Sunday, October 30, 2016

Silent Sunday 10-30-2016

Have a great day. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Friday Favorites from Kitchn, Private Newport, She Wears Many Hats, Savor Home and More

Good morning! How is was your week? It has been a long week for me and I am ready to rest and sleep in, that is if my pups will let me. Monday is Halloween, do you have your costume ready, will you be going to a party? I have to be honest, I do not like Halloween, I don't like creepy costumes and I do not like to dress up. However I love candy and do miss walking door to door and then coming home at the end of the night and sorting through all of my candy to find my favorites.

One of my favorite Halloween candies is candy corns. Sunday October 30th is National Candy Corn Day and if you would like to know a little about history these sweet treats you can read all about them at Better Homes and Gardens.

Candy Corn Bark Image from Jelly Toast Blog via the Kitchn

I don't know about you but I love candy corn, if you do as well and you are tired of just munching on handfuls then check out this post from Kitchn of 12 Clever Ways to Celebrate National Candy Corn Day.

Image from Amy at She wears Many Hats

If you are having a party to celebrate game day or to celebrate Halloween you might want to add this scrumptious looking Hot Chili Cheese Dip from She Wears Many Hats to your menu. If I was at a party where this was served I do not think there would be anything left for the other guests. 

You could also whip up a batch of these Pumpkin Decorated Chocolate Cupcakes! I made these this week for some friends and they are delicious and cute too.

Image A Woody Tailgate Picnic Party from Betty at Private Newport

I would love to go to this Woody Tailgate Picnic Party that Betty from Private Newport threw not only is this rare woody fabulous but the menu is as well. 

Image Savor Home

I am always looking for a good book recommendation and this list from Tiffany at Savor Home has a few that I do not have yet. 

I love the look and style of this illustrator and Street Style Star.

Did you discover anything new this week? If so please share your favorite books, movies, recipes and more.

Have a safe and happy weekend.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Just Curious...What are You Most Afraid Of?

Good morning! As this month is Halloween and typically filled with spooky ghosts, witches, and other assorted scary things it got me thinking what are you/I afraid of. It could be anything like scary creatures but it may also be that you are afraid of aging, or trying something new and failing or perhaps it is the dark or spiders, mice or thunder. 

I am afraid of scary movies, books and photos and if I see them it is like they are imprinted on my brain for a long long time. 

I am not afraid of aging but I am afraid of getting Alzheimer's and every time I cannot remember a word or a person or where something is I am convinced that I have early onset. 

I'm afraid that if something happens to me no one will care for my two dogs. 

I do not have children and sometimes I am afraid that if something happens to my husband I will have no one to care for me when I am old. 

I am afraid of my parents passing away. Obviously I know it is the cycle of life but I hate even to ponder it. 

I am afraid of doing inversions like handstand at yoga because I think I might break my neck.

I am afraid of big dogs especially pit bulls. 

What about you? Is there something that you are afraid of? If so please share and I would love to know that I am not alone with my fears. 

Have a wonderful day!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad with Pecans, Dried Fruit and Gorgonzola

Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine started out cold, grey and ugly but then the sun popped out, the wind died down and it ended up being a beautiful Fall weekend. I spent a lot of time outdoors soaking up the sun, and some time in the kitchen experimenting with a few Fall desserts. 

I also made two soups( which I will share at a letter date) and this scrumptious roasted vegetable salad. During the week I like my meals to be simple and easy and this salad fits the bill perfectly. You can make a big bowl of this salad and eat it, as is, or with greens, you can even add a little protein if you feel like. 

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad with Toasted Pecans, Dried Fruit and Gorgonzola Cheese
Adapted from Julia's Album


11/2 cups toasted pecans
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried cherries
Roasted butternut squash(see below)
1/4 gorgonzola cheese
2 cups cooked quinoa

11/2 lbs butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. In a large bowl combine spices, syrup, oil and squash, mix well then pour onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until the squash is golden and tender. Set aside to cool.

In a bowl combine the squash, dried fruit, and pecans and cheese, mix well. Plate up a portion of quinoa in each bowl and top with a scoop of squash mixture. 

Note: I forgot to add the cheese. 

Did you make anything tasty this weekend or have any exciting plans? Whatever you did I hope it was fun and relaxing.

I hope that you have a fabulous week.

Linking to Rooted in Thyme

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Friday Favorites from Love Lola, The Lemon Apron, Veggie Inspired, Collage of Life, After Orange County and More

Photo taken by my sister yesterday in the Midwest. 

Good morning! Happy Friday to you. I hope that your week went well. Mine was very busy and tiring so I am ready to relax. I am hoping that the weather cools off a bit so I can get out and look for some Fall color, so far I have not seen much here.

Image Love Lola

I have been eating copious amount of salad lately so tonight I am going to be feasting on my favorite food pizza. What makes it even better is that it is  pumpkin pizza from Love Lola.  I have a feeling this is going to be one of my new favorites! 

Image from Veggie Inspired

I may have to make these Pumpkin apple and caramelized onion quesadilla from Veggie Inspired as well. 

Image from The Lemon Apron

I will not be making this scrumptious Apple Pie with Cheddar and Thyme Crust this weekend but it is on my list to make for the holidays. This beautiful pie is from a new blog The Lemon Apron that my sister discovered. The recipes, photos and styling are fabulous. 

Image L.L.Bean

This post The L.L. Bean Man from Jeanne at Collage of Life is one of my favorites because not only do we we get to hear about how Jeanne met Mr. H but also because Jeanne is a fellow tartan lover and she has conveniently linked all of the fabulous tartan finds from the new season in one place. 

One of the most beautiful places I have ever visited is the San Juan Islands in Washington state, this week Celia from After Orange County posted about a fabulous vacation rental on Orcas Island on the same island chain. 

Did you find anything interesting this week to share, a book, a movie, a recipe or interesting article? I would love to hear about it so please share. 

I hoe you have a great weekend. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Just Curious...Do You Know What Hygge Is?

Good afternoon! I hope that your week is going well so far. We are having a heat wave so the air is back on and the shorts are out. Are you experiencing the same crazy weather? 

In the meantime I am am curious, do you know what hygge is? I have been seeing a lot of books about this subject lately and I was wondering if I was the only one who did not know what it was? 

For those of you who are like me and did not know the meaning of hygge, pronounced hoo-gah, it is basically the Danish concept of nesting. The word roughly translates to cosiness and conviviality, but it encompasses your entire attitude about life. Some say it is hygge that makes the people of Denmark the happiest on earth. 

Although hygge is a concept practiced at any time it really comes it to its own during the harsh winter months. Keep in mind that the winters are long and cold in Denmark, it is dark for 17 hours so making yourself cozy, and happy is one of the best ways to get through it. Candles, dinners with friends and family, slowing down and enjoying life, sharing and appreciating the big and small things in life with those we love, savoring a cup of coffee alone or with others, a good book by the fire wrapped in a warm blanket, snuggling your pups, all of this is hygge. 

If you would like to create a little hygge in your home this winter here are a few things you can do:

Invest in some candles, they say that Denmark it the second largest consumer of candles, Austria is first. 

Slow down and relax, read, and savor your surroundings. 

Get a comfy throw to snuggle in.

Invite friends and family for simple meals, maybe even a pot luck. Remember, it is not about a big production but about being together. 

You can also practice hygge by baking something scrumptious and sharing with friends. 

Bundle up and get out and appreciate the beauty of nature, then come home and enjoy a cup of coco or coffee in a favorite mug. 

What do you think? Do you like the concept? Do you practice hygge already? 

Have a great day! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Rhodes Almond Braid Bread

Good morning! I am really excited today because you can find me and a recipe that I shared over on the Rhodes Bread Dough Blog!

Come and check it out if you have time, the recipes is easy and delicious!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Monday Musings

Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine was perfect because of its simplicity; beautiful weather, long walks, a trip to the farmers market, a little baking, dinner with new friends and lots of time reading. 

We have new neighbors from Spain and they invited us to meet some of their Spanish co-workers and to have authentic paella. The paella was scrumptious and the company and conversations were enlightening. It is so interesting to me to hear views about our country, the election and of course to learn more about their beautiful country. 

I find that as the  weather turns more to Fall/Winter I am more and more inclined to be at home. Are you the same? Consequently my stack of books and magazines is dwindling, so please share your latest "good reads. "

I am also pinning like a crazy Christmas elf on my nine Christmas Pinterest boards. I am one of those people that love Christmas, the decorations, the music, the Nutcracker, the movie and of course the food, baking and finding the perfect gifts. I am in search of a few new cookies to add to my repertoire, I want to make a buche de noel this year, and I may or may not change up my color scheme. Cataloging all of my "thoughts" on Pinterest is making my life a lot easier. 

What did you do this weekend? Did you relax, read, bake, cook, take a trip, tick a few items off of your bucket list?

Whatever you did I hope it was great and I hope that you have a wonderful week. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Friday Favorites from The Wanderlust Kitchen, Smitten Kitchen, The Cut, Lisa Leonard and More

Good morning! How are you?  I just wanted to thank you all for your comments and emails regarding my post about the election. It is so nice to have an intellectual conversation with intelligent, knowledgeable and well-read people about important events and topics. Thank you for taking the time to comment and share your views, I have learned a lot from you and I appreciate you taking the time to share your information. 

Image Wanderlust Kitchen

I love Indian food. The spicy, flavorful dishes are some of my favorites to replicate at home and if they are easy to make than I like them even more. This Indian Cilantro Tomato Chicken from The Wanderlust Kitchen is one of my new favorites, in fact I am making it again today. You can whip this dish up in under an hour, serve it with rice and maybe even naan bread and you have a takeaway meal at home. 

Image from Deb Smitten Kitchen

Pumpkin is my absolute favorite thing to eat; pumpkin pasta, cake, pie, and bread to name just of few of the items that are on rotation at my house this time of year. I have several "favorite" recipes but I am always looking for more and when Deb from The Smitten Kitchen posted this pumpkin bread yesterday I whipped up a loaf straight away. It is now my new favorite pumpkin bread. 

We are going to a dinner party this weekend and  I am bringing a chocolate dessert tray. These Fudgy Cocoa Brownies will definitely be on it! 

Image Etsy via Pinterest

Today is the 90th birthday of one of the most beloved characters ever written about, Winnie the Pooh.  I remember when I was little wishing that I lived in the Hundred Acre Woods with those adorable little animals. Happy 90th Birthday Winnie the Pooh! By the way, to celebrate Pooh's birthday there is a new character coming out, a penguin, which you can read about it HERE. 

Image Abrams Books

This stunning book by female photographer Inge Morath is on my list for Christmas. 

Did you read, see, eat, make or find any interesting things this week? If so, please share. I hope that you have a happy, safe weekend. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Just Curious...Is it Just Me or Are You Sick of the Election Too?

I have heard the saying at least a million times, "never talk about money, religion or politics" and for the most part I agree and have adhered to that rule for almost 50 years. Especially in my family as my immediate family is not of the same political persuasion that most of the rest of my aunts, uncles and cousins are. There are some who are very passionate and try to persuade you to their side but we basically all agree to disagree. So for this post, let me say, I am just venting, let us agree ahead of time that we might disagree and if you are going to say nasty negative things about me or my view I would appreciate if you did it in a nice way. I am not taking sides or trying to persuade you to my way of thinking. 

This election is like nails on a chalk board to me. I am counting the days until it is over because I cannot stand it any more. It is the dirtiest, most disgusting election  I have ever seen and frankly I still cannot discern what each person stands for and what policies they are going to make to change the taxes, jobs, immigration, rights of women etc. The real issues are lost in the mud slinging. 

Ironically, I have a BS in Political Science, and an MA in International Relations. I worked with Senators and Congressmen and this was my passion for many years, yet I am over this election.

Here are a few of my complaints in no particular order:

  • I cannot believe the incredible amounts of money that are being spent on this election over the last 18 months. Do you know the difference that money could make to people?

  • I heard, and I am not sure if this is correct that in the UK they only campaign for 30 days! Can you imagine? If this is not correct please do feel free to pipe in and correct me. 

  • I  do not think that if you have another job, such as Governor, Senator, whatever that you should be able to campaign for a year to 18 months and "do your job" at the same time. Lets face it, if you have another job you are not really doing it to the best of your ability if you are on the campaign trail for 18 months. If you work in the private sector and they want to pay you that is fine but if you collecting tax dollars than no way. 

  • On another note, I personally think the system is broken, I do not think that you should be able to continue to be reelected for 40 plus years to the House and the Senate. I think we need term limits on those offices.

  •  I think that both parties are out of touch with what "real" people want or need and I am saddened by what this election has done to people. I do not think that you should beat people up, or vandalize their homes or property because you do not like the person they are voting for. 
Thanks for letting me vent. If you have an opinion or comment please share. If you live outside of the US please share your views on the US election and what you or people from your country think of what is going on here. And please share what the process is like in your country, I am sure that we would all be interested in learning something new. 

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Roasted Beet, Apple, Pecan, and Blue Cheese Salad

Good morning! I hope that you had a great weekend and did not suffer too much from Huricane Matthew. We had 87 mile an hour wind gusts, tons or rain, lots of flooding in the area and trees down all over the place. Thankfully that was it. It was the perfect excuse to stay home. 

I love the holidays and I love eating so as I said a few weeks ago I am really tying to eat better so that I can enjoy all of the tasty treats that I love to bake. For the most part my "go to" meal is a salad, especially if I am being lazy. 

This salad is so easy and it is delicious, the hardest part is roasting the beets. Then you pile everything on the greens and voila dinner is served. 

Roasted Beet, Apples, Pecan and Blue Cheese Salad


3 Beets
4 cups mixed greens
1 granny smith apple
2 tablespoons blue cheese
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 375. Wash the beets and cut of the stems. Place beets on aluminum foil drizzle with olive oil, wrap the place the aluminum foil packet on a baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes or until beets are cooked through. Remove from over and cool 10 minutes. Then slice and add to the greens.
Slice apples and place on salad, sprinkle with blue cheese, pecans, and pumpkin seeds. Serve with your favorite dressing. 

What did I tell you, easy peasy, fresh ingredients and you have the perfect meal. I sometimes add chicken breast or an egg for a little protein which you can do as well. What is your favorite fall salad?

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Friday Favorites from Smitten Kitchen, Little Spice Jar, Botanical Bleu, For the Love of a House and More

Good morning! How are you? I am glued to the weather channel watching for news of the storm. So many of my friends are in the direct path of the storm and they have evacuated and so are worried about their homes, property and friends and family. We are further up the coast so we are in line for winds and rain, hopefully not much else. If you are in the path of the storm you are in my thoughts and prayers, be safe. 

Image Smitten Kitchen

Fall and of course winter for me is all about nesting, resting and comfort foods. If the food can be made in one pan all the better. This Skillet Baked Pasta with Five Cheeses by Smitten Kitchen is right up my alley. 

Image from For the Love of a House

Is there anything better on a cold rainy weekend than Pot Roast and mashed potatoes? This easy recipe from For the Love of a House takes me back to Sunday dinner at my grandmothers. 

Little Spice Jar

Ok, maybe a bowl of these Apple Cider Doughnuts from The Little Spice Jar might be better. 

Chenonceau Botanic Bleu

One of my favorite places in the Loire Valley is the spectacular Chenonceau Chateau it is a magical and beautiful place and although I have been in the Spring and Summer I have never seen it in Fall or Winter. Lucky for us Judith at Botanic Bleu has been to visit and shares her beautiful photos. 

Image from Lee Caroline

Like many I love looking at houses and this beautiful coastal house featured at Lee Caroline has me daydreaming of a coastal retreat decorated in blue and white. 

Have you discovered any good books, movies or recipes this week? If so I would love to hear about them.

I hope that you have a safe and happy weekend.