Sunday, June 29, 2014

Blueberry Cobbler Ice Cream

Blueberry Cobbler Ice Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream, Berries

Last Wednesday the Knoxville News Sentinel printed this recipe in their food section.  I knew the moment I saw it, I would have to go pick some berries.  I waited as long as the weekend and I couldn't stand it any longer.  It turned out exactly as I expected, heavenly!  I could have inhaled the entire bowl, but to keep from purchasing bigger cloths, I contained myself.  It wasn't easy.  We invited a neighbor but they had friends coming by instead.  The wife told her husband what I had made. She told me he was drooling as he said, "I'll have one to go!!"  I told her to have him meet me in the street for his to go container.  Her comment was, YOU DA BOMB!!  He's on his way!!  

Blueberry Cobbler Ice Cream

Blueberry Cobbler Ingredients:
1/2 cup plus 2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
pinch of kosher salt
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter, melted
1 recipe of Simple Vanilla Ice Cream (Recipe Below)

Preheat oven to 325'.  Spray a 9X6X2" loaf pan or other baking pan to keep from sticking.
Mix1/2 cup sugar with cornstarch in a small bowl.  Toss with berries to coat.  Add salt and lemon juice. Spoon into prepared pan.  Set aside.
In a bowl with a whisk, mix flour and remaining 2/3 cup sugar.  Drizzle with melted butter, stirring, to make a crumble topping.  Cover blueberry mixture with topping.
Bake until topping is golden brown, 45-50 minutes.
Let cool at room temperature, then refrigerate until cold, approximatly 1 hour.
Make your Simple Vanilla Ice Cream. 

Recipe adapted from: Knoxville News Sentinel, but they list their source as: Coolhaus Ice Cream Book.

Simple Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/8 cup granulated sugar
3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1-2 minutes.  Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Turm the machine on ; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, amnd let mix until thickened, about 20-25 minutes.   The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture.  If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Recipe from:

When ice cream is made.  Break up cold blueberry cobbler and fold into ice cream.  I dump all the cobbler into a food processor and break it up into very small pieces so as it freezes it doesn't have large hard pieces.  Freeze for a least 2 hours before serving.

What kind of ice cream have you made this summer?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

An Evening Of Dinner and Mahjong

I was just telling Stone we needed to have Buck and Karen over for ice-cream and mahjong.  Four hours later my telephone rings and its Karen inviting Stone and I over for dinner and mahjong.  Is that clairvoyant or what?  Karen said, "Buck was wanting to play mahjong."  Well let me tell you about Buck "Ralphy", he is never wanting to play mahjong.  He does so because his lovely wife enjoys the game and well, he takes pleasure in our company as we do theirs.
Stone and I decided to walk to their home.  If we cut through the neighborhood it only takes us about 10 minutes, and thats going up an enormous hill.  Upon arrival, my stomach begins to growl with the aroma of dinner thoughout the house. Wasting no time, Karen had us seated and we began to devour the fabulous dinner. She had prepared a grilled pork tenderloin that she had immersed in this fabulous combination of Dales and Allegro Marinade.  With it, she served red, juicy tomatoes that were picked up from the farmers market along with the juiciest cantaloupe.  I had not had potato salad "tater salad" in a long time until last night.  Karens was perfect with the crunch of celery, tender potatoes, and tang of the mayonnaise.  Add a bowl of steamed green beans and our meal was complete.   For dessert, she made brownies earlier in the day. We added a scoop of ice cream and Buck so carefully placed a blackberry and rainier cherry on top, then drizzled on some warm chocolate sauce.  Stone and I agreed, we will walk up a steep hill anytime for a dinner like this.  We sure enjoyed her good vittles.
 We quickly cleared away the dishes and sat up the game. As usual, Buck pretended not to remember how to play.  He took a tile here and there, stating he didn't know what he is going to do with it.  He did a lot of moaning and groaning. It took awhile but soon he's shouting MAHJONG," I think."  What do you mean you think?  Either you have or not!  I should know by now, his acting baffled, is just a performance, one that he does quiet well when it comes to playing mahjong.  He has a Ph.D for gods sake.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Ingredients:
Pork Tenderloin
1/2 cup Dales Marinade
1/4 cup Allegro Marinade

Pork Tenderloin Instruction:
Place the pork tenderloin in a plastic zip lock bag and pour in Dales and Allegro marinade, marinading for 8 hours or overnight.  Turn every so often.  Grill at medium temperature for 25-30 minutes per pound turning every 5 minutes until internal temperature reaches 145'-150'.  Let rest five minutes before slicing.

Buck, without a clue turns to Karen for answers.






Buck, now content just Mahjonged!!!

Here is an interesting fact.  Allegra Marinade was created right here in Tennessee in 1955 by Betsy and Dave Wilcox in their Henry County Home.

How many times have you mahjonged and didn't know it?

Friday, June 27, 2014

New Neighbors Welcome Cookie

Stone and I have new next door neighbors.  Recently people are flocking in all around us.  Someone is building two lots down.  Directly across the street has been marked off to start building soon.  The most recent have children, so I thought I would bake something fun. Whats more fun than chocolate, sprinkles and M&M's?  As I was surfing the web I came across .  As I examined her blog, I found so many recipes that caught my eye, but it was the Triple Chocolate Cookie Cake that I zeroed in on.  It was exactly what I had in mind.  As the moving van was out front, unloading their wares in the heat of the day, I was inside the cool confines of my home baking this mound of sweet chocolate.  I recollect the day we moved in.  My son Michael, had come in from college to help and was out mowing the lawn.  Actually the reason he volunteered was to let all the young females in the neighborhood know it was his home.  Kelly, a neighbor, stopped by, welcomed us to the area, and brought a cake stating "it was for Michael because he was the only one she had seen out working that day." Michael was very kind to share that lump of sweetness with Stone and I. As I recall, she purchased it from VG's Bakery:, and anyone who has ever consumed anything from VG's know's what a delight it is.

neighbors,chocolate buttercream,life love and sugar, msm's sprinkles,VG'S Bakery.

neighbors,chocolate buttercream,life love and sugar, msm's sprinkles,VG'S Bakery.

neighbors,chocolate buttercream,life love and sugar, msm's sprinkles,VG'S Bakery.

Triple Chocolate Cookie Cake

Yield: 1 (9") Cookie Cake

Ingredients for Cookie Cake:
3/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup M&M's
3/4 cup chocolate chunks, I used half dark chocolate chunks, and half semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Chocolate Buttercream Ingredients:
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2-3 Tablespoons water

Cookie Cake Instructions:
Cream sugar and butter together until fluffy.
Mix in vanilla extract and egg. 
Add baking soda, cocoa, and flour and mix until combined.
Stir in M&M's, Chocolate chunks, and chocolate chips.  Dough will be sticky and thick.
Chill for at least 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 350' when ready to bake.
Place parchment paper in the bottom of your cake pan to keep cookie from sticking.  Grease the sides of the pan.
Smooth the dough into the cake pan.  Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes, then carefully transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Recipe adapted from:

Chocolate Buttercream Instructions:
Beat the butter and shortening until smooth.
Add half of powdered sugar and cocoa.  Mix until combined.
Add 1-2 Tablespoons water.
Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.  Add water to get the right consistency.  Decorate the edge of cookie with the frosting and add sprinkles for fun.

What do you do when a new neighbor moves in next door?  Do you bake them something?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Braces Be Gone

One year and eight months ago, I as an adult, got braces for the first time.  It's amazing the changes my teeth have gone through.  The day they put them on I thought they had left something attached, but they instantly laughed and said, "no it's the braces."  They felt so strange. The thought of going for over a year and a half with that feeling did not excite me.  Luckily, I quickly adjusted.  I don't know how the girls at the orthodontist office put up with me.  I can be such a baby when it comes to messing with my teeth.  They were so patient, and I felt as though we had become friends.
It was finally time for the braces to be removed.  I was up early because I was so excited.  Upon arrival of my appointment, everyone at Turner Orthodontics was enthusiastic as I was.  Hmmm, maybe they were ready to be finished with me.  I'm telling you I do not like anyone messing with my teeth!  Quickly, the braces came off and I was out the door, scheduled to come back in the afternoon to pick up my retainer. I stopped at the grocery to pick up supplies to bake two pie's and take to their office when I returned.  I choose to make a Buttermilk and a Fudge Pie.  As soon as I returned to the house, I put together two pie crusts, then proceeded to make the fillings.  Soon the aroma filled my house.  Poor Stone, he only wanted one slice, but I quickly told him NO!  These pies were for  Turner Orthodontics. I hope these made up for me being such a baby.

Turner Orthodontics, Braces, Buttermilk Pie, Fudge Pie, Knoxville Tn, Teeth.
Turner Orthodontics

Turner Orthodontics, Braces, Buttermilk Pie, Fudge Pie, Knoxville Tn, Teeth.
Fudge Pie

Fudge Pie Ingredients:
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels, meaning (6 ounces).
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup lightly toasted pecans, chopped
1 (9 ") unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 375".  Microwave first 3 ingredients in a large microwave-safe bowl  until melted and smooth, whisking at 30-second intervals.
Stir in sugar and flour into chocolate mixture.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, stirring just until blended after each addition.  Stir in salt, vanilla and pecans.  Pour mixture into pie shell.
Bake at 375' for 30-35 minutes or until set.  Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Turner Orthodontics, Braces, Buttermilk Pie, Fudge Pie, Knoxville Tn, Teeth.
Buttermilk Pie

Buttermilk Pie Ingredients:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted
2 large eggs
3 Tablespoons flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400'.  In a microwave safe bowl melt butter.  In a large mixing bowl add buttermilk, sugar, eggs, flour, salt and vanilla, mix until incorporated.  Add melted butter, mix well.  Bake 15 minutes in 400' oven, then reduce over to 350" and bake 45 minutes.  Will still slightly jiggle, filling will set as it cools.
Did you bake a treat for your orthodontic's office when you got your braces off?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

World's Largest MoonPie

A tradition in the South is a MoonPie and RC cola.  What a better way to start the first day of summer.  Set back, relax and rest a spell.  However, first I had a race to run, the RC & MoonPie 10-miler at the 20th anniversary of the MoonPie Festival in Bell Buckle, Tn.  What was I thinking?  The event started at 7 am. and anyone with any inclination knows you don't want to plan an early event on a Saturday morning.   Apparently I had a lapse in judgement because there I was at the start line with about a thousand others whom also didn't have any logical forethought.   After Stone had position himself to photograph the start, I ran along the rural country side of rolling hills and shaded pathways.  Before the heat rolled in, I had crossed the finish line, tired, parched, and ready for an RC cola.  Later in the day, the worlds largest MoonPie, sent from Chattanooga, Tn., weighing 50 lbs., measuring 40" wide and containing 45,000 calories was cut and consumed.
The small town of Bell Buckle, Tn., population 500, got its name in the 1850's from tree carvings of cowbells and belt buckles by the native indians warning of dangers from the early settlers.   It is the center for musical talent and is the host for this annual festival, that is known to be a southern tradition.  Farmers, artists and main street entrepreneurs come in what began as a railroad town in 1852.  Visitors stop here now instead of trains.  Stone and I occasionally make a trip over when in the area visiting his mom. The draw for us is the Bell Buckle Cafe:, featured in Southern Living Magazine, where songwriters and artists come from all over the world to play live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Each time we go, there has been a large crowd.  Like I have said in the past, if there is a line, it must be worth the wait. The food is down home country cooking.  That says it all and you know its going to be good.

Bell Buckle Tn, Chattanooga Tn, Largest MoonPie, Bell Buckle Cafe, Southern Living Magazine, RC Cola, Moon Pie Festival, Southern Country CLOGGERS, Bluegrass Music, Southern Music, RC & MoonPie 10 miler, MoonPie Festival,  MoonPie Sundays, Southern Traditions.
Start of the 10 mile race at the MoonPie Festival.

Bell Buckle Tn, Chattanooga Tn, Largest MoonPie, Bell Buckle Cafe, Southern Living Magazine, RC Cola, Moon Pie Festival, Southern Country CLOGGERS, Bluegrass Music, Southern Music, RC & MoonPie 10 miler, MoonPie Festival,  MoonPie Sundays, Southern Traditions.
Finishing 10 mile race.

Bell Buckle Tn, Chattanooga Tn, Largest MoonPie, Bell Buckle Cafe, Southern Living Magazine, RC Cola, Moon Pie Festival, Southern Country CLOGGERS, Bluegrass Music, Southern Music, RC & MoonPie 10 miler, MoonPie Festival,  MoonPie Sundays, Southern Traditions.
After the 10 mile race.

Bell Buckle Tn, Chattanooga Tn, Largest MoonPie, Bell Buckle Cafe, Southern Living Magazine, RC Cola, Moon Pie Festival, Southern Country CLOGGERS, Bluegrass Music, Southern Music, RC & MoonPie 10 miler, MoonPie Festival,  MoonPie Sundays, Southern Traditions.
 Southern Country Cloggers at the MoonPie Festival.

Bell Buckle Tn, Chattanooga Tn, Largest MoonPie, Bell Buckle Cafe, Southern Living Magazine, RC Cola, Moon Pie Festival, Southern Country CLOGGERS, Bluegrass Music, Southern Music, RC & MoonPie 10 miler, MoonPie Festival,  MoonPie Sundays, Southern Traditions.
Worlds largest MoonPie at the festival.

Bell Buckle Tn, Chattanooga Tn, Largest MoonPie, Bell Buckle Cafe, Southern Living Magazine, RC Cola, Moon Pie Festival, Southern Country CLOGGERS, Bluegrass Music, Southern Music, RC & MoonPie 10 miler, MoonPie Festival,  MoonPie Sundays, Southern Traditions.
Worlds largest MoonPie

Bell Buckle Tn, Chattanooga Tn, Largest MoonPie, Bell Buckle Cafe, Southern Living Magazine, RC Cola, Moon Pie Festival, Southern Country CLOGGERS, Bluegrass Music, Southern Music, RC & MoonPie 10 miler, MoonPie Festival,  MoonPie Sundays, Southern Traditions.
Cutting of the worlds largest MoonPie.

Bell Buckle Tn, Chattanooga Tn, Largest MoonPie, Bell Buckle Cafe, Southern Living Magazine, RC Cola, Moon Pie Festival, Southern Country CLOGGERS, Bluegrass Music, Southern Music, RC & MoonPie 10 miler, MoonPie Festival,  MoonPie Sundays, Southern Traditions.
Stone enjoying a MoonPie Sunday at the Bell Buckle Cafe.

Bell Buckle Tn, Chattanooga Tn, Largest MoonPie, Bell Buckle Cafe, Southern Living Magazine, RC Cola, Moon Pie Festival, Southern Country CLOGGERS, Bluegrass Music, Southern Music, RC & MoonPie 10 miler, MoonPie Festival,  MoonPie Sundays, Southern Traditions.
MoonPie Sunday

Bell Buckle Tn, Chattanooga Tn, Largest MoonPie, Bell Buckle Cafe, Southern Living Magazine, RC Cola, Moon Pie Festival, Southern Country CLOGGERS, Bluegrass Music, Southern Music, RC & MoonPie 10 miler, MoonPie Festival,  MoonPie Sundays, Southern Traditions.
I ran 10 miles for my MoonPie Sunday.

Bell Buckle Tn, Chattanooga Tn, Largest MoonPie, Bell Buckle Cafe, Southern Living Magazine, RC Cola, Moon Pie Festival, Southern Country CLOGGERS, Bluegrass Music, Southern Music, RC & MoonPie 10 miler, MoonPie Festival,  MoonPie Sundays, Southern Traditions.
Stone and I at Historic Bell Buckle, Tn.
What is your favorite MoonPie flavor?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bluegrass On Liberty Square

It was the third Friday night of the month in Sparta, Tennessee. Tyme Line and Sunny Mountain Bluegrass Band were performing on Liberty Square. We ramble through here own our way to visit Stone's mom, Ms. Betty, who lives on the other side of the mountain.   As we drove through last month, we noticed the sign advertising live bluegrass every third Friday through October.  I packed a picnic, snapped Lucy into her car seat, and Stone and I were on our way.   Here is some history on this charming little town.  Sparta, the county seat, nearly became the capitol of the state of Tennessee, loosing to Nashville by only one vote.  Wow, I didn't know that.  This small township with rolling hills, creeks, caves and waterfalls has a population of only 4,599 at last count.  Hmmm, this is close to the size of my home town. Actually its larger by approximately 2000 people.  It is established on the banks of the Calfkiller River and only a short distance from the Cumberland Mountains.  It has become known as Bluegrass, USA.  This place was home to numerous Bluegrass Hall Of Famers such as Lester Flatt, Benny Martin, Bill Jones, John Henry Demps, and Blake Williams.   So there we sat, Stone, Lucy and I  savoring our picnic of Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken Legs, Buttermilk Biscuits, Caprese Salad, Chewy Chocolate Cookies and the drink of the South, Ice-Tea. Just minutes prior to starting of the bluegrass music, a storm blew in and cancelled the show.  REALLY!!!  There's always the third Friday of next month.

chicken, liberty square,sparta,caprese,hairless chinese crested,biscuits, bill jones
Picnic at Liberty Square

sparta, liberty square,biscuits,caprese salad,chinese crested,chicken,chocolate cookies

Stone is HUNGRY!!!!

Liberty Square, Sparta, Bluegrass Band, Picnic, Tyme line and Sunny Mountain Bluegrass Band
It's raining, meaning no bluegrass at Liberty Square.

Buttermilk, Oven Fried, Bluegrass, Picnic
Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken Legs

Chicken Ingredients:
2 cups buttermilk, for soaking
4 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons Paula Deans House Seasoning
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried lemon thyme
1 whole chicken cut into serving pieces

Paula Deans House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix above together and keep in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Soak chicken overnight for up to 24 hours.  Preheat oven 425'.  30 minutes before baking drain chicken using a colander.  In a 9X13" baking dish add butter and place in oven long enough to melt the butter.  Whisk together the flour and seasonings.  Dredge chicken pieces in the flour; place into the baking pan.  Bake 425' for 35 minutes, turn and bake another 20-25 minutes, or until juices fun clear and chicken is cooked through.
Total time will depend on the size of pieces you use, but the internal temperature should reach 175' in the thickest part of the thigh, 165' in the breast.  Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely if storing.

Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Celery, Basil, Olive Oil, Red Wine Vinegar, Picnic,
Caprese Salad

Salad Ingredients:
2 pounds assorted chopped tomatoes
1 pound cubed mozzarella
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped basil
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.  YUM!!!

Southern Biscuits, Picnic, Liberty Square, Sparta
Southern Biscuits

Biscuit Ingredients:
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoon shortening
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450'. Place iron skillet in oven while preheating.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using my kitchen-aide, mix butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs.
Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk.  Stir just until the dough comes together.  The dough will be very sticky.With my floured hands I divide the dough into four lumps, making four balls.    Take HOT iron skillet from oven and place biscuits in skillet and back in the oven.  You can also brush with a little melted butter if you would like. Bake until biscuits are tall and light, gold on top, 15-20 minutes. Makes 4 medium-large biscuits. Recipe adapted from:
You can also freeze these.  As soon as you have formed them into a ball, wrap them individually and freeze.  When ready to bake, take out of the freezer as the oven with the skillet in the oven is preheating.  Following above baking directions.

The reason you want to put the iron skillet in the oven while it is preheating is that you will have crunchy bottom instead of soggy.

Chewy Chocolate Cookies, butter, sugar, eggs, flour, cornstarch, cocoa, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, picnic, Sparta
Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Cookie Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 ounce pkg.) peanut butter chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, Andes Creme De Menthe Baking Chips, caramel chips or white chocolate chips. Yeild: 54 cookies.

Heat oven to 350'.
In a mixer bowl, cream sugar and butter until fluffy and light.
Add in vanilla and eggs; beat well.
Combine salt, corn starch, baking soda, cocoa, and flour; gradually blend into creamed mixture.  Stir in chips of your choice.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 14 minutes.  Cookies will flatten out.   OR THIS IS WHAT I DO: Roll into a log and place in the freezer.  Carefully slice into thick slices and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Or use cookie mold pan.  Bake 14 minutes. Do not over bake; cookies will be soft.
Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet onto wire rack.  Cool completely.  Recipe adapted from:
What is your favorite picnic menu?

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Hitmen At The Cove

As dusk approached we loaded up the car with Lucy, our folding chairs and drove to The Cove.  She was so excited to go along.  The Cove,  on Fort Loudoun Lake, consists of  fishing, paddling and a swimming beach.  On land, they have a volleyball court and walkways.  Every second Saturday of the month, beginning in June though September, they have a concert in the evenings.  As we arrived, the lot was full as I expected, leading us to park in the overfill parking.  As we unloaded from the car, Lucy was so excited. There were so many people, she was like a kid in a candy store.  We made our way over to where the concert was to be held  and numerous people had gathered waiting for the music to begin.  Stone and I chose our location and set up our chairs.  Meanwhile, Lucy was getting so much attention, mostly from children wanting to pet her and adults asking the same question, "what is she?"  I held Lucy while the little ones came up to her and with one finger, they would touch the top of her head.  I guess they are not sure were to pet since she is a hairless dog.  Then there's the adults with the same questions I have answered for seven years.  Things like, was she born that way? Do you have to shave her?  Does she get sun burned?   Do you have to put lotion on her to keep her skin from drying out?  Now understand, I don't mind these questions. I would be asking the same ones if Lucy wasn't mine.  Some make the comment that she's so ugly, she cute. This to, we are used to hearing.  What can we say, this breed of dog has more than once won the Ugliest Dog Contest. Our Lucy would never win such a competition.   We settled in our chairs as the music began. The beach area was full as parents listened to the melody while their children swam.  Boats gathered around the lake as the sound carried across the water. This band was superb. Music from the 60's, 70's and 80's filled the air with hits from Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Roy Orbison, Billy Joel, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Carlos Santana. They played one song after another while a crowd of ladies line danced along the water.  This is still on my list to learn. Moms played kickball with their children as families grilled, filling the air with this wonderful aroma of barbecue and making me very hungry.   Children of all ages passed by with very colorful snow cones.  I kept eyeing each, wanting one, but resisted. As the band was playing their final song, Black Magic Woman,  I didn't want to leave this tranquil setting.  Slowly we gathered our chairs, walked to our car and drove home, anticipating the next concert at The Cove.

The Hitmen, Fort Loudoun Lake, Knoxville TN, The Cove
The Hitmen

The Cove, Knoxville Tn, The Hitmen, Band, Music, Fort Loudoun Lake
The Hitmen

The Cove, Knoxville TN, Hairless Chinese Crested, music
Lucy and I

Fort Loudoun Lake, The Cove, Knoxville TN
Boats gather on Fort Loudoun Lake

The Cove, Fort Loudoun Lake, Knoxville TN
Swimming Beach at The Cove

Hairless Chinese Crested
Stone and Lucy

The Hitmen, The Cove, Knoxville TN, Fort Loudoun Lake
Drummer for The Hitmen
From what era is your favorite music?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

My dad was a solder in the Air Force, a railroad man with Union Pacific, a survivor after falling down a 35' pole, mauled by a pit bull, thrown by a 600lb. heifer and thrown on top of a rattlesnake thanks to brother Robert "Bob".  He was an electrician with Southwestern Electric, an outdoorsman, a husband, an he sure did love my mama!   But most importantly, he was my daddy and he had a signature smile that never left his face.

Fathers Day, air force, railroad man, union pacific, pit bull, heifer, rattlesnake, electrician, southwestern electric, belgian waffle
My Dad and I


Coincidentally my dad's Orange Cannas bloomed for the first time this season for me on Father's Day.

Two of my daddy's favorite breakfast items, belgian waffles and bacon.  This man loved his BACON!!!
This is for you dad.

belgian waffle, bacon, fruit, fathers day
Belgian Waffle

Belgian Waffle Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2  eggs, separated
1  1/2 cups milk
1 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
berries and or syrup

Combine flour, sugar and baking powder.  In another bowl, lightly beat egg yolks.  Add milk, butter and vanilla; mix well.  Stir into dry ingredients just until combined.  Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.
In a preheated waffle iron bake according to manufactures's directions until golden brown.  Serve with berries or syrup.  Recipe from:
Yield: 10 waffles (about 4 1/2")

Belgian Waffle
What was your father's favorite meal?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Friday The 13th A Very Peachy Dinner Party

It was Friday the 13th, the most widespread superstitious day which some consider unlucky, but not Stone and I.  We were up early, Stone was off to the golf course, while I peddled my bike to the library and Krogers.  My morning went well, nothing dreadful happened.  I visited with a past neighbor, Lynn,while waiting for the library to open.  She also was out biking. We chatted for a bit and said our goodbyes knowing we didn't have long before the rain was to come.  I still wanted to stop by the grocery on the way back.  The clouds were rolling in and it was getting dark. Should I or shouldn't I. Will the rains come before I make it home?  I didn't really need anything for the nights feast.  I took a chance and hurriedly made my purchases and was own my way.  I made it with two hour to spare before the rain began, totaling a 8 1/2 mile ride.  Glad I made that stop.   No preposterous superstition was going to keep me closed indoors.  
We had a dinner party and Carleen, Daniel, Helen, Don, Stone and I were ready to have some fun.  Apparently they were not superstitious either. My first decision was what to wear.  All three of us are CAbi ladies, therefore we own some of the same clothing pieces.  I chose something non CAbi, since I didn't want to match anyone.  I had a maxi dress that I purchased about three years ago and had never worn.  I don't know why it has hung in my closet and never worn. Sometimes I just do that.  Then one day I look at it and bam! The day has come and I can't wait to put it on.  Its like I've never seen it before. It was brand new with the tag still attached, but bought three years ago.  It was perfect for the evening with the warm humid weather here in Tennessee cooling down in the evenings.  I just had my wrap handy when my shoulders where cool. 
 While trying to establish the menu, everything peachy grabbed my attention.  I don't know why, from the appetizer to the dessert.  Deciding that everything couldn't be peach, I had to make some choices.  The evening was to begin with Frozen Peach Daiquiris.  For the appetizer I chose a Zesty Hummus Dip with Lemon and Garlic that I served with Pita Chips, carrots and celery.  The main entrée   consisted of Peach-Mustard Pork Chops, Baked Beans and Vegetable Coleslaw. I ended the meal with a Peach Cobbler Ice Cream Cake. I just had to have peaches in the dessert. My tablescape had come together with the flowers that my neighbors, Sid and Shannon brought me last weekend and just so happens are the color of peaches.
As our guest arrived, the skies cleared.  We sat on the porch enjoying our cocktails and appetizers while chatting about any and everything including recent trips to making plans for future ones.  This sounded like a job for an Event Coordinator. Carleen, Helen and I are up for the job. It was time for dinner, so Stone fired up the grill and in no time the Peach-Mustard Pork Chops were ready.  The wine was pored as we gathered around the table, toasting to good friends together again.  The food was consumed as we lingered, full and content.  The sun had gone down, and the lightening bugs were out. Not only was it Friday the 13th, it also was a night of a full moon.  Before the evening came to an end, we went indoors to view pictures of Helen and Don's recent dive vacation.  It's amazing all the brilliant colors and little creatures in the world under the water.  Things seem so calm as you glide in slow motion watching everything all around.
 We all made it through the day and nothing awful happened.  It's nearing the witching hour and our evening has come to an end. Time sure fly's by when you're having fun.  I'm glad none of us are superstitious otherwise all would have stayed home, closed up indoors, missing out on this enjoyable evening together.

Tennessee Food Blog, screen porch, dinner party, tables cape
My Tablescape

Frozen Peach Daiquiris, raspberries, dinner party, tennessee food and travel blog
Frozen Peach Daiquiris

Can be made ahead!!!!!
Frozen Peach Daiquiris Ingredients:
6 ounces (3/4 cup) frozen lemonade or limeade concentrate
6 ounces (3/4 cup) light rum,  I use Bacardi
4 cups frozen fruit; may substitute fresh, flavorful, ripe fruit
2 cups ice cubes, I used Sonic ice.
sweetener (optional), to taste, if desired (superfine sugar, agave syrup, or other preferred sweetener)
fresh fruit for garnish (optional)

Directions: In blender, mix lemonade/limeade concentrate, rum and fruit.  Berries can be added whole; other fruits should be cut into cubes/pieces.)  Blend until smooth.  Add ice. Blend until smooth, and no ice chunks remain.  Taste and add sweetener, if desired.  If flavor is too intense, add more ice cubes and blend.  For stronger fruit flavor, add more fruit and blend. Recipe from:

Recommended Fruit:
Strawberry (raspberry and blackberry not recommended for this "whole fruit" method, because their larger seeds result in a gritty drinking texture.
Pineapple (optional: add 1 cup canned light coconut milk for a Pina Colada

Make ahead mason jar daiquiris: 
Pour blended daiquiris into 1/2 pint or pint mason jars, leave at least 1/2" at the top to allow for expansion when they freeze, drew on the lids and freeze.  To serve, remove fro freezer (let them set out for 5-15 minutes if they're too hard) and use a fork to break up and stir the semi-frozen  daiquiris into a slushy consistency.  The alcohol keeps them from freezing to a hard solid state, so they're always ready to remove from the freezer, stir, serve and drink.  These will keep for up to a month in the freezer.

zesty hummus dip, celery, pita chips, carrots
Zesty Hummus Dip

Zesty Hummus Dip Ingredients:
2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 Tablespoon water
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup olive oil plus 2 Tablespoons, plus 2 Tablespoons to drizzle over top as garnish
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dry oregano

In the bowl of a food processor, add the chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lemon juice, lemon zest, water, sea salt and the garlic cloves.  Process for about 1 minute to combine well;   slowly drizzle in the 1/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of olive oil while the processor is running, until the dip is creamy and completely smooth; you may need to stop the processor and scrape down the sides a couple of times with a spatula to get all of the ingredients well processed.  
Once the hummus is smooth and creamy, spoon it into a serving dish and sprinkle the cumin, paprika dry oregano over top, finish with a drizzle of the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil; serve with pita wedges or vegetables.  Recipe from:

Peach mustard pork chops, brown sugar, paprika, coriander, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, 1" pork chops, peach preserves,
Peach-Mustard Pork Chops 

Peach-Mustard Pork Chops Ingredients:
Serves 6
For the Pork:
1 Tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
6 bone-in pork rib chops (1" thick; about 4 1/2 pounds total)

For the Peach-Mustard Sauce:
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons peach preserves
6 cloves garlic, smashed
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 teaspoons  mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
vegetable oil, for brushing
3 peaches, halved and pitted

1. Prepare the pork: Combine the brown sugar, paprika, coriander, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, 1 Tablespoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large baking dish.  Pierce both sides of the pork chops with a paring knife (about 12 times per side).  Add the pork chops to the dish, turning to coat with  the spice rub.  Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
2.  Make the sauce: Combine the vinegar, preserves, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, red pepper flakes and 3.4 teaspoon salt in a  medium saucepan.  Bring to a  boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, whisking occasionally, until the sauce thicken slightly, about 8 minutes; let cool completely. Transfer 1.4 cup of the sauce to a separate bowl for basting.  Set aside the remaining sauce for serving.
3.  Remove the pork from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before grilling.  Preheat a grill to medium and lightly brush the grates with vegetable oil.  Transfer the pork chips to the grill, cover and cook until lightly marked, about 4 minutes.  Uncover and continue cooking, flipping and basting the pork chops every 2 minutes, until they are golden and well marked, about 8 more minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.
4.  Meanwhile, brush the peaches lightly with vegetable oil and place cut-side down on the grill.  Cover and grill until marked, 1-2 minutes per side.   Serve the pork chops with the grilled peaches and the reserve sauce.  Recipe from:

baked beans, peppered maple bacon, bushes baked beans, chili sauce, onion, brown sugar
Baked Beans

Baked Beans Ingredients:
1 pound peppered maple bacon
2 (28 ounce) cans bushes baked beans
1 (12 ounce) bottle chili sauce
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups brown sugar

Cook bacon and crumble, set aside.  Chop onion, and sauté' in bacon grease.  Combine beans, chili sauce, onion, brown sugar, and bacon.  pour in a 9X13" dish. Bake 45-1 hour.  OR cook on low in a slow cooker for approximately 7 hours.

vegetable coleslaw, hellmann's mayonnaise, dijon mustard, sugar, dider vinegar, celery seeds, celery salt, kasher salt, pepper
Vegetable Coleslaw 

Vegetable Coleslaw Ingredients:
2 (16 ounce) bags of (3 color deli coleslaw)
2 cups Hellmann's Mayonnaise, all good southern women know there is no other mayonnaise!
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons celery seeds
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

I mix this up about 4 hours prior to eating.
Empty both bags of coleslaw into large bowl.  In a medium bow, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, vinegar, celery seeds, celery salt, salt and pepper.  Pour enough of the dressing over the grated vegetables to moisten them.  Serve cold or at room temperature.  Serves 8-10.  Slightly adapted from

granulated sugar, lemon, peaches, graham crackers, pecans, butter, vanilla ice cream, pound cake, heavy cream, confections' sugar, vanilla exctracr
Peach Cobbler Ice Cream Cake

Peach Cobbler Ice Cream Cake Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
juice of 1 lemon
4 peaches, peeled and cut into 3/4" pieces
1 sleeve graham crackers (9 whole crackers)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 pints vanilla ice cream homemade or store-bought.
cooking spray
2 (10-12 ounce) pound cakes
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
3 Tablespoons confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Stir 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, the lemon juice and peaches in a large pot; let sit 15 minutes.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and ooh until the peaches are tender, about 15 minutes.  Remove 3/4 cup peaches with a slotted spoon and refrigerate for topping. Puree the remaining peaches and cooking liquid in a blender; transfer to a bowl and freeze until very thick, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350' and line a baking sheet with foil.  Coarsely crush the graham crackers and toss with remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the pecans and butter on the prepared baking sheet; spread into a thin layer.  Bake 7 minutes, then stir and continue baking until golden brown, 6-10 minutes.  Let cool and harden, then crumble and set aside.

Assemble the cake:
Let 2 pints ice  cream soften at room temperature until spreadable, about 10 minutes.  Coat a 9" springform pan with cooking spray and line the bottom and sides with plastic wrap, leaving a 2" overhang.  Spread the softened ice  cream in the prepared pan, then top evenly with the peach puree.  Freeze until the puree is firm, about 45 minutes.
Let the remaining 2 pints ice cream soften, 10 minutes, then spread over the peach puree.  Sprinkle with 1 cup of the pecan mixture and press in into the ice cream.  Cut the pound cakes lengthwise into 1 1/2" thick slices; arrange the slices in a single layer on top of the ice cream, trimming as needed.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.
Beat the heavy cream, confectioners' sugar and vanilla in a bowl with a mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.  Uncover the cake, then invert onto a pilate; remove the springform ring and the remaining plastic wrap.  Cover the top and sides with the whipped cream. Top with the reserved peaches and remaining pecan mixture.  Freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Servings 12.

Are you superstitious?