~Tamale Pie & Chocolate Cherry Crepes~


A Foodie Friday celebration of Cinco de Mayo, hosted by Michael of Designs by Gollum.

For an explanation of the holiday, click HERE.


While deciding which dish to prepare for this Foodie Friday, celebrating Cinco de Mayo, I remembered a Tamale Pie, I used to make, years ago.  I couldn’t find my recipe. However, I did find an easy recipe, online, and adapted it.

Our son in law’s mother makes the most delicious traditional Tamales. I know I would not do her recipe justice. That’s why I opted for Tamale Pie.

Emerita & Andres brought homemade Tamales, from California for Christmas, not long after Andy and Michelle were married. It was one of the most delightful gifts we have received.


Tamale Pie

1 Lb ground sirloin

1 Clove garlic (minced)

1/4 Cup onion (chopped)

1 Can tomato sauce

1 Package Taco Seasoning

1 Small can sliced ripe olives

1 Can Mexicorn

1 Package Jiffy Cornbread Mix (prepared)

Frito Corn Chips

Sour Cream

Shredded Cheese (I like to fresh grate cheese for recipes, this time I sort of cheated and used packaged).


Avacado and ripe olives for garnish.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees (F)

Spray non stick skillet with cooking spray.  Add onion and saute, then add garlic, then ground sirloin to brown.

Spray 9x13 baking dish and line with Frito chips.

Prepare corn muffin mix.

Drain browned beef and add tomato sauce, taco seasoning, sliced olives and corn.  Pour over Frito chips and top with prepared muffin mix.

Bake at 350, until cornbread is done.  Add a handful or two of shredded cheese and allow to melt, before removing from oven.

Serve with sour cream, salsa and cheese.

Our beverage; Dos Equis Beer.


While exploring Tamale Pie recipes, I came across a crepe recipe.  It is easy and delicious; the perfect ending for our Cinco de Mayo meal.


Chocolate Cherry Crepes

8 Taco size Flour Tortillas

1 can Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

1 can Cherry Pie Filling

1 8oz container non dairy topping (Cool Whip)

Chocolate sauce (I used Hershey’s syrup)

Sliced Almonds (these can be toasted)

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Mix cranberry sauce and pie filling. Add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Spread or drizzle tablespoon chocolate sauce down middle of taco shell.  Add a tablespoon of the pie filling mixture.  Roll taco shell, seam side down.  Top with whipped topping, drizzle chocolate over all and add almonds.





~Spring Showers & Flowers~







After 90 degree(F) temperatures, over the weekend, our weather has returned to Spring showers and lower temperatures. For this we are grateful.

I have two new lenses, I’m experimenting with.  It is an ongoing learning process, that I enjoy.  Yesterday evening, while it was raining, I took a few photos, around town, with the new telephoto lens.  I also edited the photos in Photoscape, a free photo editing program.

The second new lens is a 50mm, I hope to use for my next Foodie Friday post.  It is a wonderful lens for low light settings.

I’m adding this post to Susan’s Outdoor Wednesday.  Stop by Wednesday, for lovely outdoor posts.


~Traditional Tropical Home~


On this Metamorphosis Monday, I’m delighted to feature the home of Mary Ruth, author of Traditional Tropical Home (Blog). 

Mary Ruth’s use of two vintage mirrors, in the fireplace vignette, is a gorgeous look for the mantel.


Susan of Between Naps on the Porch, hosts Metamorphosis Monday, where you can find makeover inspiration in blog land.  Thank you Susan!


I’m a longtime admirer of the work Mary Ruth and her husband have put into their home. 

The above photo is a before shot of the foyer.  The following photos show the absolutely stunning results of the couple’s DIY installation of trim.






In addition to the foyer and fireplace, more trim and built-ins, constructed by the couple, are found in the dining room, pictured above.

Hardwood flooring was also installed, by Mary Ruth and husband.


Working from this Ralph Lauren inspiration photo, Mary Ruth fashioned an amazing makeover of the master bedroom, shown in the following photos.

Notice the headboard, made of doors and beautiful crown molding.  The bed linens, though RL inspired, are from other sources.




Mary Ruth Describes Her Style

“I look for anything that is Empire style or has the lines of that style in it. Then I simplify it a bit (due to not wanting the 'museum' room complete with dust and cobwebs, I want to be able to use my stuff) and then add some relaxed beach feeling to it, like I am on vacation, so I don't want to fuss. That is how I describe my look. And I feel like a guest in my own home! This keeps it FUN for me! Duncan Phyfe is a great look with mahogany woods that add a drama with their clean lines. It is best when not cluttered all in one room, but showcase each piece separately. I love white or light colored walls as a back drop and this makes the mahogany pop. I also love moldings and texture added to walls, this creates interest and shadows in late day lighting. I think the Duncan Phyfe lends itself well mixed with the more relaxed wicker and island feel that I learned to love in South Florida”.

To see more of Mary Ruth’s beautiful home, please visit her at Traditional Tropical Home.

Thank you for allowing me to feature your home, at the Back Porch, Mary Ruth!

Photography by Mary Ruth


~Maureen’s Linguine With Clam Sauce~



Last year, my friend Maureen posted a delicious clam sauce recipe on her blog, Penchants, Ponderings & Posies.  This is the LINK to the post.  I’ve prepared the sauce several times and made it again, Tuesday evening.  I’m sharing the recipe, for Foodie Friday, hosted by Michael, of Designs by Gollum.


2 cans chopped Clams

2 cans Mushrooms; drained

1 can diced Tomatoes

Olive Oil

Handful fresh Scallions; sliced

Fresh Flat Leaf Italian Parsley; chopped

Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

A dash of Red Pepper Flakes

2 cloves fresh Garlic

Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese

Cooked Linguine

Place water in pot, to boil for pasta.  Heat small amount of olive oil in non stick skillet.  Mince two cloves Garlic-add to oil, add a pinch or two red pepper flakes-to taste. Cook over medium heat a minute or two, making sure not to scorch the Garlic.  Add Scallions and cook another minute or so, then add drained mushrooms and black pepper to taste. 

Drain Clams, reserving liquid. Add Clams to skillet and sautee, add diced Tomatoes, then Clam liquid, slowly, being careful of sand from Clams that may remain in bottom of bowl.  Mix, bring to boil; reduce heat and cook about 15 minutes uncovered. 

Serve over hot Linguine, topped with chopped Flat Leaf Italian Parsley and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese.  Optional: Add Italian Bread and a green salad, to the meal.

Tuesday evening I mixed the Linguine and Clam Sauce in a large pasta bowl and served it in small bowls.


Thank you, Maureen!  This is one of our favorites!



The fish salt and peppers are from, you guessed it….Target!  The perfect S&P’s for the lake!

Technorati Tags: ,

~Red Sky At Morning~

If you have followed Back Porch Musings, for awhile, you’ve seen the view from our deck, at the lake, many times.  Early today (Thursday) I looked out on this scene. I saw lightning, earlier and checked Weatherbug, because I was thinking it was to be partly cloudy and 80’s (F).  However, I did see a 30% chance of thunderstorms, too. 

The sky was red.  I used the Canon Rebel xti, on auto, to capture the scene.  They may be a tad grainy, but I didn’t want to editorially enhance the photos. 

I want to assure you, even though the photos of fog, earlier this week and these red sky photos are eerily moody, I’m fine!  The scene, to me, was as amazing as the Missouri thunderstorms, this sky forewarns.

Friends of ours, not from Missouri, have commented on how impressed they are by the nature of thunderstorms in our neck of the woods.  Lightning, so very dangerous, can put on spectacular light shows.

I know this has nothing to do with Foodie Friday, but I couldn’t resist sharing this morning’s sky.





~Exterior Decorating~



Tuesday was a beautiful day in the Ozarks.  As you might have guessed, by now, I’m just a tad partial to the Ozarks and believe any day in the Ozarks is beautiful.

We drove through Lake of the Ozarks State Park, where I took lots of photos of the beautiful Dogwood, in bloom.  The Dogwood is the official Missouri State Tree.

As I was traipsing into the woods, taking photos here and there, J waited in the car.  Two park rangers stopped to ask if we needed help. They smiled when we told them what we were up to.

The white Dogwood Trees, shown in these photos, grow in the wild all across Missouri.  Our drive, to the condo, takes us through the state park.  That drive is one of the reasons we bought the condo. Another reason can be seen in the photos of the lake, in this post.The pink Dogwood, at the end of this post, is a part of the landscaping at our condo complex.  The lake photos were also taken near our little getaway place.

This post is my gift to my old school friend, Aunt Pittypat.  Not long ago, Pat, who lives in northern Wisconsin, requested a few photos of the Missouri Dogwood, in bloom. 

Visit Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for more exterior decorating, during Outdoor Wednesday.










Thank you all for coming by the Back Porch. I appreciate your visits and comments.  I hope to get back to regular visiting, this week. Life is good and also pretty busy, lately!


~Three Chairs and a Desk~


It was love at first sight, when I saw this little chair at a country auction, several years ago. It reminds me of the chairs in Sunday School, when I was a child. I call this chair the “Baby Dumpling” chair. Do you remember Baby Dumpling from Blondie and Dagwood comics and movies? It seems to me, when Baby Dumpling had time out….ummm….sat in a corner, he was in a chair very much like this one.



I have a photo of our eldest granddaughter Xanti, sitting in this chair, when she was about 18 months old.  I can’t believe she will be 19 next month!

While visiting my mother, in southwest Missouri, 20 or so years ago, we were out driving in the country when we happened upon a garage sale.  One of the items we brought home that day, was this little rocker.  I don’t know it’s age.  I imagine it must be around 100 years old, just because of the style and the way it’s put together.

We had a carload of treasures to bring home that weekend.  The top of the trunk was the only place we found for the chair. J carefully strapped the chair, upright, to the trunk.  All we needed was Granny, sitting in the chair, and we would have looked like the Clampett’s on their way to Beverly Hills!  Needless to say, we had lots of odd looks as we drove along Interstate 44 (formerly known as Rte 66, the Mother Road).

Other than covering the seat, the chair is as it was, the day we bought it. 




I had looked, here and there, for a small school desk, for a few years, when my sister’s husband found this one, around 1970.  It came from southwest Missouri.  The Ozarks is a treasure trove in many ways!  I found the chair about 20 years later.The 3 chairs and desk are in our hearth room; ready and waiting for our grandchildren to enjoy.

The rug, in the desk photo, is a flat weave Soumac, I purchased on E-bay a few years ago.  The flooring is ceramic tile, from Mohawk. The wall color is Laura Ashley Gold #3 (Lowe’s).


The weekend was rainy. Sunday morning, there was a fairly heavy fog.  I took these photos, around 7AM. 

The photo above was taken from the back porch, toward the vacant lot, next door.  The photo below, is a corner of the front yard and the clump River Birch.



This post will be added to Diane’s 2nd Time Around Tuesday.  Be sure to stop by Diane’s A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words, each Tuesday, for stories of vintage treasures.