Welcome to the Playroom at 14 Peonystreet!

This blog started in the "playroom". That's what DH calls artwork- playing. Wish I could live in the "playroom" forever.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Storm Close Call...

Storm Development
Luckily this one didn't amount to anything...
but it was close!

Better days are comin' everybody...
just slow in gettin' here!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rice Pudding ~ Everyone Could Use Some Right Now.....

 Okay, I know some of you are just going to say "Yuck",
but bear with me, and believe me, even people who don't
like pudding will think they've hit the jackpot when they
taste this.
 Yesterday, I gave you a recipe for Peanut Butter cookies.
Today, it's Rice Pudding.
I guess you could say I'm into comfort food lately.
I really think we could all use some of it, with
everything that's going on these days.
 This is the dish, still in the water bath.  I couldn't wait for
it to cool off before I "got me some".  The little
liquidy stuff, from the milk, will not be there if you
let it cool off before you take some out of the dish.
Here it is in a little dish.  I apologize for the photos. 
All taken in incandescent light.  It's night-time, you see,
the best time for comfort food.
And I must tell you, any Swede will tell you they
love Rice Pudding.  Or at least that it was served
at church suppers and at home during the Christmas holidays.
You can even eat it for breakfast.
You probably have all the ingredients to make this in your cupboard
right now, but I'll make a great suggestion and tell you to buy
Jasmine Rice for this recipe.  It is the perfect rice because it's
tender and not chewy. But you can use what you have.
For my recipe, you'll need 1 cup cooked rice, so do that first.
I use the boil and drain method of making rice.
Place more water than you need to make rice in a saucepan,
get it to nearly the boiling point, then put in 1/2 cup (jasmine) rice.
Stir rice a few times after you put it in the pan to keep it from sticking,
then cook at medium heat till soft.  Then drain it through a sieve or strainer when its done.
Coat a baking dish with nonstick spray.  (You could probably use a smearing of butter if you don't have the nonstick spray.)  Set dish aside.
In a separate bowl, crack two eggs and lightly beat them.
Then add 1 1/2 cups milk.  I use 2%.  You can use whole milk too.
Keep in mind that if you use skim milk, the pudding will turn out more watery.
Now add the rest of the ingredients:
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins
the rice
Mix together well, then place in the baking dish.
Place the baking dish in a pan of warm water,
then place in cold oven.
Set oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Once it is up to the temperature, set
your timer for 1 1/2 hours (90 minutes).  Yeah, it takes
that long!  You bake this slow so the eggs will set
and make this great tasting, custard-like dessert.
Remove pan from oven - carefully. 
I like to leave my dish in the pan with the
water til it cools off.
Some Swedes I know like a little almond extract in their pudding.
And they love cardamom. 
And there's a little tradition of placing an almond in the pudding.
Whomever gets the almond in their pudding, means they'll have
good luck. 
I wish you all some good luck for the rest of this year,
and good health too!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Peanut Butter Cookies ~ The Best!

Mmmmmmm.......scroll past photos for recipe!
Press a criss-cross mark in unbaked dough,
using a fork.
Sometimes, you just need a good peanut butter cookie.
This recipe is a common one, it's been around a long time.
It's my favorite one because it actually TASTES like
peanut butter.  Plus they're so easy to make, and you probably
have all the ingredients in your cupboard already.
1 cup granulated, white sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients together well.  You won't need a mixer for this. 
 They will easily mix by hand with a sturdy, large spoon.
Form into 1 inch balls of dough.  This will make 24 cookies.
(My balls of dough were a little bigger than 1 inch, so
I only got 18 cookies.)
Place them onto ungreased baking sheet.  I have found that
ALUMINUM pans are best for baking cookies.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, and bake
for 10 minutes. 
****NOTE:  you will have to adjust your baking times to YOUR oven.  Every oven seems to be different.  I found that 10 minutes wasn't long enough in my oven.  I bake mine for 19 minutes.  That gives me a nice, light brown bottom on the cookie, and a firmer cookie. I suggest setting your timer for 10 minutes, then keep adding more time as needed until baked to your desired "doneness".****
Let cool before removing from pan, to make sure they don't fall apart.
Don't forget the milk!!  They also go well with Kool-Aid or other kids drinks.
I'm a dunker, from way back, so I'll dunk them in milk, Kool-Aid, Iced tea,
coffee-- anything!
I've made this recipe many times, so it's tried and true!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Candy Flower Magic

Am extremely homesick today.  Maybe, just maybe, these
Candy Colors will make me feel better. 
I found this piece of Grandma's Flower Garden piecework
on Ebay years ago, and have never known just what to do with it.
The blues just got me today, and then I had a brainstorm.
This window was just too bare.
All I did was fold over one edge of the piece and sewed it
down to make a casing, using a Long stitch length, in case there
comes a time to take it down and use it for something else, the stitching will be
easy to remove.
It needed the little "V" in the middle, like my other valances, so I found:
a Vintage Turtle pin, which I used as a younger child. (I'm an "older child" now!)
 I simply pinned up the middle just a little.
I like the way the turtle shell echos the hexagons in the
Grandmother's Flower Garden patchwork.

These are some of the bears in the corner chair.
This little one is only about 2 inches high.  I made this little one
several years ago.  It's so small, it's a wonder it hasn't been lost.
And, holding up the corner, is a wooden church box.
I really think the person who made this patchwork really
understood what a Grandmother's Flower Garden patchwork
ought to look like.
It really captures the wildly bright colors I love in flowers.
Above:  Flowers from my garden: Red Rose, Purple Zinnia,
Coral Zinnia, Pink Peony, and Orange Zinnia.
The valance is hanging on the window that you see going upstairs
to the Playroom (sewing room). 
Will it cure my "blues"?
I pray it works it's magic.
You have to get up and do something when you
are missing someone or something or someplace.
Make something new, rearrange the furniture,
go play with color, even if it's your kids' crayons.
What else would be fun is to buy yourself a
set of watercolors- I like Windsor and Newton colors -
and a couple paintbrushes and some watercolor paper.
Then Play with Colors.
It's the best medicine.


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