Just My Cup Of Tea

For a while now I’ve wanted to move my old blog, Green Barn Farm, off to a domain. For the longest time I couldn’t think of a proper name for it. Often I find myself thinking about things I like with the phrase “it’s my cup of tea”, or when describing something that makes me feel warm inside that it’s “like a cup of tea”. I realized this perfectly summed up everything I enjoyed.

So here we are, at our new home.  I hope you enjoy yourself.

I send you warm love in a cold winter, and of course, a cup of tea.

Heather

Oh So Risky Hazelnut PB Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

My very favorite cookie happens to be Oatmeal Raisin. To me there is just something about biting in to a warm chewy hunk of oatmeal and raisins. I don’t kid myself they are healthy, but I don’t care. Crumbled on top of french vanilla bean ice cream? Excuse me while I roll on the floor in happiness.

My favorite cookies to make though growing up was a no-bake. This is how I look at it. Oatmeal is good for you. Check. Chocolate is known to make you happy. Check. Peanut Butter has healthy fats. Check. According to most things I’ve read if you’re going to eat sugar or butter, eat the real stuff. Check. Are these healthy? Not a chance. Are they delicious? Absolutely.

So, what makes a no-bake even better when you’re feeling a little risky? In my humble opinion, chunky peanut butter. Tonight I was on a roll. I made Mushroom Chicken Pot Pie. Once that was done I realized we still had some butter left in the house, yeah, like I’m going to let that happen. I mean really, I just used 3 sticks of butter total in the Mushroom Chicken Pot Pie what was one more?

Thus, no-bake cookies. It was the first time I had made them since I was a kid. In fact, the last time I can remember making then was with my Mom in our kitchen growing up and her telling me “quick, scoop them scoop them before it gets to hard!”.

I’ve one upped you Mom – I used an ice cream scoop, even if it starts to set up they STILL drop. (thank you thank you, I will pat myself on the back for coming up with something that everyone else probably does anyway).

As I was deciding to be ever so risky and use the chunky peanut butter, I saw the well-known Hazelnut Spread. Dun Dun Duuunnn *dramatic music*. Let the games begin.

There was no going back.  Trust me on this one, they are delicious. Dare I say….decadent.

10 Minute Hazelnut PB Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa (don’t use hot chocolate – it’s not cocoa)
  • 1/2 cup of milk or cream depending how rich you want it, I use 1%
  • 1 stick butter. Oh, you bet. Use the real stuff. Unsalted.
  • 1 tsp. vanilla. Splurge and use the real stuff. (use 2 if you really love vanilla)
  • pinch of salt if you are so inclined, I prefer not to
  • 1/4 cup well-known hazelnut spread that rhymes with schmutella
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter. Chunky PB if you’re feeling particularly snazzy.
  • 3 cups quick oats
  1. In a saucepan (think something can can hold all of the ingredients including all the oats and enough room to stir it all), place sugar, cocoa, butter and milk in the saucepan on medium heat. Gently stir with a whisk until completely combined.
  2. Let come to a rolling boil for approximately 1 minute and remove from the heat.
  3. Add in the oats, PB, Schmutella and vanilla (I like to combine these before hand and dump them in since you have to stir quick once the oats hit…or put in the oats last).
  4. STIR STIR STIR. Get all those oats covered evenly and stir JUST until the PB and Schmutella is melted in.
  5. Using the ice cream scoop, scoop out and drop onto either tinfoil (shiny side) or freezer paper. If you use freezer paper my trick is to use the dull size sprayed with baking spray, not olive oil spray. I stay away from dropping the hot chocolate onto the wax side.
  6. Here’s the very hard part – waiting for them to set up. Give them 15 minutes and you should be good to go.

Now, excuse me while I go stuff my face.

Happy Eating,

Heather

Mason Jar Lanterns

Update: If you’re going to turn these into Vintage Blue Jars ala my more recent post, hold off on turning them into lanterns until the very end. You’ll need to heat them in the oven, and since metal gets very hot we don’t want any little paws/hands/curiousness to get burned. So use your judgment and be careful.

Sniffle, Sniffle, Cough, Cough – this little lady has a chest cold. That means I’m home from work today and resting with some water, tissues, more tissues, knitting, cough medicine and of course a RomCom.

This also means updating on the latest happenings between naps. I apologize for the incoherent head cold rambling  to follow. I can’t guarantee it will be pretty. Let’s do it.

———-

This last weekend I realized we had about 4 1/2 months until our wedding. I figured I should get started on some of the decorations. One of the things I really loved was the idea of mason jar lanterns. Instead of regular tea light candles though I’ll likely use the battery ones because nothing says romance more than a tree setting on fire during the wedding because of a candle. Plus, the battery ones last a lot longer.

A quick internet search led to a couple different ways to make these. I decided to make the most rustic version of these.

Items:

  • Mason Pint Jars
  • Wire (easily moldable with your hands but still strong)
  • Needlenose PliersIMG_2086

Then, follow these instructions.

I did things a little differently. I actually wrapped the wire by hand, made a loop near one side, wrapped it around to the other side, made another loop and then twisted the two ends together, this way I had two loops to hook the top piece through. I felt like it made them a little more symmetrical.

IMG_2092
These cost me a total of $0.00 because I already had the items around. All in all, you can get a dozen of mason jars, needlenose pliers and wire all for around $20.00.

IMG_2088

I made about a bunch of these within just a couple hours, it was really easy. My recommendation is to use a finer wire. I used both a thick and thin wire and the thick one was pretty hard to work appropriately.

I can’t wait to hang these up. I’m still not sure if I’ll be lining the tent, or hanging them in the tree but either way they will be a nice accent. I have a few more to make and then onto the next project!

Now time for another nap and some cold medicine.

Happy Crafting,

Heather

The Beginning: Bathroom Renovation

When we bought our house 3 1/2 years ago, we knew one thing  – it needed work. For this same reason we knew it was perfect for us. First came cleaning up the jungle of a yard, cutting trees that were in desperate need of being cut, pulling out a collapsed above ground pool which the previous owners had placed in ground (you’d think I was kidding) and painting certain rooms with white primer just to “clean” them up a little.

We didn’t spend much money on the rest of the house because we knew we would be completely gutting the house and renovating it.

The one thing that greatly needed to be “redone” was the bathroom. There was a really ugly sliding door in it that was harboring mold (awesome) due to no fan or window. Oh wait, there is a window. Top right. That’s the actual size of it. No, it doesn’t open. (this was pre-moving in).


Post moving in the first thing we did was rip that door out, I’m a curtain girl. Then there was the floor. Thanks to improper sealing around the bathroom door we quickly realized one thing – it was wet.

It was really wet. It was really, really, really wet.

Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of it, but A was able to tear up the rest of the rotten floor.  Despite how horrible this looks, he was able to save a substantial portion of the subflooring (underneath of this). A trip to home depot after assessing the damage and we were putting it all back together:

We selected the cheapest old school flooring you could get. That bathroom won’t exist in another year or so (if I’m lucky) so there was no way we were spending lots of money on it. Someday oh someday, I’ll have gorgeous hardwood floors – in a bigger bathroom.

In the end, we went from this (before we moved in):

To This :

I’d call that an improvement, wouldn’t you?

Oh, and in case you’re wondering – we took the toilet out and had to power wash it a little. That was super fun, also I’m being fully sarcastic.

Then we disposed of all of this stuff properly. The rugs were  from a different project.

Happy Renovating,

Heather