Monday, April 21, 2014


First, I want to take a quick moment to thank Di from Cook the TV and Cheryl in Wisconsin for their wonderful guest posts while I have been so crazy busy finishing up the renovation of the house we bought. You ladies are so kind with your offers of guest posts and I am so thankful!  (Cheryl...get a blog!!!)
Second, I want to say that my good friend Judy was here for the last 10 days and gave me a hand with some decorating, which of course involved shopping and a whole lot of fun.  My other dear friend Ciree even came over Saturday and helped assemble some shelves for my craft room and picked an accent color for my grey and white kitchen. (She's bossy like that!)  How lucky am I to have my two best friends helping at the same time??  Life is good!
That is Judy on the left and Ciree on the right!  I always tease them and tell them I love them because they are both shorter than I am, but the truth is I love them because they are wonderfully talented people who put up with me and all of my quirkiness and they make me laugh until my belly hurts.  They are sitting on my sofa in my newly renovated/partially finished family room,which they have deemed the party room.  Here's a sneak-peek.
Totally went outside my comfort zone in this room.  For those of you who thought I should put shutters on that pass through...I found a pair, tried them out and didn't like them.  I threw them in the garage.  Then Judy came in and said they needed to go downstairs and I made my "face of disappointment" because I was sure they needed to stay in the garage.  We put them up and of course she was right and I loved them.  Judy is a genius! Then I wanted to paint them, but she said they needed to stay orange, so orange became the accent color in my family/party room.  We also did a couple of really fun craft projects for this room and I will share them with you a little later.
Sorry for the fuzzy picture.  When I have time that cabinet will become a bar.  ( Bliss from Bliss Ranch, I will take any advice you have on converting that cabinet into a bar! You are the queen of bar cabinets!)  A dart board and game cabinet will also be in this room.  (Karen at Somewhat Quirky, can you guess what I'll be using as a game cabinet down there?)
Third....we sold our little farm house last week, so the clock is ticking now on the move.  Shouldn't be a problem as the reno is finished and I'm on clean-up duty for the next couple of days.
Fourth...because I was crazy enough to think that my life would finally begin to calm down a little and I could enjoy having some new space and some spring fun landscaping the outside of this house..... we bought another house.  Yes, we did.  It will be a flipper and we start work on it the second week of May.  It is true...there is no rest for the wicked!
So, I will be crazy-busy for the next month or so and will be sporadic on my blog.  I'll have very little time for reading and catching up with my friends here in the blog world. I know you'll be understanding, but I will miss you all and have visions of catching up while relaxing on that white sofa in my family/party room....maybe in June?  Unless I just completely lose my mind, which at this point seems like a very serious possibility.  Suzan, you won't be alone in the asylum!  LOL!
Finally...I want to thank Mel, from Mellywoods Mansion, because when I find myself awake at 3a.m. and totally freaking out about all of this, she is there on the other side of my computer screen, halfway around the world in Australia, keeping me from losing it and giving me some invaluable advice!  Mel, you are awesome!
I'll be back soon with some posts of the reno and I'm starting with the kitchen. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Macaroons from "Cook The TV"!!

Hey everyone!  I'm about finished up with my renovation and will move in next week...finally!!  In the mean time, my friend Di from Cook the TV has a great tasting, easy recipe for Easter and she's been kind enough to share it here on my blog!  Please give a warm welcome to Di!

Hi everyone. Thanks Danni so much for the kind invitation to do a guest post. I have been a huge fan of Silo Hill Farm for a  long time.

My name is Di. I blog over at CTV. I started the blog about a year and a half ago. At the time, I was watching a lot of cooking shows on TV and thought it would be great fun to take the famous TV chef's recipes and make them more accessible for busy moms and home cooks.

A little about me: I'm 50, divorced, have 3 beautiful grown daughters, 2 grandsons and 1 granddaughter. I love my girls and miss them being home, even after having an empty nest for about 4 years now! I'm pretty sentimental about my kids. I even exchanged a few tearful emails with Amy of While Wearing Heels about her daughter going off to kindergarten! I think the "tearful" part was mainly on my end! Haha.

Today's recipe is a fun take on a very easy macaroon that I originally made on the blog earlier this year. 
The original recipe is from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. I saw this in a magazine and had to do it for you. I simply made the macaroons, indented them slightly with a spoon while they were warm out of the oven, and placed tiny "eggs" in them. This recipe makes about 20 cookies. Here's the recipe:

  • 14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk- 1 can
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large or large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • candy in the shape of tiny eggs, I used Cadbury Mini Eggs, chocolate with a candy shell

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed with a hand-held electric mixer, or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, until the egg whites form medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
  3. Drop the batter onto the baking sheets, using either a 1¾-inch diameter ice cream scoop, or 2 teaspoons. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. 
  4. Remove from oven and immediately indent the center of each cookie, using the back of a small spoon. 
  5. Remove from pan and let cool. 
  6. Drop 2 or 3 "egg" candies into each "nest". 

Thanks so much for your time everyone! And thanks, Danni, for letting me strut my stuff on your wonderful blog:0 Happy Easter every one:)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cheryl Butts In: A Weekend Not Doing What I Was Supposed to Be Doing

I'm lucky enough to have not one, but 2 guest posters this week.  First, Cheryl took pity on me one more time and sent me this wonderful post and second, Di at "Cook The TV" sent me an awesome recipe post that I will be sharing with you on Thursday. (I love the name of her blog and her recipes are so good!)  Me?  My friend Judy is here helping me with some last minute details and I'm getting ready to move!  In the meantime, please welcome Cheryl In Wisconsin once again!!

In my last post I commented on the arrival of spring in a place where we so desperately need it.  Nature has furthered her momentum, the signs are everywhere.  There are robins outside.  (The photo above is of an old stained glass window I had placed on my front porch – last year the robins built the nest there and hatched out three rounds of robinettes.  I’m just waiting for them to reclaim it as a sanctuary.)  I can hear the roar of Harley Davidsons.  And my mother called me to invite me to go to a Garage Sale.
**blink      blink blink blink**
My aunt had called my mother and asked her to let me know about this particular sale.  She promised that there were things that I would like, and the prices were reasonable.  I briefly considered this weekend’s to-do list and seconds later agreed that a garage sale is exactly where I should be.   (It’s important that I mention here that much of the to-do list consists of eliminating things from my house, not adding.)
So, at 8 a.m. Saturday morning we headed to the tiny town where the sale was being held.  It was hostessed by a fascinating woman who was in the process of moving into the little farmette and needed to downsize.  Please allow me to share my haul with you:

First, this old wooden crate, a wine box?  It had aged beautifully.  I can picture this with caster wheels and used in my living room.  I modified it a bit by using a sharpie and an antique stencil I had purchased on eBay from a seller in England:

I could not resist these croquet balls, complete with basket.  I’m not sure how I will use them yet.

This sheep baaa-ed at me from its spot in the sale.

It stands guard on my front porch, greeting visitors.  (Please do not look too closely at the chippy paint on my porch posts.  I LOVE chippy paint, just not actually ON the house.  Painting porch posts is one of the entries on that elusive to-do list.)

A wooden pig cutting board, advertising McMillen’s in St. Paul.  I want to hang this guy up somewhere in the kitchen.

“A&P Bread Contest Winner
W.F. Rogers
I adore it.

This small tureen came with the original ceramic ladle.  I wonder what kind of stories this would tell if it could.
These gallon jars are not old, you can still pick them up new.  However the price was fabulous and I bought four of them.  I already owned two, they sit on my ‘craft table’ holding door knobs and misc. metal parts.  Can’t you just picture a grouping of all six?  These four may hold doilies, silverware, croquet balls, whatever.  Visual storage.  Form AND function.
The most incredible part of this story?  I paid TWENTY DOLLARS for the entire lot.  Blowing off my chores to visit this sale was a good decision.  Plus, I got to spend some quality time with my mom.
Sunday was a to-do list bust also.  Michael Perry is an author who writes about life in rural Wisconsin.  He is hilarious, when I read his books I laugh out loud.  He made an appearance at our local theatre, an anonymous donor had paid to have him here, admission to the event was a donation to the local food pantry.  He regaled the crowd with his stories and it was an entire audience laughing out loud.  This man offers such a gift to his readers.  I recommend his books to anyone who enjoys a bit of humor about the human spirit.
So, here I sit with a messy house but the enjoyment I got from this weekend’s activities was worth it.  There’s always next weekend, right?
Danni, keep on keepin’ on, girl.  Your to-do list is much more impressive than mine.