Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Shoe Project

I love the fact that my daughter cares so much...she rescues any dog in trouble, she would do anything for any animal in need. Perfect example- Coco the One Eyed Wonder, now in a fantastic home because of Kalee. Thank you Pam and Tommy!!!

Currently, she is in the process of getting her Masters degree and Teaching Certificate. As a teaching moment she patterned a program for her first graders about the power of donating our resources- in this case, old shoes. She based her lesson on the book, "Running Shoes" by Frederick Lipp, which can be found here.

She developed a lesson for her class about donating and global giving. Then, she engaged the entire school in the shoe drive with the Beta kids doing the counting and tracking, the REACH students making posters and the 1st graders leading the charge by discussing the project on the school's morning new channel, GNN (the Gator News Network). All told, she collected a grand total of over 1,500 pairs of shoes!!! I am here in Georgia to rent a U Haul and help her take them to the Warehouse that will distribute the shoes to kids across the country and all of the world, most likely the shoes will go to Haiti. Gosh, it was fun tying them to gather and bagging them up. The organization that she is donating them to is Soles 4 Souls.

Her father is coming tomorrow to pull the U-Haul down to deliver the shoes... we are so proud of our Kalee.

I will post pictures tomorrow. This has been so much fun and so very rewarding.

Villa Rica ...while visiting my daughter

If you are ever in Villa Rica, please go eat at the "Blue Brick". It is amazing!! When we arrived without a reservation, it was totally packed but they made room for us at the bar. The food was amazing. For an appetizer, we had pommes de terre. They were so great. Thinly grated potatoes where deep fried with parsley, garlic, sea salt and love. Oh my gosh they were to die for....

Then I had a wonderful feta/spinach/herb quiche. It was so smooth and cooked to perfection. My son in law had the Frog Legs. They were covered in parsley and garlic butter. He loved them and my vegetarian daughter even sampled and agreed.

The next course for me was Roasted Vegetables. Wow...parsnip mashed potatoes/ broccoli with garlic and butter, asparagus, lentils, and kidney beans all accented with a pineapple salsa.

I have to say this was one of the best meals I have had in Georgia!!! Who would have ever thought. This great place is owned by a couple, the Chef is from France and his wife is from the South. The Best of Two Worlds...Southern Hospitality and fantastic French Cooking in Villa Rica Georgia...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sage still fresh!!

Sometimes during the week , my husband heads to our other offices, so I am left to fend for myself. As I came into the back door I noticed I still had fresh sage. I had the makings for the perfect recipe for me without my husband ( he is a meat eater!!). This was great for me and will be fantastic for tomorrow's lunch!

Whole Wheat Gnocchi with Mushroom and Sage Sauce

1 16 oz package whole wheat gnocchi
2 tablespoons butter( I did use more)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
12 ounces fresh mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1/2 cup diced shallots
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook gnocchi according to package directions and drain. Cook butter and olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat until the butter begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and shallots and saute until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add stock and sage, simmer until
liquid is slightly reduced, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add hot gnocchi to sauce in skillet and toss to coat. Serve with cheese sprinkled over the top.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Milk Punch for Christmas

Almost three years ago, our daughter married a great young man from Atlanta.We have learned much about the "South" since this union, it has been great fun.

We had the two of them here for a Christmas Celebration this year and they brought with them the magazine "Garden and Gun". I was looking for a Traditional Christmas Punch, but I do not like Eggnog due to the raw eggs, but as luck as it we came across an article about Martha Foose's Milk Punch.

Being good Kentuckians we love Bourbon so we gave this punch a try! Well, it was wonderful and lightened up the cooking and celebration greatly! We all highly recommend this festive drink.

Thanks Martha Foose.

Matha Foose's Milk Punch
(serves 1)
1 1/2 ounces good bourbon or brandy
2 ounces half and half
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
drop of vanilla extract
Ice cubes
Freshly grated nutmeg

Combine the bourbon, half and half, sugar, and vanilla in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly until the mixture is cold and frothy. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with a grating of nutmeg.

I actually had my son in law make this in batches and put it in my Mother's antique punch bowl. We served it in the bright red fosteria glasses that I saved from my Mom's yard sale pile.
It was so festive. I think this will be a Christmas Tradition in our house.

**Recipe from "Screen Doors and Sweet Tea"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Some Sage Advice

I loved cooking for two Christmas Celebrations.... but the best thing of all was that we still had fresh herbs in the garden. I made this appetizer with sage that was so popular! I used the regular garden sage, the size of the leaf was perfect!

Apricot Bites

Take a large dried apricot, place a small age leaf on it and wrap the apricot and sage leaf with a strip of bacon. Place this on a baking sheet and cook for about 12 minutes or until the bacon is crispy.

Serve immediately!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Anniversary Trip

For our 35th Wedding Anniversary and my husband's 58th birthday,I planned a mystery trip for him. He had no idea where we were going. It was great fun. We ended up on the Island of Eleuthera, one of the outer Islands of the Bahamas. was amazing. The beaches were the best I have ever seen and I found conchs. I have been searching for this shell for years and I found them on the beach on my Mom's 91st Birthday! More to come on this trip but for now here is the recipe of the fruits of our labors!! My husband loved this salad.

1 (2 lb.) conch meat
15 limes, squeezed
1 large tomato, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 celery stalk, diced
1 large onion, chopped
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper
The best conchs are those that have been frozen in salt water.

Squeeze limes and defrost the cleaned conch meat in the lime juice.

Combine all of the vegetables in a large bowl. Add them to the lime juice.

Chop the conchs into 1/2 inch cubes. It's easier to do this while they are still partially frozen.

Return the conchs to the lime mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Taste and add salt and pepper and cayenne pepper, if needed. 1-2 hot peppers is usually enough.

Time Out

So sorry I have not blogged for a month!!! It has been wild but so much to blog about!! I am back and more committed as ever! I may work backwards on the last month!


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