Sunday, January 31, 2010

Silver Sunday with Pandora, Troll and Tous and even James Avery

I love my silver jewelry!

Sitting in a hotel room in Mexico, it's a little difficult to find something silver... or is it? I am wearing it! The necklass is Pandora with almost all Pandora charms. The earrings are my new James Avery acquisition. They look heavy but they're light as  ... no chuncky earrings can. The tiny little figure is a bear and that is my Tous bracelet, a gift from a son and daughter-in-law. The bracelet with the brown glass Murano beads are Pandora, as well as most of the other charms, but they are strung on a Troll bracelet that has a clasp named "Mexico". The bracelet with the green Murano beads are primarily Pandora as well with a Pandora chain bracelet. I just cannot resist wearing this silver and feel so strange if they aren't hanging off of me. There are other bracelets, rings and earrings and often I mix them up. I love the turqouise and white Murano glass beads mixed in with the silver as well. There is on "orphan" in the bunch... a gold heart-shape charm with a ruby in the center... a Christmas gift from my hubby.


for some silver fun!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mantra - Marcela's boutique in Mexico

Welcome to "Mantra" - our daughter-in-law's boutique
in Mexico

The shop was brand new in these pictures in 2005
She kept the windows covered with butcher paper until opening day.
What a delight it was to see her lovely, decorated shop windows!

My husband and I dropped in to visit our daughter-in-law's boutique this evening. Her shop is in Tecoman, Colima, Mexico. Four or five times a year... and more often if she can manage to break away Marcela flies to Los Angeles where she finds the most fascinating fashions. She has a real knack for what women like to wear. She even shops for certain ladies in Tecoman and then sends a "runner" to their home with three or four garments, ready to be tried on. Rarely has any outfit come back.

As I watched Marcela talk to her customers I felt a little like I was transported back in time... to my grandmother, Jean's store... the Treasure Shop. Marcela's sisters, mother and two aunts were in her shop along with several customers. It was fun to watch the action. Marcela was clearly enjoying her profession. I am in awe of her fine sense for fashion, her business skills and ability to sell.

Not much has changed in Marcela's shop since the pictures were taken other than to enlarge it. It's an exciting and demanding journey for Marcela. We are so proud of her!

Carmen turns 6 and does a good deed!

Our son, Lance with his family: Marcela, Carmen and David

We are so proud of our granddaughter, Carmen. Instead of birthday gifts she asked that her little friends bring a donation to help buy shoes for underprivileged children with foot problems. Nearly $1,000 was collected. Last year she asked for her friends to bring clothing for the children's orphanage in town. What a great gift Carmen's parents are giving her! The joy of giving!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday is for Father and "Foodie Friday" in Mexico


   My father was my "Indiana Jones". A WW II Veteran, married my mother, completed his education, fathered four children, traveled and worked all over the world, was a writer, taught writing, was a WW II historian (his latest book .. now out of print.. is valued by some at $325) and a wonderful, loving man. He was passionate about history and world events.
   Born in Roswell, New Mexico, he spent some memorable years living in a hotel in Big Spring, Texas that his father managed and was a part-owner. After a stunt where after seeing a movie about Super Man (or some such flying actor) he made a parachute for himself, a box for his cat with another homemade parachute and was prepared to drop the cat first off of the roof of the hotel to study the art of flying. How this turned out is unknown, however, my father and his younger brother were shipped off to live with their grandmother on a farm near Rochelle, Texas. These were considered some of the best years of his life until his grandmother passed away and the boys went back to Big Spring to spend their high school years.
   My father was the most impressive man in my life. His high standards and devotion to family showed me that this was the sort of man I wanted to marry. And I did! Thank you, Daddy. I miss you!!

If you enjoy this type of posting be sure to visit Celestial Charms at Fridays with Fathers is her creation.

It's Foodie Friday
at the Fair in Tecoman, Colima, Mexico!

   This posting may be a little long. If only I could figure out those photo mosaics. Someday!
   We are here in Mexico on business... and most importantly to be with our granddaughter, Carmen who has turned six. Pictures of her party will be posted soon.
   The fair in Tecoman is always an event to enjoy. It is the same sort of state fair that we enjoy in the U.S. There are all sorts of exhibits displaying pens of local livestock and boxes of fruits and vegetables . Mini-restaurants are everywhere and carts of local foods are situated every few feet. Here is a little of what we saw Wednesday evening...

What is the fair without cotton candy? Carmen was thrilled to have this gigantic treat that for some reason, disappeared within minutes. I think her dad and grandfather helped her out a little bit!

We are not sure what this really is, but they are not pancakes. They are bread ("pan") that is very yeasty and also has a very light sweetness to it. I am hooked on these. They need to be eaten warm though.
Cucumber slices ("pepitos y jicima") jicima are a delicious and cool combination on a hot sultry evening at the fair. Of course it is sprinkled with sea salt and a hot chili sauce is doused over that.

Hot dogs (salchichas) are such a favorite of everyone in Mexico They're delicious! They a trimmed and creatively displayed.
"Sopitos" are my ultimate favorite fair food. They are not to be confused with "chalupas" even though they look similar. The meat, usually ground pork, is boiled in beef flavored water. Thinly sliced cabbage is used on top, mixed with a little onion. It is topped with hard, grated Mexican cheese... of which the name excapes me. The sopitos are seved nestled close together, sitting in about a cup of the broth. To eat these you spoon the broth over the sopitos and pick them up with your fingers to eat. So good!

   These are just a few of the foods. There were carts of strawberries and cream, grilled, spicey shrimp on a long stick, and flan. It was an evening of heavenly foods!

Enjoy Foodie Friday at  where we get to read about excapades with food that will tickle your taste buds or at least your fancy!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Feliz cumpleaños, Carmen

Happy Birthday, Carmen!

Carmen, you are so precious to your "Abuela" and "Pops"! We can hardly wait to see you on your birthday... this Wednesday.
Hard to believe that you will be six years old.
Feliz cumpleaños, Carmen

"Leaving, on a jet plane" -- Adios!!

    Early tomorrow morning my husband and I will hop across the border into Mexico (we just live a few miles away) and drive to the local airport for a flight to Manzanillo, Mexico. Just the sound of Manzanillo sounds probably a little romantic (the movie "10" was filmed at Las Hadas there) but we will then drive to Tecoman, Colima about an hour's drive inland. Look on the map, find the words MEXICO in red and just slightly to the left you will see COLIMA. That is the area we will be in for the next several days.
    Our oldest son and my husband are business partners in a farming operation in the state of Colima... one of the best states in Mexico. We grow honeydew, papaya and personal size watermelons. Right now is our harvest season... and, boy, does it get hectic.

This is our son with his wife and two children. Carmen takes Hawaiian dancing and is shown in one of her costumes. The "county fair" is going on right now in Tecoman and her dance group will be dancing for the event. Our first "recital". Cannot wait.
    We will also celebrate Carmen's sixth birthday. She is such a sweetheart. Hopefully I will have good pictures of her party.
    Unless there is a glitch with our internet I will try to post pictures of our trip this week.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday is for Mother and "Boboti"


I am taking this idea from Celestial Charms
who writes about her mother on Mondays and her father on Fridays. I really like this idea for this week, I will do the same. Thanks to "Nana" at La Table De Nana for suggesting Celestial Charms. Nana has a wonderful photo her blog right now. Thank you so much, ladies!

Her name was "Rosemary", one of the most creative, talented and loving women I have ever known. She was very intelligent having graduated from SMU. And after all... she married my dad! (Visit me on Friday and see what a handsome fellow he was.) My mother worked in the Oceanography and Meterology Department at Texas A&M University and later the Sterling Evans Library. She loved to cook and was especially adept at preparing foods from her mother's native country, Italy. I've posted several of her recipes in the past. She and my father lived in the country of Botswana in Africa for four years and she mastered several of the local recipes. Here is one of them:


2 lbs. ground beef
1 slice white bread
1 c. milk
2 onions, chopped
2 eggs
1 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. curry powder
2 Tbsp. vinegar
2 Tbsp. oil
1 grated apple
Few dried apricots
2 Tbsp. currants

     Fry onions in oil until light brown and add curry powder, salt, sugar, vinegar, ground meat, and fruit. Soak bread in milk and pour off milk which should be added to the onion and meat mixture. Add 1 beaten egg. Mix and put into casserole. Beat other egg and milk, pour over dish and bake for 30 - 40 minutes at 350 degrees. This may also be topped with mashed potatoes. Serves 4-6.
     Mother's note: This is a traditional dish of the Boer families of South Africa. This particular recipe was given to me by a South African nurse from Pretoria.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What am I supposed to do with this old lamp "top"?

This was part of a lamp from my grandmother's home. I did at one time have the whole lamp, however, we lost the rest of it in a fire. It is large and just not my "style". I am not even sure if it is a true antique or collector's item. What say you? Is this worth saving?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hot Cereal for the "Ticker"

Hot Oat Bran Cereal

1/3 c. oat bran cereal
About 2 tbsp. dried cranberries
   Pour uncooked bran cereal into a one cup measuring cup and fill with water up to the one cup line. Add dried cranberries. Microwave until done... this morning it only took 1 1/2 minutes. Stir half-way between cooking. Watch that it does not boil over. It's a mess to clean up! Stir when done.

1/2 banana, diced
1 tbsp. or more of slivered almonds
1 tsp. Smart Balance (sometimes we use butter)
1 tbsp. sugar-free syrup
Ground cinnamon
1 packet of Splenda if you like
(Some people like to add a few fresh blueberries)

Visit Michael at Designs by Gollum for some wonderful recipes and food ideas!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My husband grilled some wonderful chicken tonight!

David’s BBQ Sauce

3 c. apple cider vinegar
1 c. brown sugar
    Bring vinegar and brown sugar to a boil. Add spices.

2 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. black pepper
2 ½ tsp. liquid smoke
1 ½ tsp. cayenne
1 ½ tsp. allspice
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
1 ½ tsp. onion powder
¾ tsp. garlic powder
    Simmer at low temperature for 30 minutes.

1 ½ tbsp. water
1 tbsp. cornstarch
    Mix together and add to vinegar mixture. Remove from heat and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens.

Makes 1 quart

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Favorites!

Favorite Movie Line I Can’t Remember: I think someone must have said, "It is what it is", but I'm not sure who...

Favorite Movie Dancing Scene: Any movie with John Travolta

Favorite Eye Makeup Trick: Laura Mercier's eye makeup base. Can't live without it!

Favorite Makeup: Laura Mercier - buy at Sephora. It's a little cheaper there.

Favorite Expression: “Snap out of it!” or "Get a grip"... neither of which I am good at.

Favorite Place to Not Spend Money: Home... I just try to stay home somedays for a no-spend day.

Favorite Thing to Say to sons: "Come and eat!"

Favorite High School Perfume: White Shoulders

Favorite Expression for Looking for Treasures: Look around

Favorite Winter Clothing Color: Black

Favorite Summer Clothing Color: Creme

Favorite High School Beauty Tool That I Want To Try Again: Cream blush

Favorite High School Eyeliner: Very soft brown pencil

Favorite Current Eyeliner: Loreal liquid pencil - dark brown

Favorite High School Handbag: Usually bought at Ben Franklin's

Favorite Current Bag: Vera Bradley, Tous, Coach

Favorite Notebook: Spiral green notbook... almost like a diary that I have been using since 1982. I must have 25 books by now... at least!

Go to White Spray Paint to read Laura's posting today. She started this! And her blog is fabulous!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's Rednesday!! - See my red??

I always have to look really hard for red in my home. I really like the color red but it is rarely used unless it is Christmas or Valentines Day. And since I am still putting Christmas away here is a lamp with a red lamp shade. It took Laura's White Spray Paint blog to motivate me and I jumped right over to It's a Very Cherry World to go into action. It's so amazing how I am influenced by my friends!
Look for some red in your life and post it for us to all to enjoy.

It's a Very Cherry World

Honeydew bound for the U.S.

Honeydew bound for the U.S.

This picture is taken at our packing shed in Mexico. These are very busy times for us as the demand for honeydew is increasing. Even if you do not see us in your grocery store, we might be on the restaurant buffet bars.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jean's Coffee Cake

2 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. sugar
Pinch of salt
1 c. milk
1 egg
3 Tbsp. cooking oil
   Mix ingredients lightly. Pour into greased pie plate

2 Tbsp. soft butter
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
   Sprinkle topping over batter
I add lots of chopped nuts to the topping
   This is a very old recipe that Jean would make. My mother remembers that on Sundays Jean would make this coffee cake so that she and "Gumpy" could have it with their afternoon coffee.

The posting below is a little heavy and way too long, but a few people wanted to know more about Jean.

From blouse to cake - Puebla style!

Puebla-style, Mexico blouse

My husband and I recently helped to host a party for a young couple about to be married. The theme was Mexican Christmas. The Puebla style of embroidery is popular in our area of deep south Texas. They are made in the state of Puebla in the Mexico. The stitching is always bright and colorful. A young friend of the bride's took this idea and made a beautiful cake with this theme in mind.
I think this is the most uniquely decorated cake for this type of party that I have ever seen. I just had to share this with you.

The picture of the blouse comes from the La Mariposa site

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jo Anne!

Happy Birthday, Jo Anne!

Jo Anne with my sister and me

If you're lucky enough to have an aunt like my aunt... then you're just about as lucky as I am! Jo Anne is sort of like aunt, big sister and dear friend all rolled into one. Now how can you beat that? I've written about her in the past.... travel agent and friend to all for many, many years. She can plan THE best trips and yet cannot follow a map. (I inherited that trait!) Jo Anne has the best personality and is loved by all. Today is Jo Anne's birthday... January 11th. She was born in Big Spring, Texas to two wonderful parents and was the darling of two older brothers, one being my father. So send a little good thought to Jo Anne. If you ever met her, she would be just as dear to you! And as Jo Anne says, "That's what makes horse racin'!"

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Joining in on the Silver Sunday Blog Party by Gypsy Fish

Jean's Silver Tea Service


I loved my grandmother's tea service as a little girl. My grandmother, whom I called "Jean" (she felt that she was too young to be called 'grandmother'!) gave it to my mother. I borrowed it a couple of times, so my mother was happy to give it to me... knowing that it would be used and enjoyed. I haven't used it as much in the last few years, but I do enjoy having it in my dining room. When I look at it I think of two wonderful women who enjoyed entertaining... my grandmother and my mother.

I just discovered Gypsy Fish tonight! I can't wait to take a little time and explore this wonderful blog. So much to enjoy and learn. Be sure to take a look.

Beautiful Skin in 2010!

This new skin cleansing "machine"
is not only fun... but it works!

My son and his wife, a dermatologist, gave this neat little machine to me for Christmas. I'm always up for trying something new that is truly beauty related and skin care has always been an interest of mine. Now this device must not be confused with "scrubbing bubbles". I am here to tell you... this works! I have considered my skin care regimen very good,  this handy little device scrubs gently and thoroughly. My skin feels softer than ever!! If you can't find it by Googling, let me know.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Casuelita" - a refreshing drink from Mexico for Foodie Friday!


I wish I could say that we have this name totally correct, but we are 99% sure. We drink these (actually one will do the trick!) in Guadalajara, Mexico. The state of Jalisco produces some of the 
finest tequila... in fact, unless the laws have changed lately, it is the ONLY state that is allowed to produce tequila. 

This beverage is served in a flat type of pottery bowl. Fresh juice from limes, oranges and grapefruit are squeezed into the bowl. A small amount of ice is added. Then pour tequila over the juices and the fruit. Serve with a straw. Muy sabrosa!! (Great taste!!)

Be sure to visit Foodie Friday at
(I'm probably going to be banned from this site as my recipe is not actually "food"!! ;-) )

Freeze on it's way -- bye-bye citrus??

The citrus in my backyard may be here today, but gone tomorrow. We call it our "organic" crop... and that is because it is totally forgotten... year 'round. Occasionally we'll remember we have it and my husband will bring in a few pieces of fruit to snack on. I'm just not a big citrus eater... unless it's the tangerines. I just do hate to see this fruit threatened by this probable freeze. We'll see....

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Eat more honeydew...

Honeydew harvest is well underway in Tecoman, Colima, Mexico. This is one of our farms which is located not far from Manzanillo, Mexico. Some of the honeydew is shipped to Japan (by boat) and most of the rest of it is trucked up to the New York. If by chance you see our Super Starr label... you'll know who is growing it! The harvest season is always exciting for us and will last until April.
So, eat more honeydew!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bye - bye old ovens and hello to the new ones!

Above are the trusty ovens who saw me through 26 years of feeding our family of boys, holiday baking and meals, parties, 4-H cooking experiments and so much more. They had started to slow down a bit and were so ready to retire.

Today Thermador became my best kitchen mate. We're ready to tackle the next 26 years... well, that's an exaggeration, but anyhow... there will be more meals, parties and even holiday baking and dinners. There are some fancy gadgets on this machine and this old dog is going to be forced to learn new tricks. That's okay though. I'm off to buy some new oven mits, hot pads and maybe a decorative hand towel or two!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Blueberry - Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

12 slices French bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
12 large eggs, beaten lightly with a pinch of salt
2 (8 oz.) pkgs. lite cream cheese, chilled and cut into 1" cubes
1/3 c. reduced sugar maple syrup
2 c. 1% milk
1 c. fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained

"Pam" 13" x 9" casserole pan. (White Corningware is great!) Place half of the bread cubes evenly in pan. Scatter cream cheese cubes over bread and sprinkle with 1 c. blueberries. Arrange remaining bread cubes over blueberries. In large bowl combine eggs, pinch of salt, syrup and milk and whisk to blend. Pour evenly over reserved bread mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake, covered with foil (spray the inside of foil with Pam) in the middle of the oven 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking 30 minutes, or until puffed and light golden brown. (Check for doneness with a teriyaki stick in the middle. Sometimes the egg takes a little longer to bake.)

Blueberry Syrup:
1 c. sugar
1 c. fresh blueberries, rinsed
2 tbsp. corn starch
1 c. water
1 tbsp. butter

In small saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch and water over medium-high heat. Cover, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in 1 c. blueberries and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes, or until most berries burst. Add butter and stir until melted. (It is best to make the syrup while the casserole is baking and not preparing ahead of time.) Transfer to serving bowl. Place French toast on individual serving plates and top with blueberry syrup.
Makes 8 – 10 servings.

Visit "All the Small Stuff" for a fabulous Spice Cake recipe!

Carmen is a dancer

Carmen is our granddaughter who will be six years old on January 27th. She is taking dancing lessons right now and just loves it!

Here is Carmen with her daddy, our son Lance, her brother, David,
and her mother, Marcela. They live in Mexico, near Manzanillo.

Nothing like a very proud grandmother!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

It's My "Fake Mosaic" Monday - Favorite Cookbooks of My Life

My Favorite Cookbooks of My Life

These are the cookbooks that have actually shaped and continue to shape my life in the kitchen. They will forever be my favorites and I foresee others in the future... but for the past 50+ years I have first of all referred to the first cookbook...
Betty Crocker's Cookbook for Boys and Girls - page stating the publishing date is long-gone, but I know my sister and I used this little book when my youngest brother was born in 1961. Saucy Hamburger Crumble - yum!

Better Homes and Gardens - 1968 - This book was a wedding gift. Eggs Goldenrod - so very good.

Nanny's Texas Table - Texas Country Cooking at the Houghton Ranch by Larry Ross - great reading about a young bride learning to cook on the frontiers of Texas. It was inspiring enough to my mother and me that my mother then compiled a cookbook in 1988 dedicated to my grandmother, Ruby Boykin, whom we called "Mother 'B'". (The book in green velvet.) Too many great recipes to begin to list... but if you could only have tasted her "Chow-chow"!

Cooking from the Heart was also inspired by Nanny's Texas Table. My cousin and I compiled a cookbook of our family favorites in 1988. This is my mother's copy as mine is too worn and stained to be seen in public. My cousin actually stitched each person's first initial on each book! Amazing!!

Who's Your Mama, Are You Catholic, and Can You Make a Roux? (1991) by Marcelle Bienvenu is not only a fabulous cookbook, but fun to read as she recounts her growing up years in New Orleans. All I have to do is just flip through this book and I am inspired to do Cooking from the Heart II. This is the book where I got my fabulous BBQ'd Shrimp recipe that I have posted here earlier on this blog.

Bruculinu, America (1998) by the late Vincent Schiavelli is a cookbook and, again, a life story, that I absolutely had to ration out... allowing only one chapter a night. Outstanding, heart-warming, mouth-watering... and the recipe for green bean and potato salad, the recipe I failed to get from my mother, is in this book! The value has sky rocketed, making me feel so fortunate to have bought the book at a decent price - autographed too.

I hate to admit that I cannot master a mosaic on a blog. Someday!  For now my cookbooks present my best for "mosaicing".

Enjoy TRUE mosaics for Mosaic Monday at Little Red School House
Thanks, Mary!

Happy Birthday, Mother!

Rosemary, my mother

Today my mother would have been 84 years old. We didn't get to spend many birthdays together after I was married due to distance, but the ones we celebrated while I was growing up were so much fun.

One birthday that stands out in my mind took place on a weekend when my parents finally had the chance to sleep in. That was the perfect opportunity for my younger sister and I to create a "surprise" for both of my parents. We hauled in a very large box from the garage and placed our little brother in the box. He was probably about three or four. We wrapped up the box and tied a huge bow around it. (Gosh! I wonder now if my brother is afraid of the dark or small areas!) My sister and I drew several pictures, colored them, wrapped them up as gifts. We also wrapped up sticks of gum. We decided upon a few songs we knew ... my sister and I could sing all the songs from the movie South Pacific. Our favorite was I'm Going to Wash that Man Right Out of My Hair, so possibly we decided on that "number". We hauled everything into our parents' room (poor little brother... he was probably claustrophobic by then) and woke our parents to some GREAT show tunes. At the end of our songs and presentation of "gifts", we presented our parents with the biggest gift... and our brother jumped out... whether out of desire to surprise and the need to escape... big time! My parents loved it. My mother always cried just a little at how "sweet" her children were.

H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y,   M O T H E R!
I miss you so much.