December 14, 2015


No matter how pretty the entryway is,
the warmth and comfort of the family room,
everyone seems to congregate in the kitchen.

I am the only one that decorates the Christmas tree.
And....it can be rather exhausting.

So, when I finally get around to our kitchen,
I love keeping it easy, yet festive! 

Even when we host a weekend gathering,
I really do keep the menus rather easy.
I am often asked,
"How many hors d'oeuvres do you normally make before dinner?"
The plan I stick to is this....
polish up your little silver bowls and fill them
with salted cashews, ripe cherry tomatoes, a  savory cheese appetizer
 served with mango chutney and whole grain crackers.

These days, I am keeping it light at these informal dinners.
Delicious sweet endings can be composed of
fresh farmstand apples, big ripe strawberries with a whipped chocolate mousse
and of course...

We love serving
a light, white fish and a big fresh tossed salad.

Have you ever made scalloped tomatoes?
Divine and takes about five minutes to prepare
and thirty minutes to bake......

Perhaps your guests would enjoy
an easy Parmesan Risotto....
this takes about forty-five minutes in the oven,
rather than standing over the stove and stirring, then adding.....

I also choose recipes I am familiar with....
I have learned it's not the time to try something new.

Now in Texas,
we love anything Tex-Mex!
Would you enjoy a
Pink Grapefruit Margarita
with a big bowl of chips and fresh guacamole?

Now....that all sounds pretty easy, doesn't it?
Now, how about the recipe for the scalloped tomatoes...
this was one of my Daddy's all-time favorites!

5 T. olive oil
2 cups diced bread,,,choose a rustic bread with crusts removed
3 lb.s plum tomatoes, diced
1 T. minced garlic
2 T. sugar
2 t. salt
1 t. coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat 3 T. olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.
Add the bread cubes and stir to coat in the olive oil.
Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper.
Add this tomato mixture to the bread cubes.
and continue to cook and stir for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in the fresh basil.
Pour this into  shallow baking dish,
sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
and drizzle with 2 T. olive oil.
Bake for 35-40 minutes. 


  1. Beautiful table. The tomatoes looked good. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

    1. Hi Susie! You a such a sweetie! Thank you for visiting today and please enjoy the recipe!

  2. That reminds me! I could make some scalloped tomatoes this week. We do enjoy them! Your table looks like such a pleasant place to gather round. Very pretty.

    1. Hope you do Vee. Thank you so much for visiting today and commenting so sweetly! Hugs!

  3. I really like your table setting. I love the simplicity of your plates. Also, those pinecones are wonderful! I've never tried scalloped tomatoes, potatoes yes, but not tomatoes. -Jenn


I so love receiving your thoughts and comments. I also hope you found something that made you smile.