Saturday, August 24, 2013

My First Ebay Listing

I received these plates as a gift a few years ago.  They are sweet but just never fit in any of my rooms.  The probably could fill a wall somewhere but they don't go with the floral décor in my living room.  I suppose they could hang on a bathroom wall or in a hallway, but the only hallway I have leads right to Sgt. Buzzkill's bedroom so I know he will knock them off the wall at some point.  We'll see if they sell.  If they don't I'll find a place for them, maybe in the kitchen when I change up the paint.

So far I've finished one of the items on my "to do" list for Saturday.  I'll start tackling the rest when I finish watching The Pioneer Woman.
Have a wonderful day!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Dude the cat and his roommates at Saylor Street Cottage

We have quite a few animals here at Saylor Street Cottage.  A dog named Chance who is getting old and doesn't get around very well.  He will be twelve years old this year.  He has had ACL surgery and has developed secondary arthritis but he still wags his tail when I come home, he still chases squirrels even though he knows he will never get them, still loves us unconditionally.  He's an old man who is set in his ways.  Even in his old age he will take the first opportunity to wander away from the yard which once landed him in doggie jail for the weekend.
We also have two cats.  Lilly and Dude.  Lilly is about 7 years old.  She is not a cuddly cat, tends to do her own thing and pretty much sleeps her day away under our bed or tucked somewhere in a quite place. 
This is a rare picture of the two of them together. Lilly usually has nothing to do with Dude because Dude is only a year old and wants to play rough.  Lilly has no patience for his shenanigans.  We declawed Lilly when we first got her but decided not to declaw Dude because he has occasionally escaped out the back door.  Lilly is scared to death of anything beyond the door.  The closest she wants to get to nature is the window sill.  Lilly is the grey, black and white tabby in this picture and Dude is the brown tabby curled up in an innocent little ball probably dreaming of ways to terrorize Lilly. 
Dude is a character.  He is so much more active than the senior animals.  His curiosity and personality make us laugh almost every day.  I love to photograph this little guy and he loves to ham it up for the camera.  If my animals could talk they'd tell me that Dude must be my favorite.  I don't have a favorite but little Dude certainly does captivate me. 
Last but not least we have a Gecko.  I do not have a picture, he's a bit camera shy.  Doesn't want his picture taken for fear of being used in a Geico commercial.  His name is Sammy Nella.  He got that name because someone told me they carry disease.  Sammy lives in a tank in my daughters room covered by a screen.  He is about 8 years old and if Dude had his way poor old Sammy would not see 9.  Yep, that sweet little face would gobble up that poor Gecko in a millisecond! 
Sometimes the animals at Saylor Street Cottage are the most rational of the whole family.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Summer's not gone yet.

We've had extremely mild weather here in Chicagoland and this week we finally got some HOT days and what do you think happened at the Saylor Street Cottage?  A bit of Murphy's Law happened because our air conditioner went out.  It was a hot hot night to sleep and I kept thinking about those who do not have air.  As I started the pity party in my head I thought about people in Haiti who sleep in even hotter weather in makeshift tents.  Luckily it was just a bad wire and we're back in business.  As a matter of fact it's almost too cold in here so I think I'll turn down the air.

As we wind down the summer weekends we've got some fun plans ahead.  We're heading to the demolition derby.  I haven't been to one in several years and now that my kids are grown I think it will be fun to all hang out together.

Last weekend Mr. Saylor and I went to the drive in with Colonel Buzzkill, his friend and his girlfriend.  It was a fun time and another place I haven't been to in ages. 

Some projects I have planned for this weekend will be:

finish painting my small side table (on Friday night while watching the Bears game)
get the backyard and patio cleaned up
pull out some of the weeds and turn the dirt along my back fence
bake some zuchinni bread
peach cobbler
drop off donations to goodwill (and take a quick peak inside for some "finds")

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

On Thursday we are having a baby shower for one of the men at work.  We planned it for a week ago but his wife went into early labor and had a healthy little boy.   New babies and new beginnings are always so exciting.  We are having a goodie table so I decided to make some mini cheesecakes and covered them in chocolate. 

I don't know where I found this recipe but I've been making it for years.  It's pretty versatile too because I've often added some mashed pumpkin for Thanksgiving or mixed in melted chocolate and it always works.

Sometimes it comes out creamy and sometimes it comes out fluffy.  I'm sure a professional baker could tell me why that is, maybe I mixed it too long or not enough, either way it's always a crowd pleaser.  My family loves it and that's all that counts.

Cheesecake Recipe

Graham Cracker Crust.

1/3 cup butter melted
1-1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar

Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar.  Mix in melted butter and stir with a whisk or fork until well blended.  Press in the bottom and up the sides of a spring form pan.

Cheesecake filling:

3 pkgs cream cheese
3 large eggs
1 can condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix the cream cheese until creamy.  On low speed mix in condensed milk and then add eggs one at a time. Continue mixing on medium speed and add vanilla extract.  Pour into prepared springform pan.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Farenheit for 45 min to 1 hour.  Put a pan of water in the oven on the bottom rack to keep moisture in the oven while baking.  This will prevent the cheesecake from cracking. 

I used this same recipe this time but instead I pressed the graham cracker crumbs on the bottom of some mini cupcake cups, then I added the filling and baked for about 30 minutes.  Once it was done I dipped the tops in melted chocolate and let them cool. 

Can't wait to share them!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I follow a page on FB from a bakery in Edinburgh, Scotland called Mimi's Bakehouse.  One of the things I like about FB is that you can follow pages from people and places all over the world.  I was born in Edinburgh so it's fun to see posts of the people and places there.  One thing for sure is that when I do go back to Edinburgh I'm stopping in at Mimi's, it looks so pretty and the cupcakes look amazing.  Check it out here

Yesterday I saw a post for some Cookies and Cream cupcakes.  I had to make them!  So, I made a vanilla cake and put some crushed chocolate wafer cookies.  I didn't use real Oreos I bought mine at Aldi.  One because Aldi is a quick stop on the way home from work and TWO because they're less expensive.  Saylor Street Cottage is on a budget after all. 

I made an easy cream cheese frosting and they taste great!  I'm bringing them to work for a birthday celebration and because it's better to share the calories!