Monday, October 18, 2010

Soup For A Cool Autumn Day!

Nothing warms you up on a brisk fall afternoon like some homemade soup. The days are starting to cool down here in Western Pa, so it's time to heat up the kitchen. One of my favorite and most simple recipes is cheesey potato soup. This was one of my comfort foods growing up, and it still does the trick today.

One of the best parts of the recipe is that you can use less or more of each ingredient to your liking.

Peel and rinse potatoes. I used 16 small potatoes for this batch.

Cut into 1/2" thick slices, or cube if you prefer.

Cover with water, making as much as you will need for the broth. Add 1 stick of margarine and onions as you like. For this batch I added 3 small onions, chopped. Occasionally, depending on what's in the veggie crisper, I add diced carrots or celery. Season with salt, pepper, garlic salt...and again any other spices that are to your tasting.

Let the mixture boil on medium for 30-45 minutes. To add a cheesy kick, float slices of American cheese on the top. I used 10 slices for a large pot. It is best to use American as it becomes smooth when melted. I've tried cheddar, mozzarella, provolone and they just seem to clump on the bottom. I add half the slices and let dissolve for about 10 min and stir in, then do the same for the second half of the slices.

Yum! I like the soup best served over refrigerator biscuits or fresh home-made bread!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pittsburgh Zombie Fest 2010

Have I mentioned lately how much I love living in Western Pennsylvania. The 2010 Zombie Fest, sponsored by "The It's Alive Show" was held in downtown Pittsburgh, Market Square, this year. One word sums up this day...zombielicious! My daughters had a blast as a zombie banana and a zombie dark fairy. As for me, my story was that I was turned while doing my Olivia Newton John work-out.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dishing Halloween

What is it about this season of fall and foliage that inspires so many of us? The ideas and inspiration floating around are overwhelming. I see so many great projects that it is hard to decide where to start. I continually have to remind myself that I cannot do it all in one year and pace myself. I tend to take the things that really make my pulse race and run with them.

One of my "omgosh" moments this year came from "Creepy Cupcakes" who linked to an amazing skull plate over at "The Answer Is Chocolate". I'm not one to take a great idea and copy it so I added my own flavor to the work.

So to start I gathered my supplies. Mod Podge, a glass plate ($1 @ Walmart), some graphics from random image sites (I used the search term Vintage Halloween), paint brush, scissors, craft paint and a plastic bag to protect the carpet and put the paper scraps in. Oh yes, did I mention that I was working on the carpet due to the fact that the Steelers were playing and I didn't want to miss a play. Talk about a great day...Halloween crafting and Pittsburgh Football....Hell Yeah!

Select the theme you want for the plate and cut out your images. I chose a full circle cut-out for the center and more detailed for the edges. Coat the front of the image with Mod Podge and place it on the back plate with the image showing through to the front. When adhered brush the podge around the edges to secure.

Let dry for approx 15 min then begin the painting process. I used ordinary crafting pain and a tea towel. I dab the towel into the black paint first and begin a sponging pattern. After working the whole way around do the same with the lighter color, I used orange. When these are no longer tacky to the touch I take the black around the outer edges just to finish it off and fill in any gaps.

This method is ultra forgiving and leaves so much room for creativity. When the paint is dry I coat the entire back with another layer of Mod Podge. Clean up the front and BAM instant Halloween art. Love it!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tree Confetti

Some people feel it is necessary to rake leaves...and much to the dismay of my neighbors, I am not on of those people. I think autumn should be celebrated with confetti from the trees.

They dance around the yard and the cats love to chase them. They end up in the garden and make wonderful compost. And if nothing else they are just lovely and I like to take pictures of them.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Vintage Creepiness

I am so inspired by everything of this season! Two things I love...Halloween and Vintage. These great skeleton hands are sold (again, at the dollar store) in packages of 10. I have a vast collection of old buttons, babbles and beads that make each one a creepy original. The pins are sold at any craft store and when adhered with a high-bond crafting glue, are pretty much set for life.

Friday, October 1, 2010

October Has Arrived!!

You don't have to spend a lot to scare a lot. The way to make your home original is not by going and buying all the pre-made decorations, but instead, try adding your own flair to inexpensive trinkets. I do most of my Halloween shopping at yard sales, garage sales and craft stores. Nothing is as haunting as a one of a kind hand-made treasure!

This picture hangs in my hall year-round. It is an original photo and embroidered floral design of my great-great grandparents (very cool). I matted it and found this great old frame at an auction. When the season rolls around I add this bloody hand-print cling (which I paid .50 cents for) and waa-laa...spooky decor!

The dollar stores have some great little tid-bits that you can really run with. These are a set of 9 styrofoam skulls on a piece of binders twine...simple...perfect curtain tie-backs or draped in an inexpensive leaf swag.

These little flighty bats come ina bag of 10 (again at the dollar store) and when hung on string can haunt any place imaginable. I have hung them from lamp shades and curtains in the past. This year I decided they would creep in a house plant.

Keep checking back as I show and tell all month...have I mentioned how much I loe this time of year?