Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Goblets from Canning Jars

My Mom and sister are here visiting from Ohio to go to our youngest son's wedding.  I had made the darling bridal couple these wedding goblets and we decided to make some for my kitchen table.  You can check here for the directions on how to make them.  I want to join Kathleen's Let's Dish! on Wednesday night at 7 pm.  Check out all the other ideas at this fun party.







                                              Here's my Mom and Sister ready to toast !!
 

I am sharing this with:







Monday, March 26, 2012

Low-cal Mousse in Chocolate Shells

A sweet, little treat to end a meal!
Have you bought any of the preformed chocolate shells yet?  I have found them at Target and at World Market.  They are just wonderful for a little treat and you can fill them with so many different things...pudding, ice cream, berries, etc., etc.  Here's how I filled them:

                                                                                              
I package white chocolate instant sugar- free pudding mix (or any flavor that you like)
1 and 1/2 cups milk
about half an 8-ounce tub of frozen whipped topping, thawed
The zest of 1 orange (this adds great flavor)
I package of the chocolate dessert shells
Fresh berries for garnish or chocolate curls


Mix the pudding and milk together for two minutes. Fold in the whipped topping and the orange zest. Fill the shells and you have a yummy dessert!! Top with a fresh berry and/or chocolate curls.  You will have leftover pudding mix to enjoy later.

I am sharing this with:
Mix It Up Monday!
On the Menu Monday
Tea Time Tuesday at Rose Chintz Cottage
Tea Party Tuesday
Table Top Tuesday
Your Cozy Home Party
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Rock 'n Share Party
Mrs. Fox's Sweets Party
Bake with Bizzy
Full Plate Thursday
Thriving on Thursdays
Foodie Friday
Pink Saturday
Sweets for Saturday
Link 'n Greet Party
Seasonal Sundays

Friday, March 23, 2012

Chicken, Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

I found this delicious soup recipe from the March 2011 issue of Southern Living.  I've adapted the preparation slightly for easier clean up.  We enjoyed this soup very much. 

2 (6-oz.) packages long-grain and wild rice mix
10 cups chicken broth, divided
3 T. butter
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (I doubled this)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup half- and- half (I used 1/4 c. heavy cream and 1/4 c. milk)
2 T. dry white wine
2 cups cooked shredded chicken breasts (or leftover chicken)
garnishes: fresh parsley leaves, freshly cracked pepper

Bring rice, 4 cups chicken broth and 1 seasoning packet from rice mix to a boil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat.  (Reserve remaining packet for another use.)  Cover; reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

Meanwhile, melt 3 T. butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add mushrooms, onion, and celery and cook, stirring often, 10-12 minutes or until tender.  Remove from the skillet into a bowl and set aside.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in the same skillet.  Whisk in flour and cook,  whisking constantly for 1 minute or until thickened and bubbly.  Gradually whisk in remaining 6 cups broth and cook, stirring often for 8-10 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Whisk in half- and -half and wine.  Add all of this, along with the reserved mushroom mixture  and the chicken to the rice in the dutch oven.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes or until heated through (Do not boil.)   Garnish, if desired.

I am sharing this with:

Mix It Up Monday!
On the Menu Monday
Table Top Tuesday
Your Cozy Home Party
Wow Us Wednesday
Rock 'n Share Party
Full Plate Thursday
Thriving on Thursdays
Foodie Friday
Link & Greet Party
Seasonal Sundays
Sunday Night Soup

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Easter Kitchen Table Decor

When I saw Ann from Sutton Place's post  on a nesting bunny, I knew what I wanted to make.  I already had bought this cute bunny from HomeGoods, which I bought when  I saw how well it blended with my quilted table topper.  I used my grandmother's basket, which is probably at least 80 years old and filled it first with bubble wrap (to keep the table clean!!) and then moss from the Dollar Tree. I sprouted some pink flowers (50% off) from Hobby Lobby to add some color. I also changed the bow out  on the bunny with some bright pink tulle.


Last year, on a visit to Home Goods,  I found the lime green polka dot salad plates!! I love buying salad plates to go with my Mikasa English Countryside dinnerware. 



 I made this Big Star quilt for my Easter kitchen table. I loved the bunny pattern and the bright pink polka dots to coordinate. 



Here's the quilt in detail.


How about a cup of tea, in the tea cup painted by my late, Great-Aunt Kitty?


 I tied some more of the tulle around the silverware and napkin.

I am joining:


Monday, March 19, 2012

Strawberry Streusel Muffins

Mmmmm I love any kind of berry,  and these muffins with strawberries are berry delicious!!  The recipe comes from Betty Crocker's Best Loved Recipes.  The muffins are good for breakfast, brunch or tea time.  The strawberries enhanced with the orange zest makes for a wonderful flavor combination.  I hope you give them a try soon.



3/4 cup milk                                                    
1/2 cup oil
1 T. orange zest
2 cups flour
1 T. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1/3 cup sugar

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper baking cups.

Mix milk, oil, orange zest and egg in large bowl until well blended.  Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, strawberries and sugar just until moistened.
Prepare the Pecan Streusel Topping.  Fill muffins two-thirds full with batter.  Sprinkle batter with the topping.  Bake 15-20 minutes.

Pecan Streusel Topping

(I only use half of this and save the rest for another recipe)

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 T. melted butter

Mix all ingredients until well blended.
Plate, cup and saucer painted by late,  Great- Aunt Kitty

I'm sharing with:

Mix It Up Monday!
On the Menu Monday
Tea Time Tuesday at Rose Chintz Cottage
Tea Party Tuesday
Table Top Tuesday
Your Cozy Home Party
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Rock 'n Share Party
Mrs. Fox's Sweets Party
Bake with Bizzy
Full Plate Thursday
Thriving on Thursdays
Foodie Friday
http://www.inthekitchenwithaudrey.com/
Pink Saturday
Sweets for Saturday
Link 'n Greet Party
Seasonal Sundays

Friday, March 16, 2012

Green Eggs and Ham

Sprinkle the eggs with some chopped chives
Last Spring, I saw this great idea for coloring deviled eggs after they are hard-cooked, on happierthanapiginmud.blogspot.com/.  Lynn always has fun ideas for food and great recipes.  I tried it last year and I thought this would be perfect for a fun Green Eggs and Ham meal.  It's just TOO FUN of an idea not to share,  for Spring time meals, or any time, for that matter.

Here's how I did the eggs:
                                                                                                
To cook the eggs:

For eggs, put the amount you want into a saucepan, cover the eggs with an inch of water over the tops; bring to a boil.  When the water comes to a boil, remove the pan from the heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.  Remove the eggs from the water and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water.  I usually roll them around to crack the shells and let them sit for about 5 minutes.  They then can be easily peeled.

To color the eggs:

You will need about 1 t. white vinegar, food coloring and about 1 cup of hot water.  For 5 eggs and wanting them all green, I used 1 T. white vinegar, green food coloring and 3 cups water.  I put the peeled, hard-cooked eggs sit in the water for about 7 minutes, as Lynn suggested.

To make the deviled egg filling:

I used a wavy food cutter to slice the eggs, popped out the yolk into a bowl and used a pastry blender to smash up the yolks.  Usually  people like the filling that their Mom  made and I'm no exception!!  I use a little vinegar & sugar, salt and pepper, a little milk to make it creamy (but not too creamy), a couple of tablespoons of mayo and stir it all up.  You then can spoon into the white of the egg or pipe it in.  I used a Wilton Dessert Decorator that you can buy at Wal Mart.  It's great when you don't have a huge amount to decorate.

The Wilton Dessert Decorator

I am sharing with:

Mix It Up Monday!
On the Menu Monday
Table Top Tuesday
Your Cozy Home Party
Wow Us Wednesday
Rock 'n Share Party
Full Plate Thursday
Thriving on Thursdays
Foodie Friday
Food on Friday
Link & Greet Party
Seasonal Sundays

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Irish Stew with Roasted Cabbage Wedges

I usually make a traditional Guinness Irish Stew for St. Patrick's Day.  However, in my new Cuisine magazine that I received for my birthday (Yea!!!),  they had this recipe.  It sounded delicious & I thought I'd give it a try. Oh my, was it ever "flavorful", as my dear hubby said.  It's such a quick stew, but the depth of flavors is incredible.  If you'd like to try a new version of Irish Stew, you might want to try this recipe out.  Happy St. Patrick's Day... Slainte'!!!

1 lb. ground lamb (Cuisine suggested ground beef,
        if lamb isn't "your cup of tea")
2 cups sliced carrots
1 & 1/2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
12 oz. purple potatoes, halved (I used Honey Gold)
2 T. tomato paste
2 T. each minced garlic & fresh rosemary
1 cup dark beer, such as Guinness
4 cups low sodium beef broth
1 T. each Worcestershire sauce and Dijon
       mustard
Minced zest & juice of 1 small lemon
salt & pepper to taste
chopped fresh parsley

Saute' lamb (I used ground beef) in a Dutch oven until browned.  Stir the meat less if you want larger chunks.  Remove the meat from pot to a  paper-towel lined plate.

Add carrots, onions (I used 1 onion, chopped as I couldn't find frozen pearl onions), and potatoes to drippings in pot and saute' 5 minutes.  Stir in tomato paste, garlic and rosemary; cook until paste darkens, about 2 minutes.  Stir in flour, coating vegetables, and cook 1 minute.

Deglaze pot with beer, then stir in broth, Worcestershire and Dijon; bring to a boil and cook until vegetables are fork- tender, about 15 minutes.  Stir meat back into stew and season with zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Garnish each serving with parsley.

Cuisine states that it makes 6 servings, but I think it only makes 4-5. 

Roasted Cabbage Wedges (perfect with the stew)
 Have this roasting while you make the stew

1/2 head green cabbage
3 T. olive oil
1/2 t. whole mustard seeds, crushed
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil.

Cut cabbage into 6 wedges, leaving the core intact.  Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle about 1/2 T. over each wedge, then sprinkle with mustard seeds; season with salt & pepper.

Roast cabbage until edges begin to brown & it is fork tender, about 25 minutes.

I am sharing this with:

Mix It Up Monday!
On the Menu Monday
Table Top Tuesday
Your Cozy Home Party
Rock 'n Share Party
Full Plate Thursday
Thriving on Thursdays
Kathleen's 4th St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl
Foodie Friday                                                                      
Link & Greet Party
Seasonal Sundays
Scrumptious Sunday
Recipe of the Week

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chocolate Pistachio Cake

When our daughter was in high school, she worked in a darling gift shop.  One of the ladies there told me about this delicious cake and she promptly gave me the recipe.  I've been making it for St. Patrick's Day ever since.  This year, I decided to make it into mini bundt cakes.  That way I can share a few or freeze several to have on hand, when I need a quick dessert or gift.  Here's the recipe:

1 box white cake mix (without pudding)
1 box instant pistachio pudding mix                       
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. orange juice
4 eggs
3/4 c. chocolate syrup

Mix together the cake mix, pudding, oil,  water, orange juice and eggs and beat with mixer on low for 30 seconds and then on medium for 2 minutes.  Pour 3/4 of the batter into a greased & floured 10" tube or bundt pan.

Into remaining 1/4 batter, add 3/4 cup chocolate syrup.  Mix and pour over top of other batter.   Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean). 

Cool on wire rack.  Remove from pan.  You can sprinkle with powdered sugar or make a chocolate glaze.

Note:  I made 10 mini bundts, but 11-12 would be better, as mine were rather full!!  I baked them for about 30 minutes.
All glazed!
Chocolate Glaze

2 cups powdered sugar
2 T. cocoa powder
1 T. soft butter
1/2 t. vanilla
2-4 T. milk

In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, cocoa and butter.  Add vanilla & add milk gradually to achieve desired consistency & stir until smooth.
Excuse me while I have a bite!  I'll save you one!
Here's yours in my cloche!!

I am sharing this with:

Mix It Up Monday!
On the Menu Monday
Tea Time Tuesday at Rose Chintz Cottage
Tea Party Tuesday
Table Top Tuesday
Your Cozy Home Party
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Rock 'n Share Party
Mrs. Fox's Sweets Party
Full Plate Thursday
Thriving on Thursdays
Kathleen's 4th St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl
Foodie Friday
http://www.inthekitchenwithaudrey.com/
Pink Saturday
Sweets for Saturday
Link 'n Greet Party
Seasonal Sundays

Friday, March 9, 2012

Irish Decor

A shamrock plant is my centerpiece
I love decorating for St. Patrick's Day and making a special meal.  The only European country my hubby & I have been to, is Ireland, and it was our dream vacation. The countryside in Ireland is just a gorgeous patchwork of  shades of green.  I thought I'd share our St.  Paddy's Day table, which also includes various green colors.


I made the Big Star quilt

How about a cup of Irish tea?

Cute little couple on top of my blocks
Shamrock candle holder from my Mom

I am sharing with:
Pink Saturday
Seasonal Sundays
Cozy Home Party
Tea Time Tuesday
Tea Party Tuesday
Kathleen's 4th St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl
Table Top Tuesday
Tablescape Thursday


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Skinny Muffin in a Mug

This recipe was featured on The Doctor Oz Show and was developed by Jorge Cruise.  I was a little skeptical, but it actually tastes good & really kept me full for about 5 hours, which is a good thing.

Here's the recipe for the blueberry version:
50 seconds in the microwave!
                                                                                          
1/4 cup ground flax
1 t. baking powder                                                 
2 t. cinnamon (I only used 1/2 t.)
1 t. coconut oil
1 egg
1 packet of Stevia
2 T. blueberries

Mix all ingredients in a microwave safe coffee mug.

Cook for 50 seconds in the microwave.  Turn upside down on a plate & enjoy!

The muffin looks like a top hat on the shamrock!
Cut up with a little butter.

I am sharing with:
Mix It Up Monday!
On the Menu Monday
March Muffin Madness
Tea Time Tuesday at Rose Chintz Cottage
Tea Party Tuesday
Table Top Tuesday
Your Cozy Home Party
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Rock 'n Share Party
Mrs. Fox's Sweets Party
Full Plate Thursday
Thriving on Thursdays
Foodie Friday
Pink Saturday
Sweets for Saturday
Link 'n Greet Party
Seasonal Sundays

Monday, March 5, 2012

Smothered Chicken

I love to have a few recipes to fall back on when you need something quick and that you have the ingredients on hand. This recipe is one of them. I hope you give it a try soon!!


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
garlic powder & seasoned salt
2 T. oil, divided
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (see NOTE)
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup bacon bits

Flatten chicken to 1/4" thickness.  Season with the garlic powder & seasoned salt.

In a large nonstick skillet, over medium heat, saute' the sliced mushrooms in 1 T. oil for about 3-4 minutes.  Remove from skillet.  Add the remaining tablespoon of oil & brown the chicken for about 4 minutes.  Turn & top with the mushrooms, cheese, green onions & bacon bits.  Cover & cook until the juices run clear and cheese is melted, about 4 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

NOTE:  You can sub canned mushrooms for fresh and omit the sauteeing part.  However, fresh are so much better!

I am sharing this with:

Scrumptious Sunday Link Party
Mix It Up Monday!
On the Menu Monday
Table Top Tuesday
Your Cozy Home Party
Wow Us Wednesday
Rock 'n Share Party
Full Plate Thursday
Thriving on Thursdays
Foodie Friday
Link & Greet Party
Seasonal Sundays

Friday, March 2, 2012

Gooey Peanut Butter S'more Brownies

Do you think they'd notice if I cut out a piece for me??!!
My DIL made these for a family function & we all loved them!!  I'm making them to send along for my son's bachelor party.  The guys are going to a cabin & I'm sure a yummy dessert will be appreciated.  If you need a really quick, delicious treat & you LOVE chocolate & peanut butter (not to mention the marshmallow creme part --my favorite!!!) please try these.  You will love them!
                                                               




  • 1 box (19.8 oz.) brownie mix




  • 1 jar (7-1/2 oz.) marshmallow creme




  • 1 cup prepared creamy chocolate frosting




  • 1 cup  creamy peanut butter ( I think crunchy would be good, too)



  • Prepare, bake and cool brownie mix according to package directions for 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
    Evenly drop marshmallow creme onto cooled brownies with spoon.

    Microwave frosting in small microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 30 seconds or until melted and smooth. Repeat with  peanut butter.

    Pour melted frosting, then melted peanut butter over marshmallow creme and swirl with butter knife to marble. Let cool completely on wire rack. To serve, cut into squares.

    I am sharing with:
    Mix It Up Monday!
    Tea Time Tuesday at Rose Chintz Cottage
    I was featured on Mix it up Monday!!
    Tea Party Tuesday
    Table Top Tuesday
    Your Cozy Home Party
    Crazy Sweet Tuesday
    Rock 'n Share Party
    Mrs. Fox's Sweets Party
    Full Plate Thursday
    Thriving on Thursdays                                                                    
    Foodie Friday
    Pink Saturday
    Sweets for Saturday
    Link 'n Greet Party
    Seasonal Sundays
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