Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Inside my nest

Yesterday I showed you the "birdie love" on my porches.  I don't have as much inside my nest but let's take a look around and see what we find.

First we'll peek into the laundry room

A little birdie love on top of my extra fridge in the laundry area

Next down the hall let's pop into the guest room

birdie on a candle holder

birdie on a stack of books

birdie in a cage

Lastly, we'll move into the great room

birdcage among my candlesticks

bird house on top of antique suitcases

Hope you've enjoyed all my birdie love
around my nest.

......and speaking of birds look what I saw
outside my screen door this week!

Mr. Hawk!!

.....at first glance I thought it was an owl.  It was that big,
but on closer inspection I saw
it was a huge hawk. 
This is why Miss Pixie doesn't go out without supervision. 
She just might be taken for an unpleasant flight.

Tomorrow I'm leaving to go up north to the busy, crazy, terrible traffic area of Dallas/Ft. Worth.  I don't like leaving my slow pace life here in the country, but alas duty calls.

I promise I'll be back as soon as I can!!!!  See you next week.

Monday, January 23, 2012

More Birdie love around my Nest

Last Friday's post was-

 "Bird houses and cages and nests, Oh my". 

I promised then that this week I would show you all the birdie love around my nest.  Well here it is!!  I've spread it around my nest but most of it is on my front porch or my back screened porch. 

Share the love, Birdie love that is!

Welcome to my front porch.....
...a place to sit and stay awhile
Bird candle & small bird house next to rocker
My gardening hutch w/ lots of birdie stuff!
Welcome sign on bench next to front door w/ nest and bird
Now on to my back screened porch.....

...a place to relax, watch the birds, read a book, have a meal.....

Shelf above settee holds birdhouses, and container with bird food

Big house, little house

I love this birdhouse, found it at the antique shop in Victoria at a bargin price I might add!

Center piece on porch table - Cage with a birds nest

and this pretty cage came from The Market at Victoria, my favorite shop in town!

and more bird houses!

and last stop today, porch off the breezeway

This is where my back door guests come into the house.
Got to give them a little birdie love too!!!!!

Tomorrow we'll go inside the house and look for the Birdie love

Have a great Monday and please come back and visit again!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I have a confession

Just as the famous chef, Paula Dean had a confession, (she has diabetes), I too have a confession.  I had a doctor visit last week and was told "Your BAD cholestrol is up and you NEED to get that number back down".  So I'm going to try to plan healthier meals for hubby and me.  As you know if you saw my blog post from last weekend we love to cook.  Good ole southern cooking, which I guess I'm going to have to keep to a minimum.  So I got out my cookbooks and starting looking for something that looked a little healthier than last weekend.  This is what I came up with.  It may not be perfect but it's a start in the right direction.......

Saturday morning Hubby made this for breakfast

Buttered toast and soft boiled eggs
OK, there is a piece of bacon hidden under the toast.
We had a few pieces in the fridge and one must not waste!!

This got us off to a good start for the day.  It was a beautiful day so we went out and gathered all the fallen limbs and branches from our many oak trees and started a fire in our burn pile. 
We have a temporary lift on our burn ban.  Needless to say we got our share of exercise.  Pixie supervised and made sure we did it right!! 
Oh yea, we also bombed gopher holes!  Got to love country living!

After all that work we had a good appetite so we headed in to cook our dinner.

Classic Lemon Chicken with Sauteed Spinach

2 lemons
4 Chicken cutlets, pounded thinly into scallopini
salt and pepper
Flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled
16 caper berries
10 large green olives
1/2 cup dry white wine
 ( I used white cooking wine, found at your local grocery store)
1 cup chicken broth
Squeeze the juice from one and a half lemons and reserve.  Cut the remaining half lemon into very thin slices.  Remove seeds and set the lemon slices aside.

Season the chicken scallopini with salt and pepper.  Dredge in flour, coating both sides, and tap the excess flour off.  Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add as many scallopini into the pan that will fit without touching, and cook until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes.  Flip and cook second side until light browned, about 2 minutes.  Remove scallopini and drain on paper towel.

When done with the scallopni, wipe off the fat from the skillet with paper towels,.  Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, butter, garlic and lemon juice and slices to the skillet.  Cook, scraping the bottom until garlic is golden brown, about 3 minutes.  Scoop out the lemon slices and set aside.  Add the capers, olives and cook, stirring gently for about 4 -5 minutes  Pour in wine and bring to a boil.  Cook until the wine is reduced by half.  Add the chicken stock and boil until slightly syrupy.  Return the scallopini to the skillet and coat each piece in the sauce.

Divide scallopini onto separate plates.  Spoon the sauce over, and add the capers and olives around scallopini.   If you want to you can top with reserved lemon slices.

Serve with Sauteed Spinach

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 pounds spinach
salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Crush garlic cloves with the side of the knife and add to the oil.  Cook until golden brown, approximately 2 minutes.  Add the spinach by handfuls and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Cover pan and cook until spinach releases its liquid.  Uncover pan, and cook stirring until spinach is wilted and water has evaporated.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper.

I cut this reciepe in half for us and only used 1 bag of spinach- approx 1 lb.

I decided a can of white northern beans would compliment this meal nicely.

And for dessert
We all know this is good for us, right?????

Yes, healthy can be delicous!

Tonight we are having Baked Ziti w/ a salad.
If you want the reciepe let me know and I'll post it.

Bon Apetit!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bird houses and cages and nest, Oh my!!!!

Hi, hope your week was great!  Have you been joining any of the blog parties this week.  I joined on "the French Country Cottage" and "the Picket Fence"  How fun is that???  A party on a blog!

OK, back to my blog.  How many of you like to collect things?  I've collected many things over the years.  My collections have changed over time.  I have always liked to collect tea cups and teapots.  I guess because of my English heritage.  Another thing I have collected over the years is Birdhouses.  Indoor and outdoor birdhouses, big and little birdhouses, all shapes and sizes, I love them all.  Most recently I've started collecting bird cages and bird nests.  (You might be gaining some insight into my blog name!) 

I thought I'd share a few pictures of my "birdie" collection.
Lots of "Birdie" love here

"Time Flies"
A collection of clocks placed in a birdhouse!

Simple but sweet.

Pop back in next week and
I will show you the rest of my "Birdie" collection. 

Mean while.......Don't forget to.......

Have a blessed weekend

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My french country Nest

I love decorating in the french country and shabby chic styles.  I thought I'd invite you into my nest and a show you what I've done in my guest bath.

I designed my cabinets in the "furniture front" style and had them painted off white with an antique glaze.  I already had the framed mirror, so I decided to use it in this bath above the sink. 
I think it works great.

Next I purchased this darling french country chair at my favorite local shop, "The Market of Victoria".  It's a little boutique with gifts, home decor, and ladies apparel. 
You will see lots of things around my nest from this cute shop! 
Placed next to the chair is a small antique cabinet with a marble top. 
I think the cabinet and chair make the bathroom feel a little more inviting and comfortable.

On the small cabinet I have a framed picture of the Eiffel Tower.  I bought the frame for $5.00 at my local resale shop and the picture is from my dad's World War II postcard collection which I inherited.

This shelf hangs above the table and chair. 

I love anything silver and if it's tarnished all the better!

I found these cute "french" bottles at Hobby Lobby.

I love white towels, they always look so fresh and clean. 
These are from the Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic collection sold at Target

 My hanging metal bucket is perfect for magazines.
There is "Cottage Style" and "Victoria Bliss"
for your reading pleasure.
And last but not least, I found this cute french country bath mat at Walmart!!
Don't you just love the rooster! 

Thanks for stopping by my blog today
and  taking a peek into my nest.
If you have ideas on how to make a guest bathroom
warm and welcome for friends and family
I'd love to hear about them.
Please feel free to leave a comment.

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Out my screen door

I want to share some of the things I see from day to day out my screen door.  First my birdies!!!  All shapes, colors and sizes.  I love them one and all. They are always so cheerful, singing their songs and flying here and there.
  Another creature I see out my screened door are squirrels!
Have you ever heard of the TV show "Are you smarter than a 5th grader"????
Well, we could star in a new show "Are you smarter than a Squirrel"?????
and apparently the answer is NO!

These mischievous little guys EAT my birdfood!!!!!   We've tried a squirrel guard above our bird feeder.  Guaranteed to stop these pesky guys.!!!!
But they are quite the little acrobats and are able to work around this.

Next we tried a new kind of feeder.....

This one has a wire frame around the actual feeder and is spring loaded so when the squirrel gets on it the wire frame is pushed down to cover the feed openings.  Sounds good but I'm not convinced....the jury is still out but I'll let you know if it works.  Mean while hubby was out today working on the other feeder with the squirrel guard.  He has lowered the feeder dropping it further below the guard.  Let's see how that works!!

and last but not least I see the deer out my screened door

There were 12 in my yard this morning.  I say my yard.....but they look at me like
"What are YOU doing in MY yard"??????
and I guess I really did move into their home so it's only fair I share it with them.

All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great and small
All things wise and wonderful
                                                                                                   Cecil Frances Alexander

Monday, January 16, 2012

I love a man who can COOK!

No, I mean I really do, his name is Dan and he is my sweet husband.  We love to cook our way through the weekend.  He is head chef and I'm his sous chef (chef's assistant).  I'm going to share with you what we cooked this weekend and give you some of the recipes.

Saturday morning he made Eggs Benedict

He used a poaching pan but says next time he will do the water bath method.
He also used some of his smoked ham.  He smokes a ham each January
and we package it with our food saver and eat it all year long!

Next, Hollandaise sauce.  I keep a few packages of Knorr's on hand just for times like this.
Yum Yum!!!  Add some mimosa's and you've got a great start to a Saturday.

Later that day he started making a big pot of his delicious Potato Soup
Dan's Potato Soup
70 oz. Chicken Stock (stock not broth)
1 Tbsp chicken granules
1 large onion chopped
2 med carrots chopped
1/2 cup diced celery
10 med potato's cubed
8 slices bacon or smoked ham
(We use cubed ham in the soup and crumbled bacon as a garnish)
1 Can evap. milk
1 pint of heavy cream
1 stick unsalted butter
Grated cheddar cheese for garnish

Bring chicken stock to a boil, add chicken granules,  add onion, carrots, celery and simmer 10-15 minutes.  Add potato's and ham (if you are using bacon, fry and crumble towards end of cooking time)  return to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cook for approximately two hours until potato's are soft and creamy texture.  At this point we use a potato masher to gently break up the potato's.  Not too much or they will dissolve into the soup.  Now add your evaporated milk, cream, and butter.  Heat thoroughly and serve.  Top with cheese and bacon bits.  This is so good with a skillet of cornbread.  We crumble our cornbread in the soup! 
Makes a great meal on a chilly day!

(OK, it's not fat free but nothing good ever is)

Ok, now on to Sunday.  No, we are not though eating yet!!  We get really great sea food living at the coast.  We have a lady whose family are local fishermen and she comes around every few weeks selling their fresh catch.  We had some of her beautiful large shrimp so we decided to do the following menu for
Sunday's dinner:

S & D Barbecue Shrimp
Crunchy Slaw
Ciabatta bread

The shrimp reciepe is from the S & D Shrimp House in Dallas, Texas.  He found it on the web.   You can probably google it.

I'll give you the Crunchy Slaw recipe because it's kind of different and Oh so good!

Crunchy Slaw
10-12 servings


1 lb coleslaw mix
1 large carrot, shredded
1/2 cup green pepper, cut in thin slices
4 green onions, finely chopped (use white and green parts)

1 package uncooked beef flavor Ramen noodles.  Crush or break up
1 4 oz package sunflower seeds
1/2 cup slivered almonds (toast in oven 10 min or until crisp)

Combine all ingredients in large bowl. 

Dressing (make at least 4 hours ahead and refrigerate)

1/4 cup cider or wine vinegar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup salad oil
package of beef flavoring from Ramen noodles

Pour over slaw mixture and serve.  You can actually make this ahead of time to serve, even the day before.  The crunchies don't get mushy.

To use as a luncheon dish, add 1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast.

Now, go curl up with a good book, be a couch potato, or take a nap!  That's what we did!  Love those kicked back weekends!!!!!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dream a little dream

This is going to be a very short post because today is house cleaning and grocery day.  A considerable part of my day will be cleaning up after this little "Hair Monster".  She's like a walking snow storm with her white hair flying everywhere.  But I love her so what am I going to do??????

Miss Pixie

But on to other things........... I want to remind you, challenge you, to DREAM!

Dreams are the seedlings of Realities!

I once had a dream that I would live a beautiful country life, in a house with a big front porch to rock on and a screened back porch to relax on.  Dreams do come true. 
Dream a little dream.......See you next week.