Thursday, September 30, 2010

Becky's Quilts...Art House Fall Edition

Becky has been hard at work, creating beautiful quilted throws, tabletoppers, wall hangings and more. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of her work. We will be offering her works of art for sale and at our Art House...Fall Edition. She will also take orders for custom items. Becky has an "eye" for color and unusual fabric combinations. And she rarely makes the same quilted item twice.

This is the front of one of her custom baby quilts.

And this is the back. Notice the Nameplate on the back. Becky names all of her quilts, signs and dates them. She usually includes a painting or a pieced pattern that compliments the design.

This is one of her "signatures" on the back of a quilt...just to give you an idea of what she does. Isn't this beautiful!!! And below, you can see an example of her unusual fabric choices. This throw is GORGEOUS!

These Christmas wall hangings are lovely. I have already purchased a couple of them to give as gifts.
(She will have several "fall" items, too."

This is my FAVORITE table runner. The colors are scrumptious! And I have already tried my green, red, and cream stoneware dishes with it. Gorgeous!!!

We sure hope you are able to stop by Art House...if you are in the Tampa Bay area. If any of these examples "strikes your fancy", let me know. Becky is pleased to make commissioned items. The fabrics may not be exactly the same, but they will be me.

Hope to see you...

Art House
Saturday, October 9
10am - 3pm

For directions to Art House, please email me at

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Art House...Fall edition

It's almost here.... our semi-annual Art House open house. So for the next couple of weeks, I may not be visiting with all of you. I have so many canvasses to complete! And I have to prepare for 2 speaking engagements which take place just days after Art House.

Here's a sneak peek at a couple of paintings which will be available.

Something for fall.... (there are some Christmas paintings, too)

Something tropical...

For any of you who live in the Tampa Bay area (or if you want to take a road trip...) Art House will be held Oct. 9 from 10am - 3pm. Email me if you would like more

Becky, my cohort in this adventure, has some absolutely beautiful quilted items...table runners, placemats, wall hangings, throws... She has an unconventional eye for choosing fabrics. I'll share some photos soon...


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jane's Fabulous Cheese Spread

Tailgating at home...
With Auburn being 8 hours away, we cannot get to many games. So...we have our celebrations here at the house. This past week was the AU/Clemson game. And Music Guy came from Orlando to watch the game with his dad and Wine Guy. Of course, MG made the requests for foods, this week...

Cuban Sandwiches
Buffalo Chicken Dip w/Scoops and celery sticks
N.M. Cheese Spread
Fresh Fruit
Chocolate Chip Cookies

We had a wonderful time, being together and cheering our beloved Auburn Tigers throughout the nail-biting game. We won in overtime!!! War Eagle

Pom Poms, autographed football, and bobble head player formed the simple centerpiece.

Side table provided the space for plates, etc. The cups were gathered at AU games. Notice the scarf on "Rowdy's" neck in the whimsical painting. It's his AU scarf...says "War Eagle". The table is draped with burlap, then topped with denim and orange beaded placemats...found at a Pier One outlet many years ago.

Cuban sandwiches are made with...
Cuban Bread
Baked Ham
Cuban-style, Roasted Pork
Big-Eye Swiss Cheese
Genoa Salami
Dill Pickle
Mayo - mustard

Used the BIG SCREEN (140") to watch the game.
(Even I can follow the plays when it's this big!)

Gotta have Zinfandel during a game. It's tradition!
MacDaddy is allowing WG to choose...

MG is sprawled and ready to cheer the Tigers!

WG and his fiance...
Jules has become a rapid AU fan. Boy can she yell!!!
It's so much fun to watch games with her...

And now...the recipe I am sharing with you today. (I did not name Bunco ladies did.) As you can see, the guys got to it before I could take a photo.'s that good!

The original recipe is called Neiman Marcus Cheese Spread...why? I have absolutely no idea. I have tweaked it a bit...reducing the amount of mayo...adding a bit more onion...toasting the almonds. A friend brought this dish to one of our potlucks...and it was wiped out very quickly. Since then, it's always the most requested appetizer I have...and it's always eaten.

"Jane's Fabulous Cheese Spread" (based on the N.M. Cheese Spread recipe)

2-3 cups shredded, sharp cheddar cheese
1 small (2-3 oz) bag bacon pieces (or 6 slices, cooked and crumbled)
4-5 green onions (tops), chopped (to taste)
1/2 - 3/4 cup toasted almonds (slivered)
Mayonnaise...enough to bind the ingredients together (to taste)

Combine all the ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Serve with thinly sliced baguettes (my favorite), apple slices, celery sticks, crackers, flat bread, etc.


Be sure to check out the other Foodie Friday recipes at Designs by Gollum.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Out and About...

Out and about in Saint Petersburg...

Skyway Bridge...connects St. Petersburg and Bradenton area. We found this view in a neighborhood park. It looks pretty small...from this distance, but it's high and wide enough for cruise ships to pass.
Last of the Royal Poinciana blooms...This tree was so huge that it dwarfed (and seemed to have killed) the palm. These blooms are the most brilliant orangy red.
Boca Ciega Bay...from the bridge to St Pete Beach. It's such a beautiful often filled with sailboats, heading out to the gulf.
This is the Don Cesar...the grand dame of St Pete Beach. This lovely old hotel opens to the Gulf of Mexico... I once saw the elusive green flash (at sunset) from the balcony. That was the one and only time I have ever seen it....
Caladiums...These were in the garden of a sweet home on Pasa Grille.
One of the many bed and breakfast residences on St Pete Beach/Pasa Grille
... such a lovely place. Parking is on the street...lovely B&Bs, rental homes and private residences are across the street. There are gentle walkways across the dunes to the beach...then you look out, and all you see is WATER. Ahhh.....

Come for a visit....

***Be sure to stop by Susan's blog (A Southern Daydreamer) to see all the beautiful outdoor posts.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Several years ago, MacDaddy and I hosted and taught a Bible study for college "kids". These kids came from a variety of churches...all brought by friends. They came every Monday night...and ate, and Ate, and ATE!!! It was always a challenge to find interesting snacks for them. (Several of the kids began coming early to eat dinner with us, too. They just "happened" to arrive early because they "wanted to talk with us". As thanks for the meal, some of them offered to clean the kitchen...vacuum the pool...whatever needed to be done. Gosh, I miss these guys!)

While perusing an old Southern Living magazine, I found a Fruit Salsa recipe which became a favorite of all...especially the figure-conscious girls. Most of these kids are now grown and busy with jobs. Many are married and having families of their own. And I get requests from them all the time for this recipe...and others.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can use a variety of fruit...and you do not need to follow the recipe. You can make your own cinnamon chips or take the easy way and purchase Cinnamon Pita Chips. Either are really good with this salsa. can spoon it over angel food cake (like the photo above...from the Southern Living recipe site).

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Tortilla Chips


  • 1 apple - peeled, cored and diced (I like to use 2 Fuji and one Granny Smith)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • 2 bananas, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A little sugar or Splenda, to taste
  • (If desired, add freshly minced mint leaves in place of the cinnamon)

* You can use other fruits...Kiwi, Mango, fresh Pineapple, whatever you have on hand.

Combine the above ingredients and refrigerate. If making this recipe in advance, hold the bananas to add before serving. (The bananas can become mushy)

  • Baked Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C)
  • Spray each tortilla with the cooking spray. Cut them into triangle-shaped wedges and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over the chips. Bake in preheated oven until golden-brown, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool and serve with the fruit mixture.

(If you make the chips ahead of time, be sure to put them in zippered plastic bags or airtight storage containers to keep crisp.)


Be sure to stop by Michael Lee's Foodie Friday post
@ to see all the wonderful recipes. Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Jalapeno Popper Spread

As you all's FOOTBALL season!!! I'm just coming down from the euphoria of watching Auburn squeak by Mississippi State tonight. (I HATE those cowbells!!! It was so annoying not being able to hear the commentators over the racket! AND it's against the SEC rules to shake them during plays. But did anyone care? NO!!!) Let me get back to my thoughts...FOOTBALL SEASON means tailgating...whether at the actual GAME or watching the game on TV. And that means...GOOD FOOD!

When MacDaddy and I head to Auburn for games, our friends insist that we bring Cuban sandwiches (something I first did when AU played my alma mater, USF (Univ. of South Tampa). I brought a little taste of Tampa with me to honor my Bulls ( is still new to USF... Ya gotta celebrate somehow! Guess who won that game...) Sandwiches are fine...and these are delicious. need more than that. So here's a simple recipe that always gets raves...

Jalapeno Popper Spread
2 blocks cream cheese, softened
1/2 jar diced jalapeno peppers*, plus some of the juice (more or less, to taste)
Parmesan Cheese, shredded (I use freshly grated cheese, adding some to the spread and enough to cover the top.)
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs (actually, I just sprinkle on top until the spread is covered)

Fold the peppers and juice into the softened cream cheese. Put the mixture into an oven-proof baking dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan Cheese on top, to cover. Sprinkle the Panko crumbs on top. Bake at 350 degrees until warmed through. Serve with pita chips, baguette slices, tortilla chips, etc.

*I use Mt. Olive Diced Jalapenos.
**There are many versions of this dip online...some call for mayo and green chilis, some add cheddar or Mexican cheese blends. They're all very good. Since I am not a big fan of mayo in spreads, I try to leave it out. The result is a lighter version of the spread. Just play with this recipe...make it your own.

(football photo from

Be sure to visit for more Foodie Friday recipes.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Finally....the day is here! It's time for AUBURN FOOTBALL! Time to see the eagle fly around the stadium at the beginning of the hear the chants of "War Eagle, HEY!" see our boys, dressed in burnt orange and navy blue race onto the hear the band play and the fans in the stands sing the AU fight song...rolling the oaks at Toomer's Corner after the win...

Alas, we'll have to do this from our home for this game...and most of the games this year. BUT...we WILL be in attendance for at least one game! commemorate the opening of the AU FOOTBALL SEASON, here's a look at some of our tailgates...and game days from years past...
Score board from last season's Ole Miss game!

One of our footballs...signed by the team. The other (seen in another photo, below) was signed by the former coach, T. Tuberville...
From one of our tablescapes last season...
Auburn fleece blanket "tablecloth", MacDaddy's favorite book, another autographed football, and a tigertail...not to mention AU condiments, towels, napkins, etc.
And of course, you MUST have a tiger on the table!
We even go to bowl games...especially when they're in Tampa! (This is before the game. The weather was horrid...freezing and wet, with winds blowing from the north...enough to flap our raingear over our heads. But we won!!!)
Our dog, Rowdy, and our grandpups, Hannah and Hurley, dress for game days, too.

We always make a stop at Mark's Pumpkin Patch when we drive home from Auburn...and of course, everyone is wearing their orange and blue...after all, what other colors do you wear on gameday weekends?

We're READY....Tonight at 7PM...


Grilled Chipotle Chicken...YUMMY!

I don't know who "Pete" is, but he sure has a wonderful recipe for grilled chicken!

Last week, one of my cooking sites shared this recipe...
Pete's Favorite Chipotle Chicken.

Well, my family loves grilled food...and spicy food...and new ideas... so for our family gathering on Sunday, we experimented with this new recipe. It was a HIT!!!

Many thanks to Elizabeth Karmel, who shared this recipe on

2 - 3 cups mayonnaise
1 small can chipotles in adobo sauce
1 white onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (add more to taste)
2 chickens, cut into pieces
4 limes, juiced
Kosher salt
1 lime cut into wedges
Fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions: In a blender, mix chipotles with adobo sauce, white onion, jalapeno and lime juice. Add a pinch of salt. Remove to a large, non-reactive bown. Fold in 2 cups of mayonnaise. Taste and adjust seasonings. If it is too "hot", add more mayonnaise. Add chicken pieces, cover and marinate 2-4 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove chicken from refrigerator and place chicken, bone-side down, in the center of cooking grate. You do not need to turn the chicken pieces (but my husband did)

Grill-roast until the chicken registers 165 degrees, near the bone. (About 45 minutes) If you do not have a meat thermometer, cook until no longer pink and the juices run clear. Remove from the grill with tongs and a spatula, to preserve the crust on the top of the thighs. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with sliced lime and cilantro, if desired.

*I suggest using a whole jalapeno for a little more kick. Also, I marinated the chicken for 2 hours, but will do it for 4 next time, to allow more flavor to permeate the meat.
** I used 10 thighs (bone-in) and 3 breasts, cut in half.

To compliment the meal, we enjoyed a mixed baby greens salad, Mexican rice, and cold watermelon. Wine Guy served Terra Noble, Reserva Cabernet 2007 (from Maule Valley in Chile). It was the PERFECT wine for this meal!
MacDaddy, Wine Guy, and Drummer Boy said this was a "keeper" and suggested that I make it again soon.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend...

FOODIE FRIDAY Click for detailsBe sure to check out all the fabulous Foodie Friday recipes this week .