Cottage Living | Window Flower Boxes

The best part of my dad & Kim's visit last weekend was the belated Christmas gift they brought up for me.  Dad, besides being an expert rock skipper, is also a craftsman that builds beautiful furniture and other home and garden accessories.  For my Christmas gift this year, he built me the most adorable window boxes for my cottage!     My windows out front are pretty large so I needed quite a few potted plants, flowers, and herbs to fill the boxes.  But, it gave us the perfect opportunity to make a trip to our favorite store for some nursery shopping! 

These beautiful flower boxes could not have come at a better time... I needed a dose of cutesy cottage decorating since "my" cottage is now "our" cottage and is completely filled with boy stuff.  

Thank goodness for Kim's green thumb and guidance... hopefully I can keep these plants healthy, which would be a refreshing change from the garden massacre of 2012.  Literally nothing made it out alive.

Between the new deck, the green patio furniture, and the new window boxes - it looks so cute out front!  I can't wait for the mornings to warm up a bit so we can have breakfast and coffee outside on the weekends.

There is a boy in my house.

Soooo, I'm a little behind on my blog (duh).  It's for a good reason, though.  There's a boy in my house.  Like, all up in my house.

 

In case you were wondering... that is, in fact, a lego robot.  Not pictured: his coonskin hat that (when he's not wearing it) is hanging from my white Pottery Barn candle sconce.  Wait, that's NOT a hat and bicycle helmet rack?

He also came with a copy of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, very appropriately given to him as a gift from his dad just before he moved in here.

One more thing - someone might want to check on hell, because I'm pretty sure it froze over when Brent took me mountain biking... and I actually liked it.

Pie Party: The Recipes - Olive's Hors D'oeuvres

Follow my blog with Bloglovin The real hit of Cheryl's pie party was the goodie platter Olive put together for us to snack on.  She's a pro!

Crackers, apples, 4 different types of cheese, figs, salami, champagne grapes, olives, smoked almonds, oh my!

Cheryl's husband Rob considered it a challenge to pile a cracker high and eat it all at once because, well, why not?

Pie Party: The Recipes - Bluebarb Pie

My best friend Cheryl hosted a really fun pie party a few weeks ago, and  I thought I'd share a couple pie recipes from the party because they were all so delicious... Cheryl's Bluebarb Pie

Serves 4 │ 3 ¼ hrs
*Use other berries this “pie” if you like
4 stalks (1 lb.) rhubarb, trimmed and thinly sliced
6 tbsp. dark brown sugar
4 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
10 tbsp. sugar, divided
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
½ cup softened unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. kosher sale
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. flour
2 cups (12 oz) blueberries
½ tsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. lemon juice
 
1.       Cook rhubarb with brown sugar in a medium frying pan over medium-low heat until it looks like jam, 20 min. Put in a bowl and chill. Stir in ice cream and freeze until firm, 3 hrs.
2.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix 1 tbsp. sugar and the cinnamon in a bowl. Beat butter, 5 tbsp. sugar, the vanilla and salt in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add flour and mix on low until large clumps form.
3.       Gather dough into a ball and roll into a ¼-in.- thick round. Transfer to baking sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and freeze until firm, 10 min. Bake until edges are golden brown, 15-20 min. Cool, then break into large shards.
4.       Put berries, cornstarch, lemon juice and remaining sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook, stirring, until thick and bubbly, 5 min.
5.       Divide berry compote among 4 bowls. Scoop ice cream in each bowl and add crust shards.
 
Per serving: 858 calories.
Check out her blog for all of the details on how to host your own pie party!

Breakfast Taters

I probably shouldn't include "breakfast" in the name since I love them so much I tend to eat these potatoes as a dinner side dish too, but I think they are traditionally a breakfast variety of potato.  Plus, breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day.  I digress...  I'll get to the recipe.  There are no exact measurements but it's simple and VERY hard to mess up (my favorite kind of recipe).  I use red potatoes but pretty much any potato will do, and I typically use 1 large or 2 small for each person.  I use a 2:1 ratio for potatoes to onion, so for every potato I use, I use about 1/2 of that volume in onion.  I like it onion-y, and since I live alone I rarely worry about my breath after :P Ingredients for 2 servings:

4 small or 2 large red potatoes 1/2 medium sized yellow onion, diced 2 Tbsp. olive oil salt & pepper to taste shredded cheese (optional) hot sauce or ketchup (optional)

Directions:

Poke some holes in the taters with a fork, wrap in wax paper and nuke 'em until they're tender to the touch.  Mine typically take 5-6 minutes for 2 potatoes, but this step is entirely dependent upon the microwave.  They should feel soft to the touch with a little squish, but still have a solid center.

Dice up the onion and cut up the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes... careful - I'm always burning my fingertips on those freshly nuked taters.

Cook the onion in 2 Tblsp. of olive oil for a minute or two - until they start to look translucent

Then throw in the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and mix it all together so the onions are evenly distributed amongst the potatoes and until the potatoes all get a thin coating of the olive oil.

I cook it over low heat, but low on my teeny gingerbread-house-type-stove it's probably the equivalent to a regular stove's medium setting.  I stir every minute or so until they are good and golden.  Sometimes I cook them until they're really brown and that's good too - whatever you're in the mood for!

If I'm feeling a little naughty and I've got it in the fridge, I'll sprinkle some shredded cheese over the top and let it get all gooey...

I like to serve mine with a Taco Lita hot sauce packet - I keep a stash in my kitchen that my dad and stepmom replenish with each visit (thank you!).  It's also really good with ketchup, or just by itself.  Enjoy!