Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Lovely Surprise

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Eve and Day. 

We had a great day and got a beautiful surprise that I wanted to share.

 
Thanks Kathleen!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

My Winter Mantel

I'm back today to share my winter mantel.  I wanted something that I could keep up until spring. 




Here is a day time version.


Thanks for stopping by!

Linking up to Christmas Extravaganza at DEBBIEDO'S
Between Naps on the Porch's Met Monday
Cozy Little House's Tweak It Tues
Thrifty Decor Chick's Christmas Party


See you soon,

Gina

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Favorite Go To Meal



My quiche recipe is one of our favorite go to meals.  It's always a hit at dinner, reheats well for breakfast or is a great brunch dish. 

I actually make several versions with the same custard base.

Custard base: 

3 Large eggs beaten

1 cup milk

3/4 cup good mayo (NOT Miracle Whip!)

1 Tablespoon flour

Salt and Pepper to taste. 

Whisk all together.

 Versions I make:

Grated Swiss cheese, and vegetables.  We like mushrooms, chopped red bell pepper and zucchini.  Cook and drain your veggies first or they will make your quiche watery.

Tex-mex version of browned and well drained ground sirloin (season with your favorite spices), shredded Mexican Four Cheese blend or any shredded Cheddar cheese, 1 can chopped green chilies drained, chopped red bell pepper and green onions.

Grated Swiss cheese, browned and very well drained breakfast sausage (Owens or Jimmy Dean), and
green onions.  This was the first version of this quiche I learned from a friend many years ago.
It is the biggest hit at any potluck and people always ask for the recipe.  My father used to request this version for Father's Day every year.

Standard grated Swiss and bacon, very well drained.

I use one of the 9 inch pie plates I have.  One is more deep dish than the other, so I use between
6 to 8 oz of a shredded cheese bag.  I usually use most of the package of sausage and save the rest to freeze and use for eggs or on pizza another time.  Probably 3/4 a pound of the ground sirloin.

Fold in your selected meats, cheeses and vegetables to your custard base.

Use any favorite pie crust recipe you have or as I sometimes do, pie dough from the grocery store.

Bake any version for between 50 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees.  It's done when it's puffed, golden and knife comes out clean from center.  Depending how full you have filled your unbaked crust, it is a good idea to put your pie plate on a baking sheet. 

I have seen many quiche recipes and this is the best (just saying)!  So many have 8 or more eggs and to me are too "eggy" or solid.  The mayo addition makes this one puff like more eggs would, but it also gives the quiche a little more of a creamy texture. 

I hope you will try it and like it as much as everyone I've made it for always have.

Linking up to Between Naps on the Porch for Met Monday

See you soon,

Gina



Monday, December 9, 2013

A Snowy Owl Tree

I was able to work on my tree while the weather is too cold to go out much.


I used some little snowy owls, a pom pom garland, snowflakes and glass pinecones.  I have collected the pinecones for years and had seen the garland idea in a Country Living magazine years ago.  I kept forgetting about it until after I decorated my tree each year, but finally remembered to make one this year. 


I usually use a lot of red, and gold, but this year just wasn't feeling the red.   I wanted more of just a winter feel, with more white and green this time.

I didn't do the usual star, angel or bow this year either.  Just a little owl in a nest.

 


There is something funny going on with these little owls.  The last two mornings I have found two little owls at the foot of my bed.  Just sitting there waiting for me to get up and see them.

I feel sure they aren't flying in to my bedroom.  They have some help.


Looks like I have an owl stalker.  This is the culprit sitting high above on her perch.

I'll share my mantel next time.

I'm joining Between Naps on the Porch and Tweak It Tues at Cozy Little House and Thrifty Decor Chick's Christmas Party

Thanks for stopping by!

See you soon,
Gina

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Decking the Hill

I've been busy here putting away fall and getting out Christmas. 
I decided to do some purging of things I haven't used in several years.
Timing was good with a notice from charity coming to my street for pick up.
I wasn't feeling like using much red this year, so boxed all of the red together of
things I was keeping.  Then I only had two boxes of things I "might" use.  It felt
good not to have so much to deal with.  I didn't get out much for fall this year, and
it was so easy to put it away.  Fitting into 1/3 of a plastic tub.


A few peeks of my tree.  I'm not done with decorating yet, and will post about it when I'm done.
I might join a few of the blog parties.



Happy decorating to all of you knee deep in Christmas!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Easy and Delish Potato Soup

Most folks have their own potato soup recipe.  I've used several over the years and most are good.  We were in the mood for some the other night, but I didn't want to spend time peeling a batch of potatoes.  So, the solution was to get out my crockpot and let it do all the work.



Here is my recipe, for the lazy:

1 bag of frozen hash browns (30 oz).  No need to thaw.

1 can of celery soup

2 cans of chicken broth

diced onion.  I used one small onion.

chopped celery

Salt and pepper to taste.

Here is the hard part:  whisk the celery soup and broth in the crock pot.
                                    Dump in the frozen hash browns, onion, and celery.
                                    Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
                                   
Let the crock pot do it's thing on low for 5 or 6 hours. 

Top bowls of soup with cheese, bacon, or green onions if desired.

That's it. 

A hearty, comforting dinner, for the lazy and hungry.

Joining Brenda's Tweak It Tuesday.
http://www.cozylittlehouse.com/2013/10/tweak-it-tuesday-60_14.html

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Sugar Free Cake


We eat sugar free or very low sugar in our house.  Luckily, there are some good options now and a little creative cooking helps.  Pillsbury has two sugar free cake mixes that I've used for more things than cake.  But, when you do actually make a cake with one, they always turn out great.  They don't cost much, and unless you tell someone it's sugar free, I promise they won't know by the taste.

So, here's the cake.

I realize many of you baking purists might not ever use a mix, but this is better than any low to sugar free item I've tried.  And cheaper.

Icing has always been a problem baking sugar free.  Most recipes use an entire bag of powdered sugar.  There is no sugar free substitute (that I know of) for powdered sugar.  I recently saw Trisha Yearwood on the Food Network making a coconut/nut icing that would normally be for a German Chocolate cake that used a cup of regular sugar, then was cooked on the stove.  I decided to try it and used a little less than a half cup of brown sugar and a little more than a cup of splenda.  It turned out great and does not taste low sugar.  I've found using all splenda doesn't taste very good and the brown sugar version is so horrible, I never, ever use it.   I don't enjoy standing at the stove constantly stirring anything, but this was my birthday cake, so I endured the stirring.  The result was really worth that trouble once a year.

Here is the original recipe from Food Network:

1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar (I used a little more than 1/2 cup splenda and a little less than 1/2 cup brown sugar)
4 egg yolks
1 stick butter
10 oz coconut  (I used less, since it's sweetened)
1 1/2 cups nuts (I used more and used pecans)
1 t vanilla

Combine in a saucepan egg yolks, milk, and sugar.  Whisk until egg yolks are fully incorporated.
Add butter, melt and bring to a simmer whisking all the time.  Continue to whisk until thickened
which is 12 to 15 minutes over low heat.  Remove from the heat and add your coconut, nuts and the vanilla.   It says to let it cool, but I found it super easy to just spread it on the cake while warm.  I didn't make a layer cake, so you probably would want it cooled before trying that.


I also want to show you this super cute little wax melter my mother gave me as a gift.


I had a spiced orange wax cube to use and it made the house smell so "fallish".    I already had a melter, but it didn't have a lid.  I had stopped using it after we got this cherub, so she wouldn't get into the wax.


(Who me?  I would NEVER get in to ANYTHING!)

I'm going to try again to join Tweak It Tuesday at Cozy Little House and get the link right this time.
Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fall Mantel


I decided I wanted to try linking up to a Fall Mantel party.  My first time trying this, so fingers crossed, I'll join the party.




I finally found a couple of small real pumpkins and added my little terra cotta turkey I've had for years.   My mercury glass pumpkin is from Pottery Barn at the end of season sale.  With a coupon I had and free shipping, I got that pumpkin for $4.00.  Love that!

 
 
 
 
 
 
This little floral is in the entry of my house.  I'm not going crazy this year with dragging out all my fall decorations.  I wanted to leave some areas free, so when we finally get more real pumpkins where I live, I can just put some of those out.

Thanks for stopping by!

Linking to Thrifty D├ęcor Chick

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Little Fall on the Hill

We are still waiting on cooler temps here in Texas.  By bringing out some fall decorations, I hope the weather will soon give us a break.  I am one of the few probably that loves the days getting shorter.
I look forward to lighting candles in the evening, soft lamp light instead of bright sunlight, and the smell of pumpkin pie baking in the oven.

 
Around here, the cat on the coffee table is how we roll!  Just keeping it real, folks.