Spanish Restaurant Review

 
Today we had errands to run in downtown Houston so we planned to try out a Spanish restaurant I was told had great Paella. I love trying new restaurants even if I am disappointed quite often. Even when the food doesn’t measure up there is something to take from the experience.
One of my favorite foods is Cajun Jambalaya which has its roots in Spanish Paella. Jambalaya is most popularly made with chicken and Cajun sausage and is spicy. It can also be made with a variety of other meats like ham, shrimp or pork and/or seafoods. Paella is the same but has a saffron rice base with a few green peas and is more yellow or golden than Jambalaya which is tomato based and red.
Last week we had tried a Spanish restaurant that looked very good on the internet and had a note that their Paella had been an award winner. The restaurant was run down and the Paella was awful. I could not eat it and just left the whole thing. Because of this, I wasn’t very optimistic about this new Spanish restaurant. My friend had recommended it to me because her sister had eaten there and said the Paella was excellent. So we went.
When we entered the restaurant I was relieved. It had a nice ambiance, was medium sized, and downtown close to where we going for our errand. We chatted with our waitress about menu items, I already knew what I was having but we wanted tapas also and my husband was not interested in Paella. We decided to share an appetizer of fried potatoes with an aioli sauce. That proved to be a wise move on our part because the Paella took forever to be served. When my Paella arrived it looked pretty good but still a little questionable. I had asked not to have mussels and there they were, looking up at me. Fortunately, the mussels were good. So were the shrimp, fish and clams but the escargot was tough and there was a lot of escargot in the dish. It was far too large a serving for one person so I took most of it with me. The rice was not up to par. I can’t quite describe what was wrong with it other than the consistency was off. It was not my best experience and I would give the restaurant two stars because the Paella was better than the previous restaurant and the ambience was good but all else was mediocre. I suspect I will have to make my own Paella.
My husband ordered a beef filet dish which he said was okay. The potato patty on his plate had a strange flavor and had grapes in it. Go figure. The spinach was over seasoned for our taste but could have been correct for the Spanish taste.
I must admit we did not give up that easily. We ordered dessert, Apple Tart. It too was average and a disappointment. I hope you don’t think I am too harsh a critic. There are many places I love but I am trying to find some new ones for when we indulge ourselves and my quest is proving to be disheartening to say the least.
We had a lot of to go food for dinner so I did not cook at all today even though the food did not improve when reheated. We will not go there again. Sometimes its better to cook than to be so disappointed in your meal and waste money as we did on this outing.
Since my husband has no interest in Paella I will have to wait until someone that does joins us for dinner. When I prepare it I will give you more information on the dish and am confident it will be much more delicious than the dishes at the restaurant.

If you would like to post a recipe of your own, contact us at:
http://www.downhomedelicious.com/contact .
Ya’ll have a down home delicious day now and come back to see us again soon!

Peggy Sholly

Down Home Delicious®

A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza

Roast Beef Poboys

 

Diary of a Home Cook

Tonight was a breeze. Hubby picked up a sour dough flute when he was out earlier, long thin bread like a poboy. We made delicious poboys with the beef roast from the day before. I popped the bread in my toaster oven for 8 minutes, then sliced it lengthwise, slathered it with mayo and layered it with thin sliced roast, shredded lettuce and tomatoes. Seasoned generously and had a feast. The hot crunchy bread was divine. And there is more roast left for sandwiches or even to make hash with potatoes and the roast drippings. Using the roast in transformative ways keeps it from feeling like “leftovers.” Of course you can dress your poboy with all your favorite fixings, sometimes we add pickles, others we put spinach or shredded carrots or black olives depending on what is available in the refrigerator.
On the cooking channel someone mentioned that the history of poboys comes from New Orleans during the depression when the dock workers came in for lunch without much money to spend. Fresh seafood was plentiful as was fresh bread so they made special sandwiches with seafood, lettuce, tomato and tartar sauce. These could be purchased for much less than a plate of food, was filling and healthy. The poboys caught on and many varieties were added using deli meats or roast, etc. Even today if I don’t want to spend the price for a plate of food at a seafood restaurant I can get a delicious meal of poboy and fries for much less than a dinner and still enjoy the feast. Its rather strange if you really consider it because both the plate and poboy have seafood, salad and potatoes but the poboy is a bargain. Oh well, it works for me and many others so we are not complaining.
One secret to easy cooking is to try to maintain a well stocked pantry and freezer. We have a grocery list pad on the front of our frig and when we use the last or next to last of something we put it on the list so that on our next trip to the store we replace it and always have what we need. I keep frozen vegetables on hand for soups, stews and side dishes on the go and that helps a lot. Many of you probably do much the same but there are new cooks that will appreciate the suggestions and ideas. If you have anything to contribute please let me know and I will add it to one of my future blogs and give credit if requested.
Have a great down home delicious day. Chat with you tomorrow.

If you would like to post a recipe of your own, please contact us at:
http://www.downhomedelicious.com/contact .
Ya’ll have a down home delicious day now and come back to see us again soon!

Peggy Sholly
Down Home Delicious®

A Taste of Down Home Delicious®

Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza

Rump Roast

 

Diary of a Home Cook – Rump Roast

Today has been a lazy day. Went to early church and then to IHOP with friends for breakfast. Ate too much – nothing new about that. Hmmmph! Good thing I had today’s meal mapped out in my head already. I lazed around until around 2 p.m. because we were so stuffed from earlier. When I did get around to cooking the meal was delicious. We had rump roast with pan gravy, Brussels Sprouts cooked with bacon, and baked potatoes. Simple and simply delicious and satisfying. No recipe needed.
Most people, I am told, are intimidated by oven roasting a roast. That is, for me, the epitome of easy and I will walk you through it. It is helpful to have some background information on how to pick your roast. Let me mention here that the quality of your roast is directly proportional to the quality of your meat. I never fix a roast that is not angus. Ifind that it is the only beef that is consistently tender. A roast needs to be a minimum of 3 or 3 ½ pounds and will provide several meals unless you are voracious meat eaters. Plan on at least ½ pound meat per serving.
That being said, I preheated my oven to 450 degrees and took out my pan. You can use any pan that has some depth to it. My husband requests that I always line the pan with foil to facilitate less clean up for him and I do that, shiny side down. Then I place a rack of some sort on it and spray all with oil. If using a rump roast try to get one as square or rectangular as possible so meat will cook evenly. A meat thermometer is good for the novice but I simply cook my roast 30 minutes a pound so that it comes out medium which is for me pink inside. If you are new to roasting meat ask your butcher about the cut of meat you are considering so it will be appropriate for dry heat roasting.
Next I prepare the meat. Starting with the bottom of the roast (the top being the part with the layer of fat unless using a prime rib roast where the bones are the bottom, I dust bottom and sides with garlic powder (not garlic salt) and coarse ground pepper. Then I spray bottom and sides with oil. It has taken longer to write this description than it takes to prepare the meat for roasting because of its simplicity.
Flip the roast over and place on rack in pan. Dust top with garlic powder and pepper then spray well with oil. That’s it. It is ready and the remaining work belongs to the oven.
Place pan with roast on middle rack in preheated oven. Roast for 30 minutes on 450 degrees then turn temperature down to 425 degrees for remainder of time (remember it is 30 minutes per pound so if your roast is 3 pounds you will cook it at 450 degrees for 30 minutes and then at 425 degrees for one hour, and so on.) Roasting the meat at 450 degrees to begin with seals in the juices.
While the meat roasted I prepared the vegetables. I do not like Brussel Sprouts but my husband loves them so I have to compromise and do something to them to make them edible for me. I had some bacon in the refrigerator that needed to be cooked so I put the frozen sprouts in a pot with a steamer basket and a couple of inches of lightly salted water and cooked them for around 10 minutes. While they steamed I cut my bacon in pieces and fried it in a large skillet until almost done. I drained the sprouts and put them on a cutting board, cutting each one in half. Then I put them in the pan with the bacon, adjusted seasonings and stirred and tossed until bacon was fully cooked. Taste test said they were yummy! I turned off the heat and let them sit until roast was ready.
Since my washer and dryer are next to the kitchen I was doing laundry during my free periods. Sometimes I read my book, watch television, or visit with my hubby while the food is cooking. A good timer is a definite plus so that you don’t lose track of the time. I have burned more than one dish in my day by getting caught up in a phone conversation or otherwise occupied and lost track of time. There is also the leaving of the timer in the other room while I go about my business and then can’t hear it when it rings off. No matter how polished the cook, we all have our days and our glitches. One of my favorite memories is of watching Julia Child set her skillet on fire while she was cooking on television. She was caught off guard and bumbling around and I loved it. It made me feel so much better about my errors.
With the sprouts cooked and the roast still in the oven, I washed my 2 medium red potatoes (better for diabetics) and used a knife to make a slit through the center. When the roast was finished cooking I popped the potatoes into my microwave, set it for ten minutes and let them cook while the roast rested. It is important to let your roast sit at least 15-20 minutes before carving so the juices will not run out.
While the potatoes cooked I set the table then I plated the roast and poured the pan drippings into a Pyrex bowl. I stirred 1 tablespoon cornstarch into 1 cup cool water and added it to the pan drippings, adjusted seasonings and heated it in the microwave for 45 seconds on high. When I removed the gravy from the microwave I whisked it to remove any lumps and put it on the table.
It may not have been a fancy meal but it was definitely delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed it. My husband was full of compliments which is my indication of a successful meal. If he won’t eat it you KNOW I have made a serious bad.
This meal took me about 2 hours because my roast was a little over 3 pounds. It was leisurely cooking and practically effortless. The best part is, we have enough meat left over for another meal plus several sandwiches. That means less cooking in the days to come.
If I was an employed person cooking in the evening I would sit down and put my feet up while the roast cooks, …just don’t forget the timer. The cook deserves to take care of herself as well as provide healthy meals for her family. The scent wafting throughout the house gets everyone ready to eat and tends to entice even picky eaters to the table. This meal is so simple even a teenager or non cooking spouse can learn to prepare it. Do yourself a favor and share the duties so that you will have even more resting time for yourself.
Well, that was my cooking spree for today. I am none the worse for wear. My hubby and I are quite content and all I can think of now is that apple tart I have been wishing for. However, Super Bowl is on so there will be no more cooking tonight. Maybe tomorrow. We’ll see.
Hope your team wins! Have a “down home delicious” day and let me know what you are fixing at your house.

http://www.downhomedelicious.com/contact .
Ya’ll have a down home delicious day now and come back to see us again soon!

Peggy Sholly
Down Home Delicious®

A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza

Diary of a Home Cook

 

Diary of a Home Cook

Welcome to my diary of a home cook blog designed to get your thinking cap on and your creativity humming or simply entertain you for a few minutes. I’m Peggy Sholly and I have been cooking for some 60 years now so I have had my share of success and failure. I authored the successful cookbook, Down Home Delicious. It is followed by “A Taste of Down Home Delicious” on Kindle which has 25 sample recipes from the original hardback, and there is a third in process. I love most foods and my favorites will become apparent. I don’t have a lot of pictures yet because I must depend on others to take the pictures. I wish I could photograph my foods but that is not where my talent lies. Maybe this will be the year I will take a photography course. Hmmm.
My husband and I travel and I do our own personal restaurant critiques which I will share with you from time to time. I will name the restaurant if I have something good to say but will not identify it if my critique is negative. I love to share my cooking and eating adventures with anyone that is up to listening. I truly do love to cook and am interested in most things cooking related. I get a lot of ideas from others but tend to do my own thing. I do hope you will enjoy following along with my journey.
Now that I am retired I have more time to check in on the myriad of cooking shows on television. However, I find they do not give you a reality for home cooking and what “normal” is for the home cook. First of all, we home cooks don’t have someone in the background prepping everything for us so that all the ingredients can be picked out of the refrigerator and pantry cleaned and orderly. We also don’t look like we just walked out of a fashion show. I often cook while still in my p.j.’s and really need to wear an apron more. My mother arose at 5 a.m. every morning and got her dinner started. She was a whiz in the kitchen but let’s be realistic, I am not getting up with the birds to cook. Not unless it is an emergency. We all have our kitchen challenges and likes and dislikes. Since cooking shows don’t give it to you like it is, I am going to give you my own little home cooking reality show in narrative form. We will build upon my shortcuts and recipes little by little. I can’t tell you everything in one day but will endeavor to give as much information as possible without being boring. This is how I teach my own family to cook so welcome to my extended family.

If you have questions about the meal of the day or cooking in general, please write me and I will answer as many questions as possible right here on the site and sometimes to your personal email if I have the address.

I don’t cook everyday because there are times my hubby and I eat when we are out running errands. But most days I do cook, just as I did when my family was at home and I am hoping you may enjoy and profit from getting a sneak peak. Some days I will share “cook without recipes” cooking adventures and other days I will provide a formal recipe for you. I hope you enjoy reading about our meals as much as I enjoy sharing them with you. And even though I don’t cook everyday it will be insightful for you, dear reader, to follow the reality of this down home delicious home cook. And if things go the way I plan, you too will become a cook without recipes cook confidently mixing and matching flavors to prepare your own signature dishes. Once you learn the basics you can do almost anything with flair often saving time and money along the way.
Take today for example. My cooking was predetermined and very delicious although I did not use a recipe. Anyone can do this type of cooking if you have the desire. One of my ways to save time and money consists of buying a rotisserie chicken. I personally like the ones from Sam’s Club. I remove the breast and freeze it for chicken salad another day. Or make the chicken salad first and save the remainder of the body for soup or a quick rice dish. This way I spend $6.00 on meat for 2-4 days. (You may choose to make a smaller recipe using only ½ breast. Either way you have several days meals from one $6 chicken.) We purchased our chicken while out shopping yesterday with a plan to make soup or chicken salad. Today I was in the mood for soup and here is how it went down.
After freezing the breast, I put the remainder of the chicken, piece by piece, into a large pot. I added ½ cup chopped onions (prechopped from store), 2 tablespoons minced garlic (prepared from store – I keep a large jar in the frig), half of a 10 ounce can of Rotel tomatoes (I like spicy but regular canned tomatoes work just as well and the Rotel just happened to be left over from yesterday), a 3 pound can of Swanson chicken broth and 2 cups water into a large pot. I turned the heat to high and brought it to a boil then turned the heat to low, covered the pot and let it simmer for an hour or more. This draws all the flavor from the bones and makes for a yummy and healthy broth. All of the amounts and times are negotiable so feel free to do what works for you. While chicken boiled I did my laundry and other chores that had piled up.
After the chicken cooked in the liquid for an hour I used a slotted spoon and removed it to a large bowl and turned off the burner. The chicken cooled until I could handle it to remove the bones, skin and fat from the meat. I returned the meat only to the pot, turned the burner on high again and rummaged in my freezer to see what I had available to make soup. I really love Fordhook Lima beans and found ½ bag, also a ½ bag of soup vegetables and a little dab of English peas. All this was tossed into the hot pot, liquid brought back to a boil, then heat turned down and vegetables allowed to simmer for about 20 minutes.
This type of cooking is so easy because I can multitask without having to watch the clock or being chained to the stove. When the veggies were partially cooked I added 6 small pieces of frozen corn on the cob into pot and ½ cup pasta from pantry. The pasta I use, Dreamfields, is specially engineered to be good for diabetics and is a blessing to my diet because I am Italian American and LOVE pasta.
The pasta took 9-10 minutes, same as the corn takes when added frozen. When the pasta was cooked the soup was ready and my oh my was it yummy!! I like to put about 1/3 cup shredded 4 Cheese Mexican Cheese in the bottom of my bowl before I add the hot soup. It is so delicious. We feasted on this meal for lunch and will enjoy it again for dinner. Since I made a very large pot of soup I usually freeze the extra for another day or, if hubby wants it two days in a row I just put it in frig. The second benefit of this type of cooking is there is so little clean-up. My husband cleans the kitchen and appreciates all the help he can get.
After we had our early lunch, I called my neighbor who works full time and offered to share. She ran over with a bowl and returned home happy and smiling with her lunch for tomorrow. Before she left I told her about how easy it is to make a scrumptious apple tart and she literally danced home saying she was going to make one tonight. I’ll share that with you the next time I make one for myself.
That is how my cooking goes at home. It is easy and often without use of recipes, always healthy and delicious…except for when I get weird and try something really off the wall. My husband is kind and forgiving when I mess something up. It’s not often, he loves all of it, I am the one that is hard to please.

Anyway, that is it for today. I have an angus rump roast waiting in the refrigerator to be cooked tomorrow and my mouth is already watering. I adore oven roasted rump roast because it requires such little effort, has so much flavor and is so tender. It is one of my favorites. I think I have some Brussels sprouts in the freezer, salad fixings in the frig, and two nice red potatoes, for roasting, on the counter. All quick and easy and tasty as can be. Hope you are having something delicious and easy. I’ll check in with you tomorrow…hope you are having a “down home delicious day”.

http://www.downhomedelicious.com/contact .
Ya’ll have a down home delicious day now and come back to see us again soon!

Peggy Sholly
Down Home Delicious®
A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza

Wake up to Beyond Delicious Flavor this Valentine’s Day

 

Wake up to Beyond Delicious Flavor
this Valentine’s Day

Welcome to my diary of a home cook blog designed to get your thinking cap on and your creativity humming or simply entertain you for a few minutes. I’m Peggy Sholly and I have been cooking for some 60 years now so I have had my share of success and failure. I authored the successful cookbook, Down Home Delicious. It is followed by “A Taste of Down Home Delicious” on Kindle which has 25 sample recipes from the original hardback, and there is a third in process. I love most foods and my favorites will become apparent. I don’t have a lot of pictures yet because I must depend on others to take the pictures. I wish I could photograph my foods but that is not where my talent lies. Maybe this will be the year I will take a photography course. Hmmm.
My husband and I travel and I do our own personal restaurant critiques which I will share with you from time to time. I will name the restaurant if I have something good to say but will not identify it if my critique is negative. I love to share my cooking and eating adventures with anyone that is up to listening. I truly do love to cook and am interested in most things cooking related. I get a lot of ideas from others but tend to do my own thing. I do hope you will enjoy following along with my journey.
Now that I am retired I have more time to check in on the myriad of cooking shows on television. However, I find they do not give you a reality for home cooking and what “normal” is for the home cook. First of all, we home cooks don’t have someone in the background prepping everything for us so that all the ingredients can be picked out of the refrigerator and pantry cleaned and orderly. We also don’t look like we just walked out of a fashion show. I often cook while still in my p.j.’s and really need to wear an apron more. My mother arose at 5 a.m. every morning and got her dinner started. She was a whiz in the kitchen but let’s be realistic, I am not getting up with the birds to cook. Not unless it is an emergency. We all have our kitchen challenges and likes and dislikes. Since cooking shows don’t give it to you like it is, I am going to give you my own little home cooking reality show in narrative form. We will build upon my shortcuts and recipes little by little. I can’t tell you everything in one day but will endeavor to give as much information as possible without being boring. This is how I teach my own family to cook so welcome to my extended family.
If you have questions about the meal of the day or cooking in general, please write me and I will answer as many questions as possible right here on the site and sometimes to your personal email if I have the address.

I don’t cook everyday because there are times my hubby and I eat when we are out running errands. But most days I do cook, just as I did when my family was at home and I am hoping you may enjoy and profit from getting a sneak peak. Some days I will share “cook without recipes” cooking adventures and other days I will provide a formal recipe for you. I hope you enjoy reading about our meals as much as I enjoy sharing them with you. And even though I don’t cook everyday it will be insightful for you, dear reader, to follow the reality of this down home delicious home cook. And if things go the way I plan, you too will become a cook without recipes cook confidently mixing and matching flavors to prepare your own signature dishes. Once you learn the basics you can do almost anything with flair often saving time and money along the way.
Take today for example. My cooking was predetermined and very delicious although I did not use a recipe. Anyone can do this type of cooking if you have the desire. One of my ways to save time and money consists of buying a rotisserie chicken. I personally like the ones from Sam’s Club. I remove the breast and freeze it for chicken salad another day. Or make the chicken salad first and save the remainder of the body for soup or a quick rice dish. This way I spend $6.00 on meat for 2-4 days. (You may choose to make a smaller recipe using only ½ breast. Either way you have several days meals from one $6 chicken.) We purchased our chicken while out shopping yesterday with a plan to make soup or chicken salad. Today I was in the mood for soup and here is how it went down.
After freezing the breast, I put the remainder of the chicken, piece by piece, into a large pot. I added ½ cup chopped onions (prechopped from store), 2 tablespoons minced garlic (prepared from store – I keep a large jar in the frig), half of a 10 ounce can of Rotel tomatoes (I like spicy but regular canned tomatoes work just as well and the Rotel just happened to be left over from yesterday), a 3 pound can of Swanson chicken broth and 2 cups water into a large pot. I turned the heat to high and brought it to a boil then turned the heat to low, covered the pot and let it simmer for an hour or more. This draws all the flavor from the bones and makes for a yummy and healthy broth. All of the amounts and times are negotiable so feel free to do what works for you. While chicken boiled I did my laundry and other chores that had piled up.
After the chicken cooked in the liquid for an hour I used a slotted spoon and removed it to a large bowl and turned off the burner. The chicken cooled until I could handle it to remove the bones, skin and fat from the meat. I returned the meat only to the pot, turned the burner on high again and rummaged in my freezer to see what I had available to make soup. I really love Fordhook Lima beans and found ½ bag, also a ½ bag of soup vegetables and a little dab of English peas. All this was tossed into the hot pot, liquid brought back to a boil, then heat turned down and vegetables allowed to simmer for about 20 minutes.

This type of cooking is so easy because I can multitask without having to watch the clock or being chained to the stove. When the veggies were partially cooked I added 6 small pieces of frozen corn on the cob into pot and ½ cup pasta from pantry. The pasta I use, Dreamfields, is specially engineered to be good for diabetics and is a blessing to my diet because I am Italian American and LOVE pasta.
The pasta took 9-10 minutes, same as the corn takes when added frozen. When the pasta was cooked the soup was ready and my oh my was it yummy!! I like to put about 1/3 cup shredded 4 Cheese Mexican Cheese in the bottom of my bowl before I add the hot soup. It is so delicious. We feasted on this meal for lunch and will enjoy it again for dinner. Since I made a very large pot of soup I usually freeze the extra for another day or, if hubby wants it two days in a row I just put it in frig. The second benefit of this type of cooking is there is so little clean-up. My husband cleans the kitchen and appreciates all the help he can get.
After we had our early lunch, I called my neighbor who works full time and offered to share. She ran over with a bowl and returned home happy and smiling with her lunch for tomorrow. Before she left I told her about how easy it is to make a scrumptious apple tart and she literally danced home saying she was going to make one tonight. I’ll share that with you the next time I make one for myself.
That is how my cooking goes at home. It is easy and often without use of recipes, always healthy and delicious…except for when I get weird and try something really off the wall. My husband is kind and forgiving when I mess something up. It’s not often, he loves all of it, I am the one that is hard to please.
Anyway, that is it for today. I have an angus rump roast waiting in the refrigerator to be cooked tomorrow and my mouth is already watering. I adore oven roasted rump roast because it requires such little effort, has so much flavor and is so tender. It is one of my favorites. I think I have some Brussels sprouts in the freezer, salad fixings in the frig, and two nice red potatoes, for roasting, on the counter. All quick and easy and tasty as can be. Hope you are having something delicious and easy. I’ll check in with you tomorrow…hope you are having a “down home delicious day”.

Peggy Sholly
Down Home Delicious®
A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza

Peggy’s Beyond Delicious Coffee Cake

Simple to make and especially delightful on Valentine’s, Mother’s, and Father’s Day.

 

Beyond delicious coffee cake

 

SERVES 4-6

 

  • 2½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2½ cups chopped nuts of choice
  • 2 tablespoons oats
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter or margarine, minced
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 package fresh berries, rinsed and dried (*or other berries)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 sticks margarine, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ⅓ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease bundt pan** well.

Sift ½ cup of the sugar with ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar in bottom of pan turning pan on all sides to coat bottom and all sides of pan. Sprinkle ½ cup chopped nuts and 2 tablespoons oats over sugar in bottom of pan. Dot with 2 tablespoons cold butter or margarine cut in tiny pieces.

In a large electric mixer bowl, combine remaining 2 cups granulated sugar with the 2 cups flour and 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder and mix well.

Use ½ cup of flour/sugar mixture to toss with nut-berry mixture. Holding a large colander or sieve over the dry ingredients mixer bowl, dump in the floured nut mixture to release the excess flour/sugar back into the original dry ingredients.

In a medium bowl combine berries and remaining 2 cups nuts. *For valentine’s you can substitute halved fresh strawberries for blueberries or use a combination of both.

Return floured nut mixture to medium bowl and set aside.

To the dry ingredient mixer bowl add eggs, margarine, milk and vanilla extract and beat with electric mixer on high for exactly 12 minutes pushing down cake mix from sides once or twice. When mixing is complete, gently fold in (by hand) sugar floured nuts and blueberries. Pour into prepared bundt pan. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour on rack in middle of oven (be sure to check after 45 minutes). Turn hot cake onto buttered cake plate without removing bundt pan for at least 2 minutes. Tap top of pan before removing to loosen cake from pan. Serve immediately (I like to eat my cake warm so I cut it as soon as it hits the plate), or cool thoroughly.

**No bundt pan? Feel free to bake your coffee cake in a well greased deep casserole dish. Top with a crumb topping using the ingredients for the bottom of bundt pan on the top of the cake as follows.

Assemble in a bowl…

  • ½ cup oats with the ½ teaspoon cinnamon,
  • ½ cup brown rather than white sugar,
  • ½ cup chopped nuts and

You can even hold back a few berries to sprinkle over the top.
Toss all topping ingredients except butter until well mixed and sprinkle over top of coffee cake.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons melted butter over top.

Bake as directed. If cake begins to brown too much lay a foil tent over it until finished baking.

What is this Thing Called “Home Cooking”?

 

What is this Thing Called Home Cooking?

 

And how do you entice harried business people to run home and cook for themselves and/or their family? That is a loaded question. Having been in the workforce when I had children at home makes me an empathetic home cook. I am retired now and no longer want to cook every day. However, I was thoroughly impressed recently when the young receptionist at my hair salon told me she cooks everyday for her family because she freely chooses to do so.
Over the holidays we visited with my husband’s brother and his family. His brother does the majority of the cooking in his home, because he loves it, and is quite good. #2, the name he chose because of his birth position in the family, has developed his own recipes for much of it. He is very adept at cooking over an open fire or on the grill with his latest expertise to surprise me being “make our own home pizza.” Now that I have sampled it and reflected on it for a while I feel certain it would be a great investment of time and money for the family cook.
#2, has his own pizza stone and wooden paddle and has fashioned his crust recipe from a collection of several. I am here to tell you it is nothing short of fantastic. The crust on my pizza was the thinnest a crust could be without having holes in it and beyond crispy – each person received a ball of dough and made their own pizza. We had quite a variety of tastes and everyone was completely satisfied with their creation. #2 will be retiring this year and plans to build a brick oven in his back yard for his pizza and bread making, and who know what else??? If it was no longer just my husband and me I would invest in these items and be on my way. Sure beats the pizza parlor or frozen variety. It is definitely cheaper and more healthy, rather simple and a lot of fun. Think about it and maybe I will be able to wiggle his dough recipe out of him and even a few hints for success.
In the mean time, here’s to a delicious 2012 and lots of health, wealth and happiness.
Ciao,
Peggy Sholly
Down Home Delicious®

A Taste of Down Home Delicious®
Down Home Delicious® Extravaganza

Welcome Back to the Blog!

Welcome back …

to Down Home Delicious® and my updated blog where home cooking and all things home and food oriented take center stage with the desire to make your life happier, easier and even more filled with delicious foods for family and friends.  Bob and I have been caught up in some health issues recently that slowed our writing for a while but as we recuperate we plan to be up and running again.  However, that doesn’t keep me from thinking of food and family and my extended family of readers and friends.  As long as there is life there is food and family needing tending.  As you know, today’s home cook is challenged by his/her time constraints as well as tempted by the burgeoning availability of unhealthy fast foods.  Restaurants test our self control by serving enormous portions to bring in more profits and our waistline is the loser.

I have worked on many new and most delicious recipes and have some ideas to stoke your fire even further.  Our Down Home Delicious® website is currently being revamped to make it more appealing and useable by you, our valued readers.  We want it to be more user friendly so that you will interact with me and let me know what you do or don’t like and in what direction you are interested.  I invite you to send links to great cooking information that you can recommend.  We will post the links.  Not all links are created equal so we prefer those you have checked out and can give a heads up.

We have a new ebook that will be put on Kindle titled “A Taste of Down Home Delicious®.”  It has sample recipes from the original cookbook.  If you haven’t got a copy of the hard back book yet, this is a good way to become familiar with it.  Next, we are working on an expanded version of my original book which includes all the old favorites, a few updated, and upwards to 100 new recipes being cranked out daily.  That will probably be published as an ebook also and we will keep you posted on its progress.

Do you like contests?  One idea we have is a recipe contest to generate new material from old family favorites and/or original recipes of my readers.  Everyone 16 years or older are welcome to enter up to 5 recipes each at a time.  The recipes entered will be tested and, the contributors of those deemed appropriate for publishing in my blog, will win a free cookbook and be entered in a later drawing for a cash prize.  More details to follow.   A good example of this type of recipe is the one submitted by our friend Mary Wheeler.   I personally tested and formatted her recipe into our style and share it with you at the end of this article.  Mary promises to share more family favorites with us.  My cousin Marian Boley sent me a great hot dog idea that I will share later in another post.  There are more, these are just two of the more recent.

I hope you are all safe from the wildfires and rainy weather.  We are still in drought mode here and praying for rain.  Take good care of yourself and try to make every day a Down Home Delicious® Day with good food, good friends and happy, healthy families.

Glad to be back,  Peggy Sholly

The Mary Wheeler Family “oh so good”
Make Your Family Smile Cinnamon Rolls

Hot and doughy…sweet, and crunchy …perfect combinations to warm your tummy and put that
smile on your face.  Thank you Grandma Doris for your holiday favorite.

 

 

 

Makes 2 dozen

 

1          package active dry yeast or 1 cake compressed yeast

¼         cup lukewarm water

½         cup hot mashed potatoes

¼         cup solid shortening

¼         cup granulated sugar

1½       teaspoons salt

1          cup milk, scalded

1          egg

4          or more cups all-purpose flour, sifted

3          tablespoons butter or margarine, room temperature

1½       cups dark brown sugar

1½       cups pecans, minced

            cinnamon

            nutmeg, optional

            powdered sugar icing with ⅛teaspoon ground cinnamon added

Soften active dry yeast in warm water, or compressed yeast in lukewarm water.  Combine potatoes, shortening, sugar, salt and hot milk.  Add ½ cup flour and mix well.  Add softened yeast and egg.  Stir in 2 cups of the flour; beat well.  Stir in remaining flour (or enough to make soft dough).  Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic.

Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface.  Cover, let double (about 1-1½  hour) in a warm place.  After doubling, remove from bowl and punch air from dough with your fists.    Shape dough in a ball.  Cover again and let rest 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out rested dough with a floured rolling pin to about a ¼-inch thick.  Spread very soft butter (margarine to be healthier) on top of dough then layer brown sugar and pecans then sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on top.

Roll up dough to form a log and slice about 1-inch thick. Lay on greased cookie sheet. Let rise until almost double (about 1 hour).  Bake 12 to 14 minutes.

Ice pastry with powdered sugar icing with 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon added to make them taste like Cinnabons®.

If you don’t have time or interest in making your dough from scratch I suggest you buy a roll of frozen yeast bread, defrost and use it in place of the scratch dough.

The End of 2009

Well, what has been happening on my cooking scene?  For Thanksgiving and Christmas both I made absolutely amazing pecan pies.  Talk about living deliciously!!  Yum!! It was the first time I made my husband one and it is one of his all time favorite pies.  I even got my picky daughter to taste the pie (she was previously a confirmed pie hater) which led to her nibbling away at the center to where everyone else got mainly the sidelines with crust.  For Christmas my hubby received one of his own since I am diabetic and cannot indulge except in the smallest of tastes.  I am about to share my not so secret recipe with you – I am a firm believer you cannot improve on perfection and this recipe is as close to perfect as one can get.  Ready? I use the recipe on the bottle of dark Karo syrup.  The only difference I make is to use pecan halves for the 1 ½ cups the recipe calls for, plus a ½ cup of pieces because I love my pie to be very pecany.  If you have never tried it the recipe is quick, easy and I believe, foolproof.  I even used a Pillsbury pie crust and hubby has been in pie heaven.  Just a note:  The better quality your pecans the better quality your pie.  We have a truck farm nearby that has fantastic fresh shelled pecans every year so I got a new batch, having brought all my pecans to my daughter for Thanksgiving, and this new batch is totally yummy as always.  (Recipe follows.)

We made quite a road trip in November; drove from Texas to my daughter’s in Woodbury (outside Minneapolis/St.Paul), Minnesota where we spent several weeks including Thanksgiving, then thru a little snow storm all the way through Iowa to Missouri to see Mom and my Son with his little family, then to Dallas to see another  daughter and finally home to an unfinished remodeling job with workers in and out continually.  I slept in a chair for 10 days in Minnesota because of the crud, hacking cough and more. Leaving Missouri, pain in my face began which proved to be an infected and broken tooth, etc., etc.  None of the above stopped me from popping out a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, homemade dressing, corn pudding, and much, much more.  I am finally better after many weeks, the remodeling is done and my bathroom is clean and bright and as close to perfect as it can ever be.  I got smart and brought in a construction cleaning crew that cost me the farm but cleaned my house from top to bottom since my allergies wouldn’t allow me to deal with the tons of construction dust that even coated the clothes in my closet.

My thirty year old house is getting a face lift inside and out in 2010 if I can survive it all.  It will finally be a home of which I can be proud with a brand new professional kitchen.  The worst is yet to come when I get the kitchen and living room done, stripping the kitchen and taking the wall out between the piano room and living room.  Maybe all that illness rotted my brain for me to even consider any further remodeling.  I guess we will see.  My hubby’s bathroom is next and then we will see if I postpone the other rooms for another year.  Hmmm??  When this is over my house will no longer be my first husband’s home but very obviously my adorable husband, Bob’s, home.  This is a spiritual event as much as it is a physical event for me.

What have I learned this year, besides a lot of hard lessons about remodeling?  Let’s just say I reconfirmed I like home cooking better than restaurant fare.  There are two exceptions for special occasions, the restaurant we went to on Christmas Eve and one close to our home that, in my humble opinion has fantastic food.  Christmas Eve we went to the original Brenner’s Restaurant in Houston.  We had a special guest this year, a widow friend of 30 years joined us for Christmas eve dinner.  She only has one relative in Texas and because of extenuating circumstances of loss at this time she was going to spend her Christmas alone, not choosing to be with a large number of people.  It’s not like me to be content with anyone being alone for Christmas so we invited her to join us, and she joined us for what was a most wonderful evening of good company and fine food at Brenner’s.  I had lobster bisque plus Australian Lobster Tail and it was divine.  Bob and Reta had filets and both said theirs were delicious.  Of course, because of price this remains a special occasion restaurant for us.  Other times I get a Prime Rib sandwich at Perry’s in Friendswood and just eat the steak, which is grilled to perfection, all crusty and buttery, and doesn’t dent my pocket book.  YUM!!  They are the only two I can rave about at this time.   I will mention that the Jambalaya at Pappas Restaurant was finally delicious to my palate; formerly it was too hot but since it has been toned down I love every bite.  It’s not mine but it is a good second.  So, if you are in the Houston area be sure to try these wonderful establishments and give yourself an evening off.

I also had reaffirmed the ease of use of my cookbook for novice cooks as well as the enticing flavors for expert cooks.  Now that my cookbook is sold internationally I am getting a broader perspective of how it relates to adults of all ages and degrees of cooking experience.  The American Women’s Association in Doha, Qatar enthusiastically welcomed Down Home Delicious as did many other expats in the area.  I never envisioned my book having such a following but am delighted with the reception.  I look forward to welcoming home Rhonda Bryant, past Doha AWA president when she returns to Houston in January.  I am excited to find what new opportunities present themselves in 2010.  How wonderful to live my passion and be so affirmed by it.  I hope you will have the courage to move forward into new areas in your life this New Year.  If I can be of help in any way, let me know.

Because of all the travel since returning home, I have not had much chance to do creative cooking but my love of shrimp remains a driving force and I did experiment with a new recipe for grilled shrimp.  It is quite a tasty treat, easy and adaptable to your own palate.  You can play with the flavors beginning with substituting lime or orange for lemon, or use your favorite preserves instead of pineapple.  Use cayenne, black or jalapeno pepper according to taste, and substitute teriyaki or sweet and sour sauce in place of soy sauce, while parsley can be substituted instead of cilantro.  This is a sneak peek at how to create your own recipes without fear, something I may expand on in 2010.   (Recipe follows.)

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Dark Karo Pecan Pie

(From Karo Syrup Bottle)

Prep:  5 minutes:  [Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake 60-70 minutes]   [Serves 8]

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Karo Dark Corn Syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups pecans halves*
  • ½ cup pecan pieces*
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch deep dish pie crust (I use Pillsbury)

*my personal substitution of halves and extra pieces

Preparation

STIR the first 5 ingredients thoroughly using a spoon (in a large bowl).  Mix in pecans and stir until all are coated with the sugary liquid.

POUR into pie crust.  (In order to make it more beautiful you might take the time to turn all the halves over where the tops are all up.  It won’t taste any different but it is very attractive.)

BAKE on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool for 2 hours.  Store pie in refrigerator.  See Karo bottle for further information.

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Pineapple Grilled Shrimp

Prep:  10 minutes:  [Serves: 8]

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pineapple preserves
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed and/or finely minced
  • 3 teaspoons dry ground ginger or 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 2 pounds large to jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, and rinsed

Preparation

Put pineapple preserves in a large microwaveable bowl and microwave on high for 30 – 45 seconds or until melted.  Add zest and juice into bowl.  Stir in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, cayenne, and cilantro.   Add shrimp and stir until coated.  Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

While shrimp marinate, spray grill or broiler pan with cooking oil and preheat oven on broil.  Put oven rack to high position so shrimp will be about 4 inches from heat.

Remove shrimp from marinade to a large plate or pan. Put remaining marinade in a small pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, while shrimp grill.

Divide shrimp into 8 stacks and thread onto 8 skewers leaving a little space between each piece.  (Bamboo or wooden skewers need to be soaked in water a few minutes prior to adding shrimp so skewer will not burn.  Metal skewers will cook shrimp slightly faster.)  Cook skewered shrimp 2 minutes per side several inches from heat, basting often with marinade.  Shrimp are ready when opaque.  Overcooking will make them tough.

Serve with warm marinade.  Delicious served with roasted peppers and mushrooms, or asparagus, broccoli, or green beans, and a flavored rice or pasta dish.

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I was recently gifted with a very old recipe for enchiladas that is quick and easy and sure to be authentically delicious but since it has no measurements on it I will have to wait until I try it to make it useable to you.  Look for it in the New Year.

I saved the grandest part of Down Home Delicious and Stonywood Publication’s Christmas this year for last.  This is the highlight of our truly delicious life and an honor for us to be able to accomplish.  Because my husband is a retired career Army Colonel we are cognizant of the sacrifices families endure when a loved one serves our country in the military so we decided to donate 3,000 cookbooks to Military Moms and Wives of Brazoria County (MMWBC) to distribute to the Mom’s, Wives, or Grandmothers of our Military Heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan.   We give them in recognition of and gratitude for their sacrifices in service to our country while sharing their loved ones with us in such an important manner.  There is a commemorative sticker on each book extending our gratitude and recognition.  You can see the sticker and read more about our outreach on our website (www.downhomedelicious.com), plus register for a cookbook if you have a family member deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan or a fallen hero.

We began with a kickoff book signing at MMWBC on December 12 in Angleton, Texas.  It was exciting to speak with the Mom’s, Wives, Grandmothers and even a husband or two that were able to pick up their books in person.  They are a warm and wonderful group of families we are proud to know and support.   We were humbled to sign books for the families of our fallen heroes from our area and hope they enjoy our small gift of remembrance.  Families can still sign up using the registration form on our website at www.downhomedelicious.com.  The first 3,000 to register will receive books.  MMWBC could certainly use donations for postage and more assistance in packaging care boxes and cookbooks if you or someone you know lives in the Angleton area.  Contact Mary Moreno at 979-236-6861 or http://www.militarymomsandwives.org/ for more information.

If you know of another deserving group that you would like to suggest we support, please do not hesitate to write giving us all the information so we can consider it.  When we published our book we chose to print a large quantity of extra books so that we could provide copies for charitable purposes.  It is heartwarming to know we can make a difference.  I signed books from Noon to 2 p.m. and recipients at our MMWBC book signing were so grateful that it touched us deeply.  They thoroughly enjoyed chatting with my hubby because he is one of them and understands their circumstances.  Commemorative cookbooks can be purchased on our website for your own gifting, along with the original version, and I will be happy to sign them per your request.  Down Home Delicious is also available (without the commemorative sticker) at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Favorite Recipes Press, Borders Books, and other stores on the internet.  Simply Google Down Home Delicious and you should find locations that have it for sale.  Make sure you have the real thing, Down Home Delicious, Spice up your life with Incredible Gulf Coast cooking, published by Stonywood Publications.

The next time you hear from me we will be off and running in the New Year.  I hope your beginning, middle and end is happy, healthy, safe and prosperous and more and more of your dreams come true.  There is magic in the air, miracles and a truly delicious life await you.  Enjoy!!

Ya’ll have a Down Home Delicious 2010 now, ya hear?!!!

With love from —

Peggy Sholly, Down Home Delicious, and Stonywood Publications

In God we Trust

A Wealth of Blessings

I am grateful for a wealth of blessings I have received (including 5 awards for the cookbook) and weary of the continuous drain on my old body, whether it be through illness, relationships, brand infringement or anything else.  I moan and grumble and share that with you just to remind you that we all suffer in this life, some more silently than others.  All a person has to do to recognize how blessed they are is to follow the news on the internet.  I have gone from being depressed by it to using it as a prayer time and commending all to God’s Mercy. I have great hopes and expectations for living even more deliciously this New Year and I hope you do also.  I sense it will be a banner year and you will be with me all along the way!!

I plan to get back to blogging regularly as soon as I get comfortable with my new blogging service.  And, of course, the cookbook will demand a certain amount of my time.  The difference this year is I am going to focus more on pampering me and my soul than I did last year.  I will strive to face life more gently this year rather than plowing into it heart and soul.  Now that I have my bathroom remodeled with a new whirlpool tub (that’s a whole not so smooth other story) in place I will spend more time pruning (getting wrinkled from so much time in the water) and relaxing.  We began early by enjoying my most simple Christmas ever.

I thoroughly expected to spend my Christmas sad and pining over all my family who were not with me. Instead I was really able to focus on the reason for the season rather than who was doing what and what needed to be prepared.  Surprisingly the peacefulness of our day and the ability to be flexible and decide what we wanted to do from moment to moment was refreshment to my soul.  I have been disenchanted with Christmas for many years now.  Mrs. Claus does all the work and Santa gets all the credit.  That quit being fun a long time ago.  This Christmas I thought I was just bailing but upon reflection found I finally celebrated Christmas as it should be, alone in the manager with Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus.  That is what Christmas is all about after all.  It is celebrating the birth of Christ.  Santa popped up some time ago and took the focus off Jesus’ birth and onto frenetic gift buying and cooking and families getting together for not always such happy times.  I enjoyed going back to the real celebration and will be much more present to it next year now that I rediscovered the secret to the reason for the season.  It was always there in my face.  I couldn’t get my mind around it even though my spirit knew something was amiss.  The peace of Christmas came shining through this year and what a blessing.

I need more of that and will do my best to indulge my spirit in a year of renewal within for myself and my hubby.  I want to make it a gentle year, one that I remember as a time of renewal that restores my spirit and body for my next 20 years.  You know, when you get our age things creak more and don’t take kindly to overdoing the stress or long hours.  Because cooking is also a form of therapy for me I always have a way to deliciousize the moment.  It’s amazing how great food cooked with love at home can be so down-home delicious while nurturing and healing life’s ills by flavoring the moments with love.  My family recognizes the love put into preparing special dishes for them and the warmth of the love put into the preparation strengthens and nurtures them.

I do have a couple of unfinished remodeling jobs to be done to bring my home up to date and they could mar my quietude unless I am very, very careful.  I will still cook abundantly and share my newly acquired recipes with you.  It will, hopefully, be minus the chaos of 2009.  It was good to run away from home to Qatar for a few months in 2009 and who knows what quests we may have this year.  All I know is that I will try not to throw my whole person into them and overdo as before.  Maybe you will also strive for a gentler year in 2010 and share with me your successes and potential roadblocks.

~ Peggy

Welcome to Living the Down Home Delicious Life

Grab a cup of coffee, sit with me a few minutes and enjoy a yarn that rambles from distress to miracles.   My life is never boring.  It is full and fabulous (another way of saying “delicious”) and its a joy to share the ups as well as the downs.  You won’t be weighed down with the mundane but carried along with highlights and some delicious new ideas for your menu.  The end of my year begins with a loud grump then rambles through good tidings, recipes, and the expectation of a wonderful 2010.

Being a passionate Italian Momma (I got the Italian genes and my sister got the Scotch Irish genes) probably has a lot to do with my zest for life.  Consequently, I am quite emotional and spiced most of the time.  (If you have not read my previous blogs I suggest you check them out at www.downhomedelicious.com in order to catch up with me.

When I am happy, I am very, very happy.  And when I am irritated I have to work at keeping it to a mild rumble.  That being said let me tell you what has flicked my bic lately.  I have a service on Google that allows me to see each time the name Down Home Delicious shows up and I am aggravated to the nth degree.  It seems that now that I have an award winning cookbook with this name, everybody and her dog is using my brand name to describe their product.  To hear them talk, all food that is ever cooked is “down home delicious.”  NOT!  Even Zagat is using it in their reviews.  With others using my brand indiscriminately it is extremely annoying.  I mean, after all, I am proud of my book and our accomplishments, but recognize I am small beans compared to some of them.  I researched the term very carefully before I chose it for my book and it was available for my title.  Now…oh my!!!  Every day more and more people connected to food on the internet are labeling their own food and recipes “down home delicious” whether it is home cooking or restaurant fare.  Hmph!!  Since the term is legitimately my brand and trademark I am researching and investigating what can be done.  I have started sending each person a note asking them nicely to discontinue their use of the phrase.  I even have the big dogs going after my little name.  I wonder if Paula Deen and Rachel Ray have this problem?  Now a lady with a PBS cooking show, videos and many other endeavors, has chosen to use my brand for her recipes, as have several others who are using a dash (Down-Home) to put the name into their use.  She is too classy a lady to have done this intentionally, so I have written to her asking politely that she discontinue use of my trademark and expect she will be cooperative; but how frustrating.  Get in line is all I can say, mine is the real stuff original and the rest are simply wannabe’s.  The only way your food can truly be down home delicious is if it is a recipe from my book.  But there is hope!  If everyone on my mailing list would send something out to everyone on their mailing list and they would send it to their mailing list and so on and so on it would help – that’s a lot to ask but stranger things have happened for others.  Maybe you would be so kind as to ask your friends and family to dive into the truly delicious life in 2010 by starting the New Year with a copy of Down Home Delicious for themselves or a gift for someone else.  Every little email helps – and cc me – I would love to thank you personally for your help and send you a little giftee.  I could also use some new 5 star reviews on Amazon if you have not written one yet – that is great for pushing a product.  You can help me fight the big dogs (and not so big dogs) with your loyalty and assistance.  If you have any other suggestions I would love to hear them.  All I really want to do is sell my remaining books, without being buried under the big names, is that too much to ask? This is where my faith comes in, both in God and in my friends, for help to move my books in spite of the competition using my brand.  I am reminded of the movie of the guy who invented the windshield wiper and how he had to fight big business to get what was rightfully his.  I can’t go that far at this age but with a little help from others I can prevail.

Aside from that, I am delighted to close the door on 2009.  It was a demanding year both physically and emotionally.  I have a truly charmed and delicious life with a most wonderful husband but past that there have been many ups and downs and turns in the road that drained and depleted me, the brand infringement being the least of them.  It is enough to be aging and getting wrinkled, I don’t have time to worry about this also.  This is why I have not blogged this past month.  At the end of this year I endured, and not always quietly, one illness after another with many pulls on my patience and resilience.  I know everyone understands because we all have these challenges, especially as we enter the “elderly” years.  They are the fabric of life, a journey that stretches and pulls on our person to grow, quite like gravity.  Each blessing in my life was countered with a corresponding challenge.  The last time I had such a difficult year was the year I separated from my husband and boy was I glad when that year was over, this isn’t even anywhere close to that but I am weary!  Now I find myself looking forward once more to a new year and new opportunities.  Bring it on universe, I am ready to shine!

~ Peggy