Vermont Musings

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I think that the Connecticut River that divides Vermont and New Hampshire is just beautiful any time of the year.  I like to take an old route when I go shopping, but the interstate has views of the river in places that are from a distance but beautiful also.

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I also like old country roads.  So pretty any time of year.  It’s really fun to go for a long walk on a country road.  You can hear all kinds of birds singing and then little chipmunks and squirrels rustling in the leaves.

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Weston, Vermont is really pretty.  There is a Weston Playhouse there that has plays that are really fun to go to.  My cousin and I had a lot of fun one time going to one of the plays and we went to the Weston Vermont Country store shopping in Weston and we also had lunch at a delightful Vermont Country Store restaurant.

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I love the old fashioned candy that they have at the country store.  My grandkids used to love me to bring them all kinds of old fashioned candy.

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I bought one of the Vermont Country Store weaved table cloths and I just love it.  It really looks nice on my kitchen table.

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I love the Vermont Country store maple leaf cookies.  And then the Vermont Common crackers that are in a canister are so good.

 

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Another fun place to visit in Vermont is Putney.  It’s just above Brattleboro and we used to like to go to Basketville there.  They used to have a really fun wine tasting there from a bubbly wine that is made from apples.  You would not believe how good it is.  I think they still have that wine.  Plus the picnic baskets and all kinds of baskets are fun to browse.

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A really fun place to go for an elegant dining experience for a special occasion is The Castle Hill Restaurant that is Cavendish which is just below Ludlow.   It looks like a castle on the outside and the inside is just elegant.  When I worked at Okemo, we had a tour of all the local Inns and at the Castle they gave us wine, cheese and crackers to start the tour.

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Everything at the Castle Inn is just elegant.

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The dessert tray is just plain fancy at the Castle.

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Fancy Shrimp cocktails are a must have when you are out for a special occasion.

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The Castle is just a dream place to have a very romantic and fun dinner.

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Another beautiful place in Vermont is Newfane.   The Four Columns Inn there is just classic Vermont.

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I love the decor and the classic design.

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Another fun place to visit in Vermont is Stowe.  Mount Mansfield is the hightest elevation mountain in Vermont.

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The Rabbit Hill Inn in Waterford is just plain romantic.  I love Country Inns as they usually are classic and never go out of style.

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I love how Country Inns have all kinds of fancy buffets.

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I also love their choices for breakfasts.

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As well as fancy dinners.   I love how Chefs make a dinner plate just elegant.  And they usually have restaurants at the Inns where you can dine at even if you don’t stay there.

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The jacuzzi tubs with candles is just a nice touch in Country Inns.

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The Rabbit Hill Inn is the same style as the Four Columns Inn in Newfane.  I love that style.

Vermont has four seasons and there is something beautiful in each season.

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The winters are a little long, but if you can get away where it’s warmer for a few weeks in the winter, Vermont is just plain beautiful to me.

 

 

 

 

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Sunday and Raining

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Kind of a rainy Fall day here today.  A good day to catch up on some reading.  I have a ton of books that I like to enjoy with a nice cup of coffee or herbal tea.  I have a Finance Organizer book that I forgot to enter in my bill paid dates and the receipts put in the little pocket that is for October so got that done.  I read some Journals that I have kept over the last 10 years or so.  Some of it made me cry and some of it gave me insights to my habits.  Some of it made me laugh.

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I love the planner that I have.  It was so fun going to Michaels Craft a few weeks ago and getting some cute embellishments that are just fun to work with.  Then I found some photos that I like and also I made a plastic holder and used a paper punch to fit it into the rings of the planner to hold the photos for my planner.  The sun was out for a few minutes this morning and then it rained for the rest of the day.

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My Gram used to make the most beautiful rolls that she would bring to family gatherings.  They look like the above and Craftsy sent me that class with the recipes and all the instructions.  I absolutely love it.  King Arthur Flour instructors and all.  Just totally awesome.

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The Golden Door Spa has awesome sales.  The above Orange Marmalade for $5.00 is a real deal.  They make their products from their own gardens and Blood Orange is so good for you.  And Orange Marmalade is so good on English Muffins with melted butter.  I like the Wheat English Muffins or the 12 Grain English Muffins myself.

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I also love King Arthur Flour Fall spices.  I love all the King Arthur Flour products.  It is so fun to visit their store in Norwich, Vermont and their catalogs are full of recipes and ideas.

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I like my favorite Fritatta which has sauteed mushrooms and onions and then Vermont Cheddar cheese.  It’s so easy to make and has so much flavor with farm fresh eggs.  And it’s just fun to use the Pioneer Woman plate, placemat and glass that all match.  I mean the $12.00 it costs for all three is so worth how much it makes for a fun dining experience.  I can’t help myself as the Walmart is a fun place to shop sometimes.  I love some their Pioneer Woman line of dinnerware.  It’s not expensive but it looks really nice to me.

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I love anything French and the above quilt caught my eye.  It’s made from a kit and just takes beginner skills.  But of course it’s out of stock.  Wow, that panel with the Eiffel tower and all the material for the blocking around it and the binding, filling and everything was just $29.00.   No wonder it was out of stock.   Some people were very lucky to get that in my opinion.  My Gram could look at that and make it with no kit.   Wish I had that talent.  I love that quilt.

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They have all kinds of style apps for fashion and wardrobes.  I just love some of the ideas out there.

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I was feeling a little down today but cheered myself up and realize that I have so much to be thankful for.

Hope you all had a nice weekend.

Friday, Oct 27, 2017

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I got an email with peonie bulbs, and it said that it’s the time of year to plant them.  They are one of my favorite flowers and I think that the variety that they have is just beautiful.  I just love the pink ones the best.  But a variety like the above would be just beautiful to have as a border on one side of a lawn.  These bulbs can be found at Van Engelen Inc. online.

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Van Engelen also had beautiful tulip bulbs, but the above fringe tulip in that color was out of stock.

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The tulip called Burgandy Lace, which is also beautiful was available the last time I looked.

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High Country Gardens has the above Bronze Charm Wildflower tulips that I think would be beautiful to plant now for next Spring.

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I also saw a quilt kit on Craftsy that I thought was beautiful.  I would love to make that quilt.  It’s called an Ice Cream pattern.

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Then they have an on line class that you can buy on Craftsy for machine quilting.  That class interests me.

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Martin Philip is the head bread baker at King Arthur flour.  Craftsy has an online class that you can take that costs $29.95.  If you take that class at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, it would cost about 5 times that.  The class on line gives you pro tips plus the recipes for tender scones, fluffy biscuits and moist quick breads.  You can watch the lessons any time, anywhere and they are yours forever.   It also shows how to make creme fraiche, home made butter and jam with the recipes for them, also.   I received a coupon code to take one class for 50% off.  The code is PICK1.  So I am definitely going to enjoy that class and if you like baking, that is a nice find.  ❤

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The scones in the class sounded really good.  Also, they have a banana bread recipe.

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They even show how to make tea time toppings like butter, jam and creme fraiche complete with the recipes.

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Then the class shows how to pain de mie shaping and baking to make bread for tea sandwiches.

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The class shows how to make a wonderful Vanilla Pound cake complete with a Mojito Lime Simple Syrup to put over the top of it.

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The class includes 7 HD video lessons that includes class materials such as the recipes.

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When I saw that class, my heart did flip flops.  It’s everything that I love and I wanted to share it in case anyone else might like Tea ideas.

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I also love clothes and when I saw the above ideas for under $35.00 each I couldn’t believe it.  I put all the links to where to find them on my Fashion board on my Pinterest.

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The online stores are Nordstrom, Target, Old Navy, Designer Shoe Warehouse and H&M.  The Mule style shoes look just like Gucci and are from Target.  Also the high waist stretch jeans are from Target and only cost $27.99.  The plaid scarf from Nordstrom is $24.99 and so stylish.  The draped cardigan is from H&M is only $19.99.  These are finds that look expensive and are affordable.  I love that.

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I love Aldi for grocery shopping.  There are several items that are under $5.00 that are a real deal.

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Aldi’s organic food is $1.00 less then grocery stores.

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Aldi has specialty cheeses that are not expensive and are really good.

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They have all kinds of dips and crackers that are really good and are inexpensive.  They also have all kinds of canned goods that are low sodium and are like fifty cents to sixty cents a can.   I love that place.

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And then Aldi’s has Cotes De Provence Rose Wine that is an award winner and was voted one of the worlds best wines.  It’s a must try.

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I love a crock pot this time of year and a really neat idea is to cook a Slow Cooker Roast Chicken in it once and eat it all week.  I pinned the recipe on my Crock Pot board on my Pinterest.

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I also found a crock pot recipe for Spaghetti and Meatballs that sounded really good as it is a copycat restaurant recipe.   I pinned that recipe on my Crock Pot board on my Pinterest also.

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I saw a cute idea for stuffed peppers on the Pioneer Woman’s website that was fun for this time of year.  I pinned that recipe on my Veggie board on my Pinterest.  I have a recipe for stuffed peppers in Bobby Dean’s Every Day Eats cookbook that has Couscous and I added roasted veggies for the stuffing from another recipe that would be good in the orange pepper idea.

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Better Homes and Gardens has a recipe for Pizza Casserole that came in my Email.    it sounds good to me.  I pinned that recipe that has a link to a video on how to make it on my Casserole board on my Pinterest.

I could go on and on but I will save my ideas for another day.   Hope you have a nice weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

October 25, 2017

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October is pumpkin month.  Within a few weeks, most of the leaves will be off the trees and it will start getting colder.  After Halloween everything in the stores will be catered toward the holidays.

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I like the above inspiration.

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I like roasted butternut squash.  It can be used in a soup or fall salad with kale, cranberries and walnuts.  Or any number of ways.  It’s such a Fall classic.  I bought a butternut squash, peeled it and cut it up and then roasted some of it and put it in a Fall salad.   I have one of those machines that takes the air out of those freezer bags and saved the rest of the cubed squash for another salad or for soup.

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There is a certain time of day when the sun hits just over distant trees and highlights them.  It’s so pretty.

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I like the above chart regarding healthy relationships.

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Vermont is really beautiful this time of year.  The foliage doesn’t last long enough though.  After the peak of color, the leaves fall off the trees.  But it’s so beautiful while it lasts.

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I love oatmeal in the morning.   Believe it or not, there is oatmeal under all those toppings.

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Monday, Oct 23, 2017

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Yesterday I went for a walk across the dam within driving distance of where I live.  Something about that mountain is so majestic.  It was a beautiful day and I just enjoyed the beautiful view and the fresh air so much.  There is an airport right near that area and I like to see the small planes that land and take off as well.  There is a farm-stand on the way there that I stopped and got some fresh veggies.  They will only be open for a couple of more days because of frost at night now.

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The maple trees are really at their peak in this area now.  My favorites are the group of huge red maples along route 5.  This route also goes along the Connecticut River which is really pretty.

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I love this time of year.  My cell phone, which is a Moto-X and couple of years old takes really nice photos.   I just love it.

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Because one of my grandmothers was pure English, I love anything Victorian.  When I turned on the TV this morning, there was a program on called All Things Victorian and they made Balmoral Shortbread.  I loved how they showed how to make them the old fashioned way, the way my other Gram that was pure Irish made them.

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She has lavender scones on the left side of her that just came out of the oven.  She is showing how she used a fluted cookie cutter and just rolled out a little dough at a time, not rolling back and forth, but from the middle out like her Gram did and cutting one cookie at a time.  Then she showed how she used a fork to prick the dough using the old fashioned domino effect which is how the English did it, by going 3 across and 3 down.

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The lavender scones were awesome and would be perfect to have with tea.  She said that it’s best to either use lavendar that you grow in your own back yard or organic lavender.

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Then she made English Marmalade  Tea Bread that had a marmalade glaze over the top that had a half of cup of rum in the glaze.   It made two loaves of bread and looked really good.

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I liked the apron that she wore as my Mom always wore aprons like that as well as both of my Grams.  She has a blog called victorian lady lisa that has all the recipes.  I pinned all the recipes on my tea ideas on my Pinterest.  She fillmed the episode I saw this morning at a friends house that had a Victorian kitchen.  And then she had tea with that lady at the end of the show.  She said that Queen Victoria had those Balmoral Shortbread cookies every day.  They sound like they must be good.

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It’s a really neat blog that I found after watching that show on TV.  I read that she is going to do a video soon on afternoon tea that will be filmed at a country Inn.  Hope to catch it when it comes on as I love stuff like that.

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She had another episode that shows Victorian fashion and she said that she had a lady that donated several boxes of Victorian clothes and some Victorian baby clothes.

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The above is a photo of my Mom when she was a baby.  I love the little Victorian style dress that she has on.  My Gram saved all of my Mom’s baby clothes and gave them to my Mom when my sister was born.   I came along 8 years later and those clothes were long gone.   Oh well.  My cousin had the photo and I got a copy of it from photos that my Gram had.  It was a very old photo and scratched, but I copied it the best I could.  So precious to me.  It used to be the style in the 1920’s to be a cupie doll style with a big curl on top of the head.

I loved starting off my Monday with the nostalgic Victorian baking show on early this morning.

I would love to bake all three of those recipes and have my sister, a couple of friends and my daughter in law for tea.  It would be really neat if I had an outdoor garden space.

Saturday, Oct 21, 2017

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When I go shopping, I drive past a group of huge maple trees that are all crimson red.  They are just at their peak in color right now.  So pretty this time of year.

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The above inspiration speaks for itself.

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I have little bookmarks in my planner that are similar to the above by having two little magnets on the inside.   They work really neat.  I want to get the above bookmarks.  I saw them on Ebay.

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I like the breakfast that I made this morning.  It’s just an omelette, but it just was full of flavor using Cabot Extra Sharp Cheese, mushrooms, onions and herb de provence.  I used one of my favorite dishes and coffee mugs and I had Starbucks French Roast coffee.

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Herb de provence is just so French and it’s a mixture of herbs.  I love the flavor that it brings to food.  I put it in my favorite salad dressing also.

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When I was younger, I would not go out of the house without an hour spent on looking just right.  I don’t wear hair curlers out, but I have noticed that I just am much more casual lately.

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If I won powerball, I would go to the Golden Door Spa.  I would take my friends, my sister and my daughter in law.   I mean 4 days of total relaxation, exercise and pampering.   Who wouldn’t want that.   I love their cook book that I got on Amazon.  They have all kinds of awesome spa food.

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They have a winding path that leads to the spa and have all kinds of walking trails.

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They have all kinds of exercise classes and every morning at about 6:00 AM they have a hike on walking trails.  I have heard that they do about 4 hours of exercise every day there.

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They have all kinds of spa treatments.   Fat chance on powerball winning and all but it’s fun to dream.

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I love hummus.  It’s a little expensive to buy, but so easy to make with a food processor.  I like to use it as a base on a wrap and then add lettuce, cucumbers, shredded carrots, avocado and any veggies I have on hand.

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I love a food processor.  Homemade salsa is always delicious.   Just something about it.

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In Burlington, Vermont they have a cafe that is in a greenhouse.   I love plants and what a neat idea.

 

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I love to go for walks this time of year.  The fallen leaves crackle under your feet and the air is crisp.

Friday October 20, 2017

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Martha Stewart was on QVC Wednesday and she had a “todays special” for a frozen turkey breast and two sides.  It had a special price of $100.00.  The above photo shows the two sides of cherry stuffing and creamed spinach.  I watched the show and took notes on the details.  The creamed spinach had a bechamel sauce, sour cream, Gruerye cheese and panko crumbs on top and was Martha’s Mom’s recipe.  The dressing had celery, onions, butter and dried cherries.   The turkey breast had a Herb Butter compound of sage, thyme, orange and lemon.  It sounded good to me so I looked up the recipes and found all of them and made a new board called “Martha’s Recipes” on my Pinterest.

 

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I found the recipe for the creamed spinach and pinned it on my Martha’s recipes on my Pinterest.  I also found the recipe for the dried cherry stuffing that also has pecans in it.

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You could choose Martha’s macaroni and cheese and the mashed potatoes as an option for the two sides.  The mashed potatoes had cream cheese, cream plus salt and pepper and she said that she used Idaho potatoes.  But her recipe on her website calls for Yukon Gold potatoes.   The macaroni and cheese had 4 cheeses in it.  She said that it would cost over $40.00 for the ingredients to make it.   But she used all imported cheeses.  I found Martha’s recipe that had all the cheeses which were Grueyere, Parmesan and Cheddar.  But she said the fourth cheese was Fontina.  The most requested macaroni and cheese recipe on her website just had 3 cheeses in it.  It would be expensive to make because of the Grueyere cheese, but not anywhere near $40.00.

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I found a recipe for compound herb butter that had the herbs and citrus which would be really good to put on any roast turkey.  It had lemon zest in it, but not the orange in the recipe that I found.  Very close to Martha’s herb butter.

The macaroni and cheese would just be fun to have on hand to make and keep in the freezer for some winter night when you didn’t feel like cooking.  The herb butter sounds like a winner to have to roast turkey with.

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Martha was on “In the Kitchen with David” on QVC and David said that there was a recipe for Martha’s turkey gravy and her Orange Scented Cranberry sauce on the QVC website from Martha.   I couldn’t find any recipe of Martha’s except an ice tea recipe on QVC.   But I found a recipe for Martha’s turkey gravy on Martha’s website.  It had butter and white wine in it and sounded good to me so I pinned it on my Martha’s Recipe board on my Pinterest.

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I found the orange scented cranberry sauce on Martha’s website.   It sounds good to me.  I think that Martha Stewart is a perfectionist and I wouldn’t mind trying some of her recipes.  Her turkey breast took only 2 hours to roast.  It came frozen with a net around it and she said to let it thaw in the refrigerator for 48 hours.

I think that it would have been fun to have that frozen turkey dinner, but I don’t have the $100.00 to spend.  They even broke it down into easy pay of something like $20.00 a month with the special that they had.  Very tempting to just have everything all made like that and just pull out of the freezer and into the oven.   I like the challenge of trying to find the recipes and I did it.

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Then Martha Stewart had some fashions on QVC.  The above Ruana is so stylish.  She made it with a blend of cashmere for something like $49.00 and it sold out but they have some back again.  It was washable and Martha said that she had a very expensive one just like it.

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They were wearing the Ruana with the stretch patchwork jeans that also sold out.  I don’t know if they got any back or not.

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Kind of a neat idea.  I like the patchwork better then the ripped out jeans that have been the style lately.

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Then on HSN they had a Bali bracelet that I thought was really nice.  Those bracelets are expensive and this one was on sale for $199.00 with easy pay.  And to make it even more tempting, they had a coupon for 30% off jewelry on HSN.  So that took $60.00 off and it was free shipping.  They still have that coupon at the time I am writing this.  But bracelets like that are usually $250.00 and up to $400.00.  That one was $139.00 with the coupon code 175191 and also free shipping.  So girls, if you like that style, that is a really good deal.

So I got out yesterday and all last week for long walks while the weather is still good.  I saw two little deer on my walk Wednesday and also I like how nice Mums look in the Fall which I admired on one of my walks.

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The above little tree was kind of cute that I saw on one of my walks.  I like the red leaves.

My friend Sigurd and I enjoyed breakfast one morning this week at a neat little diner which was fun.

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We enjoyed getting out early in the morning so much that we are planning on going there again Saturday morning and then going up to Wellwood Orchards and getting some cider donuts and some Mac apples.   The apples are really, really good fresh picked.  They make cider donuts there on weekends that are really fun to have, also.