Thursday, December 30, 2010

How do you like your Tomatoes?

  The older I get, the more I learn to appreciate the simple things in life.  Like the smell of fabric softener on freshly laundered clothes.  Matching socks, and tomato sandwiches. 
  As a child, I can remember my mom often enjoying tomato sandwiches for lunch.  She always made them look so good, but I was never really interested in having a bite.  As I got older I learned to enjoy most of the foods I turned away as a child (Most...I still hate beets!).  Tomatoes are great by themselves, but even better in a sandwich!


Tomato Sandwich recipe

  • Toast 2 pieces of your favorite bread in a pan with butter
  • Place 2 slices of cheese ( I prefer provolone) on top of bread
  • Once cheese is melted remove from pan
  • Spread mayonnaise on one slice of bread
  • Top with as many sliced tomatoes as you can stand!
  • Sprinkle tomatoes with a little salt and pepper
  • Top with the other piece of toast
  • Cut and Enjoy!



     


 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Banana Bread meets Carrot Cake

I was looking for a way to use up some extra carrots in the frig and found a great recipe online.  I also had some overripe bananas so this recipe was perfect!  My husband loved these and so did my picky kids. You can't even tell there are carrots in there.  This is a great recipe!  I hope you'll try it!



Carrot Banana Muffins

Ingredients
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 eggs
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
* 1 cup grated carrots
* 1/2 cup walnuts

Directions
1. In a mixing bowl, combine oil, vanilla and sugar. Add eggs; mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; Add bananas to the creamed mixture. Stir in carrots and walnuts. Pour batter into a greased muffin pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from muffin pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Tastes great with cream cheese!


Recipe adapted from: allrecipes.com


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fabric Flower Tea Towel

After Christmas Clearance Sales are the best!  As I browse though discounted items I not only look for holiday clearance I can use next season, but I also search for household items I can use throughout the year.  While at Target today I purchased a couple packs of dinner napkins.  Although they are solid white and could be used at any time, they were in their holiday clearance section for 50% off.  Yeah Me!!!

They were perfectly fine as is but, I decided to add some pleated trim to the bottom hem, and use them as tea towels instead.

Still looking a little bare, I used fabric glue to attach a small flower that I made, then hand sewed a button in the center.

Much Better, don't cha think!

This will look real cute hanging over my oven handle!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Easy Eggnog Recipe

I hope everyone has finished their holiday shopping and your gifts are wrapped.  Today I will spend my day baking with my daughter and preparing our holiday meal while enjoying a tall glass of Eggnog.  I love Eggnog! It's a treat I look forward to around the holidays, but I am often turned off by the thickness of store bought Eggnog. This recipe is delicious and perfect for the holidays. It tastes great without rum, but for those of you who like it, you could easily add some to your liking.

Ingredients

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until they are thickened and light. Gradually stir in condensed milk, sugar, vanilla and milk.  Stir nutmeg into the mixture.  Pour all ingredients into blender and mix. Pour into glasses, and garnish with nutmeg.

*Use caution when consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs due to the slight risk of salmonella or other food-borne illnesses. To reduce this risk, it is recommended that you use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell. Pregnant women, young children, the elderly should not consume raw eggs. source


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Aunt Grace's Zucchini Bread

 As a child I can remember visiting my dear Aunt Grace.  She was a very special woman in our family.  She was a wonderful baker and an overall great cook.  Not long ago, I received a copy of her Zucchini Bread recipe and I am happy to share it with all of you.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour two loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Mix in oil and sugar. Stir in zucchini and vanilla. Combine flour, cinnamon, soda, baking powder, and salt; stir into the egg mixture. Divide batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 1 hour.  Cool and slice. Tastes great with cream cheese!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Old Skirt, New Pillow

This skirt belonged to my daughter.  She's outgrown it.  I can still picture her wearing it.  She's 14 now. She wore this skirt a lot when she was 10.  I had it in a bag amongst other clothing ready to donate, but I had a hard time giving it away.  I decided to hold on to it and turn it into a pillow for her bed. 

   I love the pleated ruffle!

                           

*Thanks so much to ReFab Diaries for featuring this pillow.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Best Banana Pudding Recipe

  My sister makes the best Banana Pudding. She has been making it for years and never has any leftovers.  I love this pudding!  It's a big hit with my family.  I've made it several times and followed the recipe exactly.  It was even better the second day.  I let it chill overnight so all the flavors come together and so it will become thicker.  In the past I have substituted Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies for the Vanilla Wafers with great results.  I hope you will give this recipe a try!



Ingredients
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (cool to room temperature)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (5 ounce) package instant banana cream pudding mix
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 4 bananas, sliced
  • 1/2 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in condensed milk, pudding mix, cold milk and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 1/2 of the whipped topping.
  2. Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch dish with vanilla wafers. Arrange sliced bananas evenly over wafers. Spread with pudding mixture. Top with remaining whipped topping. Chill.



     








Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Tree Pillow


This season I wanted to challenge myself to make most of my holiday decorations.  Although easier said than done, I have been able to complete a few projects. Tonight I wanted to share with you a pillow I made.

For my pillow form, I added pom-pom trim to leftover fabric.

To cut my felt shapes, I purchased a Sizzix Paddle Punch from Ebay.

Once the shapes were cut, I attached them to my pillow form with fabric glue.

Before stuffing my pillow I allowed the felt pieces to completely dry.

I love how it turned out.

I think I may have a hard time packing it away after the holidays!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Wreath

Today the lovely Sarah from Modern Country Style is hosting her very first blog party.  She's been showing us all week how to make and decorate our very own wreath base.  I pondered walking next store and swiping some of my neighbor's freshly cut branches to make my own base. But I decided against it and just purchased my own! haha!
To embellish my wreath I used items I had on hand. Leftover fabric for leaves and berries, sticks, and glue dots to hold everything in place.
To makes the leaves I started out by cutting my fabric into small circles. Then folding each leaf half way and ironing a crease in the middle. I later added a stick down the center to make the leaves look more realistic.


After adding all the leaves and a ribbon I made from an old curtain valance I decided it still looked a little bare.

So I went through the house and took apart a flower arrangement I had in the bathroom and filled in the empty spaces with baby's breath.
Much better! Now off to clean up the ginormous mess I left in the kitchen. I've got fabric and little sticks all over the place!!!!

 Thank-you Sarah for the inspiration!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sample Fabric Wall Art

I love browsing through fabric online.  The selection is a lot bigger than what you may find in stores.  Throughout my search I've found prices to be very reasonable, minus shipping. I recently stumbled across Fabric Workroom. I was interested in purchasing new fabric for a shower curtain I planned to make. So I looked through their free fabric swatches and chose 10 patterns I liked.  About a week later the swatches arrived in the mail.  After narrowing it down to a few swatches, I called to get prices.  Unfortunately for me they do not sell fabric by the yard. Instead they are a company that offers custom finished products.  Oh well...
Rather than  let all that fabric go to waste I decided to make use of it and place it in some frames I had on hand.

The larger frames were purchased from IKEA about a year ago.  The smaller frames are from the thrift store(but of course!). A great find for 69 cents for a pack of 4! They were originally brown. I spray painted them white and distressed them with sandpaper.


They are a perfect fit for this narrow wall in my upstairs hallway.


I love the detail on the frames from Ikea.



I'm happy I made good use of the swatches. You can't beat FREE!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cream Cheese Won Tons

 My family enjoys takeout. We try to limit ourselves by ordering out a couple times each month. Lucky Panda hands down has to be our favorite place to order from. They have the best Chinese takeout in my area. My thighs can attest to this readily!!! However, I decided to give Lucky Panda a break and learn how to make some of our favorites at home. If you enjoy Cream Cheese Won Tons, then I hope you'll give this simple recipe a try!


Ingredients

* 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
* 2 green onions, chopped
* pinch of salt
* 1 (14 ounce) package small won ton wrappers
* vegetable oil for frying

Directions

1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, green onions, salt. Place about 1 teaspoon of filling into the won ton skin and seal ends with a little water, forming a half circle.
2. In a large skillet, heat oil to a med. temperature. Fry the won tons until they are browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.




Laundry Room Reveal

I planned to do a post today on my painted laundry room sign, but it turned out horribly!  So, back to the drawing board I go!
Rather than not post at all today I remembered I still needed to post pics of my laundry room makeover.

This is the view of the laundry room as you enter the from the hallway. 

Here is the hallway.  You may remember it from this post.

Meet Bella!
  Unfortunately, I do not have any before pics. I started this room before I started blogging and realized the importance of "before pics". But, if you look really, really  hard you can see a glimpse of the previous wall color beside my puppy's head.  This pic was taken a couple of years ago and Bella is now fully grown!



Most of the items in the room are either from the thrift store or someone's trash! I purchased the stool at a yard sale for $2 and spray painted it white. The wire basket was a thrift store find. The tray is from the thrift store too. It was originally brown. I spray painted it white and lined the inside with some leftover fabric. I purchased the bench online from JcPenney and added a couple of pillows from Target.


  This is the only window in the room. I purchased the shade from Walmart and added pillow cases turned window treatments. The planters and message board are both from Ikea.  I added vinyl and flowers from Home Depot to the planters.

I purchased a jar from the dollar store and added some clothespins.

I spray painted the ironing board white and purchased a cover from TJ Maxx.

My thrift store bench and trash rescue stool are here for now!  The water heater is stored in the cabinet.

I decided not to use a pillow case window treatment for the door since it lets so much light in.  The door leads to the back yard which is fenced in. So privacy wasn't really an issue.

We added moulding similar to the casing around the doors

The shelf was here when we moved in. In the future I would like to add cabinets to hide all my "stuff"!

I like my laundry room so much more.  I don't mind doing laundry now.  In fact I love it!