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Archive for August, 2012

Here I am again apologizing for such a long break between posts.  Tons of exciting things have unfolded over the past few weeks. My parents are coming back to Alabama for a job and my husband and I found and put an offer on a house. First time home owners is a scary thing to think about. I always thought we would be lifetime renters. But I guess it is the next step to becoming adults right?

Hurricane Issac dropped a lot of rain and wind on our city.  I am glad that it moved NW and passed us but I hate that New Orléans got hit hard again.  Living on the southern coast is hard but  you have to learn to deal with it.

Also, I got a new job working in a large retail store. I like it so far but it has only been a few weeks. The holidays are just around the corner so it will be busy and I will decide after that if it is the job for me. I really want to like the job I have. If that is possible.

Back to the subject of buying a house, I have so many things to do. I will need to paint 3 or maybe 4 rooms to start with and I need to decide on colors. I want to go light and airy but am not sure. Any ideas on color schemes would be great. Tell me your favorite colors! I am also looking forward to buying some new furniture. We don’t need a  lot of things but I want a bed room that matches. I have a modge podge of things at the moment.  Although it will be fine for a guest room. I have so many ideas and can not wait to know when I will be able to start the real work! Hopefully we will know by next week. So until then I will share a fun project with you. It will look so cute in my new home. If we get it!!!!

Coasters from Corks

If you are like me you probably save all wine corks. I always think, Oh I can make some really cute things out of them.

Well here is one idea.

You need about 19 corks (will make 2 coasters)

2 or more steel adjustable clamps ( any hardware store)

A good knife

A screwdriver

Ok look at your corks and decide where the center is. You can measure it and then cut. I just guessed and went for it.

Cut the cork in half. Be careful. If the cork is a little dry it will break. You don’t want to cut your finger off!

When all of your corks are cut, place them inside the clamps.

You have a big size range of clamps at the store so decide which is best for your use.

Now tighten the clamp so that the corks are good and secure and don’t slide.

Done!

Easy as pie and now you have a coaster that can handle hot pots, candles or glasses.

The possibilities are endless.

All right. it is time for lunch then I have to get ready for work.

I will keep you posted on the house! Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Until Then,

Wende

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It amazes me that as soon as August 1 shows up I fall deep into the warm awaiting arms of the Autumn season. I know that I live in the South and it stays hot here pretty much year round, but the short 6 years I spent in St. Louis, MO made me more aware of how wonderful the season can be.  I have said it before,  I wish I lived in the land of perpetual FALL. I am sitting here drinking a cup of coffee laced with pumpkin spice creamer and trying to decide on what crafts and recipes I want to start.  I am hopeless. I even have a roast with carrots and potatoes cooking in the crock pot. AHHHH, the smells of the upcoming season. Ok, enough with the longing. I will tell you about the fun I had making an old southern summer favorite. Boiled Peanuts!!! YUM!

It blows my mind that some of you have never had this delicious treat. But then again I am sure I have missed out on some wonderful treats too.  It is so simple and only takes time. I urge you to try this and I am sure you will enjoy them.

Boiled Peanuts

4 to 5 pounds green (raw) peanuts in shell*
4 to 6 quarts water
1 cup plain salt per gallon of water

I used my crock pot so I could cook them over night (on medium) and not worry about them!!

* Only use peanuts that are green (uncured). Not the color green, but fresh raw peanuts which are called green peanuts. The peanuts must not be roasted or already cooked or dried.


Preparation:

Wash unshelled peanuts thoroughly in cold water until water runs clear (removing loose soil and sprouts, stems, weeds, and leaves); then soak in cool, clean water for about 30 minutes before cooking.

In a large heavy pot, place soaked peanuts and cover completely with water. Stir to “settle” the peanuts.

Add enough water to cover the peanuts by 2 inches or more.

Add 1 cup of salt per gallon of water used. Other spices or seasonings (such as shrimp or crab boil, Cajun seasoning, chili powder, and other strong spices) may be added at this point, if desired.

Bring water to a boil and then reduce the heat and let the peanuts simmer, covered, for about 4 hours (may take longer), stirring occasionally, and then taste.

Add extra water as needed to keep the peanuts covered.

Taste again in 10 minutes, both for salt and texture. Keep cooking and tasting until the peanuts reach desired texture (when fully cooked, the texture of the peanut should be like that of a cooked dry pea or bean).

To check whether they are done, pull 1 or 2 peanuts out of the pot and crack them open.

When they are soft, they are done. If they are still slightly crunchy, they are not done yet, If they are not salty enough, leave them in the salted water and turn off the heat.

NOTE: The cooking time of boiled peanuts varies according to the maturity of the peanuts used and the variety of peanuts.

The cooking time for a “freshly pulled” or green peanut is shorter than for a peanut that has been stored for a time.

Remove from heat and drain peanuts after cooking or they will absorb salt and become over salted.

Peanuts may be eaten hot or at room temperature, or chilled in the refrigerator and eaten cold, shelling as you eat them.

The peanuts may be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one (1) week.

I ended up with 3 jars full!

Best eaten when still hot!!

These did not last long enough to make it to the refrigerator.  My Husband and I ate them up as soon as they were ready. I don’t make them often which is good because they make me swell up like a balloon!

Well this was a quick and easy one, and very much worth the time!!!

Until Then,

Wende

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