Monday, October 15

Our Thanksgiving Menu


It's hard to believe that it is that time of year again!  We will be celebrating Thanksgiving with my  In-Laws early this year.  We normally try to hold our feast in early November, but this year we have our niece or nephew arriving at that time, so we will celebrate early!  I bought the turkey at our local butcher shop and it is currently defrosting in the coffee hour room's fridge. Hopefully I'll be able to shop for all the other things we'll need on Thursday and Friday.  I really look forward to hosting this every year!  All the work is worth it!
Here's our menu:

Hors d'oeuvres
Vegetable and Dip Platter
Flatbread with Goat Cheese, Figs, and Prosciutto
Cheese Platter
Main Course
Turkey
Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes*
Gravy
Cranberry Sauce*
Dessert
Vanilla Ice Cream 

* made by my mother-in-law

Sunday, October 14

The Start of a New Knitting Project





I'm excited to be casting on to a new knitting project!  I'll be doing a Biased Striped Shawl based on a project I spotted on Pinterest.  The yarns I am using are MadelineTosh Farmhouse White, MadelineTosh Black Onyx, MadelineTosh Dr Zhivago, and another fingering weight yarn in the Cumin colorway.

Wednesday, October 10

Floral Pumpkins



 It's become my tradition to take a trip to the farmers' market in autumn to pick out a pumpkin or two from my favorite flower stall.  The farmer, Terri, decorates them with beautiful dried flowers.  These beauties usually keep for the whole year.  I spray the flowers with hairspray to help preserve the color.

Tuesday, October 9

The Wall Street Journal Apple Bread


We love baking this bread each autumn.  It's delicious fresh from the oven or toasted with a wee bit of butter! 

The Wall Street Journal Apple Bread
  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups peeled, diced apples
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
2. Make batter: Use an electric mixer to cream 1 stick butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, blending well. Stir in 2 cups flour and salt.
3. Add baking soda to buttermilk and allow to dissolve. Add buttermilk to batter, mixing well. Stir vanilla and apples into batter.
4. Make topping: Use an electric mixer to cream remaining butter and sugar. Stir in cinnamon, nuts and remaining flour.
5. Spoon batter into loaf pan and sprinkle with topping. Bake until set, 55-60 minutes. Let cool slightly before removing from pan, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Adapted from “Applehood & Motherpie: Handpicked Recipes from Upstate New York” by the Junior League of Rochester, 1981

Monday, October 8

Sunset Near the Water




My husband had a quick job to do while we were in New Jersey for my father-in-law's anniversary on Friday, so the boys and I took a stroll by the water and watched the sun sink amidst glorious clouds.  If you look carefully, you can see a lighthouse in the distance!

Sunday, October 7

AXIOS!





 My father-in-law has been the priest in his parish for 40 years!

Saturday, October 6

Jack Be Little


I finally found white Jack Be Little pumpkins locally.  They make a nice centerpiece when combined with the pewter bowl.

Friday, October 5

A Shale in Shire


My Shale Baby blanket in Shire Cascade 220 is done and I love it!  God Willing we'll be meeting the dear little baby it was knitted for in early November!

Tuesday, October 2

A Pewter Bowl


I found this gorgeous pewter footed bowl at an antique/junk shop not far from our daughter's school.  It's a reproduction from Colonial Williamsburg (which is my favorite place to visit), and exactly what I was looking for.  I'm so glad that I popped in before pick-up!

Monday, October 1

Biscuits and Beef Stew


It may feel like summer today, but we WILL be eating beef stew and buttermilk biscuits on October 1st!

Best Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

Yields: 12 biscuits, if you’re careful about apportioning out the dough
Time to make: ~25 minutes

You need:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 stick + 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I use 1 T. of white vinegar per cup of milk to make my own)
  • parchment paper
  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Melt the 1 stick butter and let cool about 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter and the buttermilk, and stir until clumps form.
  5. Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients until just incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Using a ¼ cup dry measure, scoop out and drop 12 balls of dough onto the baking sheet (this is easier if you spray the measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray).
  8. Bake until the tops are golden brown, about 14 minutes.
  9. Let cool on a wire rack.
  10. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tbsp. butter and brush the tops of the biscuits with the butter before serving.
Notes: This recipe is from the November-December 2007 issue of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine via Simply Cooking.

Sunday, September 30

Making Do


The boys have no money for Avengers Lego sets, so they used the minifigures they already had and tweaked them with Sharpie Markers!

Saturday, September 29

The Renaissance Faire!



Here I am in my $22 dress and the flower crown that I chose at our state's Renaissance Faire!  To get an idea of what or faire is like, enjoy this video I made last year:


Friday, September 28

Living and Learning for September


Here's my very first Living and Learning vlog on YouTube! In this video I cover what's in my knitting basket, some fashion inspiration, what I'm reading and watching, and what I hope to bake this month. 




https://res.cloudinary.com/jpress/image/fetch/w_700,f_auto,ar_3:2,q_auto:low,c_fill/if_h_lte_200,c_mfit,h_201/https://www.northumberlandgazette.co.uk/webimage/1.7194082.1428238824!/image/3725466117.jpg

Watching:  Vera and Hoopla

 

(also, I just checked the prices for Fall Fest and it is $12 per person, not $6 or $7 like I thought!)

Thursday, September 27

Matilda


I cannot tell you how happy it makes me that our twelve-year-old just saved up to buy a new dolly and then brought her to her brothers' basketball clinics to play with while she waits.  The doll is the lovely Matilda from A Girl for All Time.

Monday, September 24

Redecorating Luna's Apartment

 
Luna decided that she wanted to spruce things up in her new apartment (we bought her a fancy tank with a filer instead of her fishbowl), so we taped some pretty wrapping paper to the back.  Voila! Instant wallpaper!

Sunday, September 23

BOWLING!


We took the Trio to a local bowling alley tonight!  It was a very exciting outing (even though the picture makes it seem like it wasn't!) and everyone had a great time and can't wait to go back!

Saturday, September 22

Our Picture Book Collection


recently spent some time culling our children's book collection. This video highlights the picture books that we own and shows how I organize them.

Decorating Cupcakes


Our daughter took a cupcake decorating class at our local community center and has wanted to try her hand at decorating cupcakes at home.  We had some lunchtime guests coming, so today was the perfect opportunity to try.  We bought a 1A piping tip, disposable icing bags, and pink paper roses from Michaels and whipped up some carrot cake cupcakes and cream cheese icing.  After watching a youtube tutorial on using the 1A piping tip, she was ready to go.  I was really impressed by how well the cupcakes turned out.  They were delicious and beautiful!

Wednesday, September 19

A Root Beer Bottle Vase



 I must confess that I bought this root beer for it's vase potential.  Luckily, my husband is fond of root beer floats!

Tuesday, September 18

Clay Crosses


The Trio made these great coppery clay crosses at Vacation Church School.  I really love how they came out and cannot wait to hang them up.  I'm planning to put them in the playroom...  I really think that the wall color (Rainy Day by Valspar) will make the crosses really pop!
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