Tablescapes, Home Decor, Thrifting, Cooking

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Most Delicious Cookie Recipe and other hints

Who told you I was trying to cut back on carbs? 


Well it WAS true until my daughter was over last week and just happened to say “Let’s bake some cookies!” 



This was before I tried on Mother of the Bride dresses.  Oh my goodness ~~ have you seen the styles of dresses out this year?  Very form fitting….very unforgiving, very depressing!  Oh well, I have about two and a half months to cut back on carbs.  Too many temptations during summer.




I would hate to have to measure out just how much batter we ate that never made it to a cookie sheet!

This is a recipe Jamie got from her Grandmother last Christmas.  You MUST try it.  It is SO good!  The almond really makes it.


Almond Sandies

1 cup butter

1 cup oil

1 c. white sugar

1 c. powdered sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp almond flavoring

4 1/2 c. flour

1 tsp. soda

2 cups sliced almonds (we used 1 cup)

1 pkg toffee bits ( we used 1/2 package)

1 tsp. cream of tarter

Cream butter, oil, sugar. Add eggs one at a time and then flavoring.  Mix dry ingredients.  Gradually add to above mixture.  Stir in almonds and drop by Tablespoons on parchment paper. Bake 12 mins. @ 350*.  ** Note:  Half of the recipe still makes a lot.  We used the same amount of almonds and toffee bits.



I was out of parchment paper, but they turned out great anyway.  Just watch them and don’t let them get too brown.





I have another CARB “recipe” for you.  I told you a few weeks back Mr. Brown Socks tried growing sweet corn for the first time this year.  He says it will be the last as we had to outsmart the raccoons by playing a radio during the night to keep them frightened and thinking it was Farmer Craig.


Since it has been so dern hot this summer, I decided to try a cooking method I recently ran across that doesn’t require a huge kettle of boiling water.  You simple wet a paper towel and wring it out.  Wrap each piece of corn in a damp towel, place on a plate and microwave for about five minutes!  Simple as that and it taste just liked you had boiled them.



And as if I need ONE MORE carb temptation %*#!  Mr. Brown Socks also grew Yukon Gold potatoes and asked me to pretty please fry some! (Please believe me when I say I rarely fry food anymore.)  I made my entire meal on an ear of sweet corn and a good portion of these potatoes.  Well after all, they are Martha’s favorite type of potato!! :)


I did dab off the excess oil.


Hoping you are doing better than I watching your carb intake!

Joining Michael this week over at Designs by Gollum and Foodie Friday.



Thursday, July 22, 2010

I should have kept them!

No, I shouldn’t have.  Or maybe I could order more….Well I just can’t.  :(





A few weeks back these topiaries came in I had ordered for a customer.  She wanted a pair of “something unique” for her kitchen window.  Susan and I found these and even though they were a bit pricey, we knew they were just want the customer would love (and she did!)

So I just HAD to try them in MY kitchen window.



They must have been very popular at the January market because they were on back order for months.  We were about to give up on them.

They are made of a sort of thin, papery material

and look “OH so Real!”




Coming to my senses I decided I would just sell them and forget about them ~~ at least for now!




Then last week I sold a pair of these tree topiaries that are also very fun.



I just knew after trying them on MY porch that they would be perfect.  You can’t see from this picture, but there is a matching side window on the other side of the door where the other topiary would so nicely sit.



Oh well, I guess I can always order more.  This is why my business isn’t more profitable  :/


And then I had this pair of lanterns every bit as cool as those in Pottery Barn.  They looked nice on the hearth room side of my mantle.  Oh yes, I let them go too.  Sold them at my spring show.


Early in the week my designer friend stopped by to pick up some grasses and small ferns and asked that I let her take both my large orb and my small one.  She wasn’t sure which would work best in the customers’ home. 


The small one worked best so she returned the large and just happened to have it propped up in this to die for lemon bowl!  Isn’t it perfect as it is???  Thinking, thinking…should I?



The bowl is going to be used for an arrangement with some grasses in it.

Still thinking I should order one of these.

Somebody PLEASE stop me.


In the meantime, I am sort of liking this summery cluster of faux hydrangeas in this crisp, white pitcher.  So far, it still has the price tag on it.




We shall see how strong I am! :)

With my line of business I am surrounded with beautiful home accessory pieces all the time.  Such a tough job I have!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another Lady’s Garden

Hello Dear Friends,


Summertime is definitely steaming up in our part of America.  We had an upper 90’s kinda day yesterday, complete with high humidity.  That triggered a very nasty rain storm with the kind of winds that knock the power out in parts of town.  My daughter Jamie and I once again were shopping during the midst of this.  This has happened to us three times.  We are inside a windowless store, not knowing what’s going on outside.  Doesn’t make Mr. Brown Socks very happy since he isn’t sure we are safe somewhere.


Late yesterday afternoon I returned home from my Mother’s once again.  We are about nine weeks post broken hip and surgery and she is making great progress.  She walks with just a cane now and her walker holds clothes in her bedroom! :)  She just started out patient therapy two days a week and hopes to be driving herself in a couple more weeks.


Dear mother had a few projects for me when I arrived.


One was to pull weeds.

I armed myself with a sun hat to protect my newly colored hair, gardening gloves and my Off! insect fan.  It really does seem to work.



Thought I would show you what’s growing in her yard





Here’s her very pretty hibiscus

You may or may not know these blooms only last one day.

Never fear….another pretty one opens the next day.


Aren’t  these the prettiest day lilies?



Very fragrant flocks




A mix of lilies and flocks



Mom wasn’t sure what these are.  Looking up close, it appears they are a double cosmos, but not sure.  They were VERY tall…like seven feet!




Her neighbors grow grapes, but they naturally hang over to Mom’s side of the fence.  I enjoy a few of these when they ripen later in the summer.



It was such a pleasure looking out Mom’s window each day and gazing upon her beautiful flower bed as we sat sipping our morning coffee.





Here are pictures of her friend’s garden

Very fun, and something else to look at around each corner of the backyard.  I love those sort of gardens.






And now for some family news!

My sister and her husband have a new addition!

I’m pleased to introduce you to Koko!  This itsy one and a half pound darling is a Humane Society Find.  They aren’t sure but think she is part Chihuaua and part Min Pin.

I caught the little thing with most of her body in my purse, but couldn’t get her to do it again for a picture! 



Here is Koko with her Happy Mama, Barb!  Look at the markings on her paw! 




Today I am joining Glenda over at Tootsie Time for Flaunt your Flowers.  Go take a peek at the beauty growing in everyone’s yard!

Flaunt your Flowers

Thank you for visiting me today! I look forward to seeing your flowers too.


Friday, July 9, 2010

About $3.49


I Love Raspberries

During most of the year I purchase frozen ones and eat them with my Cheerios or Oatmeal.


Mr. Brown Socks and I decided to grow some of our own and our plants are now three years old and finally producing.  When we picked our first beautiful berries I was a little disappointed in the quantity.





Then I realized how pricey these little beauties are in the grocery store.  Looking at the ads it seems they normally run about $3.49 for those ity bitty containers…maybe a half pint.


If the growers have to put up with what we do, then I understand why raspberries are so pricey.  We have an invasion of Japanese Beetles.  Not wanting to use chemicals, I googled and found an easy way to get rid of these pests is to take a bucket of soapy water and brush them off the plants and let them drop into the mixture.  Yep!  Instant death.  Mr. Brown Socks and I go out each evening to perform our tasks.











For a few short weeks, I will enjoy fresh raspberries on a variety of cereals.





Taking a little tour out back, you will see other things growing nicely now that we are in to July.  For the first time ever we are growing sweet corn.  It should be ready in a week or two.












Tomato plants in front of corn



I do believe we will be picking our first cucumbers by the weekend!  Love ‘em but my counter will be FULL of them in a couple of weeks.



Don’t you love my new hooks?  I enjoy looking at my geraniums from a hanging position.











Last of all, here is a picture of a potted plant on the shady part of my patio.  Normally I plant caladiums here but found this elephant ear for a change.


Impatients, a tiny fern, flat leaf parsley and coleus fill out the bottom of the pot.



Today I am playing along with Tootsie Time and her Flaunt Your Flowers meme.


Flaunt your Flowers


It’s amazing to see what other people are growing all over creation!  Go take a look for yourself!


Thanks for stopping by.  I always appreciate your visit.



Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Vintage Feel Suited for July



This is the first opportunity I’ve had to blog since the 4th of July.  We had a rainy morning but to our happiness it cleared off to do our grilling and setting off fireworks in the evening.



As I was planning my menu I decided to share our homemade ice cream recipe with you.  My parents gave us this rusty but trusty ice maker right after we were married (almost 40 yrs. ago!) Yes, it was new when they gave it to us but with all the years of salt exposure it sure doesn’t look very good now.  It is our tradition that Mr. Brown Socks make home made ice cream every 4th of July.



Here is the creamy mixture all ready to go



I just love looking at these vintage pictures in the original cookbook that came with the ice cream maker.

DSCN1571_037    DSCN1570_036


Just look at Mr. Brown Socks’ hand on my shoulder.  (This could be from our wedding album! LOL!)











 Here he is in action




Ready to eat!  YUM!  It is the BEST recipe!

We still use the one that came with the machine


Here is the recipe:

Country Vanilla Ice Cream

4 eggs                            

2 1/4 cups sugar

5 cups whole milk

4 cups heavy cream ( we use part half and half)

7 teaspoons vanilla (we have almost doubled the amount of the recipe and use Mexican vanilla)

1/2 t. salt

Add sugar gradually to beaten eggs.  Continue to beat until mixture is very stiff.  Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Pour into gallon freezer and freeze as directed.

*Try not to think about the calories and enjoy this at least once per summer! *Cook’s note



I was at a recent Estate Sale and found this very vintage, very large cheery tablecloth for just $5!  Who cares that I don’t need another tablecloth at that price.  It just looks so happy to me.



It was the foundation for a very patriotic table,

perfect for the 4th of July






I didn’t go to a lot of work setting this table.  I used thrift store silver plated chargers and my everyday white plates.  On four sides I used my new estate sale transferware salad plates and four cobalt blue bowls. (That’s all I had but added a lot)

The blue was simply used for it’s color and placed to the side when the guests sat down.


Red lantern and red silverware was found at Penneys.  I had the glass raspberries which I scattered around the thrift store silver tray.  At the last minute I added the lemons for a punch of another color.  It just said “Summer time” to me.



Be sure to notice the little fruit fly who added whimsy to this tablescape



The sparkler looking things in the thrift store white pitcher were actually straws found at Target



Although I didn’t get a picture of it, my three little grandsons enjoyed the straws and all the festivities with some of the men at a little table. 



Food Galore




Although I never seem to get a picture of the main courses…just appetizers!




Oh! And This pretty fruit salad with my favorite vintage berry spoon


A new recipe from Lisa at Stitching Under Oaks.  It’s called


Cucumber Limeade

It was a HIT!!  You can find the recipe here!



We finished up the evening with our own fireworks show

A good time was had by all



God Bless America!

I’m joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch , Colorado Lady and Vintage Finds and ~~

Designs by Gollum at Foodie Friday

Tablescape Thursday Foodie_Friday_Logo_2

I hope you’ll stop by and visit all the participants!