annie blog

May 2, 2015
by annie

Recipes to Remember

I’ve been cooking some new recipes lately, and these are some recipes that I’ll want to remember.

They’re good ones!

The first one is this breakfast casserole from The Homesick Texan.  I’d wager that everything on her site is great, actually.  This breakfast casserole has sausage, cheese, jalapeños, and other lovely things.  I made it last weekend and wish I still had some.

Then, Tuesday (I think), I made greek food all day.  First, there was the Greek lemon soup that I intend to blog ASAP.  I also made  these Greek potatoesthis tzatziki sauce, and the marinade and chicken from this recipe for chicken gyros.  Also, homemade pita bread from Smitten Kitchen where Deb, the author, will never, ever, steer you wrong.

Finally, on the popscicle front, I made some fabulous cucumber Popsicles containing ginger syrup, lime and gin. They were so very good and really refreshing.  If you decide to make them and need ginger syrup, there are a bunch of recipes around and every single one is as easy as falling off a log. So don’t let the lack of ginger syrup deter you.  I have to warn you, though, making homemade ginger syrup yields homemade stewed ginger that, after drying out overnight and tossing in a smidgen of sugar makes some delightful crystallized ginger.  

That’s all I’ve got for this Friday.  I hope you’re having a great one!

April 4, 2015
by annie

Happy Easter!!!

Seven Stanzas at Easter 

By John Updike

Make no mistake: if He rose at all

It was as His body;

If the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecules

reknit, the amino acids rekindle,

the Church will fall.


It was not as the flowers,

Each soft Spring recurrent;

It was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled

eyes of the eleven apostles;

It was as His flesh; ours.


The same hinged thumbs and toes

The same valved heart

That-pierced-died, withered, paused, and then

Regathered out of enduring Might

New strength to enclose.


Let us not mock God with metaphor,

Analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;

Making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the

Faded credulity of earlier ages:

Let us walk through the door.


The stone is rolled back, not papier-maché,

Not a stone in a story,

But the vast rock of materiality that in the slow

grinding of time will eclipse for each of us

The wide light of day.


And if we have an angel at the tomb,

Make it a real angel,

Weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,

Opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen

Spun on a definite loom.


Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,

For our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,

Lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are

Embarrassed by the miracle,

And crushed by remonstrance.

March 17, 2015
by annie

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

This is a must read today.

I really miss this song…we used to sing it at every baptism at the church we went to in St. Louis.

The Lorica — attributed to St. Patrick

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
I bind this day to me for ever,
by power of faith, Christ’s Incarnation;
his baptism in Jordan river;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spicèd tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet “Well done” in judgment hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors’ faith, apostles’ word,
the patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of ransomed souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken, to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
and restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
all that love me,
Christ in mouth of
friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

February 26, 2015
by annie

This Is What Happens

when one blogs about Daffodils.

The thing about snow in Mississippi, though, is that it’s so rare that it’s always welcomed.  

So, happy snow day to us! And, note to self, remember to stockpile butter before the next snowstorm. Wanting to bake and having no butter is not a very happy thing. 

Here are some good things: 

I think that Domaine Home might be my favorite home decor/interior decorating site.  And this  fun and funky housetour from today has me absolutely captivated.  I’m dissecting it, y’all, and I’ve already sourced the butterfly artwork in the dining room.  There is much to admire.  

Also, tartines. I want some.  Did you see the four that were featured on Cup of Jo?  I want them all and not just for breakfast.  Yum, yum, yum!

Speaking of yum, Shutterbean made an awesome baked chicken from the new cookbook,Sheet Pan Suppers, by Molly Gilbert.  It looked like a good one to try so I made it last week. Outcome:  we inhaled it.  I made some plain buttered pasta to go along with it and some creamed spinach, too.  This recipe gets the designation of instant keeper.  Try it and you’ll see why.

Happy Wednesday, y’all, and happy snow day, too.

Today was great, today was fun, tomorrow is another one!

February 13, 2015
by annie

Skillet Cookie!

Yes, that exclamation point above is needed.

This cookie is amazing and crazy easy. Yay for easy, right?


In fact, the only real problem with this cookie is that it will be rapidly consumed. See that thumbs up? It’s for real.

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups (about 9 ounces) semisweet-chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg; mix until fully incorporated. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Transfer dough to a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, and press to flatten, covering bottom of pan. Bake until edges are brown and top is golden, 40 to 45 minutes. (Watch it — mine takes much less time but I think my oven is kind of an overachiever. I haven’t had this oven long so I’m still trying to figure it out. ) Don’t overbake; it will continue to cook a few minutes out of the oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cut into wedges and serve with ice cream and caramel sauce, if you want to be fancy.

It’s yummy, y’all! Happy Friday!

February 12, 2015
by annie

Birth of the Blues

Today, I was looking at a couple of Mardi Gras mix tapes that some folks had posted online, and this song popped up on one of them.

It’s Keely Smith and Louis Prima doing Birth of the Blues. Not a song that I would naturally identify as being related to Mardi Gras, but a great one to know about, anyway.

Her voice is spectacular.

I love his trumpet playing.

It’s a good one to remember!

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

February 10, 2015
by annie

What’s Up, Daffodil?

Doesn’t really have the same ring to it as, “What ‘s up, Buttercup?” It is, however, more accurate around these parts.

These have been springing up everywhere.


I can’t adequately express how happy it makes me to see them.

Basically, big-time happy.

I told my mom the other day that our yard is going to be like a box of chocolates. We never really know what we’re going to get, since this is our first Spring in this house.

Looking forward to it!

So, February in Mississippi means daffodils. It also means Mardi Gras is coming right up.

If you want to make a king cake, and I think you totally should, by the way, then this is totally the best one. I say this after many years of king cake recipe searching. In fact, this recipe is so good that I’ve been known to make it at other times of the year. So check it out. (my only modifications to the recipe are that I omit the maple syrup and the pecans and tick the sugar of the filling up by just a tad.)

Speaking of Mardi Gras, I heard a song the other day that reminded me of it.

I really like this song! It’s by JD McPherson and is called, aptly, Let the Good Times Roll.

I first heard it on the way to school in the morning and thought it was some great old rockabilly tune that I had somehow never heard. And, if I’m being perfectly honest, I was sort of mad that I had never heard this great song. Well, wrong, Annie. It’s like new, spanking brand-new.

Give it a listen here.

Happy Tuesday, y’all!

October 3, 2014
by annie

Songs for your Friday

I don’t know what happened, but I seem to have misplaced my hustle. I hate it when that happens.

This is a the sort of day day I would want to skip school, if I had to go to school, which I don’t. I have a long list of activities, of course, along with an overwhelming desire just to chuck the lot for today and go prowl through the Dirt Cheap. I won’t go though, because even though my hustle is on the lam, my priorities and the responsibility I feel to get stuff done is omnipresent.

So, I’m going to employ music in a bid to regain the misplaced hustle.

Sounds like a plan, right?

1. This guy, Paolo Nutini, sounds a lot like a young Al Green. Which makes perfect sense, since he’s Italian-Scottish. What?

2. Louis Prima: Hey Boy! Hey Girl!

3. Handle With Care by The Traveling Wilburys. Woohoo! An ’80s video! You know you want to sing along…

4. The Devil Ain’t Lazy by Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three. . I saw them perform the song in St. Louis, in front of a magnificent museum, in the middle of a beautiful park, on the prettiest night in June. Good memories.

5. Xander Cardinale: Made for You.. Kind of a basic song but I like singing along (really loudly) on the chorus.

Ok. My hustle still hasn’t returned. I’m off on a hustle hunt.

Tally ho! And, happy Friday, y’all!

October 2, 2014
by annie

Pank Slaw

Just an explanation of the title — it’s a joke of mine and my sister, Deana, to not say “pink” but “pank”. Similarly, we also say “wranks” instead of “wrinks” (short for wrinkles) but that’s another story for another day.

Back to the subject at hand: slaw.

Jon and I absolutely love it.

I make lots of different kinds, but lately this is the one that I’ve been making.

It’s good.

It’s PANK.



– Half a red cabbage; cored and sliced thinly
– A quarter of a cup pickled Pepperocini pepper slices
– Half of a thinly sliced red or yellow onion
– 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
– two glugs red wine vinegar
– four gulgs extra-virgin olive oil
– juice of a lime, optional
– salt-and-pepper to taste


Thinly slice cabbage and onions.

In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper, and optional lime juice. Whisk until combined. Toss with cabbage, peppers, and onions.

Serve and enjoy!

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

September 29, 2014
by annie

Lycoris Radiata

I distinctly remember the first time I really noticed the surprise lily, or Spider Lily, as they’re generally known here in Mississippi. I’m pretty sure that I had seen them before in my life, but I hadn’t really noticed them until they began popping up in the front yard at the farmhouse where Jon and I lived our first year of marriage.

We rented the house from a great old farmer, Mr. Blocker. I have no idea how old he was back then, I’m assuming mid to late 70s. He was still actively farming, but I think he was also interested in what the newlyweds were up to, and so he sometimes turned up on weekend mornings.

Anyway, to have dozens of these gorgeous, red-orange lilies pop up in my yard was unexpected and delightful occurrence for me. One Saturday morning, Mr. Blocker came along to find me joyfully picking an armful of them. I was so happy about it, in fact, that he playfully accused me, saying, “What you so happy about this mornin’? You been up drinkin’ margaritas or sompthin?”

He was a hoot.

Fast forward twenty or so years, and I find myself back in Starkville, and guess what just came up in my yard?

Yes, spider lilies. And, the master gardener who lived here before us arranged them so well. Instead of popping up just willy-nilly in the front yard, they’re arranged on the edge of beds with beautiful plantings behind them.

I’ve always loved the color red-orange. Always. So, in this house that I have been painting for the past four months, I decided that I really wanted a red-orange room. Most of the rooms are white, because I really like that too, except for the boys rooms –which they all wanted to be blue. What is it with boys, and blue? Anyway, I finally settled on a color and I painted and painted — trying to use color to unite a room which, before, had borne five different wall coverings in all — real brick, fake brick, shingle siding, bookshelves, and pine paneling.

It’s a funny color. Sometimes it looks red, sometimes orange, and once at the very end of a day it looked to be a deep salmon pink. I didn’t really have a name for it, until now.

Now, I know what it is.

See? It’s spider lily red.


Happy Monday, y’all!