Thursday, November 30, 2017

Cranberry Relish

Even though I did not participate in our usual family Thanksgiving meal (achoo!) I still prepared my usual pot luck items and sent them with Son2. I am afraid there would be a lynching if I had not sent the collards I had promised to bring. I also sent cranberry relish, smoked pork butt, au gratin potatoes, and smoked sausage dip. Along with the turkey, ham and about 20 other dishes from various relatives the table was groaning__as usual.

My family does not care for the traditional cranberry sauce or jelled cranberry stuff from a can. Instead every year I make this very simple and easy cranberry relish which we eat with the turkey and fixings, then eat with the leftovers, and next serve it with crackers and cream cheese until there is only a heaping spoonful left which is then mixed with mayo and mustard and used as a sandwich spread with the remaining turkey scraps in sandwiches.

It is a snap to make and insanely delicious, though it is quite different from traditional cranberry sauce.

 1 bag of washed cranberries
zest of 1 large orange*
juice from 1/2  orange
1/3 cup chopped pecans
sugar to taste (I use about a tablespoon and a half unless the cranberries are exceptionally tart.)

If you want a break from the traditional, give this a try!

Chop the cranberries in a food processor (or hand chop but I have no patience for that). Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Seal in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
* I find using a microplane grater works best for zesting. It keeps the pith out of the zest and the pith can make everything bitter. Some of you with mad skills might be able to slice it then finely chop it, but that is way above my skill set.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Blogger Christmas Card Exchange

Last year I organized a Christmas Card exchange among any bloggers who wished to participate in one and thought I would do the same this year.  If you are interested in participating the deal is send 3 Christmas cards to fellow bloggers and  get 3 cards in return. You may get a card from someone you sent one to, or  it might be from 3 totally different bloggers. So if you are interested let me know so we can get the ball rolling.
Just send your name, blog name, and address to (new email addy just for this  ) and I will add you to the exchange.  After all who could not use a few extra greetings during the holiday season.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


Wishing all my American friends a Happy Thanksgiving and the rest of you, well, Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Back with Memories,Smiles and Sneezes

We are back from visiting the most beautiful girl in our world. 

We had a great trip and enjoyed every single minute of it, but  (message to the guy on the plane sitting behind us) I really do wish you would refrain from flying while not feeling too well. Your sneezing and coughing were very unwelcome souvenirs we brought home with us. Thanks for the lovely gift, just in time for Thanksgiving! (She said sarcastically, while trying to see what she typed through watery blurry eyes as she enjoyed the fine art of mouth breathing because her nose was no longer capable of doing its designed job.)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Lemon fettucine

What do you do when you have planned on going to the lake but didn't shop before hand? If you are like me you shop your kitchen and see what you can pull out to pack and take with you since the nearest grocery store is about 13 miles away. I had seen this recipe at Happier Than A Pig In Mud, knew I was going to try it, and had everything on hand to make it, so it became the star of our game night meal.

8 oz fettuccine
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 + cup heavy cream
The juice of 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan (yeah right, I used the Kraft's stuff. No fresh parm at the lake)
I 1/2 cups chopped chicken
Salt and pepper to taste to taste
parsley for topping. I would have preferred fresh but the lake place has only dried

Cook the fettuccine in boiling water until it reaches your preferred doneness. Drain the pasta in a colander. While it is draining return the pasta pot to the heat and melt the butter with the lemon zest. Once it is bubbly and liquidy add the cream, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese. If the mixture seems too dry add a little more cream. Stir well  add the chicken then toss in the drained pasta. Sprinkle with the parsley, pass the plates  with additional parmesan cheese and let everyone chow down on this deliciousness. It was incredible and is going in our rotation as an occasional dish. (Actually we would love it just about anytime)

I served it with a side of steamed asparagus and a salad and there was not a single bite of anything left. It served 4 but  if I had not served the salad I think it would have only fed three. I am going to try it with either scallops or shrimp next time. Probably scallops since I really don't like shrimp and because I do the cooking, the menu is mine!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Positively Monday and Some Musings

Today begins a new week, new beginnings and no inspiration.  I am not really languishing but I am stuck with my wheels spinning, going nowhere. Some of you are probably more focused and deliberate than I am. I tend to start many projects at once where things need dry time or some other delay that is part of the process, and wind up with chaos until they are finished. Right this minute I am in the middle of chaos waiting for whatever the next thing I have to wait for is dry, moved, replanted, sold, painted, etc, while everything around me is askew. YUCK! (Maybe I spelled that correctly and maybe I didn't)

I am heart sick about the event in Texas, just as I was the one in NYC and before that Vegas and before that . . . I guess that is all I am musing about today.

I took Mom to a Christmas gift shop and she was less than thrilled with the store (and let me know repeatedly) but she did find a Christmas gift for my DIL.
I got the best picture ever of my granddaughter. You know those pictures that just make you laugh and the longer you look the more you laugh until you are about to wet your pants? It was not a classically pretty picture, but was one of her face in an extremely irritated state shooting daggers at them. If looks could kill Son1 and DIL would not live on this plane any longer. 
Alabama won their ballgame, Roll Tide!
I made a coffee cake and forgot to put about half of the flour in the batter. Instead of coffee cake we had coffee "brownie".

Menu possibilities:
Ham, cabbage and onion skillet meal
Chili, coleslaw, cornbread
Spaghetti with bolognese, mixed green salad
Chicken stir fry (cauliflower, broccoli and carrots) on rice
Potato soup, tossed salad
Random vegetarian meal (clueless right now)
Pork tenderloin, broccoli, oven roasted root veggies

I am going to do some heavy cleaning now so I can work and not think!

Sunday, November 5, 2017



                                             Enough !!!     

Friday, November 3, 2017

White Chili Kind of Night

A little nip in the air and those of us in the south declare it is cold enough for soup, stew and chili, and yes, we know that some of you laugh at what we think is nippy weather. Conversely we scoff at you when you come to visit us in the summer and gripe because heat with high humidity is a tad unpleasant. We know to wear our hair pulled back and to wear light colored cotton clothes with flip flops, and just grin and bear it while we drinking iced tea by the gallon.

The past weekend we had temps dip into the high 30's which we call winter temps here, so naturally I had to whip up something hot to keep us from freezing to death. (Because I have a hard and fast rule about no heat until November. I prefer December 1, but I will concede to firing up the furnace November 15 if it is below freezing, which is just not going to happen.)

Since I am the chief cook and bottle washer, I get to decide what kind of dinner we are going to have, though I will honor a special request if you give me enough lead time with the requesting. TheHub mentioned he might like chili but I had chicken in the refrigerator that needed to be cooked. I had also cooked a package of great northern beans the day before and had them ready and waiting so the dinner decision made itself. Though I cooked everything from scratch, I am using standard size cans as my measure.

1 large skinned boneless chicken breast (or 2 small ones) cooked and cut into strips or cubes. (I prefer strips but that is my personal esthetic)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper diced (again I cut mine in strips because i like a bigger bite of pepper)
1 small can diced chili peppers, drained (I seeded and minced 3 chili peppers)
1 jalapeno, seeded, ribbed and minced
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt (I always under salt cause I don't like salty dishes. you might need more)
1 tablespoon chili powder (You should use white chili powder but I am not a stickler for appearance so I use regular. It does not turn the chili red)
2 cans drained great northern beans
32 ounces chicken broth

Chop cooked chicken and set aside. In a dutch oven or large stewing post saute' the peppers, onion, and garlic until they are soft but not brown.  Add the chicken and the spices and stir well to coat the chicken. Add the beans and the broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pan and turn the heat to a simmer. Let the chili cook slowly for about 30 minutes. Ladle into bowl and enjoy. I like mine with a sprinkling of chopped cilantro and a tad of grated jack cheese. I had neither so we ate it plain and it was still remarkably good.

And of course as I am typing this post it is 82 degrees. I guess tonight will be a salad dinner! Sheesh! No weather consistency!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Last week was our anniversary and even though we had already celebrated a joint birthday, birthday, anniversary with dinner out at our favorite restaurant, the day of our anniversary TheHub called and suggested we go somewhere that cost less then our mortgage reasonable for dinner. I had planned to cook but I am not stupid enough to look a gift horse in the mouth. As fate would have it that same day we had an advertising mailer delivered  for a restaurant we had never tried before. It offered a free appetizer with a meal purchase. I looked the menu up online and it was a very casual restaurant with modest prices, so off we went.

We do not normally get appetizers, unless we are going to have those as our meal, but hey, this was free so why not. We chose the Low Country Dip, mainly because we had never had it before and it looked better than any other one on the menu. In addition to the dip we decided to split the pimento cheese burger and a salad. The appetizer came first, naturally, and we decided right then that we should not have gotten the burger. The dip and salad would have been the perfect amount. It was wonderful with all it's cheesy, smoked sausage goodness, both in taste and texture.  I kept taking small tastes with just my fork to try and deconstruct it. Below is my take on the dip

Low Country Dip

2 cups cheddar cheese 
1 8 oz, pack of creamed cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 pound smoked sausage, chopped finely
1/2 can drained seasoned turnip greens
Mix the cheddar cheese and the cream cheese in a microwave sale bowl. Nuke until the cream cheese is soft. Remove from the microwave and stir to blend. Next  in the mayo, sour cream and hot sauce and stir to blend well. Add the sausage and the turnip greens and stir to mix. Pour into an 8x8 oven safe pan and bake at 350 until it is bubbly and hot. Serve with sliced baguettes or tortilla chips. It is so incredible tasty and makes the perfect dish to gnosh on while watching a football game. I will be making this often. It makes a very full 8x8 pan and we had a lot of it leftover. Son2 and Girlfriend 2 had it the next morning for breakfast, and I still had a lot more left. The good news? It refrigerates nicely. To serve it again just put what you are going to eat in a ramekin and zap it about 35 seconds.

I cooked mine a little too long. I would suggest maybe 10 -15 minutes in a 350 oven. (I forgot about it and left mine in about 30 minutes. ) I will also use white cheddar, but that is purely an esthetic change, not a flavor one. Other than that I will leave it just this way. My mouth is watering just typing this.

Now the biggest problem I have with this is that I have a half pound of sausage left over and no cream cheese. A trip to the store, a football Saturday and I will be in business again. 
Happy eating and Roll Tide!