Friday, September 27, 2013

Sharing Some Comfort - Food that is!!

Now that fall is officially here and in most parts of the country the temperatures are getting a bit cooler,
 it's time to think about cooking again.

Not the BBQ's of summer, although those were great's time to get back into the kitchen and start using your stove and oven again...

This time of year is synonymous with comfort food...and in my family that means...


And - NO - I don't mean KD  - I mean ooey, gooey, cheesy -
 4 cheese Mac and Cheese.

First start out by making a rue - I use 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 flour 
- melt the butter first and then add the flour...cook it for about two minutes...

Then add 2 cups of milk (I used 1% - but use whatever you have on-hand) and also add some pepper 
- I don't measure just grind some fresh from the grinder. 
 Your mixture will look like this...

Next up is the SECRET INGREDIENT!!

Just a squirt of Dijon mustard. 
 I like the flavour it adds and it helps to colour the sauce as well.

Now onto the CHEESE!!

I try to use 4 different kinds. 
 This time it was cheddar, mozzarella, 
Swiss cheese (slices that were leftover from lunches this week)
 and Parmesan. 

 That is a 2/3 cup of Parmesan and about 4 ounces each of cheddar and mozzarella that I grated. 
 It is 2 slices of Swiss torn into pieces.

Just add it slowly to your milk mixture, whisking it in.
  Your mixture will start to thicken and get cheesy.

In a separate pan, cook your macaroni as per package directions.
  Don't cook them too much though as they will go in the oven
 and cook more once they are incorporated with the sauce.

Then combine them with the sauce 
and transfer to a Pyrex baking pan that has been sprayed or buttered.
Bake @ 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, 
until the top get golden and crunchy.

It will still be plenty cheesy inside!

It's pretty easy and your family will love it!! 
 You can substitute whatever cheeses you have on hand for this recipe.
  I never make the same one twice!!

Are you back in your kitchen making comfort food now the temps are cooler?
If so, I'd love to know what you are cooking!
Please leave a comment and let me know!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Adding Fall Touches to our Home

In amongst helping McG get ready for hunting this weekend, I had a few minutes to add some FALL touches to our home.  
The weather here is cooler now and it's beginning to get the smell of fall in the air.

I don't go all out for fall, just some simple touches to add some of the colours of the season to our home. 
 I LOVE oranges, and yellows and reds but don't use them much in the decor of our home
...sticking more to cooler colours like blues and greens for our everyday decor.  
So adding these warm colours just makes them POP - and I love that!

First up on the sideboard
 (I don't have a mantle upstairs in our home - so I decorate my sideboard like I would a mantle)

Just some small silk flowers in my owl vase, my collection of green and blue bottles,
 and a free printable I found.
 (and before you ask me where...I forgot to write down the blog I found it on, and cannot find it if anyone knows, please let me know in the comments - I really would love to give them the credit!)

Some of you got a sneak peek of this image on my new facebook cover page.

I added a scarecrow print I found at the local thrift shop ($3)
 and a glass pumpkin to the top of the china cabinet.

I purchased this owl planter at Kirkland's in Michigan on our last trip to the States! 
 I love how it resembles a pumpkin!

I added an acorn candle and leaf dish to the media console - both I already had here!

The kitchen shelf got the two owls McG bought me for my birthday,
along with some fall floral pics and a white ceramic pumpkin. 
 McG, guy that he is, loves to tell people he bought me new hooters for my birthday!!

The entryway table got one of the Better Homes and Gardens floral arrangements I found recently at Dollarama - the other one went on the bathroom counter.

It doesn't take much time or effort to bring some FALL touches to your home,
 And it really doesn't have to stretch your budget either. 
 I added all these touches for less than $30. 
 The floral pics came from the local dollar store, I may have spent about $10 on those. 
The only other things I purchased were the scarecrow print and the orange owl planter and those totalled $15.

Are you adding FALL decor to your home?  I'd love to hear about it! 
Better yet, leave me a link in the comments, so I can come on over
and check it out!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Awarding News in the Garden!!

Some of you are aware that our front garden was nominated for a Trillium Award, and WON!! 
 I was so excited when we got the letter in the mail a couple of weeks ago...
THANK YOU to whomever took the time to nominate us - WE ARE GRATEFUL!!  
This is the metal garden ornament we were presented with. 
 It is to be displayed in the front garden.

The ceremony took place last night at the monthly meeting of the LaSalle Horticultural Society here in town.  There are about 75 members, along with a elected Committee that runs it. 
 Last night's meeting consisted of a speaker from a local tree farm and the presentation of the Trillium Awards. 
 I have to tell you that I was quite nervous about the whole thing think that MY "little garden" had won an award!!

They told us that many yards were nominated and that they usually award 10 awards,
 but this year there were 14 front gardens that won!
  Each homeowner was called up and their address was announced,
 so that members could find out where the "winning gardens" were should they wish to drive by and check them out.

We were presented with the garden ornament and a certificate of achievement.

Below are pictures I took of the garden this morning. 
 There are quite a few so I will keep the comments to a minimum...

This is the view from our front door.

The View from the street.

Below is the award in the garden!

We have more EXCITING NEWS as well!!  
We were asked to consider putting our gardens in next year's Garden Tour!!
  I am quite excited at the prospect, but I could see McG thinking that this might mean extra work for him.
Someone from the Committee will be coming to see our backyard to see if it meets the criteria for the Tour.
 I will keep you posted!

Thanks for touring our front garden today...we hope you enjoyed it!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Additions to the Office

A couple of weeks ago, McG and I went to Michigan for the day with some friends of ours to do some shopping and have dinner. 
 I always enjoy going over with another couple, because it gives McG someone to hang with while we ladies are hitting stores like Kirkland's, Home Goods, Hobby Lobby...and such!!

I found a pair of tablecloths at Big Lots that I just had to have! 
 I love tablecloths as a no-sew curtain option. 
 These were 60 x 84 as you can see...and with the addition of some ring clips they make a great statement curtain panel!

The room I am using for my office used to be my son's bedroom, but now he's decided to take up residence in a basement bedroom.  I have shown you this room before, but I have added a few pieces in here...and these "curtains" will help tie the room together.  The colours are warm - with reds, rusts, beige and brown - and just a hint of gold.  The wall colour in here is called "Straw" and is a golden tan/khaki colour.

The curtains co-ordinate lovely with the fabric on my chair...I don't know the name of it since its been on the chair since I was a teenager almost 30 years ago!!

The walls in these pictures seems to show up as more yellow in these photos, however, it was hard to take a picture today with the sun streaming in..I had to close the blinds a bit and use the flash.  I have added the loveseat that was in the living room to this room.  I also completed a make-shift gallery wall with all the artwork that seems to be collecting in this room from other parts of the house.  Rather than stack them on shelves as they wait to be used again, I figured I would hang them up!

I really love how the curtains add some needed colour and warmth to the room...I am always on the lookout for tablecloths at a reasonable price.  They are definitely an economical way to add life to a room!

Have you ever used tablecloths as curtains in your home?


Saturday, September 14, 2013

What's Blooming...The Late Summer Edition

Well, here we are half way through September already!  I can't believe how fast the weeks go by now...

I haven't posted about the garden in awhile now.  The weather this summer was not the best here, and while we had a lot of things blooming early on, there has not really been anything "NEW" blooming until this week.

It has been crazy weather here - earlier this week, we had record high temperatures for September with two days in the 90's with high humidity.  Today, things are much cooler, with temps only in the 70's and no humidity.  But, I think that couple of days of extra warm temperatures was just what was needed to get a few things blooming!

The Mums have opened this least the yellow and orange ones have
...there are still some burgundy and purple to come.

They really add a fall flavour to the garden!

Some of the Hostas are just blooming now as well.

Next up are the Sedum...the bees just love this flower!

The best in show award this week, however, goes to the Morning Glories who have just started to peak out!
I planted the seeds back in May but the plant is just coming into its own. 
 I am hoping the frost doesn't come too soon and kill it off.

The blooms are such a vibrant blue colour - it's too bad that don't last longer than one day!

Today was the perfect day to be in the garden.

Those who follow on Facebook know that our front yard has won a Trillium Award from the local Horticultural Society.  We were very shocked when we received the letter in the mail last week.  We have no idea who nominated us, but we are very grateful!
We are attending a ceremony this coming Tuesday to accept the award.

I will be sure and post about it next week...and I will show you what the front garden looks like then as well.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fall Door Decor

Ok - I know that most bloggers have already had their fall decor up for sometime...but I am not one to rush these things.  I like to take a slower approach, and let's face it - who wants to think about pumpkins and scarecrows when we still have 95 degree weather like today here in Ontario??

I did, however, take down my summer wreath from the front door. 
 In its place I added this...

This lovely flat tin "bucket" was one of my summer yard sales finds.  I love its yellow, chippy, rusty colour.
I added $4.00 worth of flowers I purchased at my local Dollarama store.  I chose orange and purple flowers along with some co-ordinating ribbons.

The colours give off the FALL vibe but are also bright enough to be seen well from the street.

I also LOVE how the colours POP OFF my blue front door.

Slowly but surely I will add more FALL touches to my home, however, most won't go up until October...that's when I kick it into high stay tuned!!

Do you have your FALL decorations up yet...or are you like me, and savouring the last days of summer?

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Better Homes and Gardens Decor @ Dollar Store Prices

Did you see the cloche that Krista over at The Happy Housie made out of a dollar store urn??
 If not, you really need to hop over and check it out! 

She purchased a candle urn and turned it into this cute cloche.  I have been looking for a cloche for sometime now, but the prices have kept me from having one! 
 This was made from a Better Homes and Gardens candle urn that she found at her local Dollarama store for just $3!!

I headed out this morning to my local Dollarama but was not able to find one.  However, I did find this cute Better Homes and Gardens floral arrangement in a sweet tin pot for just $3!

It has creamy white flowers including a gerbera daisy, a hydrangea bloom, and a lily, along with some leaves and filler.  

If you peel back the Dollarama sticker, you can clearly see the Better Homes and Gardens sticker!

The little tin pot is dreamy with a cute punched out design and some chippy paint!  They had different flower colours to choose from but I thought the white selection would offer the most versatility for the money.  I added some orange flowers and an autumn pick to the arrangement to add some fall touches to my home.

I thought they would look lovely at Christmas time as well by adding some poinsettias to the arrangement or some other winter themed floral picks. Here's a closer look at the arrangement.

I purchased two of these, knowing I would have many opportunities to use them all over my home!  

I am sure that they were much higher priced when they were offered through Walmart - in fact I think I remember seeing them for closer to $20 a piece!

I am still on the lookout for the urn that Krista over @ The Happy Housie found...wish me luck on finding it!!
Does your Dollar store sell name brand products at reduced prices?  I'd love to know what you are finding!!