Monday, September 26, 2011

Mason Jar Monday! Jam!


Who doesn't like Jam?  
Here I have a super easy recipe to make right in your microwave.

Diced or Crushed Fruit 
* For Strawberry use about 3 1/2 cups to make 2 cups and add  1 1/2 TB lemon juice
* For Berry crush 3 cups of raspberries and blackberries to make 2 cups and add 1 TB lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp butter or margarine


Prepare the fruit and place in an 8 cup microwave safe glass bowl.  Let stand for about 1/2 hour to allow juices to form.
Microwave on high for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring every 2 -3 minutes.
Spoon out about 1 TB of jam and refrigerate for about 15 minutes and then test consistency.  If you like thicker jam, reheat to boiling and microwave an additional 2 minutes.  

Makes 2 cups

Store the jam in a Mason Jar for several months in the refrigerator, or freeze for longer storage.

Yumm!!


Happy Monday!








Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lots of things going on in my neck of the woods~

Yesterday... I went to market for my shop.  It was a great Primitive Cash and Carry in Madison WI.  So much fun, but REALLY crowded! In fact more crowded than I have ever seen it!!!   I waited in my first line to pay for 45 minutes!!! And, then proceeded to my next vendor, only to wait in line for another 30 minutes!  Most of the people were cheery and fun... but two ladies... and of course I KEPT running into them, were SO RUDE!!!  You know the type! Budging in line, and acting like they have no idea what they are doing??!! Ugh! I am very non-confrontational... I prefer to use humor to get my point across! But, not yesterday... I finally said to the one lady who was again trying to "slip" in front of me in line.  "Ya know... I have been dodging you all morning and I am frankly sick and tired of you butting in front of me! Wait in line like the rest of us!" And, with that about 4 people started clapping and saying... I am so glad someone finally said something to her!! :-)  She skulked off, and now that I think of it I never saw her again after that! 


Today I am CLEANING my home and getting my fall decorating DONE! With my shop open this past weekend, and me at market yesterday... well, lets just say the house definitely shows it!! My DH did keep up with dishes over the weekend, which was helpful... but everything else is just ugh!


However, I am also going to post my "Monday post" and also my "Tuesday post" today!! 


I am so excited about having over 1,000 visitors here! I was so happy to see that  this morning when I logged on! So, for that ... I am going to have a FUN give away!!!  I will post that first thing tomorrow morning! Make sure you sign up!!  :-) It will be worth your while, I promise!!


Well, I'll be back soon!! 


Laura 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday's Feast... Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast w/ Alfredo

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast with Alfredo Sauce



This is one of my family's favorites! The chicken turns out so tender and juicy!

Chicken

Parmesan Cheese (the kind in the plastic container in the pasta isle at the store)
Boneless Chicken Breast
Egg Whites
Olive Oil

1.  First, take your chicken breast, and place one inside a gallon size ziplock bag.  With a mallet or rolling pin pound the chicken to about 1/2 inch or so. Repeat with remaining chicken.

2.  In bowl put 2 egg whites, and beat well.

3.  On a plate or in a bowl add your Parmesan cheese. I like to add a nice amount of fresh cracked pepper and mix well.

4.  Dredge your chicken breast in the egg white and then in the parmesan to form a nice coating.

5.  Add olive oil to a large, non stick frying pan, over med-high heat.  Add your chicken.  Cook for approximately 3-4 minutes per side before turning to eliminate the crust from falling off the chicken.  Cook until done. 


Alfredo Sauce

1/2 cup of butter
1- 8 oz package of cream cheese
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups milk
6 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp black pepper

Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan and pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked too long. Toss with hot pasta to serve.

Yumm!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Look at the beautiful giveaway I signed up for at Cottonwood Lane Primitives


I just signed up for this beautiful fall mat at Cottonwood Lane Primitives!

Check out her blog and sign up to win too!!

Thursday ~ Tip of the Day

Crafting can get costly... so I have a great idea to help save you a little bit of money.

Home Made Mod Podge!




At $4 + a bottle, and the amount we go through creating all of our Prim goodies... I found that we can make our own for less than 1/2 the cost!

All you need is School, Tacky or Craft Glue & Water!

I mix mine in a small Tupperware container.  Since it's airtight, this will last a long time!

Put the glue of your choice in the container, add warm water... a little at a time at first.  Stir slowly to mix... you want the mixture to be on the thick side.  Make sure not to make it too thin or it just won't be able to tackle the jobs we put it through!

Now, get creative!

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions! Fall Outdoor Decorating.

Okay, here is my dilemma, and I am hoping you all can help me make a decision.

I have two black urns in the front of my home, at the end of my walkway.  They just sort of look so blah right now since I pulled all the plants out from summer.  

Next planting will be mums and some Kale. Which I will only keep out there for a few weeks until I decorate for Halloween.  

But, I want to do something extra special with them for Fall/Halloween.  I did some searches and found some great ideas... the only problem is deciding which one would look best.  

Our house is on a very busy street, and at Halloween we literally have hundreds of kids come trick or treating! So,  I would really like the urns to be festive and fun. 


Last year I bought some HUGE pumpkins and placed them on the top of the urns, cut off the top and filled them with all sorts of dried materials like corn stalks, bittersweet, black eyed susan, grasses, curly willow, etc.  Actually, I guess when I think about it, I have done that same thing for the past two years!  Time for a change!!


That's where I hope you all can help.

Okay, here are the ideas I found... please post a comment on your favorite!

Thank you so much for your help! :-)


This fall arrangement is beautiful, and was sent to me from a friend on Country Sampler forum.


Topiary 1

Topiary 2


Topiary 3


Topiary 4


Topiary 5

These topiaries I found online... Each of them is great... I think they would be a lot of fun for people to look at.  There are some super creative people online... you can get the best ideas... there's just two problems... 1. how do you decide and 2. you can spend almost a whole day just looking at all of them. LOL



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September give away at The Rusty Thimble!


I just signed up for a chance to win this adorable give away at the Rusty Thimble!!

Whatch Workin On Wednesday




I am working on an adorable Christmas Block of the month wall hanging by Gail Pan Designs!

I found this pattern online and best of all it was a FREE pattern! Please check out her blog at: 

http://www.primitiveatheart.blogspot.com

Now I am not a much of a quilter to say the least.  However, needle point, cross stitch, etc I love to do!  So looking at this "quilt" pattern.... I thought to myself, Laura, you can do this one! LOL


So, I copied off all the patterns, bought my muslin and embroidery floss and got to work.  I love the whimsical design of the words and the flowers.  The colors are perfect that she picked out also for the floss.. I just LOVE this!  


Now, I still have to pick out the border fabric.  I am waiting for October 1, because my girlfriend Judy is opening up a quilt shop here in town.  I thought I would bring in my "finished" blocks and then pick out fabric to match.  Judy has amazing taste, so I can count on her for back up!



Originally, I was going to make this for my mother, however I just don't think I will be able to part with it now!! Plus, I decorate ALOT more than my mom, so I am sure she would want me to have it! :-)






Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Tutorial ~ How to Stencil a Prim Sign

Tuesday Tutorial
Stenciled Prim Sign


Supplies

Primitive Stencil (I buy mine from Homestead Stencil or Folk Art from the Harbor)
masking tape
Scrap Piece of 1 inch thick wood to fit stencil
Paint
Cosmetic Wedge Sponges
Minwax Stain
Sandpaper
Metal Hanger
Sealer

First, cut your scrap piece of wood to fit your Stencil.  Sand wood well.  



Paint your sign with your choice of base paint.
Allow to dry completely.




Center your stencil, and using the masking tape, tape down on each side.

Next, place a quarter size or so of paint on a plate.  Dip your sponge lightly in the paint and immediately wipe most of the paint off on a paper towel.  It takes VERY LITTLE paint to stencil.  If you use too much, it will likely bleed under your stencil and give a yucky end result.  You can always go back and add more paint. Using your hand without the sponge place careful pressure on the stencil.  Next, carefully dab your sponge to the stencil.  



Remove the stencil and wash with warm soapy water.

Allow the sign to dry well.

Now, to give it a nice, finished look, take a good liner paint brush and connect the letters where the bridges were.  

If you have any "bleeding" under the stencil you can take an old toothbrush and dip lightly in  the lettering paint (or different color, if you like) and hold about 4 inches above the sign.  Take your finger tip and rub against the bristles of the toothbrush.  This will make little speckles on the sign. Make sure you don't use too much paint... you want speckles not globs! LOL

You may now sand the sides if you would like to give it an aged look.



Next you will take your minwax stain and cover your sign with it.  Then, take a rag and wipe all excess stain off.  

Finally, spray with your sealer  and add a metal hanger to the back.



I usually change my signs with the seasons... and I have 6 spots in my home that change regularly.  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mason Jar Monday! Mason Jar Safe & Mason Jar Candy Dispenser

Two projects Today!! 

The first project is a Mason Jar Safe.  Perfect to stow away some cash, jewelry or anything you want to hide. And, no one would EVER guess what's in there! 


Supplies

Pint size Mason Jar
Toilet Paper Tube
Beans or Oatmeal or Rosehips
Ground Cinnamon, Nutmeg & Cloves
Mod Podge
Little scrap of homespun or cheesecloth
prim label
Glue Gun

1.  Okay, first make sure your mason jar is clean and dry.



2.  Grunge up your lid by covering it with mod podge and sprinkling the spice mixture on top.  Allow to dry and then repeat this step until you get the desired coverage.


3.  Take glue gun and put a ring of glue on the very edge of one end of the toilet paper tube.  While still very hot, press glue end down inside the center of the jar.  Allow to dry for 5-10 minutes.



4.  Apply your cute label by painting mod podge on the front of the jar and place label on top.  Then paint the mod podge over the top of the label.  I also put a light coat of the mod podge on the rest of the jar to take down the shininess a little bit.


5.  Now, carefully place a crumbled tissue or paper towel inside the tube.  Pour your choice of beans, oatmeal, rosehips, etc around the tube.  Remove the towels.


6.  Tie with a little bit of homespun or cheese cloth.


7. Stow away your goodies, put the cover on and there you have it! 

Now who would think to look inside of there???



*********
Next Project is an adorable Chicken Feeder Mason Jar Candy Dispenser!



All you need for this project is a Quart size Mason Jar and a galvanized Chicken Feeder.  I found this one at an auction, but I have seen them here at my local hardware/farm supply store.  I have also seen them on Ebay/Etsy!

Now you can choose to paint and grunge up your chicken feeder, but I decided I liked mine just the way it was.  

Fill up your Mason Jar with your favorite candy... I used Candy Corn since it is finally FALL! 

My favorite candy is Champagne Bubbles! 
What's your favorite candy? 



Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday's Feast... Zucchini!







What to do with all that zucchini in the garden??  Well,  I have a few recipes for you and some ideas as well!!  We have been eating zucchini ALOT lately... but my family actually likes it, so it's been fun coming up with different uses!




Zucchini Bread
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups flour
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts





1.     Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 8x4 inch loaf pans.

2.     In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and frothy. Mix in oil and sugar. Stir in zucchini and vanilla. Combine flour, cinnamon, soda, baking powder, salt and nuts; stir into the egg mixture. Divide batter into prepared pans.
3.     Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until done.


Zucchini Casserole 

·                     4 cups grated zucchini
·                     1 cup bisquick
·                     1 small onion, grated
·                     3 egg whites, 1 whole egg
·                     1/4 cup olive oil
·                     1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
·                     1 tsp salt
·                     1 tsp parsley

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix everything together in a bowl. Spray a pie dish or a casserole with Pam and pour mixture. Bake approximately 45 minutes, until golden brown. Put a toothpick in the center to test if it is done. If it comes out clean, it is ready.Divide into 12 equal parts.


Stuffed Zucchini

1 zucchini, about 12 inches long (or 2 6-inch)
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
½ cup onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup mushrooms, chopped
1 lb. turkey sausage or ground turkey
2 tbsp. dry white wine
2-3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

Cut zucchini
in half lengthwise.  Scoop out insides, leaving a shell about ¼-inch thick.  Reserve about half of the insides.
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Sauté the onion and garlic until tender, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and reserved zucchini insides to the skillet and sauté another 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Crumble in the sausage or ground turkey and cook until lightly browned on all sides, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the cooked onion and mushroom mixture.  Add the wine to the pan along with the tomatoes, basil and rosemary.  Cook for 1 more minute.  Drain off any excess fat, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Once the turkey mixture has cooled a bit, mix in the Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper.  Fill the zucchini shells with the mixture.  Fill a baking dish with ¼-inch of water.  Place the filled zucchini shells in the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove the zucchini from the pan and serve immediately.

Other Ideas...
Grilled Zucchini, Zucchini Pickles, Zucchini Pizza, Fried Zucchini, Zucchini Relish, Curried Zucchini Soup... I could go on and on.  Let me know if you would like any of the recipes mentioned here that I haven't posted! 
What's your favorite recipe for Zucchini? 


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thrifty Thursday~ Kids can help save money!

Sometimes saving money means spending a lot more time.  And for a busy mom, that isn't always a good exchange!  But, if you think about it, the whole family helps SPEND the money.  Have your kids save money with you and you'll even save time. Saving money also teaches valuable lessons to kids.  Here are some tricks and tips that worked with my children when they were small.

1.  Rolling Change:  
    Let the kids roll your spare change.  For little ones the counting and sorting will help with math skills.  You could even offer a little "commission" to them for their savings.

2.  Cutting Coupons:
     Cutting coupons is highly tedious, but for children learning to use scissors, it's really good practice.  Let the children choose one item that you wouldn't normally purchase as a little kick-back for their hard work.  It's also a good time to teach good nutrition by talking about various food choices.  You can also have the children sort and organize your coupons and pulling out the expired ones.  (Don't throw the expired coupons away! Send them to your nearest Army, Navy, Marine base...expired coupons are extended 6 months for military families)

3.  Reusing & Recycling:
    Recycling is not just good for the environment it is also good for your wallet.  Reusing household items means spending less money on items.  Let the children get creative and you will be amazed at the new uses for old things you normally would toss.

4.  Hold a Garage Sale:
    Granted this is a lot of work.  But, kids are great helpers when it comes to pricing, sorting and setting up items.  Let them choose some of their things to sell and keep their money separate.  Let them help carry items to people's cars and perhaps they may make some tips.

5.  Making Cards & Gifts:
    Most children don't even look at a birthday card, never mind save them.  Why not have your children get creative and artsy and make their own! Use them for their friends, grandparents, etc.  Use poster paint and finger prints on white card stock and make adorable little pictures, then frame. What family member wouldn't love that!?

6. Utilize the Library:
    Instead of renting movies and video games, and buying new books, magazines, etc.  Go to the library.  It is a great habit to get children into when they are young!!  Plus you'll save a bundle!


Prim Wooden Candy Corn~

The cutest Candy Corn just in time for Fall Decorating!



Supplies
Scrap 2x4 pieces of wood
Acrylic craft paint: Orange, White, Yellow 
Paint Brush or Foam Brust
Minwax dark walnut stain & rag

This is a very easy, fun project that you can finish up real quick!

First, take your wood scraps and freehand a simple triangle on them.  I made mine in three different sizes, but you can do them all the same if you would like.  Now, cut out the shape with a jigsaw.

Now, sand all the corners down and make them nice and rounded.

Next you will paint your yellow band on the bottom portion of your candy corn.  Let dry well.

Then follow with the orange band allowing to dry well before finishing up with the white top. 

Allow the candy corn to dry completely! 

Next, sand around the edges to give a nice worn look.

Finally, finish off with your minwax walnut stain.  Rub off with your rag to give a nice aged- prim look to your Candy Corn.

And there you have it!! Easy!




Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tonight... Wednesday Wood Project - Prim Candy Corns! So Cute!

I will be posting my how to on making the cutest PRIM wood candy corns you ever saw... but my camera charger is totally MIA!!!!!!!!   So I had to go get a new one and get that ole camera charged so I can take and post pictures! A little behind, but for sure trying to stay on pace!!

Will have more in about an hour!

Blessings...
Laura

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday's Tutorial... Faux Caramel Apples!


How to make these ADORABLE Faux Caramel Apples!!

Needed:
Faux apples (green or red... I bought mine at Walmart in the craft department)
Sticks for handle ( you can use popsicle sticks or even branches from a tree for a prim look)
Mod Podge
Caramel Colored Acrylic Paint
Corn Cob Kitty Litter
Wax Paper

Okay.... tear off a piece of wax paper for under the apples.  Make sure the apples are about 4 inches or so apart so that when you pour your mod podge/paint mix it has room to pool around the apple.

Next, push the stick into the center of the apple.

Now, in a small bowl/dish, pour about a 1/2 cup of mod podge in.  Then add about a tablespoon or more of the caramel colored paint to the mod podge and stir.  Add more paint if needed to get to the color you want.  

Okay, now take your dish of mod podge and paint and pour over the top of the apple allowing the mixture to drip down the sides and pool around the apple.  Add as much or as little as you like.

Next take your corn cob little and sprinkle around the apple allowing it to stick to the mod podge mixture. 

Allow to dry overnight.  

Tie with a little homespun or grungy cheesecloth and trick all of your family members! My kids all thought for sure they were real!!