Category Archives: Chicken

Big Chill Dinner

Photo Jan 06, 6 10 13 PM SOUP AND CHICKEN


CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE and hit the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone. 

First of all, I hope that you are all safe & warm from the inclement weather that is sweeping across the country.

Here in the Northeast, we have 14 inches of snow, strong winds and single digit temperatures with wind chills below zero. Not very pleasant.

Please check in on your neighbors to see if they are okay, especially the elderly during this harsh weather.

I have a few recipes that I want to share with you today to hopefully make life a little easier during this weather. It’s brutal to go outside to shovel snow for hours in this blustery weather and then come in and have too start a meal for the family when you are exhausted.

The first recipe is one that I have been using for years and it is fantastic. It is …

Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker

You season your chicken with a dry rub, into the crock pot with some veggies and you are free for 8 hours to do your other errands (like shoveling). I highly recommend you try this…

Cooks note- In the photo below, I roasted additional vegetables in the oven because I am saving the vegetables in the crock pot for chicken stock.

(I roasted potatoes, parsnips, carrots, red onions, garlic and brussel sprouts)

Here is the recipe. I found it on


Photo Jan 06, 7 09 34 PM CROCK POT CHICKEN



  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • 1 cup chopped onion, approx. 1 medium to large onion
  • 4 to 5 carrots, scrubbed, no need to peel, chopped in halves or thirds (I peeled them)
  • 4 celery stalks, cut in thirds
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 whole lemon quartered
  • 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 lbs. roasting or fryer chicken


  1. Combine rub ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Prep the vegetables and place inside the slow cooker (I use a 7-quart oval).
  2. Remove chicken from packaging and remove neck and pouch with organs. Discard or reserve for later use in another recipe. Rinse chicken with water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Rub garlic all over outside of the chicken. Put garlic inside the chicken. Put the rub all over the outside and inside the chicken. Add quartered lemon to the inside of the chicken.  (I also added parsley inside the chicken).
  4. Place chicken on top of the vegetables. Cover slow cooker and cook chicken on low for 4-8 hours. (When I used a 4 lb chicken, it took about 6 hours. The time will depend on the size of the chicken and your slow cooker.) Cook until the internal temperature of the leg is at 160 degrees F or use a pop-up thermometer as the original recipe calls for.
  5. Remove chicken and place in a 9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish. Place baking dish in the oven under the broiler for about 4-5 minutes. Allow chicken to rest after removing it from the broiler for 5-10 minutes.


 I make chicken stock with the veggies and juices in the crock pot.

 Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot


  • Leftover chicken bones or carcass roughly equivalent to one small or medium sized chicken
  • 1 onion, peeled and loosely chopped
  • 1 rib of celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped (no need to peel)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • Salt, to taste
    Note: If you are missing any of these ingredients I wouldn’t let that stop you from making it anyway.


  1. After removing all edible meat from the chicken put/leave the bones, skin, cooking juices, etc. in the crock pot. If you are using the chicken carcass from the “Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot” recipe just leave every single thing that’s leftover (except the good meat of course) in the crock pot including the original onion and spices you used when making the chicken.
  2. Add the onion, celery, carrot and spices on top of the bones and fill the crock pot almost to the top with tap water (leaving about ½” at the top).
  3. Turn the slow cooker onto “low” after dinner and cook all night long or alternatively you could start it in the morning and cook on “low” for 8 – 10 hours during the day.
  4. After the stock is done cooking turn off the heat and, using a soup ladle, pass the stock through a fine sieve to remove all herbs/bones/etc.


Since cold weather calls for hot soup, here is another favorite recipe of mine.


This is a soup that my mother made for us all the time and it hits the spot.

Best part, it’s quick.

Having this soup and the crock pot chicken is a perfect combination.

Stracciatella Soup with Spinach (rice or pasta -optional)

Cooks Note:  I add mini cheese ravioli to the soup whenever I can find them in the store, instead of rice. Lately, I have been lucky to find bags in Trader Joe’s. I think they look much cuter than rice.


  • 1 ½ quarts of chicken broth (6 cups), homemade is best. Low sodium boxed chicken broth is fine too. Be sure it’s MSG free.
  • 3 large eggs
  • Grated cheese (½ cup)
  • 1 tbsp. of semolina or fine breadcrumbs
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 cups fresh spinach (stems removed)
  • Black pepper to taste.


  • Heat broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.
  • Add 2 cups spinach to the broth to wilt
  • In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, grated cheese, nutmeg and semolina 
  • With a wooden spoon, swirl the soup in a circular motion while slowly pouring the egg mixture. Simmer for 1 minute
  • (optional- 1 ½ cups of cooked rice or pasta of your choice can also be added)
  • Serve the soup with some additional grated cheese and black pepper.


I hope you enjoy these recipes and stay safe and warm during the BIG CHILL.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 


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Good-bye Summer 2017

Photo Sep 20, 7 16 17 PM INTRO

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size).

Hi Everyone, 

I know many of you consider Labor Day as the last day of summer, but not me. I want to hold on to this season to the very end and strictly go by the calendar.

This year Autumn starts on Friday, September 22, 2017, so I am holding on.

The nights have been getting cooler with a subtle reminder that my favorite season is saying good-bye; so to pay tribute to summer, I decided to post one more summer tablescape.

As you all know by now, I just love the beach and it is a big part of the summer season for me. The sand, sound of the waves and the peaceful feeling the beach brings. Maybe because I live on an island but the beach is definitely my happy place.

I was trying to think of a theme for this end of summer tablescape, and then I read a newspaper article that some of the local waterfront restaurants here on the island with private beaches, are planting palm trees to enhance the tropical island atmosphere of their restaurants. 

Well, I just found my theme to say good-bye to summer- palm trees. And I have the perfect set of dishes for this theme.


So lets get started…

The tablecloth…. I am using a tan, sage green, cocoa brown and beige tablecloth embossed with palm trees. I like the muted colors because I have candlesticks that blend perfectly with this tablecloth.

Photo Sep 18, 3 48 10 PM TABLECLOTH

I used outdoor placemats that I bought for the patio table that are made out of PVC covered jute netting. You have probably seen similar placemats, they look like rubber. I bought the placemat in the shape of a palm tree frond.  

(FYI- the material used for this placemat is top rack dishwasher safe.)

Photo Sep 19, 11 25 04 AM PLACEMAT

Along with the frond placemat, I am using my a brown rattan chargers once again. I get the most use out of these chargers.

Photo Sep 18, 3 19 40 PM - RATTAN CHARGER WITH FRAME

The set of “palm tree” dishes was a birthday gift from a friend a few years back and I only had the opportunity to use them once last summer. So I decided to use them for this post and I hope my friend enjoys seeing her gift on the blog.

The dinner plates and salad plates have the same design. A beige background bordered in sage green and a cocoa brown around the rim with two palm trees in the center, also in sage green and cocoa brown.

Photo Sep 19, 3 50 43 PM SALAD AND DINNER

The complete set comes with dinner plates, salad plates, bowls and mugs.

Photo Sep 19, 2 48 36 PM COMPLETE SET

I think the dishes match the tablecloth perfectly.

The napkins are 20″ x 20″ over sized cotton napkins with a tropical leaf pattern along with the cutest gold palm tree napkin rings that I picked up from a great store in Florida that specializes in coastal home accents.

Photo Sep 18, 5 18 30 PM - BANANA LEAF NAPKIN

The glassware are acrylic highball glasses featuring sage green and cocoa brown palm trees with a cocoa brown rim on the top of the glass and a cross hatch pattern on the bottom of the glass.

Photo Sep 18, 2 55 23 PM - PALM TREE GLASS

 The flatware is bamboo. I love using this set for my summer tablescapes.

Photo Sep 18, 2 56 46 PM BAMBOO CUTLERY - 1

As I mentioned before, I have the perfect candlesticks for this tablescape. They are  polyresin palm trees in shades of olive green and brown along with off white pillar candles.

Photo Sep 19, 11 49 06 AM CANDLESTICKS

I told Bob that I was planning on a “palm tree” tablescape and my honey went out and bought me a tabletop palm tree. It’s perfect and I love it; and it is the new centerpiece.

Photo Sep 19, 2 45 48 PM PALM

Complete centerpiece with candlesticks.

Photo Sep 19, 2 44 51 PM CENTERPIECE

My addiction and love for salt and pepper shakers continues and I found the cutest set of palm tree salt & pepper shakers on Amazon that look like the palm trees on the dishes.

Photo Sep 18, 3 48 22 PM PALM TREE SALT AND PEPPER

I added an additional table accent, imitation succulents wrapped in burlap. I am sure with my NOT so green thumb, I could kill a real succulent in record breaking time so I am sticking to artificial.

Photo Sep 19, 11 48 09 AM SUCCULENT 2

I thought an Acacia wooden bowl filled with tropical fruits such as pineapples, mangoes, kiwi, bananas, and starfruit; would be a nice touch for the table as well. 

Photo Sep 18, 3 47 52 PM FRUITBOWL 2

 So to say good-bye to summer, I just had to plan a meal to go along with the tropical feel as a send off to my favorite season, so I chose sticky pineapple chicken served in a pineapple boat with coconut rice and a tropical fruit salad.

Photo Sep 18, 8 41 53 PM PINEAPPLE CHICKEN

My dessert choice was Ambrosia & cinnamon sugar sand dollar cookies.

Photo Sep 20, 5 51 17 PM AMBROSIA

(All recipes at the end of the post)

Well, unfortunately for me, the time has finally come to say good-bye to Summer. See you in 273 days when Summer starts again on June 21, 2018. I am starting to count down already.

Wouldn’t you know, the rest of this week we are supposed to have weather like a hot Summer day. Temperature in the 80’s. 

Thank you Summer for one last hurrah! Now I feel a little better.

Although, I still think I need some pumpkin ice cream and an apple cider donut right about now to ease my pain for Fall arriving tomorrow…

See you in the Fall…

I hope you try some of the recipes on today’s blog and enjoy.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,


Photo Sep 20, 7 15 13 PM GOOD-BYE BUFFET

Place Setting

Photo Sep 20, 7 10 30 PM PLACE SETTING

Table Details

Palm tree tablecloth from Christmas Tree Shops

Tropical leaf placemats from Bed, Bath and Beyond

Brown rattan chargers from Sur La Table

Palm tree dishes from a friend as a birthday gift

Tropical leaf napkins from Amazon

Gold palm tree napkin rings from Wilford and Lee

Palm tree acrylic glasses from Homegoods

Bamboo flatware from Amazon

 Palm tree candlesticks from Amazon

Tabletop palm tree from my honey

Candles from Michael’s Arts & Crafts

Acacia wooden fruit bowl from Homegoods

Palm tree salt & pepper shakers from Amazon

 Succulents in burlap from Amazon



Photo Sep 18, 8 41 59 PM CLOSE UP CHICKEN

Sticky Pineapple Chicken



 1/2 cup pineapple juice

 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

 1/3 cup low sodium chicken stock

 1/3 cup hoisin sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 Tablespoon minced fresh garlic

 2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 Tablespoon olive oil

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup diced pineapple

 1/2 cup roasted, salted cashews (optional)

Rice for serving


  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the pineapple juice, soy sauce, chicken stock, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, garlic and cornstarch.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the mixture has reduced to about 1 cup and is the consistency of thick syrup. Set the sauce aside.
  3. Add the olive oil to a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and season it with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken, stirring, until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain off any liquids then add the sauce to the pan and stir until combined.
  4. Add the pineapple and cashews and cook, stirring, for an additional 1 minute.
  5. Serve the chicken atop a bed of rice.


Coconut Rice



  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1- 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1- 1/2 cups uncooked jasmine rice


  1. In a saucepan, combine coconut milk, water, sugar, and salt. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in rice. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 18 to 20 minutes, until rice is tender.


Photo Sep 20, 6 35 30 PM AMBROSIA CLOSE UP



  • 1 8 oz tub of whipped topping thawed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1- 20 oz can pineapple tidbits drained well
  • 1- 15 oz can mandarin orange segments drained well
  • 1 cup red or green seedless grapes sliced in half
  • 1- 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1- 1/2 cups mini marshmallows – (see note)
  • 1- 10 oz jar of maraschino cherry halves drained very well
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  1. In a medium bowl, combine whipped topping and sour cream.
  2. Add in coconut flakes and marshmallows.
  3. Then gently fold in pineapple, mandarin oranges, grapes and maraschino cherries and nuts (if using).
  4. Once combined, put some plastic wrap on it or put it in a bowl with a lid and refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

COOKS NOTE: You can make this dessert look more festive if you can find the multi-colored mini marshmallows.



Photo Sep 20, 5 48 24 PM SAND DOLLAR COOKIES

Cinnamon Sugar Sand Dollar Cookies

(sally’s baking addiction)




  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar


  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Get it nice and smooth, then add the sugar on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 different parts. The dough is quite thick and you may have to stir the rest by hand.
  3. Scoop a large section of dough (about 1 Tablespoon of dough each) and roll into balls. Make sure the balls are taller, rather than wide.
  4. Make the topping:   Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Roll each dough ball into the cinnamon sugar. Press 5 sliced almonds onto the tops of each dough ball, as pictured above. Chill the balls of dough for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours in the refrigerator. This step will prevent spreading in the oven.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Arrange cookies 3 inches apart on baking sheets.
  6. Bake chilled cookie dough for 10 minutes. The cookies will appear undone and very soft. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes and move to wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Cookies stay soft & fresh for up to 1 week at room temperature. Cookies freeze well. Cookies may be rolled into balls and frozen up to 3 months to bake at a later date. Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.


palm-trees-beach- thetreecenter - blog

photo courtesy of


Repost – Apple Jalapeno Chicken Wings


(Click on PHOTO to enlarge and then hit the back arrow to return to original size).

Hi everyone,

With Super Bowl Sunday two days away, I received an email asking me to repost my recipe for:

5 ingredient  – Apple Jalapeno Chicken Wings.


Open original post – May 1, 2016 for step by step slideshow directions.

Here is the original link, just click:

(Printed recipe below)

2016-04-27 15.26.22- INGREDIENTS


  • 1 cup Stonewall Kitchen Apple Jalapeno Jelly
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼- ½ cup bourbon (I used 1/2 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 pounds chicken wings


  1. In a food processor, puree the Stonewall Kitchen Apple Jalapeno Jelly.
  2. In a large skillet place the Stonewall Kitchen Apple Jalapeno Jelly, water, bourbon, and butter over medium heat. When melted stir until uniform.
  3. Add the chicken wings. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Remove lid and simmer another 30 minutes, turning the wings several times. The sauce should thicken, but do not allow to burn.
  4. Remove wings and finish under the broiler until golden brown. Serve hot with reserved sauce from skillet.


Until my next post, make every day a celebration!


Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share”  .

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

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



Apple Jalapeno Chicken Wings


(Click on PHOTO to enlarge and then hit the back arrow to return to original size).

Hi Everyone,

I prepared Apple Jalapeno Chicken Wings and I just wanted to share this quick recipe with you. This recipe is good for a no fuss weeknight meal, served with a salad or as an appetizer when you have guests.

Wait until you hear how I found this recipe…

A few years back, as one of my birthday gifts, my husband took me to the Stonewall Kitchen Headquarters in York, Maine to their Cooking School for cooking classes.

I always wanted to go and Bob made it happen.

April 2011 234  STONEWALL SIGN


The classes are demonstration only, not hands on. (I was very grateful for this because I am not sure my knife skills are up to par with the chefs).

April 2011 284 KITCHEN


I was READY to learn !

April 2011 279- SEATED

The class Bob signed me up for included Crustless Quiche, Pasta Primavera, Apple Jalapeno Chicken Wings plus various desserts.

After the demonstration, everyone is handed a recipe booklet with the days recipes and invited to gather around for lunch to sample everything that was prepared. I met a great group of people and had a wonderful experience.

We not only had a great group, we also had a wonderful chef who was really a joy to watch and listen to. If it wasn’t so far a trip for me, I would have loved to attend another class of hers.

April 2011 299 WITH CHEF


If you ever have the opportunity to attend a cooking class, by all means take it. It doesn’t have to be Stonewall Kitchen in York Maine, but find a local class. Sur La Table has cooking classes all the time. It truly is a lot of fun and all the chefs give you their secret culinary tips.



I know the sign says, “Spring is Here”, but it was still a little cool for Spring in Maine,  in April.

April 2011 261 - OUTSIDE CLASS


The Company Store and Cafe is where you can buy all Stonewall Kitchen products and have a great lunch or snack.

April 2011 256- COMPANY STORE


The Cooking School also includes a viewing area to watch all the products being made and packaged.

April 2011 255- SCHOOL ENTRANCE

Thanks Bob for a wonderful weekend and wonderful birthday gift !

April 2011 301 ME AND BOB


We made the rest of the weekend a mini vacation and had a wonderful time.

Here are a few of our pictures…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


And now for the recipe…

Apple Jalapeno Chicken Wings

I just LOVE five ingredient recipes.

2016-04-27 15.26.22- INGREDIENTS


  • 1 cup Stonewall Kitchen Apple Jalapeno Jelly
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼- ½ cup bourbon (I used 1/2 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 pounds chicken wings


  1. In a food processor, puree the Stonewall Kitchen Apple Jalapeno Jelly.
  2. In a large skillet place the Stonewall Kitchen Apple Jalapeno Jelly, water, bourbon, and butter over medium heat. When melted stir until uniform.
  3. Add the chicken wings. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Remove lid and simmer another 30 minutes, turning the wings several times. The sauce should thicken, but do not allow to burn.
  4. Remove wings and finish under the broiler until golden brown. Serve hot with reserved sauce from skillet.

Step by Step Slideshow Directions…

(starting with the 1 cup of measured jalapeno jelly picture)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And that is all there is to it. This is great if you just want a change from the usual Buffalo wing sauce.

2016-04-27 17.20.41- CLOSE UP


Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!


Please ask your family and friends to follow and share either on facebook or sign up for emails directly from the web page.

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

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


Note– Scroll to the top left hand corner of each picture for the white and red “pin it” button and add photos to your Pinterest page.


Recipes – Lime Chicken & Potato, String Bean and Onion Salad

2015-06-11 22.34.02- LIME CHICKEN DAY 3

Well, I am here with two more quick Summer recipe from my files. 

The first recipe is for those of you who love chicken but want a new way to prepare it.

Lime Chicken 

A slight hint of lime and nice crispy skin.

Serve this dish with a salad, a few wedges of lime and you are all set.

The second recipe is for a cold Potato, String Bean and Red Onion salad. This is great for outdoor barbecues when you don’t want a salad with mayonnaise. The longer it sits, the better it tastes.

I hope you try both recipes this summer.


Lime Chicken


  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (approx.. 3 small limes) & the lime zest
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (or more to your liking)
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp. compound butter – any flavor

2 lbs of chicken WITH skin and bones (either 4 chicken breasts or 8 thighs)


In a large bowl whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano and put all ingredients in a Ziploc bag.

Add cleaned chicken (WITH THE SKIN ON), seal the bag and turn to coat all the pieces.

Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator, turning once or twice for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Remove chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

Arrange chicken pieces, skin side up (try not to crowd the pieces), on a broiler pan so the fat drips away from the chicken. If you don’t have a broiler pan a shallow baking pan can be used.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and roast in the upper third of the oven until just cooked through, 30 minutes.

Change the oven setting to broil and broil the chicken about 2 inches from the heat until the skin is crisp- approx. 2-3 minutes – Watch carefully so the chicken doesn’t burn.

In the meantime, melt 2 tbsp. of compound finishing butter and when the chicken comes out of the oven, glaze each piece.

*I buy finishing butter in “chipolte lime” flavor for a little spice but you can buy or make your own finishing butter in whatever flavor you prefer.

Adapted from Epicurious

Potato, String Bean and Onion Salad


6-8 red bliss potatoes (depending on size)

1 lb. of string beans, trimmed (if the beans are long, halve them crosswise)

4 tablespoons of olive oil

4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp oregano

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Squirt of fresh lemon juice


I steam my potatoes instead of boiling for 5 – 7 minutes and then add the string beans to the same steamer- just keep your eye on them and remove from the steamer as soon as they are tender.

(You can also boil the potatoes if you prefer in 2 quarts of salted water for 20 minutes. Add the beans and boil for 7 minutes longer, until the beans and potatoes are tender)

Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the onion, and the warm potatoes and string beans. Toss very gently to dress all the ingredients without breaking the potatoes. Add a squirt of lemon before serving. Adjust all the seasonings to your liking.

Have fun cooking this Summer!

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

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



Diane put this post together for her followers before she went to the hospital for surgery.

She sends her love to all.

She’ll be back soon with new posts.

Butterfly Lunch With the Girls

140213114050-01-monarch-butterflies-restricted-horizontal-large-gallery- BUTTERFLY

At the end of this post I have included some recipes to help you prepare this luncheon including my Chicken Salad with Grapes and Walnuts recipe.

A very easy lunch to pull together and it never disappoints.

 Chicken salad with grapes and walnuts served on a croissant with a green salad and some fruit, and your guests with love it.

Now on to the butterflies…

For those of you who know me well, you know that,

 I Just LOVE Butterflies !

Bob and I have been to many Butterfly Gardens in South Carolina, Niagara Falls and downstate New York. I just can’t seem to get my fill.

To me, Butterflies are a sign from heaven and are good luck.

Here is a photo of a butterfly that landed on my shoulder at one of the events, that I thought for sure was coming home with me because it stayed there for hours; but at the last minute, no such luck.

(Click photos to enlarge)

October 2011 200- butterfly on shoulder

Since Spring is finally here, I am hoping to see more and more butterflies come back to share their beauty. 

I buy so many items in the butterfly theme, that you could say it is another “collection” (just ask Bob). I bought these butterfly dishes many years ago not only because of my love for butterflies, but because I just loved the colors as well. They are simple and cheery and I also love the scallop edge.

2015-04-29 15.15.01 - DISHES A

2015-04-29 15.15.37- DISH B CLOSE UP

Now on to the tablescape...I decided to use these dishes for a very casual “ladies” luncheon that I was having with some friends. You know the type of luncheon I am talking about, a little girl-talk, a little food, A LOT OF DESSERT.

2015-04-29 18.07.39- INTRO TABLE

Since the colors are so bright in the dish, I wanted to keep the rest of the table bright too. I chose a lime green tablecloth and napkins with simple clear napkin rings. 

2015-04-29 15.16.28=- NAPKIN

and then decided to use my orange woven placemats with a lime green charger plate.  

2015-04-23 12.39.26 -PLACEMAT AND CHARGER

For the glassware I chose bright aqua goblets.  All of these colors together gave the table a sort of a Tropical feel and very upbeat.

2015-04-29 15.23.28- AQUA GOBLET

I continued with the bright color scheme using my very bright yellow flatware.

2015-04-29 15.19.48 - FLATWARE

Along with the chicken salad and fruit, I wanted to have a special dessert to go with the usual cake, so I bought cupcakes and topped them with edible sugar butterflies and some colorful crystal sugar.

Between my love of butterflies and love of setting a tablescape, I was so excited to find baking cups with a butterfly design while browsing in Michael’s Arts and Crafts that I just had to buy them.  (I was so delighted with this find that I think I lost my breath for a few seconds in the store).

2015-04-29 14.08.24- BAKING SUPPLIES

The colors on the baking cups match the butterfly picks that I will be using in the centerpiece. It’s the little things that make me happy.

2015-04-29 18.07.05 - EXTRA BUFFET WITH CUPCAKE

I brought out one of my favorite items that I own, individual glass cupcake holders. I wanted to display the cupcakes at each place setting during lunch.

The sugar butterflies are so delicate, you can hardly tell them apart from the baking cups.

2015-04-29 15.55.44 - CUPCAKE CLOSE UP

2015-04-29 18.09.18- CUPCAKE WITH HOLDER

I had to give this centerpiece a little thought because I didn’t want it to be too high so I couldn’t have a conversation, or see my guests over the centerpiece. After shopping around the house (in this case the garage), I spotted some colorful flower pots that pick up the colors of the dishes.

(Remember, shop your house first).

2015-04-29 18.13.10 - EXTRA TABLE

I planted a few marigolds in each flower pot that would be bright and low enough for conversation. A few silk butterfly picks added to the flower pot and this would work perfectly. The centerpiece would be done.

2015-04-29 18.04.37 - CENTERPIECE

I chose marigolds because they are a hardy plant and since I have a “brown” thumb and kill every plant (except the bamboo-that is still alive), I figured I will have a good chance that they would last until the luncheon was over.

Of course I had to keep the theme going, so I scattered a few more silk butterflies on the table as table confetti…. I made the confetti from garden picks that I just cut the wire stem off of.

2015-04-29 16.08.02 TABLE CONFETTI

 and I wore my Butterfly scarf to the luncheon (I told you I love butterflies).

2015-04-29 20.32.29 - BUTTERFLY SCARF

Now I am ready for my guests.

2015-04-29 18.06.26 - BUFFET

Place Setting

2015-04-29 19.22.10 - PLACE SETTING

Tablescape Details

Tablecloth and napkins from Linens and Things

Butterfly dishes from Caldor (yes, I know, I am showing my age)

Orange placemats from Homegoods

Lime charger plates from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Yellow flatware from Christmas Tree Store

Aqua goblets from Pier I

Butterfly baking cups from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Butterfly picks from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Butterfly table confetti from Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Edible butterflies from Amazon

Individual Glass Cupcake Holders from Kohl’s by Artland Aspen

Butterfly scarf from Lord & Taylor

Flower Pots from the garage…

Marigolds from Lowes

Thank you for letting me share with you my love of butterflies and one of my favorite dinnerware sets. I hope you enjoyed the butterfly tablescape.

(Don’t forget the recipes below)

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


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Chicken Salad with Grapes and Walnuts

2015-04-23 12.09.07- FRUIT SALAD AND CROISSANTS

Serve this chicken salad on a croissant along with a green salad and some fruit,

 (PLUS a lot of dessert of course).

2015-04-23 12.09.24 - FRUIT SALAD

Below is a photo of what the chicken salad looks like when all combined.You could also serve it on a bed of lettuce.

2015-04-23 12.28.31- CHICKEN SALAD

1 cup mayonnaise (or ½ mayo & ½ plain Greek yogurt)
4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
5 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4-cup walnut pieces, toasted (or any nut of your choice)
2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced


In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to dress the salad. This can be prepared up to 2 days ahead.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the chicken breasts in one layer in a baking dish with 1/2-cup water or chicken broth. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes until completely cooked through.

Remove cooked chicken breasts from pan, cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, then cover and refrigerate.

When the chicken is cold, dice into bite-size chunks and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in walnuts, grapes, celery and dressing. (I told you this was easy)

Enjoy !

I hate the look of salad dressing bottles on the table when you are having guests; so I always dress the salad right before serving.

The recipe below is very basic and I always gets compliments. Nice accompaniment when putting goat cheese and fruit in your salad too. 

Little tip: If you have a hard time cutting goat cheese, use dental floss.

Homemade Salad Dressing for a Green Salad


3 TBSP fresh lemon juice

1 TBSP apple cider vinegar

1 TBSP mayonnaise

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

4 tsp sugar (equal to 4 packets)

1 very small garlic clove, chopped or 1 TBSP minced garlic in a jar

1 cup olive oil


In a food processor, blend all ingredients EXCEPT the oil until smooth…..with the motor running, add oil in a stream, blend until emulsified. Transfer dressing to a jar and keep it covered and chilled until serving, yields 1 1/4 cup… you can adjust the amounts of the ingredients to your liking.

 Some of my butterfly photos over the years..

October 2011 066- BLOG 1October 2011 091 -BLOG 2October 2011 092- BLOG 3October 2011 130- BLOG 4.

Myrtle Beach 2008 309- BUTTERFLY 1

Myrtle Beach 2008 429- bUTTERFLY 2Myrtle Beach 2008 635- bUTTERFLY 3