From My Carolina Home

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Shrimp Flower Appetizer

With another holiday meal coming up next weekend, I thought I’d share a variation of my Shrimp and Avocado Roumelade appetizer.  I fixed it a bit differently and tweaked the recipe too.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

Start by gathering your ingredients. Remember my thrift store score of these parfait glasses? No one says they can only be used for ice cream. They are the perfect thing to create these pretty appetizers, just for us two.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

So, I combined the ingredients for the dressing, and split the avocado, shredded the lettuce and chopped it.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

Place the chopped lettuce in the bottom, arrange the avocado like flower petals, add the dressing in the middle.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home<

Then add the shrimp.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

You can stop here, and have a lovely appetizer.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

One thing I like is Bold Smoked Salt. It is a large crystal, smoky flavor salt that goes well with seafood and veggies. You could also do some fresh cracked pepper with sea salt.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

Dressed up or served plain, it is a festive appetizer that only takes a minute to prepare. It is perfect for a holiday or to make an everyday meal just a bit special.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

Enjoy!!

Shrimp and Avocado Flower Appetizer

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or smoked paprika)
2 teaspoons horseradish sauce
8 medium shrimp, cooked, peeled, deveined, chilled
1 medium avocado, peeled and sliced into eight slices
1/4 cup chopped lettuce
Optional – Bold Smoked Salt, Cracked Black Pepper

Mix mayonnaise with next three ingredients.  In pretty parfait glasses, place half of the lettuce in the bottom of each. Arrange avocado slices around the edge in a flower shape. Dollop dressing in the center. Add whole shrimp to the top fanning the tails out between the avocado. Optional, top with a pinch of bold smoked salt, or freshly ground black pepper. Two servings.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

Here is a download for you! – Shrimp and Avocado Flower

Do you have a quick and easy, special appetizer recipe?

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Easter Tablescape

Taking the Spring Tablescape from the blog hop to Easter was pretty simple.  I already had a good theme going with the yellow and green colors, and a few vintage rabbits.

Spring Tablescape @ From My Carolina Home

Last year I got these Easter crackers to have for the gals at the office.  But alas, the party I had planned to surprise them was not to be.  The little bunny faces and cotton tails are pretty cute though.

Easter Decorating at From My Carolina Home

I switched out the yellow flower plates with some really cute Easter Egg plates.  I’ve not used these, other than to set them out and photograph them.  They are a discontinued pattern at Pier 1, you all know how much I love that store.  No affiliation, yada yada.

Easter Decorating at From My Carolina Home

Putting the bunny crackers together with the egg plates and the setting now says Easter is here.

Easter Decorating at From My Carolina Home

I added little rabbit planters filled with eggs to the centerpiece.  There is one on each side of the yellow ceramic basket.

Easter Decorating at From My Carolina Home

The crackers will also stand up, adding dimension to the table and you can see their little cotton tails.

Easter Decorating at From My Carolina Home

Ready for an Easter celebration.

Easter Decorating at From My Carolina Home

Are you having an Easter dinner this year?

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Valentine Decorating

Valentine hearts finally came out over the weekend. I haven’t done anything new quilt-wise for Valentine this year, unless you want to count the red and cream Scrap Dance Waltz.  But I did put up a couple of things from years past. The pink candles came out to replace the Winter White of January. I need to do a mini quilt for Valentine, but once again this year I didn’t get to it. So I have left the White on White Mini Quilt up. Click on the highlighted titles all through this post for free patterns and instructions. I added the white candle with the pink rhinestone hearts, and a bit of glitter heart garland to the reindeer’s beads.

Valentine 2017 4

The Hearts Around Table Topper is on the wall this year instead of a table.  See this post Quilting Hearts Around to see how to deal with a stray dark thread under a light fabric.

Valentine 2017 5

Over in the dining room, I put another Valentine Hearts Wall Hanging using it as a table topper.  Red candles replaced the white ones, and I added some glitter heart garland over the painted white pine cones.

Valentine 2017 2

We don’t plan any dinner parties before Valentines, but I wanted to use the red napkin rings I just found at the thrift store. So I put red napkins in them, and set them around the table just for show. I’m sure there will be an opportunity to use them with all kinds of seasonal tablescapes later, so you’ll likely see them again.  It makes a nice view coming down the stairs in the mornings.

Valentine 2017 1

This sweet little wall hanging is a table topper this year.  I don’t have a pattern for this one, it was a block of the month at quilt club some years ago.  It is sweet, with the heart shaped applique heart flowers, with buttons and stems, bordered in heart fabric.

Valentine 2017 6

Make a wool applique Valentine Penny Rug.

finishedone

Maybe you can have a Valentine Breakfast this coming weekend. Here’s my breakfast table from a couple of years back, with the pink Cherry Blossom depression glass plates.

Valentine Breakfast 4

I served Popovers with Black Cherry Creme (recipe here)…

Popovers 28

Make some Valentine cards to send to your family and well loved friends.

Valentine Cards 2015 - 8

I have been reluctant to take down my Paris inspired tablescape (Romantic Dinner for Two) because it says romance to me more than the red hearts do right now. Just having it out, with the Eiffel Tower, brought back wonderful memories of our trip to Paris years ago, and we reminisced about it last weekend. We stayed in a quaint hotel on the sixth (top) floor with a gorgeous view of the city from the beautiful stonework rooftop balcony off our room. It was just off the Champs-Elysées, right around the corner from a charming café where I got to practice my French and order breakfast each day.  It was an enchanting time.

Romantic Dinner for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

What are your plans for Valentine’s this year?

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Christmas Wreaths

My Christmas wreath from last year was a winter style, suitable for leaving out all winter.  But, the ribbon was really sad, so I turned it into a fall wreath for this year.  Of course that meant I had to do another one for Christmas. I scored a box full of glass balls and gold wire edged ribbon at an estate sale, so that meant I had everything I needed for a wonderful wreath. I start with a grapevine base.

Christmas Wreaths ~ From My Carolina Home

This time, I set the bow at an angle on the upper left side. Starting with the streamers I cut them long so they would reach across the wreath and have enough for some pretty twists.

Christmas Wreaths ~ From My Carolina Home

I made the bow and secured it with wire, adding a bit of hot glue to make it stable.  Click on Bows for a refresher on how to do these big bows.

Christmas Wreaths ~ From My Carolina Home

Good start. I glued the ends of the streamers to the wreath so they would keep their shape.

Christmas Wreaths ~ From My Carolina Home

I added some glass balls for shine in silver and gold.

Christmas Wreaths ~ From My Carolina Home

Then some greenery was added.

Christmas Wreaths ~ From My Carolina Home

I had a box of small pine cones with some gold and silver accents, so I got those out next. The small cones are perfect for this wreath.

Christmas Wreaths ~ From My Carolina Home

So, I just kept adding more and more, filling in all the bare spots.

Christmas Wreaths ~ From My Carolina Home

A bit of red here and there breaks up all the metallic hues.

Christmas Wreaths ~ From My Carolina Home

All done. Of course, once I was done, I realized that my MIL would love it. So, I decided I would send it home with her after her visit. At least this time it could ride home with her in the back seat of the car.  Shipping it with those delicate ball ornaments would likely be a disaster.

Christmas Wreaths ~ From My Carolina Home

DH hung it on her door when they got back to her home in Georgia.

img_1135

So you know what that meant, don’t you? I had to make another one! Out came the gold wire edge ribbon again, and I selected this one.

Christmas Wreaths ~ From My Carolina Home

I added some picks with red velvet ribbon and pine cones.

Christmas Wreaths ~ From My Carolina Home

A few more gold pine cones add a bit of shine to the wreath this time too.

Christmas Wreaths ~ From My Carolina Home

Now, this one is done too. I like the way it looks hanging on the front of the house.  Christmas cheer for our visitors to enjoy, and us too as we come home each day.

Christmas Wreaths ~ From My Carolina Home

Do you have a holiday wreath this year?

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a joyful holiday weekend!  I wanted to share again my Thanksgiving post from two years ago about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, as the great majority of readers haven’t seen it.  It really feels like the holidays are beginning when this day comes each year, my favorite holiday. I always wake up with much anticipation for the day. After making a pot of coffee, I’ll enjoy it while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I have been spending the holiday morning doing this for many years. Seeing Tom Turkey kick off the parade is exciting every time!

TomTurkey©Macy’s, Inc

Did you know that they use the same floats year after year as well as balloons? Each year, some are the same, and some are reworked into something new. I think my favorite float would have to be the Marion-Carole Showboat float which has been in the parade more than 35 years. It is one of the few times I have seen my name on something spelled with the E! Usually the performer on that float is one I like to see. The Big Apple float is also a favorite.

MarionCarole BigApple

©Macy’s, Inc

Sometimes the balloons get a change of clothes. In 1946 Harold was a baseball player, and had a role in the 1947 release of Miracle on 34th Street. At another time, the same balloon was a Harold the Fireman. The Macy’s Parade website says this was 1948. But, the same site says the baseball player was 1949, when we know it was 1946 because of the movie.

HaroldBallplayer HaroldFireman

©Macy’s, Inc

The scenes of the parade in the movie were made in 1946, the year before it was released, with the actual parade seen through the window! They had to time the scene to correspond with the appearance of the baseball player to match the script. Plus, all the parade scenes had to be shot that morning, as doing them over wasn’t possible.

Natalie-Wood-and-John-Payne-watching-parade©Twentieth Century Fox

Edmund Gwenn was really the Macy’s Santa Claus in 1946 so the scenes could be shot with him in them. I love this version of Miracle on 34th Street, and I’ll watch it sometime this weekend. None of the remakes have even come close.

EdmundGwynn©Macy’s, Inc

Santa©Twentieth Century Fox

Snoopy is a classic too.

snoopy ©Macy’s, Inc

They even have floats perfect for foodies! The one on the left is by Lindt called The Enchanting World of Chocolate. And on the right is Domino Sugar’s Stirrin’ Up Sweet Sensations.

WorldChocolate Sugar

©Macy’s, Inc

And more floats!!

Celebearation CentralPark

Sesame 83rd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

©Macy’s, Inc

A couple of years ago I started a Pinterest board to save pictures of the iconic parade – Thanksgiving Parade!! I wish I could share more of them on the blog, but you’ll just have to go to the link to see them. There are images pinned from before WWII, modern images, and even some from Miracle on 34th Street. Images I have used here are from the Macy’s media release, and are used with permission.

The holidays are now officially on, so I wish you all a very merry season!  Happy Thanksgiving!


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Busy Busy

Today is going to be a day of fun.  It is prep day for Thanksgiving, and I plan to get in a bit of sewing too. I know not everyone has the day off to do some advance cooking, but those of us that do can get a head start.  Usually I would only have a half day off, so this is a luxury!  Today I’ll be making several things, starting with some Apple Cinnamon scones. DH cannot get enough cinnamon, so I’ll bake for his holiday breakfast today.

Scones

Then while the oven is hot, I’ll cube up all these bread ends and bits saved in the freezer for the dressing. I really do like to make my own from a variety of breads we have eaten over the past few months. There are ends of loaves of sourdough, oatmeal, multi-grain and hearty white breads. I can always add a bit of the bagged dried bread cubes if I don’t have enough. These came out of the freezer to thaw out before I cut them up and toast them.

Stuffing

I’ll add leeks, onions and mushrooms sauteed in olive oil, along with sage, oregano, thyme, marjoram, garlic, chicken broth, and whatever else in the spice cabinet strikes my fancy at that moment. Sometimes I add sausage to it, and I do have some in the frig. I can’t decide whether to do that, or make sausage balls for snacking during the day. Or just make sausage for breakfast. Maybe breakfast. Anyway, after that, I’ll bake off the sourdough rolls so all they will need tomorrow is warming up. Then the little bitty pie I got for DH needs to be baked today, too.

Later in the afternoon, out will come the turkey, to be cleaned and put into the brine overnight.  If you have never done this, it is easy and really makes a Moist Succulent Turkey.

Brining Turkey - 1

After all that, I expect the frig to look something like this again, LOL!!

Brining Turkey - 6

It is supposed to be grey again today, the smoke is really bad. Yesterday it was so thick from a new wildfire in McDowell county (arson!!), that none of the valley was visible. The closed garage smelled like wood smoke, and so did the sun room. I had forgotten to close a window out there. I am hoping that the front coming in will bring rain, but the chance is small. But a grey day is perfect for sewing, so I’ll attack more of these half square triangles for Scrap Dance Waltz. After Sunday marking, I paired them all up with their scrappy squares so I could sew yesterday.

Sewing Scrap Dance Waltz HSTs ~ From My Carolina Home

I got all of the HSTs sewn, chain piecing for speed.

Sewing Scrap Dance Waltz HSTs ~ From My Carolina Home

Some have even been squared up! There are 348 HST units here. I won’t square all of them at once, some will need to wait for a bit so I can get started on the blocks. I still need to cut the remaining 2-1/2 inch squares of both the scrappy reds and background so I’ll meet my monthly goal.

Sewing Scrap Dance Waltz HSTs ~ From My Carolina Home

But I should get enough done today to get at least a few Block A’s sewn over the long weekend so I can do the process post next Wednesday.

How are you spending your day, this day before Thanksgiving?


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Pumpkin Orange Bread

Autumn is the ideal time for pumpkin recipes, and I have a great one for you today.  This pumpkin bread is a bit different, with a brighter more pumpkin-y flavor.   Some years ago I made pumpkin bread using a standard recipe with ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon – really it was a pumpkin spice bread.  I just don’t care for ginger, so I started leaving that out and (to make cinnamon freak DH happy) doubling the cinnamon.  But with cloves and nutmeg and cinnamon, it is still a pumpkin spice flavor.  I wanted to have more of a brighter pumpkin flavor, and I think I have it with this recipe.

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

This bread has a fine, moist crumb, a nice crisp crust, and a more intense pumpkin flavor. The secret is reducing the spices, and adding orange zest.  The zest brightens the pumpkin flavor without taking it over.

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

So here is your method.  Gather your ingredients. My other secret ingredient is using part brown sugar.

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

Combine flour, sugars, spices, and leavening in a bowl. Sift or stir until no lumps from the sugars remain.

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

Grate one orange rind, then finely chop the zest.

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

You need about two tablespoons of zest, give or take a smidgen.

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

Add the zest to the flour mixture and mix in.

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

Measure the oil, add the eggs and beat slightly.

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home<

Add the egg-oil mixture and the pumpkin to the dry ingredients, all at once.

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

With a wooden spoon, stir the mixture gently until fully combined, scraping the bottom often to incorporate all the dry ingredients.

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

Pour into 2 loaf pans sprayed with no-stick cooking spray.

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, until the loaves spring back when lightly pressed in the center. Let cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then turn out loaves onto cooling racks and allow to cool.

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

Optional, if you like a glaze, use the orange juice with a little powdered sugar to make a glaze, drizzle over the bread after it has cooled. But, it really doesn’t need it, it is moist and delicious on its own.

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

This freezes very well.  I use zipper style bags for the ones I freeze for us.  Friends love getting a loaf of this bread for gifts!  Put into a decorative bag, and dress up with a pretty bow.

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

Are you getting hungry yet?

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

Serve a warm slice, just because you can! I love the end pieces.

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

Pumpkin Orange Bread

3 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 orange, finely chopped
2/3 cup canola oil
3 eggs
1 15-ounce can pureed pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare two loaf pans by spraying with no-stick spray. Combine flour, and next seven ingredients in a bowl. Sift or stir until no lumps from the sugars remain.  Grate one orange, then finely chop the zest. Measure the oil, add the eggs and beat slightly. Add the egg-oil mixture and the pumpkin to the dry ingredients. With a wooden spoon, stir the mixture gently until fully combined, scraping the bottom often to incorporate all the dry ingredients. Pour into 2 loaf pans sprayed with no-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, until the loaves spring back when lightly pressed in the center.  Let cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then turn out loaves onto cooling racks and allow to cool.  Serve warm for a wonderful treat.  Glaze if desired.

Download the PDF file recipe – Pumpkin-Orange-Bread

Pumpkin Orange Bread ~ From My Carolina Home

I’ll bake a half dozen loaves of pumpkin bread between now and Thanksgiving, DH really likes it this time of year.  As you may have guessed, he likes it with a lot of cinnamon, LOL, but I dialed it back a bit so the orange zest could brighten the flavor.  A little variety is a wonderful thing!  Do you enjoy pumpkin bread?

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