Welcome & Stay a Little Longer!

Welcome to Slice of Pie! I'm glad you dropped by to visit. You'll find a variety of life styling ideas on my blog ... and lots of grand daughter pictures, too! Miss Phoebe is my best helper and we do lots of special things together. Make sure you take a look down my sidebar! Under the "You're Invited" icon you'll find picture links to dinner parties I've hosted. Under the "Good Food" icon, you'll find picture links to food posts I've done. I usually post a sidebar picture link to magazine articles I've written. You'll find something you like! Hope you enjoy and stay around for awhile!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Floral Vignette with Antique Mirror

I've been collecting little things all summer from our junk store jaunts ... to create a floral vignette in one of my bathrooms. The bathroom "fall leaves" wallpaper is old and I will never change it because I love it! Fall leaves are sometimes hard to decorate around ... it is kind of "one season only" ... so I create a little vignette when I want to make a change! Last week, I found a beautiful antique tabletop mirror and that made me finally finish this little project! Isn't it a beauty? Everything in this vignette, excepts the books and the candle came from our junk jaunts!

I love all these things, but my favorite might be this crewel of violets ... just because I love violets!  The two framed crewels started the concept. I paid a big paper dollar for each of them! Then I found four Bradford Exchange collectible plates at Goodwill and paid a dollar for each of them!  What deals I was finding!  The vintage looking doll booklet was another dollar and the bunny, yet another dollar! I sure wasn't spending much!

The plates are truly Victorian looking, and I love that style ... though I have just one room in my house where it works ... and only because I have antique bedroom furniture!  So, why not incorporate a little Victorian look in this "fall only" bathroom!?

You'll notice some pretty ribbons in these pictures! I'll be using lots of it in the future because I bought a big box of ribbon from an old florist that closed thirty years ago! I guess that makes it vintage ribbon!

I love this mirror and suspect it is from a little while after the Art Nouveau period. It is molded wood, which was first produced in these kinds of vanity mirrors by the Syracuse Ornamental Company in 1890. They called it Soroco Wood ... and they continued to make these kinds of products through the 1940s and finally shifted to molding plastic in the 1960s. The mirror glass is slightly faded, which confirms its probable age back to the 1940s. It is certainly a stand-out piece of decor and you'll see it in future posts! I have lots of plans for this little mirror!

There you have it!  My junkin' decor! I'll be sharing this with a few of the parties listed on my side bar, but before you move on ... browse my home page! You'll find other posts that might interest you.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Shrimp and Tomato Blast!

At my house, shrimp is "fast food"!  I really enjoy throwing together quick pasta or stir-fry meals using big shrimp. The tomatoes from our CSA have been so colorful and delicious, I've been putting them in many things. You'll see another post in a few days about other ways to use those tomatoes! This recipe is really easy! I don't heavily sauce recipes like this one. I want the fresh vegetable flavors to come blasting through!

The ingredients included chopped onions, chopped green pepper, a few cherry tomatoes sliced in half ... a few 16 count shrimp and a couple cups of cooked pasta. I quickly fried the green peppers and onions in a little olive oil ... and let the onions caramelize. I added the shrimp and turned them just once. It just takes a few minutes for them to be done. Then I dropped in the tomatoes and let them burst in the sizzling olive oil. I stirred in a Tablespoon of tomato paste and about a cup of the cooking liquid from the pasta, which made a nice light coating for everything. A couple grinds of fresh pepper and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese ... and the meal was complete!

I'll be sharing this post with some of the parties listed in my side bar, but stick around my home page before you move on. You might find another recipe you like!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Rosemary Lemon Chicken

It was 98 degrees today in Southern Illinois, so that meant time for the crockpot again! I had a Sunday of reading planned ... trying to get started on the 7th book of the Outlander series ... so cooking inside or outside was not on my Sunday agenda!

This recipe is so good. It does take a little prep time, but within 30 minutes I was out of the kitchen! I used bone in chicken pieces (with skin) that I'd already cut up and frozen ... and thawed overnight in the refrigerator. Dredge the chicken in a light coating of flour and pan fry it in a little olive oil ... turning it one time ... and frying it just long enough to put some  color on the skin. Place each piece in the crock pot and try to make a single layer. I drizzled a couple Tablespoons of the pan juices/oil over the meat, ground a generous amount of white pepper over the meat, then topped each piece of chicken with a slice of lemon and tossed in several sprigs of Rosemary. Miss Phoebe's blue chair garden is really producing! Add a cup of chicken stock to the bottom of the pot ... cover the crockpot and turn it on high. This usually takes about 3 hours, depending upon the size of the pieces. 

This week's CSA share provided these great purple string beans, more colorful potatoes and sweet onions. I cooked those in my little crock pot with a small piece of smoked pork and plenty of ground pepper! I covered them with water and since this wasn't a big batch and it took less than two hours to be deliciously tender.

The sauce remaining in the crock pot is perfect to serve over rice, noodles or even mashed potatoes. It also makes a really good base for lemon chicken soup, so mine went right to the freezer for a snowy day next winter, when I'll be complaining about the cold temperatures!

I'll share this post with a few of the parties listed in my sidebar. Make sure you stick around my home page a little while to check out other recipes!

Roasted Eggplant Dip

A beautiful deep aubergine eggplant was included in my CSA bag, and I wanted to do something kind of special with it. Eggplant is delicious grilled, but I wanted to savor it and not just gobble it up! I decided to make dip with it, so I could nibble on it over a couple days and really enjoy it!

I sliced the eggplant and a cut a green bell pepper into quarters; drizzled them in lemon infused olive oil and grilled them ... to obtain a pretty char and a wonderful smokey flavor.

The recipe is so simple and can be adjusted to suit your tastes. I blended the vegetables with 1/4 cup of sour cream, 1/4 cup of Tahini, a Tablespoon of sundried tomatoes, salt and pepper ... and several leaves of fresh mint.

The flavor of this dip is delightful ... intense ... every bite bursts with smoky, nutty freshness!  I'll share this post with a few of the blog parties listed in my sidebar ... but stick around my homepage for awhile!  You'll find other things you like!  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Fried Purple Potatoes!

I have always had "one of those faces" ... When I'm in the grocery store, I am sometimes stopped ... especially by college students ... and asked how to prepare something. That has ranged from "how to cut up a chicken" to "how to fry potatoes"!  There is a trick to frying good potatoes. I decided I'd post more purple potatoes that came from the CSA project, so I fried a couple with a white potato.  My mother used to keep potatoes boiled and refrigerated, so when she needed to fry them, it wouldn't take as long. These were fried from the raw state.

If you wash your sliced potatoes, make sure you shake them dry. The water on the potatoes will cause the oil to splatter when you drop them in the skillet. Slice them thin and drop them in preheated hot oil. Immediately turn the burner down to medium, and put a lid on the skillet. This lets the potatoes steam so they get tender. Leave the lid on for a few minutes, then remove it and turn the potatoes over. You'll know if you need to steam them for a longer period of time. If you can't stick a fork through the potato slice, put the lid back on for a few minutes. I always add chopped onion to my fried potatoes. Put the onion in the skillet at the same time you put the potatoes in. After the potatoes are done, turn the burn heat on high again and finish the potatoes with some quick browning. Salt and pepper them. Add a little fresh dill, if you'd like.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Pork Marsala

I love anything prepared with Marsala wine! I didn't want to cook ... but I did! I wanted to prepare a meal and a second meal for the freezer! Out came my crock pot!

This meal is simple to put together. I simply layered pork tenderloin chops (which I always cut and freeze myself ... from a whole loin) - with chopped onion and a lot of sliced mushrooms! I had those beautiful baby carrots, so I added them to the pot.  I seasoned this with a few pieces of a garlic scapes I've been using for a month! My garlic scapes came in my CSA bag from the Southern Illinois University Agriculture students! You can use garlic paste, of course.  I added several grinds of black pepper and a good sprinkle of chopped parsley and you are almost ready! I poured 1 1/2 cups of beef broth over the whole thing and set the crock pot on high. It  cooked for 3 hours and the meat was fork tender.  I don't add the wine until the last 30 minutes of cooking and I use it to make a corn starch slurry ... 1 cup of Marsala wine with 3 Tablespoons of corn starch. Put the lid back on the crock pot and let it cook so the broth thickens.

I'll be sharing this post with a few of the blog parties listed in my sidebar, but make sure you stick around my home page for a little while.  You might find another recipe you like!  Yes ... you can make this with chicken breasts and I don't use veal anymore, but the broth is wonderful over tender beef.