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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Salted Butterfingers

This is one of those Pinterest recipies . . . where I think ~ could that really work??? It first (I think) came from Plain Chicken. Here is my version . . . with a small change in the recipe.
If I'm having sweet . . . I also need salt.

So . . .  why the picture of candy corn?
This recipe starts with leftover candy corn.

Salted Butterfingers
1 lb. candy corn
16oz jar peanut butter
16oz pkg. chocolate candy coating
1-2 Tbs coarse salt
Start with candy corn and peanut butter in a large measuring cup.
Micowave in 30 second increments, stirring each time. It took about 3 minutes to get everything melted and creamy.
Press into an 8x8 pan that is lined with waxed paper.
Allow to cool until firm ( mine was in the fridge overnight and maybe a little to FIRM )
Cut into 1 inch squares.
Melt dark chocolate as directed on the package
Dip candy squared in melted chocolate. Lay on waxed paper to set and sprinkle with a few pieces of coarse salt.
Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
These are boo-licious!
Y'all enjoy,

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy ~ on a Traveling Tuesday

As we are watching the news, the announcement that hurricane Sandy was headed to the NorthEast brought lots of jokes from friends and family . . .

We all know that Sandi loves to travel ~

Hopefully, when Sandy leaves . . . the North River will still be just this beautiful .

We will be headed that way in just a few weeks for ThanksGiving.
Meanwhile, I pray that everyone stays safe and dry.

Y'all enjoy the ride~

Saturday, October 27, 2012

PhotoHunt *Spooky*

The PhotoHunt for this week is Spooky ~
I didn't think that would be so hard . . . but I hunted through years of photos and couldn't find anything spooky.
So I will go back to the basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome.

Skeletons are often used in the 15th century to represent eternal life . . .
This winged skull would spook me

While this is one of the most beautiful churches in Rome, tucked just behing the Pantheon, ~ the lighting could be a little spooky

Especially if they were preaching 'fire and brimstone'
But I think fire and brimstone is more a Southern Baptist kind of thing~

Check for all the other Spooky Photos on The Saturday PhotoHunt
Happy Hunting y'all~

Saturday, October 20, 2012

PhotoHunt ~ Sassy ~

The PhotoHunt for today is 'SaSSy' . . .  and I knew just the thing.
I watched the hummingbirds leave for the season . . . they always come through in a sassy mass the last week in September.  Then they fly south, and we won't see them again until next April.

They will fuss and fight with each other ~

Until one fluffed up hummingbird will win and get to sit on the perch for a sip.
Then in comes another sassy thing ~ I love listening to their little chirps and squeaks.

They are sassy for their size !

Check for all the other Sassy Photos on The Saturday PhotoHunt
Happy Hunting y'all~

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Favorites ~ Holiday Cake topper

This is a special Friday Favorite . . . someone asked if I could do a white ~ reindeer cake topper for their Holiday wedding.
I knew right away . . . that is a piece of cake ~

I think this will look precious on top of their wedding cake ~

You can find all my cake toppers at Gimme Some Sugar on ETSY

What is your favorite today?
I am linking to Frugal Friday at the Shabby Nest.
Y'all join in~

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Punkin Time!

What a difference a year makes in the life of a sweet little punkin !

This time last year . . .  Hope was big enough to fit into a pumpkin ~

This year she is running around the pumpkin patch !

What a cutie ~

She is such a pixie . . . and I'm sure a redhead like her LuLu.
If it ever grows in that is!
Happy Fall y'all~

Saturday, October 13, 2012

PhotoHunt ~ Empty ~

The PhotoHunt for this week is 'empty'.
I loved these empty wine jugs . . .
that were just lying out in the field near Tenuta Santo Pietro .
Just waiting to be refilled ~
I wish I could have stuck one in my carry on.
Check for all the other Empty Photos on The Saturday PhotoHunt
Happy Hunting y'all~

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hope you have a Friday Favorite

I have been a bad blogger this week . . . sometimes life just get's in the way.
So, It's friday and I'm just now posting something ~ I know y'all will understand.
Now . . . just in time for Friday Favorites ~

I am headed to Charlotte for a little LuLu time and to celebrate Hope's birthday.
I can't believe this sweet little thing is one!
That's a Friday's Favorite for sure.
What is your favorite today?

Y'all join in~

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Saturday PhotoHunt ~ Hand

The photohunt for this Saturday is 'Hand'.
It is embarassing how many photos of hands I found . . .
I guess it is the blogger in me ~

I am always taking a picture of my hands doing something.

Obviously, I needed an extra pair of hands for this shot ~
Extra hands when making pasta . . . is always good.

Our hands tell such a story ~

and a beautiful story it is.

Check for all the other Handy Photos on The Saturday PhotoHunt
Happy Hunting y'all~

Friday, October 05, 2012

Friday Favs ~ a Virgin and a Griffin

How is that for a catchy blog title?
Something about a virgin, will always catch your attention
(and provide for some interesting google searches)

I am so excited to share this story with you.
I have a friend who has published her first novel ~ and it is ReALLy GooD.
I couldn't wait to download it  ~ and spent the weekend wrapped up in a story about 15th century Italy.
I wanted to do a bloggy post, and sent Sandra some questions. She does such great job of describing the art and people of 15th century Perugia, so I asked about that . . .

"I first visited Perugia in June 2007 and I fell in love with the city on my first day there. Of course, the city got a grip on my heart within that first day . It has some wonderful art (and almost every work I described in my novel is still there to be seen and enjoyed.) I loved the medieval atmosphere, the architecture, the churches, and, of course, the fantastic food and wine"

The novel leads us through the relationship of a priest and his students, both of whom work in their family's business. I wondered how Sandra came to write a novel about a textile maker  . . .

"I had begun to collect beautiful, hand-woven table runners from Perugia. These were produced by a young woman named Marta Cucchia, who is struggling very hard to keep her family's workshop in Perugia alive, while also preserving something of the Umbrian craft of weaving."
"From a beautiful table runner . . .the idea for a novel began to unfold: the story of a young weaver in Perugia, during the time of the Renaissance, who yearns to do something special just once in her life. She wants to create, with her loom, a work of great beauty. To leave her mark in the world"
"The first piece I bought from Marta was a beautiful table runner covered with scarlet griffins and the Latin motto: 'Per ardua ad astra' which translates roughly as: 'Only through adversity do we reach the stars.'
This quote is in the novel ~ I loved it then, and appreciate it even more now.
I was fascinated by the strong female characters in the book ~ Sandra is a strong woman on her own, but I asked her about that . . .
"I've drawn these women from real life. Most of my friends are very strong, determined women, who support each other in so many ways.  I firmly believe that women's friendships are crucial to our well-being, for so many reasons, and I wanted to bring that out"
"And, of course, my friend Letizia Mattiacci (who is from Perugia) is an inspiration. She is a very proud, determined Italian woman, who is running a wonderful bed-and-breakfast in the hills above Assisi"

The book is available on-line through for your kindle or e-reader. Download it today for a cozy weekend of reading . . . or share it with your bookclub.

Then come back and let me know how you loved it ~
You can also follow mi amici Sandra's life in Rome on her blog Leaping Without A Net .
I'm looking forward to sharing a glass of wine with her in May and discussing her next novel.
It'll be your Friday favorite to~
Y'all join in~

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Cooking Light ~ Mushrooms

Our Virtual Cooking Light Supper Club is foraging for mushrooms this time of year. I foraged until I found a  recipe right HERE on Cooking Light . . . then I was off to the store.
My mom always warned me about eating wild mushrooms~

This looked tastey with chroizo sausage and corn . . . and they were!

  Creamy Corn and Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms
6 ounces Mexican chorizo sausage
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (11-ounce) can extrasweet whole-kernel corn, drained
2 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
Remaining ingredients:
2 (1-ounce) slices white bread (I used gluten free)
24 stuffer mushroom caps (or large mushrooms with stems removed)
Preheat oven to 400°.
To prepare stuffing, remove casings from chorizo. Cook chorizo, onion, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat for 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain chorizo mixture; pat dry with paper towels. Combine chorizo mixture and corn in a bowl. Combine cream cheese and sour cream in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add cheese mixture and salt to chorizo mixture. Place white bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until fine crumbs measure 1 cup. Fill each mushroom cap with about 3/4 teaspoon breadcrumbs.
Stuff each with 2 teaspoons corn mixture; top with remaining breadcrumbs.
Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Coat each mushroom with cooking spray.
Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until tops are browned.
As I said . . . I used a gluten free bread to make this recipe better.
The only think I would suggest is to use tiny 'one bite' mushrooms rather than the pretty large button mushrooms.  Each bite was a little juicy ~ one bite would have been neater.
They make a great appetizer ~ or could be a main dish!


Now . . . let's see what everyone else has brought for our mushroom feast.
Jerry has used his special Italian Truffle oil to make a mushroom salad with truffle oil
Val is making Cabernet Balsamic Burgers with sauteed mushrooms and onions 
Giz is making a wild Mushroom Omlet ~ I wonder where she got her wild mushrooms??
We really enjoy our Cooking Light virtual Supper Club . . . if you want to join us, just give a shout!

Y'all enjoy ~

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Who's Traveling now?

It is always fun when Mark Leslie of Beyond The Pasta fame comes to Birmingham to do a cooking class at Birmingham Bake and Cook.
Susan's shop is a great place for all your cooking needs and an occasional cooking class.   
Anyway ~ it is fun to see Mark and share our Italian travel stories.
We were learning to make risotto ~
Y'all know that risotto is one of my favorite 'go-to' dishes. I am always up for learning something new.
Mark showed us some of Nonna's tips, about making a traditional risotto.
He also made some arancini. "Little Oranges"
These are little balls of saffron risotto with bits of mozzarella and ragu in the middle.
Little cheesey mouthfuls of Italy!

What a fun evening!
I know that Mark is back in town tonight for more classes . . . if you aren't busy give Susan a call!

Y'all enjoy the ride~
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