Flowers

Flowers

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Best Peanut Brittle in The Dale, Cheesy Potatoes and Ham AND Pics of Judith and The Chick

Good Thursday evening!

I have a very short and sweet post to share today, but it includes pics of Judith, so I'm assuming you won't mind.

RANDOMNESS #1 - If you live in The Dale...

And you enjoy the occasional peanut brittle...

You need to go to Witt's Market on the corner of Highway 31 and Snow Roger's Road.

Not only do they have beautiful hanging baskets, ferns, fresh vegetables and fruit, but they also sell bags of peanut brittle, and it is fantastic.

Some of the best brittle I've ever eaten.

"What makes it the best?" you ask.

It isn't the least bit hard...

Even at it's thickest point.

There is a little salty taste with the sweet which, as we all know, is SO important when making excellent peanut brittle. (The salty to sweet ratio is perfection!)

And it doesn't get stuck in your teeth.

Just so you know, today's wasn't the first batch I have tried.

The second batch was equally as wonderful as the first.

Enjoy!

RANDOMNESS #2 - I felt the need to be with Judith in the middle of the week a few days ago, so that's what I did.

It was very "Nana B" of me.

We went for a little stroll to a park less than one block from where she lives, and although there were no swings or other playground toys around, we enjoyed the walking part very much.


It turns out Judith is a Plaque Reader.

You may remember I am also married to a Plaque Reader, and while it hasn't been a deal breaker for me and Mikie, adjustments had to be made early on in our marriage...

And it hasn't been an easy problem to solve.

We've had counseling.

However, for some unknown reason, I enjoyed reading plaques with Judith.

Even the ones about plants found in the park.

Does that mean I love Judith more than Mikie?

Hmmm.

Surely not.


When was the last time you walked somewhere swinging your arms with such gusto?


Yeah.

That's what I thought.


Oh, to be 16 months old again.


This was Judith's face when I gave her the hard, cold facts about Alabama humidity.


I think she handled the information about ALL of the bad hair days in her future with grace and dignity.


Then we went home, drank juice and sat on air conditioning vents.


She may be a Plaque Reader like Pop, but she cools off like Nana B!

RANDOMNESS #3 - Austin is still producing Richard Dixon's radio show, but they can now be heard on FM 99.5.

It is pretty awesome...

And we are all pretty excited about the big change.

This picture was taken after his last radio show at JSU many moons ago.


I guess I will have to change his nickname from "The Boy" to "The Man" now.

Heavy, heavy, happy sigh.

Cheesy Potatoes and Ham

You will need the following:

6 cups peeled, sliced potatoes
2 1/2 cups cooked ham, cubed
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk

1. Layer one-third of potatoes, ham and cheese in slow cooker.

2. Repeat two more times.

3. Combine soup and milk. Pour over ingredients in slow cooker.

4. Cover and cook on high 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and cook 6 to 8 hours more or just until potatoes are soft.

This is a very good dish, and I served it with roasted carrots and broccoli to make up for all the "cheesy goodness."

Have a great weekend. I'll be back soon.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Here a some pics of The Chick with a couple of her college buddies, Sarah Kathryn and Mallory.




Pretty, pretty girls.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

MotherWalk, Blog Linkage, Pinterest Stuff (Verses for Anxiety) AND Peach Cobbler Dump Cake

Good Saturday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - First and foremost, The Chick is back in town...




And Tuck and I are very happy campers!

RANDOMNESS #2 - Our family attended MotherWalk this past Saturday. This was our fifth consecutive walk and Team Tootsie was 16 strong.


Roxie finished first in the 5K for her age category...


And Courtney finished second in the 5K for her age category.


Judith decided to skip the 5K and concentrate on bulking up for the Fun Run/Walk.


Zac and Mallie.


Judith and Uncle Austin.

Fun Runs are obviously "serious business" as far as Miss Judith is concerned.


Except for the time or two Pop or Uncle Austin scooped her up for a ride on their shoulders, Judith walked the Fun Run just fine, thank you very much!


This year, MotherWalk recognized the first, second and third place winners of each age category with a medal.


Courtney and Roxie were pretty excited...

As was Zac.


This was our group. The lady on the far left is one of my Mom's chemo nurses, and we welcomed her photobomb.

You may have noticed we were missing Stephanie and Josh.

Stephanie was attending a family baby shower, and Josh was working his new job.

They were both definitely there in spirit.

We ended the event with a big ol' family lunch at Cracker Barrel and declared our fifth MotherWalk a huge success!

RANDOMNESS #3 - I've included some pics from my great-nephew's first birthday party. Micah turned one, and the theme for his party was BASEBALL!






Can you believe Matthew is eight years-old?


Amber and the Birthday Boy.


Big sister, Mackenzie.


The curls...


They slay me!

Blog Linkage - Go to www.kellehampton.com and read her post "Splish, Splash, Arts & Crafts." Her daughter, Lainey turned 9 and there are some really good ideas if you have a child with a summer birthday.

After you go to the website, type the title of the post in the Search Box. It will take you where you want to go.

Pinterest Stuff

Verses for Anxiety

Since I am sufferer of the anxiety, I use these verses OFTEN!

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:25-34

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

Facebook Stuff

The Chick loves waterfalls.

And she loves to hike to them.

Personally, I enjoy the occasional waterfall, too.

But I like the waterfalls you find at the end of a lovely, winding well-paved road...

That you drive The Big Gold Van upon...

Looking for said waterfall.

She and I have decided to agree to disagree on which method is best.

I found this list on Facebook of seven waterfalls in Alabama. I don't know if she will see them all this Summer, but she's going to give it a try.

And I am going to support her!

1. Moss Rock Preserve – Hoover, Alabama - Moss Rock Preserve is a beautiful 349-acre nature preserve filled with forest systems, rock outcroppings, several species of wildlife and picturesque waterfalls.

2. Noccalula Falls - Gadsden, Alabama - This breathtaking waterfall is the main feature of Noccalula Falls Park, and it cascades 90 feet over a Lookout Mountain ledge and into a lush ravine.

3. Little River Falls - Fort Payne, Alabama - Little River Falls is located within Little River Canyon National Preserve. The formation of Little River Canyon begins at this lovely 45-foot waterfall.

4. DeSoto Falls - Mentone, Alabama - DeSoto Falls is a magnificent 104-foot waterfall that's formed where the West Fork of the Little River plunges from a Lookout Mountain cliff. It's considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the South.

5. Piney Branch Falls - Marshall County, Alabama - Piney Branch Falls is an incredible waterfall located on the outskirts of Columbus City. It's important to mention that this waterfall is located on private property. The owners live on site, so be sure to ask permission before checking out the waterfall.

6. High Falls - Oak Grove, Alabama - High Falls, a majestic waterfall that's formed by Town Creek, is a hidden gem that's tucked away in a remote Sand Mountain hideaway. High Falls is 35 feet high, and at times it spans more than 300 feet across.

7. Turkey Creek Falls - Pinson, Alabama - Turkey Creek Falls is a fine example of the incredible scenery that can be found within Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, a 466-acre preserve that protects some of the most beautiful areas in the Southeast.

Peach Cobbler Dump Cake

You will need the following:

3 cans peaches in heavy syrup
1 package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a 13" x 9" baking dish, dump 2 cans of peaches and syrup. Drain the third can and add only the peaches to the baking dish.

3. Top peaches with dry cake mix, and spread it evenly across the entire surface of peaches.

4. Drizzle cake mix with butter.

5. Bake 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until top is deep golden brown and fruit is bubbly. Dust with powdered sugar or top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream before serving, if desired.

Variations - Prepare as recipe directs, except:

For PRALINE PECAN PEACH COBBLER DUMP CAKE, in a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans. Sprinkle over butter before baking.

For RASPBERRY CREAM PEACH COBBLER DUMP CAKE, top with fresh raspberries and whipped cream before serving.

For SALTED CARAMEL PEACH COBBLER DUMP CAKE, top each portion with a drizzle of hot caramel sauce and a small pinch of coarse sea salt before serving.

For TOASTED ALMOND PEACH COBBLER DUMP CAKE, sprinkle 1/2 cup sliced almonds evenly over butter before baking.

Okay, Guys. Have a great weekend, and I'll be back very soon with a little of this and a lot of that!

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mother's Day in Oxford, Facebook Stuff (15 Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants) AND Mountain Dew Cake

Good Wednesday evening!

RANDOMNESS #1 - When we visited Mrs. Faulkner this past Sunday for Mother's Day, our visit coincided with my great-niece and great-nephew's visit.

I was a little bit thrilled about the coincidence.

Here are just a few pics of our Mother's Day visit to Oxford this past Sunday.


The only thing cuter than an upside down baby...


Is a curled-up-on-the-floor-toe-holding baby.

Am I right?


Mackenzie has the perfect profile for the high ponytail.


Grandpa and Mackenzie.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Remember this guy.


Yep.

That's Tucker...

WAY back in December.


This is Tucker today.

I have a Tucker story if you have the time.

Last week, I took The Tuckster to the vet for a check-up.

I left in plenty of time to arrive early (no small feat for me), but when I went to the gate to put his leash on, I was met by our backyard neighbor's pit bull, Delores.

DISCLAIMER - I know Delores isn't her real name, but we started calling her that when she first arrived, and it stuck.

Delores had dup a big hole under her fence, ESCAPED and had come to our gate to play with Tuck.

My first thought was to put her inside our fence while we were gone so she would be safe.

My second thought was to NOT put her inside our fence in case she dug a HUGE hole that Tuck would use at a later date.

My third thought was to take her home, but where I had once been SO early, I was now SO late.

I called the proper "people," and when we returned home, Delores was safe and sound in her own space.

I am sorry to say, things went downhill from there.

Tuck was FANTASTIC on the ride to the vet.

He was equally FANTASTIC getting out of The Big Gold Van and walking into the lobby of the vet's office.

He went INSANE upon entering the lobby and seeing two well-behaved beagles.

So INSANE...

Well...

Long story, slightly shorter...

I kind of ended up on the floor of the lobby of our vet's office.

And while it is a very clean vet office...

It is still, and will always be, a floor where dozens...

NAY...

Hundreds of animals visit every single day.

Between moppings.

Don't get me wrong.

Tucker meant no harm to the beagle duo. He just wanted to play with new friends.

I could just tell from the beagles' owner's face, it wasn't going to end well, so I decided we would wait for our appointment outside on the bench.

In theory, this would have worked great, but a pick-up truck chose that exact moment to pull into the parking lot. Out of the pick-up truck hopped an average-sized man and a HUGE German Shepherd-type dog.

HUGE!

The dog couldn't see Tuck from his vantage point, but I choose to think he sensed his presence.

Otherwise, I would have to admit he wanted to eat me.

It took everything the average-sized man could do to hold him back, and he apologetically explained to me, "He doesn't play well with other dogs."

I wanted to ask, "How does he do with humans?"

But it was pretty apparent.

The man decided to wait in his pick-up truck.

I decided to wait in the lobby.

I felt it was a good decision for all concerned.

By the time our appointment was over, my black jeans were covered in dog hair from my time spent on the lobby floor...

My shirt was "I-just-fell-off-the-pier-into-the-lake" wet...

And Tucker was exhausted.

He climbed into the back of The Big Gold Van, curled into a ball and promptly fell into a very sound sleep.

I felt the same way, except I probably would have had a good cry before promptly falling asleep.

All that being said, Tucker is one sweet, lovable 41-pound-and-growing pup.

And we love him.

A lot.




Maybe not as much as well-behaved Eunice...

But still a lot!

Facebook Stuff

Even if I wasn't a lover of all lists, this would still intrigue me!

15 Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants In Alabama That Will Blow Your Taste Buds Away

1. Big Spring Cafe - Huntsville - Big Spring Cafe opened in 1928, making it Huntsville's oldest operating Cafe. It's also known as the "Home of the Greasy Burger."

2. Down South BBQ - Foley - Down South BBQ serves some of the best barbecue on the Gulf Coast. This BBQ joint offers includes BBQ plates, delicious side dishes and their famous cornbread sandwiches.

3. Mrs. B's Home Cooking - Montgomery - Mrs. B's Home Cooking features down-home, Southern cooking that's served cafeteria style. Customers simply enter the food line, grab a tray and load up on delicious meats and vegetables. Everything is delicious at this popular Southern-style restaurant.

4. Po Boy Factory - Huntsville - Po Boy Factory is a Cajun and New Orleans seafood restaurant that's well known for its delicious made-from-scratch dishes. Most of the dishes from their menu cost less than $10, which include popular food items such as po boys, shrimp, jambalaya and oysters.

5. La Placita Mexican Grill - Madison - La Placita Mexican Grill is one of the best Mexican restaurants in the Madison area. The portions are huge, prices are great and the service can't be beat. What more could you ask for?

6. Flip Flop Deli Shop - Gulf Shores - Flip Flop Deli Shop is a great place to grab a bite to eat during lunch. Don't forget to get some of their delicious ice cream before you leave.

7. The Choice Restaurant - Gadsden - The Choice Restaurant, located in downtown Gadsden, is a popular spot for breakfast and lunch. Everything is homemade and the prices are very reasonable. You won't leave disappointed.

8. Greenbrier Restaurant - Madison - Greenbrier Restaurant is a local favorite that specializes in catfish, barbecue and seafood. Due to the diversity of Greenbrier's menu, there's something available for everyone.

9. Kitchen on George - Mobile - Kitchen on George is one of Mobile's finest restaurants. It's located within the Oakleigh Garden Historic District and the incredible dishes are created from locally sourced ingredients.

10. The Garage Cafe - Birmingham - The Garage Cafe features an amazing courtyard. When it comes to food, their specialty sandwiches are incredible!

11. Archibald's BBQ - Northport - Archibald's BBQ is best known for their amazing ribs. According to "USA Today" and "Good Morning America," they have some of the best ribs in America.

12. Taqueria El Cazador - Huntsville - Taqueria El Cazador is a Mexican restaurant that's located inside of a bus. What makes this restaurant unique is the fact guests can actually eat inside the bus, even though there's limited seating. They're best known for their tacos, but all of the menu items are delicious.

13. Sammy's Sandwich Shop - Birmingham - This family-owned and operated sandwich shop is known for serving the best burger in town. It's also a popular lunch spot among the locals.

14. Holy Smokes BBQ - Scottsboro - Holy Smokes BBQ is possibly the best BBQ joint in Scottsboro. Their fall-off-the-bone ribs are incredible, and their stuffed baked potatoes are a definite must try.

15. Tip Top Grill - Hoover - In addition to offering their guests a spectacular view, Tip Top Grill also offers delicious burgers and hot dogs. At one time, this unique restaurant was a gas station.

NOTE FROM THE ENCHANTING BELINDA - I am sad to say I have only been to Tip Top Grill. However, before Summer comes to an end, I plan on visiting The Garage Café and Sammy's Sandwich Shop here in Birmingham. I will let you know what I think!

Mountain Dew Cake

You will need the following:

1 box lemon cake mix
1 can Mountain Dew
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spray Bundt pan with cooking spray.

3. With mixer, combine the cake mix, 1/4 cup Mountain Dew, eggs and vegetable oil.

4. Mix on low for 30 seconds. Turn speed up to medium and continue mixing for 2 more minutes.

5. Pour cake batter into prepared pan and bake 45 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean.

6. Let cool in pan.

7. When cake has cooled, prepare glaze.

8. Mix 3 cups powdered sugar and 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Mountain Dew together in a medium bowl.

9. Stir until there are no lumps.

10. Pour the glaze over the cake.

I made this cake this week, and it was very easy and delicious.

It looked good, too.

Have a great Wednesday night. I will be back soon!

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

Thursday, May 5, 2016

New Orleans (Day Four)... The Final Day... Finally, Judith's First Spend the Night at Nana B's, The Chick's Spring Formal AND Blog Linkage

Good Wednesday evening!

RANDOMNESS #1 - I would like to start this post by telling you some of the many reasons I enjoy attending Estate Sales.

I love exploring different neighborhoods.

I love finding that rare "treasure" I've never seen before...

Like Eunice.


And I love, love, love the copious amount of cookbooks available for purchase at the sales.

Really, really, really great cookbooks.

Sometimes you can get them as cheap as $1 apiece.

You can find familiar cookbooks (Southern Living-style), old cookbooks (The Joy of Cooking) and even cookbooks about other cookbooks.

It's exhilarating, I tell you.

Well, at least it was until three weeks ago.

I found a perfect condition hardback copy of a Campbell's Soup Cookbook, and it only cost $.50.

My rule of thumb is to make sure there are at least FIVE recipes in a cookbook I would be willing to try.

Just five.

This particular cookbook had 11 recipes I was interested in, but I made the mistake of making three of them in one week...

And all three put together were not worth $.50.

Y'all...

I made cupcakes with Campbell's tomato soup.

I know.

I am particularly ashamed of that one.

The other two recipes weren't horrible, but I will not be making those specific dishes again.

Needless to say, I thought I would be sharing one, two or three new recipes with you today, but that is not the case.

Maybe next week?

RANDOMNESS #2 - New Orleans (Day Four) - On our final day in New Orleans, Mike had a meeting until noon. We had decided to check out The Garden District, so we left our hotel on the edge of The French Quarter and drove SIX MILES on Merchant Avenue putting The French Quarter far, far behind us.

The Garden District is a totally different world.

Totally.

We had asked a young concierge at our hotel where we should eat in The Garden District, and without hesitation he said, "The Rum House."

That sounded a little too much like a bar, but upon questioning the young man, it turned out to be a very unique taco joint. We decided to check it out from the outside before committing to the inside, and guess what?

It was a big, airy taco joint.

Mike and I sat beside huge windows and people-watched while we waited for our Grilled Jerk Chicken Tacos with Mango Salsa and Jamaican Macaroni and Cheese.

Can I just say I am a Southern girl through and through...

And if anyone had tried to tell me prior to eating lunch at The Rum House that Jamaican Macaroni and Cheese was better than Alabama Macaroni and Cheese, I would have consider those "fightin' words."

Now I want to go to Jamaica and listen to steel drums and beautiful Jamaican accents and eat bowls of Jamaican mac and cheese ALL day long.

Every day.


The "vibe" in The Garden District is very different than The French Quarter. It is just as colorful and musical, but in a different way.

You can walk and walk and walk (or drive and drive and drive) and see house after house after colorful house.


And the beads!


The beads are everywhere.


And I mean everywhere.






We found The Audubon Zoo!

It was across the street from The Audubon Park...

And the Audubon Golf Course...

And a couple of blocks away from Tulane University.

You know where you can find me the next time we visit New Orleans!

RANDOMNESS #3 - Judith spent the night with us this past Friday night.

We had so much fun.


She played with her new maracas...


She read books...


And she helped Pop put the new Pack N Play together...


Sort of.






Saturday morning, the three of us went to Pepper Place.










It was a lovely way to spend a Friday and Saturday.

RANDOMNESS #4 - Roxie attended her first Spring Formal this past weekend. As you can probably tell, a good time was had by all.


Roxie and Natalie.


Emma, Roxie, Ally and Ellie.


Roxie and Ellie.

Such pretty girls...

Inside and out.

Blog Linkage

1. Go to My Blog List and click on The Nesting Place. Read her post entitled, "When You're Sick of Cluttered Counters." I need to take her advice immediately!

2. Go to My Blog List (one more time) and click on A Little Bit of Me. Read her post entitled, "May the 4th 2016." This is a great, memorable tradition for a Dad and the kids. It doesn't have to be a Star Wars Marathon, but to have a specific day and time to look forward to being with Dad each and every week for a month or more would most definitely be time well spent...

In my opinion.

That is all.

Have a great Thursday! I'll be back soon.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda
Site Meter