Thursday, April 30, 2015

Fresh Out of the Oven

I have never spent much time baking.  My Mom was a wiz at it but I always
preferred cooking.  Recently I decided that it might be a good idea to try out
a few baking recipes and this morning would be the day to start.

I love blueberries and I love lemon so I just knew I was going to love this
bread.  It's a blueberry, lemon and pecan bread with a lemon glaze on top.
You can find the recipe here.

It also gave me the chance to use my Bennington Pottery bread pan.
It's in the Morning Glory Blue pattern.  David Gil started producing his 
pottery way back in 1964 in Bennington, Vermont.  I love their pieces 
and I think they mix and match quite nicely with my other pieces of
blue and white.  If you are not familiar with Bennington Pottery,
here is a link to their website where you can read about their history
and view some of their lovely collections.

One of the reasons I love blue and white china so much is that it
just lends itself to mix and matching and however you mix it, everything
always works so well together.  

I love this tiny cow creamer.  She came from Smitten up in Fredericksburg, TX.

My Mom and I each bought one of these Mason's sandwich trays on our last
trip to England together.  I love Mason's.  Don't see it here in the states but 
you can buy pieces off of eBay.  The teapot and cup and saucer in this
tablescape are Mason's too.

Here you are ~ two slices of freshly baked blueberry, lemon and 
chopped pecan bread.  I already had a slice just to test it out.  Don't
mind saying that it is yummy.  Bentley thought so too when I gave
him a little morsel.

No Bentley ~ you may not have anymore blueberry bread.
Mama wrapped it up and put it away.  Maybe tomorrow we
can have some more, but we will have to take a long walkie
afterwards to walk off the calories :-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Welcome to My Studio

Welcome to my studio.  It's where I come and spend some time every
day.  It's a cottage hideaway where I can write and create.  

It's a spot filled with memories that inspire.

It's a place that is tranquil and kind.

A cozy spot where a cup of tea is enjoyed or a new craft project
unfolds.  A place where a blog post is created and where the blog
posts of others are read and enjoyed.

It's a spot where worries are left outside it's walls.

Where naps are enjoyed and encouraged.

A spot where books are read.

And where dreams live.

Thanks for stopping by!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bacon and Cornbread Salad ~ Yum!

On Sunday we hung around the house all afternoon.  For me it was
a shorts, flip flops, tee shirt and no make-up kind of a day.  I puttered and
fluffed and David ran around the garden on his riding mower.  I watched
a couple of cooking shows on the Food Network on Saturday and Trisha 
Yearwood's recipe for Cornbread Salad with Buttermilk Dressing and 
Maple Bacon caught my eye.  You can find that recipe here.

Well there are two things that David loves ~ bacon and maple syrup,
so I knew I would be making this salad for him.

I love to bake my bacon.  Love the alliteration here and this phrase will
stick in my head all day :-)  What I do is line a baking sheet with parchment
paper and lay the bacon out flat.  Pop it in a preheated 400 degree oven for
about 10 minutes and that's it.  The bacon comes out flat and crispy and there
is no splatter and an easy clean up.  Yummy!

In Trisha's recipe she brushed the bacon with maple syrup and then sprinkled with
brown sugar.  When I baked mine this way I watched it carefully so that the
sugars would not make the bacon burn.  It came out fine.  The only problem I 
had was keeping David away from it until dinner :-)  No worries though ~ he
was a good boy.

I baked some cornbread earlier in the day too.

I used Romaine for the lettuce.  I chopped up some tomatoes even though
I knew David would pick them out ;-)   I made the Buttermilk-Chive 
dressing and kept it in the fridge until dinner time.  I love buttermilk and 
you will always find it in my fridge.  I use it in so many ways.

Here it is.  The cornbread is cubed up like croutons and adds so
much extra flavor to the salad.  Nothing about this salad is low cal, 
but I consider Sundays a "cheat day".  It's the one day a week I eat
anything I want.  I can behave myself and eat nutritious lower calorie
meals on six days a week and then on Sunday I splurge!
And David ~ well he had two helping of salad.  Obviously he 
thought it was a hit.  Oh and don't forget that Buttermilk-Chive
Dressing.  It's the perfect topper!

Y'all have a great day!

BTW ~ Bentley had a couple of bites of bacon too.  
How could I refuse???

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, April 27, 2015

Vintage Linen Pillow Craft

A couple of weeks ago, my sister-in-law Cindy went to an estate sale near
her home in Lago Vista, Texas.  She sent me a text and said that she spotted some
vintage linens I might like and asked me if I wanted her to go back and pick
some up for me.  She sent me some pics and I said oh yes please do!

Last Friday I received the package of linens from Cindy.  One of the 
embroidered hand towels was this one.  I just knew instantly that I had the
right fabric to compliment the stitches.  Of course I had to embellish it
a bit more with some buttons and rick rack I already had.

I used this gold and white striped fabric from an old Ralph Lauren pillow
case that I love.  It just seemed like the perfect compliment to the lovely
embroidered stitches of the towel.

Thank you Cindy!  There are a few other vintage towels from her
haul and I am thinking about what I will do with them.  By the way,
Cindy just became a grandmother for the fourth time this weekend.
Baby Tucker was born on Saturday to daughter Julie and Jeremy.  Julie was
just a little girl when David and I were married.  Now she has her own little
girl ~ Anna ~ and now also a boy named Tucker.  It's a very exciting time
for everyone in Houston and the very first boy in their family of lots of girls.
One of these days I will have to get Cindy to send me some pictures of
the beautiful dresses she has made for her daughters and granddaughters
(and their dolls too) over the years.  She is a very talented seamstress.

Hope y'all have a great Monday!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Afternoon Nesting

We're just nesting today.  Glad you stopped by!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Flash News!

The flash news is ~ no flashes!  We had a thunderstorm last night and one
this morning too, but for the moment we are flash free.  Hooray!

I have noticed that I am starting to get through these storms more easily.
If I stay distracted I don't panic so much.  Last night I was talking on the 
phone with a fellow blogger and I was enjoying the chat so much that I
hardly noticed the thunderstorm.  When we finished our lengthy and fun 
chat, David asked me if I noticed the thunderstorm.  I told him that I did
but I didn't sweat it because it was a small one.  He laughed and said no,
it was actually a fairly big storm.  

I was both surprised and pleased.  Apparently I am becoming better
acclimated.  That's a good thing!  I am so proud of myself I am going
to treat myself and go to our library this afternoon and check out some
books I have been wanting to read.  Maybe a trip to Hobby Lobby too ;-)
I'll do it in between the raindrops.  Notice I am not mentioning
thunder and lightning lol.

That's the good news for this morning.  After so many days of being stuck
in the house with nothing to do but think, i.e. no blogging etc, I have
come to the conclusion that I need a drama free life.  I am going to do the best
I can to stay focused on the good things.  So here is another good thing to
share with y'all this morning ….  We  have had so much rain that we have
not had to turn on the sprinklers!  The reservoirs, lakes and streams are full.
Actually, our Guadalupe River has been at and above flood stage several times 
but I am not complaining because we used to be in a drought.  

See that?  Flash free and well watered trees, lawn and garden.  There's
always a silver lining if we just look for it.  Have a happy Saturday
y'all.  Here comes the rain again.  Praise the Lord!

Oh and what is Bentley doing right now?  Napping with his daddy.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

For Safety in the Storm

Well, here we go again.  Little old Victoria is surrounded by storms.
We went through this several days last week and over the weekend.
We just had a thunderstorm this afternoon and another is on it's way.  
We are also in the tornado watch area.

Y'all know I am afraid of thunderstorms.  I did quite well (for me) 
during the last few big ones last Saturday.   I have learned to be
prepared for the long stretches of thunder and lightning and am now
always at the ready.

This is my safe and secure zone.  I used to go into the master bathroom
because it is the only room in the house without huge windows.  But I
read that it is not good to be near plumbing during an electrical storm,
so I moved into the hallway between the dressing room and our 
bedroom.  Still some windows in the bedroom and the dressing room,
but I can huddle in the corner if things get too rough, or go into the
linen closet right behind the pillow.

So here's the set up ~

Comfy quilt to wrap up in
Soft pillow
Battery powered candles
iPad for music to cancel out the thunder
Sleep mask if lightning is too severe
Flashlight to read by if power goes out
Fun book to read  (thank you Mary Kay Andrews)
Two teddy bears (one is a tiny one for clutching)
My cell phone to keep aware of where the storm
is headed and ….

to stay in touch with my "sister" Robin who stays in
close touch with me throughout these storms.
Bless her heart.  She texts me through the worst of the storm.
Love that girl friend and my adopted "sister".

But this is the phrase I cling to and the one that gives me the
most comfort during these times ….

We are supposed to be having severe weather for the next couple of days,
so I probably won't be posting.  Looking forward to clear skies and 
sunny days.

By the way ~ sometimes Bentley will sit with me and sometimes he 
moves to one of the chairs in our bedroom.  He is not afraid of these 
storms and I don't want him to be scared either.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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