This and That

I just think that the Sur la table cooking classes are so fun looking. I don’t live near any of the stores where they have the cooking classes, but sometimes I look up recipes for the ideas.

I got some glass Bento boxes and love the ideas that people have for using them.

The above smoothie sounds good. When you put a frozen banana in, it makes the smoothie thick like a shake.

Remember the “Little Rascals”? They used to be on TV when I was a kid. There was Spanky, Darla, Alfalfa and Buckwheat that I remember. Then the little bulldog was called “Petey”. Buckwheat used to say “me too, neither umph!”

One fashion blog that I follow had a black, leather pocketbook in the same style as above. It’s really neat because you can put everything in it with room to spare. It’s stylish and I like how you can wear it over your shoulder if you want. I like the brown leather one, too. White, stretch jeans seem to be in style now and jean jackets.

I like the straw, summer pocketbook, also.

Summer salads are so fun. Avocado seems to be what everyone includes in a salad lately. It’s supposed to be really healthy. Then Salmon is full of Omega 3’s. Beets are supposed to be really good for you and any kind of greens. Add asparagus and what’s not to like?>

I love the above to have by the front entrance door.

Have you seen people that have pets that think that they are part of the family? The pets have to know everything that is going on and where you are.

I like the above tub with a view and fireplace, plus the beautiful marble shower. Ultimate luxury.

Fathers day is in a few weeks. The above is beautiful if your Dad, like mine is no longer here but in your thoughts.

My Dad loved to garden and he had chickens. He used to have a nice pen for them, but no matter how hard he tried to keep them in a pen they always got out. They like to be free range.

I like the hair transformation idea. Looks like she had it trimmed, used a curling iron and put highlights in.

One more day left in May. The months seem to be over before they start.

Country Inn

Can you imagine a visit to a Country Inn in upstate New York in Westchester County and the Hudson Valley? Not only that, the Inn is partly owned by Richard Gere who starred in “An Officer and a Gentleman” and “Pretty Woman”. What a beautiful area. I write about Vermont, but upstate New York is just across from Lake Champlain in northern Vermont. The Hudson Valley area of this Inn is about an hour out of New York City. They call it “The Bedford Post Inn”.

Some of the rooms include a fireplace and a private balcony.

There is also a pool.

It looks like they put rose petals to float in the pool and candles around it.

There is patio dining that looks so romantic.

They have a restaurant that has all kinds of awesome wines. They call the restaurant that is open for dinner “Campagna”.

It’s like a dream place.

They have everything from strawberry shortcake to ultra fancy desserts.

It looks like they try to keep it sophisticated simple.

Also very fun with chocolate covered strawberries.

They have fancy pasta.

As well as fancy everything.

It looks like they have patio dining, also.

Then they have another restaurant that they call “The Barn” that is open for breakfast and lunch.

The steak and eggs breakfast sounds awesome.

The Barn spring menu looks awesome.

The Hummus platter looks delightful.

This whole place just looks like Richard Gere style.

They also have yoga classes there.

What a fun place.

Even the winters are beautiful.

It looks like a very classy place. I looked at the prices on the menu and they are not any different then the Woodstock Inn in Woodstock, Vermont. Probably because Rockerfellow who was a New Yorker owned the Woodstock Inn.

The brunch that I went to in Woodstock had chefs and food that were as fancy and awesome as this place looks.

But what a dream place. Just wow.

Flipping a House for Profit Idea

I saw this house and it’s in a great location just a few doors down from my youngest son’s house. The great thing is that it has an acre of land in back of the house that is like a huge field that goes right in the back of my son’s house. He could use that land and I would sell it to him for one dollar to make it legal and keep the rest of the land to go with the house. There is a huge tree on that lot that is dead and my son had asked that owner of that house to take it down before it fell onto his house. The owner refused. Well I will take the tree down whatever it costs. And make money doing it to increase the value of both properties.

The house is a Cape and a 1950’s vintage. The upstairs is unfinished. But it’s got hardwood floors and good bones. The best news is that the owner is giving $5000.00 in the deal to fix up to the new owners taste. OMG. What a dream find. It’s already an unheard of low price.

For a nice plus feature, I’m liking the above back yard inspiration. The house has a HUGE back yard. Room for a raised garden and a kitchen garden.

I am thinking 10 apple trees at $36.00 each that I saw to plant along the back border that would go next to my son’s property line so he could enjoy the trees. They grow fast and the Spring blossoms are just beautiful. And in the Fall they have apples.

I like the above kitchen from Martha Stewart at the Home Depot.

The house needs a new kitchen and the island, double oven and the above design would work nicely. And I love the open concept style. Kitchens and bathrooms are what sells a house.

For landscaping and curb appeal, I like the lanterns on each side of the garage door, the bay window, the window box, the little path to the door from the driveway and new shrubs. The bay window would be where the dining room could be with a window seat and a round dining room table.

The above laundry room would be awesome to fit in as it has the hookups for the washer and dryer. The cabinets and counter-top can easily be found from Home Depot at a reasonable price.

I like the above doors for a wall in the area by the stairs.

I want a shower like the one above for one of the bathrooms. A second bathroom has be worked in for the unfinished second floor.

A little patio in the back for a secret garden. All kinds of beautiful space out there in the back yard.

I like the above idea for the living-room with French doors to a screened porch, which that house has but needs updating. I like the crown moldings and the beige colors from the above inspiration. Love the fireplace.

Because the house is a Cape, the above fence with the climbing roses is a nice touch to fit into the landscape somewhere.

The above is the idea inspiration for a breakfast nook off of the kitchen with the bay window. I would put in a crystal chandelier over the table.

So that is the inspirations and the ideas for that house. It would be a win, win situation because it would increase the value of more land for my son’s house and it would be a gold mine to make some money on and a nice investment.

The area is near a hospital, shopping plazas, restaurants, walking trail, beautiful fitness center, college and a nice neighborhood. The location alone is worth the investment.

So that is my idea.

Memorial Day Ideas

A cookout is always nice to have on Memorial Day. I like the above centerpiece idea. Daisies and red Carnations in a colbolt blue vase.

Then get the grill out and I saw a recipe for spice rubbed grilled chicken that sounded really good. I pinned the recipe on my Holiday recipes board on my Pinterest.

Old fashioned potato salad like my Mom used to make is always good for a cookout. She used to put celery, onion, pickle relish, mayonnaise, yellow mustard, celery salt, potatoes and Paprika for garnish. She used to put sliced hard boiled eggs across the top with the Paprika sprinkled on them. So good.

A nice Fruit Salad is always good for a cookout.

Grilled corn on the cob is a nice idea at a cookout. Then brush them with melted butter and a sprinkle of sea salt.

And then the above trifle is the perfect dessert. It has Angel Food cake cut into 1-inch squares after each slice has been brushed with a lemon juice, sugar and almond extract mixture that has been heated on the stove. The whipped cream has cream cheese in it. Yum! A trifle looks so fancy in a trifle container and it looks like a lot of work, but it’s very easy to make. I put the recipe on my holiday ideas board on my Pinterest.

Tea Ideas

A cup of tea is so nice to have any time of the year.

I love how the proper afternoon tea includes something like a scone with clotted cream and jam.

I have the above Royal Albert teapot, cup and saucer and the little plate. The teapot is called the cottage edition. That rose pattern is just elegant looking.

Peppermint tea is one of my favorites. I read that if you make a pot of tea to use one teabag for each cup of tea that you want. Also allow about 4 minutes for the tea to seep and then just gently squeeze the teabag like a hug. Also run hot water to rinse the pot and the cup and then it keeps the tea hot longer. I tried that and it made the best tea ever.

Earl Grey tea is one of the classics. I love some of the little tins that tea sometimes can be found in.

I love how the British call cookies “Biscuits”. I think that it would be fun to have a tin of cookies and call them “biscuits” to have with a cup of tea.

A cup of tea and a good book is a nice combination for a little break.

The above little open face sandwich is nice to have with a cup of tea. There is a recipe for it, but just a little softened cream cheese with a sliced radish and chopped chives on top is just easy and looks fancy.

There is a tea house in Victoria, Canada called the Empress and the above is the tea that they serve there. That tea set that they use is a replica of the one that Queen Elizabeth gave them when she had tea there way back in the 50’s. You can have a choice of really fancy teas. For example they have a 1907 Orange Pekoe that is bright, brisk and lively tea from Sri Lanka and Kenya. They have Rose Congou Emperor that is five times layered with rose petals. A favourite of Princess Diana. Then they have Joie De Provence which is an organic herbal rooibos tea. It has fruity ripe berry notes balanced with mild lavender. They have about 21 unique teas to choose from.

Then they have an Empress Cake that comes in individual sizes or for a party of 10. The crown on it makes it very royal looking.

It would be like going to London and having high tea to go there. Tea at the Empress is served in the Lobby lounge. On their tea menu is Browned Butter Shortbread that is Scottish, Signature Empress Raisin Scones that are served warm with house-made clotted cream and strawberry lavender preserves, Meyer Lemon Tart that is carefully paired with freeze dried raspberry crumble, Aiyana Chocolate Delice which is the signature Empress chocolate with hints of honey and blackberry, Blackberry and Hazelnut Macarons, Heirloom Cucumber on Rye sandwich which is glazed with fennel pollen, pink peppercorn and whipped dill cream cheese, Chevre Tartlet which has freshly whipped rosemary goat cheese, served with quince jelly and freeze dried blood orange, Honey Ham and Gruyere Quiche and Pear Cider Poached Chicken on Brioche. And included is Champagne which is Veuve Clicquet Brut.

How fancy is that? Victoria, Canada is way over by the West Coast. We have Montreal and Quebec Canada that is near where we live on the East Coast. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have tea way over in Victoria.

Another fun Tea house is “The Tuckbox” which is in Carmel by the Sea. You can see in that middle door there is outdoor dining as well as inside.

That place looks like it would be really fun to have tea there.

Their scones are like a Scottish scone that is sort of like cornbread. They have orange marmelade and a special California berry jam as well as clotted cream. You can just have tea and scones or they also have awesome salads to go with the scones if you want.

There is a little gift shop beside the tea house where you can buy that tea pot.

And the above is the California berry jam that they have at The Tuck Box.

You can even buy a mix that makes The Tuckbox Scones.

Tea is just plain elegant sometimes and sometimes it can be just plain fun.

May Musings

The Lilacs are out now and I love how the purple and white Lilacs look in a bouquet. Plus the scent of them fills a room with their Lilac scent.

I saw the above bucket list for summer and saved the ideas.

The above dressing recipe for salads sounds interesting. I make a similar dressing but omit the honey and orange juice. I don’t like dressings that are sweet.

The Binto Box lunch at Koto Steak House is so much fun to have. One time when I was shopping I stopped in and had the above one to go and took it home to enjoy with a glass of wine.

I think that Container Gardens are almost like being able to have a neat flower garden. So many cute ideas out there.

I like little inspirations. They are fun to print out and put in the planner.

I saw a neat idea for climbing vines in a raised bed garden. They put some steel stakes in the soil in each corner and then a hose that makes an arch.

The above are some seeds that make climbing vines.

In Woodstock, Vermont the Woodstock Inn has it’s own gardens that they use for their restaurant. Their food is farm to table fresh. It’s called Kelly Way gardens and they give tours of the garden. We had an Easter Brunch at the Inn one year and I will never forget it. Just a dream place.

In the garden tour, they give you samples of some of the produce in the garden.

The Woodstock Inn also offers a garden class on arranging flowers that are from their garden.

The Inn’s seasonal flowers from their gardens are awesome.

The above are the bikes that the Inn has for their guests to use.

The Inn has the bikes that their guests can use to bike around town. Woodstock is the most beautiful town that I have ever seen.

There are flowers everywhere in the Spring and summer.

There are little outdoor tables where you can stop to have a drink.

The beautiful Woodstock Inn has flowers for all the seasons.

I think that Woodstock is one of the most beautiful towns in Vermont.

Summer Planning

I love how some of the seed catalogs have color schemes with flowers that go good together. Then you have a beautiful color pallet that looks stunning.

The above Lady Slippers grow wild in this area. They are so elegant looking. You can buy seeds to grow them in a Vermont wildflower seed catalog.

I like sunflowers and they have all sizes that you can buy seeds for. The above is a shorter version which is nice. The huge sunflowers look nice along a fence.

The mid-size sunflower is my favorite. It looks beautiful in a bouquet to have on your summer table. A local farm-stand always has them in the summer.

A must have in a summer garden is peonies. They come up every year and are just beautiful.

The above kitchen garden is what I totally love. I would put all kinds of herbs and salad greens in it. Plus radishes, cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes.

Then a little waterfall with lots of water-plants.

I think that it would be neat to have a pizza oven planned into a space. A container garden near it with all the pizza herbs.

A summer porch overlooking beautiful landscaped gardens.

A fire pit and summer chairs among the landscaping.

And that is a few things that are fun to plan for summer.

Date Night Ideas

I saw the above ideas for a cooking class on Sur la table for Date Night. I love their ideas and I found recipes for each one of the ideas. Each of the ideas is pinned on a Date Night board that I created on my Pinterest. But my Pinterest got all messed up and anything I save goes somewhere, but not on my original account.

I found the Sur la table cedar planked salmon recipe and that will come up if you google it using “sur la table cedar planked salmon recipe”. The whipped potatoes with white cheddar and chives recipe will also come up on a google search and it is a Taste of Home recipe. It was 5 stars and looks good to me.

The vanilla creme brulee recipe will come up with a google search using “sur la table vanilla creme brulee recipe”.

The tomato and arugala salad with lemon and parmesan dressing will come up with a recipe from Epicurious.

So with those recipes, you can create a Summer Celebration Date night even if you are not near a place where they have the cooking class. Maybe you can find better recipes, but I really liked those recipes. I would take a cooking class if I lived near one of the Sur la table stores. They look like a lot of fun.

Another Date Night idea that Sur la table has is the Date Night Spring French Bistro.

The mustard crusted chicken recipe is on the Sur la table website. Sounds really good to me.

Then the Chevre Cheese Soufflee is on Sur la table under “Goat Cheese Soufflee”.

Grilled asparagus is easy enough to do and I found a recipe for tarragon and chive butter. I found it using a google search.

Sur la table has a recipe for flourless chocolate cake, but a Decadent Chocolate Cake recipe that I like is the following:


7 oz. Dark Chocolate, chopped

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

4 large eggs, separated

2 Tbsp. Sugar

1/3 c. white whole wheat flour

6 oz. Dark Chocolate, chopped

1 c. heavy cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan.
  3. Melt the 7 ounces chocolate and the butter in a double boiler (or in a bowl or smaller saucepan placed over a bigger saucepan of gently boiling water).
  4. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  5. Set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks with your Electronic Mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  7. Slowly add sugar and continue to beat until mixture is pale yellow.
  8. Fold in the chocolate mixture.
  9. Sift flour over the top and beat just until it disappears.
  10. Set aside.
  11. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  12. Fold half of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
  13. Gently fold in the remaining half.
  14. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  15. Tap pan a few times on counter to remove air bubbles.
  16. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

For the chocolate frosting, just combine the chocolate with the heavy cream over a double boiler.

I like those Sur la table cooking classes and the ideas are just awesome. So hope that you enjoy the ideas and when I get the patience, I will figure out my Pinterest so that I can get access to my original board. Then I can save from the web and it will go on my original board not a board that got created and I can’t figure out what Pinterest has done to me.

Wednesday Musings

I saw the above inspiration and saved it. How do you protect a heart from getting broken? I think we all go through a broken heart. Who escapes from it. Not too many people I don’t think. But once burned, twice shy. That is for sure.

Pansies are just so beautiful. The above came from the grocery store and were just a lucky find. The colors all together like that just are stunning.

I think that the above pattern for a tea set is just pretty. Everything about it just like perfect for an elegant tea party or garden party.

I like pizza but never have it because it is just too many carbs in the crust. So I saw the above cauliflower crust pizza in the freezer part of the grocery store and tried it. The crust tastes just like regular pizza. I hope that they really did make it from cauliflower.

Strawberry shortcake is such a treat. The Florida strawberries will be in the grocery stores soon. They are almost as good as the very fresh local strawberries that will be out next month. The season for strawberries is so short. A lot of people will pick the strawberries by the tray fulls when they are in season and then freeze them to have them for a longer time.

Strawberry shortcake is also good by using buttery home-made biscuits.

Blue Hydranga and climbing roses are what you see a lot on Nantucket Island. The houses have a Nantucket grey color from the cedar shingles turning that color from the salt air. Combined with the old fashioned picket fences, it just so old fashioned and like stepping back in time. Then the cobblestone streets like they have in Boston. I just love it.

I saw a really neat idea of making rotisserie chicken in the Instant Pot pressure cooker. You brown the chicken using the saute button and then just stuff it with lemon and herbs. Then pressure cook it.

Some people make a chicken like that on a Sunday night and then use the carcass to make chicken stock later in the week for soups and stuff.

Strawberry rhubarb pie is always good this time of year. My Dad always had a rhubarb patch in the corner of his garden. The rhubarb came up every year and you didn’t have to replant it.

I like raised gardens. So nice.

In this area you have to wait until after memorial day to plant a garden to be sure there won’t be a frost.

Spring in Vermont

I love it when the Daffodils are out. They are the sign of hope and the bright yellow Daffodils always remind me of sunshine.

The apple tree blossoms are not only beautiful, but they fill the air with a delightful scent.

There is a lot of Forsythia out in the Spring. It’s really pretty.

A lot of Forsythia wreaths are on front doors this time of year.

I think the Forsythia is just beautiful.

My brother made the above tin man out of tin cans and has it hanging by the little funnel hat in his garden in the summer. I think that it is so cute and wish he would make one for me.

The above is an apple blossom tree that is in front of the Post Office in town. I think that it is so beautiful.

The above Forsythia is near a walking trail south of town.

Another view of the apple blossom tree in front of the Post Office.

The Crab-apple trees and Lilacs will be out soon. It’s really amazing how all of a sudden they are all out in full bloom. Then they last for such a short time.

There is a river that runs through town and then along a walking trail. This time of year the water is high.

Tulips are really pretty. The above purple and yellow tulips is OK, but I like red and yellow tulips together better.

White tulips with a purple flower is really a nice combination.,

It snowed in the mountains tonight according to the weather that was on the news. Unreal that it would snow in the middle of May. But it’s only raining here as we are in the mountains but not like the higher mountains. But it’s chilly like in the 40’s here right now.

A kind of scary incident happened to me tonight. I had to go down to the local grocery store about 9:00 PM and it was raining and dark out. I parked close to the entrance of the store and thought nothing of it as there were not many cars in the parking lot. I usually park way away from the door as I don’t like people opening their doors on my car and making scratches on it, so I walk the distance of the parking lot usually. Tonight I also left the cart in the store because I didn’t feel like getting soaked bringing the cart back and I didn’t have far to walk even though I had a couple gallons of bottled water to carry.

I got in my car and went to put my key in the ignition and all of a sudden there was a dark figure with a cap on in the window on the passenger side and he tried to open the door and then he said “how are you doing?” It scared me because it was dark and who would do that? Very lucky for me that the door was locked. Believe me I started that car and never looked left or right and made tracks out of there.

Vermont has made drugs legal and we have drug traffic from New York and Massachusetts now. It’s now not safe to even go to the store after dark. I grew up in this town and never remember it being like this. People getting shot, drug busts and horrible times. I will never go to the store again at night.

Whoever tried to open my car door may have thought he knew me or something and it may have been perfectly innocent. But today you never know.