Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Another Fun Day

We must be in the mood for Italian food this week at my house! My friend, Heather made Cheese Stuffed Shells recently and I've been wanting to make some ever since reading about hers.

I found the recipe at Allrecipes.com. I added cooked ground beef to the cheese mixture and skipped the mushrooms.

I also made a batch of Strawberry Filled Oatmeal Bars for dessert.

This afternoon we went to a couple of resale stores. Bargain shopping runs in our family. ;0)

I thought I would share the things I found....

I've been looking for a picture for my back patio and I found this sweet picture of a girl feeding some bunnies. Price: $2.99.

These Hallmark terra cotta candles were new in the box. $2.09.

I haven't decided whether to leave these wooden birds on the patio, or bring them inside. $3.00 for the pair.

I also found a Pier One blue and white pitcher ($3.00), crystal candle holders ($1.00ea.) and ceramic coasters. ($2.00)

The coasters have pretty birdhouses on them, and they remind me of my friend, Betty. She just shared pictures of her birdhouses this past week.

My favorite find of the day was a big bag of note cards. There were over 75 cards in the bag and I got them all for $3.00!

A nice collection of Monet and Degas note cards that I'm going to save for our art study.

I love to write letters and the girls have several penpals so we will put these note cards to good use. There was a huge assortment of floral scenes.

I was especially happy to see these vintage Hollie Hobbie note cards....each one with a different scene and little saying.

The girls and Benjamin had lots of fun with Uncle Stephen today. After dinner, they went for a walk, played street hockey and played with a bug vacuum. They ended up vacuuming up crumbs in the kitchen and their own hair! :0)

Thank you for looking at my new treasures!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Monday, February 26, 2007

Hello everyone! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the Irish proverb. I read it in a Mary Engelbreit gardening book that I borrowed from the library yesterday, and thought it was beautiful!

My brother, Stephen is on spring break this week and decided to come to Texas for a visit. The girls and Benjamin are having lots of fun with him. He has gotten lots of requests to play outside, play games, watch movies and even burp the alphabet--you know, Uncle-y things. ;0)

Stephen made dinner for us tonight. Homemade cheese pizza and his specialty which he calls "Pizza Rustica."

He puts Italian seasoning and even a little cayenne is his crust!

A hot mozzarella cheese pizza!

Here is the "Pizza Rustica." I don't have the recipe, because evidentally it's a secret! I can tell you that there are three kinds of cheese--provolone, mozzarella, plus Italian sausage and salami.

Everything is wrapped up in the crust and baked.

It was SO good!! Even the girls and Benjamin loved it so there may be a fight over the leftovers tomorrow. :0)

We have plans to visit a few resale shops and hopefully the Natural History Museum. Later in the week, my other sister and her baby (whom I haven't met yet!) are coming for a visit also.

I hope you all are doing well. Can you believe February is almost over?!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

~Home Sweet Home~

To all of my blogging friends...

Picture from Art.com

May you have
warm words on a
cold evening,
a full moon on a
dark night,
and the road
downhill all
the way to
your door.
~Irish Proverb


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Baby Gifts

Thank you so much for all the comments on my Winter Blues post and also for sharing all the things you do to help make winter more cheery!

I've been working on new baby gifts this week and I finally finished the little stuffed lamb. She's been through a lot--poking, stuffing, so many ripped out stitches, but all has been forgiven. ;0)

I added a pink bow and flower around her neck.

Look at that little face!

For the other gifts, I got out my 2000 Baby issue of Martha Stewart. She shows how to draw a small pattern on onesies, washcloths, sock and bibs and embroider the pattern with french knots, very close together.

I embroidered a pink baby rattle on a onesie.

I added pink pacifier buttons to pink little slippers.

Also included will be a pair of pink pants, burp cloths, and baby mitts. I bought these things first and then found the matching embroidery floss.

Thanks for looking at my baby gifts! I hope you all have a great weekend!

Pattern can be found here.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Simple Pleasures for February

Do you have the "winter blues? I have to admit I've been thinking about spring this past week. It comes early here in Texas but I know alot of the country has 5 feet of snow on the ground! :0)

Photo from Grandma's Graphics.

I've been reading through old issues of Victoria and also Sarah Ban Breathnach's book "Simple Abundance" and came across some ideas for brightening up the long winter months.

China tea, the scent of hyacinths, wood fires and bowls of violets-that is my mental picture of an agreeable February afternoon. -Constance Spry

Flowers are an easy way to cheer things up...

-Gather some pansies in a basket and let their little faces cheer you.

-Treat yourself to one perfect long-stemmed rose for your desk.

-I floated a few of my leftover Valentine carnations in a daffodil teacup....

"People from a planet without flowers would think we must be made with joy." -Iris Murdoch

-Light candles all over your home. Relax and see how different the world seems without electricity to blur the distinction between night and day.

-Add some spring colors to your kitchen table....

My friend, Clarice from Storybook Woods sent me this beautiful tablecloth for my birthday.
The robin's egg blue is perfect for spring.

Thank you, Clarice! I love it!

-Read Elizabeth Barrett Browning and then delight in "everyday's most quiet need."

-Revive the leisurely, "After Dinner Delights" customs of the past...

"At one time, guests lingered in the parlour or sitting room over "silver trays of perfectly riped cheese or hand-dipped chocolates, port in crystal decanters, steaming pots of coffee or tea." The book, "After Dinner" will inspire you to reinvent those pleasant slip-away hours.

"The mere chink of cups and sauces tunes the mind to happy repose" -George Gissing

-Wear perfume everyday.

-Add a bit of lace to a pantry shelf...

I hot glued this pretty lace to the shelves of my piesafe.

The doors are open here but when they are closed, you can still see the lace hanging down.

-Make a batch of old-fashioned chocolate fudge.

-Browse through gardening catalogs. You can buy them, but even better visit your local library and read though their back issues and some magazines that you normally wouldn't subscribe to.

I hope these ideas are helpful! Do you have something special you do to chase away the winter blues?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Panic, Stromboli and Cherry Pie

Hello everyone! My day was going just fine until I forgot my blogger password. After trying 307 possibilities I gave up! ;0) I had them email me the option of picking a new one and that's when the real trouble started. They let me pick a new password but wouldn't activate it until I pushed the "switch to the new blogger" button!! Talk about panic!! I have heard so many horror stories about making the switch. Well, my blog did get messed up but Phillip worked on it as soon as he got home and saved the day. :0)


I tried a new recipe tonight. Mrs. Wilt shared a delicious looking Stromboli awhile back and I've been wanting to try it.
I looked for frozen bread dough at my store but they only sold the value pack (5 loaves) so I'm including the recipe for the homemade dough I made.


2 cups flour
2 tablespoons oil
1 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 pkg. yeast
3/4 cup warm water.

Combine warm water and yeast, stir and let sit for 5-10 minutes until bubbly. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt. When yeast is ready, add oil and stir. Add mixture to the dry ingredients and blend well. Knead for 2-3 minutes. Put dough in oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.

Roll dough 1/4 inch thick and layer roughly 3-4 cups of meat and 2 cups of cheese. I used thinly sliced turkey sandwich meat..probably 2 cups worth and 2 cups of shredded cheese. Roll up tightly and seal the edges. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.

I also spread a thin layer of this four cheese sauce on the dough before layering the meat and cheese and served it as a hot dipping sauce for the finished stromboli.

Everyone really liked it and Benjamin said, "Mom, I don't like your stromboli, I LOVE it!" :0)

Also on the menu was a Cherry Pie in honor of President's Day yesterday. When George Washington was a little boy of 6 years old, he accidentally cut down one of his father's cherry trees. His father was very angry but George confessed and all was forgiven.

I need to work a bit on my lattice crust. I tried to weave the strips of dough but they got too hot from the filling and kept falling apart. Grace made me stop trying so into the oven it went half latticed!

Cherry Pie

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. almond extract
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 16oz. cans of pie cherries, NOT cherry pie filling (look for pitted cherries, packed in water)
Pastry for double pie crust

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In saucepan, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and undrained cherries. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils (about 7 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in almond extract.

Pour mixture into a 9-inch unpacked pie shell. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust and seal edges and crimp. If a lattice crust is not used, put one or several vents in the crust. BAke at 400F for 30-35 minutes or until crust is brown.

You can also serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

So, there you have it, panic, stromboli and cherry pie!!!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Homemaking Meme

Thank you for your comments on my Five Senses Weekend post. All the muffins are gone but they were handy for snacks and we even had them for dinner, along with some scrambled eggs. I am *trying* to make a mini stuffed lamb as part of the baby gift. I had to rip the stitches out of the head 3 times and now the legs aren't right. When I saw "Simple to make" I should have run away then! I will be sure to share photos of all the gifts and hopefully the lamb too, as soon as I'm finished.


My friend, Mrs. Monise tagged me for this fun homemaking meme. Here are my answers as well as some pictures....

Aprons – Y/N? If Y, what does your favorite look like? Yes, I wear an apron while baking. My favorite apron is this vintage patchwork one. It's very tiny. I'm pretty sure I couldn't get it around my left leg! ;0)

Baking – Favorite thing to bake: Looking at my recipe section in the sidebar, I’d have to say desserts!

Clothesline – Y/N? Yes, but I don’t use it like I thought I would. It does make a wonderful photo prop as seen in the apron photo! :0)

Donuts – Have you ever made them? I love donuts but I’m too scared of deep frying to make them.

Every day – One homemaking thing you do every day: Sweep the kitchen floor.

Freezer – Do you have a separate deep freeze? No

Garbage Disposal – Y/N? Yes. I have a special knack for clogging them up too. Just ask Phillip!

Handbook – What is your favorite homemaking resource? Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson.

Ironing – Love it or hate it? Not a fan.

Junk drawer – Y/N? Where is it? In the kitchen. Isn't this a requirement in every home?!

Kitchen – Color and decorating scheme- Yellow walls, oak cupboards, lots of tea cups and teapots. You can see pictures in my sidebar.

Love – What is your favorite part of homemaking? When everything is nice and clean and I even have a plan for dinner!

Mop – Y/N? I do not own a mop. I clean the kitchen floor on my hands and knees with a cloth.

Nylons – Wash by hand or in the washing machine? Machine. It has a “wash by hand” setting though!

Oven – Do you use the window or open the oven to check? Open the oven. Bad, I know.

Pizza – What do you put on yours? Mushrooms and black olives.

Quiet – What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? Read or play the piano.

Recipe card box I have one but never use it. I print my recipes out and put them in three-ring binders.

Style of house? One story, brick. 1800 square feet.

Tablecloths and napkins-I have several tablecloths and runners. I have cloth napkins but use paper ones too. My tablecloths are in a basket in the laundry room.

Under the kitchen sink – Organized or toxic wasteland? Organized.

Vacuum – How many times per week? Several times, as needed. Vacuuming might be my favorite chore.

Wash – How many loads of laundry do you do per week? Hmmm.....5-8. All the laundry (except dishcloths and towels) go into these 3 laundry bags in my bathroom. It looks like I'm washing reds next!

X’s – Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off? Sometimes on paper, I always have a list in my head.

Yard – Y/N? Who does what? I do the gardening. I also love to trim the shrubs and bushes. Phillip cuts the grass.

Spring time comes early in Texas. Today, I saw some Irish moss peeking up out of the ground.

Zzz’s – What is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed? Make sure all the doors are locked. Sometimes I check twice. :0)

Thanks for reading my homemaking meme. If you would like to play too, consider yourself tagged! Be sure to let me know, so I can come read yours!

Friday, February 16, 2007

~Five Senses Weekend~

The weekend is finally here! I got the idea for this "Five Senses" post from my friend, Sandra. I hope you enjoy it!

I am hearing the dryer today. I have a lot of laundry to catch up on. The hard part is putting it all away! I usually clean a specific room/area each day, but I didn't this week so I had a busy day of scrubbing, dusting and vacuuming.

I am smelling lavender. I took a ziplock, poured in two cups of baking soda and added several drops of lavender essential oil. I mixed it up, sprinkled it over my carpets, let it sit for awhile and then vacuumed.

I am seeing the wonderful heart that Anita sent me all the way from Germany! I hung it from the mini tea set shelf in my kitchen.

It is even more beautiful in person...lace, tiny pearls and pretty stitches. Thank you, Anita, I love it!

Touch: I will be touching pink flannel and tiny pink pacifier buttons this weekend, as I work on a baby gift for my brother and his wife. They just had their first baby girl this week!

Taste: I am tasting these Banana Crumb Muffins. There is a brown sugar streusel on top. I doubled the recipe and got 18 large muffins.

Banana Crumb Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.

2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Now I won't be tempted to go to the donut store for breakfast tomorrow. ;0)

I will be by to visit your blogs soon. If you are a lurker, please say hi, so I can come visit you too!

Have a great weekend!

Recipe can be found here.