Sunday, September 30, 2012

Shower For A Bride

We are still nibbling on bridal shower leftovers from yesterday's party. It was so nice to have a morning shower. The time seemed to suit everyone. And it was fun to plan a menu with a breakfast focus. Since our menu had a breakfast theme, "Love Muffins" were a fun favor for each guest to take home--just a cute label with the bride & groom's name and the wedding date, with muffin mix inside.

As we were planning this shower, the co-host made a comment about me being the "hostess-with-the-mostest" and I told her, "No, that's not me. I go to church with her." And I do. I asked my good friend Joanne (the best hostess ever) if she had any brunch/breakfast recipes I might make for this party. She gladly shared the following recipe and said I could pass it on to you. These tarts were the hit of the party. There were exactly TWO tarts left from a double batch.


1 (16-oz) can buttermilk biscuits (any kind will be fine)
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. dried basil, optional (fresh would be better. I am sure.)

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix the ingredients. Cut biscuits horizonally and press into mini muffin pans that are lightly greased.  Fill with the mixture and bake  until biscuits are golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Yield: 16-20 tarts, depending on number of biscuits in can

I wish I had bought an extra can of biscuits because I had some filling left and could have made more tarts. 

Several people have asked what I served. This was our menu: 

Breakfast Tarts (recipe above)
Sausage Balls 
Sweet Potato Biscuits w/Ham
Pumpkin Bread 
Assorted Mini-Muffins 
Fresh Fruit 
Blushing Apple Juleps

The underlined ones are links that will take you to the recipe. I learned years ago to write my menu down and save it. Saves much thinking the next time you have a similar event.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Over The River And Through The Woods

How much fun it is to get together to celebrate family events. This morning we almost didn't get together. We were hosting a coffee for a bride-to-be. The first people arrived here at the farm right on time. But then we waited and waited on more folks to come. The phone rang. And then someone else's cell phone went off. 

Two cars were lost. Yes, we are completely off the grid. Google, Mapquest, GPS, and whatever other directional tools are out there do not know where the farm is. I gave them new directions. Ten minutes passed and the phone rang again. They were still lost and had encountered another car also trying to find us. 

Daddy-O to the rescue! I had called him after the first "we're lost" phone call and asked him to come back to the house to help figure out where these cars were calling from. But after the third phone call, he told them to stay put and he would go find them. He did and then led all three cars to the farm. Thank you, Daddy-O. We only live six miles from town and we're about five miles from the interstate in the other direction. But in between are a gazillion little roads, one lane roads, and gravel roads--easy to get lost when you don't know the area.

When they finally got here, one cousin said, "We will just have to live here now. We are not leaving your house. Ever." They really think we live on the edge of civilization. Once they got here, I think they all had fun. Here are a couple of the recipes I made for today:

--recipe from

4 cups apple juice
1 cup orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 jar Maraschino cherries

Place all juices in a 2-qt. pitcher and stir well.
Add in 3-4 tablespoons juice from jar of cherries and stir again. Chill until ready to serve.
Serve over ice, with a cherry in each glass. Garnish with mint or lemon balm.


4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup butter
1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato*
¾ to 1 cup buttermilk

1.  Combine first 3 ingredients.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two forks until crumbly.
2.  Stir together mashed sweet potato and ¾ cup buttermilk; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.  (Add remaining ¼ cup buttermilk, if necessary.)
3.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 3 to 4 times.  Pat to a ½-inch thickness.  Cut dough with a biscuit cutter and place biscuits on a lightly greased baking sheet.
4.  Bake at 425ยบ for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.

Yield:  3-inch cutter makes about 14 biscuits
            2-inch cutter makes about 36 biscuits (this time I got about 48 biscuits)

* 1 (15-oz.) can sweet potatoes, drained and mashed, may be substituted.

Note:  To freeze, place unbaked biscuits on a baking sheet in the freezer.  Once frozen, place biscuits in a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and freeze until ready to use.  Before serving, bake frozen biscuits on a lightly greased baking sheet at 425° for 15 to 16 minutes.

This recipe is featured on the Meal Plan Monday Recipes linkup at 


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Oh, Happy Day!

After Baby Sister was born, I looked forward to seeing her in some of the smocked dresses I had made for my own two daughters when they were little. But when we moved to the farm, things were stored differently than our old house and I could not find these dresses. We looked and looked everywhere. Twice. I finally gave up and accepted the fact that somehow in the moving process, they had been lost.

But last weekend, I found one box we had overlooked--an unlabeled box filled with these clothes! Baby Sister has already outgrown a few things, but there are plenty more that she can wear. How much fun for me to have a granddaughter wear my hand smocked dresses!!! 

I have enjoyed doing some kind of handwork most of my life. The first thing I remember making (other than pot holders on a metal loom) was a suit for my Barbie doll. It had a double-breasted jacket and I used tiny beads from a broken necklace for the buttons. I sewed it all by hand because I didn't know how to use a sewing machine.

Pattern:  Stripe Study Shawl
Yarn:  Ella Rae Lace Merino
Needles: Size 6

I still enjoy making things all these years later. Now, it's usually knitted. I just finished this striped shawl yesterday. Now I just have to wait for a day when it is not 90 degrees outside! Surely winter will come eventually.

P.S.  I found the box of dresses because I was searching for a box of antique linens--which I still haven't found. Wonder where on earth they are hiding?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Too Far For Delivery

Yesterday Jessica posted something on Facebook about having her dinner delivered. She lives in the city. Delivery isn't an option here on the farm. Tonight we wanted pizza---which usually means a drive to town to pick up one. But tonight I made a homemade version. Well, not completely homemade---but it did not come in a cardboard box.

I knew we still had peppers in the garden. There was a package of turkey sausage crumbles and a can of pizza dough in the refrigerator. And I had an onion. But I didn't have pizza sauce. I've made it before using tomato sauce. But tonight I only had one can of tomato paste in the pantry. So I found a new recipe.
It is extremely simple. The recipe said to let it stand for several hours. I only had about twenty minutes to let it sit. Can't wait to see what it would taste like when I have more time. 

I also only had a bag of Mexican cheese blend on hand. So make this pizza to suit yourself. Choose your favorite crust, toppings and cheese. Or, use what you have in the refrigerator. But whatever you do, make this sauce! Bake your pizza according to the directions that accompany the dough. 

I had enough sauce left for another pizza. I put it in a jar and refrigerated it for later. It should keep for a few days. 

Easy Pizza Sauce

1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
1-1/2 cups water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used the jarred kind)
salt & black pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

Mix together the tomato paste, water, and olive oil. Mix well. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste, oregano, basil, and rosemary. Mix well and let stand several hours to let flavors blend. No cooking necessary, just spread on dough.

There are advantages to living too far out for pizza delivery. Makes you try new recipes. I'm glad I did. Daddy-O says, "This is a keeper!"

Don't think there was a crumb left.

I Do -- 33 Years Later

Thirty-three years ago, Daddy-O and I said, "I do." And after that many years, we chose to celebrate a little differently this time. 

On Friday, we both chose this--dinner out at Stella's Southern Bistro

The restaurant helped us celebrate by treating us to dessert.

Saturday (the actual anniversary), we both worked on a home improvement project 
and had fun being together for the whole day. 
Then we did something he chose---college football on TV and hot dogs for supper.

My homemade chili is his favorite.

And on Sunday, I got to choose something--we went to see Smoky Joe's Cafe
at the Greenville Little Theater. Loved the music!

We have taken trips for our anniversary before and that's always fun. But this stay-at-home version was just what we wanted to do this year. Maybe after 33 years, we figured out how to do it just right.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Words From West Of Here

I asked Mommy to catch everyone up on what's happened since they moved. I've missed having lots of pictures to share.

Mimi asked me to write a guest post to give everyone an update. We are getting settled in our new home.  Our new location is close enough to the South that it is not uncommon to hear "ma'am" or "sir" at the end of a sentence, but not close enough that the default order of tea arrives sweet. Mimi tells me that folks at home have asked what we've been up to, so here are a few glimpse since Mimi and Daddy-O's helped us move . . .

Baby Sister celebrated her second birthday. 

We visited a local grape festival, enjoyed fair food, and even tasted grape ice cream!

Big Sister started middle school

We found a new church home. Big Sister has joined the youth choir and youth group.

Daddy (not to be confused with Daddy-O) and I celebrated an anniversary. 
To celebrate, we went on our first family road trip as a foursome 
(without the help of grandparents).  

Baby Sister and I are staying busy with Kindermusic and MOPS 
while Big Sister is at school . 

I'm also enjoying cooking in my new kitchen. 
Chef Mimi or Jessica I am not, but it is fun trying! 
 Last, but not least, we've begun cheering on our favorite team. 
Baby Sister has no option other than to become a devoted fan. 

We wish everyone well at home and in blog land.  Until next time...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Make New Friends

Sometimes you find friends in unexpected ways.  I "met" Diane when I asked a couple of sock knitting questions on Ravelry and she answered them for me. (Ravelry is a social network for knitters/crocheters.) The answers led to emails, more emails, and even a couple of phone calls. And this week she drove all the way down here from near Lake Erie to spend a weekend with some southern knitters. We met in person for the first time on Thursday. And it was like we had known each other forever.

She came to join us at Rewind Retreat--a weekend knitting event at Fellowship Camp & Conference Center on Lake Greenwood. The whole weekend was terrific from beginning to end. Everyone worked on the pattern chosen for the weekend. This was not a pattern for the faint-of-heart. But with everyone working on the same thing, we could help each other as we untangled our errors and offer sympathy to whoever was ripping out and starting over. (That was me two times.) 

We also had a chance to try a little weaving. There was a pontoon ride on the lake yesterday afternoon. But it was mostly knitting. From about 6:00 AM to 1:00 AM, someone was sitting in this room with yarn in their lap and needles in hand.

And there was quiet. When you put 16 women in one room, you expect lots of chatter and laughter. But from time to time, we had total silence. Everyone was concentrating so hard on this pattern. I know this doesn't sound like fun to everyone, but for this group of ladies, it was wonderful.

What a good time we had this weekend. It was time to say goodbye today, but we surely hope we'll meet again. I'm not through picking Diane's brain! She knows so much more about knitting than I do and is so very willing to share. At least I know she's just an email away.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Long Distance Chat

Hello, Baby Sister, Big Sister and Mommy!

Skype---next best thing to being there.