Root Vegetable Soup with Herb Croutons {#SundaySupper}

Few dishes can comfort your body and your soul on a cold winter day than a hearty soup. This Root Vegetable Soup with Herb Croutons will chase away any chill and is perfect served for a weekday dinner or lunch on a snow day.

Root Vegetable Soup with Sage Croutons on by @KraylFunch

Each year my husband and I pack up our winter clothes and head out west for our annual ski + snow board trip. The last few years we have be able to meet up with family and friends to spend the week enjoying the cold weather and if we are lucky a snow storm or two.

Root Vegetable Soup with Sage Croutons on by @KraylFunch leeks chopped on counter

It has become my tradition on these ski trips to have a day or two by myself to head to the local market, cook up a new recipe, sip some wine and simply enjoy the day in the house while the others are on the slopes. Everyone wins on this day – I am a happy girl cooking and doing my thing and the frozen snowboarders are happy when they come home to a hot meal at the end of the long day.

Root Vegetable Soup with Sage Croutons on by @KraylFunch chopped sage on cutting board

Root Vegetable Soup with Sage Croutons on by @KraylFunch chopped sage croutons close

This year we traveled to Breckenridge, Colorado and rented a condo perfectly situated one block out of town and two blocks from the local market, which by the way I could have spent an entire day in looking at their selection of local, organic and speciality products. Also close by was the larger City Market where I was able to pick up a few additional ingredients for the Root Vegetable Soup and Herb Croutons.

Root Vegetable Soup with Sage Croutons on by @KraylFunch soup in bowl

Root Vegetable Soup with Sage Croutons on by @KraylFunch soup with croutons and sage

This soup recipe came about based on the best looking root vegetables at the market, a few ingredients that where already in the house from the last renters and one of my favorite winter herbs, Sage. Grated Gruyere cheese adds a touch of richness and saltiness to the croutons and to the soup in general – feel free to top off your bowl with a few extra grated teaspoons for extra flavor.

Root Vegetable Soup with Sage Croutons on by @KraylFunch soup with croutons

As hoped, the soup was a huge hit. At the end of the day the gang of chilled skiers opened the door to a house filled with the warm aroma of a pot of soup on the stove and toasty croutons in the oven. The day and meal were a success for everyone. 

Root Vegetable Soup with Sage Croutons on by @KraylFunch soup with carrots and parsnips

[yumprint-recipe id=’27’]This week the Sunday Supper is hosted by Cindy from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings, is celebrating with an incredible assortment of Root Vegetable Recipes sure to be a crowd favorite at family dinner or the next time you are entertaining at home. 

Be sure to stop by as many as you can and join the fun on Twitter as we share and chat all day :: @KraylFunch







Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

Bailey’s Bonfire Spiked Warm Milk + Chocolate

Few things can warm you through to your toes after a day on the slopes like a Bailey’s Spiked Warm Milk. This version adds a toasted marshmallow sweetness to the top layer along with shaved dark chocolate. Sip as you watch the flurries out the window.

If you are feeling really decadent, try adding a dash of cardamom to the milk mixture or even drop a few chocolate chips in.




  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur
  • large marshmallows
  • dark chocolate shavings


In a small saucepan, add milk and Bailey’s. Turn on medium heat and let mixture warm up. Stir to combine and transfer to oven safe mugs fill only 3/4 full to leave room for the marshmallows
Turn oven broiler to low. Place 3 marshmallows on top of hot milk mixture and place mugs on a baking sheet under broiler. Keep the oven door open and watch your marshmallows. Do not walk away, they will quickly burn if not monitored. Once your marshmallows are a warm toasty color, carefully remove from heat with oven mitt.
Using a vegetable peeler shave, chocolate over top.


How to Make Christmas Star Ornament Placecards. {DIY VIDEO}

How to make christmas star ornaments via @AnAppealingPlan #holidaydecorating copy

In this video for eHow I will show you how to make Christmas Star decorations with salt dough.


I grew up putting salt dough ornaments on my tree and haven’t made them in a very long time. It is time to bring this easy and fun craft back. This year I am going to use them as place cards on my Holiday Table. Each one is stamped with the guest’s name to let them know where to sit and then they can take it home to place on their tree.


  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Rolling Pin
  • Star Cookie Cutter
  • Straw
  • Parchment Paper
  • Extra Flour
  • Ribbon
  • Stamp & Ink Pad


Add equal parts flour and salt and half that amount of water. Mix together in a bowl until all ingredients are combined and the dough is no longer sticking to the sides. Roll it out so dough is approximately 1/4 inch thick.

Use your cookie cutter to create the shapes. Once you have them cut out, poke a hole to allow to thread a ribbon or hook through. Using a standard plastic straw poke a hole in it and make sure you don’t get too close to the edges.

Place them on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put into the oven for about approximately two hours to dry them NOT bake them. {Drying times vary. Many will continue to dry over a few days.}

Once they are dry you can begin to decorate them with the stamps and ribbon. Select your stamp and ink of choice. Place on dried ornament.

Run ribbon through hole to create the ornament hanger. Cut about a six-inch ribbon, loop it through and tie it.

And what I’m going to use this for actually is to use it on a place setting. So, I’m going to go ahead and put this on the dinner table and that way everyone knows where they’re sitting and then they can also take the ornament home with them.

What are you using as placecards for your holiday table? Let me know in the comments below. Like + Share the love with friends.


Easy Christmas Mantle Decorations. Christmas Trees + Candles

How to decorate with candles and christmas trees via @AnAppealingPlan #holidaydecorating copy

Candle lights and Christmas trees can create quite the fire hazard if you’re not careful. Make candle lights and Christmas trees the safe way in this video for eHow.

Click the image to start the video or if the image does not appear CLICK HERE.


Many years ago, Christmas trees were decorated with actual candles, and the candles were attached to the boughs of the trees. And, as you can imagine, this was quite a fire hazard! So, luckily, fast-forward to today. We have many different ways to decorate with candle lights and Christmas trees that do not require an open flame – specifically, speaking of battery-powered candle lights, and these are really a great way to decorate around a live Christmas tree.


  • 2-3 Mini Christmas trees
  • 2-3 Birch wood boxes or containers
  • Additional Faux greenery
  • Silver ornaments
  • Battery or Solar powered candles
  • Birch wood logs
  • Ribbon


Place trees into birch wood boxes. Place additional greens inside box to cover the tree base and to create a base for the ornaments. Add ornaments in the color of your choice.

Wrap 3-5 logs with ribbon cut to size.

Place trees, logs bundles and candles either on your mantle, couch table or dining table, alternating each one to create a safe seasonal display that can be left out for the entire season!

Do you decorate your dining room table for the entire season? Let me know in the comments below. Like + Share the Joy with friends.



Decorating Christmas Garland with Burlap Ribbon

Decorating Christmas garland with ribbon is easy and a nice way to personalize it for your decor needs. Garland can be used around doorways, but it can be also used on a mantel above a bookcase, or perhaps along a buffet if you’re entertaining.

Click the image to start the video or if the image does not appear click here.

In this video for eHow, I discuss how to  decorate Christmas garland with ribbon. Click the image above or click here to start the video.

You may have plain green garland that you would like to decorate, and you want to add a little bit of pizzazz, this project is perfect for you.

Start with 5 yards of ribbon or even a runner will work. Start with one end, leaving a few inches of ribbon before you make your first tie.

Instead of using floral wire, use the pieces of the garland to wrap around the ribbon. Start to move down, bunching the ribbon so you have nice volume and movement. Do not tie  it too tight onto the garland. Keep moving down this length of garland and adding these pieces.

Once you have done the entire length of that one garland, come back and add a second layer. And this is where you can really have a little bit more fun. In this video I use a red shimmery ribbon, but you can use any color, or you could leave it plain like this, you could use this more as a woodland rustic Christmas decoration.

Layer it on, again, leave that same length at the end.

You could also use garland to decorate your children’s room, using polka dots, or maybe tin soldier patterned ribbon.

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An-Appealing-Plan-the book by Krayl Funch Cover Image 150xAnd, if you are looking for even more easy holiday entertaining, check out An Appealing Plan the book.

I believe we are bringing back entertaining at home, lingering over a table after a lovingly prepared meal with friends. I am thrilled to be able to invite you on this journey with me through a year of celebrating every day. Filled with recipes, tablescapes, floral inspiration and seasonal entertaining ideas An Appealing Plan :: A Year of Everyday Celebrations. To learn more about An Appealing Plan :: A Year of Everyday Celebrations here. 


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Are you ready for overnight visitors? How to prepare your guestroom.

krayl funch seasonal home box membership - summer home box review and summer seasonal decor tips 3965 half 1000x

An experienced host knows that entertaining doesn’t just happen around the table. The guest experience begins the moment you decide to invite visitors to gather. As it relates to the physical environment, it may include spaces away from your home or spaces around and in your home you may not at first consider such as the entranceway, the powder room and your guest room, just to name a few.

 Click to Tweet : “Entertaining doesn’t just happen around the table.” 

In many homes the guest room is also an office, craft room or a place where everything lands until the next knock on the door occurs and you run to clean and stock it to welcome an overnight visitor.

The good news is that with a little preparation you can whip that spare forgotten room in to a space worthy of AAA rating.

In this video I am discuss my top 9 {see it is so easy I didn’t even need #10!} items every guest room should have to ensure your guests are right at home during their stay. Check out the video by clicking the image below.

 In case you missed them, here is the short list:
1 – Extra Pillows
2 – Extra Blankets
3 – Extra Towels
5 – Clock
6 – Candle
7 – Fresh Flowers or Live Plant
8 – Snacks
9 – A Bottle of Water
Feeling more confident? Ready to set the date and call up that friend you keep saying you would like to see more? Deep breath, you can do it. Looking for more help… consider one of my seasonal home boxes to make sure your home is ready 365 days of the year!

Mapo Tofu Recipe from #SteamyKitchen Healthy Asian Favorites

Jaden Hair, first “came into my life” in 2009 at the social media conference Social Fresh . My boyfriend at the time, now my husband, was representing an online course and she had stopped his table to get more information on SEO and building an online presence. She obivously made an impression, after the event he gave me her name and said I should look her up. A few months later, after I had moved to Florida, I went to my first networking event and it just so happened to be the book launch for her first book, 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight’s Dinner. Last year I attended TECH Munch Tampa and who was one of the speakers? You guessed it, Jaden.

Fast forward to today, a few books and websites later, Jaden has obviously figured out SEO among many other things related to building a fantastic business around her love of cooking. When Isabel, of Sunday Supper, offer an opportunity to make one of the recipes out if the new Steamy Kitchen Healthy Asian Favorites Cookbook, and the opportunity to give a book away to one if my followers, I jumped on it!

Jaden started Steamy Kitchen in 2007 and six years later, built herself an empire from her small blog that now employs her entire family. She currently has her own line of rice bran oil, branded woks, and a regular spot cooking on-air on Daytime.

Steamy Kitchen Healthy Asian Favorites CookbookWithout further delay….here is her new book: Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites


Join the Sunday Supper Team along with Jaden Hair this Sunday at 7pm Eastern Time on twitter, just follow the #SundaySupper hashtag. We are giving away 20 copies of Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites Cookbook. You don’t want to miss this week’s #SundaySupper Event!

Twenty of our #SundaySupper Contributors have received Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites Cookbook and are excited to share recipes from this cookbook.




2 teaspoons cooking oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 pound ground turkey, lean beef, pork or mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 vegetable stock
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
14 ounces firm tofu, cubed
2 cups frozen peas and carrots
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 green onion, chopped
Hot chili sauce, such as sriracha

Heat a sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat. When hot, swirl in the oil, add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, until onion is softened and translucent. Add the meat and use your spatula to stir and break up.

When the meat begins to lose its pink color, add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir in the stock and oyster sauce and bring to a simmer. Add tofu and peas ans carrots. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Stir this mixture into the pan nd let ooh for 2 minutes longer. Stir in the green onions and season with hot sauce, to taste. Serve immediately.


Disclosure Statement: I was provided with a copy of Steamy Kitchen’s healthy asian favorites for my review. All opinions are my own.

Reprinted with permission from Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites by Jaden Hair, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.



Here is how to enter to win. You must do both, #1 and #2, to have an eligible entry:

1. Tell me what your favorite Asian dish is in a comment below – AND – with your twitter handle in the comment. Comment must be posted by 8pm Eastern time today (Sunday, March 10, 2013).

2. Join in the conversation during the live #SundaySupper chat on twitter from 7 to 8pm Eastern Time today (Sunday, March 10, 2013). Your tweet(s) must contain the #SundaySupper hashtag.

The winner will be chosen randomly from the eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email. Note: Giveaway open for United States residents only. Contest ends on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 8pm Eastern Time.

Join the Sunday Supper Team along with Jaden Hair this Sunday at 7pm Eastern Time on twitter, just follow the #SundaySupper hashtag.  We are giving away 20 copies of Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites Cookbook.  You don’t want to miss this week’s #SundaySupper Event!

Here is the list of #SundaySupper Contributors who will be giving away a copy of Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites Cookbook and the recipes they will be sharing:

Tofu-Mushroom Miso Soup 

Crispy Rice Patties

  • Juanita’s Cocina
  • Basic and Delicious

Thai Larb Lettuce Chicken Cups

Miso Cod

Sake Steamed Mussels

Salmon Honey Teriyaki

Korean Beef Bites

Mapo Tofu

Mango Brulee

We are sharing more Steamy Kitchen inspired recipes. The following Sunday Supper Contributors are joining us with some of their favorite recipes from the Steamy Kitchen website:

  • Kung Pao Chicken by Cravings of a Lunatic
  • Prime Rib Roast with Miso au jus by The Urban Mrs.
  • Kickin’ Tequila Shrimp by Gourmet Drizzles
  • Korean Beef Rice Bowl by Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
  • Pan Fried Shrimp and Pork Fried Potstickers by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
  • Shrimp Curry by Ninja Baking


Follow Steamy Kitchen: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Purchase Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites Cookbook


Family Style Tablescape: Houston’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

During the time I commuted from Bucks County, PA to work in New York we would always make it a point to keep our schedules open on Tuesdays to ensure we could get out for lunch. Why? Because Tuesdays are the only day Houston’s serves it’s Chicken Tortilla Soup. You may think, how can one recipe be that much better? Well I’m not exactly sure, but it is. Believe me.

The bad news: Houston’s doesn’t officially post the recipe.
The good news: I found a few other loyalists that have shared what seems to be pretty darn close version of it.

An Appealing Plan Houstons Tortilla Soup Recipe #sundaySupper

I did make a few adjustments and wasn’t able to find the thin tortilla strips they serve it with. Overall it is so delicious we had it for breakfast the morning after I made this batch.

Invite your family over and serve it family style to allow everyone to put as much or as little of the garnishes as desired.

Houstons Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe and Tablescape ideas @AnAppealingPlan - close up soup



  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup Masa flour
  • 12 oz. ground corn tortilla chips
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. ground chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 quarts chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup chicken base
  • 4 cups shredded chicken*
  • 1/4 cups chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste


  • Avocado
  • Sliced Limes
  • Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • Additional Fresh Cilantro
  • Crushed Tortilla Chips


1- Melt butter in soup pot. Add olive oil, diced onion, and garlic. Sautee on medium only until onions are softened and clarified. Salt lightly.

2- In separate bowl mix Masa flour, ground tortilla chips, cumin, chili powder, and 1/2 tablespoon black pepper together.

3- Add the dry mix to the onions. Cook for a few minutes, until the raw flavor of the flour should have cooked out. Salt lightly.

4- Slowly add the chicken stock and chicken base.

5- Blend the mixture with a hand blender, until all of the flour pieces have blended out and the soup is completely smooth.

6- Bring the soup to a boil, and allow to cook/boil/reduce for a few minutes until the soup has thickened slightly and coats the spoon. Salt and pepper to taste.

7- Ladle soup into bowl top with chicken and cilantro.

8- Garnish each serving with plenty of avocado, crushed tortilla chips, shredded Monterrey cheese, lime slice and a few extra sprinkles of cilantro.



*Marinate chicken breasts in lime juice and salt, then broiled on low for a soft and flavorful chicken to add to the soup. Shred with two forks.

* I honestly can’t remember if the served it with or if I added the lime. But if you are a fan, lime makes all the difference.

X Houstons Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe and Tablescape ideas @AnAppealingPlan - table ideas


* Family Style service refers to placing bowls or platters of menu items on the dining table and guests are able to serve themselves. Bowls and platters remain on the table and are passed as needed.

* Stack Rustic wooden bowls and hand thrown earthenware plates. One for each guest plus a few extra for seconds.

* Offer each garnish in a separate bowl with a wooden serving spoon. Be sure to overfill bowls so guests feel free to add as desired without concern for taking the last bit.

* Offer additional course sea salt and ground black pepper in small rustic vessels with individual wooden spoons.

* Serve soup in bowl that will retain heat such as this wooden salad bowl from the 70’s. Refill the bowl to keep it hot as guests arrive.

The #SundaySupper family will be digging out their stock pots and slow cookers to serve up these amazing soups:

Do The Chicken Dance (chicken {or other poultry} soups)

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COVER-Krayl-An Appealing-Plan- FINAL-page1

And, if you are looking for even more ways to celebrate everyday check out An Appealing Plan the book.

Call it a trend or a return to the past, but I believe we are bringing back entertaining at home, lingering over a table after a lovingly prepared meal with friends. It has been a way of life and passion of mine my entire adult life, and I am thrilled to be able to invite you on this journey with me through a year of celebrating every day. Filled with recipes, tablescapes, floral inspiration and seasonal entertaining ideas An Appealing Plan :: A Year of Everyday Celebrations, is a dream come true for me a true honor to be able to share it with you. To learn more about An Appealing Plan :: A Year of Everyday Celebrations here. And of course, share how you are celebrating everyday.

Show Your Valentine Some Tablescape Love!

Valentines Day is more than just about a romantic dinner. Show the ones you love, how much you care for them at each meal of the day. These tablescape inspiration work for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


An Appealing Plan VDAY Tablescape Conversation Heart Placesetting

Start the day off right. A DIY “Be Mine” note card placed on a breakfast plate says you are special to me. Add candy conversation hearts and your love is sure to head into the day with a smile.


Setting a Lunch time Valentines table is sure to surprise your loved ones. Use layered red doilies under a salad plate to  add color to the table. Then place a puffy red heart on top of the napkin. Paper heart straws are easily found these days in local stores and also on-line.  {see the step-by-step tablescape set up by visiting A Romantic Table For Two article here.}


Valentines Dinner Tablesetting Ideas via @AnAppealingPlan #KraylFunch

Are you looking for more inspiration!

Check out the Step By Step instructions for a romantic table on the Table For Two story.  Or maybe you have questions on placesettings in general and how to set a table. Or feel free to SEARCH a particular holiday in the search box at the top!

XOXO lots of love – krayl

Seasonal Cut Greens Bring Color to Your Entranceway Containers

Winter temperatures and cloudy skies can leave garden containers looking less than attractive. Placing cut greens like such as Pine boughs and Magnolia trimmings along with Red Dogwood branches, and Pinecones will add life and texture until they can be replanted.


Most will be available in your yard but if not, head to a farmers market or inquire at a local nursery for a source.

Enjoy this post? What did it inspire you to do? Let a comment below and share the love with your friends using the social share button. Complete the form below to receive weekly updates to your inbox.

A Reflective Holiday Table

Looking to create a tablescape for a special gathering and not sure where to start?

An Appealing Plan Holiday Tablescape

Begin with one item to create your  INSPIRATION. It can be a color, a texture, a word, your favorite vase, the holiday itself, anything will work.  For this tablescape it was the mirror top of the Antique French dinning table recently acquired and delivered in time for the holiday gathering. Using mercury glass vases, bowls and votives to line the center of this long table allowed for each piece and flower to reflect creating an amazing display.

 An Appealing Plan Holiday Tablescape Flower

Additionally, the blue paint of the walls of the room was mirrored in the blue of the Seeded Eucalyptus and blue in the large oversized Curtain Call chargers by Wedgwood  designed by Barbara Barry.

An Appealing Plan Holiday Tablescape Flowers

Varying heights of votives & taper candles in clear crystal and mirror finishes  mimic the overhead chandler. Christmas Crackers add a fun touch of whimsy and a conversation starter.

An Appealing Plan Holiday Tablescape Ideas

White Tulips add a level of texture and dimensions to the Seeded Eucalyptus bowls. The raised bowl shape is reflected in the table creating the effect of a double arrangement. Test the height of the arrangements by sitting in each chair to be sure the guests will be able to clearly see each other above them. Polished flatware continues the Reflective theme on to the white napkins.

By using one item for inspiration your table will look cohesive and polish {pun intended!}.

Cheers & Enjoy

{Wondering which fork goes where? Learn more…Here. }

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