Saturday, February 27, 2010

CJ's Birthday Cake Recipe

Sorry I missed Foodie Friday.  I guess because I was so busy getting CJ's birthday cake served and the candles lit, I didn't get any pictures of his cake.  We did take a video to capture the moment. 
The recipe is Cookies 'n Creme Brownies.  He loves chocolate and his favorite ice cream is cookies n cream so when I saw this recipe, I knew he would love it.  I used the Spring Oreos because the yellow gave a punch of color along with the birthday candles.  If you want to try a recipe that is yummy and fast check out the recipe at

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tablescape Thursday French/Italian Inspired

My grandson, CJ, turned 10 years old today.  So I wanted to prepare a meal just for him.  The first food item that comes to my mind is.......garlic.  I know that sounds crazy but he wants it on bread, corn, spaghetti, and even waffles among other things.  I guess it could be worse but my daughter has often thought "What must his teachers think when he goes every day to school smelling like garlic".  She is a teacher so I guess that is natural to think about.  Well, the food had to be Italian....spaghetti, green salad, jello, corn, and of course garlic sourdough french bread.

The tablescape started with his favorite food.....bread.  He would always say "Grammy, please make me salt toast".  In the picture above, the bread is fake because his bread has to be sliced and toasted in the oven with ...what else?...garlic. The cutting board is from Pottery Barn and I use it for decoration and for actual use. 

The dome covered cheese plate is the vintage one I purchased at Vintage la Rue that I posted about last month.  This cheese is also fake but looks like Swiss cheese so I included a cheese knife I purchased from Pottery Barn.  It came in a set of four knives with different cheeses inscribed on the handle.  I couldn't get a good picture of the inscription  but you can see it at

 The yellow bamboo placemats were purchased at Ross Dress for Less.  I chose the stoneware because it has a French window scene in different colors and the chargers or dinner plates are in yellow, green, pink, and blue.  The mugs are large enough to serve for cold drinks as well as hot.  I love using the set because it is so versatile.  I recently purchased the French black chateau flatware online at     I just checked and they still have it for sale under Provence Kitchen.

 I hope to post his birthday cake on Foodie Friday.

Happy 10th Birthday CJ, Grammy loves you lots!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Foodie Friday Beefy Vegetable Soup

I mentioned in the Tablescape Thursday post that I wanted to share the recipe for the inspiration for the tablescape.  I'm for easy so anything that I can put in a crockpot helps me organize my day.


3 - 4 lbs of Beef Stew Meat
32 oz Swanson Beef Broth
1/2  chopped Yellow Onion
6  Peeled and diced Potatoes
12 Peeled and diced Baby-Cut Carrots
2 Large Stalks Celery cut
3 - 10 oz Cans of original Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies) undrained
1 cup of water
Salt and Pepper to taste

In skillet, brown stew meat (I sometimes use ground beef).  While meat is browning, add remaining ingredients in crockpot and then include browned meat.   Cover and cook on high setting for 5 hours or low setting  for 8 hours.  Serves about 6 servings.

I served with toasted sourdough garlic bread and cornbread muffins.

Not very pretty but tasty!

I'm linking to  for Foodie Friday if you want to see more recipes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tablescape Thursday - Vintage Dixie Dogwood

This tablescape started out with the placemats I purchased at Anthopologie in the clearance section.  Unfortunately they only had four so if anyone finds more pleeeeeease let me know.

The napkin rings and napkins were purchased at thrift stores.  The black coiled napkin ring goes with many styles of settings.

The plates are made by Fiesta and I used black and lemongrass.  It goes well with the vintage Dixie Dogwood bowls.  The curved-handle iron spoons were purchased on-line. 

Many times the food that I am serving dictates the tablescape.  We were having Beefy Vegetable Soup.  I used artificial veggies but you could use the real thing.  The pitcher that the celery stalks and leeks are standing in is a Dixie Dogwood juice pitcher.  I put black popcorn I purchased at an Amish store in West Virginia in the bottom so they would stand up.  I, also, put the popcorn  for the votives in the Dixie Dogwood juice glasses.  The tablescape is laying on a 1940's cloth napkin.  Since the vintage dishes are from the 40-50's the colors are perfect.

The inspiration for this tablescape, Beefy Vegetable Soup recipe, may be shared on Foodie Friday so check back.

I  love to hear from you so post a comment below and let me know you were visiting.
Also, visit more tablescapes at .

Wordless Wednesday - Bakery

 Click here for more posts.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Visit to Snowy Philadelphia

I took a time out from blogging for a visit with my son and daughter-in-law who live in Philadelphia.  We were fortunate to not get stranded at the airport yet we got to enjoy the snow covered area. 

The next day when the sun came out and the guys had shoveled the snow, I ventured out to the front sidewalk for this picture of our son and daughter-in-law's place.

Since the roads had been cleared we ventured out to shop at King of Prussia mall.

I loved the flowers on the backdrop of this store window.

Even though I don't have many occasions to dress formally anymore, it is always fun to check out what Jessica McClintock is creating.

The mall had an exhibit of Norman Rockwell figures.

I took this picture for my Mom because she loves to read and always has her nose stuck in a book.

Since the leaves have fallen, this is a good time to check out some of the houses and fences.

Photos with iphone in a moving car aren't the best pictures but it gives you an idea of the snow in the area.  I especially love the windows in some of these older homes.

The picket fence caught my eye.

Unless you had a blanket and heater there probably wouldn't be any rocking on that porch this day.

This picture was taken on our way to the airport to leave Philadelphia.  The old bridges are fascinating.
We had a good time and left just before the record snowfall began.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mixing the Past with the Present

On a shopping spree last week, I was in an antique mall (does that surprise anyone?) and one of the collectors had some old books.  Decorating with books is one of my passions, I buy books by the covers not necessarily by the content or title.

The title is "House of Earth" by Pearl S. Buck copyright from 1931.

The cover of this book was plain but the color is neutral enough to use with many accessories.

The title of this book is "Seasoned Timber" by Dorothy Canfield published in 1939.  The trim and lettering on the label is green and  goes so well with the texture.

The covers on the book are fabric.  I loved the texture.

The decorating ideas for these books are endless but since decorating with odd numbered items I wanted to add to this vignette so my treasure hunt was not over.

As we travelled to a new shopping area, I spotted The Anthropologie store,  This store  is fun because they have many new items that have a vintage look.


  The title of this book "etcetera" by Sibella Court published in 2009 had the vintage look but styling for the present.  It is a book that I started reading and is full of inspiring decorating ideas. 

This book's cover states ...."creating beautiful interiors with the things you love".  The author also says "pick a theme and run with it".  So here is my themed vignette and I'm running with it.

Mixing of the past with the present reminded me of driving my three grandsons home from a basketball game a few days ago.  They were watching the "Kunfu Panda" movie and I heard one of the characters in the story say "the past is history, the future is a mystery, and the present is a gift".  So true.