To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition, to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Let's begin March with a classic Blueberry Mini-Cake!
One of my favorite bloggers is Deb, from Just Cats.
I have always referred to Deb as “an angel on earth”, as she opens her heart
and arms to many poor animals that need love and a warm spot to curl up from
the cold. She cares for cats while their owners are away from home. She shares
the antics of her beloved Annie and Audrey.
She takes amazing photos of birds and wildlife that
she shares on her lovely blog. I always leave her blog with a giggle and a
smile! When Mae was experiencing her initial seizure episode Deb is the person
I reached out to. We do share a big love for our cats! She is indeed a blessing
in life! Now it turns out Deb is also an amazing baker! I discovered her
blueberry cake yesterday and it is SO delicious, I decided to feature her
recipe on Estelle’s today! Y’all mark this one down….it’s a keeper!!! Be sure to pay Miss Deb a visit and experience her kindness and hospitality!
We were raised spending many weekends and holidays
in the Big Easy, so it stood to reason
that when my sister graduated from LSU,
she relocated to New Orleans to begin
her career as a medical journalist.
Tuesday was originally known as Shrove
and in French it is called Mardi Gras.
Fat Tuesday is the traditional name
for the day before Ash Wednesday
the first day ofLent in
the Western Christian churches,
including the Roman Catholic Church and
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday!
what’s on the menu at Estelle’s today!
CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE GUMBO
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into
1 medium yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into
1 medium white onion, medium dice
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 cups water
1 (10-ounce) package frozen cut okra
8 ounces andouille sausage, cut on the bias into
1 roasted rotisserie chicken, deboned and shredded
Freshly ground black pepper
2 green onions, trimmed and sliced, for garnishing
Cornbread, for serving
Heat the oil in a large, shallow, heavy pot or Dutch oven
over medium-low heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until this
mixture (called a roux) is smooth and turns a medium gold in color, about 5 to
Raise the heat to medium and stir in the bell peppers,
onion, garlic, and oregano. Season with a big pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers have
softened, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Add the water, okra, and sausage and raise the heat to
medium-high. Bring to a boil, stir in the shredded chicken, and season with
black pepper. Warm the chicken thoroughly, about 2 minutes.
Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if
needed. Ladle into warmed bowls, sprinkle with the green onions, and serve with
How was your weekend?
We had gorgeous weather once again
so everyone felt like spending a few days outdoors.
Over in Atlanta, Jay, Luke and Harry played a game of Horse!
Next up, a neighborhood game of football transpired......
Kids, dogs and a football.....
sort of reminds me of a certain family in Hyannis Port....
We have planned new projects to update the homestead for Spring....
I have always thought the outdoor lantern entry lights were too small
for the size of house, so this was the time to select new, larger lights!
The old ones had also faded due to sun exposure!
It's SO nice to have a son who helps his Dad with these projects!
They make a great team....and......
I am so pleased. I love the new look!
This just may have been the PERFECT shrimp boil!
Lots of Slap Ya' Mama and
Louisiana Shrimp boil seasoning!
Crab legs gulf shrimp, potatoes, corn, onion, garlic, lemon....
oh my goodness...this was just perfection!
I made some fresh Remoulade, a Tomato-Cucumber Salad
and a hot crusty loaf of french bread!
We seem to eat like kings on the weekends they visit!
Bo and I found a warm sunny spot and took a tiny power nap
while everyone else was at Home Depot!
The perfect setting for the cocktail hour.......
I had to laugh......
the Atlanta Cocktail hour is never a lonely one!
Mae Mae is happy once again to be Queen of her Castle!
She STILL does not like the BoBo!
However....he is growing up and always glad to be
at the grandparents house....and....WE are glad to have him for few days!
Now..please do tell me what fun YOU had this weekend!
If I am in a bit of a rush, these are the ingredients I use.
However, fresh is always best....
fresh ricotta, fresh Parmesan cheese, fresh basil and fresh spinach!
SPINACH STUFFED SHELLS
2 lbs spinach, wilted and patted very dry
22 oz ricotta
1 cup mozzarella
3/4 cup Parmesan
several teaspoons nutmeg
several teaspoons Italian seasoning
THE BASIC RECIPE
26 oz tomato sauce
1 cup mozzarella
24 jumbo pasta shells
1 15-oz. container ricotta
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach,
thawed and squeezed dry (I use fresh)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 26-oz. jar spaghetti sauce
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Mist a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cook pasta shells according to package label directions; drain and set aside to cool.
While pasta cooks, in a large bowl, stir together ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, spinach, egg, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and nutmeg.
Spread 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce over bottom of baking dish. Stuff shells with cheese-and-spinach mixture and place in dish. Spoon remaining sauce over shells and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 10 minutes longer, until bubbly and cheese begins to brown.
It's a good sunny day in the Great State of Texas!
Our high today is going to be 74 degrees....
How great is that during the month of February!
Mae Mo' heard a dove cooing outside.
How I love that sound in the early morning......
How wonderful it is when your thoughts turn to Spring....
I discovered the Hyacinth coming up which will
always and forever remind me of Mother's Hyacinth's
she planted in Jackson.
I believe this is a sign from Mother in heaven...
she is always with me....every single day.
It's nice to linger over breakfast a bit
and just be still and quiet....
thankful for one more day.
enjoying some fresh air with the window open
listening to the morning birds chatter.
I plan on using my new Pressure Cooker
It's been years since I had a pressure cooker....
my first one was from Sears's and we
received it as wedding gift...
I guess that was over 45 years ago.
They are now like a mini computer
so there is nothing like a Sunday Pot Roast
prepared Pressure Cooker Style!
I also treated myself to some new bakeware from Rachel Ray...
I love her products!
The spring magazines are full of
pastels and ideas for vacations, decorating
and warm weather foods!
Doesn't this just lift your spirits
to dream about the colors of springtime?
Who is planning their Easter dinner?
I make an Easter Basket every year....
I think I need some retail therapy to gather all the goodies...
now where did I put the recipe for the
Best Carrot Cakes ever?
Be still my heart....
Luke loved his Valentine buddy....
there will not be many more years when
a "baby" will be wanted....so I treasure this time in his life.
Miss M sent me this picture of her shopping trip to Costco....
Doak Walker Awards Banquet on Saturday night
which was held at The Anatole in Dallas!
On Saturday, D'Onta Foreman, in his junior year at the
University of Texas,
was presented with the Doak Walker Award as the best
running back in college football.
This is a HUGE event for college football
and our own Jennyfer was the designer
of the show and banquet!
Now...how special is that?
The Divine Miss M is dreaming of new
Family Room furniture!
I think Piper will always consider herself
a lady of privilege by
curling up on the furniture with the best
throw underneath her...don't most pets do this very thing?
There is a new wine bar in the kitchen nook
which will soon have custom designed shelves
above and just waiting for new accessories.
This is a look we were both playing around with
while trying to gather ideas on the accessories.
I know she will pull together a beautiful design.
Piper is enjoying afternoons watching the golfers
drive by, while catching a few sun rays.....
Hey y'all...it's Girl Scout Cookie time....
did y'all get yours yet?
This year it's 5 boxes for $20.00!!
And, its time for our thoughts to turn toward
We purchased new bulbs and pots at Costco!
Just when I think I will never buy another throw or pillow....
along comes something I fall in love with!
This is Mae Mobley....just BEING Mae Mobley...
most beautiful girl in the world....
What's going on at your home today?
He has talked about POPOVERS for as long as I can remember
from a favorite childhood sleepover at his friend, Jay Fontaine's house.
They were about fourteen years old and a group of his
friends were treated to a morning breakfast of POPOVERS
that Jay's mother had prepared and they must have
made quite the impression on him....he has remembered that
breakfast for this long!
So when I received this popover pan....I was so excited
to finally learn the art of the POPOVER!
When in doubt, I turn to my kitchen superhero,
The three important steps Ina tells us is
MAKE SURE YOUR PAN IS HEATED FOR TWO MINUTES.
Have ingredients at ROOM TEMPERATURE.
Fill each tin 2/3 FULL.
OH MY GOODNESS....
Now....this was a very big success......
Aren't they just beautiful???
I cannot believe I have waited this long to try my hand
at baking POPOVERS!
Serve with ice cold butter and then slowly
pour on that golden Texas honey......
BAREFOOT CONTESSA POPOVERS
1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted,
plus softened butter for greasing pans
½ cups flour
extra-large eggs, room temperature
½ cups milk, room temperature
the oven to 425 degrees F.
grease aluminum popover pans or Pyrex custard cups with softened butter. You'll
need enough pans to make 12 popovers. Place the pans in the oven for exactly 2
minutes to preheat. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, salt, eggs, milk, and
melted butter until smooth. The batter will be thin. Fill the popover pans less
than half full and bake for exactly 30 minutes. Do not peek.