Darilyn by Tory Burch

Shoe of the Week


Darilyn Pump

by Tory Burch $325


October 11, 2011


Coach dress, $48
Ichi asymmetrical jacket, €55
Alexander Wang flap handbag, 318
Cuff jewelry, 50
Johnstons black cashmere hat, 65
Butter London 3 Free Lacquer Nail Polish, $14
darilyn pump | Tory Burch, $325

Plenty by Tracy Reese ‘Jacoby’ Boot

Shoe of the Week

Plenty by Tracy Reese 'Jacoby' Boot

Plenty by Tracy Reese ‘Jacoby’ Boot

This boot is available in Cognac, Tank, and Midnight for $ 164.95 from Nordstrom

October 6, 2011

Markus Lupfer sequin dress, £310

Leather coat, $174

LnA zipper legging, £95

Plenty by Tracy Reese brown boots, $165

Fiorelli cross body shoulder bag, £29

Old Navy drop earrings, $6.94

We Are Owls cashmere scarve, $260

Butter London 3 Free Lacquer Nail Polish, $14

October Holidays

I am a little late on my monthly posting of holidays but here it is anyway, the October holidays:

October 1  World Vegetarian Day
October 2  Name Your Car Day
October 3  National Apple Month
October 4  Blessing of the Animals Day
October 5  National Pizza Month
October 6  Mad Hatter Day
October 7  Great Books Week
October 8  National Roller Skating Month
October 9  Moldy Cheese Day
October 10 National Angel Food Cake Day
October 11  Native Americans Day
October 12  World Rainforest Week
October 13  National Pumpkin Festival
October 14  World Egg Day
October 15  National Mushroom Day
October 16  Dictionary Day
October 17  National Pasta Day
October 18  National Chocolate Cupcake Day
October 19  National Food Bank Day
October 20  National Brandied Fruit Day
October 21  National Seafood Month
October 22  National Nut Day
October 23  National Cookie Month
October 24  National Bologna Day
October 25  National Cookbook Month
October 26  National Mincement Day
October 27  Cranky Coworkers Day
October 28  National Chocolate Day
October 29  National Oatmeal Day
October 30  National Candy Corn Day
October 31  Halloween

Aunt Jim’s Hamburgers

Last night I wanted a hamburger. And not just any hamburger. I wanted one of the hamburgers made by my great-aunt Jim. Yes, she was a woman. And yes, her real name was Jim. Her sister, my grandmother, was named Eddie. I suppose their parents liked boy names for girls back in the 1910’s. This is a picture of her house taken quite a few years after she passed away. The house had sat empty for years.

My aunt Jim made fantastic hamburgers. I wish I had paid more attention when she was alive so I would know how she did it. I remember her mixing the hamburger meat in a bowl with some other ingredients like salt, pepper, and flour. I don’t know if she added anything else to that mixture. Then she shaped out the patties and fried them up in iron skillets on her stove. She even opened the hamburger buns and fried them in the grease left in the skillets. And her burgers were delicious!!

On Saturday evenings when I was a child, we would gather at my grandparents house and eat hamburgers and drink bottles of Coca Cola. Oh, and watch Hee Haw, of course. It was tradition. Every once in awhile we would gather at my aunt Jim’s house just down the road and she would make the hamburgers.

Last night I was all set to make hamburgers and then I decided to make little hamburgers, or sliders as they are also called. I was lazy and used frozen french fries instead of making them homemade. I mixed two pounds of ground beef with salt, pepper, and a few tablespoons of flour. I made little patties and fried them up in my iron skillet. I opened the buns out and toasted them in the grease left in the skillet. They were delicious!

Southern Comfort Shrimp

This is my version of the New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp. You don’t actually barbeque the shrimp so I am not sure where the name came from. But this dish is very good. Since we live on the Texas gulf coast, we have had access to fantastic fresh seafood. That may change since the BP oil spill is polluting our waters. But for now, we can still get our fresh shrimp just minutes off the boat.

1.5 pounds fresh shrimp, heads removed but peel and tails left on
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Southern Comfort liquer
Juice of 1 lemon

Combine the thyme, rosemary, parsley, creole seasoning, garlic, and black pepper in a small bowl and mix well. Set this mixture aside. Combine 3 tablespoons of butter and the oilive oil in a large skillet (I use a cast iron skillet) over medium high heat. Once this is melted, add the shrimp and toss in the butter mixture. Immediately add the dry seasonings, Worchestershire sauce, and Southern Comfort to the shrimp and stir. Cook until the shrimp are pink, stirring often. This should only take a few minutes. Stir the lemon juice into the shrimp.

Remove the shrimp from the skillet but leave some of the seasonings in the skillet. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter and stir to combine with the seasonings. This will make your dipping sauce. Remove this sauce from the pan once the butter is melted.

Serve your shrimp with a baked potato on the side and some good sour dough bread for dipping in the sauce. You peel the shrimp as you eat them and that makes for a slightly messy, but delicious dinner.

Broccoli Salad

1 bunch broccoli
3 green onions, chopped
1/3 red onion, chopped
1/3 cup raisins
5 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
2 tbsp sunflower seeds

Remove stems from broccoli and put the broccoli florets into a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss together.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp vinegar

Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Then stir into broccoli mixture. Refrigerate for at least an hour for best flavor.

Serves 4

Apple Strudel

This Apple Strudel recipe is one of the easiest dessert recipes I know. This recipe takes advantage of some already prepared ingredients to create an outstanding apple pastry dessert.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2 sheets frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
1 21-ounce can apple pie filling
3/4 cup prepared mincemeat filling (portion out the rest of the jar of mincemeat into plastic freezer bags and freeze for future use)

1 egg
Sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling

Lay out the sheets of puff pastry dough onto plastic wrap or parchment paper to avoid sticking. Divide the apple pie filling between the two sheets of puff pastry dough and heap into a line down the middle of the dough. Divide the mincemeat filling between the two sheets of dough and arrange along the top of the apple pie filling.

Fold the dough over the filling lengthwise and seal by applying a few drops of water to the dough. Seal the ends of the dough the same way.

Carefully flip the apple strudels over onto a greased cookie sheet. The seam side should be facing down and the sealed ends should be tucked under.

Break the egg into a small bowl and whisk vigorously with a fork to break the yolk. Use the whisked egg and brush onto the entire exposed surfaces of the apple strudel dough.

Sprinkle the apple strudel with sugar and cinnamon.

Bake for about 14 minutes or until well browned in the oven. Watch closely because it can over-brown very easily.

Remove from the oven and slice when ready to eat. Serve hot with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on the side.

Sauerkraut Salad

1/2 cup chopped celery
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small jar chopped pimentos (2 oz)
1/2 cup chopped onion
32 oz jar sauerkraut, drained
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the above ingredients and stir together.

1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup vinegar

Combine sugar and vinegar and bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Pour this dressing over the sauerkraut salad and stir to combine. Refrigerate salad for 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes or so to distribute the dressing evenly.

My Favorite Chicken Salad

This Chicken Salad can be served as sandwich filling or simply topping a bed of lettuce.

1 pound boneless chicken tenders
1 cup chicken broth
3 green onions, sliced thinly
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup red seedless grapes, cut into halves
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts*
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Place chicken tenders and chicken broth ina saucepan and cook over medium heat approximately 12 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through. Remove from stove and cool. Discard the broth and shred the chicken. Place the chicken, green onions, celery, grapes, and walnuts in a bowl and stir to combine.

In a small both combine yogurt and mayonnaise. Stir to combine. Then pour this mixture into the chicken mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir all ingredients together.

This can be eaten immediately or refrigerated for a few hours.

* To toast walnuts: spread chopped walnuts on a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree oven. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.

Texas Sheet Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour an 11′ x 16″ pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Set aside. In a medium bowl mix the melted butter, vanilla, buttermilk, eggs, and water. Using a hand mixer set on low speed, slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix completely.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Meanwhile prepare the icing and have it ready as soon as the cake comes out of the oven:

3 tablespoons cocoa powder
7 tablespoons milk
1 box (1 pound) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecans, chopped

Heat the cocoa powder and milk in a large saucepan until almost boiling. Remove from stove and add powdered suagr and vanilla using a hand mixer to blend well. Set mixer aside. Add pecans to the icing and stir with a spoon. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour the icing onto the cake and spread while the cake is hot.

Let cool and then serve. Or be daring and eat it hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Serves 20. Seriously.