Archive of ‘My Home and Garden’ category

A Visit to the Bealeton Farmer’s Market

Fresh veggies from my local farmer's market

I stopped by the Bealeton, Virginia, farmer’s market this weekend to pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables and other goodies for my family. Just look at these freshly picked red onions; they still have their stalks attached. It doesn’t get any fresher than this. If you like to cook as much as I do, then you’ll definitely want to check out your local farmer’s market; it’s one of the pleasures of summer.

In addition to the Boston lettuce and gorgeous red onions pictured above, I bought some pulled pork, barbecued beef brisket, individual-sized servings of monkey bread, and a variety of home-made sausage (sweet Italian links, kielbasa, bratwurst, and several packs of bulk sausage).

Later that evening, I threw together this quick dinner featuring Italian sausage sandwiches with caramelized onions and peppers, Amish potato salad, and fresh fruit.

Italian sausage sandwiches with caramelized onions and peppers

The Bealeton farmer’s market is a seasonal open air market made up of farmers offering organic honey and meats, locally grown fruits and vegetables, jams and jellies, baked goods, and hand-crafted items.

Jerry Headley and Theresa Shiflett from Andralynn Farm founded the market three years ago and it has drawn a steady stream of customers. The market is small and intimate but there is plenty of room for growth and additional vendors are welcome. Vendors pay $80.00 a piece to join the market for the season or $10.00 per week.  The vendor fees pay for signs and advertising, and this year vendor insurance is being offered free of charge.

Fresh fruits and vegetables from the Bealeton farmer's market

The market is located off of US Route 17 at Liberty Station Center (in front of Children of America) and runs from April 23rd through October 29th. Hours of operation are Saturdays from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm, although you can often find Jerry and Theresa there later in the afternoon selling their fabulous Honey Hog barbecue. For more information on the Bealeton farmer’s market email southernmarket@comcast.net or call 540-905-5663.

Honey Hog Barbecue Stand in Bealeton, Virginia

Come on out, ya’ll.

Gorgeous Light in My Garden Yesterday

Beautiful light in my garden

After two days of torrential rain, the sun finally made an appearance and filled my garden with gorgeous light. Everything looks so green and lush.

Enormous cloud formation

After the dark skies cleared, this huge sun-lit cloud formation took my breath away. How gorgeous are these clouds?

Huge cloud formation

In other news, after a two-week hiatus to focus on yard clean-up and home remodeling tasks, I finally started a new painting this evening. Check back later this week to see the finished painting. What’s new in your neck of the woods?

Quick Spring Bedroom Makeover

Quick and easy spring bedroom makeover

I continued my spring home refresher project this weekend with a quick, easy, and inexpensive makeover of my of daughter’s bedroom. Her bedroom walls used to be chocolate brown–a color she chose. I’ve never been a fan of neutral colors; I think they lack energy. Plus the brown paint made her room feel small and dark. So for this makeover I chose a light green paint (Hampton Green by Benjamin Moore). It transformed the room from dark and dreary into a fresh and soothing sanctuary. And I accomplished all this in one day with very little money. Here’s another picture.

Quick and easy spring bedroom makeover

I bought the matelasse coverlet, dust ruffle, pillow shams, lamps, and shades at Target. I love shopping at Target. It’s a treasure trove of great design at fabulous prices. Add a gallon or two of paint and you’ve got yourself a quick and inexpensive one-day spring makeover. Here’s a close-up view of the pillow shams. I love the pops of orange and bits of yellow.

Quick and easy spring bedroom makoever

And here are before and after photos. (I always love it when magazines show before and after shots.)

Quick and easy spring bedroom makeover - before and after photos

And here’s a picture of my dog, Mary, helping me work. My dogs have to be at the center of every activity.

My dog, Mary, helping during the photo shoot

More Fun with Spray Paint–A Little Rust-oleum Changes Everything

Rust-oleum spray paint in Seaside

I came across a new shade of aqua spray paint–called Seaside–by Rust-oleumat Home Depot when I was shopping for paint for my colorful spring porch makeover and couldn’t resist it. So I bought six cans for a future project. Since I was in a spray painting mood last weekend, and I was dying to paint something aqua, I painted this iron nautilus bench and side table for my back yard.

Aqua bench and table painted in Seaside by Rust-oleum

This color practically glows in the early evening light. Throw on a coordinating pillow or two and you have a colorful and comfy spot to sit down and enjoy your garden.

Aqua bench and side table in Seaside by Rust-oleum

The aqua and white pillow is from Pottery Barn’s outdoor pillow collection. I’ve used this pillow inside and outside. I just throw it in the washer when it gets dirty and it’s good to go for another season. I used three cans of paint for this project. I can use the remaining three cans to repaint this furniture when it gets battered by the elements, or I can find something else to paint. Hmm, what else needs a coat of aqua? Let me think…

Making an Entrance Part III–Colorful Porch Makeover

colorful porch makeover

Hi everyone. I hope you enjoyed the long Memorial Day weekend. My brother and I spent all three days power washing and painting my front porch. It was a ton of work. Everything got a fresh coat of paint. Painting the rafters, porch pillars, railings, and all those spindles took forever but it was well worth the effort. Just look at this sparkly clean porch.

Freshly painted colorful porch makeover

Does this say welcome to my house, or what?

Purple front door

I really love my freshly painted purple front door (deep amethyst by Glidden) and chairs (grape by Rust-oleum).

Purple front door and colorful tulip bouquet

And this colorful custom-made tulip bouquet by TwoInspireYou at Etsy.com  is perfection.

Colorful porch furniture and accessories

The porch is coming together very nicely but I’m STILL waiting for the pink and white chevron rugs from Dash and Albert to arrive. Come on slow pokes, at this rate summer will be over before you know it. When companies advertise new outdoor rugs they should be ready for delivery by spring, not the fall and winter season.

Colorful porch furniture and accessories

In addition to the rugs, I still need to add some live plants and flowers, but that’s a job for next weekend. This solitary plant was all I had available for my photo shoot.

Colorful porch furniture and accessories

These gorgeous ruffled and micro-fiber pillows are indoor pillows, but I couldn’t resist the scrumptious colors and textures, and my covered porch should shield them from the elements for the most part. Sometimes you have to be creative and flexible to get the look you want. The colorful flower pots were a gift from my mom several years ago. She bought them at the local dollar store. What a find!

Enjoying a snack and a good read on my freshly painted porch

And the best part of all my hard work? Enjoying a home-made iced mocha (get the recipe here), a snack, and a good read on my comfy and colorful new porch–and meeting all the neighbors who stopped by to introduce themselves and take a peek while I worked. I hope I’ve inspired them to make the most of their outdoor spaces and banish beige wherever it’s lurking. Be gone, you drab non-color!

Pretty Flowers for My Front Door

Pretty flowers for my front porch

I just ordered this custom-made flower arrangement by TwoInspireYou at Etsy.com to hang on my front door. But instead of pink tulips, I chose the colors in the second photo. I can picture this colorful arrangement hanging on my freshly painted purple door. I can’t wait for it to arrive. I still have to power wash and paint the front porch and I’m STILL waiting for the rugs to arrive. I need to find some fun/colorful accessories, plant more flowers, set out the pillows, and sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor with a magazine and cold glass of iced tea.

Making an Entrance Part II–Front Door Makeover

Front door makeover

I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day. I spent the day with my mother, daughter, brothers, sister, and their families. The entire family went out to dinner to celebrate. It was quite a challenge to seat all 20 of us together, but we managed to pull it off.

Afterwards, my daughter bought me flowers at a local nursery and helped me plant them in the garden. I finished off the day by painting my front door Deep Amethyst by Glidden. It was a bold color choice and I was a bit nervous to make the change but I’m thrilled with the end result. If you could throw caution to the wind and paint your door any color you want, what color would you choose?

Braised Short Ribs

Recipe for braised short ribs

It’s been cold and rainy this week, so cold that I’ve been craving a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs type of meal. So I turned to this recipe for braised short ribs that my mom made frequently when I was growing up. It’s simple to make, smells amazing while it’s baking, and tastes even better. This recipe is comfort food at its best. I like to serve braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and spoon the vegetables and sauce on top of the potatoes. Look for boneless short ribs at your supermarket if you can find them because it makes eating this dish a bit easier. I grab boneless short ribs as I find them and freeze them for later use. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make braised short ribs:

Braised Short Ribs Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. beef short ribs (preferably  boneless)
  • 3-4 tablespoons flour  (enough to coat the ribs)
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil (enough to brown the ribs on all sides)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can (28-oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery tops, chopped (the celery leaves really make this dish)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons additional flour (to thicken the broth)

Instructions

  1. Dredge the short ribs in flour and brown them on all sides in a frying pan coated with hot oil.
  2. Place ribs in a 9 x 13″ baking pan.
  3. Drain off excess oil from the frying pan, keeping the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Return the pan to the heat. Add water and bring to a boil, scraping the browned parts off the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients (except flour). Bring to a boil. Combine flour with enough water to make a thin paste. Add slowly to the boiling mixture, stirring constantly until thickened.
  5. Pour the vegetable mixture over the short ribs in the baking pan. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the meat is fork tender. Serve with hot mashed potatoes or hot cooked rice.

Ladle into a bowl, spoon the vegetables and sauce over the mashed potatoes, and enjoy!

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