Friday, June 29, 2012

Currently...


Loving: 
My summer schedule. I get to wake up, get Alec's lunch packed and his breakfast made, then go back to bed for a few hours. After that I make myself breakfast, blog, and then have about 45 minutes to do whatever I want. This week I've used that time to bake, make homemade applesauce and watch TV. Then, I mosey on down to work for 8 hours and I just love the slow paced summer days.

Thinking About:
This weekend. I've got more plans than usual this weekend and I'm excited for a busy few days.

Anticipating:
The arrival of my new motorcycle jacket! Alec just got a "GSXR" so, I got a cute little pink jacket on ebay that says "GSXR"  on it. I got it for $46 which was a steal. I think the seller was hoping the bids would go a lot higher. I'll post pictures once it arrives.

Listening To:
Springsteen by Eric Church. I can't get enough of this song. I love love it.

Eating:
Cookies! I finally got the perfect recipe for soft chocolate chip cookies. I've eaten 3 or 4 so far since I made them yesterday morning and I hardly ever eat more than 1 of my baked goods. I actually just ate one...whoops!

Wishing:
Alec and I could go ride his bike right this minute. Its been a long time coming and there are all these formalities he has to do before his bike is ready and legal. Ugh.

What is going on with everyone else?
Just a reminder: go like SewMuchToSay on facebook to keep tabs on new posts!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Saturday's Sweets; Chocolate Crinkle Cookies


I know, I know. It is not Saturday. Heck, it isn't even CLOSE to Saturday. So why am I posting "Saturday's Sweets" on a Tuesday morning you might ask? Well, I had all the intentions of making these little babies on Saturday but, I left the recipe for them at work! I ended up making Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies for the party instead and I already shared that recipe with you. Plus, if you are concerned at all with me not posting Saturday's Sweets on the right day, I'm sure you are just waiting for me to get to the good part anyway--the recipe!


Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

-Make 3 dozen-

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
2 sticks, or 1 cup butter
1 splash of vanilla extract
2 large, farm fresh eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
6 Tablespoons cocoa powder
a pinch of salt
a pinch of baking soda
2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla with a mixer on medium until blended. 

2. Add the eggs, next. Then, sift the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda into a small bowl. 

3. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and beat it until it is just combined.

4. Stir in the chocolate chips and refrigerate, covered, for at least two hours.

5. After the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll teaspoons full of dough into balls and place on parchment paper lined baking sheets. Then, roll each ball in sugar, and then powdered sugar until evenly coated.

6. Bake, 2 inches apart, for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies have set. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to wire racks.

Let me know how they turn out!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Country Concert


As an early birthday gift, my Aunt bought Alec and I tickets to a Luke Bryan concert! It was an hour away last Sunday but, we had a great time. This gift was way better than any material gift she could have gotten me because we had a great time for hours and made some wonderful memories. Here are some pics from the trip. 


I took a few too many self pics in the car.  



I kept telling Alec not to bite his nails so this is what I get.


The traffic getting into the concert. The entire parking lot was a tailgating party when we got there. 


We got seats really close to the front.
  


This was when Lee Brice was playing! Alec and I absolutely love Lee Brice so, getting to sing and dance to him live was an excellent treat.


This was the stage when Luke Bryan was on. 


Overall, I had an unforgettable time and can't wait for the next concert we go to. There is something about country concerts that is way more fun than any other.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Fault In Our Stars


This, my friends, is a gold nugget find. This is my new favorite book. Disregard any and all book reviews I have suggested before this one. I love this book. In the long drawn out way one says "love" when talking about deliciously perfect things like The Notebook or caramel lattes. 
This book is about a teenager with cancer, Hazel Grace, who ends up meeting and falling in love with another teenager with cancer, Augustus Waters. This is not your ordinary young adult cancer novel or your ordinary love novel or ordinary in any way. John Green writes in such a sophisticated and blunt way, he practically forces the truth out in every sentence in a way that really makes you think. This book is eccentric. The characters are sarcastic and brutally honest. Life, love and death are defined in unexpected ways that are incredibly accurate. Enough blabbering--here are a few (probably too many) quotes that grabbed me, and some reviews from the book.

"You will be thankful for the little infinity you spend inside this book."-NPR.org

"Damn near genius. . . Simply devastating . . . Fearless in the face of powerful, uncomplicated, unironized emotion." -TIME

"Sometimes people don't understand the promises they're making when they make them... But you keep the promise anyway. That's what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway."

"That's the thing about pain... it demands to be felt."

"You are buying into the cross-stitched sentiments of your parents' throw pillows. You're arguing that the fragile, rare thing is beautiful simply because it is fragile and rare. But that's a lie, and you know it."

"I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you." 

Food for thought.
--Insert abrupt change in subject here--
 On a less philosophical note, I got my business cards in last week!



They are in a little birds nest that was abandoned at the store. Which I think is a pretty darn cute place for them. What do you think of them?

Oh and I forgot to tell you!! I sold my tie dress in the store the other day! So, I got to give out my very first business card to my very first paying customer. Yippee. 

Any thoughts on the book or cards are greatly appreciated. I hope all is well.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Soft Pretzels


I don't know if any of you have been following me long enough to remember my recipe book or not. Anyway, this leather bound beauty is a treasure house of delicious recipes. I find a recipe that sounds good, clip it, put it in my recipe keeper, and then eventually I write it into my book. Sometimes I include photos that came with the original recipe or sometimes I put in photos of my own creations. I put this recipe into my book at work last week and decided to make them yesterday. As always, I switched the recipe up a little bit to make it my own. Eventually, I want to make my own cookbook and this little hand-made recipe book is a stepping stone towards that. But for now, I present to you: Soft Pretzels.

Ingredients:
1 .25oz package of active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
a pinch of salt
4-5 cups of flour
A splash of vegetable oil or cooking spray
2 Tablespoons baking soda

Instructions:


1. Combine yeast, sugar, salt and 2 cups flour. 
I wanted to take a picture of the yeast because I hardly ever use it and want to use it more often so...using yeast is a tad bit exciting still.


Here is the beautiful flour after it is sifted through my gorgeous antique sifter. 


2. Add 1 1/2 cups of hot water and 1 Tablespoon of oil to your beautiful pile of flour and yeast and such, then beat it until it is combined. Then, add flour slowly until the dough moves away from the sides of the mixing bowl and pulls towards itself.

3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 5 minutes.  Stop when the dough is smooth. 
I do not think I've ever done this before so I really just moved it all around.I apologize for the awful photo, too.


4. Coat a metal bowl in oil and then set the dough in it. If you are using vegetable oil flip the dough over so both sides have oil on them. If you are using vegetable spray simply spray the top of the dough once it is in the bowl. Cover it with a dish towel and set somewhere warm for 45 minutes or until it doubles in size.
I set mine on the porch because it was warm out yesterday.


5. Once it is done rising, punch the dough down. Then, cut it into 8 different sections.


6. Flour your hands and roll one of the sections into a long skinny line like this.


Then, make it into a "U" shape.


Twist the top ends together twice.


Finally, wet the bottom of the "U" and roll the twisted ends down. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

7. While you are doing this with the rest of the sections, bring 4 or 5 cups of water and the baking soda to a simmer in a large skillet. Drop two pretzels at a time into the simmering water and leave it there for 30 seconds. Flip the pretzels over and let them simmer for 30 seconds on the other side. Repeat until you have done this to all of the pretzels.


8. Top with desired toppings. 


9. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pretzels are a dark golden brown. They did not all turn out picture perfect but, it was my first attempt and they moved around a bit in the water. Hopefully, yours turn out prettier!

If you want a glaze for the cinnamon and sugar pretzels mix a tiny bit of powdered sugar with milk and vanilla until it has the consistency of a glaze. 
Next time I'm going to try making pretzels sticks!

Let me know if you attempt this recipe and if so, how it turns out.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Girl Who Chased The Moon


I just finished this books a few days ago. I read almost the entire thing in one day. "The Girl Who Chased The Moon" by Sarah Addison Allen is a pretty wonderful book. For me, I enjoy books that keep me interested (obviously), and especially books that include some of my favorite things. For example, old houses with beautiful gardens, quaint little hometowns, and cooking or baking are things I look for in a fiction book.
At first, I didn't think I would like it because it started out as your typical girl gets shipped off to stay with extended family member and finds cute boy book. Gag me. Allen quickly laced in beautiful characters, fragile secrets about the town and its' people and some perfectly placed statements. 

One thing I really loved about this book was one of the characters baked cakes all the time and wanted to open her own bakery. I want to open my own bakery! I quickly jotted down some of the cake ideas that this character, Julia, made so that I could try to recreate a version of them. Just getting to read about other people loving baking as much as I do made my heart sing. Even better, when I finished the book I found recipes for the actual cakes in the back of the book! This is a first. A great novel that picks you up and won't let you down until you finish it....complete with recipes in the end. I highly recommend this book.

Some quotes from the book:

"High-spirited and mercurial, she'd been like the mist from perfume. You had to be content to let a little of it sprinkle over you. And then, eventually, it went away."

"Being needed was a lot like being tall--it was never really an issue until other people were around."

Have you read it before? What do you think? Do you want to read it?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Welcome Sign Before and After


A few days ago I posted a virtual tour of The Trading Post that I manage. Here is a little before and after of our welcome signs. This picture above is what the front and back of two sandwich boards looked like for the past two years. Now that it is just Cathy and I manning the shop- we gave it a new welcoming look by giving the sign a makeover. 


I painted all the sides with leftover paint I found in the basement. I think it was used in my room...maybe? Then, I painted my little heart out! 










 

I love how they look from the road and am hoping they bring more customers in. I even had a local artist come into the shop today and tell me the paintings were great! At any rate, I'm glad they are finished.
It makes me feel so good to have my own little stamp on our signs. Well that is all I have left for the virtual tour right now. I hope you are having a great day!

Don't forget to go like Sew Much To Say on facebook and follow my instagram (AmandaRos3) for more updates !

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Trading Post


I have been waiting to share this post with all of you for a few weeks now! This is the store that I manage as my summer job. I am so excited to be working here and to be a part of such a beautiful collection of artwork and antiques. The store is called "The Trading Post" and is one of my dream jobs. Please join me in this little virtual tour:


Welcome to The Trading Post! Here is a happy jack-o-lantern to greet you at the front door.


Take a few steps in and you will see my home-made tie dress on an antique dress form. My mother's grandma gave it to her. 



Then, we have these sweet little chairs with the home-made pillow collection. 


We have all of these cool display cases and here is one that greets you when you enter from the lake doors. I love the collection of vintage crates, jars and even a hat.


Here is some wood work that is simply breath taking. Our artist is truly talented.


Here is the view from the store. It was kind of overcast when I took this picture today but, trust me this is where you want to be on a hot sunny day...or any day for that matter.


I made this sign today for our new kayaks! We now have brand new kayaks to rent which will hopefully go over well with the customers. I know Alec and I will be using them!

 

Finally, here is the view from the lake. There are more doors but, this is my favorite spot. 

If any of you are in the neighborhood (especially family and friends) please stop in and check it out for yourself! I promise it won't disappoint. 

Thank you for letting me share the store with you. Its practically a home away from home for me because I've put so much into getting it ready for the season and keeping it organized. Any suggestions or thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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