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, November 12, 2017

Cheeseburger Chowder!

I made a small batch of Cheeseburger Chowder over the weekend!  
I needed to stock up on a few frozen containers of soup to use for my lunches. I thaw them in the fridge over night and I package just the right amount for my mini crockpot that I keep in my office. 

The ingredients are simple and you can use whatever you have on hand.  The one thing that I add ... that I've never seen in any other recipe is DILL leaf!  That adds the subtle flavor of a dill pickle and that makes it taste truly like a cheeseburger!

Brown half a pound of good ground beef.  Leave some big chunks.  While the burger is browning, add 1/2 cup chopped onion and half a cup of chopped red and/or green bell pepper. Add 3 cups of beef broth, a half cup of uncooked pasta (I used noodles) and a cup of frozen corn kernels.  Let the soup simmer about 30 minutes.  Finish the soup by adding 1 teaspoon dill weed, plenty of freshly ground black pepper, 1 cup of sour cream and 3 cups of shredded cheese. Continue to simmer the soup for another five minutes, stirring constantly so all the cheese melts and the sour cream blends in nicely.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Tiers of Autumn

I decided to load my galvanized metal tiered tray with some autumn decor. It had been sitting on the sunroom table, filled with an apple theme!
When you have red furniture, you have to have some red pumpkins!

Don't you love this teal pickup truck!   

The tray is filled with pumpkins, pigs ... and nothing I do lately seems to be void of a piece from the Pioneer Woman!  Measuring bowls and spoons are tucked in the bottom shelf!  I don't use them ... because they are just too cute!

Glitzy Pumpkins for Brunch!

I happened in to the local Walmart when Halloween things were 75% off and there were a few glittery pumpkins left, so I bought a couple.  I already had plenty, but I do love pumpkins!

Having my new additions to a rather large collection meant that I had to set one more pumpkin tablescape.  No, it won't really be the last one for the season ... I have another one planned for later!

I also found this cute Harvest Blessings framed tray, so it became an important part of my composed centerpiece.  Notice my 1965 edition of Fannie Farmer's cookbook!  That was the 11th edition published of the original 1896 cookbook.

I mixed my very affordable Walmart Mainstays pumpkin dinnerware with a little collectible green glass!  The tiny butter plates are what we got in the oatmeal box when I was little ... Sandwich Glass!  The green leaf shaped bowl is Anchor Hocking 1960s vintage ... probably from a dime store!  The faux bamboo flatware is twenty years old and just part of my stash!  The beaded place mat is from Kohl's ... on sale-on sale after Christmas a couple years ago!  I would never pay the original price for those things!

Miss Phoebe is spending the night with me tonight, so I think we'll eat Sunday brunch on this table in the sunroom!  When she was little bitty, I'd let her drink coffee from a demitasse cup!  Now, we have our coffee from a big mug.  I've ruined her.

I'll share this post with some of the parties listed in my sidebar, so make sure you click through to see the other posts!  Hope you are enjoying the autumn season!

Roast Chicken with Potatoes & Creamed Spinach

This creamy comfort food is perfect for Saturday night supper on a cold evening!  Who doesn't love to smell something wonderful from the oven? Who doesn't enjoy relaxing for 45 minutes when the oven is doing all the work? Just look at these glistening potatoes and the glossy skin on the chicken thighs!

I used chicken thighs because I love the tender meat on the thigh.  You could use chicken breasts, just plan on cooking it a little longer.  You could also use skinless, boneless breasts ... and you'd roast those in a little less time!

Place 6 to 8 chicken thighs in a 13x9 baking dish.  Surround them with tiny potatoes. Pour 1/2 stick of melted butter over the chicken and the potatoes.     Add 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth to the dish, but don't pour it over the meat and vegetables.  That will cause the butter to run off and into the dish. Pour your broth carefully at the edge of the dish.

Add your favorite fresh herbs and a little minced garlic over the top of the chicken.  Roast (uncovered) for 45 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees.  Most of the broth will be absorbed, but during the last 5 minutes of roasting, pile all the meat and vegetables on top of each other and make room to add a bag of fresh baby spinach.  Before you add the spinach, add a tablespoon of flower to the remaining broth and whisk it around. Add the spinach and it will wilt beautifully in the oven.  Remove the baking dish from the oven and add half a cup of Half and Half to the spinach side of the dish!  Toss the spinach around in the Half and Half. The flour slurry you made will cause the Half and Half to thicken a little.

The end result is beautiful and delicious!

I may share this post with some of the blog parties listed in my sidebar, so make sure you click through to see the other posts!

Sunday, November 5, 2017


Our Halloween celebrations always include a chili supper!  This year, I made the usual venison chili using Papa Joe's acclaimed recipe ... but I also made white chicken chili, for the first time.  It might become 'acclaimed' too!

Here's the cute tablescape.  

If I don't stop buying galvanized metal ... my whole house will be filled with it!  I love that look and I think it just comforts my spirit ... kind of like comfort food ... it takes me back to the earliest days of my marriage, when Joe would ice down watermelons spiked with booze in a big galvanized wash tub that had been his grandmother's!  She would have spun in her grave had she known we were intoxicating water melons!

Did I need to buy these pumpkin dishes from Walmart's collection this year?  The answer is NO, NO, NO.  If you don't believe me, check out my Halloweens of the Past post RIGHT HERE!  The galvanized chargers came from Miss Phoebe as a Mother's Day gift; the flatware is Mikasa ... sunflowers; the stemmed glasses are from my vast vintage collection; and the cute pumpkin napkin ring is at least ten years old, but I remember buying them at JoAnn Fabric!   Miss Phoebe and I always enjoy shopping our favorite collectible shop before holidays.  This year, we found this tablecloth and napkins (a Kohl's product) and they had never been used ... so they came home with us!

Halloweens Past!

Just thought I'd post some pictures from Halloween parties in the past!  Halloween is a favorite family holiday at our house ... and it centers around taking care of the little goblins that visit for treats ... and eating chili!  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Birthday Party in Blue

This is not the first birthday dinner for my daughter ... that we have celebrated with blue pumpkins!  It is, however, the first time the tablescape include all these old canning jars!  The big jar is a new acquisition from Big Lots!

Just look at all the blue pumpkins ... ceramic, plastic faux, blown glass ... fabric and one made with corn shucks! 

These cute napkins and napkin rings came from Pier 1 ... the soup bowls have been in the cabinet for a couple years ... and the blue maple leaf depression glass plates are some of my favorites!   The dinnerware is 1970s Mikasa and the flatware is Cambridge.   Blue !!!!

Welcome Blue Autumn!

I'm afraid that something at Big Lots caught my eye a few weeks ago.  A pretty teal pumpkin! Then I saw another one ... then I saw some blue pumpkin shaped candles and all that reminded me of the year that I decorated my sun room for Halloween in BLUE!  Phoebe was little then, and she loved the word BLUUUUUUE!  She would drag in out and emphasize it and make us all mimic her!

So, I decided to have a blue dining room for autumn, until the Halloween decorations came out!

My picture came from Kirkland's .. and don't you love that cozy blanket hanging off the mantel? It took about ten minutes to make that!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Hints of Autumn in August!

I'm not crazy about the month of August, but the hints of Autumn in August make me happy!  Autumn is my favorite season.

So, a little switch of the decor is always a good thing!

I watched a real rabbit in the back yard yesterday evening. Even though Jimmy Mutt was running all over the yard, the rabbit didn't move from it's spot!  It was happy in a spot of wild strawberry plants that I have let cover a spot ... and it wasn't moving!  Jimmy never even noticed!

I love rag rugs and have purchased several over the years ... that have been the works of artisan weavers!  Recently, I've found some colorful ones in places like "5 Below" ... a store that is like a dollar store, but items cost $5 or less!  The rug I have over the back of my sofa cost $5!  For the fun of it, I added a small rag rug to the top of the coffee table ... where Miss Phoebe does a lot of art work!  

All the trendy galvanized metal takes me back to my childhood!  In fact, I still have a galvanized 'wash tub' that belonged to my husband's grandmother!  It must be 75 years old! We used it for every picnic party we ever had ... to ice down watermelons! Sometimes the watermelon was spiked with vodka!

I added fall pine cones, acorns and leaves to this cute galvanized cart! My big pig sits around all the time! I recently purchased this little silver pig and you'll see him later on a tablescape I have planned!

"Grow Love" and "Plant Hope" ... painted on the sides of small flower pots that ride in the cart!  "Integrity" is a word that means so much! Think about that!

I'll share this post with some of the parties listed on my side bar, so make sure you click through to see the other posts!


Bleu Cheese and Figs!

This cheese ball is so easy!  You simply blend equal parts of cream cheese with bleu cheese ... roll it in pecans and top it with fig preserves.

That simple.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

5 Spice Chicken Beer Can Style

If you don't cook whole chickens beer can style, you are missing something easy and delicious!  No, you don't have to use beer!  While I started out propping my chicken on a beer can twenty-five years ago, I progressed to affording a stainless steel beer can rack/pan to use on my grill. You can find those online in a variety of designs and prices. I even have a ceramic one to use in the oven.

I've been wanting to make 5 Spice Chicken, so I decided to just add it to my beer can approach! I really enjoy the combined flavors of fennel, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and ginger. As I was looking around the wine racks for something to pour in the insertion can, I found something I bought at Christmastime and never used!  Spiced Cherry wine from Germany ... that is normally mulled and served warm. I happily drank some of it on ice and used some of it for the chicken. Fusion ... German and Asian!  The spices were compatibly the same!

I knew I would have a nice iceberg lettuce salad with my dinner, so I added something creamy to balance the kick of spice on the chicken! I love the oven under my outdoor grill. It is perfect for any side dish and keeps me from heating up the kitchen! I made the hash brown potato casserole that we all love!

I called beer can chicken easy. It is! You simply add about 1 1/2 cups of liquid in the can with your favorite herbs ...  and set the chicken's bottom right down over it. Cook it over indirect heat on the grill - medium high - for about 1 1/2 hours. Use your meat thermometer to make certain your chicken reaches 165 degrees internally.  During the last thirty minutes of cooking, I usually brush my bird with a little olive oil and seasoning.  This time, the seasoning was 5 Spice. Your dried seasoning spice with make a dark crust and the skin will be delicious.  You don't have to do a think to this chicken while it cooks, but it is important to pay attention for a splatter of grease that causes a flame up. INDIRECT HEAT is the key.  Beer can chickens are always moist, juicy ... delicious!

I will probably share this post with a couple parties listed in my side bar. Take a look for more wonderful posts!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Favorite Red - White - Blue

I've set hundreds of patriotic tablescapes! Each one has something included that was on one from the past ... but each one has something new, too! I cannot resist red, white and blue decor.

Let's just start by telling that the navy blue star basket is one of a set of nesting baskets. I've had it twenty years! While the little flags are inexpensive (but made in the USA), they are treasures because I've brought them home from Lincoln Dinners, Sister Cities events and Veteran's activities! The single new thing on this table is the tobacco box perched on top of my tiered tray. It is only new to me ... bought it last weekend at a junk store! Oh, no ... I fibbed! There is another new thing on the table. You'll meet it later!

Tablescapers know that designs usually begin with one or two favorite things! For this table, the plan evolved from two vintage doilies that I have had for ages ... and the new to me vintage tobacco box! All those things were added together with my galvanized tiered tray, pigs (of course) and some other cute things.

After the tray was completed, I had to add a few more things to the middle of the table. Galvanized charger plates on end, a reproduction White House Cookbook and a tray of pint jar vases, complete with metal flower frog lids.

 This place setting is patriotic eclectic!  The cobalt blue dinner plates are Arcoroc. The rest ... we'll just call the 'eclectic combination'!!!

I fall in love with all my stuff and that is why I have so much that I cannot part with. Someday I will have a gigantic auction, but I'm not ready yet! This is the new thing on the table ... the little tray of 3 pint jars! Of course, I've fallen in love with it, too!

My most favorite things on the table ... the red Union Leader tobacco box. My husband would have loved it! ... AND ... the Blue Willow 6 inch platters. These are Buffalo China and were probably intended for use in a restaurant for a 'side of bacon' with a breakfast meal!

I'll be sharing this post with a couple parties listed in my sidebar. Make sure you click through to see all the fun!

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