Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Appetizer Turns Meal...

This is a wonderful addition to your holiday bounty.  So much cheaper to make than to purchase in those little jars!  If you are not a fan of Velveeta you can substitute 2 cups shredded colby cheese but I love the super smooth consistancy of Velveeta. Enjoy!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall is here....

Ok, so maybe raking leaves isn't all that exciting but I love the way our yard transitions from the abundance of late summer to a clean, spare beauty.  I look on it as a a framework for all the icy spendor of winter.  I can't say how amazing I think Eastern Oregon is in the fall and winter, full of warm colors and then dark & light greys with sunsets tinged in hazy soft pinks and blues all balanced by fresh, clean snow.  Gorgeous!

And the food!  It is cool now and our freezers are full from all the produce of summer.  So I bake, braise and simmer our darker days away...filling the bellies of those I love with food that I have done my best to make as sensational to their tastebuds as I they are to my heart.  Sounds kind of overblown I know...but I do love that cozy, warm feeling winter brings.  I spend lots of time deciding what I am going to make for Thanksgiving, wishing my extended family was closer so I could cook for them as well but I am grateful for my children and my husband that I can share with them.  This year my daughter and I will work on the baking together...I confess I am a control freek and this will be the first year that I do that but I have gotten better over the past year at sharing and she has become quite the baker as well so I think it will work out great!  I always do the baking the night before so its super fresh and I think we are going to do mini pumpkin pies and a large caramel apple pie and maybe a six layer cake this year...if we get more guests anyhow- plus we always make desserts for the Salvation Army dinner!

I hope that you are enjoying fall in your hometown with your loved ones as well.  Happy soup making, beef braising and treat making for Halloween!  My next post will give an early option for thanksgiving leftovers but it is super yummy any time you want a comfort food that doesn't cost a fortune to make.  Happy Fall Everyone!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Today is the Day! Cottage on the Hill Sale!

I love my french farm boxes...they look totally natural in this setting.
Just so happy that everything is at Cori's Cottage on the Hill Sale!  Cori did an amazing job and she really pulled together a fantastic sale.  She, her husband Mike and friend Diane are there working like mad I am sure since I haven't heard a peep!  I had to work today.  Wish I was there!  Here are just a few photos of all the great stuff...be sure to follow the link above for a better overview...the sale is going on tomorrow too!

Cori's amazing blue cabinet....love that! love my white ones...they look so nice altogether!
 This is 30" across!

Love those stools!
Cori's study in blue!
the gardens and my market stand!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Sis!

So my sister came to visit right before her birthday...I wanted to do something special for her so I made her a pair of cabernet glasses with her favorite breed of dog etched on them and and a sweet little cake pennent for her homemade birthday cake with a matching card...along with a special dinner of grilled london broil and veggie kabobs with rice!  We also had a nice time drinking wine and having some Candied Jalepenios with cream cheese on crackers....YUMMY!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Items for the Cottage on the Hill Sale...BEFORE & AFTER!

Its kind of timely that the sale is close to Halloween because my husband called this cabinet "Frankenstein" because it was totally in pieces before it became this:

Its sister piece now looks like this:

I love this...the feet are so stinking cute! 
Here is the buffet I created as well...the top is sooooo silky soft:

with these adorable pulls for the drawers on the way!
and this my friends...is the before:

You see before you bits of a 1905 kitchen made of red fir, still smells wonderful by the way, these core pieces plus the four poster bed's posts which became the legs, the headboard which became the top of the buffet and an 1880's piano top that became the top of the 6 door cabinet created all the cute pieces shown above.  The 4 door cabinet's top is made out of the drainboard countertop from the same 1905 kitchen! 
I love these sooooo much!  They are rock solid, totally charming and utterly original!  I hope you will come to the sale at the Cottage on the Hill on September 28th and 29th and check them out....or maybe take one home!
Check my pinterest boards and see some of the other fun items I have lined up!
See you soon!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pendleton Round Up Time!

Our little slice of heaven in Pendleton is a sweet 1915 home on the historic North Hill.  We love our Farmhouse  Arts & Crafts home and love sharing it will our family and friends. Traditionally during Round Up we have a few or maybe more (wink!) show to join in the fun. 

If you haven't been to Pendleton you really should come by and check it out.  The Round Up itself is an amazing tradition and the Happy Canyon Pagent should be seen at least once in your lifetime...it is literally history brought to life!  We also have lots of fun on Main Street that is loaded with performers and street fair vendors, its our own little Pearl District!  We also have the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) event and a concert, this year it is Jake Owen & Lonestar. I hope you'll join us!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cottage on the Hill Fall Sale, September 28 & 29

   Here is the flyer for this wondeful event ...
so excited to be a special vendor-thanks again for the invite Cori!

Here is a peek at just a few of the items I have created just for this sale!

Cafe Sign, Butcher Shop Sign, Pedestal Candy Bubbles and Adorable Notepads!
I look forward to seeing you at the sale, as I mentioned, dear Cori from Starview Sonnet
is hosting  this exciting event at her guest Cottage in Walla Walla and I will be there to visit
and help  on Saturday, September 29th...the sale begins on Friday the 28th at 8am sharp!

Monday, July 23, 2012

French Farm Fabulous!

Ok, so I shared that Cori and I are loving Miss Mustard Seeds Product but the REALLY exciting news is we are having a French Farm themed sale at Cori's wonderful cottage in Walla Walla, WA.  Cori has a lovely home with a fabulous guest cottage that she wants to use to sell out of with a special show a few times a year.  She has kindly invited me to join her and I am just SO STINKING excited!  I have a whole design sheet done with my colors and theme and displays designed and started plus of course amazing items to sell...pieces from a 1905 local mansion's original kitchen...lovely gift boxes...vintage galvanized pieces...all with a wonderful French Farm feel.  I will keep you all updated....thanks for checking in!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint -CANNOT WAIT!

Oh my gosh...my friend Cori of Starview Sonnet fame and I LOVE Miss Mustard Seed.  Cori actively uses the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and I love it but haven't used it much.  However, we both are going to start using Miss Mustard Seed's new line of milk paint and I cannot wait!  It is beautiful and looks to be just stunning! 

I will post pictues as soon as I complete my first project with it...really looking forward to it!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone...hope its lovely weather for you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Channeling Albertson's Chipolte Chicken Pasta Salad

Ever get a hard core craving for something that is no longer available?  That is where I was with the recipe I am going to share with you.  This salad was my go to indulgence on days I was running around and needed a quick lunch...I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Shrimp Fry, Shrimp Po Boy, Shrimp Salad....

In the the tradition of Bubba from Forest Gump, I give you my variation of Martha Stewart's Roasted Buffalo Shrimp:

This is super easy and super yummy....thanks for the inspiration Martha!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chapters in a Book

Do you ever feel like your life is chapters from a book?  I sure do.  Three books even...there was book one, when I was a single woman/girl just worrying about myself.  I am in book two now, married, mom of children headed towards adulthood quickly! I suspect book three will be wife and individual....lots of room for that book to change!  It is probably because I have just turned 44-craziness in itself and we had our 15th wedding anniversary which is wonderful....I feel like we have accomplished something with that number for sure.

I was trying to decide what to write about in this blog post..I love sharing cooking adventures and furniture adventures, which I did just have one with Cori from Starview Sonnet , we had a chalk paint workshop & used some tips from Miss Mustard Seed...totally fun & thank you Ms Cori for being such a gracious hostess...but this time I thought maybe I would go all philosophical.

You maybe wondering why I am blathering about the whole book analogy...well, as a family we might be thinking about changing some stuff up...and when I say as a family I mean it affects the whole family.  It is just making me think hard about things and that is good really.  Sometimes I get stuck in a rut and I need a really reality shaking event to make me widen my horizons.  Seems like the older I get I notice that our circles can get smaller if we are not careful...so its good to change it up mentally, healthy actually. 

Anyhow....we will see how it all goes and I will keep you posted when and if anything earth shattering happens!  I also PROMISE to post some photos ASAP showing new stuff at the Country Store....thanks all!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Food as Memory

When I was a girl, my grandmother made most things from scratch. She had a huge pantry full of canned fruit. Living on the hill overlooking amazing Lake Chelan she was blessed to live in an area full of wonderful soil that provided orchards full of fruit and gardens full of vegetables.

Rhubarb chopped & ready for Jam.
Of course I love the apricots and apples that were so readily available for her but what I love even more was the RHUBARB! I can't tell you how wonderful her strawberry rhubarb crisp was or her lovely rhubarb jam.  Being its spring now the rhubarb is growing wonderfully here.  I have rhubarb that I transplanted last year and it is growing great but its still a bit small. Thankfully I have a friend who has an old rhubarb plant that it just a monster and he gave me about 16 large stocks to use.

I had planned on making a rhubarb crisp for my husband but as I was surfing along on my favorite recipe website, AllRecipes, and found a wonderfully odd recipe to use my rhubarb up on. Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, sounds normal right? Funny thing is the recipe doesn't use any strawberries at all! It uses strawberry jello! The jello helps to gel up the jam and provides the strawberry flavor. The recipe only has three ingredients, rhubarb, sugar and jello! You can even go sugar free and it works. Long story short I made a monster batch of this jam and it was so easy and tasted great.  Next time though I am going to add some curls of orange zest to it for a little more firmness to the jam and only 2/3 the amount of sugar, I like things a little tart- kind of like me!

My son is going crazy over it and for me it was a sweet reminder of my grandmother... a fun, fiesty lady I wish that my children could have had the opportunity to meet.  Maybe get out a favorite recipe from your grandmother and share it with your children...that love will come across the generations.  Perhaps my sweet children will remember this rhubarb jam so much they will want to make it for their babies 20 years from now!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bahn Mi ....

Have you heard of Bahn Mi?  It is a super tasty sandwich I first became aware of on Food Network's Food Truck Challenge.  It came about during Vietnam's occupation by France and has evolved from there.  It is a "sub type sandwich" that is made on a baguette with roasted meats, sweet picked carrots and pâté among other things.  Sounds kind of odd when you first hear the ingredients but even my proudly redneck husband just loved it!  

I don't know if I have shared that I really enjoy cooking and learning new things...plus I am a total tightwad and I like to save money! So...that being said, I did not want to pay a fortune to purchase pâté so I decided to make my own.   Here is my very inexpensive recipe, in total it cost me about $6 for 36 servings!  I hope you will try it and enjoy it as much as we have.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter!

Mirrored Church Window Dolled Up for Easter.
I just love Easter!  I love the colors, the awakening of spring, the sense of renewal and rebirth..its wonderful! The food is great too, ham baked with pineapple and honey, scalloped potatoes, green beans- Yum!  I wish my sweet sister was closer but its a long drive for a day so we usually do it just as immediate family, sometimes friends will come as well.  On my pinterest board I pinned under Entertaining the cutest deviled eggs...I am going to make those as well as homemade chocolate bunnies filled with peanut butter!  Found the how to here on Allrecipes.  Love that website!

I thought I might share my simple home decor for Easter...another reason to enjoy the day..simple works wonderfully!  I got the wreath at Joann's and the little bunnies at the Dollar Store and the large rabbit from Safeway Floral! Love it!  All of the glass cannisters I found at yard sales for like $1 each! If you are curious about the finish on the wall its Ralph Lauren's amazing Candlight Finish...I got mine from Home Depot...ps you do need the rollers and corner tool. I get more compliments on my dining room because of that finish..its really wonderful.  Below are a couple of my favorite milkglass cakeplates with lovely cloches taking the cute factor way up! 

The postcards are home prints I did using images from the amazing
Graphics Fairy...such a generous soul!

and on the opposite side of the buffet:

sweet simplicty!
Have a wonderful Easter!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April Showers....

Maryhill Museum in Washington State along the Magestic Columbia River Gorge

I am sooooo slow getting posts done..bad me!  Last week was the kids spring break and I have to confess we were home most of the week and I was so lazy, all I did was read books and watch movies!  It rained and rained although we did have a lovely day last monday.  We drove to Maryhill Museum, a totally unexpected jewel in the high plateau of southeastern Washington, it overlooks the amazing Columbia River and is just 2 miles from Maryhill Winery...also a recommended stop...they have a fantastic amphetheater that gazes out over the Columbia as well.  The museum has wonderful gardens and the view is breathtaking.  They have albino Peacocks too!  Sometimes we will just pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the gardens.  Usually we drive the Oregon side of the Columbia, being from Oregon and all, but this time we decided to take the Washington side.  I am so glad we did, we got to see it from a whole new perspective and I have to say I think I enjoyed it more, its very peaceful on the Washington side, not so much developement along the river.

 The afternoon worked out to be clear so this is what we got to see on the drive up:
Stunning Mt Hood, view from Washington side of the Columbia River.
Thanks so much for checking in and I hope you will try the visit to Maryhil l- it is truly gorgeous. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sweet Little Green Babies!

How cute are these!  I have about 45 seedlings growing in various types of herbs, onions and tomatoes.  This shot features my fino, sweet, genovese & opal basil, marjoram and a little peek at cippolinni onions all growing in my Aerogarden seed starting kit
All of these little babies showing will go into my vertical garden that I am putting together this week.  I won't plant them of course for another month or so but I wanted to get everything gathered together and ready to go as soon as I can.  I have chosen to use a pallet style vertical garden because I like the horizontal aspect of it and I really like using recycled materials.  If you choose to do this be sure to get the type of pallet that is heat treated for bugs not chemically treated.  They will have HT stamped on them and I got mine from a grocerty store, figuring that they would need to use food safe products in their warehouse, which they did.  I wrote a little post on this style of vertical garden here.  

I have to say the Aerogarden has been a wonderful tool in helping me to plan and implement my garden.  This year I did a digital layout of my landscape and it really helped me to get a good idea of how many plants and types of plants I can actually use in such a tight space.  The vertical garden should double my gardening ability and will add a lovely layer of softness to the large concrete retaining wall that is in my backyard. 

I hope everyone is having a lovely spring and enjoying time with family for those of us that have kids on spring break...we are heading to Boise for a day trip and hitting up PizzalChik for some pizza and do a little exploring of the northeastern part of our fine state of Oregon on our way to Boise.  Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Honeyed Maple Bacon Jam

So I am researching candied jalepenios...a recipe I highly recommend... my whole family is now highly addicted...and I find on the Foodie with Family website a recipe for Bacon Jam.  Bacon Jam! What on earth!  So I keep searching and the recipe keeps getting better and better and the reviews are making me more and more curious...and hungry!  So bacon finally goes on sale and I buy 5lbs and get to cooking...after torturing my family with its amazing smell we sat down to hamburgers off the grill and ramped up with the following amazing recipe, with a few Cayuse Cowgirl modifications -please enjoy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Roses, Herbs and Spring

I am so excited for spring...I have been plotting my garden for a couple weeks. I went to a vertical gardening class tonight and I can't wait to be able to put the big concrete wall in my back yard to use!  Check this out, so clever...can not wait to use it...I am thinking three types of basil, sweet marjoram and then rosemary for the top:

I also eagerly await planting my heirloom tomato seeds in my aerogarden to get them all ready for spring..Black from Tula grows amazing here and the taste is out of this world-plus it is really pretty.  I grew one called Violet Jasper last year that I am looking forward to planting again, a lovely salad tomato, cuts up into four nice wedges for the salad bowl and the taste is wonderful.

My lovely Eden Rose will hopefully bloom this year.  I have picked out a corner trellis design to build that will coordinate nicely with what I have in place now so I am glad to have that figured out.  Here is a picture of the Eden Rose so you can understand why I am so very excited to see them bloom:
 Happy Garden Planning!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines!

We had a wonderful dinner party with some dear friends and I wanted to share our chocolate buffet...we had a lovely time comparing types of chocolates and how it tastes with different wines and a pretty darn good dinner too...
I hope your Valentine's is lovely...just like the roses my sweet husband got for me...I just LOVE him so dang much....XOXO!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Office Studio

I have made several posts about how pleased I am that I have been sticking to my resolution about keeping my space clean and organized.  After a friend of mine came by and told me that it looked good and believe you me she has seen it at its worst-I thought I would share how it is looking now.   I still have a couple of work in progress sections but here is the good stuff....please excuse the crappy photo quality.   I am still arguing with my iphone about this...

My gift wrapping and kids hang out station:
Here are the two towers on either side of this above station that "frame" it:

Did you notice the tags? Those are chalkboard vinyl so if I change the contents I just erase and relabel, super cool beans!

This vintage cake turntable is chippy loveliness...

 I even have my gift bags and ribbons tidied up-can you believe it?

I'd like to thank my children & friend Susie for inspiring me to finally take time to clean my space....it pleases me to not have to climb through, over and around stuff to get at what I am looking for.   The bonus was I purged a bunch of items I wasn't using as I had originally needed them and could pass them onto others over at my booth in Walla Walla.  The lunch boxes you see on the new items page,  for example,  used to hold crafting supplies and extra camera stuff but I didn't need them anymore and as adorable as I think they are I am sure someone else will find a good use for them...same thing with a vintage gym locker basket...that flew out the door already at the store.  I have a spinning desk organizer too that is so cute but it wasn't working for me anymore....so time for a new home!

My advice, take time to tidy...it reaps unforseen rewards....bye bye lovlies!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I got the pictures uploaded to New Items  as I promised from my last trip to the Country Store in Walla Walla.  Kyla does such a terrific job of keeping the store just spotless and with such a wonderful variety of items.  If you have checked out my website before you will notice I always keep a framework of white displays to give a little architecture and familiarity.  But look closely because what is on those displays changes regularly, new types of globes, new baskets and barware...fun Valentine items right now.  I am already plotting my spring focus....vintage garden I think..hmmmm....

This was the amazing sky I drove home to Pendleton enjoying.  The picture is a bit out of focus but I took it driving down the highway through my very dirty front window!  The colors were really gorgeous.  Check back soon and thank you so much for stopping by!
If you look closely you can even see the final rays of sunshine.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I have been a bit shy sharing some of the things I like to do here on the blog.  I have been super happy contributing my ideas and participating in the First Citizen's Banquet here in Pendleton.  It's truly amazing what these civic minded people have been able to accomplish.  One of the cool side things that comes out of this annual dinner is a table decorating contest.  Basically different area entities, businesses & groups, etc., sign up to sponsor a table for 10.  Part of the process is to create a themed centerpiece and coordinating individual settings.  Of course everyone hopes to win but in the end its all about making it a special and festive night for the evenings winners, the citizens and those there to honor them. 
I have been fortunate have been asked to design the table for the Pendleton Cattle Baron's for the last several years.  I would like to share this years table with you all.  I created each item on our "Take Time to Treasure Yourself" themed table, as well as creating a raffle prize display.  It was fun, we were able to create it fairly thriftily, considering it was for 10 plus a center prize!  Thanks for sharing this with me and please excuse the photo quality, my iphone and I need to have a talk!

was the overall look, everything was a play on "treasure"

 I created custom labels for the handmade spa kits containing a candle with custom labeled matches, bath salts and sugar body scrub.  They also got a candy box with the center "treasure box" image on it and filled with dark chocolate coffee beans!  I know I keep using the word custom but it truly was!
this was the raffle prize we provided as well-a lucky party of four is going to have a blast mid May! I am pleased how it turned out and happy to have been asked to contribute!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kicking Off the New Year Right...

Well as you can see I have made a few changes.  Trying to streamline, beautify & modify!  I hope you like it.  The old website was a learning curve for me and when it came time to renew I decided to go this way instead, simplier, cleaner, clearer is the goal.  I hope you all like it!

PS Its been a month now and my office studio is still clean!  Cleaner -dare I say!  The kids are really liking coming in and hanging out, a lot more good conversations are happening -AMAZING what a little organization can accomplish! Thanks for the visit!