Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cherry Love from Reader Bee

My niece Reader Bee (she's about a year and half older than Baby Bee) is a bee after my own heart.  She loves to read, she loves to craft, and she loves to redecorate.   

Well that sweet Reader Bee made me something I know will delight all you Rednesday bloggers!

What could that possibly be in that milk glass?  
I see green.......
I see red......
 Why, it's a cherry!  
 A cherry that tells me that I am loved.......
 I love you too Reader Bee!
Thank you Reader Bee for my adorable cherry!
Thank you so much for buzzing by on this cheery day!
And if you have a moment, click on my Christmas giveaway and leave a comment!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Time for the Annual Christmas Giveaway!


Yep!  It's time.

It just wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't have a giveaway.

This year, I'm giving away...........

A book!

A Christmas book!

A vintage themed Christmas book!

A Very Vintage themed Christmas book!

A Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas book!

Did I get your attention?  
Are you in?

Here's what you have to do in order to win a copy of this book for your home.

1.  Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite Christmas vintage memory.

2.  For a second chance, post about my giveaway on your blog, facebook, etc.  Just leave a second comment so I can count you twice.

3.  Open to U.S. only due to shipping time.
(Sorry World!)

4.  Giveaway ends on Monday, December 12 at midnight PST.
Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to You!

I hope this Thanksgiving finds you with many blessings to give thanks for.

One of the things we are thankful for is family.

We will be with my family this year here in California.  In our family, as I imagine many of you do, we farm out the dishes to different family members.

This year I am making homemade cranberry sauce (one of my favorite dishes to make), homemade rolls, and a dessert that is NOT pie.

So I thought I would share with you my cranberry sauce recipe with you since Williams-Sonoma was kind enough to share it with me a several years ago when I bought their cookbook.


Apple Orange Cranberry Sauce

1/2 orange
2 cups water
1 tart apple (such as Granny Smith)
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves

1.  Juice the orange half and save the juice for later.
2.  Remove the white pith/membrane from the orange rind and then cut the rind into a small dice.
3.  Put the diced orange rind into a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes.  Drain and then set aside.
4.  Quarter the apples and then chop into small pieces.  Place in a medium saucepan.
5.  Sort the cranberries and toss any soft ones.  Add the cranberries to the apple along with the reserved orange peel, orange juice, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.  

6.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover partially.  Simmer gently, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened and the cranberries have burst and the apple is tender, about 10-15 minutes (but tonight it took about 20 minutes).
7.  Let cool or cover and refrigerate overnight.  Bring back to room temperature before serving.

Makes 3 1/2 - 4 cups of cranberry sauce.
Worker Bee is hoping there will be leftovers!

Tomorrow morning I'm making my rolls and prepping the chocolate croissant bread pudding (remember....something that is NOT pie).

Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope you know what a blessing you are in my life!
You are very much appreciated.

With honey,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yummy for Your Tummy

There has been a breakfast treat I've been dying to make for years.  Yes, years.  Never let it be said that I don't work out all the angles before I tackle something.  HA!  I wish!

Honestly I bought these little red bowls about 4 or 5 years ago, just to make this dish....and today was the first time I actually made it.
So....are you curious?  Do you want to know what took me so long to work up the nerve to make?

Oatmeal Brulee! ( I have no idea how to put the accent in there on blogger.)
Add caption
Start of by making your oatmeal. 
Honestly, I just cleaned that stove top!  No, really!  What? You have your doubts?  Well please keep them to yourself! 

(And we make the cooked kind, c'mon, it only takes about 5 minutes of cooking - it's really fast and so much tastier.  You can go here to read more about my oatmeal obsession. )

Then because everybody likes a little something different on their oatmeal, I pulled out the dried fruit and nut basket from the pantry, some spices, and maple syrup.

Worker Bee wanted maple syrup.

Baby Bee wanted raisins and cinnamon.

Baby Bee's BFF (we came up with a nickname for her --- Strawberry Bee!) wanted cinnamon and brown sugar.  

And I, Sweet Bee, wanted a dried berry medley (and of course, Trader Joe's has just such a blend).
After cooking the oatmeal, I added everything each person wanted and stirred it up.

Then, I spread brown sugar all over the top of the oatmeal.

Now you could use a kitchen torch, but do I have one of those?  No, of course not (although I've thought about buying one many times), but I do have a broiler (on my oven, of course).

Popped those cute red bowls in the oven and broiled the heck out of that brown sugar.
Smelled so good!!!

I pulled them out and....well......we mostly had that nice crunchy top on our oatmeal.  I have to confess, it was not a complete and total success.
I think next time I would smooth the top of the oatmeal and then spread the brown sugar more evenly on top.  (Also Worker Bee's maple syrup made it a little runny and he never did get a crackling top.)

And guess what?  I'm making it again tomorrow morning!  Definitely worth the effort to achieve perfection on this simple dish.

Have I convinced you?  Are you going to try it?  

It's been a treat to see you! (Sort of like how Oatmeal Brulee is a treat!)
All of us at Sweet Bee Cottage love to read your comments and thank you for your visit!
Hope you're enjoying getting ready for your Thanksgiving!
And, of course, I've got to link up for Rednesday 
with the delightful Sue!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Little Fluffing (or Should I Call It Buzzing?)

I planned to start painting furniture today......

but I woke up to this......

(Baby Bee wants to invite her BFF over for some raking - I'm all for it!)

Oh dear!  So many MORE leaves to come down.

So, it's way too damp to paint, which is just as well because I haven't fully decided on which color to paint the corner cabinet.  
Still leaning towards a blue cabinet with a white interior.

This is our hallway.

See? It's foggy out of the bathroom window too.)
Don't you think we need a pop of color in there?  The walls are yellow (which they might not stay for too much longer) and I have one wall of doors and then white shelves and white framed photos along the other walls between all the doors. 
Frankly, I think it's just begging for something bright and different!

This is a sampling of the colors I'm thinking about.  The colors aren't coming out very well in my photos.  Sorry.

And now I have another project.....

This dresser is from my mom.  It's very well made and is about 40-50 years old.  We had intended to use it to replace our dresser.  But when we got it in the room, it just didn't work and didn't have more drawer space then the one we have now.  
This is the one we have now.  All black doesn't photograph that well on a foggy day.

And frankly, I really like the looks of the one we have now.  (It may not be made very well, but it looks good - how shallow am I?)

So, as we were moving my mom's back out to the garage and lamenting that it wouldn't work, I said to Worker Bee, well.......we could try it as a sofa table.  (Our current sofa table looks very nice, but it doesn't have a lot of storage room.  Okay, it's wimpy.  I said it.)

And, imagine our surprise when it fit perfectly!  And Worker Bee's and my eyes danced with the storage possibilities!
Plus, we are a family of couch floppers and every time we flopped I worried about the wimpy sofa table falling over and taking with it all the pretties I have on top of it.  This is much more sturdy!

But now, I have to paint it and definitely change the hardware.

But what color?

I love so many stinkin' colors.

Here are some pictures so you can see what our living room looks like and the colors we have.
Our wall colors are antique white.
Please ignore, no I mean it, just ignore the seat cushion sticking out on the left.  You looked didn't you! 

Definitely lots of blue and red and white.

I would definitely do blue, but it's right up against our denim loveseat.  Too much blue.  

White would be nice, but I have a lot of white already with the huge armoire and all the bookcases being white (although their backs are all painted different colors).

You know I love red, but I can't imagine the heart shaped table any other color than red and that would be too much red right next to each other.
See the heart shaped table on the left?

So.....I said green to Worker Bee.  He thinks that it is too big a piece of furniture to be painted such a whimsical color as green.  (I might have said jadeite green or apple green and I think that's what turned him off.)  But now I'm also thinking maybe turquoise (and by turquoise I really mean AQUA)?  I know it's really really  - no I mean REALLY - popular right now, but I think it might work with all the other colors we have going on.  

Mustard might be a possibility too.  
(Baby Bee flat out rejects that color, but she's not the boss of me.)

Just as well it's too damp to paint today.  I can't make any decisions.

So what pop of color do YOU think I should use?

(Just know that Worker Bee has to agree with it, but your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.)

And, diva that I am, I don't like orange or purple (although I wear those colors, I don't want them on my furniture).

Thanks for buzzing by!  I'm making homemade pumpkin spice lattes today.  It'll warm your tummy.

P.S.  Did you notice that I don't have out any Thanksgiving decorations?  Well, Halloween and Thanksgiving got short shrift at Sweet Bee Cottage this year.  But we are completely and fully ready for the onslaught of Christmas.  Hey!  Maybe that's what we can do today instead of paint.  We can start decorating for Christmas!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Christmas Craft Buzz

Have you met Cindy from Rick Rack and Gingham?  
She is an absolute sweetie and she gets these fun ideas for swaps.

Her latest and greatest idea was to have a Christmas ornament swap.  Our ornaments had to reflect our blog and be a house or rv.  Ummmm.....this is where I kind of went off the tracks.  I just couldn't find a house or come up with an idea for a house......but I did think of......now go with me on this......a bee house!  Or a bee hive!!!
I started with a paper mache ornament base that kind of reminded me of a bee hive.

Then I used the wonderful and classic Aleene's Tacky Glue to wrap the ornament with jute twine.

Well, every little cottage needs a door, so I just cut a circle out of some brown felt and glued that on.

Then I needed to make a little bee.  I used black and yellow pipe cleaners, wrapped them around a screwdriver (pencil was too big) and then squished the coils together.  But I needed wings.  This was a puzzle to me.  Then inspiration struck!
I had some inkjet transparencies at home (for school)!  
I happened to have a heart shaped hole punch (thanks Martha) and I punched the heart, cut it down the middle and then glued them in between some of the coils.
Watch out! Don't get stung!

To bring in the Christmas, I made a little pennant banner for each little hive out of Christmas scrapbook paper and glued it on.
Well, I have to say, what thrilled me the most was how much Baby Bee kept saying, "I am so lucky to have a crafty mom."  Ahhh....now there's a girl who can melt her mama's heart.
 A set of 7 of these little hives are heading to Texas right now.
Just be careful when you open the box Cindy!
 Thank you for buzzing in and seeing what I'm buzzing about!

Partying at
My Romantic Home
At the Picket Fence