November 26, 2014


We Gather Together To Ask The 
Lord’s Blessings

Are you preparing to welcome "your people" home for Thanksgiving? This is a beloved term we often use in the south when referring to family. The door bell rings, and the festivities begin! The fireplace is warming the house, the aroma of sweet pumpkin and savory turkey fills the kitchen! The champagne cork pops, and we're off to the dining room. Oh yes, and the Dallas Cowboys game is unfolding in the background.

As you go through the day, perhaps still planning your menu, it's always fun to think outside the box and become inspired by a little twist on an old favorite! The pumpkin pie! Often times, when living in Maine, the darling and I traveled over to York, and loaded up our basket with all the goodies offered by The Stonewall Kitchen.

I never let a holiday pass, without serving up their delicious jams! 

I believe they took advantage of a "no snow day" to decorate the store! 

This would be a lovely way in which to serve a smaller portion of Pumpkin Pie!
 I'm definitely going to keep this idea for Christmas! Thank you Stonewall Kitchen for keeping us inspired in our kitchens and our tummies full of good food! 
I love giving this maple syrup as gifts for the holidays! It is certainly a "taste of Maine!"
This syrup is freatured in today's recipe, however, you can certainly substitute if needed. 

The Pie Filling

1 (¼-ounce) package unflavored gelatin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup maple syrup
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
Ginger cookies, crumbled

Sweetened Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream, cold
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla

Whisk together the gelatin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, Maine Maple Syrup, sweetened condensed milk and eggs in a heavy saucepan over low heat.

Stir continuously until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add pumpkin purée and mix until uniformly blended.

Pour into individual 8-ounce jars and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Chill a mixing bowl. Add cream, sugar and Pure Vanilla Extract to the bowl. Mix on medium speed until soft peaks form.

Serve each pie topped with sweetened whipped cream and garnish with crumbled ginger cookies.

May Your Thanksgiving of 2014
Be Blessed with 
Family, Good Food and Much Happiness!

November 25, 2014


Celebrate the simple pleasures of life and 
the companionship of loved ones.

Chex Mix
Summer Sausage with Gourmet Cheeses
Cream Cheese with Hot Pepper Jelly
Port Wine Cheese Ball
Apple Orchard Punch

Thanksgiving Dinner
Cajun Fried Turkey
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Giblet Gravy
Spiced Cranberry Sauce
Sage Cornbread Dressing
Broccoli Rice Casserole
Sweet Potato Pudding
Raspberry  Jello Salad
Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs
Yeast Rolls

The Pies
Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie
Ultimate Cherry Pie
Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie

The wonderful fragrances fill the heart of the home. How wonderful to reminisce about the memories of past Thanksgivings. We miss our parents....Helen and Henry, Bobbie and Honey! I hope they know we carry on their traditions and hold them in our hearts.........

1 (12 ounce) package of fresh cranberries
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. allspice
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. ginger
1/8 t. ground cloves

In a saucepan, combine all of the above ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the berries pop and the mixture is thickened. This will take about 30 minutes. Cool! Transfer to a serving bowl and cover. Chill until ready to serve. This makes about two cups! 

November 24, 2014


 Hey y'all! I think the shopping is done! The turkey is thawing in the fridge, the casserole dishes have been selected, the menu has been decided and the appetizer table is being prepared! Each day before Thanksgiving has been designated for particular recipes to prepare.....so I feel ready and organized!

Reserved for the ever traditional port wine cheese ball

Reserved for the summer sausage and gourmet cheeses, with a side serving of Hot Pepper Jelly

He's just so darn cute......turkey's everywhere

I am baking all the pies this year! So excited.....Wednesday will be baking day......
Cranberry Bread, Apple Pie, Cherry Pie and Pumpkin Pie!
As always, Tea Time Tessies will be served also as they have been ever since I was a child. 
It's a Southern Tradition! 
This makes me miss Mother and Daddy.....what wonderful Thanksgivings we shared! 

Most Thanksgivings, I serve a Mulled Wine, but this year I am making a slushy Apple Orchard Punch! I decided to serve this divine autumn beverage in a big glass canister, all dressed up for the holiday! It's going to be a great day y'all!

1 (32 fluid ounce) bottle apple juice,
1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen cranberry
juice concentrate

1 cup orange juice
1 1/2 liters ginger ale
1 apple

In a large punch bowl, combine apple juice, cranberry juice concentrate and orange juice. Stir until dissolved, then slowly pour in the ginger ale.
Thinly slice the apple vertically, forming whole apple slices. Float apple slices on top of punch.

Fryin' turkey at The Maine House
I think everyone in the neighborhood was either very jealous, as that delicious aroma filled the air, or they were either shakin' their heads, whispering about those crazy southerners!

November 23, 2014


I bought my first Christmas gifts this weekend! 
Our holiday theme this year is going to be
"An Old Fashioned Christmas!"

We're going to Welcome the Holiday.....
Deck the Halls and Trim the Tree!
Set the Table with Cheer for both Casual and Formal Dinners!
Bake Christmas Cakes, Cookies and Homemade Gifts
All the gifts
Will Be Wrapped with Love!

Let's be Merry!

November 22, 2014


Always Take Me To The Beach

Start with a color palette and a theme

Have you started your Christmas decorating? I confess.....I have not! I never begin the Christmas season until December! I know many people do, but I savor the Thanksgiving holiday and enjoy this family time until the very last day of November. However, it is nice to gather ideas on what theme is going to be displayed in your home for Christmas time! 

I know many of us are forever beach dreaming. Some of our family members simply adore anything coastal themed. So, let's gather some lovely inspiration on simple ways to incorporate beach related items into our decor! Now, this I simply love! Shades of turquoise under the tree! 

A warm, cozy  way to create the look and feel of the Atlantic ocean breezes

Festive Flourishes

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
A beautiful way to be crafty....

O Christmas Tree......O Christmas Tree...
I simply adore this entire look....
The Star Attraction

Splurge on ribbon every Christmas

Watery blues and sparkling gold.....they glisten with a casual vibe! 

Sweet Slumber

And to all a goodnight.....

November 21, 2014


Those who know me, are acutely aware that I am an avid cookbook collector! I began collecting when I was a student at Ole Miss during my Freshman year. I can spend hours reading the stories and choosing recipes I would love to make for my family! I knew when I came across this particular one, authored by Faye Porter, called "AT MY GRANDMOTHER'S TABLE", that I wanted to add this to my collection. I learned so much about cooking, baking and presentation from both of my grandmothers. Grandmother Grace and Grandmother Estelle (from which my blog is named after) were amazing cooks! They never seemed to tire from baking from scratch, preparing decadent meals for their families, and then hand washing all the dishes! Dishwashers were not even a thought in those days! 

I simply adore this cookbook...the recipes that evoke the flavors and memories of bustling kitchens, her stories of grandmother's throughout the south and a continuing love for the legacy of preserving these cherished recipes. 

The first recipe I selected was this delightful Chocolate Chip muffin recipe! I knew my family would just love these! They come from Nashville, Tennessee. These muffins smell wonderful when baking and taste delicious!!!

2 large eggs
2/3 cup whole milk
1 1/2 t. vanilla
2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine 1 T. sugar and 1 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with muffin baking cups. to make the muffins, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips. Now fold in the dry ingredients, to the egg mixture, along with the melted butter and combine gently. Fill the muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with sugar/cinnamon mixture and bake for 18-20  minutes. Cool slightly before serving! 

I came home from Atlanta to be greeted by beautiful anniversary roses, 
as well as, these beautifully shaded chrysanthemums! 

I am going through a multitude of recipes for Thanksgiving!
 My ever faithful companion, enjoys disorganizing the stack.....help!!!!
I enjoy your assistance darling Mae, but seriously girl.....control yourself! 

Linking up to Foodie Friday

November 20, 2014


I had previously written this post a few weeks ago. I was excitedly planning the Thanksgiving holidays knowing that Miss M and her family would be joining us this year! Well, those plans have changed and they will be staying in Atlanta. They will not be alone however, and will be joining dear friends, Phil and Christina, along with their two adorable baby girls, Izzy and Felicity! I am so happy for that!

I thought all the way home how I would handle the Thanksgiving dinner now that plans have been altered. Our youngest son, who relocated to Austin this past March, will be working over the holidays and will not be able to come home until Saturday. Nick, Cat and the grandchildren, will be traveling to Horseshoe Bay on Friday to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with her family. SO......perhaps I could avoid two Thanksgiving dinners and maybe serve a Turkey Tettrazini on Thursday and then have the entire dinner on Saturday, when Rob is home. 

As I was talking to son #2 yesterday, I threw out this suggestion, There was about a two minute silence on his end.......long story short......I will be preparing TWO Thanksgiving dinners this year! And...believe it or not....I am actually looking forward to it!!!

There is always one item I look for when deciding how I want the dining room table to look for a holiday! This year, I wasn't sure how I wanted the Thanksgiving tablescape to come together. I knew at some point, I would come across one little piece of china, or accessory which would be THE perfect addition to the design! 

I began with a white tone-on-tone striped tablecloth. Then added the grasscloth table runner. I normally use the Thanksgiving wreath which I bought at Costco probably ten years ago. I love this wreath and have never found one prettier! Next came the hurricanes with cocoa colored candles. I was not really pleased.......it was ok, but not yet, the look I wanted. 

Then I found them! They were the perfect accessory that just spoke to me...these beautiful quail!

Now, onto planning the menu and making out the grocery list! How about y'all?
Is everyone ready for the most delightful family gathering of the year?