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Friday

Apple themed party with a DIY Apple Craft

A crisp breeze is blowing through the sky bringing fall smells with it.  Deep reds, oranges and yellows are showing in the landscape, I close my eyes and remember walking through an apple orchard to pick my own basket full.  I can hardly wait to sink my teeth into the juicy ripe red fruit.  I decided to  invite some friends over for a fall themed party featuring apples.  My theme was born out of an apple challenge and I will share with you a simply adorable and super easy apple craft I whipped together in about an hour plus a cider recipe.


DIY painted apple center piece w hot apple cider
  

Blogger Tricks

Wednesday

Broccoli with Monterrey Jack Queso

I readily admit that this food challenge to use broccoli in a new recipe beat me.  If I don’t nuke it in the microwave for a few minutes then I eat it raw with Ranch Dressing!  So to say the least I’m looking forward to seeing what the other challengers come up with.  Maybe I’ll cook it more often. Here’s what I do with broccoli in five minutes or less for a quick side dish or some added vegie to salad.
 Creamy Monterrey Jack Broccoli


Tuesday

Check Ballooning off the bucket list

I spent a wonderful week in the cool air of Colorado last week.  Hubs and I celebrated our anniversary in a balloon ride with an absolutely beautiful view of the Rockies.  We drove from Texas for seven hours to sleep in a nice hotel room so we could rise and shine at 6:00 AM.  That’s when we met the pilot and rest of our group in the hotel lobby.

6


Wednesday

Balsamic Strawberry Jam

A couple cups of strawberries from the grocery store produce isle and I visited in the kitchen today.  They landed in a pot with some Balsamic, sugar and lemon peel.  Half an hour simmering on the stove and a big spoon full on toast…I’m in strawberry heaven!  I started out thinking I’d make this for a brunch for friends but I may eat the entire half pint jar before then!  I know a couple of you are reading this right now, thinking…call me!   Girls, come on over and I’ll show you how to make this super easy recipe with some fresh strawberries, then we’ll eat another jar while we peruse over more strawberry recipes at the bottom of this post. 

Mouth watering Balsamic Strawberry jam


Thursday

The BFG - a children's book to read aloud

I just spent 14.5 hours in a car with a six year old.  Insane, right?  Actually it went much better than I anticipated because I bought The BFG by Roald Dahl to read while we drove.  It was amazing!  The book kept his attention the entire trip.  My daughter and I took turns driving and reading.  When we put it down to rest our voices he couldn’t wait for us to start reading again!


 



Monday

Build a Hobbit House and clean up will all® POWERCORE™Pacs OXI

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Clean2TheCore #CollectiveBias
The grands are spending several days a week with me and we’re getting pretty creative with our play. This week the grands and I talked about recycling projects and how Hobbit houses are usually covered with dirt and sod making them cool in the summer and warmer in the winter  and earth friendly.  We also discussed how we could find things to recycle and build one for our garden. We decided to recycle an all® POWERCORE™ Pacs OXI container to build a little Hobbit House because the container makes a perfect house base and the lid on it makes a perfect Hobbit door! I’ve included a full tutorial with photos to show you how we made it. 
 Lets build a hobbit house

Tuesday

Plum Scones and After You by JoJo Moyes

I really liked reading After You by JoJo Moyes.  Sometimes sequel books leave me feeling disappointed, but this one did not.  Although it is about recovering from loss and moving forward with life it was well written and pleasing and a great after story to Me Before You (made into a movie).   I can only complain about the food they had in this book!  HA!  I usually get inspired to cook something from the book I am currently reading, this one…




not so much.  I don’t see me buying beef cheeks much less cooking and eating it!  There were other exotic dishes I am not familiar with and will have to spend some time on Google to find out what the heck they are.  I did however enjoy some tea and Plum Scones while reading.  If you like scones, they are really simple and easy to make.  I had some fresh plums given to me this week so I substituted three chopped plumbs minus the pit and used a little less milk because the plumbs were juicy in my Apricot and Amaretto Scone recipe.  They were scrumptious, much better than I imagine the biscuits described several times at her meetings were. [smiling at the thought] The adapted recipe is at the bottom of this page.

I’ve thought about being a tourist in London but with my fear of traveling abroad I doubt I’ll be dealing with the rough neighborhoods exhausted in this book.  I would however enjoy touring the castle home of some wealthy locals.  I would especially like finding my way through mazes and gardens like those described in the book.


book cover-After You by Jojo Moyes

The main character in this book, Louisa, was a grief survivor from the first novel.  Her story really started in the first book and takes off full throttle in After You.  I like the way Moyes builds her character with the way she must deal with all the people in her life.   I felt satisfied the story was complete at the end though I’d like to read a follow up on several of the book characters, both hers and Lily.  No spoilers here, you’ll have to read the book to find out who Lily is.

I'd recommend this easy read to young adults +.  The language is jild ih American standards.  I'm not sure how vulgar some of the words might appear to Europeans.  There are references to sex that could make a conservative blush, but really it was pretty mild.  The story starts with energy and progresses well with all the side stories and characters being relevant to the whole setting.  I rate it a 4 out of 5 stars because a 5* book for me is a total surprise at the end.  It's not difficult to see where this story is headed.




Fresh Pum Scones

by Jeannie
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: brunch breakfast snack bread
Ingredients (8 wedges)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 Tablespoons cold butter till it resembles coarse sand
  • 3-4 ripe plums
  • 1/3 cup milk
Instructions
Stir together dry ingredients.
Use a pastry cutter to cut butter into dry ingredients until it resembles small peas.
Chop fresh ripe plums and discard the pits.
Make a well in the center of the flour/butter.
Add plums and milk.
Quickly mix together just until a dough ball forms.
Add a little more flour if it is too sticky.
Pat the dough into a 2" thick circle.
Cut into 8 pie shaped wedges.
Sprinkle granulated sugar over top.
Place wedges on cookie sheet or oven griddle.
Bake 370° F oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove from oven and allow to cool a little before sprinkling with powdered sugar or drizzle with a powder sugar glaze.
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