Monday, May 25, 2015

Farm Fresh Eggs and Home Smoked Bacon

 How about joining me for some eggs and bacon on toast with some melted cheese?  My youngest son and DIL live in Dallas and they have a chicken coop, and they recently shared some of their eggs with me. 

 I'm using my Old Britain Castle plate and teacup for Memorial Day.  

 Aren't these eggs so pretty?  They're even prettier in person.  The egg yolks are much brighter than store-bought eggs. 

 My son cures and smokes his own bacon, and slices it with an electric meat slicer.  This particular bacon was espresso and maple flavored.  Oh my, was it ever fabulous and the best bacon that I've ever tasted!  My son likes to use hickory wood for smoking the bacon.  I love using my cast iron skillet that I bought at a garage sale over forty years ago. 

I toasted some of my sourdough bread that I've kept going for 12 years now.  The starter was given to me from someone that said it had originated in the Civil War.  I put lots of grains, bulgur wheat, whole wheat and unbleached flour in it.  This was truly a delicious meal! 

 Happy Memorial Day and thank you to all of those who serve our country and those who have served!

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Blackberry Almond Cake

 We're still having rain here in the Dallas,  Texas  area, and tea is inside again.  These are some of my Mother's Day gifts that I received, and wanted to share with you.

 I've had this Royal Windsor teacup in my collection for many years,  and it was gifted to me by my next door neighbor, when I lived in Columbus, OH. 

The recipe for this cake comes from the cookbook that I pictured above, which is Quick and Easy Dump Cakes and More. My son said that the cookbook was also a "gift for himself" since he'd reap the rewards.  This dump cake produces such a yummy, crunchy top crust.  It's so easy, and yet so good.  


Blackberry Almond Cake

2 packages (12 ounces each) frozen blackberries, thawed and drained (I used fresh)
1/4 cup sugar
1 package (about 15 ounces) yellow cake mix
3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into thin slices
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13x9" baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Spread blackberries in pan; sprinkle with granulated sugar and toss to coat.  Top with cake mix, spreading evenly.  Top with butter in a single layer, covering cake mix as much as possible.  Sprinkle with almonds and brown sugar.
  • Bake 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool at least 15 minutes before serving.  
Makes 12-16 servings, but not with my son that's living here!

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Thank you for your visit!  xo

Monday, May 11, 2015

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

 It was a rainy Mother's Day and tea is indoors today, but that didn't stop us from having my very favorite cookie of all time!  Tulips are always so cheerful and polka dots make everyone happy! I love how the green in the plate picks up the green trim in the teacup. 


I'm using a cup that my dear Mom gifted to me from her collection.  I've shared it before, but I just love this Royal Albert bouquet of flowers, and I'm wishing I could be with my Mom, in Ohio.

Here's my all-time favorite cookie and one that I never get tired of eating.  I scoop the dough into balls and freeze them on parchment paper, pop them into a freezer-proof bag and bake them fresh, as needed.  Baking frozen balls of cookies really seems to keep cookies from spreading so much. 


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (from Neiman Marcus)

2 sticks butter, softened                                 
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. almond extract
2 cups flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
3 cups oatmeal
1 & 1/2 cups dark raisins
1 & 1/2 cups golden raisins

Place the butter, brown sugar & sugar in the bowl of electric mixer, fitted with paddle attachment.  Beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds., until the mixture is fluffy.  Turn down the speed to low & add the eggs & the extracts.  Beat for about 30 seconds longer.
In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda & salt.  Add to the mixer, while beating on low speed & beat for about 15 seconds, stopping the mixer once to scrape down the sides.  Add the oatmeal & raisins & beat for about 15 seconds longer.
(I am going to tell you how I do the next part, which isn't according to the cookbook.)

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the dough & put onto parchment-lined baking sheets.  Refrigerate the cookie balls on the sheets for about an hour.  Gently press out the dough with the back of your hand.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  Makes about 30 cookies.

NOTE:  Often I will put the shaped cookie balls on the baking sheets & put into the freezer.  When the cookie balls are frozen, I transfer them to freezer-proof plastic bags.  When I'm ready for a warm cookie, I put the cookie on parchment and bake for a few extra minutes. 

 I hope all of you had a wonderful Mother's Day!

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Thank you for your visit!  xo

Monday, May 4, 2015

Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars

 For my Cinco de Mayo tea we are having Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars, recipe courtesy of Pillsbury.

 My giant teacup planter is holding an angel wing begonia.  Senor Guacamole was designed by my son, Mike. 

 I'm using my Fiesta Ware dishes are perfect for mixing and matching.  These bars are so easy and so tasty.  I'm giving the full recipe, but I only made half.  Happy Cinco de Mayo!


  • 2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls (the seamless ones are great for this)
  • 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese (I used low fat)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of additional sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Press one package of crescent rolls into a 9x13 pan, making sure it is evenly pressed over the entire pan.
  3. Beat cream cheese,  1 cup of sugar, and vanilla together.
  4. Spread over crescent rolls.
  5. Unroll second can of dough and carefully place on top of cream cheese layer.
  6. Pour melted butter evenly over top.
  7. Mix together the 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon.  Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the butter.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until center is set.  Cool slightly, about 20 minutes.  Refrigerate for easy cutting.  Cover and refrigerate remaining bars.  You can reheat slightly in the microwave before serving, although some may prefer them chilled. 
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Thank you for your visit!  xo

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