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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cottage Charm Part 3 - Excuse Me

Excuse Me

No, I'm not shouting, and no I'm not angry. It's time for our next charm class! Excuse me is used before you do something that will inconvenience a person but I am sorry is used after. Let's say I need to pass you in the hallway but you are in front of me.

I stop and say "Excuse me," or "Pardon me" but if I accidentally step on your toe or knock books out of your arms while passing I say "I am sorry," (Without sarcasm here) Moms and dads lets use this to speak to our children too, not just require it of them.

Excuse me is also used when you have not heard what someone has said and you need it repeated. You say "Excuse me, could you repeat that" Never say huh? (you are not a grunting pig or other creature.) You could also use "I beg your pardon," here. (Note to parents I beg your pardon is not to be used as a snotty come back to something your child has said that is rude or shocking.)

Related Post: Charm Class Part  4 ~ Manners In Public Places 

I beg your pardon is literally begging for forgiveness. In this case for putting someone out by having to repeat what they have already said.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Cottage Charm Part 2 -Please And Thank You-

Please and Thank You

  I suppose that this is a good place to begin. The use of the word please is from the 14th century. It means to give pleasure or satisfy. So it would have been - may it please you to close the door. Sound funny? Maybe, but today as in the 14th century it is a show of good manners.

Related Post: Cottage Charm Part 3 - Excuse Me 

So if you are asking for something say please. If you need a favor from a friend or want to borrow something from your mom what is the word, yes, please.

We, child and adult alike need to remember not to simply demand give me this or hand me that, but make your request sweetened with "Please," and if offered something "Yes please," or "No thank you,"  is also a beautiful reply. (Although in the south this would be yes sir or mam for those polite souls.)

The next is "Thank you," Thank you fly's in the face of this "entitlement generation" and makes us stop and at least for a moment feel gratitude toward another. A well said thank you can change the morning of a busy waitress, make a hectic day feel worth it to a harried teacher or co-worker and warm the heart of a tired parent. Use thank you and you teach your children to use it because you can never go wrong with a thankful heart. Just remember, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Auntie Betty's Pizza Sauce

OK, no we are not Italian, but Auntie Betty is Sicilian and Italian and makes the best sauce we have ever had.  She is actually not our aunt but a friend of the family that gave us her sauce recipe.  This needs no further introduction at all because it will stand on its own.  Our only advice, use a good quality sauce and don't burn or scald the garlic.  When the garlic smells very aromatic and is just a little golden, it is done, pour the sauce over it.

Related Post: Homemade Pizza Rolls

Put a tablespoon or so of good olive oil in your saucepan and turn it to about medium / low heat.
Add 5 cloves of garlic chopped – gently cook while stirring until fragrant and golden but not brown.
To this add a can of tomato sauce + small tomato paste. Stir well.
Add Romano cheese and Parmesan cheese (grated) and about 1/2 tsp of parsley flakes. Turn down, cover and simmer. Let the flavors mingle.

Related Post: Homemade Pizza Dough

Cook for about 50 minutes on low

Roll out your dough and place in your pan.  Add sauce to the dough and other ingredients you like for your pizza.  Things like Romano Cheese, parsley flakes, onion salt, oregano, Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper pepperoni, etc. 
Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Cook for 20 to 25 minutes and then look under the dough to make sure it is done.  Take out of the oven and add your cheeses (mozzarella).  Put back in the oven until cheese is melted about 5 minutes or so. 

Related Post: Homemade Pizza

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Organic Chocolate Java Cake

This is one of the moistest and best-tasting chocolate cakes we have ever had. You can't really taste the coffee, but it just makes a super rich and moist cake that melts in your mouth.  It does not need icing at all.  We have made this for Mr. Cottage to take to his work and the office begged us to bring it for every birthday and office party. It is seriously THAT good.  We have a great icing recipe if you want it.  Here is a version we did in a bundt pan but mostly we use a sheet cake pan or even a casserole dish.  

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the Cake:

2 1/2 Cups Organic flour 
1 1/2 Cups Organic Raw Sugar 
1/2 Cup Cocoa or carob powder
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda 
1/2 Teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt 
2/3 Cup Organic Coconut Oil Melted or your favorite oil
2 Tablespoons Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar 
1  Tablespoon Vanilla
2 Cups Cold Coffee 

Get a 12x8 casserole pan and place the first five ingredients. 
Mix together in the pan.  Make three wells and put oil in one, vinegar in the next and vanilla in the next. Stir well and add your coffee. Stir this to combine and place in a pre-heated oven.

Related Post: Check Out Our Other Recipes 

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


After cake the is out of the oven, sprinkle this on top of cake or top with your favorite icing. 

1/3 Cup Organic Raw Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon  

Don't Forget To Stop By Our Store

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Fix Them Drawers! With Mr Cottage

Well, it has been a while and I have been forced uh, er... encouraged to do a post on my recent household honey-do list cross off. I am not much of a writer and so this all does not come easily or I guess naturally for me.

Well, it all started with the silverware drawer and too much silverware.  You know the story, it is all good and fine until one day and the bottom drops out and silverware is all in your Tupperware and it is just one hot mess down there. Follow me you guys?  Come on, we can be real here, right?

RoseVine Girls Soap Mold

My very broken drawer.
Well next we find a handyman (not me) that was some friends sisters boyfriends (you get this right) and he took the drawer (ok 2 drawers - we had to put the silverware someplace... it couldn't stay in the Tupperware drawer now.)  So and so takes it and gives it to said boyfriend who is not heard of again and leaves the aforementioned drawers out in the rain and snow (insert unhappy wife).  Finally, she gets them back from boyfriend and returns to unhappy wife and I deal with it by sticking it in the dark recesses of the garage (ahem).   Well... forward a year... ok-ok forward about 10 years?  I don't know, who is counting?  The thing is in the garage!  Who thinks about that stuff?  Anyway, the third drawer breaks and the fourth (sharp knife drawer) is going.  Wife looks at me and says, "Honey, this is the last drawer."  Well, the one over the Tupperware was a great one for the return drop for all things plastic.  It was like returning the movies at Blockbuster... well before Blockbuster died and became a thing of the past.  But still there was a slight thrill as you heard it clang down on the rest of that mess (shhh don't tell wife this.  She always wonders why that thing is a mess... he, he, he, he)  Anyway I guess the thought of another drop box for the pans and one for the bowls was not so exciting to her.  This is my journey.  Ha, ha, I always wanted to say that.  Am I sounding professional?  I hope so but somehow doubt it.  Ok, so here I was, warned by the wife that final drawer is taking a powder and I was asked to make a soap mold for the girls and so here I am making this pretty mold and she notices that it looks amazingly like a strong and beautiful drawer (I am going down fella's).  I look at it helplessly and as much as I hate to admit it, it looks like a drawer.  So back to trusty home improvement store to buy more strong beautiful wood (1/2"X4" poplar for the sides and 1/4" thick poplar sheet for the bottom) and work on the drawer project (long overdue, but don't tell her I said that).

So, I started taking the drawer pieces apart and measured them.  Taking those measurements I cut the wood that I bought at Lowes to those sizes. I glued the pieces with wood glue and clamped them together and let set for 30 minutes. I then started the assembly.  I predrilled the holes for my nails so we would have a neat finished product and the wood would not crack.  Here I am working on this below.
Nailing the drawer together after pre-drilling holes.
The next step is hooking the bottom of the drawer to the box.  I cut the wood to specifications using my jigsaw then began nailing around the edges.

Nailing the bottom of the drawer on.

I had removed the drawer face from the old junky drawer and fastened it to the front of the drawer box that I just finished using screws.

Clamping the drawer front to the box as I screw it into place
From here I took the rails off of the old drawer and placed them on the new ones with the overhang in the back.  Here it is as I am putting it in.  Pretty great if I do say so myself and do you know the value of a really happy wife?  It is priceless.  I must say I felt pretty bad about not doing it sooner and letting myself talk myself out of it and thinking I couldn't do it.  Fear of failure is pretty lame.  I did it and it felt really good.
It is a great way to make your kitchen look better and not spend 50 thousand dollars on a new kitchen.
The wood can be cut by the guys and gals at your home improvement store and this honestly can be done at home by people that are not very handy normally and the look is amazing and it is so much stronger.

Proverbs 10:4-5 (from the Bible Gateway)

A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.

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Cinnamon Rolls

We made these for the equine obstacle course this weekend and let's put it this way...none came home. The host loved them so much that he took all of them. <3 These are yummy cold, amazing hot out of the oven and the icing... well let's say it is memorable! Our host said that there is never enough icing on cinnamon rolls but these ones are great. This was coming from a professional baker and cake decorator.

2 1/2 Teaspoons Yeast
3/4 Cup Warm Water, Plus 1 Cup Room Temperature Water 
1 2/3 Cup milk
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Celtic Sea Salt
3 Tablespoon Butter
1 egg
9 Cups Organic flour 
1/2 Cup Butter, Melted
1 Cup Raw Sugar
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Milk or Water
1/2 Cup Cream Cheese  


Dissolve yeast in 3/4 cup warm water, set aside. While yeast is dissolving, mix additional 1 cup of water, milk, sugar, salt, and butter in a mixer fitted with the dough hook until smooth. Add dissolved yeast to mixture. Add 5 cups of flour, mix until smooth. Mix in remaining flour and knead using the dough hook on low speed for 10 minutes. Remove from mixer bowl and place in greased bowl; cover with towel or oiled plastic wrap Let rise 1 1/2 hours in warm place. After dough has doubled in size, punch down to remove excess air and roll out in a long rectangle: approximately 12×36″. Combine filling ingredients together and brush onto the surface of the dough. Roll up dough tightly and cut into 1 1/2 inch slicesPlace the slices into a greased large pan and cover; let rise until doublePreheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk egg and brush lightly over the surface of the rolls. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the tops of the rolls are golden. Once the rolls are out of the oven, drizzle slather (Come on this is the real world) icing over the tops of the cinnamon rolls. Let cool. (Good luck! Never happens in this house) And Enjoy!

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pigs In A Blanket


1 Package Uncured Organic Beef Hot Dogs 
(Cut into pieces about 2 inches thick) 
 1 batch of dough 

Blanket Dough:

 2 Cups Organic Flour 
3 Teaspoons Non-Aluminum baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tarter 
1/4 Teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt 
1/2 Cup Organic Butter 
2/3 Cup Organic Milk 
Roll out dough until thin. Cut slices out as wide as the hot dogs. Roll the dough around the dog until covered. Cut from the rest of the strip.

Bake at 350 F. until done

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