Friday, April 29, 2016

Date Coconut Truffles.........

I've often wondered if there was a truffle out there that might be at least "a little" healthy. I think I have found it! It consists of dates, walnuts, vanilla and coconut. No Chocolate at all.
Date Coconut Truffles
2 cups dried dates, pitted
1/4 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
In a food processor, pulse the dates to create a thick paste. Add the walnuts, vanilla and 1/4 cup of the coconut and pulse until incorporated and a thick paste forms again. Using a spatula, transfer the date mixture to a medium bowl. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup coconut into a separate small, shallow bowl. Using a small scoop, scoop out some of the date mixture (size of a small meatball) and, with clean hands, work into a small ball. Coat the date ball with the coconut in the bowl, (or use chopped walnuts or both). Continue with the remaining date mixture and coconut. Serve in mini paper cupcake liners. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
113 calories each, if you get 12 Truffles
90 calories each, if you get 15 Truffles
Note: Makes an excellent gift.
Till next time........

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pheasants and Squirrels..........

When I can take photos of animals I am always a happy camper. You really understand the beauty of nature when you see these amazing creatures. 

Here is a handsome red squirrel, just sitting there waiting for a photo to be taken. I'll beat he is looking for something to eat. What do you think?
Till next time......

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Another Day At The Lake........

Just another day at the lake taking photos and enjoying the sun and breeze. Mother Nature at her finest. Actually, the wind was blowing at a pretty good gale. It was actually blowing me forward when I would brace for it. But a great day anyway for photography. 
All of my photos turned out awesome.  So even though the wind was really blowing, I had a great day at the lake.
Till next time........

Friday, April 22, 2016

Morning Coffee...........

There is nothing like that first cup of coffee in the morning. Unless, it is on the patio in the quiet morning air; listening to the birds sing and watching the sun come up. My kind of morning, for sure.
Till next time..........

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Uneven Numbers in Floral Arrangements..............

When I was younger, if my Mom got flowers, she always took one out and put it in a brandy snifter. She said it was for luck. What I found out later on was; an even number of flowers in an arrangement is for funerals and is considered unlucky in a vase. So if you take one out of your bouquet, it remains good luck for you.
This is said to have originated in Russia, and apparently the custom was brought to the New World by immigrants. I received this lovely bouquet for my birthday last year and it had 11 flowers. So apparently the florist believed in the custom. Who knew?
Till next time........

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Baking Soda..........

When stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, you feel a burning pain. Large meals as well as certain foods can lead to heartburn. Baking soda is alkaline, so it neutralizes stomach acid. Mix a half-teaspoon of baking soda and a few drops of lemon juice in a half-cup of warm water. Don’t drink the baking soda by itself. You need the lemon juice to dispel some of the gas baking soda creates in the stomach when it comes in contact with stomach acid. Saliva helps neutralize stomach acid. So chew a piece of sugarless gum, suck on a candy or daydream about juicy steak. So if you have the occasional heartburn or gas, try this quick acting natural remedy. 
Till next time........

Monday, April 18, 2016

Tide - My Choice........

Growing up, Tide was the laundry detergent of choice in our home. My Mom never veered away from this brand. So when I got married, yes, Tide was my detergent of choice. I figured, "Mom knew best."
It wasn't until I had children (4 of the little dirt makers) that I realized Tide really was as great as I always thought it was. It took out chocolate, spaghetti & pizza sauce, blueberry, strawberry, grass stains and let's not forget the muddy water stains. That was many years ago. But today, as I do my laundry, I thank the makers of Tide. My clothes are still stain free and it is still my laundry detergent of choice. Why not, if it still takes out all the stains my children could make, it must be the best. And yes, all the stains the adults made as well. Ha-ha. 
Till next time........

Saturday, April 16, 2016

My Southern Supper ..........

Sweet Chili Shrimp and Southern Greens w/Bacon; that's what's  for supper tonight. I've gone to the South for supper today.  My house smells so good and the taste is pretty darn good, too. I had shrimp in the freezer that needed to be used up and I wanted something different than just shrimp cocktail. Can't wait for suppertime!! 
Till next time.......

Friday, April 15, 2016

Pretzels and Salt Air Mist..........

Do you ever miss the smell of pretzels cooking or the salt air mist? I do, it's called going to the beach. You can smell salt water taffy, pretzels, hot dogs cooking and so many other good smells. I can't duplicate all those smells, but I can duplicate the pretzels.

These pretzels can be found in the frozen food section of your grocery and are so easy to salt and bake. They are truly as good as those you get at the beach. Sorry, the salt air mist is beyond my control. But have a pretzel and reminisce.
Till next time......

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cheese Dip - Southern Style........

I'm always looking for a new dip or spread to take to have at a party or to take to tailgate parties. This one caught my eye very quickly, as I love all the ingredients! I mean really folks, what is not to love in this dip. 

Cheese Dip - Southern Style
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 dash cayenne pepper
8 butter crackers, crushed, such as Ritz
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Corn chips, crackers or bagel chips, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, green onions and cayenne pepper. Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking dish, such as a 9-inch pie pan. Top the mixture with the cracker crumbs and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and top with the bacon. Serve immediately with corn chips, crackers or bagel chips.
Till next time..........

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Caramel Sauce..........

Is it Caramel or Carmel? Well, according to what I've read, it is Caramel. Some shorten it to Carmel, but that's not right. As they taught us in spelling class; if you pronounce it right, you will spell it right.
Caramel Sauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup half-and-half
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
Mix the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, while whisking gently, until thicker, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Pour the sauce into a jar and refrigerate until cold. 
This will keep about 2 weeks in the fridge, IF it lasts that long. It will quickly disappear on a cake, pie or ice cream.
Till next time.......

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms..........

If you are trying to eat a little healthier or just want something new for your daily menu, try Portobello mushrooms. You can stuff them with most anything. Here it is stuffed with a little onion, green pepper, tomato and celery topped off with a bit of balsamic syrup. (reduced Balsamic vinegar) I don't have a recipe to share with you as I just throw this together with whatever I have in my fridge and bake it for 15 to 18 minutes till the mushroom is tender. You can stuff them with a sausage stuffing or put a poached egg on top. 
You can grill them a little first to get a nice grill flavor before stuffing them.
You can do just about anything you want. It makes a great substitute for meat.
Till next time.......

Monday, April 11, 2016

Candied Citrus Peel.........

I've always been a fan of candied orange peel or any citrus for that matter. Once you make them, you can dip the orange peel in chocolate. Mmmm, so good. 
Candied Citrus Peel
1 pink grapefruit
2 oranges
2 lemons
3 1/2 cups sugar, divided
Score grapefruit, oranges, and lemons through peel from top to bottom in 6 sections for grapefruit and 4 for oranges and lemons (don't cut into fruit). Pull off strips of peel with your fingers. Slide a small, sharp knife along inside of peels to remove excess membrane so peels are about 1/4 in. thick. Cut peels lengthwise into strips about 1/2 in. wide in center and tapered on ends.Put peels in a 3 to 4 qt. saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, then drain. Repeat twice more.Refill pan with 2 1/2 cups water and 2 1/2 cups sugar; bring to a boil, making sure that sugar dissolves. Add peels and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until peels turn translucent and syrup begins to form bigger bubbles, about 1 1/2 hours.Drain peels, saving syrup for other uses (such as topping pancakes) if you like. Spread peels on a nonreactive cooling rack set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow peels to dry completely, about 2-3 hours.Toss peels in remaining 1 cup sugar, shaking off excess. Store airtight at room temperature. Serve peels plain or dipped in chocolate.*Melt 10 oz. chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate in a small pan over barely simmering water. Dip peels halfway into chocolate; set on baking sheets lined with waxed paper. Chill until set, about 30 minutes.
Till next time........

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Ice Tea Punch - Southern Style......

Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to get this recipe from a dear neighbor. It was her favorite "go to" punch for parties. My family fell in-love with this and it soon became our favorite summer drink. I am having a early summer picnic soon and I am seriously  thinking of making this for our beverage. The tea just adds a depth of flavor to all the juice flavors. I hope you will enjoy it as well.

Ice Tea Punch - Southern Style
1 quart water
10 tea bags (regular size)
Bring to a boil and remove from heat to cool.
Add 3-4 cups sugar to the hot tea and dissolve in tea
Add to cooled tea:
1 large can of frozen orange juice
2 small cans of frozen lemonade
1 small can of frozen limeade
1 large can of grapefruit/pineapple juice combined in one can.
Stir and refrigerate. To serve add 1 quart of Ginger Ale.
Till next time.......

Friday, April 1, 2016

Avocado Dressing...........

Avocados are something I never paid much attention to. They were mushy and bland in my book. But.......I have since learned they make a delicious addition to a sandwich or wrap. They also make a great dressing. So that's what I am making today. I want to use it for a shrimp salad I am making later on.

Avocado Dressing
1 avocado, ripe
1 clove garlic
1/2 Tbsp fresh lime/lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
Put all ingredients in small food processor, blend and scrape down sides a few times. Thin dressing with water 1/4 to 1/2 cup, to right consistency. Keep in airtight container, will keep for about a week. Makes one cup of dressing.

That's the basic recipe, you can also add some onion or red pepper flakes or hot sauce to it. Depends on how much you want to "jazz" it up. If you are serving it for guests, you can dice a little tomato to serve on top.
I have the perfect bowl for my Avocado Dressing. It's an avocado bowl. How perfect is that!!
Till next time.......