Friday, September 30, 2011

American as Apple Pie

In further salute to fall foods, I made apple pie for dessert last night.  John and I literally have bag-fulls of apples and so I decided to take a few and turn them into a tasty treat.
This is the edition I have and it's fantastic! Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking
I made the pie from scratch with a combination of recipes from the book above (if you have this book, I combined the apple pie recipe filling with the crust and baking instructions from the lattice top peach pie).  I highly recommend William Sonoma's Essentials of Baking book.  Every recipe I have tried has been sensational.  Per usual, though, I had to make a slight adjustment to the recipe since we didn't have any lemon juice.  I squeezed a tablespoon full of fresh orange juice instead, and it turned out great!

I'm currently fighting the urge to run into the kitchen and polish off the remaining 3/4 of the pie... maybe just one more little piece:)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Twice Baked Butternut Squash

I love fall, I really really do.  It's chock full of comfort food and this year I intend to take full advantage.  When I ran across this recipe from Martha Stewart for twice baked butternut squash, I knew I had to try it.  The portions looked out of control to me though (an entire butternut squash per person?? that's a lot of squash), so I decided to do my own version of it.

I took one butternut squash and prepared it by cutting it in half, lengthwise, and scooping out the seeds.
Since we don't have a roasting pan, I used a pyrex casserole dish and baked the squash for almost an hour at 450 before the halves were tender.  Once they were tender, I scooped out both halves into a bowl, making sure I left a rim around one half for when I re-filled it.
I added about a spoonful and a half of sour cream, sprinkling of paprika, and enough chives to be evenly distributed throughout.
Then I re-filled the squash, topped with bread crumbs, and popped it back in the oven for about 20 minutes.
 Yum!  I split this in half to share between myself and John.  I also made one excellent addition to Martha's recipe.  Once the squash was split, John and I topped our halves with grated parmesan cheese.  It was a delicious (and filling!) dinner.

Monday, September 26, 2011

DIY Yarn Words

While browsing around on Pinterest, I found an idea that I had to try: wire reinforced clothesline wrapped with yarn.


It sounded easy enough, so I decided to give it a try today.  I ran into a problem right of the bat, though: I couldn't find any wire reinforced clothesline.  Apparently, there just isn't much demand for clothesline materials anymore.  Instead, I opted for the thickest wire I could find in the floral section at Michael's:
I used the wire to spell out my word, using clips wherever the wire became stubborn.
The yarn I chose I found in an old crochet project.  I thought it had a nice, subtle coloration.
I undid the crochet and wrapped the yarn around the wire:
It took a little bit of time, but it turned out pretty nice!
It's now perched on our bookshelf at home.  I think I'd like to make more of these, any suggestions?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Autumn Acorns

Contrary to my earlier post, it is now *officially* the first day of autumn!

In the spirit of fall, I decided to get crafty with some Sculpey clay.  I browsed around Sculpey's website and saw a cute idea for a tablescape that had little acorns everywhere.  I found some autumnal colors and decided to make my own version of the little acorn inspiration on Sculpey's site.

First, I rolled the main colors into pointy egg shapes.
Then, I rolled little balls of dark brown clay and smushed them to make the tops of the acorns

Not content to just make cute little purposeless acorns, I decided to flatten the bottoms and cut a slit in the top of each of the acorns.  Then I baked them at 275 degrees for about 18 minutes.

Ta da!  Place card holders!  So... who's hosting Thanksgiving dinner?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Baked Eggs and Ham

Sorry I'm a little behind in my posting, but I was just exhausted after the wedding!  I didn't feel like doing a whole lot of anything except sleeping in and eating leftover cupcakes :)  But now, it's back to reality, which sometimes entails making dinner.  I decided to do breakfast for dinner last night and here is what we had:
Super easy to make, looks fancy, and tastes great!  All I did was put two pieces of ham in a lightly buttered muffin tin hole, plop an egg inside, and topped with a sprinkle of cheese.

Then they were baked for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.  Served with some buttered toast, they were the perfect breakfast for dinner!  If I could have done anything differently, I would have served it with a side of hash browns too :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

To Have and To Hold

"I never wish to be parted from you from this day on." Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

 Today, John and I get married

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

GoesLightly on Etsy

Over the week and weekend, I had some spare time to make some new jewelry!  Come browse my shop and check out my pieces, new and old.  Here is a look at my newest additions:
Set of two beaded bracelets

I really like these bracelets- I made two sets!

Aren't these cute earrings!? Very Mad Men
 What do you think?  I'm pretty happy with these new pieces :) ... Two days until the wedding!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Seven Things About Me...

Alena, blogger of all things splendid at Oh, It's Just Perfect!, passed along the "One Lovely Blog Award."  And so, here are seven things about me...

1.  I'm getting married this week!  Not really an unknown fact for most of you, but I am beyond excited.  My fiance, John, and I met in law school and he proposed just a few weeks before I left for Ireland, the trip that started this whole blog.

2.  I have JUST discovered Crate and Barrel.  I don't know how it could have possibly happened, but until this past Wednesday I had never been inside the store.  It might just be my new favorite place!

3.  I love the color yellow... but I can't wear it.  Something about being blonde and super pale, it has never ever looked right on me :(  So instead, I like to get yellow flowers to have in the house.  So pretty and happy looking!  Maybe someday I'll find the perfect shade of yellow for me to wear.

4.  I prefer watching a movie I've seen a dozen times to watching a new one, and I will watch the same movie over and over (and over) again.  A few that top my list currently: Julie and Julia, When Harry Met Sally, Elf, and White Christmas; and I definitely don't need it to be Christmas time to watch the Christmas movies!

5.  One of the reasons I love gardening and art so much is my great-grandmother (who we called Grandma Mom).  I didn't know her very long, but she loved plants and made tons of her own dishes and ceramics.  I have some of her ceramics and even some descendents of her plants.
Grandma Mom in her greenhouse, December 1968.
The inscription on the back reads "Chiquita and I have a great interest in orchids"
6.  I make lists almost compulsively.  To-do lists, timelines, grocery lists, wish lists. . . I think it's less for organization and more for my own sanity.  I get it out of my head and down onto paper.

7.  My favorite time of day is twilight, when the sky is nearly as vividly blue as the daytime but the world is half as bright.  It's just so beautiful!

So there are my seven things.  I would like to pass this award on to my own blogging friends; I can't wait to see what you write!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Autumn Joy

According to the calendar, autumn begins September 23 this year.  I, however, know better.  Autumn begins as soon as you have your first pumpkin spice latte.  Yum!

I also found this lovely pumpkin spice candle at Target.  It's a steal of a price and smells delicious!  I love the summer, but there's something about autumn that gets me so excited.  Cardigans, colored leaves, and pumpkin spice lattes :)  I'm feeling cozy already!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Simple DIY Bracelet

After making my jewelry dish, I figured I might as well make some jewelry!  I found a really simple tutorial on Pinterest.

It looked too simple not to try.  I found some string in the basement along with a fist full of nuts and gave the project a whirl.  Here is my finished product:

I didn't have any brass nuts in the basement, but I think I like the look of the nickle and white, too.  I think it will layer great with some of my other bracelets!

Monday, September 5, 2011

DIY: Clay Jewelry Dish

Happy Labor Day!  I hope everyone is enjoying a day off from work!  I'm going to spend it grilling with my family and John's.  It should be a great time!

I want to share with you a little project I did yesterday.  I have been looking for a way to prettify my jewelry storage, and so I made a jewelry dish out of Sculpey clay.  I used to make Christmas ornaments every year out of Sculpey and I had bunches of extra packages lying around.  I found a little tutorial for jewelry dishes out of Sculpey which I modified to fit the materials I had around the house.

I chose an iridescent blue clay for the dish and rolled it out with a glass jar on a piece of wax paper.  For my texture, I used a hair pin with a pretty design.  Instead of a paper bowl, I used a small pyrex dish to form my dish.

I popped it into the oven, and once it was cooled I sanded the rough edges with a very fine sandpaper and applied a high gloss finish.  I think it turned out great!

I have a bunch of other ideas for texture/color combinations. . . . Maybe I'll be making lots of these for Christmas this year :)  I hope you enjoy the day off, do you have any fun plans?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Individual Casseroles

John and I have been getting a number of early wedding gifts in the mail.  One in particular was a pair of individual fiestaware casseroles.  Today, I decided to give them a try and make a pint sized lasagna.  I didn't do any elaborate recipe, just layering sauce, cottage cheese, and no-bake noodles.  But simple is sometimes best!

A casserole built for two, and it's dishwasher safe!  I have a feeling we'll be getting a lot of use out of these once John starts working :)
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