Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mississippi Mud Cookies

I have mentioned that our oldest granddaughter, Katie Phillips, is doing an incredible food blog,  "Eat Joyfully".  I can't wait any longer to introduce you.  Katie has agreed to do a guest post for us today.

When you visit, please take a moment to read her motivation for writing and look back at all the wonderful recipes and photos.

Here's Katie!

                                  Mississippi Mud Cookie

In 1927, Bing Crosby and the Rhythm Boys crowded around a microphone to record what would become the hit song Mississippi Mud. The melody is set to a high tempo trumpet line that somehow manages to evoke the joy of a 1940s veterans’ homecoming. I listen to it, and it carries me to a small town, setting me in the midst of a joyous parade to celebrate the return of soldiers. It has a unique big-band feel in that it is incredibly uplifting, yet lacking that over-the-top, stereotypically bombastic style. The lyrics are appropriately celebratory, in a good ‘ole Southern way:

What a dance do they do
Lordy, how I'm tellin' you
They don't need no band
They keep time by clapping their hands
Just as happy as a cow chewin' on a cud
It's a treat to beat your feet on the Mississippi mud.

This cookie, much like the dancing crowd in the song, is a treat! While it involves several classic dessert ingredients, it is a new combination that surprises and delights. 

Mississippi mud cookies are old school and comforting. There is nothing incredibly fancy or avant-garde about them—they’re just simple, delicious ingredients put together in a great treat! Some people make them with rice cereal, and there is a no-bake peanut butter version. But this recipe is different. It is very similar to a cookie version of rocky road ice cream, and succeeds in creating a luscious combination of flavors. For anyone who has a nut allergy, these cookies will certainly be yummy without the pecans, but I would recommend finding a substitute for them. The added substance helps to keep the cookie from being too gooey and falling apart.

(makes about 30 cookies)
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1 stick salted butter
1 cup sugar (organic, for all you vegetarians out there!)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate morsels

1 cup mini marshmallows (for vegetarians, you can find gelatin free marshmallows at Whole Foods!)

First, melt the semisweet chocolate carefully in a microwave (30 seconds at a time, stirring in between to avoid burning), or in a double boiler. 

Next, in a large, liquid measuring cup, melt the butter. In a large bowl, add the sugar into the melted butter, and stir thoroughly. The result should be a creamy mixture with the consistency of a béarnaise sauce.

After your butter mixture cools down a bit, add in the eggs one at a time. Be careful to stir with each egg addition to avoid cooking the eggs in the warm butter. 

Stir in the vanilla and melted semi-sweet chocolate.
Next, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet ingredients, stirring all the while. 
Chop the pecans and add them into your dough along with the dark or bittersweet chocolate. 


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (cooking spray should also work here), and preheat the oven to 350F. Using a tablespoon, shape rounded balls of dough and place them onto the baking sheet, and decorate the top of each with the marshmallows.

Cook for about 12 minutes (or until the marshmallows begin to darken and the cookies are firm).

 We also like to make them into sandwiches. We cut the cookie in half, lay marshmallows on one side, and microwave it! Then smash the two halves together and it is delicious! This is also a great way to save them if there are any left after a few weeks or so that have become a little stale.



Eat Joyfully! Go then, eat thy bread with joy and          drink thy wine with gladness.  Eccl 9:7

                               Linking back to   Wow us Wednesday

Sunday, September 7, 2014


I have one camellia.  It has had about twenty-five glorious, white blooms this season.  Such perfection!  An added blessing of this camellia is one branch with deep rosy red blooms!  This branch begins to bloom as the white blossoms fade.

flowers 001

The camellia bush grows right by a bird bath.  It also grows 
close to a front window so we watch as it reminds us that spring is on its’ way.   I clipped a deep pink, a pale pink, and a white bloom to float in the bird bath while I captured the very last beauties of the year.

flowers 002

flowers 003 

A paradise for birds…

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First and last blooms!  Celebrate!

flowers 005

First published in BCP...My Life

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Simple Tomato Tart

I know I have shared this before but it is so good it deserves re-posting every tomato season.


Only six ingredients!  The recipe calls for "basic pastry dough" which means a store-bought pie crust at my house!

Pie crust
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 to 4 ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Spread the cheese in bottom of unbaked pie crust.  Sprinkle with the basil.  Arrange the tomato slices evenly over the cheese.  Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Drizzle with the olive oil.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.  Slice into wedges and serve hot, garnished with additional basil.

This is taken from Southern Settings
Published by Decatur General Foundation
( with just a few alterations)

This recipe alone is reason enough to grow a pot of basil each spring.

It is so much better with homegrown tomatoes.

Try it tonight!

There Once Was A Nightgown

Many years ago there was a wonderful nightgown.  A fine, linen gown...Oh, how I loved that nightgown!


google image

I wore it and wore it.  For many years, I wore it.  I washed it over and over again.  It got softer and softer.
Oh, how I loved that nightgown!

Then there came a time when I could not wear it again.   It was as thin as tissue, and it had holes in it!
What to do?....I couldn't throw it away.  Mmmm....there was a fairly large area where there were
no holes.  I wonder.....?  Well, I have nothing to lose.
I found a soft, downy pillow insert...
I went through mother's old buttons.  I found five that were alike.  Beautiful, old, mother of pearl




A beautiful, soft, pillow sham.....The ultimate in luxury. 

How's that for recycling!