Spring

Spring

April 19, 2014

EASTER RENEWAL

**roses

I think of the garden after the rain;
And hope to my heart comes singing,
At morn the cherry-blooms will be white,
And the Easter bells be ringing! 
~Edna Dean Proctor, "Easter Bells"
Wishing You A Very Happy and Blessed Easter Day Celebration

April 18, 2014

BRIDAL LUNCHEON ATLANTA STYLE...SIPPIN' STRAWBERRIES!

 



What is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Swans?

 Elegant, Graceful and Beautiful!

Well, that's exactly how you will feel when entering the

Swan Coach House

The Divine Miss shared lovely pictures of the bridal luncheon held last week in Atlanta!
The bride-to-be looked lovely and so very happy!
The theme she chose for her new home was MacKenzie Childs!
http://www.mackenzie-childs.com
 
 
 
I thought the invitation was just gorgeous!!
I would so be a copycat if I got married to the darling all over again!
 

True to her "woman's prerogative, Miss M changed her mind on her outfit!
LOVE IT!!!


Her first choice turned out to be a bit too big....lucky her....she is itty-bitty!


I said, "be sure to take a picture of yourself so I can see how gorgeous you are going to look!"
I am SO disappointed since she was rushed and NO ONE snapped a picture of my girl!
However, Luke told her how pretty he thought his Mom looked! Aw.....atta' boy Luka!


Lovely ladies attending and enjoying the tea room festivities.
Mom of the bride-to-be looking happy on the left!
Miss M is sitting directly behind her.
 

 
Bride-To-be opening her lovely gifts!
 

This is a Swan House signature dessert....ooo-La-La....look at all that divine cream!

This is a lovely signature Strawberry Soup you can savor when visiting this famous tea room!


SWAN COACH HOUSE STRAWBERRY SOUP

2 quarts fresh strawberries
4 cups sour cream
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
4 t. vanilla
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 bottles ( 1 liter) chilled ginger ale

Puree the strawberries, sour cream, milk, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice in a blender. Chill!
Cover until ready to serve very cold! Before serving, add the cold ginger ale and mix well!

April 17, 2014

TRADITIONAL ELEGANCE FROM ESTELLE

 
Grandmother Estelle loved pretty things! Actually, that's probably a bit of an understatement.
Have you ever walked into someones home and it was stunningly beautiful? Everything matched.
Nothing was out of place. But wait a minute....did it speak to you? Did it reflect the homeowners personality or could it have been "anyone's" home? Did their belongings tell a story with their rich history?
 
I admire homes that are updated, newly decorated with perfect looking accessories...I really do!
But that's just not my preference! I love flea market finds mingled with investment pieces and blended with family heirlooms.
 
Estelle's personality and her elegance is clearly revealed with her love for beautiful pieces and it is a wonderful legacy left to her family.
 
The important thing with any space is that it be authentic to the people who live there. You need to include the things you love!
 
A few of her pieces seem to embrace the Spring season.
 

English China....the sugar bowl to this set was never located.
The heart shaped trinket box was placed on her dressing table.
 It is Elfinware from Germany



Royal Doulton....Afternoon Tea


Things of Beauty....respecting the past 

 
Limoges





Limoges




Hand Painted Napco tea cup and saucer




 
 Estelle was certainly a talented and elegant person. She added beauty to every corner of her home. She was an accomplished pianist, wrote poetry, was a Master Gardener, loved to embroider, design and sew aprons, hosted tea socials and bridge clubs, a fabulous cook and baker and a devoted wife and mother. She developed Alzheimer's in her early sixties and passed away at the age of 72.

April 16, 2014

FIVE CHEESE MACARONI AND CHEESE

Are you looking for a delicious side dish for your Easter Buffet?
 
 
 
 I first made this fabulous Mac N' Cheese about five years ago, when visiting Atlanta!
Darling Phil, who is a Mac N' Cheese fanatic stated....
"this is THE BEST mac N' cheese I ever tasted!"
It has been on the menu ever since that lovely day!


 A little birdie named The Divine Miss M said Phil's beautiful bride,
Christina is bringing it to their Easter gathering this year!
 You will love this recipe!!!
 

 
 
This recipe is prepared on the stovetop and finished in the oven!
It’s the richest and most delicious Mac N’ Cheese
you might ever taste!
MMMMMMMM….
the aroma of the bubbling, golden cheese
will bring everyone to the table smiling!



FIVE-CHEESE MACARONI AND CHEESE
1 pound of small pasta shells
½ cup Panko Japanese bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup crumbled Blue Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

 
Cook the pasta shells in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain well.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 13” x 9” baking dish. Combine the panko crumbs and ½ cup Parmesan cheese and set aside.
 
In a large pot, over medium heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Reduce the heat and add the white cheddar cheese, Jack cheese and remaining ½ cup of Parmesan cheese and goat cheese. Stir slowly until all the cheeses melt. Add the blue cheese and cooked pasta and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the macaroni and cheese into the prepared pan and spread the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese mixture evenly over the top. Bake uncovered until golden brown and bubbly…..about 20 minutes!


 

April 15, 2014

SMORE'S CUPCAKES


Start to smell the aroma of chocolate filling your house!

 
 
GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham crackers crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
6 T. melted butter
½ t. cinnamon





Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon until well blended. Divide evenly and press crumbs into each muffin wrapper.
 

One Jar of Marshmallow Cream


 


 

DEVIL’S FOOD CUPCAKES
½ cup butter
3 (1 ounce) squares of unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup water
2 ¼ cup flour
1 ½ t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
¼ cup milk
1 t. white vinegar

 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare muffin tin by placing cupcake wrappers in each holder.

 In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add the unsweetened chocolate squares and continue to melt until well combined. Let this mixture cool.

Cream together the sugar and eggs until light in color. Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the eggs and beat well. Add 1 cup boiling water and blend.

Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture and blend well. Mix the vinegar and milk into the chocolate batter.

Ladle ½ cake batter into each muffin wrapper. Place 1 t. of marshmallow cream into the center of each cupcake. Then top with the remaining cake batter making sure the tops are covered. Bake 20 minutes. When cool, top with whipped topping





HOPPIN’ DOWN THE BUNNY TRAIL
 
Hop over to Penny's blog at The Comforts of Home for Tasty Tuesday!

 

April 14, 2014

BASEBALL AND BURGERS


We love weekends where we can spend time with the grandchildren. We so wish little Luke lived back home in Texas so we could see him more often other than a few times a year. Saturday was a beautiful spring day and we were invited to attend Noah's baseball game and then spend the afternoon at son #2's house for a cookout!


Noah has proven himself to be quite the athlete!
He loves all sports, but I think baseball is his #1 favorite!


Miss Abbie decided she would help out by taking any debris out of the pool!
She gets prettier every time we see her!


Miss Cat looking pretty as she waits for the burgers to be prepared.


The baby of the family. Franz was rescued by Catherine about five years ago.
 He may look a little scary, but this Rottweiler is the most gentle and loving dog ever!
 He certainly has won our hearts!
He is smart, very well behaved, very gentle around cats and children.
Even Mae Mo approves!


Their acreage is so lovely.
A gorgeous spring day, blue skies, a bit windy and
 sunshine on our shoulders.


Nick and the darling discussing pool maintenance!


Swimming lessons!


The creek is at the very back of their yard.
 Lovely....cows are grazing the fields just beyond the creek.


Wondering what heavy spring rains might bring


Doing his "high five" for a treat!


Time to eat! Can't you just smell how good this is going to be?


An average day. Just visiting family. Sunshine, baseball and burgers!
So grateful!

April 13, 2014

DREAMY CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER PUDDING CAKE




 
All good things come from this kitchen.
We like hanging out here.
We laugh.
We solve problems.
We listen to each other.
We share ideas and personal thoughts.
We create nourishment for our souls.
We remember our parents and grandparents who are no longer with us...
and we remember...
how lucky we are to be family.



Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cake   
The Cake
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cake flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk

The Peanut Butter Pudding
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whipped Cream Topping
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon grated chocolate, for garnish


 
 In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until well combined and somewhat lighter in color. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until uniformly mixed.
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda.
Alternately add the flour mixture and milk into the butter in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.


Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread so the patter is even. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when gently pressed in the center, and the edges of the cake pull away from the sides of the pan. Do not over-bake.


In a blender combine the milk, brown sugar, peanut butter, cornstarch,  and egg yolk. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds, then transfer the mixture into a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook for 1 minute then remove from the heat. Add the butter and vanilla.


Once the cake comes out of the oven immediately poke holes into the cake with the end of a large wooden spoon. Pour the hot pudding over the cake. Cover the cake with plastic and cool on the counter for 1 hour, then chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Just before serving prepare the topping. In a stand mixer, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Whip until the mixture forms soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Spread the whipped cream over the cake and garnish with grated chocolate.