Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekly Travels: Episode II

Last week, I had the pleasure of working in the Savannah area. On my drive down, I stopped in Metter to call on accounts. It was a beautiful day and colorful flags were everywhere. I absolutely love small towns and am so grateful that my work allows me to visit many of them throughout the year.

As you can see on the black flag, Metter is home of Televangelist "The Sower" Dr. Michael Guido. He passed away in February, so I took this opportunity to visit the Guido headquarters. Growing up near Metter, "The Sower" was one of our South Georgia celebrities, so I felt the urge to pay my respects.

Here's a brief entry regarding Dr. Guido (from Savannah Now):

Longtime televangelist Michael Guido, who distributed his "Seeds from the Sower" sermonettes around the world, died around 9 p.m. Saturday at the Candler County Hospital in Metter. He was 94 years old.

For more than 50 years, Michael Guido was known by Christians worldwide as a televangelist whose wholesome radio, television and newspaper sermonettes promoted hard work, the Golden Rule and faith in a loving God.

Guido first came to Metter in 1943 as a young gospel singer. He met and later married his wife, Audrey Guido.

After leaving Metter, I prepared to drive for one more hour to enjoy lunch at Skylers, one of my regular spots in Savannah. When visiting Savannah, I rarely miss an opportunity to visit Skylers, located in the basement of the historic East Bay Inn located at 225 East Bay Street. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal...brace yourself--I had a crabcake, a Moon roll (spring roll) and Teriyaki Chicken with rice and sauteed veggies. NO I DID NOT EAT IT ALL!!! I barely ate half and was absolutely stuffed. All that food plus sweet tea for $13 (including tip). If you have the opportunity to travel to Savannah, add Skyler's to your casual dining list.

I enjoyed a wonderful three days in the beautiful, historic Savannah area. I'm looking forward to my return visits, for both business and pleasure.

Sheila Denise

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Salmon Croquette Medallions

I absolutely love weekend mornings when I can enjoy a leisurely breakfast/brunch. I tend to skip breakfast alot during the work week, because I don't like to eat in a hurry. This morning, I didn't really want a traditional breakfast, so I decided to make salmon croquettes. I'm going through a "small bites" phase, so I made them smaller than usual.

While on my little scavenger hunt in the fridge, I noticed some peanut sauce from a couple of weeks ago, a small piece of parmesan, half a red pepper and some green leaf lettuce headed towards the end of it's life and they all ended up in this morning's meal--Salmon Croquette Medallions Salad with Grated Parmesan and Peanut Sauce.

Sheila Denise

Friday, March 27, 2009

Random Breakfast Shots

Just clearing the memory card on camera #2. No story behind the photos, merely different ways I begin my day. Enjoy.

Bacon & scrambled eggs with TONS of pepper:

Grilled thick sliced deli ham & scrambled eggs with peppers and mushrooms (BF - Before Pepper):

Ham & Egg Panini:

Sheila Denise

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hen & Dumplings By Curtis, My Brother

A true southerner knows not everyone can make Hen & Dumplngs, which leads me to declare that it should only be done by those who can do it successfully. The destruction of a perfectly good hen and dough, should be illegal.

Let me preface this by stating--my brother Curtis is a DAMN GOOD COOK. He is one of the best cooks/bakers I know, and given the fact that I've have years of "good-food-eating" experience, that says alot. Thankfully, we're all good cooks, which kinda sorta explains my need to lose a few pounds, but this post isn't about my butt, it's about the Hen & Dumplings.

Curt (we call him Curt), can cook/bake anything and does so on a very regular basis (unlike Riley, our sister who has to ensure the proper alignment of the stars, the stillness of the wind and who knows what else before she turns the cooktop/oven to the "on" position).

We all spent the weekend at Mother's (yes I call her Mother) to celebrate her 80th birthday. When I arrived on Friday evening, Curt was stewing the hen and I must say, it smelled divine. I was eager to taste this treat, as I haven't had real Hen & Dumplings in a few years. My Aunt Maxine's were the the last version I had eaten. Curt said this would be Sunday dinner. I wasn't going to be there for Sunday dinner so I planned to take a care package home for my Sunday pleasure.

Every time I go to Mother's for any type of shin-dig, I somehow eat nonstop during the entire visit, and this trip was no different. I shortchanged myself when I was putting my little Hen & Dumplings care package together. I was so stuffed, that I only took enough to feed a small child, a very, very small child--the biggest mistake I've made in recent history. As I reheated my tiny care package, I tried to pretend it was enough, but in fact it was simply a teaser. I had to search for one of my smallest bowls to serve it in. Lesson learned--no matter how stuffed you are, take enough Hen & Dumplings for at least two people or you'll regret it.

Curt called me on Sunday morning and advised that the dish needed pepper and I didn't need any coaxing to add pepper (and thyme). Oh the joy of comfort food.

Sheila Denise

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Sister's Breasts

GOTCHA!! Not her actual breasts (breasticles as I call them), I'm referring to CHICKEN breasts. This all started on Saturday when my sister, Riley, called to announce that she was shopping for ingredients for yet another recipe she discovered. Riley is an exceptional cook; however, she doesn't do it often, so I was excited that I could possibly invite myself to Saturday dinner. She then clearly stated, "Oh, I'm cooking this for Sunday and everybody's coming." I spent the remainder of Saturday afternoon thinking about Sunday dinner. I received a call later on Saturday and Riley said, "Girl, the chicken is soooo good. I don't think there'll be any left for tomorrow, so I'm cooking an Irish roast in honor of Saint Patrick's Day!" I was in shock, she TOLD me that we were having chicken on Sunday. I didn't want Irish roast!! I was hurt and determined to make her feel really, really bad about her change in plans. No, it never occurred to me how spoiled and selfish that sounds.

So I arrive (pouting) for dinner on Sunday and there to greet me were a few pieces of LEFTOVER CHICKEN BREASTICLES!!! Stuffed with arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and GOAT CHEESE (one of my favorite cheeses). I was thrilled beyond description. She sliced and I plated and it was delicious. I practically forgot that I was there for the Irish meal, so I enjoyed it as my appetizer.

The Irish meal was fabulous, but I'm still thinking of breasticles. I see making this chicken dish in my future.

Sheila Denise

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Country Ham Breakfast

Actually, it was for dinner, served with creamy White Cheddar Grits and Red Eye Gravy. It all began while I was minding my business (actually calling on accounts, well I had one more stop left), when I saw a sign in front of Ingles Supermarket that read, "Strawberries 2 one pound packages for $3" and my focus suddenly shifted. I adore strawberries and had to have them immediately, at that price, so I took a little break from work and went in to purchase strawberries. The strawberries were beauties and I inspected half the display until I found two packages of almost perfect berries.. Then I began to wander around and laid my eyes upon a country ham display and the rest is history, so to speak.

This meal reminds me of my childhood and all the wonderfully delicious breakfasts and dinners we enjoyed growing up. My mother always prepared hot meals for us daily, which, I didn't realize was a really big deal. I now appreciate the fact that she went to such lengths to ensure that we had "real food" during each meal.

Sheila Denise

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Weekly Travels: Episode I

As an Account Manager, my territory encompasses half the state of Georgia, from the northeastern mountains down to the southeastern coast, with many interesting points in between. My mission, while trekking though my territory, is to stumble upon unique dining opportunities, shop in one-of-a-kind spots, and view interesting things.

This week, while driving to Helen (at a slower pace than normal--thanks Mr. Slow Driver), I happened to notice a structure along the highway. I turned off GA Highway 75 onto GA Highway 17 to get a closer look and to read the marker. I really wanted to jump the fence and roll around in the green, green grass (how'd it get that green in March anyway?), but I remembered that I was working AND I didn't want to go to jail for doing something so incredibly silly. I took pictures instead. The view, with the mountain (Mount Yonah) in the background, was quite lovely. Take a look at the Nacoochee Indian Mound.

Sheila Denise

Monday, March 9, 2009

Shrimp with Mango and Black Bean Salsa Summer 08

I was clearing off a few media cards tonight and found some photos of two of my favorite things--shrimp and mango & black bean salsa. This was my default meal most of the warm months last year. I was a constant fixture at Costco, during their Seafood Road Shows. I have become addicted to their colossal shrimp and their HUGE scallops. Enough of my rambling...I have magazines to peruse.

Sheila Denise

Sunday, March 8, 2009

White Dishes: Episode 1

As mentioned in my little bio, I'm a lover of white dishes. I have no idea how many I have, but I do know they won't all fit in my kitchen, so they live unhappily in the garage as well as the bonus room. I think I'll convert the bonus into a hugemongous butler's pantry to house all my white dishes in style...someday.

I was shopping earlier this week (I shop almost daily) and stumbled upon these:

I knew instantly they'd become a part of my tribe of white plates, platters, bowls and the like. I scooped them up and naturally started scouring the store for more. Unfortunately, I didn't find more; however, I'm still on the prowl.

I can't be the only person who feels that specific foods MUST be served on specific dishes. When I saw these, I instantly thought about salads and hors d' oeuvres. I later read, on a message board I frequent, that a member had enjoyed an Asian Chicken Salad for dinner and the light bulb went off!!

I'm one of those people who must find an excuse to use the new stuff right away, so I did. Now I can gleefully tuck them away with the rest of my babies.

Sheila Denise

Ranger Cookies (courtesy of Rotnee Pooh)

I recently discovered the blog of a friend Rodney (affectionately called Rotnee Pooh by me and only me). While drooling over his photos and finding myself a bit nostalgic and giggly as I read his blog, I stumbled upon his entry "One Helluva Cookie" and I stopped breathing for about 10 seconds as I read the ingredients--all the things I love!! You can find the recipe here: Smiley Eats! I'm a complete sucker for a good cookie, among other things, so I wasn't going to be happy until I made them.

Well, here they are in all their glory. I even poured a glass of milk for the photo op. I don't actually drink milk--I use it as an ingredient for many things, but the cookies were begging for a partner.

I'm indeed a happy camper and I've only eaten one cookie. Thank you Rotnee Pooh. This one's a keeper!!

Sheila Denise

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Back to Fish

So I need to lose a few pounds and I haven't been very serious about it. I'm taking baby steps and I started with salmon tonight. Here's to a smaller, healthier me.

I didn't feel like spending alot of time in the kitchen, so I cheated with the potatoes. While the salmon was baking (in a foil-lined baking sheet), I diced the potatoes, tossed in EVOO and seasonings and microwaved. I then transferred them and the asparagus to the baking sheet with the salmon and roasted for about seven minutes. Dinner in 15-ish minutes and minimal cleanup.

Sheila Denise

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pepper Crusted NY Strip with Thyme Mushrooms

I'm not a huge steak eater, but I had a hankering (southern term) for a steak, so I was on a mission for a small, thin-ish (I make up words remember) piece of beef. I found exactly what I was seeking and sped home to prepare my dinner. I decided to cover it in coarsely ground black pepper and pulled out my trusty cast iron skillet (I LOVE CAST IRON!!).

I topped it with sauteed thyme mushrooms. A mashed potato stack and roasted asparagus completed the meal.

Sheila Denise

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Made Sliders Y'all!!

I was having a junk food attack so I caved and made sliders & stacked potatoes with rosemary and parmesan. I could only eat two, so somehow I felt like I was eating "light" for a moment. Quick, easy and delicious.

Sheila Denise