Monday, February 28, 2011

Free ACCU-CHEK Aviva Meter Coupon

I have two coupons for a Free ACCU-CHEK Aviva meter with purchase of any ACCU-CHEK Aviva test strips (any size). The coupons expire 5/29/2011. If you're interested, please leave a comment below or e-mail me at I'd like to see these coupons go to someone who needs them rather than my trash can.
Also, if you are interested in trading coupons, please contact me. I have several grocery/personal care products/pet food coupons that I'm not going to use.
Thanks for the great response everyone - I've given out all the coupons and don't have any more available. Feel free to leave a comment and if I run across any more, I'll contact you.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Comfort Food


Do you remember those little frozen dinner packets that you would throw into boiling water until they were piping hot? Freezer Queen was the brand we had in the Hollow. There was roast beef and gravy (my favorite), chicken or turkey with gravy. Every once in a while we'd have Chicken a la King too. For a frozen dinner, they weren't bad - especially over home-made mashed potatoes. And, they were cheap for a quick dinner. Home cooking from a plastic pouch! I can see us all gathered around the boiling water waiting for supper. You have to remember, this was back in the day when frozen dinners were still 'new' and considered special. Of course, these days, there are some great gourmet meals in the freezer section. And, some not so great. So, choose wisely.
To this day, Chicken a la King still feels like comfort food to me. I've made a short cut version using cream of mushroom soup. But, since Winter is still raging, I thought you would enjoy this vintage recipe that takes a little more time.
Chicken a la King
3 cups cooked chicken, cut into chunks
1 and 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
1 package frozen peas (10 oz)
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup butter, margarine, or chicken fat (gasp!)
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Ac'cent
dash black pepper
1 and 1/2 cups cream
1/4 cup Sliced Pimentos(2 oz. can, drained)
Cook peas according to package directions and set aside. Heat chicken broth to a boil and set aside. Heat butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add mushrooms. Cook slowly about five minutes. Remove mushrooms, leaving the drippings in the pan. Mix together the flour, salt, Ac'cent and pepper. Gradually add to drippings in pan. Heat until bubbly and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add gradually, stirring constantly, the Chicken Brothand cream. Return to heat and cook until thickened. Add the chicken, peas, mushrooms and Sliced Pimentos. Cook slowly until chicken is thoroughly heated. Serve over toast.

Monday, February 21, 2011

First Sign of Spring



Is this a first sign of Spring or just a tease before March brings us more snow?  It’s really hard to believe these little daffodils are starting to bloom after the rough winter we’ve had so far.  I guess all the snow insulated them!

Have a blessed day!

For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth, 
the time of the singing
of birds is come,
and the voice of the turtle
is heard in our land
The Song of Solomon

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beautiful Sunsets



When we’re not having snow, we have some beautiful sunsets.  This shows the setting sun reflecting on the remaining clouds.  It’s so surreal to see that last bit of light when everything else in the hollow is already dark. 

I can see just a touch of green at the edge of the woods now as my buttercups (Daffodil )are starting to peak out from the frozen ground.  I usually see them around the end of January, but they were probably covered in snow!  So, if all goes well, they may even start blooming by the end of February depending on how many more rounds of snow we get by then.  But, it is a sure sign that Spring is on the way.

Here’s a dessert to brighten up some gloomy days.

Peach Pippin

2 cans Peaches, drained

1 egg

3 tablespoons milk

1 cup sugar

1 heaping tsp. baking powder

Enough plain flour to make a stiff batter

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat egg, add milk and mix well.  Add enough flour to make a stiff batter.  Cover the bottom of a cake pan with peaches, either canned or fresh.  Cover with sugar, the pour the batter over peaches and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serve with ice cream.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sunny Days Ahead


I'm more apt to take a picture of a sunset than a sunrise. But, this one was too pretty to pass by. The frost on the trees looks like an ice storm! Have a blessed day!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Snow on Cedars


As promised, here are a couple of pictures of our last snow storm. The snow stayed on the trees for days!



Snow on Cedars

If you're snowed in, here's a vintage recipe that's pure comfort food. What's better than meat and potatoes?
Hamburger Steak Dinner
Mix together lightly in a large bowl:
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
4 teaspoons, Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt (I reduced this down from 2 teaspoons!)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Set oven to Broil. Shape mixture into an oval shape about an inch and a half thick. Put meat onto broiler rack & place in oven with top of meat 3 inches from heat source. Broil about 12 minutes or until brown on one side. Flip and brown other side approximately same amount of time. Remove and serve with potatoes.

Check out more great recipes at The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Books in the Hollow

Dean Koontz cannot write faster that I can read. Okay, well maybe he can, but it definitely takes a while for a new book to be published. Every time I pick one of his new novels, I tell myself that this time, I'll read it slowly. Maybe a chapter a day. By the second chapter, I'm greedily devouring the pages. I've been a fan for years. The first book I read was Lightening. If you've never read a Dean Koontz novel, I'd recommend starting with this one. It's an excellent example of what you can expect in his novels.

Lightening has everything you could want in a novel - suspense, romance, mystery. Koontz leads us down a path of what is and shows us what can be with the life of Laura Shane and her guardian. To say more would give away the plot.

From there, I'd recommend his series based on the character, Odd Thomas. Odd Thomas is a simple fry cook in a small California town whose life is anything but simple. His life is filled with secrets. The main one? Odd sees and talks with ghosts. They cannot or choose not to talk to him so the conversations are a little one-sided. For more information on Odd Thomas, check out Dean Koontz's "Odd Passenger" Webisode 1. It will give you a little insight to the character and the series which includes several Odd Thomas books. Of course, I'm anxiously waiting for more. Like I said...I read pretty fast!
My favorite 'reading' snack is popcorn sprinkled with cayenne pepper. This vintage snack recipe makes me glad for modern conveniences!
Coconut Chips.
Set out baking sheets. With an ice pick, force holes through indentations of 1 medium-size fresh coconut.
Drain liquid from the coconut. Put the coconut in a baking dish and heat at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and break the shell by tapping sharply with a hammer. Remove meat from the shell and, if desired, pare off brown skin. (The skin will add a nutty flavor to the chips). Form chips by pulling the coconut meat across a shredder.
Put the chips in a single layer on each baking sheet. Sprinkle over coconut on each sheet 1 teaspoon salt. Place in a 375 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until chips are light brown.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Guest Blogger - No Reservations, One of TV's best

No Reservations, One of TV's best

Thanks to Roman May

Anthony Bordain's No Reservations is without a doubt the best travel show on television from Whenever I sit down to watch television I check the satellite to see when his show will air. The entire show is built around the premise of getting off the beaten path and seeing how everyday people live their lives in the countries he visits. Anthony is never afraid to take the road less traveled, try local cuisine, or engage in local activities; in f act he seeks out such opportunities. He also isn't afraid to tell it like it is, if he doesn't like the food or people, he will let you know about it.

In a recent episode, Anthony traveled to Greece and despite some misgivings he had about making the trip was pleasantly surprised by Greek hospitality, cuisine and culture. At one stop, he found himself participating in the preparation of the meal, which consisted of slaughtering a sheep, consuming large amounts of alcohol, shooting firearms, and dancing. Anthony's dry humor and commentary provide a comedic yet insightful view into the places he visits along the road less traveled.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Happy Valentine's Day

Here’s a vintage recipe from the 1930’s for an old-fashioned Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate Drop Cookies

Melt 2 squares chocolate over hot water.  Cream 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter.  Add the yolks of two eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup sour milk in which 1 level teaspoon soda has been dissolved, beat together.  Add chocolate and 2 cups sifted flour and 1/2 cup nut meats.  Beat until smooth.  Drop in teaspoonfuls on greased tin and bake in a quick oven.

Rug Beaters

During this last snow storm, I heard on the news that it was our 7th major storm of the season! But, this week our temperatures are expected to be in the 60's and hardly a cloud in the sky. It's no wonder that my thoughts turn to spring cleaning. Of course, my second thought is the need for carpet rug & upholstery cleaning austin.Do you remember rug beaters? Back in the day before wall-to-wall carpeting became the norm, huge area rugs occupied most rooms. You didn't have to worry about carpet stretching cost austin, but you did have to worry about cleaning the rug. Our living room rug was so big and heavy, it took four of us to carry it outside for cleaning. We'd throw it over the clothes line and literally beat the dirt out of it. It was definitely a method of cheap rug cleaning austin back in the day before professional companies. The hardwood floor underneath would be swept and cleaned before the newly beaten rug returned only slightly lighter than before.

When I groan with the thought of spring cleaning and all it means, I remember the days of rug beaters. It doesn't make me look forward to spring cleaning, but it definitely makes me thankful those days are gone.

Friday, February 11, 2011


In the hollow, I lived for black and white movies, enjoying them as much as reading novels. I can't count the times lately that I've seen a recent movie and realized it was a remake. I sometimes think there are no new ideas in Hollywood. It bothers me because I read so many great books that would make wonderful movies.

One of my favorite movies is Gaslight. I think this is the movie where I first fell in love with Joseph Cotton. You want an actor? Joseph Cotton was that actor. His film career ranged from 1938 to 1981! In 1944, he starred with Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, and Angela Lansbury in Gaslight.
Gaslight was actually Angela Lansbury's debut. It was a small, but important role, as a maid that set designs on her wealthy boss and definitely helped move the story along.

Ever heard of gaslighting someone? The term comes from this movie. It basically means to deliberately and systematically drive someone mad. In the days of gaslight (a gas lamp), whenever someone turned on a light another room, the light in the room would briefly dim. Think of 'happy hour' when the lights go a little dimmer. For just a second you think, 'hey, it's getting dark in here', and then you realize what happened. Well, in the this movie, there is no easy answer. But, you have to watch it to really appreciate how such a simple action can drive someone mad.

More and more old movies are becoming available on DVD. Of course, Gaslight was one of the first ones to make it to my collection. I was so happy to own an original movie. But, much to my surprise, my beloved version made in 1944 was a remake of a 1940 film released in the United States under the title Angel Street based on a 1938 play titled Gas Light. It seems that Hollywood has made a career of remakes even in it's glory days. After watching the original, I have to say that I still love the remake more. Just don't tell Hollywood!

In case watching Gaslight inspires you to try a spot of afternoon tea, here's a vintage recipe that goes well with any movie.

Lemon Sugar Wafers
1/4 cup broken walnut meats
3 cups sifted flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons cream or undiluted evaporated milk

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease cookie sheet. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Cream butter, lemon peal, lemon and vanilla extracts together until softened. Gradually add sugar, creaming until fluffy after each addition. Beat eggs and cream thoroughly. Add egg mixture in thirds to creamed mixture, beating thoroughly after each addition. Mixing until well blended after each addition, add dry ingredients in fourths to creamed mixture.

Drop by teaspoonfuls 1 and 1/2 inches apart onto cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with back of a spoon. Top each cookie with a walnut piece. Bake at 400 degrees 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are very lightly browned. Remove immediately to cooling racks. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mush Biscuits

I sometimes think about how the Internet has changed our world and wonder how my grandparents would have felt about it.  They faced so many changes during their lifetimes, from the Model T to the moon landing.  Our generation has seen so much in the last 20 years that it boggles the mind.  The fact that I’m typing this post on a laptop that cost a quarter of what my first computer did and takes up hardly any space is proof of our tech advancements.  And, I’m behind the times as I should probably be posting this from my iPhone!

These days I’m more apt to search for a recipe online rather than in a cookbook.  One of my Grandmothers also embraced technology.  In her generation, it was the typewriter.  While many older recipes are handwritten, most of hers were typed out.  I’m sure she, like me, found the handwritten ones hard to understand sometimes.  I can almost see her hunkered over her typewriter pecking out recipes for future generations.  I think she’d be pleased that the recipes she saved for me are now finding their way to you and the world.

Mush Biscuits

1 cake yeast

1/2 cup lukewarm water

1 & 1/2 cup corn meal

1 quart boiling water

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons lard

about 1 quart of plain flour, sifted

NOON:  Soak 1 cake yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water, scald 1 & 1/2 cups cornmeal with 1 quart boiling water and immediately add to cornmeal 1 tablespoon salt, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons lard.  When cool, add yeast and set aside.

EVENING:  Add sifter of flour or enough for stiff dough.  Knead until dough is smooth or does not stick.  Grease top and set aside to raise.

MORNING:  Knead dough.  Cut out biscuits for dinner.  Place in greased pan to rise, grease top.  Bake in moderate oven until brown.  Set remainder of dough, with greased top in refrigerator.  (will keep for 2 or 3 days in refrigerator)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow, Snow, Snow



Are we still in Tennessee???  Every week we seem to be having more and more snow.  Yes, it’s pretty, but it really does disrupt our daily lives.  But, I thought you’d enjoy these pictures anyway.

Winter Wonderland Simple Cookery

At least we can see the road!

Snow on Trees Simple Cookery

Surrounded by Trees.

Snow on Trees 2 Simple Cookery

Glad I’m not lost in the woods!

Snow on Cedars Simple Cookery

Now which way is home???