Sunday, April 17, 2016

Week 17, 4-17-2016

Travel certainly messes with your schedule.  However, I'm unpacked, laundry finished, mail picked up, bills paid, emails answered, and my last blog posting took two days.  I always take too many photos; easy to do with digital cameras where you don't have to pay to develop film to see what your photo looks like (or in my case, sometimes what I have in the photo - must get a camera with a view finder).

Tales:  When I picked up my mail at the post office on Monday, I stopped by the used book sale at the Christian County Library where the redbud tree is blooming its little heart out.  Of course I bought a box of cook books and a couple of novels.  You knew I would.

Tasting:  The Food Marathon continues.  Friend Kathy's husband has pneumonia so she couldn't leave him to go out for her birthday.  My turn to be hostess for the VECC (Very Exclusive Cooking Club) lunch on Thursday (Kathy's birthday), so I made her cake and took her lunch to her on Wednesday.  I cheated and used a strawberry cake mix and strawberry pudding frosting.  You'll find the frosting recipe in the post from Week 2 (chocolate) and Week 13 (Pistachio).  You just change the pudding flavor to match the cake.  This will become one of your favorite recipes if you try it.

I made my standby take-it-to-a-friend lunch:  

Crunchy Chicken Casserole
(Recipe in Week 2)

Cranberry Jello Salad
(Recipe in Week 2)

And Frozen Green Beans from Aldi

Then right back to cooking for the VECC lunch on Thursday


April 14, 2016, at Patsy’s



Magic Pan Salad

Garlic and Herb Tri-tip with Horseradish Sauce

Mashed Potatoes

Mixed Vegetables

Broccoli Cornbread

Coconut Cake with Strawberries

Iced Tea    Coffee



Double-duty centerpiece

One of the ladies from Amy's (Love Made My Home) Five on Friday blog posted a photo of her Easter cactus.  It's like a Christmas cactus, but pink blossoms instead of red.  I found these at Walmart, but labeled "Spring Cactus".  That way, they don't have to go on "Clearance".  The rose garland surrounding the cacti is from a thrift shop.  The roses are actually purple like the dishes, but appear pink like the blossoms in my photos.

Copy Cat Magic Pan Restaurant (out of business) Recipe

Tear up enough Romaine lettuce to serve the number of guests
Add to taste: Mandarin oranges from a can and finely sliced green onions

Toss with vinaigrette

Top with toasted slivered almonds

1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix all dressing ingredients together in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stir to make sure sugar is completely dissolved, then cool.
Harter House

1 2-1/2 lb tri-tip, with fat on one side
Santa Maria seasoning (available at Harter House) Rub all over tri-tip, all sides

Oven Roasted
Heat oven to 350

Place tri-tip on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, fat side up, no water, and no cover, do not turn

Roast 1 hour and 15 minutes

Bring charcoal to high heat

Sear tri-tip 15 minutes with fat side down

Push coals to one side, cook tri-tip with fat side up away from the coals, for 1 hour

Can also be cooked on gas barbecue

Adjust cooking time according to weight

Tent tri-tip with aluminum foil and rest ten minutes before cutting

Starting at point end, cut across the grain into thin strips
From somewhere on the web

1 box Jiffy Cornbread Mix
10 oz pkg of frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and squeezed with a clean kitchen towel
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (can use Colby-Jack)
3 eggs, beaten
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne

Heat oven to 375°.

Grease an 8” square baking pan.

Mix all ingredients and pour into baking pan.

Bake 30 minutes.

For a drier cornbread, bake in a 9” x 13” baking dish and reduce baking time.
I call it Pain-in-the-tush-dirty-every-dish-in-the-kitchen Cake

5 eggs, separated and room temperature
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
  For Frosting
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted

Heat the oven to 325°.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg yolks and beat well.  Stir in the vanilla.

Whisk together the flour and baking soda and add to creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

Stir in the coconut and pecans.

In another mixing bowl, with clean beater, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold into cake batter.

Pour into two greased and floured 9” baking pans.  Bake 40-45 minutes. 

Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, beat all ingredients except coconut until creamy.  Frost cake and sprinkle with coconut.
Decorate with pecan halves, if desired.  Store in the refrigerator.

On Friday, Nephew Ron came down from Kansas City to sign the papers and close on Brother Sonny's property.  A sad day, but one of relief that one more thing is finished and can be crossed off the "Settling the Estate List".  No more Sonnyville, but in a way he's still there, as we scattered his ashes over the property he dearly loved.  No more Sonny, but in a way he's still here because we have all the wonderful memories.

Ron and I had lunch at FD's Grillhouse, and of course I chose my favorite tilapia and shrimp.

Then I met Friend Katie Sue at Nearly Famous for Lemon-Blueberry Cake and coffee so we could catch up on card making and paper crafting news.  

Tales:  I managed to finish two books this week.  One more Covington book, and that will be the end of the seven-book series.  And now that I've read Susan Branch's latest book, I must wait until the next trip to Great Britain, after which she'll bless us with another.  If you haven't signed up for her blog at yet, please do.  You'll be happy you did.  And read my review on her latest book at, which tells the whole story.

And Miscellaneous T's:  I filed my Taxes and can forget about that for another year, and my Termites have been treated behind the house - no more flowers close to the foundation.

I didn't intend this to be a food blog, but it seems I've leaned in that direction.  Time to shift gears and get back to the T's and T's, which I shall do this week.  If you don't know what they are, check my "Complete Profile".  

Be sure to make a wish on the full Pink Moon on April 22.

So back to Taking Care of Our Health:  Apples, leafy green vegetable, and tea every day, a fruit or vegetable from each color group (red, white, green, yellow or orange, blue or purple) each day, eight glasses of water, thirty minutes of exercise five times a week, ten minutes of sun, a good night's sleep.

And back to Things That Grow.  I planted my seeds too early and most did not germinate. Now I have a flourishing crop of weeds in that soil I prepared so carefully.  Gardening is not my most accomplished talent.  You might say it's the least accomplished.  Much to do in this department this week.







  1. The table setting was beautiful and I loved the idea of a centre piece becoming the favour. Take care.

    1. I'm a real penny pincher in some ways. Sometimes I buy a plant which is blooming (mums work well); I cut the flowers and do an arrangement for the table, and then plant the blossomless plant in the yard.

  2. You sure do pack a lot into one post! All the foods look delicious. You sure did make a feast!

  3. I have no idea what tri tip is. I guess we call it something else over here. Looks tasty though.

  4. I have no idea what tri tip is. I guess we call it something else over here. Looks tasty though.

  5. A tri tip is a sirloin roast. It's the end, so when it's cut, it forms a sort of irregular triangle. The seasoning is a garlic and herb seasoning. I have no idea what all the herbs are, but I'm sure it also contains spices. The butcher will also do a red seasoning which is sort of like barbecue, but we prefer the white. I actually bought the tri tip to do a theme dinner (Lunch with Herb), but ran out of time. I'll do it later, because I have some darling dishes with herbs on them I want to use. Still trying to find a good recipe for dessert with herbs in it. Maybe something with lavender. Salad is no problem, potatoes with rosemary, carrots with dill, muffins with any herbs, but the dessert is still a mystery. Any ideas?

    Of course, no one can do a roast of beef like the Brits. When I think of British cooking, I always think of those two ladies who had a cooking show and zipped around on a motorcycle with a sidecar. They never used a recipe and went interesting places. Wish PBS would bring those shows back.

  6. Hi Patsy!! Oh my do these recipes look wonderful!! And that table is gorgeous! I love the idea of the takeaway being the centerpiece. Absolutely beautiful. ;) I just finished the 3rd Susan Branch book too and just loved it ( I think my fave out of the 3) and I just love her!

    Sorry I've been so behind in blogging world and still playing catch up. I need to add you in my regular feed so I see your new posts. I've been sticking with my isagenix and workout program. I know slow and steady will win the race - but feel great as I've lost 5 lbs in 2 weeks. I know there will be weeks I won't lose at all, but we keep on keeping on as they say. It's not a sprint but a marathon and I know I'm in for the long haul!! Just keep taking care of yourself and work on things at your own pace as well. Never beat yourself up - only build yourself up.

    Blessings!! xoxo

    1. Your delightful comments are fuel for my soul. You're always so positive.

      I only post once a week, sometime on Sunday. Not much to talk about this week, but I'll still show up.