October 1, 2014

8 Fun to Make Halloween Ideas

Yeah it is October 1st and Halloween is only 30 days away!!! Don't you just love Halloween? As a DIYer, crafter, baker and so on Halloween just seems to bring out all of my creativity. You probably feel the same way right? Well over the past years I have come up with a few idea for this very spooky holiday, and since I have a witch fascination, I couldn't help but to use witches as my theme each year. Here is some of what I have come up with...


1. Last year I made this adorable miniature Witchy Clothesline using from felt. My sister loved it so much it went home with her. No worries I have more felt so I may be knocking out another one yet this year!




2.  This is my Shelf Liner Pumpkin. I used a faux pumpkin I bought at the craft store for a couple dollars, and then just covered with strips of shelf liner. Pretty easy to execute and you can use it every year!



3. I made this Happy Halloween Sign using leftover beadboard from our kitchen back splash project.



4. How about a spooky mantelscape? This is my Witchy Mantel I created using a bunch of Halloween decor items, specific to witches of course. 




5.  Now onto some fun foodie ideas for a Witchy Bash. First up is a Witch's Brew.



6.  How about these darling Witch Hat Cookies? So easy to make with some fudge striped shortbread cookies, a Hershey Kiss and some orange frosting.




7.  If your taste is more for savory than sweet, these cute Witchy Broom appetizers would be a big hit at any Halloween party.




8.  One last fun idea to do with the kids...Glue Critters to Your Pumpkins! 



Happy October Everyone!!!

XO

September 27, 2014

Autumn on the Front Porch




Well OK, our front porch is more like a front stoop, but it's mine all mine!!! This year I decided to pull out and dust off the old Halloween mirror my sister gave me a few years back, and use it as part of the front entry decor. The mirror's reflective property really seems to brighten up the porch and its size fills that long solid white wall (which I never know quite what to do with) pretty well. So here it goes...our 2014 front porch all ready for the fall!!




I really wanted 2 corn stalks, but in order to save a few dollars I purchased one stalk and then split it in half.




The mum is sitting inside an apple bucket I bought last year at HomeGoods. Then I placed the bucket inside a wreath, again from HomeGoods.







The fall florals are from Michael's craft store...I just plpped them into the hanging wall container I already had and then grabbed a few of the corn stalk leaves to poke into the "arrangement".





Oh how I do love the Autumn!



Wishing you all a perfect autumn weekend!!!

XO

September 25, 2014

Hearty Pasta Fazool





The cooler air has really begun to move in here in the northeast and has gotten me in the home style comfort food mood, which means I have been cooking up a storm! Mostly I have been making dishes calling for tomatoes so I can use this fresh fruit which has been pretty prolific in our garden over the past few weeks. Today it is rainy and kind of cold, so I decided to whip up a pot of the hearty Italian soup, Pasta Fazool.

I've made Pasta Fazool before but with canned tomatoes. But let me tell you that after making this soup with fresh tomatoes it is clear that the difference between the two are miles apart! The fresh tomatoes add another dimension to the soup's flavor and it is a knockout! I used about 5 or 6 tomatoes of varying sizes for this dish. To prepare the fresh tomatoes, I cut a cone around the stems so to remove them and then dropped the tomatoes into boiling water. In about 3 to 4 minutes the tomato skins began to split at which point I removed them from the water using a slotted spoon. They were then placed on a dish to cool before peeling off the skins.

While the tomatoes were cooling, I sauteed in a large pot with a bottom covering of water...(or you could use oil if you prefer)

1/2 onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped

Once the vegetables began to soften I added 2 cloves of minced garlic and let it cook for another minute. I went ahead and peeled and chopped the tomatoes and poured off the tomato liquid into a measuring cup, then slid the tomatoes into the pot with the other veggies. Enough chicken stock was added to the tomato juice to make 2 1/2 cups of liquid. It was poured in and brought to a boil and then the heat was reduced and the the mixture was left to simmer. 

Now for some reason when I think of Pasta Fazool I think of it having a type of creamy base, so I made a cheesy white sauce in a separate pot to add to the soup. To do this 2T of butter was melt down and then 2T of flour was added to create a roux. Then a cup of milk was slowly poured in while stirring the mixture until it thickened and bubbled. Italian cheese like Locatelli, Asiago, Parmesan, Romano, or even a mixture of these cheeses, was grated into the white sauce and stirred until melted. I used about a half cup of cheese. A ladle of the vegetable mixture was added to the white sauce, mixed and then the entire pot of white sauce was poured back into the pot containing the vegetable mixture. At this time the pasta was tossed in. I used cellentani but you could add any type of pasta you wish. The pasta cooked in the vegetable mixture for roughly 9 minutes and then one can of the cannellini beans was added. Now since I am a big Goya fan I like to add a packet of Sazon without Annatto which comes in a box, along with one packet of Goya's ham flavored broth. The soup simmered for another five minutes or so to heat through the beans and finish cooking the pasta.

The Pasta Fazool was garnished with shredded Italian cheese and fresh parsley.



Ingredients:

1/2 onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb tomatoes canned or fresh, chopped with the juices reserved
enough chicken broth to add to the tomato juice to make 2 1/2 cups of liquid
2 T butter
2 T All-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup Italian cheese of your choice
10 oz. dried pasta
1 can cannellini beans
I pkg Goya's Sazon without Annatto
1 pkg Goya's ham flavored broth
Garnish with Italian cheese and fresh parsley

Another weekend is closing in fast and it is going to be a busy one for us. Football games, yard sales, even a chili cook off will be filling our time over this last weekend of September!

Enjoy!!!

XO

September 22, 2014

Who Wants to See Something Pretty? (Emerald Green Wine Glasses from HomeGoods)




Hey there and happy Monday!! I just wanted to throw up a quick post so I could share my new wine glasses with you all. The other day while shopping at the HomeGoods which just opened in my neck of the woods, I was milling around those pretty sunflower plates you saw in my last post, (you know the ones I put in my new (old) living room hutch...to see it click here.) and almost walked right by these gorgeous emerald color wine glasses. I would have done so too if I hadn't run into my dear friend Donna who started chit chatting with me. They were sitting on a small end of the isle display with a lot of other autumn inspired tableware when I noticed them. And upon further inspection of these wine glasses, well what can I say...I just fell in LOVE!




First off they are green and green is my all time favorite color! Did you know that the human eye is most sensitive to the color green? It's true...and these glasses are an emerald green which I adore. Did you know that emeralds, depending on color, cut, clarity and carat weight, are more valuable than diamonds or any other precious gem?




Secondly I love their shape and weight. They are very comfortable and easy to hold because of their concave shape, and they are a little on the heavy side which I prefer. They were sold individually so I don't know who manufactures them, but what I do know is that they were only $3.99 each!! So yup...I picked up all 8 of them! These glasses will be the perfect accent for all of my holiday tablescapes. Can't wait to use them...I am so HomeGoods Happy!

When was the last time you fell head over heals for something as soon as you saw it and simply had to buy it? 

Wishing you a wonderful start to your week and to this glorious season of autumn!

XO

September 19, 2014

My New Hutch Decked Out in the Colors of Autumn




Back in July I shared with you the fact that this hutch was gifted to me by my dear friend Colene.  Here is what she looked like then.  
(The hutch not Colene.)




I decided to keep her white and just clean her up a bit. The glass draw pulls were replaced with shiny silver ones and she was given a fresh coat of paint. I also remove the glass door to expose the interior and to allow in more light.





Then yesterday I  was at the grand opening of a Home Goods not too far from me and I spotted these darling sunflower dishes. I thought they would be perfect for my hutch so I grabbed 6 of them.




In front of the dishes are white wicker embossed cups each carrying a faux pear.



Then some shiny silver items were added to compliment the new silver drawer pulls. A couple of napkins are peeking out from the drawer.


I am absolutely loving this piece in the living room. It will add so much to my year round and holiday decorating, plus who doesn't love extra storage?

Wishing you a wonderful weekend and a very happy first day of Fall to you ALL!


XO
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