Thursday, January 12, 2017

HEAVENLY BREAD PUDDING

A simple & quick bread pudding recipe. 

I use fresh baked French bread for sandwiches, toast, French toast & baking.  I buy it from our local supermarket and it freezes well.

  Slice and cube 3 cups French bread. Set aside.
 Place one cup raisans in a small glass bowl and heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes.  This will plump them to prevent from settling on the bottom.
In a large bowl, add 2 eggs and 3/4 cups of sugar & 2 teaspoons pure vanilla. Whisk together.
Heat 2 cups whole milk until quite warm but not hot and add to egg mixture.
Sprinkle with nutmeg, mix with whisk.  Add bread cubes and let soak in the liquid mixture for 5 minutes.
Once again sprinkle the top with nutmeg.  Place baking dish on a cookie sheet or small cake pan.  It's always best to take precautions to prevent spills. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.   Use a dinner knife blade to test.  If it comes out clean the pudding is ready.  If not add a few more minutes but check often.
Unless I'm baking muffins, bread or cookies, I use my KRUPPS oven.  It's just the right size for my 9" pie plate and casserole dishes.  It is optional to use apples & cranberries in place of raisans.   THE TOWN LANDING RESTAURANT our small town told me she uses apples and cranberries in her bread pudding and it's delicious!  So it is up to you...whatever you do...be creative and have fun! ENJOY BAKING....IT'S GOOD FOR THE SOUL AND YOUR FAMILY WILL LOVE YOU FOR IT!
Until next time....Charlene
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APPLE CRANBERRY PIE

Having lived on planet earth for over 72 years one of my greatest joys has been baking.   Apple cranberry pie is one of my favorite pie's.
I'm one of those people who learned to bake the old fashioned way.  I was taught at 15 years old and I loved every minute of it.  There was no mention of package mixes in 1959.   Today, I don't bake like I did when I was raising a family and when my husband was alive, but lately, especially this winter, I have looked forward to baking and sharing what I bake.  I keep a small amount for myself because I love the taste of it, but, I know better more than to keep more than a couple of pieces within my reach because I would end up eating the whole pie and add on additional pounds which I don't need or want.  I've had the enjoyment of baking the pie, loved savoring each mouthful and enjoyed sharing with my friends.  That makes a perfect baking day!

I don't use recipes so here goes.  My version of Apple Cranberry Pie.
Peel...core & slice enough apples to fill a 9" pie plate.  (variety of your choice)
Put your apples in a large bowl.  Add 1/2 cup of whole uncooked cranberries.  
3/4 cup sugar, sprinkle cinnamon & nutmeg over fruit.  Add 3 teaspoons of flour and two teaspoons vanilla.  Mix together with wooden spoon.
Purchase ready made pie crust or prepare from a recipe.
Lay the bottom crust into pie plate.  Fill with fruit mixture.   Top with remaining crust and crimp edges.  Put a slit or two in top crust to vent the pie.  Sprinkle with course sugar (optional).
Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes...reduce heat to 350 degrees for another 45 minutes.   It's always a good idea to place your pie on a cookie sheet in the event it should overflow with juices.   Adding the flour to your recipe should prevent that happening.   Now, this is something you have to learn for yourself.   If the apples are over cooked for your taste,  the next pie you make reduce the amount of baking time and it's always a good idea not to cut your apples in small thin slices.  I like to cut mine in wedges.  Some apples are harder than others...Grannie Smith is a wonderful baking apple...it's harder than some and has a delectable flavor.   Good luck baking your pie and if I can help with questions feel free to leave a comment!
Happy Baking!   Charlene
 
VINTAGE INSPIRED INTERIORS

We are so lucky to have the internet at our finger tips.  Whatever we need to know about decorating our homes is right out there for us to see.  So many of us love to paint and renew vintage furniture...I for one would never want to furnish my home with furnishings directly from a showroom.   It doesn't have the character and ambiance that a home furnished over time will have.   All said and done furnishing renewed and vintage is a challenge dear to my heart.  

My living room is furnished with thrift shop finds....except for the tall 4 door country cupboard built for me by my late husband and cherished.
The joy of thrifting!
I have cherished vintage family accent pieces throughout my home that gives it a cozy ambiance with character of a lived in home filled with love.
I hope you will join me next time as we talk about renewing vintage furniture.....See you soon!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

RENEWED EASTLAKE SIDEBOARD


There is something to be said about the charm of an old piece of furniture.   Reproductions have come a long way in the world of design and interiors but they can't compare with the original antique or vintage piece.   As the saying goes...it is what it is.
A client asked if I would consider painting her dark and dreary Eastlake Sideboard that she had owned for several years.  It was kept in storage because she didn't like the dark wood and no one was interested in purchasing it from her.
I told her I would be happy to paint it, but, she would need to make a trip to the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint store and chose the color she wanted to see on the Eastlake.   She delivered the paint and sideboard to me later in the week.   We discussed her options of painting techniques and finishes to bring life back into this forgotten piece of the 20th century.   After cleaning many years of accumulated dirt and grim off this nearly 100 year old antique the transformation began.  She was ready for her RENEW into the 21st century.
Painted in Florence...finished with applications of clear and dark waxes.   I am thrilled with the final outcome and my client feels good when her eyes fall on the Eastlake every morning when she walks into her country kitchen!  
Thank you Jeanine for choosing me as your decorative painter.  I enjoyed doing the transformation for you.




Sunday, November 13, 2016

Farmhouse is a way of life...comfortable, inviting and relaxed.

The first time I painted our vintage farmhouse cabinets was in 1998.
 I love white painted cabinets but I was ready for a change. 
I had already painted a few pieces of furniture in  AS and enjoyed not having to sand previously painted surfaces.   The ending results were fabulous!  I knew I wanted a soft warm color for the cabinets.   A dark color wasn't an option as the space was too small and there is only one window in the room.   Decision made!  Old Ochre wins!
 
Country cupboard painted in Old Ochre with Duck Egg Blue interior.


Vintage farmhouse cabinets painted in Old Ochre.  Hutch shelf is painted in Chateau Grey.  I will paint the two upper shelves in the same color.


Vintage farmhouse cabinets painted Old Ochre.  This photo was taken in early morning before day break when the pierced tin lamps were on casting shadows and a deeper tone to the paint color.