Wednesday, November 27, 2013

White Chocolate Blueberry Scones

After many years of fresh, warm cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving morning. I decided to kick it up this year. Don't worry the past 2 years no one has been that excited about cinnamon rolls. Don't get me wrong we still enjoy cinnamon rolls, it's just that on Holidays we like to get a bit fancier.

Fancy doesn't always mean fussy though. These are easy to make ahead and freeze, then just pop them in the oven and walla, fancy schmancy, parade watching breakfast to go along with your cappuccino.

In your food processor combine:
4 cups all purpose flour
6 Tablespoons white sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons of cold butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)

Pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl mix blend:
3/4 cup whole milk (you can use lighter milk, but remember that less fat will change the texture. I have used 2% and it worked out OK, but do NOT use skim.)
2 eggs

Add to dry ingredients, pulse a couple times just until dry ingredients are almost all moist. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Before any kneading on top of "dough" pour
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup frozen blueberries
Now gently knead until combined

Divide the dough in half use your hands to pat each into an 8-inch circle. Use a knife to cut into 6 to 8 wedges. Place wedges onto a cookie sheet. At this point you can place the cookie sheet in the freezer then in a few hours move the frozen wedges to a freezer bag until ready to bake. Or you can bake them right away on a greased cookie sheet.

When ready to bake, brush the top with a little bit of milk. (This will give it a nice crust) place your cookie sheet into a Preheated 375 F oven for 15-20 depending on if they are thawed or frozen. Best when served warm!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quick and Easy

Thanks to all of you who have been filling up my love tank with the compliments, with posts 1, 2, and 3. I still am wondering if I am motivating anyone else to do those yucky jobs? Or did you already do it and I'm just a procrastinator? Or is reading this blog like when I watch Biggest Loser while eating a bowl of ice cream?

Either way today I dug back in. Window blinds and cobwebs are on today's agenda. Unlike yesterday you probably don't need to set down what your eating before you continue.

Here is how I clean mini blinds, I put them in the tub with warm water, dish soap and a wash every individual slat with a microfiber cloth.

For the larger slat blinds I use a bucket of warm soapy water and a microfiber cloth to wipe down every individual slat. (The difference being I do it in place and not in the tub. These blinds are heavier and I would be bummed if I broke them. The mini-blinds can always be upgraded to the wider slats when they break.)

My Vet's birthday is today too, but Thursdays are always really busy for us. So we are planning a special dinner this weekend. I had to show him some love somehow, so I made up a batch of his favorite soup in the crockpot so that it would be hot and ready at a moment's notice.

The weather has turned cold. How did you stay warm today?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Rug Doctor is In

Lucky for me cleaning the carpets is next up on my list. Why am I so lucky you ask? Look what I just found.

Sorry I know gross, but sometimes mom's just have to take a deep breath and get to work.

Today I am a cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater. I actually did half of the work last night. Since I found that lovely gift from the dog, and I knew today would be crunched for time. I decided to get a head start. Now cleaning these 2 rooms usually takes me two days, just like this time. My house isn't huge, so I move everything into one area and smaller things into the bedrooms and clean the open space.

Cramped, but usable.

Then I turn on the fans for speedier drying and the next day, move it all to the now clean side and start over.


Yes I do it often enough I have a system. I try to clean the carpets at least twice a year. With dogs, lots of kids in and out, and allergies it makes sense. It also makes sense when you see this.

Gross right? Can you believe I just did it this spring? No wonder I want to change it up! Here is a shot of me at work.
Please excuse my Angelina Jolie stance with my one leg awkwardly in the photo. Yes I usually do it barefoot so my socks don't get wet, and rolling my pants, keeps them dry too! If your wondering this is my Royal Procision 7910 Carpet Extractor that I have had for about 8 years. I had a Bissell before that I liked too, I just used it too much I guess.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Blank Slate

Yesterday I started my mad dash to be ready for the holidays. Today, I headed outside before the big chill gets here. Yep, a big dip in temperature. Since it is the end of November, my best guess is that winter is about to start. That means it is finally time to get to my fall yard clean up.

I don't know about you, but we get a ton of leaves. In years past I have tried a variety of leaf collecting methods. They all are still a lot of work, and I would rather just sit inside and watch a movie.

But alas, I can do that no longer. Last week I ran around the yard a few times one evening with the lawn mower, attempting to mulch the vast amount of leaves. I did make a dent, but it got too dark before I was able to finish. So today I used my trusty rake to move leaves from the edges and other areas that the big mower doesn't reach to the middle of the yard.

Leaves I raked in from the edges and off the
patio. Not too bad this time around
I also have this roughly 20 x 65 foot section in front of the fence that gets a ridiculous number of leaves that blow in.

It's really hard in this picture to see how deep
they are, sorry but I was in a hurry to get it done.

Lots of energy later, this is how it looked. Not perfectly leaf free, but I'm beat, and my hands can barely type from the claw like grasp that remains. It really is amazing how the leaves get frozen to the ground when you wait too long! Oops


I did leave a couple of festive fall themed items on the porch that I will swap out with Christmas decorations after Thanksgiving.

Being a proud mom I had to share this photo too. After getting home from school she went next door to help the neighbor.
Glad that's done. I think I might start tomorrows project tonight so that I have time to finish. See you tomorrow!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Final Countdown!

It just dawned on me that in 5 days, my kids will be off school for an entire week for the Thanksgiving Holiday! I never got that kind of time when I was a kid, (I had to walk both ways up hill too) but I'm glad I get to spend extra time with them. I love the Holidays and have been working on a big reveal for all of you after Thanksgiving. Can't express how excited I am about that...

Before I can get to Christmas though, I need to be ready for Thanksgiving. For most people Thanksgiving is all about the food. For us moms, it's also about opening our homes to family we haven't seen all year. Gulp. Has it really been that long since spring cleaning?

Don't get me wrong, I am still a firm believer that friends come to see me not my house so I'm not in panic mode. It's just that I need incentive like this to get to some of those big jobs. That said, this week I am going to tackle a cleaning project every day to share with you. I hope that you are inspired, and that you let me know. (Like I said I need motivation.)

For Monday I chose cleaning out the fridge and freezer. My inspiration came from the photos in this article, and the hope that I would need the freezer space for a butchered deer or a cow in the near future.

Sorry I didn't get a before of the fridge, but know that several jars of really old preserves where tossed. Lots of crumbs where removed from below the crisper drawers too.

It doesn't look like much, but foods are
grouped and multiple half packages have
been combined.

I think it's looking pretty clean. I haven't had that much extra freezer space in a long time! Since they are more efficient full, I need to find some deals ASAP!

One thing I always find when cleaning out the freezer is various breads and buns that got pushed to the back. You know that single hamburger bun I thought I would use 'next time', the heal of a multigrain bread the kids hated, the bagels I vaguely remember buying... They have all been in the freezer so long there you wouldn't want to just thaw and eat regular. I cut them up into crouton sized pieces, and roast them in the oven.

Half get packaged and placed back in the freezer to add to stuffing. The other half get put in the food processor to be turned into bread crumbs.

The crumbs are packaged and returned to the freezer. I will combine the crumbs with parmesan cheese and melted butter as a crunchy topping for casseroles. It feels good to have that job done, and now for tomorrow...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Faux Roman Shade

Hanging curtains this past weekend, has inspired me to find a purpose for a swatch of fabric I've had for almost a year.

I started by ironing and stitching the edges over.
Created a pocket for the bottom hem.

Created my pleat and then used a hem stitch. I tried to highlight a bit for you.

Here's how it looks from the front.

I used a scrap piece of wood and closet rod sockets to hang it.


Don't worry about the items that were already in the window. On my mom's last visit she assured me that she had intended for me to use and abuse the cute blueberry potholder. You'll see that again down the road in future food posts. The kids craft project just got a new home in the girls room.
Again with the before.

Have you done any quick updates around your home lately?



Monday, November 4, 2013

Cover That Up!

I know that it would be a lot easier to just get dressed in the bathroom. Yet I still find myself early in the morning digging through the dryer for items. Someone lazy enough to not get the laundry put away, should suddenly decide to walk up the stairs change and then return back down the stairs to deposit the dirty clothes? Uh yeah.

Unfortunately every choice has a consequence. Mine is that I need curtains on my basement windows. Previous owners had tacked up mismatching pillow shams with a couple of nails. I removed all of them during some recent work. And had even hung curtain rods. Then I stalled for a bit.

The fabric that I liked the most wasn't in my budget, and like I said I really couldn't wait any longer for a cheap solution. Then I read this and the light went on. I have some plain white fabric that could be reused. This basement has become the mother of all reuse projects. The fabric had previously been used as fitted sheets, then used as drop clothes, and finally as curtains.

I'll be the first to tell you that they seem a bit granny to, and I'll still probably jazz them up like my inspiration, but for now the windows are covered, light can still come in, and I can continue to wait a few days to put away laundry. Seems like a win-win to me!

Here's how it went down.

I started by finding 3 that where the whitest and cleanest, then washing them with bleach. I then folded the fitted sheets to make them lay flat while I cut them.

I removed the elastic on the first one, then decided that it didn't make any difference so tried cutting the seem at the sheet corners.

That didn't make any difference in how flat it layed either. Folding was the most important step. If you don't know how to properly fold a fitted sheet watch this. (I read this in her magazine when I was just a kid. Oops, sorry there's that crazy OCD popping back up.)

This left me with a large rectangle that had 2 finished edges and 2 raw edges. To finish the raw edges I started by ironing a hem. When my mom first taught me to sew, she insisted I use a ton of needles to hold everything in place. Yuck. When it comes to hemming, I find that extra time spent ironing eliminates the need for needles and gives me a nice uniform edge. I first folded the material 1/2 inch and ironed, then folded another 1 inch and ironed. This would be the bottom of my curtain.

I then folded the newly hemmed sides together to determine the middle line. I cut along that line. Then folded that raw edge as the top. For the top my second fold was 2 inches to allow for enough space for the curtain rod to pass through. Then I stitched using my fold lines as a guide. My sewing room isn't really that dark. The combo of white fabric and the task light on the machine, made it really hard to take a close up photo.

Ironing was the most tedious of the jobs. I set up in the living room so that I could watch a movie with the family as I worked. This made the time fly by.
I then hung them on the rods and stepped back to admire my work.
I realize they are very plain and more than a little old lady. I will fix that in the future sometime. For now I am just glad to have the windows covered.