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mexican fiesta mason jar taco salad

I’m on a Mason jar kick! Have you noticed? I’m inspired by these little containers and I can’t seem to stop thinking up new recipes for them. SO so sooooo many ideas that I’ll be sharing with you. Can’t wait! Here’s the latest. It’s a combination of two of my favorite salads. Cowboy Caviar and…

hawaiian coconut cream chicken

Happy Easter weekend! We just had a houseful of people… mom, brothers, sister, nephew, daughters and grand girls. We had a yummy lunch and spent the day visiting and coloring Easter eggs (4 dozen!) The house is quiet again, for the moment, so I decided to spend some time in this space and write to…

scenes from the past few weeks

We had a wonderful time with friends at the annual Macy’s Flower Show in Minneapolis this past Sunday. This year’s theme: The Secret Garden. I love this spring tradition of ours, and I love how there can still be snow on the ground in April, but as soon as you exit the elevator on Macy’s…

2014

Hello, Lovelies. I’m amazed that we’re saying hello to 2014. Remember back in this post when I talked about resolutions? Yeah, I still don’t believe in them. I loved reading my friend Danielle’s recent post on the same subject. Right on the money. I do believe in making goals and accomplishing things. I just don’t…

classic french balsamic vinaigrette

French vinaigrette: 1/3 cup red wine 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 1 Tablespoon onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 6 teaspoons Dijon mustard 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon basil 1 teaspoon oregano 1 teaspoon tarragon 1 and 1/3 cups extra virgin olive oil Whisk all ingredients together. Taste to adjust…

miss ainslie’s rosemary scented squash bread

“Miss Ainslie gathered a bit of rosemary, crushing it between her white fingers. ‘See,’  she said, ‘some of us are like that, it takes a blow to find the sweetness in our souls.’ ” ~ Lavender and Old Lace by Myrtle Reed (1874–1911) American Poet and Journalist In a big mixing bowl, combine the wet…

scenes from the last couple weeks

fresh cut herbs harvested from our back yard garden… drying in neat rows and eventually packed into jars for Christmas gifts, kitties basking in the warmth of the fireplace, the kinfolk table cookbook ~ recipes for small gatherings… a treasure trove of inspiration, beautiful Belgian chocolate shipped from one of my readers directly from Belgium!…

gypsy stew

This is one of those recipes of mine that seems to change and evolve a bit every time I make it. Do you have recipes like that? I love the versatility of soups and stews. They can almost always be tweaked to suit personal taste and are totally resilient to substitutions if you don’t happen…

halloween 2013

a chilly, windy october eve, a halloween birthday hubby, carving pumpkins, princesses, little devils, zombies, trick or treating, haunted houses, warm bowls of skyline chili, rich chocolate torte… just a few of my favorite halloween things… I hope yours was “spooktacular” too! XO, ~Melissa

english baked beans & toast

Another busy day in the kitchen and I’m just plain tired. I’ve been snapping photos all day and now I’m looking forward to just hanging out with our company tomorrow, sipping wine, hanging out by the campfire and relaxing. Jeff is outside grilling steaks. I made mashed potatoes & gravy and coleslaw to go with…