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Georgia on My Mind

Sweet Times With Wyatt along the Chattahoochee

I took a little trip to Ft. Benning Georgia to visit my daughter and her family-they are all thriving and very happy!  So not only did I get to spend time with Wyatt- I enjoyed the surrounding little town of Columbus Georgia-where the Chattahoochee River flows along the edge of town.  The river intrigued me with it's rich history.  For centuries, the Chattahoochee River has flowed from the mountains of North Georgia to the oyster beds of the Florida Panhandle.  Sometimes a trickle. Sometimes angrily slapping against the rocks.  Always telling a story of the history of Georgia and  of Columbus.
Amanda and Preston's home-Such a bright and colorful front doorway

Charming Fall Entry
Preston, Amanda and Wyatt Ft. Benning
The many faces of Wyatt!  Wyatt is a happy baby boy, always giggling and trying to catch your eye so he can flash his award winning smile! Such a joy for me to watch my grandson grow up in a home filled with so much love.  

And now for a little History lesson!!The relationship between Columbus and the Chattahoochee predates written history.  Spanish explorers told about the falls nearby.  The Indians nation's most extensive trading center was here.  Then, in 1828, state legislation set aside 1,200 acres for the town that became Columbus.  Steam boats soon were unloading cotton and other products at her busy pier.

Chattahoochee River Walk

Historical Chattahoochee on a Sunday morning
As we stood along this historical river, I could just imagine the romantic ballads written by passengers of days and years gone by who sailed on her lazy paddle-wheelers.
Wyatt and I on a glorious Fall day in Georgia

Of course, all good things must come to an end, my visit was marvelous-meant the world to me!  My dear girl, Amanda drove me to the airport and it was a fast flight back to Texas.  Thank you Amanda, Preston and Wyatt !!

Beef Stew

                             Jemma's Homemade Beef Stew  

North winds,a light frost, yellow and red leaves swirling to the ground are always a single in our home for a savory and warm meal.  Today I am going to share with you my homemade beef stew recipe, I was inspired by Tyler Florence- who has spent the last fifteen years traversing the globe in order to bring the best of the culinary world into our homes.  I always serve this with cornbread-it isn't any sin to use a mix!  

Easy Cornbread and Muffin Mix

Before I start  cooking, I always gather all of my ingredients together, I find I stay more organized this way.  

Steak, Olive Oil, Cloves, Bay Leaves, Sea salt, Pepper, flour

Frozen Pearl Onions, Peas, Red Potatoes, Garlic, Mushroom
and Orange Peel

Cutting Board and Ready to Chop

I have three daughters who are raising very young families-I understand the time crunch for preparing this stew so my suggestion would be in order to cut down on the prep-time to purchase either pre-diced or frozen vegetables from your local market. 

Cutting board with diced and chopped vegetables
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
1 pound top sirloin steak, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Sea Salt and freshly grown black pepper
3 garlic cloves minced
1/2 orange, zest
2 bay leaves
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups of organic vegetable stock
2 Cups water
4-6 red potatoes, scrubbed clean(not peeled) cut in to cubes
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 pound of white mushrooms cut in slices
8oz. frozen pearl onions
8 oz. frozen peas
1/8tsp red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Horseradish sauce for garnish

Preheat a heavy- bottomed saucepan( I use the one my Mother gave me years ago) or Dutch oven with the oil and butter.  While the pan is heating, arrange the flour on a large dish.  Season the cubed beef with some salt and freshly ground pepper then toss in the flour to coat the beef.  Shake off the excess flour and add the beef chunks in a single layer to the hot pan, being careful not over crowd the pan.  If necessary work in batches.  Thoroughly brown all of the cubes on all sides.  Once all of the meat has been browned remove it to a plate and reserve.

Add the red wine vinegar and 2 cups of the organic vegetable broth,  1 cup water and bring up to a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, being sure to loosen up all those tasty yummies.  Once the liquid as gotten hot add the browned meat, minced garlic, orange zest, ground gloves, freshly ground black pepper, red pepper and salt to taste. Add bay leaves and remaining vegetable stock.  Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook covered on low for 2 1/2 hours.  After 2 hours add the cubed potatoes, sliced carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms.  Turn the heat up slightly and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Add the frozen peas during the last minute of cooking.  If needed add the remaining 1 cup of water.  During the course of cooking, remove lid and stir.

To serve, place the stew in a soup bowl and garnish with Horseradish Sour Cream, include the cornbread muffin on the side.

Horseradish Sauce-this is an amazing sauce and works so well with this stew.
1 cup light sour cream
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon horseradish
dash salt and pepper

Ingredients simmering in the rich,savory broth

This stew will make enough to serve 6 adults-you may have some left over, trust me, the leftover stew will be even better the next day! So don't throw it out!

Serve in your favorite soup bowl and garnish

I hope you enjoy this stew as much as we do!

Paint Your Wagon-DIY

I had been on the lookout for a red wagon-I had been to a few yard 

sales but nothing really caught my eye.  So you know the old saying 

"Necessity is the Mother of Invention."  

Bead board, nail gun, spray paint and presto!

So the Little Red Wagon was born!

She is a simple wagon but packs a cute little punch.  I tucked her 

into our front flowerbed and placed a few pumpkins here and there.

I think my little red wagon adds just the right amount of color and 


Sheet of Bead Board

We used bead board for the construction of the wagon.

Bead Board Cut into 4 Sections-Rectangular Configuration

Two sides of Bead Board Attached to the Rectangle Frame

All Four Sides Nailed onto Rectangle Frame

Two boards nailed onto bottom of Frame for Future Wheels

Wheels cut from a 1x6  piece of wood cut in 5 1/2 inch circles

Wheels painted with Black Spray Paint

Future wagon painted with Barn Red Spray Paint

Black Wheels Attached with Nails to Red Wagon

Festive Red Wagon Fall Display

I am thrilled with my little red wagon!  She is just the right size and 

has truly brought a touch of a rocky mountain Fall to my Texas 


Just wondering what you might be doing in your corner of the 

world for your Fall display?

Linking Up With:

Domestically Speaking

Decorating With Acorns

A Chill in The Air!  

Fall has finally arrived in North Texas needless to say I am thrilled!! I scrounged around in my attic and found all of my Fall treasures -feeling satisfied, I plugged in my little scentsy pot with cinnamon wax, flipped the switch on some wall sconces and settled in to Fall decorating!  Did I mention that I love, love, love this time of the year!!

Gold Spray Paint on Vase and Acorns
Re-purposed Grapevine Wreath

Please join me for some decorating adventures-

The walk to Find the Acorns-

Well, you see I enjoy walking, not only is it good for my body it is 
good for my soul.  I find it is a time to reflect, be thankful and observe what Mother Nature has to share with us.  On my most recent walk I discovered two Oak trees, and although they were both Oak trees they had two very different and equally wonderful acorns!  Isn't this just like human beings-same species and yet intriguing and wonderful in their own way?!  

So, with some sunshine, acorns, recycled fall treasures and a new can of gold spray paint, I am in business!

Acorns Found on my Walk-Big and Beautiful

Spraying the Acorns with Metallic Spray Paint-

Home Depot, as well as all craft stores sell Metallic spray paint, this is my favorite. Rust-oleum specialty Metallic, with a bright and reflective finish.  I recommend spraying outside with a piece of cardboard or, plastic covering underneath what ever you are going to spray.  Make sure there isn't any wind and that you are careful not to breathe the fumes.  Prior to spraying shake the can several times and then spray in a steady back and forth motion.  And there you have it! 

Big Beautiful Gold Acorns

Wishing you all a good week and Happy Autumn!

How does your Garden Grow

Vibrant Flowers

How Does your Garden Grow?

I have always, always loved bougainvilleas and I 

have attempted to grow them so many times.  This year I was 

very successful with this gorgeous beauty.  Just the right 

combination of morning sun, daily watering and filtered 

afternoon sun. 

Periwinkles grow very well in our extreme heat and dry 

Summers.  Each of these blooming beauties came from one little 

seed that sprouted inside my mini-greenhouse. 

Even when I was just a young girl I was interested in growing a garden.  One of the things I 

enjoy most about growing a garden is watching the tiny little seeds grow into beautiful blooming 

plants.  In order for me to get a jump start on raising my own plants I like to start growing them 

in January or February.

Love my happy little zinnias all grown up now-such a pleasure and satisfaction to view the 

garden that started out months ago as simple seeds - turn into this!

Please Join Me At These Parties

Fishtail Cottage