2015-05-23_14-26-09

Memorial Week-End Revisited….

Memorial Week-End Revisited. Today, I would like to re-post one of the Memorial Day Week-End posts, so if you will forgive me for pulling from the past, please take a look at the below link… Memorial Day Quotes  I think […]

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Ladies Afternoon Tea at Miller Manor

Ladies Afternoon Tea at Miller Manor Low (Not High) Afternoon Tea. Yep, there is a difference you know….more on that later. First, the invitation….I thought these were adorable when I found them on line. The two tea bags pull out […]

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All About Me…Great Grandma’s (GG’s) Grandson!

All About Me…Great Grandma’s (GG’s) Grandson! Today my dear readers, friends and family…I am letting my 8 month old Great Grandson write this post. Please bear with me, because this post will most likely have lots and lots of pictures….of […]

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De-cluttering The Linen Closet!

De-cluttering The Linen Closet!…. was my thought yesterday when I reached for a new bottle of shampoo. I stared at the linen closet and I have to confess that I was not too proud of the way it looked. Sometimes I […]

2015-05-14_10-44-12

Mountains and Snow in Florida!

Mountains and Snow in Florida….Really? Not!….:) However, there is a brand new “theme” restaurant that has opened up in downtown Ft. Myers called “The Lodge”. This new eating establishment takes one from balmy, warm, sunny, ocean breezes to chilly cozy-up-to-the-fire […]

 

Memorial Week-End Revisited….

2015-05-23_14-26-09

Memorial Week-End Revisited.

Today, I would like to re-post one of the Memorial Day Week-End posts, so if you will forgive me for pulling from the past, please take a look at the below link…

Memorial Day Quotes

 I think it is very important that we do not forget those who have lived and died for our country’s freedom….as well as those loved ones who have passed away.  

Those wonderful people that have that special place in our hearts.  

Please see my child hood (and adult) memories of picking flowers (peony’s and roses and spirea sprigs in the Midwest), at the following link.

Memorial Day Week-end!

As a child, I participated in the Memorial Day activities (we called it Decoration Day)…. knowing there would be fun with cousins and other relatives followed by a wonderful picnic after.

As an adult, I participate because of the love I have for those who have gone before me, including those who were in the Military and their families….many times, they are names on a wall, obscure to me, but respected none-the-less and certainly we will never forget all the sacrifices these men and women made.

Memorial Day has been an official national holiday for over 40 years aimed at remembering those who served in the armed forces.

The Veteran’s Administration suggests Americans stop for a moment of reflection at 3 p.m. on the 25th of May.

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I took the above pictures when visiting twin number 2 at his home in Leavenworth, Kansas last September/October.

If you would like to see the whole post…please click on the following link.

Veterans Day – Tuesday Nov 11, 2014.

My dear readers, I hope you have a wonderful and safe Holiday week-end.

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Ps….I will be posting my Holiday Menu and more recipes at a later post. 

 

 

Ladies Afternoon Tea at Miller Manor

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Ladies Afternoon Tea at Miller Manor

Low (Not High) Afternoon Tea.

Yep, there is a difference you know….more on that later.

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First, the invitation….I thought these were adorable when I found them on line.

The two tea bags pull out on strings with all the details of the afternoon tea….time: 3:30 Pm, hats please, address and RSVP phone number. 

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If perhaps you were curious as to how “Afternoon Tea” originated…..According to legend, the Duchess of Bedford (1783-1857, a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria) is credited as the creator of afternoon tea time. 

The Duchess is most likely a relative of mine (no proof), because she had a “sinking feeling” of hunger about 4 pm each afternoon.  My kind of lady! 😉

The evening meal was hours away and lunch was hours earlier so she would have her servants sneak her a pot of tea and cakes or breads to “tide her over”.  Later, she started sending invitations to her friends….and the afternoon tea was born. 

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The invitational afternoon tea became common among the aristocrats and the commoners for pretty much the same reason. Hunger!

Low Tea consisted of teas and finger foods, including small sandwiches and bite sized cakes.  High Tea consisted of heartier fare and larger portions and was usually around noon or mid-day.  Many years later the late evening meal was moved “up” in time and became a High Tea.  

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The practice of inviting friends to come for tea in the afternoon was quickly picked up by other social hostesses…and I particularly love to entertain with a group of four for afternoon teas. (more intimate that way, although one can certainly invite a large group, positioning “low” tables around the outside garden or room to hold plates and cups of tea).

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Yesterday, at 3:30 pm, my three guests arrived for our Tea Time….and my friends were on board with the hats and vintage wear. 

Me.!!..

I only show you this pic of me to show that we all wore hats, but I take terrible pictures and I am not sure what I was thinking or doing in this shot, but it made me think of Mrs. Bucket (Bookay) on PBS. :)

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Since my servants were no where to be found ;)….I took a few shortcuts with the food prep. I pre-ordered mini, cherry almond cupcakes and regular sized cupcakes from that wonderful little bakery …”So Sweet Cupcake Bakery”…(see post How Sweet “So Sweet” is…..)

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I also bought the prettiest pink coconut cake, meringues, blueberry and cranberry scones…from my local supermarket.

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I did make the chicken salad, ham salad and cucumber sandwiches myself using a round cookie cutter for the different breads. 

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I used a Cherry Preserves (my favorite brand, Bonne Maman) and Clotted Cream for the warm scones. 

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I brought out a few of my teapots and offered 5 different kinds of teas.

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For the Serving table I used my counter-top that I covered with a pink tablecloth and positioned two pink parasols.

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I then brought out all my serving dishes and put little paper labels on them so I could remember what I wanted to place on/in each one.

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(I find that works the best for me when I am in the home stretch of prep)

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For a focal piece on the serving bar, I placed two old vintage books with a pair of really old wire rimmed glasses and a large strand of my pearls that I broke several years ago and have never fixed the clasp. :(

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The centerpiece on the table was a small white birdcage filled with pink roses that I sat atop a white lace doily that I have had for years. 

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I really like this flatware….so vintage looking.

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My vintage rose china sat prettily on another pink tablecloth with pink napkins. The chairs also had pink chair covers. 

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Over the dining table, I hung another pink parasol …(I gave a baby shower once and I happen to have 6 pink parasols) 

Did I tell you that I like the color pink? 

We had a great time…we ate, drank our tea, chatted, played a couple personality games and chatted some more until about quarter to seven. 

We may be in the 20th century…but it was fun to drift back in time with a custom that I occasionally would like to see revived again.

Thoughts??? my dear readers.

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All About Me…Great Grandma’s (GG’s) Grandson!

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All About Me…Great Grandma’s (GG’s) Grandson!

Today my dear readers, friends and family…I am letting my 8 month old Great Grandson write this post.

Please bear with me, because this post will most likely have lots and lots of pictures….of him.

So take it away little precious one!

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This picture is of my beautiful mommy and me.

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And my daddy…..I am safe in his big strong hands.

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I’m going to fill his boots some day….

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I love Sports…especially the Kansas City Royals!

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My mommy is giving me my bath!

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My Great Grandma (GG)  visited me all the way from Florida and she thought I looked so cute in this little outfit.

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I think I look cute too!

 

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I like to watch the trains with my Grandpa!

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I know I’m “rockin'” this Christmas outfit!

10891471_10152459584695404_1203233914430058127_nAnd this one….

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Did I tell you that my Grandma baby sits me while Mommy is working and Grandma took me to get two of my 4 month old shots???….look at the band-aids on my little legs!

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Now I am sittin’ up pretty good by myself…I like to sit on my Grandma’s bed!

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And I love sitting with my Grandpa watching the trains.

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Easter in Grandma and Grandpa’s front yard….Mommy and Daddy hid the eggs so I could find them pretty easy!

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Now that the weather has turned warmer…Grandma likes to put me in my swing on the patio.  
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Grandma and I go to the park sometimes…..I look Hollywood don’t I?

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And I now can play Grandma’s piano…and I think I am pretty good!

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Yesterday, Mommy and Daddy took our whole family to the Kansas City Royals Baseball game and the Royals beat the Yankees!

 

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Mommy and I were very happy!

I am tired now so I am going to take a nap.

Thanks Great Grandma (GG) for letting me post on your Blog.

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And that’s the way it is….Sweet dreams little one from your GG.

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De-cluttering The Linen Closet!

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De-cluttering The Linen Closet!…. was my thought yesterday when I reached for a new bottle of shampoo.

I stared at the linen closet and I have to confess that I was not too proud of the way it looked.

Sometimes I get in a hurry when putting bottles of lotion or shampoo on the shelf and instead of putting them in their proper place…I just sit them at the first available space and if that happens to be in front of the towels…..oh well.

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And I noted that some of the towels were folded correctly (my usual fold) and some were hastily folded (kind of helter-skelter) and “stuffed” into the linen closet.

Ugh!  Ugly! 😉

Of course my excuse is who is going to look into that messy linen closet? 

Well, the answer is obvious…ME!  and My Captain, but why does it have to be messy?

And so began the de-cluttering of two of the shelves.

Yes, it takes a little effort to put things away neatly, but I thought I am worth it. (taking a line from the hair color commercial)

I love the way Hotel towels look on shelves.

I said to myself, If the maids can do it at hotels…surely, I can do the same in my home.

Soooooo I removed everything from two shelves of the linen closet…I really need to pace myself! :)

What a good time to toss out “old” bottles of lotion and other little goodies that I thought I couldn’t live without.

I am sure you have heard that old saying….. if you haven’t used something in 6 months (or because I hate to throw anything away…a year) then one should give item away or toss it out.

Since I was positive no one wanted half used bottles of lotion, (smelling a bit rancid I hate to admit) etc…..I tossed them out. 

I also refolded my towels to make them appear neater and fluffier and well, they just looked better without all the clutter around them.

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On my bath towels, I folded them in half and then in thirds and then in thirds again.

I really like that look on the shelf….and I didn’t press them down because it made the towels “fluffier”.

Next, I decided I could make the towels on the towel rack look a little better…..from this….

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To this….

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I got a little creative by using a different color wash cloth for the pocket. 

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For my hand towels, I folded them in thirds and then in thirds again.

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I thought I was really clever when it came to my wash cloths.  I folded them in half and then I rolled them.

I had a decorative wire basket stored in the garage (I bought it some time ago with thoughts of using in my kitchen as decor….just could never find that perfect place for it) so I commandeered it to become the new holder of my wash cloths.

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I had to experiment a bit…I found if I rolled the wash cloths too loosely they wouldn’t “stand up” neatly and you can see in the pic that they sorta unraveled and looked a bit unsightly.

There was a little learning curve in folding and placing the wash cloths in the basket as you can see below.  Some were not too neat, but I kept working with them and they look better.

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I really like where the wire container sits on my bathroom counter and the cloths are so handy…I just lift up the lid.

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I experimented with colors and I have come to the conclusion that I don’t really care for anything but white towels.

Due to the expense of replacing all my color towels with white….I really need to keep them.  

But when replacing them…I will replace with white only. 😉

AND….in keeping with the “neat and tidy” look, I ended up with more towels than we really need…two people certainly don’t need 30 towels…so some of the towels went into guest bath rooms and some went to Goodwill.

Since the Captain and I travel a lot, I had a lot of little bottles of shampoos, hair sprays, razors etc,…so I placed these smaller items in a plastic container rather than sitting on the shelf….AND I have to confess that I will go back through the stuff in a few weeks to see if I can eliminate a few more bottles.

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The top shelf of my linen closet contains my sheets…but that is for another post on how I went from a ball of fitted sheets to a neatly folded sheets.

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Of course, the best tip on folding fitted sheets is to wash them and put them right back on the bed….as I said…one must pace oneself!

Have a great week-end. 😉

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Mountains and Snow in Florida!

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Mountains and Snow in Florida….Really?

Not!….:)

However, there is a brand new “theme” restaurant that has opened up in downtown Ft. Myers called “The Lodge”.

This new eating establishment takes one from balmy, warm, sunny, ocean breezes to chilly cozy-up-to-the-fire atmosphere in just a few steps from your car.

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The building, considered to be historic has been completely made over to resemble a hunting lodge that could be found in Yellowstone National Park or other mountainous northern parts of our country.

The Captain and I were invited to the soft opening this past week-end for the complimentary menu tasting!

I am going to share with you a few pics of this “chilly” mountain retreat. 😉

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A giant bear greets one upon entering the front door and there are selections of beef and bison for review.

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The menu advises to “feed your wild side”

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There are a lot of choices on this menu.

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Once seated, one can not help but notice the mountainous views just outside the window.

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Very pretty mountains I might add.

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Mustn’t forget the roaring fire in the middle of the room and the warm fuzzy stools and comfy chairs surrounding that beautiful fire.

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You can’t have mountains without sleds can you?…and there is a ski lift off to the side.

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and the makings for hot toddy’s?? Perhaps bar-be-que sauces too?

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Add happy people rating the food and service, beneath huge antler chandeliers…..

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One can’t have a hunting lodge without giant screen Television screens.

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The kitchen was spotless and the chefs were spot on.

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The logs look a bit purple, but it is actually blue in color….if you blink, it will change color quickly. 😉

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Look at the great smoke ring on this brisket…..simply yummy and tender and smokey in flavor.

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I love rare steaks…but I am very particular about rare hamburgers but this is Bison, which tend to be pinkish anyway and very delish!

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No matter what one eats…we still need veggies and there are great tasting veggies at “The Lodge”.

If you live anywhere near the historic downtown of Ft. Myers, I recommend trying the food at “The Lodge”.

You will think you have been whisked away to the northern climates…that is until you walk back outside.

Enjoy your week-end folks….

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The Lodge
2278 First St.,
Fort Myers, FL 33901

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potato N’ Ham Soup

Potato N’ Ham Soup is just plain good eatin’.

I love soup and it doesn’t matter if it is a crisp cool day or a hot and humid day…I love soups.

I had baked a honey glazed ham over the week-end and decided to make soup with the left over ham.

Yes, I had already made ham sandwiches which are really the best sandwiches ever….but I still had a bit of ham left so I chopped it up and added it to potato soup.

Potato soup has always been my quick “go to” soup as I can have it ready to eat and on the table in about 10 minutes.  

Dicing the potatoes and onions makes them cook quickly and I have to confess that when my children were little, potato soup became an almost staple for quick lunches.

Yummy! 

You can also use carrots or whatever you have in your pantry…but I used celery and onion and a bit of chicken broth for added flavor.

A chicken bouillon cube could be added, but I tend to stay away from them as they can have quite a bit of sodium.

So whether it is to warm you up on a cool day or to just have a quick great tasting soup for lunch…I recommend potato soup and if you have left over ham….WOW! you have a meal in one.

If you want a creamier base to your potato soup…add heavy cream in place of the milk.

Simply delish!

Do you my dear readers like soups?  

Do you have a favorite “go to” soup? 

Enjoy! and have a blessed day.

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Potato N' Ham Soup
Serves 4
Left over Ham and a chill in the air?...then it is soup of course with ingredients already in your pantry!
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Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  2. 3 tablespoons diced celery
  3. 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  4. 1/2 cup diced ham
  5. 1 1/2 cups water
  6. 1/2 cup chicken broth
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Freshly ground black or white pepper
Thickener
  1. 3 tablespoons butter
  2. 3 tablespoons flour
  3. 1 cup milk
Instructions
  1. Place water in a large pot and bring to a boil
  2. Add the potatoes, celery, and onion and cook until the potatoes are tender
  3. Add the ham and let simmer for about five minutes while you make the thickener
  4. Over low heat....melt the butter in a small sauce pan, stir in the flour making sure the flour has time to cook through....about 2 minutes
  5. Add the milk and allow the mixture to thicken while stirring constantly
  6. Add the thickened mixture to the potatoes and ham and simmer while the flavors meld.
  7. Serve the soup with a sprinkle of grated cheese and chopped green onion if desired
Notes
  1. If you prefer a thicker soup, drain the potatoes and ham mixture and then add your thickened milk
  2. You can also use heavy cream in place of milk for a richer soup
Me and My Captain http://www.meandmycaptain.com/

Yep! They’re Gone……

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Yep! They’re Gone……

As you have heard me say before…..we get a lot of Sno-Birds here in our little city as Europeans and our Northern neighbors spend the winter here in Florida.

AND although it is very good for the economy…most of us locals tend to complain about the increased traffic, bulging beaches and long waits for dinner at our favorite restaurants…..

Many of our Sno-Birds arrive around Thanksgiving and leave shortly after Easter the following year….give or take a week or two on either end.

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So it was very interesting this morning when the Captain and I went out to breakfast to one of our favorite “Mom and Pop” type restaurants…and we saw the sign that said:

Welcome back regulars…we missed you.

The name of this little spot is simply “Annie’s”….and it is a place where all the servers know your name and welcome you.  

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And you can’t have a name like Annie’s without Raggedy Ann….

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And Raggedy Andy….and yes, there is a real Annie although she stays in the kitchen a lot. ….but if you arrive early, she will come out and greet all the regulars. 

It is a place where you can joke with the server and she will joke right back with you.

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It is a place where you know the food is good, nothing fancy.

There are pictures from local artists on the walls for purchase (usually the Sno-Birds) …….and all the coffee cups have been provided by a Boat Dock business across the street.

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Prices are very reasonable….and the tickets are hand written.

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The specials are written on a board in the middle of the room and drawings from children are tacked anywhere there is a space.

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When I asked if he would ever publish…he responded very quickly with a “No” …unless his wife or children published after he was gone.

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People include John, the older gentleman who lost his wife several years ago and always eats the same breakfast of oatmeal and rye toast….because that is what his wife used to make him.

The servers are like family and you talk to them about their lives as they call you by your name.

Like Roxie who rescues cats, Karen who used to live in Fort Lauderdale (across the state) but found the Gulf side more friendly, Judy who is bouncy and funny, Jeanine who has to walk a bit slower due to health issues, and Terri who responds to your “Good Morning” with “Who asked you for a weather report?”.  

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Yes, you know their names and stories and they know yours.

They care.  

Reminds me of that old sitcom “Cheers” and the lyrics to the theme song.

You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows
your name.

Have a great Day!

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*As usual, our meals are independently paid for.

 

 

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Bam! German Bakery and More…or less!

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Bam! German Bakery and More…or less!

My dear readers,…you have heard (interpret “read”) that our little city of Cape Coral is very diversified with many different cultures.

True, many are sno-birds who fly here from Europe and stay for the Season and then there are people who decide this is a great place to live and start a new business.

For those who have business acumen… there has to be a need or a guaranteed following, such as the wonderful Italian Market here in the Cape that I showed you in two posts a while back.  This market has all Italian foods which fills a void for all the Italians living here.  (if you missed this authentic Italian market, just click on the two posts below)

Andiamo al Mercato…! Come To the Italian Market

Italian Market…Con’t!

I say all that to say this…

2180[1]Many Germans have settled in our little city and so it follows that another German Bakery and Deli and Restaurant were soon to follow.

“BAM German Bakery and More”! (not sure what the “BAM” stands for).

The bakery was purchased and remodeled by Hans and Sonja Stumpf, and opened with additional outdoor seating in April of 2014. 

According to the Stumpfs, they use “the highest quality ingredients to create artisan breads, pastries, cakes and an assortment of other German delicacies. 

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A few Sunday’s ago, after church, *Pam Darling  and I went to this little German place for breakfast.  

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*Background on Pam’s nickname: Pam’s husband almost always refers to his wife as Pam, honey

But you know me…. I had to take it one step further from the old Disney movie “The Lady and the Tramp“…. where Lady,…the cocker spaniel dog, always heard the lady of the house refer to her husband as “Jim darling”  …so when Lady was talking to her other dog friends, (yes, the dog talks), Lady always referred to her owner as “Jim Darling”.  

Perhaps that is TMI…but I just thought you might like to see how I arrive at “special names” for all my friends.

Or, ……..maybe not.

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But I digress, back to breakfast or brunch as it were.

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I had visited this little restaurant with a group of ladies a few weeks ago and although the food was excellent,

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(I had the greatest tasting chicken salad on a croissant)….the service was very, very, very slow. :(  Our food did not arrive at the same time.

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So, when Pam Darling and I were without husbands, (due to work schedules, etc)…..we decided to give this little restaurant another go …”BAM German Bakery and More”…. and see if the service had gotten better.

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Sorry to report that service was a little better, but not great. We had to wait for different parts of our breakfast to arrive.

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Example: My home made sour dough toast arrived first and the rest of my breakfast arrived about five minutes later. :(

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Pam Darling’s  Black Forest Breakfast of eggs, and a variety of cooked and smoked ham, jam, honey and butter ….arrived much later, so any chance of eating at the same time, just wasn’t in the scheme of things. 

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I tactfully and politely waited on Pam Darling’s breakfast to arrive until she insisted I go ahead and eat or my eggs would be as cold as my early arrival of toast.

As I was very hungry after a long sermon by our wonderful pastor…(I have a confession)….I am sad to say that I ate without her.

I was so intent on eating my own breakfast that when Pam Darling’s Black Forest Omelet finally arrived…I forgot to take a picture of it. :(

Well, ….you know how much I love food, and….well, you get the picture….well, actually you don’t get the picture because I didn’t take one of her breakfast. Sorry, Pam Darling.

How many “wells” are in that sentence?

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Both of our brunch items were delicious…albeit cold toast for me….and when I asked for another order of sour dough toast to replace the stone cold pieces in my basket,…. I was told they sliced up the very last slice with mine and would have to bake more.

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Really???? I heaved a deep sigh….. remembering that the morning’s sermon was on patience and tolerance of others.  

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As is my way…both breakfasts were independently paid for.

If you are in no hurry to eat and it doesn’t matter if your party eats together…I do recommend the food here. :) 

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1507 SE 47th Street

Cape Coral, Florida

http://www.bamgermanbakery.com/

Remembering Mother…..Remembering My Mom

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Remembering Mother…..Remembering my Mom.

Like so many of you, we will be remembering Moms on the official Mother’s Day in May.

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I find however, that I remember my Mom almost daily as she is no longer with me.

Many of us have lost our Mothers and yet, many of us are still blessed to have our Mothers with us.

For those of you fortunate enough to have your mother still with you…I ask you to cherish every moment.

Believe me when I tell you that once your mother is gone from this life…you will remember and wish she were still here almost every day.

I do.

As I age, I find I have a lot of Mom’s mannerisms, thoughts and actions. :)

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The only thing I didn’t inherit from Mom was her bone structure. 😉

Mom weighed 89 pounds soaking wet and she was barely 5 feet tall.

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Actually, of the three daughters, I am not only the oldest…I am the tallest and I am only 5 ft 4 inches.

That is me standing behind my two sisters, Earletta and Leanna…who are seated.

The pics were taken in 1998 and Mom passed away 2 1/2 years later. 

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Still, there are so many times, I reach for the phone to call her….and she has been with the Lord 14 years now. 

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I gave this little poem to my Mom on a Mother’s Day many years ago and now I have it back. 

Happy Mother’s Day Mom! 

 

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How Sweet “So Sweet” is…..

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How Sweet “So Sweet” is…..my dear readers, I have found a cupcake bakery that is really sweet and I mean that in many ways.

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Of course, the cupcakes are sweet…but so is the owner, Denise and her shop is the sweetest!

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So Sweet Cupcake Bakery has been in the Cape about 4 years and after tasting the regular sized and the mini cupcakes Denise makes….all I can say is “Delicious”.

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I am not sure what it is about a cupcake shop, but I am attracted to the different flavors and colors. 

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We can all make cupcakes…and most of us have been making cupcakes for years.

My kids always liked cupcakes and yes, …..here comes the confession…sometimes I just grabbed a can of frosting at the supermarket and slopped (I mean spread) frosting on the little cakes to take to their school for a quick treat.

Not proud of that! ;( 

I think that is why I like going to bakeries and seeing all the pretty decorated cupcakes.

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Denise makes four regular flavors daily, the Classic vanilla topped with buttercream icing, the Chocolate Bliss which speaks for itself, the Red Velvet topped with cream cheese and the Black & White which is vanilla and chocolate cupcake topped with vanilla buttercream.

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And…adds what ever flavor strikes her fancy on any given day such as Hawaiian Tropic, a pineapple cupcake with pineapple cream cheese icing.

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Or, a build me up buttercup which is chocolate cupcake with Reese’s peanut butter center and topped with chocolate buttercream and a peanut butter cup.

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I especially like the Key Lime cupcakes and the handy dandy cupcake pops.

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Of course, Denise will make up any special order you might have….like these adorable chocolate chip bear cupcakes.

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Yes, that is me in the window taking the pic of the shop.  

I thought you might get a laugh out of this “well prepared shot” 😉

Back to the cupcakes…..

Special occasion?  No worries.

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How about a pink champagne? A white chocolate champagne cupcake and topped with a champagne cream cheese frosting and garnished with white sugar sprinkles and pearls.

Now, that is special!

 

 

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* As is my way, I have not been compensated in any way for this review.

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1615 SE 47th Ter Ste B

Cape Coral, FL 33904

 

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