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Chocolate Mug Cake

I’ve never been one for fads or crazes. There is something about everyone going gaga over something that puts me off. I don’t know if it’s because I tend to not follow the crowd or I get sick of hearing  about it or having people tell me I’ll love it and I just “have to” try it. Take Harry Potter for example.  It took me ages to finally pick up the book and read the first one. It was everywhere and I think I just got turned off because of the intense hype. I’m pretty sure it took a few years before I read it, as in the third or even fourth book was out. Of course then I was completely hooked and couldn’t get enough of that series, and joined the pinning fans as we waited for the rest of the books, and then movies,  to be released.

And so it seems I had the same reaction to mug cakes. They have been a big deal for a while now. I’ve just seen that Betty Read More…

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Rosemary for Remembrance

I have always struggled to keep my rosemary plants alive over the winter months. Basically it seems a Rosemary plantlost cause to continue to try to winter over that particular plant in the house. I can’t tell if I over-water or they just don’t get the sunlight they need. In the past I’m pretty sure they died due to over-watering. All my other plants seem to enjoy moist soil. Most herbs don’t like to keep their feet wet, but they survive with some even thriving. Rosemary, however, is a very unhappy winter visitor to my home. This year, I kept the water to the minimum. Maybe keeping them a bit too dry?

The plant dried up looking like I left it in the desert. I had been doing so well with it too! This year was “the year” I thought. I usually don’t get this far, with my rosemary plants dying before Christmas. This time, we made it to February. Everything looked okay. Then, the other day I glanced at the plant Read More…

Valentine’s Day Treats

I know, I know, Valentine’s Day is just another “Hallmark” holiday, one that is just there for commercial purposes instead of having any real

Heart-hand pies

Heart-hand pies

significance. In fact, it seems the legend behind the whole Valentine’s Day is murky and filled with speculation of it originating from Catholic saints to pagan fertility festivals. Interestingly, the idea of a “Valentine’s card” goes all the way back to the middle ages.  Even with all this shadowed past and profitable present, I still love Valentine’s Day simply because that means making so many cute crafts and yummy food creations!

We are a household that doesn’t save saying “I love you” for just the one day a year. We do however get a little cute and creative for this holiday because, why not? Why not make a funny card or bake a fabulous cake to celebrate?

One of my all-time favorite Valentine’s Day recipes is our cute-as-a-button heart-hand pies! These are so fun to make as a family and are a delicious way to celebrate!

Another over-the-top Valentine’s Day recipe that we have baked for the past three years is our cranberry pound cake – a great treat with it’s sweet yet sour component. The tart cranberries in the super moist, super buttery pound cake is a huge hit and I am always asked for the Read More…

Cranberry Sugar Cookie Bars – Perfect for Thanksgiving

I love the combination of sweet and tart. This is the PERFECT holiday dessert, especially after a big mealCranberry Sugar Cookie Bars that is heavy. A little sweet but a punch of tart doesn’t weigh you down after a meal, so what a great thing to make for Thanksgiving, or just a night in.

Sugar Cookie Crust:

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup salted butter, softened

2 egg yolks

2 cups flour

Dash of salt

Cranberry Apple Filling:

2 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries

1 large tart apple, diced

2 tbsp. orange juice

Read More…

A Warm November

I had joked that towards the beginning of October that it was so warm that in typical fashion, the

Halloween 2017

Halloween 2017

weather would turn just in time for all the kids to have to wear their parkas on Halloween. Sure enough, the day before you could have walked around in shorts but the night of trick-or-treating, a cold wind swept through that meant bundling up in layers underneath costumes. We still had a blast with my two nieces that night and the youngest one “got” Halloween for the first time and was excited to knock on doors and say “trick-or-treat!” She had originally planned to be a unicorn but was too shy as we had all exclaimed how adorable she was in that costume. Instead she rocked the “old movie star” look, complete with pearls and a fake fur coat. Not sure where she got that style but she sure looked adorable (but we didn’t mention it for fear she would ditch that costume too!).

We threw an impromptu Halloween party for some friends and family that same weekend and had a good time catching up with people we hadn’t seen since before we moved to Maine. The highlight of the party was my homemade pumpkin puke platter…..all I did was carve a cute little pumpkin and place on a tray with dip and pretzels. Super cute, super easy!

Pumpkin Puke Platter

A few days after Halloween, we were back to the mid-60’s and I used it to my advantage on the first weekend to clean up the garden. The only thing left is the kale and brussel sprouts but I don’t think I’ll Read More…

Yard Sales, Birthdays and Gardening

Hello readers,

This last week flew right by and here it is already Sunday afternoon. A balmy 71 degrees October 15th Sunday afternoon. I’m sitting on my porch listening to the chipmunks chirp and the chickens cluck wearing a t-shirt, jeans and flip-flops. This seems a bit odd considering this time last year we were wearing multiple layers. It all makes me wonder what is going to happen when the snow starts

chickens enjoying the bean plants from the garden

Our chickens enjoying the bean plants from the garden.

coming down. My favorite time of year is fall so I hope we get some of that weather soon! Until then, I’m keeping my summer clothes in the closet.

Saturday was a busy day for us and was lots of fun! I started my morning frosting a cake I had baked Friday night after work. I can do pretty decent boarders and some swirls but one thing I would really like to learn is to do frosting flowers. Roses in particular, but any real frosting flower would be terrific to learn how to do along with realistic looking leaves. I watched a few how-to videos online but after fighting with the frosting for a good while, I gave up and resorted to my usual star-like flowers and Read More…

Ham and Cheese Scones

Lately I have been reading and rereading one of my favorite cozy Ham and Cheese Sconemystery series, Tea Shop Mysteries, by Laura Childs. She is one of my favorite writers and I adore her Tea Shop books that bring me back to my visits to Charleston, South Carolina. Set in the old part of town, the main character owns the “Indigo Tea Shop” and always seems to stumble upon dead bodies. With the help of her tea shop employees and good friends, no murderer gets away! Her tea menus always have me drooling over not only the amazing teas she serves but the food and desserts served to her patrons. The latest book I read was her Tea Shop Mystery #12 Scones & Bones that had me thinking of delicious scones the whole time.

Contrary to popular belief, scones do NOT have to be dry, crumbly bricks that have no taste! Scones can be light, fluffy pillows of perfection with sweet or savory ingredients. They are perfect with a cup of tea, as a breakfast, lunch, snack, or dessert treat and very easy to make.

Since this book had me drooling over scones, I decided to make a batch this weekend. My pantry was in short supply and I didn’t want
a traditional sweet scone, so into the fridge I went. We had a leftover package of sliced deli ham as well as half a bag of shredded cheddar cheese. PERFECT!

Read More…

Sunday Frittata for the Week

I am someone that almost always skips breakfast during the busy Sunday Frittata weekdays. I’m either rushing to get to work or too distracted to think of something more than a quick muffin or bagel. Lots of carbs and all the rushing around usually leaves me hungry by 10am. Too early to eat my lunch, so I wind up snacking. I’ve been trying to do better and my idea is to start making an easy, healthy, protein packed breakfast that I can eat and be satisfied with until lunch.

Eggs are my go-to protein breakfast that can hold me over but I never have enough time in the mornings. I have made the cute little breakfast egg cups in the past (check out my good recipe here: Ham and Egg Muffin Cups) but they honestly take too much of my weekend time. I needed something that was a “quick, throw it all together” kind of prepped item that would last me the whole week.

Bonus……….my brilliant ah-ha moment idea also is a great way to clear out the left over side dishes from the weekend that are lying around in the fridge.

Enter………the Sunday Frittata!

A frittata is an easy baked egg dish that requires no crust and is a Read More…

Parmesan Oven Roasted Cauliflower

We love veggies in our house but there are a few veggies that Parmesean Roasted Cauliflowereveryone seems to turn their nose up to unless they are cooked in a VERY specific way. Cauliflower is one of them. I personally could eat it in a multitude of ways (I love it raw but then I’m basically burping it up all day so unfortunately I have to cook it) but in order for anyone else in the house to eat it, it must be oven roasted with parmesan cheese. Oh but wait. Not even the good, freshly shaved off the block parmesan cheese. It must be…gulp….shaken out of those plastic containers.

Actually, that isn’t so bad if you find a good brand that is really using parmesan cheese! So anyway, I have had to be creative in my veggie Read More…

The Best Maple Muffins

It’s Maple Season in New England! We use maple syrup in a lot of The Best Maple Muffinsour baking and cooking, not to mention on top of breakfast items, and love it when we run out right when the fresh stuff is coming from all those sugaring houses in the area. We were able to pick up a FRESH quart the other day and I have been in the baking mood ever since. We have usually done our own sugaring, but this year just didn’t have the time. Want to do your own sugaring at home? Check out my past blog post on sugaring where you will find a great book on the subject.

I have been craving muffins for some reason lately and thought that a classic maple and walnut muffin would be a perfect way to start off our Sunday morning!

This is a super simple recipe that uses real maple syrup in both the muffin batter and in the topping. These muffins are fluffy, moist, Read More…

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