Happy New Year

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,

we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !

And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Happy New Year
I hope that everyone has a wonderful

Italian Cream Cake

Every year on my sister's birthday she asked my Mom to make her an Italian Cream Cake.
It is absolutely her favorite!!

This year I thought that it would be fun to make one since we were spending Christmas Eve together.

I found this recipe in one of my favorite dessert cookbooks, Southern Living Classic Southern Desserts.

It is so delicious and rich.

I added some candied pecans to the top to give it that extra something special.

Italian Cream Cake
(Southern Living Classic Southern Desserts)
printable recipe

For the cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

For the frosting:
1 cup chopped pecans, roasted
1- 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1-16 ounce package powdered sugar, sifted

To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Beat butter and shortening in a large mixing bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well.  Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.  Add vanilla; beat just until blended.

Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.  Stir in coconut.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.  Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.  Remove from the pans and transfer to wire racks.  Let the cakes cool completely (about 1 hour).

To make the frosting:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Arrange the pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring occasionally.  Let cool.  Chop pecans.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended.  Beat frosting at high speed until smooth; stir in pecans.

To assemble the cake:

Spread the Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting between layers on the top and sides of cake.  Garnish with candied pecans.


I've linked up with 

Merry, Merry Christmas!!!

What is Christmas??

It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.

It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal,

and that every path may lead to peace.
Agnes M. Pharo

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas and blessed holiday.  

Holiday Open House 2013

Welcome To Our Holiday Open House!!

This year I've tried to keep everything pretty simple and neat.  
I love having a little bit of Christmas in each room, but I've kind of scaled back a little this year.
(With the wedding planning and all...)

As you come through the front doors you are greeted with a view of the large tree in the family room and an entry table full of greenery, silver mercury glass, and gold leafed Christmas trees.
I've also filled the entry table with ivory candles and an advent wreath.

 Our family room tree is full of red and gold ornaments.  

 Fresh greenery decorates the fireplace with more candles.

The dining room tree is full of red, gold, and silver glass ornaments and candles as well as copper accessories on the table and buffet area.

I kept it super simple in the kitchen this year with a simple vignette on the sideboard and a small display of Santa's on the kitchen island.

I decided to also keep the decorating simple in the bedrooms with a small tree in each and a few Santas and greenery placed around.

My absolute favorite tree this year is the one in our master bedroom.
I used all silver and gold glass ornaments.

I love going to bed every night with the tree dimly lit!!

I'm so glad that you stopped by and hopefully if things can slow down soon I can share more of the little bits around the house (and a few recipes).

A Little Christmas Time Distraction--Can You Say Wedding!!!

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year.

I love the decorations, the food, the parties, the fun.

This year, I am loving all of it and a little more.

My daughter, L, announced that she and her lovely sweetheart are tying the knot.

We are beyond thrilled.

The only kicker--it's going to be in 3 weeks!!!

You heard me, 3 weeks.
(They decided that if they were going to get hitched that they might as well get on with it.)

So I have 4 parties at my house in the next two weeks and a wedding to plan!!

I'm not stressed, at all (said no one ever).
Hopefully I won't turn to this...

"L" don't read this because I'm loving every minute of it!!!

So if I'm a little distracted and not posting much, please forgive me and send a prayer my way.

(I would also love as much wedding advise as possible!!)

I think it's going to be beautiful and we have the most wonderful future son-in-law and in-laws to look forward to.

I hope that my stress level (and nerves as well as wallet) holds up and I can share the details.

Shrimp and Andouille Sausage with Creamy Grits

If you know anything about Louisiana cooking is that we like our food spicy.
Not so spicy that you don't taste the food (I've had that before
at a place that shall not be named trying to imitate our wonderful food),
but the kind of spicy that you feel on your lips and tongue.
The kind of spicy that heats up as you savor the food.

That's our kind of spicy.

This recipe is that kind of spicy.
It's paired with ultimate creamy grits.
(My absolute favorite.)

I eat grits almost every day.  
I love them.
I don't eat these grits, though.
If I did, I would be as big as a house (not that I don't need to lose 10 pounds).
Just sayin'...

Shrimp and Andouille Sausage with Creamy Grits
(adapted from Farm to Fork, Emeril Lagasse)
printable recipe

For the shrimp and Andouille Sausage:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 pounds large (16-20 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces andouille sausage, cut into a small dice
1 cup onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
4 scallions, minced
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons scallion greens, minced

For the Creamy Grits:
3 cups water
5 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups stone-ground grits

To make the grits, combine the water, milk, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil.  Slowly whisk in the grits and cook, stirring frequently so the grits don't stick to the bottom of the pan, for 1/2 to 1 hour.  (The longer the grits cook, the creamier they become.)

While the grits are cooking...

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil.  Add 1 tablespoon of he butter to the pan.  While the butter melts, season the shrimp with the paprika, salt, and cayenne pepper.

Add the shrimp to the skillet and sear for 1 1/2 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan and let it melt.  Add the andouille and cook, stirring often, until much of the fat has rendered and the andouille is crisp, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the onion to the pan and saute, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the garlic, shallots, and scallions and cook for 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and cook for another minute.  Raise the heat to high and add the vegetable stock.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Add the sour cream to the pan and stir to combine.  Return the shrimp to the pan, gently folding them into the liquid, and heat just until the shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes.

Serve the shrimp and sausage over the creamy grits and sprinkle with the scallions.  Serve hot.

I hope that you all like this recipe.
It's perfect for those evening spend decorating your abode.

Check back soon, I'm hoping to share pics of all of my holiday decor.
(Hopefully I will have some sunshine this weekend!!!)

Hi everyone!!

I would love for you to stop by and take a look at 

Also, lots of new candles, jewelry, and personalized items.

Come by the shop for all your Christmas gifting!!!