Monday, December 22, 2014

Sharing a bit...

I can't believe it's been since December 7th
 since my last post!
Well, all of our hands have been working 
and several projects have been completed. 
Hubby surprised me with squeezing a few 
days off in between jobs so we could
get some of the painting done while
 the kiddos were still in school. 

Grab your coffee or tea and come over...

I love our great room. It is such a bright 
and cozy place to linger.
We haven't purchased a log insert yet because we are still 
debating on building a real fireplace, 
installing a wood stove or keeping the gas.
We have an endless supply of oak so the cost 
of heating would be minimal except for
the initial cost of either of the first two choices.
 Of course the natural gas is cleaner but
I could find so many uses for the ash. 

We'll see...


The stairs are done!

Didn't my Mr. do a beautiful job? 
So glad I found a man of many talents.
I always love the part of Miranda Lambert's song, 
The House That Built Me, 
"Daddy gave life to Mama's dream". 






The treads, trim and cap are all painted to mimic a rich wood.    It's a time consuming job but the results are well worth it. 
The wood underneath is pine, which didn't even match the oak floors before we fixed that issue and instead of ripping them out, paint was the best solution. 
I have lived with painted floors before so I know that as long as we keep that top coat up to par,
we'll be alright. I'll be giving our dining 
table top the same treatment. :)




Next on our agenda: 
The boys bathroom, which is the downstairs
main bathroom. But, since this week is Christmas, 
we will be waiting till
after New Year to do that. 
We are doing a farmhouse bath with
bead board and using an old antique dresser
 I've had for the vanity.
All of our material is here and waiting!

I also have some pretty photos to share of 
our bedroom with the new windows but
that'll be next post. 
Wait till you see this amazing antique mirror we saved.
It's good to know people that are cleaning 
out their barns of "stuff".

Joyeux Noel! 




Sunday, December 7, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I am going to wish you all a Merry Christmas now
even though it's still a few weeks away,
just in case.

We've been on a roll getting things finished up in the house
and one project feeds another so
I will take advantage of it!


Our tree is only decorated 1/3 down
{thanks to my fellas}
and I still need to pull the rest of the decorations up
from the basement.
I have the wreaths and garland in the windows
and the picket fence is lit up
but we decided no lights on the house this year.

Once I clean up the dust, put the furniture
back in place and breathe,
I'll decorate and photograph!

We went out and took some 
long overdue family photos but I'm
only sharing one. ;)

From our family to yours, 
Merry Christmas



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cheep! Cheep!

Alas, the day has come!
The French Pressed Home has babies!


Eight little peeps
filling their bellies, warming under the heat lamp
and singing their cheepy song.

The kids will be so excited when they get home.

Now to pick names and keep reminding
Lu and Mia that...

Curiosity killed the cat. And dog.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Glazed Bacon Wrapped Green-beans

Thanksgiving 2014:
The most delicious Thanksgiving ever!



This year, I found a few new recipes to use 
and I will say, they were all winners mainly because 
they were all from scratch, everyone participated
in helping this year and they were all delicious!



Here's what our menu consisted of:

Brined and Herb Roasted Turkey
Country Mashed Potatoes with Turkey Gravy
Homemade Herbed Dressing (Stuffing)
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Glazed Bacon Wrapped Green-beans
Buttermilk Biscuits
and
Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce

If I had to pick just one favorite, it would be the
Bacon wrapped green-beans.
 I cannot wait to make these again because
they are so pretty, fairly easy to make and so delicious!

Hopefully next year, we'll be using our own beans.

As usual, I made some modifications to the original recipe.



Glazed Bacon Wrapped Green-beans 

*10 slices of pre-cooked smoked bacon (I used Costco brand)
1.5 pounds of fresh French green-beans 
Glaze:
4 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon sea salt (table salt is fine)
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
4 tablespoons of brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons maple syrup
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

*Using the pre-cooked bacon omitted a step of pre-cooking raw bacon.
It's a great time saver especially when you are cooking so many other things.
You can increase the number of servings accordingly. Glaze can be doubled, as well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Wash and trim your green beans (just cut the ends off)
2. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
3. Have a large bowl with ice water waiting to put the beans in after they blanch.
4. Blanch green-beans by cooking them in the water for 3-4 minutes
5. Quickly remove and drain (use tongs) from heat and put them into the ice water
to stop them from cooking. They will still be crisp.
6. In a small saucepan, melt butter then add the remainder of ingredients.
Stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture is hot.
7.  Lay your bacon out and place about 8-10 green-beans (in a bundle) in the center 
and roll tightly making sure not to break the bacon and placing the seam down.
Place on baking sheet with sides (jelly roll pan works great).
8. Drizzle a spoonful of sugar glaze onto each bundle.
9. Roast beans for 20-25 minutes.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

**These can easily be assembled ahead of time by preparing
the green-beans and wrapping them with bacon. Place in refrigerator
until ready to glaze and bake.



These are so delicious with the smoky sweet
flavor of the bacon and glaze and they 
look like a million bucks!

I wish I knew how to clip around the recipe so you could print
it easily. Can anyone give me some pointers?

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with
your family. We sure did!


Friday, November 21, 2014

Paperwhites

I have always had the desire to grow Paperwhites.
I love their high fragrance and I love their dainty 
white flowers on stems of glorious green.


 photo via Better Homes and Gardens BHG link for growing tips
I picked up my first batch of bulbs at
Home Depot, I believe, and started them with 
rocks I picked up out of the road.
{Hey, I used what I had on hand!}


I then bought a couple more bags from Walmart and
started those for gifts. Yes, I bought a bag of stones for these.

I started them in whatever I could find.
From my large hurricane
to mason and jelly jars
to a red transferware bowl.
I then set them in the best lit location which is 
the laundry room window. It's a South facing window so 
it gets fabulous light all day.
I read that once the flowers bloom, if you keep them 
out of direct sun, they will last longer.
Well, till then, they will reside in that sunny window
with my Lavender. 



They're growing!



I found my first little bumpy stem this morning
so I know it won't be too long before we see
and smell some action. 

This year is somewhat of an experiment
and so far, so good.

I have plans for doing a show next year around this time
so if all goes well, I'll have some started to sell.
I'll come up with some pretty, rustic and unique
wrapping for them in the meantime.
I think I'll practice that on my gift giving
this year and see who likes what.

Have you ever grown paperwhites for gifts?

I'd love to hear your ideas!