Monday, April 29, 2013

Cream Cheese Danish

For tea  today, I've used the cupcake teapot that my dear sister gifted me, and used it with my polka dot plate and cup and a polka dot napkin from fabric a had in my stash.  I've used some grocery store daisies inside a pretty basket.

This Cream Cheese Danish is a family favorite that I've been making for years.  You can double this recipe and use a 9 x 13" baking dish for a larger crowd.  The only thing is, if you double it, there's no need to use 2 eggs.  The recipe goes by many other names, but whatever it's called, it's quick, easy and delicious!

Here's the small version:
1 tube crescent rolls
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened (I always use "light")


1 egg white
1/4 cup sugar
StoneGable1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans or almonds are good)

Lay 1/2 of  the crescent rolls flat into an 8 x 8" pan.  Mix the vanilla, sugar and egg yolk into the cream cheese.  Spoon this mixture over dough.  Lay remaining 1/2 of the crescent rolls on top.

Whisk egg white; brush over dough. Mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the egg white.  Sprinkle on the chopped nuts. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Makes 8 slices.

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             Thank you for your visit!  xo

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chicken a la King Nests for Spring

Kathleen's party theme at for the month of April is Birds, Bees, Flowers or Trees.  I decided to set my table amongst the trees, with different flowers on all my hand painted plates and matching teacup and saucers.  Go check out all the pretty settings at Kathleen's
An oversized bird is perched on my crocheted table covering, with a birdhouse and my handmade bird nest.  The directions for the bird nest were from
I have six different flowered plates that were hand painted by my Great Aunt.  The sterling flatware was also hers.  All it says on the back is "Lunt". 
 I made some spoon napkin rings from  $1.00 spoons that I've been collecting at our local monthly Trade Days.  My hubby had flattened them for me when we were going to make spreaders.  I decided instead to bend the spoons to make napkin rings.  I saw some similar ones at Stein Mart, but I was too frugal (cheap!!) to buy them.
Sandi, at Rose Chintz Cottage always shares some wonderful recipes.  When she made her Chicken a la King recipe at her HOME party, I knew that I wanted to make it. The puffed pastry shells remind me of little nests and I thought would be perfect for my outdoor Spring theme.   Isn't it nice how bloggers inspire each other?  For Sandi's version, and to pay her a special visit, click here. 

Here's my version of Chicken a la King, which is very similar to Sandi's:

Pepperidge Farm  Puff Pastry Shells, baked according to package directions. You can make these a day ahead, cool and then put in a food storage bag. Re-heat the shells for a few minutes in the oven, before serving.

Basic White Sauce:

2 T. butter
2 T. flour
2 cups milk (or chicken broth, or 1 cup milk and 1 cup broth, which I like to warm for a minute in the microwave)
1 t. salt
pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add the flour and cook for1 minute (this gets rid of the raw flour taste).  Slowly add the milk, or broth, or the combo.  Cook on medium-low heat until it thickens.

Add to  the White Sauce:

2 cups chopped, cooked chicken (leftover rotisserie chicken is great for this)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, cleaned and taken off the stems
1/2 cup frozen peas (I omitted because I was serving fresh green beans)

Add the ingredients and heat through.  Serve in the Puff Pastry Shells. 

I have an Old Bird Inn, where the rooms are "cheep"!

We have a Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal that come visit our yard everyday.  Aren't they sweet? 

Of course the birds and I love sitting by our little waterfall.  It's a little piece of heaven!
 I'll leave you with a little Haiku that I wrote:

Spring is in the air

Birds, bees, flowers and the trees

Wake up our senses!

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Thank you for your visit!  It is truly appreciated.  xo

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cowboy Coffeecake


When we moved to Texas,  back in 1986, I bought my first pair of boots.  I thought for today's tea, I'd fill them with some pretty flowers (a glass filled with water is down in the boot). 

 How about some Cowboy Coffeecake and a cup of Eggnogg'n tea? 


This recipe is one I've been making for over 40 years and comes from my BHG cookbook. Another name for this is Sugar 'n Spice Coffeecake, depending on what edition the recipe comes from. It's a really good recipe, which makes two cakes. The whole recipe can be done by hand, which is another plus. I hope you try it and keep one and give one away.  You'll make someone happy!!

Combine :
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 t. salt
2/3 cup shortening

Mix until crumbly (I use a pastry blender). Reserve 1/2 cup of this mixture and set aside.

To remaining crumbs, add and mix thoroughly:

2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg

Add 1 cup sour milk (put 1 T. white vinegar or lemon juice in measuring cup and fill the rest up with milk) and 2 beaten eggs. Mix well.

Pour into 2 greased 8 x 8 x 2-inch pans; sprinkle with the reserved crumbs. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.


Do you have any old boots in your closet?

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hashbrown Potato Quiche Lorraine


My hubby and I have eaten breakfast in bed for years now.  However, since he retired, he has been sleeping in much later!!  I actually have to eat out in the kozy kitchen sometimes and bring his breakfast in later. 

How's this for rise 'n shine?  I used a napkin as a placemat for color.  The clear handled flatware is from Ross, along with the plate and mug.  I think he'll love it, don't you??


The knock-out roses are from our garden along with a couple of sprigs of rosemary.  Candles are always a nice addition, as long as they're not overpowering. 

I nice sized mug holds our morning tea.


While shopping at Costco, I came across these new hashbrowns that can be stored in the pantry. You rehydrate them with hot water and then fry them in a skillet. I'm a sucker for new foodie products. The Emile Henry pie plate was from a gift card from one of my sons.  I love the fluted edge.  Here's the recipe that was included with the hashbrowns:

This small carton reconstitutes into 6 servings. 

1- 4.2 oz. carton of hashbrowns
2 T. Oil
3 T. cooked chopped bacon
1/4 cup caramelized onion (I just used a little chopped chives)
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
3 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Refresh potatoes by adding hot water. Let stand 10 minutes.

Butter a 9" pie pan.

Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, drain potatoes and cook on one side until brown at the edges, about 5 minutes. Press the potatoes into the pie pan to make a crust. Arrange the bacon, onions, and cheeses over the crust.

Beat the eggs, milk, cream and salt and pepper and pour over all. Bake for 25 minutes or until set.
Serves 6

NOTE:  I made this the night before and then cut up slices, reheated slightly in the microwave and served.  I lightly sprinkled mine with bloggy buddy Lynn's, at, new favorite Lawry's Chile and Garlic Coarse Ground Blend.  Wow, did that ever wake up the flavor!  Lynn has me hooked on that stuff!!  Next time, I'll use that in place of the s & p. 

I am sharing this with:

Please join me on Wednesdays for my new HOME Party
My recipe was featured!
Make It Pretty Monday
Full Plate Thursday
Open House
The Busy Bees
Share Your Cup
Foodie Friday                                                                           

Thank you for your visit!  It is truly appreciated.  xo

Monday, April 15, 2013

Strawberry and Cream Scones


Tea today is in the garden with strawberry and cream scones served on my strawberry plate and mug from Pier 1. 


The recipe is from King Arthur Flour and it uses fresh strawberries.  These are drop scones and they have a glaze that is baked on. 



I freeze the leftovers, then thaw and reheat in the toaster oven.
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons half & half or light cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • a few drops Fiori di Sicilia, optional (I used about 1 t. orange zest)
  • 2/3 cup diced fresh strawberries


  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon water


1) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
2) To make the scones: In a blender or food processor, process 1/2 cup of the strawberries with the sugar and half & half or cream until the mixture is smooth. Set it aside.
3) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
4) Work in the butter, using a mixer, your fingertips, a fork, or a pastry blender; the mixture should be unevenly crumbly.
5) In a separate bowl, whisk together the strawberry/cream mixture, the egg, the vanilla extract, and the Fiori (this is where I used the orange zest.)
6) Add this mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until the dough just barely starts to come together.
7) Add the 2/3 cup diced strawberries, gently folding them in; the dough will be quite sticky.
8) Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets; each scone should be about the size of a golf ball. A tablespoon cookie scoop is exactly the right size for this task.
9) Or make the scones about 1/4 cup size.
10) Make the glaze by stirring together the sugar, water, and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle some atop each scone.
11) Bake the scones until they're just beginning to turn golden brown around the edges, 15 to 18 minutes .  Break one scone open, just to be sure; they should be moist (but not gummy) at the center.
12) Serve scones warm. Or allow them to cool completely, and store airtight at room temperature. Just before serving, reheat very briefly in the microwave, or for 5 to 10 minutes, tented with aluminum foil, in a preheated 350°F oven.

               Thank you for your visit!  xo

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Caesar Salad Bites

We're having Caesar Salad Bites for an appetizer at our coffee table in the family room.   The checkered cloth is from my Mom and reminds me of long ago picnics.  The green goblets I finally bought from the $ Tree and the red plates are from Target. 

This basket was found on clearance from Kohl's, which I filled with wispy stems from Hobby Lobby. It usually sits at one end of the mantle.   The oil lamp is always on my kitchen counter and is filled with a variety of faux vegetables.  The candlestick is one I've had for over forty years. 

You might want to serve these Caesar Salad Bites for your next party. These are so easy and can be prepared ahead, which is always a time saver. Have any of you tried the Artisan Romaine lettuce heads from Costco? There's such little waste to them.  Of course, you can always use the regular Romaine lettuce. I find that Romaine stays fresh in my fridge for quite some time.  The recipe comes from my Southern Living Cooking for Christmas 2012.

2 romaine lettuce hearts
These are crunchy and so good and perfect party food!
2/3 cup bottled creamy Caesar dressing (I used Marie's)
1/2 English cucumber
1 1/4 cups small seasoned croutons
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley (I omitted)
Freshly ground black pepper

Separate romaine hearts into 24 medium leaves and arrange on a large platter.  Spoon dressing lightly down center of each leaf.  Top with chopped cucumber and next 3 ingredients.  Sprinkle with pepper to taste. 

NOTE:  If preparing ahead, leave off the croutons and add right before serving.

These are great as a salad or an appetizer!

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Mousse in Flower Chocolate Cups

My tray is lined with a pretty crocheted doily and set with my Great Aunt's painted plate and tea cup.  I love candles and used my lantern from Target and an orange spice scented candle from Swan Creek that comes in a teacup.  Oh my, does it ever smell good!  I'm having some orange spice tea to enjoy.  Care to join me?

For this sweet, Spring treat, I bought some chocolate flower cups from World Market and filled them with some delicious, low-cal mousse, recipe found here . Just top them with some fresh berries and you're set for a yummy dessert.  The chocolate cups are a seasonal item and if you can't find them, just fill a pretty dessert dish with the mousse. 

I'm not sure what this flower is that my Aunt painted, but I love it on the green background.

Just top the mousse with some berries and you have a perfect, light dessert. 

TIP:  I filled a food safe storage bag with the mousse, cut off the tip and piped it into the dessert shells. 

                 Thanks for you visit!  xo

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Green Bean Bundles


This is a pretty dish to serve for a group of people.  I made it for our family and everyone seemed to enjoy it.  The pre-packaged green beans from Costco, in their produce area, are wonderful, as are the ones from Trader Joe's.  Here's the recipe:

1 lb. of green beans, washed and ends removed (the ones from Costco and Trader Joe's are ready to go)
6 strips of bacon, cut in half and partially cooked
1/2 t. Creole seasoning (such as Tony Chachere's),  divided use
garlic salt
4 T. butter, melted
3 T. packed brown sugar

Put beans in a saucepan with 1/4 t. Creole seasoning and put water halfway up the sides.  Bring to a boil,  turn heat to medium and cook 3 minutes.  Drain beans and cool.

When beans are cool, wrap about 6-10 beans with the bacon.  Place bundles in a 9 x 13" baking dish.  Sprinkle bundles with the garlic salt and 1/4 t. Creole seasoning.  Pour melted butter over the bundles and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until bacon is done. 

NOTE:  To make ahead, complete all steps, leaving off the butter and sugar.  Refrigerate over night until ready to bake.  Before putting in oven, pour the melted butter and sprinkle with the brown sugar.

I am sharing this with:

Full Plate Thursday                                                                                   
Open House
Foodie Friday
Weekend Potluck
Seasonal Sundays

The Dedicated House              Thank you for your visit!  xo

Monday, April 1, 2013

Coconut Cake


I'm having tea and coconut cake in the garden today.  Won't you join me?  I'm using my polka dot plate and mug from Homegoods.  The hydrangea was a gift from a dear friend.


This luscious cake happens to be one of our family's all time favorites. The recipe is from the April 24, 1996 edition of The Dallas Morning News (yes,  I still have the original copy, being the recipe hoarder that I am!!). The newspaper gave the source as "Out of this World".  If you love coconut, you will go crazy over this recipe.

1 box white cake mix, plus ingredients for preparation
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8-ounce) carton non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
1 (8 1/2-ounce) can cream of coconut
2 cups coconut

Bake cake in a 9 x 13-inch pan according to package directions. While cake is hot, punch holes in top with a fork; pour sweetened condensed milk over entire top. Cool.

Mix whipped topping and cream of coconut by hand. Spread over cake. Sprinkle with coconut.

NOTE:  I could only find the cream of coconut milk in a 15-ounce can. I measured out the 8 1/2 ounces and then froze the remainder.


This darling cottage teapot was found for $1.50 at our local Trade Days.


Isn't this the sweetest angel stake for the garden?  It was found at a local nursery.

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