dressingThe Holiday’s are fast approaching.  I realize that it’s early, but I was going thru all of my Holiday planners, starting to book dates, trying to dot my i’s & cross my t’s. I was looking at some old recipes and realized that I had never put a recipe for my mom’s dressing on the family blog. I’ve never written it down before, so I quickly free-handed it from memory. Truth be known, I could make it in my sleep. I’ve made it every Holiday dinner that I’ve ever cooked a turkey. To be honest, some batches have failed when I used too much broth or allowed to much fat into it; it can fry. Not good. If you have any questions,  just comment below.

Tear 1 loaf of white bread into pieces, tossing them into a large bowl. Chop 1 med onion & dice 1 stalk of celery on top. Add 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning, 2 tablespoons of ground sage, & some black pepper. Then dump enough broth off of the baking Turkey to moisten the dressing, folding as you go. Not too much. As soon as its holding together. Turn it out into a sprayed 9x13x2. Toss a few bread crumbs on top. Lightly sprinkle them with sage. Place into a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. You can garnish it with a few sage leaves, but it’s not necessary.

Good stuff! So easy! I only wish she was here to share it with us, but I’m thankful that she took the time to teach me to make it.

My most memorable meal is every Thanksgiving. I love the food: the turkey and dressing, glazed ham, the candied yams or sweet potato casserole – sometimes both, some mashed potatoes and gravy, a little Green-bean casserole, a spoonful of baked beans, a big bowl of Potato or Beef Barley Soup with some buttered pull apart bread, my corn casserole or Jiffy’s corn pudding, my mom’s rice pudding without raisins, jellied cranberry Sauce or cranberry relish, a few deviled eggs, a dinner roll, my Mom’s Ambrosia Fruit Salad that no one eats but me and of course, a big slice of pumpkin pie with a big dollop of whipped cream… Yum! ~ Sheila Jean Adkins Metcalf


1 lb butter, soft
4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp basil
dash of fresh ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients. Chill 1 hour. Makes about three cups.


A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins. ~ Laurie Colwin

As you know, I hate mayo, but my brother-in-law’s mother Ida Hatton South, was famous for her mayonnaise cakes. She thought she was tricking me once, she served me a slice of her cake and I ate it. Because, even though I knew that it may have been made with mayonnaise in place of eggs and oil, once it’s baked, its just eggs and oil. So here it is…

2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together the flour, cocoa, soda and salt. Cream together the sugar, mayonnaise, water and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture; stir until well blended. Pour batter into greased and floured layer cake pans (or a 9- x 13-inch pan). Bake at 350°F. for about 25 minutes.

Chocolate Butter Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans are nice, optional)

Heat butter, cocoa, and milk and bring to a boil. Add powdered sugar and beat until nice and smooth. Add chopped nuts and stir.


Ida also would flour her potatoes when frying so they would turn out crispier. I’m not a huge fan of those, but loved them when she made them. It’s how I came up with my ham and potato bake recipe. Add some flour to oil when frying and you have a roux, then add milk and it makes gravy. Add ham and cover with cheese, bake it for 20 minutes and yum! its so good!

Ida was an amazing woman, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to spend as much time with her as I did. May God rest her soul.

Often the search proves more profitable than the goal. ~ E. L. Konigsburg

One chicken breast, chop it and sauté it in oil with onion, celery. Then dump it oil and all in 2 cups chicken broth add more onion, celery, bell peppers (I used 1/3 of each red, yellow, orange) 1 cup northern beans, 3 small chopped red potatoes, hand full of wild rice, hand full of shredded carrots… cover pot & simmer for one hour. Salt & pepper stew to taste when simmering it. Prepare 2 pie pumpkins… cut a 6-8 inch hole in top, remove lid and clean lid & inside of seeds and guts. Using a fork, prick the inside & lid of pumpkins slightly all over. Pour some oil on paper towel and rub down the outside of pumpkins & their lids completely with oil. Set pumpkins in a pan, fill pan 1/2 way to the top with water. Spoon stew into the pumpkins till full. Bake in oven at 325 for 2 hours, no longer or pumpkins go to mush. Let cool & set for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe compliments of Renee Thomas Dale.

Excellence is achieved by the mastery of fundamentals.  ~ Vince Lombardi

As a rule, I always add a recipe to the blog on Wednesday’s, so I won’t make an exception here. I’m sure if you look you’ll find my chili recipes somewhere on my blog, I brought it up, because I was amused yesterday when my grandson Trey asked, “Grandma, I’m hungry… can you make chili for dinner?” Now when it’s 9:30 a.m. and having all day to shop, how can you turn down such a request? It’s really cold outside, and it sounded good to me as well. So chili w/ crackers and milk, it was with fudge-cycles for dessert. The fudge-cycles were for Anthony, he loves his ice cream, no matter the temp.

I do make two great chili’s, one using my mom’s recipe & the other using Anthony’s mom’s recipe. Now to be honest, I use Anthony’s mom’s the most, simply because, it’s the easiest. I can make it in 10 minutes. I always toss in some Tabasco sauce since, Steven lives for it. He wasn’t even home last night, but once you start adding things to a recipe, it becomes a habit just like anything else, good or bad, done in repetition, it later becomes a necessity.

We had a great time with our two oldest grandsons’ last night. It’s a treat for any grandparent when the grand’s want to spend the night. Even though we have 4 bedrooms they had to share Steven’s old room. Craigie slept on the roll-away bed. Trey didn’t trust it. I think it was so they could immediately wake the other in the morning, but I could be wrong.  I doubt it.

And mornings mean breakfast but when it comes to eating… Craigie isn’t much of an eater, Trey on the other hand, is. He loves to eat. They both wanted pancakes. I had everything out on the counter ready to start making them with the grill heating; I went to the pantry and discovered that I had no mix. Really? So pancakes were out… and it was doughnuts… all around!

It seems like with kids everything is measured by food, so next up… comes time for lunch and without fail, I asked them if they wanted a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch or something else. Trey immediately asked, “Is there tomato soup to go with that?” I had to laugh. He’s a card. That was a “yes” and it’s one of my favorites, I just have to add potato chips to my soup, but it’s all good.

Soup & Sandwich’s… you can’t go wrong with kids. Well except for Craigie… he hates everything. For now anyway. Trey packed a goodie-bag for himself and everyone in is family before he left. His momma didn’t raise no fool. He got the good stuff. They’ll be back and I’ll be here with a pot of soup, waiting. I love my Grands!

Home is a place where a pot of fresh soup simmers gently on the hob, filling the kitchen with soft aromas… and filling your heart, and later your tummy, with joy. ~ KEITH FLOYD


* 1 tsp. salt, plus more for the meat
* 8 limes
* 2 cups pico de gallo style salsas
* shredded cabbages (for garnish)
* 3 tbsp. canola oil – plus 1/4 cup for frying the tortillas
* freshly cracked black pepper
* 12 corn tortillas
* 1/2 lb. queso cotija (aged Mexican cheese) or mild feta cheese
* 1 1/2 lbs. beef skirt steak, trimmed of extra fat and sinew
* 15 oz. refried beans

Making the Carne Asada

1. Cut the limes in half crosswise and squeeze the juice into a glass bowl.
2. Cut the meat into lengths about 4 inches long. Place the meat in the bowl, making sure the juice covers a good amount of the meat’s surface.
3. Let the meat marinate in the lime juice for a minimum of 1 hour and up to 4 hours. If possible, turn the meat every 20 minutes.
4. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Liberally sprinkle the meat with the salt and pepper.
5. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is quite hot, add the meat, without crowding the pan, one piece at a time.
6. Sear the meat for 1 to 2 minutes per side depending on your preference for doneness. 1 minute will give you rare; 2 minutes will give you medium.
7. Remove the meat from the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with any remaining uncooked pieces.
8. Once the meat is cool enough to handle, place it on a cutting board.
9. Cut the meat into thin strips. Cut across the strips so the meat comes out in small pieces.
10. Keep the meat warm on a plate in the oven at the lowest setting while you prepare the beans.

Assemble the Tostadas

11. Heat the beans, 1 tsp. salt and 2 tbsp. water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent the beans from sticking.
12. Heat the remaining oil in a small sauté pan over high. Using tongs, fry each tortilla until golden and crisp.
13. Quickly sprinkle a little salt on each tortilla as soon as it comes out of the oil. Put the tortillas on a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess grease.
14. Put 1 1/2 large tbsp. beans on a tortilla and spread evenly, as if you were buttering bread. Next, sprinkle 2 large tbsp. carne asada on the tostada. Garnish with the cheese first and then the cabbage and salsa.
15. Repeat with remaining tortillas.