6.28.2012

The Thrifted Kitchen :: Strawberry Petal Tarts


Ever since I somewhat-successfully recreated my Aunt Gloria's pie crust this past St. Patrick's Day, I've become a wee bit more confident working with doughs that need rolling, which, I have to say, I'm pretty excited about. Now, instead of hurriedly flipping through the pies and tarts section of my baking books (for fear it will conjure up the many dough fails I've gone through in the past 5 years), I'm excited to stop and smell the lattice tops, or, in the case of this recipe, the petal cups. :)

Poached from a Robin Hood Flour ad from 1963, these petal tarts are SO cute. I mean, I'm such a sucker for serving things in edible vessels (bread bowls, anyone?) and they'd be great for any sweet filling you'd want to put in there since the dough is on the savory side (just flour, shortening, water and salt). The original recipe called for cherry pie filling, but I'm not a huge fan (I know, it's like the all-American fruit...), so I used strawberry filling instead, and with that dollop of cream cheese on top, it was like a slice of flavor heaven.

My only warning for you is to be careful when you extract the cooked tarts from the muffin tins (which, by the way, I didn't grease mine, per the recipe, and they came right out), because they are fairly delicate, and the petal snapped off on the first one I grabbed.

I'm definitely putting these on the "keeper" list for any upcoming get-togethers. Now to dream up other filling combinations...which ones do you think might work?


Strawberry Petal Tarts
Yields 12 tarts
Courtesy of Robin Hood Flour ad, 1963

Petal Tart Shells:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup shortening
5 tablespoons cold water

Spoon flour (not sifted) into dry measuring cup. Level off and pour measured flour into large mixing bowl. Add salt to flour and stir to blend.

Cut in half of shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal; then cut in remaining shortening until particles are the size of small peas.

Add water, a little at a time, mixing lightly with a fork.

Shape dough into firm ball with hands. Divide into two portions.

Roll out each half on lightly floured cloth-covered board (I didn't cover mine with cloth and it was fine). Cut out circles with 2-inch round cutter.

Place one circle in bottom of each 12 muffin or custard cups. Then overlap 4 circles along sides of cup. Moisten each edge and press together firmly. Prick sides and bottom with fork to prevent shrinking.

Bake at 475 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in cup before removing.

Strawberry Filling:
1 can prepared strawberry (or whatever flavor you want) pie filling
3 ounces of cream cheese, softened

Spread softened cream cheese in bottom of tart shells. Spoon in filling. Top with additional softened cream cheese, if desired.

6.27.2012

Shacking Up With the Styleses {Little Updates}

Last week I started a summer cleaning purge of the house, rifling through closet and drawers to extract things that we just haven't used or don't need anymore. And it always feels so good to get rid of the excess, doesn't it? I found a new home for my Butterfly Gold dinnerware set, I have bags of clothes ready for the swap on Saturday, and the rest is going to be donated.

Perhaps the only person that gets nervous when all this happens is the hubs, who, after two years of living with me, knows a cleaning storm like this usually involves a little redecorating as well, which means he'd better get out his hammer. And how right he is. :) Here are some little changes we made a couple nights ago...


Finally got out my new vintage tablecloth, thrifted by my mom and generously given to me. :)


Hung the bundt pans from this DIY...


And created some mood lighting on the back porch with two vintage wooden bird cages, the frame of an old Japanese lantern and some twinkle lights.

I love how everything turned out...it's always so refreshing to bring to life things that have been trapped in your mind for so long. :) Any of you been doing some redecorating lately?

Style Spots: Kitchen Delights

Happy, happy Wednesday my dears! How has this week been for you thus far? I feel like I can't catch a breath these days, which is good in a sense. I thrive off a long to-do list (there is nothing like crossing something off and seeing a list of thick lines where once there were words!), but I also tend to get so focused on said list that my social life suffers. So if I haven't seen you in a while, or missed an event lately, I am sorry. :-(

I've been really proud of myself lately when it comes to thrifting; I promised to thrift a bit more lightly, so I haven't been treasure hunting near as much as usual. But this weekend I stopped by Value Village while running some errands, and found three things I couldn't pass up...

A beautiful hot air balloon picture made from thread, for sale.

And two pieces of stainless steel cookware! The little one is the Taste of Home Entertaining brand,
and the big one is wait for it... ALL-CLAD! Aahhhh!

I usually don't brag about how much I got something for, but I just have to today. I got both pieces for $6, and if any of you know how expensive All-Clad is, then, well, you'll know how excited I am!

The hubs and I have come to prefer cooking with stainless steel, much to the dismay of our nonstick set (which we still use...sometimes...). My parents got us an All-Clad saute pan for our first anniversary, and last year I found a stainless steel Martha Stewart saucepan. Now we've got two more saute pans, and I'm a happy girl! :)

Okay...your turn! What goodies did you dig up this weekend?

6.26.2012

St. Louis Clothing Swap, Take Two


Hey all! Just wanted to pop in and encourage the ladies in the St. Louis area to sign up for the next St. Louis Clothing Swap event, which is this Saturday from 2-4 p.m. Our first one was a great success, and now it's time to get down and swappy for the summer! I have a couple big bags of clothing and accessories I'm hauling there, and since our group has grown leaps and bounds in the past three months (yipee!), you can plan on at least 34 other ladies doing the same. (Now picture 35 women bringing bags of clothes, shoes, purses, jewlery, etc. A pretty sight, right?)

So come on out and join the fun! The space is air conditioned, the company is lovely, the snacks will be tasty and the music will be jammin'. Plus, I know you have some clothes in that closet you haven't worn in a while (I mean, let's be honest...).

For all the details and to RSVP (by Friday...so only three more days!), head over to the Meetup.com page and check it out! Hope to see you there!

Fav Freebie {Printable Popcorn Bags}

Last month I fell in love with the outdoor movie night post over at Oh Happy Day, and now that summer is in full swing (and I'm lucky enough to have an A/V husband), I'd love to recreate it with friends and family in our backyard sometime soon, especially since part of the post includes a free printable vintage-inspired popcorn bag (how'd you like all those adjectives?)...


Be sure and hop on over to Oh Happy Day to see the rest of the movie night post, and revel in Jordan's creative genius, because I know I do. :)

{Photos by Paul Ferney for Oh Happy Day}

6.22.2012

Now and Then: RIT Liquid Dye


It's been a while since we've done a Now & Then post, hasn't it? I think my brain just bounces around so much these days, trying to keep my task list in order, that I haven't had much time to sit down and thumb through old ads to find something inspiring.

Yesterday, though, I was looking at the June 1967 issue of Better Homes & Gardens for next week's Thrifted Kitchen recipe, and I came across this wonderfully vibrant ad for RIT liquid dye. I was particularly drawn to the photo illustration of the dye pouring from the bottles, as well as the little dye bottle color wheel on the bottom right. And I love how they weren't afraid to use so many colors in the headline type.

As far as the design of the packaging, I have to say that I like today's font choices better, but love the color block design below the text on the 1967 version. To me it seems to tie into the product more, since usually you're taking something white and dying it another color, so the blocking design makes sense in an abstract sort of way. What do you think? Which design sings to you more?

Also, I don't know if y'all have ever been on the RIT site, but I hadn't, and I was excited to see that it's chock full of DIY project ideas. Most of them are submitted by users, but they include a tutorial on dying jeans in those bright and pastel colors that are so popular these days. I know a lot of you are also crafty folk, so I wanted to make sure you knew about another source for creative inspiration!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

6.21.2012

Snapshots From Austin

In true me fashion, I mostly remembered to take photos when it was related to food...oops! :)


Due to some crazy weather in Minnesota, we had to be put on another flight that went to Chicago, and then switched planes for a direct from Chicago to Austin (backwards, I know), so we didn't get to the hubs's sister's place until after midnight. I immediately crawled into bed and started some mindless reading. Jodi is always a good choice for me when I'm busy...


Saturday I went thrifting with my sis-in-law. We were apparently very excited about it.


St. Vincent was right by the big parking lot that houses a lot of food trucks. I've been wanting to try Hey Cupcake! for a while now (especially because they're in an Airstream...).


John Lemmon cupcake...'twas delish.


That night we ate at Torchy's for dinner. I had a fried portabello taco (on the left) and a fried avocado taco. Both were really tasty, but the mushroom was my fav.


Sunday afternoon we all gathered at Homeslice Pizza for lunch. They didn't open until noon that day, so people were lined up waiting to get in. I guess that's always a good sign, right?


The back patio had these beautiful black-and-white umbrellas that I wanted to steal.


There was also this cool Plexiglas wall on the far end.


On Monday, the hubs decided he wanted barbecue, which his parents picked up from a local place. I made a barbecue tempeh sandwich for myself that was really tasty. I used this recipe, complete with homemade sauce, and put it on a ciabatta roll. Definitely a keeper for the summer months ahead.

And this, my friends, is just a taste of all the fun we had this weekend. Can't wait to go back this fall to meet our little niece!

6.20.2012

Style Spot: South Congress Way

Style Spots on a Wednesday? Bold...I know. :) But I only went on one thrifting adventure this weekend that turned up one thing, so I thought it could wait until I was home and had my camera available.

Sunday afternoon, my sis-in-law Molly and I went to the St. Vincent de Paul on South Congress in Austin, followed by a huge Salvation Army about 10 minutes from there. The former seemed like a great place to go for clothing, but all the really cute stuff was put in the boutique area at the front, and the dresses were $10 up to $25, which I know isn't horrendous, but definitely not what I'm used to.

I tried on a couple things and ended up putting them back since I'm trying to be more selective on my thrifting adventures, but I did pick up a set of six cut glass berry bowls in the housewares section for $1.50. As much as I love the Butterfly Gold pattern I've collected for our everyday dishes, I think I'm slowly going to change them out for a more eclectic collection, and these bowls fit right into that plan.


The Salvation Army was definitely impressive as far as size, and the furniture section looked like something out of a showroom, but overall, I was really surprised at the prices (I found a dress that was NWT for $35!), and just ended up buying some shirts and a pair of swim trunks for the hubs that were 50% off (only the trunks fit though...oh well!) and a yellow/orange moo-moo-like dress for me to lounge around in at home (definitely nothing worth taking a photo over).

So in the end, it was an okay thrifting day. Definitely not the worst I've had (remember when I thrifted in NY? Those prices were crazy!), but far from the best, and certainly not as good as my Dallas adventure this past Christmas. Luckily, now that the hubs's parents have moved to Austin, I'll have many more opportunities to see what else is around. We'll be back in September to meet our new niece, and again in November, so if any of you have recommendations, let's here 'em! :)

6.19.2012

DIY Bundt Pan Makeover

Happy Tuesday, my dears! How was your weekend? We're heading back to St. Louis this afternoon after four wonderful days in Austin visiting family, celebrating the hubs's 30th birthday yesterday and eating some delicious Tex-Mex (which has finally motivated me to check out Cherokee Street when we get home to find some good tacos).

Today I'm really excited to share a little DIY I did for the Tag Sell It blog, one that has been on my list for some time: repainting bundt pans. I've collected several from estate sales and thrift stores over the past year, always wanting to hang them in a group in our kitchen, and when Tag Sell It asked me if I wanted to contribute to its Decorating on a Dime series, I knew this would be a great fit.

Here's the before...


Now hop on over to Tag Sell It to see the after!

6.15.2012

DIY Friday

Oh my goodness. What a flight last night! After 8 hours of rebooked flights and layovers, we finally made it to Austin around midnight, and let me tell you: If we think we have it bad in St. Louis right now, good gracious, it's going to be nothing but the 90s where we're here. This is the kind of weather that makes me wanna stay inside and DIY...like one of these really cute projects I've been waiting all week to share with you!

Potato Stamp Wrapping Paper via The Pretty Blog

Paper Fan Backdrop by Hank + Hunt

Dip-Dye Striped Table Runner via The Sweetest Occasion

Hand-Stamped Handkerchief for Father's Day by Michael Ann Made for Papernstitch

Paper Flowers via Wedding Chicks

Ruffled Ice Cream Cones via Icing Designs

Have a great weekend...y'all! ;-)

6.14.2012

The Thrifted Kitchen {Mr. and Mrs. Pie}


Whew. Well, let me tell you something: I...am...beat. This week has been an incredible flurry of activity, and it's gonna keep going (but in a fun way). The hubs and I are headed to Austin this afternoon for a weekend of celebrations: a baby shower for my sister-in-law and our soon-to-arrive niece; Father's Day; and the hubs's official birthday on Monday (we're going canoeing with his parents).

This will be our first trip to visit his family since his parents moved to Austin, which, I have to say, I'm pretty excited about. I mean Dallas was great (lots of great thrifting), but Austin is, well, Austin, and I can't wait to get to know it better. :)

So before I hop on that plane, I wanted to share an easy-peasy dessert from Betty Crocker's Good and Easy Cookbook from 1954. It's so simple and customizable that I can't imagine one of you not liking it (unless you don't like pudding, in which case we just can't be friends...I kid (no, really...).


It's called Mr. and Mrs. Pie, and the basic idea is inserting a piece of cardboard in the middle of a pie crust, then filling each side with the Mr.'s favorite flavors, and the other with the Mrs.'s. (Needless to say, the title is also customizable, but we are talking the 1950s, my dears...)

The hubs chose to have lemon pudding pie on his side, which I layered with raspberries according to this recipe from Kraft. On my side was a base of melted chocolate mixed with whipped cream, topped with banana slices, then French vanilla pudding mixed with Nutella and more whipped cream (recipe can be found here). Just half the recipe since you're only making half a pie.

To divide it, I used a piece of cardboard from a shipping box, but it left a big gap in the middle, so you might want to try something like a piece of card stock in yours, which is thick enough to stand up, but should leave a much thinner line.


So to recap...

1. Make your own pie crust or buy your favorite ready-made (I used the Oreo crust).

2. Place a pie of card stock/thing cardboard in the middle of the crust.

3. Make half of two of your favorite pudding pie recipes and put each recipe on one side of the card stock.

4. Chill for about 3 hours.

5. Pull the cardboard out and serve!

Which flavors do you think you'll try together?

6.13.2012

Bites {Vegetarian Bulgogi Bowl}


Some of you might remember that I write a vegetarian column for Sauce magazine every other month, and I'm a little behind in sharing them on the blog (oops!). In the April issue, I wrote a recipe for a vegetarian-friendly version of bulgogi, which is a fairly popular Korean dish that consists of strips of marinated beef cooked to flavorful perfection, and for my recipe I served it over stir-fried veggies and kimchi fried rice.


It was an exciting recipe for me to create because a) I think it turned out pretty darn good and b) I finally mastered working with tofu. Up until this point, I'd made some very poor attempts at pan-frying it and it turned out hard as a rock on the outside and not very tasty. But since this dish, I think my fear of working with it is gone (yes, even some vegetarians haven't fully embraced tofu).


So if you're looking for a recipe that will push your meat-a-tarian friends toward a positive outlook on soy, give this one a whirl and let me know how it turned out! I would also try and taste-test some kimchi before you going buying a jar of it, because it's certainly an acquired taste. If you decided against it, just serve with regular fried rice or just steamed rice.

You can find the recipe here, and the gorgeous photos were shot by my friend Kristi Schiffman, whose work you can drool over here.

For this month's issue (June), I did vegetarian tuna salad, three ways. I'm working on getting some photos from the shoot, so hopefully I can share it soon!

6.12.2012

Two Years Ago Today...

I married this guy...


And two years later, it's so encouraging to see how our relationship has continued to grow, surprise and challenge me. I have truly been blessed with a complement to all my crazy, and I love him dearly.

Some months ago I came across this post on A Blog About Love, quoting a letter from John Steinbeck to his son, Thom, who had written about being in love with a girl named Susan. I absolutely loved what Steinbeck had to say...

"First -- if you are in love -- that's a good thing -- that's about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don't let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second -- There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you -- of kindness and consideration and respect -- not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn't know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply -- of course it isn't puppy love.

But I don't think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it -- and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it. The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it."

Here's to a lifetime of living up to love. :)

Fav Freebie {Father's Day Printable}

So I know I keep posting stuff from Love vs. Design, but I can't help it! They always have cute freebies, and this free Father's Day card printable is probably my favorite so far.



I mean, what dad doesn't love a good bow tie? :)

{Photos courtesy of Love vs. Design}

6.11.2012

Style Spots: Half-Price Dash

Happy Monday, my dears! How was your weekend? Maybe some of you were traveling? Or sitting poolside? Or scoring some great finds around town? :) I did neither the first nor the second one, but on Sunday I found time to visit some estate sales, made even better by the fact that it was half-price day.

My first stop was a sale in the city, not far from our house. Second was one in University City, followed by a trip to the Goodwill there on Olive, one more estate sale in South County, and then the Goodwill out off Highway 30 past Fenton, where I scored a ton of new Target clothing (and a pair of sandals) that I'll model for you this week (weather permitting...) as the beginning of what will hopefully be a weekly outfit post (eek).

But today...today is all about the vintage goods. Shall we take a peek?

A fiberglass serving bowl (of which I have a matching serving tray...what are the odds?)

Two sets of 8 mid-century metallic ombre glasses...so pretty!

A lovely black patent purse that is pretty much pristine inside.

Two full-body aprons.

Two yellow glass tea light holders...remind me of ones you see at Anthro.

A vintage green dress with white buttons and piping and a white sash.

A really pretty pale blue cocktail dress. Has a couple stains near the neckline that I'm
going to try and work out. Was too cute and inexpensive not to take the risk!

A really pretty lace tablecloth for our dining room.

A pale blue lampshade with gold trim...perfect for that owl lamp that I'm painting this week!

And the BEST is, yet again, last: I found this bar cart at the end of someone's driveway
when I was leaving the last estate sale. There isn't anything wrong with it at all,
just needs a little spit-shine. I've been looking for one for quite a while, and now
I'm SO glad I waited!

How about you, lads and ladies? What goodies did you dig up on your treasure hunt this week?

Linking up with:

Thrifty Treasures
Thrift Share Monday
Flea Market Finds
Magpie Monday
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