Southern Saturday

Submitted by Christi

I love Saturday’s! Even though I often work on Saturday’s it is just more relaxed and laid back. I like to get up early and have coffee on the back porch and read a good book. Here are some of the sites from my perch on the porch.

Crepe Myrtles

Pink Cone Flowers


I also have a lovely view of the bird feeder with lots of birds and an occasional squirrel. My dog loves to chase the squirrels off. It is just a simple pleasure of a Summer Saturday morning!

And, it is also:

Pink Saturday

Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound

Today’s Lagniappe: Cinnamon Basil Cookies
I know I posted a similar recipe yesterday, but I think I like this one better. It is from my 1997 Southern Living Cookbook.

  • 5  fresh cinnamon basil leaves*
  • 1/4  cup  sugar
  • 1  cup  butter or margarine
  • 2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1  cup  chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  vanilla extract

Process basil and sugar in a blender or food processor until basil is minced.

Melt butter in a large saucepan; add basil mixture, flour, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in chopped pecans and vanilla; remove from heat.

Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto ungreased baking sheets; flatten to 1/4-inch thickness with bottom of a large glass.

Bake cookies at 300° for 40 minutes or until golden. Remove to wire racks to cool.

*Regular basil may be substituted; increase ground cinnamon to 1 teaspoon.

Southern Herbs

Submitted by Christi

My friend, Paula, brought me some herbs from her garden today. She brought cinnamon basil, lemon thyme and lemon balm. What a wonderful surprise. I had seen a recipe for cinnamon basil cookies before and that is what I will make with the cinnamon basil that Paula brought to me!

You can use Cinnamon Basil in any recipe that calls for basil. The sweet flavor is very good when used with other fruity flavored herbs. Pick the leaves and use them in cooking or put them in bottles of olive oil to make cinnamon-flavored oil. The oil would be good to use for frying apples or bananas. You can add this herb to your apple pie fillings, and it tastes great added to an apple sauce or raisin sauce for pork or ham.

cinnamon basil

Today’s Lagniappe:  Cinnamon Basil Cookies
A lovely herb for:

With Designs by Gollum

2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. soft butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. finely chopped lime peel
3 tbsp. chopped fresh cinnamon basil or 1 1/2 tbsp. dried cinnamon basil
1 c. chopped pistachio nuts

Sift dry ingredients and set aside. Beat butter and add sugar, egg, vanilla, basil and peel gradually until fluffy. Beat in dry ingredients 4 items at a time. Fold in nuts. Turn out dough on floured surface, divide into 4.

Make each roll 5 inches long and roll in plastic wrap. Chill overnight. Slice dough 1/8 inch thick and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees until lightly brown. Cool on wire racks. Store in airtight container.

Southern Fiesta!

Submitted by Christi

It’s time for a fiesta out on Mama’s screened in porch! She even sent along her recipe for Taco Soup. Thanks Mama!

Let’s see what she has done:

Fiesta on the porch

Pretty Green Dishes

Fiesta on the Porch

Out on the porch.

Fiesta on the Porch

Green napkins in pretty festive green glasses.

The green bowls are ready for some taco soup.

I love the yellow pepper dish.

Porch Fiesta

Don't you love this ornamental pepper plant?

Porch Fiesta

Here is a closer look.

Porch Fiesta

Side dishes ready for cheese, sour cream and other finishing touches.

Porch Fiesta

Okay Mama . . .

Porch Fiesta

What time does the fiesta begin?

So that is Mama’s  addition via A Southern Life for:

Tablescape Thursday with Between Naps on the Porch

with Between Naps on the Porch

Today’s Lagniappe:  Mama’s Taco Soup

1&1/2 lbs lean ground beef

spices to taste: taco seasoning

Adobo seasoning

garlic pepper

onion powder

2 cups tomato juice

1 can diced tomatoes with garlic and peppers

1 can of Rotel

1 can chili beans

1 can of hominy or canned corn

Brown ground beef in a Tbs olive oil (or other oil)

with the spices

add next 5 ingredients and stir.

Cook/simmer for at least an hour before serving.

I usually simmer on low longer.

Add water or tomato juice or ketchup as needed.

Serve with grated cheddar cheese or a blend of Mexican cheeses and corn chips.

If you like it hotter add finely chopped  jalapeno peppers and/or onions

Southern Clouds

Submitted by Christi

Wow, getting this post done during a break from the storms. We were a couple of hours East of here today meeting with clients and when we got back there were small branches in the road and a shutter of a neighbor was broken off. We have had lots of lightening and thunder and rain since we arrived home. Always good to get back home.

I took some pictures of the awesome clouds as we were driving home.

Clouds and sun

Clouds and sun

clouds and sun

Clouds over Lake Norfork

These pictures were taken around 5:30 p.m. with my phone. Wish you could have seen them in person. They were crazy!

We have had some more storms this evening. We really needed the rain! Glad for a break in the heat. What is going on outside in your neck of the woods?

Outdoor Wedenesday

Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer

Today’s Lagniappe: Strawberry Ice Cream
Something yummy and refreshing for a warm summer day!

* 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
* 3 (3- by 1-inch) strips fresh lemon zest
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 2 large eggs
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1 lb strawberries (3 cups), trimmed and quartered
* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Combine cream, zest, and salt in a heavy saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and discard zest.

Whisk eggs with 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking. Pour back into saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F (do not let boil).

Immediately pour custard through a fine sieve into a metal bowl, then cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Chill, covered, at least until cold, about 2 hours, and up to 1 day.

While custard is chilling, purée strawberries with remaining 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice in a blender until smooth, then force through fine sieve (to remove seeds) into chilled custard. Stir purée into custard.

Freeze in ice-cream maker, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.

Southern Pairings

Submitted by Christi

Been thinking about some pairings that would taste good and trying to come up with creative ways to do it.

How about:

Brie and hot pepper jelly

Blue cheese and rosemary

Parmesan and basil

Cheddar and parsley

I am going to experiment with some different flavors and see what I come up with. Of course, I’ll share the ones worth sharing here!

In the meantime I’ll share this recipe from Ina Garten:

Today’s Lagniappe:  Parmesan & Thyme Crackers

  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces grated Parmesan
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until creamy. Add the Parmesan, flour, salt, thyme and pepper and combine.

Dump the dough on a lightly floured board and roll into a 13-inch long log. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the log crosswise into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the slices on a sheet pan and bake for 22 minutes.


Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More

Soutnern Metamorphosis

Submitted by Christi

What a wonderful weekend we have had, celebrating our nation’s independence. We definitely need have some people to thank for our continued freedoms and that would be our military! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I have posted about my nephew (the Marine) before. It is a different kind of metamorphosis to be sure. But, it is an important kind of transformation. I wanted to post about him again, just in case you missed reading about him before. I am so proud of my nephew for so many reasons. I wish you could all meet him. He is a fabulous cook and makes his own wine. Quite the Renaissance man. So here I am posting about him again for:

It's Met Monday with Susan. Click on the pic for more

Met Monday with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.

Pic of Bryan with me when he graduated from Marine boot camp.

Pic of Bryan with me when he graduated from Marine boot camp (1996).

Today, I want to introduce you to my nephew, Bryan. Bryan is a Marine. He is not actively serving, but, I learned early on, “once a Marine, always a Marine.” The metamorphosis here is what happened to him at boot camp. They took a bright, energetic, clever boy and made him into a bright, energetic, clever man.

My sister, Tammy (his mother), and I went to his boot camp graduation. It was a life changing experience for me. We met with the drill instructors first. They spoke well of my nephew, which was a good thing. My sister and I were ready to take on the entire Marine force, if, for any reason, they didn’t have good things to say about him (which was unlikely). Luckily for us and for them, the drill instructors had nothing but good to say about him.

It was a goose bump moment when we heard the cadence from the young men as they marched towards us in the dark. You could hear them coming from a distance. Once they arrived, they stood at attention until they were dismissed to find their families. That was an awesome time. We saw him go in as as a young man and he came out a Marine!

The day he graduated from boot camp, I asked him what he had for breakfast. He said duck. I was surprised and said, “duck?” He told me that they had duck a lot. He told me that you duck your head and eat as much as you can before they kick you out. Never heard of that “duck” recipe before!

I am so proud of my nephew, then, and now. After boot camp, he was assigned to the presidential guard. He served in Washington D. C. and then at Camp David. He served in Kuwait during the initial invasion of Iraq.

He is no longer actively serving in the Marines but he still has that Marine attitude. He is a truly wonderful man that I am proud to have as my nephew. He is now married to a wonderful young lady and is still making me proud every day. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful young man as my nephew, and, we as a nation, are blessed to have so many like him who serve our nation so we can sleep in peace at night when we lay down our heads.

Thanks Bryan and to all of the other Marines for all they have done and continue to do for our country!

Today’s Lagniappe: Mussels with Garlic, White Wine and Butter
My nephew has become quite the connoisseur. He makes his own fine wine and is quite an accomplished cook. On one of our trips together, he ordered mussels. He loved them. Here is a recipe that I’m sure he would love.

  • 3 pounds mussels
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Rinse the mussels under cold running water while scrubbing with a vegetable brush. Remove the stringy mussel beards as you wash them. Discard any mussels with broken shells.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, garlic, and thyme and cook until the vegetables cook down, about 5 minutes. Add the mussels and give everything a good toss. Add the white wine. Cover and steam over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, until the mussels open. Stir occasionally so that all the mussels are in contact with the heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and a drizzle of olive oil to the sauce remaining in the pot and stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the parsley. Serve with hot crusty French bread.

Independence Day!

Submitted by Christi

You know I always use the word “Southern” in my post titles, but not today. Just didn’t seem right. Today is Independence Day in the United States. God Bless the USA!

It is also Sunday so we will  join Chari at Happy to Design for Sunday favorites and Charlotte and Ginger at Blogger Spirit for Spiritual Sunday.  Enjoy your Sunday and Happy Independence Day!



Oh, and before we get to the post, I want to add another link:

Pink Saturday

Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound

As I sat down to do this post, I noticed that my Saturday post was not correct 🙁 I posted a draft instead of the completed post that did not include Beverly’s link – So sorry! I have corrected the Saturday post and am also adding her link here as well. Beverly, please forgive me – I wouldn’t want anyone to miss your wonderful Pink Saturday party!!

Okay, so now on to the post – a Sunday Favorite that does double duty as an entry for Spiritual Sunday. Last year I posted the Declaration of Independence. I am doing the same this year. If you have never read it, please read it now! Also, I am re-posting the YouTube video we made from the grand finale of our local fireworks show. Set to the National Anthem, it is a great show! Enjoy!

From July 4th 2009:

Happy Independence Day!

Wishing all of you a happy and safe 4th of July. Please take a moment to read the Declaration of Independence.

Of all of the text of this document one of my favorite lines is, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

The courage of our founding fathers is evident in those words. They risked death to declare our independence. When Benjamin Franklin was asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got – a Republic or a Monarchy?” He replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”* It’s up to us to keep it!

Here is the text of the Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

* ATTRIBUTION: The response is attributed to BENJAMIN FRANKLIN—at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation—in the notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland’s delegates to the Convention.

And then the fireworks from June 29, 2010:

And from May 4th 2009:

Today’s Lagniappe: Mama’s Southern Fried Chicken
Mama tells me that to get it really crispy you need to fry it in shortening or lard.

shortening or lard
1 chicken, about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds, cut up
2 cups flour
seasoning salt

Salt the chicken. Heat the shortening or lard in a large skillet. Combine the flour with seasoning salt and pepper. Roll each piece of chicken in flour and place in the hot fat (about 370° F). Put the largest pieces in first, in the hottest part of the skillet. Arrange the chicken pieces in the fat, making sure not to overcrowd. Fry the chicken until outside is golden brown and crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes, turning once to brown both sides. Reduce heat and fry until cooked through golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Turn once. Drain chicken on brown paper or paper towels

The fat should be deep enough to cover the pieces when it boils up, but make sure you use a deep skillet, preferably one made for frying chicken, and watch carefully.

Southern Summertime Pinks

Submitted by Christi

Here are some of my favorite summertime pinks!

Pink Tomato

Pink Tomato

Crepe Myrtle

pink zinnia

Pink Zinnia

Mimosa Trees

Mimosa Trees

Pink Sunsets

Pink Sunsets

Pink Cake

Pink Cake

The list could go on and on and on . . .

What pink do you love this:

Pink Saturday

Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound

Southern ‘Maters

Submitted by Christi

Got some great little tomatoes out of my garden today along with a few herbs. I put together a little ‘mater salad.

Tomato SaladIt was really, really good – so it is this weeks entry for

With Designs by Gollum

Today’s Lagniappe: Christi’s ‘Mater Salad

Bake one Pepperidge Farm pastry shell for each serving (you can skip this if you are counting calories)
Quarter cherry tomatoes
Chop a little shallot (to taste)
Chop a bit of cucumber for each serving
Chop assorted garden herbs (I used parsley from the garden – basil would be good too – or whatever you like with tomatoes)
Maytag blue cheese, crumbled up – to taste (you can skip this too if you are counting calories but, I’m telling you, it really added A LOT of great flavor)
Salad greens

Place the chopped tomatoes and other veggies and herbs in a bowl and add a little salt and pepper and set aside. Toss the greens with a little vinaigrette. Place the dressed salad greens on a salad plate. Place the baked puffed pastry shell in the middle of the greens. Toss the tomato mixture with some of the vinaigrette. Spoon tomato mixture into and around the pastry shell. Add blue cheese to the plate in the tomato mixture in the shell and around the shell with the greens.

Apple cider vinegar
Olive Oil
Garlic powder (I was in a hurry!)
salt and pepper

Put it all in a bowl and mix it up with a whisk.