The Saturday Breeze – Week of June 18

I packed in alot of stuff this week!  While Mr. and Miss Bee were away on a mission trip for church, I took the week off work and well…worked on my house!

I prepared a to-do list and I have to say I did pretty well.  I made sure to take lots of breaks and afternoon naps with Hazel.  I also enjoyed binge watching Netflix HGTV and NCIS episodes in the background. Have you ever watched an episode of HGTV’s Vintage Flip?  They are the cutest couple!  Jesse and Tina take their “passion for era-appropriate restorations with thoughtful modern updates to beautify the Golden State one vintage home at a time.” Nothing is over the top, and no drama like “oh, wow, I didn’t know the house was falling down and we didn’t budget 90K to fix it!” plus they share the history behind when the homes were built — like during the gold rush and the citrus boom.  Check it out here.

Here’s what I accomplished:

Wiped down all the kitchen cabinets to give them a good cleaning (you can use a mixture of water and vinegar.  Wipe then dry with a cloth)

Retouched the paint on the cabinets and drawers from normal wear

Repainted the fireplace surround and the columns in the kitchen to lighten things up (I used Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter — a fab color I have used all over the house).

Painted the niche.  #Ihateniches.  Is it just me?  A niche means needless decor to sit inside of it.  I’d much rather it be a blank wall.  I found some pretty hand-painted Asian inspired plates on clearance from Williams-Sonoma in all the colors I love — orange, navy and green.  I thought they would be perfect hung in the niche with a backdrop of Sherwin-Williams Naval — a deep navy blue. I used the leftover paint I had from my laundry room gallery wall.

Moved furniture around, redecorated with stuff I already had but moved it from room to room so it looks new.   I got out my collection of sea shells and sea glass to make it look summery around the house.   I hung a mirror I painted with orange lacquer paint and flanked it with fun appetizer plates I found at Target.  I will show you that project soon.

And since I clearly have watched too much HGTV this week, I tackled my dining room chandelier with gold paint and new bulbs.  I’ll share that project, too.

Cleaned out drawers and cabinets and filled seven boxes of love for Goodwill.  Yay, me!

Took some nicer home decor to Furniture Buy Consignment in my neighborhood.  They have beautiful things and I have had good luck selling my home decor and furniture there, and finding new affordable pieces as well.

Cleaned and reorganized our game room so it can be a fun place for my sweetie pie niece to play!  Now it’s all set up with her own table and chairs and kitchen and drawers full of games and toys.  She is coming this weekend to spend the night and I can’t wait for her to see her space.

Cleaned the entire house top to bottom and sweated like I ran the NY Marathon.  Seriously, I think after this week FitBit may be calling me to make sure someone else isn’t wearing my device!

I ate healthy food all week and only ate out once — Zoe’s Kitchen for their yummy Mediterranean chicken and stopped into my favorite bakery — Hurley House for a treat.  And, I worked out with my trainer four days! Yay, me again!

And, one more thing!  I am so excited about the surprise I am going to reveal on Monday regarding Mrs. Twist’s Book Club!  Have you signed up to read The Book of Polly?  Sign up here for our summer book club and you can join in on the fun next Thursday at our June meeting. You will not want to miss this news.  So check back on Monday, or sign up to receive my emails delivered right to your email in box bright and early each day I post.

I hope you have a super, breezy, fun Saturday!

Rhoda’s Paleo Banana Pancakes

I have been following Rhoda at Southern Hospitality Blog for a while now. I got the chance to meet her at the Haven Conference last summer and it was a thrill to see her in person.  The blog posts I enjoy the most have to do with her sweet mother and daddy and the fabulous southern-style home cooked lunches they have together.  Many of her mother’s recipes are featured on Rhoda’s blog.  She posted a video recently of her cute daddy giving her followers a tour of his extensive garden — and BTW he’s 90!

One recipe Rhoda has shared is Paleo Banana Pancakes.  Something about it always intrigued me because I thought it would be a much healthier alternative to traditional pancakes.  Since I am trying to limit my carb intake I thought I would give them a try.  And, they were really yummy!

Click on the link above for the full recipe, but they are basically an egg and a mashed ripe banana mixed together and scooped onto a hot skillet (I used non-stick spray, but you could use a little butter) like you would prepare pancakes.  They do stick, so just be patient.  I served them with sliced strawberries and a drizzle of local honey.

The zero carbs and 6 grams of protein in the egg and the 27 carbs in the banana make this a healthy breakfast that will keep you satisfied through the morning.  Bananas are the highest carb fruit, but it also has alot of other benefits like fiber and potassium, and since you are eating it with a protein it helps soften the effect the carbs have on your blood sugar.

Give them a try.  I think you will really like them.  And, buzz over to Rhoda’s blog for some good Southern hospitality!

 

What Would Holley Wear: Polka Dots and Stripes

What says “summer fun” more than a polka dot or striped outfit? If you said, “nothing”, then I totally agree with you!  I consider these two prints neutral patterns, just like black and white are considered neutral colors. They go with just about everything and can be incorporated anywhere from a work outfit to a fun day at the beach.  

 First, a fashion story from my past:   As a young sales manager with a big insurance company, my husband qualified to attend his first partner’s meeting hosted in Maui, Hawaii in 1987.  This meeting involved intense wardrobe planning for cocktail parties, business luncheons, black-tie dinners and even poolside parties.  We were in our early 30s, and to say this first manager’s meeting was epic for us would be an understatement.  

Remember the 70’s band, The Spinners?  Well, they were the headline band at the last night’s dinner.  I will never forget when the curtains opened, and they started performing.  And I will never forget the adorable cocktail dress I wore, a black and white polka dot dress with an open back from Sakowitz in Houston. But the icing on the cake was in the middle of their performance the lead singer pointed to me and said, “I’m dedicating this next song to the lovely lady wearing the polka dot dress.”  And that’s when they sang “Working My Way Back to You Babe!”  To this day I don’t know if it was my polka dot dress that got their attention or my signature dance moves.  But I’m thinking….probably the dress!

So let’s start with how I would incorporate a polka dot look into my wardrobe today….some 32 years later.  For a fun summer church dress, I’m loving a black and pale pink polka dot dress with bell sleeves, as seen on our Pinterest board.  A fabulous party look I love is a sheer white polka dot blouse worn with the sleeves rolled up and paired with black embroidered pants.  Kind of makes me want to host a party!  

When it comes to trends, a striped off the shoulder top is “the look” for this summer. Where can you find this look?  Everywhere!  Some of the young girls are wearing a cropped version. I like an off the shoulder look that is long enough to wear with jeans, covers my rear, and can be tucked in.  

A striped skirt is another really cute way to add some pizazz to your style. A perfect summer dress would be a blue vertical striped off the shoulder embroidered dress…perfect for running errands or a beach vacay! And think about mixing stripes and florals or even stripes and polka dots for a double dose of summer prints…such a fun way to add personality to your ensemble.  

Were you ever voted “Miss Congeniality?”  True story….I actually was!  If you want to win some popularity votes, think about adding one striped or polka dot accessory to your wardrobe.  I’m not kidding….strangers will stop to ask where you found your adorable polka dot bag or your striped clutch.  Be sure to take a look at the multi-colored striped Rebecca Minkoff clutch and Balenciaga shopper tote on our Pinterest board.  And of course…a pair of striped or polka dot shoes are always attention-getters!  

Do you like to sleep in comfy pajama pants?  My favorite pair are my black and white polka dot PJs.  A cute pair on our Pinterest board is a pink striped set from Victoria Secret.  Besides cute PJs, swimwear in stripes and polka dots are so in style this summer. Who remembers the “Tweeny-Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” song?  To be honest, that is definitely not the look for me these days, but a cute polka dot or striped sarong skirt worn over a “not so tweeny-weeny” bathing suit would be a great swimsuit cover-up option.

 I so hope you will consider adding at least one of these popular patterns to your summer wardrobe!  And if you do…I think there’s a really good chance you might be voted “Miss Congeniality!”

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at holleywilliams1@gmail.com.

The Saturday Breeze — Week of June 12

The month of June is a big month for birthdays in my family.  First, Mr. Bee’s, Daddy’s was the 11th, and today is my brother’s birthday. Tomorrow is Father’s Day.  Mr. Bee and Miss Bee leave for a mission trip in the morning so I get the entire week to myself!  I’ve got some projects planned that I will share with you, along with alot of sleeping late and reading by the pool.

This week, I felt like baking so I got out my salt plate from Williams-Sonoma.  It’s a hand-cut slab of iridescent salt crystal mined from the foothills of the Himalayas and you can use the salt plate on the grill or stovetop, in the oven, or as a chilled serving platter.

The recipe is really the best chocolate chip recipe I’ve made and I make these even without using the salt block.  You can omit the smidge of sea salt sprinkled on top before baking if you want to.

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp of baking soda

1 3/4 cups of butter (I use European butter)

1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 whole egg, plus one egg yolk

12 oz. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325.  This makes the big difference in how your cookies bake.  Slow and even.  In my opinion, 350 is too hot for cookies.

Mix the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.  Cream the butter and sugars. Add in eggs. Then vanilla.  Toss the chocolate chips into the flour and coat evenly, then stir into the butter sugar mixture.

Drop scoops full onto a parchment paper lined tray. Bake about 12 minutes.  You want them almost underdone.  They will cook a little longer on the hot cookie sheet before you transfer them to your cooling rack.

Makes about 24 cookies.

Last night I treated Mr. Bee to a surprise — The music of Pink Floyd at the Concerts in the Garden.  It was like nothing else I have heard before — the music of Dark Side of the Moon accompanied by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.  Oh, my, it was amazing.  We went with our friends Darold and Becky and had such a fun night under the stars sipping wine, noshing on dinner and listening to the music.

Central Market is the concert picnic partner and they make it so easy to have the perfect outdoor meal while you enjoy the concert.  You call the catering office (Alexa was super helpful) at Central Market, place your order, and on the evening of the concert, you pick up your meal on the concert grounds all packed in a reusable insulated tote bag.

You can bring in your own food, but really, this makes it so much easier. We enjoyed a charcuterie platter, grilled chicken and beef tenderloin sandwiches with roasted vegetables, strawberry spinach salad, and dessert.  We brought our own bottles of wine and water (and flameless candles!).

And, look how cute Becky is in her Pink Floyd t-shirt!  She said she found it just this past week at Nordstrom rack and knew it would be the perfect touch to the night.

We sipped wine I purchased on a recent visit to Fredericksburg.  A summery rose´ from Baron’s Creek and a Le Quattro Stagione 2014 from Becker Vineyard.

And I told Mr. Bee I paid a little extra for fireworks at the end!   Have a super Saturday.

Let’s Ask Mrs. Twist: Help Me Declutter My Bedside Table!

Every once in a while, we receive emails from readers who are in a quandary.  This question came from Mary in Austin:

“How can I hide my ugly cord situation on my bedside table, yet still have easy access?

First, Mrs. Twist does not judge.  We all have “catch-all” spaces in our homes.  Once we get control of the clutter we can enjoy the space, especially in a bedroom where the whole point is to relax.  In looking at this photo, we can gather she likes to read, play her guitar, charge her devices and have a place for supplies.  Nothing out of the ordinary.

In her message, she said her table had drawers and even suggested she could drill a hole in the back of the drawer for power cords.  I think that is the easiest and most cost-effective remedy if you can discipline yourself to keep everything off the top of the table and inside the drawers.

Here are a few suggestions.  Pretty and functional can co-exist together. If the goal is to have a clean, inviting space as well as be functional for charging devices, I would suggest something like this bamboo organizational caddy from Amazon.

You can dock your tablets and phones, have a place for your TV remote and compartments for essential supplies like maybe just a few pens and sharpies.  So back to her before photo above, you can eliminate the three pencil cups and the power strip off the top because she can put a power strip inside the organizer to charge the devices from the back.

For the stack of books, I would suggest only having the current book you are reading on the table and store the other books in the drawer.  I can’t tell how many drawers your bedside table has, but one side could be for “books in the queue” and the other side of the drawer could house something similar that I do in my bedside table…

You can use drawer dividers from Walmart to categorize your supplies.  I use one bin for vitamins and medicine, one for lip balm and hand lotion, one for remotes and so on.  She can put all her sharpies in one bin, her toiletries in another and the other side of the drawer can be for books and magazines.

If it’s in her budget, I would suggest a wall mounted bedside lamp — like the ones they have in hotels.  Then, all you would need to have on the table would be an organizing caddy, a current book, a candle and maybe a vase of fresh flowers! Like this inspiration from Pinterest.

 

I hope this helps Mary.  Thanks for contacting Mrs. Twist.  Let us know if you try any of these tips and we’ll share it!

If you need a solution to a problem, “Let’s ask Mrs. Twist” by clicking on the contact button on the menu above or email homewithatwist@gmail.com.

What Would Holley Wear: Mountain Vacation

For the past decade, my husband and I have taken a week’s vacation in Aspen, Colorado every summer.  We love to hike, eat out, go to concerts, read books, and John likes to cook in our apartment.  We always stay at Aspen Square Condominiums which is across the street from The Little Nell and one of the best locations in town.  The people who work there are so friendly and welcome us with open arms every summer.  

 So, two things you need to know about Aspen shopping:

  1. Most of the stores are high-end retail…
  2. …and their consignment shops are second to none!

So let’s get started and talk about my two favorite consignment shops in Aspen! The first one is The Little Bird (on Cooper Street), which is high end fashion resale.  My treasure while shopping there several years ago was a sheer black Fendi blouse.  Last year, I found a great pair of new black leather fashion sneakers that I wore on our recent trip there!

Another favorite consignment store in Aspen is Susie’s Consignment (on Main Street).  They, too, have designer clothing but also items from stores like Zara and J. Crew.   In other words….more affordable.  On this trip, I purchased a beautiful black, sheer Theory blouse.  It will be a great addition to my year-round wardrobe!  

Speaking of consignment stores, my Fort Worth favorite is Crystal Tag on Vickery.  The owner, Karen, is a lovely lady and very pleasant to work with.  I have purchased and sold items at her store.  I also take my clothes and my client’s clothes to Arborlawn United Methodist Church, 5001 Briarhaven Road.  The church offers a “boutique style” shopping experience for those in need to select clothing for women, men and children.  It is a wonderful mission that serves our community.  

But back to Aspen….”What does Holley wear in Aspen?”  I have to admit, Aspen is not your typical mountain town.  Some of the wealthiest people in the world have vacation homes there and of course, expensive taste. So, I do my best to blend in with my “creative” style and budget. Truthfully, the women who actually live and work there are very down to earth. Khaki shorts and jeans are their go-to looks. A local Texas store where you can recreate their “mountain style” is the Sundance Store in Southlake Town Square.   And since my husband and I walk/hike every day, I take a pair of black Nike pants, long sleeve t-shirts, a jacket, backpack, sneakers or hiking boots.  Layering is always a good idea when on the trail.  

Our tradition on the day we arrive is to unpack, and then head straight to Hotel Jerome to have lunch and a Bloody Mary at the outdoor Terrace Cafe. The food and beverages are delicious, and the style and people-watching are a bonus.  On our recent trip, I wore an ethnic print maxi skirt, blue chambray shirt, a navy tassel necklace, a pair of brown Sam Edelman sandals and carried a large Goyard tote.  I also wore this outfit on the plane and brought a denim jacket.  Later that week, I wore the same skirt with a white flowy blouse tied at the waist to The White House Tavern…..which, by the way, is one of our favorite restaurants in Aspen.

Another favorite, is Kitchen…be sure to check out the pictures of their beautiful view and interior on my Pinterest board “Mountain Vacation.”   

We love going to the farmer’s market on Saturday morning. The people, adorable pups, delicious food, and music lure us in every time!  Since I like to look “Aspen chic,” I wore a perforated yellow midi skirt I purchased last year at H&M, repurposed the blue chambray top, and wore a pair of blue denim espadrilles.  Having my Goyard tote on hand was an added bonus for all my market purchases!  Since it is still cool at nights in early June, my go-to look was a pair of jeans, button-down shirt, and a black blazer or a linen army green jacket.  Some nights I wore my leather sneakers from Little Bird and some nights, I wore a pair of Coach Espadrilles I purchased at TJ Maxx.  

Besides shopping, hiking, and eating out, there are so many fun things to do in Aspen.  The link to “72 hours in Aspen” on our Pinterest board will give you a lot of ideas.  And if you go, be sure to visit the John Denver Sanctuary….a very special and serene place.  It’s off the beaten path and just like Aspen, it’s guaranteed to give you a “Rocky mountain high!”  

From Mrs. Twist:  As I read this post from Holley this week, I am thinking what an invaluable resource Holley would be if you are packing for a trip and don’t know what to wear!  Reach out to Holley with your destination and activities planned and let her research the best wardrobe ideas to make your travel plans a breeze! Check out her style on our Pinterest board for more ideas.

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at holleywilliams1@gmail.com.

Things That Make Me Smile

Gulf Shores December 2013

I’ve been seeing images on Pinterest and Instagram lately that bring a smile to my face.  Here’s just a few things to share…

Cats.  I love cats.  It does not matter where I am in the world, if I see a kitty cat, I must be its friend.  My love affair with cats goes back to my early years when I lived on Meadowbrook Drive.  I came home with this book from grade school — Orange Oliver:  The kitten who wore glasses.  I told my mother I wanted an orange kitten.  She told Daddy.  Daddy went to work the next day and gave his employee $20 and told him “I don’t care how long it takes today, but you go out and find Melissa an orange kitten.”  That night, Daddy came home with an orange kitten.  I named him….Oliver.  The only problem with living on Meadowbrook Drive is that no one followed the speed limit and once the kitty cats stepped off the curb, I never saw them again.  So, throughout my life I have collected quite the repertoire of feline fans.  I still have a thing for orange…

Breakfast.

Photo credit: Woman’s Day

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  It doesn’t have to be a lavish spread, although this tablescape I saw on Instagram this morning would not disappoint.  My go-to menu would be homemade granola, ripe fruit, a warm scone or muffin, oatmeal and piping hot French press coffee all served on beautiful china.

Lazy days by the pool.  Since we put a pool in last summer, it has totally changed me.  I love to sit outside and just look at it.   I enjoy sitting on the patio sipping coffee and bird watching.  I can’t wait to start a new book after dinner as the sun it setting.  It’s just so quiet and peaceful.  I find I do most of my thinking outdoors.

I remember Mother wearing a swim cap.  I always thought she looked so chic.

“Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there is so much to smile about.”  Marilyn Monroe

 

The Saturday Breeze — Week of June 5

Happy Saturday!  Until I can get up the courage to try my hand at doing a Saturday video series for you, I’ll “shoot the breeze” (aka idle chitchat according to Urban Dictionary) the old-fashioned way, through words and photos recapping my week.

Even Hazel identified with the dog in the book…

I finished The Book of Polly. OMG. It is probably one of the most touching and relevant books I have read in a long while. I just loved everything about it. The humor, Willow’s stories of her childhood, and the Mother-Daughter relationship, had me right there with the author Kathy Hepinstall.  It is our selection for this month’s Mrs. Twist Reads This book club.  I hope you will read it.  I didn’t want it to end.

We hosted a “Farm to Table” Party at work on Thursday.  The tables were beautifully set with a bounty of summer vegetables and fresh florals.

And we gave Cat Studio custom glassware as our party favors.

We had to say farewell to our almost 19 year old kitty, Sophia.  Sophia will be reincarnated as a true Southern lady. Proper, demure, sweet and ladylike.  The only time I saw her get cross was to swat Wilson across the face a time or two if he got too close (it made that hollow popping sound and was hilarious to see his face afterward). We rescued her when Miss Bee was a baby, much to my dismay.  We already had in addition to a newborn, a Dalmatian and three cats.  But, Mr. Bee felt certain God wanted her to be his, and she was for a very long time.

Sophia may have had only one eye, but she never missed a thing and could pack a punch when needed. Never sick a day in her life, in the last six months she started losing weight and had trouble getting around.  She was diagnosed with renal failure, a common ailment for felines in their senior years.  But, Sophia rallied with medicine and renal supplements and even enjoyed walking laps around the pool in the afternoon sunshine. The last few weeks, it became increasingly difficult for her to do much of anything so we made the decision to make her comfortable.

This was a sweet photo I captured of a moment our sweet Hazel had with her friend Sophia just a few days before Sophia died.  It is such a hard thing to do, yet you know it’s the right decision.  But, boy, knowing I will have to keep doing it as long as I have pets, that’s tough…

Hazel and Sophia

Lastly, Happy Birthday to my beloved Mr. Bee!  Your life is a gift and I am so glad I get to share it with you.  Thank you to all of you who complimented him on his England posts.  I shared your feedback at our team meeting and he got employee of the month!

That’s the Saturday Breeze!

My Easy Three: Keeping it Clean and Fresh

Summer is here and so are the sweaty odors that come with it.  It isn’t a glamorous topic, just keeping it real.  Here are My Easy Three tips for June!

Swim Wear — It is an investment every year to add a new swim suit to your poolside frolics.  You can extend the life of your suit by taking just a few minutes to wash it out after each use.  If you don’t have time to soak it in a gentle detergent like this set from Everything But Water, at least rinse it out with cool tap water before hanging it to dry.

I keep a set of these detergents (Woolite is good, too) in my swimwear drawer.  It only takes a capful of the cleaner to your pail of water, add your suit, let it soak for 3 minutes, rinse, then soak in the protector, skip the rinse, wring, and hang to dry. Chlorine, salt and sun deteriorate the delicate fabrics of your swimwear and by washing your suits after every use, you can keep them just as fresh as the day you bought it.

Smelly Sneakers — working out, hiking, yard work, and so on makes for odorous sneaks.  When we traveled to Turkey a few summers ago, one of the best tips shared by a Container Store employee, were these Mini Moso Charcoal Deoderizers.  They are naturally safe, help to absorb odors and moisture, are renewable by recharging them in the sun and after two years of use, they are biodegradable.  Just plant them in your flower beds when you are done!  They come in sets of two for $9.99.  I have several sets and stuff them in all my active footwear when not in use.

Baking soda is my friend. Remember that hot sauce commercial where the Grandmotherly voice says, “I use that SH*& on everything!”  Well, I do use baking soda for a variety of uses and not just in my biscuits.  I buy a bag just like this at Costco and fill a bin in my laundry room.  I add a scoop of soda in the laundry powder dispenser.  It mixes in with the detergent pod and keeps the inside of the washer clean (if you have a front loading machine you are familiar with that odor), and it deodorizes my towels, sheets and active wear.  I also add a scoop every time I clean the litterbox. In addition to being a multi-tasker, baking soda is inexpensive and safe to use.

If you want more of My Easy Three tips — visit my other ideas for Organization and Homekeeping.

Have a fabulous Friday!

Stuffed Peppers With A Twist

The June issue of Southern Living magazine features a series of recipes where the star is a vegetable.  One of my favorite things about this time of year is the plentiful bounty of garden vegetables.  Growing up, Mother made stuffed green bell peppers usually with ground beef and rice. I have never been a fan of the green bell pepper, but serve me their cousins “red, orange, and yellow” and I am sold.  So, when I saw this recipe for Stuffed Peppers with Grits and Sausage I knew I had to give it a try.

Note:  Miss Bee does not eat red meat or pork.  I substituted the pork sausage for turkey sausage (Jimmy Dean’s breakfast sausage crumbles).  It was the perfect switch and Miss Bee gave it two-thumbs up.  This is a big deal, folks.

June 2017 Southern Living magazine

The recipe can be found here.  But I will also provide.  It takes about an hour to prep and cook this dish, so be sure to allow yourself enough time, but it will be well worth the investment.

Ingredients:

3 large red bell peppers

1 TBL canola oil

3 hot Italian sausage links, casings removed (I used one bag of Jimmy Dean’s Turkey Sausage breakfast crumbles.  They are precooked so I just warmed them up with the onions in a skillet).

1 cup chopped sweet onion

1/2 cup coarse cornmeal (they recommend McEwen & Sons, I used the regular cornmeal I bake with).

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 cup whole milk

1 tsp. kosher salt, divided

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

3 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided

3 TBL. olive oil

2 TBL. white wine vinegar

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 cups heirloom grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup basil leaves

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  Microwave bell peppers on HIGH for 2 minutes in microwave.  Cut bell peppers in half through the stem. Remove seeds and white membranes using a serrated tomato corer or melon baller, leaving stem intact.  Discard seeds and membranes.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high.  Add sausage to skillet and cook 4 minutes, stirring to break into small pieces.  Add onion to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until sausage is cooked and onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Remove sausage mixture from pan.  Add cornmeal to skillet and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add broth, milk, and 3/4 tsp. of the salt to the skillet; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a medium and cook stirring occasionally until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.  Stir in parsley, sausage mixture, and half of the cheese. Divide mixture evenly among bell pepper halves.  Place side by side on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.

Bake in a preheated oven until cheese is browned and peppers are tender, about 30 minutes.

While the peppers are baking, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, black pepper and remaining 1/4 tsp of sale in a medium bowl.  Add tomatoes and basil; toss to coat.  Serve over peppers.

The inside is so delicious and is the perfect filling to accompany the pepper.  I couldn’t help but think this would be a hearty entree to serve for brunch because it has grits, sausage and cheese.

The family loved it so the recipe is now torn out of the magazine and into the permanent recipe binder.  Let me know if you make it and how you liked it!