Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Music Blog-Labor Day Edition

Welcome to the Friday Music Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

With the NASCAR Sprint Cup action at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Labor Day Weekend there are several topics that fill my mind for this musical post.

First, Atlanta’s nickname is “Hotlanta” so songs that contain the word “hot” in the title, lyric, or band/artist name is the first focus.

As it is Labor Day Weekend work is on my mind. Well, quite frankly, my work is always on my mind! So, list songs that contain the word “work” in the title lyric, or band/artist name next.

Finally, in honor of the “Fakesgiving” I’m hosting, an annual event that coincides with Labor Day Weekend in my home, songs that decree fakeness are also included – spurned lovers, lying, and truly being fake are all included. An example might be Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” with the line, “I see the way you're acting like you’re somebody else gets me frustrated.”

Be sure to check back to this post throughout the day and weekend as new selections are added. In fact, perusing Chief 187™Chatter is a delightful way to spend some “free time”. The recipes on the Tantalizing Thursday posts are accessible and delicious. The Simple Joys posts are uplifting no matter what is happening in your life. The Freestyle Wednesday pieces are fun, sexy, sweet, and entertaining. And the Monday Media Blog (Monday Movie Blog) will provide great ideas for movies, television programming and even video games!

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Chief 187™Chatter had a very successful summer. The numbers in terms of pageviews continued to swell throughout which is a testament to the loyalty of my readership. Whereas summer is typically a time when less people regularly visit “fun” sites, you were consistently there to read, comment, and share my work and for that I am continuously grateful.

As Chief 187™Chatter nears its second anniversary of September 13, 2012, hitting the 100,000 pageview mark is well in reach. In fact, we may blow that number out of the water long before. Regardless, as I’ve always stated because it is true, I would write these posts for just me and my family. Having you all here to share them with is the “frosting on the cake” of life for me. Thank you to each and every one of you.

Please join me on Monday as I begin another week of all new, fresh, and original posts on Chief 187™Chatter.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tantalizing Thursday-Atlanta/Labor Day Edition

Welcome to Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187™Chatter.

The short track racing at Bristol Motor Speedway has moved on to the faster speeds and the greater distance of Atlanta Motor Speedway. Drivers arrive in “Hotlanta” for the penultimate race before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase is officially under way.

Atlanta is known for their state-of-the-art cuisine as well as their southern delicacies. It is a bastion of good taste and the home of comfort foods. I certainly enjoyed rounding up the following recipes that would be ideal for watching racing, entertaining over Labor Day Weekend, and any time!

Let’s face it, over Labor Day Weekend people love to grill. As the unofficial end of summer it is people’s last big hurrah for entertaining by the grill. So, along with your hamburgers and hot dogs, flank steaks and London broils, chicken kabobs and grilled fish, add some of these side dishes and desserts to the menu to make it a decidedly Georgian fare.

Here are some of the great recipes I found.

Georgia Cracker Salad
Recipe found on
"This is a traditional Southern salad. Best if eaten immediately upon preparing."


1 (4 ounce) packet saltine crackers
1 large tomato, chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 hard-cooked egg, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Coarsely crumble the saltines into a medium bowl. Mix in the tomato, onions and mayonnaise. Stir in the hard-cooked egg, and season with salt and pepper.

Georgians are fiercely proud of their peaches and all they can do with them. This is a great way to preserve the season’s best peaches for use throughout the year.

Georgia Spiced Peaches
Recipe found on
Provided By: Donna
"This is an old, old recipe from relatives in Georgia."


19 pounds firm ripe peaches
7 pounds white sugar
2 cups distilled white vinegar
1 quart water
24 whole cloves
3 tablespoons crushed cinnamon stick


Peel peaches and set aside. In a large pot over medium high heat, boil sugar, vinegar and water until the syrup is moderately thick.
Add cloves, cinnamon and peaches. Bring to boil stirring occasionally until the peaches can be pierced to the pit with a fork.
Fill sterilized canning jars with peaches. Continue boiling syrup until heavy and add to peaches to cover.
In a large stock pot, pour water half way to top with boiling water. Using a holder, carefully lower jars into pot. Leave a 2-inch space between jars. Add more boiling water to cover them, about 2 inches above the tops. Bring to a boil and cover, processing for 35 minutes. Remove jars from pot. Put jars on a wood or cloth surface, several inches apart and allow to cool. Jars will be sealed.

If you are a gardener with a bumper crop of squash or someone gifted you their surplus of this versatile vegetable, here is a terrific use for it all!

Summer Squash and Onion Cheesy Casserole
Recipe found on
Provided By: Coleman Bell
"My Great Great Grandmother used to make this when I was young, and it has always been a favorite of my Atlanta and Alabama relatives! I learned how to make it from my Aunt Edith Russell, while visiting her in Atlanta in the mid-1990s!"


1 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
3 summer squash, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
3 zucchini, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
salt and ground black pepper to taste
3 onions, chopped
1 pound shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese
1/2 pound shredded Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk, divided


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x9-inch baking dish with about 1/2 tablespoon of butter.
Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, and cook the summer squash and zucchini until the squash pieces begin to brown, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and spread into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with about 1/3 of the chopped onions.
Mix together the white Cheddar cheese and yellow Cheddar cheese in a bowl until thoroughly combined, and sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the cheese mixture over the onions. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of the sweetened condensed milk. Repeat sprinkling cheese, onions, and condensed milk twice more, then top with remaining cheese mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven until the casserole is golden brown and the onions are tender, about 30 minutes.

Once again, peaches are the pride and joy of Georgia so they get a lot of play in recipes. Here is a classic summertime treat that can be enjoyed year round!

Georgia Peach Homemade Ice Cream
Recipe found on
Provided By: NANCED35
"This is the best Peach Ice Cream you'll ever eat!!!"


2 1/2 pounds fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup white sugar
1 pint half-and-half cream
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk, or as needed


Puree peaches with the sugar and half-and-half in batches in a blender or food processor.
In a gallon ice cream freezer container, mix together the peach mixture, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Pour in enough whole milk to fill the container to the fill line, about 2 cups.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions to freeze the ice cream.

Finally a recipe to try now and file away for the holidays! My family celebrates a “Fakesgiving”, turkey and all of the trimmings with close friends and family over Labor Day Weekend as a farewell to summer and a welcome of the new school year. It’s a fabulous way to enjoy Thanksgiving without the stresses of the actual holiday season. I highly recommend you host a “Fakesgiving”! I’m saving this recipe to try for sure!

Sweet Potato Pie I
Recipe found on
Provided By: COUGAAR
"This recipe was shared with me by a special friend in Atlanta, Ga. It has long been a favorite, and everyone who tastes it says it is the best they have ever had."


1 (1 pound) sweet potato
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust


Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin.
Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.

So here is a fun collection of recipes to flesh out the mainstays in your repertoire. They all connect back to Georgia and are a great way to “armchair travel” to the race from Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend.

Please join me tomorrow for the week ending and always interactive Friday Music Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Daimler & My Birthday Weekend

The Daimler Dart SP250 entered our life together in 2001. I knew it existed and it was on my husband’s radar for years before but it didn’t enter our home until that year. My husband was graduating college with a B.S. in computer science. The owner of the Daimler had finally decided his fun was done with the car and my husband was the first name he called to offer it up for sale.

As good couples do before spending a big chunk of money we discussed the purchase. We weighed the pros and cons of owning a sports car/race car and debated the cost versus the amount of joy and opportunity (for fun) it could bring. Obviously we decided to buy the car. We proudly featured it in our Christmas photo card of 2001 like it was the “newest addition to the family”!

Initially we took the Daimler to car shows locally. Being a rare English sports car the Daimler was like the red-headed bastard step-child at the events we took her to that first year. Meanwhile, my husband, nonplussed, began race-prepping the car knowing in 2002 he was going to take the Vintage Sports Car Club of America’s (VSCCA) driving school and embark on an amateur racecar driving career. From here on out I will refer to my husband as “Racer”.

By the time driving school started in spring 2002 I was pregnant with our first child. By the fall of that year, after my husband had a couple of races under his belt, we took our newborn with us. Racer was and is a very engaged father and I have a picture of him changing our son’s diaper while wearing his firesuit. The baby boy became a part of our world. The Daimler played the role of both fun racecar and still street-legal fun car. But I rarely got an opportunity to ride in her.

A second son followed four years later and by then racing occurred about five to six times per year in places like Lime Rock, CT, Pittsburgh, PA for the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, Watkins Glen, NY, and Pocono Raceway, PA. We enjoyed taking our family racing and never thought of slowing down.

But then I was expecting another child a few years later and the economy started to tank. Races disappeared from our schedule in order to conserve money and provide for our expanding family. One race, an event that Racer chairs at Pocono, stays on the calendar, but that is all that is left to his racing itinerary.

Racer takes the Daimler to a Friday night meeting, a gathering of dear friends. He may take the children for individual rides to blow out the cobwebs occasionally. But we rarely get to go anywhere together in the car.

During my Birthday Weekend we lucked into two opportunities to use the Daimler because my parents were able to be with our children. The first was on the night of my actual birthday. My parents took our children to the Drive-In Restaurant in my dad’s Studebaker Lark and Racer took me in the Daimler to the same place. We had a blast!

Later in the weekend while my children enjoyed a night at their grandparents home, Racer and I woke early and drove to the Poconos to have breakfast in our new favorite breakfast nook, the Chat and Chew! We, of course, took the Daimler!

What’s so great about this is not plainly evident. The Daimler is our sanctuary, a place where we are a couple, period. We are alone to feel the wind whip through our hair (no windshield anymore, just two tiny Brookland windscreens), to view nature all around us, and to get lost in the drone of the engine. We are left alone to speak our minds, think private thoughts, and luxuriate in holding hands.

Some may wonder why we hang on to a racecar that rarely gets used, is old and is difficult to find parts for, and doesn’t fit our family. It’s a no-brainer for me. One day the kids will be off to their own lives, and Racer and I will get back to the business of amateur racing and escapes on the open road as an intrepid couple who love one another and the Daimler.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

Having a birthday, and a milestone one at that, is usually a time for reflection… for me.

As I surveyed the last four decades I have been on this great Earth, I saw a panoramic view of the memories I hold dear.

Much to my bewilderment they were not really the milestone events that stuck out – graduations, formal events, etc. – but the incidentals that happened along the way. The times when life just happened, unplanned, unstructured, and unhampered by me were the ones that often rose to the forefront of my memories. In other words, my Simple Joys floated to the top.

Each week I learn more and more about myself since writing Simple Joys. I learn which parts of my day really do act as the glue that binds my life together. It certainly is not worry, panic, or stress. On the contrary, it is laughter, peace, and love that keep me going; my Simple Joys.

And now, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.

Mani/Pedi. My mother, to her credit and my endless appreciation, loves to spoil me. She does so at what I believe is a reasonable level. She doesn’t give in to my every whim or buy me new cars and vacation homes, but she does take care of me in a nurturing way.

The day before my Friday birthday my mom set up an appointment at her nail spa for me to get a manicure and pedicure and then she paid for the luxury. It is a very rare treat for me, but one I do so enjoy.

The best part of the experience was two-fold; the tech who worked on me was attentive and sweet but quiet so I could truly rest and relax and the chair I sat in during the 40 minute pedicure had a massage mat. I was in a blissful state having my back worked on in that fashion!

Having a mani/pedi at such a wonderful location while having my back massaged on my mom’s dime was a gaggle of Simple Joys in one 75 minute part of my week!

FB friends. It used to be I couldn’t wait for my birthday because I could open my presents – new clothes, a houseware or two, maybe a new piece of jewelry. But, since Facebook has entered my life I find that one of the most wonderful and exciting parts of my birthday is reading the numerous kind, funny, sweet, entertaining, and thoughtful birthday greetings my friends offer me on my “wall”.

It took me checking in on the site all day and into the next morning to respond to them all (like individual thank you notes because that’s just the kind of girl I am) but I enjoyed every second of it and am very grateful for everyone who took a moment (or longer) to send me a birthday greeting.

Having hundreds of engaged FB friends sending me birthday messages is a Simple Joy that I embrace and am thankful.

No cake. Each year I’m asked what kind of cake I would like for my birthday. Many years my mom has made a delicious cake, sometimes I would make my own, and others one would be purchased at the grocery store bakery. But, truth be told, I don’t love cake.

So, this year, when I chose my birthday dinner – we went to my favorite drive-in that is really a dine-in-only restaurant now – I made sure it had reasonable prices and everyone could find a dessert they enjoyed there.

I always regret eating the cake after my birthday dinner and this year, being 40 and knowing my own mind, I just didn’t want to have or eat cake. So, we didn’t. I know, to some I sound weird, but it has been a Simple Joy for me to not have to have cake in my house for my birthday.

Red Door perfume. Before Christmas 2011 a friend suggested I try a scent. When my brother needed a gift idea for me I gave him the name of the perfume and asked for the impossibly tiny travel-sized package as I wasn’t sure if I’d like it.

The perfume is Red Door by Elizabeth Arden and I adore it. I wore it all throughout my birthday week and truly enjoyed the scent. Finding a “signature scent” is a Simple Joy!

Greatest Gift. The greatest gift I received for my 40th birthday was not wrapped in paper, stuffed in an envelope or found anywhere else but my home. It took me an extra day to really figure it out, but I did plainly.

It took my daughter, still two (I feel she’s been two for years), to wreak havoc on the night of my birthday to show me the light. She got out of her room after she was tucked in for the night and snuck into my master bedroom and found my nail polish supply. She proceeded to paint her fingernails, toe nails, hands, legs, and my husband’s bedside table before we discovered what she’d been up to in our absence. I was incensed! No, seriously! This was not her first offense with this type of action.

I cleaned the child up, had my husband put her to bed – it was very late – and began cleaning up the rest of my possessions stained in the candy-apple-red polish she had chosen to decorate herself and my things. And I was fuming…

So I flung open her bedroom door to yell at her about “change in behavior”, “can’t do these things anymore”, “old enough to know better” and other phrases that fell out of my over-tired and over-wrought mouth. She cowered and cried and I, having exhausted myself, calmed down and told her, “no matter how angry I am, I still love you very much.” She calmed down, I kissed her gently and tucked her back into bed for the night.

The next morning I woke up and realized the ”disconnect” was with me. The child clearly needed more attention and was finding it any way possible.

The greatest gift was realizing, before it was too late, that my priorities were out of whack and that my children were it… the best gifts life had given me in all of my 40 years. My Simple Joy is recognizing that and embracing that there is still opportunity to find balance.

This week’s list of Simple Joys was literally endless. It is always a blessing to write Simple Joys and especially on a week such as the one I just experienced!

One friend drove three hours just to hang out with me for 18 hours. Another friend wrote me – the writer- the 40 reasons she was glad I was her friend! And my core group of friends met me for dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant and helped me celebrate. And, of course, my sons and I worked on a Lego set leftover from my oldest boy's birthday the week before.

But each week, whether there is cause for celebration or not, is filled with Simple Joys. And for that I am eternally grateful.

Please join me tomorrow as I wax poetic on an entirely different topic on Freestyle Wednesday on Chief 187™Chatter.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Media Blog-Summer Winds Down

Welcome to the Monday Media Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

Summer is unofficially winding down. Many children across the country have either returned to or will shortly be returning to school and their regular routines.

Where I live Labor Day is the demarcation of the actual end of summer vacation – school starts just a couple of days after the Monday holiday.

As my children and I try to fit the last hurrahs of summer into the next 10 days, I am inspired to make the most of it all.

With that in mind the focus of this week’s Monday Media Blog is the best of movies set in summer, especially but not restricted to the end of the season. The movies can come from any genre and any decade, the only criterion is they are set during summer.

Be sure to give a list of the actors involved in the film and provide a synopsis or review of the movie.

Please join me tomorrow for the always uplifting and ever-popular Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Irwin Tools Night Race Recap by Chief 187™

Racing at Bristol has returned to the product the fans have been clamoring for lo these last many years. Short-track racing on a Saturday night in summer with cars beatin’ and bangin’, tempers flarin’, and constant action led to a decisively exciting finale when Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag to win the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Hamlin, posting his third win of the season with his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Fed Ex Toyota Camry, was clearly thrilled with his victory.

“It's Bristol -- I don't know what to say, man," Hamlin said from his cockpit as he crossed the finish line. "I'm so damn happy."

Hamlin passed a desperate-for-a-win Carl Edwards to take the lead late in the race and fended off Jimmie Johnson with a 1.103 second margin.

It was Hamlin’s career Cup win and the record 200th win for the No. 11 car.

Jeff Gordon, Johnson’s teammate, took third place and inched closer to the Wild Card spot he is so desperate to clinch. Brian Vickers, one of the three drivers sharing a ride in the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing car, brought home a solid fourth. Marcos Ambrose, the Aussie who won the road race at Watkins Glen and took fifth in Michigan last weekend, followed in fifth.

Kyle Busch, another driver trying for the coveted Wild Card slot, filed a sixth place finish. Clint Bowyer, MWR driver, finished seventh. Joey Logano, winner of the Nationwide race the night before, led a lot of the race, but settled for an eighth. Kasey Kahne, Johnson and Gordon’s teammate at HMS, placed ninth. Paul Menard rounded out the top-10 and was the highest finisher for the Richard Childress Racing stable.

Greg Biffle is atop the leader board for the NASCAR Sprint Cup points again. He is 11 points ahead of the number two spot held by Johnson who bettered his position by two this week.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. remained in third place another week. These three drivers solidified their spots in the Chase at the conclusion of Sunday’s race from Bristol.

Matt Kenseth, who had a melee with Tony Stewart during the race, fell two places to fourth. Martin Truex Jr. picked up one spot to occupy fifth.

Truex Jr.’s teammate Bowyer follows him in sixth place, a movement of one position up over last week. Defending race champion Brad Keselowski had a disappointing night that led to his 30th place finish in the race and a drop of two places to seventh . Race winner Hamlin picked up two spots to move up to eighth. Kevin Harvick fell one position to ninth. And Stewart, ferociously angry with Kenseth after their entanglement during the race at Bristol, fell one place to tenth.

Kahne and Kyle Busch currently hold the Wild Card slots. Gordon is a mere 16 points behind Busch and focused on getting into the Chase.

After short track racing at Bristol, the action returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway for 1.5-mile racing. Cup racing will be held on Sunday, September 2nd of Labor Day weekend with the broadcast beginning at 6:30p EST on ESPN.

Be sure to return to this site after the race to read my AdvoCare 500 Race Recap.

Candice Smith is a writer, columnist, and blogger as well as creator of the widely popular Chief 187™ Chatter. Her works have been featured under the pen name Chief 187™ around the Internet including a syndicated post within the Indie Republic Network where she has conducted in-depth interviews with musicians, Mixed Martial Artists, and other personalities as well as waxes poetic on myriad topics. Candice Smith is currently writing her second season of her original column “Why I Love NASCAR” by Chief 187™ on Skirts and Scuffs. Additionally, another of her NASCAR columns can be found at She also contributes articles and NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Recaps weekly at She began her Internet writing career at where she honed her blogging skills and reawakened her love of NASCAR. Candice Smith can be heard on air four times a week co-hosting motorsports programs on Internet radio as well as her own racing show “Drafting the Circuits” on She can be reached via Twitter by following @Chief187s. To find out more please visit

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Music Blog-Chief 187™'s 40th Birthday Edition

Welcome to the Friday Music Blog on Chief 187™Chatter.

If you haven’t been reading all week – and why would that be the case?! – then you didn’t know that today is my 40th birthday! If you have been reading all week – and let’s face it, you all do that, right?! – then you know it is!

As the Freestyle Wednesday “Love: Part VIII” proved, I do adore music. So, having the Friday Music Blog fall on my actual birthday provides a ton of fun for me.

There’s much to do so let’s get started!

First, list your favorite songs with the appropriate artists included from the year 1972.

Next, list the songs that have the name “Candi” or “Candy” in them in some form or fashion and include the artist.

Lastly, since I’m turning “40” and that makes me think of numbers, list any song that has a number in it – in the title, lyric, or even band/artist name.

If you haven’t recently, check out my website for all I do around the Internet. It has been updated just this week and features all of my projects and sites I work and have a presence. It is a one-stop spot for all things Chief 187™. Why not “bookmark” it for ease?

It is a true honor and a complete pleasure to have spent another one of my Birthday Weeks – this time for my milestone 40th Birthday – with you all. I am so thrilled by your company and revel in your loyal readership! Your daily visits are the best gift I can imagine – THANK YOU!!!

Enjoy your weekend and visit here often to read or reread some of your favorite posts!

Please join me again on Monday as I begin another week of all new, fresh, and original works on Chief 187™Chatter.