July 11, 2011

Beginning Preschool! Mommie Needs a Bloody Mary!

The Maine House will be making our way to Atlanta in September, as a new milestone begins in grandson Luke's life when he begins nursery school. 

I recently sent Luke a beautifully illustrated book about starting to school!  The book is entitled "Tucker's Four-Carrot School Day!" and the beautiful illustrations are by one of my favorite artists, Susan Winget! This should help Miss M and Luke prepare themselves for his big day as Susan's illustrations take them into the preschool world.

I have always loved the paintings of Susan Winget! It seems that her painting style evokes the warmth and geniality of country living. Susan is most likely, one of America's most beloved artists. Have you ever purchased any Lang products? I have a lovely set of Christmas plates and a beautiful pasta china set. You will find her artistry gracing a variety of items, like ornaments, boxes, stationary and books. Susan has been a lifelong resident of North Carolina. She earned her Fine Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1987, she opened The Winget Art Studio and relocated this studio into an expansive Williamsburg-style building in 2002. For over thirty years she has lived on a pastoral eighty-acre farm. This must be the setting that inspires her love for traditional values and passion for life. Susan is married to Al Winget and they have three children, Mac, Erin and Sam. When you visit The Maine House, you will see areas in which her artistry graces our home!

A Maine House Mosaic

I plan to have a beautiful brunch prepared when Mommie returns home from dropping Luke off on his first day of class! Remember how traumatic that is? I think a Bloody Mary will be the perfect choice to calm those tears that will be flowing from separation anxiety....along with a delicious breakfast casserole. We shall take lots of pictures and place one in his "Tucker book" to mark this very special occasion!

Turner Creek's Bloody Mary's
2 ounces vodka
4 ounces V-8 juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated horseradish
3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes of Tabasco Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Celery salt
1 lime wedge
1 stem pickled okra

In a cocktail shaker over ice, combine the vodka, V-8 juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco Sauce, Seasoned Salt and lemon juice and mix. Line the rim of a tall cocktail glass with celery salt. (do this by rubbing the rim with the fresh lime wedge and then dipping the rim in the celery salt that you have placed on a small plate). Fill glass with ice and pour drink over. Garnish with a lime wedge and pickled okra.


Estelle's Breakfast Casserole
3 Tbsp. butter
1 small yellow onion , chopped
4 cups frozen shredded hash browns
1 pound bulk sausage , mild, hot or sage
2 1/4 cups whole milk
8 large eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
8 cups cubed French or Italian bread , crusts removed
2 cups (1/2 pound) grated cheddar cheese
2 cups (1/2 pound) freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a deep 13" x 9" casserole dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the hash browns and break apart. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. In a second frying pan, sauté the sausage, breaking apart large clumps. When the sausage is cooked through, remove it from pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and mustard, and briskly stir to blend.
To assemble, spread the onions and hash browns evenly at the bottom of the greased dish. Place the bread cubes evenly on top of hash browns. With a slotted spoon, distribute sausage as the third layer. Pour the milk and egg mixture over these layers. Add Parmesan as the next layer, while then adding the cheddar.
Bake the casserole uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.
Save a few tablespoons of cheddar for the last 10 minutes of baking, when you can add a fresh topping of melted cheddar...

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