Thursday, October 19, 2017

Collections: Salt Shakers

I am taking a short break from decluttering and cleaning in my kitchen to share with you my salt shaker collection.

I started out by wanting to have fun salt/pepper shakers for each holiday.  I was able to find two holiday sets.

The snowman set goes with my winter dishes.

A few years ago, I was given this set of mini salt shakers.  It is fun to use for fancy meals...everyone has their own shaker.  

As I have been collecting my set of Wexford dishes, I have found lots of salt and pepper shakers.  This one lives in my spice cupboard. 

This one had a dented lid so... I use it to hold toothpicks.

These Wexford salt shakers are also missing their lids.... I use them  to hold small flower buds that fall off of bouquets. 

This set of elegant shakers goes with my fine china.  

Hubby surprised me with these industrial styled shakers not long ago.  We used these everyday at meal time. 

I just bought this set a few weeks ago.  They are heavy grade glass so they work well in our picnic basket.  

I am still planning to finish collecting salt shaker sets for each major holiday.  So... I have a few more sets to add to my collection.  

Next week, I will share with you one of my transferware dish collections... yep, I have more than one.  

This post is participating in:
Share Your Style @ 21 Rosemary Lane
Share Your Cup @  Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Vintage Charm @ My Thrift Store Addiction

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Week 8: Countdown to Christmas

Sorry this is a day late.  We were having a school break and my day was a bit off. 

We are at week 8.... 

Click here to get the to do list for House and Holiday Home (which is actually at week 7)

Click here to get the to do list for Grand Holiday Plan.

My to do lists looks like this....

  1. 1 hour plus on homemade gifts
  2. Fall baking
  3. Deep clean kitchen (week 1 of 2)
Homemade Gifts

I made my shopping list for gift jars (premade cookie mixes) last week.  I am a bit behind on my embroidery project... I need to get caught up.

Fall Baking

I want to make some cookies to eat and store away for a later time (freeze them).

Deep Clean-- Kitchen

For the next two week, I will be deep cleaning in the kitchen.  I am planning to work from one end of the room to the other end.  Cleaning out cupboards, drawers and appliances. 

I think this should keep me plenty busy this week.  

Friday, October 13, 2017

Copy Cat Recipe: Pasta e Fagioli

I love the soup at Olive Garden.  If I didn't love their pasta even more, I would just eat the soup and salad meal.

We "try" to limit our eating out so I am always on the look out for how to make similar recipes at home.  I found a copy cat recipe on a website (that I don't think exists anymore) a few years ago. It tastes just like the Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli.

Here is how I make it....

Start by cooking up a 1lb bag of dry red beans (white or navy beans works too).  Cook them until tender.  Do not drain the liquid in the cooking pot.

Add 1lb of ground browned beef.  Drain the excess oil before adding.

Add a couple of chopped up carrots and 2 stalks of celery.

Add 2 T. of white vinegar and olive oil.

Add 1 can of chopped/diced tomatoes (a large can is best).

Add one 6 oz. can of tomato paste

Add additional water as needed.

Season the soup with oregano, basil, thyme, salt and black pepper. (to taste)

About 15 minutes before eating, add 1/2 lb of ditalini pasta (in a pinch macaroni pasta also works)

Let it cook until the pasta is tender.... you don't want the pasta mushy.  

Serve the soup quite warm and sprinkle on parmesan cheese before enjoying!!

It makes quite a large pot of soup.  We have been known to eat this for several days... for supper, and a couple of lunches).  

**Can be made vegetarian by substituting beef with boca crumbles or just leaving it out.  Still really good and hearty.  The soup pictured below is meat-free.  

This post is participating in:
Simple Saturday @ Sunny Simple Life

A Loving Tribute

Today was my Grandmother's birthday.  If she were still alive she would have been 94 this year.
She was not just my Grandmother... she was my mentor and teacher.

Mornings with my Grandmother always began with bible study... a quick devotion and a few moments in prayer.  Sometimes she was pray silently and sometimes she would pray aloud.  After that we threw on our aprons and the day was ours.

We cleaned the house from top to bottom each day... Fridays were a deeper clean.  I always was given small chores in each room. By mid morning it was gardening lessons.  My grandmother had a garden that would have won awards.  I was allowed to get as dirty as my heart desired and dirty I got.  Gardening meant digging, pruning and standing back to admire my grandmother's hard work.

Late morning (around 10:00) we would go to the kitchen to make lunch.  Grandma and Grandpa were German/Russian.  Grandma cooked mostly German recipes.  I was on my stool learning how to make Knefla,  Kuchen or Cheese Buttons.  My grandpa would sneak in the kitchen and kiss my grandma and comment on the amazing smells coming from the  kitchen.  Grandma would blush and shoo Grandpa out of the kitchen. We still had work to do.  :)

Afternoons with Grandma were some of my favorite memories.  I was taught how to sew.  At the age of 5, I was allowed to sew quilt blocks together and cut out the blocks while she was finishing up another quilt.  I was allowed to play under the quilt tying frame and occasionally asked to help feed the thread threw the several layers of fabric.  When she was wasn't quilting, she was sewing a dress for herself or for me.  She bought me a simple pattern and she let me make an apron from start to finish.  I was proud of that apron!!

In the summer when she didn't want to be covered in hot quilting fabric, we would sit in the living room and embroider.  My grandmother did beautiful handiwork.  She gave me small project of my own to work on.  I would learn by looking over her shoulder or having her hold my hand while I did the stitches... that would I could get the feeling for each stitch.  The summer I got married, she had me work on a set of pillowcases for my new home.

In the late afternoons and early evenings, my grandmother read. She had a very large library of books.  She would go to church meetings each summer and buy stacks of books. Sometimes she would read to herself and other times she would read aloud so that Grandpa and I could enjoy the book as well.

Grandma's house was always immaculate.  The thought of messing up her house never crossed anyone's mind.  The grandkids could play till we dropped but we knew... we had to clean up the mess... all of it.  We also knew that there were usually one or two different kinds of cookies in the cupboard... homemade and store bought.  There were also popsicles or fudge pops in the freezer... year round.

There were toy to play with all over the house.  There were dress up clothes in the closet, toys in the toybox, balls and skateboards in the garage and a sandbox in the side yard.  My favorite play space was on my Grandmothers bed with her jewelry boxes in my lap.  I could be the queen of England or a gypsy depending on what rings and necklaces that I tried on in front of her big mirror.

My grandmother not only taught me how to cook and how to sew but she also taught me how to be a lady, a wife and a mom.  She taught me by telling me stories of her growing up, getting married and raising a family.  My grandmother never left the house without looking her best... even to the grocery store or the post office.  She said it was about showing respect to oneself and to Grandpa.  She said "you never know when you might met some one that your husband works with... and you want to look presentable shaking their hand".  Lessons like these have stuck with me.

Thanks to her,  I am the wife and mother that I am today.  Thanks to her I can cook, clean, and manage my home and busy family. She was a woman of determination, pride and grace. A valuable treasure in my life.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Collections: Corning Ware Cornflower

Last week, I showed you my Spice of Life CorningWare Collection.  This week I am sharing with you Cornflower CorningWare Collection.  The cornflower pattern is the most popular.

I started the "spice of life" collection first. As I was shopping,  I noticed lots of the blue pattern.   I figured... why not collect that pattern as well.

As you can see I haven't been able to collect a lot of pieces yet.  I am very picky about what pieces that I buy.  In thrift stores cornflower dishes are not in great condition.  In antique stores they are higher priced.  I just have to keep looking.

So far I only have two small casserole dishes. I also need to locate some lids for them.

I have two rangetoppers. I really like their shape and the handle.

I have been able to find one large casserole dish in excellent condition.  It also came with a metal carrying tray.  

It also came with a lid.  I was surprise to find it within my budget (not super expensive).  Huge wonderful find!!

My favorite piece of this collection is the teapot.  The teapot is in great condition... the lid is kinda scratched but it fits nice and tight... so I can't complain.

I don't have an electric stove so I can't warm up water in it.  Instead I used it to store heated water when I am in having tea.  It hold 4 cups of hot water.

I am on the outlook for the salt shaker set, a roaster and more casserole dishes.  Just gotta keep my eyes open and look for more deals.  

I hope you have enjoyed the past few weeks "collection" posts.  Next, week I will be sharing my salt/pepper collection. 

This post is participating in:
 Vintage Charm Party @ My Thrift Store Addiction
Share Your Style @ 21 Rosemary Lane
Creative Inspirations Party @ Embracing Change