Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloweentime

 

 

 

 

It's Halloween and while the day doesn't have the same excitement that it held when my girls were young and it was a day filled with class parties and trick or treating, I still think it's fun. It's different though and much more simple - no costumes to sew or buy and no cookies or cupcakes to make and send to school. We don't even bother carving a pumpkin anymore.

 

 

Even the trick or treating is not quite the same. In our old neighborhood, we would easily have close to 200 trick or treaters. Here in Florida, I live in a new development, so last year, with a lot of construction on my street still happening, we had no children stop buy. This year, things are a little more finished and organized. There is a system set up where all the houses that are passing out candy have an orange ribbon on the lightpost. We are told to expect around 20 trick or treaters (it's Florida after all and while not a retirement community, we don't have very many kids in the neighborhood). But, it's going to be a beautiful night and I will be ready with my bowl of candy.

 

 

Through the years, I have always made a special cocktail on Halloween night, as well as passing out coffee with a Baily's shot or a beer to the dads on trick or treat duty. My cocktail choice this year is a Pumpkin Spice White Russian. Most fall cocktails are made with apple cider, which is hard to find in Florida, so this seemed a good choice. I made one last night to test it out and it is delicious.

To make: Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add 1 ounce vodka, 2 ounces kahlua and 2 ounces Pumpkin Spice Flavored Creamer. Stir together well and enjoy.

Happy Halloween!

 

Try these other cocktails from past Halloween nights:

Apple Cider Margarita

Caramel Apple Martini

Apple Cider and Buttershot Cocktail

 

{ Linking with these friends}

Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps on the Porch

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Pineapple Salsa

 

 

 

In my last post, I promised to post the recipe for the yummy salsa I made to take to a football watch party. Now, this is not something I would have made to take tailgating on a chilly fall day in Michigan, but here in Florida; perfect. Or, if you just need a little sunshine and some tropical goodness to brighten your day.

The pineapple here in Florida is really good and fresh right now, but pineapple is a fruit that you can find year round, so no worries there. To save time chopping, I bought the red onions and peppers pre chopped, so this was really easy to put together. I did not add a jalapeƱo, but added a few drops of Tabasco instead. That way I could control the heat a little better. My dish was clean when I left the party, so that's a sign of successful recipe to me.

The original pin and recipe can be found here. I did not serve the salsa in the half pineapple, but how great does it look. Maybe next time :-)

 

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

{ Linking with these friends}

Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps on the Porch

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Lately

 

 

 

My daughter Melissa was in Orlando for business and was able to drive to see us this past weekend, after her work trip was done. It was a quick visit, but we had beautiful weather and she loves to get her beach and pool time in, so that is what we did. We went to Siesta Key beach one day and spent another day at our pool. We had some fun dinners at restaurants on the water and she had her fill of sun and pina coladas, before heading back to the colder temps in Michigan. It's always hard to say goodbye, but this time it wasn't so bad, since she will be back in one month for Thanksgiving.

 

 

On Saturday, we were sad to see our Spartans lose to Michigan, but still had fun watching the game with some friends and fellow MSU fans here in Florida. Melissa came to the party with us (she is a Spartan alum too) and also enjoyed spending half time by their pool. There were a lot of rivalry shenanigans both before, during and after the game and I can't wait to see what next year's game brings. The photo is what I took to the watch party - pineapple salsa in my favorite MSU dish. Recipe coming soon, since it was delicious.

 

 

Yesterday, I went with some friends to see A Star Is Born and I loved it. I don't see a lot of movies, but this was one I really wanted to see. I have fond memories of the Barbara Striesand version and was really looking forward to seeing Lady Gaga in the role. I thought she was mesmerizing on the big screen and more than held her own with Bradley Cooper (also great). As a pop star, she does a lot of semi weird things in my opinion, but in this stripped down, vulnerable version of herself, she became interesting and believable to me. She is a very talented singer, but now a legitimate actress as well.

Happy Tuesday!

 

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Easiest Gumbo

 

 

 

Friday was National Gumbo Day and when I saw this recipe posted on Lisa's blog, I knew I had found my dish for a college football watching Saturday. We love gumbo, but I've never found a recipe that looked simple enough to bother making. And, while this recipe is not traditional Gumbo (no roux), it was very flavorful and had all the components I love. Okra is a favorite of mine, but it is not typically served in the Midwest where I grew up. I know there is a trick to cooking it well, but this recipe is very forgiving. Also, I enjoyed being able to add just the right amount of heat to this Gumbo. Too many times, when you order Gumbo in a restaurant, it's way too spicy.

I did make a few changes to the recipe. I used a can of Rotel rather than regular diced tomatoes for added flavor and heat. Also, I did not use all the chicken broth called for in the recipe to make the gumbo less soup like. Finally, instead of canned chicken (what?), I added 1 pound of chopped, uncooked chicken breast after the mixture came to a boil and then simmered everything for about 20 minutes.

This was a delicious dish and I am happy to have discovered it. You could easily use shrimp instead of chicken (or use both). The whole recipe took one hour to put together, including the chopping and did not need to cook for hours, like traditional gumbo. Serve with rice and a bottle of Tabasco on the side for those who like their Gumbo with even more heat. It really is the easiest Gumbo ever.

 

Circa 2013

And speaking of College football - my Spartans won over Penn State with a last second touchdown (so exciting) and that leads us into rivalry week in the state of Michigan. Michigan State vs. Michigan; where most families have some sort of interest in the game and the teams (and fans) don't really like each other. We are a house divided with 3 MSU alumni (me, my husband and our youngest daughter) and 2 U of M alumni (my older daughter and new son in law). It will be a fun week.

Happy Monday!

 

{ Linking with these friends}

Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps on the Porch

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

Friday, October 12, 2018

Fall Decor - Florida Style

 

 

Last fall, my first fall in Florida, I really wasn't missing fall decor too much. I think my house was still new and I had worked so hard to get things just so, I was in no mood to add or change anything. This fall, I feel I bit different. I see photos of front porches with mums and pumpkins and I want it all. But, that just won't work and if added now, before we cool off, mums would wilt and die, no matter how much you water them.

So, I've been doing a little dreaming on Pinterest and pinning a few quite simple coastal fall decor ideas to my All Things Florida board. Here are some of my favorites and I may try to pull off a few before Thanksgiving. (I'll share if I do)

 

Pinterest

 

Pinterest

 

Pinterest

 

Pinterest

 

Pinterest

 

Pinterest

 

Pinterest

 

Pinterest

 

No orange tones, but neutrals, blues, natural elements and seashells - I like the subtle fall vibe.

Happy Weekend!

 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Individual Autumn Apple French Toast {Recipe Redo}

 

 

 

Fall recipes should be comforting, rustic and full of seasonal flavor. This breakfast recipe from my 2016 archives is not one I have made again, but I'm not sure why. I love the chunks of apple throughout and it is a great way to use up those end of loaf, almost stale, bread slices. Yesterday, I made this with the multigrain bread I usually buy as well, and it tasted great. I did cut off the crusts and use a total of 3 smaller slices, rather than 2 larger slices.

I like that the only sweetener is sugar free brown sugar and because I don't care for things to taste too sweet, I enjoyed it without any additional toppings. However, you could add a drizzle of syrup or powdered sugar if you wanted. It's the perfect size, individual breakfast treat and definitely a delicious taste of fall.

Happy Tuesday!

 

{ Linking with these friends}

Between Naps on the Porch

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

All About Fall - TBB Asks

 

 

TBB

 

1. How do you pick one? It's all about how they blend together to make the most perfect fall vista. Add blue sky and it's breathtaking.

 

Michigan in October

 

2. Cold and fresh from the cider mill, sitting at a picnic table outside. A warm cider doughnut covered in cinnamon and sugar must also be part of this fall deliciousness. Or when tailgating, this cocktail.

 

 

3. I'm not a big caramel apple fan, but I wouldn't say no to one. Remember candy apples? I haven't seen one in years, but those I loved!

 

Pinterest

 

4. Apple Cider Doughnuts are my favorite doughnuts (see number 2 lol). Unfortunately, I can't buy them here in Florida, or even make them, because it's very hard to find cider for sale and if you do, it's not fresh. This recipe for Apple Cider Doughnut Muffins is good though.

 

 

5. Definitely short (preppy, classic) cardigans. I have a uniform and it usually includes a classic button front cardigan, draped over my shoulder and knotted in the front. I have a drawer full of every color. Plus, I'm short and long cardigans look so much better when you are have those long legs.

 

 

6. Fall = football season to me and I love making tailgate style food. This is my favorite dip. Layer bean dip, taco seasoning, sour cream, green onions, tomatoes, black olives and cheese. People will eat this up.

 

 

7. I like a classic orange pumpkin, but again, pumpkins and hot Florida weather do not mix. Anything outside needs to be of the artifical kind.

8. Hayrides are fun, especially the spooky variety, but I love a fall bonfire. At our house in Michigan, we loved to build a fire in the fire pit on chilly nights ,wrap up in a blanket and enjoy that bonfire sound and scent.

9. As a diabetic, I limit my sweets, so if I do any baking, it's usually some kind of breakfast item. This Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal is pretty much a staple in the fall. The scent alone, when baking, is better than any apple spice candle you can buy.

 

 

10. Football season begins. We love college football and our Michigan State Spartans. Football Saturday's are the best.

 

Go Green Go White from two Spartan grads in Florida

 

Happy Tuesday!

 

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Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, pedicures with my daughters, martinis, yoga

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