Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I was very surprised when the florist delivered these flowers sent by some dear friends and they are the perfect touch for my Christmas table. Thank you so much David and Linda!
The Christmas tray below and the divided dish were Christmas gifts from some more friends. They are very pretty and I love the edges with the cut-out design. Thank you Don and Sally! They will be filled with goodies on Christmas!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tree Is Up.....Finally!

I usually put this tree up in the dining room as it is a slim one and works well there. I went in a small shop last year and they had a tree all decorated in these flowers. It was so pretty and had that Victorian look that I like so I ended up buying the assorted flowers. Even though my tree is a 7 1/2ft. slim tree, it took LOTS more of those flowers than I realized. I ended up going back to the store two more times to get more flowers! And the cost.......well I won't go there! LOL! They were on sale but still cost plenty so I may be using them for many years although they would look nice in a large arrangement also. I'm not sure how much more I will do this year. In years past I would put up alot of garland, etc. but I am getting less ambitious as the years go by!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Twenty More Days.......

until Christmas! I haven't even started my Christmas decorating yet, but thought I would post this tablesetting from last year to hopefully give me some incentive! I have had these dishes for years and I usually get them out and start using them right after Thanksgiving....however..this year I am having a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit. Maybe I need to get them out and start using them so my decorating can proceed! :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hope Everyone Had A Wonderful Thanksgiving.....

And are also getting lots of terrific shopping deals! I didn't brave the crowds this year. Hope to catch some good sales nearer Christmas.

This is my Thanksgiving placesetting. There was only my DH and myself and I invited a friend that had lost her husband last year. We had a nice day. I used the Pinzon chargers...I just love those...and the Gibson dishes from Big Lots. The maple leaf dishes were from Walmart last year. The pumpkin soup bowls were a gift from a friend in Rochester N.Y. I baked a ten pound turkey with all the trimmings, and today made some turkey stew with the rest of the meat. Nothing like a plain old turkey sandwich though....with lots of mayo and dried cranberries! :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Apple Pie A La Mode

From this........ to this!

I have been really craving for apple pie the past few days and have to admit that it has been a while since I have made one. I bought a pie a few weeks ago but they can't compare to homemade! This bag of apples is from Dowagiac, Michigan...I have no idea where it is....but they made a good pie! And yes, it looks like a "bad apple" in the bag but they were all good ones, it must have been water on the bag or maybe a shadow? We have two apple trees in our yard but the apples are not quite ready yet.
I used my maple leaf dishes that I bought at Walmart last year (and just about forgot I had them!) thinking they would go well with the 'fall' setting. I also have the same ones in green. I'll have to use them with my white dishes soon!
Pie Anyone?..................

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Who says brownie mix......

has to turn into brownies?? Use it to whip up this Mocha Fudge Cake...quick as a wink!

Tear open a box of double-fudge brownie mix and jazz it up with eggs and pecans. Pop it in the oven - then we're on to the frosting! Just throw some instant coffee granules into a bowl of whipping cream, turn on your mixer and presto! Now doesn't that take the cake? Mocha Fudge Cake
1 (22 oz.) pkg. double fudge brownie mix
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped pecan
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tbs. instant coffee granules
1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
Garnish- chocolate shavings
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 2 eight inch cake pans with cooking spray and line with wax paper.
Combine first four ingredients, stir in pecans. Spread in pans. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes and invert.
Combine whipping cream and coffee granules, beat at medium speed until foamy- gradually add powdered sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream between layers and top and sides of cake. Cover and chill 2 hours.
Garnish with chocolate shavings

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Great Bargain!

I bought these Gibson dishes recently at Big Lots. They are very popular out here in the blogging world! I had seen them on several blogs in their tablescapes and decided I had to have them too! I used them in the post below and decided to show the whole set. My local Big Lots had them for $35 and when they marked them at $20...I snapped them up!

I like these bowls and especially like the small one as it is nice for small amounts of ice cream, puddings, or sauces.

This is a nice size large bowl....

And a nice large platter...

I wasn't aware that the napkin rings and salt and pepper came with the set so was pleasantly surprised to find them. I had been looking for white napkin rings in stores....and here they were!

This is a service for 6, which is nice... plus all the accessories, for $20...What a deal! I love them!

Friday, August 14, 2009


It's too hot to do much cooking so tonight we had Pasta Primavera and blueberry muffins...

with some fresh squeezed lemonade....

and dessert was Raspberry Sherbet

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chocolate Strawberry Torte

The strawberries are still plentiful in our area and still quite tasty! I made this torte today, but really think it would be as good without the crust and just put in pretty glass bowls or parfait glasses. The recipe called for a round springform pan, but I used a heart shaped one.
Chocolate Strawberry Torte
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons butter (no substitutions), divided
2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 26 sqs.)
1/4 cup sugar
12 ozs. frozen whipped topping, thawed
8 oz. sour cream
1 pkg. (4 serving size) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 square (1 oz.) semisweet chocolate
Melt 1/2 cup butter. In a bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Press onto the bottom and 1-1/2 inches up the sides of a greased 9-inch springform pan; refrigerate.
In a mixing bowl, beat the whipped topping, sour cream and pudding mix until blended. Spread half over the crust. Arrange strawberries over the top. Spread with remaining filling. In a microwave, melt chocolate and remaining butter; stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature. Drizzle over filling. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Time to Celebrate the 4th. of July! Let The Fireworks Begin!

I had to laugh at myself with the title.......no, "I" won't be in charge of the fireworks! See post below ! :)

Hope we have nice weather for all of the festivities. We will be going to our local boat harbor Saturday night to watch the fireworks; they always have very pretty ones.

This bike is in front of our local florist. They always have it decorated so nice for the different seasons.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Strawberry Season is Here!

Here in northern Michigan the strawberries are ready for picking! They are so tasty and are so much better than the ones I have been buying at the grocery store. We used to go and pick enough to freeze for the winter but now just buy enough for a few shortcakes and other desserts such as the one I made today called "Berries On A Cloud".
Berries On A Cloud
One recipe White Chocolate Meringue Shells (recipe below)
6 ozs. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup light dairy sour cream
2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 of an 8oz. container frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed
1 oz. semisweet chocolate, cut up
1/2 tsp. shortening
3 to 4 cups hulled small strawberries
1/4 cup strawberry jelly
1 to 2 tsp. water
Prepare and bake meringue shells.
In mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla till smooth. Fold in thawed topping. Spread evenly in the meringue shells. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
In small heavy saucepan melt the semisweet chocolate with the shortening, cool. Drizzle over tops and sides of filled shells. Arrange berries, hulled end down, over cream cheese filling. In small pan, heat jelly just until melted. Add 1 to 2 tsps. water to thin. Drizzle over arranged berries. Makes 8 servings
Meringue Shells
Let 3 large eggs stand in mixing bowl for 30 minutes. Cover a baking sheet with plain brown paper or foil; draw eight 3-inch circles. Add 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar to egg whites. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed till soft peaks form (tips curl). Add 1 cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed till very stiff peaks form (tips stand straight up) and sugar is almost dissolved. Fold in 1 oz. of grated white chocolate (about 6 tbs.). Spread or pipe meringue over circles on baking sheet and shape into shells. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn oven off, let meringues dry in oven with door closed for at least an hour(do not open door). Peel off paper and store in airtight container.
I did it a little different from the recipe as I just mashed up a few berries to make them go a little farther. Some sliced ones on the edge would have been nice also, along with some fresh mint.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Let There Be White!

This is what happens if you don't watch your candles closely!!! LOL!

The chargers are "Country Crafts" in Florentine White by Pinzon. The dishes are from Roscher's "Juliet" collection.
I had two small vases of white flowers at each end of the table along with the center arrangement and made sure there wasn't anything near the candle flames. (or so I thought) I had went to check on my DH as he has been falling more lately, and when I returned to the dining room, the small arrangement that was on the left side of tall candle holder was blazing away! ( I wanted the table to "pop", but not quite that way!) My first response was to let out a scream...which I did....then quickly blew it out! What happened was the candle in the tall holder melted on the side and it dripped down on the other arrangement which must have started the fire. Funny, though, there was a couple of flower petals on the pillar candle....almost like the flower exploded and some landed up on the candle! Strange!!!! After I had time to settle down, I really got nervous thinking what might have been. The tablecloth could have caught on fire easily if any of the petals had dropped down!
It is kind of funny now, but certainly not at the time! Next time I will NOT leave the room! LOL!
Please visit Cusine Kathleen's blog for a link to all of the beautiful entries. You can find it here

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Chicken with Cherry Sauce

This was a new recipe that I have been wanting to try and today I finally made it. It is a "keeper"!

Chicken with Cherry Sauce

1 lb. fresh or frozen pitted sweet cherries
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 tbs. lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. ground ginger or 2 tsp. minced fresh gingerroot
1 broiler/fryer chicken (3-4 lbs.), cut up
3 tbs. butter or margarine

Set aside 3/4 cup cherries. In blender, combine orange juice and remaining cherries; cover and process until smooth. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, lemon juice, garlic and ginger; set aside
In large skillet over medium heat, brown chicken on all sides in butter. Place chicken skin side down in an ungreased 13x9x2 baking dish. Top with cherry sauce. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes; turn chicken. Top with reserved cherries. Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes longer or until chicken pieces run clear.

Since I was in the cherry mode, I also made the "Tart Cherry Meringue Dessert" pictured on the sidebar. Next will be one of our favorites.... rhubarb!

Hope Everyone Is Enjoying the Memorial Day Weekend!

The weather has been super here. Could be a little warmer but I am glad it isn't raining! I should be shopping aound for some flowers for my window boxes, maybe do that tomorrow. I wish a truck full of flowers would pull in our driveway like they showed on the Oprah show once. They went to an apartment complex and filled up all the window boxes and planters.....courtesy of the 'Oprah Show'. It was a show about "Making a Difference" or something similar to that. They did a beautiful job with the window boxes and planters, they all looked so colorful and lush. BUT, in 'real life' it is up to "us" to get the job done! Just took a quick peek.. and no truck yet...but it's nice to dream! :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A perfect choice to go with my tea break......

I was doing some painting in the cupboards today and when I finished with that, I decided to make this strusel cake. It tasted sooo good with my cup of tea! :) When serving this to company, a second piece is always the "norm"! Mmmm, wonder how I managed to make that little circle with the frosting??
Cinnamon Strusel Coffeecake
1 pkg. Duncan Hines Delux II Yellow Cake Mix
1 pkg. (4 serving size) Vanilla Instant Pudding
2 tbs. oil
1 1/3 cups water
2 eggs- or use egg whites or egg substitute
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbs. butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, blend cake mix, water, and eggs. Beat 2 minutes with mixer on med. speed. Spread 3/4 of batter evenly in tube pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Combine the strusel ingredients, sprinkle 2/3 cup of mixture over the batter. Spread remaining batter over and top with remaining strusel. Bake 40-50 minutes at 375 degrees until done. Cool in pan 15 -20 minutes remove and glaze top.
Blend 3/4 cup powdered sugar with 1 tbs (or as needed ) of milk. Drizzle over cake.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Mother's Day Tribute

My Mom passed away on July 4th., 2006 at the age of 96. She used to tell us kids stories about when she was growing up. Of course we would always kid her with "What, you REALLY didn't have televisions and computers as a kid?" She told of her first job as school teacher before she was married(in her early twenties I think), when she had to ride a horse to the school. I just can not picture her riding a horse! We finally, after many talks about doing it, took her back to the school where she had her first teaching job. It was still there and the outside looked about the same as her picture she had but it was now made into a summer cabin. We took pictures of her there. I think she really enjoyed seeing that school again and I am so glad she was able to go back to see it. I used to go with her sometimes to school when I was quite young, maybe not even in school yet. I remember her having to get the fire going in an old wood stove. I was young so I don't remember alot about it.....just that it was fun!
She was a breast cancer survivor and I am so proud of the way she dealt with that. A strong lady!
She loved to cook and was a wonderful baker. Her Lemon Meringue Pie with its 'mile high' meringue was so very good. It was the recipe off the box, but she seemed to make it "special"!

One year for my husband's birthday, she wrote a poem on the back of his card. I have since laminated it to preserve it. Thought I would share it.

The day you wed my daughter
You became my other son
And now I want to thank you
For a thoughtful thing you've done
You gave to her a cadillac
To cruise around the town
It's a symbol of distinction
And also of renown
I gave to you a jewel
With whom you share your life
I'm the doting mother
And she your lovely wife
I used to pat her little head
And now you hold her hand
In love I raised a little girl
And your the lucky man!

Happy Mother's Day Mom!!! We miss you!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The time has been flying by and I can't believe it has been so long since I last posted!

Our weather is finally getting warmer and today was such a nice day that after giving DH some lunch, we jumped in the car and headed out for a nice country drive. I took along my camera ...just in case... and did take a couple of pictures. I love these digital cameras and would like to take a photography class some day!
As we were driving through one little town, I spotted the steeple of this charming little church, so turned around and went back to find it. It is such a neat church that I had to take a picture of it. It makes you want to go in and sit a spell! :)
The picture of the beach is not far from where we live. A lot of people were out walking today, just enjoying the nice weather.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Finally, it is here! I was beginning to wonder if we would ever see it. It sure took its time it seems. I was in the mood for something bright and spring looking for the table so used my yellow dishes. The placemats, birds, and the container for the yellow tulips are all sage green. The true color doesn't show in this picture, they look more blue here. The yellow dishes were purchased thirty years ago and I have never tired of them. I did pack them away for a year or so to make room for some dishes I had bought at a garage sale that I wanted to start using; but soon sold them and started using these yellow ones again. The color just seems to be uplifting. I have different sets of dishes but use these as everyday dishes.........just never tire of the yellow even though I don't have much yellow in the house except for these dishes.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

May the leprechauns be near you

To spread luck along your way

And may all the Irish angels

Smile upon you this St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My New Dish Storage...

I went shopping today at my local Joann Fabric store and found these cute containers and immediately thought of extra storage for dishes! They had wicker baskets on sale for half off but none were large enough to store chargers, etc. I plan on replacing the red ribbon with burgundy, or maybe lime green for accent. They will go on top of the refrigerator so I wanted something decorative but not super fancy. They will work for now. :) The smaller one could hold all sorts of things, such as napkin rings, extra knife rests, napkins, and silverware. It isn't round so it isn't quite large enough for dessert plates. I should have no trouble filling them up!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Today, our high was 40 degrees so just maybe we will start seeing a warm up!! Our yard is a skating rink though. SPRING....will you PLEASE hurry??

Sunday, March 1, 2009

February......can't say I'm sorry to see you go.....

and looking forward to having March whiz by too. It came in like a lamb though so does that mean going out like a lion?
I was so happy to finally receive this spring wreath yesterday that I ordered a month or so ago, and due to being out of stock, was on backorder. I love it, and as soon as I get some new wallpaper for my entrance/office, it will be going on the wall! I have bead board part way up the wall so I won't need much paper. Is wallpaper even "in" now? I like it though and only have it in that one room. Paper is getting hard to find in my area. Our paint store is the only one that has it. Now to find some that I really like!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Just sitting here enjoying............

this Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffeecake with a cup of tea. It is very good! It was a lazy type of day here so decided to do some baking. Had a friend drop in for a surprise visit and she enjoyed the cake also. You can find the recipe here

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Coming Soon.....St. Patrick's Day

It won't be long now and it will be St. Patrick's Day and time for me to make some Irish soda bread. Hopefully the days will keep flying by and spring will be here! Nice to think about; but meanwhile hope you all enjoy St. Patrick's day and be sure and wear your green!

Friday, February 13, 2009


This is a table setting from last Valentines Day. We are going out for dinner this year so used this photo. I will add more Valentine pictures to the side images. Hope everyone enjoys this special day!