Monday, July 31, 2017

Manpreciation ~ Southern Style

I get a lot of questions about my sense of style and my cooking. These have come from my love of everything southern. I adore the south and all its romance and have embraced it as part of who I am. 

Fern would tell you I'm not southern. She’s wrong. I may have been raised in the midwest but it was a southerly county into which I was born. And I currently reside in Florida so I am indeed southern. (I'm even using the Georgia font. Doesn't get more southern than that.)

I also get asked questions about my ways in making a man feel like a man. So, today, I'll share a few manpreciation tips.

Darlin’, let me tell ya . . . there is no one better than a southern gal at making a man feel appreciated. 

Case in point. Scarlet O'Hara (at the beginning -- no, the middle because Ashley was just foolish and Rhett went insane when he left her. But Rhett was passionately besotted before he lost his senses.)

A southern lady knows how to be soft. Like a juicy Georgia peach. And bonus points for being soft yet not melting like butter on a mound of my homemade mashed sweet potatoes with brown sugar and pecans. Not PEECANS but Peckans. This is important, Ladies.

Back to manpreciation. You see, one of the secrets I've discovered is that a man likes a woman who swoons. This, my dear friends, is EASY to do in the inferno of summer. I've swooned so hard, seemingly over a muscular bicep that I nearly needed smelling salts. However, as much as this impressed the gentleman in question, it wasn't his physique at all, merely a wee bit of dehydration and a sudden rise from the overstuffed couch. I grabbed his bicep, commented on his strength and wilted like an end of the season peony. Mercy. Don't risk your lives on this one, subtle is fine. Just make him aware you think he's strong. 

Fluttering. This cannot be stressed enough. And this too, is easy to accomplish with the summer heat. Simply keep those eyes a blinkin’. Not only can you create a small, focused breeze but you can also create interest level from across the room, especially if you add a tiny peek at a gentleman and a gentle half smile. Men LOVE this. 

Of course the accent can make anything sound charmin, darlin. Try a few insults and see what I mean . . .
"Oh, what an intuhrestun chil’. I'll jus bet his papa is quite a man." I'm not sure if I'm insulting the child, the man or the woman's taste—but neither is she. She's just basking in the glow of slow molasses conversation style of the south.

Another favorite of mine . . . "Well, aren't you precious?"
Now this sounds like a compliment and can be sincere but a southern lady knows how to sugar up sarcasm. Moral of this story: if you can make an insult as delectable as pecan bars, then imagine the deliciousness of flirting. Be still my heart. 

Finally, the south has given its ladies a demure reputation. You can be spicy with your girlfriends and as innocent as a freshly washed lamb when you meet up with your beau. A man is just compelled to open doors and bend gallantly at the waist to plant a sweet kiss on the back of a lady's hand. Even if she could karate flip him right over her shoulder and make him cry for his mama. 

Add the smile, the hair toss, a few bows and some lace, and the man you want will be putty. As malleable as taffy in July. Want a proposal and he seems stubborn? A well-timed pout can do the trick. Now, this is a weapon and must be used with care. Overuse can build up his immunity. The best pouting technique is to take his hand, look him in the eye and smile, a sad little smile that doesn't reach your cheeks. And add a quiet sigh and an immediate Pollyanna upsweep of attitude to leave him a little tweaked about maybe hurting your delicate heart. 

A pout done well is an epic thing. 

And make sure you send me the photo of your ring and your wedding.

Monday, July 24, 2017

An Idea to be Explored by Pinterest - That is all I'm Saying

I feel the need to share an idea that is not mine. And I am struggling mightily doing so. I'm not even going to mention the name of the person bringing this inspired treat. But suffice it to say that she is a competitor in my little world and by golly I sure don't want this to look like I'm giving her a nod. But I overheard that the idea was not hers, either. So I will share then. And give the credit to Pinterest. Where it belongs. And mention that I will make this "good idea" sing like a Diva. I will use homemade ice creams and creative twists and it will become Grand Prize winning in my hands! 

I didn't take any pictures. You certainly can guess how that'd look!  She would have seen me snapping away and gotten all smug and puffed up and popped a few buttons. I could not have that. Not at all. So you will need to use your imaginations. (I did include a picture of another creation of mine, lime and toasted coconut...)

The Pinterest idea was: 

In a muffin tin, silicone muffin liners, or foil muffin liners place an Oreo type cookie. I highly recommend the silicone for the lower mess potential. If you are using a muffin tin or foil liners I would recommend greasing them first. (I might do half the cookie because it's frozen and I sure wouldn't want someone losing a partial or crown on my watch.) 

Plog some slightly softened ice-cream on top of the cookie. Any flavor. Fill it about 2/3 of the way, so about 1/4 a cup or 2-3 TBSPs should do. (Zula change-ups would include two flavors with a ribbon of deliciousness between like raspberry sorbet, raspberry jam, chocolate ice cream or I'd use a hand crafted blizzard like ice cream.) 

Cover this with chocolate sauce. Freeze until ready to serve. (Here's where I'd have so much fun!!! I'd use my signature ice cream toppings including the State Fair Blue Ribbon Fudge Sauce, my Newspaper Contest Winning Caramel Delight topping, and my Banana Split Dazzler. Then I'd top with a dusting of delicious items or perfectly placed "piece de resistances" that would compliment the ice cream such as chocolate covered half cookies or a dollop of cookie dough drizzled with chocolate or a flourish of sugar glazed nuts or lemon peel ribbons, oh, the endless possibilities here. 

The ones I saw were just plain jane rather than works of art. So the potential. Oh my! I feel giddy about the possibilities!!!!! 

Don't forget to enter the contest the writers are running. One day left!!!! Just one day! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Back on Track

Mavene Bennett has a degree in psychology. She thinks that Fifi was responding to my "Stage Mom" stress energy. So her recommendation is to put that doggie right back on that horse. There is a pet show event in a neighboring community in September. Mavene says that if I low-key it and simplify my designs Fifi and I might be just fine. 

I think I'll go with an Amish theme. No pompoms or doodads that she can chow down on and she'll be adorable in a sun bonnet or prayer kapp! I could maybe even do a tiny Amish quilt that could drape over one side. I feel better already. 

And now that Fifi has processed the pompoms I think she's back to normal, too. 

I have another RECIPE!!!!! Ready for this one? So EASY!

Buffalo Potato Salad. Yes. Really! 

Now my measurements are going to need to be tweaked to your taste level. I apologize for doing a Fern but I was inspired and going rogue in the kitchen. With such delicious results! So good. So easy. 

I boiled 6 potatoes. And hardboiled 4 eggs. 

Let them cool. Peel the eggs, dice eggs and potatoes into a bowl. Add tiny diced celery (three good sized ribs) Add chopped green onions. The green section from a bunch or about 10 if you grow your own. And fresh chopped parsley to taste. (I used about 1/2 cup.) Mix this all together. 

In a smaller bowl add about 3/4ish bottle of ranch dressing (the normal sized 16 ounce bottle, I used Ken's) and add 1/8 cup of Frank's Red Hot. Mix well and taste. You want the Frank's to slightly take the edge off the ranch and leave a nice afterburn. Too little and the ranch overpowers the spice, too much and your guests will be whining like little babies. Add either ranch or Frank's to get it where you want it. Then dump it over the veggies and stir well until it looks like a light orange dream. You can make it the night before even. Easy-peasy-delicious!!!!!!

Monday, July 10, 2017


I will not blather on about my disappointment over the 4th's parade. 

Fifi had a snit. I don't know if the outfits were too much, or that she was around too many strangers. She growled at a judge. She refused to prance so the feathers danced. Then she literally ate two pompoms right off the most visible part of the finale gown. Of course, she didn't win. She didn't even get an honorable mention. It's so bad between us that Fern is even trying to smooth things over. Fifi has been sleeping on the couch. I'll forgive Fifi. But I just can't see us ever trying a pageant style event ever again.  

Fortunately, even though the pooch took a little doodie on my dreams, there was something good that came out of the 4th. 

I made a cake. Now. That's not unusual. But this year, because I had an epic sewing responsibility, ahem, I didn't focus on my desserts as I usually do. In an attempt to simplify I was able to make something grand and easy. 

I'll call it Patriotic Poke Cake

I made my award winning white cake. Those of you who do not have an award winning white cake, feel free to use a white cake mix, follow the directions for a 9 x 13 cake and bake it. 

When it cools poke a bunch of holes. Many, many holes. Use a handle from a wooden spoon or skewer. 

Take a jar of home canned blueberry jam or preserves and microwave it for about 30 seconds. Poor over the cake or every other hole if you like. Do the same with a jar of strawberry preserves. (If you don't can your own, well then, simply use store bought jams and you can use the frozen tubs of sweetened strawberries from the freezer case if you'd rather instead of strawberry preserves). Layer the strawberry jam over the blueberry or fill alternate holes. Use the whole jars. 

Let set up in the fridge for a few minutes. While cooling then whip up homemade vanilla whipped cream. Of course, since we are going for easy vs award winning (which seems to be the theme of the day, right Fifi?) use the fake whip in the freezer case. Spread over the top of the cake until the cake is covered with white fluff. If you want to get really fancy you can place fresh fruit in whatever floats your boat across the top of the cake. This tastes like strawberry shortcake with less fuss and bother. 

Boom! Done! 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Ooooohhhh! The Parade is a Coming!!!

Sweet Mercy! I may have taken on more than I can chew! But, since this is only our second 4th of July together I really wanted to go all out. Fifi loved prancing around in her Star-Spangled lycra last year! She was soooooooo adorable! And such a diva. You could not tell her what to do when she had her sparkle on. And  I don't know what she hoovered up off the ground that made her smell like a bus full of college athletes who'd played in 100 degree heat then got rained on but she has promised to never eat that again! And I've promised that I will put Fern up in the nice hotel in the city if Fifi repeats that unfortunate choice! That was a rude awakening to doggie ownership!!!! 

But back to the costumes! I have blisters on two of my fingers due to all the handwork. I wanted to share the completed ensembles with y'all but Fifi gets a little annoyed with the fittings and so far I've not gotten any good photos. Plus, the two prize winning outfits are in various stages of done. I did snap a few quickies to set the mood, though. Her bandana is just for around the house. Like a great housecoat back in the day. A housecoat would be equivalent to today's pajama pants. When did housecoats disappear? Hmmmm. I'll have to look into that. I'm curious. Maybe I'll design a line of modern housecoats. I'm going to go write that down. 

Okay. I'm back. Now the sunglasses and headband. Oh, precious widdle pupper wooks so CUTE! She's going to rock that little attitude on the way to the parade. I also have a victory costume for her to prance home in and a special frock for the parade that will literally make her look like a firework. That's the blister maker right there. The post parade party will be a little more demure but will play up Fifi's attributes. And there may be a small flower arrangement involved. I'm still cooking that idea. Sometimes restraint can make an outfit. I also have an eye and ear on the competition and may not have to pull out the excess. My main competitor, Marvene Arkfeld, from Sand and Sun Estates has had her grandchildren for two weeks and a couple are in rough stages right now. Thanks to the Terrible Twos and a pre-tween attitude Fifi may have a win without me even needing to break out into a glow!   

I hope you have a bang of a 4th. We will. Bring it on! Mama's got a spot cleared for Fifi's first trophy!!!!!!! 

If you need a great summer read Out of the Frying Pan is just a click away.