Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year Excitement!!

You know I have a tub for every holiday.

Why should this one be any different?

You know I'm digging it all out.  Just crazy fun going on here today.  I've got you a glittery hat or, maybe you might wear a tiara tonight.  Gotta make some noise ~ woo-hoo with some clappers, clackers and horns.  You want some glitz - bring it on, we've got sparklers, disco balls, silver acorns, just everything sparkly silver and gold - you will be BEDAZZLED!  It's time to get out the punch bowl, set up the bar, shine the silver, line up the wine glasses, and crank up the music.   

Have a wonderful and safe evening wherever you are, whatever you do. 

Happy New Year Everyone!
You are such good friends.
I wish for you so many new and exciting things in 2012
   ~ Debi

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Past

It's over for me my friends.  Christmas is out the door.  I don't know what came over me, but yesterday the energy just took over and I was like something tribal packing all the red and green, jingle and jangle, bows and wrap, chocolate and nuts, mints, cakes, and cookies up and out the door.  I grabbed the turkey baster and sucked all the water out of the tree stand, hefted that tree up like some super hero and pulled that thing outside and threw it over the deck for my hunk of burning love to retrieve and do whatever he does with it.  If we were home more, I would leave it up longer, but with no one hardly here, I wanted to get on with it and clean my floors and get things back in order.  I welcome this New Year that is knocking on the door waiting to push 2011 into the past. I'm beginning to think about the Dash Diet, Mediterranean Diet, Weight Watchers, Low Carb..... OMG.  This has to be the year to make some changes for me.  Hello..... anyone else making any changes for a New You??? I'm always out the gate running at the beginning of a new year with fresh motivation and renewed energy, but something happens and I fizzle.  I must find some ways to keep my momentum going. 

Anyway, I only have a few boxes to get back downstairs and I'm pretty much done packing it away.  Last night, after all was done, I felt like I was getting the beginning of a viral thingy ... you know when you get chilled to the bone and feel a little achy.  I thought, oh dear lord, please don't let me be like this in the morning.  I had most of last week off and had to get back to work for the man today.  I went to bed early and felt like a million bucks today.  However, there are so many who have a really bad viral bug in my area, flu-like.  I didn't take the flu shot this year. Where is my Lysol can? 

Back to my thoughts on the New Year.  Dormant winter ~ a time to reflect on what worked and what didn't in my garden and what I want to change.  I know that I definitely want more big bloomers in 2012, more popping colors.  I know that I will cage and stake each tomato from the moment it is planted rather than wait until it's out of control.  I know I will plant more varieties of eggplant.  I never knew how much I would love those little purple things until this past summer.  I will plant some strange thing just for the sake of wondering what it will look like as it lifts its little arms toward the sun.  As for me, I hope to move more (as in exercise) and eat less.

Is your mind-set wiping the slate clean and starting on a new endeavor in the New Year?  I know some folks set a quit smoking date on the first day of the New Year.  It's a good time to set a goal ....  a weight loss challenge to yourself, letting your fingernails grow out, a goal of walking 30-45 minutes each day, etc.                                                                                   
Whatever it is about the New Year coming, it's a new chance to do it better, to be better, and accomplish more.  I jot my thoughts down like this in a little spiral bound notebook.  It keeps my focus on what my hopes and goals are.  So, just thinking fresh right now, trying not to get to outrageous with what I wish for myself in the coming 2012.  Wow - Twenty-Twelve, can you believe it??

My mind is full tonight and fingers are all over this new laptop.  Right now I hope all this posts like it should.  I don't think this is going to line up right for some reason.  I've got to get a mouse.  It's making me (bad word) CRAZY.  I've hit something that's taking me to the wrong place.  I'm out of here tonight  ~  Debi                                                                                  

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I Must Have Been Good

Oh my goodness ~ Yes sir-e, I was good.  Opened up a lap top early this a.m. and I'm thinking I'm already screwed.  My fingers are all over the place.  I think the break-in from desk top to lap is going to be a little challenging.  I'm so EXCITED.  I loaded that picture up there too!  I know I sound like a kid with a new toy, BUT hey, that's what it's exactly like!! 

We had a great Christmas Eve with my girls and boyfriends and, let's see 7 dogs.  We closed our store when the mall closed at 6:00 p.m.   Had a pretty decent last business day.  We ate  a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner at Spice Street Restaurant.  The atmosphere was so festive and everyone in the Christmas spirit.   Woke up this morning and cooked a tremendously big breakfast for the crew.  The agenda started off a little crazy ~ you know "let the dog in - let the dog out", but we got there.  Everyone here has been happy with their gifts.  It is nap time now for the fam.  Some never went to sleep!!   While they're having their little siesta, I'll throw the ham in the oven for a few ham biscuits later on.  Tradition speaks to a movie together on Christmas night.  Not sure yet what we will see.  Mission Impossible is climbing the totem pole from the guys as a winner; we'll see.    It might be tradition is broken as the house smells so good and it's so warm from the fire burning that we all just lazy-up and stay put.. 

Anyone headed out for after Christmas sales?  There is not one thing I need, but lots that I would like.  I'll probably stay put as there is major clean-up here to do. 

Hope everyone's day was fabulous.  My glass is raised to Christmas 2011. 

                                                           Have a great evening everyone ~ Debi 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Clock is Ticking ...

Merry Christmas each and everyone of you.  You are just tremendously the best out in Blog Land.  I have enjoyed so much reading and learning from you this past year.  You are a great bunch of folks. 

My little computer has had problems for about a month now throwing me off everytime I try to get on.  It's been very frustrating.  I haven't been able to interact with you a lot or maybe you have received partial weird things from me; I'm not sure what you've been getting, if anything.  It has taken too long to try to post any pictures so I gave up on that. 

In any case, just know I'm doing the same as you at this time of year.  The shopping is down to the wire.  I have company coming in today.  We are all back and forth in our store getting those hammocks out.  We've had a lot of rainy weather.  That just makes for a real pretty Christmas look at night, doesn't it? 

We had the girls here last night with boyfriends for a little Hannukah food.  Always drama ..... but always fun too.  Lots of laughs. 

Again, have a wonderful Christmas with you and yours ~ Debi

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Big Tom & Lavender Farm


I want to tell you about a tomato juice that I have fallen in love with over the past couple of years.  I discovered it in a specialty store when I was served a Bloody Mary over the holidays while browsing the store.  It's called "Big Tom" Spiced Tomato Juice. OMG! The best I have tasted.   This picture is a big bottle of it (for me).  They sell it in small individual bottles also which I have packaged and tied on a small bottle of Smirnoff vodka for a personal little Bloody Mary toddy gift.  It looks really cute wrapped up in red together

You might find it in your local ABC store or a specialty gift shop, or goggle them.   

They list all kind of ways to use it in recipes (Gazpacho, Red Snapper a few to mention).  It has just the right amount of spices and celery, peppers, Worcestershire sauce, and is very low sodium.  Their beverage company is in Bristol, Tennessee (another made in America). 

I have a secret room during the holidays.  Tables are stacked holding the "secret treasures" and packaging with bows and ribbons and bright colored papers for the holidays.  No one is to enter this room until I give the word to begin the transfer to the next room, which will be under the tree.  To say it's a little crazy in there, would be wayyyy  to nice ... it is "Outrageous" in the secret room this time of year. 

I made a trip to the Sunshine Lavender Farm's ( open house for the holidays yesterday.  Annie, the owner, is just adorable and has the cutest cottage home that was decorated Christmas-adorable. The heavenly smell of her lavender gifts filled the rooms.  You would not believe the taste of lavender infused hot chocolate.  She served that along with some favorite cookies and chocolates.  Of couse, she had sold out of the mix by the time I arrived.  But ... I did bring home her lavender brownie mix.  What a special Christmas treat that will be!! 
I didn't win a darn thing in the gift drawings, so I went home sad about that, but the visit to her lavender farm was Christmas-inspiring.  Her lavender was sleeping for the winter but when summer comes all of this will be full, full, full of those long stems of purple. 

Happy Holidays ~ Debi 


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Time is moving on whether I like it or not.  I thought I would be further along in my decorating than I am, but I just am not.  I took a ride out on the gator with a couple of the dogs to gather some pine greens and natural looking things to hang around.  Gracie and Potter (2 of the Jack Russell's) love to jump in and jump back out always on a scent and a few deep holes to leave behind. I love gallivanting around in the woods after all the leaves have fallen.  You find all kinds of pods and gumballs, nuts and things that have turned a natural organic, earthy color.  Love to add these with bay leaves and berries to make my own little bowl of potpourri. 

 I bought a Norfolk Island Pine to put in the sun room.  It is very different from the Frasier Fur from the mountains.  The Norfolk Island's boughs are feathery, more ornamental looking.  The larger tree (Frasier Fur) from the mountains is in the living room.  It's hard for me to get any good pictures for you with this little point and shoot camera.  I had asked Santa about a new camera .... and I'm really trying to be a very good girl!! (It's taking a whole lot of effort, trust me).
This little tree actually stands a little over 5 ft.  It is decorated with all these little forest critters  ~ deer, opossum, skunk, fox, etc. 

When I opened up my Christmas tubs, it was like being a kid again.  There were all these things I had purchased the day after Christmas last year from all the sales.  What possesses me to go to these sales, I have no idea.  I certainly don't need anymore decorations.  I told one of my daughters to please come get whatever she wants.  Presently, the only thing on the big tree are the little white twinkling lights and I think I like it like that.  It looks great at night, but WOW in the daytime, it looks like just a green tree in the corner.  Hubs keeps asking "When you gonna decorate that tree"?
Let's see honey bunny - I'm like, uh.... a little tired when I get home and maybe after I do the dog shuffle and fix some home cookin', I'll get around to that tree!

Oh yes sir-e, its a wonderful time of the year. 

It was 70 degrees here today, BUT the Canadian air is blowing down and temps are to drop drastically tomorrow into the 30's tomorrow night.  What a change!!

Anyone invited to any parties or are you having a party?  I need some ideas - New Year's is right around the corner.  
 Gotta scoot friends - Christmas tree is calling for attention - Later, Debi  

Sunday, December 4, 2011


I know, another chicken recipe.  Hold onto your hat - this is good  AND it's quick BECAUSE you can be sneaky and get a roaster from your grocery store already cooked.  With all that has to be done this time of year and, the weather cool to downright cold, I think this recipe will earn its keep.    


There are white chicken chili recipes out there, but I BEGGED for this one from the cooks at Southern Seasons in Chapel Hill, NC.  They had to give it to me.  I was there every day eating it, ordering it, making my friends try it, sticking a spoonful in their face "Here, try this, you're gonna love it".   I was their biggest fan.  They saw my face coming around the corner and they already had it ladeled up for me.  I tried breaking down the flavors to make it without having them divulge the secret, but something was missing.  So I asked loudly and they handed it over.   It is quick and it is good.  I will say you can change it up a little bit and not use all that heavy cream and make it more soupy and use a lower fat milk.  I make much larger batches of this and use a whole roaster chicken from Costco, more beans and more everything.   I am happy to share this with you thing. 

Southern Season's White Chicken Chili

Whole Chicken Breast seasoned with salt, pepper, and cumin.  Bake at 350 degrees until done (or use a roaster already cooked). 
1 Red Onion, medium dice
1/2 Cup jalapenos (chopped)
2 Cans Great Northern Beans
1 qt. Heavy Cream
1/2 qt. Milk
1/2 tsp. Cayenne
1 bunch cilantro
  • Saute red onions and jalapenos in a little olive oil in a large stew pot
  • Dice chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to vegetables
  • Add beans and cream and hold to a low simmer for 1 hour (this can be adjusted). Add cilantro and cayenne - Ready to serve.
                                            Grab a bowel & enjoy ~ Debi

Saturday, December 3, 2011

EASY Oreo Truffles

I know everyone is busy with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I've been looking at recipes for goodies for several weeks now and still go back to the ones that work and are not so complicated.  These oreo truffles are delicious.  I always get rave reviews and requests for more when I make them.  They're easy to make, package well, and a very pretty presentation when plattered alongside your other holiday sweets. 

OREO Truffles


1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate
Sandwich Cookies, divided
1 (8 ounce) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 (8 ounce) packages BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted

1. Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
2. Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.) Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.
3. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.
                             Enjoy ~ Debi