April 23, 2014


 Spring has arrived and the weather has been beautiful! The azaleas are in bloom!
Azaleas will always remind me of my Mississippi home!
My parents grew the most beautiful Azaleas for over fifty years.

Our Knock-Out roses are beginning to bloom.

This year, I plan to add a few pink roses to this grouping.
Hmmm....Mother's Day is right around the corner isn't it?

Mae! Always ready to be featured among the flowers!
Prettiest girl in the world!

I'll let you in on a little secret on my recipe for crab cakes. If you find yourself out of crab, you can substitute tuna. I often do that.....substitute two packages or cans of tuna for the crabmeat! Delicious!!! Serve with Mississippi lemon coleslaw, fresh corn on the cob and a good remoulade!
1 pound crab meat
2 heaping T.  Mayonnaise
1/2 T. mustard
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ T. Cajun seasoning
1 t. garlic powder
1 T. minced red bell pepper
2 T. minced onion
1 cup Ritz crackers, crumbled
Panko Bread Crumbs

Combine all ingredients except the crackers. Add crackers crumbs in as close to sautéing as possible so that they crab cakes don’t get too moist from the other ingredients. Form into patties the size of hamburger patties. Dredge each patty in panko bread crumbs. Chill briefly.

Brown in frying pan over low heat in butter or olive oil for 5 minutes per side. Make sure that it’s crispy outside but moist and juicy inside. Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees F.



April 22, 2014


Are you celebrating April Birthdays this month?
These are GREAT recipes for parties and get-togethers!

Estelle's Savory Tip:
This dip, once chilled, also makes a great spread for
 finger sandwiches!

1 cup Cheddar jack cheese, shredded
½ cup Swiss cheese, shredded
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2/3 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
2/3 cup diced yellow onion
½ cup milk
¼ teaspoon salt

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients until well combined and spread into a 1-quart  baking dish.
Bake for 40 minutes or until dip is bubbling and top is lightly browned.
Serve with crackers, pretzels, celery sticks, thick cut potato chips, or pita chips.

1 (18 1/4 ounce) box French Vanilla cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
2 quarts vanilla ice cream, softened
2 bananas, sliced
12 maraschino cherries, with stems
1 cup pineapple topping
1 cup hot fudge topping

Bake cake as directed in 13x9-inch pan. Cool completely.
Spread softened ice cream on top of cooled cake. Freeze for 2 hours or overnight.

Just before serving to with sliced bananas and cherries, drizzle with toppings.
 Store covered in freezer.

I am joining Penny's Tasty Tuesday party today...
please visit her blog for many delicious recipes!


April 21, 2014


Our favorite dairy farm in Maine shared this with many fans. I wanted to share it with you.
Prayers of safekeeping in the arms of Heaven little darling.

We are sometimes called upon to rescue farm animals in need of care, as our Barnyard Manager, Hillary, is known for her patience and hands on dedication to each precious life. Although this little preemie was referred to us, he survived for only a few short days. Yet, he held a special place in our hearts, and we wanted to share his picture with you on this blessed Easter Day.


Easter 2014
What a gorgeous day we had here in Texas for Easter Day 2014.
Although rain had been predicted, we were blessed with a lovely, sunny day.
I so wish all of our family had been able to celebrate such a joyous day together, but we were scattered across cities and states this year!
 Nonetheless, the darling and I had a wonderful fun-filled weekend with
 Greg, Jenn and BoBo!  

Lovely and colorful spring flowers from Kroger of all places!
We all talked with Robbie in the morning!
He is loving his new job and seems happy.
His best friend from Texas A&M came down to Austin this weekend and
they spent time together doing fun events that guys enjoy!
I am happy about that!
But....we sure did miss him this Easter Day!

My lavender bunny...a treasured gift from my Daddy!
This tablecloth has special memories for me....
I used it for The Divine Miss M's college graduation party!

Our Easter Dinner Celebration! All delicious!!!
Sent home leftovers with the children!

Abbie and Noah celebrating with Nick and Cat and her family!
Every time I see them, it amazes me how much they change...growing up too fast!
That must mean we are growing older too!

 Early morning phone call....Son #2: "Mom! How do you make deviled eggs?"
We had a quick discussion on the ingredients and then perhaps thirty minutes later, he sent me a picture of his first time Jalapeno Deviled Eggs.....a masterpiece!

Going over to Atlanta....Miss M was entertaining friends and family in style!  
You cannot see it well, however, the centerpiece is this deep blue teal pedestal antique bowl that belonged to Estelle...Miss M's great grandmother! I love it that she uses it every Easter!

What a lovely, lovely table.....she has been preparing all week and I am SO PROUD of her!
Her tablecloth is from Williams Sonoma and the tulips were from Costco!

Everyone loves hanging out in the kitchen. You can understand why!

She did a fabulous job on her Easter Cupcakes....SL Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese!!!!

The children's table! Sippy cups so there will be no chance of spills!
I think I would want to sit here!

Her Easter bunny and adorable little sheep came from Pier 1!  

I bought her that little candy bowl years ago when I was visiting Atlanta.
I think this was one of our successful trip to Home Goods!
This is so darn cute!!

Luke and Cayden on the Easter Egg Hunt...just look at those gorgeous Atlanta Azaleas!

Luke and Aubrey in the garden...looks like their baskets are getting full....success!

Being silly...being happy....loving Easter Day...Luke, Izzy, Olivia, Aubrey and Cayden

Aw.....Luke's Easter Basket. We both agreed, this is probably the last year she can make it sweet!
Unfortunately,  little boys grow up and fall out of love with their babies!

But for now, all is right in the world!
He is risen!
We are so blessed!

April 19, 2014



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



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!
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!

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!


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


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 



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


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!
the aroma of the bubbling, golden cheese
will bring everyone to the table smiling!

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!