Home Made Goodness

In an effort to ATTEMPT to spend my time creating more and consuming less (GoT excepted)… tonight I sat down and instead of scrolling FB endlessly…I made a scrapbook layout (!) gasp.  I know, I know.  We have actually been super busy in a good way this summer so lots going on but not a lot of sharing. In an effort to remedy that, may I present…

yep, Christmas baking layouts in August!  I had bought the cutest baking kit from Pink Reptile Designs and a template kit from Scrapping with Liz at The Lilypad (one of my fave digi-scrapping shops) and tonight was the night to use it.

Last night I spent my evening catching up with my 2016 photos in Lightroom, and I’m thrilled to say that I believe that 2016 is all done, edited, rated and tagged.  That is why I could find these photos about baking…from my “baking” keyword.  I have a lot of memory keeping to work on.  I have realized that I’ve been catching myself thinking 2 more first-days-of-school until the girls go to college, 2 more back-to-school shoppings until the girls go to college … you get the idea.   One layout to make a dent in the memory keeping list!

Once school starts and we are on a more normal schedule, maybe more posting  (?!)  best of intentions…. enjoy!

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1/14: The Big Gray Pot

Happy Middle of January !

Winter had finally arrived here in New England.  It’s cold, it snowed (not enough to really shovel but enough to look pretty), the sun is out and it’s cold.  Just the kind of weather for hearty yummy carb-laden goodies made in the Big Gray Pot.

This week (so far) I made risotto with shrimp and peas.   Risotto is one of those dishes that everyone in the house loves, but I kind of forget about when I’m thinking of things to make.  It is super easy, I use the basic recipe from an old, old Williams Sonoma “Risotto” cookbook.  There is half an hour of minding the pot on the stove as you add the chicken stock but easy to do while you are puttering around the kitchen making salad or cleaning up.  Add to that peas in the freezer and frozen cooked shrimp on sale at MarketBasket and it’s risotto for the win!

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The night I made it was my basketball carpool night, after the risotto was finished, I put the lid on and put it in a 200 degree oven to stay warm while I picked up and dropped off hoop stars.  I’ve never “held” risotto in the oven like that before and I think were I to do it again, I’d add a little extra water on the top to keep it moist.  The rice kept sucking up the cooking liquid and wasn’t dry but not quite as creamy.

Hope you try something like this, I love the fact that I can cook something on the stove and then hold it in a warm oven rather than letting it get cold and them microwaving to heat up later.

Have a great day everyone!!

 

…It was supposed to be a quick project…

How many times have we said that??  Come on, raise your hands, I know you are out there.  It seemed so easy.

Me:  Hey honey, I decided I want to use my birthday money from your folks to help pay for a new worktop for my studio, can we go to Ikea and pick up the new furniture for my studio?                                                                         Charlie:  Sure!

That was the easy part.  Actually, I should say going to Ikea and actually getting the stuff, easy peasy.  I had made a list of what we needed.  I’d even mapped out the entire project step by step.  Yay for organized!  We brought everything home and put it all together in a few hours.  PicTapGo-ImageLooked great!!  Of course it did, fit just like I’d planned.  So excited to have drawers!  So many I’m not even sure what I’m going to put in them (ha ha ha).  On my list of things to do was to clear out the shelves and re-organize them, and take down all my notes on the wall from 2015.   PicTapGo-Image copyYay organizing project.  In addition to cleaning out, I found $6, and a bracket for the shade I would like to hang on the driveway side window (hopeful bracket #2 will turn up soon), and I cleaned.  I am going to swap the workstations with sewing on the right with the ironing board behind me and computer/memorykeeping on the left.   All was going swimmingly, until the subject of this came up… PicTapGo-Image copy 3and yes, people I went down that path.  I thought I’ll just put a coat of poly on the top so I don’t mess it up.   Um no…. old poly, wrong brush means took for.ev.er. to dry and didn’t cover well.  One new fresh can of poly later (read on the This Old House blog you should toss poly after it’s been open for a year….yeah, that can came from our old house 😉  ) here we are.  Looks much much better!!  Dried perfectly, nice and smooth, full coverage (just a tiny bit of fine steel wool polishing will happen today) All ready to go!  PicTapGo-Image copy 2Put the stuff back in that’s been junking up the upstairs hall.  PicTapGo-Image copy 5So excited, can’t wait to work on one long continuous counter, spread out my fabric or my projects, a home for the scanner and maybe the tablet, this is going to be great!  Or not, wait, it seems a little low for me.  Get out the tape, measure, yup, the worktop needs to come up 1″ – 1 1/2″, and I need a big piece of something for on top of the cart to make up the space on the back that won’t be covered by the top, since I have to move it forward to the edge of the drawers (overhang = not getting into the back of those drawers) *sigh*

Honnneeeeee  !!!  I have a little project for you !

Pray for me…hoping to have this all sorted out on the weekend and be making stuff in here soon… this wasn’t going to be on of my 52/16 projects but it is starting to verge in that direction!

1/7: The Big Gray Pot

Happy New Year!

As I opened up the blog this morning, I realized that i averaged about one post a month last year … let’s see if we can do better this year shall we??  So much good stuff to share, so busy doing I never took to write it down!

Last month for my birthday, my beloveds gifted me with a big new Le Creuset dutch oven.  Swoon and be still my heart!  I have wanted one of these in my kitchen for years.  PicTapGo-Image copyCharlie joked that I used it 3 times the first week I had it… and the problem with that would be????  I thought it might be fun to share what I’ve been making in my new toy this year.    We are in the season of basketball now and I am finding that planning a soup/stew item and a casserole that can be time-baked in the oven gets us through the dinner hour on the nights we are out over dinnertime and want to come home to a hot meal.  It worked during soccer season and seems to be working so far for hoop.

This week my “in the pot” recipe was the Pioneer Woman’s “Chipotle Chicken Chili”.   I love Pioneer Woman and have had great success with her recipes, this one was no exception.  Easy to make with not crazy ingredients, easy to alter for our taste (1 chipotle pepper rather than 3 eeekkk!)  and scoring high on the yum-o-meter with the offspring.  PicTapGo-ImageChili for the win!  This one was deemed a keeper.   My alterations were chicken stock rather than beer and the aforementioned reduction in chipotle peppers (love the flavor need to moderate the heat).   I also tried using some boneless chicken thighs instead of some of the chicken breasts…won’t be doing that again, waaaay too much trimming for the picky eaters so chicken breast it will be next time I make this.   I highly recommend, give it a try!!

Have a great day everyone!!

 

Writing:: 14/31 Bedside Table (nightstand)

This month, I’m participating in Ali Edwards “31 More Things” class over at her website.  The class is an exercise in writing something every day for 31 days using simple one word prompts.  I have not been so great at writing every day, but I am hoping to catch up this weekend and post here when they are complete!  The intent is to pair writing with one photo to tell a story and to include all the writing in an album.  I am still pondering how these are all going to end up, but I’m enjoying the writing process. *and, I am not going in order!

14/31  Bedside Table (nightstand)

We bought our bedside tables as part of our cherry Shaker bedroom set.   We had just bought our first house in 1996 and I was SO excited to have bedroom furniture that matched after years of us living with our miss-matched furniture we’d each brought with us from our childhood homes.  I still love our set, it’s held up pretty well and endured cats, dog and kids and us.  The top of my table has peeled up alittle from one time when  Fred the cat knocked my water glass over, whilst trying to drink out of it and the water got everywhere and sat there for a loooong time until I noticed it and cleaned it up.  Mostly the top is covered with books and stuff anyway so I don’t notice it.

On Top 

Lamp:  I love these lamps, they were a splurge from Pottery Barn at the time I felt very indulgent but we have had them for well over 10 years now, worth their weight.  I’ve had to switch to a higher wattage bulb in my bedside lamp over the years…. eyes getting older, truly depressing.

Clock radio:  Old school, doesn’t charge anything, radio stations don’t even come in well , it’s tuned to one of our local NPR stations so at 6am, I am awoken to whatever horror is at the top of the news cycle (note to self…maybe it’s time for a change?)

Books:  First and foremost, I am a reader.  My bedside table holds the latest books I’m reading, plus what’s on deck (Anna Karenina)  Lately, I have several going at once.  I also have a stack of books and magazines that I like to pick up and flip through, mostly design/sewing/quilting/knitting books, the overflow is in a big basket on the floor

Magazines:  Love magazines!  Usually I have a copy of the NYTimes Sunday Magazine on, under or next to my bedside table, Charlie passes them along when he’s done with the cross-word puzzle.

Water:  Usually a water glass or bottle, lately I’ve been putting a glass on the floor so it won’t get knocked over…Fred the cat used to drink out of our water glasses and knock them over, since he’s passed, I don’t have a kitty to stick his whole head in my glass…If I don’t have a glass next to my bed…guaranteed to wakeup in the the night coughing and needing a drink.

Kleenex:  A must have…right now it’s on the floor

Night guard:  Evidently, I clench my teeth when I sleep so now I have the dubious pleasure of wearing a night guard, so I keep the case next to my bed so it’s easy to remember to wear it.

In the Drawers

Truth be told….I almost never look in here except for hunting for my book-light if I’m traveling.  And seriously, I’m a little scared to look in here now….

Top Drawer:  Jewelry roll for traveling (empty), book light, eye shade (2), lint roller (4), lint brush (who knew I had this much lint?!), red sweater previously worn by little teddy until dog chewed little teddy up, empty boxes jewelry came in (2), tubes of hand or foot cream (5), flashlight, newest old eyeglasses, 15 pens, pencils and highlighters (mixed). light stick, case for old-iphone that Charlie gave me and is super cute, earplugs, sachets (2), sweet card from hubby, “mom” key chains made by my girls (2), post-it notes, random receipt, AGD glass box from convention…and THAT’s where my badge went! , random fluffy duck toy, medical report from Dr., bookmark, pencil sharpener, batteries, some weird fragrance thing, tea towel (?), leather coin case that was my grandma’s that is embossed with her initials “FMT”, instructions for clock radio. glasses cleaning cloth, red band from PT, post it’s

What went back in…. one lint roller & lint brush, some pens, little teddy’s sweater, jewelry roll, book light & batteries, card, post-its, flashlight, glasses, sleep mask (1), coin case, clock instructions, card, bookmark.  Glass AGD box went on my dresser.  Everything else re-assigned or trashed.

Bottom Drawer:  This is kind of the “memory” drawer….where I keep things I don’t know where to keep anywhere else and  that I do take out and look at from time to time…

Clutch bags – Vintage from my mom and grandmom…5… they probably need to be cleaned and preserved but I do love using them from time to time.  My favorite is a pink silk poi de soie that really needs to be cleaned.  Fancy evening bags, one beaded that was my mom’s, one I picked up in Hong Kong, Two night gowns from my wedding trousseau (do people even use that word anymore?!) to be relocated to pj drawer, jewelry bags (3) one I made for my mom years ago that I hand embroidered.  My mother’s nursing caps (3) in a plastic bag…direct from her nightstand, one with a bobby pin still attached, I think two are student and one RN, Sibley’s box with beautiful silk scarf I never saw my mother wear…ever, one box from “Mr. Foster’s Remembrance Shop” in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia holding bits of lace and handkerchiefs and notes to my grandmother Triggs, straight from her desk. Extra wallet and change purse, color swatches from having my colors “done” in the ’90’s (remember that?)  Vintage found linens and net gloves and handkerchiefs (some family, some I purchased), sachet (tossed), belt to old Girl Scout uniform (!)

what went back in…everything except the nightgowns and color swatches & vintage linens (went to studio),  taking my favorite bag to the cleaners to see if they can clean.

Well, that was good for a cleaning…and an organizing…It almost feels like the top is a look forward, the top drawer is a “right now” and the bottom drawer is a “look back”.