Thursday, February 24, 2011

From My 8 Yr Old Grandson







Made my day - my month - my year. Love these grandkids!

Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm Thinking About Wallpaper . . .


. . . after taking a quick peek at Anna French's wild flora collection. You will too {here}!

Spring is For Strawberries and Cupcakes

The cupcake rage started a few years ago and this adorable little cupcake shop, Cupcakes Actually, in Fairfax, VA unashamedly admits they're totally cupcake snobs.




Here's their highlighted recipe for Strawberry Fields
(approximately 30 Cupcakes)


Cake:
Ingredients:
  • 2 sticks butter (room temperature)
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup Self Rising Flour
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup fresh strawberry puree
  1. Cream butter until it is light and fluffy.
  2. Add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy.
  3. Add oil and continue mixing until it is all combined.
  4. Add eggs gradually so that they mix into butter evenly.
  5. Combine milk and vanillaand slowly add to mixture.
  6. Sift flour and mix until combined.
  7. Scrape bowl and mix completely.
  8. Add strawberry puree mixing thoroughly and scrape.
  9. Bake 10 minutes then turn.
  10. Bake 5 more minutes and test.
Strawberry Buttercream
Ingredients:
  • 4 ounces fine-quality white chocolate3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter (room temperature cut into 2 inch pieces)
  • 6 tablespoons water3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg whites3/4 cup fresh strawberry puree
  1. Place white chocolate in double boiler and heat until completely melted.
  2. Let white chocolate come to room temperature.
  3. Put water insaucepan placing sugar on top.
  4. Cook on stove using a candy thermometer.
  5. When sugar mixture reaches 220 degrees start whisking egg whites on high speed until they reach a medium peak.
  6. When sugar reaches 242 degrees (softball stage), turn merengue down to medium speed and slowly drizzle sugar mixture making sure that it doesn't hit the whisk.
  7. Continue beating at medium speed until mixture is at room temperature.
  8. Add butter piece by piece until well combined.
  9. Add the white chocolate and beat until well incorporated.
  10. Add strawberry puree and mix until incorporated, scraping the bottom.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Another "Vintage" Find . . .



For $5, I couldn't pass it up even though it's quite rickety. I liked the charm and if nothing else, it'll make a cute vintage potting shelf. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Like Two Kids In A Candy Shop

Today Michael and I took a quick trip to one of my our favorite places o shop.  Yup -  a salvage yard. I was so excited and got over stimulated pretty quick - just couldn't take it all in - let alone think about what else I could do with what my eye saw.

Our main purpose in going was to find lumber to build some new raised beds in different spots around the farm. Beats the big box store prices any day.

I know it's crazy but I love this salvage yard. It's like a vintage find just waiting to happen. My last visit there I found these shutters for our barn {here}.




A lot of this stuff at the salvage yard. Not sure where 'vintage' fits in, but I thought it took an interesting picture!


I'd have liked a few of these, but knowing me - I'd get them home and would wonder why on earth did I bring them home. See any potential for these thing-a-ma-bobs?


We brought these home. Why? You'll see soon.


This was cool - all wood. Could make a fence of sorts - but not my style.



Had this been a better price, we'd have brought it home.




Beauty and Beauty

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Today I Played. . . A Bit

I love chalk board paint and when you come to our farm you'll find that all our signage is chalkboard.






Lately, I've been on a creative hunt to find different objects that I could slap paint chalkboard paint on for some new signage.


I thought this vintage bed tray would make cute signage.



Not quite so creative I had some old boards around and since I was in the mood, I just kept going with my chalkboard paint.


This frame worked well to add a piece of wood to...and of course...paint with chalkboard paint.






  Just kidding.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Seeds and the Boy

Being a busy farmer, I could be tempted to rush through life's beautiful moments (for the sake of planting my seeds) and totally miss what is even more important. People.

And, today, in this case, a little person.

Growing up with three brothers, I know the things boys dig. Dirt. Getting dirty. Getting really dirty.

And, so, I've learned to capitalize the dirt, the boy, the seeds and capture the moment of the heart forever.


This one loves dirt. He's learned to love seeds. I think he'll become a farmer and reclaim the land farm that is part of his heritage.


He fills the pots. Almost meticulously. 


He's a serious planner about his work.


Very serious.






And, gently he deposits the seeds (in this case - red okra) into the dirt. 

Amen.