Louisiana Saturday Night Tailgating Season

Keep calm.  Football and tailgating season is here!  Today.  This afternoon. Tonight. Sunday. Monday night.  Now that I have your attention…

We are a nation of football enthusiast who live for this time of year when fans gather together with the common interests of good times, good eats and victorious scores.  PTO days have been building, work schedules cleared, weekend honey-do-list put on after football season hold, supplies gathered, parking passes purchased, hotel rooms, campground sites and flights booked, menus planned, grills and smokers cleaned, the ESPN college football app downloaded, and now it’s tailgating time.  Proper tailgating takes time to plan, and everyone has a method to their tailgating madness.

Fall Means Football Tees~ Volunteer Traditions

Fall means football in the South as well as the North, East, and West!  Yes, fall most definitely means football, and football means tailgating season is here, y’all!  We are geared up for Louisiana Saturday night tailgating season.

Locker Room Glory Football Artwork

LSU Locker Room Glory Artwork

Saturday kicks off this year’s college football and tailgating season. Tailgating is the good times and good food pass a good time prelude to the game.  A good tailgate is defined in different ways, but festive camaraderie is the common ground game goal of all.  Tablescapes impress, menus rival five star restaurants, and the drink flows like the Mississippi River.

melamine-beverage-dispenserRetro Inspired Melamine Beverage Dispenser

Team Spirit Hot Chocolate- McSteven’s Inc

A hot chocolate bar for cool afternoons prior to the game is a fun beverage choice.  Small buckets lined with bandannas in home team colors make super cute holders for marshmallows, chocolate chips, cinnamon and peppermint sticks.


Go team go hot cocoa fun.

metal-mugsVarsity Metal Mugs

Spike it into the Southern Comfort zone.

bottles-image1Tailgating Trivia:

Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana is the home to Woodland Plantation, the mansion depicted in the 1871 lithograph,  A Home on the Mississippi.  Post prohibition, the lithograph was licensed for use on, you guessed it, the label of Southern Comfort.

Gadgets for your Tailgating Gotta Have It List


SpinChill  claims to be the fastest way to chill your drinks!  Clip it on the can, stick it in ice, and spin it for a minute.  Alrighty!


UE BOOM 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker 


LSU Spiked Blueberry Lemonade Recipe


2 oz. vodka
1 handful blueberries
1 pinch sugar
12 oz. lemonade


Add the vodka, blueberries and sugar to the bottom of the glass and use a spoon to muddle (or mash) everything, just until the sugar has dissolved and the blueberries are broken up.  Add ice and lemonade, stirring to mix in the vodka-soaked blueberries.


tailgating season

Storyville Apparel 

Tablescape ideas, menu suggestions and recipes run the field of creativity. The recipes in this tailgating post give a spirited and seasoned shout out to Louisiana.  Let’s begin with this recipe from one of my quintessential favorite sources of Southern information, Southern Living.


Warm Gumbo Dip


¼ cup butter

6 green onions, sliced

2 celery ribs, diced

1 cup chopped assorted bell peppers

1 ½ pounds peeled, large raw shrimp, chopped

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese

3/4 cup sliced pickled okra

½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Toasted French bread baguette slices


Preheat oven to 400°.  Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add green onions and next 2 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until peppers are tender. Stir in shrimp and next 2 ingredients; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.  Reduce heat to low; add cream cheese, stirring until cheese is melted. Remove from heat, and stir in okra and ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Spoon mixture into a 2-qt. baking dish, and sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp. cheese.  Bake at 400° for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with bread.

Can be reheated at tailgating site in slow cooker or by placing the dip in a pan and warming it on the grill.

~Southern Living 


This c’est si bon recipe for Creole Sugar ‘N’ Spice Pecans from The Farmgirl Cooks is a delicious stand alone appetizer or complement to a cheese board spread.  I invite you to visit The Farmgirl Cooks for more farm fresh delicious recipes.

Creole Sugar ‘N’ Spice Pecans

Add as much cayenne or other spicy chile powder as you like. Pure ancho or chipotle powder are especially good here.


1 egg white

⅓ cup sugar

2 T Creole seasoning purchased or make your own

10 oz pecan halves


Preheat oven to 300° and place a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet. Alternatively, use a silicone baking pan liner.*

In a medium bowl, whisk egg white until frothy. Whisk in sugar and creole seasoning. Using a spatula, stir in pecan halves, making sure to coat them evenly and completely.

Pour the nuts onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, ensuring they are in a single layer. There shouldn’t be much gooey eggy spicy liquid, but if there is, don’t scrape it all out of the bowl and onto the pan. It will just stick to the parchment and will make for more difficult nut removal.

Bake the nuts at 300° for 15 minutes. Give the nuts a stir – I used a large off-set spatula to do the dirty work – then reduce the oven to 250° and bake the nuts for another 10 minutes. Immediately give the nuts another stir to release them from the parchment.  Allow them to cool and store in an airtight container (something with a padlock would have been helpful here) for as long as you can stand not eating them.


Creole Seasoning


1/3  cup paprika

3 tablespoons dried oregano

3 tablespoons ground black pepper

2 tablespoons dried basil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoons cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon granulated onion

4 teaspoons dried thyme

4 teaspoons granulated garlic


In a medium bowl combine paprika, dried oregano, ground black pepper, dried basil, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, granulated onion, dried thyme and granulated garlic.  Stir to combine.  Can be stored in an airtight container for up to three months.

-Places In The Home

sweet potato cajun fritters

Sweet Potato Cajun Fritters


4 to 5 sweet potatoes (about 3 1/2 pounds)
2 large egg yolks
¼ pound tasso ham, finely chopped
7 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups pastry flour
3 large eggs, beaten
3 cups Japanese bread crumbs (panko)
Vegetable oil, for frying


Preheat oven to 400°. On a rimmed baking sheet, roast sweet potatoes until tender, about 1 hour.  While sweet potatoes are still warm, peel and pass them through a food mill into a large bowl. Add egg yolks, tasso, cheese, Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper. Using a spatula, gently combine.

Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Prepare 3 shallow bowls of pastry flour, egg, and panko. Roll each sweet potato ball in flour, egg, and bread crumbs, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze overnight.

In a large Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 4 inches, and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry or candy thermometer reads 325°. Add sweet potato balls, in batches, and cook until golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve with Creole mustard, if desired.

-By Chef Brian Karam, Lincolnshire, Illinois via Louisiana Cookin’


Blackberry-Bourbon Boston Butt


1 cup bourbon
1 cup blackberry jam, melted
¾ cup local honey
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 (8- to 10-pound) bone-in Boston butt pork shoulder
1 cup Cajun seasoning
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
Pecan wood chips, soaked in water at least 30 minutes


In a medium bowl, whisk together bourbon, jam, honey, and pepper. Using a meat injector, inject bourbon mixture into pork on all sides, around the bone, and throughout the meat.

In a small bowl, combine Cajun seasoning and brown sugar. Liberally rub seasoning mixture on all sides of pork. Cover pork in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat smoker to 225° to 250°. Sprinkle soaked wood chips over coals. Place pork, fat side up, in a disposable aluminum pan, and place in smoker. Cook, covered with lid, for 7 to 10 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 190°. Remove from heat, reserve pan drippings, and let stand for 30 minutes. Shred meat, discarding fat and bone. Serve with pan drippings, if desired.

Louisiana Cookin’


Party Muffuletta


2 (16-ounce) loaves fresh French bread

1 (16-ounce) jar olive salad

1 pound sliced mozzarella

1 pound sliced smoked provolone

¾ pound sliced ham

¾ pound sliced turkey

¾ pound sliced salami

¾ pound sliced pastrami


Preheat oven to 350°. Cover work surface with a 2-foot-long piece of aluminum foil. Slice bread in half lengthwise, and scoop out 1-inch of bread from both the bottom and top halves. Place bread on foil, and spread olive salad along the inside of the loaves.

Layer mozzarella and provelone over olive salad. Top with ham, turkey, salami, and pastrami. Wrap each sandwich tightly in foil, and place on a baking sheet. (At this point, the sandwich can be refrigerated until ready to cook, up to overnight.) Bake until cheese is melted, up to 30 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes, unwrap and slice each sandwich into 8 individual servings.

– Jackie Haxthausen, Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Aunt Sally’s Chewy Pralines


When only the original will do, and no recipe I’ve tried quite captures that New Orleans sweetness, place an order for these original creole delights guaranteed to be a sweet hit.


Place your order online or by phoning Aunt Sally’s Original Creole Pralines direct at (800) 642-7257

Talk about easy!

Tailgating Food Safety Tips

Pack food in a well-insulated cooler with plenty of ice or icepacks.  The temperature should be kept below 40º F.  A cooler placed in the back seat of an air-conditioned vehicle vs. a hot trunk will ensure cooler storage.

Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Two hours is the max time foods should be allowed to sit out.  If it is an exceptionally hot day or evening I would adjust the max time to one hour. Our tailgating mantra is “chunk it” when the party is over.  Food poisoning is never a welcomed guest at any party.

Here’s wishing all you football fans a happy tailgating and winning season!  Geaux Tigers!

Tropical Storm and Hurricane Preparedness Safety Tips

Hurricane Harvey has strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane and conditions are deteriorating, becoming a catastrophic event and major disaster. It is imperative to pay attention to the warnings from the National Weather Service, Governor’s office and local government agencies.  Here is the direct link to the Nation Hurricane Center:  National Hurricane Center

Residents and businesses in Texas and Louisiana must pay close attention to evacuation or shelter in place directions, shifting and changing weather conditions. Texas is the bullseye, but Louisiana residents must heed the warnings as well.  Social media reports in regards to Hurricane Harvey (#HurricaneHarvey) offer update information pertinent to counties and parishes in the path of Hurricane Harvey.  Be prepared for life threatening water event over the next few days for Texas is the warning to take serious.


Tornado warnings are now up for the Galveston, Texas region, a life threatening 12 feet surge is predicted, and tremendous rainfall amounts over a very large area in the cone could be as much as 15-25 inches for the core Texas coast areas.



Don’t be a hurricane hero, folks.  

Being prepared for the power outages that usually accompany a hurricane, tropical storm or flooding event is crucial.  Here is the direct link to hurricane basics from Ready.gov:  Ready.gov


Prepare.  Evacuate (if safe to do so).  Survive.

Fill up cars with gas ASAP.   Stock up on the basic essentials for riding out the storm- water, batteries, lanterns, flashlights, weather and regular radios, and non-perishable foods.

Maintain at least 3-7 days of food for each member of the family.  Ready-to-eat canned foods that do not require cooking or refrigeration work best.  We stock up with bread, peanut butter, jelly, crackers, trail mix, individual jello and pudding, granola bars, canned coffee, tea, soft drinks.

Don’t forget the pet foods!

Charge all cell phones and devices now!

devices charges

The safety of you and your family is key, and as long as we are safe I can handle the inconvenience of no power and no A/C.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely hate being without air conditioning, but we adapt.


Thank you to the emergency workers and utilities workers. God bless and keep you safe as you work in less than favorable conditions to restore the power to the many homes and businesses that will surely be affected by Hurricane Harvey.

fallen-tree-on-houseHurricane damage to our next door neighbors house.  The image is blurred, but you get the idea.  A Total loss.

Tornadoes spawned in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac produced a fierce lightening event.  The oak tree in our front yard served as a target for a strike, and the day of tree removal reckoning came sooner than later after the storms left the area.

Social media is a wonderful tool for getting the word out, educating and providing useful and pertinent tips and suggestions for emergency preparation.

Before a Hurricane

To prepare for a hurricane or tropical storm, you should take the following measures:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Know your surroundings.
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  • Make plans to secure your property:
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.

During a Hurricane

  • Turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.Turn off propane tanks
  • 1 gallon of water per person, per day
  • Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water for sanitary cleaning and toilet flushing.
  • Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Remember any special dietary needs.
  • Avoid foods that will make you thirsty. Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.
  • Following a disaster, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Remember a manual can opener and eating utensils.
  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors. Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
  • Do not use a generator, propane or gas grill, or charcoal barbecue pit indoors. Operate your generator outdoors away from doors, windows and vent openings to avoid the dangerous build up of toxic fumes.  Keep it at least 10 feet from any combustible surface.

After a Hurricane

  • Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
  • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
  • If you have become separated from your family, use your family communications plan or contact FEMA or the American Red Cross.
    • FEMA has established the National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System (NEFRLS), which has been developed to help reunite families who are separated during a disaster. The NEFRLS system will enable displaced individuals the ability to enter personal information into a website database so that they can be located by others during a disaster.
    • The American Red Cross also maintains a database to help you find family. Contact the local American Red Cross chapter where you are staying for information. Do not contact the chapter in the disaster area.
  • If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
  • If you cannot return home and have immediate housing needs. Text SHELTER and a Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).  Before you go to a shelter, always check with your local emergency management agency for availability & services.
  • For those who have longer-term housing needs, FEMA offers several types of assistance, including services and grants to help people repair their homes and find replacement housing. Apply for assistance or search for information about housing rental resources
  • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed¬ out bridges. Stay off the streets. If you must go out watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.
  • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
  • Walk carefully around the outside your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering.
  • Stay out of any building if you smell gas, floodwaters remain around the building or your home was damaged by fire and the authorities have not declared it safe.
  • Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
  • Use battery-powered flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles. Note: The flashlight should be turned on outside before entering – the battery may produce a spark that could ignite leaking gas, if present.
  • Watch your pets closely and keep them under your direct control. Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes. Use a stick to poke through debris.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
  • Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
  • REMEMBER TO NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.

 Be safe, friends!

Caramelized Red Onion Marmalade

This week’s recipe for caramelized red onion marmalade is one I enjoyed making as much as tasting.  The culinary gods rewarded me with the most aromatic treat as I cooked the onions. They took pity on my crying heart – these onion tears were so worth it!  The entire kitchen filled with the aroma of sweet red onions, red wine, and brown sugar.

caramelized red onion marmalade

This will make a delicious topping for a steak, patty melt, pork chops, bruschetta, cheeses, pizza, omelettes- edible and endless possibilities.

Caramelized Red Onion Marmalade


4 large red onions, thinly sliced

½  cup  red wine

½  cup red wine vinegar

½  cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

½  cup honey

½  teaspoon Kosher salt

pepper to taste


Combine onions, red wine, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, nutmeg, and honey together in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 7 minutes.

Reduce heat and simmer until the onions appear caramelized and the sauce is the thick, the consistency of marmalade. Season with salt and pepper and stir.  Remove from heat.  Serve warm.



Color Me Inspired: Choosing Paint Colors

Choosing paint colors can be a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. Exterior or interior painting is by far one of the most inexpensive, impressive, and immediate options for changing and refreshing home decor. I like to think of color as personality plus in a gallon, quart, or sample size container.  It can infuse a space with decorative drama, calming appeal, or high octane energy.  It is proven that color affects our mood and how we perceive the feel of the space we are in.


A couple of years ago on the eve of one of our trips out to America’s playground, I watched what proved to be a color your world show during Vegas Week on the Travel Channel.  The premise of the segment focused on how environment and interior design affects gamblers.  Color plays a huge role in casino interior design, especially pertaining to the mood and behaviors of gambling guests.

neon paint colors

Blues are typically avoided due to their perceived calming effect, reds remains a popular color choice for the excitement factor, and purples evoke an intimate, warm, and inviting feeling.  Color holds the power to calm, excite, bore and entice.  It is a fascinating concept.

choosing paint colorsHeirloom Tomatoes

Sherwin-Williams colors from top to bottom:

Cherry Tomato || Daredevil || Quilt Gold || Luau Green || Real Red ||  Auric

Color choices reflect our personalities and tastes.  Sure, there is both implied and true rules for color selection in interior design and decorating. Smaller spaces appear larger when a lighter color is used.

A softer paint color choice can be the better way to go in spaces with plenty of natural light.

neutral palette is a focal points best friend.

-Lauren-Conrad-homeMy Domaine

Between the walls of every space there is a colorful heartbeat.  A color choice can come from a favorite article of clothing, piece of jewelry, home decor accessory or fabric, or a treasured collectible.  I like this simple and logical principal- if a color makes a bold statement, the walls of a space can wear it well.

Schumacher IkatSchumacher Adras Ikat Print in Jewel

Benjamin Moore colors top right to bottom:

Exotic Red || Peony || Caponata || Mohair ||  Bavarian Cream || Abstracta || Spring Purple

leather bound booksVintage Volumes

Sherwin-Williams colors from top right to bottom left:

Tricorn Black ||  Roycroft Copper Red || Cupola Yellow || Blue Mosque || Cerise || Spatial White || Gale Force ||  Auric ||  Dutch Cocoa

When deciding what color to paint a space, these are some of the things I take into consideration:

What is the overall feeling this space needs to convey?  Formal or casual? Relaxing bedroom or high energy kitchen?

The visual flow and compatibility with the overall color palette.

Texture and sheen, or lack thereof.  Will it be flat matte or the soft sheen satin eggshell?  The glosses shine in the vein of durability- the choice range being the easy to clean sheen semi-gloss to the  woodwork, furniture, and high sheen, high traffic friendly high gloss.

Lighting.  A space blessed with plenty of natural light can support darker color choices.  Natural light will accent the prominent tone of the color. The color of the paint you see in the store will not be the color of the paint you see on the walls in your home.  Paint colors will cast different colors at different times of the day based on natural and artificial lighting (basically the same principal as photographing with natural light vs. night shots).

Small space + light colors = open up and say size.

Small space + the b&b principal (balanced & bold) = hello, gorgeous!

Color is not just for walls.  Painting a ceiling with a contrasting color or sheen creates a dramatic focal point that will spread the color love by guiding the eye to the wall color.


Tobi Fairley

Benjamin Moore Midnight Navy

Hue you calling neutral?   White, beige, black, and brown are no longer the only kids on the neutral block.  Flawless gray areas are considered a classic neutral.  A bold color can be the Switzerland of the space, as long as warm and cool shades exist in colorful harmony while balancing the hue.


All things do come together in a space to influence the whole of the look, and when the correct balance is achieved- look out!  A small space does tend to appear larger if lighter colors are used, but large patterns or bold colors balanced with the proper lighting can make a dramatic statement. Painting is a great way to test the waters and step out of the decorative comfort zone.  Most paint brands have paint samples for purchase.  Take the time to purchase paint samples of the color or colors you have narrowed your choice down to.

Roses~ Vincent van Gogh

Apply a couple of coats of the paint to an area on the wall you will be painting, allowing to completely dry.  Okay, turn on the lights, pull back the curtains or open the blinds, shutters etc… and let the light in.

Take a look. Study. Decide.

Hold that thought until later in the day when the light will be different.

Take a look.  Study.  Decide.

Now, hold that thought until evening when the light has once again changed.

Take a look.  Study.  Decide.

The tones of the color will come to call at different times of day.  In other words, the color will show you how beautiful and right it is for you to live with at any time.






When The Pear Begins To Rot: A Kitchen Repaint Project

Our  kitchen repaint is nearing the final stages however, my accessorizing vision is not quite at 20/20.  When we started the initial remodel of our house, the color choices I selected really made an impression on me.  My tastes change, lighting becomes unflattering, and I begin to question my past decor choices.  Do you do that?  I have the luxury of not being on a time clock when selecting  the color, design, and decor of my own home. The process is slow, thorough, and one I try to make right the first go round.  Do I get it right the first time every time?  Of course not.  “Re” is a big part of my design and decor vocabulary.


The color selecting process has purposely been at a snail’s pace. I wanted a rich color to complement the countertops and backsplash.  The space is blessed with natural light, white cabinets and molding, and tile flooring that is a decorative chameleon.  With all that going for the space one big issue went against it.  The previous kitchen paint color, Anjou Pear by Sherwin-Williams, was beginning to rot.  Anjou Pear is a beautiful color, but it was time for a change.

Dave the Builder was surprised to find out the kitchen was the redo target. This all came about with me thinking I wanted to change the color of the dining room.  The more I studied the space, sketched out the ideas, and walked by the dining room 900 times a day, the more I realized I did not want to change the color.  The second I came to the realization it was in fact the kitchen in need of a change, the master plan decoratively began to come together.


Hello, Curio Gray by Sherwin-Williams.  Ours was not an instant attraction, but my how you have grown on me.


I fought the good fight against a television in the kitchen, but as you can see I lost.  The electrical and cable outlets are leftovers from my parent’s kitchen-office combo design.  Dave did not move them when he remodeled the kitchen because he wasn’t sure what we would do with the space.  Instead of moving the outlets he has suggested we simply buy a bigger television.  A master problem solver, that Dave the Builder.  The eyesores outlets will be relocated sooner than later.  The point of the image is to show the new home of the architectural pediment and the new lamp.  I have an antique iron fence piece in mind to complete the look.

baluster lamp

An Italian iron lantern in storage is the light fixture I’m leaning toward to replace the current alabaster chandelier in the breakfast area.  Paint colors choices for the perfect lantern patina are narrowed to three~


Better Homes & Gardens

Decorative decisions, decorative decisions.  Stay tuned.


Smoky-Sweet BBQ Pot Roast

A few weeks ago I posted the recipe for Southern Living Smoky-Sweet BBQ Rub. Dave the Builder bought an English cut roast at the market and suggested we season the roast with the Smoky-Sweet BBQ Rub. We put the seasoned rub to the Places In The Home taste test and it scored 5 forks out of 5 forks.  Here’s our grading scale:


Scale of 1-5 Forks

1 fork:  Never Again

2 forks:  Where are the Antacids?

3 forks:  TLC (Tastes Like Chicken?)

4 forks:  Will be Cooking This Dish Again!

5 forks:  Share Worthy Recipe!!


Working on home decor projects makes it necessary for the dinner menu to be lovin’ from the oven friendly.  Season the chicken, pork, or beef, pop it in the oven, and forgetaboutit!  This week’s recipe deliciously met those requirements.

Smoky-Sweet BBQ Pot Roast


1  3-5 lb. English roast

¼ cup smoky-sweet bbq rub

8 ounces regular cola

4 ounces water

For Smoky-Sweet BBQ Rub:

¼ cup kosher salt

¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons plus 2 tsp. smoked paprika

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground ginger


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Rub roast with smoky-sweet bbq rub.  Place in 4 qt. oven proof pot or roasting pan.  Combine cola and water together and pour over roast.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 3 hours or until tender.



Metals of Distinction: Using Metal Colors in Interior Design and Home Decor

Inspiration is a powerful motivator.  I’ve been keeping late hours the past few weeks catching up on emails, sourcing, writing and supervising the kitchen paint project.  Earlier today I didn’t think I would have the energy to write up a post, but here I am at the keyboard typing out what I hope is informative as well as inspirational information for using metal colors in interior design and home decor.

Traditional Home


In order to keep my painter happy the air is turned to artic blast, the coffee is brewing, and the radio dial is set to classic rock.  “Heavy Metal” by Don Felder played this morning, and now it is stuck in my head. Between that song and the Olympics, the inspiration for this using metal colors in interior design and home decor post was born.


Using metal colors in interior design and home decor adds depth, warmth, and sophistication to the feel of the space.

Home Decorators 

Traditional Home

using metal colors in interior design and home decor

Pewter. Copper. Gold. Nickel

D Magazine

House Beautiful

In Honor of Julia Child’s Birthday: Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

Happy Birthday, Julia Child!  August 15th marks the birthday of Julia Child, one of my absolute favorite cooks.  Currently, I am without proper kitchen facility during of our kitchen painting marathon.  If one can’t cook, one can certainly join in the Julia Child birthday celebration by posting one of her favorite Julia Child dishes, Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home Chicken Pot Pie recipe.

Julia Child

“The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken.  Bon appétit.”

Julia Child


Mrs. Child’s practical and palatable approach to food and her in Julia’s kitchen advice, wry sense of humor, and signature brand of cooking techniques continue to inspire the foodie faithful of the this culinary world we deliciously exist in.


I continue to marvel at the tenacity of Mrs. Child.  She was a woman who knew exactly what she wanted, and deliciously excelled in achieving it. The informative timeline of Julia Child’s life is a fascinating read.


What makes a great chef?  In the case of Julia Child, I believe her mass appeal is derived from her ability to impress upon us her passion for the process from pegboard to prep to plate.


In honored celebration of Julia Child’s birthday, this week’s recipe is from the Julia Child and Jacques Pepin cookbook and PBS series of the same name, Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home. 

Julia and Jacques Cooking at homeJulia and Jacques, Cooking at Home

Julia and Jacques Chicken Pot Pie


For the crust:

3  cups all-purpose flour

2 ½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2  Tablespoons cold vegetable shortening

1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons ice water

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon sugar

For the Filling:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup chopped carrot

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup thinly sliced leeks

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1 cup frozen baby green peas

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2½ cups chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

salt and freshly ground pepper

3 cups leftover roast chicken, cut into ½-inch chunks.


For the crust:

Combine flour, butter, shortening, salt and sugar in a food processor. Pulse together just until the mixture is crumbly and butter is broken into small pieces. Pour 1/3 cup  ice water into the machine, and pulse 3 or 4 times. Squeeze a little dough in your hand to see whether it clumps together and is evenly moist. If not, add 2 tablespoons of water, and pulse 1 or 2 times more. Don’t overmix so that the dough forms a ball.

Turn out dough, pâte brisée, on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Lift the ends of the plastic to gather dough together inside. Press into a large disk, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrot, celery, leeks and tarragon, and cook, stirring just until slightly softened but not browned (reduce the heat if necessary to prevent browning), about 3 minutes. Transfer cooked vegetables to a bowl, wipe out the skillet, and place it back on the stove.

Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter, and melt over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking until the mixture bubbles and smells cooked. Do not let it brown. Whisk in 2 cups broth and cook, whisking, 1 minute. Whisk in cream, and cook 2 or 3 minutes, just until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick, whisk in remaining broth.  In the episode, Julia states  “And as always, you want to  make more sauce than you think, don’t you think?  Never enough.”

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Add cooked vegetables and peas, chicken and sauce to 8-ounce deep pie dish or other baking dish.  Mix gently and taste for seasoning.

Flour a work surface. Remove dough from refrigerator, and cut in half. (Set aside half for another recipe.) Roll out remaining dough, turning and flouring often, and cut a shape approximately the size of your baking dish plus 1½ inches overlap all around.

Whisk egg in a small bowl. Brush onto rim of dish. Roll dough up onto the rolling pin, and unroll over dish, so it rests evenly on top of filling. Press overlap onto the rim and against the outside of the dish, sealing tightly. Poke tip of knife through crust to create 3 steam holes near the center. Place on cookie sheet and place in oven. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degress, then reduce temperature to 375 degrees. Bake 15 to 20 minutes more, until crust is golden and filling is bubbling through steam vents.

Allow to rest and cool for 10 minutes before serving.  Serves 8.

Bon appétit!  Happy cooking!