Sunday, January 30, 2011

All of my Clothing Orders Arrived Last Week

So far I am pretty happy with everything.  At first I was not too fond of the expensive denim and lace jacket (that I got at a dirt cheap outlet price) because it was a  bleached out color -- I like darker denim. Also it's not even lace like I thought--it's some sort of embroidery.

I do like the embroidery--it's just the bleached color I  thought I would not like. But I wore it today and I am thrilled to report that I  liked it much better on.

I love the  denim jacket with the gold and the metal rivets! Usually I find denim a bit too heavy, but this jacket is lightweight and a great dark blue color.  I wondered why it was so much lighter than the above jacket so I checked the label and found out  it's only 61% cotton, 38% polyester! and 1% spandex.  I had no idea it had poly in it when I ordered it!  Nonetheless, I love this jacket!  Moral of story: Don't be a poly snob!

I wore this one yesterday with the metal necklace I got awhile back.  How lucky was I to have a necklace that went so well with this?  I am happy, happy with this purchase!

Last week I wore the animal print jacket to work. I really like the detailed tucks on the lapel.  Again I lucked out and already had a shirt and a necklace that were a near perfect match.
This jacket even came out of the package with no wrinkles--gotta love that!

I also ordered a few items that I did not show you--like this fleece shirt.

Actually I bought two of them -- purple and red. 
I bought these just to wear on the weekends. They are nice, BUT they are like wearing a fleece blanket--very soft, but VERY warm!  It's a good thing we keep our home very cool during the winter.  I wore the purple one early today (we took a little overnight trip yesterday and I put this one in the hotel room).  I was way to warm and ended up changing into something else.   Now that I know how warm these are, I probably would NOT have ordered them.  But if I should go outside to shovel the driveway (don't laugh, it may happen), these would be nice to wear.

Other than the fleece, I am pretty pleased with everything I bought. That's a good thing because I never send anything outlet prices, it's not worth paying the SH to return anything.

This afternoon I am working on finishing this table runner that I made last year.

All I have to do is quilt it on the machine and then but a binding on.

I also  opened all of these little envelopes that contain extra buttons for all the clothing I order. I wish they would package the extra buttons in clear mini bags -- it takes a lot of time to open each envelope to see what is inside if I need to replace a button. So I took all the buttons out and put them in a see-through plastic jar (a parmesan cheese container)

Much better!

Now I am off to cook up 5 lbs of burger. We will have spaghetti for dinner and I will also make a hamburger veggie soup for later in the week. The rest of the cooked burger will be frozen so when I want to make spaghetti again I will just thaw a container of burger and be ready to go.

What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Asleep Under the Snow

Underneath this winter wonderland
 most of these flowers are hibernating.

It's been down to -8 degrees this past week. Every year it amazes me that all of these flowers

 survive through the cold. I feel pretty certain most of them will and  mid July will once again loook like this:
 These Manhattan lilies were planted new in August. I really hope they survive. The ground is all rock and I could only dig down about 4 inches so they are pretty close to the top--not an ideal spot for their winter rest.
But as long as we keep a good snow cover, they should be fine.

Anybody else beginning to get spring fever?

Oh, anonymous, I did look up that Buttermilk Orange salad and it does sound very good. I copied the recipe for the next time I have extra buttermilk. Thanks for letting me know about it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Brownie Cupcakes

I needed to find a recipe to use up this buttermilk:
This is what I ended up making:

 We don't drink buttermilk, but I sometimes buy it for a recipe.  I have already forgotten what I bought the buttermilk for, but I really hate to waste food, so I looked through my recipe file to find something I could bake today to use it up.   I decided on cupcakes--these are rich and chocolately -- sort of between a brownie and a cupcake.


3/4 cup water
1 cup Hershey's cocoa
3 sticks of butter, cut up (I know it sounds like a lot, but it makes a lot of cupcakes and you use no butter for frosting)
3 cups flour
3 1/4 cups brown sugar (light or dark--does not matter--I used light)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line your muffin tins with paper liners. I used 27 large liners and 14 small.

1.  Put the 3/4 cup water, butter and Hershey's cocoa in a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put in microwave for one minute. 

Stir. Microwave about one minute more, or just until the butter is melted.

2.  Slowly pour the mixture into a mixer bowl and beat slowly until combined. 

Then add the brown sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time and beat on low until just combined.

3.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Pour this slowly into the cocoa mixture and mix on low until just combined.

4. In another bowl, mix the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix this into the flour cocoa mixture -- again do it slowly and don't over mix.  Just get it all combined.

5.  Fill your paper-lined muffin tins about 3/4 full. 

6. I put my small cupcakes on the top shelf of the oven and baked them for about 16 minutes. 

The full size cupcakes baked for 26 minutes.

7. I did not think these needed any frosting.  I just sprinkled powdered sugar over the tops before serving.

I froze half of them as I always feel that when I cook or bake, I should enjoy the fruits of my labor for at least three meals.

Yesterday I made Pepperoni Pasta for dinner
and, of course, I froze half of that for another night.

I did a lot of cooking and sewing this weekend. What else is a girl to do when it's 8 below zero? Thank goodness it is not a work day and I did not have to go outside! 

Instead of scrubbing the floors(as I should have done), I spent most of the day sewing. I fininshed the second nutcracker block today and some tree blocks that go with the snowman blocks I finished last week.  Here are all the Christmas blocks for next year that I've completed in January:

I actually made 4 more tree blocks than what you see here. I decided that I needed to make them today before I used up all the blue background fabric for something else (that is why I did not get the floors done).  It felt good to get them all finished and now I will pack them away until I decide what to do with them.

Now I need to go check on my chicken that is roasting in the oven.  It's no wonder DH felt like buying me flowers yesterday--he's been eating like a KING for the past few weeks. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fresh Flower Bouquet comes Alive with My Dried Artemesia

My wonderful grocery-shopping husband came home with a little surprise tucked into one of his cheap  supermarket bags--you know, those bags that are so thin they never make it from the car to the kitchen without ripping apart.  As he came through the door, I heard an angry expletive and I went to see what all the commotion was about.

He made a reference to "cheap bags" and I  made some empathic remark as canned goods rolled across floor. He reached down among the debris and  picked up a cellophane bag of mini carnations and handed them to me. Awwwwwwwwww...what a guy!  I really need to make him some sturdy fabric shopping bags.

I thought I would put the tiny flowers in a teacup, but when I opened my dish cupboard, I saw this vintage creamer and decided it would be perfect.

 Unfortunately there were not enough mini carnations to cover the floral foam.  I thought maybe I could find some artificial flowers that would work.
 When I went to the basement, I found a pot of  artemesia that I had picked last fall. 

I always like to keep this on hand for winter bouquets.  It is not all that pretty on its own, but it is the best filler I know of -- both in the summer when it's fresh and in the winter when it's dried.

I think it worked perfectly for what I needed today!
  Unfortunately I did not think to take a picture of the sparse bouquet and I was not about to pull out all of the artemesia just to get one. You will have to trust me that without the filler, it was nothing.

Did you notice that I finished my Valentine table runner? I posted about it on my other blog. Just click here if you want to see the full runner.

I have also been searching the net for vintage valentines, which I have printed out to use on my Valentine table next month.  I have found some cute old valentines. I am not exactly sure what I will do with them, but I am thinking some of them will be used with these fabric love flowers for the centerpiece.
It's snowing here again today. It looks like another weekend holed up in my sewing room, with breaks to cook and clean. I do enjoy these weekends!

Friday, January 21, 2011

I Really Hate to Shop--UNLESS I Do It Sitting at My Computer

Yesterday  morning I decided to take a another look at the big sale and I could not believe all the new stuff that was added...

Yes, I ordered all of these. It's not as bad as it looks because it's only four jackets, not eight. I am showing the back and front of each.  I was a bit bummed that the free shipping code had expired.  I hate to pay SH and almost never do. Luckily they had just sent me a catalog with a  spend $100/get $20 off, so that was pretty much the same as free shipping. I would not have ordered if I did not have that -- hey, I do have my standards.

I am really loving the first two -- animal print and orange--so different--you all know by know that  I like orange.  That second one is a denim  jacket! Loving the  honeycombed tucks  on the front and back with the tiny metal rivets for accent.  It has a  burnished foil print  that I am hoping is not too bold in real life.

Yes, I have been a little extravagant in my spending this week. But remember last October when I ditched the acrylic nails?  Well, each jacket equals about one nail appointment.  So I have just reallocated my middle-age maintenance funds!  I can  always find a way to justify a good bargain!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baking, Sewing, Online Shopping--That's My Evening

Big outlet reduction at my favorite clothing store (C*old*wat*er C*r*eek)--up to 85% off. I picked up just a couple of items...

another jean jacket - love the vintage lace on this one...also LOVE the big mark down - was $129.99, now $29.99!

This lightweight white cut out detailed shirt will be great for this summer.  I've had this one in my shopping cart for three weeks, just waiting until the price came down. Tonight I decided it was about as low as it was going to get and placed the order.  If I wait for it to go any lower, my size will probably sell's like a game...sometimes I make out like a bandit; other times I lose the item by waiting.  I also found a code for free S/H - AFLC201 - in case anybody wants to use it. It just worked at 6:30 p.m., but I expect it to expire very soon.

I have not been doing much of interest the past few days.  It's been snowing - terrible roads when I went to work this morning. 
Last week I  finished the first nutcracker block. I have started another one.

 I am also putzing around with some  hearts. I have not sewn anything tonight because I am just not in the mood.  I did bake some little cakes, using a couple of pans I rarely use--hearts and mini bundts.
They match the heart blocks! 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chicken Florentine & Potatoes Anna

As RR would say, "YUMO!"

Potatoes Anna - this is a company presentation if ever I have seen one--of course I had no company for tonight's dinner. Whenever something turns out great, there is no company.  Why is that?  LOL.  At least DH appreciated them-- he said  they were so good he was not even going to douse them in Heinz ketchup!  High praise indeed.

We both loved the chicken breasts stuffed with fresh spinach, caramelized onions,

and vegetable cream cheese,

then topped with a creamed garlic/spinach sauce.

The husband thinks he has died and gone to heaven as this is the second weekend in a row that I have stayed home and engaged in the domestic arts.  Don't tell him, but I love to do that on snowy winter weekends (he may start thinking I should stay home every weekend--my natural inclination is to get away every weekend that I can. It's my reward for still having to work  after reaching the age of the 1974 Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act speed limit). 

I did not use a recipe for tonight's dinner, but for those of you interested,  I can give you a  basic idea of what I did.

I used Yukon Gold potatoes for the 'Potatoes Anna'.   I sliced the small potatoes with the skins on using a food processor. 

I melted about half a stick of butter and after arranging the slices in a deep glass pie plate, I drizzled butter, salt, pepper, and dried basil over the potatoes. I made 4 layers and then put them in a 400 degree oven for about an hour. 

I cooked the potatoes before the chicken and put them back in the oven just to reheat once the chicken was almost finished baking.

I put the chicken breasts between two pieces of Saran wrap and whacked them a few times with a metal mallet to thin them out.

Then I spread a heaping spoonful of vegetable cheese spread on the breast and topped that with a blob of the spinach/caramelized onion mixture.

  I then rolled up the chicken, rolled the bundle in a beaten egg mixture and then in a mix of Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

I poured some of the remaining melted butter over the four chicken breasts and put them in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

approx. 1 cup half 'n half
leftover spinach/onion mixture- maybe 2 tablespoons
leftover vegetable cheese - maybe 1/4 cup

I mixed it all together and brought it to a boil, stirring constantly.  I let it boil lightly for about one minute, then turned it off and added freshly ground pepper.

It was then spooned atop each plated chicken breast.

I must say this was a good meal!  I cooked enough so we can have leftovers on Monday. We can't wait to enjoy it all over again.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Look at these Gorgeous Dahlias!

I think my latest header with the garden pics has me thinking of flowers and  inspired me to place my first flower order of 2011.  I ordered some dahlias -- two tubers of each variety--they will all be grown in containers because I can't get a dahlia to grow in my ground soil.

'Trebbiano' is the black dahlia. I ordered that one because I love the starburst dahlias and it will work so nicely for dining room bouquets as I use black dishes fairly often.

The red one is 'Santa Claus' --just love the color! .... and the multicolored is called 'Myrtle's Folly'--interesting unique color combo and the foliage looks sort of curly.

If you spend $25, you get $25, so I  also ordered these bulbs --  Camassia quamash -- which I am unfamiliar with.  I like the color and the shape of the bloom. They won't arrive until fall.
Here is the description:
Capture the beauty of Holland in your early-summer garden by adding colourful Camassia quamash to your landscape. You’ll treasure their unique spikes that burst with star-shaped blossom upon blossom of blue. Just a few of these foolproof bulbs will make a dramatic impression in your yard or in bouquets! They multiply, too, adding even more interest each year.

Zones :2-8

Bulb Size: 6+ cm

Height: 15-36"

Bloom Time: Late Spring

Deer Resistant -- this always catches my eye!

So now I need six  more big containers to plant these in.  I will probably use some of them in the main gardens, once they begin flowering.  I will just hide the container among the other tall foliage of daylilies, etc. 

Spend $25, get $25 free is a pretty good offer. I think it's available for anyone, so if you want to check it out, go to  Of course, you have to pay the postage/handling. This order cost me a  bit more than $40 total, which I consider a pretty fair price in today's flower market.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...