Finally Friday!

It’s chili weather and I’ve got my first pot brewing….literally!  I begin with a basic recipe that my family has used for years, but I cannot leave it alone.  The original had pinto beans on the side or in the mix.  Since I’m always interested in healthy eating and lots of fiber I’ve played with the recipe over the years until it became what it is today.  And….knowing me….it will change again as the years go by.  This is a delicious recipe that I hope you’ll try and enjoy!  Ice some good beer, make a pan of cornbread and enjoy!

first chili

My Best Chili!

1 1/3  pound meatloaf mix  (I buy this at our local Harris Teeter, but I think most markets carry a meatloaf mix or will make one.)

1 pound ground beef

2 bay leaves

6 tablespoons good quality chili powder

Sea salt, to taste

5 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dry marjoram or oregano leaves

1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon raw, organic sugar

3 tablespoons ground paprika

3 tablespoons flour

3 – 5 tablespoons cold water

6 tablespoons stone ground corn meal

1 can diced tomatoes with peppers (I use the original “Rotel” brand)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can white hominy, drained and rinsed

shredded cheese, your choice

1 sweet onion, finely chopped for garnish

Brown the meats until lightly browned.  Pour four cups water over the meat, cover and simmer for two hours.  Add the next eight ingredients….bay leaves – paprika.  Stir well, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Mix the flour with the cold water and stir in the corn meal.  Use enough liquid to prevent lumps.  Add to the chili and mix well.  Simmer for 10 more minutes.  Serve in large bowls with shredded cheese of choice and chopped fresh onion.

Note:  I usually serve this with homemade buttermilk cornbread.  Let me know, in the comments, if you would like the recipe and I’ll see that you get it!

 

 

The Flowers that Flourish in Fall…tra la!

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I love the weather we’re having now!  My energy level is way up, I’m in the kitchen cooking again and planning my fall/winter garden.  I talked with a lovely lady at our local Ace Garden Center to find out her best suggestions for Fall bloomers.  I’m sharing them here with you today and making my way to the store to purchase some of each as well!  Enjoy the colorful photos and get out your trowels!  It’s planting time!!!

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First on the list is one of my favorite flowers….Pansies.  The fact that they are considered “winter” flowers here delights me no end.  I love their happy little faces and especially love using them in containers.  Pansies make me smile so I’ll be putting dozens in this fall.

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Next on the list are Snapdragons.  These tall elegant bloomers are perfect in any garden.  There are dwarf varieties as well.  The colors are spectacular and add such a vivid touch of color to fall gardens.  I love a bed planted with deep fuschia snapdragons, ornamental cabbage and a border of alyssum…fall and winter perfection.  If you don’t have flowerbeds but rely on containers, you can use the same combination in large pots.

dianthus

I think that Dianthus are so pretty.  The color variations of pretty pink shades look lovely.  I especially like this garden where mounds of dianthus have a backdrop beautiful of white snapdragons.

petunias

Petunias are next on the list of lovely cool weather blossoms.  Whether they are the traditional or wave variety they make such a dramatic show in containers and gardens alike.

Muhly Grass

Last, but certainly not least, is one of my favorite plants.  It’s not flowering, but the fall color that Muhly Grass gracefully shows off in cooler weather is such a wonderful addition to any garden.  I love watching it sway in a cool ocean breeze, it almost looks irridescent in the sunlight.

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There you have it.  I’ve got the gardening bug and I think it’s contagious!  Visit the fine folks at Ace for advice in selecting just the right plants for your garden and get planting!

The Songster

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Phil King 1

I met Phil King when he taped a segment for the radio show.  I instantly liked him.  He is a very friendly person, open, intelligent and easy to talk with.  Today I am writing about his music.  If you combined Harry Chapin, Jim Croce and a bit of Neil Diamond, well, you’d have Phil.  WWEZ, The Island’s Easy radio has been playing several of Phil’s songs.  Listener’s love his easy going style and the fact that his music brings a smile to their faces.  You may have heard and enjoyed “In The Golden Isles” and “American Made”, a song which celebrates our country.

Phil King 2

Unlike so many performers these days, Phil writes, plays and sings his own music.  You won’t hear the music of other artists when you attend his local engagements.  Phil tells a story with his music.  There may be a reprise that repeats through the song, but this is not music that goes on and on with the same words repetitively going through four to five minutes of what I have difficulty calling music.

Official Press Picture

Official Press Picture

Georgia born and raised, Phil’s musical journey has taken him from coast to coast, appearing at the famous Roxy Theatre in California, back in the day.  He’s rubbed shoulders with the best throughout his career.  He spent years living in Atlanta, holding the position of president of the Georgia Music Industry Association, Inc.  I believe Phil is a master at what he does!

Click to hear “Gorgeous Day”  

His newest release is Gorgeous Day.  It’s a happy go lucky tune that makes you want to get in that convertible he sings about and head for the beach.  If you want to hear Phil in live performance you have the opportunity on the first Wednesday of each month at Sea Palms.  I’ve got November 5th on my calendar!

Let The Games Begin!

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The Pro Am’s at the McGladrey Classic began today.  I walked through the area to give you a feel for what’s going on.   Travelling the Avenue of Oaks to Sea Island’s beautiful Seaside Golf Course one feels the blending of history with the present.  Especially when seeing ruins of the plantation that once stood proud and productive on these grounds.

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Today Southeast Georgia Health Systems sponsored the Youth Day with kids of all ages participating and having a grand time.

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The food “court” is coming together to offer all sorts of yummy food and libations for you to enjoy when you attend! Sea Island chefs and staff scurried around, making sure every detail is seen to.

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The towers are up for various television networks and the greens are perfectly manicured.

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Did I mention shopping?  The shop that Sea Island has set up on site is second to none.  Purchase McGladrey t-shirts and all sorts of other golfing paraphernalia when you are at the tournament.

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This is such a special annual event in the Golden Isles.  Proceeds go to local non-profits so they can effectively continue the valuable work they do!  Thank you, thank you to Davis Love III and his staff for presenting this wonderful week we all can enjoy!

Busy, Busy, Busy….

mcGladrey course

This is an exciting time here in the Golden Isles!  The McGladrey Pro Am begins to day!  I’ll be attending, snapping photos and making notes of all of the goings on to share with you!  This annual PGA event, hosted  by Davis Love III is something we’ve all come to look forward to.  The hustle and bustle began toward the end of last week with Nalley’s courtesy cars arriving on the island and all of the grounds around Seaside where the action takes place being manicured to perfection.

ssi airport

The airport was busy here on Sunday with small jets coming in and out with visitors arriving en masse.  There is truly excitement in the air!

ssi fall

The beautiful fall weather adds to all of this as the humidity drops and cool breezes give a feeling of refreshment and renewal to all.  We’re pulling our sweaters out, new jeans purchased and general sprucing up is seen everywhere.

PicMonkey Collage fall bulbs

If you love gardening, as I do, you’ll want to think about purchasing bulbs.  Daffodils, hyacinth and antique are three varieties that do very well in our zone.  Buy them now and refrigerate them until the first week of December when it will be the perfect time to plant.  These bulbs will return each year providing color and beauty to your early spring garden.

witches hour

I, personally, am looking forward to the “Witches Hour” luncheon hosted by two of my good friends, Donna MacPherson and Paige Funkhouser.  Coastal Kitchen is the place where all the fun will take place.  I’m working on my costume…not telling what it is, but there will be pictures.

Uncle Don's Pumpkins

Uncle Don’s Pumpkins

The summer heat has subsided and energy is riding high here in Coastal Georgia.  What a perfect place to live or to take a fall vacation.  If you’ve never been here, make your plans.  You’ll return again and again!

 

Simple Sundays

I’m sharing one of my favorite pieces this morning.  It’s composed and recorded by Michael Whalen.  The title is, “I’ve Loved You For A Thousand Lifetimes”.  It is romantic, gentle and soothing.  Whether we live one or more lives is not something we will ever really know.  Different people have varying beliefs on the subject.  I suppose this piece appeals to my softer side.  Beautifully played on the piano, I think you’ll enjoy it and the wonderful pictures that appear on this video.  Have a wonderful Sunday, take time to BE…to BREATHE….and to LOVE!

On The Radio

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What a pleasure to speak with my dear friend, Judith Paixao, genius behind Bermuda Sea Glass Jewelry.  Judith is holding another of her grand “salons” at Glynn Visual Arts here on St. Simons Island.  You can visit her, put your own design for a beautiful piece of jewelry featuring sea glass and other objects, even a treasured heirloom of your own to be incorporated into a piece to pass down for years to come.  Judith will help you with your design, then make the one of a kind piece for you.  Listen in as Judith talks about her story, her design process and more!

Finally Friday!

With the arrival of fall each year I’m cooking away again.  I think Mr. T longs for that first French Roast chicken and pot of my famous Texas Chili.  I’m sharing one of my favorite menus with you for a light weekend dinner or lunch…or anytime you feel in the mood for comfort food!  I have been making this version of French Onion Soup for years and it is always a big hit!  It’s easy to make and so delicious, paired with a light salad, crusty bread and a good Grenache wine.  I hope you’ll try it!

French Onion Soup

Salad of Mixed Greens with a Light Vinaigrette

Crusty French Bread

Berry Crisp

Grenache

french onion soup

French Onion Soup

2 tbsp. butter
2 large yellow onion finely minced

1 large purple onion finely minced

4 shallots finely minced

2 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and cubed

8 cups beef or chicken broth

¼ cup Madeira wine

1 bay leaf

1 tsp.  Sage Leaves, ground

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 pound cooked bacon, crumbled

1 French baguette, sliced and toasted
Heat butter, add onions, shallots, apples and cook over
medium low heat until caramelized, about ½ hour. Stir in
broth, Madeira wine, bay leaf and sage. Simmer for 20
minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Fill French onion soup
crocks or other deep soup bowls with soup. Top with two
baguette slices, shredded cheese and bacon. Place under
the broiler or use a small kitchen torch to melt the cheese
until bubbly.

mixed green salad

Salad of Mixed Greens with a Light Vinaigrette

1 head red leaf lettuce

1 head butter lettuce

1 head radicchio

1 head endive

Tear the greens and toss with vinaigrette and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper

Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

Sea salt & Pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl then toss with the salad greens.

berry crumble

Berry Crisp

1/2 cup fresh blackberries

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

1 cup sliced, fresh strawberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together and place in a pie pan.  Top with Crumb Topping

Crumb Topping:

6 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped almonds

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Mix together and spoon over the berry mixture.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 1/2 hour, or until browned and bubbly.

A Fine Year!

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It’s been one year since I began broadcasting The Permanent Tourist on our local FM radio station, WWEZ 94.7 & 97.5.  The time has flown and I have learned so much and met so many interesting people!

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We’ve promoted events….A Taste Of Glynn, Coastal Symphony of Georgia, The Annual Christ Church Parade of Homes and many, many others.  The people I have met have enriched my life in countless ways.  I really had not thought of hosting a radio show when I first began this blog, but it fits hand in hand with my writing and I love doing the show!

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With the help of station manager, Cathy Dee, my technical director, Melissa Wood, station owner Stu Graham and office manager, Cathy McKay, the show has become a great success.  Many thanks to all of these wonderful people who help make it happen!

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I love doing The Chef and The Wine Guy with Mark Gagliano and Chef Tom Delaney.  We have so much fun talking about food and wine pairings.  I actually heard that our local Harris Teeter has actually fun out of items we have mentioned on the show!  People are listening!

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Artists, authors, singers, chefs and more….the topics are never dull and neither are my guests!

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It’s been a fun packed year that I hope will grow and continue for a long time.  I feel I’m contributing to the community and the friends I have made are invaluable!  Listen to the show on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:05 pm and on my blog post each and every Saturday.  It’s always interesting and fun!  I truly am living and loving life in Coastal Georgia!  Thank you WWEZ!

The Happy Flower

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My favorite fall flower, the Chrysanthemum, can be found in shops and displays, pots and planters…..they truly symbolize the season.  Rich in history, Chrysanthemums first grew in China as far back as the 5th century BC.   Considered a flowering “herb”, their petals were and still are used in tea making.  Their deep green leaves are used in Asian cooking, steamed as we do greens of other varieties, to this day.  But if you decide to try this, please make sure your plant is pesticide free!mums 4 lg

The plant made its way to Japan in the in the 8th century AD.  The Emperor loved the blooms so much he made this beautiful flower his official seal.  To this day the “Festival of Happiness” celebrates the Chrysanthemum each year, its brilliant colors popping with energy and fragrance.

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You’ll find ancient Chinese pieces embossed with the flower that finally made its way to America in 1798 when Colonel John Stevens imported a cultivated variety known as ‘Dark Purple’ from England.

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The plants also have a natural insecticidal quality and appear with the name “Pyrethrum” in powder form.  The powder will inhibit female mosquitoes from biting….good to know here on the island!

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The NASA Clean Air Study actually found that Chrysanthemum plants have been shown to reduce indoor air pollution.  Who knew?

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Now that I’ve shared the history of this beautiful fall bloomer you have even more reason to buy them for decoration.  They add so much to any entryway, garden path…just about any place you want some beautiful color!  I always plant them in my garden after they’ve begun to lose their blooms.  I’m always amazed at how they bloom perennially, year after year!  Enjoy the beauty of the season…..go find some Chrysanthemums!