Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April Note Cards

For Vee's Note Card Party this month, I'm sharing some pictures that I took at Dallas Blooms at the Dallas Arboretum.  The Arboretum is a wonderful spot to visit and enjoy the beauty and the outdoors.

 Beautiful tulips with cherry blossom trees in the background.

 This stunning peacock was the star of the show with her flowery skirt trailing behind her!

 This just looks like Spring time, doesn't it?

I couldn't leave without one foodie picture and a Happy Easter to all!  Can you spot the Hello Kitty egg?  Recipe for the peanut butter eggs are found here. 

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A Haven for Vee

Monday, April 14, 2014

Peanut Butter Easter Eggs

Sandi, from Rose Chintz Cottage, is having her Easter Tea,  and for my tea I've used my bunny planter that a dear friend gave me several years ago, as my centerpiece.  I've made some peanut butter eggs for us to enjoy.   You can see the bunny pillow that I crosstitched ten years ago, in the background.   Won't you stay and enjoy a cup of tea? 

 I'm using my favorite bunny teapot and a cup that my late Great Aunt Kitty painted, along with the matching plate. 

Peanut Butter Eggs are a family favorite!   One of my bloggy buddies, Lynn,  from Happier Than A Pig In Mud , sent me a picture of a hard cooked Hello Kitty egg and had me thinking....hmmm...wouldn't an Hello Kitty Peanut Butter egg be fun? I decorated one in Hello Kitty style,  and for the rest,  I added Easter sprinkles.  You can check out my recipe for the Peanut Butter Easter Eggs here.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Chicken Vegetable Soup

Kathleen from  Cuisine Kathleen has challenged us to use birds, nests or eggs for April's Let's Dish party.  I'm sharing the painting that my son, Mike, is doing for me.  I think my Fiesta Ware dishes in the Peacock color look perfect with the painting.  Some bird houses, a nest that I made last year,  and a favorite bird complete the setting.

Here's a closer look at the painting.  I was hoping that it would be finished, but he still needs to work on the background.  These are all birds that visit my yard and are basically stylized to be about the same size. 

I always like to share a recipe and I thought I'd include a "bird" recipe.  This was found recently from The Associated Press and I adapted it to suit my tastes.  It comes together quickly and has a fresh, light taste and perfect for a Spring time meal.

1 T. olive oil
1/4 cup chopped shallots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
1 t. dried thyme (or 3 T. fresh, chopped)
16 ounces frozen baby corn (I used Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn)
2 chicken breast halves, cooked and cubed,  or leftover rotisserie chicken)
salt and pepper to taste

In a large stockpot over medium, heat the oil. Add the shallots, garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook until the onion is tender and translucent, 6 to 7 minutes.
Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add the asparagus, thyme and corn, and chicken,  then cook just until the asparagus is tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 6 servings.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

 I've made some quick cinnamon rolls for my tea today.  I'm serving the rolls on my Flamingo Fiesta Ware plate which goes so nicely with my Pfaltsgraff, The Secrets of Pistoulet tea set that was sent to me from a sweet blogging friend.  I made the runner from osnaburg fabric, which has a soft feel and a linen-like look.  My bunny topiary was a gift from some friends, ages ago. 

I just love this tea set for one with the matching honey pot.  Isn't the design such a pretty, dainty one on the teapot and cup?  The matching honey pot looks like a darling beehive.  The pink Flamingo plate picks up the pink on the band of the cup. 

When needing something sweet for a breakfast  or brunch, and you don't have much time, you might consider making these quick cinnamon rolls.  They're also great if you don't want a lot of leftovers and kids can help out, too.  Just double the recipe if needing more.  I hope you give them a try. 


1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for the counter
1 Tablespoons white granulated sugar
1  teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 T. cold butter
1/2 cup milk

2 Tablespoons of softened butter for spreading on dough

Cinnamon Filling:
1/3  cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 Tablespoons milk


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Generously butter a 9 inch round cake pan, or six muffin cups. 

2. Make the filling: combine together the brown sugar and the cinnamon.  Set aside.

3. Make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour; sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Cut in the 2 Tablespoons of cold butter with a pastry blender.  Stir in the milk and toss until it forms a ball. Knead briefly just to gather it into a ball. 

4.  Roll the dough or pat it on a lightly floured surface, into a 7" square.  Spread the dough with the 2 Tablespoons of softened butter. Spread the sugar filling on top of the butter and roll the dough up tightly, pinching the dough to seal.

5.  Slice the log into 6 slices.  Place into the greased pan or muffin cups,  cut side down. 

6.  Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Place on wire rack and then invert.

7.  Make icing by combining the ingredients, using enough milk to make a drizzle,  and spread over warm rolls. 

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tea Cup Exchange

Stephanie, my sweet blogging friend from The Enchanting Rose is hosting her Tea Cup Exchange and I received my special gifts from Ceil at Surrounded by the Spirit.
I am having some cranberry tea in my new Rosina bone china teacup, made in England, that I received from Ceil.   

Besides the gorgeous teacup that Ceil found in a resale shop, she gifted me with the two types of teas, some Lorna Doone shortbread cookies and a  gold placemat for enjoying a "golden moment" for enjoying some "time out".   It's such fun to receive the package in the mail, but it's also so wonderful to choose gifts for the recipient.  I have met so many lovely friends through Stephanie's exchange.  
Thank you so very much, Ceil, for your thoughtful and much appreciated tea time gifts!  Thank you to Stephanie for hosting such a fun exchange!

Just look at this beautiful hand-painted teacup!  Isn't this a beauty? Somehow, drinking tea from such a gorgeous teacup makes it extra-special.  

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chicken 'n' Chile Casserole

This recipe comes from the Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook and I adapted it for a smaller size. It makes a fabulous sauce and would be a perfect dish to take to someone that is in need of a home cooked meal. It's not too spicy and is great served over rice. I can't wait to make it again!   Here's the recipe:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 heaping cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 4- ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tomato, peeled and diced
1 4.5-ounce can chopped green chilies
3 cups hot cooked rice

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; place in a lightly greased casserole dish. Combine cheese and next three ingredients; pour over chicken. Sprinkle with chilies. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Serve over rice.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Egg Salad

For today's tea on my coffee table,  I've made some egg salad and I'm having Blueberry Herbal tea, which is delicious!   I'd love to share some with you.

 My Mom gave me this beautiful Bavaria china teacup, which I believe belonged to my late Great Aunt Kitty.  The cup is signed "A. Marshall" on the side, behind the handle,  and I'm wondering if my Aunt's china painting teacher painted this design on a plain Bavaria tea cup??  It's a mystery to me!  The bottom of the cup reads, PT Bavaria Tirschenreuth Germany. 

 My Mom also gave me this unmarked plate, which looks like white violets painted on.

This egg salad recipe is adapted from Cook's Illustrated. I cut some homemade bread into pretty shapes and toasted them.  The bread recipe comes from a starter that someone gave me about 11 years ago.  The starter is supposedly from the Civil War and I have been making it faithfully since I received it.  I add oats and ground flax seed for an additional nutritional boast when I make it.

6 eggs, large
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons red onions, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon table salt
ground black pepper


Place eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Remove pan from high heat. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.(This cooks the eggs perfectly without the ugly green ring around the edges.)

Fill a medium bowl with 1 quart water and 1 tray of ice cubes.

Transfer eggs to ice water bath with slotted spoon and let sit 5 minutes. (I like to roll the eggs first to crack the shells).

Peel eggs and dice medium.  (I use a pastry blender to quickly chop the eggs.)

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl, including pepper to taste. Serve or refrigerate overnight.

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