Saturday, October 10, 2015

Halloween Decor 2015

I added to my decor this year with thrift store finds from Urban Thrift here in Dallas as well Dollar Tree.  I promise I was not paid by Dollar Tree ! Ha 

My theme this year is skeletons & skulls! Dollar Tree has them in abundance, and I painted them in metallics- silver and gold. 

I bought this glass with the witches hand several years ago! It reminds me of Wicked. The pedestal it is on came from a thrift store. I painted it black. Eyeballs are new from Dollar Tree. 

This is a small portable fireplace! The sign came from Dollar Tree -several years ago.  My friend, Misty, gave me the black glitter pumpkins. The white and silver pumpkins were from a thrift store that my nieces painted for me. 

I have had this darling sign for years! 

These are little house that my nieces painted black. Found these at the same thrift store as the other items above. 

Drunk skeleton! This guy started out beige until I metallicized him. 

Dollar Tree again! I bought these for a little party this Saturday! 

Candy corn lights

Retro bathroom hand towel from Target! 

Front porch decor. Witch and pillow from Urban Thrift in Dallas. 
Painting our thrift store finds. Looks very scary at night while they were drying! 

Cute pillow I got a couple years ago! Do not remember where. Probably TJ Maxx

Got these last year from Urban Thrift 

This picture came off the cover of Oluve and Cocoa catalog last year! 

Skull measuring cups from World Market last year. Love the "Drink Up Witches" napkins 

Skull measuring spoons that I bought at World Market last year with the above cups. 

 Skull Dish towels mix in with my Parisian theme 

Love these little plates. I got them at TJ Maxx years ago
I got this at Dollar Tree several years ago.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Jennie-O Jalapeno Turkey Burger @ MOOYAH Burgers

Jennie-O Jalapeno Turkey Burger
Sweet Potato Fries

Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Back in March, my friend Connie and I went to Mooyah to check out Jennie-O's Jalapeno Turkey Burger. 
It is no longer available, but they do still offer a turkey burger.

The jalapeno turkey burger was very good.  I wish I had gotten jalapeno jack cheese on it, and it would have tasted even better. I bet the turkey burger with the jalapeno jack cheese  will be just as good.

I had not eaten at Mooyah before.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.  
Not only was the burger good, but the side portions were amazing.  
I ordered the side salad and Connie ordered a single order of sweet potato fries.

My salad was delicious and very fresh!
I definitely recommend, and I will got back! 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Trader Joe's Gingerbread Cake

I found this bundt pan, and it reminded me a Christmas
Come to find out, it's called Fiesta Party by Nordic so I'm not really sure it was intended for Christmas
But it looked good to me

I do not know what it is about bundt pans 
they seem to be my "go to"

I think because I can make several different flavor cakes
and know that one will appeal to someone 
This is one of my Christmas 2014 desserts that I served along with a 
traditional bundt red/green/white swirl cake
a heath bar cake (no bundt)

I always like to have gingerbread. 
 It just looks Christmasy
everyone loves it

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Christmas Bundt Cake

Red & Green Bundt Cake

Red and Green Swirl Christmas Bundt Cake
This is one of the desserts I served Christmas 2014

I used a white cake mix.
I beat the ingredients based on the box directions.
I separated the mixture into 3 separate bowls
Mixed one with green gel coloring
Mixed the other with red gel coloring
Left some white

I poured the white mixture into the bundt pan first
then layered the green inside the white
then the red inside the green

I will admit that I seem to have trouble
getting bundt cakes to come out "clean"
in the traditional bundt pans
The bundt pans that have more detail
I seem to not have a problem
I think I get impatient and try to remove it too soon before it's completely cool

So, what you cannot see if that this cake didn't come out clean
It separated
I was initially going to just use a powdered sugar glaze
but that did not hide my mistake
So, thanks to pinterest
I found a solution
White "whipping frosting" in the can
I separated it out into 2 bowls
Added green gel coloring to one
Then red gel coloring to the other
microwaved them "separately"
and "ta da"
It looked amazing
and no one was the wiser 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Overnight Salad

This salad is amazing.  
A friend of mine mentioned how they have it every year for Thanksgiving.  
I started serving it 2 years ago at Christmas, 
and it was a big hit. 
I even make it at Easter.
This salad was part of my Christmas 2014 dinner party. 
This recipe serves a big crowd (15-20)
I served it with Scalloped Potatoes, a ham from Honeybaked Ham, and a shrimp/crawfish "dressing" aka "stuffing"

Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the salad 
with the bacon and parmesan cheese on top

Overnight Salad before the dressing

Overnight Salad with dressing

Overnight Salad

In large bowl add:
  • Lettuce (torn)
  • Cauliflower (chopped)
  • Broccoli (chopped)
  • Purple Onion (chopped)
  • Carrots (grated)
  • Red Bell Pepper (chopped)
In separate bowl mix:
  • 2 cups Mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 (1oz) Package of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
Spread dressing on top of vegetables.
Seal container and refrigerate overnight.

Before Serving:
Toss salad.
Mix in and/or sprinkle parmesan cheese and *bacon bits on top.

*Note: I do not use bacon bits.  I'm pretty picky about bacon.  I put a couple slices on a baking sheet with a rack. I cover the baking sheet with foil first . Cook on 400 degrees until the bacon is crispy, about 20-25 minutes .

Monday, March 2, 2015

Green Chile, Cheese and Onion Enchiladas

 Enchiladas are one of my absolute favorite recipes.  
As a matter of fact, it was enchiladas that inspired me to create this blog in 2008.  

It has been very cold here in Dallas this past week.  On Wednesday, I got home from work, and was craving comfort food.  I was able to create these enchiladas with what I had in my fridge and pantry. 

I always keep a couple of cans of 
enchilada sauce and tortillas 
in the house. 

So, with a can of green chile enchilada sauce, some light sour cream, small can of green chiles, onion, cheddar cheese, and corn tortillas, I was able to whip these up in about 15 minutes + another 30 for cooking. 

There are so many ways to make enchiladas.  You just need  tortillas, cheese and a red or green enchilada sauce. You can add in veggies and meat. It's totally up to your personal taste (and what you have on hand)
Green Chile, Cheese, and Onion Enchiladas

Just one enchilada

  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 1 - 15oz can green chile enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 onion - chopped finely
  • 1 - 4oz can chopped green chiles
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese - grated

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Light spray a 11x9 (or 8x8) pan with cooking spray
  • Whisk the sour cream and green chile sauce together in a bowl
  • Drain the green chiles
  • Soften the tortillas in the microwave. Place 5 in between 2 pieces of damp paper towels.  Microwave for about 45 seconds (depends on the power of your microwave - mine is weak). 
  • Place cheese, onion, green chiles in the center of the tortilla. (leave some cheese, green chiles and onions for the top of the enchiladas.  Roll the tortilla and place face down in the pan. Continue until the other 4 are done.  Microwave the next batch of 5 - repeat.
  • Pour the green chile /sour cream mixture over the enchiladas.  Top with remaining cheese, green chiles and onions. 
  • Bake for about 25-30 minutes.   Let set for about 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Crowd Pleasing Scalloped Potatoes

Christmas Dinner 2014 
was at my home this year. 
This is one of the 
many recipes I prepared 

The main course was a ham 
I ordered from Honeybaked Ham.  

It made it easier for me to focus 
on sides and desserts 
for 20 people. 

This recipe was the number 1 favorite. 

Scalloped Potatoes Ingredients

Sliced Potatoes with the mandoline

Scalloped Potatoes with cheese sauce BEFORE

Scalloped Potatoes with Cheese Sauce AFTER

Scalloped Potatoes (single serving)

  • 8 large baking potatoes
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  •  4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups monterey jack cheese, grated
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • Preheat oven 350 degrees
  • Spray a large foil roasting pan with cooking spray
  • Peel and slice potatoes. (Note: I use a mandoline to get consistent slices.  Mine is a cheap one from Walmart as I am very afraid of slicing a finger off)
  • Place potatoes in a bowl of cold water while cooking the cheese sauce
  • Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat
  • Whisk in flour until well-combined
  • Whisk in heavy cream, salt, black and cayenne pepper, and 2 cups of monterey jack cheese
  • Reduce heat to a simmer; continue to whisk until sauce thickens slightly
  • Whisk in 2 cups of cheddar cheese
  • Place potatoes in the large roasting pan evenly
  • Pour the cheese sauce over the slices
  • Cook 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours until top is golden brown
  • Add 1 cup of grated cheese on top and bake another 10 minutes (Optional)
  • Let sit for about 10 minutes and serve 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chicken Buffalo Dip

Shredded Chicken with Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce

Cream Cheese/Ranch layer

2 – 8 oz package cream cheese
1 – 16 oz Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch
4  - chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (or 2 rotisserie chickens)
1  - 12 oz  bottle Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce
4-5 stalks celery (optional)
2 cups Monterey jack cheese – grated

Preheat oven 350 degrees
In a sauce pan, melt the cream cheese, ranch dressing ( and celery if using) – stir constantly so it doesn’t burn
In a 13x9 baking dish, mix the shredded chicken with the entire bottle of Franks Hot Sauce  - this will be the bottom layer
Pour the cream cheese /ranch mixture over the chicken
Top with Monterey jack cheese – I sometimes add the cheese towards the end so it doesn’t burn or you can cover with foil.
Bake for 40-45 minutes. 
Serve with chips or veggies..
(You can also just mix all this up in a crock pot too -  I haven’t done it, but know people have)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Peacock Christmas

Christmas 2014 Peacock Table

I bought a white pre-lit tree this year. 
I decided to decorate in "peacock" colors
turquoise, green, gold and purple

Christmas View from Living Room

Santa Bar
I have acquired various Santa decorations over the year, so I decided to dress up the bar in red and green

Friday, February 20, 2015

Crowd Pleasing Green Bean Casserole

I have made green bean casserole so many ways.  It's amazing to make from scratch, but for Thanksgiving 2014, I was cooking 3 different casseroles (green bean, broccoli rice, and squash) for a big crowd, so I needed  to keep is simple. 
What is more simple than 
Honestly, it's delicious
I know some people do not care for it, but I happen to love it. 
My biggest challenge was determining how much of it I needed to make. 
I decided this time, I'd make notes of how I made it and how it tasted so that I know next Thanksgiving if this recipe was a "keeper"
So, here is my version of green bean casserole for a crowd

Ingredients (classic recipe)
  • 4 cans (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 cans (14.5 ounces) cut green beans ( I prefer these over french green beans)
  • 4 1/3 cups french fried onions
Extra Twist- Sauteed Mushrooms 
(if you want to "jazz" it up)
  • 1 pkg fresh button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1/4 cup half n half 
  • Preheat oven 350 degrees
  • Set aside 1 1/3 cups french fried onions
  • Whisk together soup, milk, soy sauce, and pepper to make the sauce
  • Toss green beans with sauce in a baking dish (I used a large foil roasting dish as I was taking this to another location)
  • Add the sauteed mushrooms if you went for the "extra twist"
  • Bake casserole for 40-45 minutes, until the mixture begins to bubble around the edges
  • Stir the mixture and sprinkle with reserved french fried onions
  • Bake another 5-10 minutes until onions begin to brown
I prepared this the day before serving. I place saran wrap first then wrapped with heavy duty foil.  I used a black sharpie to write the cooking temp and instructions on the outside. 

Crowd Pleasing Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole

For Thanksgiving 2014, I decided to make 3 casseroles.  
Green Bean, Broccoli Rice, and Squash

I have only made broccoli rice casserole several times. I always search the internet and Pinterest to get ideas when I do not have a "go to" recipe. 

 I decided to use Paula Deen's Broccoli Casserole as my base then added a couple cups of rice to it.  

The challenge like the Green Bean Casserole is the amount I needed to make. 

Broccoli Rice Casserole

Broccoli Rice Casserole with Topping

Crowd Pleasing Broccoli Rice Casserole
  • 4 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 (10 3/4 ounces) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups crackers, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • salt and pepper to taste
Extra Twist- Sauteed Mushrooms 
(if you want to "jazz" it up)
  • 1 pkg fresh button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1/4 cup half n half

  • Preheat oven 350 degrees
  • Spray a large foil roasting pan with cooking spray
  • Cook broccoli per the directions on package - set aside to cool
  • Cook rice per the directions on the package - set aside to cool
  • In the pan, combine broccoli, rice, mayo, cheese, soup, eggs (make sure the rice and broccoli are cool so the eggs do not scramble), and "extra twist" sauteed mushrooms
  • Mix well - don't forget the salt and pepper 
  • Top with crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes
I prepared this the day before serving. I place saran wrap first on top of the casserole then wrapped the pan with heavy duty foil.  I used a black sharpie to write the cooking temperature and instructions on the outside of the foil.   

Crowd Pleasing Squash Casserole

Thanksgiving 2014, I decided to make 3 casserole dishes.  
Green Bean, Broccoli Rice and Squash. 
I have never made squash casserole. It is one of my favorites any time I eat somewhere with a home style flair.  
There are so many different ways to make squash casserole.  
Here is the recipe I decided to test out - Southern Living Squash Casserole
I adapted it to feed a large crowd.  This recipe also called for basil. I chose to leave it out.
Cooked Yellow Squash & Onions

Squash Casserole


  • 8 pounds yellow squash, sliced
  • 2 large sweet onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise 
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups soft, fresh breadcrumbs divided (I used italian)
  • 2 1/2 cups parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup French Fried Onions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Place yellow squash and onions in a dutch oven; cover with water. Cook about 8 minutes or just until the yellow squash and onions are tender; drain squash mixture well - set aside to cool
  • Combine cooled squash mixture, sharp cheddar cheese, mayo, garlic salt, pepper, eggs, 2 cup breadcrumbs, and  1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese.  Spoon into a lightly greased large foil roasting pan. 
  • Stir melted butter, french fried onions, remaining breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the squash mixture. 
  • Bake casserole for 45-50 minutes or until set.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

2014 Halloween Table

It's been almost a year since I have blogged.  
I realize that I really rely on this blog to help me remember how I decorate for each season & recipes that I have tried.  

I'm going to go back to 2014 
post some highlights
and then...
I will do my best to stay current & up to date

Here's my Halloween Table

Halloween 2014
Witch Pillow

Skeleton Measuring Cups, Measuring Spoons & cupcake liners

Cinnamon + Sugar Brioche Toast