Tablescape Tuesday ~ Simple Spring

It might not be Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere but it is in the Southern Hemisphere so here is a simple Spring tablescape I created for St. Patrick’s Day.



For more Tablescapes visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.

Photobucket is holding all my photos hostage from 2007-2015 seeking a huge ransom to give them back to me. I’m slowly cleaning up all my posts and it is very frustrating.


I was standing in the bank waiting my turn and on the television they had Giada from the Food Network making some great looking bruschetta. I got the ingredients I needed and decided to try it. Hopefully I get it right because I didn’t write anything down.


The ingredients she used were whole milk ricotta cheese, tomatoes seeded and chopped, fresh mint chopped, salt and pepper. I don’t remember if she used garlic so I went ahead and used a clove of garlic, also. She mixed these ingredients all together and put it into a nice serving bowl. She used Ciabatta bread that she drizzled with olive oil and grilled. After it was grilled she squeezed some fresh lemon on the slices. Your company can spread as much of the topping that they want on the slices of bread and enjoy…

If you need more specific amounts here’s what I used. About 8oz. of ricotta, 1 beefsteak tomato chopped, 10 mint leaves chopped, 1 clove garlic, minced, salt and pepper to taste. I bought a small loaf of Artisan Sea Salt Filone bread from Von’s/Safeway. This bread worked out good because it filled in the extra salt the dip needed. I will be making this again because it was duhlicious! Michelle found the link for the original recipe  and you can find it here.

Photobucket is holding my photos hostage from 2007-2015 and replacing them with an ugly black and grey squares demanding money to release them, so frustrating.

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs ~



    • 4 pounds pork baby back ribs


    • salt and pepper to taste


    • 2 cups ketchup


    • 1 cup chili sauce


    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar


    • 4 tablespoons vinegar


    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano


    • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


    1 dash hot sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). I browned the ribs on the stove top.
  2. Season ribs with salt and pepper. Place in a shallow baking pan. Brown in oven 15 minutes. Turn over, and brown another 15 minutes; drain fat.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the ketchup, chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt and pepper. Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour sauce over ribs, and turn to coat.
  4. Cover, and cook on Low 6 to 8 hours, or until ribs are tender.

I got this recipe from all here.

Since this was my first time making ribs in a slow cooker I went with the first recipe that looked decent. This sauce was very good. Since I made these on Saturday I’ve read a couple other recipes and this is the sauce I’ll try next time to see if it has a little more kick to it.

These ingredients come from Taste of Home Magazine ~ Tasty Pork Ribs ~ Feb/March 2008 Recipe by Michelle Rominger…

1 cup ketchup, 1 cup bbq sauce, 1/4 C. packed brown sugar, 1/4 C. worcestershire sauce, 1 Tblsp. balsamic vinegar, 1 tblsp. molasses, 1 garlic clove minced, 2 tblsps. dried minced onion, 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning, 1 tsp. ground mustard, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper.


Oops! I don’t see anything green on the plate. Can anyone say COMFORT FOOD?

Photobucket is holding my photos hostage from 2007-2015 and replacing them with an ugly black and grey squares demanding money to release them, so frustrating.

Breakfast Lasagna


Breakfast Lasagna

(This recipe yields 8 servings)  

1 bag frozen hash browns
1 1/2 pounds Canadian Bacon — sliced
1 onion — chopped
1 green pepper — chopped
1 yellow pepper — chopped
1 cups mushrooms — sliced (1 to 2)
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups sharp cheese — grated (1 1/2 to 2)
salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees (F). Layer frozen hash browns in a 9 x 11-inch lasagna pan; season very well with salt and pepper. Layer green, yellow pepper and onions over hash browns; layer mushroom slices on top.

Cook bacon until crispy; place over mushroom layer. Beat eggs and milk and salt. Pour egg mixture over bacon; spread grated cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes.

I sauteed the onion, peppers and mushrooms then drained the excess liquid off and just layered them over the hash browns. I also used chopped ham instead of canadian bacon. I used a 9×13 baking dish. This had great flavors and was very tasty but it seemed to get runny as it sat. I’ll try it again just as the recipe reads and see if it’s still runny. :0)

ht: Mr. Breakfast

Baked Mediterranean Tilapia ~

Baked Mediterranean Tilapia– I got this recipe off the package of High Liner Mild Tasting Tilapia Loins (frozen individually wrapped and purchased at Costco)

4 Tilapia Loins
1 large or 2 medium Vidalia onions (if unavailable use yellow onions)
2 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick (I’ve also used canned tomatoes)
4 Tblsps. Fresh Chopped Basil
8 cloves of chopped garlic
4 Tblsps. olive oil
12 Calamata olives chopped

If you don’t have fresh tomatoes you can used canned variety. I have and it turns out very nice, too.


Defrost tilapia loins. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Peel and slice onions 1/4″ thick. Saute in olive oil in oven proof pan over medium heat, 2-3 minutes each side or until onions are translucent.
Place loins over onion slices. Sprinkle olives, garlic and basil over fish. Place tomato slices on top. Salt and pepper to taste.
Place pan with fish in center of oven, uncovered for 12-15 minutes or until fish is opaque.

You’ll notice that I only made 2 tilapia loins so I cut the recipe in half. There are only two of us and fish isn’t  great as a leftover in my opinion…

Serve tilapia with rice pilaf and spinach salad (their recommendation) Serve it with any starch you’d like and any salad or green vegetables.

Tonight we’re going to have it with pasta and a spinach salad and some fresh bread.

Yummy light and fresh tasting…

Potato and Ham Chowder


This is a simple recipe from a blogger I tried and it was very tasty for boxed pototoes! It’s a slow cooker recipe…

Potato and Ham Chowder

1 pkg. of boxed scalloped potatoes (any variety you prefer)
1 cup diced ham
2 stalk of diced celery
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups half & half
1/3 cup flour
5 cups chicken broth
1 diced onion (any size you like)

Mix potatoes, sauce mix, ham, broth, celery, onion & pepper in crock pot. Cover and cook on low heat for 7 hours.


Mix half & half with the flour, gradually stir flour mixture into chowder until blended. Cover and cook on low for one more hour stirring occasionally until thick. For a less thick soup, use regular milk instead of half & half. Garnish with chopped green onion, shredded cheese, or sour cream if desired.


Very thick and yummy soup. Since I served it up on blue dishes I thought this would be a perfect choice for Blue Monday. I bought these blue dishes from Target on a super clearance. They were from their Christmas collection a couple years ago.



Photobucket is holding all my photos that I posted on my blog from 2007-2015 hostage and replaced them with big black and grey boxes with threats. So discouraging…as I’m slowly trying to clean up thousands of posts!

Magic Bars ~

We were having a family get together on Saturday and I decided to try this recipe for Magic Bars that I saw on Trish’s blog and that she posted on the MGCC blog (Mennonite Girls Can Cook). I blew it right off the top cuz I only bought one package of Fig Newtons and 42 Fig Newtons means you need 2 packages! Hey did y’all know that Oreos come in a Golden Variety??

Magic Bars with a twist by ellen b.

45 Newton cookies/ Strawberry or Raspberry/ Trish and I used Fig (you’ll need 2 packages)
1 (14oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecan pieces (walnuts would work, too)
8 Golden Oreos or regular ones if you can’t find the Golden broken up into pieces
1/4 cup shredded coconut (Lana and Steve B. you can omit the coconut!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Lay Newtons side by side in pan to fill bottom. (Here’s where I went wrong so I improvised and used the Golden Oreo’s to fill the rest of the pan. Yikes I hope they turn out ok… Pour condensed milk over the top of this layer.

Yep one package left me a little short…

Sorry to say as creative as this improvise was it did not work!!

Stir together chocolate chips, nuts, broken up pieces of Oreos, and coconut. Sprinkle over the Newtons and condensed milk.


Bake for 22-25 minutes. Let cool and then chill for a while. Cut into 24 bars.

The finished product out of the oven. The Fig Newton side cut well into squares but here’s the improvised side…

Thankfully there were enough bars to share from the Newton side…


These were easy and good when you follow the recipe and buy enough Fig Newtons. The Fig flavor was well received but I’m thinking I’ll try Raspberry next time. Enjoy…

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I posted on my blog from 2007-2015 hostage and replaced them with big black and grey boxes with threats. So discouraging…as I’m slowly trying to clean up thousands of posts!

Mango Crockpot Chicken

Sandy at 4 Reluctant Entertainers shared this recipe on her blog and I decided it would be perfect for my Saturday Company/overnight guests. Sandy has the gift of hospitality and if you are timid about entertaining she has a lot of great tips and inspiration on her blog for you.

Spray the inside of your crockpot with whatever cooking spray you like. Load it up with whole boneless chicken breasts. I used boneless/skinless half breasts – 6 of them. Pour 1/2 a plastic tub of the Mango Peach Salsa that Costco sells over the chicken. Cook on low all day long. Do not open, do not stir. When it is done you can shred the chicken and stir it into the sauce.

This is what it looked like before I shredded the chicken.

After I shredded the chicken


Here is how we chose to serve the chicken up this time around. Build your own soft tacos with corn or flour tortillas, cilantro, rice, more salsa, beans, onion, cheese, and jalapenos.

Here’s Dear’s creation before he gobbled it up.

After the 4 of us had our fill I still have enough of the shredded chicken left over to serve up a lot of meals this week. Let’s see there’s chicken enchiladas, chicken salad, chicken tacos, chicken burritos, chicken soup…

My brother Tim and his wife Letty came up to visit us on Saturday and stayed overnight. The beauty of cooking a meal in the crockpot is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen while your company is around. We went out for lunch and did a little antique shopping in Old Town Camarillo while our dinner was taking care of itself. The toppings were all easy to put together at the last minute especially since I made the 90 second Uncle Ben’s Santa Fe Rice :0). Everyone gave the recipe a thumbs up!

Thanks Sandy!

Tonight I used some of this leftover chicken for chicken enchiladas.


I bought Green Enchilada Sauce for these. Heat up half the sauce in a saucepan and heat up each tortilla in the sauce to make it more pliable. Fill the tortilla with the chicken and some cheese. Roll up and put in baking dish. ( I sprayed the baking dish with Pam before I filled it with the enchiladas) After all the tortillas are in the baking dish cover with remaining sauce and with more cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or so…

Here are the baking dish of enchiladas after they have been heated through.

They made a great dinner for Dear and I with a fresh salad on the side…

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I posted on my blog from 2007-2015 hostage and replaced them with big black and grey boxes with threats. So discouraging…as I’m slowly trying to clean up thousands of posts!

Pioneer Women’s Pork Shoulder

After seeing Pioneer Womens’ Slow cooked Pork shoulder I had to try it…



A 5-7 pound Pork Shoulder Roast
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
3-4 peeled garlic cloves
1 onion quartered
1-2 Tablespoons salt
ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Blend all ingredients except the Pork shoulder (duh!) Rub this blended mush all over the Pork.

Place in Dutch Oven and cover every part of the Pork with the mush. Stuff into every nook and cranny. Add a couple cups of water and cook at 300 degrees for several hours turning once every hour. After 6-7 hours crank up the heat remove lid, turn roast fat side up for 15-20 minutes. Let rest 20 minutes before shredding. Serve with limes and tortillas.


I put this in the oven early on a Sunday morning. I left it in while we were at church so I didn’t turn it during those couple of hours. When we got home I cranked up the heat and let it cook for the last 20 minutes. We let it sit while we chopped up all the extras we decided to have with it. We shredded it and served it with tortillas and all these toppings. Yummy. We served 6 for the first go around and the rest of the meat lasted us for lunches and snacks for a few days.

I will make this again for sure!

Fruit Pizza


I found this simple recipe for Fruit Pizza on Bernideen’s Tea Blog and decided to make it for a get-together we were invited to. I’ll give you the original recipe and also give you some options that I decided to try.


The mix, the sticky dough in the pan, the baked dough and the cool whip with pudding mixed in…


1 pkg. Yellow Cake Mix
1/4 Cup Water
2 eggs
1/4 Cup butter
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Cup chopped nuts
I large carton of Cool Whip
Assorted Fruit pieces

Mix together cake mix, water, eggs, butter, sugar and nuts until stiff. I think because my cake mix was a variety with pudding in it the dough was sticky and not real stiff but it was still spreadable. Spread into a buttered and floured pan. You can use 2 round pans or I used a large rectangular pan. I also sprayed the pan with the baking spray with flour in it. (lazy) Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes but watch carefully because it might bake faster and you want it to be golden brown not dark brown :0)

Cool completely and then spread with coolwhip and cover with fruit of your choice. I used blueberries, blackberries, and peaches that were frozen and peaches that were fresh.


Instead of using straight cool whip I mixed the cool whip with a box of instant vanilla pudding to make it stiffer. Next time I think I’ll first make the pudding according to the package instructions and fold it into the cool whip or whip cream and see how that works…


You can make this look a lot prettier and arrange the fruit more creatively. Enjoy the possibilities…


Thanks Bernideen for this fun, easy recipe!

I auto posted this for Saturday morning because Dear and I got up bright and early to hit the road from Seattle to Camarillo today. I’ll be brain dead for at least a couple days after we arrive late Saturday night. Hope you all have wonderful summer weekend!

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage on their site and have replaced my photos with black and grey boxes of ugliness. I’m slowly deleting those boxes from my blog and trying to update so many posts, very frustrating.