Friday, April 24, 2009

Spinach Maria Recipe

5 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach
4 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 medium yellow onion
1 tablespoon butter
5 tablespoons melted butter
6 tablespoons flour
8 ounces Velveeta
8 ounces cheddar cheese
4 ounces Monterey jack
1 1/2 cup grated Monterey jack (for topping)

This is light years away from being low fat/cal; but I can honestly say it's the best creamy/cheesy spinach dish I have ever eaten... and I love spinach, so I've tried lots of them!

Thaw spinach in refrigerator for 24 hours. Squeeze as dry as possible. Heat milk and spices on medium heat to just below a boil (190 deg.) Reduce heat and simmer. Finely chop the onion and saute it in 1 Tablespoon butter on med. heat 5 to 8 minutes. Add to milk. Combine melted butter w/ flour in sm. saute pan. Mix until completely blended. Cook on low heat 3 to 4 minutes to make roux. Add roux to milk; mix well. Cook until sauce thickens. Cut cheeses into cubes and add to milk. Mix until cheese melts. (Be careful! Burns easily!) Remove from heat. Allow to cool 15 minutes. Add drained spinach to cheese sauce, mix until completely blended. Spoon into 11x9x2-inch dish. Top with grated Jack. Bake at 350 deg. F for 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Source: Calhoun's Restaurant, Knoxville, TN via Knoxville News Sentinel, date unknown

Teatime Hats

Tea Hats Sweetly celebrate Mom’s special day with our fabulously feminine Tea Hats. Reminiscent of more gentle times when playing dress-up was fun and it was in vogue to be ladylike. For this occasion we have created a very special petit four for Mom, by combining our melt in your mouth shortbread cookies and our fabulously moist and delicious layered cakes. Each petite cake is enrobed in luscious chocolate and adorned with a hand cut flower fashioned from chocolate fondant. Varieties include; Chocolate Mint, Banana and Coconut Crème, Raspberry, and Lime, 15 confections are presented in an elegant gift box and tied with a beautiful bow. (13ozs.)
These are adorable and you can order 1 box for only $48.75 + shipping. Argh!!!!!!!!!
OR - you can make your own for pennies on the dollar. You can make or buy your own shortbread cookies or even use Ritz crackers for the base. The crown can be a petit four or a marshmallow. You can do fondant or decorator's icing for the hat's color and little tubes of store bought icing for the decorations.
Either way, enjoy your tea time beauty.
Ruth Ann

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

P.J. - She's the Cat's Pajamas!

P.J. arrived home yesterday and it looks like she's here to stay.

She immediately had a fight with and injured Poppett,
so the poor darling is relegated to the outside.
She is yet another victim of abuse from Mueller.
She and several other cats
who have made the factory their home for years
were scheduled for 'elimination' by animal welfare!
A friend rescued her,
but was told he would be fired if he fed her.
So now,
P.J. is at home with us.
We call her The Cat's Pajamas
because she look like a short haired cat
wearing a raccoon coat. :o)

New Driveway

Wilson Paving came by yesterday with what they called an extra load of 'pug', so, after almost 9 years we finally have most of the side driveway finished. What a treat! I just hope that it sets well and lasts!

April Snow

We almost never get snow here, but when we do, it's a glad celebration. These pictures are taken from our front yard, on Hwy. 127, and the road to and through Fall Creek Falls State Park.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Am One

I am only one, but I am one.
I can not do everything, but I can do something.
And I will not let what I can not do interfere with what I can do.

Edward Hale

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Turtle Cookies Recipe

Chiqui's Turtle Cookies N'Orleans Style

Chiqui Collier, who teaches at The New Orleans Cooking Experience, writes to share her recipe for this special cookie.

Makes 36 cookies

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons water

2 lightly beaten egg whites

2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sift together flour and salt.

In another bowl, cream together the brown sugar and soft butter until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Blend in egg yolks, vanilla and water. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.

Place egg whites in a shallow bowl and chopped pecans in another bowl. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, form 1-inch balls of dough, flattening slightly on one side. Dip the flattened side in the egg whites, then into the pecans.

Place nut-side-up on prepared baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Press down lightly on the cookie, being careful not to crack the dough balls.

Bake for seven minutes. Reverse pans and continue baking eight more minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on racks.

When cookies are completely cool, cover with mounds of chocolate icing.

Chocolate icing

¼ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsweetened Hershey's cocoa

1 pound confectioner's sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup (or more) milk or cream

Place salt, cocoa and confectioner's sugar in a food processor. Blend well. Add remaining ingredients and blend until well combined and fluffy.

Place icing in a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Top each cooled cookie with a generous dollop of icing.

Store in a covered cake box.

Ruth Ann

Don't assume I cook!

I'm a Beader. I Knit. I design and make Purses. So............I was a caterer for many years.
One of the blogs that I read reminded me of this recipe
and I plan to serve it up to guests Saturday evening.
My wonderful hubby will be doing the cooking.

The recipe was originally published in
Southern Living magazine.
I only use a pinch of dried onion flakes instead of the
large onion that the recipe calls for
because we dislike onions.
It is also great made with ground beef or
strip steak.



1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups chopped/shredded cooked chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 can Rotel, drained
1 can chopped green chiles, drained
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
12 corn/flour tortillas
3 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese, cheddar, or Monterey Jack

Saute onion, bell pepper, and garlic in hot oil in a large skillet over med-high heat 5 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat, stir in chicken and next 6 ingredients.

Tear corn/flour tortilla into pieces in a lightly greased 13x9 baking dish. Top with 1/3 of chicken mixture, & 1/3 cheese. Repeat layers twice.

Cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 350' for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 more minutes or until bubbly.

Ruth Ann

Kniting Socks and Dogwoods

This beautiful dogwood photo was found on one of my
latest favorite websites

Judy Sumner lives
'just up the road a piece'
in Knoxville, TN
and designs some of the loveliest socks
I have seen.

Since my last major trouble with my back,
knitting socks is once again one of my favorite pastimes.

As with beads,
we have no yarn suppliers within 50 miles.
It used to be a fun adventure to visit
the few craft and fabric stores in Chattanooga,
but with gas prices being what they are
and dear husband's unemployment
these jaunts must be very limited.

Except for Michael's and Hobby Lobby,
I don't think there are any places left to buy yarn within
a 100 mile radius,
so I'm now looking into purchasing my fibers
over the Internet.

The best part yet has been finding
Judy's website.
Her sock patterns are interesting, educational, and fun!
She also offers lots of free patterns.

I know that gardening season is fast approaching,
but it is still cool enough here for some
'light' knitting in the evenings.

A new adventure!

Happy Spring!
Ruth Ann

Monday, April 13, 2009


Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake. Victor Hugo

Storm Damage in Dunlap

A vicious storm held Easter joys at bay in Dunlap, TN.

Sequatchie County Sheriff Ronnie Hitchcock said
he saw at least 100 trees down in the area.

Saturday was spent helping neighbors
remove downed trees from their yards.

Some residents are still without power.

One of our tenants took advantage of the storm
by using an ax to beat in the front and side of 'his' mobile home.

I hope the rest of you had a more joyous Easter
than we did!

Ruth Ann