Monday, June 25, 2012

Fruit Cobbler Recipe

We had a great weekend! I got all the laundry done, moved a lot of my crafting things to the basement (hopefully that transformation will be in my next post!), enjoyed church on Sunday, and tried a recipe that I have been wanting to make for a long time.

This is one of those invaluable family recipes. My grandmother (Mom's mom) makes the best fruit cobblers, and I pinned her down one day with an index card & pen, and asked for the recipe. Like most recipes from our grandmothers, she had it all memorized. It's so easy, but so yummy! And, it's from scratch, so it's worth bragging about. :)

Mamaw Helen's Fruit Cobbler Recipe
(My Version is Peach Cobbler)

  • fruit (peaches, berries, etc.)
  • one stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk

Cut up the peaches...

Cover with a little water (or if canned, add juice from can), and sweeten to taste.

Stir fruit, water & sugar...

Heat up fruit in microwave (or on stove top) until warm...

Take your 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup flour & 1/2 cup milk...

...and mix together in a bowl...

Melt one stick butter in microwave in bowl you want to bake cobbler in...

Pour sugar/flour/milk mixture into butter. DO NOT STIR!

Add fruit on top. Again, DO NOT STIR!

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Your house will smell amazing!!

Also, a little tip my grandmother gave me (after my first attempt), when there are 10 minutes of cooking time left, you can melt a small amount of butter & spread on top. This makes for a crunchier (and less healthy :) ) topping. Also, I ended up baking mine about 10 minutes more than the time given, because it didn't look "done". I was so happy with my first attempt at this awesomely easy recipe (and Zach was too)!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chalkin' It Up

Sorry for yet another cheesy post title. I do that a lot...

Also, I am a little behind in jumping on the chalkboard bandwagon, but I'm so glad I have...

This post shows two little projects (yay- finally, a project!) that were started a LONG time ago, but I wrapped them up this week. (My last project post was my craft organization pails that I posted about here.)

I'm crediting my source for the inspiration of this project to A Diamond In the Stuff's chalkboard trays post and my sweet friend Sheena who created a lot of these for her wedding reception. :)
I have been wanting to create a chalkboard for forever...(the draft of this post was actually started on 8/3/11 when I purchased the first tray that I used, if that tells you anything)! Especially with now seeing all the chalkboards that are being created on
design blogs everywhere.

I have always loved chalkboards. I had one when I was little, and it was one of my most favorite things in my room. I would always pretend to be a teacher, and I really got the good out of that thing. It is sitting in my Mamaw Ruth's basement right now- I guess waiting on my little one to use one day. There is still one hanging up in her kitchen too that I used to play with when I was little.

In creating a chalkboard, all you really need is a flat, usable surface and some chalkboard paint. Easy enough. I have seen countless pictures of old mirrors, old pictures and old paintings that are framed and repurposed as chalkboards. These silver trays are usually a dime a dozen at the thrift store, so I took advantage. I posted this one once before on here, right after I bought it (in August of last year):

This silver tray was 50 cents.

Then, I posted this one that I got at the same thrift store just recently. It was $1:

(I also posted a sneak peek on this one, if you remember from before.)

I almost always pass these up, just because they're usually really rusted or dinged up, and I don't really feel like cleaning them up. But, this is a great way to breathe new life into these. (I told you guys these would one day be a chalkboard, so I kept my word!)
The hardest part about this project??...Finding chalk! Seriously! (Thank you, Hobby Lobby!)

I painted the first one around the frame with a new, funky yellow. I painted it because it was in worse shape than the other, and I wanted a little contrast between the two, if I end up keeping them. The second one, I just cleaned the frame, and left as is in silver.

Chalkboard paint...

Spray painted first tray...

Detail of distressing on first tray...

Chalkin' up the second tray...

After the first coat...

After two more coats...

Conditioning with chalk...

Now, here's the Before & After on both:

First tray...



(In the above photo, you can also see my little blue bench that is being finished up. Just have the lettering to go, and I will post the Before & Afters!)

Second tray...



Trying out different messages...

I think I have decided to put the first tray to use in my new crafting area- I will hopefully be moving things to the basement TONIGHT!- to use as my craft checklist. The second tray has found a home in our kitchen. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Twice-Baked Potatoes

Well, it's been a while since I last posted. I have gotten a lot done, and had a lot of rest, in the last week and a half. I spent the day last Saturday at Lake Winnie with some of the greatest kids ever, celebrating our awesome year of kids' choir. I absolutely passed out when I got home! I also slept the entire afternoon last Monday- I had a slight fever & chills all morning, so I went home for lunch, bundled up & fell asleep.

As for this past weekend, we had an awesome time with Zach's dad! This Monday was actually his birthday also, so we combine both that & Father's Day into one big event. We took him out to eat, did a little shopping, then played putt-putt. We had so much fun, and I'm so glad Zach got to spend some quality time with his dad. On Sunday, my sweetie took me out to Little River Canyon & DeSoto Falls to spend the afternoon. He picked up my favorite pizza & some dessert, and we enjoyed the day picnicking and photographing God's beautiful nature.

I got nothing whatsoever done at our house over this past weekend, except the laundry. And, I don't really care- we had a fun weekend... But, I am making up for it this week. I have something planned for most nights already, and hope to stick to my plan. I am wanting to mark off many things from the list this week.

For now, however, I'll tide you over with a recipe post...

This is one of those recipes that I ended up making by chance, just because I wanted something different. I basically had potatoes to work with, and was tired of a simple baked potato, but didn't want to invest the work for garlic mashed potatoes. My sweetie absolutely loves these twice-baked potatoes (he requests them really often), and I love that since it's my own version.

But, since I made this version up, there are no exact measurements. It's mainly just an eyeball-it and add-to-taste recipe. You can take just about any combination of these ingredients, and it will turn out yummy. I am posting my favorite ingredient combination and will include options with it...

- Ingredients -

- Baking potatoes
- milk or Half & Half
- shredded cheese (any kind would work, but cheddar is better- ha)
- butter
- salt & pepper
- garlic (salt or powder)
- onion flakes (optional)

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. (You first bake the potatoes in the microwave, then bake them the second time in the oven.) So, first bake the potatoes in microwave as normal (I usually bake them in increments of 2 minutes- usually about 6 total- until done). When done, remove from microwave and, while using an oven mitt, cut each baked potato in half lengthwise. (Sorry, no pics of this or the mixing step.) Hold each potato half in hand (with oven mitt!), then take a spoon and carve out the insides of each half, putting the baked potato "insides" into a bowl. When all potato halves are hollowed out with skin only, place the skins on a greased and/or foil-covered baking sheet.

In the bowl, mash the baked potato "insides," then add butter and salt & pepper (enough to taste), then sprinkle lightly with the garlic. Mix all together. When taste is as desired, you can optionally add the onion flakes. I think they give it a little extra kick. (Chopped scallions could also be used.) You then add the milk or Half & Half and whip- again, enough to make a mashed potato-like consistency- and to desired taste. I have used both milk and Half & Half, and the Half & Half is definitely better, in my opinion.

Add a little bit of the shredded cheese (this is also optional), stir all together. When taste & consistency are as desired, scoop up the mixture and place in potato skins on baking sheet. It should even out, and all skins should be filled evenly to top.

I then LOVE to sprinkle cheddar cheese on top, which makes a pretty topping when melted.

Bake the filled potatoes in the oven for about 10 minutes- just long enough to have them heated through & the cheese topping to be well melted...

...and you're done!

I love to add chopped scallions to mine, but my sweetie likes his straight from the oven. Bacon bits, sour cream, etc., would be other great toppings.

We had these last night, along with some yummy baked BBQ pork chops & green beans. On the menu for tonight- Papaw's freshly-caught fried bream & hushpuppies! After that, I plan to move it on down to the basement & start creating my new crafting workspace! Woohoo!! :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Crafty Organization

Hope you all had a good weekend! We definitely did! We went to our cousin Amanda's wedding, and had such a great time. My sweetie even made it out onto the dancefloor- with a little coaxing, of course- as we attempted to master the Cha-Cha Slide. We even got to slow-dance, and I don't think we've had the chance to do that since our own wedding. 
I highly recommend it every now & then.

I have not been crafting as much as I could have these past few days. I have had a lot of chances- for example, Zach played in a golf tournament one day last week, and didn't get home until late. I should have taken that time alone to get some projects done- but instead, I have been watching episode after episode of Dawson's Creek on Netflix at night. Shame on me. Oh well- it was one of my favorite shows growing up, and watching it all over again, I remember why I liked it so much. It's still a favorite.

I did start this new week off right, though, and finished up a few projects, including this little one. I love it!

I posted before on this pair of copper pails I got at the thrift store...

I knew I wanted to use them for some sort of organization around the house. After a little sprucing up, they have ended up on my "craft desk", a.k.a. the kitchen table. (Speaking of, I am trying to plan out in my head a little crafting area for myself somewhere in the house. I would LOVE to squeeze it into our guest room, so it would be "out of sight, out of mind," but that may not work out. BUT, my sweetie made a perfect suggestion to me last night about maybe creating a crafting area in our basement. Wow! That might just work... If any changes happen, I'll let you know. We'll see!)

Anyway, I had some cardboard pieces that I kept a while back, knowing I would use them somewhere. I tried them out with a little chalkboard paint, and they seemed to have worked great...

I cut around the corners with my zig-zag scissors for a little something extra. Then, I hot glued a small strip on the back of each & attached them to some twine that I tied around each pail. They make the cutest, easiest labels, and the buckets are GREAT for storing my crafting odds & ends.


Just a few minutes of work, and they were done! I will definitely be on the lookout for more of these cute little pails. It really encourages organization when you have something cute
to house things in!

And speaking of cute...'s a pic of our two babies enjoying a belly rub from Daddy over the weekend. Talk about living the life! :)
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