Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Beer Label Coasters

coasters 2

My daughter made these beer label coasters to give to her boyfriend for Christmas this year and because I am more than positive that he is not a regular Pickles and Cheese blog reader, I felt it was safe enough to post these photos and not ruin the surprise.  : )

Coasters 1     Coasters 4

It is so nice to see her creative side emerging.  Especially since mine has been on somewhat of a hiatus! 

The idea was spotted on Pinterest and you can get How-To instructions from Attic Lace. 

I will definitely be making a set for myself one of these days.  Just need to start collecting the beer carriers.  Might require some craft brew experimentation!

Tough job but it’s all in the name of a quality craft project.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

biscotti 1
My new favorite Christmas cookie this year has to be these Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti.  Gave away most of the last batch I made and will be making another in the next few days.  These are awesome!
Biscotti 3
Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

Original recipe makes 3 dozen

1/4 cup light olive oil

3/4 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts

Optional:  1/2 to 1 cup of melted white chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs.
  3. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in cranberries and nuts by hand.
  4. Divide dough in half. Form two logs approximately 12x2 inches on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle dough more easily.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
  6. Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet.
  7. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool.
  8. After the cookies are cool, hard, and dry, you can drizzle melted white chocolate on them.  Or dip one end into the melted white chocolate.  To do this, I melted the white chocolate chips in a heat proof Pyrex measuring cup and microwaved them for 30 seconds and then gave them a stir.  I mircowaved and stirred them in 30 second intervals until the chips were melted. 
  9. Using a fork I drizzled the melted chocolate back and forth across the cookies till I liked the way way they looked.  Then set them aside to cool and harden. 

Biscotti Bags

I found the recipe on Allrecipes.com and these cookies are worth raving about.  These are a keeper.  Also fun to give away.  I packaged mine up in some Christmas cellophane bags and tied them up with some ribbon. 

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turning A Butcher Block Table Into A Bar Cart

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Goodwill can be a treasure trove but it’s a hit or miss proposition.   And I have been “missing” a lot lately when it came to finding something worthwhile there.    And then on particular day when my daughter and I were driving home from an afternoon of shopping I said “let’s pop in here and see what we can find” and I turned the wheel and quickly parked the car.   This awesome butcher block table was sitting all by it’s lonesome when I first spotted it.  But not 5 seconds after I saw it a man and his daughter started eyeballing it and giving it a very through look over. He seemed very very very interested.  He looked  it over top to bottom.  I could see the wheels turning in his head…kind of like the way they were turning in my head too.  

Butcher Block from Goodwill     Butcher block 060

                      BEFORE       AFTER

And then it seemed like he got my telepathic message as I willed him to “just move on…jut move on….you really don’t want that…you really don’t want that”… and miraculously he and his daughter did!  They walked away and inspected a few other things in the furniture area.  But as soon as he walked on, I sidled up to that butcher block place  a hand on top of it to stake my claim and instructed my daughter to go and get a cart while I stood by and guarded it.  It was extremely heavy but somehow we managed to balance it on top of a shopping cart and too it to the cash register.  I happily paid the $25.00 fee and we took it out and loaded into the back of the car.  I could easily see this being used as a bar table and thought I could fix it up for my daughter’s new apartment.   Kelsey liked the idea.  A lot.  : )

Butcher Block with my shadow     Butcher Block Primed with Kilz

First step was to wipe the piece down with a cloth and I quickly sanded the top with a sandpaper block.  Next I sprayed on a fresh coat of Kilz primer to seal it.  The top of the butcher block was looking tough.  It had lots of dark spots, water marks, and what looked almost like scorch marks probably from setting hot pots and pan directly on it. 

It was a nice Fall-ish day when I sprayed the table down with Kilz primer.  And the sun in the sky that day was making for some rather long shadows.  I am only about 1/10th that height in real life! : )

Butcher Block Wiz Roller     Butcher block5     Table Painted first coat

The days are getting shorter and it’s getting darker much earlier.  Colder too.  So I decided to bring the table indoors to paint and set up shop in my kitchen.   I used a black paint with an eggshell finish by Rustoleum.  A couple of very cheap brushes and my new favorite painting tool called The Whizz Roller!  These little mini paint rollers are so easy to use and control and make any paint job you have easier and faster.  I found mine at Lowes’ Hardware.

Butcher block 064    

There were some very unattractive wood pegs on both sides of the table that I removed.  You can see them in the photo above when I painted it white with the Kilz primer.  I removed them and then wanted something to cover up the round holes left behind.  I found a couple of Hooks that had a square plate I screwed into the wood apron on the sides and they covered the holes nicely.  On the opposite side I added an extra wide bar drawer pull and mounted that directly over the holes on the other side and it serves very nicely as a bar to hang a towel. 


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And then there my favorite piece of hardware that I found at Target…..a bottle opener that I mounted near the top of one of the table legs on the front. 

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I really wish I could keep this.  But, alas, it’s already promised to someone else.  I’ll have to keep my eyes open for another one.

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Could I be so lucky twice?  : )

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Grilled Shrimp Scampi

September 13 007

This is one of those great things to eat that you say to yourself…all these years I could have been living large and eating shrimp this way! 

If you like Shrimp Scampi and really…who doesn’t?  And if you love the smoky flavor you get from a grill, this is a great recipe to try because you get a smoky  AND  garlicky buttery flavor from grilling up your shrimp this way.  I have a grill basket and I tell you it was made for making something like this.  I also think this has less calories than the traditional Shrimp Scampi you might order in a restaurant simply because most of the butter and olive oil in the recipe drip off as the shrimp is grilling but it still leaves all the garlicky flavor and goodness. 

Here is the recipe:

Grilled Shrimp Scampi

2 lbs. of raw, peeled shrimp.  (I use the the kind that are peeled but still have the tail shells on them.)  They need to be thawed out.

1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup), softened

1/4 cup of olive oil

4 large gloves of garlic, pressed (or 1 Tbsp….  the more garlic the better) ;)

1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. paprika

Mix the softened butter, olive oil, and garlic together in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and paprika. 

September 13 003

Add the thawed shrimp and mix well till all the shrimp are nicely coated with the garlic, butter, olive oil mixture. 

Not very appetizing to look at but this shot gives you a good idea on how they will look before you put them on the grill. 

Preheat your grill and get it nice and hot….I have a gas grill and I brought it up to about 500 degrees with the grill basket in it so it was nice and hot when I added the shrimp.  The shrimp grills up very quickly and be careful when you add it to the basket because it will “flame” up on you because of the oil and the butter.  I used a pair of tongs and tossed the shrimp as they cooked.  And there was LOTS of SMOKE and lots of smoke is good…it adds so much flavor you will see.  They cook up quickly and you will cook them until they reach that pink peachy color.  Some will also pick up some of the color from all the smoke. 

September 13 006

This was so delicious.   I served it on a bed of Jasmine Rice and a most awesome salad that I will post the dressing recipe for it in the next few days.  That salad is incredible!  But that is a blog post for another day. 

This is a quick and easy dinner and it’s what I would call restaurant quality!  Enjoy if you give this one a try.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Coffee Table Covered with Glass Tiles

Coffee Table 1

Yep, it’s really me posting something new to the the blog!  I seem to have taken an extended break from writing.  It just kind of happened.  To those of you who sent me notes to check on me…thanks for thinking of me.  It’s nice to know I was missed!  It just kind of happened…guess I needed a break and it’s nice to back today posting something new. 

Since I last posted my daughter has graduated from college…found her first job….(we are so proud)…and moved into her first apartment.  We did some budget shopping for her new place and this was a project I completed about a month ago as my contribution to her new home.  She needed a coffee table so it was off to Goodwill to see what I could find.  And this sweet and very small coffee table was found and purchased for $10.00.  Such a deal!

I love the look of glass tiles…they are very big in home tile projects for both the kitchen and bath now days.  I like how they are transparent and the tiles I picked have the look and color of sea glass.  Not to be confused with my new favorite wine called Sea Glass which is a Sauvignon Blanc and can be found in my area at Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, and World Market.   It’s possible a glass or two was consumed during the course of this project but…I digress…. :)  (It’s an awesome white wine…if you see it buy it!!)

      Coffee Table Before

Anyway….back to the table!       First think I did was wipe off all the cobwebs and then washed it down and let it dry.  At first I thought I could get away with spray painting it but it wasn’t covering very well and was looking kind of blotchy so I then decided to hand paint paint it with some leftover cream colored paint that I had left over from an old project.  I gave the whole table 2 coats with a brush and let it dry in between coats.  Then after the table was completely dry…


     Coffee Table 2

I let it sit over night……I waxed the table with some Annie Sloan Soft Wax.  This was something I just had to have and I asked for it last Christmas.  This was the first time I had a chance to use it.  I realize that it should have been used along with Annie Sloan Paint but I was impatient and wanted to use up some of my old paint in the garage from some former projects.  And I LOVE that brush!!

Next I purchased the glass tiles from Michael’s craft store.  I purchase 6 bags for $1.99 each thinking that would be plenty.  Wow was I wrong….6 bags didn’t quite cover half of the table.  So I went back and purchased 8 more bags from another Michaels’ store because I had wiped the first location out!  Surprisingly, still not enough and and additional couple of bags were required.  In the end, my daughter didn’t like the red glass tiles so she pulled all of them out and so the final project was covered only with the blues, greens, and the clear tile..  Gives the table a more “beachy” look I think.  It was also decided that we wouldn’t glue the tiles down as originally intended.  The tiles fit together so nicely and I didn’t want to risk seeing the glue through the clear tiles after they were dried.  So, since gravity is our friend and we thought it might be fun to pick up tiles and rearrange and maybe spell words out with them on the table…we left them unglued.  Just pick a glue that says it dries clear if you want something more permanent.


Coffee Table 3

This was a fun and easy project…and did I mention cheap too?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sartori Chai Cheese

Sartori Chai Cheese

Have you tried any of the Sartori brand cheeses yet?   Delicious!

I was at a wine and cheese tasting last week and this Chai flavored Sartori was one of the cheeses featured. 

It was very popular!  And highly recommended!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Baked French Toast

French Toast 014

It always seems to take me longer to catch on to most things.  And this would be a perfect example.  Baked French Toast.  It’s nothing new and everybody else in the world makes it all the time but I made this today for the first time for our Easter brunch.  It was amazing!  Of course I found it on Pinterest and it comes from a 2009 post on a blog called Rach’s Blog.  Here’s the recipe:

Baked French Toast

1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)

1 cup brown sugar

1 loaf Texas toast ( I used a loaf of French Bread and sliced it into 1/2 to 1 inch thick slices.)

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups of milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Optional:  Powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar


I baked mine in a 9” x 13” Pyrex Glass baking pan.

Melt butter in microwave and mix with brown sugar and spread evenly in baking pan. 

( I placed a stick of butter in the Pyrex pan and melted it in the microwave.  Then I mixed in the brown sugar.)

Beat eggs, milk, & vanilla
Lay single layer of your bread in pan on top of the butter and brown sugar.  
Spoon 1/2 of egg mixture on bread layer. (I then used a pastry brush to make sure each piece of bread has egg mixture on it.)
Add 2nd layer of Texas Toast
Spoon on remaining egg mixture, Sprinkle with cinnamon an sugar if desired.

French Toast 002     French Toast 005

Cover & chill in fridge overnight  ( baked mine right away and it was delicious.  But I can see how making it the night before would be so convenient and make life easier. )    Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes .  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. 

French Toast 011

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with warm maple syrup.


 French Toast 019    

And here is a shot of the back side where the butter and brown sugar mixture turns to a decadent, caramel like crust! 

Truly sinful and your family and guests will love you for it!  Enjoy!

Saturday, March 30, 2013


All the college kids in town are home on Spring break and home for the Easter weekend and I think all of the girls are out shopping with their Moms.  Count us as one of that pack.  Just got home from fighting the crowds.   It’s a little cooler than we would like but the sun is shining and shaping up to be a beautiful Easter holiday.  I hope you are enjoying your Easter weekend! 

Here’s my bit of randomness.  It’s been a while.  :)

1.  I’ve moved up to 4th place in our March Madness Basketball Pool. I am sure this will be the highest position I reach and will probably sink like a stone later tonight.   I unfortunately picked Miami to go all the way and they have since been beat.  Not sure why I picked Miami as I know virtually nothing about their team.  It was a longshot that won’t be paying off!    But Michigan won last night!  Sad to see Michigan State drop out though.   And I was kind of hoping that Florida Gulf Coast would end up taking it all…what a great story that would have been but it was not meant to be,   The best part of all of this is that our little niece is and has been leading the pack since the beginning.  And the top 6 positions are held by the ladies.  Girl Power rules!

2.  I use way too many exclamation points when I write.  I can’t help it!!!

3.  Making our dog Oakley’s dinner is going well.  I know this might seem a bit “Martha-esque” and honestly that is not what I was going for.  Last night she had leftover flank steak with some rice, green beans, and I tore up a bunch of spinach leaves into tiny pieces and darn if she’s didn’t lick her plate clean again! 

4.  I have the opportunity of getting a new and very adorable kitten.  I don’t know what to do.  The problem is I don’t really want another cat.  If kittens would stay kittens I would get three. 

5.  I absolutely cannot wait for the new season of Mad Men to start. Jon Hamm is on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine  and I love this quote:   Rolling Stone's Mad Men review raves, "Mad Men is the greatest TV drama of all time, and it's not even close.  Mad Men is to TV what The Godfather was to the movies.”  Yes!  Everything about it is excellent.  The characters, the casting of those characters,  the fashion, the set designs, the dialog, the wit and humor, the storylines and the way the personalities of the characters unfold and develop which are all the result of amazing writing.    And for a laugh, check out this list of 8 Mad Men Inspired Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavors.   And while I am at it, here is a link to 11 Reasons to Love Megan Draper on Mad Men.

6.  I made Banana Chocolate Chip Snack Cake this morning with some bananas that were past their prime.  The house smells good.

Green Onioins 008     Green Onioins 006 

7. It  really works.  You can  grow new green onions after you cut them down by putting the white bulb part with the mini roots in a dish of water and you will grow new onions.  I guess I already knew this but just never thought to bother with it.  But these scallions were cut down to the nub after using them in one of our favorite dinners, Coconut Shrimp from Jaden Hair’s Steamy Kitchen Cookbook and in just one week I have a new bunch.  Kind of like doubling your money and I like that!

8.   I am currently working on a rag quilt for my son.  The fabrics are gray’s, blacks, and more gray and black.  It will look great when it’s done and it’s very masculine looking but not fun to work on!  I need those brighter colors to keep me motivated to sew.  Been working on it since January and it’s still not done if that tells you anything. 

9.  Two new favorite songs are  “One Woman Army” by Kate Earl and “Ain’t Messin Around” by Gary Clark Jr.

10.  Quote currently on my kitchen chalk board: “Every time you are able to find humor in a difficult situation, you win.”

I like that.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Gruyere and Rosemary Crackers

Gruyere and Rosemary Crackers 017

Amazing!  I’ll just come right out and say it!  These Gruyere and Rosemary Crackers are amazing!!

Gruyere and Rosemary Crackers 024

On page 294 of Deb Perelman’s excellent cookbook, The Smitten Kitchen,  (she also writes a fantastic blog by the same name) you will find this great recipe for one of the best nibbles I can think of to go with a glass of your favorite wine. 

       Gruyere and Rosemary Crackers 007

Here is the recipe that includes a few of my modifications.

Rosemary Gruyere and Sea Salt Crisps

1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyere cheese

4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick butter)

3/4 cup all purpose flour (I used un-bleached Gold Medal flour.)

1 tsp. finely minced fresh rosemary

1/4 tsp. fine sea salt, more for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a food processor, pulsing until the mixture resembles coarse, and shaggy crumbs.

Remove the mixture to a

large piece of plastic wrap, gather it into a ball, and flatten it into a loose, thick square.   Wrap with plastic, and chill for 15 to 20 minutes, or until slightly firmed up.

My dough was very dry and would not come together so I added a few tablespoons of very cold water and  added it to the feed tube while I pulsing the food processor.  The dough came together better.  Be prepared. This is a very dry and shaggy dough!

On a floured surface, roll out your dough to about 1/8th inch thickness.  Cut the dough on the diagonal into a grid.  I used a fluted pasty wheel and made 1 inch   diamonds. 

Poke a hole into the center of each cracker and dab lightly with water and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.  (I did not do this step.  I think the crackers are salty enough without the extra salt on top so I didn’t add it although I can see how the salt on top might make they look pretty.) 

Also, I placed my cut out crackers on a piece of parchment paper to bake. 

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the ends are lightly browned.  Let cool on the baking sheet. 


Gruyere and Rosemary Crackers 002

Here is a shot of my shaggy dough all pressed together into a disc.  I found that placing my dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or so made my dough more crumbly even though the original recipe recommended doing so.  Next time I will probably just roll it out right away and bake.    But if you find your dough is too soft or sticky, I would go ahead and put it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes as recommended in the original recipe.

Gruyere and Rosemary Crackers 014

These would make an excellent addition to your next party or get together. 

They are so flavorful and delicious that you’ll find yourself taking your time as you nibble away at these crackers and savor every bite. Enjoy! 

And Happy Easter weekend to you and your family!  Anybody else out there watching the March Madness basketball games like we are in our house?  I am in 6th place right now in our basketball pool.  Would love to see either Michigan or Michigan State win it all!  Who did you pick?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Feeding the Family Dog–Making Your Own Dog Food

Oakley with Toy

Just as I have been tinkering around with my own diet, and trying to reduce the amount of gluten and carbs I consume,  I have also been tinkering around with our dog Oakleys’ diet.

She’s a healthy Golden Retriever but I have been doing some reading about how people as well as our pets need to be eating more of what we were “designed” to eat and less of what we were not.

Oakley 009

In the process of reading and doing some research online about the best way to feed our pets,  I recently found an explanation as to what really happened to our cat Otis.  He’s been gone for about 5 years now but he was a huge, and I do mean huge cat who in the end had  terrible urinary tract problems.  I recently read an article on why you need to feed cats and kittens wet food and a high protein diet.  Otis was fed dry cat food because I didn’t know better and I liked the convenience of it.  He was overweight and miserable most likely from the food I fed him.  Dry cat food is usually grain based and cats need a high amount of meat and protein.  I also read that cats get a lot of their hydration needs met from the “wetness” or water content in their food.  Feeding a cat dry food all the time sets them up to be de-hydrated.  They just don’t drink as much as they should on their own.    I feel bad now that I know.  He suffered simply because I couldn’t stand the smell or look of wet/canned cat food.    Feed your kitties wet cat food!  (You will save yourself some heartache and some huge vet bills later.)

Anyway, back to Oakley, the world’s cutest dog and her food story.  :)  I have been feeding our dog Oakley dry dog food ever since we got her.   Again, because of the convenience and because I didn’t know better.  Dogs were meant to eat a high protein meat diet.  You can get a higher meat/protein content dry dog food.  The brand “Blue” comes to mind and I still might consider using it but it’s on the pricey side.  I might give it a try and see if Oakley likes it and feed it to her for breakfast with her cottage cheese and stick to making her dinner in the evening.

Here is a book I ordered online from a Veterinarian  named Dr. Greg Martinez, DVM.  He also has a website and blog called Dog Dish Diet and a lot of what he writes about on his blog and in his book makes perfect sense. In his book Dog Dish Diet he has a recipe that he feeds his own dogs that he prepares in the crock pot.  It’s made with whole chickens and his dogs love it.    It also looks like he has an e- book available  called “Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet” that I need to check out.


So far, preparing Oakley’s food has been easy and I have been able to prepare the food ahead of time and refrigerate and freeze some of her meals to have ready when I need them.


Here is what I have been making for her lately:

Chicken, Rice, and Green Beans  (This is her favorite.)

Beef, Rice, and Carrots

Cottage Cheese  on the side

Hamburger, Rice, green beans or carrots

Sometimes I’ll sneak in some torn up spinach leaves, leftover scrambled eggs, and a few leftover roasted potatoes.  I’ll also be picking up some doggie vitamins just to be on the safe side. 

Oakley 014


For the chicken meals I feed Oakley,  lately I have been picking up an extra rotisserie chicken from Costco for $5.00.  I can usually get 4 or 5 meals for her out of one chicken.  I simply pick that bird clean and Oakley doesn’t mind eating the dark meat, I think she actually prefers it!  I make a big bag of rice ahead of time and keep it in the fridge, and I feed her green beans with no added salt  from a can. (I have also been know to sprinkle a few shreds of Cheddar cheese on her plate to make it colorful and extra tasty. ":) )

Mostly what I am doing is “assembling” her meals.    I have been doing this gradually and slowly.  I didn’t want to upset her tummy or create indigestion problems or heaven forbid cause diarrhea or constipation and so far so good. 


I still feed her dry Beneful in the morning but it’s now  a smaller portion size and I give her a small scoop of cottage cheese alongside it.  And do your research.  There a lots of foods you need to avoid that are not good for dogs like chocolate, onions, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, avocados, and bones, especially cooked bones. Garlic is controversial so I avoid it.  I never understood what bones were safe to give a dog anyway so I avoid them altogether. 

Here is a 5 minute video on what treats Dr. Martinez says are better and more healthy for your dog.

And so the purpose of my post here today is not to tell you how to feed your pets but to simply talk about what I have been doing as a result of doing some more reading and learning about something I thought I knew about.    I love my dog Oakley and I want to keep her as healthy and happy as I can.

She dances and twirls while we put her plate together and you should see the joy on her face when we set down a plate of food for her.

She’s a happy dog!

Oakley March '13

Ok, so this photo might not look like she is happy but she is!  It’s hard to capture with my camera the dancing an twirling that goes on before she gets to eat her dinner.  But believe me, she is happy.  This was just another cute photo I wanted to include.  I mean, look at that face!  :)


And before I go, let me leave you with a link to another website that I found fun and very helpful called:  Can I Give My Dog. com ?  It’s a fun and informative sight dedicated to answering your questions about what you can and cannot give to your dog.    If you have a specific food or question you can plug it in and it will return an answer.  Questions like Can I give my dog a taco?”  are answered seriously and without judgement.  :)  A taco.  Really?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Potting Pansies

Ahhh Spring!  It feels like we waited an extra long time for you to arrive this year.

Today is going to be sunny and 74 degrees!  So happy!

Pansies 2 029

I picked up a tray of pansies a couple of days ago anticipating the warm and sunny weekend.  I have had this three tiered hanging basket contraption for years and never found the right place for it.  I can’t tell you how many times I have added it to the Goodwill donation pile and then at the last minute would pull it out again.  I first bought it with the intention of using it in my kitchen to hold onions, potatoes, and maybe some apples.  Well, by the time we got around to using all the potatoes, apples, or onions they all either sprouted, grew “eyes”, or turned mealy.   Not good.

Pansies and Bee Watering Can

So in my last and final ditch effort to save it and find a use for it, I decided to try and use it as a springtime planter for some pansies.   And it turned out great.   You can do this with almost any container or basket that you might want to plant flowers in and the burlap is much cheaper and easier to work with that the more expensive and bulkier coconut liners you can buy.   I took some leftover burlap, (and you know I have a ton of that) and made liners for the baskets.   I took photos but didn’t realize that my camera setting had been accidentally changed and all of the shots were over exposed and not usuable.  So let me explain with out the help of photos.

Very easy really.  I folded the burlap in half so that it was doubled and then I turned the baskets upside down and used them as a guide to cut out circles of burlap to use as a liner for the baskets.  I traced around each basket with a sharpie pen and I added about 2 and a half inches to the circumference all the way around so that they would come up to just under the edge of the frame of the basket.    Don’t worry if they are not perfect. And you can always trim them so cut them larger than you think you might need.  I liked the added thickness that using two of the burlap cut outs provided so all of my liners used two circles  but you could certainly use one if your burlap is one with a tighter weave.


Pansies don’t last around here once the summer heat hits but they will fill in nicely for the Spring and give me lot’s of color until then.  Not sure what I’ll replace them with for the summer months but I think I’ll be keeping my new hanging basket holder now that it has finally found it’s purpose!