Sunday, April 9, 2017

Week 68, 4-9-2017

Thoughts and QuotesA home without books is like a room without windows.
                                                                                                Henry Ward Beecher

I listened and I obeyed. The library book sale was this week, and I had lots of tips from my friends. Katie recommended Nancy Pickard and I found these:

Candy recommended Dennis Lahane

And Robert Parker's books (Jesse Stone). Joey told me they made these into a TV series which plays on the Hallmark Channel of Movies and Mysteries

Robert Parker's books with Spenser, and Joey told me these were made into a TV series back in the 1980's starrting Robert Urich.

Joey joined a book club and the selection for April is Buried Bones, which is the second in a series of seventeen, so she bought the first (Them Bones). I just knew to buy Bones books by Caroly Haines, so I bought it again. Fortunately, Splintered Bones is the next in the series, and she says they're really great and wants to read all of them, so naturally, I do too. 

A new Nelson DeMille I hadn't read, love historical fiction, loved The Devil Wears Prada movie so thought I'd like to read the book, and who doesn't love Julie Andrews?

And, yes, sometimes I judge a book by its cover.

A lady at the sale recommended this. It says "Fiction" but I smell "Romance"- not my favorite. She was happy I listened and it only cost 50 cents.

More historical fiction - this time from across the pond.

I've always been fascinated by the Knights Templar.

I can never answer the questions on Jeopardy about the Greek Gods, so maybe I'll study up some day. I love history, and plan to really dig in next year. 

You knew I'd have to buy at least one cookbook. The second book has recipes, but is mainly a really funny study of the food after the funeral in the south.

So there, Mr. Beecher, lots of new windows. I have 3,100+ books which I haven't read plus another 1,000+ on my Kindle, and I just had my 79th birthday. I think I can venture to say that no one can claim that I'm not an optimist.

According to Wikipedia:

Henry Ward Beecher :June 24, 1813 – March 8, 1887 was an American Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, and speaker, known for his support of the abolition of slavery, his emphasis on God's love, and his 1875 adultery trial. 

You can read more HERE. Pretty juicy. His sister was Harriet Beecher Stowe of Uncle Tom's Cabin fame. And that takes care of my Teaching and Learning for this post.

Tales: I finished another McNally book (McNally's Alibi), and I'm sorry to say that this one was not a favorite. Don't read this one first, or you won't want to read the other books, which are truly delightful.

Thrifting: Jean's church had a rummage sale and I found some treasures.

 And then I stopped at Goodwill on the way home and found these:

Do you see a pattern emerging? Yes, holidays. I'm determined to finish Tablescapes, Teas, and Theme Dining this year, so why not do A Year of Everyday Holiday Dining next year? It's a stretch to come up with a holiday for each month, but I think I have it figured out. 

Time for Others: I wasn't going to show you my Easter card, because some haven't been delivered yet. However, I'll forget by next week, so here goes:

I can tell you that this week was a really busy week, with cardmaking taking up most of every day. I had to catch up on long overdue Thank You cards, so I made six of these (also two for birthday cards).

Anniversary cards

Birthday cards

Get Well for Ceil, who had a shoulder replacement.

And a birthday card we made in Katie's class.

More ladies have joined in the making of cards from Freshly Made Sketches Layouts from the blog HERE. The FMS bloggers are on Sketch 279, and we just finished 61 and 62. Obviously, we don't submit our cards, but we like to see how each person comes up with a card so different from the others while using the same layout.

Sketch 61




Sketch 62

Bette' - Jeanne


Katie-Patsy (Yes, it's legal to turn the card from portrait to landscape)

Tip: For those of you who use dies: Sometimes they come all helter-skelter in a plastic bag.

Go to Walmart and buy a roll of magnetic tape. Don't buy the narrow kind on a smaller roll; get the 1" tape on a ten-foot roll. Wider is better and it's more economical. Look for it in crafts, but not with scrapbooking and cardmaking. Just peel the backing off the adhesive side and stick it on a piece of card stock. The dies will stick on the magnetic tape and stay nicely organized in a zippered plastic bag.

Things that Grow: My azaleas are still beautiful. Alas, Bev tells me that she bought one also, and asked if we could plant them outside and was told that they're strictly indoors. I might try anyway. In the meantime, I put one in my bedroom because it matches so well. I'll just enjoy it while it lasts.

Theme Dining: The first of the April theme lunches - April in Paris.

The Invitation (I have no idea if this is written in French or if the postmarks are in France).

The Table

The Menu

The Food

The Party Favors (Eiffel Tower votives)

(Potage Crecy)

2 Tbs. butter
3/4 cup finely chopped onions
3 cups finely chopped carrots
1 qt chicken broth
2 tsps tomato paste
2 Tbs white rice, not cooked
White pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs soft butter
8-12 carrot curls for garnish (optional)

Melt the 2 Tbs butter in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat.

Stir in onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until soft but not brown.

Add carrots, chicken stock, tomato paste, and rice.

Simmer gently, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Puree through food mill or whirl in blender and pour into a clean saucepan.

Season with salt and pepper and stir in cream.

Return to low heat and bring to a simmer.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 Tbs butter.

Garnish with carrot curls or minced parsley, if desired.

(Supremes De Volaille au Vin Blanc)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 Tbs oil
1 Tbs butter
1/2 lb sliced white button mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped shallots or mild onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup whipping cream

Put oil and butter in a large skillet.

When butter is melted, add chicken breasts and brown on each side.

Add mushrooms and shallots or onion. Cook on medium heat until chicken is almost done.

Add chicken broth and wine; boil rapidly a minute or two.

Add cream and boil again, just a minute or two, to thicken sauce. Don’t overcook chicken.

Place chicken on plate and spoon sauce over.

Garnish with parsley, if desired.

(Gratin Dauphinois)

1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup 4% milk
2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup finely shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs butter
2 tsps butter to grease baking dish
Heat oven to 350°.

Mix cheeses and set aside.

Combine garlic, cream, and milk in a small saucepan and heat to point where steam starts to rise. Do not boil.

While cream is heating, butter an 11” X 7” baking dish.

Spread half the potatoes in the baking dish. When cream mixture is slightly cooled, pour half over the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then half the cheese mixture.

Spread remaining potatoes over first layer, pour on balance of cream mixture, sprinkle with salt and pepper, Dot with the 2 Tbs butter, sprinkle on balance of cheese mixture.

Bake, uncovered, in lower half of oven for 60-70 minutes or until tender. If potatoes start to brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.


1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 cup oil (olive or salad)
Pinch of herbs, optional

Mash garlic with the side of a large knife blade. Mince finely. Add salt to garlic and continue mashing and mincing until you have a sort of paste.

Put garlic in a mixing bowl and add vinegar, lemon juice, and mustard.

Gradually whisk in oil.

Add a grind of pepper and herbs, if desired.

Serve with butter lettuce.

(Tarte Tatin)

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed.
7 large apples (mix of Honeycrisp and Granny Smith), peeled, cored, and quartered.
6 Tbs butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar

Heat oven to 375°.

Spread butter in the bottom of a heavy oven-proof skillet.

Sprinkle sugar over butter.

Arrange apples over sugar, rounded side down.

On floured board, roll puff pastry 1/8” thick. Place 9” cake pan upside down over pastry and cut out circle with a sharp knife.

Place pastry over apples in skillet, tucking in snugly all around the edges.

Put the skillet on a stovetop burner at medium heat and cook until juice begins to bubble, about three minutes.

Increase heat slightly and cook until juices darken (do not cook more than ten minutes.)

Put the skillet in the oven and place a cookie sheet in bottom of oven to catch drips. Bake 45 minutes to cook apples and brown pastry.

Cool 5 minutes in skillet and then invert on serving plate.

Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. 

Still one theme dinner to do to finish April. This one replaces Easter, so I have to do it from start to finish (Invitations to Recipes). Still thinking of Celebration of Citrus.








  1. Hi Patsy, I found your blog through "From A Girl's Mind." I am bookmarking it to come back and visit some more. I love your table settings! and that you include such great recipes. Lovely blog, I can't wait to come back and read more when I'm not feeling so rushed. Enjoy your week!

    1. Welcome and thank you for your kind comments. Many more table settings and recipes to come and I'm compiling the raw data to input so you can find recipes with the dropdown tabs. It will happen - but not this week.

      I post each Sunday night and it shows up each Monday. You can add your email address in the window above on the right and you'll be notified when I post.

      I read all the Five on Friday posts, but just can't keep up with everyone on a daily basis. More tables to do, more food to make, etc.

  2. Looks like some pretty fun reading there Lady! I'm hoping to focus more on reading this summer. I miss the way I used to gobble up books. Now night time is best time I have and I'm too tired so I watch tv instead. Ugh. I actually used to love LaVyrle Spencer books in college. She's from practically my neck of the woods (MN). I'm a hopeless romantic though. ::sigh::

    And you are the QUEEN of treasure hunting!! I love your pick ups this time!! Holiday stuff is the best!

    That azalea looks beautiful! Give it a go outside - ya never know. ;)

    And okay now the Paris one is my favorite theme! Lol Everytime I see a new one it becomes my new fave. It's a problem. :P I think Annie and I need to work on making a tarte tatin in our future.

    Blessings to you sweetest and dearest Gal!! WE got your Easter card (beyond adorable) and it graces my mantel with our Easter decorations. Your card is on its way. Your "Spring box" is still in progress but will get sent out once it's done. Anticipation is half the fun, right? ;) I'll let you know when it gets sent. Maybe after Easter? Happy Easter Doll!

    much love xoxo

    1. I need more reading time as well. I'll finish the three books this year, then next year I'm going to do only one (Holiday Dinners), so I'll have time for cards, reading, and working on my sagging, pooching body. Then in 2019, I think I'll do two books, one of fancier teas, and one Around the World dinners with a different country each month. The problem will be finding the props. Maybe I should start watching for them now. Or maybe I should just do another one with 12 theme dinners. I still haven't done Swan Lake, which was my first idea (no swans will be harmed). Also have everything to do Brides at Heart. Then there's Garden Party, Lunch with Herb, Say Cheese, I'm Going Nuts, The President's Table, and I could do Bon Voyage with each course from a different country. Or I could call that one Around the World and Bon Voyage could be dinners from cruise lines. I have menus. Please be on the lookout for the Fountain of Youth because I'm running out of time.

      Will watch for my card and the spring box will be appreciated more if it comes after Easter when I can slow down and really enjoy it. Cleaning house tomorrow and I have Cooking Club lunch at my house on Thursday. Isn't life a blast?! So many fun things to do.

      Save the Tarte Tatin for a little later, The syrup gets really hot. Let Annie get a little more experience in the kitchen first. Love to you and yours, and enjoy a Blessed Easter. I'm sure you've already started preparing.

  3. Still so many fun themes!! Your creativity is endless!! I say stick with that plan. ;) And it sounds to me like you've already found the fountain of youth so please sure so I will be as fun and active when I reach your age. Lol!
    Good tip about the tarte tatin for Annie. ;) Thx for watching out for your Girls. xoxo

  4. Wonderful books and lovely cards! The tablescape and food look so lovely, delicious and heartwarming!

    1. Thank you for the kind compliments. They keep me going.