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!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Blue Spring!




Happy Spring!
I have a few new things to add to my living room decor ... just wanted a little more blue in the room I decorated with red furniture!   I kept my blue draperies and wallpaper ... and blue walls ... and since the colors are all kind of primitive shades ... 
it works!






I love those sachet packets that seem to be in every store these days ... and I always like the envelope as much as the content, so I've just started slicing open the top and clipping it on my "Love" sign ... When you have two big dogs ... a little extra 'scent' is a good thing!   To a dog lover, nothing smells better than 'dog' ... 
but when the house gets that stale smell ... it is time for a little help!


I'm posting with Tabletop Tuesday!  Be sure you click through to visit the other posts.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sourdough Bread Focaccia from Starter!

Here's another way to use your Friendship Bread starter sponge.  This is so good ... and you can adjust the ingredients to include whatever you like best in or on your Focaccia!  Have fun with the recipe!




Sourdough Focaccia – Basil Flavored

Ingredients A:
1 cup of starter
1 cup of warm water
1 pkg yeast
¼ cup of basil flavored canola oil
1 Tablespoon basil pesto
1 cup of bread flour

Ingredients B:
1 cup almond meal/flour
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
Salad greens or fresh basil
Basil flavored mozzarella cheese
Slivered almonds

Mix up Ingredients A and let the combination set in a warm place for an hour.  It will bubble on top.   Then knead in 1 cup of almond flour/meal, 1 teaspoon of salt and 3 additional cups of bread flour.   Knead it for 5 minutes.  Add a tablespoon basil flavored oil at the end of the kneading.  Cover it and let it rise again for 2 hours.  Punch down the dough, divide it in half;  pat it into a round shape on an oiled baking sheet.  Punch finger prints in the surface;  drizzle on a little flavored oil;  sprinkle on fresh basil or chopped salad greens and slivered almonds.  Add a little mozzarella cheese or parmesan cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, until the toppings bubble.

Cool slightly and cut into wedges.  Serve with additional dipping oil.



Sourdough Focaccia – Rosemary, Tomato and Cheese

Ingredients  A:
1 cup of starter
1 cup of warm water
1 pkg yeast
¼ cup of almond oil
1 cup of bread flour

Ingredients B:
1 cup almond meal/flour
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
Sliced grape tomatoes
Cheddar Bleu Cheese
Fresh Rosemary sprigs


Mix up Ingredients A  and let it set in a warm place for an hour.  It will bubble on top.   Then knead in 1 cup of almond flour/meal, 1 teaspoon of salt and 3 additional cups of bread flour.   Knead it for 5 minutes.  Add a tablespoon olive or almond oil at the end of the kneading.  Cover it and let it rise again for 2 hours.  Punch down the dough, divide it in half;  pat it into a round shape on an oiled baking sheet.  Punch finger prints in the surface;  drizzle on a little flavored oil;  sprinkle on fresh Rosemary, sliced tomatoes and Cheddar Bleu Cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, until the toppings bubble.

Cool slightly and cut into wedges.  Serve with additional dipping oil.

Hazelnut Friendship Bread


Hazelnut Friendship Bread


Here's another recipe to use our Friendship Bread Starter ... Hope you still have your sponge 'brewing' in the fridge!



Ingredients:
1 ½ cups warm water
1 packet of yeast
3 Tablespoons Hazelnut Oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup of bread starter
1 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark rye flour
¼ cup brown sugar
3 cups bread flour
3 Tablespoons Hazelnut Oil
4 ounces chopped Hazelnuts

Combine the warm water, yeast, hazelnut oil and sugar and let it set for 5 minutes.   In a mixing bowl, combine the yeast mixture with 1 cup of Friendship Bread Starter and 1 cup of flour.  Mix well.  Cover this and place it in a warm location for 1 ½ hours, until it doubles in volume.

Back to the mixer!   To this risen mixture, add 1 teaspoon salt, 3 Tablespoons Hazelnut Oil, the rye flour and brown sugar.   Mix in the remaining 3 cups of bread flour and knead for 5 minutes.  In the last minute of kneading, add the chopped hazelnuts.   Form into four small loaves and cover and let rise for another hour, until they double in size.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes.   While still hot, brush with melted butter or additional Hazelnut oil to soften the crust.

Don’t mistake this for a sweet bread because of the brown sugar and nuts.  It is just a nice soft loaf that will accompany any meal … or make beautiful chicken salad sandwiches!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Videos on YouTube


Check out my videos on my YouTube channel.  I've posted all kinds of cooking class videos ... tablescapes ... and more!  Click through to have some fun!


Coming soon ... a neat video on some important women in world history!  Do you know this one?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pink Saturday - Pink Roses


I am ready to see these beauties in real life!  We've been having unseasonably warm temperatures in Southern Illinois;  the crocus are up and I'm watching for my daffodils and chives!  Yes, I have chives in my flower bed!


I'll post with Pink Saturdays, so make sure you visit the party!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Tea Party with Scooby Doo!

Miss Phoebe and I had a tea party the other night ... playing a Scooby Doo movie in the background!   Phoebe set the table with our Johnson Brothers Eternal Beau.   We put everything on the coffee table, so we didn't have to miss any of the movie!




Now, you might think this food isn't really tea party quality ... but when you are 5, it is just perfect ... everything you love!


We had "dogs in a blanket", but Phoebe only ate the "dogs" and gave the real dogs the "blankets"!   She didn't want me to take a picture of her plate, showing the dogs!   We had grape tomatoes with some yummy string cheese on crackers, cranberry goat cheese, warm cheese dip with tortilla chips dusted with lime,  oatmeal cookies and some of our Valentine chocolates!

Oh, yest ... and Earl Gray tea!   That is one of our favorites!   I'll post this with Potpourri Friday and Home Sweet Home, so make sure you click through to see the other parties.  Take a look at my home page, too ... to see all my videos and other posts!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pink Saturday - Pink Food

I'm posting with Pink Saturday!  Thought you might enjoy seeing some of the pink foods I've photographed in the last couple of years!   Make sure you click through to the party to see all the other posts, but take a look at my home page, first.  
I have several videos posted and some really pretty pink china ... in case you missed it last Pink Saturday!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Year of the Dragon!





We finally got to celebrate the Year of the Dragon!
Just above this post is a video of the tablescape and the
joy of my life, Miss Phoebe.
Phoebe was in the Dragon Dance Parade at Pre-K a couple
weeks ago and I promised her that we'd have a dragon dinner.
I told her I would make dragon toes (chicken wings), which she loves ... but she wouldn't eat them this time!  You can't eat the dragon's toes!
I'm posting with Tabletop Tuesday,
,Rednesday and Tablescape Thursday ... so make 
sure you click through to the parties and 
take a look at all the other posts!  Enjoy!

My Handsome Labrador

Here's my very handsome Labrador, Junior!  He had a swelling on his ear and had to have surgery.  That is a soft cast on his ear ... quite a problem for a floppy eared boy!
He's already been wearing it for a week ... and looks like he'll have it for a few more days.
He is not happy that I am blogging his picture!
If he gets too excited, I have to put his 
bandanna on him like a babushka.
He really loves that!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sissy's Pink Roses

All my followers know what a pink rose china nut I am!  Normally, I'm looking for the old Moss Rose patterns, but when my favorite antique store owner told me he had a set of china for me ... I knew it would be fantastic!   It is American made Style House from the 1950s in the Dresden Bouquet pattern.   The most fantastic part of this recent find is the fact that it is 12 place settings with extra cups and saucers, all the serving pieces you could possibly need ... and there isn't a mark on it!  It seems brand new.


Right now it is on the hutch, so I can just gaze at it as I go by ... but it won't be long before I set a table with it!  It actually has doubles in the serving pieces, even an extra cream and sugar!
That means I can set two family-style tables.



My addiction to dishes came from my Aunt Evelyn, who we lovingly called "Sissy" because she was our daddy's baby sister and that is what he called her!   The rose in the following collage caught my eye at the supermarket the other day, mostly because of the jar it is in.  Sissy had a beautiful rose garden because she bought a home that had belonged to a couple who had a flower shop and grew many of the flowers they used.  We never had enough vases for the roses, so we'd grab just about anything to use.   Tea parties and suppers under Sissy's shade trees were almost always adorned with roses.  This made me think of Sissy.

The rose, by the way, is silk ... not real.  As I left the supermarket with propped up in my cart, I paused to put some money in the soup pots for our local food pantry.  That is a fundraiser that our university football players always do on Super Bowl weekend.  One of the big husky players complimented my rose and I let him smell it!  As we all laughed, I put a generous donation in the other big husky football players soup pot and they got so excited about the amount ... they both hugged and squeezed me!   I think I was tackled!  What great guys.


I'm participating in Pink Saturday and the Home Sweet Home Party, so don't forget to click through to see the other posts!  Make sure you check out my home page to look at my other posts.  I have some videos running with some great recipes and cooking hints!


Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentine 2011 Tablescape




Last year, we had a couple valentine dinner parties and
I'm re-posting pictures from the more formal event!  
I always enjoy using my collection of Cape Cod glassware ... even though one of those glasses is not Cape Cod!  Can you find it?


Candle light is always beautiful and I loved the black background on the table cloth.


I'm posting with Tablescape ThursdayPotpourri Friday and Laurie's Valentine Party.  Make sure you click through to see the other posts, but check out my home page and take a look at my cooking videos.  Chicken Marsala makes a great Valentine dinner!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It will be great for Valentine Dinner!




Here's a perfect Valentine dinner ... 
Chicken Marsala ... and it is so easy to make!  Enjoy it!


I'm linking to the Valentine Party at
a Holiday Haven ... so make sure you
click through to see the other posts!

Freshening Up the Living Room

Winter is far from over in Southern Illinois!  We are having Spring temperatures now, but it could turn to ice and snow tomorrow.  
I still wanted to put a little Springtime in my living room.

When I purchased new furniture last summer and bought deep red, I knew it would be a little difficult to change with the seasons.  It really hasn't been, though ... seems that deep red is a part of lots of color combinations these days.   Hope you like what I've done!

I really just removed some heavy wood accent pieces and added some other things like the stack of book-boxes, dried roses and bird accents.  I love using birds for the season stretching from Valentine's Day through Spring!  I wish you could smell the wonderful aroma of the potpourri in the bottom of this flameless candle hurricane!  It's called "frost" and has a floral, fresh scent kind of 
like a winter morning smells!  Love it!


MeMutt helps me do lots of things.  He's good for holding down the sofa and barking at all the folks who walk down the sidewalk!  Look closely at these pictures and you'll find my other boy, Junior!



The tiny flower pots on the lower right of this picture are from my husband's grandmother's collection.  She's been gone for years, but she left a collection of African Violets and the little vases designed for dividing them.  
These pots have little trays and drainage holes for the moss that the violets need to take root.


 A friend gave me this cute Blueberry candle for my birthday and it smells just like muffins baking!


I'm linking with the Refresh your Home Party!   
I'm also linking with Tabletop Tuesday
Make sure you check out my home page to see all my other posts, but click through to the party to visit all our blogging friends!


Friday, February 3, 2012

Seeds for a Pink Garden!

Aren't these old seed packets pretty?  I cannot wait until Springtime and warmer weather!


I'm linking to the Pink Saturday Party, so make sure you click through to visit the other posts.  Check out my home page first ... I have some other neat posts!

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