. In the breadcrumb bowl, combine chicken broth, eggs, pepper, and cooled vegetables. (This will be soupy!) Pour into a buttered 13x9 in baking dish. Place in the fridge overnight (may sit for less if needed) Bake @ 375°, uncovered for 30-45 minutes.
To freeze this ahead of time; prepare and bake for 30 minutes. Wrap tightly in foil and freeze. When you are ready to use it, allow to thaw completely. Poke several holes in the top. Combine 1 Tbs melted butter and 1/4 cup water; drizzle over the top to keep the dressing moist. Bake until heated through and browned on top.
Y’all just be Thankful!
Friday, November 10, 2006
The best holiday for eating is without a doubt…Thanksgiving! They even plan football games so that we have time to digest food between trips to the kitchen. It is an all day eating event.
The McMichael’s really know how to put out a spread. Mom and Dad still think they are cooking for all of Irondale. Their home is always open to friends and family. There will be more than plenty for everyone!
For years the WhistleStop cafe was busy in the rush before the holidays making pans of turkey and dressing, sweet potato souffle, greens and all the fixin’s for a homemade dinner. Pecan and pumpkin pies for dessert. In fact just the other day Bill got a call from someone wanting to order dressing for their Thanksgiving dinner… found us in the phone book and called us at home. Now, let me remind you that our family sold the cafe 6 years ago, people are still looking for some of that cornbread dressing. I will be making it this year, but not for 100's of people!
Over the next few weeks I will post some of our best recipes for our traditional southern Thanksgiving feast. This is good southern cooking; If you are on a low carb diet you might go hungry!
Thursday, November 09, 2006
"It’s not just what you have, but what you give away "
It's November and we are heading into the busiest season… shopping, planning, cooking, cleaning. It is easy to forget what all this is about. This time of year is about tradition, family, friends and sharing all of those things.
The holidays are not always easy for everyone; I know how hard it is to be a part of the festivities when your heart is breaking. An empty place at the family table can leave a huge hole.
That is why the words of that song mean so very much. We all have something to give. It may just be a smile, share some time, or a meal. Let’s remember as we are thankful for what we have~ and that we can also be generous with what we give.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Today was a perfect 76'; warm with glorious sunshine. The trees are the brightest crimson, purples, yellows, and orange. We have a few rolling hills around this area, and plenty of country back roads. I had to take a ride in the buglau~ through the falling leaves with the top down, with the smell of burning leaves out in the fields. It doesn't get any better than that!
If you ever get a chance, travel through the state of Alabama. From the foot of the smokies to the sugar white beaches, we have a little of everything. Years ago we had friends that rode their bikes from north of Birmingham to the gulf coast; down hwy 31. That is quite a hike!
I think I would prefer the trip in a convertible!
Y'all Enjoy the Sunshine!
Monday, November 06, 2006
Y'all get out and Vote!
Sunday, November 05, 2006
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup all purpose flour
1# chicken pieces
1# large shrimp, bay scallops, oysters
1# Andouille sausage
32 oz chicken broth
2 bell peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp salt & pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper (more or less)
bunch of green onions chopped
Start the gumbo by making your roux, see the earlier post for hints on that. In the bottom of a large boiling pot, saute onions and peppers in butter. You will want to start adding some broth to the skillet to thin your roux, then pour the it into the pot. Stir like hell. Add chicken broth, stir some more until there are no clumps. Add chicken, sausage, and spices. Stir until well blended. Cover and simmer until the chicken is done. If you use whole chicken pieces take them out to pull the meat off the bone. Add cleaned shrimp and scallops, cooking on medium heat till shrimp are pink (10 minutes) Add the delicate oysters last. Remove from heat. Let stand for 10 minutes. If the gumbo is not as thick as you like it , you can add some file. Serve in a large bowl on top of a scoop of rice, with a garnish of green onions.
Any leftovers? Save the gumbo seperate from the rice- it will keep it from getting all thick and gooey.
A lesson learned...The last time I made gumbo I had to make an emergency phone call; the andouille sausage was Too Hot and my pot would'a set you on fire…I mean inedible! I took the master's advice and added a potato cut into quarters. Boiled it for 15 minutes then threw the potato out. It worked!! The potato had soaked up some of the spice and saved my Gumbo.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Gumbo is not without controversy though! Some people like their gumbo with okra and tomatoes; just as many like their's minus the slime. (Ok, So I am partial) One time we actually had a family gumbo cook off to see who made the best pot. My brother-in-law grew up working on shrimping boats out of the gulf coast and likes the okra and tomato style. I learned Gumboism from a family of Creole Louisiana cooks, I will admit my gumbo is not as good as Master Fredd's...But I'm still trying!
The first step in making a good pot of gumbo is a thick roux base-, which is just browned flour and oil. It is about a 1:1 ratio, "a pinch mo o' dis a pinch mo o' dat." The browning gives the roux its flavor.
The secret to a good roux is using a heavy iron skillet that has been seasoned. Using a small amount of oil, brown the flour. Add oil until the consistency is like cake batter, and the color is coffee brown. A medium dark roux will take about 15 minutes of continuous stirring...and I do mean no stopping...just let the phone ring if your roux is at risk! A good roux has a smokey, nutty flavor and is used as a base in most Cajun cooking.
Try it…it may take more than one try to get it right. If you see black specks it has burned, start again. All you have is oil and flour. But don’t try tasting it…remember-it’s only flour and oil!
If you can’t quite master the roux…there are ‘cheaters’ available. Look in the Southern Foods section. There are powder bases made from several companies, a file powder that can be added in the very end to thicken a watery soup, and there is also a roux in a jar that is really great (if you can find it!).
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Having said that, let me be clear...not all things lend well to substitutions. Baking, like cakes, breads, or delicate soufflés are usually recipes that need to be followed carefully. Kind of like knitting- a sweater better be followed closely, but a scarf can include a little experimentation! I know this to be true, because I have knitted many a short armed sweater.
Feel free to take our recipe suggestions and make them yours. Let me know when you are able to make them better! I love hearing your comments.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
This is an easy recipe for a frozen pie that can be made with left-over candy bars. I have used butterfinger candy bars, but you could easily use just about any kind. Snickers, Reeses, Milky Ways... I think Junior Mints would really be yummy.
5 butterfinger candy bars
8oz cream cheese
8oz tub chocolate whipped cream
graham cracker shell
Freeze candy bars until stiff. Chop into small pieces with a large knife. Mix together cream cheese, and chocolate whipped cream until smooth. When well blended add chopped candy bars- reserve some for topping. Pour into a pre-made pie crust. Sprinkle the top with diced candy pieces. Freeze 1 hour before serving.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
1 Tbs chopped green onions
2 Tbs butter
1 16oz can Pure Pumpkin
1 cup water
1 Tbs brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
2 chicken bullion cubes
2 cups cream (whole milk will make a lighter soup)
Salt &Pepper to taste
Sauté onion until tender. Stir in pumpkin, add water, spices, and bullion. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. Add cream and heat through... do not boil. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of mint.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Halloween is one of those holidays that carries wonderful memories. As the kids have grown and moved away, this day has lost a lot of it's fantasy. I still look forward to seeing all the little goblins come to the door for treats, the older kids lurking in the background planning tricks. We are the house on the block that has good candy- hershey's chocolates, super bubble bubble gum, and those sour things that turn your mouth inside out.
'Back in the day' we used to look forward to caramel apples and popcorn balls. I will hold the tradition of dressing like a witch, and having the kids reach in to my pot of goodies..."He-He-He my dearies!"
Y'all have a gooly time!
Sunday, October 29, 2006
I have learned the most from friends at Slow Travel- a web site that is not only travel related, but a bit of everything, from food to fashion. A site like this shows what a small world we live in, Alabama to Australia, we are all the same. When you get down to the heart of things, we care about family, food, trying new things, and finding comfort in the familiar. We now have a new international counter that can track visitors. It will be fun to watch the flags pop up with friends around the world!
I have also learned some other things in dealing with the Internet...don't search with words like couple or sausage, images will pop up that can make you spew coffee. We really don't want to see our kid's 'My Space'. The html's and url's are really not as intimidating as they seem. (If this entire site disappears tomorrow you will know I goofed!) Words can always be edited, and God invented spell check to make us all feel smarter. I am still wowed by the things I have managed to do...Not uncommon in this quiet house to hear a 'woopie' when something actually works.
I have also learned that there is more to learn...like how to keep pictures from being fuzzy, how to be found by the search thingy's, and how to get Bill to start posting!
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Time to turn those clocks back!
Friday, October 27, 2006
This potato soup is great for a Saturday watching football...especially if Friday night you bake potatoes for dinner. Bake 2 extra potatoes and put them in the fridge for the next day.
Baked Potato Soup
2 large baked potatoes
2 Tbs butter
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, diced
1 can chicken broth
1 1/2 cup milk
salt & ground pepper to taste
4 slices bacon- cooked and crumbled
cheddar cheese, grated
Saute onion, celery, and garlic in butter. Add chicken broth and simmer. Chop baked potatoes into chunks, add to pot. (the potatoes will smish down while cooking) Over low heat, add milk. Simmer 10-15 minutes, careful not to boil and burn the milk.
When serving, top with bacon, cheese, or sour cream~ or a little of each!
When I am baking potatoes I usually rub the outsides with olive oil, and sprinkle with a little kosher salt. We like our soup with the potato skins on. If you would rather you could easily skin them.
Enjoy a pot of steamy soup, and Stay Dry!
Thursday, October 26, 2006
4 chicken bullion cubes
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cans creamed style corn
2 cans whole kernel corn
2 12oz cans evaporated milk
1 12oz pkg frozen shrimp (peeled)
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup water and bullion in a large pot, bring to a boil. Simmer onion, garlic, and peppers until tender. Add 1 cup water, undrained cans of corn, and milk; bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer over low heat 15 minutes or until well heated. Stir in shrimp. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh basil and cracked black pepper when serving.
Serve with a hot pan of cornbread for a complete meal. How easy is that?
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
I have spent a week in New England, from Providence, Rhode Island to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I ate my way across country~ clam chowder in Providence, wellfleet oysters and lobster in Boston, butternut squash soup, pumpkin soup, and more chowder in New Hampshire.
I think this proves that good home cookin’ is not just a southern thing! There is good eatin’ all over this country.
We took a boat ride in the small boston whaler up (down?) the north river- which is on the south shore of Boston. Go Figure! It was beautiful. It is hard to believe that in another month it will all be covered with a layer of snow. To cold for me!!
I would love a recipe for some good pumpkin soup- anyone have one?
Y’all let me hear!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Good home cooking is the same no matter where you are. I love a great pot of chowder-- in fact one of our first stops will have to be Legal Seafood.
There are so many things she is not able to find in the stores. I think it is a hoot that 'southern food' is in the foreign foods section! Grits can be found next to the soy sauce. Mexican, Asian, Southern.
I plan to pack a suitcase with treats from Alabama. The security check point will wonder what-the-heck? I don't dare carry anything on- unlike years ago when I had a small backpack cooler full of cream corn and krispy kreme donuts.
I better start looking for my long-johns! Then I am off to the store for pecans, buffalo rock gingerale, Zatarans shrimp boil, and of course some WhistleStop marinade
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
Who wants to sit at an Auburn or Alabama football game when it is hot enough to fry an egg?
Bye Y'all !