Preserving Old Recipes

Recipes Four years ago today, my grandma passed away. I’ve said it here many times, but she was a huge influence on me, both in and out of the kitchen. I have so many memories of her cooking, mostly sweets and treats, because that’s what grandmas do.

Recipes After my grandma passed away, we cleaned out her shelves and found a million cookbooks. She loved to watch cooking shows on TV and scribble down the recipes in notebooks like these. We even found a box of tissues next to her chair that had recipes scribbled on the bottom of it.

Recipes The only problem is, she literally scribbled them and some of them are a little confusing.

Recipes (She also wrote her Christmas shopping lists in and amongst the recipes.)

Recipes This is my mom’s cookbook. It was given to her by her grandma for her wedding. It’s so stuffed full of recipes that she has to use a rubberband to keep it closed. I keep telling her one of these days it’s going to go missing and turn up in my kitchen but she doesn’t believe me.

Recipes She has some recipe cards in it that were given to her by my grandma, like this one for Swedish meatballs.

Recipes I like that she wrote a little note on the back saying that this was one that my mom particularly used to like.

Recipes Since my mom wouldn’t let me have the actual recipe cards, I color copied them.

Recipes I got these frames for relatively cheap from Ikea.

Recipes I knew I wanted to use burlap to go in the frames behind the recipes, I just wasn’t sure if I wanted a lighter or darker burlap. (No, this is not a recipe. My grandma also used her recipe notebooks to jot down notes while she watched church on TV too!)

Recipes This is where I was planning on hanging my framed recipes up. It’s been like this for years, and I’ve never liked it. It’s way too bare and impersonal.

Recipes To hang the pictures I measured out how many inches it was from the center of one frame to the center of the other. Then I knew how far apart my nails needed to be. I started by using my laser level to make a straight vertical line up my wall.

Recipes Then using the measurements I had, I used the level to put up the rest of the tape lines. Then I just needed to hammer a nail in the same corner where the horizontal and vertical tape crossed.

Recipes Then it was just a matter of getting the frames hung.

Recipes I loved the way the pictures looked, but they made me hate that little shelf there in the middle.

Recipes I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do to replace it, but I knew that I didn’t really want anything else hanging on the wall. So I used my cricut to cut out this saying in vinyl and stuck it up on the wall. I absolutely love this poem, and I think it’s something that I want to always have displayed in my kitchen in some way. I’m thinking that maybe someday my grandkids will associate it with me.

Recipes I love the way the cards look in the frames.

Recipes And the copies turned out perfectly, they look just as aged as the original cards did.

Recipes It even picked up the stains on the cards from them being used.

Recipes Here’s what the whole wall looked like before. It’s a very long wall and it was hard to figure out how to decorate it.

Recipes But I think that it looks pretty fabulous now. And the best part is, that when I’m in my kitchen cooking, I just need to look over to the wall and I’m reminded of the long line of great cooks that I come from.

Rustic Picture Frame

Rustic Picture Frame I saw the cutest picture frame at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago. It had a 4×6 frame mounted on a piece of wood with some jute and burlap wrapped around it. I knew that I wanted it. I also knew that I could make one just like it for much cheaper than the $16.99 price tag.

Rustic Picture Frame So I went home and dug around in my scrap wood pile until I found a suitable piece of wood. I wasn’t sure how big I wanted the wood to be, so I made two pieces. First I painted them a dark brown. A dark wood stain would also work for this part.

Rustic Picture Frame I painted some cheap Ikea picture frames that I had leftover from a party the same dark brown color. I knew I wanted the wood to be chipped up with different colors showing thru, so I painted a coat of blue, and then yellow on top of the brown. I ended up with two coats of a creamy off white color.

Rustic Picture Frame Then I took a piece of sandpaper to it. I love how all the colors show through. It looks like its a piece of wood that’s been around for awhile.

Rustic Picture Frame To make it even more distressed, I thinned out some leftover wood stain and just sponged on a super thin coat on top of the paint. It brings even more texture to the wood.

Rustic Picture Frame I turned the wood over, and glued some jute near one edge.

Rustic Picture Frame Then I wrapped it around the front side and glued it again to the other edge. (On the backside of course.)

Rustic Picture Frame I just kept wrapping it around and gluing until I was satisfied. The original frame had a burlap bow, but I decided to do these rosettes instead.

Rustic Picture Frame Then I just hot glued my frame to the piece of wood. I know there are better ways to secure the frame, but I figured if I ever want to change the picture, using hot glue will allow me to pop off the frame easier. More permanent adhesives wouldn’t allow that.

DSC_0146a Speaking of the picture…. this is Tessie Mae. She was the bestest dog ever. We had her for 13 years before we just recently had to have her put down. It was a sad day around here, and I’m still not used to not having a doggie. :(

Rustic Picture Frame Anyway, I stuck the frame up on my faux mantle.

Rustic Picture Frame I think it looks pretty fabulous. And now, even though Tessie is gone, I’ll be reminded of her sweet face whenever I look at my cute new frame.

Painted Fabric Chair

DIY Painted Fabric Chair I have been looking for a sturdy chair to make over for a photography prop. While I haven’t been looking too seriously, every time I went to a thrift shop I’d keep my eyes open for something that basically had good bones, but just needed a little face lift.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair A few weeks ago I was bored and just happened to look on Craigslist when this beauty jumped out at me. I knew it was meant to be. Then it was just a matter of deciding what to do with it. My sis in law said she had a friend of hers who spray painted a chair to use for photography. So I searched spray painting fabric chairs and that’s when inspiration struck, in the form of this post. I knew that’s what I needed to do with my chair.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair I knew that I wanted to do the wood parts in white and the fabric in a bold blue color. So I started by taping off the fabric so I could paint the wood first. Originally I was just going to spray paint the caning and paint the arms and legs with a brush.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair But then I got the caning painted and figured why not just keep going, so I added some plastic sheets to cover up the fabric and went to town with my rustoleum can.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair While that was drying it was time to get to painting the fabric. Supplies needed are: one quart of satin finish paint, fabric medium, water, and a spray bottle.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair I had a hard time finding fabric medium. I looked at Hobby Lobby first, but they didn’t have any. The Joanns by my house had one bottle of this stuff, but I went to three other Joanns looking for a few more bottles because I knew I’d need them, but couldn’t find any. Finally I found two more at the second Michaels I went to.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair My paint color was called Sapphire Lace by Behr.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair To make the paint, I added one part each of the paint and the fabric medium. Then I added in water to thin it out. I didn’t use exact measurements, I just eyeballed it.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair Following the advice of the inspiration piece, and the fails that followed, I knew that I needed the first coats of paint to be very thin. It’s hard to tell here, but it really is thinned out a lot, it’s about the consistency of a thin stain.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair I started with the cushion because I figured that’d be the easiest. Per the instructions, I sprayed it liberally with water from the spray bottle.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair Then I just started brushing on the paint. It went on really splotchy and I started getting worried.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair When the white paint on the chair was good and dry, I taped off the wood areas so I could paint the fabric.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair Again, I sprayed it down good and then went to town with my brush.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair More splotchiness ensued, and right about this point I was starting to get worried.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair This is the back, after two coats and from this direction it doesn’t look too bad.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair But from the other side, the peachy color is showing thru big time. The fabric was a corduroy-like texture, so getting it in all those little ribs was super hard and I wasn’t sure if it would work.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair But, I kept going. And it got better. I did two really thin coats, and then I did a third and fourth coat that were a little thicker. Also, I made sure to press on the fabric while I was painting to get it in all the creases and around the buttons.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair After four coats of paint, it was looking pretty good.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair The back looked much better.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair So I peeled off the tape, and just needed to touch up a few spots where the blue paint bled through. Normally I’m super impressed with frog tape. It usually doesn’t allow for any bleeding at all, but I think that the first few coats were so watery, that it was inevitable.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair Once I got it all touched up, I was totally in love.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair It still has some of the splotchiness, but since I’m only using it for pics, I don’t mind. If it was sitting in my living room, I might care, but as it is now, I think it’ll be fine.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair Here’s some tips I learned from this experience…definitely wet the fabric down well. I think that helped the most with getting the paint onto the fabric. And make sure your first coats of the paint are thinned out well. Also plan on doing several coats. I think one more coat would have made it even better, but I was done and didn’t want to do any more.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair The texture of the fabric is a little coarse. I wouldn’t use this technique on a chair that I was planning on snuggling up in to watch a movie, but if you just want an accent piece that isn’t really going to get used much, this is definitely a quick alternative to upholstery.

DIY Painted Fabric Chair Here’s the before and after again….definitely a huge improvement! I can’t wait to use it in pictures. Any volunteers?

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread Around here we call this crack bread. Because it’s better than crack. Well, actually, I’ve never tried crack, but I’m sure that even if I had tried it, I’d like this bread better. My drug of choice is carbs. And bacon. And butter. And caramel. This bread combines all of that. It satisfies all my addictions. Let’s get to it….

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread Start by cooking up a pound of bacon. Do you guys bake your bacon? If you don’t you’ve got to try it this way. Just lay it on a foil lined cookie sheet and pop it into a cold oven. Turn it on to 400 and let the bacon cook for 20 minutes. Easy peasy. It cooks up nice and flat and you don’t have to stand there and get burned with bacon grease smatters. When the bacon is done crumble it up and set aside.

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread While that’s cooking, crack (I toldja: crack!) open your cans of biscuit dough.

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread Slice those biscuits into quarters.

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread Place some sugar and cinnamon into a Ziploc bag. Then stick your biscuit pieces in there and toss it to coat ‘em well. Set these aside.

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread While you’re getting your bread all cinnamon-sugary, melt some butter in a small saucepan.

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread Add in some brown sugar. (We’re making caramel here.)

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread When the sugar is melted, stir it all to combine. Then add in some vanilla.

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread Sprinkle some bacon crumbles into a greased bundt pan.

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread Then top with some of your coated biscuit dough. Then just continue to layer the dough and the bacon.

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread Pour the caramel syrup on top of the dough.

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread Pop it into the oven and cook until it’s baked through.

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread When it’s done, let it cool for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a platter. Be careful, the syrup will be really hot and can burn! I speak from experience here.

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread MMMmmm! Caramelly, bacony goodness. Seriously, better than crack!

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread This is perfect for breakfast on a lazy weekend morning. Or take it to brunch. But be forewarned, whoever you serve this to, will soon start to demand it for every occasion.

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread Just make sure you’re first in line, because before you know it, your plate will look like this…

Sticky Bacon Monkey Bread Here’s the printable….stickybaconmonkeybread

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