Spinach Artichoke Pasta

Saturday, January 31, 2015

If you're a fan of Spinach Artichoke Dip - and let's be honest, who isn't? - then you're going to LOVE this pasta recipe. I've taken the idea for the dip and turned it into pasta sauce. Couldn't be easier! AND it's a great way to sneak some veggies into the kids' diets. Win win!


Spinach Artichoke Pasta

16 oz. dried fettuccine pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 stick butter
1 cup milk
10 oz. frozen spinach, cooked and drained
1, 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to garnish


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Cook spinach and drain thoroughly. Chop artichoke hearts. Set aside.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, butter, and milk to saute pan. Cook on medium-low heat until cream cheese is melted, stirring frequently.
  4. Add cooked spinach and chopped artichoke hearts. Cook for 1-2 minutes in pan until heated through and remove from heat.
  5. Season to taste. Serve over pasta. Garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired.

She Is Clothed with Strength and Dignity . . .

Friday, January 30, 2015

Today's Words of Wisdom: She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future. (Proverbs 31:25)

Powerful message, don't you think?

Source

We regularly post Words of Wisdom to our Facebook Page. If you're not a follower, you can find us here https://www.facebook.com/theharrissisters. Give us a Like for your daily dose of Harris Sisters Wisdom.

You can also find our Friday posts and many others on my Words to Live By Pinterest board so make sure to pop over there and start following for all the latest updates.

Budweiser Ain't the King of Beers for Nothing

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Budweiser, the Super Bowl isn't even here yet, and you've already done it once again.  Regardless of how cute, witty, clever, silly, or funny any of the other Super Bowl commercials are, you have already won.  



Caution, watch this one at your own risk- the tears are flowing here already.  But that's nothing new either.  Those clydesdales almost always get to me.  Add a sweet puppy to the mix, and I don't stand a chance.  Last year, every time the 2014 Budweiser commercial came on, my husband would quickly try to turn the channel or distract me because that one had the same effect. 




See what I mean?  Pass the kleenex, and play it again.  Budweiser, we love you.  Never stop making these commercials, ok?

Chickens in Sweaters

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Earlier this week, Country Living.com brought us an article that featured chickens in sweaters. While the topic of animals in clothing is not new to the Harris Sisters, I thought that this was just too good not to share.

According to the article, a sweater can keep a chicken warm during molting season and prevent picking as new feathers grow in. Also, it is typical for rescue chickens to be missing a lot of feathers because of stress and cramped cages. A sweater can help them stay warm while they adjust to their new surroundings. 

Source

Source

Talk about your fancy chickens! I wholeheartedly approve.

The sweaters featured in the article were all knitted, but as crochet is my craft of choice, I've located and linked below some free patterns for crochet chicken sweaters (in case the mood strikes you to whip up some for your flock).

Life Alaskan Style
Plum Creek Mama

The French Dog

Friday, January 23, 2015

When I saw this coffee table book the other day in a little shop in Leiper's Fork, TN, I was all over it. I immediately picked it up and started leafing through it.  And what I saw was nothing short of beauty. The French Dog features the most gorgeous photographs you've ever seen of the many dogs of France: city dogs, country dogs, lazy dogs, playful dogs, and everything in between.  The dog lover in me knew this was meant to be.  


Here is a look at some of the other images and quotes, but this is just a taste.  Trust me, this is such a magically wonderful book.  







We have traveled to Europe several times over the past few years, and it hasn't escaped my notice that Europeans definitely regard their dogs in a way we Americans do not.  Yes, we love our four legged friends, and they are indeed family to us.  But it's different in Europe.  Dogs are a part of the culture. They go wherever their people go.  It's completely commonplace to see dogs in the shops, the market, the cafes, bakeries, coffeehouses and pubs.  Businesses place dog bowls filled with water outside their doors.  It is completely accepted that dogs will be frequenting these places just as their owners do.  

And as I flipped through this book, I remembered some of the wonderful pups we have met in our travels to Europe.  Here are some of the photographs taken by yours truly of the sweet dogs that have made our travels all the brighter. 










If you are more of a cat lover, you are in luck, the same author/ photographer has also created The French Cat, and a trip to Europe will indeed confirm that cats are all around, just as much if not more so, than the dogs you see here.  Either way, these books are something special.  I think those of you who are also animal lovers will agree.  Enjoy!

This post contains affiliate links.

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

With the teams for the Super Bowl now decided, it's time to start thinking about your snack menu for the big game day ahead.  This one is a sure-fired crowd pleaser, combining spicy sausage with plump mushrooms.  But here's the rub, they sure do go fast, so plan accordingly.  :)


Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

3 Italian hot sausages, casings removed
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 large egg yolk

Olive oil
24 large mushrooms, stemmed
1/3 cup dry white wine

  1. Saute sausage and oregano in a large skillet over medium-high heat until sausage is cooked through and brown, breaking into small pieces.  Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage mixture to a large bowl to cool.
  2. Mix in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder, then cream cheese. Season filling with salt and pepper; mix in egg yolk.
  3. Brush glass baking dish with olive oil to coat. 
  4. Brush cavity of each mushroom cap with white wine; fill with 1 Tbsp filling and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
  5. Arrange mushrooms, filling side up in prepared dish.  (Can be made a day ahead, cover and chill.)
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Baked uncovered until mushrooms are tender and filling is brown on top, about 25 minutes. 


Notes:
This would also make an excellent appetizer for Thanksgiving Day, methinks.  

Granny Square Baby Blanket

Monday, January 19, 2015

I recently made this baby blanket for a friend's new bundle of joy. Her new baby boy's nursery was decorated in green and gray, so I thought a traditional granny square pattern featuring those colors along with some white would make a lovely blanket for the dapper young fellow. Turns out I was right. :-)


This could not have been simpler to make and it's easy to adjust for any size and colors that you want.



This particular blanket is 33 1/2 inches square, which can be used as a baby blanket, but then also as a toddler size blanket as the baby grows bigger (and that happens very quickly - I speak from experience). To recreate this blanket, you'll need the following:

Materials
Loops and Threads Impeccable yarn in Kelly Green, True Grey, and White (about 2 skeins of each color)
I crochet hook
Scissors
Tapestry needle

Note
dc cluster = 3 dc into the same stitch

Instructions
Round 1: Using your first color, ch 3. 2 dc into the first ch, ch 1. *dc cluster into the same stitch, ch 1* 3 times. Sl st to the top of the beginning ch. (4 dc clusters and 4 ch 1 spaces)

Round 2: Sl st in the next two stitches and into ch 1 space. Ch 2, 2 dc into the same ch 1 space. Ch 1, dc cluster into the same ch 1 space. *dc cluster, ch 1, dc cluster in the next ch 1 space* around. Sl st to the top of the first ch 2. (8 dc clusters and 4 ch 1 spaces)

Round 3: Sl st in the next two stitches and into the ch 1 space. Ch 2, 2 dc into the same ch 1 space. Ch 1, dc cluster into the same ch 1 space. Dc cluster into the space between the clusters on the previous round. *dc cluster, ch 1, dc cluster in the next ch 1 space. dc cluster into the space between the clusters on the previous row* around. Sl st to the top of the first ch 2. (12 dc clusters and 4 ch 1 spaces)

Continue with this pattern for all remaining rounds. Work two double crochet clusters into each corner, with a ch 1 in between them. Work 1 dc cluster into each space between the clusters in the previous round. 

When it’s time to change colors, cut your first color and weave ends. Join your second color in any of the ch 1 spaces. Continue the same pattern with the next color.

Border
Round 1: Using the same color as the final round of clusters from previous round, hdc around the entire blanket working 3 hdc into each corner stitch. Cut yarn and weave ends. 
Round 2: To create picot edging, join white yarn using a slip stitch  *sc in the next five stitches, ch 3, hdc in the first chain* around. (Note: If you would like to have a picot in each corner, you may need to sc more or fewer stitches between picots as you approach the corners.)

For the blanket shown, the color pattern I used was:
6 rounds of Kelly Green
2 rounds of White
2 rounds of True Grey
2 rounds of Kelley Green
2 rounds of White
2 rounds of True Grey
2 rounds of Kelley Green
2 rounds of White
2 rounds of True Grey
2 rounds of Kelley Green
2 rounds of White
2 rounds of True Grey
2 rounds of Kelley Green
1 round of Kelley Green (hdc border round)
1 round of White (picot edging round)





Strawberry Syrup

Friday, January 16, 2015

This syrup is a companion to our Overnight Strawberry French Toast Casserole recipe. It gives the recipe a little extra oomph. But, if you're short on time and can't make the entire casserole and syrup combo, the syrup alone is also a sure-fired way to jazz up regular pancakes or waffles too. Give it a try - I know you'll love it!


Strawberry Syrup

1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup water
2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
1 Tbsp butter

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to a boil.
  2. Stirring constantly, cook 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Mix in the strawberries. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the butter.
  5. Serve over your favorite waffles, pancakes, French toast, or crepes. Alternately, this versatile sauce also makes a nice companion to desserts, so drizzle it over ice cream or cake and serve with a side of whipped cream.
Notes:
If you prefer blueberries, give our homemade Blueberry Syrup recipe a try.

She Refused to Be Bored . . .

Today's Words of Wisdom come from Zelda Fitzgerald: "She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Something to think about!

Source
We regularly post Words of Wisdom to our Facebook Page. If you're not a follower, you can find us here https://www.facebook.com/theharrissisters. Give us a Like for your daily dose of Harris Sisters Wisdom.

You can also find our Friday posts and many others on my Words to Live By Pinterest board so make sure to pop over there and start following for all the latest updates.

Overnight Strawberry French Toast Casserole

Thursday, January 15, 2015

If you're already a fan of Baked French Toast Casserole, which is a great breakfast recipe to prepare the night before you need it and then pop in the oven to bake in the morning, you're going to love this recipe! THIS recipe uses the same concept except it incorporates a layer of strawberries and another layer of cream cheese filling. Wowsa!


Overnight Baked Strawberry French Toast Casserole


12 slices Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2, 8 oz packages cream cheese
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
6 Tbsp milk
2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
6 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup maple syrup


  1. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange half of the bread cubes in the dish. Set aside. 
  2. Mix together cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, and 6 Tbsp milk, and spread over bread cubes. 
  3. Spread 2 cups strawberries over the cream cheese mixture and top with remaining bread cubes.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Pour over the bread cubes. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, covered. Uncover and continue baking for another 25 to 30 minutes, until center is firm and surface is lightly browned.
  7. Serve with confectioner's sugar, maple syrup, or homemade Strawberry Syrup

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It is once again that time of year.  The sweetest of seasons, filled with candy hearts and chocolate confections.  Yes, St. Valentine's Day is drawing near to its annual return.  And for me, that can only mean one thing- seeking out the latest and greatest vintage find to add to my Valentine's table decor. 

And yes, as luck would have it, it would seem that I have found the perfect pieces to add to the collection for 2015.  Take a look at these sweetheart salt and pepper shakers.  I nearly did a back flip when I spied them.  They are shelf sitters too, but in this case, they came complete with their own little bench.  Fantastic!


And take a look at what they are sitting atop.  That's right.  I have also added to my pink depression glass collection for this year.  That's a cake plate made from the delicate glass that has survived these many years.  And now it resides with us.  I'm so happy to add it to the mix.  Incidentally, I do love decorating with cake plates, as they add height to your table displays.  This actually makes the third cake plate that I added to my Valentine table.  :)


And for those who haven't seen it before, here is the full tablescape in all it's glory.  Vintage tablecloth, lots of pink depression glass collected over the years, retro Valentine cards on display, as well as the newest pieces from this year tucked in.  


Ah, does this heart good, and just in time for the season where we "heart" all of our favorite things.  

Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup

Sunday, January 11, 2015

THIS soup is a winner. Make sure you give it a try on a cold and blustery day like today. It doesn't disappoint. It's tasty and it takes almost no time to put together. Plus, it's a favorite for kids. (Cheese? Yes! Broccoli? Yes!) What's not to like?


Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup

4 Tbsp butter
5 Tbsp flour
3 cups half and half
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 onion, diced
3-4 cups chopped broccoli florets 
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 oz cream cheese
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
extra shredded cheese for topping


  1. In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. 
  2. When melted, stir in the flour until mixture begins to clump. 
  3. Whisk in the half and half in very gradually until it all has been added and a thick white sauce forms.
  4. Add onions, broccoli, garlic, Italian seasoning, and cream cheese to your crockpot. Add the white sauce and the vegetable broth. Stir to combine. 
  5. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 4-6 hours.
  6. Add the sharp cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir until the cheese melts into the soup. 
  7. Serve warm topped with additional shredded cheese if desired.

Ambition Is a Dream with a V8 Engine

Friday, January 9, 2015

In honor of Elvis's birthday yesterday, I thought I'd bring you today's Words of Wisdom via the King himself. Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine. This Elvis quote simply means that if you want your dreams to go anywhere, you've got to rev them up yourself.

Source
We regularly post Words of Wisdom to our Facebook Page. If you're not a follower, you can find us here https://www.facebook.com/theharrissisters. Give us a Like for your daily dose of Harris Sisters Wisdom.

You can also find our Friday posts and many others on my Words to Live By Pinterest board so make sure to pop over there and start following for all the latest updates.

Champagne Punch

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

This recipe is such a winner; it combines two of my favorite flavors- orange and cranberry.  If you have any bubbly left over from New Year's, here's the best possible way to use it up.  Guaranteed!

Champagne Punch

2 oranges, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
3 cups cranberry juice, chilled
3/4 cup orange liqueur
2 bottles champagne or sparkling white wine, chilled
2/3 cup frozen cranberries, plus additional for garnish


  1. Freeze orange slices and cranberries for about an hour, or until frozen solid.  
  2. Meanwhile, chill punch bowl in refrigerator or freezer. 
  3. When ready to serve, combine cranberry juice with orange liqueur. 
  4. Add champagne, and float frozen oranges and cranberries in the punch.

Notes:

This recipe goes fast, so double it for much festive goodness.  I actually halved it for a small group, and we ran out pretty quickly.  

Garnish your glasses with some of those frozen cranberries, and enjoy!

New Years Closet Cleaning Tips

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Many people like to start organizing their homes in January as part of their New Year's resolutions.


We've brought you several popular posts on organization in the past and I'll link those below for your convenience, but I ran across this infographic the other day that I thought was just too great not to share. First, let's gear up with this thought:

Source

Many of us struggle with cleaning out our closets because while we want them to be neat, we also want to keep everything. Those two forces work against each other so strongly that sometimes we delay the task or just give up on it altogether. My own closet looks like its going to implode right now. Perhaps I should put some of these tips to work myself:

Source
I would note that for me, the "toss it" pile would be a donate pile for any item that is not beyond repair. 

As promised, here are a few other organizational tips should the mood hit you:


Hope these ideas will inspire you to get (and stay) organized in the New Year!

Sweet Honey Cornbread

Saturday, January 3, 2015

As the calendar rolls over to another year, I trust that you've had your traditional New Year's meal of black eyed peas and collard greans. This meal, of course, should ALWAYS be accompanied by cornbread.

This year, all three Harris Sisters and their families were in one location for New Year's Day, so we enjoyed this traditional meal together. We whipped up Misty's cornbread recipe to accompany the meal. It's not too late for you to give this one a try. It's super simple and it's got a "secret" ingredient that adds a little sweetness.


Sweet Honey Cornbread

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients.  
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients in the order listed.  
  4. Stir to combine. 
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in preheated oven.

Notes:

If you REALLY want to make your best endeavor to bake cornbread "the Southern way," try your best to wear an apron with a rooster on it whilst baking:


If you're interested in other tried and true New Year's recipes give these a looksee:


Happy new year and happy baking!

Be the Change

Friday, January 2, 2015

Be the change you want to see in the world. Something to think about if you've yet to set your New Year's resolutions.


We regularly post Words of Wisdom to our Facebook Page. If you're not a follower, you can find us here https://www.facebook.com/theharrissisters. Give us a Like for your daily dose of Harris Sisters Wisdom.

You can also find our Friday posts and many others on my Words to Live By Pinterest board so make sure to pop over there and start following for all the latest updates.