Friday, October 28, 2011

Autumn... a time of changes

Sorry for the absence... wow I really say that a lot don't I?  Okay I'll have to be honest with you here.  My blog takes a backseat to everything else in my life a LOT.  In fact a number of things have taken a backseat to... to what you ask.  Unproductive busyness to a degree but mostly day to day living,  You see we have a number of things going on in our lives right now that are not ready to be revealed and a few things which are personal.   You know things like gathering information, research, accounting, and well, stuff.  I know so eloquent! ha ha.  And yes there are a few possible major changes in our lives.  Here's just a few.... our eldest graduates from high school in May/June, we are about to finish up Dave Ramsey's FPU, the on-going battle with clutter (we are starting to win!), the prospect of writing for a new e-zine with the possibility of a regular column,  the reworking of this blog (to include a name change!), and last but not least.... the possibility of opening an etsy shop.

Below is a comment I left on a blog recently and it describes my "home" loves because my family falls far above all of these things.

"OKay I have to admit I love to be in the kitchen... not just cooking but creating and recreating! Funny since I avoided the kitchen like the plague growing up. See I have champagne tastes on a shasta budget (super cheap soda)! So I love to recreate all the exotic jams, jellies, spice mixes, sauces, cookies, candies, beverages, and breads that I can. I love the sights and smells of freshly ground spices and fresh herbs. But that is not all... I love canning jars, bale jars, and wood... old terra cotta, glass bottles converted into drinking glasses, homemade pasta, crocheted washcloths, embroidered flour sack towels... basically a handmade home! So I guess if I were to ever even consider writing an ebook it would be about those very things I LOVE... you know this may even be an inspiration for a new blog makeover!"

After much discussion with my husband and much prayer, this is exactly what I am going to do!!  I will be working hard to document OUR handmade home! passing on ideas and projects of the things I enjoy...

but for now I am leaving you with some of my inspirations via Pinterest.

(no link on pinterest)

via pinmarklet

And I would like to welcome everyone who is visiting from


Friday, October 14, 2011

Phantom of the opera cake

As much as I would like to include a picture of a slice of this cake, it just isn't possible.  But I can describe it for you.  Triple chocolate fudge cake with a peach/Portuguese marmalade filling, frosted with buttercream frosting and dusted with cocoa/mocha powder.  Its the project we forgot to bake last night for Sean's English class.... hopefully he made it to the office to pick it up.  I haven't gotten any panicked phone calls so I figure he got it turned in in time.

Enjoy your weekend!  We will be spending our weekend watching high school football tonight and marching band regional competition on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

double chocolate peanut butter bliss

Tonight for your viewing and snacking pleasure I bring you..... cake in a mug! 
Not just any cake but delicious chocolately chocolate peanut butter bliss in a mug!!

I have to admit Marie's  Two Minute Chocolate chip cake here was the inspiration.  But I decided to change things up a bit and here is what you have.  

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Bliss
Serves:  A large single serving or just enough for two to share

1 large egg
3 packed TBS of soft light brown sugar
4 1/2 TBS plain flour
1 TBS cocoa powder (not the drinking powder)
1/4 tsp baking powder*2 tsp creamy peanut butter
1 tsp softened butter

3 to 4 TBS chocolate chips
1/4 tsp vanilla

(the peanut butter can be eliminated and butter substituted for a double chocolate cake)

Mix all ingredients together in a large mug. Place in the microwave. Cook on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or just until the top centre of the cake is set. Allow to cool slightly. Serve warm with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a dollop of real whipped cream.

RiceSelect review and giveaway at Cooking for Seven

I know I rarely ever post about anyone else's giveaway but I just couldn't resist this one.  You see Erica Lea over at Cooking For Seven is one of the sweetest young ladies around.  She has a heart for the Lord, her new husband, and her family.... and she is a wonderful cook and photographer.  So why don't you stop on over at Cooking for Seven and check out her recipe for Vanilla rice pudding and for her giveaway!  It closes out at midnight, October 12 central time.

Fire Roasted Chile peppers

Nothing says fall (or summer for that matter) to me quite like the smell of fire roasted chile peppers!  It takes me back to my days in Denver as a young adult... a gentle breeze, cloudless skies, the sun gleaming high in the sky and peppers roasting in big barrel roasters on street corners and in parking lots!  How I love that tang in the air!!!  So this spring when a friend offered me pepper plants I almost squealed with glee (i might have squeaked just a little ha ha!)... fast forward several months and this is what you see my friends.
Much neglected plants and the basket filled twice!

Today I roasted the peppers!  
And they are truly sublime!

 A couple of racks later....

I found it rather ironic that the only brown bag of size I could find was from Chipotle's mexican restaurant.

And here we have the mixed "bag" of peppers which will be smoked, seeded, and then dried to make chipotle powder.  
(my mouth if watering already just thinking about the dishes we will have this winter!)

In a couple of hours

Monday, October 10, 2011

iron bed details

estate sale metal bed

cross piece toppers at head and foot of bed

leaves circling the posts

I am loving this bed (even if I am dressed head to toe in protective gear while stripping it! ha ha!!)

yard sale treasures!

Chris took Friday off to, well, spend some time together!  He has been working really hard and there has been so much going on that he just felt it would be nice to have a 4 day weekend.  Yes he is off today for Columbus day as well.  Our morning started off watching the beautiful sunrise I showed here and cups of coffee from Starbucks after the boys had gone to school.  After running a few errands and doing a few chores he agreed to go to a few yard sales with me... Well let me tell you I was in HEAVEN!  I love the thrill of a good yard/estate/garage/tag sale!!  The exchange of stories, hidden treasures, wondering whatever possessed them to even consider selling let alone buying things in the first place.  Well you have got to see what I walked away with..... okay I will have to admit I spent FAR more than I would have ever considered in spending in the past but talk about some deals thrown in for free as well.  So all in all it was a great find!

A beautiful trunk with tray, a full size cast metal bed original castors and railings, the beautiful picnic basket, 

various old glass bottles (milk of magnesa, mrs butterworth, etc), 1950's refrigerator tray, pottery, and this gorgeous chair. 

details on the lovely bed
viney leaves

and mushrooms.

I can hardly wait to start working on them.  Yes the bed is going to be striped as well as the chair.  Everything else will just get a good cleaning before we put them to use!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Fall mornings

looking east

coffee with the hubby on his morning off

Monday, October 03, 2011

Keep it Simple plaque

Keep it simple... its a phrase Chris uses at work a LOT!  In fact he uses it so much that he asked me to make him a sign to put on his desk..... months ago.  Honestly it was so long ago that my intentions were to make it for Father's Day.  Well we know Father's Day came and went back in June so...... last week I KNEW I just had to make it. Why?  I have no idea other than I knew it was long overdue and Chris has been oh so patient.  So a humble scrape of wood underwent a change from this......

to this

Yes that is my crazy squiggly handwriting!  (and the pencil marks have been erased)  I had hoped to do a little more work on the sign by distressing it a bit but guess what?  Its gone!!

Yep you guessed it!  Chris was so excited about it that he took it to work before I considered it "finished!"  LOL  I guess that means he really likes it!