Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Good morning! Fall is just two days away on the actual calendar, although the weather doesn't seem to want to cooperate. (still in the 90's...ugh!) That hasn't stopped me from getting in my Fall cleaning mode. It seems every new school year I get busy either organizing something big or cleaning out. Our neighborhood has a huge garage sale every October, so I've decided I'm going to join in this time. I've been going room by room, cleaning out closets, drawers, and just doing some general decluttering. I have a big stash now in a front room, full of things for the garage sale. I plan on using the money to buy some really nice bedding for our bedroom. It feels so great to have less.

I've already put up my Fall decor and love the way it feels in the house. The beautiful colors, the smell of pumpkin candles, the pretty leaves....it's my favorite season! The Halloween decor will soon follow, so I thought I'd share how to make some of my handmade Halloween pieces. I've created downloadable full-color PDFs with detailed instructions, printable vintage postcards, templates, everything you need to create these at home. They also include a full product list of what I used, but also suggestions for using what you already have - a less expensive alternative to purchasing a full kit, and you get to use up your stash. These photos are peeks at two of the Halloween Banner panels - lots of fun techniques and use of products. I also have a Halloween hanger with lots of layered elements and a lighted haunted house with spooky curtains and a crooked fence! The PDFs are all available in my Etsy shop here.

Beans and cornbread for dinner tonight. For the cornbread, I just use a basic mix, but I add chopped green chiles, a handful of sharp cheddar, and 1/2 can of creamed corn. Makes it goooood. Here is my recipe for the beans:

Ham and Beans
1 bag (16 oz) dried beans (I use pinto)
1/2 lb. diced, cooked ham (I buy the Boar's Head deli ham - maple glazed, sliced thick)
1 small onion, diced
1 large handful of brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste (you'll need lots of salt later)
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. dried parsley

1. Rinse and sort beans in a colander. (picking out any rocks or misshapen beans) Place beans in a large bowl, covering with 8 cups of cold water. Let stand overnight or at least 6-8 hours. Drain and rinse beans.

2. Place beans in a large stockpot (or crockpot) and add ham, onion, brown sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne and parsley. Generously cover with water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 1.5 - 2 hours until beans are tender. Add more water, if necessary during cooking time (and reseason with salt, pepper, and brown sugar to taste). If you are using a crockpot, cook on high for 4 hours or low 8 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, check to see if you need more salt or pepper. Serve with cornbread.

Yum! Have a wonderful day. :)


cindy said...

Soooo cute! I need a kick of inspiration and I think you are just the girl to do it! : ) I just bought one!


Pearl Maple said...

It is fun the celebrate the changing seasons with new flavours and scents and best of all, another excuse to be creative, great inspiration on show here

mendytexas said...

Love it over here Jennifer!! Hugs from here! :)mendy

Dapoppins said...

I am coping the beans recipe. So glad I stopped by!