Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Roasted Beets Are the Best

I fell in love with roasted beets late in my early 30's.  
Before then I wouldn't even look at them and I wondered who would eat them.  Well my parents did and they loved them when we would go out to eat.  I just don't remember my mom ever cooking or serving them for any meal.  Hmm...

Thanks to my neighbor Bill who would grow them in his spring garden every year, and to his wife Elise who taught me how to cook them...I became in LOVE with beets!!!
Freshly plucked from the garden soil and later served for dinner...just heavenly!

Elise taught me how to prepare beets the right way...I mean her way!
 Clean them really well.

 Place beets in a dish, drizzle some oil and sprinkle some sea salt over them.  Cover dish and place in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for about 40-50 minutes; or until beets are tender when poked with knife.  You can also use foil to wrap beats and cook them individually like you do with potatoes.
Roasted beets taste so much better! 
Also are less messy than when you boil them...ugh!!!

Remove from oven and let cool.  When cool, the beets are easily peeled and slice.  No red beet juice all over your kitchen counter or stained kitchen sink.

We serve our beets in salads, make Borscht Soup, and my all time favorite Harvard Beets!!!
If you have any leftovers, simply freeze the roasted beets.

I hope you try roasting your beets next time!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Crochet Border Edgings

What to work on while watching Dancing with the Stars and use up bits & pieces of leftover crochet thread?
How about crochet border edgings!!!

Most crochet edgings ended up being about 1-2 yards long.

I think I can use them on more handmade pillowcases,

or to embellish a tea towel,

or for a future altered art craft.  

The possibilities are endless.

"It's just a bunch of 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

If it involves 
& a 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Raggedy Mini Wreath Christmas Ornaments

Here are a few raggedy mini wreath ornaments I have been working on lately to donate for our Church bazaar.

I use scraps of fabric and rip long strips to tie around shower curtain rings.

Once I complete all of them, I will add a few embellishments to make them look prettier; but I think some look just fine the way they are.
Sweet Inspiration #29

GOD bless Us,
Every One!
~Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Friday, October 21, 2016

Crochet Holly Leaves

 Yesterday I mentioned I have been working on crochet holly leaves, and here they are!

 No...they were not hard to make, and it was an easy pattern to follow.

I'll be using them to decorate these Christmas ornaments.

"Happy HOLLY-days"

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mini Wreaths Christmas Ornaments

I have never in my life started working on Christmas decorations/ornaments this early...that I can remember!
I'm the type that waits until the very last minute...hehehe!
Here's a little sneak peek at what I'm working on: Christmas wreath ornaments to be donated to our Church's Christmas Bazaar in early November.

You simply take a shower curtain ring, and wrap it in jute twine, yarn, ribbon, etc...and add a little glue here and there to keep it from unraveling.  Let it dry and decorate as you wish.

Here I took some used Mason Jar rings, and wrapped them in jute twine as well and will decorate with some crochet holly leaves (I'm currently working on) and red beads.

All of these and other small projects are flying back with me to AZ next week, where I will finish decorating them in my fully stocked craft room. I can't wait to get home for the winter!!!
I'm working on other little Christmas projects to donate to church as well while I'm still here in MN...let's say I'm doing the preliminary work right now.  I can't wait to see what the other Church Ladies have been working on!
Share Your Cup Thursday #220

"Make it a 
to Remember"

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Corner-to-Corner Crochet Pillow Cover

I finally finished my crochet corner-to-corner throw pillow cover.  I only did the one panel in crochet (for the front of it).  For the back I used fabric and made it into an envelope throw pillow cover.
This is a very easy and quick crochet pattern in my opinion.  You can find the pattern here.
I worked on this while watching the summer olympics...I can multi-task you know!
I used this fabric for the back of the pillow cover.  I think I'm getting better at my sewing prowess...hehehe!!!

Since I have one more piece of this same fabric, I'm currently working on another crochet panel (different pattern) to make a semi-twin throw pillow to go with this one.
I work on it while watching a new show I'm hooked and loving...This Is Us
So I might not be done with it for a while...sigh!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

In the Baking Groove

Over the summer I had been saving/freezing very ripened bananas for when the weather cools down.
Well, wintry weather has arrived, and I like nothing better than to bake to keep myself warm and cozy, and eventually enjoy a homemade treat with some good hot tea.

This time I tweaked my banana bread recipe in hopes that Hubby would be able to enjoy a piece of "low carb" banana bread...well as low as I could make it.
To make it low carb, I used half of the flour called for in the recipe with almond meal, added 2/3 cups of roasted flax seeds*, and cut the sugar* by a 1/4 of a cup.  Hubby and I have not developed a taste for the fake sweeteners out there...yuck...they really upset our tummies!
While the bread was baking, the house smell divine and Hubby couldn't wait to taste it!

Success!  It turned out really moist and delicious!!!

Here's my revised Banana Bread recipe:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Almond Meal (I get it from Trader Joe's)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or shortening-room temperature (I used Canola Oil)
  • 3/4 brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripened bananans (I used 4)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup cold brewed coffee (instead of the milk called for)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar
  • 2/3 cups roasted flax seed (also from TJ's)
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I do not like nuts in my banana bread)

Sift flour, baking soda and salt together.  Add Almond Meal and flax seeds to sifted ingredients and mix.  
In another mixing bowl , creamed together oil and sugar together until creamy.  Add coffee and lemon juice (or vinegar) and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients (in small portions) and blend well after each addition. 
Grease the bottom of a baking pan (I use a bundt pan), and pour batter in.  Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for about 60-70 minutes, or until done (depending on your oven).  Remove from oven and let cool for about 20 minutes, and then remove from pan.

Bon Appetit!

*Baker's Note (Moi): I'm planning on cutting the sugar to 1/2 cup next time; and grind the flax seed.  I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Autumn Scrabble Plaque

Isn't this just the cutest Scrabble Tile plaque ever!!!

While visiting Deb, I spotted a similar plaque she had on a fall vignette on her windowsill, and I fell in love with it!!!
Deb, being the generous person that she is, immediately told me I could make I don't have to tell me twice...hehehe!!!

Deb had all the supplies on hand, et voila...done!

Now I'm on the hunt for Scrabble games at garage sales for future similar projects like this.

Cooking & Crafting with J & J #70

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Autumn Banner

I made this fall banner at Garage Sale Gal's get-together!
The paper chain I made using some of my left over Halloween scrap paper.

Deb was very generous in letting me use her supplies in creating my pretty banner.
Thank you Deb!!!
I browsed through Deb's fall/autumn supply stash and picked bits & pieces to decorate my banner.

My idea was to showcase the four top events for each month during autumn:
Welcome Fall and Pumpkins...

Back to School & apple picking...

Halloween & candy...
The Pumpkin Spice sentiment is from one of Deb's newest acquired stamps for this season.

Being Grateful!

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Day of Crafting with Garage Sale Gal

Couple of weeks ago I spent a great crafting get-together day at Garage Sale Gal's!
This is her beautiful fall mantle.  I absolutely love it!!!
She really has an eye in putting lovely vignettes together.

Deb worked on making the most gorgeous fall cards and tags!

I made a fall banner and a Scrabble Autumn plaque using some of Deb's supplies that she gladly let me use and share with me.  The plaque was an inspiration from one she had on display on her dining room windowsill vignette.

Isn't this owl tag the cutest!!!  Deb's creation!

Deb treated us to a delicious hot and creamy corn & chicken soup.  It was a perfect lunch for a windy cold day.
Jackson was hoping to get some crumbs, but I didn't have any to share...sorry.

For dessert we had these delicious pumpkin tarts I picked up from Lunds & Byerlys on my way to her place.
By Deb's expression, I think they were the best part of our get-together...hehehe!!!
They were so yummy and we were ready for a nap afterward!

Thank you Deb for a wonderful day!  Next year it's my turn to host our get-togethers, and that way you'll get a chance to stop by Empty the Nest...wink wink!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Very Hungry Squirrel

This is the time of year I must have a pumpkin or more by our front door to welcome the fall season.
  but I never expected our very hungry squirrels would take it upon themselves...

 to carve it...argh!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sewing & Embellishing Pillowcases

I finally dusted the old Singer sewing machine and put myself to work!
I practiced my amateurish sewing skills and ended up making nine pillowcases.  The best part of it was that I used up all of my measly fabric stash here in MN, which gives me license to start collecting more for next summer!!!

 I made this simple pillowcase here using this very pretty fabric, and 
 I crochet the border edge using this pattern here.

 I also made four flannel pillowcases using the 15-minute Magical Pillowcases using The Twiddletails Blog tutorial.
For these pillowcases I used vintage binding instead of the trim fabric.

 Here are two standard pillowcases (bottom).  I used red ric-rac on one, and for the other I crochet a border edge using this pattern here (#118).
For the top pillowcase I used the Magical Pillowcase (as above) method, and I added a "prairie point" border using lots of fabric scraps; and added more ric-rac to finish it off!

My last regular pillowcase.  I added the always handy eyelet trim...simple and "sew" easy

I can add French Seams, prairie points and the magical pillowcase method to my sewing repertoire now ;-)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Healthy breakfast...last of the summer fruit

Monday, October 10, 2016


Thank God for Family!!!
My brother-in-law and his wife have spent all summer long cleaning out their garage, and finally decided it was time to get rid of "stuf" collecting dust and cobwebs.  Before they loaded up the "stuff"  to to drop off at Goodwill, they asked me if I would be interested in taking a look and I could have whatever I wanted!!!  They know me so well...I love hunting for treasures.

Huge perfect for this time of year...

Heavy big brass lamp with burlap covered shade...

perfectly small stained glass lamp for Hubby's dresser...

another very pretty lamp for guest bedroom night stand...

and last but not least, a small table that serves as Hubby's night stand!!!

Thank you!!!