Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Family dinner in Colima, Mexico

Family Dinner in Mexico

I could not resist "collaging" the pictures from the
family dinner we enjoyed with our son's mother.
Family in the area joined us for a very tasty
dinner. We were served a delicious beef soup, topped with
chopped sweet onions.
What grabbed my tasted buds was the warm
recotta (Mexican style) cheese with corn and
small strips of green chilies mixed in with it.
This was served with tostados.
You know I'll be experimenting with this recipe when
I get back to Texas.
Senora Carmen Cardenas, our daughter-in-law's mother,
is always a very gracious hostess and sets a lovely table
in white for all meals except at Christmas when she uses red.
I cringe when I see specks of red sauces and spices which somehow drip here and there, but the next time we dine, the
tablecloth is spotless.
Pictures on my collage: top left: cucumbers and jicima with sea salt, lime and chili;
top center: our grandson, David; right: "nectar of the gods"-- the cheese, corn and green pepper; center: Carmen's beautiful tablescape; bottom left: L-me and R-Carmen (we both decided this was not our best pictures... we look much younger and slimmer in person ;-); bottom: L- Marcela, cousin and R - Carmen, our granddaughter

One amazing fact about these pictures - these rooms where the meal was prepared and served in were outdoors.
If you look above the table at the background you will see Carmen's fully equiped kitchen. She has another one inside the house but it is rarely used.
All of this furniture is outside year around. The weather is
conducive to this type of living... with the exception that July and August are truly very warm.
In case you were wondering about dessert:
cheese cake topped with dewberries
and also apple cake...
all served with wonderful coffee, cooked on the stove
with cinnamon.

Siesta time!

Today I am linking to
Between Naps on the Porch
Tablescape Thursday
Come for a visit!!

Show and Tell Friday at
My Romantic Home


Foodie Friday by
Designs by Gollum

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Old Ranch House to Party Home in Mexico

This picture was actually taken in 1995.
My husband was sure that we could make this old house
into a place for family gatherings in Mexico.

I could not see much hope!

Now this IS a great place for family get-togethers.
The bath house was added.

This is similar to a "palapa"... a covered area
for eating and visiting.

It's been the traditional gathering place for some of
our granddaughter's birthday parties.
In the background you see the "aquaduct" which will
soon actually have water coming out of it at the end.
My husband wanted this added for "effect". Great idea!

Here is the view of the actual house. It still amazes me.
We worked with a great architect and all labor was
done by some great workmen.

Rancho Don Pedro, named after my husband's father, "Pete", is truly a place for retreating from busy, hot days
on the farm in Mexico. We'll make a trip out there this evening for some relaxation.

Visit "My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia"
for Tuesday's Treasure
to see treasures galore!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Manzanillo, Mexico - Today!

Manzanillo, Mexico

I only have a few minutes to post and pictures are just
not cooperating, but just wanted to show
you a little piece of what we saw today here in Manzanillo.
We are here on business... so why not mix a little pleasure
in with a business trip?
Lunch on the beach was delicious... shrimp and fish!
More pictures to come ....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Eat 'til you see the little Mexican boy"

"Eat 'til you see the little Mexican boy."
Ruby Opal Heath Boykin - Mother "B"

Mother "B", my grandmother, had such unique ways of getting us to do what she felt was the right thing to do. She owned several bowls like the ones above. When we spent the night with her she would serve different foods in these bowls such as her wonderful chili con carne, soup, chips and chili con queso (always made in her cast iron skillet), King Ranch Chicken, or else cold cereal... which was always a snack and not a meal at her home.

Here is Mother "B" with my two younger brothers when we were living in California. Two of my grandmother's sayings were:

  • "These earrings are too big. I look like the lead horse in a circus."
  • "Now go to sleep so the little boys and girls in China can have the sun."
I can't wait to try out my new bowls.
I'll make chili for old times sake...
and eat 'til I see the little Mexican boy.


I found these four bowls today at a "junk" store.
Needless to say, I snatch them right up.
$9 for the set.
They are priceless in my mind of memories!

I'm barely getting in under the wire to help Laurie celebrate
Bargain Hunting and Chatting.
Give her a visit for some wonderful finds!
Thanks, Laurie.

One Tuesday I'll be linking to
The Gypsy Corner
for Three or More hosted by Tam.
Wait until Tuesday and come see what treasures have been posted.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Day of the Kilts

We aren't quite sure, but we doubt there is little to no
Irish in our heritage... however, with names like Heath and
White, who knows??? But my father had an affinity for bagpipes and kilts.  'Drove my Italian mother crazy out of her mind  playing his bagpipe records. My father loved this picture taken while on furlow during WW II. As you can see the picture was taken in Scotland. He was always a little embarrassed that he was wearing his Army-issue boots with his kilt. We loved to tease him about his knees showing and wearing a "skirt" but he took it good-naturedly and I enjoyed the twinkle in his eyes. What I believe he saw in the wearing of the kilt were actual warriors of a by-gone era.
Strong men who never feared battle.
That would be my father.
When my father passed away in October of 2008 I was determined that he would have a bagpiper at his funeral. He would escort my father's casket in and out of the church and then to the cemetery. He would have loved it!
I know he did.
Wednesday we will celebrate the "wearing of the green" and
we will eat Colcannon.
Believe me... here in deep south Texas it is difficut to find much that is Irish here, so what I know is only from research. This recipe is from a Tyler Florence show from several years ago. I have prepared this twice for church and it's been a hit both times.


Tyler Florence

3 lbs. potatoes, scrubbed
2 sticks butter
1 1/4 cups hot milk

Freshly ground black pepper

1 head cabbage, cored and finely shredded
1 (1-pound) piece ham or bacon, cooked the day before
4 scallions, finely chopped
Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

Steam the potatoes in their skins for 30 minutes. Peel them using a knife and fork. Chop with a knife before mashing. Mash thoroughly to remove all the lumps. Add 1 stick of butter in pieces. Gradually add hot milk, stirring all the time. Season with a few grinds of black pepper.

Boil the cabbage in unsalted water until it turns a darker color. Add 2 tablespoons butter to tenderize it. Cover with lid for 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly before returning it to the pan. Chop into small pieces.

Put the ham in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes until tender. Drain. Remove any fat and chop into small pieces.

Add cabbage, scallions, and ham to mashed potatoes, stirring them in gently.

Serve in individual soup plates. Make an indentation on the top by swirling a wooden spoon. Put 1 tablespoon of butter into each indentation. Sprinkle with parsley.



I have found a new friend, Kathleen, who has inspired me to post the very little
that I know about being Irish.
Jig on over for her

St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl

You'll be wearin' the GREEN
and joining in on the blog crawl for sure!


Check out

Holiday Haven

I believe in the sun when it's not shining
I believe in love even when I feel it not;
I believe in God even when he is silent.
                                                                     an Irish Toast

Update: Our First Real Irish Dinner
Yes, and it was cooked by a real Irish lassie!
We were invited to our friends' home for corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes. She also served green cake!
It was so delicious. And y'all will surely laugh about this...
we poured vinegar over the cabbage.
Who knew?
Well,  Irish do!
Thanks, to our dear friends.

Lucky Enough - Las Islas Weekend

We have a saying at Las Islas...
"If you're lucky enough to be at
Las Islas, you're lucky enough!"

Las Islas is a deer lease. It's a way of life in Texas and probably in other states as well. We lease the land from private owners. There is a season to hunt mature deer and it lasts for several weeks during the winter months. There is also quail, turkey and dove to hunt during a certain season. We also use our deer lease for entertaining and relaxing. We had some upkeep to take care of this weekend, so we arrived Friday in time to visit a little and get a good night's sleep.
Saturday was spent with my husband and another man repairing some water lines for water troughs for the animals. A friend and I spent most of the afternoon doing what we do best out there... visiting and relaxing. 
We enjoy cooking and last night we grilled tilapia for fish
tacos. We enjoyed a huge salad with that and a few brownies. 
As you can see from the pictures a javallina visited me. Their eye-sight is very poor but their sense of smell and hearing is superb. I had to be very, very still to get this picture.
I wish I could say I took the picture of the bluebonnets but mine did not turn out well. This picture is almost identical to what I saw. 
The picture of the men sitting around the fire is located in what we call the center court of the camp. It's the gathering place and many good times have been had here. My husband is the farthest man to the left. 
The cactus is growing and wildflowers are coming out. Soon there will be fields of wildflowers and hopefully we'll get the rains that are predicted this week so the ground will be blanketed with beautiful colors! 
All rested now and ready for the week. That's what a weekend at Las Islas will do for you.

I'm linking to Little Red House this Monday
for Mosaic Monday
Make a visit to see some beautiful photo mosaics!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

When the spirit moves you!

I invited my son over for dinner tonight, so he, my husband and I were enjoying a meal together. I had prepared chicken breasts with fresh rosemary, artichokes and then a serving of rice. A very simple meal. As we were having a pleasant conversation I looked at my MacKenzie-Childs platter, plates and cups and then to my left at a cute little Easter village building I had recently purchased along with two bottle brush trees. I had not decided yet where I was going to put the building. It hit me like a bolt of lightening that it all went together! I pushed my half-eaten dinner away, got up and immediately started "playing" with a scene that was coming to me fast and furious. My guys hadn't a clue what had gotten in to me... but I just told them that when the spirit moves ya, you need to act on it! Surely you know what I mean.... The men just shook their heads and kept on eating.

Hurray! I'm just in the nick of time for Show and Tell Friday
at My Romantic Home. Come for a visit!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Brown Transferware - I've Only Just Begun

I've just started my brown transferware collection.
I've had a couple of these pieces for a year or so,
but seeing a blog recently that highlighted these
wonderful dishes renewed my interest.
AND I found a place that caught my eye.
I'm hoping to get responses from other collectors and
lovers of brown transferware.

Today I am linking to
Faded Charm for
White Wednesday

And Thursday I will be linked to
Colorado Lady for
Vintage Thingy Thursday

Thursday, March 3, 2011

MacKenzie-Childs Children's Enamelware - What a find!

I love MacKenzie-Childs!
I've bought this set for my own grandchildren. I think they're so cute. A set today will cost about $66.
I have a booth at a consignment shop... which of course
allows me to spend some time shopping. I came across this set for $10.

This is the MacKenzie-Childs label.
I love it! (oops! Think I already said it.)

But don't you think I was one lucky shopper the day I bought this?
Now I call myself a "rescuer".
I pledge to "rescue" MacKenzie-Childs Children's Enamelware.
(Now I won't feel guilty with my purchases. I am actually collecting these for my grandchildren for a wall grouping.)

This Friday I will be linking to

Swing on over if you enjoy seeing fabulous bargains!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Curried Chicken Salad - Delicious!

Sherry's Curried Chicken Salad

Mix together:

3/4 c. mayonnaise

1/4 c. chutney (she likes mango)

2 1/2 tsp. curry powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 whole chicken, cooked, boned and cut in bite-size pieces

3 green onions, chopped

1 c. celery, chopped

White or red grapes, cut in half

1 small can water chestnuts, chopped

Serve with toasted, sliced almonds on top of salad


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Happy Birthday, Daddy!
You would have been 87 years old today.
Mother would have baked your favorite cake --
Chocolate Potato Cake

Your military days...

Here you are at the beach. You were attending the
reunion of the 7th Armored Division, of which you
were their historian.

Your father took you on many adventures...
such as lowering you down into the Carlsbad Caverns
in Carlsbad, New Mexico... in a basket!
It only led you to many adventures in your lifetime.
WW II, working and living all around the world...
including a trek to the Khyber Pass.

Here you are on the right as an older brother.
You two were always off on an adventure...
Living in a hotel with your parents led to
daring acts of dropping a cat off of a hotel roof
but not before making a parachut for the cat. It was just a trial run because you were going to try "flight" after the cat.
Watching, up close, pole watchers, cowboy and Indian side shows, early days of movie theaters and so much more,
led to only stories your mother would repeat.
It was a great life you had, Daddy. You showed us how to live with honor and respectability.
I miss you!

Chocolate Potato Cake
Temperature: 350 degrees

2 c. sugar
1 c. shortening
4 eggs - separate and whip the whites until fluffy
2 c. flour
4 Tbs. cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. milk
1 tsp. EACH: cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg

2 c. hot mashed potatoes (not instant)
1 c. pecans, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla

1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 egg yolk
3 Tbs. cocoa
5 Tbs. hot coffee

Cream 2 cups sugar with 1 cup shortening. Add 4 egg yolks and cream well. Sift together: flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add alternately the milk to creamed mixture along with hot mashed potatoes.
Fold in 4 stiffly beaten egg whites, pecans, and vanilla.
Grease 3 round cake tins and line with wax paper. Bake for 25 minutes. Frost when cool.

Today I am sharing my recipe at

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