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

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Hot Day

Sometimes you just have your camera at the right time and the right place.  

Dino made this little fountain last year.  It has been a big hit with the birds ever since.  (If you'd like to read the story of the rock fountain click here.)

Stay cool out there today.  ~ Jenn xo

"The Hot Day" 
   ...a story in pictures.



The End.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rhubarb Crisp Squares

It's not truly spring until you have that first bite of rhubarb.  One of my most favorite things ever.  I love how tart it is. 

I have two little rhubarb plants and I can say that is definitely not enough.  They yield me about 3 pies, I could eat 20!  

I picked mine a little late this year so today I'm being lazy and made these rhubarb squares instead.  It's very easy and nearly as good as pie....nearly.  And remember if you don't have a plant, usually the local grocery stores carry rhubarb when in season.

Rhubarb Crisp Squares

5-6 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cups sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons flour

2 cups old fashioned oats (not instant)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 sticks butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set rack in the center of the oven. 

Mix rhubarb, sugar and flour together. Add in the egg and combine completely.  Set aside.

Mix together oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.  Add butter and mix until combined.  Spray or butter a 13" by 9" baking dish.  Pour half the mixture in and press lightly for bottom crust.  Spoon rhubarb filling over this.  Take the rest of the crust mixture and spread evenly over rhubarb, lightly patting it.

Bake until fruit is bubbly and the top is golden brown, approximately 35 to 40 minutes.

Allow to cool completely and cut into squares.  Serve by themselves or a little a la mode ~ delightful!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Spring Reflections

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend.  Ours has flown by.  We were at a school picnic all day Friday, and dance recitals both on Saturday and Sunday!  The girl keeps us busy.

I am starting to work on an update for my website that will be coming in a week or two at most.  It's going to be a garden theme (of course).  I'll be posting the date in the next few days.

Spring is in full swing now here in Pennsylvania.

I love how all the birds are singing their little hearts out in the mornings.

The garden is loaded with spring flowers.  It's been going through the cycles of color.  All the pinks are just finishing up now.  

The garden shed studio where I sew is surrounded by cottage flowers.  It can be a lot of work, but I do a little section at a time and never feel overwhelmed.


 The tree peonies are so spectacular this year.  I just can't get enough of them.

Their flower buds are so big!

Lydia picking violets from our yard.  They are one of my favorites and I hate cutting over them with the lawn mower.  Every year she picks me one nice bunch


Henrietta bunny also enjoys the violets.

She's been hanging around the gardens a lot this spring. 

As you can see she's very comfortable around us.

I think this little one might be one of hers.  She seems very happy also.

What a sweetie!

I don't want to overload you with lots of pictures.  I'll share more in a few days.  I hope your having a wonderful day.  Thank you always for stopping by!
Jenn xo

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What's Cooking Wednesday ~ Buffalo Chicken Ranch Pizza

One of my great loves is pizza.  I don't know if it had anything to do with my mom craving it while carrying me, but I think there must be some connection.

There is a local pizza shop around here called "The Corner Store" that makes buffalo chicken ranch pizza.  They call it a "BCR" and it makes us very happy!  We really could eat it every day.  Since it's a specialty pizza, aka "fancy more expensive pizza", we don't eat it everyday.

Yesterday I decided to try and recreate the "BCR".  It ended up being very good and easy to make.  We ate the entire pizza!!  Imagine that? lol

It's best to make your own pizza dough.  You can use store bought if you want, but please don't feel threatened by the crust.  When someone mentions yeast, people cringe.  This is very simple and always works out for us, so give it a try.


Pizza Dough
Combine 1 teaspoon active dry yeast and 3/4 cup warm water.  Let sit for about 10 minutes.  In a large bowl, mix 2 cups all-purpose flour and 3/4 teaspoon salt together.  Drizzle 3 tablespoons olive oil on top and mix with fork.  Pour in yeast mixture and combine until everything comes together.  Knead a few times and then transfer to a bowl that has been lightly sprayed with oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.  (On cooler days, I usually turn my oven on low while preparing this and then turn it off and let the dough sit in there for an hour while it rises.)

Buffalo Chicken Ranch Pizza
2-3 boneless skinless Chicken Breast, cut up in small pieces.
1 cup plus 2-3 tbsp Franks Red Hot Sauce (or your favorite wing sauce)
3 TBSP Butter
3/4 Cup Ranch Dressing
12 oz (or more if you like) Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, sliced thin or grated
1 recipe Pizza Dough

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place chicken in bowl with 1 cup buffalo wing sauce and toss to coat chicken.  Let marinate at least 15 minutes.  I left mine in there while pizza dough was rising, about 45 minutes.

Melt butter in a skillet and stir-fry your chicken.  (Note: I think it would even be better if you grill your chicken first and then cut up in pieces, but our grill was out of gas so I did it this way.)

While this is cooking, roll out the pizza dough and place on a large pizza stone or baking sheet that's been lightly sprayed. Place baking sheet in preheated oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Remove crust from oven and set aside.

Spread ranch dressing over pizza.  Arrange chicken on top of the ranch.  Lay the mozzarella slices over the chicken.  Lastly drizzle a little more hot sauce over entire pizza.

Place pizza in oven on center rack for 12 - 15 minutes, or until crust golden brown and cheese is melted.  Serve hot.  Makes 12 - 16 pieces.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Spring Gathering at 1824 Antiques

Hello everyone!  I wanted to share some photo's from this past Saturday's show at 1824 Antiques.  The weather was beautiful and the customers a delight!  We really do have the best customers...more like friends.  I think we are all in agreement that when you visit David and Audrey, you never want to leave!





Wishing you all lots of sunshine and happiness for the week ahead.  Thank you kindly for visiting!
Jenn xo
 All photo's are courtesy of Denise Kendel-Stewart, Sister's Three and Me ~ thank you!  

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