Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Time to Make The Pesto

If you live in a part of the country, like the northeast, whose growing season is pretty much over......

It's time to make the Pesto!

My four little basil plants did pretty well this year but when they started to flower I knew it was time to harvest them. I love fresh basil all summer to add to whatever I am cooking (I am Italian).

I mostly love it made into Pesto served on pasta or as a spread on sandwiches.

I recently clicked on the Floyd Family Homestead blog for an article on the 7 Healthy Benefits of Basil. Very interesting and a lot I didn't know. Did you know that raw basil is great for colds and the flu? I just happen to have a cold so as soon as I read that I went out and picked some leaves to chew.

Wow, is that stuff potent! And bitter! I am getting a little better.....:-)

But back to making the Pesto! You can click here for a recipe for Basil Pesto from Food Network as a guideline. I just kind of wing it though.

Did I mention that I am 100% Italian?!

Pesto consists of fresh basil leaves, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and romano/parmesan cheese. You can use salt and pepper to taste.

This bunch of basil is only half of what I grew. Each leaf has to be taken off and put in the Ninja. I have my work cut out for me.

I downsized to a small food processor after the bowls and tops of the larger ones kept cracking. I don't need a large processor most days, so I love my Ninja.

This may take awhile!

Fill the bowl of the processor with basil leaves.

For this recipe, a large food processor with a chute would be great!

Add the olive oil, nuts and garlic. I cheat here and add the cheese too! The recipe has it added at the end. Either way works.

Then just process away! For a large processor, you can add everything all at once. I needed to keep adding the ingredients as it processed down.

It is not easy to get a good picture of green food! This is not dog food. No, no, it is really, really good to eat but hard to photograph :-(

It is very easy to cook with too. Just boil some pasta of your choice, warm up the pesto a little and toss with the drained pasta. Add a sprinkle of Romano cheese and delicious!

It freezes well for last minute "what am I going to make for dinner?" days.

Be sure to check out the link above for other healthy ways to use basil.

I will leave you with my most favorite indulgence involving basil. It is this velvety body butter from Crabtree & Evelyn with avocado, basil and olive oil. It is pricey but oh so worth it. The scent is amazing don't walk around smelling like the ingredients!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am sharing with these fun blog parties:

Share Your Cup

Thoughts of Home on Thursday
No Rules Weekend Blog Party
Full Plate Thursday
Home Sweet Home
Happiness is Homemade

Friday, September 16, 2016

Happy Blogisversary to Me!

Today is Musings of a Vintage Junkie's 5 year blog anniversary!

Not being tech savvy at all, I can say that I am proud that I even got this thing off the ground. I remember my dear friend Michelle encouraged me to start a blog along with my then new Etsy shop, which will be celebrating five years on October 1st.

I started this blog to help promote my shop but once I started writing I found so much more to share.

My first blog post is hilarious....just all paragraphs of me babbling without one single picture. I got one comment on it. From my daughter!

So let's look back over the 5 years and see what was happening in my world that I felt the need to share!

My granddaughter Chloe was born a month earlier on August 11th, 4 days after my son turned 13.

This picture is Chloe in her ladybug outfit in December, 2011.

I managed to write 24 blog posts from September to December that first year!

That October I shared the pumpkin cookies and pumpkin bread recipes that I have been baking every year for 30 years here. My granddaughter Cassidy, then 6, helped decorate these. It was the beginning of sharing one of my passions, and my heart on my blog.

My picture quality was not so good then!
I joined a Blog team on Etsy and that became my incentive to write something every week because the other bloggers were the only ones commenting!

I wrote about thrifting and found treasures a lot over the years so I am not surprised to find that my most popular post of all time is called Thrifty Treasures and a Purple Cow, with 2181 views.

I shared my second hip replacement surgery in 2013 with a post called Getting Ready for the Big Day. The picture is of some of the tools I imagined my surgeon using.

I've posted a lot about my gardens over the years. One of my favorites called NaNa's Garden, is one that features my granddaughter Chloe when she was 3.

In September of last year we adopted two kittens. We named the black one Cyrus and the white calico is Sprite. They popped up in various posts throughout the past year.

It was the first year in forever that we did not have any Christmas trees in our home.

I had to be creative and come up with a solution for decorating because these were two
rambunctious kittens!

My grandchildren are a big part of my life so I have featured them in different posts throughout the years. Goin' to Grandma's is a post about my efforts to create for them the same kind of memories I have of going to my grandma's house.

This past year has been full of thrifting posts, recipes, and my garden. There was a post on my dining room dilemma and the reveal.....

 and on spreading my wings by renting a booth at a local gift shop.

The look of my blog has not changed much except for when I finally figured out how to clean up my sidebar and add media buttons. I like the turquoise and lime colors and every time I think I need to change it all, I just don't.

I just like to share things going on in my life in a way that may be fun or interesting to read.

You won't find any ads popping up here. No fancy fonts or elaborate picture boards. I never want to get so busy with the business of blogging that I can't reply to comments or visit all of your blogs.

Just everyday living with an occasional recipe, some found treasures, maybe a plug for my Etsy shop, or an out of town adventure.

If you are new to my blog I hope you will stop by again. To all of my followers over the years, I appreciate your time reading and commenting on my posts. I have made such lovely friends with so many lovely ladies from around the country and the world. I still can't get over the sweet connection there is to be found with other bloggers.

It is the best kind of reward for just sharing ME.

Thank you!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up to these fun blog parties:
"Anything Goes" Pink Saturday
Dishing It & Digging It
Home Sweet Home

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

3 Ingredient Pumpkin Cake

This post is from last Fall.

I thought it was worth repeating.

I just bought the ingredients to make this cake because it is time and I can't wait any longer! Isn't it funny how we don't make certain recipes until the "correct" season?

If you saw this post last year and saved the recipe, dig it out and start baking!

Have you seen the recipe for this pumpkin cake/bread that's been going around the blog world and Pinterest since last Fall? I first heard of it from my daughter Jena who said it was only 3 ingredients and really, really good.

I am particular about anything pumpkin I make so I was a skeptic. A box cake mix? Not for this from scratch girl. After all, I had been making the same pumpkin bread for over 30 years and it is all I'd make....until I tried this!! It is more than really, really good. It is stupid good (what exactly does that mean?!?).

There's the 3 ingredients.....spice cake mix, 15 oz. can pumpkin and 1/2 bag chocolate chips. I bought the mini chocolate chips by mistake but it turns out I like them better in this cake.

Preheat the oven according to the box for the pan you will use. Mix just the powdered spice cake (without adding water, egg, oil), the whole can of pumpkin and about 1 cup chocolate chips in a mixer till all combined. Spray your pan, spread it out and bake it for about 25 minutes (according to the cake mix box). Done!

No need to frost.

The texture is cake-y but with a sweet bread consistency. It is a pumpkin cakey bread. It is so much easier and so delicious that I have retired my 30 year old pumpkin chocolate chip bread recipe (for now). So sad.


AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fun blog parties:

Share Your Cup
Happiness is Homemade
"Anything Goes" Pink Saturday
Dishing It & Digging It
Tickly My Tastebuds Tuesday
No Rules Weekend Blog Party
Full Plate Thursday

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Pickin' My Stash For Fall

I have been crafting up a storm lately and I am not sure what has gotten into me. It is not
what I usually wake up thinking of doing. Maybe it is the anticipation of Fall and all the decorating to be done?

I like to pick and thrift great vintage things and just resell them in my Etsy shop.

Today's mini haul from Restore
Really easy.

Of course you have to have an eye for that and there's all that research and picture taking and writing a description and figuring out a price....

It is still better, I think, than taking the time to make things that may not come out good!

Because Fall is almost here, my motivation is my booth. I need Fall things to fill it up for an upcoming Open House.

There's not a lot of nice Fall vintage stuff out there.

But there are supplies. And there's a lot of craft stuff and paint in my stash.

I found a huge bunch of faux ranunculus (or are they zinnia's?) in gorgeous Fall oranges and reds and a cute basket with painted pumpkins on it at Goodwill.

I had the other assorted fixin's around the house and also picked up a small Fall arrangement at Restore to take apart for my basket centerpiece.

I added a couple of burlap pumpkins from the Dollar Tree and a pinecone.

The back

I am hoping someone will want to take it home for their Fall table centerpiece.

I have had the bee stencil for awhile and decided to finally play with it on a bread board I thrifted. I added one of my favorite sayings conveniently made into a stencil.

I think it came out pretty cute!

I love how it looks with my bread board collection. But, alas, it has to go to the booth.

The Autumn blessings sign is something I found at the Dollar General. It was originally green and orange stripes so I painted over it with chalk paint, distressed it a little and done!

I recently discovered Saltwash and have been experimenting with it.

I found this galvanized metal planter in the shape of a watering can. I painted it with the saltwash combined with chalk paint and then spray painted it Teal. A very light sanding and it is ready for a huge mum.

I found a few things for myself too.

I took a chance and drove a few towns away to go to a moving sale, "whole house, everything must go" kind of sale. I got there and there were two tables with some tools on them and a cast iron doorstop. I asked if that was all there was and the gentleman said there was some furniture in the house! What?! I asked about the price on the door stop and while he was off finding out from his daughter, I started looking around the garage.

Hanging up in the rafters I found a heavy wrought iron candleholder, a rusty old bucket and the great sage green birdhouse. I asked if he was willing to sell them. I drove all that way, I was not leaving without something great!

I got a great deal on all three things and decided to make the birdcage into a light for my side porch.

I now have a trio of birdcages out there.

I passed on the door stop....too pricey!

Imagine my delight when I found this great rusty metal two tier stand at Goodwill. It is a perfect match to my dining room colors.

I just happened to have enough stuff in my stash to fill it up to create a Fall centerpiece.

A close-up...

The back....

I had to come back and edit this by adding a picture of my updated dining room table. I found these faux nut candle wreaths at Restore for $.50 each. They fit perfectly around my rusty pumpkin candleholders that have not come out of the cupboard for a few years. I think they complete the look.

One more thing for me.

Hmmmm....seems I have almost as many things for me that I do to sell.

Works for me!

The last centerpiece is for my dining room. This one is for my kitchen.

I have been playing with it every time I walk by it over the last few days. This is today's arrangement from things I had at home. I found the metal and crystal pedestal stand at a flea market, hand made and only $5! I had to keep it. The bottom tray is an old metal tray shaped like a sunflower. It's too pretty to cover up, but for this I had to sacrifice!

Just one more thing I want to share with you....

Despite our extremely hot, dry weather all summer that killed the grass and made most of my flowers suffer, my succulents are thriving.

These are the before pictures when I first planted them.

And these are from today.

Wow! I really hope I can winter these over so I can put them out again in Spring.

Are you ready for Fall? Decorating, sweaters, boots, crisp cool mornings....

I am!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up to these great blog parties:

Share Your Cup
Thoughts of Home
Simple & Sweet Fridays
Home Sweet Home
Best of the Weekend
Happiness is Homemade
Tiered Tray Extravaganza
Make It Pretty Monday
Thrifty and Vintage Finds
Let's Talk Vintage
Vintage Charm