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

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

psst....spring update tonight

tonight at 8:00 p.m. (eastern)

That is if I can get outside to my studio to get the goods!  I still have to take ALL the pictures and we are in the middle of a severe thunderstorm.  I'm sitting in the basement with my laptop keeping a close eye on doppler radar. 

Okay so lots to do still, see you all tonight....I hope (smiles)


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Holes of Happiness

The Pothole Gardner
Pothole gardens have been springing up around East London.  Delightful creations by Steve Wheen.  He designed these to brighten up London's streets and sidewalks.  I really loved this.  A little joy to brighten people's day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Meeting Pioneer Woman

Yesterday was a very exciting day!  I met one of my most favorite women ever: The Pioneer Woman.

Jessica, Anne, and I have been throwing Pioneer Woman parties for the last 4 years.

Everyone must bring a PW dish and a bottle of their favorite wine.  That's it.  A great way to have a party!!

So when I first heard she was coming to our town, I knew we were going no matter what.   

We got there early and the line was already long.  We were given tickets 128, 129 & 130.  She was going to start signing at 4:00 p.m.  We were so excited!
About an hour and a half later, we made it inside the book store ~ woohoo!
That's when we found out that Ree wasn't alone.
Oh my gosh....It was Marlboro Man and the kids!  They are real.  
and so nice.

If I would have read her blog post that morning I would have known this.

They answered a few of our questions and chatted with us.
Then we got a picture with Marlboro Man.  Thought I was going to pass out.  Such a nerd.

Now it was our groups turn to go upstairs.
The bookstore was one of those like in "You've Got Mail"or "A Shop Around the Corner".  Very quaint with nice people working there.  They had Pioneer Woman recipes made for us to try while waiting.

The Citrus Butter Cookies were delightful! 

Now we are getting closer and I can almost see her.

I could have wet my pants I was so excited.

I'm here!

And I am chatting with Ree!

We talked about our Pioneer Woman parties and showed her pictures. (Yes, Jess brought the pictures.)   Also we talked about how to dress to disguise our bellies and the usefulness of spanxs.

She's so pretty!  I'm sure she thought we were stalkers.  Anne was asking about her make-up, I told her how much I like her hair, and Jessica is touching her boots.   "I like these" I hear her say.

All joking aside, she was so kind and humble and I think we all agreed she made us feel like friends even though we just met.

We had the biggest smiles for the rest of the evening.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Beautiful Friday

A March update is in the works but it's hard to stay inside....the garden is calling me!

SO MUCH to do out there and so wanting to do it!!

Bunny's and other sweet things of spring are coming in a week or so.  I'll post the date Monday!

Have a fantastic weekend!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Lemon Cookies for Spring

It's raining today and feels like a baking day.  I've been saving this recipe to try.  Me and my girl LOVE anything with lemon in it so when I saw this recipe from  Post Road Vintage I knew I had to make it.  The only thing I would do different next time is make them smaller.  Other than that, they are delightful!  Perfect with a cup of tea.

Happy Monday and happy week!

Jenn xo
 Lemon Sugar Cookies
4 1/2 cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder

1 1/4 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Butter
2 Eggs
3/4 cup milk (I used skim)
2 tsp Lemon Extract
Sugar for decorating

In medium bowl combine, flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.  Set aside.

In large bowl, cream the sugar and butter together.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.  Add milk and lemon extract.

Add dry ingredients, about a third at a time, to butter/sugar mixture.  Stir until combined.

Chill for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out, and sprinkle with sanding sugars.  (I only had red and green so I used these little nonpareils instead...next time a pretty lemon-yellow sugar for sure!)

Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly brown.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Forcing Spring

What are you doing this weekend?

I've been cutting branches to force into bloom.  They such a nice sight at the end of winter and so easy to do....


Look for shrubs with long branches and lots of plump buds.  Using sharp pruners (or scissors, in my case today), cut branches at a 45 degree angle at least 12 inches long.  Smash the bottom of branch with a hammer (or meat mallet, in my case today) about 2 inches from the cut.

Photo: Country Home

Place them in vases or ball jars full of room-temperature water and away from sunlight.  Change water everyday for a longer bloom.   

They will take anywhere from 1 - 3 weeks to open.  Forsythia and pussy willow open the fastest, but you can also use azaleas, rhododendron, crab apple, flowering quince, magnolia, redbud, serviceberry, spirea, and fruit trees (cherries, peaches, pears, and apples).  Anything with a plump bud can be forced.

photo: Southern Living

This year, I cut pussy willow, dogwood, redbud, and peach blossoms.  The peach blossom water turned peach color immediately ~ weird huh?  I unrolled a piece of burlap from a picnic last year and placed them in old hoosier jars on the dining room table.  Probably not a practical place but that looked so pretty there.  And pretty is what it's all about.

Now get out there and cut some branches!
last year...star magnolia blossoms
 Happy weekend everyone!

Jenn xo

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Anticipation of Spring

Patience.  I don't have it.  March 1st and garden fever is soaring in me.

When March comes, I start my morning walking around the garden inspecting all the tiny little plants that made it through winter.

It's amazing how fast they will grow and be glorious in May and June.

Then there are those special early bloomers that start shining now.  If they were to come then, we would hardly notice them.

They are the ones that get me yearning.

They are the ones that make my heart sing. 

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