Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Microwave Corn on the Cob

I saw a pin this summer about cooking corn on the cob in the microwave and gave it a try. I was not disappointed. I have heard so many people say that they only use their microwave for popcorn and for reheating leftovers. Others say the food just “doesn’t taste the same!” If you are one of those people, you really need to try this. I use the microwave often. In fact, I only used a microwave and small appliances such as a slow cooker and electric skillet for the first 6 years of our marriage. We lived in an apartment with a nonfunctioning stove for the first 2 years and in a relative’s home without a stove for the next 4 years. We received a new microwave as a wedding gift. It was purchased from a store that only sold microwave ovens, Mr. Microwave.  Included in the purchase price was microwave cooking school which consisted on 6 sessions. I attended the sessions and learned to use the microwave for a lot of recipes. Many of them I still use 33 years later! The microwave is generally more energy efficient than heating the stove and often quicker and it does not heat up the kitchen as much as a traditional stove. The corn on the cob recipe is new to me but it was delicious and easy. While you would not want to use this method if you were cooking a lot of corn, it is great for a few ears. Step one is to simply put the corn in the microwave for 4 minutes per ear.

fresh corn

ready to cook

It can go straight from the stalk to the microwave, no cleaning necessary!

set the timer

Cook four minutes per ear at 100% power.

carefully remove

Carefully remove the ears of corn. I used an oven mitt because it was very hot!! Then cut the stalk end off. Be sure to get all of the stalk.

shake it loose

Next, hold the ear of corn by the silk end and shake vigorously. I had to coax mine a little to get it out. I even had to wiggle it a little.

keep shaking

Then out she comes!

clean as a whistle

Clean as a whistle! No silks left on the corn! It was delicious and my family thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope you will give it a try.

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I’ll be linking to Tips, Tidbits and Tutorials at Stone Gable. If you missed the other summer recipes this week click here to see my Tomato Pie and here to see my Blueberry Crumble.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tomato Pie

If you read my last post then you know that I am attempting to be very ambitious this week and post 3 recipes for enjoying summer’s bounty! I have to hurry before summer is gone. Hopefully you will still have time to try these out. If you missed the recipe for Blueberry Crumble you can read that post here or you can go directly to the printable recipe here. Today I am sharing the recipe that I use for Tomato Pie. Several years ago my mom made Tomato Pies and I never even tried one but lately I have thoroughly enjoyed this recipe. Actually some friends took us to a great restaurant, West Cobb Diner in Marietta, Ga, and my friend had Tomato Pie as a vegetable. Of course I tasted it and it was delicious so I had to look for a recipe to try. The rest is history.

tomato pie less one slice

The photo above was taken as soon as it came out of the oven so it’s still a little runny, but delicious all the same.  We have had friends to share their fresh tomatoes with us this summer and this was a great way to enjoy them.

fresh tomatoes in the pie shell

I start by filling a ready to bake pie shell with sliced fresh tomatoes. The recipe calls for 4 but I just  fill the shell without counting.

sprinkled with herbs

Next, I sprinkle on salt, pepper, seasoned salt, basil, oregano, and use my McCormack Italian Herb grinder. Again, I did not measure.

a layer of onions

Next I added  a layer of green onions and followed that with a layer of cooked bacon.

a layer of bacon

The final layer is 1/4 cup of mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s with olive oil) mixed with 2 cups of cheese ( I used Borden’s 4 cheese mixture of Mexican cheddar, Jack, Asadero, and Queso Blanco).

ready for the oven

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for 30 more minutes. This pie reminds me of deep dish pizza.

ready to eat tomato pie

I know this sounds like Hoggy Mae, but I get hungry just looking at this picture! I hope you will give it a try and enjoy it as much as I have!

Click here for the printable recipe.

Check back for my last recipe for enjoying summer’s bounty.

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I’ll be linking to Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style and to Homeworks at Worthing Court.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Blueberry Crumble

a blueberry crumble with ice cream

I have thoroughly enjoyed eating fresh blueberries this summer! I have made this blueberry crumble recipe for dessert several times. It is delicious, especially when served warm from the oven and topped with ice cream!  Several times I served it in Irish coffee mugs. blueberry crumble 3

I also purchased some extra blueberries while they were “buy one get one free” and put them away to use later. They are very easy to freeze. Simply rinse them and spread them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet before sticking them in the freezer. After they have frozen, transfer the berries to a freezer bag.

freezing blueberries

I reduced the sugar from the original recipe that I found online and it was plenty sweet enough!

Blueberry Crumble

6 cups (3 pints) blueberries

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 stick butter at room temperature, cubed

Toss blueberries and cornstarch. Put blueberry mixture in an 8 x 8 baking dish and set aside.

Combine the dry ingredients then cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.  Layer the crumble mixture over the berries.

Bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees.

Enjoy with a scoop of ice cream on top!

You can click here for a printable recipe!!!

I hope that you are enjoying the last few days of summer! I know this sounds VERY AMBITIOUS but I have planned 3 posts this week with recipes for enjoying summer’s bounty. I know, I should have posted a month ago but I have a busy life! Please check back for the other recipes.

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I’ll be linking to Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life and to Grace at Home at Imparting Grace. Click the link for lots of inspiration!

Click here to see my Tomato Pie recipe and here to see how I cooked corn on the cob!


Haven Conference, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

After reading all of the rave reviews about last year’s Haven conference for bloggers, I decided to attend this year. I purchased my ticket as soon as they went on sale and made plans to attend. And boy, am I glad that I did. It was excellent.

Rhoda from Southern Hospitality and her entire team did an excellent job planning the conference. I was able to speak with Rhoda very briefly and thank her for all of her efforts. I so appreciate her and her authenticity.

The Good……

haven hotel lobby

The hotel was outstanding! The conference was held at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead in Atlanta. The facilities were fantastic. Since most of my friends don’t even know what a blog is, I attended by myself but thoroughly enjoyed myself. Not only was the hotel great, but the food was outstanding!! The lunches each day were healthy and simply delicious. I failed to take a picture of my lunch but managed to get a shot of dessert on both days!

strawberry shortcake

These little strawberry shortcakes were wonderful!

miniature peach cobler

This miniature peach cobble was also outstanding.

The opening and closing sessions were excellent. Both speakers were very inspiring. All of the breakout sessions that I attended were packed with information.

haven living room 1

Ballard Designs sponsored a bookcase styling contest  on both days. Ballard provided all of the props and teams of 4 or 5 had a few minutes to choose their goods and style the bookcase. Of course, all of them looked like winners to me.

haven living room 4

The winners who were chosen by vote were awarded a gift card to Ballards! (I wish that there had been other “skilled” based contests.I would have loved the opportunity to “earn” a Ryobi tool!) Speaking of winners, we were all winners in the swag department. The swag bags were also wonderful!

haven swag

Each attendee received a burlap bag full of goodies then received more treats from sponsors! The box in the photo above contained 2 samples of fabric from Online Fabric Store. I can’t wait to use my fabric. Also, they had other samples at their booth and they looked really great. It is a great source for reasonably priced decorator fabric to keep in mind.

more haven fabric samples

One of my other favorite booths was the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint booth.

haven annie sloan booth

I loved the finish on that table painted with ASCP. All of the booths were great.  I have some other swag treats that I will be using and sharing later!

There were approximately 300 bloggers in attendance, mostly women. One thing that I quickly discovered was that people look really different in person than a headshot of their profile picture! (Maybe we should all update our profile pics!) Maybe it’s just me and my old age, but several times I didn’t recognize people whose blogs I read regularly. I did happen to notice the nametag of Sherry Hart of Design Indulgence who does not even have a profile photo I might add! I always enjoy her witty posts but had no idea that she was so “shabeautiful!” I would have introduced myself but she appeared to be in a serious conversation when I passed her.  While riding in the elevator one day I did spy a “celebrity” of sorts. I commented to a young man that I recognized him as Emily's Clark's husband. He answered “Yes, that’s who I’m known as now, Emily Clark’s husband.” He suggested that we take a picture.(Please pardon the poor lighting in the elevator.)

haven - mr emily clark

While waiting in line in the restroom just before leaving, I was asked to snap the picture below. I didn’t realize until I saw it on their blog that these girls are on my sidebar too! It was Amy and Christy from 11 Magnolia Lane.

Christy and Amy from11magnolialane

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

The Bad

As I stated earlier, all of the sessions that I attended were packed with information. I had a very hard time choosing which sessions to go to because I wanted to go to all of them!! The bad thing was that I had to choose a few and miss a lot! I wish that the sessions had been repeated more so that I could have gone to more of them. One of my observations, not that it was bad, was that the “hands on” sessions provided more interaction with other bloggers and presenters than the “lecture style” sessions.

The Ugly….Really Ugly

After the last session on Friday evening, I decided to make a quick run to Ikea. After driving about a mile from the hotel a warning light came on in my car. To make a really long story short, my car was overheating and I limped to a service center. I was told that it was the thermostat that could be repaired Saturday morning and I could drive home Saturday evening. Unfortunately when the repair service was bringing my car back to me after lunch on Saturday, they called me again to tell me that the car was still overheating. They had recommended $800 in repairs but my mechanic at home advised me to have them just put the thermostat on. He said that their other suggested repairs were not necessary for me to drive home. Sooooo, my car had to be towed home about 200 miles! (Cha-ching!!) My husband made arrangements to get the car towed home and said that he would come pick me up. But wait, it gets better…. While making phone calls trying to work out the details during a short break after lunch, Jane from Cottage at the Crossroads came and sat with me in the hotel lobby. I explained my dilemma to Jane who said that she had met someone from my hometown!! Jane didn’t have a phone number but she remembered the blog name so we quickly got on our phones and looked it up. I then sent an email asking for the blogger to text me.  I went on to my last breakout session and told my husband that I would be back in touch. Just before the closing session I called my husband and told him that I had not gotten a reply and to head that way. No sooner had I hung up the phone than my phone buzzed with a text. It was Tricia from Simplicity in the South! I explained my dilemma again. Tricia said that she was in a carpool with 2 other bloggers and that they could give me a ride home! Just in the nick of time since my husband was at the gas station filling up when I called back to tell him.  (My daughter suggests that I learn some polka music like the mom in the Home Alone movie since this is the second time I have made the almost 3 hour trek from Atlanta with a car full of strangers!) Well, we are not strangers any more. You can learn a lot about people when you spend 3 hours in a car with them and I have sworn these girl to secrecy!  Christy from Our Southern Home was our driver and Sonya from At Home With the Barkers was also in the car. All 3 of the girls were so sweet and concerned for me, and, they have wonderful blogs too! I am so blessed to have crossed their paths and am so thankful that they came to my rescue. Please visit their blogs and thank them for me. As for my car, it was the water pump which was not on the list of repairs for $800 so it still would not have been drivable if I had allowed the garage in Atlanta to make the repairs and my mechanic says that sometimes a brand new water pump will also malfunction and have to be replaced so I wanted that work to be done locally in case I have to deal with it again. Unfortunately, this mishap with my car caused me to be somewhat distracted on Saturday but it all worked out in the end and I am looking forward to applying some of my newly discovered knowledge in several areas.

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I will be linking to the Haven link up and to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Summer Showhouse

I recently had the opportunity to tour the Coastal Living Magazine Showhouse in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a beautiful lowcountry style home decorated by Ginger Brewton. She used lots of color throughout the house.

showhouse exterior 2

There is also a detached garage with bonus room to the right side of the house.

showhouse exterior 3

first floor plan

I was delighted that photos were allowed but I forgot to take a photo of the foyer! Actually I don’t remember there being any furniture in the all white foyer so use your imagination for that area. Just inside the front door turning left was a beautiful,coral colored office.

coral office

I loved the brightly patterned wallpaper but probably would never use it in my own home!

coral office windows

Most of the window coverings were Roman shades.

coral office crown molding detail

The ceilings were high, probably 10 feet, and the crown molding came down about 10” onto the wall.

coral powder room

Next to the coral office was a coral bathroom. Very bright!

coral powder room sink

Across the foyer from the office was an area referred to as the lounge.

green living room

Let’s look at the light fixture.

green living room light fixture

This room also had a wet bar.

green living room wet bar

The backsplash area of the bar was metallic finish ceramic tiles.

green living room bar backsplash detail

The family room and kitchen stretched across the back of the house. I believe it was 40 feet in length. It was very spacious and the kitchen had a huge island, maybe 8 feet by 8 feet!

yellow teal family room

The family room was decorated in teal and yellow.

yellow teal family room 2

Notice the orange pillow on the sofa which ties to the coral office.  I often hear talk that you can’t use a different color in every room because it doesn’t flow well.  I beg to differ. This home flows very well, perhaps because of the flooring and white trim in every room. The walls of the family room and foyer were covered in horizontal boards.

yellow teal family room wall detail

showhouse kitchen

(The area through the door to the left leads to the rear entry. We will see it later.) I especially liked the tile backsplash in the kitchen.

kitchen backsplash

There was a great screened porch at the rear of the house on the main level.

screened porch 1

Blues and yellows were used on the porch too.

screened porch 3

I like the vintage croquet set holding the door open!

The area to the right of the door was the breakfast room.

breakfast room 2

The breakfast room was surrounded by windows. Notice the orange theme still going on and the Roman shades. Also, there was a blue ceiling and a blue throw on one of the chairs.

exterior rear 2

The view from the backyard shows the screened porch on the right side and the breakfast room on the left. Now let’s look upstairs. (Sorry for the fuzzy picture!)

second floor plansecond floor plan details 

frog floor plan

All three bedrooms and the laundry room were located upstairs as well as another porch.

master bedroom landing

This beautiful coral colored settee was in the hallway outside the master bedroom. Outside the master hallway, a porch stretches across the rear of the house. There is a door from the master bedroom that leads out to the porch and a door from the another bedroom that leads out to the porch.

upper porch

upper porch 2

Now let’s go back inside to the master bedroom area.

master bedroom 1

The accent pillows on the bed bring in the colors used throughout the house.

master bedroom 3

This sitting area was at the foot of the bed.

master bath vanity

The master bath had a single vanity on either side of the soaking tub.

master bath tub

The shower was directly across from the tub.

master bath shower

There was no window in the shower, it is just reflected on the glass! If you look closely you can also see the reflection of the tub.

master bath floor tile

The floor tiles in the master bathroom were ceramic that looked like wood. There was a walk in closet on each side of the shower area.

master closet

The other two bedrooms and bathrooms were across the hall from the master suite.

guest bedroom 1A

This room was done in very pale green and lavender.

guest bedroom 1b

guest bath 1b

The tile in this shower was very interesting. It reminds me of barn wood.

guest bath 1 tile detail

Let’s move on to the third bedroom.

guest bedroom 2a

Notice that transom window above the vanity in the bathroom. That window is between the the two bathrooms which are back to back.

guest bedroom 2b

And the bath…..

guest bath 2a

The laundry room is located upstairs, directly above the foyer.

laundry room light

laundry room 2

The upstairs hallway also has a stairway that leads to the third floor. Because that area was unfinished, it was not open for touring. However, I loved the storage area under the stairs.

under stair storage 2

The doors on the end to the left open to reveal a closet. The other 3 doors pull out with shelves!

under stair slide out storage

Now we will go back downstairs to the rear entry area.

rear entry light fixture

rear entry storage 2

There was lots of storage in this area too.

outdoor shower

The photo above is the outside view of the rear entry.

outdoor shower details

An outdoor shower is behind the shutters!


There was also a detached garage with a bonus room that could be used as a guest house.

garage side view

The outdoor kitchen was at the side of the garage.

garage rear view

The rear of the garage also had a small pull up door which I suppose could be used for lawn equipment.

frog main room

This great space is the bonus room above the garage.

frog bath 1

It also had a full bath.

frog kitchen area w refrigerator drawers

It had a small kitchen area with two refrigerator drawers!

patio 2

The patio area with a fire pit was wonderful too.

dock to the river

There was also a boat dock on the river.

exterior view of rear

This was a great house that was ideal for coastal living!  I took these photos very quickly with my point and shoot camera since other people were there too. Professional shots will be featured in the October issue of Coastal Living magazine and I can’t wait to see them.

I hope that you are enjoying your summer!

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I will be linking to Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style, to Homeworks at Worthing Court, and to Tips, Tidbits, and Tutorials at Stone Gable.