Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Southern Special 26

My time at home is flying by and I'm down to my last week here. This weekend will be my 30th year class reunion. I'm excited and feeling anxious at the same time but that's a story for another time.
We had some great new bloggers link up last week and as always some great links. So many new recipes to try, craft ideas and interesting articles. I hope you checked some out. One of the reason we do this is because, we as bloggers, love to share and socialize with you.
Let's look at a few of my favorites from last week.

Be sure to follow your host!! Thanks so much AND link back to whichever blog you posted your link through.
Cate: Random Crafty GA Girl ~  Facebook ~ Twitter

ME:  Facebook ~   Twitter ~  Pinterest ~  G+ ~ Instagram

Trish: The Decoratoraholic ~ G+ ~ Pinterest ~ Twitter ~ Bloglovin' ~ Facebook

The Rules are simple:
 Share #recipes #crafts #DIY projects #beauty #fitness #homedecor #landscapes, #architecture #homemade items and more! 
Link 2 -3 links from YOUR blog. Link back to one of your host on the post you shared OR on a party page. Visit others, share the party and ENJOY!!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hibachi chicken with mushrooms

My family loves Asian food and since moving to GA it is next to impossible to find, at least where we live anyway. However, we did find this great place about 30 or so miles from us. Problem is, I can't just jump in the truck whenever I want and grab some food.
After looking around on the Internet and doing a little trial and error. I have come up with my own hibachi chicken recipe. Oh man was it good! This is definitely something I will make again and again.

 I actually cooked the chicken portion and then separated it, reason being I am allergic to mushrooms but my husband and son love them. To mine I added squash and onions. Their's had mushrooms and onions which is a more traditional way. Mine was delicious and they devoured the pan I prepared for them.

Hibachi chicken with mushrooms and onions
1-1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken, chopped small
1 TBSP oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 TBSP butter
3 TBSP soy sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
dash salt
dash pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and toss into a hot skillet or wok. Stir around quickly until the chicken is done.
I did the chicken then added the same amount of each ingredient along with several squash sliced and 1/2 of a large onion sliced. This I removed and added to part of the chicken, then adding the chicken back to the pan along with the same amount of liquid ingredients/spices and a  pint container of button mushrooms plus the other half of the onion sliced. Sauteed it and added to the chicken.
If you can eat mushrooms you can of course skip the step with the squash, but since I'm allergic, I basically made the chicken and then two dishes out of that.
It was not a lot of work and we all enjoyed it so much it was worth the effort.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Southern Cake Book by Southern Living

I feel very pleased to be able to review such wonderful cookbooks as this The Southern Cake Book by Southern Living. If you have been around long, you've seen the half dozen books I have reviewed. I love SL, I truly do. The books are lovely, the recipes are easy to follow, and I have yet to make something that was not fantastic!

I am not being paid to tell you these things, I give you my honest opinion, no strings attached, no "give us a positive review and we'll give you X amount of dollars". Nope, none of that. Just me receiving a book, reading it, trying recipes and thoroughly enjoying the entire process.

Every page goes from delicious to drool worthy. I could have made every recipe in this book, but I refrained. Here are the two I have made so far. Photos and recipes used by permission of the publisher and SL.

 Apple-Pecan Carrot Cake
Top a showstopping crown of Mascarpone Topping  with swirls of Apple Cider Caramel Sauce and a  scattering of pecans. Caramel sauce, rather than  frosting, sandwiches together the moist cake layers.
Makes: 10 servings  •  Hands-on: 30 min.  •  Total: 3 hours, 30 min.

2 1/3 cups finely chopped lightly toasted pecans, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. apple pie spice
1/2 tsp. table salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups peeled and grated Granny Smith apples
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp.  Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
Mascarpone Topping
Garnish: toasted pecan halves

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Sprinkle 1 1⁄3 cups toasted pecans into 2 well- buttered shiny 9-inch round cake pans; shake to coat bottom and sides  of pans.
2. Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients.
3. Stir together eggs and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Add flour mixture, stirring just until blended. Fold in apples, carrots,  and remaining 1 cup pecans. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted  in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.  Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
5. Place 1 cake layer, pecan side down, on a serving plate. Spread top  of cake layer with 2⁄3 cup Apple Cider Caramel Sauce; top with remaining  cake layer, pecan side down. Spread Mascarpone Topping over top of cake. Drizzle 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Caramel Sauce over topping, and  swirl sauce into topping. Serve immediately.

Apple Cider Caramel Sauce: Cook 1 cup apple cider in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 10 minutes or until reduced to 1/4 cup. Stir in 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/4 cup whipping cream. Bring to  a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; boil, stirring constantly,  2 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool completely. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.
Mascarpone Topping: Whisk together 1 (8-oz.) container mascarpone cheese, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and 2 tsp. vanilla extract in a large bowl just until blended. Beat  1 cup whipping cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into mascarpone mixture. Makes about 3 cups.
Lemon Curd-Filled  Angel Food Cupcakes
Makes: 12 cupcakes  •  Hands-on: 30 min.  •  Total: 1 hour, 32 min.

1 3/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. table salt
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. light rum
1/4 tsp. orange extract
1 3/4 cups egg whites  (about 13 to 15 large eggs)
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
12 (2 1/2- x 2-inch) muffin-size paper baking molds
Lemon Curd Filling
Cream Cheese Frosting  (page 43)
Garnish: lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 375º. Sift together sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl.  Combine lemon juice, vanilla extract, rum, and orange extract.
2. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until stiff peaks form; gently transfer egg white  mixture to a large bowl. Gradually fold in sugar mixture with a large spatula, 1⁄3 cup at a time, folding just until blended after each addition. Fold in lemon juice mixture.
3. Arrange 12 (2 1/2- x 2-inch) muffin-size paper baking molds on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet; spoon batter into baking molds, filling almost completely full.
4. Bake at 375º for 17 to 19 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 45 minutes).
5. Make a small hole in top of each cupcake using the handle of a wooden spoon. Spoon Lemon Curd Filling into a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Snip 1 corner of bag to make a tiny hole. Pipe a generous amount of filling into each cupcake. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting on tops of cupcakes.
Lemon Curd Filling
Stir together 1 (10-oz.) jar lemon curd and 1⁄3 cup sour cream until blended. Cover and chill until ready to use. Makes 1 1/4 cups.

My versions were no where near as lovely but OH SO GOOD to the tummy.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Southern Special week 25

Here we are at week 25. I'm still out of town and enjoying myself immensely. Now with the wedding over I'll be able to visit more pages this week.

My favorites from last week:

Be sure to follow your host!! Thanks so much AND link back to whichever blog you posted your link through.
Cate: Random Crafty GA Girl ~  Facebook ~ Twitter

ME:  Facebook ~   Twitter ~  Pinterest ~  G+ ~ Instagram

Trish: The Decoratoraholic ~ G+ ~ Pinterest ~ Twitter ~ Bloglovin' ~ Facebook

The Rules are simple:
 Share #recipes #crafts #DIY projects #beauty #fitness #homedecor #landscapes, #architecture #homemade items and more! 
Link 2 -3 links from YOUR blog. Link back to one of your host on the post you shared OR on a party page. Visit others, share the party and ENJOY!!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pan Seared chicken caramelized onions with red pepper tomato gravy

Happy Monday! I'm enjoying my time in NC and hope you're enjoying my photos and stories. There will be more to come. But today I'm sharing another great comfort food recipe that I prepared before I left GA.

I had purchased some roasted red peppers and wanted to use them in a new recipe. I thought they would make an interesting addition to gravy.

This was a great recipe, comfort food, loaded gravy that satisfied my guys.

boneless skinless chicken tenders 9 (3 per person)
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
3 roasted red peppers, sliced
1 medium Vidala onion, sliced

Season and flour the chicken. Saute or pan fry. That means a dab of oil to cook the chicken in. Once it is done, add some water and cover. This is what we refer to as country fried. Fried but softened. Saute onions in butter and cook until tender, caramelized and lightly brown. cornstarch, mix well and pour into pan with onions.Prepare gravy. 1 cup broth or water, 1 TBSP Slice the roasted red pepper and add it along with the onions to the gravy. Add more fresh cracked and simmer gravy until it thickens. Need more gravy, double the amounts.
Serve over rice with fresh veggies.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Chicken breast with apple basil stuffing - CIC

What protein goes with apples? I automatically think of pork, pork chops and apple sauce. If you grew up watching The Brady Bunch like me you're probably cracking up right now. One thing, I rarely eat pork plus when I went to the market to look at pork loins or thick chops, I about fell over with the price. SO... I opted for chicken breast.

What am I talking about? The Crazy Ingredient Challenge. I give a group of bloggers 2 ingredients and they come up with a new recipe using those ingredients and we all post on the same day.

4-6 whole boneless chicken breast
1 box of cornbread stuffing mix
1 stick melted butter, unsalted
1 1/2 cups water
1 large green/granny smith apple diced
1 TBSP basil, dried

Split the breast or butterfly them, mix the other ingredients and stuff the breast. Saute in a pan with a dab of butter and then baste, cover with a lid and allow the chicken to cook through. Serve with roasted veggies and a whole grain like brown rice, quinoa, or couscous.

I did make another recipe which I'll be sharing later.

Be sure to check out the other links!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Friday, September 19, 2014

Wedding, Vacation and Fly on the Wall

Hey Hey Happy FRI Day :)

And that means FLY ON THE WALL POST! This one will be a little different since I'm out of town and want to share some adventures.
Today 14 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:
http://www.BakingInATornado.com                           Baking In A Tornado
http://www.therowdybaker.com                                The Rowdy Baker
http://www.justalittlenutty.com/                                Just A Little Nutty
http://themomisodes.com                                         The Momisodes
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                       Spatulas on Parade
http://thesadderbutwisergirl.com                               The Sadder But Wiser Girl
http://followmehome.shellybean.com                          Follow me home . . .
http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                  Stacy Sews and Schools
http://www.menopausalmom.com/                             Menopausal Mother
http://www.gomamao.com                                        Go Momma O
http://dinoheromommy.com/                                     Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
http://www.juiceboxconfession.com                           Juicebox Confession
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                         Someone Else’s Genius
http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                               Battered Hope

I'm having a blast in NC with my friends and family. Yesterday I went wheelin' around in a Miada with my friend from Jr High school. Top down, wind in our hair, sun shining, cruising around, we drove from my home town to Cedar Isand, caught a ferry, rode to Ocracoke, then to Hatteras, sight seeing, lunch, shopping and back across on the ferries.  Harkers Island for supper and home. A long 17 hour day but so worth it! I'm wearing my Taffy jacket, it was super windy and cool, 6 months ago this jacket would not zip, today it was roomy! Awesome feeling.
 It was so windy had to tie my hair back all day so I didn't look like Medusa running around. But what fun we had!

 I love the beach this time of year, no one around but us, fiddler crabs and horseshoe crabs. The waves were huge and the tide was rough. But so peaceful to me. I could have stayed all day.

This was at the landing on Cedar Point tonight. Gorgeous!

Flash back to last weekend, my oldest son got married!! It was beautiful, we had POURING rain all day on Friday, the rehearsal in the rain and on the way to the wedding. It stopped long enough for a gorgeous outdoor wedding then started to rain again. That's okay, it's a done deal now.

Me on the way to the wedding.

OMGosh, my little Sassy Pants and her BFF were flower girls, they made it all the way down to the front of the aisle and decided they were not moving. The Father of the Bride had to push them out of the way so Amy could get to the alter. It was funny. She stood there the ENTIRE time but boy did she bust a move at the reception. She danced and bounced and sang like crazy.

This doll crib was mine, my grand daughter now uses it, I didn't know but it was my mothers, given to her by her Great Aunt. So no telling how old this is. My mom will be 70 her birthday. The Barney was my sons, who just got married, the Raggedy Ann and Andy were my cousin Teresa's and she passed away in 1996.

On my way from GA to NC, 9 hour drive, I saw some interesting sights, crazy bumper stickers, here are a few I saw:
want a taste of the wild side, lick a witch
sticker: driver has no cash, he's married wife has it
sticker: Don't like my driving? Stay off the sidewalk

I'd share more but it's all on my phone, which I left in my friends car and won't get back until tomorrow later this morning. :(
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Slow Cooker spicy beef roast bbq sandwiches

HEY hey it's Thursday! That means while you're reading this, I'm either riding with the top down on my way to the island, on the ferry or enjoying the ocean. Yep, I'm in NC and spending the day with a friend from junior high. She and I are riding topless. No, not really, we have the top down and are winging our way to Ocracoke via the ferry and then off to Hatteras Island and lighthouse. I'm so excited. Now if the rain will hold off.

Last week before packing and leaving GA, I went on a cooking frenzy. I had to get recipes done to share with you while I was gone AND make food for my husband and son. Yes, they can cook, but I felt better about leaving them for 3 weeks if I left food behind.

Here is one of the recipes, this was delicious. You see two different sandwiches. Because it made so much it lasted several days. First we used toasted potato bread and when that ran out we used hamburger buns. You choose what you want, both were great.

Slow Cooker spicy beef roast
2-3 lbs beef roast
1 TBSP paprika
1 TBSP chili powder
1 TBSP garlic powder
1 TBSP onion powder
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 cup bar-be-que sauce (I used No. 7 recipe Jack Daniels)

In a bowl, mix your spices and rub the roast all over. Place the roast in your slow cooker and place on high for 4 hours or low for 6. I did the 4 hours, then pulled the roast out and shredded the beef. Placed it back in the cooker on low with the bbq sauce for another 2 hours. Served with slaw, beans, deviled eggs and pickles.
The second day we used hamburger buns and I added a tad more bbq sauce when I heated the roast up. Topped it with slaw and it was a great lunch.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Southern Special 24

It's been a busy week, I packed and drove from South GA to Eastern NC for my oldest son's wedding, and I've been busy seeing friends and family.
But with all of the excitement I've still had time to check out last weeks party and pick a few favorites.

Be sure to follow your host!! Thanks so much AND link back to whichever blog you posted your link through.
Cate: Random Crafty GA Girl ~  Facebook ~ Twitter

ME:  Facebook ~   Twitter ~  Pinterest ~  G+ ~ Instagram

Trish: The Decoratoraholic ~ G+ ~ Pinterest ~ Twitter ~ Bloglovin' ~ Facebook

The Rules are simple:
 Share #recipes #crafts #DIY projects #beauty #fitness #homedecor #landscapes, #architecture #homemade items and more! 
Link 2 -3 links from YOUR blog. Link back to one of your host on the post you shared OR on a party page. Visit others, share the party and ENJOY!!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Monday, September 15, 2014

German Chocolate Fudgy Brownies with honey roasted sunflower seeds and Dulce de Leche

My son is hitched! The wedding was Saturday and went beautifully, the rain held off just long enough for our outdoor ceremony, the rain came in buckets while the reception/party went well into the night.

Now on to the wonderful dessert I created last weekend:
We love dessert, chocolate and brownies are perfect. Wanting to do something different I decided I wanted to add some Dulce de Leche and MAN was that a FANtastic idea. I also added honey roasted sunflower seeds and instead of using baking cocoa or regular baking chocolate squares I used German chocolate baking squares. Wow, now these combinations turned out to be the absolute best brownies year to date.

3 oz German chocolate baking squares
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup honey roasted sunflower seeds
1 can Dulce de Leche 

In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate and butter over a pot of boiling water, stir until creamy. Remove and stir in your sugar, vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl, mix your dry ingredients, then stir in the chocolate mix. Lastly add your seeds. Spread in a 13 x 9 greased pan, drop spoonfuls of Dulce de Leche on top, pop in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, cool, slice and ENJOY

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Friday, September 12, 2014

Butter Pecan Apple Carrot Cake - UYW - Pearl and William 8

Hi everyone, I'm in NC enjoying my family. Today is bitter sweet, it would have been my Daddy's 68th birthday. He passed last June just 6 days before my birthday, it has been a long 15 months without him. But today we celebrate, my oldest son is getting married tomorrow and tonight is the rehearsal and dinner. J1 is marrying a sweet lady and they are two peas in a pod. I'm very excited for him and little Miss Sassy Pants gets to be in the wedding with her Daddy. Now if we can just get her to understand that this is "his" day and not hers! Wish us luck! Photos to will be shared later :D

Today’s post is also a writing challenge. If you're not familiar, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them. 
Your words are: Hat Head ~ Mosquito ~ jumping the shark ~ summer vacation ~ best dream ~ worst nightmare
They were submitted by: http://www.eviljoyspeaks.wordpress.com   

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:
The Sadder But Wiser Girl              
Battered Hope       

Butter Pecan Apple Carrot Cake
Butter Cake batter (found here)
1 large granny smith apple, peeled, cored and grated
3 small organic carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 can German Chocolate Coconut Pecan frosting

Prepare your butter cake batter and add the apple, carrot and pecans. Pour into a greased prepared 13x9 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove the cake and allow it to cool, then frost with a can of coconut pecan frosting. YES YES I Know it's not "clean" but my family enjoyed it and they are not like me, they "want" the unclean food. 
The cake was moist and delicious either way.

Click the number to read an installment you may have missed or to read them all. Thanks for stopping by and all the love/support I've received while writing this story.
Installment 1 :a love story
Installment 8 of Pearl and William

Here I sat, swatting at a mosquito and enjoying my summer vacation on the farm. Great Great Grandma Pearl's diary on my lap and a cool glass of lemonade at my side. Finding this diary has been like my best dream ever. Learning about their lives, loves and wow... Cousin Sarah, now that has been the most interesting and probably worst nightmare of the diary. Sitting with my eyes closed thinking back to the last part I read...
He approached her, she spun around and said "look bub I told ya, I ain't yer wife, so if you want to spend time with me, ya gotta pay up". Abe was so caught off guard by her forward talk that he stumbled and almost fell. He bumped into a bar patron who spun around and clocked him. William rushed in the room and grabbed Abe. Abe bounced back like a tight spring and clocked the man with a right hook.

And the fight was on, beer flying, fist smashing, chairs crashing and then it happened POW someone missed and cold cocked Ruby right in the nose. She fell back like a fresh cut tree in the forest. BAM on the floor, out cold and blood running from her nose."

Rose! Rose! ROOOSEY! huh? What? She opened her eyes to see her brother Caleb approaching. She started to laugh, he was wiping the sweat and his hat head was funny and she ignored the annoyed look on his face. 
He looked at the book in her lap, "Why are you reading that old junk anyway"? he asked.
Because, it is part of our history, it's Amish and it's fascinating. Want me to read some of it to you? (why did she ask that?)
"duh, no!"
Fine, then leave me alone while I finish reading.
"Rosey, our family hasn't been Amish in 3 generations, who cares?"
I do. Now LEAVE
"FINE" he said and stomped away.

Now, where was I? Oh yeah... Sarah. hmmm I wonder what happened? I'm so tempted to read ahead, then go back for the details, but that would be jumping the shark. So back to the Fall of 189... dang can't read the last number.
My dearest Pearl,
I apologize in advance for the forwardness of this letter but know no other way to tell you this. 

As I mentioned in previous correspondence, Sarah is alive and living in a brothel.
Now she is at the farm with Abe. Only the good Lord above knows what will happen. I will spare your sensitive nature and say that there was a fight, Sarah was injured and it seemed to have... well knocked some sense in her, as some locals say.

Pearl took a deep breath. Excitement, joy and then fear gripped her heart. What did this mean? Would she loose the children she had come to love as her own? Would she be able to return to the farm and start her life with William? Would Abe NOT take Sarah back after living the life of a harlot?
She read on.

Abe is torn right now, vexed to put it in more straight talk. As is not the normal, put I ask ya to be speaking to your pa and ma about all this. Be praying for the children as Sarah is in no shape to care for wee ones, a farm and husband. If Abe takes her back as his wife. The bishop has been called and will be here the first Saturday in October.

I promise to write more tomorrow. 
All my love and devotion,

Pearl sat on the bed, in a daze, looking out the window. "Oh dear heavenly Father, help us" was all she could manage.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Slow Cooker Chili with Gourmet Warehouse Rub

Over the weekend I made this easy slow cooker chili. We enjoyed the sweet fluffy cornbread to go with it. That recipe was shared yesterday.
I have several difference chili recipes on the blog:

Slow Cooker Chili with Gourmet Warehouse rub
1 lb lean ground beef, cooked and drained
Mix meat and all the other ingredients into the slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-4 hours.
1 tsp each : cumin, garlic powder, parsley flakes and smoked paprika
1 TBSP chili powder
1 large Vidalia onion chopped
4 medium sweet peppers; red, yellow and orange
1 can kidney bean, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto bean, rinsed and drained
1/2 can (6 oz) tomato sauce
1 can Rotel MILD
6 oz or half can diced tomatoes 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic