Simply Mrs. Edwards

{just the life of a new wife}


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Simply Mrs. Edwards has moved!

mrsedwardsmove

Hello Friends!

Just a quick note to let you know that Simply Mrs. Edwards has some new and fun things underway for 2013! The biggest announcement is that Simply Mrs. Edwards has MOVED!

Please join me at www.simplymrsedwards.com

I’ll be waiting for you there!

Love,
Mrs. Edwards


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Ginger Softies

Just a quick post to share a favorite Christmas cookie recipe. Although, I think they’re far too good to only make at Christmas! Hope you enjoy these ginger softies, as I fondly call them :)

Ginger Softies | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Ginger Softies

  • 2 c. sugar + extra for rolling cookies in
  • 1 1/2 c. softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. molasses
  • 4 1/2 c. flour
  • 4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  1. Cream together sugar, softened butter, eggs, and molasses. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking soda, ginger, cloves, and salt.
  3. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Mix until just combined.
  4. Chill dough for about 30 minutes, or until firm.
  5. Shape into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar to coat. Place on greased sheet pans about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake at 350 F for 8-12 minutes, or until set. Be careful not to bake these too long! You’ll want to pull them out when they start to crack and still have some moisture on the top.
  7. Cool on wire racks and ENJOY!

These cookies could make a perfect snack for a certain white bearded jolly man :)

Ginger Softies | Simply Mrs. Edwards

I hope that you have a great Christmas with those who you love the most!

Holly & jolly,
Mrs. Edwards


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Son of a Nutcracker!

Since we’re only about 1 day from Christmas, I figured it was high time that I shared about our Christmas decorations! The past few years we’ve had a tree, some garland, and wreath on the door. I’d say my efforts were a mediocre 3 on the scale of Christmas cheer. But this year, gosh. This year is a solid 8.  We upped our game and brought the Christmas cheer in full force this year!

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Thanks to Josh’s awesome handiwork, we added this amazing backlit star this year. We were inspired by this one on Beyond The Picket Fence and couldn’t wait to create our own. Because we had a big open space to work with, we made ours a bit larger and added some sweet backlighting. The wood is from a reclaimed picket fence that Josh found and cleaned up. After Christmas, we’re thinking of repurposing the boards into another art project. Promise I’ll share those details when it’s time!

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

The star is a simple square that Josh fastened onto 2″ x 2″ pieces behind. It’s backlit with a strand of leftover Christmas lights. The only thing we purchased for this project was a $3 spool of ribbon! A pretty great project if you ask me! :)

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. EdwardsI’ve been seeing a ton of fun chalkboard ideas all over, but since my chalk hand writing leaves a lot to be desired, I cheated a bit and used this transfer trick to write the Christmassy message below. If you doubt your writing skills, I highly recommend this transfer technique! The only thing I did differently was use a chalk pen to fill in my lines instead of regular chalk. My finished product may not look as rustic as it could, but I was lacking the patience and steady hand necessary to trace over the whole thing in smear-able chalk. I may re-do this again with real chalk someday, but I’m perfectly happy with the way this version turned out!

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Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Last year I made this fun Christmas card wreath out of a pack of Dollar Tree clothes pins, a little green spray paint, some red beads, some bailing wire, and red ribbon. One of the easiest projects ever! I’m happy to say that since this photo was taken we’ve filled up the entire wreath with fun cards from family and friends!

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Among other fine qualities, our house has a really odd living room with multiple doors on each wall. The only place that our TV fits is right in front of a coat closet that we don’t really use. I got tired of people asking why our TV was in front of a door, so earlier this year I made a curtain to hang in front of the door. This was also the point in which I got fed up with our dark redwood walls and decided to cover 2 walls in burlap. Thankfully both projects turned out great and we no longer receive weird comments or looks when someone comes into our house!

Thanks to some scissor wielding friends who were over one night, we ended up with a stack of beautiful paper snowflakes that were just begging to be displayed. It only made sense to hang them in front of the curtain that’s in front of the coat closet door. Duh, right? Thankfully, that experiment turned out great too!

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

If  you’re on Pinterest, it’s very likely that you’ve seen tutorials on how to replicate mercury glass with mirrored spray paint and a spray bottle of vinegar/water. Well, I took a stab at it with some vases and candle holders and kind of failed. When they say that you MUST use the Krylon mirrored spray paint for it to turn out, they’re not kidding. I used some Rustoleum silver spray paint and my pieces turned out lacking some pizzaz (I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever used the word pizzaz…) I honestly really like how these vases and candle holders turned out, but they’re nothing like real or faux mercury glass. I think it has to do with the air temperature I was spray painting in and that I used the wrong type of spray paint. Oh well, ya win some, ya fail some.

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

I really like the arrangement and that I get to display it on some antique doilies from my Mom. The view below is my absolute favorite this year! It’s what I see every night sitting on the couch :)

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Here are a few photos of the living room as a whole (this room is hard to photograph!)…

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards
Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Although we spend the majority of our time in the living room, a little bit of Christmas cheer spilled over into the dining room too. On the china hutch I simply hung some paper garland that I made last year…

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All it is is circle punches of scrap booking paper and Trader Joe’s bags sewed together…seriously, so simple.

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

The other thing I added is a Merry Christmas banner that we got at Target a few years back hanging on an old window from my parent’s house. Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards IMG_3266

My favorite Christmas tradition so far has been buying a Christmas ornament from our travels throughout the year. Hopefully someday our tree will be filled with ornaments from around the country and world! These three are from our trips in 2012:

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards

These ornaments and many others were placed on our tree with love and care while we donned our antler headbands and turned on a Christmas movie. Ahh, I love tradition!

So, did you up your decorating game in 2012? What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Can you believe that Christmas is TOMORROW?!

Singing loud for all to hear,
Mrs. Edwards

P.S. Here’s our 2012 Christmas Card! Designed by the one and only, Josh Edwards :)

Christmas at the Edwards | Simply Mrs. Edwards


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Butternut Squash Soup

Want to know a secret? Although I may have you fooled, I am really not that outgoing in my food choices. I’m also really quite timid when it comes to branching out and trying new-to-me cooking techniques. Surprise, surprise! A great example of me not straying from my comfort zone would be the butternut and acorn squashes that have been sitting on my counter for at least a month (more like 6 weeks). Every time I go into the kitchen, they taunt me. They sit there and remind me how little I know about cooking and how silly I am for not knowing how to use them. Well, I stepped out of the comfy zone last night, did a little research, and showed that butternut squash who’s boss! I read through about 1,200 recipes and finally decided I would just wing it and make it up as I went. Well, sometimes it pays to be adventurous. This was definitely one of those times- this soup is to die for! I not only conquered my fear of winter squash, but figured out how to roast it and made up a delicious batch of soup to boot! Let me tell you, this recipe is EASY. Hope you like it!

Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 medium/large butternut squash, roasted (instructions below)
  • 2 medium yams or sweet potatoes, baked until tender and peeled.
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 1/2 c. (or 2 cans) sodium free chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 package cream cheese (you can use light if you’d like).
  • Olive oil
  • Minced garlic
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Cayenne Pepper (to taste)

To Roast Butternut Squash:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Because the skin is so tough, it’s helpful to soften the squash before you try to cut it in half to roast it. Pierce the skin of squash a few times with a sharp knife and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Place the whole squash in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until you can cut it in half lengthwise (it will still be pretty firm, but much easier than trying to do it without this step).
  3. Once you have the squash cut in half lengthwise (from stem to bottom), open it up and scoop out seeds and stringy stuff.
  4. Return to the foil lined pan. With the inside facing up, drizzle with olive oil and add your minced garlic, salt, and fresh ground pepper.
  5. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until your knife goes all the way through the squash easily.
  6. Remove outer skin before using your squash in your recipe. I found it helpful to flip it over and use a large spoon to peel off the skin. It should easily come off. Cube your squash and it’s ready to use!

To Make Soup: 

  1. Using a large soup pot or pan (I used my dutch oven- similar one found here), melt butter and cook your onion until it is tender.
  2. Add chicken stock, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Simmer until everything is heated thoroughly, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add cream cheese. Stir to combine.
  4. Using a blender (we love our Ninja Blender!) or an immersion blender, mix until smooth. You’ll probably need to do it in a few smaller batches.
  5. Return to pan and heat through. Do not let it boil.
  6. Garnish with plain yogurt, sour cream, creme fraiche, pepper, extra cayenne, green onions, bacon, the options are endless!
  7. ENJOY!

This makes a pretty big batch, so you’ll most likely end up with leftovers. Hard to believe, but this soup is even better the next day! I heated some of the leftovers up in a pan for lunch, added a bit of milk to thin it out and devoured it. YUM.

The Squash Conqueror,
Mrs. Edwards


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Crock-Pot Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

You may have picked up on this at some point, but pumpkin is possibly my most favorite flavor. It’s good in coffee, it’s great for dessert, and I recently figured out that it’s perfect for breakfast, too! This recipe is easy-peasy and absolutely delicious! The best part is that you can set it before you go to bed and have warm, fall-flavored oatmeal by breakfast. It’s a win all around!

Crock-Pot Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

  • 2 c. steel cut oats- it’s important to use steel cut oats. Don’t use rolled or quick oats- they will get mushy!
  • 4 c. liquid- you can use milk, water, apple juice, almond milk, coconut milk- whatever suits your fancy (I used 2 c. milk + 2 c. apple juice)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  1. Begin by spraying your crock-pot with non-stick cooking spray (This is important! You’ll be chiseling oatmeal off of your crock-pot for days if you forget…)
  2. Add all ingredients to your crock-pot. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Serve plain, with milk, or with a dollop of yogurt.
  4. ENJOY!

The pumpkin eater,
Mrs. Edwards