December 30, 2011

Do You Think I'm A Little Late?. . .

I just put the tree up!
Got The flocked tree I have always wanted. It is slim so it will fit nicely in the livingroom. The little tree we had this year will go in the entrance way at the top of the steps next year.
Found some beautiful glass ornaments at KMart. If you are interested in silvery gray ones, yes gray glass ornaments rush over to KMart now. They were stunning but do not match my house so I got the wine colored ones.

Finally got it put together and the lights lit so it will stay up for a few days. See all the snow on the floor. Better get busy cleaning up.
A few pictures of what I have been doing this month.

This is a little of what I have been doing for the last month. What a armful of JOY! Remember I said that the kittens will be staying outside. Well that didn't last long.

I named them after my favorite candy Licorice and Caramel.

Wrapping gifts.

Citrus Marmalade.

I got the recipe from Kathy at A Delightsome Life. I used Kamquats and oranges from our trip to Florida earlier in the month.

Baked my favorite cookies Russian Tea Balls.

Baked cut out Sand Tarts from a recipe I have been using for many years. Cute cutters, don't you agree? The one in the front was my Grand Mothers.

Got a great new cookie sheet. It is very heavy and does not bend in the oven heat. It has a big lip all the way around to keep it strong and I forgot to put the pic of the wrapper in the post. Does anyone know how to add a photo and work it into the post just where you want it, after the fact? I cannot move my pictures around once they are downloaded to the post. Is this normal?

I can't Click and Drag in my blog posts. Used to be able to but no more. If you know how Please let me know.

I store my cutters in this basket on the dining room floor. They are just to pretty to store away.

More kitten photos. These two have been so much fun and a comfort as I lost my Beloved Black cat Spirit in November. He was my best fur friend for over 11 years and it was so difficult to let him go.

Look at that smile! Yes I do believe it is a smile.

A last little photo of Licorice who will not be outdone by his sister Caramel.

Wishing You An Amazing 2012!

~ ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~ ~
Linking up to these wonderful ladies.

December 18, 2011

Christmas Home Tour 2011

~ ~ ~and singing I have been doing my friends. I do love this time of year and decorating my home for the holidays. I have Christmas Caroles playing all day. I just love using Pandora.
I covered these letters from Michael's with Mod Podge, hymnal pages and hung them over the archway between the dining room and living room. How do you like them?

This is my small china cabniet in the entranceway landing.

I just love a cozy home when it's cold outside.

The top of the tree.
Gotta love glitter and stars!

~ ~ ~and more stars.

It is just a tiny 4 foot tree but I love the sparkle and shine.

Do you remember Department 56? These angels are about 30 years old and I still love them and put them out every year. They were a gift from my Mother.

The tree sits on a tiny antique table in a corner of the living room.

The picture beside the china is one of my favorites. A boy and girl sitting on a swing. She has her hands in a fur muff. Wouldn't that be fun instead of gloves?

I think I used 6 garlands for the archway doubling them up for a lush look. Then I poked extra stems of greens in here and there too.
Behind the curtins are the French doors to the sunroom.

I have linked up to these Christmas Parties:

Between Naps On The Porch

Thanks for stopping by for a visit. I wish that all your Dreams come true this holiday season.

May you have Peace, Joy and Abundance of Happiness.

Love to all of you,

~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

September 15, 2011

The Last Peaches and Flowers of Summer

Don't you just love peaches?

These are a variety called Loring and are asking to be a pie.
I had a few sweet cherries in a bowl so I added them to the mix.

Everything in the shell and the butter at the ready to dot on the top.

Like I said before, my pies look very homemade but that doesn't stop me from making them.

I cut a few leaves from the scraps to decorate the top. In honor of the falling leaves that will soon litter the ground here. Already the trees are beginning to turn yellow and orange. Seems a little early, doesn't it?

Be sure to bake your pies on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. They sure do make a mess.

Why is it that everytime I begin a project around here help finds it's way to me. Do you see the ears? That's my helper. Actually he eats my flower arrangements so I have to be careful what I bring into the house.

This sweet little pitcher is a recent flea market find. The flowers are a fall blooming clematis that is just full of flowers this year. Tiny little white ones and I added a few red geraniums. Red and white makes my heart sing. How about you? What colors do it for you?

The new kittens have been named~ ~ ~Caramel and Licorice. Can you guess which is which? Licorice says, I really really love my sister but this flower pot is getting smaller and smaller. I don't think we can do this for much longer. Can you believe I found both of them in this 8" round pot. Must be like being in the womb.

Caramel needed a good stretch after her nap.

Caramel and Licorice are my two favorite candies and these little guys are so sweet!

The winner of the Girard's Salad Dressing Giveaway is Mary from Very Merry Vintage Style. Mary Hosts the blog party called Share The Love every Wednesday. If you haven't been to visit her yet you may want to take a minute and see all the wonderful links this week.
Please stop by and visit these wonderful blog parties too.

Thanks to all of you for stopping by. I love it when you leave a comment, you make my day. Make it a wonderful weekend.

~ ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~ ~

September 1, 2011

Pie Dough and Opera?

Hello Friends~ ~ ~I think the two go perfectly together. I love making pie dough, how about you? I put on some opera music and get out my canister of flour. It's therapeutic for me rubbing all that butter into a humble bowl of flour and ending up with light, flaky pie dough.

If you haven't used Pandora you may want to check it out. All the music you like, that's it, period! I love them. I searched for opera and was given a few choices. I chose romantic opera and boom they play one after the other. Try it you'll love it!

Ok, so you are set with your flour and your music. I use Martha's recipe for Pate Brisee for my pies and I think it's the best. The shortening makes the crust flaky and the butter gives it flavor.

~ ~Pate Brisee~ ~

5 cups flour

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. sugar

1 cup crisco shortening

2 sticks butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

3/4-1 cup ice water
Put dry ingredients in a big bowl and stir to blend. Add the shortening and pieces of butter and rub the shortening and butter into the flour with your finger tips till it looks like the picture below. . .but Don't stop here. . .

Keep rubbing till it looks like the next picture. Smaller, finer pieces. Imagine the music playing and the feel of the butter between your fingers. Don't you feel the stress leaving your body already?

Now add the ice water maybe half of it and continue rubbing and mixing. Add more water as needed. Yesterday I used the whole 1 cup of water but that depends on the flour and the weather. Be sure to get all the dry flour from the bottom of the bowl mixed in. Dump the mix onto your counter and form it into a rough ball, then a big log like this.

Don't get all nuts about mixing it together perfectly. A little ragged is OK. See? This recipe makes 2 double crust pies. Cut your log into 4 equal pieces and flatted them into a big disk. The bigger the easier it is to roll the dough. Wrap each piece into it's own piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Sorry but no pictures of the rolling procedure. it's difficult to take pictures when your hands are so messy.

Here is my finished pie. It's a Pennsylvania Dutch Corn Pie for last nights main course and it was delish. I made 2 of them. My pies always look so homemade because I'm not to good at making a pretty edge and for this that's OK. Sometimes I cut out little leaves of dough for the edge to make it look nice.

Look at that flaky crust. You can do it too.

We serve our Corn Pie with a thick white sauce over it. My Mom always just heated milk with butter for her sauce.

My corn pie recipe was posted some time ago and the link for it is here if you want to try it.

Be sure to check out my current GIVEAWAY. I think you will like it.

I just had to show you the two newest members of the family. Looks like Ying and Yang doesn't it? The orange one is female and the dark one is male. No names yet, any ideas?

Their Momma showed up here a few months ago with her brother. I guess someone dropped them off. Turns out she was pregnant and these two little ones are the result. We are thrilled and will be keeping all 4. How can you not love these bundles of fluff?

I am linking to these wonderful gals this week:

Make It A Wonderful Day

~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

August 25, 2011

A GIVEAWAY and a Roadside Stand Dinner

Have you ever made what I call a Roadside Stand Dinner? No meat just vegetables from my local Roadside Stand. I have been doing that a lot this summer. Right now there are so many wonderful tomatoes to choose from.

I am so proud to announce that the fine folks at Girard's Salad Dressings have asked me to be one of their Epicurean Experts. I love to cook and have been doing so since I could stand on a chair at the kitchen counter. I am honored and want to share with you all the goodies they sent me in preparation for more and more great meals and recipes from my kitchen.

Look at this load of goodies. I was so thrilled. The apron and the bamboo utensils are awesome.

There were a few new recipe cards included too.

The best were the 4 bottles of Girard's new dressings for me to try. The wonderful folks at Girard's have generously agreed to give away a set of their 4 new dressings to one of my readers! I am so happy to be able to share with you their tasty dressings.

Would you like to win?

The winner will get 4 of Girard's new salad dressings.

All you have to do to enter the drawing is to Follow My Blog and leave a comment and tell me. If you are already a follower just let me know in your comment.

This is a recipe that we love and it's loaded with lots of fresh juicy tomatoes. No set measure for this one just add a little or a lot of what you like.


Use any kind of crusty bread that you like and cube it into about 3/4 inch chunks. Toss it in a big bowl, I used my huge yellowware bowl, with olive oil that has a few cloves of garlic minced into it. I used about 1/2 cup of olive oil and 6 garlic cloves. I had lots of bread! I toss it with my hands then spread it on a cookie sheet and toast it in the oven. Be sure to stir the cubes often till browned all over. I use my broiler.

While my bread is browning I chop a few tomatoes into the same big bowl I used to mix the bread and olive oil. Then I slice some onion on top. I like to use vadalia and red onion.

Add Basil to your taste. I used 3 different varieties.

I adore this bowl. I have had it so long I can't remember where I got it.

Then toss it all together.
You can also add grated cheese if you like.

I tossed mine with Girard's Olde Venice Italian Dressing.

It was amazing!

Looks wonderful doesn't it?

So yummy and good for you.

We had a friend stop over unexpectedly around dinner time so we asked him to join us. He couldn't get over raving about this simple salad. "Best he has ever had" He said.

For many years I made my own salad dressings but with a dressing the quality of Girard's at hand no need to mix it up myself anymore.

Each of these varieties has less sodium than before and the White Balsamic Vinaigrette and the Greek Feta Vinaigrette varieties contain no high fructose corn syrup if that is important to you.

I am linking to:

Good Luck to all of you who enter the GIVEAWAY!

Chat with you again soon.

~ ~Ahrisha~ ~