March 29, 2013


Oh my goodness...those fresh blueberries! Who can resist them?
 Easter Day will once again remind us of our blessings. A time for renewal and hope for the world. Each day seems to get a little warmer and new life is revealed by tiny bird's nests, little brown bunnies hopping through the flowerbeds and the trees showing more of their blooms. The family will gather after church service for the mouth-watering Easter dinner. This year, our dinner will consist of baked ham with brown sugar mustard glaze, fresh green beans and new potatoes, deviled eggs, the fresh fruit salad, rosemary yeast rolls and oh boy...our grand finale will be these Lemon Blueberry Brownies. Now lovies, if you want to impress your family with something divine....please try this recipe! It is now number one on my list to take to potlucks and parties!  
 Lemon Berry Brownies with White Chocolate Glaze
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 T. butter, room temp.
1/4 cup sour cream
2 T. lemon juice
2 t. lemon zest 
1/2 t. vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
    White Chocolate Glaze
    1/2 cup white chocolate chips
    1 1/2 T. half-n-half
Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Melt the chips and milk on very low heat in a small saucepan, stirring gently until melted and smooth!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat egg and egg yolks on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in sugar, butter, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla, mix until well blended. Fold in the dry ingredients and mix just until blended. Fold in blueberries. Pour mixture into a buttered 8" x 8" baking dish and spread into an even layer. Bake 30 minutes.  Allow  brownies to cool completely, then pour White Chocolate Glaze over top.

March 28, 2013


      While visiting Atlanta, The Divine Miss M and I took an afternoon and shopped at one of the local antique stores. Now in this store, you can find quality antiques, family heirlooms, oil paintings, silver, fine china and crystal and just plain ole'junk! I adore browsing through these types of stores because I most always come across something similar that my grandparent's owned. It brings me back to the days when we would visit Grandmother for holidays and the food was incredible! She had the most marvelous stove and oven unit very similar to this one. Oh honey, what I would not give to have this marvelous range! Now isn't this more interesting than a oven unit located in the wall of a kitchen? It is to me! This may be why I still use kitchen utensils that belonged to Mother and Daddy. Sometimes, old is my mothers rolling pin or my Dad's spatula which flipped many a pancake...they tell a love story!

      This fruit salad is a favorite of ours from Grandmother Grace. Everyone will ask for the's easy to prepare and colorful...perfect for any occasion!


      Thank you Grandmother Grace for this wonderful recipe!
1 (29- ounce) cans peach slices, undrained
1 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, undrained
1 (3 1/8 ounce) box vanilla instant pudding mix
1 lb strawberries, stemmed and quartered
1 banana, sliced
1/2 pint blueberries
1 bunch grapes
1 -2 tablespoon sugar


In a large bowl, combine peaches, pineapples, and vanilla pudding mix. This includes the juices from the cans. Mix well until pudding is dissolved. Stir in strawberries, banana, blueberries, grapes, and sugar if desired. Chill.

March 27, 2013


Hoppin' Down The Bunny Trail

The indignities we undergo to make "our people" smile.....
Hippity, Hoppity, Happy Easter Day~

1 cup whipping cream
12-oz bag vanilla/white chocolate chips
1 Tbsp sour cream
Lime zest to taste (about 1/2-1 tsp)
1/3 cup key lime juice
9'' ready-made graham cracker crust
Put the cream and chips in a small saucepan melt down the morsels over low heat. Make sure to keep heat low, so you don't scald the cream or burn the chips. This will take about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into crust and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight. Garnish with fresh raspberries, lime slices, or whipped cream.


March 26, 2013


When asked how to describe a Spring Day.......
vigorous, bright, cool, flourished, awake, prosperous
flowers, joy, light, happiness, colors, greenery
sunlit, bright, beautiful, young, sparking
flowering, blooming, invigorating, budding, joyful, billowing


1 lb. round steak, cut in 1" strips
3 T. vegetable oil
1 c. onions, sliced
1/2 lb. fresh string beans
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 c. Burgundy or sherry
2 c. celery, sliced thinly (diagonally)
1 4-oz. can slice mushrooms with liquid
1-1/2 t. salt
2 c. sliced carrots
1-3/4 c. beef broth
hot cooked rice
1/4 t. each garlic powder and pepper

Cut steak into bite-sized pieces, if desired, instead of strips. Saute steak in oil until brown. Add onions and cook 2 minutes longer. Stir in carrots, beans, wine, broth, mushrooms with liquid and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add celery. Cook 10 minutes longer. Dissolve cornstarch in 1/4 c. water. Stir into meat-vegetable mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Serve over beds of fluffy rice. Simply delicious!


March 25, 2013


Easter Sunday preparations are underway. I adore planning the table setting and the Easter dinner which seems to celebrate the Spring season with arms open wide. To me, this brings the family such warm memories of Easter spent traveling back to Jackson and having Easter egg hunts in Mother and Daddy's beautiful back yard. The azaleas were in full bloom in various shades of pink and rose. It seems this year, everyone is having somewhat of an endless winter, doesn't it? Even Pensacola has been hammered with cold rain storms. I did finally get the Spring wreath on the door....LOVE IT! Now how perfect is that?

Now, let's turn our attention to some inspirational tablescapes! I think I need to take a shopping trip for more bunnies. You can never have too many, don't you agree?

Need some inspiration for an easy weeknight dinner? I find myself preparing more vegetable dishes these days! They are lighter and so, so good for you!
3 ¼ cups Ricotta Cheese
1 ½ cups fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 boxes Frozen chopped spinach, drained
4 ½ cups chunky vegetable pasta sauce
1 box uncooked Lasagna noodles
2 ½ cups grated Gouda or Swiss cheese
⅛ tsp. Salt
⅛ tsp. pepper

Prepare a 13 x 9 x 2 Lasagna pan by spraying lightly with olive oil.
Set the pan aside until ready to use.
Gently blend the Ricotta and Parmesan cheese together, adding salt and pepper.
Now spread 1 cup of pasta sauce in Lasagna pan.
Place 3 Lasagna noodles on top of the sauce.
Spread 1 ¼ cups of Ricotta mixture on top of noodles in a light layer.
Place about ⅓ of spinach mixture on top of Ricotta mixture in spoonfuls.
Repeat the layers ending with 3 Lasagna noodles and the remaining sauce.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using Aluminum foil cover the Lasagna and bake for about 30 minutes.
Then remove the foil and sprinkle the grated Gouda or Swiss cheese on top.
Bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes more.

March 24, 2013


The Pear Trees have bloomed and the blossoms are now gone with the wind. Oh my goodness..those Japanese Tulip trees are bursting forth their beautiful pink blossoms and the redbud trees are showing off their deep crimson little flowers! But in the Northeast, the cold wind doth blow.....strong and proud! The view from Smiling Hill Farm in Maine shows that they are still knee deep in snow covered acres! Looks like we are all caught between the last of old man winter and the warm days of spring! 

These last days of winter will soon be a memory. Now is the perfect time to prepare a homestyle meatloaf and wrap yourself in comfort!

Just look at all of that luscious tomato gravy! So good for "Soppin'!"

Nonstick cooking spray
2 pounds ground chuck
1 cup crushed saltine crackers
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
5 slices white bread
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the chuck, crackers, celery, onions, Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons of the Dijon mustard, the parsley, 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper, the eggs and half the can of tomato paste, and mix together until just combined.

Place the white bread on the bottom of a baking sheet and place the beef mixture on top. Shape the mixture into a 12-inch loaf.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and lemon juice with the remaining tomato paste, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper. Spread the mixture over the meatloaf and tent with aluminum foil. Bake until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F, about 50 minutes. Remove the foil during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Let the meatloaf stand for 10 minutes before slicing.


March 22, 2013


She said it was warming up outside and
Spring was right around the you see it?
 Because we don't!!
Happy comes the weekend! What fabulous little delicacy are you making for the ones you love? I discovered a new Blondie recipe that everyone is going to do cartwheels over! Seriously..this is over the moon good!!

1 1/2 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
4 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup cashews, chopped
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup pineapple tidbits, well drained
extra coconut, chocolate and cashews-TOPPING

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together brown sugar and butter until combined. Add eggs and vanilla to mixture and mix well. Take the flour mixture and fold into wet ingredients until combined.

Fold in coconut, cashews, chocolates, pineapple and into batter. Try not to over mix. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and smooth out with a spatula or spoon. Top with extra coconut, chocolate and cashews (optional).

Bake for about 25-28 minutes, or until top light golder brown on the top. Do not over bake! Cool to room temperature before cutting.

March 20, 2013

Georgia's Secret Garden....Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake

A week in Atlanta was just what we needed. I had really planned to visit in April, when spring is most beautiful, but it turned out that we had an early spring break here in Texas. What an amazing time we had and having all three grandchildren together was such a blessing! I just had to share a few pictures of Gibbs Gardens with you. It was a tad early for the gardens to be in full bloom, but the beauty of spring arriving was seen everywhere through these 220 acres. These pictures are of the entrance, the Grandchildren's Sculpture Garden, The Daffodil Gardens and the Japanese Gardens. The Cherry Blossoms had just bloomed and the Daffodils were everywhere. April promises to be spectacular!

All of those beautiful yellow Daffodil's reminded me that
something "lemony" would be the first featured recipe of this week!

Best EVER Lemon-Cream Cheese Pound Cake


3 sticks of unsalted butter
8 ounces of cream cheese
2 cups sugar
1 1/8 t. salt
3 T. + 5 T. FRESH lemon juice
2 T, lemon zest
1/2 t. lemon extract
4 large eggs
2 1/4 C flour, sifted
2 t. baking powder
Powdered Sugar


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and prepare a bundt pan. Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, salt, zest, and 3Tbsp of lemon juice. Add eggs, one at time, mixing well after each addition. Add combined flour and baking powder on low speed until well combined. Bake for 1 hour 5 min to 1 hour 15 min, or until golden. Remove from oven and immediately brush bottom of cake with 2 T. lemon juice. Let cool in pan for 15 min, then invert cake. Brush the top of cake wit remaining lemon juice. Once cake is completely cooled, dust with powdered  sugar!

March 14, 2013


I can not keep this cake in the house! It is absolutely the most incredibly delicious vanilla cake recipe that I have ever made. Makes an excellent basic vanilla cake or cupcakes and may be paired with any frostings you love: chocolate, vanilla, coconut, or caramel!

2 cups sugar
3 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line muffin tin with papers, and spray the insides of the papers.
 In a large mixing bowl, sift  together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.
 Add the softened butter and beat with an electric mixer at low speed, until the mixture looks sandy.
Combine the milk and vanilla and add, all at once. Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl.
 With the mixer running at low speed, add 1 egg. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds.

 Repeat this procedure with the second egg. Continue adding the eggs, scraping after each addition, until all 4 are added.

 After the last egg is added, scrape the bowl once more, then beat at medium-high speed for 30 more seconds.
 Transfer the batter to the cupcake holders, which had been prepared in your muffin baking pan. Fill each muffin holder ¾ full.  Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees  F.  Remove the cupcakes from the oven and place them on a rack to cool before frosting.



March 13, 2013


Oh, that River Road in Louisiana takes me back to fond memories!

Now that you have your seafood recipes selected in order to use all of that fresh crab meat, be certain to place this one at the top of the "must try" list!

This recipes comes from one of my old River Roads cookbooks. I serve this for special occasions weather it be a special dinner to impress family and friends, dinner on the patio, or a holiday affair. Crab Mornay can be served in a chafing dish with melba toast or in patty shells!. This recipe is simply outstanding!!

1 stick Butter
1 Small bunch Green Onions, Chopped
1/2 C. Finely Chopped Parsley
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 Pint Half and  Half
1/2 Pound Grated Swiss Cheese
1 Tablespoon Sherry Wine
Red Pepper to Taste
Salt to Taste
1 lb. White Crab Meat


Melt butter in heavy pot and sauté onions and parsley. Blend in flour, cream, and cheese, until cheese is melted. Add other ingredients and gently fold in crab meat. This may be served in a chafing dish with Melba toast or toast points, or in patty shells. I have used canned crab in this recipe, in case you cannot find fresh crabmeat!