Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chicken by request...

Do you have a few dishes people always ask you to make? I get lots of requests for various baked goods (I love to bake), my mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese ~ and this chicken. I had a request for it the other day, so when I made it, I thought I'd take a couple photos and share the recipe with you.
The recipe is from an old cookbook I got maybe a dozen years ago called "Country Chicken." It's one of those spiral bound cookbooks full of recipes from people all over the country. Chicken is one of my favorite things to cook, partly because I find it to be so adaptable and reliable ~ I mean, you really have to work to mess up chicken, or maybe forget you left it on the grill... which I have never done. Ever. Really.
This chicken is a simple recipe, made with ingredients you very likely have on hand. The secret ingredient? Cola. Seriously. When the ingredients mix together, they form a sort of wonderful sauce and the chicken comes out moist and covered in this flavorful sauce. It's delicious.
Bon appetit.

Cola Chicken
Recipe by Jean Jarvis from Country Chicken

1 can (12 ounces) diet or regular cola
1/2 cup ketchup
2 to 4 tablespoons minced onion
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
8 chicken pieces, skin removed

In a large skillet, combine first five ingredients. Bring to a boil; boil for 1 minute. Add chicken, stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer for 45 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.
Yield: 4 servings

Notes: I like to add a few flakes of red pepper to kick this up a notch. Also, I cook the onion first for a few minutes in the pan with a little salt and pepper before I add the other ingredients.
To make a smaller batch, for just a couple people, use one of those half-size cola cans and about a 1/4 cup ketchup. You should keep the spices about the same, just a little less than what the original recipe calls for. Thawed chicken tenderloin pieces will cook easily in a half hour.

I am linking to:
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
It's a Keeper Thursday at It's a Keeper
Fat Camp Friday at Mangoes and Chutney

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Beauty x 300 = a milestone...

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; 
for beauty is God's handwriting ~ a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, 
and thank God for it as a cup of blessing."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Being surrounded by beauty always makes one feel better. Be it flowers, dishes, pretty pillows, good food, soothing colors or whatever else strikes your fancy, I believe there is plenty of beauty to be embraced and appreciated in this world, as you know. So much so, in fact, I've managed to reach 300 posts on this blog. To mark the milestone, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite snapshots of beauty and comfort from around my home. Some you've seen, some you haven't. And I'm not the only one celebrating a milestone this week ~ Pink Saturday is 3 years old, so congratulations to Beverly for hosting such a wonderful event each week.
Hope you enjoy this little beauty trip. 

Perfect pink hydrangeas on my coffee table...

My favorite old pink and blue dishes...

Beautiful cakes and tulips to greet guests...

My dining room, ready for a spring dinner...

A lovely yellow rose in an old orphan tea cup...

Tea, cakes and flowers for a blissful afternoon...

My favorite tea pot and tea cups...

Beautiful tulips in the afternoon light on the reading porch...

The soft glow of a candle in the autumn...

A profusion of tulips and piles of books delight on my coffee table...

My fabulous pink love seat...

Gentle reminders...

 Some favorite dishes drying in the rack... 

And flowers, flowers everywhere...

Wishing all of you days full of beauty and happiness. Thank you for your support and friendship these last couple of years.


I am linking to:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound ~ Happy 3rd Birthday!

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Lovely pink blooms...

I fell in love with this flower arrangement tucked inside this pink butterfly tea pot. I love all the different shades of pink ~ and who can resist a cute tea pot? A perfect combination for a little spring loveliness.
Wishing all of you have a beautiful weekend. Happy Pink Saturday!

I am linking to Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound. Stop by Beverly's place for more pink loveliness.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Area delights...

I'm curious: Do the rooms in your home have various functions? I know that creating various "areas" can be hard, particularly if a room is small. We currently have that problem in our little beach cottage, which is full of charm but incredibly small rooms. I figure it's a small price to pay to live so close to the ocean, so I've learned to deal with it. However, we will probably be moving back East at the end of next year, back to our great old southern home that has wonderfully large rooms. And that's gotten me thinking even more lately about how we'll decorate some of the rooms. (Dreaming about how I'll decorate when we move back has gotten to be a favorite past time. You should see the notebooks full of ideas. In fact, maybe I'll dig them out and show them to you in the future. Hmmm...)
Browsing on the Better Homes and Gardens' website, I came across this photo of a perfect little area in a room. It struck me for a number of reasons. First, even though I'm not much for black and white, I am in love with the runners they used over the chairs. It's a perfect pop of color. I love the arrangement of the chairs so close to the fireplace and I love the little table in the middle, and how it's set for a meal. I love the built-in shelves and the chandelier that's perfectly scaled for the space. But what I love most is that this perfect little room area could easily be adapted for a number of uses. Leave the table there and it could be used for games, or writing thank you notes. You could move the table out and just have a cozy conversation area. Pull up a stool and you've got a lovely space to read a little bit. It's a delightful little area, one I'm thinking I could easily emulate in my home back East. What do you think?

Photo from Better Homes and Gardens

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Daisy, daisy...

I honestly don't know how some people live without flowers. They are one of those simple, beautiful things truly necessary to life. And here's a little trivia for you: Even though you wouldn't know it from my blog, where tulips, roses and other flowers seem to rule, daisies are actually my favorite blooms. These are from a vase full of flowers currently sitting on my dining room table. Daisies are just such happy flowers, I think. Put a vase full of white daisies in your home and I'll bet you smile more. 
We're having unusually cool, rainy days here, so my daisies seem even brighter than usual ~ a spot of sunshine in the gray. I hope all of you are enjoying a lovely week wherever you are, with plenty of your favorite flowers around you.

Photo by The Art of Living Beautifully

Friday, May 13, 2011

Just roll with it...

Greetings, all! That was quite an outage for Blogger, wasn't it? I was beginning to wonder if it would ever come back.
Now that we can all blog and visit again, on to more enjoyable things: When I saw that Happier Than a Pig in Mud was hosting a Paula Deen Cook Along, I thought it was the perfect excuse to finally try out a quick roll recipe from The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook. I've had the recipe marked for quite a while, intrigued because it only contained four ingredients ~ two of which are sugar and mayonnaise.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but the rolls were indeed easy and tasty. The recipe only makes a half-dozen rolls, so it's perfect for just a couple people. It's also easy to double, if needed. The rolls are fairly dense, so if you prefer lots of air in your rolls, this recipe probably isn't for you. But if you like your rolls fairly doughy and almost biscuit like, with lots of butter, definitely try these.

Easy Rolls
From The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook

Yields 6 rolls

1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together flour and milk. Add sugar and mayonnaise. Pour into greased muffin tins and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Notes: I only had all-purpose flour on hand, so I added 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the flour. You can do the same if you don't have self-rising flour on hand.
These rolls are great slathered with honey butter (it's a Paula Deen recipe, so butter in one form or another is practically a must). I also think they would take a little shredded cheese mixed in fairly well, if you're so inclined. I might try that next time.
Bon appetit.

I am linking to:
Celebrity Cook Along at Happier Than a Pig in Mud. Stop by for more Paula Deen recipes.
Fat Camp Fridays at Mangoes and Chutney.
Savory Sunday at Eating in Winnepeg.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Calling all bloggers: Join the tour...

Don't you love discovering new blogs? And don't you love it when a kindred spirit discovers yours? It's like a whole new group of beautiful friends suddenly appears.
Kathie at Like a Box of Chocolates will be hosting a blog tour later this month. Not a party, exactly, but a tour. The idea is to list the blogs of participants with links and a description of their blog, so everyone can see if there are any they would like to visit and perhaps add to their reading list.
The only rule is that the blog tour is open to personal blogs only ~ no review or giveaway blogs. (If you do the occasional giveaway on your personal blog, that's fine.)
If you'd like to participate, here's what you need to do:

Send an e-mail to with Blog Tour in the subject line with the following information by May 21st:
1. First name (Whatever you use on your blog. If you use an alias, that's fine.)
2. Your blog's name
3. Your blog button code OR your blog's url.
4. A brief description of your blog, 5 sentences or less. You can use your profile if you'd like, but make sure that you describe what you blog about so people will know if they share the same interests.

Kathie will post the tour on Monday, May 23rd and it will stay up on her blog until Thursday, June 2. A couple of other notes: you can post the day the tour begins if you like and mention the tour, but you don't have to. The point of the tour is to find whole new blogs to explore and continue to enjoy over time, not just one specific post. Click here to visit Like a Box of Chocolates for more information.
Hope you'll join us!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Favorite find... Butterfly dishes

I came across these adorable butterfly dishes at Target and decided they were too cute to pass up. Believe it or not, I bought them for a gift, not myself (shocking, I know, considering my obsession with dishes). I just think they are so cheery. And, because they are Melamine, they're perfect for outdoor use this spring and summer. I mean, why bother with paper plates and cheap plastic cups when you can have something this cute and inexpensive that will last for years? Think of it as a little seasonal beauty for the table.
In case you're wondering, you can still find them at Target and yes, the giftee loved them. Happy hunting.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A memory for Mother's Day...

"Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly." 
~Ambrose Bierce

Happy Mother's Day! I thought today was an appropriate day to share one of my favorite mementos from childhood: this knitted pullover my great-grandmother made for me. I remember wearing it as a little girl, running back and forth between my grandmother and great-grandmother (they lived across the street from one another). Even at 4 or 5, I knew that what I couldn't get from one grandmother, I could probably finagle from the other. Good times.
I hope all the mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers enjoy a day filled with beauty and love. You deserve it.

Photo by The Art of Living Beautifully

Saturday, May 7, 2011

For my fellow dish lovers...

For the dish lovers out there who may not follow my other blog, The Pink Home, hop over to see the latest additions to my dish collection and read about how one set was patiently waiting for the other to be found so it could be made whole. Click here for more.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Furry First Friday...

For the return of Furry First Fridays after a hiatus last month, I thought I'd share one of my all-time favorite photos of my Emily. This was taken a couple of years ago. I love how she's smiling directly into the camera. You can feel happiness radiating from her.
Thanks to everyone for joining. If you didn't have time this month, mark your calendars for the first Friday in June.
Happy Friday!

Furry First Fridays is back!

Just a quick reminder to everyone that I am resuming Furry First Fridays this month, after a break last month. To participate, all you need to do is post photos of your pets on Friday and link up to my party post, which will be available sometime Thursday evening. Please include a link to my blog and feel free to grab the above button as well. Furry First Fridays is held on the first Friday of every month, so mark your blog calendars.
Also, I wanted to say a quick thank you to my new followers. I'm still making the rounds from Saturday, so I'll be by your place soon if I haven't already.
Looking forward to seeing everyone's loved ones on Friday!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Scents of the season... Spring

Fragrance is part of creating a beautiful home and each season brings with it its own olfactory wonders. I always associate spring with floral scents ~ lilacs, hyacinth, daffodils. Then there are the "fresh" scents of spring activities ~ the smell of laundry after it's been dried on the line, and the first bit of freshly cut grass. While I always enjoy flowers and we leave the windows open quite a bit as the weather gets warmer, which lets the smell of freshly cut grass waft in on the weekends, I also like to switch up my candle scents each season.
There are many wonderful candle makers out there and I often try new ones, but I always find myself returning to Yankee Candles. I just prefer how strongly they smell and how well and long they burn. Some of their new spring scents include Fluffy Towels, Garden Hideaway and Pink Lady Slipper ~ all of which I can't wait to sample. They have a Lemon Lavender scent I'm going to have to try as well.
What spring scents do you love?

I am linking to Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper.