Monday, November 29, 2010

Fall has reached the SE

Hi readers! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and ate way too much. I can certainly say I entered into a food coma from all the good fixings! Jonathan and I visited his family in South Alabama and left on Wednesday only to arrive at my in-laws that evening. Getting to spend time with family and friends over a wonderful meal truly makes this holiday special. I like it that Thanksgiving is not too commercial, don't you?

 Fall has officially reached Central Alabama and we are finally getting the leaves to turn, chilly nights, and some warm fires. I thought it was going to stick around 5 weeks ago, but it was a cool spell that was passing through. It's hard for me to think of Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween when I am kicking on the AC and dressing for 70 degree weather. I am sure you have things that you do when the weather turns, but in our house we love to get cozy on the couch with a huge bowl of red beans and rice. If you haven't made homemade red beans you need to try it! It is so much better from scratch and is one of those dishes that tastes better over the next couple of days.
::Red Beans 'n Rice::
8 cans kidney beans (drained)
3 cups chopped onions
1 bunch green onions chopped
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
2 large cloves garlic, chrushed
1 cup fresh parsley chopped
1 TBS salt
3/4 tsp. red pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. oregano
2 bay leaves
3-4 dashes Tabasco (maybe a few extra dashes if your hubby likes it hot)
1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
1 beer
Lots of Sausage (which means I will put three, 1 lb packages of hot flavored sausage)

Brown sausage remove and drain pot leaving enough grease to brown vegetables. Return sausage to a large stewing pot and add beans & spices. Brown vegetables and add to pot. Then pour in 1 beer and add water to cover beans/remainder of ingredients. Simmer on low for hours then serve over your favorite cooked rice and a side of jalapeno cornbread. The best part is once everything in combined you are free to go about your business and wait until it's finished. (Your house will smell like you have been working hard for hours!)

When we make this dish when we plan on having lots friends over! Since we live in a South Eastern state this dish (made a variety of ways) is pretty common in most homes and restaurants. One thing I love is if you have too much for leftovers freeze the other half. It is so good to pull out and reheat on a night you don't feel like cooking. To learn more about Red Beans n Rice click here.

I wish I could say that I will have Christmas decoration pictures ready, but boxes from storage are taking up the kitchen and dining rooms at the moment. I hope I can gradually get the decorations out this week with a weekend full of baking, testing goodies, and singing Christmas Carols. I can't wait to see how you decorate your home this time of year and hope you have a wonderful week now that the holiday are here!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gotta love it

Greetings Bloggers,

You are going to have to excuse any typos, rambling sentences, and grammarical errors because I am exhausted (that may even be an understatement.) Last night Jonathan got us tickets to go and see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Of course this my first midnight premier and I figured I could chug coffee at work today to keep awake and function like normal... it's not working very well. The movie was AWESOME and to anyone who has read the books you will not be disappointed. Of course there are always details that catch your attention because they are not the same, but it was very very close. I know this is considered a "kid" movie, but I would not take small children to see it at all. It is a dark film with a few gross scenes, so you got the Katie Bird warning here. (If you are not into it go ahead and laugh, but I love it anyways!)

On another note, I have been excited to post these pictures for you to see this week. The above and below images are of the window in our den. The sunroom is on the other side of the window which was an add on to the house. I have spent a long time trying to figure out what I wanted to do to break up the space and love love love the finished product.

I am grateful I have a mother-in-law who is extremely talented and on her days off will sew for Joanthan's sister and me. She made a few things in our last home and has gracisouly offered to do the drapery in our new home. I think we get one whole house done and then we are on our own, but I am sooo thankful for her time and attention to detail. Hip hip hooray to having a fixed shade in our den and a HUGE thanks to momma-in-law!

Have a great weekend everyone and I am sure we will too. Also, stay tuned because I am going to test my first round of smoked toffee next week !

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Before & After, Wine Rack

I have been taking my sweet precious time posting before and after pictures. I searched high and low for a before picture of the wine rack my parents gave me. The image above is the only one I have of the wine rack, and you can only see half of it! It has the neatest hour glass shape and I love that I can put all my wine accessories in the drawer. It worked for us in it's original form because it was in the dining room with our blond furniture. I needed to give it a face lift since I was moving it and relocating it to our kitchen with black furniture.

As you can imagine I have a new love and appreciation for this piece of furntiture. I love it's curvey sides, I think the colored ends of the wine bottles just "pop", and it's smooth black finish really adds a spark to this corner of our kitchen. Plus, it's great to have the rack waiting for me with easy access to a great beverage while I cook and entertain!

More after pictures to come this week as I have a fixed roman shade in our den that we hung this weekend.
Have a great beginning of the week!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holidays are so close!

November is here and I am surprised how much I am itching for the holidays. When I think about Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year I always catch myself remembering things from my childhood. I am sure many of you do the exact same thing. I have been thinking about how my mom decorated every nook and corner of our home (pictured above and below); I recall peeking into the knitted stocking my Great Grandmother made me when I was four; I can smell the delicious baked treats coming out of the oven, and feel the frosty air outside before heading to visit with family and friends. (insert sigh here)
These fond memories that I have are things I hope to share with my children one day. Is that what parents enjoy the most; sharing these memories and creating them for their own children? It's something I am really looking forward to and in the meantime I have been tabbing soo many sweet treats and holiday gift ideas... Hopefully by the time we have little one's I will have an archive of goodies and traditions tucked up my sleeve. Until that happens I will keep myself busy by "testing" everything and making sure they are just right before I give them away.
This year I plan to try homemade breads, spreads, and caramel treats will be given as gifts to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. Last year I made easy fudge, melt-in-your mouth toffee, cookies, cupcakes, and anything you could imagine dipped in chocolate. (WARNING:these are very very bad for diets!) I plan to share some of my favorites very soon and would love to hear about anything you make that would make great gifts. I need to be as recession friendly as possible and even have a few ideas up my sleeves on how to decorate them once I have put them together. (Yay for old fabric squares and clearance ribbon!)

I hope your are having a great week. I am excited to take some time tomorrow and catch up on all my favorite blogs and maybe fit in a viewing of Elf!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween is over?

It's raining here and it sorta fits my sadness as another Halloween has come and gone. One positive thing is I have been so excited to show you a few pictures!!! Jonathan and I are fighting again with the cable company so I had to bring my laptop with me and hop to a nearby coffee shop to get this post to you. (that's love for y'all right there)

The company I work for publishes many magazines and this year they hosted a costume contest. I decided to dress up for Halloween and go as one of our office celebrities. I always want to dress up as a pirate (probably because I have the costume) but I decided to go as Paula Deen. (I am not sure if my international followers know about her, but here is a link for you to get an idea about Mrs. Deen).

I got up at 5 am that morning to curl, tease, and pin my hair. I went out the night before and bought white hairspray in a can. Needless to say I kept laughing my rear off as I transformed into Paula and then had to spit out the hairspray that was getting into my open mouth. I laughed all day long! I took twice as long to de-Paula as I tried for 20 minutes that afternoon to get the spray and knots out of my hair. I had a blast eventhough I didn't win the contest!

I hope you laughed your way through Halloween! It was one of my favorites!