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Easter tablescape


You’ve seen my drink station


the crudités setup


… which was cleared and turned into the brunch buffet.

Now it’s time for the Easter Tablescape 2013!


At the time, I didn’t realize that I had a theme going, but now I see that I did indeed.

egg cups

“Eggs, Eggcups, Flowers, and Nests”


Eggs and Eggcups with flowers and succulents.


More of the same – with the addition of some nests.


More flowers, in tin buckets with nests on them… how original!

turbine fan

Is you look closely, in the background you will spot my wind turbine turned hanging light fixture. Sweet!

hanging planter

Another hanging fixture that I love to highlight and use whenever I get the chance, is the chandelier vase that hangs over the sunken kitchen at the swim-up bar.

game time

The pool was still much too cold to swim in, but I was grilling the pomegranate lamb chops down in the kitchen, so I wanted it to look pretty for the occasion.

over the grill

Filled with stock and daffodils.

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April 7, 2013   4 Comments

asparagus = spring


Asparagus season and Easter come at the same time and what a perfect pairing that is! They are both happy signs of spring.


Plus this lovely green vegetable pairs wonderfully with both ham and lamb.


We had all three for our Easter brunch; ham in the Herb Crêpes Eggs Benedict Florentine, Pomegranate Molasses Lamb Chops, and this lovely asparagus dish.

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April 6, 2013   6 Comments

potatoes and bubbles


A few weeks before Easter, Connor informed me that he and Patrick didn’t need all the silly things I always put in their big elaborate Easter baskets. Oh really? Fine, go ahead a suck the fun out of my basket shopping!


As a result, instead of the usual big basket of goodies, they each received a little strawberry basket that only had Harkins Theater gift cards and a couple tubes of bubbles. How’s that for no silly things?


It looks like they had fun with the silly bubbles, to me! I’ll check back with him next spring and see if he might like to go to back to the big baskets!

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April 5, 2013   3 Comments

So far… April = Awful

It’s only April 4th and it’s already been an awful three days. I’m not sure if it has something to do with making a major life change on April 1st, or if that is just a foolish coincidence.


We moved my Mom and her 90 year old husband, Bill, into assisted-living on Monday and it’s been downhill since. I went to their house early yesterday to pack up more stuff to take to them, loading my car to the brim.

I arrived at their new place and only carried in one load before it became apparent that I was going to need to take Bill to the ER. I spent about 3 hours there with him, got him some anti-anxiety meds and took him back. I wasn’t able to unload even one more thing because I had to get to work.

I dropped him off with a caregiver and headed home to put on some clean clothes and makeup. I was driving to work with my fully packed car when I was forced to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting the large truck in front of me, whose driver had just slammed on his brakes. The three cars in front of the truck weren’t so lucky, they rear-ended each other!

ironing board

Oh, did I mention that there was an ironing board on the very top of all the stuff in my fully packed car?

No? Well it came flying towards the front of the car and was literally an inch from slamming through the windshield.


The seat belt’s shoulder strap in the back seat is the only thing that prevented that from happening! I know, CRAZY!

If this continues, there may be fewer posts this month. I don’t know how I’ll keep up on cooking and posting while trying to help out with all this life drama too. We shall see.

OK enough of the trauma-drama… how about a nice little look at my calm, colorful, and relaxing appetizer set up for Easter brunch?


It was a gorgeous day, so of course we ate outside. I placed my moss runner on the French buffet table and filled glass containers with crudites.


Two types of purchased hummus, from Trader Joe’s, were lovingly scooped in martini glasses.


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April 4, 2013   8 Comments

Herb Crêpes Eggs Benedict Florentine

crepe eggs benedict florentine

I admit it, this recipe looks VERY intimidating. It is long. There are many components. It looks complicated. But I PROMISE it is not hard to do. In fact, it is a wonderful special occasion entertaining dish. For a crowd, no less!

How is that possible, you ask?

It is because none of the components are difficult and all but one can be done 1 or 2 days in advance. So in reality, it comes together quickly and seamlessly at the end.

Even the final, last minute component, the Hollandaise sauce, is foolproof. I know, you may be ready to quit reading right now… Hollandaise Sauce – Absolutely Not!

But really it is foolproof! No stove is involved! All you need is a blender. You’re still skeptical? This sauce comes from Chef Tyler Florence. It works perfectly and is easy as can be, I may never make traditional Hollandaise sauce again!

too small

As I was beginning to make the crêpes in my usual crêpe-pan, I decided that they were too small, so I switched to a larger skillet. This was a personal choice, if you don’t have a medium size skillet (about 10-inches across the top) a smaller regular crêpe-pan is fine. Above you can see the two pans I’m talking about, and below the difference in the crêpe sizes.


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April 3, 2013   1 Comment

no foolish cocktail

Happy April Fool’s Day.
No tricks today.
Not when a cocktail is always much more fun!


For our Easter cocktails, I offered mango, orange, and cran-apple juices for a make-your-own Mimosa bar.


And since it’s always more festive to buy a a larger size bottle of wine or champagne, I did just that. There were only five of us, so I opted for a magnum. How big is a magnum? It is a double bottle, or 1.5 liters.

split and up

How big can you go? Here’s the sizes for champagne:

Split: holds 187 ml – individual size
Half-Bottle: 375 ml – a half bottle
Bottle: 750 ml – standard size
Magnum: 1.5 liters - equivalent of 2 bottles
Double Magnum: 3.0 liters – equivalent of 4 bottles
Rehoboam: 4.5 liters – equivalent of 6 bottles
Methuselah: 6 liters – equivalent of 8 bottles
Salmanazar: 9.0 liters – equivalent of 12 bottle or 1 case
Balthazar: 12.0 liters – equivalent of 16 bottles
Nebuchadnezzar: 15.0 liters – equivalent of 20 bottles

I’ve seen a Balthazar before, but I’ve never seen a Nebuchadnezzar. Now that would be one great party!


Along with the juices, I offered St. Germain.  A flute of St. Germain & Champagne is so refreshing and tastes like spring!

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April 1, 2013   3 Comments

Easter brunch dessert and prep

Happy Easter from our home to yours.

a happy easter

I’m writing this post on Saturday afternoon as I bake, cook, and set up for our Easter brunch on Sunday. I love Easter, not only for the important purpose of the day and joyous celebration – allowing us to focus again on the foundations of our faith. But also for the relaxed family oriented holiday that it is.

Sunday promises to be a beautiful day! It is expected to be in the mid to high 70′s while we are enjoying our outdoor meal.

Today I give you the recipe for our dessert and one of my impromptu decorating ideas. I’ll share the rest of the decor, tablescape, and recipes in the week to follow. Until then, I wish you all a Blessed and Happy Easter.


First the decorating…  I mentioned, in yesterday’s post, that Amy gave me a hostess gift of a mini succulent greenhouse. It was almost too cute to open, but open it, I did.


I transplanted all six of the succulents into vintage silver egg cups.


In the morning, I’ll incorporate them into the tablescape, until then they are hanging out on the vintage green scale in the kitchen along with the cute wooden bunny that Amy attached to the packaging. Pretty cute, right?

Now for the dessert -

First, a couple quick notes: It is important to plan ahead for this bread pudding. Instead of the usual bread, I’m using angel food cake. The cake takes longer to dry out than bread would. So give it good 48 to 60 hours to dry before you put the dessert together.


Secondly, I was too lazy to go to the liquor store to buy the amount of banana rum or banana liqueur I needed. I thought I had enough but it turns out the little “airline” bottles only hold 3 tablespoons liquid – I needed 4 tablespoons – so I used 1 tablespoon of mango rum to make up the difference.

Tasted Great!

Point is, use what you want or what you have on hand. Spiced rum, regular rum, hazelnut liqueur, Galliano, whatever.


P.S. I found the double package of 6 mini angel food cakes at Costco.

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March 31, 2013   5 Comments

art and talent


Kim, Amy, Peggy, and Peggy’s daughter, Samme, came over yesterday afternoon to make Silk Tie Colored Easter Eggs. We had a lovely time decorating eggs and relaxing together. Those are my dozen above.

I’ll show you the rest at the end of the post, but before I do, I have to share with you something I am totally in LOVE and OBSESSED with!

This morning, as I perused through Pinterest, I spotted the most wonderful thing.

CB cookies

I am amazed and in awe of people and their talent.


If someone created these cookies for me, I know that I would never eat a one!

No, I would put them on a pedestal. I would shellac them and place them in little individual shadow boxes to admire every day! Call me crazy, but honestly, I would!!

drool worthy

The chalkboard effect is beyond fabulous.


Seriously! Shut the front door!

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March 30, 2013   1 Comment

entertaining idea

I’m working on my Easter buffet and tablescaping today.


Here is how I’ll be displaying/arranging my crudites this year.

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March 28, 2013   1 Comment

Easter dessert

Bonus Photo – The full moon setting this morning at 6 am – gorgeous!

Citrus, specifically lemon, is my favorite dessert to make for Easter. The thing is, my guys don’t love citrus as much as Marissa and I do. Since Marissa isn’t coming home for Easter this year (picture my eyes welling up at this moment), I’ve decided to cater to my husband and son and make something different.

As I was strolling leisurely through Costco earlier this week (picture the one in a million chance of that!) picking up a leg of lamb, spiral ham, and other Easter dinner necessities, I spotted this carton of 18 luscious plums.

Immediately, I thought “plum and raspberry” – so I picked up a package of raspberries too.  Since I’m not a natural baker, I searched the web and found this lovely cake on marthastewart.com. I hope my guys like it… and as for my sweet Marissa… I miss you! xoox

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April 7, 2012   5 Comments