Thursday, August 27, 2009

Show Us Your Roosters Party!

Cock-a-doodle-doo! Let's get this party started! It's TIME for the Show Us Your Roosters Party, hosted by Barb over at Bella Vista!

I don't know if Barb ever imagined this party would draw as much attention as it has, but last I checked, there were more than 200 participants joining her for this event!

Well, come on in! Make yourself comfortable! You're right on time! I really do appreciate that , when it comes to parties!.. What's that you say?.. Oh, you like my rooster clock? My son gave me this clock! It's been a great help to me too, as I prepared for all the festivities today!

When I first heard about this party, I knew I wanted to be part of it! My collection, so far, is small, but it grows gradually. I am told my great grandmother collected roosters first. Then my grandmother collected them, then my mother, and then I knew I wanted to keep the tradition going! Ever since I was a young girl, I knew I wanted a little country kitchen of my own someday, and what country kitchen would be complete without at least one rooster?! Well, would you like to have a piece of cake and some coffee, while I show you a few of the roosters I have at my house? I made this rooster cake, just for the occasion!

I used a 9" round pan, and then 2 (6") pans to make my cake. I used cherry candy slices (similar to the candy orange slices more easily found in candy isles of most stores) for the rooster's comb and wattle. I used a jellybean for his eye. I think if I had the time, and more frosting on hand, I would have made his tail a little fancier and more colorful, but otherwise, I'm pretty happy with how it came out! Just below, you see my rooster measuring spoons, which came in pretty handy as I was baking my cake!

Here you see my rooster coffee mug. I like the larger size it is compared to most of my everyday coffee mugs, so I use it quite often! My sister gave me the rooster tea bag holder that you also see in this same photo.

Oh, but where are my manners? Perhaps you would prefer a glass of wine? Here is one I like! Actually, I think I'll save the coffee for later, and I'll have some of this too!

As I've traveled to as many blogs as I have, I've noticed many people display their roosters in many rooms, all over the house! I found this a little surprising to me, but interesting.. even inspiring! So far, however, I've kept all mine strictly within the boundries of my kitchen only. Perhaps someday, if I find a rooster in the right colors, I could broaden my decorative vision a bit, and place one or two in my dining room or living room!

Anyways, back to my little rooster collection.. Let's just flip this rooster light switch on, so we can see things a little better!
Oh wait a minute! Every party has to have music, right?! This is a funny little rooster song I just recently heard. It made me laugh, so I decided to invite this lively group of singers to come here today! I'm so glad they could make it.

Well, now.. What did you think of THAT?! I hope I'm not getting myself in trouble here! Is this another one of those songs that could get stuck in people's heads for the rest of the day?!

Here are some roosters that hang on my oven door! I crocheted the towel topper onto the rooster kitchen towel myself. I bought the little potholder next to it from a craft table at the farmer's market last year.

Here is a rooster magnet that I keep on my refrigerator! I bought this handmade rooster magnet, together with the cute little chef pig magnet, at a local craft fair a couple of years ago.

I painted this terra cotta pot myself, then stenciled the rooster! I want to make some more painted pots someday soon, but I'm so busy, we'll just have to wait and see when I can try to fit that in.

Here's a rooster that is probably my oldest rooster, or at least one of my oldest. It is a planter! I do not feel comfortable about putting real plants in it, so I use silk flowers for it. He stands a little over 8" tall. With him, you see my little rooster salt and pepper shakers!

Well I have more, but that's all the pictures I have for today.. Oh!.. Well except for one more that actually WAS in my living room! See him on the spine of my book? This book has a copyrite date of 1956, and is filled, cover to cover, with nursery rhymes, songs and stories!

Here's a little nursery rhyme, in the book, that apparently a rooster is narrating himself! Have you heard this one?

My dame has lost her shoe,
My master's lost his fiddlestick,
And knows not what to do.

What is my dame to do?
Till master finds his fiddlestick,
She'll dance without her shoe.

The story of Henny Penny is in this book too! You remember this one, where she is frantic with worry that "the sky is falling"! Cocky Locky, the rooster, is the first one she runs into on her way to tell the king!

This brings to mind other famous roosters of course! Why, I say.. I say.. the first one that comes to my mind is Foghorn Leghorn! Remember this Looney Toons rooster, who you would often hear singing or humming the tune Camptown Races.. "Doo-Dah, Doo-Dah"! Remember how he would taunt the dog.. That dog would get so mad, then charge after him, but to no avail. He would only get so far, and that was as far as his chain would allow! That poor dog! It was good to see him get even with a prank or two, when he finally got the chance to!

Wait a minute here.. Who is this?.. Rooster WHO?! Rooster Cogburn? I don't remember inviting Rooster Cogburn here!

Oh, for Heaven's sakes, you just never know WHO'S gonna show up to these things, do ya?!

Another famous rooster comes to mind. Do you remember that smooth singing rooster, Chanticleer (played by Glen Campbell), from the movie Rock-A-Doodle? That was a cute movie!

Oh my gosh!.. I invited him here, but I just didn't dare dream!!.. He's come to our Rooster Party today!! Ladies and Gents, for your listening pleasure.. Here he is.. Chanticleer!

Now, since this is a rooster party, and many of my blogging friends are the creative and crafty sort, I want to share a few links you might be interested in. The first one, HERE, takes you to a vintage crochet pattern for a rooster potholder! I've been wanting to make this one for some time now. I was even hoping to have one made for today, but just couldn't get to it yet. I will soon though! These next two links, teach you how to DRAW a rooster! First HERE, and there's another HERE! Once you're done there, head over to HERE, to learn how to make this beautiful rooster plant poke!

Well, I guess this just about wraps things up! You're welcome to stay as long as you want, of course; but if you have to leave, I do want to thank you for stopping by! I've had so much fun, and hope you did too! Many thanks to Barb for hosting this event! Don't forget to head over to her place, at Bella Vista, to see her list of participants, and so that you can blog-hop to all the rooster parties going on today!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pink Shoelaces, Man Oh Man!

It's Pink Saturday, and "Man oh man", I've got some pink music to share just for the occasion! I thought this was really cute! It certainly had ME dancing in my chair, and tapping my feet under the computer desk!

Tell the truth now! You were dancing too, weren't ya? I just KNOW you were!! Your husband, or your kids were walking by, and looking at you like you're a nut, right?!

Oh well.. I didn't have any pink shoelaces for today, and I sure didn't have time to shop for any. So what did I do? I decided to CROCHET some, of course! Now if only I had found the time to buy some new WHITE sneakers, to wear with my new shoelaces, THAT would have been nice, don't ya think?! For now, I guess these will have to do!

As I conclude my little pink post, I'm just wondering how many of us are going to be singing this song for the rest of the day? I'm pretty sure it will be stuck in my OWN head, ALL WEEKEND, so I'll be singing it too!

A big thanks to Beverly, at How Sweet The Sound, for hosting this event each and every week! Make sure you stop there to see what she's got, and then her listing of all the other participants. That list is always growing, but try to visit as many as you can! "Ooh, ooh, ooh!", it really is a lot of fun to see where everyone's imagination has run to, and all the pinks they've come up with!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

O.K.... Places Everyone!

Here's a project I've been long wanting to do! I finally found the time and motivation to make my own crochet placemats. It's a good time to, I think, as I now begin to plan ahead for Fall decorating, and even the holidays! My first inspirations to do these, however, originally came from two sources. One, from all the beautiful Thursday Tablescapes I see from week to week; and then, more recently, from HERE, when I saw Pammy Sue's very pretty crochet work in her July 29th post!

When I came to that stall on my pink granny square afghan, and as I STILL ever so *patiently* WAIT for Walmart to simply restock on the yarn I need.. I decided to start on some rectangular granny placemats! So far, I have done two sets of 4.. One set in Windsor Blue and the other in Burgundy. At first, I did consider making them multi-colored, but I decided I preferred to keep them solid, thus making them more versatile for my own various table settings and purposes. I find these to work up quickly, while I think the very simple design that it is still looks very pretty! I crocheted mine in eleven rounds, with a size H hook. The size of each one comes out to be approximately 12" x 15". One 7-oz. skein made 2 placemats, with a bit of yarn left over. A pretty edging is optional, and might be very nice, but I decided just to keep it simple for now.

I really LOVE making these, and am not too sure when it will all stop! While I'll be starting a set of green today, I am still deciding on what fall color I'd like to make a set in! I may make more of certain colors for bigger crowds, or I may just mix and match what I have. For example, I may use BOTH the burgundy and the green for a larger Christmas Dinner crowd.

When not in use, these will all be stored in either my dining room hutch or my kitchen hutch, I'm not sure which yet, but they will be ready for any table setting I wish to throw together for whatever the season or occasion may be! I'm thinking of doing these for Christmas gifts as well! I'll show you those if and when I get a couple of sets done!

Well, I finished two more mice! Again, you'll find the sweet pattern for them at Caroline's blog, The Kansas Hooker. If you remember, my daughter wanted one, and then I still wanted to make one for a friend of hers too. I used RHSS acrylic yarn, this time both in light grey. These little ones have no names as of yet. I decided to leave that up to the girls! Meanwhile, CC's mouse was brought to the post office, and is indeed on that mail truck by now, officially on its way!

Along with what crocheting I can fit in today, I hope to get a little baking done too. My most recent check of cookie jars around here has alerted me to the dangerously low supply!.. And my gosh, we just cannot have THAT, now can we?!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mice In My House!.. Want One?

I don't know how, but a whole week has flown right by already, and here it is, another Pink Saturday! Each and every week, Beverly, from How Sweet The Sound, hosts this event, so that each one of us can show and tell whatever we want, however we want, as long as it's PINK! Well.. within reason, of course! Please stop to see her, and a listing of all this week's participants, then visit as many as you can! I know the list is long, but it really is fun to see what pinks people come up with from week to week!

This week, progress on my afghan was stalled due to a shortage of specific colors I needed; so while I wait to make the trip for that, I thought I'd try a cute little crochet pattern I found at Caroline's blog, The Kansas Hooker! See how to make mice like these on her July 30th,'09 post. As I was making the first one in white, I was reminded of the story, "The Country Mouse and The City Mouse". I have a copy of this story in a Little Golden Book.. And look! It just happens to be PINK! Looking through the pages, I just LOVE the illustrations, by Richard Scarry!

Well, the names of the mice in the story are Melissa and Annie. When crocheting my OWN Country Mouse and City Mouse, I felt I wanted to give them my own names. So here are City Mouse, Camille, in her glittery silver, and Country Mouse, Carrie Leigh, in her denim blue! Both have pretty pink ears and pink button noses!

Here they are having tea, in my pink roses tea cups! Then, I served them some snickerdoodle cookies, which I just baked myself, during this past week.

Just slightly behind them is a pink african violet, which I have shown on Pink Saturday before. Do you remember my saying it would probably never flower again? My luck has changed, and Mother Nature must be smiling, as SOMEHOW, I got this plant to flower AGAIN!! Isn't it beautiful? I am SO-ooo proud of myself! My gosh, if this keeps up, I may try my hand at growing roses!

So, this is what I have for my 100th post.. Just a quick little show and tell this week...

Wait a minute! What was that?!.. My WHAT post?

Oh yes!.. Here it is!.. My 100th post! So just for fun, to celebrate my little bloggy milestone, I will give away a crochet mouse today! This is another mouse I made. She is just a little over 4" tall. We'll call her my little Suburban Mouse!.. And her name is Suri!

Now WHERE did I come up with THAT name?! Hmm.. Well, anyways, "cruising" right along here.. If you wouldn't mind a mouse in your house, and would like to take little Suri into your loving home, then a leave a comment here today, and I will enter your name into a drawing! I will leave this drawing open for the weekend only. You have till 11:59 Sunday night to get your comment in. On Monday morning I (or Dear Son) will draw a name, and the winner will be announced that same day. I will do my best to contact you, but you should check back here on Monday, or Tuesday at the latest. If I cannot make contact with the winner, a new winner will be chosen on Wednesday.

It's hard to believe I've actually done 100 posts, but I look forward to another 100 more! My sincere thanks to everyone who comes to visit me here. It's been a whole new world, and I've enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people! Thank you Caroline, for sharing your pattern! I had fun making these three little cuties, and I feel certain Dear Daughter is going to still want one! I was thinking of making one for a friend of hers too, so I'll be starting those soon!

Happy Pink Saturday and ((Hugs)) to all! Have a wonderful weekend!.. And one last thing, Please do remember to say a prayer for Amy, and her family. See the praying hands on my right side bar, and click on that for the latest news from Sherry's daughter, Heidi.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Catch Me If You Flan!

Today, the hottest day of the week so far, and what did I do? I ran that oven, and made homemade meatloaf, and then a homemade macaroni and cheese.. and then, if THAT wasn't enough, I baked a flan cake for dessert! Well, surely, you never thought the summer heat would stop ME from making my favorite snacks and desserts! I HOPE you know me better than THAT by now!

As I was making this cake, I wondered how many people have made a flan cake or not, or if some had even heard of one before. The first time I had heard of such a cake was at a Pampered Chef party. No, not Swedish Chef!.. PAMPERED Chef!.. I can't remember how many years ago that was, but I do recall the sales consultant showing everybody how to make various hors d'oeuvres, and all the kitchen tools and accessessories we'd need to make them. Well, then she showed how to make this cake. I had never seen a cake made like this before! Then, there were these special cake pans I would need to make these wonderful cakes!! Oh, I HAD to have them! While I do remember the price to be fair, I don't even recall that being an issue! I simply got out my checkbook, and placed my order right away!

Having just visited the website, only moments ago, I don't see the exact same "flan pans" I bought back then. I would still ask a consultant about it, but I do, however, still see a set of "torte pans". I am no chef, and I admit I don't know the difference between a flan and a torte!.. but they look as if you could use them for the same type of recipe! Of course, another option, if I were reading this, and if I could not/prefer not to make the expense for new pans at this time, I would probably then grab a big spoon and just scoop the indentation out of a cake layer myself! So, you see, anyone can make this, one way or another! The basic idea is to bake your layers of cake, then fill up that indentation with whatever you like from there! You could use pudding fillings, cream cheese fillings, ice cream fillings. You could add various flavored extracts or liqueurs! Oh but stop! They already had me at puddings!!.. Chocolate puddings! Be still my heart!

Well, I've been making these cakes ever since. I like that one cake mix makes 2 good sized (almost 10") layers of cake. I have one for now, and freeze the other for any surprise guests who might happen to show up! You might even be invited somewhere else for dinner at the last minute, and don't want to show up empty-handed! How easy it is to grab a layer of cake out of the freezer, and whip up a dessert like this! I LOVE it! If you think it sounds good too, here's a favorite recipe I've come up with that's been a big hit with family and company alike!

Beansie's Flan Cake:

(Read entire recipe before starting.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cake pans with non-stick spray.

You'll need one Duncan Hines Coconut Supreme cake mix, as shown...

You will need water, vegetable oil, and 3 eggs, as indicated on the box. Follow the directions as shown on the package, then pour batter into pans. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, using a toothpick to test if they are done yet or not. Remove cakes from oven. Cool in the pans, on wire cooling racks, for about 10 minutes, then turn cakes out onto serving plates. Here, I use one, and freeze one for later! See, up close, the indentation in this layer of cake? It's not very deep.. Just maybe a half inch..

While the cakes are cooling, I take a 3.4 oz. box of vanilla instant pudding, and prepare that according to the directions on the box. I let that set in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes, then spoon as much pudding as I can fit into the indentation on the cake. Any left over will never go to waste, of course! I finish whatever's left in that bowl right then and there!

Next, I take a small can of crushed pineapple and spoon it around the outer edge of the pudding. You may want to just cover the whole top, but that is up to you.. it's your cake!.. You just might need a bigger can of pineapple! Anyways, next, I take about a half of a 10-oz. jar of maraschino cherries. I remove the stems, cut each in half, then set on a paper towel for just a minute or two. I place these around the edge of the cake, on top of the pineapple (see photo)... And there you have my version of flan cake! I put it in the refrigerator till it's time for dessert!