Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spanish-Style Pork Kabobs

Oh, how I love my Weber grill!!  Living in Texas, I use it year round.  This easy recipe comes from Weber Grills online.    It's very flavorful and great for Summer time grilling.  I hope you give it a try. 


  • ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves and tender stems
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pork tenderloins, each about 1 pound, trimmed of silver skin and any excess fat, cut into 1¼-inch cubes
  • 2 large bell peppers, 1 red and 1 green, cut into 1¼-inch squares (I only used red)


  1. Whisk the marinade ingredients, including ½ teaspoon salt. Put the pork cubes in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, place in a bowl, and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours, turning occasionally. 
  2. If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F).
  4. Remove the pork from the bag and discard the marinade. Thread the pork and bell pepper squares alternately onto skewers. 
  5. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the skewers over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the pork is barely pink in the center, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove from the grill and season with salt. Serve warm.                 
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Monday, May 27, 2013

Lemony Blueberry Layered Pie

For my garden tea today, I've made a recipe that was in Good Housekeeping magazine and it's from  I'm serving it with iced blueberry green tea in my lemon glass from the Dollar Tree.  The snack plate is from our local Trade Days.

I filled a glass teapot with fresh lemons and used these unusual flowers I found at the grocery store.   The name of the flower is Eryngium, which I have never heard of.  Don't they look like star bursts?
If you like lemon, I think you'll love this recipe.  It's not as pretty as it could be, because we were too anxious to cut into it, and didn't let it set up the proper amount of time. 

1 graham cracker crust for a 9" pie, store bought or for homemade, check here
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 (3.4 oz.) box instant lemon pudding
2 t. Fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 (21 oz.) can blueberry pie filling

Combine cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix at medium speed for 1-2 minutes, until smooth.

Add pudding mix, lemon zest and lemon juice; mix until well blended.

Spoon about half of the pie filling into the bottom of the graham cracker crust. Spoon lemon filling on top and spread evenly. Cover and chill for at least an hour.

Spoon remaining pie filling on top just before serving.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Cherry Pie Bars

Won't you join me for some tea and cherry pie bars? I have an extra plate, fork and cup for you!  I am using my everyday Mikasa English Countryside and our wedding silverplate,  Rogers Bros. Reflections pattern.  I decided to take the flatware out of it's case and use it every day and enjoy it. 

I'm using my tiny wagon with my vintage-looking teddy bear, which is sitting on one of my new towels from Marsha, at  I also used one of the towels on my table. The little plaque is from the $Tree.
I found this recipe at and had to give them a try. The base of the bars is a soft batter and it tastes like a wonderful soft sugar cookie.  These would be a great addition to a Memorial Day potluck. Here's my slightly adapted version and they were a big hit at our house!


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cans (21 ounces each) cherry pie filling (I only used 1 can)

  • GLAZE:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-3 T. milk


  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts. Gradually add flour.

  • Spread 3 cups batter into a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Spread with pie filling. Drop remaining batter by teaspoonfuls over filling. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

  • In a small bowl, mix confectioners' sugar, extracts and enough milk to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over top. Yield: 5 dozen.  (I cut mine in larger sizes!!)

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Thank you, Marsha!

This past week, I was sent a box of gifts from my friend, Marsha, from The Better Baker!  How exciting to open a box and find all these wonderful things inside!  Of course, I LOVE cookbooks and read them like novels,  and this Taste of Home Annual Recipes 2013,  will provide all kinds of wonderful inspiration.  Aren't the tea-towels so pretty and vintage-like and perfect for summer??  The microfiber cloth is one of Marsha's all-time favorite things and now I have one.  I have been shining my kozy kitchen up like crazy!!!  Streaks are my enemy and now I have something to wipe them away.  She even sent me some soothing teabags because she knows me so well.

Thank you, Marsha, for blessing me with these thoughtful gifts!
Check out Marsha's blog,, for some wonderful recipes and say "hi".
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Open House
Share Your Cup
Seasonal Sunday

               Thank you for your visit!  xo

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Ramsign Welcome Sign

Awhile back, I won the Ramsign giveaway at my friend Debbie's blog at  I was able to choose this wonderful "Welcome" sign instead of a numbered sign, which was shipped all the way from Denmark!   My sweet hubby helped me put it on my seasonal basket.  Doesn't it look beautiful on there?  You can check out other designs at 
Thank you so much, Debbie!  I love my special sign.  Please visit  Debbie and tell her I said "hi"!
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              Thank you for your visit!  xo

Monday, May 13, 2013

Apricot Cream Cheese Scones

Please join me for some apricot tea and apricot cream cheese scones in the garden!  I'm using my hand painted plate and matching tea cup from my late Aunt Kitty. 
I filled my lantern with some matching flowers and used my Royal Doulton figurine that my dear Dad bought my Mom, and Mom gifted to me. 
I just can't seem to get enough scones to many choices!  I noticed this recipe on King Arthur Flour awhile back and tried it.  Oh my, are they ever good!  One of our sons said, "That's the best scone I've ever had!"   One tip for making scones that King Arthur gives, is to put the unbaked scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, which gives a higher rise to the baked scones.  You also can fully freeze the unbaked scones, put them in freezer-proof bags, and then take out what is needed, when needed,  and bake.  The scones will require an additional 5 minutes of baking time from the frozen state.     Here's the recipe:

  • 3 1/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream or Neufchatel cheese
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup diced dried apricots
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I think 1 t. of vanilla and 1 t. of almond would be good)
  • 1/4 cup milk, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons more, if needed
  • Sparkling sugar for garnish, optional

1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Have on hand an ungreased baking sheet, or line with parchment.
2) In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3) Cut in the cream cheese and butter, using a pastry blender, fork, a mixer, or your fingers, until the chunks of butter are the size of peas.
4) Stir in the apricots.
5) In a separate container, whisk together the egg, vanilla and milk.
6) Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened.
7) Turn the dough out onto a floured piece of parchment or waxed paper, and fold it over several times, until it holds together. Pat the dough into a 3/4" thick square or circle.
8) Cut the dough into squares, wedges, or diamonds. (I then put the scones in the freezer for 30 minutes and proceeded with the next step,  or freeze all of them and put in freezer-proof bags).
9) Brush the tops lightly with milk and sprinkle with sparkling white or pearl sugar. Place the scones about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
10) Bake for 18 minutes, until the tops are light golden brown. Serve hot, with clotted cream and jam or raspberry curd.
I made 16 scones. 
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry Crust

For my Chicken  Pot Pie table, I've used my crocheted topper along with pretty red polka dot placemats.  I made the black and white gingham napkins. 
The polka dot hen is from Hobby Lobby, which is nesting in a basket.  The candle came from Wimberley, TX and I added a polka dot bow to carry on the theme. 
The cheery polka dot ramekins are from Ross and I've used my red Cambridge flatware. 


I am on a roll with Puff Pastry lately and wanted to make a comfort dish and decided on chicken pot pie.   I had never tried puff pastry on top, but after making it and my hubby declaring it "the best chicken pot pie ever", you'd better believe that I'll be making it this way from now on!!

3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
3 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
some fresh thyme, taken off the stems or some dried thyme
 3 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 sheet of puff pastry
1 egg beaten with 1 T. water

Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Add the celery, onion, and mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes.  Stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute.  Add the chicken stock, poultry seasoning, and fresh thyme.  Stir and cook until thickened.  Add the chicken and heat through. 

Cut the puff pastry into fourths.

Divide the chicken mixture into four 8-ounce ramekins.  Wet the rims of the ramekins with some water.  Top each ramekin with the puff pastry square, press down around the rim.  It's okay to have an overhang of pastry.  Cut a slit in the top to vent.  Brush with the egg wash.   Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.  YUM!

NOTE:  You could but this in a square baking dish and just top with the sheet of puff pastry. 

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On the Menu Monday
Inspire Me Tuesday
Let's Dish!                                                                                              
Weekend Potluck
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Monday, May 6, 2013

Cinnamon Twists

This delicious, dainty treat is perfect for breakfast or with tea and today I'm having green tea.    This recipe is easy to prepare and would be perfect for kids to help with.  In fact I haven't made these in years, but after making them,  one of our sons said that "these are amazing", and my hubby said, "these are so good"!  You know,  I can make something completely from scratch and the simplest things get the raves!!   Here's the recipe:

1/4 cup brown sugar
2T. butter, softened
1 t. cinnamon
1 (8-oz) can crescent rolls


3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 T. butter
1-2 T. hot water

In a small bowl, combine first 3 ingredients.

Separate crescent rolls into 4 rectangles, firmly press perforations to seal.

Spread rectangles with sugar mixture. Top with remaining 2 rectangles. Cut each rectangles into 8 strips. Twist each strip several times and flatten on a greased cookie sheet, or onto parchment paper.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove immediately onto wax paper.

Mix together ingredients for the glaze. Glaze while twists are warm.

Makes 16 twists.

Here's my little gnome garden.  I wanted a fairy garden, but haven't found a tiny fairy yet.  In it are some blue pebbles from the $ Tree spilling out of a little blue bowl that my Mom sent me.  The birdhouse is perched in the back with an iron bench on the right with a bird bath with the frog.  I keep it outside on my patio, but the day was windy and chilly, so tea was inside!
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           Thanks for visiting me today!  xo         
The Dedicated House

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Guacamole for Cinco de Mayo

For  our Cinco de Mayo celebration, I've used some bright orange fabric as a table runner and my straw placemats to go with the sombrero.  I'm serving guacamole in a margarita plastic "glass" from Walgreens.

I lined the sombrero with plastic wrap and filled it with chips.

I made the chile pepper napkins with the easiest mitered corner, following the directions, found here.  These turned out great!  The only difference from the tutorial is that I lined mine, so that they are two-sided.

My taste in guacamole is very simple. All that's needed are the avocados  and a few other ingredients.    If you want more, add some chopped onion and tomatoes.  Here's how I make it:
3-4 ripe avocados
fresh lemon or lime juice ( I prefer lime)
garlic salt to taste, but I'm now adding the McCormick's Chile/Garlic salt (LOVE that stuff!)

Peel the avocado, take out the pit and mash, leaving some chunks for texture, unless you like it smooth.  Squeeze in some lemon or lime juice and add the garlic salt to taste.  Enjoy!

I'm serving one of our favorites dishes to accompany this, which is Hot Mexican Chicken Salads. 
Happy Cinco de Mayo!  
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