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November 2008

October 2008

Stove-Top Simmers

Stovetop copy 

Well I was suppose to be doing a fall nature sketch, but my mind always wanders back to cooking. I am really allergic to perfume. It makes me sad I can not have those yummy, scented candles in my home. So I am always looking for interesting alternatives. I love these stove-top simmer. They smell delish, can be reused and use things I always have around my house. I did want to say, it probably does not sound very frugal to you to use vanilla beans. They are a precious commodity. But where I buy mine is such a good deal, I usually buy like 30 at a time (read about it in the link above). So I can afford to use a vanilla bean in a simmer xoxoxoxox 



Apple & Vanilla Stove-Top Simmer

In a sauce pan, set 1 sliced apple, 1 vanilla bean, 1 TBS. fresh ground nutmeg. Cover with water and simmer for 1/2 hour.

Orange & Ginger Stove-Top Simmer

In a sauce pan, set 1 sliced orange, 4 whole coriander's, 2 thick slices of fresh ginger. Cover with water and simmer of 1/2 hour.

*Both of these can be strained, saved in fridge and re-simmer.


Picture 069 

The morns are meeker than they were,

  The nuts are getting brown;

The berry's cheek is plumper,

  The rose is out of town.


The maple wears a gayer scarf,

  The field a scarlet grown,

Lest I should be old-fashioned,

  I'll put a trinket on.

                         Emily Dickinson

Menu Of The Week


Picture 035


I have not done a "menu of the week" for a while. This is actually two meals out of one, Roasted Ratatouille. There are a zillion ways to make ratatouille but I really love this method, but then I love roasted veggies in general and you will see a lot of recipes on my blog. I could write a recipe but I think Chocolate and Zuccine has such a  wonderful post about it.

I make a double batch, but it is important you do not fill your pan too much with veggies, because then they tend to steam, as oppoised to roast. So I do two pan and half way through switch them around. It might take a little bit longer to get it nice and crisp but you will have enough dinner for two meals.

First night, toss ratatouille with pasta, cheese and some fresh herbs. If the pasta seams dry, drizzle in a bit more olive oil.

Second night, make sandwiches with grilled sausages topped with ratatouille and some grated cheese.

I would serve a nice big salad, maybe a Cesar salad. Lemon is a really nice compliment to ratatouille.

For dessert I think these Girl Scout Samoas clones would be really fun to make xoxoxo

Autumn Mantle

Libary mantel5 

You would think after 15 or more years of rereading my old Victoria magazines, I would get bored with them. I mean they are hopelessly out-of-date, there is no simplicity to their vignettes, they are extremely girly, there are bouquets everywhere, piles of silver and china, gleaming candle in almost every picture    ;-) But this is the very reason I love them and quite frankly there is not much else out there that gives me the same thing. So I confess, I love the overfilling, girly, abundant, over the top pages of Victoria.

It inspired me to "Victoria'ize" my library. I went and cut a bunch of ivy, berries and whatever else caught my fancy. I piled it all on my mantle. Added some fake red leaves, feather, hydrangeas and filled in with all my deers. I am thrilled with the messy, too much, unclean look of it all.

Ohh and look at my little phone booth my father bought me. The first thing I did when I got to San Diego (truly, I had not even dropped my luggage off at my fathers house) was to go to Home Goods. I literally ran thought the store because I did not have a lot of time to look (and I would not be tempted to buy more then I could). I LOVE Home Goodies. Oh my gosh, I could have filled my suitcase with lavender silk love seat, red taffeta ruffled pillows, black roses lamp, Swedish painted wooden floor clock and oodles of china. If you are lucky enough to have a HG in your area and you have never been, go shopping for me xoxoxo

Libary mantel2 

                                  Libary mantel4

My Home


So here I promise to get my blog back on track and my laptop up and dies. I lost everything. Photos, sites, my baking issue template and master (that one kills me) and so much more. Now I have to start all over again. So I am asking you to be a bit more patient with me. Hopefully I can post more Autumn corners, before Christmas : -0 Clarice-who family thinks her laptop is her umbilicalcord to life. I am so sad xoxoxoxo

PS. thank you for all the kind comments. I did have a choice to back up my hard drive, but  $100.00 to do it, is just more then we can afford right now. Also I do still have my baking issue for sale, I just lost the master copy and templates. Let us just hope I never need to fix or change anything. Thank you dear readers, you are much to sweet to me.

Book from Betty Jane and Her Friends

Apple Day


Apple day


Well it is that time of year again. I think after Christmas this is my favorite celebration. I write about how it all started in other posts you can read. It really ushers in fall for us and my girls really look forward to it. I am hoping that this tradition that catch on with everyone. It can be simply lighting a candle, eating a apple and appreciate the season. Or a whole day of apple picking, making sauce and enjoying your labors by candle light. Candle light or fire light is one of our rules for Apple Night, no lights. We read fall books and just are thankful for the bounty of fall, our family and home and the small moments of life. Also there is no specific day. Just find a relaxing day for you family, so you are not rushed and can really stop and enjoy it. I do hope you have an Apple Night and if you do, please let me know. I know several families who make this a yearly tradition and that thrills me to no end. Plus if you want to post or have a button for your blog, feel free to use this new image I made. There is a smaller one below. Happy Apple Day xoxoxox



I will be back

27 buttermilk biscuits 

Hello everyone, well when you read this I will probably on a plane, that my own sweet hubby has inspected, flying over CA. But I will be back next weekend. I still have a few autumn corners to share !!


I also wanted to thank you for all the sweet comments about my baking issue and my article in Somerset. We all have a home and all work hard to make it that way. I hope my article and blog reflect that. If you have e-mailed me, I will get back to you when I return home. Remember to enjoy the small things xoxoxo 

Very Surreal

Somerset fall 

So what is it like to walk into Joanne's and see an article about your blog ? Very surreal. I want to thank both Jenny Doh and Staci Domoski at Somerset Life, for their support. Because I really did not think I could write 650 words about my blog, really about anything (unless it is food  ;-) 

I also want to give a shout out to Dawn, Andrea, Karla, Corey, Sandra, Ulla and Nicol. You are all such amazing women who inspire and encourage me. Thank you !!!

What is really so special about all this to me, is I now have something tangible for my girls (and hopefully their children) to know how important they are to me and what an honor it has been to make a home for them xoxoxo

Somerset fallll

Squirrels and Other Fur-Bearers


WALKING through the early October woods one day, I came upon a place where the ground was thickly strewn with very large unopened chestnut burrs. On examination I found that every burr had been cut square off with about an inch of the stem adhering, and not one had been left on the tree. It was not accident, then, but design. Whose design? A squirrel's. The fruit was the finest I had ever seen in the woods, and some wise squirrel had marked it for his own. The burrs were ripe, and had just begun to divide. The squirrel that had taken all this pains had evidently reasoned with himself thus: "Now, these are extremely fine chestnuts, and I want them; if I wait till the burrs open on the tree, the crows and jays will be sure to carry off a great many of the nuts before they fall; then, after the wind has rattled out what remain, there are the mice, the chipmunks, the red squirrels, the raccoons, the grouse, to say nothing of the boys and the pigs, to come in for their share; so I will forestall events a little: I will cut off the burrs when they have matured, and a few days of this dry October weather will cause every one of them to open on the ground; I shall be on hand in the nick of time to gather up my nuts." The squirrel, of course, had to take the chances of a prowler like myself coming along, but he had fairly stolen a march on his neighbors. As I proceeded to collect and open the burrs, I was half prepared to hear an audible protest from the trees about, for I constantly fancied myself watched by shy but jealous eyes. It is an interesting inquiry how the squirrel knew the burrs would open if left to lie on the ground a few days. Perhaps he did not know, but thought the experiment worth trying.