Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Whimsical Spring

Shabby Miss Jenn's been at it again... designing a wonderful spring kit. Whimsical Spring is delightful, filled with lovely watercolor backgrounds and enchanting elements. I created these three layouts with it. You can see larger versions in my Shabby Miss Jenn Designs.com gallery. Enjoy~

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ponchatoula Birthday Trip

Click on the photo to see a little album of photos of my finds in Ponchatoula. Needless to say, Friday and Saturday were lucky, lucky shopping days for me!

For my birthday on Saturday my honey Dave and I went with my sister Dee and her husband Normand to Ponchatoula for some antiquing and flea marketing. It was a fun and relaxing day. The guys had a great time checking out all sorts of oddities while Dee and I mainly focused on the girly stuff. Dishware, glassware and lovely books and serving pieces. We ate a delicious lunch at Paul's soon after arriving in the strawberry capital of the south which is Ponchatoula's claim to fame. For those of you who don't know ... its located between Baton Rouge and Hammond and just a short drive off of the main highway. Next weekend is the Strawberry Festival and its a wonderful event. Check it out here: Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival. The downtown area is full of adorable gift shops and beautiful shopping opportunities. We trekked down to the Fresh Market as well and picked up some snacks to bring back to the kiddos. We also found a strawberry vendor who offered us a taste of his wares and Dee and I each bought a flat. The vendor was hilarious and asked where we were from, afterward he made a little joke about Avery Island and said he'd travelled there in the fifties for the first time and that he'd been back there a few times.

The magnolia cups and saucers with the pretty aqua rims and a subscription to Southern Lady were birthday gifts from my sisters Dee and Robin and my parents. Thanks to all of you for making my day special, I love you all so much! The cups/saucers match a platter and serving bowl that I fell in love with in the same pattern. I definately will be on the lookout for more pieces, the color is divine and I adore them.

The soup tourine matches my china, I didn't have this piece and finding it for under $15 was awesome! The Fostoria azure blue June center fleur de lis handle tray is my favorite new serving piece! It will go nicely with my china! I can't wait to use it, I think its the perfect size for bacon wrapped chicken tenderloin stuffed with cheese and jalapenos and broiled with Tabasco Pepper Jelly on top! The RECIPE can be found HERE on the KitchenMirror, a blog I contribute to with some of my favorite YaYas! I found a copy of Life magazine with Henry Fonda on it in the character from Mr. Roberts the movie. This is Dave's all time most favorite movie EVER! I'm going to do something fun with it when we move into the new house. I have a plan for the little saucers that involve party gifts of biscotti! I included a photo of the ripe strawberries we bought in the flat... minus what I managed to eat off of the top of the flat every time Dave opened the trunk to put my treasures inside! I found an old copy of "What Katy Did Next" published in London by Blackie and Son Publishing, written by Susan Coolidge. Books with my name in the title are a rarity and its nice to have this copy (I didn't photography the book). I'm going to be on the lookout for the other two Katy books by Coolidge as well. There's also a bottle of strawberry wine we picked up at Paul's. Can't wait to give it a try! I had a super birthday, good enough for me not to even worry or care that I'm one year older ;) Thanks Norm and Dee for coming along, entertaining me and Dave with all your antics and sharing my special day. Topping the day off with that yummy supper at Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro was the icing on the cake!

I picked up a copy of the old Doris Day classic with Jack Lemon "It Happened to Jane" at the book store ... we'll have a movie night with Dee and her family soon! Gotta start planning the menu!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Friday March 27th - Antiquing With Dee

First up I want to show what I found to go with my Easter tablescape, I got four of these pretty bird's nests at a gift shop at Crossroads, its got cute little eggs inside and really adds a finishing touch to the table.

Today before my birthday I decided to head over to a few favorite shopping hot spots and dragged my sister Deborah along with me. She's the perfect shopping partner, she brings a sense of reasoning to the whole experience, one can often hear her say "you really need that" or "that would look great with your ____" (fill in the blank with any set of dishware that I own). Once in a while when I order her to say "Katy, you really don't need that" or "Katy, that would start a whole new collection and we know you don't want that to happen" she will do so politely and promptly. This does make for a much nicer shopping experience than if I were to go alone for these obvious reasons. Plus its fun to have someone to hold my stuff while I shop and to be able to order around like we did when she was four and I was eleven... yes the baby girl is seven years younger than moi. She is most definitely the best shopping partner in America.

My first stop was on the way to her house and it was at the Goodwill on Albertson Parkway, my sister Deb is always finding goodies there and I figured I'd swing in and check things out. Deb found EIGHT dinner plates, six coffee cups and an assortment of saucers and salad plates in my china pattern at Where Pigs Fly in Lafayette for a whopping $6.50. Today I found SIX more lovely dinner plates in my Blue Whisper china pattern at Goodwill and at .59 a piece I couldn't go wrong, they're in mint condition. Sure they're inexpensive grocery store china, but they're lovely and I've enjoyed finding new pieces to go with them.

Then I picked up Deb, we went to an estate sale on Cantabury in West Bayou Parkway subdivision. I found some pretty glasses, a few baskets, four pretty coral napkins in great condition. Here are pics of these finds.

On to the shopping. We then ventured over to Melanie LaFleur's place on Industrial Drive. She's got a huge warehouse full of consignment and antique goods, she was having a huge 60% off sale on most of items in the store and 75% off of the stuff out in tool shed out in back of the garden equipment and goods. Naturally we found a whole lot of good stuff out there! She's only open from 10 to 3 on most days and the reason for the huge sale is on accounta she's been in Roundtop and is returning on Wednesday with loads of treasures. We're definitely going to have to go over there on Thursday of next week. These are the treasures I found at Melanie LaFleur's.

Afterward we drove up I-10 to Opelousas and found some great things at Crossroads and had a yummy lunch while we were there. These were my treasures from Crossroads.

Traveling farther up I-10 we arrived at the Washington Old Antique Schoolhouse Mall. I picked up a few things there and this is where Dee and I concocted the notion that a trip to Ponchatoula would be the best thing for the four of us, me and Honey Dave and her and her sweetheart Normand should do for my birthday the next day, March 28. We gathered up our treasures and headed back to Lafayette at this time with plans for Saturday. These pics are of my Washington treasures.

Amazingly Deb and I returned home safely without any breakage. Do check out her blog for pics of her treasures. I'm sure she'll have a post up soon about our adventures. You can find her here "Under the Cajun Sun"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Easter Ivory and Cream

I've been working on collecting a few pieces to pull together my Easter tablescape. They're coming together nicely and I'm pleased with the overall look of it. I do, however, feel that something is missing still. There's no punch in it... no wow factor. Your suggestions are welcome, please lemme know whatcha think!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Easy to Make: Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Here's a little recipe for Chocolate Almond Biscotti. I made some today and was very successful with it. It was simple and these are the ingredients you need. One Devil's Food Cake Mix, two eggs (not pictured), a few bags of whole almonds, chocolate syrup, all purpose flour, spray oil (I like organic olive oil spray) and semi sweet chocolate chips.
This is what the dough looks like after mixing, you can see the whole almonds and chocolate chips in the rich chocolate dough.
I created two logs about 10 inches long and an inch and a half thick using half of the dough for each.

After cooking at 350 degrees for 35 minutes I allowed the biscotti to cool then cut them into inch wide strips and placed it back in the pan to cook again for 12 more minutes.
After cooking the biscotti for the second time, I allowed it to cool, then melted some chocolate and dipped one side of the cookies in it, I put it on a piece of wax paper to cool and harden up.

Here's the finished product, all wrapped up in clear bags and tied up with pretty sheer white ribbon.



1 package chocolate cake mix

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup butter melted

1/4 cup chocolate syrup

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract (I didn't have any so I omitted it.)

2 packages whole almonds (4.5 ounces total)

1/2 cup chocolate chips

10 ounces of melting chocolate for dipping


In a large mixing bowl, (I used my kitchen aid mixer) combine the dry cake mix, flour, butter, chocolate syrup, eggs and extracts. Stir in the almonds and chocolate chips. Divide dough in half. On lightly greasted baking pan shape each portion into 10 x 2 inch log.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes or until firm to the touch. Cool for 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; carefully cut diagonally with a serrated knife (I used an electric knife) into 1/2 slices. Place cut side down on greased baking sheets. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until firm. (Took mine about 12 minutes). Remove to wire rack to cool.

Melt chocolate for dipping in a plate or glass pan in the microwave, dip one side of biscotti in chocolate; place on waxed paper to cool and harden. Store in airtight container or wrap in plastic.I'm participating in Foodie Friday with Gollum at Designs by Gollum. Click on the image above to go to the website. Links to all the Foodie participants are there for your enjoyment.
Enjoy! ~Katy

Monday, March 23, 2009

Berry Lovin' Boys

When the boys woke from their afternoon nap yesterday they were running low grade fever, we gave them some medicine and after a bit they were feeling better. We prepared some berry bowls for them and they feasted on fresh juicy berries. They love strawberries and blueberries the best and ate em up!

Monday, March 16, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Tablescape

Welcome to my addition to the Thursday Tablescapes with Susan at Between Naps at the Porch blog. Thanks for hosting Susan!
CLICK on the image below to see my photo gallery of St. Patrick's Day tablescape photos.
Tablescape designing is more fun than I ever imagined, now that I have the time to enjoy it I'm always thinking, planning and collecting! It sure does make a home cozy and everyone enjoys the eye candy! Sharing them with my fellow dish obsessed friends and my family on my blog has also been a joy. I love hearing from everyone through the comments and appreciate you leaving one too!

I have a big family meal in the works for Tuesday evening... St. Patrick's Day and Monday is Krista's BDay and Claire's is Wednesday so celebrating smack dab in the middle of them made sense! Have a lovely St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Honey!

It was Honey Dave's birthday on Friday, March 13th. We celebrated by spending the night in Baton Rouge, spent the afternoon on Friday going to a few favorite stores, ended the evening by having supper at Sullivan's Steakhouse and spent the day on Saturday in Denham Springs antiquing. We had a wonderful time!

His special birthday supper included a fabulous five course meal that ended with the most delicious lobster. afterward we spent a little time at Ring Side which is a little nightclub with live music that is next to Sullivans. We danced a few dances and headed back to the Cambria for the night. Cambria Suites is a new hotel located just across I-10 from Sullivans, it opened in December and the rooms are gorgeous, cozy and immaculate.

We headed to Denham Springs on Saturday, Dave enjoyed perusing the stores for old tools and unique items. I was on the lookout for some special things to go with my Easter Tablescape and collections. I'll describe my finds in a few sentences below. On the way home we were supposed to go to Bass Pro Shop and Cabellas but he declined saying he could do that on another weekend, honestly our feet were just too sore from walking all day in the stores. Even though it drizzled all day Saturday it was relaxing and fun.

On our way through Lafayette, we stopped at my sister Debbie and her husband Normand's house to pick up Erica who spent the weekend there so she could go to swim practice with her cousins on Saturday morning. We ended up spending the better part of the evening with them. Dave and Norm watched a movie with Jacob. Debbie, the girls and I planned our Easter week luncheon and tea. We planned our menu and decided on tablescape themes for the three tables we'll be setting. Party favors and presentation were decided and we even discussed what the girls were going to wear. During the course of the evening Deb and I were discussing how I didn't really enjoy coffee or tea and how much time women spent collecting pots and cups and all the accessories to go with them, when I mentioned that I really wished I enjoyed tea. She whipped out a few types of tea bags and brewed them, suggesting that I give them a try. Surprisingly enough I found one that I just absolutely adore! Raspberry tea by Stash is delightful! Just a tiny bit of sugar and a tiny spritz of lemon and my tastebuds were asking for another cup! I now have a purpose when I see all the lovely unique little tea pots at my favorite shops! What a new and exciting experience this is going to be!

We enjoyed a lovely salad made for us by Jessica, Deb's daughter. Norm went out and picked up pizza and Jacob made yummy drinks. Chris and Greg, who swim with our kiddos came over to visit and enjoyed tea and pizza with us. Greg got in on the party planning, interjecting some odd ideas and Chris entertained us all with his piano playing and hilarious choice of lyrics! Jeanne also played some of her favorite songs, we were all impressed with the girl's natural ability and knack considering one she's only had one year of formal training. She really, really needs to continue piano lessons!

I did find a few little things to bring home... I photographed three of them here and there are a couple that I didn't take pics of... one of those was a sandwich glass tray that matches three bowls I found while antiquing with my sisters a few weekends back the other were two berry bowls and two dinner plates in baby blue bubble glass which match my china. The other three things I got were a pretty little pitcher in ivory, a frog that fits a waterford vase we got for our wedding and a lovely little lavander scented sachet for my delicates drawer. ;) All in all it was a lovely little trip.

While trying a new action on this photograph of my flea market finds I really got lucky. It was free and it worked beautifully. I love the effect! It is a comic action, but its really cool on almost anything, it wasn't really great on people with the standard settings, but I'm going to fiddle around with it again tomorrow.