Saturday, October 3, 2009

Doug's Home!

Doug was in California for the past several days on business. Man, he was missed. We felt lost without him, but I'm glad everything went well out in Vandenburg, California and he is back home with us now. I hope it will be a very long time before he goes back. I guess he really didn't have to go, because he asked me before he accepted the trip. I thought it would be a great experience for him and didn't want to stand in his way. I'm so glad he got to go and visit California for the first time. I wished I could have gone with him. There are so many things I would like to have seen and experienced. Maybe some other time.

Katie and I went to Huntsville on Thursday afternoon to pick him up from the airport. It's too bad, we couldn't see him fly in or any plane fly in. The airport is under a lot of remodeling, so I don't know if they are preparing a designated place for people to view flights arriving or departing. While we were there, we couldn't see anything coming or going. It's too bad because I use to love going to the airport with my parents and watch the planes coming and going, while we waited to pick up our relatives. I would loved to have shared that moment with Katie that day, but 9-11 happened and all things changed.

Poor Katie, she thought we were getting on a plane to go pick up Doug in California. She was so disappointed to find out different. We got to the airport in plenty of time, to wander around and familiarize ourselves with the place. We missed lunch, so I ordered chips and dip to snack on before it was time for Doug's plane to land. Katie couldn't stop talking about seeing her daddy that I was surprised how quiet she got when he arrived. She remained quiet all the way home. Cat got her tongue, I suppose.

Doug brought back lots of pictures and stories for me to share with you this week. So, sit back and enjoy Doug's Corner this coming week.

Happy Fall Y'all
In our little town, we are celebrating Oktoberfest. It was kicked off today with our annual Sacred Heart German Festival. They usually have a games for the children, yard sales for the bargain hunters, Bingo for the adults, prizes for everyone and lots of fun. I don't think Katie is quite old enough to really enjoy the festival. Maybe next year. Instead, she spent the night with her Grandma Peggy and Paw-Paw Millard and spent time with them today. The festivities will continue all week where there will be a German meal every night at different places followed by another festival next weekend. Katie's school is suppose to be at the festivities next weekend, so I'll have to find out where they will be.

Katie's World
Katie's class is going to be busy this month. I received this month's newsletter and man oh man, lots of fun headed her way. Her class will be getting a visit from the Fire Department (Fire Truck); She won't have school on Columbus Day; Her class will be going on a field trip to the Pumpkin Patch; Katie and I are hosting an Orange Party (cookies, chocolate & other treats); And last but not least, a Pumpkin Party aka Halloween Party. All the children are encouraged to dress up for the Pumpkin Party in their favorite Halloween costume. She is so excited to get to show her friends her Ariel costume. I don't know whether to spend the money, go up to Target and purchase her a pair of the sparkle dress shoes ($12) or just have her wear her tenny shoes. What do you think? Bottomline, I don't want to be wasting money. My mom bought her a pair of the black sparkle shoes a couple of years ago and Katie loved them. She wanted to wear them all the time. The only bad thing is they scratch up our furniture and they are a little too dressy to wear to church (I think). When she wears the Ariel costume, you can't even see her shoes. I'll have to think about it.

New With Food
I'm a Paula Deen fan. While I was waiting in Walmart's checkout, I noticed Paula Deen had a magazine out. Now I'm sort of behind the times, so this magazine has probably been out forever, but I wanted to bring it to your attention. It's called "Cooking with Paula Deen." I've read a couple of the little stories. The few recipes I've read sound delicious and simple. If you're interested in checking out her website CLICK HERE. For instance, "Steaks with Mushroom Gravy" with a side of "Creamy Baked Spinach" and "Chocolate-Pecan Cobbler" for dessert. Yummy! I'll list the recipes below, in case you would like a running start on how scrumptious they might be.

Note: All the recipes listed makes 2 servings

Steaks with Mushroom Gravy
2 (6 oz) pieces trimmed London broil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
1 (8 oz) package baby bella mushrooms, cut in half
1 cup red wine

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Rub steaks evenly with oil; sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.

In a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add steaks, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until browned. Remove steaks from skillet, leaving as much butter in skillet as possible, and place in a baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Let steaks stand for 5 minutes.

Add mushrooms to reserved butter in skillet. Cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently or until mushrooms are slightly tender. Add wine and cook, stirring frequently, until wine is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, stirring to combine. Serve sauce over steaks.

Tip: Beef broth can be substituted for the red wine to prepare the mushroom sauce, if desired.

Creamy Baked Spinach
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup half-and-half, divided
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat broiler. Spray 2 (1 1/2 cup) ramekins with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is tender. Add flour; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup half-and-half, until mixture is smooth. Stir in spinach, cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg and remaining 1/2 cup half-and-half. Spoon mixture into prepared ramekins. Broil, 5 inches from heat, for 2 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Chocolate-Pecan Cobbler
6 tablespoon butter
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1 cup self-rising flour
5 1/2 tablespoons unsweetented cocoa powder, divided
1/2 cup whole milk (I'm going to use 1%)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup toffee bits
1 1/2 cups boiling water
Garnish: dulce de leche ice cream, chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in an 8x8" baking dish. Place in oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until butter is melted. Remove from oven; set aside.

In a mdium bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar, flour and 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa. Add milk and vanilla, whisking until smooth. Pour over melted butter.

In a separate medium bowl, combine remaining 1 cup sugar, remaining 4 tablespoons cocoa, pecans, and toffee bits; sprinkle evenly over sugar mixture. Slowly pour boiling water over top of cobbler. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until top of cobbler looks set. Serve warm with ice cream and pecans, if desired.

I love to order Cracker Barrel's Chocolate Cobbler, it is so delicious! The bad thing is the last time we were there, the waitress said that Cracker Barrel has temporarily taken the cobbler off their menu and have introduced other desserts in it's stead. Ugh!

I didn't know this but Paula Deen has her brand of foods that you can purchase at Wal-Mart. You'll have to check it out, the next time you're in your area Wally World. If you decide to try one of these recipes, please let me know how they turned out. Hopefully, I'll be able to make them very soon.


Anonymous said...

Nice recipes! I love Paula Dean too. Glad Doug is home, safe and sound. How exciting for Katie! As for shoes? Tennis shoes. Glad she is enjoying school. Love, Sandy

Allison said...

I'd pass on the shoes. They will probably have games and activities and the shoes might hold her back a bit. The cobbler sounds good, I'll have to consider making that. You should be able to see my blog more often now, you might want to update the address. Just re-enter it in your list and it should recognize it again now. Let me know if it doesn't work.
Take care! Bama needs to watch out, Auburn is sneaky this year! :)

Anonymous said...

Took me time to read the whole article, the article is great but the comments bring more brainstorm ideas, thanks.

- Johnson