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Friday, April 29, 2011

The Dish Cupboard...

The dish cupboard does not have to be boring! When you arrange them neatly, they can look clean, fresh and appealing.  If you have colors, mix them up!  Make a color pattern that catches your eye... like candy in the candy store.
If they are solid white, place them in mixed patterns using their shapes.  If your cupboards are neat and stylish, they will look like a "Piece of Art! Not... "Something you have to wash after dinner"!
Showing off your Style...NeeCee Signature
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Our Hoosier is Voguish...

Voguish... to be "In Vogue". The definition is as follows; fashionable, modish, popular, stylish, trendy, up-to-the-minute, voguish, current, prevalent.  Noun: fashion, style, taste, craze, popularity, acceptance, custom, formal. The latest, all the rage... this says it all!  Your home is your canvas, your style is your paint.  Your home is a Work of Art! You are the "Artist".
Our daughter treasures my Grandmother's Hoosier as much as I do! When she decided to create her home office she choose to "show off"  her own unique style. She is using Granny's Hoosier as a craft center, holding all of her supplies. Great idea and a wonderful way to show pride of family heirlooms.

Always in vogue...     

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Well Stocked Pantry, A Master List..

A well stocked pantry lets you be prepared for any occasion, including meals on the run or drop in guests.   
I love having a pantry but, they can be a lot of work. They have to be cleaned, straighten, rearranged and so on! In the fall, before my holiday baking, I clean out the pantry from top to bottom. This gives me a chance to see what I have or don't have, what I need to buy or purge, etc. I take note of any pans or other items that may need to be replaced. This preparation helps me with holiday planning and baking.  I also do some semi-cleaning in the early spring. Replacing and straightening after the flurry of "helpful hands" that have been in and out of the pantry all winter. 
I rotate and date my food items. As I bring in new items, I write the date on the package or can. I then, place them on the shelf according to "my" expiration date, thus saving on food waste. 
Our daughter, made me a clipboard for Mother's Day a few years ago. I keep it in the pantry, along with a pen or pencil. Whenever I use the last item, I write it down on my clipboard.  It helps make my grocery list easier, since it is almost completed before I start!

Below is a list of suggested items for the pantry.  Not all palate's are alike. Pantry items will vary according to taste, health issues and budgets.


"Master List for the Well Stocked Pantry"


Baking Supplies:
Flour
Sugar
Powder Sugar
Brown Sugar
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Yeast
Olive, Canola, and/or Vegetable Oil,
Cooking Spray 
Cocoa Powder
Cornstarch
Chocolate Chips
Dry Milk Powder* 
*(great substitution for baking when you're out of fresh milk)
Condensed & Evaporated canned Milk
Crisco
Corn Syrup
Soy Sauce
Vinegar, Red and/or White
Honey
Maple Syrup


Nuts:
Almonds
Pecans
Walnuts
Cashews
Peanuts
Sunflower and/or Pumpkin Seeds
Nut Butters


Spices:
Allspice
Bay Leaf
Basil
Cardamon
Cayenne Pepper
Celery Seed and/or salt
Cinnamon
Chili Powder
Cloves
Cream of Tartar
Cumin
Curry Powder
Dillweed and/or seed
Ginger
Garlic: fresh, salt, pepper and/or powder
Black, Red and White Pepper
Nutmeg
Onion powder and/or minced
Oregano and/or Italian Seasoning
Paprika
Parsley
Sage
Salt
Seasoned Salt
Sesame Seeds
Thyme
*** Most spices have a 2 year shelf life


Condiments:
Mayonnaise
Catsup/Ketchup
Prepared Mustard
Pickles
Salsa
Balsamic Vinegar
Wine Vinegar
Worcestershire Sauce
Marinades
Relish
Capers
Bottled Rosted Red Peppers


Pastas & Grains:
Rolled Oats
Cereals
Rice
Cornmeal
Spaghetti, Lasagna, Elbow, etc.
Couscous
Popcorn
Crackers


Beans (canned & dried):
Black Beans
Navy
Kidney
Pinto
Lentils
Chili
Refried Beans


Soups:
Vegetable
Chicken Noodle
Broth, Beef & Chicken
Cheddar Cheese
Cream of Mushroom
Cream of Celery
Cream of chicken
Tomato
Onions
Peas
Potatoes
Spinach
Peaches
Pears
Oranges
Pineapple
Apple Sauce
Cranberry Sauce


Beverages:
Coffee
Teas
Juices
Bottled Water
Cocoa mix


Canned Goods: Veggies, Fruits & Meats, etc.
Tomato sauces, paste, etc.
Pasta sauces
Green beans
Chilis
Olives


Refrigerator/Freezer:
Cheeses; Parmesan, Cheddar, Jack, etc.
Garlic
Butter
Milk
Eggs
Yeast
Celery
Carrots
Onions
Lettuce
Fruits & Veggies
Tomatoes
Meats
Salad Dressings
{This list is only a guideline. You may choose to add or delete any of these items for your pantry or kitchen.}




Keep a Stylish Pantry...NeeCee Signature





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Safe Storage for Meats, Fish & Dairy...

Fresh Food in Refrigerator & Freezer (*)
  • Meats:Uncooked beef, lamb, pork, veal; steaks and roasts  3-5 days refrigerator
  • Steaks, 6-12 months, frozen, chops, 4-6 months, frozen, roasts, 4-12 months frozen (*)
  • Leftover meats, 2-3 months, frozen (*)
  • Ground meats  1-2 days refrigerator, 3-4 months frozen (*)
  • Raw sausage  1-2 days
  • Bacon  1 week
  • Smoked sausage  1 week
  • Leftover meat dishes  3-4 days, refrigerator,  2-3 months, frozen (*)
  • Leftover gravy, broth  1-2 days
  • Hotdogs, opened  1 week
  • Hotdogs, unopened 2 weeks
  • Ham slices, pre-cooked, 2-5 days
  • Ham, whole, fully cooked  2 weeks

  • Poultry:
  • Turkey or chicken, uncooked  1-2 days
  • Whole chicken, turkey 1 year, frozen (*)
  • Raw pieces, poultry, 9 months, frozen (*)
  • Leftover pieces, plain, 4 months, frozen (*)
  • Leftover poultry dished or pieces  3-4 days
  • Leftover poultry in gravy or broth  1-2 days

  • Fresh Fish or Seafood:
  • Fresh  1-2 days, refrigerator,
  • Fish, 6 months, frozen (*), Shellfish, 3 months, frozen(*)
  • Leftovers  3-4 days

  • Dairy Products:
  • Cheese  3-4  weeks, refrigerator
  • Milk  5 days refrigerator, 1 month, frozen (*)
  • Ice Cream, frozen yogurt  2-4  months frozen (*)

  • Eggs:
  • Fresh in shell, 3 weeks, refrigerator
  • Hard-boiled, 1 week, refrigerator
Food Safety with Style...
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Liquid Measurement Conversion Chart...

Keep a liquid conversion chart handy for easy reference. 
My grandmother had her's inside the cupboard door of her Hoosier. Today, my daughter treasures that "Hoosier" in her home! The chart is still inside, right where Granny placed it....thumb tacks and all!
See the newly re-typed CHART below below this photo...
Basic Liquid Measurement Conversion Chart
  • 1 pint = 2 cups, 1/2 quart, 32 tablespoons, or 16 fluid ounces
  • 1 quart = 2 pints, 4 cups, 1/4 gal or 32 ounces
  • 12 gallon= 2 quarts, 4 pints, 8 cups or 64 fluid ounces
  •  1 gallon = 4 quarts, 8 pints, 16 cups, or 128 ounces

  • 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
  • 3 tablespoons = 1 jigger
  • 1 tablespoon = 1/16 cup or .5 fluid ounce
  • 2 tablespoons = 1/8 cup or 1 fluid ounce
  • 4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup or 2 fluid ounces 
  • 5 tablespoons = 1/3 cup or 3 fluid ounces 
  • 8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup or 4 fluid ounces
  • 11 tablespoons = 2/3 cup or 5 fluid ounces
  • 12 tablespoon = 3/4 cup or 6 fluid ounces
  • 16 tablespoons = 1 cup or 8 fluid ounces

  • a dash= less than 0.015 fluid ounce
  • 1 pinch = 1/8 teaspoon or less
  • 1/4 teaspoon = 30 drops
  • 1/2 teaspoon = 60 drops


Measure up with Style...
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Simple & Moist Carrot Cake


A simple Carrot Cake from a box, with simple additions makes this recipe extra special.  So, yummy and moist...everyone will enjoy your cooking style! 
  • You will Need:
  • Carrot Cake Mix ( Duncan Hines Classic Carrot)
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Eggs
  • Apricot & Pineapple Preserves (Knot's Berry Farm)
  • Walnuts
  • **fresh grated Carrots, optional

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (Check the box, regarding the pan you plan to use.)
*Cooking time is on the box, adjusted times are listed per size of pan.  Mine took about 40 minutes.
*** I always do the toothpick test to ensure the cake is done.
Follow directions according to the box. ** Included in the box was a packet of dehydrated carrots and raisins. I choose instead to add 1 cup of fresh grated carrots. **Only because some in my family do not care for raisins.
The boxed called for 1 1/4 cups of water, 3 large eggs, 1/4 cup vegetable oil to be added to the cake mix.
In addition I added: 1 cup of chopped walnuts (pecans may be used), and one jar (8oz.) of Apricot & Pineapple preserves to the mix. Mix well and bake. 
When the cake is done, let it rest on a wire rack or a cold stove burner for about 15 or 20 minutes before turning out.  If you add a glaze or frosting, let it cool completely.
***For my glaze, I used a small amount of powdered sugar and 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk, then drizzled on the cake. Then, I added green sugar sprinkles and store bought candy carrots to decorate.

Semi-homemade with Style...
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Friday, April 22, 2011

An Easter Table...

Since Easter is in a few days, I wanted to share with you my dining room table. Each year I try to make it look slightly different than the year before. Some years the changes maybe more noticeable than others.
This year my plans for the blog's debut had been delayed several times due to family health issues and/or life's interruptions in general. I hope you enjoy my belated posting...
May your Easter be full of Happiness and Joyful Style...
NeeCee Signature
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

So Simple, Less Germs...

One of my biggest pet peeves is the bathroom hand towel. If you think about it, it's dirty the minute you use it. So, what does the next person do? Use the clean/dirty towel again? I always wonder how clean it really is... When I go to use it and it's WET! Don't even get me started if a sick person used the bathroom before ME! YUCK! My solution to this dilemma...disposable paper towels!

 The idea dawned on me one evening while on vacation. 
While having dinner at a beautiful resort, I excused myself to use the restroom. The decor in the bathroom looked like someone's home, not a commercial bathroom. On the counter was a basket with paper towels.  Oh good golly, so simple! (I guess the metal paper towel holders didn't inspire ME!) As soon as I got home.....paper hand towels entered my domain! Do you know HOW MANY people have asked me where to find them! Or, just went home and did the same? Dozens, upon dozens....
*(Find them at your local janitorial supply or club warehouse.)

Shine with Style... 
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Supply Closet Idea...

Create a Central location Supply Closet...
Every house is different. So organize your closets and storage to suit your needs. I chose a central location upstairs for my main supply closet. Inside, I have paper products, cleaning and stocking supplies.  In addition to this, I store basic needs in smaller portions in each bathroom, the kitchen and laundry room.

Gleam with Style...
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"Sweet & Petite, Aways Be Neat"...Table Manners

"Sweet and petite, always be neat." This statement popped out of my mouth one evening while dining in a restaurant with our children. It sounded calm and sweet, yet they knew what I meant. "Mind your manners", in any tone of voice sounds threatening to most anyone, let alone children. (Not that I never said it!) If children know what is expected, they usually will comply. Below is a guide for using manners while dining in public or at home. 
* Artwork must have written permission to reproduce or use of any kind by the artist, contact NeeCee at pinecreek@gmail.com for information


The Do's & Don'ts of Basic Manners and 
Gracious Dinning

Please and Thank you are always a must! Whether someone is handing you a menu or passing the butter!

Sit straight in the chair with your shoulders back and feet on the floor. Bring the utensil to your mouth, not your mouth to the plate. Drink your liquids, do not slurp or blow bubbles. You may rest your forearms on the table, but don't eat with your elbows on the table.

Never talk or drink with your mouth full. Eat quietly. Never smack your lips or make noises while eating.  Always chew with your mouth shut and swallow before speaking. Wipe your hands and mouth frequently with your napkin. Do this politely, dabbing instead of swiping your mouth. Napkins should lay on your lap when not in use.


Always taste your food before seasoning. You may or may not need them. Tasting first will insure not to offend the Chef, Cook or Host.

If you happen to receive silverware that does not look clean in a restaurant, quietly ask your server to replace it with a new set. 

Cut your food into one or two pieces at a time. Only children should have their's cut entirely into pieces. Eat one piece at a time.

Never leave your spoon in your cup or glass. It will more than likely cause an unnecessary accident.

Do take small amounts of food on your utensils. Never talk with your utensils waving in the air, especially with food on them.

Children should never be allowed to get up and run around the table in play. If a child should need discipline while dining out...excuse them from the table and take them to the restroom or outside to do so.

If you wear heavy lipstick, dab lightly with a tissue before you start to eat or drink. You should never leave heavy lipstick prints on a cloth napkin or drinking glass.


Always excuse yourself from the table if you must leave during the meal. Children should ask permission to leave the table when finished with their meal, when at home or a friends.


Always "push in" your chair when leaving the table. Place your napkin on the table, near your plate upon leaving. Do keep your table neat while dining. This lets the service staff know you respect their hard work.


Always thank your host or hostess. Let them know you enjoyed your meal.
Be gracious with Style...NeeCee Signature


* "Thank You to Special Young Lady" for her original pencil drawing
*All photo's belong NeeCee at pine creek style unless otherwise stated.
Written permission is required for use of photo's/artwork.
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Gracefully Said:

 My favorite grace as a child (and as an adult) is published below. The author is unknown (to me).  I have taught this prayer to many, including my own children and grandchildren. I hope someday my family will teach this lovely prayer to our future generations.  A simple grace, full of simple style, that simply says it all...

"Thank you for the world so sweet. Thank for the food we eat.
Thank you for the birds that sing. Thank you God for everything".
Amen.       
Saying grace with style... NeeCee Signature
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Berry Yummy....NO!!!

Arriving home later than I planned, I rushed to prepare strawberries for my dessert that night. Washing, slicing, adding sugar, I placed the bowl of berries in the fridge to chill. Working faster than normal, I was pleased with myself for everything coming together with ease. Dinner in the oven, table set, kitchen straightened and Ornery walking in the door.
I don't remember what was on the menu that night, except the Strawberry Shortcake! After we ate, I cleared the dinner dishes and retrieved the berries from the fridge. As I was assembling the dessert, I thought how yummy the red berries looked! I took Ornery his dessert and was delighted with his 
eager response......UNTIL.....he took a bite! Instantly, he spat out a mouth full of berries yelping, "SALT!"
As he ran for the faucet, I realized I had grabbed the salt canister instead of the sugar!
Needless to say, I labeled the top of all the glass canister's that night!

Share your Foodie Faux Pas with Style today...
NeeCee Signature
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Savory Ice Cubes...

Whenever I have any left over coffee, juices, wines, tomato sauce, etc....... I freeze them in ice cube trays. When frozen, take them out and store in labeled and dated freezer zip top bags for later use in all kinds of recipes! The cube contains about 2 tablespoons of liquid.
Cook with Style...NeeCee
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Death by Chocolate & Tequila Cake

Chocolate Mocha Tequila Cake or becoming better known as "Death by Chocolate & Tequila Cake" by our Friends & Family.....

This cake has had over a 1,000 viewings and has been posted 3 times since I first made it! This has become a requested Cake from Family & Friends... for a special occasions &/or the recipe to remake later! Enjoy....

Death by Chocolate & Tequila Cake
   from Pine Creek Style

Ingredients: 
  1. 1 box of cake mix, *triple chocolate flavor
  2.  eggs & cooking oil, according to directions on the Cake mix box
  3.  Unflavored coffee, cold
  4. Coffee tequila liqueur 
  5. cream cheese 
  6. powdered sugar
  7. butter, softened
  8. small amount of granulated sugar for dusting.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees or as directed on the box.  Prepare your cake pan, bundt or 9" round, with cooking spray and a small amount of sugar to dust the pan.  *Sugar  dusting works well and adds to the flavor of the cake!

Directions:
Please read direction throughly before baking. 

Use cake mix directions as your guide.  But, substitute the liquids (other than the cooking oil) with cold coffee and coffee tequila liqueur.  For example: if your box calls for 1 cup of water, replace with 2/3's cup of cold coffee and 1/3 cup of coffee tequila liqueur.  Continue with the box instructions as directed.

If your cake mix includes a chocolate pouch to use as a filling, prepare as directed. *my box called for 1/3cup of water.  I replaced that with 1/6 cup of cold coffee and 1/6 cup of the liqueur. Mix according to directions .

Fold your cake into your prepared pan and bake according to the cake box instructions.  When done, let rest for about 15-20 minutes before turning out onto your desired cake plate.

Icing on the cake:

 There are glaze pouches available at the grocery for purchase.  To save time I used a chocolate glaze.  Follow instructions and apply to the cake.  I then added a quick homemade tequila butter icing: 1 cube of soften butter, 4 ounces of softened cream cheese, 1 cup of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of coffee tequila liqueur.  Cream together and pipe, drizzle or swirl on top of the cake and glaze.

To finish: With a cheese grater, shave a solid chocolate bar over the top, amount as desired. You may use, white, milk or dark chocolate. Chocolate candy swirls may also be made & used for the topping.


"Enjoy with Style"...NeeCee
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Reflections...

This quote came from a very wise & humble woman, my Granny.
She was a Laundress for many people in town. I love help her on some Saturdays. To this day, I love the smell of a hot iron & fresh laundry!
Everything you do, do with Style...  
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"The Grand Mama"

The Day GrandMama was born...
My son-in-law's dry sense of humor blurted out one day, when he crowned me "The Grand Mama"! It sounded very "Regal"! Quite fitting and Queenly, I thought! After all, I am the Queen of the family! He was kidding but, I liked it! So, it stuck! 
I have several Granny nicknames but, I am for the most part Nana. My hubby, kids and grandkids live on the end of my heart strings. When those heart strings get pulled, I answer by any Granny name they choose to use!
Our oldest granddaughter set the pattern of nicknames for myself and my husband. She was, and is, a very happy child. Her laughter was contagious and joyful. She would shriek with delight at the simplest things...usually while running! (*Currently she is fast approaching seventeen! She has competed in track and/or cross country teams for the last 6 years.) On her second Easter, she was around 18 months old. That event is still embedded in our memories. She laughed and giggled and "ran" through the house between the front and back yards. Racing back and forth in her "Sunday Best" looking for Easter eggs and toys. Never once did she lose her Easter hat or Easter basket. That day she added the names of Nanny and Poppy to our Grandparent names of Nana and Papa! She had gotten so excited that the new names just popped out of her mouth. I can still hear her baby giggles and screams of delight!!! What a joy to our ears!

Since then, we have gained eight more grandchildren. Every child adding their own versions of nicknames and memories to our growing family. I have been called: Nana, Nanny, Nonna, Nonny, Nan, Nan-Mom, and Grand Mama! When I am a Great-Grandmother, I envision myself to be Grand Mama or just Granny!
But for now, I am usually known as just "Nana"!
Love your Family with Style, 
                                                                         
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