Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chocolate Filled Red Velvet Cupcakes

Chocolate Filled

Red Velvet Cupcakes

1 cup milk chocolate pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon butter
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar 
For filling, in small saucepan combine chocolate pieces, cream and 1 Tablespoon butter. Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Transfer to small bowl; cool for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and freeze about one hour, until fudge-like consistency. Divide into 12 portions and working quickly with hands, roll each portion into a ball. Place in freezer. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper bake cups. In a small bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl beat the 1/4 cup softened butter with mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar; beat on medium until combined. Beat on medium 2 minutes more, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, food coloring and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating on low until combined. In a small bowl combine baking soda and vinegar; stir into batter. Divide half of the batter among the cups. Place a ball of filling on batter in center of each cup and spoon remaining batter into cups. Bake 15-18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Remove and cool 10 minutes. Serve warm or cool completely and top with cream cheese frosting. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and room temperature.
1 cup confectionerís sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, soften cream cheese. Gradually add butter and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in confectionerís sugar and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla and stir to combine. Yields about 2 cups.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Miss Mustard Seed Paint- Antique Coffee Table Redo

Loving Miss Mustard Seed Yellow- Brightens up this last few Snowy Days-

BEFORE I Painted
no Prep work- Look how shiny it is

I have had this coffee Table for years.  It was a Craigslist find.  I love the style and the brass claw feet but was tired of dark and glossy  and scratched up finish on the table.

I loved working with this milk paint.  This was an experiment.  I first painted the whole table with the milk paint without any prep work. - no sanding - nothing.  I did not think the paint would stick to the table's  glossy surface. I did not mind if it peeled away in places-  I was after the chippy look after all.   After two coats, The top of the table looked great -  peeling and chipping in a few places.  But the sides were a disaster, the paint just fell off the entire edge of the table.   I read that you can add a MMS product- bonding agent- to the paint to get the paint to adhere better.  I did not have any on hand, so I just sanded down the edges and the rest of the table.  I ran my Vacuum over the table and then applied another coat on the entire table and one more on the edges of the table .  I used a putty knife and some sand paper and roughed up the table a bit.  I loved this part!! You never know where the paint is going to peel.  This paint give a piece so much Character!  Next, I used a Minwax Clear finishing paste to seal the table.  It worked great but it was very hard and thick and strong smelling.  - But that is what I had to work with.  I finished the table by applying Miss Mustard Seed' s Antiquing wax to give it a more aged look.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Crosses and an Old Metal File Cabinet for my Work Room

I Love this old cabinet that I picked up last week.  It holds my reams of paper perfectly. I keep lots of
8 1/5 x 11 card stock on hand for my tag orders that I sell in my Etsy Store - Mostly Baptism Party favor Tags.

This cabinet is made entirely of metal and is very heavy.  I removed all the drawer and started scrubbing it up and vacuuming all the grim off of it.  I noticed all these bits of shiny metal pieces stuck in the back of the cabinet.  The metal pieces were bits of rosaries and metal chains and beautiful crosses.  I found a paper label from Nebraska Church Goods Co. Lincoln Nebraska.

It was a fun little adventure cleaning out the cabinet.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cool Cowgirl Junk This Morning

We stopped at a fun Sale this morning-  Horse Tac Flea Market  -
 Found lots of boots, saddles, belts, and blingy cowgirl clothes....
I did pick up a few awesome belt buckles, belts, a vintage brooch, and some cast iron horse heads....

Friday, February 22, 2013

Snow Covered Garden Junk

I dont know why it is always beautiful to see thinks covered in snow.  Here are a few photos of my Garden junk all covered in pretty white snow.  It is beautiful and sunny out this morning!

Winter Chickens

I spent the morning scooping snow out of the chicken run.  They seem to hate to stand on the wet snow to eat and drink.  They have been enjoying kitchen scraps and a some ground corn.  

I Love this Vintage poster- 

Snow Covered Hen House


Arvella- she hates winter the most

Menu: Soup today

Buffalo Chicken Soup
• A 2 ¼ - 2 ½ pound deli-roasted chicken, skinned, boned, and coarsely shredded
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• Two 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
• 1 ½ cups milk
• 1 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce
• 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese (6 oz.)
• 1 ¼ cups crumbled blue cheese (5 oz.)
• 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (2 oz.)
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• Bottled hot pepper sauce (optional)

1. In 4-quart Dutch oven melt butter over medium heat. Add celery and onion; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in broth, milk, and the 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce.
2. In bowl toss together mozzarella, 1 cup of the blue cheese, Parmesan, and flour. Add gradually to soup, stirring after each addition just until melted. Stir in three-fourths of the shredded chicken; heat through. Top with remaining chicken, blue cheese, and hot sauce. Makes 6 servings.
Recipe from Nebraska Extension

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Painting my Hoosier Cubboard

I Have a Cabinet like this in my Laundry Room. It works great for folding clothes and storing things. 
Thinking about giving it a fresh coat of paint?? 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Time to Think Gardening

Making Soil mixes and Soilless mixes for Seed Starting 
These are the ratios I prefer.  1/3. 1/3. 1/3 
 Peat moss,  Sand or Perlite or or vermiculite,  Sterilized Soil.   
I like being able to mix up any amount i need.  If you don’t need a huge batch you can use this as a basis for choosing a store-bought seed-starting mix.. Most popular soil mixes in stores have chemical fertilizers added that are unnecessary and will defeat the purpose of growing organically.
 When plants need nutrients I add compost to the soil mix or just place some compost around the plants.   When using seed starting mix to start seed, seeds do not require any fertilizers until they produce their first set of “True Leaves“. In basic terms this means the second set of leaves you will see. The first leaves that appear are called “seed leaves” and feed the seedling until the first “true leaves”appear.
  • 1 part peat or coir (Coir is a sustainable peat substitute made from coconut husks. Peat is mined from marshland, destroying natural habitats. When you can, use coir.)
  • 1 part perlite (popped volcanic ash that creates good drainage.), vermiculite (water absorbing material made from the mineral mica), or Sand
  • 1 part potting soil, or sterilized soil
To Sterilize soil:  Place lightly moist soil  in a heat resistant container or pan which can be covered, in an oven set at 250 degrees.  Allow the soil to reach 180 degrees for 30 minutes. ( you can check the temp with a meat thermometer)  
 To prevent odors and to ensure good heat penetration cover the container tightly with foil.  Do not over heat the soil.
Sterilizing the soil helps prevent damping-off and other plant diseases.  

Soilless mixes are great for for germination:  made of  half peat moss and half vermiculite.  These work great for seed starting because they are generally free of diseases , weed seeds, and insects.  They are easy to find and are light weight.  They produce uniform plant growth.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Making a Jewelry Display out of a Lamp Shade

I am hoping this old lamp shade will work to display necklaces and pendants.  I tore off the old fabric and wrapped it in vintage trim.

Baking: Jumbo Brownie Butterscotch Expresso Cookies


  • 2-2/3 cups (16 ounces) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (11-1/2 ounces) Butterscotch chips


  • In a large saucepan, melt chocolate chips and butter over low heat,
  • stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat; cool slightly.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla and, if desired,
  • espresso powder until blended. Whisk into chocolate mixture. In
  • another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt; add to
  • chocolate mixture, mixing well. Fold in chocolate chunks.
  • Drop by 1/4 cupfuls 3 in. apart onto parchment paper-lined baking
  • sheets. Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes or until set. Cool on
  • pans for 1-2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: about
  • 1-1/2 dozen.
Adapted from Taste of Home recipe

Click here to find out more!

Monday, February 04, 2013

Updating a Gold Framed Picture

The textured, ornate and carved Very Gold frame was easy and quick to revamp-  I just Quickly and lightly painted it with a foam paint brush.  I mixed a creamy white acrylic paint with a light brown acrylic painted called Fawn unlit I got a light taupe color.  
I think it’s a completely different look.

 I very lightly went over the the top of the textured frame with taupe paint on a foam brush and then painted the really shiny part of the frame with a thicker layer of paint.

Adding a Little Spring to my Winter Wreath

This took about 30 minutes.  Odds and ends of some vintage ribbon, sewing notions, and Lace - all in off white, some pearl pins and beads, a foam wreath form, some moss, a doily,  and a little bird that I had in my craft stash.  I just wrapped the foam wreath with some fabric trim and pinned it into place,  then pinned a doily on that and then added some lace flowers, a pile of moss, and the bird for decoration.  It fit perfectly inside my evergreen wreath on the front door.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Vintage Baking Recipes: Hip Padders

I love the name of these Chocolate Bars found in one of my many spiral bound vintage cook books.

 Aunt Pat's Bars or HIP PADDERS

I found that there are many variations of this bar recipe - just look up Hip Padders

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
1 1/2 to 2 cups oatmeal

6 oz chocolate chips
6 oz butterscotch chips
1 T butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup walnuts

Cream butter, brown sugar, and vanilla.  Add egg and beat until fluffy.  Add sifted flour, salt, and soda.  Then add oatmeal.  Reserve 1 cup dough for topping.  Press rest into 9x13 inch pan.

For Filling:  Blend Chips, butter, sweetened condensed milk, and salt in heavy saucepan until melted.  Remove from heat and add vanilla and nuts.  Pour over dough.  Drop reserve dough by dabs onto filling.   Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Making Scented Vinegar to use in Natural Cleaning Recipes

I have used Plain White Vinegar for a long time for cleaning my kitchen, floors, bathrooms... It is cheap and natural cleaner.  The past few weeks I have been mixing up some natural cleaning recipes found on Pinterest and many of those recipes call for vinegar.  And along with all the cleaning recipes, I found a great way to use things from your kitchen to make a scented Vinegar.  - It is so simple.  The hardest part is waiting for it to steep for 2 weeks.  I filled a glass jar full of orange peels, lemon peels, lime peels, ginger root pieces, cinnamon sticks, and some apple cider mulling spices and then I just poured plain white vinegar in the jar until it was full.  I placed the jar in a dark cabinet for 2 weeks and then strained the vinegar into another Jar.

Note:  Do not use Vinegar on Granite Counter tops!!

Floor Cleaner:

1 cup Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Soap- (I am loving the Dr. Bonner's Peppermint Castille soap from Trader Joes)
1 Cup Washing Soda ( Purchase or bake a shallow pan full of baking soda in 400 oven 30 min)
2 Gallons of Hot water

All Purpose Spray Cleaner:

1/2 tsp washing soda
1/2 tsp Castille Soap
2 Cups Hot Water
20 Drops of essential oil

Shower Cleaner:

Mix half Dawn Dish Soap and Half Vinegar

Bathroom and Surface Cleaner:

Place a spray nozzle on a bottle of peroxide and spray.  Let set 2minutes and wipe clean

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