Friday, March 29, 2013

An Adirondack Evening

No, I wasn't kidnapped by aliens.

I know you were wondering.

Going back to work was harder than I thought...
I've been coming home totally pooped.

So I sang the Hallelujah chorus when I found these pictures
while I was scrolling through a folder on my computer yesterday.

A super summer fun chair makeover!


This was a project Sara did a while back...
{read: over a year ago...maybe two}

They had to paint a piece of furniture for an art project.
We found this Adirondack chair kit from
Harbor Freight for a really good price.


She and Jon put it together, and she set about painting it
just like her concept painting in the first pic above.

Once it was done, we sprayed it with several coats of some
heavy duty poly that's supposed to be good for outdoor stuff.


It's totally gorgeous.
Unfortunately, it resides at my mom's house.

Darn kids.
She gave it to my mom for mother's day.

I hope this has inspired you to "pretty-up" your lawn furniture.
Or at least get it out of the garage and hose it off.

Have a fantastic weekend!
The weather here in Colorado is going to be fabulous!!!!


 Sitting around the campfire here:

 The Dedicated House ~ Make It Pretty Monday

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Gluten Free Blackberry Oatmeal Bars


 Oh, let's see...

Back in December, I made a birthday cake for a friend's daughter.
It was a whole bunch of chocolate deliciousness.

Unfortunately, her dad couldn't have any.
I told him he could lick the frosting...
he just looked at me cross-eyed. :)


So anyway...I promised him I would make him some GF brownies.
Well, let's just say...I haven't done it yet.

I'm new to this gluten free thing!
I did pick up some oat flour...but didn't realize that for
most recipes you also have to add in Xanthan Gum.
Well alrighty then!

Needless to say...I haven't gotten that far.


So fast forward a few days.
{Okay, okay, months...}
I was cleaning out the fridge and discovered,
not one, not two, but THREE open jars of
seedless blackberry jam.

I questioned Sara about this...she laughed.
Laughed!
She said...oh...
I guess if I couldn't find one...
I'd just open a new one!
{picture me rolling my eyes here}

 I decided it would be a good idea to use some of it up.
What better way than with some Blackberry Oatmeal Bars?

I could try out my recipe, get rid of some jam...
and kinda keep a promise to a friend...
if you count these as brownies.

You're gonna start by creaming some butter and brown sugar together.
Mmmmm...is there anything more heavenly?

Well...okay...chocolate...coffee...nutella...

Mash half of it in the bottom of your pan like so:


Then you can use up some extra jam your
daughter has so graciously opened for you.

Just spread it around till it looks about like this.


You may or may not need the whole 10 ounces
depending on how much jam you like.

You will need to pick apart little pieces
to crumble the rest of your mixture on top.
It mixes together really well.


Try not to eat the dough.
Bake until it's golden...
don't burn your tongue trying to eat it right out of the oven.

They're actually better once you've let them cool completely.



Gluten Free Blackberry Oatmeal Bars

1 cup {2 sticks} butter, softened
1 1/3 cups brown sugar, packed
2 cups GF oat flour {I used Bob’s Red Mill}
1/2 plus 1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups rolled oats
10 oz jar {approx.} blackberry jam or preserves
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Preheat oven to 400° F.
Beat the butter until smooth.  Add brown sugar and mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine oat flour, baking soda, salt, and oats.

Add this to the butter mixture and mix well.

Use your butter wrappers to grease a 9 X 13 pan.
Press HALF of the crust mixture into the bottom of the pan.

Spread the jam/preserves over the bottom.
Crumble the remaining crust mix over the top of the jam.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 400° until golden.
Cool completely {if you can wait that long} and cut into bars.

PLEASE NOTE:
I am NOT a gluten free expert...
having said that...I checked and double checked
all my ingredients to be sure none contained any
gluten bearing products {namely wheat, barley, or rye}.

If you don't need this to be gluten free...
you can certainly use regular flour.
I have made this with raspberry preserves AND strawberry.
All yummy!!!
I haven't done peach, so if you try it,
let me know how it goes.

I hope you are all having a wonderful week!
I believe spring is almost here...yay!

See you soon...


Serving dessert here:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Follow Me on Bloglovin'

Happy Sunday morning lovelies!
 
I bring to you a public service message:
 
Since Google Reader is going Bye-Bye...
I've recently discovered Bloglovin' and have
posted the link for The Moon and Me here:
 
It's easy and I found a great tutorial for transferring all your
Google Reader blogs from Danielle over at SewMuchCrafting.
Check it out!
 
GO! Now!

If the link isn't showing...you can also import from your profile page.
Go to {view profile} then {edit profile} and the
button to import is close to the bottom of that page.
 
 
Here's a bit of prettiness to ease your woe...
 
Now...off to make the corned beef minus the cabbage.
Yeah...my family doesn't like that part.
 
I don't do much for St. Patrick's Day...but I do make corned beef.
 
And this year I made a cute little shamrock garland.
 
 
Hopefully that will keep me from getting pinched.
:)
 
Wish me luck!
 
 
 
 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Homely Tray Becomes A Beautiful Sign


Ever want to be on one of those makeover shows?
I used to think I did.

But then I realized I just wanted them to
give me the $5,000 to buy new clothes.

I didn't want them to tell me that I needed to wear bright
colors or floral prints or anything funky like that.

And I certainly didn't want them to color my hair or tell me I should
straighten out my curls when it took me so long to decide I liked them.

And then there's the whole idea of
"how bad do you really have to dress before someone nominates you"
kind of thing.
Yeah...I didn't want to think about that.

So I stick to doing makeovers on inanimate objects.
And so far it's worked out juuuuuust fine.


It all started when I saw this sign on Antique Farmhouse.
At least I think I saw it there first.


I don't know why, but I couldn't bring myself to pay $50 for it.
{I think that's what it was.}
Then I saw it in a local shop for $75...and I realized just how LARGE it was.

Since I've had a little time on my hands this week...
I decided to make my own.

I've had this tray I picked up on clearance at
Hobby Lobby a while back and thought it would be perfect.


While it's not totally hideous to start off with...
there was definitely room for some improvement.

The clerk kinda looked at me funny until I told
her I was planning to paint it or something.
She said, "oh, good." :)


I used 2 coats to cover the harlequin design.

I should have used more...you'll see why in a bit...but that's okay.


I forgot to show you the vinyl I created on
my Silhouette before I started painting over it.

My bad.

You know, the theory is that if you first paint around the
edges of your stencil with the base color...
you won't have the fill color seep under the edges.

Whatever.
It never works for me.

I always have touch up work to do.


I used some DIY chalk paint to cover the whole thing.
Sanded it lightly between coats so it was smoooooooth.


Then I peeled off the vinyl.

I lightly distressed the whole thing...
but it still seemed a little too bright for me.


So I added some dark wax.

Beautimous.


See what I mean about only using 2 coats of black?
You can kinda see the diamonds peeking through where I sanded it slightly.

I'm okay with it if you are. :)


So that's the story of how an ugly duckling tray
became a beautiful swan pie sign.

I hope you enjoyed this make your own makeover.
I must run...I've got 13 yards of fabric calling my name.
I've been trying to ignore it...but the living room is begging for new curtains.

Have a fabulous weekend!


Partying here:



Friday, March 1, 2013

Homemade Chicken Soup ~ Good For What Ails Ya

Whew!
I have been out of circulation!
 
And while I knew it was going to happen...
I was totally unprepared - blogwise.
 
Not for lack of trying.
I had a couple ideas for posts but couldn't seem to
pull them together to be ready for scheduling.
 
Oh well.
 
 
So, now that I am convalescing...I might as well get to it.
 
It's been cold and snowy and yucky here and the
other day I decided we needed some hot and hearty soup.
 
I had what we needed to make my world famous chicken soup.
 
 
Okay, so maybe it's not WORLD famous...
but everyone in my family LOVES it.
 
That's probably because it's the best chicken soup on the planet.
Just sayin'.
 
You start with some chicken {well, duh.}
Any chicken will do.
About 1 1/2 to 2 lbs.
Sometimes I use a whole cut up fryer...sometimes 3 or 4 leg quarters.
The other day I had 3 large breasts in the freezer...so in they went.
 
 
This picture above?
It's very important...commit it to memory.
 
I have had a hard time locating the large cut Veg-All and almost did
a happy dance in the grocery aisle when I found it.
Almost.
 
I wasn't feeling up to it, or I might have.

 
The other important thing is Paprika.
If you don't have any...don't attempt this soup.
 
Trust me...it will be a huge disappointment and you will
forever be sorry about omitting that one yummy red spice.
And may even be ruined of chicken soup for life.
 
 
Let's get down to business...
 
Bear with me...I don't usually measure things when I make this soup.
:)
  

Kelly’s World Famous Chicken Soup

1 ½ - 2 lbs chicken pieces
8 cups water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste (about 1 tsp or so of each)
1 tbsp paprika
1 bay leaf
1 ½ tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 29 oz can Veg-All large cut vegetables (or 2 of the smaller cans if unavailable)
2/3 cup rice 

In a large pot, cook chicken pieces in 6 – 8 cups water.  Also add bouillon, garlic, onion, salt and pepper, paprika, thyme, the bay leaf, and parsley.
Cook for approximately an hour…until chicken is tender and falling apart.
Remove chicken from soup mix and allow to cool slightly.
DO NOT dump water…this is your soup base.
Shred chicken and return to pot.
Add packet of vegetable soup mix, Veg-All, and rice.
Bring to a boil, and simmer about 45 minutes until rice is tender…adding more water if needed.


This soup is really thick, especially once it sits in the fridge overnight.

But it is OH SO GOOD!

 I recommend sampling as you go in case you need to add more flavor.
But don't burn your tongue like I did.
Like I said…I don’t always measure the spices…I kinda eyeball it…
feel free to add more if you wish. I totally would. J
I hope you enjoy this fabulous cold weather soup.
We certainly did!
 
 
Dishing it out here: