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, November 28, 2007

How do you like your cornbread?

Have I mentioned that WhistleStop has a fantastic chili starter? Look for it in your local produce market~ or, of course, you can buy some from our Country Store. We call the store 'A Pinch of Dis and a Pinch of Dat', cuz you can find all of our products in just one place.

I have posted recipes for Chutney Chili, and Beer Chili but the chili starter is the best (IMHO). No matter how you make chili~ it is perfect for this time of year.

The question is~ how do you like your cornbread? There are as many recipes for yummy cornbread as there are for chili. Good hot cornbread with butter is just what you need as a go along. Here are a couple of our favorite cornbread recipes.
Buttermilk Cornbread
2 cups self rising cornmeal
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 egg
Pre-heat oven to 450°
Pour a small amount of oil into a heavy skillet and coat the edges. Place the skillet into the oven to preheat. Sprinkle a small amount of dry cornmeal into the bottom of the hot skillet to prevent the bread from sticking. Combine cornmeal, 2 Tbs oil, buttermilk and egg in a bowl, stirring until combined. Pour into a hot skillet. Bake at 475° for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Sourcream Cornbread
2 cups self rising cornmeal
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sourcream
8oz creamed corn
2 eggs
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. (Following the directions for pre-heating the skillet as above.) Bake at 450° for 20-23 minutes until done.

Y'all enjoy!~ Sandi

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Butter

I had a couple of huge cans of pumkin in the pantry for pumpkin pie.There had been a lot of chatter on SlowTravel about pumpkin soup, pumpkin lasagna, and pumpkin ravioli. Giada had just made her show with pumpkin ravioli, my friends Palma & Jerry have also posted on their versions.
I had never made ravioli before, so decided to give it a try. It was time consuming but amazingly simple! First the pasta.
Fresh Pasta
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
You can use all-purpose or semolina flour- or a combination of both. Mound the flour and salt with a well in the center, add the eggs and oil. Initially stir with a fork to blend, then continue mixing with your hands. Knead the flour until the dough is firm adding flour, or water, as you need to. Divide dough into workable balls, cover with plastic until ready to use. Allow to sit at room temp for 30 minutes before rolling. This is the same recipe weather you are making thin pasta for ravioli or thicker pasta for chicken and dumplings.

Another quick tip that I have found... These dumpling noodles are in the freezer section and can be used in the place of your freshly made pasta. It's cheating I know!

This Pumpkin Ravioli is an adaptation of several recipes I found. It seems everyone had their own take~ this turned out great!
Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Butter
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup parmesean cheese
2 Tbs cream cheese
2 crumbled gingersnap cookies
8 fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup butter
Combine pumpkin, cheeses, and crushed cookies. Blend until smooth. To make the raviloli, cut sheets of dough into 2 inch strips. Place a spoonful of pumpkin along to strips about 2 inches apart. Cover with another strip. Using a dab of water, seal the edges well, and cut into 2 inch squares. Set aside. The ravioli can be flash frozen at this point and put into a ziploc bag for later. To cook the fresh ravioli boil in salted water, until tender.
To serve~ melt butter in a frying pan, when hot, add chopped sage to quickly fry. Serve fresh ravilli in a bowl with a drizzle of butter and fresh parmesean cheese.Bon Appetito y'all!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Iron Bowl

Whoo ~Hoo!
It is that time of year. Auburn and Alabama are battling for bragging rights. Today the Loveliest Village in the plains will turn into a madhouse of Orange & Blue, and Crimson & White. Everyone in the state will choose sides... no backing down.

I have mentioned before that Bill and I are a house divided. This is the ONE day of the year that we don't see eye to eye (well, the 'one day' might be an exaggeration) This is the day we need to watch the game in separate rooms, maybe even separate houses.
I am an Auburn-raised-Auburn-graduated-Auburn-haired girl.
Bill is a Bear-bread-Bear-believer-Alabama fan.

These ties go way back. My dad was 'the Colonel' on Auburn's campus, and I was raised in the shadow of the Jordon-Hare Stadium. Mom knew to buy extra toilet paper during football season, because we would be rolling Toomer's Corner with every win. Orange is the color to wear every weekend.

Bill and the whole McMichael clan have always been Alabama fans... one of MaryJoan's first words were 'Roll Tide'. They are a part of the SabanNation and would never be caught wearing orange.

This game is what it's all about. There are no national championships at stake, but that makes it no less important. Alabama has the last 5 years to revenge, Auburn has an overall record to improve.
Today is about 365 days of bragging rights.
War Eagle Y'all!

Friday, November 23, 2007

No time to post~

No time to post!

I'm off in bugalu to targebelkchicoostco!
Tis the season.

Ho-Ho-Ho y'all~ Sandi

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving with a twist.

Apple pie is a traditional Thanksgiving dessert. We are going to try apple pie with a twist this year. Individual apple rosettes. It tastes yummy like an apple pie- but less fuss & more fun.

Baked Apples
4 small granny smiths
4 sheets of pie dough
1 stick butter
4 Tbs cinnamon sugar
Core the apples, removing the seeds and stem. Place each apple in the center of a round pre-made pie crust. Fill the apple with about 2 Tbs of butter and cinnamon, drizzle with honey. Bring the dough up around the apple, pinching at the top to form a rosette. Cut off any excess dough. Add another dot of butter and cinnamon. Bake at 350° 30-40 minutes, until dough is browned. Serve with a scoop of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream.
Thanksgiving is a holiday to be spent with family. Here at the WhistleStop Cafe we know we have been blessed. Tomorrow we will gather around the McMichael table, there will be food for 50 (at least!), every dish in the kitchen will be dirty, and the football games will be on every TV. We are having the traditional carb-laden meal. Fried Turkey, cornbread dressing, cranberry salad, sweet potato souffle, and mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, and THE greenbean casserole, gravy, gravy, gravy and rolls. Doesn't that sound like fun?
We have so much to be thankful for... especially friends like YOU!
We hope each of you enjoy this special day.
Happy turkey day y'all!
Sandi & Bill

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What are you serving?

Are you looking for something different for your Thanksgiving dinner? Tired of THE Green Bean Casserole and Sweet Potato Souffle? Why not a plate of fresh asparagus? These serve up crunchy and creamy at the same time.

Creamed Asparagus

1 bunch fresh asparagus
2 Tbs olive oil
1Tbs butter
1Tbs flour
1/2 cup turkey broth
1/2 cup cream
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
Melt butter in a small pan, add flour and cook lightly. Add broth and cream, stirring till smooth. Cook until bubbling and thickened. Lower heat and add mustard and lemon juice.
Snip the ends of the asparagus to clean. In a pan heat olive oil. Cook asparagus in oil stirring frequently until they are bright green and tender, but crunchy. Lay the asparagus spears on a plate, cover with cream sauce, sprinkle with fresh pepper.
If you don't have any asparagus lovers at the table... you can take the fresh asparagus and use it to make a Centerpiece of the Month.
Don't forget to send me your centerpieces.
I will be posting them December 1st!

Y'all enjoy!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Are you Frothy?

Some friends keep hollering for pictures from London. How 'bout a quick trip to Harrods? We had hot chocolate and mocha cappuccino.While in London I found the neatest gadget... a frother for the milk in your coffee. How cool is that? You can have a caffe latte at home on a saturday morning~ without the trip to Starbucks!

It is a 'cappuccino creamer' from Italy.

You add milk. Microwave it for ~ 30 seconds. Then pump the handle until the milk is frothy.
Don't y'all think?

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Have you ever had a fresh artichoke? I know this is not the traditional southern treat... but I love them. Bill will only eat an artichoke if it is well hidden- in a dip, a sauce, or on a pizza.

The fresh artichokes at Borough Market were huge. They were just to much to resist.
This is a simple way to prepare and serve artichokes. Clean the artichoke by rinsing well, trim the pointy ends and remove the stem to the base. In a large pot of water add salt and 1 Tbs lemon juice. Boil 30-45 minutes, until the base is tender. Remove and cool upside down to drain.
All you'll need is a good dip. We like melted butter with lemon juice, or ranch dressing.

To eat the artichoke, dip a leaf in the sauce, then scrape the bottom part of the leaf with your teeth. As you get closer to the center the leaves are more tender. Scrape out the thistle part and discard. The heart of the artichoke is the best part.

It sounds more complicated than it is... an artichoke is well worth the trouble.

Y'all enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Borough Market

One the oldest and best markets in the world is Borough Market. It is off the London Bridge tube stop, on the south bank of the Thames.
The market is nestled near the Southwark Cathedral. People can relax on the lawn and enjoy their goodies.
A trip to the market is always a treat for me!
The green market is the place to find fresh veggies of all kinds.

You can find fresh fish, meats, and sausages.
Beautiful fresh flowers.
Even Mum's apple pie!

The one thing I noticed... No WhistleStop Products at this market!

Maybe we need to work on that~ Sandi

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day

Let's all remember that Freedom Isn't Free

Thank You Vets!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Walk About

I took tons of pictures while in London (surprise, surprise!) I thought I'd take you on a little walk about. No need for wellies~ the weather was gorgeous!

a walk about
Slide shows and scrapbooks - Powered by Smilebox
Make a slide show, scrapbook or ecard

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tea with the Queen

While in London, we had to find time for tea! The Orangerie at Kensington Palace was built in 1761. It is a beautiful greenhouse in the palace gardens and that is now used as a tea room. It is a bit of a walk through Hyde Park, but near the shopping at Top Shop and Whole Foods in Kensington.High tea included little cucumber sandwiches, scones, and a lemony tea cake. We decided to include a glass of wine with ours. The pot of tea was poured through a silver tea strainer... very British!
The scones were yummier than I had imagined. These were moist, like a southern biscuit with currants, butter and jelly on the side. These scones reminded me a lot of Mom's sweet cream biscuits... I'll slip that recipe in for anyone who might want a southern style scone.
Cream Biscuits
2 1/4 cups self-rising flour
1 cup half & half
Combine flour and cream in a bowl, mix well. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knead several times. Roll out dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into biscuits. Bake at 450° for 10-12 minutes. Brush with butter if desired.

Cheers y'all!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Jet Lag

I am a little jet lagged today, but back in Sweet Home Alabama! I enjoyed a trip on Virgin Atlantic across the pond. (There is a line there, but I am to tired to think of it) Give me a day (or 2) to get myself caught up... and I'll be posting it all.
I missed all y'all.


Monday, November 05, 2007


I promised to post when I got a chance! Today we are off to Top Shop and then tea and crumpets this afternoon.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Time change

Don't forget to turn your clocks back!


Thursday, November 01, 2007


When I land I'd better be dressed for the weather.

Although it's been beautiful so far...


I never even put my suitcase away~
I bet y'all can't guess where I am off to!
Related Posts with Thumbnails