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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Traveling Tuesdays ~ Let's Go!

How about a mini road trip?
I could sure use a quick little get-away!Unfortunately. . . I only got as far as the car lot.
No fancy new wheels for me ~ This blue mini even has my initials on it !

I hope y'all are headed somewhere fun this Tuesday.
We'll all tag along~

Y'all enjoy the ride~

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Photohunt ~ Hand-Written

The PhotoHunt for this week is 'Hand-Written'. I could use a weekend with a little doodling in the sand.
Happy Hunting y'all,

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Flavors... Brussels Sprouts

If y'all are following along. . . you know that the flavor of the week is Brussels Sprouts.
I bet you didn't know that they are actually called 'brusselS sproutS'. The folks at Piggly Wiggly were impressed with my vegetable knowledge (NOT)
The brussels sprout is a vegetable that can be very bitter. If they are steamed or overcooked, they release a sulfur odor ~ which is why most people don't like them. They also will stink up the kitchen. However, if they are roasted, they loose that bitter flavor and become a toasty treat. I promise y'all ~ this is the only way to enjoy them!I checked the Flavor Bible and decided to improve my normal recipe. I have Capitalized the flavors that are recommended.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta
2 tablespoons OLIVE OIL
2 cups diced PANCETTA
3 cups baby Brussels sprouts
2 cloves GARLIC
Preheat oven to 400°
In a large skillet add olive oil and diced pancetta. Let pancetta render, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and lightly brown. Remove from the heat. In the meantime, slice the Brussels sprouts in half and trim the edges. Toss with thyme, pancetta and olive oil. Roast brussels sprouts at 400° for 40 minutes, until dark and crispy. Add the Parmigiano while they are still warm. Salt generously just before serving.

Join us for the ride on Facebook and our blog Flavors.

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you. I hope you are spending the day with family and friends. We have so many things to be Thankful for ~ the flavors in our lives.
Happy Cooking y'all~

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's a Thanksgiving roundup

This is the first time in 'I don't know how many years' that I am cooking Thanksgiving at our own house.
Seriously... I can't remember doing the whole Thanksgiving in the last 20 years. . . maybe even more than that!
This year I even have my own personal chef to help. It helps to have a son with a Chef coat. Luckily Rob is smoking the turkey. I've got him in a salt/sweet sage brine right now.
We are also in charge of all the fixin's.
Y'all know it is all about digging up those old recipes.
That's when having a blog comes in handy ~
Cornbread Dressing
Cranberry Chutney and Spicy Cranberries
Brussels Sprouts, Creamed Corn, and Collard Greens
Sweet Potatoes and Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie with a little whipped cream to top it off.
I hope I'm not forgetting anything!
Except maybe Alka-Seltzer :-)
Happy Thanksgiving y'all~

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Traveling Tuesdays ~ It's Turkey Time

It is Thanksgiving!
I am usually on a trip . . . or planning a trip to visit family over Thanksgiving.
2 years ago we celebrated this American holiday at St Paul's Cathedral in London.

How cool is that?
It was so Beautiful. We were gathered with other American's . . . singing hymns in that fabulous cathedral.
Then we celebrated with Turkey and all the fixin's.
Then, last year. . . we were singing hymns of a different sort~
In Auburn!
We were singing the War Eagle fight song as Auburn won the Iron Bowl.
I'm afraid that this year we might be listening to the Alabama fight song.
~Woouldn't that make Bill happy?!?
Maybe I SHOULD have planned a trip after all~

Where will y'all be going~

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sweet potatoes ... without the marshmallows

Thanksgiving is just around the corner!
I'm trying a new sweet potato dish this year for Thanksgiving. I think it looks just as good . . . and leaves off that layer of marshmallows
Holiday Sweet Potatos
8 cups diced peeled sweet potato
4 cups 2% low-fat milk
2 1/4 cups diced peeled Rome apple
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Dash of ground nutmeg
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil, and cook 20 minutes or until the sweet potato is very tender. Strain the mixture through a colander into a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup liquid. Discard cinnamon stick.
Place sweet potato mixture, reserved 1/2 cup liquid, maple syrup, ginger, and nutmeg in a food processor, and process until smooth.
I am going to sprinkle with a few pecans.
Y'all enjoy~


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Photohunt ~ Wet

The PhotoHunt for this week is 'Wet'.The day we decided to make our bucket list worthy Abby Road photo it was pouring rain in London . . . but that didn't stop us! Some things you just have to do.
and yes~
That is my son hiding behind the umbrella!
Happy Hunting y'all,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Flavors ~ Cranberries

Y'all have seen that the flavor for this week is Cranberry.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Y'all know that we could easily find a recipe for cranberries.
I was ready to post our favorite cranberry chutney ~ I love it almost as much as the turkey and dressing at Thanksgiving. The whole challenge here is to make something new.
Then I looked at the Flavor Bible . . . Jalapenos? That will kick it up a notch. I likeie! This is a traditional appetizer ~ with a bit of spice and another bit of crunch. The creaminess of the brie is perfect with the bite of the spicy cranberries. I have capitalized all of the flavors that are recomended with cranberries
Baked Brie with Spicy Cranberries
1 (7-8 oz) round Brie
12 ounces fresh cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup white SUGAR
2 teaspoons LEMON JUICE
Zest from lemon and orange
2 JALAPENO PEPPERS, seeded and minced
1/2 cup WHITE WINE
1/2 or more of chopped PISTACHIO nuts
PEARS and GINGER crisps for serving
Combine cranberries and zest with sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add minced peppers (to taste). Simmer until thickened. Add wine and stir well, reduce the liquid. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Place Brie in a baking dish. Cover with cranberry mixture and chopped pistachios. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to over cook the nuts on top. Serve with ginger crisps and slices of pear.

Join us for the ride on Facebook and our blog Flavors.

Happy Cooking y'all~

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Pamper Project

While our new Grandbaby was here, we went into full mode 'pampering'. I don't know who enjoyed it most . . . Mom, Hope, or LuLu!
(I do think that I enjoyed it most of all ~ it's nice to do the pampering once in a while)

We had a little baby shower ~The Pamper Project~ and had a lot of fun with the food and decorations. Y'all just have to see these precious cookies!

I used my favorite Butter Cookie Recipe ~ we have used this one for years and they make perfect cookies everytime! You roll out the dough and use your cookie cutter to make whatever shape you want.
We wanted babies!
So we cut the cookies out into perfect circles. I mixed red and yellow to make a peach color icing for the faces. A round dot for the pacifier (with a little pink candy for the paci handle) A little hair and a couple of eyes. . . can you see it?
Then we took cup cake wrappers and cut a V out. They fit perfectly around the head for a little baby bonnet. We stuck them with a dab of icing. They looked so cute ~
~ and tasted even better!
Y'all enjoy~

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Traveling Tuesdays ~ Italian Fashion

It's time for Traveling Tuesday . . .

I think today I'll take you on a stroll through the streets of Florence. ~ where even the polizia are chic. (in a manly-man kind of way)
Is it any wonder that we were lulled into a delirious state of the Italian fashionista? We all bought our own little piece of Florence . . . from the designer Jennifer Tattanelli.
Here we are in our new leather coats with Jennifer. What a fun day!

and I think of it everytime I put on my coat.
Allorah ~ The experiences you have when you travel.

Y'all enjoy the ride ~

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Novel Food 'Beyond the Pasta'

Simone at Briciole is once again hosting our Novel Food event.
You can see All of my Novel Food Posts since 2007. . . that's a lot of reading (and a lot of eating). I love the idea of posting a recipe from a novel that you have recently read.
I am posting another recipe from my newest favorite Novel 'Beyond the Pasta' by Mark Leslie.

This book is a fun read... especially if you are at all interested in travel, food, or Italy.
That describes me pretty well!
The truth is . . . It was the last minute and I hadn't come up with anything for Novel Food. My copy of Beyond the Pasta was sitting right next to my knitting basket, where I can thumb through my favorite parts of the book. Page 17. Day One of Mark's trip to Italy. He is talking about his arrival to Italy and welcome into the family. This is the primi from Nonna's kitchen.
Frittata con Zucchine e Cipolla
Zucchini and Onion Frittata
2 Tbs olive oil
1 medioum onion minced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup water (divided)
3 medium zucchini
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 eggs beaten
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano
Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic, cook for one minute. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook for 2-3 mintues until the water has evaporated. Add another 1/4 cup water and cook another 2-3 mintues. Stir in the zucchini rounds, salt pepper and the remaining 1/4 cup water. Lower the heat, cover and simmer. Stir occasionally until the zucchini is soft.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs and stir in the Parmigiano. We the zucchinii s soft, remove the cover and cook until the moisture has evaporated. Stir in the beaten eggs, making sure the veggies are evenly distributed. Cook until the frittata starts to set. With a spatula loosen the edges of the frittata and with a quick shake, flip the frittata. Cook the bottom side for another 2-3 mintues.
As Mark says... if flipping the frittata seems daunting, place a dinner plate over the frittata and turn the pan over, inverting the frittata on to the plate. Slide the frittata back into the pan and finish cooking.

Or . . . you can do it the way I do and finish the top under the broiler. I guess I need to spend some time in Nonna's Kitchen to be brave enough to flip a frittata!
Gail and I are in the process of planning our next great escape . . . maybe I should take it 'Beyond the Pasta'.
Ciao y'all~

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Photohunt ~ Two

The PhotoHunt for this week is 'Two'.Easy!
This is the way we keep up with two sisters living on different continents.
Two Clocks.
Happy Hunting y'all,

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Flavors ~ Pork

Y'all can see that the flavor for this week is Pork.
That is wide open!
The Flavor profile for Pork is sweet to savory. Of course in the south ~ we lean towards the Sweet! For this week we could choose everything from Pork Chops to Tenderloin. A Boston But, pork ribs, or a southern Ham. Most of those I see with sweet BBq sauce, pineapple with cherry on top.
The Flavor Bible suggests spice, savory, or sweet (redemption!)
I was at a delimma . . . What to do??
I thought about that southern ham with brown sugar glaze. Then~ I settled in on the back porch with the newest copy of Bon Appetit.
Their Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Loin looked amazing. They must have read the 'Flavor Bible', because the recipe just fit. I changed it up a bit ~ Made it a little easier and more Southern. Sweet potatoes and pecans can always put a little south in your mouth.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Loin with Roasted Apples and Sweet Potatoes
1 cup dried porcini MUSHROOMS
1 cup diced APPLES
2 tsp kosher SALT plus more
1 cup minced ONION
1 Tbs finely minced GARLIC
2 tsp fresh THYME
2 Tbs fresh ROSEMARY
1/2 tsp freshly ground BLACK PEPPER
1 pound ground pork with SAGE
1/2 cup PECANS
2 sweet potatoes
1 pork loin
1 tsp kosher SALT plus more for seasoning
1/2 tsp freshly ground BLACK PEPPER,plus more for seasoning
3 ounces thinly sliced PROSCIUTTO
3 sprigs rosemary
3 Tbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup low-salt chicken stock
Place dried mushrooms soak until very soft, about 30 minutes. Strain mushrooms. Finely chop mushrooms and apples.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook until soft. Add mushrooms and apples; cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld. Stir in garlic, thyme, and rosemary; cook another minute. Add brandy and cook until liquid is absorbed. Add saltad pepper. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool completely. Add ground pork and stir to combine well.
Pork Loin
Season pork with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Spread filling on top of pork loin. Roll pork into a tight cylinder. Wrap one layer of prosciutto around roast. Tie roast securely with kitchen twine in 1" intervals. Tuck rosemary sprigs under twine, spacing apart. Place in a roastg pan with chopped sweet potatoes and any remaining stuffing. DO AHEAD: Pork roast can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before continuing.
Preheat oven to 400°. Roast pork uncovered until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loin registers 140° (it will be cooked medium but still slightly pink), about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let roast rest for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours.
When roast is done, spoon off fat from juices in pan. Place pan on top of stove over medium-high heat. Add chicken stock. Pour in reserved mushroom liquid, leaving any sediment behind, and cook, scraping bottom of pan to release any browned bits, until slightly thickened. Whisk in remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain sauce; slice pork. Serve sauce and sweet potatoes alongside sliced pork.

Join us for the ride on Facebook and our blog Flavors.
Happy Cooking y'all~

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Traveling Tuesdays ~ Let's Go!

It's Tuesday ~ time for a little traveling . . .
How 'bout a little train ride to Haslemere? Haslemere is in Surrey, just about an hour's train ride from the Waterloo station. It is a charming town surrounded by woodlands that are protected by The National Trust.
Best of all . . . Holly has dear friends who live just outside the town. They have a fabulous home on the edge of the National Trust. They have recently redone their kitchen . . . Oh My! I would give anything to cook on that Aga stove.
Consuelo is a wonderful cook. She had also made some Elderflower cordial, from elderflowers she had collected. It was light, sweet and 'floral' . . . what a treat! We enjoyed a lovely day outside ~ enjoying that British sunshine.

Where are y'all travelig this tuesday?

Y'all enjoy the ride~

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Photohunt ~ Light

The PhotoHunt for this week is 'Light'. When we were in London, we made avisit to HamptonCourt ~ home of Henry VIII.
There is no doubt this was a 'royal residence'
Even the lights are topped with a crown!Happy Hunting y'all,

Friday, November 04, 2011

Fr♥day's Favor♥tes ~ Another Happy Couple

I have created another Happy Couple for my ETSY store Gimme Some Sugar. These Cute Wedding Cake Toppers are all custom made and unique to each couple.
This is the beautiful daughter of one of my friends. . . with her special Justin Alexander tea length dress and chic fascinator veil.
The wedding was just last weekend in Montgomery. It was such a perfect wedding. They kept things fun and so unique. She didn't want a fuu-fuu wedding cake ~ and did a tower of strawberry cupcakes instead. The cute cake topper still had a place of honor.
They put it under a glass cloche on the cake table.
And . . . here. . . The Happy Mr & Mrs . . .
That's a friday's favorite for sure !
What is your favorite today?
Y'all enjoy~
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