Saturday, November 19, 2011


    Last night I was able to do something I've been dreaming about since I was a little girl.  I got to go to a Reba concert!  She has been my number one favorite country artist for as long as I can remember.  I have every season of her show (thanks to my wonderful older sister), and I know just about every one of her songs verbatim, so last night was a blast.  She did not disappoint.  Singing all of my favorites from "The Nights the Lights Went out in Georgia" to "On the Radio", and of course closing with "Fancy" she covered everything I was there to see, and she did it in Reba style :-)  And just as it should be, I left with a little less hearing and a lot less voice.
    Not only was Reba amazing, her opening acts were darn good too.  First on was Eden's Edge.  They're big hit right now is "Amen", and I'm thinking of putting their cd on my Christmas list this year after hearing it in person.  Next to perform was Steel Magnolia, and that girl has some lungs on her!  She was joined by James Otto about halfway through her set.  He wrote "Seen it in Color" and performed it last night along with "Just got Started Lovin' You".  Then came The Band Perry, and they were phenomenal.  I was up dancing at that point.  Their lead singer, Kimberly Perry, looked like she'd be a bunch of fun to hang out with for a night.  During Reba's set, she came out as the other half of the duet, "Does He Love You", and that was pretty cool.

Eden's Edge

My wonderful husband and I.

Steel Magnolia

Steel Magnolia and James Otto

The Band Perry

The Queen of Country herself.

Reba and Kimberly Perry singing "Does He Love You"

   All-in-all the night was a blast, and it will be a memory I will keep for a long time.  I was glad to be able to share the fun with my wonderful husband.  And although we all know he's an uncoordinated white boy, he got up and danced with me for a little bit too.  So I guess it's time to switch gears to another favorite famous lady: Paula Deen.

    As promised, I've been cooking my way through her Southern Cooking Bible, and I have two recipes I want to share.  Both were good, and I have requests to make each again.  The first is a taco salad.  Simple enough, right?  Well, I've never made one, but I'm sure glad I did.  Here's what you need:

Taco Salad

1 lb ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1 head iceberg lettuce
2 cups (8 oz) sharp cheddar cheese
2 plum tomatoes
1 Hass avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped
4 scallions, chopped
2 cups crumbled tortilla chips
1/3 cup salsa
1/3 cup sour cream
2 TBSP fresh lime juice

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add beef and cook, breaking it up with a fork, until browned, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in taco seasoning and 1/3 cup of water; simmer until the liquid is just about gone, 3-5 minutes.  In a large salad bowl, combine the beef, lettuce, 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar, tomatoes, avocado, and scallions.  Toss in 1 1/2 cups of the crumbled tortilla chips.  In a small bowl, whisk together the salsa, sour cream, and lime juice.  Pour over the salad and toss to combine.  Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar and 1/2 cup crumbled tortilla chips and serve.

*I couldn't find scallions, so I substituted green onions.  Also there's a note after this recipe in her book that says this salad is good cold or hot.  I disagree.  I had the leftovers cold for lunch the next day and it was NOT as good, but when it was hot, it was wonderful!*

      Thursday night I made Paula's Pasta with Creamy Primavera Sauce.  This was another scrum-diddly-yumpicious meal that I will be making again.

Here's what you need:

1 small head broccoli, 1/2 pound, cut into bite-sized florets
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced crosswise
1/3 cup frozen peas
1 lb penne pasta
1 TBSP olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 oz cream cheese, cut into bits
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 oz)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil .  Have a bowl of ice water at the ready.   Add the broccoli and carrot to the boiling water and cook until crisp tender, about 2 minutes.  Transfer vegetables with a slotted spoon to the ice water.  Add the zucchini and peas to the boiling water and cook about one minutes before transferring to the ice water.  Drain the vegetables and transfer to a serving bowl.  Bring the vegetable cooking water back to a boil.  Cook the penne pasta according to the package directions; drain well.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.  Add the tomatoes, and cook until just soft, 1-2 minutes.  Scrape the garlic and tomatoes into the bowl of the vegetables.  Return the skillet to the heat.  Add the cream and bring to a simmer.  Whisk in the cream cheese until smooth.  Whisk in 1/2 cup of parmesan, the salt, and the black pepper.  Add the pasta to the bowl of vegetables.  Pour the hot cream sauce over the mixture.  Stir in the basil and the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan and toss well.  Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

  Well I think that's enough for one night.  I've got to go help my hubby whip this house into shape before we leave Tuesday morning for Disney :-D


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  2. Well, except for the vegetables and whatnot, that pasta dish looks yummy! :-p

    Also, Reba is the one country act I would like to see in concert. It's not that I don't like country (you know I do), but you know how I am with crowds. I braved them for 3 Doors Down and Nickelback a few times and I was glad I did, but it's not something I would repreat. Unless the tickets were free. I'm too much of a cheapskate to pay for an event that I wouldn't fully enjoy regardless of how much I like the songs...

    I sound like an old fuddy-duddy. o_O I'm glad you enjoyed the concert!! I love the pictures!