Sunday, July 27, 2014

Turkey Cheese Spud

Turkey Cheese Spud

This is what I had for lunch today and it was really yummy.  Simple but good.  Give this a try while tomatoes are still so good.

1 potato (I actually used a smaller Yukon Gold)
1/3 cup shredded cheddar
2 oz. deli turkey meat (I used smoked turkey), cut into cubes
2 tablespoons light sour cream

Tomatoes, green onions, salt and pepper to taste

I really like a true baked in the oven potato, but time was short today.  I pierced my potato with a fork about 10 times.  (This works great if you are mad at something!).  I then wrapped it in plastic warp and cooked it on high in the microwave for 4 minutes.  This time will vary depending on the size of your potato and the time you have to let it sit after it has cooked. 

I mixed the cheese in before my cold ingredients so it would have time to melt.  Then the meat, sour cream and veggies.

So easy....give it a try...you will be happy you did. 

I had mine along side a salad of arugula and tomatoes with a lemon vinaigrette.

Enjoy!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jack and his magic beans


God blessed me with a green thumb.  There are a few plants that I can't get along with but for the most part I love all things green and colorful.  I can't drive up to my house without thinking that these containers are Jack's beanstalk.When I first planted these back in the spring, the sweet potato vine was just a small three leaf plant.  In early summer, the sweet potato vine had taken over and so I cut half or more of it out.  Fast forward, it is back!  I suppose I should be happy that anything survives the western sun that these containers must endure.

Close up view of my beanstalk
  I love how the pink and blue flowers are peaking through just trying to get a little of the attention.

One spot where the sweet potato vine has not taken center stage
When I first planted these containers this is more of what I had in mind.  More flowers, less vine.  Oh, well, mother nature has a mind of her own.  Thanks Jack!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Shiny Things

King Edward Silver plate
I recently found this treasure and I am so excited.  For some reason I love collecting silver plate.  I spent a while cleaning all these shiny pieces up, but did not have time to polish them.  I actually like just a little patina to remain. 

I learned something very interesting about the King Edward pattern recently.  You may recall my post on the Bridal Luncheon several weeks ago.  Think blue hydrangeas, china and silver.  After the luncheon my friends and I were cleaning up and one of them asked me the name of the silverware she was drying.  I told her it was King Edward.  She said it could not be because she has King Edward and it did not look anything like mine.  So, with lights full on and several of us wearing reading glasses, we read the back of my silverware and it said "King Edward".  We were all a little perplexed but finished our job of returning everything to its place and never thought about it again.  That is until I found this set above which was another King Edward pattern.

After a little research, I found that there are five King Edward patterns. (There could be more, but this is what I came up with).  It turns out that each silver company made their own version and thus the differences in appearance. Who knew?


Here it is up close.  I look forward to using it with my china, but also with my casual dinnerware.  I like contrasts. 



This is how the set arrived to me...a jumbled up mess.  This was certainly a learning experience for me.  There were really long forks that looked like dinner forks (see photo below, third one from the right) that perplexed me.  I had never seen these before.  Doing more research, I found that these forks are called Grille or Viande forks.  To be used like we use dinner forks, they were created around the 1930,'s and because of the long handle thought to be more chic.  Crazy right?  I have no idea where the Grille name came from because they have nothing to do with a grill or grilled food.  Also, when looking at the knife in the photo below, you will notice that the handle is much longer than usual.  This is so that is it proportionate to the Grille/Viande fork. 

Look at all these pieces!
This set came from around the 1930's - 40's era.  Can you imagine setting a table today with all of these pieces?  I love the history behind this silver plate but,  do you think it would intimidate people today if all these pieces were placed in front of them?  I think so.  Entertaining should be about making people comfortable, creating friendships and spending time with family.  Two things inspire me about this set.  When I look at the ample soup spoon, all I can think of is making a big pot of soup or gumbo and serving it with these spoons.  And when I see the cocktail fork, visions of plates of grilled oysters come to mind.  I am inspired to entertain and I hope you are too!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

This or That?

Several months ago I selected this fabric with the help of designer, Melanie.  It seemed to be the perfect addition to our family room windows and door.  I have been so excited to have the window treatments made with this fabric.  I am savoring the whole decorating process...trying to let it just happen as it should.  This is hard for an impatient person but fun at the same time.  It may seem like we are going slow with our projects, but I think it make the progress that much sweeter.

The original fabric selection for my family room
You may be asking what's with this "original" fabric selection.  Once Melanie ordered a sample of this, we found the color to be a much lighter blue and just not right at all.  I learned from a previous fabric purchase that the die lots can be totally different.

So, Melanie found a new selection and I could not be happier.  It somehow seems more current, more hip, more WOW!  So, we are into the ordering and sewing stage and I hope in another month, I will be able to show you the finished project. 

New fabric for family room
At the same time these window treatments are installed, I will have another surprise to share.  Stay tuned!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Travesty or Beauty

Confetti Hydrangea?

Last week while at the grocery store, this caught my eye.  At first, my thoughts were that this flower looked like a hydrangea.  Upon second glance I realized it WAS a hydrangea!  But, with all these colors?  Considering myself a lover and admirer of hydrangeas, I could not retrieve any such hydrangea grown in normal circumstances.  I will admit to turning my nose up.  I finished my grocery shopping and went home.

I thought about this flower and the next day while at the grocery decided to take a photo and share with my millions of readers to get their opinions on this.  Is it beauty? Is it creative? Is it artsy? Let me know what you think.

I finally decided once I got off of my snotty horse that it could really be fun in certain circumstances.  I thought about the 4th of July and how nice a large bunch of these would look mingled in with all the red, white and blue.  Then I thought about how happy a few would make me sitting by my kitchen sink.  Or how fun they would be for a birthday party.  The list could go on.  So let me know what you think?  Travesty or Beauty?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Oldie But Goodie

EGG & OLIVE SALAD



THE SANDWICH!  AHHH!


The other day my refrigerator was EMPTY!  Really, you could see empty shelves and drawers.  After all, I had just cleaned it out really good.  You know that once or twice a year cleaning where you sort through everything...even the sauces and mustards and discard the old.  This was making me feel so accomplished until lunch time started drawing near.  I had not thought about the fact that the refrigerator is a conduit to meals.  I began to think about lunch and look really hard into my fridge and I found an old treasure.  Eggs, green olives and mayo.  That's right, all the makings for Egg & Olive Salad.  It had been years since I had made this salad and the thought of it made me happy.  I remember my grandmother and mother both making this salad when I was younger. There is really not a recipe, but here is how I made mine.

4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
6 or so large green olives
Some mayo (just enough to bind your ingredients)

I want to share a funny story about hard boiled eggs.  My mother and I used to disagree about how long to boil eggs.  She would say 10 minutes and I would always say 15 minutes.  One day my girlfriend was boiling eggs and I told her that my mother and I always disagreed about how long to boil eggs.  I told my friend that 10 minutes just was not enough that sometimes the yolks were still too soft.  She argued with me and told me my mother was right.  Upon completion of boiling her eggs, she cracked them open and sure enough they were still too soft.  I remained silent.  Sometimes silence is golden.  Later that night my mother told me my friend had called her earlier in the day to ask how to boil eggs.  Well my friend never let that secret out of the bag, but I wonder how long she boils her eggs today? 

A disclaimer - I think eggs are larger these days and I boil them for close to 20 minutes.  This way I am sure they are hard boiled. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Food Equals Fun

Son 2 left this weekend with Mr. Sparkling to attend a baseball camp for pitchers and catchers.  While Mr. Sparkling returned home after dropping our cherub off, Son 2 stayed with a family friend.  

This family friend is actually the son of Mr. Sparkling's college room mate.  He graduated college in recent years.  I never gave much thought to what Son 2 would be eating while away.  If I had to have made a guess, I would have said eating out would be on tap.  Well, boy was I wrong!  Son 2 sent a picture of his first meal.  I must say I got a big smile on my face when I saw this.  How nice was it for this young man to cook a meal for my son?



While I was "home alone", I decided to take full advantage of the situation.  I popped some popcorn and watched the movie, Erin Brockovich.  I must say I had so much fun.  This is one of my all time favorite movies.  

The next day, Mr. Sparkling made the almost 5 hour drive back all by himself.  I must say I had a little guilt at my leisure activities the day before, so I decided to make us a meal for when he returned from his journey.

I have recipes all over my house.  I tear them out of magazines, print them off the Internet and jot them down on random sheets of paper.  I can't remember exactly where this recipe for Fancy Pants Chicken came from, but I have it scribbled on a sheet of copy paper.  I thought this sounded really good and made a salad to go along side it.  Once Mr. Sparkling returned, we enjoyed this meal.  We both liked this chicken so I say give it a try!


  
FANCY PANTS CHICKEN

2 packages thin chicken breasts (for me, this was 6 breasts)
6 slices prosciutto
1/2 bag fresh spinach (this is about 2-3 cups)
1 - 8 oz. package sliced mushrooms
1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Savory Herb and Garlic seasoning
1/2 cup white wine (I used chicken broth so I would not have to open a whole bottle)
1/4 cup olive oil
8 oz. shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish

Place layers of chicken in a pan. (If I make this again I will use a larger dish and not layer chicken)

Cover with prosciutto

Top with spinach

Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper

Top with mushrooms

Whisk olive oil, wine (or chicken broth) and savory herb packet

Pour over all ingredients

Place a tented foil over the baking dish

Bake 30 minutes

Top with cheese and bake 5 more minutes.  

YUMMY!!