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 Tablescape on the River

Submitted by Christi

Okay, technically, this is a “rock-scape” because we used the rocks as our table down by the White River. Check out past posts from this week to see the river house and some of the spectacular views. I may even throw in a few extras here. And, don’t forget, if you would like to have the river house as your very own, Visit my friend Ann at

Click on the first photo to start the show!

What a wonderful day on the river it was!

Today’s Lagniappe:  Grilled Butterflied Trout with Lemon-Parsley Butter
From Bobby Flay, this recipe sounds like a divine way to enjoy some of that trout from the beautiful White River!

4 (1-pound) trout without head, scaled, gutted, and butterflied (skin on)

Olive oil or canola oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Lemon-Parsley Butter, recipe follows

Parsley sprigs, for garnish

Lemon wedges, for garnish

Heat grill to high. Brush trout on both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, skin side down, until slightly charred and crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully turn each fish over and continue cooking until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove from the grill and top each 2 tablespoons of the Lemon-Parsley Butter. Garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon wedges and serve.

Lemon-Parsley Butter:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.

Hope you enjoyed your visit to A Southern Life today. Check out:

Tablescape Thursday with Between Naps on the Porch

with Between Naps on the Porch

and enjoy the lovely tablesettings of some very talented bloggers!

Southern Day at the River

Submitted by Christi

Just a few more pics from our day at the river with Ann and Randall Messick.  What a beautiful place they have. I’m not sure how they can bear to part with it. If you would like the house that has these spectacular views on the banks of the White River, visit them at

Click on any of the pictures to start the show or you can view with pic lens too!

Today’s Lagniappe:  Fried Trout
Yes, another trout recipe since that is what the White River is famous for!

One trout
1 cup of sour cream
2 tablespoons of butter
½ teaspoon of lemon juice
½ teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of lemon pepper
Cornmeal, for dredging
Shortening, for frying

Clean and wash the trout; then cut into serving pieces (keeping the skin on).

Add salt and lemon pepper, and coat throughout with cornmeal.

In a frying pan bring about 1/3 inch of shortening to high heat.

Add the trout, and fry for about 3-5 minutes; then turn and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until the trout is browned.

Place the trout on a hot serving platter.

Pour off the fat from the pan and replace with the butter. Add the sour cream, then stir with a spoon to loosen any dredgings.

Cook for about 5-10 minutes, but do not boil.

Remove the from heat, add the lemon juice and stir; then and pour over the fish.

Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer

Southern River Cabin

Submitted by Christi

Sunday afternoon, we visited with Ann and Randall Messick at their river cabin. It is a fabulous place right on the river. They have made it very cozy and it is now for sale! The perfect spot for someone who wants to get away from it all on the banks of the beautiful White River which is well known for it’s fabulous fishing.

River Cabin

A nice place to sit and enjoy . . .

River Cabin

The view!

River Cabin

Cozy living room.

Ann and Randall redid the floors. See the wonderful wood stove. The windows lead you to a screened in porch.

River Cabin Kitchen

The kitchen.

Ann took the fronts of her mothers old cabinets and put them on top of the kitchen cabinets. I love how the red color pops in this room.

Rack over the kitchen stove

Rack over the kitchen stove

Ann found this fabulous stove with cast iron burners and the rack behind is a great touch. Perfect for hanging your pots and pans.

kitchen table

Kitchen table

Well, the picture didn’t turn out as I had planned, but I love that you can see what the view is from the kitchen table. The table belonged to Ann’s parents and it goes with the cabin.

Kitchen cabinets

Kitchen cabinets

I love the glass fronted cabinets in the kitchen.

River cabin bedroom

Master bedroom

Even the bedroom has a fabulous view! There is another bedroom and a bathroom.

I think Ann and Randall have done a great job on their cabin and I don’t know how they can bear to part with it. But, they are. If you want more details, give them a call and check out their website.

Great views

Great views and great fishing.

Sorry, Miss Lilly doesn’t come with the deal.

I’ll be showing you more from the river cabin this week. Yes, we even did a tablescape while we were there!

This is Monday so it must be:

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Today’s Lagniappe:  Gaston’s Trout Amandine
I found this recipe at All Recipes and thought it was so appropriate. Gaston’s is farther up the White River from this river cabin. You may have seen some of Jim Gaston’s fabulous photos on this blog before. The White River is renowned for it’s trout fishing. Enjoy!

* 4  medium rainbow or brook trout, cleaned
* 2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
* Cracked pepper
* 1/2  cup  butter or margarine, divided
* 1 1/2  cups  slivered almonds
* 1/4  cup  fresh lemon juice
* 2  tablespoons  minced fresh parsley
* Garnish: lemon slices

Brush trout with 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and sprinkle with cracked pepper.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add 2 trout, and cook 6 to 8 minutes, turning once, or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove to a serving platter, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining butter and trout. Wipe drippings from skillet with a paper towel.

Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in skillet; add almonds, and sauté until golden. Stir in 1/4 cup lemon juice and parsley; pour over trout. Garnish, if desired.

Southern Recovery

Submitted by Christi

As I am writing this, New Orleans is preparing to play in the NFC Championship game in the Superdome in New Orleans. Five years ago, after hurricane Katrina, it was said that another football game would ever be played in the dome. Win or lose – the people of New Orleans have something to celebrate. The people of New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast are resilient people. Yes, some will never go back, but those that do are the people who love their cities and are helping to rebuild.

Here is an ariel view of the Superdome just after Katrina.

Here is an aerial view of the Superdome just after Katrina.


And now.

The Bay St. Louis Bridge in Mississippi after Katrina

The Bay St. Louis Bridge in Mississippi after Katrina

And now.

And now.

Some of my very favorite places – New Orleans and the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Great people, great food, great views, great music – just a great place.

Today’s before and afters are my contribution to

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Today’s Lagniappe: Commander’s Palace Creole Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce
Absolutely delicious, this recipe comes from the Commander’s Kitchen Cookbook (lots of other yummy delights in this cookbook as well! See details below the recipe.)

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 12 medium eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 ounces day-old French bread, sliced 1 inch thick (see Note)
  • Whiskey Sauce (see below)

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Butter a large (11 x 8 1/2 x 3 inches) casserole dish and set aside. (Once in the oven, the casserole will sit inside a larger pan. A roasting pan would be good.) Mix the eggs, cream, and vanilla in a large bowl, and combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a separate bowl. This helps to evenly distribute the spices. Add the sugar mixture to the egg mixture, and combine thoroughly.

Place the raisins in the bottom of the buttered casserole, and add the bread slices in a single layer. Gently pour the custard over the bread, making certain that all the bread thoroughly soaks up the custard. Cover the casserole with foil, place in a larger dish (the roasting pan, if that’s what you’ve decided to use) partly filled with hot water, and bake for 2 1/2 hours. Remove the foil, add increase the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Bake for 1 hour more, or until the pudding is golden brown and slightly firm. Use a spoon to make sure the custard is fully cooked; it should be moist but no longer runny. If you’re unsure whether it’s done, remove it from the oven and let it cool while it remains sitting in the water bath; the carryover effect will keep it cooking but it will not overcook. Serve slightly warm with whiskey sauce.

Note: New Orleans French bread is very light and tender. Outside New Orleans, use only a light bread. If the bread is too dense, the recipe won’t work.

  • Whiskey Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup bourbon

Bring the cream to a boil, combine the cornstarch and water, and add the mixture to the boiling cream, stirring constantly. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, being careful not to burn the mixture. Add the sugar and bourbon, and stir. Let cool to room temperature.

Southern Trip

Submitted by Christi

Today, I’m still sharing some of our quick weekend trip to Vicksburg, Mississippi. If you have been following along this week, you know that we were there to visit my husbands high school, All Saint’s Episcopal. The school opened in 1908 and closed in 2006. He was there to talk to other alumni about the upcoming celebration of the school and deconsecration of the alter in the chapel. The school has been leased by Americorp and the campus will be used as a training center.

Bratton Memorial Chapel

Bratton Memorial Chapel

I love the gothic arched doorway.

I love the gothic arched doorway.

Across from the chapel is the rectory where the headmaster lived. This is where the alums met and where we enjoyed that delicious shrimp remoulade for lunch.

Across from the chapel is the rectory where the headmaster lived. This is where the alums met and where we enjoyed that delicious shrimp remoulade for lunch.

This is Green Hall. It housed classrooms and resident students. My husband lived on the top floor.

This is Green Hall. It housed classrooms and resident students. My husband lived on the top floor.

Another view of Green Hall.

Another view of Green Hall. My husband tells me in his day this porch was lined with rocking chairs.


I’m sure all of the students who attended All Saint’s will really enjoy their reunion in November. It looks like it will be a wonderful celebration for all of them.


Join Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday!

Today’s Lagniappe (lagniappe=something extra): Scalloped Okra with Corn

The okra in my garden is starting to come in. My favorite way to eat okra is fried, but, here is a great recipe that is a little different.

  • 2 cups sliced fresh or frozen okra
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 can (11 to 15 ounces) whole kernel corn, or about 1 1/2 cups cooked corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs

Stir-fry okra in 2 tablespoons butter for 10 minutes. Place in baking dish alternating layers with drained corn. Make a white sauce by melting remaining butter in a saucepan over low heat and blending in flour. Milk should be added all at once, cooking quickly and stirring constantly. Cheese is stirred in until blended. Pour this mixture over vegetables. Melt remaining 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with bread crumbs. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over casserole. Bake at 350° for approximately 45 minutes, until the casserole is heated through and the crumbs are brown.

6 to 8 servings.

Southern Metamorphosis

Submitted by Christi

Sunday, my wonderful husband and I took a little drive. We enjoy driving out to the lakes or down to the rivers here in our little neck of the woods. We are always struck by the transformation of this house:


It went from this (see above). To this:



Isn’t that amazing. I’ll try to get more pics for future posts but it really  is wonderful what they did to this place. Before it was about to fall down. Now, what you have to know is that this place had to keep at least one wall in tact while remodeling/rebuilding. This is due to the fact that it is on septic. We won’t get into all the nasty details about that. Apparently, they moved the walls within several times before the final product. So glad this old gem was saved. It has a spectacular view of the lake from the back deck and, if for now other reason, it should be saved for that!

Today’s Lagniappe (lagniappe=something extra): Boat Dip:
If your going to live by the lake, you need to have a boat, or, at least, this boat dip!
1 pint sour cream
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1/3 Cup chopped green onion
2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

Combine ingredients. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or more. Serve with cut-up fresh vegetables and potato chips.

Southern St. Patrick’s

Submitted by Christi
Photo: Courtesy of the Savannah St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee

Photo: Courtesy of the Savannah St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Hope you are wearing your green so you won’t get pinched. I remember as a kid people who didn’t wear green would say they were wearing green underwear so you wouldn’t pinch them. Didn’t you hate that?

One of the biggest celebrations in the U. S. of St. Patrick’s Day is held in the beautiful Southern city of Savannah, Georgia, which has been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day since 1813. According to the Chicago Tribune’s March 14th edition,

Savannah, Ga., is well known for its haunted mansions and Southern charm, but every March, the cobblestone streets along the Savannah River become the focal point of the second-largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the nation. That’s right—it’s larger than Chicago’s and Boston’s, taking a back seat only to New York City.

Around here at our home, we have are having a quiet celebration. We will wear green and NOT pinch people who are not wearing green (although, we should). We will wish people Happy St. Patrick’s Day and maybe have something Irish (potatoes?) with supper.

I want to link to another blog article from our friend, Rhoda at the Southern Hospitality Blog. She is a stay at home wife who has a small decorating business that she runs from her home. Recently, she posted some great decorating tips that I am happy to link to and pass on to you. Go visit her and read this great article and tell her Christi sent you.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Y’all!

Today’s Lagniappe: Potato/Corn Chowder
A little something for St. Patrick’s Day. You could add green food coloring but I wouldn’t 🙂

  • 2-3 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 med. onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. diced celery
  • 2 c. diced raw potatoes
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1 1/2 c. milk, warmed
  • 1 (16 oz.) can whole kernel corn
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • Pepper

In a large heavy saucepan fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towel. Pour off fat except for 1 tablespoon. Add onions to saucepan and saute until transparent, not brown. Add potatoes, celery and water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat. Cover pan and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add remaining ingredients and heat just to boiling.

For a richer chowder replace 1/2 cup regular milk with evaporated milk or light cream. Chowder has more flavor if it is made ahead and allowed to sit for several hours. Reheat before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Southern Sunshine and Mobile, Alabama

Submitted by Christi


Hooray! Daylight Saving Time starts this weekend. I don’t mind the dark mornings for a few weeks. Of course, I love it in June when you start hearing the birds singing around 5 a.m. and the days are looong.

I love sitting on my porch long into the evening. In the Summer, I even brave the mosquitoes to sit out and watch the lightning bugs. I love how the world (or at least my world) wakes up in the spring and the flowers start blooming and the air smells so fresh. I think I’m sounding a little crazy, must be that Spring Fever again.

By the way, thank you to the readers from Wisconsin who came to visit. Welcome! And, of course, thank you to the people from Alabama. You are great to come and visit. For the life of this blog, which isn’t actually that long, you have been great about visiting from the start.

I have to tell you how crazy I was when visiting Mobile, Alabama one time. I was staying at the Ramada Inn downtown and doing work at Christ Church, an old Episcopal church downtown. First, about the church. It is a beautiful church that was established in 1823. It has a great history and features stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Anyway, I left my hotel room in search of Mobile Bay. I love to watch the water. I drove and drove and ended up on some remote road. After driving several miles, I finally turned around and returned to my hotel, disappointed. I asked the desk clerk how to get to the Bay. She told me, “It’s right there,” pointing in the opposite direction from where I had come. I could actually see the ships masts from my hotel window! I had been driving away from the Bay all that time!

Okay, I think I’ve told on myself enough today.

Today’s Lagniappe: Gooey Butter Cake

* 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
* 1/2 cup butter, melted
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 4 cups confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Mix cake mix, melted butter or margarine, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 eggs with a spoon.
  2. Pat into a 9 X 13 inch pan.
  3. Mix cream cheese, 2 eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla with an electric mixer. Slowly beat in confectioner’s sugar. Pour over cake layer.
  4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool.

Are You Southern?

Submitted by Christi

Just checked out Southern Living online. They asked the question, “What makes a person Southern?” Then they assembled a list of 40 things that every Southerner ought to do. I’ve decided to assemble my own list of things that I’ve done that I think every Southerner should do.  Some are from their list, but most are my own. What would you add?

  • Have beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans and blow powdered sugar on your friends.
  • Cross over the Chattahoochee River on my way to Phoenix City Alabama from Columbus, Georgia while Alan Jackson is singing “Way Down Yonder on the Chattahoochee” on the radio and sing along.
  • Have a slaw burger and  a cheerwine in North Carolina.
  • Drive on Daytona Beach, Florida.
  • Scoot a boot at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth.
  • Attend a party at South Fork in Dallas, Texas.
  • Take a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Charlottesville, Virginia from the Boar’s Head Inn ending with a champagne celebration.
  • Attend the crawfish festival and pinch the tails and suck the heads in Beaux Bridge, Louisianna.
  • Listen to blues on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee after having just eaten great barbeque.
  • Grow mint to make mint juleps for Kentucky Derby day (or any other day for that matter).  Haven’t ever made it to the actual Derby but I enjoy joining in the fun at home.
  • Cheer till your throat is soar at any SEC football game. (I cheer for Arkansas – wooo pig!).
  • Grow tomatoes and okra.
  • Grow roses and win a blue ribbon with one at the county fair.
  • Set a beautiful table.
  • Drive from Columbus, Georgia to Warner Robbins on a warm summer day (I did this for a work trip and enjoyed the scenery).
  • Collect Southern cookbooks.
  • Have breakfast at Brennan’s in New Orleans.
  • Attend Jazz Fest in New Orleans.
  • And of course (from the SL list) . . .
  • Mind your manners.
  • Talk Southern y’all.

I’m sure given the time I will think of many more. What about you? Feel free to comment!

Todays Lagniappe: Mama’s Beef Stroganoff

1-1/2 lb. sirloin steak cut into pencil thin strips
1 cup flour (for dredging)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 small onions, chopped fine (I usually use one medium)
1/2 lb mushrooms (can use canned if you prefer)
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 – 6 tablespoons butter (Mama says it always takes more)

2 tablespoons flour
1 (10-1/2 oz.) can beef consumme
1 pint sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Season flour with salt and pepper. Dredge strips of meat in flour. Melt butter in large skillet. When butter is foaming, add the meat. Brown the meat a little and then add the onions, mushrooms and garlic. Cook until onions are transparent.

Remove meat mixture from the pan and keep warm. Reserve 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan (this is where you probably have to add more). Sprinkle flour in the hot butter and stir until smooth. Add beef consumme and cook for a couple of more minutes. Lower the heat and add the sour cream (do not let the sour cream curdle). Add the salt, pepper and stir in the Worcestershire.

Return the meat mixture to the pan with the sauce and stir to get the meat covered with the sauce. Serve warm over egg noodles.

A Southern Accent

Submitted by Christi

I am currently living farther North than I have ever lived in my life. It is still considered the “South” but it is different. I got to thinking about it. The South is a pretty vast region that is bound together with a common history but with still a lot of differences. We all say y’all but there are definitely different flavors of Southern accents. There are the Carolina’s with their flavor which is decidedly different than that of Georgia and Alabama. There is Mississippi and Arkansas which are different from the Georgia. There is Louisiana with its Cajun flavor and the strange almost New Jersey sounding accent of some from New Orleans. I think this is part of what I love about the South. It is a region rich with diversity but bound together with a heritage that is as thick as molasses.

I have traveled quite a bit, thanks to my former job, training all over the United States. (See my “places I’ve been” on my facebook page) Nothing makes you feel more Southern to be in Chicago and have them whisper behind your back, “Did you hear her say y’all?” Or the time I was asked if we wear shoes all of the time. I’m not really sure what that was about. It seems when you are a novelty it just brings out the real Southerner in you. My Southern drawl would tend to get a little drawlier (if that is a word) and I enjoyed their smiles when I would say I was “fixin” to do something. Being a novelty is fun for a while, bless their hearts. It is always nice, though, to get back to the people who talk like you do (even if it is in another flavor) and share with you the common bond of being “Southern.”

Todays Lagniappe: Recipe for Cheese Straws

10 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
1-1/3 sticks butter
1-3/4 cups flour (not sifted)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon Tabasco

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix cheese and sofented butter. Add all other ingredients and work into stiff douh. Put though cookie press with star design in long rows on a cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes. Cut in 3-4″ strips.