Sunday, March 27, 2011

Use Those Treasures!

I was watching the squirrels out my dining room window today
when I turned and looked into our china cabinet.
 There was my green wedding china and the blue Charlotte
china that DH buys for me now.  I smiled as I thought of all
the love in that china cabinet. 
I looked a little closer at the salt and pepper shakers and ....
wondered .....where in the world did I get those?  After a few
minutes of thinking about it, I'm sure I got them on vacation at
Helen, Georgia, over twenty years ago!  But I don't remember
actually buying them or the store I bought them in.  They have
been stored behind glass like this for over twenty years.  I've
never used them.  I'm sure it was because I was raising two
very active little boys and they were safer in the china cabinet.
Time to start using my treasures!  So I took out the salt and 
pepper shakers and decided to put them in action! But where?
I filled them with salt and pepper and put them right on 
the gathering room table!  Beautiful! 

After looking at them, maybe they are too big for the small
table.  I moved them to the counter where we set our 
dishes and fix our plates, now.  Yes, a better fit.
These are only salt and pepper shakers.  A simple thing. But
time is short and we shouldn't keep our personal treasures
behind glass.  Our real treasures are the people we love.
We should hug them every minute we can!  Laugh all the
time!  And smile when we use our pretty salt and pepper

Have a great week!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Coconut Oil to Homemade Graham Crackers

I've been reading about the wonders of coconut oil, but I don't
have experience  baking with it.  So, late one night while
looking for recipes to use coconut oil, I came across this recipe
for homemade graham crackers.  Graham crackers?  I just love
graham crackers and usually eat one sheet a day with milk.
When I read the recipe, questions popped in my mind. (Pop!)
Why don't they use graham flour?   Is there such a thing as
graham flour?  How will it taste with coconut oil?  What
kind of oil is in my box of store bought graham crackers?

So I looked at the side of the box....and there is was......
hydrogenated soybean oil....YUK :-(    That made me 
determined to make Homemade Graham Crackers.  They were
delicious!  The coconut oil made them moist.  And what flavor! 
They were so good!  They even made the milk taste better!

This recipe makes 30 biscuit sized crackers.  They should
keep in an airtight container for weeks, but we could only
keep them a few days before they were eaten.  Making the
cookies were a little labor intensive, but that was fun, too.
DH helped me roll out the cookie dough and cut the cookies
with a biscuit cutter.  I had to poke holes in the cookies with
a fork, but it didn't hurt me! Ha!  I hope you try these.  I just
can't say enough about how good they were.  No more store
bought graham crackers for me!

Homemade Graham Crackers

1  cup all purpose flour
1 1/4  cup whole wheat flour
5  Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1  teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4  cup coconut oil (chilled)
3  Tablespoons chilled butter cut into small pieces
2  Tablespoons honey
1  Tablespoon molasses
1/4  cup cold water
1  teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend together all dry ingredients in a bowl.  With a 
blender,  food processor or your finger tips, work in the 
butter and coconut oil until small even particles are formed.
(The author of this recipe prefers using a food process to 
do this and I will try it with one next time.)  If you use a
food processor, the coconut oil can also be chilled and the
blade will break it up into small pieces.  Otherwise, the 
coconut oil should be room temperature so that it is softer
and can be worked by hand or with a pastry blender.

Mix together the honey, molasses, water and vanilla extract
and sprinkle this mixture gradually into the dry ingredients,
tossing with a fork until the liquid is evenly incorporated.
Press the dough together into a ball.  It may be crumbly, but
do not add water.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for several
hours or overnight.   (At this point, the dough smells YUM!)

Halve the dough.  Let it soften for about 15 minutes.  Roll
the dough out to pie crust thickness.  Prick the dough all over
with a sharp tined fork and then cut into approximately 2.5"
squares  or cut with a biscuit cutter.  Transfer to a parch-
ment covered  baking sheet with a spatula, placing them 
very close  together, almost touching.  Repeat the process
with the remaining pieces of dough. 

Bake the crackers on the middle shelf of a preheated 350
degree oven for about 15 minutes or until browned (graham
cracker color).  If underbaked the crackers will not develop
either flavor or texture.  Transfer from the parchment to a 
wire rack and let cool completely, then store in an airtight

I work such long hours during the winter that I don't have
time to cook as much as I would like.   But I certainly do 
collect wonderful recipes from your blogs!  Thank you for 
posting what you are cooking!  Have a great week!

Lottie       (Please, pass the milk!)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Welcome Spring!

Spring starts small at My Blue Cottage.  It cautiously peeks out
to see if winter is over.
Then the buttercups trumpet, "Spring is here."
The snowbells jingle in the wind, "Spring is here."
The flowering quince proclaimed, "Spring is here."

Then.....I knew it was here......

on a drive in the country.....when I had to stop my car....

there.......... was Spring!

Welcome Spring!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The End of Winter

What a beautiful morning!

Tomorrow is the first day of spring and I will miss these early
morning views through the trees.

The trees are like old friends waving goodby!

Mostly, I think I will miss the winter sky.

Oh well....  I better go inside and start the day.

Hope you have a great day!                                    

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Growing our own food!

We have somehow already started our garden and plan to eat
as much food as we can that we grow ourselves.  But we didn't
have time to till up a spot yet, so we started in the flower bed.
We planted lettuce around the edge.  We had some of our lettuce
in our salad for lunch today.  I'm sure it was our imagination,
but it tasted really good coming from our little garden! 

Can't wait to see your vegetable gardens!


Saturday, March 12, 2011


We have many Mexican restaurants close to home, but we
love to take a drive out in the country and find our way to
Pancho's in Liberty, SC.

The food is fantastic!  It always is! 

Sometimes it's good to get out and let someone else cook!

 I just wanted to share one of our favorite places to eat lunch! 
Yes, it is a long drive, 46 miles round trip, but what a great
excuse to go for a drive in the country!

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Forsythia on my Mind

It's spring and everywhere I go I see bright golden blooms of
forsythias!  I pass by this lovely chocolate cottage everyday on
my commute to work.  I love the three chimneys across the top
and broad windows.  I especially love the white porch with the
chocolate brown color!  Then this week the yellow forsythia
bloomed! I had to stop my car and get out and snap this picture!
Some of my favorite bloggers have forsythia on the mind,
too!  Kelly at Tidy Brown Wren posts about how to start
a new plant by cutting branches and placing in a vase of
water.  Be sure to visit her.  And at A Sentimental Life,
see how forsythia can decorate  your home with just the
right container!

Everywhere I go I spy yellow forsythia!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's Spring Again

Spring is here and buttercups and flowering quince are in full
glory!  How wonderful to walk in the yard.   But it has been
raining for days and the pictures are coming out dark, so I
am linking to my favorite post about spring!  Enjoy!

Honey, I Shrunk the Bloggers!