Neutral Header

Neutral Header

Thursday, April 21, 2016

House Tour

So, we've decided to move. After living in Arizona for almost 18 years my husband and I think it's time to live closer to family. The house is on the market and a photographer came to take professional photos. Wow! What a difference they make! I've shared a lot of pictures of my house before, but it's fun to see what a pro can do to make things look really nice. 

exterior

front foyer


 living room

 dining room

 kitchen


 family room


 master bedroom

 master bath


 bedroom and bath

 bedroom and bath

 guest room and bath

office
 powder room

I did lots of de-cluttering to get the house ready to show. I'll keep you posted on how it goes!

I like to join these parties

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Double Chocolate Mint Cookies - fail

I love cookies. All kinds. There's hardly a cookie I've met that I didn't like. And I love trying new recipes. So this is a public service to report on a recipe that was NOT everything I hoped it would be.

I was going through my pantry with the idea of using up some of the items I purchased for holiday baking but hadn't used yet. Ooh, mint chocolate chips! They would be good in brownies or cupcakes or cookies. I searched the internet for some chocolate chip cookie recipes, but look! The package has a recipe right on it.


However,  this was confusing. Note the insert box below the main recipe. It says for a "delicious chocolate all-in-one" version add 1/2 cup cocoa and reduce flour by 1/2 cup. But wasn't this already a chocolate all in one cookie? It's called Double Chocolate Mint Cookie. It already has 1/2 cup cocoa powder. Hmm. I decided to stick with the original, I couldn't imagine a full cup of cocoa powder in the ingredients.

 The rest was a pretty straight forward drop cookie recipe.

 Cream the butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla.

 Mix the dry ingredients, then add to the sugar mixture.

Then stir in the mint chips. The dough was very stiff.


The first batch baked up like small mounds with very little spreading.


 So I flattened the rest before they went into the oven. They look better, but there was none of that soft and chewy goodness that you expect from a chocolate chip cookie.
 Let me say that the flavor was good. A nice amount of chocolate with that zing of mint. They were certainly edible. It was a texture thing. Too dry, too stiff. I'm not enough of a baking expert to know what this recipe needs. More butter, another egg? Haha, I took some to my neighbor anyway.


So, if you've got a great Double Chocolate Mint Cookie and would be willing to share, let me know!!

I like to join these parties








Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spring Napkins

I've shown you my fabric closet before. I love making the occasional quilt, but honestly, I need to use up more of my stash! 


I found some inspiration on Etsy the other day  - fresh, color coordinated spring napkins!

Most of my fabrics are 100% cotton so they are perfect for napkins. I chose 6 different pieces and made 2 napkins out of each pattern, a dozen in all.

I cut the fabric into squares 15" x 15" for  a nice generous size. Then I simply zig zagged the edges to keep them from fraying. This was a super simple project that only took a couple of hours start to finish.





Wouldn't these be perfect for a spring brunch or tea party?
I like to party with

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Pysanky-Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Last week while thrift shopping I found three more Ukrainian eggs to add to my collection. These eggs, also known as Pysanky are absolutely gorgeous! Pysanky are known all over the world for their bright colors and intricate patterns. Thousands of years ago, before Christ, people decorated eggs believing them to hold great powers. The eggs represented the coming of spring and new birth. Later Christians adopted this tradition to symbolize the resurrection and promise of eternal life.










 If you have a steady hand and are creative you can make your own"Ukrainian" eggs. The process involves drawing the design in wax and placing the egg in a succession of dyes. When the wax is removed the colors in the design are revealed. Kits are available in some craft stores and online. I've tried making them a few times. It's a lot of fun but my efforts are amateurish at best!


The kit I have has an introduction by Luba Perchyshyn who was featured last year in a lovely article. she is over 90 years old and has kept the art of Pysanky alive in America.
Read more about her HERE.
Luba Perchyshyn, 91, is known worldwide for the Ukrainian easter eggs she has handmade for the last 87 years. She posed for a photo at The Ukrainian Gift Shop in Minneapolis, Minn., on Thursday, March 26, 2015.

Luba says the legend of the eggs is that as long as pysanky are decorated, goodness will prevail over evil throughout the world. What a lovely thought! 
Happy Easter!
I like to join these parties