Whimsical Appetizers for Easter

My little Easter bunny niece is coming for the weekend and I’m picking out fun appetizers for the adults to enjoy during her egg hunt.  Now that Miss Bee is a teenager, I’m looking forward to pulling together ideas for a little one.

First are these cute, devilish chicks.  They are a twist on a deviled egg. The eyes are capers and the beaks are nibs of carrots.  How cute!  If you are needing to take a dish to an Easter gathering, you will long be remembered for these peeps.

Next, how delightful a platter of Tomato Tulips would be.  Just quarter grape tomatoes almost all the way through, then use a toothpick to attach each to a trimmed whole green onion. Fill a plastic bag with garlic-herb cheese; snip a corner and pipe into buds.

 

 

 

And, I think Miss Amelia would love to wake up on Saturday morning to a plate of Easter Bunny pancakes.  Only 3-ingredients go into these hotcakes — a banana, self-rising flour, and eggs.

All of these recipes were inspired from the latest issue of Good Houskeeping and are pinned to my Appetizer Pinterest board.

Just a Minute Centerpiece

I have an easy Valentine’s Day centerpiece to share.  You could do this for any occasion by changing up the colors of the flowers.

What you’ll need:

Carnations — I love Carnations and I think they get a bad rap.  They are fragrant, inexpensive and can go a long time without water which is perfect for this centerpiece project.  I bought three bunches at $3.99 each from Central Market.

Red Hots — I bought several scoops from the bulk bin at Central Market, or you could buy a large bag in the candy aisle.

Ice Cream Sugar Cones — I used nine cones which was one box.

Glass Cylinders or Vases – You can find these anywhere.  I just used ones I had in my vase stash.

I cut the carnation stems short enough to fit in the ice cream cone so the bottom petals of the carnation set just around the rim of the cone.  I put all one color in each cone.  As it worked out, I had enough to make three cones for each of the colors.  A rule of thumb, tablescapes always looks better in odd numbers — in this case three vases, three cones per vase.

I filled the bottom of each cylinder with red hots.  You don’t need to measure, just pour enough in each vase so it looks even.  Then, nestle the cones down into the vase.  That’s it!

The carnations went without water for 24 hours, and I put them into water the next day.  They are still fresh a week a later.

I styled the vases on top of cake pedestals I found last year in the dollar section of Target along with sweets we had.  My milk glass collection is always a perfect backdrop for the yummy treats from McKinley’s Bakery. The cute little chalkboard menus are from the Container Store.

These centerpieces would be so cute lined up on an ice cream sundae bar for July 4th, a baby “gender” reveal party or birthday!  If you put love into it, everything turns out amazing!

14 Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Fellas, if you happen to read my blog (hopefully on your own or because your gal says “oh, this? Mrs. Twist told me about it.”) I am sharing some deliciousness to make you look like a King gifting the Queen on Valentine’s Day.  Fourteen ideas…

One:  Sur la Table Cooking Class. She can pick her own class — maybe for a GNO, or baking, or perhaps she will book a couple’s night out class with you!

 

Two:  A limited edition Le Creuset pink heart shaped Dutch oven.  A splurge, but what a way to show her you love her not only on Valentine’s Day, but also when she makes Aunt Helen’s pot roast!

Three:  This is an easy one — Trader Joe’s Chocolate heart-shaped cookies.  They are a shortbread cookie dipped in chocolate and covered in sprinkles.  I took one of my Ikea jars (from this post) and filled it with a box of these cookies.  Such a pretty, inexpensive gift.  Add a gift card to Starbucks and it will be a perfect girlfriend gift.

 

Four:  Hurley House Cupid Corn. Katherine posted this beautiful pic on Instagram today and I knew it would be perfect for my list.  “Candy covered popcorn with sprinkles, packaged in a sweet single-served box.”  Call (817) 349-8934 to place an order for everyone in your office!

 

Five:  Mix Tape.  Kickin’ it old school.  If you have no clue what a “mix tape” is you are probably too young to be interested in Mrs. Twist.  Popular in the 80s and 90s before you could easily download music, you’d make a mix tape (i.e. the dinosaur cassette tape — or as Mother used to refer as Kay-sette) to give to someone you were crushing on.  But, now you could put it on a thumb drive.  Load it with classic love songs and you are good as gold.

Six:  Fizzing Bath Bombs from Whole Foods.  I love to go to their beauty aisle, it smells amazing. Lidded jars full of bath bombs and salts.  They come in six amazing scents — my favorites are Rose Petal and Muscle Soak. And you can package them in cute brown paper sacks.

Seven:  Microwave Popcorn Maker from Uncommon Goods. This little teapot shaped popcorn maker has a port in the top for a pat of butter to melt right onto your corn!  Combine with a good bottle of wine and a Redbox movie and you have a fun date night.

 

 

Eight:  Bird Feeder.  It’s that time of year when birds will need access to food because winter has arrived and soon springtime will mean nesting. This adorable birdfeeder how-to video would be a fun project to do with the kids.  Don’t want to make one, Wild Bird Center has a wide variety of feeders and seed to get her started with bird watching.

Nine:  Diffuser with Essential Oils.  I have practically one diffuser for every room in the house and I take one with me when I travel.  There are all sorts of oils available out there.   I prefer Young Living Essential Oils.  They are a bit more expensive, but they are pharmaceutical grade and the company really does set the highest standard possible with their Seed to Seal promise.

My favorite relaxing scents are lavender and jasmine.  I love Purification and Thieves, but that doesn’t really say “Happy Valentine’s Day” to me.

Ten: Sees Candy.  This “BigAss Elegant Heart.”  I mean I would fly to the moon if Mr. Bee gave me this.

Hello, lover.  I can do serious damage to my hips on this one, but I don’t care.

Eleven:  Professional Organizer Services.  I know this isn’t really romantic, but maybe after you present her with the BigASS Elegant Heart candy box you could say something heartfelt like “I thought it would be nice for you to have someone help you organize the pantry like you’ve been talking about doing.”  Men don’t get how organizing makes a woman’s heart sing.   My friend, Elizabeth, gets it done.  She’s helped me transform most every room in my nest.

Twelve:  Fun house slippers with a pedicure gift card tucked inside. If I could click around the house in these, I might never leave.  I mean one can never have too many mink, turquoise lucite slippers.

 

Thirteen:  Farmgirl Flowers.  They ship nationwide and only use locally sourced farms, not greenhouses, to create a unique bouquet.  Their signature burlap, hand-tied wrapped posies look hand-picked from the garden. Use code SWEETS for 10% off your order.

Fourteen:  Jesus Calling.  I saved the best for last.  Mother had a copy of this book in her room when I was going through her things after she died.  Mother attended church all her life, but I honestly didn’t know she was as faithful to God until after her death.  It’s something I regret not sharing with her.

This beautiful daily devotional lays out words and scripture that Jesus laid on Sarah Young’s heart. It’s no accident when you read your daily passage, that you will say to yourself, “How did He know I was feeling this way today?”  Ask someone who owns a copy of Jesus Calling and they will tell you the same thing.  Since Valentine’s Day is a day of love — why not give her a gift that she can use every single day from the person who loves her the most (behind you, of course).

So, there you are.  Now, go forth and get it done.  You have two weeks and no excuses.  Mrs. Twist saves the day.

Christmas Morning Pancakes

It’s time to start thinking about what to have for Christmas morning.  I came across a recipe for Vanilla Cinnamon Buttermilk Pancakes on Pinterest.   Hands-down these were the best tasting pancakes I think I have ever had.  They tasted very similar to the Cracker Barrel version.  Fluffy, with just enough sweetness added from the vanilla.  I love a pancake that cooks up with a slightly crispy edge.

Here’s a quick tip:  The recipe calls for buttermilk.  If you don’t have any on hand you can “sour” your regular milk by adding lemon juice – either fresh or concentrate.  This recipe calls for 2 cups of buttermilk.  I poured 2 cups of 2% milk in a measuring cup and added 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.  Stir and let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes before use.

The recipe is from my Pinterest “What’s for Breakfast” board.  The original source is The Chunky Chef.

Vanilla Cinnamon Buttermilk Pancakes

2 cups of flour
3 TBL of white sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter

Melt the butter and set aside to cool down slightly.

To a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Use a whisk to combine all dry ingredients well.

In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, vanilla, ground cinnamon and egg.  Whisk to combine.  Add melted butter and whisk again.

Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking and stirring to mix it all together.  Once it’s combined, stop mixing.  If you over-mix, your pancakes won’t be light and fluffy.

Set the pancake batter aside and heat up a large skillet or griddle over medium low heat.  Add a bit of butter to the preheated griddle and spread it out.

Use a 1/4 or 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop the pancake batter onto the griddle or skillet.  Slowly pour it onto the surface, circling outwards to make a nice circle.

Let the pancakes cook for about 2-3 minutes.  You’ll notice bubbles popping up on the surface of the pancake, if the edges look set, carefully flip the pancake over.  Cook another 2 minutes on the other side.

Remove to a plate and cover with a kitchen towel.  Alternatively, you can place the pancakes on a baking sheet and keep it in a low heat oven, until you’re ready to serve.

Food always tastes better served on Christmas dishes.

What’s on my Holiday Play List — and What’s Not

I start listening to Christmas music on November 1 each year. I just like the way it makes me all happy inside.  Growing up I played tunes on our HiFi stereo console.  It looked like a table, but you lifted the lid to access all the equipment and the slot for the albums.  I cranked that baby up, especially on Christmas morning.

I’m sharing some classics and new tunes that I like to listen to…

Christmas wouldn’t be without:

Anything from Johnny Mathis or Andy Williams like…It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and Marshmallow World.

Amy Grant’s Tennessee Christmas and Breath of Heaven

Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song

Brenda Lee Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree

Vince Guaraldi — Famous for Charlie Brown Christmas Time is Here (if you’ve never googled Vince he was a pretty cool cat).

The Carpenters Merry Christmas Darling.  I used to think this was about romantic love.  But, now when I am missing my parents it could easily be a song about anyone you are longing for at Christmas.

Stevie Wonder Someday at Christmas.

Pink Martini — all of their stuff is awesome if you want a jazzy track for background music at your Christmas cocktail party.

Michael Buble — His Christmas album is fab (well, hello, Mr. Buble).  I love his rendition of Santa Baby from a guy’s perspective.

Mary Did you Know?  I prefer the version by Kenny and Wynona, but Pentatonix will do.

Sarah McLachlin her Christmas album is stunning.

Sleigh Ride — Barbra Streisand.  Although this could border on one’s nerves if you are really stressed (see the first song on the “Oh, no you Don’t” list).

George Winston December.  Beautiful piano music for a night by the fire.

Paul and Paula – Holiday for Teens circa 1963.  LOVED playing this when I was little.  And, I loved it that my Sister Bee was also named Paula.  If you don’t know what I am talking about listen to their holiday hootenanny here.

This photo makes me LOL.  Hostess Barbie looks ticked at the fellow on the sofa.  He’s either being too chatty with Midge and Skipper’s cousin from Atlanta, Skeeter, or he’s had one too many Corona and ate the garnish off the crudite tray.   Nevertheless, I thought it was the perfect pic for what my face looks like when the following songs are played.

“Oh, no you Don’t” songs that make me crazy.  I hope we can still be friends if you see one of your faves on here.  If you wrote the score or lyrics, first, thank you for reading my blog.  Second, I apologize.  It’s not you, it’s me.

Mannheim Steamroller  Carol of the Bells— DRIVES ME TO THE BRINK. Seriously, if you need more stress added to the 10-foot long to-do list for the next nine days — listen to this.

Any version of Carol of the Bells — it starts out nice, but the over and over RING, RING, RING, RING, RING makes me want to RING my hands then someone’s neck.

Madonna and Britney Spears — Santa Baby.  Ick.  I cannot stand it when singers make their voices sound like babies or Jennifer Tilly from The Bride of Chuckie.

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.  No words.  Just don’t play it.  This was probably written by the same person that invented the talking bass fish on the wall as seen on TV.  Oh, and add a side order of I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.  Peace out.

Little Drummer Boy.  I’m sorry.  I know this is a classic and the boy even had his own animated Christmas show in the 60’s, but I cannot stand Pa, Rum pum pum pum.  Over and over again.  I heard Jennifer Nettle sing it recently and it sealed the deal.  Done.

Christmas Shoes.  I know this is supposed to elicit feelings of appreciation for what you have, but it only makes me depressed.  After the first chorus, just give the kid the darn shoes and a candy cane, open another lane, and move the shopping line along would ya.’

Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey.  I don’t understand why he has to be Italian.  But, nevertheless, it’s terrible.  As well as Nuttin’ for Christmas. I’m giving you nuttin’ for Christmas because this song is awful.

And I’m finishing the 2016 list with 8 Days of Christmas from Destiny’s Child.  OMG. “You know Christmas was made for chi’ren.  My baby gave to me a pair of Chloe sandals, a belly ring, a cropped jacket and dirty denim jeans (escusze me?), quality T-I-M-E, he make me feel so in la-la-la-la-la love, then finish with about 90 choruses of repeating “doesn’t it feel like Christmas.”  No. It does na na na na na not.  Because you just ruined it.

And to all a good night.

Oh, How Sweet: Creative Packaging for Your Baking

letLisa P. sent Mrs. Twist a question recently…” I need your fun ideas for gift containers for edible Christmas gifts. I usually use the traditional tins, but they are proving to be a bit pricey. I know you will have some great ideas for other options. I love to make lots of yummy treats to give away during the holidays. Less money spent on containers means more good stuff to eat!”

I hear you Lisa — ditch the tins!  No one knows what to do with those tins after they are empty.  Mine usually sit at the top of the stairs until the next time I go into the attic to put them away for next year.

So, I went to my tried and true for anything creative — Pinterest.  I’ve rounded up some cleaver packaging ideas that will surely make your baked goodies stand out when you deliver them in the coming weeks.

Brown Paper Packages Tied up with Strings

brown-paper-bagYou cannot beat a package of school lunch bags for the price (Walmart has 100 count for $1.96).  Brown or white is cute. Use rubber stamps to label the contents, the sentiment or who they are from.  Add twine, scraps of scrapbook paper and you’re done. This is definitely a kid-friendly project, too.

Here’s a great recipe from Pillsbury for Kitchen Sink Cookies that would be perfect inside the bags.

The Tin Man

loaf-pan-of-cookiesI love foil pans — especially the 9×9 baking pans with the plastic lid.  One year I made Red Velvet Cakes and tied each pan with red ribbon, a peppermint stick and a sprig of rosemary.

Using a loaf pan, this holds 9 sandwich cookies.  Wouldn’t a row of gingerbread men be so cute stacked inside?

And a Parchment in a Pear Tree

parchment-wrapped-cookiesMy next favorite thing, after foil pans and waxed paper, is parchment paper.  I think I started liking it from my early days of following Martha Stewart.  It’s economical and makes for a pretty presentation.

You could wrap four of one cookie stacked and use Washi tape to seal the sides together. I think brown twine is a pretty touch with some greenery from your yard.  Add this free printable from Nest of Posies.

Such a Chippy Idea!

pringles-boxes-wrapped-in-birch-paper

woodgrain-treeless-gift-wrapOkay, I think this might win the award for the cutest packaging. It will require a massive eating of Pringles, but who will mind that? Just dump the chips in a bowl with dip and take to the office or put in front of my teenager. Instead of cookies, fill with snack mix!  Check out this yummy recipe for Christmas Reindeer Crack here.  Container Store carries this beautiful shiplap version of wood wrapping paper for $4.99 a roll, and a 27 count package of Pringles is less that $9 at Walmart!  I think Chip and JoAnna Gaines would approve of this.

Got Milk?

milk-and-cookies-box

No description needed here. Here’s a great way to recycle all the cartons of milk we will be using for breakfast casseroles and bread pudding.  It looks like they’ve removed one side, lined with our friend parchment paper and filled with cookies and straws.  Very clever and Santa approved — I’ve heard he loves a cold glass of milk with a cookie or two.  Those tags are easy to find at all craft stores.

 

Mason Jars

mason-jars_galThey come all in shapes, sizes, and colors everywhere.  Walmart carries a 12 count package for around $9.  Fill with cookies, brownie bites, homemade granola, or hot cocoa mix.  I have something in mind for homemade gift this season…stay tuned.  And they are reusable, too for portable salads.

One idea to elevate the hot cocoa mix, is to tie a small bottle of Bailey’s to the jar for an adult “add-in”.  Check it out here.

I could go on and on, but I think I have rounded up some great ideas. Hope this helps Lisa P!  I am sure your tasty morsels of Christmas will be a hit no matter the container, but why not make it super sweet with something unique.

Check out all my gift ideas on my Pinterest board.  Make this Tuesday the tops!

Gingerbread Project 2016: A Sweet Way to Celebrate the Season

20161127_120106My friend Jessica invite me to be a “celebrity” participant in her sorority’s 16th annual Cookies and Castles charity event benefiting Cook Children’s Medical Center. Since 2001, the Gingerbread Extravaganza, has become a holiday tradition cherished by many in Fort Worth.  Be sure to visit their website for more information or to purchase tickets to the event which kicks off this Thursday, December 1 with events for all ages — children, tweens and a ladies luncheon.

I love a challenge, and of course the first place I went for inspiration was Pinterest.  Representing Home with a Twist, I wanted something special that told a story and represented me.  As soon as I saw this idea I went to work on my plan!

Sugar and Clothsugar-and-cloth-retro-camper posted this retro gingerbread camper on Pinterest last Christmas.  I grew up going camping in my parent’s motor home and I thought this would be the perfect way to pay tribute to my childhood, but with a modern twist.

I took my calling card shopping with me to find just the right fondant colors to complement my blog’s color scheme.  I settled on red, teal and white for the camper and pulled in the Kelly Green for the trees.

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This post is less about how to construct it because Sugar and Cloth gives you a template including the recipe for making the gingerbread.  But, I will hit the highlights in case you think you want to make this project.

  1.  This took 45 hours to construct.
  2.  I could not have done this without help.  While it was fun, it was intense.  Mainly because we didn’t know what we were doing and had to wing it.
  3.  Help was Mr. Bee, Miss Bee, my bestie, her husband and teenage son (who is like a son to me; I can boss him and he either tunes me out or doesn’t mind).  He was our engineer on the project and helped to reinforce the structure inside the camper so it didn’t collapse.  Bestie was the maker and baker of the gingerbread.  The husbands chimed in every once in while with tips or suggestions.
  4. There was a lot of strategy that went into this.  We had to think through each step, the “what ifs” and develop a timeline of what needed to bake when, what was next and we had to allow time for the royal icing “glue” to set up.  It was like mission control at NASA.
  5. We started on Friday afternoon and finished about 9 p.m. Saturday night.
  6. I took about 3 days to shop for candy and think of what I needed to make each of the parts.
  7. I kept having to say a famous phrase coined by my friend Terry…”we aren’t saving lives here people, we are just crafting.”
  8. No glue was used.  Everything was assembled using royal icing (which is made of powdered sugar, meringue powder and water).

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I used belt candy to resemble a Saltillo tile front porch — cutting out each section, arranging a patter, and adhering it to a piece of cardboard with royal icing.  I bordered the sides with red and green dot candy.

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I put Garrett in charge of creating the campfire.  He used scraps from the gingerbread, crushed ribbon candy and red belt candy.

I made the lounge chairs from scraps of gingerbread, belt candy and bestie cut pieces of candy canes for the base and lumbar pillows.  I also put bestie in charge of (yes, I did do things, but mostly I was the project manager and bossed people around) making the little packages around trees and by the campfire.

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We took pieces of ribbon candy and German candy called “hamburger” I found at World Market and bestie tied red and green twine around them to create the look of wrapped presents.  She then glued sugar cookie decoration on top like a gift tag.

Miss Bee made the Rice Krispie treats and shaped them into trees, a wreath and the shrubbery.  She also designed the Christmas trees which are sugar cones with tinted royal icing.

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I thought she did an amazing job adding the sprinkle accents of white and red to all the trees.  She free handed the wreath by the front door and adding sweet little white pearls.

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The wheels are discs of gingerbread with a Necco wafer and sugar cookie sprinkle.

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The best part is that the windows of the camper are melted butterscotch candies for a stained glass effect. Garrett placed battery operated lights inside so when the windows glow as if someone is inside the camper!  It was bestie’s idea to use a battery operated ornament necklace for the lights hanging around the camper.   Shredded coconut surrounds the scene.  It’s all just so sweet (literally) and life-like.

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We all agreed our favorite part of the scene is the snowman that Miss Bee created.  She used white chocolate malt balls and stacked them using royal icing.  Red gum drops cut in half were fashioned as the ear muffs, and an orange sliver of a gum drop his nose. A black edible pen finished off his buttons, eyes and smile.  We wrapped red twine around his neck for the scarf.  Raspberry candies circle him as the base for stability with his tiny gingerbread sidekick.   Isn’t he adorable?

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I’ve already started thinking about next year’s creation — I  just hope bestie let’s me come back next Thanksgiving!

What Would Holley Wear: Thanksgiving Edition

what-would-holley-wear-2Stylish tips from Holley today on What to Wear for the Thanksgiving meal.  Even the tote for leftovers is impressive.  Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m pretty sure one of the reasons Thanksgiving is the most popular holiday is it’s less stressful (unless you do all the cooking and cleaning up afterwards).  We gather together with family and friends to share a meal and to consider all that we have to be thankful for!

 

Two things you need to know about me:

  1.  I love everything about the Thanksgiving tradition
  2. …and I love sharing that special day with family and friends!
miller-tote
Sole Society Tote

Our Thanksgivings are always casual. Some years we “motor” to our hometown, Smackover, Arkansas! (true story…real name…Google it).  This year, we will walk across the street to share a lovely meal with our friends and neighbors, the Moses. I will miss my family this year, but the Moses are our family in Fort Worth.  They are a BIG family, they all live in Fort Worth, and they all come to the Thanksgiving dinner.  The first year we were invited to a Moseses Thanksgiving meal, I noticed all the women brought Tupperware containers to take their leftovers home. Brilliant, right?  That gave me the idea to bring a big tote — filled with Tupperware — to future Moses family meals!

So let’s talk totes!  There are many choices these days.  Three totes I covet are the Bazar Shopper by Balenciaga, the cube-printed canvas tote by Pierre Hardy, and a large Sophie Hulme tote. Unfortunately, these are not in my fashion budget, but the good news is there are many reasonably priced totes to choose from.  Longchamp has a lot of colors and since they are nylon, they are easy to clean.

madewell-tote
Madewell Tote

Madewell has a great selection of totes and you can have them monogrammed.  If you are crafty, think about making totes out of old blankets or men’s suits.  These would make fun holiday gifts as well.

recycled-blanket-totes
Recycled blanket totes

bubbe-bagBut, back to the Moses…for their dinner I have a few wardrobe options in mind. One possibility is to wear a pair of black skinny jeans, a white blouse tied at the waist, a long brown suede jacket, and black booties. Depending on the weather, another option would be a midi floral skirt, quilted jacket, belt and green bomber jacket and gray ankle boots. Though here’s the deal, whatever I wear will be paired with a black nylon Tory Burch tote filled with Tupperware…of course!  That way, if a little dressing or gravy spills out, all I have to do is wipe it off. I even came up with a name for my Thanksgiving tote, “The Bubbe Bag,” in honor of the matriarch of the Moses family, Beverley Moses (Bubbe was her grandmother name).  Beverley is no longer with us, but she always made my family feel welcome.  And for that, I am thankful!

thanksgiving-table-settingSpeaking of family tradition, I will always cherish the years growing up in Smackover and the Thanksgiving dinners at my grandparent’s house.  The way I remember it, the table setting was very elegant…china, sterling silver, linen napkins, and crystal. The kid’s table was either in the kitchen or the den, but still just as lovely.

sweet-potato-cups
Taste of Home Sweet Potato Orange Cups

We also dressed up which meant for me wearing a beautiful new dress made by mom.  The guests included my family of five, my three cousins, aunt and uncle who lived next door, Ma-Maw and Pa-Paw and Aunt Bessie (Ma-Maw’s sister). My favorite Aunt Bessie quote was at a Thanksgiving meal when she announced, “One thing I know for sure, President Kennedy and his family are not eating this well today.”

I think it was the sweet potatoes topped with roasted marshmallows and served in orange halves that made her say that.  Trust me, there was no wine!

floral-dress-with-bootsMaybe your family is like mine was “back in the day” and you get dressed up for your Thanksgiving meal and go to a fancy restaurant or to the country club.  So, please let me share some stylish suggestions that will even impress the country club crowd.  One look I love for fall is a floral dress with boots… so cute!  Pleated metallic skirts are so on trend this season and all you need to add is a bulky sweater and boots.  Even with your country club look, the whole idea is to look stylish but just not like everyone else.faux-fur-wrap-sweater-2A faux fur trimmed wrap sweater from Banana Republic will allow you to create an array of fabulous looks.  Wear it with a pencil skirt, a pleated midi skirt, or with tailored slacks and later with a pair of jeans.  All you need now is to accessorize it with a very large Bubbe Bag to discreetly take your Thanksgiving leftovers home!

Visit Holley’s Pinterest style board with fashionable ideas to get you ready for your Thanksgiving guests.

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected]  

Countdown to Thanksgiving: Bread

baked-rollsIt’s that week where everyone, including me, gets out tried-and-true recipes and also begins the search for something new to add to the Thanksgiving repertoire.  Over the next week, I’ll share some of my traditional recipes, with a few new ones mixed in.

First, bread.  Miss Bee likes for me to always bake Sister Schubert rolls, but this year I thought I would try a recipe I found on Pinterest for Easy Garlic Butter Hawaiian Rolls.  My thoughts were that not only would they be a yummy addition to the meal, but perfect for making turkey sandwiches later that evening or the next day.

Twist:  For recipes where butter is the star, I only bake with European-style butter. Plugra is one brand and Land O Lakes also has a great product. European-style butter has higher milk fat and a richer taste and creamier texture than regular butter.

hawaiian-rolls
The three essentials: Bread, garlic and butter

Ingredients

1  package of King’s Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, divided in half.

1 TBL garlic, minced

Sea salt flakes, coarse sea salt or Kosher salt

Instructions

Preheat over to 350.

Heat 1/4 cup of butter (4 TBL) in small skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles.  Add garlic and reduce heat to low.  Cook 30 seconds.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the remaining 1/4 cup butter in the bottom of 8×11 baking sheet.

Place baking sheet in the oven until butter is melted.  Remove baking sheet from the oven and place rolls in the pan.

Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut a deep “X” into the top middle of each roll.

Brush the rolls with garlic butter and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.

prebaked-rolls
Rolls ready for the oven

Bake 12-15 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Rolls can be cooled and reheated.

butter-roll
Manna from Heaven

Check out more recipes on my Breads and Muffins Pinterest Board.