Sandi is blogging from the WhistleStop Cafe kitchen. It's all about good home cooking; food, family and fun. Thousands of posts . . .

~In the south and around the world.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


This was voted a favorite picture for 2007 at
Check and see what else is tops!
A presto y'all,

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Love Affair

I am a new mom~ of sorts.
Last month I adopted a new blogger. The idea was for old bloggers to share with new bloggers. Pam at Sidewalk Shoes is my 'baby'. The only thing is... her blog is fantastic, and she needs to be teaching me. Her photography is bright and clear. I have lessons to learn from her!
Anyway, Pam pointed me in the direction of a Love Affair going on in blogland right here in time for Valentine's Day. Well Seasoned Cook is hosting a Legume Love Affair. Here is my heart happy entry.

Tuscan Bean Soup
1 cup dried cannellini
1/2 head savoy cabbage, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 red onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tbs olive oil
fresh rosemary, basil, and oregano
1 bay leaf
2 large cans diced tomatoes
chicken broth as desired
Soak the beans overnight, drain water and rinse. In a large pot brown onions, celery, garlic in olive oil. Add cabbage, leeks, and carrots and cook until soft. Add herbs and tomatoes. Cover and cook over low heat, Thin with chicken broth like you like it. Simmer over several hours to blend flavors.
Traditionally this bean soup will simmer on the stove and carry over from one meal to another. Serve with crusty bread. Any left over bread can be stirred in to thicken the soup the next day.
That is how it is called Ribollita~ reboiled soup

Now some may argue with the idea of mixing legumes with love... For those (and you know who you are)keep the beano on hand.
Buon appetito y'all!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Red Hot!

We have some new aprons at the WhistleStop Country Store. The ones we had been selling are great quality aprons... but not very girlie. They are still available of course!I have talked Bill into trying some girlie aprons. Aren't they precious?
They remind me of vintage aprons like Big Momma used to wear~ with a little spice.

Wouldn't these make the perfect Valentines gift?

Some have 'Give me some sugar' on the pocket. Another has red hot hearts all over.

Check them out at A Pinch of Dis and a Pinch of Dat our little country store.
E-mail us with your order.
You know y'all want one.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Centerpiece of the Month~ January

As I was taking pictures of the snow, this is what I saw. It looks like the perfect Centerpiece of the Month! So this will be my entry~ This is a real center-piece!
Now I have a question for the rest of you...
What do y'all think about the voting for the best Centerpiece of the Month? I didn't mean it to be any major to-do. It is s'posed to be fun. We had a bit of a snaffoo last month when I posted 2 photos for one person. My fault. I didn't even think about that! We have tried to send a little sumpin'sumpin to the winner... nothing big.
So... Do you think we aught to vote for a winner? or Just post them for fun?
I have a few for the January round-up~ I'll post them at the end of the month.
Y'all send yours in,

Sunday, January 20, 2008

It Snow'd!

Here in Alabama we don't get much snow. When James Spann says the word SNOW, the city mobilizes. Everyone rushes out to the Piggley Wiggley to stock up on bread and milk. I have never understood this... we are much more chips and salsa survivors. The city trucks load up with sand, and schools are canceled in preparation. Then we wait~~~ unfortunately the last big snow fall we had was in 1993.
Yesterday, we had about an inch of the white, fluffy- mostly wet stuff. We were quick to get out the camera!

Old Frosty wouldn't have lasted till dinner. There was enough for a good snow ball fight.

I dragged the old sled out of the attic... somehow that round disc has gotten smaller over the years.
It was fun while it lasted!

Now, What do y'all do with all that leftover bread and milk?

Friday, January 18, 2008

PalmaBella's Chipollini Onions

This is one of my favorite 'new' recipes. We have had them for special family dinners, and yummy meals with pork chops. These are PalmaBella's chipollini onions.

I had a little trouble finding chipollini's till I knew what I was looking for. They are smaller and sweeter than regular onions. You'll find them in a small bag, 3 bags will serve about 6.

Chipollini Onions
3 pounds chipolline onions
1 cup chicken broth
3 Tbs butter
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 Tbs sugar
1/4 cup cognac
1 cup dried apricots
toasted chestnuts, chopped
In a large pan bring water to a boil. Blanch the onions to make them easier to peel. Trim the ends and peel the skins off of the onions.
In a deep skillet, combine broth with butter, vinegar, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Add the onions. Cover and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes. Uncover and cook over medium heat until the onions are covered with a deep golden caramel, stirring occasionally. The liquid will evaporate and you can add a teaspoon if needed to keep it from burning. Cook for another 30 minutes.
Add cognac, apricots, and nuts and heat through. Pour onions into a serving dish, add enough water to rinse the remaining caramel out and pour on top.
That is yummy y'all!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Spell It Out...

Have you noticed the '2008' that has been at the top of our blog? I put it on there to announce the New Year. I'm bored with it now... so I will change it out.

It is a program called spell it with flickr. Its a fun way to use numbers or letters. Pretty cool!
Y'all give it a try...

Bead Letter S A letter n D I

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Got Grits?

Over the holidays I was smart and put up a grits casserole for a weekend just like this.We were to lazy to do much of anything, except enjoy our time off. Even without much work we had a yummy breakfast.
Baked Garlic Cheese Grits
6 cups chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups regular grits
3 rolls cheese spread with garlic
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup butter
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 350°
In a large pan bring broth, salt, and pepper to a boil. Stir in the grits, and whisk until completely combined. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the grits are thick, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic cheese and milk. Gradually add the eggs and butter, stirring until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into a sprayed casserole dish- or 2 smaller ones. Bake for 30 minutes. At this point you can freeze for a later day, or sprinkle with cheese and bake another 15-20 minutes. Serve either as a side dish or for a filling breakfast.
Y'all could just save it for company coming or a rainy day.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Slave to Fashion

Have you been shopping for jeans lately?
They just don't make them like they used to!
Did y'all have a pair?

Oh Well~ it was a hoot! You may be able to find it if you google 'Mom's Jeans'.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

All I need is a little TIME

Now that things are quieting down~ Maybe I will have a chance to finish this...
Hopefully I will have a new sweater before summer arrives in Alabama!

First let me go check out my blogging friends...

what are y'all up to?


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Warm Your Tummy

Even though we may be wanting to soak in the sunshine at the beach~ the truth is it is January, and it is cold! We love soup in the wintertime. It will warm your tummies.
This is a thick and filling potato soup... one of our favorites. Corn Potato Chowder
5-6 small potatoes
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole corn
1/2 onion, diced
3 stalks celery diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 Tbs butter
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
Brown celery, onion, and garlic in butter. Add chicken broth. Clean potatoes and peel them or not- your preference. Dice potatoes into small chunks, place in the pot and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender. Using a potato smasher, break up potatoes, leaving some chunks. Add corn. Cook uncovered to reduce broth, cook until thick. Lower heat and add milk. Salt and pepper to taste.
We top it with grated cheddar cheese and a side of cornbread.

Y'all enjoy!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

A Taste of Sunshine

Are y'all ready for something very un-holidayish?
This is a recipe that was in Southern Living last summer. We changed it up a bit, and it was yummy! Perfect for a taste of sunshine.

Beach Shrimp
3# large shrimp
1/2 bottle Italian Dressing
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 Tbs ground pepper
2 cloves garlic
2 lemons
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup butter
Dice garlic and chop parsley. Place first 5 ingredients in a 9x13 baking dish, tossing to coat. Squeeze juice from lemons over the shrimp and stir. Add lemon halves to pan, sprinkle with parsley, dot with butter. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes. Stirring once.
Serve with crusty french bread to sop up juices.

It's almost like being at the beach.
Y'all enjoy,


Friday, January 04, 2008

Centerpiece of the Month ~December

December was an exciting month for the Centerpiece of the Month. Everyone was decorating for the holidays, and we got some fun ideas.

It only takes a minute to send in a link. We are so glad these friends did.

For some reason red tulips are perfect for Christmas... I think it is pure extravagance. Jelly Pizza sent in a beautiful arrangement with special holiday lighting.

Janelle at Talk of Tomatoes started the Centerpiece of the Month, and sent in a colorful candy cane arrangement. This centerpiece probably didn't last long!

Rhoda created this beautiful centerpiece using gold balls and strings of pearls. with natural greenery on a silver tray. She is the essence of Southern Hospitality. This picture doesn't do justice~ so pop over and see her whole dining room.

Bunny's Bungalow is where DebraK had these 2 beautiful centerpieces. The soup tureen was dressed up for the holidays in the dining room. In the kitchen sat a rooster, with a holiday surprise. So Perfect!

Meeta at the Daily Tiffin puts a lot of thought and talent into her centerpieces. I look forward to hers every month. This Christmas she started with a grapevine wreath and worked in colors of brown and beige with a splash of color.

Wouldn't you agree that it works!

Sandi who is Rangus Pug's Mom sent in a photo of this centerpiece. It was a special bouquet that was made for her sister-n-law by their favorite florist. The whole table setting is festive!
We had fun last month voting on a winner. So once again, leave a comment and the winner will get a little sumpin' sumpin' in the mail. I think I know who my choice would be!
It's time to send in your centerpiece for January... what's on your table now?
Y'all vote for a winner.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Promises for 2008

The new year is upon us. This is a time to reflect on accomplishments in the last year, and set goals for the upcoming year. I am still determined not to make resolutions, but a to do list for the year.

It is very hard to come up with a new fresh list for this year, but I am worth it. 10 things that I promise myself to do in 2008.

* Give Yoga a try
* Start cranking the pasta machine
* Learn Italian
* Have a glass of wine in front of a Tuscan sunset
* Eat shrimp and grits in Savannah
* Increase my flavanoids in one hershey's kiss a day
* Ride in a Hot Air Ballon
* Get that new cookbook finished
* Always have a bag when the donation truck comes through the neighborhood.
* Turn 50 gracefully

It is an aggressive list; one that may require a little travel, some determination, and of course sacrifice. But I'm worth it!

Our hope for 2008 is that it will be a year full of promise, good health, and good friends.
Happy New Year y'all!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It's 2008!

I am sitting here watching the Rose Bowl Parade. That is the only way to spend New Years Day. My kitchen is smelling yummy already this morning. No hard work today!

If you have ever made pepper jelly, you will love this. This is an easy way to get the same flavors~ without all the work.

Sweet Heat Jalapenos

64 oz can sliced jalapenos
5 pounds sugar
Drain off jalapenos, pour into a large plastic bowl with a lid. Cover with the whole bag of sugar. Let sit for 3 days, stir each night. Store in the refrigerator in small jars.

Now you aren't sure what to do with them? Pour some peppers over a square of cream cheese and serve with crackers. Spread a few jalapenos on a sandwich for a sweet bite.

Maybe y'all could dice up a handful of peppers for a chow-chow for your New Year's black eyed peas For Luck or your greens For Money. That's exactly what we are planning to do.

Happy New Year y'all!


Related Posts with Thumbnails