Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Strawberry Cake

Yes, I said Strawberry Cake. What, you expected pumpkin pie?????
Just try it. It's sweet and delicious!

Strawberry Cake

1 box white cake mix
1 small package strawberry Jell-O
½ cup. water
3 tbsp. flour
1 cup vegetable oil
Small package of frozen strawberries, thawed
4 eggs

Divide strawberries in half and pour half in a mixing bowl. Reserve half of the strawberries for frosting. Add remaining ingredients in bowl, beat with mixer for 4 minutes. Pour into three greased & floured round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

¼ lb margarine, softened
1 box powdered sugar
½ package frozen strawberries, thawed, room temperature

Combine all ingredients. Beat with mixer until fluffy. Frost when cakes are cool.

From the McClure Family Cookbook, page 96

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Squash Casserole

Give us Southerners a vegetable, some cream of chicken soup, and some sour cream, and we'll create a casserole! And it will taste FANTASTIC! Case in point: Squash Casserole. Even if you don't like squash (I don't), you will LOVE this.

Squash Casserole

2 cans (14 oz. or so) squash, drained
1 large chopped onion
2 medium carrots, shredded
1 small jar pimentos
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
8 oz. sour cream
1 package Pepperidge Farm Stuffing
1 stick of margarine
Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt butter and mix with stuffing mix. Take half of stuffing mixture and line the bottom of a 3 quart casserole dish. Reserve the remaining mixture. Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl. Pour on top of stuffing mixture. Sprinkle remaining stuffing mixture on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Note: If you prefer, you can use fresh yellow squash. Cut it into bite size pieces and boil until . . . I don't know the proper culinary term for this, so I"ll just say . . . mushy.

From the McClure Family Cookbook, page 53

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cranberry Salad

In the South, we can't just dish up cranberry sauce & serve it beside our turkey. Oh no, no, no! That would never do! We have to jazz it up and add that all-important Southern ingredient - Jell-o!

Seriously though, this is a delicious recipe. I make it every year and it always wins rave reviews.

Cranberry Salad

1 large or 2 small boxes of strawberry Jell-o
2 cups boiling water
1 cup chopped nuts – Pecans or walnuts
1 large Red Delicious apple – cut into fine pieces
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 can whole berry Cranberry sauce
1 large can crushed pineapple, not drained
2 large oranges, chopped

Dissolve Jell-o in boiling water. Pour into a large bowl. Add other ingredients to Jell-o and mix well. Refrigerate until set.

From the McClure Family Cookbook, page 11

The McClure Family Cookbook

I'm a Georgia girl, born and bred right here in the South. And there are some amazing Southern cooks in my family. Back in the early 1980's, my mother and my aunt recognized the abundance of cooking talent in our extended family (my Grandmother was one of thirteen children) and created the McClure Family Cookbook.

Now mind you, this was in the early 1980's!!!!! There were no slick computer programs that could handle such a task. My mother and my aunt collected recipes from extended family members and typed each and every one of them by hand. No small task for a cookbook that turned out to be 139 pages long! I remember wanting to make a contribution, so I proudly whipped out my Commodore 64 computer (for you computer geeks out there, that's 64k of memory!!!!) and created the cover and the "divider" pages in Print Shop. Ah, memories.

I have cherished this cookbook and still refer to it often, especially during the holidays. This week, I'd like to share some of my favorite Thanksgiving / Christmas season recipes from this cookbook with you. Enjoy!

Friday, November 20, 2009

LOL Cat Friday!

I haven't done a LOL Cat Friday in a while. So here are three funnies for you, all from
The musical Kitties warm up for their big concert. Tonight at midnight, in your back yard.

This little guy just wants to have some fun! I had a kitty who used to do this.

And we all know how much cats hate taking baths! I can just see them thinking this!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Starbucks Holiday Coffees

I love Starbucks - especially at this time of the year. They always come out with special flavors for the holidays, and this year is no exception. Last year they featured Peppermint Mocha and Gingerbread Latte. Those two are back once again, along with a new flavor - Caramel Brulee!

I tried Caramel Brulee this morning. It is delicious, but it is not what I expected. It does not have a very sweet caramel flavor. Instead, it is rich and creamy. The emphasis is definitely on the "brulee," not the "caramel." If you want caramel, go for the Caramel Macchiato.

I also am in love with the Gingerbread Latte. It tastes like someone melted a gingerbread cookie into your coffee. Sweet, creamy, rich, and YUMMY.

The peppermint mocha is good, but it's not my favorite as the chocolate they use is too bitter for my tastes. I prefer milk chocolate.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I guess they thought this would work on Veterans Day?

I support our troops, but not like this! Here's an email I just received:
We have some amount of funds that we want to move out of the Iraq. We need your help to receive this funds on our behalf. Once the funds get to you, you take your 30%, and keep our own 70%. Your own part of this deal is to find a safe place where the funds can be sent to. Waiting for your urgent response for more details. Sincerely,Sgt. Phillip Newman
Yeah. I'll get right on that, Sarge.

But on a serious note, thanks to all our veterans for defending our country. I might be blogging in French or German if it weren't for you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New Earring Styles for Salon

Here are some new earrings that I've made to go on consignment at the House of Beauty salon. I wanted to put in some unique styles that would be something people wouldn't see everywhere else. I hope they go over well! What do you think of them? Which ones are your favorite?

Pearl Cluster Earrings

Pearl Sterling Silver Hoop Earrings

"Half-A-Heart" Sterling Earrings

Open Circle Hoop Earrings
Loopy Montana AB Earrings

Monday, November 9, 2009

Breast Reduction Surgery - The Results are in!

I did have the bandages removed from my skin graft a couple of weeks ago. The graft still had a bit of healing to do, unfortunately. So last Friday I had a check-in with my surgeon, who finally gave me the "all clear" to get back to my normal activities.

Which is good. Because I haven't been able to exercise in over two months. And if I don't exercise, I gain weight. Quickly. So I can get started with my exercise routine this week. I'm not particularly excited about that, but I know the results will be worth it.

And on Saturday, I got to go BRA SHOPPING! Woo-hoo!!!! (During the recovery, I had been wearing exercise bras. Not fun, and NOT flattering!) I had no idea what size to get, so I went to Soma and had a fitting. I am now . . . . drum roll, please . . . . a size 36 D! (I was a 36 DDD before the surgery!) I actually was able to find bras that FIT ME! Although I did discover that I'm not quite ready for an underwire yet. That wire didn't feel so good over my scar tissue, no matter how padded the wire was.
In case you're curious, I purchased the "Heather" bra from Soma. I also found a Bali bra that worked well for me - the Double Support Spa Closure Wireless. (And it was a LOT less expensive than the one from Soma!) These are two great wireless bras with plenty of support and comfort.

Eventually, I'll be able to wear something lacy and racy. But for now, just getting into a regular bra is a victory.

Also, for those of you who have been following my story or have been pointed here by someone, I've summarized all my posts about my surgery in the sidebar for easier reference.

Hilton Head Island trip

I had the opportunity to visit Hilton Head Island last week. What a gorgeous place! The hotel was right on the ocean, so I got to hear the waves crashing all night long. I managed to take a walk on the beach one morning too.

Here's a picture I took with my camera phone while on a sunset sailboat cruise. My camera doesn't have the highest resolution, but it's still not a bad picture!

Hilton Head Island is simply lovely. And early November was a GREAT time to visit - it wasn't crowded at all! Check it out sometime, if you ever have the chance.