Welcome & Stay a Little Longer!

Welcome to Slice of Pie! I'm glad you dropped by to visit. You'll find a variety of life styling ideas on my blog ... and lots of grand daughter pictures, too! Miss Phoebe is my best helper and we do lots of special things together. Make sure you take a look down my sidebar! Under the "You're Invited" icon you'll find picture links to dinner parties I've hosted. Under the "Good Food" icon, you'll find picture links to food posts I've done. I usually post a sidebar picture link to magazine articles I've written. You'll find something you like! Hope you enjoy and stay around for awhile!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Just as our meat was ready to come off the grill, a huge storm hit us and about the time we were ready to carry food to the Easter Dinner table, we heard a giant thud. Then, the power went out and we had Easter Dinner in the dark!

The thud was made by three giant limbs from a very old Maple tree hitting the ground ... fortunately not the house or the back deck. The darkness was quickly remedied by candles, because none of my big lantern-style flashlights were working!  Who doesn't like candle light?

My daughter grabbed every candle she could find and put them all over the table. We are actually experienced at this "party with no power" thing ... because the year she graduated with her Doctorate ...and we were having a big party for her ... an "inland hurricane" hit Southern Illinois and we didn't have any power!  We partied without power!  Fortunately, I had prepared most of the food the day before the party/hurricane day and we grilled the meat. We partied on our big back deck in the afternoon, so everything was fine.  People just carried flashlights into the dark part of the house when they used the bathroom!

Back to Easter!  That bunny brought some nice galvanized buckets filled with goodies!

Our menu was really delicious ... not your typical Easter food, but we are tired of having too much food left. No ham this year! I grilled a nice filet of beef and served Hollandaise Sauce with it.  I still cook from scratch, but I happily admit that a few years ago when Hollandaise Sauce came out in a package ... I was thrilled.  It won't curdle!  It is delicious

Our cheese log appetizer is a favorite blend that we get at a German meat market in Missouri!  I always fix carrots for Easter and no matter how much brown sugar and butter I glaze them with, they are never eaten!  Phoebe announced that she can only eat crunchy carrots (raw)!  I used Pioneer Woman's recipes for Spicy Cauliflower and Creamy Herb Potatoes (which you can find online and I highly recommend).  Don't you just love my fresh chives that have flowered?

I was so ready for some new ... non-traditional ... foods! This pastry tart is a Pioneer Woman recipe, too.  Well, she inspired me!  It is so easy to make. Just use packaged croissant pastry and top it with Swiss cheese slices. Lay fresh asparagus spears over the cheese and bake it according to the directions on the pastry package.  I drizzled avocado oil over mine before sticking it in the oven because I wanted to be sure the asparagus roasted nicely. This was scrumptious; easily made ahead and kept warmish; and perfect cold in my sack lunch the next day at work!  I'm going to make it again this weekend for another event, but I plan to add some fresh Thyme and Rosemary to the top of it and a few grinds of fresh pepper.

Here's the end of our meal ... This scrumptious Pig Pickin' Orange Cake!  You can Google that recipe, too. The history of this cake is all about BBQ in South Carolina!  It is popular at whole hog barbecues!  You know, you pick the meat off the pig at those kinds of events!  I love that stuff and I loved this cake.

So, there you have it!  Easter at Grandma Debbie's ... in the dark!  We had a very nice time! Miss Phoebe told me that I had "outdone myself" ... She is growing up much too fast!

Saturday, April 15, 2017


Grandma's Easter dining room is the first time the room has been decorated since Thanksgivng 2016.  Sorry about that ... but I'm a busy girl!  My job keeps me busy working with over a dozen Facebook pages and websites!  You can read more about the changes in my life RIGHT HERE!

For now, let me show you part of Easter at my house.  When Phoebe told me that she wanted to use the "china in that glass cabinet" ... I got a little excited about mixing elegant china with my typical country/cabin traditions!  Shabby chic came to mind, so that is where we are!  Take a look at the fireplace and the (Christmas) tree that I just leave in the corner all the time! The color is lilac/purple gingham checks; the china is a purple pansy pattern; the theme is country chic ... and eventually you will see all of it.  For this post ... check out the fireplace and the tree!

Take a look at the fireplace decor!  Just used things that I already have ... except for the checked egg (which I bought at a local junk store) and the garland that actually has checked fringe.  

I have a collection of small baskets that goes on the tree ... and I added a few paper mache eggs.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Rosemary in the Snow

It isn't really snowing, but it is December 11th and my Rosemary plant is still producing! I finally decided to move it and strip the remaining leaves from it.  I covered it and it might spring forth in a few months, but if it doesn't it has already don't its job very well!

I ended up with almost 2 cups of Rosemary, so I used part of it to make a bottle of Orange Rosemary Vinegar. I use it to make salad dressings through the winter and it is especially good on warm salads that include roasted beets.

To make the vinegar, bring 2 cups of vinegar to a boil and quickly add the peel of an orange and 2 heaping Tablespoons of Rosemary leaves.  Turn the vinegar off and push down on the orange peel and the leaves. That will bruise them and they will release their essence into the vinegar. Immediately pour the vinegar, orange peel and Rosemary into a clean bottle or jar and put the lid on it. The heat will seal the lid.  I store this in the fridge after I open it the first time.

To use this to make salad dressing, mix equal parts of the vinegar, oil and water with half a part sugar.  Shake vigorously and pour it over your favorite salad ingredients.

Chicken Fricassee One-Potter

I needed a Saturday with absolutely nothing to do, so I created one! I enjoyed a couple of TV movies and several hours of reading. Out came the pressure cooker and I made some creamy and delicious. Chicken Fricassee has  been around for centuries and was first written about in a medieval French cookbook in 1300.
The dish was one of President Abraham Lincoln's favorite foods!

It couldn't be easier and can be made for a crowd or for one. Here's how simple it is.  Use one large boneless chicken breast and cut it into thin slices. Dust the meat in flour and brown it in a little olive oil. I use my electric pressure cooker for this, so I truly use just one pot.

Now you need to add:
2 cups of chicken broth
1 large potato peeled and cut in chunks
2 large carrots cut in chunks
1/2 cup chopped onion
8 ounces of fresh mushrooms

Cook this under pressure for 10 minutes.  Let the pressure reduce so you can remove the lid and add 2 cups of uncooked egg noodles and 1 cup of half and half.  Season with salt and pepper and rosemary.  Cook for another 6 minutes and let the pressure reduce before opening the pressure cooker.

Everything is thick, creamy, tender and delicious.

Thanksgiving Dinner 2016

I've been really busy in the last several weeks with my new job ... weekends, too. I'm finally getting around to posting some pictures from Thanksgiving dinner. Our tablescape this year was really casual. I used a set of galvanized tin chargers that I received as a Mother's Day present and added a big galvanized tin pumpkin to the composed centerpiece.

I always place a take home favor at each place setting. This year Phoebe was finally old enough to take seriously the process of talking about all the things we are thankful for. She first reached over and hugged me and said she was thankful for her grandma! She sure keeps me going!
I love galvanized tin. I don't know why, because as a kid I hated anything galvanized. While my friends moms were getting new fancy plastic buckets to use mopping the kitchen floor, at my house we still used an old galvanized bucket. Considering that some of those old buckets are still around and the plastic ones and several generations after line our landfills ... my mom was pretty smart to keep what she didn't have to replace! I guess galvanized tin is comforting. My big pumpkin came from Hobby Lobby; the chargers were found at TJMaxx and the tableware is from Pier 1.  And, yes, if you follow my blog you know that I have several sets of Thanksgiving china including Johnson Brothers His Royal Majesty, but this year I splurged for something much more casual.

As always, the fireplace mantel was decorated for the holiday, but not too extravagantly! Phoebe and I had shopped our favorite junk shop a couple weeks before Thanksgiving and we found a basket filled with more corn husk dolls, so they found a new home on the mantel ... along with blown glass red and blue pumpkins and a chicken wire pumpkin.

By the time you read this post you will be well decorated for Christmastime! Hope you enjoy it anyway!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sweet Potato Alfredo Sauce

One of my favorite memories is from a trip my husband and I took to Louisiana. He kept making me go back to a road-side vegetable stand because he enjoyed talking to the man who staffed the stand! He was Cajun and Joe loved visiting with him. As a result, we came home with a trunk filled with bags of sweet potatoes. Not a problem ... we loved them and had a dry sun porch to store them in.  My husband loved sweet potatoes two ways ... baked and loaded with butter and salt; candied the caramelized way in a cast iron skillet on top of the stove with butter and a little bit of brown sugar. I finally managed to get him to eat sweet potato fries, but not too often.

I, on the other hand, love them all ways ... pies, soups, stews. You name it and I love it ... when it includes sweet potatoes!

This pasta sauce is too easy to make! Bake a medium to large sweet potato in the microwave. Saute 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion in 1/2 stick of butter. When the onion is soft, add a little minced garlic and a good sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Remove the flesh from the sweet potato and add it to the skillet, mashing everything together. Add 3-4  cups of half and half and 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese. Let this combination come to a simmer. It will begin to thicken. You can remove it from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. (I actually like texture, so I just use a whisk.) If the sauce is too thick, add some of your pasta cooking water until you get the consistency you like.

This makes plenty of sauce for a pound of cooked pasta.