Easter Parade

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Dip



The holidays call for parties with lots of appetizers
at Purple Chocolat Home.

This year we tried a new one that will be on the
favorite's list from now on.  We all are a little 
addicted to that savory heat of buffalo chicken wings
so when I saw a recipe for a dip
recreating those flavors in
magazine, I knew that we would be testing this
one out.
(I had never purchased this magazine before, but absolutely
loved it - of course it is all about lovely southern lady style!!!)


I did tweak the recipe just a little for convenience
and personal taste. 

Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe

2 large cooked chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
1 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
5-6 oz. blue cheese (I love Boar's Head if you can find it.
We have it at Harmon's Grocery Store.)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. Frank's Red Hot Wings Sauce - Buffalo
(get the regular, the hot buffalo is too hot for us)

Preheat the oven to 350.  Lightly grease an 8x8 or
medium sized casserole dish. (Mine is a beautiful new treasure
that I found while treasure hunting 
at
 Home Goods this year.)
Mix everything together in a microwave safe bowl,
reserving a little of the
blue cheese.  Place the bowl in the microwave and
heat for 1-2 minute or until everything can 
stir together nicely.
Place the mixture in the dish and bake for 20  
minutes or until the cheese mix is bubbling.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake another
5 minutes.

Serve with toasted pita triangles as I did (just cut the
pitas and spray with Pam and toast in the oven for
about 10 minutes at 350) or with crackers, or bread
cubes.  
(The family loved this so much, they ate it after in 
tortillas.)

(The original was doubled and had you cook raw
chicken in olive oil adding fresh onion and garlic.  They 
also added additional salt and red pepper.  I chose to
use cooked chicken and omitted the salt and red pepper.)

(Before baking)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   


Fabulous flavor.  Give this one a try - perfect
for New Year's or the Super bowl!


(If you can find it, give Southern Lady Magazine a try too.
The whole Holiday magazine was filled with beautiful
tablescapes, tempting recipes and Christmas decor.  
I will definitely be buying this magazine again.)

I will be posting this with


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Celebration of Another Birth


There is no more magical place to have a meal
during Christmastime in Utah than at 
La Caille at Quail Run.


As you enter the gates of this 
French country estate
style restaurant, you are greeted with 
wondrous Christmas lights.

Tonight we even had a dusting of new fallen snow.


A larger than life pewter colored soldier
stands guard at each side of the gate.


The beautiful French Country restaurant of
La Caille looks like a lovely country home
and at this time of year it is awash with lights.


I shared this restaurant with you last year during warmer
weather and you might remember the peacocks that
roam the property.  This year they have created
a peacock in lights at the front window.


In the grand entry of the estate you are greeted
by this walrus topped fireplace.  It truly
feels like an elegant home that you have been
invited to for a holiday evening.


Most of the seating is up this grand staircase.


We are here tonight to celebrate another
Christmas time birth, the birth of my firstborn
who came into the world just a few days
before Christmas.


We took her and her husband to dinner here
to celebrate both of their 30th birthdays.
(His was at the beginning of the year.)
We thought that called for a big celebration.

(I  was just babysitting my son's children two
days before and his oldest who is four asked
"Grandma, do you know how to change poopie diapers?"
I told her that I had been doing that for 30 years!!)
Wow, it is hard to believe that I have a 30 year old but
we have been married for 32 years - how can that be
when I feel like I am still in my 30s!


Everything inside and out is just magical.


We started with hors d'oeuvres.


I chose this elegant crab cocktail.


The shrimp cocktail was great too, but lacked
the presentation they normally do (similar to the crab).


Then salads come with the meal and you have
a choice of four delicious ones.  This one is
a warm spinach salad.


I chose this salad, a beautiful presentation of
avocado, grapefruit and crab.


Beef Tournedos with
Bearnaise sauce


And Chicken Piccata with a caper cream sauce
were the main dishes of choice tonight.


We all chose to indulge in their dessert sampler -
left to right - a raspberry creme brulee, warm beignets with
a cream dipping sauce and a warm chocolate cake.
(We did choose to share after since we were so full!)



When you are there for a special occasion, they
bring out this fabulous sparkler.


The sparkler was placed in a 
chocolate dipped strawberry 
this time. 
 (Wish I could get some of these sparklers!)


Afterwards we walked around the restaurant to
take in all of the wonderful decorations.
They have many fireplaces aglow at this
time of year.  Each one is a jewel.


We took a peek upstairs in my favorite room.  
No one was there tonight so we could wander and
take pictures.  The ceiling is vaulted with a curved vault.


I love this huge "chocolate" foil wrapped horse that
topped this fireplace.  He is just magnificent.


At this end of the room you can see the curve of the
vaulted ceiling.


At the opposite end you can look out on this
snow covered patio that is alight with twinkling
Christmas lights.


As we left the long meandering drive we had
to stop to take pictures.  The trees are all wrapped in 
colored lights and these beautiful ducks decided to 
stroll across the drive.


A very sweet lady came running and offered to take our photo.

It was a wonderful birthday celebration of two 
incredible members of our family.  We feel so
blessed to be close to our family and to have
them near at this time of year.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
And may you have a very Happy New Year.

I will be posting this with

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Or Happy Holidays To You

(My family when they were young - 16 years ago.)

Do you say Merry Christmas
 or
 Happy Holidays or both?

You may have heard about the controversy
concerning those who want to force a change 
with Christmas from
the religious holiday that it always has been to a secular
holiday.

(My family now, 16 years later!)

There is pressure to use the word holidays rather
than Christmas.  I read someone's blog and listened
to a clever song about not patronizing stores who
want to take Christ out of Christmas by substituting
Merry Christmas 
with Happy Holidays. (Sorry, I can't
remember who had it on their blog!!)
(Rett from the Gazebo House reminded me that
it was her post.  Thanks so much!  Click on the above
to listen to the song.)

So yesterday I was shopping and a clerk said,
"Happy Holidays."  I replied, "A Merry Christmas
to you too!"  I pondered on this and loving to look
up in the dictionary the etymology of words and being
quite certain what I would find, I looked up the etymology
of "holiday".

(A forever family!)

What do you think it means?  
Holy Day!
That's right - even with all of the political pressure
that they think they are wielding, they can't take God
out of the equation.  

When we say Happy Holy Days, we are admitting
that Thanksgiving is a day for giving thanks to God,
that Christmas is a day we celebrate mass or a
religious service in honor of Christ and His coming
to earth, and that The New Year rings in a new 
beginning for the earth which rotates and begins
a new cycle according to God's laws and order.

(Most everyone's favorite shot - all taken in Hawaii for Thanksgiving.)

So try to force us to say Happy Holidays - or shall
we say
Holy Days! 

It all says the same thing - that the world is happy
to celebrate that
God lives and that He sent His son 
Jesus Christ
to earth.

What good news!

This is my e-card to each of you, my wonderful
blogging friends!  We had a hard time deciding.
Most everyone chose the last one.  We just set up
the tripod and I kept running!  Now I really should
have gotten a remote for the timer (next time!)  I
chose this last photo and
sent for a reprint in a 16x20 from 
It came in 3 days and is just stunning.  My
professional photographer friends use them for
their prints.  Give them a try. (You do have to upload
their uploading program, but it just takes a minute!)

I will be posting this with

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Icy Winter Stag Table




Inspired by this sparkle encrusted stag ornament,
I created this icy blue table and I think it is
one of the prettiest tables I have put together
for this Christmas season.


Stacking plates that I already had in icy whites and
blue, and layering aqua and white napkins with
a reindeer napkin ring,


and pairing it with a square crystal placemat
and my sterling that I received from my parents as a
wedding gift,


icy blue goblets and pewter goblets,


and filling the center of the table with
mercury glass and sparkle.  This table
just shines and reminds one of an icy winter day
when the trees are covered with ice and
the world just sparkles.

Notice the stag handles on this silver container.


I filled the stag container with inexpensive
florals in silver and icy blue.


The candlesticks came with their own ice
encrusted medallions.





Hanging an ornament with a ribbon 
from the top of the mercury glass dish
add a pop of the icy blue.


I also filled a small container with a couple
of the ornaments.




The aqua glasses and the aqua napkins layered
with white napkins add another pop of color.
The napkin rings only came in red, so I sprayed
them silver and added a sparkle topcoat.


These stags stand so majestically in their snow
filled dishes!


It is snowing outside right now, just the perfect
touch to finish off all of the Christmas 
preparations.  Just a little to make the world more
beautiful on a winter's day.  Not too much as I still
have places to go!


I hope you can take some time during the hustle and bustle
of these last few days before Christmas to remember
the
Reason for the Season.

May the Peace that Christ brought into the world
fill your life this year and always.

I will be posting with

Sources
White round plates and square plate - Home Goods
Aqua plate - Tai Pan
Stag ornament - Tai Pan
Plates - Tai Pan
Aqua goblets - Tai Pan
Larger mercury glass - Tai Pan
Mercury glass candle holders - Home Goods
Stag container - Home Goods
Candles - Home Goods
Placemats - Home Goods
Aqua napkins - home made
White napkins - Pier 1
Napkin Rings - Target
Florals - Michaels
Pewter goblets - gift
Kirk Steiff Old Maryland Engraved Sterling - Wedding

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