Mardi Gras Sunday Dinner!

When I was a young mom, I would tell people ..."What I do ... I do for Nicole."   Now, I am happy to tell you ... "What I do ... I do for Phoebe."  This granddaughter of mine has a little bit of interest in cooking ... and a little more interest in tablescaping!  If you follow me, you know that I have promised her a Sunday Dinner a month, complete with a holiday theme.  We don't care if we can't celebrate a holiday on the actual appropriate date.  This family is so busy, it is difficult to do that.  We celebrate when we can, but we always celebrate!  For me, getting my family around the table for my food is a celebration that I love.

Our centerpiece was all about the table runners and colorful miniature masks!  I added lots of beads and a few larger masks.


Pioneer Woman's Celia pattern dinnerware is filled with Mardi Gras colors, so they worked perfectly.  

I would never pay the price for beaded place mats.  However, I found a deep, deep discounted set at Kohl's a couple years ago. They were the perfect foundation for this place setting!  I've had this multi-colored flatware for so long, I don't remember where they came from or who made them!  It doesn't really matter, 
but the colors added a lot to this casual setting!

Purple napkins, purple faux gemstone napkin rings ... cute tiny masks and my favorite vintage Bull's Eye goblets ... round out the colorful setting!

Cajun or Creole food is a part of our standard menu in our households, so thinking of something extra special for this Sunday Dinner took creativity.  We have a new Amish market that has an incredible array of luncheon meats, so mini Muffaletta Sandwiches was an easy decision!  Phoebe, Nicole and I visited the market the weekend of our event and I loaded my cart with a variety of meats and cheeses.  I happy to find a big jar of Muffaletta olive relish on their shelves, too!  I sprinkled the tops of my little French rolls not with sesame seeds (as is the usual), but with a garlic butter sprinkle, and that made the sandwiches even better. Sharp cheddar, German balogna, Genoa salami and honey glazed ham filled the rolls.

I made an easy egg salad to serve with crackers.  In keeping with the theme, a little Muffaletta olive relish mixed with the chopped eggs and mayo created an egg salad with a spicy bite!

Our Cajun shrimp was actually quickly stir fried!  I tossed the shrimp in a Cajun spice mix and a little olive oil, and then added chopped asparagus to the fry pan.  A quick toss and a little sauce made with 2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 2 Tablespoons of Sriracha, a sprinkle of brown sugar and a cup of seafood stock.  I used the stock as the liquid for a cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce and stirred in half a stick of butter to finish it.  I served it over brown rice, which created a nutty flavored background for the spice.  

Do you see a King Cake in my collage?  Nope!  Miss Phoebe asked for Cherry Pie, so that is what we had.

I'll share this post with a couple blog parties listed in my side bar.  Make sure you click through to see the other posts!

Valentine's Sunday Dinner

In 2019, I have planned to have a monthly Sunday Dinner for my family and will celebrate whatever holiday falls in that month!  Miss Phoebe and I agreed that we might make up some holidays!  This family is so busy, we don't always get to celebrate holidays on the actual date, so this is a fantastic alternative!  In February, we celebrated Valentine's Day two times.  The first time on February 14th at my daughter's house ... and the second time a few days later!

The tablescape was important and it was designed around these collectible Royal Dalton 7 inch plates.  These are beautiful used with any delicate rose china pattern, but Sunday dinners have to be casual, so I used my everyday Temptations!  Red was the theme!

 With the Christmas Tree in the background, this quick composed centerpiece (actually on the end of the table) also includes some of the plates and red lanterns repurposed from Christmas!

The tablescape was simple!  Centerpiece on the end, so we could put lots of food in the center and serve family style!  The red placemats and napkins are from Pier 1 ... winter season!

 The cute heart bread and butte plates are Williams Sonoma "Letters" and are probably intended for appetizers!

Our menu was simple ... Balsamic pork roast, loaded mashed potatoes, fried corn and this easy salad.  We all love marinated artichoke hearts, so when a jar is about half empty, I add a nice flavored vinegar (fig on this day) to it and turn it into a nice salad dressing.  Butter lettuce, baby spinach and cauliflower ... with the artichoke hearts ... made us happy on this day!

My mother always baked a cherry pie for Valentine's Day and I have carried on that tradition!  My cousin recently told me that her mother baked the cherry pie for Washington's birthday!  As long as you get cherry pie!  Skinnie Minnie Phoebe didn't want pie with her meal, but the leftovers went to her house.  Later that day, her mom discovered that she had stood at the kitchen counter and had eaten the last two pieces right out of the pie plate!  

Happy Valentine's Day ... I'll post on a few blog parties, so make sure you click through!

Valentines in my Living Room!

We actually 'live' in our living room! There is nothing formal or extravagant about it, unlike some of the first homes we lived in!  At first I thought I couldn't survive without a formal living room but after 35 years in this house ... I'm fine with it!

I have a few spots in my home that I always decorate for holidays!  There are times that the holidays run together, because I love all these little vignettes!  I'm posting a couple pictures from the top of a cabinet in the living room!

Here's that favorite spot with a fusion of Christmas and Valentine's Day!  I love my natural trees!  Had to leave at least one of them out, especially since it is wrapped in red burlap!

Here are the elements of the vignette!  I found that "love you" sign not long after Joe died.  Sometimes it kills me to look at it, but I have it displayed all the time.

The next picture has nothing to do with this little tablescape!  My favorite Valentine basket went with me to visit the local adult daycare center.  I visit almost every week and read a story and pass out some treats!  One of the ladies pays special attention to my baskets, so I take a different one each week!

February's Family Sunday Dinner

Christmas 2020

Mary Queen of Scots Dinner Menu Booklet

Grandma Debbie's Christmas 2018

Grandma's Blue & Green Pupkins!

Autumn at Grandma Debbie's