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.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Centerpiece Of The Month~ March

Time for the Centerpiece of the Month for March~ it's Madness!

PalmaBella starts off the month with a colorful vase of spring flowers. We have been blogging everyday as a part of March Madness and will be gathering in Savannah in just a few days.
Meeta at What's For Lunch Honey? can be so creative. She used an ostrich egg as the base for her flower. Now that is an Easter egg!
Jade at Apples & Oranges has a vase of beautiful purple tulips. I like this view of the vase in a sunny window.

Holley picked some wild March lilies from a Windy Corner near her parents. There is something sweet about a vase of wildflowers.
Pat's Back Porch Musings is a beautiful blog. For a special spring time dinner, she set the table with her Bordallo Easter dishes.

Maureen at Penchants, Ponderings, and Posies set her table for a book club. She says 'anything looks good enclosed in a cloche'... I think she is right.

A regular for our monthly centerpiece features is Once Upon a Tart. This month, Myriam has a tiny centerpiece, it is huge in style.
Have you visited Tracy? She makes Junk to Jewels. This is a great example of how she can take an ordinary object and turn it into a jewel.
Southern Hospitality is what Rhoda is showing off with dried hydrangeas and seashells and a display of white.

Now what's on Your table?

Y'all enjoy~ Sandi

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Who Am I?

A while back I was tagged with the '6 words to describe' me meme. This is much harder than you think...

Am I what I do?? What I love?? What others see?? or What my Mom raised me to be??

To much to think about on a beautiful day!

So I went out in BugaLu.
Top down on an Alabama spring day: I stopped at the market and visited with Bubba and his wife, I popped into the Sisters embroidery shop, I whizzed through Starbucks for a honey latte (skinny of course), A stop at the used book store to make a swap and chat, by the AAA office to get my international drivers license, On to the garden center to buy ferns and make plans for my impatients, Stopped in at Margarita Grille to visit friends.And then it came to me!I am~

Seeing the world in a convertible!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pass the Napkins

Y'all know that we are having a Slow Travel Get Together in Savannah next week. We are looking forward to meeting some friends for the first time and to get a chance to sit and talk with dear old friends. Actual face to face conversations!

The planning committee has done a great job, with events every night and some side trips during the day. We will be eating lunch at Lady and (gorgeous) Son's one day. Bill and I have been to Savannah and love the city.

One of the big events will be a Low Country Boil at the fort on Saturday night. Some are not familiar with the Southern tradition of cooking shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn in one huge pot. Last summer I posted Our Recipe for a Low Country Boil~ It is our favorite meal at the beach. It can be a little messy to eat, but it doesn't get much better than that.

I'll let y'all know who's is better!


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Family Dinner

One of my favorite side dishes is creamed spinach. This is not exactly a low calorie way to eat veggies, but it is yummy. A family dinner at the McMichael's isn't exactly known for low fat foods... just good home cookin'.

Creamed Spinach
1 bag frozen chopped spinach
4 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbs butter
8oz chicken broth
3 Tbs cream cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan
1 lemon
In a large skillet, brown diced onion and minced garlic. Add thawed spinach and nutmeg. Simmer 5-10 minutes. Remove the spinach mixture and pulse in a blender or processor until smoother. Return to the skillet with broth, add zest and juice of half the lemon. Simmer to reduce the liquid. Add cream cheese, stirring until dissolved. Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese on the top. Serve warm.

That picture doesn't look very good~ but believe me it was delish! It was the perfect compliment to sweet potato souffle and ham for our Easter feast.
Y'all enjoy!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Are you into grinders? You can find them in just about any herb/spice or blend. I use them in everything. A quick grind of peppers on pizza, A little grind of Italian spices in olive oil as a bread dip, A twist of lemon pepper on salmon. My only problem is that it is a little harder to measure exactly. Actually not MY problem~ but if you notice my recipes are a little vague. The grinder is to blame!

Lydia at the Perfect Pantry is featuring the WhistleStop pantry this week. She features a different pantry every week. Believe me it isn't because mine is organized or clean. Maybe while I'm traveling Bill will get this stuff organized (again).

At least I know where things are!

Last year we all showed our pantry's~ I've shown mine. Now y'all show yours.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Power to Change

I had one Irish saying that I didn't get to use.
It is my favorite of all.

You have the power to be the change in your life.

Watch your Thoughts - they become Words.
Watch your Words - they become Actions.
Watch your Actions - they become Habits.
Watch your Habits - they become Character.
Watch your Character - for it becomes your Destiny.
Life's about changin~ nothing ever stays the same. (Didn't Garth Brooks say that?)


Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Parade

I am still to full of jelly beans and chocolate to move.
Jill is having an Easter Parade today. She has some beautiful Easter bonnets.

Y'all enjoy!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Wear your Easter bonnet...

In your Easter bonnet,

with all the frills upon it.

You'll be the grandest lady

in the Easter Parade.

I miss the days when we could wear our Easter bonnets. I think I will restart the tradition this year...
Happy Easter~

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Early Easter

Has anyone else wondered why Easter is so early this year?

I googled it ...
"One of the factors determining the early date of Easter in 2008 is the leap year. Since February, 2008 had 29 days instead of the usual 28, the vernal equinox arrives a day earlier, on March 20 instead of March 21. It also so happens that the Full Moon in this month lands on March 21, earlier than in most years. Since March 21 is a Friday, the following Sunday is March 23, and it is on this date that Easter is celebrated in 2008. "

I thought it had to do with the sales at Macy's!

I haven't dyed eggs or iced cookies~ I'd better hop to it.
Happy Easter y'all!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Festa Italiana

It is no secret that I love Italy. We are headed there in 53 days~ but who's counting?

In my blog hopping (traveling from the laptop?) I saw where this Proud Italian Cook -Marie, and Maryann at Finding La Dolce Vita are hosting a Festa Italiana on March 22. Now that is a party I didn't want to miss! My Slow Travel amici are welcome to join in on this party~ its going to be fun.

I am bringing dessert~

6 egg yolks
3 Tbs sugar
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups strong espresso
2 tsp dark rum
24 ladyfingers
chocolate syrup for the topping

Separate yolks using fresh eggs, whip eggs and sugar until thick- about 5 minutes. Add mascarpone and beat until smooth. Add 1 Tbs cooled espresso and mix well.
In another bowl combine remaining espresso and rum. Dip each ladyfinger quickly in the coffee and lay closely in a 9x13 baking dish. Cover with 1/2 of the marscarpone. Repeat this layer, dipping the cookies and covering with mascarpone. Cover and refrigerate several hours. Top with a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
(This recipe is similar to Giada's on the Food Network)

Sorry for the fuzzy picture... to much rum?

Ciao Y'all~ Sandi

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Spring!

Happy first day of Spring! You can't tell it from the temperatures here this morning. Although, I have no room to complain. We have had our share of beautiful days. The pear trees are in full bloom, the cherry trees are full of buds, and the tulip trees are showing their Easter colors.
Strawberry season is here! This is a great dessert for this weekend~
Strawberry Short Stacks
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp almond
1/2 cup milk
1 cup Bisquick
Cream butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs. Almond extract and milk. Blend in Bisquick. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish and pour in batter. Bake at 425 for 12-14 minutes, until done. Cut into 8 round pieces using a glass.
Meanwhile, slice a pint of strawberries. Cover with 2 Tbs sugar, 1 tsp Grand Marnier. Allow to sit.
To prepare: layer a round of cake, strawberries, and whipped cream, repeat layers. Yum!
Makes 4 servings.

Y'all enjoy!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I know St Patrick's day is over, but I have one more great saying... then I'll move on to something new. There are not as many good Easter Bunny sayings~

May you never forget that which is worth remembering,
Or remember that which is best forgotten.

I made a beer bread with Guinness... It can't get any easier than this!

Guinness Bread
1 Guinness stout
3 cups self-rising flour
3 Tbs sugar
In a large bowl combine flour and sugar. Add beer a little at a time. Mix well, the batter will be thick and sticky. Pour into a buttered loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes until golden brown.
Guess who got a slice before I could get a picture??
Surely he knows the rules by now!
Y'all enjoy!

Monday, March 17, 2008

An Irish Recipe

An Irish recipe for longevity~
Leave the table hungry

Leave the bed sleepy

Leave the bar thirsty.
I'd rather dance an Irish jig...
how 'bout y'all?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Luck of the Irish

This is an apron for those who might need a little luck in the kitchen. As the toast goes:
May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow
And may trouble avoid you where ever you go.

Who couldn't use a little luck of the Irish?
Visit our Country Store for an apron of your own.
Y'all enjoy!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Rich in Blessings~

Here's an Irish blessing for your next toast

May you be poor in misfortune,
rich in blessings,
slow to make enemies
and quick to make friends.
And may you know nothing
but happiness
from this day forward.

We have lost another sweet friend. We were blessed by the happiness Cocoa brought to all of us.
Sandi & Bill

Friday, March 14, 2008


An Irish Toast:
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been,
The foresight to know where you are going,
And the insight to know when you have gone too far.
If we could all have this kind of sight~
if not, then just the view from the London Eye !
Top of the Day y'all~

Thursday, March 13, 2008


There are good ships,
and wood ships,
The ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships,
are friendships,
And may they always be.

Ciao y'all!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


An Irish Toast~

If God sends you down a stony path,
may he give you strong shoes.

Like these?

Don't y'all love those Irish? Very Practical folk.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Green is Good

The Luck of the Irish~
May your heart be light and happy,
May your smile be big and wide,
And may your pockets always have
a coin or two inside!

St Patty's day is all about the green... Not just green as in money- although a coin or two when you really need it is great.
What else would you find in the WhistleStop kitchen but some green tomatoes? This is a recipe for a spicy tomato soup. Add more or less jalapenos, mine was pretty spicy. I love cilantro, if you don't -then add less.
Green Tomato Soup
3 green tomatoes
2 jalapeno peppers
2 Tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 cup diced onions
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh basil
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
In a large pot, saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Over low heat add diced tomatoes and diced jalapeno peppers. Add cilantro and basil. Cook until tomatoes are tender. Add broth and simmer uncovered. Scoop tomatoes into the blender and puree until smooth. Reduce heat and add sour cream slowly. Serve with a sprinkle of cheese.

Y'all enjoy!
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