Saturday, October 31, 2020

On the menu....

 Happy Halloween!  How are things going where you are on this last day in October 2020? 

We have had sunshine here all day, and the frost that was expected overnight didn’t find us here, though it has been cool outdoors.

We have word that there will be a “Parade of Spooks” on our street later today.  Our residential area isn’t large....only one the spooks won’t have far to go on their parade.  We’re told that they will all be wearing masks.

It has been in my plans to prepare a Halloween breakfast, part of which required beginning on Friday evening.

This was the beginning of Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal, steel cut oats with a bit of cinnamon in the slow cooker overnight.
This is the first appearance this morning....
....and this is after adding the pumpkin and giving it a needed stir for the cinnamon to be absorbed.

A recipe for Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts has been in my file for a few years.  I finally decided that today was the day to try it.

It was the first time I had used my doughnut pans, and they worked really well!

After adding a little bacon, breakfast was served!
Oh, I also added a few walnuts on top of my oatmeal, and that Pumpkinhead cup was soon full of coffee! 

For Sunday Lunch, there will be Gold Medal Chicken Breast, a recipe that uses stuffing mix, candied sweet potatoes (probably), and peas.  Of course, there is always dessert! 

I will be back Monday with an update.

My wish for you, as always, is that you make wise decisions for your safety and that you stay well!

Friday, October 30, 2020

Another five on Friday....

 There were a number of years that I greeted Friday with great joy!  It seemed to take forever for a Friday to arrive!  Now, I hardly turn around twice, and here we are at another Friday.

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

1.  Did you know that National Chocolate Day was Wednesday?  That means, of course, that enjoyment of all things chocolate was strongly encouraged!  I celebrated with this....

Hot chocolate with smashmallows!  Such a treat!

2.  I may have mentioned before that my “green thumb” is severely lacking.  Plants actually run the other way when they see me coming!  I was at first skeptical; however, it’s evident that the petunia that bloomed so cheerily during the summer reseeded, and we have blossoms!
It will need protection tonight!  Freezing temperatures are predicted!

3.  We had a visit on Sunday from the Country Girl, and she brought along our grand dog!
Gwen is her name.  Isn’t she pretty?  

4.  We’ve had rain this week, compliments of Zeta.  This was a view we enjoyed when we took advantage of a break in the rain to work in our daily walk.

5.  Since childhood, I have been a fan of baseball.  In the past number of years, however, following the game has been something only done during the World Series.  This year, the Dodgers and Tampa Bay played six games.  That’s how many games were needed for the Dodgers to win the World Series!  I was a childhood Dodger fan, and the Dodgers winning this year brought me joy!  

What about you?  Have there been special things that have brought you joy this week?  

Are you staying safe and healthy?  Take care of yourself!

Monday, October 26, 2020

No points earned....

 .....for presentation, but here is our Sunday lunch....

The platter would have looked nice with some parsley sprigs around; a pineapple slice or two centered with a maraschino cherry, perhaps.  Though missing some garnish, we didn’t seem to let that deter us from enjoying it.:-)

We were ready for dessert when the time came, too.

Susan Branch has a wonderful recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake in her Autumn book, and as National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day was last week, I was ready to try that recipe.  Halved and baked in a pie plate, it is just enough for The Husband and me.  I attempted to atone for a serving platter lacking garnish by drizzling caramel on the plate for the cheesecake and topping the serving with fresh whipped cream!  

It’s not surprising that today is National Pumpkin Day!  This is pumpkin season, you know.  In honor of the pumpkin today, this is the action in our kitchen....
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread!  This is from a recipe I clipped from an advertising folder a few years ago, and today is the first time for me to try it.  We’ll see if it becomes one of those that is retained. 

I have it on good authority that Wednesday, the 28th, is National Chocolate Day!  Busy with planning something special for that special day!

Take care!  Be safe, and stay well!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

On the menu....

 On our menu today has been some football watching.  Alabama is here to play the hometown team, the Vols.  The sports menu will continue tonight when we watch the 4th game of the World Series.  

The “Saturday special” was this....

Pumpkin Biscuits!  I added apple butter to mine, and it was delicious!  

For Sunday’s menu there is grilled ham steak, grilled asparagus spears (or roasted), and sweet potatoes in some fashion.  Never fear!  There will be dessert!  Tune in on Monday for a recap!

May you experience all good things!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Friday’s post....

 We continue to be in the midst of very serious times.  COVID-19 is still very much with us!  No cure has been discovered!  It is not on the way out!  Yesterday, the United States hit a record number of reported cases, highest since a few months ago.  We have not “rounded the corner!”   In our local county, deaths are barely short of 100, and the hospitalization count is not far from 70!  

The Husband and I continue to follow strict guidelines.  We wear masks when we are out for curbside pickup, although we have no need to be out of the car and in public.  We haven’t been with any groups, either small or large, since March 12.  Even when our family visited in early July, we wore masks and followed social distancing guidelines.  We continue to place orders for groceries and other items via Instacart, and we continue to wipe down our purchases.  This is definitely a stressful and anxious time!

We make an effort to find that which brings joy to our days through this time of self-isolation, and I keep a journal - of sorts - daily to detail our activities and current feelings.  This Friday post is an effort to keep those things which bring us joy in the forefront of our minds as we finish up this week.

(1)  This week, we were happy to be able to have one of our cars serviced - safely!  There was definitely ample disinfecting spray applied to the interior of the car when we went to pick it up, and minimal time spent - wearing masks, of course - to take care of any needed transactions.  

(2)  The unexpected arrival of this package brought joy....

Handmade by a friend in New Jersey, this seasonal mask will add a real designer touch when out and about, although we will stay in the car!

(3)  It is always a pleasure to receive greetings of the season....

These from friends in Pennsylvania and North Carolina brought a smile to my face!

(4)  I nearly always have my coffee black; however, when this appeared on the Aldi order screen for the Instacart shopper, I knew I had to try for this treat!

It isn’t October without Pumpkin Spice, is it?  This has a really good flavor!

(5)  Another surprise arrived through the mail, and it will receive daily use!

A great way to begin the day is with a focus on that which is greater than we are!  It has been a real help to keep our eyes on our faith, and this gift from a friend in Pennsylvania will assist us in that!

(6)  Adding an extra one today....having to do with baseball!  We have enjoyed watching the World Series this week, though I will confess that it stays on later than we are accustomed to staying awake; therefore, we don’t know the final score until the next morning.  With the series tied at 1 and 1, we hope to be watching some baseball again this weekend!

May you find that which brings you joy in the days ahead!  Be safe, and stay well!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Why not?

 If one is making pastry for a savory pumpkin dish, why not make that a two-crust effort and make one for a sweet pumpkin dish?  Well, why not use up all the leftover pumpkin and make TWO desserts rather than just one?

That’s how we came up with TWO desserts for Sunday Lunch....the first Pumpkin Pie of the season, and another recipe for Pumpkin Brownies!  There are still lots of pumpkin goodies to be enjoyed this month.  What is your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin?

There was a main course to experience before dessert time....

We had not enjoyed Chicken Parmesan in a very long time!  Green beans are hiding in that covered pumpkin.  Not shown in the picture is a little sautéed spinach, a favorite of mine!  

Oh!  That Pumpkin Quiche....the new recipe?  It was a hit!  It will be added permanently to my recipe file!

Are there any baseball fans out there?  The World Series begins on Tuesday with the Los Angeles Dodgers from the National League playing Tampa Bay of the American League!  Are you ready for popcorn and cracker jacks?  Do you have a favorite team?  Play ball!

Continue to take proper precautions!  We are at a very serious time with this pandemic!

Saturday, October 17, 2020

On the menu....

 For many years, October weekends have been scheduled with UMW meetings and college homecomings.  Those activities would nicely fill a Saturday....sometimes a Friday, too.  That has not been the case this year, due to the pandemic.  

Emory and Henry has created a Home Staying with virtual activities for us to enjoy.  The UMW meetings have relied on Zoom for our gathering.  

That was the case this morning when there was a UMW Executive Committee meeting on the calendar.  That meant things had to be moving along quickly today; therefore, there was no special homemade creation for a Saturday treat.  Instead, this was a nice substitute....

This is Pumpkin Brioche, available on the order screen when I placed my curbside grocery order for Friday.  I will admit, it is very good!

Later, I baked this....thinking ahead to Sunday morning, when it will once again be necessary to move quickly for our online worship service.  It will be good to have this available for some microwave action.

This is Pumpkin Quiche, a new recipe I came across this week.  As this is the season for all things pumpkin, it was the perfect choice to use part of the remaining can of pumpkin for some previous baking.  What do you do with leftover pumpkin when the recipe you might be using doesn’t specify the entire can?

We are still planning Sunday Lunch here.  On the menu for tomorrow is Chicken Parmesan and green beans, most likely.  Rolls, of course, and dessert, too.  I’ll be back on Monday to let you know how that goes.

As is usual, I suggest that you be safe, stay well, wear your mask, avoid large crowds, and wash your hands often!  We are still wiping down our groceries, too!  Take care!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Friday’s Five Things....

 How are you doing at the close of another work week?  How is the news in your area regarding the pandemic?  The numbers continue to be less than encouraging where we are, and we continue to follow that “safe at home” policy.

There are many things that have brought me joy this week!  Let’s begin with this one....


 As I sit in my reading corner, I am able to view these prints by Pat Buckley Moss.  She has added her famous geese to a couple of areas on my college campus.  The prints were sold several years ago to benefit a program of the college.  The top is of the chapel, opened in the fall of 1958 when I was a freshman. The bottom one is a view of the observatory.  I love the work of this artist!

2)  Several months ago, I shared with you about planting a half of a red pepper.  I love that we have this to show for that effort....

They have both now been brought in as we have a frost advisory for overnight tonight!  Have you had frost where you are?

We have a couple of poplar trees on the back of our property.  They are the first to begin changing color, going from green to yellow, and they are the first to lose those yellow leaves.  

3)  I love the silvery color to the trunk as the leaves fall, showing this aspect of the tree’s beauty. 

We were treated to this special sight one afternoon this week....

The butterfly, on its journey south, paused for awhile on the Happa Pink hardy hibiscus!
4)  I love that I was outside at this moment and was able to catch a picture of it as it passed through.

5)  These pink roses are bringing me joy.  It continues to amaze me what we are able to order online and pick up curbside at the grocery store!

Life may not always “come up roses;” hopefully you are able to find some joy in each day!

Take care, and stay well!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Fall gardening....

 This has been a perfect time for a few gardening activities.  

We purchased these leaf lettuce seedlings and transplanted them into individual pots making it simple to have them in a close at hand location for harvesting.  Some has already been enjoyed!

This is a great time to plant bulbs that will give enjoyment in the spring!  Blue hyacinths along with grape hyacinths are in the ground!
In these unprecedented times, time in the kitchen and time outdoors have emerged as activities we are able to enjoy while we are following a “safe at home” policy.  The nursery where these bulbs were purchased has been happy to take our orders over the phone, then they bring the purchase to the car.  We had not done a lot of business with them pre-pandemic.  Their unhesitating willingness to work with us ensures that we will return when pandemic concerns ease.  

What about you?  Are you doing any fall gardening?  Are you discovering businesses who are willing to take that extra step?

Foremost, of course, is your health and safety!  The pace of COVID is not slowing here!  I hope you are still taking proper precautions for yourself and others!    

Monday, October 12, 2020

Under construction....

 Without any delay, let’s get right to dessert!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies!  Yes, it’s time for all things pumpkin!

Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup made a delightful brownie sundae!

It was a fitting conclusion to a meal that featured this....

Pumpkin Sage Ravioli with Browned Butter Sauce and Walnuts!  I will confess that I purchased store bought frozen pumpkin ravioli, and it was a great time saver, in addition to being delicious!  We opted for lima beans this time, and they were a great go-along.

There are signs of fall out and about here now.  Do you like the change of seasons from summer to fall?  

Once again, I encourage you to be safe, and stay well!  Be especially careful if you have to be out and about.  We continue to follow that “safe at home” policy here and are dependent on Instacart for delivery in addition to curbside pickup and bank and pharmacy drive through.  We are as eager as everyone to be able to have this pandemic behind us!  It would be a tremendous help if everyone recognized the importance of following good health guidelines!  

Honoring Native Americans/Indigenous Peoples on this day!  If you are still employed, perhaps you have a holiday today.  I hope your day is a good one!

Saturday, October 10, 2020

On the menu....

 How is your weekend going thus far?  Have you had some special things happening already?

There was no special breakfast treat here today, unless you consider this special.

It’s special to me as it features raspberries straight from our fall-bearing plants! Also, it’s special since two of my favorite things were available on the grocery order on Friday - Fage Yogurt and Love Crunch Peanut Butter Granola!

We did, however, have a special treat for afternoon tea while watching a college football game!

Sneaking a little glaze on top of these Pumpkin Scones! 

How would you have yours?  Clotted cream?  Pumpkin butter?  I must confess that I just added some simple butter to mine.  Apple Cider Tea?  Perfect for a rainy day!  Yay for fall!

On the menu for Sunday Lunch....
Pumpkin Sage Ravioli, with a little mild Italian giardiniera alongside.  Some herb and cheese focaccia.  Green beans, perhaps.  Dessert....always dessert!  

Hoping to see you on Monday for a recap!  

Science knows best!!!!

Friday, October 9, 2020

That “Friday Five....”

 Once again, our Friday has been a busy one!  How about yours?

1)  I have always loved that there are seasonal decorations during this time of year, even if they look like this....

Oooo!  Something scary this way comes!  This was spotted in a neighbor’s tree this week during a walk. 

2)  I love to try new recipes, and this week was a good time to try this....

This is Autumn-Spiced Pumpkin Shortbread from a newspaper recipe I’ve had for quite awhile.  There is a sprinkling of glazing sugar sprinkled on top when it comes from the oven.  It was OK, though probably won’t be a repeat.

3)  I love a cozy meal anytime, but especially in the fall.  

Braised beef over mashed potatoes “hit the spot!” 

4)  I love a routine.  It has always been helpful for me, particularly when making menu plans.  Much of the time, we’ve focused on some kind of fish on Friday.  

Salmon patties served with peas and potatoes are a less costly way to enjoy fish.
5) I love apples!  Displayed is good, though eating enjoyment is better.;-)

There was some baking of apples this week; love having them in the freezer to take out during the winter! Didn’t manage to get a picture taken.  Here, you see Susan Branch’s “Autumn” book, plus there’s some Apple Spice biscotti, perfect with that cup of coffee!

How has this week been for you?  How are you feeling?  Are you continuing to be careful when/if you have to be out in public?  Hopefully you are taking care of yourself and wearing a mask when you are going out among people, if you must do that.  Wash your hands often!  Be safe, and stay well!  

Monday, October 5, 2020

Catching up on Monday....

 How are things with you?  Are you still keeping close to home?  Are you still taking precautions for safety?  Did you have a full weekend?

It was a busy time here!  Zoom sessions and FaceTime are great for filling time, and it’s always good to be able to see family and friends who we haven’t been able to see due to the pandemic.

I have a question for you, if you are a blogger and have comment moderation activated.  Do you know if you are receiving notice for all the comments that might be made on your post?  With comment moderation, I receive notices in my email to publish or reject, and I publish all that are appropriate.  Having this option helps keep undesirable comments from being published.  I didn’t receive email about my sister’s comment on Friday’s post.  Do you find that some of your notices aren’t registering?  I checked my settings; can’t really tell, except it seems a Google account is required to make a comment.

Now, let’s see what was cooking here over the weekend!

Pumpkin Muffins made from the recipe from Publick House in Sturbridge, MA!  Yes, it’s October and time to enjoy pumpkin!  These were a great breakfast treat, and you may see them again in this post!

Sunday’s lunch menu was Chicken and Dressing Casserole, green beans, roasted sweet potato wedges, a little cranberry sauce (made from frozen cranberries I had in the freezer), and a bit of gravy.  Oh! Dessert! Yes, there was dessert.  We’ll get to that.  First, here’s the table for lunch....

....and here’s dessert just prepared!  Cooked on top of the stove butterscotch pudding!

Just a little preparation to help presentation....

Topped with fresh whipped cream with one of those pumpkin muffins alongside....perfect for dessert!

Sending you wishes for good health and safety!  Take care!

Friday, October 2, 2020

Late again, for my Friday Five....

 Once again, time has whizzed away from me.  Good intentions would have had this post much earlier.

1)  One thing I love is the bright blue sky during this season!  It just seems to be bluer than usual some days!

2)  Still on the subject of skies, it’s nice to live where there is no ground clutter and to be able to watch the sky in the evening.  These pictures were taken following that moon as it was on the journey to become full.

This view was taken just about a week before the moon was to be full.

This view was the night before the official date for the full moon.

3)  I love that I’m able to relax with my coffee in the mornings.  Did you know that Tuesday was National Coffee Day?

4)  I love working the puzzles in the newspaper each day....Jumble, Crossword, Celebrity Cipher, Boggle.  When I don’t complete the Sunday issue on Sunday, I will save it to work on Monday, along with all the others.

It helps me “ease into Monday!” LOL

5)  I love that chicken will keep on giving enjoyment!  Last Sunday’s chicken dinner has provided us with not only chicken and dumplings, but also this favorite creamed chicken in a cornbread ring!

Do you still have your ring molds from years ago?  I have held onto mine, and they have been useful more than once through the years.  They make terrific ice rings for punch bowls!

The past twenty-four hours has certainly been packed with news of all kinds!  Do you sometimes feel like you are on “news overload?”

One thing that is certain, COVID-19 is currently very much a part of our world.  Be responsible and respectful of yourself and others and wear a mask.  Avoid large gatherings.  Practice social distancing.  Wash your hands often!  Be safe, and stay well!  Be sure to have your flu shot!  We took care of that here this week. 

Back tomorrow with something all about food, of course!  That has seemed to be my focus during this time of staying safe at home.  It’s what I know best during the past almost eight months.  

Rest easy and well!