Sunday, December 7, 2014

Easy Appetizer Trays

Appetizer trays are easy and well loved by snackers the world over.
There are three main types: savory (usually sliced meats and cheeses), vegetable (celery, carrots, broccoli, etc) and fruit (apple, orange, etc).
When doing the shopping for the rest of your ingredients, make sure and grab some extra ingredients for snack trays. Snacks keep guests entertained, lower blood sugar levels and soak up early alcohol ingestion. In short, snack trays keep antsy guests busy, hungry guests sane and help the festivities on into the night.

Holiday History: Memorial Day

Originally called Decoration Day, this holiday is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Memorial Day was first observed after the Civil War as a desire to honor the dead. Originally proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan (national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic in the Civil War) because the date wasn't the anniversary of any particular battle. In his General Order No. 11 he proclaimed:
“The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie
in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” (original text link here)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Mamma's Book Review: The Subtle Knife, Phillip Pullman

Book 2 of the His Dark Materials trilogy, the Subtle Knife 

by Phillip Pullman

"Having slipped through a newly formed astral portal, the intrepid Lyra finds herself in the beautiful, haunted world of Cittagazze--a city where soul-eating Specters walk the streets and the wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky. But she is not without allies. For young Will Parry, in search of his father, has stumbled into this strange new realm via a magic gateway.
Together the enlightened pair forge ahead on a perilous journey between worlds teeming with witches, angels and sorcery--and uncover a deadly secret: an object of extraordinary and devastating power. But with every step, they move closer to an even greater threat--and the shattering truth of their own destiny..."
~from the back cover of The Subtle Knife

Spicy Creole Corn (Corn Maque Choux)


1 can Corn
1 can Tomatoes, diced
1 Habanero Pepper, diced (use less for a milder recipe)
1/4 cup Green Bell Pepper, diced
1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper, diced
1/2 cup Onion, diced
1/4 cup Celery, diced
3 large cloves of Garlic, chopped OR 2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Salt

Optional: 1 cooked and diced Potato, 1/2 cup chopped Green Onions and 1 cup Cream Cheese. Add to the Creole Corn after cooking and stir together well. This makes a great dip for parties.

Mamma's Book Review: Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

Author: Jane Austen
Recommended Reader Age: Adult
Of course the original will always be my favorite!

"Sense and Sensibility is the story of two sisters; pragmatic Elinor and passionate, willful Marianne. When their father, Henry Dashwood, dies, by law his estate must pass to the eldest son from his first marriage. Suddenly homeless and impoverished his current wife and daughters find themselves living in a simple country cottage. The two sisters are soon accepted into their new society. Marianne soon becomes swept up in a passionate love affair with the dashing Willoughby, while Elinor struggles to keep a tight reign on the family purse strings and to keep her feelings for Edward Ferrars, whom she left behind, hidden from her family. Despite their different personalities, they both experience great sorrows in their affairs, but they learn to mix sense with sensibility in a society that is obsessed with both financial and social status."
~from the back cover of Sense and Sensibility

Mamma's Book Review: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

Author: Ben H. Winters, original novel by Jane Austen
Recommended Reader Age: Young Adult to Adult
A fan-fiction novel of Sense and Sensibility set to the tune of Sea Monsters!