Monday, August 31, 2009
One of my favorite recipes is simple and delicious! It is spaghetti and homemade meatballs!!! This is one of my top dishes for serving guests. I find most folks like Italian food. I make my own sauce and meatballs. When I serve the dish I top it off with freshly shredded basil from my basil plant! Along with the main course is a crispy salad. We also have freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese...freshly ground pepper and a steamy loaf of bread...sometimes we have herbed olive oil for dipping too....we can't forget the semi-sweet Merlot....there is the atmosphere as well....candles burning and Italian music playing in the background!!!!!
Elizabeth, from Kentucky Mama, shared this sweet (in more ways than one) story about her grandmother's recipe. Be sure to stop by her blog - that gal is doing some serious home renovations!
One of my favorite recipes is my grandmother's brownies. She always made them for me growing up. When i got older, I was given a cookbook with that recipe written in it. she had cut it out of a newspaper the night I was born while she was in the waiting room. Neat story, huh?
More stories to come later in the week.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I'll post more fabulous food stories later this week. I've been battling a cold this weekend, so I hope I'll get to feeling 100 percent soon.
Images courtesy of Talbots
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Smoked Gouda Cheese Grits
Not sure where I found the recipe. Online somewhere.(I use this as a guide, and adjust as needed for type of cheese...but to me the key to the grits is making them with chicken broth and milk)
2 1/2 C Chicken Broth
1 1/2 C Milk
Salt and white pepper to taste (I sometimes don’t have white, so I use regular black pepper)3/4 C uncooked quick cooking grits
3/4 C smoked gouda cheese (or a little more if you like em cheesy)
4 TBSP Butter
1 – Bring broth, milk and seasoning to a boil
2 – Stir in Grits
3 – Reduce heat and simmer
4 – Stir occasionally
5 – Add cheese and butter
6 – Stir until melted and consistency is to your liking
Stuffed Pork Chops (from www.allrecipes.com) - I am approximate in my measurements when making this.
2 ounces smoked gouda cheese, shredded
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 C chopped parsley (I sometimes use dried, depends what I have)
1/8 TSP ground black pepper
2 (2 1/4 inch thick) center cut pork chops
1 TSP olive oil
1/4 TSP SaltGround black pepper
1 – preheat outdoor grill to medium heat
2 – In small bowl, combine cheese, bacon, parsley and black pepper
3 – Lay the chops flat on a cutting board and cut a pocket into the pork (be sure to leave sides in tact)
4 – Stuff the cheese mixture in the pocket and close with a toothpick.
5 – Brush meat with oil and season with salt and black pepper
6 – Grill for 5-8 minutes each side or until done.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Great blogger, fellow Kentucky girl and UK fan, so you know she’s from good stock.
One of my favorite recipes (and the most requested in our household) is the Milk Chocolate Candy Bar Cake - which is actually a Southern Living recipe! This cake is absolutely delicious, and the icing is so sweet, but light and airy at the same time. Plus, how can you go wrong with a bag of chopped Hershey bars?? My mom (who is known to state, "I've never made a Southern Living recipe that didn't turn out good.") first made this for my husband for a birthday, I think. Since then, he always requests it for birthdays, holidays, Fridays, etc. I'm always happy to make it because I know it is his favorite dessert, and in today's busy world, it's nice that loved ones appreciate the little things in life like a terrific chocolate cake.
Here's the link to the recipe:http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=257448
The lovely Jessi over at Halfway House submitted this story. Jessi, if you’re reading, please send the recipe. It sounds amazing!!
I make great cheese grits. And while you southern ladies may think this is a given, I am a northern gal, married to a southern guy. He says I am making my way through learning the ways of the South. (I make Smoked Gouda grits and generally serve with pork chops stuffed with bacon and gouda - yummy!)
I hope everyone has a great weekend!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Miss E. helped draw the winner last night after dinner - she was so excited to be part of the giveaway and "photo session."
Here is what Entertaining Mom submitted for her entry:
I have many recipes that I adore… A favorite? It would actually not be mine, or my mother’s but my husband’s Paella recipe. It’s his mother’s… frankly he makes it MUCH better than she ever does! LOL… but this is a recipe that involves the whole family. Everyone jumps in and helps. We cook it only for special occasions because it is so labor intensive and so long, but well worth the results. I do not have the recipe on the food blog… yet!
My children love to cook and help out in the kitchen. They have been exposed to all sorts of foods from the get-go and I am sure that’s why (for the most part) they are not fussy children. Food has played such an important role in my youth too… my grandmother always threw the most elaborate, glamorous dinner parties and I remember thinking from a very early age that “That’s what I want to do too!”
She told me a story about how she had had a fabulous Pressed Duck in France. Back in the States she didn’t know how to “press” her duck so she wrapped it in plastic bags and drove over it several times!!!
Congrats to Entertaining Mom on the giveaway. Hope you enjoy the cookbook and that it inspires many wonderful dishes!
And, thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. We're not finished yet, though. Because so many of you included great stories about favorite recipes and what they mean to you and your families, I'm going to include these in my blog over the next few days. Thank you for sharing such happy memories with me!
Have a wonderful Thursday everyone!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Favorite Summer Movie – You may laugh at this, but I’d have to say "Dazed and Confused." Set in the summer of 1976, it focuses on a group of high school kids who are about to be seniors and some who are about to be freshmen. It’s hilarious.
Favorite Summer Cocktail – Mojito (especially the ones made at the Roadside Café in the Outer Banks)
Favorite Summer Song – "Red Red Wine" by UB40
Favorite Summer Outfit – Anything seersucker, sundresses
Favorite Summer Reading – Novels by Anita Shreve make for a good summer read, as does anything by Penny Vincenzi or Pat Conroy. I also enjoy some classic W. Somerset Maugham during the summer.
Favorite Summer Moment – Lying on the beach, hearing the waves crash, knowing that I don’t have to be anywhere but there. I also like dusk when you can hear the crickets, see the lightning bugs and hear kids in the neighborhood playing hide-and-go-seek or freeze tag. That’s quintessential summer to me.
I now tag these following fabulous blogs to offer up their favorite summer memories:
Also, a reminder that you have until 5 p.m. today to enter the Southern Living cookbook giveaway. It's full of amazing recipes and would make the perfect addition to any cook's kitchen! Little Miss E. will help me draw the winner. Stay tuned this week for the announcement!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
We had a great visit with my sister-in-law and her boys last weekend. On Saturday, we took a jaunt out to Oldham County to do a walk-thru at Yew Dell Gardens (that's where this photo was taken), in preparation for this coming Saturday's Hummingbird Festival.
As I've mentioned before, my husband invented an eco-friendly hummingbird feeder and he, along with his sister and father, created a side business in selling these feeders. On Aug. 29, Yew Dell will host it's second annual hummer fest, and our feeder company is a sponsor. So, if you're in the area, come out and join us!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
We ventured out to Lowe’s to look at doors and I found nothing I liked. Same for Home Depot. They’re all so blah. I really like the wooden storm doors that mirror the look of a traditional door (our main door is black), such as the one I’ve featured above. In the little bit of searching I did online last night, I found that the base price of said door is $1,022. In the immortal words of Liz Lemon, “What the what?!” Surely, there are more affordable options of this type of door…surely!
So, if anyone knows of companies that sell these types of storm doors for a much more affordable price, I would love to hear about it. Thanks!
Image courtesy of Touchstone Wood Works
I’m really looking forward to this weekend because my sister-in-law and her boys are coming to town for a visit. During her visit, she and I are going to the Keith Urban concert tomorrow night. Now, I’ve never been to a country music concert. In fact, I’m not really a country music fan. The only thing I know about Keith Urban is that he’s married to Nicole Kidman. But, I thought it would be a fun thing to do with my SIL, so I’ve made the commitment to venture into new territory.
Now, here’s the question: what the heck do I wear? Jeans? A sundress? Luckily, the temperature is supposed to drop a bit this weekend, so it won’t be too awful hot.
I’m thinking the outfit from J Crew above, perhaps with jeans rather than shorts, would be cute to wear to a concert. I’m sure I’ll find something.
BTW, has everyone seen the Paley sweater from Lilly? This is an item I MUST have. It’s too cute for words.
TGIF, folks. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!
Images courtesy of J Crew and Lilly Pulitzer
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I have been pondering about what to provide during my first giveaway as a blogger. Naturally, I thought of books, since I’m a writer and a voracious reader, and I know that many of you are, too. But, Hubby also pointed out how I like to discuss recipes and food with many of y’all, and how I tend talk about all-things Southern, often referencing Southern Living (A.K.A., "the Bible" for many ‘a Southern gal). So, I’ve brought all of that together and I’m giving away (drum roll):
All-Time Favorites Cookbook
So, here’s the deal: The deadline to enter is Aug. 26. Leave your name and e-mail address in the comments section or e-mail it to me directly. Then, share a special recipe or dish that is near and dear to your heart. You don’t have to provide the entire recipe – I’m more interested in the story behind it. I think it’s always interesting to hear how food brings people together. I’d love to feature these stories in a future blog entry and I will definitely give credit where credit is due! (For privacy reasons, I won’t use last names or I can just reference your blog if you prefer.)
A name will be drawn at random and the winner will be announced in late August. Good luck to all of you!
Monday, August 17, 2009
I hit the ground running Saturday morning, picking up my friend, Tiff, for our Junior League Provisional Orientation. I’m looking forward to this season and getting involved with a number of worthwhile causes in the community, meeting some wonderful women and gaining valuable training skills.
I was a little concerned that I may be a bit “old” for just starting out in Junior League, but I found that’s not the case. While there were plenty of younger, fresh-out-of-college women there, I did meet others who are in my phase of life. We just get there when we can. All things happen for a reason and now it’s my time to join and give back.
In fact, that message was brought home to me in spades when one of the speakers, who is now a JL sustainer, spoke to the group. This dynamic woman has made quite an impact on our community and, in fact, helped establish a local chapter of Gilda’s Club. She, herself is a cancer survivor. She told the story of being at the cancer center meeting with executives in an effort to secure funding for Gilda’s Club. While there, she saw a woman get off the bus with a baby in her arms, enter the cancer center and sign in for her chemotherapy treatment. She then handed the baby off to people at the facility. After she was finished with her treatment, she took her baby and boarded another bus. Can you imagine? I thought, “There but for the grace of God go I.” It really made me sit and think about my life: I am educated, healthy and I have a great job; I am married to a loving man; and I have two smart, healthy and beautiful children. I have won the lottery of life.
So, there is so much to be done and so many people to help. And, I see JL as a great way in which to do that. I’ll provide more updates on how my provisional season goes, but, again, I’m really looking forward to the fall!
More weekend news…on Saturday night, Hubby and I ventured down to Midway, Ky. to dine at one of our favorite restaurants, the Holly Hill Inn. Delicious Kentucky food in a beautiful setting. It was good diversion – thanks again, Hon!
One more thing, I have a special treat for my readers this week! While counting my many blessings, I also want to give thanks for my followers and readers. Your kind words of support, compliments and advice mean the world to me. I get so much out of reading your blogs – y’all are so talented and creative! So, in your honor, I’m going to conduct my first GIVEAWAY! More news tomorrow – stay tuned!
Friday, August 14, 2009
Now, as many of you know, I am a proud grad of the University of Kentucky. And while we are part of the mighty SEC, we aren’t primarily known as a football school. The Big Blue Nation is traditionally about basketball. And, I, for one, live and die Big Blue Basketball. There’s nothing like it and if you’ve never experienced it, you must make a pilgrimage to Rupp Arena.
But, I digress; this posting is about football. So anyway, even though we are all about round ball in the Commonwealth, we play a pretty mean game of football of late, as Coach Rich Brooks has taken us to three straight bowl games and we’re shooting for a fourth.
When I was in college, UK football was more of an excuse to dress up in our finest duds and start drinking before noon at the fraternity house. We then walked over to the stadium for what was likely to be a good butt-kicking by the visiting team (except my freshman year when we actually went to the Peach Bowl). But now, we have a much stronger program and the games are competitive and exciting to watch. Hubby and I have tickets to the Kentucky/Louisville game on Sept. 19 and I can’t wait. Tailgating with friends and cheering for my Cats. What could be more fun?
So, to get you in the spirit for football season, especially in the South, pick up the latest issue of Southern Living for a report on SEC football and some great recipes for your next tailgate or football viewing party.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Both e-mails arrived within minutes of each other. It gave me a good giggle. It's the little things that should make us smile, right?
Photos courtesy of Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I knew the famous duo had attended the Kentucky Derby and served as honorary chairs of a fabulous pre-Derby gala at Churchill Downs last year. But, I had no idea they actually owned a house in the Bluegrass. In fact, they left their digs in Southampton for what the magazine calls “the understated glamour of Kentucky horse country.” How fabulous is that?!
Apparently they spend most weekends at the farm. Perhaps we’ll spot the duo at Keeneland this fall. Or at the local tack shop. Probably not Kroger. But, you never know!
Photographs courtesy of Elle Decor.
I just love certain vehicles that evoke the great American outdoors, be it the land or water variety.
Now, I’m not a one who is into vintage cars. I can appreciate them from afar, but I certainly don’t pine after them in any way. For some reason, though, I really like the look of old International Scouts (see above) and Woody wagons. Not sure what it is – something preppy I’d have to say. Can’t you see a guy in jeans, duck boots, a plaid shirt and down vest driving one of these? With his black lab sitting next to him? He’s most likely going to a family cabin, ski trip or bonfire with friends. (I’m describing Hubby in college here. No wonder I married him!) I found this one for sale on ebay – made the same year I was born (1973).
As far as water craft, I love the vintage Chris-Craft wooden boats. Stick an American flag on the back and it’s perfection on water. The photo above features a 26’ Chris Craft Triple Cockpit, era 1930. How much you ask? Only $150,000. Sure makes the 1973 Scout look like a steal at just over $3,000, doesn’t it? The funny thing is I have no desire to own a boat. The best thing is to have a friend who owns a boat and then he or she can invite you out on the water. You don’t have to store it, clean it or fix it. Just enjoy drinks on it. As one of my favorite bloggers, Bunny Tomerlin, always said, "That's good, sug." And indeed it is.
It's hump day, folks. Half-way there.
Images courtesy of ebay and Antique Boating
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Image courtesy of Chewing the Cud on etsy.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Have a great weekend, everyone! We’ll chat on Monday.
Image courtesy of Smathers & Branson
So, I had a follow-up consult with Casey our designer friend, to discuss such items as paint color for the trim in the entry way, recessed lighting in the kitchen and reconfiguring the family room.
Now, mind you, we are not the type of people who regularly meet with a designer, nor do we have an open-ended expense account. But, as I mentioned in a previous post, her original consult was my Mother’s Day gift. So, we’re moving along to see what projects we can do, obviously the more affordable, low-hanging fruit being first.
She brought a catalog with her and showed me a sofa from Pearson Company that another client recently purchased and had upholstered in a houndstooth fabric. It looked lovely. Casey highly recommended this brand because the furniture is supposedly well-made, long-lasting and perfect for families with young children.
She then said she’d e-mail me an estimated cost in the afternoon. I got back to work and when the e-mail arrived, my neck snapped back. Is that really how much a sofa costs? Good God.
Now having seen some of these styles she recommended, though, perhaps we can find something similar in a more affordable price range. Several furniture sales are going on, including those at Arhaus and Pottery Barn. I just want to make sure the furniture is of a good quality and will last many years.
Dear readers, if any of you have a sofa brand or furniture company that you would recommend, I would love to hear about it. We’re looking for something stylish, yet durable, that can withstand two active children, a dog and adults who may want take an occasional nap. :)
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Image courtesy of Archipelago Botanicals.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I’ve had a couple of readers ask how the painting of our kitchen cabinets turned out, so thought I would post some before and after pics. But, I must warn you that this is very much a work in progress. We’re still trying to decide on which pulls to purchase (we’re testing a couple different versions, hence the lone pull you may see in the photos). We still need to fix the backsplash, redo the countertops and the floor. Ah, the floor. You’ve read about this in past postings. And now you finally get to see the lovely green linoleum, or as I call it, the Green Monster. But, as I’m sure you can relate, other unexpected projects come along and interrupt your plans. (Like a giant tree that falls during a storm and has to be cut up and hauled away for a nice sum of cash. I'm just sayin'.)
Also, I found a great deal on a table and chairs at a funky consignment shop in town, Eyedia. I had been searching for a farmhouse table, something antique looking and came across it Friday during lunch. Of course, it needs some TLC (Hubby just had to shake his head at my impulse buy, in the end, though, he liked it). But, for right now, Lemon Pledge seems to do the trick.
Have a great day, everyone!
Monday, August 3, 2009
I have to say, I can’t imagine that I’ll ever convert to a Kindle. I am such a purist when it comes to books – I need to hold an actual book in my hands. I enjoy the cover art, the sound of turning a page and placing a lovely book mark in the spot where I left off. And, if I go to a book reading, I'm not going to have the author sign my Kindle.
I guess as someone who works in front of a computer most of the day and who has access to the latest technology in the workplace, I don’t feel the need to carry that over at home. My eyes need a rest at the end of the day. I don’t want to stare at an electronic screen anymore. I’m the same way with downloading music to my iPod. In fact, I’m not sure where my iPod is at the moment (I think one of my kids has been pretending it’s a phone – it’s probably in the toy box). For a while, I was downloading all kinds of music on my iPod. But, I still like to buy CDs. In fact, when I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, I usually put a CD on the Bose and listen to tunes while I’m chopping veggies. That’s just how I am. I can now relate with people who still like to play LPs on a record player. There’s something about the cracking and popping of an LP. Very cool old school.
Curious, dear readers, do any of you own a Kindle or some type of e-reader? Any of you out there who refuse to go that route?
Photo courtesy of www.amazon.com.