Comfort Food: Biscuits and Gravy

When I set out to to improve my cooking and to learn to cook more from scratch quite a few years ago, one of the first things I tackled was homemade biscuits and gravy. *insert groan of appreciation* I’m not sure there is a comfort food in my world that is richer in memories and deliciousness than bona fide biscuits and gravy.

**not my photo--borrowed random s'posedly free image**

If I could relive a childhood food moment from the past, it would be a biscuits and gravy breakfast at Nanny’s table–with Papaw coming in to wash up and take his spot at the table, always smiling and teasing Nanny. My mom would be laughing and refilling her coffee cup–again. Those were the mornings waking up at my grandparents’ farm–waking up to smell the sausage and coffee, the biscuits and gravy.

While I learned to make biscuits and gravy with tips from my Mom (who I miss every.single.moment.), here are a couple of great links to recipes for those who haven’t yet mastered this most delicious nirvana of comfort foods.

*Pioneer Woman has step by step pictures that beautifully and clearly illustrate the gravy-making. I have no tip to add to this, for her instruction is so easily followed and spot on.

*This link to Paula Deen for the biscuit makin’  has video as well as the recipe.  My tip: I often use self rising flour, which allows me to omit the salt and the baking powder. I’ve made biscuits both ways and both turned out great.

Whether you make them or someone else makes them, what are some of your favorite heart and soul warming comfort foods?

Gold Rush

**this post is brought to you by my love of butter, real…creamy…sweet…golden…buttaahh**

So it’s no secret that I’m a food lover. Not only do I like eating  food, I enjoy preparing food, learning new things about cooking and ingredients, I even like reading cookbooks. Yeah, I’m one o’ those.

Because of my Italian heritage and growing up in a home where Italian bread was a staple, good bread is a love o’ mine.The fresher the better–crispy outside, soft n fluffy inside–mmMM Italian bread rocks, especially fresh with a smear of sweet n creamy salted butter. *sigh mmMM*  

As a result of this love and the effort not to eat a loaf a day(ppfftt on that idea, really), I’ve begun to really, REALLY appreciate my moments of bread n butter. That–plus I just love my bread n butter– led me to seek out the absolute best bite or three of butter I possibly can put on my divine piece of bread.

All of that to say I’m on a butter quest. I’m asking every one I know, tweeting Food Network stars, stalking the sites of  food bloggers/writers and otherwise being a nuisance about butter. What I learn I shall share–once I’m finished testing and experimenting. I know. Oh the hardship of seeking sweet golden butter.

So tell me, have you discovered a  sweet, rich tasting butter? I’d love to hear about it!


Penmuggles, LOL and Google Chrome

I read the Internet as avidly as any book, for there is always a plethora of wonderful articles sprawled across websites that are just one click away–then another click and…

Without further ado(which is amazing in itself as I tend to have big ados), here are a few links I found interesting, informative or funny upon recent clicks:

*Laugh Out Loud funny– I am NOT typically a fan of creepy things, but for some reason this link was hilarious. The first one with the picture is the best–I’m laughing just telling you about it.You must see it for yourself, really:

*For my writer friends or those who love us and tolerate us, this article about ‘penmuggles’ is such an apt description:

*Having long ago left Internet Explorer behind as my computer browser, I finally suffered one too many Firefox ‘hangs’ and crashes and gave Google Chrome a try. I love Google everything else, why not a browser?? Well, let me just say Google Chrome ROCKS! It’s faster, smoother, has great options such as pinning tabs to keep them open(which is great for Facebook or Twitter–or both).There are also a bunch of great extensions or apps/add-ons–whatever you want to call them–for Chrome as well. This article lists 10 free Chrome apps geared for those who spend a lot of time working on their computers:

So go forth and click–do let me know if you laughed, learned or enjoyed!

Tuesday Tip: Fridge Notes and Great Reads

Tuesday Tip:

As a food-loving person(the word foodie just doesn’t do it for me, y’all) who is largely self-taught in the kitchen, I’m always reading great food blogs and gleaning all kinds of  practical and useful tips–not gourmet stuff per se–(although there IS that in abundance as well)but everyday application stuff.

This particular post from Home Ec 101 was a timely one for me, as I’d noticed recently that my fridge temp seemed to be different depending on the specific spot in said fridge. This post, entitled ‘Learn Your Refrigerator’s Zone’ told me that this is a common issue and how to deal with it.

I read this book in one sitting–granted it was Sunday afternoon and those are known for being long and gloriously relaxing around this house–but I didn’t want to put the book down. I wanted to know what happened next in the story of Annie Adams.
I really can’t put my finger–or words as the case may be–on it, but this book made me sigh contentedly when I finished it. Maybe it was Annie, maybe it was her description of looking for ‘home’, maybe it was Griffin…likely it was all of that and more all tied together in a sweet story.
I am currently delighted with ‘The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris’ by John Baxter. Just completely delighted–will tell more when I finish reading it, o’ course.

Luuucccyyyyy!?! And A Happy Ending.

I have long been an ‘I Love Lucy’ fan, identifying with her well meaning endeavors gone awry–especially in my married life. That Husband o’ mine cannot watch the ‘I Love Lucy’ show on tv without shaking his head and muttering something like ‘Peas inna pod, I say’–referring to my penchant for Lucy-like mishaps and fix-it escapades gone wrong.

While–thankfully–I’ve never lost him a job or missed a boat I was supposed to be on, I have been known to attempt a fix or two that didn’t turn out as expected. Like the kitchen faucet that worked fine until I fixed a leak but broke a handle in the process or the truck tire that needed air and ended up flatter than it was when I started. Of course, I still say those things were NOT my fault but mere results of poor craftsmanship, age of said item or badly given directions.

As a tribute to my Lucy-ness, a few years ago that Husband o’ mine purchased a picture just like this one and it now hangs in our downstairs bathroom (where the decor is in the ‘whatever funny thing we bring home’ theme). It makes him laugh to himself every time he looks at it, for he is oh-so-often kissing me while laughing and saying “It’s okay, Lucy, I’ll fix it.” Of course, that’s after the possible freak out in which he might rant a bit–in English, though. I say possible freak out because over the years the freak outs have mostly turned to sympathy at my well-meaning attempts. Yeah.

The recent celebration of Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday and marathons of the iconic ‘I Love Lucy’ show reminded me that, even though the real life marriage of Lucy and Desi was tumultuous and did not endure, the fictional Lucy and Ricky Ricardo always managed to love and laugh with all being well at the end of the day. Ya know…that’s all I need around these parts–love, laughter and a happy ending.

Mary Oliver Talks

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”–  from ‘The Summer Day’ by Mary Oliver

There’s so much good stuff to read in the world today–I know I say that all the time, but tis true.

Today I thought I’d share an article I read recently in Oprah magazine. Say what you will about Oprah and her tv show or her philosophy or whatever, but she’s done some amazing things and that magazine often has quite a bit of good stuff to read about a variety of topics. Stuff beyond accessorizing(though there is that, too) and beyond the latest household trick to get things done faster(though those tips are a good thing, too).

This particular magazine typically has interviews with very interesting people of all walks of life, inspiring stories of hope and triumph. And reading, oh the reading. Articles about what books are sparking interest in general or being read by people can always be found in the Oprah magazine. Many of those interesting people features bring up books and reading, too.

Recently I read one of those interesting  interviews by Maria Shriver with poet Mary Oliver. The story was simultaneously an interesting person interview and about books and nature and writing and reading. All favorites of mine, in case you didn’t know this about me yet. One of my favorite quotes from the interview is this one:

“They say if Mary is taking a walk, and she begins to walk slower and slower, and finally she’s standing still scribbling, you know it was a successful walk.”  Aa-men–I love that!

If you’re looking for something good to read, click over, give it a read and let me know your thoughts…



(photocredit goes to morgueFile)



‘I’ll tell you how the sun rose…a ribbon at a time…’ ~ Emily Dickinson

...this is actually sunset, but you get the idea--I love sunshine.

It’s no secret that I love sunshine and feel its warmth is the very essence of my well being. I soak up sunrise, sunset, every ray. When it’s too hot or c-o-l-d out, I have certain sunny spots in my house I seek out for my fix. Woe unto the person or cat who happens to be in my spot. (said in scary ghost voice www-ooooooeee) *ahem* Unless they share, o’course.

So when I decided to start moving more–ya know writers sit, we sit ALOT–I started back to walking often and such, I wanted to stretch as well. I could just feel m’body gettin’ a bit stiff lately. I AM 40 after all–while it sure ain’t old, it brings a bit o’ stiffness apparently. Who knew–and why didn’t you share?!?

how CUTE is this?!?

So one day I thought I’d surf a few yoga poses online, not that I was gonna get all into that yogity bizness, but the stretches looked up my alley. And I saw this yoga set/routine/sessionthing called ‘Sun Salutations’. Being the sunshine lover that I am, that name alone was attention getting.  I checked it out–click here, it’s got cute drawings–and lo’ n behold I liked it. I’ve been doing my sun salutations most days and I tell ya, folks, it limbers up the bod’. Yoga, yogity yo bizness  *shakin’ head* I know.