Monday, February 28, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday!!

I pulled out our bear muffin cups...he ate strawberry marshmallows, chex mix, carrots with Ranch dressing, cheddar cheese, turkey skewers and apple sauce.

The bear cups are from HL last year, the green Ranch cup is from World Market, the heart picks are from Dollar Tree! Happy Muffin Tin Monday!
I'm linking up with 
Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rosemary Skewers

One thing that seems to grow here year round is my rosemary! I've had it for a couple years and most of the stalks are rather hearty...perfect for these skewers.
This is a fabulous recipe from Pioneer Woman. I made these for my mom's birthday last year and they were a huge hit! 
I just bought more tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and with the marinated feta I made last week, I thought I could use the feta on these skewers too! They make a beautiful presentation and would make a lovely addition to a baby or bridal shower or an Easter luncheon. 

For the BLUE in my post for Blue Monday, I'm sharing with you a plate I painted last year. I took one of my pieces of Romanian pottery with me to Clay Casa (a paint your own plate shop) and copied it as best I could.

 here is the recipe and link!


  • Stalks Of Fresh Rosemary
  • Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Cut Into 1-inch Cubes
  • Marinated Artichoke Hearts, Drained
  • Black Or Kalamata Olives, Drained
  • Salami, Sliced Thin And Folded Into Fourths
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • Pinch Of Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper (lots!)
  • Sprinkle Of Ground Thyme

Preparation Instructions

Strip all but 1 to 2 inches of rosemary leaves from stems. (Leave leaves intact at the top of the stem.)
Use stem to spear cheese cubes, artichoke hearts, olives, and salami in whatever order you’d like.
Mix dressing ingredients until emulsified, then drizzle over the top of the skewers. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.
 I'm linking up with Miz Helen's Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday!

Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday!
 and Smiling Sally for Blue Monday!
Smiling Sally 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tablescape Thursday...more blue & white

This week I am using more blue & white dishes. I used my everyday cobalt dishes as chargers, along with a silver acrylic charger I've had for years. I already showed my pie rack in Monday's post, but here is a picture of the whole dining room.

A closer look at the dishes...Johnson Brothers Indies Blue, stainless flatware I bought years ago at Target, blue cobalt glasses and goblets, (made in Mexico, bought at a local Mexican Pottery Store and Pottery Barn years ago).

The sweet white bird salt and pepper shakers are from Pier One (last year) and the candles are from Marshall's (I think)...they're actually patio candles! 
  I used the same pitcher for my centerpiece from last week. Here with and without the pedestal fruit compote underneath. I bought these a few years ago from Marshall's. I cut some rosemary and thyme from my garden...the house smelled so good!
I love the sweet little flowers on the rosemary stems!
My mom made the quilted runner and matching napkins for me a couple year ago. She has made a special quilt for each of my boys too!

I'm linking up with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Back to blue & white on my Romanian Pie Rack

My Romanian Pie Rack is back to its  beautiful display of blue & white...some dishes I've had forever...some are new to our home...
The pie rack  was decked out in pinks and reds for Valentine's. The gold fruit plates were my mom's (I think my grandmother gave them to her).

The pedestal bowl is handmade from a local pottery class/shop. The artist used a doily to make the design on top. It reminded me of all my Romanian lace, so I snatched it up at a festival here a few  years ago. My MIL made this doily too!

A closer look at some of my dishes and stemware.

A Romanian demitasse set...when I lived there, a friend's mom gave this to me out of her China cabinet. My MIL made the lace doily underneath.
My mom bought me the sweet little butter dish in Italy. She always looks for blue & white on her trips! It's tucked in between my Johnson Brothers Indies Blue. I had to use two Mexican cobalt platters behind them because these plate holders are rather deep...I've had them since I was in college!
The plates in the background, along with the two mugs are Romanian rustic pottery. My SIL bought the little plates and cups for me a couple years ago. I bought the larger plate on our last trip there for our first born son to meet his paternal grandparents. My MIL also made this lace doily.

I'm linking up with Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
 Smiling Sally

Susan from  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Marinated Feta Cheese

My love and knowledge of cooking probably started years ago. My mom has a laminated 'cookbook' that I made in 2nd grade. "I didn't teach her to cook," she says. " She picked that up all on her own."  We are definitely two completely different types of cooks. She always follows a recipe, unless it's something like her Mimmie's Oyster Dressing that she's been making for over 30 years.
"Do you have a recipe for that?"  "No," I answer. "But, I can write one up for you. I just have to figure out the measurements."
Yes, I'm that kind of cook. I can watch a program on TV and recreate it in my head, in my kitchen, for my family and not look at the's a curse and a huge blessing. I know it really bugs some people, but that's truly just the way God made me. Once I figured out (through the help of Food Network and a LOT of good cooks and good food in my life) what makes sense to go together flavor wise, I was hooked. Challenge me to figure something out and I will do my best to try. BELIEVE me I have failed miserably in the cooking world, but that just makes me try harder the next time. 
One thing that drives me to create my own dishes is definitely money. I can usually make something at home for a LOT less than I could buy it...that is definitely what made me figure this recipe out.
With that said, here is my recipe.. I saw it at a local Farmer's Market. The newest market here is located in the original Pearl Brewery and they have the best vendors--fresh fruits and vegetables, farm raised meat and eggs, honey, cheeses, pastries, breads and much much more.
This week I conquered Marinated Feta Cheese. A large jar was about $18 and I just couldn't do it, so I made it. 

1 block of Feta cheese, crumbled or box of crumbled feta
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
1-2 T parsley
1-2 T onion flakes
1-2 T oregano
Few cranks of freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Olive Oil
Ken’s Steakhouse Greek Dressing (I just like this…but it’s not necessary)

Put all ingredients in a large glass jar. Pour Olive Oil and dressing over the top to cover the cheese. Shake well and refrigerate for a few hours before using. I use good olive oil, so it does congeal in the refrigerator. When you are ready to use it, get it out 30 minutes ahead to time. The olive oil will come to room temperature. I used this on a green salad for an RUF lunch yesterday. I tossed the salad in Ken’s Greek Dressing and Ken’s Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette.  Add the cheese, pecans and craisins.  It was amazingly delicious.I think this would be great tossed in a pasta salad with tomatoes, olives and salami or added to your antipasto platter or in a bruschetta appetizer.


I'm linking up to  
Designs by Gollum


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tablescape Thursday...a little blue and white

I used these Johnson Brothers Denmark blue plates a couple times this week...playing with larger dinner plates as chargers. I got this idea from Cherry Kay at Entertaining Women.
A French Country table runner shows off the crisp white and cobalt in the plates, set with a blue linen napkin and Wallace stainless silverware.

My sweet husband knows my LOVE for blue and white...he and my two boys bought me this for Valentines! (under plate is Polish Pottery I bought a couple years ago)
The sun was beginning to set through my kitchen windows, so I took some pictures quickly while the light played with my glasses and plates. These glasses are Mexican cobalt.

My centerpiece is a blue and white pitcher  filled with red roses atop a beautiful Vintage Lace Doily from My Place to Yours Etsy Shop
We were eating barbeque chicken tacos. Here you see the guacamole and pineapple salsa in Johnson Brothers Denmark Blue bowls. This stemware is also Mexican cobalt. Since I only have 2 of each glass, I mixed them for each place setting.
A recent ebay purchase...Johnson Brothers Indies Blue Cream and Sugar and oval platter. I'm waiting for the dishes to come to add to my blue and white collection!
a closer look at the pattern and the Vintage Lace. I love the edge on these plates...the little details
I decided to play around with these dishes using Royal Stafford Asiatic Pheasant dinner plates as chargers.

I don't think blue and white will ever go out of style!

 a closer look at the layers

the roses were opening up so beautifully.
I set the pitcher of flowers on a white cake plate for a little change
I love these sweet mom made them for me for a birthday gift along with a quilted matching runner...I'll use it soon! It's perfect for blue and white dishes!

I'm linking up with Susan from Between Naps on the Porch for
Enjoy the tablescapes!!!

Bento lunch

Sweet dino lunch for Kid's Day Out
Dino PB& J, goldfish crackers, strawberries and heart shaped marshmallows

Monday, February 14, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday...Happy Valentine's Day!!!

I've had this muffin tin forever...I think it's Wilton and probably from Target. I used silicon heart shaped muffin cups from Hobby Lobby and heart boxes from Michael's and Dollar Tree for decor! Adrian ate pita chips and hummus, barbeque chicken sandwich (cut in half), pepperoni and colby jack hearts and vanilla yogurt with Valentine sprinkles!

The red sugar swirled in gave it a pretty color!
I choo choo choose YOU!!! Valentine Window cling from the Target Dollar Spot

I'm linking up with Michelle at Muffin Tin Mom! Click on the button for some fabulous ideas!
Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth 
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