Southern Trip to the East (Southeast)

Submitted by Christi

We are so happy to have business to the East of us in Jonesboro, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee. Here are some pics form our recent early September trip to these lovely places.

The lake as we are leaving Mountain Home, Arkansas had a light fog over it.

Norfork Lake

Norfork Lake

As we pass through the small town of Ravenden, we see the Raven that watches over their city (a bit scary for my tastes, but to each his own!). I just think those eyes are kind of spooky.


Then on to the rice and soybean fields in the Delta of Arkansas. The fields had taken on some beautiful golden and green colors that just cried out for me to take a picture. Often as we pass through, we are treated to a fabulous show by the crop dusters dipping and lifting and soaring over the fields.

Rice field

rice field

soybean field

Just a beautiful drive through beautiful country!

Today’s Lagniappe:  Pecan Rice
Did you know that Arkansas is one of the largest producers of rice?

  • (7-ounce) package pecan rice
  • 3/4  cup  toasted chopped pecans

Prepare 1 (7-ounce) package pecan rice according to package directions. Stir in 3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans. Prep: 5 min., Cook: 20 min.

Note: Konriko Wild Pecan Aromatic Rice from Louisiana is a great source for pecan rice. Look for it in your local supermarket, or order directly from

Outdoor Wedenesday

Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer

Southern Spice

Submitted by Christi

After so much time not wanting to turn on the oven or turn on burners on the stove, it is nice to finally get a chance to cook again!

Tonight we had squash with cherry tomatoes and basil butter and jalapeno basil pork chops. Just from the recipe names you can see that I had to go out and harvest a good bit of basil (that would be 3 or more leaves).



I’ll leave you with the jalapeno basil pork chops – after the video of my nephew’s audition for History Channel’s Top Shot. Please go and view the video and if you have a YouTube account, leave a comment!

Today’s Lagniappe: Jalapeno Basil Pork Chops

1 (10 oz.) jar jalapeno pepper jelly
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 (1-inch thick) bone-in pork loin chops

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook 1st 3 ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring often. Add  salt and pepper to taste. Cook 5 minutes or until pepper jelly melts. Remove from heat and let mixture cool completely.

Pour 3/4 cup pepper jelly mixture into a large zip-top plastic bag, reserving remaining mixture; add porch chops, turning to coat. Seal and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes, turning pork chops occasionally. (I recommend a bit more than 30 minutes).

Remove chops from marinade, discarding marinade. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Grill, covered over medium-high heat 7 to 10 minutes on each side.

Serve with remaining pepper jelly mixture.

4 servings.


Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More

Southern Thanks

Submitted by Christi

Thank you for all the prayers and thoughts for my family upon the passing of my wonderful Grandpa, Frank Dicus. The “funeral” was a wonderful celebration of a life well lived.

We shared a lot of wonderful stories, some tears, some laughs and in the great Southern tradition, some wonderful food!

Thank you to all the wonderful cooks who contributed to the wonderful fare we enjoyed while remembering Grandpa!

So, of course, I have to share some recipes, don’t I?

One of the wonderful dishes we had was roasted brisket. Delicious and versatile. it is a great funeral dish!

Today’s Lagniappe:  Slow Roasted Brisket

* 4 to 6-lb beef brisket
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/4 cup brown sugar
* 1 tbsp paprika
* 2 tsp  salt
* 1/2 tsp black pepper
* 4 large onions, sliced
* 1/2 cup red wine, broth or water

Cooking Instructions

1. In a bowl or small food processor, combine the minced garlic, brown sugar, paprika, salt and pepper. By hand, rub this mixture all over the brisket, wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Live a wonderful life and enjoy as much as you can, and . . . join:
3. Lightly grease a roasting pan with vegetable oil cooking. Place the brisket in the pan and add the sliced onions. Pour the red wine or other liquid and cover the roasting pan very tightly with heavy duty foil (or the lid, if there is one). Place the pan in the oven and roast, undisturbed, for 3 hours. Uncover the pan and continue to roast for an additional hour, basting occasionally with the juices from the pan.
4. If you want to serve the brisket right away, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before slicing. Arrange slices on a platter, skim off any fat from the pan juices and spoon some over the meat. Serve the remaining pan juices separately.
5. If you are cooking this a day ahead of time, let the brisket cool completely, then refrigerate without slicing (it’s easier to slice the brisket when it’s cold). Skim off any congealed fat from the pan juices, slice the brisket thinly and arrange in the baking pan. Cover tightly with foil and reheat in the pan juices at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for about 30 minutes or until heated through.

So, my message today is to live a wonderful and fulfilling life! Eat wonderful food and enjoy:

With Designs by Gollum

Southern Summer Morning

Submitted by Christi

I’ve already been out to the Farmer’s Market this morning. Lovely tomatoes and Arkansas peaches – YUM! When we go home, I did a quick cleanup of the driveway before the heat get too unbearable. It is going to be over 100 degrees here AGAIN today! I really love Summer, but this is getting a bit old.

I love the Farmer’s Market – maybe there is just something about shopping outside! Of course, there is also the great benefit of getting local produce and actually meeting the people who grew it. There is the man who is telling me about the corn that he just picked last night. Then there is the lady who picks many of her tomatoes green for the market – “Cause, you know, you can’t just get those anywhere.”

The Amish family had fresh flowers today. I love that. Especially, since I didn’t plant my big garden with the zinnias this year. I have to be content with zinnias from the Farmer’s Market or with looking at pictures of my zinnias from last year.

Pink zinnia

Do you have a great Farmer’s Market near you? What is your favorite thing about your Farmer’s Market?

Today’s Lagniappe:  Ideas for Local Tomatoes
I found this at There are also a lot of great ideas for other local produce there. Check it out!

Quick idea No. 1: Mix chopped tomatoes and basil with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. Spoon onto toasted baguette slices.

Quick idea No. 2: Cut green grape or cherry tomatoes in half and top with a half-teaspoon of fresh goat cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pink Saturday

Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound

Southern Retro

Submitted by Christi

First a note to some of you with blogspot blogs. I went to visit several of my friends with blogspot blogs today and they would not allow me to leave a comment.  I’ll try again later. Hopefully, it was just a temporary thing.

Anyway, I was thinking back to my younger days today and remembering some of the things my mother used to make for parties.


Mama back when I was a little girl.

There were the little wienies in the crockpot with grape jelly and barbecue sauce. This sounds strange but it was really good. You put some on your plate and ate them with a toothpick.

Which reminds me . . . I was looking for some cocktail forks tonight and ended up wondering how it is I came to possess so many fondue forks. I actually found 3 sets of fondue forks! Is that strange, or what?

Okay, anyway, where was I? Oh yes, thinking of those things my mother used to make for parties. Oh yes, Rotel dip. Oh yes, I was asked what Rotel was and I never got a chance to reply to that. Rotel is a brand name and it is canned tomatoes with chili peppers. Kind of spicy and when you mix it with melted Velveeta cheese it makes a mighty tasty dip for Fritos!

She made lots of different kinds of cheese balls and party mix and dips for lots of friends who were always there to visit.

One of my favorites was hot cheese olives. The olives on the inside are encased in a kind of cheese straw kind of crust. They are so yummy!

Today’s Lagniappe:  Hot Cheese Olives

1 stick of softened butter
2 cups (8 oz.) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (at room temperature)
1 1/2 cups flour
dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 large egg
50 small pimento-stuffed olives, drained and patted dry

Preheat oven to 350. Beat the butter until creamy in a large mixing  bowl. Add the cheese and mix well. Stir in the flour salt, cayenne and Worcestershire. Been the egg and add to the dough and mix until just incorporated.

Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and pinch off a piece about the size of a walnut. Flatten the walnut size piece of dough in your hand. Place an olive in the middle and wrap the olive with the dough. Repeat until all of the olives are used.

Place dough wrapped olives on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes until done.

Serve hot.


Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More

Southern Tweaks

Submitted by Christi

Do you ever tweak a recipe? I do it all the time. As a matter of fact, almost every time I read a recipe, I immediately start thinking of ways to change it! That is, of course, unless it is something I have had and loved and want to try to duplicate.

Tonight, for instance, I wanted to grill some salmon. I saw a recipe by Bobby Flay:

  • 1 cup sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 salmon fillets, 6 ounces each

In a small saucepan over high heat, reduce the vinegar to 1/4 cup. In a mixing bowl, combine the vinegar syrup with the mustard, honey, and ancho chile powder and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let rest 30 minutes.

Preheat grill. Brush the salmon with the glaze and grill 3 minutes on each side for medium.

Okay, first of all, I did not have sherry vinegar. I had lots of kinds of vinegar, but no sherry vinegar. First change was to switch that to apple cider vinegar. Secondly, I did not have ancho chili powder (remember, I live in a very small town). So, for the ancho chili powder, I substituted Emeril’s Essence. It turned out very well.

I also make a few other changes all the time and those are my additions to –

Today’s Lagniappe: Christi’s Substitutions

I don’t really like cilantro (tastes soapy to me) – I always either leave it out or substitute parsley.

Not a big fan of curry (I think it is the tumeric) – just substitute traditional curry components without the tumeric.

I often substitute Splenda for sugar.

I like to add extra garlic to a lot of recipes.

Many recipes can be kicked up with a splash of hot sauce!

You know, sometimes you have to make do or, if you don’t like a flavor, just substitute something you do like.

What do you substitute?

With Designs by Gollum

Southern Grandmother

Submitted by Christi

One of the great blessings in life is to have a wonderful mother. I enjoy visiting with my own mother and I also enjoy hearing her talk about her mother, my grandmother. I was fortunate enough to have my maternal grandmother on earth until I was in my early 30’s.

It is wonderful to have a mother and grandmother who love the Lord and teach His ways.

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Proverbs 31:10-12 and 25-31(NIV)

It is  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!


Today’s favorite post remembers my grandmother, Johnnie Lloyd – from July 20, 2009

Southern Memories


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.

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 ‘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.

Southern Fun

Submitted by Christi

We will be really busy this weekend with our local Red, White and Blue Festival! Can’t wait for all the fun and festivities!

As you may know, in the South, we fry everything! Looking at the vendors for the festival I see fried Twinkies and Funnel Cakes and hot dogs and all kinds of crazy things!

The craziest thing on the menu (which I have never had) is Fried Twinkies!

Yes, you read that right. Do you dare? Have you?

Today’s Lagniappe:  Fried Twinkies

# 6 Twinkies
# Popsicle sticks
# 4 cups vegetable oil
# Flour for dusting
# 1 cup milk
# 2 tablespoons vinegar
# 1 Tablespoon oil
# 1 cup flour
# 1 teaspoon baking powder
# 1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Chill or freeze Twinkies for several hours or overnight.

2. Heat 4 cups vegetable oil in deep fryer to about 375 degrees.

  • 6 Twinkies
  • Popsicle sticks
  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1. Chill or freeze Twinkies for several hours or overnight.

    2. Heat 4 cups vegetable oil in deep fryer to about 375 degrees.

    3. Mix together milk, vinegar and oil.

    4. In another bowl, blend flour, baking powder and salt.

    5. Whisk wet ingredients into dry and continue mixing until smooth. Refrigerate while oil heats.

    6. Push stick into Twinkie lengthwise, leaving about 2 inches to use as a handle, dust with flour and dip into the batter. Rotate Twinkie until batter covers entire cake.

    7. Place carefully in hot oil. The Twinkie will float, so hold it under with a utensil to ensure even browning. It should turn golden in 3 to 4 minutes. Depending on the size of your deep fryer, you might be able to fry only one at a time, two at the most.

    8. Remove Twinkie to paper towel and let drain. Remove stick and allow Twinkie to sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

    Okay, enough craziness! Hope you all have a fun weekend!

    With Designs by Gollum

    Tell the truth now – have you ever indulged in this decadence?

    Southern Friday!

    Submitted by Christi

    Friday!!!! I love the word. It has been a crazy, crazy week and I’m looking for a couple of days to regroup!

    Anyway, for this week I will offer 3 words – Tabasco Praline Peanuts!

    Okay, just think about that for a while.  We actually have s0me of them here and they are outrageous! Anyway, I will have more information coming about them soon.

    In the meantime, after a busy week, we really needed something easy, peasy!

    Today’s Lagniappe:  Sugar and Spice Peanuts

    # 3/4  cup  sugar
    # 1/2  cup  water
    # 2  cups  shelled raw peanuts
    # 1  teaspoon  pumpkin pie spice

    Cook sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Stir in peanuts, and cook 10 minutes or until sugar starts to crystallize on peanuts. Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice evenly over peanuts, stirring to coat. Spread nuts in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet.

    Bake at 300° for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet. Store in an airtight container.

    Looking for some great recipes? Check out:

    With Designs by Gollum

    Southern Summertime

    Submitted by Christi

    Summertime and the livin’ is easy!

    It’s time for grillin’ and living outdoors – watching the lightnin’ bugs and the sweet smell of honeysuckle!

    You can grill lots of things!




    And, lots of variations on the theme! What are you grillin’?

    Today’s Lagniappe:  Grilled Shrimp

    # 3 cloves garlic, minced
    # 1/3 cup olive oil
    # 1/4 cup tomato sauce
    # 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    # 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
    # 1/2 teaspoon salt
    # 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    # 2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
    # skewers

    In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce, and red wine vinegar. Season with basil, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add shrimp to the bowl, and stir until evenly coated. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring once or twice.
    Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade.
    Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp on preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until done.


    Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

    Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

    The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More

    Southern Corn

    Submitted by Christi

    Just saw at the grocery store that Florida corn was in and on sale! Why do I love Florida corn? The truth is because my Mama always told how good it was and it is imprinted on my brain. My taste buds just naturally follow, but I think that it really is good!

    Corn is such a versatile vegetable. In the winter, I love it in a corn pudding. In the summer, grilled or roasted is the way to go! You know, I’ll be stocking up!

    Today’s Lagniappe:  Corn Salad
    Another great way to enjoy sweet corn in the summertime.

    * 6 ears corn, husked and cleaned
    * 3 large tomatoes, diced
    * 1 large onion, diced
    * 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
    * 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
    * 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    * 2 tablespoons white vinegar
    * salt and pepper to taste


    1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook corn in boiling water for 7 to 10 minutes, or until desired tenderness. Drain, cool, and cut kernels off the cob with a sharp knife.
    2. In a large bowl, toss together the corn, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, basil, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Chill until serving.


    Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

    Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

    The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More

    Southern Reunions

    Submitted by Christi

    What a day it has been. As I came home from running some errands, I found a beautiful chocolate lab running down the middle of my street dragging a blue leash. If you have read this blog, you know what a dog (and cat) lover I am. Well, the sweet dog came right to me. I picked up his leash and took him to our back yard, thinking, okay, now I have to find the owner!

    As it turns out, it took a few (three or more) neighbors, pulling together to find this sweet dogs owner. After a few misses, we located the owner, but alas, they were not home. Their gate, however, was left open and we could see how the dog got loose. We gave the dog some food and water and waited until the neighbor got home.

    Turns out this wonderful dog was a grand champion! He is eleven years old and is quite the escape artist. Well, we were so happy to have this sweet boy back home with his family. Our little lhasa apso and our sweet kitty, Calli, were relieved as well.

    This sweet dog was a little too big for their minds!

    So, today I am sharing a grand champion recipe. Just thought it was fittin’!

    Today’s Lagniappe:  Pecan Pie Cake
    A champion recipe if ever there was one – Enjoy!


    * 3 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted
    * 2 cups flour
    * 1 teaspoon baking soda
    * 1/2 cup butter, softened
    * 1/2 cup shortening
    * 2 cups sugar
    * 5 egg yolks
    * 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    * 1 cup buttermilk
    * 5 egg whites
    * 3/4 cup dark corn syrup


    * 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
    * 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
    * 1/3 cup cornstarch
    * 4 egg yolks
    * 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
    * 1/8 teaspoon salt
    * 3 tablespoons butter
    * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1. MAKE THE CAKE: Sprinkle 2 cups of the pecans evenly over the bottoms of 3 buttered 9″ round cake pans, shaking to coat both the bottoms and sides of the pans.
    2. Combine the flour and baking soda in a bowl; mix well.
    3. In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and shortening until light and fluffy.
    4. Gradually beat in the sugar.
    5. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, blending well after each addition; blend in the vanilla.
    6. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, blending well after each addition, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
    7. Stir in the remaining 1 cup pecans.
    8. In a clean bowl, using an electric mixer with clean beaters on medium speed, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
    9. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter to lighten it; fold in remaining whites.
    10. Pour batter evenly into the prepared pans.
    11. Bake at 350*F.
    12. for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    13. Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire racks; invert onto waxed paper-lined wire racks.
    14. Brush the tops and sides of the layers with the corn syrup; cool completely.
    15. MAKE THE FILLING: Whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, cornstarch, egg yolks, half-and-half, and salt in a heavy 3-quart saucepan until smooth.
    16. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil for 1 minute, or until the mixture thickens.
    17. Remove pan from heat; whisk in the butter and vanilla.
    18. Place a sheet of waxed paper on the surface of the mixture; chill for 4 hours.
    19. ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Place 1 cake layer, pecan side up, on a serving dish; spread with 1/2 the filling.
    20. Place the second cake layer, pecan side up, over the filling; spread with the remaining filling.
    21. Place the third cake layer, pecan side up, on top of the filling.
    22. Serve with whipped cream; store covered in the refrigerator.
    23. Bring to room temperature before serving.


    Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

    Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

    The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More

    Southern Strawberries

    Submitted by Christi

    I love strawberries! I decided to try out an idea I had brewing in my brain this past weekend. I took the lemon-thyme cookie dough that I just loved and used it as a crust for individual tart pans.

    The dough made a beautifully flaky crust for my tarts with a nice lemony, thyme flavor.

    In an effort to keep this figure friendly, I added cool whip free (the one with the South Beach diet approval) and lots (3 or more) of sliced strawberries that had been sweetened with Splenda. I added a little lemon zest on top for color and flavor.

    Oh, and by the way, I substituted Splenda in the cookie recipe as well. It was delicious. Think this might be a keeper. Try it and tell me what you think!

    Today’s Lagniappe: Lemon Thyme Cookies
    I know I have posted this a couple of times before. This time is with my new notes!

    * 1/2 cup butter, softened
    * 1/4 cup granulated sugar (substitute Splenda)
    * 1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme
    * 2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
    * 1 tablespoon lemon juice (increase this to 3 tablespoons for a more lemony flavor)
    * 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    * Coarse sugar or granulated sugar (skip this or substitute Splenda)


    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Beat the butter in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar until combined. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in thyme, lemon peel,  and lemon juice. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Knead until smooth; form mixture into a ball.

    2. Divide dough into three equal portions. Roll each portion into a 6×4 1/2-inch rectangle (about 1/4 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 1 1/2-inch squares with a scalloped-edge pastry wheel. Sprinkle cutouts with coarse sugar. Place cutouts on ungreased cookie sheets.

    3. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are just lightly brown. Transfer to wire racks and let cool. Makes 36 cookies.

    4. To store: Place cookies in layers separated by pieces of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw cookies, if frozen, before serving.

    Note:  If you want to use this in a tart pan, you will need to add more flour and be sure to flour your hands well!


    Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

    Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

    The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More