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Sunflowers For Sunny Gals

It seems I am obsessed with sunflowers! I'm really not, only this month! Subliminally, I think I was affected by my friends beautiful sunflower table in March. (Featured in a previous blog). The power of suggestion to the mind is incredible and not always consciously perceived. Be that as it may, I have fallen in love with this beautiful flower and the outdoorsy country feel it lends to any setting. I'm finding LOTS of people LOVE sunflowers!

This table was gleaned from last weeks sunflower dining and customized to last nights event which was a Leadership Group Dinner. Each year we form new leadership groups within our leadership members. This is my groups "Getting Acquainted With Your New Group" dinner.

Above: Amazing Gazpacho, my over 30-year-old recipe for Enchiladas, (Picture taken before baking) Coconut Cream Cake topped with chopped pecans and toasted coconut, served with a broiled pineapple slice, topped with vanilla ice cream and toasted coconut. Denise made homemade Guacamole, and Shannon brought a delicious mixed salad. Everything was yummy!!

Do you have friends that make you feel like a queen at everything you do? I do, and I treasure them and I love DELIGHTING them in whatever ways I can. This is one way I can do that. My serious goal for this year is to let them know, ever so much, how treasured they are with words, deeds, and support. They add so much to my life and the lives of others. They always have sunny dispositions, just like the sunflower! Did you know that a sunflower's bloom follows the face of the sun? These friends of mine follow the face of the "Son". That's why they all radiate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and even self-control...the Fruit of the Spirit.

Before summer is over, I'm hoping to go on a picnic with that picnic basket! I can use the table square I made of fabric ordered on eBay. A tin can is embellished with lace and tied with a raffia bow. A wine bottle is adorned with two types of lace and sunflowers were inserted for a preponderance of sunflowers. The glass container will contain a lively limeade with limes and other fruits. This table really catches you by surprise and abundance as you round the corner into my kitchen...Just the effect I want to create for my guests. :-)

Here are the recipes. Enjoy!

Gazpacho Con Gusto
Serves 6-8

1 liter Original Flavor V-8 Juice
5 mediumtomatoes, diced
2 green onions, whiteparts thinly sliced, green parts reserved for garnish
1 regular or English cucumber, diced
1 sweet red bell pepper,seeded, diced
1 small purple onion,finely chopped
1 Jalapeno pepper,minced, seeds removed
1 large garlic clove,minced
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons ground Cumin
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro

Chopped Avocado
Lime wedges

Combine all of the ingredients,except the cilantro in a large bowl. Mix together and taste for seasoning.Refrigerate at least one hour. Before serving, stir in the cilantro. Serve garnishedwith sliced green parts of the spring onions, chopped avocado, additionalcilantro and lime wedges. You could also add cooked shrimp.

Hint: You can minimize the sting on your fingers from the chopping of the Jalapeno pepper by dripping the juice of lemon on your hands. Note to Self: Do not put contact lenses in after chopping a Jalapeno pepper!! :-O

Coconut Cream Cake: See Previous Blog Post by searching "Dory's Coconut Cream Cake"

Enchiladas Ole!

1 ½ lbs ground beef (sautéed)
or shredded chicken or pork
*2bunches green onions (chopped)
*1 canchopped olives, reserve some for top of enchiladas
*16ounces sour cream
*16ounces cottage cheese
*1small and 1 large can green chilies (diced or regular)
*1package Lipton Onion soup mix
3 packages of Mixed Cheddar and Jack Cheese
(or Mexican Cheese by Sargento)
1small and 1 large can Enchilada sauce
1package (36) corn tortillas
3 small cans sliced black olives

  • Mix starred items together in a large bowl.
  • Saute meat, set aside.
  • Fry tortillas in oil 1-2 inches deep in a small frying pan, remove with tongs, and place in casserole dish. (I do this all at once).
  • Fill tortillas with *cream mixture; add meat, close with toothpick.
  • Cover tortillas with grated cheeses and enchilada sauce.
  • Sprinkle with remaining olives.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove toothpicks before serving!


My Favorite Blog...Get Ready to be Wowed!


I discovered the most BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING, GLORIOUS, HELPFUL, DELICIOUS, and INSPIRING blog a little over a month ago.  It is so lovely that I want to share it with anyone who wants to indulge in a treat for your eyes and soul.  Yvonne and I share so many of the same passions and love of beautiful dishes, dining, entertaining, family and faith.  

In addition to the many domestic living posts she enters, she also has a scripture she shares on Sunday along with a picture of somewhere in Israel.  It's like she takes you with her, wherever she goes or whatever she's doing.  Whenever I see something that almost takes my  breath  away on  Pinterest, it is usually another unique pin from   I guaranty you will be DELIGHTED if you visit her blog!

When I saw her blog post:  "What to Do With All Your Dishes", (or something close to that) I knew I would LOVE her and I do.  Yvonne even responds to your emails.  She lives on the East Coast, and just extracts all the beauty life has to give into her life and generously shares it with others.  You MUST visit her blog.  You also can sign up to be a "Follower" and receive her posts by email too.  If you have the time, she's got the inspiration!  

Additional Ideas For Storing Tablecloths

What you are viewing is a picture of the solid color tablecloths in my closet.  I find this is the absolute best way to store them for ease of use.  I used to store them in plastic bins throughout different places in the house and I couldn't easily find the ones I wanted to use.  Now, I just slide the closet door open and there they are, all with size labels and arranged by colors.  Shown below is a free PNG file you can print right on to a 30 label sheet and then attach to your tablecloths.  I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me.  It is fantastic to be able to locate all the things you need for an event easily. 

Simply click on the label numbers to print your own.  Have a delightful day!

One Way to Organize Your Table Cloths & Napkins

Here is how I store some of my tablecloths and napkins; in my Armoire!

These are mostly the printed ones, I store the solid color ones in the closet in the guest room. Napkins are stored in plastic boxes purchased at Target for $.92 each on sale. They are protected and much easier to get to than stacking them on top of each other.

I love these hangers purchased at Target for 10 cents each. You can hang embellishments and adornments on them. Once the original package is opened, you can transfer them to a Ziploc bag and punch a hole in it to hang your items. ;-)

Irresistable Fairy Garden House

Okay!  I couldn't wait til next week to get the other fairy garden house!  I went back and purchased it, along with two bunnies, some stone for a pathway and some Baby's Tear greenery to place in my outdoor fairy garden when this dining table has served my guests.  I ask you, "Could you resist this?"

Whimsical Sunflower Dining

I purchased these napkin rings a year ago for another tablescape, but when I saw these dishes at Home Goods, I simply had to have them and they matched up "perfectly"... my second favorite word. (My first favorite word is "YES"! Everyone's least favorite words: "You should..." Try it, you'll see I'm right!
I found these lovely cordial glasses at an antique store for $7.00 for all six!! I knew I had to purchase them too, and they would pair perfectly (there's that word again ;-)) with my amber Boopie glasses.

My very special friend took me for a spin around M&M Nursery, where she introduced me to the lovely concept of Fairy Gardens! OMG! They were so adorable. They probably had 30 different ones on display, along with all the paraphernalia you can buy to make them...I am seriously going to try to resist that addiction! But...when I saw this little fairy house made out of a gourd, well, what could I do? They have a little house made from a log that I will go back for next week. This added the touch of whimsy I was seeking for my tablescape. They have these cute little rock and brick pathways you can buy...and sooooooooo much more.  Beverly Turner is an expert in Fairy Gardens.  She also acts and sings!  If you go, you must ask for her. 

The flowers are artificial, but I really liked how they complemented the dishes and table, so I am using them!

I bought this unfinished bird house at JoAnn's and painted it for more whimsical detail for the table. I purchased the crown-topped frog and stone stool at M&M Nursery on my first excursion. My granddaughters, and daughter-in-law, and a few friends and my cousins are coming next week so that we can attend The After The Final Rose taping of the Bachelorette. My oldest granddaughter LOVES sunflowers, and since she turned 21 last month, I want to surprise her with something she loves.