December 26, 2011

Brie Popover Bites - a 4 year Blog Anniversary Party!



There are people and events in our life that we just will never forget.  One person who meant the very world to me, my Grandmother aka "Nanny", Mae Iris Whitton, is one person that my heart still aches to see on a daily basis - and it is so hard to believe she has been physically gone from my life for so long already....like my Aunt Marlene said on facebook on Christmas morning, that "there is not much to one year.  Not much to 20 years either now that I think about it."  That is true, but when it comes to a lost loved one, it can feel like yesterday when you lost them and your heart still aches just as hard as it did when you lost them no matter how long it has been and that feeling never goes away.
Pies Nanny would have been proud of!
My grandmother is one reason that I go on with my life the way that I do.  I strive to be like her - non judgmental, loving, and kind.  I think about what she would think or what she would say about something I have accomplished or agonized over.  I wish so much that she were here with me today.  She loved to bake cookies, pies, and cakes and would love to see all the desserts I have made and posted about on my blog if she were with us still.  The first dessert I ever made was a rhubarb pie and Nanny just raved and raved over the pie I had made.  :o)  Our last years together we enjoyed baking and decorating sugar cookies and making stuffed teddy bears for a special charity that I was very involved with.  I haven't made a teddy bear since she's been gone and I can't bake sugar cookies ever without thinking of her.
Nanny & Me
When I started this blog 4 years ago, I started it with the thought that it would be a "live diary" for my children and future grandchildren to have to remember me by.  My grandmother would write in a journal every day of her life. She wrote what the temperature was every morning when she got up and would write about what she did and who she saw that day in particular. I always loved to read through her journal when I would visit so I could see what she had been doing and who she had seen - and she gladly would let me. When Nanny passed away her story from her point of view had ended.
A few years later I decided that where her story had ended, I felt mine must begin. I wanted my children to be able to go back and always read what I had written. My happy stories, my sad stories, my thoughts, my memories and my recipes, but most of all, my love for them and how great it is. My blog title may be Grumpy's Honeybunch, but I am Justin & Christopher's mom first. They are my babies no matter how old they become and will always be in my heart and this story is for them.

I haven't celebrated my blog anniversary with a giveaway before, but tomorrow (December 27th), being the 4th anniversary of my blog I decided that I wanted to celebrate and involve several special people who have also become very special in my heart and if it weren't for blogging, we would have never met.  Those who were able have joined me in this celebration and have contributed a party appetizer bite to celebrate on their blog.  Please visit the link there to see their celebration post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway (details at the end of this post).

However, there is one person that I must tell you about first: Linda aka Grannyloohoo.  Author of  For Goodness Sake and Talking Stash.  She is the first and foremost person in the world of food that I had contact with whom I had never met.  We met through allrecipes.com and I became a member of a forum that she belonged to that were foodies and members of allrecipes.com.  Granny quickly became someone special in my heart.  There was something about her that drew me to her from the get go.  Even Grumpy knows who I mean when I say "Grannyloohoo".  She's the one he was talking about when he said I should make something "scrumpdillyumptious" like she did after I showed him a photo of peach pie she had made!  Linda and I have exchanged emails several times and I have grown to feel like she is family to me.  If I had the opportunity to meet one person from my foodie world and cook a meal AND dessert for - it would be Grannyloohoo.  I would also wrap my arms around her and feel like she is my family.  I only hope she knows just how dear she is to my heart and how happy I am that we met.  She has been there every step of the way over the last 4 years...when Justin was married, when my sons lost their uncle in a tragic accident, when I had to have neck surgery, when Grumpy was laid off and went back to school, right up to today - she is there for me to turn to when I need to talk about something I can't talk to everyone about.  She is caring and beautiful inside and out!  I guess if I were to have a bucket list, meeting Grannyloohoo would be at the very top.


There are many other bloggers out there that I met in the beginning of days that I still keep in touch with and feel a special closeness to.  However, if it weren't for Granny who started the whole ball rolling by introducing me to a world of online foodies, I would never have met any of the rest of them.  Thank you to all of you who participated and to those who were unable to participate - I love you all and am so happy to have you as a special part of my foodie life!
Now for the giveaway!  My favorite way to eat is appetizer/small plate style so I asked my friends if they would join in by creating an appetizer to post about and collect comments to help me with the giveaway celebration.  There is a link collection at the end of this post that will take you to each blogger's post where you can see what appetizer they made for me and leave a comment for an entry in the giveaway.  


Details and how to enter the giveaway - Good Luck!
  1. Leave a comment on this blog post telling me who is your inspiration in life and what special part that person plays in your life.
  2. Visit the blog links that will take you to my blogging buddies page where they have joined in the celebration party and leave a comment on their post.  Each comment will count as 1 entry.  
  3. Giveaway will end on January 7th at 5 PM EST.
  4. Winner will be announced on January 8th via blog post on The Life & Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch.
  5. Winner will be chosen via random drawing - drawing to be done by Grumpy.
  6. Value of giftdcard will be $50 and can be ONE of the choices listed below:
    • Sears
    • Kohls
    • Amazon
    • Target
    • Wal-mart
    • Chili's
    • Uno's
    • Marshalls/TJMax
    • Bed, Bath & Beyond
    • Macaroni Grill
    • Olive Garden
    • Starbucks
    • Barnes & Noble

Mini Popovers Brie Bites with Seckel Pears

Non-stick cooking spray
2 beaten eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, use a wire whisk to beat eggs, milk, and oil until combined.  Add flour and salt; beat until smooth.

Fill the prepared cups half full with batter.  Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven, slit tops of popover and place a small chunk of brie cheese inside slit.  Place back in the oven and bake 5 minutes more.  Serve with pears (or fruit of your choice).  

Makes 24 mini popovers or 12 regular (muffin sized) popovers.

34 comments:

Pegasuslegend said...

What an inspiration you are. One of my fondest memories is my moms, grandmoms and Aunts for making traditions many years to still live on in their memories by all of us kids cooking. Reading this made me smile, over and over. I am thrilled to say Happy 4th Birthday to you. What a fun post, those pies look magnificient. I just wished that through participating here I can just get a little taste too (smile).... thanks for a great 4 years and looking forward to many many more...

Winniewinkle said...

I am so glad I was looking at North Country Now .com when I looked at your blog for the first time.You write beautifully and make my life that much better with your sweetness and delicious recipes.Thank you Shelby! My first memories of cooking are with my grandmother,Martha Stevens,she loved to have me cook with her.I made cooking my life work.I am now retired but still a foodie at heart.This last June I was diagnosed with diabetes and have been collecting recipes and converting recipes to fit my new diet.All is good.Thanks again "grumpyshoneybunch!"

Coleen said...

Happy 4th Anniversary Shelby!! This IS quite a daily diary of our lives, come to think about it. The most inspirational person in my life is my picky-picky husband. He works hard every day to cope with aspergers syndrome and his ever positive "can-do" attitude shines through. All through our 46 years together, he has been my biggest cheerleader.

Peggy Clyde said...

My greatest inspiration to me is also my grandma. She lived a life of service, always thinking of others first. I used to help her make soap outside in her #3 tub. She also bottled her fruit and venison outside in another tub. She was a wonderful cook. I am trying to be the kind of grandma she was. Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes.

Lizzy Do said...

My mom is my cooking inspiration...we grew up in a small town in Iowa...but somehow she tried exotic dishes and found elusive ingredients like filo and orange flower water. She's now in a memory unit...but would have had a blast cooking with me. She was very artistic, and I would have loved her help with photography and food styling.

Happy anniversary!!!

Di said...

Happy blogiversary, Shelby! Thanks for inviting me to join you in your celebration. Here's to four more wonderful years (or more!). =)

Cristine said...

Happy blogiversary!!! I am so thankful to have "met" you! Thanks for including me in your celebration!

Barbara Bakes said...

Congratulations on four fabulous years! Wishing you many, many more. Thanks for hosting the fun giveaway and bloghop, and asking me to participate. My mom is my inspiration. She was a wonderful, loving person who always made everyone feel special.

Katrina said...

Four years down, and don't ever stop! This is too much fun. "Meeting" people all over the world who have the same feelings about food, family and fun! Happy Blogiversary! Thanks for being so kind and for letting me be in on the fun!

Bri Fong said...

happy blogiversary! my mom is a great inspiration.. shes always a great cook and unconditionally loving and supportive...

i love brie and im excited to try your bites!!

Megan's Cookin' said...

Happy birthday Shelby. 4 years is quite an accomplishment and hope for many many more years. It's been quite fun keeping up with you and the family! Thank you for the peek into your life and the many great recipes! My mom planted the seed of the love to cook but my sister in law has really inspired me in later years.

Leslie said...

WOw...4 years...time sure does fly! Happy Anniversary to you...and many more to come

elizabeth said...

Happy Anniversary! I am relatively new to your blog - and love it, and all your inspiration.
I think my greatest inspiration was a friend - 10 years older, when I was in my 20's...she raved about my culinary genius (she was a true friend - I was just learning.) -- and she encouraged and made me think I could cook or bake any thing I set my mind to.

Mari @ Mari's Cakes said...

4 years!! Happy Bloggerversary! Cheers to many more blogging years and sharing your great recipes!

Amy said...

Happy Blog Anniversary! :) What a lovely recipe.

My Grandmother inspires me the most, both in the kitchen and in life. I learn to be a strong and courageous woman like her and dare to try news things in the kitchen. I only wish my Grandma is living closer to me. I really miss her.

Thanks for this wonderful giveaway.

amy [at] utry [dot] it

Desi said...

Happy 4 years! To many more!!! My inspiration is my mama. I want to be as good a mother and wife as she has been. She is selfless. Love her so. She is everything in my life and I can't imagine life without her!

Deb Darling said...

Happy blog anniversary. I love your blog and look forward to every new post. I sure loved this post and understand why you were inspired by your grandma. My inspiration was my mom....she's been gone 10 years and sometimes I wish I could just talk with her one more time. I started baking with her at the age of three, and then learning how to cook everything else as I got older. Every thing I am or hope to be I learned from my angel mother. I smile too, because if I love you...I cook for you, just as she did for me, my brothers and her friends and family. Thanks again.

scrambledhenfruit said...

Congratulations on your four year blogaversary! I came over from Barbara Bakes to find your lovely blog, and your kind giveaway. My inspiration is my mom, who never ceases to amaze me with her energy and enthusiasm! :)

Patsyk said...

Happy 4 years of blogging, Shelby! I always have enjoyed your posts! Glad we have met virtually, and one day hope to meet you in person and bake together!

Stephanie said...

That is a beautiful post. The inspiration in my life is my father. He is always calm and cool; no problem is too big for him. He is smart, fair and extremely giving. I just hope I can emulate half of his even temperment and caring soul in my own life.

MindyW said...

This is a fun idea for a virtual party!

My inspiration is my Dad. He is so kind, smart, hard-working, and just such a cool guy. I hope to become more and more like him.

Thanks

Reeni said...

Happy 4 year Anniversary! I will always remember that you were one of the very first to read and comment on my blog and how much it meant to me at the time. Thank-you for sharing your story - your boys must be extremely proud. Have another great year!

katie said...

My inspiration is my mom. My mom taught me how to cook when I was little. When she passed a few years back I was inspired to change careers and become a chef in her honor.

Katy ~ said...

Shelby, congratulations and best wishes for your blog and continuing success. You have do so much for those of us who blog and for those of us who love cooking, and for me personally. Thank you!!

Pear and cheese has to be one of my all time flavor combinations. These look FABULOUS!

Russell at Chasing Delicious said...

What a beautiful, inspirational post. And these little bites look scrumptious! Happy blog anniversary!

Shanbanan said...

Congrats on the blogoversary!

My mother is my inspiration. She can do pretty much anything she sets her mind to...work, raise kids, keep house, cook, bake, whatev. I just wish I could do it half so well.

grace said...

sweet post! my inspiration is my mom, who took care of me and my brothers on her own when my dad died early on. she's my rock!

Pegasuslegend said...

Happy NEW YEAR!!!

Carolina Little said...

Love this post! My inspiration on a daily basis is my grandparents. From them, I leaned the important of hard work, kindness, and connecting with people. Happy New Year!

Nancy said...

This is such a touching post. My parents divorced when I was two and my maternal grandparents became my babysitters when my mom went back to work. They were such a wonderful influence on me. My grandma was extremely hard working with a tendency to get a little worked up over someone/something. Grandpa, an equally hard working but mellow man, would just calmly say, "Now mother," and immediately she would take a breath.

They were in their 70's when I started coming to their house daily and we would go visiting all of their friends. Grandma would pack a cheese sandwich, a jar of milk, a few homemade sliced pickles, and a sugar cookie for the long trip to see her sisters-in-law (an hour away lol).

Your grandma sounds so much like mine. My grandma would write in her journal everyday with the temperature and where they were going, who they gave garden items to and what they ended up getting in return.

Thanks for the post, Shelby. It was just what I needed.

Lori said...

Happy New Year Shelby!

I am not sure if I did everything okay. If I didn't let me know. We were out of town and I had every intention of getting it all done before I left. The best laid plans...

Congrats on your blogoversary! I love how much you love your Grandmother and what honor you have given her!

susies1955 said...

Happy New Year Shelby and congratulations on your 4 years blogging.
My Mom is/was my inspiration. She was/is so crafty and I wasn't until she became like a vegetable due to Parkinson's. I remember her eyes getting big when I showed her my first quilt top. No words of course but she said a lot.
I still see in my minds eye the great things she made. She made holidays so cool.
Susie
susies@twcny.rr.com

annie said...

Congratulations on your blog's 4 year anniversary. I, also, had a close relationship with my maternal grandmother. She babysat us when my mother returned to work. She taught us to crochet (which none of the grandchildren are good at!) and taught us about good food. She passed away last year at the age of 99, six months short of celebrating her 100th birthday. She is dearly missed.

Carmen said...

My best friend is the most inspirational. She shows me how to be a good mother and wife and seems to always have it together (although I know she doesn't)

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