January 23, 2018

Goodbye Lie Diaries - Miss Ella's Simple Salad

Late 1800s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida
     Miss Ella Dunnigan writes:  Everyone about town is aware I plan the menus for our Aqua Verde Passenger Line of ships.  My staff and I do our utmost to make our passengers' travels a safe yet exciting sea adventure and that, too, is the case with regard to their taste buds.  Sometimes, easy to prepare food is just as appetizing as elegant.  This is the case with my Simple Tomato Salad.  Four ingredients and you have a healthy delight to serve on board your personal boat or yacht, on a picnic or at your dinner table.
     As is the usual, I want to express my thanks to Jane Marie for photographing her version of my salad. It does look tempting. Find how she made it, below.

Miss Ella's Simple Tomato  Salad

You'll Need: 
(Guestimate the quantities of ingredients as to how many people you'll be serving.)

Tomatoes - chopped or Cherry Tomatoes- halved
Walnuts or Pecans- in pieces
Sharp Cheddar Cheese (jmm used 2% fat), Colby or your favorite cheese- in bite-sized pieces
Salad dressing - (jmm used Avacado Ranch)

Toss all the ingredients and serve chilled.  Individual servings may be prepared by the bowl or salad plate. If tomatoes are out of season where you are, tuck this recipe away or splurge.  (Cherry tomatoes were less expensive here in Florida this time of year.)

This would make an easy Valentine side, too!


Miss Ella Dunnigan
     Miss Ella, the Dunnigan family matriarch, and prominently featured player in Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie series, is the nearly perfect mother of  the family. Held in high esteem on Amelia Island, Miss Ella is gentle, loving and a thoughtful soul. She would rather turn and run than get "into it" with nosy, nasty Aunt Noreen who lives next door. But Miss Ella's backbone turns iron when need be. ( PLEASE don't tell Aunt Noreen I wrote this reality about her. )     -jmm

January 16, 2018

Bear Advice

CareStaf's Mike Bear
is a fine looking bear and
so health conscious, too.
  He's a busy fellow and that includes
posing with his tissue for this shot. 
     'Tis the cold and flu season again.  Take a tip from our friend, Mike, the  Kansas City Carestaf* bear, on how he stays healthy.  His Mama Bear taught him and he listens to his mother like all bearlings, children and adults should.
     P.S. Mike has no medical training, so take or leave his advice.  Your fate is in your paws/hands.  However, we must add that he likes to listen to hearts with his toy stethoscope, so that qualifies him for something. Oh, yes, that qualifies him as a stuffed toy.

Mike Says:
  • Don't touch your face.
  • Don't rub your eyes.
  • Hold your breath when someone coughs or sneezes.
  • If necessary, touch elbows in greeting when someone is ill. Don't shake hands.
  • Spray disinfectant on door knobs, inside and out.
  • Polish television remotes with fresh disinfectant wipes.
  • Polish all phones with fresh disinfectant wipes.
  • Wash those paws/hands.
  • Dry your hands with paper towels, not a community cloth towel.
  • Bundle up in layers to go out.
  • Wear a hat out in the cold.
  • Layer your clothing, inside, too, if your thermostat is set low to save electricity.
  • Don't touch your face or lips.  I know I wrote that already, but it's the number one thing Mama Bear says.
     By the way, Mike Bear is friends with our Martha Bear, ursine spokesbear for this blog and Gracious
Martha Bear sitting in her
official Bear Chair
wearing her official uniform
Jane Marie. Martha also makes cameo appearances in Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie series. 

The Goodbye Lie Series

    *CareStaf - Dennis and Peggy Brown opened CareStaf in 1991 and still own and operate the company.  Their commitment to high clinical standards has made CareStaf a recognized leader in supplemental staffing and home health care.  (Peggy Brown is my sister, as well, so  please permit me to brag about her and her wonderful hubby, Dennis.  - jmm)

    January 10, 2018

    May I Recommend?

        I had the most scrumptious potatoes at a pot luck luncheon.  I was told the recipe was on the back of the Simply Potatoes® bag located in the refrigerated section of the local grocery store.  And there it was. Since it called for chopped onions and I was short on time,  I bought their Potatoes O'Brien® version, with green pepper and onion included. All I can say is the result is YUMMO!

     ***Cheesy Hash Browns***

    You'll need:

    1 bag of Simply Potatoes O'Brien® or your own shredded potatoes with chopped onion
     3/4 cup sour cream
     1 regular can of cream of chicken soup- I used the healthy version.
    8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese - I used 2% sharp cheddar.
    1/4th cup melted butter- I  used Earth Balance organic spread.

    Mix all the ingredients.  Spread in a 9"x 11" pan or 2 quart casserole sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake for 60 minutes  at  350° F. Cut into squares and serve for Sunday dinner or anytime.  It would go wonderfully with eggs at breakfast, too.  Think I'll run by the store tonight and get the ingredients to make more!
         Enjoy,   Jane Marie

    January 3, 2018

    A Valentine Tree plus Goodbye Diaries-Miss Ella

         If you haven't already disposed of your live Christmas tree - WAIT.  If you have an artificial tree you haven't put away yet or if you have, get it out again. Why? Because you can easily create a Valentine Tree.  A friend suggested doing this since there was still plenty of life left in the living tree.  
         You can see in the photo how I've used a couple strings of red lights, red garland, pearl garland and cut out paper hearts of pink and white.  This took me all of thirty minutes.  The kids will love it, too, and they can help with cutting the hearts and decorating.  Add a faux bird or three (odd numbers look better), some lace, tie bows on a few of the branch tips, place an old Valentine card for sentimental reasons or new Valentines here and there, add a white sheet, an old Victorian-looking book and a heart shaped platter beneath the tree and a small doll or large bow at the top. There you have it.  Good, wholesome, all-American fun! 
         Hey, decorate a small outside tree, bush or potted plant with red, pink and white weather-resistant bows.  I figure it like this.  If you go to the effort of decorating, enjoy that effort and make it last until the dust settles over it and you're forced to dismantle the thing or redo it.
         What? Too soon after New Year's?  Maybe for some, but I'm always in the holiday spirit!
                                      Jane Marie

    Goodbye Lie Diaries
    Late 1800s
    Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

    Miss Ella writes: This is such a wonderful idea,
    Miss Ella

    Jane Marie.  I do not have your red lights, but have pretty patterned wrapping paper we can use for the hearts to decorate our potted palm in the parlor.  The Sisters of Saint Michael's church have given me the most beautiful handmade lace.  That can be our garland. I will not have to cut into it and shall use it for trim on a  christening gown for the family.  You know how we have babies now that our children are grown. The little ones might find some pink-hued small shells on the beach to hang as well.  The ideas are endless.  Thank you for always including our Dunnigan family.

    The Goodbye Lie historical romance series, available in e-book and paperback, features the Dunnigan family and all their antics, desires and dreams in late 1800 Amelia Island, Florida. Click on the link above for details.