Monday, December 21, 2009

You Are Invited to Lunch

You are cordially invited to attend lunch at my house. (Well maybe it will have to be a virtual lunch.)

Ding dong

Please come in.

This year I hung my fresh apple wreath in my entryway.

Please sit down and relax.
I made the snowflake wreath out of old sheet music.

I saw the idea in the Pottery Barn catalog.

They were not for sale - just d├ęcor in the room setting.

I find the things I like the best in the Pottery Barn catalog are never for sale.

Would you like a cup of hot cranberry drink?

Let's sit and take in all of the sights and sounds of Christmas

(Pretend you are listening to Christmas music)

I was too lazy to carry my Yelloware bowls down the basement
so I set them on a chair
put some Christmas berries around a ceramic pear
and called it Christmas.

I spotted this bowl at an antique shop.
I thought long and hard for about 1 second before I bought it.

Bruce found this piece in a print shop.
(He has a great eye for great finds.)
It is missing some drawers but that is what I like about it.
I change the items in the missing drawers as the seasons change.

Bruce built this faux fireplace.
(I think I will keep him.)
We copied it from one that we saw in a real house in either
Country Home or Country living magazine.

One of my patterns you could make to enjoy the rest of the long winter.

#256 Winter Follies

#258 Cranberry Christmas
Probably not enough time to finish this one by this Christmas.
But Christmas comes every year.

I spotted this hatbox in an antique shop while on a Moda retreat.
Everyone kept asking me what I was going to do with it.
To me it was obvious.
Fill it with greens at Christmas time.


Lunch is ready.
Please take a seat at the table.

I will be serving:
My favorite Christmas fruit salad.

Anise Fruit Bowl
And oh so easy to make.

Chicken and Rice Casserole -
or hotdish as we people who originate for Minnesooota call a one dish meal.

Broccoli Cranberry Salad (forgot to take a picture)

Biscuits brushed with dill butter and sea salt (forgot to take a picture)

Almond Cake with Cherry sauce.

I will post the recipes below.
If you are interested keep scrolling.
If not my luncheon ends here.

I actually did have lunch at my house for my seamstresses and my graphic artist.
(However, I forgot to take a picture of the gals)

My decorating is finished.
Now on to gift wrapping - I love to wrap gifts.
Christmas baking is something that I do not like to do and I never do.

My graphic artist Sarah gave me this quote - Do most what you do best.
Baking is not what I do best - so I do very little baking. Mom’s popcorn balls are about the extent of my holiday baking. (If you can call popcorn balls baking - kind of a stretch.)

Stay tuned for some Christmas wrapping.

From my heart,


Hot Spice Cranberry Punch
1 (64 fluid ounce) pineapple juice
1 (64 fluid ounce cranberry juice cocktail
4 1/2 cups water
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons whole cloves
4 (4 inch) cinnamon sticks, broken
1/4 teaspoon salt
Peeling of one orange

Pour the pineapple juice, cranberry juice, and water into a clean, well-washed coffee percolator.
Place the brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon sticks, orange peeling and salt in the basket of the percolator, and assemble the coffee percolator.
Cover and perk. Serve hot.
Float an orange slice in each cup.

Anise Fruit Bowl
2 cups water
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons anise seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 cups assorted fresh fruit

In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, lemon juice, aniseed and salt.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Strain syrup; discard aniseed.
Place fruit in a large bowl; add syrup and toss to coat.
Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Chicken and Wild Rice Hotdish
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 package Uncle Ben wild rice (original - not fast cooking)
Add celery and onion to Uncle Ben's rice before cooking rice.
Prepare rice according to directions on package.
When rice is done add:
1 (4 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 jar pimento
1 cup cashews
1 can water chestnuts diced.
Mix all together and pour half of the mixture in an 9 X 13 glass cake pan sprayed with Pam.
Season 1 lb. chicken tenders with lemon pepper and Lawry salt.
Lightly brown tenders in butter.
Place chicken on top of rice.
Top with the remaining rice.
Bake covered at 350 for 45 minutes
Top with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and the cornflake/butter mixture.
Bake for 15 more minutes.
1/2 cup cornflake crumbs
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Scandinavian Almond Cake
Beat well;
1 1/4 Cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
2/3 Cup milk
1 1/4 Cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 stick melted margarine
Mix well.
Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.
Edges must be golden brown.
Cool in pan before removing.
Cake will break if removed too soon.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Cherry Sauce
1 can pitted red tart cherries
1/2 Cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. almond extract
Red food coloring
Drain juice from cherries and place juice in a pan.
Add sugar, almond extract and cornstarch.
Heat until it thickens to a glaze.
Add red food coloring.
Gently stir in cherries.
Cool to room temperature.
Cut cake in slices and spoon sauce over slices.


  1. I'm so glad I stopped by for a visit. The company was delightful and the food was wonderful.

    I think I'll now head on home to relax a bit before hubby gets home.

    Merry Christmas.

  2. Lovely, Sandy. I'm sorry I missed the real lunch. OH, that hat box! It has found it's destiny. Merry Christmas.


  3. That is the best virtual lunch that I have ever had! Thanks so much for the invite.

  4. I love this! Oh, thank you so much for the invitation! It was wonderful and just what I needed. Your home is lovely. I like your style (possibly because I have so many of the things you have...I love when the world gets cozy like that) Your food was divine. Totally wonderful. I'd like to stay and visit more but I know you have things to finish up before Christmas as do I so I'm going to run...but thanks again! Big Christmas hugs!

  5. Thank you! Your home looks so festive! And now I'm really hungry! :)) Everything looks so yummy!

  6. Oh my gosh. That was so fun! Thanks for having me over! Your house, furniture, quilts, everything is just beautiful. My kind of Christmas. It looks really cozy! What a treat that was to stop by! And the food looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I feel as if I have just had the most lovely visit at your home! The decorations are so pretty and the food was delish. Thank you for sharing your recipes too! Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas.

  8. Can I have seconds on the "hotdish"? Everything was delicious!

  9. Wow! Thanks for the wonderful day at your house. Everything was wonderful. Now the little wheels are spinning and I must go recreate some of your decor. The fresh apple wreath. Love it!

  10. Sandy
    I just loved that tour, a nice break from what I was working on. Your place looks fantastic!
    Enjoy the season

  11. The virtual lunch was just as tasty as the real thing. Thanks for inviting me! I plan on swiping your fruit recipe for our holiday meal!


  12. A awesome Christmas home tour and virtual lunch. (I had my favorite peppermint ice cream for real)Thanks for sharing your beautiful home.

  13. The hotdish was great! I love your idea of baking. I'm not very good at it and my boys can't eat any of it due to allergies. So my idea of baking is rice krispy treats. Your house and decorations look very festive. Nice touches. And I'm working on Trees For Sale. Great pattern!

  14. Thanks for sharing lunch and the tour of your lovely decorating ideas. Merry Christmas.


  15. Can I move in? Everything looks wonderful and I'm sure tastes great. Thanks for the recipes. Yum, yum. I'll be making Grammy's jello on Thursday. Merry Christmas.
    Leslie S. in MN

  16. Great post! Your decorations are LOVELY! So Christmasey in your home, very cozy and warm.

  17. Thank you so much for lunch I had a great time you are a fab hostess. Your home is beatuiful. I really hope we get to do this again sometime. Hope you have a great holiday.

  18. What a lovely lunch. Your home is beautiful. Thanks for sharing the recipes too. I plan on trying all of them.

  19. Thank you for the invite. It was fun!

  20. That was a lovely home tour and meal, thanks a lot! Someday I hope to visit Minnesoota and enjoy the season myself. On second thought, maybe I better go there in the springtime as I am a weather wimp from SoCalif! I liked your comment about thinking deeply for about one second before you bought the dotted bowl/vase!

  21. Thank you for the luncheon, Sandy, and for sharing your recipes. Your home is adorable and inviting!

    Can you share how you adhered the apples to the wreath?

    P.S. I'm seeing this guy named ??? Gervais on TV ads and wondering if he's related.

  22. I'm glad I just happened to check your blog this morning-how delightful!!! I've got my coffee & I'm feeling relaxed & ready for Christmas!! Thanks & God bless!

  23. Everything sounds so delightful. Thank you for the virtual Christmas luncheon :-) Merry Christmas to you!

  24. My what a lovely home you have! Thanks so much for inviting me to your divine luncheon! I just love your vintage finds--they make you happy and everyone else feel warm!

    Kari- Fresh Cut Quilts

  25. Thanks for having us for lunch!
    Merry Christmas!

  26. ...oooops.....looks like I'm a little late......are there any

  27. All so beautiful and the recipes sound like keepers. Will definitely try them..but wait, did we miss the broccoli/cranberry salad recipe? That sounded yummers, too! Thanks for allowing us all to drop in.

  28. I just found you!! Where have you been all my bloggy life (2 months now!)?? :D

    Will be checkin' you out.. love your decorating and I have to say.. what a clever boy you have, wrapping in fabric?? I like him!

    Nice to meet you :D

  29. Nice thing about a virtual luncheon is that we can stop by a few days late(r) and still enjoy your gracious offerings. Thank you and happy holidays, Sandy!

  30. Wow - sorry I arrived so late for the luncheon - it was still fabulous! I loved it all so much that I want to make the Almond Cake with Cherry Sauce for New Years' Day...but I'm a bit I roll the cake up in a dish towel after it comes out of the oven? It looks like a yule log kind of thing..or did you bake it in a special pan? Thanks again for the delicious food and the tour - it truly was great! xo, Nan