Friday, December 31, 2010


Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful to have another year...this past one was pretty great, but I'm never one to look at the start of a year as a time for resolutions.  Does that make me weird?  Eh.  I don't care.  I'm more of the spur-of-the-moment take-charge kind of gal.  I don't need a new year to build up my desire to get my arse going.  I'm usually such an anal-retent around the house, that I jump on projects with the quickness...much to my husband's dismay.  This past week, for example, he's been off on vacation (his first since last February) and I decided it would be great for him to finish up the floors and tackle Big Sissy's room while she was visiting grandma.  Needless to say, we got that baby painted within a day.  Now all that's left is the trim.  I'm already looking around to see what's next and it looks like the yard is a likely contender seeing how it's been in the high 70's around here. 

I've read through many blogs, in recent days, that all share a similar theme.  "I'm gonna do this in the new year, and I'm going to do that....  I even read a blogger that had cleaning the blinds on her to-do list.  Aack.  Blinds are not my friend.  Yes, they need to be done, but since we didn't like the ones that came with the house when we bought it, I figure why dust them when I can just replace them : )  Granted that theory has not made it's way past the girl's rooms so the living and dining space probably do need some dust work, but maybe I can convince the hubs to...he still has a few days off : )

All in all, the new year kind of depresses me.  I feel that I should be just as excited as everyone else, but it just seems to come and go like all the rest and I'm just glad for the many, many good days that come my way.

Hope that your New Year brings you whatever your looking for even if it's just another year.

Cheers Cherie,

The Kitchen Witch

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Food for thought

Stumbled across this quote on the web today and thought I'd share, "If your food can go bad, it's good for you. If it can't go bad, it's bad for you."-David Zinczenko.  Simple enough.

Have a Happy New Year!

The Kitchen Witch

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cocoa Cinnamon Boots

I'd like to share a recipe that my mom and I made when I was a little girl.  Every few years, I like to break out this Christmas cookie brings back good memories of baking with my mom.

Here 'tis:     (see how festive it sounds when I say 'tis, I up my usage of that word for the holidays)

Cocoa Cinnamon Boots

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a cookie sheet.
In a mixing bowl add: flour, sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon. Cut in butter and margarine until dry ingredients form into pea size pieces. Stir in yolk until well blended.
Shape dough into a ball. Wrap in saran and chill for 30+ minutes.
Roll 1/3 of the dough at a time on a lightly floured surface. Keep remaining dough chilled until ready for use.
Bake at 350 degrees on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

~Muchos Gracias and Welcome Back~

Ahhh.  Christmas is complete and New Years Eve is just around the bend. 
The house is coming into some semblance of order so I've allowed myself time to peruse the 'ol blogs again.  What a delight to find that, while I was away, I was recipient to a "Making Smiles on Faces" award from my sweet friend, Marguerite, over at Cajun Delights.

Muchos Gracias, Marguerite, for such a compliment.  To my readers, if you're ever in the mood for some excellent Cajun food, pop on over to her blog for scrumptious recipes.

For our family, New Years Eve calls for a mellow celebration with friends.  I hope that you all have a wonderful time ringing in the New Year.  Be safe and best wishes for the coming year.  Don't forget to eat your black-eyed peas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Coming Out of the Closet

This Christmas season something strange and magical happened.  The kiddo came out of the closet (so to speak) and confessed to not believing in Santa.  I knew this day would come, but I'm still a little bummed.  See two years ago kiddo went to see her "real" dad for Christmas and when she walked in the door from her trip, the first words out of her mouth were, "Guess what I just found out, Santa isn't real" and I'm all hunkered over the stove when she drops the bomb and I burn my wrist on the pan while hollering,"WHATAREYOUTALKINGABOUT?!"  I mean,"what would make you say that, sweetie?"
Her:  Dad just told me that Santa isn't real.
yeah, folks, on Christmas Day.
Me:  Well, what brought that up? 
Her: Well, I was asking questions and he just told me
Me:  Well, I think he's wrong.  I mean I've always heard you have to believe to receive.  I think that's how that goes. 
Her:  Huh?
Me:  Um, you don't get presents from Santa if you don't believe in him.
Her:  Oh. Well.  I believe, then.
Smart cookie.

Last year I think she put up a good front to ensure that Santa delivered, but this year the gig is up.  It's been a little bit of a blessing in disguise, though, because I've really enjoyed my newly enlisted Santa shopper.  We've perused stores all over town for little sissy and it's been a ton of fun.  I like how she's gotten into the spirit of making this a great first Christmas for mon petit bebe.  Shame, little bit won't really have a memory of it.  Oh well, I'll have a nice memories to share with her when she's older.

Plus, Big Sissy has learned the joy of getting to pick out what she wants in the stores, an added benefit of us both getting what we want.  Me, I don't have to worry that I've selected another bogus gift for her.

that, folks, is a look of disappointment...a failed gift.
Her, she gets what she wants.

Here are some cute videos of kiddos getting what they want for Christmas.  Hope you enjoy. Happy Holidays!

and a not so happy camper...

Better Late than Never

To put together a "Must Have" Toy list seems almost pointless since Christmas is just days away.  Almost.  : )

I've had so much fun combing the aisles of baby toys.  Big sissy was a tad more dificult to shop for since she's 12, now, but I'll show a couple of things she loves, too, in case you have any tween girls running around your neck of the woods.

Also, let me just add, walking into Barnes & Noble's toy section was like walking up to the motherload.  I'm slightly tempted to return many of the things I bought at Wal-mart to go back and get things at B & N.  There stuff is the best of the best sellers galore.  Oh, yeah.  The list.  Here goes:

Baby (6-12 months)
I Can Cook Soft Toy by Alex Toys: Product Image-i can cook soft toy @ Barnes & Noble, $21.95.  Seeing how I love to cook, I was thrilled to snatch up this cute set.
Stacrobats by Kushies Baby Canada: Product ImageA splurge- Stacrobats by Kushies Baby Canada, $55.95.  I found these while searching items for baby's "circus theme" bedroom.  I haven't bought them because of the price, but have a feeling I'll end up breaking down.

Flow n' Fill Spout by Yookidoo: Product Image  Flow n' Fill Spout byYookidoo, only $15.25 @ Barnes & Noble.  I just found this little toy today.  It's battery operated and pulls water up it's spout.  It can fill the assorted cups; each doing it's own thing.  Very cute.  I showed Big Sissy and even she said she wanted one : )

Hide & Squeak Eggs by Tomy: Product ImageHide & Squeak Eggs, $8.95.  This may be a better gift for when she's 1 or 2, but they're cute as can be.

Twilight Turtle, $29.65.  This cute guy projects stars all over the room.  Mon petit baby has a different sort of projector, but loves it.  She looks up while she's getting her bed time bottle and just stares.
Sunni Clutching toy by Haba: Product ImageSunni Clutching Toy by Haba, $13.95.  Cheery wooden pull toy...I fell in love with this when I saw it and thought it would be a cute stocking stuffer.
Soft Toy Chan Pie Gnon (Pink) by Calisson: Product ImageSoft Toy Chan Pie Gnon (pink). $16.95.  These teethers are uber-cute.

Girls Light Up Ducks Set of 3 by Elegant Baby: Product ImageGirls Light Up Ducks, $14.95.  I've seen these for less at various stores, but not sure if they lit up.  Mon petit bebe loves her soft squishy duck because it's easy to teeth on and she loves her baths.

For the Tweens in Your Life
Bananagrams Game by Bananagram: Product ImageBananagrams game, $14.95.  Think Scrabble in a bag. 
Uglydoll Ket by Pretty Ugly: Product ImageUgly Dolls (Ket shown), reg. size $19.95.  At the top of her want list this year, big sissy just had to have an Ugly Doll.  She took her birthday money and got one yesterday.
Smart Ass Board Game by University Games: Product ImageSmart Ass Board Game, $25.  I'm curious.  She thought the name was funny and seemed interested.
Tasty Science by Scientific Explorer: Product Image Tasty Science, $17.95.  What can I say.  Um, not sure, but it seems like it's a mess waiting to happen.  She seemed really interested, though.

Well, here's hoping you have a Merry Christmas.  Safe Shopping and Baking and Eating and ...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


There's no time like the holidays to get you thinking about your bills.  In recent months my ATT Internet increased by $3.25.  That may not sound significant, but I've got a friend who's a "new" customer who's getting her service for $10-something a month so I called to see if there were any better rates that they could offer me.  Come short of downgrading to a slower service, there was nothing I could do to change my billing unless I wanted an increase.  Um, no.  That's why I'm calling.  To decrease.  No increase. Please. 

The girl on the other end of the line tried explaining that the promotion was only for "new" customers.  Sigh.  Her rationale (though, I know it's not hers...more like the company's) is lost on me.  What about my loyalty for years?!?! 


Her reply: "Oh, believe me, your friend will be paying what you are soon enough."


Seriously.  What happened to the good old days?  Service is so horrible these days.  If it's not waiting for a clerk who's busy texting, it's having to witness unprofessional conversations with co-workers in front of patrons and then having a 10 yr. old ask what a douche is.

AND, not only do we have to endure this debasement of humanity, WE HAVE TO SIGN A TWO YEAR CONTRACT FOR THE PRIVILEGE"!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010


The thing about 12 year olds is that they think they know it all, but they still mix an entire packet of Kool-aid in a water bottle because they think it's the same as mixing in a single serve Crystal Light packet; it's because they don't know it all...they only think they do : )

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Breakfast

Today we're gonna start Sunday off right.  The hubs fried up sausage patties and eggs.  I got to making Buttermilk Biscuits.  I started out with the idea in mind to make my Grandma's recipe, but realized I didn't have the right kind of flour (self rising) to attempt hers so I popped onto, my friend, Marguerite's blog.  Her Grandma's recipe was more in line with what I had in the pantry and I'm glad I got to try out another of her recipes.

Everything was really good.  Only thing is, I think I rolled out the first batch of biscuits too thin so they didn't rise as much as the second sheet that went into the oven.  See the pic above?  You probably wanna roll 'em 1/4" thicker than that. : )

Have a blessed Sunday!

The Kitchen Witch

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Birthday Wishes

Today marks the debut of our eldest.  Twelve years ago, today, I welcomed a tiny little bundle.  3 lbs. 12 oz. to be exact...wasn't due 'til February.  But never one to miss a celebration, little Miss was here in time for the holidays. 

To celebrate, we ate pizza at Grimaldi's, shopped 'til we dropped, and had Marble Cheesecake for breakfast.  What could be better? 
Sister squealed
...and Daddy ate
Friends cut up

and then we had cake.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Voodoo and Butterfingers...Easy as Cake?

When it's the boxed mix variety, cake is pretty darn easy to make.  In this recipe, I prepare one box mix chocolate cake and "doctor" it up.  What you'll need:

1 box Chocolate cake, prepared according to instructions in an oblong cake pan
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 container Cool Whip or whip heavy cream and powdered sugar together for your own whip topping (I prefer the latter)
2 Butterfingers bars, bashed up

Once you've pulled your cake out of the oven, commence to poking holes,with a tooth pick, all over the cake.
mind you, this is just an image I pulled from the web for an example...not my hand or cake

Pretend it's a voodoo cake and poke to your hearts delight!  And, if voodoo is not your thing, you can get to the point like this gal...
ha ha ha...It's vulgar; I love it!

Just kidding.  Now, after poking holes all over the cake, drizzle the can of sweetened condensed milk over the cake, letting the milk fully absorb.  When the cake has cooled COMPLETELY, slather it with whipped topping.  Sprinkle the bashed up candy bar bits to garnish your cake.  I'm sure you could use any kind of candy bar.  We love the crunch that Butterfingers adds to the cake.  A toffee bar would probably add the same kind of crunch and do nicely.  Possibly, try crunched up peppermint candies.  Use your imagination.  That's the fun in it, eh?
Happy Friday!
The Kitchen Witch

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oooh, I'm so excited!

I read this book some time back and always thought it would be a great film. In my mind, I cast characters as I'm reading. For this book I thought of Clark Gable as August (if time were no issue), Rachel McAdams as Marlena, and Toby Maguire as Jacob. Well, I think they did a fine job casting, anyway,, and I can't wait to watch this movie. If you've haven't read the book, I hope you get a chance to because it's such a wonderful story.

Happy Holidays,

The Kitchen Witch

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Finals & Anniversaries

Whew~  That's all I can say about today which happened to be my final "final", the math one (yuck), and our 3 yr. anniversary (yea).  We didn't make big plans because big plans are hard to come by when you've got a tiny tot, but this day has been a blessing just the same.  Tonight, I'm making Chicken Spaghetti because, well, it's simple and good which is what I need after racking my brain on mathematics.  The hubs brought home some cheery flowers and a sweet, little cake and I brought the Veuve Cliequot.
, but the greatest gift of all is the family we share...

Isn't it funny how the cat and the 'tween have the same sassy expression?!

Well, that's our family in a nut-shell.  Yup, the greatest gift.  Well, that and the French Champagne : )
and the cake!  Oooh, and I almost forgot- we share our anniversary with the debut of Gone With the Wind in Atlanta...just learned that little tid bit today.  How cool is that?!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Book Review

After holiday shopping for many hours, without much success, I decided to pop into our Half Priced Book store to grab a tasty beverage and a book.   I really didn't have anything particular in mind as is usually the case when I happen into a book store, but that's worked out just fine for me.  It's almost like the books magically find there way to me, calling out to me from the shelf.  Now, I've not always had great success with this tactic, but...mostly.  The book fairy must have been eyeing me that day I walked in because I landed  a great book.  I'm currently in the beginning stages of the novel, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, and I'm already in love.  As I usually do when falling for a book, I search up the author to see what else they've cooked up.  I'd never heard of this novel (or the author) before, which doesn't mean a thing because I don't follow best seller lists and what all; though, I did see that this novel was a best seller on the book's jacket.  What drew me in was the first page (that's usually how I judge a book's readability-just dive into it).  I'm so glad I found this story and tickled to see that Dreamworks is turning it into a motion picture.  Now...if somebody would do the same for Water for Elephants, I'd be over the moon.  I'm picturing Toby McGuire for the character, Jacob, and Rachel McAdams for the leading lady, but who's asking me, right?! ; ) 

Well, back to The Help, since I'm rambling off topic.  I peaked on IMDB's web page for pictures of the actors playing the parts for The Help...not exactly what I'd envisioned while reading, but isn't it interesting to see how that works out.  Needless to say, I can't wait to watch the movie.  And, in the mean time, I look forward to devouring yet another fine read.  I hope you will give it a read sometime.

Happy Monday, y'all~

The Kitchen Witch

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Best of Both-Yummy Meatballs

Last night was our annual Holiday bunco.  If you're not familiar with the game, it's a dozen or so women (and sometimes men) that get together to play a dice game of sorts.  We've been playing for 10 years, I think.  December is always a tough month for us because of the expense of the holidays so usually nobody wants to claim the month to host it.  We decided on turning it into a white elephant gift exchange and potluck to lessen the burden (and expense) for the hostess and it's worked out great so far.

This year I decided to try out a new recipe idea that I've been thinking about for the past month or two.  Not long back I tried my friend, Marguerite's, Sweet and Spicy Chicken recipe and her Creole Spaghetti & Meatballs.  When I made the sauce for the chicken, I told my husband it would be great on the meatballs I'd made just days before.  Of course, the meatballs were so good there were none left for me to test my theory.  I hope the bunco girls don't mind being my guinea pigs.

Here's my attempt at Marguerite's Sweet & Spicy Chicken with Beer Rice

...and here's the end result; combined Sweet & Spicy sauce with Meatballs= A big hit at the party : )
Sorry this isn't the best picture.  I'm not the best picture-taker'er.  With a flash, the reflection from the plate glares back whiting out the meatballs, without the flash equals this less than stellar picture which doesn't do justice to the festive red color of the sauce that coated the meatballs so nicely.  It was the perfect combination of salty and sweet.  I think Marguerite would be proud of my concoction; truly the best of both.

Happy Holidays,

The Kitchen Witch
a slightly out of focus tree, but I love the glow twinkling from the lights!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Grandaddy's Cajun Spaghetti

This ain't yo mamma's recipe; this here is Granddaddy's spaghetti.  It's fresh-none of that canned mess, he might say.  I looked forward to visits when I knew he was making this spaghetti.  He's too old to cook, now.  I hadn't had it since I was a girl, but was reminded of his spaghetti through a friend's blog and so went to searching his house for the recipe over Thanksgiving break.  I tried it out as soon as I got home and it's just as good as I remembered it being.  Here goes:

Granddaddy's Spaghetti

1 lb. thin spaghetti, prepared per package instructions
1 lb. lean ground beef
Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 med. onions, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup celery, small dice
1/2 large bell pepper chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, seeded, ribbed, and finely chopped
1 can (14 oz.) tomato sauce
1 reg. size can mild Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
Worcestershire sauce to taste, maybe a tbsp. or so
juice of half a lemon
salt & black pepper to taste
Cajun seasoning to taste
Grated Parmesan

Saute onions, celery, garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, and jalapenos in a skillet with a few lugs of olive oil.  Add ground beef and Worcestershire sauce.  When beef is browned, add seasonings and lemon juice.  Cover and cook for a few minutes.  Add tomato sauce and Rotel.  Add parm at the end.  Serve over cooked, drained spaghetti.  I think I doctored this with a tbsp. or so of tomato paste

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Kitchen Witch on You Know you're aging When...

Just last night a pal of mine and I were talking about Christmas wants and I was sharing my thoughts on the vintage inspired cloche hats which have made there way back on fashion plates again., if only I were as tall and thin as that woman, I'd pull off a cloche; no problem!
I said something about why I probably shouldn't ask for one because I never find my self dressing up anymore which lead the conversation down the path of how I know I've aged because I've turned into the old-hag-school-marm on campus-telling many a young girl to COVER. IT. UP.- in my mind, of course. ; )

No; you still can't borrow my notes, I don't care if you do show me your hooha, the answer is still no.  Cover it up, it's 8AM for Pete's sake!

I mean, some of these girlies are wearing next to nothing, in six inch heels, to an 8AM computer lab; no kidding.  I just don't have the desire to hurt my feet and freeze my legs. I JUST DON'T HAVE IT IN ME! (uh huhhhhhh-exasperated breath).  This is how I know I'm aging.

Flash forward to me and my 2:00 a.m. wake up call, this morning, and further evidence ensues.  I'm sitting in a rocker (hello-just the mention of a rocker evokes images of  granny-ness?)  My eyes are burning from being thrust into consciousness as the baby cries out while I try to focus my sights.  Focus.  Focus on the baby, I tell myself.  Confused, I'm rocking and patting mon petit bebe (probably  looking like a spastic monkey on caffeine) when the thought occurs to me; 2:00 a. m. wake up calls sure aren't what they used to be.

This, my friends, is how I know I've aged.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Ahhhh (sigh of relief and a huge weight off my shoulders-now, mom can breathe deep again)...

I'm so happy to share my first tree with you

See it? Right there...

                                    I can't seem to keep my eyes off it : )

I wonder if I'll get in trouble for touching..
It's just so big-

Hmmm, what's this?

and what about him?!?
vintage pretties
and handmade goodies-I just can't wait 'til I can add my crafts to the tree
I think I'm in love with Christmas trees with all their glittery, sparkly, glowing things~

Until we meet again, Merry Christmas...Let the baking and the celebrating and the merriment commence!