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Posts from ‘February, 2013’

A couple of new things

Last week a couple of my husband's students told him about a relatively new French bakery here in town. It is called the Legrand Bakery and it's located on Augusta Street near the Augusta Grill restaurant. We felt that we needed to go try out some French pastries as an educational pursuit. We drove out there on Saturday afternoon to check it out. A couple from France own and operate the bakery. It is set up so that you can see Mr. Legrand baking as you make your purchases. They have breads, pastries (individual and larger tarts and cakes), quiches, refrigerated sandwiches prepared on their breads, and a variety of beverages. There is a small dining room adjacent to the sales area. I didn't really need any bread on Saturday but the breads looked great and were moderately priced. We split a pain au chocolat at the bakery and took home a coffee flavored religieuse which we ate Saturday evening. Both were delicious and worth the price and the calories.

This is a picture of how they wrap the individual pastries:


Here is our favorite coffee flavored pastry:


Another new item I wanted to mention is this Knorr homestyle stock base. It comes in a package with four little tubs of concentrated soup stock.


Each tub can be combined with 3 1/2 cups of water to make soup stock. I have been using this product for over a year and have found it to be very convenient for making soups when I don't have any home made broth on hand. I also like the fact that it takes up a lot less space than a can or carton of broth. It comes in chicken, beef, ham, and vegetable flavors. I have found it near the canned soups at my local Walmart. Hot soup is a good thing on these cold winter nights.


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On the road again (another shameless Grandma post)


DD Nora and I drove up to Michigan last weekend to help little Maddie celebrate her first birthday. Her actual birthday is on Valentine's Day but her family party was on Saturday. We were a bit concerned about how the weather might be for travel, but both of our travel days were clear and Nora and I had a nice time together during the trip.

We got to Michigan late Friday evening after the children were in bed. Drew got a new twin bed recently and was kind enough to let me sleep in it. Here is a picture of him in a rather serious moment:


Aunt Nora got up early Saturday morning and started entertaining the children at six A.M. Here she is later in the day holding the birthday girl who is modeling the pillowcase dress that Megan made her for the event.


Megan had the food all planned out. She made two kinds of soup and Nora made one. Meg also made two salads and baked cupcakes.

Jim's sister, Sharon, made a couple of Pinto Bean Pies as a dessert choice. They contain mashed pinto beans, coconut, and pecans. Have you ever tried Pinto Bean Pie? You couldn't really tell that there were pinto beans in the pie--it was more like one of those impossible pies with coconut and pecans.

picture of Pinto Pie

I baked a little "smash cake" for Maddie and decorated it and the cupcakes.


Maddie grabbed the little cake and pulled it toward her and then just started pinching off dainty little bites. Her Aunt Nora helped her take a big handful of cake and then she really got into the swing of things!



After being the center of attention while eating her cake she was really hamming it up:


On Sunday Maddie wore the new little dress that I had made her for her birthday. It fit her well and was very appropriate for our little Valentine.


It was a very quick trip but both Nora and I were thankful that we were able to help Maddie celebrate her first birthday and wished that her Grandpa and Uncle Topher had been able to come too. For even more info about this event Megan has a recent blog post about it too. 🙂


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It’s the berries


Have you noticed all the strawberries at the grocery store recently? To me they are a sign of spring just like the daffodils which I can see out our kitchen window. I couldn't resist buying a quart the other day and made this delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble from a recipe on Smitten Kitchen. I used some rhubarb from the freezer. Rhubarb is difficult to grow here but it is one of DH's favorites and he has a small patch in a shady area of the yard. I have also made this using other fruits such as blackberries and peaches. This would make a pretty and tasty dessert for Valentine's Day too.

Here are some pictures of the various stages:

Combined fruits:


Adding topping:


Ready to eat:


Are you making anything special for Valentine's Day this year?


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Winter projects

I've had a couple of weeks recently without a lot of outside activities so I've had time to tackle a few winter projects.

The wooden cabinets in the kitchen were really bothering me. They had some scratches, nicks, and water spots. I had been contemplating what to do to make them look better for some time. Fortunately I read a post by Brenda over at Coffee, Tea, Books, and Me where she told how she cares for her wood furniture. Her husband has an advanced degree in wood science. I purchased a bottle of Old English Scratch Remover for light wood at Lowes and used it on my cabinets after giving them a good washing with Murphy's Oil Soap. It was amazing to see the difference. I'm planning to make this an annual event. 🙂 I would highly recommend that you try this product if you have wood furniture which needs a lift.


Another kitchen project which I've started is lining my lower cabinets with self-stick vinyl tiles. The contact paper that DD Nora put in when we first moved here was looking pretty shabby. I've been buying a few tiles each time I go to Lowes and then installing them little by little. It's kind of tedious work cutting around all the little supports but the finished product with be worth it.


The most fun project was making a new little dress for Maddie who will turn one on Valentine's Day. The pattern I used for Maddie's dress is one that I used to make a dress for Megan when she was a baby. I made her one similar to the picture with the three colors of gingham.

I did change it up quite a bit by adding a little apron, a ruffle around the bottom, and with the addition of some yoyos and heart buttons on the bodice.

picture of Maddie's apron dress

Have you had time for any new projects recently?


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