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, July 31, 2011

Slow Sunday Cookin' ~ on the grill

Our special ingredient for our Sunday Cooking this week is 'Ground Turkey'. It is hard to convince a good southern boy that ground turkey is equal to a good sirloin burger. I can use it in chili and sauces... but a burger? These are awesome. I will admit the red onion marmalade made a big difference... and of course the WhistleStop spices did too!
Turkey Burger with Red Onion Marmalade
1-2pound ground turkey
2-4 Tbs WhistleStop Mediterranean blend
1 large red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup red wine
To make marmalade, saute onions in pan sprayed with cooking spray until translucent. Add honey, balsamic vinegar, and red wine. Simmer until liquid evaporates and onions are candied, then reduce until almost dry. The WhistleStop Mediterranean Blend is a mixture of garlic, onion, red pepper and salt. If you can't find our 4blends seasoning, you might be able to find something similar.
(or you can always order it HERE ) Mix spices in wiht ground turkey and form into burger patties.Grill on high heat until done.
Serve your Turkey burger with a healthy dollop of the red onion marmalade

Y'all enjoy~

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Photohunt ~ Together

The PhotoHunt for this week is 'Together'. Since the in-laws and I are headed to Charlotte to visit the kids . . . I thought I'd post a picture of the last time I saw them 'together'.Happy hunting y'all~

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fr♥day's Favor♥tes ~ S♥mple

Fridays are all about Simple and Easy. It doesn't get much simpler than this . . .

Now that's a friday's favorite for sure :-)

What is your favorite today?
Y'all join in~

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Traveling Tuesdays ~ it's a WhistleStop Tour

I've had a Brilliant idea! (actually Another brilliant idea ~ they come frequently you know. . . and usually in the middle of the night.
I am always looking for something that I can count on blogging about. I have been following the weekly Photohunt for years. Every saturday we post a new photo.

So . . . I have decided to start 'Traveling Tuesdays'. This will be a sort of a WhistleStop tour. A quick post every tuesday with a photo of someplace that is a traveler's delight. (that'll keep me hoppin' for a while)

I will put a linky blog hop in case anyone else want's to join in an post a photo of their vacation spot. I'm hoping we will be able to hop around the world. We can make this our own Great Escape!
My first Travel Tuesday will be a photo of my favorite Great Escape~
Even if I can't have my toes in the sand... I can travel on Tuesday.I am wishing we were there!
Y'all join the ride~

Monday, July 25, 2011

Blue Monday Munchies

Even in the middle of summer you sometimes just need a yummy cookie to knock off those blues. This one will just fit the bill! Pistachio White Chip Cookies
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups white chocolate chips
2 cups pistachios, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°

Cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat well. Stir in flour and baking soda until just blended. Add in white chips and nuts. Drop by a spoonful onto a cookie sheet.
Bake 10-11 minutes.
Don't forget to check in at Smiling Sally for more blues.
y'all enjoy~

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Slow Sunday Cookin'

I have decided to join in with my Slow Travel Peeps and start cooking on Sunday's again. It keeps me bloggin'! Each Sunday we will have a special ingredient, and our goal is to share something that is either grilled or can be served at a BBQ. The secret ingredient this week is SHRIMP. I have lots of shrimpy recipes . . . You can see them HERE
This is something I'd snipped out of a magazine~ just waiting for the chance to try it.
Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
3 Tbs fresh lime juice
3 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs soy sauce,
2 Tbs minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound small shrimp
3-4 small sweet peppers
2-3 green onions, diced
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
2 Tbs chopped cilantro
3 Tbs minced peanuts
In a medium bowl, make a marinade with the lime juice, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Add the cleaned shrimp and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
In a medium skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add julienned pepper, green onions, and water chestnuts, and stir fry lightly. Add the shrimp, and cook until the shrimp are pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining marinade and reduce.
Chop a handful of peanuts (I whirred mine in the magic bullet)Serve with lettuce leaves for rolling and minced peanuts for a crunchy sprinkle
This is a great recipe for summer evenings. It's a little messy~ but who cares? A quick dip in the pool takes care of that.
Y'all enjoy~

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Photohunt ~ Patch

The PhotoHunt for this week is 'Patch'.
This week is tough ~
So I settled on the view from a hot air ballon in Tuscany.Patches of green!

Happy hunting y'all~

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday's Favorites ~ ♥Linky Party♥

It is time for our Friday's Favorite linky party.
This is an old recipe that I have posted before. . . but this time of year it is perfect. You need a trip to the local farmer's market for those Fresh vine ripe tomatoes, early cucumbers, and a sweet onion. I have a mess of fresh cilatro and basil . . . so added both.
3 cups spicy tomato juice
1 small onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cucumber, peeled & diced
2 red tomatoes, diced
1 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
3 Tbs Italian salad dressing
Chop and dice all the vegetables. Combine in a large bowl. Add tomato juice (may substitute 1/2 spicy &1/2 plain) and salad dressing. Cover and chill.
A little choppin and dicing and put it in the fridge. I've been known to keep adding to the same mixture when it starts to get low.
I could eat this all summer long!
Now that's a friday's favorite for sure :-)

What is your favorite today?
Y'all join in~

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


What makes a watermelon seedless?
Well . . . that is one of those questions that could keep you up at night.
Thank God for Google.
~To get fruit, the seedless watermelon (called triploids) must be grown next to the regular watermelon (called diploid). The seedless watermelon is sterile and unable to pollinate by itself. Therefore, the regular watermelon assists in the pollination process for the seedless watermelon to get fruit.~ from
I also found that watermelon is a natural diuretic and 92% water . . . That'll keep you up at night too . :-)
Y'all enjoy~

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blue Monday ~

This is one of my favorite photos from my last trip to Italy. Liz, one of the local watercolor artists, parked her car here to unload for our art classes.
Blue skies, Pienza in the distance, cherry and olive trees... when I look at it, I can almost hear the church bells~
Don't forget to check in at Smiling Sally for more blues.
y'all enjoy~

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Photohunt ~ Backwards

The PhotoHunt for this week is 'Backwards'. I love riding backwards on the train in Italy :-)

Happy hunting y'all~

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday's Favorites ~ A new wedding couple

It's Friday!
That means it is time for our friday's favorites. You can tell this bride has a smile on her face . . . Could it be the weekend? Maybe she's excited about that big diamond ring . . .
Or, maybe it is her special day at The Historic Tutwiler Hotel.
Now ~that's a friday's favorite for sure :-)

What is your favorite today?
Y'all join in~

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Photo Wall

I am adding to my family photo wall.
Just when I think it's full...there is another 'life event'.I had to add photos of the wedding . . . but not all of them.
I had a hard time choosing.
I really love this one . . . Brooke has on 'our' ring, and is holding the shoes with 'Gekie's rhinestone shoe clips. Her something old, new, borrowed and blue.
What a happy memory! happy wall of memories.
All in matchy-mismatchy thrifty frames.
Kind of like my life :-)

Y'all enjoy~


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Novel Food ~ Beyond the Pasta

Simona at Briciole is hosting our Summer edition of Novel Food. You can see All of my Novel Food Posts since 2007. . . that's a lot of reading (and a lot of eating)

I have found the perfect book for my lazy summer reading this year. 'Beyond the Pasta' by Mark Leslie.
Mark Leslie is a self proclaimed foodie. Every year he travels to Italy and 'lives to eat his way through every plate of pasta and cone of gelato'. He shares these experiences in his novel 'Beyond the Pasta'. He is from Alabama and even has a blog . . . (I think we might be soul sisters of a sort) Buonissima!

He does a beautiful job of filling this book with the flavors and scents of Italy . . . the Italy I love. The story of his time in Italy is told through trips to the market, adventures in the kitchen, meals and evenings with friends and limoncello. This a novel and a recipe book all rolled into one delicious read.

This Blog Post where Mark talks about gelato in Italy, is a perfect example of 'our' favorite gelateria in Rome. But ~ I think I loved it first! They have the most unique gelatos, I can remember going once 3 times in one day. This is SOO funny, because this gelateria is less than a block from 'my' hotel in Rome.

Which inspires my recipe for this edition of Novel Food. Basil Gelato
1/3 cup sugar (+1/3 cup divided)
3 tsp lemon juice
1cup fresh basil
2 cups milk
1 1/4 cup whipping cream
6 egg yolks
Place 1/3 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of water in saucepan, bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Set side to cool. When cool, pour into a blender, add the lemon juice and basil. Blend until smooth.
In a small saucepan heat milk, cream, and extra sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Cook for a few minutes or until the sugar dissolves and the milk is just about to boil.
Remove from heat.
Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl. Slowly incorporate the eggs into the warmed milk mixture, and stir constantly over medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow to boil. Remove from the heat and pour through a colander. Stir the basil syrup into the custard. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze.
Serve with fresh strawberries and a drizzle of excellent Balsamic Vinegar.Mark's novel has gotten great reviews.
My favorite review of all . . . "Alabama and Italy- What a delightful and delicious combination ~Fannie Flagg"
You know Fannie has been a friend of the family for years! I couldn't agree more. If we never get the chance to meet in Alabama, maybe we will run into each other over a gelato in Rome.
Ciao y'all~

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Photohunt ~ Near

The PhotoHunt for this week is 'Near'.
I hunted through my pictures in Italy and found this...
the bird is near, compared to the rest of the shot.
Now , If only Italy was a little more near :-)

Happy hunting y'all~

Friday, July 08, 2011

Friday's Favorites ~ My can't roast without kitchen gadget...

It's time for our Friday Favorites~ anything goes...
You show me yours~ and I'll share mine! My favorite kitchen gadget is a digital meat thermometer. I wouldn't think of roasting a tenderloin without it.
Perfect every time!
Now that's a friday's favorite for sure :-)

What is your favorite today?
Y'all join in~

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Pull my Thumb~

I saw this posted at my friend Mari's Little Corner. It made me laugh out loud.
We all know the Royal Family...(minus Will and Kate who are busy in the west coast).'Some' seem to think that Prince Phillip may have farted.Prince Harry must've pulled his thumb.
I will leave this to the Royal Spectators to decide.

What do y'all think?

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Cooking Light ~ Sounds like Summer

Our Cooking Light theme for July ~ Sounds like summer. We are having an alfresco virtual supper. I just new I had to find something with these delicious Chilton County peaches. They were fresh and juicy on their own. I found this Cooking Light recipe . . . Yes ~ Cooking Light!
Peach Ice Cream
3 cups sliced peeled peaches (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the peaches in a blender or food processor; process until finely chopped. Combine peaches and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour peach mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze for 2 hours or until firm.
I left my peaches just a little bit chunky. The flavors are fresh and summery! Now let's see what everyone else has brought for our summer Alfresco Supper ... Jerry is starting us off with a Grilled Pizza with Prosciutto, Arugula and Lemon
Jamie is bringing a Summer Peach and Tomato Salad
Val has our main dish of Poached Salmon with Creamy Herb Sauce
MaryAnn has made a Lemon Vegetable Risotto
Roz has the perfect compliment to my Peach Ice Cream~ she's made Chocolate Amaretti Peaches.
Don't forget, that y'all are welcome to join in our Cooking Light virtual supper with the blog hop!

Y'all enjoy~
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