Month: June 2016

A Quickie

Do you ever find yourself in need of a quick, yet filling dinner that will appeal to everyone in the family or just for yourself? Well,then this is the dish!

I made it one night and fell in love. It’s definitely a meal I will make again and again. Oddly enough, it reheats quite well. I didn’t think it would with all that cheese but it most certainly did and even was a bit creamier than the first time around. Imagine that!

And it’s not expensive so if you’re on a budget, it’s a perfect meal. I thought I would miss the meat but that was not the case at all!  Add a side salad and a chunk of bread and you’ll have a fulfilling meal to satisfy even the most discriminating palate.

Bon appétit!

A Quickie
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Mains
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 12 oz. Spaghetti
  • 2 T. Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ C. Heavy cream
  • ¾ C. Chicken broth
  • ¾ C. Shredded Italian cheese blend
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook spaghetti according to package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water, and return to pot.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Cook garlic until fragrant, 1 minute, then add heavy cream, chicken broth, and ½ cup pasta water. Add cooked spaghetti and toss with tongs until noodles are fully coated and liquid is simmering.
  3. Remove from heat and add cheese. Toss constantly, adding more pasta water until sauce reaches desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 263 Fat: 17g Saturated fat: 8g Unsaturated fat: 1g Trans fat: 7g Carbohydrates: 18g Sugar: 1g Sodium: 277mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 9g Cholesterol: 40mg

 

It’s Refreshing

Long Island Tea

Who doesn’t love iced tea? So, then you must love a Long Island Tea!  This is the best cocktail and the cure for your summer time thirst (just kidding on that last part). Just be careful as it is loaded with liquor. And they do go down quite easily!

I remember a day when I would hang at the Spinnaker and would order these by the buckets. Yes, back when they had bucket drinks. They may still have them, I don’t know but it was always fun to get a bucket and head down to the beach and share with your friends or share one during a Ladies Night. Yes, Ladies Night – ah, the memories (and yes, I can still remember the fun times we had).

If you have a well stocked bar, you’ll likely have all the ingredients. And if you don’t, it’s worth stocking your bar for!  Be sure and drink these at home as you will be quite tipsy from just one!

Live it up and drink it down!

Long Island Tea
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Libations
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • ½ ounce Tito's Handmade Vodka
  • ½ ounce Rum
  • ½ ounce Gin
  • ½ ounce White tequila
  • ½ ounce Triple Sec
  • 1 ounce Sweet and sour
  • 1 ounce Cola
  • Lemon slice for garnish
Instructions
  1. Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Pour vodka, rum, gin, tequila, triple sec, and sour mix over ice.
  2. Cover and shake.
  3. Pour into a Collins or hurricane glass, top with a splash of cola for color.
  4. Garnish with lemon slice.

 

An Imposter

Sometimes I have a craving for fried chicken – who doesn’t?  Sometimes when that happens, I’ll just go to KFC or Publix and get a tender meal to go. I hate fryifrydaddyng but since I discovered the convenience and beauty of using a Fry Daddy, frying is so much easier and it’s not messy at all. I wouldn’t do it any other way.

It’s funny, my Mom didn’t fry much either. Well, she did some pan frying but not a lot of deep frying. And when she did, she’d use a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. No matter what, there would be grease all over the stove top. No so with the Fry Daddy!

So, to satisfy that recent craving, I had some chicken cutlets, all the spices, and I just happened to have some buttermilk on hand. Perfect opportunity to try this recipe which is said to be very much like KFC’s recipe. I’ll let you decide if that is true or not. Regardless, it’s really good.

The beauty of fried chicken is you can have it for dinner and if there are any leftovers, it’s perfect for lunch the next day chopped on top of a mixed green salad or you can take it on a picnic.

Bon appétit!

Best Fried Chicken
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon Dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon Dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoon Paprika
  • 2 tablespoon Onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoon Accent
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Egg
  • 6 Chicken cutlets
  • Vegetable oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Combine the egg and buttermilk in a large bowl. Soak the chicken pieces in the mixture.
  2. Add the flour to a separate bowl and whisk in all the herbs and spices. Roll the chicken in the seasoned flour until completely covered.
  3. Add the oil to a fryer or Dutch oven and heat to 365 F.
  4. Use a utensil to lower chicken pieces into the hot oil. Be careful not to burn yourself with the hot oil.
  5. Fry for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Remove chicken and drain on paper towels or rack.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 307 Fat: 14g Saturated fat: 4g Unsaturated fat: 3g Trans fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 20g Sugar: 2g Sodium: 3253mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 24g Cholesterol: 127mg

 

Memories

Warren and Tito
Warren and Tito

Today I took a few minutes to review my old blog on blogspot and I came across the post below – it was May of 2012. Alot has changed since then. My first three Greyhounds – Remi, Sugar, and Lucy, have all passed. Ms. Ruth has passed. Bless her heart, she would always have a stash of Milkbones in her closet for the pups. And she loved seeing the pups every month. Its the only time I allowed my pups to have Milkbones!

Bud, one of our favorite patients has Alzheimer’s. Initially, it was not apparent and I often wondered why he was even in the facility. Eventually though, it was very apparent and it honestly seemed to be gradual and then overnight. He did have family who lived on the East-side of Atlanta. They moved him to a facility closer to them. I hate that as we really enjoyed our monthly visits with Bud – he had a gazillion stories to tell, granted over and over again, but we loved to hear them no matter how many times he told them. But being nearer to family is more important. I get that.

And our dear Warren. Oh my, we visited with him for so many years. I never knew why he was in the nursing home except I can speculate he had a stroke and never recovered. He would normally be in his bed when we came to visit but on a few occasions, they had him in a chair.

One night back in January, I think it was,Warren was moved to a different part of the facility, one where his previous roommate said he would get better care. He also said he would likely not leave that facility and unfortunately he was right.

We visited him there one month, or we tried to visit him one month but the staff said he wasn’t up to seeing us. We went back the next month and he was gone. We asked and they said he had passed. I was so heartbroken. I wish we could have had one more visit with him but you know, we had so many throughout the years that were so brief, yet were so fulfilling for Warren and for myself and whichever Greyhound I happened to take that month.

One visit, in particular, and it was early on when we first started seeing Warren, we started to leave and as I turned to say goodbye, I noticed a tear falling from his eye.

Moments like that and you know you’ve connected and that’s what pet therapy is all about. We’ve been doing this for 13 years now and yes, even as hard as it is to do sometimes, we are making a difference!

Patti


Animal Assisted Activity (AAA) Last Night at D’ville Nursing and Rehab

Friday, May 04, 2012
Ms. Ruth and Remi
Ms. Ruth and Remi

Well, what a night it was!  I took Sami instead of Lucy, due to the storms. Left Lucy shaking and panting on top of my bed!  Sami was happy to pinch hit for her, she always loves to go. She is a good therapy dog if I can just keep her from kissing everyone she sees!

We visited with Warren, our African American gentleman who is bedridden and who can’t speak. We approached and I asked if he wanted to see Sami tonight and he nodded that yes, he did.  We moved to the bed and he slowly moved his hand from underneath the covers. I helped put his hand on Sami’s head and he pet her for a bit. When he was done, he slowly moved his hand back underneath the covers. As I left the room, I looked back at him to say goodnight and he had a smile on his face.

We visited with a new elderly lady who when we approached and asked if she’d like to pet Sami, her response was, “I can’t, my hands are crippled”. She was reading a book and her hands, crippled as they were, formed perfectly around the book so it was not evident to me when I first came into the room.  She sounded so disappointed.  I immediately told her it was okay and I would help her so I did just that, taking her crippled hand and turning it over so that the back of her hand stroked Sami’s head.  She was quiet overjoyed and as I left the room, I looked back at her to say goodnight and she had a smile on her face, too!

After making our rounds around the complex, we finally ran into our favorite patient, known simply as “Bud”. He was so happy to see Sami!  He just loved on her, kissing her head, and hugging on her. He is such a pleasant man. He walked us down the hallway and even outside to my vehicle.  I asked him several times if it was okay for him to be out and he said, yes, that he walked “everywhere” and even would walk down the street all the time for exercise. I believed him. He is a forgetful person but he doesn’t tell fibs!!

We chatted at the vehicle for a bit, long enough for me to see a screw embedded in one of my back tires.  He told me to be sure to get that plugged and if anyone tried to give me grief or charge me for doing that, to come get him and he’d set them straight. Bless his heart – he is absolutely so endearing and I only wish he had family and grandchildren around as he’d be the best granddaddy!  Anyway, as I was leaving the parking lot, I turned and waved goodnight and he, too, had a smile on his face!

It’s amazing what an hour of your time can do for people like Warren and Bud and our new favorite patient (I didn’t get her name). It is such a rewarding experience, one which my Greyhounds and I have enjoyed now for nearly nine years!  I am so thankful we can do this little bit of “therapy” to help so many!

A New Twist

Peach Shortcake

If you’re from the South or anywhere in the country for that matter, I’m sure you’ve had Strawberry Shortcake. Just that title alone can mean a multitude of different dishes. The strawberry component is usually the same but you can have many different “bases” such as biscuits, angle food cake, and sponge cake but, I ask, have you ever tried it with Elvis Presley Pound Cake and used peaches instead of strawberries? A new twist to an old favorite!

It’s the best summer dessert I can think of. Fresh Georgia peaches are abundant and this year they are sweeter than ever. Just slice them up, add a bit of sugar, let them macerate a bit in the frig and you’re ready to build your shortcake.

mixer
KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart, Empire Red

And you have to serve fresh whipped cream (none of that stuff in the can). Just take 8 ounces of heavy whipping cream, add 2 tablespoons of sugar and whip with your hand mixer or stand mixer. It’s the best. Yes, fresh is the best!

If having dinner guests, why not provide a few varieties of toppings for the Elvis Presley Pound Cake (and you have to use the pound cake), such as blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries. Any berry will do. Just add a bit of sugar (to taste) and again, let the mixture macerate a bit before using. Your guests will love having a choice. Everyone will be happy! Kids included!

Bon appétit!

The Perfect Combination

It’s summer and fresh corn is abundant. So is zucchini!  Which means it’s a great opportunity to whip up these wonderful Corn and Zucchini Fritters. They are a perfect accompaniment to a Sunday ham dinner or perhaps even a meat loaf dinner or just by themselves. It’s your choice, but something I do know is you and your family will love them. They are quite delicious!

And a tool I highly recommend you have in your stash of kitchen gadgets is the cornzipperCorn Zipper.  It’s great for safely removing fresh kernels from cobs.  It’s a must have for any kitchen!

These fritters are best consumed the day of so be sure to have a crowd as the recipe makes 12 or so fritters.

Bon appétit!

Corn and Zucchini Fritters
 
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Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk plus 2 tablespoons
  • ½ cup cooked ham finely chopped
  • 1½ cups zucchini grated
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels
  • oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together butter, eggs, and milk; add to flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Add ham, zucchini, and corn, and stir until well blended.
  2. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until it registers 350 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer.
  3. Working in batches of 4 or 5, gently drop two tablespoons batter into skillet for each fritter, pressing gently with a spatula to flatten. Cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer with a spatula or slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Season fritters with salt and pepper while still hot.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 fritter Calories: 126 Fat: 4g Saturated fat: 2g Unsaturated fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 18g Sugar: 2g Sodium: 154mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 5g Cholesterol: 51mg

 

Time to Make the Slaw

Champagne Cole Slaw

We’ve all had numerous variations of cole slaw – me, included. Some I’ve loved and some I’ve tolerated. But this recipe is divine!  When I saw that it had champagne vinegar in it, I was sold. Anything with champagne is good, right?

So, I pulled out the ole mandolin which, for the record, I am terrimandolinefied of (it has very sharp blades) to shred the cabbage!  I have learned if you respect the mandolin, it will serve you well. Invest in your own  (follow the link here). Besides shredding cabbage to the perfect length, width, etc. for slaw, you can use it to slice and chop a multitude of other vegetables. It will be well used, trust me.

So, back to the slaw.  Top that mountain of freshly shredded cabbage with this light, creamy, and tasty dressing. You will have the best cole slaw you’ve ever made or eaten.  It’ll be your “go to” recipe for slaw going forward. And your family and guests will love you for it!

Bon appétit!

Champagne Cole Slaw
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Salads and Sides
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 5 cups Cabbage shredded
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ½ cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoon Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Celery seed
  • 2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Whole-grain dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. Place shredded cabbage and kosher salt in a large bowl, tossing to coat. Let sit 10 minutes.
  2. Mix next five ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix in with cabbage, tossing to coat.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, so the flavors will blend.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 78 Fat: 5g Saturated fat: 1g Unsaturated fat: 3g Trans fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 8g Sugar: 4g Sodium: 431mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 1g Cholesterol: 4mg

 

A Taste of Heaven

Yes, heaven – to die for – can’t live without, you get the picture! And I’m talking about homemade marshmallows! I made them yesterday and finished cutting them and dusting them this morning.

While cutting them, my Greyhounds were patiently standing behind me waiting to be the taste testers. As to be expected, they loved them! I think all of us had at least three each during the testing process but in the end, we all agree, the marshmallows passed without a doubt!

They are most delightful – light and airy and yummy, yummy, good! As always, much better than store bought!  And just in time for the S’more season!  I have a friend who has been hosting Wine and S’more Bar parties around their beautiful outdoor fire pit. What a great idea I thought!  And wouldn’t homemade marshmallows really impress your guests!  They are so easy, trust me. I’d never suggest something difficult for a party. You’ll have enough to worry about that day besides how the marshmallows turn out!  Remember, though, they can be made the day before!

I honestly can’t believe I’ve never made these and it’s another one of those things on my list that I’ve always wanted to make and now I have. They are super easy and as I said, the end result is well worth it. You will probably never go back to store bought mushies (that’s what I call them) once you’ve tasted these!!

My Greyhounds are hoping I don’t and that I will continue to make these wonderful sweet confections just for them! I probably will. Remember, it’s all about the dogs . . .

Bon appétit!

Homemade Marshmallows
 
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Adapted from Alton Brown's recipe.
Author:
Serves: 40
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup Cold water
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Clear vanilla
  • 2 Egg whites
  • 2 cups Confectioners Sugar
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized saucepan soak the gelatin in the water. After the gelatin has softened (approximately 10 minutes) add the regular sugar and then gently dissolve over low heat for approximately 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Add vanilla.
  2. In a mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then fold in the sifted confectioners' sugar. While the mixer is on low, slowly poor in the cooled gelatin mixture. Increase the speed and beat until white and thick. The volume should double in size.
  3. Line an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with high sides with foil, grease slightly with butter (or PAM), and coat with confectioners' sugar. Alternatively, you can use a baking sheet, but the marshmallows will not be as tall. Pour marshmallow mixture in and top with more sifted confectioners' sugar. Leave out overnight or for at least 3 hours to set. The marshmallow should be light and spongy when set.
  4. Loosen marshmallow from edges of tray and invert onto a large cutting board. Peel off foil and use a large knife to cut the marshmallows into cubes. Dredge each piece in confectioners' sugar.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 Calories: 99 Carbohydrates: 26g Sugar: 25g

It’s a Good Time for . . .

Pound Cake

Anytime is a good time for pound cake, right?  Yeah, it’s definitely not a light dessert and this particular recipe is a bit sweeter than most but it is so moist and dense, just as a pound cake is suppose to be.  And you know if it was a favorite pound cake to Mr. Presley, that is must be delicious!

But the beauty of pound cake is that it is quite portable. You can easily carry an entire cake to an event, a picnic or family barbecue or you can slice it up, freeze it, and pull out a piece, as needed.  It’s great for an afternoon kid snack or a dessert for your workplace lunchbox. As is, it’s not messy at all so kids can handle it quite easily!

It’s other beauty is that it can be topped with a multitude of “things” making it the “go to” cake that will satisfy everyone’s tastes. If having a dinner party, you could even have a pound cake “bar” providing a variety of ice creams, toppings and whipped cream so everyone can make their own. It’ll definitely be the hit of the party!  Try it!

Bon appétit!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Elvis Presley Pound Cake
 
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Author:
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 3 cups sugar
  • ½ pound butter softened
  • 7 large eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Instructions
  1. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
  2. Thoroughly cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in half the flour, then the whipping cream, then the other half of the flour. Add vanilla extract. Pour into prepared pan. Set in a COLD oven and turn heat to 350 degrees. Bake 60-70 minutes, until a sharp knife inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool thoroughly.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 318 Fat: 14g Saturated fat: 8g Unsaturated fat: 1g Trans fat: 4g Carbohydrates: 45g Sugar: 30g Sodium: 30mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 5g Cholesterol: 119mg

 

Treat the Four-Leggers

Sweet Potato Treats

My Greyhounds, all three of them, adore these wonderful sweet potato treats. They are actually dehydrated sweet potato slices.  I’ve bought them in the past from online and local sources but they tend to be a little on the expensive side.  I even bought a dehydrator, way back when, with the intent to dehydrate my own treats for my pups.  It’s so much healthier and again, less costly. I wasn’t so successful with the sweet potato treats, the one time I did use the dehydrator. Seems I didn’t have them dried out enough and they molded a bit. Eek!

And I won’t even start to tell you about the experience dehydrating liver. That will NEVER happen again in this household. I will just buy dehydrated liver treats at the store! Lesson learned! To this day, the dehydrator sits in the storage closet!

Back to the sweet potato treats, I decided to use the ole gas oven to dehydrate them – yes, doing it the old fashioned way.  And I think they turned out quite nice.  Just slice the sweet potatoes (skin on) about a quarter of an inch thick.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and place in a preheated oven at 175 degrees or less.  The slower the temperature, the longer you bake them.  I baked this batch for about 8 hours.

And I’m happy to report, all three of mine have given them a “paws up”.  They meet their approval!  I’ll definitely make these again for my four-leggers.  After all, they deserve homemade yummy treats too!

paws

 

 

Life is good!

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