Apple Pickin’ Time

SAMSUNGApple A-Peel recipes and decorations were the theme of my presentation for a PEO group in Mason City, Iowa.  Baskets lined with red gingham napkins were filled with green and red apples.  An “A” is for apple flashcard was inserted.   Crystal candlesticks were tied with gingham ribbons.  A burlap garland intertwined with green berries, a small chalkboard, and a vintage tablecloth were used.

ApplebasketTie a round key tag holder to the stem of the apple and use it as a placecard.  Add height by placing it atop an ice cream sundae dish.  We served warm Winter Wassail, Apple Cosmo Martinis, apple slices dipped in Toffee Chip Caramel Dip, Candy Corn treats, Waldorf Apple Salad and Apple Cake with Warm Caramel Sauce.


This is my “bobbing-for-appBobbingapplesles” centerpiece.  Core out an apple and insert a tealight candle.  Float the apples along with some leaves you’ve collected from the yard.  You could do this on a larger scale at your front door if you have an old, galvanized laundry tub.  For Thanksgiving, I use pumpkin gourds instead of apples.

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Cookbook Is Being Printed!!!

By the end of June 2012, my cookbook will be ready for market.  It’s a fun, seasonal cookbook that screams LET’S PARTY!  A special thanks to everyone at Favorite Recipe Press (A Division of Southwestern Publishing) for running with my ideas and making them beautiful.  My newly updated website will be launched by the end of June with online ordering capabilities.   Please visit me at

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Cookbook Project

I’m currently working on a cookbook project.  My newly launched website will give you a glimpse of what is to come.  Please check it out at

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Bucket of Sunflowers

If you have to pick one flower that says “country”, it’s the sunflower.  The flower arrangement started with a galvanized bucket and some red bandanas.  Curly willow branches were inserted among the sunflowers and a raffia bow was added as the final touch.  I think I’m going to grow my own sunflowers next summer because I love them so much!

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I’m No Stuffed Shirt!

Scarecrows appeared on each party invitation.  The invitations stated “NO STUFFED SHIRTS ALLOWED” meaning that only fun, party-loving people were invited.  I carried the theme one step further by placing this scarecrow next to the barn entry door to greet the guests.

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“Barn Dance Red” Wine


We’ve decided to serve just one wine for the evening called “Barn Dance Red”.  It’s an Iowa wine by Tabor Home Vineyards in Baldwin, Iowa.   Most people like it because it’s not too dry plus, it’s the most beautiful shade of red.  A piece of bandana ribbon tied loosely on the neck of the bottle serves as decoration and also as a drip ring when pouring.  You can order a bottle for yourself at  The galvanized metal carrier is from Pottery Barn.

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Boot Scootin’ Wreath

This wreath should tell my guests that it’s time to kick up their heels.  Start with a plain twig wreath.  Wrap some old, rusty barbed wire around the wreath or buy some faux barbed wire cord.  Attach some rusty metal stars, tie on some bandana ribbon pieces and make a big bow from bandana wired ribbon.  Lastly, find an old child-size cowboy boot and tie it so that it dangles in the center of the wreath.  “Command” hooks by 3M work great for hanging wreaths on glass panel doors.  They even hold on during freezing temperatures.

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“Tie One On” Party Favors

Multi-colored bandanas will become party favors for all of my guests.  The best source for bandanas is  I attached a coffee stained tag to each bandana explaining what it means to “Tie One On” at the party.  The text for each tag along with the lasso border was printed on a clear mailing label and then adhered to the tag.  (Tags with strings attached don’t feed through printers very well.)  All of the party favors were displayed in an antique gathering basket.

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Bandana Napkins

Look what I’ve found!  Bandana dinner and cocktail napkins.  Just perfect for our barn party.  Check out to order some for yourself.

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Bar—n Party String Lights

String lights are so festive. Don’t you just love ’em. These were purchased from I think the lights will draw people to the loft area—-just like moths to a yard light!

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