Sandi is blogging from the WhistleStop Cafe kitchen. It's all about good home cooking; food, family and fun. Thousands of posts . . .

~In the south and around the world.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Bill says that a ball of yarn will keep me occupied longer than anything. I am a compulsive knitter...but rarely get things finished. I will knit and rip out, knit and roll it up again, knit some more. It probably is some sort of compulsive disorder...but a fun one to have!

This is my most recent project. You will notice that the hat closely matches the fashionista rain coat and dashing rainboots that I wore all over London.

On to my next project...

The next project which needs to be in the kitchen!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Promises Kept...

In January when I posted my Promises for the Year, one of my goals was to ride in a London cab. Only for the blog! (That's what I told Bill anyway)
Mother Pie used her motherly instincts and caught me in a little fib. I posted on my centerpiece a day early so that no one would miss me in the week that I was gone. I should have known that a Momma would know!
I had a lovely week in London with my sister, niece, and brother-n-law. We ate our way around the city, fish and chips and shepard's pie, we tasted our share of ale, stouts, and cider. We did the tourist thing; saw Queen's guard, the Tower, and the jewels, and did the ex-pat thing as well; learning our way around the back streets of Knightsbridge and Slone Square. I don't think we missed a single market... Y'all put us to shame in the neighborhood market area!

As different as cultures can be, no one will far from home with a Starbucks on every corner. Once the jet lag has worn off, I will get busy blogging again.

Y'all, thanks for stopping in!


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Centerpiece of the Month~ February

In January, Janelle at Talk Of Tomatoes suggested that we start a Centerpiece of the Month tour. Last month there were some great ideas, I hope you saw them.
The Wine Makers Wife used a little vino and some beautiful flowers to decorate her table. Nupur got away from her Hot Stove and used her wine glasses to hold white daisies. A Spot Of Tea must have made her photos just before a tea party. Now I can see that this is going to get harder as time goes by to stay original, and creative.
My February centerpiece is a little Valentine-ish~ but it is mostly spring-ish to me. Nothing says spring like tulips! I know in some places February is mid winter with snow left to shovel~ in Alabama it means spring is around the corner.

For those who are wondering I popped the pop-corn for the robins!
Happy Spring y'all!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Throw Some Beads!

This is the time of Mardi Gras! Here in the south revelers are beginning to reach their fevered pitch. The parties will continue until Fat Tuesday which is Feb.20. Traditionally the partying will end at midnight before Ash wednesday, but there may be some who have been known to have trouble telling time at that late hour.

NewOrleans has been known for their parades and parties. There are many other southern towns that spread the purple and green; In fact Mobile claims the oldest Mardi Gras celebration, in fact their Kowbellin society (yes, that is cow belling) help to establish the Mystic Krewe in New Orleans. Biloxi, Shreveport, towns all across the gulf coast will be parading, throwing beads and moon pies.

Another tradition during Mardi Gras is the King cake , a gift for the magi. Inside each cake is hidden a tiny baby king. Whoever gets the baby gets to make the cake for the next year. It is a sweetened yeast bread with sprinkles of coloring. Purple for justice, green for faith, & gold for power. This is Emeril's recipe for a quick King Cake~ couldn't be easier!

King Cake
1 can crescent rolls
1/4 cup cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
8oz cream cheese
1 cup powered sugar
1 small can fruit pie filling
a tiny baby or bead
colored crystals

Spread out rolls and press together to form one long strip. In a bowl combine butter cream cheese with cinnamon and sugar. In the center of the dough spread filling, hide the tiny baby somewhere in the center. Spoon on fruit. Roll up into a large log. Join together to form a ring. Bake @ 350 for 15-20 minutes. Just as you take it out of the oven sprinkle in with colored sugar crystals in the traditional colors of mardi gras.

Where ever you are you can celebrate the butterfly of winter~ the coming of spring. Shake some feathers, wear your beads, and y'all have some fun!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Have you ever seen something and thought 'I can do that'?
Unfortunately, I am the Queen of 'I can do that'~ Bill is the King of 'I don't think that is going to work'. As much as I hate to admit it...sometimes Bill is right.

This was a fantastic idea I saw in a magazine. A cute idea for a gift box for that little something special!
It still is a fun idea, and someone else may be able to get it to work. I melted chocolate to pipe in and 'glue' the corners.
Good thing I was quick with the camera~ because the minute I turned my back I had a pile of hershey's chocolate.
At least it was yummy!

Monday, February 12, 2007


Are you tired of the traditional box of candy for Valentine Day and want to do something special for your honey? This is a great idea that doesn't require culinary skills, but a quick trip to the store, a little planning, and some patience.

Sorbet Sandwiches
1 small container raspberry sorbet
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 package brownie mix

Soften the sorbet enough to mix with frozen raspberries. Line an 8x8 baking dish with wax paper. Pour in the fruity sorbet and spread evenly. Freeze until firm.
Mix brownies according to directions. Pour into a well greased 9x13 baking dish. This will make the brownies about 1/3 inch thick. Bake @ 300° for 15-18 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean. It is easy to over bake because they are so thin. Allow to cool.

Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut 2 brownies per cookie. ~save the remainder for munching. Using the same cookie cutter, cut the frozen sorbet. The wax paper will make it easier to handle~ the extras are for more munching. Stack brownies and sorbet like an oreo cookie, return to the freezer until ready to eat.

I would much rather have these for breakfast in bed than a chocolate pop tart! If you are still looking for the unique Valentine gifts check out Daily Candy , I may get one of those list pads myself.
Y'all enjoy!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Gimmie Some Sugar!

Gimmie some sugar!
Anybody with ties to the south, knows that 'sugar' is a kiss (it can also refer to the amount of sweet tea you've had.)
How many granma's and granpa's greet their families with 'y'all come hea and gimmie some sugar'.
There are all kinds of kisses : the formal two cheek kiss of Italy, or the four kiss of France. In Spain it starts with a right cheek kiss, Hollywood style is pretentious air-kissing, or a nose rub like the Eskimos do. Even Faith Hill sang about 'this kiss this kiss'.
We greet friends and family alike with a big ole hug and a kiss on the cheek. The kiss and a nuzzle are reserved for the sweetest of babies. Then there is also the kissing of sweethearts.
With cookie cutters in the shape of lips and hearts, everyone can have something sweet on February 14th. Since Valentines Day is known as the day for sweethearts....
I hope y'all get some sugar!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I heart cookies~

Valentines Day is another reason to roll some dough and break out the cookie cutters. In December I posted my great Butter Cookie Recipe. It is a versitile sugar cookie that we use year around. You will find I have cookie cutters for every holiday~ and then some!

It is fun to make a few cookies for valentines day~ the heart shaped cookies that say 'Be Mine' or 'Kiss Me' . You can even make your own cookie bouquet....but I am holding out for real flowers.

What do y'all think my chances are?

Speaking of love~ I love my Silpat Baking Sheets!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Last week we had the chance to make a drive to Biloxi Mississippi. It was our first trip through since Katrina had made her path of devistation over a year ago.

Biloxi has always been a true southern lady with beautiful old homes sitting amongst old oak trees and camellia bushes, looking out over the gulf of mexico. We have followed her painful struggle to recover after such a devistating blow. The stories are actually heartbreaking.

Seawitch posted pictures of the Biloxi harbor in the fog waiting for the small boats to return. Photos of some of Biloxi's most beautiful homes and LostLandmarks by the historical society. Including Beauvoir the home of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy.
We had seen these pictures of course, but there is nothing like driving down the beach road and seeing it ourselves. The proud water oaks broken but standing, with empty brick steps leading to nowhere.

The amazing thing is to see how Biloxi is coming back. Many of the casino's are rebuilding, bigger and better than before. Not the floating barges that became destroyers in the storm; but land based, and secure. They are palaces of resturants, theaters, and dens of pure entertainment.

Even the camellias are back and more beautiful than ever. The beaches have benifited from the white sand that Katrina deposited. The sand is whiter and wider than it was before the storm.

If you are looking for a place to spend Mardi Gras~ head to Biloxi. (you may want to bring a roll of quarters incase you are feeling lucky!)
Glad to see Y'all back again!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Super Colt Chili

I have been racking my brain for a Colt inspired dish for our Superbowl Party. There is not a lot that is colt-ish, not easy to get colt meat at the piggley wiggley (not that I would eat it!!), hay is not very tasty, and oats...well that is not very inspiring for a football afternoon.

Then Tut-Tut once again came out of her shell and suggested Colt-45 . I was on a search, that particular malt liquor is not easy to find in Alabama~ I bet it is off the shelves in Indianapolis and in Miami too. I decided to make a big pot of chili, and include a bottle of colt-45.

Super Chili
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, diced
2 large cans diced tomatoes
1 large can black beans
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs oregano
1 Tbs Tabasco (more or less to taste)
1 bottle beer
Brown and drain beef, add onion to saute with beef when the meat is almost done. Add spices and drained black beans. Add tomatoes juice and all. Add beer and 1 cup water. Simmer for 1 hour or longer. Serve with shredded cheese on top.

A big pot of chili is the perfect thing to serve for the big football a little~watch the commercials~eat a little more!

Y'all enjoy~

Friday, February 02, 2007

Super Bear Claws

The Super Bowl is just around the corner... friends will be getting together for a little rivalry. So, who isn't looking for a good appetizer? Something that can be done ahead and eaten between commercials.

In super bowl tradition, how bout some 'bear' claws? Serve these claws with a spicy cocktail sauce like our favorite Baldheaded Danny's.

Crab Claws
2 pounds crab claws
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp seasoning salt
cayenne pepper to taste
Clean crab claws by rinsing and picking off broken pieces of shell. Combine buttermilk and egg in a large bowl. Place claws in milk mixture to soak. In a shallow bowl combine flour, cornmeal, and spices. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large frying pan. When oil is hot, dredge claws in flour mixture and place in the pan, fry until golden. Drain on paper towels.

So, for our superbowl party, now I have a 'Bear' appetizer... but I'm stumped on the 'Colts'!
Y'all help!
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