Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mexican White Dip

I totally made up the name of this recipe since I have no idea what else to call it!  In the Tidewater area of Virginia, every Mexican restaurant serves their version of this dip along with salsa and a big bowl of chips as an appetizer.  When I moved to Seattle I discovered that restaurants there do not serve it and no one had any idea what I was talking about when I mentioned it.

I have been stewing about this for a while and the other day I looked for a recipe on the internet.  There were several but I found a YouTube video with a woman who had the recipe given to her by the owner of Plaza Azteca in Virginia Beach so I KNOW it's the recipe for the dip I love.  I made it and took it to the office.  A couple of people turned up their nose when they asked for the ingredients and I mentioned Miracle Whip.  I know - you either love it or hate it.  After everyone else was trying it, making yummy noises and asking for the recipe, the nay sayers tried it.  I have converts!!

Mexican White Dip

1 cup Miracle Whip (I bought the "light" version)
1/2 cup milk (any fat percentage will work)
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin 
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (this is pretty spicy so cut back a half to full teaspoon if you are "delicate"!)
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano (I just used what I had in the cabinet and it worked fine)
Dash of salt (I put Johnny's Seasoning Salt on EVERYTHING!!)

Put everything in a small mixing bowl in the order given.  Use a whisk to mix thoroughly.  You want to get all of the lumps out and incorporate the milk completely.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour - two would be better.  Serve with corn chips.  I picked up the cheapest corn tortilla chips I could find.  I think they taste most like the ones served in restaurants.


(By the way, I realize this post follows the one about losing weight.  I am continuing to lose - whoo hoo!! - and ate this dip in moderation...though I seriously considered giving up dinner and eating this instead!)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Fat" update

I gave up the sugar and the flour and the potatoes and the fruit.  I have lost 18 pounds, gone down one and a half sizes and feel so much better!  I do a Zumba workout twice a week and try to get on the elliptical in my basement as often as I can. (My son is coming this weekend and his last project before he walks out the door will be dragging the "beast" up to the guest room on the second floor so no more excuses.)

I am a long way from my goal but I know that it is attainable and I am determined.  That big birthday is just a little over 7 months away and I am going to ROCK 60!

Friday, September 23, 2011


My sister and her husband  have an orchard on their farm in Potter County.  Their apples are totally organic.  They don't spray or treat the trees in any way.  There is a bumper crop this year.  They have only harvested three trees so far (out of about 50) and I received a large basket.  My sister is not really sure what kind of apples they have.  We suspect that one is Rome and another is Empire.  The little green apples are still a mystery.  All are delicious and very crisp.  I love apples in the fall and do not eat them any other time of the year.

In our family, applesauce is called "Nannysauce" because it is my mother's specialty as far as the grandchildren are concerned.  This is the first time I have ever attempted applesauce.  I hope my grandchildren will call it "Grammysauce"!

Monday, September 19, 2011

"Treasure" from Goodwill

I was just in one of our local Goodwill stores and found an entire set of Luminarc crystal stemware.

Please excuse the horrific photo but my living room has very little natural light in the morning!
Each stem had the original Luminarc sticker so it was obvious they were never used.  I picked up service for 12 for $24.  I don't entertain now as I did in the past but when I do, I will be ready!

I also found a new piece for my soup tureen collection.  (I do collect the strangest stuff!)

I cannot find a mark on it so I have no idea how old it is or where it was made.  The floral decoration are applied transfer and the painted trim is obviously hand painted.  I will tuck this one away until spring and then I will display it on the hutch.

What did you find?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Time to pay the piper

When I lived in Seattle and was fortunate enough to be able to work from home, I did a really good job of maintaining my weight.  I wasn't exactly svelte but I was happy with the way I looked.  I have been packing on the pounds since not too long after I moved to Pennsylvania.  This has not been a happy move for me and I am an emotional eater.  My workplace is a hot bed of snacking and sweets.  It seems like someone from our office is always bringing in some kind of tempting food.  One day it will be vanilla twists from "market", another day it will be sticky buns, another day is someones birthday and that always means a cake.  Sweets in particular call my name in a big way.  Added on top of all this was menopause which was not my friend!

Well, today is the day that turns around.    I started the South Beach Diet this morning.  I figure I will be crabby for about 4 or 5 days until my body gets used to being without sugar.  I have a goal and I have a plan.  Someone gave me a challenge and I have always been a goal oriented person.  Additionally, I have only 9 months before I turn 60 and I want to look GOOD at my birthday extravaganza.  (Sisters, if you are reading this I said EXTRAVAGANZA!!)

This will be my breakfast for the rest of the week

It is a crust less quiche with just the foods I can have in phase one of South Beach.  I gotta tell you, it is pretty darned good.  Thank goodness low carb doesn't mean low flavor!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I heart Macro

Seems like I never post to this blog unless I am linking to I heart Macro!  This weekend I am in Virginia to celebrate my oldest son's 40th birthday.  Frankly, I am having trouble trying to figure out how he could be so old while I am still so young!

Yesterday when we were beginning the set up for the big party, I saw this beautiful butterfly on the rosemary bush.  I thought "perfect!" for a macro shot.  Here it is

studio waterstone

Click on the link to see lots of really beautiful photos!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Cookie Tin

My grandmother kept cookies in an old English toffee tin.  One of my fondest memories is going to Nanny's house and running back to the kitchen to see what was in the tin.  Most often there were leb cookies (a large, soft sugar cookie - not to be confused with lebkuchen!) perfect for dunking in a big glass of cold milk.  My sister was fortunate to have received the original tin from my grandmother's home. I will admit to being a tad jealous!  I found this one at an estate sale about 30 years ago.  It wasn't Nanny's but seeing it always reminds me of her.

Linking up to "i heart macro".  Follow the button to see what other's found to photograph!

 studio waterstone

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I heart Macro

Ever since I lived in Normandy Park, Washington I have wanted calla lilies.  I finally have one of my own.

studio waterstone

Getting closer

After 16 bags of river rocks, I still have this

The whole gravel filled space is supposed to look like this

Just four more bags (I hope) and it will finally be finished.  20 bags of river rock from Lowe's is still less expensive than a yard of them delivered from our local landscape supplier.  I had half a yard of gravel left from my stone delivery so I didn't want to end up with too much river rock as well.  Thank goodness my neighbor had a use for the extra gravel!

I also picked up some "scratch and dent" flowers from Lowe's when we went for rocks.  The gerbera daisies are in planters and just needed to have the spent flower heads removed and a good watering.  I also picked up 4 pots of pink larkspur.  I think they will be gorgeous next summer.  I love pink in the garden and pale pink will be such eye candy!

Friday, July 1, 2011

The patio...so far

This was the project last weekend.

My son "re-boxed" the entire section at the back of the house and then built the box for the patio pavers.  We filled in everything else with small stones and leveled as much as possible.  Our town is built on a series of hills and my property is about two feet higher than my neighbor's.  We have a retaining wall between the properties but my yard still slopes significantly.  Chad did an excellent job given the situation with the slope.  This weekend my younger son is coming and river rock will fill cover the grey stone.  Updates after the weekend!

Monday, May 30, 2011


I have been looking for one of these for MONTHS and finally found it!

I am always so envious of folks that find great stuff at Goodwill.  Well, last Thursday was my day!

Here are some from Restoration Hardware.

1920s French Glass Cloches

Other than the fact that mine does not have ball feet under the tray, I think it is pretty close.  The glass on mine also has some bubbling and flaws in the glass so it has an "antique" feel.  Big difference?  I paid $3.97 for my Goodwill find.  The short fat one above is on sale for $69 and it is much smaller than the one I found.

I am one happy gal.  Now I just have to decide how to fill it!!

Once again, I am linking up to Rhoda's site.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Last week thrifting

I had a couple of opportunities to stop in at two of our local Goodwill stores last week.  I usually have a plan when I go in.  Specifically I am looking for hurricane globes for my sister who is collecting them for her daughter's "one day" wedding, a Pfaltzgraff pattern that I am collecting, silver plate items, white ironstone and old serving platters with pink floral borders.

Here's what I found

Photos were taken in the kitchen under the glare of overhead lighting.  Ugh!

The white ironstone bowl is not a pattern that I already own so I was excited about that.  It is Johnson Brother's and was made in England.  It isn't old but I was happy that it wasn't made in China.  I don't buy white ironstone unless it is English or American made.  The silver box is made of some kind of ratty wood with a horrible grain.  For 98 cents - it will do.  It still had the original instructions for the placement of the silver.  The butter dish is made by Princess House and not a ding or chip.  I thought it was delicate and sweet so it came home with me.

Once again there is nothing that a can of spray paint and an antiquing glaze cannot cure.

I think it might need a pretty wooden decal on the top and another coat of glazing but it looks a heck of a lot better than the original wood!
And here it is filled with the silver plate flatware I scored last year for $5.  There are not enough slots for the cocktail forks, demitasse spoons and individual butter knives so I piled them in the bottom.

And, yes, I am cheesy and did not paint the inner edges.
What did you find last week?  I am linking to Rhoda's blog.  Please take a look at all the goodies that folks have found!

SouthernHospThriftyTreasures copy_thumb

Sunday, May 22, 2011

After 12 bags of mulch

this is what the perennial garden looks like this morning.

It's a little gloomy this morning and I really wish I had taken photos yesterday while we still had sun.  Yesterday was gorgeous!

I love the dianthus and wish I had moved the darker pink a little further away from the lighter pink.  That one is absolutely enormous.  I bought these at Lowe's from the "scratch and dent" area last summer.  The lawn ornament was the gazing ball that my granddaughter, Emily, and I made last summer....bowling ball, glass chips/mirror blobs and grout.

I love this columbine.  Last year when they dried I shook seeds all over the garden.  There are about 12 little ones coming up right now.

I wish I could remember the name of this flowering shrub.  The branches are kind of floppy and the flowers are lovely.  The big, fat bumble bees love it.

I think the salvia blooms are the most incredible shade of purple.

My butterfly bush did not survive the winter.  I was really surprised because I thought you couldn't kill those things!  I also had a couple of other plants that did not come up so the portion of the garden that is closest to the house is a bit bare.  I am waiting for a good perennial sale to fill in some of the blank spaces.

How does your garden look this year?

I heart Macro

The perennial garden looks beautiful right now so it was easy to find a subject for Lori's site this week.

studio waterstone