Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Great Gift Ideas

Have you got some great gift ideas you're just dying to share? We all need tips on great bargains and thoughtful gifts that you've had success with before, so please use this space to share. Starting right away (Christmas is coming!) you can leave a comment or give everyone a heads up of something you've already posted. For instance, Karin at One Perfect Little Miracle has a great idea up for a crochet kit
and Sandi at WhistleStop Cafe has a brand new cookbook that no home should be without. My favorite thing to give last year was a set of monogram hand towels from Horchow.
When I bought them, the towels were half price with a free monogram and free gift wrap and shipping. Right now they have 30% off if you use codeword THANKFUL. Just add a beautiful box of soaps from TJMaxx and you have a lovely gift.

I'm sure there are plenty more great ideas out there. Feel free to use the picture on this post as a link. Thanks and happy gift giving!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is one of my favorite vegetables. It makes the most delicious soup with a little curry and cream added. It comes alive when you roast it in a hot oven with parsnips and sweet potatoes and beets. Butternut squash even makes a good salad if you cube it, roast it, toss it with vinaigrette, and place it on some greens with roasted pecans sprinkled on top.

The smooth golden shell of butternut squash makes it a perfect fall accessory for your home. Put some in a handsome old rustic basket for a centerpiece on the table. Or put the basket on your hearth so you can see them while you're curled up on the sofa reading during a soft autumn rain shower.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Halloween And Beyond Centerpiece

This has been on the dining room table for all of October and should last through Thanksgiving with the addition a couple of turkey and pilgrim salt and peppers. On Halloween night some scary spiders might show up to crawl around on the table.

Here's the Radio Flyer red wagon with it's load of pumpkins.I intended to put chrysanthemums in it too but wasn't happy with the selection this fall. The paint job will get a more thorough going over when there's a little more time to spend on it.

Pumpkin Cookies

These are so easy and delicious. They would be a perfect cookie to take to a cookie swap.

Pumpkin cookies yield 6 dozen
1 cup butter
1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup canned real pumpkin(not pie filling type with spices)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated orange peel
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup chopped raisins
1 cup chopped pecans

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, pumpkin, vanilla, and orange peel and beat until fluffy. Combine dry ingredients and add to batter in three parts. Stir in raisins and nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls about two inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, cool, then frost.

1/2 cup butter
1 30z package of cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp milk
Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar. Add vanilla and salt, and milk and beat well. Frost cool cookies.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pink Recipe

This is a delicious dip to serve to company this holiday season. You can substitute lobster or crab for the shrimp and it will be just as yummy.

Shrimp Dip
1 8oz. package cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
dash of salt
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 cups boiled, rough chopped medium shrimp

to prepare shrimp: cook in rapidly boiling salted water for four minutes. Watch them turn PINK! Rinse in cold water, then roughly chop and add to all other ingredients combined. Chill in refrigerator for at least one hour. Place in beautiful bowl
and garnish with red pepper slice and parsley sprig and serve with savory crackers.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Harvest Home

Singing this over and over again is the only thing that kept me sane last night. As President Reagan said, "Don't get cynical, recognize that there are millions of Americans out there who want to be a shining city on a hill."
Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.
All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.
For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.
Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.
Click on the title to hear the tune, then you can hum along.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

We Interrupt This Pink Saturday

This Pink Saturday post is interrupted for a report from Clearwater Beach.............The winner of this mornings biathlon in her age group is (drumroll please) my darling daughter, Lucy!
The format was a two mile run, third mile swim, then another two mile run. Here we go!
Coming in from the first running leg, she has to go take off her shoes and put on cap and goggles.

Running into the 71 degree Gulf of Mexico. Brrrrrrr! (Afterwards she told me it felt good)

Crossing the finish line. Go girl!

Mom and daughter admiring the winner's plaque. Yeah Lucy!
There's a half Ironman World Championship here next weekend so the man who won this weekends race was from Finland training for the Ironman.