Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Farm to Table Dinner

On Friday, we attended a Farm to Table event at a winery. Cheese, crackers and grapes were set up under the pergola with local wines. There was a “Plan B” if the weather didn’t cooperate, but we were fortunate to enjoy one of the most beautiful evenings of summer and surrounded by the beauty of the expansive winery landscape.  

 A delicious local meal and memorable evening that we’ll never forget. We were a group of six, and our dining companions new and old shared family style platters of delicious, seasonal and local food. 

We sat at the long table with stunning vases of sunflowers down the center of the table, and there were several round tables of eight. The winery used the vases of sunflowers again last evening for a Hospital Gala. 

I was inspired with ways to prepare my fall harvest CSA local farm share. The garlic parmesan swiss chard, bourbon glazed carrots, buttery rosemary roasted potatoes and roasted butternut squash with apples will be on our fall dinner menu.  In the photo below, we enjoyed mixed greens with edible sunflowers, toasted sunflower seeds, apples and an autumn raspberry vinaigrette with honey cornbread muffins.
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Shortbread tart that is too good not to share

If you are looking for a simple and delicious dessert that will delight all, Scott and Chris at The Cafe Sucre Farine have mastered the buttery shortbread and fruit tart. I've made this tart twice, once with raspberry jam and a second time with lemon curd. Joe said the only other desserts he ever needs are chocolate chip cookies and cannoli! And as Chris says, don't be surprised if someone asks for a moment of silence. Here's the recipe, and do check out Scott and Chris' blog for their review of the recipe. The powdered sugar on top is a must.


  • 8 ounces butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup almond flour*
  • ¾ cup raspberry jam**
  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer set at medium speed, beat until creamy. Add vanilla and salt and beat until combined. Add the all-purpose and almond flours and mix on low speed, just until flour is incorporated and large crumbles start to form.
  3. Spray a 10-inch tart pan with baking spray or grease well and press one half of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust. Wrap the remaining dough in plastic wrap and freeze while bottom crust is baking, (no longer than 15 minutes).
  4. Bake the bottom crust 10-12 minutes, until just beginning to firm and turn pale golden brown at the edges.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the tart to cool for 10 minutes, then spread the raspberry jam/preserves evenly over the crust, leaving a ¼ inch border around the edge without jam** (sees Notes for a pretty presentation tip).
  6. Remove the remaining dough from freezer and, with your fingers, sprinkle it in big crumbles over the jam to form a topping.
  7. Return the pan to the oven and continue baking until topping is firm and crisp and lightly golden in color, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, then dust lightly with powdered sugar, if desired.
  8. Use a sharp knife to cut bars into small wedges. Serve warm (I used the microwave for about 10 seconds for each wedge) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.
  9. Dessert can be made 6-8 hours in advance. It can also be made and frozen after cooling. To serve after freezing, allow to thaw then warm for 10-12 minutes in a 300˚ oven.

I'm joining Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.

Monday, September 5, 2016

September's Here

For parents and teachers (my hubby and Xavier's momma), that means back to school.

For the rest of us, it means we're one step closer to apple picking, visiting the cider mill and corn mazes, and making pumpkin pie.

We are still soaking up the last of the summer fun, and freezing corn since we can't be without it. 

We decided it was time to bring out the cheese board and enjoy some beautiful cheese from our local "cheese man". 

 I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our summer. 

Cheers to fall which will be here soon!


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Traveling Tote - Idyllic New York Summer....Another Giveaway!

Miss Victoria (Miss Aurora's new sister) and I decided to take you to some special places that we enjoy. Come along for a little Day Tripping in Tupper Lake (Wild Walk), Saratoga Springs (where I am standing watching the renovation of my favorite Adelphi Hotel), Lake Placid, and Burlington, VT (our beautiful neighbor). New York's Adirondack Mountains are known for it's summers where folks can leave the oppressive heat behind and enjoy the clean lakes and majestic mountains. At the resort we stay at in Lake Placid, radiant flowers grace the Mirror Lake Inn. Jill and her green-thumbed crew do a great job, and I always look forward to their Christmas lights as well. We also enjoyed having our grandson Xavier for an overnight stay!

We spent my birthday week at our camp in August enjoying laid back days and picnics on our little mountain. Guests and family enjoy our little camp and swimming in the clear lake. Most of our meals are eaten at the camp, usually prepared on the grill. Our summer ends on Labor Day weekend at the lake, and I’m going to enjoy every last minute. 
The photos below were taken on our trip to Burlington, VT. Miss Victoria and I enjoyed Lake Champlain, the border between Vermont and New York. I did get caught in the rain though so we were a little soggy. 

I am so enjoying the friendship with my fellow tote friends. Who would have thought that a tote bag could be our common thread! 

Debbie with Miss Victoria and Miss Aurora Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney Childs@ The French Hutch
Linda with Miss Rosie @ More Fun Less Laundry
Patti with Miss Kenzie and Miss Taylor @ Pandora's Box
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul

We will offer a Mackenzie-Childs giveaway with our next 5 posts, each time with a different host!  
The next post will be Dec 1st

is hosting a giveaway for the Traveling Tote Tribe!

Visit her blog for a chance to win 2 pkgs of Mackenzie-Childs paper plates and an enamel storage container.
Our next Traveling Tote post will be December 1. Hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Latte

 Image and Recipe reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.

I've been a little slow at posting on my blog this summer. We've had the wedding of our son, our beloved grandson Xavier to smother in hugs and kisses and are simply goofing off now. Most of the summer, Joe has been working on projects for friends and neighbors. He's a handyman, jack of all trades and trustworthy. He plans to supplement our income when he retires since he enjoys it and is good at it.  

 I was offered a beautiful cookbook to review, and how could I refuse since I love everything pumpkin. If you are a pumpkin lover, "Pumpkin It Up" by Eliza Cross is a beautiful book to put on display and cook your way through it this fall. My oven was in need of service so the first recipe I tried was the Pumpkin Spice Latte.  I made two servings instead of four and was in pumpkin heaven!  If you give this a try, let me know! 

Pumpkin Spice Latte
Makes 4 servings
31cups milk
1cup canned or cooked pumpkin purée

1cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
11cups strong coffee or espresso 

Whipped cream, for topping

Chocolate syrup, for topping

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Add the coffee or espresso and heat just until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Divide among 4 large coffee mugs, top with whipped cream, and drizzle with chocolate syrup.

I promise to share wedding photos soon. Thanks for stopping by. I am joining Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm.