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Put Them All Together

 This week we have talked about chocolate, eggs, butter, and cheese.  Each of these things is wonderful and tasty by itself.  But put them all together and  you get ……Chocolate Cheese Cake of course!  It is hard to imagine a tastier result of this happy combination of yummy ingredients! Read more

Say “Cheese”


People have been enjoying cheese for many, many, many years.  It is not known exactly how many but it is believed that cheese was discovered accidentally between 8000 and 3000 BC.

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It’s All About the Butter!


Julia Childs is famous for having said in the unmistakeable voice of hers, “Fat tastes good!”  That is so true and truer still is the undeniable fact “Butter tastes good!”  Your Two Chums love our butter 🙂 Read more

The Incredible Egg Story

If you are old enough, you will remember an ad campaign for eggs that touted “The Incredible Edibile Egg”.  And incredible they are, for many reasons! Read more

Ah…..Chocolate!

 


It is odd to think of life without a good piece of chocolate!  Although the peoples of the United States were introduced to drinking chocolate in the mid-1700’s, it was not until the mid-1800’s that they were able to enjoy chocolates, as we know them today, and not until later on in the 1800’s that milk chocolate was being made.

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The Cookie Jar – Oatmeal Scotchies


As the holidays approach, we all will either host or attend any numbers of parties and gatherings. Your Two Chums would like to offer you, over the next several weeks, some of our favorite cookie recipes to serve or give as hostess gifts.  Today’s recipe offering is for Oatmeal Butterscotch cookies….aka Oatmeal Scotchies.

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The British Love Their Crumble!


I learned to love apple crumble whilst at boarding school in England.  It was one of my favorite deserts and, indeed, is served at many an English table.   Read more

Do You Know?

Ever wonder why we commonly use certain expressions that don’t really make any sense in our current world?  Here are the explanations for just a few that we thought you would find interesting…we sure did:)

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As American As Apple Pie


Two things seem to be quintessentially American…our democracy and apple pie 🙂
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Vote!

What a privilege it is to be a citizen of a country where you have the right to vote!  And, as usual, when privilege comes, there comes also responsibility! Read more

Color Your Own – Yes, Your Hair!


“Oh, I could never do that!”  We hear this all the time when we mention, “Why don’t you color your own hair?” Read more

Yeah! Even MORE Savvy Secrets!

Thanks, Lynette, for sending us these wonderful tips.   Read more

Happy Pumpkin Day!

When my youngest daughter, Amanda was little she couldn’t remember the word Halloween one year, so she just kept saying to everyone she saw “Happy Pumpkin Day!”  She wasn’t entirely wrong.  This is the day that all across this country we most associate with pumpkins.  So besides the use of pumpkins for decorating, we wanted to give you one of our favorite pumpkin recipes…Pumpkin Bread. Read more

Play With Your Pumpkins


There is more than one  way to decorate a pumpkin for Halloween…and a lot of creative fun to be had in the process 🙂

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Salted Caramel Pie


It is hard to resist a nice slice of pie…especially one that is this silky and sweet! Read more

Salad Days


Some years ago there was a wonderful restaurant spot off the beaten track, in Los Angeles, that was opened by the Lawry’s company called Lawry’s California Center.  In addition to the restaurant, one could buy all the Lawry’s products there and see the history of this well known food empire.  There was a lovely patio for dining and some very satisfying food that I enjoyed with my family from time to time.  In particular there was a most delicious salad that was served with a cilantro dressing. Read more

Welcoming Autumn In

                                                                                                    (photo from BHG.com)
Hot soups on the stove, leaves crunching under foot, trees ablaze with color – fall has arrived!

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A Bowl of Red


“Chili concocted outside of Texas is usually a weak, apologetic imitation of the real thing. One of the first things I do when I get home to Texas is to have a bowl of red. There is simply nothing better.”
Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States  Read more

Simple Beans – A Lesson in Hospitality


In our home, as I think may be true in the homes of other Texans, pinto beans were a mainstay.  I can hardly remember a day that there was not a big pot of beans simmering amongst other delights on the kitchen stove either in my grandparent’s kitchen or in my mother’s. Read more

Yes, More Savvy Secrets!

Oh golly, it is always so great to receive Savvy Secrets from all of you!  Our dear Chum, Nancie, sent these to us so, with joy, we are sharing them with you.

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Please, if you know of any Savvy Secrets that you think other people would be able to use, let us know.  We will be glad to share them.  After all, what are Chums for?

Joyously,

 

 

 

A Post Script

This being corn season, we thought we would give you an extra Savvy Secret this morning…..how to husk your corn!

Enjoy and may this add to the abundance in your lives!

 

A Very Savvy Secret for Husking Corn


One of our chums, Jan, sent us a great savvy secret for husking corn…we want to share it with you, our other chums 🙂

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Soup’s On – Corn Chowder


As the weather begins to cool down we all seem to look forward to certain signals that remind us it is Fall.  Putting on our favorite sweaters, watching the leaves change color, seeing pumpkins appear on doorsteps and porches and the comfort of warming ourselves with soup.

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First Stirrings….

The amazing age of communication in which we now live had its first stirrings in the 1870’s when Alexander Graham bell invented the telephone.  Although the telephone is what the world remembers this gentleman for, his passion was actually something different. Read more

Shhhh! Savvy Secrets With Bounce!

 

Again, a dear friend, Hilary, sent us these Bounce Savvy Secrets which we are thrilled to share with all of you.   Read more

Hummingbird Cake


No one knows exactly why this moist delicious cake is called Hummingbird Cake.   But, there are many theories as to how it got the name. Read more

Where, Oh Where, Is Nova Scotia?


You might well ask!  It is not often that I run into people in Southern California who know where Nova Scotia is, much less what it is!

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A Southern Favorite – Biscuits and Gravy


No matter what restaurant you go to in the South, you are bound to find Biscuits and Gravy on the menu.  It is a favorite breakfast among Southerners.  Who can resist a hot flaky biscuit fresh from the oven.  Now add some creamy sausage gravy and it becomes even harder to turn down! Read more

Boo!

No doubt you thought this was going to be a post about a ghost or something Halloween related…nope.  This is a post about Boo, a little dog who has  nearly 5 1/2 million ‘Likes’ on his Facebook page! Read more

We Love Lucy!

Who doesn’t love Lucy?  Apparently she is very loved by many of us.  In a recent poll of well over 1 million people done cooperatively by People Magazine and the television news show 20/20, I Love Lucy was ranked as the #1 favorite TV show!
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Trick or Treat

It’s coming…or should I say “They’re coming”…Halloween is around the corner and all those neighborhood children adorned in their costume finery will come knocking on the door.  Whether you still have little ones of your own at home or now its grandbabies that make your cheeks hurt from all the smiling, who can resist a precious little one in a costume so excited to be going door to door and collecting all that sugar…aka candy.  I love it!  And my husband Randy loves it even more!  Each year he hands out the biggest candy bars he can buy in the hopes that in years to come, adults who used to be the children trick or treating in our neighborhood, will drive their children past our home, point out of the window of their cars at our house and exclaim with great fondness, “The people in that house always gave the best candy every year!” Read more

Thanksgiving in Canada

The United States and Canada have many, many things in common and one of those things is that both countries celebrate Thanksgiving – one, on one given day, and the other, on another given day – each year.   Read more

Buckle Up Brown Betty – Cobbler’s On The Way


Whether you call it a Buckle, a Brown Betty or a Cobbler, the end result is the same……yummy deliciousness!
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Simply Roasted – You Can Do It, We Can Help

One of the easiest and tastiest ways to prepare any food is roasting it.  But too often people are afraid of this method of cooking.  It may well be because we have all attended dinners or banquets where we were served the proverbial “rubber chicken”…a dry tasteless, tough, piece of meat.  If you are suffering from a fear of roast chicken, your Two Chums are here to help with that 🙂 Read more

Divine Chicken Divan


OK, if you follow Two Chums everyday, by now you’ve realized this is “Chicken Week”.  Today is the third installment in a week long line up of simple and tasty things you can make for dinner using chicken.  Today it is Chicken Divan:)
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Chicken To Share


About 25+ years ago, my husband Randy and I, were at dinner with some great friends at an Asian restaurant in Beverly Hills.  We hadn’t seen each other in several months, so as often happens, we were much more intent on catching up with each other than on reviewing the menu and selecting our dinner choices.
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All’s Well That Ends Well


Today I want to share with you one of my family’s favorite meals…..Chicken Stroganoff, a lighter version of the more well known beef stroganoff.  It is simple to prepare, can be made several days ahead of the time you plan to serve it, (it just gets better as it sits), and is one of those meals that after tasting it, people always request to have the recipe.  The way I happened to make it came about in one of those happy mishaps life sometimes gives us 🙂

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Nursery School Life Lessons


About 25 years ago a little book entitled All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten hit book store shelves and landed on coffee tables all across the country.  It was an almost instant success because it addresses the basic lessons we learn early on in life that can shape us.

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Household Items Which Have Savvy Secrets!

Yes, more Savvy Secrets for you!  This time they contain great uses of items that you have in your household.  Again, these were shared with us and we joyfully pass them along! Read more

What A Royal Pair!….

….at least your Two Chums think so!  We love all the Royals and love to hear about what they are doing but….. Catherine and William stand out! Read more

He “Popped” The Question!


Did you know that other than June, the most popular month to get married is October?  Maybe you or someone you know is getting married this Fall or having an engagement party or celebrating an anniversary.  If so, we have some fun ideas for treats to serve your guests.
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Savvy Secrets From Your Pantry

As you all know, we love to share Savvy Secrets and invite you, always, to share yours with us to pass along.  Recently, we were given these Savvy Secrets using things from one’s pantry from our chum Hilary.  Although we have not tried them, we feel sure they will be helpful to one and all! Read more

Old Things -New Life

As we wrap up our week about decorating tips and ideas, today we want to talk about giving new life to favorite old items.  Like people, favorite things that have gone beyond their usefulness in their original purpose, can be given new life and new purposes.
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Old Sofa? – Give It The Slip


Do you have any older furniture in your home that you really love but that frankly is looking a bit tired?  And the cost of new upholstery isn’t in the budget right now?  Slipcovers may just be the answer 🙂
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Collectors, We Certainly Are!

Continuing on with our “house to home” theme of this week, your Two Chums both enjoy having “collections” of things.  These collections vary and could be almost anything, really.   Read more

A Bed With A Head!


I don’t know about you, but I find that a bed without a headboard or lots of pretty pillow shams lined up across the back, looks unfinished.  Besides that, if you want to sit up in bed and read, for example, it is not so comfortable against the hard wall. Read more

A House Or A Home?

The first thing I do when I move house is make the new one my “home”.  Yes, there is a difference, I am sure you all agree. Read more

Sweet Endings

 


Now who doesn’t love a chocolate chip cookie?  Everyone has their favorite recipe and if they don’t have a special one they defer to the one on the back of the bag of Nestle’s Toll House chocolate chips.  It is a good recipe, but I think there is a better one.
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The Joy of Napkins

Napkins have been around longer than you may think.  The ancient Romans are known to have used cloth napkins to protect from food spill and to wipe the mouth. The guests at a dinner brought their own napkins and carried away left-over food in them. With the fall of Roman Empire, napkins disappeared from the dining table.
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Happy Beginnings

Nothing sets the tone for a lovely evening like some yummy hors d’oeuvres to start your party when you are hosting family and friends.  And if they happen to be really easy to make and easy to eat….well …all the better 🙂
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You’ve Got A Place At The Table

Everyone likes to feel wanted.  That is why Jackie and I feel so strongly about using place cards when we invite anyone to a gathering where we will be sitting down to a meal.  They tell the person whose name is on the card “we’re glad you are here and we planned on you coming.”  Besides that, place cards can be just plain fun to design and make!
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Light Up Your House – Atmosphere Counts!


Ten minutes before my guests arrive, I like to go around and light all of the candles.  Candles create a wonderful atmosphere in your home, both, because of the light they produce and, if they are scented, the perfume they give off.   Read more

Sweet Work – Key Lime Pie

A picture is worth a thousand words….if you like Key Lime Pie you’ll love this recipe.  It is quite simply the best!
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Pretty Feet


You might be thinking that your Two Chums, or at least this Chum, has a foot fetish.  We have mentioned ways to help your feet look better several times in the last several weeks.  Here is one more…so now you can be sure I have a foot fetish 🙂
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A Labor of Love


We started this week with Labor Day and a time to remember those who serve in the work force, which hopefully is, or has been, most of us.  So this week on Two Chums, our posts are about things somehow related to “Labor”.  Yesterday we offered some info on some products that can make work at home easier.

But today I want to share with you the joy and benefits of another kind of labor…that of caring for our children and grandchildren.
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Store your bags here!

What to do with all of those plastic bags that you receive when buying different items at the store?   We have found this wonderful way to store them! Read more

Hot Dog It’s Labor Day


Labor Day is a national legal holiday dating back to the end of the nineteenth century.  It has evolved into a general “last fling of summer” festival.

It started as a parade in honor of the working class by the Knights of Labor in 1882 in New York. The parade was held on the first Monday in September and was designated by them as Labor Day as it has continued to be known.

All over this country today, people will be having cookouts and celebrate the holiday with hot dogs.  Where  you are living in this great country of ours will dictate just what kind of dogs you will enjoy 🙂

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A Potpourri of Shortcake


All this week we have brought you a “potpourri” of  subjects.  We want to finish out this week with a recipe that will allow you to make a potpourri of shortcakes.
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How “Chic”!

 

If you were asked if you speak French, you might feel that your answer would have to be “no” but, in fact, there are words and phrases that we use in the English language all the time which are definitely French.

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A Good Soak


Most people these days take showers but there is nothing better than the occasional good soak in the bath tub…..and, even better, a good soak with some wonderfully scented bath salts. Read more

Did You Know What That Means?


Here is a potpourri of very interesting historical facts that you more than likely have never heard about.  It will help you to understand some of the phrases and terms we commonly use but maybe have never thought about their meanings or origins until now….
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Potpourri of Savvy Secrets

One of our chums, Lisa, shared this potpourri of very useful Savvy Secrets and now we are passing it on to you, the rest of our chums 🙂
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Fall Fiesta

Summer is almost over, a new season is starting, and school is back in session!   As you know, your Two Chums firmly believe in celebrating the good and so what better time to do just that?   We are celebrating the wonderful time we have had all summer and all that the months ahead have in store. Read more

Read All About It!


Oh, the joys of reading!  Nothing better than sitting down with a good book quietly and imbibing its contents.  Actually, there IS something better, in our minds, and that is sitting down with our grandchildren, our little ones, and reading books to THEM.

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Pack It With Love


Maybe the hardest thing about back to school for all mothers is packing lunches….particularly if you happen to have a picky eater.

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Get Involved!

When I was told at a particular school that there was no PTA, I knew that this was not the school for our son, Trevor! Read more

School Days


Oh it is that time again!  Backpacks and lunch boxes are reappearing as the first day of school approaches.  And in nearly every store you enter you see mothers and children shopping for back to school necessities.
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A Three Minute “Cup” Cake!


OK I know you’re thinking this must have been a typo right? Because, after all, you must be wondering what kind of cup cake you can possibly make in 3 minutes!
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Staying Childlike


“Never lose your ability to be awed”….that was the caption on an ad Jackie and I saw recently.  It sparked a conversation between us about staying childlike in our approach to each day.
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Savvy Secrets for Vinegar -Part 2


If you liked the list we gave you on Monday for some creative personal and household uses for vinegar, you’re going to love this list!
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The Graciousness of an Orchid

Your Two Chums really do love to have fresh flowers around, either those cut from the garden or bought at the Flower Market or grocery store.  Obviously, a plant lasts much longer than cut flowers and a favorite of ours is the orchid. Read more

Savvy Secrets for Vinegar -Part 1


It’s no secret, that whenever possible, your Two Chums like to use simple and natural products. So we were thrilled to come across so many great uses for that bottle of distilled white vinegar you have in your cupboard.

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A “Recipe” For Rest


We all need to stop and rest from time to time.  This comes easier and more naturally to some of us than to others.  Until a few weeks ago I was one of those who resided in the “I’ll rest when I die” camp.  Oh, I would claim that I could rest, or would rest, as soon as________(you fill in the blank), but those closest to me weren’t fooled by my announcements of having rested or of my plans to do so soon.

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They Kept Calm And Carried On

For two weeks the world has been watching as young men and women have put it all on the line to try to prove that they are the best at what they have been trained to do.  We have had a front row seat to the “thrill of victory” and the “agony of defeat”.

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How Good is your English?


There are two kinds of English….the original, the one spoken in England, and the one we speak here in America.  Your Two Chums have fun comparing words used that are completely different but mean exactly the same thing.

Jackie grew up in England and Robin here in Southern California.  We thought it would be a fun exercise to show you, through two letters saying exactly the same thing, how two completely different words can mean exactly the same thing.  The first letter will be the British English version and the second, the American English version.  Here’s your chance to see how good of an English translator you really are. Read more

Sweet Smell Of Success

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Over the last two weeks we have been linking our posts here at Two Chums, to topics that are in some way related to the Olympics. So, you might be asking yourself what coconut has to do with the Olympics or The Sweet Smell Of Success….a good question, so allow me to explain.
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Savvy Secrets of Cucumbers


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who knew of the many uses of a cucumber?  We were amazed when one of our Chums, Wendy, sent us this list of fantastic uses for cucumbers and felt that you should all know about them as well.

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The Earl of Sandwich

The word sandwich was born in London one night in 1762 when an English nobleman, John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792), was too busy gambling to stop for a meal even though he was hungry for some food. Read more

Two Must Sees – Harrods and Fortnums!

Our thought, this week, is automatically going to London where the amazing Olympics are being staged…..and, when one thinks of London, if one likes to shop, the first two shops that  come to mind are Harrods and Fortnum and Mason.

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Be A Good Sport



Jordyn Weiber demonstrated superb sportsmanship on Sunday when, in front of the whole world, she failed to qualify to compete in the All Around for gymnastics.  It was especially difficult for Jordyn as she is the reigning World Champion. Read more

Putting Your Best Foot Forward


Whether you’re an Olympic athlete or a Mom on the run, we all need to pay attention to our feet.   Read more

Keep Calm and Carry On

What an amazing motto!  Your Two Chums try to follow it constantly!

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Popcorn – a Gold Medal Snack


Ready, set, go.  London is ready and the world is waiting to see the Opening Ceremonies of the XXX Olympic Games tonight.  Televisions are tuned, DVR’s are set to record, sofa cushions are fluffed and eyes agog!  Everything is ready.  All we need now is a Gold Medal snack.

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Jolly Good Show! London Is Ready!


1908, 1948 and now 2012!  These are the years that London has played genteel host to the Olympics and yes, by Jove, London is ready!  There has been much question about whether she would be ready but, of course, in total British fashion, she IS ready to greet her guests and we have no doubt that it will be a wonderful few weeks.

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I Celebrate Her!

Today it is my turn to celebrate a very dear lady …….. Robin Northrup, my Chum! And such an amazing lady she is!  Read more

Little Ones On The Go -Traveling With Children


August is quickly approaching and for many that means summer vacation and traveling with children.  Jackie and I have a bit of experience with this, both with our own children and now with our grandchildren.  So we have some ideas that might be helpful if you’re about to pack up and head for a fun and relaxing destination.
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Savvy Secrets for Packing


Whether you are taking a summer’s weekend away, going on a two-week holiday across the country or traveling to London to the Olympics, a good packing job will help ensure that you look your best at the other end. Read more

Summer Refreshment – Agua Fresca!

When the dog days of summer kick in and you can’t seem to escape the heat, having something that is both cool and refreshing and is simple and easy to prepare is a treat for everyone to enjoy.  One of those special treats is what the Mexicans call agua fresca….fresh water.

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Color Me Red

As you can tell, your Two Chums see great value in a new coat of paint and that is not only on their walls and furniture but also on their lips!

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Not Just Like New – Better Than New!

 


One of the things I have come to enjoy over the years is painting furniture.  There is a real satisfaction in being able to take an old and tired piece and make it truly better than new.
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The Walls Are A-Glaze

Today we continue our week of painting ideas and tips by taking a look at applying glaze to the walls of a room to achieve a faux finish.  So pretty, and easier than you might think to do yourself.
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A Miracle That’s All In The Method

This week we are looking at things that can be transformed with paint….walls, furniture, bathtubs….wait…bathtubs?  Well the bathtubs aren’t exactly painted in the traditional sense, but they can be transformed with a technique that looks like painting and gives the appearance of a whole new tub!
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Savvy Secrets for Painting

Your Two Chums love to paint!  Painting completely makes things new!  Through the years, we have learned many things about painting and want to share some of those tips with you. Read more

Herbal Delights


There are so many wonderful ways to use fresh herbs whether from your own garden or a neighbor’s or friend’s garden, or from the local farmers’ market or grocery store.  So today we are going to share just a few of our favorites with you.
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The Language of Herbs

 

As you know, your Two Chums love the idea of sitting down and penning a note to convey their feelings but there is another, very fun, way to do exactly that…… through herbs and flowers.  Read more

Storing Herbs

All this week we have been focusing on one of our favorite garden topics…herbs.

If you are growing herbs in your garden or in a terra cotta pot kitchen garden, you may not need to store them as you can cut just as much as you need for any given meal.  But if you are buying herbs at the local farmer’s market or the grocery store or Trader Joe’s, you will want to store whatever unused portion is left to have for another day.  Below are some tips for how to best store a few common herbs and keep them fresh as long as possible.  Though you can wrap and store them in the refrigerator, I have found that keeping them in a cool place in one inch of water in a small glass keeps them fresh long enough for you to use them.  If you think they are about to start wilting, use them up with some of the suggestions listed below.

If you have some ideas or experience with herbs you are willing to tell us about please write to us by clicking on the little envelope icon at the right side of the website or leave a comment in the comment section.  We want to share your good ideas with all our chums for more joy, more love and much more abundant leaving for all.  🙂

 

 

 

Basil and Mint

Storing it: Keep at room temperature in a glass of water for up to a week

How to use it up: Mince and combine with sugar for an aromatic fruit topping.

 

Chives

Storing it: In a sealed plastic bag in the crisper for 1 to 2 weeks.

How to use it up: Chop and combine with softened unsalted butter; drop chunks on top of just-cooked steaks, pork chops, or fish.

 

Cilantro or Parsley

Storing it:  In the refrigerator wrapped in plastic for up to 5 days.

How to use it up:   Puree 1 cup leaves with 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 clove garlic to make a pesto; use on pasta or as a dip for bread.

 

Rosemary

Storing it:  In the refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag for up to 5 days.

How to use it up:   Whole branches make a perfect bed for roasted vegetables, or tuck them into the cavity of a chicken or other bird before roasting.

 

Sage

Storing it: In an unsealed plastic bag in the crisper for 3 to 5 days.

Use it up:  Saute in butter until the butter browns and then store in refrigerator as a sauce for pork or chicken.

 

Thyme

Storing it:  In an unsealed plastic bag in the crisper for up to 1 week.

How to use it up:  Add chopped leaves to a skillet of sausage or bacon.

The Joy of Growing Herbs


This week all of our posts will be about herbs in one way or another.  Today we want to talk about how to grow herbs.  Growing herbs is not hard at all, in fact a child can do it.  My 8 year old grandson, Jeremy, actually planted the parsley plant pictured here on my kitchen window sill. He started the plant from seeds in a little dixie cup and as they sprouted and began to grow, we transfered them to this terra cotta pot.  In he walked, one day after school, and beaming he announced, “Lolli (my grandma name) this is for you.  I planted some parsley and I wanted you to have it because you love to cook and I thought you would really like to have it in your kitchen.” He was so excited and I was so proud of him.  There is something very satisfying, no matter what your age, about putting some seeds in the dirt, adding some water and in a few days watching the little sprouts pop their heads up out of the soil looking for some rays of sunlight.  I love Jeremy and I love having this special reminder of him in my kitchen greeting me every morning.

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Hot, Hot, Hot!

 

As I have mentioned  previously, my darling father was an international banker and oh, what a wonderful life that afforded our family!  Read more

A 50/50 Ice Cream Dream Come True


If you grew up in the Baby Boomer era you no doubt remember that consummate icon of summer ….the Good Humor Ice Cream truck.

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Let’s Get Corny


Well it’s summer and no matter what meal you are planning, it would probably be better with some corn.
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