Between lawn and garden this and whipping up holiday eats and treats that I found I spent a hunk, a hunk of burning love of the holiday watching movie trailers and sneak peeks from the soon to be released Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis.
Note to self: Add Burning Love by Elvis Presley to your Spotify summer grooves and tunes playlist.
Once the candle was lit, it burned at a measured rate. When the flame met the clip and went out, time was up! Candle by the Hour™ brings back this novel concept as a worry-free way to illuminate and decorate your home.
To use, just feed up to 3″ of the pliable eco-friendly beeswax coil through the clip and light the wick. The natural beeswax will melt at approximately 20 minutes per inch, providing up to an hour of light at a time.
Tossing it back to the heyday of the TV tray with an updated color choice is is this 5 piece tray set.
Set up, serve, and store away.
These bronze finish resin figurines from Hobby Lobby can be used over and over again which makes it a super affordable Super Bowl decorative accent.
In this neck of the woods where mild winters allow magnolia trees, Ligustrum’s, and your basic garden variety greenery to maintain color and growth, cuttings and clippings are readily available for centerpiece arrangements.
The cuttings and clippings make a nice showing on their own, but really kick the look up a notch when mixed with a couple of fresh bouquets from the supermarket floral department.
Another inexpensive decoration involves glass cylinder container(s) from the dollar store and a couple of packages of decorative accent gems with just enough blue to contrast and complement the Rams team color.
Fill containers with crinkle cut paper shreds in team colors.
Top it off with a football and there you go.
It’s not about how much it cost, but the wow factor it creates.
Pick up a pack of coaches/referee whistles for this next idea.
Feed black and white ribbon through the whistle ring and tie around the handles of these black and white ceramic soup mugs in referee fashion.
Serve on black melamine plates or plate charges or ones associated with your team’s colors.
The ever popular cheese platter and charcuterie board goes into the Super Bowl snack hall of fame.
Variety is the spice of life and the rule of the cheese charcuterie board. Work with what is available, on sale, and in season.
Here’s the items that make the tray:
One sharp, one mild, one soft, and one blue cheese.
Next, I select a trio of in season fresh fruits such as grapes, dates, berries, and apples. Dried apricots and dried cranberries round out the category.
Good olives and pepperoncini complement well, too.
Creole pecans and mixed nuts bring the kick and the crunch.
Place pecans on a baking sheet. Drizzle melted butter over pecans, hit them with a generous sprinkling of Creole seasoning, and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Let cool and serve.
Dates, figs, honey and hot pepper bacon are my jam.
An assortment of crackers and breads of your preference.
Pick up a bag of crostini in the bakery department at Walmart, a box or two of the house brand of entertainment cracker selection (good crackers!), and complete the pass me some of those picture with the crowd pleasing trifecta- pretzels, corn, and tortilla chips.
Prosciutto, salami, and thin sliced smoked turkey enter the field as power proteins.
Dip is the official unofficial food of the Super Bowl soiree.
Four quarters, four dip recipes.
Copycat Chili’s Queso (Slow Cooker Version) from Creme de la Crumb is a Super Bowl appetizer tour de force.
This baby is easy, slow cooker easy, and a crowd pleaser.
Crank up the oven, follow the package directions, mix up dipping sauces in sweet and savory flavors, add to individual ramekins (COVID safety practices and general double dipping penalties), and serve.
Good old fried chicken from the deli department of your local grocery store qualifies as a can’t go wrong choice of game day offerings.
Games people play before, during, and after the game-
Happy first day of fall, fellow fall loving friends! Along with the elation over fall’s arrival, the inspiration it offers, and the seasonal colors on parade fascination associated with the third season, homey seasonal decor finds in rich hues and flavorful tastes frame this picture perfect season.
The excitement surrounding the first day of fall compares to Christmas day in my book.
I’m selecting songs for a fall into autumn playlist, and the big blue gumbo pot is ready for the c’est si bon celebration of the season and its cornucopia of seasonings.
Y’all know my affinity for taking a photo and replicating it with in the style finds. Well let me just say how taken I am with this bountifully beautiful display created by event designer Keith Robinson as featured in Flower Magazine.
Grab a jar, tumbler, or goblet and working in layers begin with crushed cookies (vanilla wafers, gingersnaps, graham crackers- all delicious choices).
Next, add a generous tablespoon of the maple pudding mixture.
Repeat with another layer of crushed cookies and complete the dish with a final addition of the maple pudding mixture.
Top with a dollop of whipped topping, a drizzle of pure maple syrup, and walnuts or fresh Louisiana pecans.
The delicious proof is in the pudding.
Gorgeously anticipating fall’s color rich-seasonally tasty arrival on this blog post writing afternoon makes for perfect blog post writing conditions.
That and streaming The French Chef with Julia Child featuring three French favorites:
Tarte aux Pommes Classique
Tarte des Demoiselles
Tarte Tartin starring apples, cinnamon, and butter- the fall baking trinity.
Julia Child is a classic, her personality endearing, and her recipes favorites in the Places In The Home test kitchen.
Between the show, recipes, and hint of crisp in the air I’m inspired to add her Tarte aux Pommes to my must make for fall recipe file.
Tarte aux Pommes
10-inch partially cooked pastry shell
4 pounds cooking apples
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup apricot jam/preserves
1/3 cup Calvados, rum or cognac (or 1 tablespoon vanilla)
2/3 cup granulated sugar for topping
3 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375F. Quarter, core, and peel the apples. Cut enough to make 3 cups into 1/8-inch lengthwise slices and toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice and sugar. Reserve them for the top of the tart.
Cut the rest of the apples into rough slices. You should have about 8 cups. Place in a pan and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
Beat in apricot jam, Calvados, sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Raise heat and boil, stirring, until applesauce is thick enough to hold in a mass in the spoon.
Spread the applesauce in the pastry shell. Cover with a neat, closely overlapping layer of sliced apples arranged in concentric circles.
Bake in upper third of preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the apples have browned lightly and are tender. Slide the tart onto a serving dish and paint over it with a light coating of apricot glaze. Serve warm or cold with whipping cream or a scoop of ice cream.
½ cup apricot preserves, forced through a sieve
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Stir the strained apricot preserves and sugar over moderately high heat until thick enough to coat the spoon with a light film, and the last drops are sticky as they fall from the spoon (225-228 degrees on a candy thermometer). Do not boil past this point or the glaze will become brittle as it cools.
Apply the glaze while it is still warm. Unused glaze will keep indefinitely in a screw-top jar.
Excitement drives this gridiron gatherings tailgating ideas and recipes post down the field of football season is here dreams.
Pregame good times celebrated at home or on location to roast, toast, grill and gab before the game is almost as exciting as the game itself.
The return of high school, college and NFL football is not without a bit of mask-proof of vaccination controversy this year, but at least the return of high school, college, and NFL football with fans welcomed to attend under stadium and state guidelines with safety in mind is happening.
You’re not locked into a particular theme other than casual yet elegant football tailgating finery.
You’ve got people to see, dishes to taste, and socializing to do.
Hit the remote and forget about it.
Shop flea markets and online swap shop sites for a new to you light fixture ready to become a lighting focal point to add to your tailgating area.
Give the fixture a good cleaning and perhaps a quick coat of spray paint, remove all the existing wiring, retrofit with LED pillar candles (easy peasy), and adorn with natural elements, string lights, mesh fabric in team colors, or a fall festive garland.
Planning these ultimate pregame meet, greet and eat get togethers is part of the game day experience- a social event that counts as a prime style occasion for decoristas to seize the design and decorating opportunity to show your personal style.
Seasonal flowers, natural or spray painted branches, magnolia leaves or seasonal stems paired with vintage or in the style of vintage trophy or champagne bucket vases make impressive centerpiece presentations.
There’s a time and a place for paper and plastic, and tailgating is the time for paper plates, napkins, and plastic drinkware.
Stacking draws the eye and frees up valuable tabletop space.
Brown or white paper lunch bags filled with snacks like popcorn, crackers, chips, and pretzels mixes and placed in baskets or on trays conquers the issue of a more visually appetizing way to present snacks and goodies in individual servings.
Now let’s look at a few more tailgating ideas and recipes.
Show your football in the fall spirit with this in the spirit of fall spirit.
Delish shows us this easy recipe and serving presentation idea for Apple Pie Vodka.
Back to the individual serving appetizers school of thought, after studying the staged image of the popcorn, loving the rustic, rusty, and fabulous decorative tin piece, it dawned on me how easy it would be to replicate the look with a new PVC ceiling tile.
Consider it a tailgating table investment piece, although the price per tile is under $20.
This recipe for Moist Pumpkin Bread with Maple Glaze from Butternut Baker includes pumpkin, maple glaze made with real maple syrup, and a crunchy streusel so rich and so delicious it will become your new fall taste treat obsession.
From pan to pack tote to platter, cookies, sweet breads, cakes, and brownies travel well and satisfy the sweet tooth of big kids who tailgate.
Dessert and coffee go together like football and tailgating.
Make mine a cup of Community Coffee- a Louisiana tailgating tradition.
Distinctive and delicious tailgating ideas and recipes sets the pregame party in motion to score an entertaining touchdown.
Today’s most fetching Friday offers Mother’s Day recipes inspiration.
Be it breakfast in bed, dining table set to impress, or a picnic spread enjoyed in springtime splendor, a deliciously edible and visually stunning Mother’s Day meal stands as a time-honored gathering held in celebration of Mom.
Picture and pitcher perfect for this special day, colorful vintage pitchers packed full of fresh flowers and cuttings strike a commanding pose.
Better Homes & Gardens – Photo by Kritsada Panichgul
For your Mother’s Day recipes inspiration consideration, I’m featuring traditional favorites from my traditional favorites, Better Homes & Gardens and Southern Living Magazine.
Strawberries and Cream French Toast
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1¼ cups heavy whipping cream, divided
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (16-ounce) loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
Sugared Fruit (see recipe below)
Spray an 11×7-inch baking dish with baking spray with flour.
In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, ¼ cup cream, and granulated sugar with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Stir in jam; set aside.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together remaining 1 cup cream, brown sugar, eggs, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Dip bread slices in cream mixture. Spread one side of each bread slice with approximately 2 teaspoons cream cheese mixture.
Place bread slices upright, side by side, in prepared dish. Pour any remaining egg mixture over bread slices. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Remove casserole from refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Bake, covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until center is set and bread is golden brown, about 30 minutes more.
Spoon sugared fruit over casserole before serving. Serve with maple syrup.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
1½ cups quartered strawberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup blackberries
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon
In a large bowl, stir together strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, sugar, and bourbon.
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup mayonnaise
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl until well incorporated. Garnish with additional chives, if desired. Serve immediately or, for best results, chill, covered, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours before serving.
½ cup fresh lemon verbena leaves or 4 teaspoons lemon zest
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
Ginger Shortbread Crust
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Herbs and edible flowers, such as lemon verbena, phlox, and/or roses
For Lemon Verbena Ice Cream:
In a medium saucepan heat milk and verbena or zest just to a simmer over high. Remove from heat; let steep about 30 minutes. Stir in salt.
In a medium bowl whisk together sugar and egg yolks until thick and pale. Return milk to a simmer. Gradually whisk 1/2 cup milk mixture into egg mixture. Continue whisking until smooth. Slowly add egg mixture to saucepan, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over medium-low until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and just starting to bubble. Stir in cream. Press through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Stir in vanilla.
Set mixture in an ice bath to chill, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a 2-qt. ice cream freezer. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.
For Ginger Shortbread Crust:
Grease a 9-inch pie plate. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer on medium 30 seconds. Add flour, sugar, candied ginger, ground ginger, and salt. Beat until a soft dough forms.
Press dough evenly into prepared pie plate. Line with a double thickness of greased foil. Fill to top with pie weights. Bake 25 minutes.
Remove foil. Bake 10 to 12 minutes more or until dark golden brown. Let cool completely. Freeze at least 1 hour.
Spread ice cream into crust. Freeze at least 4 hours or until ice cream is firm. Let stand at room temperature 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Top with herbs and edible flowers. Makes 10 servings.
Southern Living Magazine – Photo by Antonis Achilleos Food Styling by Torie Cox – Prop Styling by Kay E. Clarke
As easy as they are pretty, this recipe for Mini Confetti Cakes is Mother’s Day perfect.
Mini Confetti Cakes
1 (15 1⁄4-oz.) pkg. vanilla cake mix
3 tablespoons pink candy sprinkles
Homemade Whipped Cream (recipe below)
Edible flowers (such as violas, tuberous begonias, English daisies, and pansies)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Prepare cake batter according to package directions, stirring pink candy sprinkles into batter. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13- x 9-inch baking pan. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 28 to 33 minutes.
Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Invert cake onto rack; cool completely, about 45 minutes.
Prepare the sweetened whipped cream.
Cut out 15 mini cakes from cooled cake using a 2 1⁄2-inch round cutter. Slice each mini cake in half horizontally, making 2 layers per mini cake.
Using a small offset spatula, spread sweetened whipped cream on half of layers, and top with remaining layers.
Cover tops and sides of cakes with whipped cream. Press edible flowers directly onto cakes.
Homemade Whipped Topping
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsifted powdered sugar
Beat cream and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form.
This Helsa Vintage Green Stacked Artichokes accent immediately caught my eye, and the thought is how lovely a focal point piece for an entry table or tablescape this spring appropriate accent will make.
Blog posts, like the spaces and places in the home, benefit from seasonal updating. If you’re like me, all things fall home decor and recipes is a conversation worth having and a blog post worth reading.
We’ve had a subtle preview of fall between hurricanes thanks to cooler mornings and noticeably shorter days here in the deep South.
I makes no excuses or apologies for my gush for what I’m convinced is the absolute best time of the year on all points weather, decorating, entertaining, baking, cooking and tailgating.
That’s the great thing about favorite things- they compel us to share the excitement.
Many of the new seasonal activities we normally take part in will be a celebration of fall fun and feast at home.
A great serving piece, serving tray, compote, set of table linens, throw pillows, lamp, wall accent, rug- it doesn’t take a complete space overhaul or remodel to introduce texture, color, or pattern of the season to your interior or exterior home decor.
Oh, and don’t forget the menu.
Talk about one of the most delicious ways to welcome fall home decor and recipes to a new season!
Let’s take a look at this season’s Gotta Have It list.
Designing a cozy setting is not an exercise in difficulty.
Warm colors mingled among textured accents, collected finds, and antique pieces, set against the backdrop of soft and comfy candlelight or a crackling fire in the fireplace, invite cozy to settle in and stay awhile.
Cozy is a delightful guest- one who never wears out its welcome.
She is of the belief it is in poor taste and the epitome of bad entertaining manners to have an empty cake stand or cake plate set out on the buffet or sideboard when having guests over.
Far be it from me to argue with that particular entertaining principle, so allow me to play the fall baking fairy furnishing y’all with my apple nut cake recipe complete with sprinkles of cinnadust.
This classic recipe is a c’est si bon fall favorite, and is cake stand or plate worthy.
Apple Nut Cake
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
½ cup applesauce
3 cups fresh apples, peeled and sliced
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup butter or margarine
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup chopped pecans
Peel and slice apples. Add brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves and lemon juice to apples coating well; set aside. Mix together sugar and oil. Add the eggs and beat until creamy. Add vanilla. Combine salt, baking powder, baking soda and flour together.
Introduce dry ingredients in small amounts to sugar and oil mixture. Next, add apples, applesauce and chopped pecans and mix by hand.
Bake in greased and floured Bundt pan in 350 degree oven for approximately 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
For the icing:
In a medium saucepan bring brown sugar, butter, and milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly. Boil for one minute continuing to stir or whisk constantly.
Remove from heat and add vanilla. Add powdered sugar and stir or whisk until smooth and continue until it begins to thicken slightly. Immediately drizzle over cooled cake. Top with walnuts or pecans.
As a tasty bonus, I’m adding my recipe for Great Northern Bean and Chicken Soup as a culinary accompaniment to the antique white pumpkin soup tureen on my Gotta Have It list.
Great Northern Bean and Chicken Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon minced garlic
2 cans Great Northern beans
1½ cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 32 ounce box chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 cups water
Melt the butter in dutch oven (or just toss the butter in with the veggies like I do). Add the sliced carrots, chopped celery and chopped onion. Sauté until onions become translucent.
Add shredded chicken, beans, bay leaf, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir to incorporate all the flavor goodness together. Add water, bouillon cube and chicken broth bringing to a boil.
Once a good bubbling boil is reached, reduce heat to low and allow soup to simmer for 45-60 minutes.