Strawberry Picking

Last Friday was Good Friday... and since I got off from work, dad and I got to spend time together. We normally don't get to spend too much time and growing up he was always doing shift work, so I didn't see him much.

So we spent one whole day doing whatever we wanted when we wanted. If you haven't noticed we like to garden. So we went to some feed shops that sold seeds and bought some to plant.

Then dad wanted to go to a place a couple of cities away. Apparently during the spring you can pick your own strawberries. They have several acres with rows where you can go out pick.

We had a GREAT time!!! It was unbelievable. Dad and I were like kids in a candy store. I couldn't stop picking. It was so addicting. I picked and picked and picked. I think that was the most fun dad and I had, other than him playing golf and me putting the ball on the tee for him. :)

Here are some pictures of our day together.

My bucket of strawberries.

Dad picking strawberries.

Me with my bucket and dads. You can see the rows behind me. It was crazy. Every where you turned there were strawberries so red, juicy, and flavorful waiting to be picked.

The perfect strawberry. I couldn't have picked a better one. 

And of course, dad and I together. Nothing like having a great weekend. In fact, we had so much fun, when we were done we emptied our buckets into a brown paper bag and then went back out to pick another bucket each.

Here was our first picking.

When we got home this was the total amount dad picked.

After we washed them, we bagged them and put them in the freezer.

But first, we had to have a smoothie. It was so sweet, fresh, rich, and had so much flavor.

I think we are going to have to make this a yearly tradition.


Fluffy Pancakes

The Best Pancakes Ever!!!

What do you do for breakfast on the weekends? I normally get up around 8:00 and then play on the computer until the hubby gets up. Then I start making us breakfast.

As long as I can remember I have loved pancakes and waffles. I will eat them anytime, anywhere, and almost any way. I love blueberry pancakes and plain, but I will always try any type.

Well, over the weekend we decided that we wanted to have a relaxing weekend and not do much. Since the hubby had to work on Friday, he was exhausted. And when you put in 20 hours of overtime, you deserve a good tasting pancake for breakfast.

And that's where this recipe comes in. Like I said on a previous post, I love Pinterest and that's where I found this one at.

It's called the Best Pancakes Ever!! And you know what, it really is. I'll never go back to box pancake mix again. This recipe is so simple and easy and yet super delicious. I'd rather make up a batch of this and put it aside then eat the processed stuff.

If I had to describe the pancakes I'd say, fluffy, delicious, soft, melt in your mouth, and can't get enough. They were very satisfying. If you want a good pancake then make these.

Here is the recipe. Everything below is taken from Coleens blog. I followed her recipe and they turned out perfectly.

Side note:
*In her recipe she calls for 3/4 c. of milk and plus 2 tbs of white vinegar to make soured milk. Instead of doing this I used 3/4 c. of buttermilk and it worked perfectly.

**I also used 3 tbs of sugar than the 2 it calls for like her. 

*** She says it feeds 3-4 people and mine feed the hubby and I. We each got 2 really good size pancakes. I used a serving spoon and not a 1/2 c. to measure. That might have made a difference in the amount to feed people.



First I want to apologize for the poor quality of this photograph. By the time I realized it was out of focus, the pancakes were long gone. That being said, these are the absolutely best home made pancakes I've ever made. They are super tall, light and fluffy and yet they don't get all mushy when syrup is added, they are excellent.

3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar (see note)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar (I used 3)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the milk and vinegar in a small bowl for 10 minutes to "sour". This is an important step and it is called "soured milk" which is much different that sour milk. I guarantee you will NOT taste the vinegar in the final product. Set aside.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk the soured milk, egg, vanilla and melted butter together. Pour into the dry ingredients and whisk until most of the lumps are gone, but DO NOT OVER BEAT!!

The batter will be thick, don't add any more liquid. 

After 10 minutes, you will see bubbles in the batter, very important DO NOT STIR AGAIN.

GENTLY dip out (don't pour out) 1/2 cup of batter and place it on a buttered grill or frying pan. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake and then flip with a spatula and brown the other side.

NOTE: This recipe only feeds about 3 or 4 people, but doubles or even triples nicely.

NOTE:  Don't skip the soured milk part of this recipe, you will not taste the vinegar in the pancakes. The vinegar super-activates the baking soda.

NOTE:  You can subsitute BUTTERMILK for the milk+vinegar in this recipe, but I have had the best luck (fluffiest pancakes) using the milk and vinegar.


A few people have written to me and said that their pancakes weren't quite as fluffy or tall as mine. I suspect they are stirring the batter just before cooking the pancakes which deflates the bubbles in the batter.

Stirring or pouring the batter essentially deflates the air bubbles in the batter. Personally, I use a half cup measuring cup and GENTLY dip out batter and put it on the griddle and I always get super fluffy pancakes. 


My Photo Book of Savannah

So when I got home from out trip, I wanted to make a photo book of it. I would have loved to scrapbook it, but that would take my a ton of hours, a ton of paper and decals, so I decided to do it virtually.

I also get emails from Shutterfly with cool deals on free pictures, free 8x8 photo books, etc. Whatever they feel like giving out. I don't always use them, but when I get a sweet deal like a free photo book or 101 free prints, I can't pass that up.

So like I said. When I got home I wanted to make a book of our anniversary/ spring break trip. I had taken over 500 pictures and what bette way to show them off than by a book.

Well, the cool thing with technology these days is that you can share your book.

Check it out!!

*Shutterfly photo books offer a variety of layouts and cover options to choose from.


Blackberry Peach Cobbler

I made a pie the other night. I decided that a good Asian meal needed a "country" pie. This is another Pinterest inspired dessert and a success. Although, it wasn't as good the next day. 

I also changed the recipe a little bit too. The recipe had a part where you make a biscuit and then put it on top. Well, I was trying to get the Mongolian Beef knock of dinner made that I decided to speed up the pie business. So I put it in a pie crust instead. So instead of the biscuits I used a pie crust and followed the rest of the recipe like normal.

I cut slits in the pie crust on top and put an egg wash on it. I also add a little sugar too.

Here is the recipe from sugar and spice. I didn't have ice cream, which would have finished it off, but I did have two slices. So, I'm not complaining.

Below is the recipe and pictures from sugar and spice's site.

Enjoy!!! I know we did. :)


Blackberry Peach Cobbler

Blackberry Peach Cobbler
Adapted from:  Gourmet, September 2005

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 lb blackberries (5 cups)
  • 2 lb peaches (6 medium), peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons buttermilk

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. Butter a 13- by 9- by 2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish (3-quart capacity). 

Whisk together cornstarch and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a large bowl, then add blackberries and peaches and toss to combine well. Transfer to baking dish and bake until just bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. 

While fruit bakes, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in another large bowl, then blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir just until a dough forms. 

Drop dough onto hot fruit mixture in 12 mounds (about 1/3 cup each), then sprinkle dough with remaining teaspoon sugar. Bake cobbler until top is golden, 25 to 35 minutes. Serve warm. 

Cooks' note: Cobbler can be baked 6 hours ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Before serving, let stand at room temperature 1 hour, then reheat in a preheated 350°F oven until warm, about 20 minutes. 

Just before going into the oven


P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef Copycat

Have you ever tried to make a dish that's outside of your "normal" comfort zone? Well that's exactly what I did the other night. I really like Asian food, but have a hard time making the flavors blend.

That was until I found this recipe. It completely changed my life. OK, maybe just dinner. If you have ever wanted to make something delicious and thought, I hope this turns out good, then you found the right recipe. It was so simple to make and had a great flavor.

By making this recipe, it's really boosted my confidence in making Asian food. Check it out. Here is a picture from what I made. Sorry, I don't have "professional" food pictures.

This is another Pinterest inspired dinner and you could say it was a success!!

Click here for the link to the recipe at Six Sisters Stuff blog.

But if you're like me and want the recipe and not have to go to another site, so I posted it below.


P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef Copycat Recipe:
(Recipe adapted from Food.com)

2 teaspoons vegetable oil 
½ teaspoon ginger, minced 
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped 
½ cup soy sauce 
½ cup water 
¾ cup dark brown sugar 
vegetable oil , for frying (about 1 cup) 
1 lb flank steak 
¼ cup cornstarch 
2 large green onions, chopped


Heat 2 tsp. of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat.  Don't get the oil too hot.
Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches.
Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then increase the heat to medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove it from the heat.

Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4" thick bite-size slices. Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts.  Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef.  Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.  As the beef sits, heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil). Heat the oil over medium heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking. Add the beef to the oil and sauté until brown. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly.  After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels.  Dab excess oil off meat with a paper towel and add to medium saucepan with the sauce in it.  Put the pan back on the oven over medium/low heat.  Add chopped green onions and let sauce simmer until warm. Serve over rice.


Playing in Toys R Us

Over the weekend our nephew turned 5. His parents had a family party for him at my mother-in-laws house in the afternoon so we made it a lunch party.

They cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill with baked beans and pasta salad. My sister-in-law did a great job on the pasta salad. I don't like artichoke hearts, which the salad had some, and it was still delicious.

Since the party was at 1:00 we needed to get a gift. Lately the birthday boy has been talking about how he wants to be a construction worker when he grows up. So we went to Toys R Us and got him the Home Depot Circular Saw, the Home Depot Tools in Carry Case, and the Home Depot Bendable Screwdriver Set.

He seemed to really enjoy them. He ripped the package open fast and thanks to Uncle Dave, he was able to play with them right away.

BUT, while we were there we had a little fun of our own. There's nothing like being a kid again. While we were looking for his toys we found some really cool masks. I tried on the Spiderman one and Dave tried on the lizard.

I noticed in the picture that there is a mask above Dave's head on the shelf. It looks like it's an Angry Bird's pig mask. Oh, had I seen that before, I would have put that one on. 

Then I found the Iron Man one and HAD to try that one on. It almost matches my shirt.

Dave found the Captain America one. He also found his shield. It said that it would fly and I was like, "Really??" and Dave goes, "Well, yea it's a frisbee." I should have known....duh!! I'd call that  a blond moment.


The Bee Company

While we were in Savannah, we stopped off at this really cool place called Savannah Bee Company. They had some delicious local honey. Everything was locally grown and you could do a honey tasting.

I wish I had taken a picture of the shop inside. It was really cool to see how they had it decorated and the bottles lined up with the light shinning from behind. It really illuminated the taller bottles. They really decorated the shop nicely.

Here are the four jars we bought. It was amazing to taste the difference in honey and which ones really had more of a floral flavor and which ones had less of one.

They also sell more than just honey. They also sell lotions, lip balm, and shampoo and conditioners. I would like to try the shampoo to see how it really works. I saw on their website that they have a travel set for $12.00. I think I might buy that and try it out.

My fear is that you pay a little more than you want to and then are stuck with this huge bottle of stuff you don't like. I think it's smart to buy the smaller version and then if you like it buy the bigger one. That way, even if you are spending a little more money, at least you know you like it for sure before really dropping a lot on a product that will sit on the shelf for years and never get used.

I would highly recommend if you are ever in the area to check out their store. They have two locations in Savannah. The is one on River street and their other store is located on the corner of Broughton and Whitaker St.

Here is a link to their website if you want to check them out.


Fondue For You

I was reading my favorite blog: The Small Things Blog and she posted on there the other day about having fondue. http://www.thesmallthingsblog.com/2013/01/fondue-for-you.html

I thought, hmmm..... Why not do this for Valentines day? What a great idea to make our night special. So that's exactly what I did. For weeks I searched high and low for a cute fondue pot. Needless to say the only cute ones I found were on Amazon. They are so expensive and so small. I found one at Pier 1. It looked like a baby pot.

Then I was talking to my mom and she said she had some, so I went to her house to pick them up and they were from the 70's. Man, did they look "interesting".

So for dinner I tried to think what would make a great treat. After weeks of pondering it finally hit me. My husband LOVES dried meat and sausages, as well as cheeses. So what a better way to start the night with a selection of dried meats and cheeses for an appetizer. I also baked some asparagus in the oven and boy was that delicious!!!!

For dinner I made chicken pesto pasta.

Now for the best part. Dessert. We set up the coffee table with the fondue pot and some dipping pieces. I picked up strawberries, pineapple, pound cake, and marshmallows. We had a great time sitting on the couch dipping and watching tv.

What did you do for Valentines day?


Savannah & the Beach

This morning we got up and decided to have a relaxed day.... or a day where we just "wander" around the city. Since yesterday we really just went fast and furious, today we just set back and went at the whatever speed.

My mom said there was a good beach near by that we should check out and to also eat at Uncle Bubba's restaurant.

But before doing that we took one more gander around town before heading out for the day.

Here are a few things we did today.
We walked around town and went into this shop called The Paris Market. They had some really cool things. It was kind of like a nick-nack store. I found a section that had some old camera equipment and so I bought two colored lenses, a green one and a yellow one.

Here is David in the shop. I used the yellow filter to take the picture.

Here is the green filter. I thought it looked cool. I also got them for $0.70 each.

I saw these laying on the table and thought, "Man, those are huge. I need a picture of these."

This is what the bottom part of the store looked like. You can see here what the regular filter looks like.

Here is the lens that I bought.

The other night we went to this coffee shop and I have to say...... it beat Starbucks. The guy made the best cup of coffee.

We past this animal shop and they had the largest turtle in the window. It was alive and moving around too.

They had horse drawn carriages that would take you anywhere around the city. We didn't take one but they looked like fun.

Then we went walked around another block and hit Paula Deen's place. She had a store next door to her restaurant. We were going to eat there but the next time they had open was 2:00 and that was too late for us.

This was one of the pictures hanging inside her store. The note on the flowers said, "Happy Mother's Day. Love, Bobby and Jamie."

This was one entrance into the restaurant from the shop.

We walked around another corner and saw this in a bar window. We think it's fake ID's. It was kind of interesting to see them posted in a window and what states they were from.

For lunch we drove to Uncle Bubba's. This was Paula Deen's brothers place. It was on the way out of town toward the beach. It was pretty good. I had the fried shrimp and coleslaw. The coleslaw was different from what I was expecting. It wasn't bad, just different.

Here is my key lime pie. It was the best I have ever eaten. It just dissolved in your mouth. The flavors were so rich and wonderful. If you ever stop at Uncle Bubba's try the key lime pie.

After lunch we drove down the street towards the beach. We found a place to park and walked out to the beach.

You can see how windy it was. It was crazy.

Nothing like your feet in the sand and sitting on a swing with your husband on a nice beach.

This reminds me of the movies who have beach scenes.  They have houses on the dunes and you just walk down to the beach. It was so beautiful and quiet.

I found a jelly fish on the beach. What else do you do with dead animals? You play with them of course. :)

 They had signs in the shape of turtles. It was cute.

As we were leaving there was a lighthouse out in the distance.

Do the turtles know where to cross?

I thought this was cool. A sailboat out in the distance heading out to sea.


We also stopped at a honey shop. They had multiple types of honey. They each had an interesting flavor and it was cool to taste them and experience each flavor.

We also stopped at The Spice & Teach Exchange. We got some cool spices and herbs. I can't wait to get home and try them out.

 When we were at the Davenport house, I bought myself a cool gift. I got a stick of wax and a stamp with the letter S on it. I'm super excited and really can't wait to send a letter with it. :)

We ate at The Old Pink House. It was very very good. The steak I had was so tender and melt in your mouth like butter.

The bread was so fresh, warm, and soft. I loved the rosemary one. I wish they had brought more.

 They seated us in what was the master bedroom. I loved the purple walls and the curtains.

I ordered the BLT salad. It was featured on the Food Network, "The Best Thing I Ate."

 Dave had the Braised Pork. It was marinated in pineapple for three hours. He had a side of old school mac and cheese. It was very tasty.

I had the Filet Mignon. Like I said, It was like butter. I melted in your mouth with every bite. The twice baked potato and asparagus was great too. 

Since we didn't order a dessert, they sent us a plate with Happy Anniversary on it and strawberries. It was a great way to end the dinner, simple, elegant, and light.

That was our day. Hope you enjoyed it. I know we did. We had a great time here in the city and will definitely come back.

We leave in the morning. I can't wait to get home and see my puppies. So glad I have dog sitters to watch them so they are locked up in a kennel.