Tuesday, July 31, 2012


We had weekend guests Friday evening to Sunday, so I did not finish my back hall. However, I canned salsa before I mad the poppers on Friday. I do not know how it tastes later in the year after being "canned" a few months, so I am not going to post the recipe yet. I do know that it was very good right before it was ladled into the jars :)

On another note, I changed out the three light fixtures in the back hall and almost finished the trim touch up on the floor. Pics tomorrow....... (if my new photographer is available).

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Jalapeno Poppers

Friday afternoon I made 100 jalapeno pepper poppers, or as I call them "half poppers." I also made salsa but that's another post. I planted nine plants this spring, so I would have plenty peppers to make these poppers to put in the freezer to enjoy on the weekends this winter. They can be fairly expensive from the grocery store and even more so when you order them out. In fact, we were out to dinner last night at our favorite local pub and they were on the nightly "specials" list for $4.95 for five whole poppers. Even though mine are half-poppers I probably use twice as much cheese that you would get in a whole one.

I used a base recipe that I found here and I modified it a little. I did not use bacon bits, but I added a little garlic and onion powder. You can really modify it to your liking as long as your ratio of cream cheese to a drier cheese is appropriate for molding. If you do not have enough cream cheese then it is difficult to keep the mixture together enough to stay in the jalapeno half. Also, since my peppers were homegrown without chemicals in Ohio, they were smaller than what you would may find in your supermarket. This means that I used more peppers, about 25 per recipe instead of the listed 12. (I doubled the recipe since I had 50 peppers to use.)

MY RECIPE INGREDIENTS: 50 small jalapeno peppers, 16 oz. cream cheese (2 blocks), 12 oz. (3 cups) sharp cheddar cheese, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. onion powder, 2 cups milk (for dipping), 2+ cups flour (for rolling), 2+ cups bread crumbs, oil for when you are ready to fry

Step 1: Put on latex or kitchen gloves!!! You will regret this if you do not wear gloves the entire time.

Step 2: Wash your peppers.

Step 3: Cut off the top, cut in half lengthwise, and remove seeds.

Step 4: Stuff your pepper halves with the cheese mixture.

Step 5: Dip into milk, roll in the flower, then place on plate to dry for 10 minutes.

Step 6: Dip into milk, roll in the breadcrumbs (I used seasoned), then place on plate to dry 10 minutes.

Step 7: Place in one layer in freezer bags set on cookie sheet and put in freezer. Once they are frozen you can remove the cookie sheet.

Step 8: When you're ready for a snack, remove as many as you are in the mood for and fry at 365 °F. Even if you want to eat them right away, I would freeze them first to harden up the cheese enough to withstand the heat of the oil (preventing premature oozing).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Painted Floor

I have been up for two hours but cannot seem to get started on the final day of my hall floor. It has not been an easy task. This on-the-surface "easy" hall  makeover has taken forever! Here is what has been done.

1. The stinky carpet was removed before we moved in 18 months ago. This revealed a Masonite and linoleum mix with about 500 nails embedded in it.
2. All Masonite and lino was removed. This revealed floor repairs (and cuts from when plumbing and HVAC was installed) and a few holes in the turn-of-the-century pine floor (this is in the addition, not the original 1849 portion).
3. I repaired and replaced the wood, This left it a little better looking, but still not good enough to sand and stain. And, there had been a border painted at some point before 1966 (when the former sitting room was turned into a bathroom and hall), and I am pretty sure it has lead in it. So that means no sanding for refinishing.
4. I then did all of my painting: ceiling, trim, and wall. I also coated the two sets of sliding closet doors (one for a panty the other is a coat closet) with Minwax Polyshades to freshen them up without painting them.
5. The three lights I bought were too big for the space, so back they go and I purchased a discount version of some schoolhouse lights from Lowe's. I cannot put them up until this weekend, because I realized I need another coat of ceiling paint and my brand is out-of-stock until Friday evening!
6.Back to the floor.....I decided paint would be the answer as it is still very sturdy pine over a sturdy sub-floor. If it looks that terrible I will have someone come in and tile it. I cleaned it with a weak Murphy's oil/water mix and scrub brush. I took it easy on the water and wiped well as I went. (The wood was soooo dirty.)
7. I then painted the entire floor with Kilz primer (the gold label) and let it dry overnight.
8. I then painted with Sherwin Williams porch and floor paint in grizzly gray. It is water-based and low-odor. It went on like a dream.
9. Today is the final coat of floor pain and trim touch ups. Then I can paint ceiling again, nstall lights, and put new doorbell in (which is located in the hall).

Hopefully I will have pics up on Monday!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Decor "Copies"

I am taking a break from painting the back hall floor (primed and first coat) and came across this pin from one of my FB friends, http://knockoffdecor.com. It is a great site that "copies" some of your favorite (but sometimes expensive) decor items. There are loads and loads of projects. This is one that copies Pottery Barn's $499  barn floor mirror that I personally am going to try (as soon as I get some more tools), http://homastyle.com/wp/2012/06/28/floor-mirror/

Check back for the completed back hall before-and-after pics.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Canning Pizza Sauce

Yesterday, I made seven pints of homemade pizza sauce. It's a little bit of work, but goes quickly if you get organized before you start. I fill my canner with water, get all of my jars, lids, and tops (one extra than the recipe calls for just in case), bowls, etc., etc. out and ready before I peel one tomato.

This recipe called for 20 lbs. of tomatoes, any kind. I like to use mostly Roma when making sauces as they tend to be less watery. However, many of my Romas were zapped during our heat wave earlier this month. So, I used a variety of tomatoes from the garden.
I used the directions in this canning recipe. This lady does a great job with directions for preserving just about any kind of vegetable or fruit. She also lists local farms to pick you own or already picked. The home page is http://www.pickyourown.org

I used the recipe as it was written, including the salt. I used a little celery seed instead of the optional celery. If you decide to use this recipe, or any cooked tomato recipe for canning, do not be tempted to over season with onions, garlic, or fresh herbs...they can become bitter. I usually "tweak" the sauce when I get ready to use it. I have used it 'as is,' with a little sugar, canned tomato sauce, and meat over pasta, and with other fresh veggies cooked into it. But, it is a good base sauce....I used it last year and wish I had made more.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bedroom Makeover

Besides writing about my projects and garden, I am constantly looking for others' pics and stories about their own projects. Home Stories A2Z  is one of my faves that I check several times a week for inspiration. Every time I visit, I see something new or something that I didn't see on previous visits. Today, Beth posted before and after pics of hers boys' room makeover. Take a peek......it's pretty cool!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Faux Window

My mom and stepdad are former Ohioans living on the gulf coast of Florida. They built their home about eight years ago and Mom is starting to freshen things up. The pictures below are focusing on the faux window (right) she created on the wall of the garage that you can see as you go to the front door. Before there was an expanse of boring stucco.

She also add the table and chairs; the fountain and bench were already there. Pretty creative, I think.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Shelving Unit

Yesterday, hubs had a day off work so off to Ikea we went for some organization goodies and hallway lights. Today I put together the low-cost shelving unit for all those kitchen appliances that take up precious counter space.

It was pretty easy but I did a few extra things that I've mentioned below.

I cut four felt rounds in half to put on the bottom of each corner of the unit in order to protect the wood floors in the kitchen. They are self-adhesive and come in all sizes....I always keep them in the house.

Below is a closeup of the hubs' coffee/breakfast bar shelf.  I added the rail and basket to keep his K-cups, sweetener and mugs. Under the Weetabix is an old safety deposit box that I filled with other types of K-cups that I like (tea, hot chocolate, flavored coffee, etc.) He uses "special" bowls for his Weetabix and shredded wheat. The shapes allows the cereal to soak up the optimum amount of milk :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Vintage patterns

Striped Patterns Poncho Top This past Saturday, I went to a local estate auction here in town. I spent a total of $6.43 (which included the sales tax) and came home with a few nice goodies. What you see above and below are just a sampling of the patterns I pulled out of the box of over 100 (some never used/cut). The copyrights ranged from 1942 to 1977 on some of the packages. Many of the pre-1950s patterns are not dated. Some day when I try to organize them, I will research the dates further.

Over half of them were for baby to teen sizes (mostly girls) and the rest were misses sizes with a few men sizes thrown in. The previous owner must have been a seamstress as some of the patterns had different full names of people and notes about shortening the cuff or letting out the seam a little more. Also, many of the envelopes were stamped with the names and locations of the stores where they were purchased (as is the case presently). Some of the cities stamped were in Los Angelos, Kokomo, my town, Montebello, CA. I kind of went into a little daydream about the life of this lady and what took her across the country as I perused my new treasures.

The smallest size available back in the day was a ladies 12. HOWEVER, a 12 in the 1950s was more like a size 8 today.

I cannot wait to actually use some of the little girl (and boy) patterns. They are soooo adorable and classy looking. Hopefully, I will have grandchildren some day that I can sew for.

One last thing, look at the bottom right corner of the 50s pattern below. Can you imagine seeing that today!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Upcycled Tablecloths

After repairing the aprons, I started to dig deeper into my pile of washed (but unsorted and yet-to-be-ironed) auction textiles. There were many tablecloths that were beyond saving due to the amount of staining. Bleach, Oxyclean, nor vinegar could clean them enough to be used at a meal. So off I went searching on Pinterest.com for ideas on what to do with them. Don't throw out grandma's favorite tablecloth. Check out these easy projects....Fabric spray or Rit dye can extend the life and "freshen up" those old linens.

Vintage Aprons

It is raining and I am so happy for that! Anyway, the floor has been repaired and drying so what to do? Repair the vintage aprons that I purchased at a local online auction site a few months ago. I have just started my collection and plan on actually using my aprons, so I do not pay very much for them. I have bought them solely at auctions, online and live.

I bought a box of ten. These are the ones that do not need any repairs. I soaked them in Oxyclean solution to brighten them up and then washed them normally in the machine. Some are prettier than others, but I will try to use them all.

Floor Repair

This morning I was determined to finish the back hall floor repair. I needed to fill in some small and large places in the poplar floor before I could prime and paint it. "Paint!" I hear some of you gasp. We believe this part of the house was built in the 1920s and quite a bit of plumbing and HVAC updates have occurred since then that required cutting into the floor. The person(s) responsible for this was not always concerned with repairing them in the most aesthetically pleasing manner. Also, wood filler doesn't always take stain the way you want it to, so why put myself through all of that.

Before any filling could take place I had to replace and repair one of the repairs. I had a crash course in using a reciprocating saw (I think that is what it is called) and did this two days ago. Now I am just waiting for all of the filler to harden up so I can sand and prime. This will have to wait until Friday as hubs and I are going shopping tomorrow for lights, work clothes for me, and whatever else we may need.

Check back in a week for before and after pics!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sweet Corn

My farmer friend stopped by earlier with a bag of Jackpot sweet corn from his farm. He and his wife grow the best-tasting corn in the area.

When I cook corn on the cob, I try to "process" it as little as possible to preserve all that sweetness. First of all, you should prepare it as soon as possible from when it was picked. It will be sweeter tasting. If this is not possible, put it in the fridge until ready to prepare. I soak mine in cold water, husk and all, for at least an hour. I then put it on the grill (medium heat) for about 20 minutes, turning over once. I then shuck it using a tea towel so I do not burn my hands.....they come right off.

Day 1

Hi, everyone! This is the first day of my blog. I have posted many pics of the past's years house progress and auction finds. I will be adding pics of my vintage linens and aprons as soon as I take them. This is a new work in progress, so check back often for a more polished, organized spot. Please have a look at all of the pages I have already created. Thanks for visiting :)