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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…

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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…

Chewy Peanut Butter Banana Bars

We have been trying to eat healthier but we have had some intenseBanana Peanut Butter Bars cravings for something sweet lately so that is where this concoction came from. I always have some frozen ripe bananas in the freezer so recipes like this are a quick and easy fix when we need something on a weeknight to satisfy us. Nothing goes together like peanut butter and bananas, except maybe a little chocolate! These are terrific bars that go together super fast and make you feel like you are indulging but are actually getting some power from protein.

Toss all the ingredients together and bake for 25 minutes and you Read More…

Baked Brie and Cranberry Puff Pastry

Who doesn’t love gooey, hot cheese? Especially with flaky breadBaked Brie and Cranberry Puff Pastry filled with sweet cranberry sauce to dip in it! These baked brie’s always look so fancy but are actually really easy to make. They are perfect to bring to potlucks, parties, for holidays, and of course to have on a night in with family.

With only three ingredients (well okay, four if you count the melted butter), you can put together one of these in a snap but make it look good enough that people will think you’ve been in the kitchen for hours! Love those recipes as it is so much nicer to bring this amazing dish to share even though it takes just about the same time Read More…

Better Than Pillsbury Dinner Rolls

I love making anything with yeast like bread, rolls, biscuits and Homemade Dinner Rollsmore. Why? Because of one of my favorite comfort smells! Baking bread with yeast fills the whole house with that warm fermented rich scent and brings back so many childhood kitchen memories. My grandma baked a lot of breads and my mom did too. One of my earliest kitchen tasks as a youngster was helping to knead the dough. A task I enjoyed and still do today. There is something about working with your hands and getting a ball of ingredients that barely held together to its elastic shiny state of that perfect, stretchy ball. I was impatient though, as the worst
part about baking yeast bread was having to wait while letting it rise, at least once, and sometimes twice. That is killer for a kid that just wants to dig in!

Good yeast bread or rolls do take some time. I’ve made some of the “quick” 30-minute rolls and while good, sometimes the best things are worth a little wait. These rolls take about an hour from start to finish so that isn’t too bad, even on a weeknight. They are one of my favorite recipes as the honey gives them a subtle sweetness and yet they are super soft and fluffy!

My husband always says “these are better than Pillsbury” so that’s Read More…

Cranberry Pound Cake for Valentine’s Day

This is the sweetest gift to make your loved ones on Valentine’s Day, Cranberry Pound Cakeor for any special occasion! The buttery pound cake with the velvet cream cheese frosting and burst of tart red cranberries make this cake something special. I’ve actually made this cake around Christmas time as it has that festive white and red look that makes you want to pour a second cup of tea and eat it near the Christmas tree with your family. Even though it is a pound cake, it is quite light and a nice way to round out a family meal, dinner party, or even a romantic meal for you and your sweetheart. This cake and the easy frosting both stay well for a day Read More…

Rosemary Sea Salt Crackers

Okay, I love being crafty and nothing makes me happier than fooling around in my kitchen with new Homemade Rosemary Sea Salt Crackersideas and testing recipes. But I am not someone that makes everything from scratch. I wish I could but honestly don’t have the time. Things like homemade pop-tarts, tortilla chips, and crackers are among those on my list to try but also seem like things that are a lot of work and nothing I would be making on a consistent basis. It’s taken me a long time to get around to making homemade crackers though as it just seems like one of those labor intensive things that would turn out to be good but not worth the time.

Wrong. I was so very wrong! These homemade crackers are SO good and easier than I expected. Now, this does not by any means mean that I’ll be no longer buying crackers and making a batch Read More…

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