Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cream Cheese Pie Crust


1-1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 stick cold butter
4 oz cold cream cheese
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2-3 teaspoons ice water

This makes one crust, double the ingredients for a double crust.

Combine the flour, salt, sugar, cold butter, & cold cream cheese in a food processor.  Pulse the ingredients together, adding the cider vinegar & the ice water, until it begins to clump together.  Like this: 


Then form the ingredients into ball and flatten into a thick disk.  The less you work with the dough, the better.

I prepare a pastry cloth board by rubbing flour into the cloth, then sprinkling with sugar.  Place my dough ball in the center of the board, give the dough a heavy dusting of flour & sugar, then roll it out according to the size of the pie plate.  



Once I have my crust placed, I trim off the excess dough {leaving an inch or two to curl back under}.

I then use a spoon & my fingers to press & flute the edges of the crust.

*If I have to pre-bake this crust, I always place it in the freezer for 15-20 mins.  Then press aluminum foil into the crust & curl it up over the edges of the pie plate.  I always use ceramic pie weights!

Monday, December 19, 2011

a Simple Swag


This took less than 10 mins to put together!  I bought this inexpensive swag {had the typical red bow & pine cones} with the intention of adding my own ribbon & sprigs.  This is just the swag, six sprigs {from Michael's}, ribbon, tulle & lace.  I tucked in my sprigs {layering them starting with with largest & heaviest & working up to the smaller & wispy}, placed a couple of squares of tulle & lace in the middle, wrapped my ribbon around the center & tied a bow.  After I had everything in place, I just used small pieces of green wire to tack everything down.  To buy basic & add on can save so much money.  I spent less than $20 on making this {otherwise probably would've cost $40+ if purchased pre-assembled}.   

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Holiday Centerpiece Idea


I thought I'd share the centerpiece I made for a little Christmas "party" we hosted at our home this year.  Very simple!  This would be a simple one to re-create, yet make it your own!  Just mason jars {including my DIY footed Mason Jar Vase}, mercury glass, kosher salt, candles, ornaments, milk can with wheat, all on a pretty tray!  {I purchased this gold tray at Target.}  Try adding different colors, textures, etc.

a Country Vase


This is the same concept as the mason jar wine glasses, but a different look & purpose!  I use these like I would use a hurricane vase {with fillers, candles, etc.}

They are so easy to make!  I use the very large {2000+ ml} mason jars, a glass candlestick {with a wider bottom than the candlesticks I used for the wine glasses}, and a little clear silicone!

Using a caulk gun, apply the clear silicone to the top rim of the candle stick, center & place the mason jar, and let it sit for 24 hours.

My Apple Pie "Moonshine"


1 gal spiced apple cider
1 gal apple juice
8-10 cinnamon sticks
1-1/2 c. granulated sugar
1-1/2 c. brown sugar {I use light brown}
750 ml bottle of 190 proof grain alcohol

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot, except for the alcohol, and bring to a boil.
Remove the mixture from heat & let cool to room temperature.
Once the mixture is completely cool, add in the alcohol.
Transfer to sterile mason jars {I use 5 of the big 2000+ ml jars}
I also divide up the cinnamon sticks so that each jar has one or two.

The apple pie is ready for consumption!  {though, it gets better if you let it "mellow" for a couple of weeks} It can be served warm or cold.  But remember to drink this with caution!  For the amount of alcohol in this, you really can't taste how strong it is... It's too good & too smooth!

I recommend storing the jars in a dark, cool room.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dolled-Up Lampshade


I was looking for a cute lamp for June's equestrian themed bedroom.  I wanted something that resembled one of those huge, fancy hats women wear to the Kentucky Derby.  After browsing through my go-to decor stores, I knew I'd be on my own for this one.

I used a simple {yet pleated & pretty} white lampshade, a little ribbon, silk embellished flowers, feathers, & hot glue gun.

I have another lampshade waiting to be assembled.  As I work on this next lampshade, I will document & post the step-by-step how-to.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Easy Grain Sack Tree Skirt




This tree skirt is inexpensive, simple, & requires no sewing!

All it takes is a little ribbon {about 4 ft?}, scissors & 3-4 burlap grain sacks {more or less depending on how ruffled you want it to look; the more fabric, the more ruffles}

To begin, lay the first grain sack flat & trim off the two sides so the sack opens the long way.

Then after the grain sack is opened & laid flat {lengthwise}, make small 1-2" slits {depending on width of your ribbon} perpendicular to the upper edge of the burlap, every few inches {& about 3 inches down from edge}. 

So at this point you have a long rectangle of fabric with several perpendicular slits across the top.

Then you weave your ribbon through those slits & cinch it up...

Repeat the process, adding as many grain sacks as you'd like to get the look you want.  Once you've achieved the look, lay it around the tree & simply tie your ribbon ends together. 

My tree skirt took about 10 mins to make!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mason Jar Wine Glasses


aka. Redneck Wineglasses

I've seen these everywhere...& they are so simple to make.  Each glass is a mason jar, a candlestick, & a little clear silicone.

Wash the jar & candlestick.  Once they are completely dry, apply the clear silicone with a caulk gun to the upper rim of the candlestick.  Then center & place the mason jar on the top of the candlestick.  They are safe to gently move after a couple of hours; and to use & wash after 24 hours.

{I found the candlesticks at our local Goodwill store for $0.99/ea}

Farmhouse End Table


My sister-in-law handed down some old end tables when they did some remodeling in their home. We needed a way for these to fit in with our farm-style decor.  Ryan & I are both love reclaimed barnwood {he has made some amazing furniture with the old oak fencing at my parents' farm}, so we wanted to get that same weathered, rich look with these tables.


I used a gel varnish remover to strip off most of the varnish.  The contrasty barnwood look comes from not getting all of the varnish off, whatever is left behind will appear lighter when you apply the dark stain.  After the wood was dry, I lightly sanded the entire table {& heavily sanded the areas I wanted darker}.  I cleaned the wood with cheesecloth, then applied 2-3 coats of the dark walnut stain.  Once the tables were dry, I sprayed them with this clear, satin polyurethane, let them dry & added the new drawer pulls.  It was very simple.  I have another piece of furniture to "weather" soon, this time I'll photograph the process.