The simple pleasures of home shine brighter
when the spirit of God intertwines our hearts
with His gentle Joy.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Roasted Chicken & Vegetables

Eating healthy is what's On The Menu this week On Crooked Creek!

A Summer shower combined with thunder prompted cooler temperatures on the Prairie this evening. Grilled Chicken became Roasted Chicken in a flash!

It's Roasted Chicken and Vegetables tonight On Crooked Creek.

Just a few tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to coat the bottom of my 9" X 13" White French Country baking dish.

Two chicken breasts sprinkled lightly with McCormick Grill Mates (25% Less Sodium) Montreal Chicken seasoning. Four small carrots washed, peeled and cut in half lengthwise. One ~  half red pepper sliced into strips and Onion sliced in rings. Season with coarse sea salt, coarsely ground black pepper, sweet basil, and parsley flakes. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes.

Remove from oven. . .

. . . cover with aluminum foil and let rest while you prepare . . . noodles.

Cholesterol  Free Egg White Pasta
NO Cholesterol  *  Low Fat  *  Low Sodium

Bring water to a rapid boil. Slowly add NO YOLKS stirring occasionally. Boil uncovered 10 ~ 12 minutes or until tender.

Drain and rinse with hot water.


Toss with butter and sprinkle lightly with parsley.

Now. . .
 where to serve that Roasted Chicken and Vegetables???

On our new Rebecca place mats and matching napkins. . .of course! I need color in my life. Reds, golds, and greens are my colors of choice On Crooked Creek. Many times, I cross the line between French Country and Tuscan Old World Style. The vibrant, rich hues give me comfort.

Layering dinnerware is a tradition On Crooked Creek. My favorite sage green scalloped dishes are raised to new heights.  For added warmth, I've placed my European Rostfrei flatware on the dining table this evening.
Tonight's menu is robustly hearty; therefore I'll remove the salad plates for this meal.
Although it continues to thunder and pour down outside the patio door, my Artland Chili Pepper dinner plates will reflect the amber glow of sunshine . Tonight, they will serve as chargers.
Rebecca place mats and matching napkins are from Park Design. Scalloped, round edges compliment the dinnerware.  
Wooden beaded napkin rings hold the matching napkins and compliment the handles on our flatware.

A simple centerpiece, Classic Majolica Handpainted Stoneware, a one~of~a~kind find at the Iron Star.  Enhanced by a vintage wooden lazy susan, the Tea Set is raised to well deserving stellar height. This darling three piece Tea Set was tucked away behind some Desert Rose China. I think it was waiting to join my Bordallo Pinheiro Collection, don't you?

 Close~up view of the back of my Classic Majolica Handpainted Stoneware Tea Pot.

Close ~ up view of the darling little creamer and sugar Classic Majolica Handpainted Stoneware.
A warmly set table to chase off the threat of storms on the Prairie. Time to fill our plates and give thanks.

Dinner in a f l a s h . . .On Crooked Creek!

Until next time. . . 

On Crooked Creek is linking to On The Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne @ StoneGable. Ladies if you missed this first weekly meme premier last week...put it on your sidebar as a must see!!!

Also, joining our sweet hostess Susan @ Between Naps On The Porch for Tablescape Thursday!Come see all the lovely tablescapes that ladies in the Land of Blog have prepared for you in this weekly meme! Inspiration abounds!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What's On The Menu?

What's On The Menu???

During our "financially lean years" I did menu planning on a larger scale. Trying to stretch meals for two adults  and two growing boys wasn't an easy task on one paycheck. Now that we both work and our children are no longer at home, menu planning is spontaneous.

I keep a well stocked pantry of basic food items and we purchase low~fat meats, fresh produce, and dairy items for 5 ~ 7 days at a time. Most of the Menu Planning On Crooked Creek is done to host an occasion or celebration.

This year "Mr. Ed" and I hosted the annual Father's Day luncheon. We were joined by our son and daughter~in~law to honor "Mr. Ed"! Here's What's On The Menu!
  • B~B~Q Ribs
  • Green Salad
  • Mac 'n Cheese
  • Croissants
  • Brownie with Ice Cream
  • Iced Tea

On Crooked Creek a Green Salad consists of Iceberg Lettuce
Purple Leaf Lettuce, Celery, Purple Onion, Fresh Basil, Fresh Chive and crumbled Bacon !

I prefer to chop all the greens and layer them accordingly. This makes enough for two. . .

. . .or keep layering  until there's enough for four!

 I often make a homemade salad dressing to aid "Mr. Ed" in controlling his sodium intake. We have found this Creamy Mustard Vinagrette to be an On Crooked Creek "House Favorite".

Creamy Mustard Vinagrette

3 tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
1/2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Minced Fresh Garlic
3/4 teaspoon Coarse Ground Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup Good Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salad greens for 6 to 8 people.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Toss the greens with enough dressing to moisten and serve immediately. For optimum flavor; keep the dressing at room temperature until serving.

I use white wine vinegar.
To keep it from being bitter, I add a pinch of sugar.

That's What's On The Menu On Crooked Creek for this week!
We're joining Yvonne @ StoneGable for her brand new linky party, a weekly meme, On The Menu Monday. . .

Please stop by June 26th for StoneGable's first On The Menu Monday for some great menus, recipes,  tips. . .  and more fun than you can shake a wooden spoon at!

Until next time. . .

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Son's Father. . .

Honoring my son's father, "Mr. Ed" on Father's Day was truly a delight!  We had just visited my dad in Fort Scott, Kansas and "Mr. Ed" said to me, "I'm not planning my own Father's Day celebration! You'd better call our son and get Sunday's dinner planned." Then he handed me the cell phone.

Our day began at 5 AM, Saturday!
So~o~o. . .
as we headed down 54 Highway westbound, I wrote down my menu for Father's Day On Crooked Creek. Then I called our son. No answer.

Setting a festive tablescape was furtherest from my mind.

No need to leave a voice mail message. Our son knew his Mother would be phoning at 6 o'clock to confirm our dinner plans for Father's Day.

I let "Mr. Ed" sleep in. . .no insertion leaf by myself!

A few minutes later "Mr. Ed's" cell phone begin ringing to the chorus of When The Saints Go Marching In! It was our son confirming the menu and setting the time for Sunday's dinner.

While gathering fresh herbs for the salad. . .

 A quick stop to our near by Dillon's Market Place to pick up fresh salad fixins, pork short ribs, boxed macarooni and cheese, brownie mix and croissants. All the makings of a dinner fit for "Mr. Ed's" festive meal!

. . .I cut  purple cone flower, fresh mint and fresh lavendar!

I'm an early riser. Good thing. . . otherwise I wouldn't have had time to prepare our dinner, attend worship, and have everything ready by 12:30pm! Instead of Father's Day dinner On Crooked Creek. . .we might have been visiting our local Village Inn!

Black, white and green are my favorite color combination.

Arriving on time, son and daughter ~in~law came bearing a card and gift to celebrate Father's Day with "Mr. Ed". We all enjoyed each other's company and shared photos of Grandpa's celebration and news of his well being.

Dining was buffet style On Crooked Creek!

But above all the ties of family and celebration. . .we were, after all, Honoring My Son's Father. . ."Mr. Ed".

Until next time. . .

On Crooked Creek is joining our charming hostess Susan @ Between Naps On The Porch for Tablescape Thursday! Be sure to stop by and be inspired by all the lovely tables from the ladies in Blog Land.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Going Green. . .Again!!!

Going Green On Crooked Creek takes on yet another meaning.

Green has various meanings. Recycle, reduce and reuse.
Reuse for going green . . . again!

Reusing heirloom pieces from our family gives us great comfort. As I place pieces of my MoMa's and my Mother~in~law's out for us to use, I feel their presence and it gives me comfort in our home on the prairie.

My past post Kitchen Cabinet Going Green! was about changing out the heirloom Narumi Classic Rose Fine China to my present day Bordallo Pinheira Majolica Collection. I placed those items behind the glass doors to give a fresh more updated look On Crooked Creek. It all began with our newly purchased green urns  at the top of the cabinet.

So~o~o. . .
I obviously had to move the silver coffee set and bring out a more seasonal substitute. This time of year, On Crooked Creek, our afternoon drink of choice is  C  O  L  D !!! Temperatures on the prairie can easily soar above 100 degrees on any given day. Hot coffee and hot tea are usually set aside until Fall arrives with all its vibrant splendor.

The wicker tray was acquired when we were stationed in Germany. Since our arrival On Crooked Creek, I used a dry brush technique to give it  French Country appeal. The inside of the tray is decoupaged with Sunflower napkins. Hence forth, reducing the need for buying something new and reusing what I already had.

The strawberry botanical print is a garage sale find for $1! Double matted with a wooden green frame.  At the bottom of the print are the words Fraisier`a Bouquets. P.J. Redoute`(on the left) and Fragaria. Chapuis.(on the right). The glass poppy print pitcher and vintage lemon juicer belonged to my beloved Mother~in~law and were used intensely on the Cantwell Farm in "Mr. Ed's" childhood. I added my cute little bee glasses for a whimsical touch. Faux lemons add a pop of color!                  
The green and cream linen runner is folded to drape slightly unifying the color scheme throughout the kitchen cabinet. I adore this new look in my French Country themed kitchen On Crooked Creek!

I keep a lamp for ambient lighting and for those rainy, dreary days On Crooked Creek! The wooden jigsaw puzzle, with a bee steep at the bottom and three bees trailing up to a Sunflower at the top, was a gift from my precious daughter~in~law and reads. . . Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadows. The red book titled, Key To A Happy Heart by Chet Stein. . .is authored by "Mr. Ed's" uncle of marriage to his paternal Aunt Elinor. My lifelong friend, Kay presented me with Apples of Gold in the early 1970's. Sunflower cup and saucer are from my beloved Mother~in~laws collection. A faux pot of primrose atop of wrought iron pedestal softens and completes the look.

The Kitchen Cabinet. . . Going Green . . .On Crooked Creek!

Until next time. . .

On Crooked Creek will be joining our gracious hostess Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday. Be sure to stop by for a visit and be inspired for subtle changes in your own home decor.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kitchen Cabinet Going Green!

It's true, dear ones...
the Kitchen Cabinet On Crooked Creek is going green!

Since moving On Crooked Creek, I've always kept my MoMa's Classic Rose pattern Fine China in the Dining Room China Cabinet. I adore MoMa's China! Fine white porcelain, pink roses with silver is truly beautiful.  However; over a period of years, my taste have evolved to a more relaxed style.

Kitchen Cabinet makeover following Christmas On Crooked Creek.

So~o~o. . .
after returning from our Anniversary Trip to Kansas City, On Crooked Creek is going green!

"Mr. Ed" & I enjoyed our shopping spree @ Nell Hill's Briarcliff Village Store and were thrilled to find these green urns in varying sizes! I knew the perfect place for them in our home would be in our French Country Style Kitchen and Dining Room!

Green urns sit atop the Kitchen Dining Room Cabinet.

If you're a regular On Crooked Creek, you already know that I love Sunflowers!!!
Indoors ~ and ~ outdoors!
"Mr. Ed" has a garden patch On Crooked Creek that is solely dedicated to planting and growing Sunflowers. . .just for me! Every mid~June, Sunflowers begin to abound On Crooked Creek!

Green urns are the perfect compliment to my favorite Sunflower print!
  Once the green urns replaced the creamy Italian Pottery Urns on the top of the Kitchen Cabinet, I indulged myself in an idea I'd been considering for quite some time. . .I removed the Classic Rose China and replaced it with my Green Leaf Majolica and Bordallo Pinheira Portugal collection!

Cabinet empty and ready for going green!
The plate rack at the back of the cabinet was the beginning for the placement of my single large dinner plate and the four salad plates. It didn't give me the depth that I was trying to achieve. By adding  an easel, I accomplished the layered look I was desiring. 

Plates placed in the plate rack @ the back of the cabinet.

Layering plates to give depth and visual interest to the cabinet.
  Continued layering and adding more green plates on the second shelf. . . I'm beginning to enjoy the change taking place in the Kitchen China Cabinet On Crooked Creek!

Smaller green leaf plate placed on a small easel to give it more presence.

With both shelves completed with my Bordallo Pinheira Collection, I needed to add more visual interest .

One thing we have an ample amount of On Crooked Creek is dishes!  Adding visual appealing vignettes to my cabinets has become one of my trademarks throughout our home decor.

So ~ o ~ o ~. . .
it was time to go shopping in the treasure trove of accessories and complete what I envisioned the change to become when going green On Crooked Creek!

My beloved mother ~in~law's green depression dessert plates and bowls!

A 1940's green glass batter bowl.

A vintage lemon juicer.

My only rooster French Country figurines!

My favorite "Giving Thanks" figurine!

I, also, added my green cabbage tureen, a wedding gift from the 1970's ceramic era. I'm really liking the going green look On Crooked Creek.  Here's another look from shelf ~ to ~ shelf  for you to see for yourself that going green is truly appealing!

On Crooked Creek will be continue going green as we showcase the tabletop of this cabinet in an upcoming post. Stop by for another visit soon to see the cabinet in it's entirety.

Busy Bea & Busy Bob bid you farewell On Crooked Creek.

Until next time. . .

On Crooked Creek is joining our gracious hostess, Susan @ Between Naps On The Porch for Metamorphosis Monday. Please stop by and visit all the inspirational changes taking place in the land of Blog!