Monday, October 20, 2014

Our Anniversaries

John and I celebrated out 39th wedding anniversary and my cousin, Karen and her husband John will be celebrating their 33rd anniversary early November.
So, we decided to spend a day together.
We picked Atlantic City because John and I haven't been there since we were children.
 And, guess what we did when we first arrived...
we attended a cooking class at Viking Cooking School, located in Harrah's, making southern specialties from the movie "The Help".
We had a blast making Southern Fried Chicken, Mac n' Cheese, Slow-Cooked Southern Greens and Feather-Light Biscuits.  We sipped on Arnold Palmer's, nibbled Deviled Eggs, and chatted with other class attendees before we began cooking.
We started with the collard green because they take the longest to cook.
The guys took their job seriously!
We almost let the liquid simmer dry but thanks to our cousin, John, we caught them just in time!
 Chef Elaine explained how to make a rue for the cheese sauce that was stirred into the macaroni for the Baked Mac n' Cheese.
 Karen and I did our share cooking as well as took lots of pics!
Next it was on to another southern staple.
Adding seasoning as John cuts in the shortening for Feather-Light Biscuits
Counting each turn of the spatula as not to over-mix!
 No photos of the messy job of coating pieces of chicken that had been marinating in buttermilk.
An eye on the clock for perfect timing to insure perfectly cooked, juicy chicken.
 No one was getting the tongs from this guy :)
Just look at that face! 
 Karen and John made the day extra special!  Love spending time with them!
It was a three hour class ~  we cooked for two hours and spent the last hour dining on the delicious meal we had just created.
Waiting for everyone to fill their plates.  Such a great group and great instructor.
For dessert, we were served a slice of Minny's Chocolate Pie (without a surprise, "secret ingredient", of course)

I plan to make the recipes again at home and will share them in a post.

Yes, it has been 39 years since John and I were married and we vowed to love one another forever. Isn't it just amazing that you can love someone with everything in you and find you love them even more year after year. We have much to be thankful for!
oh, let's go dancing in the minefields
and sailing in the storms
oh, this is harder than we dreamed
but I believe that's what the promise is for

Dancing in the Mindfields ~ take a listen

Sunday, October 19, 2014

autumn roses

Miniature roses abloom in vivid autumn colors.
These sturdy little bushes require very little attention and come back year after year.
As I cutback and removed faded perennials and annuals from the flower beds, I had to gather a bouquet of these petite beauties and fill a tiny, vintage teapot. I even found a lone sprig of lavender to add to this end-of-season arrangement. 
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

I am a BIG fan of corn chowder and knew I wanted to give this recipe a try as soon as I saw it.
Just 300 calories for 1 1/2 cups!
And, delicious too!
Shrimp and Corn Chowder
recipe source:
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

4 center-cut bacon slices, chopped
4 green onions (I used 1/2 of a medium yellow onion and sprinkled chopped chives on top of serving bowl)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, minced
1.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 1/4 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (I substituted sriracha)
24 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1 pound)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen corn kernels, thawed (I used canned corn)


1. Cook bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat 6 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving drippings.

2. Thinly slice green onions; reserve 2 tablespoons dark green parts. Add white and light green onion parts, thyme, and garlic to drippings in pan; sauté 2 minutes. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Sprinkle over onion mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, stock, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in salt, black pepper, red pepper, shrimp, and corn; simmer 4 minutes or until shrimp are done. Discard bay leaf. Divide soup evenly among 4 bowls; sprinkle with bacon and reserved 2 tablespoons green onions.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

the apple of Your eye

~blessings to you this day~

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Old Fashioned Caramel Corn

Guess what I'm munching on right now?
I'll give you a hint... its sweet, crunchy, buttery and addictive!


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