Do y’all remember those Sunday suppers at your grandmother’s when you were growing up? I do. All of my aunts, uncles and cousins packed into the house laughing or possibly squabbling. A table so full that we actually had to eat somewhere other than the dining room. Usually supper ended up becoming a musical chair symphony but the food and family made it all worthwhile. I have to tell you those memories find me often and fill me full of warmth.

Pam Anderson and her family know all about time well spent in the kitchen.  Creating not only their own long-lasting memories full of joy but also some ingenious recipes that have evolved from their lively gatherings. Fortunately Pam, along with her incredible daughters Maggy and Sharon, share some of their culinary creations with us on their blog Three Many Cooks. Pam has also been tempting our taste buds with her sensational cookbooks for some time now. Her latest book Perfect One Dish Dinners (which is her second book to hit the NY Times best sellers list) has now become a weekly resource for my family inspiring some exquisite, yet deceptively easy meals. Especially for some of our Sundays gatherings.

Pam brilliantly planned the recipes ahead of time for you in Perfect One Dish Dinners. She grouped them into meals consisting of an entrée, an appetizer and a desert. She even went so far as to give you helpful alternatives and recommend the perfect beverage to accompany each dinner. The beauty of her new book is that you can also mix and match the recipes as you please.

Just to give you all a little taste of what awaits you in her new book here’s what we had this Sunday. The guys and I spent a wonderful afternoon with my dad, step mom and sister enjoying what is a staple dish here on the coast. We made a Low Country Boil or as Pam calls it, Frogmore Stew. It’s a  spectacular blend of shrimp, kielbasa and vegetables infused with garlic and spices.

We paired it with Pam’s  absolutely delicious salad of Greens with Apples, Dried Cherries and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. Now you are probably saying to yourselves, “Where are the pumpkin seeds”? Funny story about that. It involves three guys and you’ll just have to wait for it. We replaced the missing pumpkins seeds with pecans, which worked out just as well.

I also made this. Oh yeah, read it and weep y’all.

Better yet look and weep. Can I just say drool buckets! I couldn’t help myself, I’ve a passion for cheesecake.

Here is what you will need to make this beauty straight from Pam herself.

Rum-Raisin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

Serves 12 to 16

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons plus 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided

24 gingersnaps, preferably Nabisco

2 pounds cream cheese (regular or light Neufchatel), softened

4 large eggs

1/3 cup dark rum

1 cup dark raisins

4 teaspoons all-purpose flour

———————————————————————————————————–

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Bring 1 quart water to a boil for a water bath.

Mix butter and 2 tablespoons sugar until well mixed. Coat a 9 inch springform pan with vegetable-oil cooking spray.

Place a single layer of gingersnaps, flat side down, on pan bottom (there will be spaces between them), and generously brush with butter mixture. Brush flat sides of remaining gingersnaps with remaining butter mixture, and place them, rounded side out and slightly tilted toward the outer edge, around pan sides. Bake until sugar on cookies bubbles, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Meanwhile beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixture until fluffy. Gradually add remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar and beat on medium speed until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down sides after each addition. Beat in rum, or as Pam and her girls would say…” Perfume the cream cheese”. Toss raisins with flour and stir into batter. Cover exterior of springform pan with a double sheet of heavy-duty foil to ensure that no water can seep in; set in roasting pan. Pour batter into springform pan.

Set roasting pan on oven rack and pour in enough hot water to come about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake until perimeter of cake is set but center jiggles when pan is tapped, 55 to 60 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let stand in water bath for 30 minutes. Remove springform pan from water bath and set on a wire rack; cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours. Slice and serve.

Light and creamy with a hint of rum, sweet plump raisins and a crunchy spicy crust. What else can I say but that everyone loved it.

It was so yummy that my surfer was busted by M2 sneaking seconds. “Dad!!”“What?!? I don’t have anything!”

This cheesecake  is just too bloody brilliant for words. Look at all that rum soaked creamy goodness. Now that makes any Sunday mo bettah!

I’m not the only one who has found Pam’s new book, well excuse the pun, perfect. Today you will find quite a few people posting some recipes from Pam’s Perfect One Dish Dinners. I have listed the ones that I know of below, have fun checking them out. I just wanted to say thank you so much to Pam, Maggy and Sharon for passing along the gift of this lovely cook book when I was at their Big Summer Potluck. It has a few spots on the pages now and flour in the crevices but then again it’s loved.

DadCooksDinner.com
RecipeGirl.com
ArtofGlutenFreeBaking.com
KitchenGadgetGirl.com
MyBakingAddiction.com
Wenderly.com
BluebonnetsandBrownies.com
TheSensitivePantry.com
WhatsCookingBlog.com
TwoPeasandTheirPod.com
WhatsGabyCooking.com
Bellalimento.com
SmithBites.com
MyFavoriteEverything.com
FoodForMyFamily.com
SavoringTheThyme.com
Ivoryhut.com
DineAndDish.net
GlutenFreeGirl
Picky-Palate.com
TickledRed
SheWearsManyHats.com
WhatWereEating.com
ThisWeekForDinner.com
SugarCrafter.net
GoodLifeEats.com
LaFujiMama.com
HowTo-Simplify.com
RookieMoms.com
blogs.discovery.com

Love ya,

Tickled Red

I want to chat with ya’ll for a moment this morning about an issue very near to my heart. But first a quick Earl update. We are absolutely fine, he did not bring us any winds or even rain. Thank you so much to everyone who reached out with concern and blessings, we truly appreciate all of the love. We were fortunate and do count our blessings. Not everyone is lucky enough to dodge disaster or tragedy.

You may or may not have seen a post I shared on my Face Book this week, so I wanted to mention it here. The post came from Maggy with Three Many Cooks and Alice of Savory Sweet Life. Maggy and Alice (as well as many others, including myself) have a wonderful friend who is in dire need of help. A very dear, sweet, generous woman Erika of The Ivory Hut, that I had the pleasure to meet in NY at the Big Summer Potluck. She and her family met with a grave tragedy this week. In the early wee hours of Monday morning their home burnt to the ground and when I say burnt, I mean completely reduced to ashes & dust. Here is what Erika wrote later that dreadful morning from a friend’s computer…

Sept 1, 2010

Last night, my head was preoccupied with last minute work on a special project and putting the finishing touches on a post. My husband Tom and I had also been discussing the logistics of possibly attending BlogHer Food 2010 in San Francisco. These were the things that weighed on my mind.


A mere hour or so later—and instant, really—we were outside, in our shirts and shorts, watching our house crumble as it was engulfed in flames. I’ll never forget that hissing and crackling noise as my husband’s home of almost 30 years practically disintegrated before our eyes.


But we were safe. All of us. Our son Tim, without hesitation, ran back inside when he realized his grandmother was sleeping upstairs. By the time he got to her, it was too late to try and exit the house the same way he came in. Fortunately, Tom had devised a fire escape plan years ago, and Tim was able to bodily carry his feeble 82-year-old grandmother out the window, onto the roof, and eventually down on the deck. The sight of this brave son of mine carrying his grandmother as he ran down the lawn and away from the house is one I will never forget.


Obviously, none of us slept last night. We are fortunate to belong to a congregation that is as close to us as family, and one of our dear friends drove to our house last night to pick us up and take us to her home, which is where I sit right now, typing this.


The magnitude of the loss is almost too much to comprehend in its entirety. So last night, I mentally walked through all the rooms in the house, taking stock of what was valuable in that room, and then systematically making peace with the loss. I said goodbye to my new MacBook Pro, my 500GB drive of photographs, another 500GB drive of music files. My purse, with all my identification cards, and all the car keys—car keys that are useless anyway, since the flames have likely taken our cars too. Our passports and birth certificates. My husband’s prosthetic leg, without which he is unable to freely move around. Our shoes, all our clothes, and our musical equipment. My engagement ring and my wedding ring, and a gold bracelet passed on to me by my mother on my wedding day.


My baby pictures, which are the only remaining proof that once upon a time, I was actually cute. My iPod Touch, the value of which is immeasurable because it held all my half-finished songs, poems, and writings.


But when I weigh it all against the value of being able to hold my husband’s hand and my son’s hand last night as we said a family prayer of thanks for our survival, as well as a petition for strength to deal with the days to come, and the fact that this morning, I woke up to a day with both of them still with me, then I still think I got the better end of the deal.


Oh, and I’m sorry there are no photos in this post. You see, my beloved Canon 5D and all those lenses I had? They’re gone too.


Which stings, I’ll admit. But all I have to do is throw a glance my family’s way and yep, I’m still blessed.

I can not begin to imagine the terror Erika must have felt to stand there and watch her child run back into a burning building for his grandmother. Not to mention having to stand there for what must have seemed an eternity while she watched her home, the sheer essence of her inner self and her family fall to the heat and flames. It is unimaginable.

So here is what Maggy and Alice have done. Seeing as how it will take weeks for any insurance issues to be resolved and Erika and her family have absolutely nothing to their names but the clothes on their back, they have started a donation at Friends of Ivory Hut to help them out.  The donations will go to Erika in order to replace everything from toothbrushes to heavens knows what all you would need to make it through the day. I honestly can’t fathom it?! This a 100%  donation going directly to the family. Maggy lives an hour away so she is taking the Paypal money directly to Erika. There is also a set monetary goal, once that is reached the account will be closed. As I said this is just to help them meet their immediate needs.

Now I know that we are all experiencing hard times in this economy, trust me I know, but $5 goes a long way when you add it up. If 25 people donate $5 each that is $125, if 50 people donate that would be $250, you get my point.

Erika is truly a rare beautiful woman, inside and out. She is selfless, private and an absolute nurturer. I can bet you anything that she is not even thinking of herself now, rather she is the one being the stalwart rock of strength for her family and friends through this crisis. As I sit here listening to the radio writing this I remember how much Erika loves music and this song is playing. How appropriate… don’t you think so?

The Bravery

“Believe

[chorus:]
So give me something to believe
Cause I am living just to breathe
And I need something more
To keep on breathing for
So give me something to believe

Something’s always coming you can hear it in the ground
It swells into the air
With the rising
Rising sound
And never comes but shakes the boards and rattles all the doors
What are we waiting for [x2]

Let us be what she can believe in. That though she might be everyone else’s rock now, we are here to be her support. And that the rising sound she hears is not the echoes of loss, but rather a glorious cacophony of love, friendship and community welling up around her…even from people that she has never met. I know that we can all give up our Starbucks and Big Mac’s just this once and show Erika how great our southern/surf/blogging communities are. Please ya’ll, go to Friends of Ivory Hut and make a small donation today. They will stop taking donations after 9-8-10. I tried to put the Paypal link up here to make it easier but as you all know I am a techno dork.

Thank you Maggy & Alice for putting all of this together for Erika and passing on the information, along with the Paypal link .

And ya’ll…thanks so much for listening to me today and letting me bend your ear about helping out this wonderful family. I also truly appreciate how you guys looked out for us during the storm.

Love you all,

Tickled Red


Exactly seven days ago I left my three loves to fend for themselves and flew to New York City. A brief two night adventure to meet up with some other wonderful women who like me love to share on their blogs a passion for food and family. It was a last minute trip taken on a whim and the post about this adventure has turned out to be one of the most difficult I have ever written. Not because it wasn’t fun, quite the opposite. Because it was so all encompassing for me on so many levels that I really want to make sure that I do it justice.

My flight arrived later than expected due to some thunderstorms that rolled through most of the NC and SC coast but it worked out perfectly. My lovely roommates Kristen & Robyn met up with me at our hotel the Le Parker Meridien as they were ending their busy days. Robyn was in NY for the BlogHer convention as well as the event I had flown in for. Kristen, well we all twisted her arm over Twitter to come and have fun with us. This gave her the opportunity to attend to some other exciting business for her blog.

The Le Parker Meridien was gorgeous and very eclectic. A mix of modern and exotic old world. My favorite part was the Ventian/Moroccan lounge off the main lobby. There has always been something about velvets, paisleys and coffered ceilings that have appealed to me.

After settling in and meeting the girls the next item on my agenda was food! I was starving. There was no way that I was going to snack on the plane when I knew that in only an hour I would be in a city filled with the most wondrous options when it came to cuisine. Falafels, Italian, 4 star restaurants,  bakeries, hidden burger joints behind curtains you name it New York City has it. Rather than letting me go off on my own foraging for sustenance, my darling new buddies twisted my arm and dragged me off to an amazing fun filled roof top gathering instead. With food.

An uncommonly light cool breeze surrounded us. Scrumptious, mouthwatering appetizers were passed around while the sun set over the city.  There was a perfect peek of the harbor through a couple of buildings; cool blue water licked with flames, framed by industrial steel. The whole setting was serene and inviting. Just the place to unwind from a long flight and meet new friends.

Of course I ended up devouring gobs of buttery crab stuffed mushrooms, vegetable spring rolls and numerous other decadent yummies. If by chance you are reading this, were at that gathering as well and are wondering where were those mushrooms and spring rolls…ummm disregard that last sentence entirely. Stuffed mushrooms? Spring rolls? Who? What?

Friday evening was the the epitome  of my little two day adventure to meet new people. A delicious hint of what was to come.

The following morning bright and early, after closing down said rooftop gathering in the wee hours of the morning  Kristen, Robyn and I met up with Amy and Alice. We headed out of NY on a road trip into breathtaking Bucks County, PA. to the home of the Anderson Family. Pam, Maggy and Sharon of Three Many Cooks along with Erika of Ivory Hut had put together an informal event for east coast bloggers called The Big Summer Potluck.

Five ladies, three electronic mapping devises, two states, multiple quick fire interchanges and lots of laughter later we arrived at the Anderson home only 15 minutes late. Amy can drive me anywhere, anytime… she was amazingly patient with all of the interchanges and traffic. If we had stopped to take photos of every picturesque stone cottage or to peruse all of the antique shops we passed along the way, you would see our husbands on CNN forming search parties. A leisurely trip back with a truck is a must.

When we arrived we were greeted by a beautifully simple,wood and metal infused modern cottage set in a clearing surrounded by lush shade trees. For me the solitude and peace emanating there  would carry throughout the entire gathering and lingers with me still. In a living room banked with windows, streaming in light and warmth we mingled. Getting to know each other over coffee, scones and muffins. Some of us had spoken to each other through blog comments or on Twitter but there were many of us who had never even heard of each other until this day. It was such a joy to meet other enthusiastic, like minded fellow bloggers.

After mingling a bit Maggy, Sharon and Pam got the day rolling with introductions and their plans for how the day would progress. They had lined up guest speakers and tutorials on recipe development/writing, food styling, photography, photoshop, Q & A and a keynote speech from Alice of Savory Sweet Life.

Brief Overview of Our Schedule

Pam Anderson- Recipe Development: How to Make a Recipe Your Own

Abby Dodge- Cooking Demo: Orange-Scented White Choc. Raspberry Mousse

Pam Anderson-It’s personal: How to Write Your Own Recipes

Melissa DeMayo-Food Styling on the Fly

Erika Pineda-Photography: Basics, Shooting & Post Processing

Jason Fox & Christina Reilly- Auritt Communications Group: Culinary Green Room (discussing the future of SEO and culinary videos)

Alice Currah-Keynote Speaker: “Being true to yourself and your voice will always create a lasting love affair with your blog and it’s readers”

All Spectacular Thumbnail Photos were taken by Erika of Ivory Hut


As you can see Erika, Maggy, Sharon & Pam had planned this event out in detail. A lavish breakfast, over the top lunch and sweets for tea time. Being a  potluck comprised of food bloggers, most everyone brought something of course. I’ll save my story on what I made for later. Our hostesses didn’t miss a beat. They also had us well covered on all topics pertaining to blogging that you could possibly wish to know. I for one, being a naive newbie to everything blog related, thoroughly absorbed everything possible. It was like walking into a round table meeting of artists that have had their work displayed in galleries for years. Because if I learned only one thing this past weekend these women/ men are artists in their own way and right.

They are as passionate about their craft (photography, food, recipe development, writing, web design, etc..) as any novelist, painter, architect or chef. I was always under the impression that blogs were basically another aspect/forum so to speak of ones journal and they are. For some people though they are so much more. Their blogs are the living, pulsing embodiment of their creative soul that needs to be feed, released and expressed.

Being allowed the privilege to experience and observe all that these talented women (and men) had to share has been so moving for me. Pam, Abby, Melissa, Erika, Alice, Maggy, Sharon, Christina and Jason didn’t just share their accumulated wealth of knowledge in their respective areas. They shared their joy of what is a phenomenal and yet supportive industry; that blogging is about community. Alice’s speech alone was beyond inspirational, it still resonates with me and has me filled with joy.

I personally walked away from Big Summer Potluck with a feeling of bliss, peace and  renewed creative direction. So ladies and gentlemen from the bottom of my heart thank you! I am honored to call you all my new friends and I wouldn’t miss another Big Summer Potluck for anything.

My short trip evolved into an experience of encompassing warmth, friendship and inspiration. I am sure that I will be talking about this trip with you all more as time goes on. In the meantime have a good evening and I look forward to sharing all that I have learned, spreading my creative wings with Tickled Red and bringing you all along for the many adventures.

Xoxo,

Tickled Red

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