Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Peach Cobbler- My Go To Dessert for Summer

Any time I have to whip up a dessert in a hurry, I go to easy peach cobbler. Or, in the fall, I use apples instead of peaches. It is always a hit with my family and our guests. Best of all, it is quick and easy. At our house we refer to this as the “A cup, a cup, a cup cobbler.”
Pic 065

     Start by melting 1 stick of butter (or margarine) in a 8 x 8 baking dish.

Pic 067 
  Add 3 to 4 cups of fresh sliced fruit. You can use canned peaches but you will need to drain them before adding them to the butter. I don’t measure the fruit but just eyeball it.
Pic 069 In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of self rising flour, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of milk.
Pic 073 Pour the flour, sugar, milk mixture over the peaches. Bake at 350 until golden brown, usually 30 to 40 minutes.
Pic 098You can pop this in the oven to bake while you are eating your meal then you can serve it piping hot.

Pic 100 
Of course, no cobbler is complete without ice cream! It makes my mouth water just looking at it.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Weekend Project—Helping the Boy Move to College

Our project this past weekend was to help our boy move back to college.  It wasn’t his first move away yet it still brings a mixed bag of emotions.  I can’t help but reflect on his first day of kindergarten. As a stay at home mom, his sister and I missed him sorely. But we knew he needed to go. I now know that that event was training for this event. Kindergarten just lasted a few hours then I could pick him up and bring him home again. Now its different. He will decide when he wants to come home.  He will be responsible for getting up and going to class, for getting his own homework done, and even for making sure that he has some nourishment. As we traveled up the mountain to his school, I thought about Abraham and Isaac. I cannot imagine the journey up Mount Moriah with a load a firewood and a knife. I thanked God that my test of faith is so small in comparison to Abraham’s.

As we traveled we were listening to a  CD that my husband’s receptionist shared with us on Friday. The music was from various musicals that we have grown to love. We enjoyed listening to several selections from Oklahoma! which is perhaps our family’s favorite musical.  Then we heard Bring Him Home   from Les Miserable.

God on high
Hear my prayer
In my need
You have always been there
He is young
He's afraid
Let him rest
Heaven blessed.
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home.
He's like the son I might have known
If God had granted me a son.
The summers die
One by one
How soon they fly
On and on
And I am old
And will be gone.
Bring him peace
Bring him joy
He is young
He is only a boy
You can take
You can give
Let him be
Let him live
If I die, let me die
Let him live
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home.

I could not have chosen a more appropriate selection! I pray that the Lord will protect his heart and that he will make good decisions and choices. 

My day today has started off with joy.  I received a text this morning at 7:52. “The bell tower here is playing “O what a beautiful morning, O what a beautiful day” from Oklahoma. My reply was “Did you sing for them?” My boy replied,”Well of course."

Picture 5198

I will miss him sorely but my boy will be fine.


Technorati Tags:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tablecloth from a Window Curtain

Earlier this week I was looking through my linen closet for something and ran across a pair of tab top window curtains that a friend had given me. They were too short for my windows and I had put them away until I found a use for them. As I unfolded the curtains, I realized that they felt like a white damask tablecloth. Then it occurred to me that they were about the size of my dining table on the screened porch.
Who would have believed?  Almost a perfect fit.
Here is a closer shot of the tabs at the top. I could have just cut them off, but I decided to use my seam ripper to remove them for a cleaner look.
I carefully ripped the seam a each tab and removed it.
After removing the tabs, I used my sewing machine to run a seam across the top to close up the holes. With about 30 minutes of work I had a new tablecloth.
Don’t you just love a free project?


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What A Find!!!

Recently, we were driving home from church one Sunday and were almost home when we passed a single pickup truck hosting a parking lot sale. As we whizzed by, I thought that I might have spotted a possible treasure. Like any sane woman would do, I yelled “Put on brakes. Turn around and go back! I need to stop back there for a second!” After some huffing and puffing, the hubby relented and did as instructed.  As we got closer, I could see that it was indeed a treasure. I quickly came up with my maximum bid and tried not to seem to anxious as I got out of the car. It was blazing hot and the people selling were packing things in the truck to get out of the heat. I meandered over to the treasure, glancing at a few other small items on my way. I asked the man how much he was asking for my treasure. He replied “I’ll take $20 for that.” Oh my goodness! $20!!! I wanted to ask “Are you sure you don’t need $45?”  But instead, I calmly asked, “Do you have a tape measure?” FYI …..I keep a tape measure in my everyday purse but so far I haven’t needed one at Sunday School! The man quickly whipped out a tape measure. 38”. I told him that I really needed something 36” but I thought I could make it work and asked the hubby for $20. The hubby handed over the $20 but informed me that the treasure would not fit in his car. I insisted that it would, be conceded that maybe it wouldn’t. I told the man that we would run home and get the big car and be back in 5 minutes. He asked where I lived and said he lived nearby and agreed to deliver it. He decided to stop his loading and follow my home right then. All for $20!!! I LOVE it!
Pic 026
Here it is in its raw state. I wanted to use it on the screened porch and didn’t want to spend a lot of money!
As you can see, it was quite dirty and had some damage to the veneer. It has two drawers and they both operate smoothly.

 Pic 036

This shot is a little fuzzy but you can see how the veneer has come off on the corner of this drawer.

Pic 039

After thoroughly cleaning the piece, I got out my Elmer’s glue and wood clamps. I used toothpicks to carefully get some glue underneath the loose veneer. Then I clamped it down until it dried.

Pic 040

This is a closer shot of the gluing process.

Pic 041

Another shot of the gluing process. All of this gluing and drying took a day. Then I removed the hardware and sprayed it silver and I applied a little black paint to try to antique it a little.

Pic 048

This photo does not do justice to the hardware. It has a great relief on it with a little round pull.

Pic 046

I used a brush to paint it with black satin paint. It only took one coat and turned out great.


Here’s the final product in its new home on the porch!  $20!!! I love it when a plan comes together!!!


Monday, August 16, 2010

Bunk Room Project

Perhaps my biggest project for the summer has been the bunk room at our summer cottage at the lake. It was quite an undertaking but I am very pleased with the results.
I started by selecting bedding which I found at TJ Maxx. I wanted something bright and cheerful since this room is the only one in the basement that doesn’t have a window. (FYI, by building code standards, this space cannot legally be called a bedroom because it does not have more than one exit or a window.) My goal was to make the room more welcoming than a dungeon!It took several weeks of going from TJ to TJ to gather 4 matching quilts, 4 sets of sheets, and the accent pillows. I then selected the paint color for the walls and got busy painting. The next step was the construction of  the beds. Why, might you ask, did I build the bunk beds instead of buying them? The answer is that I wanted very sturdy beds since the room will be used by friends of my children. Actually, my children are legal adults. They are college students but they are still my children! All of the bunk beds that I saw for sale appeared to be built for kids that weigh 50 pounds. I don’t know anyone who weighs 50 pounds. So, off we went to the home improvement store. The frames are constructed of 2x6’s attached to 4x4 posts. The plywood for the headboards and for the mattress supports is 3/4 inch thick. It is very heavy and sturdy. I will be reinforcing the ladders soon with some scrap 2x2’s. The finials on the bed posts are fence post finials.        IMG_0551     I chose to use bedpost hardware to attach the rails to the headboard and footboard just in case I ever wanted to move them out of this room. As a finishing touch, I added a swing arm lamp to each bunk.


IMG_0548                                                                                                                                       The lamps were purchased at Lowe’s and I switched out the round shades for rectangular ones that were purchased at Target, allowing the lamps to rest closer to the wall. The two sets of bunk beds take up most of the room so there won’t be a need to accessorize. I think it’s now big kid ready!


It’s Official…..I Am a Great Aunt!

It’s official. I am a great aunt and I have the pictures to prove it. Our family has been blessed this week with the arrival of a baby girl!
My great niece, Addison Elizabeth was born on Wednesday. These pictures were made when she was one day old.
                        She is sooooo precious!
We are rejoicing with her parents that she has finally arrived and look forward to watching her grow. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Meal Prepartion Made Easy

Today I'm linking to a post that I ran across at Clean Mama's blog. I've seen a book and several other articles related to planning, cooking, and freezing a month's supply of meals all in one day but, personally, I've never been able to pull this off. Clean Mama has a modified version of this. She quickly shows how to start the prepartion for a month's worth of protein entrees. She makes it look super easy. I think I'll give it a try. I've said many times, the hardest thing about cooking supper is deciding what to cook! Check out Clean Mamas  Freezer Cooking

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Must Have Item for the Kitchen

I recently discovered a must have item for the kitchen while perusing the isles of Marshall’s.  For several years, I have used Debbie Meyer Greenbags to help prolong the life of fresh fruit. The containers that I found claim to keep food fresh longer and are easier than the bags to store in the frig.  Some of the containers use a type of silver technology to prevent the growth of bacteria.   Pic 061 
  There were 2 different styles of containers available and I chose the one with a little tray in the bottom that looks somewhat like a dish drainer.The tray allows the fruit to stay above any moisture that may form from condensation. You can see in the photo above that moisture is on the inside of the container. In the picture below, you can see the little removable tray. 
Pic 064
  So far, these peaches have been in the container in the frig for 2 weeks and they still look like they did when I put them in.  I also kept some peaches in one for more than a month. While the month old peaches were not flawless, they were very usable and still tasted delicious. I went back and purchased a smaller container to use for strawberries. The larger container was about $10 and the smaller one was about $5. In my opinion, this was money well spent that will result in money saved.
Try them and let me know if you like how they work.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Quick Cover for an Unsightly Electrical Panel Box

Why on earth I ever agreed to allow the builder to put the electrical panel box on a very open wall in the basement family room I will never know.  I guess that falls under the “pick your battles” category.  Meanwhile, I am stuck with a very UGLY grey box at the bottom of the stairs.
Pic 106
I’m talking a BIG  ugly grey box. It is 40 inches tall!!
Solution: get to the nearest flea market as soon as possible. Purchase an old shutter that is big enough to cover this monster.
Pic 107
Use any leftover paint to paint your shutter. Print off signage from the computer and transfer it to the shutter.  I used old fashioned carbon paper for my transfer. Paint the lettering then lightly sand with fine sandpaper.

Pic 105
Hang your new masterpiece.While this is certainly not “artist” material, it beats that UGLY grey box!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Quick Fix for Leaky Rain Boots


As the start of a new school year draws closer, it’s time to ready all of our supplies. Every school kid needs a good pair of rain boots, even big school kids!  Unfortunately, a pair of fairly new boots reportedly sprang a leak.

Pic 027Pic 029

I figured that if a leaky bath tub could be fixed, so could a pair of rain boots! So, I proceeded to run a thin bead of bath tub caulk around the seams. The caulk goes on white but dries clear.

 Pic 030 Pic 031

It is imperative to let the caulk dry thoroughly.


Pic 032

(Please excuse the yucky photo. It’s hard to take a picture of your boots while you are wearing them and standing in a pail of water!)  Fill a pail with water and step in to test the boots. If you feel water, you need to caulk again. If you don’t feel water, the repair was successful! Happy puddle splashing!! 



Sunday, August 1, 2010

How To Make Sweet Tea in 5 Minutes

Surprisingly enough, my most requested recipe is for Iced Tea!! That could be because we always have tea when we have company, regardless of the menu. I don't know how many times I've heard "Oh, that tea is so good. Tell me how to make it." So, here goes. Keep in mind, this is not rocket science. It can be adjusted according to your personal taste.

Start by getting a 2 quart microwave safe measuring cup.

Add 6 tea bags. If you use family size tea bags, use 3.  Add 2 quarts of water and microwave on high for 5 minutes. 

After the 5 minutes, remove the tea bags from the microwave safe pitcher.  Next, add 1 cup of sugar, or less if you prefer. Stir in the sugar to dissolve it in the tea.
Let the tea cool for just a few minutes before transferring to a half gallon pitcher. Add water to fill the pitcher.
Serve over ice and enjoy!