*Just a little note: Please read to the end of this post for an exclusive giveaway to one dear reader and a discount to all readers!
As I am putting the finishing details on my Farmhouse style kitchen and breakfast room, I turn to my great design love... decorating with dishes!
My newly renovated area has a neutral color scheme using texture for interest. Big antique shutters hang on either side of the bumped out eating area. They lend a big architectural punch but not a lot of warm detail.
I thought they needed something above them that was pretty and unexpected. A touch of refinement... a big transferware platter.
I consider myself a pretty upbeat person. Happy, hopeful... a maker of lemonade from lemons. And FOR ME blogging is a platform for positive thought. But today is different.
This has been a very emotional week for me! I don't often write about heavy things on my blog... but I have been a little MIA visiting all of my dear blogging buddies. I have not been faithful leaving comments. And I think you should know why. Thanks for giving me grace this week even without knowing it.
It has been a week of high highs and low lows... and a little in between too. I've become a little unraveled!
Yesterday we celebrated the wedding of my niece Jennie and her beloved Dave. What a glorious day! A joyous day with bittersweet moments. Jennie was exquisite, a true blushing bride. And Dave... oh I was so impressed! He stood at the alter, eyes full of love, fixed on his bride, a steady kind smile on his face and emotionally held her up through the entire service. Not an easy thing to do, for my niece lost her lovely mother to cancer a few years back and she (we) have been feeling this loss especially much this week. Jennie did not have a her mother during the most important time in her life. So Dave grew into a strong Godly husband right before our eyes at the alter and held her... all of us... together!
Because of the wedding, I have a house full of family today.
Being a recent empty nester, I enjoy having more time to live by my own schedule and to spend with Bobby, but I come alive when StoneGable is filled to overflowing. When it is full of laughter, tears, love, food, games, talk and family. When all of my "chicks are in the nest"!
Amidst all of this I had my 7th back procedure earlier this week. I have not shared this until now, but I suffer from arthritis in my back. I am way too young to be immobilized! I will spare you the details, but this has been an extremely long journey. Although my disease is not curable I now have much relief! The back procedures knocks the stuffing out of me, but I am SO thankful for them. Hopefully, I can maintain the level of comfort and mobility I have now.
Today is 9-11 as I write my weekly commentary. Deeply grieved. That is the only words I have! I got up early to pray and remember and I am deeply grieved. But thankfully not hopeless. I just wonder how many precious people are hopeless today... May God comfort them and may they know how many share in their pain and uplift them still!
Highs... and lows... life! In times like these I am so thankful for my faith, family... and Kleenex!
Now enough of my ramblings, let's talk food! Happy subject for sure! Lot's of Slow Cooker recipes this week. I'm feeling like Fall is in the air and want to make warm yummy comforting food!
Here's what's ON THE MENU...
MONDAY~ Slow Cooker Day StoneGable Chili Rice Buttermilk Sweet Corn Bread
Recipe: StoneGable Chili StoneGable chili is a little sweet... a little spicy. It certainly is a little different and delicious! I married a family recipe with a gourmet recipe I love. Serve it over rice and sprinkle some good cheddar cheese and crushed tortillas over the top. YUMMY! Pass the sour cream and chopped green onions too! 2 lbs lean ground beef 1 large onions, peeled and chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced finely
1 large green or red pepper, chopped
1 large can of stewed tomatoes
1 can kidney beans or black beans, rinsed and drained (I combine the two)
2/3 - 1 cup of catsup
1/2 -2/3 cups chili sauce
2 TBS chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
a sprinkle of taco seasonings from a packet (if I have it, I use it)
To make the slow cooker version, brown meat, onions and peppers. Add the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low. Printable Recipe
Recipe: Buttermilk Sweet Corn Bread 1/2 cup butter, melted 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup white cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8 inch pan.
In a large bowl, beat eggs and add sugar and combine. Stir in butter.
Combine buttermilk and baking soda and stir into egg/sugar/butter mixture.
In a separate bowl combine cornmeal, flour and salt. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients in thirds.
Pour batter into pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and a toothpick comes out clean when tested. Printable Recipe
TUESDAY Green Chile Chicken Casserole Mexican Explosion Salad
Recipe: Green Chile Chicken Casserole
If you have been a dear reader for any length of time you probably know that I love Mexican food! So when I saw this muy bueno casserole at Gypsy Heart I had to give it a try. You will also want to spend some time perusing this great blog! So full of yumminess! For this recipe, click HERE.
WEDNESDAY Tilapia Milanese Arugula Salad
Recipe: Tilapia Milanese
Tilapia is a wonderfully mild and delicious fish. Even better, it is so easy to cook! Tilapia Milanese is an upscale and simple recipe with a hint of lemon! YUMMY! To get this delicious recipe click HERE
Recipe: Nani's Cabbage Soup
My grandmother made this soup on top of the stove. It had that old world, cooked-all-day flavor and goodness. I have tweaked Nani's recipe to suite my busy lifestyle. I have a big slow cooker. Adjust the recipe to your slow cooker!
2 TBS vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large head of cabbage, rough chopped
salt and pepper
3-4 bone-in pork chops (I'm such a carnivore, 4 please!
1 can tomato soup
3 TBS butter
14 cup flour
In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat oil and add onions. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Put onions in the slow cooker.
Salt and pepper the pork chops.
In the same skillet brown pork chops on both sides and add to the slow cooker.
Add cabbage and add just enough water to cover the cabbage. Stir in a can of tomato soup. Put on the lid and cook on low for about 6 hours. You want the cabbage to be soft but not mushy.
Remove pork chops from the soup. Let cook a little and pull meat off the bone. Cut or shred into bite-size pieces.
In a large skillet melt butter. Add flour and combine into a paste. Cook on medium heat for 3 minutes. Take 2 cups of soup broth and add to the skillet to make a slurry. Whisk to incorporate. Let thicken a little and add to the slow cooker incorporating it well. Add the pork chop meat and cook on high for 30 minutes.
Serve with crusty bread. Printable Recipe
Recipe:Tuscan Pork Loin With Sage
I love to cook with Marsala! I think it goes wonderfully with Fall flavors!
1 lb. pork tenderloin, sliced into 8 pieces
8 large sage leaves
2 slices very thinly sliced proscuitto
1 tsp olive oil
1 TBS butter
1 1/2 cup Marsala
salt and pepper
2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Flatten each slice pork medallion between 2 pieces of waxed paper. Lay sage in the middle of each pork medallion. Cut each piece of proscuitto into 4 pieces. Lay one slice on top of each sage leaf and roll the pork up with the sage and proscuitto in the middle.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet, and add the pork roll-ups four at a time. Brown on all sides. Remove to a plate and brown the other four roll-ups.
Add Marsala and cook, scraping up brown bits. Simmer until it reduces by half. Return roll-ups to pan and simmer with sauce for 8-10 minutes until done.
Recipe: Roasted Root Vegetables I'll make extra for Saturday night. I could eat these every day. Any other leftover will be a delicious lunch!
4 yukon gold potatoes, diced in large chunks
4 large carrots, chopped in large pieces
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
2 small beets, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 turnip, peeled and rough chopped into large chunks
3 shallots with skin on
2 cloves of garlic, with skin on
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, prepare veggies. Put veggies on a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with a good dose of olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Toss.
Roast in oven for 45-50 minutes until veggies are done through. YUMMY! Taste of fall! Printable Recipe
Recipe: Constructed Pear Salad This is a BEAUTY! And so full of fall's luscious flavors. Look for the recipe on Foodie Friday.
Recipe: Pear Galette
Pears are in season now and at their perfummy best. This gorgeous country dessert with a butter crust that is folded like a hug around a golden pear filling will have everyone asking for a second slice! I'm making a simple homemade vanilla ice cream. Find this ambrosial recipe by clicking HERE.
Recipe: StoneGable Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
Bobby requested Chicken Cacciatore~ so of course it is ON THE MENU this week. I am making a big meal on Friday for company, so I want to cook an easy meal on Saturday! I am pulling out my slow cooker to make this easy and savory dish! 1 jar good Marinara sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup prepared pesto (click HERE for homemade recipe)
4 TBS olive oil 1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
flour for dredging chicken salt and pepper 4 chicken breast and 4 thighs
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 TBS flour
2 TBS water 2 TBS dry red wine
In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add chopped onions and peppers and cook until translucent and soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer to a bowl.
Salt and pepper chicken and dredge through flour. Add remaining 2 TBS olive oil in the skillet and brown chicken on all sides.
Mix Marinara, cheese and pesto together in a bowl. Put 1/2 the mixture in the bottom of a slow cooker. Top with onions, pepper, garlic, and then the chicken. Sprinkle chicken with sliced mushrooms and the remainder of the Marinara mixture.
Cook on low for 6-7 hours. Remove chicken when it is done. Mix flour, water and wine together. Whisk into the sauce in the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 20 minutes until sauce is thickened. Put chicken back into the sauce and heat through. Serve over spaghetti. Printable Recipe
Recipe: Ceasar Salad If you are a StoneGable dear reader you will know that Ceasar salad is served ON THE MENU quite often... with good reason! This is one of my best recipes. This is the best Ceaser salad ever! For this company worthy recipe click HERE.
SUNDAY Chili Stuffed Baked Potatoes Corn On The Cob
What's ON THE MENU for you...
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I must admit, I am a little jar crazy! Put food in a jar and I not only want to eat it but can't wait to make it.
Pasta Salad In A Jar was ON THE MENU for the last picnic of the summer at StoneGable.
Tying a raffia bow around the jar and fixing colorful craft paper cut-outs over the lid insert made this pasta salad look so festive! I made everyone a hefty portion in a 1 pint jar.
Served from a big basket, they make such a wonderful and fun presentation.
Wouldn't these work fabulously at a tailgate... a barn dance... a bonfire or anything that portable food is in order? Using a smaller half pint jar would work to give everyone a nice smaller size portion!
This is not a "rocket science" recipe. Use a little more or less, a little this or that. Change the ingredients to suite your taste.
StoneGable Pasta Salad In A Jar
1/2 box farfalle pasta (box ties)
1/2 box Gemelle (twisted, loose spiral pasta)
1/2 box pene (small ribbed tubes)
1-2 bottles of Greek dressing, I use Garden Gazebo
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 green peppers, finely chopped
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 jar artichoke hearts, drained and rough chopped
10-15 oil packed sun dried tomatoes, drained and finely sliced
1 small can of black sliced olives, drained
1/4 lb sliced pepperoni, thinly sliced
1-2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
handful fresh basil, chopped
fresh parsley, chopped
thyme for garnish
halved cherry tomatoes
heart of palm rounds
cubed mozzarella cheese
sliced green olives
toasted pine nuts
Cook pasta according to the package directions, or even just a little underdone. Drain and put into a large bowl.
Add 1 bottle of good Greek salad dressing and mix well.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Add more dressing if desired.
Add a sprig of garnish to the top.
Jar and refrigerate.
SG Tip: Tie the raffia around the jar before adding the pasta salad.
This bee and sunflower tablescaped is reprised from last year this time. So much work goes into each table that from time to time I like to repost some of my favorites for all the new visitors to StoneGable. And if you saw this table last year I hope you will enjoy it even more the second time around!
xo Yvonne @ StoneGable
I LOVE bees! They are the symbol of an industrious nature, they makes sweet stuff (honey), they only sting if provoked and they are one of God's most fascinating creations!
Bees are the inspiration for today's table.
Pairing bees with Sunflowers will make this table sunny and fun! My style is NOT cutsie. But I found these funny little bees and could not resist. To keep this tablescape from getting too cute I kept the color scheme simple and pulled in several patterns in black. Black is a wonderful color to bring a little sophistication to a design!
A stack of black, white and golden yellow dishes is anchored by a ruffled black straw place mat.
A deep golden bowl sits on top of the dishes. The bowl is gently rimmed and resembles the patten on a bee skep.
A good quality tea towel (Wm-Sonoma) doubles as a napkin. It's sunflower and bee motif make it the perfect choice for this table. The napkin is folded to make a pocket. Little sprays of fluff and a tiny bee skep are tucked in along with a honey dipper. The dipper will be a little take home gift for my guests!
A happy sunflower and little bee welcomes each guest.
A simple folded black and white cloth napkin sits at the side of each plate. Napoleon Bee flatware is mixed with vintage carmel handled pieces I bought at a local antique shop. I like mixing elements. It creates interest.
I am so taken with the beauty of the old flatware. It has such a richness about it that the camera doesn't pick up very well.
Gold pedestal bubble glasses continue the honey color.
Coffee mugs match the deep bowls and sit on a little braided coaster. I though the colors coordinated so well with the theme.
The centerpiece is a huge bouquet of real and faux sunflowers. I bet you can't tell which are real and which are not! There are only 2 real ones in that whole bouquet. A few years ago I invested in several stems of good faux sunflowers. I have used them dozens of times in arrangements... they have really paid off.
The earthiness of the rustic bee skep brings a natural element to this buzy bee table.
A hand painted scherenschnitte bee skep in a black frame sits next to the large bee skep. There is a good possibility you have seen these beautiful works of art done by a local artist, Pam Hultz. They are now sold nationally. I have know Pam for years and she is one talented and lovely lady!
A second smaller bee skep graces the opposite side of the table. There is just something about bee skeps! I love to decorate with them.
The bee skep theme also shows up in the lighting. Honey colored bee skep lanterns are elevated on wrought iron candle sticks. Getting elements off of the table in differing heights gives such interest.
LED tea lights in a carmel color give a warm glow from within the lanterns.
And yet another bee skep element. Tiny individual glass bee skeps (Wm-Sonoma) with white candles sit at every place. These are adorable! They were a gift from my sister. Thanks, Lisa!!
Speaking of gifts and bee skeps, my friend Cathy got me these darling salt and pepper shakers on a recent trip. Cathy I just love these!
Bees and Sunflower find a home together at StoneGable!
Tomato and Basil Bisque
Honey Mustard Chicken
Roasted Asparagus With Shaved Parmesan Cheese
Biscuits and Honey
Fried Ice Cream with Honey
StoneGable Iced Tea
Follow StoneGable on Facebook. More images, recipes and look behind the scenes at StoneGable.
I am participating in Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps On The Porch. Thanks Susan for hosting! Click HERE to visit all the fabulous tablescapes.
Welcome to my blog... and my life. I'm Yvonne... the mother of 3 beautiful twenty-something children and a recent empty nester. I live with Bobby, my wonderful husband, Scamp our spoiled (so cute) dog and Hobbes our rascally cat. I love all things HOME... well...except cleaning the garage and maybe ironing! I am a life-long learner on a constant quest to learn and do something new... especially when it concerns anything domestic !
Living by grace, I strive to be positive and purposeful. I want to live large and love life and all those who cross my path! It is my hope to inspire creative living here at StoneGable!