July 4, 2022

JULY 4TH CELEBRATION and A REFRESHING SUMMER TEA



Happy Fourth of July kindred spirits!

Do you have plans to celebrate America today?
We actually decided to honor the 4th on Saturday
and today, I am sharing a few snippets of our gathering!

 

The weather was a tad on the hot side with
the temperature reading about 93 degrees....
we have triple digits coming all next week......

It was requested I make homemade potato salad and
I aim to please.....it was absolutely delicious!



My grandmother was well known for her potato salad
and I can never come close to hers...but this batch was loved
by everyone..that's good enough for me!



I didn't do a lot of decorating for a patriotic theme,
but did bring out a few favorites for the table....



Sweet Betsy Ross......



Swimming, barbecue and paper plates make for a good July 4th.....



The ribs and sausage were amazing.....



And, German Chocolate Cake with a cream cheese frosting.....
We can still enjoy some leftovers which is the best part of all...
I hope each of you, enjoy the day!

But before you go, here is a lovely idea for 
a refreshing and beautiful summer tea.....



A cold water infusion of Strawberry, Lemon
and Orange Blossom



Add fresh frozen fruit.......
strawberries, peaches, pineapple and mango....



Now, sip slowly, breathe deeply and relax......














July 2, 2022

BUTTERMILK CUPCAKES...A MARTHA VILLAS SPECIALTY

 SPECIALTY....
A skill to which someone has devoted
much time and effort and
in which they were an expert.
This would describe Martha Pearl Villas!

Widely known for her Southern cooking, Mrs. Villas co-authored 3 cookbooks
with her son, James, demonstrated her culinary expertise on
 'Good Morning America,' the Food Network, and
 many other national TV programs, and
was even invited to teach a course
 at the Cipriani Cooking School in Venice, Italy

MY MOTHER'S SOUTHERN DESSERTS
 is a cookbook to linger over....Miss Martha and her son, James
share stories of life experiences they treasured and speak of all
the southern traditions they held dear.
James Villas was the food and wine editor at
Town and Country Magazine for years
and was the author of eight cookbooks!

Today, I bring you one of her best recipes that
will make you a star baker!

Do you have an upcoming Bridal Shower to host?


Or, perhaps a Baby Shower in your near future?
Then this recipe will be just what you need
to serve your guests the best cupcake ever!

James Villas wrote....
"Although Mother created these tangy cupcakes
as a base for her Bridal Shower Snowballs,
they are also delicious cloaked with virtually
any frosting to be served at birthday parties,
parties, afternoon tea or special occasions!"



BUTTERMILK CUPCAKES
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
2/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
Mix until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda.
Mix well.
Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately
with the buttermilk.
Fill prepared muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes.
Cool completely before frosting.

June 24, 2022

SUMMER LUNCH THAT'S QUICK AND EASY

Summer is our time for easy, breezy living....
today, I thought I would dress up our
lunch just a bit without going to a lot of fuss...
I wanted just a bit of a departure from
the normal grab and go type meal..... 


I love a glass of cold iced tea in summer....
it's so hot by mid-afternoon...
freshly brewed tea is so refreshing!
This glass pitcher I use, belonged to my Grandmother Estelle.



Here is a lovely idea....
I took Boar's Head sliced turkey
and warmed it with left over BBQ sauce.....
just delicious.....we like Stubb's BBQ SAUCE!


I baked a lovely batch of
Southern Living's BUTTERMILK BISCUITS



A platter of garden fresh tomatoes
and yummy deviled eggs......



And, it was delightful.....
entertaining at home does not have to be fancy...
but it does need to be delicious.......
now this is a marvelous taste of summer....



AND,,,then we come to the fresh strawberries......



How about a twist on Strawberry Shortcake.....



A fresh and light sweet ending....


I wish you had been here.....take good care of those you love....
there is always something good coming out of Estelle's kitchen....
Make Summer a beautiful time in your life!




June 21, 2022

SUMMER IN THE HOUSE...and LUKE TURNS 14!




Hello Kindred Spirits....
today I am sharing just a few updates on the Homefront....
it is just very, very hot here in the great state of Texas,
so I only go outdoors to water the plants.....
I really cannot recall triple digit heat in early June
like we have experienced this year...



I updated our bedroom with a beautiful new quilt....just love it....
soft blues which make it very calming and relaxing.....



Along with a lovely distressed area rug with similar colors.....



I added new soft sage green towels in our guest bathroom
with the romantic scent of Gardenia....
it's good for the soul to update nooks and crannies.



The darling received this adorable puzzle for Father's Day...
I LOVE IT...just so fun with all this summer activity detail!



This is the first year I planted Zinnia's and I just love seeing
them bloom....



We got to visit with these two for our Father's Day celebration.....
we love catching up with our granddaughter and her beau.....



We met our son and his wife at Top Golf,
then spent the later afternoon in the pool.....


A few noteworthy recipes included
a divine Custard Pie....
I make mine with Evaporated milk and a bit of Halt N' Half...
perfect for the Summer!



Fresh blueberry Muffins using
Pioneer Baking Mix...
some of the best I have made!



The BBQ chicken sliders turned out SO GOOD....... 



Everyone loved this cold and yummy dessert...



Strawberry Heaven on Earth Cake



And, last but not least....
our youngest grandchild celebrated his 14th birthday!


Love this kid to the moon and back.....
I only wish we lived closer so we could see him every day!
He always has a smile on his face, which warms my heart!
There is nothing more important than family!


Y'all take good care...see ya' next time!



June 16, 2022

FATHER'S DAY PREPARATIONS

 

Hey y'all...are you ready for the weekend?
Even though the darling and I are retired,
the weekend still seems special to us.
And Sunday is when we honor the Dad's in our lives...
those who sacrifice much for those they love and cherish!
I will tell you, it's dang hot here in Texas and so I needed
to think of something cool, breezy and colorful for this
special Sunday in June!
Honey, we are going TROPICAL..bright, vivid colors
and a menu that I know the boys really love!



Pretty paper napkins


I decided to pull together a few things that will give a tropical vibe
to our celebration and thought it would be really fun to use
a few items I have saved over the years.....
these plates are from the Opalhouse collection from Target...
probably five or six years ago.......



A few tropical candles...here and there.....



This smells heavenly....love lemon scented candles

I thought these would be terrific for holding
dry peanuts and pistachios for snacking.....

Now here's what's on the menu.....



BBQ CHICKEN SLIDERS with
cold, crispy cold slaw.....



CHEESE STUFFED BACON WRAPPED HOT DOGS.....
Mother made these from the time I was six years old....



A cold POOLSIDE DIP served
with LIME CHIPS

and a very special request....




My HEAVEN ON EARTH STRAWBERRY CAKE

I wanted an easy menu as I'm sure
we will be poolside most of the day.....
looks good and sounds good, don't you think?

I'm excited to make this day special
for these terrific and dedicated DAD'S....

I hope you share how you plan to honor
your husband's, brothers and sons.....