Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Heritage Siblings Dinner

Thursday is the day to visit one of my favorite places in the cyber-world, Susan's blog full of luscious tablescapes and decorating ideas!

This week, I'm partying with the best of them, sharing my own tablescape and celebrating America's freedom and our family's heritage! I'd been planning this tablescape since our last siblings dinner in April!

Our quarterly Siblings Dinner was fantastic. Spending time with Doug's brothers and sisters and their spouses is the best!

I was quite pleased with the meal and I fell in love with the tablescape. So much that I'm keeping the table setting until the fourth of July! Our theme for the evening was "Heritage", so the patriotic table was perfect to go along.

The menu:

Sun-dried Tomato Pasta with Roasted Chicken
Linda's Garlic Bread
Garden Fresh Peas
Caesar's Salad
Fruit Platter
Rhubarb Cake

The little party favors/placecards, filled with Hershey's Kisses, were quick and easy to make and were just another little thing to make the table pop! And yes, I used my everyday dishes, plain white Corelleware for this setting. Every home needs a good set of plain white dishes!

Our table talk was the highlight of the night for me. The theme was heritage and all of the questions brought fascinating conversation. We always learn so much about each other!

My sister-in-law shared an intriguing story from her family about her great grandfather, who'd purchased a ticket to travel to America on the Titanic. His sister convinced him to stay longer, so he never boarded the ship. He was listed among those lost at sea, but was safe at home with family. There were many stories to be told and each one was as intriguing as the next.

Heritage Table Talk Questions:

  • Use a list of five words to describe your own heritage.

  • How has your heritage reflected the way that you were raised and the way you are raising your children?

  • What’s the best thing that you do to connect with your heritage?

  • What scents do you remember about your grandparents’ home? Your parent’s home?

  • What was the most important value taught to you by your mother? Father?

  • What family heirloom has been placed in your possession to be passed down to future generations?

  • If you could have one momento of your parents’ or grandparents, what would it be?

  • If you could go back in time, and visit with one ancestor, who would it be?

  • What is one story that’s been passed down through the generations of your family that is told over and over again? Why do you think that one was "the" one?
  • Do you have any family mysteries?

  • What would be your parents (or grandparents) biggest surprise about you today?

  • Describe which physical qualities you share with your parents and grandparents.

  • What talents do you share with your ancestors?

  • What talents of yours would you hope that your posterity would inherit?

  • Tell how you got your name. If you don’t know, share how you chose your childrens’ names.

  • Is there a certain specific place that you have a fond memory with an ancestor? Do you visit it? Have you shared this spot and the memory with others?

  • Is there a song that reminds you of an ancestor?

  • Did your parent have close friends? Was there a friend of your parent that made an impression in your life?

  • What famous person did your parent love/respect/admire? Did that influence you?

  • Do you feel that your parent had any type of prejudices/perceptions that impacted you?

  • What one lesson did your parents teach you without ever saying a word about it?

  • What thing/things did you do that you knew would always make your parents happy?

  • What characteristic do you have that is the most different from that of any siblings or your parents?

  • Share something that you learned about your parent that you never knew/realized as a child?

For us, family is what matters most! So, our evening was a perfect way to escape from the rest of the world and connect with each other.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Scones a la mode

You call this leftovers? When Liza heard that we were having Navajo Tacos last night for dinner, she volunteered to bring something wonderful for the "leftovers". A few hours after dinner, she prepared these tasty treats for dessert. If they were this good, using three hour old re-heated scones, I can't imagine what they'd taste like with fresh out of the frypan scones! What a combination!

For the scones, I use my own basic roll dough, posted here on the blog. Let them raise, then roll them out very thin (about 1/4") and cut them to size with a pizza cutter. Dip them in hot oil (375°) to deep fry until they are golden brown.

Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel for a second, then dip both sides in cinnamon-sugar. Place on a plate and top with scoops of vanilla ice cream. Top the ice cream with cherry pie filling. Sprinkle with more cinnamon-sugar. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The BEST garlic rolls EVER! EAZZZZZY!

Seriously, the first time I tried one of Linda's garlic rolls, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! They are the best and so totally simple to make! One thing about my friend, Linda, though is that if she's making it, she's being generous with every ingredient that is sweet or fattening! That's why everything she makes, tastes so good! These babies are almost gooey with the topping that she puts on them. Divine!

2 T. Yeast
2 T. sugar or honey (Linda uses honey)
3 cups warm water
1 t. salt
8 cups flour

Mix until doughy and form into bread sticks. I let them double in size before rolling them out. Linda doesn't. Linda rolls them about 3-4" long. They bake to be about half the size of a hotdog bun... sort of short and fat.

Before baking, mix:

2 sticks butter
1/2 cup mayo or miracle whip
½ cup parmesan cheese

Dip and roll the breadsticks in the bowl of butter until they are dripping in it. Place on a jellyroll pan. Pour any remaining butter over breadsticks. Season to taste with garlic salt. Let rise for about twenty minutes. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy! Plan on an extra four mile walk tomorrow.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Creamy Tomato Soup

As everyone knows, my favorite ingredient in anything is cream cheese! Here's a very simple soup and it's most important ingredient (in my opinion) is cream cheese! I'm not a big tomato soup fan, but this one is worth the try. It's also very tasty sprinkled with cooked popcorn just before serving. Serve with a nice summer salad and it's good, even in July! Try it, you'll love it!

1 quart milk
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained or 6-8 fresh out of the garden tomatoes!
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped finely
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Mix all of the above ingredients, except the cream cheese in the blender until smooth. Pour into a large saucepan. Add the cream cheese and cook until heated through. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Keeping it Simple

Our Senior Singles Family Home Evening "Beginning of summer Picnic" ended up being moved inside due to another amazing thunderstorm. Even so, it was a delightful evening. I quickly grabbed a few red, white and blue things from my son's Americana bedroom and around the rest of the house for some simple table decorations to match these fun paper goods! Perfect for a June/July picnic! I can't believe that I forgot to take photos of the dinner! It was fab!

Pulled pork sandwiches

Potato Salad



Fresh Fruit with a Tasty Dip

Brownies with Strawberry Ice Cream

Nothing formal about this tablescape, but summertime is a great time to enjoy paper goods, which can be just as fun and festive on occasion! The patriotic theme, even with our unexpected thunderstorm, left us feeling like we were enjoying a perfect summer breeze instead of, literally, flood-damaging downpour!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Red Hot Caramel Apples

I tried and altered this recipe a bit for Quayd's class report and it turned out to be a huge hit here in the Corbridge home. The kids in Quayd's class were pretty funny to watch. Some didn't want to even try it. Those that did all went crazy over the apples and then those that didn't decided that they wanted to try it after all. Quite simple. Very tasty and, although, I think I'd prefer it in the fall, it would be a great simple treat in the summertime served with a big scoop of vanilla icecream over top of it. Cooked in the crockpot, the oven isn't needed in the heat of summer. After trying it once, I think that you could also use sliced apples instead of cored. Either way, try it, you'll like it!
Core the apples. (I used Fuji apples and seven fit inside my crockpot.) Place them in the crockpot and fill the opening of each apple with:

2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. butter
3 brachs caramels
5 red hots

After all the apple cores are filled, pour 3/4 cup of apple juice over the top. Cook in crockpot on low for 4-6 hours. Serve with a scoop of vanilla icecream! Enjoy!