Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pet Parade

It occurred to me that you haven't met all the furry and feathered members of my family. So sorry about that. Allow me to introduce my pets formally...

Zeus (the Moose)

Mr. Hobbs 

Roxy a.k.a Roxy Doodle a.k.a Doodle Bug

Calvin  or "Puppy Cat"

Guss Guss
Yeah, we love our pets around here. Suffice it to say that the vet loves that we are in town and that we take care of our family.

PS Why yes it does take a long time to get out of the house in the morning with this many animals to feed. Each person in the house takes a species (Dad gets the bird, Mom takes care of dogs, I take care of the cats). It's our system and it seems to work.

Inspired by: Gussy Sews

I read somewhere between 5 and 10 blogs every day, not blog posts, individual blogs. And that’s without counting all of the clicking over that happens when Sherry or John from Young House Love feature another awesome blog on a Reader Redesign, or Holly Becker of decor8 features an amazing small business like this one.

Gussy.jpg
Gussy [photo credit] wearing one of her signature ruffles 
I have no idea how I found Gussy Sews (oh the shame!), but I do remember that I found her shop first and it went something like, “Oh wow that is a really cute headband…” and a few clicks later I was on her blog, then subscribing, and finally digging through the archives to read old Gussy posts.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chemical Free Brass Polish

I have to give credit where it is due. This fantastic chemical free brass polish recipe came from Cloe at Because I Like to Decorate.  The post feature was actually about her amazing Vintage Drexel Heritage Desk seen below (I love the drawer pulls), but I thought you might like  to keep the brass polish recipe on file. I know I did!

“… I used the following solution: 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 tsp. salt, then enough flour to make a paste. Thickly brush the paste onto the hardware and let sit for 10 minutes. Then scrub with a toothbrush and rinse. You will be amazed how the build-up just melts off. Finally, polish with a dry rag.

Psst…check out the full post and this amazing dresser here.

IMG_5451.JPG

Potporri Bags

 
Remember this inspiration photo? Well, I finally finished a whole set of cedar filled bags to toss in dresser drawers, shoes, etc to keep things smelling fresh.

 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gluten Free Stuffing: Part II Stuffing

Using our experiment-cornbread medley, Shane and I made this stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving.

A few things: we didn’t use her cornbread recipe (I didn’t include it in the pile for Shane) and we had no idea how many people this would serve (it served all 13 of us because we tripled it).

Seriously, keep an eye on your corn bread while it toasts, depending on your gluten free recipe her 20 minutes might be a bit too long for your bread! Also cut your cornbread into tiny (think the size of a quarter) pieces, it'll toast more evenly since the bread is so dense.
In a large bowl I combined:

  • corn bread, chopped and toasted
  • 5 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 3 shallots, chopped (or 1 small onion)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp ground sage, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 stick of butter, melted 
  • fennel seeds to taste  
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth we’re carnivores
On Thursday Shane and I got up at 10 and prepped the stuffing after putting the first turkey (we had two) in the oven, melting butter and combining it with the broth, proing it over the stuffing mixture and blending together. Shane put everything into a greased 6 x 10 pan and baked for 45 minutes. We left the stuffing in the warming tray until we were almost ready for dinner and finally browned the stuffing for 15 minutes before serving.

Worked like a charm.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

via Country Living
I'm off for the next few days celebrating the holiday with family and more family. I'll be back again on Monday, November 28th. Until then...

Happy Thanksgiving!
xo Kasey

Gluten Free Pizza-ish

First, it’s not REALLY pizza. The crust wouldn’t get crispy enough for me to call it pizza. And you definitely had to eat it with a knife and fork.

BUT it tastes like pizza. It tastes exactly like pizza actually. So I’m sure I’ll make it again, which makes it good enough to share with you fine readers.

I played with the original recipe a bit.  Below is what I came up with.


For 1 individual pizza you will need:
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese (1 cup for the crust, plus more to top the pizza)
1 cup Riced Cauliflower (one large head of cauliflower is going to give you AT LEAST 3 cups)
1 egg
1 tsp. Oregano (it’s a lot, I scaled it back a tad)
½ tsp. Garlic Salt
½ tsp. Crushed Garlic
Pizza Toppings – pre cook your toppings, they only go in the oven for 3 minutes!


1.      Rice your cauliflower. It’s pretty basic. Chop into florets, toss in the food processor and pulse until it’s as small as a rice grain. If you don’t have a food processor you’re going to have to hand chop the cauliflower until you get the same result. I love our food processor. We picked it up for less than $10 at a yard sale and I’ve used it at least once a week for the past month.
2.      Preheat your oven to 450.
3.      I recommend cooking on a pizza stone. The originally recipe says to spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray, but Shane and I guessed that if we’d had a pizza stone the crust would have been crunchier. Experiment as you see fit.
4.      Stir 1 cup riced cauliflower, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and 1 egg in a medium bowl. Add oregano, garlic salt, and crushed garlic and stir again.
5.      Transfer the mixture to your pizza stone/cookie sheet and pat it into a 9 in round circle. It’s messy folks get your hands dirty and do your best to make sure the crust is an even thickness.
6.      Bake for 15  minutes.
7.      Remove the crust from oven top with sauce, cheese, and your choice of toppings. Broil for 3 -4 minutes, until the cheese is perfectly melted.


Like I said this made 1 individual sized pizza. A whole cauliflower was more than enough to make individual pizzas for 4 people (but I had a big cauliflower). And even my parents liked it (despite gluten free status), but to be fair, they’re my parents and might be biased.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gluten Free Stuffing: Part I Cornbread

Shane’s needed to keep a gluten free diet the entire year and a half that we’ve been together. Let me tell you that while I might like to jokingly complain about it his diet has had a few unexpected benefits. I now cook more often (despite the fact that we don’t live together), healthier, and with much  more experimenting then ever before. Some of my experiments are a total bust (like cauliflower casserole) others are completely awesome, like Crock Pot Sante Fe Chicken.

This weekend Shane and I teamed up in the kitchens (my parents kitchen, and his kitchen) to whip up a bunch of gluten free goodies.

Today’s recipe:  Shane’s GLUTEN FREE Cornbread


We (ok Shane) made not one or two, but three batches of cornbread this weekend. Each was a little different, and the first two were nearly ruined (or so I thought) when Shane suddenly realized that he was using the wrong recipe.

First, I must backtrack. I printed two separate gluten free recipes before heading to the grocery store Friday. My original intention was to show both to Shane and let him pick which he wanted for the holiday early in the week. I’m fairly certain he hasn’t had cornbread since realizing he can’t have gluten and it’s a favorite of his. But…life happened. I didn’t have time to chat recipes with Shane before it was Friday, Wegman’s was mobbed, and  there I was standing in the gluten free section staring at ingredients.

I went with my gut and bought all of the supplies for recipe #1, Southern Cornbread. It’s traditional, I figured, and do we really need sugar in stuffing?

Fast forward to Sunday (after going to the grocery store again because I accidently bought two packages of brown rice flower and NO cornmeal…) Shane stands on one side of the kitchen with a set of mixing bowls. I’m at the other side of the kitchen with my own set of mixing bowls working on lunch (gluten free pizza, more on that tomorrow).

I happened to glance over at what Shane was doing and realized he’s using the wrong recipe. It’s really not the end of the world, but we have been to so many grocery stores and farmers markets the past three days that I DO NOT want to go back out again if he was missing something. He was missing baking powder it turns out, he’d used the last of it weeks ago and I had no idea so I hadn’t picked it up.

With absolutely no grace what-so-ever (keeping it real here) I start to freak out because Shane was using the wrong recipe.  Why on EARTH would he flip to THE BACK of the pile of recipes (seriously, it was 3 pages what am I talking about with this back of the pile garbage) and choose the last one. Isn’t the logical thing to just use the first recipe? You know, the one right on top!

But there were only two recipes…
The first page was all instructions…
And how on Earth was he suppose to know I’d printed more than one recipe…

Ugh. I was wrong and I knew it. I apologized and sorely headed back to my side of the kitchen,  letting Shane figure it out. And make another trip to the grocery store. Like I said, I was not at my best.

Within 10 minutes of returning from the grocery store Shane was back on track and in a good mood. After three attempts we settled on the follow recipe/instructions:

1 cup corn meal,
3/4 cup rice flour
2 tbs vinegar
2 cups nonfat milk
1/2 stick butter
2 1/2 tbs baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients (cornmeal, rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar) in a medium sized bowl.
  3. In a small bowl combine eggs, milk, and 1/4 cup of butter. Add this mixture to dry ingredients all at once and stir until moistened.
  4. Melt remaining butter in 9 inch round pan in oven. Then carefully remove the pan and swirl the melted butter to coat all sides.
  5. Pour batter into hot pan and return to oven to bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. 
We likes this recipe best because it came out slightly crispy, and well consider us northerners, we like a little sweetness in our cornbread.


Enjoy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving & Sneak Peeks

I’m on a thankful kick this week. It’s appropriate, right? If you want to see all the things I’m thankful for, check out the positive vibes over on twitter (@BttnwoodCottage).

I know I could be whining about the cost of a gluten free ANYTHING when prepping for Thanksgiving, but let’s be serious, that’s not what this holiday is about. I was in Wegmans picking up a few things over the weekend, realizing how grumpy the crowds of people were and decided that in addition to documenting a few recipes I’d send out some positive vibes of my own.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

PS It’s a food filled holiday so you’re going to see a lot of recipes this week, but that doesn’t mean I’ve slacked off in the craft room. Here’s a sneak pick at some of  something I’m working on.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sweetly Saturday


Coffee & Breakfast

Mighty Hunter
Headed to the Farmers Market
Banana, Chocolate + Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Thursday, November 17, 2011

To be happy.

Fun story to share followed by some frustration induced melancholy so feel free to r ead only the first paragraph. A while ago Shane and I were in the car forever and chatting away (as we do on long car rides). At one point I asked him, in a fun chipper not-at-all-self-conscious way when he knew he loved me. He said something like, “Remember when I asked you what your big goal in life is?” Yep , I did. “Sure, to be happy.” “Yeah, that’s when I knew.”

I hate conflict. I find it very hard to do anything I know will hurt someone else’s feelings. I like to be upbeat, positive, and moving forward all the time. And this week…I’m feeling a bit like Debbie Downer. Like most people I can think of about 20 reasons I might be feeling this way related to stress, money, and general restlessness. But rather than focus on how crummy I feel I decided to take a look at what might make me feel better. A few things came to mind: 
  1. Spending more time with my girlfriends.
  2. Having a better perspective on what I am actually getting accomplished (achievement oriented person here).
  3. Taking a chill pill and having a bit more patience.

#1 Should be relatively easy. I cal l up one of my girls and schedule a date…around both of our crazy Thanksgiving-is-next-week holiday schedules. (See how uncharacteristically negative I’m being! For goodness sake, even if it means inconvenience and going out on a work night I need to spend some time with my girlfriends!)

#2 Is a bit more difficult. I can run around asking people close to me, “What have I accomplished lately?” But in my current crummy state that’s probably going to leave me feeling whiny and needy. Or at least that is what I’m telling myself and that is why I haven’t run around doing that yet. For now, I’ll settle on whipping out a calendar and writing down things I accomplished each day. Monday – wrote two blog posts (scheduled to go up later in the week), Tuesday – completed x amount of Shane’s Christmas present, etc…

3#  I am not a patient person. But being impatient (about how quickly I’m going to achieve my long term goals) is making me miserable. I want things done and I want them done now. It’s a very unflattering quality and I do my best to keep a lid on it.

Right now, I’ve got a lot of long term goals that are really important to me (ex: save up to buy a house) and I’m having a really hard time with that.  I work best in the short term. My issue with being patient rears its ugly head when I have nothing I can do to feel like I’m making progress toward my goals. Today my action item toward the buy a house goal is to “stick to my budget and be patient.” That’s a very passive action item. I can’t measure it. I can’t put a certain dollar amount in my bank and go “there, that’s done.”

I’m trying to turn my day to day achievements into measures of success to make myself feel better. But, now I think I’m going about this whole thing the wrong way. So…where can I get some real patience? You know the kind where you are perfectly content with the knowledge that down the line you’ll get your reward, but for now you have to stuck it up and wait.

Ugh…the first thing that came to mind is to figure out the exact date I’ll have met my savings goal (using my current budget and salary) and create a countdown as my measurable step. Sad, Kasey, very sad.

On an upbeat note, I felt much better remembering this: A while ago Shane and I were in the car forever and chatting away (as we do on long car rides). At one point I asked him, in a fun chipper not-at-all-self-conscious way when he knew he loved me. He said somethi ng like, “Remember when I asked you what your big goal in life is?” Yep , I did. “Sure, to be happy.” “Yeah, that’s when I knew.” So I’m going to end with that.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Inspiration at the Book Store

If someone handed me a check for $500 and said you can't buy craft supplies, now go shop, I'd buy books (ok and maybe some clothing). But only if I had to spend it, right now.

Anyway...Shane & I spent about an hour in the bookstore this weekend before we both got hungry and started thinking about a restaurant instead. Here are a few of the things we begrudgingly left behind.

Yes, it's sad that I still don't have a copy of this.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Seriously?


I read somewhere (sorry folks, can't remember where for the life of me) that if you leave the bulb and roots of your green onions in some water they will sprout and you'll basically have a never ending green onion supply.

I of course thought this was garbage, but proceeded to toss my green onion blubs in a handy shot glass after chopping up what I needed to make butternut squash soup. AND OH-MY-GOD THEY GREW! I made the soup last weekend and by Friday my green onions had outgrown their shot glass. They are now happily growing in a coffee mug next to the sing (with dirt, since I'm convinced that even our well water doesn't contain enough nutrients to keep these babies going forever).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back to School, Back to School


Adam Sandler reference anyone? No? It’s time for you to watch Billy Madison again if you forgot the lovely ditty that inspired my title. But I digress…



Last month I signed up for Holly Becker’s eCource BloggingYour Way. Why you might ask? Because I love this little blog of mine, I am an overachiever and want to do it right so I thought I’d sign up for a class, and well I miss school so I wanted to take a class I’d love.

 I’ve got to admit I’d never taken an online class before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. IT-WAS-AWESOME!

Things I loved: the material was presented in a variety of forms from reading material, to podcasts, to video’s from instructors. Although I had 700 classmates (and didn’t have to  turn in my homework because there were no grades) I still found myself rushing to the site three days a week to start my next class, which brings me to my next point. Class was held three times a week, so although there was a lot of material (and it was really easy to fall behind) at least it was broken into three distinct chunks. And finally, I have an additional two weeks of access to the course website and materials, so I printed EVERYTHING (did I mention my huge binder yet) and am still on the forums making friends with my classmates and learning from them.

Have you noticed any changed around here? Allow me to point out a few:
  • New banner
  •  New about page
  •  Addition of the contact page
  •  Change in the photo quality (I’ve started using picnik to edit photos)
  • AT LEAST 5 posts a week

 Are you scratching your head? Ok so maybe it’s only ground breaking on my end, but the blog is getting a lot more organized and focused (I have a huge binder worth of tips and instructions so expect more changes to be slowly integrated into the blog) which makes it easier for me to keep new content coming. I’ve got big plans people and a REALLY BIG binder of resources.

So if you’re a blogger this class gets my stamp of approval because:
  • It worked for me, the classes were interesting, I could follow the instructions, and I’ve got my money’s worth in resources (both human – ie classmates – and in the giant binder).
  • The instructors are legit. Holly Becker has been running decor8 since 2006 and published the bestselling book Decor8. Leslie is the woman behind the fantastic blog, ACreative Mint. And Thorsten is Holly Becker’s husband, and the tech genius supporting Decor8 and running the blog Alternate: Words.

I felt more motivated when I was done with the class then overwhelmed. So, yes, I do have a huge binder and a scary long to do list BUT I’ve looked at where Holly and Leslie’s blogs started and I know that I don’t have any less potential then they did. All I need is time to grow and develop my blog like they did. So I’m going for it!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sweetly Saturday

This weekend we knew Shane would be leaving early Sunday morning for an industry conference and not coming home until Tuesday. We decided to spend some quality time together doing something other then working -  which for him normally means prepping for students and for me that normally means crafting or working on this blog.

I got to Shane's at about 8:00 AM

Friday, November 11, 2011




Hmm.. I noticed the above monogrammed ornaments by PaperDollAccessories on the front page Etsy and thought, “these look an awful lot like the potpourri bags I made to go with my covered hangers.

So new idea, since I haven’t finished  making those yet, why not monogram a few? I could use some of the left over fabric from the hanger project (the patterns are really beautiful…) or I could use a stencil and spray paint a few BEFORE I stitch everything together. Might have to try this both ways and see what I like best...

Brilliant! Handmade & personalized.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Handmade Birthday!

party cake Party Crashing: Alexs Dr Seuss Bash

I was surfing the interwebs today and landed on the Momformation Blog (no preggo announcements here – just a random internet wandering) and found a this post from Sherry Petersik of Young House Love about a handmade birthday party that would put Martha Stewart to shame!

Big statement, no? Check out the full story on Monformation and decide for yourself!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Recipe: Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken




This week was book club! I didn't read the book (Freedom by Jonathan Franzen) for a number of reasons related to time and the general agreement by those that had read the book that it was "a slow read."

However, this wasn't about to stop me from going to my semi-monthly book club. It's only 1/3 about the book anyway. The main events are really catching up with friends (and looking at baby pictures of nieces, nephews, and grandkids) and having a dinner that consists of the drinks and snack foods everyone made.

Photo from Gina's Skinny Recipes.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup


If you aren't already subscribing to the RSS feed of Design*Sponge, you are seriously missing out. There's a lot of good content coming from the ladies on Grace Bonnie's blog. Personally, I love the recipes, Living In column, and the Before & Afters.


Today's recipe came from in the kitchen with: aran goyoaga. It's the second time Aran's been featured on Design*Sponge, and although I missed her the first time around I'm so glad I found this recipe (sadly I didn't have time to make the tart featured, only the soup).

Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy Pinning!

I'm one of those people who has a million craft projects going on at one time. Need proof? Just check out my Pinterest account.

Even though I don't have any newly completed craft projects to share with you this morning, I am hard at work. Here's a sneak peak of a few things I have going on.

1. Decorated doors found here.
2. A rag rug I made this fall, instructions here and here.
Above is a screen shot of my "Projects" board on Pinterest. I cleaned this board last week (eliminating old pins that I've decided I never want to make) after completing The Pinterest Challenge. My "Projects" board is where I keep ideas I admire enough to create for myself.

We all know hand made takes a lot more effort than ready made and store bought. What I love about hand made is that you're make creative choices (fabric, print, color, size, shape, etc...) for someone, even if that someone is yourself.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Just for Fun

a masked marvel of the sorts.

a masked marvel of the sorts. (clipped to polyvore.com)

I laughed when I read this. I remember my teacher in Catholic school telling me to say Wed-Nes-Day when spelling it. To this day I still find myself going through the process to make sure I spell the word correctly.

I also still use the hand trick when multiplying by nine ( 3 x 9, hold your hands out in front of you put down your third finger you have two fingers up to the left  representing 20 and seven fingers up to the right representing 7, so 3 x 9 = 27). 

Friday, November 4, 2011

I Made This: Covered Coat Hangers

Remember Tuesday's inspiration post featuring Sania Pell? Well you may have noticed the covered coat hangers in the spread.


I decided to take a stab at these over the weekend. After all, what else am I going to do with all of those wire hangers from the dry cleaners? So...what do you think?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Get Organized: Crafting Holiday Gifts


I was over on Centsational Girl reading Kate’s post on Holiday Housekeeping when it hit me, Christmas is only eight weeks away! Uhm…weren’t we just discussing who was bringing the mashed potatoes to Thanksgiving dinner over the weekend? Now it's time to worry about Christmas? Have I even started making Christmas gifts yet…
  
No, I haven’t. This is me staring at the floor in shame.

In the words of Kate, “I need to start pacing myself in October [which ended on MONDAY] and get to planning.” So here is the plan:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vintage DIY + Thoughts on Clothing Purchases



I was just turned on to this amazing DIY video by Elizabeth Cline over at The Good Closet and thought I'd share.  Elizabeth is currently in the process of writing a book about cheap fashion (cheap as in inexpensive because of inferior quality, not cheap as in items worth more then they cost). She's doing some interesting research on the evolution of cheap women's fashion, more on that here and here.

As a frugal minded girl I find Elizabeth's research interesting. I certainly don't want to go back to the 1930s standard of having only 9 outfits, but it is a bit outrageous that the average American buys 60 new pieces of clothing a year. Am I guilty of this? Probably.

My goal is to buy fewer items each year, of high quality, and to pre-plan and pre-budget for my purchases. That way I'm not wasting my money on trends that I won't want to wear in six months and I'm not impulse buying cheap clothing every time I have a party, holiday, or other event to go to.

Inspiration: Sania Pell + The Homemade Home

A few months ago, when Borders was going out of business, I hit my local shop and headed straight to the DIY section where I noticed today's feature Sania Pell's "The Homemade Home." It had me at the title (homemade? yes please...) and after paging through for thirty seconds this DIY treasure made it into my "to buy" pile.

Then it came home and sat on my book self all summer while I worked on other projects. Poor neglected beauty.

Sania Pell's "The Homemade Home"