Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pecan Pie

I'll be the first to admit that I am not a Pecan Pie fan (by the way, how do you say pecan?). Every time I've had a piece in the past, it was heavy & syrupy. Mr. Potts, however, really likes pecan pie, so I made it my mission this Thanksgiving to find one that wasn't so syrupy sweet.

I found a new recipe that doesn't call for Karo syrup & it turned out perfect! I'll post pictures when I can, but I promise, this one is worth the hype!

What kind of dessert is your favorite for Thanksgiving?


  • 1 cup light brown sugar – used the Splenda brown sugar blend which made it 1/2 cup (measurement conversion on the bag)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar – used the Splenda sugar blend - made it 1/8th of a cup + 2 teaspoons (measurement conversion on the bag)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar and the flour; mix well. Last add the milk, vanilla and nuts.
  3. Pour into an unbaked 9-in pie shell. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I've been digging through all of my recipes for my favorites. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I think in part because of my memories associated with it. We always spent the holiday with my grandparents, who I miss every day. We enjoyed a day of laughter and love, story telling and teasing.

One of my favorite dishes is a homemade cranberry sauce. I grew up on the canned kind - remember the slurp it makes as it leaves the can? A few years ago I decided I would make my own homemade for Thanksgiving. It was a hit & now I make it every year. It goes really well with our Thanksgiving panini's - I'll share that recipe soon.



  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar - you can use the splenda/sugar blend
  • 1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange, peeled and pureed
  • 1 apple - peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 pear - peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 cup chopped dried mixed fruit - I sometimes leave this out
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


In a medium saucepan, boil water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to simmer, and stir in cranberries, pureed orange, apple, pear, dried fruit, pecans, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I've been tagged!

I follow Mrs. Stilettos blog - you should definitely check it out! The wonderful woman has tagged me & I'll respond in turn. Here's how it works:

I was tagged and next I'll tag three bloggers and in return they have to tag three more! The lucky blogger to be tagged has to answer ten questions and tell us a little about themselves! "

1. What is your funniest childhood story? I made my little brother let me put makeup all over his face. I had bright pink fingernail polish on a paper plate & smashed it in his face - the poor towhead was covered in pink polish which didn't wash our for months! Funny to me, just not to anyone else.

2. What would your dream dress look like if you could design it? Something soft, coral/red, comfy, but still sexy.

3. What weird habit does your hubby have? Not so weird, but definitely annoying. He takes super hot showers. Which really isn't a problem, but it heats up our bathroom & my temperature runs higher than average. It just kills me!

4. How many cookbooks are in your kitchen? 6 -8 probably, including self built ones with collections of my favorite recipes.

5. Granny panties or loyal Victoria Secret girl? Not grannies! Victoria's Secret - although I love Hanky Pankies

6. My favorite memory from 2008 so far is... Getting Married! Followed by the honeymoon in Barbados!

7. I secretly...wish I could get a massage every day.

8. I could really go for... Not really a go for, but I'm sick right now & would just like to get better.

9. We are going to have a big snow storm and you will find me... Not in the grocery store! Seriously, what do you think you'll do when you have no electricity & eggs that need cooking?? Most likely wrapped up in my favorite blanket, reading with a cup of hot tea or perhaps a cup of hot chocolate.

10. I knew he was the one... when he said that he loved Thai food for a date - he'd never had it before in his life. That's one small memory that stands out in my mind, there are countless others!

Next up:
Small Kitchen, Big Taste
The Tales of Bob & Cocoa
Kitchen Concoction

Each of these ladies have wonderful blogs - check them out!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We're Back!

We're back from Barbados & I have to admit, it is kind of nice. I loved the honeymoon & the relaxation & where we were, but you know, Dorothy really had it right. "There's no place like home."

We had the opportunity to relax in Barbados & really enjoy some great food. I enjoyed Zen, the Thai & Japanese restaurant. The food was marvelous & the view outstanding! We were sat at a small, private table by the window. Talk about romantic! We found authentic Bajan food & spent most of our time outside enjoying the weather. We ate outside most of the time as well as the island doesn't use much air conditioning!

Mr. Potts also found a new beer that he liked, Banks, bottled in Barbados. It was a great beer - I enjoyed it too!

Now, I've been tagged in a blog! I'm so excited about it & will write more about that in a few minutes.

Get ready for some Thanksgiving inspirations & special recipes!

Friday, November 14, 2008

On our way to Barbados!

I'm so excited about this! We had to wait a week between our wedding and honeymoon since the flights from Charlotte to Barbados only run on Saturdays. Why am I writing about this here, you may ask? We're going to have the chance to partake of some wonderful restaurants and cuisine. Gourmet oceanfront restaurants, authentic local eateries, to festive downtown bistros. We are lucky to have two restaurants at our resort, The Crane. Zen features classic Thai and Japanese cuisine overlooking Crane Beach. L'Azure showcases a panoramic sea view and Caribbean seafood, along with a Sunday brunch featuring live Caribbean gospel music!

Check out The Crane here.

With weather in the mid-high 80's we'll have perfect weather to do some exploring of local eateries - and hopefully some shopping!!

We'll be gone for a full week. I'll be back right before Thanksgiving. So I'll have to update with food from Barbados as well as what our Thanksgiving menu will be.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Stonewall Kitchen

I am obsessed with Stonewall Kitchen! I travel quite a bit for work and have been to Portland, Maine several times (it can get really cold!). On a trip there I discovered Stonewall Kitchen. Let me tell you a little about them.

Sixteen years ago two friends showed up at a local farmers market with their vinegars and jams. Friends would help them bottle their wares and seal them. Their staff now totals over 200 and they have 8 local stores. If you're lucky enough to be near one, stop in! What will you find? Fresh ingredients of the highest quality are all that are used.

For a bridesmaid brunch this past Friday, I ordered small jars of some of my favorite jams and preserves to give as gifts. They were such a hit! I made sure to order enough so that I could have one of each too. My favorite so far has been the Wild Maine Blueberry Jam, but I tried the Raspberry Peach Champagne Jam and I am hooked!

And yes, they really are worth writing home about! I send little gifts to my new grandmother all the time from them. She raves about them every time!

Check them out here - Stonewall Kitchen

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Holiday Cinnamon Roasted Nuts

We hosted a holiday party last year and these were definitely one of the hits of the party - the other was our bartender who enjoyed concocting special cocktails!


  • 6 egg whites
  • 6 teaspoons cold water
  • 6 cups whole mixed nuts ( I used pecans, walnuts & almonds)
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon ( I used a little more until I was satisfied I had enough cinnamon)
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet. I would use an old one, since the mix sticks. With the amount of nuts I made, I used 2 cookie sheets - definitely cut the recipe in half if you want less.
  • Lightly beat the egg white; add water, and beat until frothy but not stiff. Add the nuts, and stir until well coated. Mix the sugar, salt, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the nuts. Toss to coat, and spread evenly on the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until golden. Allow to cool, then store nuts in airtight containers.

My First Blog

I've always enjoyed cooking and baking, but have never had a venue to share my adventures. I thought this would be a great way to share some of my old favorites as well as new attempts.

I'm also in a small galley kitchen, which sometimes is not the most conducive to huge dinners. Although we've pulled off several large parties before where I've put together a full menu.

I hope you'll enjoy!