Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cranberry Apple Sangria

 

 

 

For me, one of the highlights of our Thanksgiving day was this sangria that my daughter Megan made. There was just enough for everyone to have a glass to start the day and it was a lovely festive touch. The glasses looked so pretty full of cranberries, apples and a cinnamon stick.

This is a red wine sangria, so perfect for fall and winter celebrations. We used a Pinot Noir, but I think it would also be good with a Merlot. The only change we made to the recipe was to use light cranberry juice, since that is what I had and to then use half the amount of simple syrup. I would also suggest using unsweetened apple juice if cider is out of season.

It's so easy to make; just pour everything in a pitcher and chop up some apples and you are done. For better flavor, it is best to make it a few hours before serving. We all thought it was delicious and perfect for any special occasion.

 

Cranberry Apple Sangria

 

1 bottle red wine

3 cups apple cider

1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice

1/2 cup triple sec

1/2 cup simple syrup ( equal parts sugar and water, cooked over low heat until sugar is dissolved)

1 cup fresh cranberries

1 cup diced apples

Sparkling water to finish

Cinnamon sticks for garnish

 

Pour all ingredients into a large pitcher. Add cranberries and apples. Mix well. To serve: pour in a glass, add a splash of sparkling water and spoon some of the fruit on top. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

 

{Linking with these friends}

French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have a Daily Cup

Between Naps on the Porch

My Side of 50

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

Craftberry Bush

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving Reflections

 

 

 

It was a lovely Thanksgiving at our house with good food and more importantly family all around. I can't count how many times it was mentioned that this would be the last Thanksgiving celebration in our house (we toasted to our 20th year around this table ) and that next year we would be in sunny Florida. To be honest, I was feeling more excited for what the future will bring, rather than nostalgic, but I think that those feelings will hit me at some point. I'm sad it will be hard on my daughters, but I keep saying it will be different, but different is not bad.

Having my daughters here is everything to me and they are so much fun and such good helpers in the midst of getting dinner on the table. As anyone who cooks a Thanksgiving dinner knows, it becomes a fast and furious process at the last minute, no matter how organized you are. You are juggling things in and out of the oven, making gravy and helping with the turkey carving. Having smiling and willing helpers, who make sure your wine glass is full, can make all the difference.

As I write this morning, most of the cleanup is done although I'll be emptying a full dishwasher soon and taking care of all the china, glasses and serving platters piled on my dining room table as soon as my house wakes up. Then it's leftovers and off to one store (Old Navy) with my daughters for a little fun Black Friday shopping.

It was a good day for us and I hope you all had a wonderful family day as well.

 

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Weekend

 

 

 

 

 

Winter arrived in Michgan this weekend with cold, windy snowy conditions and wouldn't you know I spent most of the day Saturday sitting in Spartan Stadium trying to keep from freezing. Actually it wasn't too bad until the end of the game since we were dressed for it and had a warm blanket to snuggle under. It was snowing and blowing into our faces at times, but the first snow of the season is always exciting, so we didn't mind too much. Melissa and I had a mother daughter game day and it was really fun. We did a little bar hopping before game time, including the bar where she worked as a bartender during college and they took very good care of us. I hadn't been inside that bar for many years and despite a name change, it still looks the same. My favorite drink of the morning was a cidermosa made with hard cider and orange juice - it was really good and different.

Sunday needed to be a lazy morning after a tiring Saturday, so I decided to make some easy pumpkin pancakes to enjoy with my coffee. They were a delicious way to start the morning and gave me fuel to make my second trip to the (crowded) grocery store to make another dent in the Thanksgving dinner shopping list. Now I just have the fresh ingredients to purchase and the list size is a lot more manageable. I love hosting Thanksgiving, but it sure takes a lot of pre planning. Happy Monday!

 

Bisquick Pumpkin Pancakes


2 cups Bisquick baking mix

1 cup milk

1 egg

1/2 cup pumpkin purée

2 T sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger


Mix all ingredients together ( batter will be lumpy) with a wire whisk. Pour about 1/2 cup onto a hot griddle prepared with a coating of melted butter. Cook until bubbles form on top, then flip and cook until until golden brown. Makes 6 large pancakes.

 

{Linking with these friends}

French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have a Daily Cup

Between Naps on the Porch

My Side of 50

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

Craftberry Bush

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lately

 

 

 

Life has been a whirlwind lately. It seems we are having workers come to the house every day, because we are trying to repair the odds and ends we need fixed and spiffed up before we put our house on the market. And, we are also doing a lot ourselves. I hope to post some pictures soon of my updated master bath. It is very neutral and therefore not too exciting, but the new shower is fabulous and it's all now in perfect shape for going on the market.

I took a much needed break last night for a girl's night with a couple of friends. I forgot to take a photo, so you will forgive the use of an old photo from another time at our club, but the company was the same and I even wore the same dress. We had a lot to catch up on and the evening just slipped away before I realized it. My phone never made its way out of my purse. But, it was a lovely dinner and we did drink a little wine too :-)

Thanksgiving is looming and today I will make my first of three or four runs to the grocery store between now and Thursday. I love cooking the meal, getting up early to make the stuffing and get the turkey in the oven, setting my table and having all my family here. The grocery shopping and the long shopping lists I can do without.

Is anyone watching Poldark? I am really enjoying this season and it was interesting to read that the last episode on PBS was edited different than the BBC version. It seems we saw a different version of what occurred between Ross and Elizabeth and I wonder how all will make sense going forward.

I have been so busy that I am very much behind in my television watching. I am weeks behind in Grey's Anatomy and have yet to start watching This Is Us. Also, a new season of The Fall is on Netflix and I need to binge watch that very soon.

Finally, it will be a short visit, but both of my daughters will be home for Thanksgiving and I can't wait to have them sitting on my couch, in their pajamas, the tv on, a fire burning in the fireplace and the sound of their voices and laughter filling the house. There is nothing better in this world.

Happy Thursday!

 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Veteran's Day at Spartan Stadium

 

 

 

 

 

It was a beautiful sunny day on Saturday, but it sure was a cold one too. The flag was front and center all day to celebrate Veteran's Day and it made my heart happy to see it. We could all use a little healing and the flag has that power.

Before the game, we had another fun tailgate with great food including made to order grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup and chicken tortilla soup. We definately needed the hot soup on such a cold day and the two heaters we used also warmed our tents perfectly. By game time, the sun warmed things up even more and with my blanket on my lap, I was just fine. And, we won the game, so that was fun. It's been a tough year, but it definately is more fun to win than to lose.

When we move to Florida, one of the things I will miss the most are these Saturday tailgates in the fall. We will be back for at least one game, but I will miss being a season ticket holder. There is no place I love more than my favorite college campus on a pretty fall day.

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, November 11, 2016

November Book Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had to miss my book club last month, so I was so looking forward to going last night. To tell the truth, I was very behind in finishing the book and was frantically reading whenever I had a few minutes yesterday, so I could finish. It is so much more interesting to be involved in the discussion if you have read the book, rather than trying to follow along and this was a book where I knew, the ending would be spoiled.

It was a lovely evening, with a much appreciated glass of wine to start the night and an absolutely beautiful dinner. We were so comfortable at the table, we stayed in place for dessert and our book discussion. As you can see from the photos, our hostess outdid herself, from wonderful cheeses to start to two kinds of soup (creamy chicken with mushrooms and Italian wedding style with orzo pasta) to a delicious layered salad full of veggies and creamy avocado. And the desserts; white and dark chocolate pumpkin truffles and vanilla bean panacotta with raspberries. All I can say is wow!

 

 

The book we read and discussed is an old one, but really made for an interesting discussion for anyone with children. A district attorney's son is accused of murder and it is a what would you do as a parent story from start to finish, as both the mother and the father make startling and thought provoking choices in the interest of their son, who we find out is more damaged than they ever imagined.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Empty Nest Changes - A Decision

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been a little quiet on the blog this past week, but it's because a lot has been happening. We are back from a whirlwind trip to Florida and my life is about to get a whole lot more tropical. After a week of looking at houses, we made the decision to buy a new construction house that will be ready in about 7 months. It's equal parts scary and exciting and there is a lot to do (emptying one house and making design decisions on another) between now and then, but we are happy with both the location and the house plan.

We saw many existing homes, that just weren't quite right and actually saw the place we did buy on a whim by our realtor, at the end of a long day. It just felt right, for many reasons and we were able to get the lot we wanted, with a pretty lake view. We are just 6 miles from the closest beach and we love the downtown area of the city we chose. There is also a 9 mile walking trail along the inter coastal waterway that will be amazing for long dog walks. The weather was perfect while we were there and we look forward to sunny and mild winters for the rest of our days.

Leaving our daughters, family and friends will be hard, but we anticipate many fun visits with days spent at the pool, the golf course or the beach. It will be a totally different lifestyle, but one we will embrace. I am really a homebody at heart and once I am settled in my pretty new house, with all my things both old and new all around me, the location is just a bonus. And, we are only a 2 hour plane ride away if a visit to Michigan is needed.

Things are about to get interesting around here.

Happy Monday!

 

{Linking with these friends}

Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps on the Porch

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

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