Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thanksgiving Pie

Good heavens y’all, it’s been 2 years since I’ve posted. I can tell you’ve all been waiting on the edge of your seats for my next post. If you know me, you may sense some sarcasm here.  I mean seriously, I don’t get a lot of feedback from this thing 😜. Oh, well. I’m still gonna write some stuffs anywho!  Colleen has challenged me.

So, of course Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on your blessings and what you are thankful for, but it’s also a time to cook and create yummy new creations.  Or, at least it is for some of us.  I love to be creative in the kitchen, and I’m going to share my newest pie creation with y’all today!! Yes, it’s your lucky day 🍀.


Pie, who doesn’t like pie? I know you don’t, Jessica! Lol.
Most us us do enjoy a nice slice of pie from time to time.  My mostest favorite-est kind is lemon meringue, what’s yours??

No, I didn’t make lemon pie, I created an apple cranberry and cream pie!!  This happened because I like to change things up a bit now and again.  Much to the chagrin of my brother Billy, who prefers my original apple cranberry pie 🥧. Oh well, sorry pal. So here’s the other reason I created this pie... I didn’t want to go to the store for any more ingredients, so I had to use what I had on hand. I was racking my brain to figure it out. I knew I had a few apples in the crisper and a can of Ocean Spray  whole cranberry sauce.

Warning, when I cook it’s often a messy process, especially if I’m creating something new. Case in point...

And this is just the beginning when I was chopping my apples.  I actually used three different varieties, so use whatever baking type apples you have if you try the recipe! My first steps were making the apple filling part, just like I would for any apple pie, just less quantity.  Then I used the microwave to precook the apple filling; 3 quick minutes was all it took to zap them to precooked perfection.

To the apple filling I just added the can of whole berry cranberry sauce and mixed all up.  Then I stirred in 1/3 cup roughly chopped pecans! That combo is pretty darn tasty on its own and would make a nice pie just like that (put it right in a graham cracker crust and refrigerate), but.... I had it in my mind to add a topping similar to that in an old favorite of mine, peaches and cream pie.  You can find that recipe here.

So I mixed up some softened cream cheese, sugar and a few other ingredients and success!  It was a little thick, so spreading it out over the filling was a little challenging, but I managed. I think next try I will use the lower fat cream cheese so it’s not as thick

Now when the creamy mixture is about 1/2 inch from the crust ( I just used a frozen crust—you can make your own if you wish 😊 ) sprinkle cinnamon over top and bake at 350* for about 40 minutes. Cool and eat it up!!  Store leftovers, if you have any, in the fridge.

Finished product....

Here’s the first slice... looks a little messy but tasted great 👍🏻

The recipe...
Apple Cranberry and Cream Pie 

Prepare and set aside
1- 9 or10 inch deep dish pie crust (unbaked)

Mix together and then microwave for 3 minutes on high (cool slightly)
3 medium baking apples
Squeeze of lemon juice
1/4 c. Brown sugar 
1 1/2 T flour
1 t cinnamon 
1/4 t nutmeg

Mix into apple mixture
1 can Ocean Spray whole berry cranberry sauce
Stir in 1/3 c. rough chopped pecans

Prepare creamy topping... beat together until smooth
1- 8 oz. pkg. softened cream cheese 
1/2 c sugar
1/4 t vanilla
Squeeze or 2 of lemon juice
1 1/2 T. Orange juice

 Pour apple and cranberry filling into crust, then spread creamy topping to within 1/2 inch of crust.  Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake in preheated 350* oven for 40 minutes. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016


Just some thoughts to inspire me! Hey, maybe you'll be inspired as well?!

Determined to make the most of what I have
Determined to let my creativity drive my success
Determined to take control of my finances
Determined to enjoy what I have
Determined to make moments count
Determined to make a difference 
Determined to gain respect and confidence
Determined to get in shape
Determined to eat more healthy foods
Determined to treat others with respect 
Determined to give what I can give 
Determined to stretch the limits
Determined to share more joy
Determined to do what's right for me and my family 
Determined to have more faith
Determined to respect myself
Determined to read more
Determined to write more
Determined to love more
Determined to make my dreams a reality
Determined to make a better me
Determined to think of more ways to be...

So, be determined. I am!
Until next intense writing session...  Pat

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Snow Day muffins

It's the first snow day of the school year... Woohoo, hooray and yahoo!!  Ok, at least the educators and students will agree with me on this one.  But, I must say to the haters... You chose your your career, I chose mine, sooooo. #imjustsayin

Well, on to the reason for this post. Blueberry muffins. Usually a muffin I make when blueberries are in season, but I bought some on sale the other day and I needed to use them! These off season blueberries are a perfect size for use in muffins, a little smaller and tart, just the way I like them! Also great to eat by the handful, yummy!!! 

For some reason waking up to the snowy day made me crave a delicious baked good for breakfast, so I made it happen. The hubby seemed to appreciate my warm muffins too after coming in from snowblowing the driveway. (Haha, "my warm muffins". That sounds a little weird here). Sorry, lol. And, don't worry, he didn't have to do all the cold work, I helped with the snow too. I looked great in my leopard print robe covered by a purple jacket, with short navy snow boots, sweeping (yes, with a broom) the snow off the porch and steps!  I hope you enjoyed that visual, I'm sure the neighbors did, and I'm real sorry I don't have a photo 😜

***Spot for photo I don't have***

Ok, ok. Here's the recipe for my 'snow day' blueberry muffins (feel free to make them on warm days too).

Blueberry muffins

Combine the following dry ingredients...
2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 T. baking powder
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of ginger

To dry ingredients, add...
2/3 c. milk
1/3 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/4 c. oil (I used safflower)
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1 t. vanilla 
Mix just until well combined 

Fold in...
3/4-1 c. fresh blueberries 
            (coated with a small amount of flour to help suspend them in batter)

Spoon equal amounts into 12 lined muffin cups and sprinkle lightly with sugar

Bake @ 400* for about 15 minutes. (I actually did 395* - my oven's too hot)

The finished batch...
And just before I made these 2 disappear...
 Turned out pretty tasty! (I had a third)

I hope you let me know if you try the recipe, and what you think of it!! 
I also hope you enjoy my ADHD as it translates in my writing. Sometimes my mind goes in different directions < ^ >, but that's just how I roll.

Till the next time, happy snowy days y'all, Pat

PS - if you are like my teaching partner Marie, and you prefer your muffins sweet!!! Please feel free to increase the sugars to 1/3 c. each. You may need to add a touch more milk or yogurt if you do. You're welcome, Sweeties 😀

Friday, June 19, 2015

Another project completed...

Has it really been since February that I last posted??  Wow, the last several months seem blurry. Now I'm busy helping care for the darlings because their mom had foot surgery. Just. Need. To. Slow. Down. Time. It's summer and I don't want to feel like I've missed it. Maybe I should start some more projects! You know that's bound to happen. 

Well, let's bgt back to the purpose of this post... Here's how I turned some random antique mall finds into my 'new' bedside table. 
These are the randoms-- step ladder, fancy serving tray, and patterned baking pan. Sounds crazy right? Here's the process explained...

First off I had to clean everything. I also used some sandpaper to help clean up some rough edges and water damage on the ladder. Next step was tightening some bolts to steady the ladder. That wasn't quite enough to do the job so I had super-hubby add a couple screws. That worked wonders!  
Close up before paint. 

I'm not a fan of any project that takes too much effort, and besides I didn't want it to end up looking new, so I decided to rub the paint on. Yes, rub.  I shall name my technique rag-rub-painting! I had several sample jars of paint in colors for the bedroom, and I decided to use them all to create a sort of tie dye look. It was super messy on my hands but no worries; washes right off!  I just kind of mixed and matched and blended and wiped and added more here and there to get the effect I thought I was looking for.... Because really before I started, I had No idea how I was going to paint it.  Just create! That should be my new mantra. 
Here are in progress pics...
See, such A MESS. My creative process in a nutshell. 

I decided to leave some of the original color on the ladder, because, well, I'm kind of a lazy creator and any color goes with boho you know! Also, I like that rustic feel it gives the piece. Next, we had to cut notches for the baking pan shelf and then it just slid in kinda like a drawer.  For the finishing touch the tray was mounted with screws to the top of the ladder. I had Jim cut a piece of wood to go in between to add some height and stability. 

Below you will feast your eyes on my creation...
Notice the color turned out really subtle, and I like it that way.

It really serves its purpose and I think it fits well with my bohemian theme.  A collage...

I love, love, love it and I hope you do too!!! 

Oh, and here's a picture of the darlings, because, no reason, they're just so darn cute!

Until next time...
Thanks for tuning in,
Paisley Pat

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Renovation Reality... More projects

Here's the post with more projects for our 'Bohemian Dream Room'. I hope you're impressed. But if you're not, that's alright because I am, and really that's all that counts. Hahaha. Well, I am the one who has to live with the finished product, you know. 

First I will share our groovy dresser redo. I have other similar examples that gave me the idea on my Pinterest, so be sure to check them out @patoconnor. 

We had two great chests of drawers that used to be in our finished basement, so when we redid things down there we saved the dressers for when we finally redid our room. 
BTW that's one of the greatest ways to save money when renovating. Repurpose things you already have!!  
One of the dressers, which is more like an armoir, we left original and just changed out the knobs.
  I know it's nothing exciting, but a nice piece all the same. 

The other chest had some damage on top, so we eventually decided to use spray paint, but to leave some of the chest in its original finish because it still looked good. We picked out purple, orange and turquoise. We would've used gray too, but the curtains are gray, so I wanted more contrast.  In the end we also added off white, and I really love the results. By just using a light coat of spray paint and letting the finish show through, it gives the piece a little more rustic, yet sophisticated look. 
  Out in the shop, looking kind of ragged without the drawers!
      The finished product looking super cool, doncha think?

The next project was done by using the wood lathe strips that came from tearing out the walls in the room. I had seen, yes on Pinterest, tons of cool pallet signs and wanted to recreate that look. I also had in mind a couple of favorite song lyrics to use. I began by deciding on the size I needed to have Saint Handy-Jim cut the wood strips into.  Sorry, I didn't save measurements, but you can recreate the process with any wood, any size I'm sure. 
    I hot glued them together and then had Jim staple gun them for extra strength. 

To get the finished look, I lightly dry-brushed them (again going for a rustic look) with acrylic paint. The next step was to use paint markers (found at Michael's) to write the words. I added some flat fancy beads to one of them as well. The first one is going on the door to the room, and the other is on the wall above the groovy painted dresser!  

  Not super 'professional', but I like! And very romantic, right? 

Btw, since we're on the subject of walls, here is a photo of a great piece of art that I bought from The Shared Lives Studio in downtown Toledo.

    So GROOVY   The perfect compliment to our theme!!! 

That's all I have for now, next step is redoing some items for bedside tables. I found some interesting pieces at the Maumee Antique mall yesterday.
 I will share more as soon as I can. 
Happy Sundayfunday 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Renovation Reality...Part 4

I promised to share some projects with you all and here goes...

Remember my bohemian theme for the bedroom renovation? Well, first I made a Pinterest board with inspirations and then I got to work. BTW... Follow me on Pinterest! 

During the summer Jim had brought home this great old window he had gotten from a customer. I knew right away that it needed to be a part of our headboard. While I thought about how to finish it, Jim cleaned it up a bit with a light sanding. After some time, I decided that the best bet was to remove the old glass panes. Although it was that original old wavy glass that I love, it just seemed too risky to have glass right above the head of the bed. If you know what I mean!? Wink, wink. 
There I go, cracking myself up again. 

This glass removal was actually the hardest part of the project.  
                Before glass removal
         My handy dandy lady colored tools!
           After the glass was safely removed.

Now it was time to make it pretty, while keeping it rough around the edges. I dusted it off well and vacuumed it well also. By the way, only one ugly black spider emerged during the glass removal.  Hence the vacuuming of each little crevasse.  No spiders in my headboard, no sir!!  Jim also sprayed it well with a clear finish to keep the paint bits from further chipping, and hopefully sealed in any other little devils that might want to creep out!
Next step was to have the handy hubby cut some thin board to fit in each pane so I could cover them with my groovy fabrics. Covering them was really easy. I used a light coat of spray glue to adhere the fabric to the front and then used hot glue to wrap the fabric around back.

No limit to the design possibilities here, it just depends on your choice of colors and textures. I decided to use plenty of both in order to get that bohemian feel. I must say the finished product makes me very happy! I'll show you in a moment. 
So, we HAD to go to Tybee, our favorite vacation spot, this fall. Thanks middle child for getting a master's degree from SCAD. The trip was such a sacrifice, you know. Anyway, I'm really not off the subject. The point is, the headboard in the little apartment where we stayed gave me further inspiration and so, I had to add shutters to the headboard design.  

  Case in point... Yes, my window is much bigger, but it's the idea here! 

I couldn't find old outdoor shutters that I liked for a reasonable price, so as often happens ( when you're me) I go for option 2. Option 2 turned out to be an old tall indoor shutter. It was likely 1/2 of a closet door, but the cost was $8.50 at the antique mall, so I was determined to make it work. Or, should I say, make the hubby work on it to make it work to my specifications. Yep, that's it!  Thank you saint handy-Jim! The shutter door was soon cut in half and I worked a little 'lightly stain with paint, do a little sanding' magic on it, and it was ready to go.  

So, without further ado, I present to you... Bohemian headboard exhibit 'I Love It!'
             Ready to be hung. 

         All leveled and screwed into place -- I helped!

       And, the finished project! Yes, that's a cat on the bed. The cats love it as much as I do. 
What do you think? Let me know your thoughts. 
Next time, a couple more projects we've completed for the room...
Ta-ta for now, 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Renovation reality... Part 3.

The room is almost complete. I'm working hard now to organize things. We lived in the basement family room for over 4 months... Sleeping on a pull out sofa bed, with clothes in boxes and garment racks. Now I have to decide what goes in dressers or underbed boxes or closets, although our new room closet is still not completed. Yep, I'm used to things in disarray.  The term helter-skelter comes to mind. 
That's how it goes... Welcome to my world 

Ok, I'll bet you are just crazy with anticipation about how the finished (well, mostly finished) product (room) looks, right??  I thought so. Let's start here with a corner picture to highlight the room colors.  The paint we used was from Lowe's, Valspar Signature in satin finish... 'warm cider' #2003-1C on the walls and 'bay waves' #4008-1A on the ceiling.  We are loving the combination. 

Next step after the walls was the floor. We have oak hardwood, original to the house, so naturally I didn't want to cover them, but I didn't want them to look super fancy either. First we had to sand, so we rented a floor sander. I was surprised that the sanding went pretty quickly.  Jim did most of it, but I helped!!  After dusting and cleaning, it was time for stain. We choose a very dark water based stain (ebony, custom mixed with some gray) from Sherwin Williams. The great thing about it was there were virtually no fumes from the stain! Of course I had to get the perfect shading, so I ended up on my hands and knees wiping the stain to get the effect I had envisioned.  "Ouch!" said my knees. Why must I have these 'visions'??  
Here are some process pics...

We ( and the drywall dudes) had really made a mess of the floors

Cleaned up nicely, don't you think?!


The finish used was an oil-modified, water based polyurethane.  I know, it's a mouthful. It was also from Sherwin Williams. Btw, the salesperson there was very helpful and knowledgable. Jim just rolled it on, and lightly sanded between coats (3 coats, total). The final effect is not as shiny as the photo above, but it has a nice sheen, and the smell ( which wasn't bad for a finish ) went away after a few days. We thankfully ended up with the rustic look I was going for. 

That's what's been getting done around here lately! Next time, I'm going to show you some groovy projects I've been creating to bring this bohemian dream room to life. Lol, I just named it 'bohemian dream room'!!  
See ya next blog