Thursday, February 5, 2015


  At the last minute I invited Emily and Mike over for dinner.  Sounds strange to be making your own dinner on your birthday but The Husband and I splurged and had a culinary feast over the weekend... I still wanted to do something fun.  I made lasagna, a salad and crescent rolls.  And we had cupcakes for dessert of course.  I probably shouldn't even show the table I set...someone set their plastic cup of ice water down.  Well, real life intrudes.  :)

I won another giveaway.  Oh my gosh!  I should be playing the lottery!  This beautiful handmade pillow came from my "Best New Friend", Vera, from Row Homes and Cobblestones.  We "met" just a few months ago.  Have you ever read comments on a blog you are visiting and just had a sort of feeling about the if you knew they could be a friend?   That's how I felt about Vera.  I had to go to her blog.  We commented back and forth, emailed, and soon found we were soul mates.

She made several pillows for her recent giveaway and chose two winners.  Each pillow was different and so beautiful.  The one I liked the most (and it was so hard to decide), was this one and the gorgeous inscription on it is, "Life Is But A Dream", in Italian.  Love!

 I browned chicken breasts (bone in) in a saute pan with olive oil.  This seals in the juices.  I removed the chicken from the pan and set aside.  I then added some roughly chopped root vegetables...carrots, turnips, and parsnips to the same pan.  They caramelize a bit that way, releasing sugars.  I put the chicken breasts in a casserole dish, arranged the veggies around them, added a few sprigs of rosemary for flavor and a pinch of S & P.  Covering with foil, this baked for a half hour at 350 degrees.  You can omit the chicken if you want a meatless meal, very easily done. 

  Now that you've baked (and steamed with the foil) these fibrous sort of veggies, you can add the softer, quick cooking ones.  I did asparagus, leeks and cherry tomatoes.  I drizzled everything with a little olive oil and seasoned with Mrs. Dash.  Love this stuff!  Cover with the foil again for 15 minutes, remove foil and bake another 10 minutes.  Perfection!! 

Little Elsie has not entered our world yet and Mary Clare is a trooper, still working full time, just waiting it out.  The original due date is February 11, but because the baby is growing by leaps and bounds, a delivery by caesarian was contemplated.  Right now it's a "wait and see" sort of thing but I know it's weighing on MC and Kevin's minds.  Say a prayer and let's keep counting the days, hours and minutes!!  My friend Cindy from Applestone Cottage made this gorgeous little dress for Elsie.  You probably remember that Cindy and I became blogger friends way back, six years ago in fact.  We meet up personally every year.  She has taught herself to sew in the past few years and has been churning out clothes for her two granddaughters like crazy.  She has a grandson on the way, can't wait to see what she comes up with.  She never stops!!!   This is darling and the little sash ties in a bow in the back.  Thanks, Cindy!

And as if you can't have enough thoughtfulness from blogger friends...thank you Melanie from Comfy House for the birthday card.  That and the recent giveaways I've won, how lucky can a girl get?

Well, off I go.  Let's hope for a warm up here and good wishes for the East coast yet again.  Be safe.

Jane xx


Debby said...

I thought about you last week-end when you got the blizzard. I was hoping you would still get to go out somewhere. Sounds like you had a good birthday. I like your new pillow.
We have had a lot of snow but no blizzard. Just like 4 inches one day and then another 4 the next. It is beginning to stack up. It is supposed to be 40 tomorrow but yet tonight it is in single digits. No wonder my headaches have comeback. Have a great week-end.

Bluebird49 said...

Isn't it fun to feel spoiled? (Um, I can't remember, it's been so long! ;) )Ha!
Aren't you a lucky girll---please let me in on some blog giveaways--maybe I'd win once in a blue moon.

That chicken/veggie dish is really something I wanna try, Jane. I've just got to get chicken breasts and tomatoes--think I have most of the rest here. (Hubby splurged tonight when we ate out, but I was a pretty good girl! )
That dress Cindy made rocks! Elsie will be the talk of the town, and I'm praying a healthy delivery, too.
Oh! Thanks for leaving in the plastic cup on the table---makes me feel better, having red Solo cups setting around here. You know I'm not a table-scaper" (the only dishes I own are Corelle-ware--just one set!), but I do love to see yours and others' tables and DIYs! Just love looking at others' inspiring blogs, especially yours.
You go, girl!

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

That is a lovely pillow. Blogging is such a wonderful opportunity to meet really great people who become lovely friends. Hope things start to warm up around there a bit. And that grandbaby makes an appearance very soon. Best wishes, Tammy

Shirley said...

Hi Jane, I think of you with all the snow. We got another almost 3 inches,but nothing like the first one. This one was light and fluffy. I have a friend in your city right now for a meeting. She said it took her a hour to get from the airport to what usually took 15 minutes. I will pray that Miss Elsie arrives on her due date and that they are both find. I know you are anxious. We all are when it is our first grandchild. I really like your pillow. Take care, stay warm and safe. Hugs and Prayers from Your Missouri Friend Shirley

Kathleen Grace said...

I am so glad you had such a wonderful birthday Jane! I love the pillow you won, and the message on it, very special. Oven roasted mixed veggies are my favorite. Tossing them in oil so they don't dry out and so they caramelize. I love red peppers and zucchini too, and it's such a good way to clear out the veggie bin. I am praying that MC has her baby soon. I remember being a the end of my pregnancies and the discomfort mixed with the longing to meet the baby means you just want to have the baby :>)

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Happy Birthday my dear friend..Hope it was great and many more..hugs and love from my mountain to yours gloria

Julie Marie said...

Everything is just beautiful Jane... how fun you invited your kids over for your birthday, and like you, I don't mind cooking on my own birthday either... your cupcakes looks so good, but I am drooling over your roasted veggies!... thanks for sharing your tips on how to cook them properly... congrats on your giveaway wins, love that pillow!... and it is always good to hear there are still nice folks in this world who help us out!... hope your snow goes away soon and Spring lingers on in... xoxo... Julie Marie

Theresa said...

Oh what a sweet pillow, great dinner with the family and lovely Spring flowers:) Enjoy your day dear friend, HUGS!

Betsy Brock said...

I love your neighborhood people doing RAK's! timely!

We're at 13 degrees this morning but it's supposed to warm up to the 40's for a few days. That will be a heat wave!

Dinner sure looks yummy...I love stuff like tasty!

Primitive Stars said...

Morning Jane, You always make my mouth water and so hungry. Love your table setting, so so pretty. Sweet little pillow and those flowers sure are cheery. Blessings Francine.

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Dear sweet Jane,
Yum cupcakes! Your sounds wonderful, cupcakes are my favorite sweet to bake. Something about making and decorating them just makes me happy.

Cooking on your Birthday, sure I do too. Especially when its a weekday and we have dinner plans out during weekend. Birthday lasagna is delightful and sharing the evening with family - priceless.

Enjoy your pillow Jane. I became emotional when you shared your sweet story of you and your hubby on the lake. It was meant for you. The fringe is vintage from the 60's new old stock from France. I found it on etsy and purchased some and when it was delivered I fell in love with its softness and ordered additional yards!

I too have fallen in love with roasted root vegetables. Hearty and roast so beautifully. Every time I see a bag of rainbow carrots they come home with me.

Little Elsie's dress made by your friend is precious. The wait to cuddle your newest Grand must be hard. Nothing is as heart warming as a new baby to love.

Pretty tulips, I adore them in February. I will never forget them growing in the fields flying over to Holland. Roses are my favorite flower followed by Tulips. Enjoy them and your day. I am blessed to have become friends with you.

Something Nice and Pretty said...

Glad you survived the blizzard and your birthday was fun! I do plan on pinning your recipe, I have been eating (trying) to eat healthier. Have a wonderful week ahead! Oh, I watch Steve Harvey and always think of you because he is in Chicago!

Traci said...

Sending lots of prayers your way! The chicken & veggies look sooooo good!

It's me said...

Happy weekend love love Ria....❤️❤️❤️?

Sarah said...

Glad you had such a delightful birthday and that special pillow is now on your sofa. I remember that giveaway. Vera's pillows are exquisite! Blogging friends are treasures. I talk about my blogging friends like I've know them all my life. Ha! I think some of my friends just don't get it, but bloggers do. Exchanging emails with like minded friends truly can develop into real friendships. ;-)

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Well, aren't you the lucky one with all the giveaways! I love the pillows that you and Kris received! That's so nice when you come across generous people like that and also the ones who helped you out in the snow. It really does renew your faith in humans. :)

Stacey said...

I'm so glad you had a wonderful birthday doing what you enjoy. That's what it's all about even if you are cooking your own dinner. I would do the same. :)

That pillow is so pretty! Lucky you.

The chicken and veggies look delicious. We love roasted vegetables especially asparagus.

Have a wonderful weekend. I'll be working in my flower bed.

Terri Steffes said...

So fun reading about you being spoiled! I don't know why, but I always love hearing about people being pampered and loved. Just makes my day! The chicken dish reminds me of my husband, Bob. He cooks like that and it is always so good. That's how I am spoiled, my dear hubby cooks mostly now. The pillow is darling and now I want to go and meet your friend!! Have a happy weekend.

Oh, by the way, we got a dusting of snow and I was so over the top. Maybe next time it will stay.

podso said...

That dress is really sweet! The countdown is really on, you may be a grandma by this time next week. Your veggie dinner looks great.

Susie said...

Blondie, I think your food looks are a good cook. I read your previous post about going downtown on your birthday. The picture of Tom , Abby, and Milo almost looked like a Norman Rockwell painting. I love it. I am so glad you enjoyed your birthday. Wonderful. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

Cozy Little House said...

That little dress is precious!

Melanie said...

Your cupcakes look's been years since I've had a cupcake! I should've snuck over to your house. ;-) And speaking of yummy, I like the idea of roasting the chicken along with the veggies. I'm going to try that; thanks for the idea. Congrats on winning that gorgeous pillow! That dress Cindy made is absolutely darling and how sweet of her to think of you and MC like that. Snow...when I was out there shoveling (Brian was at work), the young man that lives two doors down came over and did my driveway. He then shoveled it again the next day. There was no way I could've done that by myself with my back problems. I gave him a little gift bag with a small amount of cash, homemade M&M cookies, and a homemade snack mix. Have a great weekend!

Town and Country Gals said...

Happy belated Birthday! Your cupcakes look yummy, I could use one about now, having a sugar craving! Elsie's little dress is adorable! I know you can't wait for her get here, it'll be so fun! Our little Sarah's 2 mos now and the sweetest thing! Nothing like little girls to make your heart sing! How lucky you were to win such a gorgeous pillow!
Hope your weather warms up soon!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Glad you had such a good birthday, Jane. Your cupcakes look delicious. I have a gluten free cake mix here waiting for me to make it and I'm thinking of pulling out my pan with small hearts and do some little Valentine's cakes. Maybe do them with the granddaughter.

That dress is adorable! Cindy did a great job. Sewing clothes eludes me. It seems so intimidating although I did try through a sewing class at Joann's a couple of years ago. I think it is using patterns. I usually tend to "wing" my sewing projects.

Can not believe that baby will be here soon! It is just a matter of days now. You must jump every time the phone rings!

Carla from The River said...

Your food photos are great and make me hungry. I think I need to come over for dinner. :-)
And dessert, the cupcakes look great too! Yummy!!

Sending prayers for baby.
xx oo

Marigene said...

Sounds like you survived your birthday week, so far, Jane.
♥ the pillow.
I am one that has problems getting all the veggies roasted without drying them out...thanks for the hints. I even wrote them down!
Enjoy the weekend, girlfriend!

Doreen@househoneys said...

You ARE spoiled, and oh so lucky! How many giveaways does that make? A trillion??! Well, no one deserves it more than you, and I have to say that pillow is so pretty. The fringe is a fabulous detail and really makes it stand out.

How nice that your friend taught herself to sew, and passes along her lovely creations. Such thoughtfulness! Seriously, you have the sweetest friends :). As someone who sews, I know how much work goes into it, so cherish that pretty dress!

I have a feeling your next blog post might be about the baby arriving! You must be getting soooooo excited!


Anonymous said...

So glad you had a great birthday! Your cupcakes look delicious. Know you are getting anxious for baby to get here. Waiting is so hard.


Linda@Coastal Charm said...

Happy Belated Birthday!!! Hope you have a fun weekend and stay warm in all that freezing weather.


Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Jane, I am glad you like the little dress! I am still in Phoenix, enjoying the 80 degree weather and seeing my little granddaughter. The food you made looks just really are a wonderful cook. And the pillow you won is gorgeous! Oh do I know about getting stuck in driveways with all the snow. Not fun. So I keep checking here and fb for news about the baby.I hope it's very soon and that she has a safe and healthy delivery. I know what it's like to worry about that. So my dear you let me know about the baby as soon as you can. Bet you can't wait to meet her! Hugs dear friend, Cindy

Ginene said...

Hi Jane,
Those vegetables look fabulous and I will try this technique. That little dress is just too darling. I would like one in my size! If it is any comfort, I haven't figured out how to do the PIN IT button either. I don't know where it goes and apparently everyone else knows because I never see that in the directions.

Mila Myk said...

Love your pillow!
And your cooking.... oh my, looks soooo yummy!

Thanks for the visit :)

Poppy said...

So many sweet things in this post, from your adorable cupcakes to that pretty dress and pillow, you are one lucky lady, Miss Jane! I'm sure you and your family are very excited about baby's arrival, coming soon, and we can't wait to hear all about it!

Wishing you a wonderful week!


Terry Klein said...

Hi Jane, belated :( Happy Birthday :) Sounds like you had a wonderful time with your husband downtown. Also sounds like it will be soon for the birth of your first grandbaby. So excited for you. Definitely trying that chicken and vegetable dish. Always enjoy your posts


Kelly said...

that is the sweetest little dress! I know she will be adorable wearing it. But, first she has to get here right?! thanks for the tips on how to roast vegetables. it's such a healthy way to eat them. glad to hear that you had a good birthday. those cupcakes look yummy. I just made a cake last night since my husband was craving one. Now, it's been a bad temptation for me since I love sweets.

Babs R said...

Gosh, you're making me soo hungry. Thanks for all those yummy looking recipes. Your snow pics are neat, too, but I'm glad to be in a no-snow zone here in GA. We rarely/occasionally get snow and then it turns to ice, which is not good. Seeing snow in pics is perfect.
Happy Valentine's Day. xo