Blueberry-Lemon Bread! I love blueberries and I love lemon, combine the two and BINGO! a great bread to add to your pumpkin and banana bread recipe file. The recipe is very simple and if you want to glaze (and why […]
Kissing…yea or nay? I do believe in kissing…especially when the other side of the “kissee” is the Captain! But I am talking about social kissing. Recently…I have been in situations where people want to kiss in a greeting (hello and […]
How about a Autumn Spice (Pumpkin) recipe which can always be handy in your spice cabinet! This special blend of the most aromatic spices…. cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger just screams for Gingerbreads and Pumpkin Pies! And the smells in […]
Sports! Sports and more Sports! Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, I am watching the opening game of the Kansas City Chiefs as they play the Tennessee Titans! AND I am also watching the Kansas City Royals play the New York Yankees. The […]
Never Enough Storage, Is There? The Experts have said that if you buy something new….to remove something old and your closets will always stay neat and roomy. Of course, that is assuming they are neat and roomy already! Or, perhaps […]
Blueberry-Lemon Bread! I love blueberries and I love lemon, combine the two and BINGO! a great bread to add to your pumpkin and banana bread recipe file.
The recipe is very simple and if you want to glaze (and why not) …your blueberry-lemon bread will just melt in your mouth.
If you would like…you can bake the recipe in cupcake wrappers….whatever is your fancy!
However, it is simpler…and easier… to put the batter into a loaf pan. simply yummy!
The Captain is very fond of breads…and I am very fond of him, so I tend to make breads of every variety.
There is a wonderful apple bread recipe that I will be adding in a later post…talk about yummy!
I love to cut a small slice….OK…a large slice…and take the bread and my cup of hot tea to my Secret Garden in the early morning hours…and just enjoy the goodness of the bread.
It is my quiet time…a time to reflect and have my daily devotions.
For those of you who are into yoga….it is a pretty much like that. A very needed meditation that gives me energy for the rest of my day.
The early morning hours find the birds singing their “hello’s overhead….mostly a particular mockingbird that has a sound just like a cat’s meow.
I always look around for kitty kitty, only to find it is that beautiful bird with his beautiful mocking sound of a kitten.:)
And then there are the butterflies!
I have always loved butterflies in my Secret Garden…!
I love to watch them flutter silently from flower to flower.
Below are just a few butterflies that I viewed this morning….their name following their glorious colors!
Yellow, (Cloudless Sulphur)
Blue, (Blue Morphos)
black and yellow (Giant Swallowtail),
black and white (Zebra Longwing)
Black and yellow and orange, (Painted Lady…not to be confused with the Monarch Butterfly…:)
and of course the beautiful monarch!
It makes me happy to see them and I always smile and greet them.
OK…you know I am weird like that!
But I do love nature.
If you make this blueberry-lemon bread recipe, let me know your thoughts about it.
Also, do you have a time for meditation in your busy days?
I would love to hear about it, if you do.
Enjoy your wonderful Monday!
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sour cream (or plain yogurt)
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- Heat oven to 350°F and grease the bottom only of 9x5-inch loaf pan.(I use a cooking spray)
- In medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. (or you can do it by hand)
- Beat in the eggs, vanilla, sour cream, lemon zest and juice. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder. Fold in 3/4 cup of the blueberries and add the walnuts if desired.
- Spoon batter into pan and sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup blueberries on top.
- Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely before adding the glaze.
- In small bowl, mix the lemon juice, melted butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
- Drizzle the glaze over loaf, letting the bread set for a few minutes to allow the glaze to firm up.
- This is sooooo good. The sour cream makes this very moist and very good.
Kissing…yea or nay?
I do believe in kissing…especially when the other side of the “kissee” is the Captain!
But I am talking about social kissing.
Recently…I have been in situations where people want to kiss in a greeting (hello and good-bye) and it has forced me to make a choice….to kiss or not to kiss.
Let me just say that when I was growing up….a greeting by a close friend or family member was a quick hug…or just an enthusiastic “Hi!…Come in…good to see you” .
We rarely kissed in greeting, nor did we kiss good-bye.
Well, I take that back.
There was an Aunt on my Mother’s side (married to my Mother’s Brother) …who insisted on kissing every niece and nephew, each time she came to the family reunions.
Aunt Georgia did come from out-of-state ….but as kids, we sent out a warning that she was on the prowl to kiss someone… and we would all run and find a safe hiding place until she got settled in visiting with all the other relatives and “forgot” she hadn’t kissed us.
Now I realize that many Europeans use the standard “kiss kiss” greeting…left cheek and then right cheek!
I mean you see that on any television talk show as the talk show hosts greets the guests.
However, that is show biz.
What about real life and the kissing greeting?
I have to admit that when my new great grandbaby arrives in this world later this month…I will be giving him or her lots of kisses…but that is a precious little baby!
A gift from God.
Who can resist kissing their soft, sweet cheeks, their little fingers and toes?
But once that baby becomes a little older…say about three, four or five years old, magically the kissing stops…mainly because the child is more interested in toys or games and lets one know that kissing is not wanted…at least that has been the consensus in my family.
However, the exception to that rule is the immediate family members. I hug and give a quick cheek-kiss to my twin boys…especially if I haven’t seen them in a few weeks.
Only daughter, Oldest son and all the grandchildren are also the exception….
Kissing on the lips is a little strange for me with casual acquaintances.
Of course, that leads me to another dilemma…one of my daughters-in-law insists on kissing in a good-bye greeting…right smack on the lips!
Yes, I allow the kiss because she is close family….but it is not something I look forward to.
So I ask you the question….when do you social kiss? How many kisses? one? two? three? left cheek? right cheek? Both? Lip kissing? Pecks? Brushes? Air kisses?
Wow! Talk about Social anxiety on Social kissing!
I did find a few guidelines to “kissing” in an old Woman’s Day magazine…which reminds me that I have got to “donate” some of those magazines, it is just that I refer to them many times for recipes and such.
Of course, things may be different now…. but I added a few of my own comments in blue parenthesis.
- Don’t kiss people you don’t know unless you are introduced to them in a social environment. (Well who would kiss a stranger on the street?)
- It is usually right cheek first, but be prepared to change direction at the last minute. (Whose right cheek? the kisser or the kissee?)
- Sound effects, air kissing and leaving behind saliva are to be avoided (I kinda like the sound effect…then the saliva would be moot…unless they are a spit air kisser)
- Don’t linger and keep your hands WELL above the waist. (AND where I can see them…)
- When in doubt, let the other person take the lead. (I am not used to letting another take the lead…with kissing that is)
So, to kiss or not to kiss?
My thoughts are:
Short, Quick Hugs are great when in a greeting or a good-bye, but the cheek kissing…only if the other person initiates, (I would certainly not be rude and embarrass anyone) . Immediate family members are the exception! For kissing, not for embarrassing!
BUT… I personally would rather leave the lip kissing to husband and wife…boyfriend and girlfriend.
And when in doubt, don’t!
You know that old saying….if in doubt, throw it out!
Oh sorry…that is in reference to food.
What are your thoughts on social kissing?
Have a great Friday and keep plenty of chap stick on hand!
Autumn Spice (Pumpkin) Latte can be made in your own home….in about 15 minutes!
As you can tell…all this week, I have been thinking and writing about Autumn, apples, pumpkins and the beautiful leaves floating to the ground in all of the wondrous Fall colors.
When we lived in the Midwest, the Captain and I would take advantage of the Fall foliage by taking walks at Watkin’s Mill.
The meandering path lined with Aspens, Maples and Oaks, wound in and around a large lake.
I can still hear my shoes shuffling through the colors of Autumn that gathered at our feet.
It was magical!
Sometimes we would take our RV and camp among the tall trees where we would see all kinds of wildlife, such deer…and raccoon ….and we would sip our Autumn drinks around a warm, cozy campfire and watch the sunset over the lake.
Ya know…there is nothing like swirls of smoke curling up above a crackling campfire… sending out it’s woodsy smell into the crisp Autumn air.
Yes, I do like Autumn…and I especially like the apple ciders and mulled drinks… and I especially like the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and spices swirling around in a nice hot drink.
Now you can make your own Autumn spice latte…if that is your Autumn drink of choice.
You don’t have to go to a famous coffee shop…unless you want to of course!
The Captain is crazy over these lattes and says they are better and cheaper than going to a coffee shop.
So if you want to have almost the same flavor,… make these yourself.
Adjust the sugar (or sweetener) to suit your own taste.
Do you like strong coffee….add a bit more of the dark brew.
How about more sweetened cream? Go for it!
Be sure to pile the cream high and sprinkle my Autumn spice (pumpkin) over the top! (visit the recipe from yesterday at the link below)
This is your drink and you may make it to your liking.
You have my permission! Not that you need it!
Just enjoy!… and enjoy the wonderful Autumn Season!
The printable Latte recipe follows!
And believe it or not….we do have seasons in Florida….just not as drastic in temperatures as in the Midwest!
- 3 cups hot whole milk
- 4 teaspoons white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Autumn Spice (or pumpkin pie spice)
- 6 ounces double-strength brewed coffee
- 3 tablespoons sweetened whipped cream
- Sprinkle of Autumn Spice ( or you can use pumpkin pie spice)
- Combine the hot milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and Autumn Spice in a blender;
- Blend until frothy.
- Pour the mixture into 2-3 mugs until liquid is about 2/3 full.
- Pour 2 ounces of coffee into each mug.
- Garnish each mug with whipped topping and a sprinkle of Autumn Spice.
How about a Autumn Spice (Pumpkin) recipe which can always be handy in your spice cabinet!
This special blend of the most aromatic spices…. cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger just screams for Gingerbreads and Pumpkin Pies!
And the smells in your kitchen….Wow! there is nothing like it in the Autumn/Fall….or anytime for that matter!
But did you ever think of adding this homemade spice to scrambled eggs? Or ice cream?
Of course, it goes without saying ….The Autumn harvest of every kind of apple, baked with from your favorite recipes….has so much more flavor with your own homemade spice.
I like to keep this Autumn Spice (Pumpkin) in one of my small sealed jars…. or you can use a small jelly jar such as the one above and it keeps all year long.
I use it in pumpkin loaves, apple and pumpkin pies, apple crisps, apple cake, oatmeal, applesauce…anything that brings that sensuous aroma of Autumn baking and tasting to my kitchen.
The Captain just walked in and announced this kitchen has the most wonderful smells of anyplace in the world.
Of course, he may be a bit prejudiced!
Even though I do have some of the store bought jars of spices, I like to go as fresh as I can by purchasing my spices in little bags!
So much fresher that way….one never knows how long a bottle of spice has been on a supermarket shelf. ;(
There are many on-line spice shops, …I particularly like Mary Ann’s Spices and Teas!
I first became acquainted with Mary Ann when she had her little shop down by the river at the City Market in Kansas City.
I loved that Farmer’s Market and all the surrounding specialty food shops. Much like Pike’s Market in Seattle….I do love visiting these markets!
(Perhaps you missed the Pike’s Market post…if so, see link below)
Mary Ann’s shop is no long at the City Market, but one can order on line, (Mary Ann also has specialty teas) ! Yummy! (see below website)
This Autumn Spice (Pumpkin) recipe is so easy to make and it is much less expensive when you make it yourself rather than buy it in the supermarket.
The printable recipe is below!
Enjoy making your own pumpkin spice and add it to everything…. for the wonderful Autumn/Fall experience.
Have a great Day!
- 2-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Put all the spices in a small canning jar (or seal-able jar) and shake to mix.
- Now how easy is that? ;).
- You may double or triple this spice recipe...just store in an airtight container and it will last all year.
Sports! Sports and more Sports!
Yes, I am watching the opening game of the Kansas City Chiefs as they play the Tennessee Titans!
AND I am also watching the Kansas City Royals play the New York Yankees.
The Chiefs game is in Kansas City…. while the Royals are in New York.
I have the picture within a picture and so my little fingers are flipping like crazy!
I have everything I need….big tall glass of iced tea and a thin crust pizza (loaded with everything) from our local pizza shop!
Sports and food! Yep! that is for me!
Pizza and football…always a good combination!
I also have peanuts in the shell….only I am not dropping the shells at my feet as we always do in Kaufman Stadium!
I mean you can’t watch baseball and not have peanuts…can you?
Soooooo while the Captain is flying the country (working)…Jesse James and Kitty Kitty and I are watching sports.
You know I think both the dog and the cat love the game….or perhaps they just love my animation as I do tend to get excited and show a bit of emotion on certain plays.
Example: Right fielder, Aoki hit a single, which moved Willingham to third base and Moustakas to second base…..and then the pitcher made a throwing error and Willingham scored!!! Royals 1… Yankees 0!!
And it can get intense….Kitty Kitty is really concentrating.
See? Jesse is reacting to the football play that just transpired.
The Chiefs allowed the Titans to get into the red zone and they scored a touchdown (and made the conversion) which brings the score Chiefs 3…Titans 7!
They are such fans of these games….
Kitty Kitty is just learning the game….she saw the touchdown by the Titans too.
My pets get just as involved as I do…..:)
Sometimes they are even more vocal than I am…..Jesse and I were yelling at the same time….unfortunately, it didn’t help!
Ohhhhhh no…guys, I am afraid the Titans did get a touchdown!
Hang in there Jesse….at least the Royals are ahead of the Yankees! The score is now Royals 2…Yankees 0!
I’ll get more snacks….that will make us all feel better!
Golly, we haven’t even gotten into Kansas Jayhawks Basketball…..whew!
I am so excited! I can’t wait!
Later everyone…enjoy your Sunday!
I love smoothies and this Strawberry Banana Oat Smoothie makes me think breakfast in a glass.
Happy Saturday to all…I just love week-ends, don’t you? …and this is a good way to start your day.
I’ve made this smoothie literally hundreds of times since I first found the recipe a couple years ago.
It has just the right amount of sweetness, and it’s thick and filling with the strawberries and oatmeal.
The secret to keeping it smooth ….is to process the oats first in your blender.
I like the oats to be a powder consistency, then I add the milk, and just a few strawberries at a time (some strawberries are huge) instead of counting them.
Also, make sure either the banana or the strawberries are frozen as this makes for a thicker smoothie.
There are so many smoothies out there these days…many are green (which is a good thing) but sometimes I just like a fruit Smoothie and adding the oats makes it a meal!
Have a great week-end and keep smiling….it will make everyone wonder what you are up to!
- 1 cup soy milk (or you can use skim or whole milk)
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 banana, broken into chunks
- 14 frozen strawberries
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Place the oats in the blender first.... to process as it makes the smoothie much smoother.
- Add soy milk, oats, banana and strawberries.
- Add vanilla
- Blend until smooth.
- If I don't have frozen strawberries I make sure the banana is frozen.. one of them has to be to keep a nice thick consistency.
- Try substituting half the strawberries with peaches...yummy!.
- You may also add a small amount of sugar, but I don't feel it is necessary.
Apple Crumble Coffee Cake (Buckle)!
Do you remember Buckles?
OK…not the kind that holds the end of your belt….but an old fashioned Baked Buckle?
I am probably dating myself with this revelation for the younger readers….:)
A Buckle for those of you who have never heard the term….is a simple streusel-topped cake studded with fruit, and Buckles are traditionally made with summer fruit or berries.
However, I made this Fall/Autumn version by adding Granny Smith Apples which makes it more like a coffee cake, because….
Well, just because school has started and cooler weather is on it’s way and I love apples and Autumn and…well, you get the picture!
This recipe was from my Grandma’s recipe box…only she used wild berries…which really is a great recipe…I just modified it a bit!
You know, there is nothing better than to be in the kitchen whipping up a wonderful aromatic baked fruit goodie such as this Apple Crumble Coffee Cake (or an Apple Buckle Coffee Cake.)
You may use the apple of your choice….I sometimes use HoneyCrisp Apples, which happens to be one of the Captain’s favorite apples to snack on!
Pick your apples at an orchard or buy them from the supermarket….and this apple crumble coffee cake is sure to please you and your family.
If you make this recipe…let me know your thoughts. ;0
Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to be really decadent!
Have a great Friday and a wonderful beginning to a wonderful week-end!
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 and 1/4 tsp. teaspoons ground cinnamon
- pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 7 tablespoons melted butter (unsalted)
- 5 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (a really good one)
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 1 and 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
- 1 and 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup apple, diced (I used a large Granny Smith Apple)
- Mix flour, sugar, brown sugar,cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium sized bowl
- Add the melted butter, being sure every ingredient is incorporated and set aside.
- Spray a baking dish (8x8") square or round with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper.
- Cream the butter, white and brown sugars thoroughly
- Add the eggs and the vanilla and set aside
- Combine the flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside
- Alternate the dry ingredients (a small amount at a time) to the creamed mixture of eggs and sugars, alternately with the sour cream and ending with the last of the dry ingredients.
- Stir in the diced apples and pour the batter into the baking dish
- Smooth the top with a knife or spatula
- Spread the crumble topping over the top of the coffee cake and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 50-55 minutes or until a inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- You may use any apple....I have also used a honey crisp for a completely different level of sweetness.
- Serve warm from the oven or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Never Enough Storage, Is There?
The Experts have said that if you buy something new….to remove something old and your closets will always stay neat and roomy.
Of course, that is assuming they are neat and roomy already!
Or, perhaps you have already cleared out things you cannot wear and given to the Goodwill or Salvation Army…or in some cases to a needy family!
If so, good for you! (I did that too and I have to say that I don’t miss a thing)
However, we also have other areas other than clothes closets that need a good re-arranging or just tossing away.
I am speaking of garages particularly…and in particular…our garage!
We have a three car garage that is able to hold two of our vehicles nicely….but it also contained a flat trailer, numerous kitchen cabinets and tools, etc; and so much other junk,…. that the Captain and I decided to get in there with both hands and either store, toss out or keep the stuff!
We started with the flat bed trailer….it is now in a separate storage unit, and I keep finding more things to store in the storage unit.
The Captain says the storage unit is only 15X30….and it is filling up fast! We really need to leave room for “staging furniture” when we are ready to sell a property.
I saw this picture in the paper and had to laugh!
No, that was not us,…… although our garage kind of looked that way when we started.
So the question, dear readers…do you keep all things…. or some things….. or do you store “stuff” away from your home in storage units?
Or is it just the Captain and I who have lots of “stuff”?
Have a great day…I have to get back to work in the garage!
It is hard work pointing to boxes and saying….not that! Or , that has to go to storage! Or “pitch it”
School has started and that makes me think of Fall.
It also makes me think of apples and the orchards of the Midwest.
The Captain and I used to take a Saturday and visit Weston’s Wonderful Apple Orchards…you know the kind that you pick your own apples or …
…if you don’t want to go to all that trouble, you can buy apples by the bag or basket in their wonderful country stores. Yummy!
The Weston orchards also have apple cider….so good! caramel apples….really good! and pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns and Indian corn, so festive and Fall-ish!
I don’t know if that is a word, but it is now!
The orchards also had hay wagons that would take you out to the orchards or pumpkin patches which just made the experience so much fun!
We have a few orchards here in Florida…but they are really not the same as “up North” !
The Tossed Apple Feta Salad with Walnuts is sort of a good-bye to summer and hello to Fall….although this salad can be enjoyed anytime of the year!
Mixing apples, grapes, walnuts, feta cheese and salad greens…gives us a winning combination….at least I think so!
I came across this little joke and I had to laugh!
I hope you found this funny…you know me, sometimes I can be weird! Really?
This recipe has greens, grapes, apples, feta cheese, and crispy, sugared walnuts. Of course you can use plain walnuts but I like to “splurge” every once in a while and make sugared walnuts.
If you have a favorite apple, by all means use those apples. The Captain and I favor the Honey Crisp Apples and the Granny Smith Apples….just the right amount of tart and sweetness.
I have also included the dressing recipe (just click on the recipe title above)….however, I also like a raspberry vinaigrette dressing for those times you are in a hurry to get dinner on the table, and don’t have time to drag out the blender for the dressing.
Either way…homemade dressing or store bought….this is a great recipe!
I hope you enjoy making it…as it is a quick recipe and a great way to enjoy Apple Season…or any time of the year!
Have a great Tuesday!