November 10, 2018

It's Vanilla Cupcake Day...


Yes - November 10th is "Vanilla Cupcake Day"

That's Naked Vanilla Cupcake Day For Me!

There are so many kinds of cupcakes out there, many very fancy,
but sometimes you just want a plain old vanilla cupcake.
No froo-froo involved. No sprinkles or glitter, no fondant or frosting ...
just a yummy "naked vanilla cupcake".


Celebrate the day and treat yourself to a not-too-sweet one...
with a cup of coffee perhaps. 


Pick one up at your local bakery or make one yourself. 
Here is an easy recipe. 

Makes 1 dozen

1/2 cup plus 1 tbl butter (soft)
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 tea. baking powder
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tbl. cake flour
1/2 tea salt
3 egg whites
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tea. pure vanilla extract

  • Whip butter with sugar until fluffy. Sift dry ingredients and set aside.
  • In another bowl, whip egg whites and gradually add buttermilk. Combine.
  • Go back to butter mixture and intermittently add buttermilk with flour, stopping every once in a while to scrape down the sides. Finish by mixing in vanilla. Pour batter into lined muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Stay Cozy
and enjoy your treat...
Carrie





November 7, 2018

They're Back......

 Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars -  A blondie dotted with white chocolate and cranberries
                                               with a slight hint of orange.


I'm not sure how you feel about these sweet treats - but I always look forward to 
seeing them show up on the deli shelf in Starbucks each holiday season. 
I have seen so many people that have duplicated the recipe and they really look 
delicious and so close to the original bars.

Below is just one recipe to try if you want to try making them at home.

See the source image

 As for me, I will continue to treat myself here and there throughout the season. 
 It might be too dangerous for me to have an entire pan at home :)

Stay Cozy...
Carrie

Cranberry Bliss Bars

Ingredients

Blondie Layer:

  • 3/4 cup 1 1/2 sticks salted butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 ounces white baking chocolate , coarsely chopped

Frosting:

  • 1 package (8 ounces cream cheese, softened)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar , sifted
  • 6 ounces white baking chocolate , melted
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries , coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare the blondie layer: In a medium bowl, melt butter for one minute in the microwave or until melted; stir in brown sugar. Pour the butter and sugar into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Use an electric mixer to beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the cranberries and chopped chocolate (batter will be thick).
  3. Spread the blondie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined. Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended. Frost brownies. Sprinkle with chopped cranberries. Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate. Let the frosting set (speed this up by throwing them into the fridge) then cut into bars- square or triangle-shaped. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

October 29, 2018

Let me "Show" you what I found...



 Did any one else have this wonderful toy?

Remco's "SHOWBOAT"?
http://d2ydh70d4b5xgv.cloudfront.net/images/2/8/rare-complete-set-vtg-1962-remco-disney-showboat-w-ob-vintage-toy-1960s-jh-08e53638d8c1a6fd7498cddbfc17788b.jpg

 My sister, Diane, from Saturday Finds and I shared this wonderful toy
 when we were young girls. 

Each envelope was complete with the the scenery, characters and scripts
 to produce wonderful plays on the "Showboat" .

Heidi, The Wizard of Oz, Cinderella and Pinocchio.

We played with this toy for hours and hours...
so much so that the cardboard characters had to be reinforced
 with tape over and over again so they
 would stand upright in their plastic stands.


It was sitting on the shelf behind the register at my daughter's local thrift store, 
minding it's own business, apparently waiting for me to bring it home....
if for nothing else but for the "oh so fond" memories it holds.

And to my delight it held a "red sticker" which meant 1/2 price day!


My sister will be coming up to visit in December...
maybe we can put on a show! 

If it only had "The Nutcracker".

♥ Thanks for the memories Remco! ♥

What toy brings you fond memories?

Stay Cozy, 
Carrie

October 26, 2018

Before and After....my furniture transformations



It is so fun to find these small furniture pieces and bring new life to them.
It is truly a satisfying feeling to see them transform and then find a new home.


This little beauty took well to its' new gray chippy finish!


Then it traveled to my booth at the Red Door to find a new owner!

Here are some other finished pieces. 
I keep forgetting to take the "before" picture!
Guess I get too excited to get the project started.


 A small childs chair that was in poor shape...was dressed up with
 a light yellow distressed finish.


 This pedestal, once a mess... is now "pretty in pink".


Mint green was a nice change for this previously worn out small table.


Voila...Revamped and Resold!

Stay Cozy,
Carrie

September 5, 2018

Set up to sell...

It's official!
"Cottage Cozy" is open for business.





Red Door Antiques + Resale
394 NW 1st Street
 Canby, Oregon

Staying Cozy,
 Carrie

August 22, 2018

Open for Business...

I am excited to announce I am opening up a  "Cottage Cozy" shop here in the Portland area at a wonderful antique store,
 Red Door Antiques + Resale in the quaint town of Canby.

(you can visit the store here)

My spot will be ready and open for business on September 1st.
Just in time for the holidays!

True to its name, you are welcomed in via the "red door".



Sharon, the owner, has a real love for antiques and collectibles
and considers her vendors "family".

If you are visiting this area - please stop in. 
It is the kind of store that has something for everyone.

Stay Cozy,
Carrie

August 16, 2018

Instant Pot = Instant Memories...


What's inside these little boxes we are holding you ask?

w


Well...on four consecutive Tuesday evenings in July, two of my
daughters and I met together at my church for "Oasis"...
an evening for women to gather, have dinner, enjoy an encouraging word
from a speaker, and most of all...try something new.

When registering for the program, there was a list of classes we could
choose from. Things like journaling, pickle ball, quilting, hula dancing,
sign making and many more. The hope was that you might find
something that would be a bit out of your box.

And we picked:

INSTANT POT COOKING - NOT YOUR MOTHER'S PRESSURE COOKER!

I had given my daughter Shannon and Instant Pot for Christmas and she loved it...I bought one for myself but had not even taken it out of the box yet...
and Grace? 
Well she was cautiously curious and decided to come along.

We absolutely loved the class - in fact the whole evening was such a wonderful
time together. We dined - we listened - we laughed - we cooked and we tasted!
Oh boy did we taste!

And the little boxes?
The final night of class was all about making desserts!

Banana bread, berry crisp, applesauce, yogurt...
and mini cheesecakes - regular and chocolate!

Instant Pot Cheesecake

Everything was delicous.

And what has been so fun... is that we have all become Instant Pot converts 
and are loving sharing recipes and ideas with one another. 
Yes...even before the last class Grace bought an Instant Pot for herself and
 I went right home, opened my box and have been using it ever since.

And even better - we shared laughs and made fun memories 
every Tuesday evening for 4 weeks as we stepped out and tried something new. 

What have you tried new lately? I'd love to know.

Stay Cozy,
Carrie


August 14, 2018

The Little Free Library...

There are many of these darling "self-serve" Lending Libraries" in 
neighborhoods in Portland and the outlying communities.
This one is just a couple of blocks from my house...



Just open the door and choose a book that looks interesting. 
Take a book - leave a book!

Do you have these in your area?
If not - perhaps you could start one.
Visit here for more information.

I think I will choose this book today.

How to start a Little Free Library book exchange

Stay Cozy,
Carrie



July 17, 2018

Just be"cause"...


A "Fun Family" Gift Basket for a good cause.

It was so fun to put together this family game night basket and along with 
some other donated prizes, to help raise money for a young girl with a
 rare + debilatating illness. 

Stay Cozy,
Carrie

July 10, 2018

No chocolate allowed...


 I love to bake birthday cakes and cupcakes!
This one was for my daughter's boyfriend that dislikes chocolate.
So strawberry it was!
 A 4-layer vanilla cake with strawberry cream cheese frosting!


Fresh sliced strawberries were place betwwen the layers along with the whipped crea/cream cheese frosting. I used strawberrypoke cake for two of the layers and plain white cake for the other two.

A poke cake is a cake that you poke holes into after its baked and cooled. The holes are then filled with jello or other liquid fillings such as condensed milk, chocolate, pudding or even pureed fruit. This infuses every bite of the cake and keeps the cake moist. I used strawberry jello.

It was yummy, light and not a mention of chocolate!

Staying Cozy,
Carrie
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