Sculpture, Lilies, Silver

Just a little post to enjoy until I can share the AMAZING floral arrangements we have been enjoying in Bangkok. Orchids. Orchids. Everywhere. AND, Karen and I are headed to a private three hour class with the chef here at Anantara in just a few minutes. More to come! Until then…lilies-in-silver-service-ii

Recently I was yearning for a low, wide look for a few lilies I had on hand. All of my containers were too bulky for the task; so wandering around the house in search of something anything, it suddenly clicked as I entered my dining room. I borrowed pieces from my silver service and took them right into the sun-room and plopped them beside the sculpture by Jeff Kiefer. Set your silver free and use it all around the house!

Napa and Broccoli Slaw


Our Casual Post-Game Kitchen Buffet

Aww Lawdy. We had a VERY large time at the ECU/NCSU game and associated festivities this past Saturday at Ficklen Stadium….Yep, I’m Old School; it will ALWAYS be Ficklen Stadium to me, as My Sweet Dad purchased those 50 yard line tickets when it opened in 1963, and we are still enjoying them. Oh Yea! It was a fantastic game with lots of post-game food, games, and antics…shhhh…can’t share everything! Kicking off a slaw recipe perfect for any tailgating, post game, BBQ, or fried chicken dinner. Heck, this is perfect for any ole time. Go on…make yourself special and WOW your family and/or guests!


1 lb broccoli
1 cup mayonnaise*
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 t salt
1 t lemon zest
1/4 t ground red pepper
1 medium sized Napa cabbage, thinly sliced*
1/2 cup golden raisins

Cut broccoli florets into small pieces.
In large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, onions, sugar, vinegar, salt, and lemon zest.
Add cabbage, raisins, and broccoli.
Stir to coat.
Cover and chill 1 hour.

*I used Light Canola Mayo.

*May substitute 16 oz package coleslaw mixture if you are in a real rush!
Serves 6 as a light side with pulled pork entree, or 12 on sliders.


Slaw on a Slider

Chilled Corn Soup

Happy “After Labor Day”…which means fall IS coming and this heat will finally go away! As an appetizer feature at Peggy’s Mae Lew Farm Jubilee we served this yummy soup shooter! There is pure magic in these details. The rooster reminded us that we were on a farm, albeit, one glorious farm! Go grab some fresh white corn while it’s still available and make this great soup. It’s excellent for a light lunch as well. Use it people!

Soup Chilled Corn Chowder Shooters1 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
2 green onions, white and tender green parts, chopped and separated
3/4 t ground coriander
3/4 t ground cumin
3/4 t chipotle chili powder
3 cups fresh corn kernels (if not available, use frozen white shoepeg corn, thawed)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water
1/2 t salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro for garnish

Heat oil in skillet over medium-low heat.
Cook garlic, white parts of onion, coriander, cumin, and chili powder.
Stir until garlic and onions are tender, about 3 minutes.
Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes.
Transfer mixture to blender.
Add buttermilk, water, and salt.
Purée until smooth.
Chill at least 1 hour.
Serve chilled, garnished with green parts of onion and cilantro.

Makes 6 – 8 lunch serving sized bowls.
Or 20 soup shooters.Soup Chilled Corn Chowder II

Cheese Please!

I adore cheese…and if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. So grab a mixture of sheep, cow, and goat cheese offerings. Serve it up with fresh seasonal fruits, dried apricots and cranberries, and a ginger snap or two. Crossing borders here with Humboldt Fog, a California goat milk cheese, followed up with Port Salut which is a semi-soft French cow’s milk cheese. Also served here is Brenton’s favorite, the semi-hard Manchego, made from the milk of sheep in the La Mancha region of her beloved Spain. For this particular tray, I rounded it out with a Dutch yellow cow’s milk Gouda. Rather spectacular. This presentation was for the umpteenth* one of my Mother’s 90th (XC) Birthday Jubilee Celebrations. Appetizer Cheese Tray

  • Umpteenth literally means an indefinitely large number in succession. And that’s precisely how she celebrated this special birthday, party after party. Kudos to her…and us for the endless prepping of said parties! Self patting self on back…yep, that’s what my dear sister-in-law Su-Su and I are doing now that, after three full months, the celebrations are complete. Flowers and more yummies later! And that’s a promise, ’cause I’m gonna improve your future outcomes!

Decorating with Cacti

1 Living Room IINeed a really quick arrangement for a bare spot in your home for the Holidays. Tomorrow is Rush Rush Rush Day… So, stop by your garden center or floral shop and snag a cacti. Plop it in a ceramic, glass, or silver container…and voila! You better not watch, You better not cry, You better not pout, I’m telling you why…cacti, that’s why.  Easy Breezy! See you on the other side of Christmas you all.

Ho Ho Ho! Hope you are a jolly ole soul!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


IMG_6173“Don’t cry because it’s over…Smile because it happened”! Dr. Seuss, attributed. We danced through a busy, fun filled, love filled, and laughter filled Thanksgiving week. I hope you and your families had a blast and overate as well! See ya later Gobble Gobble. Santa, see you in a short 24 days.

First time getting teeth cleaned.

First time getting teeth cleaned.

We made a gingerbread house.

Making a gingerbread house.

We made homemade gummy worms.

Homemade gummy worms.

We made Mickey Mouse pancakes.

Making Mickey Mouse pancakes.

Loving with Bonny.

Loving with Bonny.

Flipping with Tony.

Flipping with Tony.

We learned about Elf on the Shelf.

Learning about Elf on the Shelf.

Caught a ride on GrandDad's shoulders.

Catching a ride on GrandDad’s shoulders.

Painting ornaments.

Painting ornaments.

Flower Arranging in Hotel Rooms, part one

From Phone 929Warning…I’ve done this a time or two…and a LOT this particular past spring and summer, all for joyous family celebrations. Jump along and take a gander. This was Brenton’s 30th birthday in DC. You may be wondering why I put myself through this exercise; the truth is that when traveling to these bashes I like the way my arrangements turn out a bit better than those of an unfamiliar florist. Now don’t give me that you crazy person look! Pic on the left is of one of my work buckets in the loo of our room at the fab Hotel Monaco. Request from the birthday gal…peonies and hydrangeas, also my favorites!

Another work bucket and 2 completed arrangements on the bench in background.

Another work bucket and 2 completed arrangements on the bench in background.

IMG_4815And here are a couple of the completed arrangements placed in the lovely courtyard of the divine Co Co. Sala, venue for the celebration.

The bar!IMG_4822IMG_4835


My Wedding turned Party Cherub!

Arrival at Anderson House, May 22, 2004

Arrival at Anderson House, May 22, 2004

Happy Happy Tenth Anniversary to Gray and Marc; It’s been a grand ride! Back I track… I acquired this little cherub thinking it would be used to stage a floral arrangement for Gray and Marc’s wedding dinner. But Lou’s creations were so fab that the cherub was voted out. So the embarrassed cherub was hanging out with the wait staff drinking her gin and tonic when Steve escorted her outside as hostess for the departure favors. As we waved Gray and Marc off in to the night she whispered “Thank you Steve”. And I decided right then that I would use her as a welcome at my home when I entertain and/or have family arriving; and that I do! She is stacking up more wonderful memories than she could have ever imagined that night as she proudly premiered at Anderson House.

Focus on the cherub please, not the 65+ year old bricks!

Focus on the cherub please, not the 65+ year old bricks!

Steve Dunn

Departing Anderson House


Mother (muth-er) – noun
Simultaneously the most difficult and the most rewarding job in the world
(See also: Saint, Superhero, Wonder-Woman, Love)

Well, yes. It is Mother’s Day Weekend, an official holiday. So I am selfishly featuring the Mothers in my life (self included…you bet)! And I wish each of you the best for the Mothers in your lives. Enjoy.

1 Mother. 2 Daughters. Me. Mine.

1 Mother. 2 Daughters. Me. Mine. November, 2004. Segovia.

Same Mother. Same Daughters. 9 years later. This past October in Istanbul.

Same Mother. Same Daughters. 9 years later. October, 2013. Istanbul.

1 Mother. MINE! 1 Daughter.

1 Mother. MINE! 1 Daughter. Me!

2 Mothers. 2 Daughters. 1 Son. 1 Grandson.

2 Mothers. 2 Daughters. 1 Son. 1 Grandson. 1 VERY Proud Auntie. Mother’s Day, 2012.

1 Mother. 1 Son (in-law, but that's just semantics!)

1 Mother. 1 Son (in-law, but that’s just semantics!) October 2013. Istanbul.

1 Mother. 1 Son.

1 Mother. 1 Son. Gray and Marc’s Wedding. May 2004. Anderson House, Washington, DC.

1 Mother. 3 Sons. 1 Daughter. (TD's family)

1 Mother. 3 Sons. 1 Daughter. (TD’s family) Colorado. 2009.

3 Mothers. 2 Daughters. 1 Son. 1 Grandson. 1 Great Grandson.

3 Mothers. 2 Daughters. 1 Son. 1 Grandson. 1 Great Grandson. Mother’s Day, 2013. BLURRY.