Wednesday, March 29, 2017

More Glass and a Plea

 I went back to the thrift store where I bought the depression glass for my daughter last week and to my surprise, they had more. I got her a set of 8 of these cups and saucers for 14.99.

 And this candlestick.  I'm sure there is another one in their backroom somewhere. Or maybe someone bought it.

 Another cute covered bowl. These pieces were all between 1.99 and 4.99.

 I'm thinking that this, at some point, had a lid.

 And these pretty plates were 99 cents.

Remember, I served one of the little cakes on one.

*Okay, I am hoping someone has a suggestion for getting pills into an impossible dog, Teddy. She is taking  Enrofloxacin for a bladder infection.  They make her sicker than well, a dog. The vet said they are very bitter tasting.  I have used everything I can think of....smoked salmon, every kind of cheese in existence, ground beef, ground lamb, bacon, ham, you name it.  Forget peanut butter, she hates it.  She knows the pills are in all of these things and she won't even look at them.  I can't shove it down her throat because I really like having hands. So, if anyone has some genius full proof pill ideas, I am open to suggestions.  Or even if you just have a non pill taking dog story, misery loves company.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Spring Walk

 Everything is waking up in my gardens.  I should be used to this by now but each Spring I am amazed when I see everything coming up.

 Teddy comes along for a look.  My poor pup is getting old.  She can't hear or see very well anymore.  Though her hearing might just be selective because she still seems to hear the word 'treat' clearly.  She has a bladder infection and it's a real chore to get her to take the pills.  The antibiotics make her stomach sick too which makes her even more resistant to taking them. Old dogs break hearts.

 If you look closely, you will see ramps!  Woohoo!!!

 Soon this area will be filled with perennials.

 More ramps.  Click for a closer look.

 Not much happening in the lower garden yet.  You can see a mirror chain front and center.


 My poor fish are water deprived.  We have a leak which we haven't been able to locate yet and the water is low.


The flox will be blooming soon on the steps.
The Fall flowering cherry is doing it's Spring bloom.  Allergy time!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Homemade Wind Chimes

This is my latest project....wind chimes.  I love wind chimes but good ones are really expensive.  I decided to make my own.  Hola, they are a lot of work!
I might not be in the wind chime business for long though because the glass for these is expensive.  It's pretty complicated to make your own so I don't think I will be going down that path.  I'm trying to find a less expensive glass supplier but so far, no luck.

 I've only made two of them so far but I'm really enjoying them.  It's been breezy the last few days and these things really sing.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Little Spring Cakes

I hadn't baked a cake for a while so yesterday was the day. It's warm here and was not a good buttercream day but I soldiered on.
 I just used a basic yellow cake recipe from King Arthur Flour.  I use small springform pans and and small bowls.  Just make sure to coat them thoroughly with butter and flour before adding the batter.



  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Lightly grease your choice of pans: one 9" x 13" pan; two 8" or 9" round cake pans, or the wells of two muffin tins (24 muffin cups). You can also line the muffin tins with papers, and lighly grease the insides of the papers with non-stick spray.
  3. Beat together the butter, sugar, baking powder, salt, and vanilla, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed, until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes on medium-high speed of an electric mixer.
  4. Add the eggs two at a time, beating the batter well and scraping the bowl between each addition, until fully combined and the batter has thickened.
  5. Stir in half of the flour, then all of the milk, followed by the rest of the flour, scraping the bowl after each addition. Mix just until combined. The batter will look curdled after the milk addition; that's OK, it will come back together once the rest of the flour is added.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, spreading it level.
  7. Bake the cake until golden brown — 40 to 45 minutes for a 9" x 13" pan; 36 to 42 minutes for 9" pans; 38 to 44 minutes for 8" pans, or 24 to 30 minutes for cupcakes. The center of the cake should feel firm when gently pressed, and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven. Allow it to cool completely in the pan, then loosen the edges with a knife and gently remove from the pan. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

 Cool them on racks.

 Make some buttercream and divide it into bowls so you can color it.

 When the cakes are cool, slice them through the middle and spread them with vanilla flavored simple syrup  and raspberry jam. Top this with some buttercream and spread it to the edges.

 Place the tops on the cakes.

 Spread the sides with buttercream and then pipe flowers on the tops of each cake.

 Fill them in with green leaves.  Frosting covers lots of flaws!  I always sit each one on a square of waxed paper while I frost them.  I sit them in the fridge for a while and they can be lifted off easily with a spatula.

 One went to my daughter on another thrift shop find.  I love picking up fancy plates for next to nothing to place baked goods on when I give them away.  Then you don't have to worry about getting your plate back.
These went to The Blog Tech and his wife. She worked out of town all week and I wanted to give her a surprise when she came home.  I'm sure at least two of these are no longer on this plate this morning.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Garden Totem

 I haven't made a garden totem in a long time.  Not for the lack of not liking to make them; I love to make them.

 Rather, I ran out of people to give them to.

 I bet I gave 30 of them away when I was making them all the time.

 I had a lot of trouble getting a good shot of this one and now it's gone so these pics are as good as it gets.

 This one is comprised of 13 pieces.

 And it sure was fun to make.

 I placed a Lenox porcelain duck in the lower globe and a vintage Italian Capodimonte flower basket in the upper globe.

All of the pieces were purchased at thrift stores and the entire totem cost 10.00 to make.  These can stay out all year except for winter.  I use all weather glue so rain doesn't bother them.  These look so pretty placed in the center of an outdoor dining table.  Though, I have been known to scatter them throughout my raised beds.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Pink Depression Glass at the Thrift Store

I stopped at a thrift store after running errands yesterday and found this perfect set of Cambridge Glass bridge glasses from the 1930's.  These are quite rare because the glasses are very delicate and not many made it to 2017.  These are in perfect shape without so much as a chip or crack.  11.99!
 I'm not sure of the maker of these glasses but with delicate etching and twisted stems, they were a steal for 59 cents each.

 There were only five of them but these days I much prefer mixing and matching patterns when I set  a table rather than using all matching pieces.

 I got 2 of these tulip candle votives for 99 cents each and these 2 cute candy dished for 59 cents each. 

 Sorry for the blur.  This Cambridge glass candy dish was 1.99. This is also in perfect condition.  I'm sure all of this sat on someone's shelves for years.

 And though this juicer's bottom is missing, it can still be used over a glass or bowl and it was only 1.99.

All of this went to my daughter who loves pink glass.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Milk Bread

This is a new recipe for me.  It is a terrific bread, unlike any other recipe I've tried.
 It starts by making a paste using flour and water:

  • 5 1/3 cups bread flour, divided, plus more for surface 
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup mild honey 
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder 
  • 2 tablespoons rapid rise yeast 
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 large eggs (2 for the dough and one for brushing)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter at room temperature
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • Flaky sea salt
 The recipe called for using large muffin tins which I didn't have so I just used small oven proof bowls and ramekins.

  1. Cook 1/3 cup flour and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a thick paste forms about 5 minutes. Add cream and honey and cook, whisking to blend, until honey dissolves.
  2. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and add milk powder, yeast, kosher salt, 2 eggs, and 5 remaining cups flour. Knead on medium speed until dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. Add butter, a piece at a time, fully incorporating into dough before adding the next piece, until dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic, about 4 minutes.
You might need a bit more flour but this dough is sticky.
  3. Coat a large bowl with nonstick spray and transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Lightly coat a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan with nonstick spray. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and divide into 6 pieces. Divide each piece into 4 smaller pieces (you should have 24 total). They don’t need to be exact. Place 4 pieces of dough side-by-side in each muffin cup.

  5. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size (dough should be just puffing over top of pan), about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 375° F. Beat remaining egg with 1 teaspoon. water in a small bowl to blend. Brush top of dough with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until bread is deep golden brown, starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, and is baked through, 25 to 35 minutes. Let milk bread cool slightly in pan on a wire rack before turning out; let cool completely.

This is  a dense moist bread and perfect to eat with soups or stews.