Sunday

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My little indoor garden is all the gardening I can have fun with at this time of year.  It needs some work and I think that I will add a few plants this week.

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Cute idea from Sur la table that was in my e-mail this morning.

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Neat beehive baking pan for the Honey Lemon Cakelets that they have.

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I like the aprons they have.  Spring is just around the corner.

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King Arthur flour sent an e-mail with their carrot cake recipe that calls for King Arthur white whole-wheat flour.  It sounds healthy as well as tasty.

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I think these little cookie cutters are neat.  I think they are from Williams-Sonoma and the idea was in my e-mail this morning.

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Cute bakeware, also.

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Yesterday on the Food Network, they had cast iron skillet ideas.  The above is a buttermilk strawberry cake that Tricia Yearwood shared a recipe for.  She made strawberry whipped cream with her kitchen aid mixer for a topping.  And she shared a recipe from Garth Brooks brother for roasted, candied pecans to put on top for an option.  It’s kind of fun to watch a cooking show and then just go to the food network website and all the recipes are right there under their celebrity chefs shows.  The recipes that I like, I can just save by pushing the pin button for one of my pinterest boards.  Then I can just have the recipe come up on my i-pad if I want to try to make the recipe.

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I like having Comcast Cable because they combine TV, Internet and phone all on one bill at a reasonable price.  And I connect my cell phone, i-pad and laptop to the internet.  Who knew I could be that technical.  Plus all phone calls whether they are long distance or local are free of charge.  One of the pleasures that are available to me and I just appreciate being able to take advantage of cable.  I love having a blog and enjoy all the fun bloggers that are out there.

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St. Patricks Day is just around the corner.  I have a whole board on my Pinterest on fun ideas for St. Patricks Day.

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I like tablescape ideas.

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Then there is always the corned beef and cabbage slow cooker recipes to try.

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You can download those water bottle labels on line.  I like cut out cookies to decorate in green.  So many cute ideas.

I have had to work at jobs that I didn’t particularly like, but some of the skills that I learned have made my life more enjoyable in the long run.  My Mom used to always say that they can never take away from you, anything that you learn.  I just hung around and soaked up information and actually helped out in jobs that required time consuming stuff that really educated people just didn’t have the time for.  In turn, they taught me a few skills.  I surprise myself sometimes at the things that I can do.  Like hooking up wi-fi, connecting my DVD player to the TV.  Only because I had to as it is sink or swim more or less.

And that is my thoughts for this beautiful, sunny but chilly Sunday morning. ❤

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Saturday Inspirations

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Saturday has new cooking shows on in the morning and I like to have coffee and enjoy all the awesome food network cooks.  The first show I came across was cooking with a cast iron frying pan.  They showed how to clean and season a cast iron pan.

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That pan reminded me of stuff my Mom used to make in a cast iron pan. Like corned beef hash with poached eggs for breakfast.

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Then she used to make a corn bread like cake that she called “Johnny Cake”.  It’s an old New England recipe.

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This is how she made it.

3/4 cup cornmeal, fine to medium ground local if possible

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup sour cream

About 1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 eggs plus one egg yolk

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup melted butter, cooled a bit

1 cup fresh roasted corn kernals or frozen corn

1 cup heavy cream or whole milk

Place a 10 inch cast-iron frying pan in a 450-degree oven.  It needs to be smoking hot when you pour the batter in.

In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, soda, powder, salt and pepper.  Set aside.

In a two-quart measuring cup, add a large blob of sour cream, about half a cup.

Add enough whole milk to come to the two-cup mark.  Mix with the eggs, sugar and 3 tablespoons of the melted butter, blend well, and toss in the corn.  Add the liquid all at once to the dry ingredients and gently combine, just until there are no large pockets of flour.  Don’t over mix.

Remove the frying pan from the oven and add the last tablespoon of butter, brushing it around the pan.  It should be bubbly and sizzling.

Quickly add the batter.  It will sizzle and sizzle and start to set on the edges immediately.

Here’s the magic.  Now, gently pour the cup of cream directly into the center of the batter.  You’ll be tempted to pour it all around, but you want it dead center.  It will look totally wrong, but it will come out deliciously right.

Return to the oven.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or so, depending on your oven, but check at 30.  The top will be browned, but not overly so, you don’t want it to go too far and dry out.

Let it cool for a few minutes, and cut into eight or ten pie-shaped pieces and enjoy!  This needs no assistance from a topping except perhaps a drizzle of dark amber maple syrup.

Variation:  a cup of shredded cheddar cheese is never a mistake either!

Then I saw a Yankee Pot Roast recipe and it reminded me of my Mom’s Pot roast.  This is perfect for a Le Creuset Dutch Oven type pan.  And it’s perfect for this time of year when you don’t mind heating up the oven.

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The following recipe for Yankee Pot Roast has red wine in it and is a lot like the recipe I saw this morning.  This is very close to how my Mom made her pot roast, also.

1 1/4 cup of the purest olive oil

3 onions sliced east-west

1 three-to four- pound round beef roast

Enough flour to dredge in

8 slender, lithe carrots, or fatter ones cut in half or quartered

3 ribs celery, cut in half

2 1/2 cups of the beefiest broth

1 1/2 cups of delicious red wine

5 to 6 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 rounded teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

salt (to your tastes content)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 rounded tablespoons flour

Instructions:

In a large, heavy flameproof crockpot, preferably cast iron, over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions until golden brown.  Thoroughly dredge the beef in the flour, covering all the surface area.  Add the floured beef to the pan and brown on all sides, especially it’s feminine side.  The flour may cause the onions to burn slightly.  That’s OK.

Add the carrots, celery, beef broth, wine, thyme, black pepper and salt to taste.  Reduce heat, partially cover, and let simmer slightly, for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, occasionally turning the beef and perpetually singing.  When the carrots and celery are cooked through, remove them and hold aside for later.

When the beef is falling apart tender, remove it from the broth.  Remove the thyme sprigs.  Passionately knead the butter and tablespooned flour together until they are inseparable as teenage sweethearts.  Add the mixture to the broth and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a sauce the consistancy of buttermilk.  Remove from heat.

To serve, slice the beef and arrange on a platter.  Cover with some of the sauce.  Put what sauce remains in a nice bowl or gravy boat.  Arrange the carrots and celery attractively on the beef platter.  Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs, if you like.  Serve immediately.

Serves six (or three fat guys)

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I think the above old Yankee style sampler is cute.

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Then the above idea for whole wheat crust skillet deep dish pizza sounds like it might be really kind of fun to make as well as a nice idea for using a cast iron skillet.

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I love the idea of screened in porch on the side of a deck.  I think it would be fun to have like a round table with cafe type chairs on it.

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The idea of a fireplace in the corner of the porch sounds like a neat idea, also.

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The above type of sun room would be awesome, also.

And that is my thoughts and inspirations for the day.

 

 

 

Friday Finds

Greensborotown

My Grandparents lived in a little town in the North East Kingdom area of Vermont called Greensboro Bend.  Just for fun I tried to find a photo of the farm on the internet.  And I actually found one.  They had 217 acres of land on the farm and as a kid I treasure the times that we visited every summer for a week or so.

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I remember the beautiful garden my Gram always had.  The berries that always grew behind the shed where my Grandpa kept his Ford tractor.  My aunt made the most scrumptious raspberry pies that were light, buttery crust and just a sweet memory.  The huge fields where my brothers used to help with bringing in the hay.  The beautiful cows that my younger brother and I sometimes helped Grandpa bring in at the end of the day.  Then they had a couple of horses.  The front porch had a glider swing on it.  To me, this place holds a lot of sweet memories.

Lots of times they had family reunions and we would all gather at one of the beautiful lakes in the area.  All kinds of food, laughter  and good times.

The above photo is how the farm looks now. Nothing like it used to be.  My cousin sold it to some people that don’t treasure it as far as I can see.   I remember it as a magic place, so clean with just  manicured and perfect landscape.  Lots of laughter and small talk ringing out from the front porch on beautiful summer evenings.  My younger brother and I used to play croquet on the front lawn where there was a U-shaped driveway in front of the porch.  There was a ceramic little deer sitting near a bird bath.  Summer flowers everywhere.

There was a huge dining room table and I remember fresh garden vegetables from the garden and fun dinners.  My aunt cooked at a private school and she had all the recipes from her Grandmother.  She always made bran muffins in the morning included in breakfast.

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The above is a photo that my Gram had of the farmhouse.  This is how I remember it.  Now all the paint is off the barn.  Grafiti in orange on the porch posts.  Junk all over the place.  Wow, wish we could back in time sometimes.  But I guess we can always keep the memories in our hearts.

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I used to have a bumper sticker that said “Virginia is for Lovers”.  I like the little addition to the bumper sticker above.  Virginia is a beautiful state and reminds me a lot of Vermont.  When my kids were little, we used to go to Florida to Disney World once in awhile on vacations and I remember traveling through West Virginia and Virginia.  I always liked that John Denver song about almost heaven, West Virginia, blue ridge mountains,Shanondoa River.  Life is old there, older then the trees etc………

 

February 25, 2016

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I like the above French terry sweatsuit.  It’s from Nordstrom and it’s 100% cotton which I like.  You have to buy the top and the pants separate and I would wear a long sleeve T-shirt under it.  It’s perfect for this time of year for any kind of workout like the Lesley Sans aerobic walk DVD to walk away the pounds.

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I also like the above necklace designed by Heidi Daus and found on HSN.  The combination of the pearls and the beautiful blue tear drop stone.  It’s just so pretty.  Usually anything stunning like that sells out fast, but this one is expensive and seems to be still available.

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Then I saw a neat on line class from Udemy where they have a half price course offer for making sourdough bread like a professional artisan bread.  Sounds like a fun and very informative course where you could learn a lot.  It had 5 star ratings on the reviews of the course.

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The above sourdough starter and King Arthur Flour sour dough crock would be awesome to have.

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Then I saw a neat idea to make slow cooker Cashew Chicken like Chinese take out.  Sounds good to me.  I pinned it on my Pinterest board under slow cooker recipes.

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I also saw an idea for white tulips mixed with deep blue flowers.  So pretty.

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I saw the above mug that said “Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”  on the mug.  So cute.

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Can you imagine having enough land to have a cute chicken coop like the above?  Having farm fresh eggs every day.

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This one is cute, too.

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I love the above greenhouse.  Totally awesome.  My sister in law has one almost like it.  Hers has all kinds of shelves and potting benches in it.

And that is my thoughts for today in Vermont.  It rained here last night almost to the point of flooding in some places along with very loud thunder and it’s supposed to get cold again tomorrow and probably snow a little.  Extremely unusual Vermont weather.  Spring isn’t far away and I saw that they were boiling sap and making maple syrup today.

Dream House Design

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I wouldn’t mind the above kitchen.  It’s a Martha Stewart design and you can buy all those cabinets at Home Depot.  I like the lighted China cabinets and the farmers sink.  Then the island and the counter stove top.  I would add a double wall oven and a stainless steel  double door refrigerator.  Maybe different chandeliers over the island.  I like crystal chandeliers.  Maybe just one chandelier and little round sophet lights in the ceiling.  Love the windows over the sink where you can put plants.  I like the couple of open shelves.  I would put an open beam in a Nantucket grey color at the end of open concept kitchen and have a 2 sided fireplace dividing the dining room and living room.

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I wouldn’t mind this dining room idea.

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I like the above for the design of the outside of the house and the landscaping.

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I like this idea for the master bedroom.  The cathedral ceilings and the French doors leading to a balcony or deck.

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I would have this as a gas fireplace somewhere in the house.

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I like the above porch idea.

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Perfect laundry room.

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I like the colors of the above living room and how the French doors let the light in.

 

So that is how I would have a house designed.  It’s kind of comfortable and light.  Everyone has different tastes, but that is what I think is nice.

 

 

 

Discoveries of the day

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I’ve had my Moto X Smartphone for a long time and just discovered a new App for it called “Out of Milk” shopping list.  I love it!  To add an item, I can type it in or I can just use that little google microphone and say the item and it goes into the list.  It’s automatically divided into the heading where it belongs like Produce, Dairy etc.  And you can put in the price under the item when you put the item in the cart.  It tells you a running total of the cost of all the items in your cart.  And you just touch the screen by little checkmark square place and it puts a line through the item when you put the item in your cart.  So awesome.  Now my shopping list is always with me and I don’t know how many times I’ve made a list and left it home before I got this app for my cell phone.  My smartphone is always with me.  I love it.

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I like the cute little widget for the App that goes on your home screen, also.  Just touch that widget and up comes your shopping list.

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Another catalog that I got in my mail is the Nordstrom catalog.  So awesome.  It has two pages in it with expensive perfume samples that you can try.

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Then some of the Spring styles are to put on the wish list.

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Then I got a neat Seed catalog that is fun to get ideas on what would be nice to plant in a few months.

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I like to watch HGTV and the Flea Market Flip program that they have.  They are always finding something that makes a nice profit for them to do over and flip.  I would never be lucky enough to find a hutch like the following.  But I love the shape of the old hutch someone found and painted and made a coffee bar with.  Kind of neat.

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I love the color of it and all the neat storage.  I could think of a lot of ideas that I have seen to decorate that done over hutch really nice.

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I love the above photo.  It’s actually like Spring here at the moment and not at all like Winter.  Very unusual.

February 23, 2016

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I got a new King Arthur Flour catalog yesterday in the mail.  I love to browse through the catalogs that they send.

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Cute Shamrock cookie stamp for St Patrick’s day.

cupcakes

On the back cover, they had a cute idea for Carrot Cake cupcakes.  So cute and also looks like they would be good being packed with carrots and laced with cinnamon and molasses.  Then the cream cheese frosting.  Yum.  Nice Spring idea.

granola bars

Then they had Coconut Flour to make granola bars with.  What a neat idea.  Very healthy as well as tasty.

donuts

I would like to get their doughnut pan where you can bake doughnuts.  They even have a butternut doughnut mix.

biscuits

They have lots of recipes in their catalog and the Cheddar, Herb and Garlic Biscuit Recipe Bundle sounds awesome.   What a neat idea to liven up a winter breakfast.

Then I also got a White Flower Farm Spring 2016 Garden book.  I also read that from cover to cover.  The flowers to plant that I like the most and would love to have are the following:

peonies

I love the Peony flower.  A whole row of them on the side of the lawn is just beautiful.

Then the Hydranga in all the beautiful colors.  I especially love the Nantucket blue.

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The Hollyhocks are so cottage like and I just love them.

lilac

The Lilac is a must have.  They are just beautiful in the Spring.

Then you have to have a climbing rose.  They are just awesome to have.

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On Nantucket Island you see climbing roses everywhere and they just look so beautiful.

I also saw an Irish Prayer Ring in one of my favorite magazines.  The prayer for it was “May God give you…For every storm, a rainbow, for every tear, a smile, for every care, a promise, and an answer for each prayer.  Petite hearts set with Emeralds surround the cross to symbolize a reminder of divine eternal love.  A true expression of faith and the power of prayer.

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I had coffee this morning in one of my favorite mugs.  Kind of a cloudy day here and just staying cozy.

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And that is my coffee talk for the morning.  Wishing you all a wonderful day.  I enjoy the catalogs that I get in the mail as they always give me inspiration.