Friday, April 29, 2011

Prayers for the people of north Alabama

Two days ago, we had devastating storms come through Alabama.  Many towns in north Alabama were destroyed, including areas around Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. 

Hundreds of thousands of people are without power and it could possibly be up to a week before electricity is restored.

As these storms made their way across the United States, almost 300 people lost their lives…210 deaths in Alabama alone. 

Looking at the news coverage and seeing all those towns and communities flattened…homes lost…people still missing and unaccounted for, the destruction makes me want to cry. 

Please say a prayer for all of those affected by these storms, not just in Alabama, but in all the areas of the country that was in the path of these powerful storms.



Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Candy Station

I’m so thrilled to join Beverly at How Sweet The Sound for another Pink Saturday.  Today I’m sharing a small corner of my home all ready for Easter.

One of my favorite things to decorate is the Hoosier cabinet in my kitchen.  With an enamel worktop, it’s the perfect spot for a candy station.


I found this cute purple ceramic Easter egg bowl at the thrift store.  It’s filled with lollipops decorated as Easter eggs and carrots.


The miniature tea set under a cheese dome has little bunnies playing outside the Easter egg house.


White chocolate pretzels with sprinkles fill a glass apothecary jar.  These are so good!  I had a hard time keeping my husband out of them until I could take pictures! 


This little candy bowl with bunnies on each side was also a thrift store find.  Unfortunately, all the chocolate candy that filled it is long gone.


The dessert server is filled with marshmallow cupcakes and caramels and cream candy.


A cloche contains two sweet little love bunnies sitting on Easter grass looking at the eggs they found.


A few weeks ago, my middle daughter was on a school field trip and brought me back this beautiful sugared egg.  The violets plate and small wine glass used as a cloche were also recent thrift store finds.


The sugared egg has a surprise inside…a precious little yellow duck sitting on green grass!  I just love this and it was so sweet of her to think of me when she saw it!


My youngest daughter decided this little hanging bunny simply had to come home with us when she spotted it at the Dollar Tree a few weeks ago.   


In this photo, you can see a bit of my East egg tree that sits beside the cabinet. 


Since this post is for Pink Saturday, I have to show off a bit of pink.  Here is my Grandfather’s cotton basket rim -  turned - wreath decked out with a big sheer pink bow.


I want to share a couple more photos before I go…I have two Confederate Jasmine plants outside my kitchen window and they are full of blooms right now.  They have the most fragrant scent!  If a breeze is blowing, I can open my kitchen windows and their wonderful aroma fills the room!



Thanks for visiting with me today!  I hope you’ll come again soon and have a wonderful Easter!



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies

Raspberries and white chocolate and cream cheese…oh my goodness, have I got a new favorite cookie!  Chef Jan Marie posted the recipe here on and I knew I had to give it a try.


The cookies are just the slightest bit chewy and the flavors of raspberry and white chocolate are to die for delicious.  I won’t even tell you how many I’ve eaten! 

It’s really sad, but my waistline is so going to hate me for ever trying this recipe.  What can I say though?  I’m a sucker for raspberries and white chocolate combined together!


Although the recipe states to put the dough on an ungreased sheet, I don’t recommend it.  The first cookies I baked really stuck to the baking sheet and I basically had to pry them up.  I greased the sheets before baking the remaining dough and the cookies came up with no problems.


Here is the recipe… 

2 boxes Jiffy raspberry muffin mix
1/2 t baking soda
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, softened 
1/4 c brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 1/2 c white chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese; mix well.  Add the eggs, baking soda, and brown sugar; mix well.  Add the muffin mix and white chocolate chips. Mix well and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.  Drop dough with a spoon onto an ungreased baking sheet, about 2” apart.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

My cookies were done  after 10 minutes.  Longer baking made them too crispy for my family’s taste. 


I’m joining Miz Helen at her Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday and Lisa at Sweet As Sugar Cookies for Sweets For A Saturday

Thanks for joining me today and I hope you’ll visit again soon! 


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Victorian Bride’s Basket

During the Victorian era, many fruit or berry bowls were made to sit in ornate stands.  The stands were often silver or silverplated, but I have also found them in brass.  The art glass bowls could be found in plain glass or with handpainted decorations.  Many of the glass bowls had ruffled edges and some even had folds in the glass.  These were popular gifts for brides during the Victorian era and are now commonly known as “Bride’s Baskets”.  If you would like to learn more about these beautiful pieces of art, you can read about them here. 

Several years ago, I fell in love with a Victorian Bride’s Basket I found at a local antique shop.  The pink and white cased ruffled bowl sat in a pretty silver frame.  I was so thrilled when my family gave it to me for Christmas that year!


Skip to last year when I heard the sound of something breaking…a shelf holding marble eggs fell from where I had it hanging on the wall.  Guess what it fell on…yep, my antique bride’s bowl was shattered into too many pieces to possibly put it back together.  I wanted to sit down and cry!


Well after cleaning up the mess of broken glass, I packed the frame away and pretty much forgot about it…Until this week when I was cleaning out a closet and there sat my silver frame.


It was badly in need of polishing and looked so lonely without a bowl in it.


I decided when I went to town yesterday that I would take the frame by one of my favorite antique stores and see if I could possibly find a bride’s bowl to use with it.  I didn’t have much hope that I would find one though.

When I walked in the store with the frame, the owner took one look at it and told me she had just what I needed!


She led me straight to the perfect bride’s bowl.  It was a cased bowl in white with shades of pink ranging from almost a cranberry color to light pink.


The inside of the bowl has gold gilding with yellow enamel flowers hand painted on it.


Some of the gold gilding is worn, but that doesn’t bother me.  It just tells me this bowl was well loved before I bought it. 


The  edges of the ruffles are clear glass.


The bowl was a perfect fit for my frame!


Don’t they look like they were meant for each other??


I’m so tickled pink that my frame isn’t lonely anymore…and you can bet I won’t be sitting it under any shelves in the future!


I’m joining in, for the first time, with Beverly over at How Sweet The Sound for Pink Saturday.  Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you again soon!



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Caramel Cake

For the past several months, I’ve been cooking my way through three different cookbooks that belonged to my Grandmother.  I had the urge to bake yesterday, so I pulled them out to see what I could find that sounded interesting. 

One of the oldest books she owned was titled "The May Company Cook Book and Kitchen Guide For the Busy Woman Including A Complete Guide to Kitchen Management”.  Whew, what a title!  Written by Mable Claire, it was published in 1932.

A recipe for Caramel Cake caught my eye, so that’s what I decided to bake. 

caramel cake


1/2 c butter

1 c sugar

2 c flour

1 t baking powder

2/3 c milk

1 t vanilla

3 egg whites

Cream the butter; add the sugar and cream until fluffy.  Sift baking powder and flour together; add to the butter alternately with milk.  Beat well after each addition.  Add the vanilla.  Beat the eggs whites until they are stiff and fold into the batter.  Bake in layers in buttered pans at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted tests clean.

Caramel Frosting:

1 1/2 c brown sugar

1/2 c cream

3 T butter

1 t vanilla

1/2 c chopped pecans

Put the brown sugar, cream and butter in a saucepan; boil until the temperature reaches 238 degrees.  Remove from the heat and add the vanilla.  Cool and then beat until creamy and thick enough to frost the layers.  Add the pecans.  Frost between the layers, top and sides of the cake.

caramel cake1

I would suggest doubling the frosting recipe.  It didn’t quite make enough to frost the entire cake (or maybe I’m just not very good at frosting cakes and used too much!).  I ended up putting the frosting on top and let it drizzle down the sides.

I chose to omit the pecans when I made the cake, but will add them when I make this again.  My husband raved about the flavor of the frosting.  While I enjoyed the cake, I did think the Caramel Frosting was just the tiniest bit too sweet for me.

caramel cake2

I’m joining Miz Helen at her Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday.  Hope to see you there!

Thanks for visiting today!




Shades of Purple and White

To celebrate the coming of Spring and warmer weather, Homer Laughlin’s Georgian Eggshell Violets china inspired my setting this week. 

This set of dishes is very special to me…my Grandmother bought them in the early 1950’s and they have always been my favorite of all the sets of dishes she owned.  When I was a child, Grandmother baked Teacakes each week.  On those days, we would have a “tea party” that afternoon.  She would tell me to carefully get two dessert plates, cups and saucers from the cupboard and these dishes were always the ones I wanted to use.  Using them brings back so many wonderful childhood memories!


There is lots of layering going on in this setting and a white Battenburg lace tablecloth sets the stage. 


Purple placemats topped with white Battenburg lace napkins were layered on top of the tablecloth.


Next, I added purple chargers.


Because the Homer Laughlin dinner plates are smaller than most plates made today and would have seemed lost sitting on the large chargers, I decided to use white dinner plates trimmed in gold between the chargers and …getting to the good stuff now…the Homer Laughlin dinner plates with their gorgeous sprays of violets.  This pattern has a gold rim around the edges.


White oval salad plates make up the next layer in my setting.  I found these several years ago at Old Time Pottery.


Resting atop the salad plates are violet dessert plates.


“Wexford” sherbets by Anchor Hocking complete the layered place settings.


Gold napkin rings hold together white Battenburg lace napkins wrapped in purple organza napkins.  The flatware is a gold Gibson pattern that I’ve had for several years. 


To echo the gold trimming on the Homer Laughlin plates, I used swirled wine glasses trimmed in gold.


Individual small glasses also decorated with gold were placed at each setting to hold salad dressing.


Small white ramekins used for butter sit on each bread and butter plate.


I found this gorgeous hand blown vase in an antique shop last year and paid less than $10 for it!  The colors range from lavender to a deep purple and I love the crystal feet!


I used snowball clusters and bridal wreath blooms in the vase.



I love the sweet little delicate blossoms of Bridal Wreath!



Purple candles in crystal holders completed the table setting.



I’m joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.  Don’t you want to join in too?



Thanks so much for visiting with me today!  I hope to see you again soon.