Tomato Flower Tutorial

Sometimes you want something special to garnish a salad that you’ve made. This tomato flower is an easy one to make and looks spectacular on a potato salad or any fresh vegetable salad. It only takes about 3 minutes to make. Let me show you how easy it is. Tomato Flower   grandparentsplus.com

First, using a sharp knife, cut a 5 or 6 point star on the bottom of the tomato. Slice just a bit off of the cut to make it show up more.

Tomato Flower grandparentspus.com

 

Next, between each of the five points, slice down the side just slicing the skin with a little of the tomato meat.

Tomato Flower   grandparentsplus.com

 

Finally, press each petal out gently. Add a few greens for leaves and you are done!

Wasn’t that quick and easy?  Won’t this tomato flower look lovely on a vegetable plate or on top of a fresh veggie salad?

Tomato Flower Tutorial  grandparentsplus.com

Try it!

Phyllis

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Peach Hazelnut Bars

Take a crunchy oatmeal crust along with a peach-hazelnut flavored center and you have  wonderful Peach Hazelnut Bars that you’ll absolutely love! They are light and very flavorful along with quick and easy to prepare. It takes only 20 min. of prep to make these bars.  Now, if you happen to have any leftover, they freeze well, too!

Peach Hazelnut Bars grandparentsplus.com

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup butter

18 oz. jar of peach preserves (or approx. 2 cups)

3-4 tablespoons hazelnut syrup (coffee flavoring)

Chopped hazelnuts or pecans (optional)

Glaze:

1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar

3-5 tablespoons hazelnut coffee creamer

Chopped pecans

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients together and stir in oats, sugar and cinnamon.

Cut in butter until crumbly

Pat 2/3 of crumbs in a 9×13 cake pan

Spread Peach Preserves mixed with hazelnut flavoring over the crust

Sprinkle with remaining crumbs

Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 30-35 min

Cool slightly and mix glaze together

Drizzle glaze over slightly warm bars and top with chopped pecans or hazelnuts (if desired)

Cool completely and cut into bars –  Approx 2 1/2 dozen bars

Peach Hazelnut Bars   grandparentsplus.com

I know you’ll love these bars!

Peach Hazelnut Bars  grandparentsplus.com

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Eggs Santa Fe

Don’t like soggy bread? Then, this recipe is just right for you. Eggs Santa Fe is another non-bread  brunch recipe that is awesome. This one uses cottage cheese in the recipe! It results in making Eggs Santa Fe light and fluffy.

Eggs Santa Fe   grandparentsplus.com

Ingredients:

10 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

2 cups cottage cheese (16 oz.)

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/4 cup butter melted

2 cans (4 oz.) chopped green chilies (your choice on how “hot” you want)

 

Directions:

Grease a 9×13 pan.

Beat eggs, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and stir in eggs. Add cheese, butter and chilies. Pour into greased  pan and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with salsa.

Eggs Santa Fe  grandparentsplus.com

No need to keep this in the refrigerator overnight. It is very quick to put together in the morning. Make it as spicy as you like by using mild or hot green chilies.

Leftovers freeze well. Microwave individually for a quick breakfast.

Keep this recipe for Eggs Santa Fe in your file under “great egg bakes”!

Other great egg bakes are Amish Egg Bake and Eggs Ortega

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Lamb Placesetting for Kids

I’m always trying to make kid’s placesettings on holidays extra special. This Lamb Placesetting for Kids is one that can be used at Easter or perhaps a shower or birthday party with a lamb theme. It is fast and easy to put together. Kids won’t ruin it as you use a clear plastic plate over it! If you want to adhere it to the back of the plate, make it out of paper. Using felt, however, gives it some depth and dimension.

Lamb Placesetting for Kids  grandparentsplus.com

 

Here are the basic materials for one lamb placesetting…..

1 white sheet of felt- approx 8 x 11   – you are able to get both the circle and ears out of one sheet

1 light flesh-tone sheet of felt

small bits of black felt  (you may have this in your scrap box)

small bit of pink felt

3 cotton balls

 

Directions:

Using the inside of the  plate as a template, cut a round piece of white felt.  Mine was 7 inches in diameter.

Cut ears from the leftover scraps.

Lamb Placesetting for Kids

Add the pink nose, eyes and mouth. (eyes and mouth are approximately  3/4 in. circles)

Separate the cotton balls and spread over the top of the head.

Place the clear plastic plate over the lamb face. What fun for kids to find this lamb placesetting at the table!

Lamb Placesetting for Kids  grandparentsplus.com

 Do you make a special placesetting for the kids at your table? 

Have fun!

Phyllis

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Why Cruise?

Just recently my husband and I took  a Caribbean Cruise. This winter has been so cold that we needed a warm getaway. The only compensation I was given for this post was Internet time.  We paid for the cruise on our own and all opinions are completely mine based on our experience.

Why Cruise? grandparentsplus.com

We chose Norwegian Cruise Line because we had been on another cruise with them and enjoyed it very much. We cruised for a week on the Norwegian Jewel that left out of the Houston, TX port.  The ship went to Cozumel, Belize, and Trujillo, Honduras. If you’re looking for a wonderful vacation, a cruise may be  perfect for you and your family. Here is why you might want to cruise and what to expect on Norwegian Cruise Lines.

First, it is like an all-inclusive vacation. You have several restaurants with 5 star menus available to choose from each day. If you want to go more casual, there’s a Garden Cafe Buffet with more choices than you can imagine. Not enough? Well, there’s  good old  hamburgers and hotdogs with all the fixings at poolside. Also, there are specialty restaurants that are also available for an additional charge. Other additional charges are for alcohol and soft drinks. Milk, tea, coffee, lemonade and flavored waters are free. Norwegian does allow you to bring on cans of soft drinks as long as they are unopened.

Why Cruise? grandparentsplus.com

The Garden Cafe had specialty nights, too. Mexican, Caribbean, and Asian were some of the evening specials. Pictured above is only one small section of the Garden Cafe.

Why Cruise?  grandparentsplus.com

At the back of the Garden Cafe, they have an open area for dining. In the morning, this was our favorite place to have breakfast! There were so many choices for breakfast! There was made-to-order omelets, eggs benedict, eggs any way you choose, bacon, sausage, juice, breads, rolls, sliced cold cuts, fruit, yogurt, along with cereals (hot and cold).

Now, in the evening, we liked to dine at the Tzar restaurant. It was beautiful! Norwegian Cruise Lines has a policy of what they call “Freestyle”. This means you choose what to do and when you want to do it. This includes dining! You are not assigned to a certain time to eat, but can choose when and where you want to eat. You are not assigned to a certain table, either. The dress code was merely wearing long pants (including jeans) for the men. No shorts for women, but capris were fine or many chose to dress up, too! Again, it is your choice!

Why Cruise? grandparentsplus.com

Grand entrance to the Tzar Restaurant

We have been on other cruise lines where you’re assigned to a late 8:30 dinner. For us, that is way too late for a big meal so we liked that we could choose when to eat.

Now, on to the second point…..   If you cruise as a family, there are lots of kid’s activities, too. There’s a club for young kids so adults can enjoy some free time as well as a teen area. Everyone can find something to do on the ship or you can just relax and chill out at the pool. Because there are so many directions of where to go, it makes it easier to keep track of everyone by bringing walkie-talkies.  Texting will cost you extra as you need to sign up for Wi-Fi minutes.

Why Cruise?  grandparentsplus.com

The ship’s ammenties are great! Above is only one of the pool areas on a port stop day. If you choose to stay on ship, you can enjoy the pool without many people there.

Why Cruise?  grandparentsplus.com

Cozumel

Why Cruise?  grandparentspus.com

Another reason to cruise is that you go to different destinations. If you choose the cruise by the ports of call, you’ll find different attractions and things to see at each location. We had visited two of the destinations before so our criteria for the cruise wasn’t necessarily the destinations, but the dates that fit our schedule. Cozumel, pictured above, is great for snorkeling. Another attraction is the Mayan ruins. Belize, another cruise stop, is where you can tube on a river through caves. We did this on our last trip and it was very fun. There are many other options as well.

Why Cruise?  grandparentsplus.com

Honduras

Our stop at Honduras (Trujillo) was very picturesque from the ship. This is a new developing port. The natives met those coming ashore with music and dancing. We enjoyed the shopping area here. I found a native nativity set here to add to my collection. It was very hot that day so we opted for a short visit and returned to enjoy the ship. Other people who went ashore said there was great snorkeling here.

Why Cruise? grandparentsplus.com

Here’s more reasons to cruise….You’ll have great entertainment day and night. There are live bands at the pool during the day. During the evening, there’s dancing and wonderful shows to attend. We found the evening shows in the main theater were very good. Throughout the evening, more live music is at the various lounges on the ship.

While on your cruise, you can expect incredible service from the staff. From the stewards that make up your room twice a day, to your waiter or any staff member, they are friendly and accommodating. Even the captains are approachable with a friendly smile and greeting. In your stateroom, each night,  you’ll find a cute creature sitting on your bed.

Why Cruise?  grandparentsplus.com

You have so many choices of things to do on the ship. Besides what has been mentioned, there’s a Fitness Club to work off all that wonderful food, along with a Spa, Casino, Library, and Card Room.

Final reason to cruise is that it is a very relaxing vacation. You can be as busy as you want or just take it easy!

Why cruise? The answer is, “Why not?”

I recommend to “cruise like a Norwegian” on Norwegian Cruise Lines! We loved it!

Why Cruise? grandparentsplus.com

Thanks for stopping by!

Phyllis

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Easter Cross Centerpiece

Here’s an easy to make, meaningful Easter Cross Centerpiece.  By displaying it in your home, it is  a daily reminder of what Easter is really about to your family and guests in your home.  Now, I’m not against bunnies (they’re so cute) or chicks, etc., but I do try to have some decorations that focus on the real meaning of Easter. This is a simple one to do.

Easter Cross Centerpiece   grandparentsplus.com

The Easter Cross Centerpiece is easily varied to whatever size glass cylinder you have. You just need to  get your hand down in it to arrange properly. My glass cylinder measured 9 1/2 inches high and 7 1/4 inches diameter. I found the wooden cross at Michael’s. It was the right size for this glass cylinder. Making a cross out of twigs or  small pieces of wood works, too, if you’re doing a smaller version.

Materials:

Glass cylinder ( this could be rectangle, too)

Moss circle 8 inches in diameter (found at Michael’s)   Substitute any other moss or grass

Small white lily-like flowers

Bottle Cap

Wooden Cross – mine measured 8 x 4 1/2

Brown Acrylic Paint or stain

Easter Cross Centerpiece  grandparentsplus.com

 

The cross is something that kids can help to make. Let them paint or rub on the brown color. I didn’t want the cross to look so perfect so I rubbed the acrylic paint on it to make it look distressed.

Because I use this cylinder at for other arrangements, I didn’t want the cross to be permanently glued to the glass. Instead, I found a small lid and hot-glued the cross to the flat lid.  This would enable it to stand up.

Easter Cross Centerpiece   grandparentsplus.com

Make an “X” cut in the middle of the moss circle. Fit the bottom of the cross through the “x”.

Now the glass cylinder is 7 1/4 inches in diameter and the moss circle is 8 inches in diameter. I didn’t want to cut it down and liked that it bunched up in the middle and  made it look like a hill. It supported the cross as well.  Fit the moss with the cross into the cylinder.

It fit so nice and tight that I didn’t have to attach it in any way. When you have it arranged, place the small white flowers at the base of the cross.

That’s it! You’re ready to display your centerpiece in the middle of your Easter table with candles on either side or use as a coffee table display.

Easter Cross Centerpiece  grandparentsplus.com

Remember, Easter is about Jesus!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have  eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 NIV

 

Have a Blessed Easter!

Phyllis

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Whimsical Easter Napkin Rings

I came across a package of 4 plastic games at the dollar store. Seeing that they were cute spring characters with a hole in each of them, I thought they would make cute Whimsical Easter Napkin Rings. After their meal, give them the middle part and let the kids use them as a design drawing tool. They are a small version of a Spirograph. It is where you insert a pen or sharp pencil into the small piece and move the inside circle around the hole.

Whimsical Easter Napkin Rings   grandparentsplus.com

 

Here’s what to look for…..

Whimsical Easter Napkin Rings  grandparentsplus.com

These came in a package that was just noted as a “drawing toy”.  They came 4 to a package for just $1!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Whimsical Easter Napkin Rings   grandparentsplus.com

When the kids finish eating, give them the center circle and a pad of paper to experiment with designs. Just the basic form alone makes a great tracing tool, too. This will keep them busy.

Sometimes you need to think out of the box for napkin rings. Look in the kid’s toy section and you may find something to use as a fun napkin ring.

I like to make my table kid friendly, yet elegant for adults. Don’t you think the kids will like these?

Whimsical Easter Napkin Rings  grandparentsplus.com

Happy Easter!

Phyllis

Look for more Easter ideas under “holidays” at the top.

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Vintage Washboard Wall Cabinet

This Vintage Washboard redo and re-purposed project was made by my dad. He surprised me by making this for our cabin. We have now sold our cabin, but I couldn’t part with this piece. Now, we are enjoying this  Vintage Washboard Wall Cabinet hanging in our guest bathroom at home. I thought I’d share this special piece with you. My dad made a simple box and attached the washboard to it. If you’re handy with wood, this is an easy DIY project.

Vintage Washbord Wall Cabinet grandparentsplus.com

 

A bit of light stain brought out a lot of the detail on the washboard.

Vintage Washboard Wall Cabinet

The box measures 12 1/2″ wide and 17 1/2″ long.

Small door hinges on one side attach the box to the washboard.

Vintage Washboard Wall Cabinet   grandparentsplus.com

Vintage Washboard Wall Cabinet   grandparentsplus.com

A simple latch keeps the box closed.

Vintage Washboard Wall Cabinet   grandparentsplus.com

A stained dowel added between the legs of the washboard makes a nice place for a hand towel.

Vintage Washboard Wall Cabinet   grandparenttsplus.com

 Inside I place soap, lotion, cotton balls, extra toothbrushes, Q-tips and any other items that my guests may need. This Vintage Washboard Wall Cabinet is perfect in a bathroom or a laundry room! I love this piece and the memories that go with it.

Were you inspired to make one of your own?

Thanks for stopping by,

Phyllis

 

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