Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Happy Vintage Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving friends!  The turkey is in the oven roasting to golden perfection or at least that's the goal!  I am sitting here with a cup of coffee and wanted to share a post from several years ago.  It's a few vintage Thanksgiving greetings and magazine covers.  While you're waiting for the turkey to come out of the oven, relax with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy these images from yesteryear.

I know this mamma is happy to have her sailor home for Thanksgiving!
Please say it isn't so!  I confess...I did love these Banquet dinners when I was little.  Whenever we had them, they seemed like such a treat.  
A simmering-talking pot!
This adorable girl is eyeing the turkey! I am curious about the article by Demaree Bees listed at the bottom of the cover!
Vintage cards are always wonderful expressions of art.  This one is no exception.
Wonder what this little Pilgrim is telling the chicken?
Another nostalgic Saturday Evening Post. What a difference in the football uniforms of today and those of 1928?
Hmmm...maybe they should have plucked and roasted the turkey first!
I have never had a pumpkin pecan pie.  How about any of you?
I guess home makers have been making pies for ages!
Anticipation...I am not so sure about that turkey!  Looks a little diseased.
Over the river and through the woods...
This is a 1914 edition of The Saturday Evening Post.
Lastly, I leave you with this beautiful card.
Many blessings to you and yours this Thanksgiving from
Lynda at Still Woods Farmhouse!  
"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever"  Psalm 136:1

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Welcoming Thanksgiving Entryway

If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, I imagine that you want your entryway to look festive and welcoming.  I love the colors of harvest time.  There is such warmth and beauty in the hues of fall.  There is still time to jazz up your front door before your guests arrive!

There is an old English proverb based on Matthew 6:22 which states the "eyes are the window to the soul".  I think it can also be said that the front door of a home is the window to the soul of the home.  The front door and surrounding outer entryway is the first impression for our guests.  Fall entryway decor can be a fabulous way to make that first impression a lasting one.  With the abundance of mums, pumpkins, gourds, and other fall flowers available this time of year, you too can welcome your Thanksgiving guests with a festive atmosphere.   I thought I would put together a few fantastic examples for you to peruse, maybe with a cup of hot cider by your side. 

We will start with my home.  The front entryway is decorated with pumpkins topiaries, corn stalks, mums, grapevine wreaths with burlap roses, and two jaunty scarecrows. I placed the corn stalks close to the front door.  They have dried corn still attached to the stalks.  
This lovely entryway is compliments of the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina.  I love the corn stalks attached to the posts.  The scarecrows can be stored away until next October and this entry would be a delightful way to welcome guests for Thanksgiving dinner.
Notice the carved street number in one of the pumpkins pictured below fromCornerstone Homes.  Pumpkins and gourds can be used throughout fall; however, many stores begin to sell their pumpkins for a reduced rate after Halloween.  A teacher friend of mine purchased three buggies full of pumpkins from a local super store for all of 23 cents!  Not 23 cents each, three buggies full for 23 cents!  If you want to jazz up your entryway for Thanksgiving, check out the sales.
Here is another example with mums, pumpkins, and stalks.The golden light glowing from the door and windows gives this home a warm and inviting look.Another beautiful entryway!  This one is from Dysfunctional Design blog.  Okay, I would have to sweep up the leaves, but they look great here!
This entryway from Something to Some People is understated, yet lovely.  I think the pea gravel walkway lends a rustic look along with the stone dwelling.  I bet the owner of this home has afternoon tea.
Southern Living is known for beautiful photography and classic designs.  The addition of the lanterns adds a special touch to this welcoming front porch.
I hope I have inspired you with some last minute decorating ideas.  Head outside and make your front door and entryway a place where the eye lingers, the heart stills, and a smile crosses the face of your Thanksgiving guests. 
Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving from Still Woods Farmhouse

Friday, November 18, 2016

Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies #2: Red Velvet Brownies

It's the second in the series of the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies!  Today, I am featuring a brownie or bar cookie. You will thank me for this recipe.  It's that good.  We may even become "bestest" of friends! You will want to know what else is in my Christmas baking arsenal!  You might even volunteer to help me bake!
Let me introduce to you Red Velvet Brownies.  Look at those delicious layers of red velvet, then cream cheese, and lastly red velvet swirled on top!  These are best eaten without the interference of coffee or milk. Just take a bite and close your eyes...let the flavors mingle in your mouth.  Groaning is acceptable when eating these brownies!

I bet your ready to bake a batch.  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

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.

These are absolutely scrumptious!  I hope to see you next time for the 3rd in the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies!
Blessings from Lynda at Still Woods Farmhouse
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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies #1

Welcome to Still Woods Farmhouse and the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies!  I am so exited to bring to you a little of my passion at Christmas.  Each Christmas, I put on a cute apron, turn on the Christmas music, and head to the kitchen to begin whipping up batches of cookies.  It's in my genes!  I come from a long line of bakers.  As small children, my sister and I would eagerly await the packages of goodies from our grandmothers.   With my dad in the military, we lived far away from our relatives.  A box of homemade Christmas treats were so special to us.  One grandmother made all kinds of cookies and pies, while the other made delicious candy and cakes.  I take after my paternal grandmother, the cookie baker! My mother is also a Christmas cookie baker.  She has a long list and makes everyone's favorites.  She often bakes over 13 variety of cookies just at Christmas.  Everyone loves her homemade goodness! Who doesn't like homemade cookies?!

For the 1st of the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies, I am sharing with you my youngest son's favorite cookie.  They are called Chocolate Cream Cheese Swirls! Sounds great, don't they? These are a delicious, quick drop cookies.  Did you hear that?  Quick, to my ears!  Let's get cooking!

The Starting Line-Up:
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup of packed brown sugar
1 cup of softened butter
6 ounces of softened cream cheese
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla
4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of good semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cream cheese, eggs, and vanilla.  Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt is a separate bowl.  Gradually mix the flour mixture to the creamed mixture.  Mix at a low speed until the flour is thoroughly incorporated into the mixture.

Fold the melted chocolate chips into the mixture.  Be careful not to over mix.  I put a little in at a time and kind of "cut" the chocolate in.  You want a marbleized look to the cookie.

Drop dough by spoonfuls or a cookie scoop onto a parchment lined cookie sheets approximately 2 inches apart. I always use a cookie scoop.  The one I used here is about an inch and a half wide.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Cool completely before storing.

Look at this yumminess.  Don't look at the tacky manicure!  These cookies also freeze well.  I'll share tips for freezing cookies in my next post.

Santa loves these cookies!  We leave a plate of them for Santa each year.  I hope you like the 1st of the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies.  Stop by next week for our second cookie! I love to read your comments so leave a message and let me know what are some of your favorite holiday cookies or baking traditions:)

Blessing and happy baking from Lynda at Still Woods Farmhouse

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Organizing Your Kitchen for Holiday Baking

One of the wonderful benefits of being newly retired is that I had the opportunity to thoroughly organize our home.  I am like a mad woman on a mission when I begin a task related to organizing.  My mom would call and say "What can you possibly be organizing today?" and I always had an answer.  One of my favorite places to organize is the kitchen.  With holiday baking right around the corner, I appreciate neat and tidy drawers and cabinets. Benjamin Franklin must have been an organized man.  After all he said, "A place for everything, everything in its place".  He was on to something! I know everyone has their own method of organization, but if you are looking for a few suggestions, I'm here to help!

Today we are going to tackle the bottomless pit known as the kitchen drawer! These two drawers are used often when I am baking.  I won't bore with you all my other drawers!
1.  First, measure the inside of your kitchen drawers and head to your local dollar store to purchase individual storage containers.  Don't waste money on high end storage units.  I paid $1.00 for sets of three containers and they will work just fine.
2.  Take stock of your kitchen drawers.  Throw out or donate what you do not use.
3.  Sort the remaining items and group by category.  For example, group together all measuring spoons, spatulas, knives, cake testers, etc.  I was surprised at how many measuring spoons I have collected!
4.  Place each group in it's own storage container and place in a drawer.
5. Lastly, enjoy looking at your organized kitchen drawers and vow to keep them that way!
I find that if everything is just thrown in a drawer, I waste time by hunting for an item.  Not to mention the frustration that occurs when you know the item you are searching for is somewhere is that messy drawer! Now my drawers are organized and I can just reach into the container for the item I need.  Holiday baking here I come!

Speaking of baking, I am doing a new series called The 12 Cookies of Christmas! I'll have some of my family's favorite recipes as well as a few heirloom from my ancestors.  I'll have tips for storage and ways to gift your cookies to family and friends.  Stop back by this Thursday for the 1st Cookie of Christmas!
Blessings from Lynda at Still Woods Farmhouse