Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Merry Christmas from Heaven

I still hear the songs

I still see the lights

I still feel your love on cold wintery nights

I still share your hopes and all of your cares

I'll even remind you to say your prayers

I just want to tell youyou still make me proud

You still stand head and shoulders above the crowd

Keep trying each moment to stay in His grace

I came by here before you to help set your place

You don't have to be perfect all of the time

he forgives you the slip if you continue to climb

To my family and friends please be thankful today

I'm still close beside you

in a new special way.

I love you all dearly now don't shed a tear

Cause I'm spending my Christmas

with Jesus this year

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Making a big batch of Mr. Wilson's Sweet Seduction Marinated Carrots..... I hope you are looking down on me from heaven and smiling my dear friend. You are missed Everrett Greg Wilson.

Imitation is suppossed to be the sincerest form of flattery...but it really pisses me off. If you want to copy me and steal my ideas atleast make an effort to out do me.


Happy to say I have never done the Black Friday Madness and never will. I am all done with Christmas Shopping and Cards. Believe me I am even scared by my own


The other day my Mom asked me if I ever see Mackintosh's Quality Street Candies anywhere. Just a short time later I was at World Market and I found them with the new Christmas foodie items they had just put out. I bought a tin for me and one for my Mom.

As a little girl my Daddy worked in Europe and would always bring me wonderful delights from abroad. Mackintosh candies with their sparkly jewel toned wrappers were always a favorite. My Mom and I both seem to think there used to be some hard candies in the mix as well but that no longer seems to be the case.


Quality Street is a popular selection of individual sweets, usually contained in tins or boxes, manufactured in Halifax, in the United Kingdom by Nestlé.
Quality Street was launched in 1936 by Halifax confectioner
Mackintosh's, the name being inspired by a play of the same name by J. M. Barrie. 'The Major' and 'Miss', two figures inspired by the play's principal characters, appeared on all Quality Street boxes and tins until 2000.
The brand was acquired by
Nestlé when they bought Rowntree's in 1988.
In recent years, individual larger versions of the more popular chocolates have been manufactured and sold separately, as an extension to the brand.
In Western Norway, it is called "Shetlandsgodt" (Shetland Sweets), because it often was brought home by fishermen visiting
Shetland. In Iceland it is traditionally known as "Mackintosh."
The sweets within the box have changed and evolved over the years. As of December 2010, there are 12 flavours of the individually wrapped sweets, all of which are either
chocolate or toffee based, as follows:
Current varieties
Milk Chocolate Hazelnut with caramel (the 'Purple One')
Noisette Pate (the 'Green Triangle')
Chocolate Toffee Finger (gold wrapped stick)
Toffee Penny (gold wrapper)
Fudge (pink wrapper)
Strawberry Delight (red circular wrapper)
Coconut Eclair (blue wrapper)
Caramel Swirl (yellow
Milk Choc Block (green wrapper)
Orange Crunch (octagonal orange wrapper)
Orange Creme (orange circular wrapper)
Toffee Deluxe (Brown wrapper)
Source: From
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saturday, November 19, 2011



"This innovative blend from Beringer is the perfect harmony of Moscato, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. It brings together the vivid aromas and flavors of the Moscato grape with the classic red berry characteristics of Zinfandel and ripe black cherry flavors of Petite Sirah."~ Winery Notes

When I saw this Red Moscato from my favorite Vintner I was thrilled with my new discovery. Even better was the 10 bottles for 10$ sale they were having at Spec's. I can hardly wait to try this tonight

Lavender Syrup I wanted this for a recipe I have been wanting to try. I gave it a taste and its very sweet with the delicate taste of lavender.

I like everything I have ever purchased in the Rolands line. They have very interesting items. I like to pick up things like this to have on hand for quick appetizers for my Desperate Housewives parties.


This is one of the most unique booths I have come across in a while. The lady working the booth was knowledgeable and very friendly. She was more than happy to let us taste absolutely everything they were offering. She gave fantastic recipe and usage advice. I bought 2 balsamic vinegars a Fig and a Peach. The Peach was unlike anything I have ever tasted before, I fell in love with it immediately. My Mom choose Original Balsamic and Mandarin Balsamic both of those were great as well. In the middle jar is olive oil over Olives, sun dried tomatoes, herbs and feta cheese. Just the presentation was so beautiful I had to have it for my pantry. This is one of those vendors I will buy from again and again.

This is the Churches Cook Book. I always love the history that goes into a good church or community cookbook. There was a lovely write up in the Galveston Daily News about this one and it was number 1 on my Mom's must get list. We each bought a copy . I look forward to enjoying many recipes from it soon.

I am a flip flop, zebra print and Fleur De Lis fanatic, when I saw these, that incorporated all 3 of my loves, I knew I had to have them. I live in a place that rarely gets cold enough to have to wear closed in shoes. I can wear Flip Flops pretty much every day of the year. I think these are going to become a fast favorite.

These are Doggie Kerchiefs that can be slipped on the dogs collars. I bought these for my girls to wear this Christmas Season.

A charming couple ran this booth. The husband is the one who makes this sauce. The wife told me how her husband used to make the sauce for his Firefighter sons cook off team and it developed into a cottage industry. I thought that was great. I picked these up as a gift for my husband to go with his new Grill he is getting for Christmas

There is a man working on a project for my husband. I don't know him well, but he always wears a rosary around his neck, a Saint Medal and a Scapular. He is very polite and reverent and has a peace about him. Despite the long hours and hard work he does, his temperament is the same whether day or night. His contentment has made me long once again to become dedicated to my own Catholic faith. When I saw this rosary at the craft fair at a price I could not say no to. I bought it and will start wearing it as a constant reminder to take time for my faith, to pray the rosary which I used to do daily and love and learn the prayers in Italian. I know the rosary in English and in French, and a friend is after me to visit the nursing home and learn the Rosary in Italian from a lovely lady who may not have many more days to share her tradition.


The recipe:

1 1/2 oz Cointreau

1/2 oz Apple juice

1 oz Monin violet syrup

3/4 oz Fresh lemon juice
Frost ginger around the rim of the glass

I bought some Violet Syrup at Spec's today .

I really want to try this cocktail. I love all things Dita.


Sunflower Bakery and Cafe
512 14th St, Galveston, Galveston Island, TX 77550

For years I have gone to and loved the Sunflower Bakery and Cafe.

I have followed them every time they changed locations.

I couldn't think of a place that had better menu items, quality food, and hands on ownership.I respected the owners for their dedication to the community.

My parents bought breads , desserts and cakes from them for all our holiday celebrations .

All that changed today.

I came home to the island to visit family and Christmas shop. My Mom suggested Sunflower and we were all excited to go. Parking is almost always a nightmare there but we lucked out and got a Spot right in front at noon, none the less.

When we walked in I noticed it wasn't jam packed like usual. Anyway the 3 of us were seated and given menus (2 lunch menus,3 breakfast menus), I told the waiter we all wanted lunch and could I please have another lunch menu since I didn't get one. He said they didn't have enough and I would have to share my Moms .

When I looked at hers I was surprised none of the delectable items I used to adore there were on the menu. Nothing on it was overly appealing , so instead of getting up and walking out . We ordered 3 Tomato Basil Soups and 3 BLTS.

I had to pick out a chunk of onion and a huge piece of hard stewed tomato from my soup. This piece of onion and tomato were not spoon size by any means, they were practically whole. Aside from that the soup was good.

The BLTS arrived my Dad bit into his, and immediately said man this bacon is rock hard they must have had it left over from breakfast or something. All our Bacon was hard and the fries extremely over cooked. We paid $41 for 3 cups (not bowls ) of soup and 3 BLTS.

We took the scraps for the dogs, for $41 at least someone should get to eat it.

Anyway we walked to a shop next door, and I asked the guy at the desk if the same folks owned the Sunflower, he said yes , I said well it was terrible and definitely not the same, about that time Lisa Blair owner of The Sunflower walks around the corner and begins to chastise me that we should have sent our food back and had them fix something else instead of talking bad about her restaurant. I began to tell her the things we didn't care for, but she arrogantly made the motion "like talk to the hand" and walked out on us. I would have never ever expected that reaction from her. Needless to say we were all offended in her handling of it. In the car on the way home we all decided that would be the last time we would ever go to sunflower.

**Send it back and have them fix something else

Who does not know that if you do that something really bad is going to happen to your food..

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


One of my dear friends brought me a cook book from her native Scotland. Anyway I made a big pot of Cock a leekie soup for some little get together and it went over really well and several ladies asked me for the recipe, so I made copies from the recipe page and handed them out. The ladies were quite excited when the first Ingredient was 1 young cock. They all wanted to know where they could buy one of Needles to say I can not make that soup with out a little

"Braveheart" Cock-A-Leekie Soup

1 3.5lb young cock; cut into 8 pieces
1 lb Beef shanks; cut into 1-inch pieces
6 c Chicken stock
3 sl Thick cut bacon
1 tb Dried leaf thyme
1 Bay leaf
3/4 c Pearl barley
1 1/2 c Chopped leek; white only
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tb Chopped parsley
Directions:Put the cock, beef, stock, bacon, thyme, and bay leaf in a large, heavy pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Meanwhile boil barley in 1 1/2 cups water for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Remove chicken for pot. When cool enough to handle, debone and set aside. Add leeks and barley to the pot, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove beef shanks and debone. Chop meat coarsely, and return to the pot, along with the chicken. Simmer covered, for 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with parsley.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Father, All-Powerful and Ever-Living God, today we rejoice in the holy men and women of every time and place. May their prayers bring us your forgiveness and love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. —All Hallows Eve Prayer

I am deeply steeped in Tradition, I always visit the cemetery, not just on All Soul's Day but many times during the year. I decorate the graves every season and visit on special days. For me, my family lives on in my memories and in my heart as long as I do what I do they will never truly die or be forgotten.

Soul, soul, an apple or two,

If you haven't an apple, a pear will do,

One for Peter, two for Paul,

Three for the Man Who made us all.

Every year I give out school supplies instead of candy to the trick or treaters. I figure pencils, erasers and sharpeners will last longer and be alot more useful than candy.



I was shopping and happened upon these Seasonal limited edition Ice Creams Pumpkin, Egg Nog and Candy Cane. Immediately my mind went retro and I started thinking about the Ice Cream Pies I used to make. I also had to throw a couple of containers of Seasonal French Vanilla Cool whip in the cart as well.

Ice Cream Pie Recipes

1 quart Ice Cream Softened

1 graham cracker, shortbread, or oreo pre made pie shell

1 Container Cool whip

optional: Hershey's chocolate syrup, magic shell, or chocolate shavings, maraschino cherries


1. I generally place softened ice cream in a mixing bowl and hot it with the mixer til its smooth

2. Spread Ice Cream into pie shell making a nice raised center

3. Put it in the freezer to chill about 30 mins

4. Take out and garnish

Garnish ideas

a. cover with whipped cream, sprinkle chocolate shavings and put a cherry in the center

b. Use Magic Shell and form a lattice pattern over cake and promptly put in freezer to set

3. drizzle Hershey's syrup and add dollops of whipped cream to each slice.

I will use Oreo crust with candy cane ice cream, graham cracker crust with pumpkin and with egg nog ice creams

Nutcracker Market
Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 10:00am - Sunday, November 13, 2011 - 6:00pm
Houston, TX 77054

Over 325 national and international merchants, offering unique items for the entire family, including home décor, gourmet food, apparel, accessories, toys, garden items, and much more … just in time for holiday shopping!
Show Times & Dates Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 10 AM - 9 PM Friday, November 11, 2011 at 10 AM - 9 PM Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 10 AM - 6 PM Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 10 AM - 6 PM
Tickets Advanced tickets may also be purchased at Houston-area Randalls for $11.00 beginning October 17, 2011. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $12.00. Half-price admission is available daily 3 hours prior to closing. Children under 5 are free. Groups of 20 or more will receive a discount of $2.00 off the regular admission price if purchased in advance.
Parking Fee per vehicle is $10.* *Parking rates are subject to change without notice.

This is the 2nd year in a row, I have got to meet Kristen Alfonso. I am a big fan of Days of Our Lives, so seeing her is always a perk for going to the Market.

I am a Foodie so I am immediately intrigued by any easy gourmet sounding meal, I can impress my friends with. If Winter finally shows up this year these soups will be fantastic.
Potato Leek, Tomato Basil, and French Onion.
I will add a few drops of truffle oil to the Potato Leek, a garlicky toasted bruschetta to the Tomato Basil and ofcourse a gooey Gruyere covered slice of rye bread to the French Onion.

Leibman's is always one of my favorite vendors. I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Leibman a few years ago at a Nigella Lawson Book signing. She is a wonderfully charming, and creative lady that has a way of bringing out the very best in food. I tasted a sample of the Shrimp dip and the Pesto dip and loved them. They will come in handy for Holiday company. Generally I buy more but I still have a well stocked pantry of goodies I haven't even gotten to use yet.

This brand Allure is new to me. They had a lovely display and very nice people working the booth. I bought Vanilla Almond scented potpourri and Room Spray.

It was time I threw out my old dusty faded potpourri and replace it. The Allure Potpourri has a pretty mix of organics and looks beautiful in crystal bowls around the house. I sprayed my fresh bed linens with the room spray. The scent didn't last long on the sheets, but it was worth a try. Its a nice fresh scent that isn't floral. Normally I am very much a flower girl, but I did like this scent very much.

My number one client and good friend let me leave work an hour early to go to the Market when I said I'd bring him some pralines. He is from Louisiana so I knew I had better come back with the real McCoy. I found the New Orleans Candy Co. booth and knew I had hit a winner. Very nice people at that booth with loads of samples and goodies.

Anyone who knows me well , knows I am a Glitzy Glam gal with Domestic Goddess dreams of grandeur. I have a world class apron collection. I saw a woman wearing a red one like this. I immediately liked it but didn't like the $45 price tag, I put it on the back burner for my first run thru of the market. Since I didn't go overboard or break the bank with what I did buy, I went back and bought this Red Sequin apron it has ruffles on the bottom that are hard to see in the picture. It also comes in black and gold.

It will be good the next time I want to play Sexy Housewife for the husband, Ooh La La. Hopefully he doesn't sleep thru my


This year I decided to take the Pedi-cab/tuk tuk from the back 40 of the parking lot to the golden doors of Reliant Center. No reason to use up all my energy hiking when I could be using it for commando shopping. I used the Pedi-Cab to and from the center to my vehicle. The guys work for donations. I gave them a $5 each ride.


When I told my husband they had several bars set up in Reliant Center as well as a couple in the parking lot, I think I changed his mind about going to craft fairs with me


I was disappointed the Foot Massage guys were not there this year. Last year I saw these great old timey wooden shoe shine seats. Upon closer inspection there were men offering foot massages while ladies sipped Mimosa's. Who ever came up with that idea is a genius.


Every woman there will be dressed to the nine's. You will be shocked at how many stylish gorgeous women of all ages are there. So glam it up, or get ignored like an ugly step sister.

You have just paid $21 to get in the place, that's more than guys pay for cover charges at Strip Clubs. This is an event, a place to see and be seen. So live it up!

Men are allowed- generally they are parked in a corner to watch your bags and the bags of all your friends.

There is a lingo , a kind of silent code, the double entendre,... If someone smiles at you and says excuse me, (just know that there is a silent "bitch" on the end of that) and you should get out of the way. Prices are clearly marked on everything- So if you have to ask, either you are blind or you cant afford it. Questions? Ok most if not all products have no moving parts and are really self explanatory. So don't hang around the register asking questions about some product you aren't going to buy anyway while 5 people are actually trying to check out,if you'd just get out of the way. I think more sales are lost due to "Strollers" than anything else.

Strollers and Rollings bags are not allowed. Ok , we all understand baby strollers and rolling grocery cart/totes, but that's the politically correct version.

To expand the definition to include what it means literally. Strollers- those who slowly trudge thru the market congesting traffic and hovering over the samples counter like its a buffet with no intention of buying.

Rolling Bags (Not meant to offend my elders, but) Old ladies/Men on Motorized scooters or walkers. This is such a crowded pedestrian area you will become a hazard to yourself and others.

If you have children get a babysitter, I saw one woman with a kid in a backpack and thought she is going to be hating herself in about 30 mins and ready to dump the kid and backpack into the nearest trash bin in an hour. There may have been 2 toddlers wandering around, I didn't see them for long. Your kids may be precious to you, but in this stampede of shopping frenzy they will quickly become trampled over speed bumps.

This is the female equivalent to Running with the bulls in Spain.


Rachel C.
Houston, TX
Ok, here's the Down Low...Everything is expensive. It doesn't matter. You will get swept into the hysterical madness and find yourself gasping and fighting for the perfect Christmas decorations that you have never wanted/needed until THIS VERY SECOND. You will shove people and you will not be embarrassed. You will leave with a lot of bags that will sit in your closet. And you will love it and drool when you think of next year.Not a good place for kids-- no strollers allowed and no toys sold in general, so just leave them home with the hubs. Plus, I'm already irritated with the sheer number of people so keep your child out from under my feet.Has some regular old stuff here too... bought myself a new pair of Toms that I rocked all around Vegas.You are going to have to park about five years away so wear good shoes and a light jacket-- you will hate yourself if you wear a coat, regardless of how cold it is outside it is a sauna inside. You can take the free tram or bus to the gate but hold on and be ready for hell on wheels...Buy your ticket from a Randal's or online before you go so you can breeze past the line and make sure to grab a map.Def eat before you go, but be ready, regardless, to shell out some bucks for a coke and a snack to sit down and give those 'dogs a rest.Bottom Line: I hate to shop. But my mom and I walked inside the Market for seven hours and considered going back the following day as we had so much fun. Need I say more?