30 Nov 2015
November 30, 2015

Be The Envy Of The Party With This Appetizer Wreath

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  • 2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
  • Celery leaves


  1. Remove crescent dough from packaging (do not unroll). Cut each tube into eight slices. Arrange in an 11-in. circle on an ungreased 14-in. pizza pan.
  2. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing to a serving platter; cool completely.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, dill and garlic powder until smooth. Spread over wreath; top with broccoli, celery and red pepper. Form a bow garnish with celery leaves. Yield: 16 servings.

**This is a comment from a lady who tried this recipe** “I’ve made this several times over the past year. I use a tablespoon of ranch powder for extra flavor. I also cut each can into 16 slices, otherwise I feel the bread is too thick. I throw the leftover veggies in the leftover cream cheese mixture, adding a bit more sour cream to thin it out, and use as a cracker dip. I never bring any back home when taking it to a gathering. Yum!”

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 never realize how much I swear until I am in a situation where I can’t.

HAPPY NOVEMBER 30 BIRTHDAY TO:  Ben Stiller 50, Kaley Cuoco 30, Billy Idol 60, Ryan Murphy 50, Robert Guillaume 88, Bo Jackson 53, Clay Aiken 37, Mandy Patinkin 63, Elisha Cuthbert 33, Colin Mochrie 58, Ridley Scott 78, Efrem Zimbilist Jr. (1918-2014), Dick Clark (1929-2012), Mark Twain (1835-1910), Richard Crenna (1926-2003), Mindy McCready (1975-2013), and Winston Churchill (1864-1965).

29 Nov 2015
November 29, 2015

Tips To Help You Socialize Dogs Rescued From Puppy Mills

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Have you recently rescued a dog from a puppy mill?

If you have rescued a dog from a puppy mill, or if you bought a puppy from a pet store- which we beg of you to not do – then chances are that your dog could suffer from behavioral problems


Puppy mills are for profit, the well-being of the dogs is not a priority, neither are their health. So what should you do to socialize your dog ? well, here are some tips:

1 -A Safe Area: Make a safe area in your home for the dog, Whether it’s a mat in the corner of the room, or a crate with a bed, just set him a place where he could escape and feel secured when he’s in it. Place the water bowl and food just outside the safe. A good idea would be to put down some house-training pads or newspapers as Puppy-mill dogs are very rarely housebroken. They often live in wire cages and urinate or defecate right in the cage.

2 – Sit Beside Him, Not Facing Him: Don’t sit down facing the dog, Sit down with your side to him.Extend your arm towards him with a treat in your hand, if the dog is too shy to take it, just put the treats around you on the floor. When the dog is comfortable enough to approach you, scratch him under the chin or the on the chest.DON’T Pet him on the head first, do it only when the dog is completely comfortable with you, only then would it allow you to do so.

3 – Attach A Leash To His Collar: Or put a harness on him and attach a leash to that after he’s been in your home for a few days. A Large number of puppy mill dogs prefer a harness-leash setup to attaching a leash to a collar. If the dog pulls and is damaging his neck, then you could use the harness with leash. In order to make him get used to the leash, don’t go for a walk right away, instead, have the dog walk around the house dragging the leash with him. Give him a treat when you attach the leash and another one when he successfully take a walk around the house with the leash.

4- Be The Protector: Stand between your dog and any possible threat, let the dog know that you will protect him and be there for him. When the dog understands that you protect him, he will be more likely to follow your lead on walks and for training in general.

5 -Use A Calm Dog: Introducing a friendly dog to him could be of a great help, preferably the dog should be yours to be around all the time, but you can still use the help of the neighbor’s dog or that of a friend. Puppy mill dogs are used to being around other dogs, lots of them, so the already-well adjusted dog could help greatly to socialize the dog and make him comfortable in the new environment.

These tips are compliments of a site on the internet URDogs. Thank you.

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: My smart mouth always gets me in trouble, and if it’s not my mouth, it’s my facial expressions.

THIS DAY IN ENTERTAINMENT: 1972 – The Atari company announces the release of its first video game PONG.

HAPPY NOVEMBER 29 BIRTHDAY TO: Howie Mandel 60, Diego Boneta 25, Andrew McCarthy 53, Diane Ladd 80, Chuck Mangione 75, Jonathan Knight 47, Tom Sizemore 54, Garry Shandling 66, Janina Gavankar 35, and Brian Baumgartner 43.

28 Nov 2015
November 28, 2015

Fiesta Pinwheels For Your Next Party Appetizers

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TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. + chilling
MAKES: 20 servings
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup picante sauce
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • Dash garlic powder
  • 1 can (4-1/2 ounces) chopped ripe olives, drained
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 8 flour tortillas (10 inches)
  • Salsa


  1. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, picante sauce, taco seasoning and garlic powder until smooth. Stir in olives, chilies, cheese and onions. Spread about 1/2 cup on each tortilla.
  2. Roll up jelly-roll style; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Slice into 1-in. pieces. Serve with salsa. Yield: about 5 dozen.
Editor’s Note: Pinwheels may be prepared ahead and frozen. Thaw in refrigerator. I make these and add chicken. Use the jalapeño cheddar tortillas! Yummy

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

 MILESTONE OF THE DAY: Since we launched our website charterhouseinteriors.com in 2013, this is our 1000th blog. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed articles, To Scott who has helped put blogs together when I was not able to and Kevin Pryce who set up and maintains our website. Great job everyone. Oh, and thanks to Scott and Mona for proofreading the blog everyday to check for spelling errors.
TRUE STATEMENT OF THE DAY: A worried mother does better research than the FBI.
JOKE OF THE DAY: One day YouTube, Twitter and Facebook will join together and be called…youtwitface
HAPPY NOVEMBER 28 BIRTHDAY TO: Ed Harris 65, Karen Gillian 28, Jon Stewart 53, Judd Nelson 56, Ryan Kwanten 39, Marc Andre Fleury 31, Paul Shaffer 66, S. Epatha Merkerson 63, Barry Gordy Jr. 86, Anna Nicole Smith (1967-2007), and Alexander Gudenov (1949-1995).
27 Nov 2015
November 27, 2015

Easily Paint Cabinet Doors In Less Time

Everyone who needs to paint cabinet door will want thank Blogger: Allison Murray Brownsville, TX for this incredible tip.
Life with its twists and turns meant it was time for me to move 700 miles away. In order to sell my home lots of improvements needed to be done on a budget and with time constraints. The quick turn time helped my father and I get very creative about how to get things done more quickly. His idea for painting the doors for every cabinet wound up being a thing of pure genius!
  • easily paint cabinet doors, doors, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, painting
Though it was a modestly sized home the storage inside was more than ample. That meant a ton of cabinet doors that needed a new coat of paint prior to being listed. There were 16 cabinet doors for the kitchen alone to paint!
  • easily paint cabinet doors, doors, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, painting
To speed things up my father devised a brilliant hanging system. Two small holes were drilled in the top of upper cabinet doors and the bottom of lower cabinet doors.
  • easily paint cabinet doors, doors, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, painting
Eye hooks were screwed into place.
  • easily paint cabinet doors, doors, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, painting
Wire hangers were cut down the middle and slid through the eye hooks.
  • easily paint cabinet doors, doors, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, painting
A few twists of the wire…
  • easily paint cabinet doors, doors, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, painting
…and each door was secured with a hanger.
  • easily paint cabinet doors, doors, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, painting
Old pipes were laid across sawhorses to create a hanging system. The door is removed from the hanging position and hung from the ceiling in the garage. Using a paint sprayer each door is given a coat of paint and then hung back to dry.
The system worked so well we were able to do multiple coats when needed and paint 25 doors in less than 2.5 hours.
  • easily paint cabinet doors, doors, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, painting

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: There are times when my greatest accomplishment is just keeping my mouth shut.
THIS DAY IN SPORTS: On this day, November 27th, in 1960, the Shotgun formation was introduced for the first time. Red Hickey is credited with bringing the formation to the NFL while coaching for the San Francisco 49ers.  The formation places the quarterback farther behind the center, allowing more time for passing plays to develop.  San Francisco quarterback John Brodie became the first Shotgun quarterback.

The Shotgun formation became more popular in the 1960s and 1970s when the Jets adopted the formation for Joe Namath of the Jets and Roger Staubach of the Cowboys.

 HAPPY NOVEMBER 27 BIRTHDAY TO: Bill Nye the Science Guy 60, Kathryn Bigalow 64, Jaleel White 39, James Avery 67, Caroline Kennedy 58, Robin Givens 51, Willian Fichtner 59, Curtis Armstrong 62, Alison Pill 30, Michael Vartan 47, James Avery (1945-2013). Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970), Bruce Lee (1940-1973), and Eddie Rabbitt (1941-1998).
26 Nov 2015
November 26, 2015

Cherry Jubilee – You Have To Try This

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This would be a great dessert for a brunch. Thanks to Connie Brumley-Sutton for this recipe

1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling…
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (any kind)

In a large bowl, fold together all ingredients.

Spoon into a serving bowl or individual dessert glasses. Chill before serving.

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: Remember when we were kids and we would say: “When I grow up, I’m going to do whatever I want.” How’s that working out for you?

THIS DAY IN ENTERTAINMENT: 1942 – World premiere of movie “Casablanca” starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY 1922 – Archaeologists enter King Tuts tomb.

HAPPY NOVEMBER 26 BIRTHDAY TO: Tina Turner 76, Peter Facinelli 42, Chris Hughes 32, Rich Little 77, Kristin Bauer 49, John McVie 70, Bat Masterson (1853-1921), Robert Goulet (1933-2007), and Charles Schulz (1922-2000).

25 Nov 2015
November 25, 2015

Outdoor/Indoor Hanging Christmas Basket Idea

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This is a relatively easy and effective way to make a welcoming entrance for your holiday guests. These grapevine baskets fare much better outside in winter than they ever would in summer. The weave and natural spaces between vines provide the perfect place to poke mini-lights through. If the lights won’t stay, a bit of wire or twist ties will keep them in place. After that, the decorating is up to you. Artificial garlands offer a good starting point to anchor Christmas ornaments. Connect 3 or more ornaments together and secure them in the basket with wire. A bed of artificial snow works just as well as a starting point. Plastic hanging baskets will work but may require drilling a few holes in them to secure all the decorations.

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: Arguing with a woman is like reading the software licence agreement. In the end, you ignore everything and click “I agree”.

SAD NEWS IN THE ENTERTAINMENT WORLD: David Canary: Emmy Award-Winning Actor Dies at 77. Canary died on Nov. 16 from natural causes, his family announced Tuesday. He received five Emmy Awards for portraying twin brothers Adam and Stuart Chandler in the ABC soap opera “All My Children.”

HAPPY NOVEMBER 25 BIRTHDAY TO: Bruno Tonioli 61, Christina Applegate 45, Barbara and Jenna Bush 35, Charlaine Harris 65, Billy Burke 50, Katie Cassidy 30, Amy Grant 56, Ben Stein 72, Steven Lunsford 27, Ricardo Maltalban (1920-2009), Joe DiMaggio (1914-1999), and John F. Kennedy Jr. (1960-1999).

24 Nov 2015
November 24, 2015

Instead Of A Christmas Tree, Try A Ladder

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Looking to have a different type of tree for Christmas? Or maybe you won’t be home to water a real tree, then a ladder tree is a very good option. This “tree” started with an obscene amount of time spent on the internet for inspiration, a well timed trade of (wood for aluminum) ladders with my brother-in-law, some particleboard, an old metal coffee table frame and braces for the shelves. The ladder was well used and covered in paint drips and we would not have had it any other way. Pictured here, was a display we had at a trade show and are using in the Charter House showroom right now for Christmas. The store owner made removable shelves for versatility.

We started by wrapping lights around the front legs of the ladder; the lights have 8 functions making it easy to change up the look. The top two shelves have artificial blanket snow, the third shelf has a felt Christmas runner and the bottom shelf has artificial cedar boughs in the front and a roll of scrunched red sinamay at the back. We used Real-lite Candles from Abbott on the bottom shelf. They are battery operated and on a timer for safety.

The ladder is decorated for retail purposes but for home applications, anything in the house will do. Mix Christmas themed items with things like mirrors, cushions, bowls wooden spoons with ribbons, and vases. For more help with your project, GOOGLE: Christmas decorated ladders. Dozens of ideas will come up for inspiration. Please send us photos of your project, we’d love to see what you’ve done. Keep checking back to our website for more Christmas decorating ideas.

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: If you are helping someone and expecting something in return, you’re doing business, not kindness.

HAPPY NOVEMBER 24 BIRTHDAY TO: Sarah Hyland 25, Catherine Heigl 37, Billy Connolly 73, Pete Best 74, Colin Hanks 38, Todd Beamer (1968-2001), and Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano (1897-1962).

23 Nov 2015
November 23, 2015

Bake More Muffins And Save Energy

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You are going to love this idea! $$$ saving tip. Instead of going out and buying multiple muffin pans, simply use old Mason or Kerr Canning Jar lids. You can bake more cupcakes at one time. This way you can save time on cooking and use less energy.

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: On Sundays my coffee is recreational. As opposed to weekdays when it’s medicinal.

ANOTHER JOKE OF THE DAY: This is my week…Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, BLINK, Monday.

HAPPY NOVEMBER 23 BIRTHDAY TO:  Lucas Grabeel 31, Nicole Snooki Polizzi 28, Robin Rene Roberts 55, John Schnatter 55 (founder and CEO of Papa John’s Pizza), Maxwell Caulfield 56, Johnathon Sadowski 36, Vincent Cassel 49, Johnny Mandel  90 (wrote the theme song for M*A*S*H), Harpo Marx (1888-1964),Billy The Kid (1859-1881), and Boris Karloff (1887-1969).

22 Nov 2015
November 22, 2015

Make Movie Night Pillows

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This is a project your kids will love. Purchase 5 inexpensive pillows per project and 5 pillow cases to go with them. The pillows can be themed for boys with superheros, Toy Story Minions or just boy type colors. Girls can have Frozen, Cinderella or just girl colors.

Assembling is super easy. Sew the pillow cases together along the long edge. For ease of cleaning, sew pieces of Velcro into the open edge or lengths of ribbon for tying. Insert pillows and close.

This is simple to do, quick to assemble, easy to take on sleepovers and a good buddy to watch television on for family nights.

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

JOKE OF THE DAY: Remember when you could refer to your knees as “right and left’ instead of ‘good and bad’? Ah, the good times.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Just because you are offended, doesn’t mean you are right.

FAMOUS QUOTE SAID ON THIS DAY, NOVEMBER 22: 1963 This is a sad time for all people. We have suffered a loss that cannot be weighed. (about the JFK assassination). – Lyndon B. Johnson

THIS DAY IN ENTERTAINMENT: 1995 – Pixar’s ‘Toy Story’ is released; first feature length computer generated film.

HAPPY NOVEMBER 22 BIRTHDAY TO: Jaime Lee Curtis 57, Jamie Campbell Bower 27, Yvan Cournoyer 72, Scarlett Johansson 31, Mark Ruffalo 48, Boris Becker 48, Richard Kind 59, Mads Mikkelsen 50, Robert Vaughn 83, Tyler Hilton 32, MacKenzie Lintz 19, Steven Zandt 65, Josh Cooke 36, and Rodney Dangerfield (1921-2004),

21 Nov 2015
November 21, 2015

Professional Tips To Turn Out Better Christmas Cookies

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There are tips and tricks professional bakers use that can benefit holiday baking at home.

Credit: Matthew Mead/The Associated Press. 
There are tips and tricks professional bakers use that can benefit holiday baking at home. No matter how ambitious your holiday cookie baking plans are, chances are good you won’t be cranking out the massive quantities most professional bakers are prepping for this holiday season. But that doesn’t mean you can’t borrow — and benefit from — their pro-grade tips that help them turn mountains of dough into armies of cookies.

So we’ve assembled the best tips and tricks professional bakers use and show you how to put them into play at home.


If you don’t bake often, your baking soda and baking powder may be past their prime. And that means your cookies won’t have the right puff. If you can’t recall when you bought them, splurge on new ones. Or test them by combining a little with vinegar. If the mixture gets foamy, you’re good to go. You also want to check your ingredients for rancidity. Nuts, seeds and some flours can turn rancid, meaning the fats have gone bad. Test nuts and seeds by taste before you put them in your cookies. If they have a funky or off taste, toss them. Rancid flours will smell off, so just take a whiff. And the best way to prevent this is to store whole-grain flours, nuts and seeds in the freezer in a zip-close plastic bags.


Temperature can play a variety of roles in a recipe (beyond just setting your oven correctly). Butter simply cannot cream correctly if it’s too cold or too warm. So if a recipe calls for softened butter, you want it to hold its shape, but yield when pressed on. And proper creaming of the butter and sugar is critical to the finished texture of your cookies. On the other hand, is a recipe calls for chilling a dough, do it and don’t try to rush it. It’s there for a reason. Some doughs are too soft at room temperature and need to be chilled so they are easier to handle or roll out. Other doughs will lose their shape if placed from room temperature into a hot oven.


You know the part of the recipe that says to scrape your bowl between additions? Do it. It’s important. If you don’t scrape the bowl, it’s likely that your dough won’t be properly mixed. You might end up with a chunk of unmixed butter or sugar, or a smear of egg white, in your dough. Or even worse, you could get a hunk of creamed butter and sugar that hasn’t been mixed into the flour, resulting in a big streak of crispy and unsightly burnt edge.


If your cookies are evenly sized, they’re more likely to bake evenly. For drop cookies, your best bet is to use a disher, also known as a cookie scoop. These look like an ice cream scoop, but have a thumb- or other squeeze-activated bar inside the scoop to help dislodge the dough. They are the best way to get your drop cookies evenly sized. You can find them online and at most kitchen shops. (And in the off season, use them for ice cream.) For slice-and-bake refrigerator cookies, the key is to turn your dough log a quarter turn after every slice. This keeps the log from losing its shape, and that keeps the cookies round.


When you’re working with a soft or sticky dough, it can be difficult to move it from the bowl to the counter or pan. But if you moisten your hands lightly with a bit of water, the dough won’t stick as much. This works especially well for spreading bars or brownies in a pan, but also if you’re trying to wrap rounds of dough to go in the refrigerator.


Most drop cookies should be slightly flattened once the dough balls are arranged on the baking sheet. This helps the cookies bake evenly so the centres aren’t still doughy when the edges are done. Pressing each ball gently with the underside of a drinking glass or a moistened palm is a good way to do this.


Kitchen parchment (also called baking parchment or parchment paper) is paper treated to be nonstick and heat-safe. It works wonders preventing your cookies from sticking to the pan, and also makes your cleanup much easier. You can find it alongside the foil at the grocer and it comes as sheets or rolls.


When you’re going to roll out dough for cut-out cookies, you often turn out the dough onto a floured surface, then sprinkle it with more flour as you roll it flat. Stop it. Rolling the dough between sheets of kitchen parchment eliminates all this extra flour from being worked into the dough. It also allows you to re-roll the scraps more times without making the cookies unpleasantly tough. If the dough sticks a little to the parchment, pop it into the refrigerator or freezer to make sure it is nice and cold before peeling the paper off.


If you’re baking more than one pan of cookies, make sure to let your pans cool between batches. Remember how that dough needs to be the right temperature before it goes in the oven? If you put it on a hot pan, the bottoms of the dough will get all melty and the cookies will spread too much during baking.


Maybe you don’t want a huge pile of cookies lying around the house (because you might eat them all at once). Or maybe you want to prep your cookie supply so you can bake off a few at a time later. The solution is the freezer. Most cookie doughs freeze beautifully. Slice and bake cookies should be frozen, well wrapped, as a whole log. Just bring back to refrigerator temperature before slicing. Drop cookies can be scooped into balls and frozen, then transferred to a zip-top plastic bag for storage. Cut-out cookie dough can be shaped into disks, then wrapped in plastic and frozen, then rolled out on another day (works great for pie dough, too).


While freshly baked cookies definitely are better, if you bake too many cookies the freezer still can be your friend. Make sure you freeze your cookies before decorating them. The best option is in an airtight container to help prevent breaking. And separate layers of cookies with sheets of kitchen parchment or waxed paper to prevent them from sticking together. Unfrosted bars can be frozen right in the pan. Cookies with a very high sugar content (such as Florentines or other lace cookies) don’t do well in the freezer. You’ll just need to eat those.

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: Always hold a door open for a lady. Not because she is a lady but because you are a gentleman.

HAPPY NOVEMBER 21 BIRTHDAY TO: Goldie Hawn 70, Carly Rae Jepsen 30, Troy Aikman 49, Bjork 50, Ken Griffey Jr. 46, Marlo Thomas 78, Juliette Mills 74, Lorna Luft 63, Nicolette Sheridan 52, Cynthia Rhodes 59, Joseph Campanella 91, Lindsey Hahn 31, and Stan Musial (1920-2013).