Wednesday, April 29, 2009

And the winner is . . .me!

I won the most fabulous earrings from Boutique By Bonnie April 16th! Her Tax Relief Giveaway ran from March 20th through April 15th (tax day) and I, as the winner, got to pick my prize from the two pairs of earrings pictured here. Bonnie chose the winner on April 16th by random number generation.

The little package arrived in my mailbox Monday and I've barely taken them off since. They are perfect.

Bonnie lives in the foothills of the Rockies in the beautiful state of Colorado. Her passions include photography, making jewelry and writing. She is a very popular artisan who has combined all of her talents online. I hope you'll visit her blog and her Etsy store, BoutiqueByBonnie, often to see what's new.

Dale’s Spicy Beef Casserole

2 ½ pounds boneless rump roast

¼ cup flour

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ teaspoon all-spice

1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper

1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce

½ cup burgundy wine

½ cup beef broth (Campbell’s)

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

Cut the rump roast into 2-inch cubes. Combine flour, sugar, salt, pepper, and all-spice. Dredge or coat the meat with the flour mixture.

Place meat in a 2 quart casserole dish, or better yet, a crock pot.

Pour the remaining flour mixture, if any, over the meat.

Stir together the tomato sauce, wine, beef broth, vinegar, and Worcestershire Sauce. Pour this over the meat and stir it together. Cover and cook for 3 hours at 325 degrees – or all day on slow in the crock pot.


If the meat is slightly frozen, it will be easier to cut into 2-inch cubes.

From Secrets of Better Cooking, published 1973 by The Reader's Digest

Cuts of Meat for Roasting

RUMP - a superb roast for flavor, this is a large even piece of meat, found just above the round. The whole rump weighs from 10 to 15 pounds. It is expensive as a whole roast unless many portions are required. It is generally cut into smaller roasts, and sold either with or without the bones. It is best when cooked by either of the following methods.

First method

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.; this will take about 15 minutes. Make sure there is a natural coating of fat on top of the roast. Add a thin layer of chopped fat if the meat is lean. Roast for exactly 15 minutes to seal the outside pores of the meat and preserve the natural juices. Reduce temperature to 325 degrees F. for the balance of required time.

Second method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and roast the meat at this temperature for the entire time. This is the easiest method. The shrinkage is less than the first; the meat is always tender and the top is crusty brown.

Graphic by June's Art Freebies

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Girls' Weekend 2009 - Surfside Beach, Texas

Wow, we had a great time at our annual Girls' Weekend! This year it was sister Peggy's turn to choose our destination. We usually put our names in a "hat" and draw for the privilege of deciding where our group of 5 Goddesses will venture to next.

Usually, we try to go in April or May. Because we don't really like the heat that seems like the best plan. Next time maybe we'll wait until the first "cold snap!"
Peggy lived in LaPorte near Houston for several years and said she missed the beach so much she chose Surfside and a neat beach house just steps from the water. We stayed at the beautiful Beach Retreat, at 215 Carlton Avenue owned by Tom Warren. It had all the modern amenities that we like to find in our home away from home, but with the beach atmosphere we were craving.

Ann, Sue, Linda Kay, Peggy and moi' packed our overnight bags and left North Texas behind as we climbed into Ann's large truck and headed south. Right through the hill country in the better part of bluebonnet and wildflower season. Well, actually, I guess we didn't go right through the Hill Country because we veered southeast after hitting Walnut Springs. But we saw plenty of bluebonnets none-the-less.

We drove through rain for the better part of the trip and Shubert kept calling us and telling us we were in a "tornado watch-box!" I guess he wanted us to get out and lie down in the ditch somewhere, but then my new Birkenstocks would get ruined! We had to stop for a little while in the little town of Brenham because Ann said she couldn't see through the wall of water. So we took a break with all of the other travelers and then carried on toward Bellville. As it turns out, Shubert called us as soon as we landed at the beach house to tell us the Houston news stations were reporting a tornado in Brenham with "trees down but no loss of life!" Whew! That was close.

Before Brenham and the worse part of the rain we stoppped for lunch in the little town of Meridian. The Cactus Grill at 120 North Main Street is a treat, to be sure. Raul y Vernonica Contreras, Chef and Owners, have created a wonderful little grill with lots of character and fantastic food! I ordered the Cheeseburger with fries and it was one of the best I've ever tasted. Everyone got something different. The portions were gigantic and the prices right. You'll have to stop in on your next trip through town ~ or why not make a special trip just to eat at the Cactus Grill?

After getting to the beach house and unwinding just a bit we decided on the Red Snapper Inn for dinner. It was indeed a seafood lover's paradise. The atmosphere was laid-back, casual and comfortable. We felt we could enjoy our meal and each other's company. Again, we each ordered a different entree with our love of fresh seafood uppermost in our minds. I remembered the east coast shrimp and oysters that I loved when living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and so I ordered Owner/Chef, Lin Biar's fried shrimp and oysters. I definitely was NOT disappointed. The Red Snapper Inn was only a mile from the beach house at 402 Blue Water Hwy.

The next morning Ann, Sue, and Peggy had breakfast ready for Linda Kay and me when we woke up. We are the two late risers of the group and they are the "early-birds."

After a trek to the beach with sunglasses, hats or sunscreen, and cameras in hand we thoroughly enjoyed the water, sand, and birds. Then we went back down the Blue Water Hwy. in search of Bingo. Bingo Boards is a little shop that has been renovated after Hurricane Ike's destruction and we found the owner and staff to be friendly and interesting. We enjoyed hamburgers and fries and a visit from the owner and creator of the colorful Bingo Boards! The surf-shop with beach apparel and knick-knacks is at 18 Fort Velasco in Freeport, Texas.

Needless to say, food is a big part of our Girls' Weekends. Peggy cooked a special dinner for us one night ~ a fantastic shrimp boil. It was absolutely the best thing ever. Ann prepared her famous Reuben Sandwiches for us the next evening. Served hot with sauerkraut and swiss cheese on rye. Yummy! I might be able to persuade them to share the recipes with us for the next post. I'll work on that!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Soups from "The Pilgrim Cookbook"

The Pilgrim Cookbook

published by

The Ladies’ Aid Society


Pilgrim Ev. Lutheran Church

Cuyler Avenue and N. Lincoln Street



Containing nearly 700 carefully tested recipes

This Book may be obtained from


1840 Cuyler Avenue, Chicago, Ill.

Price: 75 cents

Postage: 5 to 12 Cents, according to Zone

Cream of Green Bean Soup

Cook cut beans and 2 good-sized potatoes till tender; strain, saving water. Take out potatoes and mash them. Brown 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon lard, add a little flour, the water in which beans were cooked, potatoes, beans and 1 cup cream.—Mrs. A. Piepho.

Beef Soup

Take about 1 1/2 pounds lean chuck and 1 pound smoked butt, cover with water and boil about two hours. Then add 2 large carrots diced, 1 large German celery root or celeriac, 1 large German parsley root, 1 large stalk leek, and boil 1 hour more; salt to taste. Boil dried peas separately, flavor with sweet marjoram and add to soup just before serving. Navy beans may be used if preferred, or dumplings are also very good.—Mrs. W. H. Jacobs.

Beer Soup

Pour 1 pint water in a kettle and set over fire. When hot add 1/2 pint beer, a little salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 quart milk, a little flour to thicken and 3 to 4 egg yolks. Serve with toasted bread squares, and on top put the beaten egg whites to which has been added a little sugar and vanilla.—Mrs. H. G. Tischer.

Cherry Soup

One pint canned cherries, 1 quart water, little stick cinnamon, 1 tablespoon farina. Put in some dumplings. Sweeten to taste.—Mrs. A. Steging.

Cream of Tomato Soup

Press enough cooked tomatoes through a fine sieve to make 1 1/2 cups; let puree become very hot. Melt 1/4 cup butter, cook in it 1/4 cup flour, dash of pepper, and 1 scant teaspoon salt. When the mixture is frothy gradually stir in 1 1/2 cups cream diluted with 1/2 cup water. Stir and cook until the sauce boils vigorously, then add the hot tomato puree and remove from fire at once.—Olga T. Bohnsack.

Turnip Soup

Wash, pare and cut into small pieces 1/2 dozen medium sized white turnips. Boil them in unsalted water until tender, then rub through a fine sieve. Chop fine 1 small onion, put in a stew pan with 1 tablespoon butter, and cook slowly without browning for five minutes; then add 1 tablespoon flour and when blended, 1 quart of milk. Stir until boiling hot, add the turnip pulp and season well with salt and pepper. Cook slowly for 5 minutes ; serve at once and pass grated cheese with it. —Mrs. Albrecht.

Wine Soup

Boil 1/2 cup fine pearl tapioca in about 1 quart water till clear; then add a small piece of stick cinnamon, a little salt, 1 large glass wine (white or red), and finally 2 to 3 egg yolks and 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar. Serve also with toasted white bread squares and drop the beaten egg whites in little mounds on top.—Mrs. H. G. Tischer.

Cherry and Chocolate

Cherry Fudge Cake

1 box fudge cake mix
1 can cherry pie filling
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond or vanilla

Mix by hand. Bake in tube pan at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.


1 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
5 tablespoons oleo (margarine)
package chocolate chips

Bring to boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the stove and beat in chocolate chips with mixer. Spread on cake.

From Granny Marilee's Recipe Box

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Inanimate Objects

Today as I puttered around in my kitchen I noticed the funnel that I use in canning season. It has a wide mouth that fits nicely down into the mouth of glass jars and has numerous dents and scratches on its shiny surface. It is made from aluminum, I believe, and is shiny with swirls made from cleaning it with a soapy SOS pad.

As my eyes fell on the funnel my mind drifted to my mother-in-law who used it for many years and I thought of all of the jars of applesauce laced with cinnamon and red hot candies that she had made with the help of that funnel. I remembered the taste of the applesauce and how my children had smiled when we opened a brand new jar. That memory led to another memory and then another.

That is the way it is so often around here when I glance at a picture, walk by and touch a chair, or snuggle under an afghan that once belonged to an older member of my family.

I found this short entry in a little book given to my mother-in-law by her co-workers when she had been out on sick-leave. It spoke so clearly about my thoughts this morning in the kitchen, I want to share it with you.
Inanimate Animate
"Have you ever noticed that older people tend to cling to the things that have surrounded them? We call it sentiment and scoff. Our mobile, semi-disposable society tends to treat our many possessions with little dignity. Somehow we have lost the beauty of associating an object with the things it has touched. Perhaps we need a little sentiment to give root to our lives.

A table is a
Living thing,
A part of all
It touches.

It is
A loving thing,
Caressed with
Polished pride.

A table
Senses things,
Remembers tears,
The hands of a child."

from Ironing Board Altars
Mary Ann Bohrs
Broadman Press, Nashville, Tennessee
Copyright 1969



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When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself.

--Chief Tecumseh

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