Faith Family Friends

Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Thursday 31 January 2019

An Easy Peasy Recipe and My Four Foot Tree for Valentines Day

There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere...and of leaving it behind them when they go. ~ Frederick Wm. Faber

Hi everyone! Here we are, the last day of January and I'm so glad! Not that I'm wishing my life away, but I'm always happy to get January and February over with because I know Spring is that much closer. 

It is cold outside but looking out my window today, it is bright and sunny. Nature has gifted us a fresh blanket of snow which appears to be strewn with diamonds glittering all over it. It is a beautiful day and I am sipping my first cup of coffee, feeling blessed!

I still have my four foot tree up in the family room. It is decorated mostly in reds so I'm leaving it up for Valentines Day. My guys decorated it when they were home for Christmas and other than the beaded star they hung on the top, I haven't changed it. The star has been replaced by my little fairy which I think is more in keeping for Valentines Day.

This tree holds mostly ornaments gifted to me by family and friends. There are a lot of birds on it because everyone knows I'm a bird lover. There are also snowflakes like this beautiful Swarovski crystal ornament given to me by a good friend at Christmas. The ornament was very hard to photograph and this is the best shot I could get. The second photo shows the thickness of it with the crystals in every other point.  

Silently, like thoughts that come and go, 
The snowflakes fall, each one a gem. ~ William Hamilton Gibson

There are hearts too. 

This sweet quilted one was gifted to me by a blogger friend and the teapot below was also gifted to me by a blogger friend. This one has upside down hearts in it.

The birds were all given to me by my sons. Mostly cardinals but there are a couple of doves and a gold finch.

Oops, these are blue birds, but they're cute snuggling under the hat!

The guys also paired red and white balls on the tree. That is something my youngest always saw me do when he was growing up. 

Hubby and I enjoy the soft glow of the lights when we spend time in the family room.

This is the time of year that I like to make comfort food. The other day I made Johnny Marzetti. I got this recipe from a friend back in the seventies and I make this every once in a while because it makes a great big roaster full. We enjoy it for a couple of meals and then I freeze the rest for later. 
I used to have large groups of people in and this was always one of the dishes I made because it feeds quite a few people. It is very easy to make and would be wonderful for a church supper or any large gathering. I always serve it with salad, rice, and garlic bread.

I was curious to find out where the recipe actually came from and this is what I found. It originated in Columbus, Ohio at Marzetti's, an Italian restaurant established in 1896 by an Italian immigrant named Theresa Marzetti, and Johnny was her brother-in-law. Theresa must have been quite the cook!

I don't know about you, but I love old recipes that have a history like this one!

I make my recipe a little different than some. It calls for both hamburg and sausage, but since I can't eat sausage, I make it with all hamburg.

Here is my recipe:

Johnny Marzetti

3 pounds hamburg 
2 pounds hamburg and 1 pound of mild sausage
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced green pepper

2 large tins tomato sauce
2 large bottles spaghetti sauce with mushrooms
2 cans mushrooms, drained
1-1/2 cups pasta bows, cooked
1-2 cups of cheddar cheese

Salt, pepper, oregano, and Italiano blend of herbs to taste.

Cook the hamburg until brown then pour off the fat. Saute onions, celery, and green pepper and add to hamburg with the drained mushrooms. 

*I cooked everything on top of the stove in the roaster before putting it in the oven.

*My recipe called for pasta bows but I didn't have any on hand so I used shells instead.

Add the tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, and cooked noodles to the hamburg mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Serve with rice, garlic bread, and a salad. 
This recipe will make a roaster full and it will freeze well. Enjoy!

Have a delightful day, dear friends! 

In winter we lead a more inward life.
Our hearts are warm and cheery, like cottages under drifts. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Wednesday 23 January 2019

The Heart of Winter

There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you....In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savour belonging to yourself. ~ Ruth Stout

Hello my lovely friends! We are having very cold weather right now and although it is very frigid outside, the sun is shining which is always nice. I really don't mind the cold temps so much as long as I don't have to be out in it for very long. It's the snow storms I mind mostly; one of which we just had over the weekend. There was a lot of ice and rain with it. Quite nasty!

It is almost the end of January and it is the heart of wintertime. This is the time the snow mobilers like to get out and play on the trails and the back fields. Folks are skating on ponds and others are skiing. Still others who are brave enough to weather the elements will get out for a brisk walk on the boardwalk at the Park. 

As for me, I like to enjoy all this cold and snowy beauty from indoors. Cozied up on a comfy chair with my book and a cup of tea or coffee. 

I picked up a bug and wasn't feeling very well for about a week. I haven't been out of the house in over a week. There is a lot of flu here right now and I pray my mother doesn't get it. Last year she got the flu in March and they didn't think she would make it but she surprised us all and bounced back again.

There is a lot of ice around and one doesn't want to take a spill. My poor Auntie P took a fall on the ice just before Christmas. She didn't break any bones but she is still very sore. Bless her heart!

Someone who will keep your secrets and is always on your side....Only an aunt can give hugs like a mother, keep secrets like a sister and share love like a friend. ~ unknown

This is Auntie P on one of her adventures with her granddaughter. Her granddaughter takes her out about once a week to dinner or a drive. 

So other than her injuries from the fall a month ago, she is doing well and she is happy. She calls me about once a month. We still miss those days when we emailed one another our "books" as Hubby called them. What fun we had in those days! It's hard to believe she will be 84 on her birthday in a couple of months!

Do you have a special aunt or relative in your life?

Yesterday I had a friend over for company and so today I'm having a piece of apple pie left over from our visit. I just found out after visiting my friend Pamela's blog that today is National Pie Day. So apple pie is quite appropriate for today's post.

I had bought two apples pies from my neighbour up the street just before Christmas. She and her daughter had baked pies to raise money for a Youth Conference in Arizona later this year. I had served one of those pies for Christmas and yesterday I baked the other for my company. It is delicious!

Hubby likes his apple pie with ice cream but I prefer a nice cheddar cheese. This Applewood Smoked cheddar cheese is simply delicious and goes very well with apple pie.

When your day is topsy turvy and as stormy as can be
There is nothing quite as tranquil as a nice cup of tea. ~ unknown 

My thoughtful hubby surprised me with these pretty tulips and they remind me that Spring is coming. This time of year tulips really perk up a room, don't you think?

I must wrap up this post as it's getting a bit long. Hope your day is going well and do enjoy that wee bit of daylight lasting a little longer each day!

The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer. ~ Vita Sackville-West 

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday 14 January 2019

Winter is the Time for Home

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. ~ Edith Sitwell

A cheery good morning dear friends and welcome to my little cottage! 

A funny thing happened to me last week! Monday evening we had to change the batteries in my keyboard and we couldn't get the second battery out. It was stuck solid and simply wouldn't budge. We tried everything to get it out and no luck. Hubby took it to a computer store and they couldn't get it out either. Seems the battery had corroded and I might have to break down and purchase a new keyboard. I wasn't happy about that! Anyway, Hubby happened to mention our dilemma to a few guys at work and one of them suggested he bring the keyboard in the next day and he would attempt to get it out. He worked on his breaks and that Thursday evening, he texted Hubby to let him know he had removed the battery. Was I ever happy! So, I was without my computer for several days and did I ever miss it! Has anything like that ever happened to your keyboard?

It is a very cold but bright sunny day here on Prince Edward Island. It's a good day to stay inside and enjoy the comfort of home with perhaps several cups of tea or coffee. 

It is time to tuck away the window display that I had out for Christmas. But before I do that, my wee china deer that my mother gifted me with years ago is making one more appearance.

I love figurines and ornaments! I especially love those that have a story behind them.

Wintertime is the time for home, and a nice cup of tea in January is so welcome! Won't you stay and join me?

"Stay" is the most charming word in a friend's vocabulary. ~ Louisa May Alcott

My cups and plates are Victorian Chintz made Burleigh of Staffordshire, England; a gift from my cousin, Val.

This mismatched cup and saucer are just pieces that I put together. Red/pink transferware looks so pretty in each other's company, don't you agree?

The teapot is called Valencia and I love the shape!

Tea towels make a cozy table covering on which to serve my tea. 

I made cupcakes for the grandchildren but I have lots to share. Would you like one with your cuppa?

A cup of tea warms the heart like a good friend. ~ unknown

Wintertime on the Island kind of dictates to us what we can do this time of year. We take each day as it comes and we try to make the most of it. 

Well, that's my post for this week. Most of this is a re-post because I didn't have time to do a new one. I hope you all have a marvellous day and thank you for joining me. 

I shall smile when wreaths of snow blossom where the rose should grow. ~ Emily Bronte

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday 7 January 2019

Looking Back at 2018

The birth of a New Year is a time of reflection, bringing with it an opportunity for change....for developing a greater appreciation of what is most important in life. ~ Victoria magazine

Hello my lovely friends and welcome to my blog! It's a new year and I have been reflecting on 2018. Although the past year or so was a difficult one for our family, I decided to put one foot in front of the other and move forward. 

The Lord knows the trials we are going through and if we allow Him to, He will take us through those times with as much grace as possible. 

I honestly believe that we all have something we can be grateful for. If we set our minds on these things, we can enjoy the beauty, the joy, and the blessings that come our way every day. 

This week I have decided to share a recap of the past year's posts. I may have skipped one but the majority of them are here; one from each month.  

In January I shared A Holiday Tea with my beloved Old Country Roses.

In February, I used some blue tea ware accented with a little red for Valentines Day.

This is from the month of March. A touch of pink to welcome Spring.

For April, I brought out the aqua tea ware and chicks as well as bunnies. 

I took a bit of a break in May.
June was apple blossom time so I shared my Blossom Time china which I absolutely love!

When asked if my cup is half-filled or half-empty; my only response is that I am thankful I have a cup. ~ unknown 

In July I found a new teapot that I just had to bring home. I had titled that particular post, "I've Been Naughty," and I had to giggle at the number of peeps I had that week. Funny how a post like that gets so much attention!

In August I did a post on our walk through the gardens at The PEI Preserve Company which inspired my post on Peonies and Roses
My roses are from my garden and I used my beautiful rose themed china.

September arrived and I made my son a birthday cake. This lovely cake was similar to a Victorian sponge cake only made of chocolate. A luscious cake sandwiched with whipped cream and strawberry jam. My son loved it!

In October, I shared Pumpkin Tales. The story of Cinderella and pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

People who live the most fulfilling lives are the ones who are always rejoicing at what they have. ~ Richard Carlson 

Once November arrived, I was beginning the ABC's of Christmas. This one was the letter B for Baking...

December of course, is the most wonderful time of the year; Christmas! Naturally, I set the table with some festive tea ware and gingerbread cookies.

Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends. ~ Margaret Thatcher

I hope you enjoyed my look back at 2018. 

I pray you will be blessed abundantly in this New Year, and remember to smile! A smile will make you feel better as well as those around you.

Haven't got a lot of riches,
And sometimes the going's tough;
But I've got loving ones around me,
And that makes me rich enough!

I thank God for His blessings
And the mercies He's bestowed.
I'm drinkin' from my saucer
'Cause my cup has overflowed!

Jimmy Dean ~ I'm Drinkin' From My Saucer

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Wednesday 2 January 2019

Home for Christmas

More snow came before New Year’s, and the harbor froze over, but the gulf still was free, beyond the white, imprisoned fields. The last day of the old year was one of those bright, cold, dazzling winter days, which bombard us with their brilliancy, and command our admiration but never our love. The sky was sharp and blue; the snow diamonds sparkled insistently; the stark trees were bare and shameless, with a kind of brazen beauty. - "Anne's House of Dreams" - LM Montgomery

Happy New Year, dear friends, and welcome back to Rose Chintz Cottage! I trust you all enjoyed a wonderful holiday with family and friends. We certainly did.

We had two snow storms in a row the week our boys flew in and we were walking on eggshells wondering if they could get in or not. They did fly in and right on time too; just before midnight. Apparently the landing was a bit bumpy but they made it for which we were very thankful! Home for Christmas! 

We had another snow storm yesterday. It's going to be a lo-n-g winter this year.

"She had a good sleep that night and had awakened in the morning to find herself and the world transformed. It had snowed softly and thickly all through the hours of darkness and the beautiful whiteness, glittering in the frosty sunshine, looked like a mantle of charity cast over all the mistakes and humiliations of the past." from LM Montgomery- Anne of Green Gables. 

Back to our Christmas and company... 
There were eight of us around the dinner table on Christmas Day. The first time in a number of years that we had that many sharing Christmas dinner with us. I had a lot of help so it was great!

We were busy visiting, and eating, of course. Dinner was perfect; the turkey, the gravy and the dressing, the whipped potatoes and the Brussels sprouts, the candied carrots and turnip. Not to mention, the apple pie, pumpkin pie, and raspberry cream pie smothered in whipped cream. Yes, we had a grand feast.

I had a birthday too and one of the boys made me this spectacular cake the day before they left! The icing was a dark chocolate ganache which he beat until it was spreadable. The cake is topped off with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Isn't it lovely? He made the whole thing from start to finish.

Cakes are special. Every birthday, every celebration ends with something sweet, a cake, and people remember. It's all about the memories. ~ Buddy Valastro

The table was set and the cake took centerstage. It was a wonderful treat to eat that cake with my guys.
All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. ~ Charles M. Schulz

They also brought me flowers for the dinner table but I should have taken a picture when I first got them. They are starting to wilt a bit, but still beautiful!

The guys wanted to help decorate a tree so I left the four foot one till they got here. I think they did a pretty good job.

One of the gifts I received this year from my guys was this antique teacup and saucer which was found in a Michigan antique shop. 

It is made by Lefton china and hand painted with a cardinal and sprigs of holly and berries with the number 1297 on it. The teacup is footed and both pieces are trimmed in gold. The boys know I like cardinals so they thought it was perfect for me. I would love to see a real cardinal someday!

Being a bit of a collector, I was curious about Lefton china so I looked it up on the Internet. 
George Zoltan Lefton arrived in the US from Hungary to Illinois in 1939. Previously, he had made his living in sportswear, but his passion for fine china turned from a hobby into a business when he founded the Lefton Company in 1941 in Chicago. The Lefton mark can be found on a wide array of pottery, porcelain, and glass. 

I'm still using my Ganz teapot and the Royal Stafford teacup. The December cup has been put away for another year. So I'm enjoying my tea in this pretty vintage Lefton china cup with a slice of my cake.

It's a brand new year. A good time to reflect on the blessings of the past year but also a time to look ahead and set goals for the future. CS Lewis once said, "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."

Do you have a goal or dream for 2019?
Thank you for your visit and enjoy your day.

 Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi