Sunday, February 21, 2010

Taking a "break" - I'll be back

As some of you know my dad had open heart surgery less than two weeks ago. His recovery has been somewhat bumpy and he ended up back in the emergency room Friday night. He's back in the hospital for a bit and hopefully this time when he leaves, he'll be able to start getting better and stronger rather than worse. I'll be "visiting" some of you from time to time -- and look forward to posting again soon -- just wanted to let you know where I am and that I'll be back soon (I hope).

See ya!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Laurie's Valentine's Party

Now when Laurie throws a party, I'm not about to miss it! I didn't get much Valentine's decorating done, but I'll post a few things.

Loved these Valentine's plates from Marshall's. And if you notice I'm serving up special "party food" too --- fresh ivy!

A couple of "love birds" to sing so sweetly a little birdie love song.

A special delivery Valentine's heart just for you!

A vintage Valentine -- someone had a crush on "Irene" a long time ago!

And lastly, my Dad -- who's in the hospital recovering from open heart surgery -- I'm so glad that with his new and improved heart, we'll have more time to share with him! Now that's the best Valentine a girl could get!

Thanks Laurie, for the invite -- now hurry on over to Laurie's blog to join the fun!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tablescape Thursday - Valentine's Day

Thursday's a fun day here in the blogging neighborhood when you're a dishaholic like so many of us who love to play with dishes over at Susan's "Between Naps On The Porch". And since this is the season of Love -- well of course we're creating our tabletop Valentine's.

Last year (before blogging) my table was red and white -- but since I just used my red's last week -- this year's Valentine's table is pink.

Here's a place set just for you.

I found these hand painted goblets at Goodwill before Christmas. Four for $5.25. Love the colors. I've just purchased some pink glasses from eBay, but they haven't arrived yet, but I figured these blended in nicely. I hope my pink ones arrive in tact. Don't you hate it when you find something you love -- only to have it arrive in pieces? *fingers crossed*

Here's a look at the centerpiece.

I figured I would take a picture from all four angles.

I always try to have each side have a pretty view.

We'll take an even closer look a little later on.

This vintage tablecloth came from eBay a few years ago. I love pink roses and these are stenciled along the edge.

These napkins were also purchased from eBay last Spring -- one side is this pink and green plaid.

The other side is pink roses on a creamy background. Which side to you like better? Sometimes I mix and match both sides on the table.

Lets look at the layers. First we have a pink depression glass bowl. I purchased eight of these from eBay about 3 years ago (for my first Granny luncheon -- four granddaughters ago!)

The salad plates came from Marshall's last year. But I've seen this same pattern again this year too. I didn't realize until after I took the picture that there was an ivy leaf on the plate.

Lastly, we have a pink glass plate. Can you see the rose pattern? Another eBay purchase last year.

Layering of the dishes and flatware from Target - purchased last Summer - 99 cents a piece.

The centerpiece is a footed silverplated tray from Goodwill, and a cakeplate also from Goodwill. The little angel holding a valentine came from eBay last year when I had an anniversary party. The tiny dried red rose buds came from a flower arrangement my office sent me a couple of weeks ago.

A special delivery Valentine just for you!

This little bird's nest and eggs are usually nestled in a wreath in my kitchen.

The Target "Love birds" peeking out from a bow of pink dotted swiss.

A sweet cherub I found at Goodwill this fall.

Love Birds found thrifting and a vintage Valentine postcard purchased just last week from eBay.

I wonder who was Irene's admirer -- whoever it was, they didn't write a note and this was never mailed -- perhaps it was a love who just never had the courage to send it and let Irene know that she had stolen his heart. I wonder if she even knew.

Our Valentine's table by tealight glow.

I hope that you and the love of your life get to enjoy a special Valentine's Day.

So glad that you could visit! For lots of Valentine and tabletop inspirations, be sure to hurry on over to "Between Naps On The Porch" this Thursday.

See ya!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Foodie Friday - Vegetable Soup

I hope it's better late than never to join the potluck with "Foodie Friday" over at Designs by Gollum. Since we're having very cold weather and snow and sleet -- nothing better to bring to the table than a hearty soup.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I took some Christmas money and bought a bunch of books from Amazon. (I'll bet your surprised it wasn't spent on dishes!) I had heard several people say that "Being Dead Is No Excuse" was a really fun read and it was! Even better it had some great recipes!

Since I love soup - the Homemade Vegetable Soup recipe really caught my eye.

Here's the recipe:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chicken breast tenders or 3 pounds cubed beef (I used the beef)
1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes or chopped whole tomatoes
1 large can (14.5) ounced) tomato sauce
1 large (1 pound) package frozen mixed vegetables
1 large or 2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced, rather chunky
3 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 1/2 quarts water

Melt the butter in a large pot and brown the chicken or beef. Remove the meat, add the onions and celery and saute briefly. Return the meat to the pot. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, vegetables, seasonings, and water.

Cook several hours. Sometimes I leave it on simmer for four or five hours. This can be seasoned along the way, as can most other recipes, though I find it perfect as is. I add any fresh begetables that I might have on hand. Butter beans, when available, are a wonderful addition.

Serves ten.

So -- here we are ...just gettin started. Now I want to tell you about one or two things I did differently - I added a tablespoon of Minor's Beef Base (sort of a highly concentrated beef boulion) and by mistake, my package of frozen vegetables were "vegetable stew vegetables" -- which means that the mixture was carrots, celery, onions and potatoes rather than carrots, potatoes, green beans and corn which I think would be what you would normally expect to have in veg. soup. My husband really missed the corn more than I did next time I'll get the "right stuff".

Here we are serving up soup - so warming for a Winter's meal -- the suggested compliments to this in the book were corn bread and salad...good choice...and of course sweet tea. (this is a southern ladies guide you know)

Time for the taste test. Now, I already told you that my husband missed the corn and on the first night, I could taste the butter flavor, which was neither good nor bad, just different from what I'm used to tasting in vegetable soup.

We both agreed that after the soup was chilled for a day in the refrigerator and all the flavors could "marry"- (as Paula Deen says) -- it was really much better. I think many soups are better the second day. So my suggestion is to fix this soup .... then save it for the second day to get the full flavor benifit (and I didn't get the butter taste the next day).

Hope everyone has a warm and wonderful weekend -- whatever you're cooking up!

See ya.