Grandma’s Rocking Chair Project

Since we didn’t go out of town this Christmas break I had to find a project. I decided to try my hand at re-upholstering my grandma’s rocking chair from the 20’s or 30’s. My mom got it in the 70’s and reupholstered it then and I got it probably 20 years ago and it ended up sitting in the corner of my bedroom used just to toss clothes on. The last couple of years it has held blankets and pillows for visiting family. I finally decided to make it a usable chair but first it needed to be updated and way more padding. It was pretty worn out after many years of rocking babies. The gentle creak of each back and forth movement was somehow soothing. Upon  removing the old covering of the seat and back I found the only padding in it was a couple rugs, some old clothes from my sister and I, and pillowcases. Not very comfortable. You could pretty much feel the springs and all the wood underneath.  I replaced all that with 2” foam padding. It wasn’t an easy task. It took an extra set of hands to help stretch the fabric tight and staple and nail it down.  But it looks fantastic and I’m proud to have it sitting out again.  Hopefully will last for many years to come.

 

Barb

Move Over Mama!!

Answering to Mommy has been the norm for me for the last 2 decades….Welcome to 2016, year of the Grandmother. That’s right, I soon will take on the role of Grandma. How exactly does becoming a Grammy make me feel? Let’s explore.

Soon, I will mean the world to more than just my daughter. How amazing is that?!? Ten little fingers, ten little toes, looking at her Gram in awe. She loves me already!

Soon, I will be able to spoil my little princess and send her home to her mommy, Hershey bar in one hand, lollipop in the other. Operation Mamaw’s rotten baby commence!

Soon, I will be wiping the tears from 2 generations’ faces as Nana, the mediator. They will both depend on Granny to instill peace, security, and love. Which I will.

Soon, life as I know it will become just a little more complete. Fear, anxiety, pride and an overabundance of love are just a few of the emotions. That will be evident come spring. Soon, this Mimi will be just that….a Mimi.

 

Amy

One Big Family

In an ever changing world, it can be hard to find your place. I know it was for me, until I found Tri-State Trophies! When I was given the opportunity to work at Tri-State Trophies, I was thrilled! I was told that it was a brand new position with the company, sales support. It’s fantastic! I’m generally the first person people talk to when they call or come into the store. I love the fact that we can customize almost anything to meet our customer’s needs and wants, which is what we all strive for here! I’ve learned so much with the help of my co-workers; they are the key to my success. They’ve helped educate me on trophy and plaque selection and sales, along with dash plaques and car show products. It was all very overwhelming at first, but everyone has been so patient and understanding. I really couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with! We are definitely one big happy family here at Tri-State Trophies!

Cooking and The Crock-pot

I have always loved being in the kitchen, whether it be for cooking or for baking. I loved helping both of my parents in the kitchen, yes, both of my parents were always in the kitchen, whipping something up. It wasn’t anything fancy, but it was food, and that was all that mattered. Some meals weren’t the best, but some were amazing. My father was the cook for the camping trips for the Boy Scouts, so we got to be the guinea pigs for that, it didn’t always turn out great. I have always had a passion for cooking and baking, I love both of them.

About 5 years ago, I bought a crock-pot.  I was a little skeptical of it, since it was new to me. I started out with the simplest meals and always made the meal during a time that someone was home. I was afraid that it would it burn the meal or cause some horrific accident.  In the 5 years that I have had the crock-pot, I have gotten a second one, and love them both!  I had no idea the amount of meals and snacks and drinks that you can make in one. Being on Pinterest, has really opened up the possibilities of knowing what and how to cook in your crock-pot. I have made a whole chicken, lasagna, spiced apple cider & even made dessert in there. It is truly amazing that something so small can amount to such amazing meals.

My mother-in-law showed me how she was taught to make lasagna from her mother-in-law. It is a very long drawn out process, but it is so worth it.  I have been making it like that for 5 years now, and then I found out that you can make lasagna in the crock-pot.  So I tried it, and it was the best lasagna that I have ever made or tasted. It comes together a lot quicker since you do not have to boil the noodles and then stick them in ice water. Below is my recipe for making lasagna in the crock-pot.

1 lb Italian sausage

1 lb ground chuck/beef

1 jar spaghetti sauce

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

1 package Pepperonis

Ricotta Cheese

2 bags-Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

¼ cup Parmesan Cheese (grated or shredded)

2 eggs

1 package Lasagna Noodles

Cook the sausage and beef in a skillet over medium heat, until no longer pink. Drain any excess grease. Add in the Italian seasoning. I like to add in crushed red pepper and minced onion at this point as well.

Next, add the sauce to skillet, let simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, turn your crock-pot on HIGH. Put the lid on.

Mix the Ricotta Cheese, 2 eggs, Parmesan and some Italian seasoning. Set aside.

Put about a tablespoon of just sauce in the bottom of the crock-pot. Layer the noodles in the crock-pot, making sure that the bottom of it is covered. You will have to break them into pieces. Spread the cheese mixture on top of the noodles. Then spread the meat sauce. Then add shredded cheese then pepperonis. Repeat layers until you run out of everything.

Cook on high for 1-2 hours , or on low for 2-3 hours. Serves 12-14

Enjoy!

Yeti…Where are you?

Hello, I was fortunate over the summer to be able to go to the beach, not once but twice. The second time was to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  We met up with some friends and that’s where we were introduced “Yeti”. For those of you who do not know, Yeti is company who sells cup and coolers that keep your beverages two times colder than others. If you put a beverage in their tumbler cup it will stay cold while you relax on the beach or where ever you choose. Our friends bought us a 30 oz tumbler, we fell in love with it and want to give them for Christmas.  We have searched for this tumbler and are unable to find one.  I guess everyone else was introduced to Yeti as we were. Hopefully one day we will meet up with Yeti again.

Suzette

Thankfulness

Well hello again!
I have been asked to write a blog. I figured since it was getting to the end of another year and close to the holidays, I would reflect back on this year and what I am thankful for. It has been another typical year, where it seems we are all running longer, harder and faster. Busy as usual, which is both good and bad. I do love what I do at work which is engraving. It is a very rewarding job in which it is often really exciting to see something you created come out really cool and the customer loving it. When my busy life at home becomes very hectic, it is nice to go to work and get deeply engrossed in your work as an outlet. My co-workers have become more than friends, they have become family. I am very thankful for my family which just continues to grow. I hope all of you  have a wonderful holiday season and the new year to come.
Sincerely, Liz

Cookies

I am so excited to be talking about cookies.  All of my friends and family know that I am a cookie nut!  So I would love to share some of my favorite tips!
I have worked for several years to come up with a go-to cookie dough.  Start with your favorite type of cookie..do you like crispy crunchy cookies or do you like soft cookies?  I like big-chewy-on-the-inside and-crunchy-on-the-outside cookies.
You can modify any chocolate chip dough recipe to suit your taste..add more flour if you like them soft and cakey..add more butter if you like them crispy..I did both…I used my favorite chocolate chip recipe and add 1/2 cup more flour and used half shortening for the chewy hold its shape effect and added half real butter for the flavor and the crispy flakiness.  I use a TBSP of Vanilla for rich flavor and depth..don’t leave out the salt..this adds more definition to your cookie.  I always tell my nieces – this makes the cookie more sweet and less bland. Mix your wet ingredients first and longest..I use a standing mixer but either way you want to achieve a fluffy dough before you add the dry ingredients.  Just beat until mixed well after you add the dry ingredients..don’t over beat.
Now that you have the dough and basic recipe the way you want it..add the fun stuff!  I love to experiment with flavors in the form of liquid flavoring..almond, rum, peppermint, lemon, coconut and spices..cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger,cloves…   I try to grab these up when they are on sale during the holidays.  Also you can add flavor with instant pudding mixes..white chocolate, chocolate, pistachio, pumpkin, coconut..these add another layer and texture to your cookie.  I add the pudding mix to the wet ingredients and let it set and fluff a minute or two before I add the dry ingredients.
Then after the dry ingredients are all in, its time to get crazy..chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, nuts, candies…come up with your favorite concoction.  Lemon flavored with lemon pudding and white chocolate become Lemon Meringue pie cookies… chocolate based cookies (can add a little cocoa to your dough as well) with the new Almond joy pudding, coconut and dark chocolate and white chocolate chips become a chocolate coconut dream cookie.  I always have lots of new ideas every year and plenty of taste testers!!
Now that you have the completed dough..minus some cookie dough tastes…it is time to bake.  I love parchment paper.  I watch for the sales and I use one piece several times before I pitch it (if it turns brown it is done).  Nothing better than not washing cookie sheets!  I also like to use an ice cream scoop to dip.  I actually collect vintage kitchen tools so I have several in all different sizes…it works great to have all of your cookies the same size on your baking sheet.  I usually bake all my cookies at 350 and watch them closely…my oven will change temp the longer they bake so the timer is just a tool to remind me to check them. Take your cookies out when they are almost done…allow them to set on the tray for at least 1 minute longer to continue to bake.  Move them to cooling racks to cool the rest of the way.  If you are freezing..my favorite option…bag them in freezer bags while still a little warm…then they will come of of the freezer as fresh as they come out of the oven.  If you are baking to eat right away..bag or put in Tupperware after completely cooled…so they do not get mushy from the steam.
Okay..now time to eat!!  My favorite time.  If it is a new recipe I like to try one warm..and then cold to confirm the flavor is strong enough and not too strong..well at least that is my excuse.
Have fun..the holidays are almost here and anyone can be a great baker with a little practice and creativity!!
Sue Anne Mullen
Sales Manager

A Good Hard Days Work

Tri-State Trophies is made of all different kinds of employees that are efficient and caring! Everyone has something to bring to the table, and I don’t just mean work skills, I’m talking about some of the best home made recipes of lunch and dessert you can imagine. From gooey peanut butter cookies to taco dips, no one is shy here about dishing out some food for everyone.  A good hard days work should be met with good treats, and this is a philosophy we’ve been sinking our teeth into for a long time. You can always count on Tri-State Trophies to have full bellies and enough energy to fly through those rush orders so you can get your products fast. And let’s face it there’s nothin’ wrong with having a great potluck lunch with a second lunch and maybe some midday snacks and rhubarb pie… it’s all in a good day’s work!
Sarah

Love for Food

Food is one of the greatest things in the world. Everyone in the world loves it and when I say everyone I mostly mean me. I am a picky person when it comes to food, but when I find something I like, there is no stopping me. There is a ton of food to choose from, such as meats, dairies, grains, vegetables, fruits, and everyone’s favorite food group sweets. Some of my favorite days of the year involve large dinners and family gatherings. These days include Thanksgiving and Christmas, because the more family there is the more food there is to eat. I love most of the food that is prepared during these holidays. For example, I love being able to taste the hot and buttered corn with the juicy turkey and gravy on Thanksgiving Day. I also love to devour the warm, flavored green beans that were cooked all day to perfection. After the huge dinners there are always desserts. Brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate cake are always on the top of my list and I can never eat just one. I am the type of person who loves to eat, which means I have to exercise. I guess you could say I run for dessert. Food is wonderful and I enjoy every bite.

 

Tylyn

The Rookie

Hello, my name is Suzette, a sublimation tech at Tri-State Trophies.  As a new member of the team, let me tell you a little about my journey.  When my children were young I was fortunate to be a stay at home mom as they grew older.  As life began to change I ended up having to join the work force and unfortunately, I had no college education which made it very difficult to find a job.  Once I found a job I was able to stay employed but I knew they were not the right jobs for me, but as we all know the bills still have to be paid.  When I found the job at Tri-State Trophies I knew right away this was the job for me and when I was offered the position, I was more than happy to accept it! When I first started at Tri-State Trophies I was informed that it was busy season, and immediately I thought “What is that?” but I quickly found out.  I will say I was very nervous about my new job, but I did my best to jump right in.  All of the great people that work at Tri-State Trophies have helped me learn very quickly, and they were all so positive about the jobs we do.  Also, I really admire having bosses that appreciate the work we do and this drives me to come to work every day. I am so thankful because I know Tri-State Trophies is where I was meant to work.  Last I want to thank all my co-workers, all staff, and the owners for accepting me and giving me the opportunity to work at Tri-State Trophies. I can finally say “I truly love my job”

Suzette