Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Good Afternoon!  Tonight is Halloween night and we couldn't be more excited!  Trick or treat begins at 5:30 and John has already asked me to bring an  extra bag in case his pumpkin fills up.  He has high expectations!!!  Yesterday I made a big pot of minestrone soup that we can have before heading out.  It will warm our bones (it's very cold out!) and fill us with veggies...that way I won't feel so bad about feeding my face with candy all evening! 

This past weekend we carved our pumpkins and roasted the seeds.  We are all ready for the festivities.  I hope you are too! 

My starry nights pumpkin ♥ 

Carving his design with the help of Grampy : ) 

A tradition! 

Comfort food ♥ 

Last night's moon....very spooky....

 I hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween! If you happen to see a 10 year old BANANA walking around, that's John.  He loves chocolate Hershey bars! ♥ 


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Pumpkin spice caramel corn ♥

October never disappoints me. 

That's why YOU are my favorite ♥  

Yesterday was one of those perfect October days where the sun is out, but there is still slight chill in the air, and it’s just windy enough to toss the leaves around your feet as you walk.  I had the day off from work and I couldn’t wait to get outside for just a little while and enjoy it.  It’s supposed to rain the rest of the week and I figured it would be my only chance.  

So off I went to explore Hingham square… it was a good decision.  

Coffee in hand I wandered about looking in shop windows.  It got me thinking about the holidays.  I got excited.   I suddenly want to bake gingerbread cookies and hang twinkle lights around my windows.  It won’t be long now.  I heard church bells at 1 o’clock and it made my heart sing.  I normally don’t get to hear them, but yesterday I did.  Is there any prettier sound? 

Not likely. 

This store has all French things inside.  I tested some very expensive hand lotion.  It was nice.  I promised I would go back and treat myself for Christmas ♥ 

I think you call what I did meandering…. Sounds about right

 I admired cobblestone walkways and autumn floral arrangements. It was nice to see that it’s still mild enough to see blooming roses as well.    

So pretty! I could have stayed all day

How I love this time of year.  

On my way home I stopped at this old cemetery that dates back to the 1800’s.  

 I admired the foliage and said a prayer for all the souls buried here. 

Some of stones are so old you can’t even read them, which made me sad.  

  It makes me wonder who walked these paths long ago.

What were their names? Where did they come from? (what were they wearing???) 

It looks so very New England, don’t you think? 

After my "date with myself" which I highly recommend,  I headed home to make John and after school treat.  

And since we are in full "October/Fall mode" I give you the amazing....Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn ♥ 

Adding another layer to the pumpkin spice madness!  I just can't get enough! :) 

Adapted from a Jessica Seinfeld recipe  I saw this recipe on her Instagram.  The only change I made was she called for coconut oil.  I didn’t have any so I used canola oil.  I don’t think it made any difference. 

2 tablespoons canola oil
2/3 cup popcorn kernels, popped
½ cup honey
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Divide the popped popcorn evenly into two large bowls. 

In a medium skillet heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the honey, pumpkin, and brown sugar.  Whisk together.  Let simmer, whisking often until the mixture is thick like caramel, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the cinnamon & nutmeg.  Dividing evenly, pour over each bowl of popcorn and toss to combine.

Divide the popcorn among the two lined baking sheets and sprinkle with salt.  Bake 10 -15 minutes or until just set.  Let cool.  It will crisp up as it cools.  I put mine in the freezer to speed up the cooling because I couldn’t wait!  When completely cooked, break it up into pieces and enjoy! 

 Easy and delicious!  John loved it and so did everyone else....especially me!  Make a big bowl of this while you are waiting for trick or treaters or watching your favorite Halloween special.  Add a cup of hot cider and we can be best friends! 

Have a lovely October day, my friends!  Don't forget to appreciate the little things in life, like a big bowl of popcorn, a blustery October day full of window shopping, and the sound of church bells.  

Thank you for visiting me today!  xoxox 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Chicken pot pie recipe ♥

Hello! It’s me again!  In my last post I showed you a picture of the chicken pot pie I made on Sunday. A few of you asked me for the recipe so I thought I would post it here.  I actually got this recipe from a kids cooking show on cable that John and I watched last year.  It’s the first thing he ever cooked for dinner. 

I like this version because you make it with chicken broth and not canned soup, which I don’t always have on hand.  Anyway, here it is in case you are interested.   Also, I made my own crust with flour, water, and Crisco – but prepared frozen crust from the grocery store works great too!

5 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. Flour
2 cups frozen mixed veggies (you can add more if you really want to bulk it up! : )
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into chunks (I buy the Perdue fully cooked Chicken cuts)
1 cup cream (or milk)
Salt & pepper
Prepared pie crust

In a large skillet over medium heat melt half of the butter.  Add the veggies and sauté for a few minutes.  Add the rest of the butter and the flour.  Stir with a whisk until the flour is dissolved.  (The sauce will become thick and will coat the veggies) Cook for about a minute.  Add the chicken broth and cook for an additional 2 – 3 minutes.  Add the milk and season with salt and pepper.  Whisk it all together on low heat until creamy.  Finally stir in the chicken. 
Pour into a baking dish and cover with crust.  I greased the edges of my baking dish so the crust would not stick.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. 


Have left overs (if there are any)  for lunch the next day ♥ 

Random October ♥

Hello Friends!
How is your October so far? It finally feels like Fall around here and I couldn't be happier!
 We were having little spurts of heat here and there that made some days feel like August.  
For the past week it's been cool and frosty and I'm wearing my boots. No turning back now.  I'm just waiting for the day I can dig out my infinity scarf. 
Once I put that thing on I don't take it off until March! 

I've been waking up extra early lately.  I'm not sure why.  Usually this time of year when the house is chilly it's more difficult to drag myself out of my warm bed.  I think maybe it's because I'm in a different place now.   The seasons are changing like they always do, but it's a new experience for me this year. 
Everyday is a discovery ♥

I hear different sounds now.  I hear birds and animals from the woods in the backyard.  I can hear squirrels and chipmunks and deer, and footsteps of I'm not sure what....but in my mind all the animals are cute Disney-like creatures that only want to love me.  That was not the case Saturday morning when John and I found a mouse in the basement!  He must have wandered in when someone left the garage door open.  He was gray with a long tail and not very Disney-like. Although in his or her defense I did not stick around long enough to get a good look.  Nope!  I screamed and ran up the stairs so fast I'm surprised I didn't leave a trail of rubber!  John was my protector until we got Rob, who chased it around the room with his hockey stick and saved the day.

I enjoy creatures from afar....but not inside the house.  Maybe we should get a cat : ) 

Speaking of cats (and dogs), this neighborhood  has tons of dog walkers.  There are at least 5 people I see from my window, passing by walking dogs in the morning from 5 -6 am.  Everyday. 
I'm getting used to their routines.  I enjoy seeing the familiar faces.  Some of the dogs are so cute!

See what I mean about different experiences.  It's all good though.  I have my coffee, a view, new neighbors, and a hockey stick.
Life is good ♥
Anywaaay, here are a few things that made me happy this week....

On Saturday we went to our town's annual pumpkin fest!  It was a fun day....until it started raining.  Glad we got to pick our pumpkin first! 

And John got to meet Sponge Bob, which was quite thrilling (for him : )

I love that he still gets excited about things like this.  I'll be sad when this phase passes.  

Sunday we got up and out for a little shopping.

How beautiful are these pumpkin displays?! 

I made my first chicken pot pie of the season. 

It was so good! I had the last piece for lunch today.  I really enjoy a hot lunch this time of year.

I also dusted off my bread machine and made French bread.  Am I the only one who still uses a bread machine?  It's so wonderful to have fresh, warm bread with dinner!  And the machine does all the work! It's a win win! 

(I think I could live on bread alone....just sayin')

I made a second loaf on Monday with this recipe for Susan Branch's bread & butter pudding in mind....

I left work early today to pick John up at school.  I made the pudding while he did his homework. 

It was the perfect day for it!

Cold and windy and I was freezing.   

The secret to this recipe is you butter the bread. Yes. Butter the bread. 

That combined with the yummy custard mixture of milk, cream, eggs, and vanilla....makes for heaven on Earth. 

Are you feeling better yet?
I was. 

In 40 minutes you will have "cozy in a bowl".  Serve warm with whip cream.  

Seriously, this was my dinner.  And I'm not even sorry.  

Actually, I'm thinking of going back for just one more bite before I go to bed. 

You do that too, right? 

Of course you do! ♥

And just a little while ago Rob reminded me that Halloween is two weeks from tonight!!

It's almost here!


Tomorrow I'm off to the doctors for my annual mammogram. 

Not my favorite thing, but absolutely necessary ♥

I'll feel relieved when it's over! 

Happy random October, friends! What's new with you?



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A day of apples ♥

Hello Friends!
As you can see from the picture above I have been enjoying my cozy Saturday October mornings.  After crazy-busy weeks I look forward to the slow pace of the weekends more than you can imagine.
This past week my mother had to go into the hospital to have surgery. Thank God she is recovering beautifully and came home today! The word home takes on a new meaning when you are away from it.  And suddenly it becomes even better when you get there ♥

I took both of these photos from my mother's hospital window.
I knew in my heart that she was being taken care of and I felt at peace ♥
She's doing great and very thankful to be home.  It's no fun in there. 
And now back to your regular scheduled programming.....  
The first Friday in October we always reserve for our trip to the apple orchid.  John had a half day of school so we met up with some friends and headed to the farm. 

The weather was nice, still warm but not too hot. I would have preferred it a bit cooler, but I'm not complaining : ) 

 Off we go....

John and I know that Rob loves Macon apples so that's what we were hunting for.  

We found them and they were huge!  

Eating them right off the trees. 

This is real life...:)


After a while we filled our bag.  I was dreaming of apples pies the whole time! 

Walking back through the orchard to the country store we came upon some friends. 

And some gorgeous mums! I came home with one of these. 

And a pumpkin of course.

John picked out a little one for his desk.  

I'm always curious about these jellies and relishes but I've never bought one.  

Candy apples on the other hand... YUM! 

The Halloween train is our favorite!

We like to linger around the table and look for all the spooky details. 
Halloween is coming! Do you have your costume yet? 

Now with so many apples in the house I have to think up things to do with them all.  I'll be making pies and freezing them for the holidays and I know I want to make my mom's
apple swirl cake. 
It has orange juice in the batter and is absolutely delicious! (click here if you want the recipe)
Tonight on a whim I decided to make a quick batch of apple sauce.  Have you ever made homemade applesauce?  Its easy-peasy and taste so fresh!

Are you having pork chops for dinner tonight? If so, please make this apple sauce to go with them.  It's a must!

Start with 4 medium size apples. Peel and chop into chunks. 

Put them in a large sauce pan with  1 cup of water.  Heat over med-high until boiling. 

Reduce to simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. 


Stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, and 1 tbsp. butter.  Simmer for a few more minutes until all the flavors are incorporated.  Remove from heat.  Cool. 

That's it! 
Serve ice cold as a side dish to your pork chops or roast chicken, or for an instant tummy warmer stir some into your oatmeal on a chilly morning (that's what we're having tomorrow!) 

 OR you could be like John and put some over vanilla ice cream and top with whip cream : ) 

Either way...yum. 

What do you like to bake with apples? I still have so many and are looking for ideas.
Thank you for stopping by today! 
There's no place like home ♥

One more thing...

Here's a picture of the full Harvest moon over my neighbor's house the other night. 

Isn't she a beauty?! I think she outdid herself this month!

Happy October!