Welcome to this weeks edition of W.o.W.

What’s on…..your windowsill this Wednesday?

Yes, I realize this is the same title as the last time that I did a W.o.W. post.  In fact, it’s been almost a year since I did my first one, but it IS different this summer!  
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Got these glass jars at a garage sale for 50 cents each. I love jars. Empty or full.
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Recognize the butterfly? It’s the same one from last summer. It’s been on my windowsill for almost a year now. My daughters cactus is still there, just a little bigger. It started to lean a little, so she propped it up with a fork. My glass bluebird, same. The jar closest to the cactus has an itty bitty white dove sitting on top.
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This morning my daughter put the little blue fish bottle on the sill with a sprig of lavender from our backyard. I think the fish bottle belonged to my grandmother. I also have scripture and encouraging words taped up there and in the little frame. I enjoy washing dishes. It’s a great time to pray and meditate, so I like having something to read posted there. I need to change it up so that it doesn’t just become part of the scenery.
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And last but not least, a tiny bird in a tiny ceramic nest.

It wasn’t planned, but each jar has something with wings perched on top of it. A good reminder to rise above the pull of the world.

Now, as someone who cleans houses for a living, I would not like to have to dust around this kind of clutter. But in my kitchen window it makes me smile, and I just live with the dust until I can’t bear it any longer.

What’s on your windowsill? Does it make you smile? Can you put something beautiful and encouraging on your windowsill?

Looking forward to August….

In August, Lord willing, I will be sharing our trip to NYC.  Total blessing from God!

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Some ice cream recipes….

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Our new floors and made over family room…..

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And hopefully a few simple recipes.

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Praying you have had a blessed July and are looking forward to August.  God is good!

Summer Sampler

Nothing says summer like homegrown tomatoes.

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Thanks to a sweet family sharing their garden’s abundance with us we were able to have tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers.

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Today we made salt and vinegar cucumbers, as my husband calls them.  He loves these and I love that he’s so easy to please.  He looks forward to having them.  So easy and so yummy.

Peel and slice cucumbers and onions and put in a container.  Pour equal parts vinegar and water over slices.  I use filtered water.  And salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate. 

We just eat these as a side to whatever we are having for dinner.  My husband has been known to eat them between slices of bread.  Mostly, everyone just eats them straight from the jar. 

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Another easy summer side is tomato cucumber salad.  Peel cucumbers and cut into cubes.  Cube tomatoes.  Put in container and drizzle with olive oil and a splash of wine vinegar and Italian seasoning.  I like to chop up some fresh basil and toss that in as well. 

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I love it when dinner is simple!  Clean, fresh, uncomplicated flavors.  Blasted Chicken, cucumber tomato salad,  salt and vinegar cucumbers, and sauteed mushrooms.  And Julia, I’m sorry, but I did crowd the mushrooms.

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It doesn’t get much easier than Blasted Chicken.  Yes, I know it’s somewhere around 90 degrees these days and turning on the oven is the last thing you want to do.  But considering how simple this is I’m willing to make concessions.  I’ll suffer the bit of extra warmth in the kitchen for this super simple dish. 

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  You heard correctly.  500 degrees.  You can use a whole roasting/fryer chicken or parts.  Today I used thighs and drumsticks with skin on.  That part is very important.  It must have the skin on.  For a whole chicken put in a baking dish drizzle with just a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Put in oven for about one hour.

For thighs and drumsticks, I lined the bottom half of my broiler pan with foil.  You could use a cookie sheet I suppose.  Bake only about 30 minutes. 

Don’t be alarmed if you see a little bit of smoking.  It’s just some splattering.  I usually don’t experienced that, but that’s what the range hood fan is for.  Right?

I love how this chicken comes out with crunchy, salty skin but locks in all the juices making a really moist, juicy chicken.  It should look very golden and crispy.  When you cut into it the juices should run clear.  Remember, at 500 degrees it doesn’t take long.

Of course there is always just simple sliced tomato with salt and pepper as a summer side.

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What are your favorite garden dishes? 

Sunday Ramble…..what we did this week

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Made a French onion soup casserole in the cast iron skillet.  Amazing!

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Played around with camera trying to capture pictures of steam. Yeah, I’m easily entertained.

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Watched an amazing You Can Overcome TV show on Wednesday night.

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Made cinnamon rolls with an orange sugar glaze because we had no powdered sugar.  I prefer a traditional icing but we made do.

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Enjoyed a most beautiful Saturday afternoon on the deck.  Isn’t God’s spring decorating amazing? Look at how blue that sky is! And those beautiful blossoms! Happy sigh….I love to be outside and just be amazed by our creator.
I read God’s word. Worked in my Exodus Out of Egypt workbook.  Made a meal plan and grocery list for the week.  Shopped the pantry first as we are trying to cut way back on spending these days.
Planning on starting a price book to help in this endeavor.

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While sitting on deck, noticed how much weeding and yard work needs to be done.

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So I went inside and made SCD Pumpkin Spice Donuts with Cinnamon Butter Glaze that Hannah could eat.  They turned out really well. 

How was your week? 

If I knew you were coming I’d have baked a cake.

So you didn’t show up, but I baked a cake anyway.  Sunday just seemed like a good day to bake a cake. I didn’t have to leave the house all day, which was a good thing because this cake took me the better part of the day to make. It’s not that the cake is complicated, it’s just me.

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For starters, I only have one of this particular size cake pan. But I love the size.  One cake mix or one cake recipe will make three of this size.  So take 25 minutes of baking time times three plus 10 minutes of cooling in the pan times three.

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Then I needed to make a double batch of frosting.  Whew! That’s a lot of powdered sugar, butter, and shortening.  And without a stand mixer, that’s a lot of beating with the handmixer to get a fluffy frosting.

Oh yes, and then I decided I should make a simple syrup and then use a fork to poke holes in each layer in order to absorb the syrup better. Not too much syrup, just enough to keep it moist.

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And theeeeen….I had to watch a YouTube video on how to make frosting roses.  But of course it took lots of time trying to find the right video.

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And of course there’s all of the cleanup involved afterwards. Don’t you just love the baggie turned pastry bag drying rack? A sweet friend made it for me for Christmas.

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And finally…….

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And I may or may not have put an extra thick layer of frosting on this cake.

Yum!

I had fun being creative in the kitchen.  I was going for a shabby chic/vintage look.  I also love the the look of a cake on a cake stand.  There’s something so homey and domestic about it.

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I bet you wish you would have come by. Well, maybe next time. Don’t worry, we were blessed to get to share it with friends. We didn’t consume the whole thing ourselves. Although I may have been seen eating some for breakfast. What?

This was a simple, homemade yellow cake with buttercream frosting.

Do you have a favorite cake? Please share.

Sunday ramble…..what we did this week.

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Took kids the kids to get their driver’s permits.  Yikes!

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Tore up the ugly, dirty carpet in foyer in preparation for selling our home soon.

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Watched spring burst forth.

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Created a Honey Ricotta Fig scone recipe. Yum!

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Tried a new method for hard cooked eggs. Hmm….

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Made a”Shabby Chic/Vintage” looking cake. 

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And a deep dish, stuffed crust, ham and pineapple, skillet pizza.  I found the recipe at A Beautiful Mess.

And with the help of my brother, scheduled flight to New York for my oldest daughter and I. She will be attending a summer intensive at American Ballet Theater. Exciting!

Next week, Lord willing……
Meetings for work.
Try making molasses scones.
Pay bills.
Make ham and scalloped potatoes.
Share a few recipes and other things here.
Shop for palm branches for Palm Sunday and Passover weekend.

What did you get to do this past week? What do you hope to do this coming week?

I hope you have a blessed week!

Stillmeadow Calendar, February

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Stillmeadow Calendar, pg 61

    “We can learn much from the wisdom of childhood. My friend Lois called out the back door the other day to see what her grandson was doing.  He was sitting quietly in the shade with his Teddy bear and the Siamese cat, Mrs. Murphy.  When Lois asked what he was doing, he said, “I’m loving, Grandma.  Jus’ loving.”  Grownups, alas, often do not take any time out for “jus’ loving.”  Life is so busy, harried, confusing. But we ought not to go through life like express trains.”
                      Stillmeadow Calendar, Gladys Tabor,  pg. 56