Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Spooky Halloween Night

 

 

There is an excitement to be found, when Halloween night arrives and my neighborhood prepares for the trick or treaters to begin ringing our doorbells. The spooky lights are turned on up and down the street, casting a glow on the early evening. Candles are placed in the carved jack o lanterns, lining all the front porches and walkways.

A scary witch can be found on my front door, ready to give a little chill to those who dare to ring the doorbell. Part of the fun for the trick or treaters, is the thrill of the dark night and the spooky decorations.

Of course, the point of the evening is the candy we will hand out and a big bowl is ready and waiting. If history serves, we will have over 200 trick or treaters by the time we turn off the lights.

We are anticipating the start of Halloween night and look forward ( with fun, festive Halloween cocktail at the ready) to the ringing of the doorbell and all the little ghosts and goblins arrival, as dusk falls. Their excitement can't help but remind us of our own childhood Halloween nights. Here's hoping for a cool, crisp fall evening, with a sky filled bright stars and a full moon on this Halloween night of 2013 :-)

Happy Halloween!

 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Easy Fall Cocktail

 

 

I always look for a new fall cocktail to enjoy on Halloween, while giving out candy to the many trick or treaters we have in our neighborhood. Last year I enjoyed an Apple Pie Cocktail and this year, will be making an easy fall cocktail with just two ingredients. Both ingredients are perfect for a fall evening and the apple cider and butterscotch flavors are a delicious combination. I will be serving this over ice, but you could also serve this hot if you need a drink that will warm you up.

 

Apple Cider and Buttershot Cocktail for One

Fill cocktail glass with good quality apple cider. Add one shot of Dekuyper Buttershot Schnapps. Mix with a drink stirrer and add ice if desired. If serving hot, warm apple cider first, then add the shot of schnapps. Enjoy!

 

Even though I no longer have little ones at home, I still try to make the Halloween evening festive. We will have spooky lights in the trees, a carved jack o lantern and a big bowl of candy to greet the little monsters. And, this yummy and festive cocktail to enjoy :-)

 

{Linking with these friends}

Lil Luna

Made From Pinterest

A Stroll Thru Life

House of Rose

Diana Rambles

Your Home Based Mom

Savvy Southern Style

Handy Man Crafty Woman

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Funky Junk Interiors

Between Naps on the Porch

Alderberry Hill

The Dedicated House

Cozy Little House

a bowl full of lemons

Kathe with an E

Life on Lakeshore Drive

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

A Delightsome Life

Cedar Hill Ranch

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

The Tablescaper

Jennifer Rizzo

DIY by Design

Common Ground

Coastal Charm


No Minimalist Here

Stonegable

 

 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall Wine Dinner

 

 

We attended a fall wine tasting dinner at our club last night and as you can see, the menu speaks for itself; it was absolutely decadent and delicious. It was a lovely evening spent enjoying good wine paired with good food. We enjoyed listening to the proprietor of the featured winery give both information about the wine we were drinking, as well as interesting stories about owning a winery. Did you know all nearly all good quality wine corks are made from the same place in Italy and have been for generations?

As we arrived and socialized with our friends, I sipped my favorite martini, to start the evening.

First course was a Drunken Oyster both cooked with and paired with a Chardonnay. I am not a huge fan of oysters, but this was presented beautifully and tasted great.

The second course, paired with a Merlot, was a crispy duck pancake with plum sauce. This was made with fresh scallions and carrots and I thought it paired really well with the wine.

Next came a pasta course; white truffle infused ricotta gnocchi, paired with a Cabernet blend. This was my favorite dish of the night.

The main course was a bone in filet, cooked to perfection and paired with a Cabernet Sauvignon. The meat was so tender, a steak knife definately wasn't needed.

Dessert was the perfect ending for a fall dinner; an Autumn Strudel made with apples, cranberries and brie, with a light caramel sauce. I am not a chocolate dessert girl, so I enjoyed this very much.

Not the way we normally spend a Monday evening, but it was a beautiful dinner spent with good food, good wine and most importantly, good friends :-)

Have a great Tuesday!

 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Last Minute Halloween Banner

 

 

It's Halloween week and that means it is time for all my spooky touches to appear around my house. My fall decor will receive a few Halloween additions, both inside and out, to put us in the ghoulish spirit. When I saw this Halloween banner kit at Michaels recently, I knew it was the perfect addition to my fall mantel. The colors were subtle; no neon orange, but filled with pattern and texture.

In the kit, everything you need for the banner was included and all you had to do was glue (with a glue gun) the pre cut shapes together, place and glue the shapes on the pre cut banner pieces and space and glue these on to the twine. I love a simple, quick project, with a lot of impact and this definitely qualifies :-)

If you need a last minute addition to your Halloween decor that you can finish in no time at all during this busy week, a pre cut banner kit is the perfect solution. Here's to a festive Halloween week!

 

{Linking with these friends}


Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps on the Porch

DIY By Design

 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pinterest Success {23} - Two Apple Cookie Recipes

 

 

My favorite thing about Pinterest, is the ability to type an ingredient in the search bar and have so many beautiful photos with amazing recipes to choose from. I have been enjoying the many variety of apples from the orchard, available at my grocery store and a big bowl is sitting in my kitchen at all times in the fall - pretty to look at and fun to bake with. Two pins for apple cookies caught my eye this morning.

 

Pinterest Source

These apple cookies look really delicious, especially with the powered sugar glaze.

 

Pintetest Source

 

I love any kind of oatmeal cookies and these look especially good, full of chopped apples.

 

Since I am always looking for something sweet, but with lower sugar, I decided to make the Apple Oatmeal Cookies and save the glazed cookies for another day. I used Empire apples, one of my favorite varieties. The recipe can be found here and as always, I lowered the sugar by using Splenda :-)

They were so good; moist on the inside, crispy on the outside and full of apple goodness.

Apple Cookie Pinterest Success!

 

Have a great weekend!

 

{Linking with these friends}


Savvy Southern Style

Jennifer Rizzo

Stonegable


Between Naps on the Porch

Gooseberry Patch

Sunny Simple Life (From The Farm)

Make Ahead Meals

Rattlebridge Farm

This Gal Cooks

Mom's Test Kitchen

 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thoughts for Thursday...walking, movies, etc.

 

 

  • This path, right behind my house is my favorite part of my daily walk. My puppy knows we are almost home and I am usually ready to stop too. There is something special in this part of the path, with its leaning tree that we walk under. I like to capture it in all seasons; winter with snow on the path and trees, spring and summer with its shades of green, but especially fall, with the brilliant color and light.
  • When I got up early to go to the lab, for blood work, last week, this was my reward :-) Panera is just down the street and it was oh so easy to stop for a skim latte and a cinnamon scone, on my way home. I don't miss much about working, but stopping for coffee, early in the morning is a treat I do miss. It always made those morning meetings seem better, with a fresh cup of coffee in my hand.
  • I watched Winter's Bone, after reading the book and was very pleased with the adaptation. Its actors were nominated for Academy Awards and I can see why. Jennifer Lawrence does such a wonderful job portraying Ree, the teen who spends the movie searching for her missing father. I especially loved the realistic locations, music and colorful supporting characters. When a movie can bring a book to life effectively, it can be riveting to watch.
  • My kitchen painting project that I thought was finished took another two days, thanks to the removal of the painter's tape. I will never use it again! There were very few clean edges and I had to go back and paint around all the doors, windows and cabinets. I can do a much better job cutting in on my own. Is there a secret to using painter's tape I haven't figured out? Please tell me if you know :-)

Happy Thursday!

 

Linking with Ramblings of a Suburban Mom, Thursday Thoughts

 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

No Sew Table Runner {2}

 

 

Wandering in a fabric store and looking at and touching all kinds of beautiful fabric is one of my favorite things to do. I was thrilled to come across this beautiful fabric in a stack of returned fabric at Calico Corners and thought it would be perfect for the look I am going for in my kitchen update.

I decided to use it for a table runner and wanted to do something a little different and less formal. This is an easy and quick way to make a table runner and no sewing is involved.

Simply cut the fabric piece to the desired size - I used an old table runner as a pattern. Begin to pull threads, fraying all four edges as evenly as possible. Remember - perfection is not what you are going for here. The charm is in the frayed edges and the fact that they may not look exactly even. You want it to look like it happened naturally, over time. This took me less than 1/2 hour to make and I adore the look!

See in this post, how I used the same method last fall, to make a burlap table runner.

Happy Wednesday!

 

{Linking with these friends}

Lil Luna

Made From Pinterest

A Stroll Thru Life

House of Rose

Diana Rambles

Your Home Based Mom

Savvy Southern Style

Handy Man Crafty Woman

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Funky Junk Interiors

Between Naps on the Porch

Alderberry Hill

The Dedicated House

Cozy Little House

a bowl full of lemons

Kathe with an E

Life on Lakeshore Drive

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

A Delightsome Life

Cedar Hill Ranch

Skip To My Lou

The Shabby Creek Cottage

Rooted in Thyme

The Girl Creative

The Tablescaper

Jennifer Rizzo

DIY by Design

Common Ground

Coastal Charm

Stonegable

Thrifty Decor Chick - Before And After

 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Kitchen Update Journal {four}

 

 

Progress. The past week has been busy and there is finally progress being made on my kitchen update. I may be slow to start a project, but once I get going, I like to keep moving towards the goal, slowly but surely. I was happy to pick up my inspiration piece, that I had framed and am thrilled with how it turned out. I picked a white frame, and yellow and burlap look mats to set off the print.

The biggest project is that I have almost finished painting the walls in the kitchen and only have my laundry room left to finish. I won't lie - it has been a big job, but in a way strangely enjoyable and rewarding. A kitchen like mine, with a lot of cutting in, takes time and patience, but I have gone slow, at my own pace and it has turned out beautiful. The color is exactly what I was hoping for too.

I have picked a textured white fabric with a soft yellow stripe to use on a fabric roller shade for my sliding door. It was the perfect solution to help block the afternoon sun. There will be a scalloped edge on the shade, with yellow trim, for a pretty finishing touch.

My final checklist includes fun things like having the new lighting installed and hanging things; both new and old on the walls. The final reveal of my kitchen will come when the window treatment arrives in a few weeks. I can't wait to see everything finally come together and to share it with you :-)

Happy Tuesday!

 

Kitchen Update Journal {one}

Kitchen Update Journal {two}

Kitchen Update Journal {three}

 

 

Linking with

Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps on the Porch

 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Family Recipe - Beef Stew

 

 

This is a recipe that you make when you have some time on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Time to spend a few hours in the kitchen, adding ingredients and simmering the things in the pot slowly, for the best flavor. This recipe for Beef Stew has been handed down from my great grandmother's kitchen and brings back memories of my own mother's kitchen on a cool fall day - the memory of this beef stew simmering in a pot and smelling wonderful.

The recipe is easy - it just needs to be cooked slow. There are a few ingredients like lemon juice and sugar that seem different than the usual beef stew recipe, but they help add to the flavor of this one. Take a Sunday afternoon, like I did, take your time and make this filling and delicious recipe for your family - it will become a favorite family recipe that your family will pass along too :-)

 

Recipe for my Great Grandmother's Beef Stew

Heat 2 T oil in a large pot. Add 2 pounds cubed stew meat (I used sirloin) and brown on all sides. Keep turning the cubes - this should take about 20 minutes for the best flavor.

Next add 1 sliced and quartered medium onion, 1 T salt, 1 T lemon juice, 1 T sugar, 1 T Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp. pepper, a dash of allspice and 4 cups very hot water. Cover and simmer (not boil) 2 hours, stirring now and then.

When the meat is tender, add the vegetables to the pot; 3 cups sliced carrots and 4 1/2 cups cubed potatoes. Simmer 30 to 45 minutes or until everything is tender.

To thicken broth - add 1 cup cold water and 1/4 cup flour to a covered plastic dish and shake well to blend. Bring meat and vegetables to a boil and add flour mixture, stirring well. Stir until gravy thickens and cook gently for a few minutes.

Happy Monday!

 

{Linking with these friends}


Savvy Southern Style

Jennifer Rizzo

Stonegable


Between Naps on the Porch

Gooseberry Patch

Sunny Simple Life (From The Farm)

Make Ahead Meals

Rattlebridge Farm

This Gal Cooks

Mom's Test Kitchen

 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall Dinner Menu at Book Club

 

 

As I often say about my monthly book club, we love to discuss the book, but sometimes the discussion becomes secondary to the wonderful food our hostess prepares and the wonderful company of friends.

We started our fall themed meal with a special drink and toast to the evening and each other. This festive drink - Mulled Apple Cider Cocktail - was beautifully presented in champagne flutes with chopped apple as a garnish. It was a delicious blend of cider, spices and champagne. For the recipe visit the Food Network Magazine here.


 
Awaiting us on a lovely table set with many fall touches and candlelight, was a cup of yummy soup, bursting with fall flavors - squash, sweet potato and curry. The sour cream garnish was a perfect compliment to this creamy blend.
 

Our main dish was a comforting cassolouet, served next to a pretty apple salad. The cassolouet was so good and the perfect dish for a cool fall night. We enjoyed its flavors of chicken and sausage, all topped with a cornbread crust.

And for dessert - chocolate! There was a beautiful checkerboard cake with chocolate ganache on top. So pretty and hard to resist.

I will be hosting Book Club in November - I need to begin to plan a special menu for my book club friends :-)

Have a great fall weekend!

 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thoughts for Thursday...books, baseball, etc.

 

 

  • These sweet girls, including my daughter Melissa (bottom row, left), on the MSU Pompon Team, wore pink to one of their practices this week, since October is breast cancer awareness month. They are a great group of girls, with an amazing coach, who helps brings many philanthropic efforts to their team.
  • My book club meets tonight and I look forward to discussing the book we read this month. Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell is a touching story of a very poor, young girl, left in charge of her family by a father who abandons them. Her subsequent search for him, leads her to interact with dangerous men in her tight knit and secretive Ozark community. Her strength and care for her young brothers and mentally ill mother are an interesting portrayal of someone so young. I am also interested in watching the movie, which looks very true to the tone of the book.
  • The Detroit Tigers won their game last night against the Boston Red Sox and the series is now tied 2-2. This city is caught up in watching their beloved baseball team and with all its recent financial troubles in the news, it is nice to have a collective happy event to cheer for. I hope by this time next week, the Tigers will be starting play in the World Series - I love baseball playoffs in the fall!
  • I have been very interested in the Outlander series that just began filming. It is based on Diana Galbadon's books - some of my very favorites and I was most interested in who would portray Jamie and Claire. I have to say I am happy with the choices. It is funny the mental picture you get in your head, while reading and when brought to life on the screen, it doesn't always match. These actors fit my picture.

Happy Thursday!

 

Linking with Ramblings of a Suburban Mom, Thursday Thoughts

 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Mother's 80th Birthday

 

 

This past Saturday, we had the opportunity to celebrate my Mother's 80th birthday with a dinner at a restaurant in the town where they live. It was a lovely evening, attended by many family and friends. Her best friend from childhood was there, as well as her former golf partner of several years. Most of her grandchildren were able to attend and I will treasure this photo I was able to take of her, with my daughters.

80 years is something to cherish and something to celebrate. My Mother's health is good - she walks almost every day and she and my Father still live alone. For my mother, who doesn't like any kind of a fuss, this was just another birthday - the bonus for her was being surrounded by friends and family, especially her grandchildren. She really is the sweetest mother and grandmother anyone could have and we cherish her.

Have a great day today!

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

family, books, gardening, simple DIY projects, golf, up north, msu football, football saturday tailgates, detroit red wings, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, pedicures with my daughters, martinis, pinterest

Search This Blog

Sent to your inbox

BBC (15) blog (23) books (122) christmas (62) cocktails (34) Diabetes (57) DIY (95) downsizing (17) empty nest (74) entertaining (50) faith (20) family (104) florida (9) food (210) friends (106) gardening (67) health and beauty (8) home (128) life (387) movies (9) my daughters (134) nature (48) pinterest (95) pinterest success (48) puppy (25) reality tv (36) recipe redo (8) repurpose (2) sewing (4) shopping (22) sports (59) tv and movies (69) walking (41) wedding (2) yoga (1)

 

 
Designed by Munchkin Land Designs • Copyright 2012 • All Rights Reserved