Wednesday, November 23, 2011
1 (29 ounce) Can Pumpkin Puree
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1 (12 ounce) Can Evaporated Milk
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Cloves
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Box Betty Crocker Spice Cake Mix
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
1 Cup Melted Butter
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, white sugar and milk. Stir in cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Pour into pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over the pumpkin filling. Sprinkle pecans over the cake mix. Drizzle melted butter over all.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Allow to cool.
4. Cut and serve with whipped cream.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
This autumn table was so fun to decorate. I made an autumn leaves table topper to lay in a diamond shape upon a gold damask tablecloth. The tables were then adorned with brown square dishes atop basket weave chargers. The smaller salad-sized square plates in a variety of fall colors topped the brown plates. The leave bowls were perfect for pumpkins soup.
Let me know what works for you. I always love to hear from creative people!
Until next time~
Thursday, September 15, 2011
We started our luncheon with Jerk Marinated and Broiled Shrimp
This was followed by Amazing Creamy Lobster Bisque (See Separate Blog Entry For Recipe)
Janice made the Chicken Salad Sandwiches on Croissants...Don't they look just like crabs!
Mary made a delicious Tropical Cole Slaw with pineapple, papaya and lemon yogurt!
Watermelon Fishes were cut with a cookie cutter.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I tried to duplicate this recipe minus the puff pastry. I believe I came very close. I found the basics from this recipe when I googled "Creamy Lobster Bisque". It was adapted from a recipe by Wilma Scott on AllRecipes.com and has been saved by over 9,750+ people!
Everyone at my luncheon loved it. I hope you do too. You will have to ignore your diet for this one! And...it is not cheap.
Amazing Creamy Lobster Bisque for 8
4 slices of onion, chopped 4 tablespoons butter
3-4 tablespoons flour
2 cans Campbell's Chicken Stock
2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Cup Half & Half
1 Cup Milk
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons Emeril Legasse's Creole Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
6 small lobster tails; boiled, shelled and shredded
Saute onions in 2 tablespoons of butter. Add one of the cans of chicken stock. Puree this in a blender. Set aside. Melt the other two tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan. Add 3-4 Tablespoons flour whisking constantly.
In a large pot place, the other can of chicken stock, heavy whipping cream, half and half, and milk.
Stir in the flour/butter mixture and whisk constantly.
Add all of the other ingredients except the lobster. Let this simmer and stir occasionally. Turn off heat. Let this cool. Place in refrigerator 1 hour or overnight to allow flavors to permeate.
Just before serving, reheat, add most of the lobster meat. This way the lobster isn't too tough. I saved about six tablespoons of lobster to place on top of the soup just before serving. Listen for the wows!
This would easily serve 12 if serving half cups full.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
We will be featuring lots of "grape and vine" themed foods this year at our many gatherings. These lemon cupcakes were frosted with a lemon icing and blue berries along with colored leaf and vine frosting designs. Aren't they DELIGHTFUL?!!
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
I think even Martha Stewart would be proud ;-)
I often wrap napkins in Autumn floral sprays.
So perfect for Autumn tables.
the colors, the weather, Thanksgiving celebrations with family, and just dining with friends.
Here's my favorite Pumpkin Soup Recipe. Everyone I have ever served this to LOVES it! I obtained this recipe from my good friends Bob & Mary Carlson. Bob can make ANYTHING taste good! (Not that this recipe needed any help!)
1/4 chopped onion
2 Tablespoons Butter
Add 1/2 Cup Applesauce
Add one can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 can of Water
1/2 can of Half & Half
1/2 can of Pumpkin Puree
1 Tablespoon Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Curry Powder
Dash of Nutmeg & Pepper
Cook until hot. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or whatever other garnish you like, such as parsley leaves, cutout pieces of cheese in an autumn shape, or for Christmas, two cranberries and a mint leaf.
Hope your Autumn dining is DELIGHTFUL!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Many of my friends navigate email and possibly a few programs, but find it challenging to post comments on a blog. Therefore, to assist, I'd like to tell you how you can do it because I sooooooo love to read and memorialize your feedback!
When you go to a blog, you first read what the blogger has posted. Posts appear in last dated one posted first in order. If you access the blog by web version vs. mobile version, there are indexes on the side where previous posts are listed that you may also access by title under "Blog Archive".
Once you read the post, you will see a choice at the bottom of the post that says "0 to any number of comments" ie, the number of comments that have been made. Click on that place, no matter what the number is, and a box will open up. It will say: "Post A Comment". Type what you wish to say in that box. :-)
Once you are finished click on "Post Comment". It may ask you how you want to be identified. Click on that box and choose what applies. Your comment will then be posted for all to see!
Additionally, there is statement near that box that says, "Follow by email". If you enter your email address there, you will automatically receive my blog posts as soon as I enter them.
One last thing, I would really appreciate it if you would sign up to be a "Follower" on my blog if you have not already done so. You can accomplish that by going to the first page of my blog. Under the picture of John and me, is a place that says "Followers" where you can enter your email address and your profile picture (if you have one) will show up). If you do not see these pictures, another place you can sign up to be a follower is at the top left-hand bar where it says "Follow". Again, simply click on that word and enter your email address.
I hope this is helpful and I hope to see you as a ""commenter" about relevant things and that you will sign up to be a "follower" real soon if you haven't already. Have a DELIGHTFUL day!
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Well, I'm not the only one my age who watches! I have several friends my age that watch this show religiously "pun intended". While we were a tad disappointed with the latest season featuring Ashley and JP. We held on any way--always hoping it would get better!! I must say we all agreed with the man she picked; however, we really felt sorry for Ben's feelings, but we are confident he can find someone who is much better suited for him.
Thanks to a friend of Patty's, a group of us were lucky enough to obtain tickets to the final show, called "The Bachelorette, After The Rose". You can see four of us within the first two minutes, full screen!!
My very creative friend, Patty, invited those of us who watched all season, and texted each other during each program, to her home for our own "After The Rose" Ceremony. I was so amused when I got out of my car and quickly noticed red rose pedals strewn across the walkway accompanied by burning votive candles. Upon entering, there were more crimson rose petals lavished on her entryway floor into the dining area. The dining table was sprinkled with more roses, candles, and a framed invitation for each of us from Jesus, that read, "Our name, will you accept this rose? Jesus, The Rose of Sharon
Each of us brought an appetizer. Patty made the MOST AMAZING DESSERT, my favorite of hers, Chocolate Cake with Raspberries and Raspberry Mousse and Puree!! Two of our friends hadn't seen the last episode, so we had to keep mum until they learned who she picked. After that we watched the episode we attended the taping of. It was such a fun evening. I can't tell you how much we laughed! I thought we would have to send out for a case of Depends!
After the show was over Patty told us she was having her own Rose Ceremony and proceeded to ask each of us if we would be her friends FOREVER. Each of us received a loving speech from Patty and the invitation to accept her rose. It was so creatively performed, loving, and amazingly comical! I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard.
Upon leaving, she presented each of us with our own personally wrapped chocolate rose. All items purchased at the Dollar Tree. I hope you enjoy the pictures I have featured of the evening. Perhaps you can plan a delightful rose ceremony of your own next season ;-). If you do, I'd love to hear about it.
Fashioned from a framed picture, embellished with sea shells, rocks, and a message in a bottle!
Made with 1 teaspoon blue sugar rocks (for more bubbles), 2 tablespoons Blue Curacao
& Brut Sparkling Wine.
Marinated in Caribbean Jerk Sauce, wrapped in bacon & grilled. Yummy!
Napkins create a splash of water look, accompanied by sea rock look place mats, sea water and rock appetizer plates and the table is adorned with many treasures of the sea.
Dining, Dining Over The Ocean Blue
Pacific Coast Welcome
"Ocean Splash" Champagne Cooler
“Where The Girls Are...The Boys Will Follow”
Cabernet & Chardonnay, Or...
Beach Bum Beer ;-)
(If The Flip Flop Fits…)
Artichoke “Dip In The Sea” & Chips
Grilled Caribbean Shrimp
(Jerk Marinated & Bacon Wrapped)
“Where The Fish Are Biting” Chowder
“Beach Blanket” Crescent Rolls
Sea Shell & Sand Dollar Butter Dabs
“Treasures of the Sea” Shell Pasta Salad
Baja Broiled Mexican Sea Bass
Grilled Green Beans
(AKA Landlubber Seaweed Delight)
"Wipe Out" Chocolate Cake
With Raspberry White Chocolate Starfish
“See You In September” Hazelnut Cream Coffee
At first, I thought I would actually spread sand on the tablecloth. But I was rescued from that messy idea when I watched a segment on the news from Home Depot. A decorator demonstrated how he used a paint drop cloth as a tablecloth! I was at Home Depot the very next day to purchase one of those inexpensive cloths! They come in all sizes, and some even have a plastic back. After washing it, I achieved the perfect sand effect. it was a little wrinkled and it looked perfect!
While at Home Depot, I wandered into the floor tile section and saw that I could buy vinyl floor tiles for 99 cents each. :-) I decided the easiest, and cheapest way to solve the underside challenge was to simply buy another tile for the other side and stick them together. This worked like magic. They can be used indoors or outdoors. They clean up easily, and most of all, achieved the rock look I wanted.
Moving on, I stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond and discovered these small square appetizer plates. The colors were ideal as I knew I had blue water glasses (purchased from World Market) at home, and wanted to use sea blue napkins (also from World Market) to make this table pop. Now, I was really performing the "Snoopy Dance" as it was really starting to come together.
A field trip to Pottery Barn was now warranted ;-) for sea shells and glass candle holders where I could insert sand and the shells. Across from PB was. Z Gallery, where I discovered sea shell napkin rings! At this point, I didn't care how much they cost, I had to have them. Yes, I could have come up with another idea, but this was so beautiful to me.
Another trip to Home Goods and now I was seeing things I hadn't before. I saw this beautiful aqua blue bowl with an underside of silver. With its geometric designs it looked awesome, and it was only $10! While at the check-out stand, I noticed these sparkling aqua blue rocks and shells for $4. Had to have those too to mix with the other more monochromatic shells and rocks. There were enough left over to fill the bottom of the bowl and place another white pillar candle within and balance the other side of my table.
I noticed a great pinkish starfish the first day I was at Home Goods and decided to buy it on this trip. When I returned, it was gone! You must buy what you want the day you see it there, or it is gone. So instead I found these little resin sea shell and coral picture stands for $5 and purchased them. I decided to place welcoming words on the prongs and give my dinner guests something to talk about.
I learned a lot about the menu I planned: first the good: the Sparkling Wine Coolers with Blue Curacao and blue sugar crystals were a big hit and started the evening off with a big splash! The artichoke dip and Caribbean Shrimp were also favorites. The chocolate cake was scrumptious!
What was disappointing: The pasta salad didn't turn out as wonderful as I'd hoped. :- / The idea was to provide a bit of coolness to a warm summer evening. The problem was the pasta shells were ginormous and the chopped vegetables within were lost at sea. It didn't seem to be a favorite. I never claim to be a gourmet cook, but I failed miserably at the grilled green beans. Although I cooked them according to the directions, they weren't fully cooked, therefore, they were a disappointment. :-( Thankfully....the Mexican Sea Bass with Mango Salsa was absolutely delicious. All in all, we had a delightful evening!
I must state here and now, that what is MORE IMPORTANT than the menu, table settings, sea shells, driftwood, and all the other elements is what made this dinner "SEE" Worthy! Seeing people I love, giving them delightful surprises they wouldn't find elsewhere, engaging in fun conversation, and just spending time together is what makes all of this worthwhile! Without people you care about and enjoy, any dinner is just dinner. This was DINING!
Saturday, August 6, 2011
You can purchase 12" by 12" floor tiles at Home Depot for 99 cents each. The ones I chose have the word "Moroccan" in their name. Remove the backing and paste them together so that they are reversible. Be very careful as they are sticky and you can't undo then after you stick them together.
I wanted a sea rock effect, so these are what I choose. I used the same tile for the backing but you could choose another pattern and have two unique sets of eight, or however many you want. (I believe these are vinyl) They look a hundred times better than shown here. Look for my Sea Worthy Dinner coming in a few weeks!
Monday, July 11, 2011
Napkins are generally three-ply. Remove the two back layers and trim the top layer with the design on it to the size of the height and width of the candle, leaving about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch overlay. Next, cut a piece of household wax paper that is the same size as the napkin you just trimmed. Wrap the napkin and wax paper around the candle with the wax paper on top. Secure it at the bottom with a thick rubber band about an inch above the bottom. Hold it tightly in place and blow it with a heat gun all around, top to bottom. You will see the design melt into the candle like magic!
After the top is securely attached to the candle, remove the rubber band at the bottom and blow it all around with the heat gun so that the entire napkin and wax paper is melted into the candle.You can do this with virtually any napkin to customize your candles to your paper plates or other decor.
Another method that can be used would be to stamp a rubber stamp design onto a piece of paper, whatever colors you like. Cut around the design and melt a piece of wax paper on top of that and you have a completely different look. Awesome!! I would love to hear what you think about this project! Fill me in.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I have wondered many times what I could do to make toilet paper rolls beautiful! We throw so many of these away, what if we could USE them? That is how this creation came into existence!
These are drawer sachets or candy/favor holders! I present them at Teas and parties tucking a few wrapped butter mints within. They are always a hit! I listen for the oohs, aahs, and wows. If I hear them, I know have been successful in delighting my guests.
For the ecru roll, I chose a satin fabric, gold trims, pearl strands, and lace. I did use fabric glue to attach the lace and trims as you see. Once finished and attached to roll with glue, cut a measure of toile that is longer than your fabric that is attached to the roll. Insert potpourri within the the toile, and insert this within the roll. Tie both ends with cord or ribbon and attach any other embellishments such a flowers, ribbons, or buttons as shown. To insert candy, cut a measure of toile that is longer than your fabric-covered roll and insert wrapped butter mints (or whatever wrapped treat you decide upon). Tie both ends and place on a plate or place setting, or give as favors when your guests depart. You can say, "It was so sweet having you here", or "Your friendship is like the fragrance of Christ to me". You could also attach a note to that effect with the roll.
The burgundy rolls make a nice looking set for a friends drawers. The are tied with French ribbon and enhanced with artificial roses. These are not expensive, can be fashioned from scraps and you are doing something nice for the environment. I especially love the ones I made of brocade one year. Wish I could show you those. Perhaps I'll make more soon. I would love to know if you use toilet paper rolls or any other throw away type things to make your world more beautiful. Please share. Thanks!
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Don't think you can get away with baking only two layers instead of three. You will have to bake the cakes longer and they will overcook on the tops, bottoms and sides.
Dory’s Italian Cream Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1 stick butter
1/2 cup Crisco
2 cups sugar
Add 5 egg yolks
2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
Add flour mix alternately to cream mix with
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
Fold in 1 cup angel flake coconut and
5 beaten egg whites.
Pour into three well-greased and floured (9") cake pans
Bake at 350 for 25-30 min.
Icing for cake:
Add together and mix well:
1 stick margarine 1 large stick of cream cheese (Don't use low fat)
I did for the one above. It tasted good, but you could see the separation in the layers.
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Grind up 1 cup nuts (pecans) and sprinkle on top of cake.
Serve with Italian Spumoni ice cream.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
1. Buy at least 12 inches more than you think you will need!
2. Burlap comes in different colors. Choose the one that best suits your goals.
3. Burlap is itchy and make a bit of a mess.
Lay your burlap fabric out on a table and look at it closely. You want to pull a thread that insures you will have at least an inch of fringe after you have pulled the thread out to where you want your table cloth to start. In the photo below, it looks like it is much longer than an inch because it is. At one end, it is shorter than the other so this is demonstrating how far you may have to go to find that point.
When you have the spot chosen that works for you, pull one of the threads all the way out.
but be sure to leave at least one inch of fringe that you will trim.
See how crooked the edges are before you pull the strings?
This is why you have to buy more than you think you will need.
Trim to the length you desire the fringe to be.
Repeat this process on the sides and opposite end of the tablecloth.