Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pink or Blue?---The Big Reveal!

All week long, I’ve been teasing you…building the suspense. Is “our” little one a boy or is it a girl? You know we gathered family and had a reveal party. We each wore the color indicating our prediction. The tide seemed to be turning towards pink---even Jessie wore her pink sweater. :)


You’ve seen the cake that holds the answer.


But since I had to order two cakes, the bakery made a note to avoid even a hint of confusion. It reminds me of Alice down the rabbit hole.


We had the envelope from the sonogram technician to verify the results… much planning….. so it would all come off without a hitch. Careful planning ensures perfection….right?


WHAT?????? Insert here the sound you hear when the figure skater falls at the Olympics, the sound from the stands when the kicker misses the winning field goal at the Super Bowl, the sound from the crowd when Evel Knieval lands on the cars . :) ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????? Is now a good time to pitch a hissy fit?


Fortunately, we did have the results in the envelope—It’s a BOY!!! And it’s just as well that he learn early on that we are family prone to mistakes, misunderstanding, and generalized fumbling and bumbling…..and laughter at all of it….lots and lots of laughter :) We are thrilled and thankful for this blessing...and both families know how to “do” the boy thing!


So we all sat down to eat anticlimactic lasagna. It’s delicious and could be warming in the oven during the reveal. The recipe is served at a fundraiser each year by the oldest church (1828) in my hometown. It’s been a town highlight and tradition for many years.

Episcopal Anticlimactic Lasagna

(renamed by me :)

Saute’ l clove of minced garlic and 1 cup of minced onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add about a pound and a half of ground chuck and brown. Drain and transfer to a heavy Dutch oven or large saucepan. Add 2 cans tomato sauce, 2 cans tomato paste, 1 1/2 cups of water and two teaspoons of Italian seasoning. I also add a bay leaf. Simmer about 2 hours.


To assemble. Cook one package of lasagna noodles according to directions. Rinse and separate on a towel to dry. Spoon enough sauce to cover the bottom into a 9x13 casserole dish (don’t forget to spray it!). Layer noodles lengthwise, then mozarella cheese, then dollops of ricotta or cottage cheese (I used both). Cut noodles to appropriate size and layer crosswise. Cover with sauce, mozarella, and ricotta or cottage cheese. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. I think the key is to using lots of cheese. This is a great “do-ahead” meal!


Now I need your help! I don’t have a grandmother name picked out! I’d love to hear the names in your family!!! Even if you have never left a comment before, please share your names with me today. I’d hate to end up as Mrs. Rainbow :) I am also linking to Beverly @ How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday. Click here for an all pink party!!!!

Thanks so much for visiting and playing along with me this week. I am linking to Foodie Friday with Michael Lee West at Designs by Gollum. Click on her button on the sidebar to join the party. Don’t forget---I want to hear from you!!!~~Susan

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pink and Blue Extravaganza

I’ve been thinking, planning, and dreaming in pink and blue for over a month now. I’ve been teasing you for almost a week. Last Friday our daughter had her first sonogram. On Saturday we had our Him or Her party to reveal the gender of our coming little one----No one knew but the sonogram technician and the bakery!


The dining room table was a sea of pink and blue for a big family dinner. The paternal grandparents traveled from five hours away to witness the announcement. My oldest son was on speaker phone from Delaware to witness the breaking news.


Of course, you know by now, I always start with flowers and a centerpiece. I found these gigantic pink and blue hydrangeas in the Kroger floral department. I arranged them with baby’s breath (gysophila) in a small wicker bassinet I found online. I have used this bassinet countless times for baby showers.


These large stemmed candle holders are one of my favorite tablescaping staples. By changing the candle color or adding ribbons, I can adapt to almost any theme or holiday.


I scattered pink and blue trinkets from Dollar Tree around the table.


I must tell you I searched relentlessly online and locally for pink and blue salad bowls or plates and had no luck. In the end, I had to settle for paper (OH NO!!!). I did like the way the square plate looked on the now-famous Big Lots white china. The napkins are bunched in pink and blue polka dot favor buckets.


Our friend Marty from A Stroll Thru Life introduced me to the versatility of cloches. This made a perfect centerpiece for the sideboard.


I used silver mementos that belonged to the mother-to-be under the cloche and, of course, more baby’s breath. But the main attraction on this sideboard was this


The inside of this cake holds the answer: Pink or Blue ????????

Thanks for sharing in the joy with me! Hope you’ll come back tomorrow for the menu, a recipe, and the answer!!! I’d love to hear from you! :)~~Susan

Join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for more tablescapes by clicking on her button on my sidebar!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Him or Her Party!

This is a post about a wreath that is really so much more than a wreath. It’s a wreath that represents a whole new chapter in our lives!


By definition a metamorphosis is a “change in appearance, character, or condition”. I believe this counts! You may remember I told you that 2011 is going to be a big one for this family---both sons are getting married---big changes, BUT I alluded to another change and some of you guessed. The happy bride (our daughter) and groom


will be parents in June…hopefully about two weeks after the first wedding :). WE ARE FINALLY GOING TO BE GRANDPARENTS!!!!!

baby tuck

The baby bump is small, but it’s there! This past Friday I was grateful to attend the first photo session….I mean sonogram :)…the one that reveals the gender of the baby! The technician sealed the answer in an envelope and gave….it….to….me!!!! I could hardly stand the temptation! BUT we had been planning a party for a month. Some people call it a gender reveal party. That sounds a little cold to me. I called it the Him or Her party! CIMG3347

This wreath greeted the parents-to-be, family, and friends for the party.


Will we be decorating in pink or blue?


Him or Her???

Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this joy with me!!!! I hope you’ll come back. I’ll be sharing all this week….the table, the decorations, the menu and recipes….and of course if it’s a HIM or Her!!!!~~Susan

I am linking to Susan @Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday. Click here to join the party. Thanks Susan!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Secret in the Envelope


Is it a love letter?  After all, Valentine’s Day is very very soon……No sensual aromas or romantic fragrances waft from it….not sealed with a kiss……It’s not even a pretty color……just a plain white envelope……but it is full….it  holds the answer to the future…….

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you’ll come back tomorrow.  I’ll be sharing the secret of the envelope all this week.  ~~Susan  

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lotta Bang for the Buck Dessert—Peanut Butter Parfait

Yesterday I shared a special dinner menu and recipes. I promised dessert today and here it is…compliments of two bloggers. Inside BruCrew Life is new to me. When I ran across this recipe on Jocelyn’s site recently I bookmarked it for later perusal.


Peanut Butter Parfaits! The peanut butter pie filling portion is a recipe from Pioneer Woman (here) who seems to be all over the place. Did you see her on the Today Show last week? Jocelyn at Inside BruCrew Life created the parfait and you can find the recipe here. These were easy to do and, best of all, can be done ahead of time. They were perfect for Beloved who is Reese’s Peanut Butter fiend :) In fact, we loved them so much…..


I made ten of them and took them to a dinner party tonight. They traveled beautifully in a wine box with dividers! :) Since this is one of our new Favorite Things I am linking to Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie for her Favorite Things party. Thanks Laurie—you’d love them too :) PS-I'm going to forgive you for that picture :)...soon, maybe... :) I am also linking to Sweets for a Saturday at Sweet as Sugar Cookies. If you love dessert, you will be in heaven!

Thanks for dropping by. Have a great weekend!~~Susan

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Special Dinner for Your Honey!

I ‘m pretty sure the Lord knew what he was doing when he made me a southern girl who lives for most of the year in a comfortable and temperate climate. Because when the weather turns to this


(And yes, Kathleen of Cuisine Kathleen—we call this snow—even THIS is snow to us :) Check out her lively and beautiful posts here. But back to my original thought—when the weather turns to this, my thoughts turn to this


My mind turns to warmer places, cookbooks, new recipes, food, eating, and pants with elastic waistbands—”buffet pants” as we call them :) A couple of weekends ago, I called Beloved and told him to stop and pick up some crabmeat at Sam’s or Costco on his way home. Both places carry incredibly good and affordable lump crabmeat and I had a plan .


I have been told that for a land-locked girl, I make a mean crab cake :) I have been making this recipe and the accompanying sauce for years. The recipe comes from Come On In a Jackson, MS Junior League cookbook. I almost always “tweak” a recipe, but this one is perfect just as it is printed!


I love that the the crab cake is almost pure—not a lot of filler—just enough to keep it on the fork long enough to get it into your mouth.


Yvonne, over at Stonegable, reminded me that I had also been craving artichokes. She has a great tutorial on how to cook and eat them here. I never have any trouble with the "eating" part :)


The beginnings of Shrimp Portofino—a dish of shrimp, pasta, and spinach in a heavenly sauce. You can find that recipe here.


Wouldn’t this make a perfect Valentine’s Day dinner for YOUR beloved?

Crab Cakes Dijon

1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided

1 tablespoon chopped green pepper

4 tablespoons chopped green onion

1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked

1 large egg, beaten

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

6 tablespoons dry bread crumbs

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Saute pepper and onion in 2 tablspoons oil until wilted. Drain and mix with remaining ingredients. Chill mixture 20 minutes. Form into flat cakes—about 6 medium or 8 small. Chill about 15 minutes. Saute’ in remaining oil until golden brown, 5-8 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with Dijon Sauce.

DON’T SKIP THE SAUCE!!! This is absolutely one of the best and is also good on boiled shrimp.

Dijon Sauce

1/2 plain yogurt

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chopped onion

2 tablespoons dill relish

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Whisk together and server at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers.

Thanks for stopping by! Please take time to say hello! I so very much love hearing from you. Come back tomorrow for dessert---you knew I’d have one :) I am linking to our friend Michael Lee West for Foodie Friday. Click on her button on the sidebar to join the party on Friday! Thanks~~Susan