Monday, June 29, 2020

Honoring Our Anniversary

 I was fortunate to be married to the love of my life for 43 years before he passed away to his heavenly home.  Our 50th anniversary would've been this past Saturday,  June 27, 2020.  As a way to celebrate the day and to honor our life together, I brought out our wedding album and some other mementos. 

Ahhh...young love!

 Yes, I still have leftover napkins from our reception.  

 This plate was a gift from my late Great Aunt Kitty, whose china painting teacher made this pretty plate.

 Our wedding cake topper still looks pretty good after 50 years, but just a little yellowed.

 I had some English breakfast tea in this pretty cup, which was again painted by Aunt Kitty's teacher, but Aunt Kitty painted the matching plate.  How do I know?  They signed their names on the back.

 I was thrilled to be one of four lucky recipients to win this adorable cake stands from the sweet Linda at Life and Linda. It arrived on my doorstep this past week.  I can see using this for so many things and for many tea parties.  Thank you, Linda!!  My friend Debbie at Mountain Breaths was also a winner, and she suggested that I make some little heart cookies for my anniversary. I thought that was a great idea.

 My friend Lynn at Happier Than A Pig In Mud had made some cute tie-dyed spritz cookies recently, and I had been wanting to try them.  Lynn showed how to form the balls of dough and place them in the cylinder of the cookie press. I colored mine to match my dishes. On my third round of filing my cylinder, my cookie press broke, and I had to slide the rest of the dough out and did slice and bake.  They still turned out really pretty.

Yield: 5-6 dozen
Quick Mix Spritz

Quick Mix Spritz

To make the tie-dye look, divide your dough to the colors that you want to use. I like Lynn, used gel colors, and I think they turned out pretty.


  • 2 and 1/4 cups sifted flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup shortening (I used butter flavored)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (my addition, but optional)


  1. Sift flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together in a bowl. (I use a whisk to do this , instead of sifting.)
  2. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut the shortening into the dry ingredients until the mixture is full of very fine lumps.
  3. Measure the egg into a measuring cup.  A large egg will measure 1/4 cup.  If it does not,add water to the 1/4 cup line.
  4. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract, if using, and beat the mixture very well.
  5. Fill press.  Form cookies on very cold, ungreased cookie sheet. (See Note)
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Remove at once to cooling racks. 


Put your cookie sheets in the freezer before making spritz cookies. They seem to adhere better, and never press the cookies onto warm or hot cookie sheets.
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Monday, June 22, 2020

Bee Tea Party

Ella and I chose a Bee Theme for this week's garden tea party.

 Here's Ella in her pretty tea party dress.  She choose the table covering to complement our dishes, teacups, teapot, and napkins.  Of course, she had her toenails and fingernails painted, and her hair beachwaved again. 

 Isn't this the cutest beehive teapot?  It came from HomeGoods before the Covid.  Ella decided that she wanted iced tea in it, and still use our pretty teacups, which was perfect for our Texas heat!  Ella chose Ahmad's Lemon Lime Twist tea, and she declared it as "interesting".  Let's just say that it wasn't our cup of tea!!!

 These are our pretty napkins that we used.

Ella set the table, and she chose a bee teacup that my daughter had given me, and I chose a Mary Engelbreit one that a friend had given me.  We used my plaid plates.  We had some homemade pimento cheese and some Boursin cheese and crackers, along with our salads.

 Ella sliced the strawberries with my egg slicer and arranged them on our lettuce, along with some roasted pecans, feta cheese, and chopped chicken.

 We enjoyed our time together and played Old Maids and Uno afterwards.

Yield: 6 cakelets + 1 mini loaf


I tried the cornbread recipe that came with my beehive cakelet pan, but it was very dry. I decided to use my old, tried and true recipe that I've been making for 40+years.  Ella poured on a simple glaze of powdered sugar and lemon juice, and attached the bees, from Wilton. 


  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. cornmeal
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 T. vegetable oil


  1. Spray the beehive cakelet pan with baking spray that contains flour.  You also can use a cast iron skillet or a 8" baking dish, or a  muffin pan.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add the milk to the beaten egg & add the oil. Stir this into the dry ingredients.
  4. Pour into prepared pan.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-18 minutes for the cakelets, and 20 minutes if using a cast iron skillet or baking dish. 
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 Ella's sister, Avery, wanted to go to a cupcake place, and that sounded great to me!  However, the place closed at 6 pm, and we sadly had to change plans and get some gelato. 

 My grandsons, Riley and Caiden wanted to go get wings after their football camp, and I was happy to take them.  The restaurant took our temperature before we were seated, and we were spread far apart inside from other tables.  


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Monday, June 15, 2020

Blackberry and Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

It's getting hot and steamy here in Texas, and I decided to make some frozen yogurt.  My son makes homemade yogurt in the Instant Pot and we had a surplus, and I found a recipe for this beautiful treat. 

A dear friend gave me this gorgeous purple Oxalis plant.  Another dear friend gave me the metal heart shaped basket so very long ago. 

My friend, Pat and I, had lunch at a tearoom/antique mall awhile back, and we both fell in love with this blackberry teacup, which is a Royal Worchester, Lavinia pattern.  We each bought one to give to each other.

This Blackberry Sage Tea refreshes, whether it's served hot or cold.  I don't know if it provides wisdom, like the canister says, but it is tasty!

Cissy and Harper and Hayden came over to have a slumber party at my house!!  Of course our time was filled with JOY! 

Raspberry and Blackberry Yogurt

Raspberry and Blackberry Yogurt

This frozen yogurt is so pretty and perfect for a hot summer day. My son makes yogurt in the Instant Pot and we had a surplus, and this frozen yogurt came to the rescue!


  • 2 heaping cups raspberries and blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 4 teaspoons  fresh lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/2 cups ( 2% or whole milk yogurt, standard or Greek (not nonfat)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt


  1. In a saucepan, combine the berries, 1/2 cup  of the sugar, and lemon juice. Mash the berries with a potato masher until they're broken up and juicy. Cook the berries over medium-high heat until the juices are thickened and jammy, 7 to 10 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to press the berries through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely. Discard the skins and seeds.
  2. When cool, whisk in the remaining sugar, yogurt, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt until the sugar has dissolved completely. Chill until completely cold, at least 2 hours, in the refrigerator then churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions. Enjoy immediately as soft serve or transfer the frozen yogurt to a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze until firm.
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Monday, June 8, 2020

Garden Tea Party with My Granddaughter

 My sweet granddaughter mentioned recently when she was leaving my house, that she loved my teacups, and wondered if we could have a tea party.  Well, this grandmother was so ecstatic and said that of course we could!

 Ella was excited to wear a pretty dress, and she had her toenails and fingernails polished, and  her hair curled with her beachwave curling wand.  She also brought a cute purse.  Shes filling up our mini food safe pots with pudding for our dirt cake, by squeezing it from a plastic bag, with a hole in the corner.  She's wearing an apron to protect her pretty dress.  I decided to wear a pretty dress, too, and we couldn't believe that we both had chosen pink!

 Ella chose to have our tea party in the garden.  I let her choose the  tablecloth, and the china pieces.  We used cloth napkins and Ella put the pillows for each chair.  We used my wedding crystal for our water, and Ella squeezed lemon into each goblet.  We decided to add some of my pastel sugar cubes to the lemon water to make some lemonade!

 Our menu consisted of tiny buns filled with turkey and gouda cheese, cucumbers with a topper of herbed cheese, and garnished with fresh herbs from the garden, carrot sticks, and grape tomatoes with ranch dip.  Ella is such a good eater and this was all foods that she loved.  Ella used my crinkle veggie cutter to cut the carrots and cucumbers. 

 She wanted to use this special teapot and matching teacups that dear friends gave to me.

 Our mini dirt cakes were so yummy!  All we used was vanilla instant pudding, mixed with 1 and 1/2 cups milk, and then some Cool Whip folded in.  One crushed up Oreo was enough "dirt" to top the little pots of pudding.  We planted the pots with faux silk flowers, that I had cleaned.  Ella put the tiny tea spoons into the pots.

Isn't she darling? Ella wanted to know how I got started with collecting teacups.  I explained that my late Great Aunt Kitty painted 6 sets for me, which consisted of teacups, saucers, and luncheon plates,  that she gave me as a shower gift, and now people know that I love tea, and they gift me with teacups.   We both enjoyed our tea party so much that we have so many more parties planned with different themes.  Ella is already planning what she wants to wear to each.  We are both looking forward to our next  tea time together.  We will be creating more memories together. 

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Monday, June 1, 2020

Best Brownies

 Today I've made  Best Brownies, which I have been making since the 1970's, but have never shared the recipe on my blog before now.   We can sit in front of my little waterfall, and enjoy some peace. 

 My neighbor gifted me with this  stack-able tea for one set several years ago.  Isn't it sweet?

 This is one of my birdhouses that I have in my backyard. 

 I guess I have a thing for birdhouses!

 My son, Mike, painted this picture and gave it to me for my February birthday.  It has all the birds that visit my backyard, and represent family members.  My granddaughter, Ella, asked Mike, "Where's Nana?"  Mike said that I wasn't in it, and she thoughtfully said, "Oh... Nana is the branch".  Wasn't that the sweetest?

 I have the painting hanging in my living room, and I love it!

Yield: 16
Best Brownies

Best Brownies

These truly are wonderful brownies, and are made with common pantry ingredients. I adapted the recipe to make in just one bowl, for easier cleanup.


  • For the Brownies:
  • 1/2 cup oil or melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional), but I like to put them on top of the frosting
  • For the Frosting (if using)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk


  1. For the Brownies:  Blend oil (or melted butter), sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.  Add eggs, and beat well with a spoon.  Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and mix until well blended.  Stir in nuts, if using (or save for topping).
  2. Spread in a greased 9" square pan (an 8" pan works, too).  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until brownie begins to pull away from edges of pan. Cool in pan.  Frost if desired.
  3. For the Frosting:  Cream butter, cocoa powder, corn syrup and vanilla in small mixing bowl.  Add powdered sugar and milk; beat to spreading consistency.  About 1 cup of frosting.
  4. Top with chopped nuts, if desired.
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