Solar Hugs

Nutmeg Honey Butter

I love those golden, glowing days of midwinter when sunlight streams through the windows, embracing you in warmth.

Solar hugs, so to speak.

– – – – –

That was the beginning of my post before our furnace gave out (sometime between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.), leaving me wondering why the thing wasn’t kicking in overnight. (!)

Thankfully, the “intro” still applies.

Handmade quilts (thanks, Sis) and Oklahoma’s moderate temps sustained us until the coffee was ready.  Never mind that it’s supposed to get down to 27° tonight — a temporary cold spell — I’m savoring the gorgeous sunlight that streamed through our windows this morning.

Warmth is a state of mind and I can’t help but feel cozy.

Definition of irony:  We bought a wood-burning stove this weekend.  It’s still sitting in the driveway. :)

– – – – –

Getting on with things, I love fruitcake almost as much as I love solar hugs.  (Please don’t stop reading.)

For those of you who despise the much-maligned holiday treat (especially if you’re petrifying it into a doorstop at this late date), this isn’t a tortured how-to.  My favorite fruitcake recipe can be found in Christopher Kimball’s The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook — a sunny-looking tome, if you’re so inclined.

What I do want to share is Nutmeg Honey Butter.

Golden orbs of goodness…

Golden Orbs of Goodness

Sunshine in truffle form. :)

Sunlight Truffles

Nutmeg Honey Butter

1/4 lb. quality butter, chilled  (I used Hope Butter)

2 tsp. honey

Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

Using a small scoop, shape butter into truffle-sized balls.

Place on a decorative plate.

Drizzle with honey.  Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Serve on bread, pancakes, waffles, or yes… the dreaded fruitcake.

Fruit Cake with Nutmeg Honey Butter

Here’s to sunshine and warmth in midwinter, especially when your alternative heat source has yet to be installed.

(I’m calling the furnace guy tomorrow.)

Enjoying solar hugs,

~ Kimby

Back To The Basics II

Back to the Basics

It seems that my body and soul (and stomach) need to do a “regroup” about every six months or so.  In my first Back To The Basics post, I’d just “retired” from a job outside the home, which — while, philanthropically fulfilling — didn’t meet my need to write, cook, make music…

Here it is, six months later and I’m at it again… what shall I do with this life o’mine?

Frankly, I feel blessed to ask that question!

I also feel blessed to be the recipient of some fabulous gifts, aptly timed to arrive during the holidays.  (Who doesn’t love extra presents under the tree?!)  Actually, they were the only presents under the tree, lol.  ‘Tis better to give than to receive…

Anyway, these gifts fulfilled the basic need to treat myself

Thank you so much, to Robin from Simply Southern Baking:

And Christine Lamb from Christine’s Pantry:

And Shirley, from Luxury Haven:

(Yes, I know “eye liner” doesn’t have one whit to do with cooking… but in a way it does!  The more glamorous you feel in the kitchen, the more you can “treat yourself”  — and your special folks — right! ;)

In case you aren’t familiar with the aforementioned lovely ladies, please click on the links in this post — or on my blog roll any time you wish.  You’ll be glad you did!

(And hooray for Random Number Generators!) xo

Getting back to treating myself

As of right now, the house is “undecorated.”  Life is simpler.  Time seems slower… or more basic.

And there’s nothin’ more basic, to me at least, than bread and jam. :)

Recipes forthcoming in following posts… after January 7th!  Until then, I’m taking a much-needed hiatus.  Happy New Year, everybody!

Enjoying time off,

~ Kim

A Quick Post and a Quick BBQ Sauce

Generally, I put a lot of time and thought into my posts, but our air conditioner quit at 4:00 this morning and the A/C guy isn’t here yet.

(In case you haven’t heard, Oklahoma’s temps have been in the 100’s for the past two months…)

Here’s what our inside temp reads now.

  (P.S.  It’s 10° “warmer” in my writing nook…)

Thankfully, I have a cool place to retreat to as soon as I’m done with this, and thankfully I planned a barbecue for dinner tonight.

Last night I made my Quick BBQ sauce and it was delish brushed over barbecued ham steaks.  (How does one spell BBQ correctly anyway?)

But patience, sweet ones, patience… it really is better the next day.

I also fooled around with my camera just for fun… :)

This is as basic as BBQ Sauce gets!

Quick BBQ Sauce

1/2 c. ketchup (I used Heinz)

3 Tbsp. honey

1/2 Tbsp. yellow mustard

1/2 tsp. liquid smoke

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

(Optional add-in’s:  red pepper flakes to taste, a dash of hot sauce, a shot of whiskey)

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan.

Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat; simmer 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cool, then store in the refrigerator.

Bring to room temperature before applying to grilled meats.

Brush sauce on during the last minutes of grilling and ENJOY!

Ooof… here’s what our temp was last time I looked, and it went up a degree after I uploaded the picture!

Enjoying the prospect of grilling… but not indoors…. gotta run!

~ Kim

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Coffee or Chocolate?

It’s no secret that my life revolves around two main ingredients… coffee and chocolate.  It’s also no secret that it’s better to give than to receive!

In celebration of my first blog birthday/anniversary/blogiversary, I’m delighted to give something to you.  (Well, at least two of you!)

But first, a word from our sponsor…

Brought to you by… Steel Daffodils Cottage & Garden.

My friend/shop-owner/barista, Tammy, offered to donate a bag of Oklahoma’s finest java to the cause.  (Thank you, Tammy!)  Perhaps you didn’t know Oklahoma is a purveryor of fine coffees?  Yup.  Custom-roasted right here in the Sooner State.

(Excuse me, I got so excited about the coffee, I couldn’t hold my camera straight!)

Or… maybe I need to become a decaffeinated connoisseur? :)  If decaf is your cup of tea (or coffee!) there’s “Homestead Coffee” whose motto is: “It’s good to settle down.”

Whether you choose Statehood, Cattledrive, or Homestead, it’s Oklahoma coffee!

And then there’s the other love of my life… chocolate in any way, shape, or form!

You may remember my birthday cake from this post.

Chocolate upon chocolate upon chocolate!  Sigh.

So.. which do you prefer — coffee or chocolate?

(Two giveaway winners will receive one or the other!)

I’m leaning towards both… :)

To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment below.  For an extra chance to win, please click “like” on the handy-dandy Facebook widget in my sidebar and say so, or tell me you’ve already “liked” me in your comment — no need to comment twice.  (Basically, one comment per person covers the whole she-bang.)  You may also comment on my Facebook page if you prefer.  Glad to see you at either place!

The winners will be picked out of a hat by The Man Of Few Words.  (Trust me, he’s impartial — and yes, I will write out two slips for every comment with a “like!”)  Winners will be notified the week of April 9th or as soon as humanly possible after the deadline.  Oh yeah, the deadline!  This giveaway ends at midnight CST April 9, 2012.

CONGRATULATIONS to Tina from flourtrader and Missy of Guns, Grub, and Other Goodies on winning the giveaway.  Thanks to all who entered!

That’s pretty much it, except to say thank you for a wonderful year!

Enjoying coffee AND chocolate,

~ Kim

A Slice of Southern Sunshine… in Hawaii

If Spring isn’t coming quickly enough for you…

and Waikiki sounds mighty good about now…

Head on over to my Guest Post at Savour The Senses!

Last fall when Jenny invited me to join her “Featured Foodie Friday” series, I was ecstatic!  Not only does she have a sense of adventure outside of the kitchen (she recently made the transition from snowboard to surfboard!), Jenny also works at Morimoto Waikiki…

When you visit her blog, I hope you’ll spend time getting to know this delightful, talented young lady.

In the meantime, I invite you to join us for a slice of Southern sunshine… in Hawaii!

Aloha, y’all. :)

Enjoying a jump start on Spring,

~ Kim