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Friday, November 15, 2013

What would Thanksgiving be w/o lasagna? .

    This summer while visiting our daughter Anna in PHX for the birth of her new son Siegfried Patrick I discovered the 'cooking channel'.
  It was 118 degrees outside, ( OUCH!!) so while whiling the hours away ogling over a new bundle of JOY, we often had the cooking channel on in the background.
  I was delighted to come home and find it was on my direct TV I just hadn't tuned in before..One of my first favorite shows was Extra Virgin( w Debbie Mazar and her gorgeous Tuscan husband Gabriele.
  But lately I  got stuck on another great Italian cooking show: David Rocco I just happened to tune in the other day ( via my DVR) and David was making several authentic Italian sauces included the classic bolognese!! Excellent since my mothers family is Italian and I am in charge of bringing the lasagna for our family's Thanksgiving this weekend!! Here's the link to David's recipe:

So here's what you start w. Take ur time, clear ur calendar and concentrate on all that is good....Fresh rosemary, fresh basil...

  Yes my Patrick was right I can't follow a recipe completely.. is it me or did David forget the fresh flat leaf parsley I was sure he used on the show. Anyway I think any great Italian sauce has to have
Fresh ITALIAN FLAT LEAF PARSLEY ( not any other kind), it has a lovely little licorcey taste.
  O.K. MUST be a typo where is the GARLIC!!!  and I added just a hint of fennel seed. Sorry,( No I'm not), it just seemed right!

So this is a Soffritto : ( don't know why these links aren't connecting you straight through, sorry). So you see in the official Soffritto recipe they use FLAT LEAF PARSLEY!
So here is is starting to simmer .. good stuff takes time. I am cooking the meat separately at first, So I can make a vegetarian lasagna ( yes this will be the sauce for my lasagna) , vegetarian dish for my niece Katy. AND I will make a batch of pasta and DAIRY free sauce for my very allergic 22 month old granddaughter Natalia Nilean. 
I will add the meat after the sauce cooks and I take Katy's out for her veggie lasagna. It is a bit of brain teaser not to mix anything : written note on the table " NO MEAT for Katy: No Dairy for Nattie!!

  Well it may be awhile until I add the final product..


                                        Remember Count Your Blessings NOT Your Grumbles!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy, Happy Friday ( homemade chalk painting and sewing)

Got all the Super Hero capes made for G's b-day tomorrow. Photos to come after the party tomorrow. I am attempting to put Friday aside for painting and such.

  Reupholstering this chair seat was a breeze, love this material I found. Staple , staple and it's like new!

                            Will also make a matching pilow for our bed. The chair will go at my great grandmother's desk in our bedroom.
             I am pretty sure I did not pay more that $1.00 for this chair. Gave it a good wipe down and a very light sanding.
 My husband had this brown John Deere hat which I took to Lowe's and had match the color to paint a horizontal stripe around his office but it turned out horrible. I took a clean cottage cheese container put in approx. 2-3 Tbsps of Plaster of Paris and some warm water ( 1-2 Tbsp.) stirred well. After stirring both paints well, one J.D. Brown and the other a cream, both latex I added approx. 1 cup of the J.D. to the pop and stirred well and then added approx. the same of the cream probably less and stirred well again.  I made a tiny test patch on the newspaper ( high tech!).

                          test colors on the newspaper....
 Voila!! Can not believe how well this covered and I LOVE the color! Perfect, similar to Annie Sloan French Linen. Such a nice finish and stuck well!!  After it dried which it did quickly I very lightly distressed and gave it a coat of Johnson's Wax. One of these days I will splurge for Annie Sloan's wax because I love the sheen it gives. Right now I'm just learning.

   Finished product!!  What is really fun abut this is having a vision and watching it come to reality!!
                                           Matching  pillow for our bed...
                            Bonus project: I picked this vanity chair up on the roadside years ago, spray painted it. A friend owed me a favor and cut me a new plywood circle to replace the rotted seat. Padding, fabric and the handy-dandy staple gun!! :) Good day... The vanity chair will be up for sale. Any suggestions on what I should ask for it.. it would be darling at a vanity or in a little girls room.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Capes and more..

The trouble w buying a lot of fresh foods is they have to be prepared right away and sometimes you have other things that need doing.  I have a fridge full of fresh food, a whole chicken, fresh green beans, eggplant and tomatoes from the garden that need to be made into sauce. I tackled the green beans today but I have very important Super Hero Capes to make for a very important B-day party this w/e. So the rest may have to wait.

 My hubby usually snaps the beans but he is back to work getting ready for fall harvest. When I am forced to do things I really do not enjoy I time it in my head. " It will only take me 15-20 minutes). Another annoyance is my husband likes his green beans cooked all day, the longer the better. I like mine like most veggies crisp. Since I'm snapping I decided to cook half my way and the other 1/2 I will cook his way ( tomorrow), gotta get working on those capes!
   I had hot water left over for the almost last of his sweet corn I made him for lunch so after removing the corn I just threw in my green beans and put the timer on for 5 min. ( they weren't quite down enough even for me so later on I will cook them a little longer.

          My lunch leftover pork form a dear friends pig roast this summer. It is delic and I still had some in the freezer, just removed it and heated it up for hubby's lunch.. he had sweet corn and tomates and watermelon. I had above green beans and fresh tomatoes.
        Now on w those capes! Anna I am really posting these for you so you can see the capes the kids will wear this w/e at Gideon's 5th B-day party.. can't wait to get a pic of al the kids in there's

                    This is Gio's. He has requested 'Sin Cara'. I am hoping his mom will pick up the matching mask.. more on this later.
                         This is Nattie's It will sport a large N on the back. I need to go to town tomorrow and get letters for the back of each Super Hero Cape for the kids Initials!
                   A little difficult to tell but Gios w have arm bands and a big shiny G on the back!
              It made me tear up a little as I was using thread and supplies from my Great Grandmother Anna's sewing kit to make capes for MY grandchildren! :')
                This is Rosie's! She asked for 'polk-a dots'! But I also found this awesome nesting doll fabric so hers like Lily's will be reversible!! So Rosie!!<3

    Lily asked for Owls! But I found this lovely angel material which was too beautiful to pass up so hers in angels and owls!

                Ashton, the girls decide should be Balls, all kinds since that is what Ash loves most so here it is!!!  It will 'sport' a large 'A' on the back.
     Well tomorrow I tackle Kennedy and Tyler's as ordered..... :') I love making each one as awesome as each Super Hero that inspired them!! <3 Love, Love,Love!!  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The view from here : Sept. just before harvest...

 This past summer has been a wonderful and incredibly busy time. People around here laugh when I say I am looking forward to things slowing down. For farmers the fall is anything but slow! But w all the work comes little time to be running all over the country! 

                      This afternoon after church and our usual brunch of bacon and eggs ( made by my hubby). Cinnamon and I went for a short walk. Short is better than none at all. We watched 'my' hawk that perches down the road SOAR up and down, field by field looking for her brunch. Hawks are one of my favorite creatures. I am very pleased to have one who lives nearby.
                                 This is our view , 'Cimmy' and me as we walk down our road..
                                                I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be.. solace.
                      A few tomatoes me and 'Cim' picked this morning before church. Small but tasty..Fresh spaghetti sauce coming up later this week....

Lavender infused syrup, anyone? ( Thanks, Anna!)

It's only fair to give credit where credit is due.. My darling daughter Anna remembered that I said how much I enjoyed my lavender infused latte while on vacation this past summer. I had planned to look this recipe up for lavender syrup but hadn't gotten around to it. She recently sent me the following link! 

 I just happened to have a huge bunch of lavender sitting on my table from my garden. Mine was slightly dried.
photo before straining:
    It only took me a few minutes and voila I have lavender syrup and have added it to my coffee latte every morning and afternoon since!!  Not everyones 'cup of tea' but I really enjoy it!!  btw the original recipe calls for two cups of sugar ( OUCH!) , I only used one, but of course it is not as 'syrupy' but the flavor is there. I keep mine in a glass jar in the fridge!  I plan to add it to some bake goods chocolate chip- espresso-lavender cookies!  I'll let you know how that goes!

Eco Friendly Transplant??? :/

   I am embarrassed to say that I have this many styrofoam cups and a few more. I was determined to do something eco friendly w them if that is possible. I have this huge pot and a beautiful hibiscus that was in need of a transplant a while back.. I wanted to put drainage in the bottom and usually use rocks or broken clay pots. One benefit to using my styrofoam cup collection is that it will not add any more weight to my already heavy pot so I can move this hibiscus around. Last year I stored it  in the garage w very little attention or watering and it survived. I plan to store it in the garage again this winter.

 Um, using one of the styrofoam cups to add potting soil did not work out well.. switched to something sturdier.
         Ta da, a plant that has room to breath.. and a very wee little bit less in the landfill...

Monday, September 2, 2013

Spoiled rotten ....and very lazy day....

  Today I do not feel like doing anything!!  HAd a VERY full and happy day yesterday and did not get home until almost midnight!  I tried to call our favorite pizza place to have them deliver lunch and they do not open until 4p :(  ( Circle Pizza, Greentown).
  Steve went out to pick sweet corn for his lunch and he will have that and some left over green beans and melon and be a happy boy.
  I really had my appetite ready for pizza so I decided to make a mozzarella  and tomato 'grilled cheese' sandwich!   Having fresh tomatoes from the garden helps and some fresh mozzarella. Just made a sandwich like you would for grilled cheese and a sprinkle of basil, sadly not fresh. Instead of buttering my sandwich I put a small bit of Olive oil in the pan w a little garlic..simple easy and yummy even for this extremely lazy and spoiled girl.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tonight's Supper

 Tonight's country supper, Well honestly I did not want to cook I really wanted the hubby to take me to Martie's but he is recuperating after working outside all week in the 90 and above weather so I went to   our all time go to quick supper.
 I buy great breaded chicken tenders at Hulce's market in Greentown. I order them by the case because we have this almost every week( they are much cheaper this way). They are fully cooked white chicken breast so I bake them in the oven. Make a green salad. I was happy to find one little red tomato in my garden. We have plenty of green ones ( I planted them very late), hard boiled egg, cheddar cheese on Steve's.
  On our cruise they served a wonderful Cucumber Mint salad dressing that is very refreshing. I made my own by placing non fat plain yogurt, a bit of cottage cheese, 1/2 peeled chopped cucumber and some fresh mint leaves in the blender. It is yummy.

  15 years ago Pat and I went to Denver and had lunch in a little restaurant that served bread in flower pots ( cute). I had ordered fresh fruit salad and on the cantaloupe and other fruits was just a hint of fresh cilantro!
  It was so delicious it is something I love to do and it always takes me back. :') You could add a squeeze of lemon or lime on your fruit too.
 We are blessed to have fresh sweet corn right out of the yard. Kind of glad we stayed home..
Oh yeah I forgot I also put left over green beans on the table from last night....

Friday, August 30, 2013

Painting, painting, chalk painting..

  At 60 I am learning, learning to blog and learning to paint furniture. Thanks to all you girls who are light years ahead of me and have inspired me.
 Here's a before photo of my first project
It is an old desk of my husbands. I have been admiring the turquoise tables and before I knew about chalk paint I bought a sample jar of this turquoise color at Menards. It is Pittsburg paint, but I will have to find the exact name of the color. Sorry.
 I have to admit It did not adhere to the top as well I as I wanted, ( I forgot I wasn't really using chalk paint) But I am happy w the way it came out. I used Johnson and Johnson paste wax and then added dark furniture stain ( Old English) it toned the color down just a tad. Like I said I am happy w it but from now on it will be CHALK PAINT!

This is my next piece a 'blanket chest" I picked up for a song ( $30.00) at a dear friends auction.`It is a bad photo but it is handmade out of scrap wood, very rough!  I didn't have the paint I wanted and I feel very smart that at this stage in the game I made my own chalk paint w just what I had on hand. 
  I had some creamed colored latex paint, I added a dab of yes that turquoise abuve, I mixed a few tbsps. of plaster of paris w warm water and then added it to my ( around 2-3 cups) of above paint. It came out perfect!!

I gave this baby two coats ( no sanding or prepping last week. I was painting in a dark barn so today when I took it out in daylight I felt it needed another coat. The Inside was dirty and smelly and I want to store blankets in this for my ' Grands' so I sanded the inside and then cleaned w bleach and water and let dry in the noonday sun ( 92 degrees!).
I found this cedar spray at Menard's and sprayed the fresh sanded wood.. I am hoping it will all be good! Voila I am happy w it!