Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Good Luck: Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Blackeye Pea Soup

Yield: 8 one-cup servings


  • 8 oz dried black-eyed peas
  • 1 strip bacon, cut in small pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 celery rib, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 sweet red pepper, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • Hambone or smoked ham hocks (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Salt and hot sauce, to taste


1. Inpect the peas to be sure there are no stones included (most beans are mechanically processed and there are occasional inclusions). Soak them overnight, then drain and rinse well.

2. Sauté the bacon slowly in a skillet until just starting to crisp. Remove to a side plate.

3. In the bacon pan, slowly sauté the onion, carrot, celery and sweet red pepper until the onion is translucent.

4. Place the peas, bacon, vegetables, thyme, red pepper flakes and hambone or hocks (if using) in a slow cooker or soup pot. Add about 6 cups water. The peas should be at least covered by the water. Cook at a slow simmer for about 2 hours, until beans are tender. If you're using the optional ham bone or hocks, skim fat from the surface occasionally.

5. Whisk the cornstarch into a cup of the soup broth and then stir into the soup. Cook another 15 minutes or so until the soup thickens.

Season to taste.

Enjoy and have a Very Happy New Year!!



I wish everyone a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!!
Be safe, enjoy time with your loved ones, and lets all pray for peace in 2010!
Hugs to all my friends!


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Movie Day

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Today is all about relaxing around here! Eating and movies. Hope you are are relaxing too, and are enjoying the weekend!


P.S. This movie is hysterical!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

I'm wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Very Happy Happy New Year!!
I love you all!!



Friday, December 18, 2009

Let it Snow!!

Hello and Happy Friday! I hope everyone is in the Holiday spirit by now. It is really creeping up on us quickly! I am bracing myself for this big Nor'easter snow storm tomorrow. We are suppose to get up to 10 inches. But Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware are getting up to 20 inches!! So I am heading to the store, like every other single person in this tri-state area, to get some food and firewood.
On Wednesday, I played hooky from work to get my Christmas cookies underway. I stayed in my pajamas until 2:00 in the afternoon, and it felt great!! I always make about 6 different kinds, and double batch them too. I tried a new one this year. Sables. They are so delicious and buttery. A perfect shortbread cookie! You roll the dough into logs and chill, then brush them with egg yolk and roll the log in your favorite sugar. Then just slice and bake. I used green, red, and white sugar crystals. They really turned out nice. This picture is from Stickygooeycreamychewy, but this is exactly how they turn out.

I also did my thumbprint cookies with assorted jams. They are always a favorite.

I still have my cut out sugar cookies to do. I have all the dough made, I just have to cut, bake, and decorate. I also have oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, and peanut butter. I think this will be keeping me busy this weekend.
I hope everyone is healthy, happy, and stress free at this time. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the season!


Friday, December 11, 2009

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!! and Fishing dinner

I'll start off here with the winner. This is Amy's lifetime friend, Matt. He won the fishing tournament with the biggest fish caught. The trophy could not have gone to a better person, so glad he won. He would get up at 4a.m. and drive from PA to Maryland just to fish, then turn around and go home. Way to go Matt!

Here is John getting ice ready for the fishing dinner party.

Got the heater all filled for the deck.

Friends and neighbors enjoying the heater.

Amy with more friends after dinner.

Another lifetime friend of ours, John hamming it up with the big fish he caught.

My John with his fish in our basement.

My brother John, John, and brother-in-law Bill goofing off with a fish.

Some beautiful flowers a friend made for me.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and relaxing weekend. Stay warm and shop, shop, shop!
I have hubby's Christmas party tonight, and will post pictures later!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hellooooooooo & Baked Mac-N-Cheese

(image via)

  • 4 cups cooked elbow macaroni, drained
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese (Sharp)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Once you have the macaroni cooked and drained, place in a large bowl and while still hot, add the cheddar. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and add to the macaroni mixture. Pour macaroni mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Top with additional cheese if desired.


Greetings and Happy December! I have been enjoying some down time from blogging lately, but miss you all terribly. I hope everyone is doing well and easing into the holidays. I also hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine was perfect and exhausting at the same time. I think we might be going to Florida December 26, but haven't decided 100% yet. Warm weather has an appeal to me for some reason!

Here is a recipe I made this week from Paula Dean, and wanted to share it with you. It is super easy and very yummy.
Have a wonderful week, and take a deep breath. It will all be over in about 3 weeks!
Miss you all!!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!! I have been so busy this week, I'm starting to get blurry. Between the fishing dinner I had on Saturday night, my mom and brother visiting from Arizona, and Thanksgiving I haven't had much computer time at all.
I hope everyone is well, and please have a wonderful holiday!
Pictures soon!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Meteor Shower

Hi everyone! Just breezing through to say hello, and to see if anyone got up to see the meteor show early this morning? Or, maybe stayed up really late to see it? I got up around 5:15 a.m. to try to catch a glimpse, but saw nothing.

I had a nice weekend. Lots of cleaning and prepping. My mom should arrive later today in Maryland from Arizona. She will stay with my sister until I can get there on Thursday. Then on with that dang fishing tournament dinner Saturday night. I still have a lot to do this week, and hopefully won't forget to pick up the ham in the middle of everything. I can't even think about Thanksgiving at this moment or I just might go into cardiac arrest!

Have a great week, and I'll try to check in when I get a chance. I hope everyone is doing well and healthy!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Coffee Break

Just breezing through to wish everyone a Happy Monday. I also want to tell you that I am taking a break this week from posting. I will still be reading and commenting because I love to know what is going on with everyone!

I just have too much menu planning, organizing, shopping, and recipes to read this week for the fishing dinner I'm hosting next Saturday. Oh, and not to mention work too! If I have to worry about what to post about everyday, I might get a little stressed, (I know you know what I'm talking about!)

So, until next post, have a wonderful week!!

(I might have to do this a few times in the next couple of months!)


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Start Planning Now

It's that time of year again! Don't wait until the last minute, like I do sometimes, start now and it will make things a lot less stressful. My baking has officially begun, and I'm starting to get a little excited. I'm sure this will come to a screeching halt as it gets closer, but for now, I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving. I hope some of these tips help you get motivated if you are hosting this year!

Start planning your Thanksgiving Day celebration today to avoid any bumps and stumbles down the road. Here are a few things to consider doing this week:

  • Decide on your menu. What do you want to serve? How many guests will you have? Tailor your dinner to what you can reasonably manage based on your skills, kitchen space, and finances.
  • Assemble your recipes, and write out a grocery list.
  • Double-check your kitchen equipment. You’ll need: a thermometer, butcher twine, casserole dishes, bowls, serving utensils, and a roasting pan with a rack. Do you prefer to carve with an electric knife? Make sure it’s in good working order.
  • If you’re planning to cook a fresh or heritage turkey, order now if you haven’t already done so.
  • Plan your table settings. Make sure you have enough flatware, silverware, and glasses. Iron table clothes and napkins. Make arrangements for flowers. Will you need more chairs or a kids’ table? How about decorations and candles? Assemble and store everything.
  • Sharpen your knives.
Have a wonderful Friday!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Birthday John!

Today is my son John's Birthday!

It is a family tradition that on every birthday, we make a cookie cake. Every year, my mom always made this cake for all the kids. Now, my kids expect this cake on every birthday. It is a little tedious, but well worth the effort! My version is the log roll, and you cut it on a diagonal.
I made this cake for my son this morning, and it is chilling in the frig, waiting for him to come home from work.

This is another version of how you can make this cake. You place about six of the wafers on a plate, in a circle and layer the whipped cream on the wafers....

This is how you start the cake I made. You spread each wafer with whipped cream and make small stacks on a platter. Then lay them on the sides like this. Then spread the whipped cream all over to make the cake. It is the most delicious dessert you will ever try. I dread making it, but once I get started, it is a breeze! Give it a try, you will not be sorry!

Just remember----you have to make REAL whipped cream, and you have to use the original Famous Chocolate Wafers! (unless, of course, you make homemade wafers!)
Here is the recipe!

I remember my mother making this dessert for every birthday in the 1960s & 70's. It´s so simple and so good! Make sure you chill it for at least four hours in the refrigerator so the cookies soften. For an all chocolate version, add 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder when you beat the heavy cream with the powdered sugar. Yum.

Prep Time: 20 minutes


  • 1-2 pkg. plain chocolate wafers (Famous Wafers), about 60
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


Beat together cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff. Spread a generous spoonful on each cookie and stack them on a serving plate to make a long log. When all the cookies are frosted and stacked, cover the entire log with more whipped cream to cover thoroughly. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least four hours. Slice on a diagonal to serve. Or, you can divide the wafers into eight groups. Frost the top of each wafer and stack them vertically, making eight stacks of cookies. Then frost the top and sides of each little stack, like you would a cake. Top each with a maraschino cherry half and chill for at least four hours. Serve one stack to each diner. Serves 8

We love you!!


Friday, October 30, 2009

Blood Orange Margarita

I found a nice drink for Halloween, for anyone who is staying home. It sound so refreshing! I think Ina should make these and get those costumes going!

Blood Orange Margarita

1½ oz fresh blood orange juice
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz Cointreau
2 oz blanco tequila

Yield: 1 serving
Shake well with ice and strain into a salt-rimmed cocktail glass or a salt-rimmed old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with a blood orange wedge and a sprig of fresh sage.

To batch in advance:
2¼ c fresh blood orange juice
1½ c fresh lime juice
1½ c Cointreau
3 c blanco tequila

Yield: 12 servings
Stir all the ingredients together in a pitcher. When ready to serve, measure out 5-6 oz per drink and shake over ice. Strain into a salt-rimmed cocktail glass or a salt-rimmed old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with a blood orange wedge and a sprig of fresh sage.




I just want to wish everyone a Happy Friday. Have a wonderful weekend and be safe!


Thursday, October 29, 2009


I want to give a big Happy Birthday to Stephanie, over at Live.Love.Eat.
I also want to thank her for all of the wonderful recipes she provides us with. I know I will be using a lot of them in the next month, I have a few big dinner parties coming up in November.
So pop over and wish her Happy Birthday, and check out some of the delicious appetizers she has.
Have a great weekend everyone!


Friday, October 23, 2009

Beginning of my Bahama Trip

Happy Friday everyone! Finally giving you an update on my trip. We arrived in Orlando, and spent three nights at this Resort called Orange Lake. The room was beautiful and big. It was like a mini suite.

It was almost like an apartment, with a full kitchen. Too bad we didn't have to do any cooking, at all!

Here is my sister Susie, posing in the kitchen.

Here we are on our first night having a Margarita. This is Cheryl, my sister's friend who joined us on our trip. She is a real sweetheart! We got there late, and they closed at 11:00p.m. So we had just enough time to enjoy our drink, and kick off our vacation.

There was lots of entertainment. Words alone (and only one picture) cannot express this woman. I don't this I have ever laughed so hard!

A woman on stilts. It was almost circus like this night. Really neat.

A guy playing with fire.

This was the bartender. He was a super sweet guy. I think he was from Russia. He told us his life story, and how much he misses his family. He showed us pictures of his kids and everything. I think he has to work six months straight, then he gets to go back home with his family for three months, then starts all over again. I don't think if I would want that job!

We found this hearse in the parking lot. Look closely.

This is what was looking out of the window! Scary!

Last, but not least, this is the place that I met my blogger friend, Stephanie. We had a great three day stay at this resort. What a great way to begin a cruise!!
There will be pictures of the cruise coming soon.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Sun is out and I got a new Toy!

Happy Monday! I was happy to wake up this morning to the beautiful sunshine! It was about time. It was starting to get down right depressing around here. It is bad enough to be getting dark so early, but then to rain for 4 days!
It is suppose to be a beautiful week this week, heading up to the 70's.

I bought myself a little present this weekend. I couldn't take it any longer. I have been wanting this for too long now. Since it was raining, I had nothing better to do than to go camera shopping.
I have had my eye on this particular model for awhile. It made me feel all good inside when I got this!

As soon as I read the manual and understand all my settings, I will post some new pictures. I still need to play around with it. I have to get to a one-on-one basis with my new friend.

Bahama pictures are still coming, I just have to get them together.
I hope everyone has a wonderful week!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rain, Rain, Rain

Rain, Rain go away
The Owens' family wants to play!

O.K. enough is enough! It has now been raining for 3 days. We are in the middle of our second Nor'Easter. It's cold, wet and miserable. It has already snowed six inches up in the Pocono mountains, and are expecting more. I hope we are not in for a bad winter this year. Why does it do this on the weekend? Why can't it do this when we are in work all day?
There, now I feel better!
Have a great weekend !


Saturday, October 10, 2009

I'm Back, and Met a New Friend

Well we made it to our resort on Saturday. This place was beautiful too! It was The Orange Lake Resort in Orlando. It was like a mini-vaca before the cruise. Here I am with my sister Susie and our good friend Cheryl. We got a late start because they insisted on picking me up from the airport, and we kind of got a little lost. But it was all good as you can see. Our room was like a mini apartment, with a full kitchenette with a dishwasher and dining-room table.

This is Stephanie. You can find her blog on my sidebar, Live.Love.Eat. She is my first blogger friend I have met. She and her family were gracious enough to come and meet me at the resort. They lived about 20 minutes away. We had a really nice time chatting away, having a cocktail, and she even shared her fish tacos with me! They were delicious too.

Here is a view of our pool. Isn't she pretty?

This is her son Tristan. He was adorable! I have to say how well mannered he was for a six year old boy who had to occupy himself for a few hours!

Here she is with her husband. He's pretty adorable too, don't you think?

What a nice looking family. It was so nice to meet them. Thank-you for coming Steph, and I hope I get the chance to see you again!

Well, I missed everyone and I hope you had a good week. I'll get some pictures of my cruise up soon. For now though, I have a lot to do to catch up around here! Have a great start to your week.