Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Breakfast Tablescape

I'm having breakfast in the sunroom. Will you join me?

The table is set with a vintage Irish linen tablecloth.
The china is cheerful.
We'll have juice with our coffee.
Cream or sugar? I'll get the jam and jelly when the toast pops up.
Don't worry about crumbs, we'll just sweep them away.
Our chicken friend is bright and happy this morning.
Are your eggs scrambled or over easy?
Hope you enjoyed this pleasant start to the day!

Tablecloth: Vintage from garage sale
Linen napkins: Vintage from estate sale 
Silverware: Unidentified sterling from estate sale
Dishes: Ekco International "Spring Bouquet" from Goodwill
Glasses: Vintage Forest Green depression glass 
Chicken Pitcher: Wedding gift 16 years ago
Sugar & Creamer: Rodney Kent hammered aluminum* 
Toast & Jam holder: Continental "Wild Rose" hammered aluminum* 
Crumber: Everlast hammered aluminum*

*I have a large collection of vintage hammered aluminum built over the years by scouring flea markets, estate sales and antique malls.

I will be linking up with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. Follow me there!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Catch-Up

Hey! Good to see you! How are you? What have you been doing? What? What did you say? You want to know what I've been doing?

Oh, a little of this and that. The return of cold weather has sapped my energy somewhat. I need some sunshine!

The Husband came home sick with a cold last Friday and did not leave the house until Tuesday. Among other things, I fed him Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup and Saltine crackers. I think that's why he is feeling better now.

I've worked on my new business. I really should post a status report. Maybe tomorrow.

I've got a long list of "to do" items to accomplish. I guess I'll just start at the top and work my way down the list.

What's on your "to do" list?

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Week

So what, you ask, have I been doing this past week?

As I wrote here, I've been working on my closet. This week I completed the project. I took another 5 large bags, plus 20+ hangers with clothes in dry cleaner bags to Goodwill. It's really ridiculous the clothing I have hung onto, that I could not or would not wear. I'm happy other people will have the opportunity, at a low price, to wear the items.

For those of you who know me well, you know that I'm a collector of things. I have recently decided to act on my long time desire to allow some of my "pretties" to go to other homes. I am seriously working on opening an antique mall booth.

You may follow my journey on my new blog, Cindy's Cupboard. I've also created a Facebook business page here that you may follow. Be patient with me on Facebook, as creating a business page has been a bit of a challenge! And last, but not least, I've created a twitter account for Cindy's Cupboard.

As I mentioned in this post, The Husband has returned to the work world. We are still adjusting to the change in our routines. You might say it's been a good thing, since I've had the luxury of uninterrupted time to clean out my closets and start on the cupboards. However, the poor dear is afraid of what he will find (or not find) when he returns home!

So, what have you been up to?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Lunch Tablescape

Because it is spring and because the birds are chirping, I put together a tablescape to celebrate.

I began by layering one of my vintage tablecloths over a white cloth.
I love the details in this cloth. The man with the shovel, the woman supervising his planting efforts and the birds flying above the tree.
Look at their cozy home, with birds in the trees and also on the ground.
I opted for a very simple place setting.
The bright white reminds me that spring is a clean slate and the blue of the water glass reminds me of a brillant sky.
Aren't the little bird bowls cute? Every bowl has a different bird.
I happened to have some birds nests for the table. I wonder when I'll see eggs in them?
I look at this table and think serene thoughts. What do you think?

Tablecloth: Vintage, purchased years ago
Linen napkins: Recent estate sale purchase, $1 each
Silverware: Reed & Barton stainless steel, wedding gift 16 years ago
Dinner and salad plates: Bed, Bath & Beyond, Fitz & Floyd Everyday Bone China, Nevaeh White
Bird bowls: Made for American Airlines by Hall China Co., antique mall purchase - 8 @ 25 cents each!
Blue glasses: Goodwill purchase, $2.50 each
Wine glasses: Riedel; included in charity silent auction basket
Bird nest centerpiece: $5 garage sale purchase years ago

I will be linking to Tablescape Thursday. Click over and join the party!



Couscous Salad - Version Two

I made this recipe today for lunch using plain couscous and adding tomatoes along with the green onions and feta cheese.

Beautiful and delicious!
I imagine a cucumber would taste good in this dish also.

Or for a completely different taste, how about red, yellow and orange peppers with a cheese other than feta? Pretty and tasty! I'll have to experiment.

What do you add to couscous?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ground Beef & Spinach

The Husband was away recently and I took the opportunity to make one of my Mom's old recipes. She either read it in a magazine or the local newspaper when I was a child. It was an early day "hamburger helper".

The ingredients are one pound of ground beef, one can of spinach, 1/2 of a yellow onion, one egg and salt/pepper.
Dice the onion and heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan to saute the onions. Once the onions are soft, add the ground beef and salt/pepper to taste.
Once the ground beef is browned, add the drained spinach to the pan. Stir into the ground beef and onion mixture. Remove excess liquid from the pan. Add the beaten egg to the mixture and mix thoroughly. Allow mixture to simmer until egg is cooked and there is practically no liquid remaining.
The finished product.
I continued the tradition of my Mom's menu and opened a can of corn to go with the main dish.
Oh so yummy and oh, the childhood memories!

Did your mom have something special she did to ground beef to dress it up? Or, is there anything different you use to spice up ground beef?

Update: I spoke to my mom and told her I made this dish and how good it was. She said she read the recipe in a magazine article about Shirley Temple all those years ago. This is a recipe Shirley made for her family. So there you have it..."the rest of the story".

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mikasa French Countryside Ruby Goblets

Susan of Between Naps on the Porch hosted a giveaway recently and I was selected as the winner. I received a set of these lovely Mikasa French Countryside Ruby goblets. Aren't they pretty? For Tablescape Thursday this week, of course I had to use my new goblets.

Let's have a lobster feast at my house!

The first step was to cover the table with my vintage tablecloth featuring seafood.
Some day, I will have to follow the recipe on the cloth. Today, however, we are going to have whole Maine lobster and steamed corn on the cob with red potatoes. Yum!

I picked up a few lobster plates years ago at a Pottery Barn outlet.
From my corn pottery collection, I added salt and peppers and a butter dish.
I decided to use a corn holder as a second butter dish.
I think you have all the things you need to harvest the lobster meat. A cracker, a pick, a fork and, of course, a butter warmer so you can dip the tasty morsels in melted butter. Don't forget to use the corn holders, you don't want to burn your fingers. The well used, red and white tea towel is your napkin. It's big enough to double as a bib, if you need it.
You can put your empty shells in this pan.
Isn't it a bright, colorful table?
I think my new glasses add a real "pop" to the tablescape! I love them.
Thanks to Mikasa for offering the glasses as a giveaway and to Susan for hosting it.

Tablecloth: vintage "California Hand Prints" purchased years ago
Lobster plates: Pottery Barn outlet several years ago
Wine glasses: Reidel
Water glasses: Mikasa French Countryside Ruby Goblets
Butter warmers, lobster crackers, seafood pick: Various kitchen stores over the years
Forks & butter knives: Reed & Barton stainless steel from our wedding years ago
Shawnee Corn and Standford Corn dishes: Read here about my collection
Shell tray: A gift from friends purchased in Mexico years ago
Napkins: old tea towels

I'll be linking up with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. Click over and join the fun!



Shawnee Corn King Dishes

From the time I was a young girl, I loved Shawnee Corn King dishes. I grew up knowing I would receive these dishes when I was an adult. They were mine at age eighteen.
The dishes originally belonged to my mother's older sister, Beulah. She was born on September 3, 1917 and died, at age 43, on February 5, 1960. I was 5 months old when Aunt Beulah passed.
I couldn't afford to add to the collection in my 20's. I was like many 20 year olds, struggling to pay bills and I didn't have extra money. In my 30's, I could afford to add a few pieces here and there. In my 40's, I had the means to buy any or all the pieces I wanted, but I refrained because I enjoyed the hunt and acquisition of inexpensive pieces too much.

In addition to the Shawnee Corn King dishes, Standford Pottery Corn is part of my collection. My first Standford pieces were a gift to me from a work colleague who knew I was a collector of Shawnee. She and I led a successful project together and the pieces were her "thank you" gift to me. In all the years of my corporate career, this was the most personal recognition gift I ever received for a "job well done."

Without further ado, behold my collection:
The top shelf is Standford Corn.
The remaining shelves hold Shawnee Corn King. I even have a sugar bowl and salt & pepper with gold trim, which is not very common in my area.
I have one of the sweet little teapots with no lid. You wouldn't happen to have a lid to fit it stashed away somewhere, would you? I'd be happy to buy it if you do!
And here is the cabinet with the doors closed. It sits behind our chairs in the living room. I'm sure you noticed the lights strung inside. I have them on a timer and they light the cabinet every evening. It brings a lot of warmth and coziness to the room.
One more thing...I do use these dishes. They aren't just put away in the cabinet and gazed upon. They make appearances on our table ever so often. Look for them in an upcoming tablescape!

I'm linking up with Coloradolady for Vintage Thingie Thursday. Click over and join the party!



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Embroidery Floss

I've just now sorted, by color family, the embroidery floss I've recently purchased at local estate sales.
I spent a grand total of $5. This is why I love estate sales.

Now, what should I embroider?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Closet Cleaning

Since the first of the year, I have spent a couple of afternoons going through my closet and drawers and filling bags with clothing to donate to Goodwill. I donated several large bags as a result of those efforts.

I am encouraged to continue on the quest for a well edited wardrobe by being a faithful reader of Susan Wagner's blog, The Working Closet. This post encouraged me to be even more ruthless than I was earlier this year. I spent a couple of hours today making decisions about what to keep, donate or discard. I ended my efforts with another 3 large bags to donate.

Obviously, I've been in denial about a lot of the clothes living in my closet. :-)

I have dozens and dozens of empty hangers and it feels as if my closet can breathe now. I have more decisions to make, but at least I can now see the remaining clothing on the hangers!

How about you? When's the last time you cleaned out your closet?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Silly Bird

How do we know it's spring at our house? Why, we have a robin repeatedly flying into one of our windows. Don't you have one?

The bird sits on the fence and stares at his reflection in the window. He then tries to scare away the "other" bird by flying at it, only to hit the window. The bird will hit the window multiple times a day. The target windows are directly behind our favorite chairs in the living room, so we hear every single hit.

This has happened 3 years in a row, on the same side of our house. When it first happens, it is amusing. However, it rapidly becomes annoying.

Is it possible it is the same silly bird each year? It could be, based on the information on the lifespan of robins found here.

Silly bird.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bedding on the Brain

What, you may ask, is my current project? How about organizing all the linens in the house?

I was pulling out clean sheets and pillowcases yesterday and contemplating whether it was really time to put away our heavy winter quilt, when one thing led to another and suddenly I had sheet sets and quilts everywhere. I did not realize we had so many quilts. The majority of them are handmade and could use some minor repair.

My project for the week will be sort through all the sheets, put away the flannels and store the quilts. Well, maybe I'll keep one out for us to use for a while longer.

I need to purchase a new mattress pad for our bed. I should check the pad on the guest bed also. Maybe I'll buy a new set of sheets for the spring.

How about you? What's the condition of your linen closet?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Crochet Dolly Needs A Home

I toured a small town Antique Mall recently. I found a sweet doll who needs a home.

She reminds me of Scarlett, just a bit.
Look at the detail on the back of her dress!
Someone put in a lot of work and hours into this doll. The price was a measly $8.

I don't collect dolls, so I did not purchase her. I feel a bit guilty about that now.

She's is at Gan's Antique Mall in Bartlesville, OK, if you want to rescue her.

I'm joining Colorado Lady for Vintage Thingies Thursday. I encourage you to click over and vist all the great entries!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Couscous Salad With Green Onions and Feta Cheese

We went to see new momma Tracy on Sunday and I took her some of my Mom's Macaroni Salad, which she loves.

As I was making the salad for her, I decided I wanted some for myself and I also wanted my couscous salad.

The ingrediants are couscous, chicken broth, green onions and feta cheese.
Prepare the couscous according to package directions, substituting the chicken broth for water. After the couscous has cooked and cooled, add chopped green onions and feta cheese to taste. Mix well. Place in refrigerator to chill thoroughly.
Typically I use plain couscous, but I thought I would try the tri-color for added visual interest.
Isn't it a pretty salad? It's tasty too!

Monday, March 7, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Decorations

This is an update on my St. Patrick's Day decorations.

I've done nothing.

However, it's only the 8th of March.

I have time, don't you think?

Help For The Cooking Challenged

The Husband and I saw what we thought was an amazing product in the spice aisle of the grocery store this weekend. A recipe card and pre-measured spices to make dinner.
What a help for cooking newbies or the cooking challenged!

Have you seen these on your spice aisle? What do you think of them? I think McCormick Recipe Inspirations are inspired!

Note: I wrote the post because I was impressed with the idea. I have not tried this product. I was not asked to write this post, nor will I be compensated for this post.