Saturday, September 25, 2021

Apple Brownies - Recipe Redo


Fall in Florida is not quite here yet, though we are told there may be less humidity next week.  But, the calendar says Fall and to me, that means baking something with apples.  This recipe is a good one and first appeared on my blog in 2018.  It has the plentiful, chunky apples like I love in an apple recipe and because you coat the apples in cinnamon and sugar, the flavors are perfect.

To change things up a bit, I decided to add a sour cream glaze that cuts the sweetness just a bit.  A cream cheese frosting would also be delicious.  Either way, just spread the glaze or frosting on top when out of the oven and completely cool.  I stored these in the fridge.  

Enjoy and Happy Fall!

Sour Cream Glaze

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1 cup powdered sugar (add a bit more if you like a thicker glaze)

Mix together well and let thicken in refrigerator until ready to use.  

Monday, September 20, 2021

Spartans in Miami


We had a fabulous weekend that began on Friday with a visit from my sister and brother-in-law. We tried to go on a tiki bar hop with our favorite boat captain, but because of stormy weather the boat ride was cut short. That didn’t stop us and we just finished the day by driving to the other bars, ending in Sarasota as planned.

Saturday was all about Spartan football and we could not have had more fun.  We drove over to Miami for the noon game against the University of Miami and came away with a big win.  There were so many other Spartans who made the trip and sitting in the stands at an away game surrounded by all that joy, was something I won’t soon forget.  Our tradition in East Lansing has always been to enjoy a dinner and margaritas at our favorite Mexican restaurant post game (El Azteco) and we kept the tradition alive with a stop in Naples at the Mercato (Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar).

When we moved to Florida from Michigan, giving up our football season tickets was hard, but we always thought for sure there would be a bowl game or two in Florida.  Many circumstances have not brought that about in the past four years, but the future of MSU football is looking bright and we will keep our green and white gear ready.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Florida House - Kitchen Update


I mentioned in a previous post that we were planning to update the island countertop in our four year old kitchen, but while that seems crazy, when building, we had limited time at the builder’s design center and felt it was time for something with a little more interest.  We switched from white Corian (I wanted an all white kitchen) to white quartz with subtle veining and a white surface to match the other counters.  I like having the island different and it makes it a focal point.

Most tones at the showroom were reading gray, but I was able to find a slab with more tan/greige tones to match the rest of my open floor plan home.  We are very happy with the finished product and the installation process.  We also switched the double sink to a larger, inset, and more modern one compartment stainless sink with a custom insert to cut down on scratches.

I love it all.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Dinner and a Play


We had a different sort of evening out on Saturday that felt slightly back to normal, in spite of the dreaded masks required in the theatre. But, you do what you have to do.

A friend offered tickets to a play and that is for sure something that has not been available locally in a while.  This was one of the first shows of the season and while it wasn’t exactly the show we thought it would be (clever, but not really funny), it was still a theatre going experience and that is always special.

Dinner was fabulous as usual at one of our favorite restaurants and the Cosmo I started the night with was perfection.  The Venice Theatre is a quick walk down the street from the restaurant and it makes for an enjoyable local theatre centered evening out.  We are lucky to have a historic theatre right in downtown Venice with a full schedule, including well known musicals.  The arts are alive and well here and we are happy to support them.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Around My Town


Summer is such a great time to experience the local ambiance that can be found in Florida. There are many beach communities and if you come on vacation, you most likely stick pretty close to that one favorite place you love to visit. We have visited many beach towns, each having a bit of a different vibe and exploring each one on its own is a great way to spend a few hours.

But, like the title of this post says, I wanted to share some photos from my beach town; Venice.  It has a walkable downtown with shops and restaurants, beautiful beaches, a jetty and is known for its many parks and lovely and award winning profusion of flowers downtown.  We don’t have high rise hotels on the beach, so there is not an overwhelming influx of tourists.  It has a historic, old Florida feel and the residents fight to keep it that way.  

Of course tourists are welcome and there is a vibrant events schedule that includes art fairs, a farmer’s market on Saturdays, concerts in the park and many festivals.

Currently, there are seahorse and mermaid statues scattered throughout downtown, all painted by local artists.  Each is unique and it’s fun to stroll the streets seeing how many you can see.  Read more about this public art project here.

If you do get to the gulf side of Florida and our southwest corner of paradise, Venice is well worth a day trip.

Finally, just a little blog housekeeping.  If receive posts via email, since Feedburner is no longer supported by Blogger, I have switched to a service called Follow It.  All my followers should have been seamlessly transferred over.  I will be also updating my blog design after ten years and at that time adding a link to sign up for this email feed service if you have not in the past and choose to now. I think a palm tree or two may be added to the design :-)

Friday, August 13, 2021

Individual Peach French Toast


Peaches are looking so delicious right now (ours are fresh from Georgia) and I keep drooling over all the recipes using them; in both savory and sweet ways.  I am especially intrigued by beautiful summer dishes like Tomato Peach and Burrata Salad or Pesto Peach Chicken in White Wine.  And this dessert - Brown Sugar Peach Shortcakes.

But, seeing some peaches in my fruit basket that needed using, led me to an old breakfast standby.  This recipe from 2016 uses apples, but easily adapts to peaches.  It comes together really quick, is cooked in the microwave and is perfectly sweet as is, but you could add a drizzle of maple syrup if you choose.

The best part, as with all the individual serving recipes I have made over the years, is the built in portion control when you count carbs like I do.

Happy Weekend! We are still watching Tropical Storm Fred, but it looks to be more of a rain event.  Hurricane season in Florida is wild  - Grace is next and coming this way too :-)

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Life Lately


Since my knee is much improved after PT, I am back to volunteering with Venice Area Beautification.  It is very satisfying to feel part of a team that really makes a difference.  It’s hot and sweaty work, especially in the summer months, but I love getting my hands in the dirt.  And, because I love new Florida experiences, I am going for an interview next week to be part of the horticulture volunteer team at Historic Spanish Point.  

Its been a full year now that I have been ordering a couple of meals each month from the meal delivery service Hello Fresh and we love it.  Last night I made Brown Sugar Bourbon Chicken Salad and it was healthy and delicious. There is always something a bit unique in the recipes and this salad had roasted carrots that took it to another level. I honestly can’t think of one recipe we have not found to be good and I enjoy the new tastes and style of step by step cooking.

We are excited to be changing our kitchen island from Corian to natural quartz.  Yes, we have a new home, but the design decisions had to be made really fast and there have been a few things we have decided to upgrade.  I was happy to find exactly what I was looking for with a white background and warm neutral tones (not gray).  Also not big movement in the veins, but not too busy as well.  It should be installed in about 2 weeks and I will post a kitchen update.

The Olympics have been fun to watch and bring back so many memories of gymnastics meets for both girls and swim and dive meets for Megan.  I was just talking about how it is the sounds for me that put me right back there watching. The sound of the jumps on the balance beam, the tumbling landings on the mat and the spring of the diving board.  I love watching young people who work so hard, achieve their dream and especially under so much pressure.  The world may seem crazy, but there are also so many great young Americans who we can be proud of.

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

My Try at the Trendy Tik Tok Pasta


I’m not on Tik Tok, but if you are on line at all you have most likely seen this easy pasta recipe.  I was skeptical, but every time someone made it, there was evident genuine surprise at how good it tasted.  So, I decided to give it a try.  I did change the cheese from Feta to Boursin.

Step 1

Place a block of Boursin garlic and herb flavored cheese in a 9x12 baking dish.  Surround with one container of cherry tomatoes.  Drizzle cheese and tomatoes with olive oil and add 3 tsp crushed garlic and your choice of seasonings.  I used Italian seasoning, cracked black pepper and red pepper flakes.  Put water to boil and prepare 16 ounce box of pasta.

Step 2

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until cheese is melted and tomatoes are soft and ready to burst.

Step 3 

Mix in prepared pasta of your choice (I used fettuccine) and a bit of the pasta water. Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil.

That is how easy it is and it is really good.  You could add shrimp or chicken at the end as well if you needed some protein.  Sometimes a fad can be a good thing :-)

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Pittsburgh Weekend In Photos


We had so much fun visiting my daughter and son in law in their beautiful city this past weekend.  It was my husband’s first visit to their new home that they closed on last year, right before covid, so overdue for him. They live a bit north of the city, but we made our way downtown to both the Riverfront/North Shore and the Strip District enjoying some delicious food and fun drinks at all our stops.  A big surprise was a spur of the moment meet up with our niece and boyfriend who were passing through from Chicago to D.C.  

The rainy weather on Saturday did not stop us and we enjoyed sitting in the cute Allegheny Overlook Pop-Up Park located on the river with views of the baseball stadium and the bridges.  The day wouldn’t have been completely Pittsburgh style without a Primanti sandwich, fries right inside.  Sunday was a pretty day for walking around the funky Strip District and lunch at Coop de Ville.  We ate southern style chicken sandwiches, watched the final holes of the British Open and played a few games of duck bowling.

They have a lovely home and we enjoyed being there and having them show off their home, their city and their cutie dog too.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

How I Stay Grounded


I posted this on my IG stories, because it really spoke to me.  My personality is quite calm, but there are certain things that keep me that way and maybe this list which is pretty spot on, will help you too.  Obviously, not working full time, or having young children or teens at home makes my days less stressful than many, but we all need touchstones in our daily life that keep us grounded.  Out of this list, I have highlighted a few that I can’t do without.


I live in Florida, so soaking up the sunshine is a way of life.  Having lived in Michigan for a good portion of my life, with it’s gray winter days, I can see the difference living in the Sunshine State makes in mood and lifestyle.

Whole Foods

As I have gotten older, there is a noticeable difference in how I feel based on how healthy I eat.  I rarely eat fast food, do not consume any caffeine and do my best to eat a balanced diet.  As a dietetic, portion control is my mantra.


I used to be a night owl and exist on very little sleep.  My diabetes is hereditary, but not getting enough sleep can be a trigger.  Now, I rarely stay up past midnight.  Again, a stress free lifestyle makes a lot of difference, but a healthy lifestyle is the key.


I love to walk and soak in nature whether it is on the beach or on a trail.  When I lived in Michigan, walking in the snow was my favorite thing.  Gardening is also a big part of my life and getting my hands in the dirt or wandering around a plant nursery are what I consider therapy.


I discovered yoga about ten years ago and haven’t looked back. When I had a knee injury and couldn’t practice yoga, it showed me how important if is to move.  And, having graduated from physical therapy last week, with my strength and range of motion back, I am doing what I love.  And, out of all the exercises my PT gave me, yoga was by far the best for building strength and flexibility.  I  also play golf regularly and like I mentioned walk every day.


This started with my move and inevitable downsizing four years ago, and it is now a way of life.  I am determined to never accumulate so many things again and donation is happening regularly.  A cluttered home equals a cluttered mind for me.

Future Planning

I love to be home, but also love to make plans.  Whether it is a day trip or plane travel, new experiences are good for your mental health and to keep you from getting in a rut.  There is always a new adventure on the horizon and we live in the perfect place and have the perfect lifestyle to take advantage of it.  

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Bye to Elsa


We are going on year five in Florida, and have learned so much about hurricanes.  When Irma hit, three months after our move, we were definitely rookies and in full blown panic.  Since then, there have been several more tropical storms and hurricanes and I feel I have a handle on how to survive the sometimes craziness of hurricane season.

First, find a weather person who is calm and does not sensationalize.  Never, ever watch The Weather Channel.  Floridians are quite nonchalant about low level hurricanes and it’s more about being prepared and staying alert to see if you are told to evacuate. Our homes are built for wind and you really only need to leave for storm surge if you live right on the coast.  We are 7 miles inland and only have to worry about the surge filling the Myakka River which is fairly close.

We have all the recommended supplies, food, water (wine) and now have a generator in case we lose power. Soon, we will have a permanently attached roll down hurricane shutter on the lanai, so we can bring all the outdoor furniture to that section if necessary and do not have to manually put the extra large aluminum shutters on the sliders.  

It’s all not for the faint of heart, but living in paradise is worth it.  Elsa was predicted to be worse than it was. We never had the sustained winds that cause the damage and are thankful for that.  It’s only the start of hurricane season and September is usually the big month, but each time we go through one of these, we gain knowledge and learn we can handle what comes our way.  

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Wedding Celebration in Michigan


This is the summer of delayed wedding celebrations and there is something about the wait that makes everything a little more special.  Already married, but given that extra dose of love by friends and family who couldn’t lend that support last year.

My sister planned a beautiful event in her back yard amidst a rainy week in Michigan with flooded streets and an actual tornado warning that could not keep us from having a great time.  I was especially happy to see my family that I have not seen in person since Christmas 2019.  

The day started with a golf outing for the guys, a bridal brunch for the bridesmaids and me helping my sister pull everything together. She wanted to do a lot herself and while a lot of work, it was done with love and that shined through every detail.  Luckily she planned a huge tent with a lot of room for the guests to be comfortable when it rained and when all the phones started going off with tornado warning alerts, we simply paused to take cover and then pick up where we left off when the all clear siren was heard.  Definitely memorable for all and par for the course in a Michigan summer.

My nephew and his beautiful bride are truly married now with all our best wishes and their Michigan and Massachusetts love story continues.

Happy Tuesday!

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Michigan ➡️ Florida
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