Please follow my blog by email.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ready for St. Patty's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day (a little early)!
I have always enjoyed St. Patrick's Day. When I am off work on that day, I like to make St. Patrick's Day Lemon Cupcakes. Hopefully, I will get to do that this year and post the cupcakes. For many years, I have attended the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Kansas City. Sometimes, it is a bit chilly, but always fun.

This table setting honors the Irish with the colors of orange and green.

The white plate is vintage Homer Laughlin, the Debutante Line.

The table runner was discovered at a thrift store--it was brand new! It always amazes me some of the stuff people get rid of. One man's trash is another man's treasure.

The disk pitcher is Poppy Fiesta released last year, and notice how that color matches the original "red" Fiesta which began production in the 1930s. A new color of Fiesta comes out in just a few days, and I can't wait!

I chose my gold chargers because green and gold are great St. Patty's Day colors.

The green dishes are vintage Jadite, and the glassware is from my grandmother. These are my favorite glasses.

I wanted a little more green, so I placed some Depression Glass plates in the Christmas Candy pattern under the jadite vase and rooster.

What would St. Patrick's Day be without a toast! This decanter set is a beautiful pale green, and I love it. I think it might be Tiara glassware.

A few festive shamrocks scattered about the table help with the holiday vibe.

The green napkins came from a thrift store. They were already pressed, YAY!

I am sharing at Between Naps on the Porch!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Cheery Valentine

I think I am longing for Spring, and this table brings a note of color and cheer even though we still have snow on the ground.

 I used Vintage Turquoise Fiesta, Post-86 Flamingo, Scarlet and Rose. The turquoise coffee pot is vintage. One of my favorites!

 The glassware was found at a thrift store. They have little bees on them close to the rim.

Vintage creamer and sugar.
I used two sizes of heart bowls in Flamingo and Scarlet.

Post-86 Rose vase.

The mugs are new; the saucers are vintage.

 Bulb candle holders make me happy.

I am sharing at Between Naps on the Porch and My Romantic Home.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Marinated Flank Steak with Mushrooms

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak Recipe
Marinade Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Other ingredients
  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
1 Score the surface of the steak with 1/4 inch deep knife cuts, about an inch apart, across the grain of the meat. Combine the marinade ingredients. Place steak and marinade ingredients in a large freezer bag. Coat the steak well with the marinade. Seal the bag and place in a bowl. Chill and marinate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
2 Using olive oil soaked onto a paper towel, coat the grill rack of your grill with olive oil. Preheat the grill with high, direct heat. The grill is hot enough when you hold your hand about an inch over it and you can only hold it there for about a second.  (I used a grill pan and seared the steak on the stovetop for a few minutes, and then put it in the oven at 425 degrees for 5-6 minutes.)
3 Take the steak out of the marinade bag and sprinkle generously on all sides with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. The salt and pepper will help form a savory crust on the steak. Place steak on the hot grill. If you are using a gas grill, cover the grill. Grill for 4-6 minutes on each side. Half way through grilling on each side, turn the steak 90° so that you get more grill marks.
How do you know if the steak is done? The best way to tell is to poke it with your fingertips. While the steak is still raw, test it with your fingers; it will be quite squishy. That's what a very rare steak feels like. As the steak cooks the muscles contract and firm up. Touch the tip of your nose and that's what a very well done steak feels like.
4 Flank steak is best eaten medium rare; well done will make it too tough. When the steak has cooked to your preferred level of doneness, remove from the grill and place on a cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil to hold in the heat and to keep the steak from drying out, and let rest for 10 minutes.
5 Make very thin slices, against the grain, and at a slight diagonal so that the slices are wide.

Sautéed Mushrooms

1-2 tablespoons butter
16 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 sprig thyme
½ cup beef broth

Melt butter in pan. Add mushrooms. Cook on medium until mushrooms begin to cook down. Add salt and pepper and thyme plus beef broth. Simmer until the broth reduces.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sautéed Spinach with Bacon and Roasted Tomatoes

Sautéed Spinach with Bacon and Roasted Tomatoes

4 slices bacon, diced
¼ onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 16 oz. bag of spinach
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper

Toss tomatoes with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Roast at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, fry bacon over medium heat. Remove bacon and then sauté onion and garlic in bacon grease. Add spinach and butter. Heat until spinach wilts. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Top with roasted tomatoes and serve.

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Kitchen is a Chinese Restaurant Tonight!

Tonight, I made a delicious dish from the Pioneer Woman's website.

I saw snow peas in the grocery store, and they spoke to me.  Well, they didn't really "speak" because that would be weird, but they definitely got my attention.  

They were so green and looked so crisp and tasty, I knew I had to buy them and make something delicious.

I used Ree's basic recipe, but I added sauteed mushrooms and asparagus. I also added garlic and less ginger. My version is below.


Beef with Snow Peas, Asparagus and Mushrooms


1-1/2 pound Flank Steak, Trimmed Of Fat And Sliced Very Thin Against The Grain

1/2 cup Soy Sauce

3 Tablespoons Sherry Or Cooking Sherry

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

2 Tablespoons Cornstarch

1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Ginger

4 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces, weight Fresh Snow Peas, Ends Trimmed

3 whole Scallions, Cut Into Haf-inch Pieces On The Diagonal

16 oz. sliced mushrooms

4 or more spears of asparagus, sliced on the diagonal

Salt As Needed (use Sparingly)

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon butter

¼ cup beef broth, optional

Jasmine Or Long Grain Rice, Cooked According To Package


Preparation Instructions:

In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Pour half the liquid over the sliced meat in a bowl and toss with hands. Reserve the other half of the liquid. Set aside.

Sauté the mushrooms in a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil. You can add a little beef broth also to add extra flavor.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet (iron is best) or wok over high heat. Add snow peas and asparagus and stir for 45 seconds. Remove to a separate plate. Set aside.

Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat mixture, leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl. Add half the scallions. Spread out meat as you add it to pan, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.

Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first. After turning it, add the first plateful of meat, the rest of the marinade, and the snow peas, asparagus and mushrooms. Stir over high heat for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it. Mixture will thicken as it sits.

 Serve immediately over rice.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pork--The Other White Meat

Black Peppercorn Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On the stove top, brown tenderloin on all sides in a little olive oil in an oven-proof skillet. Place skillet in oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, until the tenderloin reaches a temperature of 170 degrees with a meat thermometer. Once out of the oven, let the pork tenderloin rest before slicing. While it is resting, deglaze the pan with 1-2 cups of meat stock--beef stock is a traditional choice, but I used chicken stock because that is what I had on hand. Once the stock is boiling and all the bits have been scraped up, pour in a mixture of 2 tablespoons of corn starch and 1/4 cup cold water. Stir continuously--it will thicken quickly.  I like to pour this over the sliced meat on the platter.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Winter Magnolia for a New Year

 This table features a beautiful table cloth with magnolias and shades of green, gray and mustard yellow.

The dishes are vintage Fiesta in forest green, vintage gray, Post-86 gray, Post-86 white, and vintage harlequin in forest. There is also one cup and saucer that is sort of an orphan, from another dish maker, but I was running low on cups and saucers. Note to self: new year's resolution will be acquire more forest cups and saucers.

The creamer and sugar are harlequin.

Silver chargers were placed under the dishes.

I used a coffee pot sans lid for the centerpiece and just put greens in it instead of flowers.

Simple white napkins with silver napkin ring allow the table cloth to shine.

The teapot is Post-86 Fiesta in gray.

The juice pitcher is Post-86 gray, one of the under-rated colors as it is a good neutral that blends well with other colors.

I am sharing at Between Naps on the Porch.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I Am Dreaming of a White Christmas

This is just a little Fiesta fun!

The snowman is made from a Fiesta bowl and a Fiesta vase.

Monday, December 1, 2014

With Boughs of Holly

The buffet is complete.

I chose the Chartreuse Post-86 Fiesta millennium vases with the Scarlet plates and gravy boat and Ivory with Red Stripes creamers and sugars.

Fitz and Floyd plates accent each end.

The runner on the buffet came from a thrift store! I thought it might be a bit too whimsical, but what the heck, if you can't have whimsy at Christmas, when can you have it?