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!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Little Red Brick Ranch Front Porch!


I decided it was time to put a little Fourth of July decor on the front porch ... and most everything in and outside of my house is red and/or blue ... so all I had to do was shop my storage!



I added a cute little mesh wreath to the already heavily adorned cottage flower bed!  I have a neighbor who is from England ... and he named my hodgepodge rose bed a "cottage flower bed" many years ago!  When I say hodgepodge, that is exactly what I mean ... my dad secretly planted garlic chives on one end when I first started planting rose bushes in the spot ... and my husband planted blackberries on the other end!  Miss Phoebe an I add the extra things ... like pigs! Why not?  Whatever makes you happy!



I can never get enough red!  I've painted this wire cloche and the rabbits a half dozen different colors ... and I've had them for several years! This summer is a red summer!



The white cart is actually a TV cart and the top swivels ... It makes a perfect side board when we eat on the wicker table ... and that is a favorite place for tea parties!  I haven't decided what to do with my little wooden chair.  I bought it at Goodwill a few years ago ... and the detail on the back was more visible.  I've had it sitting on the porch with flowers in the seat ... and the finish has worn off.  May paint it red!  If I antique it, the detail will fill in with dark stain ... or I could use a fine brush and paint the detail!  Any ideas?



I added a patriotic bow to the galvanized bucket of red and white striped daisies ... and gave the rabbits ... who are always on the porch ...  a flag and a star wreath!



I made a patriotic centerpiece for the front porch wicker table ... and I included solar lights ... so it lights up at night!  Pretty easy and cute!




I'll be sharing this post with a few parties ... in my long list of blog parties! Click through to see more creative ideas!  First ... visit my home page to see my other posts!


Creatively Living for Monday  Funday Party 
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday 
Dwellings-Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday 
The DIY Dreamer for From Dream To Reality Tues  
Tweak It Tuesday The Scoop Wow Us Wednesdays 

Friday, June 27, 2014

O Canada!


Are you surprised that a tablescaper hobby historian in Southern Illinois is celebrating Canada Day?  If you follow me, nothing should surprise you about the themes that end up on my table.  I first thought about having this little celebratory meal when I posted Poppies Grow because it was a Canadian who wrote the beautiful poem about the poppies growing in Flanders Field ... and now poppies have become an important symbol in many countries.  Then I remembered that I had given a collection of small flags from around the world to Miss Phoebe a few years ago, because she was just crazy about flags.  So, "teaching moment" came to mind ... and then I found a book about all the flags around the world ... at Goodwill of all places ... and that sinched the plan to celebrate Canada Day with a cute tablescape and a special meal.


Canada's flag is an easy one to remember for the little scholars because of the red and white colors and the maple leaf.  The colors make it pretty easy to set a table, too ... especially if you decorate your house using red and white ... like I do.  So the tablescape was pretty easy to put together and since this meal is probably just for Miss Phoebe and me ... I set the table on the sunporch.  Not much sun here on this rainy day, however ... so shadows are in the pictures!



Those red and white striped flowers are from Walmart and you'll see them again in the next week ... but they were perfect to pluck from the bush and make napkin rings for the bright red napkins.  A tablescaper's dream ... Mikasa's "Garden" patterns in white end up on lots of my tables!  Red goblets to hold iced icewine tea ... and the small red cordials will hold shrimp cocktail with red sauce ... because Phoebe loves it!



My first trip to Canada included a stop at a downtown local wine and artisans' cheese festival in Windsor ... so I'll use some goat cheese from Canada to stuff under the skin of a game hen for our meal.  I plan to end it with pancake puffs drizzled with ... of course ... maple syrup from Canada!  

I recently found this galvanized tall bucket at a junk shop and turned it into a vase for this cute table.



Most of my tables end up with a pig of some sort ... nestled into the centerpiece or hidden someplace!  This one is no exception ... and the pig came from Target years ago ... but the cow is a recent purchase from Kohl's from the Food TV line of very cute things!



I hope you've enjoyed my little Canada Day celebration.  Miss Phoebe and I will have a nice meal and a big discussion about Canada and the flag.  We might let her mom and dad come, too!

I'll be sharing this post with a party or two ... and they are on this long list!  Click through to see all the other neat posts.

Happy Canada Day from Southern Illinois!
Creatively Living for Monday  Funday Party 
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday 
The DIY Dreamer for From Dream To Reality Tues  
Our Home Away From Home for Tuesdays @ Our Home 
We Call it Junkin! 
Tweak It Tuesday The Scoop Wow Us Wednesdays 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Fresh Peach Cake


The first crop of peaches is in ... in Southern Illinois!  They are the little clings and not my choice for canning or freezing ... but certainly my choice to start the season!  We love them fresh ... lots of different ways ... but this moist cake is another favorite!



I chose to bake the cake in my Nordic Ware pan that has four separate and different Bundt cakes shapes.  The four cakes take the same amount as an 8-cup Bundt pan.  It makes it easier for empty nesters to use the cake ... freeze them or share them!  I'm freezing three of mine for events a little later this summer.  I use this same recipe with other fruits ... and I already have a strawberry mini cake frozen ... and in another month, I'll add a blueberry mini cake.  Then I'll have three different cakes to serve at a mid-summer BBQ.  Add fresh fruit and whipped cream and you have a beautiful dessert.





Fresh Peach Cake
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Cream together until fluffy:
2 sticks of soft butter
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
Add the flour ½ cup at a time and continue whipping:
2 cups self- rising flour 
Fold in:
2 cups fresh peaches – peeled, pitted and chopped

Pour into a buttered and floured Bundt pan … or individual Bundt pans … and bake at 325 degrees for 60-70 minutes.  The individual Bundt pans won’t need more than 60 minutes.


Cool the pan/pans on racks for at least ten minutes before inverting.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar.

I might be sharing my post with some of these parties!   Click through to visit the other posts ... but visit my home page, first, so you can see my other posts.

Creatively Living for Monday  Funday Party 
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday 
The DIY Dreamer for From Dream To Reality Tues  
Our Home Away From Home for Tuesdays @ Our Home 
We Call it Junkin! 
Knick of Time for Knick of Time Tues  Inspire Me Tuesday  
Creative Muster
Tweak It Tuesday The Scoop Wow Us Wednesdays 

Kanzashi Flower Headband!

Is there anything grandmas won't do?  Maybe ... but when I 
see something that I think Phoebe would like ... or enjoy doing ... I'm all over it!

When I saw the Kanzashi flower templates on several Pinterest posts, I knew that was for me!  I've been making lots of flowers for some little decorating projects. Maybe you saw them on my Poppies post!  I also realized they would make adorable pins and embellishments for Phoebe's clothes ... and would make cute headbands.  As you can see, Miss Phoebe has plenty of hair and of all the ways she wears it ... she seems to prefer headbands ... if they really hold back her hair. Fortunately, this one did!



The headbands come in a variety of colors from JoAnn Fabrics and they just cost one dollar ... I used hot glue to add a couple "gems" and one of our patriotic flowers.  I'm pretty sure she'll be asking for more of these ... and grandma will accommodate!  I made pins out of some other flowers with the little pin backs that you can get at craft stores.  
They need to be sewn on, but that is an easy task.

I'll be sharing this with a few parties this week.  Take a look!

Creatively Living for Monday  Funday Party 
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday 
Dwellings-Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday 
The DIY Dreamer for From Dream To Reality Tues  
Tweak It Tuesday The Scoop Wow Us Wednesdays 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Back Deck Wreath!


Phoebe and I worked on this wreath for a couple weeks.  Every time she came to visit, we'd do a little more stuffing!  I had several rolls of mesh ribbon and most of them matched the floral print in my back deck furniture cushions, so we just decided to glitz up the space!
I like working with the mesh and I like the fact that when you grow tired of it, you can take it apart and repurpose it.


I'll be sharing this with a few parties this week.  Take a look!

Creatively Living for Monday  Funday Party 
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday 
Dwellings-Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday 
The DIY Dreamer for From Dream To Reality Tues  
Our Home Away From Home for Tuesdays @ Our Home 
We Call it Junkin! 
Knick of Time for Knick of Time Tues  Inspire Me Tuesday  
Creative Muster
Tweak It Tuesday The Scoop Wow Us Wednesdays 
Full Plate Thursday-Miz Helen's Country Cottage 


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Phoebe's Luau!


Miss Phoebe and I frequently have little parties ... just the two of us sometimes ... around the coffee table ... on the back deck ... on the front porch!  At a very young age, she really started liking pretty tables and decorating different parts of the house!

A couple months ago, I promised her that we would have a luau to celebrate school being out!  We made all the plans and I ordered a big box of decorations as her 'school's out' present!  The big day finally came and we had the party at Phoebe's house because they have a new swimming pool.  It was too cold to get in that pool on our luau evening, but we had a good time anyway!


Phoebe has gone all crazy about the old movie "JAWS"!  That was one of my husband's favorite movies and we had traditions of watching it every year on Memorial Day and on the 4th of July!  I was not surprised that she liked it.  Now you might be asking yourself who let a seven year old watch JAWS.  I'm guilty as charged!  I made a big joke out of the couple of icky scees and reminded her that it was just a movie.  She memorized the lines ... and memorized the music ... and went around the house for weeks playing JAWS!   So ... I invited Jaws to the luau!  That is easy to carve ... the teeth are the white part of the melon.

My pictures aren't too good ... took them in a hurry with my phone and absolutely could never get her to hold still!   Here she is dancing ... I think she got her hula dance mixed up with something she is doing in dance class!  We watched several YouTube instructional videos of hula dancers last summer and she really does know some of the symbolism of the movements!




By the time I got to my daughter's house, Phoebe had been busy helping decorate with the items in the big box!  Lots of color and unfortunately, it was too cold to be outside ... and rainy.


Our food was pretty simple.  In addition to watermelon and fresh pineapple in the JAWS ... we grilled chicken, pineapple and sweet red pepper skewers.  I marinated and then glazed the skewers in a Teriyaki based sauce that I thickened with sweet BBQ sauce and a few other spices.  A big salad with lots of nuts and dried fruit ... and grilled banana boats stuffed with chocolate bars and marshmallows ... finished the meal.   Our friend, Miss Jill, owns a frozen yogurt shop and she has spoiled Phoebe by letting her really load up on toppings including too many gummy fish or other critters!  Jill brought Phoebe two containers of gummies!  I hope they last all summer!


Phoebe has been setting the table for some time ... and usually gets it right!  She didn't have any trouble eating our luau food ...sometimes she resists things ... but she filled up at the luau!  I am a big believer in letting the kiddos get their hands all over party activities.  They will never learn, if you don't let them be involved!


I might be sharing my post with some of these parties!   Click through to visit the other posts ... but visit my home page, first, so you can see my other posts.

Creatively Living for Monday  Funday Party 
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday 
Dwellings-Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday 
The DIY Dreamer for From Dream To Reality Tues  
Our Home Away From Home for Tuesdays @ Our Home 
We Call it Junkin! 
Knick of Time for Knick of Time Tues  Inspire Me Tuesday  
Creative Muster
Tweak It Tuesday The Scoop Wow Us Wednesdays 
Full Plate Thursday-Miz Helen's Country Cottage 


Four Seasons from Good Will!


I try to stay at the back door of the local Goodwill store ... you know ... where you drop donations off!  It is dangerous for me to go through the front door because I always find something that I don't need!  Today, I had a real reason to go ... I was looking for a nice basket to fill with local wine and food products for an auction prize at a golf tournament.  I found a perfect basket ... and a few other things!  Things for every season!

This first photo collage includes napkins that looked brand new ... and a Longaberger pitcher to add to my collection grey and blue pottery pitchers.  I'll fill it with summertime flowers and use those napkins on the back deck!


Here's a Chantal pumpkin casserole ... perfect for Autumn side dishes or my favorite pumpkin hummus!  Yes, the price tag says $1.00!


This set of Christmas Tree napkin rings matches some that I already have ... and it never hurts to have a few extra!   This year, I'm going to back to having a ladies' luncheon at Christmastime and I usually set tables for 18 for that event ... so I'll use these.


Aren't these Avon Easter plates sweet?  I'm sure I'll find a way to use them as bread and butter plates on a tablescape ... or just as decor on the mantle or side table.  Phoebe and I might have a special tea party with these!


Sometimes I share my posts with a few of the following parties, so make sure you click through to see the entries!  First ... take a look at my home page so you can see my other posts!

Creatively Living for Monday  Funday Party 
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday 
Between Naps On The Porch for Metamorphosis Monday  
The DIY Dreamer for From Dream To Reality Tues  
Our Home Away From Home for Tuesdays @ Our Home 
We Call it Junkin! 
Knick of Time for Knick of Time Tues  Inspire Me Tuesday  
Creative Muster
Tweak It Tuesday The Scoop Wow Us Wednesdays 
Tablescape Thursday-BNOTP  
Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less
Vintage Thingie Thursday-Coloradolady  Inspiration Gallery
Alphabe Thursday-Jenny Matlock  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Caramelized Carrots & Stuffed Chicken Breasts


I love carrots and when I am roasting meat, I typically throw some in the dish to roast right alongside the meat.   They soak up some of the meat juices ... shrivel up a little, but they caramelize and have a sweetness that you can't get in any other method of preparation!  I think!


This recipe is really simple.  My chicken breasts were boneless and skinless, but really thick and meaty.  I simply slice through the side of the breast and make a pocket almost to the other side of the breast.  Stuff the breast with goat cheese, studded with bits of papacelle peppers.  Use wooden picks to close and secure the slit in the breast, then dip the breasts in an egg wash.  Dip them in crushed Ritz crackers and roast in the oven at 375 degrees for 40 - 60 minutes, depending upon the size of the breasts.  The juices should run clear and the internal temperature should be 165 degrees.  Let the breasts cool down for about ten minutes, before serving.  You can use any kind of cheese ... I frequently use sharp cheddar ... or cream cheese with bits of ground Rosemary in it ... or mozzarella and basil leaves.




Guess I was in a stuffing kind of mood the other day ... and since I had a couple bananas that were extra ripe ... It was time to bake banana bread!  I'm sharing my recipe because it is a little unique.  The bread is chocolate banana bread and it has a layer of stuffing/filling that is made with cream cheese and peanut butter. Keep any leftovers refrigerated because of the filling.


Chocolate Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Filling

Whip the sugar, butter, eggs and bananas together.  Add the sour cream and the cocoa powder and blend well.  Sift the flour, salt and baking soda together and add it to the creamed ingredients.  Whip until creamy.

·       1 c sugar
·       1/2 c butter, softened
·       eggs
·       mashed ripe bananas
·       1 tsp salt
·       1 tsp baking soda
·       3 Tbsp cocoa powder
·       3 Tbsp sour cream
·       2 c flour

Make the filling by whipping the following ingredients together:
·       8 oz softened cream cheese
·       ½ c creamy peanut butter
·       1/3 c sugar
·       egg
·       1 Tbsp flour

Pour half the batter into a greased loaf pan.  Pour all the filling on top of that and spread carefully.  Add the rest of the batter and smooth it over the filling.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  You can use a wooden pick to test to see if it is done, but the filling will be creamy, so be careful how you do that!  The filling sets up after it cools.


I might be sharing my post with some of these parties!   Click through to visit the other posts ... but visit my home page, first, so you can see my other posts.

Creatively Living for Monday  Funday Party 
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday 
Between Naps On The Porch for Metamorphosis Monday  
The DIY Dreamer for From Dream To Reality Tues  
Our Home Away From Home for Tuesdays @ Our Home 
We Call it Junkin! 
Knick of Time for Knick of Time Tues  Inspire Me Tuesday  
Creative Muster
Tweak It Tuesday The Scoop Wow Us Wednesdays 
Tablescape Thursday-BNOTP  
Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less
Vintage Thingie Thursday-Coloradolady  Inspiration Gallery
Alphabe Thursday-Jenny Matlock  






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