Saturday, January 31, 2015

Brown Sugar Pie

I am going to try to make some of the recipes that I have "pinned" on Pinterest.  This week, I decided to make something for my sweet tooth.  I settled on Brown Sugar Pie.  I like brown sugar, I like pie so why not?

I found the recipe on A Southern Grace.  I did have a few problems with it.  First, the recipe doesn't specify to use light or dark brown sugar. I chose to use light brown.  It probably doesn't matter which one you use but based on my photos compared to her's, I concluded that she must have used dark brown.  In addition, it didn't mention if you should pack the brown sugar or not.  Since most recipes with brown sugar say to pack it, I did that.

Also, it doesn't indicate if you should bake the pie shell first or not (some recipes require it, others don't) so I decided not to pre-bake the pie shell, which I think was the right decision.

Brown Sugar Pie
(adapted from: A Southern Grace)

3 cups brown sugar (I used light but I think dark would be fine)
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine, melted and slightly cooled
3 eggs, beaten well
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
2 regular 9-inch pie crusts or 1 deep-dish pie crust (I used deep-dish and didn't pre-bake)

In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, and salt. Be sure to break up any clumps of brown sugar. (Note: I didn't have enough brown sugar, so I used 2 cups brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar).  

In a smaller bowl, mix together the melted margarine, beaten eggs, vanilla, and milk; beat well. (I obviously should have used a larger bowl for this step!)

Add this wet mixture to the brown sugar mixture and blend very well with a handheld mixer. Pour into the pie crust(s) and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes for a regular crust, 60-70 minutes for a deep-dish crust, or until set (just a wee bit wobbly) in the middle. 

My version was TOO wobbly - the whole thing, not just the middle, probably because of the use of the white sugar I am guessing.  So....I turned the oven off and let it sit in the oven for a couple of more hours.  It finally set and was only a little wobbly in the middle, as it should have been.  Also, it was a bit browner.

Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

This pie was very sweet, as you can imagine, and to me, it tasted like a very sweet chess pie (I love chess pie).  It was good but not sure I will make it again since I would rather just have a regular chess pie.  

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Funny Friday - Rainy Day Nursery Rhyme

Since it has been raining since late last night, I thought this would be appropriate for today.  Happy Friday!

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Donny Osmond - Your Song

Donny Osmond has a new album out - his 60th !!  Wow!  And it is great - trust me, I've listened to it about 100 times since I got it.

Anyway... he is promoting it since it was just released in the U.S. Earlier this week, he was on "The Talk" - he sang Elton John's "Your Song" -  he recorded this song when he was a bit younger and before his voice changed, and that version has always been a favorite of mine so I was thrilled when he recorded it for this album.  The song is a tribute to his wife, Debbie.  It has a special meaning to me for another reason - I use to sing it to my little fur-baby all the time.

This isn't the full version, since for some reason only a partial version was posted on you tube, but I am happy to share it.

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Marmalade Meatballs

I decided I wanted to try some new recipes this year - I'd like to make a new recipe once a week but realistically, I would be happy to try one at least every other week...we will see how it goes.

I have so many recipes saved on Pinterest that I thought I would start there.  First up..Marmalade Meatballs.  I love those little grape jelly/chili sauce meatballs that are always found at baby showers and Christmas parties so I decided to seek out a different kind of appetizer meatball.  I like Asian flavors and these seemed like it would fit the bill so I gave them a try.

I  must say that I really liked them.  They were good and tangy - love the orange flavor that stood out.  While eating them, I thought --- this sauce would be great with pork chops or chicken so I might try it again and substitute one of those for the meatballs.

Marmalade Meatballs
(courtesy of Taste of Home)
Yield: about 5 dozen.

1 bottle (16 oz) Catalina salad dressing
1 cup orange marmalade
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 pkg (32 oz) frozen fully cooked homestyle meatballs, thawed (don't use Italian style)

In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine the salad dressing, marmalade, Worcestershire sauce and pepper flakes. Note: I only used 1/2 tsp. as the recipe says but I would like a little more heat so next time I will probably use a whole teaspoon.

Stir in meatballs. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until heated through.

Notice how the meatballs kind of plump up a little once done, you can let them cook a couple of hours more.  The longer they cook, they more the flavor the meatballs absorb.

They are good - I think I will take these to my next party instead of the traditional kind of meatballs.  If you try them, let me know what you think in the comments.

Printable Version
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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year and an Update on Me and my Family

Happy New Year!  It is hard to believe that it is 2015! I remember when Back To The Future II came out and Marty McFly traveled forward 30 years from 1985 to 2015.  That year seemed soooo futuristic, yet here it is upon us - WOW !

Since it is 2015 - I want to know....where is my Hoverboard ??

Let me start off this post by giving an update on where I've been.  I haven' stopped blogging, at least not by choice. I have pretty much just been off the grid for the past 2 months.

On October 26, 2014, I had a wonderful morning and afternoon.  It was a beautiful warm, autumn day and the leaves were so pretty.  Early in the morning, I drove up to Summerville, GA in the northwest Georgia mountains (about 90 miles away) and picked up my BFF.  We drove back to Atlanta and saw an incredible production of "Phantom of the Opera" at the Fabulous Fox Theater, then I drove her back home and the two of us, along with her room-mate, had an enjoyable dinner at a new Mexican restaurant in their small town.  I left around 6:30 pm because I like to get back to the expressway (about a 30 min drive) before it gets dark.

So, I was about 15 minutes away from her house and out of nowhere, out jumps a deer.  My car sort of ricochets off it, I lose control of my SUV, I go through 2 lanes of traffic, through a hilly grass median, through 2 lanes of oncoming traffic, down an 8 foot embankment and hit a group of trees.  I blacked out momentarily and when I came through my head was through the broken passenger window, my right foot was trapped between the gear shift and radio and 2 men were banging on my window yelling "Unlock the door! Unlock the door!, Your car is on fire!"  I couldn't unlock the door, because my back was to the passenger door lock and my foot was stuck so I couldn't reach the driver's door.

The men were now looking for something to break the window with but I was able to get my foot out and they helped me up the embankment (luckily my car was not on fire after all).

Before I knew it, one of the men was on the phone, another one was asking if I were okay and where did I hurt and there was another man on the phone.  Out of nowhere this lady appeared and said she was a nurse on the way home from work and was asking me my name and did I know where I was, etc.  She went to her car and got something to put on my head that was bleeding pretty bad.

An ambulance, police car and fire truck were there in a matter of minutes.  The nurse offered to go with me to the hospital but I told her I would be ok (not true but didn't want to bother this nice lady).  The ER guy asked me general questions like the nurse did - my head was hurting, my ankle was hurting, my arm was hurting and my back was killing me!

To make a long story short and to skip all the gory details, I was treated in the trauma unit at Redmond Hospital and luckily I was still close enough to my BFF's house that she could come to the hospital.  Early the next morning, she took me to her house (in a hospital gown because all my clothes had been cut off).  I had a broken arm, sprained ankle, was covered in bruises and 6 staples in my head and still my back was killing me.  They said it was a nerve and would get better but I didn't think it ever would.

I could hardly move, she took excellent care of me and called my family and close friends to tell them what happened.  I know my mom had to have been so upset, she wanted to drive up but she is not familiar with the area and doesn't drive a lot and my BFF swore she would take good care of me and keep her updated - my mom felt a little better after talking to me but I was in really bad shape.

We were all so grateful that (a) I did  not hit another car when I crossed the oncoming traffic lanes - praise God and (b) I was near ravines.  A lot of places in that area just have guardrails and BIG drop offs into the valley below.  So thank the Lord that it wasn't worse.

This all eventually lead to extreme dizziness, surgery, casts, lots of doctors appointments an having to take 10 weeks off work.  I was taken to the ER again by ambulance on October 30th and hospitalized for 2 nights due to low oxygen levels. Thank the Lord that my mom was able to come get me (thanks to the help of lots of friends and relatives) and take me to her home so she could care for me.

I am still healing and as I type this I am still in a cast from arm surgery.

The body will heal.

However, the worse and hardest part is that 3 days after the accident on October 29th, while I was still in Summerville, GA being cared for by my friend, my mother called and when my friend got off the phone with her she gave me the most shocking news of my life !

My 54 year old brother had a heart attack and passed away.  I kept yelling and crying that it simply could not be true - it can't be true - it can't!  He was healthy, he exercised every day (like major exercise), he watched his diet, he took care of himself, he wasn't overweight.

My beloved brother was gone.

Even now, I cannot believe it.  He lived in Kentucky but my sister-in-law wanted the funeral and final resting place to be in the Florida town where my mother lived.  I swear I don't know how my mother made it through all this.  She is so strong.

I thought losing my dad (in 2012) was hard, but losing my brother, who I had just celebrated my birthday with a few weeks earlier, has by far been the most challenging trial I have ever had to face.

I keep trying to make sense out of all this but the truth is that I will never, ever, ever understand it - ever.  I just put my trust in God and cling on to Him and pray (and pray and pray and pray).

So....that is where I have been.  As I said, the body will heal, the so much...but I am still here and have to find a way to keep living.

Today would have been my brother's 55th birthday (yes, he was a New Year's baby).  I love him and miss him but I know I will see him again.

Happy Birthday Big Brother - until we are together again.

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