November Days

November days are here and it’s foggy in the morning and most of the trees are bare of leaves and the ground is covered with leaves. Plus it’s mostly in the 40’s and 50’s for temperatures outside.

There is a Vermont Country Store near where I live. There is one in Rockingham and one in Weston. It’s a very fun place to visit. I always like to get some Vermont Cheddar Cheese that they cut fresh off of a huge Cabot Extra Sharp Cheese Wheel. Plus it’s fun to browse through their store. The store is filled to the rafters with all kinds of interesting finds.

Cheesecake is always good and Pumpkin Cheesecake this time of year is really a seasonal treat. Especially when you use gingersnap cookies in the crust. Plus make it fancy by using the rosette attachment in a pastry bag to make whipped cream rosettes around the top.

Easy Chili with all the fixings is a fun lunch this time of year.

Corn muffins go so nice with Chili. I like to make the Jiffy Box Corn Muffins and just add a little honey and sour cream. So easy, fast and just right.

I also like the Cape Cod Salad that is in Barefoot Contessa’s Basics Cook Book. So easy to make and is fun to have in the Fall when there are fresh apples from the orchards. I had some Honey Crisp apples from a local orchard that I peeled and chopped and just used organic power greens, chopped up some cooked bacon, organic walnuts from the Food Co-op and blue cheese crumbles. Then I just used Newmans Olive Oil and Vinegar dressing instead of the Dressing recipe in the book. One of my new Fall favorites for a salad.

Then I love to use my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker and found an Instant Pot Cookbook that was for weight loss using the Instant Pot. One recipe that stood out to me was the Protein Bowl. All the recipe called for was to pressure cook 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the steamer basket along with some Quinoa and 1/2 cup of water underneath the chicken on high for 12 minutes. Then put the Quinoa in a bowl with some power greens on top and add the dressing to coat, slice up an avocado and an apple and add the shredded chicken, some walnuts and Montery Jack shredded cheese. Yum! The dressing was just the juice of an orange, 1 T apple cider vinegar, garlic, 1 t olive oil, 2 garlic cloves and 1 T Dijon mustard plus salt and pepper.

The Cookbook is called “Lose Weight with Your Instant Pot” by Audrey Johns. And it had 60 easy recipes for weight loss.

There was also a recipe to make a wrap using shredded chicken that there was a recipe for using 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts with 2 garlic cloves, smashed, 2 T canned diced green chilies and a cup of water. You just cook on high for 20 minutes. Quick release and transfer the chicken to a plate and shred, adding 1/4 cup of the liquid to keep it moist.

On the wrap, it had a dressing that was just 1/3 cup of Greek Yogurt, 1/2 t of salt, 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard and they used chopped Romaine lettuce.

They used burrito-size whole wheat tortillas and 1/2 tomato sliced and 2 slices of bacon.

All kinds of interesting recipes in that book and I found it at the Walmart.

There was also an easy Spiced Apple Cider that used Honey Crisp apples.

There is definitely frost on the pumpkin now and it’s really chilly in the mornings.

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Fall Days

I can remember when I was a kid and we had a large family with 5 children. We used to go to an apple orchard and pick a bushel of apples at a time in the Fall.

The above is what I buy now. My son has 6 children and they picked a lot of apples from their apple trees last weekend that they have at their camp that they visit on weekends in northern Vermont. My daughter-in-law makes really good apple pies.

There are all kinds of apple pie recipes, but my Mom used to keep it simple. I remember she would use apple pie spice on the sliced apples and dot the thinly sliced apples with butter. Her apple pies were fun to have in the Fall.

A scoop of vanilla ice cream on apple pie is really good.

I had a recipe for Apple Muffins that was really good. There are all kinds of recipes for Apple Muffins and they are all really good.

If you visit an Apple Orchard, you have to get some Apple Cider and some kind of donuts. So good together.

The leaves are already starting to turn color a little bit, but they don’t go into full color until around the first of October. But they already have pumpkins in the Farm Stands.

Pumpkin bread is so easy to make and so good in the Fall. Canned pumpkin is what most recipes call for.

Fall scented candles are so fun to have in the Fall.

It’s always fun to have some kind of Chowder this time of year.

I like the above style for Fall.

There are beautiful sunsets on chilly evenings.

I like the Sunflowers at Farm Stands this time of year and also there are lots of tomatoes.

I saw the above jacket in Zulily for only $24.98. So cozy for Fall.

And every season of the four seasons has it’s pros and cons. I try to look at the positive side of each season. Actually, I love all the four seasons.

September Musings

I love the Sunflowers and colorful cherry tomatoes that were available at a local Farm Stand. The tomatoes are really good in salads. I also found some Kale and Garden Lettuce at another Farm Stand. The Kale is really good for Green Smoothies.

My best Green Smoothie ever is just putting some water in the bottom of the blender with a little lemon juice and pulsing in the chopped Kale. Then adding Baby Spinach and pulsing in. Then adding a banana and Frozen Mango and blending. I like the taste of it and it’s very healthy.

They have early apples at the Farm Stands now. At Alyson’s Orchards, they have Peaches and Plums that are just the best. I always try to get some each year.

At Cold Hollow Cider Mill that is near Stowe, they have Cider Slushies and Apple Cider Donuts. Yum! How refreshing is that?

I love how they make the Apple Cider Donuts fresh and still warm when you buy them.

I used to love the Smothered Chicken that they used to have at Applebees Restaurant. So, when I saw the above recipe for French Onion Chicken, I just have to try it. I pinned the recipe under my Casseroles board on my Pinterest. It sounds even better then the Smothered Chicken that Applebees used to have because you can use Gruyere Cheese and carmelized onions.

I like the above inspirational quote.

I’ve seen really neat ideas for infused oils and I found recipes to make your own infused oils. I pinned the recipes on my Salads Pinterest board because I didn’t know where else to save them.

In some of the recipes they used McCormick Gourmet Collection herb blends for the herb infused oils.

They used the flavored oils by brushing on Grilled Veggies and it sounded really good.

They used the grilled veggies in a salad adding blue cheese crumbles and a home made dressing.

I saw the above wine bar idea for the kitchen. What a neat idea!

I saw the above house for sale and I just love the looks of it. The front porch and bay window is everything I love. It is out of my price range, but I still love it.

The kitchen is a dream kitchen. Just right. The island, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Plus white cabinets.

And it even has a screened in porch. The price of it is a lot for this area, but in California on the TV show Flip or Flop they pay that amount for a real dump that has to be completely remodeled inside and out and landscaped.

The above Rav 4 has a moon roof and it’s 4-wheel drive which will get you up the hills in this area in the winter. I love everything about it. It looks brand new, but it’s a 2016 and only has 30,000 miles on it. It’s probably gone by now, but what a deal they had on it. Whoever was lucky enough to get it probably saved about $7,000.00 from buying a new one.

Mid-August

I love Woodstock, Vermont. The above terrace is so inviting on a summer day. There are all kinds of outside places like the above in the scenic town of Woodstock.

Gesine Bulloock-Prado has a “Perfect Puff Pastry” class on Blueprint showing how to make the above pastry. It looks like something out of a French Bakery. I have a Blueprint account and can take any class I want. I definitely am going to try this class. I can just imagine having a Bookclub group and serving that pastry.

I like the above inspiration.

My Mom used to make the best Potato Salads. I liked how she used to make them fancy by putting sliced eggs across the top and she would sprinkle fresh herbs over it and paprika.

She always knew how to put a lot of flavor in anything that she made.

Southern women have perfected the making of biscuits. Paula Deen shared her all time favorite biscuit recipes and I pinned the recipes to my Pinterest. I can’t remember if I saved them to my bread board or if I made a Paula Deen Recipes board.

Paula’s Cheese Biscuits sound really good. I definitely want to try the recipe.

Have you ever noticed with baby ducks that they always follow behind the Mama Duck. But there is always a Rebel that likes to be in the last position and will go it’s own pace and explore and then run to catch up. So cute.

S’mores are just plain fun. There are so many options that you can put together to make a S’more. My Grandsons like to take Fudge-round cookies instead of graham crackers and put the fudge side of the cookie in the middle and then the marshmellow that they have roasted.

Two more weeks and it will be September. This summer has gone by fast. Just like every summer.

Saturday Adventures

I made a Zucchini Au Gratin today. The recipe called for one small zucchini and one small summer squash. It started out with putting 2 tablespoons of butter in an ovenproof skillet. Then at medium heat it said to brown 1/2 onion that was thinly sliced for 5 minutes. Then you add 2 cloves of garlic minced for one minute. Then a half cup of cream was added and simmered until bubbly and starts to thicken. Then a 1/4 cup of Parmesan was slowly stirred in. Then the sliced into rounds zucchini and summer squash was added and cooked for an additional 4-5 minutes. Then a cup of smoked Gouda was shredded and sprinkled on top and baked in the 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until cheese was golden brown.

I liked the recipe and will make it again sometime.

I like the above pill organizer. I think it would be great to use for vitamins. Fitbit sent the idea to me.

French recipes always have so much flavor. The above Coq au vin – chicken with wine sounds wonderful to me. I want to try it soon. The recipe is on my Pinterest recipe board under French Recipes. The recipe came from a website called “Damn Delicious”. I have never seen such a collection of flavorful sounding recipes.

My fitbit said that I walked 5,000 steps yesterday. Today I went for a 2 mile walk on the walking trail, did two DVD aerobic walks and went shopping. Soooo………

I got my first sneaker badge and walked the recommended 10,000 steps today. I like the fitbit because it really does inspire you to keep moving. The reward badges are actually motivating.

My little feet are not used to so much walking so I had to do a pain relief stretch workout yesterday. Then I soaked in the tub with a lavender-epsom salts bubble bath which helped a lot. I usually do the posture stretch workout, but the pain-relief workout really came in handy.

But the fitbit is really a fun fitness tool to have. I knew that it would be neat, but I had no idea on how much it would inspire me.

Tonight an alert came on the TV saying a bad storm with 60 mile an hour winds and flooding was headed to the area where I live. There was a very loud alarm sound and they said to go to the lowest level of your house for safety. Then it said trees were apt to be falling and roads flooding. I have never seen an alert like that ever and it scared me awful. And all it was was a very short thunderstorm. Unreal. These weather alerts are sometimes a little much. 🙂

Anyways, wishing you all fun weekend adventures.

Simple Pleasures

Green Smoothies are supposed to be good for you, so I tried a few recipes that I came across. Then I just took a few ideas and made one to my own taste. I started with a cup of water in the bottom of the blender and then added baby spinach and pulsed it. Then I added some chopped kale without the stems and pulsed it until it was a smooth liquid. Then I squeezed in some lemon juice and added a chopped banana, some frozen chopped mango and a couple of ice cubes. I liked the results. I also like the idea of making up freezer bags with your favorite smoothie ingredients and keeping them in the freezer.

I like the idea of a kitchen island and saw the above idea. What a handy spot for the kitchen that doesn’t take up a lot of room. You can chop veggies or roll out a pie crust. Then the storage space underneath is a plus. Then the thick chopping block is just beautiful.

It’s not soup weather, but I like to make up a soup anyways. One of my favorites is Northern Bean Soup.

I love the baby carrots, onions, white beans, chicken broth, kale and Italian seasoning that is in the Northern Bean Soup. The above Pioneer woman soup mug is perfect to store leftovers in as it has a cover that goes on it for storing in the fridge.

The above salad is so simple and yet flavorful.

I love my Instant Pot so much. It is such a fun kitchen tool to have. The above cook book is a must have.

I bought the above fitbit and it’s just a fun fitness tool. It’s called Inspire HR and it was a todays special on QVC. It even tells your heart rate, calories burned, footsteps and tells you when you have a phone call. You set it up by getting the fitbit app on Google Play on your cell phone. To me it was not easy to set up, but I managed to do it. It has a battery charger and a charge lasts for about 5 days. When it’s 100% charged there is a smile that comes on the moniter. It also tells the time like a watch.

The above is a view of my favorite Mt Ascutney. That is the view that you see if you go for a walk across the dam which I do whenever I can.

I love a fire pit and the idea of having one near a lake is just the ultimate. So relaxing and ideal for friends and family.

And those are a few things that I find to be simple pleasures.

Summer Sun

A picnic at the beach is always fun. Watching the sun set and enjoying wine and cheese with your hubby is very relaxing. At Sunapee there is no charge to get into the beach after like 6:00 PM or so.

I like Cabot Vermont Extra Sharp Cracker Coldcuts to pack up with uncured salami slices.

One of my favorite wines currently is the Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc.

Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire is one of my favorite beaches ever since childhood. My parents loved to go there and I loved taking my kids there. My little sons used to make sand castles and enjoy playing with their little boats and swimming. We used to pack up a picnic and spend the day enjoying the sun. I had a little Volkswagon bug and a bumper sticker that said “Follow the Sun to Sunapee”. I would pack some sandwiches and stop at a bakery and get some brownies and have a cooler filled with ice for bottled water.

That picnic table that has a little shade from the tree and yet some sun is where my parents always liked to spend a day. So beautiful there. That was their favorite spot.

I love the above cooler on wheels idea. If you have ever tried carrying a heavy cooler filled with ice. This one has a separate compartment for sandwiches and stuff.

I like a nice chicken salad sandwich on a croissant. I have that recipe on my sandwich ideas board on my Pinterest.

My favorite Big Mac Salad in a mason jar is always a fun idea.

Or a Pesto Bowtie pasta salad in a mason jar is a fun idea.

I like to pack up some brownies as they always are nice to have on a picnic.

These are some ideas to have on sunny days this time of year. Yesterday I went for a walk across the Dam that is near where I live. There is an airport near the dam and it was so fun seeing gliders being pulled up by another plane and then gliding across the sky and landing back on the runway that you can see from the dam. There is also a beautiful view of Mt Ascutney. I saw a jet take off and also a cub plane while I was walking along. I went for the walk around 4:00 PM and there was a nice little breeze and soft sunlight. One of the best summer walks ever.