Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sunday with Friends : )

Hello!  First off I would like to thank you all so much for all of your lovely comments concerning my last post. My mother and I had a wonderful time on our day trip to Cohasset and the Windsor Tea Room, and I'm so glad that you all enjoyed coming along with us.  It's given me the idea that I must do more day trips.  I've already started a list of towns and destinations around New England that I'll be visiting and photographing.  Little corners of my world filled with antique stores, tea shops, vintage clothing stores, old front porches, white picket fences, sandy Cape Cod beaches, and (my favorite of the bunch) bakeries!  It's going to be a great summer : )

My Hubbie and son are fast asleep in dreamland and I just finished watching Bridget Jones Diary.  Do you all love this movie as much as I do?  This movie is the reason I fell for Colin Firth a little bit, and also the reason why I will never give up my diary.  I'm waiting for that last scene to happen to me.  A new diary and a kiss in the snow.  Love that ending.  Could be one of the best movie endings ever.

I can't sleep now, so I thought I would tell you about a wonderful day we had on Sunday....

This past Sunday we had some friends over for brunch.  There was no special occasion, we were just in the mood to celebrate.  The husband and I are very lucky to have such wonderful friends.  Busy schedules make get togethers more difficult than they used to be, so when we are all lucky enough to have an opening we take advantage of it.  A plus for me is that I love to cook and any reason to do so makes me happy...... and they all love to eat : )   We are perfect for each other. 

Breakfast anyone?

I got this recipe for quiche from my cousin Helen (Helen if you are reading this, thank you! : ) 

Helen's version is ham and cheese. 

Here's how to make it:

1/2 cup ham cubes
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups milk
1/2 cup Bisquick
4 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Sprinkle ham, cheese, and onion evenly in lightly greased 9" or 10 " pie plate.  Place remaining ingredients in a bowl and beat on high for 1 minute.  Pour into pie plate (over ham, cheese, and onion).

I varied Helen's recipe a bit and made a spinach and cheese quiche by substituting the ham cubes for 1/2 cup chopped spinach.

I also made a plain cheese by just omitting the meat. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

We also had baked french toast, bacon, sausage, and beans (requested by the Hubbie).  Our friends brought wonderful fruit salad and coffee cakes.  (*my recipe for french toast is on the side bar*)

Getting ready....

Almost done...

I cut forsythia from the yard for our table. Perfect for this time of year.
I cheated and used paper plates.  Looking back at my table I feel bad.  It didn't look as pretty as I would have liked, but the clean up was OH-SO- Easy!

I didn't cheat on these, however.  Coffee has to be served in china cups (tea too : )

Friendly faces : )

The fruit balanced out what came next...dessert!

When my mother found out I was having a party the first thing she did was offer to make something.  She offered one of her famous trifles.  Who am I to say No?!   For this one she soaked Anise Toast in DiSaronno (amaretto) and layered them with chocolate pudding, vanilla pudding, and whip cream.  For a finishing touch she sprinkled Health Bar on the the top.  It was delicious!!!

I also made carrot cake muffins which most of us were too full to eat.  We've been picking on them all week!

For background music we listened to this.  The name sounds very "Lawrence Welk", but I assure you it's not.   This CD was recommended to me by Susan Branch - a story I will tell you on another day.  But let's just say I love this CD.  It's a perfect background for a dinner party.  Also wonderful music to cook by ~

We are so grateful to have special friends to spend our days with.  Thanks so much for coming over and let's do it again soon! xo

So what's on the agenda for this weekend, you ask?  Well, I have Easter decorating to do (I know, I'm late!!) and I promised someone (who's little and cute) a trip to the library/playground so let's hope the weather is nice.  I went food shopping tonight and bought us a big, fat, roast beef, sweet potatoes, and asparagus for Sunday dinner.   I'll make a loaf of crusty bread in my bread machine and something yummy for desert, not sure what yet...still thinking....  I'm also itching to start some type of craft project.  I think a trip to Michael's might be in order. 

By the way, before I go (can you tell I'm not sleepy) I have to tell you about something that I have recently discovered - podcasts.  Did you know that you can download podcasts through ITunes on to your IPod for free?  They are available on almost any subject you can imagine - comedy, travel, literature, arts, TV/Film, etc. 

I could not get through the day without my IPod and now not only do I enjoy great music, but I also pass the time listening to interesting programs.  I have some favorite radio comedies from the BBC that I have been enjoying, and most recently I have discovered Rick Steves.  If you want to be transported far and away download some of his travel podcasts.  Today I took a guided tour through Paris at night and also through some of the most beautiful gardens in England.  You don't need to see it with your eyes.  His descriptions are enough.  (Just thought I would share that : ) 

Have a lovely weekend everyone!  The clock is to bed I go....

Danielle xo

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Fever

Spring is here in New England!  The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous lately.  We haven't had our heat on in days.  The window are open to let the fresh air in and everywhere I turn all I see are daffodils and tulips.  There is a sweetness to the air and a feeling that things are changing. 

I love this time of year : )

To celebrate this feeling of Spring Fever my mother and I took a much needed day off and treated ourselves a girls day of lunch and shopping. 

Our first stop was to one of our favorite Home Goods stores.  Rows and rows of dishes and things that look like this:

If only I had a place to store these.  My kitchen isn't big enough : (

So tempting though...

I LOVE blue dishes!

As soon as I peeked down this isle I knew Spring was HERE!  It makes me happy just looking at this  : )

After a few hours of shopping and window browsing it was lunch time.  We worked our way south, to the town of Cohasset. 

There is a beautiful common in the middle of Cohasset Village where I would walk to everyday if I lived here. 

I saw families having picnics and some walking dogs.  Just what you should be doing on a beautiful Spring day!  

The surrounding homes are old and lovely, like this one.  It faces the pond I just showed you above.  A nice view to have. 

Just around the corner was this.  It was tough to walk by and not go in.  (Believe me!) 

But we had other plans.....

We stopped in at the Windsor Tea Room.  A place I have passed a hundred times but have never gone in, until today.  My mother had been there once before and loved it, so today was our day. 

The inside was as cute as I imagined.

Just what a tea room should look like.  Dainty, English, very girly....

Bone Chine everywhere - different patterns mixed and matched -  Love that.  My favorite thing is mismatched china : )

How cute it this quilted wall hanging?! 

Comfy chair...

All the tables were decorated so sweetly.  Oh look, our tea is here...

I ordered Earl Grey - my favorite!

Our tea pots came with these cute little "cozies" on them to keep the tea warm.  Heaven.

I don't think - no wait a minute - I know for a fact, that my dear Hubby would not like it here.  Not his type of place.  Me on the other hand, was soaking up every detail. 

I opted for a panini called Lady Beth, rather than the traditional "tea sandwiches".  It was delicious!

We passed the sweets table on our way out.  The lemon meringue pie was tempting but we had our hearts set on something else for later. You'll see...

This was divine - but it's still early.  We still have time for more shopping.  Yay!

How about a trip to the garden center?  Flowers anyone?

This front porch is part of my dream home.  Flowers and bunnies included!

Easter is coming!

Inspiration everywhere!

Working our way toward home, we stopped in Hingham for dessert. 

The center is full of cute little shops like this one.  It's hard to tell with the glare from the sun, but in this window is an Easter tree with real, hand painted eggs from Austria hanging off it.  Not practical for a home where a 4 year old lives, but it was stunning to look at.  I wish you could see it better. 

This is one of my favorite coffee shops.  They have the best mocha lattes ever!

But not today.  My mother and I had other things on our minds.  Just a few doors down this was waiting for us...

Ahhhh!  A perfect ending to perfect day!!!!    It was worth passing up that lemon meringue pie for ~

And guess what?  When I got home this was waiting for me on the counter....

I'm not sure if it's the warm air, flowers blooming, or beautiful pastels, but whatever it is - it's good for the soul.  It's time to decorate for Easter, plant flowers, and bake cupcakes.

Today I bought the cutest cupcake wrappers that I'll show you next week.   With all this spring fever going on I think we need to celebrate so we are having some friends over for brunch on Sunday morning.  I'll be filling up my new cupcake wrappers with carrot cake muffins and cream cheese frosting - decorated with gumdrops of course! Lots of other goodies too.  I can't wait to tell you about it. 

I could hear my husband and son playing in the back yard.  Someone was getting squirt with the hose but I wasn't sure who was squirting who.  They both came in soaked!  I guess I wasn't the only one who had a great day!

Happy Spring!!!!!  I hope you all have the fever too!

Danielle xo

PS - my son made this at school today.  The flower is a coffee filter that he painted yellow and in the middle are real coffee grounds.  I think his preschool teacher has to be the most creative women in the world!  Another beautiful flower to add to my kitchen!  Love, love, love.....