Saturday, October 31, 2009

Is the Romance Dead?

I went grocery shopping with DH this morning. We stopped at a video store and rented a movie.

I have mentioned before that I NEVER go to the movies and only rent a movie about once a year. Since we are staying home all weekend, I thought it might be nice to rent one. I went into the video store with him. It's been years since I have been in a video store. I have no idea what movie to get. After about 10 minutes in the new section, I am bored and decide to grab whatever is in front of me. It happened to be The Golden Boys, a romantic comedy, set on Cape Cod in 1905, about three 70-year-old retired sea captains who try to lure an attractive middle-aged woman into marriage.

It was OK. I can't sit for two hours and just watch a movie, so while it's on I am watching from the kitchen as I roast squash, carrots and make apple crisp.

After the movie, it's 4:00 p.m., so I decide to make a lemon drop martini with some Grey Goose Citron Vodka that was gifted to me a few weeks ago after I did some sewing for a friend. While shopping this morning, I bought a fresh lemon in anticipation of making this cocktail.

I said to my husband, "I should be drinking this Lemon Drop wearing a sexy house gown, sitting next to a romantic partner in front of a roaring fire in a family room with solid wood floors."

Without skipping a beat, he says, "Go get your gown on, Honey, and we can go sit by Sam's fire."

Sam is our neighbor.

Last night we had incredibly high winds and many trees blew down around town. One of Sam's trees blew down. Today he is outside burning the debris.

Sitting in Sam's yard drinking my Lemon Drop is NOT exactly what I had in mind.

I would tell that to my DH, but he is in the Lazy Boy taking a nap.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I Cannot Eat any Real Food for almost 48 hours

I had a sandwich Monday night at 6:00 p.m. and cannot eat any more solid food (except for Jello) until about 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, after a medical procedure is completed. Tomorrow I can't eat or drink anything at all...not even water...until late afternoon.
This should be fun.

I have decided that my Jello will be served today as though it's a gourmet meal. I made four different flavors and cut them all in cubes. When I can no longer take the hunger pangs, I scoop out a nice dish of different flavors.

Sometimes I mix them all together.

A while ago I bought two new flavors. I must say they are quite good.

I took a little walk around the homestead this morning. My burning bushes are ablaze in flaming red.

The maple tree is a brilliant yellow.

I brought some branches of each inside to use for my dining room centerpiece.

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

You Can't Have a Halloween Party Without Goulish Libations

This would be my creepy concoction of choice--bloody rimmed appeltini.

I found this at They have a lot of other drinks there, too.

Who knew they made black vodka?

Imagine all the great Halloween drinks that could be made with this!

I really like some of the creative garnishes out there on the net...this eyeball is pretty realistic..maybe too realistic for me.

YUCK! But "yuck" is exactly what you want for a Halloween party. If you want directions go over to the hostess blog. She has all kinds of great ideas.

Friday, October 23, 2009

If I Was Having a Halloween Party

this would make a wonderful dessert:

When you slice the cake each piece looks like a giant piece of candy corn!

It even uses that checkerboard cake pan I bought and have never used!

The recipe is from the Wilton site.

You just use any white cake mix you like.

Decorating instructions:
Place Divider Ring in one 9 x 2 in. pan from set. Tint 1 cup of white batter orange and 1 1/3 cup yellow; reserve 1/3 cup white.

Fill inside small center ring with white batter, inside medium ring with orange batter and inside large outer ring with yellow batter.

Carefully remove Divider Ring before baking. Bake and cool 1-layer cake.

Divide cake top: mark 2 inner circles, one 1 in. and one 2 1/2 in. from edge of cake.

Cover sides and top to 1 in. mark with yellow tip 16 stars, cover area to 2 1/2 in. mark with orange tip 16 stars, fill in center with white tip 16 stars.

Attach icing decorations to cake sides. Position candies around cake.

Have you ever seen anything cuter than these strawberry ghosts for appetizers? They are from Taste of Home.
They look pretty easy to make, too.
Strawberry Ghosts

30 fresh strawberries
8 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon shortening
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Wash strawberries and gently pat with paper towels until completely dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate and shortening at 50% power; stir until smooth. Stir in extract.
Dip strawberries in chocolate mixture; place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, allowing excess chocolate to form the ghosts' tails. Immediately press chocolate chips into coating for eyes. Freeze for 5 minutes.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Dip a toothpick into melted chocolate and draw a mouth on each face. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

One of My Autumn Joys

You know that Indian corn candy that comes out around Halloween?

I have always hated that stuff... even as a kid.....yuck! It was right down there with Circus Peanuts (remember that awful candy?) at the bottom of my list of favorite sugar delights.

Well, no more!

A few years ago I discovered that this candy is utterly delicious IF you mix it with peanuts.

I now look forward to autumn so that I can buy a bag of Indian corn candy and a can of peanuts.

I have discovered that the ratio of 6 peanut halves to 1 Indian corn is the perfect blend of salt and sweet.

YUM! It's more addictive than potato chips. Has anyone else discovered this delectable treat?

Look what came in today's first Christmas issue of a magazine!

Love the cover. I am saving it to read this weekend as we are going on a little trip...a bit of a family reunion with my Mom & Dad and my Aunt...we have not seen my Mom's sister in about 18 months so we are all looking forward to the weekend. I wish my Uncle could come, but he is a minister and has other obligations. We will miss you, Uncle R!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Trouble with Having Multiple Blogs

is that I tend to publish more to one than the other, depending on the season.

Since the flowering season is over, I am publishing more on my quilting blog and my tablescaping blog.

I never know if my Perennial Passion readers are intersted in the other part of my life. I guess if you are not, then there is no reason to check back until next May. But for those who are, I have posted this week about my Halloween table and my latest table runner.

I think I have shown you the Witch table runner I made a while ago. I used it for my Halloween table on the tablescaping blog.

On the quilting blog I was inspired by a set of Christmas plates I bought last year from C*old*water C*reek.

So if these things interest you, please come on over and pay me a visit. You can click the different colored words in this post, or just click on the right side panel where I show my other blogs.

Sometimes I wonder if I should have left it all on this blog. It can be a pain to try to post to so many different blogs!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hodgepodge Day

Who wouldn't want to eat more pork when it's this delicious?
DH bought an assortment of colorful peppers last week. We had them for three days in our salads and I still had a bunch left. So today I decided to toss them into my pork chops in tomato sauce. Don't you love all that color?

Thursday night after work and after dinner, I baked some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. It must be the colder weather because I almost never bake anything on a week night.

We had a cookie and a cup of hot tea for dessert tonight.

Tomorrow we plan to put all the outdoor stuff away. It's been cleaned and sitting out to dry for a couple of days. I counted all the containers full of dormant plants that we have to store for the winter. There are 30 of them. We have had a lot of rain so I am leaving the containers out in hopes that they will dry out a bit. I don't want them to rot while under the house.

I've also been sewing a bit today on a new table runner

and I spent a couple of hours reading a new book.

It's been a good day.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Root Beer Falls

On the way to the falls, we stopped at Mission Point cemetery just for this view.

Wow! It's an amazing view, isn't it?

On to the falls...

Root Beer is the nickname of these falls because of the foamy amber-colored water spilling over at the current rate of nearly 6,000 gallons per second (which pales in comparison to the over 50,000 gal/sec maximum which has been recorded). The root beer color is the result of tannins leached from the cedar, spruce & hemlock trees.

The real name is Tahquamenon Falls - pronounced Ta Qua Ma Non- nearly as beautiful to say as they are to see. Tahquamenon is an Ojibwa word referring to the place of the dark berry swamps.
These falls are tucked into a wooded area near Lake Superior in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan near the village of Paradise.

By these pictures, I would say that the village was appropriately named, wouldn't you?

Once again we decided to navigate many steps to get to alternate viewing areas. You don't have to go down any steps to get good views. The pics above were taken on the easy walking paths.

The 116 steps noted here was only to get down to the lower level.
From there we walked up and down another 35 or so steps to get to different viewing areas.

I think we went up and down over 500 steps, counting the lighthouse. We must be somewhat masochistic! I could feel a moderate pulling of the calf muscles the next day. But it was worth it. We got to see some interesting rock formations that we would not have seen from above.
You can walk about five miles down to get to the smaller lower falls. Or you can drive like any sane person would after climbing 500 steps. We drove.
The lower falls are not nearly as tall or wide as the upper falls, but have even more breathtaking scenery.

This is the land of Longfellow's Hiawatha."By the rushing Tahquamenaw" Hiawatha built his canoe (there have been many variations on the spelling over the decades). Longfellow loved this area and I think you can see why.

When we finished at the upper falls, we spent a moment enjoying the outdoor fireplace before heading to the second set of falls.

At the lower falls we went inside the store to get a drink. The power had gone out and the soda fountains did not work. There were no lights, no soda, no food. All they had left were a few cans of juice. We bought some and sat down at one of the checkerboard tables beside a window.

Checkers are not my strong suit.

It took less than ten minutes for me to go down in an embarrassing defeat after jumping just three of DH's red checkers.

Playing checkers in a general store reminded us of Sam Drucker's store. Anybody remember that show?

At 2:10 p.m. we left the falls.

At 2:15 p.m. this was the view from our car window:

By this time it was down to 39 ° so we were thrilled at our good luck to not have been caught a half mile back in the woods in this rainstorm.

We were even thrilled the next morning as we sat in a soliarium eating breakfast and watching the big white flakes glide to the ground.

Yes, it was the first snow of the season.

Nonetheless, I had a wonderful weekend. I hope you did, too.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Toe Dipping in Frigid Lake Superior

Friday after work we headed up north for the weekend to enjoy some fall color. I made reservations over a month ago, gambling that this would be the peak color weekend.

For once, I think I won the gamble!
One of our stops was the Iroquois lighthouse which stands watch at the entrance to the St. Mary's River and the Soo Locks. History notes that Ojibwa Indians massacred a group of invading Iroquois warriors at this location in 1662, and the light was named in honor of the slain Iroquois.

The lighthouse is now a part of the Hiawatha National Forest and has undergone extensive renovation. I found it interesting that the residence now houses volunteers who man the visitors center. The lady (and her husband) we talked with has spent two years living upstairs in the tiny quarters of one side of this lighthouse.

Visitors who climb the 72 narrow steps to the top of the 65-ft. tower are rewarded with an impressive panorama view of the Whitefish Bay coastline.

We, of course, made the climb.

And it was indeed a lovely view.

Of course once you climb up, you must climb down. If you are claustrophobic, you may not enjoy going down this hatch and navigating around all those spiral steps.
I think it was harder going down than it was climbing up.

It was a nice crisp 41° when we stopped here at about 10:30 a.m.
I felt full of energy and left the boardwalk to walk to the shore of Lake Superior.

For some strange reason I had the urge to dip my bare foot into the huge lake. So I slipped out of my backless shoe and did so.

Ah, nothing quite like a little toe dip when it's 41° outside!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cauliflower Cranberry Salad

1 small head of cauliflower flowerettes, cut to whatever size you like. I like them bitesize.
1/2 cup chives, chopped - red onion would also be great if you don't have chives and like a stronger onion flavor.
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 to 1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds
3/4 cup mayo--could be more less, depending on the size of your head of cauliflower.
2 - 3 T. rice wine vinegar - or any kind you like

Mix the vinegar and mayo.
Toss in everything else, stirring gently to blend.
Refrigerate overnight or until cold.

I enjoyed this autumn salad for dinner last night. Just this and some roasted carrots and potatoes. I think I had a pretty healthy dinner and it was delicious!

I've really been in the recipe posting mode lately. This salad really is just one of those that you toss in stuff without measuring. I tried to give approximate amounts of what I used.

I think it's the salted sunflower seeds that really make this salad. You really need that salt kick to play off the sweet/sour cranberries.

I used these berries:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blueberry Crunch..Crumble...Crisp

Whatever you want to call it, it's good.

Jaimeliz left a comment requesting the recipe for this and I am happy to oblige. I like to put recipes for dishes I like on my blog so I can find them when I want to make it again. It's so much easier than trying to find it in one of my recipe books.

for the crust and topping:
1.5 cups oatmeal (I used quick cooking, but any will work)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1.25 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted (I used soybean margarine)

for the filling:
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen)
2/3 cup raspberry preserves (I used some of my MIL's homemade jam--any kind will do. I will probably use grape jelly next because I have that on hand)
3 tsp. flour
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon peel

Heat your oven to 350°

Combine oats, flour, brown sugar and butter. Mix until crumbly. Reserve 1 cup for topping and set aside.

Press the remaining oat mixture firmly into an ungresed 9-inch square baking pan.

Bake 13 to 15 minutes until lightly browned.

Cool slightly. While cooling, combine remaining ingredients; mix gently. Spread over the crust. Sprinkle the reserved oat mixture over the top.

Bake another 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned on the top.

The red color is from the raspberry jam.

Oh, by the way, here's a little tip for lemon zest:

I recently needed fresh lemon juice for something, but I did not need the zest. I never throw away a lemon with it's zest in tact.
I removed it and stuck it in the freezer. It came in handy for my blueberry dish because I did not have any lemons left.

Jaimeliz, I hope you like this!
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