Blog & Recipes

A clear trifle bowl with layers of lady fingers, raspberries and lemon cream



A To-Do List

The term bucket list, came into it’s own when the movie, The Bucket List starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nickleson, came out. You probably know the story: two terminally ill men decided to do the things they wanted to do before they “kicked the bucket.”  Unlike a “bucket list” I have a list to do while I can still enjoy doing them. The main object of my list is to go as many different places in the world, see as…

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A Tarte Tatin

What in the world is a Tarte Tatin? In the world of France it is a famous upside-down apple tart.  This dessert was created by two French sisters who lived in the Loire Valley and earned their living making it. This  The French call this dessert tarte des demoiselles Tatin, “the tart of two unmarried women named Tatin.” Information is found in FOOD LOVERS COMPANION, pp686-7les light corn syrup Though traditionally made with apples, the tart can be made with any fresh fruit. The…

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Making a Tagine in a Tagine

Cold weather calls for stews or soups, and since I have a Moroccan tagine, I cooked a chicken tagine. That sounds like some sort of puzzle, and, in a way, it is. A tagine is a cooking vessel used by the Berbers, the indigenous people of Northern African who populated the territory west of the Nile River. The meat or vegetable cooked in the vessel is called a “tagine.” This cooking pot is shaped like a pie plate with a…

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Just in Time for Valentine’s Day: I Don’t Love Chocolate

I know. I know. I am in the minority. I am weird. I do not know what is really good or good for me. Nevertheless, I really do not love chocolate. The reasons for this food bias may be any one or all of the following. First reason is genetic. My mother and my grandmother, the matriarch of the kitchen in our family, did not make chocolate things. and a biology teacher told me that not liking chocolate is genetic.…

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Looking Back at Christmas

Looking at Back at Christmas. Perhaps just 11 days after Christmas 2011 is not long enough to give any perspective to the holiday. Yet, this is my self-assigned task today. All of the important statements about the significance of Christmas have been stated and restated.  We’re in the newest new year, resolutions are made, or not,  and we move on to whatever the year, the day, the moment brings. This Waco Miller Family celebrated Christmas twice.Christmas Eve, after church, we…

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The Accidental Fried Chicken Salad

It all started with my trying to improve on the proven. Family gathering coming up, and I wanted to make the ULTIMATE fried chicken–being the matriarch and all. Surely the recipe from one of the top Food Network chefs would be the ticket! SO—I bought a large cast iron chicken fryer from “you know where,” bought just the right sizes of Organic Chickens to the tune of $3.00+ per pound along with a large amount of Crisco, buttermilk, and fresh…

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The Devil in Deviled Eggs and How to Exorcise Them

 Deviled Eggs, it seems to me, are THE most popular item at a picnic or a cocktail party. At Eastertime we all start making them because of so many dyed hen eggs. This past Easter I began to think about “The Deviled Egg.” (My grandson observed that at Eastertime, perhaps they should be call angel eggs.) Why the name “deviled”? Wikipedia connects this dish to deviled ham, and maybe that is true. However, after much contemplation (at least 30 minutes)…

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A Cemetery Picnic

THE MAPLE GROVE CEMETERY PICNIC (from Picnics I Remember by Jo Ann Miller) On the fourth Saturday in June, which was always seemed to be the hottest day of the year, we went to the Maple Grove Picnic. All of my Orr relatives were there, too—dead and alive. What I have attended and endured all of my life is the outgrowth of an old tradition to honor ancestors. In the old days in the country in East Texas graveyards were…

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Looking at the Wild Northwest

This Spring  (June 18-25) Gourmet Gallery is sponsoring a Wine, Food and Sightseeing Tour to Washington and Oregon. Not since Lewis and Clark who travelled there as representatives of the United States government has there been so much excitement about going there.  Our transportation to the area will be faster. Consequently, we’ll  be able to cover much more territory. Landing in Seattle, Washington on June 18, we will have an orientation tour of the city including the waterfront, the downtown…

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Why Taste Wine at a Wine-Tasting?

“Drink and be merry, for our time on earth is short, and death is forever.” A Toast.  Gourmet Gallery is planning a week’s tour of Washington and Oregon in June, and there are seven wineries on the planned itinerary. What can we learn in that beautiful setting? When tasting, does one learn the language of wine? Will I be able to identify different flavors–is it peppery, fruity, buttery, full-bodied? If food and wine enhance each other, how is food paired…

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Bed and Breakfasts That I Have Met

       In my limited travels I have met some good Bed and Breakfast Inns. On a short vacation to the coast of Maine my husband and I stayed in a lovely home, not luxurious, but lovely, near the town of York.We ate the obligatory lobster and waded in the cold Atlantic while the temperature in Texas was 100+, toured the town’s old jail, put our heads and hands in the stocks that were meant to humiliate the law-breaker.…

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Recipe for a Wonderful, Unexpected Vacation

by Jo Ann Miller (The Grandmother) The following is a new recipe that I found over the weekend: Gather a bunch of family (Your own mixture will work))Mix together one State Mock Trial Competition for one day. (Almost any activity to bring you together)The following cannot be changed:Add at least 2 members not willing to go home after one day.Mix in a spirit of adventure.Stir up enthusiasm for finding an unbeaten path.Results: A wonderful weekend. All of this started with two…

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