Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spider Pizzas

I had three granddaughters spend the night and we made Spider Pizzas to get in the Halloween spirit!  I saw this idea in a magazine when I was at the hairdresser.  You could do this with bagels or English muffins. The girls enjoyed helping with this fun edible project.  Here's how we did it:

1 package of English muffins, split apart
Pizza sauce
grated mozzarella cheese
black or green pitted olives

Spread some sauce on the English muffin halves.  Top with pepperoni and cheese.  Add a large black or green olive to the top.  Cut  8 legs for each spider and place around his body.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  

Aren't they adorable??
We also made witch hats and candy acorns and remember...
What happens at Nana's stays at Nana's!!!

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Thank you for your visit!  xo

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tea Cup Exchange

Sweet Stephanie from The Enchanting Rose has the most fun teacup exchange!  It is such a treat to buy the teacup for someone that you're paired up with and then you mail the box off.  You kind of forget that you'll be receiving a box in return and then...surprise!!..a box shows up on your doorstep.  You've always heard the old adage "that it's better to give than receive".  However, in this case, both giving and receiving are both a lovely experience.  I received a pretty hand decorated note from Christy and the most gorgeous transferware teacup, an assortment of delicious teas, wonderful chocolate coated butter cookies, and  raspberry lotion.  How did Christy know that I adore peanut M&M's??!!  I'm having some pumpkin chai tea with two of the butter cookies for today's tea.

Just look at this beautiful scene on the teacup!!  I am completely smitten with the color and design.  

 Here's a close look at the saucer.  Isn't this the prettiest, most tranquil scene?  Ahhhh... It just transports me to another time and place..

Here's the bottom of the cup, which is by Nasco, hand painted Lakeview, made in Japan design.  Thank you so much Christy for your thoughtful gift.  I feel completely spoiled and have enjoyed your gift so very much.

I sent my gift to the lovely Deborah at The Beautiful Matters.  You can see her post by visiting here.
Please make sure to visit The Enchanting Rose and say "hi" to sweet Stephanie who hosts and organizes this event.

I am sharing this with:

Anything Blue
Thank you for your visit!  xo

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Salisbury Steak

I was craving some comfort food and found this recipe on  They used the slow cooker on low for several hours, after browning the meat.  I just used a skillet and put that in the oven on low for several hours. Another alternative would be to use an electric skillet for browning the meat and mushrooms and turning that on low for several hours. This makes a fabulous gravy, which is great over mashed potatoes.  Here's my adapted recipe, cut in half and adding mushrooms:

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 envelope of dry onion soup mix
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 T. milk
2 T. flour
2 T. vegetable oil
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 can cream of chicken soup (I used the Healthy Choice that is lower in sodium)
1/2 of a 1-ounce packet of dry au jus mix
1/2 of a soup can of water

1.  In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, onion soup mix, bread crumbs and milk, using your hands.  Shape into 4 patties.

2.  Heat the oil in a large skillet,  Dredge the patties in flour, just to coat, and brown on both sides in the skillet.  Remove the patties to a plate and add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet.  Saute' the mushrooms  for a several minutes.  Add the patties on top of the mushrooms. 

3.  In a medium bowl, mix together the soup, au jus mix and the water.  Pour over the meat and mushrooms.  Cover the skillet and put in a low oven (around 220-225 degrees) for around 4-5 hours.

Makes 4 servings

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Thank you for your visit!  xo

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monster Cookies

I'm having one of my all-time favorite cookies with some chai tea today.  My pumpkin character came from Home Goods awhile back.  

I love this teacup!  Doesn't it look like pretty calico fabric?  In fact, it's name is Calico, by Crownford China, made in Staffordshire, England. I just love the brown color for Fall.

No, these cookies don't look like monsters, but they are monstrous in size!  The actual name for them from my Treasury of Cookies and Brownies cookbook is,  Peanut Butter Jumbos, but I have seen them elsewhere, named Monster Cookies.  They happen to be a real family favorite, an all-time personal favorite of mine, and they are gluten free.  I hope you try these to share with all the big and little monsters you love. 

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 cups peanut butter
3 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 and 1/2 cups uncooked rolled oats
1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

Beat butter, sugars, peanut butter and eggs in large bowl until well blended.  Blend in baking soda, vanilla and oats until well mixed.  Stir in chocolate chips and candy pieces.  

Scoop out about 1/3 cupful of dough for each cookie.  I use an ice cream scoop instead, which is about a 1/4 cup.  Place on prepared cookie sheets, spacing about 4 inches apart.  Press each cookie to flatten slightly.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until firm in center.  I only bake mine for 15 minutes.

Makes about 18 cookies, if using 1/3 cup, or about 30 with the ice cream scoop.

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 Thank you for your visit! xo

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Easy Chicken Tetrazzini

This recipe is so creamy and delicious and great for a crowd.  Even if you don't have a crowd, it's nice for leftovers.  I hope you give it a try. 

3-4 chicken breasts
13.25 ounce package spaghetti (I love Dreamfields pasta, which is lower in carbs)
1/4 cup butter
8 ounces mushroom, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can low sodium chicken broth
about 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Parmesan cheese, for garnishing the top

Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and bake for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool and then chop.

Cook the spaghetti noodles in boiling salted water, but under cooking them by a few minutes. This just makes them less mushy when they cook in the oven later on.  Drain and put in the bottom of a 9 x 13" pan. Add the chopped chicken on top of this.

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the minced garlic and the sliced mushrooms and sauté for several minutes. Add the two soups, chicken broth and the thyme and bring to a boil. Pour this mixture over the spaghetti and the chicken.

Sprinkle on the cheddar cheese and then the Parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until heated through and bubbly.

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Thank you for your visit!  xo

Monday, October 13, 2014

Salted Apple Caramel Crisp Bars

My outdoor tea today is featuring these wonderful bars, and the recipe for them is on the back of the box of cake mix from Pillsbury.  They're like biting into apple crisp, but in bar form.  My sister gave me the glass apple plate awhile ago and I just love them for Fall.  She also gave me the "Autumn" blocks years ago. 

A friend told me about the recipe last Fall and I found the cake mix and icing at Target.   All the icing isn't used in the recipe, but I refrigerated the rest to use on cupcakes when the grands visit.

  I'm using a favorite mug for my tea that I found last year.  Apple cider would be so go, too.

Two granny smith apples go into the topping, after the crust is baked for a bit.  I hope you can find this mix and icing.  I seem to have the best luck at Target. 

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 Thank you for your visit!  xo

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Checkerboard Chili

Miz Helen from Miz Helen's Country Cottage is having her annual Chili Cook-off.  I've decided to enter this fabulous chili recipe, which comes from a cookbook that some dear friends gave me in 1996, called With Heart and Soul Among Friends.  I've adapted this recipe to suit my tastes, and I hope you give it a try.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts halves, cut into 1" pieces
1 red pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. olive oil
2 T. chili powder
2 t. salt
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15 oz.) cans white kidney (cannelini) beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 can beer (or chicken broth)

Grated cheese to add at the end

Saute' chicken, red pepper, onion, and garlic in oil in a soup pot about 5 minutes or until chicken is just cooked.  Add chili powder, salt, cumin and coriander; cook 3 minutes.  Stir in beans, tomatoes and beer (or chicken broth).  Bring to a boil.  Simmer 45 minutes, uncovered, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat to lowest setting.  Stir in about 1 cup of shredded cheese at the end, or if preferred, garnish with the grated cheese.

Make sure to serve some cornbread  with your chili.  You can find my favorite recipe  here.  

Wouldn't you love a bowl of this Checkerboard Chili?  I'll save some for you!

 Make sure you visit the Chili Cook Off and tell Miz Helen "hi" from me!
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The Texas Star Chili Cook Off

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy 40th Birthday, Molly!

Today's tea is in honor of my daughter's 40th Birthday! She's the beautiful mother of four of my precious grandchildren. 

 On the day that Molly was born, my sweet hubby, Rich,  brought roses for her.  He wanted to be the first man in her life to do that.  I'm sure he's smiling down from heaven today.

My friend Debbie, from Mountain Breaths made birthday blocks for her son awhile back.  I kept that idea in the back of my head to do for my daughter.  Debbie told me to use a fence post and get the blocks cut in squares, which I had done, and my son, Mike,  sanded them for me.  I searched through old photo albums and chose the pictures.  Mike scanned them into a square size and printed them out.  Then, like Debbie advised, I used Mod Podge to adhere the photos to the blocks and then Mod Podged on top.  I used scrap book paper for the fronts of the blocks and found some pretty initials for her name.  You can see the blocks that Debbie made hereThanks for the inspiration, Debbie! 


I was the winner of this pretty teacup from Martha at Martha's Favorites.  Martha sent me two teas to try, along with a darling dish for my used teabag.    Thank you, Martha!!

Happy Birthday, beautiful daughter!!  May you have much more than 40 more years of joy and happiness!  I love you!

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Thank you for your visit!  xo

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