Happy Sunday! Today we spring forward which means spring and summer are on the way! It won’t be long and we will be mowing the grass, having cookouts and enjoy company on the deck. Can’t wait!! Until then here is a Paleo Brat recipe that is easy, easy and Anne and I make all the time. We usually make up 8-10 at a time and then we can munch on them all week. Have fun!
1 Package of Chicken and Apple Aidelle Sausage
1 white Onion
1 green pepper
1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil
1 Package of Julians Bakery Paleo Wraps
Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a skillet. Toss in brats, sliced onions and sliced green pepper. Cook 15-20 minutes or until onions are caramelized and brats are cooked through. Place brat and some peppers and onions on a Julian’s Bakery Paleo Wrap, slap on your mustard, roll up and TAAA DAAA. Heaven! We love the Paleo Wraps and eat them a lot. They are made of coconut meal, so they are sweet but I find that they go great with about anything. We make a lot of paleo burritos with these as well.
Have a great day!
This is The Southern Lady Cooks (my sweet Momma) recipe for amazing Mashed Potato Casserole. We are still having technical difficulties on her site, so we are bringing her recipe over to The Southern Twins. Enjoy!
We love potatoes “fixed” this way and you can do so many different variations. Great for holidays or just anytime.
7 or 8 large potatoes, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 to 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded or cheese of your choice
1 teaspoon paprika
Boil the peeled potatoes, drain and mash with the salt, butter, cream cheese, sour cream, milk, pepper, onion flakes and garlic. Spread mashed potatoes into a sprayed casserole dish and sprinkle with shredded cheese and paprika. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes. (Note: You can add chopped bacon or ham, regular onion or green onion) Makes 6 to 8 servings. Enjoy!
Happy Monday! Hope everyone is ready for the work week. The Bluegrass was awaken this morning to a winter wonderland. We have snow and ice. I certainly hope this is the last of Ole Man Winter. I am ready for Mother Nature to give us a break and start warming things up. This weekend it was rather nice, I was able to go get a load of hay for the horses and look I only had on a sweatshirt.
Now it looks like this.
Yesterday Anne and I did some meal prep for the week. We like to go ahead and cook some stuff that is easy to grab. I boiled some eggs and she made some Paleo Banana Bread Muffins. It makes breakfast so easy for the week. It doesn’t matter if I am working from my home office or heading in to town to go to work, I can grab my breakfast on the go and it is still healthy. In order for me to maintain a super balanced healthy life…I have to be prepared! Here is what I have made for breakfast for the past couple of mornings.
Paleo Banana Bread Muffins, hard boiled egg, orange and coffee
Strawberries, hardboil egg, cashews and coffee
I loved it and it took 30 seconds…my kind of breakfast. Hope everyone has a FABULOUS week!
It was Christmas time and Anne and I were coming home for the holidays and enjoying our time off from College. We were both broke college kids that had no money but we scrimped and saved to buy our Dad the George Strait Box Set. It had just came out and Anne and I grew up listening to George Strait with our Dad. As itty bitty kiddies we would sing the old classics at the top of our lungs. I remember one day Anne and I just singing and singing in the truck when the cassette tape ended and it needed to be ejected and flipped to listen to Side A. Remember those days? Before the first song on SIDE A came back on, Anne and I started belting out the song. Dad looked at us and said “Ok, I think you two have had enough of George Strait.” Clearly, since we had memorized the entire tape. So this year we were showing up with the George Strait Box Set to put under the tree. Dad opened it and just loved it. We immediately went out to put it in his new truck. His new truck had a CD Player so this was all “new” and high tech! Fancy! Fancy! My father had not one ounce of electrical/mechanical handiness and I did inherit that from him. The VCR was quite the puzzler for him at times. So we threw in one of the CD’s, fired up that diesel truck and went out to check cattle all the while enjoying “Cowboy Rides Away and The Fireman” It was a great day! Fast forward to the following Spring. Anne and I come home for the for a visit and Dad meets us coming down the driveway. I thought that was so nice, looky… he is so happy to have us home. We park and there is Dad standing at my door, which then I thought that he was really excited or we were getting ready to go do something and he needed us to “hurry up!” I get out of the car and said “Hey Dad, we made it!” he said “Good deal, listen, crawl up in this truck and get the CD out of the CD Player” I just kind of looked at him and said “ok, what is it stuck or what?” he said “Hell, I don’t know how to get the damn thing out, but once you do, you throw that George Strait CD out the $%&@ window, I don’t care if I ever hear another song of his for the rest of my life” I just stared at him and said “what do you mean? You have been listening to the same CD since CHRISTMAS?” he said “YOU NEVER SHOWED ME HOW TO TAKE IT OUT!!!” I laughed my ass off..heehee! If you knew my Dad, he could be aggravated easily so I can imagine that riding around every day listening to the same CD was enough to make him lose his every loving mind. Ole George Strait hit the skids that day and I gotta feeling he never made a reappearance in that Dodge truck….ever!
Growing up on a farm, always outside tinkering with stuff some would think that I am kind of mechanical and handy. I am not. I have no “handiness” to me at all. If something breaks or doesn’t work right, I am the first to speak up with my famous words “Let’s just call somebody and have them fix this” That is my “go to” when I can’t figure something out. I learned this from my Father. I remember him having the project of putting up mini blinds once. That lasted all of 5 minutes when he threw everything on the floor and said “call somebody and get them in here to do this! I don’t have time for this kind of stuff!” I have countless examples of this. My twin is the exact opposite. She will work on something till she makes it happen or she reaches a point of completely and utter madness. Anne will be working on something long after I have already went to the house, grabbed a beer and moved on to something else. For example: Anne and I were getting ready to haul the horses to go ride one morning and for some reason the tail gate on the truck was stuck. At this point in our lives, this truck was old and the fact that it still had its tailgate was astonishing…winning! ha! We had to get the tailgate down in order to hook up the trailer and it just wouldn’t budge. It went a little something like this:
The Old Ford Truck
Me pulling on the tailgate “Hmm, ANNNE!!!!!!!!!! (screaming for her) I can’t get the tailgate down.”
Anne coming around the corner “what do you mean you can’t get it down?”
Me: “What part of it has you lost? The fact that I can’t do something or the fact that the tailgate is in fact stuck?”
Anne: “You are such a smartass at times, get out of the way.”
Anne promptly walks over to the back of the truck and tugs on the latch to pull the tailgate down. Astonishing.. and it was a big shocker for both of us that uh……..nothing happened. IMAGINE THAT! So I try again and yet….NOTHING. Still stuck. Now at this point, I have already come to the conclusion that we aren’t hauling these horses anywhere and that in fact, we will have to get someone to take the tailgate OFF and fix it. This is the point where I say “Ok, well we just need to call somebody or take it in and have them take the damn thing off.” It takes Anne a bit longer. Actually, she never gets to that point. In my mind, I am already planning the rest of my day….ride the horses here at our farm and then maybe drink a couple of beers. While I am planning, planning, planning Anne has left and comes back with a hammer. “GET OUT OF THE WAY” she says as she goes to wailing on this tailgate. She is screaming obscenities, I am laughing, she is damn near crying and finally after she has completely wore herself out she gets the damn tailgate off. Of course, at this point, I felt that we both deserved a beer and she needed to relax. I guess this is why we balance each other out so well. Don’t get me wrong, we are both very hard workers and love to work but there are just somethings I don’t mind to let someone else do…even if that person is my sister.
It is Friday. I love a good Friday! I love the expectations of a wonderful weekend and most of the time I love having NOTHING planned for my upcoming weekends. I adore to be busy and I find that 9 times out of 10 my life is running at warp speed but on my weekends that I am actually home, I love the feeling of just “being.” One thing I do have planned for the weekend is hitting up some of my favorite bookstores. I love going to bookstores. There is nothing I don’t like about it. I love the smell of the books and the harmony of the books and the people working together to create something. A book is magic. I grew up with books everywhere. My Grandfather was a chemistry professor and my Grandmother an English teacher. They were always reading. Every room in their Plantation style home was loaded with books. My Grandmother’s furniture was from the Victorian Era…let me explain. All her furniture had feet. You know, the wooden legs that was on EVERYTHING from that time period.
Like this…see the feet?
The chairs, the sofas…..all of it had claws of some sort. This furniture never did anything for me, but clearly at some point it was the bee’s knees! I can tell you that none of it was built for comfort. Furniture with feet=not comfortable. However, grab a really good book, turn on the lamp above that Victorian chair and that book could take away all the discomfort of that chair. I learned the value of Charlotte’s Web while sitting on that old Victorian furniture. I learned that a National Geographic could take me far away from that furniture all together. I love that my parents read all time time and encouraged me to as well. When I was a little kid the Bookmobile (a Library on wheels, seriously!) would come once a month to our area. I would always leave my Mom a huge list of what to get me to read. It was such a highlight growing up.
My den..books, books and more books
Now days it seems books are fading. I find this happening a lot lately. When you’re talking to someone about reading it goes kind of like this “so what was the last book you read?” “hmm, I think The Scarlet Letter in high school” “Wow, you are like what… 40 years old now…interesting.” I don’t even know where to go from there. I took a vacation to the Bahamas several years back and for three days I laid on the beach and read three books. It was the most glorious vacation I could ever take. No cell phones, no laptops, no constant conversation, just me and a book and it was AMAZING!
My vacation last year..Arizona..and again…a book.
I guess looking back on it, reading has always been such a constant in my life. It is probably not a big shocker that I ended up in the Publishing industry. The main decoration in my house………. books! I couldn’t live without them, I fear I may stop breathing if I didn’t have books around me. They are my comfort zone, my little safety net, my magic behind my day to day. Books breathe a life in to you that you didn’t know existed.
Good Morning!! The sun is shining in the Bluegrass today. It makes me feel like a new person. We have had such a dreadful winter that nice weather is what we all so desperately need right now. Anne and I spent this past weekend doing meal prep and watching Downton Abbey. My mother has went on and on about this show and I had only watched a couple of episodes with her last year. While I did like what I saw, that was about as far as it went. My coworker bought all three seasons on DVD and loaned them to Anne and I so we could get caught up. OMG. Obsessed is not the right word, because I would need a stronger word to describe how I feel about this show. I was shocked that I even liked it because the time period is not my favorite but I found myself ALL day on Sunday watching it. When I say all day, I mean literally ALL DAY. I have to say, it was the BEST day. Sometimes there is nothing better than curling up on the couch and becoming lost in a wonderful TV show. I loved every second of it. I am a huge fan of Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates on the show) so any scene with him is a huge bonus.
I have read a lot about Brendan Coyle and I love that he has such a drive to work and he came from a working family. He also appears to be a bit of a social misfit or socially awkward. I am very much a social character but have always been drawn to quiet socially awkward people. I don’t know why, they intrigue me for some reason. So while I watched Downton Abbey and got my Brendan Coyle fix, Anne and I also cooked some food for this week. We made Grain Free (Paleo) Banana Bread Muffins. They are fantastic and I love having these to grab in the morning on my way to the office and or down to the barn. They are a great “on the go” food and easy, easy!
Here is the recipe:
Paleo Banana Bread Muffins
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 cup of almond flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour
1/4 cup of honey
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another and then combine them. Be sure and spray your muffin pan so they won’t stick. I fill up the muffin cups about half way and bake for about 25 minutes. Once a toothpick goes in and out smoothly, they are done! I love these with almond butter or a bit of real butter. Enjoy!!
When I was a kid I spent a lot of time at my grandparents farm. Actually, through out my entire childhood it was really my home. It was the one place that never changed. My father built a house, my mother moved a couple of times but that farm was always there. It was my little haven. Everything a child could ever want in this world was there. It had a really long gravel driveway that was probably close to a mile long. I loved it. That gravel drive saw so much. It had cattle guards at each end (these are grates in the ground so that cattle can’t cross them, therefore keeping them in) and when you first turned on it, it had a big long hill that you had to go up, then around the corner and TAAAAAAAA DAAAAAAAAAA…………..Heaven. Huge wide open spaces of beautiful pastures and a big ole plantation style house. Of course everything is always bigger when you are little, right? In my young eyes, this place was huge. I always loved the driveway. I can still feel the vibrations of going over the cattle guards in my dads truck. Long nights of being at rodeos with my dad, falling asleep in the truck, that vibration would wake me up and I would know we were home. I can feel the gravel under my feet as Anne and I would walk it countless hours, looking for birds to shoot at with our b.b. guns, going on “adventures” and riding our horses. I remember the day my Grandmother accidentally ran over a squirrel but it was still alive, so of course Anne and I had to save it. However, after putting it in a box out on the deck with airholes, that squirrel would prove to heal itself as my father walked up the back steps to find a box runnin around all over the deck. I can still hear him now “what in the hell is in the box on the porch?” ”Oh Daddy, that is a squirrel that Grandmother hit with her car, we are trying to revive it” “Uh, well I believe he has found his breath, he is wide awake, get him OUT of the box……but take him off the damn porch first!” We were always in to something. I remember Anne and I packing little lunches and walking down the drive to a little spot out in the field to have a picnic. I also remember that driveway led us to the pasture that we had to cross to get to our friend Melissa’s house. We became best friends walking up and down that driveway. I remember my fathers friend tearing an axle out on his horse trailer one night coming up that gravel drive. I remember the sound of trucks coming down that gravel road and knowing someone was coming for a visit. That meant great conversation and lots of laughs! That driveway always brought me amazing memories. They say as you get older you have to learn which paths to take in life. Which direction to go. I learned at a young age that that driveway, that path always led me in the right direction…….back to my heart.
See! We could entertain ourselves with a wagon!
Ever hear these words when you were little “Ok, ENOUGH, go outside and play!” Now, no one needed to tell us exactly what to do once we got out there. We were innovative enough to entertain ourselves. Gosh, I cant even begin to think of the countless hours that were spent playing kick ball, jumping on hay bales, climbing trees, riding my bike, catching crawdads in the creek, looking for tree frogs, swinging on the homemade swing my dad made, etc. Hell, give me a stick and I could be entertained for hours! A stick people, a STICK! My childhood was busy. I wasn’t busy in front of a TV, computers were not even a thought, a phone call was made sitting down because…….wait for it…..it plugged in to the WALL! Gasp! If I needed entertainment it consisted of trying to get my sister to touch the electric cattle fence and see what happened. heehee! It consisted of racing my sister up and down the driveway to see which one was fastest. That would be her! It may have been all that electricity running through her from the fence, who knows. It consisted of making snow men, working along side my dad as he fed cattle or picking tomatoes with my mother. It consisted of making homemade french fries with my grandmother or rocking on our southern front porch with my grandfather. It consisted of catching fire flies and playing with my bb gun. It consisted of riding my horses hours and hours and get this……….learning how to be quiet. Learning how to love the things around me. It consisted of me not having to find things to entertain me, cause I learned how to do that for myself. It wasn’t an ipad, an iphone, computer, a TV, it was me. It was life on the other side of that screen door that taught me so much and I am forever thankful for those experiences.
Till Next Time!
It looked like this but ours was GREEN….even better, right?
I was born in the late 70′s and being an 80′s -90′s kid I grew up in a station wagon. I am sure many of you can relate from my generation. I remember when I was really young my Mom had one that had the wood paneling around the middle of it, in fact I am pretty much convinced the entire damn thing was made of wood. At any rate, my mother ended up having a wreck and totaled that car. In my mind, the car was gone…it was the end of an era, something I was gladly to say goodbye too. However, never fear Daddy’s here with another one ten times worse than the first one. This “new” station wagon was HIDEOUS. I absolutely despised it. I have no earthly idea where my father found this car. Wait, I take that back. I don’t know who at Chevy said “Stop! put the pencil down my friends, no need to sketch any further, that right there IS the face of the NEW Station wagon” Surely, the people that approved this enormous road boat heard the words ”you are fired” shortly there after. This station wagon was lime green. Yes, folks you read that correctly…LIME GREEN. When I say road boat, I mean it. This thing was huge. The front seat was as wide and long as a church pew. 13 or 14 people could sit in the front and be completely comfortable. I am convinced you could hold a concert in the front seat and comfort wouldn’t have been a complaint. The back seat of this car was a good football field length away from the front seat. This was not the car where your mother could reach back with her arm to the back seat and grab ”a holt” of ya. Remember that threat? “You better be nice to your sister! You don’t want me to reach back there!” Yeah, I don’t ever remember that threat because no way in hell could you have reached anything in the back seat from the front of this vehicle. I guess this was really the ultimate family car back in my day. My parents could throw me and Anne and half our first grade class in the way way back, we could play My Little Ponies all the way to town while my Mom and Dad listened to Willie and Waylon and solved all the worlds problems. I was tossed around so much in that way back seat that I should have probably wore a helmet. Later in life as I got older, that car became my nemesis. The thought of my mom picking me up at school in the green machine would be UTTER embarrassment, something this little cheerleader could barely mentally handle. It would so have it that a flood would carry that car away down a creek years later. I was so excited. Until my mother hired someone to drag it out of the creek bed with a bulldozer. Here it came like the Loch Ness Monster to haunt me. Of course wouldn’t you know that stupid car started right up! What are the chances?? That green station wagon’s only purpose in life was to haunt me and of course to NEVER DIE. I left home and went to college and moved to Lex years later. I got a house with some friends and guess what was sitting in the driveway next door. No seriously, I can’t make this up. That damn green station wagon. I laughed and laughed when I called my mom. I look back on that big wagon and think fondly of it now. It was a great car and it served it’s purpose, which was to embarrass me as I grew up and became an adult. It is funny how things turn out, my little nemesis growing up, became a treasured memory. Pretty cool!
Till Next Time!