Monday, November 30, 2009

Goodbye November

Goodbye November.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Christmas Tree of Sisters

I set up this tree in the kitchen with every intention of decorating it with all things kitchen-y - cookie cutters, mini whisks, aprons, kitchen angels, mini baking and Bundt pans, and rolling pins.

As I was sorting through my Christmas decorations I came across a small box...

As soon as I saw the box I forgot about the mini kitchen tins, aprons, and rolling pins and immersed myself in the sentiments of the contents of the little box.

The scribble, GLU Ornaments 2008, may not mean much to you but it means so much to me.

You see, several years ago I met the most wonderful group of women through a message board and over the years we have formed friendships and a sisterhood. We gather through a private message board where we share our recipes, crafts, lives, and our hearts.

We have even gathered, across the miles, in each others homes.

In this little box are my sisters who were by my side when I decided to leave the comfort of my family and the town I had lived in for 20+ years to start a dream life, alone, in a tiny country town states away. In this box are the same sisters who shared in my crazy adventures. The beautiful women who prayed with me when my dad was diagnosed with cancer, who left silly birthday wishes on my nephew's answering machine while he was at school, and sent encouraging emails and get well cards to the children's hospital where my niece lived for weeks after fracturing her arm.

I am so blessed to know these wonderful women.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Christmas Cocoa Mug Runneth Over!

I jumped on the Polar Express this morning and it is full steam ahead to the North Pole!

I have a Crooner's Christmas in the CD player (and I don't even mind the Clay Aiken song - remember this post) and my home looks like it has been ransacked by a bunch of mischievous elves. There are dozens of  half emptied bins of Christmas decorations strewn through the house with stockings, lights, jingle bells, candles, and Christmas what-nots everywhere.

This is my first Christmas in my new home and have no idea how I'm going to decorate or where to put my trees. But you bet your sweet sugar plums and candy canes that I will savor every holly jolly moment of making it all Christmas cozy!

Sigh.... Remember the Christmas in July post..... Sigh....

Free Grungy Stockings Pattern

You can find this adorable pattern at Homespun from the Heart.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Country Fried

Good Happy Saturday Morning Y'all!

Before I head for the fields to help finish cuttin' beans I wanted to share some fabulous news with you...

Country Fried is back!

Ok, well, not back yet, but I'm working on it.

For all of my new friends - Country Fried is a little whatnot store I opened a few years ago. However, one day I up and decided to chase some crazy country livin' dream  and had to make the difficult decision to close the doors while I was chasin' that dream. Now that made that dream come true I'm ready reopen, sell it all, and get new stock! So for now I leave you with a little sneak peek of some of the goodies I still have. There is more inventory to add so stay tuned...

Have a blessed weekend my friends!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Words of Wisdom

Repeated frustrations and disappointments
are always a reflection of repeated
misunderstandings and presumptions.


Firecrackerkid Primitives is hosting the most wonderful Christmas Holiday Giveaway, a lovely Farmhouse 3-pin Rolling Pin Rack!

You should head on over there and check it out.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Amazon is offering you one free music download from any of the CMA Awards nominated artists!
Click on the link below to redeem your free music download!

Lovely Quote

Stay, stay at home, my heart and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest...
                             -Henry Longfellow

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dumplings in a pinch

I am a from scratch kind of girl. I am not much on short cuts, box mixes, or instant anything and anyone who knows me would gasp in disbelief at the little secret I am about to share with you.

I love dumplings. I love my dumplings big, fat, and noodle-y. I don't like the kind that has been undercooked and bread-y on the inside. I love my dumplings from scratch.When the idea of using whomp biscuits (canned biscuits) as dumplings was brought to my attention, I turned up my nose in disgust and exclaimed, "As if!"

Now I've been humbled. I gave the whomp biscuit dumplings a try, because as brutal fate would have it my kitchen lacked the eggs and milk I needed to make them from scratch, and I must say that they were pretty good.

Here's what you do:

Open a can of whomp biscuits.
Tear, cut, or pinch into pieces.
Drop into salted boiling water.
At this point you have to watch the dumplings carefully.
The dumplings will puff as they boil then shrink - if you like your dumplings noodle-y all the way through drain them as soon as they shrink. However, if you like them bread-y on the inside drain them shortly after they puff.
DO NOT over boil as they will turn to mush.

Since trying this for the first time I have bought several different types and flavors of biscuits - the ones I find that work and taste the best are Pillsbury Buttermilk or Country Style biscuits.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Today I was blessed with art!

How sweet of my farmer-to-be's mama to think of us so that she sent us these two wonderful pieces of artwork.

I feel so blessed.


I believe that this hand-drawn barn is the work of the wife of the man who owns a piece of property that the Farmer-to-be leases to farm. I believe this is the land that I got to cut a while back and took out their fence. Oops.

I love a good farming print; especially one that has a John Deere tractor in it.

I am so tickled tha I just had to share them with you.

An apple of a day

I still had about 20 pounds of apples left to eat, bake with, give away, or to preserve left in a ginormous box in my refrigerator. I was desperately in need of the extra fridge space and to use up those apples before they spoiled.

Since the apple pie filling I canned weeks ago is almost gone I decided to can another batch and with the remaining apples I made a Bavarian Apple Torte with fresh Caramel Cream and Spiced Nuts.

For the Bavarian Apple Torte I used this fabulous recipe given to me by my Aunt Cathy - she is the most wonderful cook.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour

Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla.
Blend in flour.
Spread dough onto bottom up about 1-1/2" of the sides of 9" spring form pan. (dough will be tacky - it is best to use your hands)

1 - 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat together cream cheese and sugar until well combined.
Add egg and vanilla. Pour into pastry lined pan.

1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 cups apples, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup nuts

Combine sugar and cinnamon. Toss in apples until evenly coated.
Spoon apple mixture over cream cheese layer.
Sprinkle with nuts.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 400 degrees and continue baking for an additional 25 minutes.
Let cool before removing rim of pan.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

The Journey of a Circle Journal


I posted pics of my Circle Journal that has not been sent out yet! If you do not want to spoil the surprise of my gloriously fantabulous Circle Journal, do not peek or go any further!!!!


Are you sure you want to do this?


 Okaaaay.... Don't say that I didn't warn you...


This will be the first time I've participated in a Circle Journal.

I was so excited when I signed up that I couldn't sleep for the bazillions of ideas dancing around in my head. I ended up writing down several pages of fabulous ideas.

I set those ideas aside, because I couldn't settle on just one and decided to focus on the journal's appearance instead. I just let the creative mojo take over and this is what I came up with... 

I put the journal together with a Christmas theme bouncing around in my head. I kept envisioning scenes from the movie A Smoky Mountain Christmas. You know, the one with Dolly Parton and Lee Majors...

I spun the idea...

You're stranded in a secluded cabin in the mountains and it's almost Christmas. You only have what the cabin and your surroundings will provide - the food in the cabinets, fridge, and freezer and your rustic and natural great outdoors. There isn't a WalMart within a hundred miles of you, no attic nor a basement with an artificial tree and boxes of Christmas decorations. You have to be creative and do the best with what the cabin and your surroundings provide.

Sounds pretty good, huh. Just one little problem... I'm stuck!
I have the cover of the journal and the outline but no middle. I'm having a hard time executing this idea on to pages in this journal. Sigh....

So, I start thinking again...

Hmmmm.... What if I give the journalers their choice of seasons or holidays as long as they use the same rustic, natural, and only what the cabin and its surroundings will provide guidelines... Hmmmm....

Staci girl, I think you're on to something.

So, this is where I'm at. I still don't have a middle but I think the journal looks damn good in my new cabinet!

I'm loving the look of it in the cabinet. I *heart* my new cabinet. 
Now my head is spinning, wondering if I should change the theme of the journal again... Hmmmm.... How about Heritage Recipes....

Will this madness ever end!?!?!? The journal was due to be sent out in August!!!!
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

1930's Cabinet

This cabinet was found in an old cotton gin / warehouse that operated until the late 1950's or 60's. (I think)

When we found the cabinet it was covered with dust, cobwebs, dirt, mouse droppings, and mildew. It took us several days of careful cleaning to finally remove the decades of neglect.

We had to remove a couple of large nails that once kept this cabinet fastened to the warehouse wall and floor to keep it from toppling over.

In the cabinet, we discovered business documents from the cotton gin / warehouse dating back to the 1930's.

The cotton gin / warehouse were operated by two brothers for 30 years. Both were born in the 1890's.

We moved the cabinet into the house yesterday.

Don't mind the floors and walls - we are remodeling.
We plan to install the tongue and groove flooring and the wood-slat walls from the warehouse in our house.

I added a few decorations that I had stored away since we've been remodeling. I couldn't wait! I needed to see what it would like like all gussied up!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Blueberry Lemon Cream Cheese Tart

This is a very adaptable recipe that will work well with almost any type of fruit. Want to lighten it up a bit, try fresh fruit instead of a pie filling.

You can make an amazing patriotic dessert for the Fourth of July by using fresh strawberries and blueberries.

Nut Crust
1/2 cup roasted, finely chopped nuts (pecans, almonds and walnuts are my favorites)
1-1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 sticks of REAL SALTED BUTTER BAY-BEE!, softened

Roast your nuts before you chop them - throw 'em in a heated cast iron skillet and toss around for a couple of minutes. Let cool. Chop.
Combine flour, sugar, nuts, and butter - mix until it forms a ball.
Pat ball of dough into a tart pan.
Bake @ 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Let cool before filling.

Cream Cheese Filling
6 oz of cream cheese. softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar (I think you can safely reduce this to 1/8 cup)
1 tsp vanilla or lemon extract

Cream together cream cheese, vanilla/extract, and powdered sugar, set aside.
Beat heavy cream and granulated sugar until soft peaks are formed.
Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.
Spoon mixture into cooled tart crust.
Top with 1 can of your favorite pie filling or homemade pie filling.
Chill for a couple of hours before serving.

*If you decide on a refreshing lemony taste try fresh squeezed lemon juice instead of the extract and toss in some zest.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lemon Pound Cake

This is a most wonderfully delicious and moist pound cake that is absolutely perfect for Spring.

Pound Cake

3 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1- 1/2 cups real butter, softened (3 sticks)
1- 3/4 cups sugar
6 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup milk at room temperature
1- 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp pure lemon extract
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Lemon Syrup

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Pound Cake

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Butter and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together twice.
Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Reduce the speed and add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.
Stir in the lemon zest and extracts.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 1- 1/2 hours, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Poke holes in cake with a wooden skewer.

Meyer Lemon Syrup

In a small saucepan, bring the lemon juice and sugar to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour half of lemon syrup over cake while still in pan.
Let set for 5 minutes.
Invert the cake onto a rack, positioned over a baking sheet and slowly baste the remaining syrup over the cake.
Let completely cool before serving.

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Throwback Cookie

Oh how I love cookies - especially cookies from my childhood.

I've been craving a certain little childhood cookie for weeks now - after I came across this old recipe. It's a recipe from an elementary school cookbook put together by the students.

Funny thing... I can save a recipe page from a thousand years ago but can't keep up with my social security card, checkbook, drivers license, birth certificate, or even cash.

Anyway. I finally got off my ever-enlarging lazy rump to anti-bake a batch.

No Bake Cookies
aka ~ No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
aka ~ No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

1 stick butter - I use the real stuff, salted
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of peanut butter - I use extra chunky but you are more than welcome to use creamy
3 cups of quick oats
2 tsp vanilla

In a small pot over medium high heat combine the butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa.
Bring to a high simmer while stirring continuously.
Simmer for 1 minute then remove from heat.
Stir in peanut butter and vanilla until well incorporated.
Now stir in oats until evenly coated.
Quickly drop by the spoonful on to a wax paper lined baking sheet.
Let cool.

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