Mardi Gras

The week-end was COLD and not so snowy. We were supposed to get 8-10 inches but it passed us by and left us with 2-3 inches of snow combined with some sleet. It just got bitter, bitter cold; so I stitched under my heating blanket. Today were are having a heat wave of sorts up to freezing and headed for the spring temps next week…AND none too soon I might add.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut today is Mardi Gras, “Laissez les bons temps!”  New Orleans is one of my favorite places, they know how to party, eat and eat…and if I were young again I would be there. But every Fat Tuesday and  fix a pot of Gumbo…one of my favorite foods. I have two well used cookbooks from New Orleans Recipes and Reminiscences of New Orleans Vol 1 & 2. (hum wonder if there is a third will have to look later)  I love these cookbooks and use them often. The gumbo recipe is from these cookbooks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEver hear of a Roux spoon? My niece brought this back to me from Polly’s Island three or four years ago and I love it. It has a flat side is wonderful when making roux or any type of thickened sauce. I use it all the time when making creamed soups and sauces. Don’t know how I lived without this spoon for so many years.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere is my gumbo…will wait until this afternoon to add the shrimp. Since my shrimp don’t come with their heads on I have to improvise. I wait and add at last minute so they don’t get tough. Now before all you New Orleans purists start complaining…please remember I am a Midwest girl trying to cook Cajun food. I can’t make pralines or beignets because I am not at sea level and I know that has something to do with making them so yummy. Mirleton do not grow wild here so I haven’t had a seafood stuffed Mirleton in years. And my French bread is not as good as yours either…So if any of you wonderful Southern people would like to send me pralines, beignets and stuffed Mirleton …I promise to eat them all by myself and not share with any other Midwesterner who doesn’t know what they are missing.

My Mardi Gras display is not much, guess I’ll have to add a mask to my to-do list. Like I have time for this…well a girl can dream.


Val the Valentine girl ( ) would not get in her box when she saw Nick the Mardi Gras man ( so they are partying hardy in the collections case until the rabbits arrive next week for the Easter holidays.

So I since dinner is ready I see a nap, stitching and a good movie in my future today. I am still working on the Mom and Me border but will have something to share later this week…I hope (depends on how much nap I get)

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today and Laissez les bons temps! ttfn…sue

OMGosh…Surprise, surprise, surprise

This week-end DH handed me a brown envelope addressed to me, but I wasn’t expecting anything (already had all I was expecting); so I asked him what’s this. His reply was a typical DH remark; “Must be something you ordered.” Knowing he was probably correct I opened the envelope and inside was Mary Engelbreit’s OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFan Fare Cookbook: 120 Dessert Favorites. Still no recollection of ordering this, but since my birthday is in August and I love desserts, I figured someone had sent me a nice birthday gift. Inside the front cover (had not noticed the autograph yet) was a letter (ah, a clue); so I began to read…”Dear Contributor,”… OMGosh, this took my breath away and I sat down to continue reading. At OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfirst I thought maybe someone near and dear to me had submitted a recipe in my name. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo after my initial surprise I looked through the cookbook to find my recipe and sure enough almost smack dab in the middle of the book, there it was. As I read the recipe and short story OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAaccompanying the recipe I realized this was me and I obviously had sent the recipe (the wording sounded just like me). I did not remember this at all, but my recipe was one of the 120 chosen and here I was in a Mary Engelbreit publication. I can’t tell you how surprised, humbled and dumbfounded I was…Awesome!

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I have always been a big fan of Mary Engelbreit (; I have several of her cards framed and hanging in my hallway. My first framed card came from a good friend’s daughter, Katie Bax who lived in St Louis and worked at a Mary Engelbreit store and knew I love her artwork so she bought me a card and had Mary autograph it for me.13-07-29ME journal I have books (surprise, surprise), boxes, sewing items, Santa’s, Christmas plates and Good to be the Queen things; my project journals are ME Good to be the Queen journals and I have every issue of Home Companion magazine Mary published…I still miss this publication…it was so creative.
Do I sound like a Mary Engelbreit groupie? Well I guess it is as close as I get to being a groupie…I don’t think of myself as a groupie but more as an admirer of an extremely talented lady who expresses the beauty of the world around her. Her artwork lifts me up and makes me smile.
Mary doesn’t like to cook and although I don’t mind cooking I rather needlepoint and draw than cook…Mary Engelbeit’s saying about cooking is one of my two favorites: “If my family had to depend on me for food, they would starve to death in a really cute kitchen.” The other quote is from Sharon Garmize, another very talented needlepoint lady ( “I only have a kitchen because it came with the house.”
And so, I have spent an evening reading a cookbook from cover to cover. Good thing you don’t absorb calories by reading because I would have absorbed a bunch. There are some really great dessert recipes in this book but the stories that accompany each of these recipes are the best, it makes them so personal. I know this cookbook will become a family favorite. And I am humbled to have been included.
Think I’ll get a stand for it in my kitchen, maybe a stand under glass to protect it…I know I’ve gone too far…I am hoping my head and chest stop swelling (with humble pride and awesomeness) so I can get back to work; but every time I see the book I get excited all over again.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today! I’m going to try…