Sunday, November 29, 2015

Wine Bottle Decor

A photo posted by Steph Wolcott (@simplyhomesweethome) on

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Making New Wood look a little older~ Weathered Wood Technique

I love the look of weathered and love to use reclaimed wood. I don't always have the perfect piece of old wood laying around when I need it.  I added a little age to a new pine board before painting it with JOY!

Step 1:
* Sand your wood surface well and wipe off dust

* I mixed up brown milk paint as a stain~ 3 parts water and 1 part milk paint powder- I used  a combination of Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in Curio and Homestead House's Milk Paint in Algonquin. It gave the board a nice grayish brown stain. 

* Do not wipe any off. Just let it sit on wood, until dry to touch. ( I sped up the drying with my heat gun)

To get a more distressed, old, worn look on new wood, use any sort of random tools to dent, pound, and  bang up the board.  I used a hammer and a small metal piece that I found.  Do this vary randomly.  Different types of grooves and dents can be made by using different tools and objects. I used the back of the hammer and the front part of the hammer to bang up the wood a bit, so it didn't look so 'perfect'.

Step 2: 
* Use a white paint and a piece of foam or a sponge and lightly brush a dry coat of paint on the top of the stained board.
I used a nice white mineral paint by Pure Earth in the Color White Jade.  I like to use a piece of foam or a sponge for more control but a foam brush would work too.  

* You don't want the paint to cover the wood completely at all. You are mainly just using it for it's white color and matte finish, to achieve a layered, weathered, gray look for the end product.

Step 3:
* Use flat gray paint in any shade you choose. I used Pure Earth in a color called Meteorite~ a light gray. 

* Use a paintbrush, dip the end into the paint, and then wipe most of it off on either the side of the can, or a rag of some sort. Then use whatever leftover paint is on the brush, to dry-brush over the white coat.

Dry Brushing:  Lightly whisk your brush over the surface of the boards. Do not paint and cover the entire surface.  With this process the goal is to create the look of different layers on the boards... as if the wood has been weathered or  out in the elements for a few years, and repainted a couple of times over time. 

*  I applied 2 coats of this gray to deepen the color a little. It is ok if the paint is a little heavier in some places.  Just be sure to let the paint dry between the coats.  
Step 4:
* Using more of the  flat gray paint, add a small amount of black craft paint to the mix. Stir it around a little to deepen the color, but leave a little of the black paint around the edges, so that when you dab your paintbrush in, you'll get subtle variations of dark and light on the ends of the bristles.

* Using the same technique, of dabbing your brush into the paint, and then wiping most of the excess paint off, dry-brush over the entire surface again. Periodically reloading your brush with more of your gray and black mixture.

* If you want more dramatic black or darker gray streaks on your wood, just pour a little more black craft paint into the mix, until you get your desired shade.

After you've got your desired barn wood look, sand down your surface very lightly to get rid of any rough paint splatters or bits that may have been left behind. This should be so light that there shouldn't really even be any dust coming off your table.

The last step is to apply another coat of your stain to the top of your wood. You can do a full coat of the stain or just use the dry-brush technique again and ran the stain lightly over the whole surface. Adding the stain to the top of the mostly dry  paint will almost give the surface a greenish-gray tint. Helping add to that worn look that you're going for.

I did a full stain on the top for this project to give a more solid background for my JOY sign.  The stain did cover quite a bit of the cool detail so next time on a different project  I will  do the dry-brush technique. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Barn Door Joy Signs

Love Repurposing a few barndoor into Seasonal Signs.  I Carefully painted the Letters over these very old and Rugged Barnwood Doors.  

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Deep Dish Pizza

Great with whatever toppings that you have on hand!  

Dough -1 pkg dry yeast; 1 cup lukewarm water; 1Tbs sugar;
1 tsp salt; 2 Tbs oil; 2 1/2 - 3 cups flour
Meat Sauce- 1 lb chopped Bacon
1 chopped onion;
1 heac garlic- chopped;
2- 6 oz can tomato paste;
1/2 cup green olives sliced
1 /2 cup canned artichoke hearts chopped
1 tsp oregano;
1 tsp salt;
1/8 tsp pepper
Cheese Filling- 1 lb Ricotta cheese;
1/4 lb Mozzarella cheese;
2 eggs - lightly beaten; 1/4 cup minced parsley; 1/8 tsp salt
Topping- 1/2 lb Mozzarella cheese - grated; 1/2 tsp oregano;

1 - Make dough. Dissolve yeast in water in bowl. Add sugar, salt, and oil. Mix well. Gradually add flour. To form stiff dough. Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
2 - Meat Sauce- Brown meat in large skillet w/ onion and garlic. Add remaining ingredients; plus 1 cup beef broth simmer for 30 min.
3 - Cheese filling- combine all ingredients and mix well
4 - Roll out 1/2 of dough on floured surface into large rectangle. Place in greased 9 X 13 sheet cake pan, easing dough gently up sides. Spread with cheese filling. Rollout remaining dough, fit over cheese filling. Cover with meat sauce. Bake at 400F for 15 min. Sprinkle with Topping ingredients. Bake an additional 15 min. or until golden.

Recipe adapted from 
Colorado Cache cook book

Pumpkin Spice Truffles

Pumpkin Spice Truffles

Recipe source:
Yields: about 6 dozen


  • Filling Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice 
  • 4 - 4.5 cups (packed) powdered sugar 
  • Chocolate Coating Ingredients:
  • 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
  • Other things you'll need:
  • sprinkles
  • mini muffin wrappers
  • sheet pan lined with parchment paper
  • Wilton candy dipping set (this is highly recommended for your sanity, if you don't get one you can use a fork and spoon.)


To Make the Filling:
In a large mixing bowl combine the wet ingredients-- the softened butter/butter alternative, pumpkin puree, and corn syrup-- together and mix with a wooden spoon until well-combined.
Add in the tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice and mix well.
Add in the packed powdered sugar a cup at a time, mixing until completely incorporated before adding the next cup. When you get towards the end of mixing in the powdered sugar it becomes dry and easier to fully incorporate everything together by using your hands instead of the wooden spoon. Knead it together until the texture resembles cut-out cookie dough. It should hold together easily and have a slight tackiness to it but not be "sticky" like peanut butter. If it is sticky add the additional 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.
Place the mixture into the refrigerator and chill for at least an hour until firm.
Prepare a large sheet pan by lining it with a sheet of parchment paper. (Make sure the pan fits in your fridge because you will need to chill these again.) Using a teaspoon measure, scoop a mostly level teaspoon of the filling into your hand and roll gently between your palms until you form a ball. (I estimate these are between 3/4 inch - 1 inch round.) Place the filling ball onto the parchment-lined pan and continue until you have used up all the filling. (I end up with around 6 dozen balls.) Place the sheet pan with the filling balls back into the fridge to chill and firm up for another hour before dipping in chocolate.
For the chocolate coating:
In a medium-size bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon coconut oil in 30 second increments, stirring well between each, until melted. About 1 minute 30 seconds - 2 minutes. Stir until any lumps are gone.
Remove the tray of filling balls from the fridge just before beginning. You can either dip the chocolates and replace them into the same tray or start a second parchment-lined tray for the chocolate-covered truffles.
Using a fork or the circular shaped Wilton dipping tool, place a ball of truffle filling into the chocolate and roll it around so that it is completely coated in the chocolate. Remove it from the chocolate using the dipping tool, pausing for a few seconds over the bowl (I even tap it on the side of the bowl a bit) to allow excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl, then set onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. (I sort of tip the tool to the side and let the truffle roll off onto the parchment.) Continue until all the balls of filling have been coated. Work quickly so that the chocolate does not 
 cool too much. If you find that it does, you can rewarm it for 15 seconds in the microwave and stir for a few seconds until the chocolate loosens up again. Top with a few sprinkles.
Some tips on the dipping process:
-- The chocolate will remain tacky for a little while, so you can usually do sprinkles after every 3-5 truffles and still have them adhere to the chocolate.
-- If you have a small naked spot where the filling is showing or your tool scuffed the edge of the chocolate you can gently rub the edge of the dipping tool over the chocolate like a paintbrush to fill it in a bit. Do this only when the chocolates are still wet and before adding the sprinkles.
-- If you find your chocolate is pooling a lot at the base of the truffle when you place it on the parchment you are using too much chocolate, let it drip for a little longer over the bowl before placing it onto the parchment.
-- I find that after about 20 minutes the chocolate coating in the dipping bowl becomes viscous and more difficult to dip into. I microwave it for about 15 seconds and stir until it becomes thin and loose again.
Once you have dipped all the chocolates and added the sprinkles, refrigerate the tray of truffles until they firm up, about an hour or so depending on the thickness of the chocolate and your temperature/humidity levels. Once they have firmed up, transfer each truffle to a mini muffin paper and place into a tin or tupperware. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. (You can also freeze them for longer-term storage!)
To serve: Bring the truffles up to room temperature for about 20 minutes, then devour! I like to serve them wrapped in their decorative papers on a tray or in a tin.

Tomato Bisque Soup ~ with Coconut Cream

First Taste of Wintery Weather yesterday~ Perfect Night for Tomato Soup


  • 5 slices Thick Hickory Smoked Bacon- Roughly chopped
  • 1 No. 10 can of whole Tomatoes
  • ( I love the Large Can of Tomatoes from Costco) 
  • 1  onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 head of garlic~ roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Cups Cream of Coconut 
  • ( Found at Trader Joes)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives


Cook Bacon in large soup pot.  Add the butter and Saute onion and Garlic  in butter and add the chopped tomatoes. Add bay leaf, sugar, cloves, salt, pepper and basil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are thoroughly cooked, about 25 minutes. Smash Tomotoes with a wooden spoon until soup is desired consistency.  Add cream of coconut and heat through. Adjust seasonings to your liking.   Sprinkle with chopped chives.

Rustic Clothes Pin Christmas Tree Workshop

I love These Trees~ ... Great for Displaying Christmas Cards, a Collection of Vintage Postcards or antique ornaments and of Course as an Advent Tree to count down the Days until Christmas..... I will be hosting A Clothespin Christmas Tree workshop using Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint Products, Pure Earth Mineral Paint and CREATIVITY!!

All Supplies are included to create one-of-a-kind Trees. I will also provide the vintage-looking tags to adorn your tree. Tea and Treats too. Feel free to bring your own beverage.

Sign up~
or on Facebook: SimplyHomeSweetHome

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Learn the Basic Art of Cookie Decorating.  We will learn all the basics:   how to prepare a cookie for decorating, how to color and create different icing consistencies, how to find and use cookie decorating tools and special techniques to give your cookies the professional look! 
This is a 2 hour class.  Limited space. Each Class will have a Different Festive Theme showcasing 6 different Designs.  Everyone will leave the class with a dozen beautifully decorated cookies to take home.  Cost is $55. 

Are you interested in Hosting a group for a Hands-on class or demonstration using a different theme or technique?  Just Gather your friends, , volunteer groups,  or book club.... and send me a message or give me a call to set up a time just for you!  

Facebook: SimplyHomeSweetHome
or email Steph@SimplyHomeSweetHome

Twelve-Boy Curry

Twelve comes from the 12 optional Toppings to add to this Dish.
Great Recipe from one of my favorite old Cook Books~ Colorado Cache. I also Found the same recipe on Epicurious

Twelve-Boy Curry


    • 6 Tbsp butter
    • 1 C minced onion
    • 1 C chopped celery
    • 4-5 cloves minced garlic
    • 1/2 C flour
    • 1-2 Tbsp curry powder
    • 1 tsp dry mustard
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp paprika
    • Dash cayenne pepper
    • 1 1/4 C chicken stock
    • 1 C light cream- I used Coconut Milk
    • 1 3-lb chicken, stewed, cut into bite-sized pieces


    1. Melt butter in large skillet. Add onions, celery, and garlic; cook over medium heat until limp. Combine dry ingredients and add to onion mixture, stirring until combined over low heat. Slowly add stock and cream. Stir until smooth. Add chicken and heat until boiling. Let stand 1 hour and reheat (better yet, prepare one day ahead). Serve over hot buttered rice and any of the following condiments: Chopped hard boiled eggs Chopped onion Shredded coconut Chopped peanuts or cashews Sweet pickle relish Chutney Chopped green pepper Cjopped olives Orange marmalade Chopped crisp bacon Raisins Crushed pineapple

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Baking Pumpkin Bars

Happy Halloween.

Getting Ready to Host a Pumpkin Soap Making Workshop so these will be a little snack for this morning
Quick to put together and I had everything on hand.  


  • 4 eggs
  • 1-2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ICING:
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk


  • 1. In a bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until well blended. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Pour into an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until set. Cool completely.
  • 2. For icing, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, butter and vanilla in a small bowl. Add enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Spread over bars. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 dozen.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Curried Pumpkin Seeds

These would be great on top of a Squash Soup.  

    • 1 large egg white
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    • 1 teaspoon Avocado Oil
    • 1 tablespoon Hot curry powder from Penzeys
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 12 ounces hulled pumpkin seeds (about 2 1/2 cups)


    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment;  oil the parchment paper- i used some coconut oil.  Whisk egg white, lime juice, and oil in large bowl. Add the spices; whisk. Add pumpkin seeds; toss. Transfer to baking sheet, spreading evenly. Bake until toasted and fragrant, stirring often, about 24 minutes. Cool on sheet. 

Thankful Sign Giveaway

So Thankful to have so many wonderful Followers!  It is GiveAway Time!!  I am giving away a 7"x17" Thankful wood sign!  Perfect for your Home ** Tag someone you are thankful for**Repeat as much as you want for multiple entries!! Bonus entries if you repost this on your Instagram page!!! Winner will be chosen Sunday November 8th!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

One Bowl Double Chocolate Chip Brownies

Super easy and Very Chocolatey Brownie Recipe

2 cups Chocolate Chips ~ Divided
1/2 cup butter
3 Large Eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp espresso powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup Chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

I love to make this in my large glass batter bowl and Stir by hand.
Melt 1 cup of the chocolate chips with the butter in a glass bowl in the microwave.  30 second intervals and stir until smooth and all is melted.  Stir in the eggs and vanilla until smooth.  Then stir in the flour, sugar, espresso powder and baking soda. Stir until everything is well mixed. Now stir in the remaining 1 cup of Chocolate Chips and Nuts. Spread into baking pan.  Bake for about 20 minutes.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Hot Process Soap

Pumpkin Spice Soap Recipe
  • 10 oz olive oil
  • 20 oz coconut oil
  • 8 oz distilled water
  • 4.73 oz pure lye
  • 3 oz pure pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice ~ recipe Follows
  • 15 drops clove essential oil (optional)
  • 15 drops cinnamon OR cassia essential oil (optional)
  • Safety gear for handling lye (long-sleeve shirt, gloves, safety glasses, etc)
  • Equipment for making hot process soap
  1. **If you change any of the ingredients at all, please run the recipe through a soap calculator to ensure you still have a safe ratio of oils to lye.
  2. Weight out all of your ingredients using a kitchen scale. When you are making soap, you must go by weight, not by volume.
  3. When you go to measure out the lye, be sure you are wearing your gloves and safety glasses.
  4. Turn on your crockpot, and place the olive oil and coconut oil inside. Allow the coconut oil to melt completely.
  5. In a well ventilated area (I usually do this on the top of my stove with the fan running), with your safety gear on, carefully stir the lye into the water. Do NOT reverse this and pour the water into the lye, as this can result in a bit of a chemical reaction.
  6. As you stir the lye into the water, the mixture will heat up rapidly, so make sure you don't grab the container with bare hands.
  7. Let the lye/water mixture sit for 5-10 minutes.
  8. Now, carefully pour the lye/water mixture into the melted oils in your crockpot. I stir gently as I pour, and then switch to my lovely stick blender. (Like I explained in this post, a stick blender is a MUST-HAVE when you're making soap!)
  9. Proceed to blend the soap mixture until it starts to thicken. It usually takes 2-4 minutes.
  10. We are looking for the mixture to become more opaque and develop a pudding-like consistency. This is called "trace".
  11. When the mixture has achieved "light trace" (i.e. it's thickened and smooth, but not quite holding its shape yet), mix in the pumpkin puree.
  12. Continue blending until you've achieved full trace. You'll know you've reached this point when you can drip the mixture on top of itself and it holds its shape.
  13. Place the lid on the slow cooker and allow it to "cook" on LOW for 45-60 minutes. It will go through various stages of bubbling, rising, and frothing. I usually stay semi-close as it cooks, just in case it wants to boil over the top. If you see this start to happen, simply stir it back down.
  14. After 45-60 minutes, perform the 'zap' test to make sure all the lye is reaction. You can do this by pulling a tiny bit of the soap out of the crock, allowing it to cool for a minute, and then touching it to your tongue. If it "zaps" you, you know it needs more cooking time. If it just takes soapy and bitter, you're good to go!
  15. Remove the crock from the heat and stir in the spices and essential oils (if you're using them). (I swirled my spices in only partially, as I wanted some variations in my bars) The soap will want to start setting up, so work quickly.
  16. Spoon the mixture into a mold, and set aside for around 24 hours to allow it to harden completely.
  17. Now comes my favorite part-- unmold the soap, and cut it into bars.
  18. You can technically use the soap immediately, but you'll have a harder, longer-lasting bar if you allow it to cure or air-dry for 1-2 weeks

Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe: 4 Tablespoons Cinnamon, 4 tsp nutmeg,3 tsp ginger, 3 tsp cloves, 1 tsp all spice...

RECIPE from Prairie Homestead

Baking Kolaches

Czech Kolaches 

Recipe makes 56
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup butter, cut up
3/4 cup shortening, cut up
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast envelopes
Desired filling (see below)
Powdered Sugar Icing (see below)


In a large saucepan, heat and stir milk, butter, shortening, sugar and salt just until warm (120 degreesF to 130 degrees F) and butter and shortening almost melt. Set aside and cool for 5 minutes. Stir in eggs.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour and the yeast. Add milk mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds or until combined. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Gradually add remaining flour, switching to a wooden spoon if necessary to stir in last amount of flour. (Dough will be very soft.) Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

Shape chilled dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover; let rise in a warm place 30 minutes. Use your thumb or the back of a round measuring teaspoon to make a deep indentation in center of a few balls at a time. Spoon about 1 teaspoon filling into each indentation. Repeat with remaining balls and filling.

Bake one or two pans of kolaches at a time at 325 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden on the bottoms. Immediately remove to racks; cool slightly. If you like, drizzle with icing before serving.

Poppy Seed Filling: In a coffee grinder or small food processor blend 3/4 cup (4 ounces) poppy seeds until fine. Set aside. In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup milk, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon honey and a dash of salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, lightly beat 2 egg yolks. Gradually stir about half of the warm milk mixture into beaten yolks. Return the yolk mixture to milk mixture in saucepan and stir to combine. Cook and stir over medium heat just until mixture thickens and coats a spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in poppy seeds and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest. Transfer to a bowl and chill, covered, for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Raspberry Filling: In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups frozen raspberries, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl and chill, covered, for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Apricot Filling: In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups chopped dried apricots and 1 1/2 cups apricot nectar. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Cool slightly. Place in a blender and blend until smooth. (Mixture should be thicker than applesauce.) Transfer to a bowl and chill, covered, for several hours or up to 2 days. Makes 1 1/2 cup.
Powdered Sugar Icing: In a small bowl, combine 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing reaches drizzling consistency. Makes 2/3 cup.

Store unglazed kolaches in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

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