Monday, July 22, 2013

My New Addiction...

Oh my by the sounds of that title it seems I have a problem....

I have drank coffee for years... I have always preferred it hot and black my daughters would say I serve colored water and I know for sure my sister would say that .  I normally love to brew flavored coffees.

While visiting my daughter a few weeks back she asked if I would like an iced latte and after hesitating I said "yes please"... She then proceeded to tell me how she was making cold brew coffee and keeping it in the fridge, and that she had gotten the instructions from Pioneer Women.... Oh Ree You Rock!

The process for Ree's instructions is to have a large container put in 12 oz - 16 oz of ground coffee, then pour about a gallon of water on it. let it sit for 8 - 12 hours.  Then strain it with cheese cloth, or coffee filters through a strainer.  You then store this coffee in the fridge and it will keep up to 3 weeks.  It is concentrated so you can follow her recipe.

BUT I remembered that my mother in law has used the Toddy Brewing System for literally YEARS.  So after trying Ree's way, I ordered the Toddy System (around $40.00 and never wears out) and love it.     The coffee is 67% less acidic so if you have an irritable stomach this might be your solution.  This method is even more concentrated than Pioneer Women's method.

Here is my mixing recipe from my Toddy coffee concentrate

I fill my 24 ounce Mason Jar full of ice

Then I take my cold brew coffee (which I keep in the fridge and fill my mason jar up to the level you see below)  The stuff on the left is like liquid gold.....

Then I add water

up to here...

Then I add 1 Tablespoon of Caramel and 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla (just because that is what I have)

Then i fill it to the top with Almond Milk because it is less calories....  I know, I know I used syrup with sugar, I am trying to not use those nasty sweeteners!  

Look how pretty it looks as it mixes...... then give it a good stir.....

BUT I am an Iced Latte Snob...

I only drink it from my Mason Jar, with its cozy on, with my fancy lid and pretty straw!  (If you want one contact me!  I am still selling them for the adoption fundraiser!)

And I am off to wherever I am going for the day....... sipping on my Iced Latte I made myself!  Sorry Starbucks I think you lost a customer!!!! :-)

Go ahead and try it you just might like it!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Spice Project......

Spices, Spices, Spices  they. drive. me. crazy.    Considering that when Mark and I got married 3 1/2 years ago we combined spice cabinets,  I Could never find what I needed and when I did I usually found there were two bottles because I would usually give up and think we didn't have "that spice" and go buy another one.  Plus there were spices that needed to be pitched, yes contrary to popular belief spices 20 years old lose their flavor ;-)

So I searched and searched Pinterest, Blogs etc. in search of  a solution.  Yes, we had an area in the cabinets that was ample space (a huge upper corner turnaround with 4 layers of lazy susan's )  BUT you could never find what you were looking for as many things would go flying into never land when you turned these turntables too quickly!

Since nothing I found on Pinterest or on any Blog seemed to fit what I wanted to do I set out for a solution and here is what I came up with!

I bought several cases of these cute little 4 oz jelly jars by Ball  from Walmart who seems to keep getting my money  which was the perfect size for the taller spice bottles....

 I spray painted the flat lids with chalkboard paint........

Spray painted the lids a light blue color.......

Lined the drawer with some cheery wrapping paper........

And wrote on each lid with a chalk board pin.......  after several hours and another mess in the kitchen this is what we have....

Now presenting my organized Spice Drawer where we actually know what we have!!!!!  It is in alphabetic order (it was the only way I could keep organized what I had already labeled since we had so many duplicate bottles of spices)!  This drawer is on the left of my stove so this should be quite handy!!!

And another picture just cause they are so stinking cute!!!

I still have one more set of cupboards to get organized.  The ones above the washer and dryer where I had crammed all of my can goods while awaiting the pantry to be finished!  Once again my kitchen is cleaned and organized!

Have an organizing weekend. :)


I partied @  Flaunt it Friday


Wednesday, July 17, 2013


The Pantry Project oh my.......  can we just say this was a project I thought would never get started and once started I didn't think it would ever get finished.... nuf said here is what happened.

We had our kids coming last Christmas, (oh that would be 5 adult children and their spouses, and a total of 9 grandchildren under the age of 6 for a grand total of 19 extra people insert huge smile here)  and I thought it was a wise idea to clean out the pantry, like empty the whole thing and get it organized since I knew with everyone coming the weekend before Christmas I would have lots of groceries to buy.  So, I cleaned it out and upon doing so realized what a mess we had.  This old house is old, old, old like it was built in 1899..  a zillion years ago .  The back half which was added onto in the late 60's with a room in between an apartment which is my mother in laws quarters in the very back.  The newer half needed a new roof for a few years before it was actually done two years ago and there was some water damage between Our kitchen and the addition which was in the pantry area.  So back to my story about organizing for the Christmas Season.... Well when I emptied it out we realized just how bad the damage was and exactly where those stinking mice were coming into the house at.  So realizing how bad it was and discovering the whole pantry needed to be gutted some of the joists replaced and the outside wall replaced, we decided it needed to wait for warmer weather.

So........ I waited, and waited and waited some more. You'v got the picture I was a bit impatient!  We hired a local carpenter to come do the repairs late spring to early summer with us doing the finishing work on the inside to save some money.  We have house guests for the summer (Megan my stepdaughter and her hubby Kevin graduated with their Doctorate of Physical Therapy and moved back to the area, found jobs and are in the process of purchasing their first home) so Mark took advantage of Kevin who more than willingly lended a hand to help get the inside work finished.  They (Megan and Kevin) are quite handy to have around and to say the least we will miss them when they are out on their own although I am sure they are more than ready to start the beginning of the rest of their life in their own home although they won't be that far away just a few miles.  OK back to the story.....

I had gotten along without this pantry for 7 1/2 months and FINALLY the walls were finished, I got them painted, the floor laid, bought a zillion containers and it is done, finished.  I am sooooooo HAPPY!  The one thing I do know, is that down the road when we build a new home, it WILL. HAVE. A. PANTRY!!!! IT MUST!!!

So without further ado here is the before and after shots of our now awesome, beautiful, efficient, organized pantry!!!!!  It is so cute I want to have a pantry party!  We even had room in the corner to put a small fridge for those times which has been all summer that we needed extra room in the fridge!

I have reorganized my kitchen cabinets since I was able to get all of this stuff out of my cupboards!!!

I am doing the happy dance!

And here is my Hubby working diligently trying to get this project finished.....  Thank you Mark!!!!

Oh Yes, here is a BEFORE picture in all of its ummmm ugliness as Mark is tearing rotted wall board off and discovering all the damage...........

I cannot find my "in progress" pictures until we got to this point...... (trust me I am sparing you the details because the outside wall got torn out to the outside, yes folks you could feel the breeze!  :)

and the Pantry Door.....

And Mark added trim to the edge of the shelves to give it that special "look"!!! I love it!

Oh yes, I did stencil the walls also just to glam it up a bit.....

AND just to be REAL here.....  This is what my kitchen looked like in the process of organizing but it was SOOOOO worth the mess.... I worked an entire day just organizing the pantry and reorganizing my kitchen cabinets.....

As if organizing all of this wan't enough I got busy and made a "Grocery" sign!

I am in the process of making a zillion labels for all of the containers and jars.  I looked at many containers and loved the OXO brand of click clack or flip it, but they were really expensive!  I know it is surprising I went for a cheaper version which I had already been using for some time  What I went with fit the bill completely, I could see what is it in and how low it is, (whether I needed to purchase more)  I have labeled mostly all the container with my P-touch.  (I almost went with Chalkboard Labels)  So what I bought you can find at Walmart it is Better Homes and Garden Brand Flip Tite  No Walmart has not paid me to say how great they are (are you kidding me?)

On the bottom shelves are some baskets, one has baking mixes, one has tea, one has baking items so I can just grab that basket when I decide to bake and take it to the kitchen!!! LOVE IT!!!  The Baskets came from Dollar Tree (and you guessed it for just $1.00 each!)

I was hoping to have some room to store some of my decorating items and it looks like there may be some room to do so! :)
AND isn't this just the cutest?  A canister just for cupcake papers!!

The Fridge top gave me a good place to store my mixer!

*******Updated to add the inside of the Pantry Door*********
Here is the inside of the pantry door....  and yes those are screws you are seeing, but trust me they will be covered up and you will never see them!

So there you have the newly renovated pantry!  What a job it was and so glad it is finished!!!  It is so nice to walk in there and find what I am looking for!!  Talk about appreciating a "space"  well this is appreciated!!!! 


**** I have linked up to the following:

If it's not Baroque Link Party


Flaunt it Friday


Metamorphis Monday


Ivy and Elephants


Chase the Stars

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Birthday America!  I am so thankful for the Freedoms we have in this country of ours.... It is by far not a perfect country, because it is filled with imperfect people!  May we always claim "In God We Trust"!!  For that in itself is one of the greatest liberties we are given!

I leave you with a few pictures for this July 4th .....  (cozies and jars and a few more!)

Yes, I did paint my mini island a teal color.... I LOVE the color it brings to the kitchen!!!

 AND what else but Watermelon for a Cookout?

Happy 4th and please be safe!

Be Blessed!  Nancy