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.

Monday, September 28, 2009

O food for Ovarian Cancer

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and I am going to try to do my part. The more noise we can make... the more attention that this silent killer will get.

Ms Adventures in Italy and Bleeding Espresso are hosting the 'O' food challenge to help raise awareness of Ovarian Cancer. The challenge is to post a food that begins or ends with an 'O'. So, for this challenge I am posting a creamy GelatO from Cooking Light with the last of our southern strawberries and a little southern buttermilk.
Strawberry GelatO
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
5 cups quartered strawberries (about 4 pints)
2 cups low-fat buttermilk
Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour into a large bowl; cool completely.Place strawberries in a blender, and process until smooth. Add strawberry puree and buttermilk to sugar syrup; stir to combine.
Pour the strawberry mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Yum! You still have time to enter an 'O' recipe before 12:30 tonight (Italy time). These are the prizes you can win...
1st: Signed copy of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina DePalma, who is currently battling ovarian cancer, inspired this event, and will be choosing her favorite recipe for this prize;
2nd: Signed copy of Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home by Mario Batali (winner chosen by Sara);
3rd: Signed copy of Vino Italiano: The Regional Italian Wines of Italy by Joseph Bastianich (winner chosen by Michelle).

If you just want to dig in your pocketbook to support Ovarian Cancer... click here!
You might also want to peek at this interview with Gina DePalma that was posted today. We 'know' Gina from Slow Travel and wish her nothing but health and slow travels!
Thanks y'all

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Small Bites~Avocado

Time once again for Sunday Small Bites! This is our 4th week, and we are taking on the creamy Avocado. I am looking forward to some green delights.My choice this week is a small bite of roasted poblano pepper... stuffed with avocado. This would be great as an appetizer or on the side of a mexican feast.

Roasted Poblanos with Avocado
4-6 small poblano peppers
2 ripe avocados
3 baked potatoes
2 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbs olive oil
juice of one lemon
grated montery jack cheese
Salt and pepper
Bake potatoes as you normally would. Roast poblano peppers under the broiler until the skins are brown and peeling. Set the peppers aside to cool. Peel the cooled potatoes, dice and put in a mixing bowl. Add minced garlic, avocado, lemon juice and olive oil. Stir in 1/2 cup grated montery jack and mash the potatoes. Gently remove the charred skins from the peppers. Stuff each pepper with the avocado mixture. Top with grated montery jack cheese. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes until cheese is melted. Top with cilantro. You will notice mine is not topped with cilantro. Cilantro/Celery ~ they are very close when on some one's grocery list!
Now, let's see what small bites we get from the other 'nibblers'. Leave your link on Mr Mcklinky.
Y'all enjoy!
Next week's secret ingredient ~~~Goat Cheese ~~~

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Photohunt ~ twisted

The photohunt for this week is 'twisted'.
With a few twists of a handle~this~becomes this!
Happy hunting y'all!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thank You!

Some of you may have noticed that I haven't 'been around' all week. It is unlike me not to be visiting blogs or posting during the week. I can honestly say I haven't cooked a meal all week.

This week has been a mixture of reality that came rushing in, faith, and blessings. We had quite a scare with our son and have spent the week in the cardiac care unit at UAB hospital in Birmingham.

I am so very grateful to friends and family who have been such a support.
It helps to know that so many were praying for us... Not only our southern baptists, but we had some catholic rosary time as well (it helps to have that Vatican connection!).

We are also grateful to the skilled physicians at UAB and the wonderful nurses we met. What a team.

Rob is doing well and is going to 'hang out' with mom for the weekend before he heads back to school. That is when my heart will start to flutter!
In the mean time... am ready to sit down with Mr Obama and a cold glass of sweet tea and tell him what he can do with our health care system.
Thanks y'all for your friendships~

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Small bite ~ Sun Dried Tomatoes

The Sunday Small Bites has been so much fun and here we are in our 3rd week. We have taken one ingredient, and everyone comes up with their own favorite recipe.
Mercy~ this has become a real challenge!
Our secret ingredient this week is Sun Dried Tomatoes. This was not easy to find at the Piggly Wiggly... they carry one variety in the produce department. I'm sure Jerry will probably dry his own tomatoes :-)
I used my sun dried tomatoes to make some small bites of frittattas from a recipe similar to one I found in 'Healthy Cooking'. These would be perfect for a light breakfast, brunch with grits, or even as an appetizer.
Italian Mini Frittatas
2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 thin slices prosciutto, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups milk
2 egg whites
3 eggs
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1/2 cup artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°
Place tomatoes in a small bowl; add 1/2 cup boiling water. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a skillet, saute the prosciutto, shallots and garlic in butter until shallots are tender. Remove from the heat; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk flour and milk until smooth; whisk in the egg whites and eggs until blended. Stir in the cheeses, artichokes, basil, salt, pepper, and reserved tomatoes and prosciutto mixture.
Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray; fill with egg mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Carefully run a knife around edges to loosen and remove from pan.
Now, let's see what small bites we get from the other 'nibblers'.
Leave your link on Mr Mcklinky.
Y'all enjoy!
Next week's secret ingredient ~~~Avocado ~~~

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Photohunt ~ upside-down

The photohunt for this week is 'upside-down'.
I went through years of photos to try to find one.
This street artist in London has just made my day!

Happy hunting y'all!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Girl's night out~

When I announced that I was going to spend a Friday evening at 'Sips & Strokes'... I got some funny looks.
Sips N Strokes is a group art class here in the Birmingham area, they offer a different class every evening. Everyone paints the same masterpiece and brings their own sips... Needless to say~ not all masterpieces are created equal. My friends and I met for an girls night out, while the guys were busy watching football. (we did keep an eye on the scores) Not only did we have a great time, but we all went home with a beautiful work of art.
This is my idea of FUN!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Baskets of basil

At the beginning of spring I plant as much basil as I can fit into flower pots. It is growing along side begonias and geraniums, even next to the zinnias. Now, I have the wonderful issue of what to do with all our basil.
OH~ to have such a problem! I can eat basil on sandwiches or in a salad. It is perfect on pizza... but there is nothing better than a fresh basil pesto.

3 cups fresh basil
1 cup fresh Italian parsley
3 garlic cloves
2 tsp lemon juice
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil (more or less)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
To make the pesto, toast pine nuts and garlic until lightly browned. Pack basil and parsley with lemon juice, garlic and pinenuts into a blender. Puree, adding olive oil through the top until the pesto becomes a beautiful green, smooth paste. Add freshly grated parmesan and pulse to blend. Salt and pepper to taste, depending on the saltiness of your cheese.

To store the pesto in the fridge, cover with olive oil to prevent oxidation. The oxidation process is what causes your pesto to become dark. Some sites even recommend quickly blanching the basil leaves before blending to keep that beautiful bright green color. To freeze, use snack size baggies and squeeze out all the air to keep the color.

My pesto doesn't usually last long enough to worry about the color!
Y'all enjoy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dress 'em up

Most of y'all know the story... Our family owned the WhistleStop Cafe for almost 30 years. On the WhistleStop web site is a whole history of the cafe and all about the movie 'Fried Green Tomatoes at the WhistleStop Cafe'. It is fun reading for a rainy day.

I have posted our fried green tomato recipe several times. Link here for our recipe and this is Fannie's recipe. Either way... we are coming to the end of tomato season, so this is fried green tomato season. (You can also just order the batter mix!)

Here is a way to dress them up a little... like wearing your white gloves to sunday school.
These fried green tomatoes are just sprinkled with a little feta cheese. It is the perfect compliment to the tang of the green tomatoes. Perfection.
It can't get much easier than that!
Y'all enjoy~

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Small bites ~ Crab

This week for Sunday's Small Bites our challenge is Crab.

I love crab cakes, I am looking forward to some fabulous crab dips, hopefully a tasting of crab ravioli. You can see that crab can be so versatile. Out of all of these choices; I decided to go with a family favorite...
Fried Crab Claws
I have posted a recipe for fried crab claws before, but this time I actually used our Seafood Batter Mix. This batter mix is spiced up with a little cayenne... but not to much. It makes the best crab claws north of the gulf coast. The only thing that can improve these is a little ocean breeze.~ We ate our share of crab claws while at the beach last month. For those of you who don't know... and apparently there are some... there is an art to eating the crab claw. There is a hard cartilage in the center; scrape this along your teeth and you will have a plate of these. Ya'll don't just pop them in your mouth like a popcorn shrimp! Now, let's see what appetizers we get from the other 'nibblers'. Leave your link on Mr Mcklinky.
Y'all enjoy!
Next week's secret ingredient ~~~Sun Dried Tomatoes ~~~

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Photohunt ~Electric

The photohunt for this week is 'electric'.
Light the way~
Happy hunting y'all!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A day to remember~

This is a day we will never forget.
We choose to remember.
God Bless America~

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pack 'em away!

Y'all know that now is the time to pack away those white shoes.

I was raised with those rules about fashion~ no white shoes after labor day, hats for weddings, and yes... nice clothes for traveling. There are some things that should never change!

So... I guess I don't need to buy these Shannon Britt's
or Stuart Weitzman

or BCBG boots
or these Christian Louboutin
Just think of all the money I'll save~

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

oh Lucky day~

9 . number 9 full stop Educational Brick Number 9

Happy 9/9/9.
I don't know for sure, but I think this is a very lucky day. Apparently the Japanese see the number 9 as unlucky, but I will stick with the Chinese on this one.
I prefer to think positively... now if I just had a lottery ticket.
If nothing else we can have takeee-outeee for dinner.
Y'all let me know if this has been a good day for you.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Salmon in a Salad

This is a great Mediterranean pasta salad that works with fresh or canned salmon. I had a couple of salmon fillets leftover and decided to make a fresh pasta salad.
This is about as fresh and healthy as it gets!

Mediterranean Salmon Salad
1/2 cup orzo
12 oz salmon (cooked)
1/4 tsp oregano
1 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup green onion
3 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbs feta crumbles
Salt and pepper to taste
olives (optional)
Cook the orzo according to directions. Drain. Crumble salmon and combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss in warm orzo. Serve either warm or as a cold salad. Top with kalamata olives and more feta cheese.
We had it for dinner with a supe'd up pizza~ one of our favorite go-to dinners.
Y'all enjoy!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day= Sales!

I have been looking forward to the Labor Day sale at Summer Classics.One of their retail stores is right near us. They have the most fabulous 'outdoor' furniture.

Plenty to drool over~
but nothing came home with me.

I hope y'all enjoy your Labor Day.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Small Bites of Shrimp

We are starting our new Slow Travel Sunday Series. We have gone round the world with scoops and salads... and now we are taking small bites.

The challenge this time around will be appetizers. The tricky part is that each week we have picked a secret ingredient. I am excited to see what everyone comes up with.

We are easing in this week with 'shrimp'... that is not to challenging for me. We love shrimp and eat it a lot. I thought about a shrimp dip, but decided to go with football finger food instead.

Shrimp and Sausage
2 pounds wild gulf shrimp
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 onion
3 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs herbs de Provence
sprigs fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 400°
Slice sausage into bite sized chunks. Spread onto a large baking sheet covered with aluminum foil (for easier clean up) Sprinkle with some of the olive oil and herbs. Roast in a Hot oven for 15 minutes. Slice onion into 8 wedges. Mix onions and shrimp in with the sausages and coat with the remaining olive oil and herbs. Roast another 10-15 minutes until shrimp are pink and curled. Serve with plenty of napkins.

Now, lets see what appetizers we get from the other 'nibblers'. Leave your link on Mr Mcklinky.
Y'all enjoy!
Next week's secret ingredient ~~~ Crab~~~

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Photohunt ~orange

The photohunt for this week is 'orange'.
'Orange' you glad I got a new Risotto pot?? Just wait...
Happy hunting y'all!
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