Friday, November 28, 2014

Egg Souffle

 

 

 

I was up early on Thanksgiving morning, cooking, organizing serving dishes and getting ready to put the turkey in the oven. I also made a simple breakfast for my family to enjoy while watching the parades. This Egg Souffle is a dish that can be prepared the night before, but works just as well prepared the morning you wish to enjoy it. It is also very adapatable; I don't usually add other ingredients like ham, peppers or onions, but you could and it would be delicious. It puffs up beautifully when you bake it and looks very pretty on your table when prepared in an oven safe bowl.

I got this recipe from an old friend and it was always her signature breakfast item at many a brunch I attended at her home. The best recipes are those shared from friends :-)

 

Egg Souffle


12 slices frozen white bread

6 eggs

2 cups milk

1/2 lb. shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 stick butter, melted

salt and pepper to taste


Remove crust from frozen bread. Dice into small squares. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray (I use a oven safe pasta bowl). Layer bread and cheese. Mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper with a whisk until well blended. Pour mixture over bread and cheese. Press down lightly on bread to makes sure all is soaked well with egg mixture. Top with melted butter. Let sit about 1 hour or overnight in fridge. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy!

 

{Linking with these friends}

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm


Between Naps on the Porch

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Gooseberry Patch

 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Upstairs Bathroom Update {reveal}

 

 

 

In the midst of Thanksgiving preparations, I have also been busy giving my upstairs bathroom a fresh new look. No renovations, but some paint on the walls, a new shower curtain, rugs and towels and some brightly colored new accessories. The biggest job was stripping the wallpaper and that in itself gives the room a whole new look.

 

 

The wall color is Behr Subtle Touch from Home Depot and it's really just a white with a hint of a silver grey. The canvas prints, shower curtain, towels, rugs and candles are all from Target. The funky metal hook is from a fun Etsy shop called Boldhouse. The shelf was purchased from Ikea many years ago for my daughter's bedroom and I updated it for the bathroom with a coat of bright pink paint. I'm really happy with the green and pink colors I chose as a contrast and great pop of color to the neutral walls.

 

 

And, the best thing is that I finished it just in time for my daughters to enjoy since they will both be home for Thanksgiving weekend.

Happy Tuesday!

 

{Linking with these friends}


A Stroll Thru Life

My 1929 Charmer

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

Coastal Charm

Stonegable

Thrifty Decor Chick

 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Last Home Game

 

 

 

It was the last home game and the last game of our tailgating season on Saturday and we along with 70,000 other hardy Michigan souls braved the cold, icy and rainy weather to cheer on our Spartans on senior day. It was the first time in twenty years that snow had to be removed from the field and seats at Spartan Stadium, but we dressed for the elements in many layers, wrapped up in stadium blankets and still had so much fun watching another win.

Since in was senior day, there were a lot of bittersweet memories to be made and a lot of goodbyes for the senior football players, band members and cheerleaders. It is a tradition to kiss the Spartan head in the middle of the field on the last game and they all had their chance to do that. Melissa and her friends were sad it was their last home game in the student section, but know they will be back as future alumni.

 

 

After the game, instead of braving the cold outside, we went to our favorite mexican restaurant restaurant from our days as students and finally warmed up and thawed out. Of course, the best margarita around might have helped with that process! We had a wonderful tailgating season and look forward to next year.

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Beautiful Book Club Evening

 

 

 

What a beautiful evening and dinner we had at my book club last night. Our hostess outdid herself in the midst of her Thanksgiving preparations and prepared a special night for us with a fall menu that was pretty close to perfect. Her table was set with a lovely green place setting from Ireland and the flowers were nothing short of breathtaking. We sat around this beautiful table and enjoyed a kale salad with dried cranberries and a walnut vinegrette, acorn squash stuffed with a delicious mixture of wild rice, turkey sausage, apples, and cranberries and roasted autumn vegetables on the side.

 

 

The dessert was a decadent chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and raspberries that was melt in your mouth delicious. We told our hostess it looked pretty enough to be in a display case at a high end bakery.

 

 

I was fascinated by this bouquet of flowers in her kitchen and when I asked what kind they were, was shocked to find they were heads of kale. I will be looking to replicate this unique arrangement on Thanksgiving.

 

 

The book we discussed this month was an interesting choice that many of us did not care for, but in the end were glad we had the chance to read. Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene was published in 1969 and is an enlightening look at the time in which it takes place. We agreed that subject matter that was probably somewhat shocking at the time of publication, seemed somewhat dated. We also discovered a movie by the same name was produced in the late 1970's starring our favorite from Downton Abbey, Maggie Smith.

At this time of thanksgiving, so thankful for my book club friends.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cranberry, Apple and Ginger Chutney

 

 

 

One of my favorite menu items when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner is the cranberry sauce. I searched for many years for the perfect recipe, looking for one that was thick and bursting with whole cranberries. My mother always served that traditional sauce from a can, but that was not for me.

A few years ago I tried this recipe for Cranberry, Apple and Ginger Chutney and it really is something special. This cranberry sauce has chunks of apples and whole cranberries throughout and the ginger gives it just a hint of spice. I usually make it a day or two in advance and keep it in the fridge until I am ready to put it in a pretty serving bowl on Thanksgiving day. Your side dishes can be the stars of your Thanksgiving buffet and this one is the perfect start.

 

Cranberry, Apple and Ginger Chutney


1 10-16 ounce bag of fresh cranberries

2 red apples, peeled and chopped

1 tsp ginger

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup orange juice


Combine ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until, softened reduced and thickened, about 40 - 45 minutes. Stir often during cooking. Cool and store in fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy!

 

{Linking with these friends}

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm


Between Naps on the Porch

Savvy Southern Style

Gooseberry Patch

 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Two Simple DIY Projects for Your Thanksgiving Table

 

 

 

The week before Thanksgiving is always hectic, but perhaps if you are searching for ideas for your table or buffet, these two simple DIY projects would be a helpful solution.

First, it is so easy to make a No Sew Burlap Table Runner that is perfect for a rustic Thanksgiving table. It really does take no sewing skill and I recommend the use of another table runner as a pattern, so no measuring is required as well. It is as simple as pulling strings to create the frayed edge and the complete instructions can be found here.

 

 

Any Thanksgiving table needs candlelight and I use this beautiful and easy Indian Corn Candle Holder every year on my buffet table. All that you need to make this is any large round glass candle holder, indian corn to hot glue around the sides and a length of burlap ribbon to finish the look. This is one of those DIY projects that looks expensive, but can be made by you for very little time and money. The complete instructions can be found here.

One week and two days until Thanksgiving - happy preparations!

 

{Linking with these friends}


A Stroll Thru Life

My 1929 Charmer

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

Coastal Charm

Stonegable

Thrifty Decor Chick

 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mass Mob

 

 

 

There is a movement going around the Detroit area catholic community called a mass mob. What this amazing group strives to accomplish is to fill the pews and give life to the many inner city churches by attending mass together as a large group, lifting up that parish community with love and support.

One of my friends had the idea to make a similar plan with a group from our parish. We plan to attend, as a group, a different parish each month and then go to brunch at a restaurant or at someone's home. My husband and I missed the first month, but yesterday we went to one of our favorite inner city churches and then had brunch together at a beautiful restaurant; twenty one strong.

 

 

There have been some changes at our parish that have removed the sense of community we all felt while our children attended elementary and middle school there. This gives us that sense of community back. We will end up attending mass at some beautiful older churches and experience the beauty of the catholic mass while sitting together as a group. After mass we will catch up with friends we have known for many years, but with busy lives, see too little. A wonderful idea to bring old friends together.

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Looking Ahead

 

 

 

I am looking ahead to spring today and planting my fall bulbs and scattering wildflower seeds. We have a slight dusting of early snow on the ground here in Michigan, but I won't let that stop me from one last gardening chore, before winter truly sets in. In fact, the conditions are perfect for the wildflower seeds, because the instructions say to scatter after a hard frost. I have a patch of wildflowers at the back of my perennial garden, near the woods and while pretty, the patch could use some filling in. Abundance is good when it comes to flower gardening.

 

 

The daffodil bulbs will be naturalized into the edge of the woods. In the spring as the ground cover just begins to return, I hope to see bright yellow daffodils mixed throughout. If you are planting fall bulbs, invest in a bulb planter. It makes it so easy, with the twist of your wrist, to place the bulb the correct depth and cover the hole back in with dirt. Like anything, the process goes quicker with the right tool. The daffodil bulbs and wildflower seeds were purchased at American Meadows.

Planting fall bulbs always gives big rewards in the spring, when those bright spots of color mean so much after a long winter.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

This Is Sparta

 

 

 

When you are the mother of daughters, you try to find a balance between the fun girly side of life and at the same time encouraging them to grow up to be strong women. Melissa's MSU Pompon Team competed in the Collegiate High Kick Championship this past weekend and I couldn't have been prouder of the inspiring theme that was picked by their coach. It was a theme inspired by the movie 300, as well as the trademark Spartan namesake of MSU. These young women came prepared to compete; full of pride for their university and excited about the chance to portray strong, brave female warriors, ready for battle.

 

 

This theme embodied everything these amazing young women stand for and have learned by being part of this team. They are young women that believe in hard work and in standing by your teammate and friend. They are strong in mind, as well as body and support each other both during practice and competitions and in the stress of academic life. They are wonderful examples to the younger pommers watching the competition and represent their university well.

 

 

Melissa is a senior this year and the four years on this team have been a wonderful experience. She has made so many memories and learned how far having goals and working hard can take you. She loves the sport of pompon, but more importantly, over the four years, she has learned that in the face of challenges and adversity, she is a strong women. And, as being part of this team shows you - you are only as strong as the Spartan standing next to you.

If you would like to see the full routine click here.

 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Overnight Cranberry French Toast

 

 

 

One of the things I always try to do to make Thanksgiving morning special, is prepare a breakfast dish the night before that I can easily pop in the oven, while the busy morning of preparations goes along. In our family, we have fans of savory egg dishes, but also fans of the sweeter side. This Overnight Cranberry French Toast is a recipe that may work well for Thanksgiving morning, but I wanted to give it a try first to see if it was as delicious as it sounded. I quickly made a half batch late last night, to enjoy for breakfast this morning and found it to be simple and quick to put together. There is no added sugar and I used the whole wheat bread I had on hand, so all in all, this is pretty healthy for a sweet breakfast treat.

I served this with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and the red cranberries gave it a beautiful, festive look. The cranberries also gave this dish a burst of tart flavor, perfect for this time of year. By cutting the bread into cubes, you insure that the egg mixture is soaked up completely, and will cook evenly unlike some baked french toast recipes. I may make an egg casserole to satisfy the savory loving crowd, but this sweet and flavorful treat will also be on my Thanksgiving morning menu.

 

Overnight Cranberry French Toast


4 eggs

1 1/2 cups lowfat milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 T vanilla

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

5 - 6 cups French bread cut into cubes ( I used whole wheat)

1 cup fresh cranberries


Add the eggs to a large mixing bowl and whisk well. Add the milk, maple syrup and vanilla. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk well, making sure all ingredients are combined. Stir in cubes of bread until coated evenly. Stir in cranberries.

Spray a 2 quart baking dish with butter flavored cooking spray. Pour egg and bread mixture into baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in fridge overnight.

When ready to bake, remove plastic wrap, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Serve with powdered sugar sprinkled on top or a drizzle of maple syrup. Enjoy!

 

{Linking with these friends}

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm


Between Naps on the Porch

Savvy Southern Style

Gooseberry Patch

 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Two Nights

 

 

 

We had a very busy weekend and spent a lot of time driving from here to there, but made the most of every bit of it. When we arrived at MSU's campus on Friday night for Melissa's pompon rehearsal, all was quiet, but in was the calm before the storm, since it was game day the next day. We had to take a photo with the Sparty statue, since there was no one around, and that is unusual. Walking around campus at night is beautiful.

 

 

We watched Melissa and the MSU Pompon Team at their well attended rehearsal and it was fun to see their routine all come together. I had seen the costumes already, since I was asked to do alterations on them, earlier in the month. That made it especially fun to see the final product and see the girls dressed as spartan warriors (think the movie 300) complete with helmets and shields, making for a very dramatic routine. We had dinner with Melissa after the performance and it is always fun to hear her excitement about what she is working so hard on.

 

 

The game. What can I say about the game the next night except that the stadium went from total excitement to total disappointment, in the span of a few hours. It was exciting to be on campus all day. As we hopped from tailgate to bar to another tailgate; all inside since it was very cold, the excitement began to build for the game that would decide the Big Ten Championship game appearance and even had national playoff implications. There were Ohio State fans everywhere making it a true college game day experience. The outcome of the game may have been disappointing and not what we hoped, but we still enjoyed the atmosphere of a game played under the lights. It was quite the weekend.

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Upstairs Bathroom Update {Getting Started}

 

 

 

For the next couple of weeks, you will find me in the midst of a minor update to my upstairs bathroom. This room functions as my daughters bathroom when they are home, as well as a guest bathroom, since the guest room is on that floor as well. I haven't done much with the room, since the girls moved out and it definately needs a freshening up.

 

 

The first project will be the removal of the wallpaper and fresh paint on the walls. My plan is to keep this fairly neutral, since resale is in the foreseeable future. I am planning on a white paint, with a hint of gray, that will be a blank canvas for colorful accessories. The shower curtain I have picked out is a bright green leaf print with a touch of silver in the pattern that will work well with the wall color. The green will be picked up in the rugs and I have plans to use bright shades of pink as the other accent color. I plan to mix patterns for a fun and eclectic style.

It is not a large room, so I am hoping it all comes together fairly quickly and I can share the results with you soon. Now that I am ready to begin, I tend to work at a fairly quick pace, because I can't wait to see the final outcome.

Have a wonderful weekend. We will be very busy with a big pompon competition for Melissa's MSU Pompon Team, as well as the very big MSU versus Ohio State football game on Saturday. Go Green!

 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Simple Method to Preserve Fall Leaves

 

 

 

As I was starting to think about my plans for my Thanksgiving table setting this year, I remembered that I had read somewhere that there was a simple method to preserve fall leaves by using Mod Podge. If there is one thing I have an over abundance of at this time of year, it is leaves, so I easily went outside and gathered the number I needed, ( I chose gold Maple leaves, but any kind would work) and gave it a try.

 

 

Setting up a work area was quickly accomplished by lining up a row of paper plates to put the leaves on for drying. I brushed each leaf with the Mod Podge, using a small foam brush, carefully covering the front and back sides and going all the way to the edges. The Mod Podge goes on white, but dries clear after about one hour.

 

 

The leaves are beautiful now with a slightly shiny, waxy coating. Each one kept its original color and texture and will keep their freshly fallen appearance through Thanksgiving. This simple project took very little time, but will have a big impact on my Thanksgiving table. My plan is to use a unique leaf at each place setting. Keeping the long stems intact gives me the opportunity to add a tag and use them as place cards. This will be a simple, yet dramatic natural element to add to the table, with little to no cost.

Happy Thursday!

 

{Linking with these friends}


A Stroll Thru Life

My 1929 Charmer

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

Coastal Charm

Stonegable

Thrifty Decor Chick

 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rosemary Chicken Bake {Pinterest Success 34}

 

 

 

Finding a recipe for a quick, hearty dinner is always a goal and this Rosemary Chicken Bake is a perfect one pan meal that will have you out of the kitchen fast and with very little clean up. I put this together, put it in the oven to bake and went for my daily walk, with that great feeling of having dinner cooking away. The original pin can be found here, but I do recommend a few changes.

When I make this the second time, I would definately use fresh rosemary. I used the dried rosemary the recipe called for, but the fresh herb taste I love was missing for me. Also, instead of sprinkling the spice mix on top as the recipe calls for, I would toss half with the potatoes and green beans and then sprinkle the rest on the top of the chicken. The veggies needed more flavor mixed throughout.

All in all this was a delicious meal and looked beautiful on the plate. The bright colors and flavors of the redskin potatoes and the green beans were an appetizing mix. Just three ingredients (plus the spices) and you have a wonderful dinner for any busy night.

Happy Tuesday and happy voting!

 

{Linking with these friends}


A Stroll Thru Life

My 1929 Charmer

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

Coastal Charm

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm


Mostly Homeade Mom

 

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