pinned it, made it: sage smudge sticks

Facing an abundance of Russian sage in my garden this summer, I knew come autumn, I’d need to figure out a way to preserve it. I pinned this handy how-to from You Grow Girl, one of my favorite resources for garden-related DIYs, btw.

How To Make Your Own Smudge Sticks

A few weekends back, I harvested said sage and bound it into little bunches to give as smudge-stick gifts. Tying them together was such wonderful aromatherapy, making the mess I made on my living room floor well worth it.

high plains thrifter // diy smudge sticksOf course I had to test one out for myself…

high plains thrifter // diy smudge stickAre you doing anything to preserve the late-summer bounty? If so, I’d love to hear what projects you’re tackling!

xo,

Meghan

Top photo c/o: You Grow Girl.

recently thrifted

sofa3Though I’m your typical stubbornly loyal Sagittarius when it comes to work, relationships and pretty much everything else, as far as living room sofas go, I’m as fickle as they come. And since my last Craigslist find endured a broken spring last winter, I’ve had a justifiable excuse to begin hunting…again. So, imagine my delight upon finding this seven-foot velvety prize at Rank + File’s / Hello Vintage’s pop-up last weekend. The pattern instantly reminded me of a couch I’d seen on Gold Dust Stevie that very week.

Fleetwood MacAnd once I found out it had quality Gabberts bones, it was obvious that I had to take it home.

sofa labelIt fits so perfectly and is oh-so comfortable, leading me to believe this may be the sofa for me for a long, long while. P.S. A little bird told me there are more sofas available at the Rank + File / Hello Vintage pop-up this weekend. Visit ‘em today or tomorrow, before it’s too late!

xoxo,

Meghan

recently thrifted

brunchLast Sunday, my honey and I made a quick stop at the Goodwill in Forest Lake. I brought home couple bags of good things for spring, including a sweet, “date night in June” kind of dress, some cookbooks and heaps of dishes, including this set of mini casseroles…five at 49 cents a pop. I love dishes that can go from the oven to the table. And the fact that these are durable, AND flat-out adorable means that they are going to see a lot of use in my kitchen…starting yesterday! I cut the recipe for this baked French toast casserole in half, using whipped cream cheese in place of ricotta. Served with homemade strawberry syrup, extra-crispy bacon and a pot of coffee, it made for a perfectly cheery, not to mention tasty, brunch.

Have you thrifted anything recently you’ve put to good use? I’d love to hear!

xoxo,

Meghan

holiday how-to: quick-fix praline bars

Here’s a typical story from my life: Earlier this month I celebrated my 30th birthday party with a cookie swap at my favorite bar. The party was starting in half-an-hour, and, of course, I hadn’t had time to bake a single cookie. I knew it would be OK for me to skip the swap, but I still wanted to contribute a little something sweet. Into my brain, like a saving grace, popped this recipe…a holiday favorite of my Grandma Mary. The simple ingredients and unfussy proportions make it an easy one to recall by heart, and before I knew it, I was on my way out the door, tin of cookies in hand, with a minute or two to spare.

Before I share her recipe, please know one thing: No one’s going to “ooh” and “ahh” over how these bars look. They’re not showy, they’re simple. But whatever they lack in looks, they make up for (ten-fold) in taste. I figured I’d share the recipe with you this week, in case you too find yourself in a pinch and need to whip up something for a holiday party or potluck at the last minute.

grahambars

Grandma Mary’s Praline Bars

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

24 graham crackers (roughly two packs from an average-size box)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/2 t. vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans (or walnuts)

HOW TO MAKE

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Arrange graham crackers on a foil-lined jelly roll pan.

3. Heat brown sugar and butter to boiling in a saucepan. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly; remove from heat and quickly stir in the vanilla.

3. Working fast, spread the caramelized sugar on top of the crackers, as evenly as possible.

4. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

5. Bake for 10 or so minutes, or until the caramel starts to bubble. Watch ‘em carefully because they can scorch from just a minute or two of over-baking.

6. Let them cool and then break into squares or pieces.

This recipe doubles like a dream, which you might as well do because they take literally 15 minutes start-to-finish and you will want to gobble them all up as soon as they are cool.

xoxo,

Meghan

saturday night supper

Tonight’s forecast looks like this.

snowshotYikes. I’m going to take advantage of the weather and stay in, cozy up and cook a yummy dinner for my hon and me. Here’s what’s on tonight’s menu.

First up, Rosemary Lime Cocktails via Joy the Baker.

6428745831_2d86f6747c_zFor the main course, I’m making this Bacon Mac & Cheese with Wisconsin Gruyère, a dish I fell head-over-heels for after seeing it on Savory Sweet Life earlier this week.

baconmacandcheese

And to finish, Slow Cooker Pumpkin-Apple Dessert. I love making desserts in my Crock-Pot because you can start ‘em before dinner and they’re ready and warm by the time the dinner dishes are done.

4263e4c2-1bd3-42d8-9fad-ab747b1f29daIt’s not a fancy lineup, just some hearty home cooking. Which sounds perfect on a winter night when the snowflakes are a-fallin’. I hope you are all having warm and restful weekends as well!

xoxo,

Meghan

weekend in wisconsin recap

Hi guys, and happy Monday!

 It’s been a long work day and I’m sort of out of words, but I wanted to pop in quickly and share some snippets from my weekend in Wisconsin with you.

Friday night’s dinner: Baked lemon chicken, potato logs, beans and chocolate pie (not pictured); all recipes (minus the beans) were from Loretta Lynn’s (awesome) cookbook.

My cabin = coziest place on earth.

Treasure hunting at a small town thrift store.

Pretty view of Lake Superior’s south shore.

Wisconsin Bloody Marys, I miss you so.

Dairy Queen pit stops…there were two.

My favorite lady country singer, who we saw perform from the third freakin’ row. It took me four songs to stop crying from happiness…it was literally like a dream.

And last, but not at all least, three days straight with this guy, who isn’t embarrassed to road trip with a lady in rollers apparently, bless his heart. After four years together, he still treats me like a treasure (even when I act like a turd). And that’s just one of the many, many, many, many reasons why I love him so.

I hope you all had wonderful weekends as well, and that your (short) week’s off to a stupendous start. Be back here tomorrow with a lovely list of links I’ve been diggin’.

xoxo,

Meghan

P.S. Photos in this post were taken with VSCO Cam.

revolutionary recipe alert: microwave apple crisp

I’ve been missing my oven a lot lately. It probably has to do with the fact it snowed today, meaning my least favorite season, pre-winter, has arrived. I’m trying to be positive about the cold weather, but it’s hard. Especially when you can’t even cope with it with a cozy night spent at home baking. One thing I’ve been dying to make all fall is a good old-fashioned apple crisp. Which is why this recipe for microwave apple crisp caught my eye when I stumbled on it at work the other day. I was skeptical at first, but after reading the positive reviews, my mind was made up to give it a try.

I stuck with the recipe pretty closely, but did substitute one of the apples out for a sad little pear that was languishing in my fridge. My 1.5-quart
oblong Pyrex turned out to be the perfect size.

After mixing up the topping (a straight-forward combo of oats, brown sugar, Bisquick, melted butter and spices) I thought it was going to be too thick, but it turned out to be just right.

This is when I started to have my doubts…

Skeptical as I was, it only took one bite to make me a believer. It was everything I had missed about baked apple crisp—sweet, warm, sticky, cinnamon-y, apple-y, good. I was so happy, I almost forgot about the sad state of my broken oven.

You can find the recipe (and read all the rave reviews) here. Let me know what you think if you give it a whirl!

xoxo,

Meghan