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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Traveling Tuesdays ~ it's a WhistleStop Tour

Let's go Traveling~This week, I am 'virtually' headed to one of my favorite places... Montisi.
I've posted on it oodles of times.
You can tell from my posts~ it is the perfect Italian villiage.

Y'all enjoy the ride~

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Slow Cooking ~ Outside at the Grill

I'm grilling with my friends from Slow Travel . I picked our secret ingredient for this week . . . It is Rosemary. It has been growing like crazy in these hot summer days.
This is a great 'by the pool' appetizer. As soon as you pull them off the grill they are eaten~Rosemary Shrimp Appetizers
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs agave nectar
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 lb large shrimp
one bunch grapes
Fresh rosemary In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, oil, agave, lime juice and black pepper. Marinate the peeled shrimp, grapes in this mixture for 30-45 minutes.
Peel the leaves off the bottoms of the rosemary (throw into the marinade) Soak your rosemary skewers in a bowl of water for at least 30 minutes. (they won't be a likely to catch fire)
While the grill is heating . . . thread the shrimp and grapes onto the skewers so the shrimp will curl around them.
Place the skewers on the grill. Cook for 1 minute on each side, or until the shrimp turn pink and curl around the grapes. Brush with the remaining marinade. Perfect for a poolside snack~

Y'all Enjoy!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Photohunt ~ symbolic

The Photo Hunt for this week is 'symbolic'. I don't think there is anything more symbolic than the American flag...

Happy hunting y'all~

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday's Favorites ~ ♥

This is my Friday's favorite~Just a quick peek at my newest wedding couple! Of course you can find them at 'Gimme Some Sugar' on ETSY
What is your Friday's favorite?

Y'all enjoy~ Sandi

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Traveling Tuesdays ~ it's a WhistleStop Tour

It's time to go a traveling~
This week I have some fabulous pictures of Chiesa del Gesù in Montepulciano.
The Church of Jesus is an austere church in a Tuscan village full of hidden gems.
The facade is deceptive... you might even miss it.
Allohra~ behind the heavy wooden doors is a magnificent example of Baroque style.
I love this copper baptismal bowl. It looks an awful lot like the work of our friend Cesare Mazzetti or maybe even his grandfather? The trompe l’oeil on the balcony seating is beautiful. Notice the peep holes? Is that to keep the sinners from the saints? Sometimes the most amazing sights are tucked away~ Let me put a plug in for Gail's Great Escapes, we are working on next year's trip now! It will include all of our favorite out of the way places.

Y'all enjoy the ride~

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Slow Cooking ~ on the Plank

I'm grilling with my friends from Slow Travel ~ this week was Jerry's choice and he picked Salmon. We eat salmon at least once a week!
I am cheating a little . . . because I'm not posting a recipe.
Instead, I am bragging on a product in the grocery store.
These are frozen Salmon on a Plank (Jerry should be proud that they are from Canada) They come in several flavors . . . and they are really good!
It is easy to throw the whole thing on the grill, and with no muss~no fuss. . . you have a smokey flavored salmon.
Y'all Enjoy!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Photohunt~ Drink

The PhotoHunt for this week is 'Drink'.
Is there one drink that ~ with just one sip ~ takes you to a special place? The smell, the taste, of a Venitian Spritz ~ and I am listening to the music of Italy. A 'Spritz' is Aperol and prosecco with a twist of orange.I have found the Aperol and transported it across state lines (am I allowed to say that?) So now... on a hot Alabama afternoon~ I can hear the music of Italy!
Happy hunting y'all~

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Traveling Tuesdays ~ Tuscan Traveler

Today's Traveling Tuesday is a quick trip with my friend Ann Reavis . . . Tuscan Traveler
If you are ever in Florence, and want a friend to show you her city... This gal knows some back streets and hide-a-ways. She does all kinds of day tours.
This is a workshop that is tucked on a side street, in the shadows of the Duomo. Here they create magic! Or maybe recreate magic. . . these masters rebuild and repair all the statuary from the Duomo that has been damaged from hundreds of years of weather and pollution.
Tucked on a tiny sidestreet, it is a little workroom with one skylight. The lighting in this place was spiritual! I would have loved to spend the afternoon watching them work.
But . . . alas~ to many sites to see!

Remember ~ this is a Traveling Blog Hop. You can copy the code to your blog and travel along.
Y'all enjoy the ride~

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Slow Cooking Sundays ~ grillin'

I'm grilling with my friends from Slow Travel. This sunday our secret ingredient is boneless chicken breasts. Easy enough!

I knew right away that I needed something to spice up these chunks of chicken. I found this recipe on Epicurious... The fresh pistachio pesto is AmAZinG!

Chicken K-bobs with Tarragon/Pistachio Pesto
•1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
•2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
•2 tablespoons unsalted natural pistachios
•1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
•1 medium garlic clove, peeled
•1/4 cup olive oil
•16 1-inch pieces red onion (1/3 inch thick)
•16 1-inch squares red bell pepper
•8 lemon slices, halved
•1 pound chicken tenders (about 8
Puree first 5 ingredients in processor. Add 1/4 cup olive oil and blend until slightly coarse paste forms. Mix in 2 tablespoons water. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer 3 tablespoons pesto to small bowl (for brushing chicken and vegetables); reserve remaining pesto.
(I marinated my chicken in WhistleStop Marinade with a little extra tarragon)
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush grill with oil. Thread 1 onion piece, 1 bell pepper square, 1 lemon slice half, 1 chicken tender (lengthwise), then 1 onion piece, 1 bell pepper square, and 1 lemon slice half alternately on each of 8 skewers. Brush vegetables and chicken on skewers with olive oil, then with 3 tablespoons pesto from small bowl. Sprinkle skewers with salt and pepper. Grill until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are slightly softened, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Serve with reserved pesto
The recipe is a little detailed as far as the making of the k-bobs . . . after all, it's a summer afternoon. My recipe was actually a little more like this:
Marinate chicken ~ skewer chicken ~ grill chicken.
(each ~ stands for another glass of wine)

Y'all enjoy~

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Photohunt ~ One

The PhotoHunt for this week is 'One'.How I managed to catch only one fly this day is amazing! We were at an organic Sheep farm... believe me~ there were many!

Happy hunting y'all~

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday's Favorites ~ Panzanella

This week on facebook, we had the great Panzanella debate. Panzanella is a traditional Italian bread salad. It is made with the leftover bread and the freshest ingredients.
It flung a cravin' on me. So I, of course, went to the source of all things Italian and beautiful . . . Giada :-)
Giada's Panzanella
1 (10-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (about 2 cups)
3 cups whole-wheat bread, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 large, red tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 cup pitted black olives, halved
3/4 cup chopped, fresh basil leaves (about 1 bunch)
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the bread and artichoke hearts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the bread and artichokes until golden brown at the edges, about 6 minutes total, turning every 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bread and artichokes from the grill and transfer to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, olives and basil to the bowl and toss to combine. In a small bowl stir together the 2/3 cup olive oil, white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Toss to combine and serve immediately.
I messed with Giada's recipe a bit (she can call and fuss at me anytime!!!) I didn't grill my bread, and added some cucumbers and parsley. It was awesome!
Now that's a friday's favorite for sure :-)

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

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Traveling Tuesdays ~ The Queen City!

It's time for another Traveling Tuesday.
This week I went to 'the Queen City'.Not London (that comes in October!)... I was traveling to Charlotte North Carolina.Charlotte was named after Queen Charlotte Sophia, the Queen consort of the United Kingdom as the wife of King George III. She was queen during the American Revolution... and they still loved her enough to name a city after her.

Maybe Sophia would be a good name for my new grandaughter :-)
I'll be traveling to Charlotte a lot in the next few months.
Y'all join the ride~~

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Photohunt ~ Painted

The PhotoHunt for this week is 'Painted'.
Painting is a big part of our Italian tour with Gail'sGreatEscape.
Every year we have an artist come and give us pointers on watercolors and we go home with a painted memory. This year Liz Graham-Yool was our resident artist. It was wonderful to see painting from her point of view.
"To take a picture you capture a reminder.
When you paint a picture you create a memory."
I can still hear the music of Italy when I look at my painting.
Happy hunting y'all~

Friday, August 05, 2011

Friday's Favorites ~ It's a G♥rl

We found out some exciting news this weekend!
When we met 'the kids' at ReRa's in Charlotte we were super surprised. As Brooke came around the corner~ there was a definite baby bump . . . I'm going to be a Grandma!
Or maybe a 'Gekie'
Now that's a friday's favorite for sure :-)

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

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Cooking Light ~ Summerfest Beach Party

Our Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club is going to the beach this month! We are having a Summerfest Beach Party.
Y'all know how much I love the beach!
This recipe is the perfect beachy side dish. I'll be using it again!
Orange Scented Couscous
1 cup orange juice, divided
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp black pepper, divided
1 cup uncooked couscous
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast
1 cup chopped cucumber
1/3 cup chopped red onion
3 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tbs extravirgin olive oil

Combine 3/4 cup orange juice, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, coriander, cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a saucepan; bring to a boil.

Remove from heat; add couscous and cranberries. Cover and let stand 5 minutes; fluff with a fork. Transfer couscous mixture to a large bowl.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add nuts to pan; cook 3 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Add nuts, chicken, and next 3 ingredients (through cilantro) to couscous; toss. Combine remaining 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, lime juice, and mustard, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil to juice mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle juice mixture over couscous mixture, tossing to coat Don't forget, that y'all are welcome to join in our virtual supper with the blog hop!

Y'all enjoy~ Sandi

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Traveling Tuesdays ~ Let's Go!

Let's go~ with another Traveling Tuesday.
This week I am sitting at a cafe in Venice, La Cantina.
Ahh~~ can you hear the water lapping against the gondola's? Last week was our first great escape and we almost made it around the world~
Y'all join the ride.

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