Saturday, November 30, 2013

Small Business Saturday Shop at Spenderosa, Yonks, Billy's Bungalow, The Enchanted Home and More

Good morning! I am curious were you out shopping on Thanksgiving night and early morning at Black Friday? If you are still in the mood for some shopping do not forget today is Small Business Saturday. This is a great opportunity to buy local and to also buy from some of your favorite blogger stores.

Here is a small sampling of my favorite store from bloggers, and Facebook friends. 

Image of Billy from Billy's Bungalow

Billy's Bungalow owned and operated by Barbara and Billy, is a cabinet of curiosities and filled with treasures from a life well lived. There are beautiful Majolica plates, vibrant Transfer ware, shinny silver, vintage painting and more to be had from this wonderful store. If you are near York, Maine Barbara also has a booth at the York Antique Mall on the 4th Floor. I have purchased several items from Barbara and Billy and I love each and every item, they come beautifully wrapped and there is always a special gift in each box.  If you are searching for a unique vintage item this is the shop for you.

The Enchanted Home Storefront  owned and operated by Tina of the blog The Enchanted Home is filled to the brim with anything you might want or need to decorate your home. Tina offers lighting, china, soaps, candles, silver, statuary and so much more. Each item is hand picked by Tina and would make a wonderful and special gift for your family and friends.  

Splenderosa owned and operated by the ever stylish Marsha is filled with "bling" for all of the ladies in your life. There are rings, bracelets, necklaces, scarfs and handbags and more. Marsha not only curates the items for her shop but also designs and makes many of them. While you are shopping for your family and friends make sure to get something for yourself too.

Yonks, is owned and operated by Di, located in Cardiff, Wales. Her Etsy store  is filled with over 151 English, French and European antiques and vintage finds all of which are carefully picked by Di at auctions all over Europe. There are biscuit jars, silver christening cups, tea services, jewelry and more. My French lithographs which I purchased last year are being framed as I write this. 

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Oreillers(French for pillows) is the online store owned by Debra of the blog, Acquired Objects. Debra specializes in 15th-18th century European textiles which she handcrafts into pillows. These works of art offer you the opportunity to have a piece of history in your own home. In addition to her handcrafted pillows, Debra offers unique European finds including antique sewing kits, needlepoint pictures, and more. Even if you are not in the market take a look around the Oreillers web page, the textiles are amazing. 

Here are a few other blogs that I know of which have small businesses:

Please get out and support your fellow bloggers and local store owners!

Have a great day!

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Good morning! How was your Thanksgiving celebration? Did you have a great time with your family and friends? We celebrated with friends who are gourmet cooks and the dinner was fabulous. Today we will be celebrating again with all of the leftovers that they sent us home with.

Cranberry Compote Pancakes from Martha Stewart

Although I do not think I will start with pancakes they do look like a great idea for the upcoming Christmas holidays. As does the breakfast sandwich.

Turkey Cobb Breakfast Sandwich from Martha Stewart

I do not have enough turkey for this Turkey and Rice soup but I am filing away the recipe for a cold winter day.

Quick Turkey and Rice Soup from Martha Stewart

My choice for today is going to be a sandwich similar to the one below, cinnamon swirl bread with turkey, cheese, cranberry chutney, lightly toasted. I had something similar to this sandwich in Scotland a few years ago and am always reminded of it around the holidays.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread Turkey and Cranberry Chutney Panini from

There are so many great recipes out there to use up your leftovers from soups, to salads, to sandwiches but I am curious how do you eat your leftovers? 

Will you be watching a few games today or will you be out shopping? I will be home, doing a little work but also decorating for Christmas. As for shopping, I am finished, everything is wrapped and shipped and now all that is left is to bake which is one of my favorite things to do over the holidays.

I hope that you have a wonderful and safe weekend!

P.S. I know Fridays are usually my "Friday Favorites" but this week I decided to skip it because of the holidays. I will resume next week. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Good morning! I just wanted to wish all of my American readers a Happy Thanksgiving! I so appreciate your friendship and blogs. I enjoy my time learning of new recipes, books, adventures, restaurants and life from all of your blogs and comments.

Travel safe all and enjoy the love, friendship, family and friends that you will be surrounded by. I will be trying not to eat my weight in pumpkin pie!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas Decorating

Good morning! I do not know about you but I am feeling a little discombobulated with Thanksgiving so late in the year, you wouldn't think one week would make that big a difference but it is throwing me off. 

You see I actually like to decorate for Christmas after Thanksgiving dinner and once in awhile I even do it a couple of days before, especially if we are having a party. 

Now I feel as if I am in a big rush to get everything done for Christmas and my house is a combination of pumpkins and snowmen this week, apple and pumpkin pie and sugar cookies waiting to be decorated. 

When do you decorate for Christmas? Have you already started? Do you have your tree up and the stocking hung by the chimney?

I am curious, do you always decorate your tree the same way, do you have a theme, do you have a "family tree" filled with ornaments collected over generations from trips, family members or that your kids have made or do you do something entirely different each year?

I have several small trees, between three and four feet and I decorate one pretty much the same every year with added ornaments and the others I change depending on things I pull out of my archives of Christmas boxes or find during the year. 

I guess I will just try to "live in the present" this week and enjoy my Thanksgiving day with family and friends and then worry about the rest on Friday while everyone else is out shopping. 

I hope you have a great day!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Roasted Butternut and Cauliflower Soup

Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine was great, not a relaxing as I had hoped but nice none the less. We had dinner with friends, enjoyed a few walks before the temperature dropped 25 degrees, did a few chores, dragged out the Christmas boxes and made this scrumptious Roasted Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Soup. 

Roasted Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Soup

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into chunks
1/2 medium head of cauliflower, cut into chunks
1 medium Granny Smith apple peeled and quartered
1 medium yellow onion, quartered, skin removed
3 cloves of garlic skin on
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons herb de Provence
2 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
11/4 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon  pepper
chopped pecans for garnish

Preheat oven to 425. Place butternut squash, cauliflower, onion quarters, apple and garlic clovers to pan, drizzle with olive oil. Bake until tender but not mushy. 
Once vegetables are tender remove from oven and place into a large soup pot, then add the water, chicken broth, salt, pepper and herbs de Provence. Stir to combine.
Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. You can eat the soup as is or puree until desired consistency or until smooth. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. I left mine a little chunky.
Or ladle soup into a blender, put top on and REMOVE the small insert FROM THE LID, place a towel over the hole and blend. 
If soup is too thick add a little water or heavy cream to get desired consistency. 

This soup is perfect for a cold winter day because it is easy and delicious. After all,  what could be easier than trowing all the vegetables on a pan and roasting them, then adding them to a pot with the liquids?

I love the combination of flavors in this soup; the buttery flavor from the butternut squash and the sweet caramelized flavor from the apple and the cauliflower coupled with the garlic and herbs makes this the perfect soup for a Fall or Winter afternoon. 

What did you do this weekend? Did you do anything fun and exciting? Did you make anything yummy for the upcoming holidays? I found so many great recipes I want to try but at this point I would have to feed an army to even make a dent in them.Currently I am in the process of narrowing them down and finalizing my menu. I will keep you posted.
Have a great day!

Linking to 
Coastal Charm Monday

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Favorites from May All Seasons be Sweet, Terrain, Life Hack and More

Good morning! I hope you had a wonderful week. We are having the most beautiful weather and the colors of the leaves are like a painting, it makes me smile each time I see them. It is as they say, the little things in life that make us happy. 

I know I say this all the time but I am ready for the weekend. I cannot wait to be a couch potato. I already have my favorite British  holiday magazines on the pile next to the couch with a comfy throw and come 6:00 tonight that is where you will find me for most of the weekend. 

I found so many things this week that were placed in "my favorite" file but I narrowed it down to just a few so that you won't still be sitting here at dinner time.. I hope that you find something new to you and as always if you found something great, please share with us.

Image from The Landfill Harmonic Movie

Last Sunday on 60 Minutes there was a feature on the Landfill Harmonic. If you did not get a chance to see it at least check out the link above and I promise that it will have you thinking and thanking God for your life. The Landfill Harmonic tells the story of a group of talented kids from Carapeuga, Paraguary, a town built on a landfill where most of their parents work to scrounge together a living,  who are led by Fabio in an orchestra where all of the instruments are made of garbage. 

Are you a pet owner or animal lover? I am a dog lover, of one specifically and as she just turned 13 this article from The Daily Mail resonated with me. Sara Beth of Sara Beth Photography photographs "Joy Sessions" with people whose pets are too old to live or are suffering for a terminal illness. The photos capture the love and last moments of pets and their parents.  Although the story is a sad one it is also filled with beautiful moments of people and their much loved pets. I am so grateful for the love of my little pup, her antics and attitude make me laugh everyday. Note: Get a box of Kleenex before you read the article.

Image by Dawn of May All Seasons Be Sweet

I LOVE blogs and I especially love bloggers who write from the heart. This post, What These Pictures Don't Tell You written by the incredibly talented Dawn of  May All Seasons Be Sweet is raw and honest and frankly says things that I think many of us think ourselves on a bad day. It is nice to know that is this wonderful place called "Blogland" we can reveal ourselves to our friends, even those we may never meet.

Image from Terrain

I am still searching for some great pumpkin recipes to try and this week at Terrain they shared a recipe for Pumpkin Cheese Bread, if I can peel myself off of the couch this may be on the menu.

This Fall Cobb Salad which I posted on Monday is my favorite thing I have eaten all month, it is filled with the flavors of Fall, is healthy and an easy meatless meal to prepare before the big holiday preparations begin. 

From Life Hack this week a list of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do!

I hope that you have a fabulous weekend!  Enjoy your day!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving Desserts: Pumpkin, Apple and More

Good morning! As I mentioned a few times this week I am trying to come up with some menu ideas for Thanksgiving and although I love the potatoes and the yeast rolls to me the meal is all about the dessert! 

After all what would a meal be without something sweet and sugary to cap it off; probably better for our waist line but one does not worry about that during the holidays. Or at least I don't.

All DESSERTS MADE BY PINE CONES AND ACORNS: 1. Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate, 2 Pumpkin Cookies with Vanilla Bean Glaze 3. Pumpkin Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Icing, 4. Starbucks Copycat pumpkin bread with crumble topping, 5.Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake, 6. Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars, 7. Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Praline Topping, 8. Spiced Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting, 9. Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

My favorite dessert hands down is homemade pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream. It always reminds me of home and spending time with my mother and grandmother on the eve before Thanksgiving making pie after pie after pie. I like it chilled and made with extra spices but I do not like it made with roasted pumpkins. 

Harvest Apple Pie

Lucky for me a couple of my siblings do not like pumpkin pie, they prefer the traditional apple pie or my grandmother's Slab Apple Pie, leaving me a piece of pumpkin or two for a midnight snack. 

Slab Apple Pie

What are your favorite Thanksgiving desserts? Pumpkin? Apple or Pecan Pie? Do you make your own or do you have a special bakery that you get them from?

Slab Apple Pie Double Crust

I personally enjoy the entire ritual of making pies, the crust the peeling of the apples or the toasting of pecans and it is even more enjoyable when sharing that tasks with family and friends. 

If you do not like apple or pumpkin pies but prefer something of the chocolate variety, check out Once Upon A Chocolate Life or visit my Fall Pinterest Board.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanksgiving Turkey Ideas

Good morning! The big day is almost here, Thanksgiving. The holiday that celebrates all that is good in the world; family and friends gathered to share scrumptious food and to give thanks. Often times the Thanksgiving meal is dictated by family traditions, and other times the menu is open to new and interesting menu items.

Photo Iain Bagwell Roasted Turkey with Bernaise Butter

I grew up surrounded by traditions, one of which was my mom getting up at the crack of dawn to put the turkey in the oven to be basted every hour with butter and pan drippings. Odd to think about now because when I am home for Thanksgiving the turkey does not take nearly as long to cook as I remember.

Grilled Turkey photo Anna Williams

As I mentioned yesterday, turkey is the least important part of the meal for me, but I was curious about your turkey preparation. 

My kind of turkey...cookies from Bird Bakery

Do you brine, grill, roast, deep fry, smoke or use some other method of preparation?

Smoked Turkey photo by Jody Horton

 Do you have a family favorite way to prepare or do you like to try something new? Do you serve something other than turkey? Duck, ham or a roast?

Roasted Spatchcocked Turkey

We are still pondering what we will serve for the main as it is a little hard to cook for two. Although we have been invited to friends, we have decided to stay home, just the two(make that 3) of us, and relax before the Christmas holidays are upon us. 

Roasted Turkey

Whether you are cooking for two or an entire party Martha Stewart and Southern Living are two of my favorite places to explore for recipe ideas. Click the links about to be taken directly to the "Main Meat Course."

I am looking forward to hearing your menu ideas so do share.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Blue Cheese Garlic Potatoes

Good morning! My husband and I have been discussing Thanksgiving the last few days and thinking of our favorite traditions, recipes and parts of the day. I won't lie the turkey is our least favorite part, if we could just have one slice to accompany the leftovers we would be perfectly happy. 

Butter Bean Ragout BHG

Mashed Potatoes with Gouda

My favorite part of Thanksgiving, aside from family and friends, is planning the menu using a mixture of both old and new recipes. We always like to add one or two new things. 

Wild Rice
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

For me the most important side dish is the mashed potatoes! I love them made with browned butter, or garlic, or cheese. You can add anything to a potato and it tastes fabulous. 

Roasted Green Beans

Roasted Sweet Potato Gratin

I also love roasted vegetables like cauliflower or broccoli and steamed asparagus. Green beans and peas are not on the menu unless it is the traditional green bean casserole that my husband remembers from childhood. 

Roasted Asparagus

Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes

In addition to potato's and roasted vegetables I love cranberries. Odd actually because until about 5 years ago I did not like them. They say your tastes change every five years, I do not know if that is true but I do find myself eating things that I did not eat as a child. 

Beets and Greens Salad

Sweet Potato Casserole

Of course we always have stuffing but that is another post because there are so, so many recipes that I want to explore before I pick the one or ones we may try.

Bacon Topped Green Bean Casserole

Harvest Mashed Potatoes

The great thing about all of the side is that you can come up with some interesting leftover combinations using them, aside from the traditional afternoon sandwich, you could make a pot pie, or a Shepard's pie if you have any potato's left. Or perhaps soup and a delicious salad using the roasted vegetables. 

Roasted Root Vegetables

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

I am getting hungry just thinking of all of the things I will see on my Thanksgiving table and the next day. 

Cranberry Preserves

Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

Glazed Carrots with Pistachios

Potato and Celery Root Gratin

What are your favorite side dishes for Thanksgiving? Do you use your traditional family recipes only or do you add new things year after year? 

Roasted Cauliflower

Cranberry Orange Mostarda

I think that whatever you make to accompany your turkey you cannot go wrong using the vegetable and fruits of the season, and making the dishes that make you happy! Life is too short to eat things you don't like on such a special day.

If you are looking for more Thanksgiving ideas I have thousands of pins on my Fall Pinterest board. You can also check out a couple of my favorite places for recipes, Southern LivingBetter Homes and Gardens and Williams Sonoma Recipes.