Friday, October 26, 2012

A Bloggy Break

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Strawbery Banke Wedding

Not many things in this world are "perfect"...but this wedding was perfect in every way!  Perfectly old-fashioned, perfectly romantic in every detail.

A perfectly stunning bride with her adoring happy together!

Perfectly wonderful music...just like you would imagine from long, long ago...

Two perfectly colorful butterflies dancing together as the new couple exchanged their vows.

Perfect weather...including a down pour of rain during the cocktail hour.

The perfect time of day:  just enough daylight to enjoy the colors and the beauty of an outdoor wedding and plenty of time to take in the glow of the evening lights and the glittering stars far, far above and yet so very close.

It was the perfect blend of family, old friends, new friends.  Lots of stories, dancing, childhood friends talking, laughing, reminiscing. I briefly imagined them to be scruffy boys at grown-up and still loving LIFE!  Oh it does a heart good to see your hubby enjoying every.minute. of the most special of occasions!   It was quite the dreamy night!

It doesn't get much better than spending an Autumn evening in Portsmouth, New Hampshire with your LOVE at a wedding.  Thank you, honey for the night and best of all for our walk all.alone...I am always most proud to be YOUR wife, and to be the one YOU chose to love and to cherish.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Roasted Garlic Dipping oil

Do you ever have a morning where a small conversation makes your day?
While grocery shopping on his way home from work this morning, my hubby struck up a conversation with an older gentleman. As they chatted and exchanged pleasantries this gentleman shared that he has been married for sixty years. My hubby congratulated him and said he hopes to be married for 60 plus years and wishes he could be married for 100 years.  :}  The wise man joked with Scott that his wife had been training him since the 9th grade! I do LOVE stories of old-fashioned love and commitment.  And even more so I love that my hubby aspires to be married for forever...although living to be 121 is not possible!  :}

Back to our theme for the week...VACATION on the EAST COAST:  We arrived in New Jersey around 5:00 in the evening.  It was a rainy afternoon and the colors out in the country were amazing.  It was just acres and acres of beauty.  I am much more of a city girl, but I think I could be convinced that the country way of life is or could be bliss...sheer and utter bliss.  The pace of life is unbelievable!!

After we checked into the Bed & Breakfast and chatted for awhile, we drove to Newtown, Pennsylvania for a later dinner.  There, we dined at the Sycamore Grill.  It was!  We dipped our fresh bread into their dipping oil...and honestly, I could have been happy with much so that I was craving it when we got back from vacation!  My hubby got on the phone and asked them for the "recipe".  They were happy to give out the ingredients.  So, with that, we made our very own and had fun pretending like we were back in Pennsylvania for a late night candle light dinner as the rain poured down on to the dimly lit street!!!

Roasted Garlic Dipping Oil
inspired by the Sycamore Grill

olive oil {they used vegetable}

roasted garlic...I used about 6 whole cloves

red pepper flakes

kosher salt

basil leaves

parsley leaves {I let it sit in it and then took it out before serving}

a bit of ground Parmesan cheese

Pour desired amount of oil into a bowl and add other ingredients together.  I did not measure.  Just know that the flavors will intensify the longer it sits!

We served this with homemade bread and it was most delightful!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Catherine Lynch Day

Happy Monday morning to YOU!

Since things are getting a bit boring on this little ol’ bloggy, to the point where I am totally bored with it, too...I thought it may be fun to do a theme week again.  I haven’t done one in a very long time!  So, I figured I would combine our vacation notes and pictures and journal away.

Who knows, it may be even more boring, and I may end up being a flake and only getting to one day or two.  Anyhoo, if you aren’t in to other people’s vacations :}…you may want to come back next week!

I have always dreamed of visiting the East Coast during Autumn and at the very top of the list was the Smithsonian.  Oh.My.  I am so happy I got to share it for the first time with my hubby...only he would have put up with me.  :}

We are going to start off with my “Mundane Monday” which is now officially my Catherine Lynch Day.

For those of you who know my LOVE of History and my “HATE” for laundry, we are going to start off the week with a little History lesson that captured my heart.

Any woman who does laundry for a living deserves to have a day named after her, don’t you think?

Tucked in the halls of the SMITHSONIAN in Washington, DC, I learned about an incredible lady by the name of Catherine Lynch.  She was an Irish immigrant who was a laundress.  YES!  That was her job day in and day out.  I am not talking about sorting piles of nasty laundry into “whites”, “darks”, “colors”, “delicates” etc..  I am talking about taking care of other people’s laundry and hauling pails of water for just one load.  She was extremely particular in every step that she took to make sure her laundry was clean.  I’m afraid that if I was a laundress, I would be policing every single piece of laundry that was tossed into the hamper.  {maybe this is when nudist colonies started…they all seem pretty happy to me!!!}  My momma is going to kill me!  :}


And this is before crockpots...imagine having to make dinner after a day like this!!!  

Happy Catherine Lynch DAY!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hot Apple Cranberry Cider

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Some people call it wassail, some call it cider.  Some purists don't consider it a cider because of the added cranberry juice.  Whatever you may call it, it is sure to make your house smell like "HOME".  I love to serve this with appetizer and dinner parties starting as soon as the weather changes from warm and sunny to cold and rainy!  Just be sure to stock up on to-go cups or send extras home in an old fashioned Mason Jar! 

2 cans frozen cranberry juice or 1 large container of cranberry juice 
1 gallon apple cider
1 orange sliced into 8 rings
1 lemon sliced into 4 rings

Spice packet: 
6 whole cloves
12 whole allspice cloves
3 cinnamon sticks

Place ingredients in crockpot for at least 4 hours before you plan on serving it. Place 4 orange rings, 2 lemon slices, and spice packet into cider while preparing drink. 

Remove orange slices and lemon slices and replace them with fresh fruit rings right before you serve it. That way it tastes so good, but the fruit isn't falling apart.

{You may want to throw your orange and lemon slices down the garbage disposal...for an extra zesty citrusy smell in your kitchen!}

For gift giving:  I stamped a spice bag with brown food coloring paste.  Let it dry and add your spices.
Place your cider, cranberry juice, orange, lemon and spice bag in a white bag with pumpkin-colored tissue paper for a great hostess gift!  A brown paper bag with newspaper used as tissue paper is also a fun change of pace for a bit of shabby chic!

What would you use spice bags for?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Oma's Meatballs {with Homemade Bread Crumbs}

On our very first date, 25 years ago this month, I made my hubby spaghetti and meatballs.  It was a late night dinner after a  cold, blustery Fall day…and though it had been planned a week in advance, it just seemed like the best thing to make for a first date!  Our momma taught us how to make meatballs at an early age, so I was pretty sure I could pull it off.  Mind you, I didn’t eat hamburger and could hardly stand cooking them!  :}   By the way, that evening, my “date” told his friend I was the girl he was going to marry!  It is a good idea to learn how to cook from your momma!!! 

On a side note…this just happens to be David’s {our son-in-law} favorite, too!  So, for David’s  birthday party with both families, his momma and I are sharing making the meal.  I love being a mother-in-law and being part of a fun, BIG family!!  What a blessing to share a warm, cozy meal with one daughter, six BOYS, four very proud parents, two sweet grandparents, a spunky “auntie” and our insanely spoiled grand dog!  Happy Birthday, David!

Oma’s Meatballs

2 lbs. hamburger

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 eggs

¼ cup milk or half and half

3 cups bread crumbs {about 5  slices of day old white bread or 4 thick slices of leftover French bread}

5 garlic cloves or more  :}

¾ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

1 tablespoon dried basil or 6 fresh leaves

1 teaspoon thyme or 4 fresh sprigs

*Prepare a parchment-lined baking sheet.  I know.  I know.  I am a huge SILPAT fan, but I prefer the parchment paper to the SILPAT as it is makes for a faster, easier method when it comes to clean-up!  It also allows for nicely browned meatballs without sticking to your baking sheet for the next dozen wash cycles!

*Preheat oven to 375*.

*In a large bowl mix together hamburger, salt and pepper, eggs and milk.

*In a food processor or in a blender, blend bread, garlic, cheese and herbs.  Taa daa…You have just made your very own bread crumbs!
*Add homemade bread crumbs to meat mixture and mix away until everything is well blended.  Keep it light by using a fork to blend.  You are not making meatloaf this time.  :}

*Using a cookie scoop, scoop out your meatballs and place them on your prepared baking sheet. 

This recipe makes two batches of twelve.  Tried and true! 

Serve them over hot buttered rice or noodles...or let them simmer away in PREGO spaghetti sauce in the CROCKPOT for several hours. 

Unless we are having company, half of the batch gets frozen to be used at a later date.

*Spaghetti is one of my “go to” meals for when company comes or if I am short on time to make a meal to take to someone.  Simply keep store bought sauce on hand, noodles and frozen bread and you are almost good to go.  You may want to add a salad or fresh cooked veggies, apple cider and      maybe a few cookies.  :}

Homemade bread crumbs are so simple!

We are not looking for fine meal crumbs...just pulse or blend until everything is well mixed.

Just place your hamburger in a bowl and add salt and pepper, eggs and milk.

Once everything is all mixed together, scoop out onto baking sheet.
I made two batches of 12 on each sheet.

I like to make them a bit "shabby"...meaning not perfect.  I think it makes them look HOMEMADE!

Shared with my friend Yvonne at Stone Gable

Selah Sunday

"The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Deuteronomy 31:8

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Chocolate Chips

Good morning, good morning, good's time to rise and shine!!

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard..." PSALM 19

This is what I was reading this morning and I just had to share it with you. Isn't it beautiful? If you are trying to get going and are having having a tough morning,and feeling like it is just another mundane sure puts things into perspective.

Here is a challenge for your day...I know it will be difficult for me to attempt, but here it is:

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord my Rock and my REDEEMER."

What an AMAZING GOD who not only can handle us, but all of our petty, nitty gritty problems as well...and with HIS grace and compassion that is just right for what we need!!!

...another oldie...

Hope you all had a great weekend! I woke up this morning and decided I am going to try to have a better attitude toward my MUNDANE MONDAY after last Monday!!! I know it sounds a bit "Pollyanna-ish"...but at least I have a family that lives life and makes messes and at least they help clean up, too. And As far as clean sheet Monday goes, at least my hubby and I have a king-sized bed that we can sleep in and cuddle the kiddies and little dappled doggie on chilly Autumn evenings! Even though a little bed with little sheets and, blankets and feather-tick would be OH.SO.MUCH.EASIER to launder! Today, when I was shoving the blankets into the machine with ALL MY MIGHT I kept reminding myself of the benefits of a BIG BED!

Enough about that! No more Mundane Monday Blah.Blah.Blah!

Let's chat about pumpkins! I can not wait to go buy white pumpkins this afternoon. They will get lettered and stenciled later. Do you like white pumpkins?

It is really feeling Autumny here. This weekend was warm, but there was a chill in the air this morning. It felt so fresh.

Maybe you would like to add to your pumpkin is one that will make your home smell like HOME

Chocolate Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Lisa Pearson

Please read through all instructions first :}

¼ cup water

1 Tbsp. yeast

½ cup milk, scalded

¼ cup organic sugar

¼ cup unsalted butter (plus an additional 1/4 cup for the filling!)

1 tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

¾ cup pure pumpkin {no spices added}

1 Tbsp. soy flour or

5 to 6 cups flour...depending on how much you cram into the measuring cup!

In bowl of stand mixer, combine warm water and yeast.

In 2 cup measuring cup, scald milk in microwave.

Add sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir.

Pour milk mixture in with yeast mixture.

Add pumpkin and soy flour.

Using dough hook, turn on machine and add flour gradually.

Mix until dough all comes together.

Remove dough from bowl and grease bowl.

Place dough in greased bowl and cover. Let rise for 1 hour.

On Roulpat or floured surface, roll dough out into a rectangle.

The Nitty Gritty:

Spread with ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temp.

Sprinkle with SUGAR MIX {1 cup brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. nutmeg}

Sprinkle with ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips.{OPTIONAL}

Roll up like a bug in a rug. Pinch seam together.

Cut in 1 ½ inch intervals. Place in prepared pan.

I get about 12 and put mine in two 9 inch Demarle Sponge Molds.

{You may place them in a 9x13 or in two pie plates}

Cover and let rest for about 20 minutes

Bake at 350* for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes.

Drizzle with glaze.
Serve while warm!

2 cups powdered sugar
4 Tbsp. milk, half and half or whipping cream, baby formula {just Kidding!}  even water will work!
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Stir until drizzly.

Variation: These may be made into dinner rolls. By using the dough and rolling them into golf-ball sized rolls. Let rise until poofy and follow the same directions for baking.  Just skip the filling and the glaze  Such an unexpected treat for an Autumn dinner!

Now, unless you are having company over, be sure to bundle a few up and deliver them to neighbors, friends or the homeless. So many times we give our leftovers to people who we think don't really care...but it goes against our natural instincts to give of our very best to those who are in need of knowing that they Do matter and they are important! I assure you, if you have someone on a street corner, needing some extra them your BEST will be just what the Dr. ordered for them and for YOU, too. You may want to have your kiddies help you make a few packages up and have them deliver them with you! It is a great lesson in teaching them that everybody should be treated with love and respect despite the outward appearance!

I used a piece of Kabnet Wax paper on the bottom of the BIO box and one on top to help keep the cinnamon rolls as fresh as possible!

Now...think of someone you may be able to BLESS!

Shared with my friend Yvonne at Stone Gable

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cinnamon Focaccia Squares

Okay girls. Here you go. Here is something you can literally "whip up" that is really really really good! This is a great recipe that is sure to please most and it takes minutes to prepare. Perfect for a Saturday morning breakfast or for a late-night snack for HUNGRY teenagers. Yummy enough to take to a friend and beautiful enough for a shower or birthday brunch! ENJOY!

Cinnamon Focaccia Squares
Lisa Pearson


2 cups very warm water

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

3 cups bread flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tablespoon sea salt

1/4 cup butter, melted

Cinnamon sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar


In a large mixing bowl, mix flour and salt. Add yeast and water. Stir with a spoon
until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth.

Cover dough and let rise for 1 hour.

Pour onto greased cookie sheet or onto parchment paper lined baking sheet or SILPAT.

With greased hands, spread dough on SILPAT. Using your knuckles...spread dough out forming holes in the will want to form a rectangular shape.

Using a silicone pastry brush, brush melted butter onto bread.

Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar and brown sugar.

Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes or until bread is golden brown.

Cool just a tad and cut into squares using a pair of scissors {THANKS MOM!}

Drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze OR dip in melted butter and spread with cream cheese frosting. We are not paying attention to calories here! Aside from that, we are all about comfort food since we are almost back to chilly weather, HOT baths and warm flannel jammies!

We are packing for our trip to the East Coast and are looking forward to the beautiful colors, childhood friends and lots of history lessons along the way...and best of laundry to wake up to on Monday.  We will be far far away from the dirty clothes hampers, washer and dryer!  YAY!

Love to YOU!