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Category — Holiday

Happy Easter

happy easter

“Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal.”   ~ Julia Child

circa 1963

Easter Day – Scottsdale, Arizona  Circa 1963

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April 20, 2014   1 Comment

Easter Eggs and Easter menu ideas

Instead of my usual Silk Transfer Easter Eggs, I went another route this year. On Pinterest, I found Cocktail Napkin Easter Eggs.

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I hard-boiled 9 eggs and used the technique explained on This Site for the first eight eggs. Then on whim, I tried another technique and ended up with the egg above. I love the end results and will show you how to do both.

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Plus I’m putting up links to all of my Easter recipes as listed on the Complete Recipe Index – over there on the left, in case you are still trying to figure out what to make.

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Cocktail Napkin Easter Eggs

8 to 12 white hard-boiled eggs, cold
Printed paper cocktail or lunch napkins
1 egg white, lightly beaten

napkin squares ready

Open the napkins and separate the printed top layer from plain second layer if napkin has two layers. Discard any plain sheets.

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Cut each napkin into four squares, along the folds.

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Dip a small pastry brush into the beaten egg white and use to adhere and apply a square onto the front center of an egg.

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April 17, 2014   5 Comments

April Fool

Sometimes April 1st sneaks up on me before I can plot and plan my April Fool’s prank.

postit

Not this year.

son

This year I enlisted Connor’s help. He agreed to go to Costco with me to get the supplies as long as I’d stop at the grocery store to get two of the three needed ingredients for Rice Krispies Treats.

double the fun

Deal.

Connor at work

Here is what Connor and I did with the Post-it® notes we bought.

passenger side

We covered all the windows of Dave’s car with the colorful squares.

drivers side

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April 1, 2014   4 Comments

Valentine’s aphrodisiac food options

If you are making a special Valentine meal for your significant other tomorrow night, you might want to take some of these suggestions into consideration.

Just saying…

Click on the name of the various aphrodisiacs to find a recipe for each.

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asparagus – loaded with essential vitamin E

lovely salad

basil – libido lifting nutrients vitamins A and C, magnesium, beta carotene and potassium

lobster bisque

caviar – luxurious jewels from the sea, salty and sexy

Roasting directly over flame until blackened

chiles – elevates heart rate, raises body temperature, makes lips swell

chocolatelayer

chocolate – releases phenylethyamine, the same hormone love-making releases and increases endorphin secretions and raises heart rate

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February 13, 2014   1 Comment

New Year’s Eve 2013 tablescape

I want to give you a heads-up  – my blogging abilities are going to be compromised for the next week.

2014

Yesterday, I began putting away Christmas. The tree is down and the New Year’s Eve tablescape and decor, that I’m about to show you, is put away. I hope to get the rest of the house “untrimmed” and “deflocked” today.

Then, Saturday the real work begins.

Fun work!
The work I love to do!

schoolhouse

The sort of thing I live for…

Decorating. Shopping. Cooking. Making lists. Organizing. Setting up and Planning… for Tram’s baby shower.

Hence – very little time to blog. You may hear from me, or I may go “underground” and you might not. Either way, please know that I am in my element, experiencing joy and happiness, and that I’ll share all the glorious details with you… after the fact. I don’t want to ruin any of it for my sweet friend, loyal blog follower, and mama-to-be, Tram!

For now, back to New Year’s Eve, from here out, referred to as NYE.

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See that huge clock?

big clock

Isn’t it grand!?!  I bought it years ago at a cool store in the Scottsdale Airpark that, sadly, no longer exists. It is five feet in diameter and it is heavy! I put it out on the front patio for NYE and it was still there yesterday, when Chip, my landscape architect extraordinaire, came by with his crew to install more lighting in the front yard.

Chip asked me about the clock and I told him that when I bought it, my intention was to hang it in the front room. But I feared it was too heavy, so I’ve just had it leaning against walls in various rooms over the years. Most recently in the guestroom, better known as Marissa’s bedroom.

He said, “It so cool! Where do you want it to go? I’ll hang it for you.”

clock spot

Hey, you don’t have to make a generous offer, like that, twice!

Quickly, before he could change his mind, I said, “OK!”

So I got the stud finder, nails, some wire, a hammer, and a ladder. He got his right-hand man, Roy, and another ladder. They wired it up and went to hang it… and the wire snapped. (I told you it was HEAVY!) Thankfully they were still holding on to it when that happened!

clock is up

They got some “better” wire from their truck and tried again, and voilà, the clock is finally hanging where I wanted it to be hanging all along!

big clock 2

I really am going to get to the tablescape… but first a couple more photos of the front patio/entrance leading to the NYE dinner party.

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Happy New Year. Do you see it?

HNY

Now you do!

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Come on in.

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January 3, 2014   8 Comments

Happy 2014

I would like to wish a happy, healthy, joyful, and prosperous New Year to each of you.

happy new year 2014

“May your troubles be less and your blessings be more and nothing but happiness come through your door.”  Traditional Irish Blessing

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January 1, 2014   1 Comment

Santa sacks

less boxes

I changed my decades old tradition of present wrapping this past Christmas. I’ve always wrapped each family member’s gifts in their own unique and individual wrapping paper.

more bags

None of them knew, until Christmas morning, whose gifts were whose.

santa bags

When the kids were little, this method kept them from counting to see who had more and from shaking gifts they would have otherwise known belonged to them.

This year, I still wrapped the gifts, I just didn’t worry about using a specific paper or tags. Instead,  I used personalized Christmas Sacks from Harrow & Green, a small company in London.

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December 31, 2013   3 Comments

Christmas dinner 2013

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.
We did.
Of course, the best part is having all my loves home with me!

o christmas tree

For Christmas Eve, we brought back a tradition we began last year (when I had a fractured pelvis and could not stand up in the kitchen to cook) and we once again had blue cheese fondue. We are all in love with the new simple, fun, and communal approach to a special family meal. The kids voted that we add in chocolate fondue for dessert in 2014. Dave and I made that vote unanimous.

2013 Christmas table

This was our Christmas day tablescape.

glitter L

For our Christmas day dinner, the main course was something I taught at Les Gourmettes, individual beef Wellingtons.

beef tenderloin

You’ll notice that some of the photos below were taken while I was prepping for that class.

tenderloin

I purchased a full beef tenderloin and cut it into 16 pieces. This was the most economical way to feed a crowd.

16 steaks

For our holiday meal, I purchased already cut filet mignon.

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December 27, 2013   2 Comments

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2013   No Comments

Overnight Eggnog French Toast

This recipe came from the food section of our newspaper and was provided by our local dairy, Shamrock Farms.

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We didn’t trim our tree until Saturday, once the kids and my mother-in-law arrived. So the night before, I put together this breakfast dish while I waited for Marissa’s plane to get in from San Francisco. It was scheduled for midnight, but delayed until 2:00 AM. I made good use of the extra two hours and wrote out all my Christmas cards as well… blurry-eyed, but I got it done!

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We all enjoyed breakfast and tree-trimming, with carols playing in the background and coffee and hot chocolate mugs in our hands.

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I made a few changes to  the recipe; using actual rum instead of rum extract and subbing cinnamon bread for the firm white or whole wheat that was suggested. Additionally, I’ve decreased the amount of eggs used in the mixture.

This eggnog French toast was a huge hit with the family and will likely become a new holiday tradition for us.

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December 23, 2013   4 Comments