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Sunday Summary

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Monday:  Another day in paradise.  I mean another day off from work.  And this time I got out of Phoebe’s dermatologist appointment for under 100 bucks.  That’s a win, for sure.

I made Easy-Street Oven Fried Okra from The Complete Southern Cookbook.  I had some asparagus hanging around; so I threw it in there too.

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Tuesday:  I spent the afternoon in Magistrate Court.  I hope you never have to utter that sentence.

The doctor said Phoebe can go back to her homemade diet.  I was a little reticent at first; it’s so much easier to scoop out some kibble.  But since I try to stay away from processed food for myself I suppose that’s the least I can do for her.  So, once again, I am the crazy-lady-that-cooks-for-her-dog.

She can’t have much variety because we’re in the testing phase of her alleged food allergies.  I opted for Beef and Bulgur from the Feed Your Best Friend Better book.

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Zuchinni, a can of diced tomato, and half a leftover orange pepper that I probably wouldn’t have used anyway.

Wednesday:  I love my job.  I had to make two trips to Buckhead for two no-shows.  I love my job.

I treated myself to a trip to the Ballard Design store.  Well, I guess the real treat was this new mat.

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Let’s call it an early birthday present.

Thursday:  Look what came in the mail today.

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My mom sent me her old canning books.  This one is from 1977.

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And this one is from 1974.  Notice the $1.00 price tag.

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This is the back cover.  This one made me smile.  I guess my mom didn’t follow this.  My parents got divorced in the ’80s.

Friday:  We had Malted Chocolate Milkshakes from Cooking Light’s Crave! for dessert.  When I was growing up we used to have popcorn and milkshakes every Friday night while watching Dukes of Hazzard.  Those were the days.

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Saturday:  I didn’t do any work today and we didn’t run any errands.  We did go for a nice long walk along the Chattahoochee.  We saw a warning sign for alligators.  I’m glad we didn’t run in to one.  I don’t think Phoebe would have handled it well.

Drink of the Week:  Strawberry Daiquiri.  Thanks to my hard work with the Strawberry-Watermelon Rum.

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We had Chicken Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce for dinner.  Again, thanks to my hard work with the Basil-Pecan Freezer Pesto from Southern Living’s Little Jars, Big Flavors.

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Sunday:  Do you know what today is?  It’s my birthday!

We went to brunch at Canoe.  I had the Fried Green Eggs Benedict.  Delish.  I took a picture for you, but for some reason I can’t get it off of my phone at the moment.

I made Double Chocolate-Oatmeal Bars from Woman’s Day, circa September 2003.

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My mom used to make M&M cookies for me to take to school for my birthday; so this seemed like a good choice.

This was a low-key year for me.  At the moment we are watching Gone With the Wind.  It’s always been a favorite of mine.  I read the book for the first time last year and bought the DVD too.

If it weren’t for the new patio install I would be in Ireland right now.  My cousin tried to make me feel better by saying that the patio will last longer than the vacation memories.  Of course she’s right, but of course I had to mention this year’s excessive rainfall.  Next year:  Hawaii.

Good Deed of the Week:  Add money to an expired meter.  I’m just a few weeks out and I’ve had my first fail.  In my defense, there aren’t a lot of meters in Atlanta, at least not where I park.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

 

Shellfish and Okra Gumbo

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Sometimes I struggle with a good opening line.  Today my progress is impeded by a really good episode of General Hospital.

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I learned a thing or two about gumbo.  One is that you should start with a really dark roux, which explains why I had to sit on a stool and stir this goop for 20 minutes.  Goop being the roux, of course.

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I also learned that gumbo with herbs used to be served on Good Friday and contains at least seven greens for good luck.  Not pictured:  parsley and scallions.

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I still want to know where the tomatoes are, though.

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It’s a good thing I love okra.  Let’s just say that I got Jake’s share too after he pushed them all aside.

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Lucky for him there was some sausage too.

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Another Comfort Food Fix from Ellie Krieger.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

 

 

Fried Confetti Corn

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Warning:  This is not a light corn salad.

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I guess the word fried and the bacon kind of gives that away.

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As you know, I love the pretty colors.

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Especially since that red pepper is one piece of the very small bounty from my garden.

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That creamy goodness peeking out from under there is cream cheese, and a little half-and-half.  I actually used a block of reduced-fat cream cheese because I had it in the fridge.  Jake was none the wiser.

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Just in case you couldn’t see all of the creamy goodness with all the bacon in the way.

One of my favorite dishes from my mom’s repertoire is creamed peas.  Of course I have to call her every Christmas and Easter when I want to make it; so I can’t give you the exact recipe right now.  I’m pretty sure it involves thickening butter and evaporated milk and then tossing in the peas.  Back in the day we would use fresh peas from the garden, but a bag of frozen works too.  Just so you know, the peas are not actually creamed/crushed, but they are encased in cream; so I guess that’s the reason for the name.

Anyway, the point is, I think this cream cheese version would work with peas too.  But you knew I would get to that after the rambling, didn’t you?

I almost forgot to tell you that this recipe came from Southern Living.  it was actually in the November issue, you know, for Thanksgiving.  I think it would be perfect with the turkey, but fresh corn is scarce that time of year, isn’t it?

Eat Well and Savor.

 

Sunday Summary

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Monday:  I actually took this picture yesterday, but I made it my wallpaper today and it has made me smile several times.  I fancy myself a photographer sometimes.  I took about 1300 pictures when we went to France, I just never did anything with them.

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Just to give you some perspective on how artsy I am, here’s the actual flower pot.

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I had a little 4:00 to 6:00 job at Piedmont Hospital today.   It’s conveniently located near my house, so I had plenty of time to mix up this little salad for lunch.

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It’s just your everyday pear-goat-cheese-candied-walnut salad, but the important part is the lettuce from my garden.  You like how I act like no one else can grow vegetables?

Tuesday:   As much as I am not a morning person, it is nice to be done with work by noon.   I did  a little work on the couch and then I made this Basil-Pecan Freezer Pesto from Southern Living’s Little Jars, Big Flavors.

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I’m dying to toss this with some pasta.

Wednesday:  Today I had a little afternoon depo.  Every time I have a medical job I swear I come home with whatever symptoms are discussed.  Knee replacement?  Knee pain, check.  Eye injury?  Twitching eyelid, check.  Discectomy?  Low-back pain, check.  Today’s topic was incontinence.  Need I say more?

I made these awesome muffin/brownies from Hungry Girl.  If you have a cake mix, a can of pumpkin, and 20 minutes for the oven, then you can make these babies too.

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They are the perfect vehicle for my homemade cherry-vanilla ice cream.  And when I say homemade I mean that I put cherries in some vanilla ice cream and stirred them up.

Thursday:  Just your average fender-bender depo today, which is only important because it equals an easy day.

I got this awesome grater from Amazon today.  Looks like your average grater, you say.  What’s so special about it, you say.

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First, it’s made by Jacob Bromwell, which means it’s Made in America.  Second, it’s part of the order I placed with the $200 gift card that I won from the Pioneer Woman!  Not that I’m bragging or anything, but I’m totally bragging.

Also, I made Smoky Roasted Cherry Jam.  I actually got the recipe from Eating Well and it’s so easy I’m going to tell you how to do it:   Put 4 cups of halved pitted cherries, 1/2 c OJ, 1 TB of fresh thyme, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, and 1/4 tsp of salt into a 9×13 pan and roast at 450 for 35 to 45 minutes, stir a few times and you’re done.  Next time I make it I will also use the immersion blender on it.

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I’m very pleased that it only makes one jar; my fridge is overrun with little jars lately.

Friday:  I had to work again today.  I always dread the five-day workweek.  I guess it’s my own brand of paranoia since this is the first time it’s actually happened in over a year.

I had to make this Blackberry Chip Ice Cream that I saw in the Food Network Magazine.  Thank you, Pioneer Woman.  Here’s the recipe from her site.  Ironically, it doesn’t include the 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate that you throw in at the end.  I say ironically because, although I never discriminate against chocolate, I thought it would be better without it.

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Needless to say, I’m kind of into PW lately.

Saturday:  I made these Fresh Cherry Scones that I came across on Sweet Pea’s Kitchen.

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Obviously, I went rustic instead of following her directions.  The point was to get rid of the last of my cherries, not spend an hour folding dough like an envelope.

Sunday:  I didn’t leave the house today; my favorite kind of Sunday.  I did manage to make this Asparagus en Papillote from the new Weight Watchers 50th Anniversary Cookbook.  I don’t follow the Points system anymore, but I couldn’t resist this book.  Besides, I had a coupon.  I really can’t wait to delve into it a little bit more; there’s a few snippets of history throughout.

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As for the asparagus, I always thought en papillote meant in paper.  I guess in this case it means in aluminum foil.  Eh, whatever works.  Perfectly steamed in the oven at 450 for 20 minutes and simply tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

All in all, a pretty low-key weekend.  I just ran a couple of errands, did some work, and watched Lonesome Dove on Netflix.    I’ll be going now as it’s time for Dexter.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

 

 

Sunday Summary

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Monday:  Well, I started off with no job today.  By 10:30 I had a 1:00.  At 1:00 I was informed that the start time was actually 2:00 because the attorneys were calling in from Iowa, which is a different time zone.   My witness happened to be an attorney too, a tax attorney.  When was the last time you spent an hour talking to a tax attorney?

I was home by 4:00 and enjoying a coffee and an HG cupcake on the couch by 5:00.  At 5:30 the office called to send me 30 minutes away where the parties were already waiting for a reporter.  We’re pretty much super heroes.  One day I swear I’m going to get a cape.  Anyway, the attorneys didn’t want to risk that I would be in traffic for 45 minutes, so they decided to do the deposition over the phone.  Lucky me.  Best part:  one of the witnesses was a famous basketball player.  Sorry.  I can’t tell you the name.  I guess it doesn’t really count since I was in my home office and he wasn’t, but still.

Tuesday:  I didn’t have to work today.  Well, I didn’t have to leave the house, but I did have some work to do .  It didn’t last very long, so I made this Sour Cream-Blueberry Bread from Williams-Sonoma Bread.

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There’s a lot going on in this bread:  pecans and bananas, to name a few.  Also, I should disclose that I used Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream.  I guess that means I can say “adapted from”  and then take credit for the recipe.  Not so much.

Wednesday:  I’m always a little groggy in the morning when I walk the dog.  I make it a strict rule that we don’t leave the yard until noon.  Today I noticed little white pellets on the lawn and patio area.  I thought it was strange that if it hailed it hadn’t melted in the 73 degree weather.  But the yard is shaded until noon, so what do I know?  I’m not a meteorologist.   I even picked it up and couldn’t quite figure it out.  I also went the extra mile to google hail in Atlanta in June.   Well, when we went out again at noon it was still there.  After walking around the neighborhood I realized that the company the HOA hires to spray for weeds had been here.  Mystery solved.  I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t try to taste it.

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I made these Cherry-Blueberry Trifles to make myself feel better about the possible exposure to pesticide.  I got the idea from Eating Well.  They suggested using ladyfingers and topping them with almonds, but I totally improvised and used leftover amaretti cookies instead.  Toss your fruit with a little brown sugar and then layer with yogurt.

Thursday:  I had a job today at a hospital.  It was in a room that they called the library.  I was foolishly expecting a spacious classroom.  Instead I got a small conference room with an underachieving air conditioner.  Did I mention that there were ten of us in the room and a light brighter than the sun, compliments of the videographer.  I am always cold.  Right now, my feet are cold and my AC is set to 75.  I usually say to the attorneys that if I’m hot they must be REALLY hot.  It was so stifling I swear I almost started drooling.  I’m not sure what the relationship is, but I don’t usually drool during my jobs so I’m sure there’s a connection.  I swear I was one mumbled medical term away from passing out.

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I was exhausted by the time I got home, but I managed to make this Chilled Cherry Pasta Salad with Arugula and Bacon.  I am proud to say that the arugula was harvested from my very own garden.  I really thought the bacon would be the shining star, but it is four stars for the cherries.  You’ll never guess where I got this recipe from, so I’m just going to tell you:  Publix.  The dressing is 1/4 cup each of olive oil and white balsamic vinegar, two tablespoons of basil, 1 tablespoon of honey, and the zest of one orange.

Friday:  I had a fabulous cut and color today a Van Michael salon in Buckhead.  That pretty much took up the bulk of my day.  I did mange to pick up these cute little flowers, though.

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They remind me of back in the day on the farm when I used to pick wild violets for my mom.

I also made Loaded Nachos for dinner.  Cooking Light’s Crave! is my new Friday night fave.

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Saturday:  I was supposed to have a little soiree here at the house to celebrate our new patio, but this got in my way:

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Seems harmless, doesn’t he?  This is George.

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I like to call him G-man.  He’s my friend Marnie’s new baby and he is in the process of being housetrained and can’t go it alone for too long, so I brought dinner to her house on the lake.  It was my plan to take some scenery pictures so that I could brag about her awesome locale, but Georgie boy is way cuter than trees.

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I’ve been wanting to try these Cheese-Wrapped Olives since I saw them all over the Internet a few months ago.  Little did I know that I have the recipe in Gena Knox’s book Southern My Way.

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I also couldn’t resist this Tipsy Watermelon Salad from Virginia Willis and Bon Appetit, Y’all.  Not only is there vodka, but there’s also crème de cassis.

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I have a confession to make:  I can’t stop buying cherries.  The bag I have isn’t close to gone and I still pick up another one.  That’s happened twice so far.   So of course I had to make this Honey-Soaked Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Cashews from Better Homes and Gardens new book, Fresh.   There’s apricots in there too.

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So far everything was a success.  And then this happened:

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Are these the whitest baked beans you’ve ever seen?  These are Aarti Sequeira’s Root Beer Baked Beans from Food Network Magazines’s June issue.  I was tempted by the root beer, obviously, and they have ginger and garam masala too.  They’re edible, but just not amazing.

Last but not least:

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Lemon Icebox Pie.  OMG.  I didn’t think anything could make sweetened condensed milk taste any more amazing, but lemon juice can do it.  This is worth the price I pay for Garden & Gun.

I think this guy deserves one more shout out.

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Sunday:  Not much energy today, but I did manage to set up my new plant stand.

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And I discovered some baby ladybugs on my tomato plant!  At least I hope that’s what they are.

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I’m going to have some leftover pie now.  Too bad you’re not here.

Eat Well and Savor.

Candied Pumpkin Seeds

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I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but I had a little Cinco de Mayo party and I didn’t document any of it.  But among all the guacamole and chips and black beans we had a salad with said pumpkin seeds and queso fresco.

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This isn’t that salad.  However, I’ve been eating the pumpkins seeds for the last ten days, even though I gave Marnie not one but two snack bags.

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This recipe couldn’t be easier, which is a good thing, since this comes from Southern Living’s The Half-Hour Hostess.  Of course you have to make them the day before.

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As for my salad, all leftovers:  chicken, queso fresco, mango, strawberries, and Brianna’s French vinaigrette.

Eat Well and Savor.

Braised Short Ribs

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With Citrus Gremolata & Creamy Grits with Gorgonzola Cheese.

Now that’s a recipe title.

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Maybe the fact that the ribs are served with grits will give away the fact that this is a Paula Deen recipe, but it’s the gremolata that’s the stand-out if you ask me.

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Parsley, orange zest, lime zest, and garlic.  It was so good I want to spread it on toast.

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I will admit I had a little trouble with the grits.  I think they turned out all right, but the recipe from Paula Deen’s Christmas magazine said to throw everything except the gorgonzola in a pan and then follow the directions on the box.  Well, the box said to bring the broth and water to a boil and then add the grits.  It all worked out in the end, though.

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I also had a little trouble finding boneless short ribs, but there weren’t any complaints from the peanut gallery on that.

Eat Well and Savor.