Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Southern Living Party Cookbook...A Modern Guide to Gathering

The publisher sent me this cookbook recently.  WOW!

It's a BIG 368 Page Hardback.  Complete with gorgeous full-color pictures.

This may be one of the most thorough cookbooks that I own.  I love it!

This new essential guide to entertaining is divided by occasion, offering a fresh lineup of menus and ideas from Oxford, Mississippi’s go-to caterer for every celebratory scenario life serves up. In this update to the best-selling book of our mothers’ and grandmothers’ era, Elizabeth’s tell-it-like-it-is voice provides a twist to the classic Southern advice that is a refresher for entertainers of any age or experience. Packed with delicious recipes from the original book like Smoked Salmon Canapes, Hot Cheese Squares, and Brandy Alexanders, the book also includes popular picks from the current pages of Southern Living as well as Elizabeth’s treasured recipe box.

The Southern Living Party Cookbook is an entertaining handbook loaded with lifestyle tips and hilarious Heiskell stories, along with lush photography to help you get the look from table setting to plated dish.

Table of Contents

Introduction 8

Hosting Handbook 10

Teas, Coffees, and Reception 18

Sip And See 20

Graduation Coffee 30

Welcome Tea 40

Farewell Coffee 50

Bridal Tea 60

Come By For A Drink Y'All 72

Bubbles And Birds 74

Sundown On The Grounds 84

Summer Nights 94

Joy To The Girls 104

Nibbles & Nosh 116

Cocktails & Canap├ęs 122

After-Theater Nightcap 134

Cheers My Dears 144

Brunches and Luncheons 158

Gospel Brunch 160

Christening Brunch 170

Easter 178

Garden Club Luncheon 190

Salad, Salad, Salad 202

Cookouts 214

Backyard BBQ 216

Tailgate 226

Chuck Wagon Dinner 236

Lowcountry Boil 248

Oyster Roast 258

Picnic On The Lawn 266

Fish Fry 278

Celebrations And Dinners 290

Impress The Boss Dinner 292

Fall Dinner 300

Thanksgiving Dinner 312

'Twas The Night Before… Fondue Party 326

Christmas Night Feast 338

New Year's Eve 348

Metric Equivalents 360

Acknowledgments 368

Party Index 361

General Index 363

Elizabeth Heiskell is a regular food contributor to the TODAY show and a seasoned caterer, chef, and culinary instructor known for her line of home-grown gourmet products, including her popular Debutante Farmer Bloody Mary Mix. She is the best-selling author of What Can I Bring? and lives in Oxford, MS, with her family.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Martina's Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life

I was absolutely tickled to receive this beautiful cookbook a couple of days ago.

This is a large hardback loaded with recipes and full-color photos of Breakfast & Brunch, Cocktails & Appetizers, Salads, Soups & Sandwiches, Main Courses, Side Dishes, and Desserts.  272 pages.

Now that Dom is back in Complete Remission, we'll get back to entertaining.  This publication will be a great help!

To country music icon Martina McBride, cooking and singing aren't all that different. When she makes something delicious, she wants to share it, which is a lot like sharing her music with an audience. When she’s not on stage or in the studio, Martina is most likely experimenting in the kitchen and cooking with family and friends. Growing up on a farm in Kansas, Martina began helping her mother in the kitchen at an early age, preparing fresh-from-the-field ingredients. Meals and stories were shared daily around the table. It’s a tradition she continues with her own family as often as she can because real life is what’s worth celebrating. In this gorgeously photographed cookbook, readers will find more than 100 simple and satisfying recipes filled with fresh, seasonal ingredients and down-home flavor. Martina encourages cooking "outside the lines" and shows you how to make cooking fun with creative "ad-lib" tips for recipe riffs you might consider. Mix things up in the kitchen and create your own delicious memories with her inspired recipes to feed a handful or a houseful. Whip up Martina's family favorites like her mother-in-law Flavia’s Deviled Eggs, husband John’s Bacon-Wrapped Olives, or her go-to Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Sauce and Slaw. Plan a weekend brunch menu, serving Baked French Toast with Pecan Crumble and Blackberry-Maple Syrup and Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole with Tomato Gravy. Toast friends at happy hour with her Blackberry-Lemon Gin & Tonic while enjoying Grilled Sweet Peppers with Goat Cheese and Herbs. And when it’s time to celebrate with family and indulge in dessert, try Martina's Fresh Apple Cake with Homemade Caramel Sauce or No-Bake Peanut Butter-Chocolate Cookies.

Grapefruit Margaritas (page 58)

Cocktails and appetizers are quite possibly my favorite part of a meal or dinner party. They can really set a mood for the evening and there's something special about making and sharing a cocktail that's a little more festive and fun. Grapefruit is my new jam when it comes to cocktails so I've included not one, but three cocktail recipes (page 54) with a grapefruit theme in this book.

Chili Lime Chicken Tacos (page 165)

This recipe is loaded with some of my favorite go-to basic ingredients and the versatility is definitely impressive. Tacos are trendy and this particular recipe hits all the right notes...especially when prepared with my Southwest Citrus Rub (page 248) and served with the Grilled Pineapple Salsa (page 251) and Avocado Crema (page 251) recipes in the book

Pan-Roasted Halibut (page 174)

This recipe is based on fresh, simple ingredients. I was really intimidated by the thought of cooking fish, but I finally jumped in and realized how easy it is to prepare. My favorite fish is mild, white fish, like halibut and grouper. Either would work here served with my Sauteed Spinach (page 197) and Pesto Butter (page 259), which can be frozen or used last minute to add flavor to plain pasta or grilled meat.

Thursday, December 20, 2018


The folks at PEREG were nice enough to send me a jar of this. Dom and I are HOOKED.  We tried this on our scrambled eggs this morning.

This is going to be our new "Go-To" spice!

It's been rather chilly this week, so I made a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup...  guess what's going to zip it up?  YEP! 

Introducing Everything But The Bagel Spice Mix from Pereg Natural Foods

Clifton, NJ, DEC 6, 2018 – Pereg, the leading purveyor of all-natural exotic spices, wants to shake up the salt and pepper standard. In fact, they think their newest spice mix may forever change the American table — and palate.

“Think about what’s on every kitchen table. Salt? Check. Pepper? Check. But that’s getting boring — and that’s not everything,” says Pereg CEO Gil Schneider.

Coming to the rescue is Pereg’s new Everything But The Bagel Spice Mix. Put it next to the salt and pepper and you’ve got, well, everything you need to add big, delicious flavor to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

Everything But The Bagel Spice Mix gives you that irresistible everything bagel taste, without all the carbs. A special mix of natural flavors including onion, garlic, poppy, salt, and three kinds of sesame seeds, you can jazz up practically everything with it. Stir it into plain cream cheese for a flavor burst. Sprinkle it on grilled meats, avocado toast, rice, scrambled eggs, salads, chicken, pancakes, and more.

Like most great recipes, the Everything Bagel was invented from using leftovers. As legend has it, back around 1980, a teenager working at a bagel place in New York had the end-of-shift task of sweeping out the oven of all the toppings that fell off the different bagels. One day, after tasting the collection of leftover spices, he suggested to his boss that they not throw out the mixture as they usually did, but instead use it to create a new bagel flavor. Bagel history was made when the newfangled “everything” bagel sold out the next day.

“I really can’t think of anything that Pereg’s Everything But The Bagel Spice Mix doesn’t go with,” says Joy, Pereg’s spice guru. “It can add a zesty punch of flavor to anything at any time.”

“Here at the Pereg headquarters, we’ve been getting quite a taste kick out of sprinkling on everything -- turkey sandwiches, ramen noodles, soups, you name it,” adds Joy.

Look for Pereg Everything But The Bagel Spice Mix in the supermarket spice aisle September, 2018. It’s fresh, 100% natural, gluten-free, vegan, and OU and CRC kosher-certified, with no MSG, additives or preservatives. A 5.3 oz jar will retail for $5.50.


Pereg was established in 1906 and is based in Clifton, NJ. They first became known for their vast variety of pure and natural spices and spice blends, more than 60 in all, from traditional favorites to exotics from around the culinary world.

Today Pereg produces an array of all-natural products that includes ancient grains and ancient grain blends, gluten free pasta, couscous, rice, gluten-free cereal and much more. Pereg Natural Foods products are available at select retailers throughout the US and Canada, and on their website,

Pereg manufactures all its products from start to finish, controlling the quality from the sourcing until the product is packed and ready for the consumer. All Pereg products are kosher certified by both the Orthodox Union (OU) and CRC, are dairy and lactose-free as well as all natural, with no additives or preservatives. Many products are also certified gluten-free and non-GMO. Follow Pereg Natural Foods on, Twitter @pereggourmet and Instagram @peregnatural.

What Multiple Myeloma Remission Really Means

Get the must-know facts about multiple myeloma remission—and what it means for your health.


Hitting remission is undeniably amazing news. It means that not only is your cancer undetectable (or close to undetectable), but many of your symptoms will dissipate. Remission for people with multiple myeloma, which is not considered curable, can be a bit more complicated than it is for other cancer patients. Here’s what you need to know.

What is remission?

First, the basics: Being in remission is not the same as a cure.

Remission is classified in two types: Partial and full. In a partial remission, some tests—such as blood tests, MRI scans or x-rays—may still show that you have some cancer cells present within your body. However, any tumors from your multiple myeloma will have shrunk and you will have fewer cancer cells present. You may still experience some symptoms. Only in full remission is your cancer, and any related symptoms, completely undetectable.

A cure, in contrast, occurs when there are no cancerous cells present following treatment and the cancer will not come back. That’s not, unfortunately, a situation that occurs with multiple myeloma: Even when patients are in remission, the cancer can still potentially return. The goal, therefore, is to extend the length of remission, so that there are a long gaps between treatment. If your cancer does return, it will be referred to as relapsed multiple myeloma or recurrent myeloma.

Living in multiple myeloma remission

Multiple myeloma remission can bring with it great emotional uncertainty. “I find the inability to work, plan, predict or financially map out a future a separate ‘disease,’” wrote one person in remission on the Myeloma Beacon forums. Along with complicated emotions, remission can also be accompanied by physical symptoms, whether they are lingering effects from cancer or its treatment, or side effects from maintenance therapy. During remission, your doctor may prescribe medications to strengthen your bones (which are typically weakened by multiple myeloma).

Depending on your particular situation, and what type of remission you’re in, remission can feel like a return to normal life or an extended period of limbo. In either situation, feeling in control can be a challenge. Some recommendations are to:

Keep up with treatment and appointments: The single biggest thing you can do is continue to go to scheduled doctor’s appointments and take tests (blood, imaging, urine) as recommended by your doctor. This will help you and your healthcare team catch any changes to the disease early on.

Maintain your emotional and physical health: This means practicing self-care, eating healthily, getting enough rest and making exercise part of your routine.

How long will your remission last?

Probably every person who has multiple myeloma and reaches remission—whether partial or full—is eager for an answer to that question. Unfortunately, there is no simple formula for predicting how long you will stay in remission. It can depend on both the stage of your cancer, how well you responded to the treatment and other factors.

Link with a lot of Good Reading HERE

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

COWBOY WISDOM- Over 200 Quotes About the Old West

This is a FUN little book.  The folks at Hatherleigh Press recently sent this to me.

Dom and I both thoroughly enjoyed this gem.  In fact, now it's a fixture on our guest bedroom nightstand.

From Roy Rogers to Will Rogers, Gene Autry to John Wayne, cowboys have always been a part of America.

Now, Cowboy Wisdom collects over 200 essential quotes from history, myth and culture about the defining era of the Wild West, including humor, wise words, and powerful quotations. Cowboy Wisdom is great for the lover of the cowboy days, western movies, and Americana.

Cowboy Wisdom presents a carefully curated collection of fun, ribald, and classic quotes celebrating the spirit of the days gone by.

Pre-Order Your Copy Here:


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Breakfast: The Most Important Book About the Best Meal of the Day

Hi gang...

The folks at Oxmoor House sent me this cookbook.  I was tickled to receive it, especially this time of year.

Over the holidays, we usually have many overnight guests that often stay for a couple of nights. I like to send them off with a good breakfast.  This publication has given me some GREAT ideas!

It's LOADED with full-color recipes, photos and fun ideas for breakfast! 

This comes from the Editors of Extra Crispy.

Breakfast is an exploration of everything about breakfast and brunch. This celebration of the most popular meal of the day offers engaging stories, essential how-tos, and killer breakfast recipes. Discover exciting new ingredients and the secrets to making Entenmann’s Cake Doughnuts and Taco Bell Crunchwraps at home, among many other dishes. Learn the origins of scrapple and how to brew barista-level drinks. Based on the popular website, this book—the perfect gift for anyone who loves all-day-breakfast—is packed with 100 photos, humorous illustrations, and amazing, craveable food.  

 It's a large 256-page Hardback measuring 9 x 8.

This would be a wonderful gift for the host or hostess in your life!

Get it HERE!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mold Issues at the Condo (part 3) Insurance and Cleanup

After I cleaned up a bit I called our insurance company and made a claim.

I had to throw out our bedroom comforter and pillows.  Also the dining room table and chairs, as well as rugs.

Then I went to work on the mirrors.  These pictures were AFTER using Windex:

 Made a couple of trips to the dry cleaners.  At the condo, washed about 8 loads of sheets, towels, etc.

Much to my delight, our insurance covered the new a/c and furnace, the mold cleanup and the destroyed mirrors, table, chairs, rugs, comforter, pillows, lampshades, etc.

I'm tickled to say the condo is like NEW.  Sparkling! 

But, what a pain in the arse!

I returned home on Monday.  Got a phone call yesterday that Dom's cancer is GONE!  Zero M-Spike! Remission-Boy is BACK!  

What a Christmas present!

Mold Issues at the Condo (part 2) Nan's arrival

After the workers finished up, I took a drive to the condo to check it out.  What I had planned to be a 6-night trip turned into 13 nights.

I had no idea what I was going to walk into!

This monstrosity was in the hallway.

There were 7 of these throughout the condo

There were 6 industrial sized garbage bags filled with bedding, pillows, etc.

Bathroom Sink

Entertainment Cabinet

Kitchen Counter

I called the mold guys and they removed all of their dehumidifiers. 

Then my cleanup began.

Mold Issues at the Condo (part 1) The beginning.

I'm really looking forward to burning the yule log and saying goodbye to 2018.  It was one thing after another!

I hadn't been to the condo since mid-September.  Little did we know, but our a/c quit.

When the Majestic went in to bring balcony furniture inside in anticipation of the hurricane, they contacted us saying that we had a MOLD problem.

I had NO IDEA the extent of the damage.

This is what they mailed to us:

So, Dom called an a/c place and had them replace both our a/c and our furnace.

He also had to call a mold specialist to clean up.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A Very Pleasant Thanksgiving

Hi gang!

Since the last post, we've had an emergency room visit, doctor appointments and a mold problem in PCB.

Thankfully, ALL IS WELL!

We had gone to Dom's Oral Surgeon about the hard swelling on his jaw.  He determined that it wasn't skeletal and sent us to the ER.  The ER doctor referred us to an Ear Nose Throat doctor.

This guy was GREAT.  He loaded Dom up with antibiotics and sent him home telling him to do mouth exercises.

It turned out that his muscles in his mouth basically "rebelled" against the dental work.

Dom is as good as new!

Skipping to Thanksgiving.  Cousin Joe and his wife Carina came over for a couple of nights.

She's a lovely gal.

I made my normal menu featuring a 21# Martha Stewart roasted turkey.  Delish!

The 4 of us had a very pleasant couple of days.  Eating, sipping, shooting and playing games.