Monday, May 30, 2011

Tea Essentials

Memorial Day sales at the thrift stores are my favorite. Today's treasures included three spools of tatting thread in size 30 (very hard to find!), a William Sonoma cookbook featuring chicken recipes, lovely white damask cloth napkins that appear to be unused, and my most expensive item today was the Victorian Rose china. Four little mugs, four soup bowls, and three dinner plates for $3.50 isn't to bad, especially for Laura Ashley. I'll be hard pressed to find a replacement plate for that price alone.
It's kind of exciting when you pray for things, and the Lord answers them. "Lord, what about white cloth napkins for my tea party? If the china is on sale, then I know you are saving it for me" have been a few of my prayers, as I've had my eye on these items for a couple of weeks, but didn't want to pay full price. They were there today and 50% off. :) The pair of antique silver candlesticks were gone, but that's okay. God must have something else in mind.

For years I have wanted to host a tea party of some sort, and it is finally becoming a reality next week. If I can get the back part of the house cleaned up in time, I'd like it to be outdoors near the gardens and blooming lilac bushes.

My menu is for the most part already together, but if any of you could/would offer any other thoughts or ideas, I'd be most grateful!

-Tea, of course!

-Clotted Cream Biscuits (from the Norfolk Manor in England)

-British Chocolate Tea Cakes

-British "Finger" chocolate cookies

-Scones with homemade cherry jam

-Watercress & Cucumber sandwiches

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cooking in a Fix

Last Sunday night after we got back home from evening services, some opted for the usual popcorn snack, but a couple of us were a bit more hungry for something substantial, so I made up this recipe on a whim based on ingredients that we had on hand. It turned out delicious!!

This afternoon two of my siblings were attending a graduation ceremony, and they were short on time to where they didn't have time to fix lunch. So I whipped up the same dish while trying to remember what I did. This time I made sure to write everything down. The food went with them in the car, so no picture to share today!

♥ Easy and Tasty Rice ♥

2/3 c. organic chicken broth
1/3 c. jasmine rice

Add a vigorous shake of turmeric to the rice. It's good for your brain, and arthritis - or so I was told from an older woman. Don't allow the rice to cook until dry. It should be slightly wet. I check and stir it every so often since it doesn't take very long to cook!

While that is cooking up, stir fry:
1 generous Tablespoon of organic butter or olive oil
1/4 of a green, orange, yellow, or red organic chopped bell pepper
equal volume amount of chopped onion

Once the veggies are softened, drop one egg into the pan and stir as for scrambled eggs. Cook until done. Add the rice and stir. Shake in some garlic powder and parsley flakes. Stir once again. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves two.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mama's Granola

We girls love it when friends out east share their recipes with us. These friends are well known for being good cooks. Several years back when Mom was out visiting them, they served her their peanut butter granola and Mom was given the recipe for it too.

Growing up, I detested peanut butter with a passion. There is even a little story I could tell you that included an escaping from a bed room window but I won't tell you the rest. ::wink:: As I've gotten older, as in the last year or two, I find that I LOVE peanut butter. So yes, I really like this recipe. :)

♥ Peanut Butter Granola ♥


• 10 cups oatmeal
• 2 cups coconut
• 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups brown sugar

Mix and heat on stove:

• 3/4 cup peanut butter
• 1 cup oil
• 1 cup cream
• 2 Tablespoons vanilla

Pour heated "wet" column over dry ingredients.

Bake at 300 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Enjoy and a Happy Tuesday to you all!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lilacs in Bloom

Along the back fence, we have eight lilac bushes with every other one being white or a lavender-purple color. They are in full and happy bloom right now.
We look forward to the day when they are as big as the ones our neighbors own. Imagine all of the bouquets we could bring in by the arm-fulls. Mother would be quite pleased, as would I! :)

Enough writing for now. Spaghetti, Fried walnut balls (Mmm! They're deliciously healthy, too!), Broccoli, and fresh Spinach Feta bread are all calling my name.

PS. I think this rain contributes to fun and creative meals around here. Today Mama made some peanut butter granola. I think it's my favorite. A recipe for it will be up on the blog next!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Under the Covers

The delightful British-like weather we've been having has caused me to sneak underneath my covers and quilt by spending much time with these lovelies...

The spot where a book has been gone missing, is the one that is currently being read.

Lest you think I've been lazy, I have been in the kitchen alot lately and have been grossly repaid for the hours spent by words such as, "Cheri, you're gonna be a wonderful cook for your husband someday" and other sweet remarks by my family.

AND this afternoon I spent some time in the sewing room making this little "Pocket Full of Posy" apron for the shop.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

On The Menu Tonight

My brother is coming home from college today. Mexican food is his favorite, and so tonight I'm making him a fully fledged south-western meal with some recipes that I picked up while down in the south.

A special thanks to my friend Laura and her family for the recipes. :)

Monday, May 09, 2011

Sunshine and Yellow

Say hello to some yellow sunshine!

"Follow me. It's right this way..."

Please note that during the month of May, 10% of all profits from both etsy shops will be donated to these families that were hit by the southern tornadoes a few weeks ago.

A Gift for Mother on a Budget

Arriving home as a very poor college student left me with very few options in wanting to give my mother a gift for Mother's Day. Earlier this week as I was browsing a local thrift store, I spotted three lovely machine-embroidered squares. One especially looked as though it would fit in with the colors of home, and the price tag of 50 cents made it even more attractable.

I pulled out a square piece of dotted pink and cream home-decor fabric from my scrap bin, and some cream piping from my stash of notions to sew up a pillow in no time. My sister let me use some of her polyester filling to fill it with, since the pillow forms I have were to large.

Using these things made this gift less than $1 to make, and most importantly, Mom says she loves it!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Evening Thoughts

Many thanks to you ladies who have been generous in delightful welcome over the last few days, as well as to the dear ladies who left comments here on the blog the other day.

The sewing table has been cleaned up and everything put into a semi-organized fashion that would allow me to start working on projects. The fabric bin however needs to be replenished, since I believe it was nearly emptied before I left. Is anyone wanting to get rid of any stashes? :)

My container of tatting thread and patterns have been left out, and while relaxing over Sense and Sensibility this afternoon, two bookmarks were completed. Hopefully by the end of the week, several more will make their appearance in the Threads of Color shop. Design ideas or color suggestions are always welcomed.

Before I left, a major pruning was seen in my closet and among other possessions, and now that I'm back, it seems as though a second wave of deep-cleaning has hit me that I've already made several errands to the local thrift stores to drop things off and hopefully the consignment shop can be visited twice to sell a few things to them. With living off of very little in the south, and then coming home to all my things, I'm certain that I've become rather materialistic! A rather sad confession, isn't it? But in a way, it's good to realize anew how the things of this world are nothing in comparison to the things we have in Christ.

Dusk has settled in and I'm thinking an evening cup of tea and a thoughtful book will finish this day off quiet nicely. I have several books who seem to be calling my name to open their covers. Are there any books that have been added to your list of favorites this year?

Monday, May 02, 2011


How does one begin blogging after being tucked in the southern hills for four months learning and studying? Yes, I drove back home over the weekend where I'll be spending my summer before going back in August. Perhaps you all have wondered the same question that every other person asked me at church, "How do you like college?" In three short words: I LOVE it!!! If you want more details I'd be most happy to share more, or direct you to my public violin blog if you haven't already been there.

When I had a few rare moments to think about something other than homework or violin technique, my mind would reflect on how much I missed the domestic affairs of life such as being about the kitchen, sewing, or start seedlings for the garden. You can be certain to see some sewing projects or other such happenings in domesticity here on the blog over the next three months.

The first order of business in the sewing department is to somehow clean off my sewing area that became a "free for all" while I was gone. Though a good majority of it IS my stuff, but don't ask me why my family moved the stuff they did and WHY they put it there. :)

It may take a few days to get back into the swing of normal blogging, as I feel as though I need to take some time to emerge from school life back to home life, get caught up on much-needed rest and sleep, spend more time with God (so challenged by my pastors message yesterday on Philippians 3:10, "That I may know Him...") and of course, spend lots of time with my family and friends.

It is lovely to be back. :)