30 Sep 2014
September 30, 2014

Fall Supper Dessert-Mile High Caramel Apple Pie

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Oats in the crust adds just a hint of nuttiness and comfort. Take it to the next level with hot caramel sauce…and do not skimp on the vanilla ice cream. Spring for the good stuff, it’ll be worth it.


1/3 cup butter, melted  
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 pounds cooking apples, such as Fuji or Granny Smith, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices (about 12 cups)
1 recipe Oat Pastry for Caramel Apple Pie, OR one 15-oz. pkg. rolled refrigerated unbaked pie crust (2 crusts)
1/2 packed brown sugar 
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1-12 ounce jar caramel ice cream topping (about 1 cup)
  1. Preheat oven to 475 F. In very large bowl combine butter and cinnamon; add apples and toss gently to coat. Spread apples evenly in a parchment paper- or foil-lined, large roasting pan or two 15x10x1-inch baking pans. Roast (one pan at a time if using baking pans) for 7 to 10 minutes or until apples start to brown on edges, turning once halfway through. Cool apples in pan(s). Reduce heat to 375 F.
  2. Prepare Oat Pastry or let refrigerated pastry stand at room temperature according to package directions. Line 9-inch pie plate with half of pastry as directed.
  3. In very large bowl stir together brown sugar, flour, and salt. Add apple slices and any juices; stir to coat. Transfer to pastry-lined pie plate. Trim top crust to edge of pie plate. Fold top pastry edge under bottom pastry; crimp edge. Brush top with mixture of beaten egg and water. Cover edge of pie with foil to prevent overbrowning.
  4. Place on middle shelf in oven; place foil-lined baking sheet on lower rack beneath pie. Bake 30 minutes; remove foil from pie. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes more or until top is golden and filling is bubbly. Remove to a wire rack. While warm, drizzle with some of the caramel topping. Cool completely. Serve with remaining topping. Makes 8 servings.
 Oat Pastry
2 cups flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
8 tablespoons water
  1. In medium bowl, stir together flour, oats, and salt. Using pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water over part of mixture; gently toss with fork. Push moistened dough to side of bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon water at a time, until all dough is moistened. Divide in half; form each half into a ball. On lightly floured surface, flatten 1 dough ball. Roll from center to edge into 12-inch circle. To transfer pastry, wrap around rolling pin; unroll into a 9-inch pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. Trim pastry even with rim of pie plate. Fill pie plate with filling. On lightly floured surface roll remaining dough into 14-inch circle; cut slits for stream to escape. Place on top of fruit filling; trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold top crust under bottom crust; crimp edge. Makes pastry for 2-crust pie.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY: BEWARE OF DISTRACTIONS. You’ll know it’s a distraction when you stop doing what you are supposed to be doing and find yourself pondering things that have no value.

HAPPY SEPTEMBER 30 BIRTHDAY TO: Marty Stewart 56, Eric Stoltz 53, Johnny Mathis 79, Fran Drescher 57, Barry Williams 60, Monica Bellucci 50, Jenna Elfman 43, Angie Dickinson 83, Kieren Culkin 32, Marilyn McCoo 71, Buddy Rich (1917-1987), Truman Capote (1924-1984), Crystal Bernard 53, and Cissy Houston 81.

29 Sep 2014
September 29, 2014

Break The Rules – Mix Plaids And Florals

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Patterns don’t have to match, they just need to coordinate. Many designers will put as many as five different patterns into one room. Put geometric patterns and/or stripes with florals. Mix modern designs with traditional. The key: Make sure they share a common color and ground it all with a substantial amount of solid fabric.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: Whenever I have a panic attack, I put a brown paper bag over my mouth and drink all the rum inside. It seems to help.

HAPPY SEPTEMBER 29 BIRTHDAY TO: Jerry Lee Lewis 79, Calvin Johnson 29, Gene Autry (1907-1998), Mackenzie Crook 43, Ian McShane 42, Russell Peters 44, Alexis Cruz 40, Bryant Gumble 66, Larry Linville (1939-2000), Anita Ekberg 84, and Horatio Nelson (1758-1805).

28 Sep 2014
September 28, 2014

Two Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

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To make even better, take out 1/3 cup cake mix and add cinnamon, sugar and cut in 2 tablespoons butter for a topping. Also add all spice or some kinds of pumpkin pie spices to cake mix before adding pumpkin.

Not sure of the exact ML of can of pumpkin, just that it isn’t the biggest can.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: Young enough to know I CAN, old enough to know I SHOULDN’T and stupid enough to DO IT ANYWAY.

HAPPY SEPTEMBER 28 BIRTHDAY TO: Bridgitte Bardot 80, Frankie’ Bonus’ Jonas 14, Bam Margera 35, Hillary Duff 27, Naomi Watts 46, Mira Sorvino 47, Ed Sullivan (1901-1974), Ben E. King 76, Moon Unit Zappa 46 (the drugs were better back then), Dita Von Teese 42, and Al Capp (1909-1979).


27 Sep 2014
September 27, 2014

Woman’s World Trade Show Is A Week Away

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This photo was taken at the 2013 Woman’s World as a small part of our booth display. Charter House Interiors is proud to be an exhibitor again this year. One of our most popular items is Crystal Frost which is displayed on the mirror. It sprays on wet and dries to a cracked ice finish. We are doing our first ever Halloween display this year and we’re also bringing just a hint of Mexico with us. We’ll see you one week from now.

HOURS: Friday October 3 4:00- 10:00, Saturday October 4 11:00-9:00 and Sunday October 5 11:00-5:00

Many thanks goes to Lorne Gelowitz and Brian Swidrovich who have both been on board with this wonderful trade show (and The Man Show) from the very beginning nine years ago. They don’t do it alone …thanks to everyone involved, their staff and volunteers.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: Haven’t been feeling very well lately so I went on line and checked my symptoms out on Google. Seems that I am coming down with something called “getting old”.

THIS DAY IN ENTERTAINMENT: 1968 The musical HAIR opened in London, with scenes of nudity, drug use and flag desecration.

HAPPY SEPTEMBER 27 BIRTHDAY TO: Randy Bachman 71, Avril Lavigne 30, Meatloaf 67, Gwyneth Paltrow 42, Anna Camp 32, Shawn Cassidy 56, Brad Arnold 36, Tamara Taylor 44, Wilfred Brimley 80, Jayne Meadows 94, Sofia Milos 49, and Arielle Vandenberg 28.



26 Sep 2014
September 26, 2014

Spider Web Window Pumpkins

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I found this idea somewhere on-line and just had to share it early.

Cut a large hole in a black Funkin. Paint the inside, stem and cut edge with silver-metallic craft paint. Use old-fashion cotton spider web material and tiny upholstery nails to make the web. Push the nails and web into the pumpkin’s flesh (no need for hammering, they go right in). Tie the yarn onto the nails and wrap around the nails. Add a few spiders.

Fun-Kins are synthetic pumpkins that are carefully crafted and painted by hand to look just like real pumpkins. They can be carved and lit to look like spooky works of art just like pumpkins. They are made hollow so there is no scooping of seeds and pumpkin guts necessary. And they never ever rot, so carvings last forever! Unlike any other fake pumpkins available, Fun-Kins are constructed of patented low density foam. About the same consistency of real pumpkins. The walls of a Fun-Kin are generally about one half of an inch thick (a little more for the really big ones, and a little less for the really small ones) so they are strong enough to last for years to come and endure shipping, carving, use, and storage.)

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY: One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it is worth watching.
HAPPY SEPTEMBER 26 BIRTHDAY TO: Olivia Newton John 66, Serena Williams 33, James Caviezel 46, Christina Milian 33, Shawn Stockman 42, Linda Hamilton 58, George Gershwin (1898-1937), Kent McCord 72, Mellissa Sue Anderson 52, Donna Douglas 81, Jack Lalanne (1914-2011), Marty Robbins (1925-1982), and Carlele Carter 59.
25 Sep 2014
September 25, 2014

Don’t Throw Out Mashed Potaotes Again-Fried Mashed Potato Balls

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This is a super good way to use up leftover mashed potatoes and make it into a completely new meal.
3 cups mashed potatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten
2 cups crushed corn flakes
1 cup oil, for frying

Preheat medium sized skillet with about 1 inch of oil. In a large mixing bowl, add garlic and cheese to potatoes, mix well. Roll into balls about 2 inches around. Dip potato balls into egg. Roll into cornflakes. Place in hot oil, fry until brown. Carefully turn to fry each side. Brown. Serve hot with a favorite dipping sauce.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: Friends come and go like waves on the ocean, but the true ones stay, like an octopus on your face.

HAPPY SEPTEMBER 25 BIRTHDAY TO: Mark Hamill 63, Will Smith 46, Catherine Zeta Jones 45, Michael Douglas 70, Cheryl Tiegs 67, Christopher Reeves (1952-2004), Barbara Walters 85, Heather Locklear 53, Jamie Hyneman 58, Lee Norris 33, Anson Williams 65, Michael Madsen 57, Aida Turturro 52, Ian Tyson 81, and Phil Rizzuto (1917-2007).

24 Sep 2014
September 24, 2014

Don’t Throw Away Old Sweaters- Make A Sweater Throw

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The blog today is compliments of Better Homes And Gardens. Get cozy on the couch this fall with this fun fabric throw made from upcycled wool sweaters. Decide the desired size of your throw and determine how many 9-inch squares of felted wool fabric you will need; we made a few of our large squares by sewing four 5-inch squares with right sides together using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Once you have all of your squares, arrange in an attractive pattern. Sew together rows of blocks using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, then sew the rows together, matching the seams. Back the quilt with a cozy flannel sheet, sew perle cotton ties at the intersections, and then topstitch 1-inch from the edge around the perimeter to finish.

Fall Crafts Tip: To create the nonraveling fabric, turn the pieces inside out and toss into the washing machine on a hot-cycle wash with detergent; machine- or air-dry.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

CHARTER HOUSE HAS HIT A MILESTONE: 100,000 hits on this website. Many thanks and so much appreciation to Kevin at Lime Communications who set up a totally user friendly website. Thanks to our staff who have contributed so much and all the folks who have clicked onto the website. Thank you.

JOKE OF THE DAY: One day big butts will be in style and I will say…”I’ve had mine before it was cool.”

HAPPY SEPTEMBER 24 BIRTHDAY TO: Jim Henson (1936-1990), Linda McCartney (1941-1998), Kevin Sorbo 56, Phil Hartman (1948-1998), Robert Irvine 50, Nia Vardalos 52, Ross Matthews 35, Raphael Paleirmo 50, and Brit Morgan 27.

23 Sep 2014
September 23, 2014

When Is The Best End-Of-Season Time To Buy Outdoor Furniture

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You, and several other people have been looking at outdoor furniture all summer, just waiting for it to go on sale. Do you play the waiting game? You’ve seen your dream set at 10% off 20% 30% and 40% off. How long do you hold out for the big 5-0 before your dream set is in someone else’s back yard?

My advice would be…pull the trigger at 20-30% off. At this price range there are probably plenty of frames and fabrics to choose from. Say, for example, you have been looking at a sofa, love seat, chair, coffee and 2 end table combo. Someone comes in and buys the love seat, coffee and 1 end table combination while you are waiting for the 40% sign to go up. This happens more often than you would believe. Now, you have a decision to buy an incomplete set or try to pull together a set that looks like it isn’t pieced together. Maybe you get lucky and the frames are still available (now at full price plus tax) because they have to be ordered in. Ahhh, the fabric…your fabric has been discontinued and you have to hope there is a coordinating fabric so the set looks like it was ordered that way. Again, at full price plus taxes if you want it this season.

TIP: Before you give up entirely and kick yourself around the block two or three times, there may just be some salvation. As retailers, we have access to “pre-buy” specials from our suppliers at a bit of a discount which we may be able to pass on to the consumer for the next year. Not all retailers have access to a pre-buy program, not all take advantage of the program and not all will pass on the savings. To take advantage of this savings event, you have to do it NOW…not next week, but now. There will be a monetary commitment and no refund once the deal has been made. A couple of perks to buying outdoor furniture this way is: 1. The dream set you order is what you’ll get, on time, when spring comes. 2. The warranty is extended because the product is new for the upcoming year and 3. There is still money in your piggy bank.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

TIP OF THE DAY: When you have to hang something (like a power bar or shelf) with exact holes, photocopy the back and use it as a template. Saves a great deal of measuring and guess work…and holes in the wall.

HAPPY SEPTEMBER 23 BIRTHDAY TO: Chi McBride 52, Bruce Springsteen 63, Mickey Rooney (1920-2014), Ray Charles (1930-2004), Jason Alexander 55, Julio Iglesias 71, John Coltrane (1926-1967), Paul Petersen 69, Anthony Mackie 36, and Chris Miller 37.



22 Sep 2014
September 22, 2014

Line Your Walkway With Milk Bottle Ghosts

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I was going to post this blog closer to Halloween but it may take some time to save up a few milk bottles for some families. This is such a neat idea. Don’t stop at milk bottles, try other containers. If you live in a warmer climate, make snowmen or Santas at Christmas.

Halloween Decor Tip:
Line the walkway to your home with these ghostly lanterns.
Draw the faces on with a sharpie
Fill them with water.
Drop in a glowstick.

OPTIONAL: Make green ‘hats’ out of felt that would resemble leaves and put them on top.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

JOKE OF THE DAY: I’m tech-savvy in that I know how to unplug things and plug them back in again.

HAPPY SEPTEMBER 22 BIRTHDAY TO: Joan Jett 56, Tom Felton 27, Debbie Boone 57, Scott Baio 54, Andrea Bocelli 56, Tommy Lasorda 86, Shari Belafonte 60, Bob Sapp 41, Mark Johnson 57, and Paul LeMat 69.


21 Sep 2014
September 21, 2014

How To Determine If An Egg Is Fresh

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No big post today, just a tip on how to tell if your eggs are fresh.

ANOTHER TIP: If you notice your eggs are getting close to the Best Before Date and you know you are not going to use them in time, crack them into an ice cube tray and freeze. They are still fine for baking. You may have to separate whites and yolks to make them fit into the trays but someday it’ll come in handy for an angel food cake or a quick batch of cookies.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Among the things you can give and still keep are, your word a smile and a grateful heart.

HAPPY SEPTEMBER 20 BIRTHDAY TO: Steven King 67, Jerry Bruckheimer 69, Anne Burrell 45, Cheryl Hines 49, Larry Hagman (1931-2012), Bill Murray 64, Dave Coulier 55, Faith Hill 47, Nicole Ritchie 33, Alphonso Ribeiro 43, Luke Wilson 43, Ricki Lake 46, Maggie Grace 31, Leonard Cohen 80, Angus MacFadyen 51, David James Elliott 54, and Christian Serratos 24.