My Weekend In Pictures/ Mother’s Day

I worked the flower patch and vegetable garden Saturday morning. Looking down the rows of potatoes, the red dots on the leaves at first looked like ladybugs. A second look brought panic. Potato beetle larvae were devouring the leaves of my red potatoes and white. A quick jaunt back to the house for a can of Sevin dust, a generous sprinkle, and I’m happy to say they are gone this afternoon.

Using my horseshoe hoe, I weeded the rows of vegetables and cut flowers. Hopefully by the first week of June I’ll have bouquets ready for market. Three years ago I gave up the traditional dirt free furrows between garden rows and got smart. I widened the distance from row to row and grow lovely grass paths. They make it nice for walking, whether dry or wet.

Green beans and squash are blooming, corn needs rain. But as the forecast calls for little to no precipitation this coming week, I’ll be packing water to the garden.

Saturday afternoon was spent making mayhaw jelly. You know it’s my favorite.And Then The Murders Began

A cup of juice, not used for jelly, was turned into a tasty barbecue sauce for leg quarters. My youngest son manned the grill today and Mother’s Day dinner was fabulous.

Here’s the recipe:

In a small pot, melt a 1/2 stick of butter over medium heat. Add in a scant 1/3 cup of honey and 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard. To this mixture, stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar. Add a few dashes of worchestershire. Mix with a whisk till smooth. Turn the heat down to simmer and add in 1 cup of mayhaw juice. Now keep it on a low simmer for about an hour, stirring every few minutes so it doesn’t burn. It will thicken and turn a rich reddish brown. Cool and put in a jar till ready to use.

Dessert was chocolate cake with mint chocolate icing. And yes, we used the good dishes. Use the Pretty Dishes

Mother’s Day Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

One More Peep

One more Peep or rather a whole table full. Yes, I thumbed around social media, by putting two words together to see what would pop up. Those two words: Peeps and charcuterie. Beautiful, color-filled treet trays and things called grazing tables appeared on my tablet screen. Yes, after posting my video on a social media site and calling my gathering of baked goods and candies a charcuterie board, I was informed that I had not made what I thought I had. Charcuterie started out being all about meats, particularly pork. Maybe I should have thrown some of the Easter ham next to the Sixlets. One person told me it was just a dessert display. Okay, whatever. So, Pinterest and I stand corrected. But what to call it? I didn’t like the term grazing table. A dessert pick? Someone said I should call it a char-Cute-rie Board. I liked that and accept the compliment.

Anyway, here’s how the whatever it is turned out. And my Easter company enjoyed it.

Happy Easter. The tomb is empty.

Quick Luncheon Dessert

Here’s a recipe to impress your next guests: Cherry Tartlet. This makes two, cut into four slices each. Simple, minimal ingredients, big on taste and presentation.

Ingredients:

1 box of refrigerated pie crust- 2 to a box

1 big can of cherry pie filling

a couple of tablespoons cinnamon sugar

1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

a generous splash of lemon juice

1 Land-O-Lakes creamer cup or a small splash of half-and-half

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Next open the pie crusts and roll it out. And pop the top on the cherry pie filling. Spoon half the pie filling over the lower portion of pie crust.

Fold over the top portion of pie crust and crimp edges closed with a fork. And make vent holes in a pretty pattern over the top of the tartlet.

Make the second tartlet the same way and place on the parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle both with the cinnamon sugar.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 25 minutes, give or take, till nice and golden. Cool slightly. In a small bowl, mix the confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice and half-and-half for a glaze. Drizzle over each tartlet.

Cut each tartlet into 4 wedges and serve on your prettiest plates. You won’t need forks to eat this, but if you prefer, grab a fork. I did call it a luncheon dessert, after all. Ice cream on the side would be tasty with this tartlet and any pie filling — your choice.

Today is the last day of winter. Potatoes, carrots and onions planted in the potager are popping up. The azaleas will be in full bloom in about a week. Two of my sons broke ground on the big vegetable/cutting garden last Saturday. And there’s a lovely bee garden sweeping through the back yard.


Blessings for a a beautiful spring where you are.

Chocolate Crunch Bars

Light, crispy and chocolaty these bars are easy to make. They are kind of like a traditional marshmallow crispy rice treat, but not as chewy or dense. No soy, natural peanut butter, allergen free chocolate chips, put this recipe in the good for you category.

Ingredients:

1 10 ounce package Nestlé Toll House chocolate chips

2 tablespoons Smucker’s Natural peanut butter

1 tablespoon coconut oil

4 cups rice cereal

1 cup mini marshmallows

What to do:

In a large microwavable bowl, melt first three ingredients till just melted. Stir smooth and fold in the rice cereal and marshmallows. Pour mixture onto a large parchment lined cookie sheet and chill in the frig for an hour. When the chocolate has set up cut into bars. Store in an air tight container in the frig. Makes about 2 dozen.

I’m enjoying my chocolate crunch bars with a mug of lemon, ginger tea. Like my mug? It’s locally made: Beacham Hill Pottery from Magnolia, Mississippi.

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

One More Cookie Recipe

Playing in the kitchen this afternoon, I really wanted to make peanut butter fudge, but the milk was out of date. A search through the pantry found no canned milk. An experiment was in order and Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies was whipped up.

Ingredients:

1 cup butter

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated white sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Colored sprinkles, about 1/2 cup

A couple tablespoons extra granulated white sugar

1/2 cup or so of powdered sugar

What to do:

Preheat oven to 325°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixer bowl, combine butters and sugars, till fluffy. Add in the all-purpose flour and mix on low speed at first, then increase the speed till everything is incorporated and the dough forms a ball.

Divide the dough in half. Wrap one half in parchment and keep in the freezer for another day. Roll the other half into 1 inch balls. Pour sprinkles in a shallow dish and roll the dough balls in the sprinkles. Place sprinkle coated balls 2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheets. Dip a small glass dipped in the granulated sugar and flatten each cookie ball. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool slightly, then roll each warm cookie in the powdered sugar.

This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies. They are crispy and have a great flavor. I used red and green sprinkles, because it’s Christmas time, but you could change it up depending on the season.

With Christmas on a Saturday this year, it gave me an extra day off from work. Cookies and coffee this afternoon were a welcomed pause; a little respite to sit and reflect.

Blessings for a sweet Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Orange Slice Fudge

We honored my mother this weekend, with a big party to celebrate her 85th birthday. Love you, Mama.

One of my mother’s favorite store bought candies is the old fashioned orange slice gumdrops. Here’s a recipe for a fudge that stars that old timey candy.

Orange Slice Fudge

Ingredients:

12 ounces white almond bark

10 to 12 orange slice candy gumdrops, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

12 ounces of sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon of zest of a clementine

1 teaspoon of either orange extract

A pinch of salt

What to do:

Line a 9×9 pan with aluminum foil.

IIn a microwavable bowl melt the almond bark, a minute at a time in the microwave. Should take 2 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.

Mix well and pour into lined pan. Chill till firm. Turn out onto a cutting board and cut into smallish pieces. Store the orange slice fudge in the frig in an air tight container.

While the fudge set up in the frig, Mama scraped the mixing bowl, taste testing. Again, love you Mama.

Thursday Through Saturday

I spatchcocked the turkey this year for our Thanksgiving dinner. It roasted evenly and came out of the oven juicy and deep golden brown. I think I will always do a turkey this way. One cut up onion, two ribs of celery and one cut up apple were my aromatics. Seasoned, softened butter and olive oil were slathered over Mr. Tom Turkey. Salt and pepper, of course.

The table was set with pretty dishes. Remember to use them throughout the year, not just for holidays. Any night of the week can be special, when Grandma’s best is brought out.

Friday meant laundry duty. I washed up all the dirty kitchen towels and table linens. Switching Fall linens for Christmas ones, the linen chest was opened and closed several times.

On the porch, Herman donned a red shirt and hat and beard. He’s incognito as Kris Kringle. I made his beard from a scrap of fabric and cuttings from a string mop.

Peppers planted last Spring had a poor showing, during the growing season. Frankly, I purposely ignored them, trying to teach them a lesson for not giving me peppers on my time schedule. Today I saw that they were loaded with fruit. Peppers were blanched then put in the freezer and a pot of jelly processed. Their colors are just right for the Christmas season.

I may have gone one shade of green too dark, with the food cloring. This looks really Grinch Green. Hope it tastes good.

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Thanksgiving Sides

Here are some links to side dishes that are food traditions at Thanksgiving, not just for a week night.

Monday Supper Before Payday: Homemade Mac-n-Cheese Mac and cheese has always been on our Thanksgiving table.

It’s A Pecan, Not A PeeCan Sweet Potato Skip the crust and place this sweet potato filling in a medium sized, prepared casserole dish.

cornbread recipe Use this recipe as the base for your cornbread dressing.

Homemade cranberry sauce I love cranberries. You?

The Apple Lady now has a permanent home.

And this is an essay about the The Apple Lady.

Blessings for a Happy Thanksgiving

Cindy Lou Who Shortbread/Cookie Dough 102

We did it again; got together and made up rolls of different cookie dough to stash in the freezer for easy holiday baking.

A 1949 cookbook from Crisco held two of this years recipes. The third was the shortbread from August Cookie of the Month: Cranberry Pecan Shortbread, a request from the daddy of one of the young ladies at today’s party.

With these traditional cookie recipes we chose different add-ins to make specialty treats. Can you guess by the titles what was put in each cookie creation?

For my shortbread cookies I did a plain recipe and chose to roll the log of dough in red and green sprinkles. I named it the Cindy Lou Who Shortbread.

I will slice, bake and roll in powdered sugar, when I need cookies…. probably really soon…

We had a blast spending time together and prepping for the hectic holidays ahead.

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Continue reading Cindy Lou Who Shortbread/Cookie Dough 102