Sunday, September 27

*cupcake gallery

The CC Gallery recently received the General Excellence Award in Fayetteville's Best given by the city of Fayetteville and voted by the citizens.  This really is a cute place to visit.   So many wonderful choices, it really is hard to make a decision on the flavor.   Cupcakes that you hardly want to eat because they are so pretty!  There are approximately 14 different flavors to decide on.  It is a really hopping little spot in downtown Fayetteville, NC.

The owner, Lesia Bankston, has always known she would someday have a business of her own, one that would bring satisfaction to the sweet tooth in all of us.  Another one of her passions is helping the unfortunate and homeless in Fayetteville.  Check out her  Each 1 Feeds 1 offer.  You can get more information on The Cupcake Gallery by visiting their website (Click HERE)

When Jocelyn, Henry, Jaelyn and I went to Fayetteville for the International Folk Festival we ended our day with this treat.  If you are ever in downtown Fayetteville, go check them out!

*delicious potato cheese soup

I have had several request for my Loaded Potato Cheese Soup recipe and I am delighted to share it with you all! I usually make this soup for friends who might be sick and shut in for a while, it is delicious, comforting and easy to make.

I do not peel my potatoes, simply slice them up about 1/4 inch thick or to your liking.  Put in steam basket. Steam until you can stick a fork into the potatoes.

I chopped up one large onion and have put on the griddle along with a tablespoon of oil and butter to carmelize the onions.

Once they are caramelized, set aside.

We love the rosemary in this soup and simply think that it "makes" it.  If you do not have rosemary growing at your home, you can find it in the produce department at most grocers.  Add the chopped fresh rosemary to a stock pot which will soon be joined by the other ingredients!

Potatoes are all steamed and ready to go in the stock pot. Pour 2 1/2  cups of hot water into pot, I do use the water that was in steam pot with the potatoes.  If you prefer, you can use half milk and half water.  Keep burner on a medium-low setting.  This is when you will also add the three tablespoons of flour as a thickener.  Take the flour and add to 1/3 cup of warm water. Whisk well. Then you will continually whisk while you are adding it to the pot of soup so it does not turn into biscuits in your soup. Cause it will!  So whisk, whisk, whisk initially then just stir your pot and let it simmer a bit on low. You can now add the rosemary, and onions.

Mmm, bacon. Yes we are bacon-aters! OK.. so if you don't eat meat or you don't do pork.. leave the bacon out.  Once the bacon is cooked to your liking, you can drain it, stir it into the pot of soup or set it aside to use as a topping along with the cheese in each soup bowl.

 YUMMY.  I do love me some bacon.  Turkey bacon is just not the same.

Served... Loaded Potato Cheese Soup!

Loaded Potato Cheese Soup
This set recipe will serve about 5 people.
6 medium to large potatoes (redskin, yukon gold or your favorite)
2 1/2  cups of water (I do use the water from the steamer pot for steaming the potatoes or you can use half water and half milk)
1 large onion, tbsp of olive oil, tbsp of butter
grated cheddar cheese for topping
1 rosemary sprig, copped
3 Tablespoons of flour, 1/3 cup of warm water

(options: you can use half water and half milk if you choose for a richer soup, also Eric says everything is better with bacon. Bacon, I think, is his favorite meat)

Saturday, September 26

*international folk festival

Today we went to Fayetteville to partake in the 31st anniversary of the International Folk Festival put on by the Fayetteville Arts Council.  Fayetteville has a rich and long history of celebrating its multicultural population. Years ago, some of the  citizens got together to create the International Folk Festival as a celebration of the cities diversity. This celebration starts on a Friday and runs throughout the weekend.

Henry, myself, Jocelyn and Jaelyn (some of our dear friends) went to the folk festival together. We arrived, found great parking and walked to Hay Street, which is where the Parade of Nations started. Now this day really felt like fall and how did I choose to dress? Um.. a sleeveless shirt and shorts... go figure.   After the parade, which was simply awesome, we had lunch on Hay Street at Fresh Deli  and later went over to Festival Park for all the colorful festivities of the various nations represented.

Following are pictures of the parade.  Coolie hats. Wooden shoes. Mexican Fiesta dresses. Kilts. Pien-fu. Silk Sarees.  Sombrero. Mestiza dresses. The costumes or traditional dress for each country represented was truly enjoyable, especially to those who are all about textiles!  As you can see, many countries were represented by the citizens of Fayetteville NC.

(for larger image, click on individual picture)




Friday, September 25

*happy birthday to you

Happy Birthday to you, Robby!  Twenty-three years ago today, our first son was born!  Robert Cohen, Bright in Fame - Priest.

When Eric and I chose Robert Cohen's name we did not have a "baby book", such things weren't popular during the mid 80's.  We, or should I say I specifically, wanted something different.  I have no recollection as to how we came across the name Cohen.

Firstly, he gets his first name, Robert, from his paternal grandpa.   His middle name, Cohen, a unique and rare name (in the 80's) was given to him as a search for something unusual.

I am finding out through reading, not personal experience, that naming your child Cohen can be offensive to some in the Jewish community.  You see, Cohen is a surname to those who are direct descendants of Aaron.  They were a family of priests.  While it is considered disrespectful to name your child Cohen, the popularity of the name is growing by leaps and bounds. The name was pretty much unpopular until 2004  and it has continued to climb the charts. 

We did not name him this out of disrespect and disdain for the Jewish community.. we were blissfully ignorant to the meaning. We were totally unaware of the names' quintessential Jewishness.   May the Lord continue to shape and form Robert Cohen into the man He created him to be.  Bright in HIS (the Lord's) fame, and one who brings the Word.  Happy Birthday Robert who is spending his birthday overseas, and away from family and loved ones this year. :(

Wednesday, September 23

*life is too short

In the Bible, James 4:14 reminds us of this very message.   It is much easier said than done, but something we should be mindful of in our daily lives.   I have been known to stress and fret over the things that don't really matter.  At the time, I may find myself "making" it matter based on my  small view, but later I realize it was a very trivial thing.  Life is too short, don't spend your days making yourself miserable and those around you. Don't sweat the small stuff.

Tuesday, September 22

*southern fried wedges

Southern Fried Potatoes Wedges are delicious!   For us, these are a fav.  We have these maybe twice a month, any more frequent and ... well let's just say two times a month is enough.  No matter how many I cook, there are never any left overs.   (we are pigs)

 If you would like to try these follow along:  We usually use about five medium or large red skin  potatoes (any except Idaho will do), cut them in wedges.  Then put in a basket steamer and steam until a fork will go into the  potatoe with slight resistance.  

In a large bowl, pour buttermilk which will be used as a bath for the potatoes before dredging them in the flour.  You may want to let the potatoes cool before handling them in this step. 

Of course you can use a smaller bowl, use less buttermilk  and have less to throw out when you are done.

 Cover well with flour.  You will have four wonderful dough fingers when you are done unless you are a neater cook than I! Then you will place the wedges in a pan of hot oil and fry until golden brown.  We sometimes sprinkle season salt on them, and sometimes just simple sea salt.  When I was growing up we fried everything, isn't that what cooks in the south do?  I rarely fry much of anything, but I sure do love my southern roots.  

Sunday, September 20

*simple pleasures

Today after church we went to the county fair. Since this is likely the last fall we will live here, we made sure to get to the fair before it left town.  We had  a great time. Lots of energy, people watching, eating, laughing and smelling...ugh. The livestock are amazing and plain entertaining to look at, but that smell!  Couldn't they do something about that smell?   That is all I could say. I am sorry, but having a bunch of livestock inside a closed building is NOT a good idea.

Henry loves a good time, who doesn't? He wanted to throw away  spend his money on these "game" booths.  "Oh Mom, We have got to find the booth that has the baseballs that you throw at the bottles."  We did find that booth, he did pay the $5 to throw 2 balls at the empty lined up bottles.  So he gets his two baseballs, braces to throw the first one. WHAM!  How exciting, he hit it dead smack in the middle and the rewarding sound of the glass breaking is enough to cause most to continue to pull money out of their pockets to do it again.  So he has one baseball left. He gets ready, aims and misses.  Of course, you have to break both bottles to win  a prize. Just breaking that one bottle was enough for Henry, he was quite pleased.  I think his ego grew a bit in that very moment.  After some rides but before we left he had to play one more game, in which he did win a few  pieces of junk  prizes.  I tried to point out to him the quality of the "prize" was not very high, in fact quite poor.  He pondered the truthfulness of that statement then says to me "Mom, it is really about the thrill of winning".  Hmmm.. that brings forth a memory of my ebay bidding days.  I do understand the thrill of winning, however good or bad that is. 

Only the disciplined can leave the fair and not have a funnel cake and red candied apples!  We obviously are not disciplined, we indulged in both.  We shared the funnel cake, but got 3 apples, one for each of us! The simple pleasures in life are the best!