observations, ideas and inspiration... from my pennsylvania home, garden, kitchen, and studio

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I've got sunshine.......on a cloudy day

This song has been stuck in my head since I received my new Victoria Magazine yesterday and it's all about Gardens. That Victoria link will take you to Donna O'Brien's Garden on their website....I sure would like to visit there.

Another of my favorite cottage gardens is Maxine Paetro's Broccoli Hall. "Broccoli Hall is a private garden in Amenia, New York, that is open to the public twice a year. Inspired by English gardens, Broccoli Hall is a series of connected garden rooms, each differing in mood and content. Visitors say that the features they like best are the boxwood-lined cottage garden with an apple tunnel, the brick courtyard, the secret woodland garden blooming with crabapples and white-and-pink daffodils in May, the abundant 300 foot long June border with roses, peonies and tall bearded irises, the koi pond and the pink, five-sided treehouse with long views of distant hills" (I copied that from her website) ooohhhh it is just lovely. My favorite is the Teddy Bears Picnic garden, I just love woodland gardens and am hoping I can create something similar this year. I wish I lived closer. I would be there in a heartbeat.
If I had to choose only one garden to visit it would have to be Tasha Tudor's Garden. I have a little video of her garden here that I found on you tube last October. Her cottage garden is true bliss. Her gardens are full of antique flowers...poppies, hugh foxgloves, peonies, lilies, roses and much more....a true cottage garden. "Paradise on earth" is how Tasha described her garden.

The few photos here are my garden from past years. "When it's cold outside I've got the month of May" Just dreaming , thinking and planning today....mostly dreaming.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gratitude and Baked Potato Pizza

I received an email from Andra of Todays Primitive Home this morning letting me know that my little mouse above is being featured on their website today!

Todays Primitive Home has been selecting some of the best primitive and folk art on their lovely site! I plan on going through the site tonight with a cup of tea. The little that I've seen so far looks wonderful! If you have time go check them out, you won't be sorry. Thanks to everyone at Todays Primitive Home....it sure made my day!!

My sister and I have been getting together every Thursday for at least the last 10 years. We call it "Fat Thursday" and it started around the time we were pregnant with our girls. We would eat "healthy" things like potato chips and m-n-m's.

After the girls were born we would drive for hours just so they would sleep...does anybody remember the first few months with a newborn? It was like getting a day off. We would hit the drive thru and be off...too bad there wasn't a Sonic around then....

Now our girls are 8 and 9. They are more like sisters than cousins...someday I'll tell you about the fist fights at age 2. We all love our Thursdays together and still eat pizza and sweets and hang out and watch tv.

A couple of months ago we were watching The Pillsbury Cook-off on the Food Network....what pressure that would be! This recipe caught my eye and I've made it a few times since then and have adapted it a little to my own taste (which is in parenthesis). Its perfect for a quick dinner and has some good veggies in it.

Loaded Baked Potato Pizza

1 Can Pillsbury Classic Pizza Crust
1 Medium White Potato
1 Tbsp Olive Oil (I added 2 TBSP more drizzled on top when finished baking)
1/4 Tsp Salt (I added a little more again when finished baking)
1/4 Tsp Pepper
1 box frozen broccoli & cheese sauce (I don't like that kind of cheese and used 1 Cup Cooked Broccoli - chopped )
2/3 Cup Sour Cream
1 Tbsp Ranch Dressing
1 Cup Shredded Colby-Monterey Jack Cheese (I added an extra 1/2 cup since I didn't use the broccoli cheese sauce above)
5 Slices Cooked Bacon, Coarsely Chopped
1 Small Tomato, Chopped (1/2 Cup)
2 Medium Green Onions (2 Tbsp)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large cooking sheet with non-stick cooking spray (I used my pizza stone). Unroll pizza crust dough and press into 13" x 9" rectangle. Bake 10-13 minutes until crust is light golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

Pierce potato with fork and place in microwave for 4 -5 minutes, turning once. Cover and let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel and cut into 1/4" cubes. In small bowl, mix potato, 1 tbsp oil, salt and pepper; set aside.

Cook broccoli in microwave and set aside.

In another small bowl, mix sour cream and dressing. Spread mixture over pizza crust to within 1/2" of edge. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese evenly over sour cream mixture. Sprinkle with bacon.

Spread broccoli and potato mixture evenly over bacon. Sprinkle with tomato, green onions and remaining cheese.

Bake 15 - 20 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil evenly over pizza...I added a little exta salt also. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting...if you can!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rabbit Hill Primitives Update

Just a quick hello and reminder that I will adding a few old and primitive goods tonight at 8:00 p.m. est. If you would like to be on the mailing list for updates, please click here to sign up.

Thanks ever so much!

Tomorrow I'll be posting Baked Potato Pizza for What's Cookin' Wednesday....yum!

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Can't Sleep Nights

Why are Hannah's ears all amuck you ask....A few weeks back I introduced you to Phoebe...you can read more about her here. A friend thought she might be with child....I'm not sure but today Phoebe brought another little visitor. This is the first time I've seen him. He's a crazy little thing...picture a 2 year old with chocolate and Pepsi....

He's about the size of that slice of bread.
You talkin' to me?
You gotta say it like De Niro in Taxi Driver
Are you talkin' to me??

But I'm the only one here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ugly Pasta and Other Good Things

I'm working on an update for Rabbit Hill Primitives next week.......Tuesday, February 24th. I've got some new and some old little treasures to offer. If you have a chance stop by for a peek. You can sign up here for to be notified of updates.

Now I know this is not the prettiest dish but trust me its yummy and easy....Lydia was on the other side of the table with fork in hand.

Sun Dried Tomato and Chicken Pasta

1 Package Sun Dried Tomatoes (found in produce section at grocery)
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil ~ split into 2 TBSP increments
1 lb Chicken Breast ~ skinless, boneless, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 oz bag prewashed baby spinach
12oz can evaporated fat-free milk
3 oz fresh mozzarella, chopped into 1/2" pieces
1 Cup Fresh Basil, chopped
1 pound your favorite pasta....I used rigatoni

Place sun dried tomatoes in food processor and pulse to desired chunkiness and set aside. You could probably chop but I'm lazy.

At this point I get another pot out and get the water going to cook pasta noodles.

Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Toss chicken with salt and pepper and add to skillet. Sauté until chicken is done...about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan. Add minced garlic and sauté 30 seconds. Add balsamic vinegar and baby spinach; cook for 2 minutes until spinach wilts. Stir in the sun dried tomatoes and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Add fresh mozzarella and cook until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Return chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Add fresh basil and combine chicken mixture with cooked pasta, tossing well to coat all. Drizzle remaining 2 TBSP olive oil.

Enjoy today!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rabbit Hill Primitives Primitive Gathering Update

The Primitive Gathering Group has been updated for the month of February. Below are just a few photos of my offerings...had fun making these using only old fabrics. I've been having problems uploading pictures to my blog....has anyone else? I've found another way around it unfortunately they are thumbnails but if you click on them I think they will get big?? I love a challenge!

To visit The Primitive Gathering and see the rest of the many talented artists there, click the title above or the link on the right ~~ I can't add links in my post either :( Hope this will be fixed soon.

Have a happy day!

Oh and I've got some new things on ebay this week and am working on an update for next week....I'll keep you posted! Thanks always for visiting me....Jenn

Early Style Pen Wipe Mouse


Primitive Rosie ~ Early Looking Black Sock Bottle Doll

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love Stinks....not really....yea! yea!

FLASHBACK FRESHMAN YEAR 1981...remember High School Valentines Day Carnations??? Each color had a meaning: White was "Just Friends"; Pink meant "I Like You"; and Red was....well we all wanted red! I was so hopeful for a carnation...stupid valentines day...you know where this is going don't you?? I thought about it all week, letting it build up that Teddy R. (a 10th grader) would send me at least a white carnation. It didn't happen. Sometimes high school was not fun. Luckily we have girlfriends. After that year of tragedy and listening to "Love Stinks" over and over again my friend Rhonda and I decided we would send each other a pink carnation every year even if we had boyfriends. Those pink carnations were so special I can't even recall the other valentines I received.

FORWARD 2009...Flowers are pretty but I don't need them...well maybe if there are roots attached. Just knowing that someone loves you is plenty. Lesson learned, it sure is nice to be grown-up sometimes.

I hope your sharing Valentines Day with someone special...your sweetie, a girlfriend, your kids, or even a kitty or puppy...they love you too! Happy Valentines Day my friends.

I think I'll go call Rhonda....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What's Cookin Wednesday...Grilled Veggie Sandwich

This is my favorite sandwich of all times....how could you not love a sandwich with all that fresh mozzarella falling out. It's funny because I don't like most cheeses but give me a lovely little ball of fresh mozzarella and I'm in heaven. This crazy warm weather we've been having made me want to grill. "Do it while you can" my brain tells me.....it's only February and the snow will be back.

Margie this one is for you!!


Grilled Veggie Sandwich

2 Zucchini ~ cut into 1/4" slices
1 Medium Red Onion ~ cut into 1/2" slices
1 Large Red Pepper Quartered
2 TBSP Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 Clove Garlic
1 Cup Fresh Basil
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Loaf Ciabatta Bread ~ Split Horizontally
8oz Fresh Mozzarella
2 Cups Baby Greens or Arugula

Brush veggies with oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Grill over medium heat 3-8 minutes until slightly charred. I usually take the zucchini and red onion off grill and really char the red pepper. When pepper is done, remove charred skin and cut into strips.

In food processor, mince garlic. Add basil and mayo and process until blended. Add Parmesan cheese and pulse. (Yum ~ this makes the sandwich so special!)

Take your loaf of bread and spread with basil/mayo mixture ~ both sides. Layer each veggie on bottom half. Top with fresh mozzarella and arugula (or greens). Add top of loaf and press. Cut into 6 sandwiches.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Little Hope....

"He has made everything beautiful in it's own time"
~Ecclesiastes 3:11
I went for a little walk though the garden this morning looking and peaking at dirt mostly. Low and behold I found this sweet little snowdrop blooming her heart out. I don't know how she made it over there when her brother and sisters are across the walkway still tucked in bed. If our weather stays in the 50's the next few days I have a feeling they will be waking up also.

It's funny how these tiny little flowers, that would be overlooked in June, are so cherished in February.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Lucy ~ Primitive Valentine Doll

Stop by my eBay if you have a chance. I've just listed this sweet rag dolly with her wool hooked necklace there. I've started selling again last week and am really enjoying it. I think last year I was getting burned out but now it's fun again!

It's going to be unseasonably warm here this weekend. I'm sure I'll rooting around outside looking for any signs of Spring...forget that ground hog ~ I'm forever hopeful. I've got a touch of the fever already.

Have a good weekend everyone and thanks always for visiting me.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hearty Hearts and Pot Roast

I love to sit and hand stitch things at night. Makes me feel like I'm with the family but also keeps my hands busy....and you can watch American Idol too! These sweet little HEART pin keeps are made with old gray and red wools. Each comes with a little make-do wool covered hat pin. They are listed on my Ebay this week. To take a peak, click on the link to the left and down a little "Other Places You Can Find Me"

Now I know the next recipe is boring but I love good HEARTY meals in the winter that make your house smell yummy. We've got to be inside we may as well enjoy it. The key to this roast is cooking it slow at a low temperature.

....don't you like how I tied in the heart theme??? Does anyone get my sense of humor out there?? sorry...

2 TBSP Olive Oil
Flour/Salt and Pepper to coat roast
2 - 3 lbs Beef ~ I use Rump Roast or Chuck Roast
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp basil
2 leaves crumbled dried sage
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 tsp Salt and Pepper
1 Large Sweet Onion Chopped
1 tsp minced garlic...about 2 cloves
2 Cups Beef Broth or Boiling Water
1 Cup Chopped Carrots
2 Ribs of Chopped Celery
5 - 6 Small Potatoes Cubed

Preheat oven 250 degrees. In a roasting pan (or I like to use my cast iron skillet), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Flour the roast and place it in the dish. Brown thoroughly on all sides and remove from pan.

Pour beef broth in pan and scrap the bottom loosening up all the bits and pieces from browning.

Season the roast with dried herbs and gently place fat side up. Add the garlic and onion, salt and pepper and bay leaf. Add more broth or water if needed...I usually add about a 1/2 cup more water since there is so much sodium in broth. Cover tightly with lid or foil and roast. After 2 hours I turn it and then turn again in 2 more hours. During the first turn I add the carrots, celery and potatoes and let cook until soft.

Remove the roast and let stand at least 15 minutes. Thicken the juices up while waiting...Add about 3 tablespoons of flour and about 1/4 cup of the juice in glass jar or cup and blend. Whisk this back to the pot and let thicken.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Groundhog's Day from Rabbit Hill Primitives

"The bright sky above me shows my shadow before me, and six more weeks of winter it will be.”

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning which means six more long weeks of winter. The legend of Groundhog Day is based on an old Scottish couplet: "If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year."

I guess we will have to dream about our gardens for just a few more weeks...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

It's almost game time....Superbowl 43!

A teacher in Phoenix Arizona asked her class to raise their hands if they were a Cardinal's fan. Everyone raised their hands except one little girl Janie. The teacher said "Janie, maybe you didn't hear my question. I asked everyone to raise their hand who was a Cardinal's fan." Janie said "I'm not a Cardinal's fan, I'm a Steeler's fan" "My dad is from Pittsburgh and he is a Steeler's fan. My mom is from Pittsburgh and she is a Steeler's fan so that is why I'm a Steeler's fan." The teacher said "Just because your mom and dad are Steeler's fans doesn't mean you have to be also. What if your mom was a moran and your dad was an idiot?" Little Janie thought about this and replied "I guess I would be a Cardinal's fan."

Hee hee all in good fun! Born and raised in Pittsburgh I could be nothing else but a Steeler's Fan! Have a fun day. Go Steelers!

You might also like:

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Popular Posts