Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Junking Heaven

Over the Thanksgiving break, my mom and I took time to go thru some of our favorite antique stores.  Too, we made a stop at the mall in Brownwood, TX and of all things, it had a "Peddlers" type store inside.  If you've ever been to a "Country Peddler's Show" you may know what I'm talking about.  We have one come thru town about once a season.  I went to my first...ever...back in October in search of baby's stocking, but couldn't find a one.  Peddler shows consist of various vendors selling their wares.  What I noticed was a lot of the same things from booth to booth, really blingy, chunky, jewelry, dip & soup mixes, home decor (mainly consisting of crosses & animal prints-maybe this is a TX thing), and kids decor (mainly little girls stuff in hot pink with black and white zebra prints and peace signs-go figure).  There were some nicely crafted things, just not what I was in search of.  The Peddler in the Brownwood mall, however, was more my speed.  There were vendors with antiques, old quilts and linens, vintage aprons & dishtowels, and yes, even my sought after Christmas Stockings!  Here are some images of things I found @ the Peddler...

This purse is for my friend's daughter who has a birthday just around the corner. It's in honor of the families' weenie dog!

Stockings only $8! Front and back views shown
and the makings for mon petit bebe's stocking


Here's a lovely pair of sparrow toothpick holders.  I found them at a shop in Rising Star, TX

Here's a quilted pillow that I fell in love with...only $4!

and sweet little quilt squares...I'm thinking I may frame them.  What do you think?
one of the cutest aprons I've ever seen...only $2!
I found so many wonderful things and at such good prices.  I couldn't imagine a better way to do my Black Friday shopping than lolling thru antique stores and shops finding such lovely buys.  Waiting in long lines and fighting for gadgets, that's for the birds ; )

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Back to Blogland

Hello, all!  I hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We went to my mom's and had a lovely visit.  Leaves had actually changed colors, there, unlike the leaves on our trees.  In fact, if you drive around Corpus, it still looks much like it did back in August.  We are, seemingly, in a perma-state of summer in S. Texas

Anywho, back to lovely, cool weather, and fall leaves of every shade, and freshly picked pumpkins and gourds...It was a lovely Thanksgiving.  Here are a few pics and I'll follow up with some pictures of my latest antiquing buys in a day or so.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Help in the KItchen

My grandma had this little red booklet in her recipe box for as long as I remember and it remains there 'til this day.  The pages are browning...it was printed in 1980.  As it's name says, it provides "kitchen hints".  I thought I'd share a few from time to time..

Today's hint:
                  Recipes at the ready...To keep recipe books or cards clean while cooking, place under an upside-down glass pie plate.  The curved bottom also magnifies the print and helps keep the cookbook open (and clean).

Happy Sunday, y'all~

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Lucky Day!

Lately, I've been carousing antique stores, fleas, ebay, and etsy for cutter quilts so that I may make baby her first Christmas stocking...without success, mind you.  Well, today my luck has changed.  I pulled into the entrance of my neighborhood this ayem to see the corner house had a yard sale going.  I decided to check it out and, lo and behold, I saw a quilt.  It had a few tiny holes, but it was only two dollars so I bought it.  As I was explaining my intentions to the lady as I paid, she mentioned having some older quilts inside.  She brought out a trash bag full of quilts and asked $4 for the larger ones and $3 for the twin sized ones.  I couldn't believe my ears.  I ended up buying four quilts in all.  My mom and I should have fun crafting with these vintage beauties. 

I'm thinking: Christmas stockings, hot pads, baby's first tooth pillows, and who knows what all else.  I'll keep you posted as the crafting commences.
I can picture little square hot pads out of this one, already!
this one has a red and white fabric on the back and is my pick for baby's stocking
Not sure what this design is called, if you know it, please share : )

Easy as Pie

Happy Friday, everyone!  I love Fridays because I get to share recipes for "Foodie Fridays" over at Designs By Gollum.  Today, however, is a different kind of day for sharing.  This time around, I'd like for YOU to share your thoughts on this common icebox pie recipe.  I had a recipe in my grandma's recipe box, Emeril's had a similar version on his show before, and I'm pretty sure Paula Deen has, as well.  The trouble is, with all the versions I've tried, I can never get the pie to set as much as I'd like, even when I've refrigerated it over night to serve the next day. Hmm

flowers courtesy of Mr. Kitchen Witch.  He's a gem ; )

Here's my version:

1 (8oz.) block of cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 prepared graham crust
whipped topping, optional
Canned cherry pie filling in gel for topping, optional

The pie tastes wonderful...in my husbands top three favorites, falling right behind pecan pie.  Think cheesecake, but not as firm.

This pie has been dubbed many names: Creamy Lemon Icebox Pie, Creamy Lemon Pie, Cherry Ho Pie.  If you've ever come across a version of this refrigerator pie, let me know what you think.  Does your pie recipe set nicely?  Maybe I shouldn't use fat-free sweetened condensed milk or maybe I should cut back on the lemon juice.  I'm determined to master this seemingly simple recipe.  I hope to hear your thoughts and if just want an easy, tasty, treat go ahead and try my version.  It may not slice the cleanest, but it hits the spot!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This, my friends, was going to be dinner.
That would be sausages I forgot about on the grill because I got caught up on the computer.  Husband is off fetching fast food and I'll be deleting my Facebook account for fear of it sucking what little brain I have left.  I've known it's (FB) pure evil for a long time so I'm finely pulling the plug.  Yea me! : )

Hey, even kitchen witches burn dinner.  Who knew ; O

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Gazpacho had to go

Well, I was outvoted on the Gazpacho, this time.  I've not given up on it, though.  Maybe when the weather is warmer and homegrown tomatoes are ripened....
So, I made broccoli Cheese soup instead.
The verdict is still out~
If the fam says they like it, I'll share my recipe.  I basically winged it by looking thru a few different recipes on the web and adjusted based on what I had on hand.

On a different note, I did make a roasted pork tenderloin & it turned out pretty darn good. See...

I bought a plain tenderloin.  The pack I bought had two in it; I didn't know that at the time.
I rinsed the tenderloins and patted them dry.  Then, in a bowl I combined: a handful of brown sugar, 1 tbsp. or so of Cajun blackening seasoning, and 1 tbsp. of sweet paprika.  I added a lug of olive oil to the dry rub to make a paste and then rubbed it all over the tenderloins.  Too, I made a few little slits across the tops of the loins and slipped in a few peeled garlic cloves.  I peeled and sliced a few small potatoes and arranged those around the meat and drizzled the potatoes with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of blackening seasoning.  I added a few tablespoons of water to the dish to add moisture, making sure not to pour it over the meat and potatoes to not rinse off the oil & seasonings.  I covered the dish with it's lid and roasted it at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  The pork had a nice spicy-sweet flavor and the potatoes were so tender and flavorful. 
Happy Sunday, y'all!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hey, Good Lookin', Whatcha Got Cookin'?

I love me some Paula, y'all! 

She just may be Santa.
I watched her make Gazpacho a while back and it's been on the brain lately.  I've never made Gazpacho and I'm a little intimidated (don't ask me why).  I had a neighbor that seemed to make it often and liked it real well.  I may be off season for a cold soup, but hey, it's still in the 80's around here so why not?  I think I'll give it a go and I'll let you know all about it.  How's that for a deal?!
 Picture of Gazpacho Recipe

Tonight, I had bunco and I tried a jalapeno pesto that was out of this world.  I guess I'm bringing this up because it seems to follow the veggie theme of Gazpacho.  Shoot, maybe I'll make this a vegetarian weekend, but first, I've got to get that recipe from my friend.  I wonder what the hubby will say about that...

Giggle fits

                                                                                    Sometimes you just need a giggle : )

Friday, November 12, 2010

Granddaddy's Seafood Gumbo

The other day, Mrs. Michael Lee West posted a picture of a yummy BLT much like this one and asked what was our favorite comfort foods.  Well, I answered that Gumbo was one of my favs and she seemed to like that so what better place to post my recipe than on her very own Foodie Friday event.  

My Granddaddy  was born in Alexandria, Louisiana.  He still visits a "lady friend", nicknamed "Babs", there.  She's a fine lady and I think it's cute that my 80-something yr old Grandaddy still visits his home town and his high school sweetheart.  My Grandaddy was raised by some very fine cooks.  This was his daddy's recipe and my mom recalls Gumbo Sundays being an all day affair.  Of course, Gumbo gets better with time so I like it best as leftovers.  You can tweak seasoning and ingredients as much as you want.  After all, this is Gumbo-everything goes into the pot!  I hope you enjoy this authentic recipe.  Happy "Foodie Friday", y'all!

2 tbsp. unsalted butter, not margarine
2 Medium onions, chopped
4 cups Okra, diced
1 cup Green bell pepper
½ cup celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 can diced tomato or 3 fresh peeled and diced
2 quarts water, add more if needed while cooking
2 cups chicken stock or 1 can.
1 Bay leaf
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 tsp. thyme
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Pinch of sage
Creole seasoning to taste
2 lbs. medium sized fresh shrimp
1 pt. (12-16) Oysters, optional (Crawfish tail meat may be substituted)
1 lb. lump crab meat
optional- 1 lb. firm fish such as tilapia
Parsley for garnish

In a cast iron skillet sauté onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic in 2 tablespoons of butter until onion is clear; add okra and saute 'til vegetables are tender. Turn heat off veggies.  In a separate cast iron skillet, add ¼ each of butter and flour to create a roux. Stir roux with a wooden spoon, continuously, until dark brown being mindful not to burn the roux.

In a stock pot add: tomatoes, water, stock, vegetables, and roux. Add seasonings. Simmer for 20 minutes or so. Add seafood and simmer for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until seafood is cooked through.

Serve over white rice. Garnish with chopped parsley and Gumbo file.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This~n~That Thursday

Trying a new thing here...thought I'd share things I've stumbled across lately that are too good not to share.
gourdyGourd Birds from Maya

...and this recipe from my pal over @ Cajun Delights.  This image has stuck with me all week.  I must buy the ingredients when I'm "makin' groceries".  This lady is one fine cook.  You should drop in on her page often!

Sweet Vintage Feedsack Christmas Stocking - Garden Hats and Flowers
I absolutely love this stocking.  I found it on etsy.
and look at this one! OOOH AHHH
Christmas Wish List, anyone?
Bottle Opener @ Anthropologie
<em>Pie Bird</em>and pie birds of all kinds.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gone With the Wind. Again.

If I've not said it before, I'm a sucker for most things from days gone by.  Notice I said "most" things.  I'm not a big fan of spiral perms, being able to smoke everywhere (have you ever worked in one of those offices?), and boy-bands.  Recently, I'd been working up a post about my love for things that have "Gone with the Wind".  I stumbled over my words and circled around my point like a vulture waiting to land on the big stink that is my writing.  Eventually, I deleted that draft (you can thank me later).  In the mean time, I noticed another blogger had posted something very similar to what I'd been thinking about and it made me wonder, "How did we fall so far from grace?"  Said blogger brings up some very fine points.  Where are all the Cary Grant-esque men nowadays?  I've only seen options getting worse, but we have to hit rock bottom eventually, right?!  RIGHT?!?  They will come around, eh? Well, maybe the planet will go up in flames before that happens, but a girl can dream.

I, for one, love watching TCM (and the Cooking Chanel, but I'll save that for another day).  Everyone looked so lovely, in those films, AND have you listened to them speak?!  I'm in awe every time.  Hollywood stars sounded so eloquent back in the day.  They were true stars.  It drives me insane to see the "Snookies'" of the world deemed celebrities.  I miss tact, and grace, and classy people.  We need celebrity emphasis shifted back on those qualities so that the masses have better role models.

Here's a nod to some of my favorite things from days past...
Debonair men

and beautiful architecture

...and gorgeous hair
...and leaving more to the imagination.
      Innocence vs. Promiscuity

and having good, clean, fun-
I hope that you enjoyed looking thru some of these images.  I know I have...Tell me about some of the things you miss.  Happy Wednesday!  Toodles~

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gift Giving

     Here is a picture of my completed recipe book.  I created this on the Tastebook website and plan on giving a copy to my Grandma and Mom for Christmas.  You can pick your own cover from a variety of options.  I thought this one was great because it looked just like all of the recipes in my recipe box.  Really.  See...
This recipe box is a prized possession.  It belonged to my Grandma and holds many wonderful memories for me.  Some of the papers, inside, are crumbling.  I've had the thought, to transfer the recipes before the papers they're written on completely fall apart, in mind for years.  Finally, I decided to get it done.  I really liked the Tastebook site because it was so easy to use (I promise I'm not getting paid for the plug) and I would recommend it to anyone interested in a similar project.  My book is for personal use only; in it, I wrote a dedication to my daughters in hopes that they learn and enjoy cooking as much as I have.

I think a personalized recipe book would make a wonderful gift.  Do you have any gift giving suggestions?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Scallopini Sunday

I found veal at the grocery store the other day and I instantly thought that I should try to cook it with a lemon caper sauce.  I've never seen Veal at our store so I'm excited to try something new at home.    I'm thinking that I'll saute brussel sprouts as a side.  I could steam brocolli or make a casesar salad and serve the veal over angel hair pasta.  Now, I'm confused!.  I'm going to use a recipe that I found on FoodNetwork website and I'll post updates this evening.  Ta ta for now : )

Thursday, November 4, 2010

There's a monster under my bed

It's 5:20 a.m. and my 8 o'clock class is canceled so why am I up, you wonder?  Well, scary dreams of monsters and thieves and...Poof.  There you have it and I can't go back to sleep.

Induced by recent visions of ghastly ghouls, and zombies, and such?  Naw, these monsters are WAY scarier than any trick-or-treater that came knocking on my door.
Today (around 5AM) brain decides to dream something from way out of left field.  Thanks, brain.  I dreamt that my mom called to tell me someone had contacted her by phone to report that I'd been using someones identity and had been spending peoples' money crazily.  When she called, I was horrified, "who would say such a thing about me?!  That's absurd! You didn't give them any information about me because you know there's scammers..." Then, I woke up

BUT I COULDN'T GO BACK TO SLEEP and I tried, I really did, but it was no use.  My brain tried to tell itself that it was only a dream, but self was disturbed.  Wouldn't you be?

My brain flashed back to last year when we bought this home and I recalled my credit report. Albeit a good score, there were two things on there that I found alarming and I couldn't sleep because of them.

First alarm: A measly $10 bank fee from the bank that I previously used.  Mind you, when I closed that I account I'd only used it twice in a year's period because the new place I'd moved to had only one location VERY far away from where I lived in the city sooooo I kindly went in to withdraw the money from my savings and check and closed shop.  All seemed on the up-and-up, I thought.  For years.  THEN, the credit report.  Apparently, in an "FYOU for closing your account with us today", the bank charged one last monthly fee, then never sent a statement stating that I owed anything because, DUH, I no longer had an account with them.  Is that even legal? 

Second alarm:  Since  my company was moving me, at the time, I had to break lease on my apartment.  I still owed three months out and I paid it.  All.  Within the time specified. So case closed, right. Right?  No. Magically, an amount showed up anyway, but during a random month that was not the time when I moved out so I'm confused.

The credit score, folks, is the monster of which I speak, and the bankers are the thieves that haunt my sleep.  Maybe election day subconsciously stirred up these monsters in my mind because I view politicians as monsters in their own right.  I promised myself I wouldn't go "all political" in this blog. Ever. Sorry.

But in this day and time, these really are the scariest things a person can imagine.  How did they get where they are?  Did my parents generation deal with the big bad credit monster and identity thieves?  I don't remember ever having heard of them before my time and my time happens to be an interesting one, by the way.  I was growing up in that interesting transitional phase to witness cell phones become as necessary as the air we breathe.  I watched checks and paper money fade away to be replaced by plastic swipey things that seem so easy, so convenient.

And therein lies the problem.  Or, at least, part of it.  The warning, "what seems too good to be true probably is" has been trumped for the "gimme, gimme, gimme" mentality that so many of us share.  "Work?  Why, work for it when it can be done in a much easier way?"  But, easier comes with strings attached to puppeteers who have us dangling like worms on a hook.  "Why balance a checkbook when  I can bank online or on my PDA?"  Because you're making yourself open to hackers and identity thieves.  Be wary of the person behind you in the grocery store line who watches you enter your pin. Be wary if your bill gets lost in the mail because your credit score will go to pot.  We take hold of convenience as if it is our God given right.  Tossing caution to the wind,we trade little bits of control for ease and comfort, but how comforting is it when it all stacks up and you can't get to sleep at night?  Is there a monster under your bed, too?

"Shut up and give me recipes", you say?  Okay. the holiday season is upon us which means I get to visit my mom.  Her boyfriend always makes Monster Cookies during the holidays so I'll share a Paula Deen version.  Here ya go!http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/monster-cookies-recipe/index.html.  Monster cookies seem appropriate enough : )