Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thrift store finds

First, I hope you are all having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! :)

AND I wanted to tell you, in answer to my little guessing game in the previous post, that I painted our kitchen floor! It was A LOT of work! I am loving the results, though, and will show you the whole floor as soon as we get the molding up! (I'm crossing my fingers that we'll get this done next weekend!)

But I also wanted to share something with you~

I was at the thrift store when I spotted these sweet cups and saucers. This is the pattern of dishes that I grew up with, and they bring back good memories! I swept these up, and also bought three matching dinner plates. The cashier pointed out that two of the plates each had a chip on them, but I assured him it didn't matter. This wasn't about perfection, it was about nostalgia.

Do you have memories of the dishes your mom used when you were growing up? Do they bring back warm memories~ maybe of a fun family supper, or the bowl of chicken noodle soup your mom made for you when you were sick?

These dishes do that for me~ I feel happy just looking at them. And that reminds me to be thankful for a good childhood, which truly is a precious gift.

(Thanks Mom and Dad.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A little preview...

...of what I have been doing for the past couple of weeks.

I knew this would be a doozy of a project, but let's just say that when all is said and done, it will have taken about three times longer than expected! (This seems all too often true with home improvement projects!) And the truth is, I'm still not finished! Friday morning should be the day I wrap this project up~ not one second too soon!

Can you guess what this is I'm doing? ;)

Monday, May 17, 2010

A French cookbook

Have any of you seen the movie "Julie and Julia"? It has been out on DVD for a while, and my husband and I finally rented it last month. We so enjoyed it! I especially loved the scenes of the movie that focused on Julia Child~ my favorite part was when she first saw her cookbook, bound and published.

I thought it would be a fun book to have~ there is so much I don't know about cooking and who knows more about cooking, specifically French cooking~ than Julia Child? My husband gave it to me for my birthday last month, and the first thing I looked for was how to make pastry dough for turnovers.

I am going to use this recipe for fruit turnovers. I have used the puff pastry shells you can buy at the grocery store, but I want to do it from scratch! And how fun it will be to learn to make a pie crust out of this book!

I just love the illustrations in this book! So sweet and vintage!

I must admit to being more excited about the making the desserts than the entrees! Which would you try out first?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Another collection addiction

It all started with a beautiful old butter knife!

I found it a couple of years ago in a large bag of utensils given to me by my mother-in-law, that had belonged to her mother...Only one piece was old, but I caught the bug! I am completely smitten with antique silverware! (They are my latest obsession!)

I was so excited to find some more pieces last week to add to my growing collection! The owner of the little shop had a couple of containers of these, and I had so much fun going through them and picking out my favorites!

Now I found the ones above on the cheap~ all except the butter knife! (Some are older than others...) I have learned one of the secrets is to be patient when looking. I consider myself quite lucky indeed to find even two things at a time! (Unless you happen on a store where the owner is a collector herself!) And I have to admit, I love searching through random and mismatched utensils here and there and discovering something wonderfully timeworn! And the price is often a matter of pennies!

I love the way they look in this sweet vase I found at The Weed Patch, one of my favorite shops!

I was wrapping something with this twine, and noticed how good the color of it looked with the things next to it~ the red of the flowers, the white vase and aged silverware.

(I am going to have to find ways to introduce this color to our kitchen!)

Well, I hope that you had a fantastic Monday! I had better sign off now before it is Tuesday! :)

Have a good night!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The best M&M cookie recipe ever

I finally found it! Well, actually, I have had this recipe for over a year, but it was technically for Chocolate Chip Cookies. And it is a great recipe for that, too. But what I discovered is that it also makes the best dough for M&M cookies as well.

My son LOVES this kind of cookie~ it's his favorite!~ but whenever I made them, I never had good results. So I didn't make them very often. It just wasn't good for my "baker's self-esteem". (Smile.)

I saw this recipe in it's original form at Twice Remembered, and modified it to suit my son's M&M craving, but you can simply add chocolate chips and chopped walnuts to the dough instead if you like! It works equally wonderfully for either!

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
About one cup of M&M's

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cream together butter and sugars together. Beat in one egg at a time, then the vanilla extract. Dissolve baking soda in the two teaspoons hot water and add to the batter along with salt. Stir in flour. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, and flatten a bit. Press M&M's gently onto the top of each unbaked cookie. I usually only put 9 onto a baking sheet, because they get pretty big!
Bake for 9-11 minutes, until they are lightly browned. (Mine are just right after about 11 minutes! :)

Enjoy! :)

I hope you are all having a fantastic week!

Many Blessings,