Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Monday, February 22, 2010

how cool is this?

Olde Good Things is a company from NY that alters antique pieces. The coolest thing about them is the work they do for their rustic farm tables. They are so beautiful. I saw a few in person over the weekend at the FXBG flea market. They are gorgeous.



They are very expensive, but I love the idea of them. Inspiration!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Delicious Cranberry Salsa

When we were in Texas this past December, I remember at Jackie & Ken's party we had some cranberry salsa. Or was it relish? Or chutney? I am not sure of the proper name, but it was absolutely delicious and out of this world.

I am not big on talking about how good something tastes; I do love baking and cooking/experimenting in the kitchen, but I mainly like to do it for others, not so much for myself.

This recipe though..it was so good. I emailed Jackie this morning requesting it. I had completely forgotten about it until just a few moments ago. I remember I was a little afraid to try it at first-I thought it looked a little odd, and it seemed weird to be eating some sort of cranberry mixture with Tostitos. I'm weird when it comes to relishes/chutneys. But everyone else was eating it and raving over how great it was, so I bravely tried it.

I was really impressed with it. So that brings me back to right now-I would love to get her recipe and make it, and even can/jar it and give it as gifts, or take it to get-togethers. It is that good.

I found a recipe online: http://meganscookin.blogspot.com/2009/11/cranberry-salsa-recipe.html but I am sure it is a little different than Jackie's. I may try to make that one though to see if it tastes the same as her's does.

More to come!


The link to the recipe above is different than Jackie's.

Jackie emailed me her recipe. She was more than happy to share it, and she sent along another delicious recipe too for some corn and bean salsa/dip-YUM. Gosh I sure do love Texas!

Her recipe reminds me so much of TX, maybe because the first time I had the salsa was there in TX. There is just something about this salsa..

Since cranberries are not in season right now, I had to improvise, since I really wanted the salsa. I know Jackie's tasted a lot better back in December, because it was with the fresh in-season cranberries. I can hardly wait for November! Fresh Market always has the best ones. ;)

So I used canned ocean spray cranberries, and then I added the rest of the ingredients her recipe calls for and mixed it all together..it tastes the best with Wheat Thins, and it should be very cold. I put some in little mason jars and took one to Stamp Club. I gave one to Delaine (my demonstrator), and I now I have 2 extras.

Everyone at Stamp Club tried it and loved it. I am going to make it again soon and take it to something next week I am going to. Delish.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

sewing stuff

I'm still brainstorming the dresden plate...like which colors and stuff I want. I guess I need to dig through my scrap fabrics.

I am making some cupcake pincushions..they are adorable.

For the pincushion I had to learn how to sew a yoyo, so now I want to make some yoyo fabric flower broaches! cute! i have so many vintage buttons..i could make some really neat ones.

photos to come.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day..

Happy Valentine's Day. This is my 9th Valentine's Day spent with Daniel..he bought me some pretty flowers and 'Julie & Julia' on dvd and we watched it together after dinner. Yes, he sat through it and wasn't bored, either. After us watching 'Deliverance' the other night, he owed me this one.

I saw the movie last year with my sister & mom. It was cute back then and it's still cute now. I love the book more, though.

There are a lot of funny things in the book that I wish they included in the movie. There is a part in the book about something hiding underneath Julie's drying rack..not going to spoil it for you..just trust me that it's hilarious. That would have been so funny to see in the movie. Also, tons of real melt-downs in the book..moments that remind me of when I am in the kitchen and make a huge mistake.

The writer Julie Powell is great. I am about to read her other book. 'Cleaving,' so I am really looking forward to that.

I got Daniel some more socks for Valentine's day, and a big pack of spaghetti (his favorite spaghetti, target had a big special on it), and deodorant (odd combination, I know, but it's useful stuff). I also got him some candy from the candy shop in Carytown. He liked everything.

For Valentine's dinner I made lasagna roll-ups. I boiled the lasagna noodles, drained, and then dried them on a clean kitchen towel. I browned some meat, drained it, and mixed it with 4 crushed cloves of garlic, 2 cans of crushed tomatoes, some salt & pepper, evoo, and italian seasoning. I took 2 cups of mixed italian cheeses and mixed that with some italian seasoning as well. I put the cheese on the lasagna noodles and rolled them up. In the pan, I poured about half of the sauce in first, and then laid the rolled up noodles in the pan. Then I poured the rest of the sauce on top of all of that, and sprinkled some more cheese on top. I kept it in the fridge until it was actually dinner time, and it only took about 15 minutes to heat up and melt all of the cheese on top. There are a lot of leftovers too, which means lunch tomorrow.

I am trying not to buy lunch while I'm at work anymore. It's so expensive. It can be really hard though seeing everyone in the office go out to lunch or order delivered food..it's so annoying to see all of that money go to such waste. We bought groceries yesterday so we have a stocked pantry, fridge, and freezer. That's always a good feeling. I have all of our meals planned out for the next week, too. I am on a roll.

I also made some chocolate shark teeth..with blood on them! I melted some red chocolate chips and painted it on the molds first before pouring in the other chocolate on top. Daniel thought they were really cool.

We need to make some apple butter..we have all of the supplies. Last week Daniel made apple sauce..so we still have apples to make apple butter with.

Earlier I went thrifting around town, of course. I found the brontosaurus welches jelly glass, to go with my pterodactyl and t-rex glasses. Now I just need my favorite one, the stegosaurus. Gonna keep my eye out for that. I also got a cute mixer cover for my mixer. It reminds me of my grandmother..I think it's the oranges. That's one thing they always shipped to us every winter..oranges & grapefruits from FL. Gosh, there were soo many of them..probably why I don't really like to eat oranges now..I've had my share of them. hah. But they are still cute on mixer covers! I also got some vintage contact paper for 50 cents..what a steal. I'm going to put it in my cabinet drawer because it's so awesome. Photos are on my flickr stream.

Anyway, I hope that everyone has a lovely rest of this valentine's weekend!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pantry Chili

Yesterday the office closed (after I had been there for an hour) due to the snow, so when I got home I made Daniel a nice pancake breakfast.

I had had enough of the snow, after running around in it all morning (or walking, between offices), so I decided to stay inside all day, and we pretty much just chilled.

Chilling was a great choice, and so I decided to make some chili for dinner.

I like to call my chili "pantry chili" because I use whatever is on hand. I browned some beef, drained it, and added it to a big pot. To that I added one onion (chopped) some diced tomatoes, some crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, salt, pepper, and a packet of chili seasonings. I mixed all of that together and let it boil. Once it was boiled, I lowered the heat, covered it and then let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

After that, I dumped all of it into my crock pot on the low setting, to keep it warm. So it was all already cooked, but we kept it heated in the crock pot so we could eat it later once it was actually dinner time.

When we did eat it, we sprinkled some cheese on top and ate it with fresh rolls. It was delicious. I even brought some for my lunch today.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

dresden plate

i want to sew one.

a contact of mine on flickr had a couple of photos of one she made, it is gorgeous! i am in love with it.

i have a bunch of fabric from past projects that i haven't done anything with, i could totally make one.

i can display it on my cabinet, or on my table. wherever. it's just so cool and would be a fun project.

i think i am going to make one, and then blog about it.

time to break out the sewing machine.

also, the cookbook challenge idea i had is out. there were too many dishes that included things i don't eat (and would never eat). like turtle. i can't eat a turtle..i have a pet turtle! i could never eat a turtle.

anyway that's all.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Which Real Housewife Are You?

I just took this quiz: http://www.buddytv.com/closedquiz/closed-quiz.aspx?quiz=110

My result:

I took it twice to be sure..LOL how funny.

Monday, February 8, 2010

So glad to be young!

I am so glad to be young & healthy! I am looking forward to the beach this May, and friends and family visiting this summer.

Daniel & I are considering a trip to FL this May. We may camp on Turtle Beach, which isn't very far from Venice. We also want to check out Sarasota and some of the other gulf beaches.

In June, Jonah & Heather are visiting. I only met them once (8 years ago!), but they are great people! Their 2 little ones Sophia & Robert are coming with them and I can't wait to meet them.

July 4th I'll be in DC, and during the end of July Juan David is visiting us.

It will be great to see everyone. I look forward to the summer..to the beach, the fun, and the sun!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The 12 in 1 mix

Did you know that you can make just about anything with Bisquick? It's a staple pantry item (since the 1950's, but has been around since 1931), and it's unbelievable how many things you can make with it, besides pancakes or biscuits. You can also make a homemade version of Bisquick, in case you are out of it and don't want to go to the store to get some more. Just use flour, milk, baking powder, shortening, and salt.

I always knew it was an important item to have in the pantry. A few years ago I caught some of the Sandra Lee (from Semi-Homemade on the Food Network) biography special, and she grew up using & still swears by Bisquick. It's especially handy to have in case there's "nothing to eat," and it's actually fun to make things with it, and surprisingly easy.

The recipe for Homemade Bisquick calls for:

8 c. flour
1/3 c. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
8 tsp. sugar (optional)
1 c. shortening
1/3 c. milk

Mix together thoroughly first 4 ingredients. Cut in 1 cup shortening to fine consistency. Keeps best in refrigerator.

Tonight I made chicken fingers with Bisquick (the recipe is on the box), and yesterday I made homemade pizza. Both were delish.

Here are some things you can make with Bisquick (of course you will need other ingredients to make these, but Bisquick is one of the main ones):

cheese biscuits, garlic cheese biscuits
pizza dough
chicken pot pie, pastry dough, crepes
apple pie
pumpkin pie
taco bake
muffins & quick breads
monkey bread
cookies, granola bars
bread puddings, fruit crisps, cobblers
pound cakes, short cakes
stir frys
country fried steaks
beef & potato skillet
chicken & biscuits
chicken n dumplin's
mini meat loaves
sausage balls
coffee cakes

The official Betty Crocker website for Bisquick has some recipes listed on it: http://www.bettycrocker.com/products/bisquick/default.aspx

And this website has over 200 Bisquick recipes on it: http://www.freebisquickrecipes.com/

"Sure, you can mix the flour, baking soda, salt, shortening, and the whole nine yards, but why wouldn't you just pull out a box of Bisquick?" -Sandra Lee

Friday, February 5, 2010

Things to do this weekend

It's the second weekend in a row I've been snowed in, and plans for work this weekend have been closed..so yeah.

Things I should probably do this weekend:

-list some items in my etsy shop (take photos, write up the descriptions, figure out real prices..etc)
-finish cleaning/purging my craft area and finish organizing that
-list a couple of books on half.com or check and see if a certain local bookstore will buy the ones i am intending to sell
-organize & shred files in the office
-finish our taxes that i started last weekend
-actually come up with a better system for my recipes...they are a big unorganized mess right now, so i need to either put them all on the same cards, or try to contain them all somehow onto similar sized cards or something..that's gonna be hard.

i remember when we were in texas, jackie had several little photo albums that were chuck full of recipes. each album was for a specific type, like one was for desserts all on its own, and they were all labeled on the outside so it was easy to find what you needed. it was a good system and i am sure it has been working for her for years. some of the recipes were just on plain index cards, and others were cut out from wrappers or boxes, just the right shape to fit in the sleeve. it was actually pretty nice having everything contained like that.

i have some recipe cards that i got years ago from hallmark on clearance. but i have a recipe holder that holds cards facing the other direction..so the blank cards i have won't really work.

for my bridal shower, the recipes everyone gave me were all put into a creative memories mini photo album thing..and i somehow have accumulated 3 or 4 other identical albums. i could just try to somehow get everything to fit in those..but i have so many recipes!

maybe i should put the good ones in those books..and then i can put the other ones on the blank cards i have and use a photo box for those.

decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I haven't been seriously shopping in a long time, but I always have ideas and things in the back of my mind that would be useful to purchase for myself or as a great gift for someone I know.
I have a few favorite stores, like Pier 1, World Market, Penzey's Spices, and Target, of course..but there are also a few places online that I like to browse around at.

The Paper Source http://www.paper-source.com/ that I shop at is located in Georgetown (DC), so any time I am up that way, I like to make a special stop there. They have tons of papers (of course), and a nice variety of rubber stamps and other paper crafting tools. The store is like heaven..I'm like a kid in a candy store when I go there...since I can't go there very often, I like to explore around on their website. I also get email updates from them..

Etsy http://www.etsy.com/ is also a great place to shop..people can open up their own shops on that website, and sell their own handmade goods and vintage items. I actually bought a couple of things from there during all of my wedding planning, and since then I have been thinking about starting up a shop of my own to sell some of my handmade things and vintage items. It's cool to buy from there because you're helping out other people who love crafts/handmaking things just like you do.. I have already made my shop on there, but I haven't listed anything yet. More information on that will come later..

Hostess with the Mostess http://hostesswiththemostess.com/ has a lot of great party planning items, and ideas..everything is so cute!

There's also Amazon.com..which you can pretty much buy anything from, used or new. And ebay..but there's something about all those cute little website shoppes that I really like..