Ducks on the Table Top!

I set lots of duck tables during the winter months as we enjoy wild game on the menu!  Here's the centerpiece
from a recent buffet meal.

 I love using Joe's duck decoys and wooden boxes.  I have a big collection of the boxes and Joe has several wooden cigar molds, so we have lots to choose from!   My buffet tablecloth is actually a piece of camo fabric!

I'm linking to Tabletop Tuesday, so make sure you click through the favicon to visit the party.  As always, special thanks to our hostess!

Planning & Organizing

I don't do many projects in January, but the Capricorn in me makes me organize and plan my entire upcoming year.  I draft a working calendar of dinner parties, wine tastings, teas, cocktail parties and barbecues.  I plan the themes and menus and sometimes even spend time with my fabulous Cricut machine experienting with invitations, place cards and menu cards.  Yes, I'm that organized.

After I know what kind of events I want to have on the front porch or on the back deck, I begin to think about the kinds of plants I might want.  I don't have much of a green thumb, so "easy and cannot kill it" come into play! 

I look at some of the things I've done in the past as I plan the upcoming year.  What worked?  What did our friends and family like the most?

I also look at past plantings to see what grew best!  After we lost some of our mature trees in the 2009 inland hurricane, mh plantings have become almost experiamental.  Things that used to love shade, cannot find the shade anymore.   I've transplanted, planted new ... and just given up on some things.

I'm linking to Masterpiece Monday in hopes of seeing some neat projects I can copy!  Make sure you click through the favicon to visit the party ... and special thanks to our hostess.

Go, Go Ice & Snow!

I hate to say it, but it was 60 degrees yesterday in Southern Illinois.  That only means that next week we could have ice and snow that prevents us from moving much!  That is the weather in this part of the country.  I don't envy my blogging friends in the northeast this past week.  I can't say that I'm a big fan of snow and ice.

I do, however, enjoy setting the table that reflects icy weather!  How crazy is that?

I've mixed my Shannon Crystal with part of my collection of Depression Era Glass in the Waterford Waffle Pattern.  It was made by Hocking and really came on the scene after the Depression at a time when real crystal was coming into vogue.  Those who couldn't afford the real thing, might have been able to afford this pressed glass variety. 
I love mixing it all up.

I'm joining Seasonal Sundays, so make sure you click through the favicon to visit the party!  Thanks to our hostess.  Don't we have fun at our parties?

Foodie Friday - Recipes in my Online Magazine

Take a look at my new online magazine.  I've included great recipes.   I've linked to Foodie Friday and Southern in My Heart so make sure you click thru to visit the parties!

Pinecones and Chili!

We had a nice Saturday night chili supper by the fire.  I used my Pinecone pattern ironstone made by Towncraft for Cabelas.  It is really heavy, appropriate for soups and chili ... and works well through the winter.  In 2009, I used it for one of my Christmas dinner party tables with cabin style decor and lanterns surrounded by pine boughs and pine cones. 

My green Depression Glass leaves are the perfect bowls for dessert.  I have a dozen of these and they are probably actually candy dishes, but they look great in this tablescape!   The red stemmed glasses are heavy enough to fit the theme.

I picked up some really big pine cones last fall to specifically use with this dinnerware.  Southern Illinois is full of huge stands of pine trees.  I filled a couple hurricanes with them  and flanked a tall centerpiece of curly willow branches that I used years ago in a garden show entry!   Yes, I keep everything!

The special pieces on the table include the leaf bowls, napkin rings that include tiny pinecones with the polka dot napkins.  I love all polka dots!   The real pinecones stand out ... and the Cambridge flatware in the pinecone pattern adds a special touch to perfect this tablescape theme! 

Our dinner with Miss Phoebe and her daddy was warm, cozy and filling and tasty!  It was 9 degrees outside, with a little snow on the ground, but comfortable inside!

I'm posting with Tablescape Thursday and Alphabet Thursday, so make sure you click through to the parties. 

Find Recipes like this in My New Online Magazine!

You can find the recipe for these scones in Slice of Pie Online.  Just turn through the pages ... download or print the magazine!  Hope you enjoy!   I'm linking to What's Cooking Wednesday?  ... so make sure you click through the favicon and visit the party.  Special thanks to our hostess.  Love these parties!

A Pink Snow Angel!

We didn't get lots of snow ... but enough for Miss Phoebe to make snow angels!   Here ... she's looking for the perfect spot!    She and her daddy had  come for dinner (Mom was working) ... but we couldn't get her to come in the house!

She's giggling so much ... she can hardly move her arms and legs! 

She finally gets going!   Back and forth ... back and forth!  I'm telling her to "do like a butterfly" and she's telling me ... "no, like an angel."   OOPS!  What does Grandma know?

There wasn't enough snow to really make an impression ... but I acted like I could see the most beautiful angel/butterfly in the whole world!

I was hoping she was finished ... so we could get her out of the wet mess ... but  she's looking for yet another "best spot" to make another angel!

So we did it all over again ... two more times!

Met Monday - A New Online Magazine

I'm posting with the Metamorphis Monday party ... so make sure you visit Between Naps and check out all the other posts.   I'm going to be publishing a seasonal online magazine and just want to share the Spring issue with you.   The metamorphis?  Tons of recipes ... pictures ... memories ... all put into the pages of this neat piece.  Enjoy!

For the Pet Party!

This is Junior …Louis Shiner Junior Moore to be exact.  He is the love of my life.  I have loved many dogs, but this guy is attached to my hip and has been for almost ten years!  He’s a registered Labrador  ... .came out of championship stock … but we never cared about that.   My husband needed to have him … to replace another love of our lives (Louie) … and he loves my husband … but he is attached to me!

This guy is another matter. His name is MeMutt … actually James Mutt Moore … named after my father and middle named Mutt because that is what he is. I made a bit of a mistake getting him but I wouldn’t trade him for a hundred others!

My dad always raised dogs … generally registered hounds for hunting. He named many dogs after my husband … and my husband reciprocated! The names Jim and Joe have been parts of lengthy names of many of the family pets.

When Daddy reached his 80s, he didn’t have dogs anymore … but always said he would get another one. When he was 89, he talked all winter about getting a dog … so when I walked into the “farm store” one Saturday morning and saw these little Lab mix dogs, I couldn’t resist taking one. It was stupid of me … my dad and husband liked full breed dogs … but I just thought the timing was right. Within two weeks, my daddy died and MeMutt came to live with us! We call him MeMutt because Miss Phoebe couldn’t say Jimmy Mutt!

So my boys have grown to love each other … they are quite different and don’t always agree … but at the end of the evening they can be found snoozing side by side!

I've linked to the Pet Party ... so make sure you click thru the icon on the left and visit the other posts.  Thanks to our hostess.  Enjoy!

Birthday Snowmen! Seasonal Sundays!

Most everything that goes on at our house centers around Miss Phoebe!  We are so lucky to have this beautiful little grandchild to love ... and to love us.  When she arrived for my little birthday dinner, she was all dressed up ... carrying my present ... but she made a mad dash for the kitchen table where the cake was sitting!  She announced that she was putting her finger in my cake icing ... and did just that.  She had waited for a few months to do this ... because we had had a conversation back in October about her upcoming December party and the fact that I would not be allowed to stick my finger in HER cake!  It had become a big game ... waiting to get to my cake!

 My composed centerpiece still had a couple Santas in it ... I don't put all the Christmas away until the end of January!   The snowman tower came from  Kohl's ... and the big girl  sitting on the blue chair in the center is handmade ... and came from a big craft show that Phoebe and I visited before Christmas.  I got the big girl and she wanted a little snow girl that matched it.   A few big snowflakes and blue ornaments ... and we were all set for dinner.
This dinner ware came from Kohl's ... the glassware even came from there ... a few years ago!  I certainly didn't need more dishes ... but the giant size of these plates made them stand out ... and I love the skinny tall mugs.  I've had the red flatware for years ... and use it all year long on various tables!  Love red!

Hope you enjoyed my fifty-something birthday!   When I told a youngster friend of mine that I'd had another birthday, the little snot "congratulated" me!   I say "snot" lovingly!  Actually his reaction was the perfect thing to say ... because I'll soon be fifteen years cancer free ... and I count each day ... and certainly every continuing year ... as a gift!

Slice of Pie Online - New Magazine

Hey!  Take a look at my new online production!   Slice of Pie Online will be published seasonally ... and focus on entertaining ideas, family-oriented stories, recipes, menus, tablescapes ... and lots of other good things.   Hope you enjoy it.

Penguins in the Bathroom!

Miss Phoebe came to visit and we decorated the bathroom with her favorites ... "wing wings" ... although she doesn't call them that anymore!  She's a big girl now, and that was baby talk!

Black bears usually live in this bathroom ... and sometimes it is a little difficult to decorate around the autumn wallpaper ... which I will never change ... but we overlook that problem.  I'm linking to Tabletop Tuesday ... special thanks to our hostess!  Hope you are all enjoying the new year ... my trees are still up, so you might see a little more Christmas at my house in upcoming posts!

Chinese New Year - Just a Month Away!

We love to celebrate Chinese New Year and this year the date is February 3rd. Sometimes, we combine our Chinese New Year celeberation with part of our Valentine celebrations ... because of the beautiful story describing the Blue Willow china pattern. If you don't know that story, visit this site to read the romantic fable!

Here's a post from a girlfriends luncheon I had last year ... celebrating both events ... using my Blue Willow.  Then, the pictures and recipes became a part of my "Made at Home" newspaper cooking column.  I've shared the recipes for the beautiful composed salad and the yummy dessert! Enjoy!

Honey Walnut Chicken Salad

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 ½ cups walnut pieces
One red bell pepper, sliced
2 cups pineapple chunks
1 cup sesame sticks
Salad greens
1 can cream of coconut
2 cups pineapple juice
Honey Pineapple Coconut Salad Dressing

To make six main course salads, sauté the chicken thighs in 2 tablespoons canola oil for four minutes on each side. Transfer to a baking dish and cover with pineapple juice. Bake them at 350 degrees for thirty minutes. Chill overnight, in the juice.

Glaze the walnuts by sautéing them in 2 tablespoons of the cream of coconut. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of onion powder and ½ teaspoon of chipotle powder. Transfer to a tray lined with waxed paper and let them cool.

Make the salad dressing by combining 1 cup of mayonnaise with ½ cup of pineapple juice, ¼ cup of Southern Illinois honey, ¼ cup of cream of coconut and a dash of rice vinegar.

Compose the salad by topping the greens with sliced chicken, red peppers, walnuts, pineapple and sesame sticks. Top with the dressing.

I patterned this salad after a favorite Chinese dish ... Honey Walnut Chicken ... and, of course, you don't have to use Southern Illinois honey!  

Almond Gooey Cake
A bite of this easy cake is just like a bite of a Chinese almond cookie, topped with cheesecake! Make the crust by blending one yellow cake mix (dry) with one stick of room temperature butter and one egg. Press the crust into the bottom of a prepared 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Make the topping by blending together 8 ounces of room temperature cream cheese, 2 eggs, 1 box of confectioner’s sugar and 1 ½ teaspoon of almond extract. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving with fresh berries and whipped cream.  For valentines day, cut the pieces with a heart shaped cookie cutter!

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