Monday, August 24, 2020


It's good to be back, friends.  I'm trying to navigate the new Legacy blogger.  It's hard to find answers, but if you fiddle around with it long enough, sometimes you find that the whole blogger thing has indeed improved.  My most latest problem is with changing the size of photos once loaded.  Any answers out there?

Jumping in here, this is my new baby(not the cabinet), an elephant bush, or known as Portulacaria afra.  I love that I'm finding so many "new to me" plants at the nursery in Michigan.  I need to find the right pot, but it looks pretty on my Hoosier cabinet.  All of my plants will be coming home with me in late fall, they need my love...☺️, and some H20. The monster jade plant will stay.  The Husband and I took it outdoors--and yes, it took both of us, for an overnight stay.  I overflowed it with water and sprayed all the leaves. I think I heard it sigh.  

I like this view from the great room at the harvest table where we share so many family and company meals.  I also fold the clothes here, use it as a desk and major clutter center, a flat and safe surface to change baby diapers, and a spot to keep Layla's basket where she can sleep peacefully away from Poppy.  Getting back to the plants, I have a topiary olive plant on the left, and a foxtail fern in the center.  I'm missing my babies.  I have a neighbor giving them love...and water, while I'm away.


The kids were up two weeks ago.  I should say kids and kidlets.  Always a good time.  My daughter Emily loves to fuss with everyone's decor, but seriously, she grew up in this house on the lake so as I watched TV in the loft one night, I could hear her moving things around.  And--she takes such beautiful photos, these and the following picture are hers.  Above, the foyer.  More about my favorite designer follows later.  

My shelving in the kitchen, which she rearranged gave a more minimalist feel.  I've often said that my shelves are not there to display pieces (except for perhaps that top shelf I can't reach). They take up space where cabinets could be so I have our everyday dishes and such here.  A nice thing about this is that everything gets washed frequently and I really only have to do a good cleaning a few times a year.  

The main floor powder room may not be anything I've shared before.  In a room so small it's hard to get a good shot.  But this is it!  I keep it simple, I don't like to clean bathrooms and this gets the major amount of use in a given day.

I tried to get more photos of our little guest house.  The sun wasn't cooperating. 🙄. So I have a peek of one corner.  This is the way I used to style so many spaces, sort of rustic and simple, letting the pieces speak for themselves.  I'll get more shots soon.  You have to love the screened windows, seven in all!

When we had company at the lake a few weeks ago, I really tried to stay on top of my game.  That means having delicious, easy, and casual food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  No--I never pull all of this off.  Nev-ahh!!  The best I can do is make what I can ahead of time, and keep everything fresh and ready to assemble (as in chop up those onions or the lettuce.  Do Not think it's simple and you can do it later).  Take the shortcuts.  

So this is my pulled pork for sandwiches.  I make it in the slow cooker in about 4 hours.  I refrigerate it and remove it to come to room temp about a half hour before serving.  Then it just needs to be heated up in the microwave or in a pot on the stove.  

So this is how simple it is to make.  You probably have your own recipe but this has won rave reviews.  I also make extra so I can save it in a jelly jar in the fridge for other uses. Please note my measurements are approximate.  Add or subtract and keep rating.  I find these ingredients perfect for making a sweet and spicy compliment to your pork.

Jane's Pulled Pork

2 lb. pork shoulder, trimmed of fat
1 bottle barbecue sauce of your choice
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T soy sauce
3 T brown sugar
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
Optional:  Pinch of red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste

Place pork shoulder in slow cooker and set for 4-8 hours.  An hour before it's done, mix all of the sauce ingredients together and pour over the meat.  Begin to spread the pork with 2 large forks.  Mix the sauce in as you go along.  Let cook until all of the flavors meld.  Adjust seasonings.  I like to load the meat on Italian rolls, preferably toasted in the oven.  Serves 8

I wanted something different this summer as a side dish other than the usual potato salad.  But it's a classic and the family wouldn't hear of it.  I came up with this after tasting the great combo of sour cream and dried ranch dressing mix.  The beauty of my recipe is that you don't have to peel the potatoes, which is half the work of making potato salad.  Feel free to use fingerling potatoes, super creamy and colorful.  Also, you may want to double the recipe for a larger group.

Creamy Ranch Potato Salad

3 lbs. red potatoes 
8 oz. sour cream
2 T ranch dressing mix*
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
1 red pepper, diced

Fill and large pot with water and add a good tablespoon of salt.  Add the potatoes, whole and unpeeled.  Boil until just tender and you can insert a sharp knife through to the center.  Strain and let cool.

In a medium bowl stir the ranch dressing mix together with the sour cream.  Fold in the onions and celery, and peppers.  

Cut the cooled potatoes into 1 1/2 inch pieces and place in a large bowl.  Gently mix in the sour cream mixture to coat.  Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate at minimum 1 hour, but this salad deserves to have the flavors meld together for a few hours or overnight.  Serves 4-6
*You can use the reaming packet of ranch dressing mix to jazz up salads and soups, use in place of garlic on toasted bread, so, so many ways.  Seal the packet and keep it in your fridge.  

This is probably a little ridiculous to even share, but I love to invent my own pizzas.  Doesn't this look great?  It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to bake.  I have learned to simplify by taking the hard work out of making dough, stretching it and flipping out over holes.  It takes a lot of experience to toss that dough and stretch it out to perfection.  Maybe one day I'll check out a few You Tube videos.  So--I buy pizzas on sale from the grocery store, thin crust with just cheese.  Contrary to popular belief, Chicagoan's love the thin crust and although deep dish is great, not so much traditional, at least on the Southside. 🥳. 

So get yourself a thin crust frozen pizza.  Take out every veggie you have leftover in your fridge, or an over abundance of, and start chopping.  If you have any fresh herbs, chop those up.  In a small bowl mix up some delicious dried spices like garlic, onion, cayenne pepper and Italian herbs (and mix all dried ingredients together before topping the pizza so it's all an even deal).  Next, choose some meats if you like, I don't always find it necessary, but you can add leftovers, luncheon meats like ham, salami, turkey, pepperoni, prosciutto, pancetta, or bacon crumbles.  Then add cheeses, whatever you have on hand.  I like to use up the remainder of the shredded cheeses I have in my fridge drawers.  Or grate your own. Fun and unlikely additions are feta, fresh mozzarella, and cream cheese just to name a few.  You need to only plop down tablespoon sizes of these cheeses on the pizza as they really don't melt and spread.  Finally, bake at 425 degrees until the crust is super crispy, I actually like to see the edges a little burnt!!!

Oh, jeez, this was longer than a regular ol recipe!  Do try and let me know how everything turns out.  

I'm always trying to keep you up to par with my little grandkids.  I hope you don't get tired of this!  Daughter Emily is such the picture taker and she also has family albums done quite a bit by a professional photographer friend.  So here is Madelyn, as you all know very well, and little Lucy, now 9 months old.  They are so adorably good together.  They really bring me such joy!

And in ending, I wanted to share this one of Madelyn, just doing her own thing and being captured by the camera.  Please believe that one day we will all feel this way once again.  Looking out on the horizon I really feel changes are coming.  Dancing in the leaves as the sun goes down has to be God given.  Let's trust.

As a very last side note, Emily is full force back into Interior Design which makes me a happy Mama.  Those 4 years of college amounted to a lot of talent and drive.  She has started her own business and although it's Chicago based. a good part of her work is visual and online.  If you need evidence of her creative and hard work, just take a look at my home!  She has been a huge part of what I've done.  Her website is Curate Design Studio She's also on Instagram and Facebook.  Please stop by!  She's been having some giveaways for new followers.  Tell her that her mother sent you!!❤️

Stay safe and healthy.  Wash your hands and pray a lot.  

Jane x