Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Cherohala Skyway

  By the time Stone and I departed home and arrived at Bald River Falls the sun was high.  Although the leaves had not reach their peak, with blue skies and cool fall temps, the road was busy with folks like us, taking in the beauty of the season.

Bald River Falls

The Cherohala Skyway connects Tellico Plains, TN and Robbinsville, NC.   During the drive we traveled around the mountain curves to peaks of more than 5000 feet.

Next stop was at Indian Boundary.  Located in the South Zone of the Cherokee National Forest, Stone and I hiked the 3.2 mile trail, that circled the 96 acre lake.

Evening shot of Bald River Falls

Me and Stone

Saturday, October 17, 2015

It's CAbi Time

With brunch laid out, the ladies arrived, eager to view this season's clothes.  One by one, Helen presented each item of clothing while the women ate pumpkin bread, fruit and sausage hash-brown breakfast casserole.  Eating and shopping, yes, it was a good day.

Love the new fall CAbi line of clothing.

Brenda's Pumpkin Bread
Makes: two 8 1/2X4 1/2X2 1/2" pans and one "5.75X3" pan.
Mix Together:
3 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1 can pumpkin puree
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons all-spice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cloves
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
Mix together and pour into pans that have been sprayed with bakers joy.
Top with Crumb Topping:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup butter, melted.
Mix together in chunks and place on top of pumpkin bread batter.  I like to mix it up and put on plate in refrigerator.  Then when ready to use the butter has hardened some and you can crumble it up better then place it on top of bread batter.  Bake at 350" until center is done. 

Sausage-Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole
Serves: 10
1 pound mild ground pork sausage or maple sausage
1 pound hot ground pork sausage or bacon
1 (30 ounce) package frozen hash browns
1 Vidalia onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
8 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
Cook sausages in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until sausage crumbles and is no longer pink.  Drain well.  Chop onion and add to hash browns, prepare according to package directions, using 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, or bake in oven on 475' until done which is what I did instead of pan frying like the directions state. 
Stir together hash browns, sausage and cheese.  Pour into a lightly greased 13X9" baking dish.
Whisk together eggs, milks and remaining 1 teaspoon salt.  Pour evenly over potato mixture.
Bake at 350" for 35-45 minutes, or longer, until middle is set.
Can mix up the night before and set at room temperature for 20 minutes and then bake.  Recipe adapted from

Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy Birthday Stone

Stone's Birthday
During the years that Stone was growing up, his mama always baked him a birthday cake.  It would not be from scratch, like my mama did.  Ms. Betty used a box mix, Betty Crocker to be exact, always chocolate, with Betty Crocker chocolate frosting.  So every year on October 10th, although it pains me to do so, I bake Stone a Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake.  I've tried altering it by adding different ingredients, but he just wants a simple Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake.  I did place a few mini chocolate chips along the bottom edge for decoration, he didn't say anything so I guess it was ok.

Time for Cake

Ready, Set, Blow!
Helen, Don, Vlad and I gathered around the table to sing happy birthday as Stone blew out his candle, as another year comes to an end.  

Stone's Birthday
 Shrimp Ceviche
Back in May 2014 Stone, Abby Gail and I were in San Antonio at the Riverwalk during the Armed Forces River Parade.  It was early evening, too early for dinner but we were a little hungry, but more parched.  We stopped at an outdoor establishment, perfect for viewing the parade and ordered margarita's to get us started.  Abby Gail chose an appetizer,  Shrimp Ceviche.  I had never had Ceviche before, but fell in love with it, and returned home to recreate it.  

Stone's Birthday
 Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrochos)
Serves 6-8
4 pieces (uncooked bacon)
1 small vidalia onion
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (12 ounce) bottle dark Mexican beer (I used Negra Modelo)
4 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Chop onion and jalapeño and place in baking sheet.  On top of baking sheet place a cool rack and place bacon on top.  Bake in 400' oven until bacon is done.  The drippings from the bacon drip down on top of onion and jalapeño and cooks it.  Stir onion and jalapeño to cook evenly.  Bacon will most likely cook before onion and jalapeño is done.  Just take out the bacon and continue cooking.  The last 1-2 minutes add garlic. 
In a medium pan add the beer, beans, brown sugar, oregano, chili powder, chopped bacon, onion/jalapeño/garlic mixture, salt and cumin, and stir to combine.  Cook until the beans began to simmer.  Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering for about 15 minutes.
When ready to serve, stir in the lime juice and cilantro.  Recipe adapted from

Stones Birthday
Chorizo-Spiced Pulled Pork With Mexican Street Corn
Brine Ingredients:
8 ounces or 3/4 cup molasses
12 ounces pickling salt
2 quarts water
6-8 pound Boston Butt
Brine Directions:
Combine molasses, pickling salt, and water in a 6 quart pan.  Add the Boston butt.  Make sure it is completely submerged in brine, cover and let sit in refrigerator for 24 hours.
Chorizo-Spiced Rub Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons paprika
2 Tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Chorizo-Spiced Rub Directions:
Mix above spices together in a small bowl.  After the Boston butt has been in the brine for 24 hours, take it out of the brine and rinse.  Pat dry.  Apply rub, completely covering the butt.  Place in a large zip lock bag, and place it back into refrigerator for 12 hours.
Drip Pan Ingredients:
2-3 bottles Original Cave Creek Chili Beer/Premium Lager Beer with a Chili Pepper added.
1-2 onions, sliced
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar, plus more to taste.
Drip Pan Directions:
Using the Green Egg, place the drip pan on rack.  Pour in beer, add sliced onion.  You do not add the apple cider vinegar until pork is done.
Smoking the pork:
Bring the grill  up to 240'.  Place Boston Butt on grilling rack and smoke until temp reaches 160' when you  place the thermometer into the butt.  Take the butt off and wrap in some heavy foil at this point.  Also remove the drip pan, scoop all the thick yummy, thick goodness from the pan, and set aside.  Return the foil wrapped butt to the smoker and continue smoking until the butt reaches 190'-195'.  At this point, remove it from the smoker, and set it aside to rest.  Leave it wrapped in the foil during the resting period.  After and hour, heat up the pan dripping, (it is thick).  Add the cider vinegar.  Shred the pork and add the drip pan goodness and mix it up. YUM! Spicy and good, just sayin!
Slaw Ingredients:
2 cups fresh or frozen cooked corn kernels
14 ounces shredded cabbage coleslaw mix
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1 Tablespoon chili powder
3/4 cup (3 ounces) Mexican cottage cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon honey
kosher salt to taste
Slaw Directions:
Combine the above ingredients, refrigerate until ready to serve.  Recipe adapted from: 

To serve the Chorizo-Spiced Pulled Pork with Mexican Street Corn Slaw, layer the pulled pork on top of buns or tortilla chips.  Top with slaw.  Recipe adapted from:

Parcela #7
A Chilean Wine