9.30.2016

:: Back again by popular demand Pot roast mushroom soup! ::




It's very much worth posting again I think! This is the most delicious meal EVER! You know a recipe is damned perfect when everyone wants the leftover recipe over the meal any day of the week...wow!

Pot Roast Mushroom Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes Servings4
Got some leftover potroast? Try this delicious pot roast soup with mushrooms!
Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup flour (or rice flour for gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups pot roast, cooked and shredded
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
Directions:
  1. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat, add the onions and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have released their moisture and it has evaporated, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Mix in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the wine and deglaze the pan.
  5. Add the broth and beef, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Mix in the parsley and remove from heat.


9.24.2016

:: Indian Summer ::



I am making the very most of my Indian Summer. Yes I am. And I will continue to for as long as it lasts. And, I am also back to really enjoying my Sundays again, even as busy as they can get at times. I really am enjoying the still very warm days that thankfully will continue to cool down a little more until they are about perfect. Cool nights and warm days. Does it really get any better than that? I for one, can't wait!

Soon the crowds will be here. {The snow birds}They will begin flowing in from October through December. It fills up everywhere here during the winter months. Every beach, restaurant,  movie house, park, etc; filled with the joy and laughter of many new and as well as many old familiar faces. It is definitely the time of year that everyone becomes active outside more than ever, and I can't wait to try the hiking and biking trails here! And don't even think about putting your swimsuit away... the Gulf of Mexico is perfect for swimming in all year round! Also, there will be lots of festivals of all kinds and tons of concerts to enjoy! So, as you can see, it is beginning to turn really busy here! And I just couldn't be happier! Bring it on!!!

9.22.2016

:: Yours Truly ::


{It's about 200 degrees here with no hope of any air}

Captured at the Cheap Trick, Joan Jett, Heart Concert in Tampa Florida Thursday night. I know. I'm getting a l little bit too old to be out so late on a work night, but hey, Friday came and went without too much of a problem so, I'm still able to hang pretty good despite getting older by the minute. I know. I have a Physical coming up this week so things like this are always on my mind. You know, my list of ailments to hand over to the doctor to see if by some miracle he can stop the advancement of time and it's effects on me. Sure hope I picked a good doctor right? I don't expect too much!!! On the plus side, about a half hour after arriving at the concert and realizing how hot things were going to actually be,  a storm starting brewing over the ocean, then, there was a beautiful lightning show, and, yes,  you guessed it... breezes. Cool, ocean breezes. I could not believe it. Just when I need it the most. God is good... always.



9.14.2016

:: Home ::





Home is where I can be alone. Be myself. Safe and sound.

Home is where I feel comfortable, warm, happy and secure.

Home is always calming. Home is always very peaceful.

Home is about solitude and familiarity.


Home is not about all the stuff that fills it, and it's sure not about the bricks and mortar. It's the essence of home that I crave, that feeling of home, the comfort of my home. I think I could live in just about any house and in no time at all turn it into a comfortable home for myself. With only a few magical touches, no more, and no less. I am good with solitude. Very good. It is as necessary to my life as fresh air. Don't get me wrong. I love and need my friends, and I always will, but equally as important, is the quality time that I spend with myself. It's that important.

My advice to you: Make sure that you are taking the time to get to know YOU. The things you like to do, like to eat, like to watch, etc; it's really important. Enjoy your life, your freedoms... because time, it's moving faster and faster every day. Make sure your enjoying each one to the fullest.  


9.09.2016

:: Pumpkin Spice Donuts ::






Your going to hate me for this one. Believe me. I know. But, something this good, well it has to be shared and that's all there is to it. The only problem really... is how good these are. How tasty. How you can't possibly stop eating them. Just make sure when you make these that there is a crowd there ready to devour them so you are not stuck eating them up - one after another, after another. Trust me.


Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

Makes 24 mini donuts
For  Doughnuts:
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk

For Coating:
1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat oven 350 F.  Butter a mini doughnut pan and set aside.

In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and spices together and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixture and stir until just combined, careful not to over mix.

Using a pastry bag or a steady hand and a spoon, fill each doughnut cup with the batter.  The  doughnut cups should be pretty full, but not overflowing. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until doughnuts spring back when gently pressed (if you're using a larger pan, allow them to bake for 12-15 minutes).  Turn doughnut out onto a wire rack and allow them to cool for a few minutes.

While the doughnuts are cooling on the rack, melt butter in one bowl and combine the sugar and cinnamon in another.  While the doughnuts are still hot (but not too hot ), quickly dip each doughnut in melted butter, then dip it in the cinnamon-sugar mixture coating it completely.  Serve immediately.

*Note: If you're not going to serve the doughnuts immediately, you can bake them up to a day in advance and store them in an airtight container.  Do not coat them in the butter/cinnamon-sugar mixture until just before serving or they may get soggy.



9.05.2016

:: Happy Labor Day! ::




9.03.2016

:: Today I am enjoying the small things ::



Being the first to wake up, take a book outside with my coffee and wait for the day to start. Listening to the gentle rain, my freshly painted nails, having the time to wander around with my camera in hand, freshly cut flowers, starting a brand new planner, cool breezes from the ocean, falling asleep outdoors, being barefoot in the kitchen, wearing flip flops outside, a great hair day, donuts, straight from the bakery, a brisk, long walk at the end of the day followed by a cool bed. I couldn't have planned it any better!

9.02.2016

:: Labor Day Weekend! ::

 

9.01.2016

:: The Rainy Day ::



Because I live in Florida, we do not experience Fall/Autumn very quickly. Here, the temperatures will remain in the high 80's all through October and most likely November as well, or so I have been told.

Climate Lakeland - Florida

°C | °F
JanFebMarAprMayJun
Average high in °F:747682869194
Average low in °F:515256606772
Av. precipitation in inch:2.442.723.392.053.827.01








JulAugSepOctNovDec
Average high in °F:959492878075
Average low in °F:737473665953
Av. precipitation in inch:7.527.326.342.282.132.13







This is the weather chart for my city on a yearly basis. Pretty simple. Right now, we are in what is referred to as  "Hurricane Season". It has been dark and rainy for the past three days now, and I couldn't love it more! Why? Because it brings a bit of slowing down to my life, which is sorely needed right now. Not our normal rain for twenty minutes in the afternoon, stop and be extra bright and sunny again, but this rain brings a slight cooling of temperatures, and dark skies with light rainfall all day long. Perfect. For what you ask? Simple. On Wednesday, I had the whole wonderful day off! I woke up to this kind of a day. I just smiled. A whole day to myself. To do anything and everything, or absolutely nothing at all. What to do? Here's what I decided to do: 


Wash my bedding, including my comforter and clothes (2 loads}
Refill my weekly vitamin container
Fill a shadowbox full of shells and my painted shells for a present.
Read through the church bulletin on all the upcoming classes to pick from
Color for a little bit in my beautiful coloring book
Pick up a new bible case for my bible.
Give myself a mani/pedi
Stop at Starbucks for a tea
Buy a Birthday card for my son and my best friend
Stop for lunch At Panera Bread for French onion soup and BBQ Salad
Take a long, hot bubble bath
Take a nap
Read my book
Spend a little time with the family before going to bed

And, as amazing and simple as this list is, I did everything on it. Everything. It was great! If you haven't had a day like this in a while, my advice to you is this: take one. You need it. Desperately. Just do it.