A Nibble or A Choke


It’s Catie (I know…I’m still here….but no worries, my Mom will be back soon!)

So recently, I heard this quote and immediately felt that it resonated with my most recent cooking endeavors.

“Someone once told me not to bite off more than I could chew. To which I replied, I’d rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity.”–unknown

I’ve already mentioned that I have a flair for the dramatic. (Yes…you should feel for my husband and parents.) So, I attempted to make the very ambitious Chicken Marsala recipe from the cookbook, SkinnyTaste by Gina Homolka.

IMG_1952In my defense, I had very noble intentions for being so ambitious. You see, Chicken Marsala is one of my mother’s favorite dishes and as you’ll see, she’s SuperMom–What can I say? I live to please.

For any of you who do not know, Chicken Marsala is an Italian dish that involves a breaded and fried chicken that is covered in a creamy Marsala wine and mushroom sauce. Yum!

Actually, the whole endeavor started off rocky. First, I had never tenderized chicken before nor witnessed chicken tenderized in my life. So I was completely unprepared when I got out the breasts, cut them, and proceeded to attempt to wrap them in plastic wrap. However, all I succeeded in creating was a Salmonella ridden wadded mess. I recovered though with the thoughtful guidance of SuperMom.

Next, came the actual hammering of the chicken or “tendering” of it. Apparently, I’m something of a wuss. According to some, I was using about as much force to pound the chicken breasts as I would’ve used to bat my eyelashes–you could say, I was getting nowhere. All was saved though (again), when SuperMom came in to show me how it’s done, and let’s just say she’s no wuss….<>.

Then, I began the actual cooking and frying up of the chicken breasts which was no sweat because I am Mississippi born and raised after all.  I could probably fry just about anything up in my sleep. It’s in my blood. However, the tricky part came after the frying.  I’m using an iron skillet, ( is there really anything better??), but what I didn’t account for was the fact that an iron skillet takes a little longer to cool back down than other skillets. So, when I started making the marsala sauce, I ended up, not with golden and tender shallots and garlic, but burnt unrecognizable pieces of what use to be shallots and garlic glued to the bottom. Cue SuperMom back with her magical powers to fix it!

She cooled and cleaned down the skillet in enough time for me to re-chop the garlic and shallots. (Bet you wish you had a SuperMom!) In the end, despite the fact that apparently I had bought imitation Marsala wine instead of the real stuff, and used beef broth instead of chicken broth (what? I’m learning…) it ended up pretty good (or so SuperMom said…she could be biased though).

We paired it up with baked sweet potatoes (which I forgot to spear before putting in the oven –almost had some ‘splodin spuds…whoops!) and collard greens. Delizioso! (Delicious! For those of you who don’t speak I-talian)

Until next time,


Friday Finds #5


I’m dropping in for a quick Friday Finds post.  I know I’ve been scarce on the blog lately  but my darling daughter, Catie, has done an awesome job filling in for me.  Soon, I’ll divulge what I’ve been doing.  Click on the pics below for more details of each find.

In case you missed the beginning of Catie’s Cooking Challenge, we had grilled vegetable sandwiches with homemade pesto mayo.  Delicious!

sandwich 1With the holidays coming and cards to be addressed, Jones Design Company comes to the rescue with “How to Create Fake Calligraphy.” Looks do-able!

If calligraphy is too much for you, Wordmark.it is wonderful.  You can compare what you want to say in all of your fonts at one time in order to choose the right one.   — Genius!  Thanks, Just a Girl for sharing!

I could look at these winning photos from the National Geographic Photo Contest all day.

Winning photo by Marko Korosec


Last, but certainly not least, 10 Old School Southern Rules to make those of you from the South smile in remembrance and the rest of you think we’re crazy!     https://i0.wp.com/d3j6r9fi0pmzp0.cloudfront.net/style/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/FI_Southern-Rules.jpgBlessings,


“I’ve known all along from the evidence of your words that you meant them to last forever.”  Psalm 119:152  The Message

Eighth Notes and Writing Challenges


I can hardly believe that October is almost here.  For the last several years, I have participated in a writing challenge during the month of October.  Now that the start date is looming in 6 days, I’m starting to get antsy.  Even now, as I am thinking about what I will write, my foot is tapping staccato eighth notes in allegro.

I have a working topic but I’m struggling with finding the time to actually pull it together.  I’ll announce on Monday. {That’s a great idea; put it off for a few more days -hehehe!}

Until then, if you didn’t get a chance to see my posts from the past two years, you can check them out below.  Just click on either button and it will take you to the 31 Day Series page.  From that location, you can view any or all to your heart’s content.


Day 25 of 31 Days of Books off my Shelf


31 Day Button 2013.001

See you on Friday for Friday Finds #3!



“Train me in good common sense; I’m thoroughly committed to living your way.”  Psalm 119:66 The Message

You Belong Here


Twenty-six years ago, we moved to Clinton.  I was 5 months pregnant at the time with our firstborn and we chose to live here because of the excellent school reputation and the close proximity to the capital city of Jackson.  My husband had been in graduate school, in Austin, on leave from his job with the Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg, MS and the time had come to return. We said goodbye to Austin and loaded a small U-Haul trailer of furniture and belongings and moved back to Mississippi.  I don’t think we could fit all of our belongings in that small trailer now!   Looking back over these past years, I think we made a wise choice in choosing our hometown.

Our city, recently, released a tourism video.  I think you’ll see what makes our hometown special.



“And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.”  Romans 1:6  NIV Bible

Christmas at the Governor’s Mansion


I took a field trip yesterday to our Governor’s Mansion to see it all decked out for Christmas.  And of course, I need to share!   I only had my cell phone so please excuse the poor quality of some of the pictures.

The Mississippi Governor’s Mansion is the second oldest continuously occupied governor’s residence in the United States with Virginia being the first.  The Mansion was built in 1841 for about $50,000.  The tour takes place in the original historic part of the Mansion which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975.

The Foyer

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The Gold Parlor

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State Dining Room mantel: I wish I had a picture of the table. The center was decorated with boats similar to the one on the mantel.

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Front Rose Parlor: This room was decorated to reflect our Gulf Coast.

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The Back Rose Parlor: This room was decorated to reflect the Delta.  Our state flower is the magnolia and you’ll see it sprinkled around the tree.  You’ll also see cotton bolls since cotton is grown in the Delta.

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mansion delta room mantel pic

mansion delta room mantel detail pic

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The Pumpkin Bedroom is on the second floor and was decorated for children.

mansion kids room tree pic   mansion kids room fireplace pic

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The Gold Bedroom on the second floor was decorated with a woodland animal motif.

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mansion animal room fireplace pic  mansion animal tabletop decor pic

The Green Bedroom on the second floor had a music theme.

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The Cream Bedroom on the second floor was decorated with a book theme.  President John F. Kennedy once slept in this room as did the novelist William Styron.

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The Second Floor Sitting Hall was decorated with trees and a Santa holding a teddy bear which is a nod to the origins of the teddy bear.  When President Teddy Roosevelt visited Mississippi to bear hunt in 1902, he refused to shoot an old bear and the story was depicted in a political cartoon.  A New York shop owner placed a couple of stuffed bears in his window and called them “Teddy’s bears”.  The name eventually stuck for the stuffed animals and forever connected teddy bears and President Teddy Roosevelt with Mississippi.mansion second floor landing santa pic mansion second floor landing pic

I really enjoyed the tour.  I hope you did too vicariously.  Did you catch some of the clever and easy ideas to copy like I did?  I’m hoping to share some of my decorations next week.

Don’t forget the Awesome Christmas Giveaway of goodies.  You have until Sunday night to enter.  Click here to get all of the details.

How’s your decorating going at your house?



“The days are coming declares the LORD, when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.”  Jeremiah 23:5 NIV Bible

Has the South lost it’s identity?

Hey!  I’m glad you’re here!  This post is part of a 31 Day writing challenge hosted by The Nester.  During the month of October, I’m writing on Southern A Way of Life.  I will be back to my ‘regular’ posts in November.  Consider pushing that follow button to the right for all my latest posts.  Thanks y’all!

31 Day Button 2013.001Day 31

As I wrote the posts for this series, I began to ponder:  Have we, the South, lost our identity?   I don’t know if I can fully answer that question.  I know that the South that I experienced as a child is not the South of today.   That being said, I do live in a more urban environment than I did as a child, so perhaps, my impression is slightly altered.

Like everywhere, progress improves some things in a way you wish it didn’t and sometimes, you don’t realize it until, what was there is gone.  Global homogenization.  That’s what the experts call it.  The pundits who watch and assess our culture.

The South has prided itself on being set apart and having it’s own identity.  I’m hoping that we will retain those things that make us unique and not lose the essence of who we are.  I’m, also, hoping that we will continue to let go of those things that have tarnished and damaged us as a culture and move forward stronger than ever.

To celebrate Halloween, I have a blooper video for you today.

We have covered a lot of ground in the last 31 Days.  If you would like to catch up on all the posts in this series from the very beginning, click here.

Thank you, dear reader, for dropping in and spending your precious time with me.  I really appreciate it.  You make my day : )

What’s your take on global homogenization?



“Watch out for false prophets.  They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”  Matthew 7:15  NIV Bible


Hey!  I’m glad you’re here!  This post is part of a 31 Day writing challenge hosted by The Nester.  During the month of October, I’m writing on Southern A Way of Life.  I will be back to my ‘regular’ posts in November.  Consider pushing that follow button to the right for all my latest posts.  Thanks y’all!

31 Day Button 2013.001Day 30

Only one more day and the challenge is over.  I’ve had such a good time sharing my South with you and making videos with my daughter and on occasion, daughter-in-law.  I hope you’ve had fun, too.

Throughout the series, I’d write a post and then realize, I’d forgot to mention something.   The video, today, is a potluck of things I forgot to mention and as diverse as a wonderful church supper on the grounds.  And truth be told, I probably still forgot tons of things.  I guess, you’ll just have to come South and check it out for yourself. : )

To view all of the posts in this series, click here



“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.”  2 Thessalonians 3:18 NIV Bible