Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween at Nana's

Since the grandgirls were coming for their Halloween dinner, I decided to make my table a little less scary. The witch flew off for her big night on the town and left the friendly Jack-o-lantern. Glad to see that my garden frog didn't get boiled up in her caldron this year.

The girls awaiting their supper.

Kendall has a pretty little smile for Nana.

Keelyn looks a little mischevious -- in fact Keelyn always looks a little mischevious!

I knew that they'd been cutting teeth -- but check out those fangs!

Girls all ready for trick or treating. Cute little devils!

The pails are lit for the evening.

I couldn't get a good picture in the dark -- but they were cute all aglow.

A few goblins hanging around my kitchen.

More halloween kitchen towels

This is my favorite with the trick or treaters -- a friend gave this to me years ago -- they make me smile every year.

Spunky's on the look out for Halloween guests!

Wishing you a very Happy Halloween from our house to yours!

See ya!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tablescape Thursday - A Little Spooky

Tablescape Thursday is my favorite blogging day! I love all the ideas I get from all you creative bloggy friends -- now lately some of you have been quite creative with your Halloween tables -- very scary! Some of them would scare the warts off a witch and the wiskers off a kitty!!!! I decided to join the fun -- but mine's the "scaredy cat" version.

Here we are approaching our little bit spooky was such a dreary day and night when these pictures were taken -- although that's perfect for spooky halloween...don't you think?

Our witch is the queen of the table today. Actually she's rather handsome...don't you think? I got her this year from Tuesday Morning.

My poor little garden froggy is trying to hide so she won't boil him up in her caldron!

The black crow perched overhead to welcome our

Spiders invite you to have a little "bite".

Our witch is almost ready for her big flight night!

What a profile!

A spider coming down off the light to see what's going on and hoping to catch some flies.

The owl wonders "Whooooo's" going to eat here?

Our sparklie black cat is surprised to see you tonight!

The eyes of the peacock feathers are watching you!!!

Watch out for the spider cider will make you tingle all over and you just might not wake up in the morning!

Your placesetting if you dare to stay and eat tonight. The napkins came from Marshalls the napkin rings (pony tail bands) from Target. Now let's take it down to the bare bones...shall we?

My old pewter plates over black chargers (actually they're my pink and orange ones turned over).

Tattered cheesecloth is a little spooky too --- don't you agree? Perhaps it was left by "Mummy".

At least the jack-o-lantern looks pretty friendly! Now I've got to take this all down because our grandgirls (the twins) are coming over for a friendly halloween supper (see the tablesetting from last week's post) -- and I wouldn't want them to think Nana and Papa-Daddy live in a haunted house!

For lot's of fun tablescapes and really spooky ones sure to visit Susan at "Between Naps on the Porch".......if you dare!!!!!!

See ya!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall in Virginia

I love Autumn in Virginia -- I think it's our must beautiful season. That's why my wanting to hang on to Summer so long this year was very unusual for me.

When the leaves first start to change we mostly see the yellows come out.

Then the reds and oranges will begin to appear.

I love the colors when some trees are still green. The mixture is truly beautiful.

The leaves on the Dogwood tree in our front yard can't seem to decide what color to be --- so it decided to try them all!

Look at the dark red of this maple tree in our neighborhood. Isn't it breathtaking?

We've had so much rain and some trees have already lost most of their leaves -- this one looks like red lace. And then others still are full of green leaves.

I love the blaze orange the best! These trees look like they're on fire.

When the rain stopped I was able to make a few Fall changes. I put out my little black cat flag for Halloween.

I planted some pansies. These were still drooping from the rain.

These are called "Jet Black" -- actually they're really really dark purple -- but they do look black!

Fall mums and kale plants for the porch.

I planted the kale in my urns on the porch - so I put out my jack-o-lantern buckets in their place -- I'll try to get a picture of these at night "glowing". The kale will last a long time on my porch -- sometimes, if our hard freezes don't come early - they'll look good into January -- and if our winter is particularly mild, I've had them last all winter long. (those are the kind of winter's I like!)

My porch pumpkins -- I've had these for a long time -- since my kids were little -- once Halloween is over, I just turn the jack-o-lantern around and leave them out until after Thanksgiving.

A close up of my pumpkins and kale. I'm hoping to be back later with more fall pictures and decorating. How are things looking in your neighborhood?

See ya!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Foodie Friday - Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes

Sorry I'm a little late for the potluck -- but since it is still Friday I thought I'd join in. It's always fun to visit Michael Lee at Designs By Gollum to see what everybody's cooking up and grab a new recipe or two!

A couple of weeks ago I had my Williamsburg cookbook out to make Brunswick stew and another recipe caught my eye.

My husband loves pork chops and sweet potatoes - I'm not a big fan of either, but every now and then it's nice to surprise him. I found this recipe simply titled "Pork Chops and Sweet Potatoes" - so I decided to give it a try.

Here's the recipe (I cut it in half for just the two of us)

3 to 4 medium sweet potatoes
4 center-cut pork chops
salt and pepper to taste
all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup currant jelly
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
rind of 1 lemon, grated
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

preheat oven to 350 degrees
Boil and slice sweet potatoes.
Salt and pepper chops, dredge in flour, and brown on both sides.
Melt butter in small saucepan. Stir in jelly, juices and lemon rind. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to blend.
Arrange sweet potatoes and chops in shallow casserole and cover with 3/4 cup of sauce.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes, basting occasionally with remaining sauce.

We ate ours with some greens on the side. It was really pretty tasty. I would say overall a good meal for fall.

Be sure to visit "Designs By Gollum" for lots of tasty temptations!

Happy weekend everyone!
See ya!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tablescape Thursday - A Friendly Halloween Table

I love Tablescape Thursdays.....don't you? I'm always amazed at the wonderful tablescapes I get to view each week -- from the very formal china settings to informal snack trays -- and I love them all! Tablescaping is quite an art form and I love "playing" along -- so much so, that I usually really jump the gun and post on Wednesday morning.

I set this tablescape with my grandgirls in mind. I want to start a tradition of a fun Halloween supper with them -- whenever the schedule allows (close to the big day!) So I've been playing with the dishes to find a fun and friendly tablescape. Here we are approaching the table. You can see how sheer that orange checked tablecloth is - it would probably show up better if I had a cloth underneath.

Our friendly Halloween scarecrow bids you welcome to our table.

Looks like our scarecrow is so friendly that he's even made friends with the crows! Scarecrow came from Marshalls, Crows from Dollar Tree.

Our grinning boo kitty came from CVS.

Do you get the feeling that you're being watched?

Here's a close up of a placesetting.

I just got seven of these glasses at GoodWill for $6.25 -- I really like them and I know you were getting tired of my other everyday Libby glasses. My paper napkins came from Kroger.

My cloth "napkins" are dish towels from Target and the "napkin rings" are pony tail bands also from Target -- the $1 bins. What would Halloween be without black cats....

....and candy corn....

...and smiling jack-o-lanterns.

The twins get matching pumpkin plates. The placemats are my black and white checked cloth napkins.

I set out two juice glasses for the girls, but they'll bring their favorite sippy cups -- little paper napkins for them --- I guess it's never too early to start on the two napkin rule.

Did you know that vampire bats could look friendly?

A faux "carved" pumpkin from a local craft store. Bewitching!

And yet another black kitty! They're really out tonight!

I found this fall "china" at Kroger.

You remember my "trick" I picked up from Laurie of "Bargain Hunting and Chatting With Laurie" don't you? A clear glass plate layered over....

...whatever paper plate you like! Now isn't that the best of "treats"? I thought this design was really pretty for Fall. It's a Hallmark design.

An overview of my Halloween table from a bat's eye view.

Overview of the centerpiece. Like my "fancy" Ball jar candle holders? A switch of ribbon and they're ready for any season or casual occasion.

And as the lights dim ...

...and the bats take flight...

...and the jack-o-lanterns grin...

....our happy little scarecrow wishes you a "Happy Halloween" from the pumpkin patch!

Be sure to visit Susan at "Between Naps On The Porch" -- you're sure to find a tablesetting that delights and inspires you!

See ya!