Friday, December 30, 2011

Recipe for a Happy New Year

Portland Head Light

Sunday begins a fresh new year.  I always look forward to making changes and a "clean slate" in the new year!  Below is a recipe for a Happy 2012 New Year!   The author of this recipe remains unknown.

Take 12 whole months,
Clean them thoroughly of all bitterness, hate and jealousy,
Make them just as fresh and clean as possible.

Now cut each month into 28, 30 or 31 different parts,
But don’t make up the whole batch at once.
Prepare it one day at a time out of these ingredients.

Mix well into each day one part of faith,
One part of patience, one part of courage,
And one part of work.

Add to each day one part of hope,
Faithfulness, generosity and kindness.
Blend with one part prayer,
One part meditation, and one good deed.
Season the whole with a dash of good spirits,

A sprinkle of fun, a pinch of play,
And a cupful of good humor.
Pour all of this into a vessel of love.
Cook thoroughly over radiant joy,
Garnish with a smile,
And serve with quietness, unselfishness,
And cheerfulness.

Follow this recipe and I know you’ll have a very happy 2012!

I look forward to continued friendship and 
blogging with current and new acquaintances!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Playful Nomes

A little playful winter decoration on my walkway.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas from our home to yours! I hope your holidays are truly wonderful! Thank you for taking the time to follow my blog. Thank you for reading my posts, and for your very kind comments. I truly appreciate your friendship.  I leave you with this lovely poem.

The Kerry Christmas Carol

Don't blow the tall white candle out
But leave it burning bright.
So that they'll know they're welcome here
This holy Christmas night!

Leave out the bread and meat for them,
And sweet milk for the Child,
And they will bless the fire, that baked
And, too, the hands that toiled.

For Joseph will be travel-tired,
And Mary pale and wan,
And they can sleep a little while
Before they journey on.

They will be weary of the roads,
And rest will comfort them,
For it must be many a lonely mile
From here to Bethlehem.

O long the road they have to go,
The bad mile with the good,
Till the journey ends on Calvary
Beneath a cross of wood.

Leave the door upon the latch,
And set the fire to keep,
And pray they'll rest with us tonight
When all the world's asleep.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Gift . . .

How lucky am I to receive this wonderful cookbook, The Boston Cook Book by Mary J. Lincoln. This book belonged to my husband's grandmother, and was given to him by his cousin to give to me! The book is signed by the author and dated "October, 1911" - just over 100 years ago! I can truthfully say, it's my oldest, and now dearest cook book.

A little water damage, but who cares!
Here's what I found out about the author, Mrs. Lincoln. Her book, Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book: What to Do and Not Do in Cooking (1884) was a highly influential book that provided recipes from multiple sources and emphasized the science and nutritional aspects of cooking. It also help set the pattern of how cookbooks and recipes were to be formulated with consistent measurements and is a fore-runner to the Fannie Farmer's The Boston Cooking School Cookbook.  Fannie Farmer was one of her students!

Below is a recipe from the cookbook that I thought would befit the holiday season,  please enjoy!

Plum Cakes

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
Yolks of 3 eggs
Whites of 2 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of dark molasses
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoonful cream of tartar
1/2 pound raisins, stoned and chopped (plums?)
1/2 pound currants
2 tablespoonfuls any fruit syrup
4 cups of flour
2 teaspoonfuls mixed spices

If not dark enough, add a little melted chocolate.  Bake in small tins, and frost part of them with the remaining white of egg.

Baking instructions
Bake in a moderate oven (that's it for instructions)
(I'm guessing 350 degrees, until cakes are done, about 20 - 25 minutes.

This treasure fell out of the book after my little photo shoot!

Bake, eat and enjoy!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Silent Night . . . in Veteran's Park

We stumbled across a pleasant surprise in Old Orchard Beach, Maine last evening, when we drove by Veteran's Park, the band stand had been dressed for the season!  There were other lovely decorations too, I'll post about them later.  For now, please enjoy one of our favorite spots in Old Orchard.

Normally this park is buzzing with people, and in six months it will be buzzing again.  We love to sit in the bandstand, catch the sea breeze and people watch, you see EVERYTHING at the beach in the summer, not so much in the winter, most people cover up out of necessity to avoid frost bite!! LOL!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

For the want of warmth and longer days . . .

While I truly enjoy the holidays, the decorating, the cooking and yes, even the gift giving I felt a sudden need for warmth and longer days.  It's beginning to get seasonably cold in New England, burrr.

 I did not post about this past Labor Day weekend, so when I was looking at my photos a smile came to my face.

 It was a lovely weekend, shared with great friends.  Susan at  From Beyond My Kitchen Window and her devilishly handsome husband joined us for our annual Fort Williams State Park Labor Day Art Show in Maine.

We had a light luncheon of tomato pie before we began our excursion.

A beautiful prize winner!

In all the years I've been going to this art show, the weather has NEVER failed us!  

 We finished out the day with lobster rubens and blueberry pie back at the cottage.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happy Birthday . . .

Wishing a very Happy Birthday to my one and only!  XOXO

Monday, December 5, 2011

Warning: Not for the unorganized . . .

I have been on a cleaning frenzy, especially where my refrigerator is concerned!
The first cleaning was "just because" I thought it was time.  The second cleaning
about a week later - I had spilled fish juice, talk about stink!

The third cleaning happened when I discovered I had purple splattered
eggs in my egg bin.  How on EARTH did that happen?  My blueberries defrosted
 and leaked off the plate and ran down the back of my refrigerator!

What a mess!  As you can see, I didn't realize how bad the
 "blueberry murder" was until I took the entire drawer out!

 Scrub, scrub, scrub . . . 

See how organized and pretty she is now!

 I love organization!  A special thanks to my husband for 
organizing everything as I washed and handed it back to him!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

What a dish!

We have an extra seat at the table, would you like to join us?  I love using my Christmas dishes and other table top toys!  I started collecting these dishes when I was a teenager, and I still love them today!  It was considered VERY decadent to buy dishes that I would only use for a few weeks a year - mom was correct, but I did it any way!  

Then at my bridal shower, mom added 8 place settings, plus many serving pieces to my 8 place settings - then she started collecting her own pattern!  LOL!!!

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kitchen disaster . . .

This lovely pumpkin pie was supposed to grace my dessert table on Thanksgiving . . . but we had a little problem. When I came home from work last Wednesday I had a headache, and took an unexpected nap. Well, I was now 4 hrs. behind schedule with my Thanksgiving preparations.

Fast forward to 10:00 p.m. I decided to make a double batch of pumpkin pie. I was finished by 10:15! Pop it in the oven, 15 minutes at 450 degrees, 50 minutes at 350 degrees! No problem, I'll be in bed by before midnight!

Fast forward to 15 minutes after midnight . . . OH NO, I dozed off with my pie in the oven at 450 degrees for 1 hr. 55 minutes!!!! I flew out to the kitchen and opened the oven door with a swift pull - then sadly put my charcoal pumpkin pie in the trash and promptly went to bed!

We went to Maine on Saturday and I made the second pie there - it was delicious! I hope you enjoyed my kitchen disaster!

Pumpkin Pie
  • 1 can ONE-PIE Pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt (Scant)
  • 1/2 tbsp. Butter (Melted)
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk or 1-12 oz. can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/8 cup Moasses
  • 2 Eggs (beaten)
Sift Sugar, Cornstarch, Salt, Cinnamon, Ginger, & Nutmeg together. Mix this with contents of one can ONE-PIE Pumpkin. Add Eggs, beaten, Melted Butter, Molasses, & Milk. Add a dash of Lemon Juice (if desired). Line a 9-inch pie plate, pour in contents. Preheat oven & bake at 450 for 15 minutes. Then reduce temp. to 350 & continue to bake for 50 minutes.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Roasted Pumpkin, Cranberry, Sage, Brown Butter & Scallops

1 3-pound sugar pumpkin
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 shallots, halved
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
8 sage leaves, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Local sugar pumpkin from New Hampshire

Set the oven to 375 degrees. Halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and fibers. In a large roasting pan, pour about half inch of water, and add the garlic, shallots, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Place the pumpkin, cut sides down, in the pan and cover tightly with foil.

Bake until the pumpkin is tender when pricked with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes. When cool enough to handle, skin the pumpkin and cut into about 2-inch chunks. Place the pumpkin in a large bowl. Add the cranberries.

Sage from my garden

Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. In a saucepan, stir the butter, brown sugar, and sage over moderate heat. Simmer gently for 1 minute or until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the butter mixture over the pumpkin and cranberries and toss gently. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste.

Empty and wipe out the roasting pan, and brush with oil. Transfer the pumpkin mixture to the pan and bake until bubbling hot, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

local sea scallops from Maine

I served this dish with pan seared scallops, it was delicious! My husband loved it, I hope you enjoy it too!

I found this recipe here!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cranberry Streusel Pie

Life has been a little insane around here since my last post.  If I go into detail some of you may become ill.  Suffice to say, our septic backed up . . . into our basement, I will spare your the details!

My little sister, at the tender age of 45 had knee replacement surgery.  She had a bad reaction to medication and she will have to go back into surgery this morning because of complications.

I know I promised to post as many recipes as I could this week, but I was unable to because that thing called life got in the way!  Despite all the hiccups this past week, I came across this recipe that sounded wonderful.  While I didn't bake it, I will, because it looks delicious and I love cranberries.  Who doesn't love those little ruby gems!  I also find it difficult to find wonderful cranberry recipes, so I was thrilled to find this one.  The photo and recipe are from Allrecipes, it's one of my favorite goto websites for recipes!

Finally, I apologize for all the whining . . .  but I can tell you that I am thankful for professional cleaners Service-Master and my nephew's girlfriend for helping me clean, because I'm hosting Thanksgiving!  Then I want to go to a tropical island for the rest of the year!  LOL!!!

I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe!


  • 1 pound fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie


  1. Smash berries. Stir in sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Pour filling into pie crust.
  2. Smash walnuts into small pieces. Stir in brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and shortening with a pastry blender. The mixture should be crumbly. Sprinkle over pie.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes, or until done.

When everything has cooled, make a glaze and drizzle over the top for that beautiful streusel look!


1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

Mix everything together for a 1/2 cup of glaze!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving


I'm going to try to post as many tried and true recipes for Thanksgiving as I can until Thanksgiving eve.  Now, keep in mind that I work full-time so it's unlikely that you'll see a new recipe each day!  LOL!!!  But, I'll do the best I can.  

Most of you know I'm a bit of a "pie queen" - OK, so I'm self coronated!  But in my defense,  I do make a pretty good pie, especially blueberry, apple and strawberry rhubarb.  Here's a recipe for pecan pie, that I made tonight.  Enjoy!

What You'll Need - aka - Ingredients

1 9-inch pie shell, frozen or chilled for an hour if freshly made.

1 1/4 cups pecans, coarsely chopped (set some aside for decorating)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 - 2 tablespoons of burbon (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread pecans along the bottom of the pie shell. Mix the remaining ingredients by hand and pour over pecans. The pecans will rise to the surface of the pie.  Add some decorative pecans on top.  Be sure to bake on a cookie sheet to protect the oven from spillage.

Bake at 375°F for 40-45 minutes until the filling has set.   Remove from oven, let the pie cool and serve with vanilla ice cream!

Happy Baking!


P.S. Came across this nice blog A Robert Brault Reader with lots of quotes, check it out when you have a moment.  This was my favorite. "Once you fix it in your mind that life itself is a gift, you begin to find happiness in just about everything." 

*Photo from Country Living, I'll post mine soon, it looks just like it though!  LOL!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Heros

My family heros, Uncle William WWII sailor, Grandpa a WWI vet, Uncle Jimmy WWII army, and my dad, the baby!   Below is the 4th son, WWII Uncle Peter.  The three oldest sons all serveved during WWII, thankfully they all returned safely, and had full and happy lives.

Uncle Peter

 Thanking all those whose family members and friends who have served!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dinner for One . . .

We tried local grass feed beef steak burgers for the first time, they were amazing!  We met Richard Piper of  Piper Ranch Beef at a Farmer's Market in Scarborough, Maine last week, bought the beef and took the steak burgers home to Massachusetts.  When you have a moment check out Richard's link.  I hear Richard is going to be at the Sunday farmers market in So. Portland, so we'll be able to splurge on delicious steak burgers throughout the winter!

So, I was "home alone" because my husband had to make a special trip to Maine to close the crawl space - we were supposed to be getting a snow storm - in October!  So to be safe he and Duke (our dog) made the trip.  I had to work, so I didn't go.

For dinner I grilled a steak burger, toasted an "everything" bagel, grilled sweet onion, and mushrooms, then topped it off with a slice of gorgonzola cheese and some ketchup.  It was probably the best burger I've ever tasted!

For my beverage, I had a glass of Cupcake Malbec.  If you enjoy red wine, you'll love this smooth Argentine red.  It's become my favorite!  It also goes well with burgers!

Happy Cooking!


In case you're wondering, we did get that snow storm Thursday evening, it was minor.  Then this past Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning we were slammed with a Nor'Easter!  It dropped 6-8 inches of snow in my town, some areas received 24 inches of snow!  There was no Trick-O-Treating!  Our town looks like a war zone!  We were fortunate, we only went without power for 31 hrs.  All my siblings are running generators or wood stoves, except one, she has heat!  Most of my town is still without power - it's going to be at least another 3 days for them!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Top 10 Scary Movies

It's the time of year for ghosts, goblins, and to be scared out of your boots!  Here are a list of my "Top 10" Scary Movies!  

What are yours? 

Happy Halloween!!!

(1) Psycho (1960)
Memorable quote: “She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes.”

(2) Jaws (1975)
Memorable quote: “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

(3) Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Memorable quote: “It puts the lotion on its skin.”

(4) The Shining (1980)
Memorable quote (three-way tie):
“Heeeeeeere’s Johnny!”
“Redrum! Redrum!”
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

(5) Pet Sematary (1989)
Memorable quote: “Sometimes dead is better.”

(6) Salem’s Lot (1979)
Memorable quote: “The house was a monument to evil sitting there all these years holding the essence of evil in its smoldering bones.”

(7) Halloween (1978)
Memorable quote: “I realized what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply evil.”
     I think this is the one that Susan @ From Beyond My Kitchen Window and I saw back in the day, and were scared out of our minds in the parking lot! LOL!!!

(8) Wait Until Dark (1967)

Did you know they wanted to kill me? I did. I knew even before they did. They were awful amateurs, and that's why you saw through them.

(9) The Birds (1963)
Why are they doing this? Why are they doing this? They said when you got here, the whole thing started. Who are you? What are you? Where did you come from? I think you're the cause of all this. I think you're evil! EVIL!

(10) The Bad Seed (1956)
"[How murderers are executed]"
Leroy: They got a little blue chair for little boys and a little pink chair for little girls.

P.S. It's snowing in New England!  It's only October 27th!  And it looks like we've got about 2 inches!!!  Oh, and it's going to be in the 20's tomorrow!!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New England Pumpkin Pie Recipe & Some Cute Pumpkins

I love this pumpkin pie recipe, honestly I was never a fan of pumpkin pie until I found this recipe and made it for some friends a few years ago, now I'm hooked.  I especially like it with home made whipped cream . . . can you say yum!  

I also use a graham cracker crumb crust!!!  Happy Cooking!

New England Pumpkin Pie


1 can ONE-PIE Pumpkin

1 tbsp. Cornstarch
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ginger
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Salt (scant)
1 1/2 tbsp. Butter (melted)
1 1/2 cups Milk or 1-12 oz. can Evaporated Milk
1 cup Sugar
1/8 cup Molasses
2 Eggs (beaten)


Sift Sugar, Cornstarch, Salt, Cinnamon, Ginger, & Nutmeg together. Mix this with contents of one can ONE-PIE Pumpkin. Add Eggs, beaten, Melted Butter, Molasses, & Milk. Add a dash of Lemon Juice (if desired). Line a 9-inch pie plate, pour in contents. Preheat oven & bake at 450 for 15 minutes. Then reduce temp. to 350 & continue to bake for 50 minutes.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Autumn snapshots . . .

Seaside decorations for the Autumn

My hubby and I like to go for "rides" and check out neighborhoods, look for yard sales, stop at vintage shops to see what people are selling.  I guess you could say that we are nosy!  LOL!!!!  We just love to sniff around town!  Below, and above are some Autumn decorations that I just love, and am currently trying to recreate!  Wish me luck!

Pretty petals!

A welcoming walkway

I had to get the large lens for this shot!


A beautiful Blue-jay!

A Cardinal coming into it's color!