Welcome to my blog! Here is where you'll finding me rambling about a variety of subjects, including my family, vintage, thrifting, Etsy shops I love, and more!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Crab Cakes for Lunch Today!

I love cooking! So does my husband Bob! Today on the menu for lunch was crab cakes!

Here's what I do:

Saute finely chopped red onion, shallots, carrots, and celery (use what you like-I often use red, green, yellow pepper, but didn't have that in the house today). Cooked in a little butter and oil until everything is kind of soft, but not mushy. I then put this mixture into the freezer to cool it off quickly (doesn't have to be totally cooled, but you just don't want it hot).

I use canned lump crabmeat-and put it in a strainer, rinse it, and run your fingers through to be sure there are no shells (not fun to crunch into that!).

Dump the crabmeat into a cute vintage Pyrex bowl (if you need one just go to http://www.jenscloset.etsy.com/) (shameless plug). Add a package of Bay seasoning, mayonnaise, a couple of tablespoons of plain breadcrumbs, the cooled veggie mix, and some red pepper (for this I don't use the flakes, but the finer stuff). Add a bit of salt too.

I then sprinkle some bread crumbs onto a cookie sheet-a light layer. Form the crab mixture into patties and place them on the bread-crumbed-cookie sheet. Here's where I need more patience. I put these in the freezer for maybe 10 minutes, but I think it would help to leave them in there just a bit longer, or in the refrigerator for a longer time. That way the patties stay patties, and aren't all crumbly the way mine usually are.

When the patties are firm, add them to a pan that's a medium high heat (for a good crust) with some olive oil and butter. I guess around 5 minutes or so on one side (turn the heat down to medium half way through). Then flip them over and get the other side nice and brown.

I like to make my food look pretty! In this picture you'll see my cute square plates. I chopped up radishes and green onions and added that to one corner. Fresh lettuce in the middle, and a cute wedge of fresh lemon. (Oh-I almost forgot-I do squeeze fresh lemon on the crab cakes as they're cooking). Use your imagination! Place the crab cakes on the bed of lettuce-and there you have it!

I always make enough to share with my mother-in-law and my sweet 92 yr old neighbor Rea (she shares with her two cats too!).

There you have it! Play with your food-and have fun!!


Sunday, July 25, 2010


That's right! Surprise sale going on in my Etsy shop http://www.jenscloset.etsy.com/ (I'm still trying to figure out how to just put "my shop" or something like that and it link to my shop! Anyways...The past few days I have be adding surprise sales in my shop! Drastically reduced prices that are temporary, usually lasting a few hours-maybe longer for some! You just never know when a crazy-good sale will pop up in my shop!

So keep watching and be surprised!


Friday, July 23, 2010


Today my inspiration comes from my hydrangea's! The colors are always gorgeous and even a non-gardener like me can grow them!

I'm inspired by so many different things/people during the day!

I am always inspired by one of my favorite blogs http://suchprettythings.typepad.com/my_weblog/ if you get a chance, check this beautiful blog out! I found it while crusing through flickr!

What inspired me to do this little inspiration blog was a conversation I was having on twitter with the owner of this beautiful vintage shop on Etsy!http://www.etsy.com/shop/sarahanntiques

I'm also inspired (always!) by my personal collection of pink and green depression glass! It's great mixed and matched with any pretty china you have on hand. Why not set an eclectic table so everyone has their own unique place setting!? (I did that at Thanksgiving!)

Get inspired! And enjoy your weekend! Happy Friday!


Saturday, July 17, 2010


I love food! The food channel is constantly on at my house! I love to cook! So does my husband, Bob! I get inspired to create new recipes from just about anything!

Tonight on the menu was scallops and tilapia.

I started with chopping up fresh orange and yellow peppers, and red and white onions. (Color inspires me!) I sauteed that in a bit of butter (oh how I love butter!) and olive oil (to balance out the butter!). I then added scallions and pinto beans (beans are a great way to add extra protein to your diet).

In the meantime...I made white rice (yes brown rice would have been a healthier choice). After all the ingredients were heated up I added the cooked rice.

There! That was the accompaniment to my tilapia!

For an appetizer I seared scallops in my same butter/olive oil combo; this means cook it at a fairly high heat to give it that great crust! I had seasoned it with seasoned salt and, of course, some red pepper (I love a kick~!). These don't take too long to make, sear them on both sides, cover with foil and heat on low just for a minute or so to be sure they're cooked through.

Now onto the tilapia! These kind of recipes can be changed up with whatever you have, whatever you like, be it chicken or some other kind of yummy fish (my favorite is salmon).

I seasoned the tilapia with the seasoning salt and added some panko bread crumbs to both sides (and no, I did not bother with an eggwash thing-as long as the fish/chicken is moist, it will stick) I also like to start this out at a higher temperature to give it that great crust! Then lower to cook through.

Start out with your scallop appetizer.

Then serve the yummy tilapia on a bed of your colorful and delicious rice mixture!

I should also mention-fresh lemon juice should be squeezed onto both the scallop dish and the tilapia dish-and serve with a wedge of lemon!

I guarantee you will love it!!

Bon appetit!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

I love cleaning!

Okay, maybe not my house, but I love cleaning my vintage finds! There's so much I love about selling vintage! First of all, I've always loved antiques and vintage items! Second, the hunt is so much fun! And then, getting my treasures home and cleaning them up to bring new life back to these beautiful neglected pieces!

I have a few of my favorite cleaning products at hand at all times! The most basic is good old fashioned dishwashing liquid! I start by cleaning the item with that and then see if there are any spots still left. One of my favorite products is "Bar Keepers Friend", it's safe for just about everything from stainless steel to fine porcelain, and it usually does the trick at getting those stubborn stains removed!

For those darn price stickers I love "Goo Gone"! It works pretty effortlessly.

I always finish, again, with a good old fashioned cleaning with dishwashing liquid.
I wish all cleaning was this much fun!
And remember, if you don't have the time or energy to hunt for fun vintage, but you love it, just visit my shops http://www.jenscloset.etsy.com/ http://www.mymilkglassshop.etsy.com/ and http://www.thechinagirl.etsy.com/ (I still haven't figured out how to make a link to these without typing the whole thing out-if anyone can help me with this, I'd appreciate it!)

Happy cleaning!


Friday, July 9, 2010

Expect Nothing

It's been my motto for quite awhile now, and for me, it works!

Expect nothing! From anyone!

This way I am always pleasantly surprised!

Although I have to say I am lucky to have a husband that regularly brings me fresh flowers when he's at the grocery store (yes, he does most of the grocery shopping), I still do not expect it, and usually don't even think I deserve it!

Do you expect your husband to tell you how great you look? Don't always count on it! And don't expect it!

My husband will say "I like that dress"; and for me, that's good! I am not expecting him to say "wow! you look incredible!", but by him saying "I like that dress", I know that is what he means!

This same idea works for just about all aspects of my life!

It works when you have a teenage daughter who's life revolves around her friends (that's natural) and then she actually wants to go shopping with you! (even if it's so you'll pay!).

It works when you're shopping and you receive exceptional customer service (and in those cases I am always sure to contact the retailer to give a shout out to the great sales person!).
But for me, it really is the personal aspects of my life that the "expect nothing" motto really does work!

Try it-just for a week! Don't expect anything from anyone! Turn the tables and just help out someone else!

You will be pleasantly surprised! I guarantee it!!


Monday, July 5, 2010

Thanks Barb!

This is a "shout-out" to my husband, Bob's sister, Barb! Thanks so much for the recipe for the pasta salad Barb!

Bob has been raving about this pasta salad that his sister Barb made and I knew I had to try it!

Here's the recipe:

(there are no exact measurements to this-just have fun!)

I used almost a box of "choo-choo" wheels (only because my Son, Mark, wouldn't let me use any of his prized pastas!). Cook, drained, rinsed under cold water, then drained again (of course!).

Mix in olive oil, red wine vinegar, and italian salad dressing

Let that set in the refrigerator overnight

The next day add seasoned salt (not too much) and fresh ground pepper

Then add more olive oil, red wine vinegar, and the italian dressing and mix. Cut up whatever veggies you like, I used what Barb used, which included green and black olives (oh how I love olives!), cucumber, celery, carrots (I'm thinking onions would be good too). You'll see two of my pics don't have any tomatoes in them. I thought it would be better not to add that until I was ready to serve it, but my taste tester, Bob, said I should just add it (he's a genius), so I did!

After my taste tester Bob tried it, he liked it-yay!! He did think Barb had a little more olive oil in hers, so I added more!

Another shout out goes to my Pyrex and Corelle collection! The pic with several pieces of my Pyrex is such a small fraction of the collection I have here! Some already listed in my shop http://www.jenscloset.etsy.com/ -some still to list, and some of it is my own personal collection I use everyday!

Barb also has a collection of Pyrex, I hope to see soon! Everything just looks better in Pyrex, don't you agree Barb!?

My best to all-and happy day after the 4th of July! Happy eating!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon!

I know I've said this before...I love ribbon! I just bought these retro looking spools of ribbon from Pat Catans for about $1.00 each! They go perfect with my bright pink, white, and brown tissue paper that I use to wrap my orders from my Etsy shops!
I thought I'd use my blog to talk about a couple of questions that I've been asked be fellow Etsy vintage shop owners.

One was how to I keep my items from my shop organized! Oh what a good question! I'd be a big fat liar if I said I was totally organized and never had a moment where I was freaking out because I sold something and couldn't find it! It's happened-I eventually find the item, but from that I've learned!

I have tons of shelves my wonderful husband, Bob, has built for me! Some of them are the big heavy steel ones and some are the inexpensive heavy plastic shelves (even I can put those together). Bob even built some nicer wood ones that are in the living room, and yes, it does look kind of like a store in here now! Stop by!
I've also labeled the shelves and when I list an item and it goes on one of those shelves, I mark that on my description and on a spreadsheet so I have back up!

I also have tons of items in boxes, also labeled and entered into a spreadsheet.

Both of these have worked great for me, and although my house is still full of my finds, and it's difficult to walk anywhere around here without bumping into my fragile stuff, I feel good knowing I can find things when they sell!

Another question often asked of me is where I find all the things I find! Good question! Ohio seems to have an abundance of antiques and vintage items, so it's tempting to just shop all the time...oh wait, I do!

I have my favorite little thrift shops, antique stores, yard sales, etc. I actually was at the post office dropping off some orders when I saw someone I used to work with and I was telling him about my shops, well, a lady overheard that and we chatted for a few minutes, I gave her my card, then she called me to meet! She had acquired a beautiful set of china from her mother in law that she did not have room for. So I bought it!

If you have a question for me I'll try to answer it!

I wish you a happy and safe 4th of July!