Monday, June 29, 2009

Simple Table Treasure

A recent treasure hunting trip to our local Goodwill Thrift Store, produced an exciting find. This little pedestaled, wooden table had so much potential. And right in my price range. Home with me, it came!

The glass top was easily removed to reveal the wood. I sanded the whole table with fine sandpaper, to prepare it for painting. A coat of spray primer paint in black, followed. Then several thin coats of spray paint in black eggshell finish completed the job.

Once dry, I brought the table in, cleaned the glass top, and
made a display on the table top. I had purchased a 12x12 scrapbook paper of a vintage map to use as the mat. Then layered on vintage looking travel mementoes including a ticket stub, train schedule, trunk card, postcard, and even a pressed flower from our recent trip to California. Carefully settling the glass top back in place, I stepped back to view my project vision come true! This nice conversation piece table now resides in our family room, and makes me smile everytime I see it. I will be able to easily remove the glass and change out the display at any time, too.

Goodwill is a great place to find 'junk' that is just waiting to be made over into a Simple Treasure. Enjoy hunting and creating!

Simply Special Chocolate Cake

Who doesn't LOVE chocolate cake? And cheesecake too?! Surprise Cake has a bit of both! So easy to's how: Stir up a chocolate cake from any mix, following the package directions.

In a separate bowl, cream together: 8 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used low fat,) 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 egg.

Fill greased cake pans with 2/3 of the cake batter (I used 2 round ones to make 2 one layer cakes...a nice way to have one cake for home, and one to share with a friend). Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the batter in a random way, for a pretty pattern. Then spoon the remainder of the cake batter over the cheese filling. Bake at 350 til the top springs back when poked and a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean.

After a bit of cooling and removing from cake pan onto a pretty plate, serve slightly warm with a shake of powdered sugar over the cake and plate. Also great with a dollop of whipped cream. Must refrigerate remaining cake.

This cake was so easy, makes a pretty presentation, and is so so good. Very moist and not sickeningly sweet. Simply delicious! Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Simple Style

Recently I decided that our living room is great for fall and winter, but the colors are alittle heavy for spring and summer. Wanting to spruce it up a bit, yet not wanting to spend much, I looked online for ideas. Making or recovering our living room pillows seemed like the best idea.

Our sofa pillows came with the sofa and are dark greens and browns. I decided to cover them with a removable pillow cover made from fabric napkins. I found some designer napkins on clearance for $1.99 each, plus some coordinating light taupe napkins on sale. Stitching the wrong sides of the napkins together by hand, and leaving the bottom open, allowed me to pull it over the pillow with some velcro closers at the bottom.

Then I took the light taupe napkins, folded them, machine stitched the ends, and made fiber fill rolls to go inside the napkin envelope. I tacked the open edges together, and found large buttons from my grandmother's button box to decorate the front.

They are cute, they coordinate, and they lighten up the dark furniture for the summer/fall. Plus it is fun to know that they each only cost me about $3 and that I made them out of a repurposed fabric napkin. I'm sure there are LOTS of things that can be made from fabric napkins, fabric placemats, and kitchen towels. I even saw a really cute tote bag/purse made from cute kitchen tea towels. No hemming necessary...that makes it quick!

Enjoy...and let me know if you make something simple and sweet too!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Simple Scones

Scones are a delicious treat usually made from flour, butter, buttermilk, and a few other ingredients. Traditional scones are very tasty, but tend to be a bit dry and dense. While on vacation in California, I ordered a Lemon Scone at Jeanine's Bakery in Montecito. What a wonderful surprise! This scone was tender, moist, and delish! It tasted more like a sweet biscuit than a traditional scone. So once at home, I decided to try to replicate that kind of scone. And surprisingly, I've had good results with very little experimentation. Below is my recipe for a Simple Scone that will be tender, moist, and amazing.

2 1/4 cups Bisquick
2 T. sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup light sour cream

Mix just until moistened, adding additional milk if the mixture isn't soft and sticky. If you want to add a flavor such as lemon or fresh fruits such as strawberries or blueberries, do that now. Chocolate chips would also be good!

Drop by large spoonful into 2-3 inch scones on a greased baking sheet or parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10+ minutes, until lightly brown on top. Cool for 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve on a pretty plate with coffee, tea, or milk.

Mock devonshire cream is very tasty on top of a scone...mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and alittle sour cream together for this tasty topping.
Scones are great for breakfast, a coffee date, or at anytime for any occasion. The best things in life are often the enjoy Simple Scones soon! Happy Summer~

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