Saturday, December 9, 2017

~December 9, 2017~

~Home Sweet Home~

Just a quiet Saturday afternoon in New England on a December day! 

Enjoy!

Friday, December 8, 2017

~2017 Yuletide at Storrowton~

Admiring the beautiful Christmas Tree!
Yuletide at Storrowton is a great event in my area of Western MA!  We went last weekend!  The weather was co-operating, so we drove over the Connecticut River to West Springfield (in MA).  Walking onto the grounds of this 19th century New England village brings us back in time to a period of our American history when so many every day items were hand crafted.  The buildings on the grounds are original and moved to their present location at Storrowton Village.


The Meeting House was our first stop!  A Meeting House was used for Town Meetings and also for worship.  It was our first stop!  The fruit decoration above the doorway was beautiful and not often seen these days.


Once inside sitting down, we had the opportunity to listen to Folk Music from the 19th century!

19th century Folk Music Performers
 Then, onto the Blacksmith Shop!

Needed tools the Blacksmith had crafted.    
He stopped his work to answer the numerous questions we all had.  

Pounding the red hot metal to a needed shape.
Inside the Lawyer's Office we saw simple, yet elegant tree decorations.  The trees were made of folded gold paper with a dowel in the center.  I took note of this easy, beautiful decoration.  Local area garden clubs create the floral arrangements.  These arrangements are on view for all of us to get new decorating ideas.  :)

Visit to the Lawyer's Office
Walking a little further down the path, we visited the Gilbert House.  There was a candle in the window!

  
Once inside, we visited with a lady spinning yarn.  The Kitchen was in the next room.  Then, we enjoyed the Parlor.  

There were so many beautiful decorations to admire while visiting Storrowton Village!
 
Beautiful Decoration!
Once inside the Schoolhouse a gentleman described the education during this time period.  In this Schoolhouse the blackboard was on 3 walls.
  
The Schoolhouse!
Our last stop on this wonderful journey back to the 19th century was to chat with a craftsman who made paint brushes.  

Craftsmen Making Paint Brushes!
It's always fascinating to visit Storrowton Village!  This week there are tours and special "Lantern Light Tours" of the Village taking place.  This is an event we always put on our calendar!  I know you have enjoyed this tour back to 19th century New England!

Enjoy!
     

Sunday, December 3, 2017

~Knitted Penguins~


Knitted Penguins
It's the beginning of December.  You may have knitting needles in many sizes just waiting to be picked up and start clicking away.  You may have white or blue, green or red yarn sitting in your "yarn stash".  There may be even a skein of black yarn.  If you don't have black yarn, put it on your "must buy" list!  These adorable Penguins are just too cute to resist knitting, if you like to knit!!!

Last year I surprised my older two grandsons with these cute little guys.  One grandson likes anything and everything relating to Penguins.  I used a Red Heart yarn pattern that I had found on Twitter.

Click here for pattern.

JOANN's had the needed buttons to securely sew on the faces.  Using a small piece of Bias Tape the buttons were sewn on much easier.  They are also more secure!

Securely sew on buttons!
Each Penguin has a jersey body liner that's stuffed & then placed inside the knitted body.  This body liner prevents any stuffing from seeping out of the knitted body.

Stuffed Jersey Liner to place inside Penguin.
The Penguin body is knitted.  The flippers and scarves are knitted separately.  I tacked the scarf onto the Penguin, completely, so it will never move.

***Push in the bottom of the completed Penguin, if you want it to stand up.  

This amigurumi Penguin is a cute gift for some lucky recipient!  

For my complete post from last year on creating these adorable knitted Penguins, click here.  These little amigurumi are just so cute!!!

Happy Knitting!
    

Saturday, November 25, 2017

~Turkey a la King~

Turkey a la King
(File Photo)
Is there leftover Turkey from your delicious dinner on Thursday?  Or maybe just a little is remaining.  It's a great opportunity to make Turkey a la King for dinner!  You probably have all of the ingredients already.  This is so similar to a Turkey Pot Pie.  However, there is no need to roll out or purchase a pie crust.  A creamy sauce filled with small bites of turkey along with mixed vegetables served over toasted bread.  Now, that's what I call easy.  That's also what I call yummy!

So, find your can of Chicken Broth, Milk and package of frozen vegetables to prepare this for tonight's dinner.  :)

Turkey a la King
     Serves 2- 3 people 


Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Margarine/ Butter (I use unsalted.)
1/3 Cup Flour
1 Cup Chicken or Turkey Broth
      (I use College Inn Light & Fat Free Chicken Broth.)
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Turkey chunks (cooked), cut up, more if desired
 2 Cups cooked Carrots & Peas (or Mixed Vegetables)

*****
Sliced Bread, Toasted, 1- 2 slices/ person

Method:
  1.  Melt Margarine/ Butter in large skillet/ large pot.
  2.  Remove skillet from Medium heat and slowly stir in Flour.
  3.  Return to heat and slowly add in Chicken Broth & Milk while slowly stirring constantly.
  4.  Continue stirring over heat until sauce is thick and bubbly. 
  5.  Add cooked Turkey chunks.
  6.  Add in cooked vegetables.
  7.  Stir and heat mixture for 1 - 2 Minutes.
  8.  Serve over toasted Bread.
There's always some Cranberry Sauce on our table to enjoy while having this at dinner!  It's easy and delicious!   

Enjoy!
Yummy!
     

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Journey of the Mayflower


Learning a little more history is always fascinating!  The Cape (Cape Cod) is a beautiful area in my state of Massachusetts.  Whenever we stop in to the town of Chatham, MA, it's always interesting to read and review a little history.  The area across from the Chatham Lighthouse is not only scenic, there is an interesting plaque to read.

A few years ago in November of 2012, I wrote a post about the history and the voyage of the Mayflower.  I find that it is still a favorite read.  What better time than during Thanksgiving Day week is there to share it again?

"The Journey of the Pilgrims" 

Enjoy!


I wish you all
a Happy Thanksgiving Day
and weekend!!!  

Monday, November 20, 2017

Butternut Squash Bread

Butternut Squash Breads cooling!
(File Photo)
It is a tradition!  Every year I bake Butternut Squash Bread to enjoy during the Thanksgiving Day weekend!  Years ago, I used a Pumpkin Bread recipe & replaced the pumpkin with Butternut Squash!  Then, I started using Egg Whites rather than Whole Eggs when preparing my breads.  Before I knew it, I replaced Olive Oil for baking & sauteing for the vegetable oil.  The result?? A yummy cinnamon flavored Butternut Squash Bread that has a hint of Nutmeg!  It's become a tradition to enjoy this bread over the Thanksgiving Day weekend. 

This bread also freezes very well.  Usually, I bake 2.  One is enjoyed for the next few days & the second bread is wrapped in foil & placed in our freezer.  It's already baked!  What a tasty bread!  1 cup of cooked/ mashed Butternut Squash makes a very delicious bread!  

Butternut Squash Bread

Oven Temperature:  350°F       Baking Time:  55 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Cup Sugar

4 Egg Whites (=  total of 2 Whole Eggs)
3/4 Cup Olive Oil for baking & sauteing
1 Cup Butternut Squash, cooked/ mashed/ cooled- defrosted if frozen
PAM

Method:
  1. Spray 1 large bread pan with PAM. 
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl. 
  4. In smaller bowl, beat Egg Whites until frothy.
  5. Mix in Olive Oil.
  6. Add mashed Butternut Squash to Egg White/ Olive Oil mixture.
  7. Pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients.  Stir until combined.
  8. Pour batter into bread pan.
  9. Bake at 350°F for 55 Minutes, or until cake tester/ toothpick comes out clean when inserted in middle of loaf.
  10. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 Minutes. 
  11. Then, remove from pan.
  12. Continue cooling on wire rack.
  13. Later, place on a serving dish & cut into slices.
We always enjoy the first slice later in the day that this bread is baked.  If, you can wait until the next day to sample it, the flavors combine even more.  We never can wait for the next day to sample!  Yes, it is that yummy!

Can you substitute canned pumpkin?? Yes.  However, Butternut Squash Bread is just the best!

Enjoy!
Yummy!

  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

~Freezing Butternut Squash~

Mashing the Butternut Squash



The annual ritual of freezing Butternut Squash to enjoy the other months of the year is in full swing!  This delicious orange vegetable is such a great treat at dinnertime.  It's great to be able to purchase the fresh local vegetables in autumn at local roadside stands.  With a little prep work this veggie can be frozen, then reheated, for a great side dish during the year!

Ready for our freezer!
I freeze 2 Cups of this mashed veggie in each Quart sized Ziploc Freezer bag.  While preparing dinner it's easy to remove the frozen mashed Butternut Squash from the bag and place in a Corningware dish.  Place the cover on top.  In our microwave it is defrosted/ reheated in ~14 minutes.  The steaming hot vegetable is served in the same baking dish.

There are also many other ways that we enjoy Butternut Squash!  For me it requires only walking down the stairs to open our large freezer.  The bags of Butternut Squash are waiting on the second shelf!

This is the time of year when we find these orange colored squash plentiful in the grocery stores.    

Click here for complete directions on preparing Butternut Squash for the freezer. 

Enjoy!