Monday, August 29, 2011

Is this not the sweetest little blue truck?

Is it not perfect for my kitchen table?

Come back Thursday night and see what I have planned for it!

Have a great week and don't work too hard.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Heavenly Brownies

I made these for a get together last Friday night.... they were gone in a flash!

Bottom Layer:

1 chocolate cake mix

1/2cup butter (melted)

1 egg

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Top Layer:

1 box (1 pound) powdered sugar

8 ounces cream cheese

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix dry cake mix, butter and 1 egg. Add pecans if desired. Spread into a greased 9x13-inch pan.

Beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, and remaining 2 eggs together; spread over bottom layer.

Bake 40-50 minutes, or until golden brown.

Come get some!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Summer Reading

What have you read this summer?
Here's my list:

The Space Beween Us

by Thrity Umrigar

If you are into eastern culture's and learning more about the class system in India...This is for you! The book delves into the complicated female relationships of the day to day middle class and servant class. While I appreciated the rich concepts, insights and wonderful writing, this book was not my favorite read. I found it to be terribly depressing and somewhat hopeless.

Rocket Boys

by Homer H. Hickam Jr.

This one was fun! You may remember the movie October Sky? It was based on this book. I loved it. It is a great coming of age story from the 50's and a time when we were just entering the race's to the moon and nuclear arms. The Cold War was in full swing and the Sock Hop was the social networking tool. This is a story about how boys become men that go on to do great things and which helped to make America the country that we are!

Highly recommend this one!!

A Tale of Two Cities

by Charles Dickens

What can I say? I never read this in high school so I made it the summer selection for our Girl Friends Book Club. I'm really glad I did because I never would have forced myself to read it other wise. At first, I really didn't enjoy it. I found it very difficult with a lot of assumed definitions and facts about that time. I did cut myself some slack by buying the Barnes and Nobel Classic Edition. It has a lot of editorial helps that really did explain so much for me.
By the time that I got to the Third Book I was thoroughly enjoying it. It is such a wonderful love story. If you have a lot of fortitude I recommend it. But this is not your light summer read.

I'm just saying!

Our selection for September?

The Help

by Kathryn Sockett

I'm adding my post to Ricki Jill's Reading party.
What we're Reading. Check it out.... some great ideas on books....

Until next time....Here's turning the page with you!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Vintage Kitties

Has anyone else ever noticed that vintage paintings of kittens are usually kinda creepy? Hmmm? Maybe it's just me?

I came across this one and fell in love with it. If you like it, feel free to use it. Let me know though, because I always love to see what you guys do with images.

I Hope you are having a lovely Saturday. It has been overcast and humid here. I have a 50% and a 40% off coupon that I need to use at JoAnn....okay, alright!... I don't NEED to...I WANT to! My goal is to have all of my Christmas crafts done early so that the gifts and cards can be in the mail by the last weekend of November. A lofty aspiration if I do say so myself!

What about you?

When do you get serious about Christmas preparations?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wayfaring Wednesday

Isn't this the sweetest little image?

Well, today I am joining Laura at Decor to Adore for Wayfaring Wednesday.

Click on the image (or here) for post about fun trips.

I haven't been any where since last summer! But sweet daughter was home for a few days and just left to return to law school for her second year. So I thought I would let you relive last years 24 hour road trip to Spokane. :) LOL!

click here for the pictures

Monday, August 8, 2011

MMMM...Monday Mini Muffin Mania

Do you remember in the 90's the big muffin craze? If you watched Seinfeld than you will remember that Elaine loved only the tops of the muffins. Then the craze evolved in the giant muffins that we saw in all the bakeries. I was thinking... maybe that lead to all the muffin tops that we have now. LOL! :)

Well, as with all fashions, the pendulum swings from one extreme to the other. The next thing that we saw were mini muffins. I still love to take these to work for treats. They are just the right size and folks love them.

Here's the basic recipe:
2 cups flour
3 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. salt
4 Tbs butter
1 cup milk
1 egg
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a mini muffin pan. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Melt the butter. Mix together the milk, egg and melted butter. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture until combined but still lumpy, just 15 to 20 seconds. Pour into the buttered pan and bake in the preheated oven until it is lightly browned 20 to 25 minutes.
Increase the sugar to 1/3 cup and grate the zest of 1 lemon into the flour mixture. Add 1 cup blueberries with the milk mixture. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.

Another Variation:
Chocolate Chip
Use light-brown sugar rather than granulated and add 1/2 cup chocolate chips to flour mixture. Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract with milk mixture.

Here are some tips for High-Rising Muffins. These work for the regular muffins size too!

Don't overmix muffins. Stir just until the batter is barely combined and still lumpy.

Contrary to all the repeated instructions, fill the muffin cup all the way to the top. This will create a high-crowned look.

Finally, butter the top of the pan as well as the cups so that the muffin can rise up and spread out without sticking to the top of the pan.
I'm linking to:
Marty's Table Top Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Cielo's Show off your Cottage at The House in the Roses

Also I just wanted to thank everyone that joined in for Fresh-Cut Friday! We had some beautiful posts. Pleas join in if you want. The Linky is open through Monday. Our next one will be September 2nd.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fresh-Cut Friday #12 Gladiolus Flower Of The Month

Welcome to Fresh-Cut Friday. . .
I am so glad your here.
It's hotter than the hinges on the gates of Hell here and truthfully my garden is TOAST! What does yours look like right about now? Well I don't know about you but I was happy to bring a bloom or two in to the house!

As promised I am bringing you the flower of the month.
Gladiolus are the flower chosen for August. I have to tell ya, I don't think that I would have ever bought these unless I was doing a post about them. I typically would only think of these for an arrangement for a funeral...
But as it turns out I really kind of like them. Graceful and colorful these long stemmed beauties lasted almost 10 days before completely giving out. And while they look like a fragrant bloom... they had no fragrance what-so-ever. That may be because they came from a florist.
Gladiolus got its meaning from the Latin word that means sword, gladiolus represented Roman gladiators. Gladiolus symbolizes strength of character.

Send a bouquet of gladiolus as a token of respect to a person whose character you admire.

I have a little secret... Fresh-Cut Friday is one year old this month!
Can you believe it!?

Now, let's see all your pretty posts!

I will be leaving the linky party open for 4 days. So join in any time and make sure you go visiting. Have a wonderful weekend.
I'm linking to:
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Look What I Did!

I am so pleased with myself. I have made homemade strawberry jam. And more importantly... It turned out great! My husband LOVES it!
After a small investment in a few essential items I was good to go. If you are going to can at all, I really do recommend that you just go ahead and get these basic tools. They aren't that expensive and are easily found at Walmart.
Strawberries were on sale here a couple of weeks ago so I
bought a bunch and we are going to have Jam all winter! YAY!
3 quarts fresh strawberries, hulled
1 1.75-once package regular powdered fruit pectin
1/2 teaspoon butter
7 cups sugar

Place 1 cup of berries in an 8-quart heavy kettle or pot. Use a potato masher to crush berries. Continue adding berries and crushing them until you have 5 cups crushed berries. Stir in pectin and butter. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
Add sugar all at once. Return to a full rolling boil; boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; skim off foam with a metal spoon.

Ladle immediately into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids. Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boil) remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks.

As the jam cools, turn the jars occasionally, top to bottom, to help evenly distribute the fruit and prevent the fruit from floating to the top of the jars. Store upright, however, to protect the seal.

My recipe that I used is from my Better Homes and Gardens book

"You Can Can"

A Guide to Canning, Preserving, and Pickling.

I would highly recommend it. It gives you really great step by step instructions which are critical in successful canning. I had so much fun that I ended up making 4 batches.