How to Boil Crawfish

Submitted by Cindy

Crawfish boils are a rite of spring in New Orleans.  They combine two of our favorite activities – eating good food and visiting with friends.  We recently spent a picture perfect Saturday afternoon in a beautiful setting eating to our heart’s content.  Here’s the star of the show.

closeup (640x366)

We are lucky here to have boiled crawfish readily available.  You can buy a few pounds, still hot from the pot, at a lot of groceries this time of year.  There are specialty caterers who will bring their equipment on site to cook for larger parties.  But it’s a lot more fun to cook them yourself.

crawfish in pot (640x504)

My friend Chris, a master crawfish boiler when he’s not behind his desk at an investment firm, shared his cooking secrets with me.  It’s as much an art as a science, and the results are delicious!

my first serving (640x407)

Read more…

Caring For A Dining Table

Submitted by Christi

I have always enjoyed entertaining. It is a great way to get together with friends and family and show them how much you care with a beautiful table setting and wonderful food. However, occasionally, when you entertain, a dish gets broken or a water ring or heat ring is left on your beautiful wood dining table. Don’t fret. Dishes are created to be used and breakage is just a part of life and . . . you can’t take it with you anyway. 🙂 The table is another matter. With the right supplies, you can fix that table right up.

I did that just recently with my dining table. After a dinner party, I noticed some heat marks and a few water rings. No problem, just got out my supplies and added a little elbow grease and took those marks right out of the wood. Here is how I did it.

Wood Care Supplies

These are the product I used.

I started with the Restore-A Finish product. You apply it with a cloth in the direction of the wood grain. For stubborn heat or water marks, you can use a fine grain steel wool (0000). Read more…

Fish on Friday

Submitted by Cindy

New Orleans is a very Catholic city.  I’m not Catholic, but I heartily endorse one of the faith’s tenets – the “sacrifice” of eating seafood as opposed to meat.  On a recent Friday during Lent, I decided to honor the occasion by featuring Louisiana specialties from the sea.

For starters, we had Crawfish Bisque.  I have to confess that it wasn’t my creation – it was stashed in the infamous freezer after a catered party I hosted.  The main course was Trout Pecan accompanied by a rice pilaf.  My husband caught the trout while on a male bonding office outing, and it arrived home cleaned and filleted.  (Any time, dear!)  The dessert was a praline parfait.


Read more…

Supper in the Kitchen

Submitted by Christi

I love my formal dining table and setting it for dinners is always fun, however, sometimes, when we are just entertaining another couple, that table is really just too big. I always think about the old movies where there was long, formal dining table and a couple was sitting at opposite sides, being waited on by formal servants who are summoned by a bell. Remember that? I hope so, otherwise, I’m just sounding crazy . . .

Anyway, in cases of a small group, I like to set a less formal table in the kitchen, like this:

Add some flowers . . .

Some food, wine and most importantly, people and . . .

let the fun begin! (Note: I have cropped the identity of my friends – I need to start letting people know that they could show up online when they dine here).

We had a lovely evening sitting around the table, eating, sipping wine and visiting.

Tablescape Thursday with Between Naps on the Porch

with Between Naps on the Porch

Christmas in the Country

Submitted by Cindy

My friends Jimmy and David have a fantastic second home an hour north of New Orleans in rural St. Tammany Parish.  Over twenty years they have transformed a barren piece of land into an estate with a fantastic house, lake, gardens, a greenhouse, and a commercial nursery.  The latest addition – just in time for the Christmas season – is a chapel.

We were honored to attend their annual Christmas Open House last weekend.   I’m only showing you inside views today, but we’ll go back in the spring when the gardens are in full bloom.   As always, the home was beautifully decorated, with holiday color in every room.

Click to enlarge.

You can’t have a party in New Orleans without food, and David is a fantastic cook.  The old saying “you eat first with your eyes” is especially true here – just look at the artistic displays.  I wish that I had such attention to detail!  If  you’re getting hungry, check out the recipe for Blue Cheese Pine Cones below.

Click to enlarge.

Blue Cheese Pine Cones

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1-1/4 cups processed cheese sauce

1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 tablespoon diced pimientos

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1-1/2 cups unblanched almonds, toasted

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, cheese sauce and blue cheese until smooth. Stir in the onions, pimientos and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and refrigerate until firm. On a serving platter, form cheese spread into a pine cone shape. Beginning at the narrow end, arrange almonds in rows.  Serve with crackers. 

Tablescape Thursday with Between Naps on the Porch

with Between Naps on the Porch


Fall Dinner Party in New Orleans

Submitted by Christi

Since moving to New Orleans, I have really enjoyed making new friends and renewing acquaintances. I also enjoy having a roomy dining room that makes entertaining so much easier. Recently, we had some friends over for a casual, early fall dinner.

fall dinner party

I was busy getting things ready and didn’t get enough pictures of the table. I’ve gotten out the habit, but promise to do better. 🙂 Anyway, it was a fun evening.

fall dinner party in New Orleans

The china pattern is “Reynolds” by Spode. One of my favorites for late summer, early fall entertaining.

fall dinner party in New Orleans

Happy Fall Y’all! Hope it is off to a great start wherever you are.

For dessert, we had gingerbread with warm caramelized pears and spiced bourbon custard (topped with whipped cream). I came up with the spiced bourbon custard recipe by working with a standard custard recipe. Gotta say, it was pretty tasty. Here is the recipe:

Today’s Lagniappe: Spiced Bourbon Custard

Mix in a saucepan:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup flour

Stir in:

  • 2 cups milk

Cook over medium heat, stirring until it boils. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir about half of this mixture into 4 beaten egg yolks.

Blend into hot mixture in saucepan. Bring just to a boiling point. Cool and blend in 1 tsp. vanilla, 3 tablespoons bourbon and 1 tsp. pumpkin pie mix.

Cover with plastic wrap, pushing down the plastic wrap to touch the custard and refrigerate until ready to use.

I layered this with gingerbread and pears that had been chopped and then cooked down with sugar and cinnamon and then topped it all with whipped cream.

Southern Derby Day and Some Pink!

Submitted by Christi

It is Derby Day! Time to run for the roses, but in my case it will be for the pinks!

Ready with a mint julep on a pale pink napkin in front of the pink flowers. Where did I get the flowers?

From the back fence! Aren’t they beautiful. Let’s take a closer look.

Now, I just have to get out my pink hat and I’ll be ready! I’ll try to remember to put a pic of the hat on once I get it out. But, for now . . . I’m going to enjoy a lovely Saturday. Hope you will too and have a great:

Pink Saturday

Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound

Today’s Lagniappe: Kentucky Hot Brown
Something to eat while you sip that mint julep! This recipe is from Bobby Flay.

  • 4 ounces butter
  • Flour to make a roux (about 6 tablespoons)
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
  • 1 ounce whipped cream (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Sauteed mushrooms
  • 1 whole tomato, sliced
  • Slices roast turkey
  • 8 to 12 slices of toast (may be trimmed)
  • 8 to 12 strips fried bacon

Melt butter and add enough flour to make a reasonably thick roux (enough to absorb all of the butter). Add milk and 6 tablespoons Parmesan. Add egg to thicken sauce, but do not allow to boil.

Remove from heat. Fold in whipped cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For each Hot Brown, place 2 slices of toast on a metal (or flameproof) dish. Cover the toast with mushrooms and thinly sliced tomatoes, then cover with a liberal amount of turkey. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the turkey and toast. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan. Place entire dish under a broiler until the sauce is speckled brown and bubbly. Remove from broiler, cross 2 pieces of bacon on top and serve immediately.

Southern Stroll

Submitted by Christi

What a lovely time of year it is to take a walk through the neighborhood! The homes are adorned with blooming trees, flowers and shrubs.

I like the bunny flag in front of this house

I like the bunny flag in front of this house

Here is another one set in a plot of daffodils

Here is another one set in a plot of daffodils

Beautiful Forsythia

Beautiful Forsythia

I love the red colors of this tree in spring before it turns to green

I love the red colors of this tree in spring before it turns to green

Beautiful weeping cherry

Beautiful weeping cherry

Daffodils in a row

Daffodils in a row

Daffodils around a tree (and a little forsythia back there too)

Daffodils around a tree (and a little forsythia back there too)

Daffoldils everywhere! Darlene, this is your house!

Daffoldils everywhere! Darlene, this is your house!

Leaves starting to open on the trees

Leaves starting to open on the trees

It truly is a beautiful world!

A little outdoor pic for Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer and Rednesday! with It’s a Very Cherry.

Today’s Lagniappe: Grilled Asparagus with Sesame

* 1 lb asparagus, fresh, thinner spears
* 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
* 3 tablespoons soy sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* sesame seed (optional)

1. Soak 2-3 bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes or more
2. Wash asparagus and snap the ends off
3. Thread the asparagus spears onto the bamboo skewers
4. Spoon or brush the toasted sesame oil onto the asparagus
5. Spoon or brush the soy sauce onto the asparagus
6. Sprinkle with pepper
7. Place on grill and cook for 3-4 minutes until crisp tender
8. Add sesame seeds before cooking
9. Any extra soy sauce-oil mixture can either be used for dipping or basting during cooking

More Southern Carnival

Submitted by Christi

Well really, the best metamorphosis to me right now is how each day the sun stays out longer. My friends from Down Under are experiencing the opposite! Right now, as each day grows longer, I am more and more anxious for Spring. Nothing says Spring to me more than Easter, and of course, celebrating Carnival and Mardi Gras seem to help speed along the process during the dark winter days. Actually, it was sunny and in the 50’s here today, which makes me understand why so many people choose to retire in the South. Bring on the SUNSHINE!!!!

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Here is the top of the piano before:



I’ll have to say the fern does bring a nice outdoor touch.


Here it is now, decked out for the Carnival Season and Mardi Gras!


The lusters are now wearing Mardi Gras masks and the contented piggies in the middle are wearing Mardi Gras beads. We picked up the piggies on the New Orleans leg of our honeymoon. We had just had breakfast at Brennan’s and felt just like these little piggies look!

Hope you are enjoying some longer days with more sunshine and can find something fun to celebrate!

Today’s Lagniappe: Tobasco’s Bloody Mary’s
From the Tobasco site – Bloody Mary’s by the pitcher to help celebrate the season

  • 1 (32-ounce) bottle TABASCO® brand Mildly Seasoned or Extra Spicy Bloody Mary Mix
  • 1 1/2 cups vodka or gin
  • Lime slices or celery stalks

Combine TABASCO® Bloody Mary Mix and vodka in a 2-quart pitcher; stir well and chill. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with lime or celery.

History – Birth of a Cocktail. Learn more about it.

Makes 8 servings.

Southern Entertaining Plans

Submitted by Christi

Do not forget to entertain strangers,
for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:2

The holidays are upon us. Only a few more weeks until Thanksgiving and then Christmas and New Years are right behind. It seems like just yesterday we were enjoying the long summer days. Well, November is here now and daylights savings time is over and the days are getting shorter. Even as I am writing this, I can look out my window and see beautiful yellow gold and red trees against a brilliant autumn blue sky.

With the holidays comes entertaining! Here a few easy to make bites for just such occasions.

Hot Brie Kisses
This recipe uses puff pastry, but you could use pre-made phyllo cups to make it even easier.

Hot Brie Kiss

Hot Brie Kiss

2/3 pound brie cheese
2 sheets puff pastry
hot pepper jelly

Thaw puff pastry at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Unfold pastry and roll lightly with a rolling pin to remove creases.

Cut each sheet into fourths, then cut each fourth in half. Cut each piece in half again to produce 16 even squares of dough per pastry sheet.

Lightly spray mini-muffin cups with vegetable oil.
Fit a square of dough into each cup. The pointed edges of the dough should extend straight up.

Cut brie into 1/2″ squares. Place a piece of cheese into each dough-lined cup. Top with 1/4 teaspoon pepper jelly.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.

Famous Disappearing Spinach Dip
Serve this in a hollowed out round of bread or cabbage with crackers and crudites.

Spinach Dip

Spinach Dip

1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed (do not use fresh)
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1 c.good mayonnaise
1 (4 oz.) pkg. Knorr vegetable soup mix
1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, finely chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped

Squeeze spinach until dry. In medium bowl, stir together spinach, sour cream and soup mix. Add finely chopped water chestnuts and green onions. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

Shrimp Cocktail Dip
When I was growing up, shrimp cocktail was served for really special occasions or at fancy restaurants. It went out of style for a while, but is back strong now. This dip is a twist on an old favorite. Serve it with crackers, or toasted baguette slices.


1 cup chili sauce
1 medium celery rib with leaves, finely chopped
1 green onion (that is a scallion in Yankee talk) – white and green parts, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon bottled horseradish (more if you want it a little spicier)
Tabasco (to taste)
8 oz. cooked, peeled, deveined, and finely chopped shrimp
One 8 oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature

In a medium bowl, mix the chili sauce, celery, scallion, parsley, lemon juice, hoseradish, and hot pepper sauce to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours (this part can be prepared up to 2 days in advance).

Stir the shrimp into the cocktail sauce. Place the cream cheese on a serving platter, and pour the shrimp mixture over the top. Serve immediately with crackers or toasted baguette slices.

Be sure to have plenty of cocktail napkins and nice candles on hand for an instant party anytime you please.

Today’s Lagniappe: Bloody Mary’s
Make up a pitcher and serve the vodka on the side so your friends who are driving or prefer not to drink alcohol can still enjoy the great taste of this classic cocktail. To make them extra special, rim the glasses by wetting with lemon juice and then dipping in celery salt.

  • 3 large stalks celery from the heart, including leaves, plus extra for serving
  • 36 ounces tomato juice
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon grated yellow onion
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 dashes hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco), or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups vodka

Cut the celery in large dice, including the leaves, and puree in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until finely minced. In a large pitcher, combine the rest of the ingredients except the vodka. With the food processor running, pour 1/4 of the tomato juice mixture into the food processor through the feed tube. Then pour the contents of the food processor into the pitcher with the remaining tomato juice mixture. Add the vodka and chill or serve the vodka on the side.  Serve in tall glasses over ice with a stick of celery.


It’s a three-for Tuesday! Join these great blogs for more recipes and great ideas.

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More Tuesday

Southern Ice Cream Social

Submitted by Christi

It’s an old fashioned Ice Cream Social with Kitchen Bouquet today!


I’ve posted here previously about my favorite store bought ice cream. That would be Bluebell Strawberry and Homemade Vanilla.


My favorite homemade would be Butterfinger Ice Cream like my Mama used to make:

Homemade Butterfinger Ice Cream

4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups peanut butter, melted
1 cup raw sugar
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
3 to 4 regular sized Butterfinger candy bars, frozen
1/8 tsp real vanilla extract
1 pint heavy whipping cream or half-and-half (if desired, for richer ice cream)
1 gallon milk (whole or 2 percent)

Crush candy bars in a plastic bag (a rolling pin does a great job). Mix all ingredients except whole milk in a bowl. Reserve some crushed candy for ice cream topping. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and add whole milk to the container’s fill line.

Place the container into your ice cream bucket, adding layers of ice and rock salt around it. Prepare according to your ice cream freezer’s instructions.

Y’all have fun today and go see all the other great ice cream ideas!


Southern Drinks on the Porch

Submitted by Christi

You may remember, Monday, I mentioned that last Saturday night a few friends came over for drinks on the porch. Well here are the pics for Tablescape Thursday with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.

Click on the logo to see all of the tablescapes this week.

Click on the logo to see all of the tablescapes this week.

I am always looking for inspiration and I get so much from all of you. Here is the inspiration for this weeks table:

I saw this on the save on crafts website (you can go there by clicking on the pic). This look was created for a wedding. I loved the double shepherd’s hook on the table. I had a double shepherd’s hook but I didn’t want to use it in the middle of the table, nor, did I need anything that formal. I just took their idea and made a less formal, kind of rustic, shabby chic version. This is what I did:

I put up the hook, covered the bottom with moss, added a hanging plant on one side and a candle in a bird cage on the other.

I put up the hook, covered the bottom with moss, added a hanging plant on one side and a candle in a bird cage on the other.

Added some good food and drinks.

Added some good food and drinks.

Some friends.

Some friends.

And we had a great time!

And we had a great time!

A robin had tried to build a nest in one of our trees and it had blown out. The nest is at the top of the hooks.

A robin had tried to build a nest in one of our trees and it had blown out. The nest is at the top of the hooks.

Here is the candle in the cage.

Here is the candle in the cage.

As it got dark we lit the candles.

As it got dark we lit the candles.

We watched the fireflies, listened to the crickets and birds and visited and had a wonderful time.

Wish all of y’all could have been there. I’ll admit, mine is not nearly as polished as the magazine shoot. I just used what I had on hand and I was not planning anything so formal as a wedding. I actually didn’t have to purchase anything for the shepherd hook look and I kind of like the shabby chic approach to this.

I think there are a lot of possibilities here. Maybe in the fall, hang mums and wrap around a fall garland. For a patriotic look add red ribbon to the hooks and patriotic plant pokes to the hanging plant. I’ll try some different ideas and let you know how they turn out.

Oh, by the way, my friends Mark and Kim brought the beautiful  hydrangeas in the jar with the pretty plaid ribbon. They looked very pretty on the table. Wasn’t that so sweet of them?

Today’s Lagniappe:  Grilled Shrimp
We kind of went with a Mexican flavor for the party and all of the recipes are on this blog. Southwestern Cheesecake, Shrimp Dip, Guacamole and Lemon-Thyme Cookies. This grilled shrimp would have fit right in!

1 lb peeled, deveined shrimp (any size)
olive oil
garlic salt
Old Bay Seasoning
1 lime
Drizzle enough oil over the shrimp to coat. Sprinkle paprika, garlic salt and Old Bay, to taste (I use about 1/2 teaspoon of each for 1 lb of shrimp).Place on wooden skewers which have been soaked in water for 1 hour.

Put on grill, cooking until shrimp tails turn white. Flip and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes more (depending on size).

Squeeze lime over the cooked shrimp and serve as an appetizer, or add to corn tortillas for shrimp tacos.

Southern Evening

Submitted by Christi


This weekend is a good weekend to have a couple of friends over to sit on the porch and have margaritas and a few eats.

This Southwestern Cheesecake is a good choice to go with margaritas. It is a combination of a couple of recipes. You could use jalapenos instead of chilies or use a different kind of cheese or even add shredded chicken to this recipe.

  • 1 cup finely crushed tortilla chips (about half of a 13 1/2-ounce bag)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 5 large eggs
  • 8 ounces grated Cheddar
  • sour cream
  • chopped greed onion
  • diced tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the chips and butter in a small bowl and mix to blend. Press the mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Add the cream cheese and eggs to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until very smooth. Using a rubber spatula, fold the vegetables, chicken, grated cheese,  and remaining tablespoon salt into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the mixture into the springform pan and bake until the center has set, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a wire rack. When cool, cover with sour cream. Top with green onions and tomatoes. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill thoroughly before serving.

The jalapeno pepper plants in my garden have not produced any pepper yet. I can’t wait until I can just go out in the garden and pick them and use them fresh.

I know it is still officially Spring, but, it feels like Summer to me!

Go on over to Gollum’s by clicking on the Foodie Friday logo here to see lots of great recipes.

Today’s Lagniappe:  Easy Dip for Fruit
This dip is in just about every church cookbook I have. It is a favorite with fresh strawberries or other fresh fruit, and, it couldn’t be easier to make.

8 ounces marshmallow cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened

Blend together and you have a delicious dip for fruit!

Southern Sunday Favorite

Submitted by Christi
Another Sunday Favorite with Chari at Happy to Design. Click on pic above to see other favorites!


I remember Sunday lunches when I was growing up fondly. When we got home from church we would set the table with the good china and all gather round the table. Often, we would have company and spend 2 or 3 hours at the table visiting. I remember one occasion when my mother had put a roast in the oven before church. When we got home, she had a migraine headache so we were going to just have a low key lunch so she could rest. As it happened, there was a mix up in dates and one of the ministers from the church and his wife thought they were invited for lunch that Sunday and, of course, showed up ready to eat. My poor mother, got us to set the table and she went ahead and presented a lovely meal with a smile (even though she felt terrible).

I’m not sure how my mother managed. She often didn’t know how many would actually show up but there was always plenty of food for everyone served with grace and beautiful Southern hospitality. I always appreciated how everyone always felt welcome in our home. I hope people feel as welcome in my own home as my mother made them feel in hers.

Todays Lagniappe: Mama’s Sunday Roast

Place a 3 to 5 lb. roast in a roasting pan and season with salt and pepper. Mix together cream of mushroom soup, 1 pkg. of Campbell’s beefy onion soup mix and a can of beef consumme. Pour over roast. Put roast in 325 degree F. oven and roast for 2 to 3 hours. Place potatoes that have been quartered or cut into 8ths and carrot chunks into pan around the roast after the roast has cooked for 2 hours or so. Raise oven temperature to 35o degrees F. and cook for an additional 30 to 40 minutes until vegetables are soft. Remove roast and vegetables from pan and make a gravy with the pan drippings. Serve roast and vegetables with hot rolls, a green vegetable and a smile.

photo from mc-q via flickr

Southern Tablescape

Submitted by Christi


Okay, here it is. My first entry in Tablescape Thursday hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. I set a table for Spring and you can find a lot of other inspirational pictures on Susan’s blog. Don’t miss her back porch transformation.

I have a little secret for setting my table. I can’t remember where I learned it but I use it every time I set my table. If you notice, all of the utinsels and main plates are aligned. The trick I use is to place the plates and utensil the distance between the tip of my thumb and the first knuckle from the edge of the table. This gives a polished, finished look to the table.

Now, I collect books on table settings and etiquette and absolutely love table settings. When I go to a restaurant that places all of the utensils on the same side of the plate the first thing I do is put them in their proper place so I feel comfortable.

I learned table setting from Mama. We always set the table for our evening meal with a placemat, knife, spoon, fork, plate, glass and napkin. I learned at an early age how to set them all in their proper places. On Sundays we would set the table with a tablecloth and nice china. That is another great thing my Mama taught me – use your good china. To this day, I never understand people who put their best china in a cabinet and never use it. So what if something gets broken? That is part of life and part of being a good hostess is taking things in stride and dealing with situations graciously.

The eggs in the crystal bowl are hand painted. I love them. Just before I snapped the pics, I went out to my redbud tree and cut off a few branches that I laid on either side of the crystal bowl. The ice storm damaged so many of our trees. I was really happy to get these.  So, here it is, this weeks tablescape:







Today’s Lagniappe: Green Salad with Chicken, Strawberries and Toasted Pecans

2 cups skinned and boned roasted chicken breast
1/4 cup pecans, toasted
2 cups hulled and quartered strawberries
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup finely diced celery
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cups salad greens

Combine chicken, pecans, strawberries, onion, celery,  vinegar, and oil. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Serve over salad greens.