Saturday, August 28, 2010

New Curtains and More!

Since we painted our kitchen last fall, we were lacking curtains. I was getting tired of looking at retail stores and not finding what I was looking for. So when my Mom came to visit, we went to work and off to Joann's we went. We ended up finding the perfect green and blues with a little retro flare that I was looking for. And even better it was the end of the bolt so for a total of $15 we were able to make 2 curtains and even a cover for the kitchen aid mixer.

To keep a more modern look we only added 6 inches to the width of the window for the total width of the fabric. Very Simple! Thank goodness Mom was here to demonstrate. Things are always easier when you are learning from a Pro! Thanks Mom!!!

And with the little fabric left over, I decided to make a cover for the kitchen aid mixer.

Happy Sewing !!! :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cooking Lessons with Mom

My Mom is the best cook! She can whip up anything and it always turns out. So when she comes to visit, I try and learn how from her. I hope I can have at least half her talent!

This year the menu consisted of:

Grandma Hodgen's Angel Food Cake
Nana's Moons
and Mom's Famous Lasagna

Grandma Hodgen's Angel Food Cake

Here is the Recipe for the Angle Food cake. This cookbook is a special Hodgen family cookbook. The recipes were compiled by the family and as you can see in the picture, even the handwritten originals from Grandma Hodgen were scanned it. Too special!

Forming the stiff peaks with the 13 egg whites~

The finished cake, we then placed it upside down on a wine bottle overnight to set.

The finished cake. To serve, we topped with fresh strawberries and blue berries.....Delicious!

Grandma Hodgen's Angle Food Cake Recipe:

2 cup egg whites (approx 13)
1 1/3 tsp cream tartar
5 tsp water (cold)
1 1/3 c cake flour

Sift flour and measure. Then sift with 2/3 c sugar. Set aside. Sift remaining 1 1/3 c. sugar separately. Set aside. Beat egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar. Beat until stiff. Add water. Gradually add the 1 1/3 sugar. Fold in, beat or stir slowly. Then add flour/sugar mixture and fold in slowly. Pour into angel food cake pan. Bake 1/2 hour at 250 degrees F. Increase heat to 325 degrees F for another 1/2 hour.

As for Nana's Moon's we attempted to bake them just right....However they are tricky, as the temperature needs to be just right! No humidity, fresh eggs, and a little not so specific instructions. But a great delicious treat to have.

And the brown paper bags are a must... Silly me, I didn't take a picture of the finished product. White cream filling to create the finished moon. They did turn out delicious, but not quite like Nana's!

Nana's Moons Recipe

1 Box conf. sugar
1/2 or more small jar marshmallow
About 3/4 cup Crisco
Milk and small splash of vanilla

Add gradually until consistency to spread. Mix with mixer until sluffy.

Oven at 400 degrees F for 7 min
2 c flour (sifted)
1/2 c cocoa (Hershey's unsweetened)
1 tsp vanilla
1 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c milk (evaporated 1/2 with 1/2 water)
1 egg (fresh)

Sift together, dry ingrediants. Add Crisco, milk, egg, and vanilla. Mix by hand. Drop on cookie sheet with tsp. Cool on brown paper bag. No Crisco needed for cookie sheet. Makes 2 dozen moons.

Here is the recipe for the Lasagna....No pictures, but absolutely amazing:)

Mom’s Lasagna

Brown 1 ½ lb. Hamburger with 1 med diced onion. Drain off grease.

Add: ½ diced green pepper

2 cloves garlic or ¼ tsp. Garlic powder

1 – 16 oz. Can tomato sauce

2 – 6 oz. Italian tomato paste

1 can tomatoes (I use 1 pt. Stewed tomatoes)

1 sm stalk celery, diced

3 bay leaves

4 whole cloves

1 tsp. Oregano, 1 tsp. Salt, ½ tsp pepper

1 tbsp sugar

Cover and let simmer 1 hour. Remove bay leaves and cloves. Cook 1 pkg lasagna noodles and drain. Use ½ - ¾ lb. Grated Swiss cheese and ½ - ¾ lb grated mozz. Cheese. Layer noodles, sauce, cheese. Repeat. Bake covered @350 for 45 min – 1 hr. 9 x 13 greased pan. Let set for 10 min. before serving.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Updated Porch: A Fresh new look

It's amazing the motivation to clean/update your house that comes when company are visiting! My family will be visiting from Iowa next weekend, so my husband and I were hard at work this past weekend to clean, update, and organize. Our four seasons porch is probably our favorite room in the house. It's were we hang out, watch tv, play games, etc. The space is challenging as it is small, so finding the right furniture to create the max amount of seating for when guests arrive has been extremely difficult. I feel that we finally got it right.

This first picture is before we purchased the home in 2005...cute, but not quite our style.....
This is one of the many times I rearranged the furniture in the porch. I can drive my husband crazy by the amount of times I try to rearrange a space. I feel that I do it only when I'm frustrated and can't find it to work just right....As you can tell with this arrangement, we only had a small love seat, and chair...but was way over-crowded with a sewing machine, ottoman, games, dvd's etc.
Here is space empty....for the most part of course

And here is the new furniture/arrangement. After hours of research, measuring, etc. I feel that we finally got it right. We really wanted a sofa bed to add an extra spot for guests to sleep. We decided to go for the Beddinge at Ikea....Great price, comfortable and the perfect size. It also has a box underneath for awesome storage...we have our games, dvd's, blankets, and an extra cover for the couch....

We decided to go with a comfortable ottoman with a pillow instead of a chair. We wanted something that wouldn't take up too much space and that would visually not "crowd" the space. With this low profile, you can see out the windows and also tell that it really does make the space feel a lot bigger without loosing extra seating....And it still is comfortable to sit. Plus our dog, Brady, absolutely loves his new "raised dog bed!"

We love the way it has turned out! Enjoy:)