Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Run For The Roses

A few years ago, I posted this tasty Run for the Roses pie that I made for a Derby dinner we attended at our friend's home. They have a huge TV (we have never had one) which is great for watching the Kentucky Derby. I actually enjoyed watching the race, and we all chose our horses that we wanted to win.  Our dinner group is hosting  another Derby day this year, and I was asked to bring this special pie for what is perhaps the "Greatest Two Minutes in Sports".

To celebrate the Run for the Roses, you'll need a pie crust, eggs, unsalted butter, sugar, flour, pecans, chocolate chips and bourbon whiskey.  Instead of the 1/4 cup of bourbon whiskey that the recipe called for, I used 2 TB and decreased the sugar to 3/4 cup.

A hat is believed to bring luck to the jockeys, horses and your bets. This is my hat that I made and will be wearing (again). 
Joe's hat :-)
And if you must, you could wear this Vineyard Vines shirt with The Mint Julep recipe for a mere $55. We saw this at the designer outlets in Manchester Village, VT.

Have you listened to Dan Fogelberg's song.... Run For The Roses? I have a special place in my heart for horses that race. My aunt and uncle have raced horses for a living for over 50 years, and their two sons also race at Vernon Downs. They take such good care of their horses, and even in their 80's now, they still go to the barn every day until noon. When we were children, they would leave us tickets at the "Will Call" at the track, and we thought we were pretty special having family that raced horses. LOL  If their horse won first place, we were invited into the winners circle for the photo. The good ole days.

If you'd like to sing along, here are the lyrics :-) Youtube

Born in the valley
And raised in the trees
Of Western Kentucky
On wobbly knees
With Mama beside you
To help you along
You'll soon be a growing up strong

All long lazy mornings
In pastures of green
The sun on your withers
The wind in your mane
Could never prepare you
For what lied ahead
The run for the roses so red

And it's run for the roses
As fast as you can
Your fate is delivered
Your moment's at hand
It's the chance of a lifetime
In a lifetime of chance
And it's high time you joined in the dance
It's high time you joined in the dance

From sire to sire
It's born in the blood
The fire of a mare
And the strength of a stud
It's breeding and it's training
And it's something unknown
That drives you and carries you home

And it's run for the roses
As fast as you can
Your fate is delivered
Your moment's at hand
It's the chance of a lifetime
In a lifetime of chance
And it's high time you joined in the dance
It's high time you joined in the dance


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Roasted Chicken with Maple-Sage Brine

Each spring, we love taking drives and seeing the many maple farms in action during the six to eight week season. (Our area has a LOT of maple trees) To cook with maple for the health benefits and antioxidants, use this maple conversion guideline to help you substitute sugar in any recipe.

1 cup sugar = 1 cup maple syrup and reduce other liquids in recipe by 1/2 cup or 1 cup maple granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar = 1 cup and 1 tablespoon maple syrup and reduce other liquids in recipe by 1/2 cup or 1 cup and 1 tablespoon maple granulated sugar.

One of my favorite ways to use maple syrup is to brine a whole three pound chicken in a mixture of water, salt, maple syrup and fresh sage. It's one of my favorite ways to roast a whole chicken. 

Roasted Chicken with Maple-Sage Brine
1 whole 3 lb. chicken
1/2 cup maple syrup (or more if you desire)
1/2 cup salt
1/2 bunch fresh sage
Water (enough to submerge the chicken) 

Mix syrup, salt and 1 cup of water to dissolve. Put chicken in a large bowl, and pour water/salt/maple mixture over the chicken. Add enough water to cover chicken completely in the brine.

Leave chicken in brine for at least eight, and up to 24 hours. Remove from brine and pat dry.

Lightly brush chicken with olive oil. Roast at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, or until thigh reaches 165 degrees or juices run clear.

I serve with wild rice and a salad. 

I could drink the entire bottle of maple syrup....just sayin.

Thanks for stopping by! I am joining Foodie Friday.

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Beautiful April


It's been a fun-filled April. Birthday celebrations, locating gorgeous Rananculus plants at Lowe's, attending the Mackenzie-Childs warehouse sale in Union Springs, delivering a sweet bunny to a friend that needed some cheer, chatting at the lake with friends, getting ready for an Easter celebration at my sister Diane's house and hanging out with our Sweet Xavier who just turned one. 

Love to all!
Happy Easter!


Sunday, March 26, 2017

PermaLeaf® Daffodils

Spring is trying very hard to get to New York! Blizzard Stella dropped 32" of snow, and I sure hope it all melts soon. We had warmer weather in January and February! Until this week, I never realized how much I would love decorating with faux flowers. I was thrilled when I was contacted by PermaLeaf® asking if I would like to receive my choice of artificial plants or flowers to use in a blog post. I chose the daffodils for Spring, and these tiny flowers provide a lot of impact in my Easter centerpiece. I am making a list of floral bouquets that I will leave on the table for Mr. Mountain Breaths to see :-) He sends flowers to the office  for special occasions which are gorgeous, but after seeing the beautiful bouquets on thePermaLeaf® website, I wouldn't mind having these high quality artificial plants that last. PermaLeaf® outdoor plants and trees are amazing too, and I have my eye on the azalea bush that I can plant each spring and my neighbors will think I have a green thumb. 

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All opinions are my own.
I was compensated for this post with a product supplied by them.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Easter and Nor'Easter

The sun was shining, there was no snow on the ground, and I was excited that Spring starts next week. Now a monster storm is crippling the Northeast. It sure doesn't feel like spring is just around the corner but I had leftover cake batter from Xavier's first birthday cake so I made flower cupcakes for this springy table.

I posted the photo below on MacKenzie-Child's Facebook page, and they shared it with this cute comment.
 "We're currently in the middle of the nor'easter spreading across the Finger Lakes! We must say that we had a giggle at our Hollyhock Birdhouse that's braving the snow with the rest of us. Thank you for sharing, Debbie!"

Our sweet angel just turned one (already). I made the smash cake for his party which he refused to smash! 

In the 20+ years I have been growing Lenten Rose in my garden, it has only been damaged by Mother Nature twice. Last year and now this year. 
This beautiful Lenten Rose was trying to bloom in my garden. I love the little freckles.

These hellebores are beauties. They come back every year, thrive in the shade and deer hate them. What's not to love. In my garden, the Lenten rose is the first to flower in early spring, around the period of Lent. It's also known as Lenten hellebore or oriental hellebore. They are excellent for bringing early color to the garden and the table.

They are a perennial that grows from 12-18" high, and the blooms usually last about two months.
Just in time for Easter and those spring bouquets, the Traveling Totes gals are pleased to announce the winner of the MacKenzie-Childs Green Flower Market Vase.

  Bonnie @ Living With Thanksgiving.

Our next giveaway will be posted on June 1, and will be hosted by one of the Tote Sistas!

 "Me" with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney Childs@ The French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @ The Painted Apron
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
Katie with Miss Daisy @ Preppy Empty Nester