Collecting Vintage Pattern Glass & Display Ideas

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I love grouping same size, same style but totally different in pattern and design small pattern glass pieces such as toothpick holders, sugar, creamers, bud vases etc.  Here we set them on an old tarnished round vintage silverplate tray.

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Here we have them displayed on an oval vintage flat mirror. The reflection of light and imagery is so pretty!

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Up close, you see they pattern differentials!

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Pretty up a sideboard, buffet or table setting with a grouping of small vintage pattern glass items! Use your imagination! Fill with pinecones in the winter, sprigs of herbs in the summer, fresh spring buds or use them to display spoon collections, fish forks etc. So pretty!

Lentil Soup from Country to Shabby!

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I made home made lentil soup and thought it would be fun to show you both Country serving bowls and shabby chic serving bowls! Either way it’s yummy and either way its pretty! Above are flat stoneware blue and white splatterware pottery bowls….(they were just shipped out to their new home in TX yesterday!) Yee ha!

Ingredients

1 bag of dried lentil beans (very inexpensive and health too!)

1 to 2 medium size onions thinly diced

2 cloves of garlic

2 handfuls of carrots diced (about 1 cup)

1/4 pound of ground meat

1 box of chicken broth plus 16 ounces of water

salt and pepper for seasoning

Olive oil to start the onions and garlic

 

So, rinse your lentil beans thoroughly. The challenge is to find a colander that doesn’t have too big of holes so your lentils don’t go down the drain! lol!

Begin by using a large soup or stock pot. Sweat the onions and garlic so they are slightly soft over medium heat. Once they are cooked, add your drained lentils and stir. I let them warm a bit with the onions and then I add my chicken stock, water and carrots. Stir all together and raise heat to a good simmer.

Next you will tear off small sections of the ground meat, smaller than a meatball and no need to roll or combine with other ingredients. If you make the pulled meat sections small enough they cook quickly and stay nice and tender. You will want to simmer this for at least a half an hour. Add your salt and pepper too when you add your meat. Taste test in about a half an hour for seasoning. Continue to simmer until the meat is cooked through for sure, but usually 1/2 hour does it. See the portions of meat, the size in relation to the carrots, they should be about the same size.

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Pretty vintage red gingham place mat and napkin set!

On to the shabby chic serving in pretty wide rim fluted soup bowls with dainty pink flowers!

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I love how the colors are offset between the light porcelain bowl and darker soup!

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Yummy chunks of meat, carrots, and those amazing lentil beans packed with protein, fiber and low calories! Pretty and yummy!

 

Snacking on Caponata an Italian Classic Served in Vintage Ramekins

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Caponata is the epitome of all good Italian tastes in my opinion! It’s great as an appetizer, as a small meal with crackers and some fruit and nuts on the side too!

Here is the recipe:

6 Tablespons of Olive Oil

1 pound of eggplant peeled and diced

1 large onion diced

2 cloves are garlic diced or minced

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon of salt (might want to taste before you add this at the very end)

pepper to taste

2 tablespoons of capers and whatever brine comes into the spoon

15 green olives diced into quarters

2 tablespoons of pine nuts

First you saute the eggplant with about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, cook for about 10 minutes and add the onion and garlic the last 5 minutes. Add 2 to 3 more tablespoons of the olive oil if it seems dried out at all. (If you want to make sure your eggplant is not bitter, before you saute it, cut in large rounds, layer with regular table salt sprinkled generously between layers and set in colander with heavy can or pot on top of it. Let it sit for up to an hour, rinse well and dice as you are now ready to saute. Bitter eggplant bothers some folks but I typically don’t mind the taste of it). Now that your done cooking the only ingredients that need to be cooked, set them aside to cool.

 

Once cooled, add in the remaining ingredients, sugar, red wine vinegar, pepper, capers, green olives and pine nuts. Stir it all together, give it a taste, add salt if needed. You can store this in a lovely mason jar or air tight container. It gets better the longer it sits.

We plated ours in lovely vintage German ramekins.

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As mentioned above, you can serve with other light finger foods such as grapes, nuts  etc. Best served with nice large crackers to hold the weighty Caponata spread.

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This is a great dish to make if you are eating for one, have an eggplant to use up or if you don’t feel like a large meal….great for lunch too! Lovely flavors of Italy combined in a tasty spread! Yummy!

 

 

Easiest Crab Meat & Spaghetti Olio Served in Vintage Pasta Bowl

This is the easiest, quick pasta meal with the most amazing flavor featuring crab meat! It’s one of my Mom’s recipes and she is just crazy about crab meat so we made it together last night! You start by sauteing 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced in olive oil (about 2 tablespoons), then add 1/2 of a thinly diced onion, add 1/2 stick of butter, a sprinkler of old bay seasoning, salt and pepper. Simmer until the garlic and onion are slightly translucent.

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Open up your large can of crab meat, you can get chunk for a very reasonable price when it’s on sale. I will typically buy 2 and freeze one for another meal. Once your butter is melted, go ahead and add all of the crab to your sauted mixture of onion, garlic, butter and olive oil.

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You can add your pasta to your boiling pot of water that you have salted with a nice big tablespoon or palm full of salt. We like to use thin spaghetti’s for this recipe with crab so the crab pieces are visible and maintain their shape.

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Water is boiling so add the pasta and stir. I like to cook min on a medium to high heat because I have no patience. My Mom and I totally disagree on the pasta doneness…I like it Al Dente and she likes it, well, mooshy! We compromise and I usually take mine out early and leave her portion to cook longer.

 

 

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Your crab meat basically just needs to be heated through and that will happen pretty quickly with the melted butter, olive oil and onion/garlic mixture. I actually spoon in 2 ladles of starchy pasta water to give the crab mixture some consistency for easy tossing. We always add extra drizzles of olive oil at the end too! We used one of Mom’s old Sunday Dinner pasta bowls, vintage Italian ceramic with wooden spoons for service. Enjoy!

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Moral of the Story Regarding an Office Chair

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So I was cleaning my office today and turned my stool up side down and placed on my counter top so I could clean under the area. I swept and went to throw my gatherings outside and came back to this…..

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Yes, that is Snowball using my upside chair as a new place to lay.

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Ah…4 sides that keep him nestled nicely! Moral of the story is Ya never know where you cat is going to think is a good place to take a nap! Luv ya Snow! Sweet dreams.

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I’ve Been Meaning to Write…I Luv You GG

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It’s been over 2 weeks since I had to put Grandpa the cat to sleep. I have been wanting to write to share some of his adventures with you but it’s hard to type through the tears. I don’t want to bring anybody down, I really just want to share his amazing story with you and how he impacted my life!

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For starters, Snowball and him did not hit it off when I first took in GG about 3 years ago. Skinny as a rail, ears a mess, tongue hanging out and matted fur, Snowball wanted nothing to do with him. As a matter of fact I had to break up a few cat fights between them. Then, magic happened. Time, patience, love, more patience, more love, the 2 of them started to get along. They kept each other warm in the winter months sleeping in whatever available box they could find in my store. They did have nice fluffy beds but they did prefer a good box.

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Here they are curled up on my office. One of the funniest things GG did was give me grief when he was hungry. If I was working and told him to wait just a minute, he would walk away and sort of go grrrrr….like he had this deep out at the bar drinking all night gruff voice! I would laugh so hard jump up and serve him immediately.  He was always grateful. Then there was the soft touch of his paw on my leg when he had more patience with me. So gentle, no claws out, just a little tap, then another.  Same pose, me at my computer working but in the summer I use a coconut oil on my legs to keep them soft, well he really liked the taste of that. He wold lick it all off as soon as he discovered it was there….he would tickle me and make me laugh again!

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Off to the vets office for his minor surgery 1 year ago. He had developed squamous skin cancer on his back, of all things. Never knew a kitty could develop that. Probably because he lived outside his entire life. He looked so dapper on this striped zebra blanket while he waited for his surgery. Dr. Lisa and the entire staff at Ocean View Vet took the very best care of him for me!

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I had taken out the drawers of a nightstand to paint, turned around and there he was….another cozy spot! Everyone that got to meet him in the store thought he was just awesome! So many kind sweet people that would hold him, bring him treats and even toys! He absorbed all of the love he was finally getting and deserved.  He was creative, kind, loving, gentle, relentless, a fighter, a survivor and he taught me many life lessons that I will never forget.

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He’s resting in peace behind my store where I have a nice little grave for him. I wanted to be close to him always. He was an AMAZING cat, one that no-one else wanted, one that no-one took the time to care for or love but he gave so much love to me, it was one of the best experiences of my life. I love you GG.

Wednesday Night in Cape May….ahhh

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After a crazy day, a silly Wednesday, my hubby said hey lets drive down to Cape May for a visit! Well lucky us, because we live only 10 miles north off the parkway. A drive I am always willing to take when you are escaping to such a lovely town!

Where shall we go? I chirped up immediately, The Virginia Hotel please!

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We were greeted by a roaring fireplace, a comfy set of chairs, soft jazz music and smiles from all those that were there! We sat for a bit next to the fireplace, ordered some nice Merlot and I proceeded to get a hot flash so I told hubby it was time to move to the porch area.

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The Virginia Hotel has the most amazing enclosed cozy porches off of their main sitting rooms! I snapped a picture of this incredible antique secretary desk, Chippendale style, I believe. Filled with books about Cape May, ghost stories, history etc…..ahhh I could sit all night in this room! But we were getting hungry, so off to the amazing bar area…

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Here is just a glimpse….good wine, good food, fantastic atmosphere! After grabbing a small bite to eat, we left the Virginia. It’s always a pleasure to visit even if it’s just a few hours. I literally felt as though I was in another world. The shoulder and neck tensions eased, I smiled more, I thought more positively about life and its tribulations….it’s good there!

Last shot of the amazing, always sure to please window boxes at street level…

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Hope you enjoyed visiting The Virginia Hotel with me in Cape May. Let’s do it again soon! xoxo chrissy

Apple Crisp, Raspberries in White Wine & A Pretty Vintage Spode Plate

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It’s that time of year to enjoy apples but still reap the fruits of the summer season! I’ve combined the 2 by creating an Apple Crisp and pairing it with a white wine accented with fresh raspberries!

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I used a white wine and tossed in a handful of these beautifully colored fresh raspberries!

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Pretty from any angle!

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Now to the apple crisp!

What you need:

6 apples peeled, cored and cut into wedges

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons of flower

1 tablespoon of lemon juice to keep apples from browning

Toss all together and set in a large casserole. I like mine spread out in a large casserole so I can distribute the crisp over a larger area.

Next comes the topping that is sprinkled on top of the apple mixture. You need 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 stick of butter cut into small pieces. Mix all together, I used a fork so I could cut into the butter. Once well mixed, sprinkle even over the apples already prepped and sitting in casserole dish.

Bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

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Whip cream optional, but a good option!

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Served on a Spode small dessert dish in the Chelsea Garden pattern. The colors look so pretty with raspberries! Enjoy!

Antique Childs Clogs as Window Box Planters! Yes!

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I found these adorable antique wooden clogs at auction last week and I was so glad that I shot a photo of the most adorable window box planter idea when I recently visited Lewes, DE so I can show you how to use them!

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Isn’t that too cute! Granted you will need a few more to make the row but too cute! I’m now on a serious hunt to find more!18956a-2