Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting, vintage stuff,
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Sep 12, 2015

Thrifting, More DIY Home Improvements, Fall/Holiday Cookies

I don't usually go thrifting on Labor Day but since everything was 1/2 off I thought why not? I wandered a bit, then saw these L.L. Bean Blueberry service ware (retired) mugs. Only 50 cents each, and they sell for $10.00 each on eBay! I love the size and color-

I thought about selling them but I LOVE the pattern! I bought 6 mugs, the next day went back and got the same pattern bowls, 6 of them-

Nice big vase, 50 cents

While these clothes hampers were not thrifted I did get these for $10.00 each in the dorm section at Target. I had been looking all over for new hampers, and didn't want to spend $30.00- $40.00 EACH. It's nice with a separate liner that pulls out. Sometimes you can find great deals in that off-to-college area, in the fall. 

I hit the Grocery Outlet on the way home last night, found a really nice glass commuter cup, and these Power Bars- 1 BOX for $5.00, for 15 bars! That's 33 cents per bar! I may buy more and freeze them for emergency use.

More DIY Home Improvements-
We're still finishing up various projects outside. Dave and I decided to jazz up our front entry way post. After much research Dave wrapped our boring front 4" x 4" with finish grade cedar in sizes ranging from 1" x 2" to 1"x 8". We like it!!! I'll coat with some clear stain poly for weather protection.

In house prep for spring painting Dave removed some cracked and rotting (bottom) of the 2" x 6"s on the sides of the garage doors. He bought some Royal Mouldings Vinyl Jambs and other other components. He saw these on This Old House and said it was the same price as new wood, but will last forever. Once it's painted it will look great! Easy install and more insulation for the garage door edges. Dave saved the usable old frames for flower boxes,etc.

Off with the old

New components 


Dave being shy :)

I picked out new house numbers for the front post, brushed nickel from Home Depot, $5.00 each

Old switch plates in dining room

New wood switch plates!

Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Lebkuchen-
A friend was wanting this recipes a few days ago, and I found it online! These are SO GOOD!!!! I make these every winter, but they'd be good in the fall too. I LOVE the combination of the orange, raisins and almond.

These cookies hail from Germany and were traditionally sweetened with honey, but that has now been substituted with molasses. They have all the spice of a gingersnap and a texture that’s tender and chewy.

1 cup almonds
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup dark raisins
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

Confectioners’ sugar, 
Toast the almonds in a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 6 minutes and set them aside.
With an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together the brown sugar, honey, molasses, egg, and orange zest in a mixing bowl until smooth.
Combine the almonds & raisins in a food processor. Pulse repeatedly to finely chop the mixture. (You can also finely chop the ingredients by hand.) Stir the nut mixture into the sugar mixture. Sift the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt into a separate medium-size bowl. Then stir the dry mixture into the liquid a third at a time, stirring well after each addition. The dough will be quite dense and sticky.

Scrape the dough onto a well-floured 3-foot-long sheet of plastic wrap. Generously flour the dough. Then, using floured hands, knead the dough several times to smooth it. Flatten the dough into a 1-inch-thick square and wrap it in the plastic. Slide the dough into a plastic bag or wrap it in aluminum foil and chill it until firm, several hours or overnight.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet (preferably not a dark one) with parchment or lightly greased aluminum foil. Set the sheet aside. Transfer the dough to a generously floured sheet of waxed paper and roll it into a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle or square. Cut the dough into cookies that measure about 2 inches square, or a round biscuit cutter.

Transfer the squares to the baking sheet, spacing them about an inch apart. Bake the cookies on the center oven rack for 12 to 13 minutes, 1 sheet at a time. When done, the cookies will have formed a crust, but they should still feel soft to the touch. (Tip: The cookies stay chewier if you bake them less and put them in an airtight container while they’re still slightly warm. If your family prefers a crisper cookie, just bake them a little longer and let them cool completely before you store them.) Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and, while they are still quite warm, dredge them in confectioners’ sugar. Makes about 18 to 24 cookies.



Kristina said...

Those dishes are very nice! That's a great price for those power bars too.

Mama Pea said...

Those L.L.Bean dishes are so attractive! As are the home improvements the two of you have been making. There must be several variations for that particular cookie as I've tasted them before and never been impressed . . . but your recipe sounds very tasty and tempting! Thanks for sharing.

Nancy LittleHomesteadinBoise said...

Thanks, I love LL Bean stuff and always wanted to go to Maine.

Yes we've done a lot of things to the house and garden this year. I've seen variations too on those cookies...

Michelle said...

Pinned the cookies. We lived in Germany for 6 years ( Loved it) these were one of my favorite cookies.

Nancy LittleHomesteadinBoise said...

Yes I love them!!!

Leigh said...

The pillar looks great! A relatively small project with a big impact. And I love the mugs. They look perfect for your kitchen.

Nancy LittleHomesteadinBoise said...


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