Friday, November 21, 2014

A Beautiful Book Club Evening




What a beautiful evening and dinner we had at my book club last night. Our hostess outdid herself in the midst of her Thanksgiving preparations and prepared a special night for us with a fall menu that was pretty close to perfect. Her table was set with a lovely green place setting from Ireland and the flowers were nothing short of breathtaking. We sat around this beautiful table and enjoyed a kale salad with dried cranberries and a walnut vinegrette, acorn squash stuffed with a delicious mixture of wild rice, turkey sausage, apples, and cranberries and roasted autumn vegetables on the side.



The dessert was a decadent chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and raspberries that was melt in your mouth delicious. We told our hostess it looked pretty enough to be in a display case at a high end bakery.



I was fascinated by this bouquet of flowers in her kitchen and when I asked what kind they were, was shocked to find they were heads of kale. I will be looking to replicate this unique arrangement on Thanksgiving.



The book we discussed this month was an interesting choice that many of us did not care for, but in the end were glad we had the chance to read. Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene was published in 1969 and is an enlightening look at the time in which it takes place. We agreed that subject matter that was probably somewhat shocking at the time of publication, seemed somewhat dated. We also discovered a movie by the same name was produced in the late 1970's starring our favorite from Downton Abbey, Maggie Smith.

At this time of thanksgiving, so thankful for my book club friends.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cranberry, Apple and Ginger Chutney




One of my favorite menu items when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner is the cranberry sauce. I searched for many years for the perfect recipe, looking for one that was thick and bursting with whole cranberries. My mother always served that traditional sauce from a can, but that was not for me.

A few years ago I tried this recipe for Cranberry, Apple and Ginger Chutney and it really is something special. This cranberry sauce has chunks of apples and whole cranberries throughout and the ginger gives it just a hint of spice. I usually make it a day or two in advance and keep it in the fridge until I am ready to put it in a pretty serving bowl on Thanksgiving day. Your side dishes can be the stars of your Thanksgiving buffet and this one is the perfect start.


Cranberry, Apple and Ginger Chutney

1 10-16 ounce bag of fresh cranberries

2 red apples, peeled and chopped

1 tsp ginger

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup orange juice

Combine ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until, softened reduced and thickened, about 40 - 45 minutes. Stir often during cooking. Cool and store in fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy!


{Linking with these friends}


Rattlebridge Farm

Between Naps on the Porch

Savvy Southern Style

Gooseberry Patch


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Two Simple DIY Projects for Your Thanksgiving Table




The week before Thanksgiving is always hectic, but perhaps if you are searching for ideas for your table or buffet, these two simple DIY projects would be a helpful solution.

First, it is so easy to make a No Sew Burlap Table Runner that is perfect for a rustic Thanksgiving table. It really does take no sewing skill and I recommend the use of another table runner as a pattern, so no measuring is required as well. It is as simple as pulling strings to create the frayed edge and the complete instructions can be found here.



Any Thanksgiving table needs candlelight and I use this beautiful and easy Indian Corn Candle Holder every year on my buffet table. All that you need to make this is any large round glass candle holder, indian corn to hot glue around the sides and a length of burlap ribbon to finish the look. This is one of those DIY projects that looks expensive, but can be made by you for very little time and money. The complete instructions can be found here.

One week and two days until Thanksgiving - happy preparations!


{Linking with these friends}

A Stroll Thru Life

My 1929 Charmer

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

Coastal Charm


Thrifty Decor Chick


Monday, November 17, 2014

Mass Mob




There is a movement going around the Detroit area catholic community called a mass mob. What this amazing group strives to accomplish is to fill the pews and give life to the many inner city churches by attending mass together as a large group, lifting up that parish community with love and support.

One of my friends had the idea to make a similar plan with a group from our parish. We plan to attend, as a group, a different parish each month and then go to brunch at a restaurant or at someone's home. My husband and I missed the first month, but yesterday we went to one of our favorite inner city churches and then had brunch together at a beautiful restaurant; twenty one strong.



There have been some changes at our parish that have removed the sense of community we all felt while our children attended elementary and middle school there. This gives us that sense of community back. We will end up attending mass at some beautiful older churches and experience the beauty of the catholic mass while sitting together as a group. After mass we will catch up with friends we have known for many years, but with busy lives, see too little. A wonderful idea to bring old friends together.

Happy Monday!


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