Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Easy Ham and Corn Chowder-Foodie Friday

     Today is my birthday, you would think that I would post a complicated and fabulous dessert, but I like to take it easy on my day! This is a very simple recipe from the stack that I jotted down while sitting with my niece in the hospital. Therefore, I don't know what magazine it was from. I'll add the credit if someone has it. I usually take pictures while I'm cooking, but sometimes I get busy and forget. This was one of those times. It is so simple to make, step by step pictures aren't even necessary. I didn't expect much from this soup. It was too easy and the ingredients were a bit too "prepared" for my usual taste. I was pleasantly surprised. I still love soups that simmer all day long, but when you want something "homemade" in a hurry...this one works!


1 can reduced fat Cream of Celery Soup (don't buy Wal-Mart brand)
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1 can whole kernal corn, drained
1 can cream style corn
1/2 c. (I used a cup or so) cubed, fully cooked ham
2 T. dried minced onion (optional)
2 T. chopped fresh parsley (optional)
1 can cooked white potatoes (diced)

Sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese to garnish if desired.

Combine soup and milk. Add everything but the potatoes and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add potatoes and heat all the way through. Dip into bowls and garnish.

*note-I had never bought potatoes in a can before, but really in this recipe I couldn't tell a difference.

I am linking with Michael @ Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday.
Please take some time to visit and make yourself very hungry!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween After Dark...

     Usually when setting a table, I think about how it will look when my guests walk into the room. The fact that it looks nice by candlelight is just an added bonus. I approached this Halloween table differently. I started with a black table runner and round black placemats. I moved my haunted house from my library table, along with my crow and jack-o-lantern. The white pumpkin is real (the crow is not).  Paper Mache candy corn is scattered around the table.

     I had already done one Halloween tablescape a few weeks ago for a dinner party. I wanted this table to look completely different. I wanted this table to be more subtle. The colors aren't as bright, and it doesn't scream Halloween...until the lights are off!

I love candy corn. This darling paper mache
candle ring was a gift from a friend. I love the softer colors.

A sweet little Cast Art witch stands watch over the table.

     I used black and white place settings, You have seen all of the pieces before. The white charger plates and charcoal flatware are from HomeGoods, the black dinner plates are from Wal-Mart and the Royal Stafford bowls were a TJ Maxx find. The napkins I bought last year after Halloween at HomeGoods. The black stemware is from a garage sale.

Time to turn off the lights!

You have to use your imagination just a little.
There was almost too much candlelight for the pictures!

The candle glow creates a mood...

The ghosts come out to play...

Happy Halloween!

I am linking today with Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch
for Tablescape Thursday. Make sure you stop and see
all of the wonderful tablescapes!

Prairie Grass, Sunshine and Indians...Oh My!

     It was a beautiful weekend in Illinois and we had our hands full of little boys at our house. We decided that a trip to a nearby nature center would be a good place to let them burn a little energy. As you can see, where I is very flat!

The prairie grasses are wild and beautiful.

The dry weather has really affected the color this fall.
Our trees just aren't as pretty as they usually are.

The water levels are very low.

It is still a beautiful sight on a warm, fall day.

Do you see how dry it is?

But the sky is so blue...

...and there are surprises in the woods.

A real Indian!

A train ride!

There are places to explore and things to see!

I am joining Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday
Please take a few minutes to visit our hostess.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Taking Tea With Alice-Table Top Tuesday

     While dusting a shelf today, I came across a book I had forgotten I had. It is the sweetest book about tea parties and pretty things. I took a few minutes to stop and read through the pages.

     I drink tea every day, so does my husband. I even make my tea with tea leaves instead of tea bags most of the time. What I forget to do, is "make it pretty"! I tend to make my tea in an oversized mug, carrying it around the house with me as I do whatever I'm doing that day. Tea should be special sometimes. It should be elegant.

     It doesn't always have to be a "party" for several guests. There doesn't have to be course after course of scones and little sandwiches. Sometimes taking tea can simply be a pretty cup, a fresh flower and a simple cookie. It is more about how it feels than how it looks!

     So, I poished my favorite sterling silver tray. I got out my white teapot with pastel blossoms and the matching cups and I made some tea.

     The cups and teapot were a gift from my parents for Christmas several years ago. They  are Sadler Wellington, fine bone china.

A few lingering roses from my yard add a touch of color.

I like my tea with just a little sugar.

The napkins are actually paper hand towels.
I love to use them as napkins because of their size and shape.

Now that is how we should enjoy a cup of tea.
Don't you think we would feel so much better
if we would savor the moment once in a while?

*Taking Tea With Alice was written in 1997.
There appears to be a newer edition currently available on Amazon.

I am linking today with:

Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday
Lady Katherine @ Lady Katherine Tea Parlor for Tea Time Tuesday
Kathleen @ Faded Charm for White Wednesday

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Don't Make the Mistake We Did...Please Read!

     I almost hate to write about what happened to us on the way home with the grandsons Friday night, but I decided that if it happened to just might happen to someone else. We met our grandson's mother about an hour from our house at 6:00 p.m. Friday night. After making certain that both boys were secure in their car seats, had Happy Meals (ugh) in their laps and were all settled in, we started for home.

     We have a large SUV. I know, we aren't being very "green" but we travel often and we like the space. It does have child locks, but we had disabled them because to be honest, most people don't like to be forced to be locked into a vehicle and have to ask the driver to "let me out of here"! Considering that we raised 2 children of our own and had 100's of others in our cars over the years without a problem, we simply didn't consider what could happen.

     As we were driving down the interstate at somewhere between 65-70 mph, our just turned 2-year-old grandson opened the car door. I heard the air sound and yelled at my husband to STOP THE CAR! Luckily, we were in the right lane. Luckily, the door didn't swing wide open until we stopped the car. Luckily, no one hit us from behind as we pulled off the highway. Luckily, it was a full 10 minutes after getting back on the interstate that the same busy 2-year-old unhooked his seat belt and therefore was no longer attached to his car seat. This was a new car seat, as the old one he crawled out from under the straps the last time he was here. He was 2 last weekend. At 2, my kids were still lumps. They sat where we put them, they didn't unlock house doors, climb out of cribs, go outside without asking or open the door of a moving vehicle.

     Needless to say, our child locks are now hooked up again...but it certainly didn't stop him from unhooking the seat belt again yesterday. I am only talking about this because it scared me to death...not so much what did happen, but what could have happened. We have our grandsons about once a month, so we had no idea that he could do the tricks he can. Don't get me wrong, he is as sweet as they come and is just curious and fearless. We are just so careful with them and yet we still could have had a tragedy. We learned our lesson about the door locks. I wish I could say he learned a lesson too, but I doubt it! I hope that we are the only ones out there that had disabled the child locks, but somehow I doubt that too! We did have a great weekend with them and I'll have more pictures later in the week. Thanks for reading this.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Some Things Are Better Than Blogging!

It is very busy at our house this weekend.
I hope you are all having as much fun as we are!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Crab Bites-Foodie Friday

     I had several people ask me for my Crab Bite recipe after I served them for both my sister's birthday party and a recent gathering of friends. It is a recipe my mom and I have had for many years. It is very easy and they can be made ahead and frozen unbaked.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 5 oz jar Old English Cheese Spread
1 stick butter, softened
1 6 oz can crabmeat, drained
1 T. Mayonaise
pinch garlic powder
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
I package (6) English Muffins

Mix the Old English, butter, crab, mayo, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce until well blended. Separate English muffins into halves, then cut into quarters. Spread crab spread onto muffins and bake approx. 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

These are pre-baked. Of course I forgot to
take a picture of them when they were done!
They should be melty and lightly browned.

I am linking today with Michael @ Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday
It is the best place to look for wonderful recipes!

Let The Sun Shine...Tablescape Thursday

     The focal point for my table today is a beautiful scarf that belonged to my mother. I actually brought it home to use on a table, but now I think I'm also going to wear it. It really is gorgeous with all the fall leaves and bright color against the black background.

I paired it with green placemats and
napkins with bright orange sunflowers.

     I've had these cute little sunflower plates for several months and I finally decided to use them. They were a clearance buy at TJ Maxx for $5, complete with a little iron stand to hold them. They are Room Creative by Signature, the pattern is Red Sunflower. They are the perfect size for a small salad and sit well on my creamy white Wedgewood plates (estate sale).

The flatware is Rogers Bros. silverplate (garage sale).

     I used vintage crystal candlesticks to add a little height to the table. The pumpkins were a Dollar Store purchase. I remembered how many bloggers found them there last year, so I shopped early this year!

     A small crystal vase with the colors of the season to bring everything together, iron votives and my every day stemware finish the table.

     It is difficult to see this iron candle holder with the busy scarf under it. It has acorns and leaves. I like how it lifted a little of the candlelight off the table.

I love how the light reflected off the candle ring and the pumpkin in this shot.

I kept this table very simple.


I am joining Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch
for Tablescape Thursday. It is a fun visit
 to her place to see all the beautiful tablescapes.