How Do You Wrap?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A few years ago, I found this fabulous Christmas wrapping paper.  Red and white in various patterns, I loaded up on it.  Then, when I started wrapping, each person got their own pattern, and they even made their way front and center onto our Christmas pic that year, stacked together and tied rather neatly with twine.  This particular bundle was for my nephews.  



I just loved how something so simple, worked out so nicely.....and then I promptly, forgot. all. about. my glorious color coordinated, handsomely wrapped presents....

until

this year, I happened to be plowing through the front of my grocery store and was pleasantly surprised by this glorious array of red and white:


The hubs always says I am OCD, but if assigning everyone a specific wrapping paper and coordinating them is wrong, I don't want to be right!



Barefoot Contessa's Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

Friday, November 11, 2016

I recently mixed up a batch of this yummy cornbread to take a to a neighborhood get together.  I knew the main course would be a hearty chili, so I thought this might be a nice compliment, and IT WAS!  It was simple to make and turned out to be super moist and super flavorful too.   A winning combination all the way around!

Barefoot Contessa's Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread


3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 sticks melted butter
8 oz extra sharp cheddar, grated
1/3 cup chopped scallions
3 Tbsp fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced


  1. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. 
  2. In a separate bowl, combine milk, eggs, and butter.
  3. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry, until most of the lumps are gone. Do not overmix!
  4. Mix in 2 cups of cheddar, scallions, and jalapenos.  Set aside at room temperature for 20 minutes.  
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 X 13 baking pan. 
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan.  Smooth the top.  Sprinkle remaining cheddar and extra chopped scallions over the top. 
  7. Bake for 30- 35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. 
  8. Cool and cut into large squares.


Notes: When I recently made this recipe, I omitted the step of sprinkling extra cheddar and scallions over the top of the cornbread.  Instead, I used all the cheese and scallions in the batter itself and it was perfect that way too. 

I used closer to 4 Tbsp fresh jalapenos, and it was very nice- not at all hot or too spicy- and I'm not a super spicy type of person. Make your adjustments as you see fit!

Sweet Potato Casserole (Without Marshmallows)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

I have had and loved this recipe for YEARS!  It's a tasty sweet potato casserole that is perfect for this time of year.  And what's more, it's made without marshmallows, which sets it apart from many of its counterparts.   It's warm and sweet and special.  And it turns any meal into something special too.  

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 stick melted butter
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
Dash of salt

Topping

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans, crushed
1/3 cup flour
1/4 stick melted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease bottom of 9 X 13 casserole dish. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine first eight ingredients, then pour it into your prepared dish.
  3. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over the top.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes. 
Note: The Harris Sisters have been known to double the topping for this casserole to make it extra sweet, just like us!  Either way, you will love this recipe!




Nashville's October Flea Market: A Junker's Paradise

Thursday, November 3, 2016

If you ever find yourself in or around Nashville, TN toward the end of October, you must- MUST stop by the Nashville Flea Market for a peak around.  Though the flea market opens one weekend a month every month, anyone around these parts will tell you, the October Nashville flea market is the one to attend.  Vendors come from all over to pack the old fairgrounds with their wares and hidden treasures.  It gets BUSY, but it's so much fun.  There are new items, old ones, and everything in between, repurposed furnishings, plants and flowers galore, and so much more!  It's always a treasure hunt and always a good time. 


We have bought so many plants from the flea market- usually in the Spring.  All the local growers come out and set up shop there.  The deals are unbeatable.  Here's a look at these humongous mums. Each mega pot was going for only $12!  


We already had our mums for the season.  But that didn't stop us from taking a little time to smell the roses er, mums.   


And unlikely a place as it may seem, there are a ton of little picturesque photo ops here.  Here's me and the Babydoll from last October's flea market, parking ourselves on the rock wall in front of some giant letters that spell out "Music City".


And speaking of Music City, if you look around enough, you are sure to find some vintage Nashville treasure if that's your thing.  It IS my thing, so when we found this vintage Grand Ole Opry Fan Club totebag for a mere $5, I knew it was mine.  


Or at least I thought it was mine.  Lexi took an immediate shine to it right then and there and I didn't see it again the rest of that trip to the flea market. 


But moving on, let me show you what else we scored at the October Flea Market this year. My first purchase of the day was actually this pretty glass pitcher.  I have a collection of sorts of older pitchers.  And I really liked the look of this one.   The seller wanted $15 for it.  I offered her $10, and we settled on $12.  I used to always pay asking price, but not anymore.  The vendors are there to haggle.  If they can't or won't, they will let you know, and then you can decide whether you are willing to pay their price.  But it never hurts to ask for a better price.  All they can say is no.  And you are always free to walk away.  In this case, I scored a little deal and walked away with my pitcher too. 


Next up are these little Madame Alexander toys/ figures/ dolls.  I'm pretty sure they were once the toy giveaway with a happy meal of some sort.  No matter, I really liked the two with top hats.  I thought that they would be super fancy for the Christmas tree (even though they aren't technically ornaments). They are still the right size and will be perfect.  Then I spotted Pinocchio and Little Boy Blue and immediately thought of the vintage nursery rhyme themed Christmas tree that we display in Lexi's room. Ahhh, they were only $0.50 a piece and worth every penny to me!


One more...  I actually also bought the little scarecrow doll below and tucked him immediately into this little Halloween display at home.  


Speaking of Christmas ornaments, there was no shortage.  But I fell in love with this little Raggedy Andy ornament.  He's definitely old.  His little hat and pants are made of felt and he's still in pretty good shape.  I paid a whole dollar for this guy. :)


And here's why!  I already knew that Lexi and I had planned to be Raggedy Ann and Andy for Halloween this year.  So this little ornament will be perfect to help us remember the year of the Raggedy costumes!


I would say this is my favorite piece from this year's flea market haul.  It's a vintage soup tureen. Between the bowl, the lid, and the ladle, it is three perfect pieces of vintage goodness, and it screamed Thanksgiving table to me.  So I brought it home and instantly made a place of honor for it on the dining room table.  I paid a whopping $12 for this!  Unbelievable!


Vintage Little Golden Books for Lexi were $1 each.  


John found this doozy.  It's an old child's toybox, the likes of which they so longer make.   I love the circus theme, and that it's roomy enough to hold lots of toys.  This is going right to use.   It was marked $18, and we paid that gladly and ran with it.  


And since the Babydoll always seems to score big, here she is with her big purchase of the day.  It's a child's scooter- not old, but made to look so with covered wheels and pretty streamers for those handlebars.  It was $20 and so worth it.  As you can see, she put it to quick use.  


So there's a look at some of what we've been up to lately.  Most months, you will find us at the Nashville flea market, but always at the October event.  John has junkin' in his blood, which I'm sure Lexi has inherited.  And it seems to have rubbed off on me too!  It's a junky way of life, but we sure do love it.