Monday, October 13, 2014

Strolling Around Beaufort, SC

I enjoyed strolling throught the quaint little town of Beaufort, SC, 

and visiting all of the little shops.

The river runs behind the little town.

The draw bridge was a nice place for an evening run.

Most of the cafes and restaurants face the water.
It's a great place for a stroll or just to sit in the swings a while.

These are so many beautiful houses in the area.
I could imagine myself in my Scarlett dress standing on that big proch years ago.

I loved the colorful houses on the tree lined streets.

Pink is always a favorite.

And who doesn't love a "shotgun" house?

But...the simple cottages were the ones I seemed most drawn to.
Life is changing and small and simple is looking better.
It makes me wonder about the people that lived in the big houses so many years ago.
Were they just like me?  Did they dream their whole life of family and a big house, only to discover that family moves on all too quickly to build their own dreams?

Such is life.  We dream big, sometimes too big.
I built a big house picturing my family always being around,
running through the house, working in the yard, playing in the pool, Sunday dinners,
only now to wish we had a little cottage surrounded with pretty flowers.

An excerp from Nicholas Sparks book, The Longest Ride, sums up my feelings exactly;

"A young man lives in a tiny, run-down cottage on the beach and he rows his boat out into the ocean every day to fish, not only because he needs to eat, but because he feels peaceful on the water.  But more than that, he also wants to improve his life and that of his family, so he works hard at bringing in bigger and bigger catches.  With his earnings, he eventually buys a bigger boat so he can make his business even more profitable.  That leads to a third boat and then a fourth boat, and as the years pass and the business contines to grow, he eventually accumulates a whole fleet of boats.  By then, he's rich and successful, with a big house and a thriving business, but the stress and pressure of running the company eventually take their toil.  He realizes that when he retires, what he really wants more than anything is to live in a tiny cottage on the beach, where he can fish all day in a row-boat. . .  because he wants to feel the same sense of peace and satisfaction he experienced when he was young."

Such is life. . .

But the next chapter with the one you love is always exciting.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Visiting Beaufort, SC & Staying at The City Loft Hotel

After reading about Beaufort, SC in Southern Living magazine, My husband and I decided it was a place we needed to visit for a few days on one of the rare occasions we were able
 to get away,...alone.
We stayed in The City Loft Hotel  in downtown Beaufort.

We were very impressed with this stylish upscale urban hotel and its old fashioned hospitality.
We chose the "Destination Package," which proved to be a great deal.

The rooms were very clean and comfortable.
The turndown service included cookies each evening along with the weather
forcast for the next day.

The bathroom had a soaking tub, glass enclosed shower, and even a TV in the bathroom.
I could get used to that.

There was a nice coffee shop right downstairs.

Our package included $15 in coupons.
The "Whiteout,"  cafe mocha with white chocolate, was perfection in a cup.

There was also a nice on site gym.
I took this picture to show you that I am working out while my husband
found a TV on the exercise bike and watched a football game.
ha ha...

A carriage ride was included.  I recommend that you always take the carriage rides
in historic towns,  you learn so much that you would miss otherwise.
The wealth of information that these guides retain, always impresses me.

The hotel also provided bikes for us to ride.

It was fun riding the bikes around after the carriage ride to look closer at the many houses we
 had learned about.  I will do another post on just the beautiful houses I photographed.
As we rode around discussing which house we would like to live in, I decided on this one,
the biggest one in Beaufort.

Our package included a day pass for Hunting Island State Park, complete with lunch,
beach chairs, and beach towels.
The gourmet lunch we chose;  the Caprese on Focaccia and
Ham on Ciabatta, with to die for brownies.

They packed everything nicely in a cooler for us.

As the manager helped us load up everything for the day at the beach, I told her, "Wow, you just don't get service like this everywhere."  She replied, "We are in the 'hospitality' business, this is what you should expect."  Wow.  I was really impressed.

A place that actually seemed genuinely glad you were there and went out of their way to serve you.
I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone.

It was also very convenient, within walking distance to downtown and many great cafes.

Hunting Island was beautiful.

This Florida girl could not get over being able to park and walk just steps away to the water.
It is more natural for us to drag everything through the heat, sand, and sweat for a while before we reach the water.  We also realized this was actually the first beach that we have ever seen that wasn't in Florida.

The lighthouse on Hunting Island was......pulchritudinous.
~add that to your vocabulary...

When we heard that neither the elevator nor the AC were working that day,
we decided to just enjoy the view from outside.
hee hee...

Close by, a small giftshop with shady picnic tables on the beach

We brought home many great memories and treasures that day.
I can't wait to go back.

There is more than I can tell about this wonderful town in one blog post.
Come back for more.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lemon Blueberry Biscuits

I love me some summer time berries.
I love the perfect sweetness of all of God's beautiful berries. . .

I will admit, I've been dreaming a lot lately about Blueberry Scones, 
but I could never muster up the energy to get in the kitchen to make them.
When I found this recipe for Lemon Blueberry Biscuits, I thought it might be a little 
easier than the scones.
It was well worth the effort.

The ingredients;  2 cups all purpose flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder,
1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 cup (8 oz.)  Greek lemon yogurt*, 1 egg,
1/4 cup butter melted, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, &1 cup fresh blueberries

Printable recipe will be at bottom of page.

*the regular yogurt is only a little over 5 oz.  I also added a little vanilla yogurt I had in the refrigerator.
Next time, I would just go ahead and add 2 of the lemon yogurts.

For the glaze you will need; 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk the first five ingredients.

In another bowl, whisk the yogurt, egg, melted butter, & lemon peel.
Add to the flour mixture and stir until moistened.
It will seem dry & you will be tempted to add some milk,...but don't.
It will be just right.  Just keep stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.

Gently fold in the blueberries.

Use your hands to gently incorporate them into the dough.

Drop by 1/3 cupfuls about 1 inch apart onto a greased baking sheet.
Makes 1 dozen.
The directions said bake for 15 minutes.
I had to add 10 minutes to get them golden brown.

In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients; 
confectioners' sugar,  lemon juice, & lemon peel.
Stir until smooth

Spoon over warm biscuits and breathe in the glorious aroma.
I wish I had a blog smell app.

They were scrumptious.  They would be perfect with coffee or hot tea.
or as John Wayne said...
"Get off your horse and drink your milk."

The old enamel coffee pot was a recent treasure find to add to my coffee pot collection.
...cause in the south, 3 of anything means you got yourself a collection.

Because I made them at supper time, we thought they were pretty good with ham and eggs.

Ain't no granny in Hardee's that could make these any better.

By the way...did you know they stopped selling the cinnamon raisin biscuits at Hardee's?
That was the only thing I ever went to Hardee's for.  Guess I never have to go there now.

I am thankful that there are some left on the Hoosier for tomorrow's breakfast.

I am anxiously awaiting breakfast. . .

Friday, June 27, 2014

I Finally Got a Hoosier

You know that moment when you're just walking through the Antique Shop, enjoying looking at old stuff and enjoying the "smell" of antiques?
Am I the only one who loves the smells in an antique shop?
And then right in the middle of it all......something speaks to you.....
It draws you in.
It wants to come home with you...

I have always wanted a Hoosier cabinet.
I just never knew where I would put it.
But when I saw this simple beauty....with its white cabinets that would match my kitchen
It's red accents that would coordinate perfectly,
I knew.
I just knew.
I went home and started walking around with the measuring tape.
I usually know it's pretty much going to happen when I start walking around with the measuring tape.
I am a woman.  I can make it fit.
I went back 3 times and measured.
The only thing that really discouraged me, was that it was missing the little knob and the crank of the sifter.
The lady at the shop said, "You're not really going to use it anyway, what does it matter?"
"It's a conversation piece.  I must have it.  How can I explain how it works to my kids, without it?"
I googled.  I found some on ebay.
I found places that sold Hoosier parts.
I knew I could get another one.

My friends laughed when I said I just had to convince my husband that we didn't need the dining set anymore.
I thought about how I could display my antique things on the Hoosier.
How I could put my rooster collection on top.
Or my old milk bottles.
How I could use it for a coffee bar when I have big parties.  (don't laugh kids).
Or how I could move my big Kitchen Aid mixer over there to save counter space.
A baking center.
And I thought about how cute it would be to decorate for Christmas.
My Jadite dishes.  Christmas lights.........swoon........
So, I got the nerve to present it to my husband.
He said what he always says, "Whatever you think, Sweetheart."
I don't know why I even ask........
I'm one lucky girl.

I knew we would be just fine without that extra leaf and 2 chairs.
99% of the time, there are only 3 of us here anyway.
And there are those other 3 barstools at the counter...
and a dining table with 10 chairs at the other end of the kitchen.
We will be just fine...

So....we basically remade her.
We are both perfectionist.
It was dirty.  We sanded.  We caulked.
We spackled.  We painted.
We installed cabinet latches because the doors wouldn't stay closed.
We installed a drawer track because the drawer was hard to pull.
We stabilized, shimmed, and secured.
She's as good as new now.

I had fun moving some of my "old stuff" over there.

My jar of old cookie cutters and biscuit cutters.
That old timer that belonged to my parents.
I remember my Dad taking a nap and setting this timer.
Can you imagine sleeping with a tick, tick, tick..and waiting for it to ding?

Some of my old baking things.
And yes, I use all of my old kitchen utensils.

I love using them and imagining the hands that held them years ago for the same purpose.
I'm strange like that.

The top cabinets hold some of my baking supplies.
Red, of course.

The drawer holds some of my old things that I love to use.
The old enamel top is dated 1942 on the back side.

The bottom cabinets hold some of my enamel ware and other old stuff.

The sifter is the middle top cabinet and still works.

And that little crank I was so worried about on the sifter?
When we loaded this cabinet, we laid the top shelf unit down in the truck bed.
When we got home and unloaded it, we discovered that someone had just put the sifter on facing the back.
The little crank with the old wooden handle was just facing the back side.
I did the happy dance.

I do love old stuff.
She's simple, nothing fancy.
She is perfect.
The lady that owned the booth that I bought this in, told me she bought it in Kentucky.
That is always important to me.  I love knowing where my old stuff came from.
A little country kitchen in Kentucky.......sigh...
I blog to try to make my children understand.
I blog to remind them not to put all of my old stuff in one big pile
and sell it for 25 cents each at a Yard Sale one day.
Just don't. 
If you're interested, you can read more about Hoosier cabinets  here.

The truly observant reader will notice, I removed the tassels on the curtains.
They were too busy.