Friday, May 30, 2008
#1 PART of BLOG: It's Friday!...After a busy week, this girl is going to thoroughly enjoy this summer weekend!...There will be a bit of "garden puttering", "flower arranging" & "blueberry tart making", along with lots of relaxing!( maybe a tad of vacumning & laundry, too...maybe?)
Tonight, my girls & I are off to our "get-together group's" dinner. Some of my dearest friends & I decided a little more than a year ago , that we wanted to see each other more than twice a year, so we decided to meet once a month at one of our homes, taking turns having us all to dinner. We have tried to keep it casual, but I do have to say, some of the "tablesettings" have gotten very "house beautiful"!!!!...which is such a treat for us all!...Like I mentioned in my previous blog, tonight we are going to Deena C.'s home. She has been married not quite a year. She & her husband Jorge have taken a little tract house & already have turned it into something very special! I will take photos & post them on Monday!.....
And of course, on Sunday afternoon, my husband, 2 daughters & I are going to our most anticipated movie ever...."Sex and the City"!!!! To see our friends Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda & Samantha again is just too wonderful for words!...And Mr.Big!!!!, OMG! How could I forget Mr. Big!!!!!
#2 PART of BLOG: Like I mentioned I am planning on doing a bit of "blueberry tart baking", but only after I whip up a batch of "blueberry crisp"....My husband's favorite dessert!!! ( only outdone by his wife's "white & white cake"..(white cake & frosting)) I am posting the recipe for the "crisp" today & the "tart" next week......You must make this recipe!!!...so, so delicious! NOTE: You can use blueberries or huckleberries....
A lovely bunch of "blueberries"....aren't they just the prettiest little berries!
And the sweet little "huckleberry"....equally good, just not as "flashy" as his cousin "blueberry"........
Thursday, May 29, 2008
One of the quilts, just added to my etsy shop!......soft colors, pretty pattern!.....
Hello Friends, Hope you have all had an enjoyable Thursday. I worked most of the morning & early afternoon at the home of one of my favorite clients, Deena C. We had so much fun getting her house all "summerized"!...We added lots of glass pieces, sand & shells....also hung pure-white twill drapery panels in her family room & kitchen, which just added a wonderfully fresh feel to her rooms! Deena is having our group of friends over for dinner tomorrow night, so I will take pictures & blog about the evening on Saturday morning!
After returning home, I had my daughter Holly help me photograph, & add some new quilts to my "etsy shop"!....I have priced then quite reasonably, & so hope that they will find new homes with some of you! They are the most lovely designs!.....& would add such charm to any space!...along with being the most precious birthday, shower or graduation gift! (Also, be sure & check out my "CLEARANCE" section, where all the items are 50% off their original prices!).........
NOTE: In a couple weeks, I will be adding some of the sweetest, vintage inspired infant & children's items to my shop! "Tiny prints", simple-traditional "styling" & the most exquisite "detailing"..... coming soon!
"Sailboat" crib quilt, so cute!.......& an incredibly pretty "1/2 square triangle" quilt, very cozy with a white flannel backing!.......
Another sweet "sailboat" quilt.......Just waiting for a little "somebody" to snuggle under it!......
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Good Morning All, I am up really early today. I awoke thinking about all the things I wanted to accomplish today, so instead of lying in bed, I decided to get up & get started! Off to the computer to read my e-mail & to blog. Then I am going upstairs to put in a bit of sewing time. Have been sewing like a crazy person lately!.....Drapery panels for a friend/client, baby blankets/bibs/dresses for my etsy shop & some lovely Christmas items I promised friends long ago. I love spending time up there in my sewing room....creating pretty things & more importantly, finishing pretty things!!! Enjoy your Wednesday my friends!........Love, Heidi
Monday, May 26, 2008
Happy Memorial Day to you all!....This weekend is traditionally thought of as the beginning of Summer. During a break from sewing yesterday, I was thumbing through the June issue of Victoria magaizine from 2001. In it, there was a page, where the editors had asked readers to send in their favorite summer memories.....I just loved reading them! & thought you might enjoy them too!........
*"Blueberry afternoons and firefly evenings."....L.Pereira, Mattapoisett, Ma..
*"Warm, bright, summer afternoons when I walked to the library through the heavenly perfume of California's orange grove"...C.Vaught, Springfield, Oregon
* "Daddy & I became best pals in the summer of 1952, when we caught tadpoles. Mother elected Dad to relocate them from the tub at bath time."...P. Jones-Gagen, Fort Worth, Texas
* "During summer visits my Gram Cora, sewing on her treadle machine, made plaid cotton dresses-white-collared, sash-tied-for each day of my grade-school week."....J.Bartholomew-Murray, Round Rock, Texas
* "Eating watermelon with my children from the patch we grew ourselves."....J.Upton, Stewart MS
* "Summer in India, sleeping outdoors with my new husband, soft breezes keeping us cool."...O. Chaubal, Orangeville, Canada
* "On a screened-in porch with a view, enjoying wild raspberry pie for breakfast."...P.Tapscott, Uxbridge, Canada
* "We fell asleep in our canoe after paddling in the dusk, and awoke to sunlight and a lake surrounded by wild purple irises."....M.Lamb, Portland Oregon
Those are such lovely remembrances, aren't they?...........................
Sunday, May 25, 2008
While browsing yesterday at Barnes & Noble, with my daughter Holly, we happened to glance over, & there it was... the June issue of Vogue magazine! Not that either of us are regular subscribers or even purchase it very often. But when the lovely Sarah Jessica Parker graces the cover, we are there!!!.... She is of course promoting her upcoming movie, "Sex and the City" which will be starting next Friday, May 30th. I'll so admit that our family cannot wait!!!....Now let me back up a little....Years ago, when the television show "Sex and the City" came out, I really wasn't that interested. In fact I completely forgot about it. Then a couple years later, I was at the video store & they had just started coming out with the videos. For some reason I was intrigued, hinting to my husband & almost grown daughters that the videos would make a great birthday present! Well, sure enough, I received the first year of "Sex and the City"!! We sat down one Sunday afternoon, thinking we would watch 1-2 "1/2 hour episodes". Well 6-7 episodes later, we were all hooked!!...Now I know what many of you may be thinking, just as many of my friends do.....They have heard about the "explicit" scenes & lifestyles of Carrie, Samanatha, Charlotte & Miranda. And yes there is some of that I'll admit, but mostly with Samantha! However, if you have not watched this show, you are missing out on a truly amazing story. "Sex and the City" is about 4 women & their undying friendship for each other & for the fabulous NYC!!! It is a really wonderful look at four very different women, who through good & bad, lots of men & of course lots of gorgous clothes & pairs of "Manolos", have remained true friends. When this series came to a close, it was so sad. BUt now we have the movie! You must go my friends!!!....After all, summer is here & the "girls are back in town"!!!
Sarah Jessica Parker on the cover of the June "VOGUE".....
Saturday, May 24, 2008
When I was growing up in Washington State, we were surrounded by dozens of beautiful lakes. Come summer many friends & neighbors, would pack up & take off to the lake for June, July & August. I remember one girl I knew, who's family would leave the day after school was out & didn't return till a couple days before school resumed! Can you imagine! As a child I simply could not imagine a better summer vacation!!!.....As a grown up, I am very content to have everything right here at our house!.... our backyard pool, lovely yard & patio...& no commute! However, I still love the romantic thought of a "summer home", nestled in the woods overlooking a sparkling lake. In my mind it would be a house that had been in our family for years, one that our grandparents or great-grandparents had purchased years before. It would be a place where summers were spent skipping rocks, picking huckleberries & toasting marshmallows!...The original decor would basically still be intact, with all the bedrooms dressed with sheer "priscilla" curtains & hand-made quilts adorning every bed. In my mind I can see braided ruds & antique wicker furniture & photographs of family members over the years, all sun-kissed & relaxed.....I love those images!......However, when I really think about it, most of those images are ones that I can duplicate right here at our house!....(O.K., maybe not the "skipping rocks"!).....And the memories will be the same,.....of a happy family enjoying summer!.......
When I envision a "Summer House", this is what I see!......
And on all the beds will be "heirloom quilts" like these, slightly worn, but soft & cozy!
And since I have been slightly negligent about posting my recipes, I thought I would sneak one in!....In my "Summer House" nothing would taste better than a big pot of "Cheddar Corn Chowder" simmering on the stove!...especially this particular recipe from Ina Garten!... Doesn't she look summery in her denim shirt & holding those happy sunflowers!
INA GARTEN'S CHEDDAR CORN CHOWDER: ( serves 10-12)
8 ounces bacon, chopped 1/4 cup good olive oil 6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions) 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 1/2 cup flour 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 12 cups chicken stock 6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds) 10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds) 2 cups half-and-half 8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot with garnish of bacon.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
This morning while checking my e-mails, comments & favorite blogs, I had the nicest surprise. My friend Sian, from A Diary of a Tinyholder wrote & told me that she had "tagged" me! Well I am just delighted!...thank you so much Sian!,.....Six weeks ago this whole blogging world was a mystery to me...I hardly even knew what a blog was?.....Then one day I was on Martha Stewart's website, where I happened to see her blog. I started reading her's & loved hearing about her everyday doings. Then I read a couple of Martha's favorites, one of which was Jenn Docherty from "oh happy day", which again I felt was just wonderful!...The next thing I knew I was starting my own blog along with my little etsy store. My blog is basically my thoughts on everyday life & my etsy store a place where I can sell quilts, runners & pillows. (In a few weeks I will be adding a small collection of vintage inspired baby & children's clothing as well!...) ....Becoming a "bloggette"has been one of the best experiences ever! To realize that you have friends all over the world that share your same interests?, along with opening your eyes to new ideas?....how amazing is that!!!! I so appreciate you all! ..........Thought I'd sit down and see how this tagging works...
1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
2. 5 things on my to do list today?
#1- I need to deliver some drapery hardware to a client....
#2- Will return & spend most of the rest of the day sewing.... drapery panels ( very pretty, white twill with black grosgrain ribbon trim!), & also finishing up my grandson Andrew's "airplane" jammies & some darling baby blankets & bibs for my etsy shop....
#3- Need to take a hour or so this afternoon & stack up a few of my roses. They are blooming like crazy, but have now crossed the line into "out of control"!
#4- Vaccumn!!!....with 5 people & a 4 year old in the mix, 3 LARGE & lazy dogs, & three cats & lots of toys & sewing projects...mu house ALWAYS needs to be vaccumned!
#5-Make a short trip down the road to one of the fruit stands to pick up a 1/2 flat of "strawberries"...Really want to make a "strawberry tart" for dinner.....
4. Things I would do if I were a millionaire?
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Yesterday, I was going through a few of my old copies of Country Living, ...the English ones. I think I have kept every copy! Each time I attempt to get rid of them, thinking I will thumb through & cut out the pictures & articles I want, & throw away the rest...I once again end up keeping the entire issue!?....I have therefore happily resigned myself, that each one will live contentedly on my sewing room bookshelfs, along with their friends, House Beautiful, Country Home & Martha Stewart, all issues I will hopefully grow old with!.....Anyway, while revisiting these past issues, I came across page after page of the most delightful of all structures.. the "English Conservatory". I have & will always just LOVE conservatories!!!!!....I have always been fascinated with architecture of all kinds....but these are different. Conservatories are "fairytale"! They are basic buildings that have been taken over by whimsy! Even the most modest, are life-sized "jewel boxes", showing off all their exquisite detail!.....My husband thinks my"love affair" will pass, but secretly I know that this relationship is one I will never tire of....One day, somewhere in the future, a very ornate little conservatory & I will live happily ever after.....
A very tasteful & simple conservatory..... but the shape of the windows & the roof details, let you know a bit of "folly" is lurking about!.....
P.S. Wanted to mention some of my wonderful blog friends who have left me the sweetest comments! Thank you so very much! Who knew starting to blog would make you realize how many dear friends you have tucked into various areas of the world!....We'll chat again soon!....Heidi :)
Monday, May 19, 2008
Happy Monday to you all....I am so happy to be blogging this morning. We have had so much going on the last few days, I haven't had time to write!....Here in Southern California it has been "crazy hot", temperatures in the high 90's!...I figure since there is not a whole lot you can do, I might as well welcome summer with open arms & enjoy it! My blog consists of a variety of summer thoughts so bear with me!.... Yesterday we spent most of the day outside, on the patio, yard or pool. We were celebrating my grandson Andrew's 4th birthday, & what a day it was! Between momma & daddy, both sets of grandparents & both his "aunties", it turned out to be a day to remember! With a constant supply of adoring adults, lots of presents & a blue " Cookie Monster" cake, life for our Andrew just couldn't have gotten much better.. ......Now on another note....It is Monday morning, & once again a wonderful recipe is in order! Today it comes from the incomparable Martha Stewart! She has always been, & always will be one of my favorites! In my mind she has done more than anyone when it comes to elevating "homemaking" to a level of incredible beauty & respectibility!.....I have met her on a couple different occasions, & both times she was sweet & very real, not at all the primadona, her critics make her out to be. I remember years ago, meeting her with my husband & two small daughters,... she chatted with Holly & Mallory, commenting on their outfits & giggling with them, oblivious that a line of impatient fans were watching. And on another occasion, my girlfriend & I had gone to hear Martha speak at a autumn luncheon. There also was a short period before, where she was signing her most recent book. Due to time restraints I'm sure, we were asked to simply have her sign one copy, keeping our comments to a minimum. Trying to obey the rules, I only gave her one book to sign, even though I had also purchased a couple for my teenage girls for gifts. She turned to me, asking to sign & reaching for the other books. I of course told her that the ladies sponsoring the event had made it clear it was to be only one autograph per person! She winked at me, shaking her head in disbelief & then went on to write lovely little messages in both my daughters books. While doing so I mentioned that after her speech & lunch, my friend & I would be spending the afternoon antiquing. She asked where we were going, what we were looking for, etc....and then whispered to me that she would give anything to be going with us & ditching the rest of the afternoon!..She smiled & we both ended up giggling!...What a great moment!.....Anyway, I am getting a bit sidetracked!.......the recipe I am posting today is for Martha's "Tomato Tart". Since summer is approaching & tomato season is almost here, it is one you will use & enjoy all summer! It is easy & incredibly delicious!!!!....... My next thought is Ralph Lauren's new line of linens & accessories for the home appropriately named "American Summer"! Have you seen it?...The epitome of "Summertime" it is!!!.......You must go to his website & watch the video....so, so pretty!!! I included a few pictures of some of my favorite products from the new line, ....so go check it out!......I also happened across a picture of the Ralph Lauren Polo shop in Southhampton, New York. It is one of the most charming stores ever!....Last October, our family was spending a few days in Manhattan. We decided to rent a car & drive out to the Hamptons for the day. We had never been, so were very excited. It was late in the month, nearing Halloween. Farmstands were brimming with pumpkins, the temperatures were chilly & the lovely, old streets of Southhampton were simply exquistite! To say it is a pretty area, just doesn't do it justice! While puttering around the village, we came upon Ralph Lauren's store, which is actually two small cottage. You feel as if you are entering someone's private home.... There was no one around, being off season & all.....Unbelieveably wonderful! I was in my element! If you have a chance to go, take it!.....I can't wait to go back!......Well, I think I have covered everything for today...See what happens when I skip a few days?, very "random thoughts"!..... Have a great Monday!..............
Martha Stewart...one of my favorite pictures!...How could you not look pretty with all those gorgeous lilacs!
Martha's "Tomato Tart"....... so good!
Ralph Lauren's shop in Southhampton, NY.......I could just move in!!!!!
Martha Stewart's "Tomato Tart"Serves 8
1 head garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1/2 Pate Brisee (Pie Dough)
2 ounces Italian fontina cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 pounds firm but ripe tomatoes (4 medium), cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place garlic on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Wrap to enclose garlic in foil, and place on a small baking sheet. Bake until soft and golden brown and the tip of a knife easily pierces the flesh, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside. Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees. When garlic is cool enough to handle, using either your hands or the dull end of a large knife, squeeze the cloves out of their skins and into a small bowl; mash with a fork, and set aside. Discard the papery skins.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/8-inch-thick circle, about 12 inches in diameter. With a dry pastry brush, brush off the excess flour; roll the dough around the rolling pin, and lift it over a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Line the pan with the dough, pressing it into the corners. Trim the dough so that it is flush with the edges; transfer to the refrigerator to chill, about 30 minutes.
Spread roasted garlic evenly on the chilled crust. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Arrange the tomatoes on top of the cheese, in an overlapping circular pattern. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Transfer to oven. Reduce temperature to 400 degrees. and bake until crust is golden and tomatoes are soft but still retain their shape, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool for 20 minutes, and serve warm.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Hi Friends, Hope you are all doing well!....Here at our house, we are all doing better now, but have all been recovering from different degrees of the flu bug, which has had us down for a good part of a week. We have been resting & making lots of tea!...and I have been reading all your wonderful blogs!...it seems warm weather has finally come to all your homes!....I have so enjoyed looking at & reading all the photos & text about your flowers, patios & lush, green countryside & charming towns!...Yes, here in California we do have lots of sun & pleasant temperatures, but charming villages, not so much. And with clear skies a "constant", you really do tire of it!....My husband & I both grew up in Washington State where we had very distinct seasons, & we enjoyed the seasons as well living back east a few years ago....and I miss it terribly. We also happen to gravitate to old, dated "fixer-upper" houses, but for some reason we decided to purchase a new house in a large housing developement when moving back to Southern California?....Let me just say we will NEVER buy a new house again!....There is no privacy & the "neighbors"?...Most of them are very nice people, but the ones directly in back of us are so "disagreeable"!......OMGoodness!... I realize I am sounding like a spoiled child & "horrifically ungrateful" and that simply is not true. I do love my actual house, & I am surrounded by my happy, healthy family. For the time being this is our home. I need to embrace that fact & make it my own! I need to "Bloom where I'm planted" & adopt a better attitude! and from this point on, that's precisely what I'm going to do!....Someday I hope to find myself living in an old farmhouse on a hill, instead of in tract housing,... surrounded by green grass & tall trees, in place of freeways & mini-malls. However, for right now this is the place I am supposed to be. I'm going to enjoy what So. Cal has to offer,..... as well as all the incredible places I can experience when visiting all of you.
Our backyard & beautiful pool....18 months ago, this area was nothing more than a "dirt pit"??...My husband landscaped the backyard almost entirely by himself...he planted all the trees you see...He did a great job!.............
The "view" from the edge of our house looking up toward the surrounding hills. We ended up purchasing the lot that would give us the most space...my husband anticipating his wife's need for "breathing room"!
This is at the other end of our yard....You are looking toward my "flower & vegetable garden". We had the stone wall put in along with my lovely arbor. In the middle of the arbor we had little stone benches added....Note: See how close those neighbors are!
"Daylilies & Daisies" planted in front of my very "English looking" stone wall... Question to my Blogger friends from the U.K?.....It does look something like you'd find in England, doesn't it??....(Lie if you must!).... :)
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Good Morning All,...Today my post is a bit unusual for me....but I just can't help it! Let's just shout it to the world!.....Last night on the television show, "The Bachelor", Matt ( a.k.a. "The Bachelor") proposed to the adorable "Shayne"!!!!!!!!!! I am not at all shy about admitting our family comes together in the evening to take in a bit of T.V.! We all have our favorites & the Bachelor is right up there!!, especially this year! We all LOVE Matt!!!!!....Matt is a businessman from England, & the perfect "bachelor", handsome & charming & smart,.... but what sets this guy apart is that he appears to the viewing public to be somewhat "honorable"! And last night he chose "Shayne", who as you can tell we also just love!!!!...Shayne is the epitome of the California girl in appearance,... tan, blonde & always donning a pair of "Jackie O" sunglasses & an array of babydoll dresses... which I will admit I adore!!! And although young, she seems to know herself much more than most of the others that have gone before her! ...And she tells it as she sees it, which I also find refreshing!...Anyway...Matt proposed to our family's favorite, the "fabulous Shayne" & here at our house we couldn't be happier!!!....How long it will all last is yet to be seen?....but our family is hoping for a "fairytale ending"!!!!!!!
"The Bachelor" Matt Grant, & Shayne............Best wishes!!!!
Monday, May 12, 2008
Congratulations to President Bush, ...his wife, our First Lady Laura & the entire Bush family, on the marriage of their daughter Jenna. As I'm sure you all know Jenna Bush married Henry Hager over the weekend at the family home in Texas. I admire Jenna so much for opting for a more intimate wedding at the Bush's home in Crawford, rather than the glamour of Washington D.C... Jenna you made an incredibly pretty bride!!...The best to the both of you!
Jenna & her dad.................
I am up early, with lots I want to accomplish this week!........I heard from many of you saying you were going to give either the "Lemon Cake" or the "Mashed Potato Bake" a try...so I'm dying to hear if any of you actually did over the weekend!? Let me know!.....And with it being Monday morning, another wonderful recipe is being added to my list!...I had to actually think where I had originally gotten this recipe?, since I found it years ago & have made it so many times since!....This recipe is for an amazingly yummy cake,... "Mexican Chocolate Sheet Cake". It came from a book I purchased years ago, written by Mary Emmerling, " American Country Cooking". This cake is very easy to put together & has the loveliest flavor,... very mild chocolate, mixed with a bit of coffee & a touch of cinnamon....You make it in a sheet pan, again very easy... & pour the frosting over a slightly warm cake. So very good!!!....You might want to make it for dessert tonight?......you'll love it!
Mexican Chocolate Sheet Cake:
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, ( 1 stick)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon powdered espresso or regular coffee
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, (1 stick)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon powdered instant espresso or regular coffee
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter & flour a 15x10x2-inch baking pan.
For the cake...In a small saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa, and 1 cup of water over moderate heat. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour & granulated sugar. Add the melted chocolate mixture & beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended.
Continue beating and add the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon, instant coffee, and salt. The batter will be light. Fold in the nuts.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. The cake will be very moist. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
For the icing: In a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, melted butter, cocoa, and milk. Mix well and stir in the vanilla, instant coffee, and cinnamon.
When cake has cooled for 15 to 20 minutes, spread the icing over the cake while it is still warm. Serve the cake, cut into squares, warm or at room temperature.
Serves 12 to 16................
Saturday, May 10, 2008
On the eve of Mother's Day, I thought it appropriate to share a few of Mary Cassatt's most famous paintings. These of course are of mothers & their children, a favorite subject of hers. All depict "everyday life"...I think that's what I find most appealing. That is certainly what I cherish most when it comes to motherhood & raising children...the simple, "day to day" happenings. These are the times you truly learn about your children, by taking time, listening & participating in their lives. I am so blessed to have become a mother, & now a grandmother....because of them, my "everyday life" is filled with "unconditional love".... Wishing all the "mothers & mothers-to-be" reading this,.... the loveliest of "Mother's Days" ......
Mary Cassatt's "Young Mother Sewing".........
" Mother and Child", 1897..............M. Cassatt
"Breakfast In Bed".......M. Cassatt
Note: You must all go to Pink Icing On The Cake.....LeAnn has written just the most clever entry for Mother's Day.....Hope you enjoy it!
Friday, May 9, 2008
Good Morning All!....It's Friday, & as promised I have another wonderful recipe for you this morning!.... It's from the kitchen of Paula Deen,... FOOD NETWORK "superstar"! I'm not sure she would describe herself that way?.... I'm sure Paula would say she is just a Southern girl, who cooks the old-fashioned way she was taught by her "Grandmother Paul" growing up in Georgia. Her recipes are delicious!!, but not exactly low-cal!...Paula's favorite ingredient is butter & she uses it liberally!....The recipe I'm sharing with you today is her "Mashed Potato Bake". It is an extremely easy recipe that results in one of the most "mouth-watering" casseroles ever! I have served this dish to my friends in the cold weather months, with "meat loaf & a crisp green salad"....but it is every bit as good in the summer as part of a buffet, barbeque or weeknight dinner! Every single time I have made this dish, I have been asked for the recipe!!!! You might want to think about whipping it up this weekend?..... You'll be a big hit!!!
The pretty "Paula"...home cook extraordinaire!....
PAULA DEEN'S..."Mashed Potato Bake".....
*4 cups frozen hash browns
*1 (7.6-ounce) package butter and herb mashed potato mix
*1 stick butter, softened
*4 ounces cream cheese, softened
*1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
*1/2 cup sour cream
*1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon pepper
*2 cups boiling water
*2 cups prepared French-fried onion rings
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the hash browns. Cook for 5 minutes and drain. In a large bowl, mix together the cooked hash browns, mashed potato mix, butter, cream cheese, jack cheese, sour cream, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Stir in the boiling water. Place in a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Sprinkle the onion rings over the casserole and bake for about 5 to 8 minutes longer until onions are golden brown.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
It's Thursday afternoon & I have just gotten the "Andrew" ( my grandson) down for a nap, or maybe just an hour of "resting", since I still hear him chattering over the monitor. Anyway, I was looking through my magazines last night, Country Living in particular. In the most recent issue, the cover photo shows the most charming "fabric lined baskets"....I think they are just the prettiest!!!.... So now that's all I can think about!??....I want to find a couple similar baskets, some vintage looking fabric & sew up some "linings"....I know some of you have done this right?....Even though I'm a fairly good seamstress, I'll admit I do like a pattern to guide my way. I'm sure I can figure it out, but if you have any suggestions for me I would really appreciate it!...Well, I'm off to see what I have in the stacks of fabric in my sewing room! ( A room I will show you when it's a bit more picked up!) ...I'll keep you all posted on my progress! happy stitching!
This month's great cover of "Country Living".......I love everything in this picture...The "cabinet", the "chairs", the "blue pail" with the "sloppy flowers" & of course the "baskets" on top!
Isn't this just the cutest little "sewing basket?..or maybe I should say "sewing carton"??....Just shows what you can do with a few simple household items & a "sprinkling" of imagination".....Note: Instructions at http://www.countryliving.com/
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Hello Friends,...Today is a cool, cloudy, drizzly day here at our house....very unusual for So. Cal at this time of year.... I am thoroughly enjoying it! I am pretending I live in the English countryside, today...all lush & green!...maybe in a small stone cottage, covered in ivy?? A house right out of the pages of "Sense & Sensibility" or "Emma"!.....I do sound a bit delusional, don't I?.....I assure you I'm not, most days I'm really quite sane. Days like this make me realize though that I truly may be the most reclusive "homebody" ever!...Now again, don't get me wrong...I enjoy a little shopping & lunch as much as anyone, but more than anything... I do LOVE to stay home!! I like everything about it...puttering in the garden, making list of "to-do's" ( making lists, not necessarily accomplishing much), thumbing through all my stacks of lovely fabric, dreaming up new projects, ...even straightening up & cleaning a bit....I enjoy fussing with all my surroundings here in the house. I enjoy making it all very "cozy & inviting"..."atmosphere" is extremely important to me. When curled up in a chair I want to feel as if the " walls are wrapping their arms around me". From every angle in a room I want to be able to see all my favorite things! I like big squishy pillows, fresh flowers & lots of books! I enjoy creating an environment that I simply never want to leave....add my family to the mix & I'm a very happy girl!....and so there you have it.... a self-proclaimed "homebody" & proud of it!...
One of my favorite corners in the house....& a bit of "leopard velvet"....every cottage needs a bit of it tucked here & there!...
No not my bedroom, but an wonderful example of "cozy", the toile wallpaper & fabric give the room, such a romantic feel...
This kitchen belongs to designer Bunny Williams. Isn't it the epitome of "cozy"! ....I think her dog thinks so!...
And this sitting room!!!......... couldn't you spend the entire day in here! Maybe a little tea, please!
And Bunny's home once again!...in this room, I could be "Queen of the "Homebodies" & I would rule from this comfy couch among all her glorious pillows!....