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.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Golden Tones

We are seeing a lot of scary centerpieces for the month of October. It might have something to do with Halloween. There is a lot of fun going on in blogland.
My centerpiece this month is a pretty bunch of roses in fall colors. It isn't all about Halloween!

Check out the golden tones!

Don't forget to send in your centerpieces... I'll be posting them next week.

Happy Halloween y'all,

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I've been Boo'd!

I thought Leigh in Bloggeritaville appreciated being the Lucky Winner... Then she went and boo'd me. She's been having a fun costume contest~ check it out! I love getting ideas for dressing up this time of year.

I wanted to post about the shoes that you may have seen the top chef assistants wearing in Palma's kitchen. First, you need to know that Palma posted about the Italian Shoes she bought in Portofino.

As I was standing in the shoe section of the dollar store (now that is a scary thought), I was hit with a brilliant idea. I had to call my sister in London because I was laughing so hard at my flash of creativity. Beware of fabulous hormonal women laughing out loud in the dollar store.

I bought 3 pair of red and white crocish style shoes.

The first attempt with paint didn't quite work. The second trip for 3 more pair of shoes was just as fun. I used both plastic spray paint and craft paint. By the way~ if anyone knows what kind of paint sticks to plastic shoes put it on the internet so that google will know.

The final result was perfect~ for the photos! Jerry, Paul, and I were dressed for work; slicing, dicing, grilling, and dish washing.
The paint began to crack by the end of the evening. Not the solution for long term painting or packing in suitcases.

So Palma, you and Ego may want to look under the bed.

Boo y'all!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Keedy Kind of Breakfast

We met the morning after, for a breakfast at Keedy's. It is a 1950's style diner in the heart of Palm Desert. This is where the locals hang out.
At this local hot spot there are no apologies offered for the tight quarters or Formica topped tables. Keedy's is what it is.
and what it is~ is great!
Lots of laughter and chatter with slow travel friends.
A breakfast of Huevos Rancheros
or an Avocado omelet

With breakfasts like that in Palm Desert... what's next? Maybe a trip to the tatoo shop.

Thanks y'all for the wonderful time.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Party time!

Party time at PalmaBella's!
Everything was perfection~
Beautiful tables~
Italian grilled vegetables~
Finger foods~ Cheeses~ Dolce Italiano~Travel stories~
Friends~ Laughter~ A little Prosecco~ A wonderful evening! We missed y'all!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Day of the GTG

Yesterday was a busy day in the kitchen~ Palma doesn't know how to do a 'light buffet'. At the very least she didn't plan the sit down meal for 50 that we had last year.

Palma treated us to a breakfast reminiscent of the breakfasts at the Baur B&B. Melons with prosciutto, Italian raspberry-almond tart, a bacon and basil frittata. Jerry and Paul had brought scones with a ginger pear butter.
Cooking anything in her kitchen is a delight. Whipping up a frittata on the big gas stove was a cinch.
Breakfast out on the Loggia by the pool~ perfect for a Palm Desert morning.
Now... get to work!
We had entirely to much fun in the kitchen! I had made us some top chef schlepper shoes to match PalmaBella's Italian shoes.

More pictures to follow!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Photo Hunt ~ Scary

The photo hunt for this week is 'scary'.
I don't do scary. I think the last scary movie I saw was 'The Birds'... just the thought of it gives me the heebie-jeebies.
You can imagine what I thought about when I was at the beach.
Don't feed the seagulls!!

What scares y'all?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kitchen Help

I am here in Palm Desert as kitchen help~ but at Casa Palmabella there is a certain amount of hospitality. Even for the help.
Palma has even has painted a room to match my luggage!
Not that we are working all that hard!

The Slow Travel GTG is tonight. This is the beautiful centerpiece from Bristol Farms. I love the fall colors.
I'll have more pictures to come.
Y'all enjoy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Palma Desert~

Travel time again, I am off to Palma Desert~
Actually I am headed to Palm Desert for Palma's 3rd annual Slow Travel GTG. I am soo looking forward to it!
Palma and her slicer/dicer Brad have been cooking for weeks. She is the ultimate party planner and had the perfect home for it. Here are a few pictures from last year's get away.
I'll post when I can, but I may be busy. I am packing my dishwashing gloves... just in case.
Y'all enjoy,

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Orange Raspberry Tort

I needed something to go with my homemade Chocolate-Raspberry ice cream on Sunday. So I came up with this orange tort... It couldn't have been better!

Orange Raspberry Tort
Orange cake mix
1/3 cup oil
1 cup water
2 Tbs cointreau
3 eggs
Mix together all ingredients until smooth. Pour into 2 prepared cake pans (I used 9inch loaf pans)Bake in a preheated oven at 350° for 30-35 minutes. Allow cake to cool. When cooled slice the cake into 1/2-1 inch slices. I do this by running a wooden skewer through the cake then carefully slicing through.
1 cup frozen raspberries
2 cups whipping cream
8oz mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbs cointreau (or OJ)
fresh raspberries
Whip cream into stiff peaks. In another bowl combine mascarpone, sugar, and liquid. Gently fold in the whipped cream.

Layer the cake with cream, scatter the frozen berries (they will melt in), cake-cream-berries, four layers high. Decorate the top with berries. Store in the fridge and slice in layers with a good knife.
I will have to ask Jerry's forgiveness for the box cake mix. Life is to short to sweat the little things. First, store bought icing and now a boxed cake mix... I've gone to the dark side. Bless my heart.

Y'all enjoy!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Scoops of Chocolate

Our challenge for this week of Sunday Slow Scoopers is 'Chocolate'... any chocolate! 'The Perfect Scoop' is full of chocolate ice creams, sorbets, and gelatos. We have had a time choosing the one perfect scoop for the week. Bill wanted the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ice Cream, I wanted to try the Chocolate Raspberry...
Guess who won.
Chocolate-Raspberry Ice Cream
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 Tbs unsweetened dutched cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Whisk together the cream, cocoa, and sugar in a large saucepan. Heat the mixture until it comes to a full boil. Remove from the heat and add the raspberries. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Puree the mixture in a blender. You may press the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Freeze in the ice cream maker.
I like the texture of the berries~ so I didn't dirty the blender and just squished my raspberries. I also skipped the strainer and froze my chocolate, berries and all. It was delish! The picture doesn't show the true color very well. It would be neat to paint a room this color~ raspberry brown.
I served my scoop of ice cream with a orange-raspberry tort. It was the perfect combination of chocolate, orange, and tart raspberries. I will post the recipe for the tort tomorrow.

Y'all enjoy!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Photo Hunt ~ Family

The Photo Hunt this week is 'family'.
And hunt I did!!
I finally decided on these pictures of new life. This is were family begins.From this point, family turns in to your's, mine, and ours~ and extends across countries and ages. Family involves life and death, but is an endless connection to those who have touched your life.
Yet, it all begins with a baby.
Y'all enjoy!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Just in time for Debbie's Creatively Inspired Halloween Party!
Our son was coming home from Jacksonville State for a quick visit (is there any other kind these days?) I had to send him back with a little taste of home.

This is our family favorite Cookie Recipe. It is a fool proof cookie cutter cookie dough. This time I just used a store bought icing. It was quick~ just as yummy!

This will be what I am taking over to Debbie and Vanessa's Halloween Party. I wonder if I'm s'posed to dress up?

Y'all come too!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chauvinist's in the kitchen

I have a collection of old cookbooks. My favorites are the one's written by church groups or the wife's club.
This is one 1970's cookbook that takes the cake.It is broken up into several chapters 'Light Suppers for Heavy Dates' and 'The Morning After' . You get the idea... It is hilarious to read. The recipes aren't bad, and sure to be a 'winner'.
I am going to try this recipe for grilled chicken breasts.

Wine & Spice Charcoal Chicken
3oz Sauterne (white wine)
1 oz burgundy
1 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs Worcestershire
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp each mustard, ginger, rosemary, paprika and pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp tarragon
pinch cayenne
chicken- Breasts are best!
Remove skin from chicken. Put chicken in marinade overnight (or a minimum or 4 hours) Cook over charcoal, turning frequently, for about 1/2 hour. Baste with the remaining marinade.

After a little googling, I have found that you can get your own copy of the Chauvinist Cookbook on Amazon for 17cents. I hope the original male chauvinist has already banked a bundle on this cookbook~ because at that price he is loosing out.
It would be a great gift for National Grouch Day. Do something nice for your grouch today!
Y'all enjoy!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Slow Scoopers~ Sorbet

This week the Sunday Slow Scoopers are scooping a little sorbet, Green Apple Sorbet from 'The Perfect Scoop'. When I saw this I was excited. I envisioned a green apple gelato I had in Rome, bright green in color and tasting like a green apple martini.
I was a little disappointed. It is definitely appley, and very refreshing... but lacks that pretty green color. Next time I am adding a little food coloring! It couldn't be any easier to make, and is so light and refreshing.

Green Apple and Sparkling Cider Sorbet
4 Granny Smith apples
2 cups sparkling apple cider
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp lemon juice (to taste)
Quarter apples and remove seeds, cut into chunks. Combine apple cider, sugar, and water and bring to a boil. Add the apples and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to steep while it returns to room temperature.
Press the liquid and apples through a strainer to extract the pulp and liquid, discard the peels. Add lemon juice to taste (I didn't need any as my apples were really tart). Chill.
Freeze according to your ice cream makers directions.I missed the pretty green color, so used a shell of that crunchy green apple for my serving bowl. I think they turned out pretty!

Y'all enjoy!
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