Monthly Archives: January 2013

Making Your House Your Home

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Over to the far left, can you see the tiny numbers hidden behind the tree branch?

Has there ever been that one thing about your new house that makes it not your home?  I found that when I moved into the house in Tennessee, that the mailbox and I had to settle a thing or two.  The previous owner of the house had placed a tiny padlock on the mailbox so the mailman couldn’t leave mail there.  The house had been empty for quite some time before we moved in, so I understood.  Except that I called him 3 or 4 times to drop the key off to me or tell me where I could meet him to get the key… something – anything…  Well, I finally got sick and tired of trying to chase him down so I went to Wal-Mart and bought a set of bolt cutters.  It’s really funny to think about now, but then I was madder than hell that I was being denied access to my mailbox.  I bought these huge bolt cutters that could probably cut through a super huge padlock for this tiny little lock.  But, by God, I was getting that stupid lock off that mailbox.

(Side note:  I know, I get distracted by the dumbest things.  Why didn’t I just go out and buy a new mailbox, you ask?  Because it was the principle of the thing.  And besides, you know you love me because of my little eccentricities – HA)

Anyway, once I was able to get into the mailbox, I was also able to say that this is MY home now.

So you might be asking yourself, “What is the thing about the new house that has stopped me from saying it’s mine?”

The house numbers.  Yes, that’s right.  The address numbers on the front porch.  The first time I saw the house back in October 2012, I thought about those numbers being too small and there was a tree branch hiding them.  So I have thought and imagined and schemed and planned to fix this little problem.

First, I knew I needed bigger numbers, so I went to the local hardware store, Mr. T’s, and bought some 6 inch black numbers.  At first I thought I would just screw them on to the larger middle post on the front porch, but then I thought that was too boring.

Second, I asked my brother-in-law if the Aspen Valley Harley Davidson had any spare pallets that I could have.  He delivered those pallets within a couple of days to me – way before I was ready to use them.  I am sure my neighbors are wondering if I am some kind of hoarder.  I am not, I assure you.  I just take my sweet time in completing my projects.

Third, I went to Pinterest for ideas on how to take apart that pallet – Ha!!  hahahahaha!!!  I tried the crowbar tool I had left over from putting in the laminate floors in the house in TN and a hammer.  That lasted about 5 minutes, tops, before I realized that the post was right – those pallets are meant to last and put up with abuse.  They do not come apart easily.  So the next best tool came out, the saw!!  I just cut the boards I needed out of the pallet and decided to use that size because it worked so well.  Again, I am sure my neighbors think I am crazy.  They may be right.

Fourth, I assembled the boards into a sign, painted it the same color I painted my mantel and side cabinets (which I haven’t shared with you yet because the cabinets are not mounted on the wall…still).

Fifth, back to Pinterest to find out how to paint letters on the sign.  This technique worked to a point, but I had to improvise a little bit because the pallet wood was very hard and was not easy to make indentations on it.  So, I went to the sewing supplies and pulled out the dressmakers marking paper.  I placed it, color side down, on the board, then placed my printed words on top and traced the letters.  After I was done with that, I used a black Sharpie to draw in the outline of the letters.  I did that, just in case the marking paper marks got wiped off.  Then I painted in the letters.

I sprayed the whole sign with a clear coat protector and added the 6 inch numbers.  I added a couple of heavy duty picture hangers to the back and hung it on the front porch.

Now, this is MY home!!

Not very fancy, but it's mine.

Not very fancy, but it’s mine.

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And yes, I know it is not square – that’s the point. I don’t want perfection, I want me.

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Susie Homemaker today – LOL!

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Colorado Weather today

This is what the weather is doing today, well, probably for the rest of the weekend.  Today is my Friday to work the late shift and Jake doesn’t have school on Fridays so we both got to sleep in a bit today (by a bit, I mean 7:00 am).

It being cold and snowy out there this morning, I started getting the Susie Homemaker vibe.  On my menu this week from emeals.com was this delicious sounding meal…
Blueberry Sizzle French Toast with Crispy Bacon.   YUMMMMMM!!

Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the “Extended Refrigeration” notice above the name.  I didn’t let that stop me though.  I went ahead and made it anyway since I had unlimited time this morning.

Bob Wire is not looking very happy today.

Bob Wire is not looking very happy today.

 

 

Since I am normally up at 5:30 am each day to work the 6:00 am to 2:00 pm shift, my body doesn’t care if I don’t have to  get up early.  I am usually up early in the mornings anyway, so I cut up the french bread and added the egg and milk mixture and let it soak in the fridge for about an hour.    After it soaked, then I put it in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.  I took it out of the oven and I slathered it with butter and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar over it and put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes.  While it was baking, I melted some butter in a small pan, added blueberries and syrup and let that cook for about 3 minutes.

Butter, Blueberries, and Syrup

Butter, Blueberries, Nutmeg and Syrup

Baked French Toast

Baked French Bread with Egg Mixture and Sugar-Cinnamon

Blueberry Sizzle French Toast

1/2 loaf French bread, cut in 2″ cubes

5 medium eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

(2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp vanilla)

(2 Tbsp melted butter, cinnamon-sugar)

3/4 cup blueberries

(1/2 Tbsp butter, 1/3 cup maple syrup, dash nutmeg)

Place bread cubes tightly in sprayed 13×9″ baking dish.  Beat eggs, milk, sugar, salt & vanilla.  Pour over bread.  Cover & refrigerate 6-36 hours.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove; baste with butter; sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar.  Bake 5-10 more minutes.  In non-stick skillet, cook blueberries in melted butter 3 minutes.  Add syrup & nutmeg.  Bring to boil; serve warm over toast servings.

The final product, which was devoured in seconds flat.

The final product, which was devoured in seconds flat.

**Sorry about the pics being placed in strange places.  I couldn’t get them to line up correctly.

Biscuits

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Yummy Biscuits

Yummy Biscuits

 

 

 

I tried out an “All-Purpose Mix” recipe that I found on Pinterest this week.  I made the mix earlier in the week and then decided to try out the biscuit recipe.  I was not disappointed at all!!  It was easy, fast and delicious.

The All-Purpose Mix is used as the base for Biscuits, Shortcake, Coffee Cake and just about anything else you use Bisquick for.  It’s made in your kitchen so you know exactly what is in it, it is less expensive than ready-made store-bought mixes, and it tastes better!!

 

 

Below is the recipe for the mix.  Keep in mind that to test it, I only made a half-recipe:

All Purpose Quick Mix

5 lbs flour (20 cups)

4 cups dry milk

3/4 cups baking powder

2 Tbsp salt

1 Tbsp Cream of Tartar

5 cups vegetable shortening (don’t use margarine or butter unless you are going to refrigerate your mix, which I don’t)

Mix all ingredients together and store in air-tight container.

Original post from Heart, Hands, Home Blog – the rest of the recipes that you can use the mix in are here too.

Biscuits:

3 cups quick mix

3/4 to 1 cup water

I was watching The Pioneer Woman on The Food Network and she was making biscuits.  She suggested that you should add the water (or liquid) a little at a time until your dough is the right consistency.  Some days may be dryer than others so you may need more water than on wetter days.  I started with 1/2 cup of water and used about 3/4 cup total.

Spread 2 Tbsp of melted butter on biscuits before baking.  Bake for 10-12 minutes at 450 degrees.  Try to handle the dough as little as possible to keep your biscuits light and fluffy.

Biscuits & Gravy, a southern staple

Biscuits & Gravy, a southern staple

 

 

And if you have biscuits, you have to have gravy too, right ?!  I cheated and used those single packets that you can get at the grocery store for making a small batch of gravy.  If anyone knows of a homemade mix I can use, I would love to have that recipe as well.