OBX Trading Group- Three Great Coastal Giveaways!

>> Sunday, January 31, 2010

I spotted this terrific giveaway in one of my favorite blogs, Completely Coastal. Head on over and enter to win!

Just click the photo below for more info


Jody's Grandma's Cornbread Souffle'

As mentioned in my slow cooker enchiladas post, we served it with an awesome side called Cornbread Souffle. I think I am on a cornbread kick lately! This is by far the most unhealthy, yummilicious, tasty goodness dish you could ever want! And talk about easy peasy, prep time is less than 5 minutes!

This is also a favorite that we serve during the summer when we grill skirt steak and serve it over mixed greens with black bean salad (a recipe for a future blog post).

1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
2 large eggs
1 10 oz can creamed corn
1 10 oz can sweet corn (drained)
8 oz sour cream
1 stick butter, softened
1-2 jalepeno peppers, seeded and diced
2 TBSP onion flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, use non stick cooking spray and coat the bottom and sides of a 13x9 casserole dish.

Combine all ingredients until batter is well mixed. Pour into casserole dish and bake for 1 hour.

That's it, enjoy!

PS- we were so hungry, I forgot to take a pic of the finished product, I'll add a photo next time I make it!


Channelling my Inner Ina - A Recipe for Cranberry Orange Scones

>> Saturday, January 30, 2010

I love to cook and readers of my blog will often see recipes of tried and true meals I've made for my family over and over. A baker, however, I am not. I make birthday cakes for my kids and hubby and that's about it. This morning when I woke up I was feeling the overwhelming urge (from who knows where)to try my hand at making scones. Eating scones, I'm very very good at. Baking them, probably not so much- but I'm craving a fresh-from-the-oven cranberry scone and I am lucky enough to have all the stuff I need in the house to do it, so-

I used Ina Garten's recipe from an episode of Barefoot Contessa on Food Network. A side note- I used to hate Ina- something about her mannerisms grated on me- but the more I watch, the more I've become a giant fan. She makes elegant food that is generally neither fussy or overwhelming and she's seriously laid back about entertaining yet she does it well- which I strive for (when in reality I am the maniac that is scrubbing my bathtub moments before guests arrive for fear they'll see a spot of mildew that I missed!). That and the fact that every single thing I've ever made with one of her recipes is divine!

Okay my oozing and gushing over my newfound love for Ina is in check. On to her FAB recipe!

4 cups + 1/4 cup All Purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 TBSP baking powder
2 TBSP orange zest*
3/4 lb unsalted butter, diced (yes that's 3 WHOLE sticks, scones are not diet food, people)
4 XL eggs, beaten**
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup dried cranberries, such as Craisins
1 egg beaten with 2 TBSP milk for egg wash
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar whisked with 2 tsp orange juice for glaze

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 4 cups of flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest. Then add the butter and mix on low until butter is the size of peas. (I don't have the luxury of a large KitchenAid style mixer, and my hand-mixer wasn't up to this task so I just used my hands, which works fine, and is the method used in other recipes I've read.)

Combine the XL eggs and heavy cream, then pour slowly into the flour mixture and run mixer on low until just blended, it should be lumpy. (here you can see my mixer NOT working really well, I went back to using my hands)

In a seperate bowl, toss the cranberries and 1/4 cup of flour to coat, then add to your dough. Mix on low until just blended (I am still using hands at this point)
On a lightly floured surface, knead and roll dough to 3/4" thick. Using a biscuit cutter (cookie cutter, upside down glass, or sandwich crust cutter-offer thing- which is what I used) cut the scones in to 3 inch rounds.
Put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment (Ina's instructions, I just used foil and lightly sprayed it with nonstick spray)

Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes until cooked through and tops are brown.

Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes before topping with glaze.

OMG were these scrumptious! My mom and an old family friend came by for a visit this morning and between hubby and I, our guests and our youngest son I think we polished off 10 of these! My batch made 18, Ina says 15-16. In any case, I have 8 left over which I cooled completely and slid into a zip top bag and popped into the freezer for the next time I have company over for coffee!

* Ina's original recipe calls for 1 TBSP of zest but after reading several reviews, people mentioned that the orange flavor was not "orangy" enough, so I doubled it and it worked really well.

** I did not have XL eggs, so I looked up the proper substitute amount using regular large eggs and found that 5 large eggs can be subsituted for 4 XL


Before and After- my little living room end table

>> Friday, January 29, 2010

I mentioned in a previous post that I found a table in the clearance section of the store marked down from $100 to $36 because there was some red paint on it and also some damage around one of the knobs.

I used a little wood filler to fix the crushed area around the knob

Gave a light sanding to knock down the shine of the green paint and also to smooth out the wood filler

Then I dry brushed a layer of "Beach White" by Behr. This is leftover paint from my kitchen cabinets and trim work in the living and dining areas.

After letting the paint dry for 24 hours, I came at it with some sand paper to allow some of the green to peek through from beneath the white and I used Weldbond glue to adhere some little pecten shells to the knobs.

Here's the finished table in my living room

And this is what happens when I start playing around with pretty stuff


For Avery

>> Thursday, January 28, 2010

Today you turn four, no longer a tiny baby but a strong and smart little boy. I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday- you would wait for no one, not even the doctor to make your entry into this world. Mama and Papa were the only welcome wagon you needed!

Your big brothers kissed and loved on you from the moment they first got to hold you. And with your birth, our family became complete.

I love listening to you tell wild stories of amazing feats your puppy can do- you have an imagination like no other! Your beautiful blue eyes are like an ocean I would be happy to swim in forever and your hugs are better than the sweetest piece of chocolate.

I love our quiet afternoon time at home when the bigger boys are off at school and Papa is still at work. The sun beats in through our front window and we can be cozy together on the big chair. I love that you are still little enough to smell of powder and baby shampoo when I put my nose to your soft cheek. You make my day when you tell me "Mama, I have something to ask you. I jus' want to tell you that I love you."

Your are my best friend and my favorite Avery in the whole wide world. I love you, shmoopy. Happy birthday. Love, your Mama


It's sea glassing time! A new clock for my kitchen.

>> Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The temporary clock in my kitchen, swiped from my studio downstairs

The new clock before I got my hands on it

Purchased at Family Dollar by my mom-on-a-mission for $5.99 (I mentioned the clock I wanted and she hunted down the only one in the store on her hands and knees behind a ton of other boxes that were nowhere near the clocks! She's a mad woman, I tell you!)

Some E6000 glue and frosty smooth sea glass from my collection

Kitchen is now sporting a beachy new time telling apparatus!
(As of these pictures, the glue is still drying, I was just too excited to wait. If the frostiness of the sea glass doesn't reappear after the glue is dry, I am thinking I will paint the backside of the glass with white glass paint. We'll see!)


Retro Tuesday, visions of aqua!

>> Tuesday, January 26, 2010

While reading The Crazy Suburban Mom's blog this morning I came across an awesome post on vintage kitchen appliances, pyrex and aqua- couldn't make me a happier girl! As I briefly mentioned in my post Thanks, Mommy! I collect vintage Blue Heaven dishes. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE old pyrex. Another great goody given to me by my mom was my grandmother's old pyrex mini loaf pans in- you guess it- aqua! They match my dishes perfectly and are so fun to bake in!

ps- if you head over to The Crazy Suburban Mom, check out the aqua stove. I want me one of those bad boys!

Oh! Almost forgot about my nifty vintage canisters- found these on eBay for $10!

**this post has been added to The Coloradolady's Vintage Thingies Thursday

Linking up to the Turquoise Tuesday Party over at The Single Nester!


Welcome to my office, won't you come in?

One of the compromises Ed and I had to make when buying our first home last summer was downsizing. We are a family of 5 and had been living quite comfortably in our 4 bedroom, 2 bath, finished basement rental for years. The bonus for us was that renting made it possible for us to live in a highly desirable seaside community. We also had the priviledge of putting our boys into a top notch public school system.

With the housing market as wishy washy as it was last year, we decided the time was right for us to dive in and purchase our first home- but with all 3 of our kids now in the school system, we were committed to staying in the town of Narragansett. Well the market WAS far more affordable than it was prior to 2008 but RI was still faring better than other parts of the country which meant we could buy something, but it wouldn't have everything. Well, we decided on a cute little 3 bedroom, 1 bath ranch with a large but unfinished basement, complete with original 1970s decor, but more on that in another post.

Long story short- one of the things I gave up was my office. Being an artist, the most important thing for me was a studio space- which I do have in the form of my workable, but bare bones basement. A close second on my list of needs was a place to work on my website, Etsy shop, check emails, blog etc.

Fortunately, this house had an open wall in the kitchen which the previous owners occupied with a cool rolling work table as seen on the right side of the photo below (we tried to get them to sell to us but they wouldn't part with it!)

I had a white plastic folding table which I'd purchased a while back to use at cookouts, etc and it fit well into the space, so that and a white metal folding chair became my new "office". Oh yeah- and a primary colors plastic drawer unit confiscated from my oldest son's bedroom. Stylish, eh? The up side is that we have an open concept living area, so I get to watch my kids play while I work. The downside- well, it's plastic table and a metal folding chair in the middle of my kitchen.

On my way through the neighboring village of Wickford on Friday afternoon, I spied a long thin desk in front of an empty storefront (which I've longingly daydreamed about leasing for a studio space and retail shop, but I digress) with a sign taped to it that said "FREE". Well, in case you didn't know, FREE is my favorite word. The rest of the drive home, I imagined all the productive work I'd get done on it things I could do to make it pretty and then the more potential I began to see in it, the more nervous I became that someone else would beat me back to it! From the time I saw it to the time Ed and I got back to pick it up was an hour and 45 minutes. In the pitch dark and freezing cold, we measured it (a few inches too long but I'll make it work!) and loaded it onto the truck bed.

We brought it into the house to be sure I liked the fit before I invested any time in fixing it up and I am pleased with it, it's better than I thought it would be.

Now I just need to decide what colors to paint it... so far I've thought that the legs and drawers could go "stainless steel" with spray paint (since it resides in the kitchen next to my stainless appliances)
and the top could be creamy white (with lots of poly applied so it doesn't get ruined). I've also toyed with the idea of decoupaging the top of it but am not sure how practical that is for a work space- The desk is visible from the living, dining and kitchen areas which have a color scheme of white, turquoise and apple green with wood accents.
Thoughts, ideas and suggestions are welcome! Seriously, please, offer your suggestions so I can stop blogging from a folding table!


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