A Smoothie Sunday

Where did the weekend go!!  Uggghhhhh… blink my eyes and Monday is here…Today I have a cleaning project to take care of and needed something quick for my stomach this morning.  We visited the farmers market yesterday and I bought some fruit.  So why not a smoothie…  Of course there are a gazillion smoothie recipes.. well here’s a gazillion and one :-)

Pineapple-Mango Smoothie

2 cups cut pineapple

2 cups cut mango

1 4oz Activia peach yogurt

1 cup of ice

1 cup orange juice

2 tblspn Agave Nectar

Put all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth..

Pour into your cutie glass – add straw.. and sip and go!

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Enjoy the rest of your Sunday because Monday comes fast!!  Smooches!!

Friday Feature

Woohooo!! It’s Friday, I’m off the 9-5 grind and I’m happy…it’s been quite a week for me so I really need this weekend to re-group.  Well today I’m going to introduce you to the artist behind the beautiful Head Planter I posted a couple days ago.  If you missed it – click here.  Cynthia Edwards is a self-taught crafter who had a vision and went for it.  Two years ago she made her first head planter by cutting a hole in a doll’s head and giving it a faux metal painting.   She knew she wanted to take her creation to a higher level and in March 2014 she began making her new line of  head planters.  Her motivation was: first  she loves head planters and second: she wanted more of them. She lucked up and saw an ad for a company going out of business and had lots of items listed.  She decided to go and low and behold they had mannequin heads, although, they were not mentioned as being for sale, she immediately envisioned them as head planters.  So with her vision and belief that people would love them, along with her hubby’s blessing they contacted the owner and settled on a price – and the rest is history. She got all the other supplies needed on a wing and a prayer (Lol – which I’m sure we’ve all been down that road) and started making them and that’s how her little business was born.

Cynthia says her inspiration varies and could come from a suggestion, a color , plant, a flower, or even an animal she sees.  She also says  there are times when she’s working on a piece, a thought will come to her on how it should look, and her imagination simply takes control.  But in the end, the head tells her yes or no, sometimes they even seem to have their own ideas and she just goes with the flow.  Here are some of her latest creations..

This fiery creation is called “Flame”

 

This burgundy beauty is called “Pothos”

 

The exotic beauty here is “Nerida”

 

The copper beauty is “Dulcina”

 

She’s called “Queen of Hearts”  (and I see why)

(this is an oopsy… I don’t have her name)

Meet “Queen Bee”  :-)

This lovely lady is “Alvara”

Madame butterfly is called “Belle of the Ball”

This majestic lady is called “Honey”

and saving the best for last is “Ms. Laroux Lagniappe”

When she’s not in her shop creating these beauties,  she loves spending time with her family, gardening, being online with her gardening club, beading, painting other forms of art, making furniture and reading.  In other words – this is one very busy lady!! For sure!! She shows her work on gardening sites that she’s in and they have been selling by word of mouth. If you’re interested in ordering one, she’d love to hear from you.   You can find her on Facebook or email her at: caesheadplanters@yahoo.com

I truly hope you enjoyed meeting these lovely ladies and invite one into your home.. Until next time.. I hope you all have a Fabulous weekend!!   Smooches

Giving You Heads Up!

A few months ago I joined a Facebook group “It’s a Garden Thing“.  I truly adore being a part of this group of friendly people who love their gardens and sharing them with the cyber world.  In this group there was a lady showing some beautiful head planters. I was mesmerized on how beautiful they were. My motto is plants are people too.. green people and they need you to nourish, groom and sometimes even talk to them.  Head planters almost makes you feel like you’re talking face to face with your plants.  Looking at their faces with empty heads makes you think, what kind of hairdo would complete their look (you know how we women love our hair to be right :-)  – it sets the tone)  “Head Planters” give your plants the personality they deserve.  I did some research for head planters.. here are some favorites I came across:

This African Queen head planter is beautiful.  I love the beaded detail along the side of her face

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and this little darling in pure white is simply lovely

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and for buddha lovers.. these are perfect

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and then there’s this one with it’s exotic eyes

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You can so much fun with them creating a new look simply by changing her hair. Are you intrigued yet? Well, I couldn’t stand not having a beautiful planter so I asked who, where, & how do I get one.  Low and behold, they were being made by a group member. I contacted her and she showed me some of the ones she had left. The minute I saw this lady.. I screamed.. she’s the one!!  I want her – so ladies (and gents) …. I’d like for you to meet Elfredah..

 

Here’s the clinker.. I have an aunt name Alfreda.. how coincidental was that.  I couldn’t wait to get her and settled into her new home with me and my green family. She arrived and  I went to the nursery to find her new hairdo. The plant I found is called Emina.. and guess what.. my twin’s name is Amina.. (both pronounced the same) so you know this planter was meant to be for me and this is her new look all dressed up!

Isn’t she a beauty… I absolutely love it!!  On Friday’s Feature post, I’m going to introduce to you the HeadMaker Lady.  So I hope you join me in getting to know a little about Cynthia and I’ll be showing you more of the lovely ladies she created.. So stay tuned!    You may want to order one for yourself.  Smooches 😘

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

 

This is sure to please the sweet tooth.  Who doesn’t like Pineapple Upside Down Cake??  I’m admitting it’s another one of my guilty pleasures.  This recipe can’t get any easier – trust me.. and the best part – it’s not too sweet.. just enough to satisfy that craving.

1 can sliced pineapples (in heavy syrup)

1/4 cup butter

2/3 cup light brown sugar (firmly packed)

1/4 cup pecan halves

1 cup all purpose flour

3/4 granulated sugar

1 1/2 tspns baking powder

1/2 tspn salt

1/4 cup shortening

1/2 cup milk

1 lrg egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350.  Drain pineapple, reserving the 2 tblspns – (tip: mix the remaining into a fruit punch for a more tropical flavor).  Melt butter in a 10″ cast iron skillet over a low heat.  Add brown sugar, stirring until the sugar is melted.  Spread evenly covering the bottom of the skillet.  Remove from heat.  Arrange pineapple slices on top of the brown sugar.  Add pecans around the pineapples.  Set aside.  In a medium mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients plus 2 tblspns of pineapple juice and mix at medium speed approximately 4 mins.  Pour cake batter evenly over pineapple in skillet and bake approximately 35 mins or until the cake springs back when gently pressed with fingertip or insert toothpick in the center and if it comes out dry – its done.   Serve warm with vanilla ice cream (I used Butter Pecan :-)  Oh — and one last thing —  ENJOY!!

 

As always – cooking is easy with a little “TLC”

 

 

 

A PoP Day

It’s been so dreadfully hot these past few weeks and I’ve just been enjoying the pool at mom’s house… but I decided to finally get a few little items done.  I called it my PoP day.. the Power of Paint.. I spend lots of time lounging in my Rest Haven and look around and see a few things that need sprucing up. Like the big planters.. They’ve been bruised over time and there’s a little vermin running around my yard knocking them over..(I feel like the Bill Murray in CaddyShack – boy do I want to get him)..

 

Of course hubby thought I should throw them away.. Me.. no way.. they’re still standing.. lol.. got a couple of cracks at the top – but all in all.. still worth keeping.. and for $6.00 they look like new

After I picked up this pretty cool pelican from Ross – I thought a touch of gold would do good in the garden

Then I found this old hat buried under some items in the garage and figured.. why not flip it and fill it..

 

Added a few bricks to cover the outer edge pallets and a few more plants around it

I think I like the upside down hat planter..

 

 

I’m still contemplating the iron hens&chick holder… I’d have to take all that apart..soooooo…you know how that goes.. (another day..lol).  Small changes but nice impact for this space.

I love how the sun hits the gold and gives it a glam glow..   Then I had this clay pot.. the worn out look was looking too worn out..

So, for another $3.00 it got a new look

Now I can smile when I look around at these pots again .  :-)

 

 

 

That’s all I could do.. cause BABY!!!! It’s HOT OUT THERE!!!

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Mustard Rub Grilled Rack of Lamb

It’s a good feeling when you go to a restaurant and have lamb and your hubby says.. Yours is better :-)  chuckles..Pat on my back… and not to toot my own horn.. I think he was right.. Here’s our recipe to share with you.

1 1/2 tblspn kosher salt

2 tblspns rosemary

5 large garlic cloves minced

1/2 cup dijon mustard

1 tblsps balsalmic vinegar

1 tblspn spicy brown mustard

(This is enough rub for 3 racks – if you’re making less you can divide the ingredients or just store the remaining in the refrigerator)

Allow lamb to soak in a mixture of vinegar and water for about 30 mins (this helps tenderize the meat and ease the lamb-y taste).  Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend… Using a knife, make slits in the lamb.  Make a few small slits in lamb and rub all over lamb – saturating it (in the process of rubbing, I use my fingers and also put rub inside the holes – marinade for at least 30 minutes.   Grill until done – Remove from grill, cover and let rest for about 5 minutes before cutting

The garlic/mustard flavor enhances the flavor of the meat and blends perfectly

 

See how simple that was.. As always cooking is easy with a little “TLC”

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Walls of Fabric

Hope all is going well with you and you’re enjoying your summer.  I’ve been enjoying the fabulous weather we’ve been having.  Last week I started contemplating a few minor changes around our humble abode.  Now that the dining room is finished (you can view the before and after here) I’m looking at the our bedroom, living room and foyer.  I decided to start with the foyer (why?? because it’s a smaller area.. chuckles.. don’t want to spend too much time inside.  I started to think about stenciling – like what Nicole did over at Design it Vintage.  But then I thought about fabric.. hmmmm…so I did some research on the topic and here’s some inspiration photos I found..

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I love how all these rooms came

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and I found this over at The Thriftress with a great tutorial

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So next up … I need to hit the fabric store to see what I find that would tickle my fancy to complete this wall project.  I’ll keep you posted.. Have any of you ever considered this project?  If so, did you and how did it turn it out..  I’d love some feedback.. So holla at your girl

 

 

 

Peachy Pico

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It’s the heart of the summer  and all the fruits of your labor appears.  The garden goodies planted in the spring begins to blossom and everything is ripe for the picking.

My neighbor’s garden has been bursting with fresh tomatoes and peaches so I decided to make a Pico De Gallo dip.  If you’re a salsa lover, then this is sure to please.  It’s a delicious Mexican uncooked salsa dip.

Ingredients:  2 tomatoes   2 peaches  1 garlic clove  6 slices of jalapeno peppers  1/4 cup chopped sweet onion   juice of 1 lime  few sprigs of fresh cilantro  1 tsp kosher salt

Chop all ingredients and mix together.  Add lime juice and sprinkle in salt.  Stir and serve.  The flavors blend well and the peaches add a summery sweet flavor to the dip.  Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or in a garden salad.  So go grab your Corona and Enjoy!

It’s that easy with “TLC”!

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Smoke-Chipotle Scalloped Potatoes

Smoke-Chipotle Scalloped Potatoes

Here’s my new twist on an classic recipe:

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If you love cheese like me.. this cheese caught my eye.  So I decided to give it a try..

I’m so glad I did.. It’s a smokey flavored cheese with a bit of a subtle kick to it..

Recipe:

6 russet potatoes peeled and sliced

1/4 cup chopped onion (I used a Vidalia onion because I love the sweetness of it)

2 lrg cloves of garlic – minced

1 pint of heavy cream

1 tblspn  butter

1/2 tspn sea salt

1/2 tspn pepper

7 oz of chipotle cheese (grated)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 11 baking dish with butter.  In a large dutch oven, melt butter and add onions.  Cook until onions are tender (stirring around in the pan).  Add heavy cream and bring to a slight boil.  Once it begins to boil turn down to simmer.  Add potatoes, garlic, sea salt and pepper.  Increase heat and bring mixture to a bubble and let cook approximately 15 mins.   Transfer half to the baking dish and sprinkle with cheese (I also gave a light sprinkle of pepper as well).  Pour remaining potatoes and top with cheese.  Bake covered until cheese is melted – approximately 15 mins.

 

The potatoes have creamy texture with hint of garlic and smokey-chipotle flavor

Next… Dig In!

Remember – Cooking is always good with a little “TLC” – TwinsLuvCooking!

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Salmon Swirls

Got company coming??  Whip up a batch of these crowd-pleasers to get the party started.

These little appetizers are easy and you can make plenty using one can of salmon and these simple ingredients.

1 can of salmon deboned  (I get mine from Cosco -Kirkland brand is already de-boned and skinless

2 tblspn sliced/diced jalapeno pepper

1/2 tblspn of the jalapeno pepper liquid

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper

4 oz cream cheese

flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Drain salmon and empty into medium size mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir.  Ok.. now.. if you like spicy.. add more jalapenos.. (which is what I like – so I always start with 2 tblspns then I add a little at a time to get the spicy desire I want.  Scoop some and spread on a tortilla.

Roll and slice them to your desired thickness.  Place on baking sheet and bake approximately 5-7 mins or until the tortillas feel a bit firm

Remove and serve hot.. Then start popping them in your mouth..

I hope you enjoy these delicious appetizers as much as we do..As always cooking is good with a little “TLC” – TwinsLuvCooking

Ciao!

What I’m Diggin’

One thing I’ve often said is music is so much a part of my life and I love sharing it.. Which is why sometimes I’ll do a post with a song to reflect what or how I’m feeling.  Not sure if you listen to any of them, if so, that’s great to hear, if not, it’s cool.. Not everyone digs music.. (Yea, I still use the old school lingo “Dig” chuckles.. Ooops, I just gave away my age.. (I’m a ’60’s baby).  Not sure if you know the music of Cassandra Wilson.  She’s a jazz singer and I truly adore her style and cultural bohemian vibe.   When I listen to her my mind wonders to some exotic places where I can admire different textures and styles pulled together to create that Afro-centric flair..  Here are some images I captured to share with you…

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Which brings me to feature the home of someone who is dear to me… My aunt – we lovingly refer to as “Pookie”.  Her home is filled with such cultural vibes and exotic touches..and she is a die-hard DIYer and thrifter.  On my trip home last week I visited her and when I walked in I immediately said.. I wanted to welcome you into her home so… Welcome to Pookie’s Paradise…

When you enter, your eyes are greeted by the African mask displayed inside a wooden textured oval frame.  I remember when she got the frame.. We were all at a flea market and a man had a truck load of huge frames he was needing to get rid of.. what luck we had that day..the only unlucky part was our truck wasn’t big enough to take all of them..lol.. but we all managed to score at least two each  :-) .

She’s not one to fuss with long drapery, and loves to expose her bay windows and let all the sunshine in, so she opted to Go-Green to cover her windows.. I’m totally envious of her green thumb.. (but thankfully it’s starting to rub off on me).  These are all her babies she meticulously takes care of.  Some of which she’s had for over 20 years..

To your right you’ll spot this cozy corner which has a few collectibles she’s had for decades, like the hand carved wooden statue.. A snazzy, cool find she picked up in St. Marteen

And if you eyes caught the painting – like mine- guess what — she’s the artist.. She painted that approximately 40 years ago..It’s called Crying Heart and totally LOVE IT!!

Resting on her coffee table is another hand carved wooden sculpture that she picked up in the Caribbean.

Every little corner is influenced with cultural accents..

Step to her outdoor living space and this is the showpiece in her garden.  The outdoor faux “fireplace”.  This is a curbside find and her creative juices flowed and this is what she did with it.

 

And at night.. look how it’s lit up.. and no it’s not a real fire, it’s red lights inside to create the fire effect.  Isn’t it fab..

This space is called the Hobbit Hole.. chuckles.. (how cute)…

The stained glass has an image that looks sort of  like a bug…  and the fox and midget chair are perfect accents for a hobbit..

She’s got little pockets of garden candy all around her yard and you can see more here.  But before you go, I’d like to introduce you to the lovely lady behind the home of Pookie’s Paradise..

That’s my aunt and I love her and the home she and her husband, Clay made.  It’s one you just kick your shoes off, sit back, relax and enjoy all the good food, music and cultural vibes they share.  I can’t wait to go back to visit again.  If you enjoyed this post and missed my other “Inspired by Music” posts you can see more here.   Until next time – Smooches!!

 

 

 

 

Friday Feature

I get excited when I find another blogger who I just love what they do.  Are you that way too?  That’s why I decided to do Friday Features on the blog once or twice a month.  I’m not one to constantly change decor, but I love when I see what others do, so I live vicariously watching their site.  My first feature is with Nicole over at DesignItVintage.  Nicole, like me, love vintage items and seeing them restored or refinished. What caught my eye on her site was her foyer makeover.  My mouth dropped when I saw and read what she did .  She took her foyer from this;

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To this!   She started with paint and a stencil and the rest is history.  I absolutely give her a round of  applause

 

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She did this with gold paint and a large stencil..remarkable.. I give major props to her on creating this stunning grand foyer.

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Gorgeous isn’t it… Nicole has so many other projects that are equally beautiful.. Hop over to her blog, sit back and enjoy the ooo and ahhh moments like I did…  Tell her Jamala sent you  :-)

Have a great weekend and remember – Go ahead, decorate and Get Inspired!