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Posts from — March 2013

Easter brunch dessert and prep

Happy Easter from our home to yours.

a happy easter

I’m writing this post on Saturday afternoon as I bake, cook, and set up for our Easter brunch on Sunday. I love Easter, not only for the important purpose of the day and joyous celebration – allowing us to focus again on the foundations of our faith. But also for the relaxed family-oriented holiday that it is.

Sunday promises to be a beautiful day! It is expected to be in the mid to high 70’s while we are enjoying our outdoor meal.

Today I give you the recipe for our dessert and one of my impromptu decorating ideas. I’ll share the rest of the decor, tablescape, and recipes in the week to follow. Until then, I wish you all a Blessed and Happy Easter.


First the decorating…  I mentioned, in yesterday’s post, that Amy gave me a hostess gift of a mini succulent greenhouse. It was almost too cute to open but open it, but I did.


I transplanted all six of the succulents into vintage silver egg cups.


In the morning, I’ll incorporate them into the tablescape, until then they are hanging out on the vintage green scale in the kitchen along with the cute wooden bunny that Amy attached to the packaging. Pretty cute, right?

Now for the dessert –

First, a couple of quick notes: It is important to plan ahead for this bread pudding. Instead of the usual bread, I’m using angel food cake. The cake takes longer to dry out than bread would. So give it a good 48 to 60 hours to dry before you put the dessert together.


Secondly, I was too lazy to go to the liquor store to buy the amount of banana rum or banana liqueur I needed. I thought I had enough but it turns out the little “airline” bottles only hold 3 tablespoons liquid – I needed 4 tablespoons – so I used 1 tablespoon of mango rum to make up the difference.

Tasted Great!

Point is, to use what you want or what you have on hand. Spiced rum, regular rum, hazelnut liqueur, Galliano, whatever.


P.S. I found the double package of 6 mini angel food cakes at Costco.

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March 31, 2013   5 Comments

art and talent


Kim, Amy, Peggy, and Peggy’s daughter, Samme, came over yesterday afternoon to make Silk Tie Colored Easter Eggs. We had a lovely time decorating eggs and relaxing together. Those are my dozen above.

I’ll show you the rest at the end of the post, but before I do, I have to share with you something I am totally in LOVE with and OBSESSED with!

This morning, as I perused through Pinterest, I spotted the most wonderful thing.

CB cookies

I am amazed and in awe of people and their talent.


If someone created these cookies for me, I know that I would never eat one!

No, I would put them on a pedestal. I would shellac them and place them in little individual shadow boxes to admire every day! Call me crazy, but honestly, I would!!

drool worthy

The chalkboard effect is beyond fabulous.


Seriously! Shut the front door!

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March 30, 2013   1 Comment

Friday funnies

It seems as though most of you really enjoyed the Friday Funnies that I posted a couple of weeks ago. In fact, some asked that I make it a regular feature. I’m not sure I can do that… but I do have more for today.

sad but true

Sad, but oh so true!


YES!!! It does!


… and on their arms and hips too!


This one is posted for my sweet girl, Marissa! But, it’s more than OK – I love getting calls from her, no matter when or from wherever!  <3


This happens to me way too often!

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March 29, 2013   4 Comments

entertaining idea

I’m working on my Easter buffet and tablescape today.


Here is how I’ll be displaying/arranging my crudites this year.

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March 28, 2013   1 Comment

ahi easy

I love everything about ahi tuna. It is delicious. It is so easy to make. It is quick. It is perfect in every way… well except the price, it is kinda pricey… but it’s worth it!

ahi tuna in the ocean

Oh yeah, and it’s healthy too. Ahi or yellowfin tuna is low in saturated fat and sodium. It is a very good source of protein, thiamin, niacin, and vitamin B6. It is also a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

If only it was less expensive, I’d most likely eat it at least once a week. I looked back through the “Complete Recipe Index” over there on the left, and I already have seven recipes for ahi tuna … this makes number eight, and I’m certain it won’t be the last. Of the previous seven, there have been ahi sliders, appetizer bites, salad, tacos, and more.

This time around I’m marinating the tuna in a mixture of pineapple juice, garlic, and soy sauce. Don’t marinate for much more than three hours or the pineapple juice will begin to break down the tuna.

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March 27, 2013   1 Comment

skinny homemade turkey sausage

sausage salad

It’s easy and healthy to make your own sausage at home. Begin with lean ground turkey and you’re halfway there. You’ll yield about a dozen sausage patties with this recipe, and you only need 4 for the salad. Save the rest for another couple of meals… maybe to accompany your eggs the next morning.

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March 26, 2013   1 Comment

skinny thighs

cooked and thickened

These chicken thighs may be “skinny” but they are juicy and packed with flavor. The thanks go to a slow cooker and a few sugar-free Walden Farms products.

Of course, if you don’t have the sugar-free stuff; regular ketchup, barbecue sauce, and syrup or honey may be used instead, although your thighs will be “fatter” than these “skinny” ones.

15 thighs

I buy the boneless skinless chicken thighs at Costco. They come in a 6-pack, each pack contains five thighs. I used three packs, 15 thighs, for this recipe and put the remaining three packs in the freezer.

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March 25, 2013   2 Comments

Easter ideas

I’ve got a packed Saturday today, but before I hit the ground running, I want to remind you of a few of my Easter egg decorating and entertaining ideas.


This LINK will take you to a previous post and two videos. Silk-Tie Colored Easter Eggs, an Easter Buffet, plus decorating ideas and tips. It also includes the “how-to” for the cute fruit and shrimp pots above.

glue on moss clumps

This LINK will take you to the step-by-step instructions to make a moss runner, link the one you see on the Valley Dish video, for your table…


… and the prep needed for those “edible arrangement” pots too.


After you’ve watched the video in that first link for the Silk-Tie Colored Easter Eggs, go to this LINK for the step-by-step instructions. Beautiful and EASY!

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March 23, 2013   No Comments

sweet salvage and souvenir

Yesterday was once again the third Thursday of the month, which means that I made my monthly pilgrimage to Sweet Salvage.

grocery scale

The March theme is “Backroads & Blooms” – absolutely perfect for the first week of spring. But of course, it is, those Sweet Salvage women never disappoint!

silver stuff

Along with this basket full of little silver and glass trinkets, I purchased a super cool vintage industrial parts drawer chest.

my buy

The metal chest of drawers can be seen on the tabletop above, it is right there behind the glass pedestal dessert dome. And that’s all I bought. It may be a new record for the least amount of stuff I’ve hauled out of there at one time. This makes me think I should make a return visit before the weekend is over!


I loved this other industrial find, a set of gym locker cubbies, but it’s just too big, I’d have nowhere to put such a thing.

clock base

I absolutely adore this idea of using a clock as the base plate for a tall cloche. I’ll be stealing this look for sure!

The awesomeness of Sweet Salvage has not gone unnoticed. As I mentioned a couple of months back, my favorite lifestyle blogger and magazine editor, Heather Bullard, made the trip from California for a visit.

the magazine

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March 22, 2013   No Comments

birthday twins

Happy Birthday to two of my dearest friends. Two women whom I adore.

Their birthdays are only two years apart, but I won’t reveal who is older or their exact ages.

Let’s just say that one is a tiny bit more than decade younger than me and the other is just less than a decade behind me.

Yeah, they’re young and they are both gorgeous, inside and out!

bday girls

You may not be able to see them, but they are both in the image above. You can easily see that I am cooking with Tram Mai on the old Valley Dish. We are making Amy’s Famous Taco Soup. Because it is Amy’s recipe, I’d brought along a framed photo of Amy and her family… you can barely see it down in the lower right corner of the image.  Can you see it?

Since then, Amy and Tram have been together at my house a couple of times, but unfortunately, I’d never gotten a photo of them together, so until I do, this will have to do!


Before our mutual friend, Lori, moved to Chicago, we used to celebrate Amy (on the right) and Lori’s (center) birthdays together.

Happy Birthday, Amy! I love you!

linda and tram

This fun photo was taken in August 2010 when Tram invited me to cook with her on stage at Phoenix Cooks. Good times!

Happy Birthday, Tram! I love you!

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March 21, 2013   6 Comments