October 21, 2014


Frightfully Fun Halloween

In masks and gowns we haunt the street
And knock on doors for trick or treat,
Tonight we are the king and queen,
For oh tonight it's Halloween!
~Jack Prelutsky

My little Jack!

The Witch is In!
Sit a Spell!

Now serving little ghosts and goblins!

The Witch's Hat

For an eerie effect!

It's a creepy party!

Fill my pumpkin.......

You're Invited!

A spooky bird in the house

Ready for a hauntingly good Halloween buffet

The flock of crows

Now as cute and as fun as all of this was to put together, 
I felt it belonged to my sweet little Luke the Duke in Atlanta!
 What fun he will have hosting a "spooky party" 
for Caden, Aubrey and Olivia!
 So.....we boxed it all up and sent it to the babies! 
As usual, Miss M is going to make this another fun tablescape! 

You wouldn’t believe,
 On All Hallow’s Eve
What lots of fun we can make.
With apples to bob, And nuts on the hob,
 And a ring-and-thimble cake.

~Carolyn Wells

October 20, 2014


OK! I promised myself I would hold off until mid-October
to begin the wonderful world of Halloween posts.
I kept my promise!
And.....it was hard....REALLY hard!

I just love autumn decorating and getting ready for Halloween! Always have!
I gave my Halloween village to the Divine Miss M last year so Luke should have quite a bit of spooky fun going on with all of the little houses and figures he now has. My village will be a wonderful addition to the village Miss M started for him years ago!

I am working on my tablescape for the month of October and cannot wait to see how it all comes together! I took a few canning jars left over from Nick and Cat's ranch wedding and created some rather cute jars for filling up with caramels, peanut butter taffy and chocolate kisses!

Oh.....and the crows! Did I ever mention how much I love crows at Halloween! I have found such good use for all the scrapbooking paper I have left over from other projects! This is too much fun! I have a few other inspirational ideas up my sleeve so it appears I need another trip to Michaels! Are y'all getting out your pumpkins yet? Oh, acorns......I love acorns too.....good idea!

October 19, 2014


At Home.....another perfect October weekend! 
Y'all come on in! 

I do hope you have filled some jars with candy corn! 
It's the darling's favorite treat for the season!
 Don't you love adding some dry roasted peanuts among those delicious bites of candy? 

It was Homecoming weekend for the grandchildren! Where oh where are the years going? They look so grown up every time we seen them! Not to worry...too young for actual "dates"..just going as friends to the football game! Now take note...remember this is Texas and those "BIG" mums have been a tradition for some time now! I made these for all my children, along with the mum arm bands for the guys. You know what they say about "everything being bigger in Texas!"

Grandson Noah and his friend Reagan! 

Over in Atlanta, Miss M, hubby and little Luke the Duke attended the Mt. Pisgah High School Friday night game. Luke received some extra special attention from a rather cute cheerleader and developed quite a "crush" I hear! OH MY! 

Miss Mae preferred to bask in some sunshine...
far away from the weekend visitor, known as Bo! 
Bo has not yet learned to leave kitties alone! 
Mae has refrained from giving him a good swat on his nose! 

Rob was home for yet another wedding...the second in the last month! All the long time friends are getting married! It's unbelievable to have known these "kids" for a number of years and see them all grown up, having graduated from college, establishing careers and getting married! Life goes on......

 Food is about love....when you cook something for someone....
it shows how much you love them! 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Afternoon Tea Time

Eggs over easy for a good morning breakfast!

Lunch of homemade chicken salad sandwiches and Greg's White Chicken Chili!

Both Saturday and Sunday were perfect October days.....
almost cool enough for a light jacket...at last!  

As the sun began to set and cast shadows over the trees with those leaves slowly turning....
we were again  so thankful for a happy and healthy family! 

October 18, 2014


Freeport, Maine

Freeport, Maine

 1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 9-inch deep dish pie shell

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light.
Add the eggs and beat; then beat in vanilla.
Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the batter alternatively with the buttermilk; beat until smooth.
Pour into a deep dish pie shell and bake at 400F for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350F and bake for 50-60 additional minutes.
Pie should turn a nice golden brown and a knife inserted should come out clean.

Next week is going to be so much fun! It's time for Halloween! 
Please be sure to drop by for a visit for some fun decorating and
 devilishly good recipes! 

Are you a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?

October 17, 2014


I love realizing that you are never too old to learn something new! Even when it applies to old Southern recipes! I have normally made Salmon Croquettes in my own way over the course of the years, but now I have discovered a new and delicious recipe which I wanted to share with all you foodies out there! This is just an old-fashioned Southern classic that we get hungry for every once in awhile! Hope y'all put this on your "must try" list!

However....before we get to the recipe of the day,
 my darling #3 son called me yesterday afternoon and
 wanted to share with me the magic that came across his path in Austin yesterday!
 He knew I would love it.......and he was so right!

Bringing Goodness to the Table

Salmon Croquettes
2 (7 ounce) packages of Salmon
3 large eggs, divided
1 t. lemon juice
1 t. coarse ground black pepper
1 T. chopped green onion
2 1/2 cups saltine cracker crumbs, divided
2/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 (10 ounce) can Cream of Mushroom Soup
2/3 cup milk
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t. garlic powder
Olive oil for frying

Place the salmon in a bowl. You do not have to drain the packaged salmon. Beat 2 eggs in a bowl and add to the salmon. Then add the lemon juice, black pepper, green onion, and 1 cup of saltine cracker crumbs, Swiss cheese and 1/2 can of mushroom soup. Mix together and refrigerate for about one hour. 

Heat olive oil in a large skillet when ready to prepare. Shape the salmon into individual patties. Beat the remaining egg in a bowl , mixed with a little milk (about 1/3 cup) and dredge each patty in the egg/milk mixture, then dredge in the cracker crumbs. Fry for about 4 minutes over medium heat until browned on both sides. 

In a small mixing bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 can soup, with the milk, Worcestershire sauce and pepper and garlic powder. Bring to a simmer and serve over the patties. I serve these with fresh garden peas and mashed potatoes!

Hop over to Foodie Friday today! 

October 16, 2014


I finally got around to completing the fall decor in the kitchen! Moving can be a good thing by helping you clean out years of collected belongings! When we made our move from Texas to Maine, we gave away many, many years of "stuff!" That was a "good thing!" We spent three years in Maine and never unpacked completely as we knew we were coming home to Texas at some point in time. We used that time, to continue to clean out our closets and bins of saved holiday decor. We felt so much better about narrowing down our storage bins! I reduced my autumn and Halloween decor to just THREE bins. You will notice, I move things around quite a bit and reuse candles and florals all the time. Every fall, I use this hammered bronze container from my old Southern Living Hostess days. It is one of the most versatile home decor pieces I own. It lends itself beautifully to an autumn centerpiece! Voila! It's done!!!

This recipe is a keeper lovebugs! The granny smith apples make this coffee cake so moist and there could be nothing more perfect for autumn days! I intended to take a picture when it was just out of the oven, however, I have just discovered that "someone" has been sneaking some pieces here and there...."like half the cake is gone already!" Guess it must be pretty darn good! 

  1 cup walnuts
  1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  1 teaspoon cinnamon
  2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in tiny pieces
  3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
  1 tablespoon sugar
 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1 teaspoon lemon juice
  3/4 cup sour cream
  1/4 cup milk
  2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  1 teaspoon baking powder
  1 teaspoon baking soda
  3/4 teaspoon salt
 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  1 cup sugar
  3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  3 large eggs
  1 teaspoon lemon juice
  1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Blend walnuts, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon in a food processor until nuts are finely chopped. Add butter and cut in using on/off turns until clumps begin to form. (Can be made 1 day ahead) Cover and chill.
  Mix apples, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice in a bowl. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a tube pan or bundt pan with cooking spray.

  In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and milk to blend. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  In a large bowl, beat butter and both sugars until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in lemon juice and vanilla extract.
 Beat in dry ingredients alternately with sour cream mixture in 3 additions each, mixing just until smooth.
  Spread half of batter in prepared pan. Spoon apple filling on top of batter. Spread remaining batter over filling. Sprinkle with topping.
 Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean (30-45 minutes). If the top starts browning too quickly, cover with foil. Cool before inverting on to a serving platter or cake stand.

October 15, 2014


Well it turns out I completely underestimated my husband’s love for the meatball! We ate this for dinner, he took leftovers to work for his lunch and we ate it again, for dinner. Yep, it's that good and now it's all gone — GONE — in two days. 

1/2 onion, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/4 cup packed chopped Italian parsley
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black
Coarse ground black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 (24 ounce) Hunt's Four Cheese Pasta Sauce (Estelle's preference)
1 carton mushrooms
8 ounces of ziti
Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese

2 cups cottage cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 T. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper

Sauté onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir garlic into onion and turn off heat. Transfer onion mixture to a large mixing bowl.
Stir ground beef, ricotta cheese, parsley, egg, kosher salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper with onion mixture until almost combined; stir in bread crumbs and continue to mix until thoroughly blended.
Roll about 2 tablespoons of mixture into a 1-inch ball for each meatball. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil in same skillet used to cook onions. Place skillet over medium heat and brown meatballs on all sides in hot oil, about 5 minutes. Remove meatballs to a serving platter. Now, in the same skillet saute the mushrooms until tender. Pour the pasta sauce over the mushrooms and continue to simmer.  

While this simmers, boil your ziti. Drain and set aside. 

In a mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese with egg, seasonings and Parmesan cheese. Mix well. 

In a baking dish, layer some pasta sauce in the bottom of the dish. Cover with the layer of cottage cheese. Top with ziti. Then arrange the ricotta meatballs over the top of the ziti and pour the remaining sauce/mushroom mixture over all. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes.