Creepy Cocktails | Halloween Hen House Linens

Halloween is one of my favorite seasons to decorate.  It usually kicks off my holiday season to be followed by Thanksgiving and Christmas.  All of these events and the ones in between or not mentioned make for an exciting, but busy time of year. 

There are small ways that can impact your seasonal decorating in an elegant way. I remember visiting a friends home and she had decorated for Halloween all around Edgar Allen Poe and The Raven.  Pages from the book were framed and ravens adorned the room.  It was beautifully done and inspiring to me to search for ways to incorporate the same feel in my home.

I thought I might create a creepy cocktail bar incorporating some of the same ideas.  I started with collecting old medicine bottles found at a local antique store and used labels from different sources who offered downloads such as this one or these.  I pulled out some of my silver and created a mini cocktail bar with served up some ghoulish drinks.  The setting wouldn't be complete without printed cloth cocktail napkins in greek key licorice black, found here.

Serve up a signature Raven Drink Recipe: 

To make this spooky cocktail, you’ll need: 1-1/2 oz. coffee liqueur, 4 oz. cold cola and ice (if desired). Pour ingredients into glass, stir until mixed.

Enjoy.

 

Tailgating Tablescape | Up Your Game

If you are tailgating at Ole Miss, this next thought is not for you.  You know what you are doing.   For some others, you need to know: just because you are in a parking lot doesn’t mean your tailgate needs to be disposable OR uncivilized.  You are already standing around sipping and snacking on gravel or asphalt.  Why not make more of the experience?  It does not take much to turn a rickety folding table into an eye-catching, inviting spread.  Start with a pretty cloth.  In time, you can work up to the candelabra like our Ole Miss friends.  The best part is:  you don’t have to throw away the cloth at the end of the game.  You have started on the path of seasons of gracious tailgating.

BACK TO SCHOOL | Then vs. Now

I'm re-running this blog post because it seems to grow more relevant as each new school year launches.  Enjoy!

Anna, my best friend from FOREVER ago, reminded me that I bought school lunch everyday AND cleaned my plate regardless of the type of vegetable it featured or tin can from which it came.  (It only cost $1.25 and "included milk!" my mother would rave.)  She also sent me the link to this very funny Scary Mommy blog.  We could rock those culottes!  (I see Victoria Fedden omitted Deviled Ham as an alternate sandwich choice back in the day.  Maybe Deviled Ham was saved for weekends or special occasions at her house.)  http://www.scarymommy.com/back-to-school-the-70s-vs-today/

Agnes says.... | Use the good stuff

I heard from Agnes and it hit a cord.  "I'm enjoying my new linens. I think at 75 I need to use my good china every night for dinner!  (I've used my flat silver for dinner every day for 53 years, and for the last 17 years, I've used nothing but my Sterling for every meal!!  Who are we saving it for? Maybe you can convince some of your-age folks to do likewise.)"

We all need to listen to Agnes.  Who are we saving it for?  Use the good stuff everyday.

Tailgate Party Hen House Style!

Tailgating chili recipe gray and white cotton dinner napkins
burgandy and white cotton cocktail napkins
burgandy and white cotton cocktail napkins
chicken wings cotton cocktail napkins
chicken wings cotton cocktail napkins
gold and white cotton table linens
gold and white cotton table linens

Grab napkins in your school colors.  Use the silver-plated silverware you picked up from the antique store.  Pack a tray to help you serve.  Cook up chili and these EASY but oh so delicious chicken wings (recipe to follow).  You will make it look effortless and your family and friends will remember a great day at the game.

tailgate party cotton table linens
tailgate party cotton table linens
tailgate tray party food
tailgate tray party food

Frank's Hot Sauce Wings

2 1/2 lbs. chicken wings

1/2 C Frank's Hot Sauce

1/3 C melted butter

Spread wings on a cookie sheet and bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes until cooked through. Combine Frank's Hot Sauce and the butter.  Toss wings in sauce to coat.  Take my word for it.  These are good.

"Black Forest" Brownies for Breakfast

Who wouldn't want to start their day with dessert?!?  Kathleen, our data manager, is determined to keep summer healthy but FUN.

Chickpea chocolate cake

2 C chickpeas

1/3 C of orange juice (I use Trop 50 no pulp)

4 eggs (I use egg whites)

1/3 C stevia (can be tweaked a little for sweetness preference.  The recipe calls for 1 C brown sugar)

¼ C cocoa powder

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

Optional ¼ to ½ C mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350, oil or Pam 8X8 pan and line with square of parchment paper

In food processor blend chickpeas and OJ until smooth, add eggs and blend again

In another bowl mix stevia (sugar), cocoa, baking powder and baking soda

Add dry ingredient in the food processor and pulse until fully combined.

Pour back in bowl and add in chocolate chips if desired

Bake for 50 mins, and cool on rack for 15 mins before removing from pan

To make it "Black Forest" I added thawed frozen cherries (but the over-achievers can pit those beautiful cherries that are hitting stores) and vanilla greek yogurt on top. Yummy, nutritious, and filling way to start the day.  

Boys Notice | Make Them Happy

we recently had the following comment posted to our FaceBook page...

"I've had this beautiful Hen house linen on my table for a couple of weeks. Love it! Took it off for Tim and Johhny's spaghetti dinner. I'm not the only one who loves it....Johnny- 'Hey! Why did you take that off?! I like it!' So, if you need a spokesperson, Johnny is your Man.😊"

Just when we think they are not looking our teenaged boys let us know the details matter. Something as simple as a cloth napkin or a lovely tablecloth on the table adds a touch of happiness. Make your people happy!

Cucumber Sesame Noodles | Eating Well

Perfect for a summer day!  Many thanks to Kathleen, our data manager, for sharing this recipe with us!

2 cucumbers

2 carrots

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp soy sauce (I used low sodium)

Ginger powder to taste

Crushed garlic to taste

Toasted sesame seeds (not necessary to toast them, but I could so I did)

1/2 lb peeled and deveined shrimp sauteed until pink in 1 TBS butter or olive oil with a clove of crushed garlic and pinch of salt

Spiralize the cucumbers, and shred the carrots

Mix all the other ingredients in a small bowl

Pour over the cukes and carrots, and mix well until the noodles are coated.  Top with shrimp.

Can be served right away or chilled in the fridge to let the flavors develop a little more. 

I have also now made these with zucchini noodles instead of cucumbers - equally delicious!

Elevate The Everyday Challenge | Hen House Style

Sitting down to a meal with a cloth napkin elevates the everyday. 
People sit up straighter, listen better, linger longer (our words). Try it for yourself. For the next 30 days add a napkin to your nightly table ~even if just for a few times a week~ and see the impact on the people who join you.