Sunday, November 28, 2010

Giving Thanks

What an amazing time we shared during our Thanksgiving holiday! With having our newlyweds Blake and Meredith home for the weekend it was important to prepare our favorite family recipes.  While they are easily accessible I have documented them for future festivities.   

A week before Thanksgiving I started with preparing the family cheese ball.  This is an easy recipe and something that you can make ahead of time.  I typically make many and freeze.


Folks have been known to eat an entire cheese ball at one sitting!

1/3 square blue cheese
1/4 lb. Velveeta cheese
2 small pkg. cream cheese (or 3/4 of a large pkg)
green onions chopped
chopped pecans

Combine blue cheese, Velveeta and cream cheese, add the green onions and mix with an electric mixer until smooth.

Roll all the ingredients into a ball, then roll the ball into chopped pecans.

Either refrigerate or wrap tightly and freeze for unexpected company or your next event.


6 potatoes ( recipe calls for Idaho)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese ( I like sharp)
1 stick butter
2 cups sour cream
1/2 chopped green onions
salt and pepper

Cook potatoes in the skins until tender, (they're done once you can insert a fork into the potatoes) pull the potatoes off the stove and refrigerated until cool.  Once the potatoes are cooled peel and shred them coarsely.  In another bowl mix your cheese and melted butter.  Then add the prepared potatoes.  Add onion and season with salt and pepper, add sour cream and mix.  Put in a greased baking dish and sprinkle the top with paprika.  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.


The first time I had this recipe was at Aunt Lauren and Uncle Steve's rehearsal dinner in Topeka, Kansas. They were prepared by Steve's mother, Johnnie Drenner, this recipe I have been asked for the most often.

2 cans green beans
6 strips of bacon - fried crisp
1/2 cup of vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 onion

Fry bacon, in bacon fat add 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar,1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Pour over beans and slice an onion thinly over the beans and then crumble bacon.

Set on the stove until ready to serve.  It's best when fixed several hours ahead of time to let the flavors mix.


The smell and taste of this dish can only bring back fond family memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas in San Antonio.  There are many little steps to make this special stuffing but well worth the effort!  Kudo's to Heidi for keeping the tradition alive for so many years....

The key to making this moist stuffing is to use the stock to mix and top the entire mixtue with the gravy.


2 large celery chopped fine, divided
Equal amount of finely chopped onions, divided
2 sticks butter
1 batch biscuits
1 batch cornbread
salt and pepper to taste
Stock (this can be canned, approximately 2 quarts, 2 - 32 oz)
sage to taste - (2 tablespoons - fresh)
2 cups flour
Kitchen Bouquet
raisins - optional



2 cups of flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons Crisco (or butter)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together, bake in a greased baking dish at 375 for 25 minutes.


1/4 cup of veg.  oil
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
2 - 4 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg - beaten

Combine all the dry ingredients then pour the oi, milk and egg together.
Bake in a greased baking dish at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.


Chop celery and onions and put in separate bags.


Take out giblets.  Put with 1/2 celery and onions.  Fill large (2 plus quarts) pan with water and make broth.  Use the tops of celery.  Simmer 4-5 hours.  (you can do this early and refrigerate)


Start preparing the stuffing 2 hours before dinner.  Saute 1/2 onions and celery until clear.  Crumble the biscuits and cornbread together. 

Crumble biscuits and cornbread together

Put sauteed onions and celery in cornbread and biscuits and mix,  add sage (2 tablespoons, fresh), salt and pepper to taste.  Add enough turkey stock to make it moist.  Divide in half, and add raisins in one of the halves.


1 stick butter, 1/2 of the celery and onions and saute.  Pour 1/2 cup of turkey juice, 1 1/2 cups of flour and some broth.  Strain the flour and broth mix into celery and onions.  Mix, add more flour if needed.  Darken with Kitchen Bouquet.  Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer.  Add more broth if it cooks down too much.

Pour gravy over stuffing and bake until bubbling at 350 for 30-40 minutes. 


"Sweet, thick and full of cherries, this pie is irresistible.  The filling is whipped up from a classic combination of canned sour cherries, sugar, flour and almond flavoring."


1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
1 (20 ounce) can pitted sour cherries
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoons butter
1/4 teaspoon red food coloring (optional - I did not use)
1 egg yolk


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Make pastry and refrigerate.
2. Drain cherries, reserving 1 cup liquid.  In a saucepan combine sugar, flour and salt.  Stir in cherry liquid and bring to a boil, stirring often.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Mixture will thicken

3. When mixture is thickened, add butter, almond extract, food coloring and cherries.  Cover and refrigerate.
4. On lightly covered surface, roll out half of the pastry into an 11 inch circle.  Put into 9 inch pie dish.  Roll other half of pastry into another 11 inch circle.  With a knife or pastry wheel, cut eight 1/2 inch strips.
5. Pour cooled cherry filling into pie dish.  Place pastry strips horizontally, then vertically,across the top of the pie and lightly brush with egg yolk.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes, and cool before serving.


I find myself being grateful for the smallest of things these days.  I know how very lucky I truly am. I cherish the smiles, the laughter and just being together.... It was almost perfect, but we missed our Natalie...

Happy Thanksgiving.........

Wednesday, November 17, 2010



Very delicious and a new favorite of mine!! Recipe from October Cooking Light magazine, I found it on Judy Aldridge blog, Atlantis Home.


1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons apple cider
3 (10 inch) flour tortillas (white or whole wheat)
6 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 fuji apple, cored, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
3 cups arugula
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine mustard and cider in a small bowl; stir well.

Open face

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spread each tortilla with about 1 1/2 teaspoon of the mustard mixture. Place one tortilla mustard side up, in pan. Arrange one-third of cheese slices over half of tortilla; cook 1 minute or until cheese begins to melt. Arrange one third of apple slices over cheese; top with 1 cup of arugula. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Fold tortilla in half, press gently with a spatula.


Cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat process with remaining two tortillas. Cut each finished quesadilla into 3 triangles.

Served with tomato soup and your in heaven!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chipotle Corn Soup Recipe

Chipotle Corn Soup
There’s no better way to celebrate fall than with this silky, cream-free corn soup. Smoky chipotles help balance the sweet corn for a satisfying vegetarian soup you can serve hot or cold. We couldn't resist, we added a little crumbled bacon on top.  The soup is sweet and rich with flavor.

It's easy to make and can warm you up on cool nights.  ahhhh....sweet Kansas corn!

Game plan: This soup can be frozen for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. Freeze the 1/2 cup of corn kernels separately. Defrost both the soup and the kernels in the refrigerator. Purée the soup in a blender to emulsify. Rewarm it if desired, then stir in the corn kernels and garnish with scallions.

  • 8 ears white or yellow corn, shucked
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced chipotles in adobo sauce ( i found these located with the chili's in a can)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only) (green onions)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water


Rotate the cob and continue until all the kernels have been removed; discard the cob. Repeat with remaining corn. Discard the paper towel. Set aside 1/2 cup of the kernels.

Remove corn kernels from the cobs: Place a large container on a damp towel. Fold a paper towel into fourths and place it inside the container. Stand one ear of corn on the paper towel, using the stem as a handle. Using a paring knife, slice downward, letting the kernels fall into the container. Rotate the cob and continue until all the kernels have been removed; discard the cob. Repeat with remaining corn. Discard the paper towel. Set aside 1/2 cup of the kernels. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add chipotles, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, a pinch of black pepper, and about two-thirds of the scallions. (Set aside the remaining scallions for garnish.) Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened, about 3 minutes. Add corn kernels, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, milk, and water and stir to combine. Increase heat to medium high and bring mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until flavors meld and corn is crisp and tender (not mushy), about 15 minutes. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large, heatproof bowl. Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap from the blender lid (the pour lid) and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam from the hot soup to escape and prevents the blender lid from popping off). Pour the blended soup through the strainer, pressing on the solids with a rubber spatula; discard the solids. Stir in the reserved 1/2 cup corn kernels. Season with salt and pepper as needed. If serving chilled, refrigerate the soup until cold, at least 3 hours. Garnish with remaining scallions and serve.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Burlap Inspiration Board

I created my inspiration board for my study (Natalie's room).  I used Natalie's old burlap bullentin board that we created years ago.  I restretched
 it and then framed it with an old frame.  The burlap is a
coarse cloth woven and provides great texture.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Blake Krause

“I give you my heart. I have no greater gift to give.”

Our daughter Meredith was marrid on November 5th, 2010 to our new
wonderful son-in- law, Blake Krause.  
I take this opportunity to share our celebration and our favorite photos taken by Nichols Photography

The beautiful bride, Meredith

The “first look” photo shoot in the meadow before the ceremony

The handsome groom, Blake

The amazing wedding party, Jaime, Chase, Elissa, Trey, Natalie and Jessica

Meredith's dress with her gorgeous bouquet

The wedding ceromony setting

Our beautiful daughters, Meredith and Natalie

Here we go!

Here comes the bride!

What a proud Daddy

It was a wonderful ceremony

You may kiss the bride

Oh happy day!

and then we celebrated

Vista West Ranch was decorated in all her glory

The bride and groom danced the night away....

One more Daddy/daughter dance......

Our precious Daddy Billy

This is my favorite photo of Blake

A truly magical night

They're marrid!

For more infomation on Meredith and Blake's wedding and vendors you may go to Southern Weddings were they were featured, Southern Weddings Part 1 and Southern Weddings Part 2

Congratulations Meredith and Blake!