Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter from Sweet Magnolias Farm

Wishing everyone a Beautiful and Happy Easter from Sweet Magnolias Farm
Have a lovely Sunday be it by yourself.. or with Friends and Family.
Myself, Abbey and Papa Fred will be spending a lovely and quiet day here at home.
Enjoying another blessed day together.
Happy Easter ...

Friday, March 29, 2013

FREE ~ Easter ~ Printables Vintage Easter Price Signs

Welcome to Sweet Magnolias Farm first Free Printables Post.
Abbey and I have long been collectors of antique and vintage ephemera, post cards and vintage photos. We have an entire Filing Cabinet filled to the Brim and organized by Holiday and style.
These wonderful Paper pieces of the past have just been collecting dust for many years now with our many good intentions that we were going to create something with each and every piece we loved ..Ha ha ... the laughs on us.
I think we all have rather good intentions...but sometimes we just pile a lot more on our plates than we are humanly capable of doing even in a lifetime ...LOL !
So Abbey and I decided we would love to start sharing these wonderful pieces of the past with all our blog land friends ...
We hope you enjoy and if you do create something with a piece we have shared we would be so thrilled if you would share a photo of it with us so that we can share it with our Readers.
So first up and of course it's a little close to Easter, but better late than never as they say .. are these adorable and charming Vintage Easter Price Signs.
There are 3 different styles ...
Each is first shown in it's original color version and then followed by a Black and White version for your pleasure.
Enjoy !

We will be adding a Free Printable tab at the top of the page so you can view and save all the free printables we will be offering there as well.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

31 Days to Happiness .. Our Dail Bready

Hi there Y'all ..
Well I have to admit it's another glorious sunshiny day here. The temps are in the high 70's there's a nice breeze, the birds are chirping and it's just so calm and lovely out.
This week has been a tough one here at the farmhouse. Facing a new season of life once again that leaves you with uncertainties about the future and where the winding road of life is headed once again. My Dad had some concerning news regarding his health ..and we are anxiously awaiting the next Dr.s appt. and the results that will bring with it. Right now we are praying for total healing and that the Dr.s we have been guided to well be filled with overwhelming knowledge and wisdom to see us through whatever the outcome may be. Trusting that just as the seasons we have endured and enjoyed before this one we will also endure and find joy in this new season we are entering.
In the meantime for today's "Our Daily Bread" I wanted to share about a book  I received in the mail this week .... 31 Days to Happiness by Dr. David Jeremiah.
I suppose your thinking at this point " Your not happy ?"
Actually I'm very happy and very contented with the life I have been blessed with.
But I figured that if I'm this happy why not learn how to even be happier through wonderful biblical teachings. There's always something new to learn in the Bible .. I used to think Once you've read it through that's it ..but upon revisiting reading the entire Bible over many times now ..there are many things that have touched my life in new ways depending on my age and my life circumstances at the moment. Something that was meaningless to me 10 years ago jumps off the pages and screams at me today.
I Started reading the opening pages of this book last night..and I have to say it's already touching my heart.
Dr. Jeremiah has based this book on Solomon... and the book of  Ecclesiastes .. what he mentions is this book in the bible is not touched on by most ministers yet it speaks loudly of how so many people have not only felt for generations but how they feel in our world today.
Solomon was  a man who had it all riches and wealth he was the King .. he could do or have anything his heart desired and God Blessed him greatly for the Godly man he started out as. Like so many of us in life Solomon made a few wrong choices and some twists and turns down roads of darkness that changed his relationship with God Greatly ..and in Ecclesiastes after he had, had it all and then realized he had reached the pinnacle of what was supposed to be "Happiness" ... he was still left with an amazingly empty feeling wondering what Life was really about.
Dr. Jeremiah shares some amazing points in his  Introduction ... One that struck me as absolutely fascinating was this: In 1996 Jon Krakauer was part of an expedition that reached the top of Mt. Everest. Twelve of his companions were killed in the highly publicized descent. Krakauer recalls in the book he wrote about this event .." Straddling the top of the world, one foot in China and the other in Nepal, I cleared the ice from my oxygen mask, hunched a shoulder against the wind and stared absently down at the vastness of Tibet... I'd been fantasizing about this moment, and the release of the emotion that would accompany it, for many months. But now that I was finally here, actually standing on the summit of Everest, I just couldn't summon the energy to care... I snapped four quick photos .. the turned and headed down. My watch red 1:17 p.m. All told, I'd spent less than five minutes on the roof of the world."
 I can't say I have ever done anything quite so momentous as climbing Everest but I can say there have been times that an event I was going to was on the horizon and inside myself the anticipation of it was growing and growing only to find that when this event came .. the thrill of it just wasn't there and I was left wondering how I could have been so excited and yet when the event occurred it left me full of total emptiness ...
One other interesting fact he shares in the opening: A recent Survey asked 7,948 students at forty eight colleges what they considered "very important" to them. The study, conducted by scientists from Johns Hopkins University, reported that 16 percent of the students answered " Making a lot of money." We can't be too surprised. Even so a whopping 75 percent said that their first goal was " finding a purpose and meaning to life"
Our world is full of people wondering just exactly what their purpose is and what life is all about. They are so full of sadness and emptiness and looking for what will bring happiness to their lives...
I think we all have wondered and felt this maybe once or twice or several times in our lives ....and for some they have felt it always ... I think so many people who choose to take their own lives feel this very thing to an extreme some of us have never felt it. When your eyes are on the world ..when you compare yourself to the world's standards, when you compare yourselves to others that have achieved "greatness" or financial security ... and so on .. you will always be left feeling empty, less than, which in turn creates such an amazing sadness inside and lack of self worth.
We will never find happiness holding ourselves to the standards of the world. I know that much I have learned over the years through doing that very thing comparing myself to everything and everyone else. I learned that when my eyes are on what other's are doing, or saying.... when my eyes are on their success and what they are attaining in life ..when my eyes are on what they wear or how they look ..My eyes are not where God wants them to be. Which is on him , in his word being concerned about what he thinks of what I am doing of what I am saying ... looking for him to be successful through me and not of my own self ... being concerned with what he thinks of my beauty and what I wear and how I look ... Honestly to this day anytime I take my eyes off of him and place them on the world and those around me ..I can tell you my Joy is gone .. with him my Joy is ever present.
So far I have read the Introduction and the first chapter and I am already hooked. I can't wait to climb into bed this evening and begin chapter two. Learning More in depth about Solomon and what his climb to fame and fall from it were like ..why he wrote about his meaningless despair so poetically and how his life and mine will intertwine by the end of this book.
If you too would like to read this book You can purchase or for an offering you can get this beautiful book HERE
Dr. Jeremiah is a sound minister of the Bible and it's doctrine .. His church Shadow Mountain is Located in El Cajon, CA. You can also get airings of his teaching on you local stations such as USA, ION, Lifetime, TBN, INSP, and Daystar, Check your listings for Turning Point with Dr. David  Jeremiah. Your offerings do go to help fund his t.v. airings which allows him to minister to those all around the world.
Well I'll be reading a chapter a night .. and can't wait to share a little more on what I have learned. Now that I'm only 30 days away from happiness ..
Have a Lovely Friday ...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Deep Dark Chocolate "Flourless" Cookies ..and Homemade Powdered Sugar ... ~N~ the Kitchen with Sweet Magnolias Farm

~ N ~ the Kitchen with Sweet Magnolias Farm
Well this week's, ~N~ the Kitchen, I must admit was a last minute thing .. as we've been rather busy here at the farmhouse this week, between work and everyday errands time just got away from us...
Well, I was having a chocolate craving, as I often do, and mentioned to Abbey that I sure could use something rich and chocolatety and  Abbey surprised me with these fabulous and most Divine Chocolate Cookies .. and if you are a serious chocolate lover like I am ..then you are going to absolutely melt in your shoes like I did.
I'm a self admitted chocolate lover .. When it comes to dessert I will always opt for something dark and chocolatey over anything else.
 So I have to say I was a bit skeptical when Abbey told me these were deep dark chocolate cookies and had gone on record by another blogger as divine... Chocolate desserts, whether bought or home baked don't always live up to the photos or recipes.  So many times I am very disappointed .... well not this time.  These were decadently chocolate from the first bite and I knew that minute  that these were truly divine and So Chocolatey Rich and Gooey delish!.... 
I became hooked at the first bite if you will .. LOL !
And these are "Flourless" .. gotta Love that ..
So for all you Chocolate Lovers out there .. this one's for you girls !
Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces), divided
3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
Should Make: Approx. 18 cookies
Prepare large cookie sheets with non stick spray or lightly grease. 
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in glass bowl in microwave, stirring twice, about 2 minutes.  Let Cool slightly.

 While your Chocolate is Melting in the Microwave this a great time to multi-task ( or do it before hand) mix all your dry ingredients together - Powdered Sugar  ( Be sure to only add 1 cup of the Powdered Sugar) into your dry ingredients mix. The other half will be used later.) Cocoa Powder, Corn Starch and Salt

 We used .. Hershey's Special Dark  A blend of Natural and Dutched Cocoas for our cocoa powder. We also used as always our Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet Choc. Chips instead of bittersweet since it's what we had on hand.

Now Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl to soft peaks.

Gradually beat in that 1 additional  cup of sugar we kept separate from the dry ingredients mix.  Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow crème.

 Next ... beat in the Dry Ingredients Mix...

 Stir in the Lukewarm Melted Chocolate and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips... And your Batter is ready...

 Next you will want to fill a small bowl with about 1/2 a cup of powered sugar. Then Roll your dough into rounded tablespoons and then roll in the powdered sugar until well coated
TIP: we ran out of Powdered Sugar and what do you know.. you can make your own. Simply add 1 cup of granulate sugar to your blender. Blend ( Pulse) until it turns to powder. Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch per 1 cup of sugar.  We first turned the sugar to powder then added the cornstarch and pulsed a few times to mix. The homemade P.S. actually came out better than our store bought it sticks better .(The sugar crystals can scratch plastic, so consider carefully before making in a plastic blender or processor.) we used our plastic cup on our blender and didn't have this problem at all. ? But I saw others who warned of it so I just wanted to share in case.

The Place each cookie onto a prepared baking sheet approx. 2 inches apart .. just enough room to let them spread out while baking..

 Bake them approx. 10 minutes until they are puffed and cracked .. 
And here they are piping hot right out of the oven ....

This week we decided it was time to pair these with some of that Dulce de Leche Ice Cream I've been talking about in previous recipes .. so we hopped on down to the market ..O.k. we didn't hop .. but you know what I'm saying... and grabbed a pint...

These Cookies are seriously Gooey and Oh my Goodness Yummy !!!

So Here's to Chocolate .. and how it Makes a Girl just happy from the top of her head to the tips of her toes ... It can really turn a frown upside down in this old farmhouse...
I know some of you may not be chocolate lovers so be sure if you haven't already, to checkout our Lemon Whoopie Pies recipe HERE.
Thanks to Divine Baking for sharing this recipe

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Country Wisdom Or Rural Pearls ...

Growing  up in the country ... I of course grew up with Country Wisdom ..and Makin Do !
Rural Pearls is just a fancy name for Country Wisdom..
I thought it would be fun to search out some of that good Ol' Country Wisdom and share it here on the blog for those that may want to reminisce about their day's growing up hearing their gram's or gramp's or mom's and pop's share a little snippet of Country Wisdom and for those who may have not had the pleasure of growing up with these genuine Rural Pearls and will enjoy reading them for the first time.
The great thing about Rural Pearls is there generally kind and just full of honest to goodness truth and wisdom ..
I added a few of these wise pearls to these cute labels below .. Feel free to print, pin or share them ...

For More fun Rural Pearls ... visit our "Rural Pearls" page.

If you have a Rural Pearl you would like to share with us ...Leave a comment with it .. we would love to add them to our Rural Pearls Page..

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Spring Y'all !!!

Hey there Y'all..... Happy Spring !
Well today's been a beautiful day full of Sunshine a beautiful Breeze and the most perfect temp in the 70's...
The Garden is beginning to bloom out ever so slowly ..and these sweet little daisies are so charming ..I don't know the exact variety it's been so long since we purchased them but every year they die back and then re-bloom ..Perrenials, you can't beat em !
I was thrilled to use one of our new Chicken Wire Flower Frogs we are now offering on one of our sweet Ball jars to arrange these little daisies in ... it came out so simple and so sweet just enough to make me smile each time I look at it.

Our geraniums are once again blooming out ..this Candy stripe is just stunning and every year it provides an uncountable amount of blooms ..such a hardy plant it is.

And Once again another variety of Daisies .. Yep can ya tell I like Daisies .. This is another variety we bought so long ago and I can't remember it's name either ..but as the daisies above, it to is a perennial and blooms out ever spring so beautifully.. Today it really had provided a huge amount of blooms.  I'm sure it's the nice sunshiny warm days we've been having that's cause everything to burst forth with New life.
Spring is a beautiful time of year when the earth has a re-birth .. the grass grows green once again .. the flowers color up the landscape around us ..and the trees give new life to leaves that prepare the ground for shade as summer is just on our heels, where the coolness of a shade tree will be welcome company.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Spring is also a beautiful time here at the farmhouse where work is concerned.. when we begin to offer new spring designs and new offerings that jump start the year to a joyful start...
One of our newest ventures at the farmhouse is adding a Blog Shop..  It will soon be filled with Farmhouse Goods and Gatherings .  Many of these items will be exclusive to the Blog Shop for purchase and not available in our Etsy shop ... So be sure to check often for the new goods we'll be adding.
So Here's What's Just in at the Blog Shop today ...
Our newest offerings and "exclusive" to our Blog Shop only ...are these Simply Charming Canning Jar Lid Coasters...
 The Coasters are available in 3 designs .. the "Roosters" above and "Faith Hope Love" and "Mason Fruit Jars" below....

These come in sets of (4) ... and are a nice large Wide mouth Size lid ..if you have wide mouth drinking glasses or jars ..these lids will screw on tight to any large mouth jar ...Now isn't that just dandy ! 

Coasters available in our Blog Shop only  (HERE) 
Also just in are these fabulous Mason Jar Salt and Pepper Sets ...

These are made of the wonderful thick glass with bubbles and strays that make your heart sing .. they have aluminum lids that screw on nice and tight so no worries of any accidents ..LOL !
These are available in our Etsy Shop and Blog Shop
And... If you loved my little spring daisy bouquet above ..and you have some old Ball,  Kerr, or any ol' mason jar with a standard opening ( not wide mouth), these Chicken Wire Flower Frog Lids fit beautifully and you can begin making your own Farmhouse Spring Bouquets...
No flowers?  Add the Chicken Wire Flower Frog Lid to your favorite jar and fill with pens and pencils or paint brushes.
 Flower Frog Lids are available in our Etsy Shop and Blog Shop.
Well that's it for today Gals ... I hope your day is beautiful ...and filled with many beautiful blooms not just the ones in the garden but also the ones of the heart !
To Visit our Blog Shop scroll to the top of the Page and click on "Blog Shop" or Click HERE
To Visit our Etsy Shop click HERE

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Summer Already ??? It feels like it ..

It can't possibly be Summer Yet ... Please No ... !!!
But it sure feels like summer here today .. we're doing a little baking and it's not in the kitchen a nice warm 90 degrees F
Looks like it's time for snoozing and cold treats for some... for a few days while we bare the 90 degree temps ...
And Flossie already knows just what to do ...
Flossie tried adopting My chair and our couch for a place to lay her head during the day we offered her up an extra sitting chair we had that sits just by the sliding doors and looks out on the back lawn ..which she loves so she can keep a look out for cats.
 Such a character she is .. We put the chair together and she gets in .. and with her front paws pulls down the back cushion and then turns around and lays on it and slowly goes off to sleep land. .. I suppose it's the perfect place be it cold or Hot .. she can snooze and keep track of everything from one spot.
And what's better on a hot afternoon than a nice refreshing , crisp, cold Carrot right from the icebox...

Flossie Loves her Carrots ..she usually eats one every day or every other day ..this is her afternoon treat ..that she chomps through in about 2 minutes flat. Sometimes she'll eat half and then save the other half somewhere in the yard and goes back for it later ...

Above it was a hard choice .. the carrot or the cat ... right after I shot this photo the cat won out and off to patrol the yard she went .. and about 2 minutes later she was standing at the door with her carrot asking to come in to eat it .. Our girl just doesn't like the heat in she came and polished off her carrot in the cool of the house ..
Flossie's pretty much full grown now .. and she's a pistol .. Full of energy that never quits but keeps me laughing and smiling all the day long.
Right now she is attending her 3rd set of obedience classes .. which is learning to be obedient with commands while being distracted ..that means by people, children, balls, other dogs etc... and we're making small steps to getting there. As long as we are at home or on a walk with no one around she is just perfection at all her commands .. but when we enter in the world's a whole other story ... LOL ! She's doing good though and so so smart ...
Give your pet a hug today .. they need our Love just like we need theirs. There's nothing like the beautiful and unconditional love of our pets.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Chocolate Graham Cracker Cake ..Yumm Yumm !!! It's time again for ... ~N~ the Kitchen with Sweet Magnolias Farm ~

Well we're back into the swing of things here at the farmhouse and it's Sunday evening and it's time for some more great recipes here at the farmhouse.
This week Abbey read  a list of recipes off to me and I picked ..
~ Chocolate Graham Cracker Cake ~
My Instant thought was that of the "Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory" and the Dark Chocolate dipped Graham Crackers I used to get on occasion when we went there on a special occasion growing up. And my mind interpreted that into a cake and I thought now that's something I most definitely want to try ...
So Abbey whipped together the recipe today while I helped and took pictures and of course taste tested which I'll share more about at the end of this post .. but first and foremost lets get the recipe going ...
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated ( you will use the whites and yolks)
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 TBSP baking powder
3 TBSP cocoa
1 -1/2 Tbsp Instant Coffee
 1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 Cup Semi Sweet Choc Chips ( ghiradelli)
1/2 Cup Sweetened Coconut
(Abbey and I added the Semi Sweet Choc Chips and the Coconut to this recipe it was not original to it. We also omitted the nuts since I am allergic ..but Abb said it would have been wonderful with nuts ..)
So first off  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
Then Cream the Butter, Sugar and Egg Yolks until they are well combined
Next add in : Graham Cracker Crumbs ~ Baking Powder ~ Cocoa ~ Salt ~ Milk ~ Vanilla ~ Nuts ~ Coconut ~ Semi Sweet Choc Chips.
TIP: Original recipe called for Coffee Powder .. We had Instant only since we don't drink coffee so we put a few Tblsps in our blender and blended until it was powder. We added the powder to the cocoa and mixed it together before adding it into the batter. Also Cocunut, Semi Sweet Choc. Chips and Nuts are all optional.

Now Beat the Egg Whites till Stiff ....
And Then Fold them into your Batter ...

Next Grease and Flour 2 - 9" round baking pans .. Or a 9 x 11 pan I'm sure would work just fine too.
Divide the batter in 1/2 into each pan.

Bake for 25- 30 minutes, Let Cool slightly and then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely
Once Cool you can Put a plate over the cake on the wire rack and then holding the plate and wire rack Flip together to allow cake to easily be placed on plate.

~ Chocolate Sauce ~
1 cup Whipping cream
2 tablespoons Sugar
4 ounces Bittersweet chocolate, chopped
 ( we used the Ghiradelli bittersweet bar found at our local grocery store)
1 tablespoon Unsalted butter

Now combine the cream and the sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil .. you may want to stir this so that it doesn't scorch on the bottom. Then Pour this hot mixture over the butter and the chocolate in a separate bowl and stir until melted and smooth.

Then Cut yourself a slice of the cake and pour some of the chocolate sauce over it ..Or pour the sauce evenly over the 2 cakes and then cut whatever your pleasure !
We also made some homemade Whip Cream to serve with it ..which was absolutely delicious ..and I would have loved a small scoop of Haagen dazs Dulce De Leche Ice Cream if we would have had it !!!
And here she is gals ...
She was yummy and ever so scrumptious ... and well for 3 of us ..this amount of cake was just a little too much so we kept one cake and delivered the other to some very sweet neighbors of ours and did so unplanned but with just perfect timing as they were just finishing dinner and were ready for dessert .. Everyone loved it .. !

Here at the farmhouse .. Well this Cake got a Big Fat Blue Ribbon with 1st prize marked on it !
It had a wonderful texture with just the perfect mix of flavors from the chocolate and graham crackers to the coconut and that chocolate sauce was simply divine .. ! 
If you are looking for a recipe that a lot of folks haven't had it for a family get together , Pot luck or dinner party give this one a try ... Everyone will love it and really enjoy a new dessert.
Total time for making and baking was about 1 hour start to finish ..all ingredients are either in your cupboard or can be found at the average market.
O.k. Gals get baking ...

Until next time .. Enjoy !