Thursday, February 27, 2014

Holiday Decorating Ideas

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.  So I thought I'd give you a few ideas for decorating for the holidays and keep the explanations brief.  I will add more photos as I take them this year but this is a good start. Some photos are easy and simple and some a bit more detailed. You will notice some of the same things on the tables with items taken away or items added to give a different look with little decorating.  It's more of a simple approach for me to make the holidays easier by not making those days too overwhemling by decorating. These photos are for giving inspiration but feel free to message me with any questions.  Happy Holidays, Celebrations and more.

Valentine's Day~
(Even though this above was my daughter's baby shower, I love it for Valentine's also because of the pink and the hearts on the table.
Porch/ Outdoor Valentine Dinner.
Simple silver cups filled with potted hearts from the 99c only store, flowers and candles.

I find all the red I can in my home and work it in for Valentine's day but I'll reuse some of the red for Patriotic decor too.
And for a really large group...
Mardi Gras~
Beads and Masks.  These you can find at your 99c only stores or make masks with feathers and cardboard paper.  

St Patrick's Day
Candy always adds great color.
 Balloons in my light, streamers and plates and napkins from our 99c only store...
 When all else fails....dress the dog!

I reuse the same candle holders and left green beads from the Mardi gras table.
Here's a cute little shamrock I found at the dollar store.

 We decorate Cupcakes to add to the cuteness decor!

 Sometimes just simple flowers will do along with a few eggs.
And more cupcakes!

Some of the same candle holders, green things too, left over from Mardi Gras and St Patrick's day.

Mother's Day~
Flowers and tea

Above is the kiddo table.  Simple, no fuss, but something just for them.

Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day~


I used fresh fruits, veggies, sunflowers and printed Thanksgiving sayings for the tables. I also made a banner out of white computer paper cut into long triangles and hole punched to hang on a string.
Father's Day~ coming soon
Halloween~Coming soon

Gluten Free Sponge Cake

Welcome to spring, almost.  You might still have layers of snow on the ground but fresh fruit, fun BBQ's and daylight savings time is well on its way soon. It's a time for some that allergies are in full bloom so why add to the problem when you are gluten intolerant or dairy intolerant.  So be ready to Celebrate with this delicious gluten free recipe that anyone will enjoy, especially those with the most tender of tummies. 
Need a dairy free topping to go with that deliciousness?  At the end of this you'll see a fabulous dairy free whipped cream recipe link too. (You'll love it dairy free or not.)

1 Cup GF Flour (recipe below)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 Cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 Tbs water
1 tsp flavoring ( vanilla or almond )

Mix all dry ingredients.  Add wet ingredients and mix until smooth.  Pour into 8 or 9 inch dish sprayed with oil.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serve with your favorite berries and whipped Cream
Here is a favorite whipped topping I created that you may want to try.  It's divinely delicious and dairy free vegan.
Gluten Free Flour recipe:

2 2/3 c coconut flour
2 2/3 c garbanzo flour
4 c white rice flour
1 1/2 c tapioca flour

Mix and store in an airtight container.


Saturday, February 15, 2014


Lemons are one of my favorite fruits.  I love cakes, cookies, candies and lemon pie.  I guess you can call me a Lemon or even citrus fanatic.  There is nothing like the fresh burst of citrus in everything that takes me to the feeling of Spring or Summer. When I look at the majority of things I cook and bake, most things contain some part of a lemon, whether it's juiced, peeled or zested. Today I am using just the peel but I'll save my fruit for a pie or juice later down the road.
Lemoncello is an Italian after dinner drink. My variation of this traditional yummy drink will be a Vanilla Lemoncello.

You can use Lemoncello in Frosting for cake or cupcakes or drizzle over pound cake too.

Vanilla Lemoncello

3 cups Vanilla Vodka
Zest of 8 lemons
3/4 cup simple syrup (or boil down 1 c water and 3/4 c sugar until just slightly thicker than water, it should yield about 3/4c.)

First zest freshly cleaned lemons. I  used organic Meyer lemons. (The first time I made this I cut the peels instead of zesting however too much of the white flesh of the orange peel can be bitter tasting.) This time I wanted a smoother taste. I zested the lemon peel and put all of it into a glass container with lid. I added the vodka and put it into a nice dark area for 4 days. If you have patience, the longer it rests, the better the taste, but I like mine just fine on the fourth day. On the fourth day, use a paper coffee strainer or a fine mesh sieve and strain all the peel out. You want a nice clear look so strain again if necessary. Add the approx 3/4c of simple syrup. At this point, refrigerate over night.  Yep, that's it. Pretty simple isn't it.
I freeze shot glasses and serve the lemoncello this way but I rim the glass with sugar first.
Once I left the lemoncello in my refrigerator for 8 months and it was so smooth and delicious that I'm tempted to only try a little shot glass full and the rest can...well rest in the fridge awhile, a long while.

And just to mix it up, I'm going to make a blood orangecello and grapefruitcello too.

For these recipes, use regular or vanilla vodka, zest from 3 grapefruits or 8 blood oranges. Make the same as above.