MARCH

MARCH

March 1, 2021

CELEBRATE SPRING, SUNSHINE and COOKIES!

 

Hello Kindred Spirits....
let's give Winter the boot, shall we?

Here in Texas, we have thawed out from our deep freeze
and have been blessed with warm, sunny days!
I know, it's just crazy isn't it?
I feel the only damage we sustained is losing
some of our newly landscape shrubs...others
have been left with broken pipes which flooded their homes
and ruined wood flooring...plumbers are booked three months out.....
that winter week was very, very hard on many of my fellow Texans!
It's pretty difficult when you are in single digit temps, with no water
and little food.....but.....brighter days are here now!

This was a gorgeous sunny day of 77 degrees!!

It's that time of year, to plan a new wreath for the backdoor.....
this was my theme  for last year's patio, so we shall
see what colors I bring forth this year....still haven't decided....

There is a wealth of inspiration in these two magazines....
great decorating ideas and recipes to get my mojo going....


YES...TULIPS!
I am totally in love with tulips this year
and have something rather fun in mind using these!


I spent an afternoon, packing away any winter décor
and changed the look in the kitchen to signs of Spring...
I feel lighter and more cheerful than before!!!


This makes me want to bake cookies......


It's time to change out the wax melts to spring scents....
such a delightful change......


When a new season begins, it's a good time
to change the theme of my little kitchen workstation.....


Love my Mary Lake Thompson tea towel.....
this will be on display through Summer.....


And, talk about a pop of sunshine....
nothing adds instantaneous cheer
like a bowl full of lemons!!!


I think I have chosen my colors for the season.....
a glorious warm yellow, soft spring green and creamy white!
And, then there is this vibrant pop of orange....what splendor!!!


I tried a new cookie recipe and let me just say....
this is a keeper...anytime of year....I plan on making
these again for Fall and again at Christmas!


Oh ya'll....I wish you could smell this candle.....
gosh I love the color and the scent...it's just over the moon wonderful!


I am slowly moving my way through the house and
changing out to a lighter look.....


I am loving this new quilt and didn't quite know
which pillow I wanted to use in my grandparent's Windsor chair,
but when I tried this one from my stash, it just looked like it
found it's happy place!

I hope you are as anxious as I am about diving into Spring
with body, mind and spirit!!!









February 23, 2021

WINTER HYGGE...WHIPPING CREAM BISCUITS




As Texas returns to normal...slowly but surely....
we are so thankful for all of you who reached out
and left such heartfelt and kind comments on my previous post!
We are so touched and so grateful to have connected with each
and every one of you......
how kind and lovely you are......


Practicing hygge does not require lavish expenditures.
It is about the experience.......

 
Paula's Whipping Cream Biscuits
2 cups Self-Rising flour
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Combine ingredients and blend gently together.
Roll dough out on a floured surface and cut with biscuit cutter.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until light golden brown!

One of the core concepts of hygge, is to be cozy,
comfortable and happy inside your own home.....

Serve with cold pats of butter and your favorite jam....
today, I used Red Currant Jam!

Hygge is about returning to simple values and simple pleasures....
what can be more comforting than a breakfast of hot,
homemade biscuits on a winter morning.......


One of the attributes of hygge is to slow down
and take your time to be present in your daily life,
enjoying the little things that come your way.......

There is nothing more beautiful and lovely to look at
than our beautiful Mae Mobley relaxing in a sun puddle.....
This is finding coziness and happiness within......




February 19, 2021

BUNDLE UP....OUR WEEK OF TEXAS DEEP FREEZE

I think we are near the end.....of this dire
winter weather.
I know all of you that live in the North
and the East simply do not understand how
the few inches of snow and ice we have,
can cripple the entire state of Texas,
but this winter storm brought one digit temperatures.
Our power supply apparently had not done 
their due diligence in upgrading
the power equipment to handle such frigid temps.
It is a dire situation....ice on the roads which
caused a horrific 100 car wreck near downtown Fort Worth,
we have been without power for days, many without water,
grocery stores closed or very low on stock, restaurants closed,
broken pipes and homes with flooding....
our youngest in Austin has been without power or water
all week and has had to sit in his car for a few minutes of heat.
His power was restored late Thursday night thank goodness,
but Austin has no water......out state capital!
We had little power all week, but are now
going on 24 hours of power!


Indeed the snow is beautiful......


.

The greenbelt look during our winter storm 2021....


When we would have 20 minutes of power, I would
be able to prepare a hot meal for our dinner....
then we would lose power for the entire evening....
we wrapped ourselves in blankets and quilts day and night....


We have bobcats and coyotes all around and it is not
uncommon to see tracks in the snow....
yes, I worry about them and how they survive in weather this cold.....


We spent the days reading and sipping spiced tea for warmth....


All the swimming pools were frozen and it was a constant
effort to keep equipment wrapped with blankets and tarps
and pumps going to prevent damage.....


The cocktail hour was quiet with candlelight
and just talking....about everyone struggling and
needing warmth, a hot meal and a safe place to spend the night....


 On Thursday, we woke up to power and heat....
we enjoyed a cup of hot coffee and I just had to 
make a hot breakfast of bacon and pancakes.....
the stuff dreams are made of........


It's been a very exhausting week for us Texans....
hopefully, we are rounding the corner and 
will be blessed with some sunshine this coming week!

February 13, 2021

REE DRUMMOND'S RUM CAKE....WINTER BAKING SERIES




It's Winter here in Texas...no snow, but days of
rather cold temps!
I love to bake and try new recipes
so that the kitchen stays busy and offers us
good comfort food.
I came across Ree Drummond's Rum Cake last week
which she stated was a Christmas favorite from her mother-in-law!
The funny thing is, my mother made her Rum Cake every year
during the holidays, and it brought back some delightful memories for me!

With few ingredients, you can bake up a divine cake
that has an incredible aroma while in the oven....

Our family just loved this cake which would always be
featured on the dining room sideboard at Christmas.....
I added the link for Ree's recipe as it's fun to read her
description of the recipes.....obviously a warm memory for her also!
Maybe this will be on your weekend menu as a reminder
to show some lovin' from your oven!

 



WINTER HYGGE

February 8, 2021

VALENTINE'S DAY BRUNCH

 


We are going to honor Valentine's Day
with a brunch for two.....at home! And
a bit early so I could share it all with each of you!
In order to make the day a little bit special,
I decided to set the farmhouse table
with a casual theme reminiscent of
the brunch we experienced while staying
down in Fredericksburg at Hoffman Haus!
If you are a guest at this Bed and Breakfast,
you will be visited by an employee
delivering a picnic basket with a lovely
hot breakfast for two.....


This was my inspiration for today's brunch.....
my little version of a Bed and Breakfast guest-worthy treat!


April, 2017
We noshed on a quiche, sausage patties, a chocolate chip scone,
fresh fruit and orange juice!
This was more than plenty before
starting off to tour the fields of spring wildflowers!


Today's brunch was pretty much a copy cat of their delightful
brunch.....I love this brand of scone mix...very easy to make,
and the scones are tender and light!


Dusted with a little powdered sugar, hot from the oven.......


Fresh Fruit with Vanilla Cream


Midnight Spinach Quiche
My go-to quiche recipe was shared by Susan
at Little Poet You Tube...best one I have ever made!


Breakfast Sausages


Nothing makes your home feel cozier than creating
delicious meals and treats in your own kitchen!


Pink Grapefruit Punch


WINTER ENTERTAIN AND CELEBRATE
2020

I hope you gathered a bit of inspiration
to host a casual brunch for your Valentine...it was fun
and indeed felt a bit special!



February 5, 2021

WINTER BAKING....WINNING RECIPES FROM SAVORY TO SWEET


I really miss going out to dinner!
We have not been out to a restaurant in over a year now
as we simply do not feel it's worth the risk...
perhaps toward summer things will have improved
and we can dine outdoors safely!
I now know quite a few people who have come down
with Covid so for the time being, we feel it's best to remain cautious.....

While the winter season gives us time to rest and reflect within
our homes, planning meals and intimate gatherings
for those we love can still add so much happiness to our lives.

 

Estelle's has always been founded on bringing you
delicious, easy recipes which will provide some
inspiration for those who share my love of creating
and cooking homemade meals for your family!


It's a pure joy to choose specific cookbooks from my collection
and select different recipes to try throughout the month.....
there is no better cuisine than SOUTHERN......
no surprise being born and raised in Mississippi!

Here's what was on the menu in late January
which made my best of the best list!


SPINACH STUFFED SHELLS

filling:

2 lbs. spinach
22 oz. ricotta
1 cup mozzarella
3/4 cup Parmesan
1 egg
salt
pepper
several teaspoons nutmeg
several teaspoons Italian seasoning

Topping:
26 oz. tomato sauce
1 cup mozzarella

24 jumbo pasta shells

1 15-oz. container ricotta

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
 (use fresh-Cooked)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Pinch of ground nutmeg

1 26-oz. jar spaghetti sauce


1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Mist a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cook pasta shells according to package label directions; drain and set aside to cool. While pasta cooks, in a large bowl, stir together ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, spinach, egg, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and nutmeg.

2. Spread 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce over bottom of baking dish. Stuff shells with cheese-and-spinach mixture and place in dish. Spoon remaining sauce over shells and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella.

3. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 10 minutes longer, until bubbly and cheese begins to brown.


Now for new recipes that were favorites in our family!





Did you happen to catch the WOLF MOON?


There is magic to be shared in your own backyard sometimes........