Instead of Making Cookies, I need your Pot

This is how my friend Cindy normally looks.  I love hanging out with her.  She’s fun, kind, and we laugh about everything.  She’s the”he dropped his Prostate” friend. Today was our annual cookie baking day.  We hang out at her house, bake cookies for all the people we’re gifting for Christmas.  She usually feeds me something yummy for lunch and we burn a few batches of baked goods because we’re distracted with laughing. Well, today was a little different.  Cindy called and said she was sick with a cold.  Her head hurt, she couldn’t breathe.  What should she do to get better before her birthday wingding on Saturday.  I told her to sit tight, I’d be over in a jiff with my pot — just the thing that would cure her right up. This is what Cindy looked like when she opened the door.  Girl, she needed help. So instead of … Continue reading “Instead of Making Cookies, I need your Pot”

Simone — the Sewing Table

I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it.  I just moved my Grandmother Ruby’s sewing table from storage into my bedroom to make it a dressing table.  I am the only person who probably gives her furniture names. Meet Simone. Sewing Simone is named for Simone Beck, author and expert in French cooking.  With Julia Child they wrote The Art of French Cooking.  I imagine Simone could have whipped up pot holders or aprons at this table.  Simone is going to the spa for a little updating, but I thought you’d like to see her first.  I love the drawer handles.  I think I am going to try to clean them up a bit with Rub-n-Buff.  At first I thought I wanted to paint her and even though the top is not in the best shape, with Miss Bee’s encouragement I am going to … Continue reading “Simone — the Sewing Table”

Need a dessert for a Christmas Party?

The Black Russian Bundt Cake recipe my neighbor shared with me is the bomb.  Easy to make and especially pretty if you have a decorative bundt pan.  Several years ago I purchased this Nordic Bundt pan shaped like Christmas trees: Be sure to grease and spray it carefully and thoroughly.  I used Baker’s Joy flour/non-stick spray and it worked great.  This cake is moist and transports well.  A few people on my Christmas list are getting these… Black Russian Bundt Cake 1 box yellow cake mix (without the pudding) 1/2 cup sugar 1 small box of instant chocolate pudding mix 1 cup oil 4 eggs 1/4 cup Vodka (I used vanilla vodka) 1/4 cup Kahlua (or other coffee-flavored liqueur) 3/4 cup water (or I used left over coffee) Combine everything in a mixer and beat well.  Pour into well greased pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for … Continue reading “Need a dessert for a Christmas Party?”

Move over Mrs. Doyle

In honor of National Cake Day on Monday, I made the Mrs. Billett’s cake  from the cover of December’s Southern Living magazine.  Mrs. Billett is my new best friend.  The wintry white confection was submitted to SL by Mrs. Sue Winter for their annual December cake contest.  She acquired the recipe from her mother.  Like my beloved Elizabeth Doyle’s chocolate cake, she and her mother never knew who Mrs. Billett was but have been making her white cake for every birthday since the 50s. The only modification I made was not making the fondant snowflakes.  Mr. Bee is not fond of fondant and at $12 a package I didn’t want to waste it on him.  But if I were to make this for an event, I would give the fondant a whirl. While it wasn’t a complicated recipe it takes longer than a usual cake.  But. Oh. My. Is it worth … Continue reading “Move over Mrs. Doyle”

Heirloom Recipe Wednesday

Today’s topic:  Buttermilk Pie.  Love it.  I think the first time I ate it was at the Nut House in Granbury, Texas.  I was probably younger than Miss Bee is now.  It’s very southern.  I was nine when Earnie purchased this cookbook by mail order.. Copy write date Somewhere along the way I discovered the buttermilk pie recipe and from the looks of the page, it was a frequent occurrence for me to make it.  Earnie added the note about adding lemon juice. So I made one last night.  All the talk my Austin besties were doing about spending Thanksgiving together tomorrow made me all nostalgic.  So I made one.  I plan to eat a big slice tomorrow. I even tried a new pie crust recipe from my friend David Venable’s new cookbook (we’ve never met, but I consider him my friend.  He’s a cutie). Pie.  It’s the most important … Continue reading “Heirloom Recipe Wednesday”

Yummy Fall Cocktail

Last night, at a progressive dinner gathering of friends, we ended the night with after dinner drinks.  I made butterscotch martinis.  I saw the original recipe on the Food Network with Sandra Lee. She calls her version a Butter Martini, but the butterscotch Schnapps is so flavorful and makes the drink tastes more like the candy instead of a stick of butter. Here’s what you need: Cocktail shaker — not required, but will make you look really cool while mixing the cocktail Crushed ice cubes One part Vanilla Vodka (I put my bottle in the freezer to make it really cold) One part chilled pineapple juice Splash of butterscotch Schnapps Splash of Chamboard (a raspberry liqueur) For the “one part” I just used the little jigger on top of the cocktail shaker.  Mix all the ingredients in the shaker, then pour into glasses. It was just the right blend of flavors.  … Continue reading “Yummy Fall Cocktail”

Earnie’s Cooking School — Brunswick Stew

We like to come up with all sorts of engaging activites for our residents at Windwood Trail Haus.  Earnie’s homework, and activity in the Day Room on Monday, was making her famous Brunswick Stew.  When I was growing up she made this all the time.  It never occurred to me that when I be-bopped into her room Sunday night to give Earnie her little last call cookie that she would look at me blankly when I suggested she make it for Monday’s dinner.  She said it had been so long since she made it she wasn’t sure what the ingredients were.  Actually, I don’t recall her making it since she and Ray moved in back in 2007. Earnie has a stock pile of recipes in a box.  All kinds, mostly ones she has cut out from the paper over the years.  I suggested she take a look see in her box of recipes and maybe that … Continue reading “Earnie’s Cooking School — Brunswick Stew”

The Invisible Thread

My church lady friends and I were sitting around one day last month talking about what our book selection should be for our November meeting.  One of my friends, whom I shall not name, said, “oh, do we have to actually read a book?”  Raise your hand if sometimes the last thing you want to do is read?  I’ve gotten lately where I am sometimes too tired to even read Good Housekeeping magazine.  We said, “yes, (insert name), we do.”  Preacher lady recommended An Invisible Thread in the spirit of Thanksgiving.   It’s a true story written by Laura Schroff about her friendship with Maurice, an 11-year old panhandler, and how their unlikely meeting on the streets of New York city transformed their lives.   There were parts of it that were hard to read.  She shares her stories of living with an abusive, alcoholic father, and the death of her … Continue reading “The Invisible Thread”

Dressing – not just for eating

Each year, at Thanksgiving, I plan two things:  First, reading magazines and cookbooks for a new cornbread dressing to make, and the second, how to dress my table for the big day. In the south we don’t stuff our turkeys, so we call it dressing.   I loved Earnie’s version growing up but she made hers with a little of this, a pinch of that, kind of hard to replicate.  When I lived on the east coast for a stint in my younger days, it was tradition to make oyster stuffing since oysters were plentiful along the shore.  Just give this southern gal cornbread dressing please. My recent issue of Country Living magazine had a several page spread of traditional Thanksgiving recipes.  The cutie pie Beekman Boys shared their version of the perfect carb loader with your side of roasted turkey… Beekman Boys Cornbread Dressing I think when I make it … Continue reading “Dressing – not just for eating”

Frame Your Thanks

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love the food (everytime I go to Luby’s I eat turkey and dressing).  I love the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  I love it when it’s cold outside, but this year if it’s nice we might sit on the lanai for our meal with the fire going.  If I can talk Mr. Bee into it, I would love to install an outdoor tv monitor on the porch for watching the TCU vs UT game.  Sip cider and cheer on the Frogs. On my desk I usually try to have a phrase or subway art framed for the season.  This Thanksgiving subway art can be found on Eighteen25.  Click on the link and it will take you directly there. Happy Thanksgiving, ya’ll.