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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Goodbye And A Hello To The New Year!

Well, I think I'm finally getting back to some sort of "para" normalcy around here after the Christmas holidays. It will be even better when the kids go back to school and I can settle back into old routines for the new year. I thought I'd just pop in today with a few announcements:

1. Today marks my last day as a Design Team member for Storage Units, Ink and More. I have loved working with their stamps, but my contract was up with them and it was a good time to move on and open myself up to other opportunities that could arise. I hope you have enjoyed my projects using their stamps and continue to be inspired by the new design team.

2. My Favorite Things is having an outstanding Countdown to the New Year sale right now on several stamp sets, ribbons, papers and "extras". Be sure and check them out HERE. Then head over to the forum and join us for What's Up Wednesday!

3. TOMORROW, I have some fun and exciting news for you, so STAY TUNED!!

4. Have you ever heard of Hoppin' Johns? Well, it's a southern "New Year's" dish that I'm making tomorrow (ya'll have to have your black eyed peas for good luck, you know!). I just thought I'd share the recipe with ya'll today and how I'll be tweaking mine to "southern-ify" it even more in case you care to make it too and you'll have time to hit the grocery store!
Here's Emeril's version:

Hoppin' Johns
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large ham hock
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 pound black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 quart chicken stock
Bay leaf
1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
Salt, black pepper, and cayenne
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
3 cups steamed white rice
Heat oil in a large soup pot, add the ham hock and sear on all sides for 4 minutes. Add the onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic, cook for 4 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas, stock, bay leaves, thyme, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the peas are creamy and tender, stir occasionally. If the liquid evaporates, add more water or stock. Adjust seasonings, and garnish with green onions. Serve over rice.

And here's how I'll be tweaking mine: I'm using canned black eyed peas (pray for me for no migraine--canned stuff usually gives them to me, but I couldn't find dry beans and didn't even think about frozen--oops!), no ham hock, but Eckrich Sausage instead cooked in with it. I'm leaving out the celery and the bay leaf and adding some crushed red pepper, cumin and probably a little chili powder. Then, here's where it gets REAL southern---I'm going to cook down (wilt) some collard greens with the onions and a little oil and add them to the mix in the end. MMMMMM, mmmmm, GOOD!!!

5. Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR and don't get in too much trouble tonight!!! We're just hanging out with our neighborhood "family" and staying off the roads. Most importantly, be safe. See you next year!!


  1. Those black eye peas and greens sound really good. Something I'm going to have to try real soon. Happy New Year Susan!

  2. super cute tag, Susan. Your recipe sounds so yummy! Have a very Blessed 2009!!

  3. Another adorable creation, we will certainly miss you on our team. Congratulations on the Cat's Pajama's position! They have such fun stamps.


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