Monday, December 31, 2012

Black-Eyed Peas for New Years Day

Bowl of black eyed peas

If you’re one of those people who makes black-eyed peas on New Years Day, I have a wonderful recipe for you.  My neighbor, the one with the fantastic German Potato Salad recipe, makes this every year, and it’s a fabulous dish!

2 cans black-eyed peas, I drain and rinse for a more subtle flavor
2 cans italian stewed tomatoes 
1 lb. sweet italian sausage, with casing removed 
1 large onion 
2 tablespoons of italian seasoning 
1 teaspoon of oregano, if desired

Brown onion and sausage, drain, crumble and dump all in a crockpot, simmer on high for 3-4 hours, meanwhile cook a cup or so of pasta, any small pasta will work and stir it in at the end.  
This is so good, and so easy….

Enjoy and Happy New Year

My day so far...

I was going to lunch with a girlfriend, I was!

Hubby and I were going to Angelo's, our favorite Italian restaurant for dinner tonight and then to a movie, we were!

Instead, I woke up this morning with a Tri-State Boomer of a headache and legs aching, due to the latest front coming in.  So much for girl's lunch out.  And rain/sleet/freezing rain is forecasted for this afternoon, so much for going to Angelo's, I had to cancel our reservation.  And there was el zilcho that I wanted to see at the movie anyway, I was all excited to see Quartet with Maggie Smith, but they've backed the opening until January 13th.

We had to rethink our New Years eve, which meant eating in and cooking, so we had to go to the grocery store, so despite the fact that I felt like el crappola, we trudged out in the weather this morning, hubby maneuvering me thru the ice patches on the driveway to get to the car.  The SUV has to sit out because Tootie is in the garage, heaven forbid Tootie sits out in the weather, and the golf cart is in the garage, as well,  no room for two cars.

Photo 2

 And, in an attempt to make me feel better, LC did take me to the Donut Bank for a maple pecan roll and a cup of the best coffee in Heavensville.  

Photo 3

The Donut Bank was packed this morning, and it's always interesting to people watch.  I sipped my coffee, ate my yummy roll while sitting at a window table watching the flag blow in the wind, the snow swirling around, and for awhile, life was good.  But, alas, it was a temporary fix, the sugar rush was gone by the time we got to the grocery store, where the entire population of Heavensville had congregated.  By the time we had waded through the aisles and checked out, my Tri-State Boomer, which was bad before, was now attacking me with a vengeance.

Now I'm home, not leaving either.  I ingested massive amounts of caffeine and Excedrin in order to soothe my aching body and throbbing head, which will no doubt result in the jitters.  But we do have a nice dinner planned, Country Club Chicken, which my friend Barb made recently and loved, a green salad, baby peas and a loaf of french bread to bake.  And dessert?  What we didn't get for Christmas, because we had to leave Ryan's early due to the weather, a comfort dessert we both love, homemade, warm banana pudding.

And that's my day so far.

Hope yours is going better than mine. 

~ Whiney Jan

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Emma and her Mustang, Cinnamon

This is the most adorable video I’ve seen in a long time.  Little Emma is absolutely precious, and the horse is so gentle with her. 

I snagged it from FaceBook and had to reduce the size so that it would fit on my main stage, so the quality isn’t the best, but I couldn’t find a copy of it on YouTube.  Emma is SO sweet, she reminds me so much of our Abby at that age….

How about a giggle today..


With the Holidays upon us I would like to share a personal experience with my friends about drinking and driving.

As you may know some of us have been known to have brushes with the authorities from time to time on the way home after a "social session" out with friends.

Well, two days ago I was out for an evening with friends and had several cocktails followed by some rather nice red wine.

Feeling jolly I still had the sense to know that I may be slightly over the limit.
That's when I did something that I've never done before - I took a taxi home.

Sure enough on the way home there was a police road block, but since it was a taxi they waved it past. I arrived home safely without incident.
This was a real surprise as I had never driven a taxi before; I don't know where I got it and now that it's in my garage I don't know what to do with it.
Happy New Year.......

Friday, December 28, 2012

Auntie Em's Oatmeal Cookies, the BEST!!!!!!!


Now, I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  They've always been my favorite, and I've tried many recipes over the years, searching for the "perfect" cookie.  Is this it?  Well, maybe it's not perfect, but it's pretty darned close, these are the best I've ever made.  I've had the recipe for Auntie Em's Oatmeal Cookies on Jan CAN cook for a couple of years, but I never had wheat germ to make them, and I was a little skeptical, after all, wheat germ is "healthy." ;o)

So yesterday, hubby was at the store, and I had him pick me up a package of wheat germ, and I made a batch of these cookies.  I made them exactly like the recipe said, with cinnamon and golden raisins, and scooping out 1/4 cup measured amounts on my Silopat Baking Sheet.  I only put six on a sheet as they spread, you will want to leave quite a bit of room between cookies.   I took them out of the oven, they looked good, they tasted great, but cold oatmeal cookies are the true test.  I don't like them hard and flat, I want them to be chewy, yet crisp, and these were all of the above.  They aren't puffy and cake like, they are a crisp oatmeal cookie around the edge with a perfect chewy center.

So, if you're an afficiado like moi when it comes to oatmeal cookies, don't take my word for it, buy yourself some wheat germ and golden raisins and bake them for yourself.

The only thing I did differently was bake them for 18 minutes, 14 minutes wasn't enough in my oven.  It makes  a huge amount, my dough is in the fridge, waiting to bake when we want them, I'll probably put some on a cookie sheet pop them in the freezer to firm and then bag them in the freezer for later use.

Four stars on this one, ladies.  Here's the quick link.






Boar's Head Chipolte Chicken Breast


If you haven't tried this, you're in for a treat!  The guys picked this up at the Kroger Deli over Christmas. I requested mesquite chicken breast, they came home with Boar's Head Chipolte Chicken instead, and the wow factor was off the charts.  Okay, so that's a bit much, but it was absolutely yummy!

This morning I opened a Hungry Girl Newsletter, seems like I'm not the only fan, it was her #2 pick of best new foods for 2012.  Oh, did I mention that 2 ounces of this deliciousness is only 60 calories.

Boar's Head rocks, a little pricey, but a whole pound of this is cheaper than a couple of burgers and fries at Mickey D's, and a lot healthier for you.

You can email and thank me after you've tried this. ;o)

~ Jan

Note:  Here's what Hungry Girl had to say about it...

Boar's Head Chipotle Chicken Breast

2 oz.: 60 calories, 1g fat, 420mg sodium, 1g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 13g protein -- PointsPlus® value 2*

NEWSFLASH! If you skip the supermarket deli counter and head right to the prepackaged meats, you're missing out, BIGTIME. Exhibit A: this zesty seasoned chicken!!! Boar's Head reliably makes some of the best sliced meats around, and this is a recent favorite. So delicious and truly unique... Basic turkey slices are jealous. Pick some up, and devour it. It'll likely become a staple in your lives, as it has in ours!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Baby, it’s cold outside!!!!!

We came home Christmas afternoon from Lexington, as there were blizzard warnings for Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. We had eleven inches here in Heavensville, it’s pretty, but I’m ready for it to melt now.  The kids were adorable, Abby was so excited opening her presents, it was a wonderful Christmas, hope yours was, too…






Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hot fudge from the Dairy Queen


When the boys were little we would buy gallon tins of hot fudge from the Dairy Queen. It was a family favorite, especially for Grandma, who would eat spoons of it straight from the tin, she would also put in her coffee, she was positive gleeful when she found it in our fridge.

So, we decided to surprise the family with hot fudge from the DQ, but it no longer comes in a tin, now you buy it in a large plastic pouch.

It was a huge hit and brought back wonderful memories, the guys are in the kitchen now dishing up Hot Fudge Sundaes and Amish Sugar Cookies...


Friday, December 21, 2012

The Magic of Belle Island

This is a little gem of a movie that I watched on Netflix last night.  Morgan Freeman is as smooth as slow running molasses, his co-star, Virginia Madsen’s acting was a bit stilted, but  little nine year old Emma Fuhmann stole the show.

It was such a good storyline, and worth your time just to watch Morgan Freeman.  If you’re a Netflix subscriber, put this one in your queue.  It’s really good…

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Carols, Kids Gospel Quartet


This is so funny, the little black kid is hilarious!!!!  Just what we need tonight, a smile!

Maggie Moo aka...

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I was just checking Pioneer Woman's blog and she had just posted an entry about her dog Charlie's nicknames.  And since I'm such a Pioneer Woman groupie, and short on time this morning, Dorothy's  going to follow down the yellow brick road and do the same with Maggie.

The first picture is baby Maggie at four months, the second is one of my favorites of her all wrapped up in my hoodie, just look at that face!!!!

And now for her nicknames, because like Ree, I seldom call her by her real name, why do that when there are so many choices.  And her real name?  Margaret MooLatte, aka Maggie Moo, however, she also goes by...

* Maggin Waggin'
* Horse Feathers
* Punky Brewster 
* Snookums
* Shake 'n Bake
* Punkin Pot
* Majjin Wajjin* 
* Maga-Mooooooo, Dog of my Dreams 

And my favorite of all, "Little Dog Child"

That's a lot of names to give such a small dog. 

That is all...


It won't be long now...

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Parfum and old women...


There is nothing in this world worse than heavy, sweet overpowering cologne, even worse when it's on an old women.  

I was in line today behind this lady that had on the most obnoxious, heaviest, cloying perfume ,  the smell was so overpowering it was nauseating.  It took me back to when I was a little girl and mother always wore Tabu, the most gawdawful perfume known to (wo)man.  I remember getting so car sick, especially in the winter when she would have the heater on full blast, that horrid  Tabu would just permeate the entire interior of the car and I would turn positively green!

Why do you always notice all of these heavy scents on old(er) women?  Is it because they've worn the same fragrance for years and years and haven't changed with the time?  All of the old perfume houses still sell the fragrances that were popular back in the day, but times have changed, perfumes have gotten lighter, they aren't overpowering like in the old days.  

Thank goodness for daughters-in-law who buy me trendy scents.  But even if they didn't, I wouldn't wear the heavy stuff.  Okay, one exception, I've always loved Chanel No. 5, but I haven't worn it in years, I wonder if I would even still like it.

I remember in the 90's, I was such a fan of Giorgio and Red, then came the new millennium and I transitioned to Calvin Klein and Clinique Happy.  And these days I'm enjoying Marc Jacobs, Daisy, a fragrance that Lindsay bought me last year.

So if you're stuck in a time warp with your fragrance, maybe it's time to rethink it, the person behind you in line will be so grateful.  


Our little “Elf on a Shelf”



I thought you might enjoy a smile this morning, Lindsay dubbed this picture, our very own “Elf on a Shelf”

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

All I want for Christmas is Seinfeld…


This one of my favorite pictures of baby Abby.  This little horse goes to bed with her every night, he’s ragged and worn now, he’s been her best friend for three years now,  and his name is Seinfeld.  When Abby is asked what she wants for Christmas this year, she says, “I want a new Seinfeld that is bright and sparkly.”

And so the search began, Seinfeld is actually a Carter’s Just One Year Plush Pony Horse with a Pink Saddle, and he’s been discontinued.  But I found one on eBay for the “bargain” price of $39, and of course her Daddy ordered it right away, he was just happy to find one.   I asked her what else she wanted Santa to bring her and she said, “That’s all I want, Grammie, Seinfield is enough for me.”

Oh, sweet little Granddaughter, are you ever in for an awakening on Christmas morning.  I can’t wait for her to open her presents, she is going to be so excited, but I suspect that her “bright and sparkly” Seinfeld will be her favorite gift of all.

Christmas through a child’s eyes, it’s pure magic…

Note:  I should add that Abby is not actually staring at the horse, she’s staring at the television in this picture, and guess what she’s watching?  Seinfield, thus the name.  Just wanted to clear that up.  Winking smile

I Think You Might Like It, Olivia Newton John & John Travolta

No, I don’t actually like it, that’s the name of the video.  They reunited to make this video for charity, which is always a good thing, but as for the video itself, ummmmm, lets just say that you can’t really go home again.  His goatee and spray painted looking hair just aren’t cutting it.  She was always a pretty lady, still is.  Guess I’m jut not much of a Travolta fan in light of all the gay bath house allegations that have surfaced this past year.  I do like the car, however, it’s the original version of my  Tootie…

Always a critic, Jan, always a critic, but don’t take my word for it, give it a watch and see what you think.  The reviews have not been kind….

Older Women, has our time passed?


Oh, I hope not, but I have to wonder. 

Martha Stewart is seventy-one years old now, network television cancelled her show a few years ago, then she went to Hallmark, which was a huge deal, she had several hours of programming daily, but they cancelled her, as well.  Even Oprah, who a few years ago could do no wrong, has lost her luster now that she's fifty-eight years old.  Obviously, television audiences aren't interested in senior women and the ratings just aren't there to support them.  Never mind that older women in all walks of life have so much knowledge, it's sad that it isn't always recognized,  there is so much that could be contributed.  

One of my favorite celebrities, Cristina Ferrare is back on the Hallmark Channel, co-hosting Home & Family.  She's still beautiful at sixty-two, and has so much to offer, I hope that Hallmark realizes what a jewel the woman is and takes good care of her. 

I'm in my  sixties, and I'm fascinated with women in their eighties and nineties.  They are a wealth of information, they're witty and fun, and I respect their knowledge and their ability to live in the moment, I learn so much from them.  But perhaps it took age and wisdom of my own for me to appreciate them.   I don't see the years on their faces and bodies,  I look past that that and see what's inside.

Oh, older women could make this world a better place, given the chance, but of course that isn't going to be, so we just observe, and understand, far more than we sometimes are given credit for.

Just some provoking thoughts for you this sunny Tuesday afternoon.  

Monday, December 17, 2012

The best Christmas dinner…


I’ve made beef tenderloin with mushroom wine sauce for years.  Ryan is making it for Christmas this year, he couldn’t find his recipe, I found it and posted it on Jan CAN Cook, so we’ll always have it.

If you’re looking for something really special, this is it ladies.  You don’t have to use a whole beef tenderloin, you can marinade steaks and bake them in this sauce.

Here’s the quick link for you.  You won’t go wrong with this, it’s wonderful.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Last Minute Christmas Presents…


If we weren’t limiting our gifts this year, my daughters-in-law would so be getting earrings from Stella & Dot.  But, sadly, I’m already over my limit, so I have to pass on this idea, but perhaps some of you are still scrambling for girl gift ideas.

They’re on eBay for great prices – here’s a link to the earring section

And here’s a link to their overall selections

And if you’re old(er) like Moi, you may not be familiar with Stella & Dot.  It’s a very trendy line of jewelry, lots of celebrities wear their line, they have really pretty things, really pretty things…

Darn those spending  limits anyway  Annoyed  Maybe next year, girls  Winking smile

Jan’s Little Makeup Tip…


I love, love, love, Revlon ColorStay Makeup for Combination/Oily Skin.  My daughter-in-law, Deanna, introduced it to me a few years ago, it doesn’t wear off, you don’t get a shiny forehead, the price is right, it’s such a good deal.  You have to be careful when you buy it, though, because some of them now say 24 Hour on the top of the lid.  That’s not the right one, the one we like looks just like this picture.

So anyway, I’m putting on my makeup, realizing, once again, that I had forgotten to buy  my  (Fresh Beige) base, my bottle is empty, I’m pounding it against the palm of my hand, and of course, nothing is coming out!

It’s just one of those mornings, but then I had a Christmas Miracle.  My brain actually engaged!!!  Quick, before I forgot what the miracle was, I grabbed my blow dryer, aimed that sucker at the the bottom of the bottle still upside in my palm and blasted it!  Sure enough, it started to drip, drip, drip, the last traces of the elusive liquid puddled in my palm.

I was estatatic!  Why had I never thought of this before?  And WHY didn’t I pick up a new bottle while I was out this afternoon. Why????????

Friday, December 14, 2012

There are times in our life when there is little joy…


This is one of those days, I simply cannot bear to watch any more television footage of the horrible crime this man committed, killing those innocent little children.  My friend, Mary, posted the following to her Facebook wall.  Well said, my friend…

“I realize that folks of a certain age lament the loss of a more innocent time and feel the world is going to rack and ruin. So it has been for generations---I now feel that this is so. The horror seen in Connecticut today is but one example of the ruin of our society. For those families who kissed their children goodbye this morning not realizing they were kissing their innocence goodbye, profound evil found you this day. I'm so heartbroken for all of you. Thinking of my own grandchildren and being thankful they are safe. May Peace find you in time and may the perpetrators of this horrific crime burn in hell!!!”

Jan's in the kitchen...

Well, actually not yet, but I will be soon.  It's that time of year, making family favorites, sharing recipes with friends, and that's just what I did with all of you today.  I posted an awesome old fashioned Gingerbread Cake recipe on Jan CAN Cook.

Hope you all enjoy!  I'll be back later, I'm going to the kitchen now...

I know, I know, you want the quick link.  Here it is, now go bake some memories!!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


The woman is a treasure, oh is this a fun thing I have to share with all of you today.  I was messing around on the computer one night a few weeks ago, looking for ah-hem, “older women” videos, and I stumbled upon Tammy and I instantly could relate to the things she was talking about.

Now Miss Tammy, as she calls herself, is a wild and crazy girl.  She’s in her early fifties,  a lovely woman who shares skincare, makeup tips, hair, diet, snippets of her life on her 225+ YouTube videos.  She used to be a cosmetologist and makeup artist, and she shares wonderful tips, especially with her eye makeup.  Plus she uses MAC cosmetics, which are near and dear to most of our hearts, oh you will learn such good things watching her eye videos.

The woman is addictive.  When I first started watching  I didn’t quite get her, but the more I watched the more I liked.  She’s so real, thinks nothing of doing her videos sans makeup, she shares great information, has had no plastic surgery, and often talks in a wacky accent.  She’s just a good time gal, that crazy Miss Tammy.  And the woman is beautiful, inside and out.

So, here’s one of her videos, subscribe to her YouTube Channel, then when you’re bored and have nothing to do, watch a few of her videos and see if you, too, don’t become addicted.  She has a lovely home, a great dog, Bindi, her husband Lou, who is never seen, but whom she is adores, she’s just so much fun.  Pinky swear she is, and you know I always share the good stuff.

Enjoy… ~ Jan

Here’s a list of all of her videos…

Give the lady a chance, watch a few of her videos and see if you don’t get hooked. She’s just a breath of fresh air, I always look forward to her newest posts.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars…


Wouldn’t you love a recipe for Starbucks Amazing Cranberry Bliss Bars.  Seriously, who doesn’t love these?  And who wouldn’t want to make their own at a fraction of the cost???

My daughter-in-law, Lindsay, introduced the real thing to me a few years ago, and it took no time at all to find a copycat recipe online.  They are so, SO good, if you are a fan, do your friends and family a favor and make these!

Here’s the link, enjoy….   ~ jan

Monday, December 10, 2012

Susan Branch’s Christmas Coffee Cake

I’m a huge fan of Susan Branch, she’s such a creative, talented woman, everything she does, illustrations, cooking, gardening, is always so charming.  I follow her on Twitter, and saw a link this morning to her Christmas Coffee Cake, which I put in the sidebar, but then thought you might miss it, and it looks so good, you need to see this!

Cranberries, apples, what’s not to love – here’s the link  ~ Enjoy…

Friday, December 7, 2012

No Knead Bread, it’s so easy and SO good!


Isn’t this a great looking loaf of bread?  I made it earlier this week when Ryan was here.  Instructions on how to make it are on Jan CAN Cook, how to videos, too.  Try this, you will be amazed!

It’s all about food today on the Daily Dish… Smile with tongue out

Praline French Toast with Orange Sauce


This is so good, if you want a new brunch recipe for the holidays, look no further, this one is “da bomb!”  My friend, Barb, gave this to me years ago, it was from a Holly Clegg cookbook.  I made it, and like so many things, it went poof in the night.  I had my Clabber girls over for our weekly card game, and I wanted to make breakfast.  So I called Barb, she gave me the recipe again, mine went poof, remember, and I made it. 

It was so good, I posted it for all of you on Jan CAN Cook.  Don’t let this one get away, ladies, it’s  a keeper.  You can all thank me later.  ~ jan

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Giggle with the Goats, Jingle Bells Holiday Performance…


There is nothing any sweeter than baby animals.  This video is guaranteed to make you smile.  So cute!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Oh joy, another sign of growing old(er)


I have ridges on my fingernails, it’s been a problem for awhile now, but they seem to be getting worse, so I Googled it.

I always thought it was hereditary because Daddy had ridges on his nails, but oh no, it couldn’t be that simple.  It seems that your fingernails get ridges because they are wrinkled.

WHAT???? WRINKLED FINGERNAILS??? There is just no hope, we just DO . NOT . GET . A . BREAK about ANYTHING when we get old(er).

Now I have to worry about wrinkles on my fingernails, too.  Oh, just gimme a gun!!!!!

Geezy Pete, what am I going to learn about next.  I think I just need to give up Google, really I do!!!!!!!

And did you read in my Twitter feed about Dave Brubeck dying while on his way to his cardiologist appointment?  (And yes, I know there is a typo, I was posting from my phone and my fingers weren’t cooperating).  But, talk about bad luck!  Well, he was 92, but still…

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ina Garten’s Pearl Earrings…



I’m thinking I need a pair of big pearl post earrings like Ina wears.  I’ve always loved pearl studs, but mine just seem to get lost on my face anymore.  Maybe I need to kick up a notch and wear larger ones like she does, do you think?

I am such a fan, this woman is truly a great cook.   I just don’t trust a skinny cook, and every recipe I’ve made from The Barefoot Contessa has been awesome.  Just look at that sweet wholesome face, and those freckles, she’s transitioning into her later years like a champ!  I just checked Wikipedia, the woman will be sixty-five years old on February 2nd, I think she looks mahvelous, dahling.  She’s always so happy, probably because she eats so well…

That is all…

Note:  Here’s a great interview with her, if you’re a fan as well…

Monday, December 3, 2012

I think I’ve wrapped too many presents in my lifetime…


The thrill is gone, hubby rescued me again this year by wrapping all the Christmas presents, then  it was my job to decorate. 

Ryan is coming tomorrow, we decided to send the gifts back with him, since we’re going to their house for Christmas, so today was the day to decorate the packages.  I put it off as long as I possibly could, we bought gifts early this year, hubby wrapped days ago, I stalled decorating them until noon, took a deep breath, put on a taped Hallmark movie and went to work.

How did it go?  Not so good.  I never quite got in the mood, there was a mountain of them to decorate, and dear hubby once again bailed me out by decorating the last pile. 

Our family is growing, and we had such a good time buying gifts for the grandkids, the last count was fifty plus, and we still have more coming in the mail this week. So it was quite an ordeal, trying to wrap and decorate all those packages, but we did make a decision.

Next year, we’re taking all the gifts unwrapped, with a stack of tissue paper and gift bags, we’re plopping the gifts in the bag, sticking in the tissue paper, and voila, wrapped presents.  No more criscrossing and curling that ribbon, no more pinecones, jingle bells, bows, and various sparkly things  attached to the packages, we’re finished with that!

I remember back in the day I loved the whole idea of wrapping gifts.  I would make my own tags, use all kinds of special trimming, so what happened to me???  Age, that’s what happened.  Maybe I’ll get the thrill back again when we just have to stuff the gifts in the bags.

Adapt and move forward, that’s what I have to do…

And a HUGE thanks to LC for doing the majority of this, he definitely has hero status this evening.  I just get overwhelmed in my old(er) age and all of the mess just drives me wild. 

So now I’m going to go make that man something good for dinner, thank goodness, I still enjoy cooking!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Don’t you love lazy Sundays…

It’s a gloomy, winter day.  Well, kind of, it’s 63 degrees outside, but I’m just ignoring the temperature.  I’m listening to my favorite Sirius Escape (channel 69) station, a pork roast is simmering in the slow cooker, the house smells of herbs and garlic, and I’m doing absolutely, positively, nothing.

I have been reading some really good books lately.  The Ladies Room is absolutely hilarious, if you want an afternoon of laughter, this is a great read.  It was so good, I read it in one day, just couldn’t put it down…

Secrets told in the church ladies' room are supposed to stay in the ladies' room. But that doesn't mean that what Trudy overhears there during her great-aunt Gertrude's funeral won't change the rest of her life.

Trudy has a daughter in the middle of a major rebellion; a two-timing husband who has been cheating for their entire married life; and a mother with Alzheimer's residing in the local nursing home. She doesn't really need a crumbling old house about to fall into nothing but a pile of memories and broken knickknacks.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

How about a giggle tonight...

Old Navy Christmas Family Vacation Commercial

I so snagged this video from my daughter-in-law Deanna, and her Harris Sister’s blog.  Donna put up a great post, including *ouch* pricey Hallmark Christmas Vacation Ornaments.  It’s a fun read.  Here’s the link…

Cast Iron Skillets, what’s old is new again…


I’ve been reading lately about the resurgence in cast iron. The sales have increased dramatically, and I like to think it has to do in part with my beloved Pioneer Woman, who uses it weekly on her FoodTV show.  So, it seems that mom grandma really did know best.  Of course I was raised with mother using cast iron daily, and I veered away from it, as a young bride, it just wasn’t cool to cook with cast iron.

When the boys were young, hubby and I used to go to auctions that had new Sears merchandise closeouts and he bought me a set of orange Le Creuset cookware for next to nothing.  Of course I was clueless as to how expensive it really was, I bought it at an auction after all.  I used it for years, finally giving it to mother and replacing it with Magnalite and Calphalon.  Then when we moved to the condo ten years ago, I decided I needed stainless steel, and Ryan scooped up the Magnalite.

The boys have used cast iron for years now, as well.  John never uses soap on his, he just uses water to clean it and it never sticks.  He makes the most amazing green beans with bacon and onions in his, something about the iron just gives it an indescribable flavor.  Ryan has Mother’s favorite iron skillet, it was the one thing of hers that he really wanted.  And yours truly, I’m loving it again as well.  I always kept a small orange Le Creuset iron skillet from all those years ago, I’ve used it all these years, it’s my “go to” when I make cornbread.

You just can’t beat cast iron, and Lodge makes a really good line of preseasoned cookware.  It’s inexpensive, it gives food a wonderful flavor,  it’s simple, basic, and it performs so well.  Amazing that it took me forty years to figure out that mother really did know best.

And I have a Jan’s helpful hint for you.  If this post has you thinking about cast iron, and perhaps you have an old piece stuck away in the attic that was Grandma’s, and it’s really icky but you can’t part with it, well it’s a no brainer to bring it back to life.  You just put it in your self-cleaning oven, turn it on, and like magic, the heat from cleaning the oven will bake off every piece of crud, grease, and ickiness that’s on the skillet.  Then you just coat it with oil, stick it in the oven for a couple of hours and you have a better than new reseasoned piece of cast iron.

It’s  a good thing, pinkie swear it is.  ~ jan

Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Gift Ideas

When we were in Franklin, Tn. last weekend  we shopped the delightful downtown stores.  Franklin is a wonderful little town, just chocked full of the quaintest boutiques,  and of course, they have great displays of things that you might not see in other stores.

Being the foodie that I am, I was naturally drawn to the cookbooks, so I took lots of pictures with my iPhone, and now I’m going to share my finds.  All available on Amazon, of course, I hope you enjoy, and maybe you will find something that you would like to give as a gift or keep for yourself. Winking smile  There are naturally lots of Southern cookbooks, included, I’m awfully prejudiced, but I do think southern food is the BEST!

"Southern cooking is the Mother Cuisine of America." -Nathalie Dupree

Through more than 600 recipes and hundreds of step-by-step photographs, Dupree and Graubart make it easy to learn the techniques for creating the South's fabulous cuisine. From basics such as cleaning vegetables and scrubbing a country ham, to show-off skills like making a soufflé and turning out the perfect biscuit-all are explained and pictured with clarity and plenty of stories that entertain. Traditional Southern recipes and ingredients are also given modern twists to make them relevant for today's healthy lifestyle.

With more than 750 recipes and 650 variations, making a perfect piecrust, a heavenly biscuit, mouthwatering vegetables, or crispy fried chicken is attainable for any home cook. The recipes and directions are easily accessible to kitchen novices as well as seasoned cooks-there is plenty here for everyone.

Nathalie Dupree is the author of twelve cookbooks, including two James Beard Award winners: Nathalie Dupree's Southern Memories and Nathalie Dupree's Comfortable Entertaining. Her latest books include Shrimp and Grits and Southern Biscuits. She has hosted more than 300 television shows and specials that have shown nationally on PBS, The Learning Channel, and The Food Network. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

Cynthia Stevens Graubart is an author and former television producer whose culinary television production career includes Nathalie Dupree's New Southern Cooking. Cynthia is also the co-author of The One-Armed Cook, as well as the co-author of Southern Biscuits. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.



Ask any pie lover—the words "southern" and "pie" go together like ripe fruit and flaky pastry. And behind all the mouthwatering, light-as-a-cloud meringue peaks and the sticky dark butterscotch fillings lies a rich and delicious history. In Southern Pies, some of the South's most famous bakers share recipes for 70 pies. Perfect for bakers of all skill levels, these pies are made with simple, easy-to-find, and gloriously few ingredients. Featuring such classics as Sweet Tea Pie and New Orleans Creole Coconut Pie, this tasty homage will fill everyone at the table with Southern hospitality.



Renowned food photographer Katie Quinn Davies’ cookbook shares her favorite simple dishes with a dazzling collection of recipes and beautiful images (American edition).

After spending more than a decade as an art director working for some of the top design studios in Ireland, the United States, and Australia, Katie Quinn Davies refocused her creativity towards food and lifestyle photography and created a blog called What Katie Ate. An Internet phenomenon, What Katie Ate has received international attention and was even dubbed one of the best food blogs in the world by GOOP. Showcasing her extraordinary eye, this debut cookbook is a unique combination of food diary and how-to, with tips and tricks, photographs, recipes, and stories.

Sharing more than one hundred simple culinary recipes drawn from Katie’s travels, dinner party cooking and foodie haunts, What Katie Ate emphasizes seasonal ingredients and irresistible flavors. Featured dishes range from Wild Mushrooms on Toast with Parmesan and Herbs to Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apple, Prune & Pine Nut Stuffing and Cider Cream Gravy. What’s for dessert? Temptations include Coffee Hazelnut Frangelico Cake and Honey Baked Peaches with Vanilla Bean Créme Fraiche.

Perfect for entertaining, this gorgeous cookbook minimizes the time spent in the kitchen and maximizes the time spent enjoying the meal with friends and family. Bringing together easy-to-cook recipes (using standard American measurements) with gorgeous world-class food photography, What Katie Ate will indulge all of your senses.



• The Vintage Tea Party Book embraces the style and class of the trendy London Vintage scene and illustrates how to beautifully recreate the tasty treats and classic styles at home

• A unique mixture of recipes and feature spreads with accessible tips on hairstyling, makeup methods and tips on where to collect vintage china

Angel Adoree cordially invites you to accompany her on a journey to create your perfect vintage tea party. Expect glamour, roses, rabbits, headscarves, foxes, teapots, crows, parlour games, cake stands, hair and make-up tips and, not forgetting, humongous amounts of magical tea party food that is fit for the Queen of England, and easy enough for you to make.


Photographer Todd Selby is back, this time focusing his lens on the kitchens, gardens, homes, and restaurants of more than 40 of the most creative and dynamic figures working in the culinary world today. He takes us behind the scenes with Noma chef René Redzepi in Copenhagen; to Tokyo to have a slice with pizza maker Susumu Kakinuma; and up a hilltop to dine at an inn without an innkeeper in Valdobbiadene. Each profile is accompanied by watercolor illustrations and a handwritten questionnaire, which includes a signature recipe. Reveling in the pleasures of a taco at the beach, foraging for wild herbs, and the art of the perfectly cured olive, Selby captures the food we love to eat and the people who passionately grow, cook, pour, and serve these incredible edibles every day.
Praise for Edible Selby:
“Todd Selby has turned his curious eye to the kitchens of some of the world’s most imaginative cooks, artisans, and foragers. Far too often, food and the people who produce it are hidden behind closed doors or lost in an industrial food system, so it’s heartening to see this book champion those who have nothing to hide. With Todd’s trademark good humor and disarmingly quirky style, Edible Selby is a pure celebration of the creativity and authenticity of the wonderful individuals who are bringing real food to the table.”
- Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant
“Todd Selby’s foray into the world of food is every bit as intriguing as his eccentric take on the world of interiors. Long live Signor Selby!”
- Simon Doonan, Barneys New York creative ambassador
Edible Selby captures the energy and excitement of today's food world. This book is pure Selby.”
- Thomas Keller, The French Laundry
“Books On My Gifts List…Photographer Todd Selby’s scrapbook reportage on passionate cooks and famous chefs around the world. Messy, magnificent, inspiring.”
Food & Wine magazine
“Exploring the world for food, that’s what Edible Selby is all about…and hopefully, you get really hungry when you read it.”
New York Daily News



With this charming guide to casual outdoor entertaining by Denise Gee, belle-of-the-ball author of Southern Cocktails, party and decorating ideas have never been more simple or inspiring. Gee and acclaimed photographer Bobby Peacock crisscrossed the U.S. photographing their favorite porches and dreaming up fresh, summery spins on classic Southern drinks, resulting in 50 recipes for everything from punches to cocktailsincluding several nonalcoholic sippers and 10 uncomplicated snacks. Grab a bottle, whip up some Tipsy Tea or Prosecco Martinis, and take the party outside!


Taste the chocolatey goodness of Mississippi Mud or marvel at the extravagant elegance of the Lady Baltimore and there will be no doubt that Southerners know how to bake a cake. Here are 65 recipes for some of the most delicious ever. Jam cakes and jelly rolls; humble pear bread and peanut cake; whole chapters on both chocolate and coconut cakeseach moist and delicious forkful represents the spirit of the South. A Baking 101 section offers the cake basics, some finishing touches (that means frosting and lots of it!), and the how-to's of storing each lovely concoction so that the last slice tastes as fresh and delightful as the first.



Betty Rosbottom, beloved author of Sunday Soup and Sunday Roasts, knows how to make Sundays feel special. For this third title in her Sunday series, she turns to the most leisurely and convivial meal of the week, brunch. Providing a year's worth of special meals, this book contains 80 mouthwatering recipes for eggs, stratas, pancakes, waffles, quickbreads, hash, and beverages, as well as 32 tantalizing color photographs and dozens of delicious menus. Full of enduring staples and delicious surprises, Sunday Brunch will become the go-to for tried and true Sunday treats.


“Housekeeping is becoming more and more a matter of science, and the laurels are bound to fall to the woman who conducts her household in a business-like way.”
Let the thrifty sensibility of yesteryear be your guide as you shop for the most economical foods, choose wall colors scientifically, clean with natural products, look your best without breaking the bank, and budget your way to frugal efficiency. In this amazing collection of clever wisdom and practical advice drawn from vintage home-economics textbooks, you’ll find everything you need to get back to basics and run a healthy and happy household. Home Economics covers all the categories of delightful domesticity:
     •  Health & Hygiene
     •  Cookery & Recipes
     •  Manners & Etiquette
     •  Design & Decoration
     •  Cleaning & Safety
     •  Gardening & Crafts
Rediscover the art and science of keeping house—economically!

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