Monday, October 31, 2011

An easy and fun recipe ~ Sloppy Joe Pizza

(Photo by Taste of Home)

Here's a fun recipe we tried on Friday night when we had several grandchildren around our kitchen table:  Sloppy Joe Pizza.  This recipe, which makes 2 pizzas, was easy and fun to make, and a delicious variation on traditional pizza.  The older two grandchildren, ages 7 and 8, liked this a lot and had seconds.  The younger two, ages 3 and 5, did try it but preferred pepperoni pizza instead. 

We will definitely make this yummy pizza again!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

(Photo from Diary of a Working Mom)
Just had to share this recipe link:  2-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins.  Hard to believe, but yes, there are only two ingredients -- a can of pumpkin and a spice cake mix!  Nothing else.  If you grow and cook your own pureed pumpkin, use 2 cups of it, as that's about how much is in a can of pumpkin.  I did sprinkle some cinnamon chips on top of my muffins, as I had a few of those to use up.  They would also be good with chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or cinnamon-sugar on top.  I was only able to make a dozen muffins from the recipe, which stated it would yield 15. We liked these a lot.  They are flavorful and nice and moist.  Not quite as good as a from-scratch pumpkin muffin, but very tasty!

The giveaways are ... ON their way!

I just wanted to pop in and let Nikki and Erika know that their giveaways are in the mail as of this afternoon.  You should have the packages sometime this week, Lord willing.  Hope you will have fun with the contents!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A fun sewing project using vintage hankies

For months I have been meaning to share photos of this "teatime table runner" I made from vintage hankies this summer.  I have quite a collection of vintage hankies, and had thought I might make a quilt with them.  I decided to scale back and make a table runner instead.  I used a white-on-white print for the backing, then cut the hankies in half and hand-sewed them on to look like a folded napkin or doily.  Then I found or tweaked applique patterns of tea-themed items and placed one or several items on each "napkin or doily".   I chose to use some children's cartoon-type hankies that had been mine as a child.  This meant that my appliques had to be in rather bright, crayon-type colors to complement the hankies.
One half of the runner

The second half of the runner

A teapot and teacup motif on a 3 Little Kittens hankie ~ I found inspiration for this motif on a child's vintage metal tea set.

A simple cup and saucer motif on a Donald Duck hankie

A cupcake on a small plate motif atop the second half of the Donald Duck hankie.

A stack-of-teacups motif on a Daisy Duck hankie ~ I found inspiration for this motif on a greeting card.

A steaming-teakettle motif  on a Daisy Duck hankie

A simple teapot motif on the 3 Little Kittens hankie ~ the knob on top is a  button!
Hope you have enjoyed this look at my teatime table runner!  It was encouraging to me that I could figure out a project on my own like this and have it come out quite nice.  I know some people would frown on cutting up vintage hankies, but I found this a nice way to display and use them, especially these with the juvenile motifs that are not quite as pretty as the usual vintage hankies one sees.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Winners of the giveaway!

Graphic by Prairie Flower Farm -- love this!
Yes, we have 2 winners of the giveaway to celebrate my 1200th post!  I want to thank everyone who entered and who left such sweet, encouraging comments.  It was a blessing to me to hear from some of my readers (even some I didn't know were reading!) and to learn some of the things you enjoy most about Across My Kitchen Table.  Thank you all so much!

Since we had only 15 entries, I wrote each name on a little slip of paper, folded it twice and put the names in my new strawberry crock (which I'll be posting about soon, I hope).  Then I had my handsome assistant, Mr. T, pull out 2 names.  And the winners are ...

Nikki, of Our Little Haven on the Hill


Erika, who does not have a blog that I 'm aware of.

Nikki will receive giveaway #1, since Mr. T pulled her name out first.
And Erika will receive giveaway #2.

I  will try and contact both of you ladies later today, but if you read this first, please send me your regular mailing address so I can get your gifts into the mail, okay?

Thanks again to all of you who commented and entered the giveaway!  I had so much fun reading your comments and thoughts!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A yummy fall recipe ~ Pumpkin Spice Amish Friendship Bread!

Photo from Susie QT pies Scraps of Life
Who would ever have thought such a recipe existed?  Certainly not me!  But I found the recipe here at Susie QT pies Scraps of Life:  Pumpkin Spice Amish Friendship Bread and just had to try it.  I happened to have some friendship bread starter in the freezer ( freezing the starter in one-cup amounts is a great way to use it up when people give you starter and you can't keep up with it all).

Our review:  It's delicious!  Somehow my hubby, 8-year-old granddaughter and myself have gone through half a loaf in the past couple of hours.  Good thing the recipe makes 2 loaves!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Timberline Jack's

Recently, a crewel embroidery project I did for a family member many years ago came back into my possession.  It is a bit the worse for wear, but not bad. I thought it might be fun to share this project with you all.  It's a detailed picture of a frontier trading post called Timberline Jack's, a Charles Wysocki design.

A closer look at the false front and signs on the trading post

I love the fur, done in turkey work, and notice the old men playing checkers!

Furs are being traded for blankets here while the pony stands patiently by.  Love the detail in the blankets!

More signage...

The entire picture.  I love how Charles Wyscocki's art tells a story ... maybe more than one!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Simple fall crafting ... and a celebration

Today I would like to share (literally) some of my recent fall crafting. 

This first one is not recent.  I made this fall-themed tote bag years ago with the idea of selling some.  Never did it.  Still love the bag.  Made two of them and gave one away.

2 fabric trimmed bistro towels -- black fabric is vintage!

Fall fabric trimming microfiber towel
Made this cute pumpkin patch table topper from a panel.  The reverse side is a print of brown leaves, and it is reversible.
Made some other goodies too; pie spices, cider mix, and some recipe cards with my favorite fall pie recipes on them
 What's the occasion?  My 1200th blog post!  To celebrate, I decided to do two giveaways.

Giveaway #1 -- the tote bag, autumn tea wallet, one autumn tea towel and a fall note pad.

Giveaway #2 -- the two bistro towels, recipe cards, table topper, hot cider mulling spices, and pumpkin and apple pie spices.

The time period to enter for the giveaway will be from now until 10 pm eastern daylight time on Thursday, October 27.  To enter, you need to be  a reader in the U.S. and you need  to leave a comment telling me what you enjoy most about Across my Kitchen Table, or an idea for a post.  If you don't have a blog, be sure to leave me an address where I can contact you via email. 

Looking forward to the celebration!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A little more fall decorating

Here are just a few more pictures of my fall decorating.  I still hope to make a fall garland (although it may turn out to be a Thanksgiving garland) and will be sure and post a picture of that when I do.

I failed to take a picture of the entire hutch before, but have done so now, and here it is.  Now you can get the full effect.

My fall ribbon board in the front hallway!

Simple grapevine wreath on the front door.  I usually keep the ivy but add other elements seasonally.

Fall slate on the front porch.  This is the first time I have displayed this.  I wasn't sure about the pink barn, but I love the effect on the rustic porch.

A clay pocket filled with faux leaves, goldenrod and vines
Happy fall, everyone!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A taste of Heaven

It is past time that I write an account of my weekend at the ladies' retreat held at The Wilds of New England, back in September.  With the couples' retreat coming up this weekend, I thought I'd better write about the ladies' retreat before the two get mixed up in my mind.  (Realistically, there should be quite a number of differences between the two, however.)

I was really blessed to be able to attend this retreat with six good friends from church, plus my daughter Carrie.   (If you would like to read Carrie's account of the weekend, you'll find it here: Ladies Retreat 2011.   Here's a look at the inside of the cabin where we stayed.

I love how the campsite was so beautifully decorated for fall.  So welcoming and warming.  Here's one outside vignette:

And another:

One of my favorite places!
Here's the fireplace in the coffee shop.

Here's a look at some of the buildings:

And a closer look at the flagpole decorations:

One moment simply blessed my heart and felt like a true taste of heaven.  Many of us got up quite early and there was a good bit of time before breakfast.  I left the cabin to walk to the coffee shop where I intended to meet up with Carrie and some of the others.  As I walked down the path from the cabin and stepped into the open area nearing the main buildings, there was a pretty sunrise lighting the sky.   Not colorful, but just bright light.  And at the same time I was aware of music.  Lovely instrumental praise music was being played over the sound system and wafted over the campsite.  I just stopped for a moment to take it all in.  I thought to myself that this must be a tiny taste of what heaven will be like -- just surrounded by beauty and praising our God together.

The teaching for the weekend was by Mardi Collier and her theme was "My 100% God."  We were also blessed by a wonderful handout she shared concerning how to get to know God better through His Word and by means of a simple notebook where we record what we learn about Him.  This is a simplified version of material presented in her book, What Do I Know About My God? which may be found here in my a-store.

Many of us bought the book -- although, as I said, a simple notebook will suffice.   I can say that if one will truly follow this method of learning about God, true spiritual growth and a changed life will result.  The basic idea is that you read your Bible, you start a page in your notebook for each fact you learn about God.  Mrs. Collier suggests starting in Psalms.  I'll just give a simple example.  In Psalm 23:1, for example, we read "The Lord is my Shepherd."  So in your notebook you start a page titled "My God is my Shepherd", and you copy down Psalm 23:1.  Later on, in your reading, you will come across other verses that say the same thing about God, for example, John 10:10, where Jesus says He is the good Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep.  So you copy those verses into your notebook on that particular page, and so on.  It all adds up to a very practical and effective way of getting to know God well.  

The music was wonderful and edifying as well, and there was plenty of laughter throughout the weekend. 

The spiritual food was unequalled, and the food in the dining room was pretty good too.  One of the nicest things was that none of us ladies had a hand in cooking it!  In addition, our appetite for pretty things was satisfied as the dining room was so beautifully decorated.  Here's one of the tables;

And here's how the windowsills were decorated:

In the afternoon on Saturday, we had some free time.  I went on a hike and saw lots of nice scenery:

In addition to this picturesque old shed:

Coming back from the hike, we passed the rustic cross which reminds us of our salvation and all that Christ has done for us.  From this hill there is a good overview of the campsite.
My friend Sandy and I had promised ourselves an Italian cream soda in the coffee shop, so when I got back from the hike we did just that.  Hers was strawberry:

And mine was coconut.  Whipped cream?  Of course!

It was truly a wonderful weekend!  A taste of heaven!