The Sounds Of Summer……

Summer, my dear friends…..the beginning of Summer and I am so excited….or perhaps I should say I am that I am quietly excited. I love being outside and our Florida weather is perfect for eating al fresco for every meal. […]

Some Serious Bling Going On Here….

My dear readers,  You know I am not a fashion maven by any stretch of the imagination, but I just had to show you the serious bling I had going on Sunday at church! Remember we live in Florida and […]

Short and Sweet…Or Maybe Sour Is More Accurate!!!

Good morning dear readers…  I am going to ask your indulgence with this post today.   I have been having issues with trying to make some changes and I seem to have lost my followers list and followers notifications among […]

Latest Happenings At Villa de la Luna…and More!

Good Morning my dear readers!!!  I’ve been on a decorating refresh of several of the rooms here at Villa de la Luna…or in other words, our home.  As you know I name everything and our home is no exception.  In […]

Office Update, Old Photos And More….

I have been spending any spare hours on re-organizing my new office…… yes, this is an office update! It has been almost…not quite, but almost…. an overwhelming task. When I first set up the new space with tons of drawers […]


Fruit Pizza for Cheyenne


My granddaughter has asked for this recipe to be posted….So here is is Cheyenne!  Luv ya lots!  It seems like we exchange quite a few recipes at our church functions doesn’t it?  That is the origin of this recipe…given to me about 33 years ago.  (thanks Jan) It has been around a long time and has many variations, but this is the one my granddaughter wants.

Fruit Pizza
A pizza shaped delicacy of fruit and cookie crust...soooooo good!
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  1. 1 - 18 ounce package of Pillsbury refrigerated slice and bake sugar cookies.
  2. 1 - 8 ounce package of softened (room temperature) cream cheese
  3. 1/3 cup of sugar
  4. 3 large bananas
  5. 1 - 16 ounce can of pineapple slices
  6. 1 small can of mandarin oranges drained
  7. 1 package of fresh or frozen whole strawberries
  8. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Grease a medium sized pizza pan.
  3. Slice cookie dough into thin slices and place onto pizza pan.
  4. Overlap but don't worry if the slices don't touch completely...because you are going to pat down the completed slices in the pan to form a flat crust.
  5. Bake 12 minutes and cool.
  6. Mix the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until creamy and spread on the crust.
  7. Decorate the pizza with any desired placing on the cream cheese mixture.
  8. See Below suggestions for the fruit.
  1. I use the pineapple slices in a circle with one slice in the middle of the pizza. I slice the bananas and place them all around the edge of the crust. I place a whole strawberry in the center of each pineapple slice, but you can slice the berries and arrange how you please. I place the mandarin orange slices in between each pineapple slice and along the edge of the banana slices. I have used blueberries, sliced kiwi and peaches but my family prefers the combination of the strawberries, pineapple, bananas and orange slices. What can I say? They are set in their ways...I wonder where they acquired that trait? 🙂 There is a glaze recipe that can be poured or drizzled over the top of the fruit, but since it is usually the red colored juices from the strawberries and the oranges it tends to "muddle" up the brightness of the pizza. Did I just make up that word for this description? I told you I tend to make up words...haha! I have used a pic from one of the twins' version of my fruit pizza as well as other pics to show all the variations of fruit combinations.
  2. Make it fun and make it what you want it to be!
Adapted from Kari
Adapted from Kari
Me and My Captain


fruit pizza me 2



Grandma’s Meat in Cabbage Rolls


My grandmother used to make these cabbage rolls regularly.  Sooo good …she used an electric skillet. She liked the way the heat would come on and go off! haha!   She was a hoot!  She also cooked with a pressure cooker regularly. I hope you like them.



Grandma's Meat in Cabbage Rolls
Serves 8
Definitely a comfort food. This recipe is about 50 years old and handed down by my grandmother.
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  1. 1/2 cup rice
  2. 1 1/4 cup milk
  3. 8-10 cabbage leaves
  4. 1 pound ground beef
  5. 1/4 pound of sausage
  6. 1 cup milk
  7. 2 teaspoons salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  9. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  10. 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  11. 1/2 cup hot water
  12. 1 small 6 ounce an of tomato sauce
  13. For the filling: Combine (uncooked) 1 pound of ground beef, 1/4 pound of sausage, 1 cup of milk and 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and add to the rice mixture.
  14. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling on each leaf and either tie with cooking string or use a toothpick to secure in a roll.
  15. Brown in 1 tablespoon of hot oil in electric skillet (or you may use any skillet or deep baking pan) Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of brown sugar over rolls and add 1/2 cup of hot water. Add 1 small can of tomato sauce.
  16. Cook for about 2 hours on top of stove or in an electric skillet until done. Spoon sauce over rolls when serving.
  1. Cook the rice in the milk til fluffy.
  2. Set aside to cool.
  3. Gently remove leaves from the cabbage head and drop into boiling water.
  4. Cook until partially translucent and pliable. (this takes just a minute or two)
  5. Drain on paper towels until ready to fill.
For the filling
  1. In a medium size bowl, combine (uncooked) ground beef, sausage, milk, salt, pepper
  2. Add the rice mixture.
  3. Mix gently, do not over mix as meat will become tough.
  4. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling on each leaf and either tie with cooking string or use a toothpick to secure in a roll.
  5. Heat the oil In an electric skillet or any heavy skillet, or a baking pan.
  6. Brown the cabbage rolls in hot oil until lightly brown on all sides.
  7. Sprinkle brown sugar over rolls and add hot water.
  8. Add tomato sauce evenly over rolls, .
  9. Cook for about 2 hours on top of stove or in an electric skillet (or oven) until done.
  10. Remove toothpicks or string from the cabbage rolls
  11. Spoon extra sauce from the pan over rolls when serving, if desired.
  1. This makes the house smell yummy!!! If you are not hungry before you make this recipe, you will be hungry while it cooks. 🙂
  2. TIP: Cut the core out of the cabbage head and pull the outer leaves off trying not to tear the leaves. It is ok if you tear a little of the you can "patch" it with toothpicks after filling.
Adapted from Kari
Adapted from Kari
Me and My Captain

Thin Cocoa Cake


Thin Cocoa Cake!  This recipe came from my Aunt Dorothy about 50 years ago…yes, it is that old …or I am that old…haha!  Well, we won’t discuss that subject at this time….that will be another post! 🙂 

Thin cocoa cake with pecans

 I started baking cookies and cakes at a very young age.  My Mother went to work and I had to take care of my two siblings, which meant not only baking but cooking as well.  My Mother was a great cook and made the best Fried Chicken and I continue to make her Fried Chicken and I would have to say it is my favorite protein. (I have included this recipe in a previous post).  Mother owned a restaurant and prepared what we call  today “comfort foods” and I just call it good tasting food, and if it gives me comfort at the same time…good for Mom! My Mom has gone to be with the Lord, but I remember her each day as I cook and bake.  Thanks Mom!


Thin Cocoa Cake
A cake that can be made, baked and frosted in less than 30 minutes. Recipe handed down to me 50 years ago.
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  1. 2 cups sugar
  2. 2 cups flour
  3. 1 stick of butter
  4. 1/2 cup Crisco (or your preferred shortening)
  5. 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  6. 1 cup water.
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  10. 1 teaspoon baking soda.
  1. Sift flour and add to sugar in a bowl and set aside
  2. In a saucepan, bring to a boil the butter, the water, cocoa and crisco and set aside to cool
  3. Pour cocoa mixture over flour and sugar mixture
  4. Add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla
  5. Batter will be thin
  6. Pour into a 16X11X1 inch sheet pan.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. 5 minutes before cake is done, make the icing.
  1. 1 stick butter
  2. 4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  3. 6 tablespoons milk.
  4. Bring to a boil and add 4 cups of powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
  5. Spread on hot cake.
  6. 1 cup of pecans can be added to the top of the cake.
  1. TIP: If you don't have buttermilk, just use milk and add a teaspoon of vinegar.
  2. If icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar and if it is too thick add a little milk to desired consistency.
  3. 1 cup of pecans can be added to the top of the cake. I would use pecans on half the cake and leave the other half plain as my twins did not like nuts.
  4. I love to make this cake because the whole cake, frosting and all can be made in less than 30 minutes....making for a quick desert and since it is a sheet cake, it feeds a lot of people if guests drop in unexpectedly! The cut cake is similar to brownies. I have seen various recipes for this cake with names like Texas sheet cake and with various added ingredients such as cinnamon.
  5. This recipe,came from My Aunt Dorothy, nestled in the Midwest and I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't come across the prairie on a covered wagon...well, that may be a stretch but 50 years is a long time to have this recipe. And I don't know how long my Aunt Dorothy had this recipe, I guess I should have asked...but then who knew I would be posting about it 50 years later??? I think I am going to stop writing right now.... and eat a piece of this cake, I may even add a scoop of vanilla ice cream...:)
Adapted from Kari
Adapted from Kari
Me and My Captain


Somewhere in Time….Cruise, Oct 2009


The Captain and I went on a cruise in Oct of 2009 and I wrote a little somethin’- somethin’ at the beginning of our cruise.  (Forgive me for using my own little terms, I make then up as I go. :))  I wanted to share it with you.

I also want to share a little secret about the Captain…he is a romantic! We both loved the old movie  “Somewhere in Time” and yes, perhaps some men would/could call it a chick flick, but we enjoyed the movie so much that we went to Mackinac Island on one of our wedding anniversaries and stayed at the Grand Hotel where some of the movie was made. If you haven’t seen the movie…you might need a few tissues near the end. 

Somewhere in Time….Cruise, Oct 2009

It is quiet…with only the sound of the continuous crashing of the waves against the ship in the early morning darkness.

It is dark….as the sleepy sun stays snuggled in the deep grey and black clouds, fighting the draw that will soon force it to emerge into a twilight morn.

It is hot…the coffee, is strong and black, enticing my hands to encircle the warmth of the cup, warding off the coolness of the morning air.

It is comforting…as I gaze across the vast water to see little bits of white flotsam atop the indigo peaks and swirls of the mighty Pacific Ocean.

It is mesmerizing…as I lower my eyes straight down the side of the large vessel to the turquoise water bubbling and ebbing off the walls of the ship.

I smile…in utter contentment as I remember the moon’s balancing act on the horizon, casting brilliant, yellowish beams of moonlight across the glassy dark water of the night before.

My reverie…is broken by my loved one stirring in the deck chair so close to me that I feel his every breath and the gratefulness that engulfs me because he is here beside me.

No phones, no TV, no reminders of tasks at work,…  to do something, somewhere, for someone, anyone. No mental fatigue as I fit bits and pieces of  data together to form (almost) meaningless tasks. Nothing… but silence.

The enormity of God’s creation from the fathomless depths of the black waters to the vast dark, black skies (with an occasional twinkling or winking in the heavens) …falls upon me as I silently thank Him for all He has blessed me with this day.

Then it happens!…the sky begins to lighten as the long- fingered rays from the sun stretch forth bringing its majestic presence to this side of the world.

The glow warms the early morning air and soft breezes lift the strands of my hair ever so gently and I close my eyes … in anticipation of a brand new day and all the surprises that are awaiting me.

The characters leap up and off the pages of the current book I am reading and into the recesses of my mind … to be summoned at any time I need their reassurances of life.

I turn my head slightly to gaze at the Captain as I think of the wonderful events he has planned for us to enjoy and explore on this cruise…much as a pirate would sort through his spoils ….or an adventurer would chart uncharted courses. 

Thank you God, for this time alone … as the Captain and I clutch each other’s hand, knowing that God is giving us this time together…this special time …this special place…for our own “Somewhere in Time”.









After My Thanksgiving and Before Yours!!!



Happy Day before Thanksgiving!!!

Thanks giving Dinner is over for us and I have put away all the Fall dinnerware, flatware and decor.  As I shared in an earlier post, we celebrated Thanksgiving early as the Captain is going to be flying (working) on Thanksgiving Day!  We have learned over the years that the actual Holiday works just as well when celebrated on another date close to the original. In fact, I think sometimes it is better as the actual day of the particular holiday is all mine to do as I please and it feels decadent! 🙂

On Thanksgiving Day (tomorrow), I plan to get out of bed an hour or so later than my usual 5:30-6:00 a.m….. and hang out at the house in my jammies. After all, who would come to visit to see how lazy I am?  😉  Everyone will be celebrating their Holiday either at home or traveling and they certainly won’t be coming to my home for coffee or just to chat!  All my friends will be much too busy for that. Of course, I always get invitations from my friends to spend the Holiday with them when they realize I will be home alone…and I truly thank them for that, but since we have already celebrated our Holiday (and with friends and family) …I would rather watch sports all day (or whatever I choose on the TV….and reading a good book is not out of the question either)… eating when and what I want….and doing whatever meets my fancy for the day. In other words….I want to be comfy-cozy!


Soooo, my favorite way to be comfy-cozy is to not get dressed, but to stay in my jammies, pull my hair back with a headband, don my favorite warm slippers, flip the switch on the fireplace (or use a real wood fire depending on the outside temperature this year)… Christmas lights glowing (yes, even in the daytime),and in my hand…a cup of hot tea in the morning hours, shifting to something like hot chocolate or cider later in the afternoon! Who knows? maybe a little wine in the evening. I must have munchies in the kitchen, so will make sure I have apple cake or pumpkin bread for something sweet and perhaps crackers and cheese, with a dip of some kind ready for the snacking. A perfect picture would be to add a beautiful snowfall (not the dirty, slushy snow one sees after it snows) BUT, because we live in SW Florida, that will not be possible, so I will have to settle for the “cold front” that is expected, which is almost as good. 🙂  We do have temps in the 40’s at times, so the crispness in the air will suffice….add to that, football games all day, with maybe a James Bond or John Wayne movie marathon that I can switch back and forth for variety. I may have to squeeze in the “Christmas Vacation” movie as it wouldn’t be the Holidays without it…I might have to extend my lazy day to Friday too!!!  Sigh….I will be so content!


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!  Please remember our troops!! 






Mandarin Orange Cake

This recipe came from a lady who used to do the filing at a business I worked for about 30 years ago….her name was Edith. She brought it to work at a potluck and I thought it was so good, I asked her for the recipe and I have been making it ever since. Each time I make it, I get asked for the recipe.  It is a simple cake and very moist.  It is easy to remember because everything is 2 cups or teaspoons…..let me know if you make it and what you think of it.!!!  🙂

mandarin cake

Mandarin Orange Cake
I like to call this my 2 cuppa...because almost all the ingredients are all "2's". makes it an easy recipe to remember! everything goes in together in one bowl! How simple is that?
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Cook Time
35 min
Cook Time
35 min
  1. 2 eggs
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 2 cans of mandarin oranges (small cans, drained)
  4. 2 cups flour
  5. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  6. ½ teaspoon salt.
  1. 3/4 brown sugar
  2. 3 tablespoons milk
  3. 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Combine eggs, sugar, mandarin oranges, flour, baking soda and salt in a medium size bowl.
  2. Grease and flour (or using baking spray) a 9X13 baking dish
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
  4. While baking, put brown sugar,milk and butter in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  5. Prick cake with fork and pour topping over warm cake right after taking from the oven.
  6. Top each piece with whipped cream right over the glaze if desired
  1. You can omit the glaze, but why would you want to? It makes this orange cake so wonderfully moist and tasty! I love it with my morning hot tea! And so will you!
Adapted from Kari
Adapted from Kari
Me and My Captain
Mandarin Orange Cake

 Combine 2 eggs, 2 cups sugar, 2 cans of mandarin oranges (small cans and drained) 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt.

Bake in a 9X13 baking pan at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

While baking, put ¾ cup of brown sugar,3 tablespoon milk and 2 tablespoon butter in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.

Prick cake with fork and pour topping over cake right after taking from the oven. Top each piece with whipped cream when ready to serve.


Christmas Decorating…Sooo Early

Christmas 2012 170

It isn’t even Thanksgiving, but it is time to decorate the trees (yes, I said plural, as we put up several trees at our home).  Thanksgiving comes later this year…the days until Christmas are few. It is a little over three weeks after Thanksgiving and then it will be Christmas! The pic above is the tree in our entry, combination living room, dining room and kitchen.  It’s an open concept room with huge ceilings. We tried a smaller tree 3 years ago and it looked like a little dwarf tree in that room. Really kinda of funny.

So, the Captain got busy and brought the decorations and trees down from the attic….most houses in Florida do not have basements for storage…unless you call those areas where there are sink holes…oh dear, that isn’t even funny…sorry about that!  🙁  

Back to the decorations…in fact, that is what I should be doing right now, I have finished the main tree and I am working on the blue room tree…see left…but I decided to take a break!  We have carried on a tradition that includes a open house in early December. I make fudge, cookies, cakes, and finger foods (do you see a pattern here? Lots of “sweets” for grazing) We also make a few little “healthy” snacks, but very few as it is after all, the Holidays and a time for splurge.  We probably ought to rethink that, as we all need to be healthy! Maybe next year!  🙂

I will post a few of the recipes and if you have any recipes for munching….please let me know.  

We invite friends, neighbors and family to drop by our home at their convenience for some egg nog, wassail or just to catch up on the happenings of everyone! Which leads me back to my decorating. Guess I need to get back to it or I won’t be finished by Christmas! Break time over…just wanted to say hello! 

Have any of you started decorating your trees?






Roasted Glazed Carrots with Dill

roasted carrots

 This is a quick easy way to prepare vegetables such as potatoes, onions, parsnips….

Roasted Glazed Carrots with Dill
I like to roast all m y vegetables in this same method. Onions, potatoes, parsnips etc...makes your soup taste even better!
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  1. 1 pkg of carrots, peeled (if the carrots look pretty clean, I don't scrape off the peeling, but give them a good brushing)
  2. Olive oil...I use EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  3. Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Slice carrots diagonally in large pieces as the carrots will shrink as they cook
  2. Spread carrots on a sheet pan
  3. Add a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Toss with your hands to coat the carrots.
  5. Roast in 400 degree for about 35-45 minutes or until tender.
  6. If your carrots are smaller in diameter, the time will be about 20-30 minutes
  7. Remove, place in bowl.
  8. Add fresh chopped dill over the top to serve.
  1. I like to roast all my vegetables in this same method. Onions, potatoes, parsnips ...especially for soup. Yummy!
Adapted from Kari
Adapted from Kari
Me and My Captain

Easy Pistachio Salad


My family asks for this salad on Thanksgiving and it has become a tradition. When the twins were little, they called it the “green stuff”!!!   The recipe is at least 20 years  old. You can use any flavor of Jello, let your imagination be your guide.

So easy to  prepare…pineapple, mini marshmallows, cool whip. pistachio dry pudding mix…toss together and you have a salad! Yummy!

Happy eating!






Easy Pistachio Salad
A quick and easy throw together salad for any occasion.
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  1. 1 box jello pistachio instant pudding and pie filling, (do not cook)
  2. 1 small carton of Cool whip
  3. 1 can of drained crushed pineapple
  4. one small bag of mini marshmallows.
  5. My family asks for this salad on Thanksgiving and it has become a tradition. When the twins were little, they called it the “green stuff”!!! The recipe is at least 20 years old. You can use any flavor of Jello, let your imagination be your guide.
  1. Combine all ingredients in order given
  2. Chill and serve!
  1. This salad can be modified by using strawberries and strawberry jello powder...just use your imagination! 🙂
Me and My Captain


My Thanksgiving Menu

I promised I would print my Thanksgiving Menu and since we celebrated Thanksgiving early, I can honestly say our guests were pleased.  The feedback has been great!


I roasted a Turkey Breast for the Turkey and Cornbread Dressing casserole….. and our main entree was of course Turkey…. and we deep fried a 14 pound bird and had the traditional bread stuffing too.

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