Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Big Sissy's Christmas Wish List

In no particular order...
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Yep; that's a pig.  We live in the city.  In a residential neighborhood.  It may just as well have been a hippopotamus; odds for each are equally likely, nil.
Tampa Cell Phone Advertising
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 Why does a 13 yr. old need a cell phone, really?
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I really have no opposition to this gift aside from the fact that she hates to read.  I hate to admit it, but it's true.  I can't even pay her to read in the summer.  When asked, "why a Nook?" she responded, "so I can play games on it."  Gasp.

Folks, I'm just not ready for her in make up.  Especially curious as to why she wants one of these huge color pallets.  I'm envisioning images of Tammy Faye & Bozo the Clown.  Pray she keeps within reason.
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Apparently this trapper's hat/scarf/mitten concoction is all the rage.  It also comes with a pretty hefty price tag of around $130.  Did I mention we live in Texas?  We may get four cold days all season.

And lastly...
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The Jersey cow made it, most recently, on her list of wants.  This list, obviously, does not take budget and/or city zoning & ordinances into consideration.

Does anyone else have a teen whose list is as absurd as this one?  Definitely not made it easy on us this year.

At least little sissy was easy to buy for.
Step2 Party Time Kitchen
available @ Wal-Mart
A sweet little kitchen set is always fun for little ones.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I love vintage sodas!  I tried my first Cheerwine some weeks back and thought I'd share a pic I snapped before I cracked the bottle open.
  My daughter shares an equal love for vintage sodas and we always look for 'em when we're on the road.  This Thanksgiving trip was no exception.  Unfortunately, we didn't find a single vintage or unique soda.  It used to be that we'd find a Frostie soda here and there, but the most unique soda we find nowadays is a RC Cola (which is fine-my Great Grandpa ran a factory in his heyday and we grew up loving them).  Our local Cracker Barrel had this Cheerwine along with some other retro sodas.

What's your favorite pop from the past?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Orange Fluff Salad

Big Sissy brought home a recipe from her Great Grandma this past weekend.  She was anxious to try it and so we went to the store to buy ingredients to make it last night.  It's so yummy, creamy with bright orange flavor.

1 (12 oz.) container whipped topping (we bought an 8 oz. container)
1 (24 oz.) container small curd cottage cheese, (we bought a 16 oz. container)
1 (6 oz.) pkg.  or 2 (3 oz. pkgs.) orange flavored Jell-O gelatin
2 (11 oz.) cans mandarin oranges, drained (we only bought one)
1 small can crushed pineapple, well drained
1 cup  finely chopped nut meats or shredded coconut, optional

Put whipped topping in a large mixing bowl and add orange flavored gelatin; stir well.  Add cottage cheese and drained fruits, mixing all well.  You may serve right away or refrigerate to let flavors develop.

*As you may well have noticed in our little captions, we used different measurements, this was not intentional.  Maybe the recipe was written in a time when some products came with a little more to 'em (I can hardly believe that they'd sell an 8 oz. and 12 oz. Cool-whip being that they're so close in measure).  Other ingredients do come in larger quantity; this was just our shopping faux pas.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Is it even fair to come down with a stomach bug the week of Thanksgiving?  I'm thinking not.  I'm hoping I work my way back up to an appetite by Thursday.  We will see.  Here's hoping that your holidays don't run into such "bumps in the road."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Vote on your Favorite Thanksgiving Day Pie

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Favorite Thanksgiving Day Pie
Lemon Meringue
Chocolate Cream
Coconut Cream
Sweet Potato

pollcode.com free polls 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Turkey Day Trivia

Hop onto this site to take the turkey challenge.

Quiz Time: Favorite Thanksgiving Day Side Dish?

What's your favorite Thanksgiving Day dinner side dish?
Cranberry Sauce/Relish
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole
Broccoli Rice Casserole
Corn Casserole

pollcode.com free polls 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rattle Snake in School

Photo of rattlesnake
My mom called me the other morning to tell me about a little boy who was bitten at the local elementary school in her area.  He's only a second grader and was bitten while reaching in a little supply cabinet or the like.  I found this article relating to the incident.

She said this is not the first snake sighting at the school.  In fact, she commented, over the summer, that if "they didn't do something someone was going to get hurt."  Well, that's happened.  Apparently the boy is getting the care he needs in Fort Worth.  I was highly disturbed when I found out that both Eastland hospital and the one in Abilene did not have anti-venom.  This is the "Big Country" area of Texas and it is country, hundreds of miles of country.  With all the small towns dotting the area, I find it hard to believe that they don't have necessary supplies in these hospitals.  Fort Worth is two hours from Eastland and three from Abilene.  I just pray that none of my family ever get bitten because when time is of the essence and life's hanging by a thread, two hours is a mighty long wait.

I hope they found the snake(s) over the weekend.  I'd hate to send my kids to school knowing there was a rattler loose.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Corn Fritters

  • 1 cup yellow or white cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup corn masa flour (you can use reg. AP flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can cream style corn (16 oz) (I used Old Glory brand Skillet Corn)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Crisco for frying


Mix dry ingredients. Add creamed corn, milk, and egg; mix well.

If more liquid is needed to make desired consistency, add a little milk. Drop heaping spoonfuls into hot oil.

Fry until golden brown.  Be sure your oil is hot enough so that your fritter fries up quickly and doesn't absorb a ton of grease.  Drain on a paper towel and enjoy.

    FOODIE FRIDAY Click for details Sharing @ Designs by Gollum

    Indian Cauliflower Curry Stew

    Tonight, we tried another recipe from Good Housekeeping magazine.  This time for an Indian cauliflower curry stew.  The bones of the recipe seemed good, but to tailor it to my families' likes I added half a chicken and made a few other tweaks.  The meat is purely optional so go ahead and make the meatless version if that's what suits you.  I think the flavors will still be good.

  • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil

  • 3 medium carrots, chopped

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 1/2 cup(s) brown rice (I used Jasmine)

  • Half a chicken, skinned and beboned

  • 1 tablespoon(s) finely chopped (grated) peeled fresh ginger

  • 1 tablespoon(s) curry powder

  •  Salt

  • 2 1/2 cup(s) vegetable broth

  • 1 medium (2-pound) head cauliflower, cut into small florets

  • 2 can(s) (15 to 19 ounces each) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed & drained

  • 1/2 cup(s) loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

  • 1/4 cup(s) plain low-fat (Greek) yogurt plus additional for serving

    1. In 6-quart Dutch oven, heat oil on medium-high until hot. Add carrots and onion, and cook 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned and tender, stirring frequently.
    2. Meanwhile, prepare rice as label directs; keep warm.
    3. Stir ginger, curry, and 3/4 teaspoon salt into carrot mixture; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth and chicken; cover and heat to boiling on high. Remove chicken when it looks done and set aside to cool.  Stir in cauliflower and garbanzo beans while chicken is cooling; add pulled chicken meat back in and cover and cook on medium 15 to 20 minutes longer, gently stirring every 5 minutes until cauliflower is tender.
    4. To serve, stir chopped cilantro and 1/4 cup yogurt into cauliflower stew. Spoon rice into serving bowls; top with stew. Serve cauliflower stew with additional yogurt to dollop on top if you like. (I suggest squeezing lime juice over bowl before serving.  I thought you might be able to cut some of the broth and add in coconut milk for added flavor.)  Makes about 8 cups.
    Recipe from Good Housekeeping, read more: Indian Cauliflower Curry Stew

    Sunday, November 6, 2011


    I found this recipe on the Good Housekeeping site by chance.  They named the recipe, "Not Your Grandma's Vegetable Soup," which is true, this is like nothing my grandmother's soup, but I'm willing to bet that there are many of you whose grandmas made a soup very similar if not just like this.  From what I've seen of Borscht recipes, they all vary somewhat.  Some have potatoes, some have celery, and yet others have a meat stock.  To each there own.  Here's the recipe I followed with a few Kitchen Witch changes, of course.

    1 tbsp. olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 clove garlic, crushed (I minced 3 cloves of garlic)
    1/2 tsp. allspice
    1 (14-1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes
    1 lb. beets (not including tops), shredded (I used three beets and grated them)
    6 cups sliced green cabbage (I rough chopped the cabbage)
    3 large carrots, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (I think I'll grate the carrots in the future)
    4 cups water
    1 (15 oz.) can vegetable broth
    1 Bay leaf
    3/4 tsp. salt (I adjusted salt to taste)
    2 tbsp. red wine vinegar (I also added the juice of 1/2 a lemon)
    1/4 cup loosely packed fresh dill or parsley, chopped (I used dried dill, 3 tbsp.)
    Reduced fat sour cream, optional (I used reg. sour cream since that's what I had in the fridge, but go low fat if that's what you like.)

    1. In 5- to 6-quart saucepot, heat oil on medium until hot. Add onion and cook 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic and allspice; cook 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, peel beets and shred in food processor (or on the coarse side of box grater).
    3. Into saucepot with onion mixture, stir beets, cabbage, carrots, water, broth, bay leaf, and salt; heat to boiling on high.
    4. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf. Stir in vinegar and dill. Serve with sour cream if you like.

    "Nutritional Information is based on a 2 1/3-cup serving without sour cream.

    Read more: Not Your Grandma's Vegetable Soup - Good Housekeeping."
    Total Fat5g
    Saturated Fat1g
    Total Carbohydrate27g
    Dietary Fiber6g

    Read more: Not Your Grandma's Vegetable Soup - Good Housekeeping 

    As a side, beets are very good for you.  Have you heard the term, "eat your colors?"  Beets, in all their scarlet splendor, apply to this rule well.  What gives them their color also gives them their added health benefits so eat them up.  Mmm, mmm, good.

    Sharing @ FOODIE FRIDAY Click for details @ Designs by Gollum, Simply Delish Saturday and @  Ms. enPlace

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Eat your Vegetables!

    Today I tried two new sides and the family gave both their stamp of approval.  If you're tired of the same old  same old veggie routine read on...

    Creamed Spinach
    2 pkgs. frozen chopped spinach
    1/2 cup water
    4 oz. cream cheese
    1/2 cup cream
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan
    2 tbsp. unsalted butter
    1 tsp. chicken bouillon granule
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    1/2 tsp. onion powder
    salt & black pepper to taste

    In a deep skillet, place frozen spinach and water over medium heat.  Heat until spinach is thawed and heated through.  Drain, squeezing out excess water, and add back to the skillet.  Add remaining ingredients and place back over medium-low heat.  Stir until cream cheese is melted and all ingredients are fully incorporated.

    Cauliflower Cheddar Mash
    2 heads cauliflower florets, chopped
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 cup shredded white cheddar
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    salt and black pepper to taste
    sprinkle of grated nutmeg to taste

    Boil cauliflower in stock pot of salted water until florets are fork tender.  Drain well and return to pot.  Mash with a potato masher and add remaining ingredients.  Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.

    I really liked both.  Typically we saute spinach or have it in salad and we always roast cauliflower.  All are good; it's just nice to add a few more ideas to the mix.  I hope you enjoy.