Wednesday, October 1, 2014

~ Blue Cheese-Ricotta Dip ~

This is a fun, easy and tasty appetizer to serve this time of year. Add the wine and you're set!  ;-)

~ Blue Cheese-Ricotta Dip ~

1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese  
8 ounces blue cheese,  crumbled (2 cups) 
2 T. apple cider (can use milk)
Freshly ground black pepper 
Snipped fresh chives or your favorite herb 

Green and/or red apple slices 
Breadsticks, crackers, pita chips ~ your choice!  

Allow ricotta and blue cheese to stand at room temperature for 1 hour. In a medium bowl stir together the cheeses, mashing with a fork until well combined. Stir in the apple cider. Add pepper to taste. Spoon into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with chives or garnish as desired.  You can form the mixture into the desired shape that you prefer. It's fun to try for a pumpkin this time of year!  I use a cake pan that I bought when I was working at Williams-Sonoma for awhile. You can also clean out a small pumpkin or gourd and use it as the serving dish...lots of choices!

I've shared this in the past but figured it was ok as a Fall rerun.  

I'm joining ~

Thursday, September 25, 2014

~ Triple Threat Coconut Cream Pie ~

This is a must try pie!!  Use the rum!  *Use lots more coconut too ~ :)  This is adapted from an old recipe from Pillsbury and absolutely needs more coconut!

Triple Threat Coconut Cream Pie

Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box
can (13 1/2 oz) coconut milk, shaken well
cup plus 1 tablespoon sweetened shredded or flaked coconut, toasted
cup whole milk
vanilla bean, split (or 1 teaspoon vanilla)
cup sugar
teaspoon salt
large egg yolks
cup cornstarch
teaspoon coconut extract
tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into four pieces


1 1/2
cups heavy whipping cream, well chilled
1 1/2
tablespoons sugar
teaspoons dark rum (or 1 teaspoon vanilla)
cup sweetened shredded or flaked coconut, toasted
oz white chocolate, shaved

  • Heat oven to 450°F.
  • Unroll pie crust onto cooking parchment or wax paper. Brush a small amount of coconut milk onto dough (just enough to moisten it). Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of the toasted coconut evenly on dough, then press it lightly into dough, just enough to make it stick.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon toasted coconut onto bottom of 9-inch pie plate, then form dough into plate. Prick bottom and side with fork. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Cool.
  • Heat the remaining coconut milk, the whole milk, 1/2 cup toasted coconut, vanilla bean, 1/3 cup of the sugar and the salt to a simmer in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes to dissolve sugar.
  • In a separate large bowl, with whisk, beat the egg yolks, remaining 1/3 cup sugar and the cornstarch until well combined. Gradually beat the simmering liquid into the yolk mixture to temper it, then return the entire mixture to saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Discard vanilla bean.
  • Heat the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, beating constantly with whisk, 5 to 6 minutes or until mixture is thickened.
  • Remove from heat; beat in the coconut extract and butter. Pour into the cooled crust; press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling and refrigerate until the filling is cold and firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Just before serving, beat the cream and sugar in a chilled bowl using electric mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the rum and continue to beat until slightly stiff peaks are formed. Spread or pipe the whipped cream over the chilled filling. Sprinkle 1/4 cup toasted coconut and shaved chocolate over the top. Store in refrigerator.
  • Always add the love ~
  • Joining ~ 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

6 Things you need to stop caring so much about ~

I could easily have written this!  So, so glad I have changed my thoughts about "worrying". It's such a waste of time and energy!  We don't have control of anything except our attitudes about what happens to us and around us. I hope you'll find this helpful in some way ~ 

When I was younger, I used to spend countless hours worrying about pointless things that do not matter in the grand scheme of life. Rationally, I knew that these things did not matter but my perfection-oriented, can’t-ever-take-a-break brain was not always the most rational companion.
“If you stop now you are LAZY and CARELESS and WORTHLESS.”

It’s not true. If you have a special little section of your brain that is utterly irrational like mine was–tell it to shut the hell up!

6 Things you need to stop caring so much about:

1. Regret.
There is no need. Forgive people, including yourself, for EVERYTHING. There is no sense worrying and fretting over things that cannot be changed. Move on— live in today. Now is all that really matters, after all.

2. Things you don’t have.
No one will ever have enough time. Enough money. Enough resources. Enough anything for their liking. The amazing thing is what you can do with what you do have. Instead of looking for what’s missing–take what you have and make the most of it.

3. Failing. 
Fear of failure holds so many people back from doing what they truly want to do…think about it: some of the best things were created after countless failures. If you’re holding back because your fear of failing is larger than your desire to succeed, just go for it. Even if you do fail, you will be one step closer to your goal.

4. Others’ opinion of you.
People talk. People talk before they know facts. It’s life. Don’t let others’ shallow judgments dictate your attitude. Even if someone who knows you well holds a negative opinion of you–screw them. Why does their opinion of you matter at all? It’s hard at first to apply this one to real life, but after you give it a shot a few times it gets easier.
I highly recommend this book:
I read it eons ago but it is timeless.

5. What other people are doing. 
This is only going to lead you to comparing yourself to others which is never a good thing. Why? This is life, not a competition. You’re not competing with her. Everyone’s lives progress and unfold at different rates and look completely different. There’s no sense in worrying because that person over there has a full time job and a perfect body and perfect relationship and you don’t. Another fun fact–things probably aren’t so perfect over there, anyway.

6. Your image.
This is one of those things you should care about, but care LESS about. Take care of yourself, stay healthy…but don’t let that be ALL there is. Don’t only focus your energy on what you look like. Don’t spend time poking and prodding and obsessing over your body. Don’t put yourself down over body image issues. Don’t spend a ridiculous amount of money on your appearance—all the time. Don’t compare. Don’t put yourself down. DON’T. Some people make it their job to look a certain way–models, bodybuilders, figure competitors, etc. That’s fine. They want to dedicate so much of their life to looking a certain way, and that’s absolutely their choice. Those people also inevitably will experience more self-hate and self-judgment because they will always be critiquing themselves. They never are good enough for themselves. I used to want to be a figure competitor. When I realized how much that would throw off the balance of my life I quickly gave up that dream. Live a little. Eat the freaking donut, go for a leisurely walk, trash the scale and get away from the mirror. 

~  Annie Mishler

Saturday, September 20, 2014

~ To Paint or Not To Paint? ~

 I really would love to have your thoughts, opinions and suggestions!  A dear friend that's moving to Florida ~ long story there! ~ gave me this antique table. It's at least 150 years old and in really good shape. The wood tone is really not for me but I need advice!  

As you can see, I have dark hardwood floors.  My love seat is a cherry red and I have one chair that is black with a zebra upholstery. A parsons chair is in another animal print but it won't be staying in the same space. I'm looking for a real comfy chair for "me" !

My first inclination is to paint it a glossy black or perhaps a satin finish. I have another table that I'm planning to paint too. It has a cream top and black base/legs. My thought was to paint it black with a bit of gold trim before I got this table. Now I have no clue ~  Just as an fyi ~ I'm not one for white or greys, regardless how pretty they are.

She has very pretty legs doesn't she?

The trim on the base of the legs is brass...very worn.  I do plan to do those in gold.

The edges of the table are really not as damaged as the photo above seems to reflect. I'm not a photographer so we'll blame it on the lighting, ok?  :)

There are so many incredibly talented furniture painters out there...please let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

~ More Prayers Please ~

I'd like to request prayers again please.  I know I did here but things have changed...for the worse. Joyce, my kid's step-mom, was in the hospital almost 2 weeks. She was diagnosed with lung cancer and it is in the bones also. The Dr's advised her to go home and get her affairs in order, do what she could and wanted to, etc.  :(  She's been home since last Friday, however, she fell this afternoon and was rushed back to the hospital. Seems her pelvis is broken and no word yet as to the prognosis.

My chemo buddy is certainly facing her challenges. It's beyond me as to the "why" of cancer research...what are they doing?  Is there more money for the pharmaceutical companies, doctors and hospitals not to find cures?  I just hate that anyone has to endure this dreadful disease. Of course, there are others...ALS, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, MS, etc. 

I don't mean to be a "Debbie Downer" but would certainly appreciate your good thoughts, prayers, lighting a candle or whatever you do. Thanks a million!