Today is National Cherry Pie Day. I looked in the pantry and couldn’t find a can of cherry pie filling, but I did find a box of sugar-free gelatin and a package of dried cherries. Read more
February has arrived – the month popular for love, hearts, and red.
Hospitality in the kitchen has included all three for me through the years since my love and I married in the 70s. We were two hearts in love living in an apartment with a small kitchen (and the tiniest stove I ever saw) decorated with red accents. One accent was a wedding gift from my aunt, a utensil stoneware crock with red strawberries. It’s a gift that has become a sentimental treasure.
Kitchen color preferences changed from one kitchen to another. Red has reappeared in my kitchen decor. It looks warm and inviting in the cottage cabin fixer upper my love and I purchased.
Blogging pals Rusty and Patti and I discovered an adorable red canister set when we strolled through a favorite antique shop. Rusty and I spotted it about the same time. Her kitchen has red accents, but red is more than an accent in mine. We came up with a couple of options for both of us to enjoy the red set. She could use it one year, and I could use it the next. There were three canisters, so we could each have one. Red isn’t Patti’s kitchen color, though. Rusty came up with the idea that I could purchase the canister set only if I agree to invite her over. It sounded fair to me. The deal was made.
When I think of food and the color red combined, two things come to mind. One is a healthy recipe I made with slivers of red beets. The other is a memory of a comical dinner I cooked about this time of year in the early days of my marriage.
Let’s start with the Blood Red Orange Salad recipe:
Blood Red Orange Salad
Blood Red Orange Salad
Pickled red beets
Red lettuce leaves
Red bell pepper, diced
Roma tomato, sliced
Blood red orange, cut in chunks
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
Drizzle olive oil and apple cider vinegar over salad.
Blood Red Orange Salad
- Pickled red beets
- Red lettuce leaves
- Spinach leaves
- Red bell pepper, diced
- Roma tomato, sliced
- Blood red orange, cut in chunks
- Grated cheese
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Drizzle olive oil and apple cider vinegar over salad.
Now for that comical dinner story, my husband and I had been married about a month. He asked if he could bring a coworker home for their dinner break. I decided to bake chicken and cook vegetables. They came in and sat down at the table. I excused myself for a moment. Before I returned I heard my husband ask his friend, “Shall we pray again?” I walked back to the table to see why he had asked the humorous question. Red was oozing out from where a fork had been stuck into the chicken. Horrified, I put the chicken back in the oven – and nearly burned it that time. Never will I forget that awful chicken dinner. I made sure anytime I baked chicken from then on that it was well done with no red.
Originally posted 2014-02-03 21:48:29.
Cooking for a dinner party is challenging for a cook these days when guests strictly follow diets – and they’re all different. One guest follows the vegan diet, one eats gluten-free foods, another eats only low-carbohydrate foods, and who knows what the rest of the guests may or may not eat.
Several years ago when my husband was the pastor of a church in Texas, we had a minister staying in our home while speaking at our church one week. Young and ignorant, I didn’t think to ask if he had any food allergies. One day I made a family favorite, Creamy Tacos. Little did I know that our guest didn’t like cheese. He ate with us, but I don’t remember if I made something else for him or if I also had prepared a salad that he ate. He was an extremely picky eater. The day he left, he shared a humorous story with us. He said on one occasion at another church he was leaving and told the pastor’s wife how the food had “hit the spot”. Simultaneously, he indicated how it hit the spot by pointing his index finger to his stomach. When he did, they were both surprised by his sudden flatulence.
It’s a good idea to find out any food intolerance that your dinner guests may have before the day of the dinner party. Minimize foods that cause gas like cabbage, beans, broccoli, fruits and dairy products. However, vegans eat vegetables. Serve a green vegetable salad with chunks of oranges (tastes delicious). A salad can be served to vegans, people on low carbohydrate diets and low fat diets.
What about bread? Gluten intolerant guests may turn down any offer of bread, but most people enjoy bread. Serve plain and/or toasted garlic potato bread.
Most wheat bread contains gluten. I’ve found some potato breads that don’t list wheat or gluten. Maia Appleby, a NASM-certified personal trainer, says that potato bread may be more beneficial than wheat bread. She says potato bread is richer in calcium and potassium, which help strengthen your bones and keep your blood pressure low. A sandwich made with potato bread has much less sodium than wheat bread.
Most people who diet will eat chicken. Grill it, bake it, but don’t fry it – unless you and your guests aren’t on a diet and don’t mind a little grease with your southern fried chicken.
Originally posted 2014-01-22 22:07:22.
January is the month for beginnings. That’s especially true each year for my cousin, Debbie, and me. She begins the new year with a birthday on January 1st. My birthday comes a week later. My mother told me once that she and my aunt were expecting on the same day, December 29th. Neither of us girls made a grand entrance on that special day, though I have made it a day to always remember – it’s my husband’s and my anniversary.
When Debbie and I were five years old, she and her mother came to visit us. Mother had cooked breakfast, and the two of us silly girls got to laughing so hard that the eggs flew everywhere. Of course, our mothers made us stop the nonsense. But it was funny.
I still like eggs. Except when the pepper I sprinkled all over them makes me sneeze. Makes the eggs fly like when I was five.
Eggs are protein. An egg breakfast is filling. You can go all day on a breakfast with eggs. Cholesterol concerns a lot of people, and you may be one who doesn’t eat the egg yolk. Look, I know it’s important for us to be aware of what and how much we’re eating. My daddy told me one time, “Honey, you’re going to have to watch your weight the rest of your life.” He was right. I’ve watched it go up, and I’ve watched it go down.
What works for me may not work for you. Stick to the diet of your choice. But for me? Egg whites without the yolks are only good for making the meringue for a pie, and that’s not the easiest thing for most people to maneuver. I choose moderation like no eggs Monday through Friday but enjoying omelets on the weekends or special occasions – with the yolks. My mother and daddy both grew up eating eggs. She lived to be 81, and my dad is almost 90.
Like veggies in your eggs? Try my Egg Veg Omelet:
- 5 Eggs
- Onion, Red (1/8-1/4)
- Green Bell Pepper (3-4 slices)
- Roma Tomatoes (2)
- Cilantro (to taste)
- Spinach (approx. 3/4 cup)
- Cheddar Cheese, grated (to taste)
- Butter (to taste)
Chop/dice vegetables. Notice “to taste” has been added to a few of the ingredients. You can load up on those or go light. This makes the best burrito but is also good with buttered toast with jelly. Suit yourself and enjoy.
Originally posted 2014-01-18 17:06:20.
Should you downsize now that you’re 60?
Moving from a larger home to a small one takes a big adjustment and requires a lifestyle change. Downsizing may not be your choice (it’s not mine, even after turning 60), so don’t worry if you still are happy having your extra space. But for the lifestyle changers ready to live in a smaller home, perhaps, you are over the big house hassles of cleaning, dusting, and maintenance and don’t need all that space. If that’s you, tips for moving into a tiny house, RV, or a smaller home could be of help. Consider the following recommendations (including kitchen ideas) to lighten stress-causing dilemmas of downsizing.
Did you begin 2014 with the traditional black eyed peas and cabbage? Not me. My mother must have not known that you were supposed to eat black eyed peas and cabbage on New Year’s because I don’t remember ever having those two foods on New Year’s Day when I grew up.
Since my New Year’s Day was spent at my friends’ house for an early dinner, I brought snacks and two TART lemon pies. It’s a good thing I tasted the pies before serving them. Oh, wowee, they were tart. A friend in Louisiana has made the lemon pies often and told me to put one cup of lemon juice in the recipe. After the New Year’s meal, I called my friend up to find out what could have gone wrong. Of course, the problem was too much lemon juice. Only one-half cup should have been used. A second batch pf pies tasted much better and much less tart.
Cabbage did show up in one of my salads the first week of this month. The salad consisted of shredded cabbage, mixed greens, shredded carrots, diced zucchini and fresh orange pieces. Yummy! A delightful salad.
Oranges, a fruit much needed for its vitamin C content in this winter season of reported flu problems, looked good at the local grocery store today. When I peeled one of the oranges this evening, I was so surprised. It was red inside, like a grapefruit. Yet it definitely tasted like orange. Very sweet orange. Never have I seen such an orange. Have you tried these oranges? On the outside they look just like any other navel orange. But when you cut them open, they look red.
Fresh vegetable soup with organic chicken broth, grilled chicken sandwich, and the red orange made a perfect meal for this January chilly evening. The soup contains the following seasonal fresh veggies:
- shredded cabbage
- diced yellow cabbage
- diced yellow onion
- chopped red and sweet potatoes
- shredded carrots
- pieces of grilled chicken
Try the above vegetable soup, or add your own preferred seasonal vegetables. Don’t add any water. The box of broth makes plenty of liquid.
Happy New Year, and happy food beginnings for 2014!
Originally posted 2014-01-05 05:27:20.
Eat a little. Weigh a little.
Eat a lot. Weigh a lot.
What thoughts do the saying, “You are what you eat”, trigger in you? The question has value and can make a difference in the food you consume. Think of the last time you ate a Black Angus hamburger. Did you feel healthy and strong or miserably stuffed for three days?
Plan Your RV Trip to the Grand Canyon
Take the time to visit Williams, Arizona if you are planning a Grand Canyon vacation in your RV. Park at the visitor’s center near the historic downtown area and train station.
Eat, shop, and explore at historic Williams. It’s an all-day outing but definitely worth the extra time. Ride the Grand Canyon Railway to see the Grand Canyon. Schedule a train trip for travel to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and back to Williams.
What is your best accomplishment for 2017? What’s the most fun trip you took? The best food you ate? Most interesting restaurant you went to? Now, name a goal you intend to make in 2018.
In Texas we have less than one hour to 2018, so here’s my last blog post for 2017 – and it includes the beginning of my new Food & Travel section of Kitchen Southern Hospitality. It’s a monthly series beginning with auto road trips, big rig road trips, RV road trips, and Route 66 road trips on Interstate 40 – trips I took in 2017.
In this new Food & Travel blog section, I’ll be sharing recommended restaurants, side trips, recipes, fun things to do, places to shop, and sights to see. And to boot, I’ll introduce to you recipes made from my Texas home and will be blogging from my new Kitchen Southern Hospitality home office in 2018.
Planning a road trip in 2018? With family? With friends? Your trip can be fun and go smoothly if you plan ahead with whomever you’re taking the trip with. The trips I took were completely different each time. I rode with my trucker husband, one of my bestie friends on another trip, and on an RV trip with another bestie friend and her hubby. Every one of those road trips were totally different yet fun.
Route 66 stops along I40 are definitely on the agenda for the car road trip. The RV road trip will vary from the car road trip with RV campgrounds included. Big rig trips, for sure, will be different from the just-for-fun road trips.
My 2017 trips were partly moving trips, however, I worked on all the trips. How could I not? I’m a food blogger and can’t resist the journalism that kicks in when meeting new people and seeing new places. Just ask my journalist friend Rusty, fellow blogger that I’ve worked closely with on a Southern California blog. Rusty (and her husband) was one of the bestie friends I took one of the road trips with in 2017.
For now I’ll share my last recipe for the year, a chocolate chip cookie recipe that starts out with just chocolate chips. Then you add another ingredient – and another – and another. Yes, I baked cookies and had fun eating them with my hubby on New Year’s Eve!
New Year's Eve Chocolate Chip & More Cookies
Start with chocolate chips. Bake a batch. Add more ingredients. Bake another batch. Add more. Bake more. Can't stop eating the cookies!
- 1 Cup Flour
- 1/2 Tsp Baking soda
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/4 Tsp Vanilla
- 1/4 Tsp Water
- 1/2 Cup Butter (or shortening)
- 6 Tbsp Sugar
- 6 Tbsp Brown sugar
- 1 Egg
- 12 Oz Chocolate chips (1 bag)
- 1/2 Cup Chopped nuts optional
Second batch ingredient group
- 1/2 Cup Butter Melt first
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tsp Vanilla
- 2 Cups Quick cooking oats
- 1/2 Cup All-purpose presifted flour
Third Batch Ingredient Group
- 1 Cup Plain M&M candies
Fourth Batch Ingredient Group
- 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
Sift together flour, soda, and salt.
Combine butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and water.
Beat until creamy with whisk.
Add flour mixture and mix well
Stir in chocolate chips (I did not add nuts, but add them now if you choose to include them.)
Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet (I use insulated cookie sheets and don't grease them.)
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes (or 9 to 10 minutes in a propane oven).
Chocolate Chip Ingredient Group
Bake the recipe for the chocolate chip cookies.
Then add the second batch ingredients and bake them.
Add the third batch ingredients and bake that batch.
Add the fourth batch ingredient and bake.
- New Year’s Eve Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Happy New Year! I began this blog post in 2017 and am finishing it in 2018 😉🎇🎆!
These chocolate chip cookies are so good, especially by the end when you’ve added the last ingredient. I start off with making the chocolate chip cookie recipe and bake the first batch. Then I add the next ingredients and bake the second batch and so on. By the time I got to the last batch, they were so good I couldn’t stop eating them.
What made the cookies really good was drinking two cups of cold milk with the cookies while watching New York City’s New Year’s Eve celebrations on YouTube and hearing the fireworks outside here in Texas when 2018 arrived. That’s one of the perks about living in Texas – you get to pop fireworks. I grew up in this state, and fireworks were a highlight in my family, especially on Christmas and New Year’s.
This chocolate chip cookie recipe is one I began making 39 years ago as a new bride. December 29 my hubby and I celebrated our 39th anniversary.
Find Cuban Family Dining in
Discover Cuban food the best way by having a friend of Cuban descent cook for you. But if you don’t have that option – and you’re in Houston, Texas – try out the city’s restaurants with Cuban cuisine. Read more