Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Around Lolly's Table: Watermelon Season!

Granddaughter #1 wanted HER turn with setting the table after her twin sister set the Beachside table last week.

She went to the garage where I have everything stored and spied these glasses.  As soon as she saw them, she said, "I want a watermelon table!"  So we started here.

Then to find the perfect tablecloth.  This is a piece of material I had purchased from Hobby Lobby a few years ago. It's an ideal match for the base of the glasses.

Then she chose the rattan chargers because she wanted it to look like a summer picnic.  Then back to the Fiestaware which always has the perfect colors for any table setting.

Shamrock green to mimic the rind, white for the white of the watermelon rind, and scarlet for the red meat of the fruit.

She chose silver napkin rings and black cloth napkins.  The unique roll of the napkin is her own design.

I love how it all coordinates so well!  Did I mention she's 7??  

The finishing touch is an extra black napkin in the middle of the table (her idea) and topped with two pesky ants(!) and Fiestaware salt and pepper shakers.

I bet you're hungry for watermelon now!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Citrus and Onion Grilled Chicken Breasts

I tried a new marinade mix tonight. I had a package of Stubbs Citrus and Onion Marinade Mix in powder form which was easy to mix with oil, white wine vinegar, and a little water. I thought it needed a little more citrus flavor so next time I might add a little lemon or orange juice to the marinade.

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts  
1 package Stubbs Citrus and Onion Marinade Mix (prepared according to package directions)

Mix marinade mix and place in a glass bowl. Add chicken to the marinade and turn to coat. Let rest in marinade mix for 30 - 45 minutes in the refrigerator.

Prepare gas or charcoal grill. Grill chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  

Let rest a few minutes before serving.  I served with french cut green beans and yellow rice.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

My son-in-law requested a brown sugar pound cake for his birthday. I found one on the Serious Eats website. This recipe is simple to get mixed together and into the oven. I love to bake pound cakes, and I'm thrilled to add this one to my virtual recipe box. 

1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
16 oz. light brown sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl, cream butter and shortening with electric mixer.

Add sugars and cream again. Turn the mixer on high and run for a few minutes. The batter will lighten in color.

Add eggs one at a time and stir until just incorporated.

Sift dry ingredients and add alternatively with milk and vanilla mixture. Add nuts.

Spray tube or Bundt pan with Baker's Joy spray. Pour in batter and bake at 325 degrees F. for 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours, or until the top of the cake is set. Let cake cool in pan 20 minutes or so.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Around Lolly's Table: Seaside!

The three granddaughters spent the night this weekend and Granddaughter #2 asked if she could "set a table at Lolly's."  She's 7!  I, of course, told her she most certainly could. With minimal help from me, she selected everything from tablecloth to napkins/napkin rings, to candles.  I'm very proud of her.  And yes, she knows how to place the silverware correctly!

The dinnerware and glassware were purchased at Kohls.  The tablecloth and napkins are Food Network brand.

The napkin rings were purchased from Hobby Lobby as a wooden ring, spray painted white, and a seashell from the beach applied with the help of a hot glue gun!

And then these two guys showed up!

Take the time to get the children and grandchildren in the kitchen and dining room with you! You may be surprised at their talents.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Around Lolly's Table for a Birthday Party!

My daughter and son in law's birthdays are 10 days apart. We usually have a joint birthday meal for them with one year one choosing the main meal menu and the other selecting the dessert.  The next year, they swap duties in picking the main course and sweets!

Here's the table for this year's celebratory meal!

The tablecloth, napkins, and table runner are from Kohls.  The dinnerware is a Bobby Flay brand also purchased at Kohls. 

I found the silverware at World Market a few years ago, the S & P shakers are Fiestaware, and the tumblers are a clearance find at J.C. Penney's.

It's so much fun for me to mix and match and set a lovely table from things bought separately, sometimes years apart!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Dining Out Gulf Coast: Raw Oyster (and more) Tour!

While on our recent vacation to the Florida Gulf Coast, we decided we'd take a day off from the beach and ramble around and eat raw oysters all day. At the end of the day, we had enjoyed four dozen oysters in some form or fashion. 

Let's start with my favorite of the day, Boss Oyster in Apalachicola, Florida. 

Some of the BEST oysters in the world come from Apalachicola Bay. Not only are the oysters (both raw and baked) delicious, the presentation is as it should be. But more on that a little later.

We chose to sit on the back deck near the bay.

And let's bring on the raw oysters! Notice that they are nestled around in large chunks of ice. In Florida, even in May, you need lots of ice for these fresh beauties. Served with an ample supply of lemon slices, horseradish, ketchup, and hot sauce. And don't forget the unending supply of crackers!

Then we moved on to sampling an assortment of baked oysters. Three each of steamed oysters with butter,  baked with parmesan cheese, and baked with parmesan and garlic. There was no way to choose a winner here. We enjoyed them all equally.

And, even though, we were stuffed, we had to try the smoked tuna dip. Once again, a beautiful presentation. This was actually more of a smoked tuna salad than a dip with all the vegetables served alongside. Lightly smoked and incredibly flavorful.

Sweet Harold enjoyed his time at Boss Oysters!

We said goodbye to Apalachicola and meandered back around to the Indian Pass Raw Bar near Port St. Joe, FL.  

When you're greeted with this sign, you know they mean business.

An order of a dozen raw ones, please! These were large oysters and very tasty, but see what's missing?  No ice chunks.  Just oysters on the half shell plopped on a plastic tray.  Minus points for some shell fragments in the oysters.

I tried the seafood gumbo. A dark, flavorful roux, but a little more seafood would have been nice.

Because Sweet Harold does love a good corn dog......

We are, if nothing else, willing to take one for the Fleur de Lolly team.  One last stop at Shipwreck Raw Bar at St. Joe Beach, Florida. Bonus points for serving nestled in ice chunks. But there were shell fragments in about half the oysters, and these little beauties had a distinct briny flavor. 

We waddled out to the car content that we had enjoyed a wide variety of oysters and would be able to give y'all a fair report.  Hope you had as much fun as we did!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

4th of July, 2018

Just the two of us around today to celebrate so here's a picture or two of the table and our food! The tablecloth and napkins are Food Network brand purchased from Kohls. The plates and serving pieces are Fiestaware. The S & P shakers were an Avon product YEARS ago!  

Today's menu:  Pulled Pork sandwiches with Carolina style vinegar based sauce; grilling beans, and firecracker wings with ranch dressing.

Wing Wednesdays: Firecracker Wings

Happy Independence Day! What better wing for today than FIRECRACKER wings! The smoker was up and running with Boston Butts. When they came off the racks, I reloaded with chicken wings.

I found a new wing sauce to try.  Bulliard's.  It's heavy on the cayenne flavor, but not lip numbing. I smoked the wing until done, removed them from the racks, tossed them in sauce, and placed back in the smoker for another 20 minutes.  The sauce was thick enough to glaze beautifully onto the wings. 

4 - 5 lbs. chicken wings separated, tips removed
garlic salt
8 - 10 ounces Bulliard's Chicken Wing sauce

Preheat gas or charcoal smoker to a temperature of 210-220 degrees F.

Place chicken wings in a large bowl and liberally coat with garlic salt. Toss to make sure wings are entirely covered with garlic salt.

Place wings onto racks in the smoker.

Let the wings smoke for 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature is 165 degrees F.  At this point, you have a deliciously smoked wing. If you don't care for the heat of buffalo wings, enjoy them right now! But if you'd like to heat them up, remove from the smoker, toss them in the wing sauce and place back into the smoker for 20 - 30 minutes.  

Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing on the side, OR a bowl of wing sauce for dipping!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Dining Out Gulf Coast: Joe Mama's Wood Fire Pizza, Port St. Joe, FL

Y'all know when you're at the beach, pizza joints are a dime a dozen. Joe Mama's Wood Fire Pizza is NOT your typical beachside pizza joint. In fact, it was chosen as one of America's 100 can't miss Pizzarias. The hardwood fire oven was made in the hills of Tuscany.  The dough is made fresh daily and goes through a 48-hour fermentation process.  The tomatoes in the sauce? Imported Italian San Marzano tomatoes.  

We arrived around 6:30 and had a wait for a table of about 15 minutes. We used that time to attempt to choose which pizza we were in the mood for that night.

The menu includes salads, grilled artichokes, speck and roasted peppers. There's also a full bar. I celebrated the night of excellent pizza by ordering an individual bottle of Prosecco.

Our server suggested we order the wood fire oven baked chicken wings. Yes, please! Here's the menu description: Wings with garlic, parmesan, scallions and caramelized onions with blue cheese dressing. $10.00

A slight smoky flavor permeated these tender and juicy wings. All the other ingredients were the proverbial icing on the cake so to speak.  Make sure you get an order of these when you go.  Notice I said "when you go," not "if you go."  Okay, duly noted.

We also ordered a pan of freshly baked bread HOT from the oven. I could have stopped right there. I should have stopped right there.  Thankfully, my tummy overrode my brain so I could enjoy one of the best pizzas of my life.

The wood fire oven reaches a temperature of 800 degrees F. and can bake a pizza in minutes. Look at these pictures with the pizzas baking in that superheat.

Now on to the main event:  PIZZA! The pizzas are 12 inches and feed 1- 2 people. They are topped with crushed organic tomatoes and mozzarella/pecorino romano cheeses.

The menu lists a number of specialty pizzas or you can build your own which is what we did.

Crushed tomatoes, mozzarella/pecorino romano cheeses, Italian sausage, bell peppers, and LOTS of fresh basil.  It was as delicious as it was beautiful.

We shared a dessert: Pot of Chocolate which consisted of chilled Belgian chocolate custard with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. This was the perfect ending to this delightful meal.

Service was prompt and helpful. The decor was upscale but comfortable. You are at the beach after all.  The food was served quickly and very hot! I'd give Joe Mama's 5 forks with no hesitation!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Around Lolly's Table: Fiestaware Summertime Table

Y'all know how much I love Fiestaware.  Even though it's July 4th week, I wanted to set a table using these colorful Fiestaware placemats as the starting point.

Rattan chargers and silverware with wood grain handles bring a touch of the outdoors to the playful bright colors of the table setting.

Each color in the placemats is duplicated with a corresponding color for the dinner plate, salad plate, soup bowl, bread plate, and dessert/berry bowl.  And check out the Fiestaware glasses. Yes, there are those same colors!  A shamrock-colored napkin completes the place setting. 

As a finishing touch, I used the red water pitcher, salt and pepper shakers, and relish dish in more of the placemat colors.