Ham Pie

DSC_0157.JPGWARNING:  This recipe is not 30A approved! It is not going to get you bikini ready, but it is delicious! And perfect for a rainy day!  My Nanny used to make this often and sometimes, I’d even get my own small ham pie!  So many of my childhood memories center around time spent at both of my grandparents’ houses.  Both of my grandmothers spoiled us with delicious southern cooking on a regular basis.  My Nanny passed away seven years ago, but I use so many of her things daily–dishes, dish towels, aprons, pot holders…

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Nanny on a three wheeler in a dress and me riding side saddle in my overalls.  I’m sure this was strictly a photo op and we didn’t actually ride on the three wheeler.  It would have messed up my hair.  Notice the curls that were formed the night before on pink sponge rollers and roller paper. This was no doubt taken on a Sunday afternoon. I spent many Saturday nights with Nanny and Pop. After church and lunch by Miss Mabel at the Charter House, they liked to ride out to the “country” and visit with family.

This ham pie is straight down home country cooking.  A south Alabama gourmet meal.  I’m sure you could serve it with a nice clean green side salad, but I like to take the bone from the center of the ham, throw it in a pot of lima beans, and serve those as the green side dish.

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  • Large slice of ham
  • 4 cups of water, reserving 1 cup
  • A pinch of thyme and garlic powder
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 3-4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup self rising flour
  1. Boil ham in water, seasoned with thyme and garlic.
  2. When cooled, tear into bite sized pieces and layer in a large buttered casserole dish.
  3. Place egg slices over ham.
  4. Mix cream of chicken soup and 1 cup of ham broth, stirring until blended well. Pour over egg and ham.
  5. Mix butter, milk, and flour. Pour over ham and soup mixture.
  6. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
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Ham, Eggs, and Soup Mixture
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Flour, milk, and butter mixture poured over the top
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I have Nanny’s recipe card for this one.  It was a newspaper clipping taped to one of her cards.

 

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That golden brown ring around the top of the dish? Scraping and eating that is the special treat for the person who does the dishes. Or so I hear…

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Enjoy!

 

Scrub a Dub Dub

     I am a beauty product junkie.  Drop me off at Sephora or Ulta and pick me up the next day.  Even a well stocked drugstore can keep me occupied for a couple of hours.  Once upon a time, I took long baths and showers and enjoyed trying out new products. Nowadays, I’m doing good to remember to rinse my conditioner and shave above my knees.  I still like to use a body scrub for a good exfoliation in the shower, so I recently asked friends for recommendations.  Here’s a roundup of my favorites:   

 

Lush Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub

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Yes, you read the tub correctly, “A vodka infused cocktail…” This has a very refreshing  citrus scent because it contains lime oil and the limes have been extracted with vodka.  I honestly have no idea what that means, but it gives it a very clean scent.  This was my least favorite of the scrubs that I tried.  I like a body scrub to be very gritty and this is more creamy with some grit mixed into it.  I didn’t notice until after I had used it a couple of times that it says for face and body, so I tried it on my face and loved it there. The avocado butter prevents it from being too harsh on your face.  I accidentally got some on my lip and it tastes like a margarita, which isn’t such a bad thing either… And as a side note, I don’t recommend shopping in Lush with two toddlers.  I literally turned around for 30 seconds and they had almost completely immersed themselves in the glitter bath bomb bin. $21.95 for 4.2 oz.

 

Tree Hut Body Scrub Almond Honey

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This one is an old favorite of mine.  It was always available at Walmart in Andalusia and is very affordable.  The almond and honey scent reminds me of my favorite bath products from Garden Botanika in the Galleria in Birmingham.  That store and Bath & Body Works probably catapulted my love of bath products to the level it is today.  I love a cookie or pound cake that’s been baked with almond extract, so this is a comforting scent to me.  This scrub contains almond oil, shea butter, and honey, along with almond bits and sugar granules to scrub.  It’s very moisturizing and is oil based, so you don’t feel like you’re completely stripping your skin of all of it’s moisture as you scrub, but the oil does leave a film in the shower floor. $6.48 for 18 oz.

 

Philosophy Living Grace Salt Body Scrub

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My love of Philosophy products began about 14 years ago when I sat awake feeding William in the middle of the night and there was nothing to watch on television other than QVC.  They frequently feature Philosophy products and I would sit mesmerized watching them lather up their hands with the foaming soaps and then moisturize with the lotions.  The packaging is catchy, with fun and witty names and sometimes even a recipe.  The Grace line (Living Grace, Baby Grace, Amazing Grace…) is composed of light, clean scents that aren’t overpowering. The composition of this scrub is very similar to the Tree Hut one.  It is also in an oil, but this one contains salt, so the granules are smaller than the sugar granules in the Tree Hut scrub.  Salt is usually more abrasive than sugar, so keep that in mind as well.  $20 for 6 oz.

 

Beautycounter Sugar Body Scrub in Lemongrass

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The Beautycounter scrub is my favorite of the four that I am reviewing.  The brown sugar granules are in evening primrose, sweet almond, apricot kernel, and sunflower oils, but they aren’t swimming in the oil.  You have a perfect oil to grit ratio.  You’re able to get a good exfoliation, but still have moisturizing benefits from the oil and it doesn’t leave an oily film in the shower floor.  The lemongrass scent is invigorating and fresh.  Beautycounter is sold through reps (I’m not one, but I highly recommend Meg Shelnutt). $40 for 8.2 oz.

If you have a favorite scrub that you recommend, please let me know in the comments!

 

 

Crunchy Cucumber, Feta, and Almond Salad

DSC_0130 This salad is absolute perfection. Crunchy, crispy, and colorful, it’s so refreshing and light.  Everything you want in a summer salad.  I found it in Cooking Light recently as well. I made it for lunch today while the boys napped and pulled it back out later for my dinner. No one eats cucumbers except for Massey and me.  When I sat down eating straight out of the Tupperware bowl, he pushed his bowl of spaghetti aside and said, “Me eat!” He took the bowl and ate and ate on the salad, saying, “Mmmmm…” This would be perfect served on the side with a heavier entree.  Without further adieu, the cast of characters:

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These are the ingredients, minus the dill once again, because I still haven’t been back to the grocery store.  I used dried dill for this one as well.  And that rogue cucumber from the other day, well he was sweating in this photo, worried he was once again at the wrong party.  Relax little cucumber, this is your moment to shine.

  • 4 cups coarsely chopped romaine lettuce heart (about 1)
  • 2 1/2 cups cucumber (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Combine lettuce, cucumber, almonds, and feta in a large bowl; toss.

2.  Combine dill and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add           dill mixture to lettuce mixture; toss to coat.

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It’s toddler approved!

Feta-Herb Edamame Succotash (with bacon)

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I’m a sucker for a tasty salad and summer is the best time to make them!  I’ve been pulling recipes for yummy summer salads out of magazines for the last few weeks.  This is the first one I’ve tried.  This recipe uses fresh and frozen ingredients, so it’s the best of both worlds.  It’s from Cooking Light, so it’s intended to be healthy, but I added bacon. And it is divine! It was nice and fresh and bright without the bacon, but I thought, “Why not?” So, I did. And praise the lard, it is wonderful!

Here is the cast of characters, plus a rogue cucumber who wasn’t supposed to be in the photo:

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  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (approximately 1 cup)
  • 2 c. frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 1/2 c. frozen corn kernals, thawed (I used white corn, strictly a personal preference.)
  • 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (1/4 cup)
  • 2 T. chopped fresh dill (Publix was out, so I just used dried from my pantry. Dried herbs are more potent than fresh, so use less than 2 T. if you go this route.)
  • 2 T. chopped parsley
  • 2 T. sherry vinegar (I keep pomegranate infused red wine vinegar in my pantry for splashing on salads, so I used this instead.)
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add oil to pan and saute onion.  Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add edamame; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add corn; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool, approximately 10 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, feta, dill, parsley, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  3. If desired, garnish with bacon.  I wouldn’t add the bacon to the dish because it will become soggy.

This would be perfect for a summer barbecue or even to keep in the fridge for a quick lunch or snack.  The edamame adds protein, so it can be a meal on it’s own.  I’ll definitely be making this one again!

Jolee Island

We first discovered Jolee Island at the Sandestin Beach Resort when William was much younger. We instantly fell in love with the quiet serene environment and the multiple trails that lead to swings and play areas and to the smooth waters of Horseshoe Bayou. We’ve visited there many times through the years and for his 10th birthday, a friend and I brought William and nine of his closest friends down from Andalusia for the day.


I’ve mentioned the island to Henry and Massey and they have been excited about visiting the “Pirate Island” themselves. We try to make the most of every weekend and for own sanity, we have to get out and get active. Yesterday morning, Will suggested taking everyone to Jolee Island and then Roberto’s Pizzeria (where I had a Groupon) for lunch.

After dressing the younger boys in pirate ship and nautical themed outfits (of course!), we loaded up and drove down to Sandestin. Jolee Island is on the left, before you get to The Village of Baytowne Wharf.

After parking, you cross over a salt marsh and descend onto the island.

 

Henry has to be first in everything he does, so he and Daddy ran ahead of us and then had to wait for us to catch up to them.
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Jolee Island is situated in Horseshoe Bayou and is adjacent to the Baytowne Marina
There are numerous trails or paths to take to explore.

You would have thought we had come up on an actual pirate ship when the boys saw this play structure.

There are swings all over the island for those who like to sit and enjoy nature. Our boys don’t allow for much sitting.

William and Massey spotted a black rabbit eating in the shadows and stopped to watch him for a bit.
This cute little playhouse is nestled in the palms along one of the paths.
This gorgeous piece of driftwood had washed up on the shore.
The boys found crabs and sea snails along the water’s edge.
Even our biggest boy enjoyed exploring and looking for natural treasures.
There is another play structure with a crow’s nest and swing by the water.
Massey loves ‘cheesing’ for the camera. Another family was there enjoying a picnic.

 

The boys weren’t ready to leave, but lunch was calling our names!
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A rare moment of sitting AND being in front of the camera!

I recommend Jolee Island to anyone who is staying in the area and wants to have a break from the Gulf for a few hours.  Bring swimsuits, pack a lunch, slow down, and rediscover nature. Civilization is right around the corner, but sometimes it’s nice to just enjoy one another and explore!

 

Chicken Fettucine Alfredo

I’ve never made homemade Alfredo sauce. I’ve always bought the premade refrigerated ones from the grocery store. On a whim, I decided to give it a shot. I ran in Modica Market while in Seaside yesterday and grabbed Parmesan and heavy cream. I found a recipe online for the Olive Garden Alfredo recipe. I started using that one, but then went rogue, as I so often do. Here is the version I adapted myself:

I trimmed, salted, and peppered a package of chicken breasts and then sautéed them in a little olive oil and butter. I let them sit for a few minutes and then sliced them.

In the meantime, I assembled this cast of characters:

Not pictured are the minced garlic, the whole milk, and the cream cheese.

I sautéed the garlic in a stick of butter, then added 2 cups of heavy cream and 1 1/2 cups of milk, whisking constantly. As that incorporated into the butter, I tossed in 1 cup of the Italian cheese blend, and and 1 1/2 cups of the Parmesan shavings. I adjusted the heat so that the sauce didn’t scorch, continued whisking, and then as the cheese melted, tossed in 4 oz of cream cheese. I whisked until everything was melted and smooth, then removed it from the stove. The sauce will thicken slightly upon standing.

We served it over warm fettucine noodles. It was delicious! I try not to eat a lot of pasta, but it was so hard to hold myself back from gobbling up a huge bowl and then chasing it down with a glass of the sauce! I want to try making pasta myself. Does anyone do this? I’ve looked at the pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer, but haven’t taken the plunge yet.

Adventures in Seaside

Today is the first day of summer break. What 14 year old boy doesn’t want to be awakened at 8:00 and told, “Come on, Wimma. We are walking (2 miles) to Seaside and you are going with us!?!” I know one that doesn’t…but he went anyway! The idyllic town of Seaside has always been a favorite of mine. I’ve loved it ever since I first set foot there back in high school.  No matter how many times I visit, I never tire of the picturesque houses, gorgeous streets, unique shops, and delicious restaurants.  The temperature this morning was in the mid-70’s, so rare for a late May morning in Florida.  I loaded the little ones in the stroller, twisted the arm of the biggest boy, and we were on our way! The new pedestrian/bike bridges over Western Lake are so nice! The boys especially like pressing the button to warn cars that we are crossing 30A!

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Our first stop in Seaside was Natchez Park. I didn’t know this tranquil spot existed until right after we moved down here in August.  It’s tucked into a back corner and is so quiet and there is also SHADE!!!  My favorite part of the park is the giant sundial.  IMG_9063

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The boys love climbing on the ziggurat and playing King of the Triangle!IMG_9062IMG_9064

We often bring dump trucks and sand toys and they will sit and play for as long as I let them. We decided to load back up into the stroller and head over to the grassy area in front of the Chapel.

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After running and playing and moving lots of gravel, we walked on over to the playground/park. We held Henry’s birthday party there back in December.  There is a play structure, a basketball court, a tether ball area, swings, and monkey bars.  It’s also SHADED!!!  It’s adjacent to two of the pools, croquet lawn, volleyball area, and tennis courts.  There’s pretty much something for everyone there!

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After playing for a while, we decided to stop by the Raw and Juicy Airstream for a Valencia Orange and a Pina Verde.  Their juices are freshly squeezed and will always hit the spot when you need to be replenished.  The Health Insurance shot has helped prevent a full blown sinus infection on more than one occasion for me! It’s highly recommended!

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Massey enjoyed his juice from the comfort of his stroller because he fell and skinned his knee on the way to the Seaside Square. Poor fellow falls and skins his knee every few days.  Those little legs want to run a little faster than that little body can go.

Stay tuned for more Proctor Family Outings now that school is out and we aren’t tied down by nap times and school pick up times!

A Very Personal Story from My Past

I shared my story about my first marriage over on the Destin30MomsBlog today.  It’s not something that very many people know about.  Domestic violence isn’t something that is discussed publicly.  I became very skilled at living a double life.  If you or anyone you know is in a marriage or a relationship where they’re in danger emotionally or physically, please encourage them to GET OUT! 

Blue and White Summer Dresses

I recently attended a photo shoot for the Destin30aMomsBlog contributors. We were instructed to wear blue and white or pink and white. I don’t think I own any pink! I found several options of blue and white in my closet.  My favorite thing to throw on in the summer is an easy and comfortable dress.  Here are a few of my favorites:

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This one is by Do+be and was purchased at Willow+Mercer. It’s a great material that will work all the way through the fall.

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This soft frayed denim dress is by Cloth and Stone and was purchased at Anthropologie.

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One of my all time favorite places to shop is J.Crew. This cute embossed strap is available there.

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I saw this one recently while eating lunch at Tommy Bahama in Grand Boulevard and fell in love with it.

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Who doesn’t love a fun Lilly Pulitzer print in the summer? There is so much more to Lilly than the traditional pink and green!