Sunday, January 3, 2016

Week 2, January 3, 2016


I have lots to share this week, so go grab a cup of tea before we get started.

Results from last week’s goals:

Thinning and Trimming:  I did Sit and Be Fit, but it ended up being Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday.  Lesson learned – now it will be Sit and Be Fit three times this week.

Taking Care of my Health:  I cheated one day and ate only the apple in my Jello salad, so the next day, I ate a big apple instead of a small one.

Togs: Here’s my new outfit.  I was going to wear it to the library tea, but that big floppy hat would have been in my eyes for cooking, so I changed and put the new outfit aside to wear to lunch.

Long jackets are in style this year, which proves my theory that if you save your clothes long enough, they will come back in style.  This jacket is probably fifteen years old and never worn.  

The colors are a little distorted, but I haven't learned Photoshop yet.  I'll bet I can find it through my local library.  I learned how to set up my blog by taking one of their Gale courses.  It's free, you do it at home on your own computer, and you can work at midnight or 3 a.m. and wearing your pj's or nothing at all, if you're related to Benjamin Franklin.

Tickety-Boo:  I made the snack from kale, but it was pre-cut, and I think it would have been better with larger pieces.  I tried it with table salt and sea salt, and I liked the table salt better.  I tried and tried to remember where I got the recipe, and then, Duh!, there was a recipe right on the package of Glory Foods kale.  It’s a little different from the one I used and it goes like this:

Preheat the oven to 350.  Dry the leaves in a salad spinner or with a paper towel.  Toss the entire package (16 oz) with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt (about 2 teaspoons). 

Place the kale on cookie sheets in a single layer.  Bake 10-15 minutes or until crisp and starting to turn brown. 

For a variation, sprinkle the chips with grated Parmesan or Italian seasoning.

I’m going to try using it as a topping for salad, soup, vegetables, pasta dishes, etc.

It looked like this:

And then it looked like this:

Time for Others:
The library tea was a success. Here are the tables:

The tea was held in the library community room (you can scarcely see the farthest table:

We had displays of vintage clothing, purses, and hats:

There was hat making:

Bev wore the hat she bought on a recent trip to Natchez:

We had sweets:

We had savories, but in my tea-making fervor, I didn't get a photo - tea sandwiches of sliced chicken, cucumber, olive-nut, egg salad, tomato-butter, and ham salad.

I think everyone enjoyed an opportunity to dress up and go to a tea party, even our token gentleman:

What a good-looking bunch (someone is hiding - we had 24 guests):

I want to share one of the cookie recipes.  It's the plain-looking one, but tastes really good and makes a lot of cookies.  I got the recipe from the Taneycomo cookbook, and yes, the name really is "Delicious Cookies".

(From the Taneycomo Cook Book)

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup margarine
1 cup oil
1 egg
1 cup quick oatmeal
1 cup coconut
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
3-1/2 cups flour

Mix all of the above and then add:

1 cup Rice Krispies
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Roll into balls.  Put on ungreased cookie sheets and bake about 12 minutes (depending on size) at 350 degrees.



I didn't make much progress on my winter tea for the Everyday Afternoon Teas book. I did some planning, however:

The setting:  Dining room

The menu:    Savories:  Roast beef finger sandwiches, olive-nut finger sandwiches

                     Sweets:    Cherry Spritz, Snowballs

                     Scone:      Orange-Apricot

                     Spreads:   Orange Butter, Apricot Jam

The dishes:  Remember, this is EVERYDAY, so I can use mugs instead of cups and                                  saucers.


I made the New Year's black-eyed pea dinner, but I can't say that I'm proud of my result.

The table was a meager effort (remember, I was knee-deep in finger sandwiches and cookies for the library tea).  My poor little centerpiece:

The dinner:

We had our rice for health, black-eyed peas for luck, collards for money, ham and cornbread because it goes well.  I served the leftover cake and ice cream from Wednesday for dessert.  
Not my best effort, but we're covered for 2016.  I do like the recipes for collards and black-eyed peas, so I thought I'd share them.

I altered the recipe to make more servings

3 cups dried black-eyed peas (this is a 1 lb. bag)
2 ham hocks
1-1/2 large yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsps salt
1-1/2 tsps pepper
1-1/2 tsps dried parsley (optional)
8-10 cups water

Soak peas overnight.

Put all ingredients in a large pot and simmer for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.  Keep checking for doneness.

This recipe is from Southern Living Magazine – I think

8 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb ham, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 32-oz containers chicken broth
2 1-lb packages collard greens, washed, stems removed, and chopped into small pieces
2-1/4 oz cider vinegar
2 tsps sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Cook bacon in a large stockpot over medium heat 10-12 minutes or until almost crisp.

Add onion, and saute 8 minutes.

Add ham and garlic and saute 1 minute.

Stir in broth and remaining ingredients.

Cook 2 hours or to desired degree of tenderness.


Traditions:  I set my recorder incorrectly and missed the New Year in Vienna program. However, I can buy it from the PBS store on DVD for $15 plus shipping.  Do I want to pay that much?  Hmmmmmmm.  I need to think about it.

Tasting:  This isn't about new recipes - it's about old recipes I wanted to share.  I invited some ladies to lunch on Wednesday and here it is:

We had Cranberry Salad, Crunchy Chicken Casserole, Green Beans, Carrots, and Parmesan Puffs:

This is a great luncheon meal because you can do a lot of it ahead and the casserole has chicken and rice.  You can make the jello salad, cook the chicken, cook the rice, cut up the water chestnuts, mince the onions, and saute the celery the day before the lunch.

Sometimes, when I have extra cooked rice, I measure and freeze it for the next casserole. You can do the same with the chicken.  AND, men like this casserole too, so you can feed the leftovers to your hubby.

For dessert we had Cherry-Chocolate Cake with ice cream from Braums.

Here's the casserole recipe:

Reminisce Magazine

1 cup chopped celery
1 Tbs butter
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1-1/2 cups cooked rice
10.75 oz can cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup mayonnaise
8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
2 Tbs minced onion
Salt and pepper

1 Tbs melted butter
1/2 cup crushed corn flakes
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Heat oven to 350.

Saute celery in butter until crisp tender.

Mix with remaining casserole ingredients and spoon into ungreased 2-1/2 qt. casserole.

Combine melted butter and cornflakes and sprinkle on top.  Sprinkle with almonds.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Note: I cut the water chestnuts into smaller pieces.

This works equally well in 13 x 9 or 11 x 7 glass baking dish.


My mother-in-law, Cora Belle, gave me the recipe for the salad, and it's one of my favorites:

Cora Belle

1 small pkg cherry jello
1 cup boiling water
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 large can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 cup diced apple
1 cup diced celery

Dissolve jello in boiling water and cool.

Add cranberry sauce and lemon juice.

When slightly thickened, add apple and celery.

Chill several hours or overnight.  Cut in squares, serve on lettuce with a dollop of mayo and a celery leaf.



The Parmesan puffs are very simple:



1 11 oz can refrigerated biscuits (10)
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), melted
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not the green can)

Heat oven to 475 degrees.

Melt butter in microwave in a shallow dish.

Put Parmesan in another shallow dish.

Dip biscuit tops in butter, then Parmesan, and place on ungreased baking sheet with the cheese side up.

Bake until golden, about eight minutes.


You'll make this cake again and again, because it's so easy and can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen:



2 eggs, beaten
1 box devil’s food cake mix
1 can cherry pie filling
1 tsp almond extract

Heat oven to 350.

Grease and flour a 9 x 13 baking pan, or two 8” or 9” round cake pans.

Mix all ingredients well, using electric mixer.

Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake 25-30 minutes.

When cool, frost with Pudding Frosting using chocolate pudding and replacing 1/4 cup of milk with maraschino cherry juice.



1 small instant pudding mix of your choice
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup milk
8 oz Cool Whip

Add powdered sugar to pudding mix in large mixing bowl.

Whisk in milk.

When pudding is set, fold in Cool Whip.

Refrigerate cake after frosting.

This will cover a 8” or 9" layer cake.


Don't go yet - we have to work on next week's goals.

Thinning and Trimming:  I'll continue Sit and Be Fit three times a week, but add Classical Stretch (also from PBS) two times a week. 

Taking Care of My health:  I'll still eat my apple (or half) a day.  If you're getting tired of them, try this:
This is a perfect snack when you're on the Zone diet 
(Apple, String Cheese, Three Almonds)

 This is good when you're NOT on a diet
(Apple slices, smeared with peanut butter, drizzled with honey, and sprinkled with pecans)

Kudos to my brother Sonny who is eating apples and doing pull-ups and push-ups daily.

Now let's add some leafy greens every day.

Time for others:  Katie Sue and I are going to make Christmas cards.  She's been making cards for the retirement and nursing homes in our area for years.  She's given as many as 600 cards at Christmas in one year.  We're going to try to get ahead so it's not crunch time during the busy holidays in 2016.

Teas:  I'll work on that winter tea, even if it's only trying the new scone recipe.

Thread:  I'm going to turn this:

Into one of these:

I love these cotton shawls for summer.  I have them in red, white and beige, but I need black.  And I'm tired of having this basket of thread in the middle of my closet.

Tidying:  I'm going to wash all my doors - not the woodwork - just the doors.  All my bedroom closets are walk-in and the linen closets in two bathrooms have full-sized doors, so seventeen in all, two sides.  That's enough tidying for one week.

Trying New Gadgets:  I haven't decided on which one, but you'll get a report next week.

One last T: Thank You: To my good friends who helped with the library tea.

Bev (who made those cute bon-bons on the sweets table)

Katie Sue, who flat knows how to get things done

By the way, this wasn't their first rodeo - the photos are from last year's tea.  

I hope you’ll leave a comment about your success with last week’s goals, a photo of your outfit (you might have to email it to me  if you want to share it on next week’s blog), and any suggestions you have for adding kale to our diets.  I also welcome easy simple afternoon tea recipes.

Remember – if you want to leave a comment, you have to go to the blog instead of the email.  Just log in to and go to the very end.

Either way, comment or email, I'll be happy to hear from you.  And I hope you'll join me in my goals.

Until next week, don't forget to drink your tea and eat apples.


  1. Here is a link to the library's Facebook photo album of the Downton Abbey tea, including pictures of the savories:

  2. Loved reading your second week of postings on your new blog. The tables for the library tea were spectacular as always. And, I enjoyed getting new recipes. Have fun with this new venture in the new year. Love to you, Big Sis!

    1. I haven't tried yet, but I think you can highlight each recipe between the asterisk lines, copy, paste to a Word document. Then you can save them under "MY RECIPES" in Word.

    2. I just tried it and it worked for me. Highlighting is a little tricky, but better than printing it out and then trying to find it later.

      I gave up on Cookbook software - too many bells and whistles. My recipes are in Word - My Recipes - then by Beverages - Cakes - Cookies - Desserts, Misc
      and so on. You can make a folder for each category (just click up above on New Folder) and then you can print the recipe when you want to use it, drip all over it, and throw it away.