Welcome & Stay a Little Longer!

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.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Week of No Fuss Meals

Bad weather and lots of work to do in my home office ... kept me from spending much time cooking this week. Thought you might like a couple quick food ideas!

When I was a child, my mother would cook ham and beans once a week. Sometimes with a ham bone ... other times with smoked ham hocks. I hate beans. Well, almost. I loved good baked beans and I love lima beans!  But, that is it. While watching the snow come down, I simmered a crock pot of baby limas and a link of smoked sausage. I threw in a little Cajun spice mix. That is pretty easy! Corn bread was not a favorite of mine, either ... as a kid. Mama would make me eat it, but she would slather it with butter and drizzle syrup over it. It was more like dessert. I still eat it that way and taught my daughter to eat it that way!

Yes, those are my toes ... and scrapbooking paper scraps on the floor!

My other easy food fixes this week included orange shrimp. I just stir fry a few vegetables ... snow peas, cauliflower, green peppers, red peppers and green onion. Just before the veges reach the tender crisp stage, I throw in a few peeled and deveined shrimp. It just takes another couple minutes to get them done. The sauce is a combination of three things ... orange marmalade, soy sauce and bbq sauce.  I use equal parts of the marmalade and bbq sauce, then ad a few splashes of the soy sauce.  Served over rice ... this is a great meal.

I cook for just one person most of the time and I'm never excited to have left-overs! My homemade pizza makes dinner and a couple lunches, but it is so good that I don't mind. It too, is very easy.  When I buy a pound of Italian sausage, I brown the whole pound, then divide it into thirds ... freezing the other two portions. I was using my last portion of frozen sausage for this pizza. I always keep those packets of pizza crust mix on hand ... and I buy the cheapest brand! They are all the same! I also buy bottled pizza sauce ... not spaghetti sauce ... but pizza sauce. So ... the crust, half the jar of sauce ... cooked sausage ... thinly sliced mushrooms and green peppers and about 6 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese ...... and there you have it.  Easy and very good. The cost of that pizza is about $4.00!

Then ... one evening I really wasn't hungry, so I had my weekly egg for dinner! An egg fried over easy served on a piece of buttered toast ... served with three tiny dill pickles! Yep, dill pickles ... and most of my family eats katsup on their fried eggs, too!  Strange, aren't we?  The dill pickles with fried eggs has a history though. When I was a teenager, the guy that taught me how to drive a car with a manual transmission ... invited me to breakfast each morning before we set out for the driving lesson. His wife was a great cook and she ate pickles with eggs! As soon as I tried it, I was in love with the flavor combination. (My brothers wouldn't teach me how to drive a "stick" ... so one of their friends was up for the challenge!)  My daddy didn't think I would ever need to know how to drive a vehicle with a manual transmission ... but guess what? I've always driven one ... from my MG convertible I had in the 1970s to the little red pickup truck I have today!

I might share this post with a couple parties listed below. Hope you'll click through to see the other posts.

Snow Bunny!

Let me introduce you to Jimmy Mutt Moore, also known as MeMutt ... and now known as Snow Bunny Wannabe!  We ended up with another foot of snow yesterday ... and he just didn't want to come back inside.  He was nosing around the deck ... pushing snow away from the places where the chipmunks go under the deck to hide from him and make their way to Heaven knows where!

Phoebe called Jimmy Mutt "MeMutt" before she could really talk.  She couldn't say "Jimmy" ... so we just got the "Me"!  He is an indoor dog and nothing I used coaxed him in ... not even a windmill cookie!  Phoebe spent half her snow day with me and I'm sure she had already fed him a few cookies, so one more meant nothing to him!

He finally came inside, but not until snow and ice was caked on his back!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Elect Mike!

I'm doing a quick post just to share the recipes for some of the food we served at a little event we hosted to let people mix and mingle in support of a mayoral candidate for our town ... the one who absolutely must win!

We had the little party at a friend's house that was built in 1901 and is on the National Historic Register ... and that is a post for a different day!  My friends and I have had numerous events like this over the years and we always use their house because it is much larger than mine!

We didn't go overboard on the food ... just a little snacking with good coffee and a cold green tea punch.  My friend, Sue, made heart shaped brownies with Mike's initial on them!  Notice the stacks of dessert plates Sue used ... She has a huge collection of lots of patterns of small china plates,  and small china platters when she serves a full meal. Very cute ... and so "Sue"!

We wanted both sweet and savory.  My daughter made these.  They are so easy and the perfect thing for a busy mom to put together!  Marinated mozzarella pearls with half a grape tomato.  She added a good sprinkle of chopped fresh basil, and when she makes these in the summertime, she puts a whole basil leaf skewered on each one.  So good.

I've been making savory cream puffs stuffed with chicken salad for 35 years!  The original recipe was in a little thin Better Homes and Gardens cookbook about chicken. I've made thousands of these things! They take a little time, but are well worth the effort.

Savory Cream Puff Recipe

Melt a stick of real butter in a cup of water .. .bring that to a boil to melt the butter.  Remove the pan from the heat and quickly whisk in 1 cup of flour and continue to whisk it until the dough sticks together in a sort of a ball.  Use your mixer to beat in 4 eggs ... one at time. The dough will become glossy. Beat in 1 cup of parmesan cheese, 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley, a teaspoon onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or chipotle powder.  You can vary the herbs to your own liking. 

Now here is the trick to making these right. Some recipes will tell you to bake them for ten minutes at 425 degrees ... then turn the temp down.  

Put both your oven racks on the two middle levels of your oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Use a tiny ice cream scoop (or two teaspoons) to drop  portions of a little more than a Tablespoon of this dough on a lightly greased baking sheet.  You'll probably have about 30 puffs on two sheets.  

As soon as you put the sheets in the oven, turn it down to 375 degrees ... and bake these for 15 minutes.  They should be puffy and brown ... and if the color doesn't suit you ... you can bake them for another 5 minutes.   The reason I caution you about the highest temperature ... is that these babies will burn and have black bottoms in five minutes, if you aren't careful ... but you need to start out at the high temperature to jump start the rising.

These are the popular pineapple cheesecake bars that are all over Pinterest these days!  You can find my post right here ... I borrowed the recipe from The Sisters Cafe blog  I substitute the vanilla and almond extracts for 2 teaspoons of lemon extract.  I like that combination of flavors better ... and these were complimented by an old friend who owned a popular bakery for decades!  So, I think they hit the mark.

These easy little chocolate pudding tarts were made using packaged phyllo pastry cups ... but you have to know why we made them.  Our candidate's opponent's daughter threw a chocolate cream pie in the face of the Illinois Governor George Ryan several years ago. Can you imagine?  We just want to make sure that voters remember that!  Like him or not ... that is a bit inappropriate.  Ya think?

I'll be sharing this post with a few of the following parties.  Make sure you click through to take a look at the other posts!

Creatively Living for Monday  Funday Party 
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday 
Dwellings-Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday 

The DIY Dreamer for From Dream To Reality Tues  
Our Home Away From Home for Tuesdays @ Our Home 
Knick of Time for Knick of Time Tues  Inspire Me Tuesday  
Creative Muster

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Phoebe's Valentine Dinner Party!

You may have read my post a couple weeks ago ... about Phoebe wanting a party! We were shopping and she found something she thought would be good to decorate for our party. I told her I didn't think I'd have a party for Valentine's Day because we were going to a fancy dinner dance. She almost cried right in the middle of the fabric store, so I quickly decided that we would have our regularly scheduled party! I'm amazed at what she remembers, but I guess I'd better realize that she does, indeed, remember family events at my house.  Here's our party.

I decorated the mantel in the dining room last week. You can see it right here! I saved the table decorating for Phoebe and her mama to do right before our dinner. 

I could have chosen from lots of china, but I wanted to use these everyday Temptations dishes because Phoebe got them for me for Mother's Day! They are a pretty red color, with big daisy style flowers on them. So, I put Cricut to work and cut lots of hearts and daisy style flowers to use in creating a simple centerpiece. Silk flowers tucked down in clear barrel mugs with mercury glass votive candles fit the bill!

Notice the cute little heart topped box at each place setting. I made them ... and filled them with our favorite new treat: Pretzel turtle candies. If you haven't made them, you need to. All you do is place a Rolo candy on top of a square pretzel and bake them for 5 minutes at 250 degrees. Take them out of the oven, and press a pecan half on top of each candy. They are a delicious two bites of salty caramel chocolatey goodness!

They are so easy to make and I haven't found anybody who doesn't love them!   Back to the centerpiece. In the collage below, you can see all the elements I had ready for Phoebe's little hands to put together on the table!  Flowers, hearts and more hearts!  I almost never throw a piece of scrapbooking paper away, so all those little extra pieces turned into pretty little hearts. A few replicas of vintage Valentines add a comfortable appeal. We wanted casual and comfortable for this family dinner party.

Our meal began with something that was pretty cute. I found this heart shaped cheese molded in red wax. It is white cheddar with strawberries in it. When Phoebe saw it, she couldn't wait to get it opened!

Then we had a wonderful layered salad ... You know the one: loaded with cauliflower, peas, boiled eggs, radishes, tomatoes and iceberg lettuce. I always make my dressing using the bacon grease from frying the bacon for the topping! Add sharp cheddar cheese and you have a delicious combination of flavors. The cute heart shaped bowl is one of the new Temptations creations from QVC.

The rest of our menu included creamed corn ... cream cheese style; salt and pepper shrimp ... because Phoebe loves shrimp; and Coc au Vin over buttered noodles ... which I make a little differently than the typical recipe. I'll put that in a future post.

It was so cold outside, but so cozy in the dining room in front of the fireplace ... that we decided to put the food on the table and serve family style! 

Somebody was waiting patiently under the table for any little dropped morsel! Jimmy Mutt was so excited all day long. He was looking for Phoebe beginning at 8:00 in the morning. I never know how he knows that she is coming over ... but he does. He waited all day long for her to finally arrive! Then, when they left after dinner, he parked right in front of the door and pouted because they had gone!

We ended our meal with coffee and this beautiful trifle. We love this combination: angel food cake topped with fresh strawberries (sliced) ... with cheesecake flavored pudding poured over it all. I added more fresh strawberries, then topped it all with Cool Whip ... Too easy! I use Cool Whip instead of whipped cream, especially when I know there will be some left. It holds up well!

I'll be sharing this post with a few parties this week, so make sure you click through to see the other posts!

Creatively Living for Monday  Funday Party 
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday 
Dwellings-Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday 

The DIY Dreamer for From Dream To Reality Tues  
Our Home Away From Home for Tuesdays @ Our Home 
Knick of Time for Knick of Time Tues  Inspire Me Tuesday  
Creative Muster

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