August 28, 2012

Before and kitchen door!

Well tell me what you think?
I surrendered to my wild side....


 ...and After!

It goes with my fiestaware....and my colorful style!

And if I get tired of it or want a change...
all I have to do is peel it off...because I used these...

 Wall Pops!
 They are peel and stick blocks of color you can use 
wherever you would like a pop of color!

Stay Cozy & Colorful!

August 22, 2012

More than a box...

In the kitchen where I grew up sat a long, brown wooden box with a heavy lid that
 when flipped open would reveal a magical 
collection of 
treasured recipes for casseroles, cakes and canapes!
I adored that box and would sit for hours pouring over the 1/2 cup of this and the pinch of that!

The three by five cards had no pictures...but they had something much more special than a photograph....they were written in the cook's own handwriting....each one uniquely different from the next....some scribbled down in a hurry on a plain white index card and others beautifully scrolled on a card with a daisy in the corner or a mixing bowl along the edge.

There was Tomato Pie from Grandma and Stuffed Cabbage from our neighbor Bea.  
Lemon Box Cake courtesy of Aunt Sue and Marjorie's Scalloped Potatoes. 
But there was one card that stood out from the rest...even with its brown smudges on the corners and the many stains across the front and was my mom's old fashioned chocolate fudge with nuts!

Ahhh...I can almost smell the butter and vanilla boiling in the pan...

Not too long ago....while my mom prepared a meal in her kitchen I was able to re-visit those homemade cooks again. I uncovered the treasure box of days gone by and slowly and methodically sifted through each small, yellowed card whispering the story of the food and the era and the heart.
My mom reacquainted me with each of the authors once again.
"Who was Helen, mom?"
"Did Gramm live with us when she gave you this recipe?"
"I used to love that pickled tongue!" (...yes I said pickled tongue)

As I boarded the plane and made my way back home....the box was left behind with my mom.
Days later my sister and I spoke about the recipe box and I told her how much it had always meant to me.
We reminesced about our relatives and the funny foods we ate back then.
We remembered how much she hated Grammo's fried chicken.

And then this week an unexpected package arrived in the mail 
with my sister's address written in the corner.

I couldn't imagine what it wasn't my birthday or Christmas...
...had I left something behind?
As I opened the lid and removed the tissue...
 a very special gift was exposed.

 No, it wasn't mom's wooden box...but it was wonderful all the same...
It was this fabulous old cookbook from the 1950's...
overflowing with another families treasured recipes and food stories.
Some handwritten, others cut from the newspapers and magazines, 
and still others written on the very page of the book.
It was immediately evident that it had been well-loved,
tape on the spine from its many years of use.

I fell in love with the book instantly...

Just like my mom's box...
I was overcome with the feelings of family, friendship and fellowship that came from
 the simple sharing of a favorite meal or dessert.

A seemingly plain wooden box and a nondescript book filled with the jewels of those memories.

I will never get to meet those that shared these newly found recipes 
with Doris McStevens (handwritten in the first page)...
But there is so much more than just the directions for making "Chicken Florentine"...
As I read through the ingredients and touch the fading words on each page...
I feel as though I do know them...
 For a moment I am back in my childhood kitchen licking the beaters from my mom,
laughing as the chocolate gets on my nose...
... feeling the warmth from the oven and the warmth from her heart...
For a moment I am in their kitchens too sharing a cup of coffee as the Crumb Cake finishes baking. 
And then I am back...searching for a recipe from long ago that I can share with someone today!

Thank you my sweet sister for reaching 
across the miles to make me smile!
It is no wonder I love to cook!

Stay Cozy, Carrie

August 13, 2012

The treasured extra room...

Do you have extra dishes, glassware and even small appliances
that you have no space for in your house? 
 Where do you keep them for easy access? 
 Do you have a spare room or maybe a closet or attic?

Mine are stashed on shelves in my garage.

Since we downsized two years ago there's just no room in the house...
and though it may not look like it...
I have truly gotten rid of a lot of stuff!
Being an avid thrift store/garage sale shopper... I am always coming across 
 pretty plates or glasses that will be perfect for that special party or get-together.

 I have put to use many different containers and storage units 
to help keep it all organized. (to some degree)

 ....and since I love to bake....I have many baking and cooking supplies too...

...and then of course there are the cleaning supplies, 
meds and vitamins and all the misc stuff that needs a home too!
There just aren't enough cupboards in my townhouse!
So I Say....
Thank goodness for my is truly an extra room for me...
And believe it or not...I can actually park my car inside there too!

Stay cozy...

August 3, 2012

Berry Cobbler Cupcakes

What do you do when your family has a 
father/daughter berry picking day?
Make cobbler of course...
~side note: they were a hit at the office too~


1/4 c. butter
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. grated orange peel
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. fresh berries (I used blueberries & blackberries)
CAKE BATTER: (or use a boxed cake mix)
1 1/2 c. sifted cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
FOR TOPPING: Melt butter and blend in 2/3 cup sugar, orange peel and vanilla. Add the berries and gently mix. With small cupcake scooper put the mixture in the bottom of 24 cupcake liners you have put in cupcake pans.
FOR CAKE BATTER: Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Cream butter with vanilla; add sugar gradually, beating until fluffy. Add egg and beat thoroughly. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk to mixture, beating only until smooth after each addition. Now using a regular sized cupcake scooper, scoop the batter over the berry mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes until lightly browned.

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream as desired...or just by themselves!

stay cozy, 
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