Monday, July 28, 2014

Simple Painted Wine Bottle Framed Centerpiece

I was cleaning the house this past weekend and really needed an updated centerpiece for the dining room table.  I can't stand to have the table sitting empty and I was bored with my previous centerpiece so I rooted around in the garage where I keep all my extra decorating items and found the painted wine bottles I use for a variety of things and these great frames I had from Micheal's that were just 5 bucks. A light bulb went off and I thought I'd make a framed centerpiece with the wine bottles.  So out came the spray paint and ran out to the yard to put a quick coat of ivory paint on the frame and then sanded some of the paint off to give it an older look.

So simple and quick to do!
 I used Krylon Almond in satin finish for the frame and then sanded it down after it was dry.  I also gathered up a few twigs that were in my yard from a recent storm and lightly coated them with a little white spray paint so they weren't just a drab gray color.  I wanted to use them for filler and this coat of paint helped brighten them up a little bit.

 I placed the frame on the table and then centered the bottles and added the painted twigs and was done.  Can't get easier than that!

 Who knew?  A little paint on the twigs snazzed them right up.

 These frames were such a bargain at 5 dollars and are super easy to paint any color.  Because the base color was black it was perfect for sanding some of the color off to give it an old feeling.

 I used a sanding block to sand off some of the paint on the details of the frame and some of the edges.  I love doing this to painted items to make them look a little worn.
Perfect for the dining room table!

Friday, July 25, 2014

. . . Easy Homemade Blackberry Cobbler . . .

My son and I have been very busy picking wild blackberries that grow just down the street from our house.  Every morning we go out for a walk and take our berry pot with us and pick the newly ripened blackberries.  I have enjoyed him getting excited about what we can make with them and seeing how fun it is to take something we picked and turn it into something delicious!  

Our picking adventures have slowed down because we saw a snake in one of the blackberry bushes and ever since he's been very apprehensive to get his little hands in the bushes to pull out the berries so we have just been picking the berries that are easily reached so no one has another snake encounter.  I also got a terrible case of poison ivy from picking the berries so I have learned to not be quite so aggressive. We have been covered in splinters from the thorns too so again we are learning to not be quite so crazy with how deep we go into the bushes.  My husband keeps laughing and asking if all these things make it worth picking the berries and each time my answer is yes!  You can always go into the store and buy berries but teaching your child how to pick them and then how to make something from them is just priceless and it will be a memory he has forever I hope.  

This recipe I'm sharing came from Cooks.com and had fantastic reviews and now I have to agree that it is beyond fabulous.  Even better, it was super easy and really was a fun recipe to make with Marcus because it was simple enough he could do it all while I oversaw him.  It's so much fun getting your kids involved in the kitchen so even if you aren't using fresh berries you picked grab a kiddo and let them help out with this recipe.  They will love it!
 You Will Need:
1/2 c. butter
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1 Cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2/3 c. milk
16 oz. fresh blackberries or you can use thawed frozen blackberries
Melt butter in a 2 quart casserole. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and milk in a small mixing bowl, mix well.  This will be a thick and sticky batter but that is what you want.Pour mixture over melted butter, do not stir. Spoon blackberries over batter; do not stir.
Bake at 350°F. for 45 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve with a big 'ol scoop of vanilla ice cream on it and you will be in heaven!
 I told my son this was a magic recipe because it is one of those that you do in layers and then while it bakes the doughy filling rises to the top.  

 Make sure when you are making this recipe that you don't stir up the ingredients when you layer them into your baking dish.  

 Even though the crust didn't cover the entire top of the cobbler there is still quite a bit of it mixed through it.  I served ours with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream but honestly I could eat it just all by itself.  It's the perfect amount of sweetness without being too rich.

 Yummy goodness!


 Perfection!



I hope you enjoy this simple and sweet recipe!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

. . . Creamy Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches . . .

I honestly have no idea when or where I picked up this recipe but it's always a hit in our house.  It's kind of a dump to your liking recipe which is my favorite kind!  I made these for the first time a few years ago and my son ate the leftovers until every last bit was gone and then asked me to make them again so he could keep eating them.  He doesn't like leftovers so that is saying something! 

The cream cheese is such a great addition to these to make them extra creamy sandwiches.  The best part of this recipe is how quickly you can throw this together. 

You will need:

2 Cups Beef Broth
1 pkg Lipton Onion soup mix
1 lb.Deli Roast Beef, thinly sliced
1 Green Pepper, sliced thin
1 Onion, sliced thin--you can use a white or yellow onion
4 ounces Cream Cheese
Provolone Cheese slices (I used about 2 slices per sandwich)
Hoagie rolls


Bring beef broth and onion soup mix to a boil in a large skillet. Add roast beef, reduce heat, and simmer for about 5-10 minutes until beef is cooked just the way you like it. In another large skillet saute onion and green peppers until nicely browned.

When beef is done simmering, drain most the juice off the meat mixture.  Add 4 ounces of cream cheese and let it melt while mixing it into the meat.

Once the cream cheese in the pan is all melted, pile beef mixture and onions and peppers onto each hoagie roll then top with provolone cheese and place sandwiches, open-faced on a large baking sheet.

Broil on high for about a minute or so until cheese becomes bubbly and bread becomes slightly toasty. Remove from oven and serve immediately.  I cut ours in half and then did some without any onions and peppers and they were great either way.  Since making this recipe I've added in mushrooms and boy is that good too!

Gather your ingredients to prepare your Cheesesteak sandwiches

Combine the beef broth and onion soup in a skillet over medium to high heat until it boils

Once beef broth and onion soup come to a boil add your roast beef.  Brown it until you get it to the perfect color for you.  We like ours a little browner so I cooked mine a bit longer than you'd actually have to do it.

In a separate skillet saute your onions and green peppers until they are nicely browned.  I also add mushrooms a lot of time and it adds a nice touch to the recipe.



Drain most the liquid off your meat and add in your 4 ounces of cream cheese.

Let the cream cheese melt into the meat mixture.  You will want to stir it while it's melting to get it evenly distributed.  Once it's all melted you are ready to serve these up on hoagie rolls.


I put meat and the veggies on a half a hoagie roll and add a slice of cheese and leave the buns open faced and stick them under the broiler for a minute or two until everything is melted and browned.  


Serve them up and ENJOY!



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