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Welcome! Glad you stopped by to visit Slice of Pie! You'll find all kinds of life styling ideas on this site ... like tablescapes, decorating ideas, menus, party themes, recipes ... and all kinds of family-oriented stories about my favorite things! Don't just look at the post of the day ... make sure you take a look at my home page and all the other pages for the topics I love to share.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Elsa isn't Frozen at Grandma's House!

I've seen lots of Elsa costumes online this summer ... and my Miss Phoebe is just like all the other seven year olds!  She wants to be Elsa, too!


After looking at lots of pictures ... and lots of costumes that other moms and grandmas had made ... I decided I'd make one, too!  So, I started talking to Phoebe about Elsa, secretly borrowed her movie so I could watch it at home ... and told her I thought I would have a "Frozen" party ... You know we have lots of themed parties at my house.  The first thing she said was that she would be Elsa, but she needed a dress.  I told her I'd make a dress the weekend she and her mom and dad went on a little trip.  Good thing I did ... because as soon as they got back home, she asked her mom to find out if I had made it!


Went to the fabric store ... and bought a couple yards of 4 different fabrics ... the darkest one on the left is polyester ... but looks like Shantung!  The other sheers had sparkles built in ... which helps when you need to create snowflakes!  Yes ... thank you Disney for putting snowflakes on Elsa's train!

Some of the costumes had been made by attaching skirts to tee shirts.  I pondered that ... didn't like the idea ... and then remembered that I had this ...


I'd bought this flower girl dress at a thrift shop a couple years ago ... when Phoebe wanted to be a bride.  It was too big and other Grandma found a smaller one, so we put this away.  This is a Cinderella dress ... and the features included covered buttons down the back, a row of satin roses along the bodice and beautiful beads, pearls and satin embroidery work.


I removed the roses and separated the skirt from the bodice.  Fortunately, the zipper was only sewn into the lining ... so leaving all that intact, meant I didn't have to rework the zipper!  I made a new skirt from the Shantung and an over-layer of sheer fabric.  I trimmed the neckline with teal lace and sewed some snowflake shaped buttons on the bodice!


The most important part of the dress is the train ... and the train must have snowflakes on it ... or it wouldn't be real!  I layered two sheer fabrics and gathered them ... attached them to a band ... and then tacked the bow from the original dress to the top of the train.  I used sew on velcro to attach the train to the dress.



The most important part of all ... the snowflakes.  I pondered embroidery ... hand and machine ... and finally decided fabric paints were the answer.  Because the fabric is sheer, I knew the paint would seep through ... so I placed the fabric over waxed paper ... painted the snowflakes and let them dry ... then the waxed paper peeled right off the back.  Now ... I'm no artist ... but Miss Phoebe loved those snowflakes ... That is all that matters!


It was hard to get Elsa to stand still long enough ... to take pictures ... but I know she loves her dress ... She wanted to wear it to bed the night I gave it to her ... and she wanted to wear it to daycare the next day!


Of course ... I made a crown ... and glued some old pieces of jewelry to it for added sparkle ... and gave her pair of clip rhinestone earrings that I probably paid too much money for ... 30 years ago ... but who cares?!  All that matters is that Miss Phoebe ... gets to be Princess Elsa ... whenever she wants!


I'll be sharing this post with some of the following parties.  Make sure you click through to see the other posts ... but first, visit my home page to see my other posts!

Creatively Living for Monday  Funday Party 
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday 
The DIY Dreamer for From Dream To Reality Tues  
Our Home Away From Home for Tuesdays @ Our Home 
We Call it Junkin! 
Knick of Time for Knick of Time Tues  Inspire Me Tuesday  
Creative Muster

Christmas in July!


I am always in the mood for Christmas!  It started at a very young age ... and yes this cute little girl with panties showing ... is me!  My parents hosted a Christmas Eve gift exchange for our family and neighbors ... and somebody always played Santa Claus!  My brother David and I were the youngest of 5 kids ... and in this picture ... David probably still 'believed', and I certainly did!  I still do.


Here's a close friend, 'Santa George' ... with Phoebe when she was much younger!  That looks like a sad Phoebe face ... but it is a tired Phoebe face!  She loves Santa George ... and we fear this might be our last year of Santa times ... as she turns 8 right before Christmas!


I enjoy using pink at Christmastime!  This tree is in my sewing room ... decorated with small pink rose china demitasse cups and silk roses.


Here is more pink!  This is my Princess House Fantasia dinnerware in the poinsettia pattern ... which I actually use year round!  You really cannot tell what the flowers are!  The bread 
and butter plate is a pretty Christmas amaryllis.


Here's a beautiful table set with burgundy.  Yes, it is on the front porch ... we actually set this table as part of a photo shoot for a holiday publication!  I'm good with Christmas tablescapes all year long, though!


Here are snowmen in the sunroom ... I love the red and white color scheme for at least one of my holiday rooms!  Sometimes I use a white tree in that room and cover it with red ornaments and lights!



Here's a guest bathroom with poinsettias and snow ladies!  This bathroom is permanently an autumn space because of the wallpaper ... so pinecones and poinsettias work well at Christmastime.



Don't you love this big Santa boot?  It made a perfect centerpiece for a hot chocolate tablescape!  Cute snowmen ... and a big red boot!


Here's a collage of photographs that are in the Christmas cookbook I wrote a few years ago.  "Santa Suppers Revisited" featured the themed menus and holiday tablescapes from a series of dinner parties I hosted for girlfriends who had helped with volunteer projects during the course of the year.  The 'Santa Suppers' have gone on for years!

I posted these past Christmas photo collages so I could party with 




Make sure you click through to get a little Christmas inspiration!  It is never too early to start planning ... and we really should celebrate all year long!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Is it Wintertime in Southern Illinois?

It is July!  I'm pretty sure that Mother Nature is a little confused because the midnight temperatures are dropping into the 50s! I cook on the outdoor gas grill all year long ... there isn't enough snow to keep me from lighting the grill!  It is unusual, however, for me to stir up a comfort food casserole in July!  It is always too hot to use the oven ... but today was an exception!  I had ground beef thawed for grilled burgers, but it turned into sloppy cheeseburger casserole!


This casserole couldn't be easier ... but I want to encourage you to put things in it that you like. After cooking for the same man for 35 years, I always knew exactly what he liked!  Joe's hamburger casserole had to have onions, sweet bell pepper and corn in it ... and the cheeseburger version required good old Velveeta cheese!

To make this ... brown a pound of good ground beef with half a big sweet onion ... chopped and half a green or red bell pepper ... also chopped.   Add a big handful of sliced fresh mushrooms when the meat is almost done ... and throw in a cup of fresh corn kernels ... I cook my ears of corn in the microwave first.  All you have to do is put them in ... leave the husks and silks on them.  Two ears require about 7 minutes to get done.  The husks and silks will slide right off.

After the meat is done ... stir in 1/4 cup of katsup and a packet of brown gravy mix (the kind that requires a cup of water) ... and the cup of water.  Pour all these ingredients in a casserole dish ... drop in a few little chunks of Velveeta cheese and cover the casserole with a can of refrigerator biscuits.  Bake in the oven at 375 degrees ... until the biscuits are done.  That will probably take 12 - 15 minutes.  The juices will thicken ... the cheese will melt ... and the crispy top of the biscuits makes this a really good comfort food meal!

I normally make it October ... but why not make it in July?  Sure was good!

I might share this post with a few of the following parties ... but before you click through to the party ... check out my home page to see my other posts!

Creatively Living for Monday  Funday Party 
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday 
The DIY Dreamer for From Dream To Reality Tues  
Our Home Away From Home for Tuesdays @ Our Home 
We Call it Junkin! 
Knick of Time for Knick of Time Tues  Inspire Me Tuesday  
Creative Muster

Shrimp Scampi with a Secret Ingredient!

My husband and I owned an Italian restaurant 30 years ago and I'm still stopped in the grocery story ... by friends who want the recipes we used.  That's been so long ago ... and I cooked from scratch and trained a couple good chefs ... so I don't remember all of those recipes. There are two, however, that I'll never forget because we made boatloads of Fettuccini Alfredo ... and Shrimp Scampi!

My secret ingredient in the shrimp scampi is celery seed ... you probably won't find that in your recipe!


Lots of things have changed in 30 years!  We had a supplier that drove fresh shrimp and oysters from the Gulf Shores ... into Southern Illinois once a week. So, we served seafood ... just a couple nights, while it was fresh.  No frozen seafood in my restaurant!  I always used 16 count shrimp ... and people loved it.
I used to make my own lemon infused olive oil ... couldn't buy it back then.  I'd peel the zest from the lemon in long strips and drop it in my olive oil.  After a couple weeks, the lemon flavor is fantastic!  Fresh herbs were hard to come by 30 years ago, too ... so I'd grow my own.  I constantly ran out of basil!

Scampi is an easy thing to prepare.  Peel, devein and wash your shrimp.  Pat it dry with a paper towel.  Sprinkle it with your favorite Italian herbs.  I use roasted garlic paste, dry thyme, chopped fresh basil, chopped fresh Rosemary ... and a sprinkle of celery seed and another sprinkle of red pepper flakes.  Pat the spices/herbs into the shrimp.  You can put this on both sides, but chances are ... you'll lose one side of the spices because they will fall off.

For 10 - 12 big shrimp, I slowly melt 2 Tablespoons of butter.  After the butter has melted, add a Tablespoon of lemon infused olive oil and turn the heat up to high. Add the shrimp ... the seasoned side down and let them sizzle.  Turn them over when you see that the shrimp is cooking about half way up the flesh.  You'll see it turn colors and firm up.  Turn the shrimp over ... turn off the burner and move the pan to a cold burner.  It will be hot enough to finish cooking your shrimp without getting it over-done.

Drizzle fresh lemon juice over the shrimp while they are still in the pan ... let the juice sizzle in the hot oil/butter.   Serve the shrimp over your favorite pasta ... and I always pour the pan juices right over the shrimp.  We like ours served with grated Parmesan ... the dry kind!

Shrimp Scampi is easy ... fast food!  If you use fresh pasta that cooks in a couple minutes ... you have a meal in less than ten minutes!

I'll share this recipe with some of the following parties ... Make sure you click through to see the other entries.  First ... check out my home page to see all my other posts!

Creatively Living for Monday  Funday Party 
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday 
The DIY Dreamer for From Dream To Reality Tues  
Our Home Away From Home for Tuesdays @ Our Home 
We Call it Junkin! 
Knick of Time for Knick of Time Tues  Inspire Me Tuesday  
Creative Muster

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