This week I've been playing catch up. After nearly two weeks of doing nothing, I've been pretty busy. Last night Suz and I went to Lenox Square to do some "Christmas Shopping." I put "Christmas Shopping" in quotes because this is the second shopping trip that we designated to "Christmas Shop." Well, neither of us did much "Christmas Shopping." Like Suz said, at the rate we're going, we'll be through with our shopping by this time next year. The stores just don't have anything that blows my skirt up. And has anyone else noticed how expensive things have gotten? Outrageously so. We had our usual exceptionally good time anyway. We had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. And got a sneak peek at the Macy's Great Tree, an Atlanta tradition since 1948. It's not fully decorated yet, but it will be by Thanksgiving night when it will be lit. I love this tradition. The Macy's Great Tree tradition goes along with the Pink Pig, which I rode as a little girl back in the '70s.
My mom has had a cold since Sunday morning. Sunday Night Supper was at Steak and Shake this week. The food was mediocre, the milkshake too sweet and the service awful. And this table was rocking the house!
Ross had been on an evening hunt, but joined us afterwards. Can you see him? He's all in camouflage. Suz and Alayna can flash a smile on command. Cute, huh?
On Friday afternoon, I made some cookies. They were a recipe I got from Tammi, one of my favorite bloggers. Visit her. She has great recipes on her blog and lots of good family stories. She has beautiful, funny grandkids. She doesn't look old enough to be a Nana, that's for sure.
Anyway, the recipe was for pecan sandies. Oh, my stars. They were so good. The secret ingredient was the toffee chips. And they call for whole wheat flour, which I've never used before. I took a plateful to my deposition yesterday and everyone thought I was such a good cook. Ha! I definitely give Nana's Kitchen Pecan Sandies five stars!
Word of advice. It's a big recipe. My Kitchen Aid mixer was slinging cookie dough everywhere. Bandit never left my side the entire time I was chopping the pecans and mixing the dough. Nuts and dough were flying all over the kitchen. Her quickness paid off for her in a big way!
Worth the mess. Visit her blog and get the recipe. She has all her recipes posted in the sidebar of her blog. It's filed under cookies. Just so you know. Don't want you to have to think any more than necessary. I try to be helpful, you know.
Saturday night Nan, Ronnie, Jeff and I had dinner at Monica and Bob's house. They are such great cooks and entertainers. We had the best time watching a very exciting Georgia game. They made grilled chicken breasts with southwest rub, black beans and rice and the absolute best cornbread ever. It was so light and fluffy. Not so much cornmeal and more flour. Yummy. Thought y'all might like the recipe for the chicken and the cornbread. Here you go:
MONICA AND BOB'S GRILLED CHICKEN WITH SOUTHWEST RUB
Pound your chicken breasts till they're all evenly thick. Then grill them.
Top with Paul Newman's Southwest dressing, bacon strips (cooked), sauteed onions (if so inclined), and shredded sharp white cheddar cheese. Place on baking sheet and put in oven until cheese melts.
MONICA AND BOB'S JALAPENO CHEDDAR CORNBREAD
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup yellow cornmeal
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 2 tablespoons baking powder
* 2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 2 cups milk
* 3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
* 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
* 8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided
* 1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish, 3 scallions
* 3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers
· Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don't over mix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
· Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan.
· Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I should have made some pictures, but I didn't. Sorry. Oh, and we made Smores over their fire pit after the Dawgs won the game!
I got a nice surprise on Sunday afternoon. My mother- and father-in-law came up for a short visit. They knew I had not been feeling well earlier in the week and they brought me these.
Tulips. One of my favorite.
Remember when I wrote about my amaryllis bulbs? Well, look at them now. Three different ones planted at the same time. One is in bloom. One is growing and looking good. One looks -- well, we'll just say that it looks like it's still thinking about things. Isn't that crazy? I'll keep you updated as they grow. They are so beautiful.
I've been doing quite a bit of this too.
Yep, that's right. Painting. That of which I do not speak. I think it's in my blood. I definitely have a love/hate relationship with painting. Next week, though, I'm calling in the big dog. My dad is coming to paint my dining room and kitchen, laundry room and half bath. He'll probably get all that done in two days.
Jeff has been shampooing our carpets for the last two days. He's doing such a good job, too. You'd never know that this carpet is 15 years old, has had two boys grow up on it, and house trained a puppy on it. It's got some rough places, but all in all, it looks pretty decent. Not new, but not 15 years old either.
I've been planning what all I want to cook for Thanksgiving. I'm going to try to make some of my family's favorites. Corn, cabbage, cranberry sauce. What are y'all making?
Have y'all thought about Christmas music yet? I've not only thought about it, but I've been listening to it. I know. I know. You probably think I'm nuts. I just enjoy it so much, so I've decided to go ahead and break out the CDs. I made my list of what I want to download for my iPod. I'll put my favorite Christmas CDs on it, but I've got about 50 songs I need to buy. I'll sooo get my money's worth. I have to drive a lot for work and I love to listen to Christmas music while yelling at other drivers. Gets me in the real Christmas spirit.
So that explains why I've been neglecting my blog the last several days. I've just been plain ol' too busy. Hopefully, though, I'll be back to my regularly scheduled blogging.
Next up. . .
Till next time.