Friday, June 11, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday ~ Hydrangea Blossom

Time for Valerie's Favorite Photo Friday!
Here is a shot just out of the camera.
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel XT
Exposure: 0.0003 sec. (1/400)
Aperture: f/11
ISO: 400
No Flash
Not a spectacular shot just soft and pretty. I like the muted lavender and yellow hues.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Guest Room

After our twin daughters married and moved to their new homes, I converted their bedroom into a reading/garden/relaxing room. I took the plunge and painted the walls a deep Country Rose color and used roses in many accents.
This pretty porcelain clocked fit in perfectly.




We enjoyed reading , talking and having a place that was set aside from the rest of the house.
But, we did not have a guest room for when Jill and Brad came to visit. As grandchildren came along we needed a bedroom again.
Though I enjoyed the vibrant color for a (short) time, my preference for white and neutral colors won out and we were ready once again for those sweet little visitors to snuggle into bed when their little eyes grow sleepy.
This is how the room has looked for the past six years.
...my heart is lightest around a white pallet
Joining Cindy @My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake

I picked up an old Betty Crocker cookbook at a garage sale recently and baked up this choice of my husbands. I finished up the blueberries that we picked and froze last year to make way for the new ones that will be ready for picking soon.
He loved it!
Enough to have a second helping!
Enough to ask me to make another one so he could take it to work to place by the coffee.
He likes it even better than my Blueberry Boy Bait.
It was the crumb topping and sweet glaze that impressed him.
Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake
Betty Crocker Recipe
PRINT RECIPE

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) blueberries
Crumb Topping (recipe follows)
Glaze (recipe follows)

CRUMB TOPPING
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine — softened
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

GLAZE
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons hot water (1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons)

Directions:
Heat oven to 375ยบ. Grease square pan, 9 × 9 × 2 inches, or round pan, 9 × 1 1/2 inches. Blend flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, shortening, milk and egg; beat 30 seconds. Carefully stir in blueberries. Spread batter in pan; sprinkle with Crumb Topping.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle with Glaze. Serve warm.

CRUMB TOPPING:
Mix all ingredients until crumbly.

GLAZE:
Mix all ingredients until of drizzling consistency.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Chillin' and Stressin'

Several times each day we walk Raider on his leach around the house. Sitting very still in a little bare spot next to a wooden fire wood holder, I noticed this bunny. (kind of looks one ear-ed in this photo) He is pretty unafraid and will let us get as close as three or four feet.
*
This can't-miss-a-trick fellow follows me where ever I go.
Watching me snip some herbs outside the side door, he's wondering why
I am outdoors and he is not.
Here he is on chipmunk patrol. Our population has grow considerably this year and they frequently scurry across the patio. Sure hope they don't become a problem!
Our ever alert sentry protecting his family and home...
...with a snort and bark!

Joining Susan @A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Chamomile Lavender Mint Iced Tea

Is it tea, herbal infusion or tisane? According to Wikipedia, only a beverage made from the leaves and buds of green tea is called tea.

The term "herbal tea" usually refers to an infusion or tisane of leaves, flowers, fruit, herbs or other plant material that contains no Camellia sinensis
I have a preference for black tea over herbal teas, but I really like chamomile. So I added to my garden two plants last year. They are flowering but I don't expect to get a big yield from just two of them. I have lots of mint and thought I could stretch the chamomile by combining them. Below is the result of a recipe I found on My Recipes.
My changes are noted after the original recipe.
I quartered the recipe to see if I liked it before making a pitcher full.
Very nice served chilled but equally enjoyable hot!

Yield: Makes 14 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 loosely packed cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried chamomile (or 4 chamomile tea bags)

Preparation

1. Crush mint leaves and put in a 1-gal. lidded jar. Add lavender and chamomile.

2. Fill jar with water to within 2 in. of rim. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours. Pour through a cheesecloth-lined colander into pitcher for serving.

My Changes
Heat to boiling 4 cups of water
Add
1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves
1/2 tsp. lavender
1/8 cup chamomile flowers but I think I could have doubled this
After steeping 5-7 minutes, I thought it made a flavorful hot tea.
I allowed it too cool completely without straining and did not think it became bitter or too strong.
Sweetened with honey and served over ice.

If you have a chamomile tea recipe, I'd love if you would shared it!

My new favorite song...

Better Than a Hallelujah

Songwriters: Hart, Sarah;Hartford, Chapin

God loves a lullaby
In a mothers tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
God loves the drunkards cry,
The soldiers plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah.

The woman holding on for life,
The dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
The tears of shame for what's been done,
The silence when the words won't come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah
Better than a church bell ringing,
Better than a choir singing out,singing out.

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mosaic Monday ~ Flowering Stephanotis


John bought me a stephanotis plant from our local Produce Junction in early December. Its sweetly fragrant flowers were enjoyed all through the Christmas holiday. It wintered in front of a south facing window in our dining room and much to my delight, is flowering once again and brimming with more buds.

Besides the amazing scent of the beautiful white flowers, this plant is special to us because I carried it in my bridal bouquet and John wore it in his tuxedo lapel.
Our love has endured going on 35 years (in October) despite the 70's side burns, platform shoes, polyester tuxedos and ruffled shirts! This is one fashion trend I don't think you will ever see returning!

Joining Mary @Little Red House for Mosaic Monday!

Textures Class ~ Lesson 1

Sharing a couple of sample photos from
lesson 1 of a Textures Class I just began.
Thought I'd also try the technique on this butter churn lid and gears.
Working on lesson 2 now.

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