TPH on LGN & Vegan Biscuits for Your Weekend

Y’all, my toilet paper was featured on Little Green Notebook this week!  Did you see that?  And, also, my house.  Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 10.37.55 PMAnd, don’t forget, my toilet paper!

That Jenny really surprised me this week when I woke up and saw that she did a whole post on just me and our new house and my Instagram feed.  FLOORED.  DYING.  Should I wake up now?

I know I don’t need to introduce you to talented, ambitious, color genius Jenny.  You all know and love her.  Thank you, Jenny, for such kind words and risking your reputation by recommending me to your readers.

And, funny story:  yesterday I popped into an antique store before picking up the kids from school.  I was eyeballing a charming painting for the home office when I told the shopkeeper and her friend that I’d have to think it over as I currently have 583 paintings stacked on the floor around the house.  I’ll check back when I get more settled.

“Can I ask you your name?” the friend asked.

“Sure…I’m Angela.”

“I thought you looked familiar–you were on Little Green Notebook this week, right?  I’ve been following Jenny for a long time…”

Nice to meet you, Phyllis!

And, I think this pretty much means that I am famous.  Me and my Angel Soft.

So now that Jenny singlehandedly sextupled my Instagram audience, there’s no pressure, right?  I’ll just continue with cat photos…

Now let’s get down to biscuit business.

The biscuit recipe from the Minimalist Baker has seriously made my 2014 so far.  I’m from Texas so I don’t need to tell you that I’m a biscuit and gravy kind of girl.  Girlhood mornings at my grandparents’ farm saw my grandmother baking up homemade biscuits that she served alongside fried eggs and potatoes–all doused in gravy.  Now that I’m older, I like a little green with breakfast to, you know, balance it all out.  Go to the Minimalist Baker to see gorgeous biscuit photos, or stay here to see mediocre photos of a delicious vegan biscuit with vegan almond gravy and veggies.  I couldn’t put the camera down fast enough to eat it!

biscuit

Soft and fluffy, yum, just like good biscuits should be (at least that’s what my husband insists, wink-wink).

Here you can see the nice rise on the heart-shaped biscuits I made for the kiddos on Valentine’s Day morning.  I do hope you try the Minimalist Baker’s vegan biscuits.

vegan biscuit

As I prepped last week’s pan of biscuits, I got to thinking about Mrs. L and how I hadn’t seen her since Christmas.  She is precious and sweet and generous and 94-years old.  We were her neighbors for 6 years in the rancher we sold last summer.  She makes us pound cake and biscuits as good as my grandmother.  I get phonecalls from her, “Angela, I just took a pound cake out of the oven–come over and get it.”  Uh, okay!

So I went to see her on Valentine’s Day.  We talked about biscuits and compared our laundry chutes and I listened happily to how she did laundry in her family of 11 siblings on a farm in the 1920s and 30s–I relished every detailed and promptly came home and laid a slobbery kiss on my washer and dryer.  She and her husband married in 1939.  All I can say is what a treasure living history is.  If there is someone in your life ripe with history and experience and gray and wrinkly–it is worth every bit of your time to soak up the wisdom, the stories, and the connection to the past.

Mrs. L built her rancher in 1954 and has been there ever since.  I used to do home tours on TPH (want to return to that), and the tour of her home is one of my favorites.  She laughs knowingly when I tell her moving is hard–that makes me smile.

Heart of Hospitality

Wise woman and happy home maker in every sense of the word, Edie of Life in Grace presents her very first ebook today:  31 Days to a Heart of Hospitality.

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I hope you will hightail it over to her blog and get yourself a copy.  I enjoyed every one of her thoughts about opening our homes and lives to others.  She is a smart cookie so it is just as much philosophical as it is recipes and how-tos.  Did you know hospitality starts in the bedroom?  Edie knows this secret.  And, a beverage center just has to be on my have-to-have list for the next home.

Thank you, Edie, for living your life so much in color and for others.

New Kitchen Shelves & Pendant Lights

The shelves and lights from Rejuvenation are finally up!  I love them!

Chris made the shelves out of a 2″ plank of red oak.  He left the edges fairly rough…

…but the tops smooth for easy cleaning.

Aren’t they beautiful?  I’m having fun figuring out what to put up there.  So far I’m loving the easy access of our plates and bowls on the lower shelf.

Here is a full shot of the rug from esalerugs.com.

I’m also playing with that little shelf above the stove.  Right now I have a little ornate mirror I bought at an estate sale way back in our Houston days…nothing like looking at myself while I cook.  But it is an efficient way to check my lipstick and hair status before my husband gets home from work…I’m old-fashioned like that.

Tell me, am I crazy to reconsider the crystal chandelier in here?  I like it but also feel it may take the kitchen in an opposite direction than I want.  Hmm…

I had promised the kids that as soon as the kitchen was done and cleaned up, we would bake something yummy.  They chose Lemon Coconut Cake from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moscowitz (she’s kinda my hero).

Wanna see how it turned out?  Ugh!  Still good enough to eat…and when Daddy is out of town, we have a chunk of cake for dinner with some fruit and soysage.

This is what it really looks like when my Bundt pan isn’t being persnickety.  Yum, definitely one of my favorite desserts.  I top mine with a glaze from fresh lemon juice, vanilla, and powdered sugar.

Too bad we’ve eaten it already.

Thanksgiving Table

With guests coming for Thanksgiving, I figured I should consider the table.  For the adults, something simple:  my parents’ wedding china, our f-ahncy Mikasa wedding glasses, magnolia leaves, and pinecones dipped in gold (because I’m still not over the paint-dipped cones from last year).  I’ll probably pick up some flowers at Whole Food, too.

The kids’ table has to be fun for the six sweet children who will dine there.

Finding these embroidered napkins and milk glass canoe at Queen of Hearts Antiques set the direction of the table.  Milk glass canoe–seriously!  Orange ric-rac and bright plumage make for fun headdresses for the pow-wow.

The children will be so happy to discover that the rock decorations on the table are actually candies!  We won’t share that secret until they have eaten all their lunch.  (from Magic Cabin)

Fabric, feathers, owls, and leather string came from Joann’s Fabrics.  The owl is a $1.19 Christmas ornament revised.  After we eat, whoever doesn’t want to watch football can paint their owl in the studio (me, raising my hand).

We’re almost ready!

I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.  See you in a week and a half.  Oh, and I’m thankful for hot showers and fruit and health and most of all the wonderful man who shares this crazy life with me and my three unique and sweet children.

The Disney Post

“So she sat on, with closed eyes, and half believed herself in Wonderland, though she knew she had but to open them again, and all would change to dull reality–”  Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

It is not easy leaving the immaculately-kept World of Disney where princesses greet at every turn.

My daughter informed me that I was to wear a very special dress for our breakfast with Cinderella in her castle.  That’s a lot of pressure to find something appropriate for both dining with royalty and strappin’ myself  into Big Thunder Mountain later.

The castle is gorgeous, of course, even is you aren’t 6 years old wearing a rhinestone tiara.  But it was the stunning mosaics lining the tunnel through the castle that captivated me.  Absolutely spectacular.

These fanciful patterns and imagery were designed by Dorothea Redmond.  You can read more about it and see more photos here.  This mosaic was my favorite sight of all.

I was a little concerned about the eating situations at the parks.  While my research before the trips indicated there were lots of vegetarian options, the vegan options looked a little slim.  While it was likely we would be more vegetarian than vegan on this trip–with the kids excited about getting some ice cream–I knew that they would refuse to eat mac-and-cheese or cheese pizza or grilled cheese.  There seemed to be something at each park that could be veganized–vegetable sandwiches, veggie burgers (though not sure whether it contained egg), pasta with marinara, veggie spring and basil rolls, salads, and fruit.  The sit-down restaurants look to have more options, but we ate at only one, 50s Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios, where we ate spaghetti and vegan meatballs (I’m telling you, none of us wanted any more pasta at the end of the week).  We worked around this by eating only lunch at the park, and one day we brought in our own oatburgers for lunch.  We ate big breakfasts at our off-site condo to give us energy for the morning.  Then we either ate at a restaurant after leaving the parks or a quick dinner back at the condo.  Yeah, I know, things would be way easier if we just walked around and gnawed on a turkey leg!

Thrilled was I to discover that babycakes nyc has an Orlando bakery located in Downtown Disney.  Oh joy!  I’ve baked a few of Erin McKenna’s vegan and mostly gluten-free recipes, but I wanted to taste them for realsies.  So we selected half of a dozen treats to try.  YUM!

Now the rides and shows were all really wonderful–we’re talking Disney here, so no big surprise.  But instead of losing myself in the magic of it all, I was checking out all the creative and skillful details.  So here is the official TPH top three rides for art direction:

Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom–I almost wished there were more of a line to enjoy the pre-ride experience of walking in the Himalayan outfitter headquarters.  My tough 6-year-old princess rode it four times–scary yeti and all.

It’s a Small World at Magic Kingdom–Classic beautiful retro whimsy.  I could have ridden it ten times that day at half the speed.

Hollywood Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios–The creators thought of all the creepy details, including ghostly imagery of people in hallways.  The nervousness began as soon as we entered the spooky, dusty hotel lobby long abandoned.  My daughter leaned over, wrinkled her nose, and said, “They should really clean in here more often–it could be really pretty.”

So back to dull reality, where tea cups don’t spin and elephants don’t fly.  But, awww, I do have my very own princess to keep.

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