Sometimes the antiques shop owner, sometimes the customer, always the appreciator. Great. Now I’ve got Mary Chapin Carpenter’s song “The Bug” in my head. Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug. Catchy, isn’t it? Coming back around to the topic- I strolled the antiques shop this past weekend and my image files as customer, blogger, and appreciator. The digital camera was in hand, but the fluorescent lighting does not cooperate in the scheme of good photos. Regardless, it’s at the antiques shop show time.
I hope I included something for everyone. The furniture and accessories at Hopefully Classic Antiques is not locked solely into one particular period or style which broadens the field of selection for all tastes.
I find it fascinating to read the traditions of fellow internet friends from far and near. I’ll never forget walking into my first cousin’s home for the first time after he was a married father of two (you know, as adults). I no more stepped into the house and made eye contact with him when he shouted out to me with pointed hand and question, “Hey, does Santa Claus leave the gifts under the tree wrapped or unwrapped?”
Ah. The great wrapped vs. unwrapped debate. His wife comes from a long line of Santa Claus wraps. In our family, Christmas Eve was for wrapped gift exchanging, and Christmas morning was reserved for the unwrapped Santa Claus extravaganza. It seems silly, the great debate over wrapped or unwrapped Santa Claus, but who am I to argue with tradition?
The only heat this summer I remotely can handle is that of the oven. It’s too hot to be outside if you don’t have to be, but when you have to be it zaps the life out of ya! The summertime tradition passed down in our family is a simple piece of advice- cook early, stay cool late. I do make an exception at any time of day for old fashioned Southern tea cakes.
This old fashioned Southern tea cakes recipe and family traditions favorite has been handed down through the years, and it means the world to me on many levels. I like what a tea cake signifies. A simple, classic and unpretentious taste of home. I like to think that’s how I roll. Speaking of rolling- these tasty babies require a roll out. I swear the goodness is in the roll. Here is the aged, index card recipe from which I have baked many a tea cake.
Old Fashioned Southern Tea Cakes
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour; sifted
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter or shortening
1 cup sugar
1 unbeaten egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup thick sour cream or buttermilk
Sift flour once before measuring. Combine flour, soda, and salt together. In separate bowl, cream together butter or shortening, sugar, egg, vanilla, and nutmeg. Mix on high speed for two(2) minutes. Add sour cream or milk and mix until blended. Next, add dry sifted flour mixture to wet ingredients and hand stir until all ingredients are blended together and reach the consistency of biscuit dough.
If a softer tea cake is desired, add 1 teaspoon baking powder to dry ingredients.
Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough on lightly floured board to 1/4″ thickness. Cut out in round shapes with cookie cutter or good old dependable jelly glass. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Makes 2½ dozen tea cakes.
I’m thinking iced tea and a Tea Cake is what’s for dinner tonight. I know it is not the ideal dinner, and the calorie count is probably not the desired way to keep the figure slim and trim, but the kitchen will be cool and the old fashioned Southern tea cakes recipe and family traditions memory will warm the heart.
This recipe for Pepper Steak is a house favorite. A pepper steak recipe is nothing new, but a time saving one does become a cook’s friend. I like this version because it is both a time saver and crowd pleaser. I’ll take a shortcut in my recipes if taste is not compromised. This recipe is a prime example- I use powder options (garlic,onion) in lieu of dicing, mincing, and slicing.
Chopped onions and garlic in a jar is an excellent option, but when the freezer/fridge is void of these grab the powders. Let me share the Places In The Home pepper steak recipe with you.
Places In The Home Pepper Steak
1 2lb. package round or cube steak
2-3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil thinly coating bottom of skillet for browning steak
3 large bell peppers washed, seeded, and sliced
1½ ~ 2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper or to personal taste
1 ½ ~ 2 tsp. garlic powder or minced
1 ½ tsp. onion powder
dash Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. hot sauce, optional
¾ tsp. basil
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 large can tomato sauce
½ cup water
Add oil to skillet and heat on medium high to high. Add steak to heated skillet and brown on both sides. While in the browning process add salt, pepper, garlic and onion to the meat.
When meat is lightly browned, add the sliced peppers. Cook the meat and peppers until browning is complete. Reduce heat to medium. Pour tomato sauce followed by the water into skillet, stirring to blend all ingredients well.
Next, add Worcestershire sauce, optional hot sauce, nutmeg and basil. Stir well and cover with lid propped up on one side allowing steam to escape.
Reduce to medium low and cook until steak is tender.
My parents arrived safely home from their trip to Knoxville, Tennessee. Dave the Builder and I stayed behind to keep the home fires burning, but I put in my order pre trip for a few items. We live in retail deficient area, and we can’t wait to hit the stores, outlets and shops when we are in bigger cities.
Knoxville offers a large range of all the aforementioned sources. My mother can sniff out a bargain with the best of them, and she loves the hunt. She called me several times from different stores reporting and confirming success.
Ten years ago we stumbled upon Chintzy Rose, an antique and vintage shop and tea room in Knoxville. We spent almost four hours in the shop. In that time we met new friends, enjoyed lunch, and purchased enough inventory to load up our Ford Excursion from end to end. We had to rent a U-Haul trailer to get it all back to Louisiana. No vacation is every exempt from turning into a buying trip. My mother called me Monday afternoon from Chintzy Rose, totally embracing her role as my antique picker. She selected a painted vintage mirror and two hobnail milk glass bowls.
A milk glass bowl epitomizes yesteryear, but can also be very current because of the fresh, clean, and crisp white color. Deep jewel tones or the cinnabar, pumpkin, and earth neutrals of fall tablescapes pair well with a white bowl. White emphasizes the dominant colors, and it stands on its own as the standout pop of color.
I’ll take the mirror and the bowls to the antique shop, put the notecards to good use, and keep the dessert plates and appetizer bowls for myself. That is the fun part of this thirteen year treasure hunt I’ve found myself on. I get to experience and provide the thrill of the hunt. I get to keep, share, and sell the treasures we find. We get to meet people who become friends, travel, and make memories we will never forget.
Temperatures, spirits and retailers all point to fall’s arrival. As a girl’s thoughts turn to fall home decor ideas so does the search for seasonal home decor items. Perfectly timed with the first day of fall, the Williams-Sonoma email I received this morning showcases fall colors, textures and patterns. Inspiration is everywhere, and the sights and sounds of fall make it very easy for this girl’s thoughts to turn to fall home decor ideas.
An aromatic dried Lavender bunch knows no season and is a visual goodie all year long. Dried Lavender bunches bring forth the ooh la la fragrant factor.
Lately I’ve found myself growing more and more inspired to tackle a DIY twig & branch chandelier. I have a candle chandelier at the shop that I believe is the perfect canvas for my art interpretation or disaster. Hopefully it goes in the interpretation direction.
Covering the chandelier in its entirety with twigs and branches and perhaps painting it with spray paint is what I’m initially thinking. Color may lock the fixture into a specific palette, and leaving it in a natural state may better serve its purpose for fall and winter decorating. Keeping the fixture as a candle holder will make it holiday worthy and allow me to change the candles out to coordinate with seasonal colors.
As I was cleaning out the refrigerator over the weekend (this girl really knows how to throw down a good time!) inspiration struck. My antique dough bowl has been used to house everything from magazines to fresh cut greenery, but oddly has never come in contact with dough. I retrieved it from the man cave coffee table, removed the magazines and remotes, and placed the veggies in it. It made both a pretty display and a pretty picture. A fall arrangement of pumpkins and squash, eggplant, mustard greens, red onions and snap beans awaits. I love an edible arrangement, and the vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables make great subjects for displays.
I’m looking forward to the crisp fall temps, being able to hear the high school bands performing at the local Friday night football games from our front porch, and the home decor offerings of this wonderful time of year.
Oh my decorating & designing goodness, this kitchen remodeling project was a doozy! Our home is my childhood home and I realize I’ve gone full circle in my house to home life. Familiarity and fabulous memories from the past, the nail & hammer present, and the next generation future offers a comfort we can, and are, easily living with. Design tweaks, adjustments, and repurposes have been met and mastered.
Eight foot ceilings I love to hate have been embraced, especially when the architect gave us his bid on raising these puppies two feet. Heavy, and I mean h-e-a-v-y five figures later- that’s a big negatory! Please excuse the fact that I can’t help myself with the homage to Convoy. Casey Kasam’s Classic American Top 40 is on the radio. Between the before pictures and the tunes I’m swimming in the 70’s.
The kitchen is a multipurpose high traffic area of the home and ours is no different. When my parents built the house in 1965, the kitchen was a design marvel among the ranch house set. It underwent two decor remodels that simply did not stand up to the test of time or design. When we took our first real look at the kitchen as the present homeowners, we realized this space needed some space. To give you some idea of what we were working with, I am posting before and way,way before pictures of the space in question.
First order of demo was to take down the wall at the end of the first picture of me and my paternal grandparents. Immediately after first demo we tore down the breakfast bar, broom closets, and cabinet built ins shown in the second picture of a dinner with family, our preacher, and his wife. My thought process was to incorporate the formal dining room. I’m all about removing walls to open up a space. We are picture deficient of the demo process. Just imagine dirt, dust, and chaos.
We salvaged, saved and strategically placed existing cabinets in with purchased solid wood prefabricated cabinets. We took the door and drawer fronts off both the old and new cabinets. Dave the Builder ordered 60 MDF cabinets doors and 29 MDF drawer fronts. Dave primed all with oil base KILZ interior oil stain block and primer from Lowe’s. The cabinetry color is a standard favorite of ours, Sherwin-Williams Pure White. The wall color is Sherwin-Williams Anjou Pear. Counter tops were born by sheeting the new cabinet tops with 3/4 ” CDX plywood as the base. I selected MS International 12″ square granite tiles for the counter tops. For the backsplash we went with 12 X12 ceramic paired with 6″ copper half round rope metal molding wall tiles.
Slab granite was definitely a consideration, but the $$$ difference between the two is money we can spend elsewhere. Dave won the “discussion” of bull nose vs. wood trim for the counter top front edging.
The Sub-Zero refrigerator was moved from our previous home and repainted to match the new cabinets on site. A casing was built to house the refrigerator to match the new cabinets. There were several left over cabinet doors. Dave repurposed the doors as side casing decoration, adding them to the refrigerator casing.
We removed the original windows and installed Pella replacement windows from Lowe’s. I knew from the get- go I wanted 13″ X 13″ ceramic floors with the tiles laid diagonally, and I am thrilled with the result. I was adamant the original Baccarat crystal chandelier my mother selected forty years ago fit into the overall look. The breakfast area chandelier is from Lamps Plus, and the pendant light from Home Depot.
Amerockcabinet hardware was purchased on clearance from Lowe’s. Let’s build something and save money while doing it together, Lowe’s! Both the corbels framing the window above the sink and the ceiling medallion were purchased from Wish I Had That. And now, without further ado, may we present a preview picture of our new kitchen.
Click on the picture to begin the updated kitchen remodeling project tour
I’ve been cheating this week. Not at games, on my taxes, or on Dave the Builder. I’ve “cheated” in a culinary sense for three excellent reasons, imo.
1. My parents are on vacation in East Tennessee which cuts the diners by two.
2. It is just too hot to cook, let alone eat heavy meals.
3. I’m a one pan, two bowls kind of girl.
We have been busy worker bees this past week in and out of the house. I get in the groove of my routine and before I realize it ten o’clock is staring back at me from my computer monitor. Eight o’clock is about the latest I will push serving dinner, and it’s a struggle to meet that deadline most nights. Today was my pseudo secretary day for my brother (the family that works together…) and I was still typing contracts at eight o’clock. The sounds of the seventies were cranked up in the background, and as some Southern rock anthem played it served as the catalyst in helping me decide tonight’s menu. It’s amazing where your dinner ideas will come from.
Dave the Builder stirs the pot!
Grits are comfort food central for us. I bring about two cups water and one cup milk to a boil. I don’t measure the grits but stop pouring them out of the box and into the pan when the whisk hits resistance. I give them a constant whisk until desired thickness is reached. The bowls, butter and pepper are standing ready. You’ve got to move relatively quick with grits to avoid over thickening. Tonight we dined on grits in their natural state (butter is a natural state, isn’t it?), but the add on options are many. A few of our favorites are shrimp, green onions, bacon, cheese, fried or scrambled eggs. I also substitute chicken broth for water on occasion.
With our Paula Deen proud pats of butter and a respectable Louisiana pepper content, we dined on quick, inexpensive and delicious hominy goodness.
Remodels, redos, and renovations are the three R’s ruling the past two weeks at Casa de Places In The Home. I’ve had a few things on the creative part of my brain (this could be trouble), and there’s no time like the present so here we go. Let me share a in progress preview pictures with you.
and now we have…
Are we having fun yet? You bet we are! More details and pictures to come. I have added the Our Home page with pictures of the spaces recently completed.
My Company Peas recipe continues to be one of my absolute favorites. The first “company” meal I prepared as a new bride thirty one years ago marked the premier of this recipe. It is still bringing in rave reviews from family, friends and company.
2 cans very young small sweet peas, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. Kraft cheez whiz
½ – ¾ tsp. garlic powder (according to personal taste)
¼ – ½ tsp. black or white powder (according to personal preference)
salt to taste
1 can tiny shrimp, drained
In a large saucepan, mix peas and mushroom soup together over medium heat. When heated through, add cheez whiz, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir well and reduce heat to medium low. Once the Cheez Whiz is melted, add the drained shrimp.
Allow shrimp to completely heat through over medium low to low heat, stirring to prevent cream ingredients from scorching, sticking or burning.