Friday, May 29, 2015

Life Lately





It had been so nice having Melissa home and free from responsibility until she starts her job in a couple of weeks. We have been doing some shopping for career type clothes and other errands that need to get accomplished. She is always up for something fun and yesterday we went to a restaurant, just down the road, that is on the water and has lovely outdoor deck seating. The weather was perfect for sitting outside and enjoying an early dinner, with a glass of wine.



I am trying to eat as healthy as I can this summer and take advantage of fresh ingredients, so I enjoyed a yummy steak salad with a light application of homemade blue cheese dressing. Quality protein and low carb is a good rule of thumb for a diabetic (like me) or really anyone.



I just finished reading A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner and enjoyed it very much. It takes place in present day New York, as well as New York City in 1911. The main characters are connected through a marigold patterned scarf and the tragedies of 9/11 and The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. There is rich historical detail of New York City and Ellis Island in that era and it is a fascinating read. I have just started her newer book, Secrets of A Charmed Life, with a World War II setting of London during the Blitz.



I think I have mentioned before that I love watching baseball and my Detroit Tigers. They have been in California this past week which means the games have been late games here in the Detroit area. I just love staying up late and having the Tigers on my television, since I am a night owl anyway. Summer nights and baseball just go together.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, May 28, 2015

It's Planting Time




It's the time I look forward to so much. The time of year when I am able to be outside, working in my yard and garden making everything look so pretty. There is always a lot of work involved to get to the point of being able to plant the flowers; wood chips to spread, weeds to conquer and hundreds of sticks to pick up, but it makes me very happy to get to that place. I love the whole process from going to the plant nursery to pick out what I have decided on, to getting my hands in the dirt and planting in both the ground and various pots. Gardening really is good for the soul.




Petunias bloom in my recycled firepit planter, as well as the tiny little wheelbarrow in this garden statue.



The pansies I bought early in the spring are still looking pretty.



I always plant geraniums both for their pretty, bright color, as well as their hardiness. Mixed in the pots this year is some Mexican Heather, with its sweet and tiny purple flowers.



More petunias in a basket hanging from a tree.



Tiny bunches of lobelia, in a bright purple, are planted randomly around landscape rocks here and there.




Pots I usually fill with geraniums, this year hold cosmos and salvia. Pretty, but hopefully the deer will stay away and not eat them for their breakfast!



More geraniums and Mexican Heather look welcoming and pretty on my front porch.


Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sour Cream Banana Muffins Dipped in Sugar and Cinnamon




After working in my yard all weekend ( with a little more to do today) I needed a little pick me up this morning. Baking something yummy and sweet to go with my morning cup of coffee is always a good way to start the day, when I am up early. Two over ripe bananas were just waiting to be baked into banana bread or muffins and this recipe for Sour Cream Banana Muffins Dipped in Cinnamon and Sugar sounded too good to pass up.

The sour cream is such a wonderful addition to muffins or bread, making them extra moist and delicious. As always, I used the equivilent amount of Truvia in this recipe so I can cut down on the carbs in each muffin. I even used the Truvia to dip the muffins in at the end and the texture is similar to sugar, so it worked just fine. These muffins were such a treat ( especially warm from the oven) and a great way to start my morning :-)


Sour Cream Banana Muffins Dipped in Sugar and Cinnamon


2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar ( I used Truvia equivilent )

1 egg

1/4 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup sour cream

2 small bananas, mashed

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla


For topping:

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup sugar ( I used Truvia equivilent)

1/4 tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper baking cups in a 12 cup muffin tin.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, making powder and salt. Set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk egg, then add sugar. Whisk until thick. Slowly add the melted butter. Whisk in the sour cream, mashed banana, milk and vanilla.

Gently fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients.

Divide the batter between muffin cups. Bake 25-30 minutes until tops are lightly golden.

For topping : while muffins are still warm, dip the tops in melted butter and then into sugar and cinnamon mixture. Let cool on a baker's rack.


{Linking with these friends}

A Stroll Thru Life

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

No Minimalist Here


Rattlebridge Farm

Gooseberry Patch

Sunny Simple Life




Friday, May 22, 2015

Picnic Themed Book Club




Our hostess for book club last night outdid herself with a picnic theme, perfect for May and the night before Memorial Day weekend. Her table was set with a colorful red checked tablecloth, a rainbow of placements and festive plastic table wear. A bright and cheery pot of geraniums sat in the middle of the table; perfect for the outdoor theme.



But, it was the food that was the star of the night. She served a light and fresh salad of watermelon, cucumbers, onions and feta cheese, dressed simply with a red wine vinaigrette, followed by a serve yourself platter of red potatoes, corn on the cob, sausage, and peel and eat shrimp. It was so delicious and we all requested the recipe, so we could make it for our own families.

It was our last meeting before taking the summer off, so we laughed, talked and savored every moment around the table together. We discussed everything from aging parents to an upcoming family wedding. And, yes, we did discuss the book, over a dessert of mixed berry pie, in a delightfully crumbly crust. The discussion of The Light Between Oceans was lively and interesting and one of those books where opinions were strong. As I have said before, it is such an intelligent and interesting group and they always make me think.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!


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