Blueberry Monkey Bread

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Do your children have a favorite food? My son Aidyn absolutely LOVES blueberries. So, when blueberries were on sale at the grocery store last week, I grabbed a carton but I didn't really have a plan for them.

Once I got them home, we put them to very good use in this quick and easy breakfast recipe. I'm sure many of you have made monkey bread before. Our family tradition is to make Gorilla Bread (like Monkey Bread, but a little fancier) for Christmas morning breakfast, so the boys were already familiar with how to make it.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Blueberry Monkey Bread

Blueberry Monkey Bread


2 cans refrigerated biscuits (8 count)
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces. (You will have a total of 64 cut pieces.)
  3. Pour 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon into a gallon size ziploc bag. Working in batches, place the biscuit pieces in the bag and shake to coat with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Transfer the coated pieces to the greased bundt pan.
  4. Layer blueberries on top and in between the biscuit pieces in the bundt pan. Pour any remaining sugar mixture over the top of the biscuits and place any remaining blueberries on top.
  5. In a microwave safe cup or bowl, melt the butter. Add the remaining granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir to incorporate.
  6. Pour the butter mixture evenly over the biscuits and blueberries in the pan.
  7. Bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, until the top is browned and the biscuits in the center of the pan feel firm to the touch. 
  8. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then invert onto a large plate. The berries and syrup will be hot. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve warm.

Here's what it looks like before you bake it:

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Blueberry Monkey Bread


And then through the magic of your oven, it turns into this!

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Blueberry Monkey Bread

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Blueberry Monkey Bread


Notes:
If you have a blueberry lover in your family, I think they will love this recipe too! (And I'll tell you a secret - it's just as easy to make as regular Monkey Bread - it just looks like you spent a lot of time on it!) 

So what does that make this recipe? That's right! It makes it the perfect recipe to bring along to a breakfast or brunch, nobody would ever know that you didn't spend a whole lot of time making the syrup for this. You can keep that info all to yourself! Ha!

If you ARE interested in making a simple Blueberry Syrup for waffles, pancakes, French toast, etc., here's the go-to recipe for that. Approved by Aidyn and so simple, he's learned how to make it all by himself!

Red Beans and Rice

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

We had a surprise ice event earlier this week, and the weatherman is already predicting a few more snowstorms coming our way as early as next week.

February is definitely the time for snow in our area, although we've already had quite a few snows already this winter! Looks like our friend Punxsutawney Phil (if he can be encouraged to come out of his warm hidey hole, that is), is definitely going to be predicting MORE winter for us this year, I'm afraid.

But, I've got a really good recipe for you to try out during what is hopefully the last of these cold winter days. It is a simple stove top recipe for red beans and rice, and it's one that you might already have all of the ingredients for. (So, no need to run to the store if the weather is bad.)

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Vegetarian Red Beans & Rice

Red Beans & Rice

1 bag dry kidney beans, sorted and rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cups water
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried sage
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
4 cups water
2 cups white rice

  1. Soak beans in a large pot of water for 8 hours or overnight.
  2. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic, and celery in olive oil for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Rinse beans and transfer them to a large pot with 6 cups of water. Stir cooked vegetables into beans. 
  4. Season with bay leaves, cayenne pepper, thyme, sage, parsley, and Cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 1/2-3 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaves.
  5. For last 1/2 hour of cooking, you can smash some of the beans against the side of the pot if you want a thicker sauce
  6. Prepare the rice during the last 1/2 hour of cooking. In a saucepan, bring water and rice to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve beans over steamed white rice.

Notes: 

This recipe is vegetarian, but if you'd like to serve it with meat, you can add 1 pound of andouille sausage to the beans (sliced) the last 1/2 hour of cooking. Or, you could also serve this recipe with ham.

As written, this recipe is not too spicy. Both my boys enjoyed it. If you like spicy food, you could either increase the amount of cayenne pepper, or add a dash of hot sauce to your serving.

Hope you enjoy!

Super Thick Stash Busting Crochet Afghan

Thursday, January 4, 2018

This afghan was my second attempt at stash busting for 2017. You might remember my other big stash busting project - the Granny Square Scrap Afghan that I completed at the end of last January.

I was able to complete this super thick and cozy afghan in the span of one weekend (and then I proceeded to let it sit because I didn't want to weave in the ends). That's why I'm just now getting around to sharing it.

Look at how it came out!

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Super Thick Stash Busting Crochet Afghan


Because it's so thick, this scrap afghan certainly is coming in handy for the unusually cold temperatures we've been having this winter.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Super Thick Stash Busting Crochet Afghan

This afghan was crocheted holding 3 different strands of worsted weight yarn together, which is what makes it so cozy. Here's a closeup of some of the colors:

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Super Thick Stash Busting Crochet Afghan

Long time readers of the blog might recognize some of the colors from past projects I've posted:



For the entire afghan, I held together 1 variegated strand, 1 dark strand, and 1 light strand. The effect it created was very mermaid-y and ocean-y.

I used this free crochet pattern from A Lively Hope and added big 8 inch tassels to the corners. The finished afghan is 48" x 65" and is the perfect size for snuggling for the foreseeable future (or at least until temperatures get somewhere above freezing).

Our pup Smitty seems to enjoy it!

Tibetan Terrier in colorful crochet afghan

Fluffy dog in colorful crochet afghan

Cute fluffy dog in colorful crochet afghan


So, if you're looking to use up some of your extra scrap yarn and you'd like to create a super fast afghan, I would definitely recommend this project.

Happy crocheting!

This post contains affiliate links.

'Twas the Site by Three Sisters - 2017

Sunday, December 24, 2017


In our grand old tradition, The Harris Sisters present to you our 2017 year in review in the form of a 'Twas the Night Before Christmas parody.

We sure had a lot of fun this year, and we hope that you had fun reading along with us!

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Twas the Site by Three Sisters (Twas the Night Before Christmas 2017 Parody)


'Twas the Site by Three Sisters - 2017


Twas the site by three sisters, Two Thousand Seventeen
Oh how many things we've done and seen!
In January, we taught you how to declutter your drawers,
Your closets, your cabinets, bins, baskets, and more! 

And then in March, we brought you a big craze,
Of painting rocks in many different ways,
And then you carefully take them around,
And hide them in your city, village, suburb, or town.

By April, we were bringing you the scoop,
Of how to practice and learn to hula-hoop.
And for those who are a little more literary,

By July, we were headed to St. Simon's Island,
For our annual Girls' Weekend - sure to bring a smile and,
Some adventures, and laughs, and a photo or two,
What a great location to rendezvous!

And we would be completely remiss,
If we didn't mention this year's Total Solar Eclipse!
With eclipse glasses in hand and remaining our calmest,
We viewed the eclipse on the 21st of August.

"Now, Madonna! now, Cyndi Lauper! and Prince on MTV!
And Cabbage Patch Kids! And legwarmers! Acid wash jeans and E.T.!"
Back to our childhood, from the 1980's we dressed,
For our Halloween costumes - totally awesome and fresh! 

In 2018, we'll write ALL NEW blog posts,
And you'll thoroughly enjoy them. (We don't mean to boast.)
With the wink of an eye and typing the keys,
On the blog all new content will go with ease!

So as we wait for 2017's big sendoff,
We wanted to make sure we gave you our props,
So to all who have followed, shared, commented, and liked
"HARRIS CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!"

Merry Christmas from Donna, Deanna, and Misty!


Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Twas the Site by Three Sisters - 2017

Merry Christmas from the Family

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Here's another not-so-classic country Christmas tune that I've put into my regular rotation lately.  If you aren't already familiar with this one, let's just say it's pretty much the National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation in the song version.  It starts with family members getting drunk on champagne punch and homemade eggnog.  Incidentally, John and I have hosted several Christmas get-togethers lately, and those have been our drinks of choice too.  Hmmm, coincidence?  I plead the fifth.   


In any case, I like the version sung by Montgomery Gentry.  Here's the click to give it a listen. 



And here are the lyrics.  I think I pretty much have them memorized at this point.  :)

Mom got drunk and Dad got drunk
At our Christmas party
We were drinkin' champagne punch
And homemade eggnog
Little sister brought her new boyfriend
He was a Mexican
We didn't know what to think of him
Til he sang Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad

Brother Ken brought his kids with him
The three from his first wife Lynn
And the two identical twins
From his second wife Mary Nell
Of course he brought his new wife Kaye
Who talks all about AA
Chain smokin' while the stereo plays
Noel, Noel, The first Noel

Carve the turkey turn the ball game on

Mix Margaritas when the eggnog's gone
Send somebody to the Quik-Pak store
We need some ice and an extension cord
A can of bean dip and some Diet Rite
A box of pampers, some Marlboro Lights
Hallelujah everybody say cheese
Merry Christmas from the family

Fran and Rita drove from Harlingen
I can't remember how I'm kin to them
But when they tried to plug their motor home in
They blew our christmas lights
Cousin David knew just what went wrong
So we all waited on our front lawn
He threw the breaker and the lights came on
And we sang Silent Night
Oh Silent Night o' holy night

Carve the turkey turn the ballgame on
Mix Bloody Marys cause we all want one
Send somebody to the Stop 'n Go
We need some celery and a can of fake snow
A bag of lemons and some Diet Sprite
A box of midol, some Salem Lights
Hallelujah everybody say cheese
Merry Christmas from the family

Kung Pao Buckaroo Holiday

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

This is the point in the Christmas season where my taste in Christmas music turns to either the
true blue classic carols OR the tunes that are just completely outside-the-box.  This one falls into the latter category.  I have been enjoying this one lately and thought I would share.  It's good for a laugh and it features some of my favorite country crooners as the Kung Pao Buckaroos- George Jones, Little Jimmy Dickens, and Whispering Bill Anderson- the first two of whom are sadly no longer with us.  So it's especially good to hear them again, and especially in such a silly and light-hearted song.  


Take a listen here: 



And here are the lyrics for those who want to follow along...

And now the grand old opera theater proudly presents a special holiday edition of the Adventures of the Kung Pao Buckaroos

Well, it's a Kung Pao Buckaroo Holiday
Whatever you do watch what you say
If you're easily offended well that's okay
It's a completely non-offensive and politically correct holiday

We catch up with our three cowboys one cold December night huddled around a camp fire.

How 'bout we sing some holiday songs?
Yeah, hey George, you wanna lead us off?
Yeah, I got one.

Oh Chri-biip-mas tree oh Chri-biip-mas tree how lovely are thy branches...

Why am I getting bleeped again?
Haven't you heard guys? You can't say Chri-biip-mas you gotta say Holiday
I can't say Chri-biip-mas?
No, you might offend somebody.
Who is offended by Chri-biip-mas?
You know you might offend the biiiips and the biiiips and the atheists.
What?
Time to politically correct.

I'll lead this off.

On the first day of Chri-biip-mas my true love said to me...

Jimmy, are you listening?
What?
You can't say Chri-biip-mas.
Why not?
If you can say he-biiiip on the last record,
Why can't I say Chri-biip-mas?
I didn't make the rules.
Hey listen guys, it's not that difficult, all you gotta do is change Chri-biip-mas to Holiday.
You know, instead of saying white Chri-biip-mas, you say I'm dreaming of a whi-biiip Holiday.
Why did I get bleeped?
You've got to say Caucasian.
So I have to sing, I'm dreaming of a Caucasian holiday?
Sure, that won't offend anyone.

Well, it's a Kung Pao Buckaroo Holiday,
Whatever you do watch what you say
If you're easily offended well that's okay

Why do these people have to feel that way? How come they get offended so easily?

It's a completely non-offensive and politically correct holiday

I'm just trying to come up with a song here.
Let's sing one together, everybody ready? George?
Ready.
Bill you ready?
I'm ready.
Jimmy? Jimmy? Jimmy?
Okay!

We three kings of or-biiiiiiiiip are bearing gifts we've traveled real far....

Sorry boys, you have to say Asia now.
What?
Oh, come on just try.
I've got to get hyped up for this.

We three kings of Asia are....

That sounds like horse cr-biiiip
Oh lord, okay. How 'bout Little Drummer boy?
Nope, that offends short people.
And you can't say drummer 'cause that'll offend real musicians.

How 'bout little -hahaha- town of Bethlehem.
What's with all the short jokes?

Hey how 'bout we do Silent Night?
No, it offends people hard of hearin' and afraid of the dark.
What did he say about a shark?
Shark?

This happens every year.

Well, it's a Kung Pao Buckaroo Holiday,
Whatever you do watch what you say,
If you're easily offended well that's okay,
It's a completely non-offensive and politically correct holiday.

Ho! Ho! Ho!
No.
I can't say ho?
No, you might offend some... Women.
So basically, we can't sing anything?

I think that's a bunch of bull biiiip.
Softer, George, it's more effective.
I think that's a bunch of bull biiiip.
Wait just a dar-biip minute...
No, no, no..
You now what? I don't care who we offend, I'm gonna sing Chri-biip-mas carols if I wanna sing Chri-biip-mas carols.
Louder, Bill, it's more effective.
I don't care who we offend, I'm gonna sing Chri-biip-mas carols if I wanna sing Chri-biip-mas carols.
Me too.

We wish you a merry Chri-biip-mas, we wish you a merry Chri-biip-mas, we wish you a merry Chri-biip-mas, and a happy ne-biip year.

We can't say new; it'll offend the old folks.
And you better not offend them.

Us...

A Letter From Santa

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Last year, when my in-laws moved closer to our part of the world, they went through a lot of their belongings, as we tend to do when we are preparing for a big move, and my mother-in-law came across a wonderful letter that she received from Santa when she was a little girl.  She passed it along to me because she thought I would appreciate it.  And boy was she right!!


It was still tucked away inside it's original envelope, dated December 21, 1953, complete with the Santa Claus, IN postmark.  Her mother saved it for her for many years, and then she kept it for many years herself.  Now, I share it with you because it's too special not to. 


Here's a look at the special letter inside. Just look at the letterhead.  I love it!!


And here's the full letter.  (You can click on the image to view a larger photo.) 


Signed by Santa himself.  


The letter reads: 

Hello there- 

Just the other day, I got the nicest letter from you, and because it was so nice, I'm answering it myself.  My helpers are just finishing up the biggest and best bagful of surprises ever. 

It's a pretty big job making sure that everybody gets their share, but Mrs. Claus and I can do it because we've spent hundreds of years learning what boys and girls like to find underneath their trees Christmas morning. 

Remember, if you don't find every single thing on your list, it's just because some of it went to your friend down the street or in the next town or maybe even across the ocean. 

I'll be around Christmas Eve.  'Til then, here's a very Merry Christmas from -

Santa Claus





Oh how sweet and special and magical.  And oh to find a letter like this from Santa himself.  What a wonderful surprise that must have been.  

Creative parents have come up with all sorts of ways to do similar things over the years.  But I will close by sharing a little tip with you.  There is only one place in whole entire world that bears the Santa Claus postmark.  Santa Claus is in fact a real little town in Indiana.  (We have been there and seen it first hand.)  And there is a sure-fired way to receive a letter similar to this one with that special postmark on it.  

Just send your letter to Santa to: 

SANTA CLAUS
P.O. BOX 1
SANTA CLAUS, IN 47579


As long as your letter to Santa has been received by December 21, 2017, and a legible return address is included in the letter, the child will receive a reply.  And it's FREE!!

Merry Christmas, my friends!