Saturday, September 25, 2010

Precious Nothings

I love Saturdays in the fall.  Thankfully there is nothing for me to do, but hang with my family & friends and watch college football.

Today has been great.  Hopson took:  Harry, Elizabeth & Henry (with a friend) to the lake.  Hoppy had his football workout this morning at 7am so he and I stayed home.  I love staying home, I think I would have made a great hermit, and good, bad or otherwise, I think Hoppy could be a great one too.

Anyway, back to today's events....He came home & we hung out and watched ESPN Game Day.  I decided to go through some different recipe books to see if there was anything that sounded good.  I kinda liked challenging myself last week by cooking things out of my cookbooks.  I was bouncing different recipes off Hoppy & we came across Lemon Raspberry Squares.  Ok, one word, yum!

I'm sure a lot of y'all have made them before, but as my family will attest, I don't bake.  You have to be exact when you do, and I'm a dumper.  GiGi, my mother-in-law, and my sister, Amy are great at baking.  Amy will make the stuff that takes forever and she loves every minute of it.  She always makes it look pretty too, showoff.  :)  Amy also lets the children get involved, and I'm selfish when I cook.  (the children tend to make a mess.)  GiGi makes the hard stuff.  For one of my birthdays she made me a homemade chocolate cake.  Even the icing was homemade.  It was absolutely beautiful!  I wanted to swim in it because it was so yummy.

Hoppy & I made the lemon raspberry squares.  I think we had more fun licking the bowls and just hanging out talking.  It will be one of those memories that is a precious nothing.  Just some time and something sweet that was made.  Like I said, I love Saturdays in the fall. 

Here's the link for the recipe to Lemon Raspberry Squares.

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not cho' daddy's ribs

I have been hyping these ribs with the fam. for a whole week.  We were going to all sit down, watch the Thursday night ball game, (which is a very big deal in our house because we have no TV during the week) and just spend some time talking and hanging out together.

That's a big fat not.  I'm not going to bore you with details because it has happened to all of us.  I felt like I was in a know where the wife spends time preparing this elaborate romantic meal & her husband works late.  That was me, just with kids.

I started preparing these ribs 2 days ago.  I was in the grocery store a few weeks ago looking for some spice & came across different meat rubs.  (I found mine at the local Wal-Mart grocery store.)  I have quite a few men I know who are wonderful at cooking meat on the grill, and from what they say, the rub plays a big part in the taste of the meat.  You know, they are right.  (Pop, Robert, Steve & Coach Dennis)  I coated these ribs generously with my new found rub.  I was kinda giddy about it.  My kitchen & fingers smelled great all day I can imagine how they will smell cooking.  I decided to let the ribs sit for 24 hours...but then I remembered that it was only Tuesday & I wanted to serve these Thursday, so they had the privilege of sitting for 48 instead.  Does that happen to anyone else?  Wishful thinking...

I know a lot of you purists are going to poo poo on me, but I say talk to the hand....I cooked these bad boys in the crock pot!  WooHoo, no-think cooking, the best kind for crazy moms on the go.  I hope it will make  you feel better that I cooked mine for 11 hours on low.  They fell apart before I could get them on the plate.  All kids gave it a thumbs up & definitely a do again.  Everyone fed, everyone happy, my kitchen cleaned-up for the most part & one more easy recipe on the books.  It's official...for tonight...the kitchen is closed.

Y'all enjoy the ribs.  Click the link below to see the recipe.  It's truly a no brainer.  If you don't see the recipe pop up, click the recipe tab at the top of the opened page.

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The awaited 5th recipe

I have made the 5th recipe.  Very easy & full bodied.  (that doesn't sound very nice...)  I was watching Rachel Ray with my mother-in-law, GiGi, and I had to write this down because it sounded so wonderful and different.  Of course I tweaked it...heaven forbid I follow a recipe to the letter.  This is how my rebel side manifests itself, because I am extremely anal retentive. (so much so that my monogram is ANL.  As you can guess, I don't have too many things monogrammed in my house.)

Tuesdays are a come and go day, so we have to eat in shifts.  The first shift had 'the picky one', Harry, aka the crippled child, aka Crippleboy Swag.  He gave himself the last name, can you tell?  Well, the picky one ate it!!!  Hey Mikey, he liked it!  Bing!  Score 1 for the home team.

Next up was Hopson, I just wanted him to taste it to let me know if he liked it or not.  He stood over the pot and ate his.  Peggy (GiGi) I didn't really just write that, you just think I did...  :)  Score 2!

Henry, the bottomless pit, was the next one in line.  I have never seen a skinny 8 year old eat as much as he does.  He almost eats as much as Hoppy, it is kinda gross, but he's like a little heater so I know he's burning it off.  He ate it, but left the tomatoes.  That's not a full point only half, but he asked for his fruit & veggie, because I didn't have it ready.  He ate 2 servings of salad...and I'm giving myself another half point for that.

I have eaten and like it, but I don't think I count because I cooked it.  (I knew I would like it while she was cooking it.)  Let me know what you think.

Elizabeth is the next victim. She liked it, but took a break from eating it because she said it was a little too spicy.  It has a ton of pepper in it from the bacon. 

Hoppy is last, as usual, on Tuesdays during football season.  He had 2 huge helpings...but was this because he was hungry or because he liked it?  It's both.  He's my honest to a fault child.  It's my fault he is like this.  When I would ask Hopson if something I wore was ugly or made me look fat, he always says 'it looks great', so I would ask Hoppy & he would always tell me the truth...nice some days, not so nice others.

Ok, so that's home team 5 for 5.  I asked the kids if they would like this in the rotation of foods I cook.  They all said yes, but next time I will take some of the pepper off the bacon so it's not so spicy.

Click the link below to check out the recipe, if it doesn't come up, make sure you click on the recipe tab at the top of the page:

Since this recipe's main ingredient is bacon, I've included a link to Jim Gaffigan's bit in his comedy routine that is about bacon, it's absolutely hilarious!!! I think it's on King Baby.  He's clean, so your kids can watch it too.

Enjoy the laugh & be blessed beyond measure

Crippleboy Swag...looking fly

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just for You

Here is me, stepping out of my comfort zone just for you.  Why you might ask?  Because I love you...and I'm tired of cooking the same stuff.  Cooking out of a cookbook for me can be heinous.  Strange ingredients, labor intensive...who has the time? 

Well, I've found 5 recipes that are not so bad.  The appetizer recipe I have posted was a variation on a recipe I have had for years, but it was sightly different so I tried it and I gave it a Mexican flair. The original I have is better, so I have posted that one, but will include the Mexican tweak.  The chicken dish I made last night I will convert into a crock pot recipe for all you cp'ers out there. 

The two recipe books I used are Food for Thought  by The Junior League of Birmingham & Absolutely a la Carte from the restaurant, A La Carte, in Cleveland, Mississippi.  (they have the best blackeye pea soup, I'll do that recipe in the future once it turns cooler!  If it ever does...)  I'm only posting 4 recipes today instead of the 5 I told you.  I'm posting the 5th one tomorrow.  It has made my kitchen smell wonderful, and of course, I'm tweaking it.  (I actually did do something the recipe called for & used fresh garlic..gasp here.)    I'm letting the flavors come together in my fridge for a little while, so I'll let you know tonight what the fam. thinks about it.

All the recipes and the tweaks to them can be found on my recipe blog.  Just click the link below & there you go!  :)  I'm excited about what I've cooked the last 7 days & hope it helps you find something a little different too that your family will eat...even the picky ones. 

Here's the link...make sure you click the recipes tab at the top of the page:

Y'all be bless beyond measure,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stepping out of my comfort zone

I decided to challenge myself, because stepping out of my comfort zone is good, right?  I am actually cooking stuff out of some of my recipe books.  So, I've gone from just reading to cooking from them.  One condition, no weird ingredients.  I wanted the recipes to be something I could add into the rotation of what I cook for the fam. & something 'the picky one' would even eat.  Is anyone else tired of what they cook for dinner & need some new ideas besides me?

Tomorrow I'm going to post 4 entrees and 1 dip.  Of course I changed them up a little & didn't really measure anything, but they turned out great.  There's one recipe that the kids thought was ok, but Hopson & I liked it.  (I'll let you know which one it is.)  I'm serving a new recipe tonight & one tomorrow for dinner, so I'll let you know how that goes.  I think the weirdest ingredient I bought that I usually don't keep on hand is heavy whipping cream. 

Watch for tomorrow's will have the recipes & what the children thought of tonight's meal. 

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Well, here I am sitting at the computer when I should be cooking.  Tonight we are having an oldie but a goodie.  Hamburger quiche.  It's not a girly quiche by any stretch of the imagination.  (my clan would not come near it with a 10 foot pole if it was.)  It's hearty and is as good in the summer as it is in the winter.  I just change up what I serve with it.

This is another one of my mother's recipes.  I still have the original recipe card with her handwriting.  You may think I'm weird, sometimes I'll get her recipe box down just to look at her handwriting and think of her cooking.  It makes her feel just a little closer.  No more sad things for today...  This blog is about joy, and sometimes from the least likely place, joy wells up. 

Did you ever notice that Jesus loved a good meal and/or party?  I think he knew that when food was present it was easier for people to talk, ask questions, and listen to what He had to say.  Maybe that's why meal time is so important for our families.  It gives us a chance to do the same thing.  It's gotten hard for us to do this every night, but we try to have family dinners as often as we can.  If you can't do dinner, do breakfast.  If you need conversation starters b/c you're tired of hearing your kids say everything is fine, play a dinner game.  We have a blast every time we play.  Go to the following link to see some: 

Well, it's time for me to go cook now.  Joy is mine!  I've included some verses I came across this week while I was doing my bible study.  I think they are perfect for today! 

Acts 14:17  "Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy."

Acts 2:28 "You have made known to me the paths of life;
      you will fill me with joy in your presence."

Here's the link for my momma's hamburger quiche recipe.  It's easy to double and freeze part to have for later.

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dinner under 30?

30 what though?  Ingredients, dollars, minutes which one?  Minutes tonight for sure. 

I always joked that after I was done working at my little part-time job was when my real job started.  If I was to get paid for my mommy skills, I wonder how much I would make?  Some experts say around 130K, well that comes close to what I spend to fill up my gas tank and groceries.  (not really, but close)   Today was a day that I spent the better part of the day in and out of the car.  You know those days...when it sure would be easier to just pull through a drive through, but for us that's a no can do so, what to cook?

I had 2 pounds of farm raised catfish that we needed to eat & I'm thinking how in the world should I cook this stuff without frying or grilling, and what do I serve with it? You ever have nights like that? You know what you have to cook, but how to prepare it?  I get so sick of eating the same stuff over & over. 

Fish is not my family's favorite dinner, unless it's fried.  When I'm in a very generous mood I'll fry stuff, otherwise, no way hoseman.  I can feel the grease caking my face & it takes forever to cook & clean-up.  Sorry, rabbit trail.

Ok, this is not gourmet meal, but so far my younger two have scarfed it down, so here we go. The joys of eating in shifts.  Update:  the older ones are home and inhaled it, even the picky one!  Success and utter joy is mine!

I have posted the fish recipe on the following link:

Now onto the rest of the meal.... You're going to laugh, and my mom is going to roll over in her grave when I admit this.  My children love fake mashed potatoes.  You know the flakes you get in the box & heat water and margarine to boiling, add in the milk & flakes and salt & have mashed potatoes.  Not.  I can taste fake mashed potatoes from a mile away, but hey this is dinner under 30, so doctored fake mashed potatoes is what we had.  I'll include how I doctored them below.  I think they all liked this part of the meal the best.  Crazy kids.

The veggie was an oldie but goodie, pea casserole minus the Ritz crackers.  Most excellent when you need something in a hurry (and are out of frozen broccoli) and it needs to be green.

Well, all in all, I would say dinner was a success, and a very easy clean-up to boot.  I can now go to bed with a smile on my face knowing that just for today everyone was satisfied & I didn't have to coerce anyone into eating.  A good day indeed!

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Here's the fake mashed potato recipe I promised!  Remember I have big eaters so I used 6 servings of fake mashed potatoes even though Hopson only had a tasting & I didn't eat any...

Follow directions on the box to make the 'fake' mashed potatoes
Once potatoes are made:
Add DiGiorno grated Parmesan cheese.  Use 1 oz for every 2 servings of mashed potatoes you have.      (this was the only stuff I had on hand, but you can use fresh if you want)
dried Italian seasoning (I had publix brand in my spice cabinet, use generously)
2 pinches per 2 servings of Kosher Salt 
You will need to tasted the potatoes to make sure you have enough seasonings, so alter to your liking

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

lazy cookin'

Ok, I admit it...I'm a lazy cook.  If there's a way to cheat & make a recipe easier, I'm going to try it.  Sometimes I just don't feel like chopping up onions & garlic, so I'll use the (add gasp here) frozen onions & minced garlic in a jar.  I know it will make what I cook taste differently, but it seems every time I take the time to chop, mince, crush fresh herbs, my family turns their noses up at what I cook.  Go figure.  I dump a bunch of 'stuff' in a pan and they love it.

I've taken a recent recipe from The Pioneer Woman & changed it, of course to make it easier, and cooked it in the crock pot.  Love some crock pot cooking! 

This was so easy & is so tasty, my kitchen smells wonderful. 

Click on the link below to go to the recipe.

Thanks KP for turning me onto The Pioneer Woman, she actually has pictures as she cooks stuff, and simple directions, so it's really idiot proof.  If you haven't checked out her site it's  She also has really cool giveaways.  Oh to one day be able to do that, maybe since I'm unemployed now I'll look into can't hurt!  Who likes free stuff, um, that would be me! 

Let me know what you think of the beef tips & me trying to do a free giveaway.  Maybe if you leave a comment or become a follower, I'll give y'all stuff first!  :)

Y'all be blessed beyond measure,

Friday, September 3, 2010

Because Football Season is HERE!!!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!!!  FOOTBALL!  I like watching all kinds of football, but of course having a high school football player has placed Rebel football at the top of my list.  It's hard to believe that I have a child old enough to play, I keep looking for my little brother, Cotton, instead of my son.  (Cotton is not so little anymore, he turned 31 in May.)  For your viewing pleasure I've included pictures of Hop as he was leaving for his game tonight. Check out the happenin' black socks he's sporting. Nice aren't they?! (he looks like Hopson does when comes home from work & decides to workout in his dark work socks.)  Running a very close second with watching the Rebels play is Auburn football!!! War Eagle, Hey!    

Friends, fellowship, food & football, some wonderful words that start with f.  We love to have parties and watch football, literally all day long. If you're in the area, just call & find out what we're doing, our policy is:  the more the merrier.  Is there anything better than the food?  Oh, it makes you want to stand up and slap your momma. (not recommended of course)  I think I like the grazing aspect of it.  You eat a little, take a break, eat a little, take a break; and on top of all that you get to have wonderful fellowship and make memories with friends.  (I'm always sneaking around with my camera taking pictures, because everything must be documented.)  The joy that football brings to our household.

One of my favorite dishes for football season is actually made by Hopson.  You may have had this, but on the off chance you haven't, happy eating to you my friends!  I asked Hopson who showed him how to make them, and he thinks it was his former boss, Norman Gayle.  Norman is a great hunter, and throws a pretty good party himself.  The first time I had these, they were made with quail and dove, but if you're fresh out of those you can use chicken.  Hopson wanted me to remind you to pound the chicken as thin as possible.  On the recipe I put 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch thick, but you can do it thinner.

I'm trying out a website to list all my recipes, so if you can't get to it, please let me know & I'll post it here.  :)   Well, it's time to go get pumped up for some football!  Go Rebels & War Eagle!!!

For the recipe go to the following link.

Be blessed beyond measure!

Hop in his great lookin' black game socks.

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