Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pasta YaYa ~ A spicy chicken and sausage combination~

Enter my GIVEAWAY here

One of my favorite pasta dishes comes from a popular spot here in town called The Bistro.  It's a spicy cream sauce with chicken and sausage over fettucine noodles.  I love it, my family loves it.  I am hungry for it now!

I made my own version of the recipe...and my family likes mine better. 
I'd love to hear what you think if you decide to try it.


4 Chicken breasts (can be cooked already but I usually start with uncooked)
1 lb Pork Sausage (I like the flavor of Farmland for this's the cheapest around here to)
2-4 Tblsp minced garlic (I use the jarred kind)
About 24 oz heavy cream
4 Tablespoons blackening spice (Shawn's recipe below)
2 oz. olive oil
4-6 oz chicken stock, or use the jar called 'Better Than Bouillon', which is a thick, heavy paste you can dilute with a little water
white wine (1/2 cup, optional...last time I made this we didn't have any wine so I skipped it altogether and liked it every bit as well)

Saute chicken and sausage (you'll want to cut this into bite sized pieces or small chunks) in olive oil.  Once this is cooked, you'll want to drain alot of the fat...not all of it.  If you use white wine, add this to the pan and deglaze.  Add heavy cream and reduce slightly.  Add blackening spice to taste and chicken stock.  Stir and serve over hot fettucine noodles with a salad and crispy bread.  It's so good!

Shawn's Blackening Spice

3 T paprika
1/2 T dried oregano
1/2 T dried thyme
1/2 T cayenne pepper
1/2 T black pepper
1/2 T white pepper
1-2 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder

Linking to Foodie Friday
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Finer Things Friday
Ultimate Recipe Swaps, hosted by Life as Mom
Food On Fridays, hosted by Ann Kroeker
Tasty Tuesday, hosted by Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Tatertots & Jello 
Harrigan Howdy

Every heart that has beat strongly and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Shabby Roses Cottage Tea Tablescape & 3 GIVEAWAYS!

When Kalyn and Ashton were little they had the prettiest garden room.  It was one of my favorite rooms ever.  My Mom painted the ceiling with clouds. I installed white picket fencing around the room with faux climbing roses, foxgloves, poppy's and other flowers.  In front of their bedroom window, which had English ivy growing on the outside, we had an antique wicker canopied daybed.  It ran lengthwise in front of the window and was piled with loads of pillows, silk wisteria on the canopy and climbing roses up the bed posts.  It looked like an arbor with a big bench below.  The highlight of the room was a rock pathway carved throughout the carpet to look like a winding road.  Where the path diverged I had a small street sign painted which read 'Ashton Avenue' and 'Kalyn Court' indicating the names of the little paths/roads.  It was so sweet.   I used to just go sit in that room imagining I was still a little girl, gazing up to the painted sky. 
As my little girls grew, they decided they wanted something different, so away went the cottagey, garden look and in came the fun and funky look with bright colors and a retro/contemporary feel...stylish but not the same Shabby cottage garden feel.  I miss that room and all the frilly, flowery, shabby, girly things that were in it.  I wish I had pictures to share ;-(

I had a chance to create a table with a similar theme and it brought back so many memories.  Kalyn and Ashton actually did alot of work on this table and put a lot of it together.  They both said it's one of their favorites....hmmm...maybe I can re-convert them into wanting this feel in their room!
And Trevor, as you will soon see, had no problem partaking of the treats.  He's always up to something funny, or weird, or both.  Usually both.

My tablescape begins with these quilted chair pads from Patchwork Trails.  I fully intended to use these on the chairs, and even started to.  Kalyn sweetly tied each one in place for me...but then...inspiration hit and I decided these were the perfect thing to tie the entire table (top) together, so they became place mats for my cottage table.
These are not only absolutely gorgeous and so well made, but they serve as little pads to take on the a ball game for use on those hard metal bleachers.  They roll up and can be tied with the ties on the ends.  The backs are a pretty light blue denim.   I love the mix of fabrics and colors.

The girls and I set the table at the bird cage dining table I recently made while the boys and Shawn worked around the warehouse and kept trying to snatch up the cookies.  I was so honored, and so flattered that my table was featured at 5 other blogs!  It will be for sale soon.

I wanted to use transferware at my cottage table so I chose two plates by two different English potters with a roses motif.  I mixed and matched my cups using all different florals.  Some of the transferware is more red than pink, and vice-versa so I tried to stay with the more pink tones.
I layered dinner and salad plates in two patterns, Swinnerton's Kent plates:

and Chantilly Rose Lace, both available in my English Transferware shop.

My next door neighbor had these pale pink damask napkins in her garage sale and the vintage white linen with pink embroidery were purchased online.

At this setting, and around the table I placed handmade lace roses from The Golden Turtle.  I also used one of the hand made lace doilies from this shop and served these gorgeous tile cookies from Le Chic Bakery Boutique

Aren't these cookies beautifully packaged?   Each one has a different tea themed design...teapot, coffeepot, tea cup, etc.

My centerpiece was made using a wreath at the base from Willow Creek Flowers
I made a tiered plate stand with a little frosted aqua blue glass thing-a-ma-jing (don't know what it is) I found at GW.   I layered the lace doilies over transferware plates, added rose moulded sugar cubes and a rose shaped cupcake on top. 
Somebody's wants that cupcake....
and thinks he's so funny he'll actually get it

And, speaking of sugar cubes...are these not the prettiest, daintiest, most perfect little sugar cubes?  These also come from LeChicBakeryBoutique.  These are made by hand in an array of colors and shapes.  Some are even flavored.  I got some orange ones with a spiced orange flavor and cannot wait to try them.   The shop owner knew I was using these in a tea table setting and also sent these cinnamon sticks, dipped in a thin pink coating with rose shaped sugar cubes on the end and tied with ribbon.  How adorable and how nice to stir into a cup of tea, or even coffee.  Wouldn't these be wonderful for your next tea party? Cinnamon flavored coffee is my fave!

Above, the embroidered doily is also from The Golden Turtle and below, my gold demi tea spoons are from
Home and Tea Time Elegance.

For height at my table, and in place of candles and just because they are soooo gorgeous and an unusual and interesting touch to my table I put these hand made lamp shades on some of my lamps.  They are so pretty and so perfect!  Susan has a gorgeous shop of vintage, Shabby Chic-ish items and makes custom lamp shades called My Shabby Rose Cottage.

More cookies from LeChicBakeryBoutique.  They are chocolate coated with walnuts on one side and the other side features a pretty...which way do I serve?

My little trike filled with dried roses and lacey ferns is another arrangement from Willow Creek Flowers.

And, my shabby chic-ey, kinda freaky kid takes the cake, er, uh I mean cup cake.
(personal note to Trev...I tink).

Ok...have I, do I, use way too many pictures in my posts?  I hope not, but I apologize in advance if I do!
Now for the winner of the cookie giveaway to Mel Mellis's Sweet Treats....congratulations to Martha at Martha's Favorites.  I have sent an email to you to let you know.  Just send me your contact info to pass along to Mhia!  

And now for MORE GIVEAWAYS!  Two sponsors for this post have offered generous giveaways to help you make your next tea party perfecto!

Le Chic Bakery Boutique is offering two prizes to one lucky cookie order of your choice and one set of her molded sugar cubes.
The Golden Turtle has offered two sets of her embroidered initial napkins:  
The winner can choose the color of embroidery and the initials!  Guess whose initials are in her pics?  S for Shawn and N for Nancy!  I will use these in another tablescape.

There will be THREE winners in this giveaway, one will receive the cookie and sugar cube selection and two will receive the embroidered napkins.

To enter:

1) post a comment
2 entries) visit Le Chic Bakery Boutique (tell me what cookies or sugar cubes you'd pick)
3 entries) visit The Golden Turtle and see all her lovely embroidered and hand made linens.
4) Become a blog follower, or if you are one you can enter again

Giveaway entries end next Tuesday, June 29.  I will announce the winners next week.

Linking to:

House of Hepworth
Centerpiece Wednesdays
Hodge Podge Friday @ It's a Hodgepodge Life
Show Off Your Cottage Monday@ A House in The Roses
Lady Katherine
Tea Cup Tuesday at Artful Affirmations
How Sweet The Sound for Pink Saturday
Toot Your Horn Tuesdays 
Transformation Thursday
Strut your stuff Thursday
Second Time around Tuesdays
Inspiration Tuesday
Look What I made
Bargain Shopping Paradise
Frugalicious Fridays
Tidy Mom
Feature Yourself Friday
Frugal Friday
Trendy Treehouse Blog hop
Tatertots & Jello 
Funky Junk Interiors

Monday, June 21, 2010

Much to do about a hutch ~ Hanging Ladles ~ Winner

First, let me announce the winner of the Gift Certificate to A Little Scrappy.  The winner was chose via and is LUCKY7DESIGN!  Congratulations!!!   I sent you a message via email.  Please contact me and I'll put you in contact with A Little Scrappy!

Some of my favorite 'things' are, as any of my readers know, is English Transferware.  This week I'm sharing my breakfast nook hutch and a tutorial on using disc hangers.

Now, for a little tutorial on using Disc Hangers (information on where to purchase at the end of post), in this case for hanging ladles.  Generally I use these for hanging plates, and as someone who sells English Transferware, I highly recommend these over any other plate hanger.   They are great for hanging large platters to, and are so easy to use.

I have had several antique transferware ladles that I've wanted to display on my breakfast nook hutch. 
Here's my hutch before.  I had a couple of ladles propped up on the bottom shelf against other pieces.

With these disc hangers you simply choose the size you will need, according to the weight of the object you are hanging.   I used the smallest, 30 mm size for my ladles. 

They come on a heavy paper stock with complete, easy instructions on back.  Simply remove the disc and wet with a few drops of water by rubbing your finger on the back.

Here's a picture of the wet disc...sorry it's so blurry.

  Let the disc set for 5-10 minutes to allow the glue to become tacky.  Then apply to the back of the piece you are hanging, removing any air pockets. Since I am hanging ladles, I cut a bit off the sides so it wouldn't show and then after smoothing it into position I fixed a rubber band around it until it had dried into place.  If you are hanging plates this step is not necessary.  Allow the disc to dry overnight.  Pull on it before hanging to make sure it's secure.  I have never had a problem with one not being secure.
Should you ever decide to remove your hanger, just soak in water according to the package directions.  They will not harm your pottery.
(If you do use the wire plate hangers, be positively sure to use some with plastic/rubber grips to avoid scratching or digging ruts into your plates.  This DOES happen.)

Now that the disc hanger is secure, I'm  ready to hang my ladles.
I hung four of my antique transferware ladles and re-arranged some of the pieces on my hutch.  Here's the finished look...not a huge difference but I must say it felt so good to take it all down, clean it and then put it back up again.
I have a mix of brown and polychrome brown transferware in several patterns.  These pieces represent some of my favorites, including Spode Byron, Royal Staffordshire Jenny Lind, Midwinter Landscape,  A J Wilkinson Pastoral Davenport and more.  I've got a few Aesthetic Movement pieces here, including two of the ladles I just hung up.

I made a tassel from a Circa 1890-91 jumbo coffee cup and hung it on one of the glass knobs.  This Ethan Allen hutch was my husbands when he was little.  He and his brother shared a room and each had one of these hutches back to back to seperate their spaces.  When we got it we took the doors off the front (where the ladles now hang).  I replaced the hardware, most of it with antique glass knobs from a previous home we lived in.

In the photo below I have an antique chamber pot on the floor.  At the top of the hutch is another favorite piece, a Crown Devon transferware drink dispenser in the Safe Harbour pattern.  These are hard to find.

Disc Hangers can be purchase from Disc Hangers or from me directly.  If you go to Disc Hangers, tell Stanley I sent you.
Vintage and antique English Transferware can be purchased from me at my Etsy shop, or email mef you don't see what you're looking for as I've got thousands of pieces which aren't listed on line.
The rabbit family, along with hundreds of other adorable decorative items, on my hutch can be purchased from Decorator's Friend.  Tell Nicci I sent you!

Linking to
Summer Sundays at The Tablescaper
Santas Gift Shoppe
 Metamorphosis Monday
Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life
Bargain Hunting with Laurie
A Few of my Favorite Things

If a man loves the labour of his trade, apart from any question of success or fame, the gods have called him. ~Robert Louis Stevenson~