Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas From Our House To Yours.
See you in 2015!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie bombs

I made these last Christmas and they were so delicious, I just HAD to make them again!  This is the most decadent - and delicious dessert I have come across in a long time and I have The Domestic Rebel to thank for these.  
You just HAVE to make a batch!  

Here's her recipe:
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs
Author: 
Recipe type: Bombs
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 15-18
My SIGNATURE recipe. Bomb your diet. Do it.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups miniature chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 pkg fudge brownie mix, baked and cooled
  • 1 pkg Candiquik or chocolate almond bark

Instructions
  1. Let’s make some dough! In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the milk and vanilla; beat to combine. Lastly, beat in the flour and pinch of salt until a soft dough forms. Stir in ONE (1) cup of the mini chips.
  2. On a foil-lined baking sheet, drop rounded, (scant) Tablespoon-sized balls of dough. I used a cookie dough scoop for this and just scantily filled it so the cookie dough balls wouldn’t be so big. Freeze the cookie dough balls for about an hour to firm up.
  3. Cut the brownies into small squares, about 1″ in size. Pick up a square and gently flatten it with your palm. Fudgy brownies will flatten easily and retain their moisture which is why it’s important to make sure you use a fudgy brownie mix rather than a cake-y one.
  4. Place a cookie dough ball in the middle of the flattened brownie and very gently, wrap the brownie around the cookie dough ball. If the brownie cracks, that’s okay; just kind of roll it in your fingers until the brownie completely surrounds the cookie dough. Repeat until all cookie dough balls are covered, then return to the freezer for 30 minutes or so.
  5. Prepare chocolate bark according to package directions. Using a fork, dip each brownie truffle into the chocolate, coat completely, and allow excess to drip off. Return to the foil-line sheet and sprinkle the tops with the remaining cup of mini chips, for garnish. Store these bad boys in the fridge or freezer, in an airtight container.
 I hope you like them....so far, everyone who has tried them says:
They are "The Bomb" - Yes, pun intended!!



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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Movie Decorating

It's almost Christmas and I am FINALLY starting to feel like myself again!  WooHoo!!  Unfortunately, I am waaaay behind on my decorating.  I've managed to get a few things out and I thought I'd share some things from some of our favorite Christmas movies.  Let's get started......
We had more snow last week, so I bundled myself up and went out to take a few pics.  Do you see the movie reference in this one?  And, yes, those are snowflakes flying!!

My son gave me this a few years ago.  It is from one of my all-time favorite shows.

Here's a hint.......imagine it filled with eggnog!

This one might be a stretch, but I realized that I hadn't shared any view of the kitchen either.  As you can see, the main color is red.  The scale was found at an estate sale a few years ago and the snowman hat was from a gift.

So, how did you do?  Did you get all 4 movie references?  I'm so glad you stopped by the cottage.  Stop by again later this week.  I have an amazing recipe to share and I'll list the movie references too!

Monday, December 8, 2014

It's Beginning......

....to look a "little" like Christmas!

It has been a tough week at the cottage.  Last week I shared that we were battling some germs.  Hubby spent the better part of 3 days in bed with a cold and then I got a sore throat....I'm still coughing and sneezing a bit, but, hopefully this is the end of it.


The down-side?  I've barely started my Christmas decorating!  Let me show you the little bit that did get done.



One of the days when my hubby was sick in bed, I got outside and managed to get lights on and hang the garland on the porch.  Can I just say, "It was REALLY cold!"  There used to be a canvas awning that edged the top of the porch. We removed it, but the loops for holding it in place are still there - perfect for hanging the garland with cable ties!  

Let's walk up on the porch and see my sled.
This is one of my favorite decorations!  I found the sled at a yard sale years ago.  I added some artificial greens, a bow, the Santa yard stake, and some antique skates.
The chair that was seen in the Fall with mums on it, it now decorated with pinecones, greens, and ribbon.  The wind makes it challenging to keep those bows fluffed-up!

We're expecting a storm so, maybe, I can get some more decorating done.  Be sure to stop back to see the progress!

Stay warm, my friends!


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Monday, December 1, 2014

Pretty in Pink......

....and green & gold!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  This was one of the few that we did not cook.  We spent the day with friends and had a wonderful time. Unfortunately, I spent the weekend feeling 'under the weather' and now the hubby is sick with a nasty head-cold.  I hope this passes quickly!

  But, let's move on to today's post.  Tell me what you think of this:
Remember, you can click on the pics for a better view!
This wreath was so easy to make!  I used a wire coat hanger and shaped it into a circle:

Then I opened the hanger near the hook, attached a binder clip (just in case any of the ornaments wanted to slide off), and started stringing the (unbreakable) ornaments:

When I was done, I filled in any gaps with extra ornaments, attached with hot glue.  The blogger who inspired this wreath recommended gluing the caps to the ornaments so they didn't pop off.  I did not do this, and, yes, I did lose a few.  Fortunately, I was able to reattach them to their caps or reattach them with glue. If this happens to you, remember, the glue gun is your friend! 

After that, I made a bow and attached it with some wire.

Here is the best part about this project:  I spent $24 on ornaments and had enough to make 2 wreaths!  How fabulous is that?  $12 per wreath - plus the ribbon for the bow.  I know your next question is:  How many ornaments did you buy, Ann?  176.  Here's the proof:
And I even had a few leftover.

I must thank my inspiration for this wreath:  Eddie Ross - you're the best!  Here is Eddie's wreath:
FinishedWreath



I made this wreath a couple of years ago and shared it on my other blog, November Rose. Since that one is now dedicated to papercrafting, I thought I'd share the wreath here.


Be sure to stop back for more holiday decorating - 'tis the season!

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Even  though today was warm, we had some cold weather last week, and, I'm pretty sure more is on the horizon!  
My hubby has been feeling a draft on his feet, so I decided to make some draft-stoppers.  This is one of the easiest projects to complete.  I used some leftover fabric and a couple of bags of rice.  Here's the "How-To":
First, cut your fabric a little longer than the width of your door & 8 inches wide.  
With right sides together, stitch around 3 sides.  I made 2 lines of stitching for a little extra security for all of that rice!
I clipped the corners and turned the tube right side out.
I filled it with about a bag and a half of rice.  The amount of rice needed will depend on the width of your door.
Filler up and stitch-up the end.  Don't forget to measure it by your door to get a perfect fit.  I also made a loop to hang it on the doorknob for when you needed to open the door!
That's it!   Just a few minutes to make and the draft was stopped!

 Did I mention how much I love the original doors in the Cottage?

Have a wonderful week and a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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Monday, November 17, 2014

The 1950's Bathroom Gets a 2014 Update!

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a great weekend. It's been pretty cold here and this morning we woke up to snow.  The schools had a 2 hour delay and now it's raining.  Yes, that snow is wet and HEAVY!!  So glad I don't have to go anywhere today! 

Last week we were able to complete one of the very important projects at the cottage - updating the electric.  We already upgraded to breakers from fuses and changed the old outlets to 3-prong. The last step was to add some outlets. One of the most important ones to add was the bathroom.  Let me tell you the story...

The cottage has a beautifully preserved 1950's pink-tiled bathroom.  The problem was that the outlet that was in it, didn't work.  So, for the past 4 months since we moved in, I've been running an extension cord from the bedroom into the bathroom so I could dry my hair.  On a side note....I burned through 2 extension cords and before the breaker box was installed, the fuses were blowing -- my 1850 watt blow dryer kicks some butt!
Here is where the old plug was:
Yes, right inside the medicine cabinet.  You will have to forgive me for not taking a picture of the old plug.  I was so excited to be getting a new one that I didn't get out the camera until the new one was installed.  So sorry - but here's the new one:
And did you notice, it's a GFI????  The old outlet no longer worked (it was one of those little brown ones, you've seen one of those, right?), but the wiring was still good.  When the electrician traced it back to the basement, he discovered that someone had disconnected it.  This made life SO much easier.  No chopping holes in walls and snaking wire!  
Now, I'm sure you've noticed that the outlet looks great, but the inside of the medicine cabinet, well, not so great.  That's where I come in!
The first thing I did was tear off the duct tape.  Yes, I know duct tape fixes everything, but it wasn't the look I was going for in this medicine cabinet.  

I vacuumed out the cabinet and it was ready for contact paper.  That's right, a measuring tape, a pair of scissors and a $1 roll of contact paper transformed this cabinet:

The mirrored doors go back in place, and the project is done!

How cool is that?  The outlet hidden in the cabinet, so when the door is closed, the 1950's bathroom still looks the same!
I am so happy with the way this project turned out and I'm even more happy that I have a real outlet in the bathroom now!
The vintage bathroom really is amazing.  I will post about it sometime soon so you can have the complete tour.  It has some truly innovative features.
Thanks for visiting the cottage.  Stay warm and have a great week!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Redhead Redo

Welcome back!  Today I want to show you a dresser redo that I recently completed.  Since we did not bring our bedroom furniture with us when we moved, we needed a place for clothes!
This little beauty was found in a local antique store at a reasonable price.  It had a lot going for it:
solid wood
in fairly decent shape
no SMELL!  That's a biggie for me!
Although, she was a redhead - not the color I was looking for, and the knobs?  Well, a little large for me.
So, what did I do???  I sanded and taped-off the top, the top decorative molding, and the piece around the middle (don't you love my technical terms?) and stained them a dark walnut.  The rest of the dresser and the drawers were scuffed and painted white.

Let me just share something with you.  I've read tons of posts on repainting furniture that sound quick and easy.  This project was easy, but not quick!  I used 2 coats of latex primer and 3 coats of white latex paint.  I also used a brush. Spending big bucks on a paint sprayer just is not in my budget!
Although I am very happy with the results, this is not a project that will completed in a day.  I don't want to mislead anyone!
Here she is, all done.  I purchased new knobs...they're not cheap either!  Have no fear, the old ones will be recycled into something new.
Now we have a place for clothes - No more crates!!!  It's the little things that make me happy.

I hope you're having a wonderful week.  Stay warm, winter seems to be here!

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Monday, November 10, 2014

The Autumn Lull

It's that time of year.  Halloween is over and we're gearing-up for the holidays.  I don't get carried away with decorating for Thanksgiving and I tend to like things simple anyway.  
Here's a peek at the dining room:
I keep the same centerpiece, just fill it with seasonal flowers.  The placemats have been around for a few years now.  They were a sale purchase!
My Pilgrim shelf sitters have been with me for 20+ years.  They were purchased at a craft fair.

That's all for today.  I've been busy with a few projects and recipes at the cottage so be sure to stop back to see what I've been up to!

Have a great week!

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Crock Pot Lasagne


The weather is turning cooler and there's nothing like a delicious recipe that is easy to make.  Introducing......

 Crock Pot Lasagna

Here's the recipe:


1 pound ground beef
1 24 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
1 15oz. container of ricotta cheese
1 8oz. package shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
6 lasagne noodles, uncooked

BROWN meat in large skillet; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and water. In a bowl, mix ricotta, 1-1/2 cups mozzarella, 2 Tbsp. Parmesan, egg and parsley.

SPOON 1 cup meat sauce into slow cooker; top with layers of half each of the noodles (broken to fit) and cheese mixture. Cover with 2 cups meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles (broken to fit), cheese mixture and meat sauce. Cover with lid.

COOK on LOW 4 to 6 hours or until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses; let stand, covered, 10 min. or until melted.



I have made this recipe a several times and it is a huge hit.  Add a salad and you have a fantastic dinner for your family.  
Give it a try and let me know how you like it!

The inspiration for this dinner comes from Kraft.  

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

The Good:  We now have a rebuilt front porch that can  be decorated for the season.


The Bad:  This indoor/outdoor carpet that was on the porch floor.

The Ugly: 


Pull up a chair, pour yourself something to drink and I'll tell you the story.
When we bought the cottage, we knew the porch floor had a "soft spot".  It was at the top of the "to-do" list, so shortly after arriving, we peeled back the carpet and had a look.  It wasn't pretty, as you can see above.  There was also paneling on the sides of the porch.  I didn't like the look.

So, it was pryed off to expose this:
Seeing that rotted beadboard broke my heart!
And this:
Fortunately, the wasps were long gone!
Next. some of the floor was opened up and the extent of the damage was apparent:

The job was getting bigger by the minute.......time to call the professionals!  
The demolition continued:
Our contractor was able to save us some money by salvaging what we had. The cedar siding was carefully removed and saved and much of the tongue-in-groove flooring was still solid.  This was good news, since replacing cedar siding and tongue-in-groove flooring is expensive.  

Here's what the porch looked like halfway through the job:
Stairs & columns removed, roofed jacked-up & braced, and a little bit of flooring still there!
But, it got better!
New footings.
Framing.
Flooring.
New beadboard.  Remember the paneling??
And a 'shout-out' to the guys who made it happen!
 They also saved the columns.
The only thing left to do? Paint!  The salvaged floor needed some scraping and the steps needed a good scrubbing.  OK, 3 things:  scrub, scrape, and paint.  Not to bad, all things considered!  Rest assured that we will not be replacing the carpet.  Our best guess is that the carpet was a big part of the problem.  Rain and snow soaked into it and then soaked into the wood.  After years of this, the wood just rotted. I'll be sweeping off the snow regularly this winter!

The porch is now solid.  I'm looking forward to decorating it for the holidays and relaxing on it next spring and summer.

The Trick-or-Treaters will be safe on our porch.

From our house to yours...
Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!



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