Easter Parade

luckkywilliamson1's Easter album on Photobucket

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Blogging Bloopers 2010 - Just in Time

Susan at Between Naps on the Porch had just announced her intention to host
a blogging bloopers party on January 1, 2011.  That was all I needed to have
the incentive to create quite the blooper.

No, really I intended to whip out a little pistachio brittle for a family Christmas
Progressive Dinner where our house was the last stop, the dessert.  I already
had some fabulous toffee and I had purchased some shelled pistachios that
I had been meaning to get around to to make some great brittle.

Mind you, I have had this recipe many years, taught to me by a neighbor,
Barbara and it is the easiest recipe.  One year I think I whipped out 10 or 12
batches in one day.  I don't think I have made it since we remodeled our kitchen
and I am thinking that my microwave is a lot more powerful than my old one.

Being the educationally minded mother that I am,
and believing firmly in men that can cook, I had my
16 year old son in the kitchen and I am telling him how
easy this recipe is, that it only takes 1 C. sugar and 1/2
C. light corn syrup, cooked in the microwave for 9
minutes.  We placed it in and around minute 8 I heard
a loud pop!  I turned to him and said, "Was that just a
pop I heard?"  Smoke filled the room with a horribly
acrid smell as we opened the microwave to find
one of my favorite bowls cracked and smoking.

Not a lovely sight! 

Quicky my son grabbed the hot bowl and we headed out
the door so that the house wouldn't smell too badly.

Ok, maybe it was the bowl.  Let's try again.

Why would I even think this Kitchenaid bowl would last,
it got misshapen in the dishwasher.  More smoke, more
smell, and this one was leaking out of the bottom.

Whew, at least I hadn't started with the pistachios in the
mix.  The recipe calls for raw peanuts and I have found
that with nuts that are already cooked it is best to add
them about halfway through.

Not do be detered (I quickly called Barbara and then
talked to the "expert" her husband Steve.  He does it
for 3 minutes, adds nuts, then 3 minutes, then adds
butter and vanilla, then 1 minute.

Ok!  A recipe on the web started with 14 minutes -
my microwave would have been on fire by then.

Yes, we finally did get the pistachio brittle, but I have to
say it was still a little chewy, although you have to try
the pistachios, they are great in it.  I think I needed 1 1/2
minutes at the end instead of 1. (I did another batch
with 2 minutes at the end and that was too much - kind of 
burned tasting!)  That's why I like to
use a thermometer, but this really is so easy and

Pistachio Nut Brittle Recipe

1 C. sugar
1/2 C. light Karo corn syrup
1 - 1 1/4 C. nuts

Stir together in a MICROWAVE SAFE bowl!!
Heat on high for 3 minutes.  Add the nuts
  (if nuts are salted, don't add
any additional salt, but if they are not, add 1/4 tsp. salt)
and heat on high for another 3 minutes.
Stir in 1 T. butter and 1 tsp.vanilla
(I use a different spoon each time I stir.)
Put back in microwave and heat an additional 1-1 1/2
minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp. baking
soda.  Stir quickly as it will foam.  Pour out onto a
Silpat lined pan, or a greased pan.  Let cool completely
and break into pieces.

I have to say, my favorite thing about blogging is that
I have the right to throw out bloopers if I want and
you can't even taste these to know tht they were a little
on the chewy side!  You wouldn't know if I didn't tell you.

The next day the bowls went in the trash - after they had
cooled off. 

Hope to see and read some of your bloopers
to start off my new year.
Happy 2011.  Thanks Susan for this fun party.

Join Susan for her

I will also be posting this with

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Time For A New Year - Tablescape

Just a little more time left and 2010 will fly out the
door and 2011 will ring in.

It is a time of celebration deserving attention
and care.

A little trick of the hand
 and a Badgley Mischka napkin becomes....

A rosette....

The perfect place to nest a little souvenir time piece

with its adorable watch chain hanging off the edge.

I promised to show you my new flatware that was
my Christmas and birthday present.

A Horchow exclusive that Mrs. Claus happened
to find on sale - Padova silver plated flatware.

What a treat it was to play with these pieces today.
Flatware could become as addictive as plates - oh no!

The table is all set in crisp black and white with silver accents.

It is a romantic table for four set in front of the fireplace.

A candle chandelier dripping with crystals will add to the
romantic setting by the fireplace.

My black goblets go very well with this table.

Gunmetal gray chargers are topped with black
checkered plates, then textured white plates finished
with a matte black bowl.

Pull up some black leather chairs and the table
is complete.

The details of these pieces are just amazing.  I adore the
finials on the end of each piece.

The center of the table is filled with sparkling baubles.

One more look at the layers.

The fireplace is lit and so are the candles, let
the old year ring out and the new year ring in.

It has been such a treat becoming a blogger in 2010.

Everyone has been so supportive.

I must take a moment to thank my supportive
husband.  I realize that husbands of tablescapers
are amazing men - they have to be!  My dear
husband loves to look at my posts (but he is
always saying I need to do the same for his work!)
He has never complained and likes everything I
do - that makes it a lot of fun.

I have loved coming to know so many of you and
think of you as dear friends.  I would love to meet
you in person and know that I would love you even
more in person. 

 May 2011 bring you joy

I will be ringing in the New Year

Chargers - Z Gallerie
Checkered plates - Home Goods
Textured White Plates - Tai Pan
Black goblets - I don't remember
Padova flatware - Horchow.com
Time pieces - local boutique
Linens - Badgley Mischka
Chandelier - Tai Pan

Monday, December 27, 2010

Santa's Deliveries - I Think I Was On The Nice List

Every year the big question is whether or not
I will be on the naughty or nice list. 

I hate the wonder and worry!

I guess I must have made it on the nice list, just
by a hair!
Santa, or maybe I should say Mrs. Claus was very
good to me this Christmas.  I received this for
a combination Christmas and birthday present as my
birthday is 2 weeks after Christmas.

Sixteen place settings of Padova silver plated flatware in
a storage chest.

Won't this be fun to use in tablescaping and for family dinners.
(Come back this week and you will probably see it in
a tablescape!)

I love the detailing on the handles and they are so heavy
yet because they are plated they are very affordable
(Not that Santa worries about that!)

The knives are wonderful too, they are almost as sharp as a
steak knife.

The storage chest has 2 drawers which I need with 16 five piece
place settings.
Our little family has already grown to 16 so this will be fun for
family dinners too.

If that wasn't enough silver, what do you think arrived on Christmas
Eve day?  The beautiful demitasse spoon I won from Johanna

This was a prize from Johanna's own collection.  How
appropriate too, silver and roses, to get a rose handled
silver spoon from Johanna.

I love the leaf detail in the spoon.  It was a Christmas filled with
(I read that this Padova silver plated flatware was a Horchow
exclusive.  Don't tell the Clauses that I told you!)

I will be posting this with

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Tamales are a traditional holiday treat in Mexico
and since we are off to Mexico for New Years I
thought I would make some traditional steamed
tamales to celebrate Mexican style.

Growing up in Wisconsin we had a family whose
youngest three kids matched up with our oldest
three in age and gender and we were the best
of friends.  Their parents were from Mexico and she
made authentic tamales for a church dinner one day.
My mother loved them and asked Rosa to teach her
how to make tamales.  We have been making them
every since.  I love them on a cold winter night as the
tamales steam up the kitchen windows.

Traditionally they are wrapped in prepared corn husks
which are soaked in water to soften and then tied
off with strips of corn husks. You can find the prepared
corn husks in the Mexican food section of most grocery

The corn husks were not readily available in Wisconsin
growing up so my mother wrapped them in tin foil to
steam them.  That works very well too and is less time-
consuming, if not as attractive.

I fill my large canner using the canning rack to hold
them up out of the water and steam them 50-60 minutes

Tamale Recipe

2 C. cooked and ground or shredded beef, chicken or pork
1/2 T. onion powder
1/2 C. tomatoes with green chilis (like Rotel)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. powdered cumin

4 C. masa harina (corn flour found in the Mexican section)
2/3 C. shortening
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking powder
3 C. beef or chicken broth
1/2 tsp powdered cumin

Dried corn husks (found in the Mexican section)

Soak the corn husks in hot water for 20-30 minutes or cut
pieces of foil in about 8 inch long pieces.

Mix the filling ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Mix the dough in a bowl and set aside.

Drain one or 2 pieces of corn husk on towel.  Place
about 1/3 to 1/2 C. dough - a small baseball sized
piece on the front edge of the husks or foil.  Place about
1-2 T. meat filling down the center of the dough.  Begin
with the front edge and roll the tamale up, keeping the
front edge out of the wrapper out of the dough.  Use
small strips of corn husk to tie the ends off or twist the ends
of the foil. 

Place 2-3 inches of water in a large canner
or steamer.  Place the tamales in the steamer
 using foil or a rack to keep the tamales
out of the water.  Steam for about one hour.  Test to make
sure the dough is cooked through and not soggy. 

Serve with plenty of sauce.  I generally open, blend 
and heat a couple of cans of Rotel or some
bottled salsa.  I like a lot
of sauce on top of mine.  Mother used to use her home
bottled tomatoes that she blended and added chilis to and
then heated. 

I will be posting with

Friday, December 24, 2010

For Unto Us A Child Is Born - One Solitary Life

Of all of our Nativities, this one is my favorite. 
This was taken when our youngest was just a
baby and these are our five children. He
is 16 now.

This Nativity was given to us by dear friends and
has an honored place under our tree each year.

We brought this Nativity home with us from

My oldest daughter presented me with
these one year from the whole family
to thank me for all that I do for
them to make Christmas special.

One Solitary Life
He was born in an obscure village, a child of a peasant woman.
He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty.
Then became an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book.
He never held an office.
He never did one thing that usually accompanies greatness.
He had no credentials but himself.

While still a young man, public opinion turned against him.
His friends ran away.
One denied him.

He went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
His executioners gambled for His only piece of property - His coat.
He was laid in a borrowed grave.

Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone.
Today He is the centerpiece of the human race.

All the armies that ever marched,
All the navies that ever sailed,
All the parliaments that ever sat,
And all the kings that ever reigned, put together,
have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as that

                                ONE SOLITARY LIFE

This is my beautiful print of the Wise Men
that we bring out each
Christmas by Tom duBois.
  My husband and I bought
it for each other one year.

These are Steinbach nutcracker wisemen
that I gave to myself this year. I found
them at Tuesday Morning.

For unto us a child is born,
Unto us a son is given
And his name shall be called,
The Mighty God
The Everlasting Father
The Prince of Peace

A beautiful Liz Lemon Swindle print
that I received as a giveaway this

May the joy of this season resound
throught the year.

Merry  Christmas!
I will be posting with


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