For the Home

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Easy Summer Cookout Recipes

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This past winter seemed to never end, right? We had freezing temperatures well into April and just when the first tiny signs of spring peeked up from the frozen ground … they were blanketed with even more snow.

Finally after months and months of bundling up or hiding under an umbrella trying to dodge a spring downpour, it seems like we just might be on the sunny side of things. That, of course, calls for kids in the sprinkler, burgers on the grill and friends on your patio. Lucky for all of you, we love summer cookout food. Here’s just a couple of our easy go-to recipes:

“Doddy Burgers” – Em babysat two little girls (who are sadly not so little anymore) who’s Grandpa made the best burgers in town. They’ve been a staple ever since.

For each pound of ground beef:
· 1 egg
· ½ c. bread crumbs
· 2 teaspoons dried minced onions
· ½ t. Worchestershire sauce
· 1 Tablespoon bacon bits
· 1 T. Parmesean cheese
· ½ t. salt
· ¼ t.pepper

Emily’s Pesto Turkey Burgers – This recipe was a result of a trip to the grocery where Em, as usual, forgot half of what she went in for. Upon returning home and realizing she still needed to make dinner, she threw together what she had in her pantry and out came these tasty little turkey burgers.

  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • half jar of pesto
  • teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1-2 cups italian bread crumbs (add until burgers stick together)
  • 2 eggs
  • Grill until cooked through
    • In the winter/rain we make these in a skillet with a little olive oil and they get deliciously crunchy on the outside.

Watermelon & Feta – the perfect pairing of savory and sweet.

  • 1 large watermelon + 1 container of feta cheese
  • mix together

Aunt Jan’s Potato Salad – Nothing is better than Aunt Jan’s Potato Salad. So simple, but will draw you in for seconds … maybe thirds, too.

  • boil 1 lb potatoes until tender throughout
  • peel off skin after cooked
  • add mayo, hard boiled egg, celery, sugar and salt to taste.
Home Decor

Out With the New in With the Old: Our Recent Vintage Finds

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It’s finally April and that means a few things for us at Sincerely, Doris Jane. Blooming flowers, baseball season AND … last but certainly not least … antique show season! 

Be it Burlington Antique Show, Springfield Extravaganza or just a quick stop into a few of our go-to antique stores, we have a hard time coming home empty handed. We love to see how other people incorporate their finds and family heirlooms into their home decor so we thought we’d share some things we picked up at last year’s markets. We threw in a couple finds from our antique shop trips too, well, because they’re just too cute.

The first round of Burlington shows is coming up this weekend. Find all the vendor and admission information you need here. See ya there!

1940’s Ivory Soap makes a great shelf accent in a bathroom and have a little Cincinnati flair being made by Procter & Gamble. Found for $5 a bar at Venice Pavilion Antique Mall in Ross, OH. 
After seeing one that was out of her price range at an antique show, Jess searched for months for an antique ink well and finally found it last summer for $50 on eBay.
Remember this old Jergens sign Em found on Black Friday? It’s been waiting for the perfect place in her home and she found it. This hangs above an artificial plant holder (IKEA) and is the perfect addition to her guest bathroom. 
This little brass frame was just $5 at Burlington Antique Show last year. It holds a photo of our Great-Grandparents atop their 1930’s Majestic Radio in Emily’s house. The doily under the plant ($10 at IKEA) is also antique and belonged to our Great-Great Aunt Clara. 
Jess is drawn to anything blue and white and made of porcelain. This is a hand-me-down from our mom, but we’ve seen them at shows recently. 
This delicate painted salt pot now holds Em’s wedding rings overnight and perfectly matches the walls around her vanity. Just $5! 


We have stacks of antique books just waiting to be used. They are the perfect touch of “old” to a modern room. We’re not quite sure where these were purchased, but we’re sure we didn’t pay much for them. Usually $5-10 will get you a started on your collection. 



SDJ E-Signature copy

Home Decor

Happy Easter from Sincerely, Doris Jane!

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Spring is FINALLY here. There are buds on our magnolia trees, birds are singing and the temperature, although slowly here in Cincinnati, is rising steadily week to week. With Spring comes one of Em’s favorite holidays. Easter! She’s a warm weather girl and loves the outdoor entertaining that comes with it, so we celebrate Easter at her house every year. We spent this past weekend prepping food, baking and gathering anything and everything Easter, because we have zero self control when it comes to adorable holiday accents.

A few weeks ago, our mom found these adorable green gingham and bunny napkins at Pottery Barn (which we’re actually using as tea towels shown here) and we knew immediately we had to have a table runner to match. We found nearly the same fabric at Fabric Shack in Waynesville, OH and after a couple quick passes through the sewing machine we had the perfect addition to our dessert table.

Next up was planning the menu. Of course our favorite Easter treat is this carrot cake recipe. Last year, we had a much more formal dinner so this year we thought we’d offer some ideas for a more casual setting. With family needing to come and go to accommodate multiple Easter celebrations, we opted for an “open house” style.

We hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Easter celebration!


Recipe: Grandma Patti’s Baked Oatmeal

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Back in November, Em and her husband caught a flight to Houston, TX to visit their friends, Mark and Nadine, for the weekend. On their first morning there, Nadine made her Grandma’s baked oatmeal and an obsession was born. We’ve never had the privilege of meeting Nadine’s Grandma Patti, but she certainly sounds lovely, and we’re sure we’d love her just as much as we love this recipe. “Grandma Patti” is from Cathay, ND and was a farm-girl turned farm-wife.

Nadine’s Grandma Patti and 6 of her 9 Great-Grandchildren

Not only is this recipe SO easy, it’s also the perfect cold-morning breakfast that will fill you up and stay with you until lunch time. It’s also not packed full of butter and is fairly low on sugar so, although it is just sweet enough to tame a craving, it won’t totally wreck your diet. This baked oatmeal is just too good not to share, so after clearing it with Nadine (since it’s a family recipe), we’re passing it on to you. Here we go!


  • ½ cup oil (can substitute applesauce)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups quick oatmeal
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • We’ve been adding a little cinnamon when we make it – optional!


  • Preheat oven to 350º
  • Mix oil, brown sugar and eggs
  • Add oats, baking powder, salt and milk
  • Pour into a buttered 9×5 (loaf) pan and bake at 350º for 30-35 minutes
    • You can mix recipe and leave overnight (refrigerate) to bake in the morning
    • Keep in fridge after baking and microwave before serving
Oatmeal will rise slightly after baking 

We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. We make it often and it never lasts long around here.


Doris Jane

Home Decor

Breakfast Room Before and After

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As promised, we wanted to share the before and after of Em’s breakfast room before and after and the finished product of our drop cloth curtain tutorial.

IMG_6617curtains 1

Here’s where we found everything:

Drop cloth fabric – Lowes ($11)

Table – Pottery Barn Outlet (no longer available 😦 Sorry!)

Chairs – Pier 1 (No longer available, but these are pretty similar. Bargains and Buyouts also has an online option that is almost identical here)

Rug – Bargains and Buyouts ($44 … no. we’re not kidding. find a store and go today.)

curtains 3

Tree – It’s real! It’s a Fiddle Leaf Fig (about $40 at our local garden center), and as the lady at the garden center told us it is also “impossible to kill.” As someone who never remembers to water, it’s perfect! It only needs water once a week at best.

Basket – Ohio Valley Antique Mall ($40)

curtains 4

Home Decor

DIY: Drop Cloth Curtains in 10 Easy Steps


We love a good DIY project and that, we-can-do-all-things feeling we get out of making something ourselves. We may be a couple of girls, but thanks to our Dad we’re no stranger to a power tool. (Pass the drill, please.)

Em’s been kicking around the idea of hanging some sort of window treatment in her kitchen for about a year; always stopping short of buying fabric before changing her mind. Then she discovered drop cloth curtains. The perfect neutral shade, airy enough to let in lots of natural light and best of all …. they don’t cost a fortune and they’re a piece of cake.

We read a few different tutorials, combined them and then tweaked them a bit to fit the look Em was going for. The finished product is SEW worth the time behind the sewing machine (Or not, check out a “no-sew” option here  from, Thoughts from Alice.)

We’ll be sure to post before and after photos of Em’s breakfast room once we piece everything together. In the meantime, we wanted to share our own version of the Drop Cloth Curtain tutorial: 


6′ x 9′ drop cloths (We found ours for just $11 at Lowe’s!), scissors and/or pinking shears, measuring tape, thread and, of course, wine.

We also enlisted the help of our mom who tends to be the brains behind most of our projects.


Drop Cloths – $11 each at Lowe’s

White Pom Fringe trim – $6.99/yard + 50% off coupon from Joann Fabric

Total: About $25 per curtain

Let’s get started! 

Step 1: Launder your drop cloths – this removes dust and softens the fabric A LOT. It also removes that this-is-a-drop-cloth-not-a-curtain smell.

Step 2: Put any children to bed (very important. We stopped several times to restart Lion King, fetch snacks, give a bath and reset our sewing machine settings after pudgy little fingers got to them before we did.) This is where the wine comes in.

Step 3: Lay your drop cloths out on a large table (you could also use the floor, but Em has a very hairy, very high maintenance yellow Lab so, kitchen table it was for us.) If you’ll need to do any hemming, fold the top of your fabric down rather than cutting off the bottom.

***Our drop cloths did not have true 90° corners. Be careful that this doesn’t throw off your measurements. We had to rip seams and start over*** 

Step 4: Create the pocket for the curtain rod. Our curtain rod is 2″ diameter so we measured and marked 2½” from the top, then pinned our fabric.

Step 5: Start sewing! Fire up the machine and follow your pins to make a pocket.

Step 6: Refill wine glass.

Step 7: Add the trim – We decided to dress these up a bit so Em found 1¾” white pom fringe at Joann Fabric. Just pin the trim vertically down the side of the drop cloth, then head back to your sewing machine.

Step 8: Hem and trim loose threads – if necessary! We had to cut one large drop cloth in half for two smaller windows so that one needed a little extra love, but the two on the larger window did not.

Step 9: Break out your iron/steamer – we also read that this step is more effective to do when they’re damp, but we ran out of nap time so we decided to just do it while they were dry.

Step 10: Hang ’em up and let everyone ooooh and aaaah over how creative and clever you are.

This project took us about 6 hours, but that includes chasing around a toddler, wine refills and having to restart once because we’re rookies. Depending on your skill level, we’d guess it would take about 3-4 hours. Happy sewing, friends!


Doris Jane


Naptime Decorator

Thoughts from Alice

Farmhouse 40

Liz Marie Blog


Baby it’s chili outside …

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Fresh off the plane from Naples, Florida, Em came home to a cleared out refrigerator and zero motivation to drag a baby to the grocery in this cold weather. (Yes, we know it’s warmed up a bit, but when you were in flip flops on Sunday and today there’s ice on the ground, there’s definitely an adjustment period.) However, she also needed something to feed her little family tonight.

One of our favorite quick and easy recipes is our dad’s chili. We tend to keep the ingredients stocked for just such an occasion. A grey day calls for something warm to ease you back into Cincinnati weather.

We shared our dad’s chili recipe in our canning post a few months ago, but with the recent snap of chill-you-to-the-bone weather Cincinnati has had, we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share it again in case you need a quick, but delicious idea for dinner tonight:


• 1 lb ground chuck, browned and drained

• 2 cans tomatoes, diced and drained

• 1 can red kidney beans (we like the low sodium option), drained

• 1 packet French’s Chili-O Chili Seasoning

• 1 box elbow macaroni (optional)

• 1 bag shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

• Oyster crackers (optional)

Brown ground chuck in a skillet, then remove from pan to drain grease. Add ground chuck, tomatoes, beans and 3/4 – 1 chili seasoning packet to a large pot and stir. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Serve over cooked elbow macaroni or by itself – topping off the chili with a handful of oyster crackers and a heap of shredded cheese and devour.


Recipes for Days … Literally.

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We baked for 4 days, friends. You read that right. FOUR. DAYS. We rolled, cut, baked, washed and did it all over again. Four times. Now, as promised, we sit down with flour in our hair, chocolate on our clothes and an ache in our belly (because we have no shame, and also no self control. Anywho…), to bring you the recipes that’ll make your dentist blush. The roadmap to our baking marathon, you might say.

Day 1: “Aunt Philly” cookies and Oreo Truffles – The Oreo recipe we’ll gladly hand over. The other is the best kept secret this side of the Ohio so we can’t share this one, sorry!


  • Oreo Truffles – these taste like you spent all day in the kitchen, but take about 20 minutes to put together. Perfect for a last minute party favor or host gift. They also go GREAT with a glass of red wine … just sayin’.
    • Add one whole package of Oreos to a food processor and blend until crushed
    • Add Oreo crumbs and an 8 oz. bar of cream cheese to a large bowl and mix with a hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth.
    • Roll into 1″ balls, place on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet and freeze or refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving. Makes about 30 truffles.
      • To finish, we dust ours with a little powdered sugar, but if you want something a bit more decadent try dipping them in melted dark chocolate with a white chocolate drizzle.


  • Day 2: Jessica’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies – we realize you’re probably asking yourself why it took us an entire day to make chocolate chip cookies. Well, that’s because we decided to make 4 batches. Yes, 4. Mostly because the first batch has a hard time making it past our dad and Emily’s husband. Also because about half of that first batch doesn’t even make it to the oven. Like we said: zero self control.
    • Surprise! She actually uses the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag + a little extra flour because we like our cookies fluffy. Find that recipe here.


  • Day 3: Iced Sugar Cookie Cut Outs
    • Cut Outs
      • Ingredients:
        • 2 3/4 C all-purpose flour
        • 2 tsp baking powder
        • 1 tsp salt
        • 1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
        • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
        • 1 egg
        • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
        • 1/2 tsp No Color Almond Extract
      • Directions:
        • Preheat oven to 400 F
        • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
        • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
        • Beat in egg and extracts. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.
        • Divide dough into two balls and Roll each dough ball with a pin between two sheets of wax paper until it is about 1/4″ thick.
        • Cut cookies into desired shapes with floured cookie cutters.
        • Place shapes on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and freeze about 10 minutes so the cookies will hold their shape while baking
        • Bake cookies about 5-7 minutes or until lightly golden.
    • Icing – We use The BonBonerie’s copycat recipe. Click here!


  • Day 4: Not-from-the-tube Cinnamon Rolls – We have two recipes we love. One from chef, Alton Brown and another from a fellow blogger, Maria of 50’s Housewife Me.
    • Alton’s are delicious, but so are Maria’s and her recipe reads a little easier for people like us who got so wrapped up in wrapping gifts that we left our rolls in a little too long. Luckily for us, they’ll soon be doused in homemade icing and no one will ever be the wiser. We opted to bake them a few days ahead of time and freeze them so all we have to do is pop them in the oven to warm on Christmas morning. Stay tuned for photos of the gooey goodness.                  Both versions of the recipes can be found below:
  • Day 5: Complain about a stomachache for 6 hours, have cookies for dinner. Schedule root canal.

Emily’s planning to make cinnamon rolls a Christmas morning tradition for her family. Do you have any baking traditions? Favorite cookie recipes? Christmas cookie tips and tricks? Share them in the comments!


Pasta, Please!


Grandma Doris had a knack for cooking from scratch. Cookies, soups, breads. You name it, she could make it. Every so often we get that same homemade “itch” and it’s just gotta be scratched (…get it?). So this week we thought we’d dust off the Kitchen Aid Pasta Attachment and take a crack at homemade pasta which, as it turns out, isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds. So rather than a post on how to make pasta, we thought we’d bring you our blunders. A “How-NOT-to” make your own pasta, brought to you by two German girls who love Italian food.


Step 1: Read your pasta press attachment instructions. Forgoing this step will lead you down a 15-minute detour of YouTube tutorials. We found a great one from Williams-Sonoma here.


Step 2: Prep your ingredients. Our recipe called for 4 eggs at room temperature and 2 1/2 Cups of flour, what we had was 2 cups of flour and 4 extremely cold eggs.


Step 3: Go easy on the social media. That pasta dough sure looks pretty on Instagram, but it’ll dry out faster than you can get 10 likes. We went insta-crazy and almost found ourself in a sticky situation. Quite literally. Our dough started to get warm and dry out while we were picking the perfect filter.


Step 4: Don’t overload your pasta attachment. We filled the attachment about half way, then waited. And waited. Our pasta was creeping out slowly, so we loaded the attachment to the brim. A few minutes later we found ourselves feeling like Lucy and Ethel at the candy factory. One of us cutting pasta, the other twirling as fast as we could.


Step 5: Don’t eat all the pasta before it makes it to the table. Once we boiled our pasta we couldn’t keep our hands out of it. We stuffed our cheeks like Lucy at the factory. Here’s hoping there’s enough left over for dinner!


Bloopers and blunders aside, we added basil pesto, minced garlic and parmesan cheese and it was delish! Here’s an online version of the recipe we used from Williams-Sonoma.

Do you have any tips for our next go ’round? Comment below! We need all the help we can get!





Recipe: Cherryl’s Cranberry Sausages

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Without further delay … because, let’s be serious, you’ve waited long enough and we promised it to you last week … just in time for Sunday brunch, we give you: Cherryl’s Cranberry Sausage recipe from our visit to Sycamore Farms Country Inn! The perfect “link” (get it?) between sweet and sour and savory, and hands down the best thing going on in our lives right now. The best part, they’re SO. EASY. and you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry.

If you missed our visit to the very lovely Sycamore Farms Country Inn … check it out here.


You’ll need:

  • 1 package sausage links
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • Dried cranberries
  • Medium skillet/pan (bonus points for a cast iron)


  • Brown 1 package of sausage links in a medium skillet
  • Add in 1 cup orange juice and let simmer for a few minutes
  • Throw in a handful of dried cranberries and let simmer until the juice forms a glaze and the cranberries plump.
  • Serve with hot coffee and alongside waffles, pancakes or a couple eggs. Enjoy!