Chilly Day Chili, simple and delicous


It’s January in the northern hemisphere and baby, it’s cold outside! While I do live in South Carolina, the chill is even here, having snowed last week, the snow is melted but the cold remains. With the holidays now over and most of us wanting to cut back on expenses or curb spending, a homemade meal is an easy way to accomplish both, why not make something easy that also brings a bit of warmth to the body as well?

Ingredients and Instrutions:

1 pound of ground turkey or ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped up

Salt, Pepper, Chili powder, italian season blend

Cans of assorted beans

2 cans of diced or crushed tomatoes

Brown the ground meat, dump in the cans of everything, add spices to your strength preference. simmer for 45 minutes. Enjoy! Adding a dollop of sour cream on top or shredded cheese is also delicious.

Easy Brunch, pulling it all together


Brunch is made to be enjoyable and make it easy for yourself, simply use what you have about in your fridge or make it “potluck” style with a couple of friends, bring only what you have on hand!! It makes it a fun and easy way to dine tastefully and on a budget…. and who doesn’t like that?

An easy brunch of things pulled together, a bagel with scrambled eggs, quartered roma tomatoes, red grapes and radishes made in the shapes of flowers (my neighbor is food crafty)

Stone Soup–using what’s at hand.


The Stone Soup is a European folk story in which hungry strangers convince the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that everyone enjoys, and exists as a moral regarding the value of sharing. In varying traditions, the stone has been replaced with other common inedible objects, and therefore the fable is also known as axe soup, button soup, nail soup, and wood soup.

Stone Soup – Wikipedia

While I most certainty don’t go hungry, I don’t like to waste. While trying to figure out what I wanted to make for dinner this evening, I realized I bits and bobs of this that and the other. I didn’t have enough of any item to make a “proper dish” of anything, so I made stone soup at home of the bits and bobs from my refrigerator that needed to be eaten; while none of the ingriedients were any were near spoiled or bad, they still needed to be used an eaten.

What is included in this stone soup:

CHicken Bullion-water, carrots (diced)-half a large onion (course chunked)-medium tomato chunked-3 cups of raw kale-salt-pepper-2 medium red potatoes (chunky diced)-2tsp Italian seasoning

It was all simmered together for about 90 minutes (of course, while I caught up on my pen pal correspondence).

Stone Soup –potato vegetable soup

She Crab Soup, a Charleston Delight


I found a postcard in Charleston with a delightful recipe I feel is worth sharing! I hope you also enjoy!!!

See recipe below

Charleston, South Carolina She Crab Soup (taken from the Postcard)

2 tbsp butter, 1 tsp. Flour, 1 quart milk, 2 cups white crab meat with roe, 5 drops onion juice, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp mace, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/4 pint heavy cream (whipped) , 4-5 tbsp dry sherry, grated rind of one lemon

In the top of a double boiler, melt butter and blend with flour until smooth. While stirring constantly, add teh milk slowly. Then add the crab meat and roe plus all the seasonings, except sherry. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Serve warm in cups with one teaspoon of Sherry, and a topping of whipped cream.

Easy Homemade Pasta Primavera


Sometimes an easy but tasty meal is needed and in a flash!! but who wants to blow their budget on an expensive meal? The following recipe costs a total of about $4-$4.50 I shopped at the local Dollar Tree/Dollar General for the items (when I was already out and about) and the recipe serves 3-4 adult size servings.

Ingredients:

1-1 lb box of whole grain penne pasta ($1.00 at Ingles Supermarket)

1 bag of frozen stir fry mix ($1 at Dollar Tree)

1 jar of Ragu Alfredo sauce ($1.25 at Dollar General)

1 can of Chicken breast ($1.25 Dollar General)

Cook the whole box of pasta according to the directions on the package.

While the pasta is cooking, open the bag of frozen stir fry and dump into a medium sized sauce pan with a little water added to the bottom, open the can of chicken (drain it first) and add to the stir fry vegetables (you won’t actually be frying the vegetables, just lightly steaming them with the chicken.)

When the pasta is about finished cooking, add the jar of the alfredo sauce to the chicken and chicken mix, simmer until hot. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain the water off.

Layer pasta on the bottom of the plate and top with the sauce/chicken/vegetable dish and voilĂ , you have pasta primavera with chicken.

Easy Homemade Mediterranean-semi scratch meal, serves 4


Ingredients:

1 pound yellow fish tuna (I used frozen)

1 1lb bag of stir fry vegetables (Frozen)

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Lemon Pepper salt

1 package of butternut squash ravioli (i used fresh, organic)

4 tablespoons of fresh shredded parmesan cheese

Turn on oven to 400 degrees (F).

In a glass pie pan or baking dish, put in 2 tablespoons olive oil to cover and coat the dish. Put in the pieces of yellow fin tuna, sprinkle the lemon pepper salt over the fish. Dump the bag of stir fry on top of the fish, squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top of it all. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 70-80 minutes, until thoroughly cooked but not over done.

When the tuna vegetable combo is about 90% done, make the butternut ravioli according to the package directions.

When everything is completely cooked through and hot, layer up the food, starting from the plate then put:

ravioli-vegetables-tuna piece-drizzle of salt and olive oil-topped with parmesan cheese. Adding a squeeze of fresh orange to the side is a delicious but optional treat. Serve hot. Serves 4

Breakfast Bowl–Using up leftovers


Every now and gain we have leftovers and the question of “What’s for dinner”, sometimes both can be satisfied by coming just a few leftover ingredients.

While I am a huge fan of having breakfast for dinner, this meal can be truly served at any time of the day and be a success.

The ingredients of this breakfast bowl are easy: leftover baked potatoes, chunked and lightly fried, add leftover green beans and onion, salt and pepper and about a half dozen cracked eggs (after adding a bit of corn oil to the bottom of the pot first). Stir and simmer until it’s all the way cooked through, served with a drizzle of ketchup on top. Super yummy and it it’s inexpensive.

Herbed Peasant Bread, Freshly Versatile


A very simple and easy recipe with common ingredients-pretty inexpensive as well.

Ingredients:

6 cups flour-

1 packet of dry yeast

1 1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup white sugar

1/4 cup corn oil (or olive oil)

2 cups extra warm water

1 1/2 tablespoons dry Italian season

Proof the yeast in the warm water, adding the sugar. Mix all other ingredients in a large metal or glass bowl. and the sugar/yeast/water mix slowly to the bowl of mixed ingredients until thoroughly mixed, form into one large bowl and put back in the bowl. Cover bowl with a warm damn towel.

After the dough ball has risen, punch down and split into two loaves (either into bread loaf pans or shape into boules.)

Let the dough rise once again (about 20 minutes). Pop the bread into a preheated, 350 degree oven-Bake for about 45-60 minutes, depending on your oven.

This is awesome bread to just eat on it’s own with fresh, real butter, as a sandwich maker, or with soup. Works also great as a base for homemade turkey stuffing.

Don’t lose your marbles wondering…Did you forget Kevin? Make a list: Tips for successfully pulling it off.


Scene where the mom realizes she forgot Kevin in Home Alone

I am pretty everyone knows the infamous movie Home Alone, the holidays are chaotic, add an adventure and/or adventures to the pot, and all chaos can ensue, as well all know.

While I have never personally forgotten a person on a trip, I have, in the past forgotten to pack something or gotten stuck because of ill-planning or lack of thinking ahead. Yes, I learned the hard way and I hope to help prevent you from making the same mistakes I have made.

A notebook and a pen/pencil are all that is needed, likely to found easily in your home or easily purchased at the local dollar store. Either sitting down and creating a prep To-Do list or adding to it on your lunch break at work or while waiting inline for your coffee order, a few minutes of note taking will save you time and stress and worry down the way.

I suggest a notebook as it keeps everything in one place and easily accessible. Plus, you can check items off as you go along and get it accomplished and leave more notes, which tips are added in the list below.

  1. Luggage/Suitcase Packing list, for each member of your family. What will you need to put in your suitcase (number of outfits, accessories, shoes, etc.)? Don’t forget to add undergarments and pajamas. Yes, I have to sleep in my birthday suit because I forgot pajamas.
  2. Medications and toiletries -usually the last minute items added to a suitcase. List exactly what you will need, shampoo, toothpaste/brush, pain medication (such as aspirin or others), anything prescribed (in the correct amounts and quantities.) If you will run out of medication while on vacation, get refills before you leave or contact your physician /pharmacy to have them filled and able to be retrieved from a local pharmacy where you are traveling too if a pre-refill isn’t possible. A little first aid kit is always handy too or a box of Band-Aids, because who hasn’t gotten a blister on their heal? ouch!
  3. If travelling by vehicle, a check list of what will go in the car, any car maintenance that will be needed (i.e. an oil change, tune up, spare tire fixed, jumper cables.) Scheduled dates for this can also be added to your notebook and calendar.
  4. If traveling by airfare, train or bus, make sure you right now departure times and arrivals and means of transportation or shuttle from A to B. It’s not any fun arriving jet lagged, tired and hungry only to realize the last shuttle has run, taxi’s services don’t run 24/7 and it’s pouring rain and your are 15 miles from your hotel (yep, been there too). Winging it can be fun but there is a time and place for that as well. Also, will you leave your vehicle at the airport or station? If yes, your notebook will be a great place to mark down where you parked. If you have someone you off and/or picking you up, the Uber service number or having best friend Betty’s phone number and scheduled services will be beneficial to write down as well. Nothing like a dead cell phone to make you wish you had memorized someone’s phone number.
  5. A list of any reservations, appointments and venue locations, including check in and check out times or any other special instructions, Include reservation numbers and so forth. Paper clipping confirmation pages into your notebook will be beneficial. It’s embarrsing to show up at St. Mary’s hotel B Ave when you are reserved at St. Merry’s hotel on Bee Ave 7 miles away in a different town. Also noting in your book any important phone numbers or contacts in case of emergency.
  6. Business as usual: What regular things will be need to be taken care of while you are away? Will you need to set up auto pay for bills? Who will take care of your pet if you can’t take them with you? Water your plants? Do you need to put a hold on your mail or can your sister pick it up for you? Do you need to transfer your money from your adventure savings into your checking account?
  7. Gifts and Souvenirs-who will you need to brings treats home to? Do you have a neighbor to thank for checking your houseplants? A favorite Aunt whom loves magnets? Do you have your grandparents address so you can send them a postcard?
  8. Leaving the house Prep: Nobody wants to come home to a mystery science experiment growing in the fridge or having their wash machine smell like an old gym bag full of sweaty sports clothes because you forgot to run the last load and everything molded and soured. Mark down whatever last chores needed to be finished up or done before leaving so you come home to a clean and comfortable home.
  9. Coming home prep: This one is a bit of an extension of leaving the house prep. If you are going to be gone for more than a few days, groceries will likely be used up before you leave, especially fresh produce and the like. You can schedule a grocery trip on the way home or have a prepped in advance and therefore save some money in the process. A few frozen meals will be easy to pop in the oven, like casseroles and such or even one of those home-bake frozen pizzas could bake and would be useful time as you unload your luggage and start getting back to normal.
  10. Check things off as you get them done. By putting your notebook in your purse/backpack/carryon/travel tote, you will have it handy. It will also provide a way of making sure you got everything you need to take home with you. I failed to check my list once going from Inverness, Scotland and upon arriving and showering in London, after a long bus ride, I didn’t have any panties. Why? I accidently donated them with a couple of articles of clothing that I had chosen to be rid of but without my packing list, I didn’t notice!

As the legends and story goes: 18th Century, Eliza Huger, the Old Stone Church and graveyard, Clemson, South Carolina-a place of lovers.


As the legend goes, so the story tells…both very important key phrases when sharing (and I admit, i learned this expression while travelling) a story, as the key phrase adds importance to what is about to be told, shared, relayed….and it has crossed the oceans to here in the USA (for me, at least, I hope others are ahead of me and already heard such expressions here.)

The expression, as the story goes and is told, I found, is written on a historical plaque here at the Old Stone Church and Graveyard in Clemson, South Carolina (just off off Clemson/Anderson Highway).

“Accordingly to a long told Story, Eliza Huger, a member of prominent society, was banished. Even by the standards of that city, her actions were considered horrific by her and her lover….”

A remarkable cemetary, mostly from the late 18th century and through the American Civil war of the 19th century, the the stone walls, about 3 feet high, are quite something, holding within their realms lovers, outcasts, members of prominent society, founders of the Church that had immigrated from mostly Whales and England, and Confederate high ranking military members and families.

There is one a marker for a family plot, made of of men entered there, which contains a relief mark that I am unfamiliar with, others are identifiable as mark, ranks, memberships to societies, like the D.A.R. (daughters of the American Revolution) and more.

The large image, commemorating the Confederate Dead, stands between the church itself and the main graveyard, in a Cairn style rock built wall and is quite simple yet exquisitely beautiful.

While the church is now on the Historical register of National Landmarks, it’s not longer used as a tradition church (but by peaking through a window, a really cool old fashioned organ remains inside.)

This is a true gem and definitely worth visiting!!