Saturday, January 22, 2011

National Pie Day is TODAY!!

My granddaughter, Caroline, slept overnight &
one of our many projects was to make a lemon meringue pie
in honor of

National Pie Day!

Recipe is straight from the back of the
Jell-O lemon pudding & pie filling box.

She to help me in the kitchen.
We had meringue on the counter, her shirt, my shirt...
even my purse which was on the other side of the room!

Then we had a tea party in the sewing room with all her favorite friends.

Does this qualify as a blooper Tablescape for Thursday at Susan's BNOTP?
Forks on the wrong side, no napkins or glasses.
We were in a hurry to taste that pie!

Lots of fun & lots of wonderful memories being made.

I'm joining Jojo for the second time

Jojo's - Joys

for her National Pie Party, which is going on this week!

Go visit her to see what others are making.

Don't you agree they should change the national celebration date to



Friday, January 21, 2011

Healthy Broccoli-Cauliflower Salad


The beginning of a new year always has me thinking about eating healthier.

The over-indulgence of the holiday treats isn't good for any of us

but is especially hard if you're diabetic or have disease, like my husband.

I made this broccoli-cauliflower dish for my tennis group as well as one of our

gatherings where 4 of the Doc's 5 granddaughters are vegetarian.

They ALL loved it & many had never tasted it before.

I thought I'd share the recipe here & note the changes I made

to try to cut down on the sugar & fat content.

* Exported from MasterCook *
Broccoli Salad
Recipe By : Rett's FL Friends
Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :1:40
Categories : Salads/Dressings
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
4 bunches broccoli florets -- raw
1 medium onion -- finely chopped
1 cup sunflower KERNELS -- not seeds!!
6 slices cooked bacon -- crispy & crumbled (served on the side)
3/4 cup mayonnaise -- Hellman's (lite works great & I try to use less)
1/2 cup sugar ( I used 1/4 C. sugar & 1/4 C. Splenda®)
3 teaspoons vinegar
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients & mix thoroughly. Cover & chill 6 to 8 hours.
Optional additions: cauliflower or raisins or cashews
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I mix the lite-mayo, sugar/Splenda® & vinegar first &

whisk it till fully blended,

then toss in the other ingredients till fully coated.

I left out the raisins in my batch but I did add 1/2 a head of cauliflower

& a big handful of cashews along with the sunflower kernels.

I store my sunflower kernels in the freezer

so they don't get rancid.

I crumbed the cooked bacon & served it in a little dish

on the side for those that wanted

to add it to their own portion.

The vegans thanked me for that! LOL


Of course, serving it in my pretty, hand-painted

glass bowls helps it taste much better!

You paint on the OUTSIDE of a clear glass bowl...

(this one had the design already imprinted on it)

with specially made glass paints available in craft stores.

The design then shows up on the inside of the bowl.


I found out AFTER these were done that I should have painted the gold lines FIRST

as they don't show through the white layer on the inside.

We had a group that met regularly in FL to work on such projects.

I sure miss those friends!

I got a ton of great recipes from them, including this one.

I'm participating
in "Foodie Friday" at Designs By Gollum
Be sure to check out all the other delicious recipes
posted on her wonderful blog.

Thanks for stopping by & thank you for all my
wonderful birthday wishes!
I'm still celebrating today with the
grandkidlets...they have the day off from school!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A visit with my sisters


I had a wonderful visit with 2 of my 4 sisters this week.

They drove well over an hour each way to come help me celebrate my birthday.

You KNOW I had to set a pretty table for them!

Since we'll be away on Valentine's Day (our anniversary)

I thought I would take the opportunity to use some of my shaped dishes.



My original menu plan was to make little individual chicken pot pies

in the white shaped ones & use the RED ones for coleslaw.






RED & white with polka-dots galore!


Since it was just family, I put the cups & saucers on the table.

I realize you're not suppose to have them there before hand.

Normally, I would keep them on a side table until the end of the meal

but with only 4 place settings, it looked a little sparse without them.



RED Colonial candles (Susan's BNOTP Favorite) in Ralph Lauren crystal candlesticks.



The day before their arrival, I got an email saying

"We'll be at your house by noon...don't feed us, we're both too fat!"

Of course, EVERYONE is on a diet at the start of a new year.

Us, too!


So, I put out these BIG bowls & changed the menu to just salads with grilled chicken.


Plans quickly changed to very low calorie choices.

This lovely combination is only 5 calories & tastes delicious & is good for you, too.

Lots of antioxidants!


Salad served from my Waterford crystal bowl that I carried home from Ireland in my hand luggage.

I didn't trust the baggage handlers not to break it!


Instead of the pot pies, we enjoyed

Apple Pecan Grilled Chicken Salad

(from Wendy's)

It is soooo good with fresh spring greens, dried cranberries,

blue cheese, pecans & chunks of grilled chicken breast.

The Marzetti Pomegranate Vinaigrette dressing is awesome.

I wish we could buy it for home use but

its unavailable for purchase other than at Wendy's with this salad!


I used the little dishes to hold their pecans that come in little bags with the salads &

I also added some of my own pecans that I glazed with

about a tablespoon of sugar in a non-stick pan.

Watch them closely, as it melts fast & can burn quickly!


I served a healthy, low calorie fruit salad of grapes, Mineola oranges,

watermelon, strawberries & pineapple.

Sweetened with just a light sprinkle of Splenda® & a wee bit of orange juice for moisture.

I had strawberry yogurt ready to also use as a topping but everyone preferred it plain.



Yummalicious & soooo good for you, too!


The cute Department 56 cake dome on the Ralph Lauren cake stand

was just meant to cover a plate of cookies for dessert,



They surprised me by bringing along lemon meringue utmost favorite!

I have had lemon pie, instead of a birthday cake, for as long as I can remember.

Usually, my sweet hubby makes it for me,

using French's lemon pudding & pie filling.

He just follows the recipe on the back of the box,

but they saved him from all that work this time.


Wasn't that SWEET of them?

Thanks, Sisters, for a delightful visit.

I loved having you over.

Hurry back!


Candy Apple Red Chargers: Big Lots
White stoneware dishes: American Antelier, Bianca
Flatware: Napoleon Bee, Horchow
Red polka-dot plates: T. J. Maxx (last year)
Red & white heart bowl: Michael's (last year)
Napkin folding tutorial:

Thank YOU, too, for visiting The Gazebo House.

Our doors are always open to you.

I have some sewing projects to share next.

I finished almost 75 peri-pads for the girls in Haiti

then completed a corduroy pants outfit for Ms. Caroline.

I've been in my sewing room so much lately that hubby came

downstairs to visit, saying

"I just wanted to see how my other half lived".

I'll be joining Susan at
Between Naps on the Porch
for our favorite Thursday event

As well as The Tablescaper for her Seasonal Sundays meme.

and Marty at her blog

A Stroll Thru Life

for her Tabletop Tuesday.

EDITED TO ADD: I'm also joining Jojo at her blog

Jojo's - Joys

Pie Party, which I just heard is going on this week!

How perfect for this post...thanks for inviting me, Jojo!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Guess what I've been doing...

Before I tell you about the above project, let me say "thank you" to everyone for the "Get Well" wishes for my hubby. He is doing much better now, although still somewhat tired & dizzy at times. He just doesn't spring back like he used to!

Now, the project you see spread out on my table are peri-pads for the young women of Haiti. I have wonderfully devout Christian neighbors who travel to Haiti every year to help at a school as missionaries. The young girls of Haiti are missing school every month when they have their periods. In an effort to educate & assist them in learning good personal hygiene as well as keeping them in school, kits are being made up here in the states, containing washable & reusable pads, lightweight underwear, nice fresh smelling soap, a calendar & some Ibuprofen along with instructions on their usage. (Hopefully, some birth control measures will also be taught, but I don't know that for certain)

I donated my HUGE roll of 'Warm & Natural' cotton batting & together about 12-15 ladies have cut colorful flannel for the top & bottom layers & are now sewing these washable peri-pads together for inclusion in the kits to be taken to Haiti sometime in January. Hopefully, the young women will be receptive to this idea & in the future, there are hopes that they could be shown how to construct the pads themselves, perhaps even make it a profitable enterprise in the future. Treadle sewing machines would be needed in some of the areas without electricity, but some locations do have power.

I felt that if only ONE girl was able to continue her education & perhaps later, lift her own family out of abject poverty because of these efforts, then it was time & money well spent.

Thanks for letting me share my projects with you at The Gazebo House. If anyone is interested in helping out with either cutting or sewing or donating materials, you can email me for details & an online pattern link for the pads.

I can't cut & sew & also be on the computer at the same time...dern it! I'll be back to blogging once this job is complete.


Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wishing you much happiness & more importantly,
GOOD HEALTH in the coming year!

(if you don't have good health, then you don't have much happiness, either)

Dr. Gazebo House has been very sick & in bed with a horrible cold this past week.
He's high maintenance on a good day, but when he's sick....sheesh!
Lets just say my time is not my own.
Doctors make the WORST patients...he says *nurses* are even worse.
However, I am very grateful to still have him around for another holiday.
He makes me laugh, even when he's sick!

I'm working on posting a healthy, veggie salad recipe as well as
a not-so-healthy but very DELICIOUS soup &
a snowman table for the grandkids on Sunday.

I thank you for stopping by The Gazebo House &
I promise I will get back to posting &
returning your visits just as soon as the doc is well.

(praying that I don't catch it next!!!)