Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Pioneer Woman

Last night we stayed home to watch the College Football National Championship game.  We are not fans of Alabama or Georgia but cheered for Georgia to win because their Quarterback, Jake Fromm, is from Warner Robins.  Unfortunately, the Dawgs didn’t win but it was a good game.
I set the table for supper using some of my Pioneer Woman dishes and linens.

I love these cheerful dishes, placemats, and napkins.  The flatware is from Pottery Barn Kids.

I’ve been using a lot more red lately...maybe because of the holidays and Valentine’s Day coming up.  The plates and bowls with flowers and dots are brightening up my table during this dreary winter weather.

I decided against traditional Gameday foods and chose to prepare The Pioneer Woman’s Hamburger Soup with a Caesar salad and cornbread.  It’s been so cold and all I’ve been eating is soup.  I will probably be eating nothing but soup until Easter.

Here’s Rae Drummond’s Hamburger Soup recipe:
2 1/2 lbs ground chuck
1 whole large opinion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 1/2 oz ) can whole tomatoes
3 cups beef broth, plus more as needed
1 whole yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 whole red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 whole green bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 whole carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
5 whole red potatoes, cut into chunks
3 tablespoons tomatoe paste
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayennne pepper
In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the meat with the onion, celery, and garlic.  Remove the pot from the heat and drain off as much fat as you can.  Return the pot to the heat and add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir to combine then bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, then cover the pot and simmer the soup for 15-20 more minutes, until potatoes are tender but not overly mushy.  Soup should be somewhat thick, but if you would like for it to be more “soupy,” add 1 to 2 cups more broth OR hot water and heat through.  Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt if needed.
Serves 12

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year 2018

Some years are better than others and let’s just say I’m looking forward to good things in 2018!
I spent the last few days after Christmas taking down all the Christmas decor.  The house seems so empty now.

We’re staying home tonight and watching football.  That is totally okay with me.  I’m wearing champagne-motif PJs that I got from Target a couple of years ago.

I decorated the bar and we’ll celebrate the new year sipping champagne.

All my Christmas trees are down and out of the house because Mama always said it’s bad luck to have the Christmas trees up on New Year’s Day.  Following Mama’s other traditions, I hope I don’t forget to open the doors at midnight to let the old year out and the new year in.  Also, tomorrow I won’t be washing clothes or taking out the garbage because that’s bad luck.
Southerners are very superstitious about what they eat on New Year’s Day.  I was always told not to eat chicken on New Year’s Day or I would experience financial difficulties in the new year.  Pork, black-eye peas, greens, and cornbread are a must if you want good luck in the new year!  This is a little history about these “lucky” foods.
Black-Eye Peas:
The tradition of eating black-eye peas dates back to the Civil War.  When General William T. Sherman led his Union troops on their destructive march through the South, the fields of black-eye peas were left untouched because they were deemed fit for only animals.  As a result, the humble yet nourishing black-eye pea saved surviving Confederates from starvation.  The peas are said to represent coins.  More coins, more Starbucks!
Greens:
Greens represent wealth and paper money, as they are flat and green like U.S. currency.  Any greens will do, but in the South the most popular are collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, and cabbage.  I’m having lots of turnip greens and hopefully some extra paper money will come my way!
Pork:
Throughout history, owning pigs and livestock was a symbol of prosperity, so today pork is eaten in the hopes of prosperity and a bountiful harvest in the coming year.  Pigs are also a symbol of progressing into the year ahead since they move forward using their snout to root for food.  Here’s to hoping the Honeybaked Ham I’m having will bring prosperity.
Cornbread:
Cornbread symbolizes gold and is used for soaking up the pot likker from the greens.  When wheat was a rarity in the South, Southerners made cornbread as a regular meal staple.  I love cornbread  with my New Year’s Day meal...going for the gold!
Happy New Year to everyone and wishing you good health, happiness, and prosperity!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Tablescapes

As the Christmas season is almost over, I’m sharing some of my holiday tablescapes.  I don’t have a formal lifestyle and am surrounded by a small family, so everything is low-scale and very casual these days.  That’s okay with me!
“Truck Yeah!”  Red trucks are all the rage right now and this one is a cutie I found at JC Penney.  The truck plates are from Pier 1 as are the red script napkins.  Of course, gingham goes with everything so I layered the two napkins together.

“Baby It’s Cold Outside.”  I have had these snowmen plates for years and layered them with galvanized charger plates from Kirkland’s and black gingham plates from Pottery Barn Kids.  The black buffalo check napkins are from The Sew Savvy on Etsy.  I used the “Baby It’s Cold Outside” ornaments from Hobby Lobby as napkin rings.  The centerpiece is from Pier 1.

This is my “All I Want for Christmas is Rae Dunn” scape.  I have been collecting Rae Dunn pottery for awhile and I’m pretty much addicted.  Once you start with this stuff, you can’t stop.  If you are a new collector, good luck out there!  There are a ton of people who buy it all up and then list it online for ridiculous prices.  I will just take my chances of finding the pieces on my wishlist at TJ Maxx and Homegoods. My favorite pieces have the “tall skinny letters” like the ones below.  Seriously, when you find a piece you are looking for, it’s like JACKPOT!

I found these tartan charger plates at Michael’s for under $2 each!

Yes, more Rae Dunn, please!

Thank you for stopping by today and Merry Christmas to everyone.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits

This morning I heated up some biscuits from Callie’s.  I am planning on serving these as appetizers on Christmas Day—stuffed with pimiento cheese, chicken salad, and ham.  Whenever I travel to Atlanta, I love stopping in at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits. Their biscuits are made by hand and you can add ham, pimiento cheese, etc.

You can buy Callie’s frozen biscuits from their bakeries, website, or now from The Fresh Market Groceries.  I got the Cheese and Chive Biscuits and they are so soft and flaky.

Served with naughty or nice egg nog...it’s a perfect mid-morning treat.

My biscuit of choice when I visit the bakery is the cheese & chive with the shredded ham.  Oh my goodness, they are fattening for sure, but a real Southern delicacy!

Callie’s also has a bakery in Charleston, so do yourself and visit them if you are ever in one of these two Southern cities.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas Beverage Bar

Sharing photos today of my Christmas beverage bar.  It's been real cold here in Georgia and hot chocolate and coffee drinks are my go-to beverages of the day.  Yes, I like to change out my Keurig for the seasons and this cute red one will be on deck through Valentines Day.  I knew when I saw the red buffalo check banner at the Target Dollar Spot that I just had to have it. Gingham and buffalo checks go with everything.  I found the red truck on sale at JC Penny and love using it in my vignettes.  It's loaded down with Starbucks peppermint mocha pods.

Flocked greens are all the rage this Christmas, so I ordered the flocking kit on Amazon.  After it arrived, I decided I wasn't in the mood for all the flocked mess that I would make.  I got some snow spray from Michaels and sprayed the greens with the snow spray.  Very easy and not so messy!

The tiered tray was on sale at Hobby Lobby so I brought it home to add to my collection...a tiered tray for every tabletop is a must, right?!

I found the cute red truck napkins in a little shop in Senoia, Georgia.  That reminds me...the store had their Christmas decked out with red truck decor and it was adorned with a big red truck at the top. SO cute!

As I'm writing this, I'm enjoying a hot cocoa and watching a Hallmark Christmas movie.  It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas at The Roost

This year I told myself I wasn't going to decorate so much for Christmas.  Well, I started taking stuff out of my storage room boxes and just kept on taking out more stuff!  I do love to put out Christmas decor, it helps to get me into the spirit.  Like everyone, I have a lot going on right now, but I won't bore everyone with the details.  Mama always said, "Nobody wants to hear your day-to-day troubles!"
Here are a few of my Christmas "cheer me up" photos:
The front porch...just like last year.

Inside the front door area (aka foyer)--This is also known by my husband as "the only place he can sit down!"  The bench and rack are from Kirklands.  I absolutely love shopping at Kirklands during Christmas.  They have the cutest Christmas decor!  The slim tree has no theme...it is decorated with ornaments I have collected during my years of traveling.  A sweet lady in Senoia, Georgia painted the "Stay awhile" canvas.

My petite kitchen is decorated with red accent pieces.  I love red for Christmas through Valentine's Day.  Of course gingham and buffalo checks go with everything.

The pot rack with gingham bows, garland, copper pots, and cookie cutters.

Christmas aprons are pressed and ready to wear.

Joyeux Noel!  Christmas on the stove with some MacKenzie Childs, Rae Dunn, and a cute snow jar & towel set from Target Dollar Spot.

More festiveness on the kitchen counter.  I am NOT one to keep a empty kitchen counter top.  I'm absolutely NOT a minimalist.  No ma'am, I like cozy counters.

I'll be back later with more Christmas decorations from my little home.  Have a wonderful weekend y'all!