Saturday is Game Day!

Son and Father, Justin and Wayne Hardee (L to R), Short Stop and Manager of the 1998 LLWS! (Pictured last week in Williamsport to cheer on the 2017 Greenville team.)

It’s Game Day Saturday, 3pm ESPN. Greenville North State will play for the United States Championship, and attempt to take their talents to the Little League World Series FINALS on Sunday. Yep. That’s what I said…a shot at THE title. That’s a lot for these young boys, their coaches, and families to take in. Well hello world…here comes Greenville, NC. So wake up early, break a few eggs in the skillet, lace up your shoes, jump in, and take heart. Our Hardee Family will be gathering in Raleigh at Gray and Marc’s home to watch together. There will be memories shared of the 1998 series when my brother-in-law Wayne and my nephew Justin (happily pictured above) were on the first ever Greenville team to play in the LL World Series.

Perfect Game Day Snack!

So grab a snack or three, and a beverage of choice, and give an illegally loud Whoop Whoop for the Greenville team!

 

Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

the don…It’s supposed to get cold and maybe even snow this weekend. I’ll go to the grocery if you’ll whip up a pot of that yummy chicken rice soup for the grands and me! My happy reply…dealeo! I’m here as the CFO (Chief Female Officer) of Forest Hills just helping to Empower Your Culinary Dreams, while offering a little nod to International Women’s Day.

soup-cream-of-chicken-and-wild-rice

Here’s What You’ll Need:
1 Tbs olive oil
4 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
5 stalks celery, sliced
5 carrots, sliced
1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 t pepper
2 bay leaves
1 t chopped dill
1 t celery seed
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup quick cooking wild rice
Breast meat of rotisserie chicken, chopped
Cup fat free sour cream
2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

And Here’s How You Do It:
Heat oil in soup pot.
Add mushrooms, celery, carrots, and onion.
Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add flour, and all other seasonings and stir until incorporated, about a minute.
Add broth, and bring to a boil.
Add rice, and reduce to simmer.
Cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in chicken, sour cream, and parsley.
Cook on medium 5 minutes, stirring half way through time.
Turn heat off, leaving pot on hot eye.
Stir again, and let sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Adapted from Cooking Light.
Serves 6.
380 calories for 2 cup serving.

Vegetarian Mini Enchilada

Stomp.jpg

I “Stomp”ed around Chicago with td (my husband of 41+ years!) and some friends for a few days just before the 2017 New Year. We happily played the usual suspects tourists…

beanposed with The Bean (formal name “Cloud Gate”) created and installed in 2006 by the amazing Anish Kapoor,

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hung out with blues great, Buddy Guy, 2012 Kennedy Center Honor Recipient (please watch this video with Morgan Freeman presenting Mr. Guy with the Honor), seized this magical photo op with him at his club, Buddy Guy’s Legends), bavettesand hopped from one fantastic restaurant and hotel bar to the next. No lack there, my friends! BONUS, we enjoyed dinner one night with James Beard Award winning chef Rick Bayless at Frontera Grill. I mean, we just couldn’t even decide what to order; it all was so tempting…so we began with hand crafted margaritas. I was so inspired with our dinner, that I flew home and waked up my own kitchen, and prepared this concoction. So…take this little jewel to the bank and thank Rick B. and Peg all the way! And PtotheS…

Be Sociable, Share This! Everyone has been sharing a LOT lately, so let’s unite and share something yummy, just a nice little recipe-no politics ever on this blog-just joy and fun!

southwestern-mini-black-bean-enchiladas10 miniature 4” flour tortillas
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz can refried beans
8 oz can red enchilada sauce
4 oz can chopped green chiles
4 oz shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tbs thinly sliced green onions
4 Tbs chopped avocado
4 Tbs chopped cilantro
1 fresh lime, cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease 12 cup muffin pan with olive oil or melted butter.
Tuck tortillas gently into cups.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes until crisp and browned.
Stir together black beans, refried beans, enchilada sauce, and green chiles in medium bowl.
Divide mixture evenly among baked tortilla cups.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Back at 350° until cheese melts, about 10 minutes.
Transfer enchiladas to serving platter.
Top evenly with lettuce.
Drizzle with sour cream.
Sprinkle with green onions, avocado, and cilantro.
Squeeze fresh lime juice over top.
Garnish with fresh lime.

The Kentucky 95

Happy Sunday! We rolled with a Kentucky 95 and Animal Crackers over this icy weekend. This just seems right for brunch, lunch, or five o’clock anywhere, or any time, really! We first tried this last summer with Bobby Flay at Bar Amercain. But in this cold and flu season, we felt a wee bit healthy drinking the oj! These ingredients are in most fridges, so no need to risk the icy driving if you’re still inside like we.

adult-beverage-kentucky-95

3/4 oz Makers Mark or other good quality bourbon
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz fresh orange juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
Ice cubes
Champagne, chilled
Lemon or orange twist for serving

Combine bourbon, lemon juice, orange juice, and simple syrup in tall glass over ice.
Stir well.
Strain into wine glass filled with crushed ice.
Top up with champagne.
Garnish with a twist.

Love Your Melon Beanies

Love Your Melon was founded in an entrepreneurship class at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota by two friends, Zach and Brian. On a mission to improve the lives of children battling cancer since October 22nd, 2012, Love Your Melon began with the simple idea of putting a hat on every child battling cancer in America.

peg-love-your-melonFifty percent (50%) of the profit from sales of Love Your Melon products is given to Love Your Melon’s nonprofit partners in the fight against pediatric cancer. Their nonprofit partners work in the field of pediatric oncology, fund cancer research initiatives and provide immediate support for families of children battling cancer.

To date, over 1.5 million dollars and over 80,000 hats have been donated. (Excerpted from the Love Your Melon website.) Read the entire story here! And go shop here and keep raising monies for childhood cancer. Kudos to these fine gentlemen. Pass on some good karma people. That’s all.

Yep, that’s me sporting one of my Melons last week in Chicago. Race to order yours!

The Great Swan Adventure, 23 Years and Counting

Hardee Swan Sporting a Fantastic Mignonne Gavigan Scarf Necklace!

Hardee Swan Sporting a Fantastic Mignonne Gavigan Scarf Necklace!

Exactly 23 years ago, on this 23rd day of December, PaPa took Brenton, William, and me on a swan hunt. We set out around 5am for the drive to Lake Mattamuskeet, where we met up with Tony, our guide for the day. It was a misty morning, perfect for the shoot ahead. PaPa, the very definition of gentleman, sportsman, and teacher, was thrilled beyond words! We were settled in the blind by 7:45, and before 9:00 both Brenton and William had “bagged” their first swan, at the wonderful, adventurous age of nine! And that mount has lived in my dining room ever since the taxidermist delivered it a few weeks later! We have decorated that swan with lots of neck-pieces over the years, but I do believe that this necklace of Mignonne Gavigan’s is the best look that the Hardee Swan has ever sported. So…happy December 23rd to each and every one of you, and may you have a Merry Merry Christmas! Memories…may we stack them up every single day until the pile is so high it touches the Heavens!

brenton-william-papa-swanbrenton-swan-hunt

brenton-and-william-on-the-hunt
PtotheS…Since we completed the hunt so early, we rode around with Tony is his big ole truck listening to Aaron Neville and shooting mistletoe out of trees!

brenton-peg-swan-hunt

Chocolate Drizzled Chips

Call your best friend! This is your childhood favorite ridged chip, all decked out in a little black chocolate dress. This has stood the test of snacking with girlfriends, couples, and even a five year old while playing go-fish. It’s a cinch to make, although you may not want to cinch that belt afterwards; it’s the weekend, do you really care?

Snack Chocolate Potato Chips

1 bag of ridged chips (due to their sturdiness)
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate morsels
1 Tbs instant Espresso powder

(Although you should omit the espresso if you are serving your children, unless you want them bouncing off the walls all night!)

Melt the chocolate in small sauce pan over low heat, stirring often.
Add espresso powder (if using).
Place chips on serving tray.
Drizzle melted chocolate with spoon over chips.

Alternatively, dip half of a chip in the pot of melted chocolate.
Shake off excess.
Place on parchment paper to cool.

Snack Chocolate Potato Chips II

Allow chocolate to cool and harden on chips.
This may take an hour.
If you just can’t wait to dig in, simply pop the tray in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Try to stay out of this oppressive heat, and have a great weekend!