Easter Parade

luckkywilliamson1's Easter album on Photobucket

Monday, February 28, 2011

Musings On Being A Blogger And Life


I have really loved being a blogger for the past nine
months.  I have even tried to stay up on it when I was
off on vacations.

This past week I was out of town and I posted on
Monday night.  When I went to open on Tuesday
morning I could not find my dashboard and I was told
that my blog had been removed!  I immediately started
getting texts and emails asking if I had stopped blogging.

If you haven't had this happen to you, you don't know
how awful it makes you feel.  I had no idea what to
do or where to turn.  In my limited knowledge I
"googled" the issue and sent out a query.  I was just
sick to my stomach, wishing I had turned all of my work
into a book.  I sent Joni (my sister at Red Couch Recipes)
messages asking if she knew anything. She didn't have any 
suggestions either. 

You feel like you have been kicked in the stomach.  You
feel like you have had the rug ripped out from under you, but
there was nothing I could do.  I had friends trying to open my
blog to see if it was just a problem with my computer, but they
were getting the same result.

Fortunately later that day, I tried again and it was back,
no explanations, no nothing.  It makes one feel insecure
investing more time in this experience we call blogging.
  I backed off for a week.

It made me think of my sister Jean and her family who have
invested 17 1/2 years of their lives in their son Kevin.


Kevin passed away about a week and a half
ago.  He had been born 11 weeks early and developed
cerebral palsy from complications in NICU.  Kevin never
could speak or sit, or crawl, but he could smile and he could
smack his lips to let you know he loved you.  One day
without much notice, after he had experienced symptoms
that shut down his lungs he was gone too. 

As badly as I felt about my blog being "removed", I kept
thinking how my sister's family must be feeling.  I would make
comments to friends about my blog, saying, "When I used to be
a blogger...".  I am sure they are doing the same type of thing -
thinking about Kevin, referring to him, struggling with even
the thought that he is gone.

Life is so fragile. 
 There are comings and goings.  I am
so grateful for the peace the Gospel of Jesus Christ
brings, that Kevin is not just "removed" but he is whole
and well and able to run and not be weary and walk and
not faint.  He is able to communicate now.  How wonderful
it will be to see him someday when I too have moved on.

So, despite fears that my blog might disappear again, I am back
(admittedly with some trepidation for the future).  I know
that my little blog doesn't in any way compare to Kevin's
precious life, but somehow it gave me a bit of a feeling of
what it is to lose something/someone that we love.



Monday, February 21, 2011

A Yoga Champion - Oh To Be This Flexible

 Feeling a little stiff with age? 
Imagine being able to move your body like this!
This is my lovely, flexible and very athletic
daughter-in-law Audra.

She just took first place in the Utah Regional yoga
competition and will be traveling to nationals
in March.


A very talented photographer and friend Nicole Hill
took this and other photos of Audra in her studio.
The lighting is so amazing and don't you love that
flooring?
Click here to see more of Nicole's unretouched
photos of Audra on Nicole's blog.


These were photos taken after the competition by her
husband, our son.  Audra is a mother of two.  She
had to complete a certain number of required poses
in a set time period.



This one he took before she had completed it, her feet
actually come up onto her forehead.


What an incredible athlete! We are so proud of her.

You can watch the entire 3 minute routine at the competition
I don't care how young I was, I could never do
this.  She is amazing.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Quiche - Remembrances of Paris


Maybe it was coincidence that the night before
I put together my Paris Tablescape,


I was making quiche for 80 people.
Quiche is one of those foods that is a staple
in France.


  I made 16 quiches which were cut
into 6 pieces each for a dinner.  (That is
a lot of quiche!)  Actually quiche is a great
dish to make for a crowd.  It goes together
quickly and holds up well and is easy to
reheat.


It is also a great recipe for those who are learning
to cook.  Have your children help with this one
and most children really like quiche.
Quiche Recipe

1 - 9 inch deep dish pie crust
(As I was making 16 and didn't have 16 pie
tins, I opted for Marie Callendar's frozen pie
crusts, which I think are super flakey and tasty.
They come in a sturdy pie tin - not foil - which
you could keep or throw away.)
1/3 C. chopped onion
6-8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and then finely
chopped
2 C. shredded cheddar or swiss cheese
(I opted for cheddar - since we were feeding youth)

4 eggs
1 1/2 C. half and half
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Place the onion, chopped bacon and
cheddar cheese in the bottom of an uncooked 9 inch
pie shell.  Whisk the eggs and add the half
and half, salt and pepper.  Pour over the
cheese.  You might not use all of the egg mixture.
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes and then reduce heat
to 300 for 30-40 minutes.
(I baked mine in a convection oven, so I baked it
at 405 for 15 minutes, then 285 for 20 minutes.)



We ended up with 78 attending the dinner.
 We only had a few
slices left.  It was absolutely delicious
and was served with a fresh salad and
homemade rolls.

I made 2 of them without the bacon  and added
chopped green chilis for those who wanted no
meat.

( Before the event,I had to fend off
my teenagers
 who came in the house
and smelled the quiche and wanted to eat some.)




Bon appetit!

When we were in France, you could go into
any bakery and buy a small quiche.  They
warmed them up for you and they were fabulous.
Then again, I didn't eat anything in Paris that I
didn't love.

I will be posting this with


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I Love Paris In The Springtime




What better place to spend Valentine's Day
than in Paris.
A few years ago we were invited by
friends, Paula and Craig to come to Paris and stay
with them while they were directors of the BYU study
abroad in Paris.  They invited us in February and we
were there over Valentine's Day.

Their apartment was just about two blocks from the
Eiffel Tower. This had to be the most
romantic Valentine's Day ever.


If you have read my profile you have read how it was my
goal to hit all of the wonderful chocolate shoppes there.
My sweetheart bought me this chocolate box filled with
chocolates there.  We were able to bring it all the
way home with us so that we could show it off to
the kids.


Paris in the springtime is my inspiration for this
tablescape today as I join
Susan
at
Between Naps On The Porch
for my favorite event of the week
Tablescapes Thursday.



While we were there we had the chance to visit
the castle country.


With my love for design and architecture, this was a
delight.


I think this fabulous castle out in the country was
famous for over 150 chimneys.



Here we are just before we entered the
Eiffel tower for lunch.


I had to include this gorgeous plate that I had at the
Eiffel Tower Restaurant.  It was a lobster salad.
Don't you love that plate?  Everything was so elegant.
Lunch is often a less expensive way to experience
a famous restaurant.



One last peek at the fabulous architecture before I
show you the table I constructed in remembrance
of my Paris Valentines.


All of my fun European inspired dishes come from Home Goods,
who by the way were kind enough to send me a gift certificate
to say thank you for using their dishes in my tablescapes.
What a surprise that was.


I love these salad plates that remind me of the
castle country.


I found four different ones.


I layered them over a square plate from Tai Pan.

I have this thing for square plates.  It probably
comes from eating off of them at great restaurants.


Black and white and taupe make up the table.


I love this taupe linen with French-inspired script covering it.


I brought in my garden sculpture of the Eiffel tower to
center the tablescape.


Don't you love the fancy butter knives on
the little roll plate and
mercury glass votives with a little crown on them?
The crown reminds me of the castles and
our trip to Versailles.


I threw in the iconic fleur de lys.



These great wooden chargers are from Pier 1.
They anchor the placesetting and give it a flourish.


The votives came from Tai Pan.


A closer detail on the butter knife.  I have had
these silver plated knives for years and they
came in 4 designs.  I bought them from Home Goods.


Black flatware, black goblets and black and white napkins
with a silver plated napkin ring.




Peek past the napkin to see a bowl with the
Eiffel tower.  The bowls feature different
famous European buildings on them.


I think it is time to light the candles to create a
romantic mood.


I love the look through the mercury glass.


The jeweled crown just pops out.




I can't leave Paris without including some more chocolate
One of our favorite stops was a little crepe and
waffle stand right outside of the Louvre.  Here
my hubby is gloriously enjoying a Belgian waffle topped
with hot Nutella and whipped cream.



Our final pastry shoppe indulgence.  Everything we
had in Paris was fabulous.  It was a food lover's heaven.



And to be really naughty, I am ending with our
favorite
BREAKFAST
while we were there in Paris.  These are a chocolate, chocolate
eclair and a chocolate napoleon that came from the bakery
just around the corner.

Other mornings we had fresh croissants, dipped in hot chocolate.
For you fellow chocoholics, Paris is heaven when it comes
to chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

(Just a note, we walked everywhere so eating this
richly didn't kill us!!)

I will be sharing this with

Sources
Table Topper - Tai Pan
Large square plate - Tai Pan
Eiffel tower garden sculpture - Target
European architectural dishes - Home Goods
Flatware - Target
Goblets - Pier 1
Napkins - Home Goods
Napkin rings - Wal Mart
Butter knives - Home Goods
Votives - Tai Pan





Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mission Impossible - Pick Your Favorite Kitchen Gadget

Lynn is having a Valentine's party
and she wants to
know our Favorite Kitchen Gadget.


What?  I have to pick my favorite - IMPOSSIBLE!
But - I will tell you some of my favorites!

If you follow
Purple Chocolat Home
 you have already
met a lot of my favorites!
My icon is my Purple Kitchenaid Mixer.
(She is much more svelte than I am!)

This special edition Kitchenaid sold at Williams Sonoma
a few years ago.  I just had to have it (you all can guess why!)

(Hint - it starts with purple...)


I think a Kitchenaid Mixer is a work of art,
so it sits on my counter year round and of course
it is a conversation starter too as most people have
never seen a purple one.  I haven't seen one since then
either.



My
 chocolate tempering machine
 has to come right
up there at the top of my list even though I only use it
a couple of times a year.  I just smile each time I use
it and can't believe I have such a wonderful device,
especially since the store that sold them went out
of business.


If you remember this post, I am not the only one
who loves this machine.  Click here if you missed
this post on this little elf helping me dip chocolates.



And of course, my pizza oven is probably my very
favorite gadget.  (Could this be called a gadget?)

I love having it for a fire for ambiance, I love cooking
pizzas and any other imaginable item in it, I love having
traveled to Italy to take a class for a week on how to
cook in it.  (I will have to do a whole post on that someday).
I love the idea that if we didn't have power, I could use it
for emergency cooking.  (We call that emergency preparedness
where I come from.)   I also love that when they
unearthed Pompeii, they found bread baking in ovens
just like this one with loaves preserved inside the ovens!



If you missed our pizza oven post, click here.  If you missed
the kitchen tour showing the wood burning pizza oven, click here.

Just one other little item that I wanted to mention,
my lemon and lime juicers.


(Oh, I better mention my Ego Digital Imaging Light that
lets me take an indoor photo like this at night and
even in the winter - find it on Amazon).

Anyway, back to the juicers.  I know they aren't spectacular,
but I just love them.  My first one I purchased
in Mexico, but it really was made for the smaller Mexican
limes.  You can buy these fabulous gadgets at Target and
many grocery stores.  One squeeze and you have tons of
juice and none of it on your hands.
I am one who loves kitchen stores, I can browse in
Sur La Table for hours. (Did you know they have
cooking classes?)  I love Williams Sonoma (hey, they have
cooking classes too.)  I love
kitchen catalogues and kitchen idea magazines. I love
cooking shows and cooking magazines.  I love
cooking blogs too!!!  I bet
you do too or you wouldn't be here reading this.

Oh, but what about...

my panini maker
my kitchen shears
my Belgian waffle maker
my tortilla press
my digital kitchen scale
my Le Creuset pans
my electric fondue pots
my pasta maker
my new cupcake corer
my BBQ grill
my grill pan

oh, oh, oh,
my propane smoker...


...wait ...
MY DIGITAL CAMERA & COMPUTER!!!

Go visit all of the other fun posts at

Happier Than A Pig In Mud's


Valentine's Day


(Lynn is such a "party animal"! - the above photo is
courtesy of her blog.  You will meet all kinds of little
piggies on her blog and it is always fun and entertaining.)

I will be posting this with

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