Saturday, May 31, 2014

Hyacinths to Feed Thy Soul

“If thou of fortune be bereft, 

and in thy store there be but left

two loaves, sell one, and with the

dole, buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.”

~Muslihuddin Sadi, 13th Century Persian Poet

and display them, lovingly,

within a vintage, transfer ware bowl

the daily basics

The Pink Pagoda

Hope your weekend is full of beauty, like a hyacinth.


Friday, May 30, 2014

Creamy Chicken Florentine Lasagne

I put off making this for a day or two, wound up freezing the chicken I'd planned to cook for it and then when I finally got around to making it I used canned chicken breast.  It was one of those nights when I was busy lazy and really didn't want to cook.  I adjusted the original recipe to make it my own, adding nutmeg, adjusting quantities and additional cheeses.  Turns out it was so easy, almost a one bowl recipe, but with lots of ingredients.   I made enough for two meals so you may want to just make 1/2 of this or freeze 1/2.  This is a beautiful dish and would be lovely for a luncheon or special dinner.  I'm kinda already craving it again. 

Oh, and most importanly…my family gave this lasagne the seal of 'blog worthy' approval (even Michael who doesn't like spinach too much), so here you go!

Creamy Chicken Florentine Lasagne
(this made two meals+ and will easily feed 16 so you may want to cut this in 1/2 or make in two pans and freeze one)

15 Lasagne Noodles (cooked according to package directions)

6-8 Cups Chopped Chicken (use leftovers, cook some or use canned breast meat, drained)
1 26 oz Family size can of Cream of Mushroom soup 
22 oz (or approximate) package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained (press spinach between paper towels to dry out excess liquid)
4 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 small- medium yellow onion, chopped fairly fine
2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
4 cups Sour Cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise (real not Miracle Whip)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 cups Fresh shredded Italian Cheese blend (Romano, Parmesan, Asiago, Provolone & Mozzarella)
3/4 cup chopped & stove top toasted Pecans (melt about 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet and cook pecans for about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently)

So easy to make, you just put all 12 ingredients in the middle (chicken, soup, spinach, cheddar, onion, parmesan, sour cream, mayo, spices, soy) into a bowl and stir until well blended.

Layer the bottom of a greased pan with your cooked lasagne noodles.  I sometimes cut mine to fit and completely cover the pan.  Layer the spinach mixture and repeat two times.

Top with the Italian cheese blend, and bake for 45 minutes at 350.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with pecans and then continue baking for 10-15 minutes.  Let it stand for about 15 minutes before serving.  I think it actually tastes best the second day after all the flavors have married so this is probably one you could put together the day before company comes and then bake it the day they are there.    

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!  

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Master Bedroom Details 2 : Decorating with Hats & Transferware

I promised to show some close ups of the vignettes around my bedroom, so today here is the first one.  We can explore this little corner with its Catalan chest of drawers.  I like adding straw hats around the room, especially a few displayed together which is the focal point here.

 The vintage folding screen is a perfect backdrop on the chest.  I love the twig framed roses and the painted green frame.  A pair of antique glove stretchers hangs from one side.    From the lamp, hangs a tassel I made from an orphaned transferware sugar bowl lid.  These are so cute on armoire doors and lamps.  I need to make some more but it's so hard to find the time.

An antique purple transferware platter holds some gorgeous vintage champagne flutes and a beaded, embroidered purse found at a thrift store.

Over on the right side of the chest I've got a couple of purple transferware pieces perched atop books.  I love to use books to elevate pieces.  One is a ginger jar missing it's lid so it serves as a vase with (faux) dried lavender and the other is a sugar bowl that I keep throat lozenges / cough drops in (Luden's Cherry flavor…mmm).

Of course, you all have seen some of my 'hands dishes'.  This one holds a small butterfly hair pin.

 Back on the left, I have carried the theme of hats to this famous print, 'The Boy in the Torn Hat'.  Something about this little boy reminds me of my brother David and my son Ethan.  Anyway, I like it and have had it an old ratty frame forever.  I don't care, I like it that way…matches his hat.

And on the floor next to the chest; a weathered 'fleurs' market basket with a ton of lavender and a dog pillow door stop.

 A view from my side of the bed, and that's it for today.  I'll be back soon posting on decorating with hats and tons of pics to go with it!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Nancy's Daily Dish Named One of Top 3 Favorite Vintage Blogs!

I'm so honored to have my blog named as one of the top 3 favorite vintage blogs at The Daily Basics.   If you've opened up a copy of Better Homes and Gardens, Traditional Home, Renovation Style or Kitchen & Bath Ideas you have most likely seen some of the articles Cynthia Bogart, The Daily Basics editor,  produced over the past 18 years.  When the trend went from paper to online Cynthia was ahead of the ball and created the Living Lifestyle Directory.   In Cynthia's words, 

"The Daily Basics is a community built of lifestyle bloggers in the fields of Home & Garden, Travel & Living, Food & Drink, Body & Fashion and Arts & Literature.   It is a place where ANYONE can come to find all of those wonderful articles you loved reading about in your magazines but can find them now in one place online instead.    The Internet has given a voice to people who otherwise had to compete for a place in traditional medias such as magazines, newspapers and television.   The Daily Basics is a place where you will find traditional media talent as well as the overflow of undiscovered new talent.   Think of us as a Living Lifestyle Directory.  Think of us as the NEW magazine."

  Thank you so much Cynthia Bogart and staff at The Daily Basics for this honor.  I am soooooo flattered!

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Traditional Red White & Blue Rooms with Transferware

For the Memorial Day weekend, I thought I'd share some beautiful rooms, all done in blue and red and many of them with, yeah you guessed it, transferware.  These rooms prove you can decorate with red, white and blue anytime.  They are each timeless in design.

First, this is a collection of transferware belonging to a customer.  I just shared this on my Facebook page and everyone seems to like it.  I know I do!

Toile, transferware…seriously I will never tire of this combination.  Here the simple addition of blue at the table subtly speaks a patriotic tone.

 I've posted this room by the late Charles Faudree before.  It is one of my favorite dining rooms ever and inspired my favorite dining room in a house I used to live in.   I hope to paper the dining room in this house and create a similar look and feel again.   Faudree combined red toile and blue transferware a lot in his typical genius fashion!

Okay, so this one has no transferware but you can't go wrong with toile.  I love this bedroom via House Beautiful…it's a perfect example of quintessential country house charm and shows that flags or patriotic themes can be displayed ANY time!

Another room I've featured before and another by Charles Faudree.  This appeared in Traditional Home. 

Designer Carol Glassers collection of advertising and blue transferware is the backdrop for a red and white living room.  

Via Rutland Designer…this just needs a few blue transferware plates on the paneling between the drapes.  I love the mix of three toile fabrics, stripes and buffalo checks.
   And lastly, a little vignette I set up at home with an added poem of mine honoring veterans.

Oh you, generation of men

Who stood with valor

Who upheld honor

Who fought for freedom

Know that you will not leave this place 

Without the faintest trace

Of all you have given for liberty

-For me-

©2001 Nancy M Roberts

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