Sunday, May 29, 2016

Family Cookout


My Beautiful Mama
This picture was actually taken by my niece, photographer Jennifer Willard.

 Jonathan the Grill Master

Beautiful Ladies In The Kitchen
 Jennifer and Heather making stuffed jalapeño's.

Spicy and Yummy

 Jennifer and Heather





 Nolan wearing his basket hat.

Stone and I have had this dip a few times now.  On each occasion I think to myself, I need to get the recipe.  Finally I asked a friend what the ingredients were.  Why it took me so long I do not know.  I had no idea it was this easy.  As they say, sometimes the simplest recipes are the best, in this case it is true.  I looked on the web-site when I ordered the relish and notice they had the recipe listed and it was just a little different.  Instead of the 1/2 jar of relish the online recipe from Harry & David uses the entire jar, so I thought I would try it.  It was very good.  Makes it a bit more spicy, but both ways are yummy.

Pepper Relish and Cream Cheese Dip 

8 ounces cream cheese
1.  Blend softened cream cheese in a mixing bowl until smooth.
2.  Add relish and blend well.
3.  Serve with crisp tortilla chips, fritos,  snack crackers, or finger foods.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day In Georgia

Martha, a dear friend sent me a text the other day and said, "I remember the day you became a mom."   That was thirty-three years ago and only god knows how many diapers.  Now my children are grown, only when they left home did I realize it went by way too fast.  I look back on those years like it was yesterday.  Like the time an elderly man says to Malia you are so cute, what is your name?  She had this look on her face like she couldn't believe he didn't know who she was.  With her hands on her hips and attitude in her voice she says ugh, Malia Girl!  And Abby Gail who would go to the grocery store with me wearing a tutu on her head all the while thinking it was a normal thing to do,  and in her eyes it was.  Or Lora Beth who was afraid when someone would vomit.  If we were in the vehicle, she would beg to be tied on top of the roof, if someone was car sick (Abby Gail) promising not to fall off.   Of course this we didn't do.    And lastly Michael, the only boy who was raised by not only mama, but three sisters.  One day he came home from little league football practice and said, "mom don't clean my football helmet with comet anymore, it makes it look like I don't get to play."

There are so many memories, many that I photographed.  All the birthday parties, the occasional trips to the beach.  The homework and meals shared around the kitchen table.  And yes many tears.  I think back at all the halloween costumes I made, enjoying every stitch.  They would return from a night of trick-or-treating and trade out the candy they didn't like.  Anything with coconut would always come my way.

They have their own lives now with careers, spouses and obligations.  The days of me braiding hair and running them to practice are over.   They are at the age that they do not need me anymore, but not a day goes by that I do not think of them.

Me with Malia 

 Jim and Malia

Stone and I

Malia Girl

We gathered on their rooftop patio to catch up and eat pizza as we watched the sun set.

Pizza on the roof.

The view from the rooftop patio.



Monster Cat

For Mother's Day weekend, we toured ten homes that were sponsored by the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.  Among them were some of Atlanta's finest private gardens.

For Mother's Day brunch Jim had made reservations at Lure, a seafood restaurant in the heart of Midtown on historic Crescent Avenue.  After touring five gardens we had worked up an appetite.  I began my meal with the fried rhode island calamari, it might had been the best calamari i'd ever eaten, and i've had plenty.  For my entree I chose the steelhead trout, although I thought about getting the seared scallops that Stone had ordered.  From the looks of our plates you couldn't have made a bad choice.  Lastly three scoops of Rocky Road ice-cream.  This I had picked out before I arrived at the restaurant.

 Steelhead Trout

Stone's Seared Scallops

Rocky Road

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Cousins In Paris

Eiffel Tower
Cousin Debbie and I didn't have to go far to see the Eiffel Tower.  It was right there in Paris, Tn.

The World's Biggest Fish Fry

 The timing of our visit revolved around, "The World's Biggest Fish Fry" in Paris Tn.  It originally began in 1953 as the Fish Fry.  Since then it has grown considerably from 1,6000 pounds to over 5 tons of catfish being cooked and served. I wasted no time consuming the BEST catfish I have ever eaten.  You see that plate with no one sitting there.  Yep, it's mine.  Just sayin!  It was that good.

Me and Cousin Debbie at Loretta Lynn's estate in Hurricane Mills, Tn.

The Site Of The Plane Crash Killing Four, which included Patsy Cline.

Cousin Debbie had made this very tasty cake for our visit.  Lucky for us, she packed some to take home, which we consumed half on the drive back to Knoxville.  The next morning we polished off the remaining.  Hey nothing wrong with cake for breakfast.

7-Up Pound Cake
3 sticks butter
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups flour
2 Tablespoons almond extract
3/4 cup 7-up
Optional: glaze using powdered sugar and milk.
1.  Preheat oven 325'.
2.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  
3.  Add eggs one at a time.  
4.  Add flour alternatelywith the 7-up.  
5.  Add almond extract.  
6.  Pour into bundt pan that has been spray with baking spray and bake for approximately 1hr. 15 min.

Debbie also sent Stone and I home with some candy.  I allow myself one a day, and I pack one a day for Stone's lunch.  YUM!!!

Pecan Candies
2 quarts pecan halfs
1 stick butter
chocolate/white chocolate bark
1.  Melt butter, add pecans and salt and mix will.  Make sure all pecans are coated.  
2.  Microwave 3 minutes.  Stir and add more salt.   
3.  Microwave another 3 minutes, stir.  
4.  Microwave another 3 minutes, stir.
5.  Microwave another 3 minutes, stir.
6.  Microwave another 3 minutes for a total of 15 minutes, stir.
7.  Melt 1 package chocolate and 1/2 package white bark into boiler.  
8.  Pour over pecans, stir well and drop on wax paper with Tablespoon.