Friday, January 28, 2011

Black Cherry-Oatmeal Crunch Squares

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all had a blessed week and will be getting some rest over the weekend.

After realizing that there were several cookbooks on the shelf that haven't been used in awhile, I have decided to make one new recipe a week. This weeks recipe comes from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking, a beautifully photographed cookbook that could easily pass for a coffee table book.


Black Cherry-Oatmeal Crunch Squares
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
10 oz of black cherry jam (I used Polaners All-Fruit)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon until blended. Using a pastry blender cut in the butter until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs about the size of a pea. Remove 2 cups of the crumb mixture and set aside. Press the remaining crumb mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the prepared pan.

Drop teaspoons of the jam evenly over the crust, then spread it gently with the back of the spoon to cover the crust. If a few spaces remain, they will be covered by the jam as it melts during baking. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs evenly over the jam layer.

Bake until the top is lightly browned, 50-55 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool until firm, about 2 hours. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

                                                                      Baking prep
                                                                 The crumb mixture

                                                                  Forming the crust
Please forgive the quality of this photo, but as you can see photography wasn't on my mind at the time.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Southern Homemakers start their training early

                                               Oh NO, I forgot to make the tea!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Delicious Deals at Williams-Sonoma

The other day when I was out running errands I stopped by Williams-Sonoma to check out their winter sale, and I'm SO glad I did! I ended up purchasing 15 items, some to use as gifts and some to go in my hopechest for my future home. But the best part is that the most expensive item was $7.99.
                                        These darling cupcake sets make great gifts

                                              I love the idea of a cookie exchange

               My Mom (almost) swears by Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch pans.
                                      This cutie makes a gingerbread house

I have already decided on a color scheme/theme for my future kitchen, red and white with retro accents. Knowing this makes hopechest shopping alot easier. I loved this apron when I saw it months ago. It was perfect, white with touches of red and the retro egg beater was to cute! But I decided to wait and patience pays off, literally! I bought 3, 1 for my hopechest and 2 for gifts.
As I was checking out the lady asked "Did you see the matching kitchen towel?"  "Kitchen towels!" my eyebrows probably went half way up my forehead. I ended up with 2 sets (of 2 each), 1 for my hopechest and 1 to give as a gift.

                                            I have saved my favorite find for last.

Isn't this adorable! I love how it features each step of making an apple pie. I have many wonderful memories of cooking in my Nana's kitchen, always wearing a special apron she kept for her grandchildren. One day (after a good ironing) this will be worn by my own children or little sisters when they come to visit

 Total retail $271.25-Total sale $61.15-Total savings $210.10

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Thank you so much to everyone for your prayers. Dad's surgery went well and he is now headed to a full  recovery. Please forgive me for not posting an update sooner, but our computer was down for several days.

The surgery was Tuesday morning at Northside hospital in Atlanta. The retina in Dad's right eye was 85% detached with 7 tears. This has been a learning experience for our entire family about science, the human eye and modern medicine.

At the post-op visit Wednesday the doctor said that the retina had completely reattached and that the gas bubble was already 55% gone. Praise the Lord!!!

It is always hard to see someone you love dearly go through pain, but Dad is an incurable optimist and always has a smile on his face. He told me the night before his surgery "Don't worry honey, the worst thing that can happen is that I will be the best one-eyed banker in Georgia."

Thank you again for your prayers. Through this entire process we have been blessed to have the prayers of so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

I have several posts planned for the coming week and look forward to getting back to blogging regularly.

Blessings to all...I mean "y'all"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Please Pray

Please pray for my Dad, we just found out that he will need to undergo surgery tomorrow. The retina in his right eye has detached and the doctors will have to reattach it to avoid him losing his sight. Thank you for remembering him in your prayers this evening and tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Winter Wonderland

We are snowed-in, well at least by Georgia standards. After several inches of snow covered in a thick layer of ice all of metro Atlanta is shall we say "frozen"? I'm amazed how much this winter storm has affected our area. Over 2,500 flights have been cancelled, most major highways are closed, schools have been closed (but this doesn't apply to homeschool does it?) and there isn't a loaf of bread or gallon of milk to be had.

Now for the bright side. When it is this cold outside a big hot breakfast is in order. Our wonderful mother got up early and made us a delicious breakfast of eggs and pancakes before we went out to go sledding.
Bright side No 2-Sledding. We live on a street that is basically two hills facing each other with houses on either side, making each driveway a mini hill. After using cookie sheets for several years (my brother and I have fond memories of the "USS Cookie Sheet") we purchased four plastic sleds from LL Bean. We spent over an hour going up and down, up and down, up and down till we were freezing, soggy and still having the time of our lives. One of my little sisters kept going "he-haw" just like Sam in "It's a Wonderful Life".

So as the state defrosts, we are enjoying popcorn, hot cocoa and Monopoly marathons.

Stay warm y'all!

                                                                   "Can I go now? "

                                                               "Do we have to go in?"

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pecan Praline Pie

I have been trying to not eat as much sugar this year. It had been going pretty well until last night. I blew it in a major way and it was DELICIOUS!

My sweet grandparents sent us a cookbook (my favorite kind of gift) for Christmas  "Let's Get Cooking". It features recipes from various restaurants in their hometown of Macon.

Last night Mom and I made the Pecan Praline Pie from Twila Faye's Tea Room & Soda Fountain. OH MY! 9 inches of ooey-gooey goodness!

Pecan Praline Pie
1 9" Pie shell
1/2 cup Pecan halves
1/2 cup Rolled Oats
2 teaspoons Whole Wheat Flour
1 stick of Butter, melted
1/2 cup  Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
2 Eggs, beaten
1/8 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Dash of Salt

In a baking dish, bake oats, pecans and flour until toasted (10-15 minutes) at 350, set aside and prepare filling. In a medium bowl combine melted butter and sugars. Add eggs, baking powder, vanilla and salt. Pour oat mixture into pie shell, cover with filling and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until barely set.

                                  The oats, pecans and flour about to be toasted
                                                                   Making the filling
                                                                     The final step

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chicken & Ritz Casserole

Yesterday's weather resembled the English south more than the sunny south. Gray skies, rain showers, fog....the perfect day for some comfort food!


Chicken & Ritz casserole has been a family favorite for years.

Chicken & Ritz Casserole
4 cups of shredded cooked Chicken
1 10 oz can Cream of Chicken soup
1 10 oz can Cream of Celery soup
1 cup Sour Cream
1 stick of Butter
1 cylinder of Ritz crackers

Place chicken in a buttered 9x13 baking dish. In a medium bowl mix soups and sour cream, then spread over chicken. Crumble crackers (either in a ziplock bag or by hand) and spread over casserole. Melt 1 stick of butter and drizzle over casserole. Bake at 350 for 45min until golden brown.

                                                                   Lots of chicken
                                                                  All the ingredients
                                                                Hot from the oven!

"Winter is the time for comfort. For good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand, and for a talk beside the fire. It is the time for home."
Edith Sitwell, British poet

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Welcome y'all!

Welcome to "Southern Homemaking"!

I decided to start this blog in order to chronicle my journey as a homemaker in-training. I have enjoyed reading various blogs over the past several years on cooking, decorating, stay-at-home daughterhood etc. and hope to incorporate all of those topics here.

What can you expect to see on "Southern Homemaking"?
Everything from step-by-step recipes, before and after photos of various projects, articles on family life, biblical womanhood and that wonderful place I am blessed to call home, the South.

Hope you enjoy
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