Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fresh Strawberry Cobbler!

Here in the south, we are all about cobblers.  Fresh peach, blackberry, dewberry, blueberry, even chocolate cobblers.   My all time favorite cobbler was a dewberry cobbler made by my grandma Mercer. Dewberries grow on trailing, bramble vines located close to the ground.  Grandma would always warn us to be careful while we were berry picking.  Not only from the brambles, but from dreaded snakes.  It seems snakes like to shade themselves under the vines.  Luckily for me, I never met a snake while dewberry picking!  We would gather our juicy berries in metal bowls until we could find no more or until our bowls were full.  Berry picking was a chore we happily accepted because we knew what was to come.  Later in the day, we would smell the delicious aromas wafting from the oven as a fresh dewberry cobbler bubbled away.  We eagerly awaited the moment when Grandma would place the dewberry cobbler on the table!  Grandma also made batches of dewberry jelly which we enjoyed year round.  Such a wonderful treat on her homemade buttermilk biscuits.  I sure do miss my grandma and her wonderful cooking.  Everything was always so delicious and made with love. Such wonderful memories!
After church today, I decided to make a fresh strawberry cobbler to go with our Sunday lunch.  The strawberries have been terrific and I can't seem to leave the market without a a large container in the cart.  My Uncle Nick made the best strawberry cobbler.  This is not his recipe, but I think he would be happy with my rendition.  It is a very simple, but scrumptious recipe. Put on a cute apron and let's cook something yummy!

Fresh Strawberry Cobbler
3/4 cup self rising flour
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of milk
1 stick of butter
3 cups of strawberries, washed and coursely chopped
1/2 cup of sugar for strawberries

Wash and remove stem from strawberries.  Cut strawberries into chunks.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar over strawberries, turning strawberries to coat with sugar.   Set aside.
Place one stick of  butter in a casserole dish.  Place the casserole dish in the oven, allowing the butter to melt while preheating the oven to 350 degrees.  In a separate bowl, mix together 1 cup of sugar with 3/4 cup of self rising flour.  Slowly pour in milk, stirring until just combined.  After butter is melted, remove the casserole dish from the oven and slowly pour the batter into the dish.  Do not stir.
Gently spoon strawberries on top of the batter. Do not stir.  Do you see a pattern here?
Place back in the oven and cook for 45 minutes.  I wish you could smell this!
Cobbler is best served with vanilla ice cream.  They just make a great pair.  Sort of like good friends!  I recently read that topping a cobbler with ice cream originated in the Deep South.  No wonder I like mine topped with ice cream! So get yourself a bowl and spoon up a generous helping of warm, delicious cobbler.  Don't forget to add a scoop or two of good vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!! 
Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse
Sharing today with:
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Cuisine Kathleen at http://www.cuisinekathleen.com/
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Thursdays at http://www.impartinggrace.com/
Simply Sweet Fridays at http://rootedinthyme.blogspot.com/
Fridays at Imparting Grace at http://www.impartinggrace.com/
Sunday at It’s Overflowing at http://www.itsoverflowing.com/

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Let's Make Decoupage Easter Eggs!

Today I am joining the Share It One More Time link up party.  This is my first time for the party and thought, what can I share?  My decoupage Easter eggs came to mind.  What a perfect time!  If you are having a rainy day like we did yesterday, it would be a perfect, fun project for the little hands in your house.  They would also make a terrific gift from your little ones to their grandparents.  Before we start, let me show you a vintage Easter egg from Germany.  Believe it or not, these are not that expensive.


Now for our project!  Since they are already having Easter sales, head on down to your local craft store and buy all the paper mache eggs available, select some pretty scrapbook paper, a sponge brush, and a jar of Mod Podge.  If the Peeps are on sale, grab a pack of those.  A little sugar inspiration can do one wonders.  Now let's get crafting!

Supplies Needed:
Paper Mache eggs
Scrapbook Paper
Sponge Brush
Bottle of  Mod Podge Gloss-Lustre  (decoupage in a jar)
Pair of disposable gloves (optional, but I learned the hard way)
Wax Paper
Peeps or my favorite, Reece's peanut butter eggs (for snacking only)
As you can see, I didn't have a sponge brush and it was too late to go get one.  However, I can say from experience that the sponge brush is faster to work with. For my first egg, I began cutting strips about 1/2 inch in width.  After laying everything out on wax paper, I applied Mod Podge with a brush to the back of the paper strip as well as on  the egg.
Next, position the paper strip and then repeat the steps until the entire egg is covered.   Use your fingers to press the paper onto the egg, sealing edges with the pressure of your fingertips.  This process moves along very quickly. I didn't get a picture of this, but I am sure you get the idea. 

Continue in this fashion until all your eggs are done or until you run out of Easter candy!  Lastly, apply a couple of layers of Mod Podge to the entire egg and let it dry thoroughly.  Now they are ready to add a cheerful bit of color to your home for Easter!

I didn't like my first egg with the long strips, so decided to cut the paper into tiny squares.  I have voted the this one "Best Egg"!
Or maybe this should be the "Best Egg"?  Oops, I see a spot I missed.  Do you see it? Good thing about this project is that you can go back and fix it!
I can't decide!  Is this the "Best Egg"?  For this one, I randomly cut flowers from the paper and positioned them on the egg. 
I also did a green and yellow polka dot which you will see in the bowl below.  I cut the yellow pieces too large, so there are wrinkles on the egg.  Make sure that you cut the pieces so that they lay smoothly on the surface.  I still have 18 more eggs to do, but wanted to share this easy project with the ones I have completed.
I think this will be the perfect addition to the Reading Room.  By the way, this is another pair of gloves I picked up for my holiday decor.  They are soft kid leather with small pearls across the top.  What small hands she must have had!
TIP:  I didn't use gloves when I made the pumpkins (Delightful Decoupage Pumpkin Project) and found that Mod Podge, even after repeated hand washing tended to stick to my nails resulting in a  "Mod Podge Manicure", another one of my inventions! In other words, you may want to use gloves!
Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse!
Sharing with these terrific blogs:
Mop it Up Monday at http://www.ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com
Metamorphosis Monday at  http://betweennapsontheporch.net/
Masterpiece Monday at http://boogieboardcottage.blogspot.com/
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com
Tuesdays at Our Home at http://mariaelenasdecor.blogspot.com/
Tuesdays at The Scoop at http://www.stonegableblog.com
Tuesday’s Treasures http://www.myuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com/
Inspire Me Tuesday at http://astrollthrulife.blogspot.com/
Cuisine Kathleen at http://www.cuisinekathleen.com/
Wow Us Wednesdays at http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/
Wednesday DIY by Design Party at http://diybydesign.blogspot.com/
Home and Garden Thursday at http://blissfulrhythm.blogspot.com/
Tablescape Thursday at http://betweennapsontheporch.net/
Thursdays at http://www.impartinggrace.com/
Fabulously Creative Fridays at http://www.jenniferrizzo.com/
Design it Friday at http://www.findingfabulousblog.com/
Friday Party Junk at http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/
Friday at Redoux Interiors at http://www.redouxinteriors.com/
Feathered Nest Friday at http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/
Home Sweet Home Fridays at http://thecharmofhome.blogspot.com/
Thrifty Things Friday at http://thethriftygroove.blogspot.com/
Simply Sweet Fridays at http://rootedinthyme.blogspot.com/
Fridays at Imparting Grace at http://www.impartinggrace.com/
Vintage Inspiration Friday at http://commonground-debrasvintagedesigns.blogspot.com/
Show and Tell Friday at http://romantichome.blogspot.com/
Saturdays at http://piecedpastimes.blogspot.com/
Spotlight Saturdays at http://www.classyclutter.net/
Saturdays at Be Different, Act Normal at http://www.bedifferentactnormal.com/
Sunday Showcase at http://www.bystephanielynn.com/
Sunday at It’s Overflowing at http://www.itsoverflowing.com/
Sunday Creative Home and Garden Hop at http://creativehomeexpressions.blogspot.com/
Sundays at The Tablescaper: http://thetablescaper.blogspot.com/
Share It One More Time


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Irish Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse

A coworker recently commented that "Still Woods certainly has been STILL".  What can I say, I have been in a blogging slump.  The last few weeks have been full of activity and travel.  I have lots to share, but haven't stopped to write anything down.  Yikes! 

Since tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, I thought I would show you one of my new acquisitions.  I am a collector of milk glass, but at this point in my collection, I only purchase unusual pieces or pieces that speak to me.  These definitely spoke to me!  They are the perfect addition to my St. Patrick's Day decor.  We often serve desserts on the Reading Room table.  I have these ready for after dinner coffee.
Each St. Patrick's Day, our family celebrates our Irish heritage by sharing a meal of Irish food.  No green colored pasta allowed here (saw that yesterday at the grocery).  Contributions must have Irish roots.  We have put our thumbs down to a few choices over the years.  Did I mention that everyone at the dinner has a name tag with their leprechaun name?  Click here for the link to the Leprechaun Name Generator .  Mine is Shamus McFits!

If you don't have time for an Irish dinner, make sure to watch The Quiet Man.  My all time favorite movie.  It is a wonderfully, romantic movie staring John Wayne as Sean Thornton and Mauren O'Hara and Mary Kate Danaher.  A delightful character in the movie is the spirited Michaeleen Oge Flynn played by Barry Fitzgerald.  I hear that Turner Classic Movies may not play The Quiet Man tomorrow and to that I say "WHAT?".  It is the best St. Patrick's Day movie ever!
Have you traveled to Ireland?  It is at the top of my "to do" list.  One of the local priests organizes a trip to his homeland each year.  He jokingly told me that he would take a Baptist along!  I might take him up on that.  His family resides in Ireland.  I hear it is a wonderful tour.  Sit back and let's take a quick tour of this beautiful country. Dunluce Castle will be our first stop.  The first castle of Dunluce was built in the 13th century.
I hear that no trip to Ireland is complete without a stop at St. Patrick's Cathedral.  Just beautiful!
Also highly recommened is Boyne Palace.  It features tombs older that those at Stonehenge. 

The Ring of Kerry is a lovely drive encompassing some of the most beautiful sites in Ireland.
Let's stop at Trinity College in Dublin.  The college was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592.  Below is a picture of the Long Room in the old library.
I found this little castle for rent several years ago while researching Ireland.  According to their website:
the castle, an ancient seat of the Comerford clan, is a five story, 16th century towerhouse 8 km south of the medieval city of Kilkenny. The castle has been restored to its former authentic glory using the same techniques and materials as the original 16th century builders. Couldn't we have a great blogger party here?
 Hope you have enjoyed our tour of Ireland.  Irish Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow Day and Superbowl Party Food

Yes, you read correctly!  The Mississippi Gulf Coast is preparing for sleet, another couple of days of icy roads, and SNOW!!  I do know a thing or two about snow.  I spend some of my childhood in Rockland, Maine.  However, the MS Gulf Coast does not see snow too often.  Schools are closed for two days due to the icy road conditions.  Our Emergency Management System is prepared for hurricanes (and they do a fabulous job protecting the citizens of the MS Gulf Coast), but icy roads along with our and many bridges spanning bayous and waterways cause dangerous driving conditions.  As I am writing this, I am looking out the window into our woods.  The rain is gently falling and by this afternoon, it may be snow.  Woo Hoo! What a terrific time to do a little blog writing!

WARNING:  I am going to confess to a blog crime.  Or at least by some bloggers, it is considered a crime.  I am going to cut and copy from a previous blog post I wrote on a favorite appetizer.    I am sure that a jury of my peers will be gathering to decide my punishment.  But wait, who came up with these rules?  Does it really matter if you re-share a favorite post?  I have never understood that blogging rule.  I have two favorite appetizer recipes.  Why would I make up other favorite appetizers just because I already posted about these recipes?  Okay, I feel better after confessing my blog crime. It's almost Superbowl time, so let's get cooking!

This recipe is not for cholesterol watchers of the world, but is a treat a few times a year.  This will be a sure hit at your Superbowl Party, especially with the guys.  These are my Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels.  Don't they look yummy?  I wish we had smell-a-blog!

Here is the Starting Line-Up...I know the ingredient list is unusual, but trust me!
20 slices of White Bread (crusts trimmed)
1 can Condensed Milk
1/4 cup of Prepared Mustard
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1.5 pounds of thin or regular Bacon (Do not use the thick variety)
8 ounces of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated (Regular or 2%)

I found that the giant loaf of Bunny bread is the best  for making this recipe.  You want a bread that is square and uniform in shape.  Trim the crusts from the bread and roll each piece flat with a rolling pin. An electric knife works well too.
 Nice and flat.
Combine condensed milk, mustard and Worcestershire in a small bowl.  Isn't it a shame that you can never get all of the creamy goodness out of a can of condensed milk?  I give you permission to take another spoon and savor the remains yourself!  I am nice like that! I have a friend that will eat an entire can of condensed milk whenever she feels like it.  No excuses either! She's brave.
 Cut the bacon in half.  Lay three halves touching on a flat surface.
 Place a slice of bread on top.  Spread one rounded tablespoon of condensed milk mixture on the bread. Sprinkle one tablespoon of grated cheese on top. Feel free not to measure the cheese.  I never do.
 Roll up...   

 Secure with three toothpicks, one thru each bacon slice.
At this point you may either refrigerate until you are ready to bake them or bake immediately.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  With a very sharp knife, make pinwheels by cutting between the bacon slices.
Bake 30 minutes, preferably on a broiler pan with a rack.  If you use a broiler pan, I would suggest lining the pan for easier clean-up and spraying the cooking surface with Pam. Normally, I place parchment paper on cookie sheets and bake that way.  If your bacon is very fatty, I would suggest the broiler pan.
After 30 minutes, you will end up with a delicious pan of Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels.  Your children and spouse will be hovering around as they smell the delicious aromas wafting from your kitchen.  Immediately remove the Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels from the broiler tray, remove the toothpick, and place on a platter.
 Pick one up and take a bite...close your eyes and savor the goodness!
 Tips for Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels (Not in my previous post):
1.  Not all bacon is the same size.  I have made them with 2 strips of bacon per 1 piece of bread.
2.  It does make a large pinwheel.  After baking, I have also cut each one again.  If you do this, lay the flat
     end down of the serving platter, with the end pictured above sticking up.  It makes the perfect bite.
3.  These can be refrigerated and reheated either in the micorwave or oven.
4.  Yes, I have eaten them for breakfast...also for a midnight snack!

Stop by tomorrow for another great Superbowl recipe.  By the way, I did alter some of my wording, so I hope that my offense is a minor one!  Still waiting on snow, but ready for some hot cocoa!

Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse
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Monday, January 20, 2014

The Shoe Fairy and Milk Glass Fairy!

Have you ever heard of the Shoe Fairy?  If you love shoes as much as I do, you would probably love to have a Shoe Fairy.  When I worked as a counselor at a school, I was lucky to have my own Shoe Fairy.  Really!!  One day, I came into work and found a shoebox with a brand new pair of shoes in my mailbox.  After doing a little investigation (by the way- counselors are good at that), I found out that one of the teachers had given them to me.  She couldn't wear the pair and knew that my foot was the same size.  Over the years, the Shoe Fairy would strike numerous times, leaving almost new shoes in my box.   Margaret, whom I began to call the Shoe Fairy, might wear the shoes once or twice and decide they didn't fit her as well as she would have liked.  She obviously did not like clutter in her closet because she got rid of the shoes fairly quickly.  Wish I could say that about my closet!
After several years, I took a position at the school's district office and sadly left my Shoe Fairy behind.  I never thought that I was leaving a Shoe Fairy for a Milk Glass Fairy!  Bet you don't have one of those, either! I have been collecting milk glass for many years.  Imagine my surprise when a dear co-worker dropped by my office with a tattered box containing several pieces of milk glass!  Joanne was helping a friend clean out her mother's home when they came across this box in the attic.   She knew I would appreciate the glassware.  As I began to unpack the box, I was surprised to see a lovely Hobnail set consisting of six- 9 ounce glasses, a pitcher, vase and candy dish.  Here is a picture of the set after I removed it from the box, prior to cleaning.  Isn't it a lovely set!  After a little soap and water, the dust and dirt swirled down the sink to reveal beautiful, creamy white glass.  The set is now displayed with my other treasured and much used pieces.  This was not the first time a piece of milk glass appeared on my desk from Joanne.  She might see a piece at a yard sale and pick it up for me.  Such a thoughtful friend!  Psalm 17:17 tells us that "A friend loves at all times". Both my Shoe Fairy and Milk Glass Fairy are wonderful examples of loving, generous friends!
Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Red Velvet Brownies and a 50th Birthday!

Yesterday my little sister turned 50!  Shocking, but true.  Like many siblings, we would fight over insignificant matters.  Who gets the odd Ravioli from a can we were splitting?  This was decided diplomatically. . . if you were the dividing the Ravioli, you got the odd one.  Why does my chore list seem harder than hers?  Why does she always cross the imaginary line down the back seat of the car as we traveled?  Why did she get to shave her legs years before I did?  Please keep in mind that this was a total insult to me.  I had dark hair and she had blonde!  Those of you with dark hair know why I was insulted by the fact that she had permission  to shave her "no color" hair while I had to have dark, hairy legs!  I could go on and on, but instead, will tell you that we are best of friends, even though we still argue on family trips!

Each year, we celebrate her birthday by having a "A Christmas Story" birthday party.  We have a blast eating Chinese takeout and dressing up as scenes from the movie. The best dressed group wins a prize.  Last year, we dressed as the "soap poisoning" scene.  When she answered the door we were ready with our lines.  Needless to say, we won the prize!  Usually, the Christmas Story party is delayed until my oldest son flies in for Christmas.  So on my sister's real birthday, we celebrate by going out to eat, but save the real party for later.  Last night, we went to her favorite local restaurant, Aunt Jenny's.  After dinner I invited everyone back to our home for a small dessert party.  My sister loves red velvet cake and my mother makes a special, scrumptious red velvet cake each year for the "A Christmas Party" birthday celebration.  Last night, I thought I would make a batch of red velvet brownies.  Not too much after a heavy meal and very different from my mother's delicious cake.
Let's take a look at this easy recipe:

Red Velvet Brownie Layer:
1 stick butter
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of red food coloring
1 teaspoon of vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour

Cream Cheese Layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:  
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking pan, and set aside.

Brownie layer: In a saucepan on medium heat melt the butter. Remove the butter to a large bowl and add the sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, in that order, mixing between additions. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and stir it into the cocoa mix. Fold in the flour until lightly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, saving 1/4 cup of the batter for the top.

Cream cheese layer: Blend together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Gently spread the cream cheese layer on top of the brownie batter in the pan. Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese layer. Using a skewer, drag the tip through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before cutting.

Our dinner table overlooked the sparking, moonlit waters of the bayou. . . the red velvet brownies were a hit and the evening was filled with laughter and wonderful conversation.   A truly special night.

"A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life" - Isadora James
Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Let's Do A Little Vintage Christmas Shopping!

Last year, I wrote a blog post about vintage Christmas ads...Vintage Christmas Shopping  I love the color and detail in vintage ads.  I saved a few from last year to share with you this year.  Let's have a Girls' Night Out and do a little vintage shopping!

This has to be one of my favorites.  Any soldier coming home for Christmas is a special gift.  The ad from Greyhound Bus Lines captures the excitement of the moment. 
Vintage Coke ads always feature a jolly St. Nick with rosy cheeks. This ad caught my eye.  My husband is an avid train collector.
Plymouth's 1950's ad looks just like a Norman Rockwell painting!  He must have been a Plymouth fan!  We had a Plymouth when I was in junior high.  It was the size of a boat! 
Mom, this ad is for you!  For years, I gave my mother Evening in Paris.  I loved the beautiful color of the bottles.  My mother would wear it proudly.  I found out many years later that she hated the scent!  If you have the time, head over to my blog post on Evening in Paris.
Now this is an old one from 1920.  Tinker Toys certainly have been around a long time. My boys loved their sets of Tinker Toys. 
I know some of my Still Woods Farmhouse friends remember days of stockings with the black seam down the back.  It must have been hard to keep them straight!  Do you think they will ever come back in style?
Someone is up to a little mischief in this 1953 David Lockhart drawing!
This 1948 Maxwell House coffee ad is delightful! My dad has always said that the best coffee is made in a stove top peculator. Can't you smell the coffee?  It's good to the last drop!
Who wants a 1956 Cadillac for Christmas?!   Doesn't this handsome gentleman look like Carey Grant?
"You'll shoot your eye out" comes to mind with this ad!

Dubble Bubble still makes a great stocking gift!
This ad by the Tire A Rubber Company promotes the purchase of war bonds as a Christmas gift.  Obviously a wonderfully, patriotic company.
A 1949 television or radio makes a terrific gift.  "They'll fondly remember for years..." Do you remember when a television was a piece of furniture as well as entertainment?
Look at all the color and details in this 7 Up ad.  Just beautiful!
Guaranteed to give you a "lovelier leg complexion" at only $1.30 a pair!  I bet this ad caught the eye of a few men! If you search for vintage ads, you will find quite a few for stockings. 

Lastly, I'll leave you with one of my favorite ads.  This one is from 1948.  Love that lipstick!


Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse!
Sharing with these terrific blogs!
Open House Party
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