Search This Blog


Friday, November 23, 2018


I love to try breakfast casserole recipes.  This one that I'm sharing I just tried today and I have to say, I thought it was pretty darn good! 
The prep wasn't too terribly difficult, and the baking time was just about 25 minutes.  So from start to finish I would say it was just about an hour.

This would be great for when you have houseguests, or maybe a special brunch! 


olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
½ lb. white musrooms, sliced
6 cups baby spinach (about 6 oz.)
6 slices potato bread, lightly toasted
6 large eggs
½ cup whole milk
3/4 cup shredded gruyere cheese


Heat approximately 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden; approx. 8 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, until they begin to brown, about 2 minutes.   Add ½ tsp. salt, and pepper to taste; continue cooking, stirring occasionally until soft....about 4 minutes.  Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.  Arrange the bread in the dish in a single layer with the edges slightly overlapping.  Spoon the mushroom/spinach mixture on top.  

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Crack an egg onto each piece of bread; season with salt and pepper.  Pour the milk evenly over the top and sprinkle with the cheese.  Bake until the egg whites are set, approximately 25-30 minutes.   My eggs ended up a bit overcooked....or let's say, I was wanting my eggs to break open when I sliced into them....I'm going to have to experiment with the time to find just the right cooking time to achieve what I'm looking for - 28 minutes was too long.

Note:  The recipe mentioned you can make this ahead and refrigerate overnight.....add the eggs just before you pop it in the oven. 


recipe c/o:

Saturday, November 10, 2018


This Lane Cedar Chest belonged to my Dad's parents and has been a part of my household as long as I've lived on my own.   I'm estimating it's age to be from the 1920's or 30's at best.  So, she's going on close to 100 years old.

I don't know how long I've been wanting to refinish this piece.  I just knew that over the years it had lost its lustre and I wanted to restore its beauty.

Below is a picture of it before I began the restoration.  It's made of a mahogany wood and has beautiful lines and details, including those gorgeous legs....but not only was the finish dull, there were plenty of scratches, gouges and dings that had happened over the years.
This is the piece after the restoration.  Isn't she a beauty!?  I decided not to go quite as dark with the stain.  I actually think that you can see more of the character of the wood with the lighter color.
This truly was a tag team effort between my husband and I.  Before I began I read a lot of information on restoration, watched videos, you name it.  The last thing I wanted was to damage it along the way.  It took us several weeks to finish (we also had a couple of weather delays due to some unexpected cool weather that moved through), since there are lots of steps along the way, but it was definitely worth the effort.

You can see the scratches on the leg (original) on the left and look how pretty that new leg looks with a fresh coat of stain and finish!  
Let me take you through the steps.....                                                                                                                                                                  The first step was to remove the old finish.  After doing lots of research I opted to use Blue Bear stripping gel.  I liked that I could use it indoors, it was a gel and was a more natural product (made of 100% American grown soy beans).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This took some time since you actually need to let it sit after applying the gel.  The finish actually turns into a molasses like consistency.  I used rubber gloves, plastic scrapers and about a roll of paper towel.  I had purchased a canvas tarp and placed that under the chest to catch any drips.  I didn't end up with too much on the tarp, but was glad I had taken the extra precautionary step.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Since I didn't want to touch the wood inlay medallion on the front of the chest, I covered that using wax paper and double sided tape.  It worked like a charm.  If you look closely at the chest, you'll see lots of grooves, deep decorative cuts and of course the spindle legs.....these areas took lots of time!  After the finish was removed, I used mineral spirits to get at any leftover residue.  I used a brush to put it on and a rag to remove it.  
Next up....sanding.  Lots of sanding! We used the electric sander first, followed by a lot of hand sanding.  This took a good deal of time too...again, the legs and grooves took the most time.   Little pieces of sandpaper and all sorts of experiemental techniques in order to get at those tough areas.  My cuticles were an absolute mess afterwards!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    After the sanding came the staining.  Followed by the finish.   We used the Varathane brand for both the stain and polyurethane.  I chose American Walnut with a clear satin finish.  

And there they are side-by-side the true "before" and "after".  I'm confident this piece is going to stay in the family long after I'm gone.  Hopefully, our efforts will keep it looking good for the next 100 years!                           

Monday, November 5, 2018


I want to share this yummy bundt cake recipe which is loaded with robust fall flavors, like apples and pecans!  I will tell you it takes a bit of prep time....but you'll be rewarded in the end.
An extra burst of flavor is found in the cream cheese filling and praline frosting.  


Cream Cheese Filling:
1 (8 oz.) pkg. softened cream cheese
¼ cup softened butter
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Apple Cake Batter:
1 cup finely chopped pecans
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground allspice
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup applesauce 
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (about 1.5 lbs)

Praline Frosting:
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
1½ Tbsp. milk
½ tsp. vanilla
½ cup powdered sugar

Step 1 - Prepare filling.  Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth.  Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.

Step 2 - Prepare batter:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8-10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant; stirring halfway through.  Stir together the flour and next 7 ingredients (through Allspice).  Add eggs and next 3 ingredients stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.  Finally, stir in apples and pecans.

Step 3 - Spoon 2/3 of the batter into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan.  Spoon cream cheese filling over apple mixture leaving a 1 inch border around edges of pan (I found this difficult to accomplish).  Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife.  Spoon remaining apple mixture over cream cheese filling.

Step 4 - Bake at 350 degrees for 1-1.25 hours or until a long wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely (about 2 hours)

Step 5 - Prepare frosting.  Bring brown sugar, butter and milk to a boil in a 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.  Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3-5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly.  Pour immediately over cooled cake.

NOTES:  I opted to roast the pecans the night before to save myself that step.  Also, I already changed the praline frosting ingredients to half of what the original recipe called for....I felt there was way too much since it's extremely sweet


adapted from: