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Couldn't boil water, but cooked like an angel

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My husband's wonderful grandmother Christine or "Grandma," as her grandkids called her, used her exemplary cooking skills to show her love to her family, everyone appreciated and looked forward to her being in the kitchen. That meant something delicious was going to appear. 
Before I share the recipe for her legendary cinnamon twists let's see how this all came about.Special thanks go out to my wonderful Mother-in-law Hilda for sharing the story and recipe.
Grandma and her husband Hicklin (Grandad) were newlyweds who lived in Gainesville, Florida. He was a student at the University of Florida. I'm sure her husband wanted to eat when he'd come back to their place at a rooming house. There was only one little problem . . . Grandma (Christine) didn't even know how to boil water. True story. So their landlady taught her how to cook these cinnamon twists and many other scrumptious meals.

You never know how a person's singular act of kindness can filter throu…

All things sweet

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The manuscript I am writing features a baker. As I tap away at the keyboard, my mind dances around all the delicious recipes collected over the years by my family and my husband's.

Last week, I shared my grandmother Inez's Lemon Icebox Recipe. This week, is another recipe for those that love sweet, gooey pies. A coconut pie, the photo above is from my mother Betty's kitchen. It's of her amazing coconut pie.

She loves to bake for friends and family and we all happily accept her delicious acts of love, and turn a blind eye to the calorie content within, at least for the day.

"We who had sweet fellowship together Walked in the house of God in the throng." 
-Psalm 55:14


A little history on this recipe, it's from my grandmother's neighbor, she was a legendary pie baker and gifted this recipe to her.  I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. 


Betty's Best Coconut Pie

Ingredients:
1 deep-dish unbaked pie shell (Homemade or store-bought) 1 can Angel Fl…

What do you do with lemons?

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As the great former baseball player and manager Yogi Berra said, "Cut my pie into four slices, I don't think I can eat eight."

As Easter is upon us, we might think about what to serve to our loved ones. Do we cook a ham  or something altogether different like beef or lamb? I have to admit friends, my thoughts like Yogi Berra's turn to sweets, pies to be exact.

I wanted to share with you a recipe for a delicious Lemon Icebox Pie. It's is worthy of a spot on my table and I wanted to pass it along so you might use it on yours.The recipe comes from my late grandmother Inez, or as my sister and I called her "Nini."  

We'd visit in the sweltering heat of a Tupelo, Mississippi summer. Elvis' birthplace.(My mother went to junior high with him. Since he was a year older, she never met him, his picture is in her yearbook which is very neat.To this day, she's still a huge Elvis fan). 

But I digress, back to this lemony wonder. My Nini would whip up this de…

Rush for Love!

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I had the pleasure to read Author Janice Thompson's book My Heart Belongs in San Francisco recently and wanted to share a review of this book with you. If you enjoy reading clean historical fiction, you'll want to read this one.


Love comes unexpectedly for this English socialite. Her mind had one agenda, and her heart another. Author Janice Thompson wrote a wonderful romance set during the California gold rush era.

Abby Effingham has a singular goal in place to find her wayward mother and bring her home. She encounters several pitfalls which waylay her search to find her mother. She takes the advice of a person she's met along the way and heads to San Francisco knowing the lure of the city will draw her mother there. Whom she meets there is a memorable cast of characters.

Sam Harris is a hotel manager with a heart as large as the state he lives in. Will these two meet and fall in love? You'll have to see for yourself when you read this fast-paced, clean read.

Wholly broken

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This morning, this  ceramic bird accidentally lost it's tail. After I stopped my grumbling, and took a few deep breaths, I realized this is me . . . maybe you as well.

Through heartache, illness, job loss, death of a loved one, divorce are we not all broken into pieces  as the tail of this bird?



We don't have our rudder to soar into the next minute, hour, or day. 



Yet we can rely on His love, care, and protection of us. He is our rudder. 
Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:7

Within my own extended family I can say all the aforementioned things have happened. 
Job loss caused us to downsize and move from a home I thought we'd be in for many years. Since my family and I have gone through this, we've been able to be a support to others who have had to endure this painful, scary time in their lives. Looking back on it, we also narrowly missed the "keeping up with the Jones's' pitfall tha…

Life is messy, be brave, be you

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My husband brought home a red heart-shaped box filled with pretty candies for Valentine's Day. It delighted my sweet tooth. As I bit into the perfect, luscious, caramel, it hit me.

Am I living like this box of chocolate . . .  always penned in to boundaries, striving for perfection, wanting to look like my neighbor next to me, but being the round, bumpy chocolate piece instead of the smooth, flawless square in their pretty little container?

Like me, I believe we all want to be in the safe zone. Going through life and hoping it flows as smoothly as the milk or dark chocolates that made the pieces in this box. There's one problem-

Life is messy.
For those of you that are parents or grandparents, we need to enjoy some of the not-so-perfect moments like our kids while they paint or play with sand on a beach vacation.  We can't take it too seriously, or the memory-making moments will be lost. Take those chances.
Be brave. 
As for perfection, no one person is perfect, only our He…

Blame it on the paper bag ....

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It all started harmlessly, why not try to make it easier to cook dinner?

I polled my Facebook friends about their ideas regarding those fresh food delivery places. I settled on one and placed my order, excited to not have to think about what to make for dinner. Hooray!

The box arrived on Monday and I unpacked the cute brown grocery bags all neatly labeled with the recipe ingredients inside. It was something I'd envision Rachel Ray or some other famous chef doing to their foods they stored in their fridges.

I pulled out the mustard and maple glazed pork ingredients. There were gnarled-looking Fingerling potatoes in the bottom of the bag. I was ready to do some prepping as I gathered my Mack truck-sized cutting board and what I hoped was the veggie knife. How clever I thought I was when I put aluminum foil on the bottom of the baking pan. Au Contraire!

It will come back to haunt me in a bit.

I tossed the potatoes in the olive oil completely forgetting any high school Chemistry less…