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.

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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

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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.

October last days of

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I love the looks of the above house.  It is typical New England with the wrap around porch and the wooden rocking chairs.  Plus the fireplace.  I love how they put pumpkins on the porch and the Fall wreath on the door.  So beautiful in the Fall.

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My cousin lives in Eden, Vermont and the above lake is near her house.  I love how the Fall colored leaves reflect in the water.

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This weekend is the last weekend that a local apple orchard has apple cider donuts that they make while you wait in line.  They are so fresh and so good that we always have to get some at least once in the Fall.  The above is baked apple cider donuts that you can make with a King Arthur Flour recipe that has a maple glaze.  Instead of frying the donuts like they do at the apple orchard, they use a special donut pan that you just bake the donuts.  I always wanted to try it.

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I got some apples at the local orchard a few weeks ago.   So very good.

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With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I saw a really neat recipe for yeast rolls that was super easy.  The recipe just called for 1 package of yeast, 3/4 cup warm water, 2 1/2 cups of Bisquick, 1 TBsp sugar and 1/4 cup of melted butter.  They preheated the oven to 400 degrees.  Then just disolve yeast in water.  Put Bisquick,. sugar and yeast in a large bowl and mix well.  Then flour your work surface, turn dough out and knead for 12-15 minutes.  Shape into rolls and place in a greased pan.  Cover with a damp towel and let rise 1 hour.  Brush with melted butter and bake 12-15 minutes.   Add more melted butter.

Sounds good to me.

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I saw the above Marth Stewart idea on a Thanksgiving table setting.  The only thing I like is the orange napkins and the burlap placemats.

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I like the above idea for candles.  It’s simple and yet very Fall like.

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The above little crocheted turkeys are so cute for a coaster for the Thanksgiving table.  I have the directions in how they are made in my Thanksgiving ideas board on my Pinterest.

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Another idea that is very impressive and really easy to make is the above Pumpkin Trifle.   It has crunched gingersnap cookies for one of the layers.  I have the recipe in my Thanksgiving ideas board.  Where I used to work, they have a pot luck every year where everyone brings something in and the company provided the roast turkey.  One of my friends there brought in the above pumpkin trifle one year.  I love the trifle bowl.

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I saw the above table at a local furniture store and I just loved it.  It’s kind of farmhouse style and it had an antique finish on the wood.  I would have bought it in a New York second if I could have.  It would have been the ultimate to have for Thanksgiving.  I have a Nantucket style table but not enough chairs for the family.   That bench would have been so awesome for the little grandsons.  I would have gotten 6 chairs, 2 on each side and one on each end and then used the bench at the kids table for Thanksgiving and then had enough chairs for being able to invite the family for dinners year round.  That is dream stuff.

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We have a new Hobby Lobby near where I live and they have everything to make the above kid’s table.  I love the table runner and the orange and blue theme.  The sail boat is a little much.  I think one sail on the boat would do.  I love the turkey place card idea.  I like the white pumpkins but the candy on the dish is a little much.

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I like the “turkey toes” candy idea.

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I like the above cute container for crayons that the grandkids could have to color with and maybe they could color in the turkey on the label on the “turkey toes”.   A lot of cute ideas out there.

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Right now it’s football time.  My middle and older grandsons play football.  I have watched a few games and it’s amazing how they play as a team.  My daughter in law has a daycare in her home and a lot of my grandson’s team-mates were in her day care at one time.  They protect the quarterback and he gets to throw the ball and they have one guy that gets free and makes touchdowns.  They are now in the state finals as one of the best teams in the state.  So proud of them!  My middle grandson plays peewee football and he is the captain of his team and they won the championship.  The older grandson is also one of three captains of his team.

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I love to to the old Rt 5 to Windsor and across the beautiful Windsor/Cornish bridge that goes across the Connecticut river from Vermont to New Hampshire.  It’s beautiful in the Fall or any time of the year.  What is really fun for me anyways, is to go up the New Hampshire Route 12 to West Lebanon and go shopping.   They have all kinds of stores and restaurants.  I like the Koto Japanese Steak House where they have a Binto Box lunch that is just plain fun.  Then they have a new Home Goods store as well as Michaels Crafts, T J Max and Kohls.   Then there is the Powerhouse Mall where they have an L L Bean outlet.

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I like Anna Griffin products and she has a new desk calendar that comes with a journal and a planner.  It’s going to be featured on November 6th when she is on HSN, but it’s already on HSN.  It’s a must have for me.

I don’t have a lot of money and I really can’t do all that I would like to do.   But in spite of it, I enjoy little things in life every day.

 

October Days

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I love going to the farmstands this time of year.  The above Hemingways is on my way to grocery shopping and I love to stop and browse the paths and green houses.  So colorful and full of Fall pumpkins and Mums.

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I wish that I lived closer to Norwich and could get a Pumpkin latte.  The ice latte or the regular latte sounds like so fun.

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I love the above style house with a porch that is typical New England style.  So beautiful any time of the year.

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Every time I go anywhere lately, I see a herd of  wild turkeys either in the field or crossing the road.    They always take their time and just casually trot along.

Pumpkin Mousse

Sur la Table has really awesome Fall cooking classes.  I do not live near any of their areas where they have their classes, but I love to find recipes from some of their ideas for cooking classes.  I found a recipe for Pumpkin Mousse and they had bourban whipped cream for a topping.  I found a recipe for bourban whipped cream as well as pumpkin mousse.   I pinned them in my Fall Recipes board on my Pinterest.  I love how they put the mousse in a wine goblet.

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They also had a class to make wild mushroom gravy and I found that recipe and put the recipe in my Fall recipe board on my Pinterest.

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Then they had fluffy buttermilk mashed potatoes for their Thanksgiving ideas cooking class.   I found a recipe for buttermilk mashed potatoes with chives that is similar and I put it in my Fall recipes board or my Thanksgiving board.  It’s fun to find recipes that are in Sur la Table cooking classes.

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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies are always fun to make in the Fall.  I have several recipes for the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies and found a new recipe from the Food Network that I put in my Fall recipes board on my Pinterest.

 

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I love Vermont farms in the Fall.  Especially when they have a pond and a dirt driveway.

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I like all the ideas people come up with to carve pumpkings.   They have all these neat knives that can make intricate designs in pumpkins.  The above sunflower design looks neat from being lit from inside the pumpkin with a candle.

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Just punching little holes to make letters is a cute idea.

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I love the ideas that people come up with to decorate with pumpkins.

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The Farmstands are loaded with all kinds of pumpkins to choose from this time of year.

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Ideas are only as creative as your imagination, and searching for ideas.

 

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I love Mac apples this time of year and got a bag of them recently at a local farmstand.  They are just so good fresh picked from the trees.

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I love the Mums and the colorful kale for Fall decorating this time of year.  The farmstands have all kinds of Mums and kale.

I think that October is one of my favorite times of the year in this part of the country.

September Days

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Decorative and colorful kale is so pretty in the Fall in urns or window boxes.

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There are all kinds of places to hike in the Fall around Vermont.  Discovery State Park in Marshfield, Vermont is really beautiful any time of the year.  They have camping and hiking trails.

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I like the Farmhouse look and the above design is just beautiful to me.  I love the chairs and the white cabinets in the kitchen,  Plus the bay window in the open concept dining area.

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Hobby Lobby opened a new store near where I go shopping.  The store is huge and I just shopped and shopped round and round and found the above coffee sign that had hooks on it so that I could display my favorite coffee mugs.  I just love it and it was on sale for their grand opening at 50% off.

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Then I like to make my own spice blends and was looking for little jars like the above inspiration.  I found the exact size jars and they were also 50% off.  I like to put chili blend, taco blend, Paula Deen’s house blend that she puts on everything, Italian blend etc.

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You can just chalkboard paint the lid.  So cute.

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Then an inspiration I have is the above colored bottles for the window and you can put cuttings from your plants to root when you put bottled water in them.  To buy them on line with the cuttings is over $60.00.  I love the look and would love them for a window.

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I found the above bottles at Hobby Lobby on sale at 50% off.  So cute and I am going to put plant cuttings in them from plants that I have like Ivy, Wandering Jew and baby spiders from my Spider plant.  It cost me less the $15.00 for 5 of them.  Love them.

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Kitchen aid has a limited edition 100th anniversary mixer.  Wow!!   So beautiful!!  I have a kitchen aid mixer but would love that one.

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I like the above organizer.  It was a must have and I own that one.  I found it on QVC and it is just awesome in my opinion.

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I came across a really neat idea for dessert.  Maple Creme Brule with seasonal fruit.  They have it at the Quechee Inn which is near Woodstock, VT.   I think if I searched the internet I could find a recipe for it.  Yum!

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I love just after the sun goes down and soft candlelight near water.  So serene and peaceful.

And that’s my thoughts for today.