Holiday Turkey Recipe-Amazing Every Time!

how to cook a turkey

If you’re looking for my recipe for “Perfect Turkey Every Time” I’ve updated the post and you’ll find it here.

I’m in the process of moving all my most popular content to my main website at Traveling with Purpose. That’s where I share about living a purposeful life at home and when I’m traveling.

If you haven’t tried it before, trust me on this one. This turkey recipe is delicious. Never dry! The white meat melts in your mouth. It’s a SLOW roasting method, and once it’s in the oven, you can forget it for hours, until you’re ready to eat.

Have fun and let me know how your dinner turns out.

Easy Easter Quiche

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter
by Don & Tonya Christner

If you’re thinking of making Quiche for an Easter Brunch, here’s an easy recipe that I’ve been using for decades.  The secret to keeping your quiche from coming out soupy or runny is to toss the grated cheese in a little bit of flour before baking (see recipe).

I also love the fact that you can use a variety of cheeses and a variety of fillings.  I’ve used Swiss, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Cheddar – most any semi-soft cheese. For fillings I’ve used ham, bacon, broccoli, crab and more. Just choose your favorites.

This link also takes you to a couple of other tasty brunch recipes.

Hope you have a wonderful day celebrating our risen Lord with family and friends.


Simple Summer Ideas – Eats, Drinks, Decor

Hey there friends,  I have been staring at the last post for much too long and I’m sure you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, so here’s a little sumthin’ for your summer inspiration.

I know, it’s way past time to bring out the summer decorations.  It will be Independence Day next week, after all!  Can I confess that I still have my Easter decorations on my branch in the living room?  Yowzah!  Hopefully, I can switch them out for summer decor this weekend.

Things have been quite buzy around here with a bunch of changes happening, as well as more on the horizon.  Sadly, my time to concentrate on the transitions are limiting my time to post.  No worries though, there will be more news and posting to come.

In the meantime, here are a few photos of my Summer Centerpiece.  I happen to use mine in the guest bath.  Yes, a centerpiece in the bathroom!  As you know I try to trick myself into believing that I live near the water, especially in these hot summer months when our temperatures are consistently in triple digits (this week it was up around 113 degrees F)!

I keep this simple centerpiece in the bathroom where I get ready every morning.  It fills my mind with memories of sandy beaches, coastal breezes and the sound of waves lapping on the shore.  Which reminds me…I may have a chance to visit my little hometown on Lake Erie in September and I can’t wait to walk on the beach and hear the sounds of the waves as I drift off to sleep!  I never realized what a blessing it was to live just steps from the shore until recently.

For this fun candle arrangement, just find a rustic container, fill it with sand, shells, a candle (or 3) and things that remind you of summer.  Try one yourself and post a link here so we can all see it?

More ideas for your summer inspiration:

Patriotic Slipcover Transformation

4th of July Beverage Ideas

4th of July – Summer Recipes

4th of July – Patriotic Decor

Let me know your plans for the summer and have an awesome holiday!

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving

I pray that each and every one of you enjoys a holiday filled with the love and comfort of family and dear friends.  There are many hurting in this season, so please remember those who are in need of physical or emotional support.  Our hearts are with you…

Thanksgiving Table in the back yard

This photo was taken at Thanksgiving a few years ago.  It makes me thankful that the weather in Arizona is often nice enough to sit outside during the holidays.

Perkins family

And here’s a Perkins family photo from last year.

On this day of remembering, I’m also thankful for…

  1. Wonderful family that’s always there in good times and bad
  2. Precious friends who love and encourage me
  3. God’s provision for our needs and beyond
  4. A comfortable home filled with joy
  5. Plenty of food on the table
  6. A house filled with music
  7. The gift of creativity and imagination
  8. God’s amazing creation
  9. Good health
  10. The freedom to travel this glorious planet

And soooo much more…

Blessings from our family to yours today and throughout the coming year.

4th of July Ideas – Part 1 – Beverages

In looking for some refreshing summer beverages for the 4th of July, I was reminded of a delicious pitcher of Sangria that we had recently with some friends at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Tucson.  If you haven’t visited El Charro Cafe in Old Town Tucson, it’s a place that’s well worth your time.  This is a view of the welcoming courtyard. When the weather’s nice (as it is for over half the year in this part of Arizona) it’s the most relaxing place to enjoy dinner or even just a drink with friends.

El Charro Courtyard - Tucson AZ
El Charro Courtyard - Tucson AZ

Ryans and Hanns

We happened to be in Tucson for Terry and Bob (aka The Catfish Hunters) to play at the Tucson Folk Festival and we had a chance to enjoy a wonderful dinner here with Bob & Helen.

But I digress.  This post is supposed to be about beverages and one of the sweet parts of the evening was our Summertime Blackberry Sangria. Doesn’t it look delicious!  I can taste it now.  Imagine washing down your chips and salsa with that colorful concoction.

So to bring this full circle.  I’ve been enjoying Sangria at a variety of spots this year and thought I’d share a patriotic version and eye-catching recipe for serving a group without having to make individual drinks for everyone.

Check out this Red, White and Blue Sangria from Recipe Girl!  (and she’s having a giveaway too)

She used pineapple for her stars, but I think I’d try star fruit since it already has the shape you need.   I LOVE the red strawberries, “white” (kinda) pineapple or star fruit, and blue-berries to carry through the patriotic theme.  Just imagine your giant glass beverage dispenser filled to the brim with all these summery ingredients.  It’s a party waiting to happen.  In case you haven’t seen it before, this is what star fruit looks like and here’s some more info about it too.  Hey, think about adding star fruit to your salads on the 4th as well!

…now where are the fireworks.

Let me know your plans for the 4th.  I’d love to hear how you celebrate.

Stay tuned for parts 2 (food) and 3 (DIY crafts and decorations) for the 4th of July series in the coming days.

Chase Away Winter Blahs with Flowers

O.k., so the first day of Spring isn’t until March 20th, but actually here in Phoenix we start enjoying Spring weather quite early.  It was up in the 70’s all week and looks to continue in that same vein for a while.  Oh, we may get a few more cold days, but my guess is that we’ve already had our winter this year and although short-lived it was much colder than usual.

We had about a week straight with temperatures getting down below freezing at night and our plants in the front yard are pretty pathetic looking as a result.  I won’t bore you with those ugly photos, but I’ll share a little inspiration for those of you who might be stuck in the cold country and want to find a way to chase away those winter blahs.2010.Flowers in Spice jars

Here’s a great way to perk up your home with flowers and make a little bit go a long way.

Not long ago I was helping a group with decorating for an event.  Our budget was very tight or more accurately, it was non-existent, so I was trying to find a way to dress up the room without spending a lot of money.  So. here’s what we did.

I went to the local Goodwill Store and found this set of 10 spice jars that came with their own metal storage/carrying rack for a few dollars.  They were  dirty and some still had worn and torn labels on them.  Each one also had a silver screw-on lid, that isn’t in the picture.

I brought them home and washed them well.  Had to use a little bit of Goo Gone to get all the adhesive off the glass from the labels, but that didn’t take long.  Soon they were sparkling clean.

When it was time to use them for the event, I filled each jar with water, put the lid on and put them back in the holder that they came in.  You see the cool thing about having a carrying rack and lids for the jars was that I could transport all 10 of them with water without spilling a drop.  The event that we were setting up didn’t have easy access to water to fill them there, so I brought it with me.

Then I bought just one inexpensive bouquet of flowers at the local store.  Being in the city, grocery stores are great, but if you have a Costco nearby their flowers are always beautiful and very reasonably priced.  Of course, during growing season in the cold country you may have them growing in your backyard or available at a farmer’s market or roadside stand.  I trimmed the stems at home, then carried the bouquet in a plastic pitcher to the event and inserted the flowers in the mini-vases after we arrived.

With ten mini-vases we were able to put one vase of a few flowers on each table to add just a touch of fresh scent and color and make the ladies feel pampered.  I mean really – who doesn’t love fresh flowers!

And of course, you can use those precious little beauties all together for more impact (like in the photo above) or in any combination or groupings you can imagine.   What fun, right?  Imagine them lining your windowsill or scattered throughout the house to brighten up each room.  Or place them in front of a mirror for double the impact.

If you had these mini-vases how would you use them?  What other ideas do you have for spreading the wealth with your flowers?

Today I’m linking to:

Frugal Friday


Save the Planet or Mail Paper Invitations?

Do you struggle with the dilemma of whether to spend a bundle on the eco-waste of printing and mailing those custom gorgeous paper invitations or saving energy and trees (plus quite a bit of money) to send something of lesser quality via email?

Well, now you can send a card with the same look of those custom printed ones for free or close to it!

Today I discovered the Paperless Post website and was very impressed by the quality and variety of paperless invitations that they offer.  The site is currently in Beta version, but I LOVE what I see so far.  Your guests can receive their invitation,  enclosed in a paperless envelope with their name on the front, complete with a matching envelope liner! Custom colors are available throughout the process as well, so everything can be coordinated with your theme.

What a great way to make every invitation feel extra special without blowing your budget on paper, printing, stamps, and all.  Plus think of all the time you won’t have to spend hand-addressing all those envelopes.

Sample Save the Date Card

When you set up your free account you automatically receive 25 free “Stamps” and 10 free “Customization Coins” which are used for additions such as envelope liners, logos, etc.  That means you can send 25 free cards right off the bat.  Additional “stamps” and “coins” can be earned by referring  friends to their site or can be purchased at a reasonable cost, which ends up being so much less than mailing physical cards.

And who knows…hopefully, at some point in the future, if they can get enough traffic, the site may be totally free.  So check it out and sign up today.

If you love good quality cards and stationary, I think you’ll love what they offer!

After you take a look, let me know what you think.  Are there other sites that you like better?  I’m always looking for new options for my big and small events.