Sunday, November 7, 2021



Here I am again!  Getting tired of seeing me?  I want to say that I so appreciate your comments, especially in my last post, and your condolences on the passing of my brother.  It is such an empty space in my heart.  The realization hits me at the random hour, and I just tear up.  His sweet, wonderful wife has it much harder, as well as his daughters and grandchildren.  I'm feeling a little helpless that they are down near Louisville and not closer.  It's just a terrible, sudden loss.  Again, thank you.❤️

Abigail's baby shower was last Saturday.  It was at the same event room at Deja Brew as was her wedding shower.  The room is gorgeous on it's own, and the owner of the restaurant/pub is so dear.  Dottie was in the family restaurant business most of her life and she bought this space and turned it into a vibrant restaurant with excellent food and an exceptionally great staff.  I say this because I very much so support local businesses, and businesses owned by women, who have been successful in bringing their dreams, goals, and plans into fruition.  Applause!

My daughter, Emily, my daughter in law, Deirdre, and myself all equally pulled this off together.  My humble part was making the table decor.  I love flower arranging and although I'm nowhere near the creativity and expertise of a professional, I love doing it (we also saved a lot of money).  So I used the same vases from the last shower and this is what I came up with; coral, cream, and white roses, with a lot of green fillers and baby's breath.  It was a rainy, gloomy day so the colors and tea light candles made everything warm and sparkly.  Emily created the gorgeous balloon arrangement and chose the little interactive games we played like: The Price Is Right, where we had to estimate the price of diapers, bibs, formula, etc.  Can you believe I tied for winner with Abby's sister in law who has three young kiddos?  My Black Belt in shopping always comes in handy!  Deidre contributed the favors of natural soaps with a cute tag that said, "Shower Abby With Love".

And then the baby daddy showed up to raise a toast, mingle with us ladies, and open gifts with Abigail.  Aren't they the cutest?  

In other happy news, I mentioned in my last post that my daughter, Emily, and hubby Mike, bought a house just three blocks from us.  And here it is on moving day Friday. Madelyn and Lucy are loving every bit of it.  It was a bittersweet time leaving their first home which they bought when first married, and to which they brought their babies home.  And this particular block was home to Nana and Papa, where I first brought Emily to when she was a newborn, and many, many years as she and my other children grew.  But this new house!  It's large and updated and Emily is so ready to give it even more of her designer touches.  I'll get her permission to post pics once they've settled in. 🏡 

My son Jeff, and his wife, Deirdre, recently sold their second home on Lake Michigan for another which is right on the shoreline. This is the road view. 

And as you can see, the Big Lake is right there in their backyard and it has a pool as well.  What a wonderful place to escape to year round! Deirdre's parent live just jog away, and they are about one hour from Chicago and thirty minutes from our cottage. Wow, I am feeling so blessed to have my kids all around us.  We couldn't ask for more.

 I want to share this insanely simple recipe for Pumpkin Spice muffins (if you aren't sick of pumpkin spice everything!).  I used a store bought box of pumpkin shortbread and did nothing out of the ordinary with it, just a whipped egg white and half teaspoon of vanilla.  But  I made a cream cheese frosting that I played with for many cupcakes I've made. So here is just that topping of the muffins I made and want to share.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 t flour
2 T sugar
1 t milk
1/2 c slivered almonds, toasted
Cinnamon, optional

Combine all of the ingredients but for the almonds in a small bowl.  Once the muffins are out of the oven and almost cooled (not hot or the topping will thin), add a dollop of the mixture over the top.  If the cream cheese becomes runny, pop it in the  fridge to firm it up.  You can also pipe this on but I'm not talented in that department!  Top with a small spoonful of almonds and a little dusting of cinnamon.  


Cranberry Cheese Log

This is again a simple but outstanding recipe for a festive party at this time of year.  Not much time to make but with all the great flavors.  I was inspired by this blogger, and this is her photo credit. The original recipe made for a lot of additions I couldn't do without!

8 oz. goat cheese (chevre)

1 t ground cinnamon

1 c chopped walnuts, finely crushed

1 t honey

1 t kosher salt

1 c Dried cranberries

Cream together the goat cheese and cinnamon.  Chill for 15 minutes in the fridge.  Stir together the honey with the walnut pieces and salt.  Spread out on a sheet of parchment paper. On another sheet of parchment paper, spread out the dried cranberries.

Remove the cheese from the fridge and shape it into a log and roll this log in the walnut pieces, and then the cranberries.  As the original recipe says, press the cranberry into spaces that didn't pick up. The parchment paper will help make this easier to roll as it mimics sushi and egg roll methods. 

After chilling for a minimum of fifteen minutes, serve on a pretty platter with a variety of crackers.  Don't you just love the way it looks sliced?  This can also be refrigerated for a day before serving in plastic wrap..  Enjoy 😊  

And that's a wrap!  I am already preparing for Thanksgiving.  Like most of you, last year we had no company, no family.  The husband and I made the most of it with a smaller turkey and side dishes.  This year we have all been vaccinated, in fact The Husband and I had the booster vaccine a few weeks ago.  And we always wear masks in public places.

I am of course, a worried planner who stresses over every detail, but I found a step by step guide from three weeks before turkey day and on.  Normally I wouldn't  follow something like this but my idol, Ina Garten claims a guide like this is her Go To every year.  I found this Thanksgiving countdown guide on a great food blog, The Spruce Eats.  I think you'd like to follow this sight, it's one of the best food blogs I subscribe to.

Happy November friends! ❤️

Jane x