Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Belle's progress

Some of you have asked about Belle's progress.
Those of you who don't know, Belle is our 5 year old yellow lab. She is special. She came to us from Oregon and has a long line of show champions. She is indeed beautiful.
When she just about 2, she got hurt playing with another dog. It tore her ACL in her left knee. That was 2 years ago.
Recently, she started limping on the other knee and it made an awful popping noise...really loud and awful.
The vet we used before was good, but we felt we needed someone that would follow up and offer physical therapy. So, with a good recommendation, we found Dr. Kavanaugh at Saddleback Veterinary Hospital.
He did the surgery and when he was in there found both knee ligaments were completely torn, her meniscuses and a fragment. Lots was done to hat poor knee.
That was eight weeks ago. Yesterday was Belle's last physical therapy session. She enjoyed it and probably will miss Linda who did the therapy. Belle would have what we called "swimming lessons", where she would do a treadmill with water that made it not so weight bearing. Very cool.
Anyway, here we are  on continued progress....more of the same workouts, taking slightly longer walks each day and slowly over 6 more weeks getting to where we were pre-injury. At the end of that 6 weeks, Belle gets to be on a longer line, say a lunge line as she is reintroduced into freedom within the house and outside. By April 7th, the 6 month mark, she should be okay to run and even jump.
Yup, a long haul. Why the extra caution?
Well, she had a huge amount done to her knee...and the other knee that was done is again unstable. So, we are actually treating both knees. The vet hopes that we will have two strong legs, though the first knee will never be perfect, he hopes that it will hold. That is why this is a bit different. Plus, this vet believes in the follow-up...
I hope that answers your questions.
This is Tucker and Belle (left to right), Tucker is looking forward to playing with his best friend again. And Belle is just looking forward to be a regular dog....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

So, I wanted to show you what my daughter and I did to decorate. We changed out the hutch from the usual china, to all whiteware...And she put up part of the village we have. We left out the little ones that they painted when they were little and a couple of the larger pieces so it would fit just on the "Hope Chest". And then we did the mantel. We made it simple as well. I tried to show you the mercury glass all lit, kinda hard to see...but it gives a nice glow.

Here are the stockings that I made about a month or so ago. I painted out the brass holders with French Linen, as brass just is not my thing and this works well with the paint on the wall...(sorry the picture is tilted)

What would you add to this?? I would love to hear ideas.
Our tree is not up yet, as we get a real cut tree and we don't want it to dry out. Do you have a real tree or fake?? What is your color scheme this year? Are you doing anything different this year? Let me know.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Limoge for sale

Just wanted to let my readers know. I have a set of Limoge china for sale.
It is dated pre 1941 from my research...and is quite sweet. 11 salad/dessert dishes, 11 berry bowls, 7 cups and saucers, 2 dinner plates, a covered casserole dish, and a French butter dish. All in excellent condition with the exception of one cup which was repaired. Otherwise, no chips or loss of color or stains. If I had the storage for more china, I'd keep it, but alas, I have little a beautiful French china is for sale. If you are interested, contact me through the blog.

Just beautiful and so perfect! Hard to resist.
Off to decorate the house for Christmas.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving dinner

Hi all! I hope your Thanksgiving was a good one, and that you had all your loved ones with you.
This year, it was just the five of us as my Father-in-Law came home from his cruise sick and a couple of others couldn't we had enough to feed about 10!
We made a regular two crust apple pie. We had a Dutch apple pie. We had a pumpkin pie and pecan tartlets. In addition to the turkey, stuffing and dressing, green bean casserole, creamed onions, mashed potatoes, gravy, twice baked sweet potatoes and orange glazed carrots. Yeah, and then we had pumpkin thyme dinner rolls and popovers!

 This is my daughter's apple pie. She likes two crusts and slices.
 I love a Dutch crust and chunks....

 These pecan tartlets are made without corn syrup using maple syrup and brown sugar and have marscapone in the crust!
The pumpkin pie has cream cheese in it...yummmmmm
 I used the toile plates that I have and a little pumpkin was on each plate...we had to say what we were thankful for and place the pumpkin in the center with the rest.
 I put the roaster in the laundry room on the washer and dryer (another case for a level washer and dryer top). I used the marble and towels to protect the new washer and dryer. I also (not shown) used more foil on the control panels of the washer and dryer...just to protect them a bit more. It worked beautifully! It gave me more counter space in the kitchen.....
 This is my daughter's plate...see the popover?? They are really spectacular!
Yeah, it was delicious. I don't really have to cook now for a week....well, maybe...
Have a great weekend! And be sure to check out my store...more new items have been posted!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


So, I wanted to show you a pillow I made.
I had leftover fabric from the chairs we had done. I wanted a pillow to bring the fabric over to the main part of the livingroom. I also got a piece of scrumptous gray grain sack material from my last purchase. The vendor gave me the piece, which was big enough for a pillow. I did wash it first which made it a bit "rumpled". I actually thought it was cool that way. Lots of texture.

This was a great vendor on Ebay in Belaruse. Was a most unique piece. The main piece I purchased was the same color, but softer. The most yummy piece. It is the same color but softer and after washing it got softer. It is perfect for a table runner....and it is not going in the shop anytime soon.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cupboard fix

I wanted to share this idea with you. Several years ago, we redid our kitchen. A white on white kitchen. Yeah, I know, it is considered "old". I think of it as classic.
However, problem was, the back of the cupboards with glass windows was white, and it was, well, boring. Too much of a "classic" thing.
So, knowing I like to change things up, I found some tissue paper I adore. Thinking I wanted a temporary fix, I cut some of the tissue to fit and used double-sided scotch tape to the back. I was going to use the wallpaper that looks like bead board, but it was too expensive and actually too thick for the space with the glass shelves. Tissue paper was perfect!
Truth be told. It was temporary, and it is still there, about 7 years later. Isn't that a hoot??

Just wanted to share an idea with you. Sorry my shelves are so busy...
Have a great weekend.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Beef and Pumpkin stew with popovers

Well, I felt like cooking and sewing and crafting today with the weather quite a bit inclement today.
As the clouds came in, the coziness sent me to the kitchen....
I started with some stew meat and a pumpkin. I sauteed some garlic in olive oil, added the meat to brown and then threw in a pumpkin all chopped up. Thanks here to my Hubby, whose muscle had to help cut up the pumpkin...

I seasoned it with Bouquet garni, a pinch of cumin and a pinch of ginger, salt and pepper, and a bay leaf and let it cook for about 2 hours at 350.
When it was almost done, I mixed popover batter, got the popover pan hot with butter, and poured in the batter at about 3/4 full in each cup.
Here is what I got....

Yeah, they beat the stew hands down in flavor...though the  stew was good, the popovers definitely stole the show with their cheese inside....
And yes, the pan does make a difference. I have made popovers with muffin tins before, they don't do as well as these did. Ingredients need to be room temperature beforehand, otherwise popovers aren't too hard. Oh, and the pan needs to hot with butter before you add the batter. That is the other trick. Try them abound online. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pumpkin Puree

I know, it is a lot of work...but oh so worth it!
All those recipes you are dying to try at this time of year...pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin dinner rolls....the list is growing at our house.  Each of them requires a can of pumpkin. At more than a dollar each, that adds up. Wouldn't it be nice to just pull out fresh pumpkin puree that you made and use that??
Here is how we do it at our house. (It would be even nicer to say the pumpkins were grown here, but they don't like our climate or soil.)
We choose the "Cinderella pumpkin" as that is our favorite. You can use a sugar pumpkin or other. Caution, don't use a pumpkin that is for carving, they tend to be stringy, dry and not so flavorful....
So, pick your pumpkin....
Cut up the pumpkin (save seeds if you want to roast those later).

We also find, hard at it is, peeling the pumpkin and cutting it into large fairly even chunks and putting those on the roasting pan, they cook faster....
Then, put into the oven at 350 degrees for roughly thirty minutes or so. When you start to smell the yummy pumpkin, check it. A knife should slip into the pumpkin easily. If you allow a touch of caramelization (browning), then it is ready to come out. Allow to cool.

By roasting, you bring out the sugars that are naturally in the pumpkin and makes your recipes taste extra rich and yummy.
Then, when it has cooled, put into a strong blender (we have a Vitamix) and puree.
Take the puree and strain through a cheesecloth as often there is lots of water in pumpkins designed for cooking.....

The pumpkin puree will drain for about an hour. Save the liquid, it is excellent for soup stock or just to put in your dog's is full of nutrients!
Once it has drained the excess liquid out, you have what you have been buying in the can, only better! It is more nutritious, fresher and lots more of it. One Cinderella pumpkin will do 3-4 recipes or more depending on your recipes. It can be saved in the fridge for 3-5 days tightly sealed or frozen for 3-6 months.
Now, we have our pumpkin puree, time to get our recipes ready.
Oh, and by the way. If you have a fantastic idiot proof recipe for crust, email me....I have all put given up on that....and often cheat there, and buy that....
Happy pumpkin!

Mercury Glass

I have a new collection! Mercury glass..... this is not the expensive kind...the "real" kind... but it is the modern affordable kind that can be found at this time of year at TJMaxx...
I believe that the "real" mercury glass is not like this kind that is basically "dipped" in silver leaf paint, but actually has mercury in the glass as it is blown (if you know more let me know!)
I want it for the mantle and after Thanksgiving I will put in greenery around it. I can't wait!

 These two little pinecones will be hung on the tree when it gets here, so for now they get to be on the mantle...

Each piece will have a candle in it, to show off the iridescence.

But, right now my daughter is on her way to help with roasting pumpkin for pumpkin pies....
Let me know, do you collect mercury glass?
Have a great day!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Gluten free bread adventure

If you have been following you already know I am on the lookout for gluten free bread and other products. Many of them are too rice based, complete with a bit of crunch (ick).
I have found one product that is actually pretty good. Let's remember though, without gluten the bread tends to be dense, not light like regular bread. All gluten free breads are like that. That being said, this blend is fairly unique from many that I have looked at. Why? Well, yes there is rice but it is extra fine and it is not the main ingredient.

What is different? Well, it has sorghum flour, tapicoa flour, white rice flour, sweet rice flour, brown rice flour, organic evaporated cane sugar, chicory root, millet flour, molasses & honey, rice bran, sea salt and xanthan gum.
Yes, rice is there, but it is the other flours that make the difference here. It is a mix, but can also be used in place of all purpose flour. As a mix, very easy, just add the yeast! (follow directions)
It lists bread for machines, oven done bread, bagels, pizza, pie crust and more. Very interesting!
 It was excellent toasted and spread with pumpkin butter! Tasted like pumpkin bread!

Like I said, it was dense, and fairly moist so having a sandwich with it would be different....but when you have sensitivities or allergies, it may be a good option for you!
Pamelas's Amazing bread mix and flour mix is available in a small (one use) bag or this bag (4 lbs) which could make as many as four to five loaves.....
I used the other night as a coating for our oven fried chicken....that was really be creative!
I will fill you in as I try other goodies....