Monday, October 18, 2010


I'm gona start off with a recipe perfect for now:

Best Baked Mini-Pumpkins

Cut off the caps, scrape out seeds, season, re-cap, and bake. That’s all it takes to give each diner a yummy little pumpkin, custom-flavored. Bake while you roast some meat or vegetables, or both! Or, for an all veggie meal, serve with braised greens and toasty baked grains. Make sure you cook dull skinned (not shiny coating like the supermarkets do just for decoration!). As the Cinderella coaches bake, natural oils surface and they turn as glossy and bright as painted and shellacked decorations.
For Each Serving:
1 mini pumpkin
pinch of ground coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, or garam masala or big pinch of dried savory, sage, or thyme, crumbled to powder
pinch salt
pinch pepper
1 teaspoon butter or nut oil
1 Tablespoon prune, apple, cranberry, or orange juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
1. Set oven to 350 degrees to 375 degrees. With sturdy sharp knife, cut a square (or 5-6 sided ) cap around pumpkin stem, poking into the heart of the squash to cut the fibers. Pry out the cap. With melon ball cutter or grapefruit spoon, scoop out and scrape interior to remove all seeds and fibers. Trim fibers from cap.
2. Sprinkle spice (or herbs), salt, and pepper inside and tap to distribute. Add butter, juice, and sweetening. Set cap back in opening, but do not press in fully (or it may slip inside). Place in baking dish.
3. Bake until creamy-soft inside, about 30 minutes for small squash, 45 minutes for larger ones. Test with knife tip - it should slide through easily. Let stand 15 to 60 minutes, as convenient.
I just realized I never posted about the opening of HOME GOODS.... When I was there they had some fabulous pumpkins and fall deocorations! I didn't get any, tho'.
I just realized I never posted the opening of Home Goods.
It was great!
They had lots and lots of fall and Halloween decorations.... But I didn't get any.....What's wrong with me..... But today, I'm in a fall mood. Except for pumpkins and Thanksgiving Fall isn't a favorite season for me.
I've never wanted to go see the changing leaves.... It just means winter is on the way and I don't care for temps low enough in areas where they really change.
But I really do love pumpkins!!!
Looks at these KNUCKLEHEAD PUMPKINS.... I kinda like 'em.
 These are pretty terrific... Even tho' I'm not sure they're real.
If they are, that's a lot more work than I'm willing to tackle.
 These are Fall Leaves for me! A favorite sugar cookie recipe and mingled fall colors of dough.
 I wish these people were my neighbors!
How about a nice recipe?
Cinderella Pumpkin Soup

4 cups cooked pumpkin

2 cups chopped onions

4 Tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups white wine freshly ground pepper

kosher or sea salt

1 cup heavy cream (special occasion) OR 1 cup milk (weeknight dinner)

Optional garnishes:

grated nutmeg

chopped crystallized ginger

croutons or

freshly popped popcorn

Lightly brown onions with the olive oil in a thick-bottomed soup pot. Add garlic and cook until it softens but doesn't brown, about 1-2 minutes. Add the pumpkin, broth, and wine, stirring to blend. Add S & P. Cook for 30 minutes or so over medium heat. Taste and adjust seasoning. Puree soup. Serve hot with 2-3 T cream in each bowl. Garnish as desired. Serves 8, or 4 with yummy leftovers.

 Can you imagine? I believe these are studs all pushed into the pumpkins. I love them!
 And maybe the simplest way to decorate your pumpkins..... Stencils. These are great, too!

 I do love pumpkins ! ! !

Monday, October 4, 2010

So Sad!!!

I wish I had some photos to post and I almost took some thru the windows at HOME GOODS yesterday morning about 7:50 while I was down there, having gotten ready for Sunday School and Church early so I could do the GRAND OPENING only to findout that they have postponed the GRAND OPENING to NEXT Sunday!!!!
There were PLENTY of FANTASTIC things I could see as I pressed my nose up against the windows! :(
It's gona be so good but I'm very disappointed! Woe is me....... But the anticipation grows!

Friday, October 1, 2010

My sister, Carol, in Alaska sent me another box of homemade jellies and goodies. These are a few....
My favorite's the Rose Petal Jelly. Iggie's is the Fireweed Jelly.
She sent some Nutty Rhubarb Hot Fudge Sauce. Haven't tried it, yet.
Some Rhubarb Butter as well as several other yummies.

 I decided I needed something fresh and hot to go with my Rose Petal ..... So, I made some Orange Cranberry Muffins....................

 To make it all better I grilled the muffins in butter (naughty, naughty!).
 Made myself a cup of hot Black Current Decaf Tea.
Now that's me being good to me!

Some of my goodies were made by Carol's friend, Margaret...... Margaret is the daughter of a gentleman, Mr. Johnson, who Carol used to take care of before Carol had her transplants.
Margaret and her husband, Leroi, were driving from their home near Anchorage to the Denver for their son's graduation from medical school this past weekend when they hit a patch of ice and had a terrible accident. Margaret's injuries were minor but Leroi was killed immediatly.
Please keep Margaret, her family and their friends in your prayers.
These people have been so kind and loving to my family.
This is so sad!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I have to get myself back into the practice of doing my blog. I enjoy it, I really do.... I guess it just seems like there's not much going on that's "blog worthy"!
BUT...... I have to share that in just 10 days we'll have our very own HOME GOODS just down the way. About 5 minutes.... IF there's traffic!
It opens Sunday October 2 at 8 a.m.
That's an hour an a half before I have to be at church to do my Etiquette Class..... I can do a lot in an hour.... Especially at HOME GOODS!!!
I'm saving my nickles. Savin' up for that special find and I'm SOOOO excited! I know there's gona be something there that'll be aperfect for some place in my house.
My first trip into Home Goods was about 2 or 3 years ago when we'd made a trip to Florida and ended up e-x-t-e-n-d-i-n-g it and part of the most wonderful summer I've ever had was a road trip up to Soperton Georgia to visit our 90+ year old Aunt Mammie with two of my fabulous sisters, Tammy and Carol.
We also went to Savannah to wander the streets, to eat at Mrs. Wilkes Restaurant and by Paula Dean's Son's restaurant fo a lookie-loo.
I'd never heard of Home Goods but I've been a shopper of Marshall's for years and drive into downtown Houston to go to Marshall's Mega Store as often as I can.
After the summer trip to Savannah, on a trip out to San Antonio my oldest, precious daughter, Kathryn, took me to the new HOME GOODS out there. I found a couple of busts..... this is one..... on the clearance shelves... and I don't remember what else. But I was a HAPPY SHOPPER!
I guess about a year ago, maybe a little more, they started opening up Home Goods here in town and that's just a special day outing for me. I always find pretties for the house and things to stash away as sweet gifts when I need 'em and the prices are sooo good!
Over on Eldridge Pkwy they're connected to TJMAX so Iggie's very happy anytime we go.... Down the road here... at least for now.... it'll just be HOME GOODS.
Now I'm gona have "my own"!

10 days and counting......

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Pact...

Well its been over a month since I've done any blogging. Its been a pretty busy Summer, lots of things going on. But now we're back to normal. Here's a little something that happened yesterday.

Hello! My name is Bleah Briann... ( and "Jennifer" is my grandma.
So now that we're all acquainted I'd like to tell y'all a little story.

Trey, Emery, my Grandma, and I were in Sam's the other day, doing some grocery shopping for this church dinner thing we're having. Emery was fussing... Trey was picking on Emery, and talking. And I well... well of course I wasn't doing anything at all. Though I'm told I was talking just as badly as Trey. Grammie was a little distracted. And she was trying to concentrate and I guess we were being kinda difficult. Here's the slant of what Trey figured should be our tactic towards her, since he just wasn't happy with being shushed...

Grammie had turned to  find something and asked me to stay with the buggie. As soon as she was out of sight, and out of ear shot, Trey starts wiggling his finger for me to get closer to him. So I do. "No, give me your ear so I can whisper in it." so I lean my ear in. "Don't you think Grammie is being mean to me today?" he says, "yeah Trey, sure." "And--" he continued, in the most serious tone I think I've ever heard out of a four year old, "--I've noticed she's being mean to you too." I nodded slowly not knowing where this was going. "Well, I think we need to be mean back to her so that she knows how we feel." "mmhmmm" I said, ever so slightly distracted by the fact that Trey suddenly sounded like a politian and Emery was trying to tear the pages off of my new book. "No." he said as he grabbed my arm. "we have to be mean back to her, because then she'll know how sad it makes us feel." "alright Trey, I understand. How are you going to do it?" "Well..." he said with his hand on his chin. "...we can't talk to her. And when we look at her we have to look like this-" he furrowed his eyebrows, and narrowed his eyes, and pursed his lips. It was a seriously scary look-- not really. More humorous then anything. But Trey was convinced it would do the trick. "Oh, and we can't tell her-" he says's "-we can NEVER, EVER tell her." "why not?" I asked. "Because, she'll be very mad, and will not let me watch PBS Kids, or eat snack for a very long time. And she probably won't even let you play on your computer anymore." I'm sorry but that got a laugh out of me, which wasn't good because I was already holding in so many giggles is wasn't even funny. "why are you laughing?!" he said placing his hands on his hips and offering up the infamous Trey-Bo-I'm-Not-Happy-Stare. "Okay, okay, I won't tell her." "ever?" he asked, "ever." "Alright." he said sticking out his hand, "Shake my hand." I stifled a laugh and shook it. "deal?" "deal." I said as Grammie approached. He winked at me.
{the look}
After that, we cruised the store picking up things like, bread crumbs, sugar, and salad greens. Everytime Grammie looked away, Trey gave her that twisted up look. You know that one he had taught me earlier? He's shoot her this glance and then look at me and smile wide and gave me a thumbs up.

Later when we arrived at home and Trey leaned in and said "we're still mad at Grammie right?" I nodded, "yeah Trey, we're still mad at Grammie."

Well that was Thursday... today he came in and asked me yet again "We're still mad at Grammie right?"
With Love and Blessings,
Bleah Briann

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ever After

Well, life is more back to normal this week....

Iggie went to camp for two weeks and when I was talking to a friend I said to her, " It's been... how many years since I've had 2 weeks without kids? ............. Never!"

My oldest daughter is 42 and Iggie is 15.

Last year when she went to camp for a week I'd gone out to Liberty Hill and wasn't alone then.

This time I went to Liberty Hill for 5 days and came home. For the next 9 days it was just me and the cat. And.... she didn't like it!

It's been really surprising to me how much differnce even one, easy going child can be compared to none.

Anyway, she's back and has been resting up from the work routine she followed with all the other interns.

She met lots of new friend, so knowing her, she was spending plenty of time visiting when she could have been resting but I know that they keep the interns busy with pretty much constant chores. She did a lot of kitchen duty this time.

So, she was thinking home cooked food and being lazy.

Last night I made a speial meal for her and then we watched our FAVORITE movie.... Ever After.

We get excited. We both almost know every word of it, knowing what's about to happen and we cry thru several of the scenes. At one pint she said "This is the best scene and the saddest, all in one."

There's a point where someone throws a punch and we both whoop about it!

If you haven's seen it.... Go rent it. She and I began watching it when she was 4 and we enjoy it more each time. She says.... "That's the TRUE story of Cinderella! That's how it really happened!"

I hope so!!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I love having a shady section in my yard. It came about because I really had no choice. Years ago we planted an oak tree and now it's big enought to cast shade all day on the back corner of the yard where I just kept trying to keep the grass growing, with no luck.
So I gave in and started to work with it instead of against it.
Here's a picture of Iggie near the corner, but still shady, from quite a long time ago with some of my Trumpet Plants. They seem to do great in the shade or the sun.I have to have some color so I choose to paint things bright colors. Like the mailbox that sits on a post back there. I've never collected any mail there but I've had several bird families use it as a place for their nest! Or the old piece of picket fence I picked up on the side of the road years ago.
The ground around the tree was dry and I couldn't deal with the roots so I had to raise it up abit. That means good fertilizer... Miss Ann has some horses and chicken. I have to get over there and 'collect' some....What better?
I brought back some little Rain Lillies from a trip to visit family in Florida a year or two ago and they like it back here.
I think I need to get someone in to trim up the tree tho' just to let in a little more light.
I found these chairs that are ideal for a quiet, shady spot to sit and read and relax at Lowes a couple years ago for 75% off.... Woo-Hoo. PERFECT!! I've put in a few plants that make nice, heavy borders along the back and the only 'care' they need is to stay at them so they don't take over too much of the area. The ferns love the humidity out there. I like color so I use the perenials like Impatience and Begonias a lot. Periwinkles are really hearty and colorful. I want to try some Hydrangeas but even in the shade it might be too hot.Lots of the color isn't in the ground. I have them planted in pots, like this.The Plumbego, sometimes called Blue Jasmine, that is in the ground just goes out in every direction and is so pretty! I have some vines. I had a nice Morning Glory but it gave way one winter so now I have a Bleeding Heart and a Moon Vine. I had this unbelievable Clemantis that went across the fence and attached itself to the nighbors tree and went all the way to the top and around and around....but when I trimmed the monster, it died.
I don't have a cover over my area, like this..... But I hope too soon...

And, I'd like to find some roses that would do well on the edge of the shady area like these......

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I mentioned before I believe that I'd found some fantastic peaches at HEB and for just .97 a pound. They were so good Iggie and I ate them up and I went back for more. They were down to .88 a pound, whoopee!!!
So, I bought some more and decided to make 'something' for Memorial Day to take over to Liz's house where she'd invited a few friends to come eat and hang out.In the summer time I used to go visit Daddy and the family and I remember my Uncle Johnny and his family would come down from Georgia with lots of fresh, yummy, Georgia peaches. To make peach ice cream.
Oh My Goodness. That was THE BEST stuff. I remember, too, that Daddy couldn't stand to touch the fuzzy peaches, kinda had that fingernails on the chalkboard effect on him. So somebody had to peel 'em, probably Shirley, our very special, patient stepmother. (Gosh, how did she put up with all of us kids ??? 5 of us and 5 more of their own!!!)
So.... this weekend I got out the old ice cream maker, plugged it in and it only hummed. No action. But, I went to JC Penney and found a great one on sale. Mine only made 1 1/2 qts but the new one makes a gallon. Now I'm goin in the right direction!
I'd already peeled and cut up the peaches so I headed over to Liz's with a new ice cream maker for her, too. Hers was 30 years old and she was thinking it was time for a new one.

We made the peach ice cream and a batch of vanilla.......... Oh, how fabulous!The peach was delicous and immediatley reminded me of being a kid with the first bite. The vanilla.... it was like heaven!
Yeh, the peach was delicous but the vanilla was out of this world.
So, I'm gona share the recipe we used.... And you can tell, Iggie was pretty pleased with it, too!
It was the ultimate, wonderful end to a really yummy meal. Some of the people had never had homemade ice cream. Can you imagine????????
Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 cups half-and-half cream
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a heavy saucepan, combine the first five ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon and reaches at least 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat; cool quickly by setting pan in ice and stirring the mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight or freeze immediately. When ready to freeze, pour custard and vanilla into the cylinder of an ice cream freezer. Freeze according to the manufacturer's directions.
Makes 12 servings

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm making a big pot of Cream Peas.
For anyone who doesn't know what Cream Peas are, you just don't know what you're missing!
Cream Peas are similar to Purple Hull Peas but they have a milder, creamier taste. 'Course, there's chance you have no idea what Purple Hulls are either.....
Cream Peas, Purple Hulls, Blackeyed Peas, Crowder Peas, Field Peas.... They're each a different southern 'delicacy'. Usually fresh peas are only available in mid-summer (we're already hot here in Texas), seems I've found these alittle earlier than usual, and they can cost you more per pound than a lot of good steaks but they're sooooo worth every penny!
CreamPeas are my second favorite.... Field Peas with lots of tender snaps are my VERY MOST FAVORITE. But I know these Cream Peas are gona be great!
If want a sensational, healthy, filling meal, try the simple southern version.
I think my favorite meal ever is a few slices of fresh, ripe, red sliced tomatoes covered with steaming hot peas, an ear of corn on the side and hot, southern, fried cornbread..... No sugar in the cornbread and forget the butter for the corn or the cornbread. You won't need it.
I had a friend from up north who years ago said I made a plate of peas taste better than a filet mignon! Those words are from a yankee so don't close your mind........ taste 'em first!
We went by a vegetable stand just a ways from here on Sunday and I stopped, just in time.... they were about to close up and I found the Cream Peas, some Blackeyed Peas, tomatoes and Georgia peaches..... I'll be doing a Peach Cream Pie for Memorial Day.
Peas are so easy to cook.... Much as I love mine, they're still not as good as Grandma's in Florida. NOTHING I cook is as good as hers.
Just rinse the peas well, put in a big pot with plenty of water, some salt pork, onion, pepper, maybe a little salt depending on how salty your salt pork is, I find out here, unless you find pork jowls, there's really very little salt on the salt pork. Bring to a boil, skim off the foam, lower the heat and cook, simmering, about an hour and a half or so until they're done, tender but not mushy.

Make some fried corn bread.....And enjoy!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

I haven't actually had a day that I went out and wandered, looking for those sweet things I love but as I've been going here and there and I've managed to stop at a few places I'd just driven past before. What was I thinking?
A friend of mine said we need to both gather 2 or 3 bags of stuff from around the house before we go out looking and allow our selves to bring back even 1!
I've reached the point of (sadly) realizing that's pretty true. If I see something I like well enough to bring home to use, it has to replace something. There's no spot here just waiting to be filled.
One good thing, tho'.... I have friend, Liz, who's recently moved from a large 3700 square foot home to one less than 1000 sq. foot.... Her husband didn't like anything feminine around the house, anywhere. She sold him just about every single item in their house when she moved (waiting for the divorce) and is filling her newly refurbished "cottage" with things that make her feel "soft" and feminine.
Her painter called her one day before she had moved in and said "What color is the kitchen supposed to be?" He'd made a mistake and painted the kitchen pink and didn't think about it until he was done. IT'S FABULOUS..... But.. this is all another post. My point.... I spend more time now collecting for her and shopping for her and sharing with her than I do for myself. Nothing I pick up or move out of my house goes unwanted.
I gathered up my linens I've found the past few months and cleaned and ironed them. I was surprised just how many beautiful ones I've found to add to my collection.

And Trinkets ....

and treasures....
for inside and out.....
I just gathered a few of my new things I've found here and there on outings and at recent garage sales.You can NEVER have too many roses!This is Elvis.... Or it looks like our Elvis. We have a little 1/2 minature schnauzer 1/2 minature dachshund but darker than this.
Too cute not to get!