Monthly Archives: September 2015

Stuffed Peppers

2015-09-03 19.14.16- stuffed peppers

Hi Everyone,

I was just going through some of my recipes for some Autumn dinner ideas and I came across one of my all time favorites- Stuffed Peppers. I decided to share this easy recipe with you. I hope you try making these peppers at home and enjoy them.

PS- they can be frozen too

Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

1 ½ lbs. ground turkey or beef (seasoned with salt and pepper)

1 medium onion –sliced

3 garlic cloves –minced

6 bell peppers- whole

3 (any color combo) bell peppers for FILLING–diced in bite size pieces after seeds and membranes are removed

3 TBSP olive oil

2-3 cans “no salt” 8 oz. tomato sauce …(3 cans will make it juicier)

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 TBSP Italian seasoning

4 TBSP plus of grated cheese

8 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese

Salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Cut the tops from 6 green peppers; discard the seeds and the membranes, (Tops can be saved for presentation or diced into filling).
  • Cook the whole green peppers, uncovered in boiling water for about 6 minutes; invert to drain well
  • Start to prepare the rice in either a steamer or stovetop
  • In another saucepan over medium low heat, add the olive oil
  • Allow the oil to heat up for a few minutes and then add the diced peppers and onions, a pinch of salt and cook for approx. 7 minutes stirring occasionally to soften
  • Add the minced garlic to the peppers and onions and cook for 1 more minute
  • Add the seasoned ground meat and cook until no longer pink- separate the meat into bite size pieces with the back of a wooden spoon
  • Once the meat is browned add the 2-3 cans of tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and 2 TBSP of grated cheese
  • Allow this to cook on a lower temperature for 15-20 minutes with the cover ON until the sauce is done
  • Add the cooked rice, mix well and add the remaining grated cheese
  • Stuff the peppers with this mixture and top with mozzarella cheese
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes to melt the cheese then serve

Depending on the size of your peppers, you will have leftover filling for a quick lunch the next day.

Peppers can be served with additional grated cheese.

2015-09-03 20.08.54- stuffed peppers over

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Barnyard Brunch

2015-09-12 21.03.01- ROOSTER AND CENTERPIECE

(Click on photos to enlarge)

A few years back I had the wonderful opportunity to host a brunch in my home for some dear friends. The brunch turned into more of a healing process for me than just a tablescape. I’ll explain…

Not only was it my Mother who started and continued to add to my collection of dishes over the years, but my Dad was right there with us and he got a kick out of how enthusiastic I was about tablescapes.

After my Mother passed away, my father became my shopping partner; from groceries to dishes and everything in between. We shopped all over the place every day.

We were in Homegoods one day and I spotted these Rooster dishes and I just loved them. I would have stopped right then and there and purchased the entire set, but time was not on my side at that moment. I had an appointment to get to and we had to leave the store. 

On the way to my appointment, my Dad and I talked about how cute the dishes were and how I would definitely have used the dishes for a country themed brunch. After we arrived at my appointment, the dish conversation stopped and that was it.

I knew I would never see these dishes again because as most of you know, in Homegoods, you have to buy the items when you see them or they are gone.

The next morning my Dad came over with a BIG box for me and once I opened it, it was the entire set of Rooster dishes, plates, bowls, cups and serving pieces. I was totally in shock and a few tears were shed. You see, once my Dad left my house the night before, he returned to Homegoods and bought everything that he saw that was part of the Rooster collection.

2015-09-13 01.16.33 - EXTRA DISHES

I was beyond thrilled and I started immediately thinking about a tablescape for these dishes. My mind was full of ideas.

I could finally use the Rooster canister set that I purchased in Cracker Barrel on one of our trips to Myrtle Beach. At the time of the purchase, I thought the canisters were absolutely adorable and I just had to have them. I really had no purpose for them other than the fact that they were cute. They really belonged in a country kitchen, which I did not have nor planned to have. But, not having an immediate purpose for something that caught my eye for a tablescape never stopped me before, so the purchase was made. 

We discussed this in one of my other posts; you never know what you can use for a tablescape in the future, so if you love an item and it is within your budget, buy it. 

My ideas kept flowing and I was getting all excited about this tablescape and organizing a country themed brunch. My thoughts kept going back and forth between tablescape design to the food that was to be served.

Unfortunately, right after this purchase my Dad started to feel ill and one thing led to another over a few months and he had to have surgery. He survived the surgery, but he was stricken with a deadly hospital infection, and after a tough fight my Dad passed away. I was devastated. I lost my desire to set any more tablescapes. Now both my parents were gone.

One day a dear friend of mine was over after the funeral to see how I was and asked what I planned for my next tablescape. Honestly, I hadn’t given it much thought, I wasn’t in the mood. She asked about the Rooster dishes I told her about months before that my Dad bought for me and she said something that completely turned me right around.

She said, “Do you think that your Dad bought those dishes to sit in a box or to be used at what you do best to make you and all of us happy?”

“Set the table in memory of your Dad”.

2015-09-13 10.07.10 - INTRO

And that is how the Rooster tablescape was reborn. She was right, my Dad would have wanted me to continue to do what I loved. I started thinking about planning a brunch that same day.

The brunch turned out to be lovely and all my friends shared stories about my Dad and we laughed and ate and it was very healing for me. God bless girlfriends, the women in your life that get you through the good and the bad.

For the brunch back then, I served it buffet style and I gave all my guests a favor of fruit preserves tied with raffia ribbon to take home. (99% of the time, my guests go home with a favor).

My friends have come to expect a favor and I can’t even imagine what they would say if I ever stopped.

 I was now back to setting tablescapes and doing what I love.

(Photos of the original buffet are at the end of the post)

The Rooster tablescape I am posting today is not for a buffet, but for a sit down breakfast and I think both my Dad and Mom would have liked this tablescape too. So here we go…

2015-09-12 21.01.00 - CLOSE UP INTRO

I started out with a red and creme checkered tablecloth that has a rooster pattern and began building the tablescape from there. This is a new purchase and I was so happy when I saw this tablecloth; it was just perfect for the occasion.

2015-09-12 20.39.07 - TABLECLOTH

First up, the charger plates. I am back to my favorite charger plates and that would be the brown rattan chargers. I decided not to use a place mat because that would crowd the table way too much.

2015-09-12 20.39.47 -CHARGER

The dishes are melamine (basically shatterproof, which is good for outdoor tablescapes too). The plates have a light gold background with a very colorful Rooster and I loved the sayings on the dinner plate and mugs…...Life is Good * Freedom & Pride * C’est La Vie * Good Food and Peace.

2015-09-13 01.16.54 DISHES

For the glassware, I used mason jar mugs. I just love these mugs and thought that they looked very country.

2015-09-12 20.56.16- MUG

I found a Rooster serving plate recently when I went to visit my son, that added to my Rooster collection so that is on the table as well. Good place for some breakfast muffins or bagels to be served.

2015-09-12 20.47.03 - PLATTER

I used red bandannas from the party store to be re-purposed as napkins, instead of the usual scarf tied around your neck. I didn’t want to use the napkins that match the tablecloth because I thought they would just blend in way too much and be lost on the table.

BANDANA

For the flatware, I am back to red, (I get the most use of this color). This time I placed the flatware in the mason jar mugs just for a change of pace.

2015-09-13 01.23.33 - FLATWARE

What are Rooster dishes without a Rooster?

So my little table mascot was unpacked (Dad purchased him too for me). I think he definitely looks like the rooster on the dishes.

2015-09-13 01.18.28 - ROOSTER

For my centerpiece I started with a red enamelware pitcher. I think enamelware just screams country. I have an entire set of enamelware in both red and blue with the platters, plates and bowls; but for this tablescape I just needed the red water pitcher.

2015-09-13 01.26.14 - EXTRA SUNFLOWERS

I displayed some beautiful sunflowers in the pitcher with goldenrod branches.  For my table confetti, I added a few sunflower seeds on the table.

Sunflowers always bring a smile to my face.

2015-09-12 20.44.50 - CENTERPIECE

Now I needed a few table accents and the tablescape will be complete. I chose a metal rooster basket filled with ceramic brown eggs and the cutest mason jar salt & pepper shakers.

2015-09-12 20.48.43 -ROOSTER BASKET 1

2015-09-13 01.24.43 - SALT AND PEPPER

I added another Rooster find that was purchased from the General Store at the Milleridge Inn Shops here on LI many years ago.

This great find is a divided serving dish with a Rooster design.

2015-09-12 20.46.27- DIVIDED DISH

Topping the tablescape off are two sunflower tealight holders. So cute with both a lady bug and a butterfly 

2015-09-13 10.14.39- TEA LIGHTS

and a few mini bales of hay.

2015-09-13 10.08.43- BALES OF HAY

 Now the tablescape is complete. I couldn’t find a place for the rooster canisters this time, so they will come back out for my next Barnyard Brunch when I serve it buffet style and I will use them as flatware holders.

And my white chicken wire egg basket with have to wait until the next tablescape too.

Now all I have to do is plan the food to be served for this breakfast and send out some invitations.

Thank you for letting me share with you the memories of my first Rooster tablescape, along with my current 2015 Rooster tablescape. 

I enjoyed putting this tablescape together for you and sharing both my old and new pictures. 

I hope this table gave you some ideas for you to use at your next brunch. 

Until my next post, stay well and make every day a celebration!

Diane

2015-09-13 01.18.18 - EXTRA ROOSTER AND CENTERPIECE

Place Setting

2015-09-13 01.17.27- PLACE SETTING

Tablescape Details

Rooster Dishes gift from Dad 

Brown rattan chargers from Sur La Table

Red flatware from Homegoods

Mason jar mugs from Webstaurant

Red & creme check rooster tablecloth from Christmas Tree Shops

Red bandannas from Party City

Feather Rooster gift from Dad

Brown ceramic eggs from Cackle Hatchery

Round Rooster serving plate from Homegoods

Divided Rooster serving dish from the General Store at the Milleridge Inn shops

Mason jar salt and pepper shakers from Amazon

MIni bales of hay from Michael’s Arts & Crafts

Sunflower tea light candles from Party Lite Fundraising party (15 years ago)

Sunflowers from a local Farmer’s market

Metal rooster basket – can’t remember

Red enamelware pitcher – can’t remember (some of these items go back 40 yrs).

Photos of the original Barnyard Brunch

As you can see, we had more than enough food and ate, laughed and talked for hours. We had salads, cakes, bagels, brownies, muffins, waffles, eggs, hash browns, spinach quiche, bacon, breakfast sausages,cookies and fruit.

Enough food for 40 people and we were only 20 people. 

A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon with friends.

(Click photos to enlarge)

We had a nice selection of food…

Summer 2010 095- BB 11

Summer 2010 094 - BB10

Finally had a chance to use the Rooster canisters… Aren’t they cute?

Summer 2010 089 -BB9

As an appetizer we had mini muffins and cookies …

Summer 2010 088 -BB8

Trying to convince ourselves that we could still be healthy with all this food, I served a fruit tray…

Summer 2010 087 BB7

I used some mini bales of hay as table accents along with our mascot Rooster…

Had to squeeze him in between the food…

Summer 2010 086 - BB6

We ate for hours…

Summer 2010 085- BB5

Other side of the table with the hot food…

We had spinach quiche, hash browns, waffles, French toast and eggs

Summer 2010 082 BB3

Can’t forget the favors…

Summer 2010 081 - BB2

I placed a watering can full of sunflowers on the buffet and used whole sunflower seeds as my table scatter…

Notice the invitation on the buffet? It’s a Rooster design in an animal print. 

And we all know how I feel about animal prints from my Safari post…

Summer 2010 079 -BB 1

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Thank you for visiting my blog.

 Please spread the word and ask your family and friends to become members.

Follow me on Facebook or follow the blog directly from the DishingwithDiane.com website. 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Go and spread the word…

And please continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

shared on http://betweennapsontheporch.net/

Summer 2010 073 - BB sunflower

Apple Cake

DSC00030 - 2005 apple cake

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to September!

I hope you are all enjoying your last days of Summer. It really went by too fast; but Autumn is also a lovely season to enjoy.

I look forward to autumn for all the Fall Festivals to begin while still enjoying the feel of Summer, visiting local farm stands waiting for winter vegetables to start popping up. The farm stands this time of year are great to get winter squash plus pumpkins, gourds and cornstalks for outdoor fall decorations.

It’s also that time of year that within a day or two of Labor Day we will all be overloaded with “Pumpkin” everything!

Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin, but here is an alternative to pumpkin just in case you need a break from pumpkin donuts, pumpkin latte, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie milkshakes, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin soup, and the list goes on and on.

It’s my Apple Cake

I just love this cake. All of you know by now that I am not much of a baker, but this cake is one of the easiest to prepare and is a family favorite. Not too many ingredients, simple directions and it always turns out perfect and delicious. What more can you ask for? I was given this recipe years ago and it has been my go to dessert on many occasions.

 Autumn doesn’t officially begin until September 23, 2015, but this is a handy recipe to keep and use after all those days of apple picking and hay rides.

I hope you try this delicious cake and enjoy it. Let me know in the comments what you think.

Until my next post, stay well and make every day a celebration!

Diane

APPLE CAKE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup Orange juice
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 3 medium size McIntosh apples (peeled and sliced)
  • ¼ cup sugar & 1 tsp. Cinnamon – blended

PROCEDURE:

  1. Beat the first 8 ingredients until smooth
  2. Pour ½ the batter into a greased and floured tube pan
  3. Layer with half of the apples
  4. Sprinkle with the sugar/cinnamon mixture
  5. Add remaining batter
  6. Add remaining apples
  7. Add remaining sugar/cinnamon mixture
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour
  9. Cool on rack and serve with a coating of powdered sugar

Thank you for visiting my blog.

 Please spread the word and ask your family and friends to become members.

Follow me on facebook or follow the blog directly from the DishingwithDiane.com website. 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Go and spread the word…

And please continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.