Sunday Pot Roast…and ‘bama cheese…
December 19, 2011

What a treasure trove of cheese....

OK, my sisters and I have gotten to the point that instead of us buying individual gifts for siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews, etc., we give a family gift…usually of food. Which, as you know…I love. Audrey, who lives in Gulf Shores.. came across a little fromagerie(tho they don’t call it that)…called Sweet Home Farm in Elberta. An homage to Sweet Home Alabama, I’m sure.

Perdido Pass is water passage that separates Florida and Alabama

And all the cheeses are named for places in LA(lower Alabama)….like Perdido(as in Perdido Pass), Montevallo, Bayside Blue….and they are soooo good!

Made an old-fashioned pot roast this weekend…though with an Italian twist….Strocotto…

Giada's Pot Roast....with red wine and beef broth...

Pot Roast with Porcini mushrooms by Giada di Laurentiis-here.Not difficult at all, just don’t get started too late…it takes about 4 hours to prep, cook and puree the veges into a sauce.

Sunday lunch for 7....

We had a few friends over for Sunday lunch…which seemed perfect for pot’s what the table looked like. And see that little feather wreath around the flower base?

LIttle feathery napkin holders(she found them at Pier One)

A friend brought me these napkin holders….that are so much fun….and look like they were madefor the feather wreath.

Used Magnolia leaves for place!

It's alive!! (SO far....)

And I love this “living wreath” I found this year on One King’s Lane….It likes the cold weather on the door….all you have to do is water it once a week or so. Think it will survive the winter? We’ll see, won’t we….And last but not least…finally… a server for sea salt.

Got this from The Salt Works....

One of my guests this Sunday really loved this….she has sea salts from different places, but thought….how do you serve them? I found this at a really amazing website(if you like salt!)…The Salt Works-here. These people are serious about salt…whether it’s in your food or your bath.

Their collections are 25% off right now....

And they have “salt collections” like you see above, some of which are flavored…Spanish Rosemary, Thai Ginger, Lime Fresco …and they all come with the little glass tray and 3 wee, tiny spoons…free shipping(you know I love that), and 25 % off right now. Great gift!



Lunch for 12 and other insane tasks….
October 3, 2011

Even tho Harry is 84, he still walks several miles a day.....

I think I mentioned I was expecting houseguests in this past weekend who will be with us through Friday…The Shelleys took us under their wing when we moved to Balaltimore long ago, and while they moved back to their native England some years back….they still come to visit “across the pond” as they say. They were  like a wonderful aunt and uncle…my kids adored them.

Tick tock, tick tock guys....

I was worried a bathroom being redone wouldn’t be ready in time….and while it was functional(you could use the toilet, shower and sink…there  was still plenty of work to do..shelves not installed, no place to hang towels)..etc…it was “kinda” finished. I was NOT happy about it, but there it is. The best laid plans….

Setting the scene for a party!! Love the different chairs(tho was from necessity!

But we had a great lunch party Sunday afternoon, for 12 people. I just love long Sunday afternoon lunches, where people can talk and hang out at the table, for several hours. We had shrimp and grits…one of my fav dishes for lunch(or dinner or breakfast for that matter)….

Oh, and a little Tobasco or Crystal sauce, touch of Worchestershire

It starts with a base of red and green peppers, some tomatoes, butter, and kielbasa…shrimp added at the last.

Twelve plates, check.

Wine(of course), check.

Flowers(unlike Madonna, I love hydrangeas), check.

Table set, check(ordered these killer pine cones on Ebay!)

marinated olives and pistachios for nibbles, check.

But let me be honest, I often order desserts to take some of the stress off of having a dinner party.

Coconut cake with lime curd filling...yummo...

I love to cook, but baking anything more serious than brownies or the NY Times plum torte, is too much for this girl. A former neighbor started a company called Butter Catering(everything is better with butter, right?)….and she made for me the most luscious coconut cake with lime curd inside…and a a very dense chocolate flourless torte. They were just AMAZING. Thanks Mary Gill! You’re a lifesaver!

This is serious chocolate....