Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm Simply Tickled Pink!

Thank you, thank you to Savannah at Pitter Patter and Amy at Pretty Little Presents for giving me a blog award! It's so much fun, and silly as it is, it kind of made my day! There are some stipulations to this award though, and I am much obliged to fulfill them! These were my directions:

Here are the rules:
~thank the person who nominated me for the award
~copy the logo and place it on my blog
~link to the person who nominated me
~list 7 things people may not know about me
~nominate 7 creative bloggers
~post their links
~leave a comment on each

Here are my Kreativ Blogger nominees:

Annie's Eats: This blog is becoming a go-to for me when I need a delicious, yet unique recipe. The blog is laid out in lovely way, and each recipe has some special flare to it. It makes me hungry just looking at it!

Nesting Place: This blog has wonderful ideas to spruce up your home. It features crafts (that don't look crafty) and other easy do-it-yourself ways to make your house look like a home.

Katy Elliot: I love how crisp and clean everything looks in this blog. Katy has elegant, yet simple and understated taste, so everything looks extremely polished. She also has recipes and other fun tidbits that will have you searching her blog.

Design Dazzle: I don't have children, but if I did, they would have the coolest bedrooms and parties around because I would find my ideas here. Although this website has really fun children's rooms, it also has some creative party ideas that can be translated to an adult setting. It also has the DIY projects that we all love!

Under a Paper Moon: I love the quirky photos, fashion and finds on this blog. There are lots of fun tidbits, and you are sure to find what you are looking for.

Pewter and Sage
: This blog provides more inspiration for festive home decorating. I enjoy looking through all of her various home pictures!

Centsational Girl
: This blog has lots of home improvement ideas. Each is seems like they could be easily achieved with a little work. Did I mention that she likes to work on a budget... now that's my kind of style!

And Here are Seven Things You May Not Know About Me:

1. My blog's name is named after my Grandpa. When I was trying to think of a name, I kept thinking and thinking. I called my grandpa Poppy, and they have become my favorite flowers. So, I went with Pink and Poppy. And on a side note, I teach English, so I liked the alliteration of pink with the poppy. My favorite color is really blue. :)
2. I am absolutely obsessed with Disney World. I have been there nineteen times (twenty soon!) I got engaged at Disney World, and I could pretty much write a book. Any questions; shoot them my way!
3. I have recently taken up bike riding. I am by no means a professional, and I will never, ever try to be, but it's fun to ride around the park or up to the grocery store. It's my little contribution to the environment. This summer, my husband and I want to ride the
Great Allegheny Passage. We'll see how that turns out.
4. I am a running coach. Through middle school, high school and even college I ran track and cross country, so it was a natural transition for me to continue to be involved in the sport. This year, I was not able to coach cross country because of KTIP (Kentucky Teacher Internship Program), but I'm going to do my best to coach track with my middle schoolers. It's so much fun!
5. Reese Witherspoon is my favorite actress of this generation. (Audrey Hepburn could never be topped of course as my all time favorite.) But, I think Reese is a wonderful role model with lots of talent. If she's in a movie, I'm sure to love it.
6. I'm an only child. I don't know why that is extremely significant, but I'm running out of things to say! I can entertain myself easily; I think that's why I like to cook so much. It's easy to be a one person job.
7. And last... hmm. I kind of have a slight shoe obsession. But I don't buy normal shoes. Well, I guess they're normal, but they all have a unique twist about them. The higher the heel or the more unique peep toe is right up my alley. These were my latest purchase, and the picture does not do them justice! They are Stuart Weitzman, but you know I did not pay full price; thank you Von Maur clearance shoe room!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bring the Outdoors In

A few weeks ago, there was a strong gust of wind, and it knocked the most marvelous branch out of a tree in our back yard. I tore it apart, and put it in a large hurricane vase that was sitting on a shelf in our living room. I must say it looks very festive. That got me to think about other things that were branch inspired. Here's what I found:

Gifts that Keep Giving

This superluxurious moisturizer is as good for your skin as it is for the International Fund for Animal Welfare: 100 percent of proceeds from Lush go to charity. $20.95 at Lush.
TOMS Shoes was founded on a simple premise: With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One. Using the purchasing power of individuals to benefit the greater good is what we're all about. These shoes are $54 at TOMS.
The Rainforest Site will preserve 2290.0 sq. ft. of land for each Silver Smoke Blown Glass Ornament purchased. $29.00
The proceeds of this platter and scooter go to St. Jude Chidren's Hospital. The platter is only $29, and the scooter is $49. These and many other items can be found at St. Jude.

The Silver Lining Ornament is only $10, and the Good to the Last Drop Earrings are $15. Both were made in India. It allows women to create fair trade products from their homes. This site features many other items. These can be found at Original Good.
The proceeds of this necklace go to changing the lives of women in developing countries. It is $85, and you can find it at Build a Nest. Many of the items are very reasonably priced.

My Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish

I think I will bombard you with posts today. Still computer-less, but Scott is still asleep, so I'll keep posting until he wakes up, and I have to do "real" things. At any rate, this is my absolute favorite holiday dish. It is kind of unusual, and I had never had is before. You see, my family (with the exception of me) is from the North. In fact, my grandmother had never made biscuits and gravy even though she was a phenomenal cook. So this southern side dish was off the radar, until I went to Scott's family's house for Christmas. His aunt made this pineapple casserole, and I could have eaten the whole thing. So this is how you make it. It's sure to please!

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • 2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple tidbits, drained, and 6 tablespoons pineapple juice reserved
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs (recommended: Ritz)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a medium-size casserole dish with butter.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Gradually stir in the cheese. Add the drained pineapple tidbits, and stir until ingredients are well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

In another medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, melted butter, and reserved pineapple juice, stirring with a rubber spatula until evenly blended. Spread crumb mixture on top of pineapple mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Compliments of Paula Deen, so you know it's good!

I Can't Wait!

The last time I was at the movies I saw the trailer for Blindside. I'm so excited that it's out now! Has anyone seen it, and is it good? It makes me cry every time I watch this!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

So Very Unexpected...

Last week, my mother-in-law made the best waffles ever. I usually don't like waffles just because they tend to be dense and not so crunchy, but these were amazing. The secret to their success you ask: Rice Krispies Cereal and corn starch. This morning I made them again, and once again I was impressed. So here is a tried and true recipe for the best waffles:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Rice Krispies
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat waffle iron to medium. Meanwhile, stir flour, Rice Krispies, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk egg yolks, milk, vanilla, and oil together in medium bowl.

With electric mixer or balloon whisk, beat egg whites in bowl to soft peaks. Pour milk mixture over dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Whisk in beaten whites until just combined. Do not over-mix; a few streaks of whites should be visible.

Pour 2/3 cup batter into center of preheated waffle iron and use back of dinner spoon or measuring cup to spread batter toward outer edges (batter should reach about 1/2 inch from edges of iron before closing lid). Close lid and cook until deep golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.

*Makes 8 7" round waffles, or about 14 squares.*

*I somehow ran out of vanilla without noticing but substituted cinnamon, and they still tasted (and smelled) wonderful!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thanksgiving Tabletops

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it is officially time to start planning how you will set your table. Here are some fun ideas that are sure to suit every palette.
These delightful images were taken from Martha Stewart, Country Living and Better Homes and Gardens.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fall Wreaths

Here are some wonderful wreaths to make any door ready for fall and Thanksgiving. I think any house would be welcoming with one of these beauties. :)I'm a sucker for berries. I think this is so pretty; I even love the colors.
Source Unknown
I love the pomegranates in this wreath. Williams Sonoma
Isn't this one lovely! Can't you imagine it on a door in a colonial house.
Country Home

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wish List: Perfect Porches

I know that this is sometime down the road, my I have been thinking about some things that I would like to find in my ideal home. The first thing that I thought of was a porch. We have a porch at our rental now, but it's just average, and I don't want to invest in fixing it up because we won't be staying here. So, my home must have a perfect porch. It could look like these:
It must have a swing, and the curtains are lovely.
Painted wood floors make it seem like an extension of the inside.
I love the pop of yellow against the black and of course the green!
This looks more like a back porch, but it would be extra fantastic if it wrapped around the house.
And how beautiful is this! It's complete with a vintage breakfast and a pup.... everything I need.
Photos Compliments of Under a Paper Moon

S'More Brownies

Who doesn't love s'mores? And who doesn't love brownies? Can't you imagine what a combination of the two would taste like? In college, my roommate and I made these delectable delights, and I decided to revisit them today. These are perfect to enjoy with your family and friends because undoubtedly, you will end up with marshmallow all over your fingers and face... but that's half the fun isn't it. Here's the recipe:

*6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
*1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
*2 tablespoons sugar
*Pinch fine salt

*Brownie mix... follow directions and ingredients from box.

*4 large marshmallows per brownie

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to temperature indicated on box. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch.

For the crust: Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the brownie mix according to package directions.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake according to package directions or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs.

Remove from the oven and carefully position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and preheat on low. Layer marshmallows across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (keep an eye on it, it can go quick), about 2 minutes. Cool on a rack, gently removing the brownies from the pan using the aluminum flaps. Carefully separate any marshmallow from the foil and fold away. Cut into 12 (2-inch) squares.

Photo Compliments of Food Network

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Question of the Day

My computer is still broken, and it is not getting better anytime soon. So, I am faced with a conundrum.... Mac or Dell? Those are my options. I love my Dell, but more often than not, I hear stories of failure and early demise. But, on the other hand, Macs are new and foreign territory. I have tried to use them only to scroll the mouse around for 5 minutes without getting anywhere. I will say that the Macs look much cooler, but their price tags reflect it...or maybe that's just my assurance it won't die in two years. I know that it would take some time to get used to though, so I could give it a shot. With my choices at hand, what would you? Mac or Dell?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Beef Stew

On a cold winter day, nothing is better than a hot bowl of beef stew. One of my husband's favorite dishes that I make is a classic stew. It uses the fairly inexpensive stew meat, but it cooks all day, so the meat it so tender when it's finally time to eat. Here is how you make it:
*1 pound lean stew meat
*1 onion (chopped in inch pieces)
*2 medium sized potatoes (inch sized pieces)
*3 carrots (1/2 inch sized pieces)
*1 beef bouillon cube
*1/2 bag frozen peas
*2 cans tomato soup
*enough water to cover the meat and vegetables
*salt and pepper to taste
*flour to thicken the soup
*Begin by cooking the meat through. I use a cast iron pot and add about a tablespoon of olive oil. While the meat is cooking cut up all of your vegetables.
*When the meat is cooked, add the 2 cans of tomato soup, all of the vegetable (except for the peas), and enough water to cover it all. Go ahead and throw in the bouillon cube while your at it.
*Let all of this simmer for at least 3 hours. You know the old phrase.... Set it and Forget it!
*45 minutes before you plan to serve your stew, add half a bag of frozen peas.
*15 minutes before you plan to serve the stew, add enough flour to thicken it. I usually ladle some of the soup into a coffee mug that has about 1/4 cup of flour. I whisk that and then pour it back into the stew. (Never add straight flour to your soups or stews! It will get lumpy!)
*Let it simmer fifteen more minutes to cook out the flour taste.
*Add salt and pepper to taste. (I usually add some garlic salt to give it more flavor.)

That's it. It's very simple, as I like it, and it requires very little effort. Don't forget some cornbread or biscuits to go with it!

And I would have taken a picture, but we ate it too quickly. :)

Curtain Call

Why settle for bland when you can have beautiful, bold curtains. See if you can spice up your windows with a lovely print.