Southern Friends

Submitted by Christi


I was looking at my blog statistics this morning and am happy to tell you that we have readers from 42 states and 12 countries reading this blog. Y’all are wonderful. The 3rd most visitors are from New York! Thank you to all you readers everywhere.

In my previous life, as I traveled for business, I found that there are wonderful, warm people all over the United States. I remember being at a little shop in New Jersey (where I bought my husband a big coffee cup that he still uses every day) talking to the store clerk. She asked me where I was from. I guess from my accent she surmised that I wasn’t from around there. We visited a little and I told her that the people from New Jersey had been very nice. She said “You’re kidding!” She was surprised that the people from New Jersey had been nice.

Now, you know, I love the South and don’t want to live anywhere else but I love visiting all over and meeting people from everywhere. I was surprised that we don’t have any readers from Wisconsin. Since they are not here, I’m going to tell a story on them. If you know anyone from Wisconsin, you can share this story with them.

I traveled to Stevens Point, Wisconsin to do some work for the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. I don’t remember the month but it was very, very cold. If I recall correctly, I was staying at a Hampton Inn. Because there was so much snow and it was so cold, I decided to walk across the street to a little pub for supper. Because I traveled alone so much, I was used to eating out by myself. I was seated and had ordered a drink when two ladies approached my table. They asked if they could visit with me a moment. Intrigued, I agreed. After being seated, they told me that they were local school teachers. They had traveled in Europe the previous Summer and remembered how the Europeans would invite traveling strangers to dine with them. They had discussed it among themselves when they saw me come in alone and had decided to do the same. They invited me to join them and their friends to share a meal. I was so surprised and pleased. I joined them and we shared good food in a warm place on a cold Wisconsin evening. Now, wasn’t that nice of them. I will always think of Stevens Point, Wisconsin as a warm and hospitable town thanks to those dear ladies. Who knew, Southern hospitality in Wisconsin?

Thank you to everyone who reads this blog. Although, I don’t know many of you personally, I count you as friends.

By the way, my husband is telling me I ought to write on weekends. I’m thinking about it, maybe just on Saturdays so I’ll still have a day off.

Today’s Lagniappe: Wisconsin Beer Cheese Soup
I know it’s not Southern but telling the story made me think of it 🙂

4 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup chopped green onion, green tops and white base.
1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped cabbage
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup good Wisconsin beer
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cups half and half (“half and half” is half heavy cream and half milk), heated
2 cups shredded aged Wisconsin Cheddar cheese (use aged cheese for better flavor)
(if you wish, one pound cooked sausage in bite-sized chunks)

  • Melt butter in large, heavy pan
  • Add onion, carrot and cabbage
  • Cook and stir over medium-high heat until onions and vegetables become translucent
  • Stir in flour, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly
  • Add broth, beer and mustard.  Stir well until mixture reaches a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes.
  • Add hot half and half and cheese, and if you wish, cooked smoked sausage.
  • Stir and warm gently until heated through and cheese is melted.
  • 8 servings.

Southern Lady

Submitted by Christi


My friend, Linda Howell, is a true Southern lady. She is warm and gracious and funny. Linda is an actress. She is a National Chautauqua Scholar who performs as Laura Ingalls Wilder and gives stunning performances as a part of the We the People Players who perform War Letters by Andrew Carrol.

I attended a meeting with Linda where a woman started pretty much telling us how she thought Southerners were uncultured. Oh my stars, that was funny. Miss Linda smiled and told her she was sorry that was her experience and then went on to tell her about several of the talented, successful people from our small town. I’m not sure that the other woman got it, but she had just been told off in the quintessential way that only a true Southern lady can do.

Linda is fun. After going to lunch together one day in January, she was saying that we needed to have good luck this year. She said “I know where there is a buckeye tree! – Let’s go get some.” She said this as she was passing the turn off to my street. She continued to her friend’s house and there, sure enough, was a buckeye tree. We got out and found a few to keep for good luck. Unexpected little side trips like that are not unusual when you are riding with Linda.

It’s good to have good friends.

Today’s Lagniappe: Mediterranean Salad
The weather is warm this week and it puts me in the mood for a good salad.

1/2 lb. small new red potatoes
1/2 C. olive oil
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 crushed garlic clove
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
6 C. mixed salad greens
1 large tomato, cut into thin wedges
1 green pepper, cut into thin rings
1 small purple onion, cut into thin rings
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 C. feta cheese, crumbled


Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water about 25 minutes or until they are tender. Drain well, and cool to warm. Thinly slice and place them in a serving bowl. In a jar or measuring cup combine the oil, lemon juice, garlic, basil, oregano, pepper and salt. Mix well with a whisk or place the lid on the jar and shake. Pour over potatoes and marinate for 1 hour. Drain the marinade off into a measuring cup, and set aside the potatoes. Place the greens in a large salad bowl. Arrange the potatoes, tomato wedges, green pepper, red onion, cucumber, and Feta cheese over the greens. Serve with the marinade on the side for a dressing.

Southern Wednesday

Submitted by Christi


Well, all of the Mardi Gras decorations come down today. My husband is sad about this. He really enjoys the Mardi Gras season. He is ready to have another party! He suggested St. Patrick’s, I countered with Kentucky Derby. I think the first Saturday in May will be sufficient time for our friends to recover from the Mardi Gras party (not to mention me).

Of course, there are plenty of opportunities for family celebrations in that time as well. I love the Easter season – definitely family time. The return of Spring! It makes me happy just to think of the blooming dogwoods and redbuds and daffodils and forsythia.

Okay, I’ve talked myself into the mood for more party planning but it will have to be after Easter. I think I’ll go out and buy some seeds to get started for the Spring and then start thinking about a Kentucky Derby party!

Today’s Lagniappe: Baked Potato Soup

12 slices bacon
2/3 cup margarine
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
7 cups milk
4 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 green onions, chopped
1 1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
  • In a stock pot or Dutch oven, melt the margarine over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in milk, whisking constantly until thickened. Stir in potatoes and onions. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  • Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Mix in bacon, cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted.

Southern Fun

Submitted by Christi


In the midst of all of the bad economic news, something has to give. When things are tough is the time when we have to make time for fun. I learned this in a major way from my best friend. She died from breast cancer on Christmas day 2005. No matter how bad things were, she made sure that she had opportunities to have fun. I remember talking to her on the phone on time. She told me that I was too stressed and that I needed to have more fun. She told me this often. The last time she told me about having fun was a week before she died. She was actually planning a party – from her bed. She had called a caterer and sent out invitations and was really looking forward to it. We were planning to go to this party (she lived in Nashville and we lived in Arkansas). She told me we should have a great time but she hoped we wouldn’t be disappointed. I know she knew she wouldn’t be there.

I think about her every day and know how much better she made my life. When times are tough, I can smile and remember to have fun in her honor. She would love that.

Do at least one fun thing today.

Today’s Lagniappe: Bubble Blowing Recipe

  • Combine 1/2 cup dishwashing detergent, 4 1/2 cups water, and 4 tablespoons of glycerin in a large container with a cover.
  • Mix well, then allow the mixture to rest, covered, until ready for use.
  • Pour bubble solution into a shallow container. Dip bubble wands — such as cookie cutters, shaped pipe cleaners or wire — into the solution and blow!


  • Joy is usually the recommended brand of dishwashing liquid.
  • For best results, use distilled water.
  • As an alternative to glycerin, some recipes recommend using white corn syrup.

Southern Party

Submitted by Christi

Oh, the Mardi Gras party was fun. We had lots of great food and drinks. My friend Darlene made 2 kinds of hurricanes, the traditional and a blue hurricane. We had mint julep punch and the winner of the drink category was boozefish sangria made with homemade strawberry wine by Debra Alexander.

We had jambalaya, bacon-wrapped, pepper-jack stuffed, grilled shrimp (I’ll have to get that recipe for you – yummy), crab dip, andouille in a blanket, and much more including the award winning gumbo by Edna Rhoades.

My friends Mark and Kim Sheaner got the baby in the King Cake. Lots of laughs and lots of fun.  The pics are posted on flickr, here is one of them:

Mardi Gras Fun!

Mardi Gras Fun!

Today’s Lagniappe: Boozefish Sangria (This is not Debra’s recipe, she used her own homemade wine.)

cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup juice
1 1/2 cups orange juice
3 1/2 cups red wine
1/2 cup brandy
1 cup sparkling water
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 orange, thinly sliced
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced

  • In a small saucepan, add the water and sugar.
  • Set temperature to medium-high and bring sugar-water to a boil.
  • You want to keep boiling until you dissolve the sugar and the syrup is clear. This takes about 10 minutes.
  • In a large container, pour in the lime juice and orange juice.
  • Then, stir in the sugar syrup and mix thoroughly.
  • Next, add the wine, brandy, sparkling water, lemon slices, orange slices, and apple slices.
  • You want to let the Sangria sit for 10 minutes.
  • Pour into a tall glass and garnish with a lime

Southern Song in My Head

Submitted by Christi
'Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma chere amio!

'Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma chere amio!

Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie, File Gumbo . . . This song has been in my head all week. This is what comes from planning a Mardi Gras party. My husband, in an effort to make this clearer to me found 101 versions of the song on the internet and played them all for me. Isn’t he sweet? I didn’t know there were so many artists who sung the Jambalaya song.

I guess it is appropriate to have that song in my head as I am making the King Cake and other goodies, but, what about when I am planning a business seminar or talking to clients on the phone? People may wonder what I’m smiling about.

When I go for walks, I always have a song in my head that plays over and over whether I want it to or not. Does anyone else do that? Anyway, the party is tomorrow night. I’ll be sure to post pictures next week and, once this party is over, I’m getting a new song!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Today’s Lagniappe: Cajun Crawfish Maque Choux

12 fresh ears of corn cut
1 lg. onions, chopped
1 lg. bell pepper, chopped
2 pods of garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 c. onion tops, chopped
1 c. parsley leaves, chopped
1 can Rotel tomatoes, diced
2 lbs. Crawfish tails
1/2 c. salad oil
1 stick butter

Shuck corn away from cob (cut corn away) and have ready.

To cook Corn: In a cast aluminum pot, heat salad oil then add corn and smother-cook until tender.

Smother bell pepper, onions, garlic, celery, parsley and onion tops until tender but NOT brown. Add corn and a small amount of water. Cook covered for about 20 minutes, stirring occassionally, until all ingredients are cooked.

In another aluminum pot, melt butter. Add the crawfish, Rotel tomatoes and the juice. Cook until crawfish are red, about 10-15 minutes. Add corn mixture to this. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes for flavors to mix well. Serve hot over rice.

Southern Chaos

Submitted by Christi
chaotic daisy

chaotic daisy

I see that I forgot to add my daily lagniappe yesterday and, in fact, didn’t really write a post yesterday. Ever had one of those chaotic days when you just couldn’t get it together? Yesterday was one of those days for me. Hopefully today will be better – I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

I am today from my computer that it is sitting on my dining room table while the freshly cleaned carpet in the office area is drying. The office furniture has created quite the little obstacle course as it is sitting in the dining area as well.

Today, I need to start cooking for the Mardi Gras party. I need to make the king cake the pecan praline cheesecake, the cheese olive roulades, the mini crawfish pies and the shrimp balls. I could probably do some of this tomorrow after my morning seminar.

I sound like I’m complaining but I really do love cook and I’m really glad that my carpet is clean and I’m happy to be doing the seminar and I’m really happy to be having the party. I think what I need to do is just take a break, have a cup of coffee and a slice of my delicious banana nut bread and read for about 30 minutes to let my mind kind of settle.

I’m currently reading the Miss Julia series by Ann B. Ross. Just the kind of book I need right now. Thank goodness it isn’t one of Daniel Silva’s books in the Gabriel Allon series. I love those books but they are not books that would help settle my mind.

Okay, maybe I can turn chaos into calm.

Today’s Lagniappe: Brennan’s Bananas Foster
Yummy and easy to make.

* ¼ cup (½ stick) butter
* 1 cup brown sugar
* ½ teaspoon cinnamon
* ¼ cup banana liqueur
* 4 bananas, cut in half
lengthwise, then halved
* ¼ cup dark rum
* 4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet. Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.

Small Town Southern Man

Submitted by Christi

Great song by Alan Jackson. Enjoy!

Click on pic to hear the song.

Click on pic to hear the song.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Southern Chain Saw Massacre

Submitted by Christi

My husband is getting in touch with his inner-macho man. He rented a chain saw yesterday to clean up the mess the ice storm made in our yard. I’ve never seen anyone have so much fun with a chain saw! Next thing you know he will be wanting to burn all of this stuff like of our neighbors are doing.

Apparently we have moved into a neighborhood of pyromaniacs. It is still legal to burn in the city limits here so everyone does it. Our plan is to cut up the wood to use in our fireplace. It may just be me, but that seems like a better idea than just burning everything in a pile in the backyard.

I’ll really be glad when everyone has all of the ice mess cleaned up. The sound of chain saws can get on your nerves after a while. One good thing about the chain saws is that they drown out the backup beeps from the contraptions that the city is using to pick up the limbs. I’m sure the contraption has a name but I have no idea what it is. I’ll leave the chainsawing, burning and beeping to the men.

Today’s Lagniappe: Crawfish Pie

3/4 medium chopped bell pepper
1 large onion chopped
2 ribs celery chopped
3/4 cup butter
6 tbsp crawfish fat (optional)
1 1/2 pound crawfish tails
1/2 cup each minced parsley and green onions
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
cornstarch to thicken
Dough for double crust (pie crust)

In a medium saucepan, saute bell pepper, onion and celery in butter until tender; add crawfish fat and simmer 10 minutes. Add crawfish tails, green onions, parsley and seasonings. Thicken if necessary, with a little cornstarch; let it cook long enough to thicken gravy.

Place half of the pie crust dough in a nine-inch pie pan. Fill with cooled filling. Place top crust on pie, moisten edges and seal edges. Cut two or three one-inch-long slits in the top crust.
Individual tart/pies can be made and baked using muffins in pan with large cups. Bake 10 minutes at 450 degrees; lower oven to 375 degrees and cook for 35 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown.

Southern Mardi Gras Party Preparation

Submitted by Christi


My friend Darlene came over yesterday and we started decoration for the Mardi Gras party next Saturday. The picture above is my dining table with some of the decorations ready to be put into action. We put on the jazzy Mardi Gras music and went to work. We still have plenty to do.

We strung lights all over the house and hung beads from the ceiling fans and light fixtures. I am still working on a wreath for the front door. My note for future reference is to check after-Christmas sales for items to use for the Mardi Gras party. If I had thought about having a Mardi Gras party earlier, I definitely would have done that. Live and learn, huh?

I’ll be making the Southern Praline Cheesecake and the King Cake on Friday afternoon. I am teaching a business seminar at the our local ASU campus Friday morning and as soon as it is over, I am heading home to do the last minute, finishing touches.

I’ll be sure and post pictures when we are through and also pictures from the party.

Happy Monday everyone!

Today’s Lagniappe: King Cake
(From Emeril Lagasse)


  • envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups warm milk (about 110°F)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 plastic king cake baby or a pecan half
  • 5 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Purple-, green-, and gold-tinted sugar sprinkles

Combine the yeast and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the melted butter and warm milk and warm water. Beat at low speed for 1 minute. With the mixer running, add the egg yolks, then beat for 1 minute at medium-low speed. Add the flour, salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest and beat until everything is incorporated. Increase the speed to high and beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, forms a ball, and starts to climb up the dough hook. If the dough is uncooperative in coming together, add a bit of warm water (110 degrees), a tablespoon at a time, until it does.

Remove the dough from the bowl. Using your hands, form the dough into a smooth ball. Lightly oil a bowl with the vegetable oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to oil all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and 1 cup of the confectioner’s sugar. Blend by hand or with an electric mixer on low speed. Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using your fingers, pat it out into a rectangle about 30 inches long and 6 inches wide.

Spread the filling lengthwise over the bottom half of the dough, then flip the top half of the dough over the filling. Seal the edges, pinching the dough together. Shape the dough into a cylinder and place it on the prepared baking sheet seam side down. Shape the dough into a ring and pinch the ends together so there isn’t a seam. Insert the king cake baby or pecan half into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough.

Cover the ring with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm, draft-free place. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Brush the top of the risen cake with 2 tablespoons of the milk. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Make the icing. Combine the remaining 3 tablespoons milk, the lemon juice, and the remaining 3 cups confectioner’s sugar in medium-size mixing bowl. Stir to blend well. With a rubber spatula, spread the icing evenly over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with the sugar crystals, alternating colors around the cake.

The cake is traditionally cut into 2-inch-thick slices with all the guests in attendance.

YIELD: 20 to 22 servings

Southern Valentine

Submitted by Christi
Still happy after all these years.

Still happy after all these years.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Personally, I’ve never really been a big fan. When I was a kid I enjoyed making the Valentine bags from white paper sacks and red and pink construction paper. I liked exchanging the little paper Valentines with all my school friends.

When I got older the expectations changed. If you were not in a relationship you always hated Valentine’s Day. If you were in a relationship, you hoped it would live up to your expectations and it caused a lot of pressure on you and your sweetie.

I’ve been happily married for a little over 11 years now and I actually enjoy Valentine’s Day a little more now. I don’t have a lot of expectations. We are usually too busy to do too much. Maybe a nice dinner with dessert. We rarely ever have dessert around here so that is a big deal. We usually even make our own Valentines and don’t bother with store bought and don’t even exchange gifts. This is fine with me. Now it is just kind of a day to reflect that we are happy with each other and still in love . . .

That is not just enough, that is a lot!

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

Today’s Lagniappe: Christi’s Chocolate Chocolate Pudding Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Note: This is my easier version of Emeril Lagasse’s chocolate chocolate pudding cake with chocolate ganache. If you are more ambitious, you can make his original version.

  • 1 chocolate cake mix baked according to package directions
  • 3/4 cups Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 1 pkg. chocolate  pudding made according to directions
  • 2 cups heavy cream 1-1/2 lbs. semi-sweet chocolate squares, chopped

Bake the chocolate cake according to package directions. Make 2 layers. Using a serrated knife, cut each layer in half horizontally.

Brush 3 of the layers with 1/4 cup Grand Marnier each.

Make the chocolate pudding according to the package directions. You may use regular or instant.

Place one of the soaked layers on a round piece of cardboard on a wire rack. Cover with 1/3 of the pudding. Repeat with 2 other soaked layers and top with the 4th layer.

Trim cake if necessary to make it smooth on all sides. Chill the cake for 2 hours.

Combine the cream and chopped chocolate in a medium-size nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir to cool, lifting the mixture out of the pot several times with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until it cools slightly. It should be glossy and slightly thick. This is the tempering process.

Spoon the mixture onto the top of the chilled cake, allowing the overflow to drip down the sides. Cool slightly. Carefully remove the cake from the wire rack. Chill for at least 6 hours.

Garnish with chocolate curls.

Southern Beard

Submitted by Christi

My husband wouldn't let me take his picture so I found this bearded pig. I'm not saying he is a pig but I did like the pic.

My husband wouldn't let me take his picture so I found this bearded pig. I'm not saying he is a pig but I did like the pic.

My dear husband is growing a beard. It all started when the power went out. We heated one room with the fireplace. We have a gas water heater so we could take hot showers but, in a really cold bathroom. He braved the shower but didn’t want to stay long enough for the shave.

We ran into our friends Mark and Kim and noticed Mark was growing a beard as well. Same reason. They decided these were their “protest beards”. I assume they were protesting the power being off. Well, the power is back on now and the beard is still growing. Now it is his “Mardi Gras beard.” I’ll have to check with Kim and see if Mark still has his beard. He may not have gotten the Mardi Gras update from my husband. So far, I like it okay. You know, men are funny!

Southern Brother

Submitted by Christi

My brother Jay with me at my wedding.

My brother Jay with me at my wedding.

Today, I want to tell you about a special person. My brother, Jay. After a somewhat troubled youth, Jay grew into an incredible man. Jay was 4 years older than I, the oldest of 4 with 3 younger sisters. Jay loved the outdoors. He loved hunting, fishing, gardening and grilling. It was always a great treat to have his great barbecue with vegetables fresh from his garden. He had a wicked sense of humor.

When we were kids, I remember him tricking me into riding a scary ride at a fair with him. He told me we were in line for a little train ride but when we got to the front of the line it was for the scary ride. He was so embarrassed that I screamed through the whole ride.

My brother “gave me away” at my wedding. My father had died 5 years earlier. When I called to ask him if he would give me away, he said “no.” “What do you mean no?” I asked. He told me, “That isn’t the way to do it in Arkansas, I’ll bring the shotgun!”

Jay died on February 9th, 8 years ago at the age of 42. We will always miss him.

Today’s Lagniappe: Jay’s Lagniappe
(Jay had a lot of great recipes. His barbecue sauce was a closely guarded secret. This recipe is very much “to taste” so use your own judgment.)

Pace Picante Sauce (I use medium heat)
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Lime juice from fresh limes

Mash avocados with remaining ingredients to taste.

Southern Fun

Submitted by Christi

I saw this at the Southern Sinful Bliss Blog. Thought it was kind of fun. Didn’t come out like I would have thought but glad to know a rainbow thinks I’m intelligent. This is just for fun. Try it and let me know what it says about you.

Your rainbow is shaded green.


What is says about you: You are an intelligent person. You feel strong ties to nature and your mood changes with its cycles. Those around you admire your fresh outlook and vitality.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Today’s Lagniappe: White Trash
This is really good. A good combination of sweet and salt.

  • 9 cups assorted unsweetened cereals* 3 cups salted nuts
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks
  • 2 – 12 ounce packages (4 cups) white chocolate chips

Cover large surface with waxed or parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, mix together cereals, nuts and pretzels. In a microwavable bowl, melt white chocolate chips in microwave on 70 percent power for 1 minute. Stir. If necessary, continue to microwave in 10 to 15 second increments until melted. Stir melted chocolate into cereal mixture until well coated. Quickly spread out over covered surface. Once cooled, break-up and store in resealable containers or bags.

*Cereals such as Cherrios, any and/or all Chex flavors.

Southern Monday

Submitted by Christi

Oh, it's Monday!

Oh, it's Monday!

Ah Monday – again. Hope everybody had a restful weekend. As for me, I did cleaning and more party planning. I’ve been looking for recipes for the Mardi Gras party. I got a Mam Papaul’s king cake mix. It includes the praline filling, decorative sugars and even the baby. I’ve heard they are really good. If you can’t get one locally, you can do a Google search and get one online. I also found a praline cheesecake recipe that looks great and I want to make some white trash.

Anyway, back to Monday. I am working on a 3 hour workshop called First Steps to E-Commerce for the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center from Arkansas State University. The workshop will be on Friday the 20th at the Mountain Home ASU campus. That, of course, is the day before the Mardi Gras party. Looks like a couple of busy weeks coming up.

I’m also still working on my book. I saw an interview of  the author of The Man Plan: Drive Men Wild, Not Away recently and thought, “I need to write faster!” I am so tired of books about how to catch a man. These books give men all the power in relationships. Apparently women are supposed to read these books and talk the way they say to talk, dress the way they say to dress, act the way they say to act and they will catch the man of their dreams. Give me a break! How about finding a man that likes the way I act and dress and talk and he tries to impress me instead of always the other way around. Anyway, I’m working on the book. Sorry to get carried away.

Today’s Lagniappe: Southern Pecan Praline Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnaps (about 24 cookies)
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted and divided
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
15 Caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Stir together gingersnaps and 1/4 cup melted butter; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
Beat cream cheese, sugar, and 2 tablespoons flour at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt; beat 3 minutes. Pour batter into prepared crust. Set aside.

Stir together brown sugar, pecans, remaining 1/4 cup flour, and remaining 1/4 cup melted butter until crumbly. Sprinkle around edge of cream cheese mixture.

Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until center is firm. Turn off oven. Leave cheesecake in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours. Drizzle caramel topping on edge of chilled cheesecake, if desired.

To make caramel topping, place caramels and whipping cream in 1-cup microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at High for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring halfway through cooking time, until melted.

Note: Commercial caramel ice-cream topping may be substituted for caramel topping.

Yield: Makes 12 servings