Friday, October 23, 2009

Champion Banana Bread

Good Friday bloggers! I'm going to attempt a post without my laptop which should be quite a feat so bear with me.  I can't do pictures either.  Hang in there with me I should be back up and running by  Halloween weekend. My son has been sick and my DH isn't coming home to spend the weekend with us but I'm trying to hang in there as this will just be the beginning of our separation from one another.  My family has been calling to check on me and I've already been shopping with one of my sisters so I'm not exactly doing it on my own this time around.  It feels very different to have support all around you.  I could get used to this! LOL!

The house is coming along although I'm still undecided about the curtains in the dining room.  I'll let you know when I decide what to do about that issue.  In the mean time I've been menu planning and been back in the kitchen.  I baked some Banana nut bread this week.  I'm sure I will come up with something else by the end of the day too. LOL! I think Fall puts me in the mood to bake.  Don't get me wrong I bake all year long but there's nothing like cool, crisp air or damp chilly air like we've had a fair share of lately to put me in the mood to bake.  I have a mile long list of things I want to make.  I can't get enough cookbooks lately, just purchased this one Farmhouse Kitchen from Gooseberry Patch. I've wanted it since it came out in June.  I found  a recipe I wanted to try for Banana bread in it.  I also pre-ordered one from Pioneer Woman. I really enjoy her blog.  Then another one from Paula Dean the family cookbook.  If you're a fan I'd love to hear which books are your favorite.  This website seems fun too I've thought about joining it.

Check out Colleen's blog for Back to school recipes.  I am joining in when I can!

Champion Banana Bread
adapted from Gooseberry Patch Farmhouse Kitchen

2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 bananas mashed
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup Walnuts optional

Blend eggs, butter, sugar; add bananas, milk, and vanilla.  Stir in dry ingredients; mix well.  Pour batter into a 9 X 5 loaf pan that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray.  Bake at around 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.  Note: It took longer for mine to be done, I cooked it for about 45 and it came out sticky so I had to bake it for about 10 more minutes.  I also added the walnuts because I love them but you wouldn't have too. Makes one loaf. This was delicious and my kids really enjoyed it.

I'm getting close to my 100 post and give away!  I promise some more neat pictures to come and sneak peaks. For now I would like to hear some feedback from all my followers.  I love to hear from you I really enjoy it so much.  What are you baking now if anything? Do you have any Paula Deen cookbooks or recommendations that you enjoy?

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Family Room

Hello blogging friends, I just wanted to do a short post before I have to give my laptop back to my DH.  It's much easier to post when I have my computer.  So I will be back with a post next weekend and very soon a give away!!!! I promise it will be worth the wait.  I have almost 100 posts and I think it's time to celebrate.  Whoo Hoo!!

Here's my family room.  We are still working on the arrangement.  My armoire with the TV we would like to move it around to another wall so it's not competing with the fireplace as a focal point.  Plus the armoire is the first thing you see when you come in the front door.  I just don't like the TV being right there. 

a view from the front door as you go around the staircase

the fireplace
I've switched things around several times and I'm sure I will again.

a new picture I found in town at a local antique shop, the owner gave me a 15 % discount just for shopping on a rainy day, gotta love that!

my little reading nook I love how this just seemed to click
not loving the wall arrangement just yet but I plan on getting a picture hanger for the one frame that way it won't hang so low

This gives you an idea of how the house flows.  The family room open into the kitchen and laundry room.  Eventually the TV armoire will hopefully go against the wall you can't see to the right of the couch.  Then we're going to flip it in front of the french doors and put the loveseat where the couch is now.  At least my DH is going to try it's all about the TV cables etc. 

We took the kids to the fall festival at school today.  They seemed to have a good time.  We ran into some other parents that we went to school with and found another Air Force family that lives here too.  It was nice to chat with someone who really gets us.  Hopefully, we can become friends.  They have 3 kids, two of which are older than ours.  Christina and Robert got to ride horses and had a good time. 

I am taking my husband back to our old house tomorrow so we can leave 2 of our 3 trucks here with me at the new place.  Fun, fun...10 hours of driving at least I have pretty leaves to look at on the way home.

Till next week, take care

Friday, October 16, 2009

Boiled Cider Spice Cake

Here's a delicious cake that I made Wednesday.  I wanted to bake since it was so icky outside but I had no eggs.   I'm sure some of you can relate to this.  I didn't take any pictures but it came out a rich buttery brown color.  My kids ate it right up so it's not too spicy like some of them can be.  You can serve it with whipping cream or a dollop of apple butter but I think it's fine without.  The only substitution I made was my raisins I put in about 1/4 cup of those and added a peeled, diced apple to the mix.

Boiled Cider Spice Cake
adapted from Gooseberry Patch Autumn with Family and Friends

1 cup raisins
1 small apple * optional
2 Cups all purpose flour divided
1 Cup apple cider
1 Cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 Cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Toss raisins and apples in 1 Tbsp. flour enough to coat.  In a large pot, combine cider, brown sugar, butter, raisins and apples.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, remove from heat.  Stir together remaining flour and all other ingredients.  Add flour mixture all at once to hot mixture immediately stir the mixture and pour into greased Bundt pan.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until knife comes out clean.  Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes.  ** This is the step I goofed up!  Remove to a cake plate.  Serves 8-10



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dining Room and a Dilemma

This is my dining room.  I've very pleased with how it's turning out.  I love that it showcases some of my favorite pieces my Hoosier cabinet, pie safe and buffet.  I also love seeing the yellow ware in the pie safe and redware on my shelf.  I have wanted a new table for years and my DH has plans to make me one.  I just have to be a little more patient.  Although this room is not small, after my furniture was in place it felt a lot smaller.  My table is about 4ft. wide and 6 ft. long oval shaped with the leaf.  It's just not enough wiggle room for chairs so I plan on making a table that is long enough to accomodate our family for Christmas and slightly more narrow.  I love the table that Linda Behind the Red Door made and Lisa from Prims from Above have in their homes.  I have always wanted a harvest table with black Windsor back chairs so we shall see what he comes up with.  Mr. American Primitives is very talented and I have complete faith in him. 



The walls are so lovely too, it does make it feel better not to have those dark green walls.  I have added my treasured chandelier.  I got this in MO years ago when Colonial Primitive shop went out of business for a song.  I thought it might look to diminutive in here but I just love it. 

Now on to my dilemma what to cover the windows in, Here are some links to what I've been thinking about.  I don't need privacy in here and I don't want to completely cover the windows.  They measure 74 1/2" by 74".  If I go with a fishtail swag I think I will need two complete sets, and the praire style also.  Here's another company I also like too.  Give me your opinions ladies! I need some help here.

On to dilemma # 2, I plan on adding a braided rug.  What do you all think, all four legs on a rug or buy a rug just to fit under the table?  Would love advice from anyone who owns a braided rug.  My DH is worried about the wobble factor with 2 chair legs on and 2 legs off.  I will add some stenciling later on but other than that I am happy with it the room for now. 

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Let's start in the Kitchen!

This is the heart of the home.  It's where everything happens.   Meals are prepared.  Desserts are fixed and memories are made.  It's also where daughters and sons talk about their day.  Also, where husbands come in to steal a kiss after a long hard day at work.  I love the kitchen.  There is so much to celebrate in a kitchen.

When we purchased this house it was not my ideal kitchen.  As you know we looked and pondered for some time before we decided and this house fit our families needs the best.  I wanted a Farmhouse feel and it's modern.  I wanted a gas stove and I have an electric cooktop.  I would have loved an island that I could use to prepare meals.  I can honestly say I haven't yet used this one.  It's more of a bar.  However, looking at the bright side is my personality.  This kitchen is large so that is the one great thing about it! So I have made this kitchen as much me as I can with just stuff.  Later we will change the door pulls and many moons from now may completely replace these cabinets.  I would also like to upgrade the appliances starting with a gas cooktop and double oven.  Cooking and preparing meals is a priority for me.  I would love to have a pantry too.  I was disappointed about that.  I have been doing some thinking with my DH and I think we can make it work eventually.  We also plan to replace the chandeliers.  I think these small changes will make a big difference.  We have painted most of the house a Church Hill Vanilla from Lowe's by Valspar.  It had that creamy candlelight glow I was looking for and neutral backdrop. 
Here's the Before:

what it looked like as we walked through

and now the After

a close-up of my cookbook collection and my mother's dishes, they're not prim but are special to me.  Since she cannot be here to share this house with me I thought I would showcase them in her honor. 

You might remember this little sofa table I had in the other house, since I don't have two tables I needed a little something in this room to not distract from my 3 beautiful windows.

As you can see I tried to lighten things up a bit and decided to showcase my white pitchers up here.

my breadboard doing it's job hiding the ugly cooktop and my wonderful apple pie sign

Since my DH and I are living separately I had to have a new coffee pot and I usually choose black but I loved the punch of color from this one I found at K-mart.

The dreaded high island that hides it all from the family room.  I have 29-30 inch stools and it's still too high for my kiddos.  Not sure what to do about that.  You can also see a sneak peak into my dining room.  I'll be sharing that soon. Stay tuned!



Another overall shot from the family room. I still have a few things to hang in here but I don't have a lot of wall space.  Naturally, I moving things around on a daily basis.  I wish I could have a blog party and invite all of you to help me figure out where I want it all.  LOL!

Take care, have a wonderful day!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wedding pictures and some of the house!

My daughter had an awesome opportunity to be a part of our dear friends wedding.  We knew them about 6 years ago when we lived in MO.  We watched as this young girl and her sister grew up right before our eyes.  They were there with us when we had both of our kids as well... we would get together and eat and have the best time.  I enjoyed seeing this family and their extended families again.  It was a very nice wedding.  During the ceremony my daughter was even in the slideshow.  I can't express the joy that we all felt to be able to see them again and share in their celebration.  I cried when I saw my daughter and when the bride came down the isle.  It was very touching.  I couldn't help but think that in 10 more years or so this could be us.  Congrats to Richie and Staci may you have a long happy marriage!

the bride with my daugher

the wedding party

Daddy/daughter dance

My home is coming along I'll share some more pictures tomorrow.  We hung much needed blinds today and a few pictures and shelves so here are a few pics to tease you with for now.

my new baker's cabinet I purchased at an auctions before we moved that greets you when you enter the house

a close-up of the contents of the cabinet holding my crows for now

the fireplace in our basement

The view from the other side of the room opposite the fireplace.  We plan to buy a big screen TV later.  This is designed as a media room.  Right now we have my husband's gun cabinet and pie safe that holds movies down here so it's kinda bare. 

This is the little buffet that greets you as you head down the stairs.  As you can see I still need to fill my bread pans with something and hang our movie night sign.  I found it for 50% off at Hobby Lobby. 

Hope you all had a great weekend, our rain is gone and it's chilly here.  Hopefully, I can take some pictures of my beautiful fall trees around the house and area.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

My Baby is 8 today!

Happy Birthday Big Boy! In all fairness I'll post some pictures from my daughter's big day too.  We were literally right in the middle of our move then.  I have to be even all you mom's out there know about that.  I can't believe he is 8 today.  Seems like yesterday I was big as a house and walking around thinking he was never gonna come.  He was a good baby and still remains the easiest going kid ever.  He's usually happy with the simple things, great food, some one on one time with us and always happy at my feet making car noises.  I keep wondering how much longer he will be doing this but I know I should just enjoy it while it lasts.  Even in our new bigger house he's still right there with the Vroom, vroom... I get annoyed with it once in awhile though.  I love him just the same.  Since we had a joint birthday party with their friends from the old school we just kept it simple today.  Jeff came home to bring yet another load of stuff (seems never ending)  At his request we went out for Pizza at Pizza King a local restaurant with a bus inside it and it's been a favorite of his since he was little.   They even have big swings too to sit in while you eat your pizza.  After that we came back home for his homemade cake and icecream.  He opened gifts and played while we all relaxed with Jeff's parents.  His cake was chocolate chip with chocolate cream cheese frosting. was yummy. 

I'll be back very soon with more pictures of the house and wedding from last weekend.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ushering in a Change of Seasons

a little sneak peak of things to come

Long time no blogging, I know.  It's good to have my computer back even if it's for the weekend.  I've been a little busy bee.  Between trying to set up my house and shopping for a dress for my dd to be in a wedding life has been hectic.  I've been on here and there checking out all of your blogs when I can though.  Fall has arrived in IN and my new big house gets a little chilly.  My husband is trying to get that figured out as soon as he can.  Meanwhile, I learned an important lesson make sure your seasonal totes get moved with your stuff when you are experiencing a change of season.  I love the warm and cozy feeling of my old hooded sweaters.  I got those back this weekend too. 

We went to a beautiful wedding that I may share pictures with you later.  It was a dear friend of ours when we lived in MO, his daugher.  She's like a daughter to us too.  She asked my daughter to be a flower girl.  I found her a ivory colored dress and she looked so go grown-up.  The colors were an aqua or turquoise shade of blue with chocolate brown.  It may sound different but it was beautiful. 

Anyway, I had to leave with you a few pictures and a question.  What should I put on these enormous windows any ideas?? These ceilings are 9ft. tall, and the windows are about 71/2 ft.  My husband is standing to give you a reference. 

Have a blessed Sunday, enjoy your family and fall activities!