Saturday, March 31, 2018

Easter breakfast, the day before....

Easter arrived so quickly this year....

A few weeks ago I bought these cute "bunny" plates and almost forgot to use them!

They coordinated well with my ceramic dishes...

...and made the perfect table setting...

... for fresh fruit, veggie omelets and sausage links!

...and Mimosas!!

Wishing you a Happy Easter and Happy Spring!

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Stuffed Pepper Soup...and cheery table setting....

I love soup!

So, today I made Stuffed Pepper Soup....'s much easier than making stuffed peppers, too....

...and a little sprinkle of cheese on top....

...makes it taste just as good as the real thing!

Stuffed Pepper Soup:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lg onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic sliced thin
1 C uncooked rice
1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
1 can tomato sauce (14 oz)
1 32oz box chicken stock
2 C water
1 t oregano
1 t basil
1/2 t jalapeno salt
1/2 t seasoned pepper
1/2 crushed red pepper
2 T powdered beef stock
3 bell peppers, cut into large chunks
shredded cheddar for topping
In a lg soup pot brown the ground beef with garlic, onions and rice (browning the rice adds a nutty flavor).  Add tomatoes, sauce, stock, water and seasonings.  Bring to a boil and lower heat.  Add peppers and simmer for another 20-30 minutes.  Serve with cheese on top! Serves 6.

Serve with a salad and crusty bread!

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Cinnamon Beer Bread....

I made a loaf of Cinnamon Beer Bread.....

...and I know it looks pretty....

...but I don't think I like beer bread!!!   Too heavy and dense for my taste - but it didn't go to waste.

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Cherry Cupcakes.....

There is always a box of cake mix or brownies in the pantry!  

That's a good thing....

...because it's a quick dessert to make when you find out friends might stop by for a quick visit...

...and it can all be served on a big tray.... make it extra special....

...cherry cupcakes - YUM!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Flat Stanley came to NY.....

Each year a second grader from Ohio sends me a Flat Stanley.

One of the reasons the Flat Stanley Project has become the longest-lasting literacy project is due to the simplicity of the concept.

Students send a Flat Stanley cut out paper boy to a school, a celebrity, a family member, a politician or anyone of interest and the recipient returns the little flat boy along with a completed journal and perhaps some souvenirs such as post cards, photos, or special items.

Flat Stanley and I ventured out around town and took some photos...

...and Flat Stanley and I went shopping and bought this sweet second grade girl a few little gifts...

...and he even got to sit on the Easter Bunny's lap!

I made a booklet out of all of the photos and wrapped the gifts and sent it back to Ohio, along with Flat Stanley!

In years past the Flat Stanleys who have visited me have gone on airplanes, visited Cape Cod, blew away from me in Boston (but was retrieved), and even went to the Syracuse Univ. Carrier Dome.  

It's always fun to have him come and visit, and to help a young student who is learning to connect literacy with geography!

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Monday, March 19, 2018

A simple dinner and table setting....

I have set the table for just the two of us....

... with MacKenzie-Childs enamel dishes and Ikea placemats.

You might notice that the black Flower Market dishes are not bright and vibrant, but rather pastel....

....I purchased these at the Barn Sale and went though 3 stacks of dishes to find 4 matching salad plates.  I like the softer pink and thought they would coordinate better with my Taylor ceramics!

This is what the actual pattern should look like:

I purchased flower balls at Pier 1 Imports to use on my candlesticks for spring....

So, what are we having for dinner?

Tonight we are having Beef Stew and hot rolls!


  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3/4 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into bite size chunks
  • 3 baby red potatoes, cut into bite size chunks
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • 2T 2% milk or your preferred milk/milk alternative
  • STEP 1: Add 1 cup of the broth, the ranch seasoning, tomato paste, sugar and black pepper 
    to a large 6 quart slow cooker. Whisk until well combined. Whisk in the remaining broth.
  • STEP 2: Add the beef, potatoes, onion, mushrooms, carrots, celery and garlic. Stir well.
  • STEP 3: Cover and cook on low for 8–9 hours
  • STEP 4: Add the corn starch and milk to a small bowl. Whisk to dissolve. Add the corn starch 
    mixture and peas to the slow cooker. Stir well. Cover and increase the heat to high. Cook for 
    30 more minutes to thicken the stew. 

    Give this stew more flavor by searing the beef before placing into the slow cooker. Make sure your pan is hot with a thin 
    coating of oil and gently set the pieces of meat in the pan for a few minutes on each side, until browned. This will 
    caramelize the beef and give your soup a complex, savory flavor.
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Saturday, March 17, 2018

St Patty's Day Happy Hour

So what to drink?

Blue Lagoon: 
Fill a highball glass with ice and pour in your vodka and blue curacao. Top the rest of the way with lemonade, and garnish with a wedge of lemon.

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