Wednesday, March 28, 2012

All Duck-ed Out

...on our front door!

Inspired by bright colors of Spring, I created a welcoming, watering can for our front door.  I found a 2-gallon, oval shaped, galvanized watering can with copper stripes at Home Depot.  I used masking tape to cover the copper and sprayed the can with Rust-Oleum American Accents paint in natural rust.  It's a kit and I simply followed the directions.  After two hours I pulled off the tape and glued some dry floral oasis to the inside of the can.  I tucked a few silk Spring flowers inside and added a little duck and a blue bow to the handle.  On the back of the can I ran a strip of non-skid drawer liner so it won't scratch my door.  It was a snap to make;  mask, spray, fill and hang, on a wreath holder!

Have you had a chance to deck out your front-door yet this Spring?  I'd love to hear about it.

Thanks for hopping by friends!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mia Bella Salade

Ah, Spring fever.  Like me, are you down with it?  

I am ready to lighten it up, offering fresh, crisp, salads, while spending less time in the kitchen and more time in sunshine!  I adore Italian food and wanted to create a composed salad with sausage and white beans.  It was so yummy and we will enjoy it out on the patio all summer long.

Toss lettuce, cucumber, white beans, olives and beets with dressing.  Place on serving plates.
Here's the low-down.  Early in the day make the dressing so flavors can blend and it's chilled.  Whip out your salad spinner and rinse, dry and chill lettuces.  About 30 minutes before serving, cook and crumble sausage, draining any fat.  Shred cheese, and drain beans, olives, and beets.  Peel and cube cucumber.  Next, toss all but cheese and sausage with dressing and divide between plates.  Sprinkle with cheese, then warm sausage, topping with a little more cheese on top.  Garnish with peppers.  Be sure to have extra dressing for drizzling on top.  Serves 6-8.

Top with shredded mozzarella cheese, warm sausage, and another sprinkle of cheese on top.
Mama Mia!  You're going to love this one.... thanks for your visit friends.

Mia Bella Salade
  • 1/2 heart of romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 red-leaf lettuce
  • 1/2 iceberg lettuce
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and cubed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pickled beets, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole black olives
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar peperoncini (peppers)
Early in the day make Creamy Italian Dressing and chill.  In a large frying pan, cook and crumble sausage.  Drain fat and keep warm.  Rinse and dry lettuce and tear into bite size pieces.  Peel and cut cucumber into bite size chunks.  Rinse and drain beans, olives and beets.  Toss all but sausage, cheese and peppers in a large bowl with dressing.  Place salad on serving plates and sprinkle with cheese.  Next add some warm sausage and top with a little more cheese.  Garnish with peperoncini peppers. 

Creamy Italian Dressing 
  • 1-1/2 cups olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  •  2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground back pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Place all ingredients in a food processor; process until well blended, 10-12 seconds.  Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

 Sei il migliore!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Impossible Coconut Pie

Leapin' Leprechauns...lucky for us!

Just in time for National Pi Day, St. Patrick's Day and nearly Spring, here's a luscious  Impossible Coconut Pie!
Impossible Coconut Pie /

Why impossible you ask?
Well, forget about using a rolling pin, this pie miraculously forms it's own crust while baking.  It has a creamy custard middle and the toasty coconut around the edges is delectable!  If you're into "green food," just add some food coloring for fun.

Impossible Coconut Pie 
  • 1 stick butter, melted, (plus more for greasing pie pans)
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter two 9-inch glass pie pans.  In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter with the sugar.  Add the eggs and beat until smooth.  Stir in the flour, coconut and milk.  Divide the mixture between the pie pans and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 1 hour, until the pies are firm to the touch and golden.  Transfer the pies to a rack and cool completely before serving. Makes 2-9" pies.

Note:  The pies can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight.  Return them to room temperature before serving with lots of love, a little whipped cream, a sprinkle of toasted-coconut, or a fresh fruit garnish.

Springing ahead, may your week be filled with lots of luck and love,

Monday, March 5, 2012

Melt In Your Mouth Chicken

Are you ready for moist and tender baked chicken?  This is a Pinterest find from   It was a smashing success with our family, meeting all of our gastronomical challenges; yes it's gluten free, low-carb and was enjoyed by one and all!

Melt in Your Mouth Chicken

Melt In Your Mouth Chicken Breast
  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves, (rinsed and patted dry)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I like Best Foods Olive Oil Mayo)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt, (I use Lawry's and cut the amount by half)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Mix mayonnaise, cheese and seasonings.  Place chicken in baking dish and spread mixture over the chicken evenly.  Bake at 325 for 1-1/2 hours uncovered.

Melt in Your Mouth Chicken

We served it with fabulous Idaho baked potatoes, glazed carrots, green salad, rolls, and brownie sundaes.  Talk about easy, Sunday dinner perfection.  Trust me, we will be making this again often!

With love from our table to yours...