Southern Outdoor Plans

Submitted by Christi

March 1st – Spring is almost here! Soon, I’ll be able to spend time in the yard and on the porch. My favorite places! I can’t wait to transform my porch back in to an outdoor room. My porch is an extension of my house. I live there as much as possible when the weather is warm. Are you getting your outdoor spaces ready? What do you think is important in an outdoor room?

To me it is:

Comfortable seating

Comfortable seating



Some accessories

Some accessories

A place to dine,or just sit and enjoy

A place to dine,or just sit and enjoy

And, some flowers.

And, some flowers.

It is pretty easy to make me happy when I am outside enjoying the warm air and the breeze and hearing the birds sing. It won’t be long now. I’m planning in my head the metamorphosis to come!

What are you doing?

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Today’s Lagniappe:  Easy Skillet Cordon Bleu
Saw this on Southern Living and thought it sounded easy an delish – my favorite combination:)

* 1/2  cup  Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
* 1  teaspoon  pepper
* 1/2  teaspoon  salt
* 8  chicken tenders (about 1 lb.)
* 1  tablespoon  butter
* 1  tablespoon  olive oil
* 8  Canadian bacon slices, cut into thin strips
* 4  Swiss cheese slices, halved

1. Combine breadcrumbs, pepper, and salt in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Rinse chicken tenders, and add to freezer bag. Seal bag, and shake to coat.

2. Melt butter with oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken 3 1/2 to 4 minutes on each side or until done. Arrange Canadian bacon strips over chicken in skillet, and top each with 1 cheese slice. Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Southern Sunday Favorite

Submitted by Christi



Join Chari at Happy to Design for Sunday favorites and Charlotte and Ginger at Blogger Spirit for Spiritual Sunday and enjoy your Sunday!

It is Sunday so that means a past favorite and something for the soul. I’m very blessed to have a talented, creative, Christian mother. Last March, she wrote a guest post telling about how she got a great recipe for poppy seed rolls. If you would like the poppy seed roll recipe, it was from an earlier post, HERE.

From March 13, 2009:

Mama’s Southern Guest Post

A couple of days ago I posted a recipe that my mother gave me for poppy seed rolls. Mama called and was telling me about how she got the recipe and that she should leave that as a comment. I thought a better idea was for her to write a guest post. So . . . here it is – enjoy:

<i>My Mother, Carrol Ward</i>

My Mother, Carrol Ward

The bread recipe on Christi’s blog (3/11/09) has an interesting beginning for us:
My husband, Chester and I were in Monticello, Utah last September doing a revival for a church there. The Pastor’s wife invited us for dinner one night before church. The meal was delicious but when she set the bread on the table, I thought it looked soooo good, I was sure it was dessert. Well, of course, it wasn’t but it looked so pretty and tasted so good it could have been. She also served some of her home canned apricot jam with it. Well, I could have skipped church that night because I thought I had died and gone to heaven already.

I have since shared the recipe with several people. I fixed it one night, along with a roast dinner for my next door neighbors. The wife has MS and so her husband does most of the cooking, which he is learning to do, so they really did appreciate the meal. He especially liked it and asked for the recipe. He has sent it to several family members and friend all across the country.

The trip to Utah was also memorable for another incident which happened to us:
One afternoon The Pastor and his wife took us to the top of Abajo Peak which is 11,000 ft, located in the Blue Mountains. It was a beautiful site and you could see forever. They have two ATV’s and often ride on the mountains around Monticello. They suggested that my husband use them one day and even had one of the members of the church go along as a guide (thank goodness, we would probably still be there without him).

It had been at least 30 years since I had ridden an ATV and my husband had never ridden one. So, we purchased some sweat suits at Alco, layered our clothes, starting with our pajamas, and put on the warmest clothes we could put together and met our guide at 7:30 one morning. After a brief overview of how to operate the machines we took off. Everything went great until our guide took off on what he called a trail, with lots of deep ruts, sheer drop-offs, low hanging tree branches and I don’t know what all. But, we kept up with him and it was fun. We had reached about 10,000 ft.when the trail (if you can call it that) became more of challenge.

I was riding behind the guide and in front of Chester when I came to some ruts. The left wheels of the ATV kinda slipped into the ruts and began to “fall” over and . . . I began to pray! ” Lord don’t let this thing fall on me!” I was yelling “Help!” but no one could hear me for the noise the ATV’s make. Chester could see something was happening to me and the guide stopped and looked back and later said that I just didn’t look right. Well of course I didn’t look right, I was slipping off the ATV!
When I got off the ATV to the ground, unhurt, the machine righted itself. After we decided that I was alright we remounted the things and took off again.

We were riding along enjoying the scenery which was beautiful and I began to thank God for letting me see all this and taking care of a 70 year old woman who didn’t have sense enough to take care of herself. But I believe life is to be enjoyed and shared. Good recipes should be shared as well.

Today’s Lagniappe: Also from Mama – Pear Relish
This recipe for Pear Relish is one of Christi’s favorites)

Pear Relish
16 -19 pears (fairly firm, not soft) cored and ground.
6 medium onions, ground
8 green peppers, ground
4 sweet red peppers, ground
6 cups vinegar (5% acidity)
6 cups sugar
3 Tbs. mustard seeds
2 Tbs. pickling salt
1 Tbs. ground tumeric
1 Tsp. ground allspice
1 Tsp cinnamon
1 Tsp. ginger

Let pears, onions and peppers stand in separate containers for 1 hour. Pour boiling water over each; drain very well. Combine pears, onions, peppers, vinegar, sugar, and seasonings in a large kettle. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered, 30 minutes.
Pour hot mixture into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 in head space. Remove air bubbles; wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids and screw on bands. Process in boiling-water bath 20 minutes. Remove jars from hot water carefully and place on cloth to cool. When the jars are cool enough to handle move to a cool place and let set for 1 month before opening. Yield about 10 pints.

This is especially good with chicken and dumplings or pinto beans and corn bread.

Christi’s note: I think I have mentioned this before – my father died in 1992 of cancer. My mother has since remarried a wonderful man, Chester Ward. Chester is a minister who serves as Director of Missions for Kay Baptist Association in Oklahoma.

Southern PINK Lamp

Submitted by Christi

I have had this lamp forever.

Pink Lam

Pink Lamp

I love this lamp but I haven’t had it out in a while. I’m looking for a place to put it.


Doesn’t seem to go here. I really think I may need to find a place in my office for it. I really don’t like overhead lights in there. Just too harsh. Hmmmm, going to have to think about this.

Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound

Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound

Today’s Lagniappe: Breakfast Casserole
Perfect for a weekend morning.

* 3 eggs
* 3 tablespoons milk
* 2 slices of bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
* 1 green onion, thinly sliced
* 1/3 cup cheese (your preference), shredded
* 1/3 cup chopped ham

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Spray your baking dish with cooking spray
3. Combine all ingredients
4. Pour into baking dish
5. Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until egg mixture is set

Southern Fun

Submitted by Christi

Just finished recording the first session of co-hosting The Margaret Banks show with my friend, Margaret. It is billed as a show for women and those who love them. I really like this idea, because, even though her show is targeted to women, it would be enjoyed by men as well. If you are in North Central Arkansas,you can hear the show on Saturday morning at 8:30 on Mountain Talk 97. If you are not in the area and would like to hear the show, you can get it with audio on demand on the Mountain Talk 97 website.

We had such a good time visiting about social media and how the internet has changed our lives. Margaret has scheduled me for her 2nd show as well. We will be talking about turning your passion into profits. The perfect show for all my blogging friends and all of you who have a passion that you would like to turn into a business! If you have a chance to tune in, we would love to hear your feedback.

Okay, now,on to:

With Designs by Gollum

With Designs by Gollum


Today’s Lagniappe:  Sesame Snow Peas for 2
I love this recipe. Snow peas are one of the first veggies to come up in the Spring and this is a great way to enjoy them!

  • 1 1/2 cups snow peas, about 6 ounces, strings removed
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Toss the snow peas with soy sauce and sesame oil in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Cover tightly. Microwave at full power until crisp-tender, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve.

Southern Craziness

Submitted by Christi

My life is getting completely crazy! It seems like I just go from one meeting to another and in between, it is work, work, work. Thank you Lord for work to do!

When people come to meet with us at our home office, we always offer coffee or a cold drink and we also try to include some little something to eat. Got to keep the Southern hospitality going, at all times!

So, this week is our “conference/dining” table. Set up for a meeting with coffee and cookies. This is the kind of meeting I had with Margaret Banks while we were discussing her upcoming radio show that I am co-hosting this coming Saturday on Mountain Talk 97. If you are out of the area, you can hear us discussing social media here.

Ready to "get down to business."

Ready to "get down to business."

We still need something "pretty."

We still need something "pretty."

A few cookies to keep us going.

A few cookies to keep us going.

Ready for "business."

Ready for "business."

Now, I need to get back to work!

with Between Naps on the Porch

with Between Naps on the Porch

Today’s Lagniappe:  Easy Coffee Cake
Something to have along with the coffee, if you have time to cook (obviously, I used store-bought cookies which is fine, but if I have time, I love to cook something to have for meetings!).

* 2 cups sifted flour, sifted before measuring
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 6 tablespoons butter
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter


* 1 tablespoon flour
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Into a mixing bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender. In a separate bowl combine egg with milk; add to flour mixture. Stir until mixture is well blended and smooth. Spoon into a greased and floured 9-inch layer pan. Spread dough evenly. Brush top of dough with melted butter.

Combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon; sift over the top of the cake, spreading with a fork to cover dough evenly. Bake at 400° for 25 to 30 minutes. Cut coffee cake in wedges; serve warm from the pan.

Southern Spring Fever

Submitted by Christi

As I write this, I see that Texas, even as far South as Houston is getting SNOW! That is just insane. I remember when Fall was a couple of weeks in December and Winter was about a month or so between the end of December and the end of January. Oh, how I loved the buds of Spring that were starting to come forth by Valentine’s Day.

Well, apparently, that is not the case this year. However, Spring is trying to make an appearance.


Just those first sprigs of green springing forth through the cold ground can really lift y0ur spirits. You know that soon, the landscape will be covered with color and all of the drab colors of Winter will be GONE!

Another favorite? Spring Strawberries!


Hooray for SPRING! Come soon – We miss y0u!

A little outdoor pic for Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer and Rednesday! with It’s a Very Cherry.

Today’s Lagniappe: Hurry Spring Salad

  • 1 romaine lettuce heart
  • 4 to 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked until crisp, cooled, and chopped
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Salad Dressing (Your favorite – suggested: blue cheese or ranch)
  1. Chop the lettuce heart into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Combine it with the bacon, other vegetables, and nuts in a large bowl and toss the mixture well.
  2. Keep the salad chilled until serving time. Then toss it again with enough dressing to lightly coat the vegetables, and season it with salt and pepper. Serves 6.

Southern Greens

Submitted by Christi


Collard, turnip, mustard – the holy trinity of greens and all three are wonderful. Southerners love their greens! Not only are they delicious, they are nutritious too (okay, now, don’t go reminding me about the ham hock, streak 0 lean, bacon grease, etc. that are added for flavor – we all know – they don’t count). Greens are loaded with vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene.


Greens grow well in the  South and are a popular food in the local cuisine of the region. The turnip green, became an important staple in the Southern African-American diet during the time of slavery. It is said that the slave owners would keep the turnip for themselves and give the greens to the slaves. Little did they know what they were missing!

Served with cornbread (to soak up the “pot-likker”), greens are definitely worth adding to your repertoire!  Greens are available year round but are best between January and April (like, right now!).  When you cook enough greens to feed a family, it is called a “mess” of greens. The size of the “mess” depends on the family.

Today’s Lagniappe: Southern Greens
Use whatever green is available.

1 1/2 quarts water
1 1/2 pounds ham hocks
4 pounds greens, rinsed and trimmed
1/4 cup vegetable oil or bacon grease
salt and pepper to taste
hot sauce to taste

Place the water and the ham hock in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to very low and simmer covered for 30 minutes.

Add the greens and the hot hot sauce the pot. Simmer covered for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add the vegetable oil or bacon grease and simmer covered for 30 minutes.

Serve with cornbread.


Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More Tuesday

Southern Spring Countdown

Submitted by Christi

The daffodils are starting to pop out and soon the most wonderful metamorphosis of all will be taking place. Soon it will be SPRING!

I have even added a Spring countdown clock to the sidebar on the left. This seems to have been an unusually cold winter and, although I have Spring Fever every year, I think this year may be the worst case EVER!

But . . . soon, the world will be alive with color! Yellow daffodils and forsythia, pink quince, creamy dogwoods and bright pink redbuds!


Of course, one of the first signs, though is the sweet daffodil, nodding it’s yellow head in the early Spring wind.

I love all of the seasons but Spring is probably my favorite because the days get longer and the world comes alive after the dark of Winter. Even as a kid, I remember loving the colors of Spring and looking forward to being out of school for the Summer.


There was a redbud tree outside my window in the house I grew up in. I will always think of redbuds as good “climbing trees.” I would climb up in the tree and look out at the sky and everything in the world was good. I love that memory of Spring. Maybe that is one of the reasons I love it so much.

And, by the way, it is a metamorphosis we can all enjoy 🙂

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Today’s Lagniappe:  Garlic Shrimp
Make this with fresh Gulf shrimp for a fabulous flavor!

1/3 cup of butter
1 ½ to 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 to 6 medium cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice

In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat until butter stops foaming, about 30 to 45 seconds.

Add the shrimp and garlic and sauté over medium heat, turning frequently until the shrimp just turn pink, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the parsley, lemon juice, and salt then stir well.

Remove the pan from the heat and serve.

Southern Sunday

Submitted by Christi

I’ve been looking back over past posts and came across one I wanted to share with you. It is from February 27, 2008. Just a little less than two months after I started A Southern Life.

I had no idea the impact blogging would have on my life or how many wonderful people I would get to come in contact with. I just thought I would share a little about my life and my thoughts about life and living and entertaining, etc. What has happened instead is that while I still share, I feel like I get so much more from everyone who visits here than I could possibly offer in return.

In this post, I share a story of a visit to Steven’s Point, Wisconsin. Every time I think of this story, I am reminded of the wonderful Bible verse from Hebrews 13:2

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.

A Southern Life is now read in all 50 states and 103 countries/territories around the world! I am honored and humbled by that. Happy Sunday to all and a wonderful week to follow!
From February 27, 2008:

Southern Friends


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.



Join Chari at Happy to Design for Sunday favorites and Charlotte and Ginger at Blogger Spirit for Spiritual Sunday and enjoy your Sunday!

Southern Whirlwind

Submitted by Christi

Wow, it has been such a busy week. I feel like I have been in a whirlwind for a while (kind of look that way too!). Fortunately, I got to start the week by having my friend Paula over for lunch. She was such a sweetie. She brought me these flowers.


As I have been running around this week, I have enjoyed seeing these flowers. They just really brightened the week. I love being busy, but I really appreciate a friend who reminds me to stop and enjoy the beauty in life and for giving me something to share for:

Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound

Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound

Happy Pink Saturday to all!

Today’s Lagniappe:  Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
A yummy classic, this version is from Alton Brown.

  • 8 ounces young spinach
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large white mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 ounces red onion (1 small), very thinly sliced

Remove the stems from the spinach and wash, drain and pat dry thoroughly. Place into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Place the eggs into an electric kettle and cover with cold water by at least 1-inch. Turn the kettle on. Once the water comes to a boil, the kettle will turn itself off. Leave the eggs in the water for 15 minutes. Remove and peel off the shell. Slice each egg into 8 pieces and set aside.

While the eggs are cooking, fry the bacon and remove to a paper towel to drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the rendered fat. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Transfer the fat to a small saucepan set over low heat and whisk in the red wine vinegar, sugar and Dijon mustard. Season with a small pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper.

Add the mushrooms and the sliced onion to the spinach and toss. Add the dressing and bacon and toss to combine. Divide the spinach between 4 plates or bowls and evenly divide the egg among them. Season with pepper, as desired. Serve immediately.

Southern Fun

Submitted by Christi

My friend, Margaret Banks will be debuting her new radio show The Margaret Banks Show on Mountain Talk 97 radio on February 27th!


Margaret is so much fun and so talented. I am very happy and honored that Margaret has asked me to co-host her premier show where we will discuss how technology and social media have changed the ways we connect with friends, businesses and the world. In her promo she says,

“Christi, whose seminars on social networking are often SOLD OUT in advance, will share ways to navigate through the opportunities, fun and pitfalls of social sites.”

That is just too great! Especially since I am late in getting this post up because I was doing a sold-out Facebook seminar yesterday 🙂

Margaret is the president of Margaret Banks & Company which is a financial advisement company. Margaret is the founder of the annual Women’s Financial Empowerment Summit and her show will be about issues that women are interested in. It will also be a lot of FUN!

If you are interested in hearing the show and live in the North Central Arkansas area you can tune in to
Mountain Talk 97.1 at 8:30 a.m. Central Time Saturday, February 27th.

For those outside the listening area, go to to hear the live broadcast, or click “Audio on Demand” to hear the show on your computer at your own convenience.

Okay, on to

With Designs by Gollum

With Designs by Gollum

and . . .

Today’s Lagniappe:  Southern Omelet Casserole
Kind of like a “western” omelet, but made into a Southern favorite, a “casserole!”

* 1 dozen eggs
* 1 pint (16 oz) sour cream
* 12 oz shredded cheese – jack and/or cheddar
* 1 lb cooked ham, chopped
* 1 large green pepper, chopped
* 1/4 C chopped onion
* 2 cloves garlic (optional)
* salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F.

1. Saute onion, pepper, and garlic until beginning to soften.

2. Put eggs and sour cream in blender with salt and pepper. Blend well. (You can do this in a bowl with a whisk if you prefer.)

3. Put half the cheese into a 9X13 baking pan, followed by the ham, the rest of the cheese, and the vegetables. Pour the egg mixture over the whole thing.

4. Bake 50-60 minutes, until top is golden brown and knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Serves 8.

Southern White’s

Submitted by Christi
with Between Naps on the Porch

with Between Naps on the Porch

In Emeril Lagasse’s cookbook, Every Day’s A Party, he tells of a book called Almost Innocent by Sheila Bosworth that is set in New Orleans. In the book, tow characters, Rand and Airey, meet every Ash Wednesday at St. Louis Cathedral to get ashes, then walk to Antoine’s where they have their ” . . . annual White Lunch: vichyssoise, accompanied by vodka martinis, folowed by filet de truite au vin blanc, pommes de terre soufflees, a bottle of Pouilly-Fuisse, and for dessert, Baked Alaska. No green salad, or coffee, or cigars, in keeping with the Tout Blanc dictum.” Emeril liked that so much he devised his own menu for a white lunch.

I love the idea and can envision a Tout Blanc party.

ostrich feathers

All white decorations.

white lampshades

With touches of silver. Everyone would wear white and eat off of sparkling clean white plates with crisp white linen napkins. What a lovely story and a lovely vision.

You can see how to make the feathered centerpieces and the wine glass lamp shades at SaveOnCrafts. They have great prices and I always find lots of inspiration there.

Today’s Lagniappe: Emeril’s Vichyssiose

4 cups sliced leeks (use ONLY the white part)
4 cups diced potatoes (gold or baking potatoes recommended)
6 to 7 cups chicken stock
One and one-half to 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
One-half cup heavy cream (chilled)
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives

Combine the leeks, potatoes and chicken stock in a heavy bottomed 3-quart saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Season lightly with salt, partially cover and simmer until the potatoes and leaks are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.  Taste and correct seasoning.

Puree the soup in a blender or food processor and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.  When ready to serve, add the heavy cream and mix well.  Top each serving with a bit of minced chives.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Southern Ash Wednesday

Submitted by Christi

Well, Mardi Gras was fun, but it is over now. The parades are done and gone are the bright costumes of purple, green, gold, red.



Gone are the beads and boas.


It is now Ash Wednesday.


Repent ye, and believe the gospel. Mark 1:15

Now is the beginning of the Lenten season. A time of sacrifice and repentance. And, 46 days (40 days not counting Sundays) until Easter. Which means Spring is right around the corner.

We take off all the celebratory colors of the Carnival season and the Nature puts on the colors of Spring, just in time for Easter!

bird in tree

Peace to you all!

Today’s Lagniappe: Broiled Lobster Tail
Many people give up meat for Lent. My mother was looking for a good way to broil lobster the other day, and I found this recipe that looks good.

2 whole lobster tails
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
salt to taste
ground white pepper, to taste
1 lemon – cut into wedges, for garnish

Preheat the broiler.

Place lobster tails on a medium baking sheet. With a sharp knife or kitchen shears, carefully cut top side of lobster shells lengthwise. Pull apart shells slightly, and season meat with equal amounts butter, paprika, salt, and white pepper.

Broil lobster tails 5 to 10 minutes, or until butter is melted and lightly browned, and lobster meat is opaque. Garnish with lemon wedges to serve.

A little outdoor pic for Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer and Rednesday! with It’s a Very Cherry.

Southern Mardi Gras

Submitted by Christi

Well, it is here! Mardi Gras 2010 on Tuesday, February 16th. Cities all over the world will be celebrating with beads . . .

mardi gras beads

parades . . .


masks . . .


and merriment preceded by Lent which is a time of sacrifice, lasting 40 days . . .


ending with Easter.

Wishing all of you a Marvelous Mardi Gras followed by a blessed Lenten season.

Today’s Lagniappe: Plantation Pralines
Make this one fast if you are giving up sweets for Lent.

* 3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup milk
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2-1/4 cups pecan halves

Combine sugar, cream of tarter, salt and milk. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Wipe crystals occasionally from side of pan with wet cheesecloth. Cook to 236 – 238º or soft ball stage. Cool to 220ºF. Add butter or margarine, vanilla flavoring and pecans. Beat until creamy. Drop from large spoon onto buttered surface or was paper. Yield: 1-1-1/2 – 2 dozen pralines.


Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More Tuesday

Southern Cabinets

Submitted by Christi

My friend Darlene’s husband got these wonderful shutters for the Salvation Army Thrift Store.


They had a couple extra that they gave to me. What they did with them was such a good idea. They have a dining area with a window in the middle and then a corner on either side. They used the shutters to make corner cabinets.

Right now, I have the shutters “casually leaning” against the wall in the living area, hiding a plug and cable connection. Clever, no? Well, I’m not that impressed with my cleverness, or lack thereof. Maybe, I should try to find a corner to make a cabinet with the shutters.

Here are some ideas of ways to use salvage pieces for cabinets.



What would you do with salvaged shutters? Looking for ideas.

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Today’s Lagniappe: Mama’s Cherry Cream Meringue Pie
Mama came up with this recipe that is like one her mother made for her when she was growing up.


1 9 in. baked pie shell
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbs flour
3 egg yolks
1 cup milk
1 cup cherry juice + milk to make 1 cup
1cup maraschino cherries drained and chopped
1/2 tsp. almond extract.
Mix sugar, flour, 1 cup cherry juice/milk mixture in micro-wave proof mixing bowl.
Cook in micro-wave 1 1/2 minutes; remove and stir; cook for 1 1/2 minutes more, stir and add beaten egg yolks and 1 cup milk.
cook for 1 minute in micro-wave, stir until smooth and thick (may need to be cooked for another minute. or two (cook in 1 minute increments so that it doesn’t get too thick.)
Remove from micro-wave and add chopped cherries 2 tbs. butter 1/2 tsp almond extract;
let set until butter is melted then mix well and pour into baked pie shell.
Top with meringue made from the 3 egg whites, 1/8th tsp cream of tartar and 1/4 cup sugar whipped until stiff peaks form.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.