Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fresh Peaches & Cream Cake on a Flowery Table

The last day of May, and then June will start busting out all over! The teacher in me wants to say bursting, but the song says busting!  :)

This week's table features the lovely dishes Winchester, by Johnson Bros. my dear neighbor, Arlene, gave me.

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I used a pale yellow cloth, rattan chargers from Pfaltzgraff sale last summer, 2.00.

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The napkins are from my friend Pam who got them at the thrift shop for me.

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Napkin rings are recent from World Market.

Glasses are from the Lenox outlet.

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Flatware is from my friend Susan , Savoring Time in the Kitchen,who sent it to me for my birthday.  I liked it so much I got 8 more place settings as well as the soup spoons. 

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The flowers were a thank you from my friend and I put them in a rattan sleeve that my Mother's Day hydrangea came in.

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Yellow murano glass votive holder.

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Diann is having a Thrifty Tablescape Party, and since the napkins and dishes were free, and the silverware a gift as well as the flowers, I think it qualifies!

Last week I found a sale on peaches, .79 a lb.

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I knew I wanted to make a sheet cake for our beach community Memorial Day picnic Sat, so I bought a lot of them. You know I feel recipes stifle creativity , so I will tell you how the best I can.

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I blanched them, peeled , and sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon and some apricot brandy, just  a splash.

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Make your favorite recipe cake or pound cake, and replace the liquid  in the recipe with the juice that comes out of the peaches.

Bake the cake till it is firm, but not fully cooked.  Slather on a coating of peach preserves, then cover the top  with the sliced peaches.

Mix up some cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and a splash of vanilla.

Pour over the cake  and continue baking till the cake is done and the topping set.  Don't over bake.

I made 2 cake recipes and it made one full restaurant size sheet pan and a 9 in round.

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There wasn't a crumb left!

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Peaches and Cream Cake on a little peach plate!  :)

The pears were on sale too, so I used several in our dinner salad.

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I also made 3 large pans  of baked beans for the picnic. That's a lot of beans, but there had to be 200 people there! 

I do them overnight in the oven, low and slow.

I forgot to take pictures of the picnic!  It was a very busy time.

Next week I'll tell you how to make this, my version of Baked Greek shells with feta.  Easy and good!

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I am joining Susan at BNOTP for Tablescape Thursday , Gollum for Foodie Friday, and Diann for Thrifty Tablescape Party ,Friday.

I am also joining Sweet Tooth Friday.

I promised a little give away  for followers to start off June. 

A set of star shaped pancake molds from WSonoma.  Perfect for 4th of July!  Just let me know if you want in!

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Thanks for visiting, and happy JUNE!

If you are having trouble leaving a comment, uncheck the stay signed in box.  It seems to help!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Best


Edited to add...

I have visited at least 20 blogs and am unable to leave a comment.  It has me sign in over and over, but then won't post the comment.  Blogger says it is fixing it, but it is days now!


This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day.  It is a time to remember all those who have  died for our country.  I like to also remember those who have served and who are now serving.  How can we ever thank them?

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Unfortunately, it sometimes just becomes the mark for the beginning of summer, or "the season", as they say here.

Rentals from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the season begins.  Picnics, BBQ's , Beach trips and a day off, to go to all those sales!

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I hope during all those activities we all take time to remember why we celebrate.  Thank a veteran, support our troops, and say a prayer for the families who have lost loved ones.  I know you will.  They are the BEST.

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Agawam Park, Southampton, NY

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Our friend, Marine  Capt. Chris Meyers, above, will be deploying to Afghanistan for his  third tour as soon as his wife gives birth to their 3rd child this week. Please say a prayer for his safety.

I had hoped to set this table outside, but it is raining again.  I won't complain in light of the catastrophic weather others are having, especially in Missouri.

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Red, white and blue rug type placemats, blue dinner, red salad, and little white covered crock for the Long Island Clam Chowder.

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Stems and water pitcher  by Dansk, starred napkins and mats were from Kohls.  Stars from WSonoma Outlet, they are cookie cutters, repurposed to hold a name card.

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Star napkin rings from CTS as well as the dinner and salad plates.

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Red flatware by Cambridge and the little crocks are from CTS. Blue votives from Walmart a few years ago.

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The cherries are coming!  I saw them on sale for 1.99 lb.

Time to dig out my pitter, I love it!

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and make us a pie!table 4255

Stay tuned!


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Thanks for stopping by!

Joining Susan at BNOTP for Tablescape Thursday.

And Gollum for Foodie Friday.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Better Isn't Always Better

I've gone through my share of mixers over the years.

I have a KA stand mixer as well as a DeLongi 7 qt. stand mixer.

When I did catering I needed both.  You can't make 70 loaves of Irish Soda Bread in one night without a second mixer.  Well, you could, but I had to go to work the next morning, and I did need to sleep!  :)

You always need a hand mixer.  I had one of Wolfgang Puck's that had 3 beaters which I loved, but it puckered out on me. (BTW, did anyone see old Wolfie on HSN recently where he shared a little too much info about his sex life and also used inappropriate language?)  I bet he gets a little talking to about it!

So I bought this...

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Kitchen Aid, many speeded wonder.  NOT!

Pitiful power, took forever to whip the cream.

Didn't deserve space in my cabinet!

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I bought this one, for one fourth the price of the KA.

I got it in CTS and I had a coupon so it came to about 15 dollars.

Great power, and even a little bowl scraper that snaps on.

I don't know how long it will last, but while it has life, I am happy!

Our 41st Anniversary was Monday.  A dear friend died suddenly so we didn't celebrate, but DH did make a batch of Blueberry Apple Muffins for our breakfast.

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He does make the best muffins, and he won't even give me the recipe he made up.  He IS the Muffin Man for sure! :)

I haven't been able to visit much the last week, life comes first, blogging gets put on hold.  Plus my keyboard sometimes starts typing on its own in a very strange language.  My son hooked up a new wifi so I could use my ipad, and somehow the keyboard is throwing fits!

Hope to be back for Tablescape Thursday, God willing. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Paula~Favorites and Seasonal Sunday

I know I am late.  It hasn't been a good week. 

Lynn at Happier Than a Pig in Mud was having her monthly challenge.  Paula Deen recipe.  I looked and looked.  I wanted to make something I have never made before, but something that I would serve.

I looked at her carrot salad recipe, but she puts corn it hers, no thanks!

I had a cup of mashed potatoes that I had made the other night.

So I tried her Potato Puffs.  She calls them balls.

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We were grilling burgers, and I made some cole slaw.

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The recipe .....


I added chopped onions and some shredded cheddar.  They were ok, like a fritter, not something I could make again.

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Then since I had all that darn oil out, I used her recipe for a Blooming Onion.http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/recipe_view/cajun_onion_bloomers/

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The cutting went fine.

Then you have to massage the batter into the bloom. Now get it into the oil!

Drop root side down into the oil, brown, take it out.

With a sharp knife cup apart all the petals, (the batter makes them join together again) and put it open side down back  into the oil. 

This better be good, as it was a pain.  Not hard, just not fun!

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It was ok, the middle didn't get crisp enough.  If I make it again I will use the deep fry machine that dh wanted and is sitting unopened in the basement for 3 years!  But that's a big if!

I am sending Paula the bill for my visit to the cardiologist for sure! In the meantime I will try out for GREASE, I have a head start!  :)

Thanks for visiting and I am joining Happier than a Pig in Mud for the chef challenge, Laurie for Favorite Things and The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.

I took this from my kitchen window.  So pretty, but gone so quickly!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Apple Blossom Time~Dinner Too!

I wait all year for these to bloom.

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We have 4 of them that we bought 10 years ago when we built our house.  We knocked down our summer home here, and so there wasn't a tree left and we had to start all over again. 

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We bought them in Costco, little skinny things and they have thrived. 

They are my inspiration for tonight's table.

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I tried to do it outside, but the wind was not cooperating!  So I moved inside.  We aren't set up outside yet, we have to wait for the green pollen to finish falling.  If you clean everything and put it out, it will be green in the morning!

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Apple blossoms in my lion's head bowl is the centerpiece.

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Hot pink ruffled charger, CTS, white Gibson dishes, paisley cloth and paisley napkin from WSonoma.  I doubled it with a green napkin.

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Green rattan napkin ring, PBarn outlet, under $1.  The napkins and round cloth on sale also, I never pay full price.

Sprig of Lily of the Valley to please the nose, achoo!

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Pretty green flatware a birthday gift from my friend Susan at Savoring Time in the Kitchen.  I love it!

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Glassware from Dansk, and pink ramekins for roll and butter from CTS.

One more shot, don't want you to get SCROLL FINGER FATIQUE, SFF, from scrolling through all the pictures. :)

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Dinner is  a simple one.  Chicken Francese, Roasted Cauliflower and Hasselback Potatoes.  There are recipes on the net, I sprinkled some freshly grated Locatelli cheese on top.

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Roasted cauliflower with butter.

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I make my Francese pretty much like this. I squeeze the juice of a large lemon into the sauce.

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I know I promised the recipe for the Chocolate Ricotta Cake.

Make your favorite Chocolate cake recipe, I used Ina's.  You can use a Duncan Hines Devils Food cake mix too if you don't mind boxed cake.  Prepare the recipe on the box.

In a large  greased  spring form pan,  pour in the choc cake batter.

Mix 1 lb of cream cheese, and one lb of drained ricotta cheese with 3 eggs, 3/4 C sugar. 1 teasp of vanilla.

Pour on top.  Bake at 350 for 60 min. Ice with a chocolate glaze. This will make a very rich cake.  I halved the cheese recipe for the small cakes I made.  I didn't want it to be as heavy.

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The more cheese mixture you add, the richer it will be.

I will try to make one in the spring form pan for this weekend's post so you can see it.

Thanks so much for visiting, and hope to see you for Favorite Things and Seasonal Sunday.

I am joining Susan at BNOTP for Tablescape Thursday, and Gollum for Foodie Friday,Beverly for Pink Saturday and Diann for Thrifty Fridays.


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