Monday, September 28, 2020

A critique....

 Whew!  Another fast weekend leading into another Monday!  Do you have any special tricks to “make peace with Monday?”

Everyone is always interested in dessert, so let’s get right to it!  First, a question.  How many of you have ever had - or made - that appetizer with Brie cheese topped with something luscious (cranberry sauce, raspberry jam, etc.), wrapped in puff pastry, and baked until browned and the Brie is all melts?  This dessert is kind of as version of that.  I followed a recipe that was on Home is Where the Boat Is.  The author of that blog mentioned Novel Bakers as the source.  

It is called Apple and Brie Galette with Pomegranate Seeds.  I used Honeycrisp apples for this and served it with vanilla ice cream....

While I love the puff pastry wrapped Brie for an appetizer, we didn’t ooh and aah over this combination as dessert.  Not sure why that was.

The rest of the table....

....focused on this sage roasted chicken....

There was a bit of gravy for the chicken, and the carrots and lima beans were a real hit!  My picture-taking skills need improvement.  I think I move the phone at the wrong time.

I must mention that I roasted extra chicken.  It will be the basis for meals coming during the week.  There are a great many possibilities for chicken....chicken and dumplings, chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pie, chicken wild rice soup, oven chicken salad, even creamed chicken in a cornbread ring!  Of course, I love chicken salad to stuff a tomato or make a sandwich, or chunky versions with dried cherries or grapes.  The choices are endless!

The prediction is for the thermometer to bring lower readings as the week progresses.  Fall has definitely arrived!

I’ve heard, on good authority, that tomorrow is National Coffee Day!  Perhaps you could arrange to enjoy a coffee break virtually with a friend!

May this day hold all good things for you!  Keep within your safe spaces, wear your mask, stay well!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

On the menu....

 Oops!  It has been a full day here, and I’ve let the time get away from me!

That technology I mentioned yesterday was beneficial today as our Conference UMW held our Annual Meeting via Zoom.  Under normal times, we would have been out of town overnight for this gathering, and there would have been special training sessions held for District officers.  All of this is going to have to occur online this year.  

To begin the day, we had a special Saturday breakfast.  

This is an Asparagus, Orange Pepper, and Shallot frittata, and it is a great recipe!  

Sunday’s menu?  Roast chicken, glazed rainbow carrots, lima beans....perhaps.  Yes, there will be dessert.  I’ll let you know on Monday!  We are still honoring the apple until next month!

Hadn’t intended for this to be this late!  I’ll wish everyone a good night, and pleasant dreams!

Take care!  Be safe, and stay well!  

Friday, September 25, 2020

Those five on Friday....

 Even in the midst of these uncertain times, it is possible to find things that bring us joy.  

Most of us have a love/hate relationship with technology.  Have you discovered Zoom?  That is a way we connect with family, as well as continue with committee meetings or special presentations.  

1)  I loved that I was able to connect with Zoom for this....

Titcomb’s Bookstore in Sandwich, MA on Cape Cod sponsored Susan Branch in a book talk last weekend!  When we vacationed on Cape Cod in the summer of 2019, we actually visited Titcomb’s Bookstore!  How much fun it was to have this presented via Zoom!  

2)  Don’t we all love to receive “happy mail?”  I know I certainly do!  I loved receiving this surprise earlier this week....

This is from a friend in Pennsylvania, and it was totally unexpected!  It truly brought me joy!

3)  It seems there is a hummingbird that feels quite at home in our oak leaf hydrangea.  She has found a favorite leaf, and will sit there indefinitely, as long as two hours or longer!  We have loved watching her!  If you look closely, you will be able to see her, too.

4)  I love hydrangeas!  Any color is fine, though I will confess that blue is probably my first choice.  It’s always a treat when I am able to order them from our favorite market. 

5)  I love the dogwood tree when these balls appear.  This isn’t a native variety as we ordered through the Arbor Day Foundation.  It has been special to watch it develop.

Did you know that today is National Daughter’s Day?  Had you thought about the event that will occur three months from today?  Where is the time going??  Have you begun any shopping??

I really appreciate you following along with me on this blog.  

Take care, be safe, stay well, and wear a mask!  Have a good weekend!

Monday, September 21, 2020

First things first....

 Well, let’s get right to it!  The first concern is dessert.  Right?!?  

Jiffy Apple Crisp it is!  I was lucky enough to notice McIntosh apples advertised by my favorite market, and I ordered some which I used in this apple crisp.  This was the first time for me to make this particular recipe.  I’ve been thumbing through my cookbook collection to see what gems I’ve overlooked in past years.  This book was a Christmas gift in 1998, so it has been on my shelf for a long time!  White Lily Flour was once milled locally, and it is still readily available here.  Many cooks would have no other flour for baking.  

The rest of the menu....

There is honey mustard on part of the chicken and barbecue sauce on the other, and I sliced the sweet potato lengthwise. 

It’s a beautiful day September day here, preparing for the first official day of autumn.  

Take care, be safe, stay well, wear a mask, practice social distancing, and avoid large crowds!

Thank you for following along with the blog!

Saturday, September 19, 2020

On the menu....

 Fall is in the air!  Our low temperature here this morning was 56 degrees!  The prediction for the next few nights is for similar temperatures, though the high temperatures are expected to reach eighty again by next weekend. 

It seemed like the perfect morning for this....

Cream of Rice with dried cranberries and walnuts!  There may have been a little butter added.:-)  

The menu for Sunday Lunch is coming together.  We’ll have sheet pan chicken (maybe barbecue, maybe honey mustard) with assorted vegetables on that sheet pan with the chicken.  Yes, there will be dessert!  It’s apple season, and that’s all I will say about that until Monday.:-)

Does the weather feel like fall where you are?  What are some things you usually enjoy during this season?  Are you going to be able to enjoy them as usual, or will you adapt?  

Take care!  Be safe!  Stay well!  Wear your mask!  

Friday, September 18, 2020

Friday’s Favorites.....

 Already we have reached the mid-point of September earlier in the week, and we are racing toward October at what seems to be breakneck speed!

There have been many things that have brought me joy during this past week.  Yesterday marked Day 190 from when we began a “stay at home” policy, meaning that we opt for curbside pickup and bank/pharmacy drive through, as well as Instacart delivery.  During this time, we have walked only on the street in our small neighborhood.  This week brought about a small change.  On one day, we drove to a shopping area, got out of the car, and walked for about 15 minutes on the sidewalk that goes along in front of several businesses.  We were there early, before most of them opened for the day, and we wore our masks for safety.  We returned a second time on another day, in the early evening, after most of the stores had closed for the night, once again wearing our masks.  It was on this walk that we noticed this....


It was exciting to me to see one of these Little Free Libraries in place, and I loved the selection of books inside!

2)  We rarely have anyone ring our doorbell, especially during the past six months.  Last Saturday, we were surprised when the doorbell rang, and this was waiting for us!

Especially for Grandparents Day!  I love fresh flowers in the house!

3)  The doorbell once again rang on Sunday afternoon when friends from church paid a surprise call to leave this with us....

I love to have chrysanthemums decorate the outside of the house for fall.

4)  Neighbors have shared the harvest from their garden with us several times this summer.  One of our favorites has been okra, and The Husband has become quite an expert in preparing it.

I have loved fried okra since I was a child!  That’s the way it was always prepared when I was growing up at home.

5)  It is never too early to think about Christmas, and this arrived this week, the latest in the books by Susan Branch.

I will confess....I immediately made time to sit down and read it!  I love the happy memories that are recorded in this story.

We have a choice that will sit the tone for the day each morning when we awake.  Choose joy!  

What are some things that have brought you joy this week?

Take care!  Be safe!  Stay well! 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Apple season....

 The month of September has always signified apple season to me.  When I was in the classroom, my calendar dates were apple shapes with the numbers for the date written on them.  We added the appropriate one to the calendar each morning, just to be sure we knew what the day was.:-)

So, without further adieu, I’ll share dessert first this week!

Apple cake!!  This is one of my favorite desserts, and I always look forward to baking it in September!  It can be served at room temperature, or it can be warmed for just a few microwave seconds. It’s really good with whipped cream!  

The rest of Sunday lunch....

We really enjoyed the salmon preparation from a few weeks ago, and wanted to repeat it.  Then, my favorite market had a “special” on this ribeye steak, setting up a little “surf and turf.”

In previous years, we have visited apple orchards in the area, bringing home an assortment of apples that would last us for a few months.  Such a trip doesn’t seem to be in our plans this season.  We’ll have to rely on what the grocery will have available.  

Have you visited apple orchards?  What is your favorite apple treat?  

Saturday, September 12, 2020

On the menu....

 Yesterday was 9/11, a somber day for many, and a day that will live in memory for years to come.  I’m sure we all remember where we were as the events of that day unfolded.  I hope to be back next week with that Friday list.

A breakfast treat....or coffee....or tea....or anytime, this Apple Fritter Bread.

A little glaze found its way to this one.:-)  While I bake most things “from scratch,” this is from a mix.  I like to focus on apples in September.

I also have it on good authority that today is National Chocolate Milkshake Day!  I may or may not have treated myself to something like this....

The menu for Sunday Lunch....aiming for a little surf and turf this week, shoe peg corn casserole, roasted asparagus, and dessert, of course!  I’ll be back on Monday with that dessert surprise!

Take care, be safe, and stay well!

Monday, September 7, 2020


 I hope you are having a relaxing Labor Day.  We have a beautiful day here!

Did you know that yesterday was National Read a Book Day?  I thought that was everyday!:-)  I was ready for the day!

This is the next selection chosen for the book club that I participate in on Twitter.  We are a group of Susan Branch girlfriends who have formed a special thread for our book discussions.

Yesterday was also another special day....

Yes!! It was National Coffee Ice Cream Day!  Does that give you any hint to what was served for dessert?  

It was a real time-saver for me!  A scoop of coffee ice cream with a Walker’s shortbread cookie along side!  It was a perfect ending to this meal...
We really enjoyed this Pressure Cooker Risotto with Shrimp and herbs (I chose oregano) and peas with mushrooms and shallots.  Yes, there are leftovers which will be enjoyed.

Hoping everyone is being safe and staying well!  

Saturday, September 5, 2020

On the menu....

Have you had a good Saturday?  We managed to fill our day with various curbside pickup outings and trying to keep up with the Kentucky Derby.  It was really strange to see Churchill Downs with no one in the stands.

Before we started on the day, there was a “Saturday special” for breakfast.

This is Avocado Egg Salad on Country Wheat Toast!  First time for me to make this egg salad version, and I like it!

On the menu for tomorrow....Pressure Cooker Risotto with Shrimp and Herbs (Martha Stewart) and peas with mushrooms.  Of course, there will be dessert.:-) 

I’ll be back on Monday for a follow up on Sunday lunch.  

Be safe and stay well!

Friday, September 4, 2020

Five more on Friday....

 This week has brought us to the first Friday of a new month!  September already!  It’s time for that Friday list of things I love!

1)  I love these mountain views!

This is from a trip to Baltimore a few years ago, just at dusk.  It’s a trip I wouldn’t mind repeating, by the way.

2)  I love being able to grow some of our own food.

For a number of years, we had a sizable garden.  One summer I canned over 80 quarts of green beans!  We’ve really scaled back the past few years, and this summer we had a very small round spot (once served as the sandbox for the grandchildren) in which we planted two “hills” of potatoes that had sprouted in our pantry and a couple of tomato plants.  This week, we dug the potatoes and were very surprised to see how nicely they had produced!  We have about five pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes from those two hills!

3)  I love Downton Abbey!

 Just before the virus became an issue, and staying home became our policy, we toured the Downton Abbey exhibit at Biltmore.  Can’t you just picture all the characters seated at this table?  It appears that there might be room for an unexpected guest.:-)

4)  I love cats!

This is our “grandcat,” Sugar!  On this particular visit, she was brave enough to practice social distancing before that became a thing.  Subsequent visits, however, have found her retreating to her favorite hiding spot under the bed.

5)  I love to visit historical sites.

This is Plymouth Rock, on display (and hopefully protected from those who might think it cute to vandalize it) in Plymouth, MA.  We first visited this site in the late 90’s, and then again last August.

Well, that does it for this edition.  I hope your week has been good for you, though still very different, I’d imagine.  We are heading into a three-day weekend.  Have you been able to make special plans?

My hope for you is that you are able to be safe and stay well!