Winter Days

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I think that it would be fun to just pack a picnic and take a hike after the new fallen light snow.  Start in the early morning light.

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You would have to dress warm and in layers. I would make some Vermont Cheddar soup to pack in a thermos.  The soup has cheddar cheese, thyme, celery, carrots, butter and garlic. So you could stop and have a winter picnic along the way.

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It’s really pretty just after the dusting of snow.

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A cute Holstein enjoying the morning.

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Little lambs are just adorable.

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Horses enjoying the morning air.

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I think Birch trees are beautiful.

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Then back home warming up near the fireplace that is a fireplace and pizza oven in one.

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Warm up some more of that Vermont Cheddar Cheese soup.

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Winter days are chilly, but can be just so beautiful.

 

 

 

Sunday Coffee

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I like this little coffee station.  It has a kind of French style and classic, relaxed style.  I like the color of the chalkboard frame and what my Mom always called “the sideboard” stand that holds the coffee stuff.    I like the style of the shelves that hold the coffee mugs and little coffee sugar bowls, creamers and canisters.

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This style is a little much, but the chalkboard is cute and the French style of the white sideboard.

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Coffee is just something that is nice to linger over on a cold winter morning weekend.

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I like cook books and I definitely want to add the above cook book to my collection.

I also like Le Creuset pots.  My favorite color is the French blue which I think they call Marseille or something like that.  Anyways, these pots are very expensive and just an investment because they last forever and they just are a dream to cook with.

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This is my dream sewing and craft room.  The chandelier, the “smile”, “dream” signs, the organized shelves, the lots of room table and comfy look of everything.  I would have mine with the window view of a garden with winding paths and raised gardens and a potting shed and green house.  Then distant mountains views.  I would have a more comfy window seat.  The Tiffany blue and white colors are awesome.  This room would bring out the creative side.

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But because I like to dream, the following is a a kitchen that would be just what would be fun to cook in.  I would add a pantry.

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And because Valentines Day is just around the corner, I like the following Cafe mugs with hearts on them.  They are on Tara’s Temp-tations web page.  The style reminds me of a French Cafe and would be fun to have coffee in for February.

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Snow Day

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This morning the snow is coming down good and it’s the type of snow that sticks to the trees.  It’s actually pretty if you don’t have to travel in it.

Covered bridge in winter white

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It’s a good day to be inside.  I did my shopping yesterday and have enough for the 3 day weekend because Monday is a holiday for Martin Luther King’s day.  This is a big ski weekend and I know the ski areas love this snow.

I think it’s a good day for Northern Bean Soup for lunch, after a walk in the snow.

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Winter Days

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To me, hot chocolate is just a nice treat for cold winter days to warm your soul.  I found a recipe for “Best Hot Chocolate” that would be perfect for a winter day in Vermont.  To make it easy and quick, you just bring 3/4 cup of water to a simmer in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Then whisk in 3 Tbsp of cocoa powder until no lumps remain, then add 3 cups of whole milk and return to a simmer.  Whisk in 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate finely chopped and 3 tablespoons of sugar and cook, whisking frequently until mixture is smooth and creamy and chocolate melted, about 5 minutes.    Divide hot chocolate among mugs.  Top with whipped cream and dust with cocoa powder.

And because it is cold weather, it’s a good time to make some chicken stock on the stove to just simmer all day.  I like Barefoot Contessa’s recipe that is on the food network.  She uses the stock in all her soups and a lot of her recipes.  She freezes her stock in plastic containers and puts it in the freezer to use when she wants to.  She puts all kinds of veggies and herbs in the water, along with whole chicken.  A lot of people use the remains of a chicken roast bones and use that.  Then everything is strained with all the flavor in the stock.  I want to try making my own chicken stock as it is supposed to be very flavorful and that is what making a good soup is all about.

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I watched the Republican debate last night.  I think that they are all very wonderful candidates for the leader of our country.  I have my choice for who I am voting for.  But in my humble opinion, the people that are in charge of running important agencies in our government have to be scrutinized.  The stuff that passes through food and medical agencies is just like everything is run.  Friends and family get in for the high paying jobs, don’t have to do their job and are mostly slackers.    Just has to change.  Also because of “political correctness”  minorities have to take positions that there are intended for more qualified people that should be in the position.  Qualified people are out of luck and have not a chance of really good jobs.  For an example, the person from California that was a terrorist and killed 14 people had a government job inspecting restaurants that paid $70,000.00 a year.  He wanted to kill us all and he inspected a food place?????  Kind of makes a person cringe.  Then my son, who worked his way through college and got a BA in education could not get a teaching job.  He was on the deans list all through college.  They said he had to have masters degree to get in.  Then he goes into accounting and 2 more years of school, working and paying for it himself along the way.  So what does he earn??? He earns $30,000.00 a year.  Go figure.

And that is my rant for the day.

A really nice place in Vermont is the beautiful town of Woodstock.  It is so scenic and just plain fun to visit.  I like Gillinghams store.  The people that own the store have been in Woodstock since way before I was born.  The store has really nice and quality stuff to buy.  It’s like a country store with wine, cheese, coffee and all kinds of kitchen stuff.

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I also love the food co-ops all over the state that have organic food.

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This peanut butter sounds kind of good.

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I think that I would like to have the following photo made into a picture to frame and put on a wall somewhere in my home.  So pretty.

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January Frosty Morning

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It’s wicked cold this morning.  Wouldn’t usually thing much of it, but you notice the cold when just a few days ago it was warm enough to rain.

I think that it’s a good day for Minestrone Soup.  I saw a new recipe that sounds good to try today.

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I had a Ninja blender and I totally disliked the thing.  It made way too much noise.  Literally sounded like a chain saw.  The blades were sharp and so many of them that they were very hard to wash.  Then the cheap plastic jar cracked from the power of the thing throwing ice against it.  I threw the thing in the garbage.   It felt good to do so, too.  So I really like having a blender for smoothies.   And I did not have $500.00 to spend on one of those really expensive blenders that also have a plastic jar.  So I did research and to the best of my ability and what I could afford, I bought a $50.00 blender which is a Black and Decker fusion blade blender that has a glass jar that also comes with an individual blending jar.  I love it.  I tried it out and it’s quiet for a blender, yet has the power to blend frozen fruit really nice.  Best smoothie I ever made with it.  Prevention magazine did a review on blenders and said this one was the best one to get if you didn’t have a lot of money to spend.  Plus I read reviews on it and people loved it.  Four stars is good enough for me.  I would give it 5 stars.  And it looks nice on my counter and doesn’t take up a huge amount of space like the Ninja did.  I found it on line at Amazon.  Worth the postage added on to it.  Did I say that I love it?  Best $50.00 I ever spent.  I will get sooo much use out of it.  I like to make home made tomato soup out of canned diced tomatoes with fresh ground Italian herbs, a half cup of milk and a half cup of chicken broth.  Tastes like something from a restaurant to me.  A little sea salt and fresh ground pepper over it and a pad of butter melting on it.  Yum.

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Three people won the Powerball lottery last night that was 1.6 billion dollars.
They each get 500 million dollars.  Can you imagine that???  I got one powerball number which was 10 and the powerball, so I got $4.00.  Feel lucky to get the $4.00 back that I used to buy 2 tickets.  To make up for it being cold outside, and not particularly a relaxing time of year, I will try to do some yoga along with my regular aerobic walk exercise.  I like how some people have a yoga space in their home.  They put a nice candle going and favorite things all around them for inspiration.

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Light Snow

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Today was just a light powder snow day.  It’s not the type of wet heavy snow that sticks to trees and is pretty, or that you can make a snow man with.  It’s about 20 degrees and the ski mountains can make lots of snow for the skiers.

It didn’t take long for people to plow their driveways today.  Just a few inches of powder snow.  But it was still sunny and kind of pretty day.

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A good day to make something in the crock pot like macaroni and cheese.

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Just fix it and forget it.  Nice comfort food on a chilly day.

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January 12, 2016

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As the nights draw in and woolly jumpers are out, it would be the perfect time to start a knitting project.

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I think this little lamb hat is adorable for a baby.  Also the little sweater is cute.a18d76ab42646745073b0bdce2591fb1

I like this little sweater and hat, also.

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I think it would be fun to knit some warm socks.

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Also, I think it would be fun to join a knitting club to see demonstrations on sock making techniques, Intarsia knitting, knitting in the round/knitting without seams, cables explained, different ways to cast on, knitting patterns technology, knitting mistakes.

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Everyone brings their own project to work on and there is cake and tea to enjoy.

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January 11, 2016

It’s a sunny day today. It rained yesterday and last night.  Unusual for this time of year.

Martha Stewart’s Cooking School is on TV every morning at 9:30 AM.  Today she had Pasta making from scratch.  She had an Italian man on that had all kinds of tools for making really awesome pasta.  She also has the recipe for basic pasta on her web page.  I don’t think that it is easy to do, but well worth the effort.

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It was fun watching all the shapes that were made from pasta.  And there were all kinds of tips on how to make lasagna, ravioli, tortilini and all kinds of pasta that were filled.

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The garden seed catalogs are already coming in the mail.  I just love it.  It’s fun to see all the heirloom seeds, the herbs, the flowers and beautiful garden ideas.  My favorite is a kitchen garden catalog.  People are already starting to plant tomato seeds to start tomato plants inside.  Also the primrose plants are already showing up in the grocery store plant sections.

I had a little spider plant that fell from the main plant when I moved the plant.  So I put the baby spider plant in water and it grew roots.  Now I have another beautiful spider plant.

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I have fun with plants.  It’s enjoyable to have them and especially in the winter.  It just is like a breath of fresh air to me.

 

 

January 10, 2016

Today is the birthday of my Dad.  He loved Vermont and loved to be outside.  He always had a huge garden, loved sports, had a good sense of humor, loved the Autumn with beautiful Fall colors, loved to fish, loved the lakes in the summer and he always enjoyed holidays.  He was a hard worker and took pride in his work as a machinist.  We miss him always and especially think of him today.

Vermont is known for maple products.  Maybe that’s why my favorite ice cream is Maple Walnut.  My favorite cake is a Maple Walnut cake.  My grandchildren love pancakes with real maple syrup for breakfast.

My Mom grew up on a farm and they had their own sugar house.  They made maple syrup in the Spring and had maple syrup all year round, storing it in the pantry.

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My Mom’s favorite cake to have for birthdays was the Maple Walnut cake, using real maple syrup.

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I like the Walpole Creamery Maple Walnut ice cream.  They use real maple syrup and it’s all home made.

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If I’m feeling blue, I can sit down and finish a whole pint of that ice cream.  It’s like comfort food.

I don’t like pancakes.  But my grandchildren love pancakes for breakfast with real maple syrup.  They always like to have them “stacked”.

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I like this photo of the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT.  In the afternoon they have tea.  I love the views.  On my bucket list is to go there in the winter and go cross country skiing and then have tea in their Lodge.
We have been there in the summer and had tea out on a deck with awesome views of the mountains in the distance.  Will always remember it as fun times.

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My Grandmother liked to knit.  I can remember the warm mittens that she used to make.  She also liked to sew and she could look in a store window and go home and make the same dress without a pattern, using her own made up patterns.

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I took Fashion and Fabrics in school and love to sew.  I taught myself to knit and crochet.  My Mom taught me to embroider.  It takes patience to make stuff.  I made a couple of nice things.  But my Gram could make anything.   She also loved to bake.  Her home made rolls, pies and everything she made was just scrumptious.  My Mom was the best cook ever.  Even my Gram, who was a perfectionist thought so.

So these are a few things I love about growing up in Vermont.  I love the four seasons.  Even thought it would be fun to go where it’s warm and tropical for a couple of weeks in the winter.

January 9, 2016

I tried a new soup recipe using up the sliced kale and sliced brussel sprouts that I had left over from a salad I made yesterday.  It was basically the same recipe I always use for a bean soup, but the recipe was on the bag of power greens I used for the soup.  The recipe had paprika in it which I don’t usually use.  And it had parmesan on top of the bowl of soup.  It was good to have on a kind of cloudy and cool day.

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Somehow, this photo of wine looks refreshing.

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I think it would be fun to have a book club and a knitting club.  Have a group of friends that like to read and like to knit.  Get together and share ideas.  Read the same books and comment on them.  Try knitting projects and learn from each other.

I like the following sweater and think it would be fun to knit.  Even more fun to wear cross country skiing.

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Then in the afternoon, have tea in front of a cozy fireplace.

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