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Saturday, February 22, 2014

EASY Red Velvet Torte

I have not been sharing much here on the blog lately. Mostly because not much is happening here at the farmhouse except the normal daily things which I'm sure you don't care to hear about. I got my 2 year old potty trained, which to me, is a huge task and one I dread. He still has accidents sometimes but they are few and far between. As with my other 2, he isn't night trained either. For some reason, my boys seem to take awhile for that to develop.

The weather here in NW Ohio has been brutal and some days I feel like all I get done is feed wood into the woodstove (our main source of heat). This week, though, the cold has relented a little and we had some 'balmy' temps in the 40's. That has made for lots of melting snow and flooding. But I'm not complaining; I'm glad to see the snow go! I'm getting anxious for Spring.


And now for the purpose of this post: Red Velvet Torte. I made this cake on Valentines Day but am just now getting it shared. It looks fancy but I assure you, it really is easy. The recipe I got from my mom was chocolate and I wanted something 'Valentiney' so I adapted it to suit me. It was a big hit at our house; really moist and not overly sweet. To make it, you will need:

1 Red Velvet Cake Mix
1 small box chocolate pudding
1 stick butter - melted
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs

Mix all this together until well blended and divide evenly into 2 9" round (or heart-shaped) pans that have been greased and floured. Bake at 325*F for 30 min. or until done. Cool 15 min. then overturn them out onto a plate to completely cool. When cool, carefully slice each cake in half.

***A tip for baking cakes to be flatter on top instead of domed is to bake them at a lower temperature. This allows the center to bake evenly with the sides.

For the frosting, mix in small mixing bowl the following:
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat until color lightens then fold in 1 8 oz. container of Cool Whip. Divide frosting into 4 equal parts.

Assemble the torte starting with cake and topping each layer with frosting. For the top layer, you can 'decorate' however you wish. I dusted the cake with powdered sugar then made rosettes around the edge. Chocolate curls or hearts would be neat too.

***A tip for getting the frosting on the layers without smearing a bunch of crumbs into it is to put it in an icing bag (or Ziploc with the corner cut off) and pipe it on beginning with a ring or 2 around the outside edge and filling in the middle in a back and forth motion.

Refrigerate the completed torte if not serving immediately. Also refrigerate any leftovers {if you have any}. :)




from the farmhouse

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hand-Painted Signs~New Etsy Listings

Before Christmas I started working on repurposing two wooden cabinet doors that I had gotten from a garage sale last summer. The lady I bought them from said they were from a local bank that was doing a remodel and just throwing them away. She grabbed them because she didn't want to see them thrown away but didn't really have a plan for them. So she decided to offer them at her garage sale. I found them near the end of the day and she was willing to deal. She sold them to me half price and I brought them home with the intention of making them into signs.

Like I said, I started before Christmas but as I mentioned in my previous post, I got really busy during December and I didn't get them finished. So this week I decided to dust them off and finish them. They are now listed in my shop. I realize the one is 'off-season' but I went ahead and listed it in case someone is looking for decor for the next holiday season.

I used Miss Mustard Seed Milk paint for the door and craft paint for the lettering. I just printed the sign off and transferred it to the sign by tracing the letters over carbon paper. (No Silhouette Cameo needed!)





From the Farmhouse

Monday, December 30, 2013

An Update From the Farmhouse

If you don't follow me on Facebook, you're probably wondering if I've expired. This post will attempt to update you on what I've been up to.

We have a rental house (which is actually the first house hubby and I lived in after we were married) and in November our tenants informed us they were moving at the end of the month. *sad face* We have done very little to the house since we moved out and have allowed tenants to paint if they wish. This time, however, we decided that WE would paint (I've discovered that not everyone knows HOW to paint) and while we were at it, do a few other 'updates'.  Most of the light fixtures were the same ones we bought the house with and honestly, I can't believe I lived with them for over 2 years. They were U.G.L.Y. 80's style lights. Also, the bedroom carpets have needed replaced for a long time. We finally felt like we were at a place financially to do it so they got replaced. It is a 2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath and the half bath had carpet. YEEE-UCK! We had them lay vinyl in there and it's so. much. nicer. In addition to new flooring, I replaced 5 light fixtures. I changed a bunch of 2-prong outlets to 3-prong ones. I patched holes in walls. I painted trim and walls. I installed trim in the half-bath and replaced a leaking faucet in there. Hubby replaced both toilets (we discovered one had been leaking!) and we raised the rent! :) All of this work took up most of 3 weeks, not counting the 3 days I had the flu :(, and just last week, I handed the keys over to our new tenants.

So that pretty much shot the month of December and Christmas was upon me before I had time to prepare. We had traveled to Maryland over Thanksgiving and had Christmas with my family then. Christmas Day was spent with hubby's family and trying to dodge the flu bug that was going around. Thankfully, only 1 son got it. I did zero decorating for Christmas and 2 days after Christmas, it dawned on me that I still had some fall decor up. It's been bare basics around here and I'm looking forward to having more time in January to focus on things around here and do a few projects before we start our next 'big' project.

Recently, we had an amazing opportunity to buy a house and property (separate pieces) for a super price. The house is small and needs curb appeal but the inside of the house doesn't need much. It is a 3 bedroom/1 bath and the bedrooms are very small. To make it more re-salable, we are looking into making it into a 2 bedroom, 2 bath. But first we have to get rid of the squatter. :( We were told at closing that the tenant was moved out but we never went and made sure this was the case. Lesson learned. We closed for the house on December 9 but were so busy with the rental that we didn't have time to go check out the other place. On Christmas Day, we took our key and went (with some of hubby's family) to check it out. We had a not nice surprise in the form of the door screwed shut and a note saying the premises were still occupied by ___________ and if we entered without his permission, he would press charges for breaking and entering. (Pretty sure he can't do that since he is there illegally!) Anyway, our key did not let us in and now we have to go through the eviction process of removing him since he obviously doesn't plan to move on his own. :( That will be at least a month so in that waiting time, I'm hoping to work on some things around here. Hubby mostly has my 'new' shop ready to move into so I want to start on that this week.

Hopefully this gives you an idea what I've been up to and why I've sorely neglected my blog the last month. I'll leave you with our 'Christmas' picture and wishes for a HAPPY NEW YEAR!


from the farmhouse,

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Olde Farmhouse Etsy Store is Open!

For a long time (as in, all summer {ha}), I have wanted to open an Etsy store. If you follow me on facebook, you may already know that I finally got it accomplished. I have had items to stock it but just never got around to doing it. I had the idea that I wanted to list everything before I launched it but I finally gave up on that idea and just decided to list things a few at a time as I get the opportunity. So this past weekend, I was able to get my old wooden window frames with vinyl signs listed. Throughout this week, I will be listing other things so check back!



Here is what you'll find in the store so far.

(Update: This one is sold.)


AND, in honor of finally getting 'opened up', I'm offering 10% off through the end of the month! Use the code GRANDOPENING to get your discount. Think Christmas gifts! ;)

Visit the shop here: TheOldeFarmhouse

Linking to:

From the Farmhouse

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Home Canned Tomato Soup {that tastes like Campbells}

Today I made the last item on my canning 'to-do' list; tomato soup. It is such a GOOD feeling to be finished and put the canners away for another year. My shelves are now full of rows of shiny jars. I just want to stand and stare at them. It's such a satisfying feeling to know that I can feed my family this winter with foods that are a little healthier than store bought food. (And I'm certainly not knocking anyone that eats store bought food; we eat our share of it!)

Anyway, back to the tomato soup that I canned today. This was a first for me and I'm very happy with how it turned out.

It really does taste like Campbells! And it's super simple to make. It does require pressure canning but if that doesn't scare you off, you will be surprised how easy it really is. I started with the recipe found on food.com. After I added the baking soda, I did a quick taste test and found it was much too acid tasting for my liking so I added more sugar a little at a time until it had the flavor I was going for; CAMPBELLS. I ended up adding close to twice the amount the recipe calls for. (Just shy of another 3/4 cup.) After adding the extra sugar, I did the second boil like the recipe directs. The recipe states that it makes 14 pints but I ended up with 15 1/2. I canned the 15 and ate the 1/2 for supper. Just to test it, you know. ;) I always add milk to my tomato soup and I was delighted to find it tastes very much like the Campbells that I love. :)

The recipe as I made it is:

1/2 cup roughly chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
3 cups flour
1/4 cup salt
1 3/8 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
7 quarts tomato puree (juice) NOTE: I strain cored and cooked tomatoes in a Victorio strainer
1 teaspoon baking soda

Follow the directions on Food.com

So now that canning is finished, I hope to start on another project soon. I've been cruising Pinterest a bit, getting some inspiration.... ;)

From the Farmhouse,

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Workshop. For ME!

I know I've been embarrassingly absent here on the blog. I haven't been working on any big projects (or little ones either, for that matter). Unless you count canning and school as projects. :) My older 2 boys went back to school at the end of August and I haven't really felt like starting into anything. Mind you, I have a TON of pending projects and when canning is finished, I will take on a big project again. I currently have 2 bushels of pears to can and 4 bushels of apples to turn into sauce yet before I can say I'm DONE canning for this year.

Anyway, enough excuses. :) Today DH and I are working on insulating the old chicken coop. We're (mostly he) converting it into a workshop for me. I normally work on projects in the garage or the kitchen (depending on how messy the project is) but we want to park the van and the car both in the garage this winter so my stuff needs to go.

The "chicken coop" that we're converting is the white building attached to the barn in the above picture. It is the back part of DH's shop and there was a wall separating them. He tore out the wall so now my shop and his are joined. It won't be anything fancy but it will be much better than the uninsulated and unheated garage. And it has room that all my things can be together. Woo hoo!

I will try to do an update post when we get everything in place. Have a great weekend and Happy Fall, y'all!



From the Farmhouse,