Glazed Rosemary Onions {Recipe}

Do you have any recipes that are always prepared for certain occasions? This recipe is one of those for us……it’s always a part of Christmas Dinner here at Oak Cottage.

We serve it at other times, too….but I think if we didn’t have it at Christmas, there’d be trouble!  It’s super easy…..and incredible! In fact….I took this before picture, and never got to take an after because they were all gone! ha! {Sorry that I don’t have an after…but you can use your wonderful imaginations!}

Glazed Rosemary Onions


8 medium yellow onions….cut into quarters

2/3 cup honey

1/4  cup melted butter (unsalted)

3 tsp. chopped rosemary

1/2 tsp. salt

freshly ground pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. After coating a large baking dish with cooking spray……..carefully put onion quarters in dish, try to keep them in quarters.  Pour honey and butter over onions and then sprinkle the rosemary, salt, and pepper over all.

Bake for 1 hour…or until the onions are soft.

Makes the house smell incredible, too!



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Vintage Kitchen Chandelier…..

OK….I can already tell. This is going to be the ‘Year of Lighting’ here at Oak Cottage.

A couple of weeks ago we were out of town and found this gorgeous, vintage chandelier……had to have it!

We no longer have an ugly fluorescent square light in our kitchen…..woohoo! I detested that light…but just hadn’t found the right one to take its place. {Well, actually, I HAD found some…but since they cost more than the whole cottage, I kinda figured I better keep looking and keep my mind open.}

And, then, in walked lit up this lovely! {I’m going to be painting the black cord to match the chain so it doesn’t stick out so badly.}

kitchen chandelier

Excuse the mess…..we were in the process of a few projects……

cottage kitchen chandelier

One of the biggies on our list is to get rid of the popcorn ceiling. Why in the world do they put those things in???  Ugh.

vintage chandelier chandelier in kitchen

Lighting can make or break a room. Have you ever walked around your home to see if you might want to change out lights to change the feel of the whole room? That’s what we’ve been doing around here lately. The consensus? Yep…we want to change all of ’em!

Happy Tuesday~


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Flipped Silverware

For a few years Handsome and I owned the NC School of Etiquette and Protocol. Hold on now….it definitely was NOT stuffy stuff! We had a blast and people came from out-of-state to attend our classes.  We taught ages 3-adult..and then also held corporate etiquette classes. So, having manners=respect for others=is very important to me….and doing things in decency and order.  But, of course, always with a creative twist. *wink, wink*

You guys know that we are all about being creative. We are a cottage full of artists so there will always be a creative twist on things. I think that is one reason people really enjoyed our classes.  We taught them the correct way to do things….and the reason why….and then how to be creative with their new knowledge. When you know the reasons, it opens the door to be able be creative and still honorable to others. Order in the chaos…….our life motto! ha! Manners/etiquette has nothing to do with trying to be impressive….they are all about honoring and serving others. The ultimate servant’s heart.

We love setting the table around here. My grandmother’s silverware has now been passed down to me. I love it…it is so special. {Why it seems to still be housed at my mother’s, I’m not sure. Hmmmmmm…..*mental note* I should check on this!} It is a gorgeous pattern. It is a service for 10 with all of the extras and serving pieces. The story behind it is very special too …… my grandmother fell in love with this pattern when she saw it; but she was a young mother and there was no way it fit into the budget. So, each Friday, she would go and buy one piece. I think it took her two years or more to acquire the entire set. It is solid sterling silver.

When I look at that big box full of almost 100 pieces….it reminds me the power of being willing to take one step at a time. When I’m having that “I need it all now!” or “It all has to be done today!” attitudes…..I remember my grandmother’s silver. Just one piece at a time can amount to something grand.

Well…are you guys wondering why I named this post “Flipped Silverware” and I have rambled all over the place? OK, so, this beautiful silver that I have inherited is not only gorgeous on the front…it is beautiful on the back, too.

Flipped Silverware and Flatware

So, one of the fun ways we like to set the table is to flip the silverware upside down. Some stuffed shirts may gasp at this. When silverware or flatware is turned upside down it usually means that you are finished eating. It’s OK, really. You can have fun and be creative with your table settings. When we set our table like this we always get lots of comments about how neat it is. So, go ahead, try it….flip your silverware.

Flipped Silverware and Flatware Flipped Silverware and Flatware

Do you have one fun, creative thing that is your ‘signature’ table setting? What is it? I’d love to hear about it!



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Farmhouse Sink {Finally!}

We have searched for years for a wonderful, vintage farmhouse sink to replace our stainless steel one. Of course, before we were searching for one….we would find them everywhere! ha!  You can quite often get a wonderful old farmhouse sink for around $50-$100 and then have it refurbished for another $50-$100.

But, alas, it was not meant to be.

Then, this past fall, we were in Ikea and discovered that they had exactly what we wanted….and, true to Ikea, it was an incredible price! So, after searching forever…we finally have our great farmhouse sink in place.  And, let me tell ya….it will hide two weeks of dishes!

We chose a Moen faucet …… I had seen this particular faucet in Atlanta when I was there last summer…and I loved it.  I’ll put the links at the bottom of the post for the faucet and the sink; as well as, the quick, YouTube video tutorial that we used to install it.

Here it is going in……

farmhouse sink

And here is the finished product…….

farmhouse sink farmhouse sink

We are loving it! Do you have something that you want to add to your home that you have been searching for forever?

Here’s the links:

Moen Faucet

Ikea White Farmhouse Sink

Quick tutorial of how to put it in!

Happy Tuesday, Lovely Ones~


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Mexican Cornbread {Recipe}

You guys are just the coolest! Thank you for all your fun birthday wishes this week…the comments and e-mails were such a treat! 🙂 I had a super day! {I use a lot of exclamation points…and no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to part with them. We’re tight, me and my exclamation points. Do you have to consume caffeine before you read my posts?}


Thought I would share one of our favorite go-to side dishes. We love this with Mexican meals, chili, picnics, barbecues, etc. It’s a great take on the old classic cornbread.

{In fact, I have been known to eat it for breakfast with some sweet tea!}

Mexican Cornbread Recipe


3 cups yellow self-rising corn meal

3 eggs

1 tsp. salt

1-1/4 cup oil

1 large chopped onion

1 can cream-style corn

1-1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

1-1/2 cup whole milk

3 chopped jalapeño peppers


Stir all of the ingredients together and put into a greased baking dish and bake for approximately 40 minutes.

This recipe usually fills one 9 x 13 dish and one 8 x 8 dish.

It freezes wonderfully…and is delicious cold!

{Hence, the perfect breakfast food with sweet tea! ;)}

[A fun option: cut up 1/2 a green bell pepper and 1/2 a red bell pepper and add in before baking….it adds great taste, as well as fun color.]

Let it cool before cutting it into squares.

We have been enjoying this with chili on these cold, January nights that we’ve been having around here.

What have you been enjoying on your table lately?



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Top 12 of ’12 {Top Posts of 2012}

IMPORTANT NOTE:  If you subscribe to Cottage in the Oaks through a reader/RSS feed….within the next week we will be switching servers. This should not interrupt your feed, but sometimes it can. ugh. I certainly don’t want to lose any of you….I love having you here! So, if all of a sudden you don’t receive a post be sure to come back here and subscribe again so we can get back on track! 🙂 Fun things are coming in 2013….we’re getting an overhaul. 

Now, onto our regularly scheduled program…….

It’s always fun at the end of each year to see which posts have received the greatest views/hits over the past 12 months. Quite often it surprises me!

Today I pulled up our stats and made a list of the Top 12 posts of 2012.

Thought I would share them with you here in order {you can click on the name of each post to be taken to that particular one}…….

New Built-In Dining Room Sideboard

sideboard finished

Our Cottage Kitchen

cottage kitchen vignette

Winter Front Porch

winter front porch

Drop-Cloth Numbered Napkins

numbered napkinsSpring Front Porch

spring front porch

Our Cottage {Master Bath}

cottage master bath

Starting Seeds

seeds in trays

Painted Piano

piano after

Summer Front Porch

summer front porch 1

Chalkboard Lidded Jars

main pic

Chalkboard Chargers

chalkboard charger main

DIY Apothecary Jars

vintage apothecary jarsSo, there you have it…..the Top 12 posts of 2012! It was fun to see what was the most popular. Did you have a favorite?

I hope you have fun here on Cottage in the Oaks….it’s a blessing to have you as a reader. I’m honored and humbled that you guys like to see what we are up to and hopefully get inspiration while you hang out here a bit. 🙂

I hope you have a wonderful last weekend in 2012!



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Christmas Croutons {Recipe}…..

As part of our annual, big Christmas Dinner we always have some sort of salad. I also like to make homemade croutons…they are so easy; and, since it’s Christmas, it’s fun to make them in fun shapes. {You can use any mini cookie cutters to make shaped croutons any time during the year.  We use hearts in February, clover in the spring, etc.}

Here’s what you need:

small cookie cutters

bread of your choice..sandwich bread work great

melted butter

Italian seasoning

Here’s How Ya Do It:

Using the mini cutters….cut as many croutons out of each piece of bread that you possibly can. I can usually get at least 5-6 croutons from each slice of bread.

christmas croutons making christmas croutons

Lay out your lovely little creations on a cookie sheet….

christmas croutons 2

Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with Italian seasoning…..

baking christmas croutons

Bake at 325 for about 10 minutes..or until they begin to brown. Allow to fully cool and then they can be stored in an airtight container for several days-a week or more.

christmas croutons on salad

We also like to use regular-sized cookie cutters and make oversized croutons to serve with soup for the Christmas season.  You can usually only get one oversized crouton per slice of bread when you do these……

christmas soup croutons baking soup croutons

Do you like croutons on your salad…or would you rather do without?

Merry, Merry~


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Our Annual Christmas Party……..

For the past 18 years we have hosted an annual Christmas party at our home. The first year we started No. 1 Son was only a few months old and I had him in a sling all night. We initially began the party because we had just moved into Oak Cottage and didn’t know anyone…..we thought it would be a great way to get to know the neighbors. That first year we had around 50 people. We enjoyed it so much we decided to make it an annual tradition. We now have over 200 people coming through here each year… is something that our whole family looks forward to all year. For the past several years there are always many overnight guests after the party….our kids’ friends… it almost turns into a weekend celebration.

Our family is at its best when we are all together and have a home full of people. Handsome and I knew that hospitality was one of our ‘things’….but it has been neat to see that it is actually one of our whole family’s ‘things’. We love opening our home to others…whether it is just one person for coffee, or hundreds for a big party. Hospitality is wonderful ministry….and we love doing it together.

Here’s some little snippets of the preparation, etc. of our party last week.  I added in a recipe or two……

We use a whole lot of Stonewall Kitchen products around here…and one of our favorites is the Cranberry Horseradish Sauce. We mix the whole jar with 8 oz. of cream cheese….and it is the best dip ever! They also have wonderful syrups…it is the only kind we use. {No, they have no idea who I am…I just like their stuff, and so I am sharing it with you. :)}
cranberry horseradish sauce

Making these mini apple pocket pies is so much fun. To make them I use mini pocket pie molds from Williams-Sonoma, my favorite pie crust recipe, and Comstock apples……I mix lots of cinnamon and sugar into the apples, and then also sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the outside right before baking.

mini pocket pies

Love making cupcakes…regular-sized and these mini ones……I usually make a white cake with white icing. It helps with the Steeped Memories…. 😉

mini cupcakes

I am a list-maker…but also free-spirited, SO that makes me a free-spirited list-maker! ha! I have long used this fun pad of paper called The Entertainment Pad. It’s where I make lists of what will be served, what dishes will be used for each dish, what needs to be done 3 days, 2 days, day before, day of… know, it’s where it all happens. One year I accidentally left this out in the kitchen…and I noticed lots of people hovered over something on the counter, taking notes. When I walked over I realized they were checking out the pad of notes, etc. ha! They said that they learned a lot. {Probably a lot about my slight insanity……..}

entertainment pad

Some of the fun treats ready and waiting…..

party collage

Do you enjoy opening your home to others or do you prefer it to only be filled with you and your family?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! We have a party or two and then all 3 of our kids are performing {violin} at a Christmas Tea for the historical society in a lovely old, historical home. Can’t wait to see it!

Warm Christmas Wishes for your weekend~


Christmas Punch

Over 20 years ago I acquired the best recipe for Christmas Punch. {Actually you can use it for other occasions, too….we just call it Christmas Punch!}

christmas punch

We serve this each year at our annual Christmas Party. One year I wanted to try something  new…and BOY!, did I have complaints! Never again.

So, it has become an annual recipe. I make the punch part a few months ahead and freeze it. Love being able to do that! Then, after it thaws we add the Ginger Ale right before serving.

Christmas Punch

2 cups apple juice

2 cups cranberry juice cocktail

1 6 oz. frozen lemonade…prepared

2- 2 liter Ginger Ales

Mix the first 3 liquids together {can be frozen until needed}, add the ginger ale right before serving.



Click to play this Smilebox recipe

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