Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Swiss Birthday - Raclette

Tonight's dinner for our craft group was a Swiss Themed
night with little lambies!  Joanne's birthday was celebrated
with dinner before the crafting and she has Swiss blood,
so the table decor and dinner revolved around her heritage.

Each place setting had a Swiss postcard and a little lamb.

Brenda made us each a lamb potholder that 
was placed by our plate.

Lambs of all kinds stood on the "grass" all over the table.

We even had little Swiss bells that decorated our
chairs, which we got to take home.

Of course, the birthday girl gets the crown at her placesetting.
Notice the lamb ornaments hanging on the crown for this

Laura hosted the party this time and on the side board she
had a pastoral scene.

She even painted two paintings to give to Joanne.  They were 

 The beautiful dining room window had a lamb, bells, and other
Swiss goodies.

Everyone helps with the menu.

I made the plated salad with peaches, blackberries, pistachios
and a fresh lemon vinaigrette served on butter leaf lettuce.

We had one of my family's favorite dinners
Swiss Raclette.  The machines can be purchased
reasonably on Amazon.  The stone heats up to toast
your bread or meats, and then cheese is melted in
a little pan under the stone.  You pour the melted
cheese on your bread, meats, veggies, etc.

Laura bought French Raclette cheese which melts better 
than the Swiss Raclette.  It is also about half the price.
She bought it at our local Harmon's grocery store.

Melted cheese over potatoes is very traditional.

This one is cheese melted over the top of
mushrooms, so the mushrooms cook a little,
and the poured over a slice of bread that I had
heated on top of the Raclette machine.

And Amy made us a delicious chocolate cake.  Shall we call it
a Swiss Chocolate Cake?  Notice the little lambie
grazing on the grass below the beautiful cake plate.

There was even a black sheep cookie!

The craft for the night was making Halloween
Houses.  I will do a follow up post on those fun houses.

I will be posting with

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Dining Room Makeover

You saw this beautiful piece that I redid for
the wedding in my backyard this summer.

After I finished the wedding reception, I said this
piece was too pretty now to go back into the basement,
so it takes center stage in the dining room.

I removed the red curtains, the red lamp shades and
the red rug and wow, the room is now so much
brighter!!  I can't believe the difference just removing
the lampshades made.

Taking the red curtains down also changed the look
of the room as they were replaced with gauzy white ones.

The table and chairs were temporary, as the table
was moving to the kitchen and the chairs 
came from the kitchen, but when my oldest
granddaughter walked in, she said, "This is too pretty, it
needs a tablescape!"  She proceeded to pull plates out of
a cabinet and did the whole table by herself.  

The pink and aqua pieces were ones I had purchased
from Pier 1 quite some time ago, but had never 

They were stored in this tall cabinet in the dining
room, which used to have a red front, but that
got a makeover also.

I thought it was so cute that she used just things
that were stored here in the dining room.

She chose the gold flatware also.

It is so fun to see the little ones learn to love the things
that you love, and then to experiment with them.

I will post the new furniture that completes
the dining room soon!  I was fortunate that my 
sister Jean was visiting when the new furniture
arrived, so that she and my niece helped us set
up the new table and chairs.  Can't wait to share it
with you.

It has been a crazy end of summer, running from one
thing to the next, but I am still sad to see it end.

I will be posting with 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Lake Powell Eating Like Kings


             We eat like kings at Lake Powell, with
              everyone couple making a lunch and dinner
            and everyone trying out fun new recipes.

             As we gather at night around the table on the upper
             deck, we have a gorgeous outdoor dining room.

            Definitely a room with a view.

The cooks for the evening can choose how to
set the table, as we have a few options - even
paper if they want - in many styles.

My meal featured an Italian theme with a creamy
Artichoke Dip starter, followed by a stacked Caprese
Tomato salad, with a Mushroom and Arugula Gnocchi.

The bottom right picture was a Pina Colada salad
made by my friend for lunch.  It featured coconut
crusted chicken.

These fabulous lunch pizzas were made on Naan bread
and topped with the most fabulous fresh ingredients.

The one on the top left was the one I created with all
three flavors in one.  They featured clockwise goat cheese
topped with arugula micro greens, strawberries, pecans and balsamic
glaze, then mascarpone cheese, smoked mozzarella, arugula, bacon, 
and drizzled with honey.  The bottom left one is avocados, Orange
infused olive oil, arugula, pistachios and feta cheese.

I think this was the best lunch I have had at
Lake Powell.  It was so fresh and delicious.

Another Italian night featured a copycat version
of Carrabba's Chicken Bryan with a fabulous
sauce of sundried tomatoes over goat cheese.

I just melted over these fun mozzarella stuffed
pesto rolls.  She put a cube of mozzarella inside
half of a Pillsbury biscuit, and then smothered
it in pesto sauce.  Ooey, gooey, cheesy heaven!

Another night was a pulled pork taco bar.

Our final night featured an Asian twist on
grilled Tri Tip with Asian appetizers,
followed by a rich chocolate cake
from Sweden.  This trip was to honor
our good friends, twins, who just returned
from their LDS missions - one from Taiwan
and one from Sweden, so they both let us
have a taste of their mission foods.

Of course, you know we had lots of
treats and desserts featuring Chocolate Chip S'mores Pizookies,
Virgin Mango Lava Flows, a Very Berry Gallette, and a
Pan full of Sugar Cookies.

Everyone is hungry after a fun
day of play, watersports, 

hiking through narrows,
swimming, etc.

Our special cave where we cliff jump 
            and have a picnic
            on the speed boat with music echoing off the cave.

           We always finish our days on top of the third
            deck under the stars, listening to playlists hubby
            has created - "Star Gazing Music".  Our favorite
            album is Ray Lynch's Deep Breakfast, Celestial Soda Pop!
            Check that one out on You Tube.

            There are no city lights so the Milky Way looks
            like a cloud stretched across the sky, and I never
              want to go to bed until I have seen 
a shooting star!!

I will be posting this with

Monday, August 1, 2016

Virgin Mango Strawberry Lava Flows

This kid friendly drink is one of favorites modeled
after a lava flow.  Lava flows are always what the
kids want when we are vacation at a nice resort,
so we are making this at home, with the added touch
of a scoop of ice cream.  Boy does that scoop of ice
cream take the drink up into the stratosphere.

Mango Strawberry Lava Flow Recipe

Fill the blender two thirds full with ice, then
cover it with pina colada mix.  Blend until the 
ice is finely ground.  Pour an ounce of
Mango or Strawberry Colada mix in the bottom of
a glass.  This is actually Strawberry Watermelon
colada mix and it was fantastic.  Pour in the frozen
pina colada from the blender.  Top with a scoop 
of good vanilla ice cream.  We LOVE Costco's
Kirkland brand - so creamy and delicious.  Drizzle
a little of the other mix on, so this one had a little
mango mix drizzled on, while the ones in back
had mango in the bottom and strawberry watermelon
drizzled on.  Put in a straw and enjoy!

Fill the bottom with the mango or the watermelon strawberry.
I have to say the mango was my favorite.  I found these
at my local grocery store with the drink mixes.

These were perfect at Lake Powell.  I will have to
post our menu from this last week!!  We had a lot
of delicious new recipes.

Thanks for stopping by 
Purple Chocolat Home.

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