Sunday, January 31, 2010

Something sweet to start your day….

P1010108s What do you do with left-over walnuts from Christmas baking?

Wellllllllll…… make Brown Sugar Walnut Squares, that is what!

P1010110uA tasty treat to go with your favorite hot beverage….

Now run along and make you some. They are deeeee-vine.

Brown Sugar Walnut Squares

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1/2 cup flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


Sugar, vanilla, egg ( I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for this recipe)


Flour, soda and salt. Add to the sugar mixture.

Stir until blended.

Add walnuts.

Pour into an 8-inch square pan that has been oiled. (do not use PAM for this recipe).

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes.

Cool in the pan.

Cut into squares.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Saturday Morning Muffins

P1010001f Nothing beats a hot and tender muffin to start off the day. Add a few wedges of sweet oranges, hot coffee and let’s go!

Cut in half and add a *smidge of butter* (I know, there is that smidge portion again….)…


…..Cut into it with gusto….

…. & enjoy bite, after tender bite.



Mmmm…. mmmm….it was that good!

My mom always told me to stop playing with my food….*giggle*.


Care for one? I’ll put on some coffee, too.

Do you like jam or butter on your muffin?


Undercover muffins…..and they think we can’t see them. Hmpgh!

Recipe as follows:

Honey Bran Muffins

1 1/4 cup Grape Nuts cereal

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup quick cooking oats

3 teaspoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 Cup Buttermilk

2 Tablespoons Milk

1/4 cup honey

1 large egg

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin cups or use foil baking cups.

Soak the Grape Nuts cereal in the buttermilk for a half hour, till somewhat softened.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, oats, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg, honey and 2 tablespoons of milk until well blended.

Whisk in the melted butter until well blended.

Add the Grape Nuts/buttermilk mixture to the egg/honey mixture. Pour this mixture into

the dry mixture. Stir in with a rubber spatula until well moistened.

Scoop the mixture into the muffin tin and fill the cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-24 minutes, or

until lightly browned, firm and springy to the touch in the very center. Remove from pan

and allow to cool for a few minutes before you serve them.

These have a tangy buttermilk taste, are very tender and not too sweet. If you prefer

a sweeter muffin, you can increase the sugar or add brown sugar in place of the

white granulated sugar. I always tweak my recipes to make them just how I like them.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Around The House

Have you had the opportunity to read the March 2010 issue of Romantic Homes? It is titled “The Color Issue” – and, of course, features homes that are decorated with A LOT of fresh and vibraint color! I love it!

As I made my way through each page, I cannot begin to tell you how many of YOU I thought about. There are colorful afghans, floral pillows, whimsy next to the not-so-whimsy, directions on how to make a fabulous table runner, what to do with a yard of fabric and a page of THE cutest vintage items offered at a shop in southern California. I won’t give away too much, but I do encourage you to take a peek at this issue. It is like stepping into spring - so fresh!!

But for now…..come into my blog door….


because today’s post are photos that I have taken around our home over the past three years. Like many of you, things in our home get moved around and walls get painted different colors. Cabinets get changed out with different collections and decorative objects find themselves being tucked away in a box until they make their debut at another time in the year. Some favorite pieces even get sold – sometimes with regret, but hey, we cannot keep everything? Or should we?

Our homes evolve, just as we do. Our tastes change, styles change and colors change. Though no matter the changes, we just need to remember to be true to our selves. Surround yourself with what brings a smile to your face, what makes your heart go pitter-patter and gives you the feeling that your home is “Home Sweet Home."

So come along, go on a “scroll” with me……

…these are a few of my favorite things…..(as I have Julie Andrews singing in my head…..)






















Our homes are reflections of us.

May they always be good ones.


Monday, January 25, 2010

The Colors Of Winter

I’d like to wish Mary, Little Red House, a Happy Birthday wish!!

Mary also hosts Mosaic Monday’s on her beautiful blog. I have never created a mosaic before, but Mary has a detailed tutorial (on her sidebar) and she walks you through the steps. It is pretty easy!

mosaic 1-25-09

My mosaic features colors of winter…white, gray, blue, brown, silver and black. These are some of my favorite photos from around my little house.

Peace to all of you this week.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mug Shot

P1010032e My favorite mug shots….

Right side….

P1010029e …now to the left side…

P1010033e ….now from the top…

P1010034m ….and my, what big ears you have!

Do you have a favorite mug?

Friday, January 22, 2010


P1010063a1 Nothing beats a nice cup of soup on a cold and rainy day.

P1010066y Today it is an acorn and butternut squash with potato soup, served with a side of San Francisco Style French bread – with a “smidge” of butter, of course. :)

P1010069z Just dip in the bread – my favorite part…..

P1010074x …take a bite..sit back..and enjoy.


Awhile back I had a wonderful butternut squash and potato soup at a Greek restaurant in a town far from home. I loved the soup so much and wanted more, so the next day I came home and made up my own recipe. It was pretty close to the restaurant's, too!

Acorn Squash, Butternut Squash and Potato Soup

You will need:

1 acorn squash

1 butternut squash

4 russet potatoes

12 - 16 oz chicken broth

1 cup half and half

1/4 - 1 cup water

1 onion ~ finely chopped

4 cloves garlic ~ finely chopped

2 Tblsp canola oil

hot sauce

salt – to taste

pepper – to taste


Cut the squash in half. Lay them face down in a glass baking dish. Add about an inch of water, cover with tin foil. Bake at 350 for about an hour, or until the squash are tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool, scoop out the inside of the squash and put into a large mixing bowl.

Peel and cube the potatoes. Boil them in water until tender. Add to the squash.

Sauté the onion and garlic in 2 Tblsp of oil until the onions are soft and translucent. Add to the squash and potato mixture. Mix all of the ingredients together. If you prefer a smooth texture to the soup, then smash all ingredients together with a large mixing spoon. I like my soup a little chunky so I only smashed a wee bit.

Place the mixture in a large pot on the stove. Add the chicken broth, half and half, 1/4 tsp hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer and cover with a lid. As the soup cooks down, you may need to add some water. At first the soup may appear thin, but as it cooks it will thicken. I cooked mine for about 2-3 hours, stirring every so often. It is best when thick, as shown in my photos.

Depending on what you like, you can add more hot sauce or omit the hot sauce and add white pepper to taste.

Serve the soup in a bowl or cup and top with paprika and fresh ground pepper. A little bit of shaved Parmesan is fantastic, too!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010




I love the rain.




We needed this water….thank you, Lord.

But can you please stop the wind? Not

that I don’t like Kansas………but I prefer

my house stay where it is.

Monday, January 18, 2010

“Highered” Help

Duhgall and Fiona

My guard dogs.

My “highered” help.

They watch for birds, hawks, cats in the court behind us….

and bark to let me know if something is worthy of looking into.


Duhgall used to patrol on his own.

Now he makes room on the guard bench for his sissy, Fiona.

……Keep up the good work, my sweet little scotties! You will be

paid with tasty treats, hugs and tons of kisses!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rollin’ Along

croquet balls

Rollin’ in to see what y’all are up to. So how are YOU?

How is the weather in YOUR neck of the woods?

We had a reprieve from the fog and it actually felt a little spring-like.

Anyone up for a game of croquet?

….back to cleaning…..just came up for air!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just like Nanny made…..


When I was a little girl, I remember my Nanny Hazel making THE VERY BEST chocolate pies and chocolate pudding. Her pies had the light and oh-so-flakey crust that was filled with dark and rich pudding – the kind that was made from scratch. Topping off the heavenly pie were beautifully appointed swirls of homemade whipped cream.

For holidays and birthdays Nanny always asked us what we would like for dessert. Any guess? YES! Her CHOCOLATE PIE!!!!!!!

The other day – in the midst of cleaning – I found a recipe for homemade chocolate pudding. Ironically enough, all of the ingredients were waiting for me in the panty. I took a break from cleaning yesterday and tried it out.

Instead of a pie, I made a layered pudding with homemade whipped cream.

Yes……it was good……

So good, it made me cry…..

It brought me back to my childhood.

Every single spoonful brought memories of sitting at my Nanny’s kitchen table. It was like she was sitting next to me and watching me smile with every bite……the kind of bite where you close your eyes and let your taste buds take you on a happy journey.

It was just like my Nanny used to make!!!!

Let me share with you…..

Homemade Chocolate Pudding (and pie filling)

3/4 cup white granulated sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder (your favorite brand)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

2 eggs yolks, slightly beaten

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a medium size saucepan combine sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, flour and salt and blend it around with a fork.


Add the milk and egg yolks to the pan.


Whisk in the ingredients then from now on with a spoon. The spoon will allow you to get into the corners as the pudding cooks.

Cook over medium heat and STIR CONSTANTLY until the mixture boils. Allow the mixture to boil (still over medium heat) and stir for a minute. (note: I found that this cooking process took about 12-15 minutes). Remove from heat and blend in the butter and vanilla. To make the layered pudding, I poured my pudding into a glass bowl, covered it and allowed it to set up in the refrigerator for several hours. I layered the cooled pudding with fresh sweetened homemade whipped cream. To finish it off I topped it with a cherry filled Hershey KISS.


Would you like a bite?

Do you want to go in from the side?


Or would you prefer to dig in from the top?


Here, you can have the Kiss!!! I made several, so eat the entire thing.