January 25, 2015


It's just that time of year, so we may as well embrace it!
Perhaps you are living in snow covered areas or maybe you are enjoying sunshine in California.
Texas goes from perfect sunny days in the 60's to cold, gray days.
Many of us are a tad bit under the weather with nasty colds....part of winter, I guess.
So, how does this sound? 
Having a hearty beef stew simmering away in the slow cooker?
Let's plan on a Sunday feast by the cozy fireside.

1 lb. beef stew meat
1 large onion, chopped (3/4 cup)
2 carrots, chopped (3/4 cup)
2 stalks celery, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (10 1/2 oz. each) condensed beef consommé
6 ounces of red wine
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
2 cups frozen cheese-filled tortellini
1 cup frozen green beans

In 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker, add beef, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, sugar, tomatoes and beef consomm√© in order listed.  Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8 to 9 hours.

About 25 minutes before serving, stir in basil, frozen tortellini and green beans. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook about 25 minutes or until beans are tender.

January 23, 2015


The doorbell would ring twice. Always twice. Once a week, usually on a Thursday morning, Miz Becky Simmons would come breezing in for coffee and a cigarette. This was the 60's. Everyone smoked. They both wore shirt-waist dresses and penny loafers. Mother and Miz Becky. Mother's was a lavender and Miz Becky's was a light lemon yellow. They would sit at the kitchen table and drink a few cups of coffee and talk about the society pages.They each got their hair done once a week at Sybil's in Fondren Place. They had standing appointments. They exchanged gossip and made plans to attend the symphony. 

Mother would also make this Lemon Tea Loaf for those coffee klatch times! Now, everyone loved this tea loaf. It always put a smile on their face and everyone wanted to know her recipe! Well, honey....like William Faulkner always said, "To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi!" 

Here's the secret....Bourbon! 
Yep, plain and simple. 
She said, "I think this lemon sauce would be better with a little Bourbon thrown in...
don't you?"

The Lemon Tea Loaf
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

6 tablespoons butter, softened

2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
6 oz blueberries ~optional
Zest from one lemon
1 t. lemon extract

The Bourbon Lemon Glaze
Juice from one lemon
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 cup of Jack Daniels Bourbon

Preheat your oven to 350'F

Grease and flour a 9x5" loaf pan.

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, eggs and granulated sugar until nice and fluffy. Add half of the milk and mix, then add half of the flour mixture and mix....then add the remaining milk, mix. And finally add the remaining flour mixture, and mix.

Fold in the blueberries if you wish to add them. Otherwise, omit this step. Add the lemon zest. Pour your luscious, lemony batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 50- 60 minutes, or until golden and firm in the center.

Let the bread cool for about 5 minutes.
Mix together the lemon juice, the powdered sugar and the bourbon to make a glaze and pour the glaze all over the warm bread....
Now....take a toothpick and poke the loaf all over the place. Drizzle that lemon bourbon deliciousness all over. Pour it over the loaf shugah....don't drink from the measuring cup! That's not ladylike. Slice and serve! 

More beautiful ideas at Foodie Friday Link-up

January 22, 2015


These cookie bars are EXCELLENT! In a matter of minutes, you can bake up these gooey cookie bars that have a very moist texture and are filled with oats and gooey chocolate chips! They are marvelous to serve at a book club gathering, for a sweet treat after school or to enjoy with a cup of coffee. I would even recommend serving these as a tiny bite dessert for your dinner company! 

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 (3.5 ounce) vanilla pudding mix, instant
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 cups of quick cooking oats
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9" x 13" baking pan. 

Beat butter, and both sugars in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Stir the pudding mix into the creamed mixture and blend well. Add vanilla.
Whisk the flour, soda and salt together in a separate bowl. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and combine well. Add the oats and chips and blend into the dough.
Press dough in your baking pan and bake for 25 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting into bars. 

January 21, 2015


I had forgotten all about these.

Would you believe, that we still come across a box that has yet to be unpacked?
I feel so ahead of the game, of weeding out old "stuff" and donating items we no longer use.
When we made our move from Texas to Maine, I felt we downsized quite a bit. 
The darling would disagree with that statement.
But....anywhoo.....the other day, he was unpacking this small box, and peeked in from the garage and said, "Hey...do you still want these wine goblets?"
When I realized what they were, I almost screamed..."YES! I forgot about those!"

Do you recognize these?

Oh, the memories of these little lovelies! 

Arby's originals......

Yes, little darlin's....you heard me.....
Some years ago, during the holiday season, Arby's would offer these pretty little stemware glasses for a minimal fee. It may have been a dollar or two....so long ago, I can't remember.
But I just loved them.
Now, if the darling had his way...they would be trash..
But, according to Estelle's....they are treasures!

January 20, 2015


Look who was home for the weekend!!!
Time for me to feed his soul....some of the best that Estelle's has to offer....
a fabulous family favorite that is chocked full of fresh vegetables! 

But first.....a night out on the town with family and friends!


Nothing like getting together for a delicious burger on a Saturday night!

Kickin' up our heels in Addison! 

I would never send him back to Austin with a simple hamburger and fries!
This is one of the family's all time favorites combined with a creamy fontina pasta, fresh carrots, mushrooms and zucchini, with a side of Italian roasted chicken tenderloins! 

Roasted Vegetable Pasta
4 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch slices
2 large onions, cut into wedges
2 medium yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch slices
2 large sweet yellow peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup fresh baby carrots, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-1/2 cups uncooked fusilli pasta
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes in sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Transfer to two greased 15” x 10” x 1 ”  baking pans. Bake at 450° for 20-25 minutes or until crisp-tender; set aside. Reduce heat to 350°.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Add the fontina cheese, cream, tomatoes, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper to the pasta. Stir in vegetable mixture.

Transfer to a greased 13” x 9” baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.

January 19, 2015


A perfect breakfast for a winter morning......

One of our favorites in Kennebunkport

Why is it that hotels have THE most fabulous tasting waffles? Have you ever noticed that? I don't think that I've ever had a bad waffle when traveling around the United States. It's one of those "things" that made me want to try various recipes until I found the "perfect" one! And....I found THE ONE! 

The children would always order waffles for breakfast when we would have our morning breakfast at hotels...normally traveling for a soccer tournament. There was one hotel we used to stay at in Waco that had "to die for waffles!" The grandchildren LOVE waffles and we always leave this for Nick to prepare when we are at the beach for summer vacation. Luke is coming to visit in February, so I wanted to ensure, he could be pampered with his favorite waffles at Grandma's house! Here ya' go Luke.....come on down! This is where the good stuff is.......

3 eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Beat egg yolks and add one cup of the buttermilk.
Mix dry ingredients together and add to the egg mixture.
Add the other cup of buttermilk and the melted butter.
Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into batter.
Bake in your waffle iron until golden brown.

January 18, 2015


I simply adore home decorating!
I thought it would be fun, on this Sunday afternoon,
to take a look at......

Inside and Out

Winter Outside your door...
doesn't it look all warm and cozy inside?

Welcome home!

Now wouldn't we all like to come down for morning coffee
wearing our marabou slippers in this gorgeous kitchen! 

I think even the butler would love this one!

 A cozy guest room....cottage style.....
Do Not Disturb!

 Relaxing Small Spaces

Softness....wrap it up and tie it a bow!

Luxury...Pamper me with the unexpected.

Traditional and elegant! 
Oh how I love timeless classics!