Thursday, December 4, 2014

Game Days

Over the past few months Dave and I have enjoyed our Saints and Pelican games in New Orleans.

Katy Luke DaveSaints Game Pic


Pelicans Game

Saints Game

The last photo is our seat mates at the Superdome for the Saints Games, Dave and Peggy, he’s got one cool hat on don’t you think!?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Persimmon Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

Our family loves eating persimmons from Granny’s tree next door, there are two trees, one of them makes a juicy, almost liquid  when its ripe and very sweet fruit while the other makes a less sweet but meaty fruit that we don’t enjoy nearly as much and therefore they aren’t all consumed each season. I hate to waste the goodness that is available in our own back yard so I tried to find a way to use the fruit in a dessert that we would all enjoy and came up with Persimmon Bread Pudding.


I will include the recipe below if you are interested in making it, I also put together a little vanilla bean sauce to go with it that Kali enjoyed stirring until it was the perfect thickness on the stove.


Eli took a turn at the pot for a little bit as well … tiring after just a few moments but proud of his part in making the sauce, enough to ask for a bit on his piece of bread pudding dessert and he enjoyed it a lot.


I started with six ripe persimmons that I picked one day at the beginning of the week. We were heading to NOLA for a few Pelican preseason basketball games and I wouldn’t be making the bread pudding until today. So I peeled them and cut them into chunks and put them into a refrigerator storage container with a lid. I took it out today and tossed it all into my food processor and pulsed it until it was a nice creamy consistency before adding it to the mixture.


Dave was really pleased with the flavor and his mom and sister came over for a visit this evening and sampled it and gave it a gold seal of approval. Everyone enjoyed it. Read below the photos for the recipe.






Persimmon Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

5 large eggs

6 cups French bread (day old works best, mine was pretty fresh but it worked out fine)

2 cans of condensed milk

2 cups of persimmon puree

(The use of condensed milk saves you the time of creaming the sugar into the eggs and using way more sugar to achieve the desired sweetness in the bread pudding. I love how simple this recipe is and how very quick it is to put it together and get it into the oven)

Crack your eggs into a large mixing bowl, beat them for a full minute with a wire whisk, add the condensed milk and the persimmon puree and stir until fully incorporated into the eggs, cut the French bread into one inch thick slices, then cut into about one inch cubes, toss into the bowl with the egg and milk and mix until all of the bread is coated with the egg/milk/persimmon mixture, let it sit and soak in for about fifteen minutes. You can add cinnamon and/or nutmeg to your recipe but we prefer it without. Liberally spray 9x11 deep baking dish with non stick cooking spray, pour contents of mixing bowl into the pan and cook at 350 Degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until you can put a toothpick in and it comes out clean. I have a convection oven and it took 35 minutes for it to get golden brown on top and the toothpick came out clean, start watching it at the 30 minute mark to be on the safe side.


Vanilla Bean Sauce

1 stick of butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cups brown sugar tightly packed

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 Tablespoon Vanilla Bean Paste

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Combine all ingredients into a sauce pan and cook over medium heat until bubbling, turn heat down to low and cook until slightly reduced and thick, it took ours about 12 minutes stirring constantly. Allow to cool a little before pouring over warm bread pudding and enjoy.



Tonight after everyone left I had a square about 4.5” x 4.5” left in the pan and about half of the vanilla sauce, next time I may reduce the recipe for the sauce in half for a single pan of bread pudding.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Great Outdoors and Fishing Layout

I created a little layout using a photo shared with me by Claire’s mom Beki of the twins with their cousin Gabe. The boys adore going to the camp with their Pop and cousin Gabe, this photo shows their catch from May of 2013. My how they’ve grown!

Fishing Outdoors_katylarson

Shabby Miss Jenn Designs: Kit: Great Outdoors

Click on the image to find the kit in her online digital scrapbooking store.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fresh Figs

David has been watering our fig trees this week and we picked our first ones this past weekend. This evening when my BFF Missie and I came back from a little shopping trip in town we picked a few before it started raining really heavy. She picked about a gallon to take home and snack on and I picked a 13 cup container that I brought into the house and tipped. I am going to go out and pick enough to cook a nice batch of preserves tomorrow and hopefully my Daddy will come over and pick the rest.


Ms Janey, don’t you think you should take a drive down south to pick some fresh figs for your own self!? Come on down! Winking smile

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Supper at Home

Last night we had a little change up of plans, we were dining out with dear friends, but have moved our reservations to next Saturday, same place, same time, same good friends. So with this little alteration in plans I decided to cook something at home instead of dining out.

I had crawfish and Portobello mushrooms in the fridge and the makings of a delicious salad so I got to work on the menu. What I came up with was crawfish stuffed Portobello mushroom with Havarti cheese with dill, crawfish and pesto served over roasted spaghetti squash and a spinach, strawberry salad with feta cheese, walnuts and a home made raspberry vinaigrette dressing. I purchased a few of the spaghetti squash, those are the more yellow skins shown below, I got one from a neighbor and it was much more of a cream color, that was the only difference I found in them, they both cooked up deliciously and tasted the same, the lighter one was just a tad bit lighter once cooked.


I cut the spaghetti squash in half, took out the seeds and rubbed butter all over it, sprinkled it with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt and put it in the oven for 35 minutes at 375 degrees.


I didn’t get another shot of the cooked squash before I scraped it out into a bowl but it was golden brown on top and tender enough to scrape easily with a fork. I fluffed it up as I scraped it to give it a nice texture to it before topping with crawfish and pesto stuffing. I sprinkled a little more salt and black pepper on it before serving.


The crawfish mixture was very easy to make, I heated a little less than 1/4 cup of olive oil in a pan along with 1 tablespoon of butter, I added one large clove of garlic that I chopped very fine and a half of a yellow onion also chopped finely. After cooking that over medium heat for about six minutes until the garlic an onion were clear and golden brown, I added in the crawfish and sauteed it until it was fully cooked, which took about five minutes over medium heat. I seasoned with black pepper and sea salt before adding 3 to 4 tablespoons of half and half and cooked another minute, the milk, butter, oil and crawfish juices made a nice little sauce. I turned off the heat and added 1/4 of a block of Philadelphia cream cheese, I mixed until the cream cheese was dissolved completely. I spooned it into a bowl and let it stand while I got my mushrooms prepped and made my pesto. I’ve been told that you shouldn’t add the salt to seafood until you’ve cooked it because it causes the natural waters in the seafood to drain out of it and make it rubbery, so that’s how I always cook mine.


While my squash were roasting I was also prepping my mushrooms before filling them with the crawfish mixture. I removed the stems and brushed the tops of the mushrooms clean before placing them on a foil covered baking pan and sprinkled them with olive oil. I allowed them to cook for ten minutes in the 375 degree oven, I then removed the pan and using paper towels I absorbed all of the juices that collected in the centers and replaced them in the oven for an additional ten minutes before removing to repeat the juice absorbing process again. After I’d patted them quite dry I set them aside while I made my pesto and sliced the Havarti cheese to top the stuffed mushrooms.


The next thing I did was make fresh pesto using the same recipe I used earlier this summer which you can find on HERE on my blog. One thing I did this time was leave larger pieces of shaved parmesan cheese in the pesto.



The next thing I did was spoon two heaping tablespoons of the crawfish mixture into the mushrooms. A little more or less depending on the size of the mushroom.


Next I topped them with a few strips of Havarti with dill cheese slices.


I then popped them back into the oven which was still 375 degrees for about two and a half minutes until the cheese was all gooey and melted on the top. The smell at this point was truly divine!


While those rested I put together the salad, I’d made the raspberry dressing earlier with fresh raspberries, sugar, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. It turned out very nice, light and fruity, more fruity than oily or vinegary.


Assembling the salad was quick and easy. I just tossed the baby spinach into a bowl and topped it with the berries, walnuts and feta, we drizzled the dressing on as we served our individual salads.


I mixed about two tablespoons of pesto into the remaining crawfish mixture before spooning a heap of it onto the top of a bed of spaghetti squash. The flavors were really good together and it was a light but filling entrée.


We enjoyed a little Moscato wine with our supper and it was a nice addition to the meal.


If you have any questions about the recipes, or need/want clarification just leave a comment below and I will answer asap. I hope y’all all have a very happy Sunday!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Glossy Box

If you have not tried this subscription box for $21 a month you don’t know what you’re missing. This month I have received my fifth Glossy Box and it keeps getting better and better. Each month you get five surprise luxury beauty products in deluxe sized samples and some times full sized delivered to your doorstep to experience. I’ve found some of my favorite beauty products through this subscription service and have loved most of what I’ve gotten. It comes beautifully wrapped and the products always arrive in outstanding condition and never broken or damaged. This month was a red, white and blue themed box full of goodness and I’ve can’t wait to try these new products.


This month there were five super products and a Gift Card from C Wonder store, the card says Every Card is a Winner, just have to bring it in and find out what the deal is about, there’s a new C Wonder store in New Orleans at the Saks mall, I’m going to have to get over there next time I’m in the city. Camille Beckman Platinume’ Gold Imperial Repair Hand Therapy that smells divine. Two nail polishes from Strange Beautiful Library o Color Colorbloc in red and navy, just in time for the 4th of July. Champagne Eye Shadow Pencil by Sumita Beauty that’s lovely. I love dry shampoo and this Rusk Texture Dry Finishing Spray sounds right up my alley! And the last thing was Patagonia Body Butter that is as smooth and creamy as any I’ve ever tried, its going to come in handy since our beach trip dried out my arms and legs quite a bit and my skin is drinking up everything I put onto it.

Late Morning Tea

Yesterday while I was blogging, scrapbooking and fiddling around online I got a little hungry and it being just ten thirty in the morning it was just a little early for lunch. I decided to make myself a little cup of tea and a snack.


I gathered up the necessary goodness from my pantry and refrigerator. Decided to make my favorite Stash wild raspberry herbal tea, I’d already had my caffeine for the day in my morning coffee so this was perfect. Being one who is subject to lots of sleeping issues I figured I didn’t need any more caffeine for the day. I used my trusty Keurig coffee maker without a K cup in it to heat the water to the perfect temperature and that worked fabulously and quickly. I added a little bit of lemon and French Vanilla creamer to it, I don’t really know what the ‘proper’ cream may be for tea drinking, but I’m all about making tea to suit my own taste and this worked perfectly. I sweetened it a little bit with half a package of “Swerve” sweetener that I was introduced to while at a Food Festival at the French Market in the French Quarter in New Orleans last year. I like that it has no after taste at all.


The pretty color of the tea once I added the cream to it was a lovely light mauve and was visually appealing to me as it coordinated with my lovely little cup and saucer. I added crackers, cheese and fresh raspberries to my yummy snack plate and headed to my office to do a little reading and blogging.


The cheese is Dubliner and the crackers are Breton’s sesame seed crackers. Just a few of these make for a really delicious and filling snack. The raspberries were plump and very pretty at Sam’s Club this week when I did my shopping and you could just taste the freshness right now because they are in season.


The pattern of these dishes is 1950s Norway Rose by Cunningham & Pickett, Inc. of Alliance, Ohio. C&P Inc. were distributors of the pattern and most of them were manufactured by Homer Laughlin China Company. I adore the pattern and the color of these dishes so very much and always have my eye open for new pieces while antiquing and vintage shopping.


It was a very delicious and satisfying snack, I love using pretty dishware when I’m home alone during the day (and for that matter at any time) it feels a little bit fancy and la-tee-dah. The girlie girl in me adores that feeling and the feminine flair it adds to my day. Indulging in a visual treat is always a pleasure for me and and the combination of these dishes, flavors and snacks make me happy!


Have a very lovely day and remember that you CAN make your day as pretty as you want it to be! Don’t ‘save’ those pretty dishes for a some day. Use your beautiful things regularly and often and enjoy them!

Caprese Salad and Peach Tea

A few nights ago after a little shopping trip to my local Sam’s Club I made a yummy and very easy Caprese Salad. The mozzarella cheese came pre-sliced in a package and made it super easy to use in our salad and definitely inspired this dish.


The ingredients are few and simple and include tomatoes, I love the vine ripe tomatoes that were available at Super 1 Foods this past weekend on sale for a mere .98 per pound, fresh basil from my garden, raspberry balsamic vinaigrette dressing, mozzarella cheese, golden cherry tomatoes from my garden, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.


The fresh basil from my garden is so delicious and beautiful right now. I just can’t get enough of it!


Assembly was super easy since the mozzarella cheese was pre-sliced at my local Sam’s Club store.


First I sliced my tomatoes into  nice thick meaty slices, halved all of of the cherry tomatoes and stacked and cut the basil into thin strips. The reason I added the halved cherry tomatoes to the dish was because they are a little bit sweeter and paired well with the more acidic red vine ripe tomatoes, they added a nice sweetness to the dish. They just started ripening and the two plants I have really are going to yield quite a bit of yumminess from our garden this summer. The grandkids love picking and eating them fresh off the vine.


I stacked the slices of tomato and mozzarella, sprinkled the cherry tomatoes and sliced basil around the serving plate, added a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and lastly drizzled the vinaigrette over everything.


This delicious and easy to make salad was a nice addition to a simple supper for Dave and me that I served with a little corn and beef tomato soup I’d stored in the freezer earlier this spring that was made with corn from our garden and beef that Dave raised. I served peach tea with frozen peach slices and garnished with a little nectarine sliver, I didn’t have fresh peaches in the house so that substitute was perfect.


I hope everyone is having a simply yummy summer filled with good food and making great memories with friends and family!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Beach Treats for the Petites

Whenever we travel with family and friends I like to include a special little treat bag for the petites in the group. This year I’ve whipped up a snack bag with a treat for each day that we’re at the beach (minus travel days) and created a tag to personalize them for each child. What child doesn’t like seeing his or her name on a treat bag?


First I chose the snacks, a few salty, a few sweet and one that can even be considered a ‘game’ if you’re so inclined! Each bag included a Capri Sun in the flavor Lemonade, I’m going to encourage the Moms of our littles to put them into the freezer and instead of using the straw, cutting them open and letting them eat it like a slushy or snowball. There’s just enough sugar in them to keep them from freezing rock solid and a cold snack like that when you’re out on the beach is so refreshing. I also included plain Pringles, Mott’s gummies made with ‘real fruit’, delicious Oreos, a package of Popping Snack candies we all enjoyed as children and a bag of Scrabble Junior. Cheez-Its. I sure hope they try playing a little game of Scrabble, practice letter recognition or play a word game with them!


Next I created a little custom gift tag in Lumapix Fotofusion using Shabby Miss Jenn Designs “Pool Party” kit. Click on the preview below to get it in her digital scrapbooking store.


After printing them, I cut them out, punched a few holes in them and they were ready to be tied onto the treat bags. Although Dave and I aren’t “Lolli & Pop” to all of the children who will be on our beach vacation, we’re certainly known by our grandchildren’s generation of friends and second cousins as such and sign the tag with our “grandparent names”.


If you are interested in digital scrapbooking I highly suggest giving the very versatile Fotofusion program by Lumapix a try, there’s a trial program you can download and use before purchasing, which I highly suggest you do. It’s a user friendly program that I’ve used for about nine years now and could not do without. Click on the image below and check out their fabulous sight. If you check out the gallery you may even see a few faces in layouts that you recognize.


I use it to create my scrapbooking pages, gift tags, labels and many other printable projects. I use it to design my custom tags, labels, bottle wraps, signs, invitations and more for the birthday parties for our grandchildren. Combined with a printer, custom punches, scissors and ribbon you can create just about anything you could imagine!



After filling the cello bags with the treats, I chose and cut curly ribbon that matched the colors in the gift tag, tied them on, attached the beach shovel tag and curled the ribbons.


I sure hope the petites enjoy them as much as I had fun preparing them! Making memories with our children and grandchildren and extended family and friends is so important and I truly love how excited the little ones are when they receive these little gifts from the heart!


I hope everyone is having a safe and exciting summer!