If you love to entertain family and friends in your home, you’ve come to the right place! You’ll find simple ideas to make a memorable experience, from beautiful table settings to great do-ahead recipes! You can even go that extra mile and make your own home-made napkin rings to add that special and unique touch! So go ahead and start planning your own special occasion! You can’t miss!

Thanksgiving Tablescape 2015

The November issue of Southern Living Magazine gave me the idea for this tablescape! The centerpiece material is kale, lavender, mint, basil, cactus, radishes, carrots, cranberries and Japanese eggplant. The cactus are planted in a shallow dish and covered with kale. I put the mint and basil in aqua picks to keep fresh and stuck down in the kale.

Pears, pomegranates, persimmons, eggplant and cranberries were strewn along the table with nuts, and some silk flower sprigs. I made my napkin rings to match the gorgeous silk flowers that I found at Hobby Lobby! See my new blog for directions on how to create these lovely napkin rings! (napkindecor.wordpress.com)



Minny’s Chocolate Pie

Serves  8

1 package pie dough crust
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened chocolate powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream, for serving

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Ease the pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate and crimp edges decoratively.  Line the crust with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake for 15 minutes until set.  Remove the foil and weights and bake 5 minutes longer, just until the crust is dry but not browned.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, which the sugar with the cocoa powder, butter, eggs evaporated milk, vanilla and salt, until smooth.
  3. Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake for about 45 minutes, until the filling is set around the edges but a little jiggly in the center.  Cover the crust with strips of foil halfway through baking.  Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool completely before cutting into wedges.  Serve with whipped cream.


Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 24

1 cup chunky or creamy peanut butter
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine first four ingredients in a medium bowl and beat until smooth.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until puffed and light brown, but still soft to touch.
  5. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


Autumn is Here!

This ribbon napkin ring will dress up your fall table!  I lined the 6-inch piece of ribbon with pretty construction paper and stapled the ends together to form a circle.  Then I covered the staples with a strip of 1/2-inch ribbon, inside and out, to give it a finished look!


Hawaiian Luau Celebration

Here are a few ideas for a luau!

I take advantage of mixing fresh with artificial – here I cut a stem from a plant in my yard and hot-glued on some bright tropical flowers!


Your guests will feel the aloha spirit before even entering your home with this colorful door decoration, again mixing fresh with artificial!

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Palm tree bark can be painted or decorated. . . I love to recycle!


And don’t forget the napkin rings!

Crockpot Pulled Pork

Serves 8

4 – 6 lb. pork shoulder or boston butt
1 tablespoon pink Hawaiian salt
1 tablespoon Hickory Liquid Smoke

  1. Rinse meat, pat dry and rub with the salt.
  2. Place the pork in crockpot and pour the Liquid Smoke on top.
  3. Cover and cook on low 8 – 9 hours.
  4. Remove most of the liquid and save to add back.  Shred the pork with spoon or fork, taking off all fat as you shred. Add back liquid as needed to keep pork very moist.