Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Cream cheese pound cake3

Don’t you love a good pound cake? I had cream cheese on my counter along with fresh butter at room temperature and they just seemed to be calling my name. I usually make sour cream pound cake and it’s my favorite, ¬†but this cream cheese takes the cake. Oh, wait, it is cake…. ūüėČ

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

The Pound Cake Pep Talk

Do you stress about baking a pound cake? Don’t. A pound cake is so simple to put together…nothing complicated at all. The main issue people have sometimes, including me, ¬†is under-cooking… That little wet streak you see sometimes running through a cake is called a “sad streak”. It’s sad because didn’t get cooked all the way. That’s ok. It may mean your oven is not baking as hot as it needs to. ¬†You can adjust the ‘time’ next time. Or it could be the humidity or the amount of liquid is off. ¬†Just remember to make a note of it, so you won’t forget next time. And add a few more minutes to the amount of time you bake. BTW, sad streaks are fairly common and there is nothing wrong with the cake. Some people actually like a sad streak.

And if you happen to over-bake your cake and it’s too dry. It may be that your oven bakes too fast. Shorten the bake time next time. ¬†It’s still going to be good. You can cut it into chunks and make a trifle layered with pudding, whipped cream and fruit on top. Practice makes perfect. Don’t think because it messed up once, that you’re a failure. Not so. My daughter is the expert pound cake baker and even she has had a cake or two not turn out. So remember…. try, try again…..

Cream cheesde pound cake slice

And after a couple of days this Cream Cheese Pound Cake is even better! The flavor of the cream cheese gets richer each day. I added a vanilla glaze but a¬†lemon glaze would be just as good! So, what are you waiting for? Leave your butter and cream cheese on the counter and when you get a few, in the next day or so, bake this….it’s perfectly delicious.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 8oz block cream cheese
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup 10X sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbls milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300* Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan
  2. Cream butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add sugar and cream together for 10 minutes
  4. Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each one, until well blended
  5. Add salt and vanilla
  6. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until mixed well
  7. Pour into prepared pan
  8. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
  9. Cool cake and drizzle with glaze
  10. Enjoy!
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Jesus in Genesis Pg 3 The Bride of Jesus

Bride and groom entering the church (concept for marriage made ??by God to unite a man and a woman in a single body)

Today we turn the page in our dusty old album and find wedding photos.   The day of the first wedding, ever.  Marriage is important to God because reflects a picture of God’s character to the world. Or at least it should! 

One of the first things we learn about God‚Äôs character from looking at marriage is that God is love‚Ķthe world should see love when they see a marriage. God is patient. They should see patience. God is long-suffering. What marriage doesn‚Äôt have its ups and down and times of suffering? ¬† But we are called to endure during these times, even if we have to ‚Äúsuffer long.‚ÄĚ ¬†I could go on and on‚Ķbut you understand. Marriage is a direct reflection of God to the world. That’s why God takes it seriously.

God created Adam and it was not good for him to be alone.   We need a bride to have a wedding….. So, God caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam and took a rib from his side and built him a Bride.

There are many places in the New testament where Adam is contrasted with Jesus…but in this story Adam is a picture of Jesus. Adam said when he saw Eve for the first time…

‚ÄúThis is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man. ¬†Therefore shall and man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh.‚ÄĚ Genesis 2:23-24

This is a picture of Jesus that we can’t really fully understand without looking back from the New Testament.

Ephesians 5:30 “For we are now members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother and be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I am speak concerning Christ and the church.    

This is almost a direct quote from what Adam said when he was presented with Eve leaving us no doubt it’s a picture we see in Genesis of Jesus and God’s plan for the future.

God put Adam into a deep sleep and took from his side a rib. From that rib he fashioned a woman. When she was fully complete God brought her to Adam.

Jesus was put to death and his side was pierced and by the work of the Holt Spirit a bride is being fashioned for Jesus. When the bride is finished we will also be presented to our groom.

Ephesians makes it clear when Paul says:…Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of the water by the word.  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that it should be holy and without blemish. ….This is the great mystery; but I speak of Christ and the Church. Ephesian 5:25-32

Adam is the perfect picture of Jesus:

Jesus left his Father’s house to gain a bride at the price of his own life.

Like Adam, Jesus was ‚Äėput to sleep‚Äô to purchase His bride, the Church.

Like Adam, Jesus’ side was opened, after he had fallen asleep.

The justifying blood and cleansing water spilled out.

And out of ¬†Adams’ side a bride was brought forth. And the wounded side of Jesus will¬†bring forth for Him a Bride‚Ķ.the church.

Adam’s sleep that brings forth a bride exactly reflects God’s plan to bring forth a bride (the Church) from Jesus’s side and death.

Next week we will see how Adam gave his life to save his bride.

See you then!

 

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

sourdough cinnamon rolls2

I won’t waste your time explaining how delicious and easy these are to make. And I won’t tell you that this is one more wonderful way to use the extra sourdough starter that we usually have to toss at a feedings.

I won’t bore you with little stories of how long I’ve been making cinnamon rolls (45 years) or that when I was a young mama I sold them to make money to Christmas shop for my babies. Nor about the mile long trek through the snow and ice I had to make to sell them. ¬†(not)

What I will say is LOOK AT THIS PICTURE.

sourdough cinnamon rolls

And Here’s the recipe!!!

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sourdough starter, fed and risen almost double
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBLS sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients and knead with mixer until smooth. Remove and place in oiled pan and allow to rise until doubled.
  2. Roll out into rectangle and top with butter. brown sugar, nuts and raisins.
  3. roll up and slice.
  4. Place on buttered cookie sheet one inch apart
  5. Allow to rise
  6. Bake 400* until lightly browned
  7. Top with glaze:
  8. 1 cup 10X sugar
  9. 4-6 TBLS milk
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Jesus in Genesis Pg 2 Jesus is the Light

really old  book isolated on white background.

Most of my life I thought that the main purpose of the book of Genesis was to tell the story of¬†creation. It¬†is¬†one of the reasons we have the book of Genesis, but the primary purpose is to reveal God’s plan of redemption for mankind…and that plan is about Jesus.

As the Spirit of God moves upon the Earth, we see another picture when God said “Let there Be Light, and there was light.” ¬†Jesus himself said, ” I am the Light of the World.” Jesus said, ¬†” I am come into this world, that whosoever believeth on me should not dwell in darkness.” John 12:46

On the second day of Creation God separated the waters of the Earth from the Heavens. Jesus, the Light of the world,  is the great separator. He separates the things of this world from the things of heaven. He separates light from darkness.

John 3:19-21 says “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil, hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh into the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that are wrought in God.”

Ephesians 5:8-13 reminds us…”For you were once darkness but now your light is the light of the Lord. Live as children of the Light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. ¬†¬†Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, rather expose them. ¬†For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.”

God made it clear from the beginning that there would be a distinct difference between the things of heaven and the things of earth. Between light and darkness, between good and evil. And Jesus is that difference.

 

Beauty from Ashes Birdbath

Beauty from ashes birdbath

Our friend’s home burned down. It was a spectacular home and we were all saddened by the news that this beautiful home had burned to the ground. I had painted a chinoiserie design on a buffet for her a couple of years before and as I left, ¬†I mentioned I was working on a mosaic birdbath. She was intrigued and said she wanted to talk to me about making one for her garden.

And then word came of her home burning. All I could think about was all the memories that had been made in this home over the past 40+ years. That’s when I decided to try and get some of her china to make her birdbath. I thought about it a few days and then called a mutual friend to see if she might know who I could call to gather dishes.

As it turned, out my friend wanted to help with the project also. ¬†I had helped her last year complete a birdbath for her friend, so I was happy she wanted to be a part of the surprise. ¬†She¬†called our friend’s son to see if he could gather some plates and dishes for us from the ashes. He was all on board to surprise his mother.

The fire actually burned for days and there was very little to salvage, but he was able to collect enough for the Beauty From Ashes Birdbath. We were so excited. This picture shows a few of the leftover dishes we didn’t use. Talk about dirty dishes. We had to “do the dishes” before we could get started!

dirty dishes

The fire was over a year ago and the new house has been well underway all year long.  This past month we began working on the birdbath. Scrubbing and washing all the usable dishes and china was the first order of business.

I wish I had taken a before photo of the burned plates. They were a mess.

Beths Mosiac Birdbath

Then we started cutting the pieces and deciding which colors to use. Most were blues, reds and oranges so the decision was made for us. I just hoped these were dishes that meant something and not some obscure dishes found in the rubble.

Beths mosaic birdbath trey cu

Her son offered to help with his mother’s gift and we were so glad he did. As it turned out he is very artistic himself! And pretty talented at cutting tiles.

We laid out the shards to make sure we had enough. And how much of each color. My friend said she would work on the layout later that day.

beths mosaic birdbath design

The road to decide on an arrangement of the colors and design took several turns… ¬† All day we sent messages back and forth with photos and suggestions until finally we arrived at the perfect layout. It’s nice to have a friend who loves creating as much as I do. ¬†We’re kindred spirits. Eventually we arrived at a design and we are so pleased with the final results.

For interest my friend added a couple of handles from a teacup and mug, as well as a bow from a Christmas decoration.

beths birdbath handle

They were a perfect addition!

beths birdbath cup

How cute is that? I can just picture the little birds perching here before diving into the water for a bath!

beths birdbath adding interest

The center was from a treasured piece of pottery her brother had given as a gift, something we would not have known without her son being there!   So we made it the focal point. Glass beads add sparkle and shine to birdbaths and so we made sure to use them along the border and gently sprinkled inside.

Beths birdbath

When all the grouting was finished I painted the base a navy blue. It’s not necessary, but we thought it finished off the birdbath nicely. I had painted my poppy birdbath base and liked the look.

Sunday we delivered the birdbath. Our friend was delighted and recognized every single piece of china and where it had been in the house…urns on the mantle, platter on a table, the china she was serving ¬†her dinner guests from the night of the fire….her brother’s pottery gift…the Christmas bow, their mugs and coffee cups. That was priceless to me. I wanted the birdbath to bring happy memories and it seems as if it will.

beths birdbath

And for another surprise, her son took extra shards to his young nieces and taught them to make stepping stones to match the birdbath. They were the icing on the cake. The youngest granddaughter was beside herself with excitement to give them to her GiGi on Sunday.

beth birdbath

Our Beauty from Ashes Birdbath turned out to be stunning…..at least we think so!

As we were working on the birdbath, I was reminded of how God takes the broken pieces of our lives and transforms them into something beautiful. ¬†If we will trust Him with our broken places, He can make us useful ¬†in ways we never dreamed. And even though we may have many ‘broken places” in our lives this experience has shown me that the more brokenness we have, the more chances we have of ‘the beautiful’ shining through. We simply need to entrust our lives to the hand of the Creator.

Something beautiful, something good…all my confusion He understood. All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, ¬†but He made something beautiful of my life.

Bill and Gloria Gaither

Jesus in Genesis Page 1

old and vintage open holy bible

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted this….my most favorite lessons from the Bible…. Jesus in Genesis. If you’ve never been on this journey with me before, ¬†I think you may be surprised at how many pictures of Jesus there are in Genesis. In fact, ¬†it’s as if the whole book is pointing to Jesus and God’s plan to send him to die for our sins. ¬†It’s amazing to me and I hope you will be as amazed as I’ve been. ¬†Truly, I honestly believe…you’re going to love this!

Are you a skeptic? I understand. We are such enlightened people and so educated it’s difficult to think that anything so seemingly archaic could have anything to do with us and our lives. But let me assure you …the Bible is the Holy Word of God. It’s more than relevant to us today. The Word of God is living. Take a few minutes of your time to consider this post. And the posts in the next few weeks…. You may be surprised.

I love to take pictures. I’m not a professional by any means, but I enjoy setting the stage and making sure the background is as presentable as the object I’m photographing. It matters, you know?

I wouldn’t want ¬†to see dirty dishes in the background of a group photo at Thanksgiving. ¬†Nor would I want ¬†the newspaper the dog tore up in the yard showing up in photos taken Easter morning as the children look for eggs.

Or the true to life incident happened last year when I attempted to take a photo of my decorated house for Christmas cards and a dead limb was hanging from a tree, ¬†blocking the front of my house……yes, that happened. It wasn’t a huge limb, but it was there, none the less. ¬† If all of this matters to me, why wouldn’t the details matter to God? I think they do.

Doesn’t it stand to reason that the Creator of the universe would want to have everything picture perfect in His story? That’s what History¬†is : His Story.

Pictures of Jesus in Genesis is one of my favorite topics. I hope to make it  yours, too! Time to dust off the old Bible and see whose pictures we can find.

The well known scientist, Herbert Spencer, lived in the 1800’s and was a great proponent of Darwinism. He was first to apply survival of the fittest to humans. ¬†He determined, that in order for anything to be categorized ¬†according to scientific ¬†examination, it had to fall into at least one of the following categories:

Time, Force,  Action, Space or Matter.

These 5 categories according to Spencer encompasses all that ¬†truly ¬†exists in the universe. So, basically, everything that is “real and true” will fall into at least one of these categories… His categories for scientific examination are still in use today.

Did you know the first picture of Jesus is found in Genesis 1:1?

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.”

“How’s that a picture of anything, you ask?”¬†Well, we read in John 1:1-3 that this verse is actually talking about Jesus.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

The world was created by the spoken word of God and we read further in

John 1:14 “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us”…and we beheld his glory as the only begotten of the Father.”

Jesus is the Word of God.

No less than 10 times in the book of Genesis does it say “and God said…” ¬† The whole world was spoken into being by his word. Jesus was right there from the beginning. In fact, ¬†He was there with God, before the creation of the world.

Colossians 1:17 says ¬†“And He is before all things and by him all things consist.” Before anything was..He was there.

It’s such a thrilling story that unfolds in the first book of the Bible. I hope you’ll come back next¬†Sunday and turn the page with me….

Oh, and that philosopher….Mr. Spencer? He was sooooo smart. ¬†Really, ¬†smarter than he realized….You see:

In the beginning ~ TIME

God ~  FORCE

Created ~ ACTION

the Heavens ~ SPACE

and the Earth ~ MATTER

I told you you’d love it!

See you next week…. :)

Marinated Cucumber and Tomato Salad

marinated cucumber and tomato salad

I don’t know about you, ¬†but Summertime in the South means looking for anything to keep me out of the kitchen for very long and lots of light Summery dishes to keep everyone cool. Marinated Cucumber and Tomato Salad is one of my favorite go-to salads of Summer. ¬†It’s quick and easy and cool and delicious..perfect for Summer. ¬† This¬†nutritional side dish complements any meal from hamburgers to steaks and from chicken to seafood.

Raw vegetables are always a healthy choice and when you combine onions with fresh dill weed you’ve added even more nutritional value to the tomatoes and cucumbers, not to mention the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and olive oil.

Begin with one or two cucumbers, peeled and cut into about 1/4 inch slices. 1 cup of cherry tomatoes cut in half. Always cut cherry tomatoes in half, ¬†so they don’t squirt out of ¬†your mouth when you bite them….just saying. You may use fresh tomatoes cut into chunks, if you prefer.

I use Sweet Vidalia Onions. In case you didn’t know….Vidalia is pronounced “VI (long ‘I’)- Dale- Ya” ¬†NOT “Vee DAhl Ya.” I live 40 miles from VI-dale-ya ….. So, for those who want to be ‘in the know’…now you know. :) About a cup of sliced Vidalia Onions…or any sweet onion.

For the marinade use: 1/2 cup fresh dill weed, 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/2 Olive Oil,  2/3 cup granulated sugar. You may increase the sugar or vinegar to suit your tastes. Salt and Pepper to taste.

marinated cucumber tomato salad

The amounts will vary,  based on how many people you plan on serving. You can use this amount of marinade for up to double the vegetables listed above. Just splash in some more vinegar and oil, if you need more.

marinated cucumber and tomato salads

If you use cold vegetables out of refrigerator,  it should be ready to serve immediately. If vegetables are at room temperature you may want to chill in fridge at least 30 minutes.

Any variety of vegetables may be included in this recipe. Or you may choose to use¬†‘cucumbers only.’

 

Marinated cucumber tomasalad

Stay cool this Summer with this Marinated Cucumber and Tomato Salad. Enjoy!

Marinated Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 Cucumbers, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 medium onion peeled and chopped
  • MARINADE:
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill weed
  • 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Olive Oil
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine marinade ingredients and set aside.
  2. Toss all vegetables together in a bowl.
  3. Pour marinade over top and toss to cover..
  4. Cover with Plastic wrap
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 30 mins.
  6. Enjoy!
  7. Vegetables MAY BE DOUBLED. Toss in more vinegar and oil if needed.
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Pappa al Pomodoro aka Italian Bread Soup

Pappa al pomodoro12

Pappa al Pomodoro is the ultimate Italian comfort soup. It’s what makes Italian men and boys come home to mama. ¬†I was reading a novel a few weeks ago and the protagonist mentioned slipping into a cafe his first evening in Tuscany and being served this delightful soup that made him forget his troubles…

Ok. I could use some of that.

I’m making no promises, but for the moment, I confess getting lost in the delicious combination of basil and tomato sopping its way through my sourdough. ¬†From a girl who considers Campbell’s Cream of Tomato Soup one of my go-to comfort foods….let me just say…this stuff is the ultimate comfort.

papa al pomodoro3

Since I’ve been on a quest to find recipes for my sourdough obsession, this jumped off the page into my lap. I did some research and found it is also called Bread and Tomato Soup or Italian Bread Soup. It’s a very rustic peasant soup with loads of flavor. ¬†And it’s so easy to throw together for lunch. The great thing is, ¬†it uses leftover sourdough bread or any kind of hearty bread you have on hand.

papa al pomodoro2

Pappa al Pomodoro  is perfect made with fresh tomatoes or canned. The basil growing outside my kitchen has never been put to a better use.

papa al pomodoro1

So, while I can’t promise all your troubles will melt away, I can promise it will be a hearty, satisfying and deliciously comforting soup. ¬†And who knows, your troubles just might melt away.

Pappa al Pomodoro or Italian Bread Soup is the comfort of comfort soups. Enjoy!

Papa al Pomodoro aka Tomato and Bread Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup torn basil leaves or 1 TBLS dried basil
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 3-4 cups stale, day old, bread cubes
  • Garnish: Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Saute minced garlic in 2 TBLS olive oil over medium heat, until fragrant, 1 minute.
  2. Add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes. Add broth, stock and bread cubes. Cook 10 minutes on low heat.
  3. Serve in bowls garnished with remaining olive oil and parmesan cheese
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Southern Baked Beans with Bourbon

southern style baked beans with bourbon

How about some Southern Styled Baked Beans with Bourbon for your next cookout? Who wants Boston Baked Beans with little sugar, no bourbon, no bacon and simply northern?   When you can make these beans full of brown sugar, bacon and bourbon? The only thing Northern in these babies are the beans. I did use Northern Beans, but then, I turned on the Southern charm and sass.

These beans are not made from canned beans. No ma’am. They are made from dried beans and they take all day to cook. I know that sounds like a pain, but really they aren’t. And besides that, ¬†they are worth.every.single.minute.

Your kitchen will smell heavenly all day long.

Before you get turned off, ¬†let me assure you, ¬†this is not a slave over the stove recipe. It’s a mix it up, put it in the oven and let it cook….all day long.

My daughter wanted me to go the the antique mall with her in the midst of cooking these. I told her I was baking beans that cook all day long. She said “Mama, why would you do that to yourself?” ¬†I told her to step inside.

The fragrant aroma melted her heart. Later on the taste sold her. And not only that, because they cook slowly, with lots of liquid, I was able to go to the antique mall with her. My husband was home, mind you. I don’t ever recommend you leave the house with anything baking in the oven all day…regardless of what the recipe says. But I did take an hour to run to the store with her, leaving my trusty husband at home.

southern baked beans with bourbon2

Why not just pop a can of baked beans? Well to begin with, dried beans are extremely good for you.  They provide dense nutritional value. They are a complex carbohydrate and low on the glycemic index. They contain beneficial dietary fiber and help to lower  LDL without compromising good HDL. They are a major source of protein, low in fat and are rich in Iron and B vitamins as well as plant phytochemicals. According to the American dietary guidelines we need 3 cups of dried beans a week.

Another reason….¬†they are very cost efficient. One bag makes enough for a party, large family or leftovers to freeze. So it’s possible to feed your family a very healthy diet on a budget. Win-win.

But what about the embarrassing issues associated with beans? No problem.  Let me tell you how to solve that problem. Dried beans need to be soaked overnight to rehydrate. Still, sometimes there remain embarrassing issues.

So to remedy the embarrassment… :) The night before cooking, I cover them with water in a large pot and bring them to a boil. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat off and allow the beans to sit in hot liquid over night.

In the morning, ¬†pour off ¬†the liquid and rinse the beans with cool water. ¬†Then cover with cold water again and bring them to a boil again. This time I allow them to simmer for awhile on low. It doesn’t matter how long.

It’s according to how much time I have. ¬†Anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours. While they simmer, I cook breakfast, make the beds and get dressed. ¬† Or I start getting everything ready for the recipe and simmer them very little.

When I’m ready to add the beans to the mixture, ¬†I drain and rinse them once again. At this point you should have no problem whatsoever with “the bean embarrassment issue.”

Now, for the recipe. The night before, sort your beans in a large flat pan. Pick out the broken, cracked or discolored beans and throw away.

southern baked beans sorted

In a large pot cover beans with cold water and bring to a boil. Allow to sit, covered, overnight.

southern baked beans soaked

Drain and rinse in the morning. In the morning, cover with water and boil again….do you see the foam? Guess what that equals when you eat beans that have not been prepared properly? Lots and lots of gas…nope, not kidding. So, unless your teenage son has entered a contest….we don’t want this.

southern baked beans foamy

After it has simmered the next morning, pour this stuff off again. Rinse. Now, it’s safe to add beans to recipe. But first, while it simmers…..

Gather your ingredients…

southern  baked beans ingreds2

Cut up about 1/2 pound bacon and fry in a large dutch oven until crispy. Remove bacon from pan,  leaving drippings in the pan. Save the bacon to add prior to serving.

southern baked beans bacon

Next, sautee one large onion cut up in bacon drippings.

southern baked beans onion

To onions add all remaining ingredients and 6 cups of water in the large dutch oven pot.  Cover and bake in over 275* for 6+ hours.

If you’re concerned about the bourbon, I promise all the alcohol will be evaporated in the 6+ hours they cook…but, it may be omitted altogether, if you prefer. Out of bourbon?¬†Rum is a good substitute.

southern baked beans pan

Check them every hour and stir the pot. Toward the end of baking,  check to see if sauce is getting thick and taste for tenderness.  If sauce is thickening and beans are not tender enough, add one cup of water and cook longer.

If beans are tender you may remove lid during last hour and continue to cook in oven until thickened. Just watch more closely toward end and stir occasionally. The sauce will thicken more as it cools, so allow for that….don’t over cook.

I transfer mine into a bean pot to serve. Stir in crispy bacon.  Serve!

Southern Baked Beans with Bourbon3

If ¬†you aren’t serving children, you may add an additional 2 TBLS bourbon and stir prior to serving.

Southern Baked Beans with Bourbon

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry Great Northern beans (or navy beans)
  • 1/2 lb bacon, chopped in 1" slices and cooked until crispy. Reserve dripping and drain bacon
  • 1 large Vidalia Onion, chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, optional, seeded and deveined and chopped..the sugar cuts the heat.

Instructions

  1. Sort beans.
  2. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Over and allow to sit overnight
  3. In the morning drain and rinse.
  4. Cover again with cool water and bring to a boil again.
  5. Simmer 20 mins-2hours on low.
  6. Drain again.
  7. While simmering, cook bacon and drain. Add chopped onion to pan with drippings and cook until tender.
  8. Mix remaining ingredients in pan with onion.
  9. Add 6 cups of water
  10. Pour this mixture into a large dutch oven with lid
  11. Preheat oven to 275* Bake 6 hours or until tender and thickened.
  12. Check every hour or so and stir.
  13. Taste test at the 3 and 4 hour marks and add additional water if sauce is getting thick.
  14. After the 4 hour mark, add one cup of water as needed each hour until they are tender and sauce is thickened. If it is still soupy you don;t need to add more water...only if it is thickening and beans aren't tender yet do you need to add water.
  15. You may remove lid toward end of baking if beans are done and still sauce needs more thickening.
  16. Will thicken more as it cools.
  17. Enjoy!
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French Hatbox Inspired Planters

French Hatbox Planters pics

A couple of years ago we added a porch, where once stood an old deck. That deck had served us well. ¬†Even though it was small and in the sun, ¬†I never let it keep me from hosting outdoor dinner parties. ¬†But, I always dreamed of having a real porch. We love to sit outside, rain or shine but having no roof presented a problem. The umbrella worked sometimes…but not always. ¬†So, I dreamed of building a porch one day.

Finally, my husband gave me the go ahead to build a porch! Yes, a real covered porch. I love it. We love it. Our whole family loves it. ¬†Most days, we live on our porch more than in the house. This picture shows one of the columns…along with ¬†the small table and chairs…I call the¬†Perfect Find!

my porch furn

When they built the porch,  they had to cut about a foot from the bottom of the columns they used. There were 8 of them and I asked the builders to save me the bottoms. I already had an idea what to use them for.

french hatbox planters0

Herbs are so invasive and my herb garden on the side of the house had really been more than I could handle. The oregano and pineapple sage had taken over. I needed containers to keep this from happening.

I knew these column bottoms would be perfect to make planters for my herbs.

I love the colorful planters in various catalogs that come in the mail…..

grandinroad planters

Have you seen the colorful planters in GrandinRoad? ¬†They’re so pretty. I ended up taking my inspiration from them.

Of course, mine are not nearly as perfect as the catalog ones……but they’re perfect enough for me.

french hatbox planters 01

The furniture on my porch is blue, so I painted the ‘planters’ various shades of blue and white.¬†I used stencils in different designs to vary each one. ¬†When I stepped back and looked at them, I realized they looked like hatboxes. And the blue colors made me think of France…. so that’s the story behind my French Hat-box Inspired Planters.

french hatboxplanters 02

I found my stencils at Walmart and the base color is a spray paint.

French Hat Box Planters

It’s so nice to step out the backdoor and have herbs for cooking, at my fingertips. And know they won’t be taking over the flower bed…least not anytime soon.

french hat box planters8

Do you cook with fresh herbs? They can be expensive in the store, but they are very easy to grow. And they don’t need much tending to, if you plant them in a container. ¬†And most of them live from one season to the next, at least at my house they do. ¬†My favorites have to be a tie between basil and dill.

french hatbox planters9

You may not have access to the bottoms of columns…( if you know a builder, I’d certainly ask them to save you some) ¬†You can achieve the same look using clay pots. I’d prime them first so your paint is the true color you want.

french hat box planters6

The above picture was taken a couple of weeks ago….now see the same plants:

french hatbox planters9

The bottoms are open because herbs need well drained soil. They don’t like to be wet and prefer hot sun. So do keep that in mind. I plan on a heavy mulch in the winter so they will hopefully survive until Spring. The clay pots in the same location did survive, … I have high hopes for these….

So, what are you waiting for? Be inspired….you can do this….:)