Friday, March 27, 2009


I am trying to get my other site where people are following there. Will those of you following me please go to

Sign up there. Hopefully I have it figured out...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Just in case you didn't know I moved please visit me at for a new giveaway. This time it is a years subscription to Bon Appetit.


Monday, February 9, 2009


It is official. I have moved. Come on over to and see my new site. While you are there read about my first giveaway. While you are at it subscribe to my blog so you can be updated weekly on my giveaways for the next few weeks.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Come visit me at

I will have give aways for the next four weeks.....

Please make a note and visit.


Thursday, February 5, 2009


Right now it is so cold here. I know it isn't as bad as what most of the country is going through but it is THAT bad for me. Tonight will be the third night in a row with the temps at 20 or the high teens. Brrrrrr. This cold weather really makes me want to eat hot and delicious soups. I got an email from a healthy eating group with links to allrecipe for these different types of soups. It is like the mother lode of soup recipes. I hope you can find one that you enjoy. I use that site regularly but I have never searched for a soup recipe. Soup is a great way to stretch your food dollar especially if you make your own vegetable, chicken or beef broths. It is so much healthier for you as well since you control what goes into the broth such as sodium.

I want to thank with HealthyCooking-GreenLiving for sending me this email. Some of these sound so yummy like Spinach and Leek and White Bean Soup, Miso Soup, love it but have never made it.

Bean Soups
More Bean Soup Recipes
Black Bean Vegetable Soup
Grandma B's Bean Soup
Spinach and Leek White Bean Soup
Escarole and Bean Soup
Pea Soups
Moong Dal
Vegan Split Pea Soup I
Yellow Split Pea and Frankfurter Soup
Split Pea Soup with Rosemary
Lentil Soups
Indian Dahl with Spinach
Rhinelander Lentil Soup
Moroccan Lentil Soup
Vegan Red Lentil Soup
Lentil Soup

First-Course Soups
Most of these soups have fewer than 100 calories per serving.
Miso Soup I
Tortilla Soup I
Japanese Onion Soup
Delicious Mushroom Soup
Garden-Fresh Tomato Soup
Main-Dish Meat Soups
Make your own stock, or use low-sodium canned broths as the base of these soups.
Peanut Butter Vegetable Chicken Soup
Caldo De Res (Beef Soup)
Vietnamese Beef Pho
Chicken Vegetable-Barley Soup
White Wine Chicken Soup
Main-Dish Vegetarian Soups
(If you are a vegetarian, omit the Worcestershire sauce from your recipe or check the label, as some brands contain anchovies.)
African Peanut Soup
Butternut Squash Bisque
Corrigan's Minestrone
Beaker's Vegetable Barley Soup
Hearty Lentil Soup

Low-Fat Substitutions
Here are a few tricks for upping the flavor of your soups while lowering their fat content:

If your recipe calls for pre-cooked vegetables--such as onions, celery, or carrots--use a very small quantity of oil or cooking spray. If the vegetables start to stick to the pan, add a tablespoon or so of water, wine or broth to keep them from burning.

Brown meats in a separate pan. Discard fat, and pat meat dry before adding to your stock pot.

Miso--fermented soybean paste--adds savor to soup stocks, especially vegetarian broths. Add a tablespoon or so per quart of water, or to taste.

Fry your spices for a minute or so over medium heat before adding them to your soup. Add dried herbs at the beginning of the cooking time, and fresh herbs right before serving.

If your recipe calls for a heavy cream, use pureed cooked potatoes instead. Or remove about two cups of your cooked soup and blend until smooth. (Use a stick hand blender for best results, or puree it one cup at a time in a blender. Hold the lid on tight with a kitchen towel to protect yourself from burns.) Stir the puree back into the soup to thicken it.

To add real cream flavor, stir in a few tablespoons of heavy cream when the recipe calls for 1 cup--a little cream will go a long way.

Note: because cream is an emulsion, it doesn't "break" or curdle--like milk or sour cream can do--if the soup starts to boil. Use the real thing, but in small amounts, if you're watching your saturated fat intake.

Quote of the Day

"Character is simply habit long enough continued."– Plutarch

About Plutarch
Plutarch, the Greek historian who penned more than 46 anecdote-laced biographies of famous Greek and Roman figures in his Parallel Lives series of books, was more interested in exploring the influence of character on a man's personal destiny than in writing dry histories. He was born in Greece during Roman rule, most likely in the year 46. He traveled extensively through the Roman Empire, finally returning home to become a priest of Apollo at the Oracle of Delphi. He died in the year 120.


Writers Workshop over at Mama's Losing it

Directions:For you newbies it's never to late to jump in!! Here is what you must do. Choose a prompt that inspires you most. Write. Come back Thursday and paste your blog URL into the Mister Linky that will be up...this way anyone can click on your name and head over to your place to see what you wrote.Feel free to write on more than one prompt if you so desire. I do it all the time, but it's my game...and I don't know how to it should be expected. And remember the more comment love you give, the more comment love you get so comment comment away.

The Prompts:

1.) Tell us about a lie you told that you later regretted.
2.) Choose a task you'd like someone to complete and write a poem asking them to do it.
3.) Describe a talent you have.
4.) Write a list of ten things on your mind this week.

I laid in bed and cried myself to sleep last night

I felt I had lost something, a part of you, a part of me, it wasn't right

You are breaking my heart one tiny piece at a time

All I want is for your life to be great but it is something only you can define

I want you to know the real person inside, the real You

Find what is in your heart and listen because it will be true

Love yourself, like yourself, find what is real and then give

Only then can you begin to really grow and flourish and live

Don't look to others to complete you, define you or make you whole

Look within, that is where the answers are, do not let life take its tole

Forgive me people. I don't know how it happened but my entire post became a link to Mama's site. Blogger is just too weird sometimes.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Wow. I have been in a funk. It is very cold and I can't stand it. This tells me that I should never move North. I don't think I would function very well. I missed posting yesterday because of the worst headache I have had in years. I rarely have one but this was a throbber that moved around but was mostly in the back of my head.

So dear friends I thought I would post another recipe to at least post something....

I got this recipe from Bon Appetit January issue. It sounds delish.....

Bacon- and Squash-Filled Crepes with Salsa Verde and Baby Greens Salad

Photograph by Maria Robledo January 2009

8 Servings

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 cup (or more) whole milk, divided
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
Melted butter (for cooking crepes)

8 oz bacon, diced
6 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash (from 4-pound squash)
2 cups chopped onions
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup
crème fraîche
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

salsa verde:

1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh tarragon
6 tablespoons chopped shallots
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Flaked sea salt (such as Maldon)
1 5-ounce container mixed baby greens
Cook 1/4 cup butter in small skillet over medium heat until butter browns, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes; cool slightly. Blend eggs, 1 cup milk, 3/4 cup water, and salt in blender. With machine running, add flour 1/2 cup at a time, blending until smooth after each addition and stopping to scrape down sides of blender as needed. Blend in browned butter. Blend in more milk by tablespoonfuls to thin to consistency of thick cream if necessary. Let batter rest at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Reblend 5 seconds before using.
Heat 10-inch-diameter nonstick skillet with 8-inch-diameter bottom over medium-high heat. Brush with melted butter. Add scant 1/4 cup batter, shaking and rotating skillet so batter covers bottom. Cook until crepe is brown on bottom, 30 to 40 seconds. Run heatproof rubber spatula around edge and turn crepe over. Cook until brown in spots on bottom, 30 to 40 seconds. Turn crepe out onto paper towel. Repeat with remaining batter to make 16 crepes, brushing pan with butter each time and stacking crepes between paper towels. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap crepe stack in foil and refrigerate.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook bacon in large deep ovenproof skillet (or pot) over medium-high heat until light brown. Add squash, onions, and herbs to skillet; toss to coat evenly. Place in oven and bake until squash is tender and onions are beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Mix crème fraîche and lemon juice into filling. Season with salt and pepper.
Brush 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish with butter. Arrange 1 crepe, brown spots up, on work surface. Spoon 1/4 cup filling in strip down center. Fold sides over; place filled crepe, seam side down, in prepared dish. Repeat with remaining crepes and filling. Cover dish with foil. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead; chill.
salsa verde
Combine chopped herbs and shallots in processor. With machine running, pour oil through feed tube and blend until coarse sauce forms. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature. Whisk to blend before using.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Bake crepes covered until heated through, about 20 minutes.
Whisk olive oil and lemon juice in large bowl to blend. Season dressing with salt flakes and pepper. Add greens and toss to coat.
Place 2 crepes on each plate. Drizzle crepes with salsa verde. Serve salad alongside crepes.

Quote of the Day

"When you cannot make up your mind between two evenly balanced courses of action, choose the bolder."– William Joseph Slim

About William Joseph Slim
The courageous British commander William Joseph Slim, who led forces during both world wars, led an impressive turnaround of the so-called Forgotten Army in Burma during World War II after he trained them how to fight in jungle conditions. He was born in 1891 in Bristol. He joined the army as a second lieutenant at the outbreak of World War I and was wounded in the battle of Gallipoli. He served as governor-general of Australia, a ceremonial role, from 1953 to 1960. He died in 1970.


I found these recipes on Bon Appetit. I Love chocolate and I thought these would be great for Valentine. However, I didn't notice until after I copied all the yummy goodness to my post that it takes you three weeks to make your Chocolate Liqueur. It sounds so good. There is a drink below that uses the liqueur. I really like that you are given descriptions of the different liqueurs and also substitutes and places to purchase. How educational!

Homemade Chocolate Liqueur

Forget the box of chocolates this year. Instead, make your loved one swoon with a bottle of this chocolate liqueur. Be sure to get started at least three weeks ahead so that the flavors have time to meld. Any leftover liqueur would be terrific stirred into coffee or hot chocolate. makes 1 liter Recipe by Elizabeth Falkner February 2009

1 1-liter bottle 151-proof rum
2 vanilla beans, each split lengthwise
1/4 cup cocoa nibs*
Pour rum into large bottle; add vanilla bean halves and cocoa nibs. Close bottle; set aside for 3 weeks, shaking bottle every day to mix ingredients. Strain liqueur into another bottle.
*Bits of shell-roasted cocoa beans; available at many specialty foods stores and from

Ebay has a few suppliers of Vanilla Beans that are extremely reasonable.

Catch-22 Cocktail

A chocolate cocktail? You bet. This intense drink showcases the smooth flavor of the Homemade Chocolate Liqueur. The cocktail is served at Orson, Chef Falkner's restaurant, where some of the cocktails are named after films that Orson Welles acted in or directed. This beverage takes its name from the 1970 film Catch-22. To up the ante, carefully dip the rim of each glass in melted chocolate before you pour the cocktails.
4 servings

Recipe by
Elizabeth Falkner
Photograph by
Christopher Griffith
February 2009
6 tablespoons Batavia arrack
6 tablespoons manzanilla Sherry
6 tablespoons Clément Créole Shrubb
6 tablespoons
Homemade Chocolate Liqueur Recipe above...
Ice cubes
4 orange peel strips
Chill 4 Martini glasses in freezer 30 minutes. Combine all liquors in cocktail shaker; add ice cubes and shake to chill. Strain mixture into cold glasses. Garnish each with orange peel strip.
ingredient tips
Batavia arrack is a sugarcane- and molasses-based spirit that has a rum-like flavor. Look for it online at and Cachaça (Brazilian sugarcane liquor) makes a good substitute. Manzanilla Sherry is a light, elegant style of Sherry that comes from a seaside town in southern Spain. It is dry and crisp with a hint of saltiness. Manzanilla Sherry is available at liquor stores and online at Any fino-style Sherry (such as fino, amontillado, or Palo Cortado) would be a good stand-in. Clément Créole Shrubb is a smooth, not-too-sweet orange liqueur made in Martinique. Buy it at liquor stores or online at, or use Cointreau or Grand Marnier instead.

And that my dear friends is your mixology lesson for the day...


On our way home we decided to stop at Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls and Rock City. Apparently it is all together. We only went in the gift shop of Ruby Falls because daughter wanted to look at the rocks.

Rock City was not what I was expecting. It is at the top of the mountain and you go through all these cracks and crevices and caves to different areas. There are waterfalls and bridges and interesting rock formations. In some of the caves/caverns they had put in fairytale characters which were not very pleasing to the eye in my opinion. I guess it is more of a draw for children. They do have lots of benches to rest on, quick exits, restaurants and restrooms available. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

They have an area called deer park. I thought at first it was a fake deer. There were three of them and they are white. You can see them in the picture below. I wasn't really reading anything that was posted so I don't know what type they were.

Before you go into Fairyland they have the entrance lined with quartz, amethyst and other type of rocks. Once you enter the ceiling is covered with coral. I guess that was to enhance the "fairyland" aspect. I thought it was odd.

This narrow passage way had me worried. I made it through okay but I did hit my head really hard because it was dark and the walls slanted in towards me. It didn't feel very good. The last shot is what you see after I made it through and looked back. My big ol belly did scrape against the wall once.

This waterfall is very pretty. You can look at it from 3 different areas and elevations. The place really takes you back and forth but through different trails, bridges and heights. Other than the fake fairy tale creatures I thought it was quite beautiful.

As I walked out of the site I turned around for the last shot above and then I tripped. I would have been okay except that I was trying to protect my camera. I stumbled, fumbled and finally went down with my knee banging into the corner of the rock step. I got skinned up a little but I didn't bleed or have a lot of pain.

It was quite a work out for me since I rarely exercise lately. I was huffing and puffing but we didn't have to call 911. I only had to stop once to rest and I only sat for one minute. I couldn't wait to peel off my jackets when I got back in my car. It took me about 20 minutes to cool off wearing only a t-shirt on my arms.

It just strengthens my resolve to get off my butt and exercise. I just hate being outside when it is cold. I hate walking alone because it is so boring. I think I am going to have to get another exercise bike.

Quote of the Day

"The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started." – Norman Cousins

About Norman Cousins
American writer and editor Norman Cousins is best known for his book, Anatomy of an Illness, an account of how he used nutrition and positive visualizations, including laughter, to heal from an illness diagnosed as fatal. He was born in New Jersey in 1915. He served many years as editor-in-chief of the Saturday Review, a job he loved. Under his guidance, circulation increased from 20,000 to 650,000. He received the UN Peace Medal for his world activism. He died in 1990.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Friday I took off work to go to Tennessee. My grandson's father and family live there. My BFF also lives there. We left around 11 am and arrived after 5 their time. With 8K square feet and two stair cases my grandson was on the go and making me a nervous wreck. Finally we closed him off in the dining room, kitchen and breakfast room. They have a baby grand in the dining room so I introduced him to it.

He loved it. I think he has quite an ear for it. He didn't just bang the keys he went up and down all keys. You can see from the pictures his hands were flying.

This is my BFF and my daughter that we joke about being hers. She looks more like her than me and certainly acts more like her. The next pic is her and her stepdaughter.

On the way home we decided to take a few detours. We went to this cute little town call Bell Buckle. Here are some shots of the store fronts and some from one of the antique stores. Lots of awesome vintage things but the few tags I looked at gave me sticker shock.

This town has an annual RC and Moon Pie Festival.

We stopped along the way at a smoke house. The food was okay. The ribs were very good. Unfortunately I didn't feel that the 13.95 buffet was worth it. There really wasn't much on it that I thought was good except for the ribs.

This is at the check out. Many types of FUDGE...YUM. And a bunch of flavors of salt water taffy. I was good. I didn't buy or taste test any of it.

We saw a few wineries along the way. I really wanted to stop but it was getting late and we had already decided we were going to Rock City/Ruby Falls. I think part of it is in Georgia and part of it is in Tennessee. Or maybe when you go down one side it is Tennessee. Not really sure. I will post pictures tomorrow of that experience. It was very interesting.

NOTE: Please don't forget to check back for giveaways when I launch my new site. This will be happening soon but I don't know the exact date. Right now it is being tweaked.

Quote of the Day
"I searched through rebellion, drugs, diet, mysticism, religion,
intellectualism, and much more, only to find that truth is basically
simple and feels good, clear and right." – Armando "Chick" Corea

About Armando "Chick" Corea
Armando "Chick" Corea, the American jazz pianist best known for his
composition "Spain," epitomizes experimentation in jazz, incorporating
sounds from classical, rock, and flamenco traditions. He was born in
1941 in Massachusetts. Son of a jazz trumpeter, he began playing piano
at age four. He dropped out of Julliard to learn by doing. He played on
the seminal Miles Davis Bitches Brew recording, and formed his own jazz
fusion group in the early 1970's. He founded his own record label in

Friday, January 30, 2009


I wanted to mention that very soon I will be moving to my dot com website. I have had this site for 6 months but have not been able to do what I wanted with it. I ran into Lex at Indelible Creations and she is fixing me up. Once I launch my new site I will have giveaways to celebrate. So check back and watch for it.

Here is her link. Go check her out.

When I was a single parent of two that did not receive any child support times were very hard for us. It wasn't a matter of being frugal because there wasn't much to go around. Every dime I earned had to go a long long way. There were no frivolous purchases. Our "eating out" consisted of going to Taco Bell's drive thru and purchasing the least expensive items on the menu. We did not buy drinks. The three of us could get what we wanted and spend under $3.00 with taxes. Of course prices have increased now and that would not be possible.

With growing children and my need for a professional looking wardrobe buying clothes was a big challenge. I was fortunate to live in a small town on the Eastern Shore across the bay from Mobile. There were many wealthy people in my area that often donated items to Goodwill. I could get a new to me dress for $2.99. Clothes for the kids were inexpensive as well.

While working on a temporary assignment I met a wonderful woman named Kathleen who was from New York. She took me under her wing and taught me all about shopping at yard sales. Most Saturdays we went "shopping". It was a lot of fun and I was able to purchase items I needed for my home, for the children and my self.

One of my most favorite purchases was a long sleeved, cowl neck sweater made from chenille. I paid 25 cents for that sweater and wore it for years until it started getting threadbare. I also purchased a blender for $1.00 and I used it for probably 8 years.

I also learned to shop clearance racks. It may take longer to find the right items you need but if you shop well you can end up with clothing of good quality. I found that if I shopped stores such as Dillards, Macys and other higher end department stores I could get quality clothing for less than I could buy them at low end stores such as WalMart and KMart. During this time there weren't any Ross or TJ Max around.

I don't know if it is the Scottish in me or my wanting to get the most for my money, I suspect it is both, but I can't stand the thought of paying full price for anything. If you are patient and watch for sales you can generally purchase your needed items for much less than full price.

Recently I needed a cord to upload my video from the camcorder to my computer. I told my daughter what I needed and she went to Radio Shack and purchased it. When she told me how much it was I almost fainted. I had her take it back. It cost $40.00. I went online and purchased the same item for $3.99 with shipping. It still blows my mind at the difference.

I purchase my husband's cologne online as well. It cost me less, including shipping, than going to Dillards to purchase it. I don't purchase mine online. I wait until the holidays and get the bonuses which stretch my purchase even more. Yes they are still expensive but with my sensitive nose I cannot tolerate cheap perfumes. They send my sinuses into orbit. And I do love to smell good.

When grocery shopping I like to get to the store early. This allows me to take advantage of marked down meats that are reaching their "use by" date in the next couple of days. You get a substantial savings when purchasing this way. You need to cook the meat right away or freeze them for later use. When I get home with the meat I immediately break it into the portions I want to cook and freeze them.

During different holidays and special events the stores usually will feature specific items at a discounted price. This is when you can really save. Sometimes if you wait until just after, such as Thanksgiving, you can get an even better value. Turkey doesn't have to be just for thanksgiving. Seasonal specific items really get marked low, usually 50-75 %, after the holidays. After Halloween, Valentines, Easter and Christmas you will find great deals on candies. Some people purchase the candy and freeze them and use them later for cookies and other deserts.

There are many ways to shop and save. I tend to purchase items that I know I will need later and buy in multiples if they are a good purchase. My hubby says that I am not saving money by doing this. What I can't make him understand is that when I do need these items, and I know I will, they will not be on sale. He has grumped and griped about many of my purchases but when he breaks down and uses them he is appreciative. Especially if I got a great deal on them.

I can never get out of the bargain hunter mode. Even when shopping home improvement stores I always find the marked down items aisles and look at the discounted paint that someone didn't like the color of. I purchased a gallon of tinted Venetian Plaster for $5.00. I wanted to paint a small chest of drawers I got at Goodwill and found a color I liked for 50 cents. If I hadn't purchased a reject that same can would have cost me over $8.00.

So ..... Happy Shopping... and eat more Chocolate.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


From If someone could tell me how to put these buttons on a post and have the link work I would be very appreciative.... I am such a tard and can't figure it out.

Your Assignment...Should You Choose To Accept
Directions:For you newbies it's never to late to jump in!! Here is what you must do. Choose a prompt that inspires you most. Write. Come back Thursday and paste your blog URL into the Mister Linky that will be up...this way anyone can click on your name and head over to your place to see what you wrote.Feel free to write on more than one prompt if you so desire. I do it all the time (ok not really but I INTEND to). But it's my game...and I don't know how to it should be expected. And remember the more comment love you give, the more comment love you get so comment comment away.The Prompts:

1.) Tell us about a stray animal you took in.
2.) Write a poem for your favorite teacher of all time.
3.) Describe someone in your life you wish you saw more of.
4.) Write a letter to someone who bothered you this week.

So I am going with #4.

Dear Adult Family Members who are living under the same roof with me:

While I am a kind, caring and intelligent person, that does not make me the official mediator of the household. I do not want to be in the middle of childish squabbles, listen to constant griping and be asked constantly what someone else is going to do. I would appreciate it very much if you would all learn to give each other the common courtesy you would a total stranger. If you want to know what someone else is going to do, where they went, when they will be back, ask them yourself. If they are not here call their cell and ask.

It you purchase a food or snack item yourself and you do not want others to eat it then do not put it in a common area such as the kitchen. I do not want to hear "I am not buying anything else because everyone is eating it". I do not say "I am not making lasagna, pot roast, etc., anymore because every one else is eating it".

My personal belongings are just that. When I get into the shower I do not want to have to get out again to find my buff puff. It is mine. Do not use it. Do not use my razor. You each have your own so leave mine alone. Please.

Your mother does not live here. Well she actually does for two of you but those days are GONE. You can help by cooking dinner at least once a week. Help clean up after dinner. I don't want to hear "No one likes the things that I cook". If I only cooked what I liked we would have a lot of salmon and roasted asparagus and grilled chicken salads. I try to cook things that everyone can eat. That means kid friendly.

Please get up and take care of your responsibilities. You are exempt if you worked the night before. I love the kids very much. I want to enjoy them, not raise them. Sometimes I would like to sleep in a little.

That being said I love you all..... and I am Screaming for some CHOCOLATE.....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Since I really can't think of anything I want to blog about I thought I would post a few more pics from my trip last year to Florida. No...I can't stop thinking about it. I want to go there. Now...and not come back. This dreary weather bums me out. I know I shouldn't complain when so many others are iced and snowed in and have temps below zero. My high of 63 is quite balmy......

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