Cream Cheese Spread for Super Bowl Party


So, what are you serving up for Super Bowl Sunday? If you are looking for a delicious Cream Cheese spread, this recipe is very easy and it is really good! This recipe is a favorite game-day dish for my family, it’s always on the table at our Clemson football game tailgates!  Clemson tiger paw

cream cheese spread recipe

This Cream Cheese spread is the best I have ever had and it is addicting. The more you eat the more you want! 🙂

cream cheese spread ingedients

There are only 4 ingredients.

Let the cream cheese soften. Meanwhile, wash the green onions well, and then finely cut the green onions. When I cut the green onions, I always cut down the stalk before finely cutting so that the pieces are smaller.  Finely cut the dried beef. I like to cut and place both the green onions and dried beef onto a plate so that I can gradually add with the cream cheese.

cream cheese spread beef and green onions

Once the cream cheese has soften enough to work with, slowly add the green onions and beef a little at a time, mixing thoroughly until all of the green onions and beef are incorporated.

mixing cream cheese spread

best ever cream cheese spread recipe

Sprinkle in the Accent Seasoning to your taste, mix Accent Seasoning into the cream cheese mixture. Taste, add more Accent Season, mix, taste, continue until you like the flavor. Cover and place in the fridge over night to allow it to set. This also allows time for all the flavors to combine. When you are ready to serve, remove spread from bowl onto your favorite serving dish. You can cover with chopped pecans if you like. Serve with crackers!

best ever cream cheese spread recipe

2 – 8 oz. packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 – small jar 2.25 oz. of Armour dried beef
5-6 green onions
Accent Seasoning to taste
Box of your favorite crackers

cream cheese spread recipe

This recipe is so delicious I can eat it without the crackers! So, do you have a favorite Super Bowl Recipe?

Enjoy the Game!!

Previous Post – Making Crème Brûlée

creme brulee


Snow and Ice


snow covered trees

Good morning everyone!

Yesterday after lunch it started snowing, by the time it was dark we had 3 inches of snow on the mountain. It’s 17 degrees this morning with a light wind coming from the northwest.

snow covered trees

I hope everyone has a safe and happy day! 🙂

Red Fox Returns


Yesterday afternoon, I decided it was time to check my trail camera for pictures. There were a lot of pictures on the Sandisk memory card, raccoons, red fox, possum, ground hogs, squirrels, birds, shunk, deer, turkey and coyote.

Red Fox trail camera picture

Here are a few pictures of the Red Fox! The picture just before the red fox there were a couple raccoons in that area! I think he smells the raccoons!

Red Fox

One evening a couple weeks ago I was filling my birdfeeders and I had a beautiful Red Fox walk up within 4-5 feet of me. He was a beautiful red and gray color and I am sure he was looking for food. He just stood there for 2-3 minutes, didn’t seem scared at all and then he walked away back into the woods. I wonder if it is the same fox in these trail cam pictures?

Red Fox Reconyx trail cam picture


red fox


Notice the time stamp on the pictures, after about 6 pictures around 5:36 PM, he returns again at 5:47 PM


Previous Recipe Post – Making Crème Brûlée

creme brulee

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Winter Sunset


beautiful sunset

Good morning Y’all!

It was a bitter cold cloudy winter morning today but not as cold as yesterday. Our low yesterday was 4 degrees and today is was 13 degrees, I think we have a warming trend!

I wanted to share our beautiful sunset from yesterday!


Previous Post – Making Crème Brûlée

creme brulee

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Making Crème Brûlée


“I think every woman should have a blowtorch” – Julia Child

Grab your kitchen torch and let’s make crème brulee, a thick and delicious vanilla bean infused custard with a layer of burnt-sugar on top! I love Crème Brûlée, can you tell? The best part is using the torch!

This creamy, rich dessert is dangerously easy to make and is perfect for Valentine’s Day or any special, romantic occasion. It is so good you will want to eat it every day. If you can’t stop, see your doctor.

creme brulee

You won’t believe how easy it is to make and the best thing is that it can be prepared the day before and all you have to do is grab your torch for melting the sugar on top!

creme brulee

Start off by preheating your oven to 325 degrees and bring a full kettle of water to boil that we will use for the water bath. In a large roasted pan, place a towel on the bottom of the pan, place your ramequins on top of the towel and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, combine 2 cups of heavy cream, the seeds from ½ vanilla bean and ½ vanilla bean pod. Cut the vanilla bean down the center and scrape out the vanilla beans, then place the beans and the other half bean into the cream. If you don’t have a vanilla bean you can use 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla or vanilla bean paste. I think the vanilla bean adds more flavor. Set the burner between low and medium low. We need to scald the cream mixture to 140 degrees. If you have thermometers use it to check the temperature, whatever you do to NOT let the cream boil.

While the cream is heating, in a large mixing bowl, whisk 4 egg yolks with the ½ cup of sugar. Once the cream reaches 140 degrees we are now ready to temper the cream mixture into the eggs. This is a very important step because you to not want to add the hot cream mixture to the egg mixture all at once otherwise you’ll get scrambled eggs. Pour about an ounce or two of the cream mixture into the egg mixture while whisking at the same time, whisk until completely incorporated.

egg yolk mixture for creme brulee

Egg yolk mixture before adding sugar

egg yolk and sugar mixture for creme brulee

Egg yolk and sugar mixture.

Notice the above picture with the bubbles, after the egg yolk and sugar has been mixture you will have some bubbles. You need to remove all of the bubbles using a ladle and discard.

egg yolk and sugar mixture for creme brulee without bubbles

Egg yolk and sugar mixture after bubbles have been removed.

Now continue adding the cream mixture to the egg mixture until it has all been incorporated. This is your custard mixture for the base of your Crème Brûlée. Before pouring the custard mixture into your crème brulee ramequins, you need to strain it through a fine mesh sieve. This will remove the vanilla bean pod as well as other bits of egg that cooked.

Now fill your ramequins, I find that using a soup ladle makes this an easy step. Place pan in oven and then fill the pan with the boiling water until the water comes up about halfway on the ramequins. Bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes depending on the size of your ramequins and your oven until the custard is just set. I always watch the custard closely the last 5 to 10 minutes. You will know the custard is set if you carefully shake the pan and the custards tremble like jello just slightly in the center.

Remove the pan from the oven and using tongs, carefully remove the crème brulee ramequins and let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Be careful not to let any water drip into the Crème Brûlée.

creme brulee cooling

Ramequins just taken out of the oven cooling on rack.

creme brulee just out of the oven cooking on rack

Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 3 days. This is an important step because the custard is going to finish setting up during this time.

creme brulee

Grab your torch, after 2 hours they are ready to serve. This is where I start to get excited to eat these wonderful desserts. Now you’re ready to sprinkle with a layer of turbinado sugar and brulee with your torch. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar to caramelize the top, then swirl the dish around so that the surface is evenly covered with sugar, anything that’s left over, dump on to the next one or into another dish. This is important, there shouldn’t be any loose sugar on top before torching.

creme brulee

Before torching, think about what you are doing, please be careful, be mindful of those around you. It only takes a few seconds to torch the sugar, do this quickly so that it does not heat the cold custard. You are looking for good caramelization. Once you brulee the sugar serve immediately or the caramel topping will become soft.

creme brulee

They are ready to serve and if you ask me, nothing beats the first spoon full of Crème Brûlée… the crackling of the sugar breaking that reveals the sweet gooey silky custard underneath, what could be better!?! 🙂

Crème Brulee Recipe
2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean ( if can substitute the with 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or paste)
4 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
Turbinado sugar to caramelize the top

Makes four servings.

creme brulee

Do you like Crème Brûlée ??

Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never made Crème Brûlée! If I can do it… you can do it.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

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Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping


Strawberry Pie

Delicious strawberry pie

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What’s In Your Birdhouse?


birdhouse maintenance

Even though your garden might be covered in snow and our temperatures are still really cold, the birds will soon be getting ready for spring nesting. Today I watched a male Bluebird perched atop my birdhouse as he puffed out his check and sang over and over again. I am convinced he was calling his mate to come and check out the house. I later saw the female flying by the birdhouse and landed on the side of a nearby tree and sang! Makes me wonder if she gave him her approval?

Now is the time to make sure your birdhouses are clean and ready to go. Most birdhouses are built so that you can take either the roof or floor off. Some also have sliding sides and others have a front or side that is on a hinge to provide access.

how to clean a birdhouse

I always wear disposable vinyl gloves and a face mask while cleaning my birdhouses because your birdhouse will be dirty and can harbor rodents, insects, feather mites, blowflies, fungus and bacteria that can spread disease. Cleaning your birdhouse minimizes these hazards, plus there are many birds that will not use an old nest.

When opening your birdhouse be careful, last year I had a small flying squirrel fly out in my face, scared me to death! Carefully empty out last year’s nests, do not blow into the birdhouse because everything will come back in your face. The last thing you need to do is inhale all that dirt, fungus and bacteria or get it in your eyes. Next, wipe down the inside with a mild bleach solution. Be sure to do a thorough cleaning.

Inspect the birdhouse and make sure all air holes are clear of dirt and nesting. Clearing these areas will insure good air circulation during the summer months. This is also a perfect time to inspect your birdhouse for needed repairs. Be sure to check the roof for leaks!

Do this I hope we all get birds to nest in our birdhouses! 🙂

I sure hope some of you are feeding the birds this winter? Its very hard for the birds to find food this time of year, especially if the ground is covered in snow!

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Surprise Surprise Surprise

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” ~Cynthia Ozick

So as we start a new week, our weather forecast is cold. It’s seems that we are going to have another really cold week with temperatures in the low teens.

This week I am focused on the things which I am most thankful for. When I was young I took things for granted. There are so many things to be thankful for but this week I am going to focus on family and friends. I am so thankful for my family and all my friends; I love them all so much. I have been blessed with so many friends, including my blogger friends. I have to tell you, there are some wonderful bloggers out there all across the world that are so talented, doing what they love, writing, posting pictures, crafting, cooking, grilling, hiking, and much more, telling their stories and most of all sharing. All of which are so caring, loving and talented. I have the chance to write on a lot of blogs since I started my blog, they have taught me so many wonderful things and I have seen so many wonderful photographs from all over the world.

Last year I made a lot of cutting boards. There have been a lot of bloggers that purchased a board from me and I want to thank each and every one of you. Many of you wrote and sent me a personal note about the cutting board you received  and some of you wrote a note but also wrote about the board on your blog. I want to thank you too because I know that it takes a lot of time to write a blog post.

Most recently, my good blogger friend at Forest Garden Blog wrote about the cutting boards I made her. I will tell you that she loves blogging and is very talented, from gardening, photography, cooking, baking and more. On Thursday, I received a ‘surprise’ package from her. It was a large envelope and it was very light. When I opened the package, I found the most beautiful handmade wool scarf’s from her, plus a hand written note. With all the cold weather we have been having these are going to get a lot of use. I love wool and these are perfect for my wife and I! My wife really loved the purple scarf! These are handmade in her spare time! Handmade items are the best gifts to give and receive because they are personal, useful, beautiful and functional. Thank YOU so much WG!!! 🙂 We love the scarfs!!

handmade wool scarf

She is so talented, you will see that when you visit her site, Forest Garden Blog,  but she never mentions anything about making the wool scarfs!

handmade wool scarfs

This was the second surprise package I have received from a blogger friend that had received a cutting board from me. Less than two  months ago I received a surprise package of homemade vanilla extract from another blogger friend that writes at her blog cookiecrumstoliveby .  I have enjoyed using the vanilla in my baking, it’s really, really good! She also posted twice on her blog about the cutting boards I made for her and her family. Here is my post when I received her package, Surprise Package. There is a link on this page to her post about making homemade vanilla extract, be sure to check it out.

I really enjoy blogging. I am so blessed, happy and thankful that I have had the chance to make some wonderful friends from blogging!

Best Ever Coconut Cake



Coconut cake at Christmas and Easter time is a must in our family. Everyone loves coconut cake. This recipe has been in our family for several generations. The coconut cake is very moist, it’s easy to make and it’s delicious! This is a 4 layer cake and the icing has to be made at least 24 hours in advance. Icing & Filling 1 – 16 oz. Sour Cream 2 cups granulated sugar 2 – 9 oz. coconut Mix all together, let set in fridge over night.

coconut cake icing

This is what the icing will look like after it is mixed.

best ever coconut cake

There is nothing better than a slice of coconut cake! Coconut Cake 2 – sticks margarine 1/3 cup Crisco 3 cups granulated sugar 3 cups plain flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 5 eggs 1 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring Sift baking powder and flour together, set aside. Cream margarine, Crisco, sugar well, add eggs one at a time. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternating with milk. Add vanilla and mix well. Bake in 4, 9 inch round pans at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes depending on your oven. I cook 2 pans at a time so that they cook evenly. Let the cake layers cool completely before building your cake. Once you have completed building and icing the cake, place in the fridge so that it can set. The longer the better before serving.

ultimate coconut cake cake

My oldest daughter Lauren and my son Michael love this cake! Enjoy!

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Falls Park Waterfalls Greenville SC

falls park waterfalls greenville sc

A blogger friend ask me to post a picture of the Falls Park waterfalls that are downtown Greenville, SC. I took this picture back in late summer one Sunday afternoon. My wife and I enjoy walking downtown and always walk along the trails at Falls Park. The waterfalls are just off main street and are easy to access. This is a beautiful park and waterfall that is right in the middle of downtown Greenville. It’s a great place to relax and have a picnic.

Greenville, SC is a great area to live and there are a lot of really good restaurants downtown. It’s a short 3 hour drive to the beach in Charleston, SC and  we can get to the mountains in less than 30 minutes. We actually live in northern Greenville county in the mountains and love it.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and a great weekend! 🙂

Growing Oriental Lily Bulbs


oriental lily star gazer flower

Picture of Oriental Lily Star Gazer taken in my garden, summer of 2013

I love to grow Oriental Lilies, so thinking ahead I order more Oriental Lily bulbs for my garden from John Scheepers Inc. a few weeks ago. I have purchased bulbs from many different sources, including the big box stores but I have found that the quality and size of bulbs are better from John Scheepers.

bags of oriental lily bulbs

I received my order of oriental lily bulbs on Friday, packaged by variety. This order included three variety, Star Gazer, Lizzy Dizzy and Muscadet. I’ve now decided that I am going to place another order later today.

Now thru spring is the best time to plant lily bulbs, that is if your ground is thawed enough to dig. I planned to order more bulbs so back in October I had prepared a new garden bed for these bulbs.

oriental lily bulbs

Oriental Lilies produce enormous beautiful flowers on tall stems in a variety of colors and are easy to grow in zone 5 to 8. These oddly, scaly, bearded bulbs will produce a fancy trumpet shaped flower that is extremely fragrant, their fragrance is fabulous. There are other varieties of lilies like the Easter lily, Tiger lily, Asiatic lily, etc. but the Oriental Lily is the only one that is fragrant.

Before planting your lilies, pick an area with filter sunshine, avoid an area that is windy and receives the hot afternoon sun. The most important factor when preparing your soil for Oriental Lilies is drainage. Lilies need drainage and cannot be sitting in stagnant water especially during winter. Clay soil is rich in nutrients but lilies will not grow well in clay soil. Oriental lilies prefer a rich, moist and well-drained soil. I improve my soil by adding organic peak, leaf mold and composted manure. I also add crushed oyster shells, like you would give your chickens to eat and work all of this into the planting area about a foot deep. After you have the planting area ready, plant bulbs 6 to 8 inch deep. I plant the same variety in groups of three or five for more of an impact when they bloom.

oriental lily bulb

Blooming in my area starts in July and continues thru August, I have even had some blooms into September depending on our summer heat. Oriental lilies will often need a little extra support because they tend to get top-heavy when in bloom. Summer rainstorms and wind can also toss them around. Many variety can reach 5 to 5 feet tall.

As blooming begins, take care not to get their pollen stains on your cloths. See the picture above of the stamens full of pollen. When I cut my lilies for arrangements I always cut the flowers early in the morning when it is cool just as the flower buds are opening. This is also the best time to cut the stamens before the pollen matures.

If you have flowers you leave in the garden, be sure to gently remove the blossoms as they fade to encourage blooming and to keep plants from using all their energy producing seeds. In the fall, once the leaves and stems turn yellow; cut the plant back to the ground. Do not pull the stems as this will cause damage to the bulb.

I  love Oriental lilies for their beautiful flowers and their fragrance is fabulous. They make great flower arrangements too! This summer I will be posting flower pictures from these bulbs. 🙂

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