Monday, September 10, 2012

Pioneer Woman's Peach Crisp....

Evan turns the butter, brown sugar and flour to "sand" consistency...

Evan and Lauren love to help in the kitchen.  Sometimes I have all the patience in the world and let them get in the mix with me and other times I just want the simplicity of getting the job done.  However, I have such great memories of baking with my grandmother when I was little.  I know I'm instilling in them the love of cooking.  Not just cooking, but shopping, selecting the fresh produce at the farmers market, local stand or from our garden....researching a recipe....watching a cooking show for inspiration and then seeing it to fruition with the actual cooking part.
Peach Crisp with Maple Creme Sauce from The Pioneer Woman
I'm sure I've talked about this recipe before but it really is so easy and good.  You can use any fruit and/or fruit combination.  I used white nectarines and blueberries in this one.  The lemon zest is key!  If I'm going to bake anything I need simple.  This is simple.
I even got cray-cray and threw in an over ripe banana!
(this is why I like this recipe!  I usually don't like to bake because I like to improvise and you can't typically do  that with baking.  Precision I am NOT!)
Sprinkle the crumble topping on and bake.....
Hubs said I didn't put enough crumble on.  I told him to enough the fruit which is really the healthiest for him.
Last time I made this I used a smaller dish and used the full amount in the recipe and I felt it was too much. This time I used a bigger baking dish so I probably could have used it all.  Live and learn. I had left over maple creme sauce so I didn't even have to make that part.  But I HIGHLY recommend that you don't skip the sauce!  It is divine!  

What is better than a quick and delicious desert on a week night?  My family is pretty shocked when I "bake" a treat. 
 Happy Monday friends!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Spray Paint Part Trois....

Outdated oak frame...
Okay, how many spray paint posts can one have?  Well, it's my go-to quick fix for sprucing up what could be outdated looking art.  I recently visited some thrift stores that I've never been to before.  There is nothing like it to get the blood pumping!  I found some gems.  But they needed work.  And by work I mean spray paint!
Look at the work on this handmade needlepoint!  Such a gorgeous scene.  The hubs thought it was a paint by number and scoffed at my selection until I showed him it was needle work!  (Similar to what his mother did)  It amazes me when I find these treasures.  I always think about the person who touched this, spent so much time and energy to create the work.  
I gave it an evergreen pop of color.  (The brown frame wasn't all that bad, but I wanted to modernize it a bit)
 And what do we have under here?  A splash of blue for the frame instantly updates the sad oak!
Handmade BATIK!  

Yet another example of an art form that the hubs grandmother from Sweden used to do.  We have an original piece of Batik that she made and gave to me on my very first trip to Sweden approximately 16 years ago!  This piece prompted me to pull it out and make the decision to invest in a good frame/mat job so we can really treasure it.  It's too fabulous to have in the drawer.  Family heirlooms deserve the fame/mat expense!
Nothing better than finding information about the artist on the back!
I always google the artist. I found another piece of her work in exact same frame on eBay

Thank you Dolores Smith from Evergreen, CO!  I am in love with your work!  (I paid a mere $2.00 for this gem.)  My hard and fast rule about purchasing art from thrift stores is that it needs to be framed well.  Framing costs a small fortune so it doesn't pay to have to re-frame something.  Some of the pieces I have must have cost a small fortune to frame.  You can usually find a sticker or stamp on the back of the business that did the frame job.

Fireside Story....
 I got this at a church garage sale for $4.00!  It had yet another oak colored wood frame.  
 I especially love the rounded mat.  (which costs even more when you are framing and matting!)
 This is me and my sister and her beloved childhood stuffed bunny.
 ~and this is my mom....
I love the Swedish vibe.  And now the weathered looking gray colored frame gives it a nice update.
 This is my nice boy Evan watching me work and NOT doing anything sassy with cans of spray paint!
While looking through my cans of spray paint I found this finished work from March!  This is what happens when you need to get down to business and HANG all this stuff up!  I forgot all about it.  Remember those wood and brass sculptures from the 70s or 80s?  Well the "moon" was wood and the trees were brass.  
Love it!  A nice 3D effect.
And then after all that work my Love Dog and I took a little snack break/rest break on the couch!  

I can't get enough of fabulous original works of art that fill my home for pennies on the dollar!  And it's all about upgrading.  If I have something hanging to "make do" I replace it with a newly thrifted item and donate the old.  Now, I just need hubs to get going on the hanging up of these beauties!  The newly finished basement is gonna be decorated in no time!