Homey Seasonal Decor Finds

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.

fall-2021-inspiration

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.

pecan-pies-fall-Keith-Robinson-Flower-Magazine-photo-David-Hillegas

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.

Wood Cake Stand - Hearth & Hand

Wood Cake Stand – Hearth & Hand with Magnolia

I can’t locate a recipe for pecan pie from Mr. Robinson, but I use the  Homemade Pecan Pie recipe from Karo Syrup, so classic it is.

Homemade Pecan Pie

Ingredients

1 cup Karo® Light OR Dark Corn Syrup

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter melted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1-½ cups (6 ounces) pecans

1 (9-inch) unbaked OR frozen deep-dish pie crust

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla using a spoon.  Stir in pecans.  Pour filling into pie crust.

Bake on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes (see tips for doneness, below).  Cool for 2 hours on wire rack before serving.

Place cookie sheet in oven and preheat oven as directed. Pour filling into frozen crust and bake on preheated cookie sheet.

High Altitude Adjustments: Reduce sugar to 2/3 cup and increase butter to 3 tablespoons.  Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

-Karo Syrup

pink-rust-orange-mums (1)

Chrysanthemums (mums) are plentiful at fall, relatively inexpensive, and the color array spectacular.

Stone-like Grey Large Decorative Vase

Stone-like Grey Large Decorative Vases

Stone and earthenware decorative vases and planters become focal point accents for housing seasonal flowers, branches, and stems.

Rustic Vase Brown

Rustic Vases

No fuss-no muss simplicity at its serveware best is achieved with new or vintage stoneware bowl(s).

The look is pure fall, pure vintage beauty.

chocolatey brown antique farmhouse, stoneware mixing bowl

Antique RED WING Yellow Ware Bowl
Chocolatey Brown Stoneware Mixing Bowl

Serving boards made from natural materials serve well as versatile, uncomplicated choices for showcasing the foods and flavors of fall.

Brown Wood Look Plate

Wood Style Plate from Hobby Lobby

As I’ve stated before, never confuse simple with cutting corners or skimping on the details.

tondo-12-round-platter

Tondo Wooden Plates

Cozy is easily achieved when the emphasis is placed on inviting- the main ingredient in the recipe for putting together a fall fête for a party of two or intimate gathering for friends and family.

Teak Root Wedge Reclaimed Wood Serving Board

Teak Root Wedge Reclaimed Wood Serving Board

When casual elegance meets tone on tone layering meets inviting ambiance, a stellar result is achieved.

pumpkin-wood-serving-platter

Amber Glow Pumpkin Wood Serving Platter

Pumpkins quickly come to mind when considering autumn-fall theme accessories for home and table, but have you noticed the popularity of the mushroom?

Mushroom Cheese Board

Mushroom Cheese Board

Handmade Wood Mushrooms Tabletop Decor Collection

Handmade Wood Mushrooms Tabletop Decor Collection

Homey seasonal decor finds in a neutral colors fit right in with the natural state of the season’s beauty.

Seagrass Woven Pumpkin

Seagrass Woven Pumpkins

Crisp notes in the late afternoon air, tole serving trays, cake domes, and fall themed loaf pans stirs up all the fall feels, finds, and flavors.

tole-tray-cake-cover

Apple nut cake is set for the cake stand come Wednesday, but first, whipped maple pie.

whipped-maple-pie

Maple is among the taste of fall favorites, and is the featured flavor in this super easy to make dessert.

maple-syrup-flavoring-vanilla

Whipped Maple Pie

Ingredients

1 deep dish pie crust

1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) vanilla instant pudding

1½ cup cold milk

½ cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp. maple flavoring

1  container (8 oz.) thawed whipped topping

nutmeg for dusting

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Remove frozen pie crust from package and allow to thaw for 20  minutes.

Using a fork, prick the bottom and sides of the pie crust with to help reduce shrinkage and bubbling.  To ensure the crust bakes off properly, place an empty pie pan the same size inside the crust.

Place pie crust on baking sheet and bake on lower oven rack for 12-15 minutes, allowing to cool once removed from oven.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together instant pudding and milk until firm.  Add maple syrup and maple flavoring; mix well.  Fold in whipped topping; mix until incorporated.

whipped-pudding

Spoon mixture into cooled pie crust. Dust top of pie with nutmeg and top with nuts.

Refrigerate 1 hour.

Drizzle maple syrup over pie just before serving.

stoneware-pie-dish-set

Stoneware Pie Dish, Set of 3

Pie today, parfaits tomorrow with this recipe.

Bee & Willow™ Goblet in Gold

Bee & Willow™ Goblets

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.

empty-mixing-bowl

Gorgeously anticipating fall’s color rich-seasonally tasty arrival on this blog post writing afternoon makes for perfect blog post writing conditions.

fall-is-my-favorite-color-blog

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.

red-fall-apples (2)

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

Ingredients

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

Directions

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.

Apricot Glaze

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.

-Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Volume I

Stoneware Pumpkin Serving Dish - Threshold™

Stoneware Pumpkin Serving Dish – Threshold™

Delicious year round, but these flavors shine at the fall table.

fall-jellies-jams-preserves

Sunday night dinners here at the Places In The Home ponderosa tend to be the breakfast for dinner type.

Biscuits.

Pancakes.

Eggs with fried apples.

round ceramic baking dish grill dinner plates

Found and placed on my fall finds list for suppers such as these is a set of Bruntmor Set Of 4 Matte Glaze Ceramic Food Serving Plates With Skillet Look.

coffee-tea-flavors-fall

Coffee drinking and tea sippin’ season and seasoned warm beverages complement and spice fall’s crisp days into brisk cozy evenings.

Homey Seasonal Decor Finds

Rustic Vases 
Mason Cash | In The Forest Batter Bowl
Polyresin Pine Cone Table Decor     
Antique BM&T Covered Vegetable 1896
Stoneware Pumpkin Serving Dish 
Metallic Silver Scroll Charger Plate
Nordic Ware Leaf-Lettes Cakelet Pan, 2.5 Cup

fall-home

Homey seasonal decor finds frame this picture perfect season and welcome the best of the season to home and hearth.

This is how we welcome fall home.

love signature

Gridiron Gatherings Tailgating Ideas and Recipes

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.

field-goal-posts

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.

LSU-football-2021-schedule

LSU Sports

The football nation is gearing up for Friday night lights-Saturday gridiron gatherings-NFL Sunday soirees at stadiums and at home (yes, Virginia, there is an at-home option).

catching-football

It is said that football is a religion, and the South the mother church of the football faithful.

Evidence of this is seen on any home game Saturday at Tiger Stadium.

football-game-LSU-Alabama

Adjustments to how and where we tailgate accommodate campus and stadium requirements (hurricane cancellations and evacuations as well).

Safety first scores a touchdown in the personal comfort zone.

NOLA-Saints-masks

Now, we all know football means fall and fall as a theme opens up the field to easy and affordable statement making food, beverage, and decorating choices to build upon.

sunset-Vicksburg-Mississippi

Hampton Bay Metal and Glass Outdoor Patio Lantern

Lighting sets a festive mood, especially at a late afternoon or evening tailgating event.

Better-Homes-Gardens-clear-glass-bulbs-brown-wire-string-lights-for-outdoors

Outdoor candle lanterns paired with LED votives and pillars advance the tailgating area into chic dinner party territory, and why not!

Willstar 3 Pack Candle Lights Flameless Wax LED Pillar Candles Flickering Remote Control Lights

3 Pack Candle Lights Flameless Wax LED Pillar Candles with Remote Control 

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.

LED-taper-candles

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.

black-iron-candle-hanging-chandelier

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.

6ft. Pumpkin, Pinecone & Leaf Garland by Ashland®

6ft. Pumpkin, Pinecone & Leaf Garland by Ashland®

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.

game-day-outfit-choices

ladies-tiger-print-shoes

Women’s Casual Shoes (Tiger Design)

Tailgaters are known for bringing their A-game to the game day tailgating tablescape.

Grove-tailgating-centerpiece

The Grove at Ole Miss – Au Courant Floral Creation

Decoristas know how to style and set space and table by taking advantage of the season’s offerings.

Late summer sees sunflowers, lush greenery, magnolia leaves, and seasonal fruits and vegetables ripe for the decorating picking.

corn-cobs-red-ribbons

Go Huskers!

Corn husk wreath around the cake stand, candles, or a platter of corn tamales- how cute!

corn husk wreath

Autumn Fall Harvest 23″ Corn Husk Wreath

Build on the for the fall of it all theme by decorating with fall festive pine cones, pumpkins, vines, branches, gourds and flowers.

natural-elements-for-decorating

I can’t think of a better tailgating table runner foundation than this synthetic grass table runner.

Juvale Synthetic Grass Table Runner

Juvale Synthetic Grass Table Runner

orange-white-plaid-table-cloth

Go Vols!

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.

silver-grand-trophy-cup

Silver Grand Trophy Cup

Fresh and festive flower bargains afford me the opportunity to load up on blooms of beauty.

fresh-yellow-roses-blue-hydrangeas

Pick up a sunflower bouquets ($4.87 each) at Walmart.

Pop in eucalyptus stems in fall or team colors paired with gathered cotton team print fabric- fabulous!

sunflowers-5-stems

silver-grand-trophy-cup-with-sunflowers

purple-gold-tulle-fabric

Pack a plastic urn with magnolia leaves

Plastic urns are lightweight and easy to haul around game to game, and magnolia leaves a wonderfully inexpensive-natural-beautiful choice of centerpiece accent.

magnolia-leaves-in-urn

Mums and pumpkins, the unofficial official season and flower of fall and football, remind me of homecoming court corsages and crisp fall game day afternoons and evenings.

Cut out a pumpkin, add mums in team or seasonal colors, and voilà; fall is on the table.

Paired together as focal point centerpieces, mums and pumpkins naturally create the look of the season.

mums-in-Cinderella-pumpkin

An easy DIY pumpkin centerpiece project is a couple bags of moss and an application of spray adhesive away from becoming a dazzling seasonal stunner.

pumpkin-with-moss-BHG-photo-Ed-Gohlich

Better Homes & Gardens

The DIY project from Better Homes & Gardens adds succulents cuttings to the moss, and although lovely, I prefer the natural simple elegance achieved with just the moss.

Sphagnum Moss

Sphagnum Moss

Faux pumpkins easily become decorative darlings when painted in team colors and paired with a vintage style football.

purple-gold-pumpkins

LSU Official-Size Vintage Football

Krylon-gold-spray-paint

Bargain bins, dollar, thrift, and big box stores and end of season clearance sales can be tailgating tabletop treasure troves.

Give the attic or storage closet a once over for football themed oldies but goodies to put to decorating use.

LSU-college-bucket

Leaktite 5 Gallon LSU College Bucket

Home Depot can’t seem to keep these 5 gal. LSU college buckets in stock at this time of year.

They transport well and qualify as a…

Centerpiece vase.

Trash can.

Pack, cart and store carryall.

Ultimate gift bag for the sports fan.

chargers-for-tailgating

Faux Wood Charger

I lean towards selecting tablewares and serving pieces made from natural materials or with the look of for their durability and focal point factor.

-and-

You get a whole lotta bang for your buck as we are entering into the fall and holiday season where natural pieces and neutral colors complement and reign entertaining supreme.

Footed Teak Serving Board

Footed Teak Serving Board

Autumn Wooden Pumpkin Platter

Place & Time Autumn Wooden Pumpkin Platter

Bowl 6oz 4pk Set - Cherry Wood

Bowl 6oz 4pk Set – Cherry Wood

wheat-copper-serving-utensils

Wheat Copper Pastry Server and Serving Spoon

Picnic Time Kickoff Serving Tray

Picnic Time® Kickoff Cutting Board & Serving Tray

There’s a time and a place for paper and plastic, and tailgating is the time for paper plates, napkins, and plastic drinkware.

game-day-plates-napkins-cups

Stacking draws the eye and frees up valuable tabletop space.

wood-cake-stands-beaded

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.

tailgating-serving-pieces

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.

Mainstays 23-Ounce Football Cooler Glasses, Set of 6

Mainstays 23-Ounce Football Cooler Glasses, Set of 6

Fellow tailgaters invited to join in the pregame ritual of gathering together over food and drink love to bring something to the tailgating table.

When our Callin’ Baton Rouge tailgating friends ask what can they bring my stock answer is fried chicken.

Pick up a basket, box or bucket of this tailgating food favorite and bring the delicious and the easy to the table.

fried-chicken

Click on the link for the written instructions for Oven-Baked Texas Trash Bean Dip.

Lemony Spinach-Artichoke Dip Recipe

Lemony Spinach-Artichoke Dip Recipe

Pack up individual boxes for guests and serve along with individual dippin’ fixin’s such as crostini, chips, and/or crackers.

takeout-boxes

Lemony Spinach-Artichoke Dip Recipe

Ingredients

1 (14-oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 (8-oz.) container sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 envelope dry vegetable soup mix

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

Assorted corn or tortilla chips

Directions

Stir together first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.

Drain thawed spinach well, pressing between paper towels; stir into artichoke mixture. Cover and chill 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

Serve with assorted corn or tortilla chips.

-Southern Living

Kevin Belton's Cookin' Louisiana

Kevin Belton’s Cookin’ Louisiana

Kevin Belton cooks Louisiana, and the parishes of The Pelican State love the taste of home.

Louisiana cooking hits the flavor button with its unique blends and mixes of spices, sauces, and syrups.

Bacon Popcorn Drizzled with Creole-Spiced Butter

Garden & Gun – Photo by Eugenia Uhl

Kevin Belton’s recipe for Bacon Popcorn Drizzled with Creole-Spiced Butter  is a marriage of unexpected flavor combinations resulting in a c’est si bon taste treat.

cast-iron-skillet-black

Creole-spices

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.

decorative-PVC-tin-inspired-ceiling-tile

Milan 2 ft. x 2 ft. Glue Up PVC Ceiling Tile in Graphite Gold

Still love this option, too.

Caramel Peanut Popcorn Snack Mix

Southern Living – Photo by Greg Dupree

Rustic Hammered Copper Cauldron

Unique sets an impressive table.

Stromboli-recipe

Stromboli is a pizza inspired full meal appetizer of epic eats proportions, and this recipe for Stromboli from Julie’s Eats & Treats will score with the crowd.

LSU Gumbo.

LSU-Gumbo-yearbooks

LSU Gumbo Yearbook

LSU Game Day Gumbo.

tailgating-gumbo-recipe

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Great-northern-bean-and-chicken-soup-recipe-1

white-bean-chicken-soup-recipe (1)

Great Northern Bean and Chicken Soup

Ingredients

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

Directions

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.

Remove the bay leaf and serve with crackers or cheesy corn cornbread.

white-bean-chicken-soup-recipe (2)

Baskets come in as handy dandy serving and displaying option crackers, breads, and cookies.

Pumpkin Rattan Basket by Ashland®

Pumpkin Rattan Basket by Ashland®

Large Willow Basket by Ashland®

Large Willow Basket by Ashland®

fairytale-pumpkins-trio

Sausage-Pumpkin-Soup

fairytale-pumpkins-trio

Sausage Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients

1 pound bulk pork sausage

1/3 cup chopped onion

2 cans (14-½ ounces each) chicken broth

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin

½ cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

Directions

In a large skillet, cook sausage and onion until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a 4-qt. slow cooker.

Add the broth, pumpkin, syrup, pie spice, garlic powder and nutmeg.  Cover and cook on low until flavors are blended, 3-4 hours.  Stir in milk; heat through.

Serve with croutons, crackers 0r cornbread.

-Taste of Home

Philly-Cheesesteak-Recipe

Philly Cheesesteak Recipe from Valerie’s Kitchen is gameday perfection.

spices-seasonings-sauces

What’s a tailgate without a good hamburger?

hamburger-patties-ready-to-grill

The seasoning trick begins with plenty of salt and pepper.

peeled-onion

Cook the hamburger patties low and slow, throw in a handful or two of thinly sliced onions, perhaps some mushrooms, and go full-on flavor from there.

sauteed-mushrooms-in-butter

 

private-selection-hot-pepper-bacon-jam

Have any of you tried a spoonful of Private Selection Hot Pepper Bacon Jam atop your hamburger patty?

Oh.

My.

Goodness.

Your taste buds will thank you.

Spiced Apple Hobo Pack-Blaine-Moats

Better Homes & Gardens – Photo by Blaine Moats

Apples and cinnamon and brown sugar, oh my!

The taste of fall and flavor suited to tailgating found in this recipe for Spiced Apple Hobo Packs.

foil-apple-pack-ingredients (1)

Inquiring Chef’s recipe for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Bars is fourth quarter (dessert) on the board delicious.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Bars

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.

Moist Pumpkin Bread with Maple Glaze

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.

Community-coffee-flavors

Dessert and coffee go together like football and tailgating.

tiger coffee mug

Make mine a cup of Community Coffee- a Louisiana tailgating tradition.

LSU-Golden-Band

Distinctive and delicious tailgating ideas and recipes sets the pregame party in motion to score an entertaining touchdown.

Love your style!

Fetching Friday: Mother’s Day Recipes Inspiration

Today’s most fetching Friday offers Mother’s Day recipes inspiration.

Mother's Day Recipes InspirationBe 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.

Elisa+Sham

Picture and pitcher perfect for this special day, colorful vintage pitchers packed full of fresh flowers and cuttings strike a commanding pose.

peonies-in-blue-vase-Kritsada-Panichgul

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

Strawberries and Cream French Toast

Ingredients

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)

Maple syrup

Directions

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.

Sugared Fruit

Ingredients

1½ cups quartered strawberries

1 cup raspberries

1 cup blueberries

1 cup blackberries

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons bourbon

Directions

In a large bowl, stir together strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, sugar, and bourbon.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

-Victoria Magazine

tarragon-chicken-salad-Jennifer-Davick

Southern Living Magazine – Jennifer Davick

Cranberry Chicken Salad

Ingredients

3 cups chopped rotisserie chicken (from 1 rotisserie chicken)

½ cup chopped celery (from 2 stalks)

1/3 cup dried cranberries

2 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish

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

Directions

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.

-Southern Living Magazine

hibiscus-punch-photo-Melanie-Acevedo

Better Homes & Gardens – Photo by Melanie Acevedo

Royal Heritage Bone China Cup and Saucer - Pink Rose

Royal Heritage Bone China Cup and Saucer – Pink Rose

Hibiscus Punch

Ingredients

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

6 whole cloves

4 hibiscus tea bags

1 ½ cups orange juice

1 ½ cups grapefruit juice

Ice cubes

2 limes, thinly sliced

Directions

In a small pot combine ¼ cup sugar, 2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger, 6 whole cloves, and 2 cups water.

Bring to boiling over high; cook and stir 1 minute or until sugar dissolves.

Add 4 hibiscus tea bags. Let cool to room temperature.

Strain through a sieve into a large pitcher.

Stir in 1½ cups each orange and grapefruit juices.

Chill up to 24 hours. Serve with lime slices.  Serves 8.

-Better Homes & Gardens

lemon-verbena-ice-cream-pie-photo-Dana-Gallagher

Better Homes & Gardens – Photo by Dana Gallagher

Lemon Verbena Ice Cream Pie

Ingredients

Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

1 cup milk

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

Directions

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.

-Better Homes & Gardens

confetti-cakes-photoo-Antonis-Achilleos-food-styling-Torie-Cox-prop-styling-Kay-E-Clarke (1)

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

Ingredients

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)

Directions

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

Ingredients

2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons unsifted powdered sugar

Directions

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.

-Southern Living Magazine

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, grandmothers, mother-in-laws, like a mother to me, sister moms, and best friends we celebrate and appreciate.

I hope these Mother’s Day recipes inspiration gift you with ideas for preparing a delicious treat to complement your Mother’s Day celebration.

signature-pink

Spring On The Beauty

Spring on the beauty time is here, and my heart is full of expectation for the best of the season to show up and beautifully show out.

spring on the beauty (1)

Speaking of time, when I started blogging ten years ago one of the suggestions from those in the know was to be 100% truthful and transparent with your readers.

Based on this expert advice and my truth is key philosophy, I find it necessary to share with you all a realization.

This spring forward daylight savings time thing is kicking my 50something tuchus.

coffee sizes

It’s one of those there’s not enough café au lait in Louisiana to caffeinate the moments of my life days.

Raise your hand and coffee cup if you know what I’m talking about.

The silver lining of the time change is more daytime to enjoy the sights of the season.

coffee-at-shop

Foodiesfeed

Saturday officially marked the first day of spring on the beauty, and I greeted the day full of vim and vigor.

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.”

– Bernard Williams

in full bloom azaleas

New spring blooms provided a pretty in pink backdrop for a front yard picnic with family old and new.

OKC_BKC

Meet the newest additions to the Places In The Home family.

Our nephews and niece-in-laws traveled to Louisiana to introduce us to one month old Oliver and six month old Beau.

Three year old Wyatt was masked up and ready to hunt Easter eggs.

WJC (2)

The biggest baby in the family, Beaux the Wonder Shepherd, posed pretty for the camera on the not so ready for spring time good times patio.

Beau Shepherd

Our front yard picnic-Covid responsible-spring time is here gathering was a bright spot in the post winter ice storm aftermath.

pink spring blooms

Signs of spring in the beauty is slowly coming back to life.

Red Diamond Loropetalum Shrub with Burgundy Foliage and Bright Red Blooms

Red Diamond Loropetalum Shrub

pear-tree-in-bloom

Cleveland Select Flowering Pear Tree Bare Root

 Cleveland Select Flowering Pear Tree

Spring suppers tend to run a little later and a little lighter.

tropical-fruit-salad

Spring fresh green, fruit, or pasta salads.

colorful-vegetables

Colorful Vegetables

Garden veggie plates.

peeled-shrimp-in-bowl

Chilled Louisiana Gulf seafood platters.

Tory Burch Home lettuce ware dishes

Tory Burch Home

Many evenings we’ll eat on the patio or porch.

Cabbage Oval Platter

Cabbage Oval Platter

I prepare each of us a tray set with spring themed dinnerware in keeping with my firm belief you eat with your eyes first.

Set Of 12 Franciscan Desert Rose Dinner Plates

Set Of 12 Franciscan Desert Rose Dinner Plates

gardenia-salt-pepper-shaker (1)

Gardenia Salt and Pepper Set

Wares and decorative pieces inspired by spring set the loveliest of tables and trays.

pink lettuce ware dinner plate

Ceramic Cabbage Plate

So pretty!

Stoneware Chinese Cabbage Jug - White

Stoneware Chinese Cabbage Jug – White

Color, texture, pattern and taste repeats throughout chosen spring favorites.

artichoke-on-saucer

artichoke-mug

artichoke-cocotte

Braised-Artichokes-recipe-Williams-Sonoma

Braised Artichokes with Shallots & Peas

Ingredients

Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons

6 large artichokes, about 1/2 lb. each

3 Tbs. olive oil

2 large shallots, finely chopped

1 sprig fresh thyme

½ cup (4 fl. oz.) dry white wine

1 ½ cups (12 fl. oz.) low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 small clove garlic, chopped

Leaves from 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

6-8 leaves fresh mint, cut into slices

1 lb. fresh English peas, shelled

½ cup (4 oz.) creme fraiche

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Directions

Have ready a bowl of water to which you have added the lemon juice.

Working with 1 artichoke at a time, pull off and discard the tough outer leaves until you reach the tender, pale yellow-green inner leaves.

Cut off about 1 inch from the top to remove the prickly tips.  Using a paring knife, remove the tough outer layer on the stem.

Cut the trimmed artichokes lengthwise into quarters.

As each artichoke is finished, drop it into the lemon water.

Warm a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add the oil.  Add the shallots and thyme sprig and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Drain the artichokes, shake off the excess water, and add to the pan.  Raise the heat to high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the artichokes are lightly browned in places, about 5 minutes.

Add the wine and cook until reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 3 minutes.  Add the broth and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the artichokes are tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 12-15 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, parsley, mint and lemon zest.

When the artichokes are done, there should be at least ½ cup (4 fl. oz.) of liquid left in the pan.  Add a little more broth if needed. Add the peas, then stir in the creme fraiche and mustard.

Cook, stirring, until the peas are warmed through, about 2 minutes.

Gently stir in the herb mixture, taste and adjust the seasonings, and serve. Serves 4-6.

Williams-Sonoma Taste

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.

A&B Home Helsa 16-inch Vintage Green Stacked Artichokes Accent

A&B Home Helsa 16-inch Vintage Green Stacked Artichokes Accent

What’s your spring on the beauty plan?

love signature

Fall Home Decor and Recipes Gotta Have It List

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.

fall home decor and recipes

‘Feels Good To Be Home’ Wood Sign – Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

Fall home decor and recipes suited for cozy days into evenings and scrumptious snacks and meals scripts a feels good to be home narrative.

pumpkins-fall-arrangement

Oh, what fall fun we decoristas have when we are:

Setting seasonal tablescapes.

Developing, delighting in, and discovering recipes big on the flavors of the season.

Decorating the interiors and exteriors of house, heart, home, and hearth.

fall-trays-compotes-berries-nuts-fruit

Better Homes & Gardens

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.

gotta-have-it-image

stuff-fall-blog

Elios Pumpkin Tureen, Large

Birch 6-Inch Real-Flame Effect Pillar Candle in Brown

Vintage English Victorian Gravy Boat

Stoneware Reactive Glaze Cereal Bowl – Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

Feast Platter

Home Decorators Collection Antiqued Wood Candle Hanging or Tabletop Lantern with Beaded Trim (Set of 2)

Home Decorators Collection Antiqued Wood Candle Lanterns with Beaded Trim

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.

Luminara® Birch 6-Inch Real-Flame Effect Pillar Candle in Brown

Luminara® Birch 6-Inch Real-Flame Effect Pillar Candle in Brown

There’s something about a pillar candle wrapped in the style of birch that says the texture of fall.

Don’t stop there.

Bring a little pumpkin shortbread or your favorite spice scent to the fall  soiree.

M. Baker pumpkin shortbread candle

Getting into the fall of it all is fun, keeps things decoratively interesting, and doesn’t have to break the bank.

faux fall wreaths set

Fall Faux Wreaths

Call this a good prices and great looks combo of farmhouse fabulous with a hint of French country ooh la la.

mainstays-plaid-pattern-throw-pillow

Mainstays Plaid Pillow

I’m considering ordering two of these pillows to pair with the faux fur throw pillows currently adorning the accents chairs I use as captain’s chairs in the dining room.

Notice the shadow on the lower part of the pillow.

white-fur-throw-pillow-on-accent-chair

A late summer into early fall sun casts shadows full of nuance ready to shadow dance with rich colors, patterns and textures that highlight the very best of the season.

fall-sun-over-mountains

If I didn’t know better, I would think wooden dough bowls strictly exist for housing a natural bounty of fall’s most gorgeous finds.

fall-arrangement-fruits-pinecones-leaves-gourds-photo-Edmund-Barr

Better Homes & Gardens – Photo by Edmund Barr

Rich warm colors perfectly accentuate indoor and outdoor spaces prime for feathering in seasonal splendor.

white-fall-pumpkins

Fads & Frames

Rework a display you’ve enjoyed during the previous season with a simple addition to and subtraction of.

When creating a fall –autumn inspired arrangement, I like to let the flora fall where they may.

Frankly, it plays up the natural aspect of the season which advances the uncomplicated yet beautiful effect you’re going for.

fall-harvest-arrangement-ideas

The thrill is in the hunt, and hunt I’ve done over the last two weeks for new and vintage items for fall decorating.

I can’t wait to share with you the fantastic piece I bought off eBay over the weekend.

Staying close to home and heart with home decor accessories selections in a vintage and antique theme comes naturally to my tastes.

I like to add a splash of brandy to a hearty fall into winter soup.

When we set a fall themed tablescape, I turn a vintage gravy boat into a brandy boat, and the dining crowd goes wild over the presentation.

English Victorian gravy boat

English Victorian Gravy Boat

Fall feasts reminds me of a neighbor friend who is known for a strict and steadfast entertaining rule she swears by.

The Pioneer Woman Timeless Beauty 10-Inch Mint Green Cake Stand with Glass Cover

The Pioneer Woman Timeless Beauty Mint Green Cake Stand with Glass Cover

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.

apple-pecan-walnut-cake

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.

recipe apple nut cake 1

Apple Nut Cake

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups granulated sugar

½  cup brown sugar

2 eggs

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

Icing

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

Directions

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-recipe-1

Great Northern Bean and Chicken Soup

Ingredients

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

Directions

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.

Remove the bay leaf and serve with crackers or cheesy cornbread.

soup-and-crackers

Spicy sea salt and black pepper crackers add a touch of the all important c’est si bon.

While we’re on the subject of crackers, fall, cozy, snacks, and seasonal goodness, let’s pumpkin cheese ball this fall recipes thing up.

pumpkin cheese ball

Better Homes & Gardens – Photo by Jacob Fox

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

Ingredients

2  8 ounces pkg. cream cheese, softened

2 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded

¾ cup canned pumpkin

¼ cup butter, softened

2 tablespoons minced fresh sage

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Assorted crackers

Directions

Combine cream cheese, 1¼ cups cheddar cheese, the pumpkin, butter, sage, paprika, garlic powder, and ¼ tsp. each salt and black pepper.  Beat with a mixer on medium until fluffy.

Chill, covered, 4 to 24 hours.

Wrap in plastic wrap and shape into a ball.  Unwrap; roll ball in remaining  ¾ cup cheddar.  Serve with crackers.

Serves 24.

To shape into a pumpkin:

After rolling the cheese ball in the remaining cheddar cheese, rewrap the ball in plastic wrap.  Place a few rubber bands vertically around the cheese ball to form ridges.  Chill 30 minutes.

-Better Homes & Gardens

Is there a hint of fall in your part of the world?

Embrace the beauty and the taste of fall and give it a welcome home, old friend shout out from me.

 

 

 

 

 

Let the Summer Patio Good Times Begin

Chatting with Dave the Builder about how Memorial Day weekend traditionally signals let the summer patio good times begin and the opening back up of stores, shops, salons, restaurants, casinos, and the like brought up the question of just when to jump back into the swing of normal things.

Slow and safe is the approach I’m taking concerning out and about, but I’m all in on the season of living easy.

Toledo-Bend-pier

Granted, I would love to host a gathering of more than just me and Dave the Builder to usher in the summer season, and we will eventually, but for now we’ll keep it summer, party of two.

summer patio good timesDaponte Outdoor Polyresin Wood Burning Fire Pit

Getting patio, deck, porch or pier summer ready kicks the salute to summer party in gear.

Ventless Smokeless Glass & Black Metal Column Tabletop Fire Pit

Ventless Smokeless Glass & Black Metal Column Tabletop Fire Pit

Washing away winter’s remnants always puts a fresh and clean spin on things, and makes way for the patio party part of the process most of us really look forward to- the decorating details.

Solar+Powered+Outdoor+Table+LampSolar Powered Outdoor Table Lamp

Outdoor decor items enhance the look of the season and emphasize chic summer style.

Battery Powered Integrated LED Outdoor Floor Lamp

Battery Powered Integrated LED Outdoor Floor Lamp

I love the seagrass pendant lamp shade from IKEA.

Mama Places In The Home (better known as the proofreader) asked if this was a food cover.

Although not its intended use, reimagining an item to better suit your decorating and entertaining needs often creates a wow factor.

Seagrass is so summer chic, and the price (19.99) is so summer sweet.

TORARED Pendant lamp shade, seagrass, 14 "

TORARED Pendant lamp shade, seagrass, 14 “

Let there be light pairs with let the music play in these LED string lights with bluetooth speakers.

bright tunes string lights

 

bluetooth-string-lights-speakers1

A patio, deck, porch or pier becomes the perfect summer canvas for the art of decorating.

Brava-Outdoor-Acacia-Wood-Club-Chairs-with-Cushions-Set-of-2-by-Christopher-Knight-Home

Brava Outdoor Acacia Wood Club Chairs with Cushions-Set of 2

Ions ago when Dave and I had commercial and residential real estate dealings in Central Florida, we liked to stay at a particular hotel in the International Drive area of Orlando.

 

Palapa 7.5 ft. Aluminum Patio Umbrella in Whiskey Brown

Palapa 7.5 ft. Aluminum Patio Umbrella in Whiskey Brown

We mixed business with pleasure sitting poolside several afternoons, sipping cool beverages and soaking up the island vibe complete with tiki terrific motif.

Beachcomber Ceramic Tiki Mugs - 16 oz - Set of 4Tiki Mugs Set of 4

Relaxing, summer stylish, and memorable- an excellent theme to work with.

Parasol Picks with Large Hibiscus Print Flowers

Parasol Picks with Large Hibiscus Print Flowers

Fresh mint ice cubes add a zip of cool summer minty freshness to your favorite beverages.

Easy to make, delicious to taste, and talk about pretty in a pitcher or glass or both.

fresh mint ice cubes

Place gently rinsed fresh mint leaves into each individual square of the ice cube tray.

Fill  squares with water.

Pop tray into freezer until cubes are solid.

Enjoy these summer minty fresh ice cubes in your beverage of choice.

airstream-party-coolerAirstream Party Cooler

Airsteam is a classic, and this replica party cooler brings to mind travel trailer road trips to destinations of summer fun.

The Summer Airstream Party Cooler from Pottery Barn is sure to be a conversation starter and a summer good times investment piece.

Summer Patio Good Times Cookout Recipes

Favorite Barbecued Chicken
Click on the link for full recipe

I’ve carted this handwritten recipe on many a camping trip for the express purpose of satisfying the request of our camping crew.

baked-beans-recipe

I got this recipe for Sue and Gloria’s Baked Beans from an episode of Paula’s Home Cooking, and tried it out for the great Fourth of July camping trip of 2008.

Oven baking is not always camping convenient, but you know what is?

A 7 qt. slow cooker.

I put the recipe together while we’re drinking coffee in the morning, set the slow cooker on low for approximately 6-8 hours, and let the goodness come together for dinner.

Click on the link for full recipeGrilled Corn 4 Ways

Bloomin’ Grilled Apples
Click on the link for full recipe

Decorate.

Cook.

Plan.

Patio.

Summertime is the season of living easy and summer patio good times.

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Mother’s Day Celebration Ideas

With the closings, limitations, concerns, and interruptions in the normal Mother’s Day celebration ideas and retail shopping routine, Mother’s Day will be somewhat different this year, and that’s not a bad thing.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Curbside pick-up is a helpful, healthier, and convenient option (don’t spread the germs, but spread the tip love to our hero clerks) for these Mother’s Day celebration ideas gifts and ingredients.

Mother's Day celebration ideas

Going out to eat at a restaurant is out for this year, so we’re considering hosting a picnic complete with social distancing etiquette.

brown-vintiquewise-insulated-food-carriers

Better Homes & Gardens Hannalore Quilt1

Warmer afternoons and sunny May days invite a picnic to the list of Mother’s Day celebration ideas.

Besides, a picnic spread gives me the perfect gift idea.

quilt-roses

Better Homes & Gardens Hannalore Quilt

One can never have enough romantic floral quilts in soft tones and shades of pink and green reminiscent of an English garden.

The Better Homes & Gardens Hannalore Quilt from Walmart is picnic perfect for a Mother’s Day spread and a lovely from me to you picnic parting gift.

Plastic Dinner Plate - Room Essentials™

Plastic Dinner Plate – Room Essentials™

Included in our picnic basket is a set of plastic dinner plates and gingham check napkins.

pink-white-gingham-napkins

DII Pink & White Reversible Gingham Check Napkin Set, 4 Pieces

Melamine is outdoor entertaining friendly, and offers an array of color and pattern choices.

Lenox® Butterfly Meadow® Melamine Small Butterfly Trays (Set of 2)Lenox® Butterfly Meadow® Melamine Small Butterfly Trays (Set of 2)

hibiscus flower

Inspired by the hibiscus plant my brother recently gifted me, I’ll be serving  hibiscus peach tea with fresh lemon slices and fresh mint.

Pure Leaf Peach Hibiscus Herbal Tea

fresh-mint-lemons

If you’re looking for an impressive taste of spring dish for a Mother’s Day brunch, lunch, snack or supper, Strawberry Watermelon Chicken Salad served with a light homemade basil dressing from Sandy aka Reluctant Entertainer is a standout dish.

Click HERE to get her divine recipe.

Agnes Pie Dish By AnthropologieAgnes Pie Dish By Anthropologie

Bacon and Cheddar Grits Quiche is the best of Southern light fare, or at least our idea of it.

Bacon and Cheddar Grits Quiche

Ingredients

6 thick bacon slices

2 ¼ cups milk

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup uncooked stone-ground grits

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon black pepper, divided

2 ½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

6 large eggs

2 ½ cups half-and-half

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup sliced green onions

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.  Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon; drain and crumble.  Transfer 2 tsp. bacon drippings to a saucepan.

Bring drippings, milk, and butter to a boil over medium heat. Gradually whisk in grits, 1 tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper; cook, whisking constantly, 15 minutes or until very thick. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup cheese; let stand 10 minutes.  Stir in 1 egg; spread in a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until set and browned. Sprinkle remaining 1 ½ cups cheese over warm grits, spreading to edges.  Let stand 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 325°.  Combine half-and-half, cream, onions, and remaining 5 eggs, 1 tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper.  Pour over grits; sprinkle with crumbled bacon.  Place pan on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until lightly browned and just set. Let stand 20 minutes.  Run a sharp knife around edges of quiche; remove sides of pan.

-Southern Living

Mother's-Day-gardenia-bouquet

Dave the Builder presented me with a bouquet of garden gardenias picked on his late evening walk around the grounds of Places In The Home (the backyard).

His Mother’s Day celebration ideas gesture is a gift to the senses.

Vintage pitchers and crystal rose bowls full of fresh cut gardenias make a pretty sight, and the intoxicating scent floats throughout the entire house.

Majestic Gifts Inc. Hand Cut and Mouth Blown Crystal Rose Bowl

I am so pleased with the look created with this arrangement of peonies from the Kroger floral department (included in our pick-up grocery order) paired with a variety of fresh cuttings that I’m adding it to my Mother’s Day celebration ideas portfolio.

The cost is minimal, the effort simple, and the finished result a visual gift to the eye.

I’m excited to try this Rose and Lemon Layer Cake recipe from Victoria Magazine made with lemon curd, lemon zest, and rose water.

With the help of a pastry bag fitted with a large fluted tip, oodles of delicate rose frosting rosettes complete this dessert stunner.

rose and lemon cake

Creative Mother’s Day celebration ideas show love and gratefulness in ways beyond retail.

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Sharing the Christmas Cheer

Time is short on this Friday before Christmas, but there’s always time for sharing the Christmas cheer.

vintage-style-gift-bagsChristmas on sale emails get my attention at this time of year.

I sourced, shopped, and scored these Simplicity vintage gift bags at Joann Fabrics and Crafts, and they are so super vintage style cute.

Christmas-potpourri

Apples, lemons, cinnamon sticks, whole coves, and bay leaves brought to boil and set to simmer fills the house with the scents of Christmas.

poinsettiaBrothers bearing gifts of poinsettia in winter white and Christmas red kick off the week before Christmas gift exchange.

porcelain-Christmas-tree

This year’s Christmas decorating is less extravagance and more emphasis on special touches rooted in memories, provenance, and simple I love that beauty.

angel-wings

oranges-cloves

Oranges and cloves remind me of my great grandmother’s house at the holidays.

cloves-oranges-cedarHer uncomplicated approach to Christmas decorating translated into a unique style all her own and adorned in understated grace.

bottle-brush-Christmas-trees

I conducted a Christmas tasting trial run while the kids were home.

Hands down, this cranberry fig cheese ball took top honors in the holiday appetizer category.

cheese ball

Cranberry Fig Cheese Ball

Ingredients

8 ounce block cream cheese softened

8 ounces shredded mild cheddar cheese

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

½ cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup fig preserves

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon Creole seasoning, optional

½ cup chopped walnuts

Directions

In a mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese to soften.  Add shredded mild cheddar cheese, dried cranberries, Worcestershire sauce, fig preserves and chopped parsley.  Mix all ingredients together to blend.

cheese-ball-ingredients

Form cheese mixture into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 4 hours or even better, overnight allowing cheese ball to firm up.

cheese-ball-form

Once firm, unwrap cheese ball from plastic wrap.  Roll the cheese ball in Creole seasoning and chopped walnuts to cover.  Serve with snack crackers of choice.

Santa-figurine-on-table

Sharing the Christmas cheer is the best part of the holiday season.

I’m spending this weekend in the Places In The Home test kitchen churning out cakes and cookies for family, friends, and neighbors.

After all, it is the most wonderful and tasty time of the year, the present is in the process, and the gift is in the giving.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and love from me to you at this holiday season.

Merry Christmas!

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