Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Three-Bean and Sausage Stew

photoCAH0KKVO

Christmas is almost upon us .. (did I really say that?!?) and if you’ve got way too many last minute errands to do then this dish is a life saver. Ok, maybe not a lifesaver, but it takes a load off of whats-for-dinner problems. Just throw this little jewel in the crockpot, go attack the day, and then 4-5 hours later boil some rice and open a bag-o-salad and you’re set. I usually end up with left-overs so I freeze the rest. Which, I might add, does freeze well.

3-Beans and Sausage Stew

1 1/2 lbs smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces

16 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

15 1/2 oz can great northern beans, rinsed and drained

15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup water

8 oz. tomato sauce

2/3 cup chopped celery

1 tsp chicken bouillon granules

1 tsp minced garlic (you can use garlic powder in a pinch)

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp dried oregano, optional

1/4 tsp dried thyme, optional

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours, or until heated through. Discard bay leaf. Serve over rice. Makes about 8 servings.

Enjoy and relax!

photo

Monday, December 19, 2011

PRAYER REQUEST TUESDAY

This is the day set aside for prayer, for you.
If you have a prayer request, please list it in the comments below. You don't have to give any information you don't feel comfortable with. (A simple "unspoken" comment is sufficient).
If you would like to pray, then please pray for the comment above yours.
Also, if you would like to share a "praise" for a blessing you have received please feel free to leave a comment so we can all rejoice with you!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

PRAYER REQUEST TUESDAY

This is the day set aside for prayer, for you.

If you have a prayer request, please list it in the comments below. You don't have to give any information you don't feel comfortable with. (A simple "unspoken" comment is sufficient).
If you would like to pray, then please pray for the comment above yours.
Also, if you would like to share a "praise" for a blessing you have received please feel free to leave a comment so we can all rejoice with you!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pecan Pie Cake

Ok people, you've been warned! This cake will make a grown man drop to his knees, birds will sing, and your children will ask you to let them wash the dishes. I'm tellin' you, this cake is good enough to make you sass your grandma (and we all know you won't get away with that without some serious discipline from your mama, right?)  I found this in an older Southern Living, and so glad I did!
Pecan Pie Cake

It's best to make the filling the night before, because you want this to chill really well. So I'll start with that first...
Pecan Pie Filling
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/8 tsp salt
3 TBSP butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (the real stuff)

Whisk together the first 6 ingredients in a heavy 3-quart saucepan until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, and boil for 1 minute, or until thickened. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla. Place a sheet of wax paper directly on surface of mixture to prevent a film from forming, and chill at least 4 hours.

Now for the cake....
Pecan Pie Cake
3 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted and divided
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup dark corn syrup

Sprinkle 2 cups pecans evenly into 3 generously buttered 9-inch round cake pans; shake to coat bottoms and sides of pans.
Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy, and gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
Combine flour and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in remaining 1 cup pecans.
Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form, and fold one third egg whites into batter. Fold in remaining egg whites. (Do NOT over mix). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. I always set timer to go off 5 minutes before to be safe. Silly oven!
Check for doneness with the old toothpick inserted into center test.
Cool in pans on wire racks for about 10 minutes, then invert onto the wire racks. Put some wax paper down under the wire racks... Trust me! You'll be glad you did!
Brush the tops and sides of layers with corn syrup, and cool completely. (See, aren't you glad you listened?)
Spread half of pecan pie filling on one layer, pecan side up. Place second layer, pecan side up, on filling, and spread with remaining filling. Top with remaining layer, pecan side up.

Now, every Southern cook knows you don't make a pecan pie when it's raining, right? Guess what it was doing the day I made the filling? Yep, that's right.
So it wasn't picture-perfect but that didn't bother anyone who had seconds on Thanksgiving!
I hope you'll try this. I know it's a two step (or day) process, but it is so worth it.
And hopefully, it won't be raining when you do. Enjoy!

Hint:  Please read the comments.  In them, there are some really good questions and tips and if I haven't answered them, then some wonderful readers have helped.  You might find an answer you have in them. 

Be Sweet!


I'm linking up to:
SixSistersStuff.com                   Or so she says

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Handmade Holiday Gift Exchange

This year I participated in the Handmade Holiday Gift Exchange, sponsored by Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous

This is my second time, but the first "holiday" exchange.  I just shipped mine out today, so now I can post what my partner will receive...

In the background is the Damask & Dots tote bag, with removable vintage cluny lace rosette "purse pin",
Blue fabric flower pin, some hand-stamped Gift tags, and a green glitzy bell.
Sure hope she likes 'em!

Oh!  and to those I've already promised...and you know who you are... come back here Friday for the recipe for that out-of-this-world, guaranteed-to-make-a-grown-man-drop-to-his-knees Pecan Pie Cake!!!  I'm telling you, this is G double-O D!!!  


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

PRAYER REQUEST TUESDAY



This is the day set aside for prayer, for you.

If you have a prayer request, please list it in the comments below. You don't have to give any information you don't feel comfortable with. (A simple "unspoken" comment is sufficient).
If you would like to pray, then please pray for the comment above yours.

Also, if you would like to share a "praise" for a blessing you have received please feel free to leave a comment so we can all rejoice with you!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Post Thanksgiving –and a Red Velvet Recipe

It’s official. The Christmas season has begun. But I’m taking a step back for reflection of “Turkey Day”. And sharing one of the two desserts I made for Thanksgiving. Don’t worry, I’ll share the second one later this week because….well, it is totally awesome! But later.
My twitter feed had picture after picture of Thanksgiving meals…everything from full blown traditional meals to totally no-carb, gluten free meals.
photo (32)
Our “traditional” meal always consists of well, a turkey. And sometimes a ham too, but never not a turkey. Since the new craze to deep fry a turkey came about a few years ago, that has got to be my favorite way to eat one now. This year we had a turkey, a ham and roast. I know, I know…overkill.
There are “sides” that are tradition too…
Mom’s macaroni and cheese
photo (33) oh yeah, and candied sweet potatoes. No, not yams…sweet potatoes.
My sister’s deviled eggs
photo (29)
Seriously, her deviled eggs are the best!
Now, in the south we don’t do stuffing. We do dressing. Cornbread dressing at that.
photo (30)
…and nobody does dressing like my mama.
And greens! My favorite? mustard greens. My sister’s favorite? Collard greens. She fixed the greens. Guess what we had. Of course, collards.
photo (22) I already judged myself so you don’t have to.
and then there’s dessert… (sigh)
photo (31)
which brings me to the recipe I’m sharing with you… Six Layer Red Velvet Cake
photo (24)
Though I can’t remember, I’m pretty sure I got this from Paula Deen’s magazine a couple year ago….or Southern Living. I cut it out and put it in my notebook of recipes to try and finally tried it this year! LOL
It was originally a 7-layer Red Velvet Cake, but I never got 7 layers out of it…only six (and I didn’t even eat any cake batter) So, the name has changed.
7-Layer Red Velvet Cakeor 6 depending on your measuring cup.
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup whole buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 (1 oz) bbottle red food coloring
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp vinegar
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Beat in oil, buttermilk, and eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar. Pour 3/4 cup cake batter into each cake pan, turning to distribute batter evenly. Bake 8-9 minutes. Let cool in pans approx. 5 minutes; remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.
Wash and dry pans; repeat procedure with remaining batter until all layers are baked. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting evenly between layers and on top and sides of cake.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
7 cups confectioners’ sugar
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth
photo (23) Enjoy!
What are some of your traditional Thanksgiving foods? Who is in charge of what?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Prayer Request Tuesday

This is the day set aside for prayer, for you.
If you have a prayer request, please list it in the comments below. You don't have to give any information you don't feel comfortable with. (A simple "unspoken" comment is sufficient).
If you would like to pray, then please pray for the comment above yours.
Also, if you would like to share a "praise" for a blessing you have received please feel free to leave a comment so we can all rejoice with you!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Black Friday is coming!

Are you one of the masses that brave the cold, crowds and lack of sleep to make it to the stores for that elusive deal?   This year I'm staying close to home. And why, you might ask?

I am participating in ...... drum roll.....
Handmade Black Friday

My etsy shop, Sweet Jeanette's Bags, Tags & Girly Things,
is just one shop among some other pretty nifty shops holding our own Black Friday sale.  If you're thinking more of a handmade, from-the-heart, Christmas season this year, come check out all the shops participating.  The best part?  You can do it in your pajamas! 

Thanksgiving, Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous will post a preview, and then at 12:01 a.m. on the 25th, the fun begins!   

I'm not supposed to "spill the beans" yet about what deals I'm giving so everyone will have the same opportunity. But Im working feverishly to try to get some new items in the shop especially for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so you'll see some new items never before seen in my shop!  (ooooh... aren't you curious?)

 I expect I'll be shopping along with you on this day too!  (hee hee).  So mark your calendars, put reminders in your phone, whatever you have to do.  Be there!   Hey!  You can still go to the brick-and-mortar stores, and use your smart phone to order the handmade sales while your in those long, long lines!  LOL

PRAYER REQUEST TUESDAY

This is the day set aside for prayer, for you.

If you have a prayer request, please list it in the comments below. You don't have to give any information you don't feel comfortable with. (A simple "unspoken" comment is sufficient).
If you would like to pray, then please pray for the comment above yours.

Also, if you would like to share a "praise" for a blessing you have received please feel free to leave a comment so we can all rejoice with you!




Sunday, November 13, 2011

Split Pea Soup with Honey Baked Ham bone

So, did you try the loaded baked potato soup?  I'm tellin'  ya,  you should!  I hope you like split pea soup because that's what I'm sharing today.

I had never had split pea soup until a few years ago.  A friend and I found this tea house (literally a transformed house) and they served a complete three course meal.  The soup was split pea.  I was hooked!

I found out after that, that you either love or hate split pea soup.  My husband?  He thinks it's G-R-O-S-S.  I asked him if he had ever tried it, and the answer was no.  I think it's more of an aesthetics thing.  I know he has "texture issues".  He won't eat bananas because "they feel funny" in his mouth.  Go figure.   

I came across this recipe, and it said to use a Honey Baked Ham bone...no exceptions.  If you know me at all, you know I don't like restrictions.  I didn't care much for coloring as a child because they said you had to color between the lines...Why?  How boring.   Oh yeah, the soup... (back on track), so anyway, I tried it with, and then without the Honey Baked Ham bone.   TRUST ME, use a Honey Baked Ham bone!  Now, your soup won't bring about the destruction of the world, your puppy won't run away, or your children won't turn into delinquents right before your very eyes if you don't, but the taste IS  better.    I'm just sayin...

Ok, ok, the recipe....

Split Pea Soup

2 lbs. split peas
5 quarts cold water
Honey Baked ham bone
2 Cups minced onion
2 Cups minced celery
2 Bay leaves
Creole Seasoning to taste
Salt to taste
1 Cup minced carrots

Check your peas for any "foreign objects", Since they're going to cook about 8 hours, I don't soak over night, but I do rinse 'em.  My choice.  You do what you like.

Combine the peas, water and ham bone in soup pot.  Cover and bring to a boil.
Add celery, onion and spices, simmer until peas have dissolved (that's about 8 hours)

ADD the carrots about 1 hour before serving.  Remove bone and bay leaves.  

I have yet to talk my hubby into trying this soup, so I had lots to save... just so you know - it freezes well.  

Do you like/hate split pea soup?  What's your favorite cold-weather soup?  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

This is my favorite potato soup.  In fact, I judge all other potato soups by this one.  Since the weather turned (just a bit) cooler I saw this as a perfect excuse for this and since I don't know how long the cool snap will last, or when it'll come back around again (it was in the 80's today) I needed to do this right away.

I   must warn you, however, while this is a hearty soup, it's not low calorie.  But it's oh so good!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

You're going to need...
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
7 cups milk
4 large baking potatoes, baked, cooled, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)
4 green onions (I cut up the whole bunch and put in my soup!) sliced
12 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (yeah, right. you'll notice that package of Hormel bacon... that's what I used.  Hey, it says "real bacon", right?
1 cup ( 8 oz) sour cream
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

In a large soup kettle, or Dutch oven, melt the butter.  Stir in flour; heat and stir until smooth.
Gradually add milk, stiring constantly until thickened. 
Add potatoes and onions.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients; stir until cheese is melted.


Do you have a fave "cold weather" soup?    How do you feel about split pea soup?  Hope you like it because that's what I'm making next.  See?  Im on a soup kick so if you have any suggestions, fill me in!  


Note: I forgot to mention the cheese... Can't forget that! You need 2 cups.


PRAYER REQUEST TUESDAY

This is the day set aside for prayer, for you.

If you have a prayer request, please list it in the comments below. You don't have to give any information you don't feel comfortable with. (A simple "unspoken" comment is sufficient).
If you would like to pray, then please pray for the comment above yours.

Also, if you would like to share a "praise" for a blessing you have received please feel free to leave a comment so we can all rejoice with you!




Friday, November 4, 2011

iPhone APPS I love

"There's an APP for that".    There certainly is.  And I love it!  One of the main reasons I got my iPhone 4 (no, I don't have the 4S - - - yet) was for the apps!  If you have an iPhone, I'd love to hear what your fave apps are.  I'm going to be sharing with you some of mine.  Being that I'm a total app junkie, I'm always looking for new apps that have been recommended, so lets swap information, ok?

Here are a few of my most current app loves:

Cuptakes - 
Cuptakes is all about girly wallpapers for your iphone.  (Right now, I have the cutest cupcake background, er... wallpaper on my iPhone.   So far I've noticed they update every month (I've only had this three months so that's what I'm assuming)  They had Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas themes thrown in the mix too.  It's easy to grab the themes from their gallery.  But take it from me, when you see one you're interested in, go ahead and save it right then.  I went back after an update and the one I was thinking about had rolled off.  Lesson learned.  Which is not a bad thing.  At least you're not stuck with the same old ones and nothing new is ever offered, right?    This is not a free app, but it's reasonable enough at $.99

Hey Tell  * Free *
This is a fun app.  Basically, it turns your iphone into a walkie talkie of sorts!  You know, when you're driving and can't type your text...this is perfect!  Voice messages are quicker than SMS - and free! 

Waze  * free *
This is a live community contributed traffic information app.  You turn this app on as your driving, it shows you on the map and any slow downs, traffic jams, police (hidden and seen) reports.  I turned this on on a recent trip, stopped to get gas and got a pop up saying they noticed I had slowed for a while, was I in a traffic jam and did I want to report it.   It is a real time traffic report, by other Waze users.  Cool, huh?   I haven't used it but there is another feature of live map and voice guided navigation too.  

PocketBooth
This is fun!  While waiting for the bride and groom to make their appearance at a wedding reception, I whipped out my iPhone and started shooting pics with this neat little app.  Just as the name says, it makes the shots look just like the old photo booth shots.   You can choose color too I think, but I like the feel of the old 50-60's style photo booth.

Ok those are a few of my most recent faves.  (More to come)  but I'd love to hear of your go-to apps if  you  have an iPhone.  Whether it be for fun, or productivity, work, whatever, leave a comment about your faveorites.



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

PRAYER REQUEST TUESDAY

This is the day set aside for prayer, for you.

If you have a prayer request, please list it in the comments below. You don't have to give any information you don't feel comfortable with. (A simple "unspoken" comment is sufficient).
If you would like to pray, then please pray for the comment above yours.

Also, if you would like to share a "praise" for a blessing you have received please feel free to leave a comment so we can all rejoice with you!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Relevant-11 Blog Bash AND a Business Card Swap

The Relevant Conference 2011
The Christian blogger Event of the year...and I'm not there!

Last year during Relevant I just knew that I'd be there this year.  Uh, um... I'm not.  I want to say that next, year, definitely, I will be there but I temper that with... "I sure hope I can be there next year".  

I am, however following the hastag #Relevant11 on twitter and following all the "goings ons"  and  Women Living Well is having their own Blog Bash so I'll be hopping there too.   They are even going to do streaming of keynote speakers and will update it.  Be sure to go there too and check out some of the bloggers that are participating in the Blog Bash.  (I intend to link up under the food/recipes category myself!)  
(Click above to go there)
And that's not all...
Since I'm seeing tweets about all the great business card exchanges going on and those of us who are not there don't get to exchange ours and get their great cards, I'm hosting a link-up for all!  
Whether you're at Relevant or at home.  Here's our chance to connect with other bloggers.  All you have to do is either scan, or take a pic of your business card, either tweet it, or post it on your blog, link up below so we can come visit and get your card!    How fun is that?!?

I'll start....


ok,  your turn....






Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Girls Day Out with Real Women Eat

Saturday was a rare occasion when almost all of Real Women Eat were able to get together for a long overdue Girls Day and fact finding mission...a.k.a Cupcake evaluation!
Left:  Saucy in front, Sweet Jeanette(me) in back
Right:  Cupcake in front;  Delicious in back
(Buttercream was the only one who couldn't make it)

First was breakfast at Mimi's.  It is, after all, the most important meal of the day.

I had buttons made for everyone with our logo on it, and threatened them within an inch of their recipes if they lost them!  

I had heard of a cupcake shop in Brandon.  Until now I thought there were no local shops... except in Tampa.  I was excited to find out after talking to Dena that there were more than one in Brandon area!  WooHoo!

The first one we tried to go to was Simply Cupcakes.  To our disappointment, there was a note taped to the door.  They were in Plant City for an antique/craft show and chili cook-off.   So it was off to the next cupcake shop...
Sweetie's Delights.
I just love this painting on their back wall.  One of the employees took this pic for me.  I don't know what the "back room" was, but they closed the door just after I saw it so I asked if they'd take the picture for me.  They were gracious enough to do so.   Don't you love it?  I wish I had a kitchen wall big enough.  I'd SO have Brooke paint those cupcakes on it for me!

We each bought a cupcake of our choice (I bought two) and sat down to do our "research"...er, pig out!
I naturally got the chocolate peanut butter.  In fact, everywhere we went, if there was anything with peanut butter in it, I got it.   The other was a key lime.  I was very pleased with my choices.  I don't remember what everyone else got, but there will be the evaluations on RealWomenEat.com later this week. 
All decorated for Halloween

We did end up going to Plant City to seek out Simply Cupcakes.  We tried their cupcakes too, but I just realized I don't have any pictures!  I remember our favorite flavor there was the cookies-n-cream cupcake.
While there we wandered into a candy shop.
They provided samples - Yesssss!  I never knew dark chocolate could taste so good!  I had always thought dark chocolate tasted bitter. But this was so creamy and smooth...and yummy! They mentioned the process they painstakingly underwent to insure it's taste.  Well worth it!

All in all, we had a great day of feasting and fellowship.  But I have to mention our "find" of the day...
We were searching for a place to sit to try our cupcakes and found some outside tables a couple doors down from Sweetie's Delights.  We were just going to buy some water, but were overcome with the place.

Leena's Chocolates!!!
This is Anthony Caliguire  (Leena's son)

We couldn't resist the Gelato!  I got strawberry and it was love at first bite!
No kidding!  I love this stuff!
Anthony was great - he  shared with us the history of Leena's  and all that they have to offer.  They have private parties there too...and for $35.00 you can book the place for food, fun, and a tour of the back room to see all the "behind the scenes" goings on.  We all decided that we want to take advantage of this for a girl's night.  I mean, c'mon, $35.00 to feed me, entertain/educate me too?  I'd pay $35.00 to watch an ant eat a bale of hay.  This is much better!   After we take advantage of this and get the tour, we'll be posting it all on RealWomenEat.com, be sure to check it out!   Basically, we went looking for cupcakes, but fell in love with Leena's Chocolates!  (and I can't wait to tell you more, but on Real Women Eat!)

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