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.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Turkey Soup Time!

I went out of town the morning after Thanksgiving to make a quick visit to Charlotte (pictures to follow). Luckily I knew about my Slow Soupers Soup one week early. It was Jerry's turn to select his favorite soup, and picked a soup that can be made with leftover turkey. I used my leftovers a week earlier.

This is just right for this Sunday's Super Soup! If you are tired of turkey sandwiches... this is your recipe.

Mexican Turkey Soup
1-1/2 cups fresh corn niblets (frozen will work but thaw first)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions, white and light-green parts only; reserve dark-green ends to garnish
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp finely chopped, canned chipotle peppers
4 cups chicken stock (or if you have time, try making your own turkey stock)
3/4 cups shredded, cooked turkey
1 ripe avocado
2 limes
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp finely chopped, fresh cilantro
In a large pot, dry-roast corn over high heat until lightly charred. Set aside in a small bowl. Repeat process with tomatoes. Using same pot, saute onion, garlic and chipotle peppers in vegetable oil over medium heat. Add turkey and stock and bring almost to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Roughly chop tomatoes and add (with juices) to pot along with corn. Season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, mash avocado with a fork. Mix in juice from 1/2 of one lime and mayonnaise. Stir in chopped cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Serve soup topped with avocado cream, finely chopped dark-green onions and a wedge of lime.
My avocado was a little firm so I didn't make the avocado cream; instead served ours with sliced avocados and a sprig of cilantro. This is perfect for a turkey twist.
Y'all enjoy!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Photo Hunt ~ Metal

The photo hunt this week is 'metal'.
Only in California would you grow crops of metal.As I drove from Orange County to Palm Desert, I passed by the windmill farms. They actually provide electrical power to the desert. The pictures don't do it justice.. I was amazed.

Have y'all seen anything like this?


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No time to blog~

I'm working hard in the kitchen on this Thanksgiving Eve.
The last of the cornbread is in the oven for the southern cornbread dressing. I'm using sourdough cornbread this year, I am hoping it doesn't make the dressing to sweet. You know family~ they will let me know!

After the oven is emptied the pies go in. I may sneak in a bourbon pecan pie this year and of course a pumpkin pie... As I'm searching my own blog for the pumpkin pie recipe, I realize that I have never posted it. Now I am going to have to dig through my recipe box to find it, goshdarnit.

Pumpkin Pie
1 can pure pumpkin
1/4 cup cream
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs flour
1/2 tsp each salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
1/2 tsp lemon & vanilla extract
1/2 tsp melted butter.
Pre-heat oven to 425°

Mix pumpkin, cream, and eggs until smooth, add spices and blend. Mix in extracts. Pour into an unbaked pie shell and bake for 10 minutes. Then lower heat to 350° and bake for another 40-45 minutes. Use a pie crust shield to keep the crust from burning. (sorry for the picture of the pecan pie with a shield~ I'm sposed to be baking not blogging!)
I will sometimes use our WhistleStop Apple Crisp on the top... but tomorrow, I think I will leave it off. I have cinnamon ice cream or a little whipped cream (from Costco) to go along with the pies.
No one is going hungry!!
Y'all enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Planning ahead...

I am already planning ahead... are you wondering what to do with some of that leftover turkey? Do you have a green tomato lying around from that last pick of the tomato plants?

I saw this on food network and thought that I needed to give this a try.

Grilled turkey and green tomato sandwich
4 slices sourdough bread
left over turkey
4 pieces of bacon
1 green tomato
3oz goat cheese
3oz mayonnaise
1 Tbs sage
Mince the sage and combine with the mayo and goat cheese, set aside. Toast the sourdough bread. Spread the sage infused mayo on each slice. Layer turkey, bacon, green tomato slices and lettuce.
Bobbie Flay's picture looked much better than mine~ could it be the team of photographers lighting and styling the sandwich? I was lucky to snap a picture before the first bite.
Bill pronounced it a winner!

Y'all enjoy!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Slow Soupers~

Every Sunday we have baked and scooped and now we will be starting with the Sunday Slow Soupers. We will be making soup every Sunday throughout the winter. The fun thing about this group of adventurous Slow Travelers is that we are spread all over the world, our goal is to offer up your favorite soup. There will be a variety for sure.
This first soup is from Amy at Destination Anywhere. She has decided on a soup made with Italian porcini mushrooms and roasted chestnuts. Skip the Pig, I knew had to head to 'Whole Funds' with this little shopping list.

Porcini and Chestnut Soup
1/3 cup dried porcinis
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 medium carrot, diced
1 celery, diced
¼ small onion, finely chopped
1 sprig each of bay leaf, thyme and parsley
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chestnuts
Fresh-ground pepper
2 Tbs white wine

Combine porcini mushrooms and the hot water in medium bowl. Let stand until porcini mushrooms soften, about 20 minutes. In a large saucepan melt butter and add carrots, celery, and shallots or onions. Saute until tender. Add herbs and chicken broth. Using slotted spoon, transfer porcini mushrooms into saucepan with chicken broth. Add porcini-soaking liquid to saucepan, carefully leaving sediment behind in bowl . Add chestnuts and a few grinds of pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove herbs before pureeing.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth, then return soup to saucepan. You may want to add a bit more water or stock if it’s too thick. You want a light soup, with the consistency of milk. Add wine to taste. Bring soup to simmer, correct seasonings adding salt and pepper, to taste. Cool slightly and refrigerate.

Can be prepared 2 days ahead or frozen. Re-warm over medium heat, stirring well to recombine if its separated.

This is a yummy mushroom soup. It is very woodsy from the porcini, with a hint of chestnuts. We each had a taste and I decided to freeze the rest. It will be perfect for a sauce with ravioli. I know some are going to serve their soup as an 'opener' at Thanksgiving. We don't really have openers and closers... it is an all day chow fest.

Chow Y'all,


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Photo Hunt ~ Reflection

The photo hunt this week is 'Reflection'There is no better place for photos of reflections than in Venice.
This is actually my son's photo...but it is saved in MY computer. Besides, I paid for the trip!
Y'all enjoy!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Plans for the weekend

I've got my shopping list ready~ how 'bout y'all?
karo syrup
cream cheese
heavy cream
diet coke
See y'all at the Piggly Wiggly~

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Easy as Pie

I needed something warm to go with my Rum Raisin Ice Cream. How about a warm apple galette? If you've never made it before, a galette is kind of like an apple pie~ without the pie plate. I have talked about my bad habit of cheatin' in the kitchen. That little tip makes this 'easy as pie'.

I have some Macadamia Nut Liqueur that a friend brought me back from Hawaii. I'll use that in place of the rum~ bet it will be just as yummy.

Apple Galette
5 tart apples, sliced
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup rum
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs butter
1 egg
Crust for a 9 inch pie

Soak the raisins in the liqueur (or in rum). Slice the apples and cover with brown sugar. Melt the butter in a skillet and cook the apples and sugar until thickened. Drain the alcohol off the raisins and add them to the apples. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Roll out the pie crust into a circle (or use a pre-made crust). Spoon the apples into the center of the dough. Fold up the edges of the crust around the apples. Brush with the beaten egg. Bake in a 375° oven for 10-12 minutes.
These can also easily be made into individual servings with smaller rounds of dough. With a scoop of it is the perfect dessert.
Y'all enjoy,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Turkey Breasts galore

At the Mc's house, Thanksgiving turkey is usually a deep fried turkey. I posted last year on how we fry our turkey. It really does make the moistest (is that the word?) turkey! That will be the bird for the big day.

I've been wanting to try out this recipe for a stuffed turkey breast, so I thought I would do it in time for y'all to use the recipe. Turkey 2 weeks in a row won't hurt! This is adapted from a recipe I saw on the food network (I think). I used a combination of figs, apricots and cranberries; you could use a combination of whatever you like.

Stuffed Turkey Breast
boneless turkey breast
2 cups dried figs, apricots, and cranberries
1 small onion, diced
3 pieces of bacon, cubed
2 Tbs fresh sage
2 Tbs Italian parsley
2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
Fresh ground pepper
Pre heat oven to 350°

Chop the dried fruit, onion, and herbs. Saute in olive oil with bacon until tender. Open the turkey breast and fill the center with the fruit mix. Wrap and bake the turkey until it reaches the temp of 165°. Meanwhile, in the skillet, add the red wine and de-glaze the pan with any bits of fig, bacon, and herbs. Add the turkey drippings to the pan and cook down to a thickened glaze.
I served this with some Roasted Rosemary Potatoes and Creamed Spinach. It was very moist, and the fruit added a light cranberry dressing. Since it is just us, I'll leave off the Pecan Pie. That will have to wait till next week.
Y'all enjoy!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bake and Cook Co.

There is a new kid in town! Compared to Williams and Sonoma, and some of the up scale cooking shops this is definitely a sweet baby. Birmingham Bake and Cook Company is a small and intimate cooking shop for all of your kitchen needs.

Susan Green saw the need for a specialty shop in the Birmingham area, and has opened just that thing. She has taken her experience in the kitchen and in the restaurant business and turned it into a fabulous shop. You can find any grater, zester, whisker or knick-knack you might be looking for. She also carries a beautiful selection of cookware and knives~ Santa is getting my list!
The Bake and Cook Company is a fun place to shop, or just browse. I love the idea of having a locally owned shop to provide a little service with some great items for gifts or for yourself. Stop in for a cup of coffee and a chat.
Susan is offering cooking lessons and other fun events. I will let you know if we have any WhistleStop classes coming-up. She has planned an open house November 21st and 22nd. Click on the website for details.
Y'all check it out!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Raisin Rum Scoops

Thank goodness we are coming to the end of the Sunday Slow Scoopers! My elastic waisted pants are ready for a break. On my sidebar I have listed all of the scoops we've tried. Not a bad one in the bunch!

Our next Slow Travel cooking adventures will be in Soups~ doesn't that sound like the perfect way to get through a cold and dreary winter? We will post a new soup recipe every Sunday. We will be known as the Sunday Slow Soupers!

Meanwhile, back at the freezer~ the ice cream of the week is Rum Raisin Ice Cream. The raisins are plumped with rum, or maybe you could say the rum is plumped with raisins. Either way it is yummy!

Rum Raisin Ice Cream
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup dark rum
1 inch strip of orange zest
3/4 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
4 egg yolks

Heat the raisins, rum and zest, simmer for 2 minutes then remove from the heat. Allow to sit for several hours. Warm the milk sugar and half the cream. Slowly incorporate the yolks into the heated milk. Stir over medium heat until the custard thickens. Pour through a strainer into the other half of the cream in a iced bowl. Allow to cool. When ready to freeze the ice cream pour the raisins through a strainer, using the rum. You should have a total of 3 Tbs of rum... if not, add more. During the last minute of freezing add the rum soaked raisins.
I served my rum raisin ice cream with an apple galette~ I'll post that recipe tomorrow.

Y'all enjoy,

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Photo Hunt ~ Ruined

The Photo Hunt search this week is 'ruined'

In the south you might say ruin't~ meaning spoiled rotten.
This couldn't be any more perfect.

Y'all enjoy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Have you seen what's going on?
Oprah is having a Clean Up Your Messy House Tour! They are going door to door in these cute little bugs. Oprah said that she wants a car just my Bugalu. How~Bout~That!!!
"While the rest of the world is going crazy, you can control your environment."
I am going to stop cleaning today, in the hopes that Nate and Peter may show up on my front door step in one of those darling clutter bugs.

There are several good ideas available through to get you started. My favorite... for those clutter collectors who cant let go of children's drawings or photos... for the next 48 hours only you can order a book from Snapfish for FREE! Click Here to get the information on your Free snapfish book.

You can also save 20% at the Container Store. Click Here find out how to organize and save money at the same time.

"De-cluttering your space, helps to de-clutter your life."

That sounds like a plan to me. Now, if Nate would just come a knocking.
Y'all check it out!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

We honor those who have given their time, their energy, their lives.
Freedom isn't free.
Thanks y'all,

Monday, November 10, 2008

More Sourdough~

I tried out my Kudzu on some sourdough biscuits. The first batch was a little heavy and bland. I added some whole wheat flour and more baking powder in the second batch and they were much, much better.

This is the recipe I used, adapted from an old sourdough cookbook I picked up at the thrift store.
Whole Wheat Sourdough Biscuits
1 cup sourdough starter~ feed your starter the night before and let stand overnight
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup milk
Pre heat oven to 375°

Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add in milk and sourdough starter. The dough should be smooth. Knead onto a floured surface. Set aside and allow dough to rise. Press out to 1 inch thick and cut with a biscuit cutter. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden.

I am finding that using any recipe straight up is hard because my starter is very thin... not at all thick and bubbly like the starter I used to have. (This is a potato flake and sugar feeder). My 'kudzu' does work well, I just have to balance the liquids to find the right consistency. I haven't managed a loaf of bread yet. I'd love to get my hands on a thick sponge.

Y'all have any ideas?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Scoops of Creamy Coconut

David Lebovitz is a very funny guy. His blog Living the sweet life in Paris is always cute. In 'The Perfect Scoop' he writes a witty story before each recipe (I love that in a cookbook) His story to introduce the Toasted Coconut Ice Cream was about being black balled by the Good Humor man. No wonder he grew to write his own cookbook.

The best part of this recipe, is that you can have creamy coconut ice cream whenever you want. Making ice cream is not as intimidating as it was several months ago!
Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
big pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split
5 egg yolks
1 tsp rum
Toast the unsweetened coconut at 350° for 5-8 minutes
Warm the milk, 1 cup cream, sugar and salt. Add the coconut and the vanilla bean. Allow to sit for 1 hour to infuse the flavors.
Rewarm the coconut infused milk, strain out the coconut and vanilla bean then discard. Slowly incorporate the yolks into the warmed milk, cooking the custard until thickened. Pour the custard through a strainer into an iced bowl of cream. Mix in the rum. Chill the mixture then freeze in your ice cream freezer.

I served my creamy coconut ice cream over a grilled slice of pineapple. That makes a easy dessert~ that is oh so yummy.

Y'all enjoy!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Photo Hunt~ Together

What do you get when you put these together? An ooey, gooey, bite of sunshine.

Y'all enjoy your weekend!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Sourdough Pancakes

Kudzu the sourdough starter has been growing in the fridge. After about 2 weeks I decided it was time to give it a try. My first attempt was the easiest of all... sourdough pancakes.

They turned out perfect. Just the right amount of sweet and sour, light and fluffy.

Sourdough Pancakes
2 cups starter
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs olive oil

Feed the starter the night before with kudzu food. Allow it to sit on the counter over night. The next day, take out 2 cups of starter and make the pancake batter. Feed the kudzu again before returning it to the fridge so it will be ready to go again.

Y'all enjoy,

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Good news?

Leigh at Bloggeritaville has made my day.
She has listed my cookbook Starting Fresh as one of her 'Great gifts to Give' for Christmas. She recently won hers, along with an apron in our Bloggerverary giveaway.
Of course, I think it is a great cookbook... but it is always nice to hear someone else say it. I wrote this cookbook as our kids were going off to college and starting their own homes. It is a good cook book for beginner cooks or for those looking for simple good home cooked recipes. We also included some words of advice that we collected from friends across the country.

Today~ some of those words of advice may be worth repeating.

Choose your friends carefully; they can lift you up , but they can also drag you down.

and one of Fannie Flagg's~
"Some time's the cleverest thing to say is nothing at all."

Thanks Leigh for the good news of the day.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Finally~ the day is here.
The day that we can put an end to the endless political adds, to the automated phone calls at 8am on Saturday, to the glory days of the media.

Today we get to vote!
Depending on which TV channel you are tuned to, the results are already in... before the polls are open. Our son drove home from college, just to mark his ballot (and get a little home cooking)

If OUR candidate doesn't win... I reserve the right to complain loudly for the next 4 years. Y'all get out and vote.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Centerpiece of the month~ October

There have been some great centerpieces in the month of October. Some are decorating for Halloween, some for fall, some just for the fun of it.

At Mabel'sHouse there is a festive pumpkin centerpiece.

Scooterblu'sWhimsy is showing off some whimsical glittered acorns... these would look great on a Thanksgiving table.

The decorations at TrayBella were only for Halloween (I hope!)

JustaBeachKat sent in this beautiful arrangement on her dining room table. (sorry for the small size!)

PalmaBella'sPassions had enough beautiful centerpieces to fill an entire blog. I've restrained myself to two photos. Check out her blog for all the photos of the party.

Kimberly doesn't have a blog~ but want to join in the party. Here is her entry for the month of October.
Y'all enjoy!
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