Monday, May 31, 2010

Blue Challenge #1 (and jean jacket story)

Here's my blue challenge #1
Things I love in blue!
Here's a story about jean jackets...
When I was in NY City on vacation
I decided to buy a really wonderful jean jacket
as a souvenir of the trip, knowing I would
wear it forever so it'd be worth the $.
After looking everywhere in all the stores
that are so famously New York, I finally
asked a sales lady where they were.
She looked at me like I was from another planet
and said " We don't have any!"
That was when I realized that I am truly
from OUT WEST, "where the buffalo roam
and the deer and the antelope play"!
East coast city girl I am not:) YEEHAW!

My Dream Machine

Runs Good!
I had to pull over and take a picture
of my ultimate ride:)
I told my husband "Oh there's the truck
I want! Let me take a picture!" He
tries so hard not to say the wrong thing,
but these type of outbursts and longing
for vintage stuff is SO embarrassing to him,
that he just sat there with his eyes wide
trying to think of the right reponse.
What eventually came out was
"Could you paint it black?"
(Meaning, do you have to be so conspicuous?!)
It was pretty funny:)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Purple Challenge #4

My purple challenge #4 was one that evolved
from a gourmet goat cheese salad with
blackberry vinaigrette
to a simple one bowl blackberry coffeecake!
Blame it on the rain and gray skies...
I have absolutely no energy when the
weather doesn't lighten up!
My guys liked it though and I'll
have to take their word for it
because it wasn't gluten free
so no tastes for me!
Actually we ran out of eggs too
and I was too lazy to go to the store
so the guys had coffee cake and omelets
and I had a peanut butter bagel:(

Friday, May 21, 2010

Scrapbook Pages

Here are a few scrapbook pages I finished
just to prove that I do actually scrapbook the rest of my family
not just my Grand baby!A double page spread of Kirk and I

My youngest sons' freshman school picture

One Blouse -Three Ways

I 've seen this idea in magazines so figured
I'd give it a try here...
Using one blouse in three different outfits.
#1 Casual Weekday #2 Date Night
#3 Sunday Church

Good use of a frugal Ross purchase!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Recipes for Fish Fry

Fish Fry

1 C. buttermilk
1 T. cayenne pepper
1 T. Black pepper
8-10 fillets tilapia or other mild flaky fish cut into 4 pcs each
2 C. cornmeal /corn flour mixture ( I use Louisiana Fish Fry mix, unseasoned, from Albertsons)
1 C. flour (use all purpose GF flour if you are making it Gluten free)
2 T. sea salt
oil for frying

Whisk buttermilk, and 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne and 1 1/2 tsp black peppers together. Cover fish with the mixture and chill for 1 hour.

Stir together the cornmeal, corn flour and flour, salt and remaining peppers. Dredge fillets until evenly coated, allowing them to stand in the mixture for several minutes.

Preheat oil in deep fryer or large pot to 365*. Place breaded fish in the oil a few at a time. Fry for 2 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Serve hot.

Remoulade (Tarter Sauce)

1 1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 T. dijon mustard
1 T. vinegar
1/4 c. choppped scallions or green onions
1 T. tarragon
1 T. fresh parsley
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Whisk together and let chill for 1/2 hour before serving.

Hush Puppies

1 1/2 c. cornmeal and corn flour mixture (see fish recipe)
1/2 c. flour (use all purpose GF if you are making it gluten free)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 c. corn kernels (I use frozen, but thaw first)
3/4 c. minced scallions or green onion
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 large egg
oil for frying

Heat 3 inches of oil in large pan to 375*, Combine dry ingred. Whisk buttermilk and egg together in small bowl and add to dry ingred. Mix just until moistened. Place rounded tablespoonfuls of batter in oil and fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over 1/2 way through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

Hot and Hot Tomato Salad
6 Large tomatoes (in the summer when there are a variety of fresh tomatoes available I use a mixture of whatever is available at the farm stand)
2 large yellow tomatoes
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
1 c. balsamic vinaigrette
salt and pepper
1 large onion, peeled and sliced thin
1 T. thyme
1 can butter beans, drained
2 T. oil
1 c. corn kernels ( I use frozen, thawed)
3 T. balsamic vinaigrette
6 slices bacon fried crisp and crumbled
chive dressing (recipe follows)
fresh basil

Slice tomatoes 1/4 inch thick; combine with cherry tomatoes on a large platter and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper , cover; set aside to marinate at room temperature.
Heat oil in large skillet, add onion, thyme, and corn, cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add beans, salt and pepper and heat through, stir gently. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Toss gently with 3 T. vinaigrette. Set aside. When cooled to room temperature, spoon bean mixture over tomatoes, sprinkle with bacon crumbles. Drizzle chive dressing over the top, strew with basil. Serve at room temperature.

Chive Dressing

1 clove garlic, minced
1 small bunch chives, thinly sliced
1 egg yolk
1 small lemon, juiced (about 2 T.)
1 cup olive oil
1/4 c. sour cream
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Place garlic and chives in a small bowl. Add yolk and lemon juice. Add olive oil in a steady stream, while vigorously whisking. Whisk in the sour cream. Season with the salt and pepper.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Purple Challenge #3

I found these "lovely" purple shoes at Goodwill
with the express idea of turning them into

I've seen lots of paintings of real flowers made to look like shoes,
but decided that might be a bit over my head,
so I just covered the shoes in silk flowers
from the Dollar Store.

I think my Grand daughter will love these as she is always
trying on high heels and clumping about!
(It's amazing at 18 months that they already love shoes:)

Monday, May 17, 2010

"It's My Party and I'll Fry if I Want to!"

For my birthday dinner I did a good old fashioned Fish Fry! That is the one day of the year when it's okay to eat everything fried, right? I made up baskets (Dollar store) with brown paper lining, silverware wrapped in bandanas and twine, little vintage tart pans for the homemade tarter sauce,
fish in paper cups, wrapped in bandana paper and lined with parchment, with a lemon slice skewer,
Hush puppies...these are to die for and I make them gluten free and no one knows the difference,

I decorated the table with a scrap of plaid fabric from my bin, a vintage mason jar and flowers, and a vintage chocolate chip tin...and my favorite most unusual salad "Hot and Hot Salad" (recipe from restaurant of the same name),

We filled the vintage galvanized bucket with retro soda pops and teas...and ice...and then we ate and ate and ate until we were groaning in pain:) But it was good pain! I think!

Thanks to my girls and son-in-law we got the meal and decor done before everyone starved to is a time consuming effort to be frying items, mixing many dressings and sauces and putting everything hot into baskets. I just love doing something really great though for my family on my special day, it multiplies my joy by 9:)

If anyone is interested in the recipes (which can all be made gluten free if you choose) let me know and I'll post them.

(They are posted above!)

A Thrifty Birthday Weekend

I had a great time over the weekend, celebrating my 47th Birthday with my family in Central Oregon! Here's just a little sample of all the fun places I saw, thrift and antique stores I visited, and my co-ordinating outfits (see last post:). I found some great deals and also gorgeous fabric and ideas for future projects. Thanking God and my family for blessing me in so many ways!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Harmonious Travel Planning

This post is actually a confession about how odd I am.
If you want to shake your head in disgust, laugh hysterically,
never look at my blog again, etc. that is perfectly understandable:D
My husband, being the kind of person who lives
without ever planning anything,
dissolved into laughter when I told him
this on our trip to Florida (It was his fault! He asked me
how I managed to bring so many clothes that matched
the pastel houses etc. that we saw.)
So this is my secret...
I color coordinate my trips!
Outfits are planned to match what
I may see that day or what the "Feel" of the place has.
I may even work in a theme, such as "city vibe"
or "50's era" or "hawaiian" etc.
depending on where I am traveling.
I may plan my scrapbook papers and theme
that I will use to chronicle my vacation
and then color coordinate with those.
NO, I do not make my husband or kids
coordinate with me! (but I sure wish they would:)
Weird? Probably!
But it sure is fun...

The scrapbook papers that you see above
gave me the theme for a little birthday weekend
trip I am taking with my family.
But I will add in a few western touches
because we're going to Central Oregon:)
When I get back I will post pics about it and then you'll see
how it works out...

The scrapbook papers are called
"Thrift Shop"
Does that give you a small clue about
what I hope to be doing while I'm away?

Purple Challenge #2

This project was fast and easy. I had bought a hanging board with a silly saying on it, so I used scrapbook papers to cover it up and make a wall hanging that you can add pictures to later.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Vintage Fun

I just spent a lovely Pacific Northwest morning checking out two vintage sales. "Vintage Gatherings" was a delightful and budget friendly event with lots of familiar faces from local folks and bloggers. The variety of items and vendors gave everyone a chance for a great find.

The "Barn House" sale is a definite must to see if you love vintage! Although it is more spendy the vignettes are gorgeous and the styling stunning.
Both of these will have more sales this summer so be sure you check their blogs to see when those are happening.
Have a wonderful Mother's Day!





(Just in time for her new baby girl!)





I'm so glad that each of you commented and I will be doing more giveaways this summer so watch for those!

to the winners, please email me @

with your address so I can get those sent to you!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Reminder about the Triple Giveaway!

Just a reminder to get your comments in
for the triple giveaway!
The deadline is Saturday at noon!
Thanks to all who have commented
so far, I'm so excited to see
who my 3 winners will be:)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Gluten Free Puff Pastry Experience

For any of you who don't know this,
making things that are gluten free is a
whole new experience.
I have been doing this for 3 1/2 years
and I still struggle. But hope springs eternal
and when I found a recipe for GF puff pastry
I was so excited to try it!
Above you can see some of the steps
it took to get to the blueberry turnovers on the bottom.
But the process was so time consuming
(all day) and difficult that I had to include the pic below...
Here I am standing on a footstool (because I'm too short)
trying (with no bicep muscles)
to roll frozen butter chunks into very cold dough!
It made me so mad and then I started laughing
at how ridiculous it was so I thought I'd include this shot.

By the way...was it worth it? NO! They tasted like
very tough piecrust with grease bubbling out the sides.
I think it's time to go back to eating healthy
and therefore avoiding anything involving cold butter!

Projects, Projects!

I need motivation! I have so many projects cluttering up my craft room and I can't seem to get going on anything...especially sewing...the fabric looks so motivating in the store and then it looks at me longingly from the fabric bin in my closet as the months go by:) Any ideas on how to get motivated?I think what I really want to be doing is planting flowers and sprucing up the porches in prep for summer, but the weather is not cooperating!

Monday, May 3, 2010