Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ranch Recipe #17: New Year’s Day and Black-Eyed Peas


My parents in Tecoman, Mexico.

New Year’s Day is almost here!

Do you have your black-eyed pea ingredients ready?

Here is my husband’s recipe for black-eyed peas- South Texas style.

Ranch Recipe #17:  John’s Black-eyed Peas




1-2 pounds dried black eyed peas (or 2 packages uncooked frozen peas)

1-2 onions diced

salt pork or bacon

minced garlic


your favorite pinto beans seasonings

The Secret


My husband prepares black eyed peas the same way he makes frijoles a la charra or pinto beans. 

The Steps


In a soup pot , cover 2 lbs. of dried peas (or frozen peas) with water

and bring them to a boil.

Boil for a few minutes.

Remove from the heat.

Let the peas ‘sit’ a few minutes.

Drain off the water, rinse, and add fresh water.

Add the sauteed onion, bacon, and garlic .

Season your peas in the same way you would season pinto beans.

My husband adds a sprinkle of chili powder.

Return to a boil.  Lower the heat and let the peas cook until done.

Once tender, add chopped cilantro, stir, and serve.


Serve with cornbread slathered in butter.

Do you ever slather your cornbread?


Happy New Year!


Joining Miz Helen’s

Full Plate Thursday

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Top Post for 2015: Maybe

Christmas in the Kitchen 2015

I couldn’t do it.

I just couldn’t do it.

I was all set to do a top 5 posts in 2015 , when my stats showed my top post was…

wait for it…

Scourge of the Stink Bug.

What was #2?

Dear Daughters:Wrinkles.

Typical White Spray Paint!

So instead let’s sit on the couch in my kitchen, have a cup of coffee, and instead of comparing dieting notes for 2016,

let’s talk about blogging and our biggest deterrent.

Is there anything that stops you from blogging?

In my case, it’s life of course, but technically it’s the photography.

My intentions are good, I take lots of photos , but blurriness, low light, and other issues I don’t know how to correct stop the process.

I have been tempted to buy a fully automatic point and shoot camera.

I never know if my photos will work.

What about you?

Does anything deter you from blogging?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Shopping Confession

Here is my seasonal confession.

Each year as I make my way through my Christmas shopping list , and I am out and about looking for things

for everyone I love, I see wonderful things….. for me…….
There I said it.

This ranks right up there with this tale.

It is as if everything I didn’t know I wanted but now must have but shouldn’t (???) is right in front of me.

Here are some things that have made my short list.
Narciso Rodriguez For Her L`Absolu Eau de Parfum 100ML
* Narciso Rodriquez Absolu perfume-
which reminds me of a spicy, modern version of Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew which reminds me of my mother (win-win).


*Bobbi Brown Desert Plum lipstick- the perfect reddish plummy color. Here is what I think about lipstick color for women of a certain age:  go for it- which is actually what I think about everything for women of a certain age.

Hammered Solid Copper 2-quart Tea Kettle with Ceramic Handle 

A Copper Tea Kettle-  I don’t drink hot tea, but I just know I would if I had this tea kettle.
Especially since my kitchen is currently full of this.

And lastly, while in Kingsville at the Saddle Shop recently, I really stood and stared at this.


OK.  Back to reality.

I am still on a quest to find New York Giant NFL football gloves USA style, youth size medium, for a grandson who knows exactly what he wants.

Merry Last Minute Christmas Shopping!

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Red Christmas

Christmas Mantel 2015
Christmas Mantel 2015

I have never met a Christmas decoration I didn’t love.

I have the crates to prove it.

But the mainstay of everything Christmas I have loved the longest is red- beautiful Christmas red.

It’s in the den this year,

Christmas Den Tree 2015
Christmas Tree in the Den

and in the kitchen,
Christmas in the Kitchen 2015
Kitchen Sitting Area
and in the kitchen hutch with my copper,
and in the living room.
 Christmas in the Living Room
I know it’s old school and traditional , but that makes me love it even more.
Red wears its age well year after year, and Christmas red is never dull.

It never disappoints, and it has the ‘umph’ to hold its own next to whatever is nearby.
Christmas Zebra

So if this Christmas, you need a lift like I do,  ( which simply means you have been living life),
add red.


It works.

Christmas Buffet

Christmas in Texas Blog Hop December 7-11, 2015 Hosted by Poofing the Pillows
This is Day 4 of Stacey’s
Christmas in Texas Blog Hop.
Visit these wonderful Texas bloggers and thank you so much for stopping by!


Just click on the button above to visit Debra and Brenda’s Open House!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dear Daughters: Favorite Holiday Party Foods

Christmas Party Chocolate Cake

Dear Sweet Daughters,

One of my dearest friends and colleagues in the English department at Sharyland High School (Elizabeth

said the smartest thing about hosting holiday parties and what to serve.

She said,

“I know where to find things.”

That’s it sweet girls.  That’s the secret.  All you need to know is where to find things.

Here are some of my tried and true favorites:


  * Find the best chocolate cake at a bakery you can find. The one pictured above is from Esperanza Bakery in Alamo.
Chocolate cake is always a crowd pleaser.  Have it baked in tiers (see above) and use my square cake

pedestal from Casa Guero in Laredo.  Add fresh strawberries and you are done.

Christmas Tamales

*Find the best tamales in town.  In our case that would be Delia’s. Serve their salsitas in a pretty crystal dish.
Make your own chile con queso.
You are done.

*Buy a spiral sliced ham .

Serve the ham from the table with Sister Schubert rolls.

Buy small specialty mustards or jams at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s.

Your guests can make their own small ham sandwiches.

*Order Empanaditas de Pina from La Estacion Bakery in Mission and/or Pan de Polvo with pecans from

Celebrity Bakery in McAllen.

And you are done.

I love you!
I will be bringing every single one of these items to El Paso for Christmas.

I can’t wait.

Love, Mom


The Christmas in Texas Blog Hop Continues!  Just click on the button below to follow along. Stacey is posting wonderful updates each day!

Christmas in Texas Blog Hop

Monday, December 7, 2015

God is Still In My Glitter

God is in my Glitter

During the Christmas season many years ago, I wrote a post titled

God Is In My Glitter.

It still holds true for me today- in a way that I hope is also meaningful to you.

Here is the 2015 version.


Three trees, one tree, half a tree, no tree- it matters not. 

Decorating the house for Christmas has always been rewarding to me.

It is about who I am because of what I enjoy creating for the people I love .

It is not an either or proposition. 

It re
minds me- in my own quirky way- that if I were lucky enough to be in that manger-


I would , to show love and gratitude and humility, say,

“Do you need anything? What can I do to help? Can we move this here? Are you comfortable?”

In that manger, I would be (I often am)

a Martha in a Mary’s world.

It occurs to me that God knows that, and I believe He loves me anyway-

even in all of my attempts to

bedazzle things around me.

He knows my poinsettias are red and gold and sometimes pink.

For you see, I understand Martha’s need to fix and arrange and prepare and beautify.

So much so, I think Martha needs a shout out-

“Hey Martha, I understand why you think you need to be in the kitchen- I get it.

Here is what works for me though- when the party is over and your gift of hospitality has weakened your spirit.

Jesus likes to sit on the couch with us and prop his feet up too. 

Those are the best conversations. He really does get what drives us.

When you say to him, ‘I can’t believe she said that’, or ‘why didn’t she come?’,

He rolls his eyes and says you are tired, let it go.

And then we laugh.”

I know the world thinks God is not in the glitter, but HE is in mine.



Linking to Something to Talk About at The Crowned Goat.


Christmas in Texas Blog Hop December 7-11, 2015 Hosted by Poofing the Pillows

Some wonderful Texas bloggers have posted today about their glitter.

You must go by!

Monday – Dec 7th

Poofing the Pillows

Lilacs and Longhorns

Hyacinths for the Soul .

Botanic Bleu

Blessed by 3 Miracles

Saturday, December 5, 2015

If We Were Having Coffee : Christmas Decorating

Christmas on the Piano

If we were having coffee ,  I would bring up my system for decorating for Christmas.

And then I would laugh !


I guess you could call it that, if system means repeating the same routine year after year.


My system looks like this:

*I walk out to the garage where all of the Christmas crates are stored and I sigh…heavily.

*I then walk back into the house a la Scarlett O’Hara muttering ‘I’ll think about this tomorrow’.

*Then when inspiration hits , I return to the garage with various helpers (two gentlemen from Chapa’s Moving and/or my husband).  I prefer Chapa’s Moving and so does my husband!

*Once the crates are inside the house, I start opening them realizing that I didn’t do a Pinterest worthy job of storing them after Christmas last year.

*And finally , a wonderful thing happens.

*All of my years of Christmas collecting smile back at me from their crates and the fun begins!


This year I- along with many more Texas bloggers- will be participating in Stacey’s

Christmas in Texas


 Poofing the Pillows.

Christmas in Texas December 7-11, 2015

I’ll be posting on December 10th.

Stop by!



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