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March 2011
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May 2011

April 2011

Caramelly S`More Brownies

Samores brownie 101 

    You know when you have made something your family loves, when they decimate the pan, lick their dish clean and ask when you are going to make it again ;-)  I can say with certainty, these brownies fall into that category. To say these were a big hit, is an understatement. I know they sound fussy but it is just lots of small, simple steps. This is the basic brownie recipe I use for everything. It is a one-bowl brownie and I tend to undercooked them but if you like a more cooked brownie, go for it! The graham crackers stay crisp and by toasting the marshmallows when you serve it, you get a warm, gooey top. I think your family will enjoy these!  xoxoxo

 

Caramelly S`More Brownies

graham crackers

1 batch of brownies

1 batch of caramel sauce

mini-marshmallows, about 1/2 cup

toasted, roughly chopped walnuts or pecans, about 1/2 cup (You can toast the nuts while you bake the brownies)

1 batch of chocolate  ganache sauce

 

Pre-heat oven 350°F and grease a 8x8 baking pan. Line bottom of pan with a single layer of graham crackers. Pour brownie batter over crackers and bake 20-25 minutes. Until edges puff up but center still a bit soft.

Let brownies sit 1/2 hour, then make caramel sauce and pour over brownies. Dot the top of the sauce with marshmallows and nuts.

When ready to serve, make ganache sauce. Set brownies under broiler and broil until marshmallows are toasted, then cut into squares. Serve with warm ganache sauce drizzled over the top and enjoy!!

 

Brownies

1 cup dark chocolate, chips or chopped

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter

1 1/2 cup sugar

3 eggs

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour, all purpose or whole wheat pastry or combo of the two

In a microwaveable bowl melt chocolate, butter and sugar two minutes. Butter should be melted, stir chocolate until it is melted. Quikly whisk in one egg at a time. Add vanilla and salt. Stir in flour. It is a thick but pourable batter.

Caramel sauce (make half this recipe) or for a quick version, microwave 30 unwrapped caramels with 3 TBL. of cream in a microwavable bowl for 2 minutes, stir and microwave another minute until melted.

Ganache sauce

In a sauce pan add 1/2 cup dark chocolate (chopped or chips) and 1/8 cup heavy cream. Heat on medium heat, stirring until melted. You want a thick but pourable sauce. Adjust chocolate or cream to get this consistency.

 


Alison Uttley Easter Cakes

Alison uttley 2 

 

     "When Good Friday was near we had great preparations, for often visitors, relations and friends came to see us to tell us the news and enjoy the food. My mother baked hot cross buns for they were not sold in the village. Also she made Easter cakes, similar to those that were sold in the shops and made at the little market towns in the hills. We made our own Easter cakes as follows, but we often bought a few delicate thin trifles which were more professional than our own."

by Alison Uttley from Recipes from an Old Farmhouse

Easter Cakes

A happy and blessed Easter, dear readers xoxo

 

 


Paint a Tray

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Thank you so much for all the kind notes and looking forward to five more years of me blogging. We will see what I come up with ;-)

Speaking of coming up with, I wanted  share this simple but stunning tray I made. I was at a friend's and she had this old, beat up silver tray. Now normally I love old beat up things but this was one of those things that was not charming. It had good lines but just plan scruffy looking. The tray was a great size and she asked me if I wanted it (knowing I would bling it up).


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It was very simple, all I did was give it a quick cleaning to remove any dirt or oil. Dry and spray paint it. I used rust-oleum satin finish (krylon works too, any paint that can be used on metal) it took three coats, I painted both front and back. For the legs, I used plastic drawer knobs (If screws sticks out, just saw them off). I glued a knob on each corner for feet. That was it, very simple. I am sure you have some old (uncharming) piece of silver you could bling up!!

Painted tray 202

Now onto the winner of the little metal candy dish. Theresa congratulations on winning and thank you again for all your support of me and my little corner of the world xoxox


5 Year Bloggiversary Giveaway

Footed bowl 202 
   

    Welcome to my 5 year bloggiversary, I wish I could serve you a chocolate dipped violet shortbread and a cup of tea!! I am shocked it has been five years. I remember when I started my blog I had a very clear vision of what I wanted (and how scared I was). I wanted to create a place where I could encourage others, as well as myself, to enjoy making a home and creatively make the most out of the small moments in our lives. Life, homemaking, parenthood, is not easy but I find the best way to get through hard work is to look for the joy, the fun. It is all about where you place your eyes. This is what I wanted Storybook Woods to be about and I am happy to say I think it is, I know it inspires me in my own life.

    I wish I had the words to express how much blogging has changed my life but I do not. When I started my blog I had never taken photos before, struggled to write a paragraph and basically had no clue what I was doing (and still do not ;-). But having a venue to share my creativity has only fueled me more. It has opened my eyes in ways I never would have thought, made me braver, stretched me and given me such opportunities. If you had told me 5 years ago, all I would be accomplishing, I would not have thought it possible. Truly!

   But there is so much more, Storybook Woods has also touched and encouraged my girl’s life in a permanent, lasting way. They have met kindred spirits who have loved and encouraged them, told them to just be themselves and not worry what others think. They see the importance of creativity, home and friendship through all of you.

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    Friendship ... I think is the most important thing I and my girls have gained these 5 years. So many kind, generous readers! I cannot look at a corner of my home and not see a token of love from a reader. You have cheered me on, trusted me with your hearts and made me feel that I too am okay just the way I am. You know as a child, I did not have many friends. I was ridiculed, bullied and told I just was not applying myself. So all this support and encouragement you have given me, helps that little girl know she is just fine and needs to listen to her heart.

    Thank you, thank you ... so much for your support, your trust, your love! As a thank you, I would like to have a little giveaway. It is open to everyone! I made this little robin’s-egg blue dish (I will share next post how to make one) with a vintage velvet flower and would like to offer it as a token of thanks. Just make a comment and in 5 days we will pick a winner.

    I am excited to see what the next 5 years hold. The blogging world has changed soooooooooooo much since I started (I already feel like an old timer ;-). Sometimes I miss the old days, when I think blogging was a bit simpler BUT I still see such love, creativity and support. It is a world I am proud to be part of. My first post I wrote 5 years ago, I said 

 

"I truly hope you find Storybook Woods

a place of inspiration, also a place to help you play.

So get a cup of tea, something to eat and enjoy!"

 

     I can say I still feel exactly the same way 5 years later. I want to encourage you, help you to play and make the most of what you have. Also to give you a little respite from your day to day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

                                                                             Love Clarice 


A Spring Apron

Spring apron 303 

I made a new spring apron and had to share! A couple of months ago, I was able to hit the bins at Goodwill. They have certain stores where you just pay by the pound. These carts roll out and you dig through them and like I said, pay by the pound. I had soooooo much fun and totally scorned a bunch of vintage (30's and 40's) clothes. I got handmade matching little girls dresses (big sis and little sis) with mini rick-rack trim from the 30's. They are in perfect condition and are of museum quality. Really, I think I am going to sell them. Anyways if you get a chance to go to the bins, go for it!!

Spring apron 606 

Well onto the apron. This apron starts with a little girl's dress (not vintage) that I got at the bins. I loved the fabric and actually only bought it for the ruffle.The dress is a straight piece with elastic at the top and ribbons tying at the shoulder. So I started by taking out the side seam and the elastic. Then I had a big flat piece and decided to do more with it.

Spring apron 707 

I also bought a round embroidered cloth, not in the best of shape, so I cut that in half. For the waist, I simple pulled out some vintage red seam binding and a little hot pink hem-facing lace to go over the seam binding in the front for interest. I sewed the half circle to the top of the dress and then the seam binding and then the lace. Waa-laaa, I have an adorable apron!!

Spring apron 808 

Why I wanted to post about this, well besides showing you my rocken apron (which I adore) is I am now looking at children's clothes in a whole new light. Really anything gathered. Just think about it, take out the gathering and open up one side and see what you have!!! I could have made a small curtain with this piece, a bag, if I was skinnier a skirt for myself, sooo many ideas. It only cost me about a $1.00  to make (Sadly the killer green heels were a bit more, but everyone needs to garden in green heels!! )                              You cannot get any better then that xoxo

I am linking this post up to Homemaking Link-up

Spring apron 101


Things That I Love

From gathering  springs 2 
Gathering Spriggs, the minute I saw this cross-stitching painting on a wall, I thought this was simply brilliant and was pinching myself for not thinking of the idea myself. What a fun, easy, granny chic way way to fill a wall !!!

Blueberry cobbler 
Draw and Cook Recipes!!

Glovesbrooch1 

Make a 1950 Brooch

Lightkeepers08 
The Lightkeepers Movie, this is a sweet movie about love and forgiveness. I highly recommend it and if you have Netflix, it is on instant watch!!

Ckae plates 

Make Charming Square Cakeplates


Spool Easter Basket

Easter spool 303 

Very simple: a large wooden spool, a pipecleaner (or I used heavy wire and covered it in glittery yarn), some moss and an egg.

Easter spool collage 

To glue the wire onto top of spool. I bent the ends, so there was a flat surface to glue. Glued on the moss and the egg. Add a little trim if you like, a Tad Dah!!! Simple, simple xoxoxo

I am linking this idea to Tatertots and Jello weekend round up. Check it out, lots of fun ideas!!