"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, December 10, 2010

"The Dip"

Roasted Pepper and Artichoke Spread

Do you want to be famous? Well then I suggest bringing this dip to your next party. I frequently get asked if I am bringing the "Dip." I found the recipe in a crockpot cook book. But you can certainly just warm it in the oven. If I was stranded on a desert island I would be bringing this dip. No need for a chip just give me a spoon! Seriously, try it!!

1 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 c. mayo
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts finely chopped (I use my food processor)
1 garlic clove minced
1/3 c roasted red peppers chopped fine

Combine all ingredients besides the peppers. You can use your food processor. Once combined fold in the peppers. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can put in your crockpot on low for and hour. Or just heat and serve. I like to serve with pita chips and toasted baguette. Enjoy your new found fame, as you will be the hit of the party!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Merry Christmas Tree


I used potpourri I got from Target. Bows, beads, and ball ornaments (from the thrift store of course).  I need to keep my eye out for a cute tree skirt. Yes, the tree is fake, but I love it!!

No tree would be complete without homemade ornaments made last year by the Boys.
I also made a very time consuming paper chain from an antique book. I stuck with a metallic and cream theme and it really makes for a lovely tree.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Thrift Store Treasure

"Hi my name is Nicole and I am a thrift store addict."
    Okay, now that I have that out of the way. I have turned my love of all things thrifted into a little business. I am what is known as a "professional consigner" and I sell used, quality, and most importantly super cute clothing to consignment stores. I have been doing it for a few years now. Of course I pick up things for my family and myself. We spend less money and are better dressed than most people I know. But most importantly its really fun. Here is the treasure I found today at Goodwill (20% off women's clothes on Wed). An absolutely beautiful dress (I know its hard to tell with my professional iPhone photography!) sold at Anthropologie. You cant see it well, but it has the most precious velvet band around the empire waist. The retail price would be around $150-$200. And I scored this beauty for about $5!! I bet you can guess what I will be wearing for holiday parties.

     I also found some button up shirts and slacks for the Boys. One of which still had the tag from The Childrens Place on it. They will be perfect for holiday photos and activities. About $7 for all (less than the retail price of the Childrens Place shirt!!).

     So here is my advise for finding your own thrift store treasures. Find out if the store has a discount day. Like as I said above, at that specific Goodwill they had a 20% off all women's clothing on Wednesday. Try to shop on that day. Don't go into a thrift store in a hurry, you will need to time to "dig" for your treasures. Don't expect to find something fabulous every time you shop. I often stop by a few stores in one day and may not find one thing. Other days I may find a plethora of treasures. Its also a good idea to learn brand names and fabric quality. At most thrift stores everything is priced the same. The top from Target is the same price as the top from Bloomingdales. You can score really top quality clothing for a huge discount this way. Most of all just have fun and enjoy yourself!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Buttery Rolls

I just made these rolls today. Im so proud of myself. I am not much of a baker and have had many disappointing experiences. But since I found a bread machine from the Goodwill for $2, I gave it another try. Of course I sanitized it!! I used this recipe and brushed them with fresh rosemary and butter at the end of cooking. They turned out so beautiful!!

Bread Machine Buttery Rolls
1 cup warm milk (70-80 degrees)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar 
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour (I used half fresh-ground whole-wheat and half unbleached flour.)
2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
Add ingredients in the order list to your bread machine. Run on dough cycle. When dough is complete, divide into 20-24 portions and shape into balls.
                                         Of course I had my little helper.
Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 15 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees. Till golden brown.

As you can see just a few are missing in the bottom picture. 
Please excuse the iPhone photography my camera isn't working.

More boots!!

My second post about boots. I just really love boots! Especially ones with ruffles and cute girly details. And ones that are from Anthropologie (ehem....also on sale)!! Or maybe I am hoping my Hubby will read my blog and get ideas for Christmas. I know wishful thinking right? I guess for now I will just look and lust!!

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal

4 eggs
2 c. milk
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. applesauce
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
4 c. oatmeal
2 c. your favorite granola
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp cinnamon
 fresh grated whole nutmeg (it does make a difference!)
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 c raisins (optional)

Set oven to 350 degrees. Combine eggs, milk, oil and applesauce. Mix in remainder of ingredients. Pour into a 9/13" baking dish and bake 45 minutes or until firm. Serve with warm milk poured over the top. Its like eating a fresh baked oatmeal cookie for breakfast. It can be made the night ahead and baked in the morning for those of us who aren't morning people. 

My Mom always made us a homemade breakfast. I don't ever remember having cereal as a child, except on our birthday, we had the privilege of picking out our very own "junk" cereal. This is my version of Her baked oatmeal. Enjoy!!