Lunch Container

I threw away, oh IDK, about two dozen tops to plastic lunch containers, before Christmas. They had no bottoms, you see? Where they went, who knows? So, as I prepared my salad for the day I scrounged and contemplated what to put it in for lunch at work. Voila! Eureka! Serendipity! An antique Atlas pint jar to the rescue.

Isn’t it a pretty little salad? Mixed greens, chopped Gala apple, raisins, Dubliner cheese and Ranch dressing.

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen for a Happy New Year.

Tastes good too.

Eggnog Fudge

Here ya go.

3 cups white sugar

3/4 stick of butter, cut into pieces

3/4 cup eggnog

Pinch of salt

Big dash of nutmeg

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup each of candied red and green cherries

1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a 3 quart pot, stir together first 6 ingredients over medium high heat. Bring to a boil that cannot be stirred down and cook to a softball stage. At this point add in cherries and pecans. Remove from heat and beat the heck out of it. When the fudge begins to loose its luster and some of it begins to crystallize on the sides of the pot, pour into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment and spritzed with cooking spray. Cool and cut into squares. This fudge is rich and creamy. Serve, of course, on a pretty dish.

Eggnog Fudge on vintage tin ware

Christmas Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen

Feminine and Genteel

Every year I am gobsmacked by the camellias growing in my farmhouse gardens. Frilly, bright, small. medium and large, they remind me of the dresses of girls ready for cotillion.

During the spring and summer, I fret over seed selection and getting the ground ready, then tending plants so I can get bouquets to market. These camellia arrangements come with none of the toil. It’s as if God says, “Here, Daughter, rest and enjoy.”

In a world explosively bitter and cold, not unlike this time of year, these flowers remind me that there is beauty in simple things if we would only look. They also remind us to be gentle, kind to each other.

My walk netted a bodacious bouquet.

Feminine and Genteel

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen at Flowers Proper.

Eggless Cookies

I ran out of eggs and didn’t want to drive to town, so I tried an egg substitute. Using up last years sprinkles (you know, a few of this kind, a few of that kind-oh they don’t go bad, do they?), I made these eggless cake mix cookies.

Ingredients:

1 box vanilla or white cake mix

2 egg substitutes (for each egg needed, do this:1 tablespoon water, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 teaspoons oil)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

A bowl of miscellaneous sprinkles

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix up the egg substitute, set aside. In a big mixer bowl dump in cake mix. Then add the next 5 ingredients and stir together. With a scoop, drop mounds of cookie dough into the bowl of sprinkles, one at a time, coating each cookie. Place a few inches apart on cookie sheet, as these cookies will spread. Bake until the tops crack open and the bottoms are slightly browned. Twelve minutes or so. Cool on wire racks. These cookies are very crisp and are great for dunking, if you are so inclined. Makes about 2 dozen.

Great for dunking: won’t disappear into your hot beverage

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

John 12:24

Zinnia season is over. Collected spent flower have been drying on the kitchen table. One flower center produces hundreds of seeds. And one seed planted next spring will bring many blooms. It is a picture illustrated in John 12:24.

A bucket of spent zinnia blooms.
Washed and dried food containers hold zinnia seeds for next spring.
John 12:24

“Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

You People and Your Pumpkin Spice

You people and your pumpkin spice! It’s also apple season.

Here’s a simple recipe for you: Apple Cobbler Bake.

Core and cut 2 Gala apples
Chunk cut the apples and place in an oven proof skillet, along with 4 pats of butter, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of honey, 3 teaspoons of lemon juice and a good sprinkle of cinnamon. Stir and stew down, over medium high heat for about 5 minutes.
Over the top of the stewed apples, sprinkle a third of a yellow cake mix. Top with a few more pats of butter and cinnamon. Place in a 350° oven for about 25 minutes, till the juices bake over the top, forming a crust.
Serve in a small dish and grace the top with a bit of ice cream. I split a tiny ice cream sandwich for ours this Sunday afternoon. This quick, easy dessert has just enough sweetness and spice. The lemon juice adds a nice brightness.

Enjoy. Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

You’re Welcome

Yep, you got it. Mix candy corn and cocktail peanuts together and it tastes like a Payday candy bar. You’re welcome.

I know that there are those who hate candy corn. And those people are nuts. Which is what gets mixed with candy corn to make a mix that tastes like a Payday candy bar. In a bowl, mix two small bags of Brach’s candy corn or one big one and a small can of Planter’s cocktail peanuts. Serve up for movie night or the football game or in your child’s lunchbox. They will thank you. And you can say, “You’re welcome.”

Blessings.

Road Trip US90, the MS Coast

A friend and I both needed a break so, a road trip was in order. We drove south and then along US Hwy90 and stopped in many of the cities that dot the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I have not been on the coast since I was a teenager. We’ve all done that Ship Island trip… a right of passage, dontcha know? I had remembered Biloxi, Gulf Port, Bay St. Louis as kind of run down and parts of the coast seedy. My impression as a teenager, now mind. Keep reading, please. A revitalization of the coast has happened since Hurricane Katrina. The Mississippi Gulf Coast is alive and well and open! The architecture of the old homes and new residences is spectacular. The updated boardwalk is inviting and kept very well.

Here are recommendations:

White Pillars. 1696 Beach Blvd, Biloxi

Here’s a view of their brunch menu.
Shrimp Avocado Toast
Shrimp and Grits – so good
Flourless Chocolate Torte and a French 75

White Pillars sources practically everything they serve locally and their wait staff is knowledgeable and friendly. One of my new favorites is the coffee at White Pillars. They filled our cups with a beautiful blend from Coast Roast Coffee and Tea. We asked where they were located and made a beeline to get some. Here’s the address: Coast Roast 2510 16th Street, Gulfport. They will grind your beans, while you wait. Great service.

In Bay St Louis, we found eats at The Mockingbird Cafe. A very friendly, casual place with good food. Address: 110 2nd St, Bay St. Louis

For shopping, try The Shops at Century Hall. If you have a corner in your home that needs cozying up or a gift, this is the place. I bought a little white unicorn made of tin. Address:

112 2nd St., Bay St. Louis

Detail of the mural painted by Anderson on the walls of the community center, adjacent to the museum

The fourth town we visited was Ocean Springs. Home to the Walter Anderson Museum, this revamped downtown is filled with boutiques and art galleries. Address for the museum:

510 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs

Here are two shops we recommend:

The Pink Rooster 622 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs

I found lovely, vintage looking table linens and my friend found handmade jewelry. Local artists’ works filled the old house turned gallery/shop

The Candy Cottage 702 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs

Let them put together a sweet gift box, filled with homemade chocolates, pralines or other old fashioned confections. I spent the week looking for salt water taffy and found it there. The best I’ve ever had.

My haul from the drive along US Hwy 90

Traveling Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Use the Linen Napkins

I did wake up in time for breakfast this morning. A fried blindfolded egg (my Daddy taught me), with mayhaw jelly on an #Bay’sEnglishMuffin, a side of bacon, yogurt with a chopped banana and a cup of #CommunityCoffee. Notice the pretty linen napkin and #FireKing dishes. The journal front says to write your story. To do that well we need to slow down a bit. Saturday mornings are my favorite time for that. So, use the lovely dishes. Go to the linen cupboard and get out a pretty napkin. Slow down when you can. Lord knows life will speed up soon enough.
Blessings for a quiet Saturday.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CEeZ4bLBrli7RNW6t8EpDTrq4V1MHOv0jm0XIM0/?igshid=67rnucfggj9g

Saturday breakfast

Rating: 1 out of 5.