~When Bloggers Meet~


Terri, Sue, Grace, Pat

Friday evening, J and I met folks, we had never met in real life, but visit from day to day, via the land of blog. 

It was as though we know each other well, as we shared hugs, conversation, gifts and dinner at Lewis and Clark’s Restaurant in Historic Saint Charles Missouri.

We didn’t let a little rain keep us from enjoying a wonderful evening with, Bob and Terri (Lakewood Manor) and Bill and Sue (Rabbit Run Cottage) and their sweet daughter Grace.

I’m adding this post, to Laurie’s Saturday Favorites, because the subject fits the category of favorite things, so well; in this instance, favorite things to do (meeting blog friends).




~Doin’ Some Cookin’~


The plan, for this week, was to return to the lake and complete work on the master bedroom.

However, plans changed when we got the results of J’s Protime test, Monday evening.  He was told to stop Coumadin (blood thinner), for two days and have another test Wednesday.  We knew as soon as that blood draw was made, his blood was still very thin.  A call came from his Cardiologist’s assistant, yesterday evening, to stop Coumadin until he heard from the doctor.  Another call came today, telling him to decrease the Coumadin dosage and have another Protime, at the time of our check ups, in two weeks

Over the past couple of decades, J has had numerous surgeries; no problem with Coumadin.  We are puzzled as to why he is having trouble with it, at this time.

Since we are staying close to home, this week, I’ve taken the opportunity to do a little cookin’, The Tamales took no effort at all.

I am adding a link to Michael’s Foodie Friday, this week. 

It’s been quite awhile since I participated.


I bought 6 of these snack sets, from a neighbor, during our neighborhood garage sale, in June.  They were a gift from friends, returning from a vacation in Mexico.


Every so often, I crave Tamales.

J doesn’t care for Tamales, unless they are homemade by our son in law’s mother. Those are the best Tamales we have ever tasted.

J will not eat Salsa with any sort of “whang”, as he calls it.  I love Tamales and don’t mind a little spice to Salsa.  I purchase Tamales from the Schwann’s truck.  They are excellent.  I keep them in the freezer and heat one in the microwave, for lunch, once in awhile. 

I used the drink cup of the snack set to serve the fresh Salsa, I purchased Wednesday.  To my taste, it has just the right amount of “whang”.


The Salsa complements the colorful plate and cup.


Fruit cup of Mango Nectarine, White Peach, Blueberries, Strawberries and whipped topping.

I found Mango Nectarines, at Dierberg’s (local family owned grocery). Have you tasted Mango Nectarines?  They are wonderful.  I believe they would make a tasty salsa, for salmon or other grilled seafood.


Not My Granny’s Chicken & Dumplings, but pretty good anyway.


Comfort food for J. 

I had a tiny taste too.

Chicken and Dumplin’s

One package freezer Dumplings or homemade.

2 or 3 Chicken Breasts on bone

5 or 6 Chicken Wings

1 bay leaf

Ground Savory

Saute in 1 tablespoon Butter

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup onion, chopped

2 cloves crushed garlic

or Garlic Powder can be substituted

Sea Salt

Coarse Pepper

Or use your spice and herb combination for chicken. 

Simmer chicken in about 5 quarts water, until done.  Remove chicken to cool, cut from bone and chop.  Return broth to rolling boil, drop in dumplings, stirring often to prevent sticking.  Reduce to simmer, cover and cook about 35 to 40 minutes. 

I used a little corn starch mixed in water, to thicken the broth at the end of cooking.

While I was cooking the chicken for the dumplings, I cooked extra for salad.  I chopped and mixed it with grapes, walnuts, celery and Miracle Whip.


Giada’s Poached Pears


Recipe from Food Network



  • 1 (750-ml) bottle Moscato wine or other sweet dessert wine
  • 2 cups simple syrup recipe follows
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in 1/2
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 (3/4-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled, and finely chopped
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 6 small, firm, ripe Anjou pears, peeled
  • Serving suggestion: vanilla ice cream or gelato



In a saucepan large enough to hold all the pears, combine the wine, simple syrup,

cinnamon stick halves, honey, and ginger. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the bean and seeds to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the honey has melted. Add the pears and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until the pears are tender. Remove the pears from the liquid and allow to cool.

Continue to simmer the liquid until it thickens and is reduced by half, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Remove the cinnamon stick halves and the vanilla bean and discard.

Place each pear on a small serving plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with the honey, ginger and cinnamon syrup. Serve immediately.

  • Simple Syrup
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool.

Yield: 2 3/4 cups

I couldn’t find Vanilla Bean, so substituted Vanilla Extract.  Bartlett Pears were also substituted. 


Delicious and the house smells wonderful!

I used Saint James Velvet White Wine.  Saint James is a Missouri Winery.


Sprite Melon Information

sprite melon

I found some information about the Sprite Melon, seen in the previous post. It is grown in North Carolina. 

Click above photo for the website.

We are meeting special folks, tomorrow evening (Friday), for supper. I hope to get a couple of photos.

Happy Weekend!


~Lunch Table Talk~


Monday morning, bright and early, J and I drove south for blood work.  This time, we both had routine tests.  Each of us had a fasting test. J had another test for his blood thinner levels.  We’ll know more about the fasting tests, after our check ups in about three weeks.  We are hoping to hear the results of the blood thinner test, in the next day or two.

I don’t know about you, but after these fasting tests, I am famished!  I decided a Mocha Frappe from McD’s was just the ticket, for breakfast. 

To assuage my guilt over my lavish breakfast, I had a light lunch.


I placed a thick slice of Sprite Melon, in a small fruit bowl, filled it with Blueberries, topped with light whipped topping and garnished with a Strawberry. 

It looked so pretty it deserved a photo shoot.


It was delicious, too.

An update…..already!



After I published the post about the new cabinet, I made a minor change.



About 10 years ago, I shot a few black and white photos of barns around our county, with a 35mm film camera.  I remembered those photos, the other day, and thought one or two of them would be a great addition to the wall beside the cabinet, made from an old Missouri barn.


The barn, in the top photo, was on the farm next to J’s family farm. It is still in existence.  The barn, in the second and third photos, was just outside a small village, west of our town.  That barn is no longer standing.


As you can see, in this photo of the back of the cabinet, red paint is still visible on the old barn boards.

Because this has a few tabletop elements, I am linking to Marty’s Tabletop Tuesday.



~The Rest of the Story~


We commissioned Jake to make a cabinet for the breakfast room at home, when he made the table for the condo, seen HERE.








As with the farmhouse table, Jake used boards from the 100 year old Missouri barn. He also used antique beadboard.

We arrived back home, Saturday afternoon.  I filled the cabinet with the Mikasa French Countryside and other white dishes, I’ve collected since 1983.


I’ll change the arrangement on the base top, from time to time. The white dishes will remain on the shelves with a bit of a change, now and then.



~A Table Story~



The table, we ordered, was delivered Tuesday afternoon. 

Furniture maker, Jake, told us about a 100 year old barn, destroyed by one of Missouri’s infamous tornadoes, a couple of years ago.  He was given the old barn, for the clean up, after the storm.  Since then he has taken those old barn boards and beams and turned them into beautiful and useful pieces of furniture.

Jake, 31 years old, learned his craft from his father.

The legs on our table, were turned from lengths of the massive barn beams.  The top and sides are made of the barn siding boards.  The only new wood used is in the drawer.

The old barn wood is filled with holes, mars and scars from 100 years of good work on a Missouri farm.  This makes our table even more special.

When Jake, with J’s help, brought the table and benches into the condo, I was all smiles.  I absolutely love it. It is the perfect table for our lake place.  I know I can seat 6 around the table and may be able to squeeze a couple more places in, for 8.

Jake delivered another piece of furniture and loaded it into our truck.  We took it home last night and set it in the breakfast room.  I’ll tell you more about that piece, when we return home.

In the meantime, we are back at our lake place, where I set a humble table, to celebrate Susan’s 100th Tablescape Thursday.  It’s been awhile since I participated. 

Setting our new table is a wonderful way to celebrate 100 Tablescape Thursdays.















Thank you Jake!


~A Different Sort of Summer Day~


It started out to be a different kind of day at the lake.




Soon the clouds parted and sunny shadows returned. 

There are cooler temperatures this morning.  A little bonus we are thankful for.

As we were watching the stormy looking skies, over the lake, we began planning our Spring 2011 vacation.  More about our plan in the coming months.


Cypress at Eldon Missouri~

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