Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy 90th Birthday Ms. Betty

Born in the rolling hills of middle Tennessee on the family farm was an only child, my mother-in-law, Ms. Betty.  It's been 90 years since she greeted this world after being born right there in the house she grew up in.  In 2017 that house will be one hundred years old.   Through her lifetime she never ventured far from her birthplace or from her memories.  She married, had her children and all the while remaining close to the homestead.   When Stone and I drive up for a visit, we occasionally take a drive so Ms. Betty can visually see that all is good at the old home place.  I've heard the stories about her life numerous times while growing up during WWII and seeing the soldiers using their land for drills.  Her father would tell her when she got in from school to go directly into the house.  He didn't want Betty Ann conversing with the soldiers.  She did as she was told and went inside.  I asked her if any of the soldier boys caught her eye.  She said not a one since she was madly in love with someone at the time. That didn't stop her from relishing all the attention.  She would get off the school bus and walk up the sixteen steps that lead to the front porch of her home as the soldier boys did a rifle salute for her by lining both sides of the sidewalk. The windows of the house would be open with just the screens in place.  The soldier boys would ask her to turn on the radio and of course she obliged.  
It's been many years since those days.  Ms. Betty now lives in an Assisted Living, not far from her home on the hill.  Her day starts at 6 am.  She gets dressed and all adorned in her jewels before leaving her room.  Ms. Betty has always loved jewelry and doesn't miss a day adding a little sparkle.   She makes her way to the dining hall and joins her three friends, all widows.  Life here is from another era, with names like Cora, Ethel, Lady Clair and Betty Jo.  They speak of jobs that no longer exist.  No one has a cell phone and very few know how to use the computer.  They spend their day playing games like rook and bingo.  It's not home.  It's a different sort of life than she was used to but she is comfortable, safe and happy.
  
Happy Birthday, Buttercream Frosting, Red Velvet Brownies,Funfetti Cake,Middle Tennessee,Farm,WWII,jewelry,soldiers.rook,bingo
Red Velvet Funfetti Birthday Cake

Ingredients for Red Velvet Brownie Layer:
1 (4 ounce) bittersweet chocolate baking bar, chopped
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1  1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 (1 ounce) bottle red liquid food coloring
1 1 /2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Directions for Red Velvet Brownie Layer:
Preheat oven to 350'.  Line bottom  of a 7" round pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray.
Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals.  Whisk in sugar.  Add egg, 1 at a time, whisking just until blended after each addition.  Gently stir in flour and next 4 ingredients.  Pour mixture into prepared pan.
Bake at 350' for about 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs.  Cool completely on a wire rack.
Ingredients for Funfetti Cake Layer:
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1/4 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla; or greek yogurt; or sour cream)
3/4 cup milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup sprinkles (not nonpareils)
Directions for Funfetti Cake Layer:
Preheat oven to 350'.  Line two 7" round cake pans with parchment paper and spray with baking spray.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  In a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave.  Whisk in the sugars, getting out any brown sugar lumps, mixture will be gritty.  Whisk in egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined.  Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no lumps remain.  Batter will be thick.  Slowly stir in sprinkles, but do not over mix because the sprinkles will bleed their color.
Pour batter into prepared cake pans.  Bake for 20 minutes.  or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool.
Ingredients for Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
8 cups sifted confections sugar
4 Tablespoons milk
Instructions for Buttercream Frosting:
In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and  fluffy.  Beat in vanilla.
Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed.  Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.  When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
Gradually add milk; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
To Assemble Cake:
Place Red Velvet layer on cake board.  Layer with a small amount of frosting.  Next place one layer of the Funfetti Cake, frost.  Place remaining layer of Funfetti Cake on top.  
Use remaining frosting to frost outside of your cake with coloring and style of your choice.

Happy Birthday, Buttercream Frosting, Red Velvet Brownies,Funfetti Cake,Middle Tennessee,Farm,WWII,jewelry,soldiers.rook,bingo

Friday, December 26, 2014

Final Day On Holden Beach

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
Holden Beach Fishing Pier

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
The pier is a great spot for fishing and tremendous views.

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
Under the pier the waves are strong.

The tide rolling in.

Stone and I passed ten dolphins on our walk this morning.

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
The infectious laughter of Mary Paulsen
of
Mary's Gone Wild
The Visionary Folk Art Garden and Doll Baby Village of Mary Paulsen of Holden Beach, NC
Mary's paintings now hang in all 50 states including mine, Tennessee and in numerous countries throughout the world.  The money Mary gets from her sold art goes to Feed Hungry Children throughout the world.  This year alone they feed 40,000 Children.
Mary has numerous books out and has been interviewed on TV twenty-six times.

Dishes in the doll houses.

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
 The many lustrous arts of Mary Paulsen.

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
 Bottle Lighthouse

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
Checker board painted in a window pane.

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
Sailboat made from wine bottles.

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
Mary has many paintings that she painted on old recycled windowpanes.

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
Mary laid her first bottle October 5, 2008.

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
Old table that Mary painted, protecting it with a glass top.

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
Betty Boop

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
After spending some time at Mary's place, we quickly made our way back to our cottage.  We were hungry so I had some shrimp in the refrigerator and quickly roasted them and served them with cocktail sauce, cheese and crackers and a few grapes.  This should remove our hunger until dinner time.

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
Ingredients:
1 pound (12-15 count) Shrimp
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400'.  Peal and devein shrimp.   Mix well with olive oil, salt and pepper, place on cookie sheet pan.  Roast until pink and firm about 8-10 minutes.  Serve with Cocktail sauce or sauce of your choice.

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
Stone made a stack.  Cracker, cheese, shrimp, cocktail sauce, then topped it off with a grape.  Actually he surprised me by doing this.  He usually doesn't like so much going on.

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
Stone made a special trip to the grocery just for bread so I could feed the seagulls.

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
Abby Gail, Stone and I in front of our cottage.

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
 Abby Gail

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
The seagulls can be kind of frighting when they come right at you.

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
Abby Gail has made many friends.

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
Holden Beach, North Carolina

Holden Beach, Holden Beach Pier, Mary Paulsen, Mary's Gone Wild, Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, The Tree Pose, Holden Beach Pier
Family Tree
On
Holden Beach

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas From Holden Beach

Holden Beach.Christmas, lobster, Oatmeal Pie, Yahtzee.,
Someone had written Merry Christmas on the beach.

Holden Beach.Christmas, lobster, Oatmeal Pie, Yahtzee.,
Live lobster headed for the boiling water.

Holden Beach.Christmas, lobster, Oatmeal Pie, Yahtzee.,
These lobsters didn't squeal, but I sure did.

Nine minutes, then they where on our table to be devoured.

Holden Beach.Christmas, lobster, Oatmeal Pie, Yahtzee.,
May you never be without a drop at Christmas.

Holden Beach.Christmas, lobster, Oatmeal Pie, Yahtzee.,
Nice and red.

Holden Beach.Christmas, lobster, Oatmeal Pie, Yahtzee.,
Heading to the dinner table.

Holden Beach.Christmas, lobster, Oatmeal Pie, Yahtzee.,
Our Christmas Dinner

Holden Beach.Christmas, lobster, Oatmeal Pie, Yahtzee.,
It took a while but we plowed through them.

Holden Beach.Christmas, lobster, Oatmeal Pie, Yahtzee.,
Leftover Oatmeal Pie from last night, served with caramel ice-cream.

Holden Beach.Christmas, lobster, Oatmeal Pie, Yahtzee.,
Bringing Christmas to an end with yahtzee.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Stormy Christmas Eve

I woke up to 65' with heavy rain.  This was going to be the perfect day for reading.  As usual, I was the first one up.  I sat by the window for sometime, watching the rain pour while the waves crashed onto the shore.  The clouds hung low over the ocean as I retrieved my book and resumed my novel, The Summer Wind by Mary Alice Monroe.  This book that also takes place on a beach, Sullivan's Island, is about the reuniting of three half-sisters, second chances, sisterhood and lifelong bonds.   Snuggling into a cushy chair with my diet coke and a view of the storm I sat for hours, losing myself in my book.  Slowly, I was joined by Stone and Abby Gail, each excited for a lazy morning.  Stone began reading his novel by David Baldacci and Abby Gail watching her series on her computer.  

Christmas Eve, Holden Beach, Shrimp Ceviche,Calamari Taco's,Oatmeal Pie.

There was finally a break in the rain and Stone and I took off for a walk, not making it even a mile when the rain started. Quickly we made our way back just prior to the downpour.  We eventually did get to walk 4.75 miles.  Again the rain started up.  I was so disappointed that I didn't find any treasures on the beach today.  I just knew with the storm it would bring in  all sorts of finds.  After giving up on walking, Abby Gail and I decided to make Ceviche for a late afternoon appetizer.  I have made this many times and it never disappoints. I served it with these Holiday Tortillas Festive Chips that were red and green.  It didn't take us long to devour the entire dish.  Either we were hungry or it was just that good.  I think it was the latter.

Christmas Eve, Holden Beach, Shrimp Ceviche,Calamari Taco's,Oatmeal Pie.
Shrimp Ceviche
Yield: 4 Servings
Ingredients:
1 pound 51-60 count peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
1 avocado diced
1 ((10 ounce) container grape tomato's, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled cucumber
1/4 cup thinly slice green onion
1- 1/2 Tablespoons seeded and minced jalapeƱo 
Lime wedges for garnish
Tortilla Chips for serving
Instructions:
In a bowl, combine shrimp and 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup lime juice.  Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to overnight, stirring at least 2-3 times.
In a bowl, mix together oil, paprika, sugar, lemon zest, salt, lime zest and remaining 2 Tablespoons each lime juice and lemon juice.
Just before serving, drain excess liquid off of shrimp mixture.  Add cilantro, tomato, onion, cucumber, oil mixture, avocado, and jalapeƱo; toss to combine.  Serve immediately, garnished with lime wedges.  Serve with tortilla chips, if desired. Recipe adapted from: http://foxeslovelemons.com/shrimp-ceviche/

When we are at the beach, I like to cook at our cottage instead of going out to eat.  I do tend to make things that use just a few ingredients since my supplies are limited here.  Therefore, instead of breading and frying my calamari, I just purchase it frozen and it works just fine.  Nobody at our table was complaining.

Christmas Eve, Holden Beach, Shrimp Ceviche,Calamari Taco's,Oatmeal Pie.
Calamari Taco's
Serves: 4
Instructions:
2 boxes frozen  (10 ounces each) crispy breaded calamari rings
1/2 bag shredded coleslaw mix
1 handfull cilantro, chopped
Flour tortilla's
Yum Yum Sauce
Directions:
Bake calamari rings as directed on package.  Add cilantro to coleslaw mix.  Place flour tortilla on a plate.  Put a desired amount of coleslaw mix onto of half of tortilla.  On top of that spoon on some yum yum sauce.  Lastly place calamari rings on top of yum yum sauce.
  
Here is a little history on Oatmeal Pie.  During the Civil War, pecans were in short supply in the South, therefore oatmeal was substituted for pecans and this tasty pie was created.
Abby Gail came across this particular recipe months ago.  She even sent it to me since I love to entertain, saying I should bake this for one of my dinner parties.  I never did.  So I promised that I would make it on Christmas Eve since she would be spending the holidays with us and be able to try it.   This pie is sooooo yummy.  I can't believe I waited so long to try it.  I will definatly be making this again very soon.

There was no rolling pin or pie pans here at the cottage so I had to purchase some disposable pans.  For a rolling pin I used a wine bottle that was chillin in the refrigerator.  Hey, it worked, and being chilled, it kept my crust cold.  My mama said that my grandma always used a wine bottle for a rolling pin.

Christmas Eve, Holden Beach, Shrimp Ceviche,Calamari Taco's,Oatmeal Pie.
Oatmeal Pie
Ingredients:
2 cups light brown sugar
2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (uncooked)
1 (9")pie crust, unbaked
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350'.  In a large whisk together sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.
Stir in beaten eggs, corn syrup, melted butter and vanilla until combined.
Mix in oatmeal.
Pour into unbaked pie crust.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.  If needed, cover crust with aluminum foil to avoid burning.
Let cool to allow filling to firm up a bit, or not if you just can't.  Serve warm with ice-cream.  Recipe from: http://shewearsmanyhats.com/oatmeal-pie/

With our stomachs full we settled in to watch, "It's A Wonderful Life."  A 1946 Christmas Fantasy Comedy-Drama film.  It wouldn't be Christmas without seeing this movie.  We ended our evening by having some hot-tub time.



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Threatening Day At The Beach

Adult Tuna Melt's, Starkist Tuna Creations, Provolone Cheese, Tomato, Olive Oil, Seagulls, Shallotte NC, Christmas Dinner, Common Sand Dollar,
Why is it that I never can find a common sand dollar completely intact???  Stone and I took a six mile walk that led us to the pier and back. You would think being low tide that I would discover  something other than one with a hole in the middle.  

Adult Tuna Melt's, Starkist Tuna Creations, Provolone Cheese, Tomato, Olive Oil, Seagulls, Shallotte NC, Christmas Dinner, Common Sand Dollar,
Many seagulls were flying close to the contour of the waves and some flying rapidly just above the water.  Other than the birds, it was another day with few people out.  Maybe it was because of the threat of rain that did come later in the afternoon.
Stone and I drove over to Shallotte the later part of the day to pick up groceries to get us through Christmas Day.  Its crazy that there are no Lobsters to be had on Holden Beach, which we needed for our Christmas dinner.  The Fish monger said to loosely wrap each live lobster with wet newspaper and place them in the bottom bin of your refrigerator and they will be fine until Christmas Day.  This always makes me nervous, but each time they are alive when I take them out of the refrigerator.  Abby Gail had stayed behind to bake some Christmas Cookie Brittle.  It had stopped raining on our way home from the grocery so Abby Gail and I quickly put away our purchases while Stone carefully stored away the lobsters.  
As our day came to a close, we all three congregated in the hot tub, watching the fog roll in over the ocean.  While enjoying our view, one lone elderly man walked the beach occasionally stopping to pick up a seashell.  I wondered if he was taking them back for someone special?  I guess I will never know that answer.  
For dinner I prepared Adult Tuna Melts.  These were so good that it had us moaning through our meal.  We had a little of the Spicy Cheese And Shrimp Bengali Salad left from last night that we ate along with it.  For three nights in a row I have prepared easy meals that contain some type of seafood and they have been so flavorful. As we ate our dinner, we ranked the three meals, each one of us making different choices on which was our favorite.

Adult Tuna Melt's, Starkist Tuna Creations, Provolone Cheese, Tomato, Olive Oil, Seagulls, Shallotte NC, Christmas Dinner, Common Sand Dollar,
Adult Tuna Melt's
Ingredients:
Starkist Tuna Creations (I used Sweet & Spicy)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Provolone Cheese Slices
Bread of your choice, (I used some left over Garlic No-Knead Bread)
Olive Oil
Tomato, sliced
Directions:
Drizzle bread with olive oil on each side.  Toast bread under broiler on each side.  Next layer on the tuna, tomato, sprinkle with salt and pepper, lastly lay a slice of cheese over tomato.  Put under broiler until cheese begins to melt.  YUMMO!