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!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

General John A. Logan Museum Exhibit of 1900 China!

Hope you'll take time to look at the photographs from a recent exhibit of beautiful antique china I put together for my favorite museum!  What fun we had!  Scroll down a little bit ... for more beautiful photos!

I originally posted this in October 2010, but want to post it again for Sunday Favorites, so make sure you click through to visit the other posts!

Shrimp Enchiladas

You probably have most of the ingredients for this great meal ... in your cupboard.  I use canned ingredients in this dish, so make sure you add a great fresh green salad to your menu.  It makes a yummy, filling meal.   Perfect for Cinco de Mayo! 

Debbie’s Shrimp Enchiladas

8 big flour tortillas
8 ounces cream cheese
8-12 ounces of Mexican white cheese
1 pound precooked peeled and deveined shrimp
½ stick butter
1 sweet onion
1 sweet red pepper
1 15-ounce can zesty tomato sauce
1 can tomato soup
1 can of chopped tomatoes with chili peppers
1 packet taco seasoning mix

Sauté one chopped sweet onion and 1 sweet red pepper chopped … in ½ stick of butter. Reserve about half the vegetables for the filling and to the other vegetables … add 1 can zesty tomato sauce, 1 can tomato soup and 1 can of chopped tomatoes with chili peppers. Stir in a packet of taco mix and simmer about 8 minutes until the flavors meld. No other seasoning is necessary.

Mix the onion and peppers reserved from the sauce ingredients … with the cream cheese and shrimp. Crumble half the Mexican white cheese into the filling, reserving the other half for the top. Then divide it between the tortillas … and roll them up.
Pour a little of the sauce in the baking pan … place the enchiladas on top of the sauce and pour a little more sauce on top. Top with remaining Mexican cheese; sprinkle with a little chopped fresh cilantro; cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

Serve with additional sauce, chopped peppers, sour cream … and shredded cheese, if desired.   Don't hesitate to substitute other seafood ... or a combination of shrimp, scallops, lobster and crabmeat!  These enchiladas are rich and filling, so add a crisp green salad and a great frosty drink ... and you have a meal!  Serves 6 - 8.

I'm linking with Friday's Recipe Exchange, so make sure you click through to visit the other posts!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Time!

Here's a little teaser!  A little pink for Pink Saturday!  Next week I'll be posting all the pictures from my Royal Wedding Supper Tea party, but this week ... just a little tease!  Make sure you click through to see all the other pink posts ... but first, take a look at my Royal Wedding post, updated with a couple wedding pictures from today.  Enjoy ... and make sure you come back next week for a full display of my royal tablescape!

It's Royal Wedding Time!  I have always enjoyed studying the British Royals and my two favorites are Queen Victoria ... because she had spunk ... and Princess Diana ... because she had spunk!   I doubt that those two women would ever have agreed on anything ... but they were both driven by what they thought was right ... "right" was probably not defined in the same ways!

The marriage of Prince William and Catherine will be an exciting time and I'm having a supper tea party to commemorate the occasion.  You'll have to check my site next weekend to see pictures of my tablescape!  Did you know that Queen Elizabeth is hosting the wedding reception and is only serving appetizers and sparkling lemonade, wine and champagne?  Typically, royal wedding receptions have included elaborate multi-course meals ... but not this time.  Why?  Maybe the menu is a reflection of the economic times all over the world.  Maybe the Queen is sensitive to the notion that being extravagant might not be appropriate.  We shouldn't  be surprised by that.  Then Princess Elizabeth was married in 1947, just two years after the end of World War II.  Great Britain was still using clothing rations and Princess Elizabeth was given 200 extra clothing coupons to use to buy her trousseau.  The coupons had been donated by young women all over Great Britain.  Queen Elizabeth understands austerity.

Did you know that Queen Victoria started the tradition of wearing white as a wedding gown?  Until that time, the color blue symbolized chastity and purity ... but she wore what she wanted to wear and dressed her attendants in white gowns that she had designed herself!  Her bouquet included orange blossoms and myrtle, which she had grown in her garden.  She married Prince (Consort) Albert in 1840.  No expense was spared for their wedding (reception) breakfast was served in early afternoon and
the menu was ten courses including Ballotine of Duck with Cumberland Sauce.

Here's the wedding portrait of Victoria and Albert's son, the future King Edward VII and the Princess Alexandra of Denmark.  The Edwardian era was a time of abundance and high fashion ... a time when the upper class splurged on everything!   Edward and Alexandra's marriage was the first Royal wedding to be photographed!

Their son, the future King George V, married Princess Victoria Mary of Teck in 1893.  The Princess was supposed to have married George's older brother who died six weeks after the original engagement was announced.  Growing closer through their grieving, George and Mary fell in love.

The 1923 wedding of next in line to the Crown was the first to be recorded on film The future King George VI (Queen Elizabeth's father) married Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon ... never expecting to be King.  Their traditional afternoon wedding breakfast included an elaborate menu of items named after Royals ... like fancy lamb chops named after Prince Albert!  This is a common practice!  Here they are in the official family wedding portrait ... with the King and Queen on the right.

Here's then Princess Elizabeth on her 1947 wedding day ... doing the official balcony wave!  We've grown so accustomed to seeing these sites on the balcony!  Elizabeth's trousseau might have been 'subsidized'  because of the times, but her wedding seemed to lack nothing!  Her 500 pound wedding cake was 9 feet tall!  Her bouquet included a sprig of myrtle from the bush grown for Queen Victoria's wedding bouquet over a hundred years earlier.

Finally ... here's Princess Diana.  I think Lady Di shared a sense of normalcy with the British Monarchy, but I'm not sure they wanted it!  She was a beautiful bride ... and a true humanitarian.  I think she was a great mom ... and had a magnificent influence on the two young Princes.   I suspect the future of Great Britain will tell the story we don't yet know.   Prince William seems to have a level head ... accepting his duties ... and respecting all people. 

So here he is!   The great-great-great-great grandson of Queen Victoria ... the ruler who did things her way!  It is hard not to remember those early pictures right after he was born!  What a cutie ... Now he's about to enter that next chapter of life.    I expect to see the streets lined with thousands of onlookers ... flags waiving.  I cannot wait to see Catherine walk down the aisle.  I'm
not admitting that I am a Royal-watcher ... but I certainly enjoyed watching this young man's mother.  She was true to herself ... and I want him to be just like her ... and just like Queen Victoria!  'Spunk' is the word ... do it your way!

 And here they are ... the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge ... the future King and Queen of England!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thrift to Treasures!

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All the items for this little vignette ... except my strands of pearls .. came from thrifting!  Don't you love it when you find good deals?   I'm linking to Thrifty Things Friday so make sure you click through to visit the other posts.

 You might want to view my Royal Wedding post too ... so go to my home page to find it.  It's filled with vintage pictures of weddings back to Queen Victoria!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

B is for Bee and That's Me!

My mother named me Deborah after the Biblical character who was a judge and strong warrior.  The family never called me Deborah, though ... always Debbie ... or a variety of nicknames.  The name Deborah means 'bee' in Hebrew.

Deborah had her own palm tree!  She sat under the tree  and listened to the issues brought to her by her people and judged a fair outcome.  She and her general, Barak, lead the defeat of the Canaanite armies, who had oppressed the Israelites for twenty years.  She is a heroine.

Napoleon used a bee as an important symbol in his armory.  It is considered a symbol of immortality and resurrection and was chosen  to link the new French dynasty to the very origins of France. Golden bees were discovered in 1653 in Tournai in the tomb of Childeric I, founder in 457 of the Merovingian.  Bees are considered the oldest emblem of the sovereigns of France.

Bees symbolize diligence.  Who could argue with that?  They represent the organized hierarchy of living.  Bees and bee hives are often used in architecture, most notably in Mormon temples.  If you want to read more about that, visit The Trumpet Stone

At our house, bees are all about having fun and if you watch my future posts, you'll see pictures from an upcoming "Bee Tea" that I'm having for Miss Phoebe.  We'll set our party on the front porch, but we're waiting for dry skies!  We've been experiencing rain, thunder storms and tornadoes for a few weeks, now.  Can't wait for sunny skies!

I'm participating in Alphabet Thursday so make sure you click through to visit all the other posts! 
B is for Bee ... and for Blogging!  Don't we love having all this fun? 
Thanks, Jenny for hosting our Alphabet parties!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Here's a little slide show of our carrot Easter table!  Hope you enjoy it ... I'm posting with Tabletop Tuesday, the Open House Party and Tablescape Thursday so make sure you click through to visit the parties!   You might also be inerested in my Royal Wedding post of weddings past, so visit my home page and check it out.  I have great old pictures starting with Queen Victoria to Princess Di.
You might also want to check out my daughter's new site at Summer in Southern Illinois.  She has a fabulous recipe for turkey breast ... and lots of other neat things.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Eggs with Legs

She was awakened by a boom of thunder.  Rain was pouring in her open bedroom window.  Her mind was swirling from the nightmare that repeated itself time and time again in her restless slumber.  She had spent Good Friday cooking for Saturday's family reunion.  Her assignment was to make deviled eggs that she prefers to call 'angeled' during the Easter season.  Angeled eggs for 75 people is more than one egg-hater should be assigned.  The eggs were walking in her nightmare.  They all had legs, some had faces, but most were headless.  They were walking in circles, lost and looking for a place to hide from the big silver pot of boiling water.   They screamed and ran hopelessly from the cook.  She opened the refrigerator to retrieve more eggs and screamed at the sight of Satan in blue velvet.  The thunder boomed and she was awake ... saved from Satan.

I've linked to Jenny's Saturday Centus so make sure you click through to see the other posts!  She challenged us to write 100 words about this guy! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Alphet Thursday - A is for Aluminum

A is for aluminum-inum-inum!  Aluminum is a word that my dad never could say!  It just wouldn't come out of his mouth in four syllables filled with Ms and Ns!  We blamed it on his teeth ... those were the same teeth that wouldn't eat peas!   There were a few other words he pretended not to be able to say ... then there were a few four-letter words that the Southern Baptist Deacon had no problem spewing out occasionally!  The word 'aluminum' always got a few laughs!

I don't remember a time without aluminum foil, but I sure remember my mom and aunts talking about how wonderful it was when it hit the market ... even though it was a little expensive for most of the housewives in their circle of friends ... they bought it.  It really did help keep foods fresh, and those frugal cooks would do anything to keep from wasting money in the kitchen.  So, what did they do?   They saved it after they used it.  They'd wipe off any crumbs of food and fold it up and put it in a special kitchen drawer!  Our landfills are probably filled with stacks of perfectly folded squares of aluminum foil!

Reynolds Wrap is the brand I remember most.  I don't think the quilted Kaiser Foil ever made it to Southern Illinois! 

It didn't take the food manufacturers long to figure out ways of using foil to package other food items.  Remember the foil pouch/bags inside cereal boxes?  I don't think those were used too long ... probably made the cereal too expensive.  One of my girlfriend's mom saved those things, too! 

A TV dinner was never served at our house!  We'd see them advertised on television and ask for them and Daddy would quickly start telling us about the food he ate while serving in the military!  I was an adult before I had a TV dinner ... and that was only because my bachelor husband still had some in the freezer when I married him!  As a youngster, though, there was something sophistocated looking about that aluminum sectional plate!    There were days when Mother was busy all afternoon at church meetings ... but she always prepared her supper/dinner meal in advance and had it in the oven waiting to serve it at the appropriate hour!

Don't you love this ad?  Who has kitchen cabinets that organized?   That mom in the cute pink  blouse doesn't know 'living' out of packages until she goes to four soccer games and two dance lessons in one week!

Do you remember the 'foil Christmas'?  A foil tree ... and shiny foil wrapping paper?   Our trees always came from the woods, but my Aunt Evelyn had one of those trees ... and wrapped all her packages in shiny foil paper one year!  She had two kids ... there were five at our house and we were lucky if Santa Claus used any paper at all!

I never knew much about cigarettes as a kid ... and I don't remember 'Spud' cigarettes at all!  I just know they tasted better and they were fresher, though ... because they, too, were wrapped in aluminum-inumm-inum foil!

I'm posting with Alphabet Thursday! so make sure you click through to see all the other participants!  Thanks to Jenny for hosting this great linky party.  She keeps us 'thinkin'!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Penny Pinching Party - A Little More Easter!

I'm participating in the Penny Pinching Party!  and Thrifty Things Friday.  Make sure you click through to visit all the other posts.   I always do a little holiday decor outside ... and this little vignette is on the back deck.  With exception of the bird nest and eggs ... everything else came from Goodwill.  I have a whole two bucks in all of it!  If it gets wet ... oh, well ... no great loss!   Miss Phoebe enjoys finding little things like this sitting around, so that makes me do even more.  If she drops it and it breaks ... no problem!  Thanks for stopping by ... hope you visit my home page to see my other posts.  Happy Easter Week!

Outdoor Wednesday - Herbs

I'm participating in the Outdoor Wednesday linky party this week, so make sure you click through to visit the other posts!

I've decided to plant my "little pot garden" a little differently this year.  I usually plant my herbs in window boxes, but an inland hurricane a couple years ago blew down one of our big trees, so the sun hits those window boxes longer now ... and they dry out more than my herbs like.  So, I'm planting in small pots ... so I can move them around to find the right amount of sunshine ... and so I can take them inside for winter.  I might be able to keep them growing in the sunroom ... although I'm not too good at that!   I might be calling "help" in January when they begin to die on me!

I think the red pots look great on the baker's rack that I use on the back deck.  I've had the metal signs for years and the older they get, the more I like them.  The rabbits are filled with citronella candles ... found them at TJMaxx.   Enjoy Easter Week!  The rabbits just keep appearing at our house!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tabletop Tuesday - Rabbits!

Oh, I just had to put out more rabbits!  Isn't this couple beautiful?  He looks like he is in love ... don't you think?  I'm partying with Tabletop Tuesday, so make sure you click through to visit Marty and all the other participants!  What fun we have ... Thanks Marty for hosting!

The vase in this picture was a gift from Big Daddy!   When he bought me flowers the first time ... he started the tradition of always buying a beautiful vase, too ... not just flowers in the typical FTD vase ... but something special!   This is one of those special vases that first arrived filled with beautiful spring flowers! 

Hope your Easter plans are shaping up with lots of goodies!  We're gearing up for Sunday Dinner ... and I've bought giant plastic Easter eggs to 'hide' for Miss Phoebe.  She'll do here real traditions at home ... but that rabbit always seems to leave something at our house, too!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Celebrity Chef!

I'm so sorry ... I've been really busy in the past couple weeks ... but I wanted to participate in celebrating the Pioneer Woman! Thanks, Lynn for hosting this neat party. Make sure you click through to Happier than a Pig in Mud to visit all the other posts!    I seldom prepare a recipe without making changes!  I'm one of those cooks!  This carrot noodle recipe is an adjusted recipe from the Pioneer Woman!  She has a ground beef noodle casserole recipe posted online ... and I adjusted it ... removing the beef and using carrots ... and adjusting the other portions!  You can find my recipe in my recent Made at Home cooking column in the Southern Illinoisan Newspaper.  Click "related stories - carrot recipes" to find the recipe.  

I'm off to work ... we have so much going on this week ... a couple conferences in town ... The university chancellor's inauguration ... a heritage sign unveiling ... "Agriculture Days" on campus ... the circus is in town ... and I'm tired just thinking about it!  When it rains tourism ... it pours!  Enjoy the party!

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Z is for Zither!

Z is for Zither!

This picture is of my Grandfather Schuster's family.  He is identified by the turquoise arrow and his mother by the red arrow.  His parents, Fredrich and Louisa Marie Petri Schuster married in 1883 in St. Clair County, Illinois.  This picture is of their adult family of ten children and a couple of their  grandchildren.  (Sorry the picture is poor quality.)

This is my Great Grandmother Louisa's zither that was in my grandparents' attic my entire childhood.  My Grandfather kept it because it had originally belonged to his Grandmother Catherine Elizabeth Schmiersahl Petri.  When I was a child, he would let me strum the strings ... but it could never be tuned because it was so old!  It had been well-loved and frequently played by these two women.  During my lifetime, it has always looked like this!   I have displayed it in my home for 35 years, since my grandparents died.  My Great Grandmother was born in 1861, so I suspect that this instrument dates to 1820.

This zither was made in Germany ... and zithers remain the National Instrument of Germany!

My old zither has been the inspiration of many dinner parties ... and the conversation over wine!  It instilled an interest in playing guitar in me ... can't say that I ever mastered that, though! 

I've embedded a video of a man playing a zither like mine ... I don't know him, but he's good!  Turn up your volumn and enjoy!  I've linked with Alphabet Thursday so make sure you click through to enjoy the other posts ... but watch my video first!  Thanks to our hostess, Jenny ... and to this wonderful musician!

Monday, April 4, 2011

We love our Maple Hutch!

I'm delighted o join the Heart of the Home Party at Notesongs!  Make sure you click through to  visit the other posts.  You've seen these pictures lately, in other posts ... but I thought I'd tell you the story of my little maple hutch!  It was made in 1947 by Ethan Allen Furniture.  It belonged to my husband's aunt and uncle who were transferred from our little town in Southern Illinois to Anaheim, California in the 1960s.  They couldn't take all their lovely furniture ... and although my husband was a bachelor at the time ... he accepted the gift of the hutch!  When I married him, it was filled with "man stuff" and made a nice decoration in his "not used very much" kitchen! 

Needless to say, that changed quickly!  Thank goodness it has wheels, because it has been in every room of the house ... the kitchen ... the dining room ... a maple bedroom ... the living room ... the sewing room ... and right now it is in the sunroom!  ... and yes, in one of our houses, I placed it in a wide hallway just outside a bathroom door and used it to hold girly bathroom stuff!

We love our versatile little maple hutch!  Thank you Uncle Doug and Aunt Helen!

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