Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gingham Cottage News: New Stuff & A Custom Order

A few of the new things in my shop:

I've also had a couple of custom orders lately, which I am most grateful for! These have all been outside of Etsy.

One order was some adult bibs and the other was this cute ruffle apron which I thought turned out really beautiful--the black and hot pink is really striking!

If you are interested in a custom order, I'd be most happy to talk with you. Either email me or start a conversation through my Etsy shop.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Celebrating The Ordinary Days

Life is just so daily. 
Mary Engelbreit

In the spirit of celebrating the ordinary, the mundane, the daily.... I'm sharing pictures from one day last week. I enjoy getting a peek into the routines and lives of other homemakers; maybe you'd like a glimpse of mine.

This could become a regular feature. You never know!

On this day...

 Laundry was washed and hung to dry.
 Coupons clipped and sorted.
Many stories were read.

I think we need to reorganize the books!

 We all enjoyed the bright sunshine, especially Rock!

What ordinary simple moments are you treasuring today?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Quiet Valentine's Meal

After my husband's Valentine surprise and beating the rush by taking me out to dinner a day early, we decided to just spend Valentine's night here at home.

Tuesday is often a long day for us and we usually eat later so I hadn't planned a special meal or anything. I had 'sloppy-joes-in-a-bowl' on the menu which just happens to be one of Andy's favorites! And I had gotten the ingredients to make this flourless chocolate pudding cake for a special dessert! Which was super good, by the way!

About an hour before he was due home, I thought it would be fun to at least decorate the table a bit, even though we'd already done more than our share of celebrating! A little more never hurts, right?

So I pulled some stuff from around the house to make our table festive and here's what I came up with! The upside of decorating my home with a lot of red  means that decorating for Valentine's Day, 4th of July and Christmas is pretty easy. Easter, not so much.:-)

We both enjoyed our quiet supper at home!

**How did you celebrate Valentine's Day this year?**

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine Getaway

We usually celebrate Valentine's Day by making a day trip to a town we'd like to explore and scope out the antique stores, thrift shops and eat at a local restaurant for lunch.

This year, Andy surprised me by making reservations at a bed and breakfast in Hendersonville, NC for one night as well as making arrangements for our dog and my work schedule so we could leave earlier on Friday.

He also was wise enough to let me know about the plans several days in advance! If you've been reading here long, you might have guessed that I'm not a very spontaneous person, what with all my planning and all.

I was very excited  and could hardly wait until Friday! It was so awesome to have everything taken care of--I didn't even make food to take along!

We stayed at a nice and old bed & breakfast in downtown Hendersonville. The innkeeper served us a wonderful breakfast on Saturday morning and then we got right out to explore the town. It was snowing which was awesome, even though it didn't stick!

Our first stop was at the old courthouse to tour their Civil War and military exhibits. From there we walked down Main Street, stopping in at interesting looking shops. There were several antique stores, a couple of thrift stores and then just a bunch of fun home/gift shops that were nice to poke around in!

It was pretty cold and windy so it was nice to duck in to the shops and warm up a bit before heading back out!

We had lunch at a wonderful little coffee shop which was cozy and warm with a fireplace and comfy chairs around the tables. We splurged on a slice of homemade pie for each of us. I had a slice of coconut custard and Andy had a slice of peanut butter pie. Both were delicious and made completely from scratch with mostly organic ingredients-- totally worth every penny and calorie!
Of course, I made sure we stopped back in at Mast General Store-- the trip wouldn't have been  complete without it!

We finished the day by stopping at Goodwill and a grocery outlet on our way out of town.We found a few good bargains at both of those places-- one being a Redskins blanket for Andy from the Goodwill!

We had the most wonderful and relaxing time and feel so grateful that Andy took the time to plan such a special little trip for us!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Cheeseburger Meatballs

I saw these cheeseburger meatballs in a  recent grocery store magazine and knew I wanted to try them! The magazine article was titled 'Dinner On A Stick' and featured these meatballs grilled on skewers.

I decided to simply bake them in the oven this time and made a few changes to the recipe to fit our low-grain diet. Served with Riceworks rice chips( a good alternative to regular chips) and coleslaw and ketchup and mustard for dipping, we both agreed this recipe is a keeper!

Cheeseburger Meatballs
Serves 4-6

3 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 24 small cubes
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs (I used some leftover brown rice couscous which had kind of a bread crumb consistency; you could probably add rice although it would alter the texture or just omit altogether.)
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 pounds lean ground beef

In a large bowl, combine eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder and salt. Add ground beef; mix well. Form meat mixture into 24 1 1/2 inch meatballs around the cheese cubes.

Place in greased baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20- 30 minutes. Serve with ketchup and mustard.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Chocolate Festival

A local church hosts a Chocolate Festival right before Valentine's Day every year and we always love going! It's a fun low-key event with lots of delicious looking treats to buy and eat!

This year I remembered to bring my camera to document the adventure!

 These little 'ice cream cones' are made with a tiny kid-size cone, filled with M&M's and topped with a large marshmallow dipped in chocolate and sprinkles. So cute and yummy!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Quick Low-Grain Meal: BBQ "Meatballs"

This is what we had for supper tonight. I had nothing planned and needed something pretty easy as I was already cooking several dishes for tomorrow's Sunday fellowship and a Super Bowl party. I already had a pound of ground beef out to thaw and was only going to use 1/4 to 1/2 of it.

So I decided to cook it all, remove what I needed for the other dish I was making and add BBQ sauce** to the rest. I also added some cooked rice to the mixture, let it heat through for a few minutes, then served it up with some cauliflower on the side. Quick, easy and super yummy!

Tasted a lot like BBQ meatballs over rice without all the work!

I pinned this idea from Hummingbird Homemaking a few months back. She cooks a similar low-grain diet for her family and has lots of great ideas!

**As we know, BBQ sauce is super high in sugar. We use it occasionally as a compromise food. I have made my own at times but typically I keep a bottle on hand for convenience. We like Bulls-Eye brand which doesn't contain High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Gingham Cottage News: New Items, Apron Sale!

**Through February 10th, all half aprons (waist aprons) and children's aprons in my shop are priced at just $10.00 each. This is a savings of $3-$5 off the original prices!**

Some new items have recently been added. Here's a sampling: 

Made from a vintage tablecloth.
Matching kitchen towel also available!

 Not made by me but by someone else's sweet mama, these vintage hand-embroidered bunnies would make a darling spring garland!

Visit my shop to see all this and more! 

Thanks for looking!