Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Celebrating - Yard Sales!

Who doesn't love a really good Yard sale?  Finding that treasured piece or an item at a greatly reduced price is definitely a rush to some.  Me included!  So when a wonderful lady at our Church told us about the one she was having,  Mom, Charlene and I decided to definitely check it out. Miss Jerrye is a former Ms. Senior Georgia, and is one of the most delightful and enchanting ladies!  She always has a smile on her face and a positive "life" attitude.  She and her daughter, Betsy, were hosting a 4 family Estate sale.  And, oh my goodness, the "goods" they had was amazing! Glassware, Kitchen utensils. serving bowls, platters, silver , jewelry oh my! I was just half way down my 1st aisle when I spied  my first treasure - an orange Le Creuset Dutch oven for $12.00! Do you know the retail price? Then I saw a 3 quart matching piece and 3 skillets. Only $10.00 for the 3 quart.  I called my sister over to show her and she was as excited as I was.  Now, much as I coveted that Dutch Oven, I let my sister take it and I bought the 3 qt. for myself.  I have to say if I had stopped looking then, I would have left happy!  However, that did not stop me and I proceeded to look for more.  I was on a roll! There was alot of blue and white pieces and I thought of my friend "Linderhoff" from the BC Board and wished she was there to look them over!  I will admit, I really do not have an "eye" for glassware and vintage pieces, but I would venture to guess - that garage was a collectors dream!  The front porch held a variety of old mirrors and pictures, both old and new.  On to the basement - books, evening gowns, ladies jackets, shoes and table linens.  I found a box with napkin rings and started rummaging through it looking for something unusual.  I found 4 white porcelain bird napkin rings priced .25 each and grabbed them up.  I went through a huge pile of cloth napkins and found  4 matching white with yellow trim for $2.00 and a set of 6 solid color for $3.00.  I cannot wait to have an occasion to set my table using my new tableware!  There was so much more I would have liked to have had, but  I  need to hold my own yard sale if I am going to bring in anything else!  
But the best treasure, by far, was spending a couple of hours with my Mom and sister.  We called one another over back and forth to see what we had discovered and pondered over what we could do with it.  We always have such a good time together!  It was truly a fun morning, finding "that one great item", laughing, enjoying friends and making memories.


I saw so many glass sets at super prices, but I would have to buy a third hutch!

just one of four filled corners!

Blue Willow by Currier & Ives
Martha, I thought of you when I saw the blue and white!

                                                            my new little Le Creuset

                                                              I think these are so cute!
                                                   4 napkins and 4 napkin holders - $3.00

                                                      love this platter -perfect size for
                                                                  serving  asparagus

                                                               Marinated Asparagus
                                                     one of my favorite luncheon dishes

2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup cider vinegar
2/3 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup veg oil
4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
2 # fresh asparagus - trimmed
1 cup chopped pecans toasted (optional)

In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, soy sauce, oil and garlic powder.  bring to a boil.  reduce heat and simmer uncovered 5 minutes. Refrigerate til cool.  Meanwhile in large pan bring 1/2 "
water to a boil. Add asparagus.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 3-5 minutes or until  crisp tender.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  Place asparagus in large resealable bag. add marinade.  Seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight turning ooccasionally.  Toast chopped pecans and scatter over plated

Hope you enjoyed my trip to the Garage Sale!  Come back soon!


May the LORD bless his people with peace and happiness and let them CELEBRATE!
Psalm 64:10

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Celebrating: Pizza!

I know this is going to be hard to believe, but I did not have my 1st pizza until the 8th grade!  The closest thing I had ever had to pizza was putting spaghetti sauce on english muffins topped with grated Parm cheese and popping them in the toaster oven. However, once I had my 1st pepperoni pizza from Pasquales, I was hooked.  Unfortunately, pizza shops were not the norm for Doraville, GA,  and it was several years later before pizza parlors were all the rage. And still unfortunate for us, our pizza places were chains, but it was adequate for  my "not so adventurous" palate at the time.   When I got to high school, Shakey's Pizza was the place to be on Friday nights after a football game.  But, I'm thinking I went more for the "boys" than the pizza!
My 1st attempt at homemade pizza was the Chef Boy-R-Dee  in the box.  I remember trying to roll out that small ball of dough large enough to cover a pizza pan.  Usually mine had a couple of thin spots that you could read the paper through and when it was baked, it looked like a large round cracker.  I guess I was going for the "extra crispy" crust.  Then I graduated to the Boboli already prepared crust, which was good, but very "heavy" in my opinion.  I was also branching out with my toppings - adding green olives, onions, peppers, (uncooked, I might add), sliced pepperoni and still using a jarred sauce - thinking I was very creative indeed. I might add that homemade pizza didn't occur often, it was way to easy to call Domino's.
So imagine my delight when I was rummaging through the deli case at Trader Joe's and found a ball of already prepared pizza dough - and better still only .99 cents!  I scooped up a couple of balls and put them in my buggy (yes we call it a buggy "down south", but you may refer to it as a cart)  You already know my relationship with dough (see above thread), so know that I was way beyond excited to discover this.  I usually have at least one ball in the freezer at all times - you just never know when a pizza craving will hit!
Over the last few years my toppings have become much more appealing and creative.
But as much as I love to be imaginative, my favorite is the very simple and rustic Pizza Marguerite.  My friend Liz from the Barefoot Contessa board, shared with me how she makes hers and that is generally my "go to" pizza.  Only difference is that I add caramelized onions (what are lots better than raw, I might add)  But a couple of weeks ago my friend Laura from the board told of a pizza she made that really sparked my interest - Fig, Prosciutto and Feta cheese.  So when I went to the Farmers Market Friday and saw figs, I knew exactly what I was going to do with them.  I went on to Kroger for the prosciutto but when I saw Hot Capicola on sale as a Manager's Special, I decided that would make a good sub.   I couldn't wait for Sunday night which I had designated as "pizza night."
I usually grill the dough in my cast iron skillet because I really like the crispy texture it produces. I love my cast iron skillet - it belonged to my great grandmother and is about 100 years old! I also decided to make 2 small pizzas.  One Pizza Marguerite using the home grown tomatoes from the Farmers Market  and the other -Fig and Feta and Capicole. I divided my dough and formed two pies, then set about getting the rest of the ingredients together

Crispy Pizza crust -displayed on my "Becky cutting board"

Pizza Marguerite - Caramelized Onions, local Home grown tomatoes and shredded mozzerella (which is what I had on hand)  I do prefer a ball of fresh mozzerella, but I forgot to pick one up. I layered the tomatoes, sprinked a little red pepper flakes and basil over them and added the caramelized onions and topped with the cheese.

Fig , Feta & Capicole - layered the Capicole, quartered figs and sprinkled the feta

Ready to pop into the oven

Right out of the oven!  (375 degrees about 15 minutes or so)

Ok, I confess I did '"guild the lily" a bit -  I drizzled a little local Snellville honey over the Fig-Feta pizza while it was warm.

There are really "no limits" when it comes to homemade pizza!  Be creative!  Have a Pizza Party!
And while we still do not have a really good authentic "pizza joint", I'll just settle for "Sissy's Pizza Palace!"


May the LORD bless his people with peace and happiness and let them CELEBRATE!
Psalm 64:10

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Celebrating Life!

Well, here I am – my 1st official blog post!  I have to dedicate my 1st post to a “cyber-friend” that,  as she would have said,  “crossed over” recently.  I met Becky through my favorite food board “Contessa’s Kitchen.” which is dedicated to the admiration and love of cooking recipes from the Barefoot Contessa.  She was an avid Blogger, photographer, dish lover, cook and loved her family fiercely!  She was an inspiration to many, celebrated Life to the fullest, and I am really going to miss her.  I will remember her fondly - every time I pull out a Fiestaware Dish, or use the cutting board that I won recently on her blog celebrating her 5th anniversary or use one of the many recipes she has shared with us over the years.  She was truly “one in a million!”
Rest in peace, sweet Becky.   

And, what am I celebrating today!  Friends!  And boy am I lucky, for I have an abundance! As a matter of fact, I have a feeling that a lot of my celebrating will be because of friends!  Recently I had a call from my friend Jennifer asking if I would like to come over and “grill out” with her family.  Of course my answer was yes, because I love to visit with them.  We have shared “many a meal” over the years and hopefully will continue to share many more.  I told her I would bring a dessert, because the day before I had visited Jaemore Farms and came home with a booty of bounty which included juicy blackberries and sweet Georgia peaches.  So, I decided on a Cobbler.. Now, I will admit, right here and now, that I am not a pastry chef.  Pastry and I don’t get along,. My mother can make pastry in her sleep – it gives me nightmares!  I shamelessly use Pillsbury Roll-Out crust.  It just makes life easier for me since the thought of making dough is exhausting.  I know, I know it is probably a lot easier that I think, but YOU have not experienced my dough!  And I promise one day I will make my Mom and my friend “Jazzymom” proud.  Just not today!
On to the cobbler, which is one of those dishes that every southern girl worth a grain of “grit” should know how to make.  Its not difficult, I promise -especially when you use Pillsbury Roll-Out Crust. Also, in place of the sugar, I used Splenda, so that made it a healthy dessert, seeing as though I did use fruit.  I rolled out my dough and cut it in strips to form a lattice top for the cobbler, brushed it with an egg wash, sprinkled it with a little more Splenda and popped it on the oven for 45 minutes.

The result was all that I wanted it to be! When I dipped my serving spoon into the cobbler and broke through the golden crust, there was an explosion of juice and blackberries.  I won’t lie, I was awfully proud!” I served this with some fresh whipped cream, but vanilla ice cream would be fabulous! And, I won’t tell if you pull out a container of Cool Whip to top it either!

Ummm, warm Blackberry Peach Cobbler, great friends and one of Will’s famous Margarita’s, how can I NOT celebrate life!


This is a super easy, dependable dessert that can be made year round using frozen fruit (which is a girls best friend in those long winter months)

If you want to make life difficult (I can hear my mother now…you are making way too much out of this pastry deal) – make your own pastry, otherwise be a cheater like me and whip out the Pillsbury Rollout Pie crust.  You can either roll out and top your cobbler with the whole sheet, or you can cut in strips to make a latice top.  I figure if I am going to take the shortcut, I should at least challenge myself with an extra step.
                                         4 cups of fruit (depending on the size of your pan)***
                                         ½ cup sugar***
                                         2 TBS corn starch or All purpose flour
                                         1 tsp grated lemon zest

Cooks notes
***I used blackberries and peaches, blueberries are equally as good!
***I used splenda

Mix together ingredients and pour into greased pan and top with Pie Crust.  (If using whole sheet, cut slits for ventilation)  Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 375 until brown – 45-50 minutes.  

I told you it was easy!  

I hope you will visit me again!

Susan (aka Sissy!)

May the LORD bless his people with peace and happiness and let them CELEBRATE!  Psalm 64:10