January Days

I like the majestic Mount Ascutney. It’s really beautiful in every season. After a new fallen powder snow that sticks to the trees a little, it’s really pretty. You can see the mountain for miles and from both sides of the Connecticut River.

I love the Cornish-Windsor bridge that goes across the Connecticut River and separates Vermont and New Hampshire. That bridge is also beautiful in every season.

It’s fun to drive across the bridge and above is what the bridge looks like inside.

I like to go shopping in West Lebanon once in awhile. You can see all the stores in the above map that you have to choose from. Plus New Hampshire doesn’t have a state tax on everything like Vermont does. A fun store is the L L Bean outlet in the Powerhouse Mall. I also love T J Maxx and Homegoods as well as Michaels Crafts. Kohls and J C Penney’s are fun as well.

For me, a nice treat is to go to the Koto Japanese Restaurant in West Lebanon when I want a fun lunch while shopping in West Lebanon. The Sushi Roll, the Terryaki Chicken and all the fun Habachi grilled food is just awesome to me. I have a cookbook from the California Spa called Golden Door and there is a Bento Box recipe in the book that they serve at their Spa. So having a Bento Box is like a spa relaxation day to me.

Another fun lunch while shopping is the Baked Scrod at the 99 Restaurant in West Lebanon. I found a recipe for that baked scrod to have at home and pinned it on my Fish Board on my Pinterest.

I have a friend on facebook that made the most beautiful Journal. I ordered it earlier in 2018 and I think that it is going to be ready in about a week or so. I can’t wait to get it. I don’t know if I get a signed, copy or not, but I have two of him and his wife’s children’s books that I bought for my little Grandsons that are signed, numbered editions that I ordered before they were published. They were both New York Times best sellers, also. John and Jennifer Churchman are just totally awesome. I just love following all the adventures they have and they share them on Instagram and Facebook.

I’m going to make a Lentil Soup in my Instant Pot today. It only takes 12 minutes for it to cook and you start with dry lentils. You have to wait awhile before you can open the pressure cooker cover, but it is still quite fast. It’s a really good day for soup with some crusty bread. The recipe I found calls for putting baby spinach stirred in after it’s cooked. I pinned the recipe on my Instant Pot board on my Pinterest. I also have a button from my Cook’n App that lets me save the recipe to my cloud account.

And that is my thoughts for this first week in January.

A New Year

I use the above inspiration for the beginning of the new year. I like to journal, make a list of things that I’m grateful for, go to bed early, take care of myself and challenge myself with goals.

Along with trying to drink 8 glasses of water every day and trying to have a low carb diet, I like to have healthy snacks. I have a juice machine and also use the blender for smoothies. I plan and hope to use both machines more.

I have a container like the one above in my fridge where I keep string cheese, yogurt, hummus, almond butter, grapes, carot sticks, celery sticks, etc. for snacks.

I like all the tips that I can find to try and stay healthy as well as keep as fit as possible.

I’ve noticed that at spas and fitness clubs they always have stretch classes. I saw Miranda Esmonde-White’s Classical stretch DVD that reverses aging and I bought it. She also has a book that is called Aging Backwards and she has been on the Public Television channels on TV. I like the DVD and plan to use it more this year.

My favorite DVD is Leslie Sansome’s Walk Away the Pounds. The 7-day calorie blast is actually kind of fun. In bad weather when you can’t get outside there is all kinds of videos on the DVD to choose from to get in a walk that is good for you. One for morning, one for evening, a 2 mile challenge and an easy mile.

I have dark hair, but I like the above length and style. I need a hair trim right now and will use the photo to show the hair stylist what I am looking for for in a style.

I like my hair long enough so that I can do a messy bun on bad hair days.

For clothes, I like the above style. I like the boots, but with a smaller heel. Bangle bracelets, a nice scarf, a stylish sweater and a figure flattering cross style top. I do not like the above jeans and opt for higher waist jeans that are stretch. I like the pocketbook and would add a crossbody pocketbook.

Winter Baking

Cinnamon rolls are so delicious and they are mostly time consuming but easy to make. In the winter you don’t mind heating up the oven and they just make the kitchen aroma heavenly from the cinnamon baking. I am making that one of my New Years Resolutions to make more cinnamon rolls this winter.

If you have ever been to the King Arthur Flour Cafe at their store in Norwich, Vermont, you should try their Flourless Chocolate Cookies. They are pure chocolate and delicious. They have the recipe for the cookies on their website and I also saved the recipe to my King Arthur Flour board on my Pinterest. One of my favorite cookies of all times and they have no flour. I also love the chocolate chips that you can buy from King Arthur Flour. I got a free sample of the chocolate chips on their grand store opening a couple of years ago. Best chocolate ever to bake with.

And then King Arthur Flour’s Apple Cider Baked Donuts with a maple glaze. Yum! They have a special donut pan that you can bake donuts in and they even have donut mixes to make it even easier. And they give recipes to make from scratch. I love King Arthur Flour.

And then buttery, Glazed Maple Shortbread Cookies. Use pure Vermont Maple Syrup. I have a maple leaf cookie cutter that I bought years ago and I like a shortbread cookie recipe from a Better Homes and Garden cookbook from the 70’s. A tried and true recipe that makes soft, buttery cut out cookies.

Baking Powder Biscuits are classic and uses simple ingredients for fresh, warm biscuits. King Arthur Flour has a great recipe that I pinned on my King Arthur Flour recipe board on my Pinterest.

King Arthur Flour has a really neat maple rolling pin and pie mat that would be handy to have to make pie dough with. I have heard that the most important thing for pie dough is to keep it cold and a marble board is supposed to make really good pie crust results, also.

Vermont Cheddar Apple pie with Cabot Cheddar in the crust. Yum! That recipe is on the King Arthur Flour website and I also saved it to my King Arthur Flour Pinterest board.

I always wanted to make sour dough bread and there is a recipe where you can make “No Knead Harvest Grain Bread” using a Le Creuset pot. King Arthur Flour has a crock and a mix that you can buy to make sour dough starter and I saved the recipe on my King Arthur Flour board for the bread that is great for toast or sandwiches.

And then a recipe that is good to know how to make is Barefoot Contessa’s Outrageous Brownies. Those brownies helped make Jeffrey want to marry her is what Barefoot Contessa claims.

And then there is Barefoot Contessa’s Engagement Chicken. I saved that recipe in my Barefoot Contessa recipe board on my Pinterest. They always say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

And then Barefoot Contessa’s Meatloaf has 5 stars and I have seen it mentioned a lot as being really good. I saved that recipe on my Barefoot Contessa board on my Pinterest.

Flourless Chocolate Cake is really easy to make as it has chocolate and cocoa with a really rich ganache glaze. King Arthur Flour has a recipe for it and also Suzanne Somers has a really good recipe for it. To me, it tastes like a fancy dessert that you would get at a really nice restaurant.

I love bundt pans and the Carribbean Rum Cake is so fancy looking and a neat recipe to have. I saved the recipe on my King Arthur Flour board on my Pinterest.

Barefoot Contessa has a recipe for Cheddar Dill Scones that sounds wonderful. I saved the recipe on my Barefoot Contessa board on my Pinterest.

Another interesting baking recipe that I saw was Missy’s Lemon and Blueberry Cupcakes. I saw the recipe on the Pioneer Woman Food Network show and the recipe is on the Food Network.

My son loves Chocolate Cream Pie. It’s really easy to make and all kinds of recipes out there. I saved a couple recipes for Chocolate Cream Pie on my Pie board on my Pinterest.

So that is a few fun ideas to have fun baking this winter.

January Days


Vermont can be very cold this time of year. The wind chill makes it even colder. Right now it’s mild and it’s supposed to be mild all week.

The Igloo in Putney, Vermont

When my son was little, we used to go out to breakfast on Saturdays. One place that was fun to go to was “The Igloo” in Putney, Vermont. They had the best omelettes there and the ambiance of the place was just fun. Then, down the road from the Igloo is Basketville which used to be fun to browse through.

Each year on the first day of the year, I try to make the above lucky foods. I made “Hopn’ John” which has black eyed peas and rice in it and I put crumbled bacon on top of it. I had 12 grapes and made a wish on each grape which is supposed to make good luck on each of the 12 months. I made some corn muffins. And I had some collared greens. I also had an old fashioned plain donut for breakfast. Something about the round shape is supposed to bring you luck. Anyways, it’s just plain fun.

I had a glass of Champagne at midnight New Years Eve which was fun. Also used a noise maker and watched the ball drop on TV in New York’s Time Square. That crystal ball just seems to sparkle a minute and then when they are counting down to the 3-2-1, it drops a very short distance to the clock which then lights up to 2019.

I got an “Elegant Writer” pen at Hobby Lobby and it’s fun to make a monagram with my initials. If I look at a fancy letter, I can copy it and it’s easy with the pen and looks elegant.

I got an Instant Pot for Christmas that is a pressure cooker, slow cooker and it even sautes. I found a recipe to make a cheesecake in the Instant Pot and I found a Better Homes and Garden magazine at the Walmart that was like an Instant Pot cookbook.

Amazon has a 7 inch cheesecake pan that fits in the 6 quart Instant Pot.

You can also make bone broth which is supposed to be really healthy. I found a recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup where you can just put the dry noodles in with the chicken and vegetables and herbs and it cooks up in a short time. I think that it will be handy to have the Instant Pot as there are all kinds of recipes for it. You can even put frozen meat in it if you forget to take the meat out of the freezer.

I found the above cheat sheet for using the pressure cooker part of the Instant Pot. Kind of handy to have. Dried beans are very inexpensive to buy and I have read that they are healthier to pressure cook.

You can even make popcorn in the instant pot. I love it!

I also saw a recipe for Cabbage Roll soup that sounded good. I pinned the recipe on my Pinterest Instant Pot board along with a ton of other recipes.

I saw the above kitchen and what I like about it is the half window idea and I love the height of the ceilings. Plus I like the bay window over the sink where you could put plants.

Martha Stewart’s “Seal Harbor” cabinets are still my all time favorite for a kitchen and I love the kitchen island and the lighted china cabinet. I would just add a double wall oven and a stainless double door refridgerator. But I like vaulted ceilings and that half window idea. I love the Martha’s farmers sink.

I think that if I could design and build a house that the above idea is what would work for me. It would all be on one level with vaulted ceilings and I love the porch. Also the window box. Love the style.

And a little kitchen garden would be fun to have. I can’t even imagine it.

And those are my thoughts for this first day of January 2019.