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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Happy New Year

Eating black eyed peas is a new years tradition at our house. It is considered a source of luck for the new year that will bring prosperity in the new year. It is also part of the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashana and has been recorded in the Babylonianian era.

The tradition has also been traced back to the Civil War. Union troops stripped the countryside of all stored food, crops and livestock and destroyed whatever they could not carry away. Northeners often considered the black eyed peas "field peas" suitable only for animal fodder and did not steal or destroy these humble foods. Southerners would cook the peas with a pork product for flavoring such as bacon, ham bones, fatback or hog jowl, diced onion, and served with hot chili sauce or a pepper flavored vinegar.

Normally collard, turnip, or mustard greens and ham. The peas swelled when cooked and symbolize prosperity, the greens symbolize money and the pork represents positive motion Served along with cornbread you have the traditional meal served at our house New Years Day

Black Eyed Peas Soup

1 pound dried black eyed peas
1 pound spicy sausage (I used some kielbasa sausage)
6 cups chicken broth
1 yellow onion, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
4 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Tabasco sauce (to taste...or omit!)

Soak your beans overnight. (This is the hardest part for me to remember...don't forget!:)) Drain in the morning. Dice the veggies, and put them into your crockpot with the beans. Add your sliced sausage and then pour in the broth, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for about 6.
recipe resource here

Friday, December 27, 2013

Southern New Year Eve Superstitions

New Year’s superstitions with a southern twist
  • Empty pockets or empty cupboards on New Years Eve predict a year of poverty.
  • Black-eyed peas bring good luck (see above).
  • Eat greens on News Years Day to bring money in the New Year. Apparently each bite of greens you eat is worth $1000 in the upcoming year.
  • Eat cornbread as its ‘gold’ color represents “coin” money or pocket money. Plus, it goes well with collard greens, peas and pork.


Freeze It

We were discussing great buys and freezing products when you buy in bulk the other day. Many of those listening were suprised what could be frozen and had no idea for how long it could be done. Here is a short list of products you can freeze and for how long

Chicken broth, three months

Coconut (grated), two months

Gingerroot, two months

Hard cheeses (such as Parmesan, Romano, Cheddar, and Swiss), six months

Milk, one month (Freeze the carton upright.)

Nuts, two months

Pancakes and waffles, one month (Reheat these straight from the freezer.)

Rice (cooked and frozen in small portions), one month

Tomato paste, three months

Unsalted butter, six months

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An adult treat: Chocolate Shots

Milky Way candy bars, broken into pieces
500 ml heavy cream (about one pint and a half)

Place a big pot of water on the stove, top with a metal or glass bowl and melt the chocolate candy bars.  Add in the heavy cream and stir well.  Next goes in the vodka.  Now there's no real measurement for that, just add to your taste, if you like it a little stronger add more, if you don't want it too strong add less.

Mix everything well, pour into a pitcher and let sit on the counter until it's cooled down.  Transfer to the fridge to cool.  When it's nice and chilled, pour into shot glasses and enjoy!!!!

found recipe at Fullbellies blog

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Romantic Home
Favorite Things Friday

Good Luck Foods To Start The New Year

New Years Eve will find us eating cornbread, beans, spinach, slaw, and some great desserts the reason we eat the same the first of every year Here are few more recipes that I found on Vocal Point that are meant for good luck.

Creamy Grape Salad

Sure, you could just stick 12 grapes on a stick and call it lucky. But how fun is that? Whip up this creamy and fresh dessert instead. Each grape represents one month of the year—some grapes (and months) are sour, others are sweet. Grape growers in Spain started the tradition in 1909, and would eat 12 grapes before midnight. The tradition spread to Portugal, Cuba, Mexico and Peru. Make grapes your lucky fruit of the night!

8 ounces of low-fat cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 pound green grapes
1 pound red grapes
6 ounces of slivered almonds

Stir the cream cheese and yogurt to combine in a large bowl. Gently fold in the grapes until they are covered. Sprinkle on the almonds. Substitute with walnuts or any other nuts you have left over from the holidays.

Spicy Noodles with Citrus Fruit

Asian countries eat long noodles on New Year’s Eve for good luck, so serve this sweet and tangy recipe at your New Year’s dinner. Dried rice noodles are great, but if you have any stir-fry noodles around or even plain spaghetti, go ahead and use that—we won’t tell!

1 package dried rice noodles
1 orange
1 tangerine
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
2 tsp honey
½ tsp salt

In large pot, boil 6 cups water. Add noodles and cook until tender. While they cook, peel citrus fruits and cut into wedges. Put in large bowl. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water, then combine in bowl with fruit. In medium bowl, whisk sesame oil, sweet chili sauce, honey, and salt until mixed. Taste-test the sauce (it’ll be strong, but it will mellow out in the noodles) and adjust ingredients to taste. Drizzle over noodles and fruit and serve.

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seasonal sunday

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Relax , Warm Up and Feel Better with a Hot Toddy

We are in full swing of the winter season and the holidays. Germs are every where and the cold weather is not making it any better. Seems like there are several people under the weather suffering from cold and flu symptoms. One thing that I find very useful in making one feel better is to make up a hot toddy. The soothing drink can warm one up and allow them to relax as well.

This warming alcoholic concoction has its roots in the 18th and 19th century, which even without taking global warming into consideration were cold centuries. It allows you to mix whisky with hot water and flavours to take the edge off the spirit. It’s a great drink and a top variation on the theme of other hot booze like mulled wine or mulled cider.

 Whisky one with a sweet flavor often works best
Honey: .
Boiling water

Simply put a shot of whisky in a mug and top up with boiling water.
Add a generous spoonful of honey and stir in
Add a couple of cloves and some cinnamon to taste.
Enjoy while wrapped up, shared with a loved one!

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 photo TGIF_zps40a588c0.png

National Candy Cane Day

Now while you may figure well that the day to celebrate the candy cane is in December and you would be right Candy Cane Day is today December 26, 2013

Candy Cane is traditionally red and white. However can be found in a great variety of colors and flavors.

One of my favorite treats to make with candy canes is candy cane bark oh how yummy In fact will be making a batch for one of my good friends tomorrow

Candy Cane Bark
Makes: Approx. 10x10 Square, Broken into small pieces

10 ounces White Chocolate, Chopped
9 Candy Canes, Crushed into small pieces

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside until needed. Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave the chocolate for 30 seconds.  Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir.  Repeat the same microwave-and-stir process until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.  Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, let it slightly cool on the counter for about 5 minutes.  Once cooled, add the crushed candy canes into the white chocolate, reserving 2 tablespoons for topping the bark. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread is evenly until its ¼ inch thick.  Sprinkle the remaining crushed candy canes over the white chocolate mixture. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator until its firm, about 10 minutes.  Once it has hardened, break it apart into medium-sized pieces. 

Serve and enjoy :)!
This bark is best kept in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag for up to two weeks. 

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Rooted In Thyme

Sunday, December 22, 2013

snowman treats

These snowman treats are super cute and perfect for all winter long. Don't worry if they aren't done by Christmas because snowmen are perfect for cold snowy days after Christmas as well

12 squares NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar Dough
12 NESTLÉ® BUTTERFINGER® or CRUNCH® Jingles, unwrapped
12 pretzel checkerboard snaps or mini pretzels for hat base
2/3 cup prepared white frosting
24 large marshmallows, divided
12 pretzel sticks for arms, broken in half
NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels for eyes and buttons (a heaping teaspoon needed)
12 small orange candies or orange decorating gel for nose
Thin-string licorice, various colors, cut into twelve, 7-inch pieces for scarves
PREPARE 12 cookies as directed on package. Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely.
TO MAKE HATS, ADHERE Jingles to pretzel snaps with frosting. Set aside.
TO MAKE SNOWMEN, INSERT 2 pretzel sticks into each side of 12 marshmallows to create arms on base of snowman. Spread a heaping teaspoon of frosting onto center of each cookie; top with snowman base. Press down lightly. Spread additional frosting on top of each snowman base. Top with remaining 12marshmallows. Dip orange candies and mini morsels into frosting and add noses, eyes and buttons to snowmen. For scarf, tie each piece of licorice loosely around neck of snowman using frosting as glue, if necessary. Let both hats and snowmen bases stand for 20 minutes to set frosting and make snowmen stable.
PRIOR TO SERVING, adhere hats to snowman head with frosting. If snowmen need to set up more, lean them against a glass or can to set.
recipe source Nestle

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