Sunday, January 15, 2017

Week 56, 1-15-2017

Thoughts and QuotesIf you aren’t finding success, you must either magnify your skills or modify your goals.  Jim Rohn

Good advice, which I shall take to heart. I know that we all come with an expiration date, but I'm starting to see the truth in these words. I see time slipping by and now I realize that I have too many goals for the time left for their completion. So I'm modifying my goals.

Take a look at my goals (before modification) and you'll see what I mean. I copied them from an Excel worksheet, so the spacing is off, but you'll get the idea.

 Goals       for        2017 
1 Book - Tablescapes 30 Crystal Bridges
2 Book - Soup 31 Steak House in Shell Knob
3 Book - Teas 32 Laura Ingalls Wilder Home
4 Book - Theme Dinners 33 Shell Knob Flower Show
5 Finish craft projects 34 Restaurant in Cave - Richland
6 Cards for each holiday 35 Clinton Tea
36 Neighbors Mill in Harrison, AR
HOME 37 Osage Beach
7 Follow cleaning schedule 38 Undercliff Grill
8 Photos for insurance 39 Kansas City
9 New curtains in office
10 Organize garage MAINTENANCE
11 Fresh flowers in the house 40 Honey-Do List
12 Candles and pot pourri 41 Repaint closet interiors
42 Have skylights, windows checked
LEARN 43 Repair fence
13 Computer classes 44 Curtains for sunburst and skylights
14 Spanish 45 Paint patio furniture/pots
15 Read/watch Jimmy's research
16 New sewing machine ACQUIRE
17 New camera 46 Perfume
18 Read 100 books
47 Underwear
48 Victorian rose tea set
49 Black sweater
19 Try all gadgets
20 Hem jacket sleeves and pants YARD AND GARDEN
21 Finish DVD's and recorded TV 51 Pots on patio
22 Follow health plan 52 Grow herbs and vegetables
23 Follow budget 53 Flowers Martha would approve
24 Transfer music from records 54 Replace mulch
25 Friends over Friday 55 Iowa
26 Celebrate holidays 56 Kansas
27 Celebrate We Miss You People 57 Nebraska
28 Fly the flag on flag days 58 Oklahoma
29 VECC 59 The Dakotas
60 Upper NY
61 Cajun Christmas
62 Christmas Around the World

Imagine how disappointed I'd be if I didn't finish my books before my transition alarm went off.  So - I'm modifying my goals. I'm going to make my main focus finishing those books. The added benefit will be that I can get rid of some "stuff" - dishes, napkins, placemats, knick-knacks, etc. Starting tomorrow, back to the main T's of this blog.

And this week, I fear that you'll feel that you've stumbled across a food blog, but here goes. First, a couple of things I meant to include last week, but somehow went sailing right on past them.

Teaching and Learning: This is an excerpt from the newsletter Peter Longley (the Horticultural Interpreter at the Botanical Center) writes twice a week.

"HAPPY NEW YEAR! I wonder how many of you had black-eyed peas for sustenance yesterday? I had never heard of black-eyed peas until I came to the United States in 1967, but as many of you know, Georgia was my home from 1967-1999. I was rapidly introduced to black-eyed peas as a legume in the deep south. It is interesting as I only know how to pronounce the name of this rather uninteresting bean, for it is a bean more than a pea, with a deep southern accent with all the emphasis on the ‘eyed.’ Black-eyed peas are really a native of West Africa and I have no doubt found their way into the deep south as a part of the slave trade. They were a staple food of the West African and the slave ships carried the beans in their holds to feed the precious slave cargo. They are also good protein and kept slaves healthy in the deep south and were thus seen as a symbol of hope. In about the 1820s they first started to appear on the master’s table on slave plantations, and there is a belief that the black-eyed pea helped to keep besieged white southerners alive during the siege of Vicksburg. Thus they became associated with good luck. In the post-civil war era they became staple food for New Year’s Day when impoverished white and African-American families alike were struggling after the Confederacy’s defeat. The myth grew up that the number of beans eaten on New Years’ Day along with pork and collard greens would reveal the amount of wealth that might come in the hopes for the coming year. Through the slave trade black-eyed peas or cowpeas found their way into the staple food of Caribbean islands and parts of South America, noticeably in Brazil. Thus a tradition grew. Actually, many societies all over the world associate certain foods with good luck for the New Year."

I lived in California most of my life, and the Chinese taught me to eat rice at the New Year to attract good health. I've added that to my New Year dinner, and it works I guess, because I'm healthier than anyone I know. The Mexicans make tamales, but I usually don't have time to round them up at the New Year. The Jewish people eat chicken soup with matzo balls, but I haven't learned that recipe yet. I consider myself a very lucky lady, so I'll just stick with the black-eyed peas, collards, rice, ham, and cornbread. Works for me.

Tasting: Joey sent me this recipe for her mother-in-law's Chicken Gumbo. 

This is Joey's modified version:

 6 chicken tenders
 7 cups water
 Enough chicken soup base to flavor the broth
 1 med onion (chopped coarsely)
 1 to 1-1/2 cups frozen sliced okra
 1 T dried parsley flakes
 1 T Worcestershire sauce
 1 t garlic powder (approx.) to taste
 No bay leaves
 3 T flour
 1/4 c oil

 Cook chicken in flavored broth.  Set chicken aside. Add chicken and
 remaining ingredients to broth, except oil and flour. Use oil and
 flour to make a roux. Add roux when onions and okra are barely tender.
 Let stew until veggies are done and soup is somewhat thickened.
 Serve over white rice. I seasoned my rice with butter, salt and
 pepper. It takes very little salt since the soup base is really salty.

Tablescapes and Tasting: My turn to have lunch for the Very Exclusive Cooking Club (VECC). Here's the table.

The Menu

Five-Hour Beef Stew

Copycat KFC Cole Slaw

Garlic Parmesan Bread

USS Missouri Buttermilk Pie

Butter Pecan Cake, Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Iced Tea, Hot Tea

The Party Favors

The Recipes


2 lbs stew meat (For best results, use chuck steak or tri-tip)
1 bunch carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 onions, rough chopped
1 envelope onion soup mix
3 Tbs tapioca
1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
2 tsps sugar
Salt and pepper
Potato chunks (optional)
1 cup each frozen corn and peas

Preheat oven to 250°.

Mix all ingredients and put in an oven-safe pot and cover.  Bake five hours. DON’T PEEK!

Note: You can use canned corn and peas by draining and adding them when you remove the stew from the oven. It will be hot enough to heat them.

Note: If you use a very heavy Dutch oven, the stew might not completely cook in five hours.

Note: You can double the recipe, but it makes a lot. I use my turkey roaster.


1 Tbs finely grated onion
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup whole milk
1-1/2 Tbs white vinegar
2-1/2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
8 cups (or a 16 oz bag Cole slaw mix) finely diced cabbage
1/4 cup shredded carrot (optional) Omit if using bagged mix

In a large bowl, whisk together all but the cabbage and carrots.

Add cabbage and carrots and mix thoroughly.

Cover and refrigerate four hours minimum or overnight. Stir well before serving.

(The Bread Machine Cookbook-page 130)

1 cup water
2-1/2 Tbs butter
2-2/3 tsps honey
1-1/3 tsps salt
1-1/3 tsps garlic powder
2-1/3 cups bread flour
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2-1/2 Tbs dry milk powder
2-1/2 tsps dry yeast powder

Check your bread machine book for instructions for your particular brand to see the order for adding ingredients. My machine is an Oster and these instructions are for my machine.

Spray pan with Pam.

Put all wet ingredients in first. Swirl pan to mix.

Whisk together all dry ingredients except yeast. Add to pan.

Make a nest in the dry ingredients and add yeast.

Plug in machine and select medium crust, basic bread, large loaf (1.5 lbs) – takes 3 hours.

(Midwest Living Magazine, I think)

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
3 Tbs flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
9” unbaked pie shell
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

In a large mixing bowl, gradually add beat the sugar into the softened butter.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

Combine flour and salt and beat into butter mixture.

Beat in the buttermilk until mixture is well blended. Pour into crust.

Sprinkle toasted pecans over the top.

Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 15-20 minutes or until set.

Cool. Store in the refrigerator.

Note: Toast pecans by spreading in a shallow baking pan and baking at 350° for 5-10 minutes, stirring once or twice during baking. Careful – they burn easily.

The magazine had an interesting story about this pie. It seems that President Truman was aboard the USS Missouri and the cook prepared this pie for dessert that day. The President asked for the recipe and was refused. The cook said that he did not share his recipes. After the cook retired, he let his wife send the recipe to the magazine. Of course, this was before the internet, or the President could probably have just Googled it.


1 Betty Crocker butter pecan cake mix, plus the ingredients on the package
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup whipping cream
5 Tbs butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Make the cake, following the package directions. A Bundt pan is optional. Other pans will work.

In a heavy saucepan, mix the brown sugar, butter, and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in pecans.

Drizzle over cake.

The Pepper Report: He's still my little inspector. As I finished putting away the clean dishes from the dishwasher, he checked to make sure I didn't miss anything.

The Day of the Week:

Muffin Tin Monday: These might come in handy for breakfast on the run, but I didn't really think they're all that tasty. I made them with ham and green onions.


11 large eggs
1/2 cup finely shredded Swiss or Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely shredded Cheddar
12-24 Tbs finely chopped cooked meat and/or vegetables

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin.

Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped ham, bacon, sausage, green onions, tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, red onion, a dash of powdered garlic or onion (if desired), or any combination into each muffin cup.

Whip together eggs and Swiss or Parmesan and pour over chopped ingredients.

Sprinkle Cheddar on top.

Bake 18-20 minutes.

Note: A cupcake filler helps tremendously.

Tidy Up Tuesday: We had a wonderfully warm day on Tuesday, so I spent the entire afternoon working in the garage, sorting Christmas dishes and other things. I didn't make a dent. And remember the holly dishes I was so excited that I found? Well, I had a set in the garage already. I thought I gave them to my niece.

Where to Wednesday: The Chicago Cheesesteak Company. Joey joined me and we both though it was great. We opted for the Philly version. One of the owners came out to visit and everyone was very friendly and helpful. It's a small place, but waiting for a table is worthwhile. Most people grab and go, so we didn't have to wait. I'd never known there was a difference between Chicago and Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches, but the sign tells it all.

Note: If you're not big eaters, one sandwich and one order of fries will feed two people.

Try it Thursday: I tried the KFC Copycat Cole slaw and the Butter Pecan Cake recipes. I think both are keepers.

Friends Over Friday: They came a day early. Our VECC lunches are always on Thursday.

Sayonara Saturday: Still working on cleaning up my computer.

I think this is fun, and will try to continue it though I'm determined to work on the books.

Next Week:

Muffin Tin Monday: Pineapple Muffins

Tidy Up Tuesday: Temps are warming, so back to the garage.

Where To Wednesday: Cafe 11 and Bakery (formerly the Garden Cafe) on National just south of the James River Freeway. I hope some of you locals will join me at 11:30. Here's the link.

Try It Thursday: Haven't decided.

Friends Over Friday: I'm the friend who's going over. I'm doing Sally's table for her Supper 8 dinner. Might have guests on Saturday.

Sayonara Saturday: We already said goodbye to my sweet Auntie Kack. I'll be making her favorite quiche to celebrate her life.

Taking Care of My Health: Oh, yeah - whatever happened to that goal? This week's assignment:








  1. That was an extensive list of goals for 2017, hope you manage to achieve them. Loved the tablescape this week and the menu was amazing. Loved the look of the pecan desserts. Take care.

    1. I finally realized that I'm not Wonder Woman, so I'm modifying my goal list. However, I found that a list does encourage me to do more than if I didn't have a list. Something about checking off finished items.

      Do you follow Susan Branch? If so, you'll notice that those dishes I used are the ones she has. I've loved them since I saw them on her blog, and wonder of wonders, I found them on Craigslist at a fraction of the cost.

  2. First of all Patsy I want to thank you for your long and encouraging message! Things are not so bad as it seemed. My humour was not quite right when I wrote my post. Maybe got up with a wrong foot. Do they say that in English too?
    I find joy during the winter with my books. My books and once again in books! :) Life is not that bad after all. I have to modify my goals also!

    And your loooooong list of goals made me smile! Really, a good happy smile. Near to laughing. Don't offend yourself, please! But the fact is that doing lists help a lot. I use lists in gardening season and they help me organize myself and get things done.

    So keep on listing! Maybe I'll take them as a winter habit too! Wishing you great January days dear Patsy!
    Your dishes look soooo delicious and table settings beautiful.

    1. In English we say that we got up on the wrong side of the bed. Why? I don't know. This never made sense to me.

      I've heard a new quote to help me accomplish my goals - "Put more into your 24". Think I just need to work a little faster. We'll see.

  3. Hello there Sweetums!!! ;)

    I'm catching up on life after being gone for the whole long weekend for Annie's hockey tourney. I love tuning in here and seeing what yummy recipes you'll have posted next. Or pretty tables. I love it ALL!! Once again you definitely did not disappoint! Your table was so pretty and everything looks so delish!

    I agree that you need to pace yourself, and set yourself up for success with your new year's plans. I think you're already off to quite a wonderful start my Dear.

    I'm going to definitely copy some of these recipes!! Both that pie and cake look amazing! And that roast sounds soooo good - would it translate to a slow cooker do you think? And I we love KFC's coleslaw. Yum, yum, yum! Now if only I wasn't trying so hard to be so good with my diet! Lol

    I never knew there was a difference in the types of cheesesteaks either. Thanks for the education!

    Now best of luck on your continued wonderful goals - and just take it one week at a time. Blessings to you my dear Patsy-girl! xoxo

    1. PS: I have a really fun yummy looking "muffin" recipe I've always wanted to try and have never made. I think I may have to email that recipe to you and let you try it first for me! Lol!! Watch your inbox in the days ahead and I'll go try to dig it up. ;) xoxo

    2. That diet is still in the future; however, I've been cutting down on portions. I took off the 2 pounds I gained over the holidays, and haven't been on the scales since. Busy, busy.

      I glanced at your Homemaker Monday and saw that Carrie won her tournament. Congratulations, Princess Hockey Player! Haven't had time to really read your post, and I'm only half-way through the Five on Friday (didn't come to you yet).

      I took the day off last Friday and watched mysteries on Hallmark channel all day. I really needed the "down" time, and it served me well. I was really tired.

      Is the yummy-looking muffin recipe on Pinterest? I can do a search. I'd be delighted to make it next Monday.

      Our weather is cooperating, so the garage was warm enough that I could do my Tidy Up Tuesday going through all the grocery shelves and removing outdated items. I was shocked to find that many items purchased from Aldi don't have an expiration date printed on them. I probably threw out things which were okay because I just didn't want to take a chance. Now I know that I must give my Sharpie a workout when I get home from Aldi.

      I also cleaned out both refrigerators (garage and house) AND the freezer. I have only the kitchen pantry to clear out, and it's mostly teapots, so easy-peasy. Most of my food is in the garage because it doesn't get extremely hot nor extremely cold.

      So many goals - so little time, but Hey! I'm giving it a shot.

      About the KFC slaw recipe - I asked if they thought it tasted like KFC, and they said, "Better!".

      I don't know if the stew would crockpot. Sometimes that cooking method seems to change the texture of meat. It seems to draw out the moisture. You wouldn't want to go off and leave your oven on, but if you're going to be home, you don't have to watch the stew. As a matter of fact, you can't even peek. The secret is to use a tri-tip, and if you don't have that, ask the butcher for a good substitute (I think probably top sirloin).

      Still work to do, so goodnight, Dear Little Friend, and I'll read your posts a little later.

    3. Yay for the 2 pounds! Just keeping busy is a wonderful thing - and you sure sound like you've been crazy busy. And so productive all ready too. Just keep up the great work! ;) And thanks for the tips on the stew and sending those wonderful recipes!!

      Now make sure you're getting plenty of rest too!! xoxo

  4. What a long list ! I only make shopping lists nothing else. Your cat in the dishwasher is so cute, my cats do that too !

    1. Any open door, drawer, or empty box must be examined. I have to be careful that I don't close him into a closet.

  5. Lots of goals to tick off your list but interesting things to achieve. Your tablescape looks lovely and it is good to hear about Pepper, cats are so inquisitive aren't they? Have a happy week:)

    1. You can see why I've modified my goals. If I just had a staff!

  6. Hello, somehow with all that has been going on I haven't been paying proper attention to what blogs I have been reading and today I suddenly realised that I hadn't read yours for ages. Then I discovered that for some reason I wasn't following you any more. I have rectified that and I am here now. Anyway, just wanted to let you know as I cannot imagine how long it has been since I disappeared. Back now. Glad to catch up with you. That is a long list of things to do, hope you get to do as many on your modified list as you can! Great to be here again!

    1. I understand completely. I haven't even finished reading the Five on Friday from last week, and now another Friday has rolled around. Maybe I'll catch up tomorrow.

      Wishing peaceful days for you. You've had enough trauma.