Sunday, October 18, 2015


I'm trying to do a little rearranging of the Fall Decor.  Yes, caps here.  It seems to have overwhelmed my home just a bit short of the way Christmas does and that's monumental.  I have these shelves in my living room and they are jammed packed with everything from pictures to books to candles to...well, whatever.  I have a hard time saying "No" to anything and everything I love.  Anyway, I read an article somewhere the other day to the effect that you should only use 60% of your shelves for your 'whatever' (as if we go by rules).   I think I'm at 110%.  I really need to declutter and I'm having nightmares.  

Anyway, I added some real pumpkins, albeit small ones to my mantel.  :)

Saturday I made a fire for the first time this season.  It was afternoon and I was busy in the kitchen where I could see it and enjoy.  I love a fire in the late afternoon, especially when I'm making dinner.  If I could ever design my own home I'd have a fireplace in the kitchen right next to a table where we had cozy meals.  But this is good enough.

I tried my hand at making granola for the first time.   As I'm allergic to sunflower seeds and oil I've always had to be careful of granola and energy/breakfast bars.  A lot of 'healthy' snacks also have sunflower oil and I have to carefully read labels.  I came across a recipe for a healthy and easy to make granola in Redbook magazine by Carla Hall, who is a co-host on The Chew (love that show).  I had to change it up, of course, by eliminating the sunflowers seeds.  I also needed to make a few other changes that may have been recipe glitches or my own.  Here's my version or you can go to The Chew website and search Carla's recipe.

Simple Granola with Fruit and Nuts (Blondie's Version)


3 cups oats
3/4 c slivered almonds
3/4 c raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/4 c canola oil
1/2 c maple syrup
2 t vanilla extract
1 c dried cranberries
1 c dried apricots (chopped)
(you may substitute any dried fruit you like chopped uniformly)
2 T honey

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
In a large bowl mix the first 5 dry ingredients.  In a small bowl stir together the oil, syrup and vanilla.  Drizzle the syrup mixture over the dry and mix thoroughly.  Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes, stirring every once in a while to brown evenly.  Remove and toss with dried fruit.  Drizzle with honey and let cool.  Store in an airtight container.

I doubled the recipe...this is an easy recipe but not so fast to put together.  I made several individual portions to give to family member who absolutely loved it.  You can eat it by the handful (as The Husband did), or top vanilla yogurt as daughter Abigail tried this morning.  Big thumbs up.  :)

I had another recipe I wanted to try...very simple and it was good hot and cold.  A simple appetizer.  I rolled out two containers of ready made crescent rolls into a rectangular shape, spread 8 oz. cream cheese and 1/4 c Parmesan, down the middle and sprinkled that with 1/2 cup chopped red pepper and then pinched it closed.  Flip it over seam side down on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cut into 2 inch wedges.  I served this with the potato soup I had made Saturday.

This was a fantastic potato soup recipe I Pinned from The Pioneer Woman all know Ree, right?  Love her.  I'll spare you a recipe here and just give you the link.  This is a winner but beware, there is a lot of chopping involved.  I would also eliminate half the bacon at the beginning and sub butter...the soup really had a smokey bacon flavor I could live without.  And I would add the carrots at the end, I didn't find the color of the soup too appetizing with the orange color.  I'm really sorry I can't give you the link but you can go to her website, The Pioneer Woman or go to my Pinterest site and look under Healthy Soups and Stews.   

We are off to a great week weather-wise here in the upper Midwest and that encourages me to finish up my yard work.  I have some new lilies to plant which will make me smile next summer and be grateful that I took the time to plant them.  And I have seeds from the cone flowers that I grabbed up when we were at the lake in August.  I'm hoping they will come up next spring.  I also want to say that my morning glories have an abundance of seed pods that will be ready to pluck off the vine in about 3-4 weeks.  My vine has a combo of pink and blue flowers.  If anyone wants any of these seeds (and I can give you a nice supply), let me know and I can have them sent off to you in a New York (Chicago) minute.  Email me your name and address and I'll ship them off as soon as they look dried.  

Off I go.  Not sure if you are a Mets or Chicago Cubs fan but we are rooting here in Chi Town for our  Cubbies.  Wow---what an exciting time.  We have season tickets so we will have seats next week and hopefully at The World Series.  Well, not me...I will totally forfeit to my sons, true sports fans.  

Have a great week, friends!

Jane x


20 North Ora said...

the soup and rolls sound delicious! Now that the weather has cooled off here, soup sounds really good.

Would love some of your morning glory seeds. Send me your address and I'll mail you sase, OK?

thanks for sharing!!


Dewena said...

No fire lit here yet! A fireplace in the kitchen would be lovely. It sure is soup season and your potato soup sounds delicious, Jane. I was very restrained in my Fall Decor this year but oh how I need to declutter my bookshelves as they are crammed with books. Must make room for some new ones!

Debra@CommonGround said...

your fire looks so cozy, and nothing like homemade potato soup. I can almost smell it! I always admire your cooking, Jane. love how you are up for trying so many new recipes. Don't worry about your bookshelves. Fall is the time to embrace the clutter!

Art and Sand said...

A friend gave us a great recipe for granola, but we decided not to make it because we liked it too much. We wanted to eat it every single day, but there are just too many calories.

Anonymous said...

I'm in love with your mantel! I think it is gorgeous! That's something I have always wanted a fireplace in my home but unfortunately we don't have one. I've been looking into putting one in but I'm still not so sure. The granola looks great. I like granola in yogurt like your Abigail as well. Yummy! Have a great week friend Silvana xoxo

Stacey said...

Looks delicious with the cranberries and apricots. I'm going to show this to my husband. He eats homemade granola all the time. :)

Sunflowers With Smiles said...

I love granola but have never tried making it! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I love sprinkling it on my yogurt with fruit.

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Those recipes look so yummy! I could eat potato soup all winter long. That's interesting about only decorating 60% of our shelf space. I'm with you...I think I'm way past 60% lol! Enjoy your week!

It's me said...

Have a Nice week from me Ria x

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Love the fire and great recipes. Can't wait to make them.

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Hi Jane,
I've been one of those people who will pluck an object off a mantel or shelf as I walk by to free up eye space for vision appreciation. It's kind of like Coco's rule of before leaving look in the mirror and remove one accessory. Me too with feeling cluttered but mine is in my closets and I'm making up bags for Goodwill. So many lovely pieces from before that the décor isn't any longer something I want. So I am after I donate my closets I am attempting to adopt the idea - buy something - donate something. We'll see how well that goes, HA, HA.

I love fresh Granola sprinkled on my morning yogurt so I will try your recipe and YUM to the potato soup - that's a yes to making too. This Polish girl loves her soup.

Jane your home looks cozy and you can see your embrace of Fall. I love the fireplace screen and the White Birch branches look pretty. White Birch is one of my favorite trees. Come visit and get a fright ;-)
Sending love,

Kim said...

Forfeiting tickets to your sons...what a good mama!! Your food always looks delish, makes me wish I was a cook! ;)

Debbie said...

Love your blog. Always entertaining. Send me your e-mail address as I would love
some morning glory seeds. Thanks so much.

Low Tide High Style said...

I was just standing in my living room contemplating putting a gas fireplace in there, yours looks so cozy!!! I have never heard of a sunflower allergy, and you are right, the seeds and the oil is in nearly every organic granola or breakfast bar. I hope to make some homemade granola soon, yours looks yummy. I hope you have a great week!

xo Kat

Ramblings of a Southern Girl ~ Rhonda G said...

The warm glow of the beautiful fire is so cozy and mesmerizing! I love granola, but have never tried to make it. Your's sounds yummy, as well as the delicious potato soup and rolls! ~Hope your week is off to a great start! :) Rhonda

An Oasis in the Desert said...

Oh boy, that soup sounds delicious, Jane! I think I read the same blog....something like not crossing the line. Well that line was crossed a long time ago!

Gina said...

You've made me very hungry with all the delicious looking things you've made! Happy Fall, Jane!

Benita said...

I've always wanted a fireplace in the kitchen. If we ever build, there will be a fireplace in the kitchen, living area, master bedroom and one on the porch! I love a nice fire in the fireplace while I'm working around the house. The granola looks yummy...will definitely be giving it a try!! Hugs!!

Carla from The River said...

Hi Sweet Friend,
I would take a pot belly stove in my kitchen. :-) I totally agree with you about the cozy of a fire.
I am cheering for the Cubs. :-) Fun times for you guys.

Melanie said...

I have not lit a fire in my fireplace yet...your fireplace is so pretty! I've been making my own granola for years. I use it sparingly on top of Greek yogurt or mixed into regular cereal. Here's to hoping the Cubs win - but these past two games didn't look so good, did they? I know that can easily turn around and I hope it does. My hubby's been a die-hard Cubs fan his entire life. Have a good week, Jane!

Unknown said...

I've found a recipe for potato soup that I plan to try soon. I don't have it handy, but you use frozen hash browns (the cubed type). You always have the best sounding food!! I've been better about cooking the last few weeks, don't know why! But the hubby loves it! Hope you have a fabulous week!

Junkchiccottage said...

Hi Jane,
Your potato soup sounds so yummy. Love soup recipes for fall. We are die hard Sox fans but we are rooting for the cubs. This is so great that they are doing so well.
Have a great week.

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

There's nothing like a fire. Well, there is. A fire with George Clooney to cuddle with.

I would love a fireplace in the kitchen too. If I were designing a house I'd have a two sided fireplace shared by the kitchen and family room. I can dream. :)

I use to make my own granola, but when I was on WW I realized how many points it was! Yikes!


Blondie's Journal said...

hey Debbie Lorsen!!

I can't find an email address for you you. Please drop me a line so I can put you on my list for morning glory seed fans!

Jane x

Town and Country Gals said...

your fireplace is lovely, love your mantle! Nothing better then the warm glow and crackle of a fire on a cool evening! For the most part, I never let clutter bother me, love it all but have tried to pare down some just cuz I'm getting a bit lazy!
Potato soup is my favorite and your rolls sound delish! I just saw your e-mail from September, bummer!! I sent you one back, so sorry I missed you, would have been fun to get together! Maybe next time!!

Courtney@Golden Boys and Me said...

Oh, how I dream of a house with a fireplace in the kitchen too, Jane! We just had our first fire too and it was heavenly. I am going to try your granola recipe. One of my favorites lately has been some granola over Greek yogurt. Have a great week!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Jane,
I have to say, your an amazing cook! Your food always looks fantastic and your very creative too. Love love the fireplace and mantle. Looking forward to next month. Our lives have been a blur lately. I am helping my daughter a lot. I know she needs me now.
She seems so overwhelmed at times, it makes me sad.
Hugs friend,

Sarah said...

Oh, yes, loving fall too! We are finally getting some cooler weather. Took a walk mid afternoon, and it was totally delightful!
Thanks for the recipe. ;-)

Barbara F. said...

Loving fall, too, Jane. And while I am routing for "orange and blue", if the Cubs get it done, I'd be happy for YOU!

Theresa said...

Oh my goodness, it is warm and cozy at your house:) That granola looks delicious! Enjoy your day dear friend, HUGS!

Sherry @ Thrift My House said...

I love the idea of a fire place in the kitchen too! The granola looks sooo good. I'd love some now! I love the pioneer woman. Her recipes are usually good. Now, I'm hungry!

podso said...

Wow the food on your blog always looks good! I used to make Granola and give it for Christmas presents in pretty containers--back when I was very young and energetic!

Reclaimed wood dining tables said...

I love your blog! I admire your cooking skills. I love with your mantel! I think it's gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Hi Jane, you have been a busy little bee. Looks wonderful. Homemade granola is one of my favs. Your mantel looks lovely. xo

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

Oh Jane I loved seeing your cozy warm fire! :)

Here it is breakfast time and you have me craving potato soup and cheesy crescent roll sides! :)

Your granola sounds wonderful...would make good Christmas gifts!

Lulu said...

Now that it has gotten cool I start every morning with the fire a cup of coffee and a good book. About Baseball, I was hoping for an Astros/ Cubs series. since the Astros didn't make it I'll pull for the Cubs.

Karen said...

I can't get enough of good recipes, I love spending time in the kitchen, especially in the fall. Your recipes are delicious. Love the crescent and cheese one. I suppose jarred red peppers would make it even easier, no chopping!

michele said...

i love making my own granola! i make a lazy kind where i bake it for 10 minutes then turn off the oven and leave it overnight. perfect with yogurt for breakfast! i cannot wait to make ANYTHING in the kitchen since we are still living without one. peace to you right where you are.

Decor To Adore said...

Oh your soup looks SO good! I also adore that fireplace screen.
Have a lovely fall weekend.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Being allergic to sunflower oil and the seeds must mean a lot of careful research for you when buying products. I think your granola would make nice hostess gifts during all the holiday get togethers ahead of us.

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

Your fireplace screen is beautiful! Hope you have a wonderful weekend...

Susie said...

Blondie, I am late reading this post...I have to tell you I would have loved for the cubs to have won. I have always loved the teams of Chicago. So great you made your own granola. I love potato soup . I agree...the kitchen should have a fireplace. We all maybe using some heat soon. Blessings to all at your house. xoxo,Susie

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Dear Jane,

I am just thinking how great this granola would be in adorable containers for Christmas gifts or a hostess gift. Such a healthy and creative gift to give, especially when we all overeat during the Holidays.
Your home is infused with gentle goodness and I can just imagine how satisfying and relaxing it is to sit by your welcoming fire.
Have a lovely weekend,

Bluebird49 said...

Your fireplace is so beautiful--and especially with a fire in it! I'd love to be able to sit by it with you and have some tea and talk!
I love granola on my Greek yogurt, too. I know it has a lot of calories so I try to keep from just eating by the handful. It sounds like such a good recipe--I haven't made any in a long time--I've bought something called "Bare"- "something or the other!" or something like that! (Probably not that!)
Hope you are feeling better, sweetie--I've read your newer post, and this one now. I didn't know I had missed a post---but you know why now. (Very spotty internet, and feeling like I was going to die!)
I didn't get a flu shot either...and I guess I'm going to pay for it one way or the other. I really need to do that and get a pneumonia shot. I'll be 66 in November, and I can't keep playing around with things like that. I need to try and get both this coming week.
Hope you are feeling better by the time you read my two comments, sweetpea! I hope you will feel like giving out treats to your little ghosts and goblins--who will include Elsie this year!! Yay!
Love you!
Trudy xx

Traci said...

Love the white pumpkins! I love granola but I've learned I can't keep it in the house because I eat way too much of it. I was really hoping the Cubs would've won. I've always like them even though I don't have any connection to them. As a kid they were always on TV so we watched a lot. Later two of the guys that we watched play baseball at LSU played for the Cubs - Mike Fontenot & Ryan Theriot. Enjoy the weather! We're getting a lot of rain from Patricia.

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