January 30, 2016

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Not much snow so far.  Wonder when we will get hit with a major blizzard.  I like it when the trees are all covered with snow and the sun sets on a winter night.  So pretty.

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I saw a really neat recipe in the New York Times for Cheese Danish.  It was one of the recipes that they said would be good to make over the weekend.  Looks good to me.

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Another recipe I saw was roasted pecan brownies that had a little rum in them to bring out the flavor.  Sounds good, also.

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I really like to bake and the secret to make everything come out is to measure exactly and also make sure the recipe is tried a few times before serving anyone else.  I always find little tweaks to put in the recipe for time it takes in my oven and also flavor just right.  I have heard that the secret to good pie crust is to make sure everything stays cold.  So a marble board and marble pie rolling pin sounded good to me to help in rolling out the dough.  I found a marble board at a really good price at a discount store.  I got it home and opened the box and it was broke right in half.  Back it went.  Some day I might get a marble board, but will probably have to pay a good price for it.

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I like a deck to have even in the winter.

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Also, a fieldstone  look fireplace is cozy to have.  I like the idea of a gas fireplace where you just click a remote to turn it on.  Some people prefer a wood fireplace.

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The most awesome fireplace is a two sided fireplace with one side in the living room and the other side in the dining room.

I think that covered bridges are beautiful.

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I think that there is beauty in every season in New England.

 

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Ski Country

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I used to work at Okemo Mountain at one time.  One of the areas of the mountain that I liked was Solitude Village.  The views from there were just awesome.  And you could just get onto the ski trail a few yards from your deck.

Okemo Mountain Resort, Vermont
Okemo Mountain Resort, Vermont

Then for that village they had the indoor/outdoor pool that was really fun.  Plus when you went in the door of a condo, there was a place to hang your skis and a vent in the floor that had warm air coming up through to dry off your ski boots.

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Some of the kitchens in the condos were really nice, too.

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The people that own these condos sometimes rent them out when they are not using them.  It actually is a nice income for them and they get to use their place on the best times of the season.

Most of them had fireplaces if not all of them.  Really nice and some people just know how to have fun.

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There are several villages on the mountain.  I knew the condos with the best views because I got a tour of all of them all with my job.  I had a Real Estate license, but my job there was to rent out the condos.  Really fun job and I got free skiing and free ski or snow board lessons if I wanted them.

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There are also single homes right near the trails on Okemo.  Mostly owned by people from New York City area or Connecticut area as second homes or vacation homes.

They have snow tubing, ice skating, snow shoeing and all kinds of fun stuff.  Lots of nice restaurants in the area.  The people that own the resort are really nice people.

I lived in a town near Ludlow where Okemo is located when I was a kid.  All the kids that could afford the lift ticket prices all had fun there.  I was not one of them.  But I remember all the stories of how fun it was.

January 28, 2016

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I like birch trees.  I think they are beautiful.

I also like lavender.  With Valentines day just a few weeks away, I like the idea of a lavender heart wreath for a door.

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It is crock pot weather and I bookmarked quite a few recipes in my slow cooker recipe book that I want to try.

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Then I saw a recipe on the internet for slow cooker Chicken Pot Pie.  It had a recipe for bread sticks to go with it that are Italian style made with puff pastry.  Sounded good to me.

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I like heart wreaths and thought the following was also pretty.

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I think the following tablescape idea is sweet for Valentines day.

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I used to hate it when everyone at work got roses sent and I was always humiliated by not getting even a single flower.  One time a friend felt so bad for me that a rose came to my desk without saying who it came from.  I know it was even more humiliating.  My gentleman friend will send a dozen roses just for no reason, but will not let me have the pride of Valentines day for some unknown reason.

Anyways, the ultimate show of love would be getting a beautiful Vermont Teddy bear, maybe.  I know, I’m just a hopeless romantic.

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Or chocolates are always cool.  I did get chocolates once years ago.  Just the idea of a beautiful heart box makes me smile.

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Oh, well.  There are such beautiful stuff out there.

I think that February, which is just a few days away, is one of my favorite months.

 

January 27, 2016

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I think that Vermont barns are beautiful.

The covered bridges are beautiful, also.  I like to go across the Bridge in Windsor, VT over across to Cornish, NH and then go shopping up to West Lebanon, NH. following old Route 12 going up along the Connecticut River.

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This bridge was built in 1866, the fourth to cross the Connecticut River at this spot between New Hampshire and Vermont since 1796. Until just a few years ago it was the longest covered bridge in the United States at 450 feet. It’s known as either the Cornish-Windsor or Windsor-Cornish after the towns it connects Cornish, NH and Windsor VT. Precendence is given depending on which side of the river you’re from. This was made using my IR converted Nikon D100. In this case more than any other the effect is one of a very early light snow. In reality the hills are covered with the first changing of the Autumn leaves. For free, interactive maps of the covered bridges in the U.S. visit http://coveredbridgemap.com .,

I love to shop in West Lebanon.  There are several stores that I like including TJ Max, Price Chopper and Kohls.  They also have an L L Bean in one of their malls.  After shopping, it’s fun to have lunch in Applebees.  I love their soup and salad lunch special that comes with a really home made tasting bread stick.

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Then they are happy to make you a frozen Sangria swirled into a Mango Margarita while you are waiting for your lunch.

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And if that is not enough, the Triple Chocolate Meltdown dessert makes for a wonderful lunch. The molten lava cake and scoop vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce is awesome.

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The drink and dessert are all extras that only on a day when everything has gone wrong day and you need the extra boost.  Totally sinful, yet delightful.

It used to be fun to go to Borders Bookstore and look at all the awesome books they have there.  And I always bought a book.  But that store is closed now.

Yesterday I went through one of my slow cooker recipe books and put tabs on recipes that I want to try.  It’s definitely crock pot weather.

And for television I like to watch “Fixer Upper” which is a program where they go in and do a house over.  I like what they did to the following master bedroom.  They found that French antique fireplace cover at an Antique store.  Fun to see the designs that they come up with.

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So on winter days, there are always interesting shows on TV.  I like to watch Martha Stewart’s Cooking School on Vermont Public Television.  Also you can travel all over Europe with Rick Steves.  With xfinity cable, if a show is missed or you want to watch it again they have a channel with all the shows available.  I really like Comcast where you have phone, internet and cable TV all on one bill.  And if you see a recipe you like on the Cooking Channel, you can go in on their web page on the internet and save it to your Pinterest recipe boards or print it out.

 

January 26, 2016

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Kind of a chilly winter day in the 30’s today.  It’s usually much colder then this at this time of year in Vermont. Last year we got so much cold weather and snow.  It’s been really mild so far, but I’m sure we will not escape the winter storms and below zero weather.

Sometimes we go for a walk in Woodstock and past a beautiful place where they have horses.  There are two horses that always come down to the fence to greet us.

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We go for about a three mile walk.

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I’ve never seen this, but I have heard that crows like to play in the snow and they make snow angels sometimes.  Kind of cute.

On the Today Show they are having casserole recipes featured each day this week.  Yesterday they had Kelsey Nixon’s Tuna Noodle Casserole.  It sounded really good with grated cheddar and panko bread crumbs on top.  I printed the recipe out and am definitely going to try it.  This is casserole weather.

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Last night they had the Democratic debate in Iowa on CNN.  I don’t get into politics, but like to watch what the candidates have to say.  I just pop up some popcorn, have a glass of wine and chill out and try and comprehend it all.

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I made up a salad today.  It just had power greens, sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds, chai seeds and cranberries.  Then I put my mason jar dressing over it.  Not bad, but nothing great.  Looks healthy, anyways.

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Got a new King Arthur Flour catalog in the mail yesterday.  I love that catalog.  Really neat recipes and ideas.

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I read the catalog from cover to cover.  I also ordered my favorite Vermont wild flower seed catalog yesterday.  That is one of my favorites.  Vermont wildflowers are beautiful.  And the fun part is that once you plant them, they come up every year.

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Winter Cooking

The good part of it being cold outside is that you don’t mind turning on the stove in the kitchen to cook and bake.  I like making soup from scratch.  It makes for a healthy and warm meal and is good with crusty home made bread.  I like making whole grain, no knead bread that you just put in the Le Creuset pot and it’s just nice with soup and also for toast at breakfast.

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I like to see the cooking classes that they have for Sur Le Table.  Then I look up the recipes for the awesome recipes that they feature in their classes.  I can almost always find a similar recipe on the internet.  Some of their ideas are Ginger Creme Brulee, Dark Chocolate Mousse, Classic Lemon Tart, Grand Marnier Souffle.  That is all one cooking class.  Then they have Croissant Dough, Classic Croissant, Pain au Chocolat and Ham and cheese filled croissants for another cooking class.  Then there is Dark Chocolate and Cherry Macarons for another cooking class.  Love their ideas.

The Classic Lemon Tart……

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The Croissant……….

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The Chocolate and Cherry Macarons…………main_variation_Default_view_1_426x426

I like making Lentil Soup.  I buy my Lentils in bulk at the Food Co-op and start with the trio of carrots, celery and onion.

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And I love the I-pad that my kids got me for last mothers day.  I can go into all my Pinterest stored recipes and bring the one I want up on the screen and it makes it easy to read and work with.  Also easy to find.  The next recipe I want to try is Tricia Yearwood’s Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese.  I have the recipe in my crock pot recipes on Pinterest.

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I love the crock pot or slow cooker.  You just throw in the ingredients and forget it for the day and have a nice supper waiting for you.

Then there are winter salads.  I like to use Kale.  I have a favorite dressing that I just make up in a small mason jar and shake it up.  It’s just apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, herbs, olive oil and then a little salt and pepper.  I like it better then my favorite dressing that is in the grocery store.  Then I like grilled artichokes to add.  I found them in a jar on the grocery store shelf.  I have a few favorite recipes that I have adapted to my taste.  I also like to buy the Organic Baby Greens and Herbs or the Power Greens at the grocery store. Just add cranberries, walnuts and a little of your favorite cheese.

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I like Shaved Parmesan over the salad, sometimes.

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I also like the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Kale salad.  She sautees red onions, mushrooms and bacon.  She puts white wine over the onions, mushrooms and red onions.  She uses a balsamic dressing and also goat cheese.  Yum!

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I like to cook with eggs.  They are very frugal and also very delicious.  They are fun to make into a fritatta with cheddar cheese, onions and mushrooms.  That is my favorite.  But you can make a meal with eggs and just add a salad.

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I like to make heart shaped biscuits and use them for a chicken pot pie.  So easy to make and it looks fancy.

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Then even easier, is to make heart shaped twinkies.  They are fun for date night and look fancy.

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I just like to have fun in the kitchen and it brings out my creative side.

 

 

 

January Thoughts

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My son came up to my place and we went out to lunch this week and had fish and chips and also the salad bar.  So fun to see him and we had a really nice visit.

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I like the little stuffed peppers on the salad bar and they had a ton of stuff to choose from and also the salad bar includes soup.  We went to The Blackrock Steakhouse.

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It was fun to get out and take the dullness out of a cold winter day.

I’m really surprised that Vermont didn’t get any snow from that blizzard that hit the east coast.  They got over two feet of snow in the Virginia area.  That is very unusual for that area.

Up in northern Vermont they got snow this week, as they always get snow up there, but in southern Vermont we got nothing but sunny, blue skies.  They have an ice carving contest in Stowe, Vermont this time of year.  I like the sculpture they made for the Trapp Family Lodge.  It’s really awesome and some people are so talented.

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I think that it would be fun to go cross country skiing at the Trapp Family Lodge.  The mountain views are so beautiful and they have awesome trails.

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They have sleigh rides, also.  So awesome.

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Then there is the hot tub that is outside.

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I can just imagine how fun that would be to soak in that and enjoy the beautiful views.  Steamy hot water and cold, brisk air.

Stowe, Vermont is just beautiful.  At Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, Vermont they have a huge heated pool and part of it is indoors and then part of it is outdoors.  It’s exclusive for people that have condo’s in the part of the mountain called “Solitude”.  You can ski on the trail that is just steps from your deck.

So that is my thoughts for this winter day.