Southern Happy Thanksgiving

Submitted by Christi

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from A Southern Life. Hope you have all had a wonderful holiday and the weekend  will be peaceful and joyful!

We have had so much fun here with all of the family. My sisters and I enjoyed singing together with my mother.

My sisters Linda and Tammy and my niece Brenden

My sisters Linda and Tammy and my niece Brenden

My other niece Taylor and Mama

My other niece Taylor and Mama

Brenden with Thanksgiving buffet.

Brenden with Thanksgiving buffet.

Today’s Lagniappe:  Black Friday Cocktail
Something to enjoy after a day of shopping (in the stores or online) and my contribution to Foodie Friday.

Add 2 shot glasses of vodka
Add 1 shot of vanilla vodka
Add ½ shot of Crème de Cacao
Add 1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup
Add ½ oz. of half and half
Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into chilled martini glass.

With Designs by Gollum

With Designs by Gollum

Southern Morning Treat

Submitted by Christi

Thanksgiving is almost here and my family is coming to visit! I am so excited and am really looking forward to it. There is sooooo much to do. When things get hectic it is so nice to enjoy the everyday things. Okay, so, I am a very blessed girl. here it is . . . my wonderful husband brings me coffee in bed every morning in my favorite cup.

My favorite cup.

My favorite cup.

It is pretty worn now and this is my second cup like this. It has a peachy pink rose on both sides. That is my favorite pink of everyday and I am sharing it for Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.

Pink Saturday

Pink Saturday

It used to have a lovely pink flower on the inside of the cup. that is completely worn off now. Even the handle has a pretty touch of pink on the top.


You may think the picture is blurry, but the top of the handle is pretty worn. We use our china around our home! At some point, I’ll have to see about replacing this one.


The light is different in the pic above but I wanted to show you another picture so you could see again the wonderful shape of the handle and the cute little feet on this wonderful cup.


This cup is from the Allyn Nelson Collection of fine bone china, made in England. It is a wonderful way for me to start every day! And, thank you to my wonderful husband for bringing me coffee in this wonderful cup each morning.

Today’s Lagniappe: New Orleans Cafe Au Lait
We always drink coffee with chicory. It is our favorite and a wonderful way to start the day. This recipe is for coffee with chicory mixed with milk like you would fine at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans.

  1. Divide the brewed coffee into 2 cups.
  2. Add steamed milk evenly to each cup topping them off with the froth from the steamed milk.
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon on top to garnish.

Southern Holiday Eve Recipes

Submitted by Christi

The whole gang (I’m sure my family appreciates being referred to as a gang) will be showing up the Wednesday before Thanksgiving or before. They will most likely be tired from their travels and need something warm and comforting to eat. Of course, there are a couple of considerations. One family member doesn’t like fish and another doesn’t like chicken. Okay, that leaves pork and beef or enough side dishes with the others that they will be enough. What to do? Be a little creative I guess.

How about Tortilla Soup with Beef?

Tortilla Soup

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons chopped onions
  • 6 2/3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans creamed corn
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded American cheese
  • 5 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, combine the ground beef and onions and saute for 5 minutes, or until beef is browned. Drain excess fat and set meat aside.

    In a large pot over high heat, combine the broth, tomatoes, cumin and garlic. Add the cayenne pepper, chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low.

    In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with the water, stirring well until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add slowly to the soup, stirring constantly, to thicken.

    Add the reserved meat, corn and cheese to the soup and stir well. Finally, add the tortilla strips and allow to heat through.

    Or maybe some chili

    Norvelle’s Jail House Chili

    I’ve posted this before, but it is worth posting again. Norvelle was my husband’s mother’s housekeeper who was like a second mom to him. She made this wonderful chili. This recipe is originally from A Cooks Tour of Shreveport from the Junior League of Shreveport, Louisiana, 1964. Norvelle’s version is quite a bit spicier than the original. The recipe here has the measurements that she used. She made her changes in pencil in the cookbook. Read more about Norvelle here.

    3 lb. diced lean beef or hamburger
    1/4 cup liquid shortening (I use a couple of tablespoons – Christi)
    1 quart water
    8 tablespoons chili powder
    5 teaspoons salt
    8 cloves finely chopped garlic
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    2 teaspoons marjoram
    1 teaspoon red pepper (can use 1/2)
    1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
    5 tablespoons paprika

    To thicken:
    3 tablespoons flour
    6 tablespoons corn meal
    1 cup water

    Heat oil in a large pot, add meat and sear over high heat, stir constantly until meat is gray but not brown. Add water and cover, cooking over low fire for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add remaining ingredients, except thickening, and cook at a bubbling simmer for 30 minutes. Mix together thickening ingredients and add to chili. Cook about 5 more minutes and stir to prevent sticking. More water may be added for desired consistency. If meat is very fat, skim off fat before adding thickening. This is rather hot chili. For milder flavor, cut the chili powder and red pepper in half but add more paprika for color.

    Or . . . maybe some baked potato soup with ham and cheese sandwiches.

    Baked Potato Soup

    3 pounds all-purpose potatoes, scrubbed
    and pierced in several places
    1 tablespoon stick butter or margarine
    1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
    2 tablespoons minced garlic
    1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
    3 cups milk
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper

    Shredded Cheddar cheese
    Crumbled bacon
    Chopped scallions

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    Bake potatoes 1 hour or until tender when pierced. Peel when cool enough to handle.

    Melt Butter in a 4- to 6-quart pot over medium low heat. Stir in onions and garlic; cover and cook 10 minutes until soft, but not brown. Add 2/3 of the potatoes and mash with a potato masher. Add broth, milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

    Cut remaining potatoes in small cubes. Add to soup and stir gently to reheat. Sprinkle each serving with toppings.

    I’m still trying to decide! What do you think? Do you have any Wednesday before Thanksgiving traditions or ideas?

    Don’t forget:

    RIGHT NOW: Collecting encouraging notes and NEW stuffed animals for the families and children of the injured or killed. Please send cards/letters and stuffed animals (and anything NEW that may brighten the life of a child) to:

    Soldiers’ Angels
    4408 PanAm Expressway
    San Antonio, TX 78218

    Plans are still developing, but the goal is to give these families and injured heroes something big to smile about when Christmas rolls around.  It starts with the $2,000 gift certificate for Christmas for an experience on Christmas Day that will make them forget about it all for at least a little while.  To contribute to the effort, got to the Soldiers’ Angels website and click the donation button in the upper left and add type “For Ft. Hood” in the comment box that pops up (donations marked this way will be used only for Ft. Hood survivors).

    God bless the survivors and their families!

    Today’s Lagniappe:  Cornbread Sticks
    The perfect accompaniment to any of the above!

    • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
    • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
    • 1/4 cup butter, melted
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 tablespoon  vegetable oil

    Combine first 5 ingredients; make a well in center. Stir together buttermilk, butter, and egg. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened.

    Heat cast-iron cornstick pans in a 450° oven 5 minutes or until hot. Remove pans from oven, and brush lightly with oil. Spoon batter evenly into hot pans.

    Bake at 450° for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans immediately; cool slightly on wire racks.


It’s a three-for Tuesday! Join these great blogs for more recipes and great ideas.

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 Honeymoon

Submitted by Christi

Okay, no more wedding pictures today (I think). If I were going to show you a wedding picture it would be of my wonderful and talented friend, Denise White, who sang The Lord’s Prayer at our wedding and also had a wonderful time singing with the Jack Mitchell Big Band at the reception. I even joined her for our signature Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy rendition, that we always sing when we get together.

Okay, the last of the Anniversary pics for now!

Today, I’m going to show you some of the fabulous honeymoon pics. Remember, that I traveled (a lot) back in the day. We travelled from Fayetteville, Arkansas to New Orleans, where we spent a couple of days, and then on to Jamaica, for a glorious 10 days and then back to New Orleans for a final three days, first class, round trip for  – $29.00 yes that is twenty-nine dollars. Thank God for frequent flier miles. I should have known all that travelling would pay off somewhere.

We stayed at Sandals – Negril. This was the view outside our door!

Sandals Negril Jamaica

Sandals Negril Jamaica

We had a sunset toast every evening.

Sandals - Negril

Sandals - Negril, Jamaica

Sandals - Negril, Jamaica

Sandals - Negril, Jamaica

Sunset in Jamaica

Sunset in Jamaica

We had a wonderful time in Jamaica. It was fun after New Orleans. We arrived in the late evening in Negril. We made our way to the nearest restaurant where we ordered some of the delicious local seafood. We requested a bottle of Chardonnay. The waiter asked us if we wanted red or white! We knew we were a long way from New Orleans, the home of some of the best food and wine in the world!


It’s a three-for Tuesday! Join these great blogs for more recipes and great ideas.

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More Tuesday

Today’s Lagniappe: Creole Onion Soup
This is a wonderful recipe from Brennen’s New Orleans. It is a great soup to have in the cooler months of the year!

(8 servings)
1?2 c. (1 stick) butter
1 large onion
1?2 c. all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef stock
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. white pepper
Salt to taste
2 tsp. eggshade or yellow food coloring (optional)
1?4 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese

Melt the butter in a large pot, and sauté the onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Blend the flour and cook the mixture over medium heat another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Adjust the seasoning with salt to taste. If desired, add the food coloring. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan, then serve.

Southern Wedding

Submitted by Christi

For my 12th wedding anniversary, which will be next Monday, October 12th, Ive been looking back at the big occasion this past week. I’ve been hooked on my own wedding!

The rehearsal dinner was held at the beautiful (and some say haunted) Crescent Hotel

The rehearsal dinner was held at the beautiful (and some say haunted) Crescent Hotel

The wedding took place at 6 p.m. at Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The wedding took place at 6 p.m. at Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas

A beautiful place

A beautiful place

My brother Jay walked me down the aisle

My brother Jay walked me down the aisle

Jay was a wonderful brother. My daddy died of cancer in 1992 (he was 54). My brother Jay (pictured above) died in 2001. So happy to have shared this wonderful time together.

My beautiful friends, sisters and niece

My beautiful friends, sisters and niece

Starting from the left is my sister Linda, then my best friend since 7th grade Jay (who died of breast cancer in 2005), me, my wonderful and dear friend Julie and my other sister Tammy. Aren’t they all beautiful? My little niece Taylor was my sweet little flower girl. My bouquet is gardenias, white roses and stephanotis.

The reception was held at the Basin Park Hotel

The reception was held at the Basin Park Hotel

The music was provided by the Jack Mitchell Big Band. They were fabulous. My sweet and talented friend Denise, who sang at the wedding, and I joined them for our version of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. We met when we were both in a singing group in college and have been friends ever since.

Cutting the cake

Cutting the cake with my wonderful husband, Joe B.

The cake was delicious!

The cake was delicious!

I’ve said it before, and still say that my wedding was the most fun wedding I have ever been to! We had such a wonderful time celebrating with our friends and family. Such a blessing to have all of them with us, we were truly blessed, and we knew it. We are still very happily married and are still very blessed.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud. It is not rude,
it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.

1 Corintians  13: 4-8

Today we are joining: Hooked on Fridays at Hooked on Houses and Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.

Today’s Lagniappe: Catfish Pecan Meuniere
Along with the beef tenderloin (see yesterday’s post), this fish was served at the rehearsal dinner.

1 cup flour
4 teaspoons creole seasoning
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
4 catfish filets
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 stick butter
1 cup pecan pieces
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1. Combine the flour with 2 teaspoons of the creole seasoning in a shallow bowl. In another shollow bowl, blend the eggs and milk together. Season the fish with the remaining 2 teaspoons of creole seasoning.

2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge the fillets in the flour, coating evenly. Dip the fillets in the egg mixture. Dredge again in the flour. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, lay the fillets in the skillet. Panfry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until golden. Transfer to a warm platter.

3. Discard any oil remaining in the skillet and wipe clean with paper towels. Return the skillet to the stove. Over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter foams, add the pecans and stir constantly for about 1- 1/2 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Add the parsley, garlic, lemon juice, Worcestershire, and cream. Stir with a whisk for about 15 seconds and remove from heat. Add the salt, cayenne, and remaining 6 tablespoons butter, broken into small chips, and stir until the butter melts completely.

4. Spoon the sauce over the fillets to serve.

Christi’s note: I usually cook the fish in one pan while I am making the sauce in another pan. This does mess up two pans and takes a little bit more effort with the timing but it cuts the preparation time down.

Southern Memories

Submitted by Christi


I was talking to my Mama about recipes that were handed down to her from her mother. Grandmother was a great home cook. Nothing complicated but a lot of goooood food. Grandmother knew how to stretch a dollar but still create flavorful meals.

Here are a couple of our favorites:

Hamburger Steak
Breaded and fried=down home goodness

Form ground beef (also known as hamburger meat) into thick patties. If you want to add chopped onion and Worcestershire sauce before you form the patties that is also good.

Mix together an egg and some milk in one bowl and put flour seasoned with salt and pepper in another bowl.  Dip the hamburger patties in the egg mixture and then the flour mixture.

Fry the breaded hamburger steaks in hot oil until done.

Grandaddy Potatoes
These were Grandaddy’s favorite potatoes. We always call them Grandaddy Potatoes.

Boil small potatoes (either red or small russet) in salted water. Serve the boiled potatoes whole. Serve with butter and sour cream. You can mash them with your fork at the table and add the butter and sour cream and salt and pepper. Simple and good.

Plum Dumplings
My mother tells me that when grandmother canned plums that she saved the juice from canning to make these plum dumplings. Just in case you don’t happen to be canning plums, you can use this recipe.

Make the dumpling batter:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup milk

Stir flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. Cut butter into dry ingredients, using a pastry cutter or fork. Add milk to form dough. Set dumpling dough aside.

Prepare Plums:

1 lb of plums pitted and diced
1/2 cup sugar
spices to taste if you like (such as nutmeg or ginger)
2 cups water

Combine all of the above and bring to a boil. Drop dumpling mixture by tablespoons into the boiling plum mixture. Cover the pot and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.

Actually, grandmother rolled out her dumpling dough and cut it into squares. You could always do that if you like as well.

I love recipes that are passed down. My grandmother loved to cook for her family and I remember many happy times at her table. No, none of these recipes are fancy or complicated. They are just simple and good.

Today’s Lagniappe: How to pick out good plums
You have to have good plums for good plum dumplings. I would love to tell you how to can plums, but, haven’t done that yet. I’ll do some research and let you know!

If you want to purchase plums that are ripe and ready to eat, look for ones that yield to gentle pressure and that are slightly soft at their tip. While you can also purchase plums that are firm and ripen them at home, avoid those that are excessively hard as they will be immature and will probably not develop a good taste and texture profile. Good quality plums will feature a rich color and may still have a slight whitish “bloom,” reflecting that they have not been overhandled. They should also be free of punctures, bruises or any signs of decay. Plums are generally available in the marketplace from May through the early fall.

Plums that are not yet ripe can be left at room temperature. As this fruit tends to mature quickly, check on them in the next day or two to ensure that they do not become overripe. Once they are ripe, plums can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. While plums can be frozen, to ensure maximum taste remove their stone pits before placing them in the freezer.

For the most antioxidants, consume plums when fully ripened


It’s a four-for Tuesday! Join these great blogs for more recipes and great ideas.

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More Tuesday

2nd Time Around with A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Southern Mimosa

Submitted by Christi
It's Foodie Friday with Designs by Gollum

It's Foodie Friday with Designs by Gollum

After all the great breakfast recipe lagniappes this week, I thought we needed to have something to drink with it. On special occasions, a Mimosa is the special touch to a wonderful brunch.


My husband tells me about Sundays as a kid, his father, Dr. Joe B. Wharton, would sometimes take him on rounds at the hospital and then they would attend St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in El Dorado, Arkansas. My husband’s god-mother lived across the street from the church. Often, after church they would go to his god-mother’s home, and they would have Mimosas and Brandy-Milk Punches (the adults, not the kids!). The kids would all run around and play and have a great time.

I grew up in a Baptist home where we had a Sunday lunch after church. No mimosas at our house! I love the line in the book “Being Dead is No Excuse” by Gaydon Metcalf where she explains that Methodists are Baptists that want to be Episcopalians.

Anyway, we really enjoy a brunch Mimosa on special occasions. Here is how I make them.

Pour a little Gran Marnier in a saucer. Pour a little sugar in another saucer. Dip the rim of a champagne glass in the Gran Marnier and then the suger. Pour the glass half full of brut champagne (or sparkling wine) and then finish with orange juice. You  can add a splash of Gran Marnier, if you like. Personally, it makes it a little too sweet for me.

What a relaxing and wonderful drink to have with a fabulous breakfast. Check out the earlier posts this week for the rest of the breakfast recipes including Linda’s Spicy Egg Casserole, Buttermilk biscuits, strawberry freezer jam and a delicious blueberry coffee cake.

Let’s see, what is the next special occasion? Labor Day? Oh, wait my older sister’s birthday is this weekend! Happy Birthday Tammy. Here’s to you!

Today’s Lagniappe: Garlic Cheese Grits
It’s a flashback to last March when I first added this recipe to the Lagniappe lineup. What better to have with the perfect breakfast?

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups grits
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 16 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • cayenne pepper to taste

Bring water and salt to a rolling boil; gradually stir in grits with fork. Cook, stirring constantly, until all water is absorbed. Stir in butter a tablespoon at a time; stir in the beaten eggs, working quickly so eggs will not cook before thoroughly blended into the grits, then stir in the shredded cheese, garlic and a little cayenne pepper. Put into a greased 2 1/2-quart casserole. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 to 20 minutes.
Serves 8.

Southern Watermelon

Submitted by Christi


This coming Sunday, summer is officially here! Nothing says summer to me more than watermelon. I remember, as a kid, eating ice cold watermelon on hot summer evenings. We always ate it outside since it can get kind of messy. Every time I eat watermelon, it brings back good memories of those simpler times and makes me feel a little bit like a kid again.

Many years ago, my father owned a grocery store in Norman, Oklahoma. Daddy was a master at picking out produce for the store. I remember, one time, for some reason, one of his refrigeration trucks full of watermelons was parked in front of our house. The truck had two small doors over the cab, in addition to the back door. My older brother and sister, Jay and Tammy, climbed up on the cab, through the small windows and dropped down into the truck. Once inside, they proceeded to eat watermelon.

Come to find out, getting in the truck was a lot easier than getting out. They couldn’t get back up to the doors to get out. Fortunately, my parents found them and they got out safe and sound and full of watermelon.

Daddy could give classes on how to pick out good watermelon, cantelope, strawberries and on and on. Here are some of his tips on watermelons:

  • Choose a watermelon that is uniform in size.
  • Look for the light yellow side of the watermelon. This light color forms as that side of the watermelon is on the ground while it is ripening. Watermelons do not continue ripening once the are cut so you want to choose one that ripened as it was on the vine, in the field.
  • Look for a watermelon that is blemish free and has a hard rind. Many people check the hardness of the rind by thumping on the watermelon. A thump that makes a hollow sound means the rind is hard. Personally, I just kind of knock on them to see if the rind feels hard.
  • Choose a watermelon that is a deep green and dull in color. Hopefully, your store will not polish their watermelons so you will be able to see the dullness.

Refrigerate the watermelon or ice it down in an ice chest for several hours to get it really cold before slicing it.

Join Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday by clicking on the logo.


    Today’s Lagniappe: Watermelon Basil Vinegrette
    Use this yummy vinegrette over greens and garnish with sweet chunks of watermelon.

    4 cups fresh watermelon, chopped and drained
    1/4 cup red onion, diced small
    2 Tbsp honey
    1/4 cup champagne vinegar
    3/4 cup canola oil
    2 Tbsp fresh basil chopped
    1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Combine watermelon, red onion, champagne vinegar, canola oil, basil, and parsley in a blender. Pulse on and off about 30 seconds until combined. Add pepper to taste.

Southern Sunday Favorite

Submitted by Christi

Today, I’m joining our friend Chari at Happy to Design for Sunday Favorites whre we get to share a favorite past post. I love this. Thank you Chari for the great idea!


So here it is. I always have enjoyed sharing with y’all about people I love. Here is one of my favorites:

Southern Mama-isms

A Southern Mother is something very special. They have the job of raising a good Southern girl. My Mother had several pieces of advise, or sayings, if you will, that are good for anyone. I call them Mama-isms.

  • You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.
  • If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
  • Sit up straight.
  • Put on your red badge of courage (meaning lipstick).
  • Set the table (something done every night with placemat, knife, fork, spoon, plate and glass – each in it’s proper place.)
  • Walk like a lady.
  • Never wake a sleeping child.
  • How’s your attitude? (Getting a good parking place anywhere, depends on your attitude!).
  • Pretty is, is pretty does.
  • All you can do is all you can do.
  • Consider the source and go on. (or as her mother – my grandmother put it: Pass and re-pass).
  • Smile and make people wonder what you’ve been up to (when you were frowning).
  • If your lip gets any lower you’ll step on it (when you were pouting)
  • If you don’t  watch out your face will freeze that way (when your face was anything but pleasant).
  • If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about!

There were many more. What did your Mama tell you?

Today’s Lagniappe: Recipe for Spicy Shrimp and Rice

2 lbs. unpeeled medium sized fresh shrimp
3 cups cooked long grain and wild rice mix (1 box Uncle Ben’s original   recipe with 23 herbs & seasonings)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 (10-3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
few dashes of Tobasco (to taste)
Cajun seasoning – around 1 teaspoon or more if you want more spice)

Melt butter over medium-high heat and add green onions; cook, stirring constantly, until tender

Combine all ingredients and spoon into a lightly greased 2 quart baking dish.

Bake at 375 degrees F. for 55 minutes.

Serve with crusty french bread, green salad and crisp white wine.

P. S. : Mama emailed me one that I left out that is important – Remember who you are and Whose you are.

Southern Flashback Foodie Friday

Submitted by Christi


I’m joining Kitchen Bouquet today for Flashback Friday and Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. I’m flashing back to remember one of my Daddy’s favorite dishes, chicken fried steak! His mother, my grandmother made this and my mother learned how to make her recipe from her and now my mother has taught me.

This is my Daddy.

This is my Daddy.

This chicken fried steak is tender and delicious. As with a lot of handed down recipes, this one doesn’t have measurements. It is a technique. Here it is:

Good quality tenderized cubed or round steak
Flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
Egg and Milk beaten together
Cooking oil or shortening

Heat about a 1/4 inch of oil or shortening in a large skillet.

Bread the steak in the flour first, then, the egg and milk, then, back in the flour. You can repeat this step if you like more breading – your call.

Fry the breaded steak until you can lift it easily. Turn it over and brown it on the other side.

Carefully, lift cooked steak out of the skillet and place in a foil liked pan. Don’t stack the steak. Put the pan in a 300 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour. You can leave it in the oven longer at a lower temperature if you like. Leaving it in the oven is an important step because it makes it really tender.

For the gravy. Keep about 2 tablespoons of the drippings in the pans. Deglaze the pan with a little bit of water. Add a little flour to the drippings to form a smooth paste then add milk. Heat until the gravy is thick. How thick? Well . . . as thick as gravy!

Today’s Lagniappe: Lemon Drop Martini

After that meal (or before) you may need something refreshing to drink!

1 1/2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce Triple Sec
1 teaspoon superfine sugar*
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
Ice cubes
Superfine sugar for dipping
Twisted peel of lemon

* Superfine sugar is instantly dissolving sugar that is typically used in drinks.

Mix the vodka, Triple Sec, sugar, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice; shake well (supposedly the cocktail is to be shaken 40 times to make sure the sugar is well blended). Pour strained liquor into sugar-rimmed martini glass and garnish with a twisted peel of lemon.

NOTE: To create a sugar-rimmed glass, take a lemon wedge and rub the drinking surface of the glass so it is barely moist. Dip the edge of the glass into the superfine sugar.

Makes 1 serving.

Y’all have a great weekend!

Mama’s Southern Guest Post

Submitted by Christi

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 desert.  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 headspace.  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 Planting and Old Wives’ Lore

Submitted by Christi


March 2nd – only 18 more days until Spring!

I was going to start planting seeds inside last week and got really sidetracked. I’m going to give it another try today. Buying plants and setting them out and watching them grow is certainly gratifying but nothing compares to watching something beautiful grow from planting a seed. I admit, I tend to get impatient for those first shoots of green to sprout but once they do it is nothing less than miraculous.

The moon is waxing so that also is a good time to get this done. My Grandmother and Grandaddy always had a large kitchen garden. I remember so many times Grandmother looking at the sky and telling what the weather was going to do or whether or not it was a good time for planting. More often, than not, she was right. They call that “Old Wives’ Tales” or “Old Wives’ Lore.” I love finding books about weather lore or gardening lore. So much of what is contained has been found to have a scientific basis. So glad that scientists have found that they knew what they were talking about all along.

This is from one of my books Old Wives’ Lore for Gardeners by Maureen and Bridget Boland:


Consider the Moon

Every Old Wife will tell you to sow seed and to transplant only with a waxing, never a waning moon. The scientists have now caught up with this, discovering the effects of lunar rhythms on the earth’s magnetic field which in turn effect growth. They have established that all water everywhere, including that inside the tiniest living organism, moves in tides like the sea. The moon also effects the earth’s atmosphere so that statistically it is more likely to rain heavily (just as you would like immediately after planting) immediately after a full or a new moon. They say that a potato grown at constant levels of heat and light under laboratory conditionsl will still show a growth rythm that reflects the lunar pattern. The Old Wife, without laboratory conditions or statistical tables, learned from experience how bst to get her plants off to a good start.

Sow seed generously:

One for the rook, one for the crow,
One to die and one to grow.

P. S. Happy Birthday to my beautiful niece Taylor.

Today’s Lagniappe: Hot Chicken Salad
I need to meet with several people next week. Rather than going out for lunch as we usually would do, I’m having them over and making a batch of this hot chicken salad that I will divide up and freeze so I can pull it out and have it ready for “meeting days.” I’ll sprinkle on the cheese and chips just before baking.

1 c. mayonnaise (not salad dressing)
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. grated onion
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. cooked, diced chicken
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. grated sharp cheese
1 c. crushed potato chips

Blend mayonnaise with next 3 ingredients. Mix lightly with chicken, celery and nuts. Spoon into casserole. Sprinkle cheese, then chips on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until piping hot.

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 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 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.