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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


"Earth Laughs in Flowers"
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

It's so tempting to blow off everything today and be outside in the garden...so much needs to be done! What a BEAUTIFUL morning with blue blue sunny skies. BUT I have too many things to do inside. I cut a few little bouquets earlier to cheer me on. I did feel bad cutting them with all that work they do just to bloom....I'm weird I know my family tells me that all the time.

Today I'll be finishing up a few orders and working on a little Easter update for Rabbit Hill Primitives tomorrow...rabbits and peeps. I'm also working on a spring time keepsake box for ebay this week which will be listed tonight.

Just wanted to say a quick hello.......have a happy day today!

xoxox Jenn

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sweet Rhubarb...a fruit or vegetable??

I was so surprised to see rhubarb at our local grocery store this past week. Yet another sign of what's coming. This picture was taken last May. I couldn't resist buying it though. It was one of those need to have it moments. And it makes a lusciously divine pie. Don't you just love that word...luscious? Makes you want it right? It's one of those words that when you say it you know exactly what it means.

Sorry I got off track...

I'm lucky my kid's not picky. She's been eating rhubarb since she could walk. She even has her own secret recipe called "rhubarb delight". Which is basically stewing it with lots of sugar in the microwave until it's mushy and serving it on saltines. If you visit our house in May you are forced to eat "rhubarb delight" by cuteness.

Below is the pie recipe I have been making for years. You can find rhubarb in the freezer section with other fruits if you don't have it available fresh and really NEED to have it.

Oh and it's a vegetable by the way.

Have a luscious day....

Sweet Rhubarb Pie

6 cups rhubarb cut into 3/4" pieces
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch (I've used flour when I don't have this)
Pinch of salt
Topping (recipe below)
Your favorite pie crust....mine is here

I have a problem rolling out pie crust so I usually roll it out between two pieces of wax paper to a 14" circle. Flip over and remove bottom piece of wax paper. The top is much prettier than the bottom and its easier in the long run. Flip over pie crust onto a 9" pie dish and pull off the other piece of wax paper. Fit dough into bottom and sides of plate gently. Trim dough to about 1" from the rim; fold and crimp edges. Refrigerate approx 1 hour unless your dough is already chilled.

Make your topping now:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons cold butter cut into pieces

In a medium bowl, mix flour, light-brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salt. With a pastry cutter or your hands, work in butter until large, moist clumps form. Chill, covered, until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss rhubarb with sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Pour into pie shell; sprinkle with topping. Place pie on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and put on lowest rack in oven. Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake about 1 1/2 hours, until topping and crust are lightly browned. (If topping or crust begins to brown too quickly, tent with foil.) Cool completely before serving.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring is Springing and Springing and Springing...it's Sprung!

The radiance in some places is so great as to be fairly dazzling . . . every crystal, every flower a window opening into heaven, a mirror reflecting the Creator.
~John Muir
Just a few things that are blooming here. I love how blue the skies look...really magical!

I'm working on bunnies today (finally) and also organizing my fabric closet. Putting away the winter wools to make space for more calicos. I was fabric shopping in Charm, Ohio last week and felt like a kid in a candy shop....ohhh I love fabric! Good thing there are no calories to worry about!!

It's very hard not to go outside and play in the garden. So many things are popping up and as you can see by my pictures I still have lots of leaves to rake. Thank goodness it doesn't stop the flowers from doing their thing!

Have a happy day today!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irish Blessings and Scones for Breakfast

May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks,
May your heart be as light as a song,
May each day bring you bright, happy hours,
That stay with you all the year long.

Oh my I can't believe it's St. Patrick's Day! Every year I have the tradition of remembering that I was SUPPOSE to plant sweet peas today. And to carry on that tradition I'll be running out later to buy seeds and plant them next week....I'd hate to break tradition.

I've been following a great blog lately called Decor to Adore. For the past two weeks she's been writing and showing lots of lovely pictures of Ireland and Irish customs.....thatched roof cottages, Irish linens, castles, crystal, china and more. If your in the mood stop on over to visit her, you won't be disappointed.

Get your popcorn poppin'...for all who love "The Quiet Man", its on TCM tonight at 8:00 p.m. One of my favorite movies of all time.

Inspired by a friend to do a little something, since I am a little Irish, this morning I made Irish scones....they go lovely with a cup of tea. I'm also going to serve "green milk" to Lydia to go with her scones ~ Thanks Connie!!

Perfect Irish Scones

2 Cups Flour
1 TBSP Baking Powder
2 TBSP Sugar
Pinch Salt
1/2 Stick Butter (4 TBSP)
1/4 Golden Raisins (add more if you like)
1 Large Egg
1/2 Cup Milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet lightly with non-stick cooking oil.

Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into large bowl. Use a pastry blender or your fingers to work the butter into the dry mixture. It should resemble very fine breadcrumbs when done. Add raisins.
Whisk the milk and egg together. Add almost all of it to flour mixture...reserve about 3 TBSP. Mix with a fork, just don't overmix or they will be tough. If the dough seems dry add the rest, if not reserve for later.

Sprinkle a little flour on your countertop and dump out the dough. Knead a few times then shape into a large thick circle...about 2 inches thick. Using a biscuit cutter or glass cut into circles, re-rolling the dough to make more as needed. If you have any milk mixture left, pour into a small bowl. If not just add about 1/4 cup milk into bowl. Dip your cut scones into milk and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with sugar.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes then turn pan and bake additional 5 minutes to a golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes on wire rack. Serve with butter and raspberry jam.

Happy St. Patrick's Day and remember...

"In Heaven there is no beer that's why we drink it here."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Primitive Gatherings This Month......

Early Spring Gathering
With my friend visiting I only had time for one offering this month...I'm a slacker. I'll have more next time. For more information visit The Primitive Gathering or contact me......jenn@rabbithillprimitives.com

Enjoy today!

Gathering includes: Covered Keepsake Sewing Box, Old Quilt Pin Keep and Primitive Rabbit

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun ~ Also Grilled Pork Tenderloin

I've been having a great week! My friend Rhonda from California has been visiting. She went home just this morning. She was my partner in crime growing up in the 80's ~ fashion and hair crime that is! Here's a picture of us from 1986....She's on the right and I'm doing some very cool model pose on the left....what was I doing??? And don't you love the belts? We were going through some Dallas/Knots Landing faze I think...I wanted to be Ciji, anyone remember her??

The one really good thing about the 80's is you look normal in photos for the rest of your life. This was us last summer looking normal....Rhonda on left, me on right and my other friend Shelly is in the middle (I spared her from the 80's photo but she had a pretty good lift in her hair back then also!)

This was us in the forties......we were flappers.

Just kidding....hee hee I just like this picture.

Like I told her once...one person and one moment does change your whole life. Rhonda ~ I miss you already!!

Since I've been busy having fun with the girls, I haven't much time to make dinners. I made this Pork Tenderloin the other night with a salad because it's so quick and easy.

Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin

1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
2 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
1 Clove Garlic Minced
1 TBSP Fresh Parsley Chopped(I sometimes don't have this)
1 TBSP Dry Mustard
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Tsp Pepper
1 sleeve Pork Tenderloin...approx. 1 pound

Combine all ingredients except pork together in a medium bowl and mix until well blended. Place pork tenderloin in a large zip lock bag and pour mixture over making sure it coats well. Marinate for at least 4 hours. I usually do this overnight. Remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temp in marinade for 1/2 hour before grilling.

Preheat grill. Remove from marinade and place on grill. Cook turning frequently for about 18 minutes (155 degrees). Transfer to your platter and let meat rest 10 minutes before carving.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Project...Garden Studio ~ HELP!

While browsing Home Depot last fall, Dino found a really nice deal on a little garden shed. I had been wanting something like this but only mentioned it to my sister over the summer. Somehow he always knows what I'm thinking and we bought it. And that in a nutshell is the story.

These are a few pictures of it being delivered...my heart was palpitating, it was so scary.

We had to dig up a hedge of boxwood so the truck could come through the backyard......I love boxwood!

This is were I lost my lunch.

And these are photos taken today....I wanted to put some fake legs and a pair of ruby slippers under the one side because it looks like it fell from the sky.

This is the inside. It's exactly the same size as my sewing room. Which is perfect because our house is small and that will give us an extra bedroom for company.

I know what I want to do inside this little building but I am just a little perplexed with the outside. It will be some type of cottage garden because those are my favorite but I want to add a little patio and tie it in with the rest of the yard.

To the left is a little pathway....

which takes you to Lydia's secret garden. We have a little seating area there so we can have lunches together in the summer.

This is what it looked like last year. Her little hiding place is to the left and has a tin roof that is covered with grape vines and sweet peas.
To the right and behind it is the daylily garden. This is now.....

And this is last year....
Since I plopped it down on half my vegetable garden I would like to somehow incorporate those somewhere and maybe add a cold frame. Plus I have 6 boxwood bought on sale at the end of the season to use and lots of daylilies to move from behind. The front door faces south. I'm going to go through some of my Williamsburg books tonight and get ideas. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated though. I will be posting more on this project as it is completed. A little overwhelming but also exciting. I want to get this finished or at least looking okay by our fourth of July picnic....do you think that's possible??

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Whats Cookin' Wednesday ~ Anne's Salmon Dish

This lovely recipe came from my sister-in-law Anne....hence the name. I believe she made this up when one of our favorites was taken off the menu at a local restaurant. I love Anne's cooking. She always uses good basic ingredients and turns them into something beautiful and yummy. This is high on my list of favorites plus its healthy and quick to make. Enjoy!!

Anne's Salmon

1 1/2 pounds Fresh Salmon
1 Package Frozen Red/Yellow/Green Peppers & Onions
2 TBSP Brown Sugar
Juice from 1 Lime
Fresh Cilantro chopped ~ to your taste
1/4 Cup Ketchup
1/4 Cup Additional Brown Sugar
Tortilla Chips

Preheat grill on high. Wash salmon, pat dry. Rub olive oil over entire salmon....I always oil the fish and not the grill...it seems to help with the sticking. Season with a little salt and pepper. Place salmon flesh side up (skin down) and grill 4 minutes, flip over, remove skin and cook 4 more minutes. Flip over once more and cook additional 1 -2 minutes. Salmon is cooked when it looks opaque and the inside is soft and almost flaky.

Meanwhile cook the peppers and onions. Add brown sugar, lime juice and fresh cilantro. Cook additional minute then remove from heat.

Mix together ketchup and the additional 1/4 c brown sugar in a small bowl. Coat the top of the grilled salmon with this. Add the pepper mixture and crush tortilla chips over the top.

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