Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Heirloom Sugar Cookie Recipe

After trying out countless sugar cookie recipes, I have very happily settled with this one, 'til death do us part.

This is one of those recipes I have kept secret for years - with the intentions of passing it down to only my children when the right time comes around.

But that's just stingy...  & I've been feeling so thankful for the support I've had this past year.  {We're coming up on one year since I started Hayseed Homemakin'!}

So I'm letting go...  & passing it along to all of you, in appreciation.

Here it goes:

1 small box of instant vanilla pudding
1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
{I add a splash of milk if the dough seems too dry to roll out.}

Mix pudding mix, butter & sugar.  Add in egg & vanilla.  Mix flour & baking powder in a seperate bowl.  Slowly combine the mixtures.
I roll out my cookies {& all other doughs} on a Bethany pastry board- the best thing that ever happened to my pie crusts & cookies.  For cut-out cookies, like these, I want my dough to roll out at a consistent thickness... so I use an adjustable rolling pin.  Using cookie cutters, cut out your cookies & place them on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.

Bake these cookies @ 350 degrees for 6-7 minutes, depending on your oven {I don't let them turn gold at all...} They are the best when they are chewy!  They may seem like they're not done baking, but, after they are completely cool, they stiffen up!

A quick tip: I dust my pastry board {& the ball of dough} with mixture of flour & SUGAR before I roll the dough out.   

The icing recipe:
3 c. powdered sugar.
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
4 oz softened cream cheese
A little milk {small splashes until you've reached desired consistency.}

I hope you enjoy these as much as we have throughout the years... They are my go-to cut out cookies & I use them for almost EVERY holiday.

Thanks again for all of the support, I truly appreciate each & every one of you :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Field Fresh Fall Decor

Ryan & I were shooting our bows in the field the other day.  I wound up a little distracted {go figure} & came home with more than a sore arm.  Our Tahoe was filled to the brim with all kinds of nature.

I added field corn {tied with a burlap bow} & various "pretty" weeds to my twig wreath.  I keep these twig wreaths up year-round & change out the decor with the seasons & holidays.

I cut this field corn right out of the field & cinched it up with a little twine from the barn.  Again, I added a few pretty weeds to the mix & finished it off with a burlap bow.

I'm in love with the window shutter flower box Ryan built for me this week.  {Packed with more weeds, twigs, & dry hydrangeas - all from our evening on the farm.}

A swag of grasses, more weeds, field corn & again; a burlap bow {all tied together with twine.}

Thursday, September 13, 2012

June's 1st Birthday

As I started planning June's first birthday party, I initially planned on a cowgirl theme... Until I stumbled upon a flock of pink flamingos.  From there, the idea warped into a Junk Gypsy/yard sale/trailer park-cowgirl/equestrian theme.  June & I love the Junk Gypsy Co.  Those women are inspirational & our kind of classy. 

My budget stood no chance at keeping up with all of the ideas I had for this party... It's really not easy to fence-in wildfire creativity when ideas begin to spark.  But, I had to remind myself that this was a birthday party, not a wedding ;)  I really didn't have to buy much.  I have a little bit of a yard sale addiction... & quite the collection of thrifty finds in my basement.  So, this is my tight-budget version of a Junk Gypsy inspired party.

The party after sunset:

Instead of flowers, I made feather bouquets.  I used the green floral foam to secure the feathers.

I love big, chunky Christmas lights... I used pink on the table.
Giving new life to ordinary glass is simple with colored lights.  Most of these pieces come from old light fixtures.
I made pink "fireflies" in mason jars by wrapping a submersible LED floral light with pink tulle.
My brother's amazing girlfriend, Etta, has a beautiful collection of old jewelry. 
I loved these old brooches.
The lanterns we strung across the yard are the same lanterns we used for our wedding.
We even lit up the corn.
Etta's mom made this globe light, how neat is this??

Vintage Glass Garden Ornaments
My simple Bundt Pan Chandelier.  {The steps to make one will be posted soon.}

 & in the daylight:

I constructed this Tee-pee with long, narrow boards, vintage sheets & thrift store curtains.  A tee-pee was Etta's idea.
Country seating- hay covered in vintage sheets.
More of Etta's beautiful old jewelry collection.
I used my old {horse jump} standards to "frame" this table.

We served fried "fair" food.
I made this little "statue" by attaching a plastic horse to a brass planter {turned over} with silicone.  Then used pink spray paint.  & voila!
Vintage Pyrex dishes to serve up sweets for the kids.
The day of June's party ended up being rainy.  We had a lemonade stand on an old dresser too, but the rain got the best of that display before I was able to photograph it.  When the rain came & washed away all of the glam, it was a great reminder that it isn't all of the fine details that make the party, it's the company of good friends & family.  They were the ones who made June's day so special.  It ended up being a wonderful time, thanks to all of the amazing people we shared it with.

& a special thanks to Etta for taking a day to help me with a few ideas & a little thrift store shopping.  {I'm in love with her style & creativity!}
-Thanks, Etta!!-