Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Over the weekend I did one of my absolutely favorite things, shopping at thrift stores and estate sales.
It happened to be a particularly good couple of days to find some bargains. The Franciscan Dinnerware was a fantastic bargain at Goodwill. I got six dinner plates in perfect condition at only a dollar each.
They are listed at $10.75 each right now on Ebay. I remember these from my own childhood, so there is great sentimental value in having them.
This very heavy, old mixing bowl was only $3 from an estate sale I went to. It's perfect for cake making.
I love these dessert dishes for the upcoming fall holidays. They were $5 for six of them at the estate sale. Love the color.
I collect baskets, and this pink one was in perfect condition, and only $1. I think it has a sweet vintage feel to it.
I love old sugar and creamer sets. This French inspired one is something I'll use right away. Coffee and tea are even sweeter with this.
I love shopping for old and vintage items. When it's a day out with my girls, it's even better.
Do you shop for vintage? What are some of your great finds?
Friday, September 20, 2013
Donuts are one of my favorite treats to eat. I've always thought that to make good donuts they had to be made with hot oil, but that isn't so anymore
Now you can bake them in the oven, and they are perfectly delicious. And they are easy and fast to whip up, too. These donuts are rich and chocolaty, with a sweet glaze made with a little bit of orange juice.
They are perfect with a hot cup of coffee in the morning, or a cup of apple cider in the evening
I recently bought this donut pan from Wilton, and it made making the donuts so easy. When you grease the pan, the donuts slip right out after baking, keeping their shape.
This recipe makes twelve donuts, and the pan lets you bake six at a time. And they only bake for ten minutes, so it doesn't take long at all to have warm, delicious, homemade donuts.
Recipe for Chocolate Donuts with Orange Glaze
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
4 tablespoons orange juice.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Spray a donut pan with non-stick cooking spray
In a medium bowl, combine well all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, add the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Beat them together and then add them to the dry ingredients.
Add the melted butter to the mixture, and mix until a batter has formed.
Spoon the batter into the prepared donut pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Then turn donuts out onto a cooling rack, and let donuts cool.
To make the glaze, put powered sugar in a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of milk, and 4 tablespoons of orange juice. Stir until glaze is smooth. Add orange food coloring if desired.
Spread glaze on cooled donuts and let it dribble down the sides.
Makes 1 dozen donuts.
Friday, September 13, 2013
~ Guest post by Samantha ~
Lately I have been obsessed with all things Sea Salt, so when I stumbled upon this Organic Popcorn snack of Sea Salt Caramel from 479 it was a must try!
This snack did not disappoint, the balance of sweet and salty is amazing.
I have not always been that big of a fan of caramel popcorn, it can be overwhelming and too sweet, adding the sea salt has changed my opinion of caramel popcorn.
If you are seriously craving salty and sweet this is a good go to snack!
*This is not a sponsored post, I just wanted to share with you what I am
currently obsessed with snacking on.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
When fall comes, my thoughts start turning to heartier foods for dinner. Things like roast beef, meatloaf, and roast chicken are some of my favorites.
This requires some great side dishes to go with the meat, and this recipe for corn pudding is delicious.
You can make it with corn cut right off the cobb, and while it's still available in the market, or frozen corn.
Either way, this makes a wonderful side dish, and it's easy enough to make for everyday meals, or fancy enough to be on your Thanksgiving table.
The recipe comes from my favorite magazine, Country Living. I found it a few years ago, and every time I make it, there isn't a kernel left. Even the pickiest eaters love it.
Recipe for Corn Pudding
Olive Oil for greasing baking dish
2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 2-quart baking dish with olive oil and set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss together corn, bell pepper, onion, cheese, flour, mustard, salt, and pepper.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Stir egg mixture into corn mixture and pour into prepared baking dish. Bake until set, about 40 minutes.
Makes 6 servings.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Dare I admit that I have never really been a dog person? I know many people love their dogs like they might love their own children, but I have never been one of those people.
When you are raising five children, the amount of pee, poop, and vomit you deal with is no small amount. And I just never wanted to deal with that when it came to adding a dog to the family.
But that changed when a certain dog came into my life. A dog I like so much (ok, love) that I actually bake dog treats for him. Go figure.
This is our sweet Chewie. The guy really lives up to him name too. He has been know to destroy everything from a fabulous pair of new high-heels, to a complete set of wooden toy blocks.
But he is always forgiven, of course. Just look at that face.
I whipped up this batch of easy cheesy dog treats for Chewie, and he loved them. They look especially cute when you use a bone shaped cookie-cutter, and it's an easy shape for your dog to eat.
These treats are great to give as gifts too, around the holidays, to the dog and dog-lover in your life.
I guarantee the pups will gobble them up.
Recipe for Cheesy Whole Wheat Dog Treats
3 cups whole wheat flour
11/2 cups cheddar cheese
1 cup water or beef broth
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place flour in medium bowl, add cheese, egg, and water or broth. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Roll out dough on floured surface to about 3/8 of an inch thick.
Use cookie cutter to cut shapes. Place them on a foil lined cookie sheet and cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until firm.
Makes about 2 dozen treats, depending on cookie-cutter size.
Monday, September 9, 2013
I remember buying the very first issue of Country Living Magazine. I had only one child at the time, and he was two years old. Michael is now thirty six years old, and I have never missed an issue of this magazine that I love.
I wish I had kept all my issues, but moving and lack of storage made me part with many of them. I have managed to save most of the October, November, and December copies, and they are truly my treasures.
I use them every holiday season for recipes, craft ideas, Christmas decorating, and much more.
Yes, I know Pinterest can provide all of this, and I am a very active Pinterest user. But these magazines were a part of my life way before Pinterest came to be. I love the tradition of pulling them out, and feeling like the holidays are on their way.
Of course, you don't have to live in the country to enjoy reading Country Living. You can live anywhere in the world, and city or country.
I still love magazines in this internet era, and I hope they never disappear. The sight of the October issue of Country Living yesterday made me happy.
What about you, do you still buy and read magazines?
If you do, I'd love to know what you read, do tell!!
Thursday, September 5, 2013
I'm not the Grammy in the name of this recipe, but I wouldn't mind being her. She has created quite a delicious recipe here, and one that takes advantage of the lovely peaches in the market right now.
But this is also quite fabulous if you used canned peaches like I did, and much faster. Either way, this is a pie that everyone will love.
My grandson Jayden had a piece and declared it was delicious, so maybe I should start calling it 'Nana's Peach-Custard Pie'.
Recipe for Grammy's Peach-Custard Pie
I used an easy Martha Stewart pie crust recipe. This recipe is for a top and bottom crust, but you only need a bottom crust for this peach pie. You can freeze the extra crust if you don't want to use it for another pie right away.
3 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches (about 5 peaches) or
3 (15-oz.) cans sliced peaches in juice or light syrup, drained and rinsed
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
Prepare crust. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, toss peaches with 3 tablespoons sugar; let stand 5 minutes.
In a blender, place butter, flour, eggs, and remaining 1 cup sugar. Blend until smooth.
Stir egg mixture into peach mixture;, then pour into pie crust.
Bake 45-50 minutes, or until filling has set, and top is golden.
Completely cool on wire rack. Chill about 4 hours before serving.
Serves 6-8, depending on serving size.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
I love it when a Mom or Dad comes up with a good idea for a kid's product to make life better.
That's exactly how Funkins came into being. What are Funkins?
They are fun and cute cloth placemats/napkins for kids made out 100% cotton fabric. Funkins are a smart and environmentally friendly alterative to disposable napkins, placemats or table cloths.
They are easy to pack in a child's lunch, and can make having a meal or snack much more fun.
One of the reasons I think Funkins are great is because when you are out in public eating places like a fast-food restaurant, they can provide a protective barrier on surfaces.
There are lots of times when I wish the tables were cleaner when my grandchildren are eating out, and with Funkins, I know their food is safer.
You can easily fold them up and toss them in your purse or bag, and pull them out when it's time to eat.
My grandchildren love them, and since Jayden will be playing soccer, he chose this fun soccer print Funkins for his own.
This cute Eiffel Tower print is for my granddaughter. Each Funkins measures 13" x 15", and all fabrics are made with low impact dyes.
They can be used as a placemat and a napkin, and make meal time fun, giving each child his or her own special space.
My grandson Liam loves dinosaurs, so this cheerful print was perfect for him. I like how easy they are to toss in the washer, and keep on being bright and durable, wash after wash.
Each Funkins has a different print on each side, and can be used on either one. They also make great gifts, and party decorations.
Themed Funkins are available for holidays and special occasions like Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Earth Day, and more.
Funkins are a part of waste-free lunch programs that are in some schools. A waste-free lunch is one that creates no litter apart from natural food waste.
These kinds of lunches involve reusable food and drink containers, instead of plastic baggies, foil, or other disposable products.
The average child throws away 67 pounds of lunch waste each school year, so waste-free lunches can have a major positive impact on our environment.
In an effort to encourage more families to consider a waste-free lunch lifestyle, I am hosting a giveaway of a set of three Funkins.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Limited to US residents 18 years old and above. Giveaway starts Sept. 3, 2013 and ends on Sept 17, 2013 at 12:01 am EST. Winner will be emailed and has 72 hours to respond before another winner is selected. I was not paid for this giveaway or post. The opinions on this item are 100% mine and may vary from others. The sponsor / PR is responsible for providing the prize. I was sent products to review for my post.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Celebrating The Coming Season With Fall Recipes For Hot Apple Cider And Candy Apples #HarvestFun #shop
I'm very excited about the fall baking that I will be doing, and making favorite fall recipes and discovering new ones, too.
I love making fall treats for family and friends. I'm a grandmother to four little ones, and they love it when I make or bake something delicious just for them.
This weekend I could feel fall in the air, so I decided to make candy apples with Candy Corn flavored M&M's, and some delicious Mott's hot apple cider.
I went shopping at Walmart to buy the new fall packaged M&M's. They come in four flavors, including Peanut, Peanut Butter, Milk Chocolate, and the flavor I bought, Candy Corn.
I have made candy apples with M&M's before, and they are always a hit. They are great for fall activities where a treat is needed, and the perfect cute spin on giving an apple to your child's teacher.
Candy apples are easy to make, and it's fun to find different ingredients to make the outside coating taste delicious.
Candy corn is something we always have on hand in the fall, so I knew the Candy Corn flavored M&M's would be great to roll the caramel apples in. I just used my mini Magic Bullet to chop the M&M's, dipped the apples in the melted caramel, and then rolled them in the candy.
I really love giving candy apples as an unexpected little gift, or a thank you. I almost feel guilty for how little effort it took to make them, when the receiver is so happy to get them.
These were a huge hit this weekend with my kids and grandkids, so I'll try the other flavors of the fall M&M's too, especially the peanut kind.
I also made some hot apple cider this weekend, and we sat outside on the deck with it in the evening. This could be the last time we will be doing that, as the evenings are getting quite chilly.
I like making my apple cider with a bit of a citrus twist, by adding orange juice and lemon juice to the Mott's apple juice. This recipe can be doubled or tripled for a larger group, and not only do the adults love it, but the kids do to.
And your kitchen will smell deliciously like cinnamon and spices.
I've been buying the Mott's brand of apple juice for years, and gave it to my children, and now to my grandchildren.
It's the base of this great tasting apple cider with a twist. I like heating a cup of this cider in the microwave for myself in the afternoon or evening.
For me, nothing says fall like apple cider. It's so easy to make your own, and it tastes so much better than the bottled kind.
I love how cute these apples came out, and my daughter thought they would make sweet gifts for the teachers on Back To School Night.
Recipe for Candy Corn Flavored M&M Candy Apples
5 apples, washed and dried
5 popsicle sticks
1 11 ounce package Kraft Caramel Bits
2 bags Candy Corn flavored M&M's
Insert popsicle sticks about half way into apples.
In batches, chop up M&M's in a Magic Bullet or blender. Heat caramel bits according to package directions.
Dip apples in caramel and twist by stick to remove excess. Roll in crushed M&M's, then place on waxed paper. Place in fridge to set and cool.
Recipe for Mott's Hot Apple Cider With a Citrus Twist
1 quart Mott's Apple Juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 table spoons cloves or cider spice mix
Additional cinnamon sticks for serving with cider
In a large saucepan, combine the first 8 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat: simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
Strain, discarding cinnamon stick and cloves. Serve warm, garnish with additional cinnamon sticks.
Makes 5 cups.
For more great ideas visit the Fall Baking and Entertaining Pinterest Board.